Hi Steve,

   If possible, can you put out this inquiry.

   Being a fan of the Inspector Pel books by Mark Hebden (i.e., John Harris ), I was a little surprised to see in the Curtis Brown archive at Columbia University that a Barry Fox was also mentioned as writing as Hebden. The archive was unable to help with further information.

   I have never thought of it before but three of the Hebden books were published after the death of Harris. So it seems possible that another hand was involved in writing those last books. Then there are the Juliet Hebden books about Pel, supposedly by Harris’ daughter.

   I asked Allen Hubin and the others, but no one had heard of a Barry Fox in relation to the Hebden books. But then I discovered that there is an American ghost-writer by that name. His website is at

   I doubt that he will reveal anything because of confidentiality agreements, but I wonder if anyone else knows anything ?

   I would be grateful if you can add this to your inquiries.

   Many thanks

               John Herrington

      The Inspector Clovis Pel series, by Mark Hebden —

Death Set to Music (n.) H. Hamilton 1979 [Theatre; France]
Pel and the Faceless Corpse (n.) H. Hamilton 1979 [France]
Pel Under Pressure (n.) H. Hamilton 1980 [France]

MARK HEBDEN Inspector Pel

Pel Is Puzzled (n.) H. Hamilton 1981 [France]
Pel and the Bombers (n.) H. Hamilton 1982 [France]
Pel and the Staghound (n.) H. Hamilton 1982 [France]
Pel and the Pirates (n.) H. Hamilton 1984 [France]
Pel and the Predators (n.) H. Hamilton 1984 [France]
Pel and the Prowler (n.) H. Hamilton 1985 [France]
Pel and the Paris Mob (n.) H. Hamilton 1986 [France]
Pel Among the Pueblos (n.) Constable 1987 [Mexico]
Pel and the Touch of Pitch (n.) Constable 1987 [France]
Pel and the Picture of Innocence (n.) Constable 1988 [France]

MARK HEBDEN Inspector Pel

Pel and the Party Spirit (n.) Constable 1989 [France]
Pel and the Missing Persons (n.) Constable 1990 [France]
Pel and the Promised Land (n.) Constable 1991 [France]

MARK HEBDEN Inspector Pel

Pel and the Sepulchre Job (n.) Constable 1992 [France]

MARK HEBDEN Inspector Pel

      The Inspector Clovis Pel series, continued by Juliet Hebden —

Pel Picks Up the Pieces (n.) Constable 1993 [France]
Pel and the Perfect Partner (n.) Constable 1994 [France]
Pel the Patriarch (n.) Constable 1996 [France]
Pel and the Precious Parcel (n.) Constable 1997 [France]
Pel Is Provoked (n.) Constable 1999 [France]

MARK HEBDEN Inspector Pel

Pel and the Death of the Detective (n.) Constable 2000 [France]
Pel and the Butchers’ Blades (2001)
Pel and the Nickname Game (2002)

   Maybe you can help.

   I am going nuts trying to find the title for a crime movie I saw on TV in the mid-70’s. Only caught the last half and I don’t recall any major stars.

   The plot: a group of detectives are in a police office after hours waiting for one of the number to come in. In strolls a woman with a gun and a bottle of nitroglycerin. She claims the detective killed her husband and she’s going to kill him when he arrives. If any of the other detectives interfere, she’ll shoot the bottle of nitro and blow the whole office sky-high. Much tension ensues.

   Does this movie sound familiar?

                   — Tim Mayer

1. INQUIRY: From Bill Pronzini: Just for the heck of it, here’s a quiz question for you and M*F readers: Can you name at least one mystery novel narrated by a chauffeur, or in which a chauffeur is the investigating detective? I can supply the title and author of one and am wondering if there are others.

2. A New OTR Website. It might not be correct to call the CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER “Old Time Radio,” but given that the program ran for eight years beginning in 1974, it means that it’s been nearly 30 years since its last broadcast. There is a website that not only lists all 1399 episodes, but it also includes cross-listings for all of the performers and writers. And not only that, you can download or listen to each and every one. How many months would that take, if you did it non-stop? Pull out your calculators! Check it out at

3. Pulp fiction writer Charles Boeckman is 91 and no longer writing, but his jazz band is still going strong. Check out a photo gallery of his latest gig here.

4. Headline in a local paper: Police were called to a day care center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

UPDATE. 01-06-12. My description of Charles Boeckman as a pulp fiction writer was challenged on a Yahoo group where I also posted the link to the photo gallery above. I was advised that Boeckman was a writer of hard-boiled fiction but not published in pulp magazines.

   I shouldn’t have been so short and brief in my post there, nor in the one above. I should (and could) have supplied more of a résumé for Boeckman, and I’m sorry I didn’t.

   It was Walker Martin who came to my rescue on that Yahoo list, and I hope he doesn’t mind my repeating some of the credentials for Boeckman I should have provided:

    “Charles Boeckman under the name Charles A. Beckman started writing for the Popular Publication line of pulps in the late 1940’s and continued until the pulps bit the dust. Such titles as Fifteen Western Tales and Detective Tales carried much of his short fiction. He also made the switch to the digests. I recently noticed his name in Manhunt.”

   Boeckman is one of the very few authors who wrote for the pulps still living — a survivor — and he should be recognized as such. I’m wondering whether he might be a suitable guest for one of the two annual pulp conventions sometime soon. Playing in a jazz band at the age of 91 seems to suggest that his health may be good enough to attend.

A 76-Year Old Pseudonym Revealed
by Victor A. Berch

   In a recent exchange of e-mails with my colleague, Allen J. Hubin, he queried me about the death date of the author known simply as Arthur Mallory.

   Mallory’s entry in Allen’s Crime Fiction IV appears as follows:

MALLORY, ARTHUR.   1881- ?

      The House of Carson (n.) Chelsea 1927
      Doctor Krook (n.) Chelsea 1929
      The Fiery Serpent (n.) Chelsea 1929
      Apperson’s Folly (n.) Chelsea 1930 [Dr. Kirke Montgomery; New York]
      The Black Valley Murders (n.) Chelsea 1930 [Dr. Kirke Montgomery; New York]
      Mysteries of Black Valley (n.) Chelsea 1930 [Dr. Kirke Montgomery; New York]

   The FictionMags Index adds a little more biographical information about Mallory, specifically that he was born on a ship in the Indian Ocean, along with a list of stories he wrote for Breezy Stories and Detective Story Magazine. No more than a dozen of these are listed, but the connection of Chelsea House and Detective Story is not surprising, since the former was the hardcover imprint of Street & Smith, which also published many pulp magazines, including DSM.

   However, I had no idea how much truth there was in that piece of biographical information from FictionMags, so I set out to discover what might be in the genealogical database.

   There were some Arthur Mallorys, but none that fit the date of birth nor the description of the author. Searching further however, the name Arthur Mallory popped up in an obituary in the New York Times as the pseudonym of Ernest M. Poate, a mystery writer of some note.

   The obituary, which was dated Feb. 3, 1935, also provided the following information: Dr. Poate was born in Yokohama Japan and died in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Feb. 1, 1935, at the relatively young age of 50. He was a physician and an attorney as well as an author.

   Checking out entry for Poate in CFIV, I found the following:

POATE, ERNEST M.   1884-1935.

      The Trouble at Pinelands (n.) Chelsea 1922 [North Carolina]


      Behind Locked Doors (n.) Chelsea 1923 [Dr. Thaddeus Bentiron; New York City, NY]
      Pledged to the Dead (n.) Chelsea 1925
      Doctor Bentiron: Detective (co) Chelsea 1930 [New York City, NY]


      Murder on the Brain (n.) Chelsea 1930 [New York City, NY]

   The first thing one notices is that Mallory and Poate had the same publisher, and digging a little further it can be discovered that the stories in the Dr. Bentiron collection were reprinted from Detective Story Magazine.

