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ALL SCRIPTS





                           INTO THE WILD




                             Written by

                             Sean Penn



                        Based on the book by

                            Jon Krakauer





1   EXT. THE STAMPEDE TRAIL - DAY                                    1

    SUPER:
    Tuesday, April 28th 1992

    WIDE-SHOT: A vast, snow-blanketed wilderness that sits
    beneath the icy summits of the highest mountain range in
    North America. This is BIG Alaska.

    A beat up 4x4 pick-up enters very small into the upper
    left corner of frame on an unkept, snow-packed road, and
    comes to a stop. A figure exits the passenger side and
    moves around the front of the truck. We can just make
    out the rifle sticking out of his backpack. We HEAR a
    very distant "Thank You" as the figure walks away from
    the road and away from the truck, seemingly into nowhere.

                           DRIVER
              Hey!

    The figure with backpack and rifle, henceforth BACKPACK,
    stopping in his tracks, turns around in the direction of
    the truck.

                           DRIVER (CONT'D)
              Come here.

    BACKPACK walks back to the truck.    As he approaches the
    driver's door, we

    CUT IN TO: TIGHT SHOT over the back-packed shoulder onto
    the DRIVER.

                           DRIVER (CONT'D)
                     (referring to items we see
                      sitting on dashboard)
              You left your watch, your comb, your
              change...

    We STAY on the DRIVER as BACKPACK speaks:

                           BACKPACK
              Keep it.

                           DRIVER
              I don't want your money.    And I already
              have a watch.

                           BACKPACK
              If you don't take it, I'm gonna throw it
              away. I don't want to know what time it
              is, what day it is, or where I am.
                           (MORE)

                                                                2.

                          BACKPACK (CONT'D)
             I don't want to see anybody. None of
             that matters.

The driver reaches behind the seat of the truck, pulls
out an old pair of rubber work boots.

                          DRIVER
                    (handing him the boots)
             Take em.

There is a pause as Backpack considers accepting the
boots.

                          DRIVER (CONT'D)
             If you make it out alive, give me a call,
             and I'll tell you how to get the boots
             back to me.

We can feel over Backpack's shoulder that he has taken
the boots and is putting them on but we STAY on the
driver.

                          BACKPACK
             Hey, do me a favor, will ya?     Take a
             picture of me.

Backpack hands him an Instamatic camera and starts
walking backwards. We PULL BACK with him. And he
maintains his back to us. When he stops, we CONTINUE
until he is FULL-FRAME, head-to-toe from behind, posing.

                                                          CUT TO:

CU: driver

CLICK.   He snaps the shot.
Backpack re-enters frame in an OVER-SHOULDER.          Driver
hands him the camera.

                          DRIVER
             You gonna be alright?

                          BACKPACK
             I'll be better than that.
                    (I'll be who I am.)

As Backpack exits the frame, we SLOWLY ZOOM past the
concerned face of the driver onto the loose change, the
comb, and the watch on the dash.

                                                              3.



    Throughout the ZOOM, the SOUND of FOOTSTEPS CRUNCHING THE
    SNOW, FADE into the distance.

                                                     BACK TO:

    ORIGINAL WIDE-SHOT:

    We see the small form of the truck and the smaller form
    of the Backpacker walking away from the truck until the
    Backpacker has exited the frame. The truck takes a BEAT,
    turns around in the snow, and accelerates back into the
    direction from which it came. As the truck exits frame,
    we -

                                                 DISSOLVE TO:


2   EXT. COMMENCEMENT GROUNDS, EMORY UNIVERSITY, ATLANTA -         2
    DAY

    SUPER:
    May 1990

    The crowd of family and friends, and of course, students.
    Assembled on fold-out chairs. The broad lawn.

    INTERCUT: CHRIS MCCANDLESS. We don't see his face, just
    feet pounding the pavement at an increasing pace.

    One by one the names of graduates announced. Their
    bright young faces, capped heads, and gowns, glide up to
    the podium to accept their diplomas.

    INTERCUT: Chris, on his run, sweatshirt hood over head.
    Amongst assembled crowd and family we find: THE
    MCCANDLESS': BILLIE, mid to late forties with dark
    striking eyes; WALT, a taciturn man, early fifties; and
    CARINE, eighteen, pretty with her mother's eyes and waist
    length brown hair, a gold crucifix dangles from her neck.
    They look around, looking for Chris, he's nowhere in
    sight.

    INTERCUT: Chris, in a shower (PHOTO-SONICS) He TURNS INTO
    CAMERA, the water streaming down his face.

    From the announcement podium comes the name of their son
    and brother, CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON MCCANDLESS. The
    McCandless family increasingly panicked over Chris'
    absence, when almost magically, he appears in full cap
    and gown.

                                                       4.



Disregarding the steps that lead up to the podium
platform, the small-framed but athletic CHRIS MCCANDLESS
leaps jubilantly onto the stage in a single bound,
frightening Billie, a little wince from Walt, and Carine
"That's our Chris." And just as quickly as Chris has
been handed his diploma, he civilly descends the platform
steps.

                                                TIME CUT:

SLO-MO: A ballet of graduation caps float upward into a
frame of blue sky. We HEAR Chris' voice OVER this image
as we intermittently cut away from the caps against the
sky to focus on his parents.

(HIGH ANGLE: floating caps in FOREGROUND, Walt and Billie
delight upon the caps.) An outer glee in sharp contrast
to voice over:

                       CHRIS (V.O.)
          I see them standing at the formal gates
          of their colleges,
          I see my father strolling out
          under the ochre sandstone arch, the
          red tiles glinting like bent
          plates of blood behind his head,
          I see my mother with a few light books at
          her hip
          standing at the pillar made of tiny
          bricks with the
          wrought-iron gate still open behind her,
          its
          sword-tips black in the May air,
          they are about to graduate, they are
          about to get married,
          they are kids, they are dumb, all they
          know is they are
          innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
          I want to go up to them and say Stop,
          don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
          he's the wrong man, you are going to do
          things
          you cannot imagine you would ever do,
          you are going to do bad things to
          children,
          you are going to suffer in ways you never
          heard of,
          you are going to want to die. I want to
          go
          up to them there in the late May sunlight
          and say it,
          her hungry pretty blank face turning to
          me,
                       (MORE)

                                                             5.

                           CHRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
              his arrogant handsome blind face turning
              to me,
              his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
              but I don't do it. I want to live. I
              take them up like the male and female
              paper dolls and bang them together
              at the hips like chips of flint as if to
              strike sparks from them, I say...

    The last graduation cap falls out of the `blue sky'
    frame, and into...

                                                         CUT TO:


3   INT. ATLANTA RESTAURANT - LATER                                3
    (Graduation ceremony wardrobe)

    Walt and Billie sit at a table. A Cadillac can be seen
    through the window (ATLANTA LANDMARK), parked beside the
    restaurant.

                           BILLIE
              Here they are.

    Walt looks out the window and sees Chris drive up in his
    old yellow Datsun with Carine in the passenger seat
    beside him, and pulls up to the space beside the
    Cadillac.


4   INT. DATSUN                                                    4

    Chris is holding a book from which he reads aloud the
    LAST LINE OF THE POEM...
                           CHRIS
              I say...Do what you are going to do,
              and I will tell about it.

                           CARINE
              Who wrote that?

                           CHRIS
              Well, it could've been either one of us,
              couldn't it?

    He hands a book of Sharon Olds' poetry to her.

                           CHRIS (CONT'D)
              There's a lot of great poems in there.

                                                            6.



                           CARINE
              Thanks, big brother.

    They exit the car and frame.


5   INT. ATLANTA RESTAURANT - SAME                                5

    Chris and Carine join Walt and Billie at the table.
    Billie gets up and gives Chris a big hug.

                           BILLIE
              You scared the daylights out of me,
              jumping on to that stage, oh my god.

    Chris gives Carine a look.   Walt extends his hand to
    Chris.

                           WALT
              Congratulations, son.

    They all sit and pick up menus.

                           CHRIS
              I'm starving.

                                                      TIME CUT:


6   INT. ATLANTA RESTAURANT - LATER                               6

    The foods on the table.   Chris is devouring a steak.

                           CHRIS
              My grades are gonna be good enough, I
              think, to get into Harvard Law.
                           WALT
              That's a big deal. What do you have left
              in your college fund?

                           CHRIS
              It's an inheritance, dad. I've only been
              spending it as a college fund...Exactly
              twenty-four thousand five hundred dollars
              and sixty-eight cents.

                           BILLIE
              That's very specific.

                           CHRIS
              I had to go to the bank this morning.

                                                   7.



                       WALT
          Well, we'll certainly contribute the
          balance for Harvard.

                       CHRIS
          Yeah. I've got to figure out what I'm
          going to do. I got a lot of things to
          pack and organize here first.

                       BILLIE
          I'm so glad you're getting out of that
          place you're living. It was so much
          nicer when you lived on campus.

                       WALT
          You'll come to Annandale before you
          disappear on us, won't you?

                       CHRIS
                 (reluctantly)
          Sure, I will.

Carine's not so sure.

                         BILLIE
          You promise?

                       CHRIS
                 (whining)
          Mom.

                       BILLIE
          Well, your father and I want to make a
          present to you.
                       WALT
          We want to get you out of that junker.
                       CHRIS
          What's a junker?

Walt points outside to the Datsun.

                         CHRIS (CONT'D)
          The Datsun?

                        WALT
          Yes.   We want to get you a new car.

                       CHRIS
                 (appalled)
          A new car? Why the hell would I want a
          new car? The Datsun runs great.
                       (MORE)

                                                             8.

                           CHRIS (CONT'D)
                     (Mocking the Cadillac)
              Do you think I want some fancy boat? Or
              are you worried about what the neighbors
              might think?

                           BILLIE
              We weren't going to get you a Cadillac,
              Chris. Just a nice new car that's safe
              to drive. You don't know when that
              thing's just going to suddenly blow up.

                           CHRIS
              Blow up? Blow up?! Are you guys crazy?
              It's a great car. I don't need a new
              car. I don't want a new car. I don't
              want anything. Thing, thing, thing.

    Under the table, Carine jabs Chris' leg.    Chris returning
    to polite -

                           CHRIS (CONT'D)
              But, thanks anyway.

                           WALT
              Everything's gotta be difficult.

                           CHRIS
              I said thank you. I just don't want
              anything.

    The group returns to some superficial calm.

                           CARINE
              I wouldn't say no to a new car.

                           CHRIS
                     (mumbling a rib)
              Ivana Trump McCandless.
                           CARINE
                     (laughing it off)
              Shut up, Chris.
                     (to her parents, seriously)
              Seriously, I'll pay you back.

                                                         CUT TO:


7   INT. OFF-CAMPUS ROOMING HOUSE, SECOND-FLOOR, ATLANTA -         7
    DAY

    OVER Chris' shoulder, he frisbees his graduation cap from
    the upstairs window to his parents parting Cadillac on
    the street.

                                                             9.


    As they wave goodbye, Carine catches the cap from the
    backseat window. And with a parting smile to her
    brother, she poses with it on her own head. Chris smiles
    and waves goodbye.

    As the Cadillac drifts away, his smile disappears into
    something other than sadness.

                                                    TIME CUT:


8   INT. OFF-CAMPUS ROOMING HOUSE - NIGHT                         8

    In a warm ambient light, we SEE a black and white poster
    on a barren wall: Poncho-clad Clint Eastwood from "The
    Good, The Bad, And The Ugly."

    We TILT DOWN a stack of books sitting on the floor -
    Tolstoy, Stegner, Thoreau, Jack London, and Pasternak.
    Beside them, a camper's backpack.

    Chris sits in introspection at his desk by candlelight.
    The room is spare, supporting his monkish lifestyle. But
    on the desk before him, he counts out $500.68 from a bank
    envelope. He pockets those bills and change, then removes
    a check for $24,000 made out to OXFAM America from the
    same bank envelope. He scribbles a note: These are all
    my savings. Feed someone with it. Signed, Chris
    McCandless. He then slides the note and the check into a
    pre-addressed Oxford Famine Relief Fund (in Boston)
    envelope.

    He pulls his wallet from his back pocket. Pulls all the
    cards and pictures from its sleeves. Considering each,
    he flicks them into a trash bin, one by one. Finally
    coming to his social security card, he holds it to the
    candles flame. As the flame burns bright we -
                                                 DISSOLVE TO:


9   EXT. ATLANTA HIGHWAY - SUNRISE'                               9

    MUSIC (Gordon Peterson's BIG HARD SUN or as radio source
    Tom Petty's FREE FALLING) rises and PRESENTATION TITLES
    OVER:

    A 1982 DATSUN B210 emerges from the rising sun as the car
    heads west out of Atlanta. (HIGHWAY 20 TO 78 TO 40)

    PRESENTATION TITLES and MUSIC carry OVER:

                                                      9A.



MONTAGE: We travel with Chris and his Datsun through the
towns and open highways, landscapes and landmarks, days
and nights, that lead to the Mojave desert in the West.

                                                              10.


     (In contrast to his introspection of the previous night,
     Chris is buoyant throughout this sequence.)


10   EXT. DESERT, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN KINGMAN, ARIZONA AND LAS     10
     VEGAS, NEVADA - SUNSET

     (CRANE SHOT) We see Chris stop the Datsun in the middle
     of the desert road. We (CRANE?) DOWN to a close-up
     through the windshield. Chris looks left. Then, right.
     Into the rearview mirror, and suddenly turns the wheel,
     veering the Datsun off the paved highway into the vast
     desert.

     As we CRANE back UP, the Datsun moves into the horizon.

     END PRESENTATION TITLES. FADE MUSIC


11   EXT. DETRITAL WASH - TWILIGHT                               11

     ANGLE: WEST-FACING

     The Datsun sits in the magical pastel twilight just
     before darkness slides over the desert. It is positioned
     at the foot of a wash wall that edges the soup bowl.

     ANGLE: EAST-FACING

     The Datsun, a yellow speck in the frame. Coyotes yap at
     the moon. Other than that, no sound on the desert floor.

     In the distance, voluptuous cumulonimbus clouds boil
     upward catching the last rosy glow of the west-setting
     sun over the rim of the upper Detrital watershed.
     We see strobe bursts of lightning followed by muffled
     thunder illuminating the thunder clouds from within.
     Short SERIES OF ANGLES as we MOVE IN on the distant
     gullies and ravines, starting to run with copious amounts
     of water.


12   INT. DATSUN - NIGHT                                         12

     Chris McCandless, in the same clothes he had been in back
     in the rooming house, sleeps in the back seat of the
     Datsun. His head supported by his backpack. We begin to
     HEAR a rumble. But this rumble is not thunder. It
     rapidly builds into an alarming ROAR. The roar grows to
     a deafening level. Chris awakens.

                                                            11.


     As he peeks up from the backseat looking forward through
     the windshield, he just barely catches sight of the
     leading edge of a flash flood. A four-foot high wall of
     water, mud and debris makes impact with the Datsun,
     momentarily enveloping it in water. Suddenly the car is
     SLAMMED against the cliff. CRACK! Chris sits upright,
     disoriented.

     POV: As far as the eye can see in the desert moonlight,
     water has taken over the desert with a flash flood.

     However, there's no panic in Chris' face as we observe
     him past a new crack in the wet windshield. The water,
     while violent seems to have topped off just above the
     wheels. Chris gets a slight smile on his face, as the
     car settles into its new position below the cliff. He
     returns to sleep.

                                                       CUT TO:


13   EXT. DESERT - DAY                                          13

     What remains of Chris' travelling money burns in a pile
     beside the Datsun on the sun-lit but muddy desert floor.

     We follow a very long set of footprints (CAMERA
     TRACKING/TRUE VERTICAL) away from the burning cash
     through the mud, finally tilting up to the footprint
     maker, Chris. Slogging toward high ground.

     WIDE-SHOT: We see the abandoned Datsun nearly a mile
     behind Chris as he walks toward us wearing his backpack.
     He comes very close to camera (only a day or two's
     stubble on his face) and as we PAN him 180, we see as
     much wilderness before us as we did behind.
     REPRISE MUSIC OVER MAIN TITLE:

                     (INTO THE WILD)
     Chris walks into the distance.

     COMPLETE AND END MAIN TITLES.

                                                       CUT TO:


14   INT. COLLEGE BUILDING                                      14

     SHAKY HAND-HELD HOME VIDEO IMAGE (4 YEARS EARLIER):

                                                       12.



Chris McCandless speaking to camera holds a microphone in
a shadowy room, doing his Geraldo Rivera. It's tongue-in-
cheek at best.

                       CHRIS
          This is Emory University freshman Chris
          McCandless reporting from the vault at
          Thompson Hall.

He indicates a hatchway in the floor leading to a
brightly lit corridor below.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          We have just dynamited the hatchway and
          are the first human beings to step foot
          into this vault in over a hundred years.
          Somewhere in here lies the secret of the
          great beast within us all. A beast built
          on lies, corruption, and greed.

We HEAR a GROWLING SOUND from behind Chris.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          And there it is! The legendary beast
          Mocra.

CAMERA quickly PANS to a blanket-wrapped, crawling FELLOW
STUDENT in a grotesque Halloween mask.

We MOVE INTO CU on the monster growling.

QUICK PAN back to Chris.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 (in mock fright)
          We've got to get out of here quick and re-
          secure the hatch while we make a plan of
          how to kill the beast.

CAMERA SHAKES all over like a bad horror film trying to
stay with Chris as he makes a quick escape down the
hatchway into the University dorm corridor.

CLUMSY VIDEO TIME CUT: Chris nailing the last nail in
the hatchway from below. He climbs down the steps where
he exchanges his hammer for his microphone from an off-
camera source.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          Well, it looks like we've succeeded -

We HEAR the monster's GROWL from above.

                                                              13.



                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               - at least for the moment, in sealing the
               beast back into the vault. Your humble
               reporter, Chris McCandless will now
               struggle with the journalistic question
               of ethics: Will he retain his reporter's
               objectiveness or save the future of human
               truth by slaying this awful beast?

     He gives us a look of vaudevillian puzzlement - what will
     he do?

     CONTINUE VIDEO:

     We pick up with Chris in a corridor outside a door with a
     cheap paper-and-tape label announcing the adjacent room
     as the office of Ted Turner.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               Once again, your humble reporter Chris
               McCandless.

     We HEAR OS students commenting on Chris and his video
     crew:

                            OS STUDENT
               What is this? Filmmaking 101?

                            OS STUDENT #2
               Point the camera at me. I'm a star.

     Chris speaking straight to camera, still tongue-in-cheek:

                            CHRIS
                      (with a Wizard of Oz tone)
               Pay no attention to the voices behind the
               curtain.

15   INT. WOULD-BE TED TURNER OFFICE                             15

     A FELLOW STUDENT PLAYING TED TURNER with obvious fake
     mustache is locked into an episode of Matlock on his
     television set as our bold reporter, Chris, barges in.

                            CHRIS
               Ted! We've got a monster in the vault.
               It represents all the corruption, the
               deceit, and greed within us all. I must
               slay it.

                                                       14.



                        TED TURNER/STUDENT
                 (worst acting we've ever
                  seen)
          McCandless, how many times have I had to
          tell you? I've had to tell you that you
          are a journalist and you can't get
          personally involved in your cases...or
          your stories.

                       CHRIS
          Ted! I know how to kill it. And I'm the
          only one who knows. You can't keep
          sending me on stories and expecting me to
          do nothing! I look like some kind of an
          idiot.

                       TED TURNER/STUDENT
          Do you know who you're talking to?   I'm
          Ted Turner.

Behind Chris in the corridor outside Ted's office, a
PANICKED STUDENT arrives at the door.

                       PANICKED STUDENT
          McCandless! You've got to hurry! The
          monster is scratching at the hatchway.
          He'll be out in no time.

                       TED TURNER/STUDENT
                 (threatening)
          It'll mean your job, Chris McCandless.

                       CHRIS
                 (to Ted)
          That's it, Ted. Fire me if you want but
          this beast must be slayed.
Microphone in hand, Chris makes haste. The CAMERA RUNS
WITH HIM out the door, through the corridor, up a set of
steps to the hatchway. As he arrives, the monster
appears above him in the hatchway crawl space having
pulled off the board Chris had nailed.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 (into camera)
          This is the only thing that can kill the
          monster. It's gonna be risky but without
          great risk, there is no freedom. So we
          will now hear from the famous singer -
          Chris McCandless.

                                                      15.



A piano is PUSHED INTO FRAME beside Chris. A YOUNG BLACK
STUDENT pulls a stool in front of the piano and begins to
play. Chris begins to serenade the monster,
intermittently sharing the serenade directly into camera
as well. He bursts into an uninhibited solo of Tender Is
The Night.

CAMERA TILTS UP to the monster looking out the hatchway,
slowly dying from the song being sung.

As the song continues to be sung and the monster
continues to die, the AUDIO RECEDES and VIDEO IMAGES GO
TO SLO MO.

                       CARINE (V.O.)
          When we were little, Chris was very to
          himself. He wasn't anti-social, he
          always had friends, and everybody liked
          him - but he could go off and entertain
          himself for hours, he didn't seem to need
          toys or friends. He could be alone
          without being lonely. The secrets our
          parents kept, though unknown to Chris and
          I, led to bouts of rage and even violence
          between them that we had been forced to
          witness since we were very young. It
          seemed like they never fought without us.
          I remember the first family meeting to
          let Chris and me in on their plans for
          getting a divorce. They wanted us to
          choose which of them we'd live with. I
          cried my eyes out. But the divorce never
          happened, though the threats and meetings
          never stopped. It wasn't long before
          Chris and I shut off -- we would tell mom
          and dad to go ahead and get the divorce.
          Chris and I just wanted to get away from
          their fights and mom kept promising to
          get out and take us with her as soon as
          their company made enough money. Dad had
          been the young genius [that] NASA
          enlisted to do [crucial] designs for the
          American satellite radar systems that
          would be our answer to the Russian
          Sputnik. And mom and he later started up
          a consulting firm combining her get-up-
          and-go resourcefulness with his wealth of
          knowledge. By the time the company
          actually made its first million, the
          careerism and money seemed to erase her
          memory of the promise she'd made us.
                       (MORE)

                                                              16.

                            CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I think this is when Chris began to see
               "careers" as a diseased invention of the
               twentieth century and to resent money and
               the useless priority people made of it in
               their lives. He'd begun planning to
               "slay the beast"...to make himself free.

     VIDEO IMAGE:

     The beast dies.

                                                     FADE OUT.

                                       CHAPTER 1: BIRTH - FADE
                                                           IN:


16   INT. TENT (IN THE SCRUB BRUSH BESIDE LAKE MEAD) - DAY      16

     We see a pile of berries sitting atop a handkerchief.
     Beside them, a survivalist's guide to edible growth.

     POV: THE TOP OF THE TENT - SOFT FOCUS

     The glare of the sun penetrating the canvas. A fly
     buzzes and lands, hanging upside down. The image is
     blurry.

     ECU: CHRIS' EYES

     Delirious in the heat, we WIDEN OUT to see that he's
     filthy (2 weeks of growth on his face and naked.) He
     makes his way out of the tent, peers at the relentless
     sun and scurries to his backpack where he removes a
     canteen, barely a sip of water left in it. He downs it.
                                                     TIME CUT:

17   EXT. LAKE MEAD DAY                                         17

     The following short vignettes are silent and focused
     exclusively on Chris:

     1. Recreational BOATERS on Lake Mead. GIRLS in bikinis.
     BOYS on boats eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.

                                                       CUT TO:

     2. At lake-side, an unusual sight - the NEW Chris
     McCandless, a sun and dirt-beaten bum with a backpack.

                                                       CUT TO:

                                                             17.



     3. A family ski-boat has taken Chris on. They give him
     water, dropping him at the north end of the lake at
     TEMPLE BAR MARINA. (Director's Note: HIGH ANGLE, TIGHT,
     sees Chris and the glimmering water treadmilling below)

                                                          CUT TO:

     4. Chris washes himself in the lake by the marina.

                                                          CUT TO:


18   ESTABLISHING SHOT: CAFE, TEMPLE BAR MARINA                  18

                                                          CUT TO:


19   INT. MARINA CAFE, UNISEX RESTROOM                           19

     Chris brushes his teeth.

                            CHRIS (V.O.)
               I need a name.

