Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Books to Movies

A couple months ago I was looking at books by Kentucky authors which had been made into movies. With the help of IMDB I was able to pull together a short list of titles. These authors were born in Kentucky or have close connections with the state. The list includes only novels, not short stories or story lines or screen writers. The list would be much longer if those items were included.
  • All the Kings Men, by Robert Penn Warren has been done twice. In 1949 Robert Broderick played the leading role while Sean Penn was cast as Willie Stark in 2006.
  • The Hustler, by Walter Tevis has been touted as the movie that launched Paul Newman's career in 1961 as he portrayed pool shark, Fast Eddie Felson.
  • The Color of Money, also by Tevis in 1986 paired Paul Newman as a middle aged Fast Eddie with a young Tom Cruise as Eddie makes a comeback.
  • The Dollmaker by Harriet Simpson Arnow starred Jane Fonda in 1984 as Gertie, an Appalachian woman uprooted from her home in WWII when her husband moved Detroit to find work.
  • Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson was released in 1998 and starred Johnny Depp as a drug addled journalist and his crazy sidekick attorney, portrayed by Benicio Del Toro.
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth, also by Walter Tevis is a 1976 cult classic starring David Bowie as an alien who comes to Earth in an effort to save his planet.
  • Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, by Alice Hegan Rice was filmed four times between 1914 and 1942 with stars W.C. Fields and Shirley Temple playing leading roles. Other books by Rice which were also made into early movies include Lovey Mary (1926), Sandy (1918), Sunshine Nan (1918) and Mr. Opp (1917)
  • The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, by John Fox, Jr. was also released three times between 1920 and 1961. Other Fox novels that were made into movies were The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1923), The Kentuckians (1921), A Mountain Europa (movie title: A Cumberland Romance) (1920) and Heart o' the Hills (1919).
Some of these are great movies, some are really strange and some are not so good, but it's interesting to see the variety of movies available.

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