   The other major match between Mallory and Poate is that both used doctors as main characters in many of their books. This had to be more than coincidence. Just as the Times obituary had stated, and in spite of the discrepancy between the two dates of birth (and the location), the two men were one and the same.

   Poking around a bit more, I learned that his parents were Thomas Pratt Poate and Belle (Marsh) Poate, missionaries in Japan until the family immigrated to the US in 1892. His birth mother had died in 1896 and by 1900, his father had remarried. His World War I draft registration revealed that he was born October 10, 1884 and his full name was Ernest Marsh Poate.

   Anyone wishing to dig further into the family can examine the Poate family papers housed at Cornell University Library. The basic information on Dr. Poate will appear in the next Addendum to Crime Fiction IV.

— Copyright 2011 Victor A. Berch

    A few weeks ago on this blog I posted a review/essay by J. F. Norris of The Notting Hill Mystery (1865), a book considered by many to be the first detective novel ever written. When it was serialized in one of the magazines of the day, the author was noted as “Anonymous.” When it appeared later in hardcover, someone named Charles Felix was given credit.

    Who was Charles Felix? It’s been a mystery. “Felix” has long been known as a pen name, but who was the person behind the pseudonym? His was a name lost over the years, if it was ever known, and if so, forgotten by everyone since.

    But no longer. We now know who done it. In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review section will be an essay by Paul Collins, who explains all:

    I won’t go into all of the detective work that Collins has done — you’ll have to read the full article to do that — but here’s the key paragraph:

    “I’d almost given up when I stumbled upon a Literary Gossip column in The Manchester Times for May 14, 1864. The sole identification of Charles Felix had lain there for 146 years, hidden in this single sentence: ‘It is understood that Velvet Lawn, [another book known to have been written by] by Charles Felix, the new novel announced by Messrs. Saunders, Otley & Co., is by Mr. Charles Warren Adams, now the sole representative of that firm.’”

   The entry for The Notting Hill Mystery on Wikipedia has been updated to include this information. A link to John’s review on this blog appears at the bottom of the Wiki page.

   From detective fiction researcher John Herrington comes the following inquiry, which I paraphrase:

   I have been looking for Jay Shane, an author who published a couple of westerns for Robert Hale in the UK. I thought it might be a pseudonym until I found the blurb below on Amazon. According to Social Security death records, the dates are correct.

   So far I’ve only found a couple of westerns by him, as well as various works on TV repair etc. I wonder if you can post something on your blog to see if anyone can identify his crime fiction, or anything else he wrote.

   Here’s the Amazon blurb:

    “Jay Shane, the author of both Western novels and Technical literature was born in 1911 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Mr. Shane passed away just two months after having finished the writing of this novel in April of 2009 at the age of 97. Mr. Shane made his living repairing Color Televisions and owned and operated a shop for most of his career. His avocation however was writing and had successfully published many fiction including Westerns and Detective novels and wrote technical articles for the TV repair industry other non-fiction books and articles for the electronics industry. Always interested in character profiles, Mr. Shane had researched extensively the social and cultural characteristics of the time period for this novel in an effort to accurately represent the kind of world in which the Apostle Matthew would have lived.”

Steve and David —

   Hi, it’s me again. I’m the one who suggested the recent “Man on the Run” lists which appeared on your blog, for which I am eternally grateful. They have been of enormous assistance.

   Here’s another question, based on a thought that came to me, one somewhere between screwball and noir. It is about a retired single man who places a Personal ad in a sailing magazine (this is very common) seeking a woman to sail around the world with him “as long as it’s fun.” He finds the right woman and they set off, he falls in love and they get married. But of course she has another husband who wants her to kill the new husband to collect the insurance.

    So it’s a noir on a boat.

    Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice certainly come to mind but I’m sure I’m missing some good ones. Murder on the High Seas (1932, aka Love Bound) is very dated. Body Heat meets Dead Calm meets A Fish Called Wanda is probably what I’m going for.

   If there are any films you could recommend I would be even more eternally grateful. Thank you.


       — —

   Steve here first. I believe the most recent variation of the “Man on the Run” movie lists was actually a “Couples on the Run” list, which you can find here. (There are links in that post that you can use to find most if not all of the earlier ones.)

   David Vineyard is much better at this than I am. Here’s his reply, which I received soon after I sent Josh’s new inquiry on to him:

DEAD CALM was the first to come to mind, but I can’t think of a lot of films with a similar premise. Most of the films with a sailing theme tend to be adventure films involving treasure or pearls, deep sea diving, and some tough skipper like John Payne (CROSSWINDS), Errol Flynn (MARA MARU), or John Wayne (WAKE OF THE RED WITCH).

John Sturges’s UNDERWATER with Jane Russell, Richard Egan, and Gilbert Roland is typical, but again it’s a treasure hunt movie, and existed mostly to exploit the then new technology allowing for extensive technicolor photography underwater.

There is a true story with a similar theme — minus the murder — Nicholas Roeg’s CASTAWAY from 1987 where Oliver Reed advertises for a woman to be marooned on a desert island with him and Amanda Donohoe answers the ad; based on Lucy Irvine’s book about her experiences. Oddly enough Irvine is every bit the knockout Donohoe is and the odder bits of the film are true.

As I said, there is no murder or crime — other than criminal stupidity on the part of Reed’s character — but you might pick up some ideas and Donohoe is nice to look at nude, semi nude, and in a bikini while the book is fully illustrated with color photos of Irvine in the same state.

You might also check out the miniseries AND THE SEA WILL TELL with Richard Crenna, based on Vincent Bugliosi’s book of the trial and investigation of a couple accused of murdering another couple on a yacht who were sharing a deserted island with them. Rachel Ward played Bugliosi’s client, on trial for murder. It used to show up regularly on cable and there may be a VHS or DVD.

Again, no murder, but THE LITTLE HUT with Ava Gardner, Stewart Granger, and David Niven has the wife, husband, and boyfriend all stranded on a desert island together after a shipwreck. Diverting little sex comedy handsomely shot in technicolor. At least you get to see what sort of a Tarzan Granger might have made.

Most of these are going to be set on islands rather than the boat.

A TOUCH OF LARCENY is a wry tale based on Andrew Garve’s THE MEGSTONE PLOT where Naval officer James Mason contrives to shipwreck himself on his holiday and be accused of treason while missing in hopes of making a fortune suing the British tabloids when he is rescued — everything goes wrong of course. You can check out my review here on the blog

A RAW WIND IN EDEN has wealthy Esther Williams plane crash and she is rescued on a remote island by Jeff Chandler where jealousy, murder, and every other complication ensues.

L’AVVENTURA by Michelangelo Antonioni is of course the classic film (skip the remake with Madonna) of a spoiled rich woman (Monica Vitti) ship wrecked with a crude sailor (Gabriele Ferzetti) .

At least a small section of ARRIVEDERCI BABY! features lonely hearts killer Tony Curtis and Black Widow Rossano Shiaffano trying to kill each other while sailing in a black comedy.

And you might check out CAPTAIN RON a particularly unfunny comedy in which Martin Short and family inherit a sail boat and take on captain Kurt Russell an eye patched drunken lecher for a vacation from Hell — if you are masochistic enough to sit through it.

