|Title:||The Bells of San Juan|
|Tags:||fiction, short stories, western|
Alan Le May is the author of novels that became the classic films The Searchers and The Unforgiven. His short stories are no less memorable. Beginning in the 1920s, Le May was a frequent contributor of western stories to magazines. Here among the best of this collection is “The Little Kid.” Perhaps Le May’s most touching story, it is a poignant tale of a young boy who is orphaned when his father is killed on a cattle drive. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Le May, Alan
Alan Le May (June 3, 1899—April 27, 1964) was an American novelist and screenplay writer. Le May was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1899, and attended Stetson University in Florida and the University of Chicago, from which he graduated in 1922. He went into ranching in California, but the economic upheavals of the ’30s forced him into bankruptcy. Luckily, he had his literary career to fall back on, which eventually led him to Hollywood. He began writing fiction during the ’20s, generating a novel each year for more than a decade. It was in 1940 that Hollywood beckoned, and Le May was soon working at Paramount as a specialist in adventure stories.
He wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for North West Mounted Police, Reap the Wild Wind, and Blackbeard the Pirate. He wrote the original source novel for Along Came Jones, as well as a score of other screenplays including High Lonesome which he wrote and directed. Le May also wrote and produced (but did not direct) Quebec.
By the late ’60s, his bleak, lonely vision of the West had been squeezed out by the more violent sensibilities of the Italian-made Spaghetti Westerns and the growing liberalism of audiences. Alan Le May died in 1964 after an extended illness.
With over 11 novels, 5 short story collections, over 75 uncollected short stories, and 19 screenplays, he is most remembered for two classic Western novels, The Searchers (1954) and The Unforgiven (1957). They were adapted into the motion pictures The Searchers (1956; starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, and Natalie Wood and directed by John Ford) and The Unforgiven (1960; starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn, and directed by John Huston).
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