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How Films Tell Stories

Supplemental Material

3rd Edition

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For the second edition, click here.

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Narratology

p. 3 Forrest Gump: reordering story events in the discourse

p. 4 The Wizard of Oz: difference in story and discourse


Chapter 2: Plot – Basic Units

p. 10 Hamlet: opening ghost scene

P. 12 Nashville trailer

p. 12 Last Year at Marienbad trailer

p. 14 Fellowship of the Ring: Frodo and the Black Riders

p. 17 The Godfather: Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey

p. 17 Groundhog Day: suicide attempts


Chapter 3: Plot Structure

p. 22 The Sting

p. 23 Gran Torino funeral

p. 23 The Dark Knight opening scene

p. 23 Back to the Future opening scene

p. 24 Sunset Blvd. opening scene

p. 24 Contact opening scene

p. 24 Citizen Kane opening scene

p. 25 Erin Brockovich

p. 26 The Godfather: “That’s my family”

p. 27 Dial M for Murder

p. 30 Back to the Future

p. 30 It’s a Wonderful Life

p. 32 Casablanca: final scene

p. 32 The Omen: final scene

p. 33 Planet of the Apes: final scene

p. 34 Suspicion

p. 35 Forrest Gump: final scene

p. 35 The Empire Strikes Back ending

p. 38 Rear Window

p. 38 Traffic trailer

p. 40 Revenge of the Sith

p. 40 Heat

p. 40 The Fugitive: opposing protagonists

p. 44 Westworld: science fiction western

p. 44 Back to the Future 3: gun fight

p. 48 The Trip to Bountiful


Chapter 4: Reading for the Plot

p. 54 Amadeus: opening

p. 55 A Streetcar Named Desire

p. 55 Life of Pi

p. 56 Hamlet: Claudius at prayer

p. 60 Crash: car rescue

p. 60 Star Trek: Kirk meets Spock

p. 60 War of the Worlds: saved by germs

p. 60 Jurassic Park: saved by the T-Rex

p. 60 Shakespeare in Love: Queen Elizabeth’s surprise appearance


Chapter 5: Character

p. 69 Star Trek: death of red-shirt

p. 69 The Seventh Seal: Death plays chess

p. 69 O Brother, Where Art Thou?

p. 70 The Hunt for Red October

p. 70 Patriot Games

p. 71 Dr. Strangelove: Peter Sellers in multiple roles

p. 71 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

p. 71 Boyhood: trailer

p. 74 The Silence of the Lambs: Clarice meets Lecter

p. 74 The Matrix: red or blue pill?

p. 74 Wall Street: greed is good

p. 77 Sophie’s Choice

p. 78 Tucker: the Man and his Dream

p. 79 The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Peter arrives late to graduation

p. 80 Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon

p. 80 Casablanca: Sam the piano player

p. 81 My Fair Lady: “I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face”

p. 81 Being There: Chauncey’s advice to the President

p. 81 Psycho ending

p. 81 Annie Hall subtitles

p. 82 Shawshank Redemption

p. 82 Vertigo: Scottie sees Madeline


Chapter 6: Reading Character

p. 86 Jurassic Park: Dr. Grant scares boy

p. 88 Rear Window opening

p. 91 The Sting: poker game

p. 92 Ran

p. 93 Rain Man

p. 94 The Verdict

p. 94 The Dark Knight: Two-Face

p. 95 Gone with the Wind

p. 95 Tootsie

p. 95 Fiddler on the Roof: “Tradition”


Chapter 7: Fictional Worlds

p. 103 Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon Jinn explains midichlorians

p. 103 The Godfather: Don Corleone says no to the narcotics business

p. 103 Gandhi

p. 104 Selma: civil disobedience for a higher cause

p. 106 The Matrix: there is no spoon

p. 107 Contact: facts vs. faith

p. 108 Stranger than Fiction: Harold meets his author

p. 109 Annie Hall: scene with Marshall McLuhan

p. 110 Spaceballs: watching video of Spaceballs

p. 111 Road to Morocco

p. 111 Mary Poppins: visiting a sidewalk chalk drawing

p. 111 The Simpsons: Bart and Lisa in an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon

p. 112 Purple Rose of Cairo

p. 112 Invasion of the Body Snatchers: “You’re next!”

p. 115 “Why so serious?” transmedia campaign

p. 118 O Brother, Where Art Thou?

p. 118 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

p. 118 Pocahontas

p. 118 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

p. 118 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

p. 119 The Breakfast Club

p. 119 A Streetcar Named Desire

p. 119 Witness

p. 119 Places in the Heart

p. 120 Vice: restaurant scene


Chapter 8: Time

p, 127 The Godfather: meeting with Solozzo (flashforward)

p. 127 Casablanca: flashback to Paris

p. 127 Sunset Blvd. 

