Clinton H. Stagg

Clinton Holland Stagg (November 1888 – 3 May 1916) was an American screenwriter, journalist, and author.

Clinton H. Stagg
BornClinton Holland Stagg
November 1888
Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died(1916-05-03)3 May 1916 (aged 27)
Santa Monica, California, United States
OccupationAuthor, Screenwriter
GenreMystery fiction
Notable worksSilver Sandals (1916); High Speed (1916); Thornley Colton, Blind Reader of Hearts (1915)

Career as an authorEdit

Stagg created the fictional sleuth Thornley Colton, known as Problemist, the genre's first blind detective[1] living in New York City in the early 20th century. The independently wealthy Colton relies on his intelligence and superb senses, honed due to his blindness, and takes only the most difficult cases for the sheer pleasure of solving mysteries, often clashing with the NYPD along the way.[2]

The Problemist series includes 8 short stories and the novel, Silver Sandals (New York : W. J. Watt & Company, 1916)." In addition, Stagg is the author the short story collection Thornley Colton, Blind Reader of Hearts (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Company: 1915) and the novel High Speed (New York : W. J. Watt & Company, 1916).

Stagg also was employed by a newspaper in Newark, New Jersey, wrote numerous short stories and magazine articles, and later became a screenwriter of 'photoplays' during Hollywood's early era.[3]

Career as a screenwriterEdit

In Hollywood, Stagg was employed by the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation and the Thanhouser Company (later the Thanhouser Film Corporation, which operated until 1918).

Stagg's filmography includes:

1916 A Gutter Magdalene (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Carriage of Death (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Race (scenario / as Clinton Stagg)

1916 The Fifth Ace (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Whispered Word (short) (story / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Reunion (short) (story / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Spirit of the Game (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Knotted Cord (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 The Burglars' Picnic (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

1916 In the Name of the Law (short) (scenario / as Clinton H. Stagg)

Two of Stagg's works, the novel High Speed (1916) and his short story "Teeth" (published posthumously in the defunct People's Magazine, 22:1-74, February 1917), were dramatized after his death in the films High Speed (1920)[4] and the Tom Mix vehicle Teeth (1924).[5]


Stagg was killed along with his friend, writer Malcolm Strong, when the automobile he was driving overturned on a rural road in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles. According to The New York Times of 5 May 1916: "The loss of a front tire caused the accident. The automobile ran into a pole and overturned, pinning Strong and Stagg under it."[6] Stagg's friend, Thanhouser director George Foster Platt, was hospitalized after the wreck, but survived.


  1. ^ "Thornley Colton, Problemist". Vintage Sleuths. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  2. ^ "Silver Sandals". Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  3. ^ "Stories, Listed by Author". The FictionMags Index. Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  4. ^ Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Volume 17, Issue 1. Library of Congress, Copyright Office. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  5. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in 1921-1930. University of California Press. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  6. ^ "New York Authors Killed" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-03.

External linksEdit

Clinton H. Stagg at IMDb