STORIES that have an Objective Story Domain of Physics:
A Doll’s House: Nora endeavors to maintain a happy marriage; Mrs. Linde comes to town looking for work (and Krogstad); Krogstad attempts to save his job and rehabilitate his nature; Torvald prepares to take on the position of bank manager; Dr. Rank readies himself for death.
All That Jazz: For the most part, all the objective characters are participating in the endeavor to put on the stage production of NY/LA and/or the film The Standup. Paul is composing music; Audrey is reading the script and trying out new dance steps; dancers are rehearsing; Jonathan and Stacy are involved in the film’s post-production; and so forth.
Blade Runner: Blade runners are in the business of tracking down escaped replicants, who in this story are engaged in tracking down their creator.
Body Heat: Mattie’s con job is a long term plan of various activities that include assuming a friend’s identity, seducing Ned Racine (an attorney with a disreputable past), knocking off her husband, killing the friend whose identity she “borrowed,” gaining exclusive possession of her husband’s fortune, faking her own death, and framing Ned for the entire event. Everyone else in the objective story is brought together by these activities and it is a problem within the activities that concerns them.
Bringing Up Baby: The problems in Bringing Up Baby revolve around a variety of activities including trying to obtain a million dollar donation for the museum, searching for the lost intercostal clavicle, hunting for a pair of leopards, tossing rocks at Mr. Peabody, etc.
Bull Durham: Baseball. While not inherently problematic, the problem in the story lies in the fact that everyone is absolutely obsessed with baseball (or more specifically, with not losing any games), to the detriment of personal growth. Everyone but Jimmy–who manages to change Millie–which in turn becomes an indicator that happiness is possible outside of baseball.
Candida: Morell and Marchbanks rival for Candida; Burgess endeavors to ingratiate himself back into the Morell household; Lexy attempts to emulate Morell by endeavoring to copy his mannerisms:
Proserpine: You never cut a poorer figure than when you try to imitate him.
Lexy: I try to follow his example, not to imitate him.
Proserpine: Yes, you do: you imitate him. Why do you tuck your umbrella under your left arm instead of carrying it in your hand like anyone else? Why do you walk with your chin stuck out before you, hurrying along with that eager look in your eyes? you! who never get up before half past nine in the morning. (Shaw, 1895, p. 497)
Casablanca: Casablanca is a seething hotbed of activity: Rick tries to peacefully run his nightclub; Renault chases petty crooks and beautiful women; refugees trade their valuables to buy exit visas; Laszlo and Ilsa look for safe passage to America; Strasser works to prevent Laszlo from leaving town; Ugarte thieves and schemes; Ferrari trades on the black market; etc.
El Mariachi: Moco and Azul wage their war, and in a case of mistaken identity, El Mariachi is inadvertently a part of it.
The Godfather: The problem which involves all of the objective characters has to do with the activities of the feuding New York families. The Objective Story involves the disruption of the power structure among these families, and the search to establish a new “Godfather” who can sort it all out.
I Love Lucy: Lucy endeavors to tell Ricky the news of her pregnancy; Ricky manages a nightclub; the band rehearses for the evening’s show; and so forth.
Lawrence of Arabia: The story takes place in the Middle East theater of World War I, involving the British endeavor to defeat the Turks and weaken the Germans. Lawrence must accomplish great feats of physical endurance, travel extensively, and engage in much fighting and bloodshed with the Arabs.
Rain Man: Charlie strives to sell his cars; get his father’s money; travel to Los Angeles with Raymond; save his business. Raymond rearranges his environment in an exact way to suit him; catalogs Charlie’s infractions against him in a notebook; devours television shows; counts, remembers and analyzes almost everything he sees. Mr. Mooney administers Sanford Babbitt’s will. Dr. Bruner works to get Raymond back. Susanna works to convince Charlie to value Raymond as family, and to make Raymond comfortable away from Walbrook. Lenny works to salvage the car deal.
Reservoir Dogs: The story in Reservoir Dogs revolves around a jewelry heist. When the robbery is bungled, the “colored men” endeavor to find out who the “rat” is.
Romeo and Juliet: Problems in the objective story are derived from activities and endeavors, principally to do with the ancient grudge between the Capulets and Montagues, and Friar Lawrence’s attempt to reconcile the two families. Gibbons explains:
Shakespeare makes the plot depend crucially on messages. He invents the episode in which Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio learn by accident from Capulet’s illiterate servant of the proposed ball. This scheme is repeated when the Nurse haphazardly encounters the young gallants, and Romeo lightheartedly identifies himself amidst the bawdy mockery of his friends. Later, the Nurse brings Juliet a happy reply (II,v). In the second, tragic, movement of the play, the Nurse brings Juliet the news of Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment . . . . Shakespeare stresses in both scenes the ease with which messages can go wrong; so Juliet at first thinks it is Romeo, not Tybalt, whom the Nurse saw bedaubed in gore-blood. . . . In the closing movement of the play Balthasar brings Romeo the false report of Juliet’s death (v.i); immediately afterwards, as Romeo leaves the stage by one door, bearing a phail of poison, Friar John enters by another to begin the next scene by telling Friar Laurence how he failed to get through with the message that Juliet is drugged, not dead. (41-42)
Rosemary’s Baby: The objective story takes place against the endeavor to bring Satan into the world in the form of a baby. The cult makes a deal with Guy to coerce his wife into bearing Satan’s child. Guy stakes his future career on this agreement. The entire cult participates in the rape. Minnie makes herb drinks and cakes; she checks in on Rosemary at all times. Guy rushes home to stop Hutch from interfering with the cult. Rosemary’s friends try to tell her what a pregnancy should be like, encouraging her to take action. Tension increases as Rosemary begins to discover the truth. She runs away, thinking Dr. Hill will help. The cult immediately forces her back, drugs her, and takes away her newborn. Rosemary takes the initiative to find the baby, and upon discovering that it is the Devil–she attempts to kill it. The baby cries out for his mother, thereby saving his own life.
All Good Things (Star Trek: The Next Generation): Picard and the crew are searching for a meaning to Picard’s time-shifting and its relation to the spatial anomaly in the Devron System.
Star Wars: Star Wars is about a war between the Empire and the Rebellion. There is not any set place where this needs to take place, but is an exploration of the feints, attacks, and battles that occur between the two forces.
The Sun Also Rises: The action is fragmented and jerky. All of the characters are constantly hopping from place to place in an aimless pattern–from bar to bar, from France to Spain, in taxis and trains, limousines and cars. No longer willing or able to stay in one place, they are transients seeking escape through frivolous diversions.
Unforgiven: William Munny endeavors to provide for his two children in the face of poverty and sickness; the whores initiate a reward as a means to exact revenge on the slashers; Kid Schofield sets out on an enterprise to prove himself a tough guy; WW Beauchamp ventures out to experience the Wild West firsthand; etc.
The Wild Bunch: The members of the Wild Bunch are concerned with robbing the railroad, trying to make one last big score; Harrigan, Thornton, and the bounty hunters track the Bunch down and set traps for them; Mapache wages war against Villa’s forces and tries to improve his arsenal.
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