|Name James Bellah|
|Children James Bellah|
Ex-spouse Helen Lasater Hopkins
|Died September 22, 1976, Los Angeles, California, United States|
Movies The Man Who Shot Liberty V, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, Sergeant Rutledge
Similar People Frank Nugent, Dorothy M Johnson, William H Clothier, Laurence Stallings, John Ford
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James Warner Bellah (September 14, 1899 in New York City – September 22, 1976 in Los Angeles, California) was a popular American Western author from the 1930s to the 1950s. His pulp-fiction writings on cavalry and Indians were published in paperbacks or serialized in the Saturday Evening Post.
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- War years
- Fort Starke Civil War and Other Military Stories
Bellah was the author of 19 novels, including The Valiant Virginian (the inspiration for the 1961 NBC television series The Americans), and Blood River. Some of his short stories were turned into films by John Ford, including Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Rio Grande. With Willis Goldbeck he wrote the screenplay for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. In 1966 he wrote a High Noon TV pilot called "The Clock Strikes Noon Again", about Will Kane Jr., played by Peter Fonda. Bellah was glad to have Katy Jurado reprising her "Helen Ramirez" character from the original High Noon film.
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In World War I, Bellah enlisted in the Canadian Army, and served as a pilot in the 117th Squadron of Great Britain's Royal Flying Corps. These experiences formed the basis of his 1928 novel Gods of Yesterday. During World War II, Bellah served in the United States Army, starting as a lieutenant in the 16th Infantry, was detailed to the General Staff Corps before Pearl Harbor, and was later assigned to Headquarters 1st Infantry Division, later with the 80th Infantry Division. Later he served on the staff of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten in Southeast Asia. He was attached to General Wingate's Chindits in combat in Burma, and to General Stillwell and to Colonel Cochran's 1st Air Commando Group. He left the service with the rank of Colonel.
In the 1930s he worked as a journalist for the New York Post. He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of California beginning in 1952.
His short story "Spanish Man's Grave" is considered by some to be one of the finest American Western stories ever written. His last script was A Thunder of Drums. Bellah's depiction of the Apache is protested by some and lauded as realistic by others.
In the early stages of his career, Elmore Leonard modelled his style closely after Bellah's writing.
He died of a heart attack in Los Angeles during a visit to his friend James Francis, Cardinal McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles.
Fort Starke, Civil War and Other Military Stories
Fort Starke Stories Collected in Reveille published by Fawcett Gold Medal in 1962 and Massacre published by Lion 1950:
Collected only in Massacre:
Flint Cohill also appears in Ordeal on Blood River, Bellah’s final serial for The Saturday Evening Post published Oct 17, Oct 24, Oct 31, Nov 7, & Nov 14, 1959 and published in paperback by Ballantine in 1959.
Civil War Stories:
Collected in The Valiant Virginians published by Ballantine in 1953.
Other Military Stories collected in Fighting Man. USA
Collected in There Will Be War (Jerry Pournelle, ed.) published by Tor in 1986:
This was the only non-science fiction story in this anthology about future war.