Saturday, June 19, 2010
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me
A new version of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me is coming out. I did see the old version with Stacey Keach and it was okay. I don't remember it well. I've only read one of Thompson's books, Pop. 1280, which was made into the French movie, Coup de Torchon. Which was a pretty good movie.
Movies based on Thompson's work:
The Getaway (Two versions)
The Killer Inside Me (Now two versions)
Coup de Torchon (Based on Pop.1280.)
Série noire (based on A Hell of a Woman.)
After Dark, My Sweet
Hit Me (Based on a A Swell-Looking Babe.)
This World, Then the Fireworks
I liked the movies I've seen based on his work. I like the one novel of his I read. I hate to admit it, but I have a hard time getting into novels. I've started reading several of Thompson's books but didn't get far. I'm not sure what I think about his work as a writer.
Genre fiction and movies
I read a book on writing genre fiction, and around the same time I read a book on writing movie scripts. And much of the advice was the same.
Genre novels have to have a strong plot. Character development should be limited. Characters should have straight-forward motives--greed, revenge--rather than psychological reasons for their actions.
Probably part of the reason that genre novels make better movies. The other is that filmmakers can adapt them freely. They don't have to worry about adhering too closely to the plot.
Badge of Evil
There was a claim made by Orson Welles (who knows if it was true) that he needed money for a stage production he was doing. He got it by calling someone and asking for money to buy the movie rights for a great novel that would be perfect for a movie. The great novel a paperback the girl at the ticket counter happened to be reading called Badge of Evil. Welles hadn't read it---didn't know what it was about. But it became the movie, A Touch of Evil.
The opening scene in the original script had the murder victim lounging by his backyard pool with his stripper girlfriend. The girlfriend climbs on top of him. Someone throws a bomb. The man sees the bomb and panics but the stripper thinks he's responding to her. "Oh, Rudy!" She prevents him from escaping and they both die.