Masterful Theatre*

This is the way movies should be, but only because I say this is the way movies should be. (*Here there be spoilers, beware!!!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Manchurian Candidate (original version)


Sgt. Raymond Shaw: "Move out, men! We only have 3 minutes to introduce the key players, establish that they all hate my guts, and move on to the next key plot."
Soldiers: "Grumble grumble grumble."
Chun Jin: "We need to walk over that hill there, in a strategically unsound manner."
Maj. Marco: "But, won't walking over that hill there, in such a strategically unsound manner, most likely get us killed?"
Chun Jin: "Yeah, but still ..."
Marco: "Well, okay then."

Betrayal! Ambush! Extreme close ups! Helicopters!

V.O.: "I'm just here to set up the movie, and give the audience the back story. Raymond Shaw will be coming out of the plane soon, will look around at the crowd with disgust, and make snide comments."

Shaw: "Snide comments."
Mrs. Shaw: "Smile, Raymond, you're on Candidate Camera!"
Shaw: "Mother, I think you set up this whole parade just as a ploy to get your idiot husband, Senator Iselin, elected."
Mrs. Shaw: "Well, DUH!"
Sen. Iselin: "Hey, aren't you that broad from Murder, She Wrote?"

V.O.: "Now is when I get to introduce Maj. Marco, who sleeps in his uniform, sweats a lot, and is currently having a really bad dream."

Marco (in dream): "Oh, this is terrible! This woman won't stop talking about flowers!"
Flower Lady/Evil Yen: "Blah blah blah flowers blah blah blah ..."
Marco: "Oh, please make it stop!"
Evil Yen: "Blah blah blah psychological and political mumbo jumbo."
Marco: "Oh, the humanity! Nothing could be worse than this!"
Evil Yen: "Mr. Shaw, please strangle Ed Mavole, one of your men."
Marco: "Well, except for that, I guess."
Mavole: "Gasp, gurgle!" (Thud)

Maj. Marco (to assembled top brass): "I keep telling people that Raymond Shaw is responsible for the death of two of the men in our platoon, but nobody will listen to me."
Assembly: "I'm sorry, we weren't listening to you."
Anonymous Uniformed Man: "We think you're nuts. So we're going to send you where all the crazy folk go, on television."

Sen. Iselin: "Oh, goodie. A televised press conference, what an excellent way to showcase myself as a sane, grounded and overall wonderful candidate for the vice-presidency. (Shouting) You're all a bunch of Commie Bastards!"

Token Black Actor: "AAAAAAH!"
Mrs. Token Black Actor: "What is it? Are you having that dream, where the obligatory young and innocent soldier is killed by Raymond Shaw?"
TBA: "No, I just realized that this is my only part in the movie, and since this movie was made in the 60's, and I'm the token black actor, that all the extras combined are getting paid more than I am!"

Voice on Phone: "Mr. Shaw, we'd like you to play solitaire, then agree to a silly and completely unnecessary subterfuge, in order to advance the film and add to the mystery and suspenseful atmosphere."
Shaw: "Okay."

Yen Lo: "I'm here to lend some credibility to this plot, by invoking the name of Pavlov."
Zilkov: "Fine, but one sideways look at my combover, and you're outta here."
Yen Lo: "To prove that Shaw is ready to kill, we'll have him knock off his boss, Holborn Gaines. He's a silly character, anyway."

Gaines: "Raymond, why are you here, at this hour ... in my bedroom?"
Shaw: "Sir, why are you wearing a ladies nightgown?"
Gaines: "All the better to seduce you with, my dear."
Shaw: "Oh, I'm really going to kill you, now!"

Colonel: "Maj. Marco, you're really good at the press thing, except for the fact that you suck."
Marco: "But ... I reads! I reads a lot!"
Colonel: "And, because this is the Army, and we take care of our own, we're going to send you far far away."
Marco: "Ok, but I still think Shaw is a murderer ... Hey, aren't you The Chief from Get Smart?"
Colonel: "No, but I can give a half-assed salute like nobody's business. See?"

Marco: "Odd. I'm on a moving train, yet the interior seems to be perfectly still. Think I'll sweat some, and twitch a little, while I think about this."
Eugenie/Rose: (Stare)
Marco: (Twitch. Sweat. Smoke.) "Run away! Knock over things in the process! But, most importantly, run away!!!"
Eugenie: "You sweat profusely, and seem to be having some sort of an attack. I must have you. I'll make bizarre small talk, before hurling myself into your lap."
Marco: "Since you're desperate to get into my brass, I'll pretend you're not here and talk about something totally off topic."
Eugenie: "Oooh, and you have an imaginary friend, too. Now I really wanna get jiggy with you."

Secretary: "Mr. Shaw, there's a large and shiny Oriental man here to see you."
Shaw: "I don't know any Oriental men. Except for that lousy traitor Chun Jin."
Chun Jin: "Hi, it's me, Chun Jin. I need a job."
Shaw: "We don't need interpreters here, cos we all speak American. However, since you're clearly not just a plant to infiltrate my home and provide easy access to the mind controlling evil-doers, can you start next Tuesday?"

Marco: "Karate chop!"
Chun Jin: "Ow!"
Door: "Smash!"
Chun Jin: "Inspector Clouseau!"
Marco: "Wrong movie!"
Chun Jin: "My bad!"

Eugenie: "Now that you're also a homicidal psychopath, I just have one thing to say. Take me NOW."
Marco: "Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars ..."

