by Mark Rabinowitz
When author James Ellroy stated publicly that there was no one with the
courage to make a film of his first novel that is true to the novel’s
raw and uncensored vision, writer/director Jason Freeland heard the call
and answered the challenge. When Freeland, together with his producing
partner Tim Youd bought the rights to “Brown’s Requium,” Ellroy
stipulated that the film be produced independently as a condition of the
sale. The pair approached producer John McDonnell to help with
financing, and the project was off the ground. Initial financing for the
project was garnered from Imperial Bank in Los Angeles, a major source
of funding for independent undertakings, and the remainder of the funds
were raised from private investors.
According to the filmmakers, “Fritz Brown” is the only book of Ellroy’s
not optioned to a major distributor, and is a dark look at the life of
Fritz Brown, an ex-cop turned private investigator with a drinking
problem, and his involvement with an L.A. mobster, a dirty caddy and the
caddy’s 17 year-old sister. The story takes a turn when the mobster is
seen meeting with the head of the LAPD’s internal affairs bureau.
Michael Rooker (“Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer,” “Days of Thunder“)
stars as Fritz, while Kevin Corrigan (“Walking and Talking,” “Kicked in
the Head“), Harold Gould (“The Sting“), Brad Dourif (“One Flew Over the
Cukoo’s Nest,” “Dune“) and Brion James (“Bladerunner“) co-star.