While appraising old and rare books at a restored colonial plantation, a book collector stumbles across a series... more
HOW IT RATES
When a wealthy Jewish man is buried in an Catholic cemetery in Ireland, he comes back from the dead and forces a grave digger to carry him to Tipperary, USA before he decomposes and his soul ends up in hell (Sheol)
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Reviews of It's a Long Way to Tipperary (rv 4) 29
by Michael Keller on 06/22/2010While there were hints of the macabre humor of Beatlejuice and Weekend at Bernie's, as well as the tone of the 80's comedies of John Landis, this script is really one of the most original concepts I've read on this site. It was a very fun, quick read, and I enjoyed it immensely. The characters, dialog, pacing and structure were great. Many of the sequences were quite memorable... While there were hints of the macabre humor of Beatlejuice and Weekend at Bernie's, as well as the tone of the 80's comedies of John Landis, this script is really one of the most original concepts I've read on this site. It was a very fun, quick read, and I enjoyed it immensely. The characters, dialog, pacing and structure were great.
Many of the sequences were quite memorable - especially when they reassembled Arthur at home depot. And I loved the turning point when they went from wanting to get rid of Arthur, to wanting to help him.
I only have minor nitpicks:
-I think Crystal's initial suspicion for the 10k charge would be fraud or identity theft.
-Perhaps address why Arthur can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery in Ireland? I recognize that he would prefer his birthplace, but any Jewish cemetery would presumably save him from hell, no?
Overall,great job and keep up the good work! read
by Paul Clarke on 06/21/2010Well I must congratulate you on writing something different and quite original. I think full on comedy like this is very hard to write. I did find plenty of amusing parts but I think a lot of it would be funnier on screen than in writing. Reading it became a little tiresome. But there was enough interesting things going on to push me through. I do however think the market for... Well I must congratulate you on writing something different and quite original. I think full on comedy like this is very hard to write. I did find plenty of amusing parts but I think a lot of it would be funnier on screen than in writing. Reading it became a little tiresome. But there was enough interesting things going on to push me through. I do however think the market for selling comedy like this very limited.
There are some typos and little formatting errors. For example on page 65 Paddy talks twice in a row with a new character name each time. Or Page 8: Lighting should be Lightning.
Some parts are just not described clearly enough. They race along and it's hard to keep up with exactly what's going on. I think in your head you know what's happening but you just need to take that extra little bit of effort to explain it. Otherwise the reader can get muddled, and therefore enjoy it less.
I think the refusal of the call section by Paddy is a little long and drawn out. I realize it would take him a while to agree to such a crazy plan but it just keeps repeating itself and we all know he's going to accept otherwise it wouldn't be a movie so you need to somehow spice this bit up or shorten it.
I did enjoy the humor of the oxygen masks on the plane and looking up the skirt sections. Very funny. I also liked the way the info about the poison cigar is delayed to just the right time. It's probably fairly obvious but well done. Moments like that seem to have so much more emphasis when they are setup early and then paid off at the right moment.
When we first meet Maria and none of the characters no who she is I would just name her as "Gravedigger" or something so the reader gets the same surprise when it's revealed.
In the end like I said earlier I don't think this type of comedy is very marketable. It's just too over the top for most people. I do think you have great potential with your creation of comedic moments. If you put the same great jokes into a better story I think you could do wonders. Good comedy is hard. So few get it right. read
by crossroads79 on 06/12/2010This was a fun read and I got through it one sitting, obviously a good thing. I enjoyed how you created your own world of the undead, and your own rules. Oddly enough, as much as my suspension of disbelief was fine with a decomposing Aruthur dragged along a subway, hit by cars, etc. there were a couple of inconsistencies that threw me. At the end, with the paramedics working... This was a fun read and I got through it one sitting, obviously a good thing. I enjoyed how you created your own world of the undead, and your own rules. Oddly enough, as much as my suspension of disbelief was fine with a decomposing Aruthur dragged along a subway, hit by cars, etc. there were a couple of inconsistencies that threw me. At the end, with the paramedics working on a rotting corpse held together by wire and glue, stuffed with sawdust. It doesn't work. I'd just assume they're trying to work out the mystery of Arthur's condition, toss on the jacket, and he springs to life scaring the shit out of everyone as he drives off. You can get more play out of that with the extra space after cutting the rescuc. part. The other part of the two days. Why two days? I know there's not really an 'undead expert' on hand to explain Arthur's needs/wants but from Ireland to NY to Iowa in that time frame is not going to happen. The ticking clock could be easily solved with the race against Arthur's total decompostion. That makes the break-in to the hardware store more urgent and you can even throw in some bits about their desperation to acquire ice along the road trip.
