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PALMETTO

About The Production
"Just Another Sucker In the 1930's," British author Rene Raymond was inspired by the newfangled American literary genre of crime novels -- tough, relentlessly suspenseful entrees into the corridors of criminal and detective minds

"Just Another Sucker In the 1930's," British author Rene Raymond was inspired by the newfangled American literary genre of crime novels -- tough, relentlessly suspenseful entrees into the corridors of criminal and detective minds. Jumping off from their dark-hearted themes, Raymond wrote a series of thrillers under the pseudonym of James Hadley Chase, becoming one of England's leading pulp novelists.

Energetic, provocative and filled with lost, lusty characters caught up in bizarre love triangles and vicious circles of crime, Chase's novels were noted for their imaginatively rendered worlds and unrelenting suspense.

Still relatively obscure in America (the feature Rough Magic is based on one of Chase's novels), Chase remains a favorite across Europe. Thus it was that his comically titled novel "Just Another Sucker" -- the story of a good man trying to maneuver his way through an outrageously corrupt town while getting trapped in a triangle of three irresistible women -- caught the eye and imagination of Rialto Film's Matthias Wendlandt.

"The novel was true page-turner," he recalls. "I could see the entire movie playing out in my head."

Wendlandt loved the story's dizzying twists and turns, and in an unexpected twist of his own, brought the book to director Volker Schlondorff.

Schlondorff is best known around the world for his screen adaptations of serious, thematically rich literary classics such as "The Tin Drum," "Swann In Love," "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Death of A Salesman." PALMETTO is also an adaptation -- but from the other end of the spectrum.

Schlondorff was attracted to the story because it offered the suspenseful chills and thrills he himself likes to see on-screen as a movie-goer. "When I go to the movies, this is the type of stuff I most enjoy," admits Schlondorff. "My friend [filmmaker] Bertrand Tavernier asked me why I didn't ever make the kind of movies I like to watch myself, a real 'movie' movie. I decided it was time to take a break from the heavier subject matter and have a little fun."

Schlondorff found a great deal of fun in reading "Just Another Sucker" and had just one request before committing to the project: that the screenplay be penned by an American.

He explains: "While James Hadley Chase's thrillers are all set in America, he never actually visited there. To get the mood I wanted to convey on screen, I felt we needed someone who could bring a purely American sensibility and ambiance."

With the aid of executive producer Al Corley, they brought E. Max Frye onto the project. Schlondorff had admired Frye's fresh, surprising script for Jonathan Demme's Something Wild and wanted a similar feel.

Frye jumped at the opportunity. "I've been a fan of Volker's work for a long time and we connected on a creative level," says Frye. "There are so many wonderful twists and turns in the Chase novel and I think I managed to bring them across in the writing, as well as adding a f

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