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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


*{Blogger is not allowing me to sign in, resulting in me not being able to comment on some of your blogs.

Are any of you having the same trouble? Blogger will not respond to my pleas. Big surprise there.}

What do actresses Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn have in common?

They were all considered for the roles of Thelma or Louise in the now classic film released 20 years ago this May.

Bruce Willis' notorious bomb "Hudson Hawk" actually out-earned it for third place. But the word of mouth on the movie was so strong that "Thelma" became a sleeper hit,

earning over $45 million in the U.S., about three times its budget.

And it was a critical favorite, earning six Oscar nominations and winning the award for Best Original Screenplay.

Geena Davis gives us some insights into how she and Sarandon were able to stay cool during the roadhouse scene.

“We asked the prop guy, ‘Do you have any real tequila? Because it’s easier to act if we taste alcohol,” she says.

“So we pounded back quite a few, and we’re laughing between takes and both feeling, We’re so drunk! This is great!”

"Thelma & Louise" is one of those rare films that didn't just bring people into a movie theater, but kept them talking after it was over.

Its story of average women who become fugitives sparked nationwide discussions about the changing nature of feminism in the new decade of the 1990s.

Mostly, though, the film sparked debate with its ending. Cornered by the police at the rim of the Grand Canyon, Thelma (Geena Davis) tells Louise (Susan Sarandon) "Let's not get caught; let's keep going."

Louise hits the gas, the women hold hands, and their 1966 Thunderbird convertible goes sailing off a cliff. The picture freezes with the car in midair and then fades to white.

It's an iconic moment, but it's not how the movie was originally going to end.

You don't actually see the car crash; it just drops out of sight. Afterwards, Hal (Harvey Keitel),

the sympathetic detective who has been chasing the pair, runs to the edge of the canyon and stares down. A helicopter swoops down into the ravine, and Hal turns back to rejoin the massive police force waiting there.

Director Ridley Scott provides commentary on why he changed the ending from what he shot.

He said that giving the final moment to Harvey Keitel's character instead of Thelma and Louise, "eclipsed what their decision was...

I wanted the ending to be on them."

He also thought it was important to hold on the car in the air, rather than watch it fall. He said, "I didn't want to bring [the ending] down. I wanted to go out on the high of the car, in control."

And now, you see how the ending of your tale can make or break its dramatic impact.

You see? I did have a writing reason to wax nostalgic about the 20 year anniversary of THELMA & LOUISE.


  1. I have mixed feelings about that ending, but it was Hollywood all the way!

  2. I have a hard time picturing Meryl Streep or Goldie Hawn in either of those roles. To be fair, I think Davis and Sarandon made the roles their own so much that I couldn't picture anyone else. I love the ending they chose much more than the alternative mentioned.

    Well done for bringing it round to writing but you would have been forgiven if you didn't. No excuse needed for celebrating such a great film!

  3. Wasn't this Brad Pits first movie role as well? I loved this movie and now I want to watch it again. Nice post, yes the ending of any story is important. I have seen many films and read many books where the ending has been so bad that it ruined the whole story.

  4. That is one of my top ten favorite movies right there and both those girls are ridiculously hot in it. I won't even go into the Brad Pitt perving that went on then. I was just getting into my teens you see and saw it when the old people weren't home.
    Oh the days.....

  5. Hi Roland .. I hate to say it .. but I've never seen the film! I know about it .. but just never got there and don't watch DVDs or things .. but I guess I should complete my education! I'll watch next time it's on tv .. the trailer end was good to watch .. and I like that Ridley Scott put the emphasis on the two women ..

    Love the way you bring in story telling and endings .. congratulations to 20 years of Thelma and Louise .. shows the customer knows best!

    Cheers Hilary

  6. There is a lot going on in the background as you watch this movie. The directer uses traffic and big trucks passing by to show that the odds are going to be against them from the start.

  7. I saw that movie for the first time when I was in high school and I loved it from the first viewing. The ending, the girl power message, Brad Pitt...what's not to love!

  8. I remember the incredible surge of freedom I felt at the end of the movie. Even though they were going to their death, it made me feel life was limitless.

