- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cameron Crowe, who wrote and directed “Elizabethtown” (review, page D8), may be best known for Renee Zellweger telling Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire,” “You had me at ‘hello.’” But he began his professional life as a teenage reporter for Rolling Stone. These five ink-stained wretches also successfully crossed over into movie making.

Billy Wilder — One of Hollywood’s greatest talents (“Double Indemnity,” “Some Like it Hot,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Apartment”), the writer/director started out as a journalist for a Vienna newspaper. He retained no illusions about his former vocation. Don’t believe us? Rent his “Ace in the Hole.”

Ben Hecht — The Hollywood legend drew from his experiences as a reporter for both the Chicago Journal and Chicago Daily News to write the wisecracking newspaper comedy “The Front Page” for the stage, a story that would later inspire several feature films (including the classic “His Girl Friday”). He went on to screenplay credits for iconic films like “Scarface,” “Twentieth Century,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Notorious.”

Paul Attanasio — This ex-Washington Post film critic took the eternal blast against his profession — “If you know so much about movies, why don’t you write one?” — to heart. His “Quiz Show” (1994) and “Donnie Brasco” (1997) screenplays both earned him Oscar nominations.

William Broyles Jr. — The founding editor of Texas Monthly, went on to write the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Apollo 13” as well as “Cast Away” and “The Polar Express.” His next film, “Jarhead,” opens Nov. 4.

Rod Lurie — He may have been replaced as “Commander in Chief’s” show runner last week, but Rod Lurie transitioned smoothly from film critic for Los Angeles magazine to writer/director with the combustible political drama “The Contender.”

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