Also, what was up with Crystal's death? I assumed it was Seymour's greed, but it wasn't clear. And I think it would better serve the story if they were at his mansion instead of Arthur's. It would explain Jerome's loyalty to him better.
Abd finally Father Patrick's klepto tendencies. It's amusing, but sort of a cliche to present a holy figure so harmlessly flawed. I wouldn't necessarily cut it out, but have it payoff somehow. Maybe he can save the day in the end by using a stolen fork to stab Jerome or Seymour at a critical moment. Something like that.
And one minor point about Maria's death. The math doesn't work. She's in her 30's but the two different dates (1965 or 1967) put her in her forties. Pick a date then add ten years.
Otherwise, well done. I dig the concept, the format was right on, and everyone had their moment to progress/change. Good luck with this. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 06/07/2010he walks into mine. You've created your own fantasy world, which means you get to set your own rules, and to a large extent you get away with it. Ironically, it's the real world that let's you down. In your fantasy world, less is more when it comes to explanations, so we'll just have to accept it at face value. Still, you've let yourself down, even with your own rules... he walks into mine.
You've created your own fantasy world, which means you get to set your own rules, and to a large extent you get away with it. Ironically, it's the real world that let's you down.
In your fantasy world, less is more when it comes to explanations, so we'll just have to accept it at face value. Still, you've let yourself down, even with your own rules.
On page 16, you start the clock ticking: Arthur's got to be buried before sundown on Friday -- "That only gives us two days," which means it's already Wednesday.
By my calculations, the burial is performed on Sunday afternoon, which means the deadline passed (uneventfully).
Your timing first goes off when you go from "Day" at the travel agency in Ireland to "Night" aboard Crystal's plane, followed by "Day" at Goldberg's mansion. Apparently Crystal lied at the funeral when she said that her jet was waiting. She didn't leave for another 24 hours.
The audience won't know it's seeing Goldberg's mansion on page 28. It will assume it's Seymour's house, since he acts like he's in charge.
On page 29 you tell us that Jerome hates Crystal. As the reader, I assume that Jerome is Arthur's butler, so I don't understand why he is disloyal to Arthur later in the story. Is Jerome actually Seymour's butler?
You managed to make it work for the first tow acts, although your characters seemed to have lost their ssense of urgency with respect to the ticking clock. In plot terms, I don't know why Arthur insisted on going to confront Seymour and Crystal, especially since they were running out of (had run out of) time.
Then the third act. Of all the cemetaries in all the towns in all the world, he walks into "mine," while the viewers roll their eyes.
After all your plotting along the way, you just have them appear at the Jewish cemetary in Iowa, apparently having driven a stolen hearse from upstate New York overnight without incident. Did your boys notice they were driving on the wrong side of the road?
At this point there's only 20 pages left, so there's not much time to find "the girl." As soon as we met Maria, I knew it had to be her, but did she have to be a gravedigger? It's just all to contrived.
When your story already is all contrived (not just you, but me, and all of us), the last thing you want to do is to remind the audience that it's all contrived. Your first two acts deserve a better third act.
Now obviously verisimilitude is not what you are going for her, but your motive could use some work. Seymour "apparently" already is just as wealthy as Arthur. Why does he care about getting Arthur's estate?
