Maltz, Albert

views updated


MALTZ, ALBERT (1908–1985), U.S. playwright and novelist. Maltz, who was born in Brooklyn, wrote his first play in 1931 in collaboration with George Sklar. Entitled Merry-Go-Round, it was an exposé of corrupt Tammany politics in New York City. Maltz became associated with the left-wing Theater Union for which he wrote an antiwar drama, Peace on Earth (with George Sklar, 1934), and Black Pit (1935). From the late 1930s he began writing novels, notably The Happiest Man on Earth (1938); The Underground Stream (1940); The Cross and the Arrow (1944), which was made into a motion picture; and The Journey of Simon McKeever (1949). He also published essays and the scenarios for films including This Gun for Hire (1942), Destination, Tokyo (1943), and Naked City (1948). In 1947, during the huac investigation of the motion picture industry, Maltz refused to "name names" and was indicted with several other Hollywood writers. He spent nine months in prison. After his release in 1951 he settled in Mexico. A later novel was A Long Day in a Short Life (1957). His Afternoon in the Jungle: The Selected Short Stories of Albert Maltz was published in 1970.

add. bibliography:

J. Salzman, Albert Maltz (1978)

[Milton Henry Hindus]