I just learned of the death of Leo Marks in January; he was the screenwriter for one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever seen, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom. This New York Press obituary is worth reading, to start with for more about the furor around Peeping Tom. Marks was an original:

In 1958, English film director Michael Powell was casting about for a new collaborator, having split two years earlier with his longtime partner, Emeric Pressburger… Powell ran into producer Danny Angel, whose recent World War II espionage picture Carve Her Name with Pride had been well-received. As Powell recounts…, Angel asked him, “Are you still looking for a writer to work with you, like Pressburger did? Because, if you are, you ought to see Leo Marks. He’s as crazy as you are. He’s been working with me [on Carve Her Name]. Apparently, he was a codebreaker during the war, and he tells the tallest stories about it that I’ve ever heard… He can write poetry. He’s weird, I tell you. He lives double or triple lives, he’s difficult to get ahold of, and he’s full of mystery and conundrums.”

All true. Freshly turned 38, Leo Marks–World War II codebreaker (and codemaker), poet, raconteur, mufti of the mysterioso with high-voltage connections in the British Intelligence Service–had enjoyed a smidgen of success in London’s West End as a playwright with The Girl Who Couldn’t Quite! (1947) and The Best Damn Lie (1957), and as a screenwriter with Cloudburst (1951) and Carve Her Name.