Sunday, July 26, 2009

Somebody Save Me

by Nancy

We all love a good rescue, don't we? Many of us in the Lair especially like rescues involving massive boom. Most rescues, though, are a lot quieter. Even when there's boom in a romance novel rescue, the more important salvation comes when the hero and heroine free each other from their baggage--when love lets them finally shed the ghosts, scars, and fears of their pasts and make a new life together.

This blog was inspired by the Remy Zero song "Save Me," which happens to be the theme song for Smallville. The chorus, which is the part in the credits, starts, "Somebody save me, let your warm hands break right through me." (At least I think "me" is the last word in that line. It's hard to tell, and I found competing versions on the net.)

Think for a minute about all the saviors in the novels and movies you love--from "everyday" heroes who find it within themselves to step up when needed to firefighters and police and soldiers and Navy SEALs and BAD agency and other covert operatives and Dark-Hunters and vampires and wizards and super-heroes. Genre fiction abounds with them. There's something innately appealing about a character dedicated to saving people.




In Tears of the Sun, a gritty, violent but moving film, Bruce Willis as Lt. Waters leads a SEAL team taking refugees out of a war zone. They come across a village where residents are being brutalized by rebel forces, and Waters tells his guys they're going in. One of his men says, "Rules of engagement, LT?" They've been told by their commander that their rules of engagement, their code of conduct, is to fire if fired upon. Waters looks at him and says, "We're already engaged." By compassion and simple humanity. And I have to say watching the SEALs take out the bad guys was a thing of beauty, if a bit gory.



In Acheron, we finally take a complete look at a character who has spent millennia saving humanity. At last, we have all the pieces of this hero's story, all the pain and humiliation he had to overcome, and see the damage his youth did to his soul. The first half of the book makes for difficult reading because it's so full of pain. Luckily, all that leads to redemption.

One of Acheron's friends tells Soteria, Ash's true love, to remember how hard it is for someone who has known neither kindness nor compassion to show them to others. As Ash and the Dark-Hunters have saved others from agonizing deaths, Tori rescues him from the humiliation and pain of his past. It isn't easy. The biggest obstacles to the rescue are his shame and, despite all the marvelous things he's done and has the ability to do, his lack of self-esteem and lack of faith in his own resourcefulness. In the end, Tori's love for Ash forces him to be the man she sees him as and gives him a bright future.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, dramatically risks life and limb to save his love, Kat Boleyn. It's a dramatic, fabulous rescue, but it doesn't resolve their larger problem. Sebastian has extraordinary physical gifts, money, and a brilliant mind, but he can't convince Kat a lord and an actress can build a life together. She unshakably believes marriage to her would isolate him socially and ultimately make them both unhappy.

In a later book, a tragic secret comes to light. I'm not spoiling it, but I will say I hoped someone would rescue one of the characters from the resulting grief and pain. Looks like that'll be in a future book. I hope.

On Smallville, Clark Kent goes into tunnels full of Kryptonite to save his arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor. The tunnels are also wired with explosives, on detonators that are running. With the Kryptonite down there, Clark is in as much danger from a bomb blast as anyone else. His friend and confidante Chloe Sullivan tries to discourage him, but Clark won't be swayed. At last, she grudgingly concedes, "I get it. You don't get to choose who you save. Not if you're Clark Kent."

Acheron and Sebastian and Willis's Lt. Waters and Superman and their ilk inspire those around them and, by extension, their readers or viewers, to look to their better angels. How cool is that?

I've been watching a lot of Smallville lately. Comic book geek that I am, I watched the first couple of seasons, but I'd been out of high school so long that a show focusing on high school angst, even with super-powers, just didn't grab me. I drifted away from it, watching an episode occasionally if I remembered it was on. While I wasn't looking, it got interesting. Lois Lane brought a dose of attitude and a fondness for verbal sparring with Clark to Smallville. What really got me to pay attention again, though, was a rescue.

I happened to tune in to an episode last year in which Clark had no powers and was working as slave labor somewhere in the former USSR. Finally, someone showed up to rescue him--Oliver "Green Arrow" Queen, the world's greatest archer. Oliver and Clark didn't fight their way out of the situation in quite the usual way, though they did throw some punches. Oliver mostly talked and bought their way out, preserving Clark's cover and his own.



Note what Clark says to Oliver at the end of that clip, "What took you so long?" He knew his friends would find him. Counted on their doing so, and don't we count on our friends to help when we need them? In the previous season (Season 7 for DVD-ites), Clark and Oliver teamed up with a posse of super-heroes to rescue people with powers from becoming Luthorcorp's lab rats, a mission that played a big role in forcing Clark to take a wider view, to look to all the world's problems and not just those right around him.


The Chloe character mentioned above irritated me hugely at first because she wasn't in the Superman mythos I grew up with, but I've come to like her. I've also come to view Lex Luthor differently. Thanks to the writers and to Michael Rosenbaum's nuanced portrayal, Lex was a much more complex character than the comic books gave us. (The character has since departed.) Lex actually saved Clark in one episode. Watching a bunch of episodes back to back, as I've been doing, reveals a pattern of Lex being desperate for love. In fact, Chloe tries to explain Lex to Clark by saying, "Total absence of love. Someone once said that's the definition of evil." Yet every time Lex had a shot at love, his Machiavellian dealings torpedoed it, just as the fears and scars and ghosts of so many characters' pasts in romance novels torpedo their shots. Until the right lover comes along to save them.

Five for Fighting's Superman album contains a song called "It's Not Easy" that actually is about the Man of Steel and contains the lines, "Even heroes have a right to bleed" and "Even heroes have a right to dream." Sure, they do. But they often put their own pain and their own hopes and their own dreams aside to save the lives and wellbeing of others. That's part of what makes them heroes. It isn't always simple, though. As Oliver says to Clark in one episode, "I know you want to save everyone, but sooner or later, you'll have to make the hard choices. That's what heroes do."

In a romance, heroes and heroines who sacrifice their hopes and dreams for each other usually somehow attain them anyway or end up with something even better. If only things were that way in real life.

