‘Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s and 1950s’

1101-BKS-McDermid-1444859829678-jumboThis post was intended as a private note, a reminder of books I’m looking forward to reading soon. However I thought it might be of some interest to readers of this blog. I came  across ‘Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s and 1950s’ by Val McDermid, in The New York Times here. Which led me to Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s by Sarah Weinman and, next, to visit the special Women Crime Writers companion website for complete information on the eight novels and their authors, along with appreciations by contemporary writers and a wealth of contextual material. A website I recently discovered when looking for biographical information of some of these authors.

So far I’ve read ­Margaret Millar’s Beast in View, I’ve seen several times Laura directed by Otto Preminger and In a Lonely Place directed by Nicholas Ray, but I haven’t read the books and even though I’ve read several books by Patricia Highsmith –mainly all the Ripley’s in my pre-blog days– I I’ve not read The Blunderer.

The rest of the books are: Helen ­Eustis’s The Horizontal Man, ­Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s The Blank Wall, Charlotte Armstrong’s Mischief, and Dolores Hitchens’s Fools’ Gold.

Stay tuned.

Leisure Reading August 2021

leisure_reading

In August 2021, I read:

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905) by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Lying Voices (1954) by Elizabeth Ferrars

His Last Bow (1917) by Arthur Conan Doyle

Bodies from the Library: Lost Classic Stories by Masters of the Golden Age (2018) by Tony Medawar (Editor)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892 (Revisited) by Arthur Conan Doyle

“The House in Goblin Wood”, 1947 [Sir Henry Merrivale] s.s. by John Dickson Carr as Carter Dickson

The Singing Bone, s.s. collected 1912 (Dr Thorndyke) by R. Austin Freeman

Till Death Do Us Part, 1944 (Dr Gideon Fell #15) by John Dickson Carr

My Film Notes: Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (Part IV of a Trilogy)

Mario_Puzo%27s_The_Godfather_CodaMario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is a 2020 director’s cut of The Godfather Part III, the 1990 American crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola, which wrapped up the story of The Godfather saga. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire. The original film stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Andy Garcia, and features Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda, and Sofia Coppola. It had a limited theatrical release in December 2020, followed by a home media release for digital platforms.

When originally released, despite getting mostly positive reviews, The Godfather Part III was deemed as an unfit continuation to the previous films which did not to live up to its predecessors. Both Coppola and Puzo initially planned to make the film an epilogue to the previous two rather than a direct continuation. The original title they had wanted for the third film was Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, as the word ‘coda’ means epilogue, but Paramount Pictures rejected the title and insisted on calling the film The Godfather Part III.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Part III, acknowledging that first film would reach its 50th anniversary in 2022 and his interest on making new versions of his films after turning eighty years old, Coppola approached Paramount Pictures head Jim Gianopulos and discussed the possibility of making a new, shorter cut more faithful to the original vision both he and Puzzo (who passed away in 1999) had in mind for the third film, along with the original title plus new shots and music, a request which Gianopulos granted.

The new cut of the film does not make many large changes. Both the beginning and ending scenes are changed, as well as some recut scenes in the middle. The most radical change is that the film does not end with the literal death of Michael Corleone, but instead his spiritual death as he sits alone in Sicily after the death of his daughter, consigned to a life of misery and regrets. The total runtime of the recut version is 158 minutes compared to the original’s 162 minutes. (Source: Fandom)

Further reading: How ‘The Godfather Coda’ Allows Francis Ford Coppola to Redefine His Biggest Disappointment.

My Film Notes: The Godfather Part III (1990) directed by Francis Ford Coppola [Updated 28/8/2021]

US / 162 min / Color / Paramount Pictures, Zoetrope Studios. Dir: Francis Ford Coppola. Pro: Francis Ford Coppola. Scr: Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola based on The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Cin: Gordon Willis. Mus: Carmine Coppola. Cast: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy García, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, Bridget Fonda, George Hamilton, Sofia Coppola. Synopsis: In this third film in the epic Corleone trilogy, Al Pacino reprises the role of powerful family leader Michael Corleone. Now in his 60’s, Michael is dominated by two passions: freeing his family from crime and finding a suitable successor. That successor could be fiery Vincent (Garcia) … but he may also be the spark that turns Michael’s hope of business legitimacy into an inferno of mob violence. [Paramount Pictures]. Release dates: 20 December 1990 (Beverly Hills, California) (premiere); 25 December 1990 (United States); 8 March 1991 (UK); 1 March 1991(Spain). Spanish title: El padrino: Parte III. IMDb Rating: 7.6/10.

