After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the rather inconsequential sum of money that was stolen from him.
Donald E. Westlake has written numerous novels over the past thirty-five years under his own name and pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been made into movies, including THE HUNTER, which became the brilliant film noir Point Blank (John Boorman), and the 1999 smash hit Payback. He penned the Hollywood scripts for The Stepfather and The Grifters, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The winner of three Edgar awards and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Donald E. Westlake was presented with The Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Shamus Awards. He lives with his wife, Abby Adams, in rural New York State.
Point Blank Summary:
Trying to help his gangster friend Mickey, Parker Longbaugh is shot and left for dead by him and his own wife turning out to be Mickey’s lover. In order to get his revenge, Parker breaks out of prison and penetrates the very center of Mickey’s powerful criminal Organization.
Inspired by Donald E. Westlake’s stories:
In addition to writing nearly 50 novels and a handful of screenplays under his own name, Westlake has written almost 30 novels as Richard Stark, 4 novels as Samuel Holt, 4 novels as Tucker Coe, 1 science-fiction novel and several sf short stories as Curt Clark, 1 novel as Morgan J. Cunningham and 1 novel as Timothy J. Culver. Stephen Kings pseudonym/alter ego Richard Bachman was named in honour of Richard Stark.
Joel Silver, who holded the rights to three Parker novels, hired Scott Smith, who wrote both the novel and the screenplay A Simple Plan, to script Backflash.
If you haven’t seen A Simple Plan, it’s a fantastic movie and Smith’s screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. I haven’t read the book yet (although I have it), but a friend tells me it is terrific as well.
The film got “Gibsonized” in the process, there is finally not a true-to-Parker film. A Simple Plan was a very dark film that made it to theatres intact, which gives me some hope. However, this must be weighed against the involvement of Mr. Silver, whose movies tend towards popcorn (admittedly pretty good popcorn) and who is also reputed to have given Mel Gibson a hand in castrating Payback.
And, of course, just because someone is writing a script does not mean that a movie will actually be made. However, I am no more optimistic that further movies based on Donald E,. Westlake’s characters will be made, but hopefully it will at least some fun if not necessarily with Parker.