     He takes a swallow of water. Rinses his mouth. Spits it
     out. Then checks his bearded face in the mirror. He
     likes what he sees.

     As he wipes the corners of his mouth with a tissue and
     throws it into the bin below the sink, he notices a
     discarded tube of lipstick. He picks it up. It's down
     to its end. Yet with what lipstick remains, he writes on
     the mirror:

     ALEXANDER SUPERTRAMP WAS HERE   JULY 1990
                                                          CUT TO:

20   EXT. MARINA CAFE (BLDG REAR) - SUNDOWN                      20

     Chris is behind the cafe beside a pair of dumpsters. He
     removes the Datsun's license plates from his backpack and
     discards them deeply into the garbage.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                          17A.




21   EXT. MARINA CAFE (BLDG FRONT) - SUNDOWN                   21

     Chris appears from behind the cafe lugging his backpack
     up the rise from the cafe to the highway and starts
     thumbing for a ride.

                                                       CUT TO:

                                                               18.




22    INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE                            22

      VARIOUS shots to accompany V.O.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                Toward the end of June, Chris had mailed
                our parents his final grade report.

      Walt and Billie open the envelope.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Almost all A's. "A" in Apartheid in
                South African Society and History of
                Anthropological Thought; A- in
                Contemporary African Politics and the
                Food Crisis in Africa; and on it went.
                Clever boy, my brother.

      We observe Carine in a delicate afternoon light. She is
      sitting up on her bed with an unread book, looking out
      the window toward us.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                But by the end of July we hadn't heard
                anything from him and my parents were
                getting very worried.

      Carine's POV:   Walt with his arm around Billie in the
      yard.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Chris had never had a phone, so they
                decided to drive down to Atlanta and
                surprise him.
                                                           CUT TO:

22A   EXT. ROAD TO TAHOE                                        22A

      Chris, backpack on, walking away from camera.

                                                           CUT TO:


23    EXT. HIGHWAY - ATLANTA - DAY (END JULY 1990)               23

      We see Walt and Billie's car pass under an Atlanta
      mileage sign.

                                                             19.



                            CARINE (V.O.)
               When they arrived at the apartment, there
               was a "For Rent" sign in his window, and
               the manager told my parents that Chris
               had moved out at the end of June.


24   EXT. OFF-CAMPUS ROOMING HOUSE, ATLANTA - DAY                24

     We observe Walt and Billie chatting with Chris' apartment
     manager.

                            CARINE (V.O.)
               When they got home, I had to hand them
               all the letters they had sent Chris that
               summer which had been returned in a
               bundle.


25   INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE                             25

     The bundle of letters are splayed out on the kitchen
     table - "Return to Sender" stamps visible.

                            CARINE (V.O.)
               Chris had instructed the post office to
               hold them until August 1st so that mom
               and dad wouldn't know that anything was
               up. Some part of me understood what he
               had done. That he had spent the previous
               four years fulfilling an absurd and
               onerous duty in graduating from college.

     We return to the image of Carine sitting on her bed as
     she plops on Chris' old graduation cap. We slowly ZOOM IN
     on her throughout the remaining V.O.
                            CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               And now, at last he was unincumbered.
               Emancipated from the stifling world of
               parents and peers. Abstraction,
               security, and material excess. Those
               things that cut Chris off from the raw
               truth of his existence. I only hoped he
               was safe...and I missed him.

                                                          CUT TO:


26   EXT. SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS (LAKE TAHOE AREA) - DAY        26

                                                            20.



     HELICOPTER SHOT: (MUSIC OVER: PHILIP GLASS) WE FIND
     CHRIS MAKING HIS STRIDES THROUGH PINES AND PEAKS, IN AWE
     OF THE SCALE AND POWER OF THIS LANDSCAPE.

     TRACKING SHOT (GROUND LEVEL): CLOSE ON Chris, surrounded
     by a summit grove embraced in its nature.

     ANGLE: A DEER drinking from a creek, pops its head up
     between trees and scrub, watching the alien human pass.

     An EAGLE soars above (perhaps it was this POV represented
     in our helicopter shot)

     WATER babbling in a mountain creek.

     VARIOUS WILDLIFE SHOTS

     ANGLE: Chris -   In his eyes we see the landscape inject
     itself.

                                                        CUT TO:


27   EXT. CAMPSITE, PACIFIC CREST TRAIL - SUNSET                 27

     SEQUENCE: Chris makes camp beside a stream pulling a sack
     of rice from his backpack and cooking it.


28   EXT. CAMPSITE, PACIFIC CREST TRAIL - NIGHT                  28

     Wrapped in his own "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly"
     poncho, Chris eats rice while crouched beside a campfire
     reading from Jack London's White Fang.
                                                        CUT TO:

29   EXT. PACIFIC CREST TRAIL - FURTHER NORTH - DAY              29

     Chris is on the move north through the gorgeous landscape
     of the Sierras, humming as he walks, when he comes upon a
     sign on the trail: PERMIT CAMPING IN DESIGNATED
     CAMPGROUNDS ONLY.

     Chris bows to the sign as one would to speak to a small
     child.

                            CHRIS
                      (singing)
               Sign, sign. Everywhere a sign. Fuckin'
               up the scenery, breakin' my mind.
                            (MORE)

                                                               21.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 Do this. Don't do that. Can't you read
                 the sign?

     And then, very impulsively, he karate kicks the sign off
     its post into a log collapsing into ---

                                                          CUT TO:


30   OMITTED                                                     30


31   EXT. CAMPSITE II, PACIFIC CREST TRAIL - NIGHT               31

     A burning log collapses in Chris' campfire, reduced to
     glowing embers.


32   INT. TENT                                                   32

     Chris is awakened by the SOUND of TWIGS SNAPPING in a
     nearby thicket. He quickly grabs a knife from his
     backpack, unzips six inches of the tent door open. We
     see his eyes peering out. The CRACKLING moves closer.
     His grip on the knife tightens.

     Suddenly a hot white light hits his face.   And a VOICE
     comes from behind the light.

                              FOREST RANGER
                 U.S. Forestry. Could you step out of the
                 tent please?

     Now we see the FOREST RANGER appear from the thicket.
     Chris exits the tent, catching himself holding the knife.
                             CHRIS
                       (as he drops the knife to the
                        ground)
                 Sorry. I thought you were a bear.

                              FOREST RANGER
                        (approaching)
                 I don't blame you. You're less than a
                 hundred yards from the nearest den.
                 That's why I came over here to talk to
                 you. Do you have some identification?

                                                         22.



                       CHRIS
          No. I'm sorry. My name's Alex. I've
          been travelling a lot and I got robbed
          and my identification was taken.

                       FOREST RANGER
          You mind if I take a look in your tent?

                        CHRIS
          Go ahead.

The Forest Ranger bends over. Pops his flashlight
through the tent door and peers around a bit before re-
addressing Chris.

                       FOREST RANGER
          You're not the character who knocked down
          our sign, are ya?

                      CHRIS
                (giggles)
          No.

                       FOREST RANGER
          Because there was a sign indicating that
          camping was allowed by permit only.

                       CHRIS
          Well, I don't have a permit.

                       FOREST RANGER
          No, I'm sure you don't. Listen, it looks
          like you've got your food secured pretty
          good, so I'm not gonna make you move on
          tonight. But, these bears out here are
          nursing young and you know how that goes.
          Next time, stop at the Rangers station
          and get yourself a permit.

                       CHRIS
          Alright. I appreciate it. I'm gonna be
          headed towards the coast tomorrow.

                        FOREST RANGER
          Be careful.

They shake hands and the Forest Ranger disappears into
the thicket.

                                                     CUT TO:

                                                               23.




33    EXT. THE NORTHERN CREST - DAY                              33

      Chris descends the mountains where they meet the
      Redwoods. Every perilous step creates a mini landslide
      down the hill; dirt and gravel.

      Chris stops briefly to observe an over-flying commercial
      airliner.

                             CHRIS
                       (mocking imaginary
                        conversation among
                        passengers)
                Is that a man mommy?
                That's no mere man, sweetheart. That's
                Alexander SuperTramp! King of the wild
                frontier!

      Chris briefly waves to the airplane above and continues
      his descent.

                                                         CUT TO:


34    OMITTED                                                    34


35    EXT. HIGHWAY NEAR WILLOW CREEK (AUGUST 10, 1990)           35

      A car slows to a stop.


36    INT./EXT. CAR-HIGHWAY                                      36

                             DRIVER
                This is where I turn off.

                               CHRIS
                Alright man.    Thanks a lot.

      Chris is dropped off. The driver veers off the highway
      and into the distance. Chris is left behind to hitch
      another ride.

36A   EXT. HIGHWAY                                              36A

      CAMERA is across the road from Chris as one by one cars
      pass him by. He turns to move north by foot and we track
      with him, his back to oncoming traffic, he continues to
      hitchhike with an extended thumb. Something catches his
      eye in the treeline beside the road.

                                                         24.



REVERSE: Chris, moving to the mysterious object. As he
lifts it, we see that it is a goofy looking straw hat.
He dusts it off, and snugs it onto his head, when a
police car comes into frame and stops beside Chris.

With a quick blast of the siren, Chris turns to regard
the police car. The POLICEMAN gets out of the car and
moves to Chris.

                       POLICEMAN
          How're you doin' this evening?

                       CHRIS
                 (reluctantly)
          I'm alright. What's the matter?

                       POLICEMAN
          You wanna put your backpack down on the
          hood of my car.

Chris does not oblige.

                         CHRIS
          Why?

                       POLICEMAN
          Because I asked you to, sir.

                       CHRIS
          But I haven't done anything wrong.   These
          are my personal items.

                       POLICEMAN
          Do you know that it's unlawful to
          hitchhike on this stretch of highway.
                       CHRIS
          You're kidding.

                       POLICEMAN
          Do you see a safe area for a vehicle to
          stop? We got a tree-lined highway
          without a substantial shoulder here. And
          we've had a lot of accidents on this road
          from people stopping in the traffic lane
          for hitchhikers.

                       CHRIS
          Alright, but...I mean, you stopped your
          car. You're in the traffic lane. And
          you can see, there's hardly any cars out
          here. Plus, it's a straight road; you
          can see for a long ways.
                       (MORE)

                                                            25.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
                      (in disbelief)
               There's really been accidents along here?

                            POLICEMAN
               May I see some identification?

     Now Chris is worried.

                            CHRIS
               I don't have any.

                            POLICEMAN
               You don't have any identification?

     Chris shakes his head "No."

                            POLICEMAN (CONT'D)
                      (pulling out a ticket)
               Well, I'm gonna site you for unlawful
               hitchhiking. You don't have to appear.
               You can send a check directly to the
               Humboldt County Clerks Office for
               restitution. If you don't pay it within
               30 days, you're subject to fine and
               warrant. I'm gonna trust that you're
               gonna give me accurate information.
               What's your name?

     Chris can't bring himself to lie.

                            CHRIS
                      (a beat)
               McCandless. Christopher Johnson
               McCandless.

                                                         CUT TO:

37   INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE (MID-AUGUST 1990)          37

     Walt, Billie, and Carine sit around the kitchen table in
     August. A copy of Chris' ticket has been sent to the
     Annandale address and sits before them. Billie and
     Carine sit silently. Walt's on the phone.

                            CARINE (V.O.)
               If Chris were trying to disappear, it
               would have been a pretty uncharacteristic
               lapse for him to give the police his real
               place of residence. Though my parents
               had already contacted the Annandale
               police with their initial concerns, this
               ticket arriving from California made them
               frantic.
                            (MORE)

                                                              26.

                            CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               My father called one of his old
               government friends who put him in touch
               with a private investigator, someone
               who'd done work with the DIA and the CIA.
               Using the Willow Creek ticket as a
               starting point, the investigator began
               chasing down leads. Most of them led far
               afield -- to Europe and South Africa.
               Ultimately turning up nothing. What my
               dad couldn't believe was that he'd given
               up his car. He seemed to love that
               Datsun so much. It sounded just like
               Chris to me, though. He was very much of
               the school that you should own nothing
               except what you could carry on your back
               at a dead run.


38   EXT. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY, NEAR ORICK, 60 MILES     38
     SOUTH OF THE OREGON LINE - DAY (MID-AUGUST 1990)

     With his backpack lunging and a free hand holding his
     goofy new hat onto his head, we find Chris at a "dead
     run" to catch a ride that had overshot him. (Director's
     note: Don't leave this image too soon.) An old van idles
     waiting for him. As he gets to the passenger side, the
     woman passenger gets out. This is JAN BURRES, early
     40's, looks to be still on the long road home from
     Woodstock. A little heavyset, dark wavy hair with a lot
     of premature grey in it.

     Jan moving to the side door.

                            JAN
               Hi. We just barely saw you there, under
               that crazy hat of yours. We couldn't
               back up - the van's reverse is broken.
                             CHRIS
                       (as Jan fiddles with side
                        door handle)
               Oh.   That's okay. Thanks for stopping.

                            JAN
               This door's a little tricky, I'll get it.

     And with a little pulling, it opens. Indicating the pony-
     tailed and bearded driver (RAINEY), early 50's,
     definitely Woodstock...

                            JAN (CONT'D)
               Hop in, that's Rainey.

                                                              27.



                            RAINEY
               Hey, I'm Rainey.

                              JAN
               And I'm Jan.

                              CHRIS
               Hey, Rainey.    Hi Jan.    I'm Alex.

                            RAINEY
               Alex of the hat.

                             CHRIS
                       (closing the side door)
               Yeah.

     Jan jumps back in passenger seat and the van rolls on.


39   INT. RAINEY & JAN VAN                                      39

     3-SHOT - CHRIS BETWEEN THEM IN THE BACKSEAT.

                            RAINEY
               Were you out there a long time hitching?

                            CHRIS
               Couple of days. But sometimes I forget to
               put my thumb out.

                            JAN
               Probably, the rest of the time, that hat
               scares `em away.

     Chris checks himself in the rearview mirror and gets a
     kick out of what he sees (That hat's staying on.) Jan is
     looking at the rearview mirror too, observing Chris with
     mild concern.

                            JAN (CONT'D)
               When's the last time you ate something?

     Chris pulls out a bag of berries and edible plants he's
     collected.

                            CHRIS
                      (excited)
               See that? I've got this book and it
               shows you all the plants and berries that
               are edible. You can find things wherever
               you go.

     Jan steals a glance to Rainey.      He's hip.

                                                           28.



                            RAINEY
               We were just in town getting some beads
               and stuff. Jan does handicrafts, so
               we're usually going from one swap meet to
               another. She's so good at what she does,
               we sold everything. So, we set up camp
               at Orick Beach. You're welcome to camp
               there with us.

                            JAN
               And eat there with us.

     Chris is beaming at the thought of real food.

                                                       CUT TO:


40   EXT. CAMPSITE, ORICK BEACH - NIGHT                         40

     Chris, Jan, and Rainey are beside a campfire, sitting on
     blankets. Their tents loom behind them.

     Jan is weaving some sort of craft art. Chris is chomping
     on chicken and beans like they're going out of style.

                            CHRIS
                      (between large swallows)
               So, I just left the car. It was a great
               car too. I'd driven it cross country the
               first time when I got out of high school.
               I had some really great adventures with
               it. That thing would just go and go. I
               mean, it was an `82 but if I'd kept it,
               it would've lasted me forever.
                            RAINEY
               So, you're a leather now.
                            CHRIS
               I'm a leather?

     Rainey nods, smiling.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
                      (looking to Jan)
               What's a leather?

                            JAN
               You're a leather tramp. That's what they
               call the ones that hoof it on foot. So,
               we're technically rubber tramps.

                                                     29.



                       RAINEY
                 (interjecting)
          As we have a vee-hi-cle.

Rainey makes a move to put his arm around Jan. She goes
a little stiff and fends it off. Chris notices.

                       JAN
          Alex could have a vehicle. If he didn't
          burn his money. Why would you want to do
          that?

                       CHRIS
          I don't need money.   It makes people
          cautious.

                       JAN
                 (a little irritated)
          Well, you have to be a little cautious
          Alex. That book of yours is all well and
          fine but you can't depend entirely on
          leaves and berries.

                       CHRIS
          I don't know if you'd want to depend on
          much more than that.

                       JAN
          Where's your mom and dad?

                       CHRIS
          Makin' their money somewhere.

                       JAN
          Come on Chris. You look like a loved             *
          kid. Be fair.                                    *
                      CHRIS
          Fair?

                       JAN
          You know what I mean.

                       CHRIS
          I'll paraphrase Thoreau -- "Rather than          *
          love, than money, than fairness, give me         *
          truth."                                          *

                       RAINEY                              *
          You look like shit.   There's the truth.         *

They all laugh.                                            *

                                                              30.



                                                          CUT TO:     *


41   INT. CHRIS' TENT, ORICK BEACH - LATER                       41

     Chris sits up reading, his tent entry flap ajar to let
     the small candle lantern ventilate.

     OS we HEAR a ZIPPING SOUND. It's Rainey. We see him
     from Chris' POV coming out of his tent deep in thought.

     As he moves to the glowing embers of what remains of the
     campfire, Rainey's face goes out of frame and all Chris
     can see are his booted feet, tapping bits of glowing wood
     into the center of the fire. The tapping is slow and
     thoughtful. Micro-embers float upward into the night.

     Chris' tent flap closes by his own hand.

     ANGLE: Chris' dog-ears his book and puts out the lantern.

                                                          CUT TO:


42   EXT. ORICK BEACH - DAY                                      42

     We see Chris foraging for firewood in the bluffs above
     the beach. He's got it tied to his back and his front.
     If we didn't know better, we'd think he was camouflaging
     himself.

     Chris' POV: The rocks beside the water's edge. We see
     Rainey sitting beside the water, staring out to sea. We
     follow Chris' gaze to Jan, some fifty yards down the
     beach, walking melancholically in the opposite direction
     of Rainey.
     ANGLE: Rainey at the water's edge.   Chris appears beside
     him.

                            RAINEY
                      (regarding Chris wrapped up
                       in wood)
               Geez. If I struck a match to you, I'd
               have warmth and dinner at the same time.

                                                       31.



But Rainey's humor does not hide an inner turmoil.

                       CHRIS
          Where's Jan going?

                       RAINEY
          Well, my friend, all is not well on the
          hippie front.

Chris pulls out his pocketknife, cuts the twine that
binds the firewood to his body, and takes a seat beside
Rainey.

                       RAINEY (CONT'D)
          You're an industrious little fucker,
          aren't ya... Yeah, it's funny how things
          happen at particular times. I've loved
          that woman for a lot of years. But you
          know, she's got a...story. We've been
          going through this thing real quietly
          cause, well...So, after running into you
          last night, this thing we were going
          through quietly, she started talking
          about. You know what I mean?

                        CHRIS
          I think so.

                       RAINEY
          You think what?

Chris is looking off at Jan walking in the distance.

                       CHRIS
          I think she's probably quietly
          disconnecting. It doesn't feel right to
          her to be close to you if there's a hole
          of some kind somewhere else.

                       RAINEY
          That's a helluva insight. Jesus!...
          You're not Jesus, are you? You gonna
          walk on that water and get her back for
          me?

                       CHRIS
          Actually, I'm a little afraid of water.

Rainey gives him a sideways glance.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          It's true. But it's something I've got
          to get over sometime.
                       (MORE)

                                                              32.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               So, I'll swim in it if you'll carry the
               firewood back to the campsite.

                             RAINEY
               I'll carry.   Shit-yes I'll carry.

     And with that, Chris runs down the beach toward Jan.
     Rainey watches Chris and Jan chat briefly. Then they
     strip down to their underwear and jump into the ocean,
     splashing and laughing.

     ANGLE: Rainey. A warmth comes over him, watching his old
     lady having some fun. He grabs two armfuls of wood and
     heads to the campsite.

     ANGLE: Chris and Jan swimming in the chilly water, having
     a ball.

     Jan increasingly indulges herself a motherly closeness
     and joy with Chris. And Chris allows it. She pushes the
     stringy hairs from his eyes, worries when he descends
     below the surface for too many seconds, and smiles and
     laughs in tender relief when from below surface one of
     her toes is pulled on by the big fish Chris. As he re-
     surfaces, she gives him a splash right in the face.

                                                        TIME CUT:


43   EXT. CAMPSITE, ORICK BEACH - LATER                          43

     Through a burning campfire in the late afternoon, we see
     the chilly bodies of Chris and Jan carrying their clothes
     run shivering toward us.

     Rainey sits beside the campfire.
                            RAINEY
               I thought you guys might need a little
               heat.

     Jan smiles appreciatively.

                            JAN
                      (moving to Rainey)
               That's not hot enough. Put your arms
               around me.

     As they embrace, Chris throws a coat on from his tent,
     puts on his funny straw hat, and grabs a book.

     Rainey has wrapped a blanket around Jan and they sit
     beside the fire.

                                                             33.



                            CHRIS
               I'm going to go down the beach a ways and
               read a little bit. I'll bring the rest
               of that wood back before nightfall.

                            RAINEY
               Alright. We might take a run into town
               to grab some food for tonight.

                              CHRIS
               Sounds good.

     He heads off down the beach.


44   EXT. ORICK BEACH MONTAGE                                   44

     MUSIC OVER:

     1. The ocean moving toward sunset.

     2. Seagulls, gliding inches over the water.

     3. The breeze on the sea grass.

     4. Chris in his big hat reading at water's edge.

     5. Jan and Rainey deeply engaged in conversation beside
     the fire.

     6. Chris closing his book, remaining meditative at
     water's edge.

     7. Jan and Rainey in town, buying groceries and being
     playful with each other.
     8. OVER Chris' shoulder, the sun sets and day becomes
     night.

                                                          CUT TO:


45   EXT. CAMPSITE, ORICK BEACH - NIGHT                         45

     Jan and Rainey on a blanket sharing a joint. Chris lying
     beside the campfire in his sleeping bag. Jan takes a
     toke, passes the joint to Rainey.

                            JAN
               You know what Alex ought to do, Rainey?
               He ought to come out to the Slabs this
               winter.

                                                         34.



                        RAINEY
          Oh yeah.

Rainey takes a toke on the joint.

                       RAINEY (CONT'D)
          You'd like that if you're still on the
          road. Lot of fellow travelers.

Rainey offers the joint to Chris.   Chris passes it up
with a hand gesture.

                       CHRIS
          What is that? The Slabs?

                       RAINEY
          It's down in Niland, California.   You
          know where the Salton Sea is?

                       CHRIS
          Near San Diego, yeah?

                       RAINEY
          Well about 200 miles Northeast of there,
          but yeah. Niland's off the east shore of
          Salton. Wild place. The navy bulldozed
          and abandoned a base there. All that's
          left is a grid of concrete foundations.
          They're scattered over about a square
          mile or so.

                       JAN
          When the weather turns cold across the
          rest of the country, people show up there
          by the thousands: snow birds...
                        RAINEY
          Drifters...

                       JAN
          Sundry vagabonds...

                       RAINEY / JAN
          Like ourselves.

                       JAN
          Livin' on the cheap under the sun.

                       CHRIS
          You sell your handcrafts there?

                                                              35.



                            JAN
               Oh yeah. And a lot of second-hand goods.
               There's a swap meet. The people are
               cool. There's even some kids running
               around sometimes. Most everyone there,
               if they're not avoiding the cold, are at
               least dodging the IRS.

                             RAINEY
               Or the FBI.   CIA! DDT!!!

     The three of them laugh.

                            JAN
               It's good. You should check it out. If
               you come, I'll make a proper hat for you.
                      (standing, shaking out her
                       blanket)
               Well, Alex. I'm gonna clean up and the
               old man and I are gonna get some rest.
                      (indicating the sleeping bag)
               Looks like you got yourself a good bag
               there.

                            CHRIS
               Yeah...my mother made it from a kit.

     Jan sees an almost imperceptible mother pang in Chris,
     but he pushes it away quickly.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               I'm gonna sleep out here by the fire.     I
               want to read a little bit.

     Jan moves to Chris, hugs him, kisses him on the cheek.
                            JAN
               You're wonderful.   Don't make me worry
               about you.

