Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket. 1996. Wes Anderson

reveal it to us later.

show, don’t explain.

give us clues (he straightens the army men), but only reveal the full situation later (“I bought those earrings for her… maybe we should have robbed your house. Did you ever think of that? No, you probably didn’t”)


You’ve really gotten in the bad habit of asking a huge amount of questions

she thinks you’re a failure? What has she ever done with her life that’s so great?

does the fact that I’m trying to do it doing it for you?

the shooting range scene: funny!!! that’s wes’ and Owen’s humor

He’s out. He’s out. you’re out too. and I don’t think I’m in either.

funny little vingettes. but they still manage to do what is needed for the story: exposition, character development.

maybe that’s exactly what they do. or mainly what they do. maybe the funny is extra.

we’re heading back to Bob’s, we’re hitting the road, and going on the lam.

because we’re fugitives… and because he fired me (camera, med-quick close push)

CHARACTER: guy who want to be a leader. But is not that great of a leader. he tries to assert himself on decisions that don’t matter (ie: we’re gonna hotwire a car, and I’m NOT backing down from that.)

Dignan gets truck driver to honk horn.

“that’s not the greatest attitude in the world to have. I don’t think we get anywhere by complaining.

I’m gonna get the best room in the house, guys. Crime does pay.

after Luke sees the girl: close push on Luke (we know he’s had a revelation)

the way he acts: charmingly awkward–when she comes to room tells us he likes her.

he follows her on her rounds… funny, clever.

in barbershop: Bob and Dignan talk, privately, their faces very close. between them, in background, slightly oofocus is man in chair (if he were related to the scene, it would make even more sense.)

“What about hiding our identities.” He shouts.

Luke is innocent. He’s nice. He doesn’t try anything. He is courteous. boy-like.

Luke holds tiny picture up next to girl’s head. FUNNY

Bob and Dignan come back to hotel room. maid and group are there. Dignan quickly comes in and is friendly (in spite of initially seeming mad)

Bob’s gone! He stole his car! (funny)

He has no character.

it makes me furious to think about the look on his fat face.

(Dignan’s rant is funny because we don’t believe that he would do anything cruel, violent) His rant ends with Anthony’s confession: He told me about it.

Dignan’s plans are not working out. The plan derails. then the derail derails.

the argument with the translator: clever, funny, touching

**the music as Anthony and Dignan race out of town. cut to Inez, music still playing. she pushes off on the radio, the music stops.

whoa. Dignan does lash out.

VO: Grace has gone to the the clinic. The letter (VO) touches on all the parts: Dignan, Inez (learn a foreign language),

Here are just a few of the ingredients: explosives, polevaulting, … (FUNNY)

the funny here is subtle funny.

then… they do meet Mr. Henry. it appears the plan is re-railed.

the way the Bob’s older brother laughs at Dignan.

there are lots of crossing-the-line violations

Bob’s brother finally gets his comeupance… from Mr. Henry. character-development.

the Wilson brothers create unique, very likeable characters.

Anthony, come back. He’s just a mixed up kid.

Yes! She recognizes my voice.

Owen plays a different character than what he’s been type-cast in.

C’mon let’s go. Let’s keep the intensity up, Kumar.

Kumar: Who’s that man? (when Applejack parts from them)

the plan derails. again and again.

“they’ll never catch me, man. because I’m innocent.

Caan robs Bob’s house while they are trying to pull off the heist!!!

I don’t like the music video approach. the music over the footchase was too loud and inappropriate.

I can’t believe that. I almost robbed that house myself.

Bob wants his brother to like him.

Bob: “he looked at me and said, Just because you’re a f— up doesn’t mean you’re not my brother. (a line) “He doesn’t usually open up like that.”

Owen at end: We did it though, didn’t we.

a close push on Anthony and Bob (even though Dignan is walking away)???

WATCH THE CREDITS: many of their character names come from names of real people they know (not full names, but first OR last)

special thanks:

Juel bestrop

paula herold

john roman

bert guthrie

barry braverman

klbc durant, oklahoma

28 scenes


24: whole gang assembled. Bob’s brother’s comeupance

20: letter to grace

11: meets Inez

7: book store robbery

3: meets with Grace

there are a couple surprises, ie: Mr Henry robs the house, that make sense once you see them, but you don’t see them coming because there is so much going on in the film… WITH THE CHARACTERS. something going on, character development, in each scene. character development is what happens when you tell a compelling (based on real events) story.


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