'Hopscotch' is Anchored in Walter Matthau's Playful, Irascible Personality

by Michael Barrett

22 August 2017

 
cover art

Hopscotch

Director: Ronald Neame
Cast: Walther Matthau, Glenda Jackson

USDVD release date: 15 Aug 2017

After their popular romantic comedy House Calls (1978), Walther Matthau and Glenda Jackson reteamed for 1980’s Hopscotch, thus proving it was possible to make a film of Julio Cortazar’s milestone of mischievous modernism.

Just kidding. The film was actually based on a serious novel by Brian Garfield, best known as the author of Death Wish. The author strongly objected to the violent vigilante drama made from that novel, as he felt the film sent the opposite message of what he’d written, and he insisted on being involved in adapting his Edgar-winning Best Novel Hopscotch for the screen. He wrote the first screenplay with Bryan Forbes for the latter to direct with star Warren Beatty, and as projects will, that plan dissolved and reconfigured until he was revising it considerably for director Ronald Neame and star Walter Matthau.

Hopscotch

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