Robert Getchell


Screenwriter

About

Birth Place
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Biography

Hollywood screenwriter of popular fare whose career -- or at least the production of his work -- seems to have run in spurts. Adept at both original work and adaptations, Robert Getchell saw the production of the very first screenplay he had written, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" released in 1974 and he earned an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Heralded at the time as one o...

Biography

Hollywood screenwriter of popular fare whose career -- or at least the production of his work -- seems to have run in spurts. Adept at both original work and adaptations, Robert Getchell saw the production of the very first screenplay he had written, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" released in 1974 and he earned an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Heralded at the time as one of the first "women's pictures" since the advent of the feminist revolution, "Alice" starred Ellen Burstyn as a widow who leaves her home with her son to finally pursue her dream of becoming a singer, but, instead, finds some camaraderie working as a waitress in a diner. The film was turned into a long-running TV sitcom starring Linda Lavin in 1976 with Getchell as creator.

Getchell was nominated for an Academy Award for his second produced screenplay as well, "Bound for Glory" (1976), the biographical film on the life of folk singer Woody Guthrie. It was several years before he had another script produced, that being the unfortunate "Mommie Dearest" (1981), based on Christine Crawford's account of life as the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford. Except for "Sunset Dreams" (1985), Getchell had no screenplays produced in the 80s, but made up for lost time in the 90s. He adapted the Stella Dallas story of a single mother who sacrifices her love for her daughter in "Stella" for Bette Midler (1990), and turned the French "La Femme Nikita" into the American "Point of No Return" (1993). That same year, Getchell masterfully adapted Tobias' Wolf's autobiography "This Boy's Life" into a screenplay, which launched the career of Leonardo DiCaprio. In 1994, Getchell and Art Linson co-wrote the adaptation of "The Client," the story of a poor white boy who witnesses a suicide and knows the victim's secret.

Life Events

1974

Received Oscar nomination for first produced screenplay, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"

1976

Created "Alice" series based on his screenplay; Wrote "Bound for Glory"

1981

Adapted "Mommie Dearest" for the screen

1993

Adapted "This Boy's Life" for the screen

1994

Co-wrote screenplay for "The Client"

Videos

Movie Clip

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - Better Than Alice Faye Opening flourish from director Martin Scorsese, young Alice (Mia Bendixsen) with Alice Faye's take on "You'll Never Know," then Mott The Hoople with Ian Hunter's "All The Way From Memphis," grown-up Alice (Ellen Burstyn) with son Tom (Alfred Lutter), in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - Where Or When Alice (Ellen Burtsyn) brings Jacobs (Murray Moston) into a Phoenix bar in hopes of getting hired in his competing bar as a singer, her audition medley beginning with Rodgers and Hart's Where Or When, camera by Kent Wakeford, in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - The Bride Screamed Murder First appearance of Jodie Foster (as "Audrey"), after school in Tucson with Tommy (Albert Lutter), who then joins mom Alice (Ellen Burstyn), at the diner where David (Kris Kristofferson) is making his first offer, in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.
Bound For Glory (1976) - 30 More Pickers For Today Famous shot from Bound For Glory, 1976, Hal Ashby directing David Carradine as folk singer Woody Guthrie, in a California labor camp, with pal Randy Quaid, the first use of a Steadicam in a major motion picture, by inventor and operator Garrett Brown.
Bound For Glory (1976) - Oklahoma Hills Musician and union activist Ozark (Ronny Cox) rescues new pal Woody Guthrie (David Carradine) as the strike breakers descend on a California farm labor camp, then introduces him to a radio producer (John Lehne), in Hal Ashby's Bound For Glory, 1976.
Bound For Glory (1976) - Fortune Teller Opening scene from director Hal Ashby, Woody Guthrie (David Carridine) and pals meet an inquisitive businessman (Beeson Carroll), in Pampa, Texas, 1936, in the bio-pic Bound For Glory, 1976.
Bound For Glory (1976) - Union Maid Director Hal Ashby recreates the on-the-spot composition of the union anthemn Union Maid in a California labor camp, David Carradine as Woody Guthrie, Ronny Cox as colleague Ozark Bule, in Bound for Glory, 1976
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - The Hogs Ate Her! Rough day at the diner, Flo (Diane Ladd) with Mel (Vic Tayback) and Vera (Valerie Curtin), David (Kris Krisotfferson) at the counter, as Alice (Ellen Burstyn) finally warms to her colleagues, in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - I'm Just Like This Widowed Alice (Ellen Burstyn) with Rita (Lane Bradbury) who's just arrived to tell her that new boyfriend Ben (Harvey Keitel) is her husband, when he shows up, in a bad temper, in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - Sexy For Phoenix At their Phoenix motel, newly-widowed Alice (Ellen Burstyn) arrives in her new job-hunting outfit, her son Tom (Alfred Lutter) acting droll, the first stage on their journey back to her home town, in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974.

Bibliography