Monday, August 23, 2010

Screenwriter Alan Trustman-Press Release

Yesterday, I wrote about THE NEXT MAN and followed up on whatever happened to some of those involved with it. Sad to say I neglected the original writer, Mister Alan Trustman, best known for BULLITT and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. Trustman is in the news today, however, as a result of the 40th anniversary of another of his screenplays, THEY CALL ME MISTER TIBBS! Here's a press release just received from the author's representative! Seems he's been a busy guy indeed! Thanks Saverio!



August 23, 2010 - Veteran Hollywood screenwriter Alan Trustman recalls being asked to write the sequel to "In the Heat of the Night" without Rod Steiger reprising his Oscar-winning role of Police Chief Bill Gillespie. "It was a challenge," says Trustman. "I wrote an original rather than a sequel and focused on Sidney Poitier's role and his relationship with the children. Sidney loved it so it worked." "They Call Me Mister Tibbs" was released by United Artists on July 10, 1970 and remains one of the most influential films of that decade.

Following Trustman's success with "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "Bullitt" he was the most sought after screenwriter in Hollywood but even he was surprised to be asked to write a followup to "In the Heat of the Night" not having been involved with the original film. "Walter Mirisch, the producer, hand picked me so who was I to say no?"

"They Call me Mister Tibbs" was released on July 10, 1970 with Sidney Poitier reprising his role of police detective Virgil Tibbs. He was joined by Martin Landau, Barbara McNair and Edward Asner.

Film historians today recognize that the influence of this film is that it is an early example of the blaxploitation genre and that it ushered in the urban police story which would dominate film and television programs in the '70s and continue through today, predating "Shaft", "The French Connection" and "Dirty Harry" films.

Alan Trustman is a Hollywood veteran screenwriter whose credits include "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968), "Bullitt" (1968) and "They Call Me Mister Tibbs" (1970). He was awarded the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe award for best screenplay for "Bullitt". Trustman is credited with writing several other screenplays as well as the recently published novelized screenplays of "Twenty-Two Lovers" and "The Judas Prophecy". In these new works, Trustman takes the traditional screenplay format and writes a page-turner novel format capturing the intensity of the action with the dialogue.

Trustman was born in Boston on December 16, 1930. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy (class of '48), Harvard College (class of '52) and Harvard Law School (class of '55). He began practicing law in 1955 with Nutter, McClennen & Fish in Boston, becoming a Senior Partner in 1961. He retired from the law firm in 1969 and pursued other private sector interests.

Trustman has contributed to numerous television scripts and film projects and is a mentor to the new generation of screenwriters with his best-selling "The Screenplay Sell" and his teaching. He has taught screenwriting at Harvard College, NYU Graduate School of Film and Television, Phillips Exeter Academy, Escuela Internationale de Cinema y TV in Havana and most recently at the University of Miami School of Communications where he will return for the Spring 2011 semester.

Trustman is a Member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mystery Writers of America and International Association of Crime Writers. He also continues to serve as a Panelist for numerous film festivals.

Trustman lives on Fisher Island, Florida with his wife Dr. Barbara Buchwald. For more information please visit and As well, follow Trustman on Twitter at

Media Contact
Saverio Mancina
+1.202.468.7644 mobile

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