RARA-AVIS: Name Changing, Re-Castings and Personality Swaps (was: Slayground)

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 01 Sep 2010

  • Next message: Dick Lochte: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Slayground"

    On Sep 1, 2010, at 4:18 AM, Al wrote:

    > Yes. The TV company who were supposed to be making THE WHITE ARREST at the
    > time stopped Bruen using the name Brant in THE MAGDALENE MARTYRS. So he
    > changed it to Keegan. Apart from the name, it's obviously Brant.

    Then there's the whole Digger/Trace thing by Warren Murphy.

    Essentially the same characters/situation/jokes, etc., but the alcoholic insurance investigator with the smart stripper Asian/italian girlfriend had a name change and a few minor tweaks that fooled nobody when he switched publishers.

    Then, to sweeten the pot, the character was renamed Murphy when the series became a kinder, gentler and ultimately rather disappointing TV show a few years later, despite the presence of a well-cast George Segal.

    Someone should buy the author a drink and get the whole story...

    More disconcerting than name changes, though, is when the character him or herself goes through major personality changes.

    That rarely goes well, although there have been exceptions. My favourite switcheroo was the pulps' Kennedy/MacBride series by Nebel (cranky tough cop/smart ass reporter) which became the basis for the mostly enjoyable if dumb MacBride/Torchy Blane B-flicks (affable dumb cop/motormouth female reporter).

    (Not to be outdone, Josh Lanyon has recently re-imagined Kennedy and MacBride-like characters as male lovers in a novella, "SNOWBALL IN HELL.")

    And speaking of re-castings, does it ever bother anyone that chaste, mildly repressed Phil Marlowe becomes a horny sailor on leave spouting double entendres like Groucho Marx in Howard Hawks' THE BIG SLEEP? I mean, really... the cabbie, the bookstore clerk, the Sternwood sisters, the back-and-forth with Bacall... And they gripe about Altman's film being unfaithful to the character.

    But I digress...

    Kevin Burton Smith Editor/Founder The Thrilling Detective Web Site
    "Wasting your time on the web since 1998."

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