The Confidence Man by Herman Melville
I have to be honest and say that I think this book would be a slow moving movie, rather than an action packed special effects film, but then again I rather prefer that.It is more important to have a great story and great dialogue.
Ironically the The Confidence Man was published on April 1, 1857, which is the exact date of when the story takes place. The book takes place aboard a Mississippi steamboat to which our main character has snuck aboard. Think of the movie Lifeboat in this sense. The man tests the confidence (he is a con man after all)of passengers aboard the steamboat.
One part of the book deals with the Stock Market crash of 1857….something I think people today can relate to. I can’t really give you too much more or you won’t read the book.
The book leaves you wondering who the Confidence Man really is.
I’m not sure who would play the main character. I wouldn’t want someone rough looking or prone to playing a mafia type. I think somone with a soft face and trusting look about him.
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This is a short story rather than a full length novel, but I think Hollywood, if done correctly, could lengthen the plot to two hours.
The setting is Salem, Massachusetts. Our main character, the young Goodman Brown (in the 17th Century men were referred to as Goodman instead of Mister and women were referred to as Goody instead of Miss or Missus) leaving his home and his wife, Faith to meet with a mysterious figure in the forest. The forest in 19th century literature (and earlier) is not place where nature roams free and is gorgeous and calming. No it is a place of uncertainty and danger. One does not walk through the forest alone at night for danger might be behind any tree. At first Goodman Brown does not want to walk with this mysterious figure, but he is tempted, and goes.
Along the way he sees his minister and his church deacon who taught him the fundamentals of Christianity, along with other Christians.. He hears his wife’s voice in the distance and realizes that she is the one who initiated the meeting with the mysterious figure. Essentially he loses his Faith (his wife and his belief in Christianity).Who is the mysterious figure? Read the book to find out.
The story basically deals with temptation and there is all sorts of symbolism to play with. I pray I did not give away too much. This is one of my favorite stories.
I think you see why this would make a great film. I’m thinking for the main character of Young Goodman Brown, maybe someone like Elijah Wood. His wife Faith, maybe Claire Forlani orpossibly Kate Winslett. For the devil, we need someone who can scare the living daylights out of us I think. It’s a shame Peter Lorre isn’t alive because his voice alone would do it, or even Vincent Price. I’m thinking Christopher Walken or someone like him.
The Last Templar by Michael Jecks
There are two novels with this title, and one recently was made into one of the most boring made for TV movies I have ever seen. That was not the novel by Michael Jecks.
Michael Jecks writes mysteries set in Medieval England and dealing with the Knights Templar. In The Last Templar the new bailiff, Simon Puttock, investigates the remains of a cottagethat has burned down, and where a body is found. It is said that the man who is found was wealthy and hiding treasure. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, a knight, persuades Simon that it was no accident. The two look for more evidence. The word comes down that a clergyman was burned alive as well. The two try to find a connection for the two killings. I am not telling you anymore than that because it will give away the ending.
This is the first novel in the Templar series by Jecks, and I can see this being a series of films as well, if not for the big screen than for something like Masterpiece Mystery! I can see Simonbeing played by someone like Orlando Bloom or Gerard Butler- two very different men I know , but I see Simon as being played by either one of them. Sir Baldwin Furnshill I am thinking Colin Firth or Ray Fiennes-again two totally different men…but they both can bring Baldwin to life in different ways.