“The original writer [of The Flamingo Kid] Neal Marshall, no relationship to me, had written a solid script based on his youth spent in the Catskills. Neal and I rewrote the script with notes from the producers, then the screenwriter Bo Goldman took a pass at a rewrite but would not ask for screenwriting credit for it. Bo let Neal and me share credit because he said he didn’t change enough to warrant credit. He did however, tell me that while the dialogue was essential, the actors’ reactions to things were even more important. So I never forgot that while directing the movie. Later, when I met director Blake Edwards, he said the same thing. “The reaction to the action is critical.” To have a great line is nice, but to have a strong and memorable reaction is even better.”
My Happy Days in Hollywood Days (written with Lori Marshall)
Here are a couple of clips I found on You Tube from The Flamingo Kid that feature reaction shots—and very little dialogue:
Note: If you watch Charlie Chaplin’s old silent films, and Robert De Niro in everything from The Godfather to Meet the Parents, right up to through Connie Britton in the Movie/ TV show Friday Night Lights and in the pilot of the TV show Nashville, you will see how powerful reaction shots have been used in the past 100 years of motion picture and television.