Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TODAY’S 2nd NUGGET: #21 WGA Script of All Time – North by Northwest (1959)

[Quick Summary: Roger Thornhill is an advertising man who is mistaken for the notorious George Kaplan.  As Roger chases down the truth, he finds that Kaplan never existed.]

This script had fantastic pacing for the first 80-90 pages. 

(I don't know why, but it seemed to slow down when until Thornhill goes to Eve's train compartment.)

The script m-o-v-e-s because:

1) Thornhill's life is absolutely disrupted by this Kaplan guy (good conflict)

2) Thornhill hates being blamed for Kaplan's mistakes & wants his life back (good motive)

3) Both protagonist & antagonist think they're right. And they are. But they think the other side is wrong. But they're not.  Who will win?  (good raising of stakes)

The audience can't wait for the shoes to start falling.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I think Acts 1 & 2 flew because as puzzle pieces were added, other pieces were subtracted.

This isn't one of my favorite scripts.  I guess once I knew Thornhill wasn't really in trouble, I lost some momentum.

North by Northwest (1959)
by Ernest Lehman

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