Category Archives: 2013 Book to Movie Challenge

2013 Book to Movie Challenge – completed

I had promised myself that in 2013 I would not undertake any new Challenges … but this one created by Katie over at her Doing Dewey blog proved irresistible. I selected the Movie Aficionado level (a dozen books to be reviewed … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Bill Pronzini, Boileau-Narcejac, Bryan Forbes, Harlan Ellison, Michael Crichton, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler, Richard Matheson, Stanley Ellin | 22 Comments

Callan (1974) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

In the 1970s British cinema was at a particularly low ebb following the departure of the American majors. The number of productions fell precipitously and confidence ebbed away. As a result, for the next few years British cinemas seemed to … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, TV Spinoff | 18 Comments

The Lady from Shanghai (1948) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

The story goes that Orson Welles, needing $50,000, rang the head of Columbia Studios and offered to make a film for them from a paperback he had just plucked at random from a book stand near the phone booth. Is … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Sherwood King | Tagged | 48 Comments

IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE (1938) by Sherwood King

Later adapted by Orson Welles into The Lady from Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth, this was one of a pair of pre-war mysteries by Raymond Sherwood King. Set among the wealthy elite of Long Island, it is narrated by Laurence Planter, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Courtroom, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Orson Welles, Sherwood King | 22 Comments

The Drowning Pool (1975) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Lew Archer, Ross Macdonald’s immortal private detective, had a name change when played by Paul Newman in Harper (1966). The movie was a hit so further attempts were made to transpose the character to the screen. The 1974 TV-Movie of The … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, New Orleans, Ross Macdonald | 43 Comments

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver

Columbine, Santana, Pocatello, Virginia Tech … 10 years after its publication and this novel remains as controversial and potent as ever, its distressing subject matter still relevant after the recent events in Sparks, Nevada and Sandy Hook Elementary School last … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Lionel Shriver, New York | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

THE WINTER MURDER CASE (1939) by SS Van Dine

This was the snowy swan song for amateur sleuth Philo Vance. It is also, stylistically, Van Dine’s most atypical book, told in a brisk, direct and light manner almost completely free of those adornments (footnotes and expansive digressions etc.) that … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Philo Vance, SS Van Dine | 43 Comments

THE DROWNING POOL (1950) by Ross Macdonald

This is the second of eighteen books featuring Lew Archer, the California PI created by Kenneth Millar, first published under his soon to be shortened pen-name, ‘John Ross Macdonald.’ It was also the first of the series that I read, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, California, Friday's Forgotten Book, Ross Macdonald | 46 Comments

Danger Within (1959) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

The late Bryan Forbes co-adapted Michael Gilbert’s wartime mystery Death in Captivity (which I previously reviewed here) into this tight little movie, released in the US as Breakout. Set in an Italian POW camp in the Summer of 1943, it is a … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Bryan Forbes, Italy, Michael Gilbert, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, World War II | Tagged | 25 Comments

SS Van Dine – forgotten author

Does anyone read the rarefied intellectual puzzles investigated by Philo Vance anymore? I have been looking again at this series written and narrated by ‘SS Van Dine’ mainly with great pleasure (and will provide a couple of reviews here at Fedora very … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, SS Van Dine | 38 Comments

DEATH IN CAPTIVITY (1952) by Michael Gilbert

The unusual background for this superb locked room mystery is a POW camp in Italy, loosely based on the author’s own experiences during the Second World War. It was filmed with Richard Todd in 1959 as Danger Within, the book’s US … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Italy, Michael Gilbert, World War II | 34 Comments

Payback – Straight Up: The Director’s Cut

When Parker, the Jason Statham / Jennifer Lopez movie was released, they used a rather obscure though witty strapline that only fans would probably enjoy: “Payback has a new name” Why is this amusing? Well it helps if you know that … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | Tagged , | 32 Comments

DICK BARTON: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING HOUSE (1978) by Alan Radnor

In the 1940s my mum and her sister used to rush home every school night to listen to the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton – Special Agent. Broadcast by the BBC from 6.45 to 7PM, the radio serials debuted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, Dick Barton, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, London, Novelisation, Radio, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

THE BIG CLOCK (1946) by Kenneth Fearing

Kenneth Fearing (1902-61), modernist novelist and proletariat poet, was driven by a strong social conscience. When subpoenaed in the 1950s and asked if he was a Communist, he replied, rather splendidly, “Not yet.” Of his seven crime novels, The Big Clock … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Farrow, Kenneth Fearing, New York | 27 Comments

The Hot Rock (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

John Archibald Dortmunder is a professional thief but not always a very lucky one. In his debut comic caper he plans and executes an elaborate jewel heist that quickly descends into farce when one of his team gets caught and … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Donald Westlake, Dortmunder, New York, William Goldman | Tagged , , | 37 Comments

