Posts tagged ‘Dog Day Afternoon’

May 10, 2011

An Interview with Frank Pierson, Scribe of Cool Hand Luke

This great interview from the WGAW gets into the mind of screenwriter Frank Pierson, the writer of such greats as Dog Day Afternoon, A Star is Born, and Cool Hand Luke:

Many of you know Frank Pierson’s work as former President of the WGAW or his stint as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Others of you may know of his remarkable writing resume, starting in the ‘50s with television shows such as Have Gun – Will Travel and Playhouse 90, followed by five decades of films like Cat Ballou (Screenplay by Walter Newman and Frank R. Pierson), Dog Day Afternoon (Screenplay by Frank Pierson), A Star Is Born (Screenplay by Joan Didion & John Gregory Dunne and Frank Pierson), In Country (Screenplay by Frank Pierson and Cynthia Cidre), and Presumed Innocent (Screenplay by Frank Pierson and Alan J. Pakula).

But odds are, all of you know the famous line he came up with while writing 1967’s Cool Hand Luke (Screenplay by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson):

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”  

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April 9, 2011

5 Lessons from the Work of Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet, director of such masterpieces as 12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Verdict passed away this weekend. S.T. Vanairsdale was quick to report on the life lessons we can all learn from his work:

1. First impressions are everything
Contemporary filmmakers could learn a lot from Lumet’s openings, the most expressive of which feature long, gradual shots working from the outside in. Sometimes this is literal; take 12 Angry Men, which marvelously sets up the entire narrative in about seven shots — a courthouse exterior to a young murder defendant’s close-up — before getting to the opening credits. The effect compels viewers to digest the stakes while entering the deliberation room with the jurors. Subtle stuff, but utterly standard-defying for its time.

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