- James Curtis
James Curtis (
July 4, 1907- 1977) was a British author who was best known for his novels, "They Drive By Night" and "There Ain't No Justice", both of which were made in to feature films.
James Curtis was born Geoffrey Basil Maiden, in
Sturry, Kent. Curtis' parents were hoteliersin India, and later in Englandwhere Curtis attended The King's School, Canterbury. In 1934, Curtis appeared in two films, " Manhattan Melodrama" and "Fugitive Lady", in uncredited roles. Geoffrey Basil Maiden soon adopted the pseudonym of James Curtis and began a career as an author. He wrote the novels "The Gilt Kid", "What Immortal Hand", "Look Long Upon a Monkey", "They Drive By Night" and "There Ain't No Justice". Curtis used his plots to highlight the unfairness of society and dearth of opportunity that often led people to break the law in straitened times. In 1938, "They Drive By Night" was released as a feature film starring Emlyn Williamsand Ernest Thesiger. The following year, another novel, "There Ain't No Justice", was also made into a film. Curtis was forced to stop writing when World War IIbroke out. He would go on to tour Franceand Burmaand rose to the rank of Major. After the war, his marriage had failed and his literary momentum never recovered.
In 1977, James Curtis died in
North Londonafter suffering a heart attack in a chemist shop.
In 2007, London Books republished his 1936 novel, "The Gilt Kid" and in 2008 followed this with "They Drive By Night" as part of their London Classics series.
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0193368/ James Curtis at IMdb]
* [http://www.london-books.co.uk/ London Books]
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