Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unproduced Scripts of Alfred Hitchcock

Hey guys,

Above is Scorsese’s wonderful short - The Key to Reserva.

God, I love that short. Don’t you want to just finish the story?

Inspired by the Key to Reserva, as well as David Freeman’s book,
The Last Days of Alfred Hitchcock, and another wonderful book I read recently, Steven DeRosa’s Writing with Hitchcock, I’d like to try something different. I’d like to write a series on the unproduced screenplays of Alfred Hitchcock. Instead of writing long articles, I’m going to post short notes, brief thoughts, and nuggets that I hope will prove insightful or, perhaps, even inspirational. Plus, I’m going to write reviews on two of those lost screenplays, which will be fun.

I’ll update THIS POST with links to all the articles.

Hope you enjoy it.



The Man Who Made Movies

Unproduced Hitch: The Complete List

Hitchcock, Cinema's Purist

The Derosa Links

The Exposition of Rear Window

Tension & Suspense Blog-a-thon

Elements of Suspense

Peet Gelderblom's
Alternatives to Suspense

Hitchcock Goodies for Cinephiles

Two Fabulous Unused Hitchcock Ideas

1939 Alfred Hitchcock Lecture

John Michael Hayes, Lucky Bastard

Script Review - The Short Night

1964 Hitchcock Interview

A murder scene written by - Hitchcock!

Script Review - Mary Rose Part One & Part Two

The Man Who Made Movies

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I preferred “The Green Effect”

Do you remember the heat I took for my bad script review of The Happening? I’m not naming names, but a writer (whom I still consider a friend) wrote, “Wow. I don't know what to say. I'm speechless. I feel so betrayed, so hurt. So pained. It's like my wife left me for my best friend. And his name is Mystery Man. It's like the President lied an no one does anything about it. It's like my dog would prefer to play with the cat rather than me. It's like...someone I respect is totally off base with Shyamalan with his totally ludicrous comments.”

And do you remember what I said?

“Hey look, if this film comes out and it's a gigantic hit and I'm completely wrong, then I'll certainly do something fun, like post a pic with egg dripping off my face or something.”

Yeah, that ain’t Happening. Those of us who study films and have a Sixth Sense about screenwriting could see the Signs a frickin’ year ago in this little Village we call Hollywood. Because M. Night Shyamalan, Mr. Unbreakable himself, had written yet another Lady in the Water.

Have you guys seen this movie?

I watched it last night with a (really brilliant) friend of mine who loves to rip apart bad films. He had a field day. He never stopped pointing out errors during the film in the theater. An hour after we left, he was STILL coming up with new errors. “DUDE… I’m FROM Pennsylvania, man… They don’t say ‘town OF Princeton.’ They just say ‘Princeton.’ How stupid is that? Who fucking SAYS that?” He’s the only reason I had fun. Luckily, we were also in a theater that served beer. It took me 4 big ones to get through 90 minutes of that shit.

Oh, look. Here’s Shyamalan still trying to figure out how it works:


The most shocking thing to me was the fact that the finished film was actually worse than The Green Effect script
I reviewed last November. At least the ending to The Green Effect made sense! Because in the script, Elliot figured out the problem. The plants were like mood rings. When Elliot and Alma stepped out into the “open air,” they saved themselves because they knew they had to drum up as much good feelings for each other as they possibly could. Elliot proved himself to Alma by figuring all of this out. It was stupid, but it made sense.

Here, we’re not sure how they were saved except that they were over the hump of that peak period of toxin release. Are you kidding me? What they chose to do in the final version when they stepped out into the “open air” was not a moment of triumph for them because they figured out how to make it out of this alive, but instead, it’s a moment where they throw their hands up in defeat and choose to commit suicide together and take that little girl with them. But then they got lucky. Yeah, those are protags audiences can really get behind.

If I was that little girl, I'd ask for new parents.

My friend thought the freaky Eight Is Enough grandma-lady should’ve been the cause behind this whole crisis. By the way, grandma-lady slapped the shit out of that little girl and she didn’t even cry.

Only two words kept coming to mind as I watched this highfalutan cloud of nothingness linger in the air like a bad fart, and those two words were: STUNNING INEPTITUDE.

We do not believe one single moment of this film. Not one step, not one gesture, not one plot point, and not one single damn word of on-the-nose dialogue. Every little thing rang false. Either Shymalan’s internal shit detector needs new batteries or he was unwilling to do the hard work of getting it right before filming it. I’m guessing it’s both.

Shit detectors take double D batteries, don't they?

Plus, I love Zooey Deschanel. She’s a cutie! She could’ve shined in this film for us and Shyamalan! Yet, M. Night made her almost unbearable to be around. Her character never felt fleshed out. What did this girl want? We were never given a chance to see or understand why she was unhappy about that marriage. The stupid exposition from Leguizamo’s character about seeing her crying before the wedding was weak screenwriting. Kids, this is Screenwriting 101. Say it with me now: you gotta, what? SHOW, DON’T TELL. We won’t FEEL for the characters unless we experience WITH them their struggles and their pain. The only reason I cared to see those two reconcile was because Alma was played by Zooey Deschanel and I love to see her smile.

Smile again for me, Zooey.

God, I love your smiles. She sings, too, ya know.

Say, did you notice how Elliot and Alma reconciled in the bedroom the night before they reconciled AGAIN in those two rooms where they talked to each other? At the very least, they should’ve reached a breaking point in the bedroom and THEN reconciled the next day.

I wonder if she should’ve died.

My friend thought the acting was horrific. I disagree. The dialogue was SO poorly written, scenes badly staged, and conflicts pitifully melodramatic, that the best actors in the world could not save this. Hear my words – bad
melodrama always begins on the page.

Remember the moment when the Jeep hit the tree? Can someone please – PLEASE – explain to me how, if John Leguizamo was sitting in the front seat, TWO PEOPLE managed to fly out of the windshield? Oh, and how did they also miss that big ass tree the Jeep crashed in to?

So we had in the opening scene two women sitting on a bench. They were both reading books. One woman tells the other that she lost her place. The other says something like “you were at that part where the killer shows up.” How the hell would she know this? Were they psychically reading along together? That's more amazing than toxins in the air! If I was in that scene, I would’ve done the same thing:

So Elliot gave his mood ring to that little girl. When did he take it back? A few scenes later, the ring was back on his hand! Hell, it wasn’t even HIS ring. It was his wife’s from their first date! That’s kind of rude, don’t you think, to take back the mood ring that isn't his that he gave to the little girl? No wonder Zooey was flirting with Joey over Tiramisu.

