The structure is elegantly simple and humorously related to Towne’s screenplay for Corman’s The Last Woman on Earth. A loves B, C loves B. A is a police detective, C is his old friend, a sometime cocaine dealer. C’s old friend is D, a Mexican drug wholesaler.
The detail work is very appealing in its frank, subtle terseness. C is released from a drug bust by A, skedaddles down a slope, fords a river and leaves the imprint of a wet hand on a concrete bridge support.
The unnecessary complications of style and structure are necessary to encompass two subsidiary structures coping with the athlete as übermensch and freebooter, the analogy is to Chaplin in The Great Dictator.
Welles most particularly comes to mind (The Stranger is part of the aforementioned) with the “STOP PRE” T-shirts worn by Pre himself. The example of Stroheim is there to Towne’s hand as well.
John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me ran in Chichester, a critic thought the Psychiatrist might well be omitted, Richard Eyre obliged him in Los Angeles, where the play was a disaster.
Modigliani at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was dispraised by a critic, the museum sold off millions’ worth of Modiglianis.
Pound and Eliot, Gielgud and Richardson show another side of the question.
Pre all but quotes Josemaría Escrivá, “saints make people uncomfortable.” Schoenberg tells us, “genius acquires even those talents it was born without,” and Pre says, “talent is a myth.”
The shoemaker’s lesson is learned at Munich and not understood. “Competition, not conquest.”
The übermensch is a second-story man, the freebooter wants something for nothing, too. In the end, the shoemaker sticks to his last.
Splendor in the Grass is a dual basis for Towne’s screenplay, in the German-baiting and the failed romance. He has the benefit of Amadeus to his advantage. Pre’s secret is “an infinite capacity for taking pains” essentially.