Daily Dialogue — October 24, 2014

October 24th, 2014 by

King Arthur: [about the inscription on the rock] What does it say, Brother Maynard?
Brother Maynard: It reads, “Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathia. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the holy grail in the Castle of Aaauuuggghhh… ”
King Arthur: What?
Brother Maynard: “The Castle of Aaaauuuggghhhh”
Sir Bedevere: What is that?
Brother Maynard: He must have died while carving it.
King Arthur: Oh come on!
Brother Maynard: Well, that’s what it says.
King Arthur: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t have bothered to carve ‘Aaaauuuggghhhh’. He’d just say it.
Sir Galahad: Maybe he was dictating it.
King Arthur: Oh shut up!
Sir Robin: Well does it say anything else?
Brother Maynard: No, just “Aaaaauuuugggghhh”.
[knights making groaning sounds]
Sir Bedevere: Do you think he could have mean, ‘Camaaaauuuuggghhhh’?
Sir Galahad: Where’s that?
Sir Bedevere: France, I think.
Sir Lancelot: Isn’t there a Saint “Aaaaavvvveeeesss” in Cornwall?
King Arthur: No that’s Saint “Ives”.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, yes. “Iiiiiivvvveeessss”!
[All knights saying, "Iiiiiivvvveeessss"]
Sir Bedevere: Whooooouuuuaaa!
Sir Lancelot: No no no, it’s “Aaaaauuuugggghhhh” from the back of the throat.
Sir Bedevere: No I mean, “Whoooouuuuaaa!” as in surprise and alarm.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, you mean like, “AAAHH!”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), written by Graham Chapman & John Cleese & Eric Idle & Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones & Michael Palin

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by James Schramm.

Trivia: During production, the troupe became increasing irritated by the press, who seemed to always ask the same questions, such as “What will your next project be?” One day, Eric Idle flippantly answered, “Jesus Christ’s Lust For Glory”. Having discovered that this answer quickly shut up reporters, the group adopted it as their stock answer. After production completed, they did some serious thinking about it, and realized that while satirizing Christ himself was out of the question, they could create a parody of first-century life, later realized in Life of Brian (1979).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by James: “I love the creativity around dying words carved in stone including the last dying breath and then a whole scene discussing the plausibility of such an act.”

Daily Dialogue — October 23, 2014

October 23rd, 2014 by

FATHER: (hoarse whisper) I… was … dis … dis …
FISCHER: I know, Dad. You were disappointed that I couldn’t be you.

The dying man SHAKES HIS HEAD with surprising energy.

FATHER: (whisper) I was disappointed… that you tried.

Inception (2010), written by Christopher Nolan

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by suzannepham.

Trivia: If you take the first letters of the main characters’ names – Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur, Mal and Saito – they spell “Dreams”. If you add Peter, Ariadne and Yusuf, the whole makes “Dreams Pay”, which is what they do for a mind thief.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Suzanne: “I love this dialogue because it is economical with words, and with so few words (“I was disappointed that you tried.”), it flips the entire relationship between Fischer and his dying father, which is pivotal to the plot. Fischer thought he was failing by not living up to his father’s legacy; now he understands his father wants him to make his own path.”

Daily Dialogue — October 22, 2014

October 22nd, 2014 by


Citizen Kane (1941), original screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz & Orson Welles

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by pgronk.

Trivia: William Randolph Hearst was infuriated by this movie, obviously based on his life. According to an essay written for the “New York Review of Books” by Gore Vidal “Rosebud” was Hearst’s name for long-time mistress Marion Davies’ clitoris. Some other reports claim screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz took the name from a bicycle he owned as a child. Either way, the discussions of “Rosebud’s” origin are difficult to date any earlier than the 1970s, as feared retribution by Hearst and, following his death, many of his devotees made the subject taboo.

Dialogue On Dialogue: I posted this back in 2009. Unfortunately the interview footage is no longer available, however my observations based on the footage are. Here they are:

The Internet never ceases to amaze me. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Orson Welles. I’ve never seen it before today, never even knew of its existence until I started bumping around the web. Two things about the interview. First, Welles reveals that the idea of ‘home’ is very important to him because as a child, his family moved multiple times, so he never really had what he would call a home. Second, he confesses that his least favorite thing about Citizen Kane was Rosebud — he calls it a “rather tawdry device.”

