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Ross MacDonald's BLACK MONEY (Warner Brothers, 2016)
Posted by RichardW on 8/6/2015, 7:41 pm
Edited by RichardW on 8/6/2015, 7:43 pm
A new Ross MacDonald film should be cause to rejoice. It's been reported that Joel and Ethan Coen are writing the script based on Ross MacDonald's 13th Lew Archer novel (published in 1966) and will direct the film in which the private detective is hired by a man to expose the Frenchmen who stole his girlfriend. Archer's investigation leads to a conspiracy of suicide and gambling. Personally, I lost respect for the Coen brothers when I saw their remake of TRUE GRIT. I've stopped watching their films. I wish somebody else would do BLACK MONEY.
The real challenge in adapting a Lew Archer novel is that he disappears into his observations of others. He's not a character so much as a cypher. Although he is at the center of each novel he doesn't have enough personal business to be fleshed out. This wasn't a problem in previous adaptations because the filmmakers and the actors (Paul Newman and Peter Graves, respectively) played it straightforwardly. They didn't twist the story with some off-kilter agenda. The Coens always do.
"I've been to college, but I can still speak English when business demands it."
Raymond Chandler, 1939.
"All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think."
Elmore Leonard, 2013.