Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Out of Sight, by Elmore Leonard

(hb; 1996)

From the inside flap:

"Deputy U.S. marshal Karen Sisco is just stopping off to serve a summons and complaint on Florida's Glade Prison. She's all decked out in her black Chanel suit and heels but ready with her pump-action shotgun when the breakout begins, minutes after she pulls into the prison parking lot. But she's not ready for Jack Foley, the celebrity con who disarms her, invites her to climb into the trunk of her own car, and then joins her as his pal Buddy guns the blue Caprice onto the highway, heading for freedom. Squeezed into a trunk littered with handcuffs and tactical gear, the escapee bank robber is a perfect gentleman who shares her passion for movies and wonders if it would be different if they'd met in a bar.

"Only this time she's part of the federal task force hunting the escapees. This time she's sitting in the bar of the Detroit Westin, nursing a sour mash and watching a blizzard outside. This time Foley finds her. First come cocktails and conversation, Then Time Out. In Karen's suite, 'You like taking risks,' she says 'So do I.'

"Next morning Foley's gone and Karen's out to get him. She cruises Detroit's mean streets and boxing hangouts looking for Foley, Buddy and a hard case named Maurice, one step behind them as they plot the biggest heist of their careers - and a double cross that will leave only one man holding the goods. . ."


Out of Sight features Leonard's trademark character-based quirkiness and wit, waste-no-words plotting, and slick dialogue and action, this time flavored with a curiously cinematic, warm and romantic tone.

Worth owning, this.


The resulting film was released stateside on June 26, 1998. Steven Soderbergh directed it. Scott Frank wrote the screenplay.

George Clooney played Jack Foley. Jennifer Lopez played Karen Sisco. Ving Rhames played Buddy Bragg. Don Cheadle played Maurice Miller. Steve Zahn played Glenn Michaels.

Dennis Farina played Marshall Sisco. Catherine Keener played Adele. Albert Brooks played Richard Ripley. Luis Guzmán played Chino. Isaiah Washington played Kenneth. Paul Calderon played Raymond Cruz. Nancy Allen played Midge.

An uncredited Samuel L. Jackson played Heijira Henry. An uncredited Michael Keaton played Ray Nicolette: this was the second time he played this character; the first time he played this character was in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown (which is based on Elmore Leonard's novel Rum Punch).

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