Curt Siodmak's picture

Curt Siodmak

Germany (1902 - 2000)

Curt Siodmak was a novelist and screenwriter, author of the novel Donovan's Brain, which was made into a number of films. He also wrote the novels Hauser's Memory and Gabriel's Body.

Born Kurt Siodmak in Dresden, Germany, Curt Siodmak acquired a degree in mathematics before beginning to write novels. He invested early royalties earned by his first books in the movie Menschen am Sonntag (1929), a documentary-style chronicle of the lives of four Berliners on a Sunday based on their own lives. The movie was co-directed by Curt Siodmak's older brother Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, with a script by Billy Wilder.

In the following years Curt Siodmak wrote many novels, screenplays and short stories including the novel F.P.1 Antwortet Nicht (F.P.1 Doesn't Answer) (1933) which became a popular movie starring Hans Albers and Peter Lorre.

Siodmak decided to emigrate after hearing an anti-semitic tirade by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and departed for England where he made a living as a screenwriter before travelling to the USA in 1937.

His big break came with the screenplay for The Wolf Man (1941) which established this fictional creature as the most popular movie monster after Dracula and Frankenstein's monster.

In The Wolf Man Siodmak made reference to many werewolf legends: being marked by a pentagram; being practically immortal apart from being struck/shot by silver implements/bullets; and the famous verse:

   "Even a man who is pure in heart, And says his prayers by night May become a Wolf when the Wolfbane blooms And the autumn Moon is bright" (the last line was changed in the sequels to The Moon is full and bright).

Siodmak's science-fiction novel Donovan's Brain (1942) was a bestseller and was adapted for the cinema several times. Other notable films he wrote include Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, I Walked With a Zombie and The Beast With Five Fingers.

Genres: Science Fiction
Non fiction
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Anthologies containing stories by Curt Siodmak
Short stories
Fp 1 Does Not Reply (1933)

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