Re: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest - the movie

rikke & hanne kesten (
Wed, 08 Sep 1999 19:15:40 +0000

Mario Taboada wrote:
> I hereby propose....Donald Westlake as scriptwriter
> and Roman Polanski as director.

Westlake DID write a screenplay for Red Harvest. So did Bertolucci
(twice), Neil Jordan, Volker Schlondorff (oversaw an adaptation) and a host of others. Best of the bunch was -- naturally -- Bertolucci. He wrote it for Jack Nicholson to play the OP back in the late Seventies. We even went to visit Bisbee, AZ to stand in for the copper mining town of Butte, Montana. However, in those days the cost of filming on location and in period with Bertolucci at the reins scared the money people. Jordan wanted to actually shoot the film in Butte, which was a real possibility, but the studios balked -- he had only done Mona Lisa up to that time. The guy he chose to design the film was Anton Furst who went on to do the first Batman which, if you'll recall, was best reviewed for the look of the film and climbed to popularity on that count more than any other. His and Neil Jordan's approach to Red Harvest was splendid. Would have been a wonderful film.
  It's a project that's still around out there. One of these days...... maybe the producer will get back together with Bertolucci, who really had, IMHO, the tone and the melody of the film in beautiful, original proportion without violating the Hammett original.

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