Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: CITY PRIMEVAL


September 19, 1980

City Primeval
by Elmore Leonard
Arbor House, 1980

A number of films have been made from Elmore Leonard's novels and short stories, beginning with THE TALL T and 3:10 TO YUMA in 1957, but the major motion picture based on City Primeval has yet to be produced. However, lead character Raymond Cruz makes an appearance in another Leonard novel, Out of Sight, and is played by Paul Calderon in Steven Soderbergh's 1998 film adaptation.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE DAY BEFORE SUNRISE (1976)


May 2, 1976

The Day Before Sunrise
by Thomas Wiseman
Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976

Thomas Wiseman's novel The Romantic Englishwoman became the Joseph Losey film of the same name, but a major motion picture based on The Day Before Sunrise was never produced.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: HARRY S. TRUMAN (1974)


January 2, 1974

Harry S. Truman
by Margaret Truman
William Morrow & Co., 1972

This biography of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, was written by his daughter Margaret Truman, later a successful author of mystery novels. The major motion picture was never made.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE SURVIVOR (1980)


September 28, 1980

The Survivor
by Jack Eisner
William Morrow & Co., 1980

Jack Eisner's autobiography The Survivor became the 1985 Moshé Mizrahi film WAR AND LOVE, starring Kyra Sedgwick, Sebastian Keneas, and David Spielberg.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LAST MAN STANDING by Jerome Preisler



Reviewed by Phil Poggiali

The plot of writer/director Walter Hill’s gangland thriller is nothing original, following A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and a slew of other unofficial remakes of YOJIMBO (the Sonny Chiba vehicle, KARATE WARRIORS, among them). The original film was itself loosely based on Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest, and Hill goes back to the roots of that novel by making his characters Prohibition-era gangsters. At heart, though, LAST MAN STANDING is really a western, as hoodlums lounge around barrooms and duel to the death in a Texas backwater town.

One of these hoodlums is John Smith (Bruce Willis), a gunman who sells his talent to the Irish and Italian bootlegging gangs that have seized control of the town. Smith’s intention is to manipulate the gangs into destroying each other; he also wants to free beautiful Felina (Karina Lombard) from the clutches of Doyle (David Patrick Kelly) and psychotic right hand Hickey (Christopher Walken). Doyle and Hickey eventually wipe out the competing gang, led by obnoxious cousins Strossi (Ned Eisenberg) and Giorgio (Michael Imperioli), and when they learn of Smith’s plans for Felina they capture and torture the lone gunman. But Smith eventually escapes and, aided by a bar-owner and crooked Sheriff Galt (Bruce Dern), plots his revenge.

LAST MAN STANDING, released by New Line in 1996, was shot under two other titles (GUNDOWN, WELCOME TO JERICHO), had its release date pushed back, and featured footage in trailers that never made it to the final cut -- a strong indication of production and test screening woes. The film tanked at the box office and critics despised it; nevertheless, LAST MAN is full of spirited performances and brutal, haunting images.

Early drafts of the screenplay were penned by Henry Bean (INTERNAL AFFAIRS, THE BELIEVER) though Jerome Preisler’s novelization -- like its companion film -- gives sole credit to Hill. Preisler does fine work fleshing out the director’s spare writing style, elaborating on the violent desperation of Jericho and its inhabitants without losing Hill’s terseness and ambiguity. The author is also good at describing action so that it’s exciting and coherent (“The sofa cushions blew into seared, smoking clots of fabric and stuffing and then there was a loud scream and a ribbon of blood appeared under the sofa’s legs”), quite an accomplishment considering that the John Woo-inspired set-pieces of the film seem determined to lose their audience in violent mayhem.

Since screenplay adaptations are usually based on drafts altered during production, there are expected variations from the finished film -- some minor differences e.g. character names (“Rossi” rather than “Strossi”) and alternate dialogue. One subplot, involving a hoodlum from the Doyle gang who murders a Texas Ranger and is held hostage, was an element borrowed from YOJIMBO and dropped for the film.

