Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Long Goodbye

Date: 09 Feb 2007

Jim wrote:

"No my reaction to Altman's bringing his talent to bear on a film that had so little reason to be made is Superman's whenever he encounters Lex Luthor.
"'If only he had used his great power for good.'"

I thought that was Maxwell Smart's line. Speaking of which, I saw in the latest Premiere magazine that Steve Carrelll has siged to play Agent 86.

Perhaps more intersting for us, Paramount is releasing Brian Helgeland's cut of Payback on DVD in April. Mel Gibson, who got Helgeland fired, was not involved with the reissue.

Of course, this goes back to Jim's assertion that "more faithful = better movie." That's just crap. Payback was far more faithful to the plot of Stark's novel than Point Bank, but the latter is a far better movie. I recently read PD James's Children of Men after being very impressed with the movie (got robbed in not being nominated for best picture). I was surprised how little of the book was in the movie. In fact, given how much of the book was interior to a character's mind, I doubt a faithful rendition would have worked nearly as well as a movie. This is not a criticism of the book, which was quite good, but an admission that the two media are best at different things (and that the book and movie were created on different sides of 9/11 and the impact it has had on our view of the future world). And each of these took advantage of its medium's strengths.

Nor is it an assertion that movies are best when they part with their sources. Plenty of good (and bad) movies have been made each way.

As for Jim's claim that Sidney Greenstreet's nomination was a reward for Huston's faithful adaptation, no, it's a reward for Greenstreet's acting, which may or may not have been as good if the movie had followed the book less closely.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Feb 2007 EST