Thorne Smith

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Thorne Smith (mid 1920s) Thorne Smith.png
Thorne Smith (mid 1920s)

James Thorne Smith, Jr. (March 27, 1892 June 21, 1934) was an American writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction under the byline Thorne Smith. He is best known today for the two Topper novels, comic fantasy fiction involving sex, much drinking and ghosts. With racy illustrations, these sold millions of copies in the 1930s and were equally popular in paperbacks of the 1950s.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Contents

Smith drank as steadily as his characters; his appearance in James Thurber's The Years with Ross involves an unexplained week-long disappearance. When asked why he hadn't called-in sick, he retorted, "The telephone was in the hall and there was a draft." . [1] Smith was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a Navy commodore, and attended Dartmouth College. Following hungry years in Greenwich Village, working part-time as an advertising agent, Smith achieved meteoric success with the publication of Topper in 1926. He was an early resident of Free Acres, a social experimental community developed by Bolton Hall according to the economic principles of Henry George in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. [2] He died of a heart attack in 1934 while vacationing in Florida.

James Thurber American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright

James Grover Thurber was an American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, children's book author, and celebrated wit. He was best known for his cartoons and short stories published mainly in The New Yorker magazine, such as "The Catbird Seat", and collected in his numerous books. He was one of the most popular humorists of his time, as he celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people. He wrote the Broadway comedy The Male Animal in collaboration with his college friend Elliott Nugent; it was later adapted into a film starring Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland. His short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" has been adapted for film twice, once in 1947 and again in 2013.

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Works

Topper was made into a 1937 film starring Cary Grant as George Kerby, Constance Bennett as Marion Kerby, and Roland Young as Cosmo Topper. Two filmed sequels followed: Topper Takes a Trip , in 1939, and Topper Returns , in 1941. The latter film was not based on a book. Young reprised the role in the 1945 NBC radio summer replacement series The Adventures of Topper . [3] The books were adapted into an American television series, Topper , beginning in 1953, with Leo G. Carroll as Cosmo Topper, and Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys as the ghosts. Seventy-eight episodes were made. The pilot episode and a few of the early episodes were written by Stephen Sondheim.

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Dipsomania

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Shapeshifting The ability to physically transform through an inherent ability, divine intervention or magic

In mythology, folklore and speculative fiction, shapeshifting is the ability to physically transform through an inherently superhuman ability, divine intervention, demonic manipulation, or magic. The idea of shapeshifting is in the oldest forms of totemism and shamanism, as well as the oldest extant literature and epic poems such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad. The concept remains a common trope in conspiracy theories, modern fantasy, children's literature and popular culture.

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<i>Topper</i> (TV series) 1950s television series based on the film series

Topper is an American fantasy sitcom based on the 1937 film Topper, which was based on two novels Topper and Topper Takes a Trip by Thorne Smith. The series was broadcast on CBS from October 9, 1953 to July 15, 1955, and stars Leo G. Carroll in the title role. It finished at #24 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1954-1955 season. Topper also earned an Emmy nomination for Best Situation Comedy in 1954.

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Turnabout may refer to:

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<i>Turnabout</i> (film) 1940 film by Hal Roach

Turnabout is a 1940 comedy film directed by Hal Roach and starring Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis and John Hubbard. Based on the 1931 novel of the same name by Thorne Smith, the screenplay was written by Mickell Novack, Bernie Giler and John McClain with additional dialogue by Rian James. In 1979, the screenplay was adapted for the short-lived television series with the same name.

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Turnabout is an American sitcom that first aired on NBC in 1979 and was based on a 1931 novel of the same title by Thorne Smith. The plot was about a husband and wife who found themselves inhabiting each other's bodies. The series lasted seven episodes.

<i>The Adventures of Topper</i>

The Adventures of Topper is a radio situation comedy in the United States. It was broadcast on NBC June 7, 1945 - September 13, 1945, as a summer replacement for Dinah Shore's program.

References

  1. Thurber, James. The Years with Ross, 1959.
  2. Buchan, Perdita. "Utopia, NJ", New Jersey Monthly , February 7, 2008. Accessed February 27, 2011. "Free Acres had some famous residents in those heady early days: actors James Cagney and Jersey City–born Victor Kilian, writers Thorne Smith (Topper) and MacKinlay Kantor (Andersonville), and anarchist Harry Kelly, who helped found the Ferrer Modern School, centerpiece of the anarchist colony at Stelton in present-day Piscataway."
  3. http://www.thornesmith.net/Adventures-of-Topper.html
  4. Turnabout - TV.com at www.tv.com
  5. DeCandido, Keith R.A. "Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "Turnabout Intruder"". Tor. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  6. Fantasy and Science Fiction: Curiosities at www.sfsite.com

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