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Russell Rouse (20 November 1913 – 2 October 1987) was an American screenwriter, director, and producer who is noted for the "offbeat creativity and originality" of his screenplays and for film noir movies and television episodes produced in the 1950s.
Rouse was the son of film pioneer Edwin Russell. His first employment in films was in the prop department at Paramount Studios, where he began writing screenplays. His play, Yokel Boy, was filmed in 1942 and became his first film writing credit.
Rouse has 18 credits as a screenwriter between 1942 and 1988.. Commencing with his third writing credit, The Town Went Wild (1944), Rouse co-wrote many stories and scripts with Clarence Greene. The partners are noted for their work on a series of six film noir movies commencing with D.O.A (directed by Rudolph Maté-1950). With the second film in the series, The Well (1951), they also took on directing and producing: Rouse as director, and Greene as producer. This collaboration continued through the noir series (The Thief (1952), Wicked Woman (1953), New York Confidential (1955), and House of Numbers (1957)) and beyond. In the late 1950s Greene and Rouse formed a production company, Greene-Rouse Productions, which created the film noir television series Tightrope that ran for one season (1959-60) as well as two films in the 1960s.
In addition to their noir work, Rouse and Greene produced two westerns (The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) and Thunder in the Sun (1959). The 1959 film, Pillow Talk, was based on their story. Their careers drew to a close shortly after the unsuccessful film, The Oscar (1966).
Rouse and Greene were nominated for the Academy Award for writing The Well (1951). They received the Academy Award for Pillow Talk (1959) (with Maurice Richlin and Stanley Shapiro). D.O.A. has been preserved in the National Film Registry; the film has been remade several times, and Rouse was credited as a writer on two: Color Me Dead (1969) and D.O.A (1988).
Rouse's son Christopher Rouse is a noted film editor.
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