Dallas Fan Videos Scenes without dialogues: For or against them?

Toni

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I have just added a new video tribute on my usual thread that I´m reposting down there.

This time it´s a Top 12 (+1...) of best scenes without dialogues (except some "oh", or "um", maybe).

I´ve tried to be a bit more informative here, and added the name of the scene´s writer and the episode´s airdate too. Also I´ve made this compilation a bit more dynamic and easier to watch as well. Any comment will always be welcome. I thought it could be fun discussing this plot device here, and try to remember more scenes without dialogues that you may like...or not. That´s why the thread says "for or against them?"

Although the "Dallas" writers weren´t so keen on doing this kind of scenes as the "Knots Landing" ones, in the show´s heyday a scene without dialogue would imply:

a) there was an issue that was going to be dealt with seriously in the episode, and

b) Barbara Bel Geddes and, less often, Victoria Principal, Linda Gray and Susan Howard, would be showing off their acting chops.

So the first discussion point would be: was a soap opera like "Dallas" in need of this kind of scenes, or they belonged somewhere else (again, maybe "Knots Landing", or a less soapy "nighttime drama")? I myself have always loved them and found they were substantial to the show´s success. Ellie´s post-mastectomy "silent" scenes spoke tons not only for BBG´s Emmy-awarded talent, but also for how in-depth the depiction of the character was, at least in the first half of the show.

Quite understandably, when some of the "Knots" writers came aboard for the Dream Season, there were more and more scenes without dialogues (and monologues too, about which I´ll make another video), especially but not exclusively for women. Actually, I think that, if she hadn´t just been written out, even Lucy would have had that kind of scenes in that season.

Little things like Donna putting on her fur coat to meet and punch her rival Bonnie, or Mark kissing goodbye Pam before allegedly committing suicide, raised the level of the show´s writing from super-soap to big melodrama. I don´t think the writers of the other 2 3 big series (you know, the ones whose theme was composed by Bill Conti) had in mind they needed to bring some kind of subtext to their stories. Actually I honestly think that Jane Wyman and Joan Collins gave to their shows all the subtext they needed, though in the latter years that wasn´t enough for none of them.

So what do you think? You don´t care about them as long as the guy is shirtless? You only get excited when someone falls downstairs or crashes a car? You tuned in just to watch the Nolan Miller or Travilla fashion catwalk?

 
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Snarky's Ghost

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I think quiet moments -- literally quiet moments -- are important for a drama. Sometimes silence, especially with certain characters, can say more about how they feel or about the environment than tons of mono/dialogue.

Silence doesn't lie, and words often do.

 

Rove

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An interesting thread and I'm sure I'll add much to this discussion as it progresses but straight up when viewing the video something I immediately noticed. No.13 when we see the back of Bobby, mourning the death of April. The background music ruined the scene. It's just awful and instead of feeling Bobby's sadness the music makes me laugh. Or is that more to do with April's passing? Then No.12. as we lay witness to Cliff contemplating suicide. The background music here is pitch perfect for the scene. The music conveys both sadness and urgency.

Here is the killer. Given Cliff's suicide attempt is early in the history of Dallas I'm reminded how well scenes were constructed, including background music, as opposed to Dallas in it's later years when everything was...well....crap.

P.S. I'm for silent scenes in the right circumstances as they can provoke so much, without anything being said.
 
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Toni

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Snarky is that screen shot of Miss Ellie one of her many scenes walking the grounds of Southfork? I particularly liked them because I was always curious what was going through her mind.
@Rove, I´ll answer for him because I checked the episode in question: "Acceptance", from OR Season 4. I almost chose two other scenes from it with Miss Ellie: one when she finds Jock´s clothes in their closet (!) and she holds them close to her, and the other one when she visits Jock´s horse and talks to him. In the latter case she said a few words so I discarded the scene. Anyway, both had to do with Ellie´s acceptance of her husband´s death in South America. There were a lot of scenes like that interspersed in the episodes previous to that one too, talk about build-up!
 

Victoriafan3

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Oh gosh I’ve never seen that bobby grieving April scene. Oh @Toni thank you for giving me a huge laugh. That MUSIC! He sounds like he’s about to have sex with Sue Ellen and her slutty saxophone or he’s going to join Fallon and be abducted by aliens. Too funny.
 

Michael Torrance

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I don´t think the writers of the other 2 3 big series (you know, the ones whose theme was composed by Bill Conti) had in mind they needed to bring some kind of subtext to their stories.
Watch Al Corley or Linda Evans in the pilot, for example as Steven catches the bouquet. The slower pace and melancholy tone of the episode allowed Dynasty such moments.

As for the clip, #7 and #3 came across as touching to me.

I think quiet moments -- literally quiet moments -- are important for a drama. Sometimes silence, especially with certain characters, can say more about how they feel or about the environment than tons of mono/dialogue.

Silence doesn't lie, and words often do.
Yes, as long as the music is not too much of a demand on the scene, or--heaven forfend--songs, like the fad nowadays is.
 
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