Five Plot Points Breakdowns

Breakdowns of Films in Key Points
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  1 FIVE PLOT POINTS BREAKDOWNS: Movies Chinatown (1974) Screenplay Genre: Crime / Drama / Mystery Movie Time: 130 minutes 1. INCITING INCIDENT  In 1930s drought-ridden Los Angeles, Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), a savvy private detective, is hired by Ida Sessions (Diane Ladd), posing as Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray, in order to confirm her suspicions that her husband, Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling), the Water Commissioner of Los Angeles, is cheating on her. Gittes gets the job done fast, but when the  photos he took hit the papers, the real Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) shows up with her lawyer in tow wielding a lawsuit. (00:18:50) 2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)   Gittes attempts to meet with Hollis Mulwray and smooth things out, but he’s not at home. Evelyn Mulwray meets with him and surprisingly agrees to drop the lawsuit, but Gittes intends to pursue the matter because he hasn’t gotten to the  bottom of things yet. He explains that he’s not used to being the one caught with his pants down. (00:28:12) 3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)  After Hollis turns up dead, drowned, Gittes is attacked by hired thugs while snooping around a Water Department reservoir trying to dig up some answers. The next day, Evelyn shows up in Gittes’ office again and offers him his usual fee plus a very generous bonus if he finds out what happened to her husband and who was involved. (00:55:32) 4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)   After meeting with Noah Cross (John Huston), Evelyn’s father, who wants to find the missing girl Hollis was allegedly having an affair with, Gittes checks out a lead on properties in the valley, only to be attacked by angry farmers claiming he’ s a stooge for the Water Department. Fortunately, Evelyn picks him up and takes him back to her house where they spend the night together. She leaves suddenly after a late phone call, and when Gittes follows her, he finds that Evelyn has been keeping the m issing girl hostage all along. He’s been had, again. (1:27:40)  2 5. THIRD ACT TWIST   Tired of being jerked around, and convinced that she is her husband’s murderer, Gittes confronts Evelyn about the girl, slapping her in the face until he gets the answer. Evelyn  breaks down and confesses that the girl Katherine is her sister and   her daughter. From this unexpected reveal, everything falls into place: Evelyn is trying to protect her sister/daughter from the incestuous Noah Cross. So now Gittes decides to try and help Evelyn escape with Katherine to Mexico. (1:45:45) Casablanca (1942) Screenplay Genre: Drama / Romance Movie Time: 102 minutes 1. INCITING INCIDENT  Ugarte (Peter Lorre) comes to Rick's Café Américain, a swank nightclub owned by American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), with letters of transit he obtained by killing two German couriers. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German-controlled Europe, and Ugarte plans to sell the documents to the highest bidder but leaves the letters with Rick for safekeeping. (00:10:15) 2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)  Even though Ugarte is captured by Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), a corrupt police official accommodating the Nazis, before he can sell the letters of transit to Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a infamous Czech Resistance leader, Rick isn't locked in until Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Victor's wife and Rick's past lover in Paris, who re-enters Rick's life. (00:31:16) 3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)  Laszlo and Ilsa seek out Signor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet), one of Rick's competitor's and owner of a club called The Blue Parrot. Ferrari; however, his is only able to secure one exit visa for Ilsa, explaining that it would take a miracle to get Laszlo out of Casablanca. But the couple agrees that they are only interested in two visas . Ferrari then hints that Rick has  possession of Ugarte's letters of transit. (00:58:30) 4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)  Ilsa confronts Rick in the deserted café, holding a gun on him in a desperate attempt to retrieve the letters of transit, but Rick dares her to Go ahead and shoot. Unable to pull the trigger, Ilsa confesses that she still loves him, and only after this confession does Rick decide  3 to help Laszlo escape Casablanca, leading Ilsa to believe that she will stay behind with Rick when Laszlo leaves. (01:21:19) 5. THIRD ACT TWIST  After Laszlo is jailed on a minor charge, Rick convinces Renault to release Laszlo, promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters of transit, However, Rick double crosses Renault, forcing him at gunpoint to assist in the escape. There is a final twist upon the twist, however, when at the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa get on the plane to Lisbon with her husband. (1:33:10) Se7en (1995)   Screenplay Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller Movie Time: 127 minutes 1. INCITING INCIDENT  In an unidentified city of constant rain and urban decay, Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is six days from retirement is partnered up with a young, cocky Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). After the two investigate the murder of a morbidly obese man, the coroner illustrates the man was killed by being force fed spaghetti until a kick to the stomach burst him open. (00:12:00) 2. LOCK IN  While Somerset continues working on the case of the obese man, Mills is assigned the murder case of Defense Attorney Eli Gould, with the word GREED written in Gould's blood on the floor. Soon after, Somerset discovers the word GLUTTONY written behind the obese man's fridge and concludes that both murders are connected: a serial killer is basing his victims on the Seven Deadly Sins. (00:23:16). 3. FIRST CULMINATION (End of Act One)  After the discovery of a the SLOTH victim, Somerset uses an FBI contact to get a list of  people who checked out flagged library books related to the Seven Deadly Sins. The list leads Somerset and Mills to a man named John Doe, but when they visit his apartment, Doe (his face hidden) fires his gun at them. After a long chase, Doe hits Mills with a tire iron, keeping him subdued at gunpoint, but lets him live and flees. (1:07:55) 4. MAIN CULMINATION (Midpoint)    4 With the discovery of two more victims, LUST and PRIDE, Somerset decides to postpone his retirement until this thing is done, but surprisingly John Doe (Kevin Spacey) arrives at the Fourteenth Precinct covered in blood and turns himself in. Doe's lawyer explains that if Doe can take Somerset and Mills to two more bodies (ENVY and WRATH), he will confess to all the murders. The detectives agree. (1:36:39) 5. THIRD ACT TWIST (End of Act Two)  As the three arrive to the desert outskirts of the city, a van appears and Somerset stops it. The driver claims he was paid $500 to deliver a box. Somerset cautiously opens the box, but recoils in horror from what he sees. Meanwhile, Doe informs Mills that he was guilty of ENVY and tried to play husband with Mills' wife, but he took a souvenir instead: Her  pretty head. Now it's up to Mills to complete Doe's masterpiece; shooting Doe in vengeance, Mills embodies WRATH. (1:56:49) The Godfather (1972) Screenplay Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller Movie Time: 175 minutes 1. INCITING INCIDENT   Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) attends his sister’s wedding with his girlfriend Kay Adams (Dianne Keaton) at the Corleone family estate. It’s a high  society affair, with all the top Italian families are in attendance. When Kay mentions that Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana), one of the guests, looks like a scary guy, Michael explains that Luca does the dirty work for his father, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). He uses strong arm tactics, forcing people to sign contracts with guns to their heads. Kay is visibly stunned. Michael responds, ―That’s my family Katie, it’s not me.‖ (00:22:20) 2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)   After refusing to finance Virgil ―The Turk‖ Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) in a new narcotics business venture, Don Vito Corleone is shot down in the street. Michael, during a night on the town with Kay, learns of this from a newspaper headline and rushes to his father’s side –   right into the arms of the family that he had worked so hard to distance himself from. (00:45:15) 3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)   Michael realizes that the attempts on his father’s life are not going to stop. He suggests that his brother Santino ―Sonny‖ Corleone (James Caan), the  new Don, set up a meeting between himself and The Turk and Capt. McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), a dirty cop on The Turk’s  payroll, in the guise of establishing a truce. But instead, Michael murders The Turk and
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