Dialogue in Action – Wedding Crashers

I was just reading the Wedding Crashers screenplay by Steve Faber & Bob Fisher. The version in the link is obviously an early one. There were quite a few changes made before the movie was shot.  For example, the expanded character of Chazz Reinhold (played by Will Ferrell) was not yet added.

In comparing the early script to the movie, one particular scene change really stands out to me. It’s the scene where Senator Cleary (Christopher Walken) puts the fear of God into Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), reminding Jeremy that he is a very powerful man. Here’s the movie clip.

The shortened dialogue in the movie gives the scene a big impact. It’s easy to see how the excess talk from the original script was unnecessary. The resulting scene is a great one.

To show the adjustments, I edited the original script. I crossed out the old dialogue. Anything new that was added in is in red. Pardon the formatting errors.

INT. CLEARY HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Jeremy and Gloria pass Sec. Cleary.

SEC. CLEARY

Get him all patched up, Glory-bug?

GLORIA

I sure did, Daddy.

SEC. CLEARY

Glory Bug — Well, you go change for dinner.

She gives Jeremy a peck on the cheek and walks away.

SEC. CLEARY

You really seem to make her happy, son.

JEREMY

Oh well…yeah.

 SEC. CLEARY

Hell, she’s my youngest and I spoil her a bit. I can only hope you treat her honorably. You know, she’s not just another notch on the ol’ belt.

JEREMY

Oh no, no. Of course not, sir. I don’t even wear a belt. Beltless.

SEC. CLEARY

 Good, good. Because that would make me angry in ways you cannot possibly imagine.   (beat) And I ‘ m a very powerful man.

JEREMY

Right. . .yes, sir. Yes you are.

SEC. CLEARY

Yeah. . .    (pondering) Boy, I wish to Christ we could get her off that mood medication.  Oh well, see you downstairs for dinner.

Cleary walks away. Jeremy is now horrified.

 

 

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *