John Milius Thinks Most of Today's Screenplays are Garbage

Posted on March 13, 2009

CNN has an interview with screenwriter John Milius, who wrote Jaws, Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry and many other famous films. Milius says most of today's screeplays that get made into movies are garbage.

Although he admires a few scripts from modern-day Hollywood -- such as P.T. Anderson's "Boogie Nights," "Hard Eight" and "There Will Be Blood" -- most Hollywood scripts that get made today are "garbage," Milius said, written by "broken writers" with no "shame."

"There's no shame in the world, and without shame, you cannot have honor. Our world is ruled by consensus now. There is no sense of honor."

Milius also talked about Actor Robert Duvall's famous line in Apocalypse Now: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning"
"I just wrote it -- it just came up," said Milius, describing the famous line uttered wistfully by Duvall's surfing Col. Bill Kilgore. "That's what happens. People love to think that all this stuff happens when you write a famous line -- that you really thought about it a lot."

Another famous line by Kilgore in the screenplay, "Charlie don't surf," is Milius' personal favorite. That line, he said was inspired by a published quote by Israel's Ariel Sharon during the 1967 Six-Day War.

A victorious Gen. Sharon went skin-diving after capturing enemy territory, Milius said, and declared, "We're eating their fish."

"That just really appealed to me," he laughed. "He was saying, 'We blew the s*** out of them, and now we're eating their fish.' Charlie don't surf."

The napalm line topped a poll of the best speeches in cinema history from 2004. You can read CNN's interview with John Mulius here.

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