Thursday, August 05, 2004
elmore leonard mysteryNice piece in the grauniad with my old Secker author 'Dutch' Leonard, whose books I tirelessly promoted to a dismissive UK market. I think only Graham Lord of the all-powerful Sunday Express books "got it".
Leonard very good (and sanguine) on why his books have such talent for being totally cocked up on screen:
More recently, the behaviour of Grosse Pointe Blank helmer George Armitage on this year's The Big Bounce left its creator seriously underwhelmed: "It's a mystery to me why people buy one of my books and then take out everything that made them buy it in the first place," Leonard says.
Despite casting golden comedy boy Owen Wilson and shifting the action to Hawaii from the Thumb area of Michigan - Leonard has lived in nearby Detroit for 70 years - Armitage still welcomed Leonard's input. To a point.
"Every time I sent back my thoughts on the script, he ignored them," Leonard says. "So why ask me?" And the result? "Terrible. Nothing like my book at all." The only saving grace is that it wasn't as bad as the 1969 version starring Ryan O'Neal - "probably the second worst movie ever made," Leonard laughs.
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