A middle-aged Broadway actor murders his wife's secret lover on Christmas morning. Moments later, the guests start arriving for his annual party, wondering what happened to his best friend.
In a 1959 Broadway theater, we meet JULIAN and KURT who are both stage actors and best friends. After the final performance of a successful play run, Julian receives a telephone call from Kurt's foster brother LEONARD, who alleges to Julian that Kurt is having an affair with Julian's wife, Roberta. At this news, Julian goes home early and finds Kurt in the bedroom shower. Roberta tries to hide the evidence of her indiscretions, but seeing through the lies, Julian assaults and chokes Kurt with a curtain cord. Julian convinces Roberta to help him hide Kurt's body in the window seat -- moments before several guests arrive for an annual Christmas morning gift-exchange party. Julian’s elderly mother GERTRUDE and her new, significantly younger boyfriend RODNEY arrive, followed by Leonard. Alone in the kitchen, Roberta and Leonard exchange a kiss and discuss the situation. They believe they have successfully tricked Julian into murdering Kurt, leaving them free to pursue their relationship, while saving face. They simply need to find Kurt’s body, which Julian has since moved to an undisclosed location. However, complications arise for Roberta and Leonard's affair when Kurt arrives, ALIVE. He and Julian have faked the murder, fully aware of Roberta and Leonard’s infidelity and plot. Kurt confides to Julian that he has poisoned a bottle of wine, which he intends to give to Leonard as revenge for trying to have him murdered. When the other guests demand to try the expensive wine, the truth eventually comes out in a quarrel between Julian, Rodney, Leonard, and Kurt. However, Roberta has already drunk a glass and is found dead in the kitchen. A fight ensues, with Leonard attacking Julian. As Leonard is about to kill Julian, Roberta shoots Leonard, revealing that she had faked her death.
All Accolades & Coverage:
Contest: ScreenCraft Comedy Contest (2019) Coverage 9/10:
“A Bloody Affair” is a funny and thrilling romp with a fast pace, compelling characters, and intriguing mystery. The twists are clever, and the dynamic between the characters liven up the limited world. It’s hardy noticeable that most of the script takes place in one location, and suspense is alive throughout the entirety of the script. It’s also tonally interesting that the first act feels a lot darker and less comedic than the second two thirds of the script. This helps highlight the twist and serves to make the following scenes even funnier. This is a solid script that is structured great, paced perfectly, and is both tense and funny."
"Overall this is a strong script that already feels solid. The characters are all well-developed, compelling, and unique, and the story itself is new and unlike most. The writer's voice and sense of humor is clear throughout, and with some tweaks this script will be ready to go."
Blacklist Evaluation 1 - Prospects:
"This project feels like a throwback to a different era in filmmaking; it takes the audience on a trip to Classic Hollywood, with just enough cheekiness to let them in on the gag. The voice and style of it will certainly help differentiate the project from others in the genre, and the kind of nostalgia and fun it has will really turn heads. Keeping it contained also keeps the budget down and logistics easy. With a bit more work to address some of the minor issues, it could certainly generate some heat for the writer."
"This is a darkly funny, irreverent little romp. The premise is great, a quick and clean concept that the audience understands and engages with immediately. It recalls the familiar tropes of classic murder mysteries, but the wit and comedy helps it stand out, more along the lines of movies like “Clue” or the classic, “The Thin Man.” Still, the writer provides enough unexpected twists and subversions of the genre to keep the audience excited and guessing. And just like the characters in the story, the audience doesn’t have time to get comfortable as complication after complication arises to provide more conflict and, of course, more comedy. The writer shows a keen instinct for this type of screwball comedy; the tension never resolves, keeping the characters frantic and moving, which helps everything work more smoothly. What’s also impressive is that, despite the comedy, the story still finds an emotional center that’s honest and effective. Sure, Julian, Roberta, and the gang probably all have some screws loose, but seeing husband and wife rekindle their romance is still sweet and satisfying at the end, despite the bodies dropped. All in all, it’s a great idea and a ton of fun to read".
Blacklist Evaluation 2- Prospects:
"Though there still may be some room for improvement, overall there's a lot to like about the prospects of the project in the long term. The script knows what it wants to be and goes for it, landing squarely within the intended genre. From a budget perspective, it reads as quite affordable to produce, something that's always ideal when looking to find financing for an independent feature. The core cast is small and the locations are limited as nearly all of the film takes place either at the theater or at the house. It could also likely be shot in any number of cities/states that are currently offering tax incentives and production rebates to the film and television industries. In terms of casting, there are a number of strong roles that should appeal to actors and actresses alike, most notably Julian, Kurt, Roberta, Leonard and Rodney. It's worth noting that Roberta is a well rounded female lead at a time when there's a hunger for empowered female characters in the marketplace. Depending on the work done to future drafts of the script, the level of talent attached and the execution by the director there could be a range of outlets for the film. It could be a fit for the independent festival circuit and find distribution from there either theatrically or via a streaming/VOD platform like Amazon or Netflix".
"A BLOODY AFFAIR is a compelling dark comedy with strong mystery and suspense and dramatic elements that explores themes of love, loss, betrayal and survival in a 1950s New York setting. The New York environs work well for this particular plot given the significance that the theater and acting plays both from a plot and character standpoint. JULIAN as the protagonist is a mostly sympathetic figure with clear motivation and well defined wants and needs though he may not always make the most altruistic or level headed decisions. ROBERTA as his wife is sympathetic in her own right and while her flaws come through most clearly early on, it's rewarding to see her show her true self as the plot progresses. The dialogue throughout feels authentic to the era and the character delivering it and there are turns of phrase and barbs that help push the "Agatha Christie"-esque mystery forward while still injecting moments of levity. (Ex. JULIAN Whom you slept with. Yes I knew the man. ROBERTA Do you really have no remorse over this? Julian, you've committed murder. Murder! At Christmas of all times. This is very serious.) The ending, while not entirely unexpected, ultimately does feel earned and rewarding and should have audiences leaving the theater satisfied, especially given the way in which it comes full circle for the central characters".