Simple-minded Joe (William Sanderson), barman and owner of the Red Bird, was originally Dixie Monday. Like Joe, Dixie provides Smith with background on the gangs and their business in Jericho, filling in gaps between all of the scheming and shooting. Joe was a type and a plot device; Dixie is tough, witty, damaged (“The lines and angles of her face were a lasting record of disappointments … pains known only to women who’d lived hard and been forced into too many compromises with the world”). Whereas Joe seemed mildly irritated, even amused, by Jericho’s corruption and desolation, Dixie is saddened and carries guilt over the state of the decrepit saloon that once thrived under her father’s management. A sweet flirtation develops between Smith and Dixie showing us a gentler side to the gunman, making it easier to comprehend when he goes out of his way to save Felina.

It occurred to me that actress Deborah Van Valkenburgh would have been the right age for Dixie, and I wonder if Hill wrote the part with her in mind: she played a similar role in Hill’s STREETS OF FIRE and was hard-edged prostitute Mercy in THE WARRIORS. In those films Van Valkenburgh projected streetwise confidence with humor and charm, a nice contrast to her emotionally limited leading men. She would have worked well opposite Bruce Willis, who has considerable range but is locked into Clint Eastwood’s tough-and-taciturn routine for the majority of the film. LAST MAN STANDING remains a favorite of mine, an underrated crime thriller, but I find it something of a loss that Dixie never made it beyond Preisler’s book.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE SUMMER THAT BLED (1973)


May 21, 1973

The Summer That Bled
by Anthony Masters
St. Martin's Press, 1972

This non-fiction account of the life and death of Hannah Senesh was never adapted into a major motion picture. However, Yoel Palgi's books The Diaries Of Hanna Senesh and A Great Wind Cometh were the basis for the 1988 film HANNA'S WAR, directed by Menahem Golan and starring Maruschka Detmers, Ellen Burstyn and Donald Pleasence.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: BLUE MERIDIAN (1971)


April 25, 1971

Blue Meridian
by Peter Matthiessen
Random House, 1971

This non-fiction book, an account of author Peter Matthiessen's experiences working on the shark documentary BLUE WATER, WHITE DEATH (1971), was never made into a major motion picture. However, Signet did publish it as a BLUE WATER, WHITE DEATH movie tie-in paperback in 1973.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: UNCLE FRANK (1973)


December 9, 1973

Uncle Frank
by Leonard Katz
Drake Publishers, 1973

In addition to writing the foreword to Leonard Katz's book, Anthony Quinn secured the film rights and was going to play Frank Costello in the movie adaptation, but no movie was ever produced.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: BRIEF CANDLE (1990)


June 27, 1990

Brief Candle
by Martin Boris
Crown Publishers, 1990

No major motion picture was produced. A made for TV movie was announced for ABC, but even that was never made.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: WILLY REMEMBERS (1972)


July 17, 1972

Willy Remembers
by Irvin Faust
Arbor House, 1971

Irvin Faust's novel The Steagle was made into a 1971 movie directed by Paul Sylbert and starring Richard Benjamin, but the major motion picture of Willy Remembers was never produced.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: JANE'S HOUSE (1982)


September 12, 1982

Jane's House
by Robert Kimmel Smith
William Morrow & Co., 1982

Robert Kimmel Smith's novel eventually got produced as the 1994 CBS TV movie starring James Woods, Anne Archer, Missy Crider and Graham Beckel. An Aaron Spelling production, it was directed by Glenn Jordan.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Cinematic Worlds of Johnny Handsome



by Philip Nathaniel Poggiali

John Mitchell Sedley is a professional thief nearing the end of a five-year stretch in the state pen. Face disfigured since birth, a cleft palate leaving his speech muffled and snorting, Sedley coped with derision and rejection as a youth by drifting into a life of crime. While on the inside, as the guinea pig in a rehabilitation experiment, Johnny goes under the knife to repair his cleft, chin, ears, brow and broken nose -- an alteration so extreme that even the convict's own mother wouldn't recognize him. Once in the free world, his new face should find him the respect he needs to live a clean life, or so his surgeon Dr. Katsouras believes. On the outside, Johnny attempts to go straight but can't resist the lure of crime. It's not long before he's casing the local small town bank and planning his double-cross for Jappy, the tightwad who couldn't bribe a cop to keep him out of prison.

