Books that Became Films from Between The Covers
In the early days before Presley became a star, there was another young country singer also recording at Sun Records in Memphis. Along with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, the four would be known as the "million dollar quartet." That singer, of course, was Johnny Cash, and if his career didn't rise to the sudden dizzying heights of his label mate, it continued solidly for another fifty years, and the great recognition he finally received was well deserved. In 1975, Cash published his autobiography, Man in Black. Material from this book helped create the script for the recent very successful film about his life, "Walk The Line." Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Cash. Item 56. $175.
Windfall was Robert Andrews' novel about ten people who are given a gift of $1 million each. It is a series of vignettes of what each does with his/her windfall, the story being converted to a movie the following year by the title, "If I Had a Million." Among those who appeared in this film were Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, George Raft, and W.C. Fields. A couple of decades later, it would also serve as the inspiration for the television series "The Millionaire." I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for Michael Anthony to knock on my door. Item 6. $1,000.
Presley and Cash weren't the only superstars to come out of the 1950s. That was also the zenith of the career of the great actor Francis. Indeed, Francis would go on to star in almost as many movies as Presley, seven in all. For those who have forgotten Francis, or the book Francis, by David Stern, he was the loquacious star of the movie and series, "Francis (The Talking Mule)." The nominal star of this series was Donald O'Connor, but anyone who ever watched these films understood that Francis was the real celebrity. O'Connor stumbled his way around military and civilian occupations, while thankfully having the more intelligent mule to help him out. Of course, all of this proved embarrassing when O'Connor would turn to Francis in front of an acquaintance to have him repeat some pearl of wisdom, and Francis would stand silent, like a dumb (take that word either way) mule. Francis would win the first Patsy Award (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year), the Oscar for animals in 1951, for his outstanding performance (actually, Francis was not a he but a cross-not-dressing she). Sadly, the inimitable Francis proved to be imitable, and was replaced in the hearts of his nation by the copycat, or copyhorse, the "famous," but totally unoriginal, Mr. Ed. Item 86 is the book Francis. $275.
How does one transition from Francis the Talking Mule to The Grapes of Wrath? What could they possibly have in common? Well...they are both in this catalogue. John Steinbeck's 1939 masterpiece of an Oklahoma family, forced to migrate west during the dustbowl days of the Depression, won a Pulitzer as a book, and Academy Awards as a movie. However, despite his masterful portrayal of Tom Joad, Henry Fonda, unlike Francis, did not win one of those awards. That does not diminish the book, movie, or Honda's performance one bit. Item 80 is a first edition of this classic. $5,000.
We have just scratched the surface here. You will find much more, including a Lord of the Rings trilogy first edition set in pristine condition. Between The Covers can be found online at www.betweenthecovers.com or reached by phone at 856-665-2284.