Thursday, March 29, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #33 WGA Script of All Time - The Third Man (1949)

[Quick Summary: When a novelist arrives in postwar Vienna to visit his friend Harry Lime, he learns Harry has died & sets out to find witnesses, including a mysterious 3rd man.]

BAD NEWS:

- The only available script is the shooting script, which is rather long (217 pgs.)

- The plentiful stage directions often made me lose track of the story again & again.

GOOD NEWS:

- The script drops clues very well.

- It's an easy story to understand: A man arrives from out-of-town & his friend Harry died in an "accident." As he asks innocent questions, the inconsistent stories make him suspicious.

- Every clue opens another door, & propels us forward - what's going to happen next?

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Clues must arise naturally. 

ex. The protagonist sees pretty Anna (Harry's girlfriend) at the funeral. He's attracted & curious, so he creates an opportunity to talk to (& question) her.

The Third Man (1949)
by Graham Greene

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