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Film Versus Play Essay

738 words - 3 pages

Both the film and the play version of “Doubt” are centered around the conflict between certainty and doubt. John PatricK Shanley wrote the play, wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. Knowing this removes any doubt as to whether or not the director is following the author’s vision. Shanley did, however, add in a handful of scenes and devoted extra screen time to William London.
The film, opens nearly the same as the play, with the exception of two added scenes in the opening to set the time and location, from there it follows the play with Father Flynn’s sermon on doubt. In the film version this scene allows the viewer to see how Sister Aloysius responds to Flynn’s sermon, she ...view middle of the document...

William’s final scene is when Flynn gives his going away address to the congregation, William gives the slightest of smiles. Could be mischievous, victorious or one of satisfaction, the viewer is given only the blink of an eye to notice and then left to decide the meaning.
These scenes combine to show William was repulsed by Father Flynn. However, no reason is given for this repulsion. Sister Aloysius assumes the repulsion is due to molestation, but that suspicion is unfounded. Her own past experience with catching a pedophiliac priest is the only reason her mind went there. Add to that her preconceived distaste for the man and emotional certainty of his wrong doing was almost guaranteed. All she needed was one person to share her suspicion and she got that by telling Sister James, in the play, or all the sisters, in the movie, to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. With Sister James on board, fleetingly as it was, there was nothing left that could change her mind.
At a few points, Sister Aloysius is shown around symbols of protecting children. Shanley makes a concerted effort to portray her crusade as a righteous one, and...

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