From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 28 Jul 2002

At 23:22 25-07-02 -0400, William Denton wrote:

>The IMDB is the best place to check this sort of thing, and they list 12
>movies under his name, 11 adaptations of his books and two he wrote: THE
>UNFAITHFUL (1947) and THE BURGLAR (1957) from his own book. He didn't
>write the screenplay for DARK PASSAGE (1947) but there is that picture of
>him standing with Bogey and Bacall. He wrote an episode for the Alfred
>Hitchcock show, too, "An Out for Oscar." I don't know anything more about
>William Denton

Goodis in Hollywood is somewhat complicated (but did ever something simple happened in Dreamland Inc. for writers... or any other collaborator). The picture rights of the novel DARK PASSAGE were sold (25000$!) to Jerry Wald (WB) rather quickly (early 1946) and after this David Goodis wanted to be under contract with the studio for his future output for films, but keeping a right to his own production (novels). He signed a contract (1946) for 6 years wherein he had to work for the studio 6 months per year in Hollywood (and of course his output during that period will fully belong to the studio) the other 6 months of the year he was relieved from his contractual obligations. Of course they tried to "get" him and Goodis also tried borderline tricks, like publishing the novel OF MISSING PERSON, in fact taken from "treatments" he did for Warner, the film project being canceled. I will not go in every detail, but Goodis was fed up after about 2 years of the contract and the studio finally agreed to cancel it- however some clues seem to show that he continued to work on and off for Hollywood until 1950.

PHOTO WITH BOGART AND BACALL this photo was dormant in the Warner archives, as it was made for the promotion of DARK PASSAGE (the picture), but the publicity dept finally refused to use it at the time.

SCREENPLAYS by Goodis THE UNFAITHFUL (1947) - the film was a huge success (co-scripted by James Gunn who apparently never collaborated with Goodis) THE BURGLAR (1957) - his script was written in Philadelphia for Paul Wendkos, and based on his novel with the same title (1953) Note:The French remake in 1971, LE CASSE, based on THE BURGLAR was with a script by Henri Verneuil

-script for UP TILL NOW - canceled just before the shooting started(1947)
-treatment for THE PERSIAN CAT (1947)- immediately canceled
-long treatment for WITHIN THESE GATES(end 1947)- transferred to Borden Chase and later canceled
-treatments for OF MISSING PERSONS (1948)- later transformed into a novel

DARK PASSAGE: there's a declaration by Goodis saying he didn't write the adaptation of his novel for the film, and also that he thought it was a good thing an author does not do adaptations of his own novels. Apparently Delmer Dave and Jerry Wald used Goodis informally just to check with him some parts of the novel, to get his advice...etc when Goodis was for his first semester in Hollywood.

Most of the above was retrieved in the biography done by PHILIPPE GARNIER, but I think there's still no English translation available. Garnier's book is more a search for and interviews of the surviving witnesses of Goodis' life and career, than a literary biography. As very little was known about Goodis' life it remains a first reference. Title: "La vie en noir et blanc" (literally: The life in black and white)-Editions du Seuil, 1984 - republished as a paperback in 1991 by 10/18,Christian Bourgois Editeur.

About Goodis in Hollywood, there is also a short documentary made for French TV, that was part of the invaluable series by Claude Ventura:
"Cinema, cinema":
"Loin de Philadelphie" (Far away from Philadelphia)- 1982 that could still be available through the published national archives of French film documents.

As we know all, in the early fifties Goodis switched all of his output for novels to PBOs, starting with Gold Metal, CASSIDY'S GIRL (1951) being the first one, IIRC. More than 1 million copies of CASSIDY'S GIRL were sold, and the rest of his PBOs were all rather successful at the time.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Jul 2002 EDT