We know he doesn't love Crystal. Did he kill her for the money, too?
The terms of your will don't make sense. There can't be an unnamed "living heir." How would the executor know how to find her?
Yes, a person can die intestate, and a search for heirs will ensue. But Arthur died with a will.
Even if Seymour had killed Maria, it would not have severed her right to her share of the estate. Her inheritance vested upon Arthur's death, meaning that, if she died, her heirs would inherit through her. It would not revert back to Seymour.
Yeah, I know, who wants to hear stuff like that? By the way, Irish divorce laws are very strict, and you didn't show that Paddy and Cora met the Irish standard. Again, who cares?
Of more import, we have no reason to root for Arthur, until we find out about his daughter, which doesn't happen until page 49.
By the way, you've got two dates for her birth. On page34, it was in 1965. On page 49 it was in 1967. On page 80, it's 1967 again. Maria is in her "late 30's," so she doesn't fit either date.
Apparently it's important to Paddy's character that he drinks buttermilk. I don't know how the audience will know that it's buttermilk, and not just milk.
Good luck with your writing.
by sorayafilm on 06/05/2010This story was hilarious and very well written. The scenes are easy to visualize. Aside from a fine writing style, my only criticism is that the stakes weren't high enough for Paddy. The story seemed to carry him as opposed to him leading it. All the beats were mostly on their mark, but I had trouble with the evolution of the main character. It was established that he was soon... This story was hilarious and very well written. The scenes are easy to visualize. Aside from a fine writing style, my only criticism is that the stakes weren't high enough for Paddy. The story seemed to carry him as opposed to him leading it. All the beats were mostly on their mark, but I had trouble with the evolution of the main character. It was established that he was soon to be divorced and broke and that his wife did not appreciate him. However, we never see that he's longing for money or companionship. So, suddenly "falling in love" with Maria and getting Arthur's millions doesn't produce the payday that it should because we never had a glimpse of this relationship. Perhaps, she could come in sooner, even if it's only for a few lines to establish the romance connection...Also, on the point of stakes, I was confused about Paddy's role in finding Arthur's heir. There was risk in Arthur not being buried on time, but no risk for Paddy. Ultimately, the trio could have buried Arthur, found his heir, and brought his scheming business partner to justice without the old man risking precious time. I'm not sure what needs to happen, but somehow Arhtur's moral needs must work through Paddy first. Otherwise, this was a delightful read, and I espeically loved the character of the priest. read
by jmare on 06/03/2010I have never read anything quite like this. It was very different. It is sort of a horror story yet not scary. Gross at times for sure yet in a funny way. (It's sick that I'm laughed at Arthur's body falling apart.) It was amusing and heart warming. Love all the characters and all their little quirks. They all added a warmth and charm to this tale. It was short and I wish it... I have never read anything quite like this. It was very different. It is sort of a horror story yet not scary. Gross at times for sure yet in a funny way. (It's sick that I'm laughed at Arthur's body falling apart.) It was amusing and heart warming. Love all the characters and all their little quirks. They all added a warmth and charm to this tale. It was short and I wish it was a little longer. It would be easy to elaborate on different events and people to accomplish that and I kind of hope you do. I can see it becoming a Cult classic. read
by Asu03 on 06/03/2010You have established a fun concept in your story. Familiar but different. Paddy and Arthur made for a fun team, but I think you need to work on giving more character to Sean and Father Patrick. Give them a little more time to breathe in the beginning of your screenplay. Their supporting roles in the second and third acts worked just fine. What this screenplay needs to... You have established a fun concept in your story. Familiar but different. Paddy and Arthur made for a fun team, but I think you need to work on giving more character to Sean and Father Patrick. Give them a little more time to breathe in the beginning of your screenplay. Their supporting roles in the second and third acts worked just fine.
What this screenplay needs to work on is the element of surprise. I think the reader should be surprised when they discover Maria was the girl who gave Arthur and Paddy a tour of the graveyard. Hard to do, but it’s always good to keep things mysterious.
