RARA-AVIS: Carlo Goldoni and Red Harvest

From: Juri Nummelin ( jurnum@utu.fi)
Date: 30 Apr 2001

On Fri, 27 Apr 2001, Mark Sullivan wrote:

> However, I've got
> to wonder how original the loner playing two gangs against each other
> plot (also at the root of Glass Key, my favorite of his, also) was when
> Hammett told it. I can't think of any direct antecedents, but my
> knowledge of pre-20th century literature is patchy at best. Does it
> show up in older literature?

We've talked about this also in the past. I managed to present things in a very convoluted manner. I got two authors mixed up together, Carlo Collodi of the Pinocchio fame and Carlo Goldoni, the writer of "Servant of Two Masters". It's a 18th century play about the guy who serves two masters at the same time. This is all I know about the matter, but I have a feeling I've read somewhere that this is what Kurosawa had in mind when he made "Yojimbo" and not "Red Harvest".

But, as you might remember, Kurosawa must've had some kind of an attitude towards American crime literature, since he filmed Ed McBain as early as 1963 in "High and Low", two years after he had made "Yojimbo".


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