Fans of old-time radio have no doubt enjoyed adaptations of the gritty fiction of James M. Cain. Cain, whose 1892 birthday we commemorate today, wrote Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. These classics were adapted into bracing radio dramas by such programs as Screen Guild Theater and Lux Radio Theater.
Cain was a tough customer whose contribution to the "hard-boiled" noir genre was a bit different from those of writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, since he wrote about the criminal rather than the detective. He also explored human depravity, applying keen psychological insight. He was drawn to the unsympathetic character and often featured one manipulative criminal seducing another into a web of evil. No wonder radio producers were drawn to his work. We salute, thee, James M. Cain.