Fredric Brown

Pseudonyms include Bob Woehlke

“There are no rules. You can write a story, if you wish, with no conflict, no suspense, no beginning, middle or end. Of course, you have to be regarded as a genius to get away with it, and that’s the hardest part — convincing everybody you’re a genius.”
— Fredric Brown

Murder can be fun, indeed.

According to his wife, Fredric William Brown hated to write. So he did everything he could to avoid it–he’d play his flute, challenge a friend to a game of chess, or tease Ming Tah, his Siamese cat. Plotting was a stickler, too. If Brown had trouble working out a certain story, he would hop on a long bus trip to nowhere and just sit and think and plot for days on end.

But when Brown finally did return home and plant himself in front of the typewriter, Jesus! The man did it all!

Hard-boiled mystery, paradoxical sf, short fantasy, black comedy-and sometimes, all of the above. That’s what makes Brown’s work so damned fun. He crossed genres like a demon, plotted like a madman, and continually stretched the boundaries of any given genre into his own strange, private geography.

Already a family man with a wife and two kids, he was working as a proofreader for various magazines (including The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church) and as a typesetter for the Milwaukee Journal (and after, supposedly, a stint working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency). It was during this period that Brown started writing, both non-fiction (a regular column about proofreading in The American Printer) and fiction (short mystery stories for pulps such as Street & Smith’s Detective Story, Thrilling Detective and Detective Fiction Weekly). After nearly a decade, wrote The Fabulous Clipjoint, the first of seven hard-boiled novels featuring the nephew/uncle detective team of Ed and Am Hunter. The Edgar Award-winning novel was about young Ed’s quest to solve his drunken father’s murder; the further adventures have the familial duo investigating less personal — yet just as deadly — matters.

However, Brown’s mystery work isn’t limited to the exploits of the Hunters. There’s also The Far Cry, a chilling tale of a loveless marriage, spiritual malaise and an eight-year-old murder. And The Lenient Beast, about a kindly vigilante on a moral murder-spree. And The Screaming Mimi, about an alcoholic reporter’s quest to find a Jack the Ripper-like killer roaming the streets of Chicago. And Madball, and His Name Was Death, and many, many others. (That’s not even mentioning the science fiction Brown wrote, which many people remember him for today.) For a man who loathed the act of sitting his ass in front of a typewriter, he certainly manage to crank out an impressive number of volumes (see list below).

No matter what Brown book you pick up, you can count on two things:

An O. Henry-style twist ending from hell.

Outrageous wordplay. Brown’s shock endings still shock, even forty or fifty years after their creation. (I challenge anybody to out-guess a Brown story before its end. You simply can’t do it, even after years of Hollywood cheapo-shock ’em fare fine-tuning your expectations.) Amazingly, the same goes for his novels — The Far Cry, for instance, packs a 10-alarm firecracker of an ending at the end of a 60,000 word novel. You try that sometime.

As for the second charge, a cursory glance at the titles in any Brown story collection will give you a taste of his pun-ishment of the English language. (“Nothing Sirius,” “Pi in the Sky” and “A Little White Lye” are among his best groaners.)

Brown spent a lot of effort and money on his titles, too. Writes Robert Bloch in his introduction to The Best of Fredric Brown:

“I recall [Fred] once paying ten dollars for the right to use one suggested by a friend for a mystery yarn; the resultant story was called ‘I Love You Cruelly.'” According to longtime friend Walt Sheldon, Brown would construct an entire story from a single, lurid title. “[One] title was ‘I’ll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen.’ I had a story to fit this title and he sold me the title for five bucks. When my story was published the editor of the magazine had changed the title to ‘Blood on My Hands.’ Fred gleefully refused to return my five bucks.”

In other words, Fredric Brown was a man who hated to write, but absolutely loved putting words together. It’s a paradox he would have probably enjoyed.

