Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Whole Wide World

Watched an interesting movie the other day--The Whole Wide World, 1996, starring Renee Zellwegger and Vincent D'Orfino (from one of those legal/cop shows).

The movie is the true story of pulp writer Robert E. Howard, who was at his peak in the mid 1930's. The story is not a romance, though it feels like one at first, and the ending is not happy. It's one of those "acceptance" endings, where the main character doesn't get what she wants, but accepts the way things turn out.

As I always do with "true" movies, I was Googling Howard even before the final credits rolled and found out that he was an even bigger success than the movie implied. His books are still in print, he's hailed as a master, and he didn't write past age thirty! You've probably heard of one of his most famous characters: Conan the Barbarian.

Writers have a reputation for weirdness, but this guy was really eccentric. I'd have said he was bi-polar or something, but apparently a psychiatrist friend of the family said he was as mentally sound as anyone else . . . just eccentric. Really.

In any case, if you enjoy stories about writers, this is an interesting tale. But keep the tissues handy.



lisa said...

I love Vincent Donofrio, and I read all the Conan books in high school. Apparently this is a movie for me!

Ruth said...

I never heard of that movie (or the author), but it sounds fascinating! I'm going to have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!