Last update at 12 · 07 · by milo‧‧‧ One of 810
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 by John Boorman.
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.
This is the first instance of a film adaptation of a Richard Stark novel about Parker, in which the character is re-named (“Walker”). Parker’s creator, Donald E. Westlake, mandated that “Parker” could not be used unless the filmmakers planned a series. This situation happened also with the Mel Gibson film “Payback” where Parker became “Porter.” Notably, in an early Stark novel a crime figure can’t remember Parker’s name, referring to him as “Porter, Walker, Archer, something like that.”
Lee Marvin’s appearance in this movie was an inspiration for the look of the main character in His Name Is Savage!, an early graphic novel created by comics legend Gil Kane. Kane and his publisher did not approach Marvin about the use of his likeness. Kane noted that they “never had any trouble from Lee Marvin – obviously he never saw the goddamn thing.” However, reprints of the graphic novel downplayed the resemblance to Marvin. 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.
Rating: ★★★★★ by milo