New York: Random House, 1942. First Edition. Association copy, INSCRIBED by Clifford Odets to Robert Rossen on the front flyleaf, and dated 2/42, the year and month of publication. Basis for the seminal 1952 film noir, directed by Fritz Lang and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan and a young Marilyn Monroe.
A tremendous association. Like Odets, Rossen's career began as a playwright in New York, and like Odets, Rossen had a tremendous passion for literature, the theatre, and radical politics. His intuitive understanding of the working class informed his first three screenplays after moving to Hollywood, all for director Raoul Walsh: "The Roaring Twenties" (1939), "They Drive By Night" (1940), and "High Sierra" (1941).
During this period he also wrote the screenplays for a number of seminal films noir, including "Out of the Fog" (1941), "Blues in the Night" (1941), "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1941), among many others.
Rossen's work in what became known as classic film noir culminated in three of his most powerful endeavors, which he would also direct: "Johnny O'Clock" (1947), "Desert Fury" (1947), and "Body and Soul" (1947). He and Odets connected in the making of "Body and Soul" by way of Abraham Polonsky and actor John Garfield, both of whom shared Odets' leftist leanings. He ended the 1940s with "All the King's Men" (1949), a powerful adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
In 1961, Rossen would adapt and direct the film that was the pinnacle of his career, "The Hustler" (1961), a brave and unsettling study of a complex man whose psychological makeup cannot accommodate the burdens of his own talents as a professional pool player.
Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. Backstrip faded, some offsetting to the front board, some light soil, otherwise clean and firm. Jacket lightly toned and soiled, with light chipping to the extremities and cello tape reinforcement on the verso.