Thorne Smith on the Silver Screen

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Thorne Smith wrote a slew of light fantasy novels in the 1920s and 1930s.  Topper with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as an irreverent ghostly couple is the most famous adaptation of his novels.

Other adaptations are a TV series called Turnabout – an early body-swapping comedy; Passionate Witch – prototype for Bewitched ; the Stray Lamb – a man named Lamb transforms into different animals; Skin and Bones – a man and his dog turn into walking skeletons frightening all but those who truly see them; and the Glorious Pool – a fountain of youth in a swimming pool.

And then Night Life of the Gods in which a man can make stone into living creatures and heads off the the Metropolitan Museum of Art to turn the Greek Gods alive. They wreck funny havoc.

But coming soon is a fantasy movie, Gods Behaving Badly with Alicia Silverstone. It doesn’t say so but you bet your boots it’s inspired by Thorne Smith.

So many of our light fantasy films owe him much.


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