And what the hell did the colors on the ring mean?

And who the hell thinks to take along a mood ring when you have two minutes to pack before the end of the world?

So then the lady sitting next to Wahlberg in the diner says, “You’ve gotta see this” and she shows him a video of a man getting mauled by lions in a zoo. What was the point of that? Why would anyone need to share that over burgers and steaks in a diner?

If the toxins came from plants, how is it people in the CITY started dying first? Shouldn’t people in the COUNTRY be the first to go?

After seeing the shots of New York City, was anyone else confused about the fact that the scene afterwards with Wahlberg in the school was actually located in… Pennsylvania? Shyamalan used SUPERs to explain that we were in Central Park in New York City and then we were “three blocks over,” but he can’t tell us we’re in Pennsylvania?

Where was that train going? Does anyone know? Wouldn’t it be better to fly? You’d be safer with all that cabin pressure, right?

So Walhberg asked the conductor why they stopped the train. “Sir, we lost contact.” “With who?” “Everyone.” Oh. I would’ve said, “Uhh, doesn’t that mean we should go faster?” Here’s my friend: “DUDE… everything else is working, like TVs and radios, and you can’t even use a fucking cellphone? What the fuck, man? So WHAT if you can’t talk to your bosses or whatever. KEEP GOING, MAN, KEEP GOING!”

Was anyone terrified of the shots of wind blowing through trees?

So then they’re at the crossroads. By this point, they’ve figured out that the toxins must be coming from the plants. When Mark’s had enough and has to go someplace quiet to cry, where does he sit? AMONGST THE PLANTS. You don’t think, “Hey, Mark, look out, man! You’re sitting right next to the plants that are killing everyone!” No-no, instead, you think, “Hey, dumb ass, why the hell are you sitting next the plants?” Then, instead of driving down one of those roads to get away, what do they decide to do? RUN THROUGH THE FIELDS.

There was a recent article by Kim Newman in the
Guardian film blog in which she actually defends the film: “Here's the thing: The Happening is not that bad.” Are you kidding me? She concludes: “Can it be a kind of racism that the Indian-born, Philadelphia-raised auteur is hammered for his apparent character (or funny name) rather more than, say, Quentin Tarantino or Spike Lee?” Emerson replied, “Wow, so the best the ‘horror scholar’ can muster on behalf of The Happening is that it's ‘not that bad’ -- and the hostile reaction to Shyamalan must have to do with the filmmaker's ‘funny name’ or his race? That's insulting. What about his Philadelphianism? Maybe that explains it.”

Jim, he couldn’t even get his Philadelphianisms right. “DUDE… I’m FROM Pennsylvania, man… They don’t say ‘town OF Princeton.’ They say ‘Princeton.’ How fucking stupid is that? Who SAYS that?”


Do you know what was missing? Zooey and a gun.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Screenwriting News & Links! 6/23/08

Hey guys,

Above is the latest scriptsale roundup via ScriptGirl. Is it me or does she wear less clothes with each new vid? Also, if you missed it, here are the
50 Flaws of Indy IV vs. the 50 Strengths of Darabont’s Draft.



New Screenplays:

Day of the Dead (2008) - undated fourth draft script by Jeffrey Reddick

Serenity - April 18, 2004, un-numbered draft script by Joss Whedon

Serenity - pre April 18, 2004 "kitchen sink" draft script by Joss Whedon

(Hat-tip to


August on How to Cut Pages
"One page of screenplay translates to one minute of movie. Since most movies are a little under two hours long, most screenplays should be a little less than 120 pages. That’s an absurd oversimplification, of course. One page of a battle sequence might run four minutes of screen time, while a page of dialogue banter might zip by in 30 seconds. No matter. The rule of thumb might as well be the rule of law: any script over 120 pages is automatically suspect. If you hand someone a 121-page script, the first note they will give you is, 'It’s a little long.' In fact, some studios will refuse to take delivery of a script over 120 pages (and thus refuse to pay)."

Unk on
Character Blockage
"You must get into this character’s HEAD… Very much like an actor would get into this character’s head. That means you’ve got to figure out what KIND of a character he his first and foremost. Figure that out and THAT information will lead you the correct backstory. Backstory is the stuff that characters are born from… You MAKE IT UP. And you KEEP MAKING IT UP UNTIL any event, obstacle, or story element that pops up in front of that character doesn’t STIFLE you. If it stifles you — i.e., WRITER’S BLOCK — then you PROBABLY don’t know your character well enough yet. You have to know your character. I can’t tell you THE WAY to get to know your character better — I can only tell you the way I get to know my characters better."

Mike Le’s hilarious new comic,
Sigmund Freud vs. The Male Nurse

Danny Stack on
Getting Ahead
"Well, first the obvious cliché: keep on writing, keep on sending your stuff out to production companies, agents and producers. Something might break and eventually, if you're any good, it probably will. Now, to get ahead: have you considered writing a short film and getting it made? Or, even better, writing & directing the short film yourself. You can make a film for very cheap nowadays, and you could do it over a weekend. I made a no-budget short this way. It didn't cost any money at all and it turned out well (I think. See for yourself here)."

MaryAn Batchellor’s brilliant
Rose Colored Earlobes
“How do you weed the practical and useful advise in story notes from the meaningless feather flapping of an egotistical reader? And, how do you know if your friends and family are blowing smoke when they praise your work…? I'm not being cynical here. I'm being pragmatic. There comes a point when a writer ought not need anyone else to tell him what's wrong with his script. That's not to say he doesn't need story notes - that's the way of the business - but he either knows exactly what is wrong or knows it works and any changes will be based on preference, budget, set pieces, location, improvisation, the director's niece wanting a role, whatever.”