Brown’s work can be difficult to find, but it’s certainly worth the effort. (Someday, some brave, genius publisher — hint, hint! — is going to reissue all of his works in handsome paperback editions à la Jim Thompson.) I’ve collected nearly 2/3 of the Brown oeuvre; and actually, I hope I don’t find the rest all at once. I like to parcel out my Fredric Brown and savor a little bit at a time, like a fine Merlot. And like the best wines, vintage Brown doesn’t lose its flavor. In many ways, Brown was very much a writer of the 1990s, stuck in the thin, professorial body of a writer from the 1950s.

(Actually, in 1984, Dennis McMillan began to publish the ambitious multi-volume Fredric Brown Pulp Detective Series, collecting all the best of his previously-unreprinted work, mostly, but not exclusively, in the crime field, and other publishers have given it a shot, with mixed results – editor)

By the way, even if you’re a hardboiled-type who doesn’t give a rat’s ass for science fiction, you’d probably still like Brown’s weird take on the genre. His sf tales are full of the same mind-blowing paradoxes, clever word plays, and jaw-dropping plot twists that make his mysteries so enjoyable. A great place to start is with What Mad Universe, a wild send-up of every science fiction cliché of the 1940s and 50s. Or, try Nightmares and Geezenstacks (if you can find it), a short but brilliantly-packed collection of Brown’s trademark short-shorts: mind-blowing, paradoxical pulp tales, told in 500 words or less.


Apparently Brown was also a semi-regular contributor to The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church, where he worked as a proofreader. In its short run from February 1940 until September 1941, Brown placed five pieces in the magazine put out by the Episcopal Church: a puzzle, a vignette and three short mystery stories, two of which featured “young Doctor Young,” a crime-solving small town reverend (he’s a Doctor of Divinity).


  • “One time, at the end of a long week, I came home with a bottle of Jim Beam as well as a new-to-me Fredric Brown novel. Halfway through the first chapter, the lead character had a drink. That struck me as a good idea, so I followed his lead—and, as I read on, I took a drink every time the protagonist did.
    Don’t try this at home.”
    — Lawrence Block from The Thrill Of Discovering The Novels Of Fredric Brown



