More Break

2 08 2008

I feel like suddenly Break references surfaced from some hidden dimension, all at once. I know, I know, it’s most probably because the name had no meaning for me before, and I plain and simply overlooked it. And I have a master degree in overlooking things, I can tell you… 🙂

from Wikipedia

QUOTE: After his tour of duty in Vietnam ended in 1968, Stone wrote a screenplay called Break: a semi-autobiographical account detailing his experiences with his parents and his time in Vietnam. It featured several characters who were the seeds of those who would end up in Platoon. The script was set to music from The Doors; Stone sent the script to Jim Morrison in the hope he would play the lead (Morrison never responded). Though Break went ultimately unproduced, it was the spur for him to attend film school.

After penning several other produced screenplays in the early 1970s, Stone came to work with Robert Bolt on an unproduced screenplay, The Cover-up. Bolt’s rigorous approach rubbed off on Stone, and he was inspired to use the characters from his Break screenplay (who in turn were based upon people Stone knew in Vietnam) as the basis for a new screenplay titled The Platoon. Producer Martin Bregman attempted to elicit studio interest in the project, but Hollywood was still apathetic about Vietnam. However, the strength of Stone’s writing on The Platoon was enough to get him the job penning Midnight Express in 1978. (…)

After the release of The Deer Hunter (1978 ) and Apocalypse Now (1979 ), they then cited the perception that these films were considered the pinnacle of the Vietnam War film genre as reasons not to make The Platoon.

Stone instead attempted to break into mainstream direction via the easier-to-finance horror genre, but The Hand (1981) failed at the box office, and Stone began to think that The Platoon would never be made. Stone wrote Year of the Dragon (1985) for a lower-than-usual fee of $200,000, on the condition from producer Dino de Laurentiis that he would then produce The Platoon. De Laurentiis secured financing for the film, but struggled to find a distributor. Because de Laurentiis had already spent money sending Stone to the Philippines to scout for locations, he decided to keep control of the film’s script until he was repaid. Then Stone’s script for what would become Salvador (1986) was passed to John Daly of British production company Hemdale. Once again, this was a project that Stone had struggled to secure financing for, but Daly loved the script and was prepared to finance both Salvador and The Platoon off the back of it. Stone shot Salvador first, before turning his attention to what was by now called Platoon.

Stone: “Vietnam was really visceral, and I had come from a cerebral existence: study… working with a pen and paper, with ideas. I came back really visceral. And I think the camera is so much more… that’s your interpreter, as opposed to a pen.”
Oliver Stone’s return from active duty in Vietnam resulted in a “big change” in how he viewed life and the war. Unproduced screenplay
Break was the result, and it eventually provided the basis for Platoon.

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