imagenGrande1The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from the screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo. The film stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Andy García, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, Bridget Fonda, George Hamilton, and Sofia Coppola. It is the third and final installment in The Godfather trilogy. A sequel to The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), it concludes the story of Michael Corleone, the patriarch of the Corleone family, who attempts to legitimize his criminal empire. The film also includes fictionalized accounts of two real-life events: the 1978 death of Pope John Paul I and the Papal banking scandal of 1981–1982, both linked to Michael Corleone’s business affairs. (Wikipedia)

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (Wikipedia)

The Godfather Part III at the American Film Institute Catalog

While not in the same league as the first two instalments in the series, The Godfather: Part III is not without its own merits.

In December 2020, Coppola completed a long-discussed new edit of The Godfather Part III, just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary. The project, with the title Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, has a length of 158 minutes in comparison with the  original 162 minutes. The one impactful change is the new opening scene.I look forward to seeing the new version soon.

My Film Notes: The Godfather: Part II (1974) directed by Francis Ford Coppola

US / 200 min / Color / Paramount Pictures, The Coppola Company. Dir: Francis Ford Coppola. Pro: Francis Ford Coppola. Scr: Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola based on The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Cin: Gordon Willis. Mus: Nino Rota. Cast: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Morgana King, John Cazale, Mariana Hill, Lee Strasberg. Synopsis: The Godfather: Part II juxtaposes two stories: that of Michael Corleone (played, as in The Godfather, by Al Pacino) in the years after he becomes head of the Corleone family business and that of his father, Vito Corleone, as a young man (portrayed by Robert De Niro). In the former storyline, set in the 1950s, Michael has moved the family and his base of operations to Nevada, seeking to expand his influence into Las Vegas and also into Havana. The other storyline shows Vito first as a child arriving in New York City in the early 1900s after his family in Sicily was killed by the local Mafia. As a young man, he is introduced into criminal activity by his friend Clemenza (Bruno Kirby), beginning with thievery. When a neighbourhood crime boss (Gastone Moschin) demands a cut of Vito’s profits, however, Vito murders him. Vito gains more power and respect while retaining his devotion to family. In the other narrative, Michael turns down a request from Frankie Pentangeli (Michael V. Gazzo) to approve a hit in New York City, because it would interfere with business with Jewish crime kingpin Hyman Roth (Lee Strasberg). Michael’s story then becomes one of betrayal, deceit, and paranoia. He is targeted by assassination attempts and government investigations. The part of the film dealing with Vito Corleone’s rise to become the don of his own crime family was adapted from the novel The Godfather, but Puzo and cowriter and director Francis Ford Coppola created the story of Michael’s journey into soullessness for the movie. (Source: Britannica). Release dates: 12 December 1974 (New York City, New York) (premiere); 18 December 1974 (United States); 15 May 1975 (UK); 13 October 1975 (Spain). Spanish title: El padrino: Parte II IMDb Rating: 9.0/10.

MV5BMWMwMGQzZTItY2JlNC00OWZiLWIyMDctNDk2ZDQ2YjRjMWQ0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkwMjQ5NzM@._V1_The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from the screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Morgana King, John Cazale, Mariana Hill, and Lee Strasberg. It is the second installment in The Godfather trilogy. Partially based on Puzo’s 1969 novel The Godfather, the film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, presenting parallel dramas: one picks up the 1958 story of Michael Corleone (Pacino), the new Don of the Corleone family, protecting the family business in the aftermath of an attempt on his life; the prequel covers the journey of his father, Vito Corleone (De Niro), from his Sicilian childhood to the founding of his family enterprise in New York City.(Wikipedia)

The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 47th Academy Awards and became the first sequel to win for Best Picture. Its six Oscar wins also included Best Director for Coppola, Best Supporting Actor for De Niro and Best Adapted Screenplay for Coppola and Puzo. Pacino won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. (Wikipedia)

The Godfather Part II at the American Film Institute Catalog

The Godfather: Part II is a continuation of my previous post about my long-awaited project to see the three films of the trilogy one after another. This note was intended solely for my own records, but perhaps it may be of some interest to the readers of this blog. As good as the first instalment. The Godfather Part III coming soon.