Advanced Search



Gregg Sutter, Webmaster
E-Mail Me



"The next best thing to reading Elmore Leonard is re-reading him." -- Mike Lupica,
New York Daily News





permalink

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Cops and Novelists: Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, and other moonlighting screenwriters

Share

Village Voice
By Nick Pinkerton


This “From the Pen of . . .” installment is built around American novelists moonlighting in movies—but there’s no Fitzgerald or Faulkner, no acerbic Nathanael West, none of the grudging prostitutes of talent during Hollywood’s studio Golden Age.

The venerable Elmore Leonard is the other Mystery Writers of America Grand Master honored. Among the Dickens of Detroit’s earliest screen credits is the classic 1957 western 3:10 to Yuma; more recently, he provided the kernel of the FX series Justified; in between, he has seldom been out of work. Leonard is represented by a Clint Eastwood western (1972’s Joe Kidd) and a contemporary-set Charles Bronson actioner (1974’s Mr. Majestyk), a pendanted pair that share a concern with the marginalized Mexican-American’s historical plight, a veneration of stubborn, stoic individualism, and the presence of unsavory character actor Don Stroud. It’s easy to take for granted such unostentatious, well-told genre works—Mr. Majestyk, fluidly directed by Richard Fleischer, is a perfect model of such, “extraordinarily beautiful in [its] instinct for the real look of the American West,” to borrow from Didion—but this classical middle-range moviemaking is the very foundation of a healthy film culture, the solid baseboard that must be in place in order to spring into the unknown.

 



Recent Entries

• Did You See Life of Crime?

• Salon Review: “Life of Crime”: Jennifer Aniston stars in a black-comic Labor Day surprise

• Director’s Cut Trailer of Life of Crime and List of Cities Where You Can See It

• ‘Life of Crime’ is true to mayhem and humor of Elmore Leonard

• Elmore Leonard shoots his way into the Library of America

• Watch: Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for (Criminal) Success and Happiness

• The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast - Conversation with Gregg Sutter

• John Hawkes talks kidnap caper ‘Life of Crime’ with Jennifer Aniston

• Timothy Olyphant reads from Elmore Leonard’s Swag

• Associated Press Review of Life of Crime

• An interview with Gregg Sutter

• Library of America’s 3-volume series on Leonard debuts Thursday

• Will ‘Life of Crime’ capture Elmore Leonard’s distinctive style?

• How Elmore Got His Nickname, “Dutch”

• Crime story: Daniel Schechter’s film of Elmore Leonard comic caper


Archives