Re: RARA-AVIS: OT: Another Comment on Mainwaring

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 07 Jul 2002

> Hi Rene:
> I'll address this to you since I believe you opened the thread
> about Mainwaring's involvment with Don Siegel's Invasion
> of the Body Snatchers. This is OT, so I'll just offer it up and
> then let someone shoot it in the gut and watch it die slowly
> and horribly.
> Back in 1982, film buff Bill Warren brought out the first
> of two excellent compilations of 50s science fiction films
> entitled Keep Watching the Skies. There are some great
> nuggets of information included in his (mostly) recounting
> of plots. Here is what he had to say about Daniel
> Mainwaring (from Vol. 1, pp. 285-286):
> "Daniel Mainwaring, who also writes as Geoffrey Homes, is
> mostly mediocre as a movie writer. In a career which extends
> back to at least the early 1940s, only a few of his pictures have
> been notable. Most were minor or hackwork. Big Town (1947),
> Tokyo Rose (1945), Roughshod (1949), Powder River (1953),
> Alaska Seas (1954), An Annapolis Story (1955), The Minotaur
> (1961), Revolt of the Slaves (also 1961) -- titles like these make
> up the bulk of Mainwaring's screen work. His other science fiction
> films, Space Master X-7 (1958) and Atlantis, The Lost Continent
> (1961), are hardly classics. For the most part, Mainwaring's best
> films were written for Don Siegel, such as Baby Face Nelson (1957).
> It's no wonder that much of the dialogue in Invasion of the Body
> Snatchers that doesn't come from Finney's novel is rather lame or
> ordinary."
> Warren also recounts a minor controversy over a week's worth of
> script polishing claimed by Sam Peckinpah. Siegel denies the claim.
> Warren believes that Peckinpah actually did provide the re-writes,
> but that Siegel's subsequent memories of his friendship with
> have overridden that occurrence.
> Next time I'll try to contribute something that's on topic.
> Best regards,
> ... Reed
I noticed a lot of those titles but I always just look for the good stuff when it comes to Hollywood stuff - a lot of people who made great films also made a lot of crap. It was things like the Don Siegal films
(I like a lot of his work) & OUT OF THE PAST (& I thought I noticed 1 or 2 other film noir titles, I'm not sure now), & I have to say I wouldn't pay much attention to films with titles such as REVOLT OF THE SLAVES & SPACE MASTER X7 no matter who wrote them. Even writers of the calibre of William Faulkner churned out crap for Hollywood - they could only do the projects handed to them.
(I don't really consider this off-topic, Mainwaring being the author of a classic hb novel, screenwriter for some very hb films with Don Siegal, including BODYSNATCHERS, a SF/noir hybrid). There is a collection of Mainwaring short stories that is supposed to be very good, IIRC.


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