RARA-AVIS: Adaptions of HB novels

From: Anders Engwall (ERA) ( Anders.Engwall@era.ericsson.se)
Date: 17 Jan 2002

Kevin Burton Smith:

> Beyond the obvious choice of THE MALTESE FALCON, what are some of the
> most faithful adaptations of hard-boiled novels into films?

The Asphalt Jungle.

> And what are some of the least faithful?

This is more complex I think. As for simply discarding the plot, there's IN A LONELY PLACE which has little more than the title in common with Dorothy Hughes' novel. Another one is THE AMBASSADOR which managed to turn Elmore Leonard's 52 PICK-UP into a story about diplomacy in the Mideast.

However, I believe a movie may very well keep the plot more or less intact and still be considered unfaithful, just consider Altman's THE LONG GOODBYE. Other examples are DEATH WISH (Brian Garfield's novel was *against* vigilantism) and the absolutely awful remake of THE DESPERATE HOURS.

And how about those Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin?

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