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Film NoiARRRRR excerpt

Yo Ho

NoiARRRRR, my film noir/pirate/buddy cop mashup film, has hit a snag: I’ve been too busy with this semester to plan out the entire thing, and it needs to be filmed by the end of this month. There’s not much time. It’s looking likely that I’ll have to rewrite the thing into a spoof trailer, rather than an actual film, and try to get that shot.

Regardless, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give you the first scene. Here’s the excerpt.


EXT. SHADOWY ALLEY – NIGHT

A lone figure stalks the street, fedora low on a dark face.
Everything that isn’t shadow is a lifeless sepia tint.

SPADE
(V.O.)
Dark, lonely nights. I like them.
They suit me. The mysteries I solve
are dark. I work alone. And I’m a
knight, fighting for justice in the
dark, lonely night of dark lonely
darkness.

INT. SARGE’S OFFICE – DAY

SPADE
The name’s Spade. Jack Spade. And I
work alone.

SPADE is talking directly to the camera, which pans across
to reveal the SARGE, a thickset, muscular man sitting at a
desk behind Spade’s left shoulder.

SARGE
Are you… talking to the wall?

Spade slowly turns. He’s a slender man with permanently
lowered eyebrows and a low, angry voice.

He waits a beat.

SPADE
Sometimes it feels like it.

The Sarge puts down his latest paperwork. He’s barely
invested in the conversation, but still maintains a casual
control. He’s the boss.

SARGE
I don’t like this, Jack. You’re
living in shades of gray.

SPADE
I see it as more of a… sepia
tint.

SARGE
Whatever. The department just took
on a new detective. I’m partnering
you. Maybe he’ll add a little color
to your life.

Spade is dismayed.

Before he can respond, the door opens. A PIRATE steps in,
washing away the sepia tint and bringing vibrant color.

He’s got an eye patch, blouse, buckle boots, the works.

BEARD
Ahoy! Cap’n Beard, at yer service!

Spade stands up, stuttering. He can’t believe it.

SPADE
You’re a pirate!

BEARD
Oh, ya noticed.

SARGE
Like I said, colorful.

Spade whips back to the Sarge, leaning close so that he can
whisper.

SPADE
Sarge. I asked for a partner, not a
Halloween costume. My detective
work hinges on a bleak, urban,
pessimist ambiance. You’re
partnering me with a pirate. You
don’t see the issue here?

Sarge sighs. He does see the issue.

SARGE
Yeah, yeah, look: His father’s a
pirate king… He donated a lot of
booty to this institution… the
point is, he’s a pirate. And your
partner.

Spade takes his seat. Beard is sitting beside him.

SPADE
“Beard,” huh? Have any nicknames?

BEARD
They call me “Rumbeard.” I drink
hearty, and after the third keg me
hand-eye coordination be scuppered.

Seeing Spade is at a loss for words, Beard goes on.

BEARD
It catches fire easy. I answer to
“Burntbeard” too.

Jack turns back to the Sarge pleadingly.

SARGE
I’m putting you on the Southside
Smuggling case. There’s a witness
in the conference room now. Get
outta here.

They started to stand up.

SARGE
Oh, yeah, almost forgot: I’m giving
you a third partner.

Sarge gestures over to the far corner, where a man in a
boring business suit sits. He’s non-threatening and just
slightly cheerful.

THIRD PARTNER
Hi guys! I’m excited to be working
with you.

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2 thoughts on “Film NoiARRRRR excerpt

  1. Ok I am confused is this a parody or supposed to be actual Film Noir? Why is is Spade says he works alone the later in the scene says “I asked for a partner not a pirate”? Also I’m pretty sure they don’t call them blouses despite the frilly appearance of the shirts.
    If this is a comedy then I can see the advantage of the clique filled scene but even in comedy in order for it to work it has to play by it’s own set of rules.

  2. Thanks for the response! This is actually the best critique I’ve gotten on WordPress. There’s not usually a lot of discussion around here.

    It’s a combination parody and homage, similar to the relationship of a film like Hot Fuzz to classic action cop films. It’s definitely a comedy.

    You’re dead on about the Spade working alone but saying he asked for a partner. Good catch; I’ll fix that in the final draft. As for the blouse, that was more of a humorous short-hand description within the text of the script than an clinical term. Although I’m sure Spade would love to insult Beard with that phrase, too.

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