The Red Poppies
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Rating: 4.4/5 (9 votes cast)

The Red Poppies

A US Army Veteran who served during Peacetime is tasked by the ghost of a Polish soldier to retell the story of the WWII Battle of Monte Cassino, forcing him to confront questions about the value of his own service.

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  1. December 3, 2016, 2:38 pm
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    I really enjoyed this script, though I felt it was a little uneven in certain parts.

    I hate reviewing other peoples work, so please take my critique with a grain of salt.

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  2. ltherapy says
    March 4, 2015, 3:44 pm
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    I really enjoyed this screenplay.

    The author made suspending disbelief with regards to the ghost appearance,etc. seamless. The idea blended well because the story kept to the true, historical content of the Monte Cassino battle, the 911 boat rescue and most other facts presented. But the Phillies in the World Series around 2013???

    I guess maybe that component needs updated to maintain authenticity. You could make Michael a huge baseball fan in general. Therefore missing the World Series to work on his story would still show how significantly his values & his character developed without the audience being distracted by thinking, “Hey wait! The Phillies didn’t go to the World Series that year.”

    Michael strolling through Philadelphia towards the end of the screenplay, slowed down the flow of the story too much, in my opinion. I appreciate the history, michael’s need for his father’s approval and revealing the people of the city who made huge contributions to society, but it seemed to draw out the end of the screenplay too long after the climax. It might just be my personal taste, but I like movies to end while my heart is still racing from that height of the story.

    I also was getting a bit tired of the catchphrase about doing his part / doing enough so when the screenplay ended on that note, it seemed cliche’. I did really love that Michael returned to the cemetery for a fitting closure to the screenplay, but found the dialogue between he & the ghost a bit redundant regarding that catchphrase. I was saying under my breath, “Get over it already!”

    But don’t get me wrong, I like the screenplay ending there at the cemetery. I agree with roknsrf’s wife. It would be a much more impactful end scene if Michael’s gaze would be drawn over the red poppies.

    I too, would buy a ticket to this movie. Overall, job well done!

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  3. roknsrf says
    March 3, 2015, 4:36 pm
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    This was so much more than just another script for me, in a way it was my story. My middle name, and the name everyone refers to me as, is Michael. I’m a middle aged man who served in the military for 8 years, and although I have a Good Conduct Metal and an Honorable discharge, I cannot enter a VFW hall unless I am the guest of someone who is a member. I left my first ship( the USS Coral Sea CV-43) just two weeks before my shipmates earned their right to VFW membership off the coast of Libya, and then within a year of my discharge from my last duty station in Adak Island, AK the first gulf war started. My grandfather was a Marine who fought at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, my father served in Vietnam, and both rest in a place of honor among the graves of those who fought for our country. My son served as a Captain in the Air Force, and although he did not see action, his wife is an Air Force Plane Commander with several hundred combat sorties under her belt. So, at least when she gets out my son and I can go to the VFW as her guests. Nonetheless, the question of whether we did our part, whether we did enough, is something that my son and I live with every day. I read this story to my wife and had to pause many times so as to not start blubbering, and I can tell you it wasn’t easy. All the more was my surprise when both the dates of birth and death of Michael’s father appeared near the end of the story because they were both within days of my own Grandmother’s birth and death. In my Navy days, I walked many of the same sights in Italy as those Michael walked, and I felt as though I were there once again. I doubt a closer story to my heart could have been told, and I could not have identified with the characters any deeper. But, before it begins to sound like I’m in love and want to start taking long hot showers together, I better offer a few critiques. “Michael and Jackson” where the phrase appears, of course, sounds too much like Michael Jackson. You might think about a change or switching the order in which they appear as you did in other action segments. The story is too short, 85 minutes will never do. As others have suggested, expanding the Pawal character is definitely the answer to this problem. I noticed very few errors, but there were 3 or 4 (by FAR the lowest of the 30 plus scripts I’ve read from this contest, so this is really a compliment). Additionally, I strongly disagree with any of the other reviewers who made negative comments about the dialogue. I found it to be nearly perfect, especially the interactive banter between Jackson and Michael. It was SPOT ON. Overall, a very engaging story worthy of 5 stars, and by far my favorite screenplay here so far.

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    • roknsrf says
      March 3, 2015, 4:40 pm

      Oh, and one more thing. my wife suggested that the final seen should end having Michael looking out over the fields of Red Poppies. Good luck and I hope you get this one made, we’ll by a ticket for sure.

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  4. January 22, 2014, 4:06 pm
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    I enjoyed the overall story a lot. However, there seemed to be scenes that served no purpose in the story, and the dialog was very stilted.

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    roseclewis says
    October 30, 2013, 2:11 pm
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    Loved the characters, story line and setting.

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    Timo2020 says
    October 20, 2013, 4:54 pm
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    Very moving. Very well written.

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    nichie04 says
    September 10, 2013, 12:57 am
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    The story was written well but didn’t really keep me interested throughout.

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    Blikki1 says
    August 31, 2013, 6:53 pm
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    I thoroughly enjoyed this screenplay, but I have a hard time seeing it hold an audience’s interest on a screen as the dialogue is currently written. I do see it easily being transformed into a fantastic book. Pawel’s character could have been given a little more info/background… That said, great job!

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    rattycat says
    August 15, 2013, 6:05 pm
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    I only have four words for this screenplay. Excellent in every way.

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