This is from a book entitled "Melville" by Rui Nogueira published by The
Viking Press in their Cinema One Series back in 1971. It's on page 129 and in
the chapter about Le Samouri...
"I offered Delon the role of Gerbier in L'Armee des Ombres. He refused, but
asked if I hadn't another script I wanted to do. In 1963, before he told me
he was bucking for an international career, I had written an original script
for him. I told him this and he immediately insisted that I read it to him.
"The reading took place in my apartment. With his elbows on his knees and his
face buried in his hands, Alain listened without moving until suddenly,
looking up at his watch, he stopped me: "You've been reading the script for
seven and a half minutes now and there isn't a word of dialogue. That's good
enough for me. I'll do the film. What's the title?" 'Le Samurai,' I told him."
The rest of the chapter deals with the writing of the script and the
philosophy behind the film and it mentions no other source material nor does
the filmography at the back of the book. Of course, that isn't conclusive
since Melville could have "borrowed" some ideas and forced later to attribute
it, but the above interview leans to the lone pen-man theory.
I would call New Yorker and see where they got their information. Ron would
be the person to talk to there.
Milestone Film & Video
In a message dated 9/1/99 9:51:02 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org
<< Can anyone help a friend of mine with this knotty problem?
.>I've just been cataloging a video of the 1967 French film noir "Le
>samourai". It's "auteur" is Jean-Pierre Melville. The box and several
>Internet and paper sources in Reference say this is based on the novel The
>Ronin, by Joan (or Goan) Mcleod; one book on the noir genre even says its
>an American detective novel. However, the credits on the video make no
>mention of this and neither does the Magill set on foreign films which
>normally does include this kind of info. I can find nothing in RLIN, OCLC,
>NUC to verify the existence of such an author or novel. I also tried the
>French nat'l bibliog. for about 10 years before the film. I suspect this
>attribution might be fictional and Steve thinks so, too, though he did
Yeah, I know it's a cataloging question, but it seems interesting anyway.
Any insight would be appreciated!!
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