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Hemingway's rocky relationship with Hollywood




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It's pretty common for writers of all stripes to see their books, novels, even magazine articles adapted into movies.

Back in the day, it was a bit less common, but Hollywood did dote on certain writers, including Ernest Hemingway. 

Hemingway, though, wasn't really amused—in fact, the film treatment of his works inspired some choice language from him.

"He liked to sum up his relationship [with Hollywood] by saying 'you just cash the checks at the border and run away,'" said Robert K. Elder, one of the authors of the book Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park.

Hemingway had even more colorful things to say about the producers, directors and actors who worked on his films—even those he befriended.

"It was problematic because he was a difficult personality and he was very protective of his work, and he was also very difficult to adapt because so much of his novels were internal," Elder said.

But there is an allure for filmmakers in Hemingway's works.

"Even in his lifetime, his name on a movie poster...brought people to theaters," Elder said. "So that's part of it. It's the cache of experiencing a Hemingway story in a dark room. I think people continue to try to adapt him simply because—it's like Mount Everest: it's there."

Hemingway's tenuous relationship with Hollywood and more interesting treasures and history from his life are detailed in the book Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park. Robert Elder will be appearing Thursday for a discussion and signing at Book Soup in West Hollywood. 

Click the blue audio player to hear the full interview.