An official website of Arlington County Government

Elmore Leonard, a Legend from Page to Screen

October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013

In celebration of one of the most prolific and adapted American authors of the 20th and 21st Century:


Get Shorty
Book [1990], DVD [1995]

Loan-shark Chili Palmer has done his time as a gangster, so when “business” takes him to Los Angeles to collect a debt from down and out filmmaker Harry Zimm, he talks tough and then pitches Harry a script idea. Everything would be smooth for this cool new producer, if it were’t for the drug smugglers and gangsters who won’t leave him alone.


Justified / Raylan Givens stories
Pronto [1993], TV DVD [ 2011]

U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens first appears in the book Pronto, although not as the main protagonist.  He appears again in Riding the Rap and the short story Sparks, which is the jumping off place for Justified: Raylan is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal-mining towns in Eastern Kentucky. Raylan, Leonard’s last book about the character, was written after the Justified series began.



Rum Punch / Jackie Brown
Book [1992], DVD [2002]

When flight attendant Jackie gets caught smuggling her boss’s gun money, she hatches a plan with her bail bondsman to walk off with the money. Adapted for film by Quentin Tarantino, who switched the action from Miami to Los Angeles, and cast the brilliant Pam Grier as Jackie.



Mr. Majestyk
Book and DVD [1974]

Vincent Majestyk saw too much death in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and all he wants to do now is farm his melons and forget. But peace can be an elusive commodity, even in the Arizona hinterlands — and especially when the local mob is calling all the shots. 



Book [2006], DVD [2009]

Armand ‘Blackbird’ Degas is a Mafia hit man who shoots to kill and never leaves witnesses, until now. When Carmen and Wayne Colson see him at the scene of a botched murder attempt, they become his next targets. After entering witness protection, they discover the law isn’t on their side and decide to take matters into their own hands.


Out of Sight
Book [1996], DVD [1998]

World-class gentleman felon Jack Foley is busting out of Florida’s Glades Prison when he runs head on into a shotgun-wielding Karen Sisco. Suddenly he’s sharing a cramped car trunk with the classy, disarmed federal marshal and the chemistry is working overtime – and as soon as she escapes, he’s already missing her. But there are bad men and a major score waiting for Jack in Motown. And the next time his path crosses Karen’s, chances are she’s going to be there for business, not pleasure.


3:10 to Yuma
Short Story [1953], DVD [1957] and [2007]

When the infamous outlaw Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans, struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the train that will take the killer to trial. Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other’s respect as they travel together. But with Wade’s outfit on their trail, and dangers at every turn, the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man’s destiny. The original short story was published in Dime Western Magazine, and can be read in The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard.


Find more of Leonard’s books in the Library collection, or learn more about his work and career on his website,



Leave a Reply

We love to know what you think about our news and events. We read all comments, and post a selection of them here on the blog.

We do ask that comments stay on topic - for more guidelines on what we consider appropriate feedback, see our comment policy. If you have concerns or urgent questions that require a response, please email the Library.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.