30 April 2010

Crazy Eddie's: The Movie

Sam Antar has a fascinating post up on his White Collar Fraud website about Danny DeVito, and the recent demise of DeVito's efforts to create a movie on the rise and fall of the Crazy Eddie's electronics retailing chain. Here's a link to Sam Antar's take. Here, while I'm at it, is a link to the news story that instigated it. And here is a link to something I wrote in this blog on that subject almost three years ago. How time flies, eh?

The big question for me: who gets to play Jerry Carroll?

Anyway, it appears that Danny DeVito is trying to envision Eddie Antar as a Icarus-type protagonist, who flies too close to the sun and falls, but who should be the recipient of our sympathy. There are lots of such entrepreneurial rise-and-fall movies on that pattern. Consider The Aviator, where we see Howard Hughes' early years painted in glowing colors but we also see the creeping pathology that ends with Hughes a gloomy recluse in a hotel room. Or consider There Will Be Blood, for a more completely fictional rise-and-fall.

It does not appear that Eddie can be made to fit that mold without so much fictionalization that one is better off using new names. If DeVito wants to make a movie about an electronics retailing mogul who (to use DeVito's words) "started as a guy who loved making deals more than money" but who got carried away, cut some corners, was victimized by a "family dynamic" and suffered an "outrageously spectacular fall," ... well, go to it. Call the main character "Crazy Edwardo Antoine" or something though.

After all, Orson Welles never made a movie about anyone he called "Hearst." His movie was about some fellow named "Kane."

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.