I have been looking for this for a long time… and now, here it is, on Youtube. Alfred Hitchcock’s version of the Roald Dahl short story Man From the South with Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.
It’s almost a half-hour long… but find a time when you can sit down and watch the thing.
I think this story is the best example of how to manipulate tension, excitement, and dread in a tight little story I have ever seen. This version is a bit droll for my taste – the original text is more horrific. It’s been done and riffed on many times (check out Quentin Tarantino’s version as the fourth and last story in the otherwise-horrible film, Four Rooms).
I try and study it.
This is what I want to write.
“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”
— Neil Gaiman
An interesting list.
There is no controversy about who is number 1.
From Casino Royale (1953) Chapter 7
“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”
I’m sorry, but this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. As a child, I lived in a few locations that had… well, let’s say they had a lot of flies – a lot. Swatting flies became a cheap amusement for when there was precious else to do. I would have given anything for this thing.
Now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself.
I had to watch this… I didn’t think it could be done. Apparently, it can. It has to be real… it’s from the Internet.
Clever matches between bathing suits and books. Each match discovered by hand. We should have been doing this all along, am I right?