It's All in the Game
P.I. Movie Tie-Ins and Spin-Offs


Gone Baby Gone
2007, Miramax
The Big Fix
1978, Universal

The Big Sleep
1978, Winkast

Night Moves
1975, Warner Brothers

2007 reprint of 1998 novel by Dennis Lehane

1978 reprint of The Big Fix (1973), with photo of Richard Dreyfuss as Moses Wine.

1976 edition of 1939 novel by Chandler. Front cover painting by Richard Amsel of Robert Mitchum and Candy Clark in a scene from the film. 1975 novelization by Alan Sharp, from his original screenplay.

The movie tie-in paperback, like its TV counterpart, has always been a cash cow for the publishing industry. The typical perception is that they're quickie cash-in novelizations, almost always by some author you've never heard of and sure enough, that's what most of them are. Usually, the cover will boast a photo of the film's stars, and a slogan or two linking it to a specific film.

But there have also been some glorious exceptions, a novelization that's actually well worth reading -- and sometimes even superior to the film -- or even simply a repackaged edition of the original novel upon which the film was based.

But let's face it: the literary quality of these things is almost beside the point. As long as there's a photo of the star slapped on the cover, the industry wisdom goes, the duffers will line up to buy 'em. And they may be right. Hell, even the worst of them are usually a passable way to while away a few hours. And let's face it -- these mementos of perhaps once-beloved (or universally derided) flicks make 'em all collectible as hell.

And so, with that in mind, here are a few of filmdom's private eyes who've been "honoured" with tie-ins: Of course, if I missed any, I'm sure you guys will lemme know...

Harper (1966, Warner Brothers)

  • Harper, 1966, reprint of The Moving Target (1949) by Ross Macdonald, with cover photo of Paul Newman.

Tony Rome (1967, 20th Century Fox)

  • 1967 reprint of 1960 novel Miami Mayhem by Marvin Albert; cover features Frank Sinatra and Jill St. John and credits book to "Tony Rome."

The Detective (1968, Fox)

  • 1968 reprint of 1966 novel by Roderick Thorp

Lady In Cement (1968, 20th Century Fox)

  • 1968 reprint of The Lady in Cement (1961) by Marvin Albert.; Frank Sinatra and Raquel Welch are on cover.

Klute (1971, Warner Brothers)

  • 1971 novelization by William Johnston, with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland on cover.

Shaft (1971, MGM)

  • Reprint of 1970 novel by Ernest J. Tidyman; several editions, all featuring photos of Richard Roundtree as Shaft in action.

Shaft's Big Score! (1972, MGM)

  • Reprint of 1972 novel by Ernest J. Tidyman; illustration of Richard Roundtree as Shaft on cover

Gumshoe (1972, Memorial Enterprises)

  • 1972 novelization, based on screenplay by Neville Smith.

Shamus (1973, Columbia)

  • 1973 novelization by Raymond Giles, based on screenplay by Barry Beckerman.

The Long Goodbye (1973, United Artists)

  • 1973 reprint of 1953 novel by Raymond Chandler, featuring Elliott Gould as Marlowe.

Shaft in Africa (1973, MGM)

  • 1973 novelization, based on screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, and characters created by Ernest TidymanScreenplay by

The Black Bird (1975, Columbia)

  • 1975 novelization by Alexander Edwards, based on screenplay by David Glier; story by Don M. Mankiewicz and Gordon Cotler

Farewell, My Lovely (1975, EK Corporation/ITC)

  • Reprint of 1940 novel by Chandler; Robert Mitchum and Charlotte Rampling are featured on cover.

Night Moves (1975, Warner Brothers)

  • 1975 novelization by Alan Sharp, from his original screenplay.

The Drowning Pool (1976, Warner Brothers)

  • 1976 reprint of 1950 novel by Ross Macdonald.

Murder By Death (1976, Columbia TriStar)

  • 1976 novelization, based on screenplay by Neil Simon.

The Big Fix (1978, Universal)

  • 1978 reprint of The Big Fix (1973), with photo of Richard Dreyfuss as Moses Wine.

The Big Sleep (1978, Winkast)

  • 1976 edition of 1939 novel by Chandler. Front cover painting by Richard Amsel shows Robert Mitchum and Candy Clark in a scene from the film.

The Cheap Detective (1978, Columbia/EMI)

  • 1978 novelization by Robert Grossbach, based on screenplay by Neil Simon.

The Man With Bogart's Face (1980, Fox)

  • 1980 reprint of 1977 novel by Andrew J. Fenady.

Blade Runner (1982, Warner Brothers)

  • Blade Runner, 1982 reprints of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick; features illustration of Harrison Ford.

I, the Jury (1982, Warner Brothers)

  • 1982 reprint of 1947 novel by Mickey Spillane, featuring armand Assante as Mike Hammer.

Hammett (1983, Orion Pictures/Warner Brothers)

  • Reprint of novel by Joe Gores.

City Heat (1984, Warner Bros.)

  • 1984 novelization, based on a screenplay by Sam O. Brown (Blake Edwards and a story by Sam O. Brown and Joseph C. Stinson.

Eight Million Ways to Die (1986, Producer Sales Organisation)

  • Reprint of novel by Lawrence Block.

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990, 20th Century Fox)

  • The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
    1990 comic book spin-off, by Gerard Jones, Carmine Infantino et al.

Everybody Wins (1990, Orion Pictures)

  • Original screenplay by Arthur Miller.

The Last Boy Scout (1991, Geffen Pictures)

  • 1992 novelization by Dan Becker, based on screenplay by Shane Black and story by Greg Hicks and Shane Black.

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

  • 1995 reprint of 1990 novel by Walter Mosley, with Denzel Washington on cover.

8MM (1999, Columbia)

  • Seven and 8MM, 1999; by Andrew Kevin Walker; includes both screenplays, plus B&W photos.

The Eye (2000 , Seville Pictures)

  • 2000 reprint of The Eye of the Beholder (1980) by Marc Behm, features Ewan MacGregor on cover.

Shaft (2000)

  • Reprint of 1970 novel by Ernest J. Tidyman; featuring Samuel Jackson as Shaft.

Gone Baby Gone (2007, Miramax)

  • 2007 reprint of 1998 novel by Dennis Lehane sports Casey Affleck looking pensive..

Harper
1966, Warner Brothers
The Cheap Detective
1978, Columbia/EMI

Tony Rome
(1967, 20th Century Fox)

The Last Boy Scout
1991, Geffen Pictures

Harper, 1966 reprint of The Moving Target (1949) by Ross Macdonald, with cover photo of Paul Newman.

1978 novelization by Robert Grossbach, based on screenplay by Neil Simon. Reprint of 1960 novel Miami Mayhem by Marvin Albert; cover features Frank Sinatra and Jill St. John.

1992 novelization by Dan Becker, based on screenplay by Shane Black and story by Greg Hicks and Shane Black.

See also It's All in the Game: P.I. TV Tie-Ins.


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