Blogs on Film

In Film, Words Aren’t Everything

Great dialogue has been in decline in Hollywood for a long time, even though a few masters (Sorkin, the Coen brothers) keep the flame of Preston Sturges alive. As the movie-going audience came to comprise a larger share of teenagers and the international market (much of it not fluent in English) became more important, the demand for complex, smart, language usage in film declined.

However, as the Silent Era directors knew well, you don’t need dialogue to create emotionally powerful scenes. I have written here previously about Madeleine Carroll’s fine, extended and wordless scene in The 39 Steps.

More recently, Pixar hit it out of the park with Up’s achingly sweet montage about a marriage. Curl up with your mate and have a good cry.