Books: Running the Film Backward

Movie ideas are spun into books and then into "bovies"

Ever hungry for usable material, Hollywood is finding that adaptable novels are as scarce as cheap real estate. Movies are quick to take the best; television consumes the rest. In order to guarantee a supply of usable plots, moviemakers are reversing ancient traditions.

In the era Before Television, studios followed the Ben Hur route: General Lew Wallace wrote the book, it became a bestseller, MGM bought the property and transformed it into big box office. In the decades A.T., film companies learned to acquire novels...

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