No character introductions (What if......)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard Williams, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I was listening to the director comments on a DVD the other day. He was explaining character introductions. It got me thinking. Is there a movie where the characters names are never mentioned during the film but only in the credits?

    I think that might be an interesting and creative twist. The elimination of obivious character indentification could be used to create a movie along the same line as Memento where you have a jig saw puzzle in your mind that you have to piece together to form the complete picture instead of the sequence of events. You know what I mean? A shrewd director could skillful create and craft some ambiguities with misidentification between the characters and the audience. For example, Mr X tells Inspector W something like "I saw him go into the store at 11:15" We see a Mr. "Y" enter a store at 11:15. We automaitcally asumme Mr. Y is the guy Mr X is talking about (re: him) but what if later we discover "him" is someone else. Ok, nevermind. That's not a great example, but it's a hint at what I'm suggesting. I'm telling you, there's a good idea in there somewhere. It's probably already been done.
     
  2. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Fun little trivia. A major character in 'That Thing You Do' goes unnamed the entire movie. He's only ever referred to as the bass player. When the 'what happenned to' ending shows up he's referred to as T.B. Player.
     
  3. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  4. PeteD

    PeteD Stunt Coordinator

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    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead [​IMG]
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Though not exactly the kinda thing you've got in mind, the first-person protagonist in "REBECCA" is credited only as "I" and never named (except as "Mrs. Max de Winter" or "my dear" or "the child", etc.).
     
  6. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    Good. Someone mentioned Rebecca. I was getting so mired in how I should explain "I" and "The Second Mrs. De Winter" that I kept closing my browser window and going back to work.
    A damn good movie.
     
  7. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    RicP, I don't think Norton's character was listed as "Jack" I think he was listed as "The Narrator". If he WAS listed as "Jack", it's not a movie like what Howard is asking about, since the character's name WAS mentioned...

    Also, Howard seems to be asking about a movie where NO characters are named. I can't think of a movie like that at least. The Star Wars movies have some semi-major characters that aren't named, if I remember correctly: Wicket, Bib Fortuna, Boba Fett (not named in "Empire" at least).

    /Mike
     
  8. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    MickeS:

    Yeah, you're right. The idea I was exploring is that character introduction is a key part of any movie. Ok, big deal, right? Everybody knows that. Often the way they are done is very corny or very straight forward. Sometime a little more imagination is put into it. That got me to thinking if any one had ever taken this to the extreme and avoided all verbal references to the main character(s) during the film (although originally I did say "all" characters). The rest was more of an afterthought of how this premise could be molded into an intereting concept for a movie, hence the reference to "Memento". I realize that character introduction is more than connecting a name to a face but in this case, that's kinda what I meant.
     
  9. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Anyone remember a film called The Driver? Directed by Walter Hill in 1978.

    Well none of the actors had a name in that film, in the credits the four main characters are listed as The Driver, The Detective, The Player and The Connection.
     
  10. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  11. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Nobody replied Your Friends and Neighbors yet?

    Nobody in this Neil LaBute film refers to one another by name. Then when The credits roll we find out the characters are named Mary, Barry, Terri, Cheri, Cary and Jerry.
     
  12. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    High Plains Drifter? I believe Clint Eastwood character goes unnamed in this movie. Not sure though, it's been a few years since I've seen the film.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  13. Chris Lynch

    Chris Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe Tommy Chong's character in "Up in Smoke" is never referred to by name in that film, only "That guy, hey guy, the guy." In the credits, he's listed only as "guy."
     
  14. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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  15. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  16. Sean Cauley

    Sean Cauley Stunt Coordinator

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    **Mild spoiler ahead, but only if you're an extremist, I would think. Doesn't really spill any big plot points.

    Regarding Fight Club, Norton's character isn't actually named Jack (at least as far as we know, since there's not really any clarity on what his real name is). The "I am Jack's raging bile duct" lines are taken from the Reader's Digest-type articles about the human body that the Norton character is seen reading in the house with Tyler (Brad Pitt). Until he's read those magazines, he never uses the name Jack (or any name) to describe himself; after he reads them, he only uses Jack in that style ("I am Jack's massive insecurity"), so it's not really an indication that that's his name.

    Another example of creative naming (a la T.B. Player) is in the '80's classic Back to the Beach, in which every character is referred to by their given name, except for Frankie Avalon, who is referred to as "dad," "pop," "honey," and "the Big Kahuna," but never "Frankie." Again, it's not really what the thread's originator was asking about, but it's a cute bit of trivia.
     
  17. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Cheating, maybe but how about The Man With A Movie Camera?
    or
    The Mascot
     
  18. Chucky P

    Chucky P Supporting Actor

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    Jim's dad in American Pie 1 & 2. [​IMG]
     
  19. BertFalasco

    BertFalasco Supporting Actor

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    How about E.T.? I mean saying, "Hey Extraterrestrial, let's have some tea!" Doesn't sound entirely rational..
    Also, I'm not sure, but I remember asking someone that was watching Requiem: For A Dream with me if he knew this character's name because I didn't catch it, that's if it was revealed..dungdodungggg...
    -Bert
     
  20. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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