Some of you may remember that I have a weakness for ensembles. The quality of a hero's or heroine's friends can say a lot about the lead character. Even loners usually have someone who helps or supports them. Nicholas Brisbane and Sebastian St. Cyr are loners but have people who help them. Brisbane has his assistant and his former mistress. Sebastian has Tom, his light-fingered tiger, and the magistrate, Jarvis. Holmes had Watson and, at times, Inspector Lestrade. Frodo had the Fellowship of the Ring and the gift of Galadriel. Acheron had Jaden and Simi and Appollymi and Savitar and, for a time, Nick.

Chloe and Oliver and Lana and Lois (one of the few "good guys" in the Smallville universe not in on Clark's secret) and the love of Martha and Jonathan Kent all make Clark who he is. Clark is lucky to be surrounded by people who care about him and keep his secret, but Oliver Queen pushes him to step up to what his powers can do, which is why I used his picture so many times on the blog. (I also think he has a way cool costume, pictured at right.) Coming from someone who also sacrifices to save others, as Oliver does, the advice seems to have more punch for Clark than it would coming from an ordinary person. All the people in Clark's life help him remain true to the best in himself.

Isn't that part of what our own friends and loved ones do best, keep us true the best in ourselves? Save us from our darker angels?

For more about Smallville and its fandom, click here. New episodes return in September.

What's your favorite book or movie rescue (with or without boom)? Which hero or heroine do you think made the most heart-wrenching sacrifice, and why did you choose that particular one?

A mystery package of books from RWA (which have now arrived, so I'll be posting winners tonight) will go to one commenter.

119 comments:

Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Well I have 11 days off work now so the GR and I are going to get my "library" fixed up I bought 3 new book shelves today and over the next couple of days I am going to rearrange my books and get them into some sort of oder and I now have a room to keep them all in so he is in for some work but it is going to be lots of fun.

Nancy what a thought provoking post you really have me thinking now. There have been so many great books that I have read where the Hero has saved the heroine from physical harm and where they have saved each other from emotional woes.

One that I have just read (and loved) was Christine's Wicked Little Game Vane is such a fantastic hero and the emotional stength he shows for Lady Sarah really pulls at my heart. My words don't do it justice it really is a fantastic book with lots of emotions that both Vane and Lady Sarah show and you feel while reading the book.

Let me think of some more and come back.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, way to go on the chook!

21 days off? You lucky duck! Hmm, can a duck and a chook co-exist? I hope you're going to do some reading as well as shelf-arranging. Actually fiddling with my books is one part of housework I really like. I don't even mind packing books! I hate packing everything else!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, what a wonderful post. And as Helen said, very thought-provoking. One of my favorite lines is at the end of Pretty Woman. I haven't seen it for a while but it goes something like Julia Roberts thanking Richard Gere (well, their characters anyway!) for rescuing her. And he asks her what the princess does once the prince saves her. And she says, "The princess rescues him right back." Love that idea of mutual rescue. It's certainly something I try and have happen in my books. No matter who's got the bigger problem, there's some redemption involved for both hero and heroine in my stories.

Pissenlit said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Helen! 3 bookshelves? I am so envious. I could totally use 3 of those but well, I haven't got any room for another one, let alone 3 of them!

My favourite is probably Princess Leia's rescue from Star Wars. It kinda started it all. "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." Hee hee hee! Awesome.

As for which hero(ine) I think made the most heart-wrenching sacrifice, I can't think of any specifics right now but I'm a sucker for story lines where a character gives up their life to save another's.

Lynz Pickles said...

Congrats, Helen! I'd kill for three new bookshelves! And the space to store them in, that'd come in handy too. Ah, pipe dreams...

What a perfect topic for this blog! I mean, on the topic of great sacrifices, how about the characters in Anna's Untouched? Their cooperation saves them from one of the evilest villains created of late and also makes them into happier, healthier (emotionally and whatnot) people.

The heroine in Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady makes an unusual sacrifice, as far as I'm concerned... her conscience wrestles between loyalties she's had all her life, her own political views, what the man she loves wants for her... all sorts of interesting factors play into the decision she makes. She has to reconcile who she's always been with who she wants to become in order to choose a course of action. And she's not saving just one person; she's potentially saving the people of one nation and the soldiers of another. Now that's what I call a hard decision!

One rescue I really love doesn't involve much sacrificing, but is very touching. It's the way Griffin saves Olivia in Jo Goodman's The Price of Desire. He makes her come alive again, makes her able to enjoy life and fall in love despite her past. I adore him because of his patience and calm, loving acceptance of both Olivia's past and how it affects her present. He's a true nurturer, and since Olivia's a totally, completely, wholly, insanely tortured heroine, he's exactly what she needs. Oh, and he's sexy, too. :) (What? It helps!)

One last one (since I obviously love this topic and could go on forever): Neil and Beth (played by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston) from the movie He's Just Not That Into You. The sacrifices they make are really all because Neil's a bit of a prat about some things, but it's still... interesting. Neil is anti-marriage, refuses to get married to Beth even though he loves her, etc. Eventually, Beth realizes that yes, she does love him, and she'll compromise on her need for marriage if that's what it takes to keep the man she loves with her. Seeing this, Neil realizes that he's being a selfish idiot and decides to do what it takes to make her happy: he'll marry her. Which, IMHO, proves that maybe he actually deserves her. Not the typical sacrifice, but like I said, interesting.

Lynz Pickles said...

Okay, another last one: Aliyah from Olivia Gates' Desert King. (Sidenote: that trilogy has the best Silhouette Desire covers I've ever seen. Seriously, Check them out. They're incredible.) Essentially, in order to prevent civil war from breaking out, she has to marry the man who broke her heart and, in so doing, sent her into a horrible depression seven years ago, all while knowing that he plans to get her pregnant, then keep the child but divorce her. Of course she does get her HEA but facing down those odds, especially while not even being able to hate the guy you're about to marry because you never stopped loving him... now that's a sacrifice! Almost every Olivia Gates hero is totally in the wrong in his treatment of the heroine, but they all grovel wonderfully, so I don't mind too much. And her books are perfect for when you're in an I-hate-stupid-men! mood but still want a nice, mushy ending to a total dramafest.

Minna said...

Favorite book rescue: Dance of Gods by Nora Roberts. Blair and Larking are fighting agains vampires and Blair tells him to save himself, but instead he saves them both. I won't tell you how, in case you haven't read it.

