If you ever wanted to go to Film School, here’s one of the exercises we do. Compare and contrast. I’ll cut and paste a favorite scene from the scripts, find the corresponding scene on YouTube, and post both. You can run the video link and read the script to examine what’s the same, what’s changed, writing style, action line and dialogue analysis…. let’s go to the video tape!
- #41: GOODFELLAS: Get Your Shine Box!
This famous scene is quite different from what we know as the final film. I’ll include the first half of the screenplay sequence for you to compare…
JUNE 11, 1970S QUEENS, NEW YORK. THE SUITE - NIGHT A smoky, overdecorated cocktail lounge and nightclub on Queens Boulevard. Sergio Franchi is in full voice on the jukebox. It is after midnight. It has bean a long night.. Balloons and empty glasses litter the place. BILLY BATTS, a 50-year-old hood in an out-of-date suit, court at the bar. WE SEE a younger, more sharply-dressed HOOD walk in with a BEEHIVE GIRLFRIEND and hug BATTS. HOOD Billy. You look beautiful. Welcome home. BAITS (laughing and turning to the bartender) What are you having? Give 'em what they're drinking. WE SEE FOUR OTHER MEN, including HENRY HILL and JIMMY BURKE, standing near BILLY BATTS at the bar, raise their glasses in salute. TOMMY DESIMONE and ANOTHER BEEHIVE BLONDE enter. BILLY BATTS looks up and sees TOMMY. BILLY Hey, look at him. Tommy. You grew up. TOMMY (preening a little) Billy, how are you? BILLY (smiling broadly at Tommy and the girl) Son of a bitch. Get over here. TOMMY walks over and BILLY, too aggressively, grabs TOMMY around the neck. TOMMY doesn't like it. TOMMY (forcing a laugh) Hey, Billy. Watch the suit. BILLY (squeezing Tommy's cheek, a little too hard) Listen to him. "Watch the suit," he says. A little pisser I've known all my life. Hey, Tommy, don't go get too big. TOMMY Don't go busting my balls. Okay? BILLY (laughing, to the crowd at the bar) Busting his balls? (to Tommy) If I was busting your balls, I'd send you home for your shine box. TOMMY'S smile turns to a glare as he realizes BILLY is making fun of him. The Men at the bar are roaring with laughter. His GIRL is looking glumly at her shoes. BILLY (to the hoods at the bar) You remember Tommy's shines? The kid was great. He made mirrors. TOMMY (almost a threat) No more shines, Billy. BILLY Come ooonnn. Tommeeee. We're only kidding. You can't take a joke? Come ooonn. WE SEE that TOMMY is still angry, but begins to relax with BILLY'S apparent apology, but as soon as BILLY sees that TOMMY is beginning to relax, he contemptuously turns his back on TOMMY. BILLY (facing the bar) Now get the hell home and get your shine box. HENRY quickly steps in front of TOMMY who is about to explode. BATTS is facing the bar and does not see just how furious TOMMY has become. HENRY (gently wrestling Tommy away from the bar) Come on, relax. He's drunk. He's been locked up for six years. TOMMY I don't give a shit. That guy's got no right. HENRY Tommy. He. doesn't mean anything. Forget about it. TOMMY (trying to wrestle past Henry) He's insulting me. Rat bastard. He's never been any fuckin' good. HENRY Tommy. Come on. Relax. TOMMY (to Henry) Keep him here. I'm going for a bag. TOMMY roughly grabs his GIRL'S arm and storms out. HENRY (rejoining Jimmy and Billy Batts at the bar) Batts. I'm sorry. Tommy gets loaded. He doesn't mean any disrespect. BATTS He's got a hot head. WE SEE the LAST TWO GUESTS get up to leave. HENRY puts another dollar in the jukebox and moves back behind the bar and starts to total the register receipts.
18: ON THE WATERFRONT: I coulda been a contender
Terry looks at him. CHARLEY There's a slot for a boss loader on the new pier we're opening up. TERRY (interested) Boss loader! CHARLEY Ten cents a hundred pounds on everything that moves in and out. And you don't have to lift a finger. It'll be three-four hundred a week just for openers. TERRY And for all that dough I don't do nothin'? CHARLEY Absolutely nothing. You do nothing and you say nothing. You understand, don't you, kid? TERRY (struggling with an unfamiliar problem of conscience and loyalties) Yeah— yeah— I guess I do— but there's a lot more to this whole thing than I thought, Charley. CHARLEY You don't mean you're thinking of testifying against— (turns a thumb in toward himself) TERRY I don't know— I don't know! I tell you I ain't made up my mind yet. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. CHARLEY (patiently, as to a stubborn child) Listen, Terry, these piers we handle through the locals— you know what they're worth to us? TERRY I know. I know. CHARLEY Well, then, you know Cousin Johnny isn't going to jeopardize a setup like that for one rubber-lipped— TERRY (simultaneous) Don't say that! CHARLEY (continuing) —ex-tanker who's walking on his heels— ? TERRY Don't say that! CHARLEY What the hell!!! TERRY I could have been better! CHARLEY The point is— there isn't much time, kid. There is a painful pause, as they appraise each other. TERRY (desperately) I tell you, Charley, I haven't made up my mind! CHARLEY Make up your mind, kid, I beg you, before we get to four thirty-seven River... . TERRY (stunned) Four thirty-seven— that isn't where Gerry G...? Charley nods solemnly. Terry grows more agitated. TERRY Charley... you wouldn't take me to Gerry G... .? Charley continues looking at him. He does not deny it. They stare at each other for a moment. Then suddenly Terry starts out of the cab. Charley pulls a pistol. Terry is motionless, now, looking at Charley. CHARLEY Take the boss