Bill Martel on
Family Plot
"Hitchcock’s final film. I have a soft spot for this film - it was the only Hitchcock movie I saw in a cinema during it’s initial release. I was too young to see the others when they came out, yet have seen all 53 films on the big screen at least once - many of them several times. Though FAMILY PLOT isn’t Hitchcock at his best, it’s a fun film... written by the multi-Oscared Ernest Lehman who also wrote NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Though not a chase film, it has the same sense of humor as that film. One of the other things I like about it is the strange cast - it *stars* Bruce Dern. Dern played psycho Viet Nam Vets and twitchy villains and is probably most famous for being the only actor to ever *kill* John Wayne on screen. Not a leading man. Playing his girlfriend, was the always cute Barbara Harris, who played the mom in the original FREAKY FRIDAY... and John Cusack’s mom in GROSSE POINT BLANK. On the villain side we have Karen Black (who was probably the biggest star in the cast when this was made) and the always suave William Devane who replaced Roy Thinnes halfway through shooting - you can still see Thinnes in long shots. Devane had played JFK on TV, and was considered a leading man... not a villain. One of the great things he brings to the film is his charisma - early in the film you are rooting for him and Black to get away with their crimes 0 they are so clever and elegant and cool. Hey, and the great Ed Lauter plays a childhood friend of Devane’s who will kill anyone for a buck fifty."

Julie Gray on
“Today is the opening day of the Great American Pitch Fest in Burbank, Ca. The Wave-inatrix will shortly decamp and greet my friends and colleagues. Sunday is the big day though - the main event - pitching day. So if there are any Wavers attending on Saturday come find me and meet wonderful Margaux at the The Script Department booth and if you are pitching on Sunday - here are a few tips…”

Shep's hilarious Problems with Screenwriting Advice
1. Tons of exceptions, every screenplay is different.
Every screenplay is different, except for that shot-for-shot remake of Psycho (or so I’ve heard, I didn’t see the point after having seen the original). There are going to be exceptions to every single rule you hear. Think rules as general guidelines that can be broken at will if it helps the story.
2. Half the people who give advice aren’t actually screenwriters*
If I want to learn how to be a mechanic, the person teaching me better be able to build a car. No, not just know how to build a car, he better have actually done it. Bonus points for doing it well.

Craig Mazin on
the Logic Nazi
With the recent and sad passing of the great Sidney Pollack, I was reminded that David Zucker would often cite his interactions with Sidney Pollack as a good examples of a comedy “Logic Nazi.” Every project or room ought to have one, comedy or drama. The Logic Nazi’s job is to do what most of us usually do after we see a film. “How did the villain even know he had the jewel in his pocket?” “Why would he refuse to fight that one guy when we’ve already seen he’s willing to fight bigger guys?” “Why are they going out of their way to find someone to help them rob the bank when one of them already has the means to do it on his own?”

Unk gets
endless stupid questions.

Clive helps Unk
“Apparently Unk at unknownscreenwriter is getting inundated with trivial question via his new contacts page… so in the spirit of helping out, I thought I’d copy them over here and answer them for him… LOL… here we go…”

Emily helps Unk
2.75) Generally speaking, about how many parentheticals should I have in my screenplay?
Every line of dialogue should contain a parenthetical. Otherwise, how will the actors know what facial expressions to make?

Carlo helps Unk
Do you use Celtx?
What is that, a spreadsheet program?

Todd Gordon helps Unk
Should I type FADE IN: at the beginning of my screenplay?
"only in lieu of a mascara pencil or urine soaked artist's paint brush" (real answer:yes)

[Of all the people that helped Unk,
Emily’s was the funniest.]

Say “hello” to the
Anonymous Production Assistant.

Mark Gill on the
Indie film crisis. (Hat-tip to William Speruzzi.)

Getting Our Hate On: The Fun and Fury in Panning Movies

I’ve mentioned this before, but don’t miss Alan’s
Indiana Jones and the Revenge of the Darabont Draft.

A treasure trove of good reading at
Moving Image Source.

Kristin Thompson on
Turning Points
“Most screenplay manuals treat turning points as the major events or changes that mark the end of an “act” of a movie. Syd Field, perhaps the most influential of all how-to manual authors, declared that all films, not just classical ones, have three acts. In a two-hour film, the first act will be about 30 minutes long, the second 60 minutes, and the third 30 minutes. The illustration at the top shows a graphic depiction of his model, which includes a midpoint, though Field doesn’t consider that midpoint to be a turning point. I argued against this model in Storytelling, suggesting that upon analysis, most Hollywood films in fact have four large-scale parts of roughly equal length. The “three-act structure” has become so ingrained in thinking about film narratives that my claim is somewhat controversial. What has been overlooked is that I’m not claiming that all films have four acts. Rather, my claim is that in classical films large-scale parts tend to fall within the same average length range, roughly 25 to 35 minutes. If a film is two and a half hours rather than two hours, it will tend to have five parts, if three hours long, then six, and so on. And it’s not that I think films must have this structure. From observation, I think they usually do. Apparently filmmakers figured out early on, back in the mid-1910s when features were becoming standard, that the action should optimally run for at most about half an hour without some really major change occurring.”

Tell Me a Story or Not
“In the words of Isaac Hayes: "Rat own." I always come back to the principle that Roger Ebert has phrased so succinctly: "A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it." To me, that's as eloquent a definition of movies, and film criticism, as anybody's ever articulated. And it seems to me that we don't take the storytelling -- not the contortions of the plot, but the shot-by-shot construction of a movie (the telling that is the movie) -- seriously enough most of the time. To put it in literary terms, I wish people would concentrate more on ill-formed (sloppy, repetitive) sentences and paragraphs and less on plot holes or improbabilities. Story is optional; style is what's there, on the page or on the screen, from moment to moment. (Just so I'm clear: I'm not talking about criticizing e.e. cummings for improper capitalization and punctuation, or complaining that Hitchcock put too many cuts in the "Psycho" shower scene. I'm interested in how and why they do what they do, and what effects they achieve in doing it.)”

David Bordwell on
Arcs & Formula
“The passage lays out a lot of what U. S. screenplay manuals have been asserting for decades (notions that Kristin and I have analyzed in various books). This is still more evidence that the Hollywood model, with its goal-oriented chain of causes and effects and its protagonist who improves through a “character arc,” holds sway far beyond our own shores. Whether it should be so widespread is another question, but for Kristin and me, this template or formula is a bit like the sonnet or the well-made play: a form that can yield results good, bad, and indifferent. The point is to take the form seriously enough to understand what makes it work.”

Steve Vineberg’s
Art of Surprise.

Harry Knowles been given a preview listen to a 40-minute conversation between Enzo Castellari and Quentin Tarantino that'll be part of the package when Castellari's 1977 film Inglorious Bastards is released in late July. The news everyone's picking up on has to do with Tarantino's plans to split his Inglorious Bastards into two separately released parts, as he did, of course, with Kill Bill. But Harry has more, too, on why Tarantino's spent more than six years developing this project.

