July 30, 2008

Notes for my screenplay, part 1

Pound for pound, my favorite line from a movie was in The Godfather: Part II. During a party for Hyman Roth, on a veranda (I know, just go with me) in Havana, a waiter brings Roth a piece of birthday cake. In the midst of a discussion about mob business, and without breaking conversational stride, Roth gets in an aside to the waiter: "Smaller piece."

Completely unnecessary in terms of the plot, but what a great touch of realism and character.

Now, I have no intention of ever writing a screenplay. But I've always thought it might be a good idea to keep track of strange bits of dialogue I overhear so I could throw bits like that into the script that I'm not planning to write.

Luckily, I just picked up a good one.

I'm walking back from lunch and a woman I've never seen before stops me. It's obvious she's going to ask me what time it is, so I start lifting my left arm toward my face.

"Hey, could you pick a number between 10 and 100?"
Wha?
"Seventy-four," I say.
"Oh! Good!" She seems pleasantly surprised. "Alright - pick another one."
How can I lose? "Thirty-six."
She looks disappointed. "Eh, OK."

I have no idea what it meant, but maybe I'll find a way to use it.

This also reminded me of my most memorable random overheard dialogue from the years I spent in in Oz. I'm not sure how well it translates into print - I actually do a pretty spot-on impression of the speaker - but here it is:

Down-and-out older guy walking down the avenue, carrying on a heated conversation with himself. Very loud: "I cain't drink." Then louder: "But I can smoke!"

Kids, take your pick: Your favorite line from a movie or favorite random overheard comment?

3 comments:

bugs said...

freakin' pissed off...
DEFINITELY my favorite.
a close second would be the story where a father tells his young son about an alligator eating some poor guy's arm off...
xo

Your escalator operator said...

Both are classics. You should keep track of funny stuff like that in a notebook.

bugs said...

did you hear the news yesterday about a kid's arm that was eaten by an alligator or shark (i'm not remembering which one - but whichever makes the story more cool - go with that!) and his arm was taken out of the belly of whichever animal it was & re-attached?! we should tell jacob all about that, i think. and then, that may win!