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MacDonald's work on film

July 19, 2009

Regarding Scott Timberg's piece ("Ready for His Screen Test," July 12): I was surprised he did not mention the film "Man Trap." I purchased a magazine story by John D. MacDonald called "Taint of the Tiger." It was published in paperback as "Soft Touch."

I produced this story at Paramount in 1961 with the final title "Man Trap," starring David Janssen, Jeffrey Hunter and Stella Stevens. It was a great heist caper with a terrific performance by Janssen.

I had many conversations with MacDonald about the screenplay, which he didn't write. I think he was gun-shy as this was his first film sale.

Stanley Frazen

Studio City

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I'm glad to hear that the Travis McGee novels may become a film series. I met John D. MacDonald at a mystery convention in 1983. As guest of honor, he gave a short speech and answered questions from the audience.

One of the things he said was that the two Tony Rome films, which starred Frank Sinatra, hurt the chances for a Travis McGee series for film or television. It seemed clear that MacDonald felt these two movies, "Tony Rome" (1967) and "Lady in Cement" (1968), were rip-offs. I don't think these 40-year-old films would present any obstacle today.

John Apostolou

Los Angeles

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