Frank Leon Smith, the Superman of Spinning Serial Scripts!

Fire Detective Frank Leon Smith

Frank Leon Smith

Frank Leon Smith was a short story writer,[1] and he worked for the Adams Newspaper Service,[2] which was a syndicator of columns to various newspapers across the country.  Mr. Smith had nearly twenty short stories published before his first scenario was filmed. He was considered a man of perseverance; persistence was used as a moniker by Charles B. Driscoll in his column (New York Day by Day) describing Smith, primarily because he submitted stories to the Saturday Evening Post for thirty years before being accepted.[3] Much of Smith’s writing success came in the 1930’s and 40’s, capitalizing on his work in the movies. In 1945 Frank Leon Smith’s short story Venus Didn’t Diet, was produced for radio.[4]

In total as a writer Smith was involved with twenty-one movies, and he had a partial, albeit an uncredited turn as director, in Ruth of the Range, 1923; he replaced W. S. Van Dyke and the director of credit for the flick was Ernest C. Warde.

Frank Leon Smith wrote such popular chapter-plays as:

Bound and Gagged, 1919

Galloping Hoofs, 1924

The Green Archer, 1925

The Fighting Marine, (starring heavyweight boxing champion: Gene Tunney), 1926

The House Without a Key (adaptation from the Earl Derr Biggers novel), 1926



[1] The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) January 2, 1921

[2] The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) March 15, 1940

[3] The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) March 15, 1940

[4] Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) October 27, 1945


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