We vowed not to feel bad about drinking for 72 hours straight over the holiday, but seeing today how constructively Panopticist's Andrew Hearst spent his weekend, it's hard not to flog ourselves. After all, shouldn't our own curiosity have gotten the better of us years ago when we first heard those rumors about the screenplay for Martin Scorsese's most underrated '80s film, After Hours, being plagiarized from NPR host Joe Frank's 1982 monologue Lies? At any rate, Hearst now has audio that all but closes the book on this semi-scandal:
[Minion's Wikipedia page] mentions that the film included some "minor details" borrowed from Joe Frank, and that Frank successfully sued over it. But the theft was far from minor. Many of the details in the film's first half hour are similar, if not copied outright: the chance meeting of a man and a kooky but sexy woman; the woman's offer to set the man up with some of her artist roommate's plaster of paris bagel-and-cream-cheese paperweights; the man's late-night phone call to the woman; his cab ride to meet her, at the end of which his only cash flies out the window; her wearing of a loosely tied bathrobe when she answers the door; her tale of having been raped by man who came down the fire escape; and so forth.
We're also directed to a 2000 profile of Frank pointing out that he was "paid handsomely by producers of a Hollywood film (which he won't name) that plagiarized his dialogue." We've often wondered if this had anything to do with Scorsese's tendency toward straight book adaptations, remakes and biopics since then; Hearst will surely have an answer for that one by Independence Day.