A. I. Bezzerides
Film story contributor
1908 – 2007
Who was A. I. Bezzerides?
He was born Albert Isaac Bezzerides in Samsun, Ottoman Empire, to a Greek-Armenian family who immigrated to America before he was two. He wrote the novel The Long Haul, which got him into the screenwriting business. He wrote such action feature movies as They Drive by Night - which was based on his novel, The Long Haul, Desert Fury, Thieves' Highway, On Dangerous Ground, Beneath the 12 Mile Reef, Track of the Cat, and Kiss Me Deadly. He was one of the co-creators of the western television series The Big Valley.
Bezzerides' most famous script was Kiss Me Deadly, which was a masterful film noir and influenced many directors in France shortly after its release. Bezzerides transformed the novel by Mickey Spillane into an apocalyptic, atomic-age paranoia film noir. When asked about his script, and his decision to make "the great whatsit" the Pandora's Box objective of a ruthless cast of characters, Bezzerides commented: "People ask me about the hidden meanings in the script, about the A-bomb, about McCarthyism, what does the poetry mean, and so on. And I can only say that I didn't think about it when I wrote it . . . I was having fun with it. I wanted to make every scene, every character, interesting. A girl comes up to Ralph Meeker, I make her a nympho. She grabs him and kisses him the first time she sees him. She says, "You don't taste like anybody I know." I'm a big car nut, so I put in all that stuff with the cars and the mechanic. I was an engineer, and I gave the detective the first phone answering machine in that picture. I was having fun."
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- Aug 9, 1908
- Also known as
- Albert Isaac Bezzerides
- United States of America
- University of California, Berkeley
- Jan 1, 2007
on July 23, 2013