Made in U.S.A.
Sunday, May 14, 4:00 p.m.
Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. 1966, 90 mins. 35mm. With Anna Karina, Jean-Pierre Léaud, László Szabó, Marianne Faithfull. In French and English with English subtitles. In 1965, French producer Georges de Beauregard agreed to buy the rights to Westlake's sixth Parker novel, The Jugger, but he failed to make all the necessary payments. So the next year, Westlake was surprised when a friend pointed out an interview in which Godard noted that he had just made a movie based on the book. A lawsuit ensued that led to the film being unavailable in the United States for nearly 50 years. The film barely resembles the novel: Parker has switched genders and become a reporter; actor László Szabó told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 that the novel was barely a presence, "Jean-Luc just gave us eight to ten pages of writing." Perhaps it is fitting: Westlake regularly cited The Jugger as his least favorite of his works.
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