Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, James M. Cain

James M. Cain (1892-1977) did not write about detectives or publish in the pulps. He was an Easterner, a newspaperman and a protégé of H. L. Mencken who went West during the Depression to write for Hollywood. There he wrote moviescripts and crime novels. His gift for dialogue and the first-person, confessional form of his narratives gave them the suspense other writers achieved with a detective on a case.

Like a lot of you, probably, I still remember the first time I read The Postman Always Rings Twice. Wow! I got a copy of Double Indemnity and read that one. Wow, again! I saw the movies later. Wow, a third time! Cain translated well to the screen in black and white. No question, one of the greats.

On the July 3rd broadcast of Beth Foxwell's radio show "It's a Mystery," she'll present the radio version of
Double Indemnity. That's Monday at 10:00 A.M. CDT at
this link.


Anonymous said...

I love Cain's work. I think DI is much better as a book than movie. The movie would be great if it hadn't been such a great creepy novel. I love the end of the novel, a classic freakout.

Cain's the true forefather of Thompson and Willeford.


Bill said...

I love the ending of Double Indemnity. One of the great ones.