Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TODAY'S NUGGET: #70 WGA Script of All Time -The African Queen (1951)

[Quick Summary: After the Germans burn down her jungle village, the only survivor, a missionary's sister, convinces a riverman to hunt down enemy's warship.]

*Sigh.*

I know I'm supposed to like this script, but I did not.  I wish I did.

It's well crafted.  There are stakes.  The dialogue flows.

Yet, it didn't move me.

Well, except for the spark between Allnutt (Bogart) & Rose (Hepburn).  Allnutt changes dramatically because of Rose.  She's a strong female who doesn't fall into overused female stereotypes. 

Guess what is her strongest tool? Her opinion of Allnutt.  It's more effective than a sword.

ex. Rose has just dumped all Allnutt's precious gin into the jungle river.  He is aghast.

ROSE: So you think it was your nasty drunkenness I mind.

A foolish, helpless gesture from Allnutt.

ALLNUTT (bewildered): Well --wot else?

ROSE: You lied to me.....You promised.

ALLNUTT (shouting): Well, I'm takin' my promise back!

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: To write a strong female character, make her a woman to be reckoned with.

The African Queen (1951)
by James Agee, John Huston & Peter Viertel

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