It's not even afternoon and I'm already exhausted. I'm looking after my brother's dog -for an entire month. Eve is nice enough dog, most of the time. But when she decides something, the word "no" falls to deaf ears. I think she must have been a cat in previous life. Or maybe a donkey. Yesterday she suddenly decided not to fetch the ball I had thrown for her in the lake, and run around the lake instead and chase the birds. And I had to fetch HER from the neighbours summer cottage where she had stopped by to make friends with the neighbours. At least they'll know where to return the dog if she decides to drop by again. The ball is still in the lake. And today Eve did it again. Only this time -fortunately- the neighbours weren't at their cottage. But does she come back to me when I call? Of course not. Instead, when she's almost run around the lake, she starts going back. As I didn't want her to go around the lake all over again, I did something that usually works and yelled "look who's coming!" It worked. Sort of. Instead of going around the lake she rushed to my cousins' summer cottage which is by another lake. And now there's another ball in the lake. Which she didn't even try to fetch. My brother better bring me more than just one shirt when he comes back from Canada.

Lynz Pickles said...

Minna: I lol'd when I read about the dog situation. Welcome to the life of a petowner! They have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes, and they're not afraid to make that clear! (Not that I live in terror of the whims of my doggies, no, not at all... *awkward laughter ensues*)

And you should ask him for some real maple syrup if he's up here, though it's hilariously overpriced at the tourist traps. And I've ketchup chips are only made up here - crazy talk, I'm sure, but if it's true... how do you liiiive? I'd say to ask for timbits, but they'd go stale.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

One of the best rescues I've seen recently was from "The Dark Knight." Batman and the police were racing to save the woman he loved and a man that could be the hero that Gotham needs. I won't mention what the outcome of the rescue was because I don't want to ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it.

Blodeuedd said...

Some great rescues in there, lovely.
But hm which do I like the most, I am so bad at thinking when I just get up.
But ok when Leo lets kate be on that raft in Titanic, oh my how I cried my eye out when she then has to let him go. He saved her

Helen said...

This is what happens when all of the kids move out and I have 3 spare bedrooms I am starting off making one room a library who knows next year I may have two libraries LOL.

Anna
I love an Officer and A Gentleman I must dig the DVD out I want to watch it now!

Pissenlit
I love Pricess Leia's rescue as well.

Lynz
I too love Matthew and Grace from Anna's Untouched that was another one I thought of and Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady very good.

Have Fun
Helen

Laurie said...

I liked Christina Skye's Code name series! Code Name: Baby had a guy named Wolfe who came to rescue a genetically enhanced dog (Baby) and their trainer Kit.

Margay said...

My favorite rescue actually comes from the television show Lost when one of the main characters, Juliet, sacrifices herself to save everyone else on the island. What makes it so heart-wrenching is that her lover, Sawyer, tried desperately to save her and was just emotionally devastated when he couldn't.
Margay

Emmanuelle said...

I really had to think hard on that one. I think my favorite rescue scene is in Pretty Woman. I re-watched the movie 2 weeks ago (for the 50th time I think) and couldn't stop thinking "what a great last scene !!". He saves her from her aweful past and a bleak future,hmmm my favorite !!

Joan said...

Somebody rescue Minna from her brother's dog!!! Plus I have this vision of all the lakes in Finland filling up with balls, LOL.

I feel your pain Minna. I just ended a week of checking in on my BFF's cat. Alone for 9 days in a beautiful room with a woodland view but...I'd read that cats need entertainment. My efforts to play with him? Met with aloof disdain and one unwarrented bite on the wrist

Nancy said...

Helen, congrats! Looks like he did come to your place I hope you keep him very busy helping you. Putting books on new shelves sounds like fun.

I also finished Christine's Wicked Little Game yesterday. I see why Vane earned a K.I.S.S. from RT. He really did rescue Sarah in every way. It's another wonderful bandita book.

Nancy said...

Anna wrote: And she says, "The princess rescues him right back." Love that idea of mutual rescue.

I'd forgotten about that exchange, but I agree that it illustrates the idea perfectly. More than any other genre, romance involves emotional rescue, and I do think your books have that. After the way you twist the knife in your characters, they need that. *g*

Louisa Cornell said...

Oooh Helen! Good on you! I think he needed a trip back to Oz and some good honest work. SNORK !! Keep him busy!

Nancy this is a great post on a great topic! My CP and I have been talking about the heroes and heroines in our current WIPs and trying to make sure that each one makes a great sacrifice to be with the other and exactly WHAT that sacrifice should be.

When I think of sacrifice I think of Last of the Mohicans and the sacrifices that each person made for the ones they loved. I mean, good grief, the major who courted the heroine, Cora, made the supreme sacrifice and let himself be burned alive for her! Hawkeye sacrificed his quiet life to rescue Cora over and over again. And Uncas sacrificed his life in an effort to rescue the younger sister. The last thirty minutes of that film is nothing BUT sacrifice for the sake of love.

If you have not read Jennifer Ashley's THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE you need to find it and read it!

Beth rescues Ian on every level. He is suspected of a horrible murder and she endangers her own life to prove he didn't do it. Ian has Asberger's syndrome (a form of autism) and is thought mad and the last likely candidate to ever marry. Not only does she marry him, she accepts him as he is. Her love rescues him from the worst aspects of his illness and gives him the one thing he never thought he would know - love. Read this book. You will love it.

And how about La Campbell's Olivia and Julian? He rescues her from her past and awakens a part of her that was stolen away in her youth. And in turn she rescues him from a lonely dissolute life without love in it. I REALLY love these two people. And what they have to sacrifice is the way they have lived their lives up to this point - safely, without the possibility of being hurt. That can be a HUGE sacrifice when you've been hurt by life.

And I happen to like both of the rescues in Toy Story and Toy Story 2. The toys sacrifice their nice safe existence to rescue a friend. Gotta love it!

And how about the rescue in Fried Green Tomatoes when the group of friends rescue the lady from the abusive husband? You have to admit, cooking the guy and serving him up as barbecue is a unique rescue with A LOT of risk involved. SNORK. or maybe I just love the poetic justice of it all!

