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Good information spoilt by sloppy mistakes
on 28 September 2007
This book has a lot of solid information on how to write and analyse screenplays and breaking out of the standard "Hollywood" three-act structure as outlined by Syd Field etc. Undermining this are some silly errors which make you doubt the rest of the solid information
To give a few examples of the errors that I spotted:
They call the main character in Hitchcock's Vertigo by two different names (it's Scottie not Johnny); misspell Nabokov, Clouzot, Joe Mantegna, Dovzhenko; call Robert De Niro's character in The King of Comedy Rupert Popkin (it's actually Pupkin); confuse the director of Muriel's Wedding P.J. Hogan with Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan; think Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart is a "classic war film" (they must mean Malle's Lacombe Lucien); and finally (on page 216) can't quite decide whether Yojimbo and Seven Samurai are remakes of classic Westerns or inspired them. To quote: "Kurosawa made a gangster film, High and Low, as well as two films remade from classic Westerns, The Seven Samurai remade as The Maginificent Seven, and Yojimbo, remade as A Fistful of Dollars." I think they mean remade INTO but it would leave most people scratching their heads. Surely a moment checking these things wouldn't be too much trouble.
Once Focal Press properly copy-edit this book for the next edition I would certainly recommend it but until then it might be better to stick with Syd Field, Robert McKee or one of their many colleagues.