Chapter 2 - Plot

A History of Violence

Major Dramatic Question: Will Tom Stall hang on to his identity as Tom Stall?

Inciting Incident – Tom expertly kills two crooks who are committing violence as they attempt to rob Tom’s diner. (It happens 24 minutes in, late for an inciting incident because time is needed to firmly establish the normalcy of Tom’s life.)

Plot point 1 – Carl Fogarty comes to the diner, claiming that Tom is really a gangster from Philadelphia named Joey. Tom doesn’t seem to believe this. (It happens 30 minutes in.)

Midpoint – As Fogarty aims to murder him, Tom says “I should have killed you back in Philly,” signaling that he really is Joey, and just then Tom’s son comes up behind Fogarty and shoots him dead. (It happens 56 minutes in.)

Plot point 2 – Tom gets a call from his brother Ritchie, a crime boss, making Tom realize he will never be free until he deals with Ritchie. (It happens 70 minutes in, an early plot point 2 because the movie is only 96 minutes.)

Climax – When Ritchie orders Tom killed, Tom kills Ritchie and the henchmen around him. (It happens 86 minutes in.)

Interesting feature: The movie begins with a sequence introducing the two crooks who will try to rob Tom’s diner as opposed to focusing on Tom from the start. This is probably to give the opening a hint of suspense; otherwise the longish section where we meet Tom and his peaceful life might indicate a dull story. The opening also sets the tone of violence so it won’t be so jarring when the subsequent violence erupts

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