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Thread: Reading!

  1. #571
    It's the movie, plain and simple. The twists in The Maltese Falcon are largely lifted from the earlier Op stories - Bob Teal's murder opens the Falcon story and carries that first mystery all the way through to the end. The funny thing is, The Maltese Falcon is a remake of a film 10 years earlier that is nearly the same film, in fact Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre are riffing off the first film's versions of their characters, it's eerie.

    Oddly, I think Bogart would have been perfect as The Op, could have made a series out of that. He's short, can do overweight, and certainly not classically handsome. But it's not what Hollywood wanted, sadly. Because of that film and that role for Bogie, Sam Spade became a household name for a private eye despite having just 1 good story in Hammett's writings (there are 3 more shorts but they're not as good). It's really the Op who is the private detective that should have been on everyone's mind.

    When I started reading the Op's short stories, they were pretty dry but it was clear where Raymond Chandler got his inspiration. Once I got to the longer short stories, as well as the 2 Op books, the Op becomes more of a rounded character and works more in the violence and gray areas and it's like reading Philip Marlowe with 30% less description of the furniture. Hammett really created an archetype with the Op.

    I read The Girl with the Silver Eyes last night, great stuff, lots of twists without feeling cheap and I was gladly surprised to find about 2/3rds in that it is the second half of a 2-parter, the first part I had read the night before. The Op mows down his own informant with the client's car.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #572
    I've been reading a lot of the Op short stories lately, coming close to the point where I'm going to need to track down the last 2 stories that aren't in any published books. Some of them have been really wild, fanciful fare where the Op is in the middle of a crazy island battle, but others are really awesome like where the Op ends up sticking up the thieves in 1 story - HE ROBS THE ROBBERS! That was great.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #573
    I'd so kill to see a really good film, or even graphic novel, version of the Op that stays true to the character. Reading The Dain Curse, I kept wondering why the hell it wasn't a movie. Turns out it was, but apparently not a very good one.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  4. #574
    If you look at Hammett's work, much of it was adapted into films and they were usually successful (Maltese Falcon, Thin Man series) during the classical Hollywood period. Despite this, his best character was not exploited the way he sh/could have been. The Op is so tough, he doesn't even need a name.

    A friend of mine recently turned me onto the Ed Brubaker Criminal and Sleeper series. They are fun to read and reminiscent of the hardboiled era.

  5. #575
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I'd so kill to see a really good film, or even graphic novel, version of the Op that stays true to the character. Reading The Dain Curse, I kept wondering why the hell it wasn't a movie. Turns out it was, but apparently not a very good one.
    It was a '70s miniseries. James Coburn, who is tall and handsome, played "Hamilton Nash" (get it?) the not-so-nameless Op who worked out of... NEW YORK CITY! ("Get a rope") =

    Red Harvest is the basis for 3 movies, I believe, including Yojimbo and Miller's Crossing. But I must admit, the Op has so many great tales that someone could make not only a really good movie out of 1 or a few at a time, but a damned decent series really.

    Oh, and I had a really annoying situation the other night. I'm getting low on Op stories, and I decide to stay up late and read one of the last few, and I get a few pages in and I realize I've seen this as a movie. It's the second Thin Man movie! I love the Thin Man movies, but this pretty much wrecked the mystery aspect of the short story.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maradona View Post
    If you look at Hammett's work, much of it was adapted into films and they were usually successful (Maltese Falcon, Thin Man series) during the classical Hollywood period. Despite this, his best character was not exploited the way he sh/could have been. The Op is so tough, he doesn't even need a name.
    The Op being intentionally anonymous is part of what makes him such a great character IMO, he's anyman, everyman, he's not a movie star hero, he's a frumpy street-smart guy who uses his brains and doesn't flinch for danger or dames. (Yes, I enjoyed writing that )

    A friend of mine recently turned me onto the Ed Brubaker Criminal and Sleeper series. They are fun to read and reminiscent of the hardboiled era.
    Ed Brubaker, isn't he a comic writer?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #576
    He is, and those are both comics, I believe. Haven't read them, but I've heard they're good.

    Red Harvest was also the basis for Last Man Standing, which wasn't bad. I just think it takes a few too many liberties with the story. I need to watch it again sometime; I recall liking it, but not being floored, and don't remember it too well.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  7. #577
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    He is, and those are both comics, I believe. Haven't read them, but I've heard they're good.

    Red Harvest was also the basis for Last Man Standing, which wasn't bad. I just think it takes a few too many liberties with the story. I need to watch it again sometime; I recall liking it, but not being floored, and don't remember it too well.
    Yes, those are comics worth reading. Red Harvest is also the basis for Yojimbo which was remade into Fistful of Dollars, the beginning of the "Man with No Name" trilogy, in which ironically the lead character is called by name.

  8. #578
    Part of Bruce Willis' 1990s phase of phailure. I didn't see it, all I remember is he kept trying to break out into serious acting and it kept failing at the box office.

    I said a couple pages back that Bogie would have made a great Op for his era, far better than Sam Spade. If an Op movie had been made 15 years ago, it would have been Bob Hoskins, but once he did Eddie Valiant from Roger Rabbit, the die was cast.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #579
    I could actually see Mark Wahlberg playing the Op. It might sound odd, and he might need a few more years on him, but it could work. I dunno about Hoskins; I picture the Op as a little more buff.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #580
    Last night I finished When The Mississippi Ran Backwards. It revolves around events that took place during the New Madrid (Mo) earthquakes in 1811 - 1812. They were the biggest earthquakes to take place in the United States outside of California.

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