This Is Your Script . . . This Is Your Script Unplugged
May 6, 2012 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Looking for more examples of a plot. Well, more of a structure really. The one from Noises Off, where you are shown how the story should go, then they go through it again, only this time everything goes wrong. Bonus points if they go through it a third time, and it absolutely explodes.

An episode of Are You Being Served fits nicely (The Night Club). The one where they are filming a commercial for a club in the store. They go over how it should look, have an exasperating time filming it, then get horrified by the final result. There is an episode of Fraiser (Ham Radio) where they rehearse a murder mystery radio play that works the same way. Any more, Hivemind?

Note: Not looking for heist movies where they show the plan, then execution. I'm looking for a specific version of play-within-a-play.
posted by Garm to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Would you consider the Vitameatavegemin episode of I Love Lucy to fit your parameters?
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:29 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Absolutely!
posted by Garm at 11:39 AM on May 6, 2012

Not a tv or movie, but the "Spicy meatball" Alca Seltzer commercial may be another example of what you are looking for. Commmercial was from the 60s or 70s.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 11:53 AM on May 6, 2012

The episode Documentary Filmmaking: Redux of Community? In which the simple task of updating the existing commercial from the 80s turns into an existential nightmare.
posted by bleep at 12:00 PM on May 6, 2012

It's a bit like a heist movie, insomuch as it revolves around the planning of a crime, and then its execution, but the film Unfaithfully Yours is precisely this. Actually I should say that they are precisely this, because there is a 1948 version with Rex Harrison and a 1984 version with Dudley Moore. Rex's movie is better, but Dudley is so charming in his and Dudley's costars Nastasia Kinski, so it's hard to reccomend one over the other.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:20 PM on May 6, 2012

Yeah, play within a play. Not like thst at all. Never mind.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:21 PM on May 6, 2012

It's not an exact match, but I think you might really like State and Main, even if just for the "Sister, I've just come from a fire" payoff at the end.

Also, maybe Kiss Me, Kate?
posted by argonauta at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2012

Not sure if this is quite what you're looking for, but the "Our Fifteen Minutes" episode of Mad About You where they attempt to get fifteen minutes of candid footage for a documentary is pretty remarkable, and is worth it just for the insanely good performance by Anne Ramsay (giving killer footage that there's no way he can use).
posted by Mchelly at 12:55 PM on May 6, 2012

It's been a while since I've seen it, but there's a fantastic scene that fits this description in Unfaithfully Yours (1984), where we see the plan of a perfectly executed murder during a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, then the flawed reality afterwards.
posted by BobsterLobster at 1:02 PM on May 6, 2012

Oops, it's already been posted. It is a great scene though!
posted by BobsterLobster at 1:03 PM on May 6, 2012

The movie Gambit starts out with the first 20-30 minutes of the show being how the plan is supposed to go. The rest of it shows how it actually comes off.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:52 PM on May 6, 2012

Oh, dammit. I don't read. I am an idiot. Never fucking mind.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:52 PM on May 6, 2012

Best answer: I believe The Real Inspector Hound, by Tom Stoppard, satisfies these criteria. And it is a really fun play to boot.
posted by willbaude at 3:08 PM on May 6, 2012

Run Lola Run is kind of like this, although it doesn't exactly have the play-within-a-play bit.

The movie Adaptation has shades of this, although the movie that you are watching is the play within the play (it's complicated).
posted by gauche at 3:10 PM on May 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

the Dick Van Dyke Show: the Curious thing about Women...possibly the funniest 1/2 hour of television I have ever seen.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:13 PM on May 6, 2012

Best answer: There's no "right" path in Community's Remedial Chaos Theory episode, but it does repeat and get worse. Much worse. (spoilers in the last link!)
posted by benbenson at 6:05 AM on May 7, 2012

Inspecting Carol is kind of like this, although they don't spend that much time showing how it's supposed to go, probably because it's expected that the audience is already familiar with A Christmas Carol.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:04 AM on May 7, 2012

The 1985 movie Clue is a highly entertaining film, and dare I say... brilliant? The closing segments are not progressively worse or wrong, but are more along the lines of alternative endings culminating in the correct one.
posted by sums at 9:59 AM on May 7, 2012

« Older Help. Cat pee is ruining my life.   |   I broke my hi-fi system and my hi-fi speakers. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.