Thursday, 5 April 2012

11 Rules for Box-Office Appeal

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In 1941, a year after his movie, The Great McGinty, won the first ever Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, celebrated screenwriter/director and "father of the screwball comedy," Preston Sturges, drew up the following "eleven rules for box-office appeal."

(Source: The Cinema of Preston Sturges: A Critical Study; Image: Preston Sturges, via PBS.)

  1. A pretty girl is better than an ugly one.
  2. A leg is better than an arm.
  3. A bedroom is better than a living room.
  4. An arrival is better than a departure.
  5. A birth is better than a death.
  6. A chase is better than a chat.
  7. A dog is better than a landscape.
  8. A kitten is better than a dog.
  9. A baby is better than a kitten.
  10. A kiss is better than a baby.
  11. A pratfall is better than anything.