Who should play Dortmunder in the movies?
I mean, producers know better than anyone else what makes money, but here's what Westlake answered when asked what Dortmunder would have done had he not become a thief. Dortmunder is eternally 44 years old, Westlake said, and:
"I doubt John would have chosen a profession. He might have run a grocery store in a changing neighborhood where nothing really works out, or run the construction office for a large inept builder corporation constantly being ripped off by the employees. `Hey, where you goin with that plywood?' `It’s mine, I brought it with me this mornin.' `Oh, okay.'"And you're going to have Christopher Lambert, Robert Redford and Martin Lawrence play this guy? OK, I can understand casting big names, but why violate the books' charm? Dortmunder is a downmarket type of guy. He slouches. His girlfriend May helps herself to bags of groceries from her job, and Dortmunder's gang always have to scramble for places to sit when they meet in his apartment. Yet the Dortmunder character in the movie Why Me?, for some reason called Gus Cardinale, lives in a clean, sunny apartment that appears full of gorgeous, blond-wood furniture. Why?
So, here are your assignments: If you don't know Dortmunder and his gang, make their acquaintance immediately (You'll find excerpts here, here and here). If you do, who should play Dortmunder on screen? A younger Harry Dean Stanton? Elisha Cook Jr.? Woody Allen? You tell me.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009