I came across these two dialogue files by accident this morning — two clips from Paddy Chayefsky‘s The Hospital (1971), and it hit me all over again how wonderfully particular and penetrating and needle-sharp these soliloquies are. George C. Scott‘s confession to a colleague about what a wreck his middle-aged life has become is about as masterful and genuine-sounding as this sort of thing gets, and I love the the cadence he brings to some of the lines. (The almost imperceptible pause he inserts between the words “pushing” and “drugs” is sheer genius.) And the “murder by irony” confession by wacko doctor-patient Barnard Hughes is a wow, particularly at the end when he recites a litany of medical ailments (one after another after another…no end to it) that comprise, metaphorically or otherwise, “the whole wounded madhouse of our times.” There’s a fair amount of good dialogue in movies today, but the super-pungent, intellectually flamboyant stuff that Chayefsky used to write — a little show-offy at times but pleasurable as hell — has…well, maybe it’s out there and I’m just not running into it. Or maybe it’s just gone.