Woolrich, Cornell (George Hopley-) (U.S. mystery writer, 1903-1968) is best known as the author of the short story "Rear Window" that the Hitchcock movie was based on, but his reputation goes far beyond that.
A master of suspense and mystery, Woolrich, who also wrote under the names William Irish and George Hopley, managed to distill nerve-wracking situations and dense, noir atmosphere into a potent brew of suspense. A favorite source for Hitchcock's movies, Woolrich's stories were
constantly adapted for classic films and TV programs. Discuss your favorites below.
I love Cornell Woolrich. What are his books like? Well, let's say you fell asleep in front of the TV, and when you wake up it's the middle of the night. There's some old movie on the late, late show, something about a man who's just learned that his wife is a vampire, or a woman who has to clear her husband of murder before dawn, or an marauding leopard that turns out to be...not a leopard. You think, 'This is silly', but somehow, you can't not watch. Before you know it, you're brewing coffee and staying up all night to see if the fugitive will recover his memory or the gypsy's prophecy will be fulfilled. In fact, many of Cornell Woolrich's books have been turned into movies just like this. The movies usually stink; they're just not cinematic enough. Woolrich reads like the weirdest, most wonderful B-movie you ever saw. Now playing at a used bookstore near you.
Help! I have this tape of an episode of the old radio series SUSPENSE; it's called "Angel Face," and it's about a big sister who goes to drastic length to free her wrongly-convicted brother. The announcer says the show was written by Cornell Woolrich; even if it wasn't, it's certainly based on one of his stories. But...WHICH ONE? He apparently wrote a story called "Angel Face" (also called "Face Work") but I can't find it in any anthologies, nor can I find out whether it was the basis of the SUSPENSE episode. Can anyone help? Thanks.
Andrew, the program you mentioned was based on a short story by Woolrich entitled "Angel Face." It was written in the 1930s. I found it in an anthology of short stories by Woolrich. You can buy a lot of Woolrich's short story anthologies on Amazon.
One of my favorite Woolrich novels is "Night Has a Thousand Eyes." It has an exceptional mood and atmosphere even for Woolrich.
Wasn't the movie "Mrs. Wintermere"
(released five or six years ago) based
on the Cornell Woolrich "I Married a
Dead Man"?? If not, they certainly
borrowed liberally from his plot!!
The movie was good, but one had to
wonder what Woolrich, the master of
dark suspense, would think about one
of his novels being filmed as a comedy!