SCOPE AND CONTENT
Title: Jonathan Latimer, Miscellaneous Scripts and Screenplays,
Date (inclusive): 1940-1960
Collection number: MSS 0133
Extent: 0.60 linear feet (2 archives boxes)
Mandeville Special Collections Library, Geisel Library, UC, San Diego
Shelf Location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Jonathan Latimer, Miscellaneous Scripts and Screenplays, MSS 0133. Mandeville Special
Collections Library, UCSD.
Papers of Jonathan Latimer, journalist, screen writer and detective story author.
Materials include a small collection of story ideas, outlines, scripts and screenplays
arranged alphabetically by title.
Jonathan Latimer, journalist, screen writer and detective story author was born October
23, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the Mesa Ranch School in Arizona from
1922-1925 and later studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where he graduated Phi
Beta Kappa in 1929. In the same year he began his career as a writer at the Chicago
Herald Examiner and later wrote for the Chicago Tribune. Working as a police reporter and
"rewrite man," Latimer covered stories in the gangster world through the early 1930s, and
met notorious crime figures including Al Capone.
After writing an article about Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, Latimer was hired
as a ghost writer for the Department of the Interior. During the time Latimer worked as a
ghost writer for Ickes, he began the first of his series of mystery novels. His first
novel, Murder in a Madhouse, became a 1935 best-seller and introduced Bill Crane, the
hard-drinking detective and hero of five of Latimer's novels.
After serving in the U.S. Navy between 1942 and 1945, Latimer became a successful
Hollywood screenwriter, producing scripts for such movies as "Lady in the Morgue,"
"Topper Returns," and the "Glass Key," as well as ten films directed by John Farrow.
Latimer later wrote television scripts for forty-five episodes of the "Perry Mason" show,
1960-1965. Latimer also wrote ten episodes for the "Markham" series and about twenty
Jonathan Latimer retired to La Jolla, California in 1973, where he died on June 23, 1983.
Latimer was the author of ten mystery novels: Murder in the Madhouse (1934), Headed For a
Hearse (1935), The Lady in the Morgue (1936), The Search For My Great Uncle's Head (1937)
[written under the pseudonym of Peter Coffin], The Dead Don't Care (1938), Red Gardenias
(1939), Dark Memory (1940), Solomon's Vineyard (1941), Sinners and Shrouds (1955), Black
is the Fasion For Dying (1959).
Latimer wrote numerous screenplays including The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939), Phantom
Riders (1940), Topper Returns (1941), A Night in New Orleans (1941), The Glass Key
(1942), Whistling in Dixie (1942), They Won't Believe Me (1946), Nocturne (1946), The Big
Clock (1946), Sealed Verdict (1948), Beyond Glory (1948), The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
(1948), Alias NIck Beal (1949), Copper Canyon (1950), The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951),
Submarine Command (1951), Botany Bay (1953), Plunder of the Sun (1953), Back From
Eternity (1956), The Unholy Wife (1957), The Whole Truth (1958).
Latimer also wrote various episodes of the television series Markham (1959, 10 episodes);
Perry Mason (1960-1965, 45 episodes); and Hong-Kong (5 episodes).
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The JONATHAN LATIMER PAPERS contain a small collection of story ideas, outlines, scripts
and screenplays. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title in one series