Brian Helgeland and Eric Roth
based on the novel by
November 4, 1996
Early Production Draft
FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
1 EXT. DESERT LANDSCAPE (UTAH) - DAY 1
Jagged mountains defy a dark, foreboding sky. We hear
PLODDING HOOVES, CREAKING LEATHER. A lone wanderer
appears. Wearing a long coat and a battered hat, he
carries a bolt-action carbine. His name forgotten,
history remembers him simply as THE POSTMAN.
His laden pack mule, BILL, BRAYS, as they pass a battered
sign: "The Great Salt Lake Marina." They start down a
slope and begin to cross a...
DRY LAKE BED
A bizarre, wind-swept sight. Dozens of boats resting lee-
to on the dry, cracked earth. It's like God pulled the
plug. Rusty mooring chains snake their way around house
boats, ski boats and a cabin cruiser or two.
The last of the great cities died
when my father was a child.
Another victim of yet another war.
The plagues followed. And the
terrors. The living hid
themselves away in tiny hamlets in
hopes of surviving whatever new
madness conspired to rob them of
the little that remained. The
Earth itself had fallen prey to
chaos. For three years a dirty
snow fell that even summer could
not erase. The ocean was barren.
Poisoned. Near death.
As The Postman continues to cross, the CAMERA PULLS BACK.
He's soon lost in the massive vista.
Sixteen long years passed before
the great lungs started working
again. My father said it was as
if the ocean breathed a great sigh
A RUMBLE of THUNDER. RAIN begins to fall. The earth just
sucks it up at first, but it's coming hard. Rivulets run.
Puddles form. We begin to get the feeling that soon these
boats will be tugging at the mooring chains once again.
1 CONTINUED: 1
TRACK a rivulet as it runs, filling up a depression in the
sand. And then, running to fill another in a series of
depressions. They make a pattern we recognize as --
These tracks may already be days old as they fill with
rain water. Then, the sound of light, padded FOOTFALLS.
A LION ENTERS FRAME. Lean, hungry and dangerous, the big
cat has been tracking this man. He lets out a low,
disappointed GROWL. The rain has foiled his dinner
plans -- for now.
2 EXT. HIGHWAY ON-RAMP (UTAH) - DAY 2
A bullet-ridden sign reads: "U.S. 84 North." The Postman
leads Bill down a barren 4-lane. Weeds poke up through
the asphalt. The rusting hulk of a car rests in the
median, covered in a tangle of purple wisteria. The
Postman plucks a flower. He sticks it into a buttonhole
BILL BRAYS woefully. In answer:
I don't know. And if you ask me
again, I'm going to slug you.
They near a sign: "Thank You For Visiting Utah." The
Postman waves, shouts to the sign as he passes it.
It's been fun, hasn't it, kids?
(to the sign)
3 EXT. 4-LANE (IDAHO) - BILLBOARD - DAY 3
Bill tugs up weeds as The Postman is climbing up a ladder
on a highway that razor cuts the plains to the horizon.
Above, The Postman sands atop a billboard catwalk. He
references a tattered road atlas, scans the horizon
through binoculars with one broken lens. He pauses at a
Union 76 ball just visible above the tree line.
4 EXT. HIGHWAY TRAVEL STOP (IDAHO) - DAY 4
A 76 Station and the remains of a Howard Johnson's.
Alert, carbine in hand, The Postman leads in the mule.
Rusting cars sag on flattened tires. There's a stripped
fire engine, its cracked hoses leading to the HoJo
foundation which bristles with burned timbers.
Bill stops to drink out of a stream. The Postman swats at
him with his hat.
Damnit, Bill, you know I need to
check it first!
Bill hangs his head. The Postman digs through his pack.
He removes an old Tupperware container and replaces its
contents -- a tiny sheaf of litmus papers and several
small bottles -- with stream water. He adds a few drops
from each bottle. Swirls it around. Then dips a tiny
strip of paper into the water. The paper turns a vivid
purple. The Postman is dubious.
Better than turpentine.
to his lips)
Tastes about the same. Your call,
You ain't picky, Bill. I like
that about you.
The Postman takes his carbine and a burlap sack and
crosses to the 76 Station. An old extension ladder on the
ground. The pole holding up the 76 ball has a 30-degree
bend in it, like someone once tried to pull it over.
Beyond the 76 ball, the sun sets -- but we here in the
20th Century have never seen such a wild riot of color
The Postman tries the station door. Locked. Smiling
ironically, he steps in through the blown-out window.
5 INT. 76 STATION - OFFICE - DAY 5
A shambles. The Postman kicks around the table. He finds
a few beat-up CDs, flips through them. Reads the label.
5 CONTINUED: 5
'Running on Empty'? Tell me about
Tossing it, he turns, stops. There, resting on a pile of
trash is a bashed-in portable TV. The Postman smiles.
Hey, Bill! We got TV! 147
channels. Everything from Jesus
He steps over, switches on the set. Nothing happens, but
The Postman pretends just the same. He mimics static,
'Like sands through the hour-
glass, so are the days of our
'Michael Shields, come on down,
you're the next contestant
on...'The Price is Right'.'
I'll take Domestic Nuclear
Disasters for two hundred
The Postman stops suddenly. Click.
We interrupt our regularly
scheduled program to bring you the
Second Civil War... Well, shit.
The Postman stares at the blank screen a moment. There's
a sudden, panicked RUSTLING from behind the service
manager's desk. The Postman wheels around, raises the
I don't want any trouble... I bet
you don't either... Let's just
call it a draw, okay?
Sudden MOVEMENT. The Postman shouts in surprise as a Doe
dashes out from behind the desk. Scared, it bounds back
and forth between the walls. Then freezes in the corner.
The Postman sighs in relief, lowers the carbine.
Look out, Bill!
5 CONTINUED: (2) 5
The doe bolts for the window and runs right into Bill.
Bill has a conniption fit.
Investigating further, The Postman spots a cigarette
machine. The front glass is smashed and all the slots are
empty. But he looks down to the lock at the bottom. It's
intact. He pulls a crowbar from the sack, crouches by the
machine and digs the pry into a seam and pulls.
The panel bursts open to reveal four half-open cartons of
cigarettes. He doesn't believe it for a second. Then:
6 EXT. 76 STATION - NIGHT 6
Embers of a campfire glow. The Postman is asleep, the
carbine in reach.
BILL BRAYS and nervously stamps his hooves. The Postman
reaches for the carbine only to find the barrel of a
shotgun pointed in his face.
Three BANDITS! Hard-eyed and ugly. One, barely 20, is
mostly just ugly. The Postman looks down the barrels of a
shotgun, a rifle and a revolver. The LEAD BANDIT kicks
the carbine out of reach.
I'm just passing through. I don't
mean anyone any harm.
The Lead Bandit pokes at The Postman's shoulder with the
muzzle of his rifle. The Postman knows why.
I'm not a Holnist.
The Lead Bandit pokes again. Harder. The Postman opens
his shirt, reveals his bare left shoulder.
They just stare at him, none saying a word. Creepy.
I'm headed for a town called St.
Rose. Somewhere west of Portland.
6 CONTINUED: 6
Portland's under twenty feet of
Well, I heard different.
You mouthin' me?
No, it's just that it's hard to
get good information.
The third BANDIT, a HULKING brute, has been quiet.
He is mouthin' you; I say we kill
Don't be in such a rush, Martin.
Now I see a pack mule over there,
but I don't see no packs.
This is all I got.
Oh... Kill him, Martin.
The Hulking Bandit, raises his shotgun. The butt end.
He's going to bludgeon The Postman to death.
Okay! My stuff's up there!
The 76 ball is twenty feet above the ground. In the gloom
you can just see a hole has been punched through the side.
What do you got in there?
The Lead Bandit swats Bandit #20 upside the head.
What do you got in there?
6 CONTINUED: (2) 6
Dried peas. Beef jerky.
ALL THREE BANDITS
Sure. There's the ladder.
Maybe he's got it booby-trapped.
The Lead Bandit is about to smack Bandit #20 again -- then
he sees the logic out of it. The Postman shakes his head,
but isn't that convincing.
You go up and get it.
7 EXT. 76 BALL - DAWN 7
The ladder set against the bent pole. Prodded by a
shotgun, The Postman climbs, disappears through the hole
and into the tilting 76 ball.
8 INT. 76 BALL - DAWN 8
Full of The Postman's earthly possessions. Trick is, how
to save them and his life at the same time. He spies an
old wrench: remnant of an attempt to remove the rusty
bolts holding the ball in place. An idea begins to take
LEAD BANDIT (O.S.)
Just you start tossing those
There's no answer. The Bandits eye each other nervously.
Maybe he fell asleep.
8 CONTINUED: 8
The Postman grabs the wrench, starts working one of the
last two rusted bolts. As it starts to give...
It's going to take a second. I
got my stuff bolted in.
The Lead Bandit takes a cautious step back.
Put some buckshot through it,
Martin. Just to hurry him up.
I only got three shells left.
So use his gun.
The Hulking Bandit picks up the carbine and aims. CLICK.
It isn't loaded. The Hulking Bandit tosses the gun aside,
pulls a knife from his boot. Grimly, he begins to climb.
Cramped, The Postman's busy at the base of the ball,
trying to unscrew the last remaining bolt. It won't
The Hulking Bandit has only a few more rungs to go.
No good. Time's up. The Postman starts rocking the pole.
The Hulking Bandit has reached the opening -- feels the
rocking motion. Hangs on.
8 CONTINUED: (2) 8
Knife in hand, the Hulking Bandit looks inside. At that
instant, The Postman rocks the pole one more time. The
rusty bolt is not enough to keep the ball's full weight in
place. It pops. The ball is frozen for an instant before
going with the pole's tilt.
The 76 ball drops off the pole, rolling over the Hulking
Bandit's back and down the ladder's incline. The other
Bandits dive clear as the 76 ball hurtles past.
whips head over heels as the ball speeds away.
The 76 ball launches off a dirt berm, but soon comes to a
stop as it slams into an old utility pole and bursts
apart. Fighting the vertigo, The Postman staggers to his
Bill bolts from the station as the Lead Bandit raises the
RIFLE and FIRES at The Postman.
Losing balance, The Postman lands on his butt just before
a bullet splinters the utility pole above his head.
Wobbly, he tries to gather his packs. The Bandits charge,
quickly closing the ground, but Bill is there first.
Holding as much as he can, The Postman heaves himself over
Bill's back. As the mule gallops away, the Lead Bandit
aims the rifle. He's got The Postman in his sights.
He's about to fire when -- Bandit #20 stands up INTO the
SHOT. He's got a fistful of cigarettes in each hand and
he's laughing like a hyena!
9 EXT. OVERLOOK HILL (IDAHO) - DAY 9
The Postman sits on a rock, holding Bill's halter so the
mule must face him. They are in the midst of an argument.
It's true, we haven't done this in
a while, but it's like riding a
bicycle. Now, open your mouth.
The Postman pries his mouth open. Taking a toothbrush, he
tends to Bill's teeth, then gives him an appraising look.
I know the rule. It's my rule!
Avoid civilization at all costs.
But we gotta eat, don't we?
(as BILL BRAYS again)
What are you so worried about,
Bill? All you gotta do is stand
there. I'm the one with all the
The Postman leads the mule down the hill toward the town
far below. Making his case all the while -- even as BILL
BRAYS in protest.
10 EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE (IDAHO) - DAY 10
A patch of mud. In the center of the square fifty
townspeople stand before a plank stage where The Postman
wraps up a performance of MacBeth. He plays it with a
mis-remembered gusto the people enjoy. Children
especially are enamored. A heavily-muscled man, WOODY,
lingers on the fringe of the crowd -- watching The Postman
with inscrutable intensity.
They said, 'Fear not, MacBeth,
'til Birnam Wood comes to
He looks off stage for someone, but no one appears.
I said, Birnam Wood comes to
Bill trots on-stage. Covered with twigs, BILL is Birnam
Wood. He BRAYS lustily. The audience laughs in delight.
The children clap. Only Woody seems unaffected.
10 CONTINUED: 10
The Postman grabs two wooden swords -- he knows it's going
Arm, arm yourselves! If the
witch's words are true, there'll
be no running or hiding here!
Shaking off the twigs, Bill takes one of the swords in his
mouth. The two of them dash back and forth pretending to
fight off an imaginary attack. Finally, The Postman looks
out at the audience, remembers the words the best he can.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and the
day after that. Out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a
poor player that struts his hour
upon the stage and is heard no
more. It's a tale told by a
moron. Full of sound and fury,
But blow, wind! Come wrack! At
least we'll die with the harness
off our back!
The audience erupts in applause. But Woody stands still
as stone. The Postman takes a bow. Even Bill does a
cross-legged dip. Knowing when to quit, he steps off the
stage to many hearty handshakes.
Woody watches his every move. MRS. THOMPSON, one of the
town's leaders, steps up. She's accompanied by crotchety
old CURMUDGEON LARRY.
The children have never heard
They still haven't.
The Curmudgeon is still clapping.
Thanks. You're very nice.
I'm clapping because you stink.
10 CONTINUED: (2) 10
I don't think you understand how
When I was young, I tried to be an
actor. I was awful. But now I
won't die thinking I was the worst
I'm glad I could help.
Larry, stop it.
(to The Postman)
You were very good.
Good enough to get something to
Before she can answer, a SENTRY cries...
Holnists! Holnists are coming!
All eyes look down the road leading into town. A raiding
party of Holnist Cavalry are on their way in. Mrs.
Thompson sees The Postman's concern.
It's okay. We give them food and
supplies. All the towns do.
They hardly kill anyone lately.
Just take a woman sometimes.
Well, I'd just as soon not give
them anything of mine. Let's find
the back door, Bill.
The Postman gathers his stuff, slings packs onto Bill.
The forty Holnists in orange and black uniforms ride in.
They're armed with mostly pistols and rifles. Some carry
bows, knives, spear guns and swords. On their bare
shoulders, branded into the flesh -- the number "8."
10 CONTINUED: (3) 10
Out front, always leading by example is, GENERAL
BETHLEHEM. Tough, smart, merciless with style. Commander
of the United Clans of Holn. Nothing escapes his eye.
A little behind him is the mysteriously silent Colonel
Getty, second in command.
The Postman, finished packing, begins to move from
building to building -- careful not to attract any
What are you doing there?
The Postman freezes, turns, is relieved to find
Bethlehem's not talking to him at all. The General looks
down from his horse at children playing an impromptu game
of "Birnam Wood."
The children stop, stare at their feet. Bethlehem affects
a "kindly" smile to accompany his gentler tone.
I said, what are you doing?
Meantime, The Postman continues his surreptitious escape.
The MAYOR hurries forward to greet Bethlehem.
It's just a game, General
Bethlehem. Something they saw in
a play. No harm in it.
Show me. It's all right,
children, show me.
One BRAVE BOY finds his voice, barely.
Arm, arm yourselves! No running
from the witches!
Shakespeare, is it? Well, I'm
sorry I missed it.
10 CONTINUED: (4) 10
You should know, sir, we haven't
nearly stocked the game we thought
Really? But you had time for a
Head down, The Postman makes for "the back way." But it's
guarded by three daunting Holnist soldiers. No getting by
them. The Postman does a quick 180, goes back the way he
Bethlehem looks at the frightened townsfolk.
I'm taking three conscripts from
each town. They will have the
honor of serving in the Holnist
Army until such time as I see fit.
Three men. You suppose you could
The Mayor nods in acquiescence. Bethlehem looks to a
Holnist officer. The officer, IDAHO, steps up and
addresses the town.
All men between 15 and 50 and of
suitable ethnic foundation are
required to show themselves now.
The Holnist soldiers fan out, prodding any likely or
unwilling candidates forward.
The Postman is now walking behind Bethlehem. Some of the
Townspeople cast him a furtive glance as he makes his way
toward the open courtyard and, ultimately, the gate out of
Three conscripts are hustled before Bethlehem. He looks
over the first -- Woody. Smells him. Not much of a
10 CONTINUED: (5) 10
The second -- a thin teenager. Bethlehem feels his arm,
turns his head from side to side.
You'll need to put some meat on,
but I like an impressionable mind.
The third -- an innocuous man. Or so we think. Bethlehem
stares hard at his olive skin, traces a finger over the
bump on the man's nose.
Soldiers shove the man back into the crowd. The Brave Boy
that was playing Birnam Wood allows himself a tiny smile
when he sees that The Postman might make it.
I want pure blood. Someone
Bethlehem notes the Boy, turns to see the object of his
attention, and spots The Postman leaving out the front
Idaho and another soldier are on it. The Postman tries to
back away as the two dismount and come toward him.
You don't understand...
But Idaho and the soldier aren't programmed for
explanations -- they grab him.
You were required to show
But, I'm not with these people.
I'm just passing through. I --
Idaho silences him with a rifle butt to the head.
Everything falls OUT OF FOCUS
Take the mule.
11 EXT. HOLNIST TRAINING CAMP (WESTERN IDAHO) - DAY 11
Spread out in the valley is General Bethlehem's Holnist
Expeditionary Force. A five hundred-man army enjoying all
the comforts a bivouac can offer.
19 head-shaved CONSCRIPTS, including Woody and The
Postman, are held in a cramped, barbed wired pen. They
watch as three more are shoved inside. One of them is
Bandit #20. He and The Postman come face to face,
recognize each other.
