An Inspector Calls Script

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There are many ways within the world of media to enhance a novel, script or virtually anything, and the producer of the film “An Inspector Calls” has used many of them within his version. One of the most effective inputs into the film version is sound, which obviously cannot be done in the script. The introduction of such sound/music brings with it a great variety of numerous effects like a dramatic effect or a solemn one and many more. Within my essay, I will cover as much as possible all the relevant points in relation to the script of “An Inspector Calls” and the film of “An Inspector Calls”.

The sort of questions that I will be asking myself are ‘Who is more successful between Priestley (The script writer) and the film producer? And is the film similar to my own image of the play? And amongst others, is the film as effective as creating a sense of drama and suspense? The way that I have approached these questions are by firstly reading the script and making sure I have a full understanding of the play in general.

Then thoroughly studying the film version, from the camera’s movements to the actors and this essay highlights the results that I found, by comparing the two.

Inspector Calls Essay

The film has a most definite advantage over the script, for visuals can make a dramatic situation even more dramatic, with simple use of the surroundings. A good example is the use of weather when you want a solemn image you have a dull sky or a thunderstorm, and when you want a happy jolly image you have a bright sky with the sun out, automatically telling you a lot about the atmosphere.

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In the two media’s that are being studied, the producer of the film tries to imitate the Priestley’s script as much as possible but altering it only slightly when necessary.

At the start of “An Inspector Calls” Eric is drunk, and as much as the script version describes the situation the reader will never fully receive the same image he is trying to portray. It becomes clear later on in the script, that Priestley wants the reader to realise that Eric’s mother, Mrs. Sybil Birling, turns a blind eye, unaware of her son’s drinking habit. Of course though, the reader can not catch on to this forming of the character’s personality at once, whereas the film does it speedily and with ease.

As Eric staggers across the room and slurs his every words the person watching the film realises he is drunk at once and as for figuring out Mrs. Birling’s personality and thoughts on the matter the camera slides smoothly towards the mum of two and zooms in for her reaction, which is nothing as she is unaware of Eric being an alcoholic or she does not want to be aware. The film’s props and sounds rapidly speed up the long-winded process of explaining the situation in text. The film makes good use of the available equipment and in general it’s ‘Mise en sci?

ne’ is brilliant. Another long winded process is the setting the scene, Priestley does this very well, describing all the need to know facts about the room where the whole of the play was acted out, excluding flashbacks, but it takes a great amount of time to read and is a little tedious, the film overcomes this by a simple browse of the room with a pan shot and an overview shot mainly focused on the dining room table. The table uses a symmetrical composition, giving a sense of organisation and calmness.

This symmetrical composition is used widely throughout the film, with an asymmetrical composition where the Inspector is rocking on his chair for the film’s climax. The camera shot of the table is a good element in the start of the film as it emphasises who is where, for instance it showed Sheila and Gerald seated next to each other and quite close, which explains their relationship together. The composition makes good use of the proxemics, where the characters are in relation to the other characters.

The character’s personalities are not that difficult to illustrate to the audience by the script, yet still takes some form of explanation, where the film allows the viewer to experience the personalities of the characters for themselves, from speech and expressions.

These expressions are very important too, as they determine how you interpret the film. When I read the text of “An Inspector Calls” and Mr. Birling was sharing his knowledge revealing he was expecting a knighthood as long as the family behaved themselves, the stage directions explained Mr. Birling to ‘laugh complacently’ but I was oblivious to the other members reactions as there were no stage direction for them, and my first impression on the situation was that he laughed alone and other than him the room was serious and were to be on their best behaviour.

The film showed the comment about being on the best behaviour to be a joke for all via spanning the camera to reveal the family and Gerald to be laughing or having an amused smile on their face. The first major bit of drama to occur was the arrival of the Inspector, which are a minor event in one media and a relatively major event in the other media.

The minor event was in the script with a simple stage direction indicating ‘Inspector appears’ but in the film the room goes silent for a second and the camera pans round to a space then four ‘gongs’ are sounded and an Inspector appears from nowhere, the sound is non diagetic. The problem with the film is that the Inspector has to be shown as a human figure, which releases some of the mystery that the script holds, because when he can not be seen you are left to ponder on his appearance and whether he was or was not a ghost but this is given away with Inspector Goole/Poole’s first appearance in the film.

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An Inspector Calls Script. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

An Inspector Calls Script
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