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MacDonald, Philip

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1900-1980) UK-born screenwriter and author of detective novels, son of Ronald MacDonald and grandson of George MacDonald, in California from 1931. He was best known for a series of detective novels, most featuring the amateur investigator Anthony Gethryn, beginning with The Rasp (1924) and including the remarkable serial-killer procedurals Murder Gone Mad (1931) and X v. Rex (1933 as by Martin Porlock; vt Mystery of the Dead Police 1933; vt The Mystery of Mr. X 1934); at least four of his mysteries, including Gethryn's final case The List of Adrian Messenger (1959), were filmed. MacDonald's twenty-three screenplay credits include Rebecca (1940), The Body Snatcher (1945) and the sf Robot film Tobor the Great (1954). He began publishing work of genre interest with "Private – Keep Out!" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in Fall 1949, but is of importance to sf primarily for Forbidden Planet (1956) as by W J Stuart, a novel Tie to Forbidden Planet (1956), in which he did a creditable job of carrying over a sense of the quality of the film. [PN/JC/DRL]

Philip MacDonald

born London: 5 November 1900

died Woodland Hills, California: 10 December 1980



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