The Postman steps toward him, Bandit #20 backs off
Well... I mean, we know each
other, kind of...
So what did you guys do with my
We traded them for a woman.
Wonderful. What happened to your
They traded me to the Holnists.
General Bethlehem approaches on horseback. Colonel Getty
follows behind. Bethlehem looks his new recruits over.
Dismounting, he enters the pen and walks among them.
11 CONTINUED: 11
Welcome, gentlemen, to your new
life. You have been born again as
soldiers in the army of the United
Clans of Holn. The strong have
been sapped by the whimpering
propaganda of the weak. Men,
strong men, have been denied their
destiny. You men have been saved
from that fate. Redemption is
within your grasp.
He starts down the line, looking the men over. He stops
in front of a GANGLY RECRUIT. The Postman is alongside.
You. What did you do before you
were given this opportunity?
I had a shovel. I digged holes.
Bethlehem regards him benevolently.
You digged holes... Well, now
you're going to fill them.
(turns to Postman)
Is there any question in anyone's
mind that I was talking to you?
Yes, you. You look like a
dangerous man. Are you?
I'm just a performer.
Shakespeare. Stuff like that.
He was a writer. He --
I know who Shakespeare was... 'Cry
"Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of
11 CONTINUED: (2) 11
Bethlehem says the lines boldly, encourages his men to
clap for him. He looks at The Postman expectantly.
I, um, you want a line?
Bethlehem nods. The Postman thinks a moment...
'To be or not to be: That is the
Bethlehem looks at his men as if to say, "Is this all this
guy's got?" Bethlehem eyes The Postman; he wants a
'We few, we happy few, we band of
The Holnists clap, they know their General can best this
'Now is the winter of our
discontent made glorious summer by
this son of York.'
Bethlehem claps The Postman on the back.
You're pretty good. You're also a
fighter. I see it in your eyes.
The Postman doesn't answer. Hesitant, he doesn't want to
get into any more trouble than he's already in.
Don't you agree? Come on, a man's
got to speak his mind.
Bethlehem sounds sincere. He seems like a good guy.
I don't mean any disrespect, sir,
but you'd be better off just
letting me go. A fighter is about
the last thing I am.
11 CONTINUED: (3) 11
The Postman doubles over as Bethlehem hooks a fist into
his gut. Bethlehem clubs him in the head, dropping him to
his knees, then digs a boot into his side. The Postman
Don't you think I should be the
judge of that, soldier?
The Postman gasps to catch his breath.
Get up. I said, get up.
The Postman staggers to his feet. Blood trickles from his
nose as he stares across at Bethlehem.
Put up your fists.
Bethlehem looks to Getty. CLICK. Getty shoves a PISTOL
is into The Postman's ear. The Postman reluctantly raises
his fists. Bethlehem gives him a satisfied nod.
The Postman takes a tentative step forward. Bethlehem
drives him back with a flurry of blows. The Postman is
dazed, nearly out on his feet. Bethlehem holds him up.
You're right. You're not a
fighter. But you will be. I'm
giving you a chance at a life that
means something. A life worth
That said, Bethlehem delivers one last blow to The
Postman's face. Everything goes BLACK...
12 EXT. HOLNIST TRAINING CAMP (WESTERN IDAHO) - DAWN 12
A brutal REVEILLE BLASTS the sleeping conscripts awake.
Let's move it. Everybody up and
12 CONTINUED: 12
The Postman comes to. He licks his dry, blood-caked lips.
A sudden movement startles him -- it's Woody, shoving him
a battered cup of water. It's like he's been keeping
watch. The Postman is surprised, a little suspicious, and
very grateful as he gulps the water down.
Thanks. Did I win?
Woody shakes his head "no."
I tried to tell him...
Say it again.
The words you said in town. About
the wind blowing. And the rest...
Say it again.
'Blow, wind. Come wrack. At
least we'll die with the harness
off our back.'
What's it mean?
Live free or die.
Woody and The Postman scramble to fall-to with the other
conscripts. Idaho surveys the ranks.
All right, girls. We're gonna
run. Twenty miles. With packs.
You got three hours. Everybody
makes it. Or nobody eats.
13 EXT. TRAINING CAMP - MESS LINE - CLOSE ON MEAT - DAY 13
A COOK dumps a scoop of gristly, gray meat into each mess
pail as the conscripts wait in line. They fall to
ravenously, too hungry to taste how bad it is. Idaho
13 CONTINUED: 13
Eat up! You got meat tonight.
The line has almost passed. Just The Postman left and
Bandit #20 bringing up the rear. Idaho looks at The
Postman, addresses the COOK.
Why don't you tell Shakespeare
what kind of meat that is.
Probably Bill -- and The Postman knows it. He stares in
revulsion at the putrid meat ladled into his pail.
A godawful animal. The sterile
offspring of a horse and a donkey.
Can you imagine that?! There's no
room in this new world for a
bastard like that.
Bandit #20 holds out his pail. But the cook won't fill
(loudly; for all)
Any man last in line ain't hungry
enough. You show up last, you
Bandit #20 steps away in disbelief. Not knowing what else
to do, he sits down beside The Postman, the only man with
food who isn't eating.
I'll die before I'm last in line
That's what they're hoping for.
He holds his pail out to Bandit #20.
Serious? This isn't bad.
Lost in despair, The Postman stares out at the skewed
These were supposed to be the best
years of my life.
14 EXT. TRAINING GROUNDS - DAY 14
The conscripts stand at attention under the guard of Idaho
and two other soldiers. To their right is a dead oak
tree. Behind them, three rows of folding chairs.
Two figures approach. Bethlehem and Getty. Getty carries
a sheathed sword. Bethlehem surveys the troops -- taking
no more notice of The Postman than anyone else.
The laws of eight, gentlemen.
That is the legacy handed down to
us by Nathan Holn.
At the mention of this name, the RECRUITS shout as one.
God rest his soul!
May he burn in hell.
Getty looks over at him. He heard him. The Postman
swallows hard. Getty stares hard. Then he turns away.
He's not going to bust him on it.
These are the laws that we live
by. The eight is our symbol.
Each man will bear it with pride.
Bethlehem nods at Idaho who pushes up his own sleeve to
reveal the branded 8.
Only then will you be part of the
clan. Sit down, gentlemen.
The men move to sit in one of the three rows. Only then
does it become apparent that there are 18 men and only 17
chairs. One SLOW RECRUIT is left standing. It doesn't
take him long to realize that he's in trouble.
Law One. You will obey orders
(to Slow Recruit)
I told you to sit.
There weren't enough chairs.
14 CONTINUED: 14
I didn't specify chairs. You
could've sat down on the ground.
The Slow Recruit moves to do so.
You disobeyed a direct order. You
broke Law One.
Idaho and another soldier step up beside the Slow Recruit.
Law Two. Punishment shall be
They hustle the Recruit to the tree. Idaho unslings a
coil of rope, throws it over a tree limb. They quickly
slip a loop over the Slow Recruit's ankles and haul him
upside down into the air.
Law Three: Mercy is for the weak.
Four: Terror will defeat reason.
Five: Your allegiance is to the
clan. Six: Justice can be
dictated. Law Seven. Any
clansman may challenge for
leadership of the clan. Does any
man here wish to challenge me?
There are no takers.
On your feet!
The conscripts stand like jackknives snapping open.
Without a word, without a look -- Bethlehem reaches out
and draws a sword from a sheath that Getty holds.
Bethlehem steps to the Slow Recruit -- who slowly twists
Law Eight: There is only one
Bethlehem raises the sword.
Please, I'm begging you.
14 CONTINUED: (2) 14
As the sword finds its mark. Bethlehem looks at him, but
You will get out of this army what
you put into it. Work and you'll
be fed. Fight and you'll be
respected. Die and you'll be
remembered. It's up to you.
Bethlehem turns and walks away. Getty following behind.
The Postman watches as they go. Idaho steps up to him.
You thinking of challenging for
leadership of the clan?
No, sir. I'm a follower not a
You see Colonel Getty? Always
following the General? He's the
only man who ever challenged.
Fight lasted six seconds, but the
General didn't kill him. He cut
off his tongue and he cut off his
balls and old Getty's been
following him like a dog ever
The Postman looks back to see Bethlehem and Getty
disappear into the gloom. Idaho grins, likes how this
affects a new man.
The Postman moves on. Idaho stops Woody as he passes.
The General don't see it, but I
say you got some nigger in you.
Woody clenches his jaw, but wisely doesn't answer.
15 EXT. PLAINS - DAY 15
Rain as the army moves. Boots suck at the mud. War
wagons heave out of ruts. A monster gun is mounted on an
old John Deere semi, pulled by a team of ten horses. The
conscripts fill the middle ranks, each bearing a heavy
15 CONTINUED: 15
Marching beside Woody, The Postman stares blankly ahead.
The cry to halt. The conscripts unsling their packs,
catch their breath. Idaho pulls The Postman out of line.
The General would like a word with
16 INT. GENERAL BETHLEHEM'S TENT - DAY 16
Bethlehem stands before a painter's easel, palette in
hand. He's got a mirror set up so he can see his
reflection. He's doing a self-portrait in the tradition
of the great Dutch Masters -- but it's a dismal failure.
He continues painting even as Idaho leads The Postman in.
Idaho salutes, steps back. For a moment, The Postman
doesn't quite know what to do.
(re: the book and
binoculars on the
They're yours. A solitary man,
aren't you? Binoculars. To watch
life from a distance. And
Shakespeare. To read about it
instead of living it.
Bethlehem wants an answer. The Postman clears his throat.
No offense, General, but you seem
to have read some Shakespeare
If he wishes to rise above mere
thuggery, a military commandeer
must be classically educated.
Philosophy, history. Even a sense
of the dramatic.
Do you know what I did before the
war? Do you think I was in the
army? I sold copying machines. I
was a salesman. The talent to
lead men and devise and execute a
battle plan were locked away
16 CONTINUED: 16
He picks up Finding A Way to Win by Nathan Holn. A 20-
year-old self-help book.
If Nathan Holn hadn't come along,
I'd still be selling copying
machines. Can you imagine the
wasted life? Can you imagine the
magnitude of it? But war... War
gives men like me a chance.
He turns to a dog-eared page in the book.
Here... 'The prize is often left
unclaimed. Have the courage to
grasp it. For fortune always
favors the bold.'
It always inspires me.
I have a design for the future. A
master plan. I'll need able
officers to carry it out. You
have the intelligence. If your
heart matches, you'll go far.
We'll talk more in the weeks to
The Postman leaves. Idaho stands at the ready.
Issue the binoculars to a scout.
And the book, sir?
Idaho leaves. Bethlehem goes back to his painting. He
considers himself in the mirror. After a long stare-down,
17 EXT. CAMP - DAY 17
The Postman rejoins the conscripts. Bandit #20 slides
17 CONTINUED: 17
Troubled, The Postman doesn't answer. He heads for a
corner where Woody stands alone. Relentless, Bandit #20
What did he say?
Did he say anything about me?
They reach the quiet corner; it's just the three of them.
We got to get out of here.
What are you talking about?
You ever hear of St. Rose? It's
on the coast. They say it's a
paradise. They've even got
Bandit #20 looks scared, Woody unreadable.
Between the three of us, we
No, no. I can't. I like it here.
I like being a part of something.
The Postman can't believe what Bandit #20 just said.
Bandit #20 turns, hurries away.
The Postman looks to Woody who doesn't tip his hand either
way. He moves away as well.
18 EXT. CAMP - DAY 18
The conscripts break camp. Hot work. Glistening with
sweat, The Postman stops to stretch. Across the way, he
sees Bandit #20 talking to Getty. Getty glances at The
Postman who returns to work, watches under his eyebrows as
Idaho joins the group. There's trouble brewing here.
Worried, The Postman looks to Woody, who watches the
exchange as well. He is, as usual, inscrutable.
19 EXT. CLEARING - RIVER - DAY 19
The river is swollen and swift from the spring thaw.
Marching along the east ridge above it, the army is given
the order to halt.
The Postman looks ahead to where Idaho confers with
Bethlehem. Something's wrong. They look to where:
Two carbine-toting soldiers stand alertly at guard by a
thicket across the river. A rotten wood and rope bridge
spans the space between the ridges.
Idaho rides to the conscripts:
One of you dogs has earned himself
a treat. Over there.
Idaho points to the thicket as he proceeds down the line.
Those men hunted themselves a lion
this morning. Must've been a zoo
around here before the war.
Anyhow, they shot him and he
crawled into that thicket. A
third man went in after him. We
don't know if he's dead or alive.
I need a volunteer. Someone's
gotta go in and get our boy out.
No volunteers, except the zealot Bandit #20.
Idaho ignores him, stops in front of Woody.
I guess size ain't a measure of
courage, is it? Shakespeare!
The fix is in. The Postman steps out of line.
19 CONTINUED: 19
Idaho's about to hand The Postman a carbine when --
I don't think so, Captain.
Bethlehem nods to Getty. Getty takes a hunting knife from
a belt-sheath and tosses it, blade first, into the ground
between The Postman's feet.
Come out alive and you got
yourself a lion steak.
Hefting the knife, The Postman stares at the west ridge.
Maybe you'll find your St. Rose up
The Postman looks to Bandit #20 who stares back defiantly.
What are you waiting for,
Bandit #20 can't contain his giggling, so Idaho backhands
the sound out of him -- then looks back to The Postman.
Grim The Postman starts forward, looks from the rotten
bridge to the water and back again as he moves.
All eyes on him as he starts across...
20 EXT. BRIDGE - DAY 20
The Postman steps lightly. Far below, the river rages. A
knotty plank starts to crack underfoot. Scooting off it,
he takes a last look around. Continues across to...
21 EXT. WEST RIDGE - DAY 21
The soldiers greet him -- unholy smiles on their ugly
mugs. They point him ahead, prod him forward toward a
trail of wet blood which leads deeper into the thicket.
Stooping, The Postman enters. The soldiers split off and
track along with him on either side of the thicket.
22 EXT. THICKET - DAY 22
Thorns catch and tear at his clothes as The Postman pushes
his way through. He freezes. Ahead, sprawled and
twisted, the mauled, bloody corpse of a Holnist soldier.
Why are you stopping?
I found him.
Clearly he is not.
Bring him out.
The Postman heaves the corpse onto his back. Rising,
steadying himself, he looks back over his shoulders at a
GUTTURAL GROWL. He hurries forward.
Everyone stares across the river, straining to see as The
Postman emerges with the corpse on his back.
The Postman starts across, hampered by his burden. He
pauses, at his feet, the cracked, knotty plank.
Hurry up! You still got a lion to
The Postman decides, deliberately steps on the PLANK.
CRACK. The Postman and the corpse drop thirty feet down,
disappear in the river below.
The corpse surfaces first, floats in the water.
Then The Postman. Farther down the river. Swimming
downstream with powerful strokes. Between his efforts and
the current, he's being quickly swept away from the
As Bethlehem's eyes narrow in fury.
22 CONTINUED: 22
A RIFLE BARKS a SHELL BACK after The Postman, but he
disappears around a bend in the river.
Bethlehem signals to two soldiers. They start running
along the east ridge toward the riverbend.
Two more start across the bridge to the west -- moving
with military precision.
Bethlehem wheels toward the conscripts, points out Woody.
In the water. Come back without
him and you and another man will
die in his place.
Woody dives in the water. Bethlehem looks to Idaho who
dives in as well. Conscripts buzz with nervous
I'll get him, sir.
He takes off running across the bridge.
23 EXT. RIVER - DAY 23
A fallen tree spans the river. As The Postman is swept
beneath, he reaches up and catches hold. Pulling himself
out of the water, he scrambles for the west shore. He
disappears into the woods as two soldiers appear.
They catch hold of the tree, look to the west banking, see
footprints in the mud where The Postman pulled himself
out. They start after him.
24 EXT. CLEARING - WOODS - DAY 24
Clothes in tatters, his lungs ready to burst, The Postman
stops. He takes cover as the two soldiers run past.
Breathing hard, The Postman steps out, starts across the
clearing. He's halfway when Bandit #20 steps out from the
trees. They look at each other for a moment.
Just let me go. I don't want to
be part of your army.
24 CONTINUED: 24
Bandit #20 hesitates for a moment, then breaks into a
My army. I like the sound of
The Postman gestures with his knife.
I got him! Over --
The Postman lunges, digs into Bandit #20's gut. He blinks
in surprise, then sags to the ground.
The Postman takes a step back. A shadow falls over him.
It's Woody. Staring down at The Postman. They can hear
others approaching from the river.
They sent me to kill you.
Come with me.
At that moment, Idaho and the second soldier come into the
clearing. Idaho grins, relaxes his grip on his gun when
he sees the mismatch between Woody and The Postman.
Good, boy. Get him.
It's you or me.
Woody circles The Postman, until he's facing Idaho and the
soldier. Woody takes a long look at The Postman, smiles.
No harness on my back.
As The Postman realizes what he's doing, Woody flips his
knife through the air and into the soldier's throat.
24 CONTINUED: (2) 24
As Woody rushes him, Idaho raises his GUN.
Idaho pumps TWO ROUNDS into Woody, but the big man keeps
coming. The THIRD ROUND finds his heart, puts Woody down.