  • “The Moon for a Nickel” (March 1938, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “The Cheese on Stilts” (January 1939, Thrilling Detective; Carter Monk)
  • “Blood of the Dragon” (February 1939, Variety Detective Magazine)
  • “There Are Blood Stains in the Alley” (February 1939, Detective Yarns)
  • “Murder at 10:15” (May 1939, Clues Detective Stories)
  • “An Anagram Game” (March 1940, The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church; puzzle for kids)
  • “Rainy Afternoon Shadows” (May 1940, The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church; vignette)
  • “A Matter of Taste” (June 1940, The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church; mystery)
  • “The Amazing Dip” (July 13, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly; aka “Trouble in a Teacup”)
  • “Murder Draws a Crowd” (July 27, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Prehistoric Clue” (July 1940, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Town Wanted” (September 7, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Footprints on the Ceiling” (September 1940, Ten Detective Aces; Carter Monk)
  • “The Little Green Men” (Fall 1940, The Masked Detective; Carter Monk)
  • “Herbie Rides His Hunch” (October 19, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Strange Sisters Strange” (December 28, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly; Carey Rix)
  • “Number-Bug” (Winter 1941, Exciting Detective)
  • “Fugitive Imposter” (January 1941, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “The King Comes Home” (January 1941, Thrilling Detective)
  • “Miracle on Vine Street” (January 1941, The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church; Doctor Young)
  • “The Sematic Crocodile” (February 1941, The Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church; Doctor Young)
  • “Life and Fire” (March 22, 1941, Detective Fiction Weekly; Henry Smith)Buy this book
  • “Big-Top Doom” (March 1941, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “The Discontented Cows” (March 1941, G-Men Detective)
  • “Client Unknown” (April 1941, The Phantom Detective; Carey Rix)
  • “Selling Death Short” (April 1941, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Homicide Sanitarium” (May 1941, Thrilling Detective; Eddie Anderson)
  • “Your Name in Gold” (June 1941, The Phantom Detective)
  • “Six-Gun Song” (July 1941, 10-Story Detective Magazine)
  • “Star Spangled Night” (July 1941, Coronet)
  • “Wheels Across the Night” (July 1941, G-Men Detective)
  • “Little Boy Lost” (August 2, 1941, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Listen to the Mocking Bird” (November 1941, G-Men Detective)
  • “You’ll End Up Burning!” (November 1941, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Thirty Corpses Every Thursday” (December 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “Trouble Comes Double” (December 1941, Popular Detective)
  • “Bloody Murder” (January 10, 1942, Detective Fiction)
  • “Clue in Blue” (January 1942, Thrilling Mystery)
  • “Death Is a White Rabbit” (January 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Twenty Gets You Plenty” (January 1942, G-Men Detective)
  • “Little Apple Hard to Peel” (February 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “Death in the Dark” (March 1942, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “The Incredible Bomber” (March 1942, G-Men Detective; Henry Smith)
  • “Mad Dog!” (Spring 1942, Detective Book Magazine)
  • “Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter” (March 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Twice-Killed Corpse” (March 1942, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Moon Over Murder” (Spring 1942, The Masked Detective)
  • “A Cat Walks” (April 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Who Did I Murder?” (April 1942, Detective Short Stories)
  • “Murder in Furs” (May 1942, Thrilling Detective)
  • “Suite for Flute and Tommy-Gun” (June 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Three-Corpse Parlay” (June 1942, Popular Detective)
  • “A Date to Die” (July 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Two Biers for Two” (July 1942, Clues Detective Stories)
  • “You’ll Die Before Dawn” (July 1942, Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Get Out of Town” (September 1942, Thrilling Detective)
  • “A Little White Lye” (September 1942, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “The Men Who Went Nowhere” (September 1942, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “Nothing Sinister” (September 1942, Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “The Numberless Shadows” (September 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Satan’s Search Warrant” (September 1942, 10-Story Detective Magazine)
  • “Where There’s Smoke” (September 1942, Black Book Detective)
  • “Boner” (October 1942, Popular Detective)
  • “Legacy of Murder” (October 1942, Exciting Mystery)
  • “The Santa Claus Murders” (October 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine; short version of “Murder Can Be Fun“)
  • “A Fine Night for Murder” (November 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “I’ll See You at Midnight” (November 1942, Clues Detective Stories)
  • “The Monkey Angle” (November 1942, Thrilling Detective; Carter Monk)
  • “Satan One-and-a-Half” (November 1942, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “A Lock of Satan’s Hair” (January 1943, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “The Spherical Ghoul” (January 1943, Thrilling Mystery)
  • “The Wicked Flea” (January 1943, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Beware of the Dog” (February 1943, Ten Detective Aces; aka “Hound of Hell”)
  • “Death Is a Noise” (February 1943, Popular Detective)
  • “Hound of Hell” (February 1943, Ten Detective Aces; aka “Beware of the Dog”)
  • “The Sleuth from Mars” (February 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “A Change for the Hearse” (March 1943, New Detective Magazine; Henry Smith)
  • “Encore for a Killer” (March 1943, Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Handbook for Homicide” (March 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “Trial by Darkness” (March 1943, Clues Detective Stories)
  • “Cadavers Don’t Make a Fifth Column” (April 1943, Detective Short Stories)