May I humbly disagree. First, Rosebud serves numerous narrative functions: framing device for the narrative, source of a mystery as well as eventually the key to solving it, the sled and the snow globe powerful visual devices, taking on talismanic significance.

But beyond that, I wonder if Welles is doing a bit of deflection here. In response to the interviewer’s question, “Is there anything that came out of that [i.e., Welles' family moving around so much] in the movie,” Welles offers a definitive no. But isn’t ‘home’ what Rosebud — the sled / snow globe — represents to Kane, that one time and one place where he was truly happy, his youthful winter wonderland, he and his friends, sledding in the snow, only to be yanked out of there by life’s sudden turn? And so isn’t it fair to think that Welles’ desire to have a single place he could call home (he says so point blank in the interview) is reflected in the experience of young Charles Foster Kane? Therefore, Rosebud can be seen to be much more than a “tawdry device,” it is precisely the whole point of Kane’s existence, constantly attempting in all his life endeavors to find some thing, some place he could call ‘home.’ Yet he could never satisfy that almost infantile need, which is why it’s so riveting to see him wandering the halls of Xanadu on the night of his death, clutching the snow globe, then offering up his final word, “Rosebud.”

And oh yeah: “Rosebud” also sets into motion one of the great cinematic mysteries, one which no one in the story – other than Kane himself – figures out. But we do in those dramatic final shots.

Yes. Some seriously famous dying words in Citizen Kane.

Daily Dialogue — October 21, 2014

October 21st, 2014 by

“I feel… cold.”

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), screenplay by Ted Elliott &
Terry Rossio, screen story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by Sam Tyler.

Trivia: The name “Barbossa” might have been derived from the real Turkish pirate “Barbarossa”. Barbarossa, also known as “Redbeard”, was once a pirate in the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas before he became a fleet admiral of the Ottoman Empire navy.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Sam: “The first draft below doesn’t have this line and the whole battle is very different.

Jack stands out of the moonlight, flesh and blood again,
holding his smoking pistol, still aimed at Barbossa.

Hah. Ten years you carried that
pistol, and you end up wasting your

He didn’t waste it.

Will stands over the Aztec chest, holding a bloody sword, his
left hand in a fist. He opens the fist –

– the medallion, blood covering it, drops from his hand,
revealing the cut in his palm.

Barbossa stares, then looks down at his chest. Blood blossoms
on his shirt around the bullet hole. It spreads quickly.

Barbossa clutches his chest, his face registering pain for the
first time in years. Barbossa falls heavily to the ground,
The emotional impact is amazing. At first, Barbossa registers excitement and happiness, followed by confusion and shock. All this represented in 3 words. Minimum words, maximum impact.

For those who don’t know, there is a great commentary on the DVD with Terry Rosio and Ted Elliot. It is one of the best screenwriting commentaries out there in my not-so-humble opinion.”

Daily Dialogue — October 20, 2014

October 20th, 2014 by

Doc Holliday: What did you ever want?
Wyatt Earp: Just to live a normal life.
Doc Holliday: There’s no normal life, Wyatt, it’s just life. Get on with it.
Wyatt Earp: Don’t know how.
Doc Holliday: Sure you do. Say goodbye to me. Go grab that spirited actress and make her your own. Take that beauty from it, don’t look back. Live every second. Live right on to the end. Live Wyatt. Live for me. Wyatt, if you were ever my friend – if ya ever had even the slightest of feelin’ for me, leave now. Leave now… Please.
Wyatt Earp: Thanks for always being there, Doc.

Tombstone (1993), written Kevin Jarre

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by Kalen.

Trivia: Doc Holiday’s last words “I’ll be damned” were uttered when he realized he had bare feet. Doc swore he would “die with his boots on”.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Admonishing the living to live well is a common theme for characters who die on screen. There is a kind of nobility to this sentiment.

