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Author Topic: Basis for "Joe Kidd" ?  (Read 3366 times)
John Omohundro
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« on: January 06, 2004, 01:57:10 PM »

Hello, all!

I was looking at on-line reviews of some of Clint's older films, and a reviewer at www.amazon.com, the on-line bookstore, claims that JOE KIDD[/i] was based upon a book by Elmore Leonard.

I have the film on VHS videotape, and I know that he wrote the screenplay. I have also read that the original  title of the film was SINOLA[/i], after the nonexistent town in the New Mexico Territory where at least part of it took place. (Someone has a screenplay for JOE KIDD[/i]  on sale at www.barnesandnoble.com, and mentions that SINOLA[/i] was the original "working title", but I'm not willing to pay their asking price of $200-plus.) However, I wasn't aware that there was a book from which the film was adapted.

Would anyone out there happen to know what the title of the aforementioned book might be?

--John Omohundro
« Last Edit: January 06, 2004, 02:45:08 PM by John Omohundro » Logged
Agent
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2004, 02:58:54 PM »

Hello John -

I had read somewhere (in an Elmore interview) that it was based on a mini-story, rather than an actual book, but I'm not for certain.

I know you can dig up a hord of Elmore's writings & books at Bookfinder.com, just punch in "Elmore Leonard" in the author box and a ton of his stuff will show up, but other than that I don't know if there was an actual "book" about it.
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John Omohundro
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2004, 03:35:25 PM »

Thanks, Agent!

I think I'll do that!

--John
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John Omohundro
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2004, 08:23:38 PM »

Oh, well...

I just looked at Elmore Leonard's Website, http://www.elmoreleonard.com/ , and it seems that JOE KIDD was based upon an original screenplay, and was NEVER a novel.

*SIGH...*

--John
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KC
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2004, 08:34:01 PM »

The prolific Leonard has certainly written novels, stories, original screenplays, and screenplays based on his novels and stories. In this case, I'm pretty sure it was an original screenplay. There is no declaration of "based upon" in the film's credit for Leonard, and indeed, the pressbook calls it "Elmore Leonard's original screenplay" (These things aren't infallible, however ... the same document gives Stella Garcia's character name correctly as "Helen Sanchez" in the cast list, but in the synopsis on the same page misidentifies her as "Rita Sanchez.")

There was never, as far as I'm aware, a tie-in book for this film (none is advertised in the pressbook), and it seems likely that there would have been, had the script been based on a pre-existing story or novel.

Like Agent, I seem to recall reading an interview with Leonard in which he talks about the script and complains mildly about its fate in production.  
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2004, 08:40:20 PM »

Oh, well...

I just looked at Elmore Leonard's Website, http://www.elmoreleonard.com/ , and it seems that JOE KIDD was based upon an original screenplay, and was NEVER a novel.

*SIGH...*

--John

John is way ahead of me! He posted the above while I was digging through my interviews and pressbooks ... I guess that settles that. Here's a quote from Leonard's site ...

Quote
Joe Kidd was Elmore’s first original screenplay but never became a book. Swanson sold the story directly to Universal and the legendary Jennings Lang became involved as producer. Producer Sidney Beckerman was also involved and rewrote the dialogue which Elmore would change back to the original before the secretary typed it up. Joe Kidd is set in the American Southwest during the Mexican American War. Eastwood plays Joe Kidd, a former bounty hunter enlisted to capture a Mexican revolutionary named Luis Chama (John Saxon) by Frank Harlan (Robert Duvall), a wealthy land baron. John Sturgis [ sic ] fundamentally changed the Saxon character's motivation from Elmore’s original concept of a glory seeking egomaniac to a champion of the Mexican people. Elmore felt the plot fell apart after that change. Sturgis added the scene at the end with the train crashing through the barroom. Everybody involved with Joe Kidd awaited a sign of Sturgis’ genius but it didn't happen. One of Eastwood’s lowest grossers.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2004, 08:41:26 PM by KC » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2004, 08:51:11 PM »

By the way, John, in order to have the URLs you post function as links, don't inclose them in "underline" tags ([u ] [/u ]). You can, if you want, inclose them in "url" tags, or begin the tag [ url=, then give the URL, then the closing bracket ] , a word or a phrase to serve as a link, then [/url ]. (Omit the spaces following and preceding brackets.)
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