Interview with Michael Bruce Adams
Peter - What’s the trick to writing believable characters?
Michael - The trick is to turn your senses inward. Trust that the bank of sensory memories you have stored away from all the experiences in your life can help you create accurate sensory impulses for your characters. Close your eyes and put your self in a still frame from your scene. Paint that frame until it is true and accurate. Now slip into the role of your character, become that character and live the scene as it plays out. React as that character, speak, feel and think as that character. Now do the same process with each character in the scene.

16 Protested Movies

John Adams Screenwriter Wanted to Show Humanity
“In adapting David McCullough’s Pulitizer Prize-winning biography, Kirk Ellis tried to imbue the real-life characters with real flaws and assets, instead of portraying them as romanticized heroes. ‘David had already taken 'em off the shelf and dusted 'em, and we wanted to kick 'em into the street and make sure that people understood that these were human beings,’ Ellis said in a recent phone interview from his Santa Fe, N.M., home.”

Beer For My Horses is actually getting produced
You probably knew that Toby Keith was a country musician and songwriter, but did you realize that he writes movies, too? Well, apparently he does. His movie, currently in post-production, was just picked up by Roadside Attractions. Keith gave the film the same title as his song "Beer for My Horses" (sounds dangerous if you ask me), which extols the virtues of crime-fighting and righting injustices. The movie version (which Keith wrote, produced and stars in) is a "road trip story" that "tracks two local deputies who defy the sheriff to save a girlfriend from drug lord kidnappers."

Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch

Perelman Shrugs off Atlas Shrugged
The development troubles for Lionsgate's planned adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged continue with the reported departure of filmmaker Vadim Perelman. According to Cinematical, Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) says the project will not be going forward with him in the director's chair. Perelman had been tasked with writing and directing the flick, but it's also unclear whether he completed a draft of the screenplay. A previous draft was penned by Randall Wallace (Braveheart), who managed to pair down Rand's magnum opus of over 1,000 pages into a 127-page screenplay.

Interview with J. Michael Straczynski
Q: You were the writer on Marvel's recent Spider-Man event One More Day, in which Spider-man makes a deal with Mephisto (the devil) to save his Aunt's life by negating his marriage to Mary Jane. It was rumored you had some big disagreements about this story line with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.
A: Often times when you care a lot about something, you can disagree strenuously. Personally, I was perfectly happy keeping them married; I didn't think Mephisto should be used in that fashion, and I didn't like the idea of erasing everyone's memory. Whenever you bring magic into a story you have to be really rigorous about the rest of it. And a lot of logical questions to my mind were not being addressed. Having said that, it's a complicated universe and it is Joe's purview. Yes, we disagreed strenuously, and some of it leaked out. I take responsibility for that, but the reality is that Joe I consider to be a friend, and anyone who wants to say a bad word about Joe has to go through me first.

Son of “Godfather” Writer Sues Paramount
Anthony Puzo, son of writer Mario Puzo who created “Godfather,” sued Paramount Pictures on Wednesday, alleging that the studio sold the rights to make a video game based on the book and award-winning movie without handing over revenues.

Stan Winston, 1946-2008

I had no idea Yucaipa had so many writers
The Writer’s Gallery Opens: What is ‘A Community of Writers and Artists’ all about? Diane Mierzwik and Kris Cirullo have opened a resource for writers and artists in an atmosphere which is quite advantageous to the creative process. The public opening of “The Writer's Gallery” at 12054 First St. in Yucaipa on Saturday, June 14, was a success as they enjoyed meeting many inquisitive individuals interested in what this new resource was all about.”

Stephen Poliakoff's splendid isolation is key to his craft
There are two words that crop up repeatedly in conversation with Stephen Poliakoff, the BAFTA Award-winning, Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-winning writer and director. One is worry. Poliakoff believes it's an endemic state for writers. ‘Traditionally a lot of writers were drunk, neurotic - very anti-social. It comes from having all that time to think, not deep thoughts, just going over irritating little worries. Days spent agonising over why someone hasn't phoned or why something was said in a particular way.’”

WGA to Simplify Credit Procedures
“The WGA will hold a referendum next month to present new options for streamlining the organization's procedures for determining who gets writing credits on films.”

Film noir gems - Nightmare Alley, Panic in the Streets, The Big Knife

Andrew Eaton’s Open Letter to George Lucas

Ed Norton vs. Marvel

Kasdan to pen Robotech
“The screenwriter behind The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark is set to pen an upcoming, live-action movie reviving the popular 1980s anime TV series Robotech… Robotech tells the story of the discovery of an alien craft that crash-lands on a South Pacific island and how humans use the technology to built gigantic, morphing robots in order to fight against alien invasions.”

Friends, anyone can make it
“How does a former Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker go from directing trains to directing movie stars? Here's the amazing story of a Brooklyn man whose quest to replace his crashed car not only got him that new car but also a new career. Just a few months ago 27-year-old Michael Martin of East New York was making a living as a flagger for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Today he's a screenwriter on the fast track to Hollywood, working alongside accomplished actors like Ethan Hawke.” (More on him here and an interview here.)

Jim Webb (D-Va), Screenwriter
“According to Webb's 2007 financial disclosure forms, released on Friday, Webb earned a $150,000 option several years ago for an ongoing film project called “Whiskey River,” based on his screenplay. According to a report in The New York Review of Books, the screenplay is about a father who kidnaps his son to prevent him from taking another combat tour in Iraq. The son had returned from an initial tour with post-traumatic stress syndrome.”

Screenwriter Marc Guggenheim Talks Green Lantern
NRAMA: Can you tell us why you think the reaction will be positive?
MG: Because, it's not only a respectful approach to the character, but it's a loving approach to the entire mythos. So while there is this desire to be quiet and secretive and let the movie speak for itself, it's hard for me, because I feel like I know -- as a comic book fan -- I know what I want to see in a comic book movie.

Screenwriter Needed. No Pay.

Justine Bateman's one of us now, a screenwriter, and that’s fine by me.
"In a short time, Justine Bateman has gone from playing a drug pusher on Desperate Housewives to pushing story lines for a Disney Channel kids comedy. The actress has made her first script sale of any kind to Disney’s red-hot Wizards of Waverly Place. In a way, it was an unusual move, Bateman told the Daily News. 'My style of writing isn't this type of writing,' she said. 'I like rising to that challenge. It's not lost on me that my first sale is a sitcom. I'm thrilled about it.'"

