TRAVIS MCGEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!
I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT ~THE LA TIMES SCOTT TIMBERG GIVES THE LOW DOWN ON TRAVIS MCGEE’S CLOSE-UP. . .
The late novelist John D. MacDonald's most famous character never made the leap to movies with anywhere near the success of Ian Fleming's James Bond, but that finally may change.
Back in the 1960s, two hugely popular literary characters ruled the pages of more than 10 novels each. Though it was a famously transformative decade, both were old-school men's men who loved risk, adventure, liquor and attractive women. Both protagonists became touchstones of their eras.
They differed in significant ways -- one was English, suave, favored bone-dry martinis, and worked for a large government organization. The other was Floridian, raw-boned, drank gin, and remained fiercely independent, avoiding entanglements of all kinds.
But perhaps the biggest difference between James Bond and Travis McGee is cinematic: The Bond films that began with "Dr. No" in 1962 became so popular that they're vastly better known than Ian Fleming's slim, taut books. McGee, by contrast, exists almost entirely on the pages of John D. MacDonald's 21-novel series, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
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