How much does the public suspend belief...



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  • #46
    American SPOILER Beauty ending changed or not?

    I thought I remembered reading where A.B. was one of the few scripts in recent years that went from page to screen without so much as a single major I hear that there were two...the identity of the murderer, and Lester's bang-her-or-not dilemma answer.

    First off, I'd like to say that I can't believe the writer originally had the kids do the murder--it would have been too pat. Also, it was obvious (to me) that the killer was going to be the homophobic (but curious, natch) ex-Marine pseudo-Nazi son-beater. Come on! He was a Marine, for God's sake! You KNOW how closeted and evil those guys are.

    The "I'm a virgin" "whoops, can't sleep with her" did catch me napping...or maybe I was just looking forward to some more Suvari action.

    Still...if those two changes had to be made to the script...does it really deserve an Oscar? Do you win an Oscar for the script you actually wrote...or for the version that makes it to the screen? I know how I would have voted.

    Your pal,


    • #47
      Re: Just "right" it....

      Thank you, luv. <grin> I promise I will *always* speak my mind, and always speak the truth as best I can. I dont b.s or lie, and I truly respect others opinions and ideas, but I also wont take attacks or slander of *any* kind... <shrug>

      Why is it that honest, forthright women are always considered "bitches"?

      Back atcha, Cornell...


      • #48
        Re: American SPOILER Beauty ending changed or not?

        i've not read anything anywhere re: changing the killer - i don't think that was the case tho' i know someone up the thread disagrees... i re-read a couple of interviews with sir ball today and again did not see any such reference, fwiw

        as for the oscar thing, yea, he damned well deserved it, imo...the screenplay is the foundation from which the movie was made. the typical non-directing writer doesn't control everything that is seen (never happens, really)... ball was involved and on the set and did argue a few bits regarding dialogue (the actor playing ricky, for example, made a change along the line of 'sometimes... beautiful... that i can't stand it' and ball argued and won that it had to be 'sometimes ... full of beauty... that i can't stand it' but he let other things changed by actors stand...

        point is, movies change from page to screen.

        interesting fact: julius epstein et al. did not write the dialogue as spoken at the end of Casablanca... was the oscar still deserved? absolutely, if you ask me


        • #49
          American Beauty to rest at great lengths...

          Since I started the debate of A.B. let me put it to sleep...hush.

          As quoted from the book in which I read the information:

          "The movie was, of course, to repeat the old adage, extensively reshaped in the cutting room. A framework involving Ricky and Jane being tried and convicted of Lester's murder seemed clever but a mite cynical and at odds with Lester's spirit taking wing. This was excised along with any indications of the Colonel's ambivalent sexual feelings and other signposts that softened the movie's unexpected plot twists and changes of tone. Other changes were not so considered. The scene with Ricky and Jane walking home down the avenue of trees, for example, was written at the last minute to save us money and time, and turned out better than the scene it has replaced. But it would be wrong to suggest that the film was ever in need of major surgery: Alan wrote it from the heart as well as the head, and it made it onto the screen with remarkably little interference from outside forces, other than the constant and unstinting support of producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, its torch bearers from the very beginning."

          -The Shooting Script, American Beauty

          And Couchguy, my goodness! As a former active duty member of the Armed Forces I am somewhat surprised by your comment on the closet sexual and evil conduct of military members...shame on you. LOL!

          In all seriousness, I hope this clarifies the A.B. legend so that DIL can get on with her own legend. You go girl!



          • #50
            so, to clarify the clarification

            the change was the kids being / being tried and convicted of the killing - the story was never written with them as the actual killers

            oh, and to the daughter girl - yea, you go girl (whatever the he|| that is supposed to mean, anyway)... sorry for the doubts but this place has had it's moments of insanity... and my comment re you/ksk WAS tongue in cheek, ya know... hang in, stick around... you are, of course, welcome here as is anyone and everyone who wants to participate


            • #51
              Re: Goin' girl...