  • “Death of a Vampire” (May 1943, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Death’s Dark Angel” (May 1943, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Freak Show Murders” (May 1943, Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Market for Murder” (May 1943, The Shadow)
  • “The Corpse and the Candle” (July 1943, Dime Mystery Magazine Jul 1943
  • “Madman’s Holiday” (July 1943, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Blue Murder” (September 1943, The Shadow)
  • “Tell ‘Em, Pagliaccio!” (September 1943, Street & Smith Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Whispering Death” (September 1943, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “Daymare” (Fall 1943, Thrilling Wonder Stories)
  • “Death Insurance Payment” (October 1943, Ten Detective Aces; Henry Smith)
  • “The Motive Goes Round and Round” (October 1943, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Djinn Murder” (January 1944, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Murder in Miniature” (January 1944, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “The Ghost of Riley” (February 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “The Devil’s Woodwinds” (March 1944, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “Homicide Sanitarium” (May 1944, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Jabberwocky Murders” (Summer 1944, Thrilling Mystery)
  • “The Ghost Breakers” (July 1944, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Gibbering Night” (July 1944, Detective Tales; aka “The Gibbering Murders”)
  • “Murder While You Wait” (July 1944, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Bucket of Gems Case” (August 1944, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine; aka “Mr. Smith Kicks the Bucket;” Henry Smith)
  • “To Slay a Man About a Dog!” (September 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “A Matter of Death” (November 1944, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Night the World Ended” (January 1945, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “No Sanctuary” (March 1945, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “Compliments of a Fiend” (May 1945, Thrilling Detective; later expanded as The Bloody Moonlight)
  • “Ten Tickets to Hades” (May 1945, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Murder-on-the-Hudson” (June 1945, Thrilling Detective, as by Bob Woehlke)
  • “Compliments of a Fiend” (July 1945, Thrilling Detective)
  • “Dead Man’s Indemnity” (April 1946, New Detective Magazine; heavily edited version of The Fabulous Clipjoint )
  • “The Song of the Dead” (July 1946, New Detective Magazine)
  • “Obit for Obie” (October 1946, Mystery Book Magazine; later expanded as The Deep End)
  • “Mr. Smith Protects a Client” (December 1946, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine; aka “Whistler’s Murder;” Henry Smith)
  • “A Voice Behind Him” (January 1947, Mystery Book Magazine)
  • “Don’t Look Behind You” (May 1947, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Miss Darkness” (1947, Avon Detective Mysteries #3; aka “Wait in the Dark”)
  • “I’ll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen” (Winter 1948, Mystery Book Magazine)
  • “The Dead Ringer” (Spring 1948, Mystery Book Magazine; Ed & Am Hunter)
  • “The Laughing Butcher” (Fall 1948, Mystery Book Magazine)
  • “If Looks Could Kill!” (October 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “Cry Silence” (November 1948, Black Mask)
  • “Red-Hot and Hunted!” (November 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “This Way Out” (February 1949, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “Murder and Matilda” (Summer 1949, Mystery Book Magazine)
  • “The Cream of the Jest” (July 1949, New Detective Magazine; aka “Last Curtain”)
  • “Crisis, 1999” (August 1949, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; Bela Joad)
  • “Each Night He Died” (August 1949, Dime Mystery Magazine)
  • “The Cat from Siam” (September 1949, Popular Detective)
  • “The House of Fear” (September 1949, New Detective Magazine)
  • “The Deadly Weekend” (Fall 1949, Mystery Book Magazine; condensed edition of The Screaming Mimi)
  • “Death and Nine Lives” (Spring 1950, Black Book Detective)
  • “Blind Lead” (June 1950, Detective Tales)
  • “The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches” (Summer 1950, Mystery Book Magazine; aka “The Dancing Sandwiches”)
  • “The Nose of Don Aristide” (Summer 1950, 2 Detective Mystery Novels Magazine)
  • “Walk in The Shadows” (Fall 1950, Giant Detective)
  • “The Dome” (August 1951, Thrilling Wonder Stories)
  • “The Pickled Punks” (June/July 1953, The Saint Detective Magazine; condensed from Madball)
  • “See No Murder” (June 1953, New Detective Magazine)
  • “The Wench Is Dead” (July 1953, Manhunt; later expanded)
  • “The Little Lamb” (August 1953, Manhunt)
  • “Experiment” (February 1954, Galaxy; part of “Two Timer”)
  • “Sentry” (February 1954, Galaxy; part of “Two Timer”)
  • “Premiere of Murder” (May 1955, The Saint Detective Magazine)
  • “The Perfect Crime” (June 1955, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “The Letter” (July 1955, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “First Time Machine” (September 1955, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Line of Duty” (April 1956, Manhunt; condensed from The Lenient Beast)
  • “Murder Set to Music” (January 1957, The Saint Detective Magazine; aka “Murder to Music”)
  • “The Amy Waggoner Murder” February 1958, The Saint Detective Magazine; condensed from One for the Road)
  • “The Late Lamented” (February 1959, The Saint Mystery Magazine; condensed from The Late Lamented; Ed & Am Hunter)
  • “Abominable” (March 1960, Dude)
  • “Granny’s Birthday” (June 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Before She Kills” (1961, Ed McBain’s Mystery Book; Ed & Am Hunter)
  • “The Assistant Murderer” (May 1961, Playboy; also “Hobbyist”)
  • “Of Time and Eustace Weaver” (June 1961, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • “Fatal Facsimile” (September 1962, The Saint Mystery Magazine; Henry Smith)
  • “The Missing Actor” (November 1963, The Saint Mystery Magazine; Ed & Am Hunter)
  • “Why, Benny, Why?” (November 1964, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)