Nancy said...

Hi, Pissenlit. I share your envy of Helen's new bookshelves and am with you in not having room for more. We (me, really, more than the dh) filled up our shelves very fast. I haven't weeded the romance and mystery shelves in years and have resolved to do that before school starts.

You wrote of stories where one character dies to save another. It's very gripping when a character does that. SFF is full of such stories. In romance, with its emphasis on HEA, characters risk their lives more often than they lose them. Well, good characters, anyway.

Nancy said...

Lynz, I haven't read/seen the examples you cite, except for Untouched, and I heartily agree about that. The others sound like terrific examples, though. The characters grow and change, and sometimes that's hard. But it's the struggle that keeps us reading, isn't it?

Nancy said...

Lynz, I'm so jealous that you know how to do that html link thing in a blog comment. It defeats me every time. And yes, those really are fabulous covers!

Nancy said...

Minna, that sounds like a terrific book. Thanks for not spoiling it.

Sorry about the dog situation. Your brother is probably like us, letting the dog run the show a lot of the time, so she's used to being in charge. I hope your brother will reward you appropriately.

Nancy said...

Jane, I saw that movie on TV. Didn't see it in the theater because the boy told me he thought, despite my longtime love of Batman, I wouldn't like it. And it's a bit dark for me. Very well done but quite, quite dark.

The sequence you mentioned was heart-wrenching, but I won't spoil it, either.

Nancy said...

Blodeuedd, the sacrifice in Titanic was very powerful.

Another movie sacrifice that always gets me is Kyle for Sarah in the original Terminator movie. I really do prefer happy endings, but I watch that movie from time to time anyway because the romance in it always gets me, even though I know it's doomed.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, I forgot about Princess Leia. You could argue that the whole movie is one long rescue adventure kicked off by her message in R2D2. That's another movie I love. I saw it in the theater 23 times the year it came out. Just could not get enough of it.

Yet I didn't feel that way about any of the prequels. For me, at least, they lacked the heart of the originals. I know other people loved them, and the boy doesn't see the difference, but it's a huge one for me. Luke and Han changed their lives when they went after Leia, and they took risk after risk to do it. I didn't get the same feeling from the other films. I wish I had.

Nancy said...

Helen, we had friends here who were also book nuts, and we used to joke that we should buy a big house, establish separate residences in the wings, and make the middle one massive, shared library. I am so envious that you'll have one library, let alone three!

Nancy said...

Laurie, that sounds like an interesting series. Can you tell us a little more about it?

I recently watched Vin Diesel in Babylon A.D., which involved the rescue of a woman who turned out to be pregnant and then of the child. It's a violent, dark movie (lots of boom, though), but I ended up liking it more than I expected.

We have Defiance on rental now. Daniel Craig rescues people from the Nazis and enables them to rescue others.

Nancy said...

People forget that Daniel Craig was in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as sleazy archaeologist Alex West, but he was fabulous in the role. Rescuing him at the movie's end enables Lara to solve the mystery of the relic.

Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler as costars. Playing Lara Croft has its benefits.

Nancy said...

Margay, that does sound heart-wrenching. I know people who are Lost fanatics. I never got into it because I had missed the first season and didn't think I could pick it up easily. Also, I'm fanatical about enough. Got hooked on Heroes (returning with a movie on Sept. 11, I heard) because it was rerun on SciFi and I caught up. And now Smallville.

That episode sounds like one with particular appeal for Pissenlit.

Nancy said...

Emmanuelle, that's two votes for Pretty Woman. That's a great exchange at the end, and it's a double emotional rescue, which is perfect for a romance.

Nancy said...

For all you fen out there, both Heroes and Smallville had panels scheduled at Comic-Con this weekend, and I've noticed those tend to go on YouTube as uploads from cell phones. If you check out Heroes, be sure to put Comic-Con LA and 2009 because there's also a NY Comic-Con that's already occurred, as well as footage from earlier years.

And yes, I did already try but too early for this year's material. *sigh*

Nancy said...

JT, so sorry about the uncooperative cat. You have to realize, though, it's so hard to train new servants.

At least, that's what our dog seems to convey when we leave her with a new house-sitter.

BTW, the boy's girlfriend is visiting, has not seen Star Trek, which I know you also loved, and wants to. Suddenly the boy is more amenable to seeing it again. *g* It's still at one first-run theater in our area, so I'll be carting them up there one afternoon this week. And that's a fabulous rescue at the end with mega-boom all through it.

Nancy said...

Louisa, thanks. Those are all fabulous examples. Boston Legal featured a character with Asperger's, portrayed beautifully by Christian Clemenson. Making a romance hero of such a character must have posed quite a challenge, but that book sounds wonderful.

The boy now has his girlfriend watching my BL box set. Yesterday they burned through Season One of Burn Notice, a series rife with rescues (and about to finish its summer run on USA Network). Poor Fiona keeps trying to rescue Michael from his obsession with his old job, but she isn't having much luck so far. I love Fiona. She's an expert at boom. *g*

Nancy said...

Oh, and I'm outing Trish Milburn. Her debut novel, A Firefighter in the Family, a book that made me cry, is a Maggie Finalist! Whoo-hoo!

And part of the conflict is a rescue gone wrong, and the hero rescues the heroine from the pain of that incident.

Trish, Caren, and I are presenting at M&M this year, something we're very excited about, so she'll have at least two banditas screeching for her on Saturday night.

Nancy said...

Oh, if you didn't watch the first video clip in the blog post, you might want to do that. Trust me, it's way cool. It's a Chinook helicopter picking Navy SEALS out of the water (that caption came up on my screen the first time but not after), so that's just FYI in case anyone else's screen doesn't have it.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Nancy. The idea of rescue is so universal and so compelling that it transcends genres, I think.

Helen, WTG with the rooster! Sounds like you're really going to work him. I envy you fixing up your library. I need that so badly; my books are taking over my little corner of the universe LOL.

I love the rescue at the end of Pretty Woman, where the hero and heroine rescue each other. Oops, I just saw that Anna said the same thing. Great minds and all that!

CrystalGB said...

