You’ve Seen The Movie…

…Now read the book! You’ve got to love these paperbacks. This one is tough, though, since it’s a translation from the French original.

“Look here!” said Gévigne. “I want you to keep an eye on my wife.”
“The devil! …Running off the rails, is she?”
“Not in the way you think.”
“What’s the matter, then?”
“It isn’t easy to explain… she’s queer. I’m worried about her.”
“What are you afraid of, exactly?”
Gévigne hesitated. He looked at Flavières…”

All right, I’ll try to remember that the Jimmy Stewart character has his accent mark pointed backward, and the Tom Helmore character has his pointing forward…

Wow, the movie’s in black and white, but the novelization is in color!

It’s 1962, and novelist (novelizationist?) Irving Schulman is coming off one of his biggest novelization successes ever, West Side Story, which went through over twenty printings. It shows you how far some people will go to avoid reading Romeo and Juliet.

Intriguingly, the original short story upon which the film is based is titled The Notorious Tenant. I’m guessing that the movie-going public was more intrigued by a notorious Kim Novak than a notorious Jack Lemmon.

Well, no, maybe it’s just Hollywood tradition.

In Rupert Hughes’ story, the patent leather kid is the girl who dances her way into men’s hearts. When First National films the epic two-and-a-half hour silent movie, however, they make Richard Barthelmess the patent leather kid, which is not to say that as a result he dances his way into men’s hearts, but rather that the film script swaps the names of the two lead characters. The name of Curly Boyle, the boxer/soldier of the story, is given to Molly O’Day’s character in the film.

No wonder there’s a note on the dust jacket stating: “Be sure to read the introduction BEFORE YOU BEGIN.”

Wow, the movie’s in color, but the novel is in black and white!

The on-screen chemistry between Hayley Mills and Eli Wallach is electrifying. Why were they never teamed again?

OK, OK, calm down, take a deep breath, and I’ll explain.

No, George Pal never made a sequel to The Time Machine. He wanted to, and this is a novelization of his script. Read the novelization and you will know why the movie never got made. George (The Time Traveler) and Weena (The Eloi pin-up girl) are killed in the first four pages, during World War II, presumably to set the stage for an all-new, cheaper cast.

The cover of the Time Machine II is calculatedly confusing. They put a Malcolm McDowell look-alike in Pal’s time machine, presumably because McDowell had appeared as a time-traveling H.G. Wells in the film Time After Time (which Pal had nothing to do with) two years before this paperback original came out. Parenthetically, there have been lots of sequels written to the H.G. Wells novella. Stephen Baxter’s The Time Ships is probably the best read of the lot, but the prize for best title goes to The Man Who Loved Morlocks, by David Lake.

Danny Kaye gets into trouble by extending credit to people who are clearly unacceptable credit risks, thus predicting the sub-prime mortgage crisis by a full 45 years.

Um, if you’re going to put Frankie Avalon into a post-apocalyptic tale of survival… shouldn’t it have been On The Beach?

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