                                                         TIME CUT:


46   EXT. CAMPSITE, ORICK BEACH - LATER                          46

     The fire is burning low. Chris reads from Thoreau's
     WALDEN from the chapter on "Higher Laws" as we move
     slowly in toward him, we begin to HEAR quiet sounds of
     what may be love-making coming from Rainey and Jan's
     tent. A gentle smile comes over Chris' face and in its
     irony, he looks to the page before him.

                                                            36.



     Chris' sliding fingertip underlines the following
     passage:
     Chastity is the flowering of a man; and what are called
     genius, heroism, holiness, and the like, are but various
     fruits which succeed it.

                                                         CUT TO:


47   EXT. CAMPSITE, ORICK BEACH - MORNING                       47

     Gulls pierce into the grey morning ocean, snapping from
     schools of fish. And the subtle crackling of a
     campfire's death. There on the beach, Jan and Rainey's
     van, their tent, and the fireless coals of last night.
     But no sign of Chris, his bag or his tent.

     Jan appears from her tent, rubbing her eyes. She wears a
     sarong which she re-secures at the breast, then notices
     that Chris has left. But where his tent had been, the
     words:

     THANK YOU JAN AND RAINEY

     are spelled out in the sand with bits of driftwood.

     CU: Jan - We see her sadness. Rainey appears at her
     shoulder. He understands what is inside his woman.

                            JAN
               He reminded me...

                            RAINEY
               I know.
     Go to WIDE SHOT: Jan and Rainey remaining as they were.
     FOREGROUND: Seagulls GLIDE THROUGH FRAME.

                                       CHAPTER 2:    ADOLESCENCE
                                                    DISSOLVE TO:


48   EXT. CASCADE RANGE - DAY                                   48

     MUSIC OVER: Joe Henry's King's Highway

     A SERIES OF SHOTS:

     1. Chris hitchhiking through the Sage Brush Uplands

     2. Chris squatting over a water bucket, shaving.

                                                              37.



     3. Camping in the lava beds of the Columbia River Basin.

     4. Walking across the Idaho Panhandle.

     5. Cooking the last of his rice on the Montana border.

     6. Hitchhiking in the Montana sunset.


49   EXT. CUT BANK, MONTANA - SUNSET (SEPTEMBER 10 1990)        49

     We see Chris hitching down a lonely two-lane road
     surrounded by fields and distant mountains.

                            CARINE (V.O.)
               In early September, mom and dad got a
               call from the Annandale police notifying
               them that Chris' abandoned car had been
               identified by the Arizona Highway Patrol
               after a group of rare flower hunters
               stumbled upon it in the desert. There
               were no signs that Chris had intended to
               return to it. But there wasn't any
               evidence of struggle. The police said
               they thought Chris had chosen to leave it
               behind and not that it had been taken
               from him. Nonetheless, the initial
               comfort that gave mom and dad, quickly
               turned to their realization that Chris
               was actually trying not to be found.


50   EXT. ANNANDALE STREET - DUSK                               50

     We see Walt. He walks out the door of his house into the
     street. He keeps walking. And we go with him in his
     silent but internal Armageddon. We PULL him in CU
     throughout all that follows...(Refer to SCENE 171: "Dad
     calls it `suspended animation.'" This may affect our
     visual approach)

                            CARINE
               The year Chris graduated high school he
               bought the Datsun, used. He wanted to
               drive it cross-country and visit our old
               neighborhood in California. The day
               before he left was my dad's birthday.
               Chris made a speech...

                                                             38.




51   INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE (PAST)                      51

     Chris stands beside the family piano, speaking to a party
     of his parent's friends, Walt and Billie among them.
     Beside him, a large gift-wrapped present. Carine sits at
     the foot of the stairs at the back of the room watching
     her brother with a hint of concern.

                            CHRIS
                      (a little drunk, a little
                       emotional)
               Dad, you and I have had our differences
               over the years...but on your birthday I
               want to tell you how grateful I am for
               all the things you've given me. And that
               you did it starting from nothing to
               working your way through college and
               busting your ass to support us kids. So,
               in return, I've been busting my ass a
               bit...at Domino's Pizza -

     Chris moves to the gift.

                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               and I've gotten you this token, this
               damned expensive token, as a token of
               that appreciation.

     Chris holds the large gift toward Walt. Walt moves
     through his friends to Chris and strips the paper,
     exposing a beautiful Questar Telescope.

                            WALT
                      (patting his son the back)
               Would you look at that.
     Walt holds the telescope up for all to see.   And the
     party responds with applause.

     Chris walks through the cheering family friends to take
     his place beside Carine at the bottom of the steps.

                            CARINE
               Jesus, you must've had a lot to drink.

                            CHRIS
               Too much and not enough. I used to
               believe all that stuff. That whole
               story. I thought maybe if I said it
               again, I'd believe it. But I don't.

                                                            39.



     Tears have come to Chris' eyes. He puts his head in his
     hands. Carine puts an arm around him.

                                                       BACK TO:


52   EXT ANNANDALE STREET - DUSK                               52

     PRESENT:   Walt expressionless, walking into camera.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                The day after the party, Chris left on
                his trip and ended up staying away most
                of the summer. It was nearly three months
                before he walked back into our house in
                Annandale. He had a scruffy beard, his
                hair was long and tangled, and he was
                rail thin. As soon as I heard he was
                home, I ran into his room to talk to him.
                In California, he'd looked up some old
                family friends who still lived there.
                He'd found out that long after he had
                been born, our dad had continued a
                relationship with his first wife Marcia
                in secret.


53   EXT CUT BANK, MONTANA - SUNSET                            53

     BRIEF CUTAWAY to Chris hitching on the Montana highway.

                             CARINE
                And that one lie had led to another.
                That two years after Chris was born, dad
                had had another son with Marcia. Worse
                yet was that it was Marcia to whom he was
                still legally married at the time. And
                it was Chris and I who were the bastard
                children.

                                                       BACK TO:


54   EXT ANNANDALE STREET - DUSK                               54

     Walt.

                             CARINE
                Dad's arrogance made him conveniently
                oblivious to the pain he caused. And
                mom, in the shame and embarrassment of a
                young mistress, became his accomplice.
                             (MORE)

                                            39aA.

             CARINE (CONT'D)
She and my dad had decided to bend the
truth about this other child saying that
dad wasn't the father and they maintained
that their fraudulent marriage was real.
             (MORE)

                                            39A.

             CARINE (CONT'D)
Chris was quiet when he told me this. He
said it made his "entire childhood seem
like a fiction"; that "the truth had been
dying everyday." If something bothered
Chris, he'd usually keep it to himself.
And he made me promise to do the same.
             (MORE)

                                                           40.

                            CARINE (CONT'D)
               He never did tell mom and dad that he
               knew. But Chris measured himself and
               those around him by an impossibly
               rigorous moral code. He loathed what he
               considered mom and dad's hypocrisy and
               resented what they considered guidance.
               Chris submitted to dad's authority
               through college but I knew he raged
               inwardly the whole time. It was
               inevitable that Chris would rebel. And
               when he did, he did it with
               characteristic immoderation.

     Walt suddenly collapses to his knees weeping, heartbroken
     and ashamed on a quiet Annandale street in the shadowless
     light of dusk.

                            CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               My father is a brilliant man. But he had
               made some terrible mistakes. And to some
               extent, it seemed Chris was making him
               pay an awful price.

     The image of Walt DISSOLVES INTO...

                                                      BACK TO:


55   EXT. CUT BANK, MONTANA (SEPTEMBER 10, 1990)                 55


     A pick-up truck pulls over for Chris. As Chris jumps in,
     we see on the passenger side door, the name WAYNE
     WESTERBERG boldly painted across it. Chris hops in
     beside a hyper kinetic man with thick shoulders and a
     black goatee.
                            WAYNE
                      (rolling a cigarette without
                       moving forward with the
                       truck, his knees rattling up
                       and down)
               How're you doing? Wayne Westerberg.

                            CHRIS
                      (shaking hands)
               Hi Wayne. Alex McCandless.

                            WAYNE
               Seems like every time I come on this
               road, there's somebody hitching out here
               who looks as skinny and unfed as you.

     Chris nods with a laugh.   Wayne continuing...

                                                              41.



                            WAYNE (CONT'D)
               Look, I gotta stop in Ethridge to drop
               something off (know what I mean?)

     Chris is not sure about the "drop something off" part.

                            WAYNE (CONT'D)
               How `bout you and I grab something to eat
               down there?

                            CHRIS
               Oh, I wouldn't want to burden you.

                            WAYNE
               How long has it been since you've had
               anything to eat?

                            CHRIS
               Couple of days. I kinda ran out of
               money.

                            WAYNE
               Well, there's no choice about it.    I'm
               gonna get you some dinner.

     Wayne lights his cigarette, puts the truck in gear and
     they head down the road.

     As the sun dips behind the horizon we TILT UP off the
     departing truck to the sky. Ominously mounting clouds
     stunningly reflect the red rays of the hidden sun:

                                                          CUT TO:

56   EXT. SUNBURST - NIGHT                                       56
     Wayne's truck cuts through a track in a wheat field
     moving toward a compound of three trailers, one a double-
     wide, the other two on wheels, smaller. Beside them, a
     Wyeth-esque farmhouse. He eases the engine and comes to
     a stop in front of the double-wide.

     As he and Chris dismount the truck, Wayne gives him a
     hushing finger across the lips. They tip-toe up to the
     door, where Wayne shuffles a bunch of keys.

     A little thunder kicking in the distant sky.

                                                           41A.




56A   INT. DOUBLE-WIDE - NIGHT                                  56A

      As Wayne and Chris enter, they tip-toe over empty booze
      bottles and passed out work crew; Wayne's harvesting
      team.

      They make their way to a small table in the kitchenette.
      Remains of the evening's dinner are on the stove. Wayne
      turns on the stovetop coils to heat it up.

                             WAYNE
                So where is it you're headed?

                             CHRIS
                I was thinking about doubling back
                through the Canadian side of Glacier
                Park.

                             WAYNE
                Yeah, I used to have a girlfriend who'd
                go there, camp on the Black Feet Res.
                She was into all that American Indian
                stuff.
                             (MORE)

                                                      42.

                       WAYNE (CONT'D)
          I can bring you to the border at Sweet
          Grass once you've had some food.

                       CHRIS
          Well, that'd be great.   What do you do
          out here?

                       WAYNE
          Well, I do a lot of things. Computer
          programming. Video game repair. I'm a
          licensed pilot, own a grain elevator in
          Carthage and another one a few miles out
          of town. But in the summertime I run a
          combine crew, follow the harvest from
          Texas way the hell north to the Canadian
          border. We just got done cutting barley
          for Coors and Anheuser Busch. But then I
          got this little black box deal on the
          side (You know what I mean?)

                       CHRIS
          You mean those free satellite TV deals?

                       WAYNE
                 (as though he hadn't brought
                  it up)
          You said it, not me.

Chris is dazzled by this renaissance man of the plains.

Wayne stands to dish out a couple of plates of heated
food. As Chris starts digging in, a major gust of wind
rocks the trailer.

                       WAYNE (CONT'D)
                 (smiling, responding to wind)
          OOOOOOH.
Chris doesn't respond, digs into the food. Points to the
unconscious tribe splayed out. SIX GERMANIC-LOOKING
UNCONSCIOUS BODIES.

                       CHRIS
          Who are these guys?

Wayne gets a little giggle.

                       WAYNE
          Those are my Hudderites. Agriculture's a
          pretty transient business. These guys
          come off the Hudderite colony looking for
          work. I always got work for people.
          Then that guy -
                       (MORE)

                                                           42A.

                            WAYNE (CONT'D)
                      (pointing at guy making most
                       of his snore)
               That's Kevin. He's with me most of the
               time. He's not a Hudderite. He's from
               Madison.

                              CHRIS
               Madison.    Okay.

     Just then, the rain kicks in full gear outside, pounding
     the trailer shell. A couple hits of lightning follow.

                            WAYNE
               Listen, you don't want to go out there on
               the road tonight. Why don't you just
               roll your sleeping bag out and play like
               a Hudderite until morning.

     Chris looks about. There's not much room but it beats
     the pelting outside.

                            CHRIS
               Thanks Wayne. I will.

                                                     TIME CUT:

     Chris, with a grin on his face, lays in his sleeping bag
     between a Hudderite and the sleeping KEVIN. Wayne comes
     from the back bedroom, tip-toes through the sleeping
     bodies to hand Chris a pillow.

                            WAYNE
               Get a good sleep. See you in the
               morning.

     Chris waves a thanks, puts the pillow beneath his head
     and closes his eyes.


57   OMITTED                                                    57


58   OMITTED                                                    58


59   EXT. SUNBURST - DAY                                        59

     We are TIGHT on Chris' hand atop the shifter of one of
     Wayne's lumbering harvesters.

                                                              43.



                            WAYNE (O.S)
               Okay. Now take hold of the joystick, get
               the feel of header, idle it down with the
               toggle switch...

     As Chris makes the attempt, we immediately hear the
     grinding of gears, the instrument alarms in chaos.

     WIDE SHOT: Chris and Wayne sit atop a combine. In the
     background we see Wayne's trailer and two other combines
     piloted by Wayne's crew members on the ocean of ripe
     blond grain.

     Chris tries his hand at the shifter once more.   This time
     the thing starts to move.

                            WAYNE (CONT'D)
               That's it. That's it. Now take it on
               out and make yourself some money.

     Wayne jumps off the combine and Chris begins to cut his
     pattern, intermittently struggling with the shifter.

     Wayne laughs his ass off.


60   EXT SUNBURST - DAY                                           60

     SERIES OF SHOTS indicating a SERIES OF DAYS passing as
     Chris gets a hang of the machines a little more at a
     time.

                                                         CUT TO:

61   INT. DOUBLE-WIDE, SUNBURST - NIGHT                           61
     Six men including Wayne and Chris, two among them -
     Hudderites, crowd in to the small dinner area of the
     trailer. Talking politics and bullshit, and eating a
     welcome meal.

                            WAYNE
               I'm gonna break out some whiskey. Alex,
               you want anything other than that beer?

                            CHRIS
               I'd take a White Russian if you've got
               it.

     The group of men laugh at the youngster's order of a
     fancy drink.

                                                              44.



                             MAN #1
                What are you Alex, a Commie?

                             CHRIS
                No, I just like White Russians.

                             WAYNE
                I haven't got anything like that here.
                But I tell ya what. And I know I speak
                for everybody. You wanna come work with
                us in Carthage, we'll hook you up on the
                grain elevator and get you a White
                Russian down at the Cabaret.

                               CHRIS
                Really?

                             WAYNE
                Dawn tomorrow, engines roaring.
                       (to the others like a mock
                        blues singer)
                "Pot o Gold. Oh that pot o gold."

      They all join in to the chant/song:

                               ALL
                "Pot o Gold.    Gotta get that pot o gold!"

                             CHRIS
                       (raising his beer)
                To Carthage.

                             WAYNE AND HIS MEN
                       (toasting)
                To Carthage.
                                                           CUT TO:


62    OMITTED                                                    62


62A   EXT. HIGHWAY BETWEEN SUNBURST AND CARTHAGE                62A

      MAGIC HOUR. TELEPHOTO LENS. The harvesting convoy rolls
      toward us like a herd of mammoths.

                                                           44A-45.




63    EXT. CARTHAGE - NIGHT (LATE SEPTEMBER 1990)                63

      A series of silent, quaint establishing tableaus.
      (Director's Note:    Condor above street)

      It's a sleepy little town. Population: 274. Cluster of
      clapboard houses, tiny yards, and weathered brick
      storefronts rising humbly from the immensity of the
      northern plains. Stately rows of cottonwoods shade a
      grid of streets, seldom disturbed by moving vehicles.

      From UNDER CAMERA, the series of tableaus is interrupted
      as the convoy roars into our frame from BENEATH CAMERA.

                                                           CUT TO:


63A   INT. WAYNE'S TRUCK                                        63A

      In the passenger seat, Chris is glowing at his new
      surroundings. Wayne picks up the CB radio.

                             WAYNE
                Okay Kevin, get all the machines back to
                the elevator. I'm gonna show Chris to
                his room.

                             KEVIN (O.S.)
                       (over CB)
                I've got dibs on that shower, that
                shower's all me.

                             WAYNE
                       (laughs)
                First come, first serve buddy.
      Wayne signs off and veers off the road.


64    OMITTED                                                    64

                                                              46.




65   OMITTED                                                    65


66   EXT. WESTERBERG'S CARTHAGE HOME - NIGHT                    66

     A two-story Victorian in the Queen Anne style. Wayne
     veers his truck into the front yard, parking under the
     big cottonwood that towers above.

                                               SHORT TIME CUT:


67   INT. WESTERBERG'S CARTHAGE HOME - SAME                     67
     Chris follows Wayne up the narrow stairwell.

                                                             47.



                            WAYNE
                      (carrying Chris' pack for
                       him)
               Come on up in here. This'll be your room
               for as long as you hang about.

     Wayne opens the door at the top of the stairs.


68   INT. CHRIS' ROOM, WESTERBERG'S CARTHAGE HOME - SAME        68

     Wayne plops Chris' pack beside a single bed in the tiny
     but comfortable room. Chris enters, very happy with his
     new quarters.

                            WAYNE
               Shower's down the hall. If you hurry you
               can beat the rest of the boys to it. But
               you do want to grab a shower cause we're
               all heading over to the Cabaret in
               exactly thirty-six minutes. So, get your
               dancing shoes on. There's foo-foo in the
               medicine cabinet. I think it's Brut.
                      (slaps his own face as if
                       he's putting on cologne)
               Then you want to put your charm in
               overdrive cause we like to PAH-TAY!

     Wayne gives Chris a wink and exits, shutting the door
     behind him.

     Chris takes in his new surroundings. He's on a work crew
     and he likes it. Chris makes the move for the shower but
     by the time he opens his door to the hall, all the other
     crew members are barreling up the stairs in front of
     them, clamoring for dibs (Chris' POV)
                              MAN #1
               I got first!

                            MAN #2
                      (in a kid voice)
               You had first last night!

                            MAN #1
                      (entering the bathroom)
               Well, if you wanna wash my back,
               cowboy...

                            MAN #2
               You go ahead, fairy.    Just don't use all
               the soap.

                                                             48.



     ANGLE: Chris. He gets a kick out of these guys.    He
     closes the door.

                                                          CUT TO:


69   INT. CABARET BAR, CARTHAGE - NIGHT                          69

     The Jack Daniels is flowing. Wayne's crew drinks,
     smokes, and strikes out with every fat woman in the
     place. GAIL BORAH, an on-again, off-again girlfriend of
     Wayne's tends bar. A petite sad-eyed woman, slight as a
     heron, delicate features and long blond hair. Wayne and
     Chris sit at the end of the bar.

                            WAYNE
               Alex, this is Gail . This is the one to
               go to for that White Russian you've been
               wanting. Of course the quid pro quo can
               be hazardous.

                            GAIL
               Shut up, Wayne.
                      (to Chris)
               You want a White Russian, sweetie?

                            CHRIS
                      (shyly)
               Yes please, ma'am.

                            WAYNE
               Yes please, ma'am?

     Wayne slaps Chris on the back.
                            WAYNE (CONT'D)
               Ain't he great?
                            GAIL
                      (to Chris)
               Don't pay any attention to him.

     With that Wayne reaches over the bar, grabs Gail and
     gets her in a lip-lock, to which she ultimately gives in.

                                                       TIME CUT:


70   INT. CABARET BAR, CARTHAGE - LATER                          70

     Wayne and Chris are both drunk.

                                                       49.



                       WAYNE
          Anything to do with hunting, preserving
          the meat, smoking it or whatever, you
          talk to Kevin over there. That's your
          man.

ANGLE: KEVIN.   He looks every bit the Grizzly Adams part.

                       WAYNE (CONT'D)
          Outdoors-man. What's the interest in all
          that?

                       CHRIS
          I'm thinking about going to Alaska.

                       WAYNE
          Alaska, Alaska? Or city Alaska?     The
          city Alaska does have markets.

                       CHRIS
                 (with a drunken, excited
                  energy)
          No, Alaska, Alaska. I want to be all the
          way out there. On my own. No map. No
          watch. No axe. Just out there. Big
          mountains, rivers, sky. Game. Just be
          out there in it. In the wild.

                         WAYNE
          In the wild.

                      CHRIS
          Yeah. Maybe write a book about my
          travels. About getting out of this sick
          society.
                       WAYNE
                 (coughing)
          Society, right.

                       CHRIS
          Because you know what I don't understand?
          I don't understand why, why people are so
          bad to each other, so often. It just
          doesn't make any sense to me. Judgement.
          Control. All that.

                       WAYNE
          Who "people" we talking about?

                       CHRIS
          You know, parents and hypocrites.
          Politicians and pricks.

                                                               50.



     Chris is clearly troubled by his own words.      Wayne leans
     into Chris.

                              WAYNE
                        (tapping a long finger
                         against Chris' forehead)
                 This is a mistake. It's a mistake to get
                 too deep into that kind of stuff. Alex,
                 you're a helluva young guy, but I promise
                 you this: You're a young guy. Blood and
                 fire! You're juggling blood and fire!

                              GAIL
                        (chimes in)
                 Who are you to be giving advice to
                 anybody?

                              WAYNE
                 Blood and fire...What? Mr. Happy.
                 That's who I am. Gimme a kiss.

     Gail    pushes him off with mock disgust.

                              WAYNE (CONT'D)
                        (mock opening his zipper, in
                         a high-pitched voice)
                 Come on, give Mr. Happy a kiss!

     On the television above the bar appears Reverend Jesse
     Jackson. We can't hear him but we can see him. Chris
     points at the television and yells out to the entire bar
     of cowboys and ranch hands -

                              CHRIS
                 Now, that's who could be President!
     Wayne buries his face in his hands.
                                                           CUT TO:


71   INT. CHRIS' ROOM, WESTERBERG'S CARTHAGE HOME - DAWN            71

     Chris is sacked out from his night of drinking when -

     BOOM!   BOOM!   BOOM!

     The door knocks blast into Chris' head. He awakens to
     Wayne opening his bedroom door. Wayne, despite his own
     drinking the night before, is wide awake and fresh as a
     daisy.

                                                             51.



                            WAYNE
               Workin' time!

                                                        CUT TO:


72   EXT. GRAIN ELEVATOR - SUNRISE'                              72

     All the boys are hard at it, including Chris and Wayne.
     Wayne moves to Chris' side.

                            WAYNE
               So, what do you think about all this?
               (The working life)

                            CHRIS
               I like all this.

                                                       TIME CUT:


73   EXT. GRAIN ELEVATOR - DAY - LUNCH BREAK                     73

     While Wayne and most of the crew get a little rest in the
     shade of the grain elevator and eat their lunches, Chris
     and Kevin are deep in a bald patch in the field.

     Kevin is taking Chris through the paces of smoking and
     curing meat in the wilds. Chris listens and takes notes.
     (Director's note: Cast a "Kevin" who knows this shit and
     shoot it as a dialogue scene as well as a silent
     tableau.)

                                                        CUT TO:

74   INT. CABARET BAR, CARTHAGE - NIGHT                          74

     The place is packed and Chris is taking over the piano,
     surprising everyone with a tremendous talent. Segueing
     from honky-tonk country to ragtime, he's become the life
     of the party.

     The MUSIC continues OVER:


75   EXT. GRAIN ELEVATOR - DAY                                   75

     All the men of Wayne's crew (who by now we've come to
     know) and Chris are working their asses off.

     POST LAP MUSIC FADES OUT as we:

                                                         52.



INTERCUT the crew at work with a SERIES OF MYSTERY
ANGLES: Tires kicking up dust on dirt roads, through
town, and into the field behind the grain elevator. Back
to the work, back to the tires. Back to the work, back
to these several cars hauling ass through the field.
Back to Wayne, up high in the grain elevator -

                       WAYNE
                 (to Chris, as he lowers
                  himself down the man-lift)
          I gotta take a piss.

Chris' POV: from high in the grain elevator. He watches
Wayne below, as Wayne saunters out to the field to take a
piss. With his back to us, Wayne whips it out and starts
pissing about 25 yards from the grain elevator.

CU Wayne. He looks up from his urination, the grain
elevator behind him. We see a slight mischievous smile
come to his face. He puts his hands up into the air when
suddenly -

Six unmarked FBI vehicles surround him.
(Director's note: Triangulate three long lenses on Wayne
as the mysterious cars enter each frame, as they skid to
a dusty stop on all sides of him.)