Almost as bad is THE ISLAND based on Peter Benchley’s book about a modern man (Michael Caine) and his son whose yachting holiday is disturbed when they are taken hostage by latter day pirates. This is the one where Leonard Maltin’s terrible review noted “You know you are in trouble when David Warner is the most normal guy on the island.” He’s absolutely right, if anything he is too kind, though in fairness he has no lower rating than BOMB.

Again most are going to be the shipwreck theme more than the boat itself, everything from THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON (Kenneth More, Diane Cliento) — which was also a Bing Crosby musical PARADISE LAGOON — to SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

You might check out EBB TIDE, a tough little adventure film based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story with Ray Milland, Oscar Homloka, and Lloyd Nolan and remade as ADVENTURE ISLAND with Rory Calhoun. Nolan is quite good as the monomaniacal madman in the original, shot in early color.

There is a little British film from the post war period where a honeymooning couple sailing to Calais pick up a ship wreck survivor and find themselves involved in a smuggling plot, but the name escapes me — it’s a slight and very short comedy.

And there is another with John Cassavettes (of all people) where a honeymooning couple try living on a small island in the Caribbean, but again the name eludes me — should be easy enough to find though as Cassavettes didn’t do a lot of comedy. Laurel and Hardy’s last feature involved them on a small boat, shipwrecked, and with a nuclear bomb if my memory is right.

Ship board crime and murder is a little better represented, with THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (Carol Lombard and Fred MacMurray, reviewed here, DANGEROUS CROSSING (based on John Dickson Carr’s “Cabin B-13” with Jeanne Crain and Michael Rennie remade for television as TREACHEROUS CROSSING), THE GREAT LOVER ( Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming), JUGGERNAUT (Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Omar Sharif battle an extortionist), DARKER THAN AMBER (Rod Taylor as Travis McGee), and THE LAST OF SHEILA (James Mason, James Coburn, Anthony Perkins …).

That last one is an outstanding mystery/suspense film with an all star cast including Dyan Cannon, Joan Hackett, and Raquel Welch and written by mystery fans Perkins and composer Stephen Sondheim (who collaborated on Broadway with Hugh Wheeler, one half of Q. Patrick).

And of course disaster at sea is well represented in all three films entitled TITANIC (1943, 1953, 1997), A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, THE LAST VOYAGE, SHIP OF FOOLS, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (the last two more drama than disaster— save the emotional kind), ABANDON SHIP, ARISE MY LOVE, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, TWILIGHT OF THE GODS, GOLDEN RENDEZVOUS, CAPTAIN CHINA, KRAKATOA EAST OF JAVA (and it’s not East of Java, in fact it is West of Java), and Hitchcock’s LIFEBOAT.

Hammond Innes THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE was filmed by Michael Anderson with Charlton Heston and Gary Cooper and involved the skipper of small salvage ship uncovering skullduggery at sea. BREAK IN THE CIRCLE (based on the novel by Philip Loraine), THE HOUSE OF SEVEN HAWKS (based on Victor Canning’s HOUSE OF TURKISH FLIES), NEVER LET ME GO (based on Andrew Garve’s TWO IF BY SEA), ACTION OF THE TIGER (based on John Welland’s novel), and A TWIST OF SAND (based on Geoffrey Jenkins novel) all deal with international intrigue and small boats,

S.O.S. PACIFIC is a solid little suspense film about a plane load of Grand Hotel types who crash on an island that is about to be used for nuclear test — Eddie Constantine (for once in his own voice), Pier Angelli, Richard Attenborogh (outstanding), and John Gregson star and Guy Green directed. Really nerve wracking suspense — sort of a South Pacific version of Dick Powell’s SPLIT SECOND.

Hopefully this will be some help. Nothing really fits quiet as well as DEAD CALM, but some of these are in the same general area. There are a handful of horror and sf films that come close — everything from THE CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON to some of the made for television Bermuda Triangle movies, but that list could go on forever, and I really don’t think you are interested in mutant sharks, zombies, aliens, and man eating fish.

But that’s all I can come up with off hand. Book wise you might try the novels of J.R.L. Anderson and Bernard Cornwell’s thrillers, they are to small boats what Dick Francis is to racing, and of course Charles Williams who wrote the novel DEAD CALM.

Dorothy Dunnett’s Johnson Johnson books usually involve sailing too, and so do many of the thrillers in the Buchan mold by Hammond Innes, Geoffrey Jenkins, Wilbur Smith, Desmond Bagley, Eric Ambler (as Eliot Reed with Charles Rodda), Andrew Garve, and such.

Hi Steve,

A while ago I asked you about man-on-the-run novels and you and David Vineyard gave me a magnificent reply. I am still working my way through that long list of books and shall be for quite some time! In the process I have already discovered several fine authors whom I had not known of, or read, before.

I have another enquiry that perhaps you and David can help me with. As well as man-on-the-run stories I enjoy reading tales of searches for buried treasures and artefacts. This type of story seems to have made a big comeback in recent years but it’s really the older novels I’m interested in. For example, one that I read a few weeks ago was David Dodge’s Plunder of the Sun, about lost treasure in Peru. Another was Archie Roy’s Deadlight, about a search on the Scottish Island of Arran for buried scientific notes that disclose a new technology.

Of course, once found, the “treasure” can turn out to be a Pandora’s Box, releasing something malicious or vengeful or deadly, and I like these kinds of stories too.

Can you and David, and the readers of your excellent blog, suggest any more such novels?

Thank you in anticipation,     — D.


And here’s David Vineyard’s reply:


Hmm, if you don’t mind I will forget anything past about 1990 so I don’t have to do too many of the Cussler and other types. Here is a quick list and perhaps it can be expanded upon by myself and others. I won’t go back so far as Rider Haggard and Stevenson, and I’ll limit myself to thrillers too.

THE THIRD HOUR by Geoffrey Household



TREASURE by A.E. Hotchner

GIRL ON THE RUN by Edward S. Aarons

TROJAN GOLD and HER COUSIN JOHN and the entire Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters


BOY ON A DOLPHIN by David Divine


MURDER IN NEW GUINEA by John Vandercook

GRAIL by Ben Sapir




LIVE AND LET DIE by Ian Fleming







FEAR IS THE KEY by Alistair MacLean

BLACK ORCHID by Nicholas Meyer and Barry Jay Kaplan

THE Q DOCUMENT by James Robert Duncan


PEKING MAN IS MISSING by Claire Tardashian


THE TOMB OF T’SIN by Edgar Wallace

THE GHOUL by Frank King

PRESTER JOHN by John Buchan


THE WHITE SAVAGE by Edison Marshall


STONES OF ENCHANTMENT by Wyndham Martin (lost world novel featuring Anthony Trent)



TREASURE OF SAINTE-FOY by Macdonald Harris

TREASURE TRAIL by Roland Pertwee

Many of the Doc Savage novels as by Kenneth Robeson

GOLD BAIT by Walt J. Sheldon

MR. RAMOSI by Valentine Williams



GOLD OF ST. MATTHEW by Duff Hart-Davis

GOLD OF TROY by Robert L. Fish

GOLDEN BUDDHA by Capt. A. O. Pollard

THE GOLDEN SPANIARD by Dennis Wheatley


THE RAINBOW TRAIL by John Cunningham


THE LAST TOMB by John Lange (Michael Crichton)

CONGO by Michael Crichton



TREASURE by Clive Cussler (and most of the Dirk Pitt novels)

THE MESSIAH STONE by Martin Caidin


BLOOD ROYAL, BLIND CORNER, SHE FELL AMONG THIEVES, BERRY AND COMPANY by Dornford Yates (many of Yates novels involve some sort of treasure or loot)