Dead. But not before he lands on top of Idaho.
As Idaho struggles to get out from under Woody's massive
frame, The Postman heads for the trees.
Covered in Woody's blood, Idaho FIRES a ROUND as The
Postman disappears into the woods. Idaho starts after
Tracking. He sees a dribble of fresh blood. He touches
it with his fingers and smiles.
He cocks his head at MOVEMENT to his left. Smiling,
hefting his pistol, Idaho moves in. More SHUFFLING. Just
ahead. He's got him now.
You want your St. Rose?
There's a RUSTLE of BRUSH just before a ROAR splits the
air. Idaho doesn't even have time to scream as the LION
pounces down on top of him.
25 EXT. CLIFF - DAY 25
The Postman, lungs heaving, stops his climb long enough to
take stock of the Army waiting on the distant river edge.
Strength ebbing, he heaves himself up and continues
26 EXT. WOODS (EASTERN OREGON) - NIGHT 26
A chilling RAIN drills down, washing across an old forest
road. Covered with undergrowth and dotted with saplings,
nothing's been down here in years.
Blue-lipped and shivering, his clothes torn and soaked,
The Postman trudges along. He tries to rub some warmth
back into his numbed limbs, but a coughing spell wracks
26 CONTINUED: 26
He trudges forward, shoes heavy with freezing mud. He's
made his escape, but he won't last the night if he doesn't
find some shelter.
An unnatural shape ahead, just off the road. Square. He
cautiously pulls back a few branches.
An old, rusted Jeep with faded U.S. government markings.
Its hood buried under the dirt of an old mud slide. The
Postman stoops to look through the passenger side window,
comes face-to-face with death. A skeleton sits inside,
the skull grinning against the glass facing The Postman.
But The Postman doesn't jump back. He just stares. The
two heads meet halfway as The Postman's face is reflected
on the glass, superimposed over the skull.
A hypothermic shiver wracks his body. The Postman tries
the door, but it won't budge. The other side of the Jeep
is buried. But seeing that the windshield is partly
smashed, he clears away the debris, peels back the spider-
webbed safety glass and climbs inside.
Pulling the glass back down, he looks almost shyly at the
skeleton, like two kids about to "park" for the first
Hey. How ya doin'?
The back of the Jeep is filled with bags marked U.S. Mail.
The Postman picks up a hat off the console. Oddly
respectful, he runs a finger along the band over the
"Horse & Rider" emblem.
The Postman reaches, touches the embroidered American flag
patch on the skeleton's jacket shoulder. Another shiver.
A moment later, The Postman is pulling the nice dry jacket
off the skeleton and shoving his own arms inside.
A sloshing sound. He pats down the jacket. Finds a
liquor. He gives the skeleton a "you shouldn't have"
look. But the cap won't budge. He twists, pries, bangs
the neck of the steering wheel. At last it gives. He
takes a long, hard swallow. The warming fire streams down
The Postman grabs a random letter, reads it aloud.
26 CONTINUED: (2) 26
'Jerry Ball, Pine View.'
He starts to open it, looks at the skeleton and shrugs.
So, arrest me.
Here's a piece of good news.
Jerry's decided to go to school to
get his contractor's license.
Tossing it aside, he takes a drink, opens another. The
words are in crayon -- a child's scrawl.
(smiles to skeleton)
Little Jimmy wants his grandpa to
know he lost a tooth.
The Postman turns the envelope over in his palm. A tiny
tooth falls out. The Postman considers it. This suddenly
isn't so amusing. He puts it back in the envelope.
Shoving mail sacks aside, he climbs in the back.
Burrowing in, he pulls the sacks back, covering himself
with a blanket of mail. Getting warmer already, he
regards the skeleton a beat as the RAIN DRUMS ON the ROOF.
27 EXT. JEEP - DAY 27
Wearing the blue uniform, The Postman looks down at the
fresh grave, realizes a eulogy is in order. He takes off
the hat, holds it over his chest for a heartfelt moment of
Thanks for being there for me.
(raising the flask)
Here's to you. I consider my
taxes very well spent.
He swallows the last few drops, then sets the flask down
as a headstone. What now?
All dressed up. Nowhere to go.
28 EXT. RURAL HIGHWAY (SOMEWHERE IN OREGON) - DAY 28
His hair growing back nicely, The Postman has reached the
proverbial fork in the road. He considers his two
options: "Pine View -- 32 miles." Or "Ridgemont -- 220
miles." He looks the two roads over, thinks.
Well, that's easy.
29 EXT. GATES (PINE VIEW, OREGON) - DUSK 29
The town is protected by a tall, long palisade. Like Ft.
Apache. All is dark as The Postman approaches.
Greetings, Pine View, Oregon!
TWO SENTRIES appears from the gate house. They aim
Just head back the way you came.
Pine View ain't buying, ain't
listening and don't give charity.
A moment of truth is here. Finally, with authority:
Civilian, I'm on official
business. I demand entry into the
town of Pine View.
What the hell are you talking
I'm through talking to you, buddy
boy! Now get somebody with
authority to open this gate!
More silhouettes appear on the palisade. One is SHERIFF
BRISCOE, a big, no-nonsense man.
I'm Sheriff Briscoe. Who the hell
I'm a representative of the United
States Government --
An uproar. He makes himself heard above it.
29 CONTINUED: 29
Authorized by order 417 of the
restored Congress to reestablish a
communication route to Idaho and
lower Oregon. Now open that damn
What does that mean in English?
I'm your postman!
There's a silent hush.
(to someone on wall)
Hand me your gun.
Understand that tampering with or
obstructing the mail is a federal
offense. Furthermore, the Bolin
Act requires you to provide all
mail carriers with sanctuary and
Now open that damn gate!
You got three seconds to get your
ass outta here.
Is Jerry the contractor here?
Briscoe pumps his shotgun, aims it at The Postman.
Wait! I'm going to get something
out of my bag.
The Postman dumps the pack over, frantically shuffles
through the letters.
Paul Davis! 124 Vernon Street!
Never heard of him. Two!
29 CONTINUED: (2) 29
Lois Kent! 14 Weymoth Lane!
He fumbles for the last letter. Briscoe takes aim.
Irene March! 478 River Road!
There's an absolute stunned silence. Like a switch was
30 EXT. INSIDE GATES - DAY 30
The crowd parts as everyone turns to look back at IRENE
MARCH. Mrs. March, in her late 50s, is blind, her eyes
clouded by cataracts. In disbelief...
Did he say my name?
The sense of hope is palpable as the gates are swung back.
Two TOWNIES hurry Mrs. March out to meet The Postman.
They're followed by a throng. As he sees she's blind...
Too late now. They stop Mrs. March in front of him. She
stares off just to his left, a little afraid.
I'm Irene March.
I have a letter for you.
He presses it into her hands, but she won't take it.
Would you read it?
I'm sure it's personal.
Please. Someone has to.
30 CONTINUED: 30
The Postman has little choice. As he opens the
We're delivering the old stock
piles, but I'll accept all new
correspondence as well.
Just read it, will ya?
Excited, the people move closer. Someone holds up a torch
and The Postman starts.
'Dear Irene. Sorry I haven't
written. Everything's so crazy.
The strange weather. The food
shortages. That farmer Nathan
Holn causing all that trouble.
It's hard to understand. David's
home from the Army. The war was
over before he even got there.
Thank God for that. He's still my
baby no matter how big he gets.
We're going to miss you for
Christmas, but maybe next year.
All our love. Donna.'
Mrs. March reaches out a trembling hand to take the
My sister in Denver. Fifteen
years ago. Thank you.
The populace erupts with excitement. Mrs. March takes The
Postman's hand, clasps it tightly.
You're a Godsend. A savior.
The Postman pulls his hand back, rejects the title.
No. I'm just... a postman.
An almost awesome silence. Too much for The Postman.
I've been on the road a while. I
could use a little something to
30 CONTINUED: (2) 30
Oh, yes, absolutely... Is there
The townspeople welcome him with cheers. The Postman
raises a silencing hand. As they quiet...
Yes, there is! If there are dogs
in this town, you have to leash
them while I'm here!
Only The Postman laughs. No one else reacts. Briscoe
watches dubiously from the wall as the people surround The
Postman and sweep him through the gates and into town.
One couple watches The Postman closely as he makes his way
into town. She is ABBY -- a sweet-faced, pretty woman.
Her husband, MICHAEL, is a decent-looking sort, tall and
31 INT. ABANDONED HOTEL - ROOM 7 - NIGHT 31
A freestanding tub has been set up, water "bucketed" in.
The Postman luxuriates in his first hot bath in years and
sings a familiar tune to himself.
'Stop. Oh, yes, wait a minute,
Mr. Postman. Waaa-ait, Mr.
32 EXT. PARKING LOT (PINE VIEW) - NIGHT 32
FORD crosses the parking lot of an abandoned motel. He's
a black kid, maybe 16, too young to remember any other
life but this. He carries The Postman's uniform on a
33 INT. ABANDONED HOTEL - ROOM 7 - NIGHT 33
The Postman looks up at a KNOCK. Ford steps in. Like
most kids, he needs a hero. Holding up the uniform, he
just found one.
Cleaned and pressed, sir.
33 CONTINUED: 33
Thanks. Didn't somebody say
something about dinner?
Yeah, I'm supposed to take you to
(extending a hand)
My name's Ford. Ford Lincoln
The Postman just nods, hoisting himself out of the tub and
hurriedly wrapping a towel around himself.
Used to be John Stevens, but I
changed it on account of I want to
Hoping to impress, Ford reaches into a pocket, pulls out a
worn, creased flyer for a "Ford Lincoln Mercury"
dealership. Ford finds The Postman just staring at him,
waiting for the uniform he's still got in his hand.
Embarrassed, Ford quickly hands it over.
34 EXT. STREET (PINE VIEW) - NIGHT 34
Ford leads the way as they leave the motel behind. The
Postman looks good in his uniform. They cross a parking
lot where five partly-stripped cars have been sitting for
years. There's a potted plant outside the driver's door
I live in that car. A 2003
Pontiac Sinatra. With a nine-
banger and a Q-eight.
V-eight. Eight cylinders. That
means an eight-banger.
(in awe of him)
Were they fast?
A buck seventy-five on a strip.
34 CONTINUED: 34
A buck seventy-five? I thought
maybe I could fix some of them up.
It's nothing compared to what you
This is the last thing he expected to hear out of this
kid's mouth. A moment, then...
The important thing to remember
about cars is, you can't eat 'em.
Ahead, people are gathered inside an old Foster's Freeze.
35 INT. FOSTER'S FREEZE (PINE VIEW) - NIGHT 35
The townspeople fill the booths, line the walls. They
talk excitedly amongst themselves, break into spontaneous
applause as Ford and The Postman enter.
The Postman is surprised, uncomfortable at this display.
But then he sees that a banquet has been laid out on the
counter. The centerpiece is a huge vat of steaming stew.
The PEOPLE clear a path for him.
Tell us about the government!
Yes, tell us everything!
Startled, The Postman doesn't quite know what to say.
They seat him at a table -- but the food looks miles away.
Is there a President?
What's his name?
You know, I'm pretty hungry.
But these people won't be denied. Finally...
35 CONTINUED: 35
His name is, uh... Richard
Starkey. From Maine. He has a
saying. 'Things are getting
better, getting better all the
There's warm applause at that. Several people try the
expression out on each other.
He a Democrat or a Republican?
Parties are over with. The
individual is what counts. You
vote for the best man.
Ellen sets a steaming bowl of stew in front of The
Postman. Famished, he digs in.
What about Europe? Any word?
The Postman tries to speak through a mouthful of food.
Lady Di's in charge. Sixty years
old and she still kicks ass.
Is Nathan Holn still alive?
(smiles at irony)
He died. Skin cancer.
That's sure good news to everyone. But...
And the Holnists? They're still
out there. What's the government
going to do about them?
The Postman looks at the desperate faces -- he'd rather
get back to his meal -- but this may be the most important
question of all. He doesn't want to lie.
The government's just getting
started. You're on your own for
at least eighteen months.
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
What about the Marines Corp?
A clamor of Holnist questions.
Be quiet, everyone! Can't we just
let this man eat?
The people nod and The Postman finally gets to eat. He
catches sight of Briscoe watching him from the door.
After a moment, Briscoe leaves.
36 INT. FOSTER'S FREEZE - LATER 36
A band plays an odd array of instruments. There's
dancing. The Postman sits behind four empty bowls.
People watch him eat like it was a religious experience.
He pushes back the fifth bowl.
Never thought I'd hear myself say
this, but I can't eat anymore.
He's cut off by the sight of a silent, little boy. The
kid's looking up, staring intently at something.
The boy just stares.
(re: the cap)
The boy nods. The Postman shakes his head and smiles to
himself. He takes off the cap, sets it on the kid's head.
The boy's eyes go wide with wonder. His stock's gone up
1000%. Before he can rush off to impress his friends,
ELLEN -- his mother -- steps over and gently chides him.
That's not a toy, honey. That's
very important. Give it back.
36 CONTINUED: 36
The boy carefully removes the cap, hands it back to The
Postman. Ellen smiles gratefully and gently guides her
The Postman shrugs, turns to find Abby, the pretty woman
we saw at the Pine View gates. She smiles at The Postman.
Would you like to dance?
I don't know if I can, I think I'm
still on duty.
He laughs. Abby says nothing.
It's been a long time.
Abby holds out her hand like a promise.
All you got to do is hold on.
Abby and The Postman dance. She keeps looking him over.
Is something wrong?
How tall are you?
About six feet.
Are you smart?
Smarter than some I guess. Why?
Just wondering. Did you ever have
the bad mumps?
The Postman smiles. She's odd, but beautiful.
Never had the bad mumps.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
Have you ever had herpes or
syphilis or anything like that?
He shakes his head "no." They continue to dance.
So as far as you know, you have
Is that a trick question?
I don't mean to be nosy. I'm only
asking because I want you to make
Stunned, The Postman stops dancing. Abby takes this
moment to grab Michael.
It's got to be the uniform.
Abby takes Michael's arm, introduces him proudly.
This is my husband. Michael.
Michael smiles, shakes hands with a grave-digger's grip.
The Postman doesn't know what to think.
We've been trying to have a baby
for three years. We can't on
account of Michael had the bad
mumps when he was twelve. So we
need a body father. We could ask
a man here, but it could cause
trouble. I've seen it happen.
Things go okay until the woman
starts to show. Then it can be
bad. But you'll only be around
once in awhile with the mail.
The Postman just stares at them. Abby looks to Michael.
He hasn't said 'no'.
36 CONTINUED: (3) 36
What do you say, mister? You'd be
doing us a favor.
I'll have to think about it.
The Postman excuses himself with a nod and turns away,
shaking his head at the strangeness of this new world.
But no rest for the wicked, as soon as he's free from Abby
and Michael, he's running smack into another group of
well-wishing TOWNIES. Mrs. March is among them. She's
holding an envelope.
Mrs. March wants to give you
(to Mrs. March)
He's right here, Irene.
It's to my daughter Annie. She
left five years ago. She was only
fifteen. The last I heard, she
was living up north...
The Postman swallows hard, looks from the envelope to the
faces around him, to Mrs. March. She looks blindly back.
How can he lie to her?
Look, Mrs. March, you should know
But she stops him, grabs for his hand.
I have a feeling about you. I
know you'll do what's right.
Her hand leaves his and she disappears into the crowd.
She's left him with her letter and no choice at all.
I got to get out of here.
37 EXT. PINE VIEW - NIGHT 37
The Postman moves through town. The streets are deserted.
He's got his pack on, his mailbag. He passes a 7-11
converted to a blacksmith shop. There's a horse tethered
to the railing in front of it. He grins; maybe he's going
to make it out of here after all. As he starts to move
toward the horse...
OLD MAN (O.S.)
It's right around the corner.
An OLD MAN sits on his porch across the street.
What you're looking for.
The Old Man winks knowingly, then heads inside. As The
Postman turns the corner, he finds himself in front of the
post office. An old brick building. Chiseled in the
granite facing: "UNITED STATES POST OFFICE. EST. 1884."
38 INT. POST OFFICE (PINE VIEW) - NIGHT 38
Long ago stripped, it still has a proud, official, almost
holy feel. The Postman wanders in, stops to read the
credo calligraphied on the wall. "Neither snow, nor
rain..." He turns at a SOUND. Ford is here, leaning
against a wall.
I knew you'd come here.
You did, huh?
Ford nods. A sage sixteen-year-old.
How do you get to be a postman,
You have to be in the right place
at the right time.
How could I do it?
38 CONTINUED: 38
I thought you wanted to drive
Not anymore. That was kid's
stuff. This is real. So, where's
the right place?
Could be anywhere. Anytime. Only
another postman can make you a
Kinda like vampires, right?
Something like that. You have to
be sworn in.
Ford raises his right hand, palm out, ready to take the
oath. It takes The Postman a moment to realize.
The organization's kinda shaky.
It might not last.
You'd meet a lot of people who
don't believe in you.
I'll set them straight.
It's a lonely job.
I've been lonely all my life.
This response strikes a chord. The Postman sees how badly
Ford wants something to hold onto. He sees himself.
So have I, Ford. So have I.
