I talked before about how it’s good to go back when you’re almost done and tie more details into the theme, and this is a prime example. Not only did the biblical Noah survive the flood (just as Cross doesn’t care if a dam will break) but he also curses his son for seeing him in his drunken nakedness (just as Cross will doom his daughter after molesting her.) (Maybe the second one is a stretch on my part, but it fits.)
Indeed, water is everywhere in this screenplay:
- Jake’s first client Curly is a fisherman.
- The whole city is obsessed with the drought and the proposal from the department of Water and Power for building a new dam.
- When Jake is in a barbershop, a car overheats outside.
- Hollis takes Catherine rowing through Echo Park, causing Jake to say, “Water again.”
- Jake visits the orange growers and finds out that the Water and Power department has actually been poisoning their wells. When they shoot at him, it bursts his car’s radiator.
- Noah Cross runs a fisherman’s club, and the club sponsors the old folks’ home where the unwitting land owners live.
- Jake decides to get Evelyn and Catherine out of town on Curly’s boat.
(I'm using “theme” more broadly here than I usually do, referring not just to the good vs. good dilemma, but to the “theme of water”, but if we stick to my original theme, “build the future vs. honor the past”, then water plays a strong part on both sides of that equation.)