Re: RARA-AVIS: female authors

From: Nigel Algar (
Date: 03 Feb 2008

I second David¹s recommendation of Mary Holland, having recently read FALLEN ANGEL in a great paperback reissue, re-titled BLONDE BAGGAGE, with a blonde crammed into a suitcase on the cover. Mary Holland did write another novel : THE DARLING OF PARIS, winningly described on the Avon Monthly Novel cover as
ŒA voluptuous American torch singer in the city of wanton desires¹. I produced the BFI (British Film Institute) DVD of FALLEN ANGEL as well as three other noirs with a literary background: CRY OF THE CITY, KISS OF DEATH and NIGHT AND THE CITY. Lee Server has written essays for the latter three DVDs and, for NIGHT AND THE CITY, Paul Duncan has contributed both a short essay on Gerald Kersh as well as a forensically detailed commentary both on the production of the film and its differences with the source novel.

I¹m surprised that no one has yet mentioned Elisabeth Sanxay Holding whose novel THE BLANK WALL was adapted for Max Ophuls¹ film noir THE RECKLESS MOMENT, and again for THE DEEP END (2001). Chandler persuaded Paramount to buy her THE INNOCENT MRS DUFF , but the project foundered. Later he described Holding as Œone of my favorites¹ when declining an invitation to nominate the ten best living detective-story writers on the basis that it would exclude many of his admired authors. Holding is worth tracking down as the best of her books are rivals to Highsmith¹s in psychological complexity and they are - if you insist - noir.


On 1/2/08 17:37, "david david" <> wrote:

> I'd like to recommend Marty (a.k.a Mary) Holland's
> Fallen Angel, a nice Cain-esque West Coast roadhouse
> thriller from the forties, made into an entertaining B
> noir by Otto Preminger. Holland also wrote the story
> The File on Thelma Jordan, upon which the Barbara
> Stanwyck noir was based, that one directed by Robert
> Siodmak. Her other published novel "Her Private
> Passions" is also good-a creepy gothic noir.
> Holland was a good writer, and James M. Cain liked her
> work. Unfortunately, practically nothing is known
> about her, which makes her even more interesting.
> david kolodenko

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