Destiny-land
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John Grisham only wrote one story that became a movie without first being published as a book. A hot lawyer (Kenneth Branagh) squares off against a mentally disturbed backwoods Southerner (Robert Duvall) in the 1998 film The Gingerbread Man.

But the great film-maker Robert Altman was chosen to direct, adding his own distinctive visual touches &mdash chaotic atmosphere, bad weather, unexpected cruelty, and full-frontal nudity. Amazon's review applauds the intrigue in "the combination of Grisham's mainstream mystery and the offbeat style of [the] maverick director...The Gingerbread Man demonstrates [Altman's] skill in bringing a fresh, characteristically offbeat approach to conventional material..."

Both Altman and Grisham have given thought to the lawyer's character, though for Altman his complaint is simply that "the minute he gets outside his own element, he's dog meat." The thriller leads the attorney into increasingly dangerous situations.

Now here's where it gets weird. The Internet Movie Database gives a traditional summary for the movie's gnarly plot. ("Lawyer Rick Magruder has a one-night-stand affair with caterer Mallory Doss...") But for the movie's poster, they display this.

"To my knowledge," I emailed the web site, "Robert Altman did not direct Adventures of the Wishing Chair, and John Grisham did not write its screenplay."

Again, to summarize:

In the movie:
Not in the movie:


I wonder which child in the armchair was the lawyer's one-night stand?


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