Re: RARA-AVIS: movie music and novelizations (was Kenny Rogers)

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 12 Jul 2002

Rene wrote:

"I think Scorsese invented this stuff. That opening scene from MEAN STREETS made "Be My Baby" one of my all time favourite songs & the opening sequence one of my all time favourite beginnings to a film, ever."

Lucas's American Graffiti came out the same year as Mean Streets, 1973. However, Scorsese was already experimenting with the use of pop music in film a few years earlier in his first feature, Who's That Knocking At My Door? The slipping loop of a doo-wop song makes the rape scene even more horrific.

However, as Scorsese and Lucas have both noted, they owe a huge debt to Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising (1964) when it comes to the use of '50s pop tunes in film.

All of this movie talk made me think about novelizations. We often talk about books converted into movies, but are there any movies converted into books that are worth reading? For instance, I have seen good things said about Timothy Harris's Heatwave (I've read his Thomas Kyd books, but not this). I've never seen or heard of the movie it was based on, but according to the cover of the book, it was a novelizaion of a script.

Oh yeah, the novel based on The Harder They Come, a Jamaican blaxploitation/noir (if you can have noir in all of that sun), is very good and goes far beyond the movie.


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