William Broyles Jr., the screenwriter and former marine who adapted Mr. Swofford's book for the movie, said that Mr. Turnipseed was confusing his own experience with the received wisdom of being a marine.So are you with Turnipseed or Broyles on this one? Before you answer, compare how the two men express themselves.
"The joke about the gas mask has been told 10,000 times," Mr. Broyles said by phone. "It is not his joke or mine."
Mr. Broyles admits that there are coincidences. But he says they are just that.
In [Joel] Turnipseed's book ["Baghdad Diary"], a colonel "burst onto the stage, grabbing the microphone from its stand while still in stride, like Wayne Newton doing Patton."
In the shooting script for "Jarhead," stage directions command that "Lieutenant Colonel Kazickis mounts a makeshift stage, grabbing a microphone in mid-stride like a Vegas M.C." What follows is a profanity-laced scene of call and response that is remarkably similar in both plot and language to the scene that follows in Mr. Turnipseed's book.
"There is no way that I am going to come out ahead on this," he said. "The guy who says 'you stole my stuff' is always the jerk, but this is not something that is based on a scene I did; it is verbatim dialogue."Broyles:
"I feel bad that he feels bad," Mr. Broyles said, adding that he had read and admired "Baghdad Express." "Maybe some of it stuck in my mind or maybe it was already there," he said.I'd say it's obvious that they need to give Turnipseed a lot of money right now. And have him sign a statement not to say anything more about your movie. Because when he talks and Broyles talks? Everyone likes Turnipseed. And tell Broyles to shut up about it too.
"I don't have any conscious memory of using anything out of his book," Mr. Broyles said. "I can remember reading it and thinking, this guy really has it down. It was one of those unintentional coincidences that is frustrating for him, but there has been no effort to take anything from him."