Written by RON SHELTON
Based on material by AL STUMP
July 1993 Draft
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Nice guys finish last.
1 INT. OLD OFFICE (SANTA BARBARA, CA) - DAY (1960) 1
The room is California Spanish, thick walls, arches, and
light spills in from a mission window. But we don't have
any sense of place just yet. At first there are just
EXTREME CLOSEUP ON TYPEWRITER KEYS
of an old Underwood upright, well-worn and ancient. A
woman's fingertips with red nail polish are placed on the
keys. They wiggle.
CLOSE ON PIPE IN ASHTRAY
Smoke curls. A man's hand picks it up.
CLOSE ON MAN'S HAT AND COAT
on a coat rack.
CLOSE ON WASTE BASKET
Overflowing with crunched-up paper.
lies on a couch near the window. He stands up suddenly
and looks out the window. AL STUMP, 40, is sharply
dressed -- tie, dress shirt, cufflinks. He's staring at
HIS POV - COURTYARD BELOW - BEAUTIFUL BRUNETTE
in high heels crosses the courtyard. She glances up
toward Stump, then quickly turns away and disappears.
CLOSE ON STUMP
He sighs, and turns.
The muse has not descended,
(off her silence)
The muse has not descended.
(off her silence)
God damn it, Lucille, you hear me?
1 CONTINUED: 1
ANGLE ON LUCILLE
The woman at the typewriter, a 50-year old steno/secre-
tary, responds calmly.
The muse has not descended.
Yes! The muse has left me
stranded here like a beached
whale -- only one phrase, one
word, from finishing the greatest
essay I've ever written! One
word, the right word -- Flaubert
called it 'le mot juste' -- I
ever tell you that?
Lucille is a longsuffering saint.
'Le mot juste' -- the exact right
word the writer needs to tell his
story. Yessir, you've mentioned
Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce --
they all searched for 'le mot
juste' until they cried, until
What is this essay about again?
I mean what is it really about?
You said it was about the quote
unquote primal issues of survival,
man against nature, etcetera --
that's what you said.
Ohyeah... so... we end the essay
1 CONTINUED: (2) 1
'The tarpon leaps shimmering into
the late cross light of the keys,
a primeval moment frozen in...
... frozen in'...
Lucille types it out.
Shimmering tarpon -- very good,
... 'frozen in' what?
I don't know, Lucille, that's what
the Muse will tell me if she ever
... 'frozen in'...
The PHONE RINGS -- Lucille answers it.
Yes? Yes? Just a minute, I'll
see if he's available.
It's your wife -- are you and she
Stump's cavalier attitude stops cold. He starts to reach
for the phone, then stops.
I dunno. How does she sound?
Don't ask me to interpret.
Stump is suddenly a nervous wreck. He hesitates.
Tell her... tell her... I'll
talk... no... tell her I'm out --
I'll call her later...
God damn it.
1 CONTINUED: (3) 1
Apparently he's out, Mrs. Stump --
I'll have him call you back.
She hangs up. The mood has shifted.
I need a drink.
What about 'le mot juste,' Mr.
Fuck 'le mot juste,' Lucille!
Finish the damn thing yourself.
'The primeval moment is frozen in'
whatever the hell you want it to
be. Did you know that James Joyce
let his secretary -- none other
than Samuel Beckett -- revise and
edit Molly's solliloquy in
Ulysses? You're my Beckett -- I
give you 'le mot juste!' Just
get the damn thing in the mail
so I can get paid.
Problems with the Mrs.?
Stump reaches for a beat-up pogo stick which leans against
the wall in his office.
I don't know. I need a drink.
He grabs his hat and coat and we begin hearing the number
one hit song of 1960, PERCY FAITH'S schmaltzy recording of
"A Summer Place."
2 EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - LATE AFTERNOON 2
Stump pogo sticks down the sidewalk, tipping his hat to
pedestrians. They're not alarmed. He's the town
eccentric. He pogos across a street and towards --
3 EXT. THE SPORTSMAN'S LOUNGE - LATE AFTERNOON 3
A watering hole like a million others. He pogo sticks
right in the front door.
4 INT. THE SPORTSMAN'S - LATE AFTERNOON 4
A classic city bar, a hangout for drunks, philosophers,
and especially sportswriters and journalists.
