Screenwriter Borden Chase led a life that sounded more like something out of a novel. Born in Chicago in 1900 with the name Frank Fowler, he came of age just in time to become a driver for Frankie Yale, a gangster who made the mistake of trying to muscle in on territory controlled by Al Capone. Following Yale's sudden demise, Fowler was left without a job and ended up in New York working as a sandhog on the building of the Holland Tunnel. After leaving that job, he began driving a taxi, and it was while driving a cab that he also started writing. The result, in 1934, was his first novel, Sandhog, which was subsequently made into a movie by 20th Century Fox, entitled Under Pressure (1935). That production brought the author to Hollywood, where one of the first things he did was change his name; Frank Fowler became Borden Chase, the first name taken from the milk company and the last name from the bank.
Chase later sold the stories Midnight Taxi and Blue White and Perfect; Dr. Broadway and Devil's Party were also filmed, and by the mid-'40s, Chase had begun writing screenplays, starting with The Fighting Seabees, a John Wayne vehicle for Republic Pictures. Chase showed a penchant for scripts involving unusually complex motivations (by Hollywood standards) and complex interrelationships. The Fighting Seabees was among a group of scripts for Wayne in which he played characters whose flaws made them almost into antiheroes. In the film, Wayne plays a top construction engineer recruited into service with the United States Navy whose inability to follow orders results in the deaths of many members of his crew, and who redeems himself in the end by sacrificing his life to halt a Japanese advance. Chase subsequently wrote the screenplay for I've Always Loved You, a story steeped in art and male/female jealousy that keeps a couple apart for years and thwarts a woman's music career for most of her life.