Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973) - Decisions, Decisions

[Quick Summary: Webster, a computer programmer-turned-thief, gets an unexpected partner in crime who helps him outwit a smart insurance claims man.]

Whoooooeeee! What a fun ride!

Unlike last week, I found this script engaging, especially because of Webster's unpredictable decisions in sticky situations.

- He is sneaky.

ex. As Webster steals from Mrs. Donner's jewelry box, Mrs. Donner and her escort return home. Webster sweats bullets, but dodges them both.

- He confronts.

ex. Webster lifts jewels from a mansion, but two necking teens in a car block his escape.  Exasperated, he shines a light on them.

WEBSTER (shouting): What the hell's going on here! This is private property.
BOY (still wide-eyed): I didn't know this place had a watchman.
WEBSTER: You know it now! Haul ass or I'll have the cops here in five minutes.
BOY: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. Leaving right now.

- He is unafraid to backpedal.

ex.  Laura urges Webster to break into her house.  He does it to impress her, but he learns too late that it's someone else's house.

WEBSTER: Never mind that. Where are the Tylers?
LAURA: Upstairs, asleep, I suppose. They're certainly smart enough to recognize a dull party, they left long before we did.
WEBSTER: Thank you very much. It's been nice knowing you,  I wish you well. Good night.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: A character can continue to surprise audiences with the decisions he/she makes.

The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
by Walter Hill

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