She was looking at him appraisingly. "You're handsomer than Tully. You know that?"

He nodded and said, "I'll be the best-looking man in the whole cemetery."

John Godey's The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome was an old tale even for 1972, the one about the ex-con who tried to go straight but fell into bad habits, and whose bland appearance masked an intricate, brutal revenge. The writer's name was also a kind of mask, being a pseudonym for the late Morton Freedgood (who also wrote The Taking of Pelham One Two Three under the Godey moniker). Freedgood's noir-ish tone seemed fatalistic enough to justify a nagging sense of the familiar. Crime fiction tropes were trotted out to form a routine largely consistent with the retrogressive nature of the main character.

Freedgood's non-linear structure is unusual, and resembles Donald E. Westlake's experiments as Richard Stark (the Parker series also had its protagonist undergo plastic surgery). In Part One, entitled "Free World," the mysterious Mitchell introduces himself to Jappy and his gang of misfits -- including whiny Sunny and her dim-bulb boyfriend, Tully -- and pitches a bank job. Mitchell claims to have learned of the gang from a cellmate known as Johnny Handsome, a former employee of Jappy's who Mitchell says died in prison. What the reader isn't meant to know until the conclusion of "Free World," somewhere around page 70, is that Mitchell and Johnny happen to be the same criminal with different faces. Part Two, "Inside World," is a flashback covering Johnny's time in the pen and his surgery, and Part Three ("Real World") takes us back to the robbery and Johnny's plan to double-cross Jappy and walk away with the loot.


Screenwriter Ken Friedman received sole credit for adapting Three Worlds as JOHNNY HANDSOME (1989). I don't know if he penned the majority of the script, or if director Walter Hill had a lot of input, but whatever the case, there seem to have been wise decisions made in transition. Scenes were placed in chronological order, presumably to gain the viewer's emotional investment in Johnny at an earlier point. The ex-convict (portrayed brilliantly by Mickey Rourke) had a more sympathetic reason for getting revenge, in that his best friend Mikey (Scott Wilson) was murdered by their partners during a jewelry store holdup. Jappy and Tully, neither character very memorable or fully realized, were combined to give us the alternately sinister and pathetic Rafe (Lance Henriksen), while a few heavies were dropped and Sunny's role beefed and spiced up to the point where Ellen Barkin nearly walked off with the movie. And Lt. Shannon, the inevitable crooked cop who wants a piece of the action, was traded for sarcastic but honest Lt. Drones (Morgan Freeman), who dogs Johnny's every step and predicts the thief's fall as unwaveringly as his name would suggest. With his observations on the dubious moral character of ex-cons and the failure of reforming them, Drones voices the essence of both film and novel.

"Y'know, Johnny, you might fool this fucking quack and little sister over there, but I know you. I know who you are, and I know what you are. And we both know right where you're going. Don't we, Johnny?"

FULL CONTACT (HAAP DOU KO FEI) is a 1993 Hong Kong thriller (shot in Cantonese dialect) written by Nam Yin and directed by Ringo Lam. Humorous, stylish with action, steeped in corny melodrama and homoerotic male bonding, the film is an early 90s Hong Kong action picture through-and-through, and never captures the gritty, cynical spirit of either Freedgood's novel or Friedman/Hill's adaptation. But I do think that Lam borrowed a lot from Hill's visual style and, more significantly, imagined an alternate version of Friedman's story in which the Johnny character's friend is the one who betrays him, adding an interesting element to a rather generic revenge plot.