My choice would be from the movie Armegeddon when Bruce Willis' character stays behind to detonate the astroid. He sacrifices himself to save the planet. What I liked most about it is the fact that he didn't draw the straw to stay behind, his daughter's fiance does. For his daughter's happiness, he takes her fiance's place.

Nancy said...

Thanks, Jo. That's actually 3 great minds bringing up Pretty Woman, if I'm counting correctly.

Nancy said...

Crystal, the example from Armageddon is a great one. I'd forgotten about that, but you're right. Willis's character sacrifices himself to save his daughter's love.

I didn't care much for Bruce Willis's character on Moonlighting, but he has played several movie roles I liked a lot. The Die Hard series is great--full of rescues and boom. *g*

Minna said...

Well, we got the other ball back, so now there's only one in the lake.

Joan, not all cats care about playing. My brother's wife used to have a cat. It was called "Scoundrel", and for a good reason, too. I don't remember he would have cared much about playing, either, or being held. He was a hunter. As soon as he got out of the car he started hunting for rodants -and birds- and you could always tell where he had walked because of all the dead rodants. Our cats hunted, too, but nowhere near as much as Scoundrel did.

Minna said...

Lynz, I'm sure my cousin's will know where to find maple syrup that is not overpriced. Ketchup chips?

Anna Campbell said...

Lynz and Helen, thanks for mentioning Untouched. They both rescue each other multiple times and in multiple ways in that book - they really deserved their happy ending, I thought!

Emmanuelle, glad to see we're on the same page with Pretty Woman. I must watch it again. Haven't seen it for years.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, what a lovely take on the characters in Tempt the Devil. I must admit that was pretty much the character arc I had in mind when I wrote it!

Oh, Nancy, I'm a huge Terminator fan. The later films, not so much. It seemed once they had millions of dollars to throw at special effects, the compelling story became less important. But that first one kept me absolutely on the edge of my seat for the entire movie and I thought the love story was gorgeous.

catslady said...

Two came to mind right away - An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman - ummm must be Richard Gere lol. Then I went back and saw that others had picked these also - great minds think alike roflmao.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, another vote for Pretty Woman! Yay!

I'm really enjoying this discussion because rescue is such a persistent theme in romance.

Minna said...

Nancy, my brother's dog is German shorthaired pointer and since my brother hunts, she is trained to find the birds and stand still when she sees a bird and go to get a bird that has been shot. I guess she thinks she's going hunting when she spots a bird or a hare, for that matter. And she has visited my cousins cottage so often -and she obviously always has more fun there- that she has to go to see if any one of my cousins might be there.

Who Let the Dogs out??- Baha men Original version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He82NBjJqf8

joder said...

I have to pick Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. Those brothers are always willing to die for each other. No matter what may come between them, at the end of the day they're there for each other. And the most gut-wrenching was the season finale where Dean went to h*** to keep Sam alive. Knowing there was no way to stop it was so hard to watch.

Minna said...

I don't remember if this was from a Star Trek movie or the series, as I only saw the end of it, anyway, but in it Data made the ultimate sacrifice in order to save everyone elses lives.

Louisa Cornell said...

Minna,

How about Spock in The Wrath of Khan? He definitely made the ultimate sacrifice to save those he loved. (an emotion he pretended not to feel) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." Definitely hero stuff.

And I have to agree with La Campbell. I LOVED the first Terminator movie and that love story was amazing to be compacted in so little time. "We loved a lifetime." says it all.

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy - fun post - loved the video clips.

Minna - LOL at the cat reincarnated as a dog - talk about frustration!

Whenever one is invested in the characters, I think the concept of sacrifice just twists the heart, you know? I'm with Anna on Pretty Woman - even though there's no boom or punches thrown, he makes a sacrifice when he goes back to get her -illustrated by the need to do something that scares him...scaling heights. An Officer and a Gentleman - Oh man - when he sweeps her off her feet, it almost makes you cry except you're smiling so wide. I'll have to think some more about other movies I've seen.

Glad to hear your books arrived - it's like Christmas!

Minna said...

How about Spock in The Wrath of Khan?

Louisa, I don't think I've seen that one.

Donna, she definitely has some characteristics you would expect to see in a cat.

limecello said...

Hm, I'm a tiny bit surprised nobody has mentioned this... but for film? I'm not good with the pop culture :P but what popped into my head first was Gone With the Wind. When Rhett comes in and saves Scarlet from the fire. With poor Melanie about to give birth - anyway there's a lot going on. I haven't read the book in a long time - but I think that's one thing were the movie isn't true to the book? Not 100% on that, but yes.
That's a great rescue. Maybe not the most exciting or memorable, but going into a ravaged city etc... impressive.

Congrats on the GR, Helen!

Joan said...

Back to actually talk about the post.

Two romance fiction examples of classic rescue are Sherri Kenyon's Zarek and JR Ward's Zadist...both EXTREMELY ruined men who were existing on sheer energy of their hurt and rage and...along came THE right woman....

Maybe it's a Z thing ....

Minna said...

Here's another sacrifice, not from the same Nora Roberts' book, but from the same series: Hoyt leaves his parents and sisters and even his own time for good in order to meet his brother again in the distant future and fight against evil vampires.

Lynz Pickles said...

Louisa, thank you for mentioning The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I can't believe I didn't think of that one! Beth is a superb heroine, and I thought Jennifer Ashley did a pretty good job of making Ian a true Aspie. He was too much of a savant and in too many areas to suit me, but I was still pretty impressed with the way she wrote his thoughts and feelings. She understood how someone with Asperger's thinks and feels surprisingly well, considering that she's neurotypical.

Nancy: mwahaha, bow before my html-ing glory! I used to be staff on a website and had to do a LOT of linking. Italics and linking are about the only things I know how to do, though. Also, I love love LOVE the big house/library idea. And thanks for reminding me of the rescue in Defiance. It's an intense movie, but I love it.

Margay: NOOOOOOOOOOO I hadn't watched that far yet! NOOOOOO!

Minna: Yup, ketchup chips. They're kind of spicy, kind of sweet... hard to describe, really. I think they're yummy but I've heard that if you didn't grow up eating them they're hard to get used to.

Nancy said...

Anna C. wrote: It seemed once they had millions of dollars to throw at special effects, the compelling story became less important.

