Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter’s Journey

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


Waldo Salt traces the personal and career journey of this extraordinary screenwriter from his beginnings as a young writer, through the blacklist period and into the tremendously creative time of Midnight Cowboy (1969), Serpico (1973), The Day of the Locust (1975) and Coming Home (1979). The ups and downs that marked his more-than-fifty years as a screenwriter gave him the insight and compassion to write unforgettable characters who changed our notion of what movies could be and whom they could be about. Using film clips (Midnight Cowboy, in particular), interspersed with interviews with Jon Voight, John Schlesinger, Jerome Hellman, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford and Waldo Salt himself, the film probes the subtle art of his writing and the joy he found in the collaborative process of filmmaking.

At Sundance and elsewhere, Waldo Salt influenced a generation of young film writers. Among them was the co-writer/ co-director of this film, Eugene Corr, with whom Salt worked to develop Desert Bloom, a Sundance project made in 1985. Waldo Salt is an "American Masters" film and will he seen on this award-winning PBS series later this year.

Sunday, January 21, 4:00p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema III

Wednesday, January 24, 4:00p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema III

Friday, January 26, 7:00p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Tony Safford

Screening Details


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