Warren's novel was the basis of two motion pictures, a 1949 film and a more recent 2006 film, and the 1981 opera Willie Stark by American composer Carlisle Floyd. The 1949 film won three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Broderick Crawford, playing the Long role.
There is a prominent mention of Long in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire and other film versions.
In popular music, singer-songwriter Randy Newman featured Long in two songs on the 1974 album Good Old Boys (Reprise). "Every Man a King", originally written and recorded by Long and Castro Carazo, is followed by "Kingfish" (a reference to Long's famous nickname). Sung from the point of view of Long, "Kingfish" discusses his popularity in his prime, the building of the Airline Highway, and refers to "The Kingfish" as "friend of the working man"an allusion to Long's unwavering popularity amongst the working classes. It attributes the reason for this to his populist ideologies:
Who took on the Standard Oil men
And whipped their ass,
Just like he promised he'd do?
Ain't no Standard Oil men gonna run this state,
Gonna be run by little folks like me and you.
Bloom, Harold. Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men (1987) online edition
Boulard, Garry. Huey Long: His Life in Photos, Drawings, and Cartoons. Gretna, La.: Pelican, 2003. 127 pp.
Perry, Keith Ronald. The Kingfish in Fiction: Huey P. Long and the Modern American Novel (2004) 224pp
Since 1999, the British Crime Writers' Association has awarded the CWA Historical Dagger award to novels in the genre. The Left Coast Crime conference has presented its Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery award (for mysteries set prior to 1950) since 2004.
Though the term "whodunit" was coined sometime in the early 1930s, it has been argued that the detective story itself has its origins as early as the 429 BC Sophocles play Oedipus Rex and the 10th century tale "The Three Apples" from One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights). During China's Ming Dynasty (13681644), gong'an ("crime-case") folk novels were written in which government magistratesprimarily the historical Di Renjie of the Tang Dynasty (618907) and Bao Zheng of the Song Dynasty (9601279)investigate cases and then as judges determine guilt and punishment. The stories were set in the past but contained many anachronisms. Robert van Gulik came across the 18th century anonymously-written Chinese manuscript Di Gong An, in his view closer to the Western tradition of detective fiction than other gong'an tales and so more likely to appeal to non-Chinese readers, and in 1949 published it in English as Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee. He subsequently wrote his own Judge Dee stories (19511968) in the same style and time period.
Perhaps the first modern English work that can be classified as both historical fiction and a mystery however is the 1911 Melville Davisson Post story "The Angel of the Lord", which features amateur detective Uncle Abner in pre-American Civil War West Virginia. Barry Zeman of the Mystery Writers of America calls the Uncle Abner short stories "the starting point for true historical mysteries." In the 22 Uncle Abner tales Post wrote between 1911 and 1928, the character puzzles out local mysteries with his keen observation and knowledge of the Bible. It was not until 1943 that American mystery writer Lillian de la Torre did something similar in the story "The Great Seal of England", casting 18th century literary figures Samuel Johnson and James Boswell into Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson roles in what would become the first of her Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector series of stories. In 1944 Agatha Christie published Death Comes as the End, a mystery novel set in ancient Egypt and the first full-length historical whodunit. In 1950, John Dickson Carr published the second full-length historical mystery novel called The Bride of Newgate, set at the close of the Napoleonic Wars.