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It’s not his most fully realized effort, but on the page, it’s a lot of fun and it’s not surprising that it’s come to the screen twice.
Returning to Santo Domingo to find the teenage sniper who saved his life back in the day, he instead encounters his ex, Mary (Kelly Mc Gillis, who had such an awful time time making the film with Ferrera that she essentially left the spotlight altogether), who’s now unhappily married to a psychotic former general.
As you might expect from its Z-list cast, it’s pretty dreadful.
Transplanting the original novel to the 1970s for no apparent reason, it sees ex-bomb squad cop Chris (Billy Burke) drawn into the world of lunatic heir Woody Ricks (Crispin Glover) after he’s accused of rape, just as the millionaire finds himself the target of ex-radical bomb-makers Robin and Skip (Breanne Racano and Christian Slater).
So something of a washout, but it’s hard to treat it as a true Leonard movie: by the writer’s account, he took the job for the money, and was mostly rewritten by the film’s director, Fred Walton (“When A Stranger Calls“).
If you do watch it, it’s worth keeping an eye out for a cameo from a young Jack White as an altar boy. “The Big Bounce” (1969)Though he’d been writing for over a decade and had already been adapted to the screen several times, “The Big Bounce” was the novel that set up the template for much of what we think of as the archetypal Elmore Leonard story — his first full-length contemporary crime story, it features much of the quirkiness, double-crosses, femme fatales, and everything that’s come to figure into his best known work.