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Thursday, June 6, 2019

#55: The Mt. Rushmore Series

Which four authors have had enough of their work successfully adapted to film that you can erect a Mt. Rushmore featuring their visages? Though my mountain also lists four worthwhile films for each  author I selected, I'll be satisfied if you give me one worthy movie to go with your four selections. Or, if you have another favorite film adapted from a book by any of my guys - sorry they're all guys, and white ones at that - tell me about that. Alphabetically, by author:

1.) Nick Hornby - About A Boy, High Fidelity, Juliet, Naked & The Long Way Down are all worth watching. My favorite is About A Boy, especially the scene when Hugh Grant warbles Killing Me Softly With His Song. I do have a minor quibble with High Fidelity. Why Chicago instead of London? Was John Cusack unable to nail a British accent? If so, why not cast Gary Oldman like I did?

2.) Stephen King - Of the slew of King's work made into film, Dolores Claiborne, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, & Stand By Me are my standouts. Two novels, two short stories; Stand By Me was originally called The Body. My favorite - today - is the underrated Dolores Claiborne, perfectly cast - Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and a sublimely creepy David Strathairn.

3.) John le Carre - The Constant Gardener, A Most Wanted Man, Russia House, & Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Each of these spy thrillers has something to recommend it. My favorite is the bleak but brilliantly acted A Most Wanted Man, with Philp Seymour Hoffman in the last movie released before his untimely death.

4.) Elmore Leonard - Get Shorty, Hombre, Jackie Brown, & Out Of Sight all feature Leonard's trademark crackling dialogue. Jackie Brown - originally known as Rum Punch - is my favorite Quentin Tarantino film. Get Shorty is my favorite adaptation of a Leonard book and my favorite film of the four favorites listed here; it also has some of John Travolta's best onscreen moments.

I'm curious about what you're constructing out in the Badlands. I bet others are too.


  1. No list of film adaptations from LeCarre is complete without the TV version of The Night Manager with Hugh Laurie as the villain. Yes, they changed the end but Tom Huddleston is strong as the central character. It's also hard to omit The Spy Who came in From the Cold with Richard Burton, and the old TV version of the three Smiley novels with Alec Guinness as Smiley.

    1. Richard; Thanks for the comment. Didn't see The Night Manager so I can't comment on that. But I'll stand by my four le Carre adaptations vs. the Burton film or the Alec Guinness Smiley TV versions. Putting le Carre aside, which three other authors would you put on your Mt. Rushmore? And for which film(s)?