Monday, November 27, 2006

RIP, Bill Diehl

First Bill Styron, now Bill Diehl (1924-2006). The mighty are falling like T-rexs after Chixilub; unfortunately I don't think the mammalians scurrying in the rubble will evolve into anything worthwhile. Yes, Diehl is best known for his "attorney Martin Vail" recurring character, principally in Primal Fear, which made a star out of Edward Norton (and showcased Laura Linney) when adapted for film, and presaged the Catholic priest scandals. Richard Gere was so-so.

For me, my hero worship began as a callow college sophomore out on a date with a stiff yet strangely intriguing Japanese chick (don't hate--I was experimenting with other races but came back "home" later hahahaha). We went to see Sharkey's Machine with Burt Reynolds Ward--one of the better crime flicks of the 1980s. [Note to younger fanboys & girls (like my nieces-in-law), this movie is so old that the pivotal scene is shot atop the A-T-L's Peachtree Plaza and rotating Westin or Marriott; at that time it was the only real skyscraper in Atlanta. The jazzy soundtrack included the Crusader's Street Life, featuring Randy Crawford's vocals].
I rushed to the library (the public library) and checked out the novel on which the film was based, Diehl's first effort. He was almost 50 when he wrote Sharkey's Machine, and thus is a role model for all of us who yearned to write, yet endured a lifetime of prologue before making the dream a reality.


Christopher Chambers said...

FYI for readers, "Chixilub" is the Mayan name for the meteor that struck Mexico 65 million years ago...kick-starting the dinosaurs' extinction (though they live ion through their modern cousins, the birds).

Snowman said...

Primal Fear was a much better book than a movie. It was only a good movie because of Edward Norton. I think Diehl was better than James Patterson. Then again, everyone is better than Patterson these days.

field negro said...

I caught Sharkey's Machine, and I agree with you, it was a good flick. Thanks for telling me about this author. I have to admit I wasn't up on him.

See, this is why I blog :)

BTW, glad you came home bra ;)


Anonymous said...

Nat Turner you are mistaken! The Georgia Pacific Building was also up around that time, and together they were the tallest and most distinctive skyscrapers in Atl until maybe 1990-92. Peachtree Plaza may have been a Marriott originally but it's been a Westin for the last 20 years.

Either way you are old as dirt! I think you were there when "Chixilub" hit, playing Texas Hold Em and grubbing on hoagies with your fat, crotchety old brontosaurus partners. You were too mean to go extinct...


Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware of Diehl's work but I will link to and see. Thanks for the information!