The Postman looks up at the creed on the wall. Finally...
38 CONTINUED: (2) 38
What the hell? Repeat after me.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat
nor gloom of night stays these
couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds.
No, no, no, I'm saying that. You
just listen... By my authority you
are now empowered to carry the
(extends a hand)
Congratulations, you're a postman.
They shake hands. The Postman doesn't realize, but this
is the most important moment in Ford's life.
I want you to know I'd die to get
a letter through.
Ford's intensity takes The Postman back. But the moment
is broken when...
Johnny, why don't you run along.
I need to speak to this man.
Ford bristles at "Johnny," looks to The Postman.
I'll see you around.
Sure thing, Ford.
Johnny's real impressed with you.
Whole town's real impressed with
38 CONTINUED: (3) 38
I take it you're not.
Smarter than you look.
What can I do for you, Sheriff?
You can clear out. Or I can throw
you out. Either way suits me
I'm afraid you don't understand,
Sheriff. I'm a government
employee. Authorized by --
You're not authorized by shit.
You're nothing but a drifter who
found a bag of mail. And I want
you out of my town.
This is going in my report.
These people don't need dreams,
Mr. Postman. They need something
real. They need help with the
goddamn Holnists. Are you going
to bring them that?
(as The Postman
Didn't think so. All you cost us
so far is a few bowls of soup and
maybe later a few broken hearts.
I aim to keep it that way. You
can stay till morning. Then I
don't ever want to see you again.
Briscoe exits, leaves The Postman alone in the post
39 INT. ABANDONED HOTEL - ROOM 7 - NIGHT 39
The Postman arrives home. He pushes open the door,
knocking over a stack of letters that have been shoved
under the door. He gathers them up, flips through them.
They're written on scraps, the backs of pictures, on
handkerchiefs and homemade paper. They aren't old.
39 CONTINUED: 39
They're brand new. Shaking his head, he closes the door.
The Postman has no sooner done so when there's a KNOCK on
the window. He looks over at a woman. She shrugs,
smiles, holds up a letter. The Postman sighs; he's
trapped in here.
40 EXT. FOSTER'S FREEZE - NIGHT 40
CAMERA STARTS ON a man with a string-tied package crossing
the streets and DRIFTS TO the abandoned car where Ford
lives. He's home.
Concentrating, Ford holds a needle and thread and a piece
of cloth on which he's drawn an approximation of the post
office shoulder patch. By moonlight he embroiders it in.
Not exactly work you'd pay money for, but not bad either.
41 INT. ABANDONED HOTEL - ROOM 7 - CLOSE ON STRING-TIED 41
PACKAGE - NIGHT
~from the previous scene. It's on the table with a
growing stack of mail.
The Postman is in bed, trying to sleep. But it's hard-
coming. He laces his fingers behind his head, stares up
at the moon through a hole in the wall. A KNOCK at the
Just leave it.
There's a pause. And then, ANOTHER KNOCK.
I said leave it.
The door opens. Surprise. Abby stands in the doorway,
her hair held up by an old red ribbon. He sits up.
You'll be leaving tomorrow?
41 CONTINUED: 41
(enters; closes door)
Everybody's up late writing
letters for you to take. We're
not supposed to waste candles like
that, but they're so excited.
How about you? Do you have a
I don't have anybody to write to.
I'll find you a pen pal. Someone
with interests similar to your
own. Dancing, checking for mumps.
Abby laughs. The Postman is charmed.
You're funny. Hardly anyone's
funny around here.
I guess no one feels much like
The two of them just look at each other a moment. Abby
fingers the ribbon in her hair.
Have you decided yet?
Oh, well, I've been thinking about
A beat. Abby lets her shift drop to the floor, then
slides under the sheets alongside him.
Sure. Why not?
They lie there awkwardly for a moment. He looks at her.
God, you're beautiful. Sorry, I
know you'd probably like to keep
things more clinical.
You don't even know my name.
41 CONTINUED: (2) 41
She shushes him, covers his mouth with her hand.
I don't want to.
He nods he understands. She stares into his eyes.
It would be easier for me if you
closed your eyes.
The Postman closes his eyes. Abby slides her hand away
from his mouth. And as they start to make love...
42 INT. ABANDONED HOTEL - ROOM 7 - DAY 42
The Postman wakes, reaches for the warm body that was
there last night. But Abby is gone. All that's left
behind is her red ribbon. Wistful, he picks it up.
43 EXT. ABANDONED HOTEL - DAY 43
The Postman exits. In uniform, his bag slung over his
shoulder. He starts then stops short. Only now do we see
most of the townspeople have silently assembled here.
They've been waiting for him, starving for him.
Ford steps up, hands him another fresh packet of letters.
The Postman sees that Ford hangs on to four or five.
What about those?
These are going to Blue Jay.
About twenty miles east. I
thought I could take them.
The Postman scans the crowd. Looking for Abby maybe?
Okay. They're yours.
Briscoe rides up, regards The Postman sternly.
I'm your escort out of town.
Some of the town's CITIZENS lead up a saddled mare.
43 CONTINUED: 43
We took a vote, Mr. Postman. We
want you to have this horse.
Now don't say no. A man on
horseback can cover ten times the
territory of a man on foot.
(smiles at Briscoe)
I'll take it.
He ties his mailbag to the saddle, swings himself up.
There's a bedroll, some oats and a
Where do you figure you'll go from
Go?... Oh yeah... I'll head west,
then work my way back here in a
sort of figure eight.
"8." Everyone's quiet a moment. They shift
uncomfortably. The Postman looks out at the crowd. They
crave hope. He should probably just keep his mouth shut.
Times seem hard right now. But
you have to believe it's getting
better. Birds are migrating
again. The rains are back.
The people consider him and then each other. By God, they
do feel hopeful. Suddenly, Ellen, her little boy by her
side, begins to sing. It's weak at first, but one-by-one
the others join in. Soon the whole town is singing:
ELLEN & TOWN
'Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain. For
purple mountain's majesty, above
the fruited plain. America...'
The Postman looks around. They sing their hearts out.
The guilt is overwhelming. He digs his heels into the
horse's flanks and rides out of town.
44 EXT. PALISADE GATES (PINE VIEW) - DAY 44
People line the top as The Postman and Briscoe ride out.
The strains of "AMERICA" still in the background.
You got a helluva nerve, whoever
The Postman doesn't rise to the bait.
Is Abby around?
She and Michael are working the
north meadow this morning.
Briscoe reins up -- he's gone as far as his duty commands.
Well, you're on your own.
The Postman tips his cap and continues riding by "Pine
View - Population 132." Briscoe watches a moment, then
calls after him:
Hey! Are you really who you say
If I come back with some mail,
The Postman continues. Caught in an inner turmoil,
Briscoe reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a letter.
He turns it over in his hands, looks off at The Postman.
God damn it!
Briscoe urges his horse forward, catches up. He hands The
Postman the letter, then rides back for town. The Postman
watches Briscoe. The people lining the wall. And he
realizes just what effect he's had. There's nothing to
do, but shrug his shoulders and ride. Strains of
"AMERICA" still ECHO hauntingly OVER:
45 EXT. ON ROAD - SUN 45
A green and lavender sunset. In the middle of nowhere,
The Postman rides, chewing a piece of jerked beef. He
flips through some of the letters entrusted to him.
45 CONTINUED: 45
Eugene. Benning. Portland.
Seattle. Boise... St. Rose,
Paradise on the Pacific...
He considers the letter, looks around as if someone may be
watching. He just begins to tear the corner, then stops.
Maybe one thing can still be
All in all, not a bad gig, huh?
The HORSE SNORTS. Smiling, The Postman shoves the
envelope into his bag. As he does, he finds something
else. The red ribbon. He runs it through his fingers,
thinks wistfully of Abby. Then, like a knight of old
representing a lady's honor, he ties it to his mailbag and
46 EXT. WELL (PINE VIEW) - DAY 46
Abby's washing clothes with a tub and washboard. Waging
war on dirt. Michael leans against a tree, watches Abby
at work until she notices him. She wipes the sweat from
her brow, tries not to smile.
What are you looking at?
He steps over and they're in each other's arms. This is
love. But as Michael kisses her, we hear a familiar
Holnists! Holnists are coming!
47 EXT. PALISADE GATES (PINE VIEW) - DAY 47
Led by Bethlehem and Getty, the soldiers ride in.
Something about the citizens disturbs Bethlehem.
They don't usually look at me.
47 CONTINUED: 47
Bethlehem reins in across from the post office. Someone
has hung a tattered old American flag.
Who's responsible for that?!
No one answers. All heads are down now.
48 INT. POST OFFICE - DAY 48
Ford is sweeping up. The place looks almost presentable.
He stops when he hears Bethlehem calling once more for the
Ford starts forward. Suddenly Briscoe is blocking his
Holnists, Johnny. You gotta stay
out of sight.
I'm a postman. And I'm not hiding
from anyone. I --
Briscoe grabs him by the shirt, hauls him out the back
You stay out of this, or I'll lock
you up myself damnit.
49 EXT. PINE VIEW - DAY 49
Bethlehem picks Michael out of the crowd.
You. You'll be responsible.
Get him a torch.
Michael walks out into the square. One of the soldiers
returns with a burning torch, gives it to Michael.
Bethlehem looks at the town, then at Michael.
Set that flag on fire.
49 CONTINUED: 49
It's killing him, but Michael sets the torch to the flag.
Now throw it through the window of
your 'post office.'
CRASH! The TORCH goes through the post office WINDOW.
Struggling to get out, but Briscoe blocks his way.
As flames grow, he takes one last look around.
The United States doesn't exist.
That flag is an abomination.
Briscoe steps forward, attempts to diffuse the situation.
(as Bethlehem turns)
We're gathering the tribute, sir.
Can I take your wagons?
Bethlehem decides not to kill anyone, looks to Getty.
Make sure that fire doesn't go
The General joins Briscoe.
Tears on his cheeks, Ford watches the post office burn.
50 EXT. PARKING LOT (PINE VIEW) - EARLY EVENING 50
Bethlehem relaxes with his officers as wagons are loaded.
Michael is just passing with a sack of grain on his
shoulder, when Bethlehem looks across the street -- spies
Abby and some of the other women sewing grain sacks shut.
Good Lord. That, gentlemen, is a
first-rate piece of ass.
50 CONTINUED: 50
Michael overhears. He looks over as Bethlehem's men nod
in agreement. Michael sees that they're talking about
Tell the Sheriff I want to be
introduced. She does not belong
in a mudhole like this.
One of the men hurries off. It's concern for Abby, not
for his manhood that makes him step forward.
That's my wife, General. She's a
Do you know what system of
government we have here, son?
(as Michael shrugs)
A feudal system. Like the Middle
Ages. With lords and vassals.
That's you and me. Those lords,
they had some ideas. If a vassal
got married, it was the lord's
right, his right, to sleep with
the bride on the wedding night.
Me and Abby have been married for
Sorry, but I wasn't invited to the
wedding. Now, you've already done
me one favor, son. Don't let this
be a black mark on an otherwise
Another woman has pointed out to her what's going on. She
can't hear what's being said, but she watches, concerned.
50 CONTINUED: (2) 50
We'll be civilized about this. I
want you to give me your blessing.
Sir, I can't. You can't.
Can't? I'm tired of can't. We
had a great nation once. Do you
know what made it that way? I
can! Till the weak came along.
The 'I can'ts' destroyed us. But
I'm going to make us strong again.
I'm going to be the father of a
(draws his sword)
Do you know why it will be me?
Michael looks to Abby as she starts across the street.
Because I can!
The SWORD WHISTLES down. Accompanied by an anguished cry:
Abby rushes forward, but she's blocked by Getty and
another man. She cries out again and again.
Filled with impotent fury, Briscoe squeezes out the words.
You didn't have to --
Didn't have to what, Sheriff?
Three Holnist soldiers draw down on Briscoe. Bethlehem
circles, menacing on his horse.
Your people seem seditious. You
Briscoe stares down at Michael's crumpled form. Abby
50 CONTINUED: (3) 50
Briscoe might go after Bethlehem despite the odds.
What am I seeing here? I'm
(burying his anger)
Man came through here. With mail.
Said he was a postman. Said the
government had been restored back
From out of the crowd -- a voice. Ford.
The United States government.
Bethlehem whirls his horse at the noise.
Who said that?
Not waiting for an answer, Getty charges the crowd, knocks
one of the onlookers down. A dead silence.
Bethlehem frowns, thinks it over a minute.
Which way did he go?
Do not make me ask again.
Send a patrol east. Send three
more south, north and west.
They'd better find him east.
51 EXT. PALISADE GATES (PINE VIEW) - NIGHT 51
The Holnist army rides out. Overcome by grief, tied at
the wrists, Abby stumbles behind one of the wagons.
52 EXT. BURNT-OUT POST OFFICE - NIGHT 52
Before the smoking ruins, Ford pulls on a blue shirt, his
homemade postal flag on the shoulder. As Briscoe steps
up, Ford shows him a bundle of singed, but intact letters.
I managed to save these.
Take that thing off, Johnny. You
want to die, too?
Ford shoves the letters in a makeshift bag, then climbs
onto his waiting pony.
I'm headed south. With the mail.
Don't be a damn fool.
What kind should I be?... Haw!
Ford digs his heels into the pony and is off in a flash
doing damn near a buck seventy-five.
53 INT. MOVIE THEATER (BENNING, OREGON) - DAY 53
Mail call. The Postman stands in front of the torn
screen. Hoping for glory by association, the smiling
Mayor stands beside him. The ragged people of Benning
clamor in front. Kids smile up at him as he calls out
(as she's there)
(as he's there)
G.D. died last winter of flu.
The Postman nods, sticks the letter back in his bag.
That's it for now, folks.
There'll be more once a real
system is in place.
53 CONTINUED: 53
As usual, The Postman is assaulted with questions.
Tell us about President Starkey!
What about New York City? Did
they survive the plague?
Survive? They got Broadway up and
running again. There's a kid
doing Andrew Lloyd Webber like you
An older woman sheds a happy tear -- this is wonderful
How much is it to mail a letter?
A buck seventy-five.
That sounds awful cheap.
The catch is the only currency
recognized are silver American
coins minted before 1964 and two
dollar bills. Look for Thomas
Jefferson. Of course, food is
always acceptable as barter.
The moment is split by a SIREN.
54 EXT. BENNING, OREGON - DAY 54
A long double-line of Holnist Cavalry stand in formation
in front of the city walls made from stacks of crushed
cars. On top, a SKINNY SENTRY CRANKS the SIREN while a
CHUBBY SENTRY watches.
Bethlehem rides through them with Abby in tow -- her
wrists tied by a rope which is looped around the pommel of
Bethlehem's saddle. Her face is bruised, her bottom lip
split. Bethlehem reins up, puzzled by the apparent stall.
54 CONTINUED: 54
(rides up; salutes)
They won't open the gates, sir.
They say they got a representative
of the restored United States in
there. They say this army is
illegal. They say --
The Chubby Sentry answers from the top of the palisade.
Drop dead and go to hell!
The Chubby Sentry disappears back behind cover. Bethlehem
remains controlled, but his manner becomes deadly.
The Romans had an expression they
used to scare their children.
'Hannibal ad portas!' -- Hannibal
is at the gates. Do you know who
(as she doesn't answer)
Of course not. A pretty girl like
you wouldn't know a thing.
Colonel Getty, get some men up
there and open that gate.
55 EXT. INSIDE GATES - DAY 55
The Mayor hurries over, The Postman following reluctantly
behind. The Mayor spots the Sentries up on the parapet.
What the hell are you doing?!
Open the gates!
Government's restored! We don't
have to take their crap anymore!
56 EXT. PALISADE GATES (BENNING) - DAY 56
Two Holnists scale the gates. They're near the top when
the Skinny Sentry appears. He FIRES an ARROW. Hit
through the shoulder, one Holnist falls. The other jumps.
57 EXT. PARAPET - INSIDE WALLS - DAY 57
Chubby and Skinny duck down behind the safety of the
walls, trading high-fives.
58 EXT. PALISADE GATES (BENNING) - DAY 58
Bethlehem orders his men to pull back. He shakes his
head, a quiet rage building. But he knows there's no
military threat here. It's going to be a massacre.
59 EXT. PARAPET - INSIDE WALLS - DAY 59
Climbing an inside ladder, the Mayor slams the Chubby
Sentry against the wall.
They're gonna kill us all.
The Mayor peers out through an observation hole. The
Postman and several others join him.
No! Let's fight them!
With what? We got five guns maybe
20 rounds of ammo in the whole
town! How do we fight them with
The Postman watches the Holnists prepare for attack.
You don't. Negotiate a
settlement. Give them extra
The men look at each other. Sounds reasonable enough.
Okay. You're a government rep.
You go tell them.
The look on The Postman's face says it all.
60 EXT. GATES (BENNING, OREGON) - DAY 60
They open enough to let the Postman ride out, then close
behind him. He sits nervously on his horse waving a white
flag. He's met, dismounts and is led to a command post
where Bethlehem is studying a rough map of the town.
Make it quick. I've got an attack
General, um, they've asked me to
negotiate a peace treaty.
The last time he and Bethlehem were face-to-face, the
Postman had a shaved head, was dressed in rags, and was
covered with cuts and bruises. Bethlehem can't place him,
but there's something familiar all the same.
