Directed by Stephen Frears
Screenplay by Donald E. Westlake
When Jim Thompson died in 1977, he was broken and damn near broke. Not one of his 29 novels -- tough stuff with titles like Savage Night and A Swell- Looking Babe -- was in print. He had fiddled on the fringes of Hollywood, helping to write Stanley Kubrick's The Killing and Paths of Glory, but found no steady work. His one solace was booze, in punishing quantities. No wonder the typical Thompson antihero was a smart guy who got outsmarted by fate, fast company or himself.
In his final...