Spring 1950 • Vol. XII No. 2 Nonfiction |

Movie Letter: Novel Into Film: All the King’s Men

Above a line-cut of his signature, Robert Penn Warren wrote a statement about the film version of his Pulitzer Prize novel, All the King's Men, which appeared in New York papers as an advertisement. After praising the independent authenticity of the screen characters and story, he says: "In this picture, I think, there is intensity without tricks and pretensions, and always a sense of truth: such a thing as this could happen in a world like this." With what a magnificent sideways motion Mr. Warren has pointed a steady finger at the dark mysteries of Hollywood—yes, "a world like this" is, and could be, nothing but the local spot, the very scene of the crime, where American movies are largely made and almost totally conceived. If Mr. Warren, because of his peculiar position as the author of the novel, must be gingerly, there is no reason for me to be. I ask bluntly: If Jack Burden, the narrator of both film and novel, is caught in the mesh of an action which it takes dearly boug

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