Hollywood Re-Write

As many alert readers have noticed, the biggest event of the entire 21st century, to date, will happen shortly. That’s right, the announcement by AMPAS of the 2016 Academy Award nominees. The Clown is all atwitter, which is a decidedly different kind of twitter than Twitter, the new Oval Office official policy announcement site.

We’ve just had the Golden Globe Awards, the best of the movie industry, according to the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who actually watch American-made films. Then there will be the People’s Choice Awards, determined through scientific sampling of the ever astute American public to determine their selection for the best of Hollywood in 2016. Of course, this is the same group that elected a carnival barker to represent America on the world stage for the next four years so the outcome will have some hair on it.

The Clown has long been a movie junkie, recalling dialogue from obscure movies and sharing it with dinner companions whether they are interested in French movies or not.

One of the Clown’s favorite movie interests is the difference between the dialogue that was originally written in the screenplay and the dialogue that finally made the silver screen. Often, the amended dialogue becomes iconic. Not only that, but it often becomes famous.

Using his extraordinary research skills, the Clown has tracked down several of the the more memorable movie quotes and paired them with the original lines from the screenplay. If you are like the Clown, which you probably aren’t, you will find these comparisons simply fascinating and will, as I do, want to share them with dinner companions.


“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind”, 1939

As written in the screenplay. “Frankly, my dear, I could care less, or rather I should say ‘couldn’t care less’ because ‘could care less’ would mean that there was some room for less caring and that is just not the case, in this instance.”


“Elementary, my dear Watson.”  Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, 1929.

As written in the screenplay. “Watson, you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.”


“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”  Don Corleone in “The Godfather”, 1972

As written in the screenplay. “I’m going to make him a really, really great offer. It will be such a great offer, probably the greatest offer that has ever been made. Trust me, he’s going to go for this offer because it will be great and he will pay for the offer.”


“Carpe diem!”  John Keating inDead Poet’s Society”, 1989

As written in the screenplay. “Seize the fish!”


“La-dee-da, la-dee-da.” Annie Hall in “Annie Hall”, 1977

As written in the screenplay. “Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang.”


“What we got here is a failure to communicate.” Luke in “Cool Hand Luke”, 1967

As written in the screenplay. “Speak English, you ignorant red-neck putz, then maybe I could tell what it is you want me to do.”


 “Ah’ll be Bach.” Terminator in The Terminator”, 1984

As written in the screenplay. “I’ll be back.”


“It’s alive! It’s alive!” Dr. Frankenstein in “Frankenstein”, 1931

As written in the screenplay. “It’s moving! It seems to be breathing! Check his wallet for an insurance card.”


“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Norman Bates in Psycho”, 1960

As written in the screenplay. “A boy’s best friend is a Playboy and a bottle of Corn Husker’s Lotion.”


“Rosebud.” Mr. Kane on his deathbed in “Citizen Kane”, 1941

As written in the screenplay. Aargh, ack, gurgle, gurgle.”


“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, 1939

As written in the screenplay. “Not a Republican in sight, Toto. This can’t be Kansas.”


“Bond, James Bond.” James Bond in “Goldfinger”, 1962

As written in the screenplay. “Bond, Jimmy Bob Bond.”


Of course there are dozens more but I understand how fleeting is your attention span and I don’t want to tax you. If you have an example of a famous movie quote as compared to its screenplay version, please send it along. But please, don’t send me the “Luke, I am your father” quote because that’s not what Darth Vader said in the “Empire Strikes Back”. He actually said, “No. I am your father.” Besides, the screenplay called for, “Luke, who’s your daddy?”


Observoid of the Day: A second cousin is not the same as a first cousin once removed but virtually no one cares.

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1 Response to Hollywood Re-Write

  1. Diane says:

    “You talkin’ ta me?!” Robert De Nero. Taxi Driver. 1976
    As written in the screenplay: ” “.

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