Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #174: Adaptations I'd like to see

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is adaptations you'd like to see, and this one is difficult for me since I was having trouble thinking of things I'd like to see turned into movies. In fact, I found out that one of the books I thought about was in fact turned into a movie that's been doing the festival circuit in 2017. Anyhow, I've got two serious ideas, and one frivolous remake/reworking:

Five Days in June. This 1974 novel by German writer Stefan Heym is a dramatization of the June 1953 uprising in East Germany that, unsurprisingly, was brutally put down. I actually had to read this one in German back in college. The Hungarian uprising of 1956 has featured in at least one Hollywood movie (The Journey from 1959, re-teaming Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr), and of course the Berlin Wall has, but I don't know about the 1953 uprising.

Shattered. I'm having trouble imagining Hollywood doing an honest look at the 2016 presidential election, and the mistakes Hillary Clinton's campaign made to lose what should have been a fairly easy victory. But we're probably going to get a lot of stuff about alleged Russian collusion.

And, I'd like to see a reworking of Gone With the Wind focusing on the wild miscegenation between Clark Gable's and Hattie McDaniel's characters. Mammy and the Bachelor. Of course, the book has already been lampooned before in the form of The Wind Done Gone, which engendered a legal case over copyright infringement.

I told you I was having trouble coming up with stuff.

1 comment:

joel65913 said...

Both of the first two that focus differently on politically based stories sound like they would make excellent films in the proper hands. The other would seem to be a far trickier subject to have turn out well with lots of chance for disaster. It would need an innovative production team with a clear idea of what they wanted the project to be.

I have many books I like to see turned into film but then there is the concern that they'll be screwed up in translation. Be that as it may these are three in different genres I'd like to see work their way to the silver screen.

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater (2005)-Comic novel by Marc Acito tells the tale of young sexually confused Jersey teen Edward Zanni and the lengths he goes to his senior year when his divorced father marries gold-digging shrew Dagmar and she blocks his way to attending Julliard. Helping Edward are his group of very resourceful and game friends, free spirit Paula D’Angelo, enterprising Natie Nudelman (affectionately called Cheesehead), Edward’s sometime girlfriend, perky blonde Kelly, exotic Persian transfer student Ziba and football jock Doug Grabowski who’s more at home with the theatre geeks than his sport cronies. Together, with the sometime reluctant help of Paula’s dotty Aunt Glo, they scheme to defeat the rapacious Dagmar and make Edward’s musical dream come true.

The Queen’s Man (2000)-In the year 1193 young Justin de Quincy witnesses the murder of a tradesman on the road from Winchester to London. As he lies dying the man hands Justin a letter and begs him to find a way to get it to the queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Letter in hand he’s brought into Eleanor’s presence and her confidence leading to a world of intrigue and danger as Eleanor plots to save her favorite son, Richard the Lionhearted whilst her grasping younger son John schemes to seize the throne. Great historical detail and an engaging lead character makes a good adventure.

A Cast of Killers (1986)-In 1982 author Sidney Kirkpatrick is commissioned to write a biography of King Vidor, director of classics The Big Parade and Stella Dallas among many others. Delving into Vidor’s papers he discovered a trove of research that the director and his good friend former silent star Colleen Moore had compiled on the unsolved 1922 murder of film director William Desmond Taylor. Putting the Vidor bio aside for the moment Kirkpatrick built on the existing research and plunged into the jazz mad world of the twenties where men with vague pasts such as Taylor’s could rise to the level of respected film director. Along the way he acquaints the reader with the many people, shaded by Vidor’s intimate knowledge of the film community of the time, involved in the case including the two stars, comic legend Mabel Normand and supposedly innocent Mary Miles Minter, whose careers were destroyed in the scandal and the massive cover-up and graft that protected the killer, whom Vidor deduced, for decades. A fascinating story begging to be filmed.