I’ve long been interested in the career of Alec Coppel, the Melbourne-born playwright who went on to write such films as Vertigo and was the first Australian writer to be nominated for an Oscar. I wrote an essay on Coppel’s career and work for the Australasian Drama Studies Journal (which can be accessed here).
Coppel’s first big success was his play, “I Killed the Count”, which was a West End hit during the late 30s – this launched him as a full-time writer and was subsequently turned into a film, radio play, and TV play. It was also adapted for Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1957 – and a copy of the episode has been put up on You Tube. Copies, rather – it’s in six parts (three episodes, two parts per episode – the first clip is here). It’s one of the best adaptations of Coppel’s work and is worth checking out if you like old-fashioned murder thrillers with a light touch.
Coppel didn’t do the adaptation himself but he did some uncredited work on To Catch a Thief as well as co-writing Vertigo.