Do I know you?
I don't think so, sir. I --
You're the Postman, aren't you?
watches from the flap of Bethlehem's tent. The guard sees
and shoves her back inside.
BETHLEHEM AND THE POSTMAN
Bethlehem flicks at the uniform flag shoulder patch.
The restored United States. Do
these people really believe that
shit? Who are you really?
Although he wants to confess everything, something tells
The Postman he has to try to brass it out.
I am a United States Postman.
Authorized by order 417 of the
restored Congress to --
60 CONTINUED: 60
I was at the Battle of Georgetown.
I watched the White House burn to
the ground. Don't try to sell me
on any restored U.S...
The new capital is based in
Minneapolis. Inside the Hubert
Humphrey Metrodome. You know,
where the Vikings used to play?
You're funny. Now, what are the
They'll open the gate and give you
double what they usually give.
Just don't hurt anybody. This was
all a misunderstanding.
Bethlehem thinks this over.
61 INT. ABBY'S TENT - DAY 61
Abby tracks the guard's silhouette through the canvas.
Her eyes search the tent -- land on the cot in the corner
and focus on its heavy, wooden legs.
62 EXT. GATES - DAY 62
Bethlehem has decided.
Appreciate your offer, Postman.
Problem is, you're in no position
to negotiate. These people made
it through the bugs and the riots
and the three year winter. But
they're not going to survive you.
Bethlehem looks to Getty and nods. Getty motions to a
gunner. The MONSTER GUN is FIRED. Just as a SHELL
EXPLODES against the gates --
63 INT. ABBY'S TENT - DAY 63
Abby brings the heavy wooden cot leg down on the
unsuspecting guard's head.
64 EXT. CITY GATES - DAY 64
The cavalry ride through roiling smoke into the open town.
Horrified, The Postman steps forward, but rifles are on
him. All he can do is watch. The Mayor is the first to
Law six, justice can be dictated.
Kill him. And kill the restored
United States with him.
Bethlehem turns his attention to the battle. A CAPTAIN
steps forward with gun raised.
In accordance with law eight and
by the authority of Emergency
Order 46, you are hereby --
A CRACK of RIFLE FIRE. The Captain's forehead explodes
and he falls to the ground.
Shocked, Bethlehem whirls for the source of the GUNFIRE.
Abby! FIRING from a position behind a supply wagon.
But even as Bethlehem turns, an ARROW SINGS in and lodges
in his arm. Fired from a pocket of sentries up on the
palisade. Bethlehem bellows in outrage and pain.
The Postman takes advantage of the moment of chaos to grab
the fallen Captain's gun.
He pulls a Holnist rider from his horse and swings into
the saddle. The unhorsed rider goes for his gun. But
once more SHOTS RING OUT and he goes down.
Bethlehem ducks as another BULLET ZINGS close. Too close.
Two soldiers move forward.
Suddenly The Postman's HORSE comes THUNDERING -- trampling
the Holnist nearest him.
The other Holnist hears, looks back, sees The Postman
coming and takes aim just as The Postman brings his gun to
64 CONTINUED: 64
The Holnist FIRES first. We don't see the hit. Just
watch as The Postman FIRES an answering ROUND. The
Holnist goes down.
The Postman reins up alongside the wagon. Grunting with
pain, he reaches down, takes Abby's arm and swings her up
behind him. Then digs his heels in for all he's worth.
More Holnists come on the run. They FIRE. The HORSE
SNORTS in pain. He's hit. But The Postman urges him on,
heading into the woods.
Bethlehem snaps off the arrow shaft and shouts:
65 EXT. WOODLAND ROAD - DAY 65
Abby is concerned as the horse slows to a trot.
We can't stop now. They'll be
coming after us.
The Postman's head lolls forward. She feels something on
her hand, pulls it back smeared with blood. The Postman's
shot in the belly.
The horse is failing. Near death.
We hear the sound of PURSUING CAVALRY. Abby urges the
horse off the road. When the thicket grows too dense,
Abby jumps down. She catches The Postman as he slides
off, easing him to the ground.
Abby shushes him. She pulls on the horse's bridle to
force him farther along. But it's no good, the wounded
horse goes down on its knees.
And five RIDERS THUNDER past. Fooled. All but the SIXTH,
who pulls up to listen.
In the deep b.g., flames lick at the billowing black
smoke. The town is burning.
The HORSE WHINNIES: in its death throes. Abby panics,
tries to quiet the horse.
65 CONTINUED: 65
The Sixth Soldier has heard the suffering horse. He draws
his rifle from the saddle boot and starts into the
ON ABBY AND POSTMAN
The Postman lies unconscious on the ground. Abby sits
beside him, rifle in hand. The Sixth Soldier appears.
He hesitates at first. Then dismounts and moves toward
her. Abby cocks the rifle.
If you'd had a bullet, you'd a
used it by now.
Moving closer still, he doesn't see the BRANCH pulled back
in The Postman's hand until it SNAPS hard into his face.
He stumbles back.
Abby dashes out, rifle in hand. She swings for the
bleachers. The butt catches the side of the Sixth
Soldier's head. He falls hard.
The Postman's eyes flutter. Dazed, he watches as Abby
pilfers through the Soldier's gear. She takes everything
of value: a knife, bullets, a canteen. His eyes flutter
66 EXT. WOODS - DAY 66
Snowflakes swirl. Abby lays a sapling travois beside The
Postman. He groans as she rolls him onto it, tucks a
blanket around him. Using all the strength God gave her,
Abby lifts one end, gets it high enough to hitch it to the
Sixth Soldier's horse. As Abby leads the horse away...
67 EXT. WOOD ROAD - DAY 67
The snow has increased. A Holnist patrol moves down the
road, disappears around a bend. A beat.
67 CONTINUED: 67
Abby appears, leading the horse and travois. She crosses
the road and disappears into the woods.
A moment later, she reappears with a pine branch which she
uses to brush at the snow, obscuring their tracks.
68 EXT. CASCADE MOUNTAINS (OREGON) - DAY 68
Riding into a blizzard, Abby leads the way up a zigzag
path. A valley opens up below. The unconscious Postman
lies bundled on the travois.
69 EXT. HUNTING SHACK - DUSK 69
A little square shape just visible beyond a creek. Abby
leads the horse and travois-bound Postman to it.
70 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DUSK 70
One room. Dirt floor. The WINDOWS RATTLE in the WIND.
Snow falls through a hole in the roof. The wooden DOOR
BURSTS back and Abby enters. Half-frozen, she leads the
horse and the travois right inside.
71 INT. HUNTING SHACK - NIGHT 71
A fire has been lit.
The Postman lies unconscious, his shirt open as Abby
washes around his wound. She pulls the shirt back to
clean his chest. The material falls away and Abby stops
short. There -- high on his biceps -- a branded "8." She
stares in disbelief.
72 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 72
The Postman lies on a cot below the window. He's
conscious, but pale as a ghost.
Abby brings him a bowl of soup. Very thin soup. Stirring
it with a spoon, The Postman smiles at Abby.
She turns her back on him without a word. The Postman
tries an exchange just the same.
72 CONTINUED: 72
I don't think I ever had water
soup before. Maybe next time we
could try it with a little sand?
(as she doesn't respond)
(as she doesn't smile)
A twig garnish?
She goes about her business in silence.
You used to think I was funny.
They killed Michael.
He takes a spoonful of soup and she comes to him.
How sorry are you?
What's that supposed to mean?
Her right hand flashes out, holds a knife up under his
What's with you?
You got the mark of eight on you.
A long beat. Finally, he swallows the soup in his mouth.
The action presses his Adam's apple against the blade.
A mark doesn't mean I'm a --
You're a liar. I should've let
Then, why didn't you?
If she knows, she's not ready to say yet.
72 CONTINUED: (2) 72
You were with Bethlehem. Does
that make you one of them?
Abby considers this, The Postman's gaze flickers down to
the spoon he still holds in his hand. Taking one last
stab at a joke.
(re: the spoon)
Don't make me use this.
Abby doesn't laugh. But she does relent. She steps away.
73 EXT. HUNTING SHACK/VALLEY PASS - SUNSET 73
The hunting shack huddled against the south side of a low
rise. Beyond the rise, a pass. But there's no
negotiating it now. It's completely snowed in. And
another storm is on the way.
74 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 74
WIND HOWLING in the b.g. The Postman lies back on his
cot. The little shack has been scoured clean. Abby
stares listlessly at the fire. The silence is torture.
The Postman tries to strike up a conversation.
Wind's come up.
(no response from
Getting colder too. Must be
another storm --
Abby gets up and throws a log on the fire.
I didn't mean for you to --
Your legs are going to rot off if
you don't try to walk.
74 CONTINUED: 74
Lazy?! I got a hole in my
stomach. I'm weak. The two big
meals around here are grass and
snow. And we're running out of
As the two of them glare at each other for a moment. Abby
starts to put on her coat.
Where are you going?
Abby doesn't answer. She picks up the rifle and starts to
lead the horse outside.
You're not leaving me here, are
Abby is out the door without a word.
75 EXT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 75
HOLD ON The Postman in the window as she continues past.
He watches a moment, suddenly grimaces. A GUNSHOT. The
THUD of a BODY SLAMMING to the GROUND. Abby has shot the
76 EXT. HUNTING SHACK/PASS - SUNRISE 76
Tiny tracks in the snow, leading away from the shack.
Abby struggles to make the monumental climb from the shack
to the top of the rise where she can get a clear view of
PAN PAST her UP TO the top of the rise. It's a clear day
-- but the pass is still snowed-in. No sign of winter
77 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 77
Abby ladles a meager portion of horse meat stew into a
77 CONTINUED: 77
This is the last of it.
She walks with the bowl past The Postman -- who sits on
his cot with arms outstretched -- and pointedly sets the
bowl on the table.
Give me a break...
Abby starts putting on layer after layer of clothing.
I'm going to check the pass.
Why are you in such a hurry to get
out of here? I can think of worse
places. And worse company to --
And with the SLAM of the DOOR she is gone.
78 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 78
A few flakes of snow have begun to drift down. The
Postman sits at the window -- starts to play tic-tac-toe
in the frost. But then it dawns on him:
You can't play tic-tac-toe with
79 EXT. WOODS - DAY 79
Disoriented, Abby stops to take stock of her surround-
ings. But she can't make anything out -- the snowfall is
80 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 80
The fire is dying. The food untouched. The Postman sits
in bed staring anxiously out the window. The snow has
turned into a blizzard. He runs Abby's red ribbon through
81 EXT. WOODS - DAY 81
Abby trudges along heavily. She stumbles as the ice
covering the stream breaks beneath her feet.
82 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 82
The Postman hears her call.
83 EXT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 83
The door opens and out steps The Postman. In pain, he
staggers around the back of the cabin -- in search of her.
84 EXT. STREAM - DAY 84
Abby looks up, sees him coming. The Postman collapses
across from her. Both prone, they're also nearly nose-to-
I can't help you.
Finally, he pulls himself to his knees. She does the
same. They climb each other to a standing position. Arm-
in-arm, they start for the cabin.
85 INT. HUNTING SHACK - DUSK 85
Abby sits huddled in blankets. The fire is blazing. The
Postman steps over, sets the once-again-hot bowl of stew
She considers the food a moment.
I told you that's all there was.
That's why you should have it.
I knew you could walk.
You're weird, you know that?
86 INT. HUNTING SHACK - NIGHT 86
The Postman lies in bed, stares through the hole in the
roof. A full moon is on the rise. Abby lies in her own
makeshift bed, also awake. After a long silence:
We walked on the moon once, Abby.
So? What good is that now?
Obviously you've forgotten Tang
and microwave ovens.
Your face looks pretty.
Abby looks up.
Not so bruised.
Look, there's something you'd
better know. You're going to find
out soon enough. I'm pregnant.
(a long beat)
It's Michael's baby. You're just
the body father.
How do you know it's mine and not
He tried with me almost every
night. He couldn't do it. So he
beat me. Said it was my fault.
87 EXT. HUNTING SHACK/PASS - DAY 87
Abby stands atop the low rise -- looking out to the pass.
Spring has come to the mountains. At long last the snow
is starting to recede.
88 EXT. FISHING POOL - DAY 88
The Postman kneels by the bank, sharpening a knife to
clean the fish he's caught.
88 CONTINUED: 88
Then, he catches his reflection in the water. Tangled
beard. Matted hair. Is that him?
He suddenly starts sharpening the knife with renewed
vigor. We get a sense he's not going to use it on the
plunge into the water, pull splashfuls up. We START ON
The Postman's back, then ARC AROUND as he washes his face.
He's just finished shaving off his beard with the hunting
knife. He's nicked-up, but it's a definite improvement
and he smiles in satisfaction -- until he sees --
Abby, reflected in the water.
The Postman whips around to see her standing there.
What is it? What's wrong? Is it
The pass is clear. It's time to
Behind her, he sees the cabin is on fire. Takes off
89 EXT. HUNTING SHACK - DAY 89
The fire is blazing. The hunting shack is too far gone to
save. The Postman turns around.
He's nonplused to find Abby standing beside a pile of
their neatly-packed gear.
You got our stuff out.
89 CONTINUED: 89
Of course? I don't understand.
I set the fire.
Am I missing the point here?
You didn't think we'd stay here
forever, did you?
(The Postman has
I'd appreciate if you'd walk with
me long enough to find someplace
safe for the baby. Then we can
The Postman has all but forgotten.
It looks nice.
Before he can respond, she's heading off toward the pass,
leaving The Postman to shake his head at the absurdity of
it all. He shouts after her.
You're really weird, you know
90 EXT. VALLEY - BELOW CASCADE MOUNTAINS - DAY 90
Carrying their gear, Abby and The Postman walk across a
meadow of wild flowers, headed for an old road.
Have you ever heard of St. Rose,
I've heard people talk. I've
heard lots of names. Bliss.
Hesperia. New Eden. Sheriff
Briscoe says it's a fantasy.
90 CONTINUED: 90
He's wrong. St. Rose is out
there. And I'm going to find it.
But you're The Postman.
Look, I'm nobody, Abby. I'm
Before he can come clean -- they see a distant RIDER
coming hard. The Postman unslings the rifle, slides a
round into the chamber.
This is what I hate. Strangers.
Do you say 'hi' or do you blow
their head off? Do they want to
share what they got or take what
you have? And if they want to
take, how far are you willing to
go to stop them? Damn it.
(to the Rider)
All right. That's far enough.
The Rider pulls up short, wearing a blue home-made
We don't want any trouble.
Me neither, mister.
The Postman is taken aback. The Rider, a girl, pulls off
her cap, mops it across her brow. Maybe 14, we'll always
know her by her Ponytail. Abby registers the uniform
What are you?
Carrier 18. U.S. Postal Service.
Got any mail?
Lowering the rifle, The Postman looks over at Abby, back
90 CONTINUED: (2) 90
Ain't you heard of The Postman?
No, tell us.
He's only the greatest man who
ever lived. He crossed the
wasteland, shook his fist at the
enemy and spit in the eye of
General Bethlehem himself. He's
back east with President Starkey
Who told you all this?
Postmaster Ford Lincoln Mercury.
He's in direct contact with the
Direct contact... I don't believe
Do you have mail, or don't you?
You said Carrier Eighteen. That
mean there's eighteen of you?
Thirty-two. As of midnight.
91 EXT. R.V. PARK - DAY 91
Oregon's main post office. A silver Airstream, fifty
mobile homes and rusty Winnebagos resting on flat tires.
Flying from a pole: the flag of the restored United
States. A young recruit is ringing a bell on the top of a
Ford walks along an RV boulevard. He's joined by two
young carriers, RED and Chubby (the sentry from Benning).
All wear hip, personalized variations of the official
You got another letter?
91 CONTINUED: 91
They come around the corner to where seven young recruits
wait. They're joined by another twenty carriers.
Seven of them. They're coming
Ford looks them over in satisfaction.
Did you get a letter or didn't
Ford smiles, reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a
creased sheet of paper. Chubby grins.
Gather 'round, everybody. Got
another letter here. Came in last
Buzzing with excitement, the carriers gather around Ford.
SOUTH END OF BOULEVARD
Ponytail leads Abby and The Postman. They come up in the
back of the crowd. Flanked by Red and Chubby, Ford stands
on the hood of a car, letter in hand. The Postman taps a
clueless YOUNG CARRIER on the back.
What's all this?
Postman sent Ford another letter.
He's gonna read it.
'Hello, all postal carriers.'
91 CONTINUED: (2) 91
I'm here in Minneapolis with
President Starkey, but my thoughts
are with you. Remember, nothing
worth doing can be done overnight.
Keep your chins up and do your
best not to get shot. Signed, The
A buzz goes through the crowd. Ponytail looks over.
His letters are always kind of
Abby and The Postman exchange a look.
Hold on now. There's a P.S...
Anybody know what P.S. stands for?
The Postman raises his hand. Ford looks his way. His
mouth drops as he realizes. In silence, he walks over to
The Postman. They embrace and all the weight Ford's been
carrying on his young shoulders suddenly falls to The
Postman. The kid nearly collapses.
That would be H.S., Chubby.
I seen him once when I lived in
Benning. It's The Postman!
Word goes through the crowd like a wave.
