Alan LeMay: A Biography of the Author of The Searchers

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McFarland, Jan 10, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 216 pages
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Although much has been written about the 1950s cult film The Searchers, Alan LeMay, the author of the novel upon which the movie is based, has received little attention. This welcome biography tells the engaging story of the career freelance writer who sold his first story at age 19 and never held a permanent job. LeMay gained success in the 1930s writing Westerns and in the 1940s penning scripts for “big outdoor” films but he is best remembered for Searchers (1953) and another novel adapted into a popular film, The Unforgiven (1957). Sometimes rich but frequently poor, LeMay supported a family with his writing and engaged in a variety of ventures, including cattle ranching, polo playing, flying, and road racing. This narrative of his unconventional life offers an insider’s view of Hollywood and conveys the unique stresses of a career in screenwriting.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
1 Washout
3
2 Origins
6
3 Heading West
22
4 Rancho Una Vaca
31
5 Recovery
41
6 Hello Hollywood
44
7 Reap the Wild Wind
50
14 Useless Cowboy
102
15 A Year at Warners
108
16 The Walking Hills
116
17 The Business of Filmmaking
122
18 Independence
130
19 Working with the Military
144
20 Television
153
21 Racing
156

8 Life in the Film Colony
56
9 World War II
69
10 The FotoElectric Games
76
11 Mark Twain
81
12 The Story of Dr Wassell
90
13 The Rurales
96
22 Legacy
163
Appendix
183
Notes
193
Annotated Bibliography
197
Index
203
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About the author (2014)

Dan LeMay, an engineer educated at Caltech and MIT, inventor and retired avocado farmer, is archivist of the LeMay Family Collection and the author of several nonfiction books.

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