My Movie Business: A Memoir
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After two producers, four directors, thirteen years, and uncounted rewrites, the movie version of John Irving's acclaimed novel, The Cider House Rules, at last made it to the big screen. Here is the author's account of the novel-to-film process. Anecdotal, affectionate, and delightfully candid, My Movie Business dazzles with Irving's incomparable wit and style.
who are known to perform abortions—they have been too easily targeted by the Right-to-Life fanatics. The essential privacy and safety of a woman’s right to choose could best be provided by her family doctor. There is an influential group of young people called Medical Students for Choice. They have over four thousand medical students and residents on their database. Imagine the impact on access to abortion services if even half of these students and residents became abortion providers. Even a
P L E T E L Y H E A L E D n early 1989, when my seventh novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, was about to be published, I was at loose ends. My screenplay of The Cider House Rules was in its fourth year of not going into production, and I was a recently retired wrestling coach who was between novels. I don’t like being “between novels,” especially when a new novel is being published and I haven’t the next novel firmly in mind. (What would turn out to be my eighth novel, A Son of the Circus, was a
the movie, Candy never stops loving Wally; she just can’t stand worrying about him. Being with Homer helps Candy not to think about Wally away at the war. What Lasse understood about the Homer-Candy-Wally situation was not only that it shouldn’t overshadow Homer’s relationship with Dr. Larch or Homer’s discovery of Mr. Rose’s relationship with his daughter; Lasse also knew that Homer’s love affair with Candy was not a true romance. Only in Homer’s eyes does his relationship with Candy have
length was not a problem for me. Virtually all my notes to Lasse, on the first cut, were as follows. 6190_Irving_17_js.qxd 8/23/99 5:46 PM Page 118 1 1 8 J O H N I R V I N G Reduce Candy’s dialogue while she is getting in the car to leave the orphanage after her abortion. Lose Wally’s lobster joke—to Candy and Homer, when they are leaving St. Cloud’s. Trim the interplay between Homer and Candy and Wally on the beach. Trim Candy’s dialogue, and especially her degree of sexual
experience with dilatation and curettage that he would know what Fuzzy Stone resembled: he looked like an embryo—Fuzzy Stone looked like a walking, talking fetus. That was what was peculiar about the way you could almost see through Fuzzy’s skin, and his slightly caved-in shape; that was what made him appear so especially vulnerable. He looked as if he were not yet alive but still in some stage of development that should properly be carried on inside the womb.” How similar this is to my