Example 1

Example 1

Thriller superplot number 1: Being pursued

“I have a decent job, a secretary, a mother and two divorced women, and I still have a few bartenders who depend on me. I have no intention of offending them by getting myself killed so easily!”

off: North by Northwest (1959)

  Short info: Being pursued
  An innocent citizen is suddenly persecuted and faces a conspiracy.

What’s the “Being Pursued” superplot about?

An ordinary citizen is suddenly persecuted because, for example, he knows a secret or is mistaken for someone else. During the persecution, the persecuted person is more and more on the trail of a conspiracy. After the initial phase of persecution, the tide turns. The persecuted person uncovers a secret. He now knows the conspiracy and the weak points of the other side and goes on the offensive to save the world, but also to get his head out of the noose and to shake off the pursuers. He finds a comrade-in-arms and can end the conspiracy with his help.

What are the figure targets?

A person is threatened and has to use skilful manoeuvres to free himself from difficult situations. The person being pursued is either to be killed or captured in order to extract a secret from him. The pressure from the other side should never let up.

Further notes on the plot …

This is a plot that is included in almost every typical thriller and provides a high level of suspense. In some stories this plot is at the center of the story. But this superplot is also closely related to the thriller plot “Preventing a Conspiracy”. Because there, too, it’s often about unveiling a secret and preventing a possible conspiracy (against a person or humanity).

Film samples are …

North by Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant

Abduction (2011) with Taylor Lautner

The Island (2005) with Ewan McGregor

The Fugitive (1993) with Harrison Ford

Paycheck (2003) with Ben Affleck

Conspiracy Theory (1997) with Mel Gibson

Knight and Day (2010) with Tom Cruise

Eagle Eye (2008) with Shia LaBeouf

Eight Legged Freaks (2002) with David Arquette


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