Review of: The Riddle of Rudolf Hess - rev'd 3 

reviewed by kokopelli on 12/16/2011
Credited Review
History Re-revised Credited Review
A mystery within the Third Reich, creats havoic within Hitlers trusted ranks.

Title page –
• For here it’s okay to add which Draft this is, but when you prepare to send this out, don’t put any mention of which Draft it is.

Page 1 –
• “Rudolph forcefully speaks” Watch your redundant writing. It’s obvious he speaks because of the next line of dialogue, so you don’t need to tell us. If you want that actor to know it’s “forceful” then add that word as a wryly, beneath the Character name.

Page 3 –
• Dialogue “Those eyes don’t full anyone.” Should be “Those eyes don’t fool anyone.”

Page 4 –
• So much of this dialogue between Hess and Kennedy is expositional and written in a manner that makes it on-the-nose. Just one example is … Kennedy has been guarding one of the most famous war criminals in history … I would imagine that each and every guard knows exactly how old Rudolph Hess is. I know you have to give your audience some information, here’s a couple of was you might consider doing that:
1. Start your story with a V.O. that can give us this information.
2. Start your story with an insert and write the very pertinent facts.
3. Start your story with Kennedy being a new guard, and another guard is showing him the ropes and as such is telling him some of the basic history.
That’s just three, but there are more ways to make this dialogue more palatable.

Page 5 –
• Most of your audience, even those with a fairly good grasp of history, won’t know what the N.S.D.A.P. is … so write it out.
• I like this sentence about “proving yourself to a friend” and then it’s Adolph Hitler. But, consider taking out “I’ll start at the beginning.” This again, is redundant and not needed. Just end the dialogue and go right to the next scene. Maybe have him look thoughtfully at Kennedy, like he’s considering a discussion, then he says, simply “Okay.” And the story starts.
• We can’t possibly see alcohol escaping from Fritz’s pores, so don’t write this.
• If his name is FRITZ HESS SR. as you put it in dialogue, then put it that way in his introduction.

Pages 6 – 13
• You are writing a bio-flick, and while it’s historical and you can take some liberty with the story, what you’ve written here is so flagrantly wrong as to be comical. Hess Sr. was not a murderous drunk, he was an international businessman.

This is from Rudolph’s son in the son’s description of the family background :
My father was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on April 26, 1894, the first son of Fritz Hess, a respected and well-to-do merchant. The Hess family personified the prosperity, standing and self-assurance of the German Reich of that period.

The Hess family did not leave Egypt in a cloud of automobile dust, in fact they lived in Egypt
until Rudolph was 13 or so. The scene in the bar is ridiculous, as if Hess Sr. killed 4 people and then
just calmly walked away and no police were involved. Egypt, at the time, was extremely authoritarian and if he had just summarily murdered 4 people he would have been arrested, his business ruined, and he would have spent life in a very bad place. I really don’t know why you’re going here, maybe there’s some information about this I’ve never seen, but it lacks credibility and makes your entire story suspect.

Really, unless there are alien beings from another planet later in your story, don’t go this far out on a limb. Someone will cut it off behind you.

Page 15 –
• Nik naks should be nick nacks.

Page 23 –
• Okay, I’m really not sure where you’re going here. But none of this is even vaguely true and it’s making it difficult to read. If this is a take-off on reality, then you need to make that clear from the beginning.

Page 25 –
• “Two bullet scares (should be scars) live on his chest.” ….. If we can’t see it then don’t write about it.

Page 26 –
• You are building a one dimensional character who only smirks or sneers. Try to give Hess something besides anger. Curiosity, love, humor, grace, bravery…. Even the worst bad guy has other qualities, and there are many.

Page 49 –
• You have an interesting story going here, but every few pages there is something so inaccurate that it takes me out of the story. The reason for this is that you have a story, but you haven’t spent much time researching facts. It would do your story much good if you knew more about the times, the characters, the real history and the fact that there was NO EURO, at that time. During that period, each country had their own currency. In Germany during the war coins were Reichmarks and paper currency was normally called Mark’s. This is the kind of thing that will kill your script.

Page 64 –
• The bartender has a STRONG GERMAN ACCENT? They’re in Germany, would he have anything but a German accent? I don’t think you need to indicate this.
• The maid would never, ever refer to her boss as Mr. Adolph Hitler. He was der Fuhrer, and that only, especially to someone like a maid. The other thing here is that it is highly improbably that Adolph Hitler would entrust his maid with a communication to anyone, let alone a maid.

Page 72 –
• The word is “traitor” not “trader.”

Page 80 –
• Why are you suddenly switching a dialogue to German? You’re changing the tone by doing that. Either we’re watching a film about Germany in English, or you have it all in German (stated at the beginning of the screenplay) and everything is subtitled. But, don’t start changing things here.

Page 92 –
• You have George speaking over and over again, without a break and it’s very difficult to read.


There is much here to enjoy. A thriller of historical prominence is always fun, but you are so inaccurate in your historical knowledge that it continued to take me right out of the story. The audience that you are directing this story to will know a lot about history. Martin Bormann did not just disappear. While it took many years, his remains were found, and conclusively identified by DNA testing in 1998. Add to that the fact that he was in the Bunker with Hitler during the last days and your story falls apart.

As for Hess, he was slowly going insane, and in fact the British government asked that he not be tried at Nuremberg, due to the fact that he left Germany early in the war, had little to do with the war itself. But the Russians demanded it and the Brits gave in.

The other thing is that you many, many, many mistakes and misspellings that make it a difficult read. I’m not all that good with punctuation and grammar myself so I pay someone to read and correct my work. If you can’t pay someone, and you don’t possess the skill necessary, find a friend to help you. This work will never make it if you can’t manage that.

Again, this is a compelling story and if were made up fictional characters you’d be on better ground. You could make that happen, but this story, written for an audience that likes this kind of history, will not stand with the current inaccuracies.

Good luck with it, no matter what you decide.

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