RARA-AVIS: Re: David Goodis/Films/Research

Wed, 31 Mar 1999 08:10:51 EST Shoot The Piano Player

There is a reference book solely devoted to the film Shoot The Piano Player,
edited by Peter Brunette, and published by Roundhouse, Oxford, 1993. 263pp
Although it has an introduction which discusses the film's 'postmodern text'
(a phrase I always dread) there is plenty to enjoy including the full script,
3 interviews with Truffaut and 2 articles BY Truffaut, 9 contemporaneous
reviews of the film, and 11 articles about the film, Truffaut, New Wave etc.
There are also lots of lovely photos.

I found a pile of these in a shop (in the UK) about a year ago and have never
seen it elsewhere. If anyone is interested in me picking up a copy for them if
there are any left (I plan to visit the shop again in a month) please e-mail
me privately.

Of course, this kind of book always ignores the source novel, although an
interesting point was made that the conversation between Plyne and Charlie
that opens the film, and the dialogue between the bandits Momo and Ernest,
have actually been lifted wholesale from another Goodis book, Nightfall.

There is another book on the film: Focus On 'Shoot The Piano Player' by Leo
Braudy, Prentice-Hall, 1972 which I have not seen, but it seems to also
contain interviews with Truffaut - perhaps the same ones.

The Goodis Movies

To update Mark Sullivan's list published in the last digest:

1947 -- The Unfaithful (Vincent Sherman, dir), Goodis co-screenplay from The
Letter by W Somerset Maugham
1947 -- Dark Passage (Delmer Daves), Goodis co-screenplay from his novel
1956 -- Section des Disparus (Pierre Chenal), from Of Missing Persons
1956 -- Nightfall (Jacques Tourneur), from the novel
1957 -- The Burglar (Paul Wendkos), Goodis screenplay from his novel
1960 -- Tirez sur le Pianiste, AKA Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut), from
Down There (and Nightfall)
1971 -- Le Casse AKA The Burglars (Henri Verneuil), from Burglar
1972 -- La Course du Lievre a Travers les Champs, AKA And Hope to Die
(Rene Clement), from Black Friday and The Raving Beauty/Somebody's Done
1983 -- La Lune Dans Le Canivaux, AKA Moon in the Gutter (Jean-Jacques
Beineix), from the novel
1984 -- Rue Barbare, AKA Street Of The Damned (Gilles Behat), from Street Of
The Lost
1986 -- Descente Aux Enfers (Francis Girod), from The Wounded And The Slain
1989 -- Sans Espoir De Retour AKA Street Of No Return (Sam Fuller), from the

I've seen six of these movies and they range from the great (Tirez, Nightfall)
to the good (Dark Passage, Burglar) to the appalling (Sans Espoir). Stick to
the books if you can find them.

This information was gathered from David Goodis/Pulps Pictured, a BFI
companion brochure to a season of films based on Goodis books. Included are
articles by Adrian Wootton, Nick Kimberley, Fran篩s Guerif and Samuel Fuller
about Goodis' life, books and films, profusely illustrated.

Talking About Goodis

James Sallis has written a long essay on Goodis, which is published in
Difficult Lives (his other two essays are about Jim Thompson and Chester
Himes, so worth picking up), available for $12 (plus post I guess) from Gyphon
Publications, PO Box 209, Brooklyn, NY 11228-0209, USA.

Our own Eddie Duggan wrote Life's A Bitch - David Goodis which appeared in
Crime Time 2.1. www.crimetime.demon.co.uk

David Goodis - Poet Of The Losers by Dave Moore was in Paperbacks, Pulps And
Comics Volume 3, which includes a novel and short story bibliography.
Available for £4 from Zardoz Books, 20 Whitecroft, Dilton Marsh, Westbury,
Wilts BA13 4DJ, UK.

And finally, we still await the translation into English of Philippe Garnier's
biography Goodis: La Vie En Noir Et Blanc (1994) which I'm sure helped to
continue the recent French run of film adaptations. I believe someone on this
list said they were considering publishing this book in translation. C'est

Speaking as someone who has all but one of Goodis' books, I look forward to a
definitive reference book about him and his work.

- paul

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