RARA-AVIS: RE: Golden Spiders and Nikita

From: Dick Lochte ( dlock@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 06 Mar 2000

I agree with all about "The Golden Spiders" being a pretty good adaptation. But when the credits started to unspool, it was clear why. Seasoned screenwriter, solid director. I'd taped the show while I was at the annual Writers Guild Awards Ceremony where, oddly enough, Paul Monash received a career award for his body of work , from the "The Untouchables" pilot to the recent television biography of George Wallace, with other highlights like
"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" in between. No mention was made of "Spiders" at the ceremony but it had his name as screenwriter (unless it was some Canadian Paul Monash). I'd been puzzled by the promos for "Spiders," which seemed to go out of their way to avoid mentioning Stout or Nero Wolfe. Not much was made of the film's director, either. Bill Duke is a real pro, responsible for a lot of television and the unjustly overlooked neo-noir classic, "Deep Cover," as well as a free-wheeling adaptation of "A Rage in Harlem." I thought Chaykin was terrific as Wolfe. Very human. Quite a surprise, since the only other time I recall seeing him was in an ep of "La Femme Nikita" in which he played an idiot savant. Speaking of that series, did anyone see last night's show, "Sympathy For The Devil"? As hardboiled and noirish as TV gets these days.
    Dick Lochte

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