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Overview for John Lee Hancock
John Lee Hancock

John Lee Hancock


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Birth Place: Longview, Texas, USA Profession: Writer ...


"John is one of the unsung heroes. He took a story with a multitude of characters and streamlined and condensed it. But at the same time the quality that John was able to enhance, and Clint [Eastwood] as the director embraced, is the level of ambiguity in terms of what really did happen the night of the incident. The audience sees three different versions, but only as flashbacks and from certain points of view. So at the end of the film when John Cusack's character asks 'what really did happen that night?', it's more of a real question than a rhetorical one." --Kevin Spacey, praising Hancock's adaptation of the John Berendt book in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" press kit

"A beautiful black cat that no one claims to own has been hanging around the set since we arrived at Mercer House. Though thin he doesn't seem hungry, thirsty or in any special need of human compassion. The only people he likes are Kevin [and only when he's in wardrobe as Jim Williams] and Jim's nieces, Amanda and Susan.

"Thus we have decided, Amanda, Susan and myself, that the cat is actually Jim returning home to oversee the shoot. In fact we have to keep all the doors to the house closed lest the cat [as it has on several occasions] enter, head for the drawing room and lounge in Jim's favorite chair. I'm not a real supernatural groupie, but I'll surely convert when the cat starts drinking vodka tonics and smoking Tiparillos ...

"A week or so after the wrap I started to go through and catalogue video interviews with the real Savannahians in the story ... there was some footage of the aforementioned black cat, lying lazily on the sidewalk beside Mercer House, his chin up as a soft breeze washed over his face.

"It seems the video cameraman, while loading up his gear, saw the cat and found its regal pose interesting in relation to the mansion. When I ask the cameraman, who knew nothing of the cat's purported former life, about the footage he told me, 'He [the cat] looked at me like I was trespassing. Like he owned the place or something.'

"Indeed." --John Lee Hancock, from his diary kept for the Los Angeles Times (November 16, 1997) about the shooting of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"

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