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Stage vs. Screen

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  1. Introduction
  2. Zackery and Willie: Additions during a flashback
  3. Willie Jay leaving town
  4. Creating an entire story with one setting
  5. The scene directly following the attempted suicide
  6. Conclusion

Films are often adapted from plays, and at times they are nearly identical. At other times they have almost nothing to do with one another. In films you can do things that are not feasible and at times not possible on stage. This is not to suggest that the film Crimes of the Heart is in any way superior or inferior to the play, but simply, quite different. Although Beth Henley's play and Bruce Beresford's film, Crimes of the Heart, tell essentially the same story, Beresford's additions of certain characters, situations, and settings cause new emotions to be felt, and other emotions to be intensified.
Although they are mentioned within the play, Old Granddaddy, Zackery, and Willie Jay never appear on stage. Each of these characters has large effects on the events that take place and the other characters within the play. Beresford decided to add these three characters to make certain thought surface that did not arise within the play.

[...] Some locales in the film, such as the prison, the bus that Meg arrives on, the bus that Willie Jay leaves on, and the scene of Meg and Doc's night together are not even mentioned in the play. Others are mentioned and never shown. Meg and Doc's scene in particular is one that is enhanced due to scenery. Both the film and the play state that they are going to go ?look at the moon?. The moon shining in the night sky adds romance to the scene in a way that can only be seen and not described. [...]


[...] In the same way, this scene is not as well represented by the story that Babe tells Barnette. BABE. Well, after I shot him, I put the gun down on the piano Bench and then I went out into the kitchen and made up a pitcher of lemonade BARNETTE. Lemonade? BABE. Yes I was dying of thirst I guess that's gonna look kinda bad. We see truly how bad this is by actually watching it take place exactly as it took place. [...]

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