Plot points are linear links that make up the chain of traditional Aristotelian 3-act dramatic structure. This classic structure worked well in Hollywood for almost a century now. Although young movie makers are forcing the limits of this structure, plot points still rule the day as the tent poles that hold up of the circus of our dreams. Here are the plot points of Frenzy (1972), a Hitchcock classic, as I see them.
Starring: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster, Anna Massey, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Anthony Shaffer (Screenwriter), Arthur LaBern (Story)
ESTABLISHING SHOT: A grand bird’s eye view of London. Flying over River Thames towards the London Bridge.
INCITING INCIDENT: Another victim of necktie murders found swimming naked in River Thames. The public is mortified.
PLOT POINT 1: Robert Rusk, the fruit wholesaler, strangles his old friend Richard Ian Blaney’s ex-wife, Brenda Margaret Blaney.
MID POINT EVENT: Rusk kills Blaney’s girlfriend barmaid Babs Milligan.
PLOT POINT 2: Blaney is found guilty of killing both his ex-wife and his girlfriend Milligan, and is sent to jail.
3rd ACT RESOLUTION: Rusk is caught by Chief Inspector Oxford and Blaney right after he kills yet another girl in his apartment. A surprise and quick ending.
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