Chris and the men of his crew look on.

                       MAN #1
          I warned him about those little black
          boxes.

As Wayne is handcuffed and led away, he nods up to his
boys.
                        WAYNE
                 (to arresting agent)
          You wanna get that zipper for me?
                 (and then calling out to his
                  crew)
          Sorry boys. Gonna have to shut down for
          a while. Alex! You come back and work
          for me anytime.
                 (to Chris and the men)
          Gail's got all your checks, guys. I
          shouldn't be away too long.

With that, the FBI agents have hustled the good-natured
Wayne into the back of one of the cars.

                                                             53.



     As they take off into the distance, we move in on Chris,
     bemused.

                            GAIL (O.S.)
                      (pre-lap)
               Where are you gonna go?

                                                          CUT TO:


76   INT. CABARET BAR, CARTHAGE - LATE AFTERNOON                76

     Chris sits at the end of the bar with Gail Borah.

                            CHRIS
               I've been thinking a lot about Alaska.

                            GAIL
               Alaska? What kind of nut-nut are you?
               Alex, it's October for Christ's sake.
               You go to Alaska, you go in the Spring.
               This time of year you wanna head south.
               Personally, I like Las Vegas. One-armed
               bandit. That's what I like.

                            CHRIS
               Yeah, maybe I ought to put off going to
               Alaska, at least so I can get settled up
               there in decent weather.

                            GAIL
               South. You want to go south. You want
               me to take you out to the highway?

                            CHRIS
                      (putting on his cowboy)
               Little lady, I walked in, I can walk out.
     He puts a few bills down on the bar, saddles up his
     backpack, and gives Gail a hug.

                            GAIL
               You take care of yourself now, Alex. You
               got a whole family here depending on it.

                            CHRIS
               I will. Thanks Gail .   And tell Wayne,
               I'll drop him a line.

     He gives her a kiss on the cheek and he's off.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                              54.




77   EXT. CARTHAGE STREETS                                       77

     Empty Carthage streets but for Christopher Johnson
     McCandless walking off as we CRANE UP.

                                                          CUT TO:


78   EXT. HIGHWAY BETWEEN CARTHAGE, SD AND THE GRAND CANYON - 78
     NIGHT (OCTOBER 28 1990)

     Chris has hitched a ride with a long-haul trucker.

     SERIES OF ANGLES: MUSIC OVER: Traveling shots.

                                                          CUT TO:


79   EXT. COLORADO RIVER, STRETCH OF THE GRAND CANYON - DAY      79

     Chris disembarks the long-haulers truck, waves a goodbye,
     and the truck moves on.

     SERIES OF ANGLES: Chris walking south through the desert
     following the river bank. He covers twelve miles before
     he arrives in an Arizona town, a dusty weigh-in station.


80   EXT. ARIZONA TOWN - NIGHT                                   80

     The town is quiet but along the storefront lane where
     Chris walks, he comes upon a sporting goods store. In
     the window, a fiberglass river kayak. Chris stares at
     it.
                                                          CUT TO:

81   EXT. INTERSTATE UNDERPASS - NIGHT                           81

     We HEAR passing cars humming above. Chris has set up
     camp and he's digging in the dirt. He buries many of his
     belongings. He makes sure he's got his check from
     working with Wayne in his pocket. He packs only the
     essential items, burying all else. He gets into his
     sleeping bag and goes to sleep.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                             55.




81A   EXT. LEE'S FERRY ROAD - DAY                              81A

      Chris backpacks past the mushroom rock forms at the
      entrance of Lee's Ferry.

                                                          CUT TO:


82    INT. RANGER'S STATION - LEE'S FERRY - DAY                 82

      Chris approaches the GREEN-SUITED FUNCTIONARY at the
      front desk.

                             GREEN SUIT
                Can I help you?

                             CHRIS
                Yeah. If I wanted to paddle down the
                river, where's the best place to launch
                out of?

                             GREEN SUIT
                "To launch out of?" What's your
                experience level?

                             CHRIS
                Not much.

                              GREEN SUIT
                Any?   Do you have a permit?

                             CHRIS
                A permit for what?
                             GREEN SUIT
                You can't paddle down the river without a
                permit. If you like, you can apply for
                one here, get yourself some experience,
                and I'll put you on the wait-list.

                              CHRIS
                Wait-list?   To paddle down a river?

                             GREEN SUIT
                That's right.

                             CHRIS
                       (giggling)
                Well, how long do you have to wait?

                             GREEN SUIT
                I've got an opening May 2003.

                                                                56.



                            CHRIS
                      (laughing)
               Twelve years?

                            GREEN SUIT
               Well, you could always join a commercial
               raft trip and go with a licensed guide.
               They usually have a few last minute
               cancellations. I think it's about two-
               thousand dollars.

     Chris busts a gut.

                            CHRIS
               Thanks for your help.

     The Green Suit eyes Chris' departure with suspicion.

                                                          CUT TO:


83   EXT. COLORADO RIVER - DAY                                    83

     Chris stands beside a dramatic section of rapids.    The
     whitewater roars.

     As we SLOWLY ZOOM INTO Chris' face, terrified and
     absorbed by the torrent, a bead of sweat drops across his
     forehead, TILTS OUR CAMERA to his trembling hands and
     legs, when Peter Gabriel's I Have The Touch begins to
     play.

                                                         BACK TO:

     ZOOM INTO Chris' face...a decision:
     Fear becomes determination
     We SMASH CUT ON CUE with Peter Gabriel's vocals. SLO MO,
     SUPER DRAMATIC - Chris blasting out of a shoot in the
     rapids in the kayak we saw the night before. It's
     outrageous. Hair-raising. Just like Peter Gabriel sings
     it, he has the touch.

     This kid's never kayaked before, certainly never on
     rapids. But it's that immortal stage of life, no care,
     no helmet, no life-jacket, pure adrenaline. He can
     hardly believe he's surviving it as he goes but there's
     no looking back now. And with every thump of the music,
     we share his rush. His pure unadulterated exhilaration.

     With the culmination of the music, Chris has successfully
     shot the rapid. He paddles through quiet waters.

                                                            57.


     We move in on him as he maneuvers the kayak to face
     upstream. There before him, the impossible rapid he had
     just completed.

                            CHRIS
                      (to himself)
               I'm Superman. SuperTramp.

     He feels immortal. He makes his about-face and is about
     to head down stream when he sees at the river's edge, a
     group of RIVER TOURISTS and their GUIDE lunching beside a
     pontoon raft. The tourists look like a bunch of
     bewildered tubby-troopers in their misfitted orange life-
     vests and cereal bowl helmets. The RIVER GUIDE yells out
     at Chris as Chris moves PAST CAMERA and away. The guide
     gets on his satellite phone to alert the Rangers. We
     ZOOM SLOWLY away from them toward the rapid.

                                                        CUT TO:


84   EXT. ANOTHER QUIET SECTION OF RIVER - LATER                  84

     Phillip Glass' Cloudscape plays OVER:   Chris paddles on.

     LOW ANGLE: It is a narrow gorge of solid rock, looking up
     from hundreds of feet below the canyon crest.

                                                        CUT TO:


85   EXT. FURTHER ALONG THE RIVER - LATER                         85

     The canyon has widened to beach-like banks.   Music FADES.

     Along the banks he sees a YOUNG BLONDE COUPLE. This is
     MADS and SONJA, in their 20's, Danish. They play at the
     river's edge beside their campsite, hotdogs cooking on a
     Hibachi. Chris averts his eyes when Sonja rises from the
     water, topless.

                              MADS
                        (yelling out to Chris)
               Hello!

                              CHRIS
               Hello.

                            MADS
               You can join us!

     Chris doesn't know quite what to do. But Mads seems
     quite comfortable inviting a stranger into the presence
     of his topless girlfriend.

                                                         58.



                       MADS (CONT'D)
          We have hotdogs!

Chris - can't turn that down!   He paddles to within feet
of the water's edge.

                        MADS (CONT'D)
          I am Mads.

                        CHRIS
          Hi. Alex.

                        SONJA
          I am Sonja.

Chris gives Sonja a little wave. She bypasses it, wading
up to the Kayak, giving him a big hug.

                        SONJA (CONT'D)
          Hello Alex.

This couple is extremely energetic. Can't wait to
please. And a bona fide American adventurer in their
midst. It's everything they could've wanted.

                       MADS
          We are from Copenhagen.   And you are from
          the rapids.

                        CHRIS
          I am.

                        SONJA
          My Got!
                       MADS
          Crazy man. You're a crazy man!    Sonja,
          he is a crazy man.
                 (to Chris)
          I'll make you a hotdog.

Mads grabs a hotdog from the Hibachi.

                       MADS (CONT'D)
          Just one minute. One minute...

Sonja has moved to the tent to put on a dry T-shirt. But
as she moves back to the water's edge, those nipples keep
saying Hello.

Chris, meanwhile, simply cannot wipe the smile off his
face in the presence of these warm, open people.

                                                      59.



                      MADS (CONT'D)
          I love this. Don't you love this? This
          is nature. We see it in the American
          movies. How come you're crazy?

                       CHRIS
          Well...

                       MADS
                 (interrupting)
          Because that's crazy! You come down the
          rapids. What do you want on your hotdog?
          Mustard and relish?

                       CHRIS
          You have ketchup?

                       MADS
          No, I have mustard and relish.

                       CHRIS
          Mustard and relish it is then.

                       MADS
          Sonja, you want a hotdog?

                       SONJA
                 (in Danish)
          Of course I want a hotdog.   Why are you
          stupid?

Mads plops two more hotdogs onto the grill.

                       MADS
                 (translating)
          She asked me why I'm stupid. And I say,
          well...like I ask you why you're crazy
          and you say "well." Where are you going?

                       CHRIS
          I haven't decided.

                       MADS
          We like it here very much. We went to
          Los Angeles. And then, we went to Las
          Vegas.

                       SONJA
          Las Vegas is very nice.   The universe is
          very good.

                                            59A.



             MADS
And then, we come here.   Maybe you go to
Mexico.
             (MORE)

                                                         60.

                       MADS (CONT'D)
          You can take kayak around Lake Mead and
          then take the river down to Mexico.

Chris likes the idea.

                       CHRIS
          How far are we from Lake Mead?

                       MADS
          Sonja, how far is Hoover Dam?

Sonja grabs a map from the tent, opens and scrutinizes
it. We follow her finger tracing the river.

                       SONJA
          Maybe three hundred thirty
          kilometers...like two hundred miles.

Sonja walks the map over to Chris at water's edge and
hands it to him. He studies it.

                       CHRIS
          Man, I wonder if I could go all the way
          down into the Gulf of California.

Chris traces his finger along the impossibly long route
leading to El Golfo de Santa Clara.

                       MADS
                 (entering the water with
                  Chris' hotdog)
          I go with you. We leave Sonja here.    You
          and me in kayak - we go to Mexico.

                       SONJA
                 (in Danish)
          You're embarrassing.   Idiot.
Mads with a burst of re-exhilaration, grabs Chris' hand,
shaking it violently.

                       MADS
          I like the meeting you.

                      CHRIS
          Thank you. I'm very happy to meet both
          of you too.

Sonja heads back for her hotdog taking her T-shirt off on
the move. Chris is about to bust a gut. Sonja returns
to her sunbathing. These two are a hoot.

                                                     60A.



Just then, something catches Chris' attention upriver.
We can just barely make out the SOUNDS of a jet boat
motor. His eyes narrow a bit, then -

                                                             61.



                            CHRIS (CONT'D)
               Well, guys I really appreciate the
               hospitality but I wanna make camp down-
               river a ways so I better take off before
               dark.

                                                          CUT TO:


86   EXT. COLORADO RIVER - MOMENTS LATER                        86

     Chris, back in the kayak is paddling down river. Mads
     and Sonja on the bank, wave a boisterous goodbye. And
     they just keep waving. And Chris keeps waving until he
     has drifted out of sight, when around the upriver bend
     arrive the RIVER PATROL.

     At river's edge, Mads, thinking quickly, waves for their
     attention. Pointing the river patrol back upriver, he
     yells:

                            MADS
               He went thattaway!   The crazy man - he
               went thattaway!

     And miraculously, the river patrol makes an about face
     and heads in the opposite direction of Chris. Suddenly
     Sonja thinks Mads is the most clever man on earth. As
     she jumps his bones right there on the river's edge -

                            SONJA
               Just like in the movies.

                                                              62.



                                                       CUT TO:


87   EXT. DESERT ROAD, NEAR HOOVER DAM - DAY                     87

     Chris and the kayak are in the back of a pick-up truck
     heading down river by road. We pass the Hoover Dam.

                            CARINE (V.O.)
               It would be Christmas in a couple of
               months. And the last news we'd had was
               about his car being found. I woke up a
               couple of days ago, and for the first
               time, I was surprised to realize that it
               wasn't only my parents who hadn't heard
               from Chris. I wondered why he hadn't
               tried to call in case I might answer. He
               could've hung up if it wasn't me.


88   EXT. COLORADO RIVER, TOPOCK, ARIZONA - DAY                  88

     Chris is re-stocked on some food items which he packs in
     his bag and shoves into the bow of the kayak. This lower
     stretch of the river has little in common with the
     unbridled torrent that explodes through the Grand Canyon.
     Emasculated by dams and diversion canals, the lower
     Colorado burbles indolently from reservoir to reservoir,
     through some of the hottest, starkest, most austere
     country on the continent.

                                                              63.



                             CARINE
                But why he didn't send a letter, maybe
                through a friend. I got mad. But I told
                myself it was good. It made me remember
                that there was something more than
                rebellion, more than anger that was
                driving him. Chris had always been
                driven, had always been an adventurer.
                When he was four years old...


89    EXT. DARK NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - NIGHT                       89

      Chris at age four.

                             CARINE
                ...he once wandered six blocks away from
                home at three o'clock in the morning.


90    INT. NEIGHBOR'S KITCHEN - NIGHT                             90

      Four-year old Chris opening a kitchen drawer.

                             CARINE
                He was found in a neighbor's kitchen, up
                on a chair, digging into their candy
                drawer.


91    EXT. COLORADO RIVER, TOPOCK ARIZONA - DAY                   91

      As Chris paddles downstream with Mexico in his sights, he
      is stirred by the saline beauty and the clean slant of
      light.
      (Director's Note: ANGLE over Chris ONTO water reflecting
      the landscape and diamond flashes of sunlight.)

                             CARINE
                Whatever drawer he was opening now must
                have something sweet in it.

                                                           CUT TO:


91A   EXT. COLORADO RIVER, TOPOCK ARIZONA - DAY                 91A

      Chris floats in SLO-MO through the air, his hair wisping
      skyward.

                                                          63A.


     As he pierces feet first, a clear blue surface of the
     river's water, CAMERA goes UNDERWATER with him and
     follows him in CU as he surfaces, jubilant in the beauty
     of the Topock gorge. He shakes the water out of his
     hair.

                                                       CUT TO:


92   EXT. COLORADO RIVER, TOPOCK ARIZONA - DAY                  92

                                                               64.



      Chris continuing down river through the Imperial National
      Wildlife Refuge, drifting past saguaros and alkali flats.

                                                        CUT TO:


92A   EXT. IMPERIAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE - DAY              92A

      Chris, on a day hike, the river behind him, he (TELEFOTO
      LENS played in beautific BACK LIGHT) tracks a herd of
      wild horses.

      ANGLE: Chris: The herd moves in an S-pattern. Chris runs
      beside them and in our LONG LENS PERSPECTIVE, he seems to
      be among them.

                                                        CUT TO:


93    EXT. RIVER CAMPSITE - NIGHT                                 93

      Chris sits outside his tent, beside a campfire scrawling
      a letter. His "bought-food" bounty in evidence.

      The words APPEAR ON SCREEN in his handwriting OVER THE
      IMAGE:

      WAYNE, SOMETIMES I WISH I HADN'T MET YOU. TRAMPING IS
      TOO EASY WITH ALL THIS MONEY. MY DAYS WERE MORE EXCITING
      WHEN I WAS PENNILESS AND HAD TO FORAGE AROUND FOR MY NEXT
      MEAL. I COULDN'T MAKE IT NOW WITHOUT MONEY HOWEVER...


94    EXT. YUMA POST OFFICE - DAY                                 94
      CONTINUE letter OVER:
      ...AS THERE IS LITTLE FRUITING AGRICULTURE DOWN HERE AT
      THIS TIME.

      Chris moves up the steps of the post office with an
      enveloped letter in hand.

      CONTINUE letter OVER:

      I'VE DECIDED THAT I'M GOING TO LIVE THIS LIFE FOR SOME
      TIME TO COME. THE FREEDOM AND SIMPLE BEAUTY OF IT IS
      JUST TOO GOOD TO PASS UP...

                                                               65.




95    INT YUMA POST OFFICE - DAY                                   95

      Chris is in the elegant, 1930's-style post office buying
      a stamp.

      CONTINUE letter OVER:

      ONE DAY I'LL BE ABLE TO REPAY SOME OF YOUR KINDNESS.    A
      CASE OF JACK DANIELS, MAYBE? TILL THEN, I'LL ALWAYS
      THINK OF YOU AS A FRIEND...

      Chris licks the stamp.

      Continue letter on screen:

      GOD BLESS YOU, ALEXANDER.

      The stamp comes down onto an envelope addressed:

      WAYNE WESTERBERG

      C/O GLORY HOUSE

      SIOUX FALLS WORK RELEASE FACILITY

      SIOUX FALLS, SD    57104

                                                          CUT TO:


95A   EXT. THE SAND DUNES ON THE AMERICAN SIDE OF MEXICAN         95A
      BORDER - DAY

      Chris ports his kayak over the dunes, snaking a scar
      through the sand in his wake. Mexico in his sights.
      POV: Morelos Dam at the Mexican border.


96    EXT. MORELOS DAM AT THE MEXICAN BORDER - DAY (DECEMBER       96
      2ND, 1990)

      Careful not to be seen, Chris shoves off, just upriver
      from the dam/border.

      The floodgates are open just enough to allow Chris to lay
      back in the kayak and drift prone under the gate. He
      sits back up and paddles through having passed the
      border, either unnoticed or ignored by patrols.

                                                         FADE OUT.

                                                            65A.




97   INT. IMMIGRATION OFFICE - NIGHT                           97

     A television set with George Bush plays.   SOUNDS of
     typewriters.

                            IMMIGRATION OFFICER (V.O.)
               Why'd you go to Mexico?

                            CHRIS (V.O.)
               I thought I'd run the whole river into
               the Sea of Cortez. The stupid dams dried
               it up.

                                                             66.




98    EXT. 50 MILES SOUTH OF THE MEXICAN BORDER                   98

      Chris is kayaking.   He dead ends in a reeded tributary.


99    OMITTED                                                     99


100   INT. IMMIGRATION OFFICE (CONTINUED)                        100

                             IMMIGRATION OFFICER (V.O.)
                How long were you on your own down there?

                              CHRIS (V.O.)
                36 days.

                             IMMIGRATION OFFICER (V.O.)
                How'd you know?

                             CHRIS (V.O.)
                Fingers and toes.

      We see Chris' fingers and toes.   (DOWN ANGLE into
      interrogation room)

                             CHRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                After the river dried up, I ported the
                kayak and got a lift to Golfo.


101   EXT. FISHING VILLAGE, EL GOLFO DE SANTA CLARA - DAY        101

      We see Chris jump down off the back of the duck hunter's
      truck. He slides the kayak off the truck bed onto the
      street. Chris goes into his pocket, pulls out a sealed
      sandwich bag of cash. He tries to pay the hunters for
      their time but they refuse the money. Nonetheless, Chris
      is insistent and they relent.

      Chris pulls his backpack from inside the bow and saddles
      it up on his shoulders. The hunters pull away.

                                                            67.




102   EXT. EL GOLFO DE SANTA CLARA                           102

      (1000mm lens) LOW ANGLE: SAND AND HEAT WAVES IN
      FOREGROUND AND BACKGROUND: Chris, paddling his kayak
      toward us, seemingly in the sand dunes. As we BOOM UP
      SLIGHTLY, we see that there is a bend in the water's edge
      and that he is in fact, paddling in the crystalline blue
      of the Gulf.

                             CHRIS (V.O.)
                I paddled south about 20 miles.


103   EXT. EL GOLFO DE SANTA CLARA                           103

      UNDER-WATER SHOT: We are directly UNDER the passing kayak
      as it slices the water's surface above us. We BACKFLIP
      the CAMERA as it passes.

                             CHRIS (V.O.)
                That's when I saw the cave and everything
                went upside down.

                                                             68.




104   EXT. EL GOLFO DE SANTA CLARA                             104

      See the ocean and sand, wind whipping them. CAMERA PULLS
      BACK to reveal Chris in a cave where he has made camp;
      watching, waiting.

                             CHRIS (V.O.)
                A sandstorm hit and I was pretty much
                stuck. My kayak blew away, so I left it
                and walked up the beach, hitched back
                north, and here I am.

                                                          CUT TO:


105   OMITTED                                                  105


106   OMITTED                                                  106

                69.




107   OMITTED    107


108   OMITTED    108


109   OMITTED    109


110   OMITTED    110


111   OMITTED    111

                                                 70.




112   OMITTED                                     112


113   OMITTED                                     113


114   OMITTED                                     114


115   INT. IMMIGRATION OFFICE - NIGHT             115

      Chris sits with the IMMIGRATION OFFICER.

                                                               71.



                             IMMIGRATION OFFICER
                36 days, wow. I guess they're gonna have
                to watch that spillway a little better.

                             CHRIS
                What they ought to do is open up the dams
                and let the rivers flow.

                             IMMIGRATION OFFICER
                I can't disagree with you on that. Okay,
                Alexander SuperTramp. I think we're
                gonna let you out of here shortly but
                you've got two working weeks to get an ID
                card in the United States. You can't be
                crossing these borders without
                identification, are we understood?

                             CHRIS
                Yes, sir. I've eaten enough sand to send
                me back to the city anyway.

                                                          CUT TO:


116   EXT. TRAIN YARD, SOMEWHERE NEAR ALGODONES - NIGHT         116

      A freight train cranks up its great engines and starts
      its move west.

      Chris POV: We see a BULL (hobo slang for a railway
      security guard) making his rounds. As the bull
      disappears around the caboose, and the trains motion
      picks up, Chris appears from behind a fuel pump. He
      makes his move in the shadows to the passing freight
      cars, not quite sure how to board them. He begins to
      slowly jog beside the train. There is a vertical steel
      rod on each passing car. He times the train by putting
      his hand out and letting the vertical rods slap it.

                             CHRIS
                       (counting)
                One...Two...Three -

                                                     71A.



And with that he accelerates to a run, throws his pack
into the moving freight car before him, simultaneously
leaping up to grab the rail and throw himself into the
car.

                                                              72.



      But his left foot misses and he's suddenly dangling from
      the moving train. He grabs hand over hand on the rail.

      ANGLE: Dangling feet and razor sharp wheels.

      ANGLE: Chris. He puts everything into pulling himself
      up, growling the strength into his muscles finally...


117   INT. FREIGHT CAR - NIGHT                                  117

      As Chris rolls forward into the car -- he made it!

                             CHRIS
                As Alexander Supertramp returns to
                civilization...a hobo.
                       (quietly)
                I'm a for real hobo.

      He's very happy about this (despite the near surrender of
      it.) Chris uses his pack as a pillow, lays back on it and
      begins to sing Roger Miller's King of the Road.

                                                           CUT TO:


118   EXT. FREIGHT TRAIN - NIGHT                                118

      We TRACK with train by HELICOPTER as we SEGUE from Chris'
      rendition of King of the Road to Roger Miller's. We let
      the train get away from us and disappear.

                                                           CUT TO:

119   EXT. TRAIN YARD, LOS ANGELES - DAY (FEBRUARY 3, 1991)     119
      Chris' train pulls into the yard. Bulls and loaders
      greet the train. Chris jumps off and breaks for the
      fence unseen.

                                                           CUT TO:


120   OMITTED                                                   120

                                                               73.




