J. Lee goes to Hollywood
in J. Lee Thompson
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This chapter discusses J. Lee Thompson's career Hollywood with a focus on Cape Fear, which was an adaptation of John D. MacDonald's book The Executioners. The film set Lee Thompson's career in a whole new direction. In many ways, Cape Fear would distil the essence of Lee Thompson's cinema, and may therefore be regarded as the culmination of his British filmmaking trajectory. Although Max Cady is described in MacDonald's novel and in the film as 'an animal', Robert Mitchum plays him as the shrewdest and most intelligent of predators, able to control his simmering anger, match his tactics to the occasion and release his power to maximum effect. Lee Thompson accepted United Artist's invitation to take a production unit to Argentina to make Taras Bulba with a budget of $7 million and a cast which included 10,000 gauchos and their horses. He also completed two lavish comedies for Twentieth Century-Fox.

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