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Oakland, CA

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Catch me, I'm falling... Posted on 07/23/2002.

So, Jill started a thread about characters in movies falling. And the interesting conclusion has been:

- if a woman falls, it's midway through the film, and she'll be rescued
- if a man falls, it's towards the end, and he'll die

Which is one of those subtle differences in the portrayal of the sexes that speaks quite a lot.

6 comments so far. Add a comment.

Previous entry: "See "The Last Laugh" -- You Have No Excuse Not To"
Next entry: "The Internet and Interpersonal Relationships."


I dunno. the two examples that sprang to mind are Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (falls very early in film, survives...) and Luke Skywalker in Empire Strikes Back, end of film, also survives.

then again, I suppose they both jumped, so maybe that's the difference.
Posted by Kevin Fox @ 07/23/2002 11:51 AM PST [link to this comment]

For the record, Harrison Ford was not the first actor to play The Fugitive... all that aside, he didn't fall... he jumped... quite a big difference. Luke jumped as well.

Anyway, the theory is based on audience expectations and the details of "what makes a good movie" based on too many long a drawn out screenwriting classes... I should know, I took one... the first act the scene and the characters are established, the second act the problem arises, the third act is for the climax and result... enough of that.

Not every movie follows convention, but the good ones do. The basic principal is driven by what Hollywood determines what will and will not sell. So what are the best selling movie screenplays? Ordinary characters in extraordinary situations.

I'll step off my screenwriting soapbox now.

- Nick
Posted by Nick Finck @ 07/23/2002 12:59 PM PST [link to this comment]

The woman falls at the start of Cliffhanger and she dies.
Posted by karl fast @ 07/24/2002 09:20 AM PST [link to this comment]

And, Thelma and Louise fall off a cliff. And it's at the end of the movie. And they die, too. Of course, they're attached to an automobile, but still.
Posted by Ernie @ 07/29/2002 02:36 PM PST [link to this comment]

Anyone seen The Fall Guy?
He never went to school but he 'taught the ladies plenty'. Hey. Hey - hey!
Posted by Dominic @ 07/30/2002 12:27 PM PST [link to this comment]

Aren't you tired of mainstream media-folk cadging ideas from us free content provider folk? To wit: there was an essay on NPR's All Things Considered either yesterday or the day before on... people falling in movies. Tepidly witty.

Also, may I just note that William Safire's most recent "On Language" in the NY Times Magazine utterly failed to accurately represent either the telos, culture, history, or etymology of blogs. Isn't it pretty well documented that Peter, host of this very site, coined "blog," as a shortening of we-blog, back in '99? These people are late to the party, proudly ignorant, and sadly rewriting recent history. And it's not like it's unavailable.. it's on the web for goodness sake.
Posted by Heather @ 07/30/2002 10:14 PM PST [link to this comment]

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