THE PINK JUNGLE by Alan Williams

HIS BONES ARE CORAL and THE GOLDEN SALAMANDER by Victor Canning (both films, the former as SHARK by Sam Fuller with Burt Reynolds)

ANY OLD IRON by Anthony Burgess ( a modern family of British Jews are guardians of Excalibur)


THE GOLDEN HOARD by Philip Wylie (when the government called in gold a miser’s hoard becomes the focus of gangsters)

TREASURE OF MATACUMBE by Robert Louis Taylor

MARCHING SANDS and THE GARDEN OF EDEN by Harold Lamb (also some of his shorts from ADVENTURE about Khlit the Cossack deal with the lost treasures of Genghis Khan and the Hashishin)


THE SANDS OF KARAKORAM by James Ramsey Ullman


SPHINX by Robin Cook

THE GOLD OF MALABAR by Berkley Mather

THE NAUTICAL CHART by Arturo Perez-Reverte (a recent one, but worth reading)

THE ARROW OF GOLD by Joseph Conrad


TERENCE O’ROURKE GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER and THE POOL OF FLAME (both with Terence O’Rourke) by Louis Joseph Vance

THE SECRET OF SAREK, THE COUNTESS CAGLIOSTRO, 813, THE BLOND LADY, THE HOLLOW NEEDLE by Maurice LeBlanc (all Arsene Lupin and most dealing with his quest for the lost treasures of the Kings of France)

THE SPOTTED PANTHER by James Francis Dwyer

THE MATING OF THE BLADES (many titles) by Achmed Abdullah (NIck Romanov, a career Brit solider and the son of an Indian Princess and a Russian aristocrat, author of THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD and the screenplay for LIVES OF THE BENGAL LANCERS)


GOLD OF THE SEVEN SAINTS by Steve Frazee (western)

THE DEEP by Peter Benchley



ZADOK’S TREASURE by Margot Arnold (Toby Glendower mystery)

THE FAMILY TOMB by Michael Gilbert



THE DANCING MAN by P.M. Hubbard (one of the great thriller writers on any theme)

FIGUREHEAD by Bill Knox (a lost gold ship and a deadly feud on a Scottish island plus a possible monster — one of the Webb Carrick Fisheries Protection Service novel — yes, the Fish Police — also check out his Talos Cord series and as Noah Webster, his Jonathan Gaunt books)

THE CROWN OF COLUMBUS by Louise Edrich and Michael Dorris (good example of the literary version of the treasure hunt)

TARZAN AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY by Edgar Rice Burroughs (search for the ‘Mother of Diamonds’ also known as THE RED STAR OF TARZAN and basis for the serial THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN serialized on radio)

SEA GOLD by Ian Slater

OUT OF THE DEPTHS by Leonard Holton (Father Bredder on holiday goes scuba diving for treasure and murder)

RIPTIDE and ICE LIMIT by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs (okay, they are well into the later period but both outstanding)

THAI GOLD by Jason Shoonover ( not the greatest writer in the world, but interesting because the author is a treasure hunter and relic hunter in real life)

Many of Jonathan Gash’s Lovejoy books touch on treasure hunts

TEMPLE TOWER by Sapper aka H.C. McNeile (Bulldog Drummond hunts a treasure and battles a master criminal,Le Bossu, the Hunchback, in France)


THE CLUB DUMAS by Arturo Reverte-Perez

THE TAKERS by Jerry Ahern (UFO’s, lost Atlantis, the Antarctic — everything but the kitchen sink)

ICEBOUND by Rick Spenser (paperback original series but better written than usual, the VIKING CIPHER series)


MYSTIC WARRIOR by Ryder Jorgenson [NOTE: See Comment #3 for the correction to this entry.]


GRAVE DOUBT by Ivor Baker

THE TEMPLE TREE by David Beatty (gold-carrying plane crashes on a sacred Asian temple)


SOLOMON’S QUEST by H. Bedford-Jones writing as Alan Hawkwood. A classic pulp adventure by the King of the Pulps one of the long running John Solomon series about cherubic Cockney businessman and adventurer Solomon — in this one he races to prevent evidence from being produced that could set the Mid-East aflame — namely that Mohammed converted to Christianity… Needless to say not politically correct. Also JOHN SOLOMON SUPER CARGO and many others.

BLACK CORAL by Nancy Ferguson

DAUGHTER OF THE HAWK by C. S. Forester. Englishwoman’s father leads a South American revolution.



A TASTE FOR DEATH by Peter O’Donnell. Modesty and Willie battle criminals looking for ancient treasure and using slave labor to do it.


TERROR KEEP by Edgar Wallace — Mr. J.G. Reeder finds love and treasure.

THE DIAMONDS OF LORETA by Ivor Drummond (Sandro, Colly, and Lady Jenny adventure)

At 03:53 PM 4/14/2010, you wrote:

Dear Steve,

    I hope I am not asking too much of you guys again but I was wondering if you had a list of “couples on the run” films. Bonnie and Clyde comes to mind but perhaps something from the 40’s or 50’s? Or more recent than the 60’s? I like the urban man-on-the-run movies [see this previous post] and have seen several from the list already. Do any tales of a (possibly mismatched) couple running from bad guys ring bells? Again, I hope this is not too specific but I have great faith in your encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. Thanks again,


          — —

   This is, of course, another follow-up to David Vineyard’s four Top Ten lists of “Man on the Run” thrillers posted here a month or so back. Once again I graciously offered to let him see what he could come up with. Here’s his reply:

   First of all, I’ll limit this to films before the seventies. Saves trying to remember all those bad road pictures of recent years, and I don’t have to include Stallone and Brigitte Nielson in Cobra. Since most of the “man on the run” films end up “couple on the run” at some point this could be a long list, so I’ll just list ones that come to mind fairly easily and hope some others contribute too.

   I’ll also include one or two “two men on the run” films, but the “two girls on the run” films don’t really start until Thelma and Louise, which I’ve already set outside this purview.

   These are neither chronologically or qualitatively ranked. And just so this doesn’t go on forever, I’ll skip team comedies like Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, and the “Road” pictures of Hope and Crosby since they often ended up with the boys on the run.

   I’m also avoiding the type film where the heroine hides the hero out, but they aren’t really on the run together at any point. I’ve also tried to avoid most buddy pictures — though many technically fit the bill. I’ve also included a few “groups on the run” films.

The 39 Steps. The classic with Robert Donat and Madeline Carroll handcuffed together. One of the brightest films of this sort and the model for all that came after.

The 39 Steps. Good remake from Betty Box, in color with Kenneth More and Tania Elg. Recently re-done for the fourth time for Masterpiece Theater and currently being filmed as a major theatrical release by Robert Towne for 2011 release.

Young and Innocent. Earlier Hitch based on a Josephine Tey novel and with that famous dance hall scene with the killer drummer in black face with a twitch. The innocent man of the title ends up on the run aided by the young daughter of a Scotland Yard Inspector hunting him. Very much a template for The 39 Steps.

Saboteur. Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane end up on the run together when he is falsely accused of sabotage done by Norman Lloyd. Yet another attempt by Hitch to remake The 39 Steps — it wasn’t until North By Northwest he finally got it the way he wanted.

You Only Live Once. Fritz Lang classic with Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney as the Bonnie and Clyde stand-in’s. Recreates the famous bank robbery sequence from Lang’s Spies.

My Favorite Blonde. Conscious comedic version of The 39 Steps with vaudevillian Bob Hope on the run with British Agent Madeline Carroll.

My Favorite Brunette. Early noir send up with Hope and Dorothy Lamour on the run from the law and the crooks after her inheritance. Alan Ladd’s guest shot is surprisingly the only time he played a private eye.

