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Read the Book, See the Movie: Part 3

Beyond the PAge: Famous Quotes
Alfred Hitchcock

Photos: Alfred Hitchcock and Raymond Chandler

Sherlock Holmes

Photos: Sherlock Holmes

"The Maltese Falcon"

Photos: Hardboiled Mysteries

I have a theory that you should do everything before you die

– Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) in "Strangers on a Train" (Screenplay by Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde)
Photos: Alfred Hitchcock and Raymond Chandler

The screen’s master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, frequently drew on literary sources for his films; among the most famous are "Rebecca" (1940, based on the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier) and "Psycho" (1960, based on the 1959 novel by Robert Bloch). Hitchcock also worked frequently with noted authors, such as John Steinbeck ("Lifeboat," 1944) and Thornton Wilder ("Shadow of a Doubt," 1943). "Strangers on a Train" (1951) features an unusual combination of the director’s literary leanings. After optioning Patricia Highsmith’s debut novel, Hitchcock tried to find a well-known author for the screenplay but was turned down by several, including Dashiell Hammett. Hitchcock finally interested mystery writer Raymond Chandler in the project, but the two had a disastrous working relationship, prompting Chandler to consider having his name withdrawn from the screen credits. Chandler had earlier adapted James M. Cain’s novel Double Indemnity into a 1944 Billy Wilder film, which experienced considerable difficulties with the Production Code before it reached the screen.

“Murder, my dear Watson. Refined, cold-blooded murder.”

– Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (Screenplay by Ernest Pascal)
Photos: Sherlock Holmes

The fictional character most frequently depicted on film is Sherlock Holmes, with hundreds of appearances including a long-running series with Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. The characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appear in four novels, the most often-filmed of which is The Hound of the Baskervilles (first serialized from 1901 to 1902), as well as 56 short stories.

“If they hang you, I'll always remember you.”

– Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in "The Maltese Falcon" (Screenplay by John Huston)
Photos: Hardboiled Mysteries

The film style known as film noir (stylized crime dramas of the ’40s and ’50s) was largely influenced by the hardboiled mystery writers of the era, such as James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich, many of whose novels were adapted into noir films. Other writers known for their hard-edged style include Jim Thompson, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.

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