‘Fuckin’ cheesecake. Of course there’s a contract out on us and all’: adapting George V Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter re-examines George V. Higgins debut novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1970), swiftly adapted for the screen by Peter Yates in 1973 with Robert Mitchum in the title role, before considering Andrew Dominik’s 2012 film Killing Them Softly – based on Cogan’s Trade where Higgins explores the same low-level criminal landscape. Dominik updates the source material but in a relatively timeless manner to ‘reflect’ American society. Both adaptations seek to preserve Higgins’ unerring ear for the rhythms of gangster vernacular. They also refocus his unflinching gaze on the visceral detail and impact of pervasive criminal activity on the everyday lives and deaths of those within its orbit, like the shady barman Dillon who reappears in Cogan’s Trade and Killing Them Softly. We hope to show that there is more at stake in this story of a couple of bums ripping off an illegal poker game: this is about “total fuckin’ economic collapse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime Fiction
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Casebook
EditorsStephen Butler, Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish
PublisherPeter Lang
ISBN (Print)9783631706329
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018

Publication series

NameTransatlantic Studies in British and North American Culture
PublisherPeter Lang
ISSN (Print)2364-2882

Keywords

  • Screen adaptation
  • George V. Higgins
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • Killing Them Softly
  • Peter Yates
  • Andrew Dominik

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