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One-Two Punch: Pulp Writers Dorothy B. Hughes, Mickey Spillane, Elmore Leonard

June 23, 2012 - June 30, 2012


In this second round of One-Two Punch, several great pulp contenders duke it out for supremacy, namely Dorothy B. Hughes, Mickey Spillane, and Elmore Leonard. But being this is an exhibition match, these wordsters fight solo, displaying just their offensive style. A heavyweight in a skirt, Dorothy B. Hughes has fourteen winning bouts to her name, the earliest, The So Blue Marble, from 1940. Her style favors the complex attack rather than burly brute force. Next in the ring is the unbeatable Mickey Spillane, titleholder from the fifties. With over two dozen TKOs, Spillane seems invulnerable; though his style can be flat-footed and coarse, he has a secret weapon, the Hammer, the Mike Hammer. Closing the card is Elmore Leonard, a versatile, graceful slugger who can talk his way out of a corner. He has a change-up style using both a western swing and a more urban uppercut. For this match, we’ve allowed Leonard to use “Stick,” one of his punchier combinations. Three potential winners—you be the judge.

Steve Seid, Video Curator

Saturday, June 23, 2012
6:30 p.m. In a Lonely Place
Nicholas Ray (U.S., 1950). Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame forge a fragile romance in Hollywood. Based on the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. "Never were despair and solitude so romantically alluring" (Time Out). (94 mins)

Saturday, June 23, 2012
8:30 p.m. Fallen Sparrow
Richard Wallace (U.S., 1943). John Garfield is a Spanish Civil War veteran battling Nazi sympathizers—and his nascent post-traumatic stress disorder—in this tangled tale adapted from a Dorothy B. Hughes novel. Photographed by the great Nicholas Musuraca (Out of the Past). (91 mins)

Thursday, June 28, 2012
7:00 p.m. My Gun Is Quick
George A. White (U.S., 1957). Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer comes to life in this spicy, violent sewer crawl through a well-worn L.A. of strip joints, oil derricks, and cold-water walk-ups. (88 mins)

Thursday, June 28, 2012
8:50 p.m. The Girl Hunters
Roy Rowland (U.K., 1963). In this British rarity, Mickey Spillane stars as his own creation: hard-boiled private dick Mike Hammer, busy battling a commie spy ring who’s abducted his trusted secretary, Velda. (103 mins)

Saturday, June 30, 2012
6:30 p.m. Stick
Burt Reynolds (U.S., 1985). Elmore Leonard adapted his own novel to the screen for this Burt Reynolds vehicle about an ex-con looking for a new start—but instead finding scorpions, a kidnap plot, Santeria, and the beautiful Candice Bergen—in his hometown of Miami. (109 mins)

Saturday, June 30, 2012
8:40 p.m. Valdez Is Coming
Edwin Sherin (U.S., 1971). Burt Lancaster stars as a Mexican-American sheriff in a border town looking for justice and a hundred bucks in this tough adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. (90 mins)