Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy birthday, Michael Arlen.

John Irving, left, and
Ralph Clanton in "The
Gentleman from America,"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Michael Arlen—best known for The Green Hat (1924) and the series of films featuring the Robin Hood figure The Falcon (with George Sanders and his brother, Tom Conway)—was born today in Bulgaria in 1895. Several of his works involve murder and crime, especially those with Michael Wagstaffe. Hell! Said the Duchess (1934) features a supernatural being framing the duchess of the title for murder. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Gentleman from America," in which a man bets that he can stay in a room that reputedly is haunted, is based on an Arlen short story from The Omnibus of Crime (ed. Dorothy L. Sayers, 1929). Arlen's son, former New Yorker writer Michael J. Arlen, discusses his father in Exiles (1970).

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