"A Face in the Crowd" is one of my favorite movies, and my wife discovered this vintage 1957 edition of Budd Schulberg's screenplay at an estate sale. Thanks again, hon.
Not as complete as the Fantagraphics two-volume collection of this post-MAD satire mag, but this is a vintage 1958 edition of the paperback. And yes, that is a genuine Harvey Kurtzman autograph.
My local comic book shop used to have a used-paperback section in the back, and one lucky day I managed to score three novels from the late, great Jim Thompson for less than a buck apiece. The others were a Lion Paperback of "The Alcoholics" and a Gold Medal of "Texas by the Tail," but this one remains one of my favorites, right up there with "The Killer Inside Me" and "A Hell of a Woman."
Long before DC tried (repeatedly) to cash in on these bargain basement superheroes, this paperback was rushed out to cash in on the popularity of the "Batman" TV show, as well as DC and Marvel's product (notice the prominent "DC" and "Marvel" in the cover hype). Not good by a long shot, but a lot of fun.
This collection of short stories by Ernest Lehman includes the one that inspired the classic movie as well as some other snappy, cynical tales of ambition and desperation. Nice insert of photos from the film, too.
When I first arrived in Rockford way back in 1990, I stopped by the local Goodwill store to see what the paperback selection was like. It turned out to be surprisingly choice, with this little gem sitting right next to its equally (and wonderfully) dated companion volumes, "New York Confidential," "Chicago Confidential" and "Women Confidential." I bought them all, of course. It took me awhile to find the epic "U.S.A. Confidential," and when I snagged that at a used bookstore, it cost me fifteen bucks -- but hell, it was signed by Mister Lait and Mortimer. Such a deal!
Another score from that comic book shop backroom. I've never seen another Ed Wood "novel" for sale in my life, much less one that cost me a mere 50 cents.
1958. First paperback edition. Cost me a quarter.
Sure, it's the newest book on the list by a long shot, but have you seen what it goes for? I paid $2.65 used back when I was a freshman. Even if you're a big fan of the movie (like me), the book is definitely worth seeking out -- there are scenes, characters and subplots that never made it into the film.