Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« July 2024 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31


De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags


The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Conversation, The
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dick Vorisek
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Edward R. Pressman
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Genius of Love
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jack Fisk
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sean Penn
Sensuous Woman, The
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives  «
Stephen H Burum
Sweet Vengeance
Taxi Driver
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Venice Beach
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Sunday, November 18, 2018
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/stepfordfirstedition.jpgBrian De Palma has cited the dream sequence in Roman Polanski's adaptation of Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby as the key inspiration for the exposition sequence in Sisters. One can imagine De Palma's enthusiasm when, soon after, a producer (Edgar J. Sherick) let him read the screenplay for another Levin adaptation, The Stepford Wives, with hopes of De Palma directing. The screenplay was written by William Goldman, who, sadly, passed away last week at 87. For whatever reason, Goldman, according to Sherick, did not want De Palma to direct the picture, and threatened to leave the project if De Palma was hired. Somehow the film, released in 1975, ended up starring Katharine Ross, who had played the "Terrific-Looking Girl" in De Palma's first Hollywood foray, Get To Know Your Rabbit. British director Bryan Forbes directed the movie as we know it today, but it turns out that Forbes changed Goldman's "much more horrific" ending. Read the whole story below in this transcript from the film's 2001 DVD special feature "The Stepford Life"...
Peter Masterson (who played Walter) -- A friend of mine at the time, and still is, William Goldman, was writing the screenplay. And I had been aware of the work he'd been doing on it, because he was interviewing Betty Friedan and all the feminists of the time. That was a hotbed of feminism was the '70s, and the early '70s. So Bill set out to make this a feminist diatribe, basically. That was his goal.

Bryan Forbes: There was a draft, yes, by William Goldman, which I thought needed work on it, and so did Ed Sherick. He was, um, charming. He became, perhaps, progressively less charming. I don't think he likes directors, and he particularly doesn't like English directors, I don't think.

Edgar J. Sherick: Before Bryan Forbes came on... what the hell was the guy's name... Brian De Palma. I gave-- I liked Brian De Palma, because he'd done a picture called Sisters-- and I gave him the script to read it. He said to me, "This is my ticket to the big time." He loved it. So I said to Goldman, "I'd like to hire Brian De Palma." He said to me, "If you hire Brian De Palma, I don't want anything ever to do with the picture again!"

Bryan Forbes: I mean, it was a very good script, a very good draft that he'd done. But I felt it was capable of improvement...

Edgar J. Sherick: Bryan Forbes did some work on the script, much to Goldman's chagrin.

Peter Masterson: Bill and I were playing tennis one day, and he came and he said, "I just delivered the rewrite to Forbes." That afternoon, I had a meeting with Bryan, about something else, and he didn't know anything about it. He said, "Well, Goldman never turned in the script." I thought, wait a minute, Bill just told me he'd just turned in the script. What's going on here? And he says, "I'm gonna have to rewrite it myself."

Bryan Forbes: And finally I did a final shooting script myself. So there are lots of sacred and profane bits of me in that film, which are not Goldman.

Peter Masterson: And he was angry. he was a celebrated screenwriter, Academy Award winner as a screenwriter, and he didn't want somebody rewriting his material.

Bryan Forbes: He wrote a much more horrific ending, which I thought ran counter to the rest of the movie. So the ending was very greatly altered by me.

Edgar J. Sherick: He wanted to do something with the opening, which he did, and we actually shot Bryan Forbes' opening.

Bryan Forbes: I said when they leave the New York apartment, just before the credits start, the little girl, the daughter, says, "Daddy, I've just seen a man carrying a naked lady." And the father says, "Yes, that's why we're moving to Stepford." In retrospect, with hindsight, that has double meaning.

Peter Masterson: I remember one time, a little confrontation Bryan and I had on the set. It was a line I was supposed to say, "I was talking to some of the chaps on the train this morning." I said, "You know, I wouldn't say 'chaps'. Americans don't say that. That's an English thing." He said, "Well, what's wrong with saying it?" And I said, "Well, you wanna change it to the Twickenham Wives, it'd be all right.

