Novelist, Film story contributor
1902 – 1977
Who was Daniel Mainwaring?
Daniel Mainwaring was a novelist and screenwriter. A native of Oakland, California, he began his professional career as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle and enjoyed a successful career as a mystery novelist. He also worked as a film publicist and eventually abandoned fiction for a successful career as a screenwriter.
His first novel, One Against the Earth, was a proletarian novel about a young man born on a California ranch who becomes a drifter and is eventually unjustly accused of attacking a child, was published in 1932. He made his real mark, however, with a string of hard-boiled mystery novels, the first of which was The Man Who Murdered Himself. His final published novel, Build My Gallows High, is generally regarded as his best—and its adaptation into the film noir classic Out of the Past assured his place in film history. Mainwaring explained to interviewer Pat McGilligan that he regarded the novel as a departure from his earlier literary efforts:
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