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Annabel (1962)

During the week David Kelsey lives in a little apartment in Froudsberg but at weekends he drives off to a large secluded house near Ballard to become ‘William Newmaster’, where he dreams of a life with his ex-girlfriend Annabel, now … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, New York, Patricia Highsmith, Robert Bloch, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 37 Comments

THIS SWEET SICKNESS (1960) by Patricia Highsmith

If we’re lucky we’ve all been in love at least once – but can it also be a kind of madness? This is the theme of this novel by Patricia Highsmith, whose unconventional suspense fiction used genre trappings to depict … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Patricia Highsmith | 29 Comments

The Four Just Men (1939) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Edgar Wallace was a popular author who, when it came to adapting his works for the cinema, not only opted to produce them himself but even directed a couple! He remains one of the most filmed of all writers, the vast majority … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 19 Comments

JIGSAW (1970) by Ed McBain

The 87th Precinct series reaches the decade that fashion sense forgot in a quirky and profane story of prejudice and stereotypes where the squad’s only black officer, Arthur Brown, finally takes centre stage. Built around a bizarre treasure hunt, this novel later served … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 87th Precinct, Columbo, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 31 Comments

THE FOUR JUST MEN (1905) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace made a real splash with his debut novel, though perhaps not quite the kind that he had intended. Originally promoted with the offer of a huge prize for anyone who guessed the ending, Wallace eventually had to declare … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, Friday's Forgotten Book, Locked Room Mystery, London | 57 Comments

BADGE OF EVIL (1956) by Whit Masterson

The team of Robert Wade and Bill Miller produced nearly three dozen crime novels between 1946 and 1961, mainly as  ‘Wade Miller’ and (in hardback) ‘Whit Masterson’. Badge of Evil served as the basis for the Orson Welles classic Touch of … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Film Noir, Mexico, Scene of the crime, Wade Miller, Whit Masterson | 25 Comments

The Carey Treatment (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Based on Michael Crichton’s A Case of Need (which I reviewed here), this was one of Blake Edwards’ occasional excursions into the mystery genre (I profiled some of the others here). Edwards and the screenwriters disowned the released version and it does take many … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Blake Edwards, Boston, Michael Crichton, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 31 Comments

HEAT (1985) by William Goldman

William Goldman – novelist, journalist and screenwriter – turns 82 today. Not just the author of the bestselling memoir, Adventures in the Screentrade, he won Oscars for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men and was … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Las Vegas, Private Eye, Ross Macdonald, William Goldman | Tagged , | 35 Comments

The First Great Train Robbery (1978) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

A hugely successful writer, Michael Crichton had a more patchy career as a director. After two high concept hits, Westworld (1973) and Coma (1978), he changed tack with this meticulously researched caper based on a real-life Victorian bullion robbery. It won … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, England, London, Michael Crichton, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 34 Comments

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (1954) by Boileau-Narcejac

Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narjejac’s mysteries in the 1950s and 60s were admired for their great plot ingenuity but not for their plausibility. This is certainly the case with their third novel, a morbid tale with a giant twist adapted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Paris | 32 Comments

Pursuit (1972) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Ben Gazzara, E.G Marshall and Martin Sheen star in this ticking clock thriller by Michael Crichton in which the countdown is actually shown superimposed on-screen. This was a pretty nifty gimmick for a modest ABC TV Movie of the Week … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, John Lange, Michael Crichton, San Diego, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 21 Comments

BINARY (1972) by Michael Crichton

This proved to be the last of the books Michael Crichton published under his ‘John Lange’ pseudonym as his secret identity was pretty much blown by then. After his mutating virus bestseller The Andromeda Strain and the Edgar-winning medical mystery A Case of Need … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Lange, Michael Crichton, San Diego | 26 Comments

The Big Night (1951) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This unusual Film Noir, based on the Stanley Ellin book Dreadful Summit (click here for my review) was the last Hollywood project for director Joseph Losey before being forced to flee to Europe to escape the McCarthy witch hunt. Set … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Film Noir, Joseph Losey, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Scene of the crime, Stanley Ellin, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 19 Comments

A CASE OF NEED (1968) by Michael Crichton

Why doesn’t Michael Crichton (1942-2008) get more street cred as a crime writer? Is it because he was so commercially successful? Who needs respect when your books and movies make you a multimillionaire, right? But his absence from major genre … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Blake Edwards, Boston, Friday's Forgotten Book, Michael Crichton | 37 Comments

CAT CHASER (1982) by Elmore Leonard

Today Patti Abbott is celebrating the work of Elmore Leonard over at her fab Pattinase blog. I am chipping in with this review of his Miami-based thriller from 1982. George Moran is an ex-marine, once married into society but now divorced, … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Elmore Leonard, Friday's Forgotten Book, Miami | 45 Comments