How to write a love scene (Part 2) …

Okay, I’m a sucker for a well written love scene.

This is one of my favorites.  It’s from the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.

A little backstory.  Mary (Donna Reed) has been in love with George (Jimmy Stewart) since they were children. But George is oblivious to her dreams.  He has dreams of his own — going on adventures, building great things, seeing the world.  As they grow up, Mary goes off to college and George is stuck in his small home town of Bedford Falls running the Building and Loan started by his father.  Four years later Mary returns to town, still in love with George.  George goes to see her, but his spirit is crushed.  He feels he’s never going to get out of Bedford Falls.  In the scene just before this one, Mary shares her feelings.  George can’t get beyond his fears that life is passing him by.  The two end up in a shouting match and George storms out (conveniently leaving his hat behind).

Now to the love scene.  There are four characters — a rejected Mary, a disillusioned George (who had to return to pick up his hat), Mary’s mother who doesn’t want the two of them together, and an old friend on the phone offering them a chance to get rich.

Watch the scene below.

It is an amazing job of writing (Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling), acting (Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Albertson, and Sara Edwards) and directing (Frank Capra).

They don’t even use the word “love” in this scene which makes it more powerful.  They’re talking about everything but love and yet LOVE is the main component of this scene.  One of my goals is to write love scenes as powerful as this one.

Want to have some fun?

See if you can write the scene.  Go ahead, give it a try.

Then watch the scene again.

How does your work compare with theirs?

Posted in Love Scenes, Scripts, Tools

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