David Goodis on Film

I feel mildly mortified that an entire film series dedicated to David Goodis happened and that I failed to hear about it; last week the Pacific Film Archive wrapped up “Streets of No Return,” featuring 10 films based on Goodis stories. You probably know about a pair of them: Dark Passage, which starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and Francois Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player. Both are worth renting, though Steve Seid‘s assertion that the latter is “faithful” to the original novel is a little off. (That book was originally titled Down There, which, as I noted in a review of Goodis a while back, is one of the all-time great noir titles.)

I’m eager to see Descent Into Hell, another great noir title, which is based on Goodis’ The Wounded and the Slain. Better still, I’d like to get back to more of the man’s books. For a quick glimpse on the despairing, gritty tone that Goodis mastered, see Duane Swierczynski’s blog, which recently posted the opening passage of Goodis’ final novel, Somebody’s Done For. (Swierczynski’s blog has lots of great Goodis-related content in addition to that.)

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