Category Archives: 2014 Book to Movie Challenge

2014 Book to Movie Challenge – completed

Well, we all like a good sequel and when Katie over at her Doing Dewey blog asked me to co-host this challenge, I just couldn’t resist (hubris is a terrible thing)! I selected the Movie Auteur level (24 books to be reviewed and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 87th Precinct, Agatha Christie, Audrey Erskine Lindop, Barry England, Bill Pronzini, Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, Brian de Palma, Charles Williams, Charlotte Armstrong, Claude Chabrol, Columbo, Cornell Woolrich, Dashiell Hammett, David Callan, Desmond Cory, Ed McBain, Erle Stanley Gardner, Evelyn Anthony, Georges Simenon, Graham Greene, Isaac Asimov, James Hadley Chase, James M. Cain, James Mitchell, Maigret, Miss Marple, Nero Wolfe, Orson Welles, PD James, Perry Mason, Philip Marlowe, Philo Vance, Poirot, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Robert Siodmak, Roy Baker, Shirley Jackson, Somerset Maugham, SS Van Dine, Stanley Ellin, The Thin Man, William Goldman | 16 Comments

Buon Natale 2014

2014 has been very busy – but will it be remembered as a vintage year?

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo | 30 Comments

THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS (1957) by John Wyndham

Time for another left turn at Fedora, but one that seems appropriate given the festive season. Focussing on a series of increasingly deadly events in a small English village, this is a typical bit of low-key speculative fiction by John … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, England, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 40 Comments

The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949)

Charles Laughton plays Inspector Maigret in this highly atypical Hollywood movie, shot in colour and on location in Paris. Despite a cast that includes Franchot Tone and Burgess Meredith (who also took over as director at the last-minute), this is … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, France, Georges Simenon, Maigret, Paris, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 38 Comments

Fedora (1978) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

I had to review this film for its title alone! But it’s also a great movie, well worth 2 hours of your time (it’s just been released on Blu-ray). Based on the eponymous novella by Thomas Tryon – the actor-turned-author … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Billy Wilder, France, Germany, Greece, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 27 Comments

THE LETTER (1927) by Somerset Maugham

At night on a Malaya rubber plantation a gunshot rings out. A man stumbles out of a bungalow, pursued by a woman, who empties all the chambers of her revolver into him. The moonlight reveals a distraught, gun-toting Bette Davis … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Courtroom, Malaysia, Singapore, Somerset Maugham | Tagged , , , | 60 Comments

THE FURY (1976) by John Farris

A wannabe blockbuster in its day, John Farris’s expansive novel – and the far more linear movie version he scripted for Brian De Palma – still works as a sui generis mixture of espionage, action and the paranormal. Gillian is a … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Chicago, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Scene of the crime | 39 Comments

MAGIC (1976) by William Goldman

William Goldman is probably known best for The Princess Bride and Marathon Man, both of which he adapted into successful movies. His suspense novel Magic was a hit in its day too, though did less well when he reworked it for … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, New York, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, William Goldman | Tagged , , , , | 46 Comments

SOME MUST WATCH (1933) by Ethel Lina White

It’s Halloween, so time for things to get a little shuddery here at Fedora! Ethel Lina White, a big name in the 1930s, is best known today for The Wheel Spins, later filmed by Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes. Some … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, Gothic, Robert Siodmak | Tagged | 40 Comments

THE RETURN OF THE THIN MAN by Dashiell Hammett

Absurd as it may seem, there are those who don’t think the delightful screwball mysteries featuring Nick and Nora Charles really belong in the oeuvre of hardboiled master, Dashiell Hammett. This has been exacerbated by the perceived devaluation of his … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Dashiell Hammett, New York, San Francisco, Screwball, The Thin Man | Tagged , | 44 Comments

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

First published in 2012, this “he said, she said” novel of marital suspense by Gillian Flynn – about a man accused of killing his wife when she goes missing – quickly became a bestseller in the US. Flynn has now … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, Film Noir | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

THE DRAGON MURDER CASE (1933) by SS Van Dine

A man dives into an open air swimming pool and vanishes, never to be seen alive again. When the pool is drained, the only clue to be found is what looks like the footprints of a dragon on the muddy … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, New York, Philo Vance, SS Van Dine, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 48 Comments

Book to Movie Challenge – quarterly update

This year I am co-hosting the Book to Movie Challenge run by Katie over at Doing Dewey. The premise is simple – review both a book and the movie or TV adaptation made from it – there are 5 levels: Movie Fan … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge | 10 Comments

The Jigsaw Man (1983) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This spy thriller was inspired by the exploits of double agent Kim Philby. Indeed the author went so far as to cheekily dedicate the book to him, and all her ‘dear friends in the KGB’ including those, ‘not yet surfaced.’ … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cold War, England, Espionage, London, Moscow, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 36 Comments