The Johnny figure is Ko Fei -- or Godfrey, or Jeffrey, depending on English subtitles and dubbing -- a Chinese bouncer in a Bangkok nightclub with a sense of ethics in opposition to his sleazy environment. Much like the Friedman protagonist, Ko Fei (Chow Yun-Fat) finds himself drawn into armed robbery to help a friend out of debt. He and buddy Sam (Anthony Wong) team up with the latter's flamboyantly gay cousin Judge (Simon Yam), and his bickering cohorts Yin and Madman, to rob a truck full of munitions. During the robbery Judge pulls a double-cross, Sam loses his nerve and, under pressure from his cousin, shoots Ko Fei and takes up with his friend's fiancée. Ko Fei, of course, is not dead, and after a few months in hiding he returns to steal the munitions from Judge -- the first step in an elaborate plan of vengeance.

"He looks awful familiar."

"There's no such thing as ghosts."


Lam, the director who brought us at least one unofficial Hong Kong remake of a U.S. production (WILD SEARCH, patterned on WITNESS) and who regularly lifts material from American genre pictures, seems to be an admirer of Hill and Friedman's approach. In addition to similarities of plot, both films open with jewelry heists in which a tastelessly dressed, sexually aggressive woman threatens customers, with pistol barrels shoved into the camera or photographed at such an angle that they appear larger than they are. Shadowy bars and deserted warehouse interiors are playing fields in both films. Ko Fei's appearance in the nightclub, after Judge learns the munitions have been stolen, resembles Johnny baiting Sunny at the bar in their first meeting after his release from prison. Like Hill, Lam has a fondness for trashy retro hairstyles, clothing and automobiles (the dance choreography, however, is basically of the period, especially a nightclub act set to Extreme's "Get the Funk Out").

The supporting villains seem familiar. Madman and Yin could be Rafe and Sunny of the Far East, or even, at times, Tully and Sunny. The femme fatale of JOHNNY HANDSOME was a greedy ex-prostitute. FULL CONTACT throws in nymphomania for comic relief (Yin: "I used to get it seven times a day! It's been a week now, and I'm tired of begging!"), moving further down a twisted path of the novel (Sunny, as written by Freedgood: "I can't stand three days without a man….If I don't get it at night, I can't go to sleep"). Madman, ignorant and incapable of thinking beyond his stomach and libido, is not a schemer like Rafe, but a stooge like Tully.

But FULL CONTACT is neither a remake nor an adaptation. Lam and Nam Yin do not include the disfigurement and plastic surgery elements. They're also far more compassionate with characters, allowing Ko Fei, Sam, and Ko Fei's fiancée, Mona, to learn from mistakes and atone for them. Ko Fei's ultimate goal is even noble: to deliver money stolen from Judge to a young woman horribly burned during the initial robbery.

The similarities are interesting, though, and I wonder how Lam would visualize The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome on film. With FULL CONTACT, we might have a rough idea.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE CONTROL OF CANDY JONES (1976)


July 7, 1976

The Control of Candy Jones
by Donald Bain
Playboy Press, 1976

The fascinating story of fashion model and talk radio personality Candy Jones (a.k.a. MKUltra-controlled CIA courier "Arlene Grant") has, incredibly, never been made into a motion picture, although 20th Century Fox had one in development when this ad for Donald Bain's nonfiction bestseller appeared in the New York Times.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: O JERUSALEM! (1973)


April 29, 1973

O Jerusalem!
by Larry Collins
and Dominique Lapierre
Simon and Schuster, 1972

Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre's first bestselling book, Is Paris Burning? (1965), became the René Clément film IS PARIS BURNING? (1966), scripted by Gore Vidal and Francis Ford Coppola and starring Kirk Douglas, Glenn Ford, Gert Fröbe, Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins, Robert Stack, Charles Boyer, Yves Montand, Leslie Caron, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Simone Signoret, and Alain Delon, but the major motion picture based on O Jerusalem! was never produced.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: WHERE THE MONEY WAS: THE MEMOIRS OF A BANK ROBBER (1976)



