Pronto (1997 TV Movie)
"...'Raylan Givens' (Timothy Olyphant), a deputy Us Marshal, behaves like a 19th-century–style, Old West lawman living in modern times, whose unconventional enforcement of justice makes him a target of criminals as well as his Us Marshals Service bosses.
"As a result of his controversial but 'justified' quick-draw shooting of mob hit-man 'Tommy Bucks' in Miami, Givens is re-assigned from Miami to Kentucky. The Lexington, Kentucky Marshals office's jurisdiction includes 'Harlan County' (a hopelessly impoverished, backwoods coal-mining community in southeastern Kentucky), in which Raylan grew up and thought he had escaped for good in his youth..."
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When Elmore Leonard's Stick was published in Britain in 1984, one newspaper called it "a fine first novel". At almost 60, the author would have been amused at such an accolade; it was, in fact, his 21st novel, and Leonard, who has died aged 87, had been selling his fiction regularly, occasionally to Hollywood. But the genres in which he chose to work often failed to attract serious critical attention: westerns first, then crime novels set in the contemporary urban hinterlands.
Westerns as a literary genre still lack respectability, but the craft and energy of Leonard's crime novels, which include Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Labrava, eventually made them impossible to ignore. Still, recognition came late: only in 1992 did the Mystery Writers of America grant him its highest accolade, the Grand Master Edgar.
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Out of Sight
Arguably the best adaptation of Leonard's work, this 1998 Steven Soderbergh-directed film stars George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez as a con and cop, respectively, who unwittingly fall for each other despite being on opposite sides of the law. Initially trapped in a trunk together, the career criminal and the U.S. Marshall create serious sparks, forcing Lopez's character to wrestle with her conscience as Clooney heads to Detroit to pull off one final heist. The film co-stars Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames, Dennis Farina, Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks and Michael Keaton, who reprises
"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read. Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family. More to follow," reads the post on Facebook.
Leonard was born in 1925 in New Orleans, but moved to Detroit in 1934 with his family and has lived there ever since. He has had a prolific writing career, publishing 45 novels and currently working on his 46th, plus numerous short stories.
Dozens of his novels have been adapted for the large and small screen, most recently his popular character of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens from novels "Pronto" and "Riding the Rap" and short story "Fire in the Hole,
Justified antihero Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant) was the central figure in Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap as well as the short story “Fire in the Hole.” He retained an exec producer title on the series.
On the film side, 3:10 to Yuma, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight (which paved the way for Karen Sisco) and Get Shorty were all based on Leonard’s source material.
He passed away from a stroke this morning, as revealed on his Facebook page. He was 87 and, according to the post, surrounded by those he loved.
Born in New Orleans, Leonard would forever be identified with Detroit, the city that became his home in 1934. His first story was published in 1951 and he began his career with a focus on Westerns. He published dozens of short stories in the ’50s, two of which were turned into hit films of the day, “The Tall T” and “3:10 to Yuma”. Over the years, 26 novels or short stories were turned into films or television programs,
The author passed away after experiencing complications following a stroke.
"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," read a statement on his official Facebook page.
"Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family."
Leonard's researcher Gregg Sutter confirmed earlier this month that the writer had been hospitalised in Detroit.
"He's showing great spirit. He's a fighter, and we're glad to see that," he told The Detroit News at the time.
"He's very much into his 46th novel, working very hard."
Best known for his crime fiction, several of Leonard's books were adapted into films, including Out Of Sight, Get Shorty, Hombre and Rum Punch, which was filmed as Jackie Brown by fan Quentin Tarantino in 1997.
FX's Justified also is based on Leonard's short story Fire in the Hole.
Timothy Olyphant has quite a pair of intimidating eyes on him. Even if the actor's name, or his 18-year body of work, doesn't ring an immediate bell, it's hard not to remember his gimlet-eyed glare. Sharp, penetrating and derisive, that stare is a ticking time-bomb, warning recipients they have mere moments to correct their behaviour before his thin string of patience snaps. Since 2010, Olyphant's unforgiving gaze has bored deep into the souls of the moonshiners, meth dealers and murderers who populate the dirt-poor coal-mining community of Harlan, east Kentucky, the setting of his hit drama series Justified. Marshal Raylan Givens is not Olyphant's first lawman: he was memorably furious as sheriff Seth Bullock in David Milch's prematurely truncated Deadwood.
"...Deputy Us Marshal 'Raylan Givens' is something of a 19th century–style lawman in modern times, whose unconventional enforcement of justice makes him a target of criminals and his 'Us Marshals Service' bosses alike.
"The Lexington, Kentucky Marshals office's jurisdiction includes 'Harlan County', a hopelessly impoverished, backwoods, coal-mining community in southeastern Kentucky which Raylan hates...and thought he had escaped for good, when he was younger..."
Cast includes Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts, Erica Tazel, Natalie Zea, Walton Goggins, Raymond J. Barry, David Meunier, Damon Herriman, Jere Burns, M.C. Gainey, Brent Sexton, Linda Gehringer, William Ragsdale, Jeremy Davies, Margo Martindale, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Brad William Henke, Peter Murnik, Kaitlyn Dever, Jim Beaver,
It also helps make him a writer, it would seem.
There are many interesting tidbits about the Leonard writing dynasty in this excellent piece by Ann O’Neill over at CNN. Peter’s writing career is beginning to really get rolling,
Written by Dave Andron
Directed by Jon Avnet
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm on FX
It’s still early to make too many predictions about Justified‘s third season, but it’s noteworthy that there are distinct shades of Breaking Bad in this week’s installment, “Harlan Roulette.” The effects of Oxycontin (aka “hillbilly heroin”) on its users begins to become a plot point. A charismatic, disquieting villain lays out a plan to manufacture and sell drugs in a slick, corporate fashion. (“That’s why they call it organized crime.”) Hell, one character even makes a reference to the possibility he might “break bad,” just in case the comparison wasn’t explicit enough. Of course, the two shows are fundamentally different in a lot of ways, but the nod seems to acknowledge that the show plans to encroach on some of that same, deeply perilous territory.
The best novelists create a world around the reader. You can feel it bubbling up in irrepressible invention. So we have "a guy by the name of Booker, a twenty-five-year old super-dude twice convicted felon" in his Jacuzzi when the telephone rings. No one answers it, and Booker gets out of the Jacuzzi. At the other end of the line, a woman, Moselle, asks him to sit down. When he does, she informs him that he's triggered a bomb in the chair – "when you get up, honey, what's left of your ass is gonna go clear through the ceiling". The bomb-disposal boys arrive in their nonchalant way: "Booker said 'Another one goes hmmmmm. I'm sitting here on high explosives the motherfucker goes hmmmmm.'" Is there a bomb?
While the conclusion to Justified‘s 2011 run leaves a few rounds in the magazine, those final moments create a satisfying symmetry that won’t soon be forgotten. There’s still plenty of questions left to answer but thankfully we are getting closer and closer to season three. A new teaser has dropped online and it does a great job of showing off Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder alongside Timothy Olyphant as Us Marshall Raylan Givens, doing what they do best.
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