Once you get past the glitter and the egos, Hollywood is essentially a working town, an industrial city like Pittsburgh or Detroit (San Jose and Silicon Valley are a modern example). You may never know the man who bolted the cup-holders into your Chevy. If you care to look, you can find out about the man who designed the car, and you can appreciate what a magnificent vehicle it is every morning while you are caught in morning traffic, but it just wouldn't be the same without the cup-holders.
We hear a lot about the big names in Hollywood, the stars and starlets, the studio bosses and the money men. We pay attention because, well, it is entertaining. We don't hear as much about the "factory floor" workers in Hollywood. Without their contributions, Hollywood's entertainment product would never make it to our neighborhood movie house, TV screen, or even our radios.
Jack Warner once dismissed the contributions of the talent he hired: "Actors? Schmucks. Writers? Schmucks with Underwoods." E. Jack Neuman was an extremely prolific Schmuck with an Underwood. Neuman was born in Ohio in 1921. By the late Forties, he found himself in Hollywood banging out scripts for radio programs.
Neuman specialized in Private Eye and Crime Stories. Many of his scripts would have fit nicely on the pages of Black Mask Magazine, the forum which helped to launch the careers of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Radio shamuses (shami?) could be just as pulpy as their magazine brethren, and Neuman was not above using a storyline more than once, simply refreshing it to fit a new set of characters.
In August of 1948, Jack Webb as Jeff Regan, Investigator, travels to a small mountain town and gets framed for two murders involving a big pipe smoking man. On May 22, 1949, Rocky Jordan is drawn out of his place in Cairo into the desert where he will be framed for two murders involving a big pipe smoking man. Regan's episode "The Prodigal Daughter", July 17, 1948, would be expanded to fit the five 15 minute episodes of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar in 1956's "The Pearling Matter".
Neuman left radio for bigger money in Television. He became a TV producer, as well as a writer, his best known production was the mini-series Inside The Third Reich.
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