The Mythos of David Goodis

Welcome to the World of David Goodis. His Life, His Myth and His Legacy.

David Goodis (b. Philadelphia, 1917; d. Philadelphia, 1967) was an author and screenwriter of the noir/crime fiction genre. He wrote his first novel. RETREAT FROM OBLIVION (1939) at the age of 22.

Goodis moved to Hollywood and worked as a screen writer when Warner Brothers bought the screen rights to his second book, DARK PASSAGE (1946). Goodis wrote the screenplay for the movie by the same name starring Humphery Bogart and Lauren Bacall. While in Hollywood, Goodis testified before the House Committee on Un-American Committee (HUAC) and Richard M. Nixon in 1947 with Jack Warner of Warner Brothers Studio.

He continued to write novels, NIGHTFALL (1947) and BEHOLD THIS WOMAN (1947). Goodis returned to this house in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia in 1950. Goodis spent the remaining years of his life writing books here under the watchful eyes of his mother and father, Molly and William Goodis. Subsequent books included OF MISSING PERSONS (1950) ,CASSIDY’S GIRL (1951) ,OF TENDER SIN (1952) STREET OF THE LOST (1952) , THE BURGLAR (1953) ,THE MOON IN THE GUTTER (1953) ,THE BLONDE ON THE STREET CORNER (1954) ,BLACK FRIDAY (1954) ,STREET OF NO RETURN (1954) ,THE WOUNDED AND THE SLAIN(1955), DOWN THERE (1956) FIRE IN THE FLESH (1957) NIGHT SQUAD (1961) ,SOMEBODY’S DONE FOR (1967).

Goodis is credited with establishing the doctrine of indivisibility. In the case of Goodis v. United Artists Television, Inc., 425 F.2d 397, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the doctrine of indivisibility could not deprive an author of his creative property no matter what and would later become the Copyright Act of 1976.


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