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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:13 am:   

This may seem like preaching to the converted, but I just discovered a 1996 film by Dan Ireland based on the book 'One Who Walked Alone' by Novalyne Price Ellis based on Robert E Howard's life. The film stars Renee Zellwegger, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Anne Wedgeworth.

The films details the relationship between Howard, his mother and Novalyne Ellis. From the review I read in Video Hound's Independent Film Guide from the end of the 90's, it is a film worth buying.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:23 am:   

Yeah, I first saw this on TV one afternoon many, many years ago. Great little film.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:55 am:   

My thoughts exactly. Never knew it existed and caught it purely by chance one day. It seemed a weird subject for a movie but was extremely well done and not a little moving... especially being such a huge fan of Howard's work.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:56 am:   

That's good to know. I saw this strange little DVD being given away with a magazine with Zellwegger's name plastered over the front. I thought it was just some cheap early movie of hers that they try to resell now that she's famous.

Having looked it up, and hearing it's good, I'm going to have to hunt it down through the 2nd hand DVD shops.

Cheers.
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Greg James (Greg_james)
Username: Greg_james

Registered: 04-2011
Posted From: 62.244.179.50
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 12:25 pm:   

The Whole Wide World is also the best Conan film. They should have gotten D'Onofrio in for the new one.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.54.69
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 12:40 pm:   

Is Lovecraft mentioned in the film? Most of you will know that REH and HPL exchanged long and interesting letters between 1923 and 1936 . . .
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 01:07 pm:   

Lovecraft is mentioned but not really dwelt upon. The focus of the film is more on Howard's anguished personal life and mental problems, and his relationships with his mother and Novalyne Price Ellis.

However, the title 'The Whole Wide World' does come from Lovecraft's description of Howard as "the greatest pulp fiction writer in the whole wide world." He was certainly the greatest pulp fantasy writer, imo, and still is.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 02:22 pm:   

A splendid film, yes and one that avoids forcing any narrow 'explanation' of Howard's suicide on the viewer. He was a very troubled person. His writing is tinged with despair that's party of what makes it so memorable.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 02:23 pm:   

Note to self: READ what you type. Party, indeed. Apologies.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 02:33 pm:   

Well, after such praise, I think I will have to hold the shop owner up at gunpoint if he hasn't got the magazine with the DVD. Thanks chaps.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 27.252.15.187
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:26 pm:   

Yes! Seen the film a few years back and very much enjoyed it.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 01:43 am:   

As to the new CONAN film? I heard one reviewer moaning about it, saying it was - even for his jaded tastes - violent beyond belief, with brains spattering and limbs being sliced off and all manner of blood and guts. And I thought to myself, with some anticipation... wow, could it be they're actually being true to the original stories?...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 02:36 pm:   

If only, Craig. But I fear the time for being true to Howard's stories was the 1970s.

His tales are jaw-droppingly un-PC to a quite magnificent degree and any modern adaptations, with the artistic neutering that implies, can only pale beside them, imho.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.10.92
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 06:40 pm:   

Howard tried so hard not to pander to pulp racist and sexist prejudices.

Solomon Kane's friend the African witch-doctor talks in a ludicrous pidgin English but when he communicates telepathically with Kane through astral projection, his voice is wise and eloquent. In another story, the African tribe whom Kane fails to save from predatory winged men are benign and trusting, like children, and he mourns them and avenges their death. That is, by our standards, a condescending view, but the contrast with Lovecraft who claimed explicitly that black people were 'sub-human' and 'bestial' and unworthy of any regard is striking.

Howard's use of female characters had a voyeuristic element linked to his need to create scenes that Margaret Brundage would illustrate (busty women in chains, women whipping other women, all that). However his female characters were not in general weak or stupid. The witch-woman whom Bran Mak Morn beds in return for forbidden knowledge is sensitively portrayed, while the warrior-queen whom Conan loves, loses and avenges is no wilting flower. Howard had a thing for dominant women.

So he was un-PC certainly, but I think he was trying to say the right things, at least when he wasn't just creating a set-piece for illustration.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 27.252.133.145
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 09:36 am:   

Mmm ....I don't think Michael liked the Conan film.

http://michaellouiscalvillo.com/2011/08/21/hail-crom-its-conan-the-bore-barian-i n-3d/
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.57.160
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 11:34 am:   

At least Tarantino didn't direct it.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.130.154
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 12:40 pm:   

I actually think Tarantinowould make a good job of a Conan film. He knows what takes a great B movie and pushes it up that extra notch. I even think Death Proof was a really good film.

And the soundtrack would be well good.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 01:17 pm:   

I thought Death Proof was excellent. Just like a cult B movie should, 'it's' slowly gathering its fans around it. I loved Rodriguez's Planet Terror, too. Laughed my ass off.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 04:10 pm:   

Big fan of 'Death Proof' as well (and 'Planet Terror'). It marked the start of a resurgence for Tarantino, imo, that he went on to fulfill brilliantly with 'Inglourious Basterds'. Apart from a few memorable set pieces I really wasn't a fan of the 'Kill Bill' movies - grotesquely overblown wankfests, imo.

But I fear he lacks the seriousness to do a faithful Conan adaptation. Boorman's 'Excalibur' is probably the closest we're ever going to come to what it should have been like.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 04:13 pm:   

Howard had a thing for dominant women.

And rightly so! Part of the reason I love the stories so much.

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