Daily Dialogue — October 19, 2014

October 19th, 2014 by

“With this hand I will lift your sorrows. Your cup will never be empty, for I will be your wine. With this candle, I will light your way into darkness. With this ring, I ask you to be mine.”

Corpse Bride (2005), screenplay by John August and Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettle, characters by Tim Burton and Carlos Grangel

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Wedding Vows, suggested by Shari.

Trivia: The first original stop motion animated film Tim Burton has directed or produced since The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Next time you get married, write your vows in rhyme.

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments… and thanks!

Daily Dialogue theme next week: Dying Words

October 18th, 2014 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Dying Words.

Jurassic Park clever girl

“Clever girl.”

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDB Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

October 27-November 2: Madness
November 3-November 9: Seduction [Markham Cook]
November 10-November 16: Embarrassing Moment
November 17-November 23: Friendship
November 24-November 30: Proposal [Aamir Mirza]
December 1-December 7: Leadership
December 8-December 14: Quitting
December 15-December 21: Negotiation [Michael Waters]

Check this out: The GITS Daily Dialogue Topic Index! You can read about Liz and Allie, two sisters who are big fans of the blog, and were inspired to create the index. A great resource for writers looking for inspiration for their own dialogue writing. You can be a part of this proud tradition with your ideas for weekly themes and Daily Dialogue suggestions.

Please post your ideas for this week’s theme — Wedding Vows — in comments. Thanks!

If you have any ideas for Daily Dialogue themes, feel free to post as well. Thanks for your suggestions!

Daily Dialogue — October 18, 2014

October 18th, 2014 by

Minister: David, do you take Mariel to be your wife? Do you promise to be good to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honor her all the days of your life?

A long awkward silence. The Best Man elbows David.

David: Yeah, okay, all right, why not? I do.

Muriel’s Wedding (1994), written by P.J. Hogan

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Wedding Vows, suggested by Shari.

Trivia: The writer/director P.J. Hogan wanted to use the music of ABBA in the film. At first, permission for the music to be used was denied. When the director promised to fly to Europe to plead his case to the founders of the band, permission was granted, as long as the band received a percentage of the film profits. The film turned out to be a big international hit, and thus helped inspire the very successful Broadway show which became the movie Mamma Mia! (2008).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Not exactly a ringing affirmation from the groom which suggests rough sailing ahead.

Daily Dialogue — October 17, 2014

October 17th, 2014 by

Father O’Neil: As you know, Craig and Christina are quite the sailing enthusiasts. In that light, they have elected to exchange vows which they themselves have written.
Craig: I, Craig, take you, Christina, to be my wife, my best friend and my first mate. Through sickness and health, clear skies and squalls.
Christina Cleary: I, Christina, take you, Craig, to be my best friend and my captain… to be your anchor and your sail… your starboard and your port.

Claire giggles silently, hiding behind the bouquet that she is holding.

Jeremy Grey: [mutters] Well this is a first!
Father O’Neil: And now I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the first mate.

Wedding Crashers (2005), written Steve Faber, Bob Fisher

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Wedding Vows, suggested by Shari.

