Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Any Kennedy.": R.I.P. Alan Sharp

Alan Sharp, the Scottish screenwriter and novelist who passed away on February 8, had one of the more impressive runs of anyone working in Hollywood in the '70s, with The Last Run, The Hired Hand, Ulzana's Raid, and Night Moves, in particular, registering quite strongly.  I plan to finally watch his Billy Two Hats, written in the midst of this run and directed by Ted Kotcheff, which has been sitting on my shelf forever.  I have yet to see his one directorial effort, Little Treasure, a film that was unfortunately marred by an ugly on-set incident between stars Burt Lancaster and Margot Kidder. 

I was in the midst of reading a newly-acquired copy of Sharp's novelization of Night Moves and spending a few nights falling asleep to the film, when the news of his death was reported yesterday.  Sharp's scripts for the above-mentioned films are some of my favorites of the era, but it's probably Night Moves which I come back to the most, due to its brilliant central performance from Gene Hackman, playing one of his most pained characters, and Sharp's intelligent and poetic (truly) dialogue, virtually all of which has more than one meaning, but which is never too smart for its own good.

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