Howard Rodman’s WGA Interview on Savage Grace
“My immediate reaction was that this was something I couldn't adapt, actually. It scared the daylights out of me. The characters in it were very, very strong, and that always makes an adaptation fun. What scared me was that it went to some very dark places. Although I've written a lot of noir stuff and I love it, this was dark in a whole different way. This was dark in a way that I knew if I was going to write it I was also going to have to go to what James Elroy called My Dark Places. I wasn't sure I wanted to do that, or if, frankly, I had the emotional resources to do it.”

Trippin' Out: Screenwriter Drinks Cobra Heart Shot in Vietnam
“Los Angeles was not a fun place for a screenwriter in early 2008 during the writer's strike. Scribe Ethan Furman was more than a little bummed out that filming on he and his writing partner's feature comedy "The Creepy Kid" (to be produced by Ivan Reitman) was put on hold by the industry shutdown. Instead of sulking, Ethan decided to use the free time to tour South Asia. Little did he know that the beautiful locales of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam would offer cuisine that was even more exotic than those countries' sandy beaches and lush jungles.”

Here’s a blog that’ll chronicle the creation of a screenplay from beginning to end.

Erica Munro’s Screenwriting for Beginners
“You can have the cunningest plot that was ever hatched outside Baldrick’s brain, but it won’t make good telly unless you can harness it, like a kid with an oversized kite, and bring it in under the rules that make TV drama work. Set-up. Inciting Incident. 5-act structure. Story arc. Pay-off. Yeah, yeah, I knew all about those, too, ages ago. I’m telling you, free spirits are one thing, but if you want to actually, you know - work - then you need to know the rules.”

'Passion' Writer Urges Judge To Reject Challenge To His Lawsuit
The screenwriter of "The Passion of the Christ" fired back in court at actor-director Mel Gibson, who is seeking to dismiss portions of the man's lawsuit alleging that Gibson misled him into accepting a small payment for penning the script. "Mel Gibson, under the guise of spiritual commitment, materially misrepresented the budget of, his take from and the company that would produce `The Passion,"' William Zeltonoga, the lawyer for screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald, wrote in court papers filed Monday. The papers further maintain that "Gibson cohorts joined in the scheme of false representations and other overt acts in a web of conspiracy including an elaborate coverup."

Lucy on Screenwriters Being Realistic
“Yet time and time again I hear screenwriters say selling their spec is the be all and end all; that is the "result" for them, how they measure their success. My take, if you think this? You are destined for disappointment.”

Quid Pro Quo
"The first half of Quid Pro Quo is among the most jaw-dropping things I've ever seen: Who knew there was a closeted subculture of people pretending to be paraplegics?" asks David Edelstein in New York. "With glamorous Old Hollywood blond locks and a high heels-assisted statuesque figure that nicely clash with her paraplegic fantasies, [Vera] Farmiga is enthralling, her unhinged expressions—and ability to ooze sexuality while revealing intimate, off-the-wall truths about herself—lending the proceedings a beguiling, erotically charged sense of unease," writes Nick Schager in Slant. "When Farmiga isn't on screen, however, Quid Pro Quo goes limp."

I went to L.A. to work in film and just got yelled at

“Celtx today announced the free public availability of version 1.0 of their software. To download Celtx 1.0 free, please visit”

Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve
As Lionsgate releases box sets devoted to Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve, Dave Kehr remarks in the New York Times that the two actresses "seem to belong to sovereign territories of their own, which barely have diplomatic relations. Lorenland is a proletarian world of workers and peasants, defined by spontaneity and sensuality, a world of broad comedy and even broader melodrama. The petit principality of Deneuve is the Monaco of movies: a primarily urban environment of designer boutiques and chic restaurants, in which emotions are muffled and sex discreet (and frequently unhappy)." "That [Anthony] Mann is not as esteemed or well known among the public as Ford or Hitchcock is almost criminal, but probably due to the fact that he toiled almost exclusively in the groves of genre has sustained his anonymity," writes DK Holm for the Vancouver Voice. "He's like the perfect filmmaker: a great director of actors, shaper of screenplays, an eye for decor and location, and visually dynamic, especially in collaboration with John Alton." As for The Furies, which Criterion will be releasing next week, "like the other psychological westerns, it is filled with un-self-aware neurotics" and is "richer for being flawed."


On the Contest Circuit:

Christian Screenwrite Announces Winners of Fifth Annual Contest

WriteSafe Announces Finalists

GAFFERS Announces 2008 Screenplay Contest Winners

Great American Short Screenplay Contest Announces Winners

StoryPro Awards Announces Contest Winners

ASA Announces Winners in the 11th Annual International Screenplay Competition

WriteSafe Announces 2008 1st Quarter Semifinalists

Screenplay Festival Announces 2007 Contest Winners

Writers Place Announces Contest Finalists Announces April Winners

Script Savvy Announces April Results

ReelHeART Screenplay Competition Announces Contest Results


And finally


Monday, June 16, 2008

50 Strengths of Darabont’s Draft

[The photo above is courtesy of
our friend Alan at Burbanked.]

Hey guys,

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Darabont’s script has leaked onto the web (I believe it’s still available
here) and Indy fans are talkin'!

Let me just say that a hell of a lot of love and heart went into Frank Darabont’s rejected Indiana Jones and the City of Gods script. There is NO question that his script would have been THE film Indy fans were waiting for. There is also NO question about its superiority of craftsmanship over Koepp’s or most likely any other draft.

Let us validate his work once and for all.

Hope you enjoy it.



50 Strengths of Darabont’s Draft

** Total Spoilers **

1) City of Gods is a vastly superior title.

2) Indy – Okay, let’s talk characters. I’m reminded of a complaint Languatron’s Bane made about Crystal Skulls. He was one of three guys that posted scathing
early reviews. Bane complained that there was nothing about CS that stood on its own, that it was constantly leaning on the past, and failed to bring anything new to the franchise. He gave an example from Rocky Balboa: “Stallone used nostalgia to further a new story – Rocky’s obsession with the past allowed the audience to relive some of their favorite moments, but it also showed us who Rocky is now – lonely, lost, a little pathetic. It used old story elements to tell something new.” That is EXACTLY what Darabont did with Indiana Jones. Indy’s age wasn’t addressed with a few throwaway jokes that had no bearing on the story. Indy’s age was addressed through character, particularly in the opening scenes. He’s no longer doing adventures, but he still loves archeology. He’s out there camping, riding his horse, collecting Indian pottery, taking photos, and making notations. After being forced to take a leave of absence and getting humiliated in the newspapers, Indy gets sloshed and tours the college museum at night, which gave us the opportunity to hilariously relive the opening scene of Raiders, a moment I will treasure forever. But you see, we weren’t reliving this moment for the sake of reliving it. This was an integral part of a new story about the different obstacles Indy faced at this stage of his life within this very different era. Who wouldn’t look back at himself and his past?

