Happy Birthday, Cornell Woolrich
Today marks what would have been noir master Cornell Woolrich's 102nd birthday (he died in 1968). Probably best known for "The Window" (that eventually became Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window), Woolrich also wrote under the pseudonym William Irish, and his works under that name include I Married a Dead Man (that was adapted as the film Mrs. Winterbourne starring Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake). You can read a good sampling of his dark and often disturbing works in Darkness at Dawn, including a chilling short story that I have never forgotten, "Walls That Hear You." Some other Woolrich-inspired films include Black Angel (starring Dan Duryea as an alcoholic piano man trying to expose a murderer) and Francois Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black.
You can hear more about Woolrich's life and work tomorrow on my radio show, "It's a Mystery," at 11 am ET, when Mike Nevins, Woolrich's biographer, will speak about Woolrich's considerable contributions to the mystery. Click here for a link to the Webcast, or for more information on (and sound clips from) "It's a Mystery," click here.