My Old Man
This movie is based on a Hemingway short story. I also have a fond memory of this movie, which I had only seen once as a television repeat several years after the original air date. That recall involves my writing. When I found it streaming on Amazon, I had to watch it again just for the hell of it.
Before I share the writing part of the story behind this, I will recap the movie in a quick review. While the movie had a great cast, Kristy McNichol, Warren Oates, Eileen Brennan in the leads, the acting wasn't that great but that is due mostly to the script. This was done originally for television so I am sure the fact it was airing on a network handicapped the writer.
The story is simple. A mother dies leaving a teenager (in this version a girl - McNichol) behind. The father who hasn't seen her since she was born, shows up at the funeral and they spend a summer together at horse racing since he is a trainer. She has inherited her father's skills. There are interesting subplots and I suspect Hemingway's version is better than this one. I would only give the movie adaptation a 3/5 on the rating scale.
But the reason I am posting this is because I often recall this movie and a short-story of my own that I did for my first real writing class. I wrote the story during commercial breaks of this movie. That's right, when a commercial came on, I did my homework which in this instance was a short-story.
How did it turn out? Rather well, to say the least. It was read in class. The students absolutely loved it. The professor hated it. He came over to me and said - because it was written in first person - that it sounded like a Mickey Spillane novel (think Mike Hammer). He chastised me for it and as soon as he turned his back on the class, the the other students were whispering, "don't listen to him, we loved it". I know the professor meant to insult me but my attitude was, hey, Spillane is famous and successful. That guy has sold over 200 million books! THANKS!
I still have the short-story, in its original form, that I turned in to the professor. I won't name it here because I am updating it and doing a couple things with it. As I said, when I saw the possibility of streaming this movie, even though I knew it was flawed, I couldn't resist watching it one more time. Besides, I'm pretty sure Spillane spent time at the track.