INT. OLD HOME BAR-LATER
The group sits talking, trusting furtive glances at the blonde and her girlfriends a couple of tables away.
MILNOR: I’m going to buy her a drink.
NASH: That’s creative.
ZWEIFEL: Will she want a large wedding?
SHAPELY: One beauty, too many suitors.
FOX: Swords, gentlemen? Pistols at dawn?
MILNOR: We apply Adam Smith’s benevolent hand.
FOX: In competition, individual ambition serves the common good.
SHAPELY: Every man for himself.
ZWEIFEL: Those are strike out end up with her friends.
John nods. Then his gaze fixes on the girls.
ZWEIFEL: She is looking over. I think she’s looking at Nash.
MILNOR: He may have the advantage now. But wait until he opens his mouth.
But John doesn’t respond to the taunt. Instead he continues to stare intently at the girls.
MILNOR: Nash? Hey, Earth to Nash.
But Nash doesn’t take his eyes off the girls’ table.
NASH: Adam Smith was wrong.
MILNOR: What are you talking about?
NASH-POV The girls’ table grows dark, only the blonde girl highlighted, moving into the foreground.
NASH (OVER): If everyone competes for the blonde…
NASH-POV Images of all the boys surround the blonde, them blow apart like fragments of glass, leaving the blonde Standing alone.
NASH (OVER):… We block each other and no one gets her.
NASH-POV The other girls rise in the foreground, images of our boys Pairing off with them.
NASH (OVER):… So then we go for her friends…
NASH-POVall the other girls suddenly go dark, leaving our group standing alone.
NASH (OVER):… But they give the cold shoulder, because no one likes to be second choice. Again, no winners.
NASH-POV The blonde girl goes dark.
NASH (OVER):… But what if none of us go for the blonde…
NASH-POVNow images of the boys pair up with the remaining girls.
NASH (OVER):… We don’t get in each other’s way, we don’t insult the other girls.
NASH-POV The world goes dark except for the couples which twirl like a mobile of arabesques in a victorious swirl.
NASH (OVER): That’s the only way we win. That’s the only way we all get laid..
All are staring at him.
NASH: Adam Smith said the best outcome for the group comes from everyone trying to do what’s best for himself.
MILNOR: Yes, Nash, it’s the basis for all of modern economic theory.
NASH: He was wrong. The best outcome comes from everyone trying to do what’s best for himself and the group.
MILNOR: Nash, if this is some plan for you to get the blonde alone…
But Nash isn’t listening. He’s already pulling on his coat.
NASH: Don’t you see? Adam Smith was wrong. The father of economics was wrong.
And with that he’s grabbed his coat,heading out the door, his puzzled friends watching on.
FOX: Could he be weirder?
— A Beautiful Mind (2001), screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, book by Sylvia Nasar
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is science, suggested by plinytheelder_t.
Trivia: Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman had plenty of personal experience to draw on in developing the story; he had previously worked as a child care counselor and had developed a method for training mental health workers, and had also grown up in a house where his parents had established a group home for emotionally disturbed children.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Another example of using an object — in this case a ‘blonde’ — as a visual way of conveying a scientific point.
UPDATE: As if on cue, Film School Rejects have a post today: 25 Things We Learned From ‘A Beautiful Mind’ Commentary.