I suggest you give Paddy and Arthur a little more one on one time. I really want to see their chemistry at work.
Having Arthur’s wife and Seymour as the villains is an old plot device, but it works in this story. Seymour needs a little more time to develop. We need to see how nasty of a person he can be in the beginning of the story, which will give more reason to root for Arthur’s success.
Overall, it was a solid story. I think it needs a few more reviews and drafts to become an excellent comedic story. Keep working and best of luck! read
by Russell Corey on 06/02/2010First off I just can’t get past the Weekend at Bernie, Dead Guy Walk comedy bits. Not sure if you were going for an absurdist Sean of the Dead type of comedy, but I just didn’t buy into it that well. Might work for others, but it just isn’t for me. That said, it read fairly well and was not too bad a read. A little uncreative in the writing with the gold digger wife and cheating... First off I just can’t get past the Weekend at Bernie, Dead Guy Walk comedy bits. Not sure if you were going for an absurdist Sean of the Dead type of comedy, but I just didn’t buy into it that well. Might work for others, but it just isn’t for me.
That said, it read fairly well and was not too bad a read. A little uncreative in the writing with the gold digger wife and cheating business partner. Sort of been done before. Then again, what hasn’t been done before.
I do like that it opened with Arthur’s funeral and he had no friends there or anyone else that cared for him. And it ended with his second funeral and he had friends and loved ones there this time. So that was good and worked well.
I liked Arthur’s passion to complete his goals. Passion is always great in scripts. Characters that really want something always drive scripts and create interest.
It is an odd story that might work for some, so I’ll give you points for that. I’ve read some pretty crazy scripts on Trigger Street, but yours wasn’t crazy. It made perfect sense for what it was and was easy to follow.
It had a good flow and writing style. If you didn’t have that skill as a writer, I might have stopped reading. But because it had a light style and moved quickly I stuck with it. Even if this script doesn’t work out, that’s is a good skill to have for your next script. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 06/02/2010An interesting idea. It would normally leave me with questions like how was this man able to come back from the dead. Like Eric Draven from the movie The Crow came back with the aid of a crow to avenge his murder. But having read the first ten pages this was the genre that didn't need them questions asked like the movie Idle hands...it's a comedy. To me, with scripts like this,... An interesting idea. It would normally leave me with questions like how was this man able to come back from the dead. Like Eric Draven from the movie The Crow came back with the aid of a crow to avenge his murder. But having read the first ten pages this was the genre that didn't need them questions asked like the movie Idle hands...it's a comedy. To me, with scripts like this, the most important factors are the characters and their dialogue to which you did a good job. I really liked Father Patrick's character and the banter between the characters. I especially like the line about Mr Potato head.
Paddy - I personally pictured him being younger than he was, maybe around late thirties.
Father Patrick - He was almost perfect. I would have like to hear him swear a little more and maybe be more of the "man in charge"
Sean - I wouldn't change a thing. I could picture him being played by a certain British actor.
I do think though that there should have been a few more character establishing scenes with Seymour as he felt a little 2D.
I also think the relationship between Paddy and Arthur should have strengthened a little before Arthur was taken away by the train. read
by jayb on 06/02/2010An interesting concept as described in the logline and a great title are what induced me to read IT’S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY. In the first twenty pages you set-up the story with a well-defined conflict and goal, introduce most of the principal characters, including a likable protagonist, and provide a good number of sight gags and humorous situations. So far, I’m with you... An interesting concept as described in the logline and a great title are what induced me to read IT’S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY. In the first twenty pages you set-up the story with a well-defined conflict and goal, introduce most of the principal characters, including a likable protagonist, and provide a good number of sight gags and humorous situations. So far, I’m with you. The only substantial problem so far is with the dialogue, which is often on the nose or expository (several instances of this are cited in my notes below).
