A third film version of Jimmy the Kid?

In the early days of this site (2000), I had a couple of brief exchanges with Donald Westlake. One of them went like this (excerpted from longer e-mails):

DEW: What do you mean, two movies of JIMMY THE KID? If I knew how to ubderline [sic] on this despicable machine, I would underline ‘two’. Pretend I did.

TAR: According to the Internet Movie Database, there is the Gary Coleman version and a 1999 German version.  If their information is up-to-date, it hasn’t gone into general release yet, it’s just doing the film festival circuit. I managed to find some stills from it somewhere–they are on my site if you dig deep enough. Does this mean they didn’t pay you?

DEW: Yes! They paid me in 96, and I haven’t thought a thing about it since. I’ll look for the stills.

Knowing that Mr. Westlake thought the German version was the second one, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered yesterday that there appears to be a third film version of Jimmy the Kid, which would actually be the first adaptation. It was a 1976 Italian take.

I can understand that by 1996, with dozens of titles under his belt, Westlake was far beyond caring about the details of selling film rights for one book or another. But did he forget about a film made from one of his books in 1976, only sixteen years after his first success? I find that hard to believe. My guess is he didn’t know this film was made. I would also venture a guess that he didn’t get paid for it.

I stumbled across the existence of Come ti rapisco il pupo while looking up Dortmunder in Wikipedia. That might not sound like great detective work, but no one has mentioned this to me in the eleven years that this site has existed in one form or another. A Google search yields Wikipedia, IMDB, and nothing else in English. The IMDB entry is scant–it credits Westlake but makes no reference to the work the film is based on. Is it Jimmy the Kid? Despite the poster looking more like a Tatum O’Neal flick than a comic crime caper, I think it is.

My investigation revealed that the movie happens to share a title with the Italian translation of Jimmy the Kid. (Judging by this cover art, Italians think Dortmunder is a total badass.)

I also tracked down some stills, which are below the fold. They also fit the profile.

I think we have a match.

If anyone can get me a copy of Come ti rapisco il pupo in any format, I may be able to (legally) get us an English-subtitled version. Let me know.

(And if anyone can translate the title Come ti rapisco il pupo for me, please do. The Internet translators ain’t cuttin’ it.)

Continue reading A third film version of Jimmy the Kid?

Rest in peace, Gary Coleman

Westlake sleaze reprint carnival!

Wonder Publishing Group has just released Donald Westlake’s 1961 sleaze novel, Campus Doll, as an eBook. It is available for Kindle from Amazon and some other formats from Barnes & Nobles’ Fictionwise. As a bonus, it’s cheap, listed at $5.99.

While it’s always great news when rare Westlake becomes available, I can’t help but be a little disappointed in the announcement. I wish there was a print-on-demand option for those of us not yet enamored with reading full-length novels on a computer screen or who can’t afford a Kindle or an iPad. But with something like Campus Doll, we’re lucky to have it at all and I feel a bit churlish for complaining.

For we who are behind the times, Subterranean Press has announced an October publication date for an omnibus of three early sleazy collaborations between Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake (writing as Sheldon Lord and Alan Marshall, respectively). Titled Hellcats and Honeygirls, it will contain A Girl Called Honey, So Willing, and Sin Hellcat (AKA A Piece of the Action) as well as a new introduction by Block. It retails for $30, and can be pre-ordered here.

I don’t believe cover art for Hellcats and Honeygirls is online yet, but it will be by Glen Orbik, who has done some memorable work for Hard Case Crime.

Vintage cover art below the fold.

Continue reading Westlake sleaze reprint carnival!

Trailer for The Stepfather remake

This trailer for the completely unnecessary remake of the Westlake-written The Stepfather appropriately features a completely unnecessary cover of The Cars’ “Drive.”

If you’re planning on seeing this, be warned that the trailer seems to give away the entire film.

The Stepfather comes out on […]

Hot Stuff (1979) available on YouTube

Donald Westlake was one of the writers of this 1979 comedy starring Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jerry Reed. I’ve never seen it.

Hot Stuff trailer

Hot Stuff is rare on VHS and has never been released on DVD, but you can watch the whole movie via this […]

Westlake/Stark link roundup 5/10/09

Donald Westlake as drawn by Darwyn Cooke

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these–let’s see what I’ve accumulated in the past month or so.

Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s clobberin’ time!!! has Darwyn Cooke’s portrait of Donald Westlake (above). (Thanks to Will Kane of World of Kane.)