Eric Ambler

Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor
Thriller novelist Eric Ambler, often credited with elevating the spy genre to the level of esteemed literature, was introduced into the film business while serving in World War II. He worked with luminaries such as ... Read more »
Born: 06/28/1909 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Writer (21)

Journey Into Fear 1975 (Movie)

(Source Material (from novel))

Love, Hate, Love 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Topkapi 1964 (Movie)

("The Light of Day") (Source Material (from novel))

A Night to Remember 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Suspicion 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Writer

The Wreck of the Mary Deare 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Purple Plain 1955 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Lease of Life 1953 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Promoter 1952 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Mask of Dimitrios 1944 (Movie)

(Source Material (from novel))

Background to Danger (Movie)

(Book Author)

Checkmate (TV Show)

Creator

Encore (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Highly Dangerous (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Journey into Fear (Movie)

(Book Author)

The Clouded Yellow (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Cruel Sea (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The October Man (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The October Man (Movie)

(Book Author)

The Way Ahead (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Way Ahead (Movie)

(Book Author)
Producer (2)

Alcoa Premiere 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Producer

The October Man (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Thriller novelist Eric Ambler, often credited with elevating the spy genre to the level of esteemed literature, was introduced into the film business while serving in World War II. He worked with luminaries such as Carol Reed and Peter Ustinov in the Royal Army Film Unit, producing propaganda movies like "The Way Ahead" (1944). Before he turned scriptwriter, the author's fiction was brought to the screen in film adaptations of his novels including "Journey Into Fear" (1942) and "Hotel Reserve" (1944). Also in 1944, Peter Lorre starred in "The Mask of Demetrios," a thriller based on Ambler's 1939 novel "A Coffin for Demetrios." Both the film and the novel enjoyed popularity and acclaim, and Ambler's Balkan set story has even been called prophetic, as the novel mirrors the political upheaval in the area that occurred decades later.

Relationships

Amy Madeline Ambler

Mother

Alfred Ambler

Father

Louise Crombie

Wife
married in 1939 divorced in May 1958

Joan Harrison

Wife
former assistant to Alfred Hitchcock second wife married from 1958 until her death in 1994

EDUCATION

University of London

dropped out in 1927

Colfe's Grammar School

Milestones

1985

Issued autobiography "Here Lies"

1981

Published last novel "The Care of Time"

1981

Created Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II

1964

"Topkapi", an adaptation of his novel "The Light of Day", was released as a film starring Peter Ustinov and Maximillian Schell

1959

Had screenplay credit in the adaptation of the adventure "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston

1958

Wrote the screenplay for "A Night to Remember", a British adaptation of Walter Lord's popular book chronicling the Titanic disaster

1954

Was screenwriter for "The Purple Plain", a World War II psychodrama starring Gregory Peck

1953

Nominated for an Academy Award for his script "The Cruel Sea", a film starring Stanley Baker and Denholm Elliott

1952

Wrote the screenplay for "The Promoter", a drama starring Alec Guinness and Glynis Johns

1951

Published first novel under own name, "Judgment on Deltchev"

1950

With Janet Green co-wrote the screenplay for "The Clouded Yellow", a thriller starring Trevor Howard and Jean Simmons

1950

Collaborated with Australian author Charles Rodda on thrillers that were published under joint pseudonym of Eliot Reed

1946

Left the military, ranked lieutenant-colonel and awarded a US Bronze Star, and joined J Arthur Rank as producer and screenwriter

1943

James Mason starred in the film "Hotel Reserve", a thriller based on Ambler's novel of the same name; Peter Lorre starred in "The Mask of Dimitrios" based upon his novel "A Coffin for Dimitrios"

1941

His novel "Journey Into Fear" was adapted into a film produced by and starring Orson Welles

Produced the drama anthology series "Alcoa Premiere" hosted by Fred Astaire and featuring star-studded casts

Writer for "Suspicion", an Alfred Hitchcock produced suspense anthology program aired on NBC

Joined the Royal Artillery during World War II; was later drafted into the Army Film Unit where he worked with Thorold Dickenson, Carol Reed and Peter Ustinov

Raised in London

"Checkmate", a detective series created by Ambler, aired on CBS

After dropping out of college, worked for an electrical-engineering company and later as an advertising copywriter

Writer for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"(CBS, NBC)

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