RARA-AVIS: Re: books to film

From: southpaw@altavista.net
Date: 18 Aug 2001

John Lau wrote:

> Sometimes however, movies can improve on the book. I would
> suggest Michael Mann's MANHUNTER over Thomas Harris' RED DRAGON.

I thought the movie was a letdown -- they lopped off the last quarter of the book, after the cops finally learn who the killer is. Harris was able to amp up the excitement and the conflict with surprises and reversals and chases, some of the best parts of the book. The killer
<SPOILER> fakes his death and takes off to steal (and devour) the artwork that was the focus of his derangement, and the reluctant protagonist then finds his and his family's lives in danger (courtesy of Hannibal Lecter), none of which figured in the movie.

Michael Mann lightly touched upon important elements of the novel without explication. The film barely introduces or explains the killer. There is no backstory (at least that I remember). And while there are a couple of brief shots of his enormous tattoos, there is no explanation of what they mean or why they fit into his story, and into the story.

Ridley Scott and the DiLaurentis people are looking next into remaking Red Dragon as a prequel. I'd like to see what they can do.

> Likewise the movie's ending of HANNIBAL is superior to the novel's. I
> thought that Steven Soderbergh's version of OUT OF SIGHT a vast
> improvement over Elmore Leonard's underdeveloped novel. I'm embarrassed
> that the name of the screenwriter who did the adaptation eludes me at the
> moment.

Scott Frank, I believe.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Aug 2001 EDT