Film Noir Writersby karljhickey14 | created - 28 Jul 2015 | updated - 28 Jul 2015 | Public
Screenwriters / scriptwriters , story / original idea credits . Some were noir fiction writers as well
Writer | Double Indemnity
An American novelist, writer of crime fiction featuring the private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond (Thornton) Chandler was born in Chicago of an American father and an Anglo-Irish mother. He moved to England when his parents divorced. He attended Dulwich College and studied languages in France ...
Writer | Double Indemnity
James M. Cain was a 'Film Noir' author. His father was a professor, and president, of 'Washington College'. His mother was an opera singer in Maryland.
James graduated from the same college in 1910, and became a writer for 'Baltimore American', then 'Baltimore Sun' [still being published] by 1914. ...
Writer | The Big Clock
American writer of thrillers and film scripts, the son of a Chicago lawyer and a violinist. He was named 'Jonathan' after a famous ancestor who had served as a colonel on George Washington's staff during the American Revolutionary War. Latimer was a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. ...
Writer | The Hustler
Robert Rossen was born on March 16, 1908 in New York City, New York, USA as Robert Rosen. He was a writer and director, known for The Hustler (1961), All the King's Men (1949) and Lilith (1964). He was married to Susan Siegal. He died on February 18, 1966 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
11. Abraham Polonsky
Writer | Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
Writer-director Abraham Lincoln Polonsky, one of the most prominent victims of the Hollywood blacklisting of communists and social progressives in the post-World War II period, was born on December 5, 1910, in New York, New York. An unreconstructed Marxist, Polonsky never hid his membership in the ...
12. A.I. Bezzerides
Writer | Kiss Me Deadly
A.I. Bezzerides was born on August 9, 1908 in Samsun, Ottoman Empire as Albert Isaac Bezzerides. He was a writer and actor, known for Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Action in the North Atlantic (1943) and They Drive by Night (1940). He was married to Silvia Richards and Von Gorne, Yvonne. He died on ...
13. Graham Greene
Writer | The Fallen Idol
Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...
14. Eric Ambler
Writer | The Purple Plain
Eric Ambler was born on June 28, 1909 in London, England as Eric Clifford Ambler. He was a writer and producer, known for The Purple Plain (1954), A Night to Remember (1958) and The Cruel Sea (1953). He was married to Joan Harrison and Louise Smith Crombie. He died on October 22, 1998 in London.
15. Philip Yordan
Writer | Detective Story
Philip Yordan was born on April 1, 1914 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for Detective Story (1951), Broken Lance (1954) and Dillinger (1945). He was married to Faith Clift and Marilyn Nash. He died on March 24, 2003 in La Jolla, California, USA.
17. Roy Huggins
Writer | The Fugitive
Roy Huggins was born on July 18, 1914 in Litelle, Washington, USA as Roy Marshall Huggins. He was a writer and producer, known for The Fugitive (1993), U.S. Marshals (1998) and Maverick (1994). He was married to Adele Mara and Bonnie Marie Porter. He died on April 3, 2002 in Santa Monica, ...
19. José Giovanni
Writer | Mon père, il m'a sauvé la vie
Joseph Damiani, a.k.a José Giovanni, was born on June 22th, 1923, to a Corsican family. He did many little jobs when he was a teenager. Washing dishes in a train-restaurant, lumberjack, coal miner, waiter in a hotel restaurant of Chamonix. He was arrested for fraud and condemned to one year in jail...
21. Samuel Fuller
Writer | The Steel Helmet
At age 17, Samuel Fuller was the youngest reporter ever to be in charge of the events section of the New York Journal. After having participated in the European battle theater in World War II, he directed some minor action productions for which he mostly wrote the scripts himself and which he also ...
22. William Faulkner
Writer | To Have and Have Not
William Faulkner, one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists, wrote for the movies in part because he could not make enough money from his novels and short stories to support his growing number of dependants. The author of such acclaimed novels as "The Sound and the Fury" and "Absalom, Absalom...