I wonder if this is true of the Star Wars movies, too. The prequels didn't seem to have the heart of the earlier ones.

Nancy said...

Minna, congratulations on retrieving the ball! Small victories count big when dealing with animals. Herself is lying by my chair right now, pouting because everyone else went to Burger King. We just got back from Harry Potter (speaking of which, anyone count how many times in the series Hermione has saved Harry and/or Ron? And vice-versa?) but hadn't eaten. The dh took the kids out, but the dog expects that when people come home, they'll stay for a while. She considers us very bad at "stay."

Anyway, Minna, glad you and the dog are making progress.

Nancy said...

Joder, Trish is a huge Supernatural fan. Jensen Ackles was in the Smallville season I just finished watching, #4. Turned from a really good guy to a scuzz in a single episode. I really hate when shows do that.

Nancy said...

Catslady, I'm embarrassed to admit I've never seen An Officer and a Gentleman all the way through. It's one of those movies I keep meaning to see. Obviously, though, it's a huge hit around here. :-)

Nancy said...

Minna, I think--not sure--it was the last Next Gen movie in which Data sacrificed himself at the end. And then came back as Other Data? Am I remembering that right?

Nancy said...

Donna, I agree that's part of what makes the end of Pretty Woman so strong, that he has to climb a ladder to reach her. It's proof that she rescued him.

Yes, the books arriving is like Christmas, right down to the problem of where I'm going to put the ones I bought for me. *sigh*

Glad you liked the clips.

Nancy said...

Minna, definitely Spock in Wrath of Khan. Saved the ship but died to do it (for the non-Trek among us).

Nancy said...

Louisa, yep to Spock and glad to see another Terminator fan. Terminator came on TV one night when the dh and I were on our honeymoon, and I said, "This movie is so way cool! You've got to see this movie1"

In the way of new bridegrooms, he decided to humor me. Then the Terminator pulled the guy's heart out. The newly minted dh turned to me, aghast, and said, "You like this movie?"

But it was too late. He'd already married me. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Since then, he has developed greater tolerance for boom. :-)

Nancy said...

Limecello, GWTW isn't as popular as it once was, I guess. I believe the part where Rhett saves Scarlett is in the book, but I also haven't read it in a while. It's a pretty fabulous rescue.

Nancy said...

JT, the Zarek book is wonderful! He really does seem hopeless when the book opens.

Nancy said...

Minna, Hoyt sounds like a wonderful hero. Your comment reminded me of Frodo and the Shire. He saved it but could never enjoy it again.

Nancy said...

Lynz, linking is more than I know how to do. Thanks to this blog, I've figured out italics at long last. And I can link on my own site but it's a push-button thing, y'know?

Glad to know Defiancewas good. I'm going to have to watch it today, I think, to avoid late fees.

The big house/library idea had great appeal. Alas, but those friends moved to Arizona, so the shared real estate is out.

Minna said...

And then came back as Other Data?

No, he just had a brother who looked excatly like him. But I don't remember what his name was. But I doubt it was Info, however. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wreck:_In_the_Pirkinning)

Nancy said...

Ah, the brother thing! I'd forgotten. Thanks, Minna.

Minna said...

Lynz: I think they're yummy but I've heard that if you didn't grow up eating them they're hard to get used to.

Ah, sort of like our Sisu pastils or Tyrkish Peber sweets. Someone I knew in the university gave some Tyrkish Peber sweets for his Japanese friends (he was in Japan as an exchange student) and they wondered if he was trying to poison them...

Becke Davis said...

Great blog, Nancy! It made me think of Suzanne Brockmann's wonderful Navy SEALs Troubleshooter series - lots of action, and lots of rescues throughout the series.

Becke Davis said...

Oh, and I read another great rescue book recently: Shana Abe's The Treasure Keeper. That whole series is terrific.

Minna said...

Oh, and then there's Miranda's Viking by Maggie Shayne. First Miranda brings Rolf back to life (and he's not too happy about it) and later he saves her life.

Minna said...

And what about Apollo 13?

Nancy said...

Becke, yep, lots of action and lots of rescues in Brockmann's books. Do you have a favorite? And what do you like about Shana Abe's series?

Nancy said...

Minna, I do love Viking stories. And yep, Apollo 13 was a dramatic, if long-distance rescue.

donnas said...

Great post. For a non-violent rescue I have to go with Pretty Woman. I can watch that at anytime.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Nancy, I totally agree on
the remarks about Pretty Woman & Officer and Anna's H/H!

WOW on the Chinook video! I had the
sound up when I clicked the play
button. I found myself diving for
the volume control! After viewing
the video, I had to call Honey in
to share it with him! We both enjoyed it!!

I have to mention Monica McCarty's
Highlander Unmasked! I'm only
half way through the book & Alex
has already saved Meg's life twice.
And her mother's life once! And if
I'm not wrong, he is on track to
save many more of the Clan. Great
book!

Congratulations to Miss Trish and
Helen!!

Pat Cochran

Nancy said...

Donnas, Pretty Woman may be the most popular piece of the day. People just keep mentioning it!

Nancy said...

Pat, glad you enjoyed the Chinook clip. I found it by accident, looking for videos I could show my class. Didn't realize it was so loud, though. I showed it to be boy and his girlfriend, who pronounced it "awesome."

The McCarty book sounds very active. Sort of the medieval, pre-gunpowder version of boom? I love action in a book. Or a movie. Or a TV show.

Becke Davis said...

Shana Abe's series is about dragon - really good! I love all of Brockmann's Troubleshooter's are ALL good, don't tink I really have a favorite.

Becke Davis said...

Should have said "dragons."

Nancy said...

Well, Becke, I love dragons, so I'll probably have to check those out. At least add one to my massive TBR pile, with the McCarty and several others. *sigh* This is the peril of asking about books people like.

Pissenlit said...

Nancy, yeppers, I be one of the ones arguing that the first Star Wars movie is just one giant awesome rescue adventure. :D And I'm definitely with you on the prequels lacking the heart of the originals. They were super spiffy-looking but...*makes vague hand gestures* the original trilogy was much better.

Virginia said...

Congrats Helen on nabbing that rooster! Don't work him too hard. I have been doing the same thing here trying to organize my books.