Bryan Forbes: Well, we had a great deal of trouble casting the movie for various reasons. I suppose I must have interviewed 25 leading ladies, and for one reason or another, a lot of them fell by the wayside.

Peter Masterson: Bill Goldman's ideal model for it was Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper.

Bryan Forbes: I cast Diane Keaton. Had a great day with her, went over the script with her, how we'd do it, how we'd play it, etc. And she went off at 5 o'clock from my office, happy as a lark, as far as I was concerned. And the following morning about half past nine, she rang me and said, "I'm sorry, I'm not doing the movie." And I said, "Gosh, what happened between 5:30 and 9 o'clock this morning?" She said, "Well, I gave the script to my analyst, and he got very bad vibes from it, so I can't do it." I then tried to get Jean Seberg, but sadly she was close to doing what she did, because she committed suicide. And then another one was not allowed to do it for political reasons, because the money was coming from a big corporate company. And finally, and happily, I ended up with Katharine Ross.

[LATER in the doc...]

Bryan Forbes: William Goldman-- he wrote nasty things, and said that the lack of success of the film in America was entirely due to my casting Nanette [Newman, Forbes' wife], which I thought not only was a total exaggeration, because Nanette wasn't playing the lead anyway, and grossly rude, I thought... offensive.

Peter Masterson: And it also led to costuming the picture in a different way. The intent was that all the women in Stepford were Playboy bunnies. And because Nanette wouldn't have looked good in a Playboy bunny outfit or something like that, they wanted long dresses, which kind of toned down the whole thing.

Paula Prentiss: And I thought when he dressed us in the long dresses at the end, in the shopping market, that was great. Because it was kind of like Victorian dressing, which was the point-- you know, the point is women are still living in the Victorian Age, in a way.

Bryan Forbes: I don't mind what people say about me, but I'm like a tiger if anybody attacks my wife.

Peter Masterson: Yes, he was angry, and I don't think they spoke again. I could be wrong about that, but that's my guess.

[LATER in the doc...]

Peter Masterson: Bryan Forbes didn't know that I knew Bill Goldman. When we would shoot a scene, I would call Bill and say, "This is the scene. I can't remember what your original intent was." And he would tell me, "Well, you missed... if you could talk him into getting this back into the scene, try to do that. Bryan didn't know we were talking, and I couldn't tell him to put back stuff that was exactly like Bill had it, because he would suspect something, I think.


De Palma had a more recent brush with a William Goldman screenplay in 2012, when Jason Statham wanted De Palma to direct him in a new version of Goldman's Heat. A 1986 film adaptation of Goldman's novel, for which he also wrote the screenplay, starred Burt Reynolds. The troubled production went through six directors and many rewrites. It was said that the 2012 version, which again had Goldman attached as screenwriter, went back to Goldman's original version of the screenplay. A press release in 2012 described the film this way:

This tightly-wound, fun action-thriller, tells the story of a tough recovering gambling addict (Statham) who makes his living providing protection in the rough edges of the gambling world. Statham’s character refuses to resort to gunplay, strictly using hand and edged weapon combat. When a dear friend is brutally beaten by a high-rolling mobster, he helps her get her revenge and he ends up in more trouble than he ever imagined.

That year, De Palma made Passion with the help of screenwriter Natalie Carter, who had co-written the screenplay of the film Passion was based on, Alain Corneau's Love Crime. At some point, De Palma, feeling that the Las Vegas of today is nothing like it was when Goldman first came up with his story, had decided he wanted to set Heat in Nice, France, and was working on a revision of Goldman's screenplay with Carter. But it was not to be-- by the end of 2012, producers had insisted on setting the film in Las Vegas, and hired Simon West to direct.

Posted by Geoff at 11:47 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2018 11:53 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older