Our man hops off his pogo stick -- nobody even notices,
and joins his cronies, five sportswriters full of dogmatic
opinions on every subject known to man.
FRANK, a sportswriter, is at the jukebox feeding quarters.
He looks up routinely, they're all regulars here.
Stump addresses the sportswriters at the table as if they
were a small audience in a lounge.
Awright, awright... how do you get
five old ladies to say 'fuck?'
Jeez, I dunno, how? Etc...
Stump laughs. The others groan. REYNALDO, 40's, black,
speaks up. He's one of the regulars.
Okay, I got one --
A drunk is taking a piss in front
of a bar, a bus drives by, real
fast right along the curb, and
knocks his thing off. Drunk picks
up his thing, puts it in his
pocket, goes into a bar, reaches
into his pocket and puts his thing
on the bar. 'Look't that,' he
says, 'bus knocked my thing off.'
Bartender says, 'that ain't your
thing -- that's a cigar butt.'
4 CONTINUED: 4
Drunk reaches into his other
pocket and slaps another thing
on the bar. 'There,' he says,
'bus knocked my thing off.'
Bartender says, 'you're drunk and
that ain't your thing either.
That's another cigar butt.'
Drunk looks down at both cigar
butts and back up at the
bartender and says, 'God damn it,
I mushta smoked my dick.'
Everyone roars, even Stump. But Frank, as usual, is hyper
serious and never quite gets into the revelry.
Amidst this levity, gentlemen, I
have some real concerns. Mark my
words, people will look back on
this year and say that 1960 was
the year that Western Civilization
began its downward trajectory.
You need to get laid, Frank.
Guys, guys, c'mon... do you really
think things are as good as they
used to be? You think Jack
Kennedy is qualified to be
Kennedy may not be qualified, but
-- Jackie's a babe -- and that's
good enough for me.
They're a happily married couple
and that oughta stand for
something these days...
Every man nods in solemn agreement.
Speaking of being happily married,
Al, are you and your old lady
still having problems?
4 CONTINUED: (2) 4
Oh no, the wife and I are all
patched up -- doin' fantastic.
Good to hear... awright... way to
go, Stumpy... (Etc.)
I mean look at us -- we call
ourselves writers but we just
watch ballgames and get drunk a
lot. You call that writing?
Yes I do.
In the department store of life,
sports is the toy department --
Yeah, besides, Alan here's writing
a serious novel, aren't ya?
Yeah, well I haven't started yet
but I'm gonna. I've been busy.
You guys are pathetic. Ya write
for one reason -- a paycheck.
More art was created for money
than for passion. Take your
platitudes and shove 'em, Frank.
I'm gonna write a novel too,
The Great American Novel, I
It could come from my pen.
You're a barbershop writer, Al --
you write sugar-coated pieces for
guys to skim when they're waiting
for a haircut!
4 CONTINUED: (3) 4
Awright, that's it! Let's go!
Settle this right here!
Stump raises his fists as if to fight; Frank responds.
A scuffle breaks out, a lot of posturing, feinting, but
they're all too chicken to do anything. Nobody wants to
A PHONE RINGS at the bar. The bartender answers the
phone, shouts at the obnoxious sportwriters.
Stump! For you.
Stump goes to the phone, interrupting his own "fight."
Phone call saved your ass.
Stump grabs the phone, covering an ear to hear better.
Yeah... yeah... who?... no...
you're kidding?... when?
Stump hangs up the phone and turns. His face registers
shock, or more precisely, bewilderment and wonder.
(as they ignore
They do, and give Stump their ruffled attention.
Cobb wants to see me.
Ty Cobb! How many Cobbs are
This news instantly sobers the room.
4 CONTINUED: (4) 4
Ty Cobb? I thought he was dead?
Not yet. He said he wants to
tell me the real story of his
life before he croaks.
You were just talking to Ty Cobb?
The Georgia Peach himself.
This impresses the hell out of everyone in the room. Even
Stump is still a little dazed.
They say Cobb is crazy. The
meanest sonofabitch who ever
I heard he killed a man.
Maybe so, but -- he was the
greatest baseball player of them
Yeah, the best, no one close,
Frank suddenly is cautionary, concerned, paternal.
