James Edward Gunn was born August 22, 1920 in San Francisco. He was only twenty-one and a senior at Stanford University when he wrote his sole novel, Deadlier Than the Male, as part of a class assignment. He became a screenwriter soon after, beginning with the script for Lady of Burlesque starring Barbara Stanwyck. Soon after, Gunn saw Deadlier adapted into the film Born to Kill with Lawrence Tierney. He continued to script a variety of films, including The Unfaithful, which he co‐wrote with David Goodis, before turning to TV where he wrote for such programs as Checkmate, Wagon Train and 77 Sunset Strip. One of his last projects was a TV script adapted from the Martin Ritt film, The Long, Hot Summer. Gunn died in Los Angeles, California, on September 20, 1966 at the young age of 46.

  • Deadlier Than the Male
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  • "Deadlier Than the Male is truly one of the strangest of all American crime novels. In fact it's one of the strangest of all American novels…"—Vintage Pop Fictions. Filmed as Born to Kill in 1947 with Lawrence Tierney. Introduction by Curtis Evans. Film Noir Classic #7

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