23. Leigh Brackett
Leigh Douglass Brackett was born in 1915 in Los Angeles. She was the author of numerous short stories and books regarding science fiction and has been referred to as the Queen of Space Opera. Hollywood director Howard Hawks was so impressed by one of her novels that he had his secretary call in "...
25. Frank Gruber
Writer | Twenty Plus Two
Frank Gruber, one of the "kings of pulp fiction", was born in Elmer, Minnesota. After serving a stint in the army, he took on various writing jobs, including trade journal editor and correspondence school teacher. During the early 1930s he got his break writing "quickie" detective stories for what ...
26. Sydney Boehm
Writer | The Big Heat
Screenwriter, a former news reporter, who worked under contract for Paramount (1950-52) and 20th Century Fox (1954-60), tackling anything from westerns (The Tall Men (1955)) and action adventure (Secret of the Incas (1954)_) to science-fiction (When Worlds Collide (1951)).
Writer | The Good Thief
Auguste Le Breton was born on February 18, 1913 in Lesneven, Finistère, France as Auguste Monfort. He was a writer and actor, known for The Good Thief (2002), Rififi (1955) and Riff Raff Girls (1959). He died on May 31, 1999 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, France.
Writer | The Grifters
Donald E. Westlake was born on July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Donald Edwin Edmund Westlake. He was a writer, known for The Grifters (1990), Payback (1999) and The Stepfather (2009). He was married to Abigail Adams, Sandra Foley and Nedra Henderson. He died on December 31, 2008 in San ...
30. Nathanael West
Writer | It Could Happen to You
Born as Nathan Weinstein, the only son of a wealthy Manhattan real estate developer, West grew up as an overly spoiled child, largely burdened by the belief that he shouldn't be expected to work or show up on time or in any other way trouble himself to get by in the world. The Depression did a lot ...
31. Crane Wilbur
Writer | Outside the Wall
Actor, screenwriter and director Crane Wilbur was born Erwin Crane Wilbur on November 17, 1886, in Athens, NY. The nephew of the great stage actor Tyrone Power Sr., Wilbur first took to the boards as an actor, making his Broadway debut billed as Erwin Crane Wilbur on June 3, 1903, in a trilogy of ...
32. Charles Williams
Writer | Dead Calm
Charles Williams was born in San Angelo, Texas, and grew up there and in New Mexico. He attended Brownsville High School in Texas through the tenth grade. In the United States Merchant Marine, from 1929 to 1939, he served as a radio operator. Williams joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, and ...
33. John Huston
Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English,...
34. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. ...
36. W.R. Burnett
Writer | The Great Escape
One of the most influential writers in screen history, W. R. Burnett has contributed countless classic moments in cinema.
Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1899. By the time he left in 1927, he'd written over a hundred short stories and five novels, all unpublished. At 28, he left a civil service job ...
38. Budd Schulberg
Writer | On the Waterfront
Budd Schulberg was born on March 27, 1914 in New York City, New York, USA as Seymour Wilson Schulberg. He was a writer and producer, known for On the Waterfront (1954), Everglades (1961) and A Face in the Crowd (1957). He was married to Betsy Ann Langman, Geraldine Brooks, Agnes Victoria Anderson ...
39. Hugo Butler
Writer | Edison, the Man
Hugo Butler, the screenwriter, was born on May 4, 1914 in Calgary, Alberta, the son of a silent movie actor and screenwriter. Butler worked as a journalist and playwright before moving to Hollywood in 1937, where he established himself as a screenwriter. In 1940, he married actress and screenwriter ...
40. Dalton Trumbo
Writer | Roman Holiday
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery.
Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in ...
41. Howard Koch
Writer | Casablanca
Playwright and author of sophisticated screenplays, a graduate of Bard College and Columbia University Law School. Howard Koch started out as a practicing lawyer in Hartsdale, New Jersey, but soon found himself dissatisfied with his career choice and began to write plays on the side. His first two ...
