Clifford Odets was an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. In the mid-1930s he was widely seen as the potential successor to Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, as O'Neill began to withdraw from Broadway's commercial pressures and increasing critical backlash. From January 1935 Odets' socially relevant dramas were extremely influential, particularly for the remainder of the Great Depression. His works inspired the next several generations of playwrights, including Arthur Miller, Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon, and David Mamet. After the production of his play Clash by Night in the 1941–'42 season, Odets focused his energies primarily on film projects, remaining in Hollywood for the next seven years. He returned to New York in 1948 for five and a half years, during which time he produced three more Broadway plays, only one of which was a success. His prominence was eventually eclipsed by Miller, Tennessee Williams, and in the early- to mid-1950s, by William Inge.