View Full Version : "The Whole Wide World-A Biography of Robert E. Howard"-my review

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November 23rd, 2003, 09:12 PM
Yesterday, I rented the movie "The Whole Wide World" , which is a movie based on the life of one of my favorite sword and sorcery fantasy authors, Robert E. Howard. I'm sure most of you all here know about him, he's the one who created such characters as Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, Red Sonja, Bran Mak Morn, Cormac Mac Art, Black Vulmea, and Almuric.
I found the movie very touching and inspiring myself. One of the most amazing things about Robert E. Howard, to me, was that he was just an unlearned country bumpkin, and yet he could write so magnificently and majestically.
I also liked the fact that he wasn't afraid to stand up to society and say what he thought of it. He had an attitude of "Screw the system! Don't listen to what they say, decide how you're meant to live your life, and what you believe is right, and don't give a crap what anyone else thinks of you!" That's one of my own personal philosophies, and I have great respect for a person who can stand up and say that!:cool:
Another thing I admired about Mr. Howard was that he had a storng sense of honor and morals. I admired how he pointed out that "Man is becoming more corrupt as the ages flow by", and that a lot of "Thieves, drunkards, wife-beaters, and rapists" have slithered into the world.
And one thing that I found amazing was how he would actually dictate and act out his story with passion as he wrote it. I think two other of my favorite fantasy authors, David Gemmell and R.A. Salvatore do something along those lines, and maybe I should try doing a bit of that myself since I am an aspiring writer.
I also really appreciated the reference to H.P. Lovecraft in the movie! ;)
At the end of this movie, when Howard commited suicide because helearned his mother would never recover from her illness, I couldn't help but shed a few tears, it was so sad! :(
There was however, a few things that I was dissapointed in in this movie. For one thing, they might have mentioned and referred to the mighty Conan in the movie, but what about Robert E. Howard's other famous heroes, such as Red Sonja, Kull, Solomon Kane, Cormac Mac Art, and Bran Mak Morn?! Why didn't they mention even a jot or a tittle about them?
Another thing that I was kind of dissapointed in, is that they failed somewhat to explain the other factor that caused Howard to commit suicide, which was that he had a severe depressive disorder. I can identify a bit with Howard in this because I too, have a depressive disorder of sorts, coupled with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Anyway, I thought this was all-in-all a very good movie. Very touching and very inspiring. My favorite quote in it is when Howard said "Conan is the damnedest bastard there ever was!" :)
So, has anyone else seen this movie, and if so, what did you think of it?
Also I was wondering, is there any other biographical drama movies based on famous fantasy authors' lives? The only one I know of is the one based on C.S. Lewis' life, that stars the great Anthony Hopkins, which I haven't seen yet, but it looks awfully good.