42. Michel Audiard
Writer | Mélodie en sous-sol
After the Liberation Michel Audiard started a career as a movie magazine writer. Under the pen name of Jacques Potier he worked for short-lived titles such as "L'Etoile du Soir" and "Cinévie". One day, André Hunebelle, the popular French filmmaker, asked him if he thought he could write an ...
43. Jacques Prévert
Writer | Les enfants du paradis
Jacques Prévert was born on February 4, 1900 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France as Jacques André Marie Prévert. He was a writer, known for Children of Paradise (1945), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) and High Crimes (2002). He was married to Janine Tricotet and ...
44. Albert Simonin
Writer | Mélodie en sous-sol
Albert Simonin was born on April 18, 1905 in Paris, France. He was a writer and actor, known for Any Number Can Win (1963), Cold Sweat (1970) and The Great Spy Chase (1964). He was married to Marie-Hélène Bourquin and Marie Bondor. He died on February 15, 1980 in Paris.
45. Billy Wilder
Writer | The Apartment
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...
46. Charles Brackett
Writer | Sunset Blvd.
Charles Brackett, born in Saratoga Springs, New York, of Scottish ancestry, followed in his attorney-father's footsteps and graduated with a law degree from Harvard University in 1920. He practised law for several years, before commencing work as drama critic for The New Yorker (1925-29), in ...
47. Ira Levin
Writer | Rosemary's Baby
Ira Levin decided on a career of a writer at the age of 15. Educated at the elite Horace Mann school, he went on to two years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, before transferring to New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. He earned his degree in 1950. In 1953 he was...
49. Maxwell Shane
Writer | The Glass Wall
Maxwell Shane was born on August 26, 1905 in Paterson, New Jersey, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for The Glass Wall (1953), Fear in the Night (1947) and Nightmare (1956). He died on October 25, 1983 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Writer | Kissin' Cousins
A former business executive and literary agent who was educated at Oxford University in England, Gerald Drayson Adams began writing for the screen in the mid-1940s. He wrote mostly second features, specializing in action/adventure and western films, and ended his career with an Elvis Presley ...
52. Paul Jarrico
Writer | Tom, Dick and Harry
Producer and screenwriter who, among many in his craft labeled in the late 1940's and early 1950's as 'subversive' by the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, was blacklisted, Jarrico in the prime of his career. His name was left out of the credits of most American films that he wrote ...
Writer | Le salaire de la peur
Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film Le Corbeau (1943) banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to ...
54. Ben Hecht
Writer | Notorious
Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld (1927) at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing...
55. Thea von Harbou
Writer | Metropolis
Thea von Harbou was born on December 27, 1888 in Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Bavaria, Germany as Thea Gabriele von Harbou. She was a writer and director, known for Metropolis (1927), M (1931) and Elisabeth und der Narr (1934). She was married to Fritz Lang and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. She died on July 1, 1954 ...
57. Charles Bennett
Writer | Foreign Correspondent
Born just before the century turned, Charles Bennett made his writing debut as a child in 1911, fought in France during World War I while still a teen and resumed his acting career after the war's end. In 1926 he dropped acting to concentrate on being a playwright, later turning one of his most ...
59. Charles F. Haas
Producer | Moonrise
Harvard-educated Charles Haas entered films in 1935 as an extra at Universal. He was soon promoted to assistant director, then branched out into directing documentaries and industrial films. During WW II he made training films for the Army Signal Corps. After the war he went back to work for ...
60. Richard Brooks
Writer | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Richard Brooks was an Academy Award-winning film writer who also earned six Oscar nominations and achieved success as a film director and producer.
He was born Ruben Sax on May 18, 1912, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He graduated from West Philadelphia HS...