p. 129 The Pawnbroker: fragmented memories

p. 130 Last Year at Marienbad (trailer)

p. 131 Memento: Sammy Jankis

p. 131 Terminator 2: possible future

p. 133 Adaptation: human evolution in two minutes

p. 133 Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Sir Lancelot attacks

p. 134 Notting Hill: walk through the seasons

p. 135 2001: A Space Odyssey bone to spaceship edit

p. 136 Mildred Pierce opening scene

p. 137 12 Monkeys

p. 137 Rashomon


Chapter 9: Perspective

p. 142 Double Indemnity: Walter Neff narrates his confession

p. 142 Sunset Blvd. opening scene

p. 143 Richard III

p. 144 Casino: death of a narrator

p. 145 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: direct narration

p. 148 Henry V: narrator

p. 148 “Duck Amuck” (Daffy Duck cartoon): narrative metalepsis

p. 148 George of the Jungle: fighting with the narrator

p. 151 The Lodger: transparent floor

p. 151 Little Shop of Horrors: dentist song

p. 155 A Clockwork Orange: Alex jumps from window

p. 155 A Beautiful Mind

p. 156 Eyes of Laura Mars

p. 156 Lady in the Lake: narrator POV

p. 156 Schindler’s List: girl in red coat

p. 158 The Gold Rush: Chaplin turns chicken

p. 158 Slumdog Millionaire: fantasy death scene

p. 159 Blackmail: knife scene

p. 159 The Conversation: interview with sound editor Walter Murch

p. 160 Hamlet (Olivier): ghost scene with mother

p. 160 The Big Sleep

p. 163 Forrest Gump: distorted perception of Jenny’s father


Chapter 10: Cinematography

p. 169 Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith opening scene

p. 170 Touch of Evil opening scene, long shot

p. 170 Strangers on a Train: first meeting

p. 171 Foreign Correspondent: fall from Westminster

p. 171 Star Wars: opening scene

p. 171 War of the Worlds: the unseen battle

p. 173 Pirates of the Caribbean

p. 173 A Fish Called Wanda

p. 173 Dracula: train

p. 174 Dracula: absinthe

p. 175 Metropolis

p. 175 2001: sunrise over monolith (around 5:50)

p. 175 The Shining: meeting the girls

p. 176 Star Wars: meeting Darth Vader

p. 176 Citizen Kane: after the election loss

p. 177 Mission Impossible: Dutch angles

p. 177 The Godfather: ending

p. 177 The Graduate

p. 177 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

p. 178 2001: HAL lip reads

p. 178 Citizen Kane: deep focus

p. 179 The Graduate: running to the church (around 2:19)

p. 179 Jurassic Park: pulling focus

p. 179 The Graduate: confession

p. 179 Halloween

p. 180 The Shining opening scene

p. 180 Sunset Blvd. ending

p. 180 Citizen Kane: after the crash

p. 181 The Vertigo effect

p. 181 Barry Lyndon: slow zoom-out

p. 182 Blowout

p. 182 Psycho: basement scene

p. 182 Fatal Attraction

p. 183 Suspicion

p. 183 The Lion King

p. 183 Dark City

p. 183 A Streetcar Named Desire

p. 184 The Natural

p. 184 Apocalypse Now: Col. Kurtz

p. 184 Citizen Kane: reporters

p. 185 Othello trailer

p. 185 Dracula shadow

p. 185 Greed

p. 186 The Andromeda Strain (trailer)

p. 186 The Godfather: Don Corleone buys oranges

p. 186 Vertigo: color

p. 187 Gone with the Wind

p. 187 The Shining: elevator of blood

p. 187 Murder on the Orient Express (spoiler)

p. 187 Dick Tracy trailer


Chapter 11: Editing

p. 191 Kuleshov’s experiment with editing

p. 194 Breathless

p. 194 Unstoppable (Tony Scott)

p. 195 October (about 2:45)

p. 196 Vice

p. 197 The Life of an American Fireman

p. 197 Strangers on a Train

p. 198 Apocalypse Now

p. 198 The Godfather: christening scene

p. 198 The Silence of the Lambs

p. 199 North by Northwest ending

p. 199 Raging Bull

p. 200 North by Northwest transition

p. 200 Forrest Gump: magic shoes

p. 200 Titanic

p. 201 Raiders of the Lost Ark opening match cut

p. 201 Psycho: shower scene

p. 201 Hugo match cut

p. 203 Rashomon


Chapter 12: Sound

p. 205 High Anxiety

p. 206 Witness: boy identifies killer

p. 206 Apocalypse Now: opening

p. 207 The 39 Steps: scream

p. 207 Citizen Kane: from stump speech to political rally

p. 208 Amadeus: mother-in-law to Queen of the Night

p. 209 Young Mr. Lincoln

p. 209 The Ten Commandments

p. 210 2001: a Space Odyssey

p. 210 Carrie

p. 211 The Day the Earth Stood Still

p. 211 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

p. 212 Octopussy

p. 212 Catch 22: “2001” theme parody

p. 212 Nightmare on Elm Street

p. 212 Rosemary’s Baby

p. 212 The Omen

p. 212 All that Jazz: “I think I’m gonna die”

p. 213 Natural Born Killers: “I Love Mallory” scene

p. 213 Musical themes from The Lord of the Rings

p. 215 Fiddler on the Roof: “If I were a Rich Man”

p. 216 My Fair Lady: “Wouldn’t it be Loverly?”

p. 216 Little Shop of Horrors: dentist song

p. 216 Fiddler on the Roof: “Do you Love me?”

p. 216 My Fair Lady: “The Rain in Spain”

p. 217 Fiddler on the Roof: “To Life!”

p. 217 My Fair Lady: “I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face”

p. 217 West Side Story: “Tonight” reprise

p. 217 Gypsy: “Let me Entertain you”

p. 217 1776: “Sit Down, John”

p. 218 Evita: “Good Night and Thank you”

p. 218 Chicago: “We Both Reached for the Gun”


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