Re: RARA-AVIS: Movies Better Than Books

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 15 May 2002

>Brian, that's an interesting topic - movies that are better than books.
>While I did enjoy LA CONFIDENTIAL as a book, the movie cleared up a lot of
>the questions I had. My favorite vote in this topic is THE GODFATHER. I've
>always felt the movie was far better than the book.


I've never been able to finish 'The Godfather', so I tend to agree with you. As movie adaptations go, what about (plugging a few of Hammett vehicles again) "The Thin Man" with William Powell and Myrna Loy. I heard that the Hayes commission was formed to rate movies because of some of the
"racier" dialogue in the original movie, based almost solely on Hammett's book. It's fabulous. Obviously there is John Huston's brilliant screen adaptation of 'The Maltese Falcon' (his directorial debut, btw), one of the seminal "Noir" films. Heck, even "A Fistful of Dollars" and "Last Man Standing" are pretty faithful (if uncredited) adaptations of "Red Harvest". Has anyone seen "The Glass Key"? It's tremendous, Brian Donlevy steals the show as the political boss who employs the protagonist, Ned Beaumont. I am still waiting to see the Continental Op in a film of his own (Peter Boyle playing him in "Hammett" starring Frederick Forrest ought not to count, in my opinion). Perhaps someone will do a decent adaptation of "The Dain Curse". To my knowledge it has never been translated to film.

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