61. Edward Dein
Director | Seven Guns to Mesa
Edward Dein was born on May 24, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Edward Deinstein. He was a director and writer, known for Seven Guns to Mesa (1958), Curse of the Undead (1959) and Calypso Joe (1957). He died on February 14, 1984 in Encino, California, USA.
64. Brian Clemens
Writer | The Avengers
Brian Clemens was born on July 30, 1931 in Croydon, Surrey, England as Brian Horace Clemens. He was a writer and producer, known for The Avengers (1961), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) and See No Evil (1971). He was married to Janet Elizabeth Clemens and Brenda Prior. He died on January 10, ...
65. Jimmy Sangster
Writer | Dracula
One of the driving, creative forces behind the legendary Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster was born on December 2nd, in Kinmel Bay, North Wales. He began in the film industry as a production assistant at age 16 during WWII. After this gig, he worked as a gofer and assistant projectionist for Norman's ...
66. Sidney Gilliat
Writer | State Secret
Sidney Gilliat, the English director, screenwriter, and producer, was born on February 15, 1908 in Edgely, Cheshire, England. He began his screen-writing career in the silent movie era, writing inter-titles, going uncredited for his contributions to Honeymoon Abroad (1928), Champagne (1928), and ...
67. Frank Launder
Writer | The Blue Lagoon
Frank Launder started as a scriptwriter in the 1930s on such classics as The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Night Train to Munich (1940). He joined forces with Sidney Gilliat and together they Wrote, Directed and Produced over 40 films. Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat are most famous for their St. ...
68. Ben Barzman
Writer | Blind Date
Ben Barzman was an Anglo-Canadian best known as a screenwriter who was blacklisted during the post-World War II "Red scare" in Hollywood. Born on October 12, 1910, in Toronto, he moved to the United States, where he established himself as a screenwriter during the war. He is probably best known for ...
71. Waldo Salt
Writer | Midnight Cowboy
Waldo Salt was one of the many people blacklisted in Hollywood during the Red Scare, but unlike others, Salt recovered triumphantly. He wrote his first scripts in the late 1930s (MGM contract writer, 1936-42) and also served as a civilian consultant to the Office of War Information from 1942- 1945 ...
72. Bernard Gordon
Writer | Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
Bernard Gordon was born on October 29, 1918 in New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) and The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957). He was married to Jean Lewin. He died on May 11, 2007 in Hollywood Hills, ...
73. Wolf Rilla
Director | Village of the Damned
Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1894, Wolf Rilla was the son of German actor Walter Rilla. When Nazi leader Adolf Hitler came to power, the elder Rilla--who was Jewish--moved his family to London, England.
After completing his education, Wolf went to work for the BBC World Review in 1942, and in the ...
74. Muriel Box
Writer | The Seventh Veil
Following her directorial debut of The English Inn (1941), she directed two or three short films for the Ministry of Information and was scheduled for their next one, "Road Safety For Children", for which she'd already written the script, when the head of MOI's film division asked for her to be ...
75. Sydney Box
Producer | The Seventh Veil
Sydney Box was born on April 29, 1907 in Beckenham, Kent, England. He was a producer and writer, known for The Seventh Veil (1945), Forbidden Cargo (1954) and Christopher Columbus (1949). He was married to Muriel Box. He died on May 25, 1983 in Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
77. Charles Lederer
Writer | Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Charles Lederer was born on December 31, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA as Charles Davies Lederer. He was a writer and director, known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), His Girl Friday (1940) and Never Steal Anything Small (1959). He was married to Anne Shirley and Virginia Nicolson. He ...
79. Jean Aurenche
Writer | Le juge et l'assassin
Jean Aurenche was born on September 11, 1904 in Pierrelatte, Drôme, France as Jean-Marie Louis Charles Philippe Aurenche. He was a writer and director, known for The Judge and the Assassin (1976), L'étoile du Nord (1982) and Let Joy Reign Supreme (1975). He died on September 29, 1992 in ...
