On March 4th, 1966, Life Magazine published an article titled "The Pied Piper of Tucson" that captured the world's attention. The article written by Don Moser was based on a true story happened in Tucson, Arizona. Charles Schmid, the main character of the article, was a serial killer in Tucson who killed three teenage girls. Moser's article not only managed to turn a local crime story into an international news, it also inspired Joyce Carol Oates who often based her stories on news to write a story about the murders. About 20 years later, this short story was brought to the silver screen by Joyce Chopra. Smooth Talk is an adaption of Oates' short story, however, more details were added into the movie in order to give the audience a better idea of what the story was about. The descriptions of Charles Schmid and his victims from Don Moser's article influenced Joyce Carol Oates' short story. However, Joyce Chopra's adaption is more realistic because of the real life details that were added into the film.
Oates based her Arnold Friend character on the descriptions of Charles Schmid's appearance, behavior, and actions from the article. Charles Schmid was a serial killer who killed three girls in Tucson, Arizona. He was 23 years old when he was arrested for murdering Gretchen and Wendy Fritz, and Alleen Rowe. He was described as a popular guy among the girls because of his "beautifully mean eyes and his interesting way of talking" (Moser 19). In "The Pied Piper of Tucson", Schmid "created his own face - his hair was dyed raven black, his skin was deep tan with pancake makeup, the lips were whitened, and he painted a mole on his cheek" (Moser 23). He "pursed his lips and let his eyelids droop in order to emulate Elvis Presley" (Moser 23). Similarly in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been", Connie's first impression of Arnold Friend's face was that she thought "his jaw, chin, an cheeks were slightly darkened because he had not... [continues]
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