Independent Films, Film Profiles
Get Shorty is a 1990 novel by American novelist Elmore Leonard. In 1995, the novel was adapted into a film of the same name.The book's story centers around Chili Palmer, a small-time shylock (or loanshark) based in Miami, who is sent after one Leo Devoe, who has scammed an airline out of $300,000 by faking his own death. Leo's trail takes him to Las Vegas, where he finds a more interesting assignment: the casino is looking to collect from Harry Zimm, a horror film producer based in Los Angeles. Palmer, himself interested in the movie industry, takes the extra assignment and heads for Los Angeles.Palmer lets his interest in the movie industry overshadow his collection job. He sneaks into the house of Karen Flores (Zimm's girlfriend) in the middle of the night, startling both Zimm and Flores, and explains that he has a "great idea" for a movie. Zimm is immediately taken in by Palmer's charm, although Flores is still skeptical, as Palmer recounts Leo Devoe's story and his story chasing him to Las Vegas as if it were an uncompleted work of fiction. Flores quickly points out that the story clearly isn't fictional, she saw it on the news the past week, and Palmer is the loan shark.Nevertheless, Zimm lets Palmer in on his business, telling him that he has a script which he believes could be Academy Award worthy material. There are, however, two problems: he doesn't own the script, which costs $500,000; and he guaranteed a $200,000 investment from Bo Catlett, a local limo driver and drug dealer, to another movie which he said would be made first (Zimm gambled the $200,000 away in hopes of making the $500,000 he needed). In an altercation with Catlett, Zimm and Palmer tell him that, while his investment is sound, they are making another movie first. Catlett tells them to move the money into this new picture; Zimm reluctantly agrees.Meanwhile, Catlett is involved in a drug deal which doesn't go through. He has left the payment in a locker at the airport, but the Colombian sent to receive the money, Yayo (Catlett keeps calling him Yahoo), doesn't feel safe unlocking the locker with so many drug officials staked out nearby. Catlett takes Yayo back to his office and kills him.Catlett offers the money to Zimm as an investment, telling him to send Palmer to get the money. Palmer senses something amiss, signs out a nearby locker as a test, and surely enough is taken for questioning by drug officials when he tries to open it.Palmer and Flores are meanwhile seeking the interests of Martin Weir (the title character), a top-tier Hollywood actor to whom Flores was once married, to play the lead in Zimm's film.The loose ends are tied up when Barboni comes to Los Angeles looking for the money Palmer collected from Leo Devoe only to find the key to the locker from the failed drug deal in one of Palmer's pockets. Thinking Palmer has stashed his cash in a locker, he goes to the airport and is busted by drug officials. In a final showdown with Catlett, Catlett is double-crossed by his partner, Bear.The novel ends with Zimm, Palmer and Flores having visited a few production studios and wondering why writing the ending of a story was always the hardest part.
Year of Production: N/A
Country: United States