Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Five of the dumbest Elmore Leonard criminals

The great Elmore Leonard specialized in dumb criminals who thought they were smart.

At Slate, Justin Peters came up with five of the dumbest baddies Leonard created, including:
Bo Catlett, Get Shorty. A Hollywood limo driver and drug dealer who wants to break into the movie business, Catlett is another of those smooth-talking Leonard characters whose stupidity derives from his overconfidence. Ultimately, though Catlett’s overconfidence proves fatal, when he fails to realize that an associate has tricked him into falling to his death. I’ll always remember Catlett for the Blake Snyder-worthy screenwriting advice he gives the novel’s main character, Chili Palmer:
It isn’t like having to learn how to play the piano, like you have to learn notes. You already learned in school how to write, didn’t you? I hope so. You have the idea and you put down what you want to say. Then you get somebody to add in the commas and shit where they belong, if you aren’t positive yourself. Maybe fix up the spelling where you have some tricky words. There people do that for you. Some, I’ve even seen scripts where I know words weren’t spelled right and there was hardly any commas in it. So I don’t think it’s too important. You come to the last page you write in ‘Fade out’ and that’s the end, and you’re done.
Words to live by.
Read about another dumb criminal on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue