Casino Deutschland

One-Man Show

Seventy-five years ago today, the film version of Gone with the Wind premiered in Atlanta. It remains one of the most beloved classics in American cinema and holds the number six spot on the American Film Institute (AFI) list of 100 Greatest American Films. Cast, crew and history concur that the daunting task of transforming book-to-film would have been impossible without the passion and drive of one man, producer David O. Selznick. Flying in the face of naysayers insisting costume epics were passé and that civil war movies always lost money, Selznick Studios paid $50,000 for the screen rights to Margaret Mitchell’s phenomenally successful bestseller only a month after publication. The book, not incidentally, was first entitled Tomorrow Is Another Day and had a...

Read More

A Man for All Seasons

One of Truman Capote’s not-so-secret weapons was astonishing versatility. He seemed equally at home penning frothy novellas like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the seminal true-crime chiller, In Cold Blood. Capote was also adept at screenplays (Beat the Devil, The Innocents), books and lyrics for Broadway musicals (House of Flowers), countless magazine articles and several collections of short stories. Of all these remarkable works, one of his shortest – a mere 27 pages – remains my favorite. Published in Mademoiselle magazine in 1956, A Christmas Memory is the gossamer-thin reminiscence of a seven-year-old boy, Buddy, and his elderly cousin, Miss Sook, poor relations in Depression-era Alabama. A roman à clef culled from Capote’s childhood, it follows the unlikely...

Read More

If I Could Turn Back Time

Few authors know where to expect inspiration, but that’s only part of the excitement of our profession. So is venturing into unknown territory. Despite being a fan of George Orwell’s The Time Machine, Jack Finney’s Time and Again and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I never considered writing time travel because the market was lopsided with poorly written, badly plotted stories about some woman getting hit on the head and waking up to discover she’s Cleopatra. Such books had, to quote Dorothy Parker, all “the depth and glitter of a worn dime.” My reluctance changed some years ago when I lived in the French Quarter, and did something as innocuous as going onto my gallery one warm winter evening to enjoy a glass of wine. I wasn’t there long when fog began...

Read More