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Ambler, Eric

Page history last edited by Jon 10 years, 8 months ago

Eric AmblerSource: Wikipedia


Eric Ambler (28 June 1909 - 22 October 1998) was an influential English writer who essentially invented the modern spy novel. Born in London England, Ambler also used the pseudonym Eliot Reed for books co-written with Charles Rodda. His family were entertainers, putting on a type of puppet show, with which he helped. Later he studied engineering at London University and served an apprenticeship with an engineering company before working in advertising. His family background proved dominant, and Ambler soon moved to writing plays and other works. He moved to Paris for a few years, where he married Louise Crombie, and later married Joan Harrison, a writer and producer.


When World War II broke out, Ambler entered the army as a common soldier, serving briefly in the Royal Artillery. He was soon re-assigned to photographic units, where his talents could be better utilized. He ended the war as a Lieutenant Colonel and assistant director of the army film unit.


After the war, he continued in the civilian film industry as a screen-writer. He did not resume writing under his own name until 1951, thus breaking his writings into two distinct periods. Five of his six early works are regarded as classic thrillers. He won many awards for writing.


His best known works are probably The Mask of Dimitrios, which became a classic film noir in 1944, and The Light of Day, filmed in 1964 as Topkapi, and subsequently lampooned in The Pink Panther. He was also a successful screenwriter who, in his later years, lived in Los Angeles. Amongst other classic movies based on his works are Journey Into Fear (starring Orson Welles) and The October Man. Later he lived in Switzerland for sixteen years before returning to England. He published his autobiography in 1981, Here Lies Eric Ambler.


Ambler died in London.




The Dark Frontier (1936)

Uncommon Danger {aka Background to Danger - US} (1937)

Epitaph for a Spy (1938)

Cause for Alarm (1938)

The Mask of Dimitrios {aka A Coffin for Dimitrios - US} (1939)

Journey into Fear (1940)

Skytip (1950)] {as Eliot Reed}

Judgment on Deltchev (1951)

Tender to Danger (1951)] {as Eliot Reed} {aka Tender to Moonlight}

The Schirmer Inheritance (1953)

The Maras Affair (1953)] {as Eliot Reed}

Charter to Danger (1954)] {as Eliot Reed}

The Night-Comers (1956)] {aka State of Siege}

Passport to Panic (1958)] {as Eliot Reed}

Passage of Arms (1959)

The Light of Day (1962)] {aka Topkapi}

The Ability to Kill: And Other Pieces [SS (1963)

A Kind of Anger (1964)

Dirty Story (1967)] {aka This Gun for Hire}

The Intercom Conspiracy (1969)] {aka The Quiet Conspiracy}

The Levanter (1972)

Doctor Frigo (1974)

Send No More Roses (1977)] {aka The Siege of the Villa Lipp - US}

The Care of Time (1981)

Here Lies: An Autobiography (1985)

Waiting for Orders (1991) {aka The Story so Far}

  • The Intrusions of Dr Czissar
  • The Army of Shadows
  • The Blood Bargain


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