Adapting Evil

download.jpgOne of the most common and clichéd questions in reading groups is, Which was better: the book or the movie? In order to retain your elitist card you must unhesitatingly announce, The Book, of course! But it’s not always true.

Many times the authors, even though their books are quite good, tend to spread the narrative loosely over several characters and numerous scenes; they might even throw in a secondary plot or two or a particularly juicy love interest. Then when they go to make the movie they discover that all the by-the-page profits from the original publisher are never going to cover the extra cost for film and self-absorbed actors, so the writer of the movie script might combine a few characters or scenes, eliminate extraneous material which is not needed to advance the narrative, and hopefully create a tighter, more marketable product for the Silver Screen.

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R. I. P. Brandon deWilde

MDP HSWhen I was very young, just old enough to take a date to the drive-in theater, I fell deeply in love with a fascinating and brilliant young woman. Although we didn’t use the phrase back then, I will allow that she rocked my world.

I remember that we attempted to watch a double-bill featuring Paul Newman in Hud and Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field. Something kept fogging up the windshield making it difficult to see the screen so we had to come back a couple of weeks later to see what all we missed the first time. Despite this being our first real date, I confessed to her that I was in love. She contended that it was just glands.

Well, wherever she is today, I want her to know that I got old and my glands retired, but I still have those same feelings for her that I called love over fifty years ago.

Now where did I put my cane?

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Smurf’s Are Blue

HudI’m certain Larry McMurtry readers are intimately familiar with McMurtry’s first novel, Horseman, Pass By. If your memory is a little faded, I’ll remind you that the novel was adapted into the award winning film, Hud. This film won Academy Awards for Melvyn Douglas and for Patricia Neal. It was also famous for denying Paul Newman in one of the actor’s best cinematic roles. If you poke around the other awards won that year, Hud was almost unbeatable.

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