August 27, 1976

Where the Money Was:
The Memoirs of a Bank Robber
by Willie Sutton
with Edward Linn
Viking Press, 1976

Bank robber Willie Sutton was the subject of the documentary IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF WILLIE SUTTON (2011), but the major motion picture based on his memoirs was never made.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: RANSOM (1973)


April 24, 1973

Ransom
by Jon Cleary
William Morrow & Company, 1973

This is third novel in the Australian mystery series by Jon Cleary (The Sundowners) featuring Sydney homicide detective Scobie Malone, following The High Commissioner (1966) and Helga's Web (1970). Rod Taylor played Scobie in THE HIGH COMMISSIONER (1968) and Jack Thompson played him in SCOBIE MALONE (1975), based on Helga's Web, but a major motion picture based on Ransom was never made.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE COURT-MARTIAL OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER (1976)


November 14, 1976

The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer
by Douglas C. Jones
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976

Douglas C. Jones' novel of alternate history became the NBC television movie (airdate: December 1, 1977) starring James Olson as General George A. Custer, Brian Keith as the defense attorney, Ken Howard as the prosecuting attorney, and Blythe Danner as Mrs. Custer.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: YEAR OF THE GOLDEN APE (1974)


October 20, 1974

Year of the Golden Ape
by Colin Forbes
[Raymond Harold Sawkins]
E.P. Dutton, 1974

Colin Forbes' 1977 novel Avalanche Express became the 1979 movie of the same name, but the major motion picture based on Year of the Golden Ape was never produced.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: A TOUGH ONE TO LOSE (1972)


October 1, 1972

A Tough One to Lose
by Tony Kenrick
Bobbs-Merrill, 1972

Tony Kenrick's novels Two for the Price of One and Faraday's Flowers became the major motion pictures NOBODY'S PERFEKT (1981) and SHANGHAI SURPRISE (1986), respectively, but the film adaptation of A Tough One to Lose was never produced.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE


September 10, 1980

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture
by Abbie Hoffman
Perigee/Putnam,  1980

Despite the title, the major motion picture from Universal was never made.

Nice try, Abbie!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: BURTON AND SPEKE (1982)


November 7, 1982

Burton and Speke
by William Harrison
St. Martin's/Marek, 1982

William Harrison's novel became the Bob Rafelson film MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON (1990), starring Patrick Bergin (as Richard Francis Burton) and Iain Glen (as John Hanning Speke), from a screenplay by Harrison and Rafelson.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: KAMOURASKA (1973)



June 10, 1973

Kamouraska
by Anne Hébert
Crown, 1973

Anne Hébert's novel, first published in France in 1970, was the basis for the film KAMOURASKA (1973), directed by Claude Jutra and starring Geneviève Bujold and Richard Jordan.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE BEAUTY TRAP (1969)


November 2, 1969

The Beauty Trap
by Jeanne Rejaunier
Trident Press, 1969

The Avco Embassy motion picture, to be presented by Joseph E. Levine, was never produced.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: TOPLESS (1991)


August 16, 1991

Topless
by D. Keith Mano
Random House, 1991

The major motion picture from Carolco never materialized.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE SHATTERED SILENCE (1971)


July 22, 1971

The Shattered Silence: The Eli Cohen Affair
by Zwy Aldouby and Jerrold Ballinger
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1971

The major motion picture -- directed by Daniel Mann (OUR MAN FLINT, BUTTERFIELD 8), from a screenplay by Albert Maltz (TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA, THE BEGUILED) -- was never produced.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: MOVE! (1968)


May 26, 1968

Move!
by Joel Lieber
David McKay Company, 1968

Joel Lieber co-wrote the screenplay for MOVE (1970), the adaptation of his novel Move!, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Elliott Gould, Paula Prentiss, Genevieve Waite, John Larch, Joe Silver, and Ron O'Neal.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: CABAL (1979)