3) Indy’s Motivation – My biggest complaint about CS was the fact that Indy was either under-motivated or there were too many confusing multiple motivations. This was never a problem in City of Gods. Indy falling under suspicion of being a commie is what drove the story forward. Period. He left for NYC out of self-preservation and to solve the mystery of the secret activities of the Russian spies.

4) Marion – I could’ve easily titled this article “50 Ways Darabont Got Marion Right.” She was, first of all, given a far better, more humorous entrance in the bar, like a femme fatale from a 50’s film noir. I loved it. And what does she do? She walks up to Indy, punches him in the face (knocking him off the bar stool and on his ass), and says, “What the hell are you doing here?” THAT, my friends, is Marion Ravenwood. And THAT is how you introduce her character in an Indiana Jones film. But then what does she do? She tells him off, downs his martini (also in her character, if you recall), and she storms out of the bar drinking straight from a gin bottle. I love you, Frank Darabont.

5) In CS, Marion was practically an inanimate object that was added just for show. In COG, Marion was an integral part of the action. Consider the airplane sequence. Indy screams at her, “PULL UP! PULL UP!” She says, “I WOULD IF THERE WEREN’T A DEAD GUY ON THE STICK!” “WELL TRY HARDER!” Hehehe... I loved it.

6) And let us now praise the banter between Indy and Marion. Darabont got their banter down so well I doubt anyone in the audience would’ve felt that his version of Indy IV was an empty exercise. There is so much entertainment value in seeing those two go back and forth that almost every audience member would’ve thought, “Yup, THIS is why I want to sit through another Indiana Jones film.” There are so many examples of their great banter, but I’ll provide just one. How about when they’re both flying two, parallel, damaged planes:

Marion: NOW WHAT?

7) The Evolving Relationship – I have said this many times before, but great screenwriting charts an evolving relationship over the course of three acts between lead characters. You never had that in CS. Marion shows up alone in the jungle, single, and with his child. It couldn’t have been more obvious where their storyline was headed. In Darabont’s script there was an evolution to their relationship – first anger about seeing each other again, a nice plot twist about her being married to another archeologist, her throwing into Indy’s face how great and handsome her husband is, Indy’s regrets, and then there’s Indy’s choice about her in the end, and ultimately, their reconciliation. That is a vastly superior approach to their storyline.

8) The Baddies – Unlike Irina Spalko, Darabont’s multiple baddies were truly bad, and he made a point of stamping fear into our hearts about each one before Indy had to fight them. The Thin Man was not only a scary figure in the warehouse, but he also shoots the federal agent in the museum (as well as the artifacts, much to Indy’s chagrin) before he tries to kill Indy. As Indy and Marion were talking over their plans at the banquet table, President Escalante (“El Presidente”) has a line of men paraded across a stage behind them and hung for treason.

9) Warehouse – There is much to say about Darabont’s warehouse sequence, which was undeniably superior to what we saw in the finished film. Let’s talk about the slow start to the script. It is, first of all, now more in Indy’s nature to have a slow start to a new adventure. I recall someone asking, “why did we have to see that diner scene?” Oh come on, you screenwriters, you should be able to see why Darabont had that diner scene! Do you recall my complaints about Mac’s betrayal in CS? Mac's betrayal happened way too quickly and before we ever had the chance to get to know the guy. It was like character whiplash! But here, Darabont gets it right and accomplishes two things with the diner scene: 1) He makes us spend time with Yuri and makes us love Yuri with all his talk about how much he loves America before he reveals Yuri’s betrayal. 2) “I love America” sets up Indy’s line before those two characters duke it out. The fact that we spend time with Yuri gives an added emotional punch to his betrayal and makes the audience more involved in the fight scene.

10) The writing styles of the warehouse sequence is a classic showdown between on-the-nose dialogue vs. dialogue with
subtext. I’ll take “No loading zone, pal” over “Damn, I thought that was closer” any day of the week. “I thought that was closer” was obvious, on-the-nose, and not very funny. “No loading zone, pal,” means Indy’s going to royally kick your ass. How about the difference between “I like Ike” vs. “I love America?” “I like Ike” was never setup. It came out of NOWHERE and bombed with audiences in both screenings I sat through. Darabont’s “I love America” was full of subtext. Indy was throwing Yuri’s words right back in his face meaning that he’s a big liar. He’s also basically saying, “this is why I’m foiling your plans. You really DON’T love America, you two-faced liar, but I do.”

11) The Collision – Did you notice the improvement in the head-on collision? In CS, Indy uses his whip to swing out of his jeep right before a head-on collision, a spectacle that would involve three vehicles. The collision in Darabont’s version was a textbook example of how a moment like that SHOULD BE DONE. So Indy’s driving his truck down a big aisle in this warehouse and he finds himself trapped. There’s a jeep headed straight toward him and another one right behind him. He quickly spins the truck to slide into a side aisle while the two jeeps collide right in front of him. And then what happens? Indy puts it in gear and – BOOM – plows right through the wreckage and takes off! Then you cut to Indy looking back, grinning from ear-to-ear, and THAT, my friends, would have been THE MOMENT that heralded THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN of Indiana Jones! This is HIS MOVIE and he’s back and better than ever! If you can just imagine Williams’ sweeping score, Indy grinning after that moment of triumph, and I swear to you, audiences around the world would’ve applauded. This wasn’t just about seeing a head-on collision. It was action punctuated with Indy’s moment of triumph; it was a big, fun statement about an iconic figure.

12) So what does Darabont do right after that? He does what Koepp consistently failed to do, what is so crucial to an Indiana Jones film, and that is, once Indy gets out of one bad predicament, he finds himself in an even worse predicament. I loved how he set it up, too. The Russians run to the end of the aisle to cut him off but they see a sign, “Engine Test Area. Extreme Hazard!” and they let Indy pass by. And there’s Indy laughing. But his laugh turns into a classic “oh shit” look as he drives right between two rows of massive jet engines, which of course, the Russians turn on. There are only two words to describe the jet engine sequence: GREAT FUN. Here you would’ve had the sense that Indy really got himself into some big trouble, a feeling we never got in the finished film. And you have this humorous moment of Indy frantically driving his truck forward and backward to avoid the random engine blasts. I know that would’ve played well.

