Horton Foote’s uniquely personal style of screenwriting is at its peak in this collection of two Academy Award winners, To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, and The Trip to Bountiful, a film widely named as one of 1985’s best. “In an age when the lexicon of cinema is largely visual,” noted Samuel G. Freedman in the New York Times Magazine, “Foote writes films. He stresses dialogue and character development rather than spectacle or even traditional narrative.”
Each of the three screenplays sprang from a different origin. One was adapted from the novel by Harper Lee, who later wrote, “If the integrity of a film adaptation is measured by the degree to which the novelist’s intent is preserved, Mr. Foote’s screenplay should be studied as a classic.” Tender Mercies was conceived for the screen, and The Trip to Bountiful came from Foote’s own stage and television play. While each demanded solutions to different cinematic problems, all are marked by Foote’s own mastery of the screenwriting form, as well as his understanding of human relationships. All three show a modern Chekhov at work, revealing the deep currents of American society through the simplest details of daily life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
.......THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL - 5 Stars Watched the old, sad movie a long time ago, but it has always stayed with me. An elderly Mrs. Watts just wants out of her little apartment and out from under the thumb of her son and annoying daughter-in-law for one last visit to her old homestead. After many attempts, she finally procures and hides her pension check from the wicked daughter-in-law, sneaks out....takes a local bus to the train station....walks from there to the bus station and has quite the adventure. Wonderful story and ending. .......TENDER MERCIES - 4 Stars First time read of this screenplay and have not seen the movie. In this story set in a little Texas town, an aging once-famous country music performer struggles from a drunken past of mistakes to move forward. Finding work at a local motel-gas station, he finds a new life, continues to write music....and then....the accident. Religious undertones question WHY one person lives while another dies. .......TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - 5 Stars Read the novel....saw the movie, but first time reading the actual screenplay....so good! "That summer I was six years old"....says Scout aka Jean Louise Finch. In Maycomb, Alabama everyone is poor....some more so than others. There's a lawyer in this small town story....his two rambunctious children, Jem and Scout....a scary "BOO" neighbor.....a scarier dark Halloween night....accusations of rape....a trial....lies....stupid prejudices against a good man....and justice for one in the end. You NEVER want to hurt a mockingbird! Wonderful 5 star anthology of classic screenplays.