80. Henri Jeanson
Writer | La vie en rose
Henri Jeanson was born on March 6, 1900 in Paris, France. He was a writer and actor, known for The Loves of Colette (1948), Lady Paname (1950) and Fanfan la Tulipe (1952). He was married to Claude Marcy. He died on November 6, 1970 in Équemauville, Calvados, France.
81. Vernon Sewell
Director | Latin Quarter
Vernon Sewell was educated at Malborough College. He was one of the crew of "castaways" with Michael Powell on the Shetland island of Foula to make The Edge of the World (1937). He later became one of the mainstays in the "B" movie niche of the British film industry, and in his almost 40-year ...
82. Janet Green
Writer | Sapphire
British screenwriter and playwright, often in collaboration with her husband, the writer and theatre manager John McCormick. Green started as an actress in 1931, appearing in Aldwych farces. She gave up acting in 1945 upon writing her first play. Green and her husband were under contract to the ...
85. Ken Hughes
Writer | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Ken Hughes was an award-winning writer and director who flourished in the 1950s and 1960s, though he continued directing into the early 1980s. Born in Liverpool, England, on January 19, 1922, Hughes decided early in his life that he wanted to be a filmmaker. When he was 14 years old he won an ...
87. Leo Townsend
Writer | Fireball 500
Leo Townsend was born on May 11, 1908 in Faribault, Minnesota, USA. He was a writer, known for Fireball 500 (1966), I'd Rather Be Rich (1964) and It Started with Eve (1941). He was married to Pauline Townsend. He died on November 2, 1987 in Riverside County, California, USA.
90. Harry Essex
Writer | It Came from Outer Space
New York-born Harry Essex planned on a writing career throughout his young life. Among his first jobs were stints on the New York newspapers "The Daily Mirror" and "The Brooklyn Eagle", short stories for "Collier's" and "The Saturday Evening Post" and even a Broadway play titled "Something for ...
91. Lamar Trotti
Writer | With a Song in My Heart
Author and screenwriter, often preoccupied with American history as viewed from a Southern perspective. Born in Atlanta, Trotti studied writing at Columbia University and was also the first person to graduate from the University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism. In 1923, he became the ...
92. Irving Allen
Producer | Climbing the Matterhorn
Irving Allen started his film career in 1929 as an editor. He turned to directing in the 1940s, and two shorts he directed, Forty Boys and a Song (1941) and Climbing the Matterhorn (1947), won Academy Awards. His feature film output, however, was not particularly successful, and in the 1950s he and...
93. Sidney Sheldon
Writer | I Dream of Jeannie
Sheldon was born in Chicago on February 17, 1917. He began writing as a youngster and at the age of ten he made his first sale of a poem for $10. During the Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs and while attending Northwestern University he contributed short plays to drama groups.
95. Nelson Gidding
Writer | The Andromeda Strain
Born in New York and educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard, Nelson Gidding said that he had been interested in writing ever since he was a child and had a poem published in the Boy Scouts magazine ("That was as recently as the mid-'20s!" he laughed). A POW during World War II, Gidding ...
Writer | All About Eve
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount ...
97. Don Mankiewicz
Writer | Rosetti and Ryan
Donald Mankiewicz was born in Berlin into an illustrious creative family, his father being the screen-writer Herman Mankiewicz and his uncle film director Joseph Mankiewicz, whilst his brother Frank would also distinguish himself as a journalist. Brought up in Beverly Hills - where his parents' ...
98. Blake Edwards
Writer | The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) and wrote a number of others, beginning with ...
Writer | The World, The Flesh and The Devil
Ranald MacDougall was born on March 10, 1915 in Schenectady, New York, USA as Ranald Robert MacDougall. He was a writer and director, known for The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959), Mildred Pierce (1945) and Cleopatra (1963). He was married to Nanette Fabray and Lucille Margaret Brophy. He ...