The current issue of the Steinbeck Review includes a piece by Cornwall film historian Michael Burrows on ``John Steinbeck and His Films''. It discusses the expected major films, ``The Grapes of Wrath'' with Henry Fonda, ``East of Eden'' with James Dean and Julie Harris, and ``Viva Zapata!'' with Brando and Anthony Quinn, who won an Academy Award as Eufemio.
In all, Burrows' Steinbeck filmography includes 24 films made from 1939 (``Of Mice and Men'') to 2001 (``The Pearl, '' adapted also in 1947).
Three of the films were short story adapatations, made in Monterey County, California in1989 in 16mm; they are among five films of the 24 made on such a short budget. Most everything else is the product of large Hollywood budgets and big name actors and directors such as Eli Kazan, John Carradine and John Ford.
The short stories, adapted by Mac & Ava Motion Pictures (Mac is Steve Rosen, Ava is Terri deBono), are ``Raid,'' ``Molly Morgan'' and ``The Chrysanthemums,''and as Burrows points out, each adaptation runs thirty minutes.
Mac and Ava has, since, won major documentary awards for public television films such as ``Beyond Barbed Wire,'' ``Accidental Hero: Room 408'' and ``My Name is Belle.'' Their most recent film, ``Boyhood Shadows,'' about sexually exploited kids, is a powerful documentary.
Paul Boczkowski and Marie Wainsocat were on the crew for the filiming of the three Steinbeck short stories, and they decided a film of the making of a film would be interesting, and chose ``The Chrysanthemums.'' Mac & Ava produced and Boczkowski wrote, direcred and narrated ``Behind the Camera _ the making of a Steinbeck Short Story.'' This was done years ago but it still holds up, taking us into the nuts and bolts of filmmaking _ we even learn what grips and gaffers do.
It's a graceful piece and won Boczkowski, who now partners with Wainscoat in Longtimers Productions, a CINE Golden Eagle. Any writer anticipating her story being adapted to film would, I think, probably find it interesting and instructive. The address is below:
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