RARA-AVIS: Laura and film adaptation

From: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net
Date: 24 Jul 2006

Patrick Anderson reviews Vera Caspary's Laura in today's Washington Post:


He starts off by saying what a big fan he is of the movie, but he had never previously read the book upon which it was based. A recent rewatching of the movie finally led me to pick up the novel, which had been sitting on my shelves for years, too. During this most recent viewing, I was pretty aware of the seams between the acts, so I wanted to see how the book handled it.

Indeed, the book is most interesting for its early use of shifting first person sections. And it was an enjoyable enough read, even knowing the McGuffin. However, I am in total agreement with Anderson that the movie greatly improved upon the novel.

I do not agree with this more global statement of his:

"It's easy to see how Preminger was attracted to the novel's strengths, confident that he could fix its weaknesses. Many of the best-known noir novels have become better movies: John Huston greatly improved Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon,' and Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler worked wonders on James M. Cain's 'Double Indemnity.'"

The Maltese Falcon is a better movie than novel? I don't think so. As much as I love that movie, it doesn't come close to Hammett's book. In fact, I'd say it's a pretty rare occurrence when a film betters the book upon which it is based. Sure, I can think of a few examples (Six becoming Three Days of the Condor comes to mind), but they are the exceptions.


RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Jul 2006 EDT