They Live By Night . Solid crime classic with Farley Granger and Cathy Downs as a reluctant Bonnie and Clyde on the run, based on the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson and remade under that title.

Bonnie Parker Story
. Somehow they did Bonnie and Clyde without mentioning Clyde. Dorothy Provine and Jack Hogan. What I remember about this one is that the car the real couple was killed in toured with the film.

Once Upon a Honeymoon. Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in offbeat comedy as stripper Rogers marries Nazi agent Walter Slezak and is romanced by radio newsman Grant. They both escape after Poland and end up having to escape from Slezak and other Nazis who try and force Grant to become an American Lord Haw Haw. At one point Cary is imprisoned in a concentration camp and just misses being sterilized. From Leo McCarey who directed Going My Way.

Man At Large. Terrific B which has escaped Nazi POW George Reeves and Marjorie Weaver on the run in the US and contacting the fifth column to escape. Very fast and bright in the 39 Steps vein. Though just from the casting you can guess where this is going.

I Wake Up Screaming. Victor Mature ends up being hidden by Betty Grable, and they have to hide from police so technically they are on the run together. Great early noir film with good performances all around and an outstanding one by cop Laird Cregar. Based on Steve Fisher’s novel.

The Defiant Ones . Important racial film has Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier on the run from a chain-gang. Great film with Curtis surprisingly good.

Colorado Territory. Remake of High Sierra as a western from the same director (Raoul Walsh) and writer (W.R. Burnett from his novel), with Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo in the Bogart and Lupino role, but her role in the chase is somewhat larger in this one.

The Redhead and the Cowboy. Well done western with Confederate agent Rhonda Fleming ending up on the run with cowboy Glenn Ford, who could care less about the Civil War until he comes face to face with choices.

Knight Without Armor. British spy Robert Donat, who has long been undercover in Imperial Russia, ends up on the run with aristocrat Marlene Dietrich in Revolutionary Russia, based on the novel Without Armor by James Hilton. One of the best and classiest pictures no one seems to have seen. Very bright, funny, and wonderfully staged film from the Kordas (Thief of Baghdad, Four Feathers …)

The Adventures of Tartu. Donat again as a Brit spy in Rumania at the beginning of the war to sabotage the Ploesti oil fields with help from Valerie Hobson. Light but enjoyable.

The Burglars. Jean Paul Belmondo and Dyan Cannon evade pursuit by cop Omar Sharif while planning big caper in smart fast film with a classic car chase. Remake of The Burglar with Dan Duryea and Jayne Mansfield and both based on a David Goodis novel.

Belle Starr. The outlaw Gene Tierney and Randolph Scott on the run while pursuing their criminal career. Great cast, but slow as mud.

Ice Cold in Alex. John Mills and Sylvia Syms as an ambulance team and girl trapped in the desert with Nazi soldiers — which side will reach them first?

Blindfolded. Psychiatrist Rock Hudson is hired to help agent who has had a breakdown after torture, but not told where he is taken to treat him, so when everything goes wrong he has to find the locale with sexy Claudia Cardinalle caught up in the chase. Mix of comedy and espionage doesn’t always work, but film has some bright spots.

Escape From Zahrain. Yul Brynner is one of five escaped prisoners along with Madelyn Rhue who’s caught up with them as they escape across the desert from a cruel prison.

Figures in a Landscape. Arty film based on Barry England’s novel with Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowall on the run after they escape prison. Nice cinematography, but awfully pretentious.

Arabesque. Bright follow up to Stanley Donen’s Charade with scholar Gregory Peck and Arab millionaire Alan Badel’s mistress Sophia Loren on the run as they try to decipher a mysterious message in time to stop the assassination of an Arab prince. It’s no Charade, but gorgeous to look at a much fun with Peck and Loren well matched.

State Secret. Dr. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is secretly brought in to do brain surgery on dictator of Yugoslavian style country behind the Iron Curtain. When dictator dies Secret Police Chief Jack Hawkins wants him dead and he ends up on the run with actress Glynnis Johns. From Sidney Gilliatt.

Highly Dangerous. Margaret Lockwood is a British etymologist sent behind the Iron Curtain to find out what the bad guys are up to with bugs, but when she is tortured she wakes up thinking she is a the heroine of a BBC radio serial and American journalist Dane Clark her partner. Together they find the secret and end up on the run from dangerous police chief Marius Goring. Original screenplay by Eric Ambler.

Uncertain Glory . Arsene Lupin style French crook Errol Flynn has been caught by policeman Paul Lukas in Nazi occupied France, but together they hideout and plan for Flynn to surrender to the Gestapo instead of real saboteur to save hostages about to be executed — but will Flynn go through with it, or is it just a ploy to escape the guillotine? Screenplay by Max Brand.

Torn Curtain. American defector Paul Newman and girl friend Julie Andrews on the run behind the Iron Curtain when his real mission is revealed. Disappointing Hitchcock film, but the murder of the East German agent in the farm house is a classic piece of Hitchcock.

This Gun For Hire. Alan Ladd is assassin Raven on the run with undercover agent and magician Veronica Lake while her cop boyfriend Robert Preston hunts them as Ladd avenges the double-cross planned by traitor Laird Cregar.

Ministry of Fear. Amnesiac Ray Milland on the run while hunting a spy ring in London during the Blitz with Marjorie Reynolds along for the chase. A Fritz Lang classic. Watch for Dan Dureya in a fine role.

Decision Before Dawn. German soldiers Oskar Werner and O.E. Hasse agree to go back behind German lines in desperate mission as the war is coming to an end. Good film, dark and very stark. Richard Basehart and Gary Merrill are the men who train and dispatch them.

Night of the Hunter. Two children escape psychotic lay preacher Robert Mitchum in Charles Laughton’s classic version of Davis Grubb’s novel. Haunting and beautiful with Lilian Gish and Mitchum wonderfully matched as good vs evil. Fine performances by Gish and Mitchum sometimes overshadow how good the kids are in this one.

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. Charming John Huston film of marine Mitchum and nun Deborah Kerr evading Japanese when they are wrecked on a small Pacific island.

Raw Deal. Escaped convict Dennis O’Keefe on the run with girl friend Claire Trevor and innocent Marsha Hunt finds himself divided between the two while seeking revenge on sadistic and kinky Raymond Burr. One of Anthony Mann’s best films with a terrific ending. This and T-Men are the two Mann must-see film noirs.

The Great Race. Blake Edwards frenetic comedy is more a couple running than a couple on the run film, but Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood are attractive together, and Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk are a delight as the inept villains of the piece.

It Happened One Night. Frank Capra classic with reporter Clark Gable trying to get the scoop on wacky heiress Claudette Colbert while trying to evade the nation wide search for her. Remade as a musical with Jack Lemmon and June Allison, but see the original.

The Runaround. Fine screwball B film that lifts much of the plot of It Happened One Night, but does it so well no one could possibly care. Rod Cameron and Broderick Crawford are maverick private eyes who leave their hated bosses’ agency and vie with him to recover runaway heiress Ella Raines (heiresses on the run were a staple of films in this era) evading their old bosses men and double crossing each other. Cameron is surprisingly good in a largely comic role and perfectly teamed with Crawford.

The Bride Came C.O.D.. Yet another It Happened One Night variation as pilot James Cagney and runaway heiress Bette Davis battle and fall for each other while on the run from press and private eyes.

Arrest Bulldog Drummond. Good entry in the John Howard Drummond series when he is framed and goes on the run with fiance Phyllis (Heather Angel) to hunt down master criminal George Zucco. Fast paced entry in the series. Hugh and Phyllis’s much postponed marriage was a running gag in the film series.

