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Ill Wind

June 02, 1996

I'm sorry to see that The Times has as much interest in providing readers with intelligent film criticism as Hollywood does in making great films. Patt Morrison's article on the "parallels" between "Twister" and "His Girl Friday" (Film Clips, May 26) had all the insight of a high school book report.

"Twister" differs from its "predecessor" not simply because its dialogue is pathetic but also because of its appalling lack of intelligence, dramatic tension, dimensionalized characters, subtext and (most significantly) emotional resonance.

The Times could've published a brilliant article discussing why Hollywood will pay over a million dollars to a writer who should have more respect for his craft than to purloin a classic film plot while jettisoning its substance.

MATTHEW HUEMOR

Los Angeles

*

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur themselves "adapted" their original plot for "His Girl Friday" forebear "The Front Page" into their story for "Gunga Din" (1939), originally written for Howard Hawks. Here two professional British soldiers attempted to prevent the marriage of a buddy while dealing with some "restless" natives. For the westernized remake, "Sergeants 3" (1962), part of the Sinatra Rat Pack trilogy, screenwriter W.R. Burnett even used the original ending of "The Front Page."

RICK MITCHELL

Los Angeles

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