Trivia: The Rules of Wedding Crashing: Rule #1: Never leave a fellow Crasher behind. Crashers take care of their own. Rule #2: Never use your real name. Rule #3: Never confess. Rule #4: No one goes home alone. Rule #5: Never let a girl come between you and a fellow Crasher. Rule #6: Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention in a negative way. Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms. Rule #7: Blend in by standing out. Rule #8: Be the life of the party. Rule #9: Whatever it takes to get in, get in. Rule #10: Invitations are for pussies. Rule #11: Sensitive is good. Rule #12: When it stops being fun, break something. Rule #13: Bridesmaids are desperate – console them. Rule #14: You’re a distant relative of a dead cousin. Rule #15: Fight the urge to tell the truth. Rule #16: Always have an up-to-date family tree. Rule #17: Every female wedding guest deserves a wedding night. Rule #18: You love animals and children. Rule #19: Toast in the native language if you know the native language and have practiced the toast. Do not wing it. Rule #20: The older the better, the younger the better (See rule below) Rule #21: Definitely make sure she’s 18. Rule #22: You have a wedding and a reception to seal the deal. Period. No overtime. Rule #23: There’s nothing wrong with having seconds. Provided there’s enough women to go around. Rule #24: If you get outted, leave calmly. Do not run. Rule #25: You understand she heard that, but that’s not what you meant. Rule #26: Of course you love her. Rule #27: Don’t over drink. The machinery must work in order to close. Rule #28: Make sure there’s an open bar. Rule #29: Always be a team player. Everyone needs a little help now and again. Rule #30: Know the playbook so you can call an audible. Rule #31: If you call an audible, always make sure your fellow Crashers know. Rule #32: Don’t commit to a relative unless you’re absolutely sure that they have a pulse. Rule #33: Never go back to your place. Rule #34: Be gone by sunrise. Rule #35: Breakfast is for closers. Rule #36: Your favorite movie is “The English Patient”. Rule #37: At the reception, one hard drink or two beers max. A drunk crasher is a sloppy crasher. Rule #38: Never hit on the bride! It’s a one-way ticket to the pavement. Rule #39: The way to a woman’s bed is through the dance floor. Rule #40: Dance with old folks and the kids. The girls will think you’re “sweet.” Rule #41: Try not to break anything, unless you’re not having fun. Rule #42: At the service, sit in the fifth row. It’s close enough to wedding party to seem like you’re an invited guest. Never sit in the back. The back row just smells like crashing. Rule #43: Create an air of mystery that involves some painful experience when interacting with the girl you’re after, but don’t talk about it. Allude to it. Then walk away, She’ll follow. Rule #44: Always remember your fake name! Rule #45: The Rules of Wedding Crashing are sacred. Don’t sully them by “improvising.” Rule #46: You forgot your invitation in your rush to get to the church. Rule #47: Make sure all the single women at the wedding know you’re there because you’ve just suffered either a terrible breakup or the death of your fiancée. Rule #48: Always work the following into a conversation: “Yeah, I have tons of money. But how does one buy happiness?” Rule #49: Be pensive! It draws out the “healer” in women. Rule #50: Always pull out in time. Rule #51: Tell any woman you’re interested in that you’d love to stay, but you promised to help out at the homeless shelter today. Rule #52: Get choked up during the service. The girls will think you’re “sensitive”. Bring a slice of onion or artificial tears if necessary. Rule #53: Avoid virgins. They’re too clingy. Rule #54: If pressed, tell people you’re related to Uncle Ned. Everyone has an Uncle Ned. Rule #55: Don’t fixate on one woman. ALWAYS have a back-up. Rule #56: When seeing a rival crasher, do not interact. Merely acknowledge each other with a tug on the earlobe and gracefully move on. Rule #57: The Ferrari’s in the shop. Rule #58: If two rival crashers pick the same girl, the crasher with the least seniority will respectfully yield. Rule #59: No “chicken dancing” – no exceptions. Rule #60: When crashing out of state, request permission from a local Wedding Crasher chapter. Rule #61: No more than two weddings a weekend. More and your game gets sloppy. Rule #62: Bring an extra umbrella when it rains. Courtesy opens more legs than charm. Rule #63: Always save room for cake. Rule #64: When your crash partner fails, you fail. No man is an island. Rule #65: Smile! You’re having the time of your life. Rule #66: Mix it up a little. You can’t always be the man with the haunted past. Rule #67: No sex on the altar. Confessionals, okay. Chair lofts, better. Rule #68: Two shut-outs in a row? It’s time to take a week off. Ask yourself: what is getting in the way of my happiness? Rule #69: Research, research, research the wedding party. And when you are done researching, research some more. Rule #70: Studies show that women have a more developed sense of smell. Breath mints: small cost, big yield. Rule #71: No excuses. Play like a champion! Rule #72: In case of emergency, refer to the playbook. Rule #73: Gilrs in hats tend to be proper and rarely give it up. Rule #74: Keep interactions with the parents of the bride to a minimum. Rule #75: Carry extra protection. Rule #76: The unmarried female rabbi – is she fair game? Of course she is. Rule #77: The tables furthest from the kitchen always get served dinner first. Rule #78: Stop, look, listen. At weddings. In life. Rule #79: Occasionally bring a real gift. You’re getting sex without having to buy dinner, so you can afford a blender. Rule #80: Always think ahead, but always stay in the moment. Reconcile this paradox and you’ll not only get the girl, you might also get peace of mind. Rule #81: Don’t let the ring bearer bum your smokes. His parents may start to ask questions. Rule #82: Stay clear of the wedding planner. They may recognize you and start to wonder. Rule #83: Don’t use the “I have two months to live” bit – not cool, not effective. Rule #84: Shoes say a lot about a man. Rule #85: Always choose large weddings. More choice. Easier to blend. Rule #86: You’re from out of town. ALWAYS. Rule #87: Know something about the place you say you are from. Texas is played out. For some reason, New Hampshire seems to work. Rule #88: Of course you dream of one day having children. Rule #89: Never dance to “What I Like About You.” It’s long past time to let that song go. Someone will request it at every wedding. Don’t dance to it. No matter how hot she is. Rule #90: Tell the bride’s friends and family that you are family of the groom and vice-versa. Rule #91: Only take one car. You never know when you’ll need to make a fast escape. Rule #92: Deep down, most people hate themselves. This knowledge is the key to most bedroom doors. Rule #93: Try not to show off on the dance floor. That means you Jeremy. Rule #94: Etiquette isn’t old-fashioned, it’s sexy. Rule #95: Catholic weddings – the classic dilemma: painfully long ceremony, horny girls. Rule #96: The newspaper Wedding Announcements are your racing form. Choose carefully. Rule #97: Be judicious with cologne. Citrus tones are best. Rule #98: Save the tuxes for “the big show” only. Rule #99: Avoid women who were psychology majors in college. Rule #100: No periwinkle colored ties, please. Rule #101: Always have an early “appointment” the next morning. Rule #102: Be well groomed and well-mannered. Rule #103: Never cockblock a fellow crasher. Cockblocking an invited guest is okay. Rule #104: Eat plentiful, digest your food. You’ll need the energy for later. Rule #105: Know when to abandon ship if it ain’t floating. Rule #106: Know your swing and salsa dancing. Girls love to get twisted around. Rule #107: Always carry an assortment of placecards to match any wedding design. Rule #108: Make sure your magic trick and balloon animal skills are not rusty. If the kids love it, the girls will too. Rule #109: Never reveal your true identity. Rule #110: Never walk away from a crasher in a funny jacket. By decree of Chazz Reingold, Creator of the Rules of Wedding Crashing, revised from 1989 in October 2004, the following bits of slang are no longer acceptable: “it’s all good,” “hey, no worries,” and any sentence that involves anyone getting “their freak on.”

