Thursday, September 11, 2008
RIP Gregory McDonald
I read all of McDonald's Edgar-winning Fletch books the summer the film came out, in 1985. (And saw the movie a second time at the Lavalette movie theater at the Jersey Shore, long-defunct I'm sure.) All seven were tightly plotted and funny, and terrific for lazy afternoons. McDonald wrote three more, Fletch Won in 1986 (which I read) and two in the early 90s, which I should catch up with. Why Hollywood didn't just film them intact (as it pretty much did with the good first one) is a mystery greater than any its gumshoe journalist solved. (A McDonald-less 1989 sequel, Fletch Lives, killed a possible franchise dead, and Kevin Smith's plan to film Fletch Won with Jason Lee in the lead is moribund.) McDonald's Running Scared and The Brave were also filmed, the latter (directed by and starring Johnny Depp) largely unseen in the U.S. Fletch endures.