  • Fermented Ink: Ten Poems (1931)
  • Shadow Suite: Fifteen Poems (1932)
    These two self-published volumes constitute Brown’s first published works. He printed them himself while working for a printer.
  • Space on My Hands (1951; sf)
  • Mostly Murder (1953; mystery)
  • Angels and Spaceships 1954; sf)
  • Honeymoon in Hell (1958; sf)
  • Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961; sf short-shorts)
  • The Shaggy Dog and Other Murders (1963; mystery)
  • Daymares (1968; sf)
  • Paradox Lost (1973; sf)
  • The Best of Fredric Brown (1976; introduction by Robert Bloch)
  • Homicide Sanitarium (1984; McMillan #1)Buy this book
    Introduction by Bill Pronzini; the first in Dennis McMillan’s legendary series of reissues.
  • Before She Kills (1984; McMillan #2)
  • Carnival of Crime (1985)
  • Madmen’s Holiday (1985; McMillan #3)
  • The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches (1985; McMillan #4)
  • The Freak Show Murders (1985; McMillan #5)
  • Thirty Corpses Every Thursday (1985; McMillan #6)
  • Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter (1986; McMillan #7)
  • Red is the Hue of Hell (1986; McMillan #8)
  • Brother Monster (1987; McMillan #9)
  • Sex Life on the Planet Mars (1987; McMillan #10)
  • Nightmare in Darkness (1987; McMillan #11)
  • The Water Walker (1987)
  • Who Was That Blonde I Saw You Kill Last Night? (1988; McMillan #12)
  • Three Corpse Parlay (1988; McMillan #13)
  • Selling Death Short (1988; McMillan #14)
  • Whispering Death (1989; McMillan #15)
  • Happy Ending (1990; McMillan #16)
  • The Water-Walker (1990; McMillan #17)
  • The Gibbering Night (1991; McMillan #18)
  • The Pickled Punks (1991; McMillan #19)
  • Hunter and Hunted (2002; Ed & Am Hunter)Buy this book
    Omnibus edition published by Stewart Masters, comprising the first four novels in the acclaimed series: The Fabulous Clip Joint, The Dead Ringer, The Bloody Moonlight, and Compliments of a Fiend. A second volume was planned, containing the remaining Ed and Am Hunter novels and stories, but never released.
  • Miss Darkness: The Great Short Crime Fiction of Fredric Brown (2013) . Buy this book
  • Collection of over thirty hard-to-find gems. A real treat.
  • Murder Draws a Crowd (2017)Buy this book
    The first volume of the long-anticipated Frederic Brown Mystery Library, collecting all his mystery and crime short stories and novellas.
  • Death in the Dark (2017)Buy this book
    Second volume of the Frederic Brown Mystery Library from Haffner Press, collecting all his mystery and crime short stories and novellas.
  • Market for Murder (2020; tentative)
    Third big volume of the Frederic Brown Mystery Library from Haffner Press, collecting all his mystery and crime short stories and novellas.
  • The Complete Ed & Am Hunter Mysteries (2020; tentative)
    Two-volumes, with an introduction by Jack Seabrook.