Marco: "Sorry I beat up your houseboy and wrecked your apartment, but I have something important to say ... oooh, somethin' shiny!"
Shaw: "Ahem!"
Marco: "Right, sorry. I was going to ask if you have been having nightmares. And I also want to ask you why, if you're supposedly this red-blooded patriotic for'ner hating American, why do you keep slipping into an English accent?"
Shaw: "I refuse to answer that, and I'm going to use my angry voice now."
Marco: "I have to go ... somewhere else now ... but for a good time, call this broad. She's crazy hot."

Marco: "Here, have some more of this 'wine' that fizzes, and comes in a champagne bottle. Then you'll get drunk, and have a good excuse to tell me about the best summer of your life."
Shaw: "I would, but since I'm so drunk, I'll let the flashbacks tell you instead."

(Start flashback)
Jocie: "Oh, no, you've been bitten by a snake. I know, I'll take my shirt off, and that'll make everything all better. My dad will be so excited."
Mr. Jordan: "Hi, I'm Jocie's dad. I'm really excited. Oh, and I once sued your mother. Isn't that hysterical?"
Jocie/Jordan/Shaw: (All laughing hysterically.)

Mrs. Shaw: "Son, your new little friend is the Devil. And her father is a Republican. So, you can't play with her anymore."
Shaw: "Awww, Mom! Pleeeeeease?!?"
Mrs. Shaw: "Not another word, young man."
Shaw: "Poopie-head."
(End flashback)

Man in bar: "Go jump in the lake."
Shaw: "Gurgle."
Marco: "I've got it! Whenever you see the red queen, you have to go swimming! Go, me!"
Shaw: "What a maroon."

Psychiatrist: "I'm very smart."
Marco: "That's it! I suddenly remembered, verbatim, something that was never actually said! And it only took me 2/3 of the film to figure it out!"
Psychiatrist: "SMART!!!!!"

Shaw: "Mother, you are a total bitch, I hate you and everything you stand for, and I will stop at nothing to defy you and your plans for me."
Mrs. Shaw: "Raymond, I want you to marry Jocie Jordan."
Shaw: "Okay."

Mrs. Shaw: "Raymond, let's go somewhere quiet, and I will finally let the audience know that I'm pure evil. Then I will outline my dastardly plan, part of which apparently involves dressing you as a gay 12-year old."
Jocie: "I waited till your mother left the room, to appear and show you my costume, which not only shows off my legs and makes for steamy movie posters, but also stops you from killing me."
Shaw: "Ooooh, convenient plot twists make me randy."

Mrs. Shaw: "If my husband is nominated to run for vice-president, will you block us?"
Jordan: "If you or your husband so much as thinks about the vice-presidency, I'd sell my daughter into white slavery if it meant I could stop you."
Mrs. Shaw: "So, the answer's yes, then?"

Marco: "Raymond, I'm here to reveal to you that you are responsible for the deaths of two innocent men, and that you are under the mind-control of evil people for nefarious purposes, and also that you're under arrest."
Shaw: "Gee, that's swell. Have you met my wife, Jocie?"
Marco: "Jocie, your husband is sick, and he's already killed three men, and you're next."
Jocie: "You are SUCH a buzz-kill."
Marco: "Fine, I'll give you 48 hours. If Raymond doesn't shoot you and your father down in cold blood by that time, bring him back here."

Jordan: "Raymond, what are you doing with that pistol? Oh, I see ...HEY, that hurts!" (Thud)
Jocie: "Raymond, what are you doing with that pistol? Well, I guess the honeymoon's over." (Thud)

Marco: "I have an excellent plan. We'll both sweat a lot, I'll use a lot of boss 60's era slang, and you'll be all better. Even with the whole 'murderer of the innocents' part."
Shaw: "And, can I also ignore the huge plot holes and gaps in logic, too?"
Marco: "Only if you stare directly into the camera and twitch a lot."
Shaw: "Bitchin'!"

Mrs. Shaw: "I will now outline the rest of my schemes, demonstrate my anger at my employer's betrayal, and tie your tonsils in a knot with my tongue."
Shaw: "So, I'm supposed to gun down the presidential nominee, and that will earn your husband a presidential election ... how?"
Mrs. Shaw: "Once people hear the gunfire, and see that there is a dead man in their midst, instead of running for the exits in a hysterical panic, they will stop moving and listen to him give the very thoughtful and moving speech that won't sound a bit rehearsed or planned."
Shaw: "Well, if you say so, Mother."

Shaw: "Here I am, dressed as a priest, about to shoot an innocent man down in cold blood. I'm disguised as a priest, because nobody would expect a man of the cloth to commit heinous acts against the innocent. Dum-de-dum ... I don't have a gun in my briefcase, no, not me!"

Marco: "Dammit, I screwed up again. Guess I'll have to give up the military and become a lounge singer."
Extra: "Don't ask me, I'm just here for the atmosphere."

Shaw: "I'll turn on this light, although the room is already well-lit, and hope it doesn't reveal my hiding place at the last second."
Marco: "Gee, I don't know where he is. If only there was a some sort of clue, some sort of light, that will reveal his hiding place at the last second. Hey!"
Presidential nominee: "I will now begin my speech, and cough dramatically in the middle of it, giving Ol' Blue Eyes plenty of time to spot the light revealing my would-be killer's location at the last second."

Sen. Iselin: "I need a presidential nomination like a hole in the head." (Thud)
Mrs. Shaw: "Now, that's irony. I hope he doesn't shoot me, next. Oh, crap." (Thud)

Shaw: "Nobody could stop them. Not you, not the government, not even a cleverly written surprise ending. I had no choice, don't you see?"
Marco: "Wait! Before you shoot yourself, I need to know something. Can I have your symbolic Congressional Medal of Honor?"

The End

(*Info on the original original)