1946 – Dead Reckoning: Bogart and Nanovic

Dead Reckoning - 1946

Just finished watching the 1946 move Dead Reckoning by Columbia Pictures.  This is a noir movie featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott.  Bogart is a paratroop captain in the army.  He is in a southern town seeking his missing friend.  The story involves death, gangster, mobsters, and a woman. At one point in the story, Bogart is searching an office for a letter that is written in code.  He finds a piece of paper where someone has been working on a cypher. 

Then he spots a book and picks it up naming it the “Lysing Book of Code.”  This segment occurs at 1:04:12 into the movie.  The Lysing Book of Code

John Nanovic, the editor of Doc Savage Magazine had authored a book in 1936 titled “Secret Writing.”  Nanovic used the pen name Henry Lysing for the book.

Lysing also showed up in a 1942 Columbia Pictures serial titled “The Secret Code.”  John Nanovic had worked as consultant for that serial.  His credit is listed as Henry Lysing.

There is little doubt that the book referenced in the movie is the one by John Nanovic.  Any shadow of doubt is removed when one sees that Steve Fisher wrote the screenplay.  By 1947, Fisher had already established himself in Hollywood with several movies to his credit. Before then, Fisher was selling stories to John Nanovic over at Street & Smith.  Readers may also recall that Lester Dent ended up with Fisher’s Great Dane, Johnny.

Steve Fisher’s stories in Doc Savage Magazine

August 1935 – “Stowaway”
November 1936 – “On the Bottom of the Sea”
February 1937  – “Flames in the Wild”
April 1937 – “Murder on Ice”
September 1941 – “No More Medals”