  • CRACK-UP | Buy the DVD
    (1946, RKO)
    93 minutes, black & white
    Tagline: Could I KILL … and not remember?
    Based on the short story “Madman’s Holiday” by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by John Paxton, Ben Bengal and Ray Spencer
    Directed by Irving Reis
    Produced by Jack J. Gross
    Starring Pat O’Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins, Wallace Ford, Dean Harens, Damian O’Flynn, Erskine Sanford, Mary Ware
    Art curator survives a train wreck that never happened. A clever plot, but gawd! O’Brien gives possibly the sleepiest performance ever seen in film noir.
    (1958, Columbia)
    Tagline: Suspense around every curve!
    Based on the novel by Fredric Brown
    Directed by Gerd Oswald
    Produced by Harry Joe Brown and Robert Fellows
    Starring Anita Ekberg, Philip Carey, Gypsy Rose Lee, Harry Townes, Linda Cherney, Romney Brent, Alan Gifford, Oliver McGowan , Red Norvo, Stephen Ellsworth, Vaughn Taylor, Frank J. Scannell
    A stripper gets tossed in the loony bin.
    aka “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”

    (1969, CCC Filmkunst GmbH/Glazier/Seda Spettacoli/Germany/Italy)
    English title: The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
    Based on the novel “The Screaming Mimi” by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Dario Argento
    Directed by Dario Argento
    Original Music by Ennio Morricone
    Produced by Salvatore Argento
    Executive producer: Artur Brauner
    Starring Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho, Renato Romano, Giuseppe Castellano, Mario Adorf, Pino Patti
    Horrormeister Dario Agento’s debut, very loosely adapted (and uncredited) from Brown’s novel. The film was a smash in Argento’s homeland.
    (1975, Les Films de l’Epée/M. Films/France)
    English title: The Red Ibis
    90 minutes
    Based on the novel “Knock Three One Two” by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Jean-Pierre Mocky and André Ruellan
    Directed by Jean-Pierre Mocky
    Produced by Jean-Pierre Mocky and Jean-Claude Roblin
    Starring Michel Serrault, Michel Simon, Michel Galabru, Jean Le Poulain, Evelyne Buyle, Michel Francini, Dominique Zardi, François Bouchex, Karen Nielsen, François Guillaume, Maurice Vallier, Jean-Claude Rémoleux, Philibert Suédois, Jacques Mayar, Georges Lucas, Barbara Val, Jacques Fortunas
  • MARTIANS GO HOME | Buy this video | Buy the DVD
    (1990, Image Entertainment)
    89 minutes
    Based on the novel by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Charles S. Haas
    Directed by David Odell
    Associate producers: Elon Dershowitz, Michael Flynn
    Produced by Michael D. Pariser
    Starring Randy Quaid, Margaret Colin, Anita Morris, John Philbin, Ronny Cox, Timothy Stack, Bruce French, Gerrit Graham, Dean Devlin, Roy Brocksmith, Nicky Katt, Troy Evans, Steve Blacknell, Allan Katz, Cynthia Ettinger, Brent Hinkley
    Comedy about song writer who causes an Martian invasion.
    (1992, France 3/J,M./Centre Européen Cinématographique)
    English title: Old Rascal
    Based on the novel “His Name Was Death” by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Gérard Jourd’hui and Dominique Roulet
    Directed by Gérard Jourd’hui
    Produced by Gérard Jourd’hui
    Starring Michel Serrault, Anna Galiena, Pierre Richard, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Catherine Frot, Laurent Gamelon, Maaike Jansen, Jean-Claude Leguay, Marion Loran, Nathalie Schmidt, Béatrice Audry
    (1998, ID/France)
    Based on a novel by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Alain Adijes, Eric Woreth
    Directed by Eric Woreth
    Produced by Caroline Adrian, Marie Masmonteil
    Starring Isabelle Renauld, Jean-Marc Barr, Stéphane Rideau, Julie Gayet, Frédéric Pierrot, Daniel Duval, Didier Flamand, Jean-Marie Winling, Cécile Garcia-Fogel
    (2001, JPM/France)
    90 minutes
    Based on the novel The Lenient Beast by Fredric Brown
    Screenplay by Jean-Pierre Mocky and André Ruellan
    Directed by Jean-Pierre Mocky
    Produced by Jean-Pierre Mocky
    Starring Bernard Menez, Jackie Berroyer, Patricia Barzyk, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Catherine Van Hecke, Diane D’Assigny, Dominique Zardi, Jean Abeillé, Rodolphe Pauly, Ludovic Berthillot, Roger Knobelspiess
    9 minutes
    Based on a short story by Fredric Brown
    Adapted by George Vatistas
    Directed by George Vatistas
    Produced by David E. Munz Maire
    Executive Producers: Ria Vatistas, Michael Beddome, Bob Giraldi, Lata Kennedy, Harry & Marion Munz
    Starring C.J. Gelfand, Teddy Kalin, Daniel Mitura, Robert W. Smith