Desire. Car designer Gary Cooper falls for jewel thief Marlene Dietrich in Spain as she and partner John Halliday try to elude police with his unwitting aide — a bright Frank Borzage film produced by Ernst Lubitch (To Be Or Not to Be, Heaven Can Wait …)

City Streets . Carnival worker Gary Cooper and racketeer’s daughter Slyvia Sidney end up hunted by cops and crooks in this rare Rouben Mamoulian film of Dashiell Hammett’s only original screen story (though he did scenarios for at least one of the Thin Man films and contributed to the script of several Lillian Hellman films). Outstanding look thanks to director and cinematographer Lee Garmes, and co-stars Guy Kibbee and Paul Lukas are unusually nasty pair of bad guys. Just barely fits the definition, but I wanted to get it in.

The Getaway. I’ll extend the date a bit to get this Sam Peckinpah film of Jim Thompson’s novel in with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw on the run from cops and crooks as he plans one last caper.

Where Danger Lives. Intern Mitchum ends up on the run with Faith Domergue in slight but involving film noir, with Claude Rains wasted as her husband..

The Big Steal. Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer on the hunt and the run in Mexico in a great little noir film which is better than it has any right to be.

Borderline. Undercover cop Claire Trevor is after smuggler Raymond Burr with help from tough Fred MacMurray in Mexico. Burr is even slimier than usual in this one.

Nightfall. Innocent Aldo Ray teams with Anne Bancroft to prove his innocence of crime sadistic that Brian Keith committed in a well done noir based on a David Goodis novel.

Me and the Colonel. Jewish business man Danny Kaye and Polish aristocrat Curt Jurgens along with Jurgen’s servant Akim Tamiroff and mistress Nicole Maurey try to escape of the Nazi’s based on Franz Werfel’s Jacubowsy and the Colonel. “More and more I dislike this Jacubowsky.”

They Met in Bombay. Jewel thieves Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell on the run from thieves help to defeat Japanese invaders with British army in off beat film.

China. Alan Ladd, Loretta Young, and William Bendix fight the Japanese in China on the cusp of the war. Well done.

Detour. Tom Neal runs afoul of one of noir’s most fatal femmes, Ann Savage, in legendary film noir by Edgar Ulmer.

Strange Cargo. Based on Richard Sale’s allegorical novel Not Too Narrow, Not Too Deep about group of men led by Clark Gable and one woman, Joan Crawford, who escape from Devil’s Island and discover salvation or damnation on the voyage. Cast includes Peter Lorre, Albert Dekker, Paul Lukas, and Ian Hunter — who may, or may not, be Christ.

Blood Alley. John Wayne is a drunken sea captain who tries to help Lauren Bacall organize the escape of an entire Chinese village as the Reds close in, based on the novel by A. S. Fleishman. May be the only “city on the run” film.

Beachhead. Tony Curtis and Frank Lovejoy are marines who have to help Mary Murphy and her plantation owner father elude the Japanese occupiers and get message off of Japanese held island.

Assignment in Brittany. Jean Pierre Aumont and Susan Peters elude Nazi’s in WW II thriller from the novel by Helen MacInnes.

Above Suspicion Oxford don Fred MacMurray and bride Joan Crawford help British agent Reginald Owen escape Germany with aide of roguish Conrad Veidt while pursued by Nazi Basil Rathbone. Again based on a novel by Helen MacInnes.

Background to Danger. American agent George Raft and Red agent Brenda Marshall evade the police and Nazi’s in Istanbul with help from Peter Lorre and villainy from Sydney Greenstreet in Raoul Walsh film based on Eric Ambler novel. Screenplay by Frank Gruber and W. R. Burnett.

Pied Piper. Monte Wooley finds himself reluctantly teamed with young Roddy McDowall in France as the Nazis move in, and ends up with a small army of refugee children, based in Nevil Shute’s novel, remade for television with Peter O’Toole. Otto Preminger excellent as a Nazi officer with a secret.

Interrupted Journey. Richard Todd runs off with Valerie Hobson in fine thriller that goes head over heels into the toilet thanks to finale, after a fine effort along the way.

Desperate Moment. Dirk Bogarde is a displaced person framed for homicide and aided by Mai Zetterling in post war Berlin well done film from Martha Albrand’s novel.

Night Has 1000 Eyes. Gail Russell is helped by John Lund in this dark John Farrow film based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel (as George Hopley) when psychic Edward G. Robinson predicts her father Jerome Cowan will die — and he’s never wrong. They are on the run from fate, not the law or bad guys, but the tension is even greater and the sense of being pursued by something inevitable potent.

The Man Between. When Black marketeer James Mason helps Claire Bloom in post war Berlin, he finds himself on the run from both sides.

The October Man. John Mills is aided by Joan Greenwood when he is accused of murder and even he doesn’t know if he did it or not. A fine film, with one of Eric Ambler’s best screenplays.

Brighton Rock. Richard Attenborough is the slimy thug Pinkie hunted by the police for the razor slashing of a journalist and aided by Carol Marsh who loves him despite what he is. Dark film with literate screenplay by Terence Rattigan and Graham Greene based on Greene’s novel replete with the novel’s cruel and devastating ending.

Tiger Bay. Pre-teen Haley Mills has a crush on fugitive Horst Bucholtz pursued by her cop dad John Mills in a fine film.

The Moonspinners. English tourists Haley Mills and Peter McEnery on the run from smugglers in modern Greece. A Disney film based on Mary Stewart’s novel.

The Angry Hills. Robert Mitchum and Elizabeth Mueller are on the run from Nazis in occupied Greece, based on the novel by Leon Uris.

Kidnapped. Multiple versions, but I prefer the Disney with James MacArthur and Peter Finch as David Balfour and Alan Breck on the run in Scotland. Also made with Warner Baxter and Freddie Bartholomew; Dan O’Herlihy and Roddy McDowall; and Michael Caine and Armand Assante. Look for Peter O’Toole in the Disney version.

The Clouded Yellow. Ex-spy Trevor Howard takes a job assisting a butterfly collector and ends up on the run with possibly mad possible killer Jean Simmons in this delightful Brit film on classic lines. A great little thriller.

Lisa. Stephen Boyd is a Dutch policeman who helps a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust (Dolores Hart) evade detention and get to Palestine without papers in this film based on Jan de Hartog’s novel The Inspector.

House of Cards. Ex-boxer turned bodyguard George Peppard helps a French aristocrat boy and his American mother (Inger Stevens) evade the father’s Machivellian military family who plan a right wing coup in wake of the loss of colonial Algeria in a thriller based on the novel by Stanley Ellin. With Keith Michell and Orson Welles.

The Last Run. George C. Scott is an aging gangland driver who helps Trish van de Vere and Tony Musante in one last run. Sven Nykvist photography looks great. John Huston started it, but it was finished by Richard Fleisher.

The Narrow Margin. Cop Charles McGraw must protect witness Marie Windsor on a train on the way to testify in mob case. Great little noir suspense film with a neat twist and a well staged finale. Forget the remake with Gene Hackman.

Espionage Agent. When his marriage to Brenda Marshall ruins his diplomatic career, Joel McCrea poses as traitor, and he and Marshall end up on the run in Nazi Germany.

Berlin Correspondent Foreign Correspondent Dana Andrews helps Virginia Gilmore and her father escape Nazi Germany.

Bomber’s Moon. French farm girl helps American bomber pilot George Montgomery escape when he is shot down over Occupied France.

