RARA-AVIS: RE: Fast One and Dain Curse

From: dlochte ( dlochte@adelphia.net)
Date: 16 May 2002

Erick Anderson wrote:

"I've always thought Red Harvest deserved a faithful adaptation, and I think Fast One by Paul Cain would make a great film, though the books would undoubtably still be better."

It's been a while since I read "Fast One," but it seemed to be a novel to me at the time. However, David Wilt in his book "Hardboiled in Hollywood" (Popular Press), says it's a series of short stories, some of which were used in a movie titled "Gambling Ship." Apparently Cary Grant played a guy named Ace, who is vaguely similar to the novel's antihero, Kells. Wonder if that's what gave Chandler the idea he'd be the perfect Marlowe.

About the length of the television mini series "The Dain Curse": originally, it was spread over three nights at two hours per night of CBS prime time. I can't swear to it, but I think the segments broke pretty much like the Black Mask stories did. That is, each seemed to be complete in itself, though, as the viewer discovered during the next segment that was a deception. When "Curse" returned, several years later, on CBS's Late Show, it had been cut to about three and a half hours. I think that may be the version on the video cassette. To give you an idea of the power of old time radio, the book was adapted for an episode of The Sam Spade Show, over and done in half an hour, with Spade standing in for The Op.

Dick Lochte

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