When Authors Write Movies

  • Cinelinx
A look at 5 movies that you might not have known were written by famous authors. Sometimes they worked out, sometimes they did not.

Writing a movie can be a lot different from writing a book. Unlike a movie script, a novel is freeform. The author can take any style or format they would like to convey their ideas. A script, on the other hand, has to be able to be interpreted by the actors, filmmakers, and the audience. Therefore, it is typically structured in a certain way to help people working on the movie do their job and people watching the movie comprehend what is happening. Furthermore, a major difference between writing novels and movies is that movies are (mostly) restricted to the visual realm. It’s not easy to show audiences what characters are thinking, which severely limits plot and character development techniques. Overall, there are unique challenges to
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Foreign Intrigue | Blu-ray Review

These days, the American movie going public is quite accustomed to seeing major motion picture based on a prior television series, as well as the opposite movement from big to small screen. But back in 1956, this wasn’t quite as common an adaptation, which may explain the lack of enthusiasm surrounding Foreign Intrigue, a beautifully photographed film directed by Sheldon Reynolds based on his successful television series of the same name, which aired 1951 to 1955. As retooled with matinee idol Robert Mitchum, the film’s rather schizophrenic narrative jumps freely between being a colorfully lush romantic European entanglement and espionage tinged noir narrative.

On the way to visit his enigmatic and mysterious employer, press agent Dave Bishop (Mitchum) finds his boss collapsed and barely breathing. The man expires in his arms, and it’s ruled his death was the cause of a heart attack. Or was it? Immediately, Bishop informs his
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‘The Sopranos’ Leads WGA List of Top TV Series

The Writers Guild of America on Sunday unveiled its list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time,” topped by HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

The mob drama created by David Chase (pictured above right with “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini) led the list over such perennial faves as “Seinfeld” (which ranked No. 2), “All in the Family” (No. 4), “Mash” (No. 5) and “The Wire” (No. 9).

On the other end of the list was a three-way tie between the original NBC “Late Night with David Letterman,” FX’s “Louie” and HBO’s intense prison drama “Oz.”

The list, the results of online voting by members of the WGA West and WGA East, immediately spurred debates over the rankings and omissions. The TV tally was a follow-up to the WGA’s “101 Greatest Screenplays” member survey conducted in 2006.

The WGA’s complete list of TV series follows:


The Sopranos


Created by David Chase


See full article at Variety - TV News »

James Bond Retrospective: You Only Live Twice (1967)

To mark the 50th Anniversary of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time and as James Bond prepares for his 23rd official outing in Skyfall later this year, I have been tasked with taking a retrospective look at the films that turned author Ian Fleming’s creation into one of the most recognised and iconic characters in film history.

After the phenomenal box-office success of Thunderball in 1965 the Bond series producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were left looking for an out of this world adventure for Bond’s fifth outing, You Only Live Twice. When Richard Maibaum the screenwriter of all the previous films became unavailable the producers hired popular short story and children’s writer Roald Dahl to pen the screenplay. Dahl had been a close friend of Fleming but described the original novel as “Fleming’s worst book”. Taking only a handful of ideas from the story,
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O, Synecdoche, my Synecdoche!

Fair warning: I begin with a parable, continue with vast generalizations, finally get around to an argument with Entertainment Weekly, and move on to Greek gods, "I Love Lucy" and a house on fire.

The parable, The lodestars of John Doe's life are his wife, his children, his boss, his mistress, and his pastor. There are more, but these will do. He expects his wife to be grateful for his loyalty. His children to accept him as a mentor. His boss to value him as a worker. His mistress to praise him as a sex machine. His pastor to note his devotion. These are the roles he has assigned them, and for the most part they play them.

In their own lives, his wife feels he has been over-rewarded for his loyalty, since she has done all the heavy lifting. His children don't understand why there are so many stupid rules.
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

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