The Ransom of Red Chiefby O. Henry
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes
Candidate for Adaptation? Promising
“We selected for our victim the only child of a prominent citizen named Ebenezer Dorset. The father was respectable and tight, a mortgage fancier and a stern, upright collection-plate passer and forecloser. The kid was a boy of ten, with bas-relief freckles, and hair the color of the cover of the magazine you buy at the news-stand when you want to catch a train. Bill and me figured that Ebenezer would melt down for a ransom of two thousand dollars to a cent. But wait till I tell you.”
Classic O.Henry: fun, light and silly, with colorful language and strong clear characters. Possibly adaptable to full-length, but several more “scams” would need to be invented. You might also consider that there are many many musical adaptations of this story already, including one developed at NMI by “Murder by Two”‘s author, Kellen Blair.
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