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The Black Dahlia (James Ellroy novel) MOVIE!!!


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted January 12 2004 - 09:51 AM

Director Brian De Palma and actors Mark Wahlberg and Josh Hartnett have signed on for the big screen adaptation of The Black Dahlia. The script has been written by Josh Freidman and is based on the crime book by James Ellroy.

I loved the book! Hope they don't screw up the movie.

Colton

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted January 12 2004 - 10:09 AM

I love the book as well, but I must confess that I was a bit happier when David Fincher was attached to direct it. When I originally heard he had his eye on it, it just seemed to click for me.

I'm keeping a pretty open mind about it. All of them have produced some really nice movies and characters. They seem to be skewing a bit younger than I would have expected (and which one would be playing Bucky Bleichert?), but that might play well to avoid the Russel Crowe-esque Ellroy heavies.

I have to wonder how he is going to handle the actual victim. I was pretty confident that Fincher could deliver the life changing grotesqueness of it, but has I'm curious if DePalma can (although he did handle some gore with Scarface).

I've got to be pretty careful, because this was the first Ellroy novel I had read, and its pretty close to my heart. I could well end up resembling the loonies who decry all of the departures from their favorite novels when they make the transition to the screen. Posted Image

(No offense loonies, I'm already one of you)

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Anthony

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Posted January 12 2004 - 10:27 AM

DePalma is a good choice--but his last movie sucked fatty gravel and asphalt. and the one before that was Mission to Mars--and I dont' want to bring that up.

What's Friedman's other credits? The adaptation of this is what's REALLY important here--because I'm not so sure Wahlberg and Hartnett will be able to transform a spotty script. They can pull off a GREAT script, but they're not good enough to elevate an iffy one.

I'm with the above poster--I liked it better when Fincher was in creative control of this thing. But I'm still VERY interested in how this will turn out. I want to see it already.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Vickie_M

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Posted January 13 2004 - 07:37 PM

Quote:
DePalma is a good choice--but his last movie sucked fatty gravel and asphalt.


Sez you Posted Image. I thought Femme Fatale was one of the best movies of last year. I agree about Mission to Mars though.

DePalma? Black Dahlia? I am SO there!
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Andy Sheets

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Posted January 13 2004 - 11:54 PM

Quote:
They seem to be skewing a bit younger than I would have expected (and which one would be playing Bucky Bleichert?)

I think Hartnett's the one they're using for Bucky.

I agree with the point that what will make or break this movie is how good the script is. It's not as hard a book to adapt as LA Confidential (not too many books are) but the writer still needs to be really careful with it.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted January 14 2004 - 12:19 AM

I was quite excited about this when Fincher was attached. DePalma can make it work, but the actors don't seem right.

I'd love to be proven wrong.

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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted January 14 2004 - 08:10 AM

Anyone else like to see a screenwriter take a shot at "American Tabloid"? Now THAT would be a challenge. Maybe Oliver Stone? That book was one wild ride!

I'll give "The Black Dahlia" a shot, but making any Ellroy characters "good guys" is just doing a disservice to his prose. That said, I still loved "L.A. Confidential" (the movie), even though it was quite different than the book.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin Grey

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Posted January 14 2004 - 08:30 AM

Yep, everytime I've read American Tabloid I've always envisioned it being filmed in a similar manner to JFK.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted January 29 2004 - 11:11 AM

Word has it that Scarlett Johansson has been cast in the role of Kay (and I presume Ms. Short as well), which makes for an interesting choice.

I had envisioned the roles older for both the male and female leads, but considering Hartnett and Wahlberg, I suppose it fits. She did have that classic beauty look nailed at the Golden Globes.

Came from Variety, by way of Coming Soon.


I'm not casting any judgement on this movie until I see it, but this is more encouraging than either the director or casting so far. I wonder how she'll handle Kay's forwardness?

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Anthony

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Posted January 29 2004 - 11:24 AM

American Tabloid/The Cold Six Thousand is unadaptable Posted Image Not that it's a bad thing, but I seriously doubt any studio would go for it, and since he writes the thing like the action notes in a screenplay ANYWAY, you'd need about 18 hours just to get through both books.

The worst part about those books was that my OWN writing slipped into that same terse simple sentence structure. It was irritating. Some of the messageboards I posted on got messages like:

The movie was cold. Blue. My jaw hit the floor. The Sound popped out of speakers like bang. bang. bang. bang. Enveloping. Swallowing. I looked left. I saw the girl. The girl saw me. She smiled. She saw me move my arm. She saw me fake the yawn. She didn't care. She let it happen. I smiled. Some punk popped on his laser-light. My hand popped into a fist. My hand popped the knuckles in my fist. My arm came off her shoulders. The geekshow waved his light. The Geekshow giggled into his arm. The geekshow never heard me coming....

You can't help but to THINK like that if you spend more than 20 minutes straight reading those books Posted Image

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Peter-PP

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Posted January 30 2004 - 12:11 AM

Is Black Dahlia the story of a young, rich and upcoming actress in the 40s - 50s who was murdered and her naked body was chopped in half and left out in the fields in a gruesome display? That unsolved murder case has always intrigued me.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin Grey

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Posted January 30 2004 - 12:19 AM

Peter- yes. Its a fictional police novel that uses the real life events of the Black Dahlia as its background. Highly, highly recommended. Its the first book in a four book series called the LA Quartet. The third novel in the series is LA Confidential.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted January 30 2004 - 01:20 AM

I thought L.A. Confidential was a great movie (regardless the differences between the movie & book) and was disappointed in the selection of James Cromwell as Capt. Dudley Liam Smith, as I pictured him a much younger character in the novels. I would really like to see The Big Nowhere, American Tabloid and White Jazz made into a movie. The Black Dahlia is my overall favorite - a very disturbing look into one mans obsession to find the killer of Elizabeth Short - even if it means destroying his career, marriage and integrity.

Looking forwards to this one ...

P.S. The lovely and talented ingenue, Kristen Kerr will be playing the lead role in the film. (Elizabeth Short?)

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Peter-PP

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Posted January 30 2004 - 01:32 AM

Thanks and wow! I'll be looking forward to seeing this movie.

The latest rumor according to one of the true crime shows on TV now points to the late Orsen Welles. He had known her and in one of his magician acts, he sawed women in half and she may have fallen victim to his "act". I think the rumor is just a silly rumor.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted January 30 2004 - 01:52 AM

That theory is from Childhood Shadows: The Hidden Story of the Black Dahlia Murder by Mary Pacios. A decent book that gives some interesting clues to Orson Welles as the murderer of Elizabeth Short. Overall, the very best book is Severed by John Gilmore. If you haven't read it - it is an excellent account of details of the life of Elizabeth Short that leads up to the final hours of her brutal torture and includes some gruesome morgue photos too.

Colton

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted January 30 2004 - 04:24 AM

There was a great documentary called James Ellroy's Feast of Death, where in a roundtable discussions with a bunch of LAPD detectives, Nick Nolte, and another author who presented a remarkably credible suspect for the Elizabeth Short killing. I can't remember his name, but supposedly he'll be publishing his theory later on.

I have no idea how you can get a hold of the documentary, but it was really pretty neat. It followed Ellroy around his old neighborhood, the location of Elizabeth's body dump, where his own mother had been found, and through the dinner/discussion with the detectives. They even present him with an honorary LAPD badge, which was very cool.





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