“Elmore Leonard’s Gritty Westerns”

At Crime Reads, Nathan Ward writes about writes about Elmore Leonard’s Westerns including, “The Captives” (aka, The Tall T), “3:10 to Yuma” and Hombre. “On a night in April 1957, the lean Western movie star Randolph Scott attended the Detroit premiere of his new film, The Tall T, based on a story by the bespectacled, crew-cutted young advertising man who stood beside him for a picture. Scott told the reporter from the Detroit Free Press that Elmore Leonard’s future looked promising if he could keep turning out stories ‘with a straight line and a small cast.’ It was wisdom Leonard had already grasped, writing at his living room table each day from 5:00 am until he left for work at Detroit’s Campbell-Ewald agency, where he continued scribbling on a yellow pad hidden in his office drawer. While the top of his desk was given over to paperwork for the Chevrolet account, inside that drawer was a shimmery Apacheria of his imagination: parched southwestern landscapes thinly peopled with vaqueros or stagecoach drivers, raiding parties and cavalry units, dancehall girls and faro dealers, weary lawmen and bickering outlaws. Although Leonard would end up with “the Dickens of Detroit” on his headstone, at this point his literary focus was a long way from his own time and place.” (Via @PulpCurry)

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