John Howard Lawson loved trains. Perhaps his fondness for trains was generated by his fondness for Hollywood. It was in the pivotal year of 1928 that Lawson was employed by MGM “as one of the first dramatists imported from New York to meet the need of dialogue.” Sister Carrie defeated Lawson. The Flesh and the Devil was typical of the challenges presented by the transition to sound. The Pagan was a sensation globally. Dynamite was adapted from Lawson's sense of the Processional. The Lawsons would bounce between New York and Los Angeles and this trampoline-like odyssey and instability would eventuate in Lawson conclusively deciding to make a commitment—not only, finally, to his spouse but, in a life-transforming maneuver, to the Screen Writers Guild and the Communist Party.
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