Thursday, April 15, 2010

People Will Talk V – David Lean & The Last Bus

For the unfamiliar, a "reveal" in screenwriting parlance is the placement of key, revelatory information in a story. Most times, the last reveal is the most important revelation of all.


Director, David Lean (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago), was interviewed by Gerald Pratley for the CBC:

Pratley -’s so discouraging that a film opens, it runs four hours, or three and a half or whatever it is, and then we hear these stories starting that somebody at the studio has decided to take out ten minutes and someone else is going to take out ten minutes...

Lean - Well, I’ll tell you... I have a certain amount of sympathy because it’s a question... it all boils down to the last bus. If the film is four hours long, they have to go in at seven o’clock, which is a bit early to be out by eleven and perhaps the last bus goes at five minutes to eleven. And so they beg to cut it down. And then, of course the critics, I think, have had a great influence here because they get pretty bored, I suppose. They see too many films, and they always complain about the length of films. Any film over two hours you’re liable to get a kick for it. And I think that’s the danger of every artist.

--– Interviews with Film Directors, by Andrew Sarris, The Bobbs-Merrill Co., p. 320.

I’d comment, but I’ve got to catch a bus. # 
Lee A. Matthias

Quote of the Post:
I think people remember pictures, not dialogue. That's why I like pictures.
---David Lean

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