Dialogue On Dialogue: A nautical theme for weddings vows does not necessarily translate into smooth sailing for the couple.

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments… and thanks!

Daily Dialogue — October 16, 2014

October 16th, 2014 by

Priest: Bernard, repeat after me. I do solemnly declare…
Bernard: I do solemnly declare…
Priest: That I know not of any lawful impediment…
Bernard: That I know not of any lawful impediment…
Priest: Why I, Lydia…
Bernard: Why I, Bernard…
Priest: Uh, sorry . . . why I, Bernard Godfrey Saint John Delaney…
Bernard: Why I, Bernard Geoffrey Sinjun Delaney…
Priest: May not be joined in matrimony to Lydia John Hibbott.
Bernard: May not be joined in matrimony to Lydia Jane Hibbott.
Priest: May Almighty God bless you all. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spigot . . . Spirit.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), written by Richard Curtis

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Wedding Vows, suggested by Shari.

Trivia: Inspiration for the film came when writer Richard Curtis was flipping through some old diaries and realized that he had been to 72 weddings in 10 years.

Dialogue On Dialogue: I have performed perhaps 50 weddings and I still remember the very first one back in 1976. It can be nerve-wracking because everyone’s attention is on you for a considerable part of the ceremony. Plus you know the couple and the families are all hoping for a perfect wedding. So I empathize with the Priest played wonderfully by Rowan Atkinson, desperately trying to be perfect and in doing so… being considerably imperfect.

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments… and thanks!