On Screen Acting: An Introduction to the Art of Acting for the Screen, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On Screen Acting

An Introduction to the Art of Acting for the Screen, 1st Edition

By Edward Dmytryk, Jean Porter Dmytryk


158 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138584372
pub: 2018-10-04
Hardback: 9781138584365
pub: 2018-09-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429506062
pub: 2018-10-26
from $17.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


With On Screen Acting, director Edward Dmytryk and actress Jean Porter Dmytryk offer a lively dialogue between director and actress about the principles and practice of screen acting for film and television. Informal and anecdotal in style, the book spans auditioning, casting, rehearsal, and on-set techniques, and will be of interest to both aspiring and working actors and directors.

Originally published in 1984, this reissue of Dmytryk’s classic acting book includes a new critical introduction by Paul Thompson, as well as chapter lessons, discussion questions, and exercises.

Table of Contents

Edward Dmytryk: A Short Biography

Jean Porter Dmytryk: A Short Biography

Introduction by Paul Thompson

  1. The Interview
  2. The Reading
  3. The Rehearsal
  4. Where Did Everyone Go?
  5. Make a Face
  6. What Did He Say?
  7. Who Do You Think You Are?
  8. The Magic Formula
  9. Help Is on the Way
  10. Keep It Alive!
  11. Don’t Be With It


Filmography of the Authors

Chapter Notes by Paul Thompson


About the Authors

Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999) was an Oscar-nominated American filmmaker, educator, and writer. Over an acclaimed forty-year filmmaking career, Dmytryk directed over fifty award-winning films, including Crossfire (1947), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), and The Young Lions (1958). Entering academic in the 1970s, Dmytryk lectured on both film and directing, first at the University of Texas at Austin and later at the University of Southern California. He is the author of several classic books on the art of filmmaking, including On Film Editing, On Screen Directing, On Screen Writing, On Screen Acting, and Cinema: Concept & Practice, all published by Focal Press/Routledge.

Jean Porter Dmytryk (1922-2018) was an American film actress. From the 1930s through the 1950s, Porter appeared in almost thirty films and numerous television series, alongside stars like Abbott and Costello, Humphrey Bogart, and Esther Williams. She retired from acting in 1961.

Paul Thompson (contributor) is an associate professor at New York University. Born in England, he was a featured actor in over thirty television productions. His published plays include The Children’s Crusade, The Motor Show, By Common Consent and The Lorenzaccio Story. He was resident dramatist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He has written for BBC Television, BBC Radio and was a screenwriter on Lion of the Desert (starring Anthony Quinn). He has directed at numerous theatres in England, Australia, and the United States.

About the Series

Edward Dmytryk: On Filmmaking

In the 1980s, Focal Press published five books on the art of filmmaking by legendary film director Edward Dmytryk (1908 – 1999), Oscar-nominated director of Crossfire, The Caine Mutiny, and The Young Lions, among many other films. Together, these five titles comprise a masterclass with one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed, storied, and controversial filmmakers.

With most of these books long out of print, Focal Press/Routledge is now pleased to reissue these classic titles with all-new supplemental material for current-day readers. Each book includes a new introduction, chapter lessons, exercises, discussion questions, and terminology.

Mick Hurbis-Cherrier serves as coordinator for the series, and has assembled professional and academic contributors from across the country to contribute to each volume.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Film & Video
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production