Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marquees and memories

A tribute to books turned into movies


By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

The Community Library has been converted to a theater for guests to Our Moveable Feast fundraiser this weekend. Courtesy photo by Peggy Goldwyn

Our Moveable Feast, the Community Library's annual fundraiser, took books that were made into movies as its theme this year.

With the event fast approaching, Co-Chairs Donna Gerstenfeld and Peggy Goldwyn provided a glimpse behind the scenes of the fundraiser, to be held in the library turned movie theater on Sunday, March 11, at 5:30 p.m.

"Paul Conrad has done something no one thought was possible," Goldwyn said. "He has literally turned the library into a movie palace for the night."

"We couldn't have done it without Rick Kessler and the Magic Lantern," Gerstenfeld added. "Not only has he given us access to his movie poster collection, he has also helped us realize the fantasy of making our three bars resemble concession stands."

Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased by visiting the library in Ketchum, by calling 726-7355, ext. 105 or by going to www.communitylibrary.org.

To refresh memories and engage new fans, the Magic Lantern Cinema has been offering free screenings of a number of the books turned movies. The Express has been running synopses of some of the story evolution, the final of which is included below.

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This installment on "The Godfather" was written by Charles Brandt, who penned "I Hear You Paint Houses" and other books about organized crime in America:

Voted third best film of all time by the American Film

Institute, the masterpiece based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel is 40 years old. It has been a part of our lives since. Consider phrases like "make him an offer he can't refuse" and characters like Luca Brasi.

But by no means did the cinema artists have free rein. They had to resolve creative differences with a real godfather, Russell Bufalino.

Bufalino controlled the Teamsters and could have ordered stoppages that would have killed production. My friend the late singer Al Martino, who played Johnny Fontane, told me Francis Ford Coppola didn't want him for the part that he'd been promised. So Al contacted his friend Bufalino. Soon Al was sitting in the office of Robert Evans, the head of Paramount. Evans said Coppola would order the cast to ignore Al and would film Al from behind. (Note the back of Al's white sport coat.) But Al had the part. Al didn't blame then-unknowns Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Richard Castellano for giving him the silent treatment.

"They were young. This was their break," Al said. "Besides, Marlon [Brando] liked me. He ate with me and transported me in his jet."

Shot in Colombo Family territory, Colombo's Lenny Montana played Luca Brasi. James Caan befriended them and attended their federal trials.

"The Godfather" will be shown Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Magic Lantern in Ketchum.




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