13) Rocket Sled – In CS, Indy battles some unknown Russian guy we don’t really care about on the rocket sled. In COG, Indy battles YURI, the man who betrayed him. Yuri: “Sorry about your truck.” Indy: “Sorry about your plutonium.” Not only that, Darabont gives us a fight while the rocket sled was rocketing down the track.

14) Details – Guys, I admired the hell out of Darabont’s attention to detail. I loved the choice of the Russian Burp Guns:

Plus, we had Indy driving up to college in his very classy, open-top, BMW 328 Roadster. Yeah, baby!

15) Scene with Dad - I like it. It’s not happy, funny banter that we’re used to seeing, but it serves an important purpose in the narrative. It escalates the growing tension at home, defines why Indy needs to leave, sets up the pay off at the end about his love life, and ultimately, Dad supports him by holding off the police.

16) Travel Montage – I loved the travel montage! We weren’t watching a montage for the sake of watching a montage just because it’s always been part of Indiana Jones films. Darabont does something FUN with it and he gives us a comical shift in values where it starts with Indy flying out of New York City in style in a beautiful McDonald-Douglas Constellation. But then, over the course of his layovers on the way to Peru, the quality of his transportation progressively deteriorates until he’s riding a “scary old DC-3 with rags stuffed in the windows… and the aisle is packed with crates of live goats.” And then it ends with Indy “jostling around in the most godawful rickety bus ever…” I love it! That’s the heart of screenwriting, isn’t it? Scenes and sequences are almost always about a shift in values of some kind. Tension gets raised, circumstances change, etc. What did we get in Koepp’s script? Indy looking at Mutt waxing his bike. Ho hum.

17) By the way, seeing Indy in Manhattan and Grand Central would’ve visually taken our breaths away. That would’ve been cool.

18) A Bomb – I think the A Bomb sequence would’ve played better in the context of Darabont’s narrative. The events that lead up to it in CS were so over-the-top that this just made it seem that much more preposterous and bloated. In COG, though, nothing was terribly unbelievable leading up to this sequence. And we never would’ve felt this was done just for the sake of doing it, because Indy runs into this town with the Russians hot on his trails. There was definitely more tension in Darabont’s draft leading up to the A bomb explosion. You may recall in CS, the Russians drove into town and sorta wandered around looking for Indy. In COG, the Russians were HOT ON HIS TRAILS. And it was funnier. Indy yells at the troops in Russian, “You idiots shot the car!” They respond, “Shut up and run!”

19) Tension, Act One – Okay, let’s consider all the ways Darabont kept up the tension throughout his script. We had in Act One the rising tension inside the warehouse of a dirty deal going bad, which was right before Indy’s intervention. As I mentioned, there was more tension leading up to the A bomb explosion in the fake town. With Indiana Jones and the Mushroom Cloud, we saw in CS, Indy looking at the cloud and walking off. In COG, Indy looks at the cloud, turns, and raises his arms because the U.S. military had guns pointed at him.

20) Tension, Act Two – Even when Indy returned to college, Darabont never let up on the tension. We had the federal agent watching him and taking notes. We had the Thin Man in the museum. We had police arriving at Indy’s home while he was talking to his dad. We had the gangster watching him in NY. In Peru, he was surrounded by “a nefarious bunch” in the bar. You always felt like things could go wrong very easily and quite often, that’s what happened. Oh, there was also the wall of El Presidente’s photos of all the people who tried to find the City of Gods and never returned. (And I love that moment where Marion looks at the wall and through gritted teeth and a forced smile, she says to El Presidente, “Lovely tradition. Lovely.”) What else? Lars’ death helped maintain good tension during the expedition. And then there was the tension in the showdown between Yuri, El Presidente, and Indy’s team. This sequence began with a simple fight between Indy and Peter, followed by the arrival of El Presidente, followed by Yuri’s men (talk about ESCALATING TENSION), which was followed by an unexpected conclusion that creates pandemonium, that is, big damn ants. Darabont described very graphic destruction.

21) Tension, Act Three – What did I say about the third act of CS? “How can there be any tension leading up to the Third Act when Indy has the McGuffin in his possession and he’s doing what the Russians want him to do (without forcing him to do it) and he’s also doing what the skull wants him to do…? If anything, the Russians should’ve obtained the skull in the chase sequence, captured Indy and the gang, and they all marched up to the chamber together.” And that’s exactly what happened in COG. Not only that, we had the tension of them tied to the TNT and a 3-minute fuse. That’s great tension. You also had Oxley growing more terrified as they arrive at the grand plaza of The Great Stone Temple of the Gods. And then Porfi walks down the steps holding the machete and severed head. THAT is how it’s done.

22) The Big Bang Theory of Film – In the comments section of the
50 Flaws article, I remember saying about CS that there should be a new screenwriting theory: The Big Bang of Openings! If you open with a big bang, you damn well better close with an even bigger bang! In COG, Darabont did not make that mistake. His ending wasn’t just about a spaceship taking off. There was far more to it than that and we got an even bigger bang than what he gave us in the opening.

23) Indy was allowed to show pain.

24) Darabont never sanitized the violence.

25) After complaining about pacing missteps in CS, I admired a number of places where the pacing felt so right to me. I loved the scene in Indy’s Hotel Room with Marion. That was great screenwriting. The scene was book-ended with a setup and payoff. The setup was Marion walking around the room while they talk as she searches for the Crystal Skull. The scene ended with the visual revelation about where Indy had kept it hidden – in the overhead light fixture.

26) It ain’t the mileage, sweetheart. It’s the years. – Following the airplane crash, Indy could barely move. Marion says, “What’s the matter, Jones? Mileage finally catching up with you?” Indy says, “It ain’t the mileage, sweetheart. It’s the years.” Indy wasn’t just saying this line of dialogue for the sake of saying it. In this context, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. First of all, on multiple occasions, Indy was allowed to show us his pain. This line, just as in Raiders, was in the context of his pain and in the context of his relationship with Marion, and a part of their ongoing battle of wits. He's also him proving himself to her again. It was a moment of honesty, too, about how he’s changed, and that, in a small way, rekindles her respect for him again.