121   EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - EARLY EVENING (STILL LIGHT) 121

      The streets are crowded with business people on their way
      to homes and happy hours, buses and parking garages,
      showers and comforts. Among the throngs, we find Chris
      walking up Grand Street, backpack on his shoulders. We
      find he is not such an unusual sight, there are homeless
      to the left and homeless to the right.

                                                         CUT TO:


122   EXT. MIDNIGHT MISSION, LOS ANGELES - NIGHT                122

      Chris walks in.


123   INT. REGISTRATION DESK, MIDNIGHT MISSION - SAME           123
      (Reminder: Condition of Mission is circa 1991)

      Chris stands at the registration desk talking with a a
      HEAVY-SET BLACK FEMALE SOCIAL WORKER.

                             CHRIS
                Can you tell me how to get an ID card?

                                                        74.



                       SOCIAL WORKER
          Did you lose your identification sir?

                       CHRIS
          Yeah.

                       SOCIAL WORKER
          No birth certificate? Nothing?

Chris shakes his head apologetically.

                       SOCIAL WORKER (CONT'D)
          Ouch. Alright. Well you're gonna have
          to work that out with the DMV. You can
          catch them in the morning.

The social worker begins to write an address on a piece
of paper.

                       SOCIAL WORKER (CONT'D)
          The closest one is Montebello and we can
          help you with a bus voucher.

She hands the Montebello address to Chris.

                       SOCIAL WORKER (CONT'D)
          So, just come to this desk when you need
          the voucher.

                       CHRIS
          And, if I want to apply for a job
          somewhere, can you help me with that?

                       SOCIAL WORKER
          If you know how to cook, we might have a
          space for you in our mobile kitchen. But
          I'll have to talk to my supervisor about
          it in the morning.

                       CHRIS
          Alright then. Thank you. Oh, one last
          thing. Do you have a bed for me?

                       SOCIAL WORKER
                 (handing him a form)
          Sure. Just fill this in and I'll get you
          all set up.

Chris begins filling in the form.

                                                     CUT TO:

                                                              75.




124   INT. MIDNIGHT MISSION DORM, LOS ANGELES                   124

      Throughout the next two scenes, there is steady HONKING
      of CAR HORNS, WAILING of POLICE SIRENS, AMBIENT HOSTILE
      BANTER, GRINDING ENGINES OF BUSES, puffs of diesel
      exhaust choke us.

      300 HOMELESS occupy nearly as many beds in the dorm.
      Chris searches the locker wall for his assigned locker.
      When he comes upon it, he double checks the number with
      that on the key, opens it, and puts his backpack inside.

      CU: The lock, as Chris closes and secures his locker.

                                                        CUT TO:


125   EXT. LOS ANGELES STREETS - 6TH AND WALL - NIGHT           125

      Chris walking among the hordes of homeless at 6th and
      Wall streets. Open fires burn in front of cardboard
      shacks. There are blacks, whites, Mexicans, even
      families with children, junkies, winos, hustlers, and
      hookers.

                                                        CUT TO:


126   EXT. LOS ANGELES STREETS - BROADWAY - NIGHT               126

      NEW ANGLE: Chris walking down Broadway. This is clearly
      just blocks away from where we last saw him, yet the
      atmosphere is as if of a different world. One of those
      downtown LA hip yuppie blocks. He comes upon a bar.
      Through the window Chris sees young men and women roughly
      his own age - working people, suits, gold-chainers.
      Metallica blares on the sound system.

                                                        CUT TO:


127   INT. MIDNIGHT MISSION DORM, LOS ANGELES                   127

      Same CU on locker as before, but this time it's being
      opened.

                                                        CUT TO:

                                                           75A.




128   INT. REGISTRATION DESK, MIDNIGHT MISSION                  128

      We don't even see Chris but the camera is his POV as he
      passes the social worker (same as before) The social
      worker catches a thrown key.

                                                                76.



                             SOCIAL WORKER
                You leaving us so soon? I know them DMV
                lines are long...

                                                          CUT TO:


129   EXT. MIDNIGHT MISSION, LOS ANGELES - NIGHT                 129
      (Director's Note: Traffic and pedestrians move in an
      accelerated speed while Chris moves nearly in slo-
      motion.)

      Chris exits the building into CU.   He looks left, then
      right, then directly into camera.

                                              CHAPTER 3: MANHOOD

                                                      FADE OUT/IN:


130   OMITTED                                                    130


131   EXT. TRAIN TRACKS OUTSIDE LOS ANGELES - NIGHT              131

      Chris' train barrels along.


132   INT. TRAIN CAR - NIGHT                                     132

      Chris goes into his pack, grabs his canteen and drinks
      some water. Mid-sip, the train begins to make a
      surprising stop. Screeching wheels on track. Chris is
      alarmed. As he moves to peer out the door, even before
      he has a chance to see what's coming -- WHAM! He's
      smashed in the head with a baton. A BULL jumps into the
      car with him.

                             BULL #2
                Lay down on your stomach, spread eagle!

                                                              77.



      Chris turns to reason with the man. And that's all it
      takes -- six straight blows to the ribs, legs, and arms.
      We hear it more than we see it. Chris is in agony.

                             BULL #2 (CONT'D)
                Let me see your face.

      The bull shines a flashlight into Chris' eyes.

                             BULL #2 (CONT'D)
                I never, ever, ever forget a face. If I
                see yours again, I won't arrest you.
                I'll kill you. This is the god-damned
                railroad. And we will do whatever we
                have to, to keep you freeloaders from
                violating our liability.

      Chris is trying to understand what the man is saying.

                             BULL #2 (CONT'D)
                If one of you people gets hurt on our
                train, we are liable. Do you understand
                that?

                             CHRIS
                       (despite the violent irony)
                I'm sorry, sir.

                             BULL #2
                You have I.D.?

                             CHRIS
                No, sir.

                             BULL #2
                Of course you don't.
                                                          CUT TO:


133   EXT. TRAIN - NIGHT                                       133

      Chris is pushed off the train, his pack thrown out after
      him. The bull jumps down beside the track as well and
      walks down track away from Chris, signalling an "all
      clear" with his flashlight to some unseen engineer.

                             BULL #2
                       (to Chris over his shoulder)
                Last time, my friend.

                                                               78.



      Chris stumbles to his feet. The pain of the beating is
      real. He bleeds from the back of his ear. But he can
      walk. And he does.

                                                         CUT TO:


134   EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY - DAY                                 134

      Chris sits on his pack on the roadside, hitchhiking and
      eating from a can of beans he opened with his
      pocketknife. The odd car passes but doesn't stop.

                                                         CUT TO:


135   EXT. ARIZONA INTERSTATE OVERPASS - NIGHT                  135

      Chris hops out of a Camaro that gave him a ride.   The
      lighting is anonymous and so is the driver.

                             CHRIS
                Thanks very much.

      He closes the door and the car drives off. We follow
      Chris as he goes to the overpass edge. He drops his pack
      over the side. Chris climbs down the edge of the
      overpass, grabs his pack, and scurries into the UNDERPASS
      below. (We suddenly recognize this as his pre-river run
      campsite)

      He digs up his buried belongings, returning them to his
      pack. Last to come out of the ground, Chris' copy of
      Jack London's Call of the Wild. He pulls off a temp
      wrapping and dusts it off.
      Chris lights his candle lantern and begins to read.
      O.S. VOICES from the PAST:

                             BILLIE (O.S.)
                       (screaming, angry)
                I'm not talking about this anymore!

      Feet stomping off.

                             WALT (O.S.)
                Don't walk away from me WOMAN!

                              BILLIE (O.S.)
                Fuck you!   I hate you!

      Sounds of scuffle.

                                                           78A.



                              BILLIE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                KIDS!   LOOK WHAT YOUR FATHER'S DOING TO
                ME!


136   INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE (PAST)                    136

      ELEVEN-YEAR OLD CARINE sits in the stairwell leading to
      her parent's room where an argument ensues. Carine's
      head in her hands, a delicate tear moistens the webs
      between her small fingers.

                                                            79.



      FIFTEEN-YEAR OLD CHRIS enters from O.S. He leans against
      the stairwell and looks up the stairs. Our focus remains
      on Carine. In the B.G. SOFT FOCUS, Walt is pinning
      Billie down onto the bed. She flails at him but he holds
      down her shoulders.

                             WALT
                LOOK WHAT YOUR MOTHER IS MAKING ME DO!

      Billie slips his grasp. Walt reaches out with a hit/push
      of her back. She is thrust out of the bedroom onto the
      landing above the staircase followed by Walt who
      positions himself in the doorway like a hostile
      crucifixion.

                             WALT (CONT'D)
                       (raging)
                I'll just cancel Christmas then!

      Billie returns to him, punching on his chest:

                             BILLIE
                Who do you think you are?   God?

                              WALT
                Yes.   I'm God!

      Chris puts his hand out to Carine. She looks up to him.
      He gives her a smile and a wink. She takes his hand and
      they exit frame as the argument continues.

                             WALT (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                Where do you kids think you're going?

                             BILLIE (O.S.)
                       (not in desperation so much
                        as a demand for their
                        witness)
                Kids, get back here!

      We HEAR a DOOR SLAM OC.

                                                         CUT TO:


137   EXT. ANNANDALE STREET - DAY (PAST)                      137

      The young Chris and Carine. She sits atop the handlebars
      of his bicycle beaming as Chris peddles her down the
      middle of the street. We PULL THEM as they ride.

                         79aA.



             CHRIS
       (mockingly)
I'll cancel Christmas!

                                      79A.



             CARINE
       (humored out of her sadness)
Who do you think you are? God?

              CHRIS
Yes.   I'm God.

                                                               80.




138   EXT. ARIZONA INTERSTATE UNDERPASS - NIGHT                 138

      As they both laugh we DISSOLVE BACK to Chris (PRESENT)
      reading beside his candle lantern.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                In the nine months since Chris'
                disappearance, my parents went through
                enormous changes. Guilt was giving way
                to pain. And pain seemed to bring them
                closer. My father had humbled
                dramatically. And what had always been a
                sort of curt arrogance, the kind of man
                who actually thought he could cancel
                Christmas, had given way to the
                vulnerability of a father's heart. Even
                their faces had changed. It made me sad
                that I couldn't share with Chris the new
                closeness I felt toward our parents.

      The image of Chris reading begins a SLOW DISSOLVE INTO...


139   INT. FREIGHT TRAIN CAR - NIGHT                            139

                             CARINE
                I close my eyes at night sometimes and
                imagine where Chris might be.

      Suspicious, ghostly faces briefly appear in the strobing
      lights that hit the train car from outside. They're
      toothless and tattooed. Aged and young. Punks and
      piercings. They're train tramps.
      We see Chris observing them.   Warmly he speaks but we DO
      NOT HEAR, "I'm Alex."

140   EXT. TRAMP CAMP, LAS VEGAS - DAY                          140

                             CARINE
                Was there beauty around him?   Was he
                hurt? Was he alone?

      We see Chris sharing camp with the train tramps in the
      outskirts of Las Vegas. DISSOLVE...

                                                            80A.




141   INT. LAS VEGAS RESTAURANT - NIGHT                       141

                             CARINE
                Was he having the great adventure that he
                wanted?

      We see Chris working as a waiter in a Las Vegas
      restaurant. DISSOLVE...

                                                               81.




142   EXT. MOUNTAIN PASS - DAY                                  142

                             CARINE
                Could he feel the changes here at home?
                By some kind of supernatural osmosis?
                Chris once wrote to me from college
                saying he wanted to talk to me about all
                the problems he had with mom and dad.

      We see what may be Chris' POV from a train car snaking
      through a mountain pass.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:


143   EXT. LAS VEGAS DESERT - NIGHT                             143

                             CARINE
                He said I was the only person in the
                world who could've possibly understood
                what he had to say.

      We see Chris in the Las Vegas desert by a campfire at
      night.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:


144   EXT. SEATTLE - DAY                                        144

      HIGH ANGLE CU: We see Chris walking the streets of
      Seattle. As we WIDEN OUT, he becomes a dot in the
      Seattle landscape.
                             CARINE
                In those silent moments, with my eyes
                closed trying to picture where Chris
                might be at that very moment, probably
                climbing some scary mountain, I want to
                reach into that picture and bring him
                back to see what mom and dad, what our
                family might become.

      LONG LENS: Chris disappears over the rise into the
      Seattle marketplace overlooking Puget Sound (per location
      photography.)

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

                                                              82.




145   EXT. ANNANDALE SUPERMARKET - DAY                          145

                             CARINE
                But instead when I open my eyes, what I
                see is my mother, sitting at the dining
                room table, sifting through photo albums
                and pictures of Chris. It's all she can
                do to examine the snapshots. And, though
                she breaks down from time to time, she
                studies them with a sort of hungry
                intensity - like looking at food you
                can't eat, or into a window at a family
                around a table that you were once a part
                of and can be no more.

      We see Billie driving out of the Annandale supermarket
      onto the boulevard. She sees a hitchhiker roadside. She
      cranes her head - is it Chris? It's not.

                             CARINE (V.O.)   (CONT'D)
                She convinces herself it's   Chris; that
                it's her son, whenever she   passes a
                stray. And I fear for the    mother in
                her...

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:


146   EXT. BARREN DESERT - DAY                                  146

      We see Chris hitchhiking in a barren desert.

                             CARINE
                Instincts that seem to sense the threat
                of a loss so huge and irreparable that
                the mind balks at taking its measure - I
                begin to wonder if I do understand what
                Chris is saying any longer. But I catch
                myself in doubt and remember that these
                are not the parents he grew up with.
                That in the forced reflection that comes
                with loss, indeed everything Chris is
                saying, has to be said. And I trust for
                him that everything he is doing has to be
                done. This is our life.

                                                           CUT TO:

                                                               83.




147   EXT. BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZONA - DAY (OCTOBER 1991)           147

      Chris is in the passenger seat of a Mac truck cab. Both
      Chris and the TRUCKER look outward as though to find an
      address or landmark.

                             TRUCKER
                I don't know where to drop you.
                Bullhead's kinda haphazard - there's no
                "center." You sure you don't want to be
                in Laughlin? It's casinos versus
                chiropractors.

                              CHRIS
                Yeah, no.   This is good.   Right here.

                             TRUCKER
                Alright then. Chiropractors it is.

      He pulls over. Chris grabs his pack and exits the truck
      in front of a laundromat. As the truck pulls away, Chris
      sees a "Help Wanted" sign for Burger King on the
      laundromat window.

                                                          TIME CUT:


148   INT. BURGER KING, BULLHEAD CITY - DAY                      148

      The place is packed with a line out the door. LORI, the
      second assistant manager, hurries back into the kitchen,
      where we find Chris in paper cap, bunning whoppers at a
      leisurely pace.
                             LORI
                Chris, you gotta go faster.   We've got a
                line out the door.

                              CHRIS
                        (a bit oblivious)
                Okay.

      But then just continues on at his leisurely daydreaming
      pace. Lori is about to say something but by now she
      knows there's no getting through to him. She looks down
      to the floor where we see that Chris wears no socks.

                             LORI
                       (extending patience)
                Chris, I don't mean to be on you about
                everything. You're doing a great job.
                             (MORE)

                                                              84.

                             LORI (CONT'D)
                I want to keep you on. And we all want
                to help you get to Alaska, but you've got
                to start wearing socks.

                             CHRIS
                Right, right. I forgot.

                              LORI
                And please.   Hurry.   We're ten deep.

                              CHRIS
                Okay.

      But the pace remains.

                                                           CUT TO:


149   INT. BANK, BULLHEAD CITY - DAY                            149

      Chris stands at the counter making a deposit with a YOUNG
      FEMALE TELLER.

                             CHRIS
                How much do I have in the account now?

                             TELLER
                It looks like...let me see. Including
                this latest deposit...One thousand, two
                hundred and fifty two dollars
                and...twenty-two cents.

                             CHRIS
                What's the interest on twenty-two cents?

      The young teller giggles.
                                                           CUT TO:

150   EXT. BANK, BULLHEAD CITY - DAY                            150

      We're TIGHT ON Chris' sock-less feet, pedalling away from
      the bank on a bicycle. The growing independence of his
      financial situation felt in the MUSIC OVER:

      SERIES OF ANGLES as Chris rides out of town, into the
      desert, from a late afternoon sun into a sunset as he
      arrives at his -


151   EXT. CAMPSITE, OUTSIDE BULLHEAD CITY - SUNSET             151

      The casino lights of Laughlin, Nevada distantly in B.G.

                                                                85.



      Chris pedals up a dirt path to find many of his
      belongings strewn about. And in particular, some food
      supplies have been torn into. A coyote yips in the
      distance as Chris finds his old straw hat torn to shreds.
      Across the desert, scurrying away beyond the tumbleweed,
      three young coyotes head for the hills. Chris picks up
      his tattered hat and smiles.

                                                             CUT TO:


152   INT. BURGER KING, BULLHEAD CITY - DAY                       152

      We are TIGHT on the PUNCHCLOCK as Chris' timecard comes
      into frame and is punched out.

      WIDEN OUT to see Chris taking off his paper hat and
      Burger King overshirt.

      He walks his timecard over to Lori.   The place is all but
      empty.

                             CHRIS
                Lori, I'm punching out.

                              LORI
                Okay.   Just put it in the drop.

                             CHRIS
                No, I mean I'm punching out for good.

                             LORI
                       (happy for him)
                We've made our quota, have we?
                             CHRIS
                Yeah. Also, I've got to do some things
                before I head north.

                             LORI
                Alright Chris. Well, we've enjoyed
                knowing you. I won't be able to get that
                last check to you right away though.

                               CHRIS
                That's okay.    I'll let you know where to
                send it.

                             LORI
                Alright then Chris.    Bye-bye now.

                                                                86.



                               CHRIS
                   Bye-bye.

                                                           CUT TO:


153   EXT. BULLHEAD CITY - DAY                                   153

      City crews string Christmas lights and ornaments along
      the main drag. We CRANE DOWN to find Chris' bike leaning
      on a lamppost. A cardboard sign attached to it reads -

      FREE BIKE.    MERRY CHRISTMAS.   - ALEXANDER SUPERTRAMP

                                                           CUT TO:


154   EXT. DESERT, HIGHWAY 95 - DAY                              154

      MUSIC OVER:

      Chris is hitching south on the 95 into the Big Maria
      Mountains. Beyond him we see a sign for Niland 206
      miles.


155   EXT. TRUCK STOP ON INTERSTATE 10, BLYTHE, CA - NIGHT       155

      CONTINUE MUSIC OVER:


156   INT. MEN'S ROOM, TRUCK STOP - NIGHT                        156

      CONTINUE MUSIC OVER:
      Chris gets a clean shave and a whore's bath.
      CU: Chris

      Music FADES.

                                                 CHAPTER 4: FAMILY
                                                      DISSOLVE TO:


157   EXT. THE SLABS, NILAND, CA - DAY                           157

      This is the vista of former barracks foundations Rainey
      and Jan Burres had told Chris about. Hundreds of people
      in tents and trailers, a quarter inch to the right of a
      Rainbow Gathering as hillbillies and renegades mix with
      the hippies. There are canvas-covered booths set up for
      swap and trade. Even a few makeshift food stands.

                                                               87.


      We SEE that many of the inhabitants have set up CHRISTMAS
      TREES outside their trailers and tents. Kids play naked
      in a mud pool.

                                                         CUT TO:


158   EXT. THE BOOTH OF JAN & RAINEY, THE SLABS - SAME          158

      We see Rainey selling their wares. Beside the booth,
      their van with its backseat door open. A little dog,
      Sunni, jumps out the van door, sniffing something out.
      Jan exits the van after the dog.

                               JAN
                Sunni!    Come here boy.

      But Sunni has sniffed out Chris' large backpack leaning
      against the rear of the van. Jan is just beginning to
      recognize it, when from behind the van appears Chris,
      looking like a million bucks.

                               CHRIS
                Surprise!

                               JAN
                         (overjoyed)
                Alex!

      As she goes to hug him -

      ANGLE: Rainey hearing his name, jumps up from his stool
      to join them.

      Big embraces all around.
                                                         CUT TO:

159   EXT. THE SLABS - NIGHT                                    159

      An impromptu campfire celebration with live music from a
      makeshift stage. Jan, Rainey, and Chris sit on chairs
      outside the circle of inhabitants, taking in the music.

                             JAN
                You have to tell us everything.
      (Note: This scene should largely be improvised. They all
      know their characters, their history. Jan and Rainey are
      doing great. And while Chris is intermittently aware
      that the eyes of a pretty 16-year old girl are upon him,
      Chris lays out his travels and his PLAN FOR ALASKA.

                                                               88.


      Jan remarks, "I guess if you can figure out how to paddle
      a canoe down to Mexico, hop freight trains, and score
      beds at inner-city missions, you can figure out Alaska
      too.")

      At this point, the PRETTY 16-YEAR OLD GIRL who had had
      her eyes on Chris, takes the stage with an acoustic
      guitar, introduces herself as TRACY, then SINGS an              *
      innocent love song of her own composition, stealing
      seductive glances at Chris throughout the performance.

                             JAN (CONT'D)
                I think you've made yourself a friend.

                             CHRIS
                       (blushing)
                She's only a teenager.

                             JAN
                Good luck.

      The girl finishes her song.

                                                         CUT TO:


160   EXT. THE BOOTH OF JAN & RAINEY - DAY                      160

      Chris and Rainey man the second-hand goods booth while
      Jan bathes Sunni in a steel bucket by the van. Among the
      goods, a USED ORGAN. Chris is thrilled to have access to
      all the second-hand books that are part of Rainey and
      Jan's inventory. As he skims through Jack London's
      Odyssey of the North, Rainey notices Tracy sitting on the       *
      steps of her vagabond parents' rig across from the booth.
      She picks silently at her guitar with her bright eyes
      fixed on Chris.
                             RAINEY
                How long can you stay with us?

                             CHRIS
                Well, I'm waiting on a check from my last
                job to come into Salton City the day
                after Christmas. I've got to start
                thinking about getting ready for Alaska.
                When the sun gets a little lower tonight,
                I'm going to start a calisthenics
                routine. I think after the check comes
                in, I'll try to find some mountains I can
                climb everyday till spring comes. I
                gotta see how far the money's gonna go.
                             (MORE)

                                                      89.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          I'm going to have to pick up a lot of
          supplies before spring. So, I might take
          another job or I might be okay.

                       RAINEY
          Well, you know, we'll give you a little
          something for every day you work the
          booth.

                       CHRIS
          I'm not taking any money from you,
          Rainey.   It's been a real great twist
          meeting you two. You look like you're
          doing good.

                       RAINEY
          We are, and you were a big part of that,
          coming along when you did. Yep, things
          are good.
                 (gives a little giggle)
          Man, I used to think Tantric sex was just
          a bunch of reading. Speaking of which,
          don't you think you ought to introduce
          yourself to Joni Mitchell over there?

Chris looks up from his book to the wide open 16-year old
smile of Tracy. Rainey laughs aloud. Chris smiles back,      *
and against his better instincts, gives her a little wave-
over with the paperback. Tracy jumps off her step,           *
putting her guitar inside the rig, and trots like a
little wood nymph to Chris.

                       TRACY                                 *
          Hi.

                       CHRIS
          Hi.
                       TRACY                                 *
          You selling books?

                        CHRIS
          I am.   We are.

                       TRACY                                 *
          I read a lot.

                       CHRIS
          Do you?

                       TRACY                                 *
          Yeah.

                                                               90.



                               CHRIS
                That's good.    I heard you play your song
                last night.

                             TRACY                                    *
                       (embarrassed)
                I'm terrible.

      Rainey amused by all of this.

                             CHRIS
                You are not terrible.

                               TRACY                                  *
                I'm not?

                              CHRIS
                No.   You sing sweet.

                             TRACY                                    *
                Thank you. I was going to go watch the
                kids play in the mud. Do you want to go?

                              RAINEY
                Go on.   I'll watch the store.

                              CHRIS
                I'm sorry.   This is Rainey.   And I'm
                Chris.

      Whoops, a slip on the name, but...

                             RAINEY
                Hi. Rainey. And this is Alex. ("Don't
                lie to her.")
                               TRACY                                  *
                I'm Tracy.                                            *

      Chris realizes his slip but before Rainey can question
      anything, Chris stands and goes off with Tracy.                 *

      Rainey and Jan share a conspiratorial smile.