With the shift into Act II the story deepens, as we learn that there are betrayal and missing heir elements to the plot. These subplots add emotional layering to a story that otherwise risks devolving into slapstick. The problem is, they shift the emotional pull of story away from Paddy and onto Arthur. Paddy has the immediate goal of getting Arthur off his back (literally). But as the story develops, the real goal – the one the audience and principal characters really care about – is to expose Arthur’s murderer and restore his estate to his rightful heir. The logline points to Arthur as the protagonist of the story. But the first act seems to set up Paddy as the reluctant hero, with Arthur in the role of antagonist. Arthur becomes more sympathetic as we learn about the circumstances behind his death. But he never quite takes center stage. The helper characters (Sean and Father Patrick) and the romance character (Maria) support Paddy in the role of protagonist, while the antagonist (Seymour) is more clearly aligned against Arthur. This results in an odd disconnect where a secondary character has a greater emotional investment in the outcome of the plot than the apparent protagonist. He is also the one who is transformed by the experience, arcing from ignorance to knowledge about the people closest to him while he was alive.
There are a two ways I can think of to resolve this disconnect. One is to introduce the betrayal and heir subplots early in the first act to establish Arthur as the legitimate protagonist. This approach has the big advantage of giving context and sense to Arthur’s resurrection. We start off believing that Arthur rises from the grave because he is buried in the wrong cemetery. It’s a catchy premise, but not all that substantial from an emotional point of view. What really brings Arthur back is his unsettled business on Earth. Knowing this from the start would eliminate some of the randomness from Arthur’s resurrection. It gives it meaning and makes Arthur more sympathetic and easier to identify with as the protagonist.
The other approach is to make Paddy and Arthur dual protagonists. This is much harder to pull off but will result in a richer story. To make it work, you need to figure out what links these two characters, consider your theme and build more prominent arcs for both men into the story. To get there, start with their relationships to their wives and explore the role of love and betrayal in their lives. Most important, will be the relationship between the two of them… Do they betray one another, only to realize they are inextricably linked? Think of how they are changed by the experience. What do they learn from one another? How does that help them in the end to defeat Seymour and allow Arthur to rest in peace. Not so easy to pull off, but if you can make it work, a really wonderful story.
Whatever you decide to do with the protagonist(s), your antagonist Seymour also needs work. Throughout the screenplay he does not behave like a man capable of amassing a fortune with his former partner Arthur. Instead, he and his butler Jerome come across as bumbling trigger happy fools. It is always a good idea to make your villain smarter, stronger, more capable than your protagonist. If you do the dual protagonist thing, you want a situation where Arthur and Paddy separately could not defeat Seymour, because he is just too shrewd, outwitting them at every turn… Only by joining forces can they defeat this foe.
By the way, if you do decide to go the dual protagonist route, it’s important to find an emotional hook for Paddy. Is there some way to make their stories (and their goals) intersect? Not sure what that is, but without that, it will be difficult to make this Paddy’s story in any substantial way.
p. 1 – Why not use the graveside scene as an opportunity for the priest to recite scripture that reinforces the theme of the screenplay or make a statement about the protagonist’s need, want, arc, whatever?
p. 11 – “Paddy staggers to his feet. He spins around the room wildly. Arthur’s feet flies out, sweeping dishes from the dining room table onto the floor.” – It’s not clear who’s spinning… reads like Paddy, but I think it’s Arthur. Also, you’ve got the tense wrong on flies.
p. 19-20 – A bit awkward here. How does Father Patrick deduce that Paddy is Arthur’s lifeline. That’s quite a stretch, based on the information available. Is there a way to show this graphically? For instance, something happens to imperil Paddy’s life and Arthur panics and rushes to save him.
p. 29 – People who live in mansions and fly on private jets do not read bank statements by the pool. They have teams of accountants to do that for them. I suggest you find another way to introduce this plop development.
p. 33 – Sean doesn’t seem bright enough to have a hunch. So what’s up with the cigar sample? Just wondering.