Phantom Lady (1944) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This great movie is based on the book that got me hooked on the dark suspense of  Cornell Woolrich in the 1980s – and I suspect that, along with The Bride Wore Black, it’s the one that does it for … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cornell Woolrich, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Robert Siodmak | 39 Comments

Try This One for Size (1989) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This amusing comedy-thriller was the first of a quartet of films starring Michael Brandon derived from the work of euro noir legend, James Hadley Chase. Set in the double-dealing world of smugglers and dodgy art dealers, this one brought Paradise City detective Tom … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Florida, France, James Hadley Chase, Noir, Switzerland | 24 Comments

The Anderson Tapes (1971) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Given how surveillance culture has jumped to the very top of the political agenda, I thought it might be intriguing, and possibly even salutary, to look at a novel and film that got there very early, even before the Watergate … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Donald Westlake, Lawrence Sanders, New York, Sidney Lumet | Tagged , | 43 Comments

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Robert Mitchum plays Raymond Chandler’s immortal private eye Philip Marlowe in this beguiling valentine to the classic 1940s detective yarn. Charlotte Rampling is the beautifully coiffed leading lady who is more than she seems, David Shire supplies the lustrous musical … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, London, Noir on Tuesday, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Uncategorized | 57 Comments

THE KEY TO NICHOLAS STREET (1952) by Stanley Ellin

Way before Peyton Place and the like, with this novel Stanley Ellin once again demonstrated his ability to stay ahead of the literary curve, using the investigation into a domestic death to explore the petty (and not so petty) jealousies … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Claude Chabrol, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Scene of the crime, Stanley Ellin | 48 Comments

The Outfit (1973) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Despite being the third in the Parker series, this is a very good jumping on point for newbies as it summarises all that came before and brings to a close the initial arc, paving the way for a the next … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | 32 Comments

PRISONER’S BASE (1952) by Rex Stout

The late William L. De Andrea in his introduction to the Bantam edition (on the right) singles out this particular case for Nero Wolfe and his legman Archie Goodwin for having one of Rex Stout’s best plots. It also made … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Nero Wolfe, New York, Rex Stout | Tagged | 49 Comments

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

That truly disturbing suspense character, the unhinged baby sitter, helped to get entrenched with Mischief, Charlotte Armstrong’s novel subsequently filmed as Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. We begin in New York as Peter and Ruth Jones  await the arrival of … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Charlotte Armstrong, New York, Roy Baker, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

MY FRIEND MAIGRET (1949) by Georges Simenon

There is evil in paradise in this Maigret story, which some critics (including Julian Symons) consider to be among the best of the series (no mean feat with over 100 to choose from). It was later adapted for French TV, … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Friday's Forgotten Book, Georges Simenon, Maigret | 58 Comments

THE ABC MURDERS (1936) by Agatha Christie

I realise this might be a bit controversial but I am here to praise both Christie’s classic ABC mystery and The Alphabet Murders, the zany 1965 movie version starring an improbably skinny Tony Randall as Poirot. Yes, it’s a broad comedy and … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Agatha Christie, Amnesia, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 46 Comments

Marlowe, Private Eye: season 1

Powers Boothe starred in this 1980s TV show that took Raymond Chandler’s early pulp stories and replaced their original protagonists with the detective from his later novels. The brainchild of British writer-producer-director David Wickes, the first season was made in … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Bryan Forbes, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 23 Comments

SHROUD FOR A NIGHTINGALE (1971) by PD James

Easier to admire than to like, this was the fourth in PD James’ series featuring her detective, Adam Dalgliesh. It is set in a nursing school and, at considerable length and in great detail, anatomises the lives of the female … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, England, PD James | 44 Comments

THE TAMARIND SEED (1971) by Evelyn Anthony

Evelyn Anthony (pen-name of Evelyn Ward-Thomas) turned 86 this month. She began writing historical romances in the Coronation year of 1953 but by the late 1960s had switched to topical suspense mixed with romance. The Tamarind Seed is a perfect example … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Barbados, Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, London, Paris, Spy movies | 40 Comments

Book to Movie Challenge – quarterly update

This year I am co-hosting the Book to Movie Challenge run by Katie over at Doing Dewey. The premise is simple – review both a book and the movie or TV adaptation made from it – there are 5 levels: Movie Fan … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge | 14 Comments

THE SAINT IN EUROPE (1953) by Leslie Charteris

I can’t quite believe it but this may in fact be the first Saint book I have read in about 35 years! I do remember picking up some of the tie-ins reprinted when Return of the Saint premiered on TV in 1978 … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Austria, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Leslie Charteris, Mike Ripley, Paris, Rome, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands | Tagged | 59 Comments

THE THIRD MAN (1950) by Graham Greene

Published after the release of the popular film of the same name, this book by Graham Greene is slightly unusual – it is not a screenplay (and indeed it varies from the finished film in many ways) and it is … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Film Noir, Five Star review, Graham Greene, Orson Welles, Vienna | 57 Comments