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Biopic of the 1950s film noir starlet Barbara Payton. The dazzlingly beautiful and talented blonde bombshell quickly ascended to leading roles in Hollywood. But her wild partying ways, alcoholism, and scandalous romances brought her career crashing down to back alley prostitution and death by age 39.

Barbara Redfield Payton's path to Hollywood began 2,000 miles, and a thousand lifetimes away, amid the towering pines and cold winds of Cloquet, Minn.

The gutsy, self-assured and fun-loving young girl from the Midwest hit Hollywood equipped with little more than a suitcase full of dreams, a ravenous hunger for fame, and a devastating beauty—only to see her dreams destroyed by a disastrous private life that led her straight through the gates of Hell.

In a short career packed with more bedlam than most can ever imagine, Barbara Payton rubbed shoulders with Hollywood's elite and its artistic geniuses, including master glamour photographer Andre de Dienes and film-noir icon Edgar G. Ulmer—as well as with a host of other unique characters, some who could have been lifted from the pages of James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential.

In those days, plush nightclubs like Ciro's, Mocambo and the Trocadero were a hedonist's delight. The glitz and glamour of her surroundings washed over the young starlet like the foamy California surf.

A rowdy, unrestrained iconoclast trapped in a particularly staid period in American culture, Barbara Payton has come to symbolize the dark and sordid side of postwar Hollywood.

This quick-thinking, wild and reckless knockout lived her life as if there were no tomorrow. Hers is perhaps the ultimate cautionary tale. And yet, beneath Barbara's hard-partying Bad Girl veneer, there was more, much more.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Starring Roles For:
Sydney Sweeney
Young Colin Farrell
Greg Kinnear
In the Vein Of:
A Beautiful Mind
Monster
L.A. Confidential
Posted:
02/04/2015
Updated:
03/16/2024
Author Bio:
Represented by Sandstone Artists https://sandstoneartists.com/

I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the shooting of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The film played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/movies/22murder.html?_r=0

AWARDS Semifinalist Table Read My Screenplay - Park City 2024 Quarterfinalist: Los Angeles International Screenplay competition Semifinalist: Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices Competition Semifinalist: Creative World Awards Second Place: American Gem competition First prize: The Writers Place Competition TopTen Finalist: Eric Hoffer fiction competition

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in fiction in 2021 and 2016.

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Contest Results:
Table Read (Semifinalist, Park City) [2023]
CS Unique Voices (Semifinalist) [2020]
Creative World (Semifinalist) [2020]
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