Superplot & Subplot

Superplot & Subplot

As you already know from the previous chapters, a well done story has only one superplot, but several subplots. I would like to explain this to you by means of two films …

Rambo: First Blood (1982): John Rambo is a war hero tormented by memories of Vietnam (Subplot: The Dilemma). He walks through a small town in the mountains and is mistaken for a vagrant by the local police chief and is locked up (Subplot: Dismantling). In prison John Rambo is mistreated by the police. Rambo can escape and flees into the mountains (Superplot: breaking out of hopeless situation). The policemen chase him, but Rambo turns the tables and gives the policemen bloody lessons (Subplot: Duel – Fighting [learn]). Finally the military is used and harder weapons are brought against Rambo. They believe to have killed Rambo with a grenade launcher. But Rambo survives, and now, in turn, brings out the bigger guns (Subplot: Overthrow of a terror regime). He burns down a gas station and cuts off the power supply to the place. There is a gripping duel between Rambo and the police chief at the police station, which the policeman loses against Rambo. Only Rambos former military chief can stop him from killing the policeman.

James Bond: Goldfinger (1964): James Bond, the British super agent, challenges and humiliates the heavily wealthy businessman Goldfinger (Subplot: Duel – Putting up a fight) Goldfinger does not know at first that he was tricked by an agent of the British Secret Service while playing golf (Superplot: False identity). Shortly afterwards Goldfinger takes revenge by having Bond’s lover covered with gold and killed. From now on Bond follows Goldfinger and uncovers Goldfinger’s secret plan (Subplot: Preventing a conspiracy). He wants to radioactively irradiate the gold holdings of Fort Knox in order to then drive up the price of gold. When Bond learns of this, he is already a prisoner, but he can convince a confidante of Goldfinger to help him (Subplot: Unexpected help). At the last moment he can thwart Goldfinger’s plan. Finally, Goldfinger is killed in a duel with Bond (Subplot: Duel – Fight back [learn]).


Use the drop-down menu under “Thriller” to read on or click here.

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