101 Funniest Screenplays

A fear of flying was the initial spark for George Gallo’s screenplay about bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) tasked with bringing a mob accountant nicknamed “The Duke” (Charles Grodin) from New York to Los Angeles. In an early scene that touches off their journey, Jack attempts to fly The Duke to L.A., but the accountant gets them kicked off the plane. A phobic flyer, Gallo himself once stopped a plane as it taxied on the runway. “It’s amazing how you can – I mean it took a lot of time, obviously – but you know, build an entire script out of that idea,” Gallo said on The Kevin Pollack Chat Show podcast. Midnight Run was to Gallo a love story between two men who have “a very similar moral code. The problem was, one is taking the other guy into prison.”