Re: RARA-AVIS: Geoffrey Homes/Daniel Mainwaring

From: Ekkehard Kn (
Date: 05 Jul 2002


some time ago, getting there from Don Siegel's films, I collected all the information I could get about Mainwaring (the real name), the collection can still be found at aring.html - it's in a strange mixture of German and English, though. There is a long and possibly complete list of his books and movies there, plus two quotes:

"You'd written some mystery novels in the thirties. Did you sense different interests and different themes in this novel in the forties?

Well, Build My Gallows High was a different kind of book, entirely different. First I had a detective named Robin Bishop, and I got sick of him. Bishop got married and then got awfully soft, and I got fed up with him. I changed to Humprhey Campbell, who was a tougher one. With Build My Gallows High I wanted to get away from straight mystery novels. Those detective stories are a bore to write. You've got to figure out 'whodunit'. I'd get to the end and have to say whodunit and be so mixed up I couldn't decide myself." (from an interview by Pat McGilligan)

and here's what director Joseph Losey said about him:

"This is one of the things that makes me very close to Dan Mainwaring - his experience of Americana, the nostalgia of the good things about small towns. I remember the smell of burning leaves at night in the autumn too. And I remember the smell of Christmas, the sparkle in the air at football games, and the sound of distant trains. And Dan remembers them all. He's a much underrated writer and he's a really quite noble man. He damaged himself with drink and he was very badly hurt by the blacklist." (also from McGilligan's book)

I have read one Homes book, The Man Who Didn't Exist from 1937 and I understand very well why Mainwaring didn't like the Bishop guy: this is definitely not a hardboiled book. And not a good one, either.

Best, Ekkehard Editor Crime Corner Magazin

----- Original Message ----- From: Rene Ribic <> To: <> Sent: Friday, July 05, 2002 2:23 PM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Geoffrey Homes/Daniel Mainwaring

> A little while ago someone was asking about Homes/Mainwaring, whether
> he'd written any other novels worth reading aside from the classic BUILD
> MY GALLOWS HIGH (made into the seminal film noir OUT OF THE PAST with
> Bob Mitchum). Unfortunately I haven't read any of his other books but I
> thought the following info may be of interest to the person asking:
> under the name Mainwaring (I forget which one was his real name) he
> wrote a lot of Hollywood screenplays, including the screenplay to OUT OF
> THE PAST, which you probably knew. Today I just rented a copy of
> INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS (considered to be an SF/horror/film noir
> hybrid by many people) & discovered that Mainwaring wrote this
> screenplay also. He has a good short story, again under the Mainwaring
> name, in the Oxford University Press anthology HARD BOILED (an excellent
> anthology & one that still seems to be in print, at least I saw a copy
> of the paperback in a shop just today).Hopefully some of this info is
> new & of interest to the person who enquired, or others.
> Rene
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