Biography of Charles Bennett
Charles Bennett (2 August 1899 – 15 June 1995) was an English playwright and screenwriter, probably best known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock.
Born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England, Bennett served in World War I and worked as an actor and writer, before finding success as a playwright in the 1920s. Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929), generally credited as the first British sound film, is based on Bennett's play of the same name.
His association with Hitchcock continued into the 1930s, with Bennett writing some of the latter's most famous British films - The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), Secret Agent (1936), Sabotage (1936), and Young and Innocent (1937). Bennett left England to work with Hitchcock on his second American film, Foreign Correspondent (1940). Bennett stayed in Hollywood, writing many screenplays and directing two films, Madness of the Heart (1949) and No Escape (1953).
He later worked in American television on such series as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wild Wild West and Land of the Giants. He also co-wrote, with Anthony Ellis, the first adaptation of a James Bond novel, the 1954 television production of Casino Royale. However, the best received of Bennett's later films was an adaptation of M. R. James's Casting the Runes, entitled Night of the Demon and directed by Jacques Tourneur in 1957. His last film was also directed by Tourneur in 1965, called The City Under the Sea and starred Vincent Price.
Bennett died in Los Angeles in 1995.