  9. I did watch that movie. I remember thinking how unfair it was when they drove into the canyon. I kept seaching for alternate endings, a way to keep them out of trouble for shooting that guy that was trying to rape (Thelma, I think). How could the system drive them to suicide. Either way, maybe it was the best ending to choose, but I still felt cheated that they died. However, I will never forget the movie, so it must have made an impact.

  10. Wendy :
    I am not an advocate of suicide, but the ending is a natural tumbling of events born of their choices. Like Laila, I wish the police or the two women could have found an alternate way to deal with the situation.

    Sarah :
    I'm with you : I cannot see anyone but Davis or Sarnadon playing those roles since they made those roles their own.

    Siv :
    Yes, it was Brad Pitt's first movie, and he credits Geena Davis with helping him get the part. I know I hated his character -- since it was his actions that stole any chance the two women had of coming in peaceably.

    Wendy :
    The two women had fun for awhile, and I re-watch it for that fun. I still hate Brad Pitt's character for ruining their chance to turn themselves in.

    Hilary :
    Don't feel bad. There are classics out there I have never seen either. THE DEERHUNTER for one. SCHLINLER'S LIST another. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Walter Knight :
    Yes, Ridley Scott is a master of using backgrounds to reflect his themes. Many miss what you noticed. Good for you.

    Johanna :
    I've always loved that movie, too. I might not have if the camera had gone to their bloody, broken bodies at the canyon's floor though! The ending was much like the ending of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID in that the camera went white before the bloody end.

    Leslie :
    The end was oddly empowering, wasn't it? To choose how we go out of life does that I believe.

    Laila :
    Like you, I was struck with the unfairness of it all. Which is what Ridley Scott was aiming for. Sometimes the system is quite unfair to those it can be that way with. If they had been the President's wife and the President's daughter, it would have had quite a different ending, right?

  11. Hi Roland, don't know if you've fixed your blogger problems. Someone else had the same prob yesterday. It was fixed by resetting her browser + history + emptying cache, logging right out of gmail / google / blogger, restarting her machine and then logging back in...hope this helps!

  12. You're right Roland it is a movie we still remember. Now I know how they could act so drunk, they were, at least halfway there! I thought the ending was genius and is part of why the movie is seared in our collective memory. Certainly we can learn a lot from Hollywood when it comes to story.

    Loved your entry in the Power of Tension blogfest too. Great work. I meant to enter, but I struggled with blogger for hours yesterday and it was so frustrating. I couldn't sign in, post, all I could do was read, not comment. When I came home from work, an old post had been placed above my current post, how embarrassing, and all the comments on the old post had been deleted. What is going on, google???

    Got your Glitz & Glamour ready for Friday?


  13. Thanks for the reminder of a true hollywood classic.

    This was one movie that really makes you think...


  14. My gosh - can't believe it's been 20 years! Such a classic movie. I studied it in high school English ;)

  15. first, loved this movie and couldn't imagine anyone else but Susan Sarandon and Gena Davis in the lead. Also liked Micheal Madson (I think) as Louise's bf.

    second, I solved my inability to sign in by unchecking the box that says 'stay signed in'

    hope this helps :)

  16. Laura :
    I did what your friend did. No good. I think Blogger wants some of us to go to WordPress!

    Denise :
    Blogger is becoming too frustrating lately. Perhaps they have too many customers and want to prune their users with bad service, forcing us to go to WordPress. And yes, I have already written my Friday's Glitter and Glamor post.

    Michael :
    It did make you think, didn't it? How easy we get caught up in the gears of unthinking, unfeeling politics and government agencies.

    Trisha :
    Yes, I think of having seen it only ten years ago. I'm a dinosaur! LOL.

    MsHatch :
    Your advice helped me on the work computer. But here at home, Blogger will not let me sign in, nor when I get to my Dashboard, will it let me sign out to uncheck that fricking box!! I really think Blogger is trying to trim its servor load by chasing some of us to WordPress.

  17. Hey Roland, just stopping by to say I tagged you on a meme...sorry, i'm curious, please come by blog sometime for it.

  18. Wendy :
    I'm in between Stat blood runs right now, but when I am caught up, I'll be by your blog, Roland