I have been out of town for a few days so I am way behind on the blogs. I haven't been near a computer. I just got back this afternoon. Right now my mind is blown and I can't think of a good rescue at the moment. I know there has been a lot in the movies I watch and my books but my mind is drawing a blank right now. In Twilight Edward rescued Bella from the other vamps and this is the only one I can think of.

Lynz Pickles said...

*snort* I just bought the Smart Bitches book (Beyond Heaving Bosoms) and it's so good! (I bought Wicked Little Game, too, so hopefully soon I'll be able to join in on discussions of Vane's powers of awesomeness. I'm not letting myself read it until I finish that really really bad book I have to review, though. Oh temptation, how you spur me on!) Anyway, to channel the younthful nerd in me, BHB is "epic/made of win!" and if you appreciate romance novels - since you're reading this blog, you probably do - you should read it. (No, this doesn't actually have anything to do with today's topic, but I needed to gush about my new book.)

EilisFlynn said...

We're about a season and a half behind on Smallville, mainly because we're so repulsed by some of the so-called acting (Lana, anyone?). And I am so impressed by your steadily watching more than one episode at a time, Nancy. Strong stomach!

As for the psyche of the hero ... this purity thing may be the reason why people started to drift toward the dark heroes. And why Batman, the dark Batman (as in the Dark Knight, I guess), has as many if not more fans as the Man of Steel. Superman is a god, we have to remember; he is truly more than mortal, sent here to protect us not only from ourselves (the common thug) but from others who are more than mortal. But unlike the Greek gods, who had their weaknesses and foibles, ol' Supes had to feel guilty about it all (if he had to be more powerful and have to beat people up, he could at least feel bad about it).

But the Hero, whether it's from a TV show or a movie or a book or a legend, reminds us that we can be better than mortal. (Or maybe not. We're suffering through a heat spell, and this area has such so seldom that we don't have air-conditioning. Ack!)

cheryl c said...

The "saving the day" endings that first popped into my mind are the ones from Star Wars, Air Force One, Independence Day, and Lord of the Rings.

Joan said...

Nancy, you like paranormal and hadn't heard of Shanna Abe's books?

Tsk...

The first one is The Smoke Thief, the The Dream Thief, Queen of Dragons and as Tree mentioned The Treasure Keeper. It is good but a transition book IMHO. Can't wait for more!

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, it's a shame the earlier movies weren't as good. The boy and I recently watched what appeared to be an indie film called Fanboys. Had I realized it was rated R, I would have watched it by myself first, just in case anyone with kids considers watching it. The boy is old enough that I figured it was more or less okay, but I wouldn't want a young child exposed (a word I use advisedly) to some of the things in it.

Anyway, it had a lot of heart and a lot of understanding of fandom. The story was uneven, as was the acting, but it rang true on many, many fronts. Anybody who has been active in fandom has sat through arguments about the nature of characters' relationships and powers.

Anyway, it's set the year before Phantom Menace opened and is about four high school friends who were big into Star Wars fandom. Three of them still are, but one has moved into the family business. One of the other three is dying, so for his sake, all four set out across country in a van, having fannish encounters along the way, to steal the print of Phantom Menace from Skywalker Ranch. I won't spoil it by saying whether they succeed.

As I said, the story is uneven but basically kindhearted and warm. But it ends with them in the theater on premiere night, and the last line of the movie is, "What if it [is terrible]?"

I wouldn't call it terrible, just not as good as the originals. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Virginia, welcome back! Twilight certainly has been popular. That's another book/movie I still have to check out.

Nancy said...

Lynz, that's interesting about the new book. Glad you're enjoying it. And feel free to gush anytime. :-)

Nancy said...

Lynz wrote: hopefully soon I'll be able to join in on discussions of Vane's powers of awesomeness

He has pretty serious powers of awesomeness, I must say, Lynz. Madame outdid herself with this guy and yet made the heroine's struggle against her feelings for him sympathetic and believable--not an easy trick to pull off.

Nancy said...

Eilis, sorry about the heat wave. I actually am liking Smallville; sorry it isn't doing much for y'all.

Interesting point about the Greek gods and their foibles, which Sherrilynn Kenyon uses to such good effect in the Dark-Hunter series. I guess Superman's moral code may make him less sympathetic to some readers. And it's hard to really hurt him, so he doesn't take the risks Batman does.

Back when Batman started turning to the dark side, some in fandom thought it made sense, attributing Batman's existence to the need for revenge, even if it warped into something else, and Superman's service into a desire to give to his adopted world. The light/dark dichotomy makes their subsequent pairings interesting.

Nancy said...

Cheryl C., those are all great saving the day endings. I've actually seen all those movies, I'm happy to say. Usually there's at least one I've missed on any list.

Nancy said...

JT, I've heard of Shana Abe, of course. But I can't read EVERYthing. *whine* I often wish I could.

Your recommendation is duly noted. :-)

Any word from Demetrius and his crew on the concept of gladiator turtles?

Lynz Pickles said...

Nancy wrote: But I can't read EVERYthing. *whine*

The perpetual complaint of readers everywhere, summed up in two sentences. Or maybe one-point-five. Does a conjugated verb between *'s count as a complete sentence?

Nancy said...

Lynz wrote: Does a conjugated verb between *'s count as a complete sentence?

LOL! I have no idea. For that, we need Jo. Or Eilis Flynn if she pops back in. They're both grammar whizzes.

Jo actually quoted Shakespeare to me in an email the other morning, speaking of not being able to read everything. Someday I'm going to read all the Shakespeare plays. Not many rescues there, though, except in the comedies. Lots of death and tragedy.

Joan said...

Any word from Demetrius and his crew on the concept of gladiator turtles?


They have expressed concern on how to get caramel out of loincloths...

:-)

Cassondra said...

Wow, Nancy, GREAT blog.

And you HOOKER you! How can anybody not read a blog with the title Somebody Save Me! You hooked me hard with that.

I haven't read the comments, and I'm in the midst of a dead-on-my-feet weekend, but Steve read this and reminded me of a great rescue. It's in True Lies where Ahhhhhhnold saves Jamie Lee Curtis from the Limo nanoseconds before it plunges into the water off the end of the blown-up bridge.