The Postman takes the letter, reads.
P.S. Ford knows what to do.
Ford shrugs sheepishly.
Guess you want to talk about this?
The Postman takes Ford by the elbow. They disappear into
the tent. The carriers just staring after them,
91 CONTINUED: (3) 91
I found him! I found him!
They clamor around her.
92 INT. TENT - DAY 92
The Postman and Ford.
President Starkey? Minneapolis?
Ford knows what to do?
I thought you were dead.
So? I'm not making the
connection. What's all this then?
I lied. I told people you were in
contact with me.
Because I didn't want it to end.
I don't know how long I can stay,
Ford. President Starkey will send
word one day and I'll have to move
Sure. But you'll stay till he
sends word? Right?
The Postman can't answer, just turns and walks out of the
93 EXT. TENT - DAY 93
As The Postman exits, Chubby leads the carriers in a
salute. The Postman actually turns a moment to see if
someone else is standing behind him.
He looks back, sees the young, shining faces.
93 CONTINUED: 93
Aw, don't do that. Hands down.
Their hands go down in one crisp military move. The
Postman looks at Abby, to Ford as he exits the tent. The
kid is craving reassurance.
You'll stay 'til President Starkey
sends word, right? Right?
Yeah, till he sends word, right.
Ford smiles, gestures to the carriers.
Could you say a few words?
The Postman looks over at the carriers. They quiet under
his gaze, immediately respectful.
The problem is, he has no idea what to say. Finally:
Two plus two equals four.
The cheering is tumultuous. The Postman picks Abby out of
the cheering crowd -- the look on her face says it all.
94 EXT. RV PARK - WINNEBAGO ROW - DAY 94
The guts of the operation. Several carriers are busy
sorting and bagging letters. It goes out pinned to a
clothesline which crisscrosses back and forth. Everyone
follows as Ford takes The Postman on a tour. There are
hushed whispers among those who are seeing him for the
We bring all the mail here first.
We sort it, group it and then it
goes out. So far we got thirty
Ford leads The Postman and Abby into another Winnebago.
Chubby and Red and Ponytail follow. Those that can't fit
just peer in through the windows.
95 INT. WINNEBAGO - DAY 95
An old manual crank printing press is working away. Ford
proudly removes a sheet, shows it to The Postman. A
caricature of eight evil Holnists, forming a figure eight.
Beneath: "Unite Against Holnist Tyrraney!"
You spelled tyranny wrong.
(low, to Red)
Boy, he's smart.
96 EXT. RV CAMP - GREEN LAWN - DAY 96
The seven young Recruits seen earlier stand in a line.
They're joined by OLD GEORGE, every day of 75 years old.
Ponytail holds up her hand, swears them in.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat,
nor gloom of night...
As they finish, The Postman and Ford pass by. The
Recruits salute. Shaking his head, The Postman's about to
salute back when he spots Old George. George has a faded
purple "AIRBORNE" tattoo on his arm and a twinkle in his
eye. There's an old crow on his shoulder.
How old are you?
The Postman looks over at Ford, who shrugs.
Can you ride?
Nope. Can't walk too good,
Why are you here?
I know stuff.
The Postman looks at Ford again. Then:
96 CONTINUED: 96
When did you get that?
1970. A girl with eyes as big as
saucers did me in a little town
97 EXT. RV CAMP - AIRSTREAM - SUNSET 97
Carriers move items out of the trailer. The camp is
buzzing as usual. The Postman looks on -- sees Abby
He's got her attention, just doesn't know what to do with
Ford wants me to have his trailer.
Said it's the best one.
I'm on the other side of town.
I got plenty of room here.
She shakes her head, and then walks away. The Postman
watches her disappear into the bustle of the camp.
So much for the uniform theory.
98 EXT. HOLNIST WINTER CAMP (NORTHERN CALIFORNIA) - SUNSET 98
The same sun sets on the Holnist camp.
99 INT. BETHLEHEM'S TENT - SUNSET 99
Bethlehem once again at his easel with palette in hand.
He's trying another style -- Impressionism -- and it's
worse than the last. He looks over as Getty and Gibbs
approach with a PRISONER.
99 CONTINUED: 99
What do you think, Lieutenant?
Can't tell what it is if you stand
too close. The colors all kinda
run together, don't they?
Bethlehem looks away from his painting to see Gibbs and
Getty flanking a scared, blue-clad mail carrier. For an
instant, mistakes him for:
Well, if it isn't our old friend
the U.P.S. man.
We captured him on the Oregon
Realizing, Bethlehem turns the face from side-to-side.
Who the hell are you?
Carrier Twelve. United States,
um, Postal Service.
Getty sets some of the Carrier's anti-Holnist propaganda
onto Bethlehem's field table. Bethlehem picks it up.
It's hard to say what he's thinking. Finally:
I want the camp struck at dawn.
We're moving north.
Bethlehem looks back to Carrier Twelve.
You spelled tyranny wrong.
100 EXT. RV CAMP - DAWN 100
Ten letter carriers are on horseback. Among them, Red and
Ponytail. Ford and The Postman are also on horses. Each
rider salutes The Postman, then gets a sheaf of anti-
Holnist propaganda from Ford.
I wish they'd stop saluting.
It's annoying him. As Chubby rides up. The Postman
catches his right wrist as he attempts to salute. So
Chubby salutes with the left hand instead. As they line
Just stay safe and remember. The
mailman's more important than the
Boy, he's smart.
The sun just peeks up over the horizon. At that signal,
the carriers thunder off, the ground trembling under them.
The look on their faces. The glory of it all. They're
alive! The Postman hesitates, watches after them a
What the hell?
Urging his horse forward, he rides after them. With them.
And then, like an exploding firework, each postman shoots
off in a separate direction. Headed for all points of the
compass and some in between.
101 EXT. OREGON HAMLET - DAY 101
The Postman looks down on the gathered crowd from his
horse and smiles.
For President Starkey and the
First Congress of the Restored
United States, I officially
declare Postal Station 10...
What's the name of this town?
We never named it.
I officially declare Postal
Station 10 in Elvis, Oregon, open
102 EXT. TOWN (SOMEWHERE IN OREGON) - DAY 102
An eye-blink of a town. Ponytail stands on a crate
reading names and handing letters to the grateful people
massed around her.
103 EXT. TOWN (IDAHO BORDER) - DAY 103
Red and Chubby finish mail call, exchange an amazed look
as they're offered a platter of food.
104 EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT 104
The moon hangs low over an interstate. A rider is
silhouetted by the silvery orb, looking like some post-
apocalyptic Don Quixote. It's The Postman.
105 EXT. FARMHOUSE/COUNTRY ROAD - DAY 105
Seen FROM the porch, a rider gallops hard on the road
A LITTLE BOY comes rushing out, letter in hand. The boy
pulls up short; realizes the rider is already too far
gone. The boy's shoulders sag; he's crushed.
I missed him.
It's an almost psychic moment as the rider reins up in the
distance and turns back around. A frozen beat and he
starts galloping back down the road.
Fearless, the boy holds out the letter. The rider closes;
it's The Postman. The boy stretches out as far as he can.
Without breaking stride, The Postman leans out of the
saddle, snatches the letter as he passes.
The boy watches after him -- knows what he's going to be
when he grows up.
106 EXT. PINE VIEW GATES - DAY 106
Sheriff Briscoe huffs and puffs his big frame up the
ladder and onto the top of the palisade.
Phil, this better not be another
of your U.F.O.'s.
He looks where the sentry points. The Postman waits at
the gate, behind him on horseback: Ford and Abby.
106 CONTINUED: 106
I'm back! And I got mail.
I'll be damned.
107 EXT. PINE VIEW STREETS - DAY 107
The Postman rides with Briscoe, hurrying to stay alongside
him. Half the town jogs along behind them.
Bethlehem is offering a 1000
pounds of gold to whoever brings
you in. Dead or alive.
Thank God it wasn't a carton of
I'd have shot you myself.
108 EXT. PINE VIEW STREETS - NIGHT 108
Pine View is throwing a party. It's in full swing. A
couple of guitars. A banjo and a trombone. Everyone
The Postman walks with Briscoe, sees Mrs. March as her
letter is read to her. Catches a glimpse of Abby dancing
with Ford. He seems, for the first time, truly happy.
For that matter, so does Briscoe.
Things are getting better.
Getting better all the time.
I don't know who you are, but I do
know I was wrong about you.
The Postman smiles, reaches in his bag for an envelope.
Got a letter for you, Sheriff.
Briscoe turns it over in his hands, looks up in wonder.
It's from my sister. I thought
she was dead.
108 CONTINUED: 108
You thought wrong.
Briscoe has tears in his eyes. The Postman continues on,
embarrassed but affected.
The Postman taps Ford's shoulder, wants to cut in on him
and Abby. Ford steps aside. A beat before Abby decides
it's okay. They begin. Her eyes are on her feet, careful
that she doesn't take a misstep. But his eyes are on her.
And over it all, BLEEDING IN, the sound of HOOF BEATS.
109 EXT. LONELY ROAD (SOUTHERN OREGON) - NIGHT 109
A mail carrier, Red, rides like the devil himself was in
pursuit. Almost. It's Getty and three Holnists.
They whirl as the tempo picks up. The Postman pulls Abby
in closer. Her eyes now move up to his.
They're closing in on the terrified Red.
Abby and The Postman. The chemistry is undeniable.
RIFLES CRACK. SHOT in the back, Red throws back his arms.
Letters flutter from the mail bag over his shoulder; he
seems to glide along that way forever.
The Postman looks at Abby; she's so beautiful. Like only
a pregnant woman can be.
109 CONTINUED: (2) 109
Tell me about the baby, Abby. I
want to know.
Abby snaps out of the dream she's in. This isn't right.
Breaking away, she heads off. As he watches her go:
Red falls from his horse. One of the soldiers scoops up
110 INT. COMMAND TENT (SOUTHERN OREGON) - NIGHT 110
By lantern, Bethlehem and Getty watch as Gibbs sorts
through the contents of the confiscated mailbag.
Births and deaths, the weather,
gossip. There's nothing here.
Nothing? Everything is here. Am
I the only one who sees that?
Gibbs hurries away, leaving Bethlehem and Getty alone.
Give the people back their hope
and their dreams won't be far
Bethlehem sees Getty waiting.
What is it, Getty?
Getty hands Bethlehem a sheet of paper -- something Gibbs
missed. It's a propaganda sheet featuring a caricature of
The Postman leading a few carriers against Bethlehem and
his army -- represented as Hitler and the Nazis. The
caption underneath reads: "Ride Against the Holnist
110 CONTINUED: 110
(crumpling the paper)
A military man, especially a
commander, should keep a journal.
After he's gone, it's the only
real defense against the slander
111 INT. OLD GEORGE'S TRAILER - NIGHT 111
Old George sits hunched over a home-made shortwave radio
with a joint in his mouth. The Postman sits beside him,
listening as STATIC pours from an old car SPEAKER.
Who do you talk to?
Not a soul in seven years of
trying. But I will.
The Postman steps to a telescope pointing up through a
hole in the trailer ceiling.
Go ahead. Take a look.
No. No thanks. Hey, don't let
the kids see that.
George nods and goes on playing with the dials --
searching for a voice in the void.
The Postman focuses on the moon.
I was an aerospace engineer. I
helped design the Galileo space
I dream it's orbiting Earth
forever. With a dozen human
skeletons all grinning at each
other. Laughing at us down here.
There's an urgent KNOCKING on the trailer door. Ford
What is it?
111 CONTINUED: 111
It's Red. He's overdue.
That makes five. All on Southern
112 EXT. TRUCK STOP - DAY 112
Five dead mail carriers have been laid out on the asphalt.
Bethlehem walks the line, looking for his elusive arch-
No. No. Not him. No.
(looks to soldiers)
Children. I want a man and you
bring me children!
113 EXT. OREGON ROAD - DAY 113
A beautiful day. Ponytail rounds a bend at a lope -- and
then -- her eyes widen in terror. She jerks the reins;
the horse rears in protest.
Ahead: the truck stop. The five mail carriers hang
upside down from the roof's overhang. A macabre sight.
POV THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE
SIGHTING ON Ponytail. A hand comes INTO FRAME and brings
the rifle barrel down. It's --
GIBBS AND HOLNIST SHARPSHOOTER
Not yet. General wants the
message to get back.
114 EXT. RV. CAMP - NIGHT 114
PAN UP FROM The Postman's dusty boots TO his grimly
determined face as he strides through camp and stops at
Old George's trailer.
He moves OUT OF FRAME, revealing -- Abby and Ponytail in
115 INT. OLD GEORGE'S TRAILER - NIGHT 115
As usual, Old George is hunkered down before his short
wave. He looks as the door opens and The Postman enters.
Tell me about the other stuff you
George crosses the trailer, opens a cabinet. Inside:
twenty odd guns plus the parts for several more. The CROW
116 EXT. ELVIS, OREGON - DAY 116
Quiet. An old flag ruffles outside the post office -- the
only new structure in town. Old George sweeps the porch
as a patrol of ten Holnist soldiers ride into town.
George makes no move to flee as they near. As they rein
up across from him he just smiles and continues sweeping.
Sensing it, the Holnist officer looks up. There, on the
roof, stands The Postman. Ford and Briscoe flank him --
along with twenty mailmen and locals, armed with guns,
bows and rocks.
As the soldiers raise their rifles, the roofies OPEN FIRE.
George whips up a sawed-off SHOTGUN. BOOM! Caught in the
storm, the ten soldiers go down.
Grim, The Postman looks to Ford as the locals cheer.
George resumes sweeping. The mailmen climb down to strip
the weapons off the dead.
Ford, I want you to get rid of the
bodies. I don't want these people
blamed for what we did.
117 EXT. HOLNIST ARMY CAMP - NIGHT 117
Two sentries guard the east. They peer into the gloom at
the sound of a WAGON APPROACHING. It sounds like it's
Halt! Identify yourself!
117 CONTINUED: 117
tearing along. Ford at the reins, urging the horses to
all possible speed. Then he stands, leaps to the ground.
They raise their rifles as the riderless wagon looms out
of the night. They each get off a SHOT before being
forced to dive out of the way. The wagon continues on,
A soldier finally grabs hold of one of the halters and
brings the wagon to a stop. Half-dressed, Bethlehem steps
up. A tarp covers the back upon which is written...
Bethlehem yanks away the tarp to reveal the 10 dead
Holnist soldiers. The men around Bethlehem exchange
looks, can't believe it. Bethlehem bellows in rage.
118 EXT. WOODS - NIGHT 118
Ford, hidden in the woods, smiles at the sound.
119 EXT. HOLNIST CAMP - NIGHT 119
Bethlehem steps forward and shouts his challenge into the
You want a war? I'll give you a
war. I was born for it!
120 EXT. WOODS - NIGHT 120
Bethlehem's words reach Ford, his smile fades. He's just
a scared boy. He kicks his horse into a gallop and rides
121 EXT. SMALL AIRFIELD - DAY 121
In the fog, the sound of hollow HOOF BEATS. The Postman
rides past the shapes of airplanes. Standing silent.
Forever grounded. The ghosts of the past.
122 EXT. RV CAMP - DAY 122
Ford is swearing in four new recruits.
ON FORD AND RECRUITS
As they repeat after him we realize they've changed the
oath a bit.
Neither snow, nor heat, nor gloom
of night. Through bandit's hell,
through fire fight. Through flood
and plague we cannot fail. No
Holnist trash will stop the mail.
riding his weary mount into town, saddlebags bulging with
mail. He pauses by the new recruits long enough to hear
the words they're saying.
As he dismounts, a fresh-faced carrier takes the bridle.
The Postman's well past the point of fatigue. He's living
on pure adrenaline.
Get this mail sorted. Bring me a
fresh horse. Something to eat.
As fresh-face starts away, The Postman calls after him.
And all the mail going South!
The Postman watches as Ford shakes the hands of the new
The Postman reaches for his canteen. Empty. Damn. A tin
cup filled with water appears from nowhere. Abby. The
Postman takes it, too tired to acknowledge the gesture.
They changed the oath.
122 CONTINUED: 122
They don't think to ask who
they're replacing. Or why.
He drains the cup and hands it back to her. Just then,
one of the new recruits, LUKE, steps over.
Sir? It'd be an honor if I could
shake your hand.
A farmboy-type, Luke looks like a younger version of
Woody. The Postman sees this, is lost in reverie. Luke
still holds his hand out.
You look like... Do I know you?
Well, good luck to you.
Nodding in awe, Luke heads off.
Nice kid. Probably be dead in a
You're exhausted. You need rest.
There's food in the trailer --
Ponytail rides by; two sacks of mail hang from her saddle
pommel. The Postman grabs her horse's halter, stops her.
Where are you going?
Route twenty-two. I'm already an
122 CONTINUED: (2) 122
You're grounded. Get off the
horse. You know the rule.
Twenty-two's too far south.
But they're waiting on their mail
Get off the goddamn horse.
Shocked, she does. At the same time, fresh-face comes up
leading a second horse laden with mail.
Tie him off to this one.
Fresh-face goes about tying the second horse to the first.
You can't keep doing this.
Riding all the routes. You're not
The Postman climbs on Ponytail's horse, looks at Abby.
