RARA-AVIS: RARA-AVIS red harvest

Jim Beaver (JUMBLEJIM@prodigy.net)
Wed, 8 Sep 1999 09:55:39 -0700

>Just curious, has anyone seen Bruce Willis' "Last Man Standing," and is it
>at all faithful to the source novel, Hammett's "Red Harvest"? Has a film
>version of that book ever been made which sticks to the original setting
>characters? I love "Fistful of Dollars" and "Yojimbo," but neither Eastwood
>and Mifune are the Op...

Nor should they be, in my opinion. I don't believe Kurosawa ever acknowledged a connection between the Hammett piece and "Yojimbo," and the similarities are superficial and restricted to situation, as I recall.
"Fistful of Dollars" is, of course, an acknowledged (by the director) remake of "Yojimbo," but I've never heard anything to suggest that Leone leaned on Hammett either, except from fans who were not part of the creation of the film(s). "Last Man Standing" is a credited remake of "Yojimbo," and it bears some greater similarity to "Red Harvest" simply in terms of milieu, but I think the dots are far too separated to connect Willis, Mifune, or Eastwood to the Continental Op, if indeed those dots even belong to the same drawing, which I don't think they do. Happy to be proven wrong, though.

I'm a fan of Walter Hill (the director of LMS), and even acted in one of his films, but I found the main quality of LMS that was missing from the earlier versions of Kurosawa's story was tedium. But I'd have liked to have had the blank-cartridge concession on LMS.

Jim Beaver

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