Cloak and Dagger. Scientist Gary Cooper goes undercover in Europe during WWII to find nuclear secrets with aide of Lili Palmer and OSS agent Robert Alda when the Axis closes in. Tense spy film from Fritz Lang, based on a missions by a former New York Yankees owner Michael Mann and the baseball player turned OSS agent, Moe Berg.

Golden Earrings. When British colonel Ray Milland is trapped behind enemy lines he is hidden by and escapes with gypsy Marlene Dietrich. Dietrich is wonderful and usual heavy Murvyn Vye sings the title song. And how often do you get to see the leading man get his ears pierced? Silly sounding film is actually high quality Hollywood romantic hokum and expertly done all around. Also one of my father’s favorite films.

The High Wall. Excellent minor noir as psychiatrist Audrey Totter helps war hero pilot Robert Taylor escape a mental institution when she becomes convinced he was framed for the crime he thinks he committed. Fine little film with good performance by Taylor, Totter, and Herbert Marshall.

Island Rescue. A hard to categorize film as Glynnis Johns aides commando David Niven in rescuing a prize cow from occupied Guernsey islands during the war — and it’s based on a true story.

Never Let Me Go. Clark Gable and Richard Hadyn try to rescue their Russian wives Gene Tierney and Belita out of Soviet Russia in the post war freeze with help from Kenneth More. Based on the novel Two if By Sea by Andrew Garve.

Break in the Circle. Forest Tucker and Eva Bartok help Polish scientist escape in minor film based on a much better novel by Philip Loraine.

Action of the Tiger. Van Johnson is a tough American skipper helping Martine Carol rescue refugees from Albania, with Herbert Lom great as a colorful and less than trustworthy bandit. Based on John Welland’s novel and directed by James Bond director Terence Young, which makes the presence of Sean Connery as Van’s drunken buddy doubly amusing.

Mister Moses. This one sort of fits. Robert Mitchum and Carroll Baker try to lead African villagers out of valley that is to be flooded by new dam.

The Secret Ways. Richard Widmark helps Sonia Ziemann and her father escape from behind the Iron Curtain based on the novel by Alistair MacLean.

Tarzan the Magnificent. And he pretty much is in one of the best films in the series. Gordon Scott as Tarzan lead Betta St. John, Lionel Jeffries, Alexandra Stewart, and Earl Cameron out of the jungle while escorting brutal criminal Jock Mahoney to trial while being pursued by Mahoney’s insane family, led by psychotic John Carradine. The final battle between Scott and Mahoney is beautifully staged. Rare grown-up Tarzan film. Mahoney replaced Scott later on in the role of the Ape Man.

It’s a Wonderful World. One of the best screwball comedies ever made, from W. S. Van Dyke. Private eye James Stewart and poet Claudette Colbert are reluctantly teamed together when Stewart escapes a train to prison in desperate attempt to save his playboy client (Ernest Truex of all people) from the chair, while pursued by Nat Pendleton and Edgar Kennedy. Guy Kibee is Stewart’s exasperated but loyal boss. This film is not only a good mystery, but it rises to heights of zaniness seldom seen with Stewart and Colbert arcing off each other like bare electrical wires. One of the great gems of screwball comedy. Look for the scene where Stewart poses as a nearsighted Eagle Scout. I swear by my eyes. Screenplay by Ben Hecht from his story with Herman J. Mankiewicz.

   This ought to get anyone started — it’s a pretty wide variety on the subject. As usual, any additions are welcome.


   Here’s another “Man On The Run” question: I recently watched Odd Man Out with James Mason and could you or David recommend any other urban-type MOTR films? Whether they be wartime, comedic or western doesn’t matter much.

   I am interested in a city atmosphere. I imagine Escape from New York would be one although that is a little too sci-fi for my tastes. Anything at all that comes to mind would be of enormous assistance to me.



      — —

   This is, of course, a follow-up to David Vineyard’s four Top Ten lists of “Man on the Run” thrillers posted here about three weeks ago. Naturally I tossed the question on to him, graciously offering to let him tackle it. Here’s his reply:

   Hmm, urban man on the run films — there are quite a few of those, so I’ll limit myself a bit. Obviously Odd Man Out is an excellent choice, but here are a few more. Just to keep from going too far astray I’ll stick to ones where the protagonist is on the run in an urban setting rather than what I call ‘hunt the man down’ films like Panic in the City or M which feature classic manhunts.

   These are in no particular order, and vary as to genre (spy, crime, etc.). I’ll also leave off films like Desperate Hours and He Ran All The Way where the bad guy hides out in a home in an urban setting, that’s a genre to itself. Not included, but worth checking out, is The Lost Man with Sidney Poitier, a reworking of Odd Man Out set in the ghetto. Not really a success, but worth seeing. Others:

This Gun For Hire. (Based on Graham Greene’s novel.) Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar. Remade as Short Cut To Hell, directed by James Cagney and as a television movie with Robert Wagner. Stick to the original.

Street of Chance . (Based on Cornell Woolrich’s Black Curtain). Burgess Meredith, Claire Trevor. Amnesiac is hunted as he tries to regain his memory. Also an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (reviewed here ) with Richard Basehart.

Dark Corner. (Novel by Leo Q. Ross — Leo Rosten.) Mark Stevens, Lucille Ball, William Bendix, Clifton Webb. Private eye Stevens gets help from secretary Lucy when he is set up for murder — great noir film with outstanding performances by all — especially Webb and Bendix.

The Fugitive. Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones This made the first list due to the train wreck and the dam escape in the first part of the film, but much of the action takes place in Chicago making good use of the urban setting and that city in particular.

A Man Alone. Ray Milland. Noirish little western directed by Milland about a fugitive trying to clear himself of a murder in a small town. Perhaps not gritty or urban exactly but tense and claustrophobic. His The Thief set in New York is also worth checking, done with sound, but no dialogue.

The Confidential Agent. (Novel by Graham Greene.) Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, George Colouris. Boyer is in London to get help for his cause (Republican Spain in the novel) surrounded by enemies and Fascist agents, falling for Bacall who aides him.

Night and the City. (Based on the novel by Gerald Kersh.) Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney. Great film as Widmark’s wrestling promoter tries to avoid the fixers he has double-crossed in London. Skip the remake with Robert De Niro.

Whistling in Brooklyn. Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford Third film of Red’s series of films about radio sleuth the Fox has him on the run from crooks and cops in Brooklyn including a hilarious turn as a bearded baseball player with the real Brooklyn Dodgers. Probably not what you are looking for, but entertaining.

The Sleeping City. Richard Conte. Once controversial film finds undercover cop Conte in big city hospital ferreting out corruption and with every hand against him.

Twelve Crowded Hours
. Richard Dix, Lucille Ball Offbeat and entertaining B of reporter and girl racing to clear an innocent man.

Dr. Broadway. MacDonald Carey Early Anthony Mann film and part of a proposed series that never developed has young doctor getting involved with gangsters and finding himself hunted by crooks and cops. Based on the pulp stories of Borden Chase.

Somewhere in the Night. John Hodiak, Lloyd Nolan A war hero with amnesia returns to his home town where he was a less than honest private eye and finds himself pursued by everyone.

D.O.A. Edmond O’Brien One of the greats. O’Brien is hunting down the man who poisoned him, but at the same time he is literally on the run from death as his time runs out.

Slayground. (Based on the Richard Stark novel.) Peter Coyote is Parker hunted in an amusement park.

Side Street. Farley Granger Part time postman Granger steals some money and finds himself hunted on all sides. Beautiful use of location work in NYC, expertly directed by Anthony Mann. Great car chase finale in a careening taxi.

