Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How have these not been made into movies?

Do you ever read a book and think that it would make a perfect movie? Well usually it's already been made- possibly more than once. Every so often, though, I think there is potential for a fantastic adaptation and none can be found. This leads to the obvious question- How have these not been made into movies? Today I've got two.

The first is John Steinbeck's "In Dubious Battle". Steinbeck is obviously no stranger to the screen. There have been movies made of Canary Row and Sweet Thursday, and numerous versions of East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and others. But I have never seen an adaptation of In Dubious Battle- what I feel is one of his strongest works.

It tells the story of two members of the communist party trying to introduce unionization to field workers in California. During this course they deal with strikes, intimidation, and harsh conditions. It covers important issues, is filled with deep conflicted characters, and could feature some brilliant cinematography of vast Western fruit farms. Seriously, how has this not been made.

My second choice is "I, Houdini", a children's book by Lynn Reid Banks (whom is more well known perhaps as the writer of the Indian in the Cupboard series). I, Houdini is told from the perspective of a family's hamster, who wants nothing less than to be caged up. He manages to escape from every cage the family uses, and wreaks havoc when he's loose. Eventually he escapes the house and is introduced to the world outside- both its majesty and its horror.

I may be swayed on this one because I read it many times when I was younger and always loved it. But I genuinely feel it could make a wonderful movie if done correctly. It would have to be animated, and would either have to be done by Martin Rosen (Watership Down, Plague Dogs), or in a Don Bluth fashion (Secret of NIMH). But it's a wonderful story with undertones about balancing adventure and danger, freedom and risk. Again, how has this not been made into a movie?

Leave a message with if you've got any movies that are just dying to be made. And more importantly, leave a message if either of these have indeed been made, because I would be dying to see them.

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