Scripting the saints
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This essay approaches Hollywood movies about saints by analyzing the problems involved in at-tempting to follow both the scripts provided by the subjects’ lives and the surprisingly varied and often equally demanding scripts required of Hollywood movies in general and saints’ lives in par-ticular. Focusing on Hollywood movies about St. Francis of Assisi and Joan of Arc, it considers the impact of three kinds of scripts: positive demands to be dramatically well-constructed, inspirational, entertaining, uplifting, visually and sonically appealing, helpfully explicit in its exposition, and historically accurate; negative demands to avoid offending followers of the saints, members of the Catholic Church, and anyone else who might reasonably be construed as members of the target audience and to avoid the errors of earlier saint movies; and what might be called irrelevant scripts, those that might seem necessary for Hollywood saints’ lives to follow but that are actually either optional or impossible to follow.
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