loading, kid. For God's sake. I don't want to hurt you. TERRY (hushed, gently guiding the gun down toward Charley's lap) Charley... . Charley... . Wow... . CHARLEY (genuinely) I wish I didn't have to do this, Terry. Terry eyes him, beaten. Charley leans back and looks at Terry strangely. Terry raises his hands above his head, somewhat in the manner of a prizefighter mitting the crowd. The image nicks Charley's memory. TERRY (an accusing sigh) Wow... . CHARLEY (gently) What do you weigh these days, slugger? TERRY (shrugs) ...eight-seven, eighty-eight. What's it to you? CHARLEY (nostalgically) Gee, when you tipped one seventy-five you were beautiful. You should've been another Billy Conn. That skunk I got to manage you brought you along too fast. TERRY It wasn't him! (years of abuse crying out in him) It was you, Charley. You and Johnny. Like the night the two of youse come in the dressing room and says, "Kid, this ain't your night— we're going for the price on Wilson." It ain't my night. I'd of taken Wilson apart that night! I was ready— remember the early rounds throwing them combinations. So what happens— This bum Wilson he gets the title shot— outdoors in the ballpark! – and what do I get— a couple of bucks and a one-way ticket to Palookaville. (more and more aroused as he relives it) It was you, Charley. You was my brother. You should of looked out for me. Instead of making me take them dives for the short-end money. CHARLEY (defensively) I always had a bet down for you. You saw some money. TERRY (agonized) See! You don't understand! CHARLEY I tried to keep you in good with Johnny. TERRY You don't understand! I could've been a contender. I could've had class and been somebody. Real class. Instead of a bum, let's face it, which is what I am. It was you, Charley. Charley takes a long, fond look at Terry. Then he glances quickly out the window.
- #13: THE GRADUATE: I have a date with Elaine
MRS. ROBINSON Listen to me very carefully, Benjamin. You are not to see Elaine again. Ever. Those are my orders. Is that clear? Ben stops the car in front of a house halfway down the block. BEN Mrs. Robinson - MRS. ROBINSON I can makes things quite unpleasant. BEN How? MRS. ROBINSON In order to keep Elaine away from you - I am prepared to tell her everything. BEN I don't believe you. MRS. ROBINSON Then you'd better start believing me. BEN Mrs. Robinson, don't wreck it. I'm asking you please not to wreck it. MRS. ROBINSON Go home now. BEN I just don't believe you would do that. Mrs. Robinson looks at him for a moment. MRS. ROBINSON Try me. There is a pause while Ben looks at her expression. Then he grabs the keys out of the ignition, opens the door on his side and jumps out of the car, carrying the package. TRACK WITH BEN as he runs up the street and up the drive- way toward the Robinson house. Ben gets to the front door. BEN (as he goes through the door) Elaine! 126 INT. ROBINSON HALLS, STAIRS, DOOR TO ELAINE'S ROOM - DAY Ben runs in. BEN Elaine? ELAINE'S VOICE Benjamin? BEN I'm coming up. ELAINE'S VOICE I'm not dressed yet. Ben runs up the stairs. He still carries the package. Ben gets to the top just as Elaine comes out of the door to her bedroom. She is wearing a skirt and slip and carrying one shoe. ELAINE Benjamin - I said I wasn't dressed - Ben pushes her back into her room. 127 INT. ELAINE'S ROOM - DAY ELAINE What's the matter? BEN You've got to go over the back fence and I'll meet you on the corner. ELAINE Benjamin - what's happening? BEN Hurry up. Put your shoes on. Ben turns and looks. 128 SHOT - OVER BEN'S SHOULDER Mrs. Robinson is just entering the house. BEN NO. He turns around. 129 NEW ANGLE Elaine is standing in the doorway watching him. She still holds the shoe in her hand. BEN Why aren't you ready? ELAINE Because I want to know what's happening. SOUND of Mrs. Robinson's FOOTSTEPS in the hall below. BEN There isn't time! 130 INT. ELAINE'S ROOM - DAY Ben pulls Elaine around behind the open door. They stand in the angle formed by the door and the wall as though they are hiding from someone. Mrs. Robinson's FOOTSTEPS can be heard coming up the stairs. BEN Elaine - I have to tell you something. He holds her against the wall in the corner. ELAINE What is it? BEN That woman - ELAINE What? BEN That woman. The older woman. ELAINE You mean the one who - BEN Yes. The married woman - it wasn't just some woman - Mrs. Robinson's FOOTSTEPS can be heard coming down the hall. ELAINE What are you telling me? The FOOTSTEPS stop. 131 ANGLE - CLOSE ON ELAINE Back in the corner. Mrs. Robinson's face appears in the crack in the door at Elaine's shoulder. Elaine looks from Ben's face to the crack through which she can see her mother's eyes staring. ELAINE Please - will somebody tell me - She looks back at Ben, then back at her mother's face again. Mrs. Robinson's eyes watch her through the crack in the door. Elaine looks away. ELAINE Oh - no. Ben backs up. BEN Elaine - ELAINE Oh my God - Moving along the wall as though to keep as far from Ben as possible, Elaine moves away from the door. BEN Please. Elaine walks a few steps toward the other side of the room then turns back toward Ben. The tears are starting out of her eyes. BEN No - don't cry - ELAINE GET OUT! BEN Don't cry. (holds the package out to her) ELAINE Get out of here. She moves toward him as though to hit him. He backs into the hall. Elaine SLAMS the door shut. ELAINE (holding the door) Get out! 132 INT. ROBINSON HALL - DAY Mrs. Robinson stands at the end of it, looking at Ben. MRS. ROBINSON (calmly) Goodbye, Benjamin.