Re: RARA-AVIS: Cockfighter - No Show

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 23 Feb 2002

> well, i've only seen it about 3 times but i'd stick around to watch a
new 35
> mm print of "the killing", a really great film (final scene: "johnny,
> got to run!" - "ah, what's the use.") but then i last saw it on video
> least 6 years ago. that film may be the ultimate example (in my
> of the "perfect crime except for one weak link, whereupon everything
> unravels" theme (similar to "asphalt jungle" in that sense - in that
case i
> liked the book better than the film, it seemed to have more
> anyone know of a book version of this film - script by lionel white,
> dialogue by jim thompson IIRC?
> -ksm
It was purely a financial decision, in the end. I couldn't afford to go see "Cockfighter" either but I was determined to live on Weet Bix for the duration of the weekend if necessary. The fact that I'd seen "The Killing" many times is the only reason the Weet Bix didn't win out. Lionel White wrote the novel, "Clean Break", on which "The Killing" is based. Thompson is credited with the script, IIRC, although I believe Kubrick claimed that he only contributed some dialogue while he was responsible for the majority of the script or vice versa, Thompson wrote most of the script but was only credited with dialogue. Whichever, I seem to recall that Kubrick treated his writers with contempt so it may be you'd need to take his word with a pinch of salt on this topic.Which reminds me of something that bugs me a little in regards to attitudes to classic HB/noir films that are adaptations of HB/noir novels. While films such as "The Killing" & "The Big Heat" have long been considered classics of film, the source material is treated with contempt, e.g I've seen at least one article about "The Killing" that referred dismissively to the original novel as "some pulp novel" & this is pretty typical. What makes it doubly ironic is that, for instance, again with "The Killing" Kubrick is widely lauded for his innovative flashback technique which IIRC closely follows the plotting of the original novel. Another example: I recently saw a rather good doco about Lee Marvin on the TV. They made a big thing out of the great scene in "The Big Heat" where Marvin throws scalding coffee into Gloria Grahame's face, strongly implying that this scene was a hallmark of Marvin's genius as an actor. Now, I don't know if that scene was in the film script but it is most definitely in the novel. This attitude may be starting to change with the newfound semi-respectability of "pulp" authors but I think it's still prevalent.(Oh, by the way. No disrespect meant to either Kubrick or Marvin, great artists both).


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Feb 2002 EST