p. 34 – The car wash scene doesn’t work for me. You’re hitting an absurd note here that is out of tune with the rest of the screenplay. The scene at police HQ is just strange and seemingly insignificant.
p. 43 – “Next time, say Sir” - This is very on the nose. The humor is off. Most transvestites would be happy to be mistaken for a hot babe. Funnier to have him respond positively to the compliment.
p. 47 – Why would they assume he is still alive? The news report said he was dead. You’ve opened the door to a major plot hole. Back in Ireland when they went in the church, Arthur dropped off of Paddy’s body, demonstrating that he could “survive” without being attached to Arthur or his clothing.
p. 48 – Why does Paddy assume that Arthur needs to make something right concerning the girl? Did Arthur give any hints of this? Throughout the screenplay there is an annoying tendency to have characters figure things like this out based on wild suppositions that don’t logically follow from the evidence at hand.
p. 50 – It seems improbable that they would go off in search of the girl based on this scant bit of evidence. How is this decision tied to Paddy’s character? What’s in it for him… I don’t see anything in his character that would compel him to take this action.
p. 52 – Paddy’s jacket is in the bag. So Arthur doesn’t need an article of his clothing to “survive”. I don’t understand the “rules” of this world. Arthur clawed his way out of the casket without being in contact with Paddy, so it seems like the whole contact thing is unnecessary. But then you don’t have a story without it.
p. 55 – Why does Arthur still cling to Paddy? Surely, they would have figured out it’s a lot more convenient to give him Paddy’s jacket to hang on to. But none of this makes sense to me anyway.
p. 55 – They go to a lot of trouble to save a man that has caused them so much difficulty.
p. 59 – The set-up on the cigar was very on the nose and clearly leading to some “revelation” later on. Why would Sean have the cigar analyzed if the authorities missed it when the death was first reported? And why would they leave his wallet in the house? Are the police in Ireland really that inept?
p. 62 – Funny, imaginative scene reassembling Arthur. Definitely a trailer moment.
p. 65 – “Every time he does a good deed...” – How do they figure this stuff out? These clumsy explanations crammed into dialogue are total exposition. You need to show this stuff for the audience to figure it out for itself, not to be told by characters. It would help to lay out all the evidence so the reader will think “of course” once the explanation is given.
p. 69 – Aren’t there lawyers and executors to figure out these little details in the will? It’s improbable that Seymour wouldn’t know about major provisions like this.
p. 75 – “We need to find this Maria.” – This is confusing because you’ve just introduced a character who is identified by that name. Why not leave the lady grave digger nameless to save the twist for the moment of revelation?
p. 76 – Crystal’s murder comes out of nowhere. Maybe I missed something. But I can’t see what’s to be gained from killing her.
p. 78 – Ellen seems to pop up out of nowhere to serve the momentary needs of the plot. She does not feel like a real character, integrated into the story.
p. 82 – Why is Seymour going around shooting and killing people? Surely, he can’t hope to inherit Author’s fortune under these circumstances. His behavior is inexplicable. Is he an idiot? read
- Writer: Glenn J. Devlin
- Uploaded by: dawriter67
- Length: 92 pages
- Genre: comedy
- New revision. Previous draft (rv 3) was 105 pages. This one (rv 4) was slashed to 92 pages based on good feedback I got here.
- Bio: Profoundly deaf since birth, I have not allowed my deafness to stand in the way of writing screenplays. I had my hearing surgically restored with Couchlear Implants and watching movies is simply a phenomenal experience. And Coldplay rocks! I graduated from Galladuet University with degrees in English and Computer Information Systems. While working as a web developer, I maintain my writing and family life with my wife and three kids. Two of my scripts that I helped write have been produced by ASL Films. Collaborating with director Mark Wood, who is also deaf, the movies have been shot in ASL (American Sign Language) with subtitles for the hearing. One of my scripts "The Alien Diaries" was optioned by Tricor but the project was halted on the desk of the director of development. I'm still searching to land that elusive agent or manager. Happy writing!
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