161   EXT. THE MUD PIT, THE SLABS - SAME                        161
      (Salvation Mountain?) (Leonard?)

                                                               91.



      LONG LENS: We watch Chris and Tracy sit pit-side with a         *
      foreground of frolicking naked children splashing about
      in the mud. We don't hear their conversation. We just
      watch its gentleness.

                                                           CUT TO:


162   EXT. RAINEY & JAN'S VAN, THE SLABS - NIGHT                162

      Tracy helps Rainey cook dinner on the barbecue, meaning         *
      to demonstrate to Chris what a wonderful wife she would
      be. Jan and Chris sipping on beers sit beside each other
      on folding chairs, out of Rainey and Tracy's earshot.           *

                             JAN
                I wasn't much older than Tracy when I got             *
                pregnant. And I thought my husband and I
                were going to invent peace on earth and
                stay together forever. But it didn't
                work out that way. He left. History.
                Now ancient history. And that was the
                end of that. So, I raised Reno by myself
                - that's my son. Then I met Rainey. And
                that was really good for a while. But
                Reno was already a teenager and was
                becoming a man in his own way. And then,
                I don't know. He kinda followed in his
                father's footsteps - out the door and
                gone. And I really don't know where he
                is. I haven't heard from him in two
                years.

                             CHRIS
                I hope I get to meet him sometime.
      Jan looks into Chris' eyes and smiles with pure love.
      She leans over and gently kisses Chris on the cheek.

                             JAN
                Do your folks know where you are?

      Chris aims to deflect the question as Tracy enters the          *
      scene.

                             TRACY                                    *
                Soup's on. Oh, I'm sorry.   Are you guys
                getting heavy?

                                                               92.



                              JAN
                 No, sweetheart. Just hungry. You've
                 been doing a fantastic job over there.
                        (to Chris)
                 Shall we eat?

                             CHRIS
                 Yeah.

      Tracy grabs Chris' hand and proudly leads him to supper.         *
      As they exit frame, we remain for a moment with Jan and
      her thoughts.

                                                            CUT TO:


163   INT./EXT. SLABS MONTAGE - DAY                              163

      MUSIC OVER:

      MONTAGE:

      1. Chris reading and selling books.

      2. Chris and Tracy taking walks with Sunni.                      *

      3. Rainey and Jan stealing some afternoon delight in the
      van. (It's the days of wine and roses)

      4. Chris' new daily regimen of calisthenics.

      5. Tracy's new daily regimen of watching Chris do                *
      calisthenics. His lean body tighter and stronger
      everyday.
                                                            CUT TO:

164   EXT. RAINEY & JAN'S VAN, THE SLABS - (CHRISTMAS) DAY       164

      Rainey stands over Chris as Chris does sit-ups.     Rainey's
      gut hanging a little heavy over his belt.

      OS VOICES exchange Christmas greetings.

                              RAINEY
                 I really ought to get myself doing that.

                              CHRIS
                 You should Rainey. Makes that Tantric
                 stuff go even better.

                                                     93.



                       RAINEY
          How the hell would you know? That poor
          girl over there is about ready to vault
          onto a fence post. And here you are, the
          monk of Jack LaLane.

They share a laugh. Chris comes to the end of his sit-
ups. Wipes his brow with a towel. Rainey squats down
next to him.

                       RAINEY (CONT'D)
          I guess Jan filled you in. About Reno
          and everything. Children can be harsh
          judges when it comes to their parents.
          They don't grant clemency easily. I
          think Reno tended to see things in black
          and white. I just hope he lives long
          enough to forgive her.

The connection is not lost on Chris.

                       RAINEY (CONT'D)
          But painful as it is, you turned a light
          on in her and I'm grateful.

                       CHRIS
          Me too.

                       RAINEY
          For what?

Chris doesn't answer. A kid rides by on a bright new Big
Wheel. Must be from the rich side of the commune.

                       RAINEY (CONT'D)
          Do your folks know where you are?
                       CHRIS
          No.

                       RAINEY
          Don't you think they ought to?

                       CHRIS
          They should. But I can't. Not yet,
          anyway. I got a sister though, Carine.
          She's the most beautiful girl in the
          world. But, it's all got to stay behind
          me until I get where I'm going.

                       RAINEY
          Alaska?

                                                              94.



                             CHRIS
                Yeah, Rainey. Alaska.

      Rainey won't intrude any further. He just nods. Chris
      notices Tracy in the door of her parent's rig, stealthily       *
      waving him over. Chris gives Rainey the "Uh-oh" look,
      pulls on his T-shirt, and walks over to the rig. Tracy          *
      has disappeared inside.

                                                          CUT TO:


165   INT. TRACY'S PARENTS RIG - SAME                           165   *

      Chris pops his head in.

                               CHRIS
                Hello?    Merry Christmas?

                             TRACY (O.C.)                             *
                Come in here.

      As Chris mounts the steps, he finds Tracy laying on the         *
      bed inside, wearing a skimpy white girl's tank top and
      underpants.

                                TRACY (CONT'D)                        *
                Guess what.

                               CHRIS
                         (deer in headlights)
                What?

                             TRACY                                    *
                My parents went into town.
                                CHRIS
                No!

                             TRACY                                    *
                Yes, they did. They went to call my
                grandma for Christmas.

                             CHRIS
                No, I mean, no, we can't do that.

                                TRACY                                 *
                Why not?

      Chris moves to sit on the edge of her bed.    Tracy sits up     *
      beside him.

                                                                 95.



                             CHRIS
                How old are you?

                               TRACY                                    *
                Eighteen.

      Chris throws her a look of doubt.

                               TRACY (CONT'D)                           *
                Seventeen.

                             CHRIS
                What year were you born?

      As soon as she has to think about it, the jig is up.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                You want to do something together?

      Shyly, she shakes her head "yes."

                                                          CUT TO:


166   EXT. THE SLABS - NIGHT                                      166

      We SEE the used Christmas trees of the residents being
      thrown onto an existing campfire, building into the
      enormous, celebratory bonfire that lights the scene.

      As we did with the footsteps in the mud and the kayak
      slashing the sand, we TRACK VERTICALLY along an extension
      cord from one of the trailer generators to the stage
      until we find -
      Tracy with her guitar and Chris with the second-hand              *
      organ from Rainey and Jan's booth on the stage. They
      enter into a duet of John Prine's Angel from Montgomery
      for the crowd of the Slabs' fire-lit inhabitants.

      In the crowd, we find Rainey and Jan clapping and dancing
      along to Chris and Tracy's song. Merry Christmas.                 *

                                                          CUT TO:


167   EXT. THE SLABS - DAY                                        167

      Jan is pulling the van out from their plot.    Rainey is
      guiding the single-directional vehicle.

      Chris and Tracy stand beside the car path.    Chris writes        *
      down Wayne Westerberg's Carthage address.

                                                              96.



                             CHRIS
                You can always get in touch with me by
                sending mail here. I don't know when
                I'll get it, but I'll get it.

                              TRACY                                   *
                        (crying)
                Okay.

                             CHRIS
                You're pretty magic.

                              TRACY                                   *
                I am?

      He hugs her.   And kisses her. (cheek, lips? I don't
      know.)

      Jan pulls up in the van. Rainey walks over to Chris and
      gives him a paternal hug.

                             RAINEY
                You take care of yourself, kiddo.

                             CHRIS
                You too, Rainey. Thanks for everything.

      Chris gives Rainey's gut a full-hand pinch.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                New Year's resolution?

      Rainey gives him a wink and puts his arm around Tracy as        *
      Chris jumps into the car. Then he and Jan hit the road.
                                                           CUT TO:

168   EXT. MARKET POST OFFICE, SALTON CITY - DAY                168

      This market/liquor store/post office serves as the
      cultural nexus for the greater Salton Sea area.

      As Jan's van pulls up opposite the post office and makes
      a U-turn to curbside, Chris gets out of the van. Now
      Jan's eyes really well up.

                             JAN
                       (sweetly)
                Just get your pack out of the back and
                get out of here. I can't take a hug.

                                                               97.



      Chris says nothing. He just looks at Jan. They
      understand each other. Chris closes the door. He
      fiddles with the broken handle of the back door, gets it
      open, gets his pack out. On top of his pack, A WRAPPED
      XMAS GIFT and when he closes the back door, Jan heads
      straight off back to the Slabs. Chris opens the
      giftwrap; it's the new hat Jan had promised. Chris is
      touched.

                                                          CUT TO:


169   EXT. TWO-LANED ROAD, ANNANDALE, VA (PAST) - DAY           169

      TELEPHOTO LENS: A long two-laned road before us rises and
      falls in a series of saddles and peaks. The narrow
      shoulders are densely wooded. SLOWLY APPEARING over the
      near most peak, a TEAM OF EIGHT SHIRTLESS HIGH SCHOOL
      RUNNERS. Leading the group - 17 YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER
      MCCANDLESS. Lean, softly handsome, and graceful.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                In high school, Chris became captain of
                the cross-country track team. They
                called themselves the Road Warriors.

      REVERSE ANGLE: The group of young runners, led by Chris
      suddenly veer off the paved road into the adjoining
      woods.


170   EXT. TRAILS, ANNANDALE (PAST) - DAY                       170

      SERIES OF ANGLES: The runners, led by Chris, pace
      unchartered trails, grassy hillsides, and shallow
      streams.
                             CARINE
                He'd take them on what he loved to refer
                to as "epic" runs. The whole point was
                to run until they were completely lost
                and so exhausted that they were on the
                verge of puking. Then they'd slow down a
                little, somehow he'd find their bearings,
                and lead them home again at full speed.
                This was my brothers idea of fun.

      We FAVOR Chris as he jogs in place at the exhilarating
      point of being lost. When he has identified a most
      likely return route, he quickens his pace, leading the
      group in the direction of return.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                              98.




171   INT. MARKET/POST OFFICE, SALTON CITY                      171

      Chris heads out with his last Burger King check in hand,
      proudly wearing his new hat and in search of mountains to
      climb.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                A year and a half into Chris'
                disappearance, each day that goes by now
                feels like two. Dad calls it "suspended
                animation." I kept telling myself that
                he had to get lost to prove his
                independence to himself. But this was no
                day run for the Road Warriors and after
                so much time, I could no longer keep out
                the haunting thoughts.


172   EXT. MARKET/POST OFFICE, SALTON CITY - DAY                172

      Chris, with pack and new hat walks away from camera
      toward the interstate and the brittle mountains beyond.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                In many ways, my life and even my parents
                had begun to move in new directions. I'd
                fallen in love. And mom and dad had even
                ventured out on a brief vacation. But,
                when a search of tax records uncovered
                Chris' contribution to OXFAM, the weight
                of his disappearance just seemed to lie
                down on us full length.

                                             CHAPTER 5: GETTING OF
                                               WISDOM DISSOLVE TO:

173   EXT. BADLANDS OF ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK - DAY     173
      (JANUARY 1992)

                                                              99.



      WIDE SHOT: We see the Oh My God Hot Springs. Steaming
      pools lined with rocks and shaded by palm trees. A small
      group of campers and Charlie Manson wannabes in
      FOREGROUND.

      We ZOOM past them to the sheer rock faces and landforms
      of the badlands, several miles beyond.

                                                        CUT TO:


174   EXT. STONE WALL, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT - DAY                174

      SLO MO: We are looking down a radically steep rock face.
      A shirtless Chris is in training running towards us under
      the hot desert sun.

      We HEAR only breath and footsteps.

                                                        CUT TO:


175   EXT. CHRIS' CAMP BESIDE THE STONE WALL - DAY              175

      Chris rests on the sand under a tarp, hung from a
      Creosote branch. A plate of beans and rice eaten nearly
      clean and an empty water jug beside him. Flies buzz and
      pick.

                                                        CUT TO:


176   EXT. OH-MY-GOD HOT SPRINGS - DAY                          176

      Chris on a morning jog, wearing a shoulder bag and
      carrying an empty water jug. A quick wave to one of his
      distant "neighbors" at the spring's camp as he runs by.
                                                        CUT TO:


177   EXT. PAVED TWO-LANE ROAD INTO SALTON CITY - DAY           177

      Chris continues his jog, cars whisk by and dust kicks
      into the air. But Chris is undeterred, keeps running.


178   EXT. MARKET/POST OFFICE, SALTON CITY - SAME               178

      Chris approaches, slowing his jog to a walk. Chris sets
      down his water jug and stretches his calves. In the
      distance we see the peaks of the badlands landforms from
      where he ran.

                                                             100.



      Chris shakes off the jog, picks up the jug, and we go
      with him around the side of the building. There's a
      water faucet dripping slowly into the desert mud. Chris
      pops his jug under it and fills it up.

                                                        CUT TO:


179   INT. MARKET/POST OFFICE - SAME                           179

      Chris walks the aisles, sipping from his jug, as he comes
      across bags of rice on the market shelves. A HEAVY SET
      GIRL passes him in the aisle with her well-mannered dog
      following her.

                             CHRIS
                       (no high-pitched pet voice)
                Hey boy. You are a handsome fellow.
                       (over shoulder to the girl)
                Beautiful dog.

                               THE GIRL
                Thank you.

      As the girl continues on, the dog wants to stay with
      Chris.

                               CHRIS
                Go on, boy.    Go on.

      And the dog obeys him.

      As he sorts through the various rice selections, brown,
      white, wild, we notice a MAN peering over the opposite
      shelf at Chris. This is RON FRANZ, between 70 and 80
      years old, six-feet, thick arms, barrel chest, and large
      ears. He wears old jeans, an immaculate white T-shirt, a
      decorative tooled leather belt, white socks, and scuffed
      black loafers. His deeply pitted nose demonstrates a
      purple filigree of veins which unfold like an finely
      wrought tattoo. And on either side of it, the wary blue
      eyes of a soldier. He is the archetypical American man.
      Chris has caught his sympathetic eye. Chris moves to the
      counter to pay for rice.

                                                        CUT TO:


180   EXT. MARKET/POST OFFICE - SAME                           180

      In WIDE SHOT, we watch Chris from behind, walking out
      across the two-lane road. He puts out his thumb to hitch
      a ride.

                                                              101.


      When a truck comes from BEHIND INTO FRAME heading
      straight for Chris, the truck makes a relaxed L-turn,
      pulling up beside Chris.


181   INT. RON'S TRUCK                                          181

                             RON
                Where's your camp?

                             CHRIS
                       (pointing)
                Out past Oh-My-God Hot Springs.

                             RON
                I've lived in and around here six years
                now and I've never heard of any place
                that goes by that name.

      Ron leans across the bench seat of the truck, opening up
      the passenger door.

                             RON (CONT'D)
                Show me how to get there.

      Chris hops in beside Ron, who extends his hand -

                               RON (CONT'D)
                Ron Franz.

                               CHRIS
                Alex.

                               RON
                Alex.    Where are you from Alex?
                             CHRIS
                West Virginia.
                             RON
                Okay, Alex from West Virginia. I like a
                fellow who doesn't raise the pitch of his
                voice when he talks to animals...shows he
                doesn't condescend.

      Chris remembers now the dog in the store and why Ron
      must've thought to give him a ride.

      And they head off.


182   EXT. FEW MILES UP ROAD                                    182

      Ron truck drives up the road.

                                                              102.




183   INT. RON'S TRUCK                                          183

      As we come upon a 4x4 track twisting down a narrow wash -

                             CHRIS
                You go left here.

      Ron turns the truck down the 4x4 track.


184   EXT. 4X4 TRACK, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT - SAME                184

      We watch the truck bump and grind on the mangled dirt
      road about a mile in.

      Out the window, Ron's eye has been caught by something.

      Ron's POV: Oh-My-God Hot Springs -

      We see a couple of day-glo vans and rusted out
      Studebakers that hadn't been turned over since Eisenhower
      was in the White House. Several of those living there
      mill about buck naked. And at the center of the camp,
      the steaming pools lined with rocks under the palm trees.

                             RON
                You live here?

                             CHRIS
                No, we keep going. I'm further up.
                Another half-mile or so, out on the
                Bajada.

185   EXT. CHRIS' CAMP BESIDE THE STONE WALL - SAME             185
      Ron and Chris drive up in the truck. Ron shuts off the
      ignition and gets out of the truck to stretch his legs.
      Chris follows, puts his full water jug under the tarp at
      his campsite, hooking it onto a branch. He throws his
      shoulder bag with the rice in it into his backpack.

                             RON
                Well, this is somethin' out here. Don't
                you worry about those dope smokers and
                nudists down below there?

                             CHRIS
                No, they keep to themselves pretty much
                and so do I.

                                             103.



            RON
      (skeptical)
Hmmm. You strike me as a bright young
man. Am I wrong about that?

             CHRIS
I think I got my head on my shoulders
pretty good.

             RON
That's what I mean.    How long have you
been out here?

             CHRIS
Couple of weeks.

             RON
And before that?

             CHRIS
A lot of places. I've been moving
around.

             RON
How old are you?

             CHRIS
Twenty-three.

             RON
Twenty-three years old! Son, don't you
think you should be getting an education?
And a job? And making something of this
life?
             CHRIS
Look Mr. Franz. I think careers are a
twentieth century invention and I don't
want one. You don't need to worry about
me. I have a college education. I'm not
destitute. I'm living like this by
choice.

               RON
In the dirt?

             CHRIS
       (laughs)
Yeah, in the dirt.

             RON
I just don't know.    Where's your family?

                                                        104.



                       CHRIS
          Don't have one anymore.

                       RON
          That's a shame.

Chris can see some deep sadness in this man.

                       CHRIS
          Hey, Mr. Franz. I want to show you
          something.

Ron follows Chris to the rockface we'd seen Chris running
earlier. They begin to walk up it. It's tough on the
old-timer, walking this steep hill. But he's a tough old-
timer, at least for the moment...

ANGLE: The two men nearly half way to the summit.     It's
getting steeper and higher. Ron stops.

                       RON
          This is getting a little steep.     And a
          little high for me kid.

                       CHRIS
          Alright.   But look out there. Even from
          half way out, it's quite a sight isn't
          it?

Their POV: Enormous beautiful vista all the way across
the Bajada.

                       CHRIS (CONT'D)
          From the top you can see all the way to
          the Salton Sea too.
Ron looks up the precarious rock wall.   He ain't gonna be
seeing the Salton Sea today.

                       RON
          You can see the Salton Sea from up there?

                       CHRIS
          Yes, sir.

                        RON
                 (starting his way down the
                  hill)
          My goodness.

                       CHRIS
          You don't want to go up?

                                                                 105.



                                RON
                  Nope.   I don't do these kind of things.

      Chris smiles and follows Ron.       As they approach the
      bottom of the hill -

                               RON (CONT'D)
                  How about you and me take a drive? About
                  fifty miles or so up highway, I know a
                  place that's got a view, great food, and
                  requires no climbing. How's that sound?

      Chris thinks about it.     Then -

                               CHRIS
                  Yeah, sure. It'll take me a couple of
                  minutes to clean up.

                                 RON
                  Fair enough.

                                                             CUT TO:


186   EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY - AFTERNOON                              186

      Ron's truck drives through frame.


187   EXT. INDIAN AVENUE SOUTHBOUND, PALM SPRINGS - DAY            187

      We see Ron and Chris driving parallel on the windmilled
      road (Our frame will only hold the lower fraction of the
      spinning windmills in the background)
                                                             CUT TO:

188   EXT. SAN JACINTO TRAMWAY - LATE AFTERNOON                    188

      VERTICAL POV: We are thousands of feet in the air over
      the rigid rocky canyon as we ascend toward San Jacinto
      summit. It's high. Scary HIGH.


189   INT. TRAM                                                    189

      MUSIC OVER: As Chris and Ron ride the tram to the peak,
      we watch Chris watching Ron, his kind, moist old eyes,
      slowly blinking at the wonder of the nature around him.
      Other passengers on the tram seem nervous, but Ron is
      meditative, almost hypnotized.

                                                                106.


      And with each roll-through of the tram through the cable
      towers, the tram car rocks and sways, but Ron's peace
      goes unbroken. And Chris continues to admire the gentle
      blinking of his eyes.

                                                          CUT TO:


190   INT. ELEVATION RESTAURANT (SAN JACINTO SUMMIT) - TWILIGHT90
                                                              1

      The two of them sit in a quiet, corner   booth of the
      tramway eatery that sits on the summit   of San Jacinto
      overlooking the lights of Palm Springs   and the desert
      clear back to Salton Sea. Chris is on    a roll.

                             CHRIS
                How old are you, Mr. Franz?

                             RON
                Seventy-nine years old.

                             CHRIS
                Seventy-nine...see, all due respect, but
                the real difference between people is the
                quality of their soul and not on how long
                they've trudged around like a dip-shit.

      Ron laughs.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                But it's true.

                              RON
                It is.   No question about that.

      Ron continues to let Chris vent.
                             CHRIS
                The government's the same as my parents.
                They don't respect anybody. Regulation.
                Regulation. Regulation. WE can't do
                this. But THEY can do that. I mean, the
                hypocrisy of the whole...culture.   Makes
                me crazy. My father was having children                *
                with two women at the same time, and then              *
                has the gall to think that he can be of
                some guidance to me? Make judgments on
                me? My mother, of course, goes along
                with all of it. Keeps the secret, which
                of course, makes my whole life a fiction.
                Everything I thought was, wasn't.
                They're such fools! Fucking idiots!

                                                             107.



                             RON
                Alex, please don't lump me in amongst
                your judges. And your tyrants. But I'd
                prefer to not hear that kind of language.

                             CHRIS
                       (realizing his slip)
                Sorry. I don't usually use that kind of
                language either. I just get so angry
                thinking about it.

      Ron reaches across the table.    Puts his sturdy hand on
      Chris' shoulder.

                             RON
                You got a lot of passion, young man.

      Chris smiles at Ron.

                                                          CUT TO:


191   EXT. CHRIS' CAMP BESIDE THE STONE WALL - NIGHT             191

      As Ron and Chris pull up in the pick-up truck, we see
      SPORADIC FIREWORKS WHISTLING AND CRACKLING into the air
      above the hot-springs, and HEAR the distant HOOTING of
      its inhabitants. Chris hops out and walks around to
      Ron's side of the truck.

                             CHRIS
                Awww, that was a great time Mr. Franz.
                Thank you.

                             RON
                Look here. If Charles Manson and his
                buddies don't kill me on my way out of
                here, I'd like to cook you up a home
                cooked meal tomorrow night. If I come
                out here about, say, four o'clock
                tomorrow, how would that be?

                             CHRIS
                That would be swell.

      Ron is thrilled.

                             RON
                Good, good. I'm no gourmet but I know
                where the spices are. Good night, kid.

                             CHRIS
                Good night Mr. Franz.

                                                              108.



      And with that, Ron hits the road.

                                                        CUT TO:


192   EXT. STONE WALL - SUNSET                                  192

      Chris hikes up it with his backpack on, one laborious
      step at a time.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:


193   EXT. STONE WALL SUMMIT - SAME                             193

      Chris summiting the rock formation. He looks down over
      the desert and there before him, The Salton Sea.

                                                        CUT TO:


194   EXT. RON'S HOUSE, SALTON SEA - SUNSET                     194

      The house is a single-level, beige structure, sitting
      between the Salton Sea and a small inlet where he keeps a
      fishing boat. Underneath a canopy in the backyard, there
      is a small workshop of some kind.

      HIGH ANGLE: Chris, looking at his own reflection in the
      water below Ron's dock. In the reflection, we see his
      hands full of dirty laundry.

                                                        CUT TO:

195   INT. KITCHEN, RON'S HOUSE - SAME                          195
      Ron broils a couple of steaks. Chris enters and moves
      past Ron carrying his laundry into another room.


196   INT. LAUNDRY ROOM, RON'S HOUSE - SAME                     196

      Chris pours detergent over his long-in-need clothes.
      Starts the cycle.


197   INT. KITCHEN, RON'S HOUSE - NIGHT                         197

      As Chris enters, Ron is pulling the steaks from the
      broiler.

                                                       109.


Above the kitchen sink, Chris sees a row of approximately
ten photographs, each in vertical 4x6 frames, some black
and white, some color: all of Japanese boys and girls in
formal American and Japanese attire.

                       RON
          Did you find everything you need?

