Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Beginnings: Where's That Ax?

In trying to find an idea for this week’s blog, I thought about what to write, but the well was dry. Bottom of the bowl ice cream dry. Not a single idea. I did free writing exercises and filled a page with random thoughts. Unfortunately, not a good idea among them.

I decided I’d take a break and watch one of my favorite shows, hoping an idea would come to me. Going to Free On Demand, I found Mad Men and selected Play. The show was about getting an idea. How ironic! The creative team brainstormed and wrote down their ideas for a car campaign while Don went through the archives trying to solve his own mystery (who was the dark haired woman he worked with that he thought he knew from before).

Even though watching Mad Men didn’t help me, it had a memorable closing line. “But every time we get a car, this place turns into a whorehouse.” Don Draper (Jon Hamm)

This made me think about great opening or closing lines. What about E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web’s, opening line: “Where’s papa going with that axe?” (Fern speaking to her mother) or Call me Ishmael by the protagonist and narrator in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick?

Probably one of the most famous last lines is from Gone With the Wind’s Scarlet O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Camera shot: Scarlet standing alone under a tree with Tara in the background. Did you think it was Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) saying, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” It was his last line in the movie, but not the movie’s last line.

I thought of my favorite last line. It’s from the movie Overboard. A wealthy heiress, Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) falls in love with a poor carpenter, Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell). Learning of his revenge scheme, she returns to her life of wealth. He chases after her and proclaims his love. Standing on her yacht with Dean and his four boys, Dean asks her with everything she has what could he possibly give her. Her reply, “A little girl.”

Awwww! Admit it, it’s good.

What’s your favorite opening or closing line?

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