After-Dinner Story

After-Dinner Story is a 1944 short story collection by American crime writer Cornell Woolrich under the pseudonym William Irish. It comprises six stories, and includes two of Woolrich's best known works, novella Marihuana and Rear Window (originally published in Dime Detective Magazine under the title "It Had to be Murder"),[1] which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954.[2]

After-Dinner Story
AuthorCornell Woolrich (as William Irish)
CountryUnited States
Publication date

Story Summaries

  • After-Dinner Story - Six men were trapped in an elevator after a terrifying accident. But that can't explain how, by the time they are rescued, one of them has been shot to death. The death is labelled as a suicide until, a year later, the murdered man's father invites the survivors of the accident together to tell them "an after dinner story".
  • The Night Reveals - An insurance agent suspects his wife of being a dangerous pyromaniac behind a recent spree of deadly housefires. But how can he be sure, and how can he stop her?
  • An Apple a Day - This story centres around a criminal who after desperately stealing ten thousand dollars unwittingly throws away five times that sum with the toss of an apple.
  • Marihuana - Depressed after breaking up with his wife Eleanor, Vinnie is pressured into trying marijuana for the first time by his friends. Under the influence, he turns into a psychotic spree killer and starts a night of rampage on the city.
  • Rear Window - After breaking his leg, Hal Jeffries has nothing better to do than sit at the window and observe his neighbours in the apartment building across the way. Soon he starts to realise something isn't quite right in one of the apartments - can he really be witnessing the aftermath of a murder?
  • Murder-Story - A writer becomes a prime suspect in a murder case, especially after the police discover one of his unpublished stories almost exactly recounts what must have happened the night of the crime.


After-Dinner Story and The Night Reveals were both adapted for the Suspense radio show in October[3] and March[4] 1943 respectively.

Rear Window was adapted into the highly acclaimed 1954 movie by director Alfred Hitchcock and starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly.

Publication History

After-Dinner Story was first published in the United States in 1944 by Lippincott. It was reprinted in paperback in 1948 under the title "Six Times Death."


  1. ^ "Rear Window". Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  2. ^ Hitchcock, Alfred (September 1954), Rear Window, James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, retrieved 2017-10-28
  3. ^ "The After Dinner Story by Suspense". Relic Radio. 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  4. ^ "Escape and Suspense!: Suspense - The Night Reveals". Retrieved 2017-10-28.

External links

Rachels, David. "Noirboiled Notes". Retrieved 2017-10-28.

Alan Ladd

Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 – January 29, 1964) was an American actor and film and television producer. Ladd found success in film in the 1940s and early 1950s, particularly in Westerns such as Shane (1953) and in films noir. He was often paired with Veronica Lake, in noirish films such as This Gun for Hire (1942), The Glass Key (1942) and The Blue Dahlia (1946).

His other notable credits include Two Years Before the Mast (1946), Whispering Smith, his first Western and color film, (1948) and The Great Gatsby (1949). His popularity diminished in the late 1950s, though he continued to appear in popular films until his accidental death due to a lethal combination of alcohol, a barbiturate, and two tranquilizers.

Cornell Woolrich

Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich (December 4, 1903 – September 25, 1968) was an American novelist and short story writer who wrote using the name Cornell Woolrich, and sometimes the pseudonyms William Irish and George Hopley.

His biographer, Francis Nevins Jr., rated Woolrich the fourth best crime writer of his day, behind Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler. A check of film titles reveals that more film noir screenplays were adapted from works by Woolrich than any other crime novelist, and many of his stories were adapted during the 1940s for Suspense and other dramatic radio programs.

List of Armed Services Editions

Armed Services Editions (ASEs) were small paperback books of fiction and nonfiction that were distributed in the American military during World War II. From 1943 to 1947, some 122 million copies of more than 1,300 ASE titles were published and printed by the Council on Books in Wartime (CBW) and distributed to servicemembers, with whom they were enormously popular.

This list of all 1,322 ASEs is based, unless otherwise indicated, on the data in appendix B to Molly Guptill Manning's book When Books Went To War (2014), a history of the ASEs and related efforts to promote wartime reading in the United States. Some full author names are taken from the list in the appendix to John Y. Cole's study of the ASEs from 1984.

Otto Kruger

Otto Kruger (September 6, 1885 – September 6, 1974) was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.

Suspense (U.S. TV series)

Suspense is an American television anthology series that ran on CBS Television from 1949 to 1954. It was adapted from the radio program of the same name which ran from 1942 to 1962.

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