Story at a Glance

Image of metaphorical formula

The Common Denominator

What do the following films (to name a few) all have in common?

Intolerance, Nosferatu, Battleship Potemkin, Metropolis, The General, City Lights, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Wings, It Happened One Night, King Kong, 42nd Street, A Night at the Opera, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, My Man Godfrey, Swing Time, La Grande Illusion, Ninotchka, Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, The Rules of the Game, The Philadelphia Story, How Green Was My Valley, Citizen Kane, The Lady Eve, Sergeant York, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Brief Encounter, A Matter of Life and Death, Duel in the Sun, The Third Man, Bicycle Thieves, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, All About Eve, Singin' in the Rain, High Noon, Rear Window, Sunset Boulevard, Seven Samurai, On the Waterfront, Roman Holiday, A Face in the Crowd, Vertigo, Paths of Glory, The Seventh Seal, The 400 Blows, North by Northwest, Some Like It Hot, Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, The Apartment, Breathless, Psycho, Mary Poppins, Doctor Zhivago, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr. Strangelove, The Sound of Music, Persona, The Graduate, The Odd Couple, Once Upon a Time in the West, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, M.A.S.H., The Godfather, American Graffiti, The Sting, Young Frankenstein, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws, Rocky, Network, Saturday Night Fever, Tender Mercies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Smokey and the Bandit, Star Wars, Superman, Animal House, Grease, Alien, Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer, Arthur, Raging Bull, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Fanny and Alexander, E.T., Tootsie, Amadeus, The Terminator, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, Romancing the Stone, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Platoon, Top Gun, The Princess Bride, Fatal Attraction, Lethal Weapon, Cinema Paradiso, Field of Dreams, Pretty Woman, Ghost, Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, A Few Good Men, Pulp Fiction, The Fugitive, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, The Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects, True Lies, The Lion King, Apollo 13, Toy Story, Mission: Impossible, Trainspotting, Independence Day, As Good as It Gets, Liar Liar, Titanic, Princess Mononoke, There’s Something about Mary, Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, Gladiator, Fight Club, Ocean’s Eleven, Fellowship of the Ring, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Memento, Amelie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, The Passion of the Christ, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Batman Begins.

They all came out before Save the Cat.

Most of them came out before the modern spec industry started.

Your story has its own best way to be told. Focus on finding that, yourself, and write it that way.

(Not sure how to do that? I have some suggestions.)

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