                       CHRIS
                 (breaking his gaze from the
                  photographs)
          Yeah. I hope I don't wreck your machine.
          There's a lot of grime in that stuff.

                       RON
          Well, that's what it's for.   How do these
          steaks look?

Ron pops the steaks on the kitchen table.

                       CHRIS
          Great.

                       RON
          Well, sit down.

Ron grabs some silverware from a drawer, plops it down on
the kitchen table with some paper napkins.

                       RON (CONT'D)
          What do you drink?

                       CHRIS
          You got a White Russian?

                       RON
          Nope.
                       CHRIS
          Beer?

                       RON
          Nope. Don't have any alcohol. I had to
          quit all that. How about a guava juice?

                       CHRIS
          I'll take a guava juice, that sounds
          good.

As Ron gets the drinks -

                       RON
          Yeah, I had a little spell with the
          bottle, you could say.

                                                      110.



Ron pops the drinks down on the table, then sits with
Chris. They lift their glasses toward one another, then -

                       RON/CHRIS
          Cheers.

                       RON
          I spent most of my life in the army. On
          New Year's Eve 1957, I was stationed over
          in Okinawa. My wife and son were here in
          the States, just driving down the road
          when a fellow who'd had too much to drink
          plowed right into them. Killed them
          both. Anyway, you might think that the
          last thing in the world I'd do, is go to
          the whiskey, but at the time, it felt
          like the only thing I could do. And I
          did it hard. But pretty soon, I figured
          I wasn't doing my wife and son any good,
          mourning them with a bottle. So, I
          pulled myself together and quit drinking,
          cold turkey. And then...

Ron, spinning his body around, points to the photographs
over the sink.

                       RON (CONT'D)
                 (brightening)
          You see all these kids over here?

                       CHRIS
          Yeah, I was gonna ask you.

                       RON
          Yeah, that's...
                 (pointing at each with his
                  finger)
          Fuki, Kenjiro, Yoshiko, Keiko, Masaro,
          Junichi, Kimpei, Nayoko...

For the last picture frame, Ron stands and takes it off
the shelf -

                       RON (CONT'D)
                 (pridefully shows Chris the
                  picture)
          And this is Akira. Just finished medical
          school.

Chris takes the picture and studies Akira's face.   Ron
sits back down.

                                                            111.



                             RON (CONT'D)
                Yeah, I unofficially adopted all of them.
                It did my heart some good but I guess
                really it was just writing a few letters
                and sending some money. Anyway, it was
                important to me. I get a letter from
                each of them from time to time. You
                know. So, since all that, this is pretty
                much me.
                       (indicating his small
                        reclusive abode)

                             CHRIS
                Do you ever travel, Mr. Franz?

                             RON
                No. I can't seem to get too far from my
                leather. I'll show you after you finish
                eating. I do a lot of leather engraving.
                I got a little workshop in the garage.
                Between that and my pension, I do pretty
                well. But every time I think I might
                take a trip somewhere, I get too far
                behind on orders and such to consider it.

                             CHRIS
                       (having wolfed down the
                        steak)
                Well, I'm finished eating. I'd love to
                see your workshop.

                             RON
                Would ya?

      Chris nods.
                             RON (CONT'D)
                       (standing)
                Alright then.

      Ron picks up the picture of Akira and replaces it on the
      shelf above the sink.

                                                         CUT TO:


198   INT. RON'S GARAGE/WORKSHOP - NIGHT                       198

      As we begin, Ron is instructing Chris in the skills of
      leather engraving.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

                                                            112.




199   EXT. CHRIS' CAMP BESIDE THE STONE WALL - MORNING          199

      Chris, a clear plastic bag of clean laundry beside him,
      sits alone, cross-legged. He begins to carve into a
      leather belt.

                                                         CUT TO:


200   EXT. STONE WALL - LATER                                   200

      We follow Chris in a LOW ANGLE up his mountain run
      framing from mid-back to just above his head, sweating
      profusely.

                                                         CUT TO:


201   EXT. 4X4 TRACK, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT - DAY                 201

      Ron's truck cuts along the 4x4 track.

                                                         BACK TO:


202   EXT. STONE WALL, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT - SAME               202

      Chris reaching the summit.   He bends over to catch his
      breath, hands on knees.

                             RON (O.S)
                How about some fishing?

      Chris turns to the voice. And down at the bottom of the
      rock wall beside the campsite, is Ron holding up two
      fishing poles.
                             RON (CONT'D)
                       (referring to the Sea)
                That thing's twice as salty as the ocean.
                Did you know that?

      Chris has barely the breath to speak.

                             CHRIS
                Anything alive in it?

      Ron shrugs his shoulders in a "who cares?" fashion.
      Chris laughs but nods in the affirmative and gives Ron
      the thumbs up.

                                                             113.




203   EXT. ANZA-BARREGO DESERT - DAY + NIGHT                    203

      BEGIN MUSIC OVER:   MONTAGE:

      1. Chris and Ron fishing in the Salton Sea. (no catch)

      2. At Ron's workshop/garage, Ron guides Chris in his
      leather belt project.

      3. At Chris' campsite, Chris does push-ups while Ron sits
      on the tailgate of his truck spying on the "Manson
      family" through binoculars, shaking his head.

      4. Chris at his campsite working on the belt by campfire
      light. We MOVE IN on the belt, he's beginning to form
      the letter N in the leather.

      5. Chris jogging in the morning beside Oh-My-God Hot
      Springs.

      6. Chris and Ron at the leather bench in Ron's
      workshop/garage.

      In a EXTREME CLOSE-UP, MUSIC FADES OUT as we PAN across
      Chris' leather belt and the story being told on it
      through the engravings:


204   EXT. RON'S WORKSHOP - DAY                                 204

      ALEX is inscribed at the belt's left end; then the
      initials C.J.M. (for Christopher Johnson McCandless)
      frame a skull and crossbones. Across the strip of
      cowhide one sees a rendering of two-lane blacktop, a No U-
      turn sign, a thunderstorm producing a flash flood that
      engulfs a car, a hitchhiker's thumb, an eagle, the Sierra
      Nevada, salmon cavorting in the Pacific Ocean, the
      Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to Washington, the
      Rocky Mountains, Montana wheat fields, a South Dakota
      rattlesnake, Westerberg's house in Carthage, the Colorado
      River rapids, a canoe beached beside a tent, Las Vegas,
      and at the buckle end, finally, the letter N.

                             RON
                What's the N stand for?

                              CHRIS
                ...North.

                                                        CUT TO:

                                                           114.




205   EXT. CHRIS' CAMP BESIDE THE STONE WALL - DAY           205

      AN ISOLATED CLOUD ECLIPSES THE SUN AGAINST A BLUE DESERT
      SKY.

      Ron is sitting on his tailgate, watching Chris, backpack
      on, climb the stone wall.

                             RON
                Alaska?

      Chris summits.

                             RON (CONT'D)
                Son, what the hell you running from?

                             CHRIS
                       (yells down from above)
                I could ask you the same question.
                Except I already know the answer.

                             RON
                You do, do you?

                             CHRIS
                I do, Mr. Franz. You've got to get back
                out in the world. Get out of that lonely
                house of yours, that little workshop,
                and go live on the road.

      Ron waves him off.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                Really. You're going to live a long
                time, Ron. You should make a radical
                change in your lifestyle. The core of
                man's spirit comes with new experiences.
                And there you are, stubborn old man,
                sitting on your butt.

                             RON
                Sittin' on my butt, huh?

      Ron gets up off the tailgate.

                             RON (CONT'D)
                I'll show you sittin' on my butt.

      And Ron starts making the old man hustle. Shifty
      shoulders and all, up the stone wall.

                                                     115.



                       RON (CONT'D)
                 (mumbling)
          "Stubborn old man."

Chris is laughing and clapping.

                       CHRIS
          Come on, old man! Come on!

                       RON
                 (mumbling)
          Ya little pinhead.

Chris is jumping up and down, thrilled for Ron's efforts.
Now the old man's shuffle has turned into an old man's
walk. But he ain't stopping. And bit by bit he shows
he's got it in him after all.

As Ron is just about to mount the summit, Chris extends a
hand. Ron swats it away.

                       RON (CONT'D)
          Ya little pinhead.

Ron drops down onto his back to catch his breath and let
his thumping heart slow down.

                         CHRIS
          You alright?

Ron, after taking one more deep breath, sits up and Chris
sits next to him. He's actually pretty happy with
himself. He looks out and sees the distant Salton Sea.

                       RON
          I'm going to miss you when you go.
                       CHRIS
          I'll miss you too, Ron. But you're wrong
          if you think the joy of life comes
          principally from human relationships.
          God's placed it all around us. It's in
          everything. In anything we can
          experience. People just have to change
          the way they think about those things.
          You ought to put a little camper on the
          back of your pick-up and go take a look
          at some of the great work god's done out
          here in the American west.

                       RON
          Alex...You're probably right.   And I'm
          going to take stock of that.

                                                             116.



      Chris offers a skeptical glance.

                              RON (CONT'D)
                No, I am.

      A second skeptical glance.   Which Ron squashes with
      genuine sincerity.

                              RON (CONT'D)
                        (almost to himself)
                I am.

      Chris buys it this time and feels he's accomplished
      something with Ron.

                             RON (CONT'D)
                But I'll tell you something. The bits
                and pieces I've put together, you know,
                what you've told me about your family.
                Your mother and dad. And I know you got
                your problems with the church too, but
                there's some kind of bigger thing that we
                can all appreciate. And it sounds like
                you don't mind calling it God. But when
                you forgive, you love. And when you
                love...God's light shines on you.

      Miraculously, it is just at that moment that the cloud
      clears from the sun and the light shines in Ron's eyes.
      Chris points at Ron's face at the light shining on him -

                              CHRIS
                Holy Shit!

                             RON
                I told you about that language.
      The two men, their eyes welling up, fall back laughing.

      EXTREME WIDE SHOT FROM BELOW: The two men on the summit
      with the echoing of laughter and Ron's screams -

                             RON (CONT'D)
                I told you so! I told you so!

                                                         CUT TO:


206   INT. LAUNDRY ROOM, RON'S HOUSE - NIGHT (MARCH 11, 1992) 206

      Chris pulls his laundry out of the dryer. He's got his
      pack sitting in the doorway to the kitchen. He folds his
      things and tucks them into his pack.

                                                         117.



Ron appears in the doorway dressed for travel.

                       CHRIS
          What are you doing up?     It's three-thirty
          in the morning.

                       RON
          Heard you get up off the couch half an
          hour ago, and had a funny feeling you
          might not be here for our breakfast.

Chris says nothing.

                       RON (CONT'D)
          I'm going to drive you a hundred miles to
          somewhere where you can pick up a train,
          a plane, or hitch a ride without getting
          stuck on this desert. I'd take you all
          the way to Alaska if I didn't have to get
          to an eight o'clock mass.

                       CHRIS
          Ron, you don't have to do that.

                       RON
          I want to do it.     Get you started on this
          thing of yours.

                       CHRIS
          On my Great -

                       RON
                 (interrupting)
          I know. On your "Great Alaskan
          Adventure."
From just out of Chris' eye-line, Ron leans out of frame,
picking up a zippered duffel bag. He opens it,
displaying the contents to Chris.

                       RON (CONT'D)
          There's a machete, an arctic parka,
          collapsible fishing pole, and a few odds
          and ends I threw in there for you.

                       CHRIS
          Ron...

                       RON
          Oh, just take it.

Chris does, nodding his thanks.

                                                            118.



                             RON (CONT'D)
                I'll wait for you in the truck.

                                                          CUT TO:


207   EXT. HIGHWAY 10, OUTSIDE SALTON CITY - DAWN                207

      We follow the two men (on this nondescript locale)
      driving along the highway east from dawn through sunrise.
      They ride in silence through Coachchella Desert Center
      and Blythe.

                                                          CUT TO:


208   EXT. HIGHWAY 10                                            208

      The truck exits at a North/South junction 95.


209   INT. RON'S TRUCK                                           209

      As Ron begins to pull over.

                             RON
                Well my friend.

                             CHRIS
                Yep.

      Both of them are uncomfortable. Chris goes for the door
      handle. Ron's gnarled hand reaches out to take Chris'
      elbow.
      After a long beat, Ron speaks without looking at Chris.
                             RON
                I had an idea. You know my mother was an
                only child. So was my father. And I was
                their only child. Now, with my own boy
                gone, I'm the end of the line. When I'm
                gone, my family will be finished. What
                do you say, you let me adopt you. I
                could be, say, your grandfather.

      This takes Chris by surprise.   He knew it would be hard
      but not this hard.

                             CHRIS
                How about we talk about this when I get
                back from Alaska, Ron. Would that be
                alright?

                                                               119.



      Silence.   Ron nods.   Releases Chris' elbow.

                              CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 Alright, Ron. We'll talk about it then.

                               RON
                         (trying to mask. The
                          blinking, moist eyes again)
                 Yep.   We can do that, yep.

                                CHRIS
                 Thanks, Ron.

      Ron nods. Chris gets out of the truck. Ron watches as
      Chris saddles up his bag including the duffel that Ron
      gave him.

      Chris crosses the exit junction to where he can pick up a
      ride north on the far side of the road.

      We ZOOM SLOWLY through the windshield into Ron's face as
      he watches Chris hitching away.

      We HEAR the first bars of Neil Young's My My, Hey Hey.
      This will carry throughout the following MONTAGE.

                                                        DISSOLVE TO:


210   INT./EXT. VARIOUS - MONTAGE                                 210

      1. We ZOOM into Walt McCandless' face as he looks through
      the Questar telescope that Chris had given him. ANGLE:
      The stars through the telescope. The same stars his son
      walks under...somewhere. We PAN ACROSS SPACE.
      (Note: This montage will intercut Chris' traveling POV
      with objective shots. However, we never SEE Chris.)

      2. We PULL BACK from the starry night sky to see it
      framed from within a moving train.

      3. Carine in her shower, water cascades over her face.

      4. Billie in her kitchen, making dinner.

      5. Through the windshield of a semi-truck, the sun rises
      on Glacier National Park.

      6. A HANDHELD ZOOM-OUT from Canadian border crossing,
      CAMERA TURNS to the woods beyond and MOVES INTO THEM.

                                                        120.



7. SERIES OF TRAVELING SHOTS: (Through Skookumchuk and
Radium Junction, Lake Louise to Prince George and Dawson
Creek) STATIC NATURE SHOTS: HELICOPTER SHOTS

8. On the bed in their van, Jan sits on Rainey's bare
feet while he does sit-ups.

9. Ron holding a garage sale, while hooking a trailer to
his truck.

10. Wayne being released from jail.

11. Mads and Sonja, side by side, one-armed bandit-ing in
a Vegas casino.

12. Tracy at a high school dance, slow-dancing with her        *
young date.

13. Looking through the windshield of another semi. A
bear lopes across the two-lane road before us. We PAN
and ZOOM with it into the tundra beside the road.
HANDHELD, WALKING, we pass Mile 0 of the Alaska highway:
The sign: Fairbanks 1523 miles.

14. A waterfall.

15. Intercut hand and thumb hitching - a sense that rides
are few and far between.

16. A misting mountain peak.

17. Beavers in streams.

18. Melting blue ice-walls.
19. A lynx skittering across a snowy mound.
20. Walt and his telescope.

21. The hitchhiker's VIEW on a two-lane road, walking
past a highway sign for the Yukon Territory. (Through
Johnson's Crossing, Whitehorse, and Beaver Creek.)

22. From a passenger car window, a series of road signs
reading: Closed for winter.

MUSIC FADE OUT

                                                              121.




211   INT. MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE - DAY                     211

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                About a month short of the second
                anniversary of Chris' disappearance, I
                had gotten engaged to my boyfriend Jerry
                Ray and was moving in with him...

      Carine, packing her belongings into boxes, stumbles upon
      the Sharon Olds book Chris had given her on his
      graduation day.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                ...when I stumbled upon the book Chris
                had given me on his graduation day. For
                some reason, it was the last line of the
                poem he read that really stuck out.

      FLASH BACK: (From page 2-3)


212   INT. DATSUN                                               212

      Chris is holding a book from which he reads aloud the
      LAST LINE OF THE POEM...

                             CHRIS
                ...and I will tell about it.

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                I asked Chris who had written the poem.

      What we SEE of Carine plays with the VOICE OVER TRACK and
      SILENT with the production track; in essence lip synching
      herself.
      Chris' dialogue comes directly from the flashback image.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Who wrote that?

                             CHRIS
                Well, it could've been either one of us.
                Couldn't it?

      We see pictures of Chris on the night-stand of Walt and
      Billie's bedroom

                             CARINE (V.O.)
                What would he tell about now?   What did
                his voice sound like now?
                             (MORE)

                                                             122.

                             CARINE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                I realized that the words to my thoughts
                were of less and less meaning. Chris was
                writing his story and it had to be Chris
                who would tell it.

      The pictures in the scene BLUR as -

                             CHRIS (O.C.)
                       (in a far away, tunnel-like
                        sound)
                Mom, help me.

                                                          CUT TO:


213   INT. BEDROOM, MCCANDLESS HOME, ANNANDALE - NIGHT          213

      Billie sitting bolt upright in the middle of the night,
      tears rolling down her cheeks.

      Walt awakens beside her.

                              WALT
                What is it?

                             BILLIE
                I wasn't dreaming! I didn't imagine it!
                I heard his voice, Walt. I heard Chris.

      Walt takes her in his arms, trying to squeeze life into
      both of them.

                                            CHAPTER 6: DELIVERANCE
                                                    FADE TO BLACK.

214   FAIRBANKS ALASKA,   SERIES OF STATIC IMAGES:              214
      Berms of cleared snow line the streets

      1. A GAS STATION (Gold Hill Gas and Liquor)

      We see Chris' writing appear on screen:

      APRIL 27, 1992

      2. OLD ALASKA PROSPECTOR'S STORE

      WAYNE,

      GREETINGS FROM FAIRBANKS! THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU
      SHALL HEAR FROM ME. ARRIVED HERE TWO DAYS AGO.

      3. A SALOON

                                                               123.



      4. A LIBRARY

      IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO CATCH RIDES IN THE YUKON
      TERRITORY.

      5. TRAIN STATION

      6. BARBER SHOP

      BUT I FINALLY GOT HERE. PICKED UP A NEW    BOOK ON THE
      LOCAL FLORA AND FAUNA (TANAINA PLANTLORE   / DENA'INA
      K'ET'UNA: AN ETHNOBOTANY OF THE DENA'INA   INDIANS OF
      SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA BY PRISCILLA RUSSELL   KARI)

      7. BOOKSTORE

      MIGHT BE A VERY LONG TIME BEFORE I RETURN SOUTH. BUT I'M
      PREPARED AND HAVE STOCKED ALL NECESSARY COMFORTS TO LIVE
      OFF THE LAND FOR A FEW MONTHS.

      8. A GUN AND SPORTING GOOD STORE

      INCLUDING A NYLON 66 MODEL SEMIAUTOMATIC .22 REMINGTON.
      JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, YOU'RE A GREAT MAN. I NOW
      WALK (PAUSE WRITING ON SCREEN) INTO THE WILD.

      ALEX

      9. A SIGN AGAINST A RADIO TOWER "RADIO FAIRBANKS"(Perhaps
      we hear a weather report)


215   EXT. ALASKAN RANGE (STAMPEDE TRAIL) - DAY                  215

      We return to the area of Scene #1.
      MUSIC OVER: Of religious scope.    Perhaps choral.
      HELICOPTER SHOT: We travel a long ways across snowy
      peaks and valleys (clearly far from anywhere) passing
      between two escarpments of outer range bordering
      bottomlands five miles wide until we barely see a tiny
      form within it trudging through the snow. We overfly it.

                                                           CUT TO:


216   EXT. STAMPEDE TRAIL - DAY                                  216

      Chris, crunching through two to three feet (not more) of
      snow, in arctic parka, big boots, his warm hat, rifle
      slung over his shoulder, and pack.

                                                              124.



      He moves TOWARD CAMERA. We PAN AROUND with him as he
      walks past, where beyond Chris on the snow plain, rises a
      tree line.

                                                        CUT TO:


217   EXT. TEKLANIKA RIVER - DAY                                217

      Its banks lined with a jagged shelf of frozen overflow.
      At its center, a channel of gently flowing water, opaque
      with glacial till. Beyond the far ice shelf, Chris
      appears from the riverside treeline. He eases across the
      ice, then wades through the latte-colored channel and on
      to the other side.

      REVERSE ANGLE: Chris moving toward the opposite tree
      line, he turns back to the gentle river behind. Chris'
      POV scanning the terrain.

      From the river to a distant mountain peak and then to a
      second mountain peak, triangulating his location. He
      makes a drawing on a pad of paper and piles some medium-
      sized rocks to mark the spot before moving on into the
      trees.

                                                        CUT TO:


218   EXT. VAST ALASKAN SNOWSCAPE - DAY                         218

      Total silence across the beatific white vista of snow,
      mountain, and colorless trees UNTIL a DISTANT ECHOING
      GUNSHOT.
                                                        CUT TO:

219   EXT. CAMPSITE, BESIDE SUSHANA RIVER - NIGHT               219

      Chris has skinned and is cooking a squirrel.

                                                        CUT TO:


220   EXT. CAMPSITE, BESIDE SUSHANA RIVER - MORNING             220

      Chris packs the last of his camp and begins his march
      upriver.

                                                        CUT TO:

                                                             125.




221   EXT. UPRIVER - DAY                                        221

      As Chris walks upon a clearing in the tree line, he
      catches his first glimpse of Denali's (Mt. McKinley's)
      high-blinding white bulwarks. Chris stands in awe. We
      remain in his WIDE-SHOT POV as it -

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

      SAME SHOT - NIGHT

      But now Chris' tent sits in its foreground with the
      moonlit Denali still visible.

                                                        CUT TO:


222   EXT. WOODS BESIDE RIVER - DAY                             222

      CAMERA ANGLED SKYWARD into the broken rays of grey light.
      We TILT DOWN to find (and TRACK through the trees with)
      Chris moving along the river, when he sees something just
      OFF CAMERA.

      Chris' POV: Through the trees and fireweed, he sees
      something metallic and rusty. Chris moves up through the
      underbrush and the snow into the narrow tree line and on
      into the clearing, where before him:

      A DERELICT SCHOOL BUS. It is a vintage International
      Harvester from the 1940's.

      Chris approaches the bus, lifts the hood a little bit
      seeing that the engine is gone. As he moves around the
      vehicle, we see several windows are cracked or missing
      altogether. The green and white paint is badly oxidized.
      Weathered lettering: Fairbanks City Transit System Bus
      142.


223   INT. BUS                                                  223

      Broken whiskey bottles litter the floor. Chris may well
      have found his new home. The bus is outfitted with a
      bunk and a barrel stove. Previous visitors had left it
      stocked with matches, bug dope, and other essentials.


224   EXT. BUS                                                  224

      We follow Chris back out of the bus, surveying the area
      of the clearing. He loves what he sees.

                                                               126.



      CELEBRATORY MUSIC OVER:

      He runs up a berm to look down into the river.

      He runs from corner to corner of this "Magic Bus" area
      like a new bride surveying her honeymoon suite with glee.

      He climbs a tree, swings from its branch, doing a flip in
      the air, landing on his feet, but then slipping on the
      snow and onto his butt and then onto his back. He grabs
      a handful of snow, shoves it in his mouth, melts it into
      water, and swallows it.

      CRANE SHOT:   We PULL UP from Chris to high above the
      clearing.

      MUSIC FADES OUT

                                                         CUT TO:


225   INT./EXT. BUS                                              225

      He re-enters the bus and pulls his pen from his pocket,
      scribbling on the wall of the bus:


                TWO YEARS HE WALKS THE EARTH. NO PHONE,
                NO POOL, NO PETS, NO CIGARETTES, ULTIMATE
                FREEDOM. AN EXTREMIST. AND AESTHETIC
                VOYAGER WHOSE HOME IS...

      ANGLE: Chris:   He continues to write as he SPEAKS the
      words aloud:
                             CHRIS
                ...the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou
                shalt not return `cause the "west is the
                best." And now after two rambling years,
                comes the final and greatest adventure.

      Chris is cleaning up the bus.

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                The climactic battle to kill the false
                being within and victoriously conclude
                the spiritual revolution.