April 1, 1979

Cabal
by Norman Garbo
W.W. Norton & Company, 1978

The major motion picture based on Norman Garbo's thriller Cabal was never produced, although his next novel, Spy, became a 1989 television movie starring Bruce Greenwood and Jameson Parker.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: WE ONLY KILL EACH OTHER (1968)


February 27, 1968

We Only Kill Each Other
by Dean Jennings
Prentice-Hall, 1968

Dean Jennings' non-fiction book We Only Kill Each Other was never turned into a major motion picture starring Tony Curtis as Bugsy Siegel. However, it is credited as a "research source" for Barry Levinson's film BUGSY (1991), written by James Toback and starring Warren Beatty as Bugsy Siegel. A movie tie-in edition of Jennings' book, with a photo of Beatty and Annette Bening on the cover, was published in the U.K. by Penguin in 1992.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: AFTER (1973)


July 30, 1973

After
by Robert Anderson
Random House, 1973

Best known for his plays TEA AND SYMPATHY and I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER and the film adaptations of both, Robert Anderson wrote the screenplays for UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957) and THE SAND PEBBLES (1966) and was Oscar-nominated twice -- for THE NUN'S STORY (1959) and the screen adaptation of I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER (1970) -- but the major Paramount motion picture of his novel After was never produced.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE TONGUES OF ANGELS (1990)


June 6, 1990

The Tongues of Angels
by Reynolds Price
Atheneum, 1990

The Tongues of Angels, written by the late novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist, lyricist and Duke University professor Reynolds Price, has yet to be adapted for the screen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE SILVER BEARS (1974)



August 22, 1974

The Silver Bears
by Paul E. Erdman
Charles E. Scribner & Sons, 1974

For the 1978 film adaptation of Paul Erdman's novel The Silver Bears, a strong international cast was assembled: Michael Caine, Cybill Shepherd, Louis Jourdan, Stéphane Audran, David Warner, Tom Smothers, Martin Balsam, Jay Leno, Charles Gray, and Joss Ackland. Scripted by Erdman and Peter Stone, it was directed by Ivan Passer and released by American International Pictures.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE ORDWAYS (1965)


 photo ordways-1.jpg
June 25, 1965

The Ordways
by William Humphrey
Alfred A. Knopf, 1964

William Humphrey's debut novel, Home from the Hill, became the 1960 Vincente Minnelli movie of the same title starring Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard and George Hamilton, but his sophomore work, The Ordways, was never adapted for the screen.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE COVENANT (1973)


June 22, 1973

The Covenant
by Paige Mitchell
Atheneum, 1973

Novelist-screenwriter (Judith) Paige Mitchell did a lot of writing for television, including the development of John Grisham's The Client as a short-lived series on CBS, but the major motion picture based on her novel The Covenant was never produced.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE PAPERBOY (1995)


February 22, 1995

The Paperboy
by Pete Dexter
Random House, 1995

Pete Dexter's novel became the 2012 movie starring Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Scott Glenn, Ned Bellamy, and Macy Gray.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE SEVEN MINUTES (1969)


September 29, 1969


October 27, 1969

The Seven Minutes
by Irving Wallace
Simon & Schuster, 1969

Irving Wallace's bestselling novel about an obscenity trial surrounding a book titled The Seven Minutes became independent filmmaker Russ Meyer's second -- and last -- major studio Hollywood production, THE SEVEN MINUTES (1971), starring Wayne Maunder, Marianne McAndrew, Philip Carey, Jay C. Flippen, Yvonne DeCarlo, Edy Williams, Charles Napier, James Iglehart, Charles Drake, Tom Selleck, Harold J. Stone, and John Carradine.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Ad of the Week: THE FRANCHISE (1984)


January 25, 1984

The Franchise
by Peter Gent
Villard/Random House, 1983

Peter Gent, a former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, scored a literary touchdown with his first novel, North Dallas Forty, which was the basis for the hit 1979 movie directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Nick Nolte and Mac Davis. A film adaptation of Gent's second novel, The Franchise, was announced but never produced.