From where do we draw wisdom?
First and foremost, Seraphic Secret relies on Torah, on the lessons of 3,000 years of Jewish history and on the common sense advice of my wife Karen.
And then there are the movies, a moral landscape of immeasurable power where searing images and razor-sharp dialogue deliver lessons in human character that, for better or worse, shape modern man’s consciousness.
I know it seems ludicrous if not downright blasphemous noting Torah and movies as primary influences but the mind of yours truly, a screenwriter and movie-lover, is a stage of raging intellectual conflicts.
Here are three slices of dialogue that elegantly and economically reveal secret corners of our hearts and minds.
“This picture is dedicated to all the beautiful women in the world who have shot their husbands full of holes out of pique.”
—Opening narration of Roxie Hart, 1942.
Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, with uncredited contributions by Ben Hecht.
Celia Johnson as Laura Jesson:
“I’ve fallen in love. I’m an ordinary woman. I didn’t think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.”
Screenplay by Noel Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan, David Lean, and Ronald Neame.
Humphrey Bogart as Dixon Steele:
“I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left. I lived a few weeks while you loved me.”
Screenplay by Andrew Solt, adaptation by Edmund H. North, story by Dorothy B. Hughes.