Did I ever tell you how I got to
be a postman, Abby?
her time to answer)
I don't know if you'd laugh or
The Postman digs in his heels. The horse gallops away,
the second one following behind.
123 EXT. ELVIS, OREGON - CLOSE ON BLOODIED POSTAL CARRIER - 123
A crowd of townsfolk are visible in deep b.g. Beyond
them, the town of Elvis burns to the ground.
The CAMERA CIRCLES AROUND the BLOODIED CARRIER until we're
looking OVER his shoulder at a firing squad led by Colonel
Getty and Lieutenant Gibbs. Bethlehem watches.
The only building not on fire is the post office. A
SOLDIER rides up, carrying a torch, meaning to burn it.
The post office, General?
No. Let it stand. All by itself.
So it can remind them what it cost
Rifles are aimed.
Shock and dismay from the townsfolk as SHOTS RING OUT.
CLOSE ON BLOODY CARRIER'S FACE
as he realizes he's still standing.
PULL BACK to reveal nine bodies lying on the ground. Only
the Bloodied Carrier is still standing.
Bethlehem points at the Bloodied Carrier, crooks a finger
for him. He staggers up. Bethlehem smiles.
You think you can ride?
(as the Carrier
Then today's your lucky day.
124 INT. RV PARK - AIRSTREAM - DAY 124
Abby tends to the Bloodied Carrier. He tries to salute as
The Postman enters the trailer.
124 CONTINUED: 124
Ford and Chubby watch and wait as The Postman goes to the
The Postman motions it's okay as the Carrier struggles.
... he's... headed north. He's
gonna kill ten people in every
town. Then burn it to the ground.
For what you did...
The Postman is puzzled. But Ford knows what and why.
He said to tell you Pine View's on
his way. He said he'd wait there,
but not for long.
I was so scared, sir... I thought
they were going to kill me, too...
I wish they would have...
125 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - DAY 125
The Postman poised on a rise that affords a view of the
gruesome spectacle below.
Pine View in flames. The big John Deere gun has blown
several gaps into the palisade. Bethlehem watches as his
army sacks the town. The people have been rounded up.
The selection of the ten has begun.
126 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - DAY 126
The Postman wheels his horse around. But Ford, Ponytail,
Chubby and Luke are standing in his way.
What are you going to do?
I'm going to stop this.
126 CONTINUED: 126
Get out of my way, Ford. All of
(shaking his head)
They'll kill you.
The Postman starts to ride through them. Luke, Chubby and
Ponytail move their horses to block.
Ford maneuvers his horse in close and grabs The Postman's
The Postman jumps off his horse. Ford tackles him. The
Postman shoves him away, continues on. Luke and Chubby
pounce on him. With Ford's help, they hold him down.
You can't help them!
There's still time, Ford!
The Postman struggles. They're genuinely having trouble
holding him down.
(re: The Postman)
You're hurting him.
But there's no let-up.
No, this is all my doing. I went
against your orders.
There's a moment of shocked surprise.
The Holnists we killed. You told
me to bury them. But I didn't. I
sent Bethlehem the bodies.
Because Bethlehem has to know that
we're not going to stop.
126 CONTINUED: (2) 126
God damn you, Ford. Those people
down there are dying because of
us. Because of what we did.
Bullshit. They're dying because
of Bethlehem. They're dying
because this is a shitty world.
And if we're ever going to change
it, then somebody might have to
die. If I could make it be me
down there I would. But I can't.
A terrible SCREAM gives them all pause.
127 EXT. PINE VIEW - DAY 127
Down below -- Holnist soldiers hold back a screaming
mother as her 10-year-old boy is pulled into the line.
Sheriff Briscoe is among the ten, he puts his hand on the
boy's shoulder -- the picture of grace under pressure.
128 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - ON POSTMAN AND CARRIERS 128
My God, what have I done?
We don't even know their names...
129 EXT. PINE VIEW - CLOSE ON LITTLE BOY - DAY 129
His eyes wide and fearful. Like a kitten's.
130 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - DAY 130
We know their names. The little
one's my brother. His name is
A moment of stunned silence.
What Ford did was wrong. But it
doesn't change anything for any of
us. Does it?
130 CONTINUED: 130
She looks to the other carriers -- it's written all over
their faces -- they stand with Ponytail and Ford.
131 EXT. PINE VIEW - DAY 131
Bethlehem looks the line-up over. The firing squad stands
at the ready. Bethlehem looks to the trees -- feeling
He's out there somewhere.
Watching. I can feel it.
Briscoe follows his gaze. He doesn't see anything, but
maybe gets the same feeling. Bethlehem looks to Briscoe.
You feel it too, don't you?
Didn't have to end like this,
Sheriff. He knew where I'd be if
he wanted to face me like a man.
Instead, he's hiding like a
rabbit. So much for your Postman.
Rifles are raised. Briscoe seems to grow as he throws his
shoulders back and shouts...
Ride, Postman! Ride! You hear
me? I said ride!
132 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - DAY 132
The WORDS ECHO. Nothing The Postman can do, but watch.
133 EXT. PINE VIEW - DAY 133
Bethlehem's eyes go wild --
The RIFLES BARK. Everyone falls dead.
134 EXT. RISE ABOVE PINE VIEW - DAY 134
Something in The Postman breaks. He just lies there. The
witnesses move back, taking The Postman with them.
135 EXT. PINE VIEW - DAY 135
Sheriff Briscoe lies dead. The letter from his sister
blows from his hand.
136 INT. AIRSTREAM - NIGHT 136
The Postman folds a letter, shoves it into an envelope.
He writes "Bethlehem" across the front, starts to write a
second letter. The door opens and Abby enters.
Ford thinks you're going to do
The Postman watches as, outside, the mail carriers begin
If I don't, those kids are going
to keep on getting themselves
Ford doesn't know what it means to
be a kid. He doesn't have your
memories. None of them do. All
they've got is the lousy world we
gave them. And this is the only
decent thing in it.
What? Being a postman? It's all
bullshit, Abby. All of it.
I took this uniform off a skeleton
to stay warm. I made up the rest
to stay fed. There is no restored
I knew it was something like that.
The Postman fingers the brim of the cap, softens.
136 CONTINUED: 136
Weird thing is, being a Postman
was almost the best thing that
ever happened to me...
(re: red ribbon)
Remember this? You left it behind
I always liked to think you left
it on purpose. But maybe you just
Abby doesn't answer. She leaves instead.
137 EXT. R.V. CAMP - NIGHT 137
Twelve mail carriers, including Ford, Ponytail, Chubby,
Luke and Old George, wait as The Postman steps up before
them. Abby's off to the side.
Is this everybody?
The rest are on the overdue list.
This is everybody.
Got a letter from President
An excited murmur among the carriers. Only Ford eyes The
Postman suspiciously. The Postman reads:
'Greetings all carriers.'
Greetings, President Starkey!
'I've been in contact with The
Postman. I've received all the
reports. I'm proud of you all.'
He looks at them, doesn't need to read what's in his
137 CONTINUED: 137
In dark days, in a weary world,
you gave everything and asked for
nothing. You beat back despair
and replaced it with hope and for
that your country can never repay
you. But the price is too high.
I won't see anymore of my bravest
die. It is my duty to hereby
disband the Postal Service of the
restored United States. You are
to burn your uniforms and The
Postman is to return to
Minneapolis at once. Thank you
and that is all.
A hushed silence. The Postman walks away. The carriers
exchange tired, defeated looks. Abby just sighs, knows
he's not necessarily wrong.
Ford catches up with The Postman. He stares at The
Postman; The Postman stares back.
The President never wrote that
If he could've that's what he
would have said.
Ford gestures to the second letter.
Who's the other letter to?
Bethlehem. I'm taking it to him
in the morning.
What does it say?
Mail's private. You know that.
What does it say?
It says it's over. It says we
137 CONTINUED: (2) 137
It says you quit. What about the
Tell me something, Ford. How much
mail can a dead postman deliver?
The Postman starts to walk away again.
Then I'll take it.
I can't trust you.
Ford gathers courage and confronts The Postman.
If this is the end. If this is
the last piece of mail that ever
gets delivered. I'll take it.
Whoever takes this letter probably
dies for it.
Ford thrusts out his hand.
I'm still a postman. You owe it
to me... I owe it to me.
The Postman hesitates, studies the intense young man.
Gives him the letter.
138 EXT. R.V. CAMP - STABLE AREA - DAY 138
The Postman is packing bags onto a horse as Abby
I'm going to St. Rose, Abby. And
I'm taking you with me. I know
you don't want to hear it, but
that's my child inside you. I
want to see it born somewhere
safe. I have a right to that,
Abby. Whether you like it or not.
Abby walks away. The Postman rests his head on his pack
for a moment. Heavy.
138 CONTINUED: 138
The CLICK of a GUN causes The Postman to lift his head and
see Luke standing there.
Thought I recognized you.
General Bethlehem said...
(raises the pistol)
... You should be on your knees
when I do it.
I don't give a damn what that
The general is a great man.
The general is a fucking lunatic.
The Postman steps forward. Stops when the barrel of the
pistol is right against his own chest.
You don't own a thought in that
goddamn head of yours, do you?
You want to see a man?
The Postman turns to watch as Ford starts out of camp.
That's a man.
The Postman turns, sees Luke's face fraught with confusion
You don't understand, do you? You
never will until you can think for
yourself and be willing to pay the
price for it.
Luke stares back into The Postman's eyes. A frozen beat.
138 CONTINUED: (2) 138
Abby sits on her horse. She's witness to it all. Luke is
confused and ashamed. The Postman mounts his horse and
moves to Abby's side.
You're a better man than
Bethlehem, Luke. I've seen it.
139 EXT. RIDGE - R.V. CAMP - DAY 139
Some carriers drop their uniforms into a bonfire.
The Postman and Abby ride up on the ridge above the RV
camp. They pause to look back one last time. Across the
way, on the other side, Ford is doing the same thing. As
though he senses it, Ford stops and looks back.
Ford raises his hand, salutes. Slowly, The Postman brings
up his own hand. But he doesn't salute. He waves. Good-
bye. As Ford turns away, so does The Postman.
ON CHUBBY, PONYTAIL AND CARRIER NAMED DREW
watching as The Postman and Abby disappear from sight.
Guess Minneapolis is that way.
140 EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY 140
A sign prohibits pedestrians, horses and bicycles. The
Postman and Abby ride by. The Postman no longer wears his
uniform. Their gear is packed behind their saddles.
As a family of transients begin to rise from where they're
camped in the breakdown lane:
We can't help you. We're just as
lost as you are.
The Postman rides on. Abby watches over her shoulder as
they slowly begin to sit back down.
141 EXT. HOLNIST CAMP - BETHLEHEM'S TENT - DAWN 141
Bethlehem sits waiting at his camp table. Behind him, a
141 CONTINUED: 141
This time he's painted himself in the grand Rococo-style -
- as part of the Holy Family with doves and flowers and
glowing rays from Heaven. It's awful.
Getty and Gibbs bring in a prisoner. It's Ford!
Good lord, what do we have here?
I'm a representative of the
restored United States --
Bethlehem backhands Ford.
He's got a letter. Says The
Postman sent it.
Bethlehem tears open the letter and starts to read:
'Bethlehem. This letter is my
testimony to the fact that there
is no restored United States and
there is no Postal Service.'
Then who the hell have we been
'My carriers are returning home.
In exchange, I'm asking you to let
them be. The Postman.'
Bethlehem eyes Ford with undisguised contempt.
He expects me to believe this?
It's true, sir. I was there. He
disbanded the carriers and rode
Ford turns blazing eyes to Luke -- he's been standing
there all along.
It takes a moment for the news to sink in. But it does.
141 CONTINUED: (2) 141
Then I've won. I've won.
As the assembled Holnists congratulate each other,
Bethlehem looks at Luke.
You were supposed to kill him.
I couldn't get close enough.
This one's his second in command.
Bethlehem looks Ford over.
Why doesn't that surprise me?
Ford stares back. Proud. Bethlehem looks to Getty.
Bring out the one we found
yesterday. They can die together.
A frightened CARRIER is brought up. He wears a purple
uniform with CALI sewn on the shoulder. Neither we nor
Ford have seen him before. As a firing squad assembles,
Ford is shoved over with him.
Who are you?
Name's Clark. Postal Carrier of
the restored Republic of
California. Who are you?
Ford looks at him a second, can't help but laugh. From
Gibbs; the shout of "ready!"
Postmaster Ford Lincoln Mercury.
It's an honor.
Bethlehem watches as Clark holds out his hand. Ford
shakes it. "Aim!"
Wait a minute... wait a minute!
141 CONTINUED: (3) 141
Hold your fire! You don't know
(to himself, quiet
This will never be over. It'll go
on except I'll be fighting a
Should we fire, sir?
Bethlehem crumples the letter, tosses it.
No, I won't fight a ghost. Tabula
rasa, gentlemen. A clean slate.
I want all mail carriers hunted
down. I want The Postman found.
I want him dealt with.
Colonel, organize the scouts.
He rode west?
142 EXT. RIVER - DAY 142
A pair of boots are walking through the water. It's The
Postman. He turns over a body in the water. It wears a
homemade postal uniform, a bag of mail twisted around his
arm. It's a young face, one we haven't seen before. He
looks up to Abby on a ridge.
I don't know him. Do you?
(shakes her head)
Where do you think he came from?
Puzzled, The Postman shakes his head. He gently releases
the body. The current takes it and they watch as it
continues on its way to Postal Valhalla.
143 EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY 143
The family of transients are grilled by three Holnist
scouts. One man points the way Abby and Bethlehem rode.
144 EXT. PLAIN - DAY 144
Littered with rubble. The wood, brick, steel and concrete
of what was once a small town. Amazingly, one gray house
still stands, miraculously untouched by whatever disaster
visited this place.
A wild-haired SQUATTER steps out on the porch as Abby and
The Postman ride by. He waves hello with a .45.
Howdy. Welcome to sunny
(re: the town)
What happened here?
Little accident. The ground
started to shake big time and the
Hanford nuclear plant went...
(motions an explosion)
... 'Poof.' Destroyed everything
for miles. But the sunsets are
You ever hear of a city called St.
Friend, I've never heard of St.
The Squatter laughs and laughs -- like it was the funniest
thing in the world. The Postman and Abby exchange a look,
continue on their way.
Hey, don't go! I got Monopoly in
the house! Boardwalk, Park Place
and the Reading Railroad!
145 EXT. EDGE OF RUBBLE - DAY 145
Ponytail, Chubby, and Draw watching from afar. Chubby has
You think that's President
145 CONTINUED: 145
Ponytail takes the telescope from Chubby for a look.
What makes you so sure?
President lives in a white house.
That guy's place is gray.
Drew and Chubby exchange a look. That makes sense.
146 EXT. SKY - DAY 146
A lightning bolt shreds the sky. It's day, but the sky is
black with rain.
147 EXT. HIGH TENSION TOWERS - DAY 147
The useless towers cutting across a valley. Rain beats
down, as The Postman and Abby trudge along.
Up ahead, a rail-road tunnel promises shelter from the
(re: the tunnel)
We can rest in there.
Abby is quick to agree.
Out of the corner of his eye, The Postman catches a blur
He turns his head quickly, but he's barely in time to see
a wooden basket, attached to one of the high wires, swing
from a distant tower. There's a sentry inside it.
The basketed sentry whistles away at 40 mph, heading
straight for an adjacent tower. In a matter of seconds,
he's lost from view.
The Postman looks back at Abby. She's shivering.
Did you see that?
(shaking her head)
I'm hungry, Postman.
The Postman guides her toward the train tunnel.
148 INT. TRAIN TUNNEL - DAY 148
Abby sleeps beside the fire. The Postman, silhouetted
against the flames, heads toward the far tunnel exit.
149 EXT. FAR SIDE OF TUNNEL - DAY 149
The Postman peers into the rain, taking in the view of a
distant bridge. Abby comes to stand at his side.
150 EXT. COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE (BRIDGE CITY) - DAY 150
A town settled between spans of a steel truss bridge. The
Columbia River rushes far below. A sentry spots Abby and
The Postman approaching, blows a whistle.
Set the rifle on the ground.
This old thing? It isn't even
loaded. Where are we?
The BRIDGE CITY MAYOR, a middle-aged retro-hippie, steps
You're in Bridge City. Where we
don't allow guns.
The Postman sets down the carbine. The Guard steps over
to scoop it up.
Sentry said you were coming.
The Postman stares at the Mayor a beat.
I know you. You're famous.
I was once. Not anymore.
Are you looking to cross?
We will be. Right now, we'd just
appreciate some food.
(as the Mayor
nods his assent)
I got some kids behind me, too.
150 CONTINUED: 150
(as the Mayor
agrees once more)
Hey, guys, come on in! I know
you're out there!
Boy, is he smart...
As they stand, show themselves.
151 EXT. NORTH BOUND LANE (BRIDGE CITY) - DUSK 151
Fog rolls in. Abby rests.
Ponytail, Chubby and Drew look up gratefully as one of the
citizens of Bridge City doles out bread.
The Mayor steps over, hands The Postman two loaves.
For you and your wife.
Thanks. She's not my wife.
The exchange cuts Abby like a knife. She gets up and
leaves. The Mayor keeps his council -- not sure what to
make of this arrangement.