27) Exposition – What did we learn about
exposition in our study last year? The best exposition is usually fed to the audience in the context of something else. Koepp gave us two talking heads in a diner. The exposition in Indy’s Hotel Room in Peru in COG was spoonfed to us in the context of Indy and Marion’s rocky relationship and dueling wits.

28) Same goes for the exposition about the skulls between Peter and Indy at the expedition base camp. This wasn’t just about the skulls. This was also about two archeologists with different belief systems challenging each other in front of Marion and trying to prove who is the better archeologist. Peter wins that battle, and Marion says, “I knew you two would hit it off.” Of course, Indy would win in the end.

29) The revealing of the McGuffin was, indeed, more special. The slow revelation, and then the Secondary Heading of “INDY” (to indicate a closeup) who is completely thrilled and yet completely stunned. You know damn good and well in this moment that Indy cares DEEPLY about the skull. “Skull of Destiny. My God,” he says. And then we have a moment where Indy is entranced by the skull, which suddenly ends with the pounding on the door. The moment where Indy was entranced by the skull in the CS was preceded by a lot of verbal exposition about its powers. Here, we learn with a simple moment of “show, don’t tell” that it HAS powers without being TOLD that it has powers before we SEE it. The pounding on the door and gangster watching Indy are just more fine examples of how Darabont never let up on the tension.

30) Great transitions – We had Yuri interrogating Reggie the gangster and asking him, “And what did this man look like?” and then we cut to a tight shot of Indy. We had El Presidente saying to Yuri, “Now. Tell me about this skull,” and then we cut to a tight shot of the skull. And at the end, we had Indy telling Ike, “Mr. President, there are only two words I’d like to say today…” and we cut to “I do.” I cannot think of one good transition in Koepp’s script.

31) Setups and Payoffs – The setups and payoffs were managed better. Remember my complaint about the scorpion sting in CS? “What was the point of the scorpion sting on Mutt's hand? Shouldn't that have led to something else? Or a setup to a joke of some kind later?” Well, here we had a poisonous, black, red-striped frog that killed Lars. That was not only used to help maintain tension during the expedition, but it was also a setup to a funny payoff in the Third Act.

32) Plus, the stream of frogs leaping out of Lars’ mouth was the kind of classic Indiana Jones brand of “EWWW!” moment that was sadly missing in spades in Crystal Skulls.

33) Here, the action was always Indy’s, not handed over to some kid wannabe. This was INDY’S movie, as well it should have been.

34) Monkeys - Koepp’s script: bad monkey scene. Darabont’s script: good monkey scene. Koepp’s script: nothing funny about his monkey scene. Darabont’s script: the whole point of the monkey scene was to enjoy two funny gags: 1) the monkey landing on Indy’s chest as he’s hanging on for dear life on the landing gear under Marion’s plane, which makes the monkey scream, which makes Indy scream, and 2) a few seconds later, when Indy’s back in the plane, we get a great line of dialogue: “the monkey pooped on my chest.”

35) Snakes - Koepp’s script: bad snake scene. Darabont’s script: good snake scene. I recall, after they made an announcement about Indy IV, complaining that they’ll probably give Indy a character arc, and I remember Unk saying, “Yeah, they’ll make him overcome his fear of snakes.” And damned if that wasn’t exactly what Koepp tried to do with that stupid sandpit scene. But with Darabont, it was handled better. Indy surprises everyone by announcing that he’s overcome his fear of snakes. But then he has a really bad experience with a really big snake, and thus, he’s fearful all over again. It’s perfect. The more Indy tries to change, the more he stays the same.

36) In CS, I never understood the “wish” in the third act. It just came out of nowhere. Here, it’s explained on the way to the lost city.

37) I’m running long, so I need to shorten my last few points. The treatment of Oxley, his powers, etc, was handled far better. It was a surprise to me that he was in the cage. That was a great moment.

38) Waterfalls - To have Oxley announce beforehand that there will be three waterfalls is no fun. You mentally count them as they go over. That’s NO FUN! Here, we don’t know how many waterfalls there are. Each new waterfall is a surprise. Darabont had four in total, and it’s a running gag. It would’ve played better, because you’d be going through that experience WITH them, not counting them off.

39) Yes, the swinging in the vines scene is better in COG. It’s Indy trying to swing, which would’ve been funny to watch. Plus, he’s chasing after something HE desperately wants.

40) I never understood, as they were running out of the Chamber of Gods in CS, what that whole room with the spinning wheels and water was all about. Here, Darabont explains the aquaducts before going into the Chamber, and thus, no confusion.

41) I wasn’t confused about the number of Skulls, either.

42) Darabont never indulged in confusing double meanings of words.

43) The plot with the FBI and Indy being under suspicion was a fully developed plot. In CS, we had no idea how this plot got resolved and Indy’s name restored. Here, the plot about suspicions of Indy carried over into Peru with the U.S. diplomat recognizing Indy and keeping an eye on him. This was plausible because Indy’s name had been in the newspapers as this was a scandal for the college. We also know how this plot gets resolved. The diplomat witnessed Indy fighting the Russians on the expedition and thus, cleared his name.

44) Okay, the finale. It was a bit long, but it made much more sense to me than what we saw in CS. The aliens were pissed because they DIDN’T have all 13 skulls, and that is why they were in trouble. The aliens were all about giving them what they want before killing them.

45) INDY makes the choice to put the skull on the head of one of the skeletons, NOT because the skull told him to. The only thing the skull told him was which skeleton the skull should be placed upon. Even then, I think that verbal piece of exposition could’ve been handled visually with perhaps the skull glowing near the appropriate skeleton.

46) The ending (brilliantly, I thought) put Indy into a position that exploited a lifelong inner conflict – his love of knowledge or Marion. And ironically, in a contrast to the ending in Raiders, she saves him.

47) The fact that Indy chose Marion over his lifelong desire for knowledge in that crucial moment in the Third Act when his life was on the line gave an added emotional boost to the wedding scene.

48) No bad third act dialogue.

49) I know how some feel that, “well, Darabont’s script still involved aliens and that just doesn’t feel like an Indiana Jones film to me.” I’ll give you that. But Darabont didn’t have the luxury of choosing the McGuffin. So the question I have to ask is, given what Darabont had to work with, did he realize the full potential of this concept? YES.

50) And finally, in the 50th comment in the
50 Flaws article, I wrote, “they should’ve turned to me for the writing duties.” I take it all back. Had they turned to me, I would’ve said, “Lucas, you dumb ass, you should go with Darabont’s script.” Hehehe