James Ashmore Creelman

Biography

Active in Hollywood from 1924, James Ashmore Creelman was in on the ground floor at fledgling RKO radio studios in 1929. Creelman either produced or wrote several seminal RKO features, including Rudy Vallee's Vagabond Lover, Wheeler & Woolsey's Half Shot at Sunrise (1930) and the experimental wide-screen effort Danger Lights (1930). A veteran scrivener of adventure stories, he worked on many of RKO's best thrillers. It was Creelman who added the sexual element to the villainous Count Zaroff's bloodlust in 1932's The Most Dangerous Game ("First hunt the enemy, then the woman.") He went on to collaborate with Merian C. Cooper on the storyline for RKO's premiere adventure attraction, King Kong (1933). Useful though he was in conjuring up perilous situations, he reportedly had trouble confining his imagination within the film's budgetary limitations, which may be why he didn't contribute as much to the final shooting script of King Kong as his co-writers. In addition to his film credits, James Ashmore Creelman was a prolific playwright; his theatrical piece Jazz King was filmed in 1932 as Dancers in the Dark. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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