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Avalon, Tin Men, Diner: Three Screenplays Paperback – January 21, 1990

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st edition (January 21, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871134357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871134356
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Fans of Barry Levinson's Baltimore movies will enjoy this collection of the screenplays for Diner (1982), Tin Men (1987), and Avalon (1990). A helpful introduction by Jesse Kornbluth situates the three screenplays in their place and time, and discusses thematic ideas and concerns common to all three. The screenplays themselves demonstrate Levinson's skill as a writer and his sharp ear for dialogue. There are some interesting differences between the screenplays and the films as finally released; the Diner screenplay, for example, originally included a sequence in which a number of the "diner guys" attend the 1959 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, but that sequence does not appear in the final film. The nature of print as a medium means that the printed screenplay cannot quite capture the rapid-fire, Howard Hawks-style delivery of these lines between and among the characters; one must watch the films themselves to enjoy the way characters cut off and interrupt each other, just the way people do in real life. It might also help, since Levinson wrote and directed a fourth Baltimore movie, Liberty Heights (1999), to issue a new edition of this book including the Liberty Heights screenplay. Still, the book works very well as it is, not just because Levinson captures so well the textures of life in Baltimore (though he does) but also because these are great stories of human character in the crucible of social change.
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