Let me ask you something, have you
ever heard of a town with electric
Never been. But they say it's a
ways down on the coast.
151 CONTINUED: 151
Couple hundred miles at least. I
couldn't say for sure.
It's the discovery of a lifetime. The Postman looks to
the west end of the bridge, where Abby stands alone.
You seem like a decent man. And
these seem like decent people.
We try to be.
And this seems like a safe place.
You want to leave her?
The Postman looks back to the Mayor, then slowly nods.
All of them. I'll give you the
horses and my gear. Abby's
special. She's strong. Probably
end up running the place.
Why don't you take the night to
think. Decide if that's what you
152 EXT. BRIDGE - NIGHT 152
Fog obscures the east end. A sentry squints at the
MUFFLED CLOP of HOOVES. The mist parts to reveal, seventy
yards away: three Holnist scouts on horseback.
Emissaries from hell.
As the sentry blows a whistle...
As word spreads, folks move down the bridge for a look.
Eating their bread, The Postman, Abby and the carriers
152 CONTINUED: 152
The Mayor stands across from the lead scout -- conferring.
Finally, the Mayor points him back the way he came. The
lead scout doesn't budge, spots The Postman in the crowd.
He and The Postman seem to stare at each other forever.
Then, with a flick of the reins, he's gone. The other two
follow. Swallowed up by the misty evening gloom. The
Postman's head swims dizzily. It's not over.
The Mayor returns to dozens of nervous questions.
They're looking for The Postman.
No such thing anymore.
Man on the horse says there is.
Says he thinks he's here. Says
he's coming back with friends.
A little BOY steps forward, sings out.
What's a postman?
A silent moment. It's been so long, no one's sure how to
answer. The Postman looks down at the ground. The
carriers exchange deflated looks. Then...
You never heard of a postman?
He shakes his head "no." Seems a shame. As The Postman
looks over at Abby, she takes a page from his book.
There used to be a postman for
every street in America. They
wore uniforms. And hats. Like
She goes to The Postman's gear, returns with his postal
cap. Sets it on the boy's head.
152 CONTINUED: (2) 152
My postman knew the name of every
kid on my street. He knew our
birthdays. He'd even find the
baseballs you'd hit down the
street. I can still see the smile
on his face. The tip of his cap
-- when he had a letter in his bag
with my name on it. Mine always
came just after school. You could
set your watch by him. Unless you
were waiting on something special
-- like a present from somewhere
far away or a letter from your
sweetheart. Then it seemed like
he'd never come. I used to think
they could make time stand still.
Several other listeners nod -- they're completely with
I don't think we ever really
understood what they meant to us
until they were gone. Getting a
letter made you feel like you were
part of something bigger than
yourself. No place was ever too
far away for the postman. So
nobody ever had to be alone. The
postman was someone you could
count on. Things just made more
sense when they were around.
That's the kind of world we used
to have. A world a lot of us took
for granted. And now we've got
this one. And it makes me
wonder -- what kind of world do I
want my child to live in? I want
my child to live in a world where
hopes and dreams aren't just lies
you tell yourself to get through
another day. I want my child, and
I want my friends -- I want all of
us to live in a world where you
still get your mail.
It's a moment before anyone speaks.
(to The Postman)
Are you The Postman?
152 CONTINUED: (3) 152
The Postman takes the cap off the little boy's head,
touches the emblem, and answers.
I've heard of you, man. You're
Yeah, I guess I am. And all of a
sudden, I'm not wearing the right
And as he puts on his cap, he accepts the mantle as well.
153 EXT. BRIDGE - CLOSE ON PINE BOX - MORNING 153
lowered from the top of the bridge. Hands reach up to
steady it and bring it gently to the ground. It's one of
The Postman and Abby gasp as the Mayor opens the lid to
reveal: 20 well-oiled rifles and 15 pistols with ammo.
The Postman blinks over at the Mayor.
Fact that we don't allow 'em
doesn't mean we don't have 'em.
We're not stupid, after all.
I'm sorry I've brought this on
No need to be sorry. Long as we
get our mail on time.
Ready for duty, sir.
The Postman looks over to see Ponytail, Drew and Chubby
ride up. Like him, they are back in uniform.
The order was to burn all
The carriers look away -- sheepish.
153 CONTINUED: 153
You know what to do then?
Talk to the people. Gather who's
willing. Tell them it's
important. Tell them we can make
And tell 'em we're going to kick
Yeah, tell them that, too.
154 EXT. NEAR BRIDGE - DAY 154
At the edge of the Gorge. The three carriers, and the
mounted locals thunder off the bridge and down the road.
155 EXT. HIGH TENSION TOWER - POSTMAN AND ABBY 155
The Mayor is in the b.g. helping one of the sentries
prepare the basket for travel.
This is hard for me.
Michael was the best man I ever
knew. I never thought there'd be
another man I could love the way I
I don't know why I've been so
blessed. And I've tried to find a
way to be thankful, but I swear,
if I lose you...
Her eyes start to tear and he takes her in his arms.
Abby, do you think a lie can
become the truth?
I don't know, but I believe in
you. You have a gift, Postman. I
saw it back in Pine View.
155 CONTINUED: 155
You made Mrs. March feel like she
could see again. You made Ford
feel like he was part of the
world. You give out hope like it
was candy in your pocket.
He starts to speak. She stops him, taking his hand.
When you come back, we'll be
waiting here for you. So you can
take us to St. Rose.
The Postman lets go of her hand and starts for the basket.
The Mayor gestures to the line of towers extending into
There's three good-sized towns up
that way. Enough folks to be a
big help to you. If you can
convince them to come.
As The Postman steps into the basket, he makes the mistake
of looking over the edge. It's a long, long way down.
A lot higher than it looks, huh?
The Postman looks at the contraption with more than a
little trepidation. The Mayor grins.
Don't tell anybody, but I like to
ride the damn thing just for the
hell of it. Being a city official
has its perks.
He winks and as he reaches for the release pin. The
Postman's hand meets his there.
Trust me, man. This'll get you
there a lot faster.
How do I stop --
But it's too late. The Mayor releases the pin.
155 CONTINUED: (2) 155
Don't worry about it. Good luck
Plummeting into the Columbia River Gorge. The Mayor lets
out a rebel yell.
The Postman is whipped along, past the riders below. The
156 EXT. PINE VIEW, OREGON - DAY 156
The town's gone, but the palisade remains. Chubby rides
along it, exhorting the people who watch from above. But
it's The Postman we hear, all the magic back in his voice.
THE POSTMAN (V.O.)
Once more into the breach, dear
friends, once more. Or close the
wall with our dead. In peace
nothing so becomes a man as
modesty and humility. But when
the blast of war blows in our
ears, then imitate the action of
157 EXT. ELVIS, OREGON - NIGHT 157
A few makeshift structures are back up. Carrying a torch,
Ponytail gallops hard into town. People wake, including
Mrs. March's daughter. As Ponytail speaks to them...
THE POSTMAN (V.O.)
Summon up the blood. Disguise
fair nature with rage and lend the
eye a terrible aspect.
158 EXT. FIELD - DAY 158
Captured by a Holnist cavalry patrol, Old George and four
other carriers are lined up, hands bound before them.
Holnist soldiers force them to their knees as Gibbs
organizes an impromptu firing squad.
158 CONTINUED: 158
Old George looks down the line. The carriers are about to
Steady, boys, steady.
And as Gibbs steps up, all hope is gone.
In accordance with Law Eight...
Get on with it, you floppy-eared
We see the faces of the young carriers. Defeated, bitter.
But there's a sudden spark in Old George's eyes. He
starts to rise.
The soldiers pick up their guns and that's when they see
Riding over the crest. Galloping toward them. Behind
him, forty new mail carriers. All riding like mad. One
of them carries the flag of the restored United States.
Gibbs and his men run for their horses. SHOTS are FIRED.
Four Holnists go down. The rest gallop away.
The Postman and his carriers meet.
159 EXT. CROSSROADS - DAY 159
Converging. The Postman with his forty-five coming from
the west. Drew, Chubby, and a ragtag thirty coming from
the north. And from the south, Ponytail leading a
contingent of fifty!
The forces converge and continue east.
160 EXT. HOLNIST CAMP - DAY 160
The army has gathered. Three hundred strong.
Bethlehem and Getty stand outside the command tent,
listening to a winded, frightened Gibbs. We FOLLOW
Bethlehem's eyes OVER Gibbs' SHOULDERS TO the horizon,
where he sees: The Postman and his army of two hundred
carriers cresting a distant rise.
160 CONTINUED: 160
... We were outnumbered, sir.
A least a hundred. With guns.
With guns? Are you sure?
Looks more like two hundred to
He steps away to get a better vantage point of the
approaching army. He reaches out -- Getty hands him a
pair of binoculars.
(donning a pair of
Only thing worse than a coward is
one who can't count. Lieutenant,
do yourself a favor. Die well in
this battle. In my army a
deserter's life is a brief and
Bethlehem watches The Postman through the binoculars -- a
hint of a smile on his face.
At last, someone with courage
enough to bring the fight to me.
A Holnist soldier stands by with Bethlehem's horse. The
General mounts -- the model of military calm and
precision. Getty reins up beside him.
Reckoning, gentlemen. This is the
day I've dreamed of.
161 EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY 161
A sea of wildflowers separates the carriers from the
Holnists. The monster John Deere gun is ready for battle.
162 EXT. HOLNIST LINE - DAY 162
Bethlehem stands with Getty, scanning the postal line with
his binoculars. The carriers look, just spoiling for a
fight. Bethlehem lowers his binoculars, smiles grimly.
They're an eager-looking bunch.
Morale's a dangerous thing.
Bring him up. I want this postman
to see how the game is played.
163 EXT. CARRIERS' LINE - DAY 163
The Postman, Chubby, Ponytail and Old George and all the
carriers have taken positions.
The Postman sights through a telescope.
He scans further down the line -- then stops when he sees
Ford. Bloody, beaten within inches of his life. He's
shackled -- surrounded by Holnist guards.
The Postman's eyes turn to stone.
Stay here. No one moves until I
give the orders.
He clicks his horse forward, toward the Holnist line.
164 EXT. HOLNIST LINE - DAY 164
Bethlehem, flanked by Getty and the Holnist Sergeant,
watches as The Postman makes his approach. He reaches
into his pocket, withdraws a white kerchief and holds it
in the air.
Are they surrendering?
God, I hope not.
He watches for a moment as The Postman crosses the field -
- moving well within range of Holnist fire. Then, he
coaxes his horse forward.
165 EXT. MEADOW - DAY 165
Bethlehem and The Postman riding toward each other. They
meet when The Postman is almost three-quarters of the way
over to the Holnists' side.
BETHLEHEM AND POSTMAN
As they come face-to-face.
My little shipping clerk.
We're both a couple of frauds.
You know it; I know it.
Great men are made by other great
men. Patton had Rommel. Grant
had Lee. But I get you.
You're no fucking general. You're
a copying machine salesman.
You're not even a good painter.
Are you trying to goad me into a
Wouldn't it be great if wars could
be fought just by the assholes who
started them? We could settle
this thing right here. You and
Unfortunately, it doesn't work
It does in your army.
The Postman kicks his horse up into a gallop, and rides up
the Holnist line. No one, least of all Bethlehem, is sure
what's going on.
I invoke law seven of the Laws of
Eight! Any man may challenge for
leadership of the clan!
165 CONTINUED: 165
The Postman wheels his horse around.
I challenge you.
Bethlehem is caught completely by surprise, but recovers.
You're not a Holnist. You're not
a member of the clan. You don't
have the right.
The Postman rolls up his sleeve. He rides the Holnist
lines displaying his brand for all to see. The Holnists
murmur amongst themselves.
I have every right. I invoke law
Bethlehem can't believe his eyes.
I challenge for leadership of the
The seed of doubt is planted. Is Bethlehem violating one
of the Laws of Eight? The men look at one another. Gibbs
looks to Getty. Bethlehem looks from The Postman's tattoo
to his face.
Where do I know you from?
'Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs
of war.' Remember that?
Shakespeare. The one who didn't
want to fight.
I should've found a way to kill
you then. But you seemed so
Law seven it is.
This war is settled here!
165 CONTINUED: (2) 165
As The Postman nods in agreement.
They take their positions -- and without a word -- they
kick their horses into a charge. Coming straight for each
other like medieval jousters.
Bethlehem reaches for his sword. But before it clears the
scabbard, The Postman lunges.
The horses collide. Bethlehem and The Postman hit the
Holnists and Carriers alike begin to move forward for a
The fight is fierce. Bloody. The Postman and Bethlehem
are at each other like coiled snakes.
It's more of a fight than any of the Holnists --
especially Getty -- expected. The spectators pull in
Both combatants have taken a beating -- and still, they
fight on -- trading bloody, raw-knuckled punches.
One of Bethlehem's connects. The Postman loses his
footing, hits the ground -- knocking his head on a rock
with a resounding CRACK. Dazed, he's slow to rise.
It's just the moment Bethlehem needs, he straddles the
fallen Postman, reaches for his knife with one hand --
grabs The Postman's throat with the other.
I study people. I know your
problem. Do you know why you
The Postman can't answer.
You have nothing to fight for.
You don't care about anything.
You don't value anything. You
don't believe in anything. That's
what makes me better.
The Postman grabs Bethlehem's knife-hand -- using all his
remaining strength to keep him at bay.
I believe in the United States
165 CONTINUED: (3) 165
The Postman lets go of Bethlehem's hands, grabs his belt
and pulls him over. As they roll to their feet, The
Postman club-fists Bethlehem on the side of the head.
Nor gloom of night...
Will stay this courier from the
swift completion of his appointed
Bethlehem reels, stumbling back. The Postman pounces on
top of him, begins to strangle him. Bethlehem tries to
pry the fingers from his throat, but can't. He's going to
The Postman is urged on. By both sides. Holnists.
Carriers. Ford. Even Holnist Luke. He looks up at the
faces -- and finally lets Bethlehem go. The General gasps
As Ponytail and Chubby move forward to untie Ford, The
Postman looks to both sides.
It doesn't have to be this way.
We don't have to kill each other.
We can live together. We can --
Ford takes Chubby's pistol, sets it against the side of
Law three. Mercy is for the weak.
Bethlehem shakes his head -- doesn't want him to, either.
Law eight. There is only one
penalty and that penalty is death.
Ford's going to shoot.
165 CONTINUED: (4) 165
He isn't worth it. I'm the head
of the clan now! There are going
to be new laws!
Law one! No more killing!
There's going to be peace!
The Postman looks at carriers and Holnists alike.
Who else? Who else has a law?
Everyone has to learn how to read.
That's law two. Who else?!
Three. Liberty and justice for
Four. No more tattoos.
Law five. Give peace a chance!
HOLNIST SOLDIER #2
Law six. Mercy is, it's okay
Seven! Bring back vacations!
The Postman nods solemnly, looks to Ford.
How about it, Ford Lincoln
Mercury? You give us law eight.
Ford grits his teeth.
(close -- for Ford)
Be a leader, Ford.
Ford FIRES! Bethlehem flinches, then sags as he realizes
Ford has fired into the ground.
165 CONTINUED: (5) 165
... Live and let live.
The Postman smiles in relief as Ford lowers the revolver
and starts to hand the weapon over.
Forgotten for an instant, Bethlehem makes a last, wild
lunge, grabs Ford's gun.
As Bethlehem aims at The Postman, a SHOT rings out. Hit
in the chest, Bethlehem blinks in amazement before he
falls to the ground, dying. Getty has shot him.
Would I had bestowed that time in
the tongues that I have in
fencing, dancing and bear-baiting.
Oh, had I but followed the arts...
Grow like savages -- as soldiers
will -- that nothing do but
mediate on blood.
Getty throws his rifle on the ground. Other weapons are
laid down. The war, at long last, is over.
Somebody take a letter.
166 INT. ABBY'S PLACE (BRIDGE CITY) - DAY 166
Abby, in bed, holding her new baby in her arms. She's
reading a letter. What she reads makes her smile. She
puts the letter down and cuddles her baby.
Your daddy wrote to tell you that
he'll be here as soon as he can.
And that he loves you very much.
Abby looks up to see The Postman standing at her door.
She looks at him, smiling with tears in her eyes.
166 CONTINUED: 166
Mail's slow. I'll have to see
Abby smiles down at the child in her arms.
Your daughter. Her name is Hope.
The Postman takes the tiny child in his arms.
And so my father returned home
after the Holnists were
167 EXT. ST. ROSE - DAY 167
A beach town. No wall, no sentries, just cottages lining
a dozen sand-swept streets. A crowd has gathered to hear
The Postman's daughter, HOPE, mid-thirties, speak. Beside
her, a bearded, 52-year-old Ford in his postmaster's
uniform. They stand before a large, tarp-draped statue.
But he never did see St. Rose.
There was too much to be done.
He'd made a promise and in keeping
it -- he traded one dream for
another. With no regrets. And
so, in honor of my father...
She unveils the statue: we've seen this before. It's The
Postman on his horse, low-slung in the saddle, leaning
down to pluck the letter from the Little Boy's hand.
There's an OLDER MAN in the audience who seems especially
moved by the statue. There's a younger man beside him.
That was me.
As St. Rose applauds...