And I also love the movie because it's full of one person continually trying to sacrifice for the other one until that fateful moment when the terrorists ask Ahhhhhnold to identify the bomb on video to feed to the American public. He says, "I know, it's an espresso machine....No, it's a snow cone maker. Is it a water heater?"

Until they point a gun at Jamie Lee's head. Instant change of focus. "It's a Soviet Mirv-6 from an SS-22N launch vehicle....."

End of pretense that he's not a spy. End of his cover. Probably end of his life, for all he knows, but he's not gonna watch them hurt her.

That's such a chick flick, but it's got a lot of depth in a lot of ways I think.

Cassondra said...

Lynz Pickles said:

Nancy wrote: But I can't read EVERYthing. *whine*

The perpetual complaint of readers everywhere, summed up in two sentences. Or maybe one-point-five. Does a conjugated verb between *'s count as a complete sentence?


No. It's stage blocking. Like in a script. (grin) Do you count those as sentences?

Nancy said...

Joan--caramel and loinclothes? You are baaad! *g*

Nancy said...

Cassondra, thanks very much! I can't claim credit for the title, though. That came straight from Remy Zero.

I had forgotten about True Lies, so thanks to you and Steve for reminding me of it. I haven't seen that movie in a long time, but you make a great point about it. A terrific example. Lots of boom in that movie, too, if I remember correctly.

Our favorite Arnold movie (besides Terminator, which is only my favorite, not the guys'), is Jingle All the Way, which the boy likes to watch every Christmas. Having gone all over town looking for the Yu-gi-oh Duel Disc one Christmas and for a Mace Windu action figure the next, I can relate to the Turbo-Man quest.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: No. It's stage blocking. Like in a script. (grin) Do you count those as sentences?

Well, I guess we could. I mean, they count in word count in a ms., right? A sentence can be one word, if it's the imperative form of the verb. You know, like if one character says to another, "Go." That's a sentence.

Even though this isn't imperative in the traditional sense, but something more adjective-like, I think one could argue that it's my direction to myself and thus an imperative and thus a sentence.

I realize you're tired, but does that make sense? Or does it make you more tired?

Sorry for the rough weekend.

Nancy said...

In fact, the quest for a Turbo-Man doll makes the dad in Jingle All the Way focus on what's really important to him and shakes him out of unhealthy absorption with his business, so I'm thinkin' that qualifies as a rescue.

Lynz Pickles said...

Cassondra wrote: No. It's stage blocking. Like in a script. (grin) Do you count those as sentences?

No, I wouldn't count them as sentences, so I guess it's the perpetual complaint of readers, summed up in one sentence and a matching action. Because the *whine* is quite possibly the most important part of the equation.

Nancy: Ooh, I love Jingle All the Way! It's so much fun. Speaking of fun, sounds like you've had some interesting Christmas quests :)

Lynz Pickles said...

On the other hand, if you count the *whine* as a sound, then it could be a sentence. I've seen sounds like "ow," "aww," and "arrg" used as stand-alone sentences before, so... ack, I'm so confused!

Lynz Pickles said...

Nancy: haha, I didn't notice your response. Your explanation does make sense, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm now more confused than ever. Curse you, grammar! Curse you for making me reason things out!

MsHellion said...

Favorite rescue? I'm a DarkHunter rescue fan. *LOL*

Zarek and Astrid's story is my favorite though.

I think it was DreamHunter though that had the biggest rescue. The heroine went to the Underworld and got him to safety, but at no point could she look behind her to see if he was still with her--if she did, he'd die PAINFULLY and FOREVER. It was a nailbiter. It was the most torturous 30 pages I ever read to get to a happy ending.

Nancy said...

Lynz and Cassondra, let's count the whine as a sound and a stage direction and call it a sentence! Who's going to argue with us this late in the day?

Lynz, I laughed at the people chasing all over town for Cabbage Patch Kids. I did, really. And you know what they say about what goes around coming around. Really bad karma, not sympathizing with those parents. We were just lucky the boy didn't care about Tickle Me Elmo.

But you'd be amazed how hard it is to find a pumper truck when looking for toy fire trucks. They're all ladder trucks. But our local firemen let the boy sit in the pumper truck, so he really wanted one of those.

My explanation makes sense, and now you're confused? My work here is done, then. *g*

Nancy said...

Ms. Hellion, Zarek and Astrid got a couple of other votes today. And I agree that Dreamhunter, with its agonizing spin on Orpheus and Eurydice, was an amazing rescue.

Nancy said...

BTW, Lynz, "aargh" is a sentence in the Superman universe. I vote it counts.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, read Shana Abe! She's amazing! I can't believe you don't know her. The Smoke Thief is an absolute classic.

Gerri Russell said...

Nancy,

Great blog! You got me thinking. I must admit one of the first rescue scenes that came to mind was in Pretty Woman . . . followed closely by An Officer and a Gentleman. I mean, who doesn't want to be carried out of a box-manufacturing plant by Richard Gere? Those two movies are classics for me. I do enjoy the "boom" kind of rescue on the big screen, but I admit it is the gentler ones that linger in my mind.

Nancy said...

Anna, your orders are duly noted. Another vote for Shana Abe. Clearly, I have to check her out!

Nancy said...

Gerri, thanks. An Officer and a Gentlemen and Pretty Woman were popular choices today. Yeah, the quieter rescues do tend to linger. I wonder if that's because they're more emotional than the boom ones, at least in the moment.

Lynz Pickles said...

Nancy: it's annoyingly easy to confuse me some days, especially when grammar's involved. See, your explanation used smart-people words, like "imperative," "verb," and "adjective-like," all of which scare and confuse me at the same time. Want me to conjugate a French verb in an obscure and annoying clause? No problem! (Actually, I'm starting to forget the really icky tenses, but that's not the point.) Ask me tell you what tense something written in English is in, however, and I won't have a clue. This is what happens when you switch from French Immersion to English after the English kids have learned their Englih grammar but before the French kids have started it.

Nancy said...

Lynz, anything in French confuses me! I took Latin in high school, so when I got to college, I wanted a conversational language. My year of French didn't go that far, but it satisfied my desire to learn a more modern tongue.

But conjugate anything now? No way!