    A student project that did well on the festival circuit, even garnering a few awards.


    (1946-52, NBC)
    Black & white
    160 30-minute episodes
    Originally an extremely popular syndicated American radio anthology series devoted mostly to horror and the supernatural, this show made the jump to television in 1946.

    • “The Pattern” (May 28, 1951)
      Based on a short story by Fredric Brown
      Teleplay by Ira Levin
      Directed by Herbert B. Swope Jr. (as Herbert Swope Jr.)
      Starring John Forsythe, June Dayton, Richard Sanders
    (1951-53, ABC)
    Black & white
    84 30-minute episodes
    Anthology series featuring both classic and modern sci-fi themes

    • “The Last Man on Earth” (August 31, 1951)
      Based on a story by Fredric Brown
      Teleplay by Reginald Lawrence
      Starring Martin Brandt, Andrew Branham, Cloris Leachman
    • “Age of Peril” (February 15, 1952)
      Based on a story by Fredric Brown
      Adapted by A.J. Russell
      Directed by Don Medford
      Starring Phyllis Kirk, Donald Briggs, Dennis Patrick, John McGovern
    (1952-53, syndicated [MCA-TV])
    Black & white
    94 30-minute episodes

    • “Lost Kid” (November 24, 1953)
      Original story by  Fredric Brown
      Teleplay by Whitfield Cook
      Directed by Herschel Daugherty
      Starring Elizabeth Patterson, Mary Field, Harry Harvey Jr
    (1953-55, ABC)
    Black & white
    80 30-minute episodes
    An anthology series.

    • “The House Nobody Wanted” (November 13, 1953)
      Based on a story by Fredric Brown
      Teleplay by Lawrence Kimble
      Directed by Richard Irving
      Starring Marilyn Erskine, Craig Stevens, Sheila Bromley
    • “The Motive Goes Round and Round” (December 11, 1953)
      Based on an original story by Fredric Brown

      Teleplay by Lawrence Kimble
      Directed by Robert G. Walker
      Starring Arlene Dahl, Ludwig Donath, Joseph Forte
    • “Miss Darkness” (January 1, 1954)
      Based on a story by Fredric Brown

      Teleplay by Richard Collins and Fenton Earnshaw
      Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
      Starring Arlene Dahl, Madge Blake, Dee Carrol
    (1966-69, NBC)
    American sci-fi series
    Created by Gene Rodenberry
    Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols et al.
    A sci-fi show. you may have heard of it.

    • “Arena”
      (January 19, 1967)
      Episode based on a story by Fredric Brown
      Teleplay by Gene L. Coon
      Directed by Joseph Pevne
    (1981, ABC)
    American TV anthology, à la Twilight Zone, hosted by James Coburn, that only lasted 16 or so episodes. At least one story was based on a story by Fredric Brown. Other stories were based on work by or contributed by Robert Bloch, Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson, William Link, Robert R. McCammon, William F. Nolan and Cornell Woolrich.
    (1985, NBC)
    Revival of popular anthology. At least one story was based on a story by Fredric Brown.



  • Seabrook, Jack,
    Martians and Misplaced Clues: The Life and Work of Fredric Brown | Buy this book
    Bowling Green State, 1993.


Respectfully submitted by Duane Swierczynski. Additional bibliographic information by Kevin Burton Smith (I know, I know). Special thanks to Damien for pointing out why everyone needs an editor, and to Darrell Kastin for the word to the wise.

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