My Favorite Brunette. Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr. Early spoof of film noir staples (1947, yet they hit them all) as baby photographer Bob is mistaken for private eye Alan Ladd and finds himself hunted by the crooks who want heiress Lamour’s money and the cops who think he is a murderer.

The Web. Edmond O’Brien, William Bendix, Vincent Price. Bodyguard O’Brien gets framed by boss Price in good noir mystery.

Take One False Step. William Powell, Shelly Winters Powell gets involved with Winters and wanted by the police in entertaining tale with script by Irwin Shaw based on his own story.

Dark Passage. (Novel by David Goodis.) Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. Bogie is an innocent man who escapes prison, Lauren always believed he was innocent and helps him hide out, get plastic surgery, and catch the real killer. Extensive use of the subjective camera from the hero’s point of view for the first half of the film (until Bogart emerges after the plastic surgery).

The Big Clock. (Novel by Kenneth Fearing.) Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Sullvan Editor at Time-like magazine conglomerate is framed for murder of the publisher’s mistress and ends up hunting himself in the claustrophobic building where he works. Remade as No Way Out and ‘borrowed’ countless times.

Ride the Pink Horse. (Novel by Dorothy B. Hughes.) Robert Montgomery, Thomas Gomez. Tough guy out for revenge and blackmail of vacationing gangster in New Mexico tries to elude killers and police during carnival. One of the greats of film noir. Remade for television as The Hanging Man with Robert Culp.

Mirage. (Based on the novel by Howard Fast.) Gregory Peck, Walter Matthau. Amnesiac loses his memory (or regains it partially) in a blackout and is hunted as he tries to piece his story back together by his former associates.

Arabesque. (Novel by Gordon Cotler.) Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren. While evading spies and assassins Peck and Loren try to put together puzzle involving a threat to a visiting Arab prince in largely comic caper from Stanley Donen (Charade).

Nowhere to Go. (Novel: Donald MacKenzie.) George Nader, Maggie Smith. A thief in London tries to evade police and fellow crooks in this excellent sleeper with notable jazz score by Dizzy Reece.

The Limping Man. Lloyd Bridges. Man finds himself on the run in London from a false charge.

Interrupted Journey. Richard Todd. Man on the run with another woman in suspenseful film — until the end.

Captive City. John Forsythe. Small town newspaper editor finds himself a fugitive in his own town in well done noir film based on a true story.

It Takes All Kinds. Robert Lansing, Vera Miles. Lansing accidentally kills a sailor and Miles hides him out.

The Whistler. (Based on the radio series.) Richard Dix. Solid entry to the B-series in which a man tries to cancel the contract he took out on his life when he thought he was dying.

Rampage. (Novel: Allan Calliou.) Robert Mitchum, Elsa Martinelli, Jack Hawkins. Mitchum and Martinelli find themselves hunting a killer leopard Hawkins has set free in Munich while Hawkins hunts them.

Arch of Triumph. (Novel: Erich Maria Remarque.) Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman. Paris on the eve of the Fall with refugees desperate to escape.

Saboteur. Robert Cummings. The second half of the film has innocent Cummings on the run in New York trying to stop the spies and clear his name including the famous Hitchcock shootout in the movie theater, the ship sinking (based on the suspected sabotage of the Normandie), and the finale atop the Statue of Liberty with assassin Norman Lloyd. And if you can call Monte Carlo urban or gritty, To Catch a Thief.

Cairo. Richard Johnson, George Sanders More or less a remake of The Asphalt Jungle but with a bit more of the urban man on the run theme for Johnson’s half breed character at the end.

Bedeviled . Anne Baxter, Steve Forrest. Seminary student Forrest helps Baxter when she is witness to a murder.

Christmas Holiday. (Novel by W. Somerset Maugham.) Gene Kelly, Deanna Durbin. Durbin tries to hide and protect her sociopathic killer hubby Kelly, directed by noir great Robert Siodmak. Kelly is good in unsympathetic role.

All Through The Night. Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veidt, William Demarest, Judith Anderson. Bogie is a Runyonesque gambler who is framed for murder of Edward Brophy when he stumbles on a ring of fifth columnists. Genuinely funny film with a great cast including Jackie Gleason, Frank McHugh and Phil Silvers. Watch for the scene where Bogie and Demarest double talk a room full of Nazi saboteurs. Great looking film too with serial-like action and sharp script.

I Wake Up Screaming. (Novel: Steve Fisher.) Victor Mature, Betty Grable, Laird Cregar. PR man Mature is framed for murder and on the run in glitzy New York in this noir classic. Remade as Vicki with Jeane Crain, Eliot Reed, and Richard Boone.

Man Hunt. (Based on the novel Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household.) Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders. While this Fritz Lang film is a classic of the man hunted in rough country, the scenes in London with Pidgeon shadowed by Nazi agents and his deadly battle with killer John Carradine in the underground are fine examples of the chase film done in an urban setting. Those aspects are largely missing from the well made Rogue Male with Peter O’Toole. Lang recreates the subway setting in his serial killer manhunt film While The City Sleeps.

The Quiller Memorandum. (Novel: Adam Hall — Elleston Trevor.) George Segal, Alec Guiness, Max Von Sydow. Segal’s Quiller finds himself on the run in West Berlin in well done spy film with a screenplay by Harold Pinter.

27th Day . (Novel by John Mantley.) Gene Barry. Preachy but entertaining sf film of group of people from different nations hunted by everyone when aliens give them the power to destroy the world and twenty-seven days to decide whether to use the power.

Ministry of Fear. (Novel: Graham Greene.) Ray Milland, Dan Duryea. Fritz Lang film of amnesiac Milland framed and on the run and the hunt for a spy ring in wartime London. Atmospheric.

The Game. Michael Douglas, Sean Penn. Doesn’t really hold up, plus it’s mean-spirited, but Douglas finds his life turned upside down when his brother gives him an unusual birthday present

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands. (Novel: Gerald Butler.) Burt Lancaster, Joan Fontaine. Ex-POW accused of murder hiding out in London in noirsh film.

The Killers. (Story by Ernest Hemingway.) Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien Insurance investigator O’Brien unravels the story of Swede (Lancaster) a one-time boxer who got involved with crooks who he double crossed and then was hunted down and killed by. Hemingway’s favorite film of his work though only the first few minutes of the film actually recreate the story. William Conrad and Charles McGraw memorable as the killers. Ava Gardner just plain memorable. Remade by Don Siegel with Ronald Reagan (his last film and only villain), Angie Dickinson, Lee Marvin, and John Cassavettes.

Enemy At the Gates. Joseph Fiennes, Jude Law, Ed Harris. Semi-fit of the theme as Russian sharpshooter Fiennes and German sharpshooter Harris hunt each other in the devastation of the battle of Stalingrad.

Five Fingers. James Mason, Michael Rennie. Valet turned spy in WWII Istanbul must evade British and German agents when he is revealed. Based on a true story if not the true story.

Behold a Pale Horse. (Based on the novel Killing a Mouse on Sunday by Emeric Pressberger.) Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn. Again a mix of rough country and city chase. Legendary gunman Peck returns to Franco’s Spain to assassinate brutal Fascist police chief Quinn and becomes object of a manhunt.

The Paris Express. (Based The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By by Georges Simenon.) Claude Rains. Meek embezzler finds himself hunted for more than he expected.

   And since we started with James Mason and Carol Reed we’ll end with James Mason and Carol Reed:

The Man Between. James Mason, Claire Bloom. In post-war Berlin black marketeer Mason falls for Bloom and finds himself torn between East and West and hunted by both.

   But for this list more than the others I think we can count on numerous additions.

             — David

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