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cigarjoe

Script Doctors - The Good The Bad and The Ugly

10 posts in this topic

I watched a 2005 film titled Derailed if was in somebody's list of Neo Noirs. 

 

Here is an expanded review:

Derailed (2005) Directed by Mikael Håfström written by Stuart Beattie based on James Siegel's novel. 
Stars: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel, Giancarlo Esposito (Gus from Breaking Bad & Better Call Saul), RZA, and Xzibit their names both sound like Dr. Seuss characters. 

The film was based on a 2003 novel of the same name by James Siegel, that I haven't read. So I don't know if the screenplay changed anything in the novel or followed it pretty closely.

As an "Aficionoirdo" this film reminded me a lot of Classic Noir Pitfall (1948) In Pitfall Dick Powell is a family man who's jaded with his life, routine and job as an insurance adjuster. Life gets a bit more spicy when he meets femme fatale Lizabeth Scott whose boyfriend has embezzled from a store insured by Powell's company. Powell finds Scott with the aid of a creepy a private detective Raymond Burr, who is a freelancer for the insurance company. Powell and Scott have an affair goes to collect the ill-gotten gifts with the boyfriend in jail and Forbes falls hard for Mona and begins an affair.

Burr wants to also "get in the saddle" with Scott.  Burr gets obsessed and uses the soon-to-be-released from jail boyfriend to bump off Powell and clear the field for himself. Pitfall tells its story in a quick 86 minutes

In this film Derailed Owen is a married advertising exec. He's got a child who has some kind of disease and a wife that also works. He misses his commuter train meets a femme fatale Aniston who is also married on the train and has an affair. When they go to a cheap hotel to play hide the sausage a guy Cassel, breaks into the hotel room, beats up Owen and rapes Aniston. Cassel then proceeds to blackmail Owens threatening to tell his wife about the affair. It gets worse, after paying the initial $10,000, Cassel demands more money even coming to Owens' home and by his presence threatening the lives of his wife and child, who only think of him as a business acquaintance of Owen. This film runs 108 minutes, 10 minutes of needless schmaltzy family life exposition are tacked on, and then after a perfectly executed natural denouement a la say The Killing (1956), another 12 minutes are tacked on a la Fatal Attraction (1987), you know when the wicht who is supposed to be dead comes back for an encore.

It turns out to be a NIPO, Noir In Plot Only, would have made a good neo noir with the use of classic noir visual stylistics and a more streamlined story. It has some nice sequences but others that are way too long. As is it runs an hour and forty-eight minutes. Too bad 6/10

The Good

Kiss Me Deadly. Based on the novel by the same name by Mickey Spillane. Spillane's Mike Hammer is a  sanctimonious demagogue and a bit of a "JA" and screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides had his own agenda. making Hammer a "bedroom dick" pimping his girlfriend Velda to get compromising images with wayward husbands, but the final product and its execution is a Classic Noir. 10/10

discuss......

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I thought this thread was actually going to be about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! For which I just read in his obit that Bernardo Bertolucci was a co-writer or maybe a script doctor.

I am actually trying not to stare at your post too hard, as I fear you may give away all the plot twists of a movie I've contemplated watching.

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I believe it was for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) that Bertolucci was one of the writers.

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6 hours ago, slaytonf said:

I believe it was for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) that Bertolucci was one of the writers.

Yes he was for Once Upon A Time In The West.

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When it comes to the GOOD script doctors, Julius and Phillip Epstein come immediately to mind!

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7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I thought this thread was actually going to be about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! For which I just read in his obit that Bernardo Bertolucci was a co-writer or maybe a script doctor.

I am actually trying not to stare at your post too hard, as I fear you may give away all the plot twists of a movie I've contemplated watching.

On this thread I was thinking of just getting the opinions and ideas from all about what they thought about some films, any films that could have been improved or streamlined if various elements were tweaked. 

For remakes you can easily see what was changed or retained, for me I just happened to watch Pitfall recently enough to see the similarities with Derailed

And thinking more about Derailed I'm just assuming that the family life padding at the beginning was just for the sake of PC. It emphasised that Owen's wife had an equally strenuous job and that they had an equal "sharing" of parental duties. It didn't need to have any of that level of detail and just delayed the start of the main storyline. Pitfall accomplishes the same family life background for Powell in about a minute.

I also noticed that quite a few Film Noir will give you all the establishing location shots during the title sequences, this also streamlines the films running time. 

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3 minutes ago, Ray Faiola said:

When it comes to the GOOD script doctors, Julius and Phillip Epstein come immediately to mind!

I've heard the names what scripts did they work on?

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2 minutes ago, Ray Faiola said:

Most famously CASABLANCA. But they were the wonder boys at Warner Bros.

Thanks.

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7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I thought this thread was actually going to be about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Lol, no BTW here are the GBU credits: Luciano Vincenzoni (story & screenplay) & Sergio Leone (story & screenplay), and Agenore Incrocci (screenplay) (as Age) & Furio Scarpelli  (screenplay) (as Scarpelli), however from interviews not much of Age & Scarpelli (an Italian script writing team who specialized in satirical comedies) remained in the final draft.

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