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Any Cornell Woolrich Fans Here?

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Yes! I really like his stories but the movies made from them are really great. Whether he was writing as himself or William Irish the movies some of the best directors made from his stories are so dark and fantastic. Hitchcock for "Rear Window" and others, Truffaut for "Mississippi Mermaid", "No Man of Her Own" from the wonderfully named short story I Married a Dead Man, "Phantom Lady", and on and on.

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Seem to remember some wag saying the great author lived with his mother for way too long; they had a sparse flat somewhere in NYC with her as a shrike who would hover over him at his typewriter making sure all those pulp mag deadlines were in the mail EARLY!

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Again my source is Film Noir (Silver Ward);


Black Angel, The Chase (based on The Black Path of Fear), Deadline At Dawn, Fall Guy, The Guilty, (based on 2 Men in a Furnished Room), I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, NightMare, Phantom Lady, Street of Chance (based on The Black Curtain), and THe Window.


Most of these movies are low budget ones with less known actors. Only Night Has a Thousand Eyes has major stars like EG Robinson and Gail Russell.


Man you are making we work today!@

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I agree that the noir movies made from Wollrich's work are not very well known.


The noir film Chandler was involved with are very well known; The Big Sleep, The Blue Dahlia (screenplay), Double Indmnity (co-screenplay), Farewell My Lovely, Lady In The Lake, Murder My Sweet, Stranger on a Train (co-screenplay),


So if there is a father I would say it is Chandler.



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Some other noirs, not mentioned below, based on Woolrich stories:


*The Leopard Man*

*The Mark of the Whistler*

*Fear in the Night*

*The Return of the Whistler*

*The Bride Wore Black*



Beyond reading his stories and watching the movies based on them, I recommend reading Cornell Woolrich: First You Dream, Then You Die, a biography by Francis M. Nevins. His life is just as noir as his writings.

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  • 3 weeks later...

IMHO one of the most intriguing projects that didn't come to fruition from Hollywood's Golden Era, would have been 20th Century Fox' filming of Woolrich's WALTZ INTO DARKNESS. It was on their 1949 docket of films to be produced, and was to have featured Linda Darnell and Cornel Wilde. Could have given both Linda and Cornel meaty roles in this interesting 19th Century tale (not Noir strictly speaking, but would have definitely had noirish elements I'm sure). Too bad it never happened.

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  • 4 months later...

Night & Fear was great and just finnished Nightwebs, which has a nice checklist of all of Woolrich's work and screen adaptations in total 23, noirs in bold.


Children of the Ritz (1929)

Manhattan love Song (1934)

Convicted (1938)

*Street Of Chance* (1942)

*The Leopard Man* (1943)

*The Phantom Lady* (1944)

Mark Of The Whistler (1944)

*Deadline At Dawn* (1946)

*The Balck Angel* (1946)

*The Chase* (1946)

*Fall Guy* (1947)

*Fear In The Night* (1947)

*The Guilty* (1947)

*I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes* (1948)

Return of the Whistler (1948)

*Night Has A Thousand Eyes* (1948)

*The Window* (1949)

*No Man Of Her Own* (1950)

Rear Window (1954)

*Nightmare* (1956)

The Boy Cried Murder (1966)

La Mariee Etait en Noir (The Bride Wore Black) (1967)

La Sirene du Mississippi (Mississippi Mermaid) (1969)



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  • 4 years later...

The Showtime series "Fallen Angels" filmed a lot of Woolrich's stories.  I enjoyed them all - that's what introduced me to his work.

Haven't caught that yet thanks for the heads up.

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I've made a playlist of the ones available on Youtube.


There was one directed by Tom Cruise that everyone wants to forget, so that's not available.



Dan Hedaya is in about four of the stories! But he really suits the style.

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  • 1 month later...

The Chase is my all-time sleeper fave, bar none, mainly for what was added by film script to the building blocks provided the source novel,  Black Path of Fear.  The film's expressionistic lighting in the Havana scenes is a plus too.  Most films based on Woolrich stories used the novels as a starting point, and they're hardly ever filmed as-is, or (like most novels) simplified.  Woolrich stories have mood in spades and basic plots that lend themselves toward storyboards.  The writing is rather turgid and lacks the wit and sarcasm of Chandler's snappy dialogue.  It's not Cain or Hammett or Ross MacDonald either, but that's a high standard to meet. I'd certainly like The Chase to be remade with an another layer of complexity added,  Since hardly anyone extant has seen the movie or read the original  book, tomorrow's adapter will look like a genius. 

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I've seen The Chase albeit in a many times copied  avi file. It's quite bizarre, though I've never read the original story.



There are still quite a few Woolrich stories out there that could be filmed, though I think they'd best work as period pieces rather than updates. A couple of my favorites are (and I'm not sure if I'm getting the titles right) Murder in the Air (which took place on an El and an adjoining apartment, and Murder in the Automat, which takes place in a Horn & Hardart Automat. Another is one where a milkman and his horse feature prominently in solving a kidnapping, and another involves a jazz band, marijuana, and murder.

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  • 1 month later...

"The Bride Wore Black" was a great French film with Jeanne Moreau.  I think I read the novel it was based on but it was many years ago and I can't remember much about it.  But I love Woolrich's writing.  He reminds me a little of early Clive Barker.

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