Irene: [about Godfrey] He’s my protegé.

[at the city dump]
Irene: Could you tell me why you live in a place like this when there’s so many other nice places?
Godfrey: You really want to know?
Irene: Oh, I’m very curious.
Godfrey: It’s because my real estate agent felt that the altitude would be very good for my asthma.

This isn’t a movie blog and I’m not going to try to tie this into writing…I’m simply recommending that everyone watch this film.

Let’s all just take a second to appreciate the greatness of William Powell. For those of you who don’t watch old hollywood movies, here’s a good place to start. My Man Godfrey is my favorite black and white film. The plot is okay, I’ll admit, but the wit and cleverness in the dialogue has me laughing throughout most of the movie. In short, “A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler…but there’s more to Godfrey than meets the eye.”

Other favorites of mine include the Thin Man series, also featuring the wonderful William Powell and It Happened One Night, which stars another favorite my mine, Clark Gable. I also tend to love anything with Cary Grant.

What black and white films do you love?

More favorite quotes:

Godfrey: Prosperity is just around the corner.
Mike Flaherty: Yeah, it’s been there a long time. I wish I knew which corner.

Godfrey: Do you think you could follow an intelligent conversation for a minute?
Irene: I’ll try.

Detective: Just a minute, sister!
Molly: If I thought that were true, I’d disown my parents.
Detective: [chuckles] So you got a passion for jewelry, huh?
Molly: Yes… I got a passion for socking cops.
Detective: Where are they?
Molly: Most of them are in cemeteries.

Godfrey: Tommy, there’s a very peculiar mental process called thinking – you wouldn’t know much about that – but when I was living here I did a lot of it.


A sickly moment of dark surprise | QOTD

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
― Lemony SnicketHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid

Be The Kazan Who Directed On The Waterfront

I’ve seen every movie directed by Elia Kazan. I’ve even read a good amount of his autobiography. I don’t recommend it.

I learned this: the more you force yourself into your storytelling the more cringe-worthy the result.

Elia Kazan will no doubt be long considered a prolific director, both on the stage and the big screen. It’s important to distinguish the difference between the art and the artist and judge them separately. After studying Kazan, I personally dislike him, but that doesn’t stop me from loving, what I would call, the masterpiece that is On The Waterfront.


His mastery is evident in his well-known film A Streetcar Named Desire; his zenith was On the Waterfront, and his quick descent is almost painful to watch with Wild River and onward with the bottom of the barrel being The Arrangement.

I know nothing of directing.
But directing was Kazan’s main form of storytelling.

Over the course of Kazan’s career as a director he truly mastered the field. He learned not only technique, but also what to compromise and what to fight for. His best work is when he paid attention to every aspect of making a film, with his ideals in the background.

He began to fail when he asserted too much of himself into his work and it overcame the film itself.

As a writer I can learn a lot from him. Specifically, not to force myself into my stories, but let them resonate in the background. They might be interrupted differently than I would want, but the purpose of writing isn’t to sell your ideology.

Let me say that again. The purpose of writing isn’t to sell your ideology obviously. We can be sly about it.

If the writer is trying to sell you a thought like a door to door sells man, it never goes over well.

When I first started writing I would start with my “point” and try to write a story around it. They never turned out any good because of how forced they were. We can’t force an opinion to be heard.

If you have to force it, it doesn’t belong.

Kazan didn’t force himself into On The Waterfront. Oh, he’s there, but it’s subtle and it makes sense. What came after was his need to infringe upon the plot. To emphasize his point. He wanted to paint the picture and tell us what it meant. Because of it his films were lacking and his career dropped.