Frederica Sagor Maas was born in America, the youngest daughter of Russian immigrants. Feeling no great desire to complete her course in journalism at Columbia University, New York, she found film an exciting new artistic medium, and was hired by Universal Studios as a story editor, and later MGM as a fully fledged screenwriter. Thus began a bumpy life in the film industry. Maas went from rubbing shoulders with stars such as Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, and Joan Crawford and being at the top of her game with hits like The Plastic Age (1925) to watching several ideas and stories being robbed outright by unscrupulous insiders, to watching dear friends lose their careers in the McCarthy era, and eventually leaving the motion picture industry in the 1950s after a series of crushing disappointments. She married fellow writer and producer Ernest Maas in 1927, and honoured his commitments to the industry long after she realised it would take from them far more than they would take from it. She recounted these adventures in her clear-eyed, frank autobiography, published in 1999 - when she was 99! They say that history is written by the winners, but her story proves that the tales of the also rans can be just as fascinating.