Morton Freedgood

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Morton Freedgood (1913-April 16, 2006) was an American author who wrote The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and many other detective and mystery novels under the pen name John Godey.

Biography[edit]

Freedgood was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York in 1913 and began writing at a young age. In the 1940s, he had several articles and short stories published in Cosmopolitan, Collier's, Esquire and other magazines while working full-time in the motion picture industry in New York City. He held public relations and publicity posts for United Artists, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and other companies for several years before focusing on his writing.

His novel The Wall-to-Wall Trap was published under his own name in 1957. He then began using the pen name John Godey—borrowed from the name of a 19th-century women's magazine—to differentiate his crime novels from his more serious writing.

As Godey, he achieved commercial success with the books A Thrill a Minute With Jack Albany, Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Kill Today and The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome. He saw his Jack Albany stories turned into the 1968 Walt Disney film Never a Dull Moment, starring Dick Van Dyke. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, his novel about the hijacking of a New York City Subway train, was a best seller in 1973 and was made into the 1974 movie starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw, a 1998 TV-movie remake of the same title, and a 2009 theatrical-feature remake, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

His work was later referenced in the film Reservoir Dogs and Beastie Boys song Sure Shot.

He died April 16, 2006 in his home in West New York, NJ.

Bibliography[edit]

Published under his pen name John Godey unless otherwise noted.

Year Title Type/Notes
1947 Yankee Trader Novel - historical fiction. Written with his brother Stanley under the pseudonym "Stanley Morton". Published by Sheridan House.
1947 The Gun and Mr. Smith Novel. Published by Doubleday/Crime Club.
1948 The Blue Hour Novel. Published by Doubleday/Crime Club.
1951 The Man in Question Novel. Published by Doubleday/Crime Club.
1953 This Year's Death Novel. Published by Doubleday/Crime Club.
1957 The Wall-to-Wall Trap Novel. Written under his own name. Published by Simon & Schuster.
1959 The Clay Assassin Novel. Published by T.V. Boardman-UK.
1960 The Fifth House Novel. Published by T.V. Boardman-UK.
1967 A Thrill a Minute with Jack Albany Novel. Character Jack Albany. Published by Simon & Schuster. Released as The Reluctant Assassin in 1966 by Robert Hale Ltd-UK.
1970 Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Kill Today Novel. Character Jack Albany. Published by Random House.
1972 The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome Novel. Published by Random House. Basis for the 1989 film Johnny Handsome.
1973 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Novel. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Filmed in 1974.
1974 The Crime of the Century and Other Misdemeanors: Recollections of Boyhood Memoir (of Morton Freedgood under his pen name John Godey). Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
1976 The Talisman Novel. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
1978 The Snake Novel. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
1981 Nella Novel. Published by Delacorte Press.
1984 Fatal Beauty Novel. Published by Atheneum.