Today it’s Part 2 of our Great Scenes Mix. There is no bottom to the scenes you nominate could for this category so my criteria was: 1) Clips and scripts. (Find both so you can compare the written page with the movie.) 2) Don’t be freakin’ boring or predictable. (Speaks for itself).
The reason I do clips and scripts is make clear what needs to be obvious to even a break-in screenwriter: The thing is never done. Changes were made– sometimes significant changes– even to great scenes like these.
Hopefully, also, if you haven[t seen these, you’ll be inspired to check out the full movie. Vamos!
- HAPPINESS: I’M CHAMPAGNE AND YOU’RE SHIT
Check out the full script of Happiness for the full scene. Top of the movie, she’s breaking up with Jon Lovitz. He’s crushed but still hands her the gift he brought.
JOY For me? STUART (hands her a gift) Open it up. JOY (discovers a pewter ashtray) Oh, but Stuart. This is�oh, this is beautiful. STUART Thanks. It's a Gainsevoort reproduction. Boston, late 1800's. I sent away for it just after we had our�first date. JOY Oh, I just love it. It's a�it's a collector's item. STUART Yeah, it is pretty special. JOY (laughs) It almost makes me want to start smoking again! STUART Look at the bottom. JOY (examines more closely) Ooh. STUART Forty karat gold-plate inlaid base. JOY Oh, Stuart. Thank you. This really means something to me. I'll always treasure it�as a token� STUART No, you won't. (retrieves his gift; a sudden shift in emotion:) 'Cause this is for the girl who loves me. The girl who cares for me, for who I am, not what I look like. I wanted you to know what you'd be missing. You think I don't appreciate art. You think I don't understand fashion. You think I'm not hip. You think I'm pathetic, a nerd, a lard-ass fatso. You think I'm shit. Well, you're wrong. 'Cause I'm champagne. And you're shit. And till the day you die, you, not me, will always be shit.
- ED WOOD: LUNCH WITH ORSON WELLS
Ed glances around. And then, suddenly -- his eyes widen. Sitting at a table is ORSON WELLES! The portly, world-famous filmmaker sits alone, eating lunch with one hand and drawing STORYBOARDS with the other. Ed is thunderstruck. ED Oh my God. It's Orson Welles... Ed nervously stands. He starts to step forward -- when he catches his own reflection in a mirror. He's still in drag. ED Oh shit. Ed rolls his eyes. He runs his hand through his hair, then slowly approaches Orson Welles. Ed is terrified. ED Excuse me, Sir...? ORSON WELLES (he casually looks up) Yes? ED Uh, uh, I'm a young filmmaker, and a really big fan... and I just wanted to meet you. ORSON WELLES (he extends his hand) My pleasure. I'm Orson Welles. ED Oh. Um, I'm Ed Wood! (he smiles anxiously) So, what are you working on now? ORSON WELLES Eh, the financing just fell through for the third time on "Don Quixote." So I'm trying to finish a promo for something else. But I can't find the soundtrack -- (he shrugs) I think I left it in Malta. Ed is astonished. ED I can't believe it. These sound like my problems! ORSON WELLES It's the damn money men. You never know who's a windbag, and who's got the goods. And then they all think they're a director... ED Ain't that the truth! I've even bad producers recut my movies -- ORSON WELLES Ugh, I hate when that happens. ED (on a roll) And they always want to cast their buddies -- it doesn't even matter if they're right for the part! ORSON WELLES Tell me about it. I'm supposed to do a thriller at Universal, and they want Charlton Heston to play a Mexican! Ed shakes his head. He's discouraged. ED Mr. Welles, is it all worth it? ORSON WELLES It is when it works. (solemn) You know the one film of mine I can stand to watch? "Kane." The studio hated it... but they didn't get to touch a frame. (he smiles warmly) Ed, visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams? CLOSEUP - ED He has seen God. ED Wow.
- CASTAWAY: I’M SORRY, WILSON!
EXT. OCEAN - DAY - LATER The sky clears. The waves are still big. The fish are back. And then come the sharks, cutting through the water. Chuck can't get up to get his spear, he just has to watch as blood darkens the water. And then the sharks are gone. Chuck comes to his knees slowly, then a big wave hits. Wilson is swept into the ocean! For a moment Chuck is uncomprehending. He watches as Wilson slowly floats away. CHUCK Please, no sharks. Then he dives in to the water! Swims frantically after Wilson. Wilson floats away from him. He swims, but he's so weak. Finally he gets to Wilson. He reaches out, but only pushes the ball farther away. It bobs on the waves. Chuck treads water, exhausted. Where is the raft? CHUCK Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Then he turns back the other way. The raft has drifted by him. He can go after Wilson, or he can go after the raft. CHUCK Shit! Wilson! He swims toward the raft, barely moving. No matter how hard he swims, the raft seems to recede from him. Finally he reaches it, hangs on the side, breathing hard, choking, crying. He struggles to pull himself on board. But he is weak, so weak. He can't do it. Summoning some primitive reserve of strength, he tries again. This time he slides on. He lies on the raft, panting. Then with all his strength he pulls himself to his feet, holds on to the mast, scans the ocean for Wilson. CHUCK Wilson! Nothing but waves. This is too much. Chuck starts to cry.
- GANGS OF NEW YORK- FIVE POINTS BATTLE
Massive changes here, and look at the density of those action lines before the first dialogue. So much for giving white space! The great fighting scene that happens just after this, if you’re interested, can be found here.
7 EXT. STREET DAY (WINTER) WINTER WIND blows across a scene as strange and bleak as an alien planet. VALLON, carrying his cross high, steps through the doorway. The OTHERS slowly follow VALLON out of the building, which is three stories high and maybe a block long. A dilapidated sign identifies it as the 5 Paints Brewery. It is the tallest structure in the midst of low, squalid SHACKS, winding ALLEYS as narrow as a snakels back, and DIRT STREETS filled with ruts, mud and filthy snow. A few PIGS wander forlornly about, rooting for garbage. WASH hangs stiff, in the middle of the square, from a peculiar monument erected to some forgotten war hero. The Brewery occupies one side of a SQUARE surrounded by some storefronts and a couple of collapsed wooden sidewalks. If this place resembles anything at all, it's a horrible hybrid of London's Limehouse and a pioneer town in the American West whose best days have long passed--or never came at all. VALLON stands still, staring across the square past the monument. His battalion of irregulars waits for his signal. Now... very, very slowly...from around both sides of the monument comes ANOTHER GANG, in size the same as VALLON's, men and women both, armed like Visigoths with HOMEMADE WEAPONS: knives, pitchforks, building blocks and bricks, boards with sharp nails protruding from the ends. Every member of this second group is dressed in a long DUSTER which reaches to the ankles. Several MEN in front of the group sport dusters made of leather. VALLON Bill Poole! on whose challenge are we assembled? A MAN in a leather duster (BILL THE BUTCHER) steps forward. He is young, lean and fierce. And then there are his eyes. They do not match. One is real. The other is a huge, bulging PEARL upon which has been engraved, instead of a pupil, a full-color portrait of the AMERICAN EAGLE. On the side of the square, arranged to get a good view of the impending combat, is a group of STREET KIDS, girls and boys, none older than eight. They talk and laugh excitedly among themselves, picking their own favorites among the gangs as if the warriors were players on a team. BILL THE BUTCHER On the challenge of the Native Americans, to settle for good and all who holds sway. VALLON Bene.