Cinema’s greatest writer villains

Slide show: A closer look at the silver screen's dastardly, dangerous, booze-addled authors

Topics: Writers and Writing, Slide Shows, Books, slideshow,

Cinema's greatest writer villains

Most of the time, movies treat books and the people who write them with all the deference due to any art form on the brink of respectable obsolescence. Writers have been portrayed as principled (“Julia”), free-spirited (“Henry and June”), ambivalent (“Capote”), daring (“My Brilliant Career”) and tormented (“Sylvia”) on-screen, but they’re usually accorded a fair amount of sympathy. Every so often, though, filmmakers tell us what they really think about those perverse souls who cling to the fusty old medium of print — namely that they’re pretentious, manipulative, insecure and overly fond of the sauce. And, you know what? They’ve got a point, one we’d like to see them make more often. A bad writer can be the best thing in a not-so-hot movie. Here are a few of our favorites.

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Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a senior writer for Salon. She is the author of "The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia" and has a Web site,

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