Saturday, April 13, 2013

A to Z Challenge - L is for Levin

Ira Levin, 1929 - 2007, was a versatile author and playwright. After he graduated from college, having attended attended Drake University in Iowa, the Horace Mann School, and New York University, he wrote training films and scripts for radio and television.

Levin's first produced play was No Time for Sergeants , which he adapted from a novel by Mac Hyman novel. The comedy about a country boy who is drafted into the U.S. Air Force starred Andy Griffith. The play was adapted for film in 1958 and later developed into a 1964 television comedy series. No Time for Sergeants is generally considered the precursor to Gomer Pyle, USMC.

Levin also wrote novels, and he won the 1954 Edgar Award for best first novel with A Kiss Before Dying. The novel was twice adapted for film, first in 1956 and again in 1991. I have not read the book or seen the movie, but I plan to do both as soon as I can. In 1982, Levin won his second Edgar for his play, Deathtrap, which holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway. It adapted well to film, and I enjoyed the 1982 movie that starred Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine.

While I was familiar with Deathtrap and No Time For Sergeants, I did not know that Levin also wrote the novel Rosemary's Baby. I guess I did not pay close enough attention to the writing credits when I saw the film. But it was so scary, who bothered, right? I also did not know that he wrote The Boys from Brazil, which was turned into a movie in 1978; The Stepford Wives, which was filmed in 1975 and again in 2004, and Sliver in 1993.

One of the nicest benefits of the blog challenge is the opportunity to learn so many new things, either by researching for our own blog posts or reading the others in the challenge.  I'm learning all about retro televisions shows from Jeremy at Retro-Zombie, and I learned how to make the ugliest pie ever from Jenny at Choice City Native. Sorry, Jenny, but even you said the pie was ugly.

If you've been following the Challenge, what are some of the things you have learned?


Francene Stanley said...

I've learned that people who blog are kind. Spare lemons have a myriad of uses, look inside your depths to face your fear, and use back-story sparingly iwhen writing novels. Hehe.
A - Z Challenge

Francene Stanley said...

The setting gave me no trouble. I think that's the right one. I had the same thing--annonymous commented maybe four times a day with spam until I asked for registered users.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for stopping by Francene. When I had trouble with spam it was hundreds every day for several days. It made my comments numbers look good and I was really excited for maybe two seconds. LOL

Misha Gericke said...

I'm learning and remembering everywhere I go, it seems.

Like now. I've never heard about Mr. Levin before, but I've seen a few of the movies based on his plays. :-)

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