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From Script To Screen: Your Guide To All The Deleted/Missing Scenes In 'The Master'

by Cory Everett
January 9, 2013 12:04 PM
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Master S2S: More
After being told by The Master to keep an eye on Val, Freddie tracks him from their hotel to a coffee shop in the Village where he sees Val meeting with Bill White, his girlfriend and two men. After being unable to discern what the meeting is about from his vantage point across the street, Freddie gets bored and calls his 17 year old cousin Bob who also lives in New York. He tells Bob he's coming over and heads to his cousin's West Village apartment where a party is going on. Despite the presence of girls and booze, Freddie convinces Bob and a few other boys from the party to come with him up to Harlem to look for the stolen jewels that Dodd had described dropping in the sewer there 60 years prior.

The five ride up to Harlem and descend into the sewers armed with flashlights and a sledgehammer. Freddie leads them as they begin busting away with sledgehammers but eventually their search turns up fruitless. Even as Freddie's faith is shaken he doesn't want to disappoint the group so he pretends to find the jewels he lifted from Mrs. Drummond's apartment and shares them with the other boys. Elated, the group heads back to Bob’s apartment to celebrate. After everyone else passes out, Freddie leaves a note that says, “I’VE GONE TO AFRICA. SEE YOU AGAIN SOMETIME. FREDDIE” (which echoes Freddie’s earlier letter), along with the stolen jewels and takes off.

Master S2S: Melora
In the film, The Master and co. arrive at Helen Sullivan’s (Laura Dern) Philadelphia estate like old friends but in the screenplay she’s revealed to be just another admirer. Helen writes a letter to The Master promising him a nightly audience if he’ll bring his teachings there and he agrees. When they arrive in Philadelphia, the group is thrown a lavish welcome party where a woman named Joan Banks (possibly Melora Walters, who was cut from the film) sings and The Master’s daughter Elizabeth plays the piano. This scene was likely reconceived by the “I’ll Go No More A-Roving” sequence. But nowhere in the screenplay does it mention The Master singing that song or Freddie daydreaming about all of the female guests being nude.

One of the more ambiguous bits of dialogue in the film is when Peggy tells The Master, “It didn’t work for them and it’s not going to work for you” during the Master-bation sequence. In the screenplay however (and as many viewers might have inferred) it’s made more explicit that the “them” she’s referring to are the Mormons and what "didn’t work for them” is polygamy. In the screenplay, Master openly flirts with Joan Banks during the party but overplays his hand. “Something that Joseph Smith had right: the breeding and development of the group... doubled, tripled with certain.... a certain marital clever. Something to look at deeply for a growth...” This rant explains why Peggy feels compelled to re-assert her power in the following scene by giving him a handjob and also showing him who's boss.

Master S2S: Jail
8. JAIL SCENE (84-86)
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is undoubtedly the jail sequence with The Master and Freddie. In the script, the scene is similar to the one onscreen but contains more dialogue where Freddie confesses that he wants to fuck all the girls at the house. The Master tells him that there’s nothing wrong with that because “sex is not an aberration” and Freddie reveals that Val was the one who called the police. One can infer this was something discussed during Val's secret meeting with Bill White and might explain why Val is so casual on the porch as the police arrive.

When Freddie returns to the house, Val has written “YOU’LL NEVER GET BETTER” in lipstick on his mirror, which once again shows him to be a much more antagonistic character on the page.

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More: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

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  • ben | January 23, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    Does anyone know what the scene from the trailer with Freddie holding the gun is from?

  • reader | January 10, 2013 2:21 PMReply

    The article forgets to mention the wonderful monologue the Master delivers to Freddie in their final "break-up" scene. The one about sharing a past life during the Prussian war. Great, great stuff. IMHO, the script is far better than the film, which peters out right after the Window-to-the-Wall sequence. The third act could've used the suspense that the script had -- and the NYC stuff would've been a nice addition as well. It's too bad. I wanted to like the film, but I only liked about 2/3rds of it. And I saw it 3 times in the theater on 65mm.

  • rudy | January 9, 2013 9:56 PMReply

    I was bummed that Freddie did not say what I thought was the best line in the script which went something like: "This is booze, there are secrets in liquor".

    also I really loved the Cousin Bob sequence, as a New Yorker I was a bit bummed out that P.T Anderson didnt really get a chance to shoot in NY. I would of liked to have seen how he would of tackled making NYC look like 1951 and just the sheer bliss of finally seeing how Anderson and Mikai would of lensed it. I also loved that line Cousin Bob said: "I've been licking pussy all summer". It was to be shot in the Village and would have featured two girls that resemble Barbra Steisiand.

    - also I remember a great line in There Will Be Blood that had Daniel saying in the scene were he witnesses his fake brother's inebriated state with disgust, Daniel mentions something to effect of his cock being dead and rambles a bit about that and how H.W is not is biological son.

  • p-dub | January 10, 2013 12:02 PM

    1) The line about their being secrets in the booze is in the film.

    2) Are you referring to the script for There Will Be Blood because those lines certainly aren't in the film? In the sequence where he sees his "brother" getting drunk and asking for money, Daniel doesn't say a word. He just watches in the corner, dwelling in his anger.

  • Noany | January 9, 2013 1:39 PMReply

    hmmm. this isn't exactly related BUT: Has anyone noticed that in the soundtrack the bit of dialogue during the song sung by Madiesen Beaty that the male who speaks sounds kinda like Jeremy Renner??? He was the first choice for Freddie and worked before it fell off and then Phoenix came in... Can anyone else hear this?

  • Michael | January 9, 2013 1:31 PMReply

    Great article. Thanks for all the effort in putting this together.

  • yer | January 9, 2013 12:27 PMReply

    The final film is so much better. The script had a lot more cheesy genre elements at play like the Hardy boy chase for gold with his cousin and the paranoid chase after he retrieves the Master's box. Anderson made a great decision to not separate the The Master and Freddy for more than what was necessary as well as making Freddy not quit his alcoholism.

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