              I'm a-goin', Lucky, I'm a-goin'... And after several helpful conversations with others, I have the script defined as to which elements will work, and I feel pretty good about where it will go... That "Zone" that was being discussed in another thread is gaining momentum. This whole lil' thread has *truly* helped. Muchas gracias...

              Back to the day job, (groan)


              • #52
                Re: American SPOILER Beauty ending changed or not?

                Coughguy and Steeves,

                I have the original first draft of "American Beauty" that was given to me by Ben Stiller when I was working for Owen Wilson. Yes, there were lots of changes made from page to screen. Yes, Spacey does have sex with Survari. Yes, Bentley takes the fall for Spacey's murder, the script beginning and ending with Bentley in prison.

                If you want a copy, I'll send it to you.


                • #53
                  first draft of AB

                  thanks, but i think the one i have online is also the original first draft... and you are saying nothing different than what i've said

                  signing off the topic before i bore everyone


                  • #54
                    Re: so, to clarify the clarification

                    My apologies, then, Steeves. No worries. And I understand why people would be reluctant/reticent.. I am not the Vamp you are looking for <making Jedi motion with hand>


                    As for "goin'", 6 pages done today, and maybe worth the keeping... <slightly childish but happy bounce>

                    toddling along to write more now...


                    • #55
                      Re: first draft of AB

                      actually the one you have on line steeves, is not the original draft, it is the version without the sex. No version I have seen on the internet yet, has exposed the sex part.

                      If you have that version, or found it on the net I'd like to be privy to that information. Cause for the life of me, I can't find it.

                      hang em'


                      • #56
                        i stand corrected

                        my version(s) from the net do not incl. him bopping the little witch (who, for the record, i wonder whether she was not really a virgin but used the line to provide extra-titillation for lester, thinking that it would be an extra turn-on/conquest for him and not expecting it to backfire)

                        and yea, crash, i would love a copy... you have my email, i think (jic [email protected]) but if we are talking hardcopy that would be above and beyond the call and all that, what with the copying cost and the postage to doha


                        • #57
                          Re: i stand corrected


                          I only have a hardcopy.


                          • #58
                            American Beauty

                            My tongue was in cheek when I made that comment about all Marines being homophobic, closeted, and evil.
                            As a straight, happily married white guy who grew up in the suburbs, I know when something rings true and when there's a good writer with a different perspective at work. American Beauty was well written, but written from the point of view of a big-city homosexual who wrote a cool story about what he supposes suburbia and the nuclear family is all about. Which is fine...drama is drama, and American Beauty was one of the best. But the socio-political stances taken within (military guys are gun-crazy, homo-hating, Nazi-sympathizing, close-minded psycho murderers who dominate their wives into quiet submission and beat their children into lunacy; guns are inherently bad, and anyone who handles one will come to a bad end; everyone has some kind of quirk or obsession EXCEPT the nice young homosexual couple down the street, who bake you something nice to welcome you to the neighborhood; all middle-aged men are cruising for cheerleaders or desperate real estate saleswomen) were just a bit one sided for my liking. I'm more likely to believe that the average ex-military guy is something like Rudy from Survivor...crusty, set in his ways, knows what he likes and doesn't like, doesn't agree with the gay lifestyle, but will still let a gay guy rub sunscreen on his back (but not in a homosexual way, that's fer sure) if stuck on an island with him. And don't get me started with guns, because my mom and grandmother are alive today because Mom was able to shoot an intruder a few years back. Note to intruders, don't bring a kitchen knife to a gunfight. As for teenage cheerleaders and the fantasies they give rise to in middle-aged men...okay, he got that part right.

                            Your pal,


                            • #59
                              Re: American Beauty

                              Well said. But I dread to know your POV/feelings on doctors and attorneys...


                              • #60
                                Link to interview w/Alan Ball &amp; Producers

                                Here's a link to a interview with Ball, Cohen and Jinks. They talk about the entire process from writing the script, how it was marketed and what changes were made by Mendes once they started shooting. Highly recommended read.