The coolest named screenwriter of them all is our SCREENPLAY BY star for Noirvember! Born in Samsun, Turkey in 1908, Albert Isaac Bezzerides emigrated with his family to the United States, settling in Fresno, California when he was two years old. During his time at the University of California, Berkeley, he published a short story, Passage into Eternity, in the Story Magazine, before writing the novel The Long Haul, which he adapted himself into They Drive By Night (1940, dir. Raoul Walsh). What followed was a streak of films noir, including Desert Fury (1947, dir. Lewis Allen), Thieves’ Highway (1949, dir. Jules Dassin), based on Bezzerides’ own novel Thieves’ Market, and On Dangerous Ground (1952, dir. Nicholas Ray). In 1955, came what is perhaps his greatest achievement. Based on Mickey Spillane’s novel of the same name, the screenplay of Kiss Me Deadly (dir. Robert Aldrich) was a turning point in the film noir universe, with its apocalyptic, allegorical and nihilistic style, as well as one of the first examples of ‘the great whatsit’ motif in the form of the glowing briefcase, which is still a beloved trope to this day (lookin’ at you, Quentin!). Ten years after this, he created the Western series The Big Valley with Louis F. Edelman. A prolific and underrated writer, A. I. Bezzerides died in 2007 at the age of 98.