      Chris shoveling snow away from the bus entrance with a
      rock.

                                                              127.



                              CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 Ten days and nights of freight trains and
                 hitchhiking, bringing him to the great
                 white north.

      Back to Chris, REAL TIME as he continues to write as he
      speaks:

                              CHRIS (CONT'D)
                 No longer to be poisoned by civilization,
                 he flees, and walks alone upon the land
                 to become lost in the wild.

      Chris signs his doctrine -

                 ALEXANDER SUPERTRAMP MAY 1992

                                                    JUMP CUT TO:


226   INT. BUS                                                  226

      Chris posts a found piece of paper on the inner wall of
      the bus alongside his doctrine.

      CU: Chris' hand, he writes and circles the number:

      1 - MAGIC BUS DAY.

                                                           CUT TO:


227   EXT. BUS - DAY                                            227

      Chris comes out, rifle in hand. We TRACK with him as he
      moves into the woods on the hunt.
      SERIES OF ANGLES:

      Chris searching for game. He moves through the woods
      along the river and at the base of a nearby mountain.
      Finding animals for food seems more difficult than
      expected.

                                                           CUT TO:


228   EXT. A MOUNTAIN SADDLE - DAY                              228

      Chris stumbles upon a caribou as it steps out from the
      woods. He lines up his rifle on the animal, about to
      pull the trigger, when its calf appears beside it.

                                                             128.


      He lowers his rifle, unwilling to take a shot that would
      separate mother and child.

                                                         TIME CUT:


229   EXT. WOODS - DAY                                          229

      A spruce grouse is spied on a foreground branch.

      BANG!

      The branch splinters and the bird makes haste.

      ANGLE: Chris, rifle in hand.

                               CHRIS
                Shit!

                                                          CUT TO:


230   INT. BUS - NIGHT                                          230

      Chris, cooking rice. We see his single bag of rice.     Its
      amount tells us the hunting had better improve soon.

      We explore a PASSAGE OF TIME throughout which CHRIS GETS
      INCREASINGLY THIN AND PALE: hunting, sleeping, cooking,
      rice dwindling, line-ups of scrawny shot birds. He adds
      holes to his belt leather to accommodate his shrinking
      waistline.

                                                          CUT TO:

231   EXT. SNOWY PLAIN - DAY                                    231
      BANG!

      Chris bags a squirrel on a snowy plain.

                                                          CUT TO:


232   INT. BUS - LATER                                          232

      Chris eats his measly catch but looks to his bag of rice
      with concern, perhaps only a day or so left of his
      rations. We come to the diary/log posted on the wall.
      We see that he has been there for a week's worth of
      entries as the squirrel is mentioned on day seven.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                                 129.




232A   OMITTED                                                    232A


232B   OMITTED                                                    232B


233    INT. BUS - MORNING                                          233

       Chris is awakened by a new May sun, streaming light
       through the windows of the bus.

       POV: the sun, circling high in the heavens.    Snowmelt
       dripping quickly across the windowpane.
                                                           CUT TO:


233A   EXT. BUS - DAY                                             233A

       Chris dances atop the bus, naked in the new spring.

                                                           CUT TO:


233B   INT. BUS - DAY                                             233B

       Chris shaves.
       (Note: We are in a time of year in this part of the world
       where the sun dips behind the horizon only four hours a
       day)

                                                           CUT TO:


234    INT./EXT. BUS - DAY                                         234

       INTERCUT: SERIES OF ANGLES throughout which Chris remains
       thin but his pallor improves:

       1. The diary/log representing a small improvement on the
       hunting front.

       2. Undergrowth exposing itself through snowmelt.

       3. Establish a small waterfall near the bus.

       Landing on:

                                                          129A.




235   EXT. WOODS - DAY                                       235

      The snow has now all but vanished except on north-facing
      slopes and shadowy ravines, exposing a range carpeted in
      an amalgam of muskeg, alder thickets, and veins of
      scrawny spruce.

                                                              130.



      Chris traipses along the seasons rose hips and
      lingonberries, which he gathers in great quantity and
      snacks on as he walks.

                                                        CUT TO:


236   EXT. WOODS - DAY                                          236

      Chris shoots a porcupine.

                                                        CUT TO:


237   INT. BUS - DAY                                            237

      The diary/log: DAY 30 - PORCUPINE

                                                    DISSOLVE TO:


238   EXT. PEAK, NEARBY BUTTE - DAY                             238

      Chris stands triumphant at the peak of a 3000 foot butte
      overlooking the bus. CIRCLE CAMERA around him 360
      degrees recording the broad vista.

      ANGLE: CU - He's beaming with satisfaction.

      We begin a SLOW ZOOM OUT and then accelerate the ZOOM
      encompassing the entire grandeur of the mountain with
      Chris at its peak.

                                                        CUT TO:

239   INT. BUS - LATER                                          239
      The diary/log: DAY 31 - CLIMBED MOUNTAIN

                                                    DISSOLVE TO:


240   EXT. BUS ENVIRONS - COLLAGE - DAY                         240

      COLLAGE TIME IN A SERIES OF DISSOLVES:

      1. The diary/log: MAP AREA.

      Chris surveying and taking notes of area.

      2. The diary/log: IMPROVISE A BATHTUB AND SMUDGE POT

                                                             131.



      Chris building a bathtub out in the front.

      3. The diary/log: COLLECT SKINS AND FEATHERS TO SEW INTO
      CLOTHING.

      Chris hunting and skinning.

      4. The diary/log: CONSTRUCT BRIDGE ACROSS NEARBY NARROW
      CREEK.

      Chris knee-deep in slow-moving water constructing a make-
      shift bridge across narrow creek.

      5. The diary/log: BLAZE NETWORK OF HUNTING TRAILS.

      Chris making a trail with his machete when -

      A MOOSE appears from a nearby thicket. Chris drops the
      machete and pulls his rifle from his shoulder. The moose
      looks ready to charge Chris. There's no choice.

      Chris aims carefully and fires six straight shots into
      the moose's head, dropping it. Chris can hardly believe
      his own success. He puts the rifle back on his shoulder,
      just staring at the dead moose. He begins back-pedalling
      away from it. Bit by bit, his steps turn into a jog and
      then he turns and runs back toward the bus.

                                                           CUT TO:


241   INT. BUS                                                  241
      (Director's Note: Handheld)

      Chris scrambles through his pack and finds the piece of
      paper where he had written notes of how to cure beef by
      smoking it, taught to him by Kevin, Wayne's hunter friend
      back in South Dakota.

                                                          BACK TO:


242   EXT. WOODS - SAME                                         242

      Back at the kill, the slow process of butchering begins.
      (This ain't going to be pretty.)

      INTERCUT REPRESENTATIVE IMAGES WITH FOLLOWING DIARY/LOG
      ENTRIES:

      1. The diary/log: BUTCHERING EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

                                             131A.



2. The diary/log: FLY AND MOSQUITO HORDES.

                                                               132.



      3. The diary/log: REMOVE INTESTINES, LIVER, KIDNEY, ONE
      LUNG, STEAKS.

      4. The diary/log: GOT HIND QUARTERS AND LEGS TO STREAM.

      5. The diary/log: REMOVE HEART.

      6. The diary/log: DIGS SMOKER HOLE INTO EXISTING CAVE.

      7. The diary/log: HAUL NEAR CAVE.

      8. The diary/log: TRY TO PROTECT WITH SMOKER.

      9. The diary/log: CAN ONLY WORK NIGHTS.   KEEP SMOKERS
      GOING.

      10. The diary/log: MAGGOTS ALREADY. SMOKING APPEARS
      INEFFECTIVE. LOOKS LIKE DISASTER. WISH I'D NEVER SHOT
      MOOSE. GREAT TRAGEDY.

      11. The diary/log: ABANDON CARCASS TO WOLVES.

      We see Chris hidden behind a rise, watching a WOLF PACK
      tug at the rancid meat from the carcass.


243   EXT./INT. BUS - DAY + NIGHT                                243

      SERIES OF ANGLES:

      In and out of the bus. Day and night, portraying Chris
      mourning his killing of the moose. He even plants a
      cross by its skeletal remains.

244   EXT. BUS ENVIRONS                                          244
      SERIES OF SHOTS:

      Sunrise and nature awakens. Bird songs and flower
      blooms. A waterfall cascades.

                                                          CUT TO:


245   INT. BUS - DAY                                             245

      Chris reading Tolstoy's Family Happiness. His POV: The
      page: what Chris reads:
      I have lived through much and now I think I have found
      what is needed for happiness.

                                                              133.


       A quiet, secluded life in the country with the
       possibility of being useful to people...

                                                          CUT TO:


246    EXT. BUS - DAY                                           246

       Chris sits amongst the pink bunches of fireweed choking
       the vehicles wheel wells, growing higher than the axles,
       his back leaning against the bus, finishing the reading
       of Family Happiness.

       ANGLE: Chris, reading with great interest.   His POV: The
       page: what Chris reads:
       And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and
       children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man
       desire?

       ANGLE: Chris: He looks up from his book. A gentle breeze
       tickles morning flowers. The sunlight dances in a
       coppice of aspen and leaves of trees above. The sound of
       buzzing flies mutes. He is taking one last look at his
       paradise.

                                                          CUT TO:


246A   EXT. SMALL WATERFALL NEAR BUS - DAY                      246A

       Chris showers (PHOTO-SONIC)

       MUSIC, LYNYRD SKYNYRD'S Simple Man (lyrics in cursive)
       begins to play OVER:
                                                          CUT TO:

247    INT. BUS                                                 247

       My momma told me / when I was young
       Chris packs his gear.

       Come sit beside me / my only son
       A last look about the bus.


248    EXT. SUSHANA RIVER - DAY                                 248

       Listen closely / what I say

                                                             134.



      Full pack and rifle mounted in WIDE SHOT beside the
      Sushana River.

      If you do this it will help you / some sunny day

249   EXT. ALASKA TRAIL - DAY                                   249

      MUSIC CONTINUES OVER:

      A SERIES OF ANGLES:

      Just take your time / don't live too fast
      We pass the familiar landmark of the Mt. McKinley
      clearing where Chris had camped.

      Troubles w ill come / and they will pass
      Chris walking and camping his way back to the Teklanika
      River and the road home.

      Find a woman / you'll find love

      and don't forget son / there's someone up above...
      MUSIC FADES OUT

                                                           CUT TO:


250   EXT. TEKLANIKA RIVER - DAY                                250

      In the trees beside the river, we find Chris. The river
      is not yet in sight but Chris starts to HEAR it: A
      building rumble.

      As Chris exits the treeline, there she is: The Teklanika
      at full flood. Seventy-five foot wide banks, replacing
      the narrow ice canal of four months earlier. Snowmelt
      from glaciers high in the Alaska range, its opaque
      glacial sediment the color of wet concrete. And what had
      been a distant rumble in the woods, now had the volume
      and power of a freight train, a seventy-five foot wide
      one.

      Chris grabs a hold of a riverside branch and takes one
      slow, careful step into the river. Without mercy, WHAM!
      the river kicks his feet out from under him! The branch
      he holds SNAPS! By some miracle, his hands move like
      lightening and he grabs a lower, sturdier branch below,
      saving himself from a certain death.

                                                             135.



      We SEE the broken branch catapulted down river and into a
      rocky shoot below. He pulls himself back onto the bank,
      drops his pack at riverside, and eases to a sitting
      position beside it.

                                                           CUT TO:


251   INT. BUS - NIGHT                                          251

      It's pouring rain outside.   The rain pelts the top of the
      bus.

      Chris' pack is thrown onto the bunk. His hand appears at
      the diary/log on the wall. He writes:

      DAY 82 - DISASTER. RAINED IN.   RIVER CROSSING
      IMPOSSIBLE. LONELY, SCARED.

                                                           CUT TO:


252   EXT. BUS, THE EDGE OF ITS SURROUNDING CLEARING - DAY      252

      EXTREME CU: Beaded and shimmering from the past night's
      rain, a bright red berry moves in the breeze like a tiny
      vibrating bell. RACK FOCUS to Chris' eyes spying it. He
      plucks it from its stem.

                                                           CUT TO:


253   EXT. BUS - DAY                                            253

      Chris adds another hole to tighten his belt.
                                                           CUT TO:

254   INT. BUS - DAY                                            254

      Chris looking very thin. Too thin. He is noshing on a
      bag of collected berries while reading from Boris
      Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago.

      ANGLE: The book

                             CHRIS (V.O.)(O.C.)
                Here she stopped and, closing her eyes,
                took a deep breath of the flower-scented
                air of the broad expanse around her. It
                was dearer to her than her kin, better
                than a lover, wiser than a book.

                                                             136.



      ANGLE: Chris pulls more berries from the bag and chews on
      them as he reads.

      ANGLE: The book

                             CHRIS (V.O.)(O.C.)
                             (CONT'D)
                For a moment, she re-discovered the
                purpose of her life. She was here in
                earth to grasp the meaning of its wild
                enchantment and call each thing by its
                right name.

      ANGLE: Chris

                             CHRIS (CONT'D)
                       (echoing)
                By its right name. By its right name.

      He puts down the book and brings one of the ripe berries
      in front of his face (as close as shot of when he picked
      it.)

      Chris then grabs Tanaina Plantlore, the flora and fauna
      book he had gotten from the library in Fairbanks. And it
      takes him out of the bus like a divining rod. His nose
      in the book, he follows it.

                                                         CUT TO:


255   EXT. BUS - DAY                                           255

      Plant to plant.   Bush to bush.
      SPEAKING ALOUD the names of everything he sees as he
      identifies them with the book.
                             CHRIS
                Beautiful blueberries - Vaccinium
                uliginosum. Eskimo potato - Hedysarum
                alpinum...etc.

      We follow Chris over a number of days as he eats from
      these identified species of plant, each being logged, one
      by one by name on the bus diary/log.

                                                         CUT TO:

                                                           137.




256   EXT. SUSHANA RIVER - DAY                                  256

      With Tanaina Plantlore by his side, Chris digs into the
      soft earth on the berm of the river bank and digs up a
      wild potato root.

                                                        CUT TO:


257   INT. BUS - NIGHT                                          257

      Chris pulls the seeds from the root, noshing on them as
      he reads from Doctor Zhivago.

      We drift from him reading to the diary/log on the wall.

      The day representing: July 24th

      The diary/log: WILD POTATO ROOT

      We drift back to Chris. Fatigue shows in his eyes as he
      puts the book down and lays down to sleep.

                                                        CUT TO:


258   EXT. BUS - MORNING (JULY 30 1992)                         258

      WIDE SHOT of the bus. It's a beautiful July morning.
      Birds chirp in the trees. A soft breeze sweeping down
      from the mountains massages the valley below.

      We SLOWLY ZOOM into the bus.
                                                        CUT TO:

259   INT./EXT. BUS - SAME                                      259

      The open bag of seeds beside Chris' sleeping body. We
      drift over to Chris' face, his lips de-hydrated, and skin
      parched. He breathes heavily. He awakens. He tries to
      sit up. It's a terrible struggle. Barely makes it to
      his feet.

      Chris stumbles to the door of the bus, looking up at the
      hot sun. He has to sit back down on the small bus steps.
      From his position on the step, he leans back into the bus
      and is able to grab his water jug. He pours it into his
      mouth but nothing seems to satiate or hydrate him. He
      drinks it all. It spills over his face and chest.

                                                              138.



      We observe Chris for a moment as the wheels turn inside
      his haunted eyes. And a curiosity seems to overtake him.
      He crawls back to his copy of Tanaina Plantlore, flipping
      the pages one by one until he arrives at the photograph
      identifying the wild potato root and the word "edible"
      beside it. He reads the page to its conclusion and as
      almost an afterthought, turns the page to see if there
      might be more.

      The word -
      POISON

      jumps off the page at him.

      The book describes the tiny green seeds of the potato
      root and warns that those with:
      lateral veins, such as those invisible on the leaflets of
      wild sweet peas are poisonous.

      The words -
      ...leading to partial motor paralysis...

      ...inhibition of digestion...

      ...nausea, starvation...
      ECU:   ...STARVATION

      CRASH ZOOM into Chris' face, realizing his desperate
      plight.

                                                         CUT TO:

260   EXT. BUS                                                  260

      Chris kneels, holding one of the potato seeds to the
      sunlight and there we see them -

      the lateral veins that indicate poisonous seeds.

                                                         CUT TO:


261   INT. BUS                                                  261

      ANGLE: The diary/log: EXTREMELY WEAK. FAULT OF POTATO
      SEED.

                                                         CUT TO:

                                                              139.




262   EXT. BUS - DAY                                            262

      Chris, barely able to walk, moves, at the pace of an
      elderly man, with his rifle, through the underbrush.    He
      needs food now.

                                                          CUT TO:


263   EXT. WOODS - DAY                                          263

      He shoots a squirrel. But as he moves toward what he
      thinks is his kill, the squirrel makes off with a
      bleeding tail. Chris fires several desperate shots at
      the squirrel but misses with each one.

                                                          CUT TO:


264   INT. BUS - NIGHT                                          264

      Chris, having a fitful sleep.   Short breaths and
      mutterings.

                                                          CUT TO:


265   EXT. CLEARING AROUND BUS - NIGHT                          265

      A big moon shines above and we find on a tree branch, the
      squirrel Chris had clipped in the tail earlier in the
      day. On the last legs of bleeding to death, it falls
      from the tree.
      The moon becomes the sun and we pass a couple of days
      through visions of the nature about in varying light.
                                                          CUT TO:


266   EXT. SUSHANA RIVER - DAY                                  266

      Chris labors up the riverbank with his water jug full.
      He is shirtless and absolutely emaciated. Frightening.
      He pauses at the river's edge to take air into his lungs.
      It's all he can do just to breath.

      WIDE ANGLE TABLEAU (CONTINUOUS): Chris standing at the
      river's edge catching his breath framed against the
      background of the 3000 foot butte that he'd so recently
      climbed with ease.

                                                               140.



       Now, maintaining this tableau, something moves from near
       CAMERA RIGHT into frame. Bit by bit we'll realize it's a
       LARGE BEAR ENTERING FRAME and moving away from camera
       toward Chris. It lumbers to within feet of him.

       CU OVER BEAR onto Chris: Chris, passive to the bear's
       presence.

       ANGLE: The bear, just as passive towards Chris, as though
       he didn't represent enough of anything to eat.

       BACK TO TABLEAU as the bear, passing Chris, disappears
       over the rise toward the river. Chris, a motionless and
       slight silhouette.

                                                            CUT TO:


266A   INT. BUS - NIGHT                                         266A

       Chris lays on the floor. CU Chris: Orange light twinkles
       in his eyes. Chris' POV: through the bus window, we see
       the orange glow of smoke rising into the air. CU: Chris
       writes in his diary log.

                              CHRIS (V.O.)
                 Set small signal fire today - watched it
                 die tonight.

       Back to POV as the ambient orange light fades into the
       blackness of smoke.

                                                            CUT TO:

267    INT. BUS - DAY                                            267
       The diary/log: DAY 100 - MADE IT. BUT IN WEAKEST
       CONDITION OF LIFE. TOO WEAK TO WALK OUT. HAVE LITERALLY
       BECOME TRAPPED IN THE WILD - NO GAME IN SIGHT.

       A SUBTLE DRUM (HEART)BEAT BEGINS OVER:

       Chris plops himself down into the middle of the bus. He
       shakes his head as if trying to say something, and then
       considers his rifle and abundant ammunition. But taking
       his own life to avoid the agony of starvation is not an
       option for him. "No, no, no, don't do this to me." The
       frustration builds enough adrenaline in him to scream
       out.

                                                       141.



He does, but with a low, gurgled animal sound. He shakes
it off and looks to his copy of Doctor Zhivago for
distraction. Thumbing through the pages he focuses his
eyes on the page -

ANGLE: The page: what he reads:

                       CHRIS (V.0)(O.C.)
          And that an unshared happiness is not
          happiness...

Chris steals his pencil from within the pages of the
book, scribbling across the page:

                       CHRIS (V.O.)(O.C.)
                       (CONT'D)
          HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.

He flips backwards a couple of pages to where he had
written the quote:

                       CHRIS (V.O.)(O.C.)
                       (CONT'D)
          CALL EVERYTHING BY ITS RIGHT NAME.

He tears the back cover off the book and scratching the
pencil across its blank side, writing these words
quickly, as if in panic:

I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD.    GOODBYE AND
MAY GOD BLESS ALL!

And now, these words arrive slowly as we HEAR Chris
repeating:
                       CHRIS (O.C.) (CONT'D)
                 (with a weak voice)
          Call everything by its right name.

The drumbeat increases as he signs the note:

CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON MCCANDLESS.

We move from the page back up to Chris. We see that he
has put on his eyeglasses to strengthen the vision of his
weakening sight. He removes them, folds them, and lays
them by his side. His body begins to tremble. His eyes
dance wildly.

The drumming intensifies.

Chris takes one last look out the window. The sun is
covered by a well-defined and puffy cloud.

                                                           142.


      His arm nearing spasm reaches up to the bunk, grasping at
      the blue sleeping bag made by his mother.

      With great suffering and shattering trembles, he forces
      his body to defy its agony and pushes it into the
      sleeping bag.

      SKYWARD, the cloud obscuring the sun.

      Drumbeats ESCALATE - BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
      We TIGHTEN on Chris' anguished face.
      (Director's note: These CU's on Chris' face, combine
      both static and hand-held CUs, upside down and right-side
      up moving, zooms, and push-ins. Straight, side, and
      dutch angles. Perhaps some intermittent distortion.)


268   INT./EXT. BUS                                             268
                                                                      *

      We INTERCUT between Chris and the sky in a dance
      transitioning to the next world. It is hopeful,
      anguished, sad, and elated.

                                                              143.




269   INT./EXT. ANNANDALE HOUSE - DAY                           269

      Chris, approaching the Annandale house.    His backpack on
      and body healthy.

      Billie parts the curtains, ecstatic to see Chris
      approach, alive and healthy.

      We SEE but do not hear her call to Walt.

      A smiling Chris steps up the curb, approaching home.

      Walt and Billie - we PUSH INTO them as they gleefully run
      out the front door to their returning son.

      PUSH INTO Chris - he dispatches his backpack to the
      ground and runs toward his parents' embrace.

                              CHRIS (V.O.)
                 What if you saw me running into your
                 arms...


      Chris, Walt, and Billie on the cusp of a jubilant and
      loving embrace!

                              CHRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                 Would you see then...

      The DRUMMING resumes with a BLAST OF BASS and before an
      embrace is possible...
                              CHRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                 ...what I see now?
                                                 A SUDDEN CUT TO:


270   INT. BUS                                                  270

      TOTAL SILENCE

      Chris looking at the sky, a cathartic tear falls from his
      left eye. Another from his right as the obscuring cloud
      clears the sun.

                                                             144.



Chris: The LAST, AIRY EXPULSION OF HIS BREATH.

His open face as the clearing light of the sun shines in
his eyes. It is a face of peace, love, a face of true,
deep serenity.

The eyes joyously open and the corners of his mouth ease
into the subtle smile of euphoric wisdom.

That's the way he settles to stillness, looking directly
into our camera.

                                        And he died alive.
He made it.   He lived.   He loved.

Cat Stevens' Miles from Nowhere plays OVER:

As we PULL AWAY from Chris' face through the bus window
and up into the sky -

We drift further and further away, above the stunted
trees and the shimmering roof of the bus like a tiny
white gleam in a wild green sea grows smaller and
smaller.

REPRISE IMAGE of truck driver taking picture of Chris in
scene #1.

Then it's him:

The smiling STILL IMAGE we saw taken in the first scene
from behind, but now we are seeing it from the front and
it is the image of the real Christopher McCandless on the
edge of the Stampede Trail. As it takes over the screen,
we ZOOM SLOWLY into his smiling face. And then, these
words appear superimposed over it:
Dedicated to the memory of Christopher Johnson McCandless
February 12, 1968 - August 18th, 1992

As those words dissolve, these words appear:
On September 19, 1992, Carine McCandless flew with her
brother's ashes from Alaska home to the eastern seaboard.
She carried them with her on the plane...in her backpack.



                            THE END



Into the Wild



Writers :   Sean Penn  Jon Krakauer
Genres :   Adventure  Drama


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