Listen, Al, be careful --
I ain't gettin' my ass shot, don't
No, not that -- the story.
This is like Ivan the Terrible
inviting somebody into the Czar's
palace before he died.
Except Ivan was a nicer guy...
4 CONTINUED: (5) 4
Don't let Cobb bullshit you. This
is your shot. This is all our
(as cronies agree)
When does he want to see you?
5 INT. NEARLY EMPTY MOVIE THEATER - DAY 5
Al Stump sits alone in the theater, except for a teenaged
boy sweeping the aisles, who stops to watch the screen.
I gathered all the film footage
that existed on Cobb -- which
wasn't much -- and rented the
local theater for the afternoon...
I, too, had thought that the great
Ty Cobb had been dead for awhile...
6 ANGLE ON SCREEN 6
The screen fills with (B&W) Movietone Newsreel footage of
Ty Cobb, complete with overly sincere NARRATION and MUSIC.
NEWSREEL NARRATOR (V.O.)
This 1905 cameo of an 18-year-old
youth shows a peaches-and-cream
complexion and the piercing eyes
of a lad who would become, etc...
Onscreen (B&W) -- Cobb as a young ballplayer followed by
images of Cobb's famous batting stance, Cobb clowning,
His reputation as being difficult
at best, psychotic at worst,
preceded him. But if there was
one thing I knew after all my
years as a journalist covering
politicians, celebrities, and
sports heroes, it was this --
6 CONTINUED: 6
Onscreen (B&W) -- Cobb with children, Cobb with celebri-
ties, Cobb in a parade honoring him, and always, Cobb's
dashing, swashbuckling style of play.
The 'facts' -- and public
perception of those 'facts' --
frequently bear little
Onscreen (B&W) -- Cobb in action -- His demon fury gives
way to the fierce joy of his playing. He slashes a ball
up the alley, turns first and never hesitates at second,
and as the relay comes into third --
One thing was beyond argument --
he was the most brilliant athlete
of his time... perhaps of any time.
I was determined to find out who
was the real Ty Cobb.
Cobb slides with spikes high and a cloud of dust. There
is something thrilling and terrifying in the image.
7 EXT. MOTHER LODE COUNTRY (CALIFORNIA) - LATE AFTERNOON 7
Stump's car, a late model Buick, moves across the stunning
grasslands at the western base of the Sierra Nevadas. We
begin hearing his voice, then see him inside the car
8 EXT. FOOTHILLS OF THE SIERRAS - DUSK 8
Stump's car heads up into the darkening mountains.
They said Cobb owned property all
over the country, but in recent years
had been staying in his hunting lodge
at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevadas.
9 AERIAL SHOT - LONE PAIR OF HEADLIGHTS 9
moving up into the Sierras, into rugged terrain and thick
10 INT. CAR - DUSK 10
Stump straining to see the road, a bit wary of this drive.
Driving into the Sierras at night
with winter coming on wasn't the
smartest decision I'd ever made
but it seemed better than being
late for my first meeting with
First drops of rain begin hitting the windshield --
Stump hits the wiper button and the floppy blades
begin ineffectively wiping the windshield. Stump
struggles with his vision.
POV SHOT THROUGH WINDSHIELD
A dismal, wet and obscured view of the mountain road,
climbing higher into the Sierras. A small roadside gas
station comes INTO VIEW, and --
Stump pulls his car into the station.
11 EXT. JONAH'S SERVICE STATION - DUSK (RAINING LIGHTLY) 11
Stump gets out, blows on his hands. It's cold, and a
man comes out, the gas station owner, JONAH, 55. The
man services the car throughout the conversation.
Fill it up and replace the
You got it.
Colder than a witch's tit, eh?
It's just starting. We got three-
four feet of snow another thousand
feet up. Where ya going? Skiing?
I hate skiing.
11 CONTINUED: 11
Actually, I'm going to meet Ty Cobb.
Cobb?! He stopped here for gas
once, I asked him for an autograph
for my boy and he told me to shove
it where the sun don't shine.
I hear he's got a way with kids...
Stump heads to a pay phone as the attendant replaces the
wiper blades. Stump's breath hangs heavy in the air.
It's cold. Freezing. He drops a set of coins in the
call box. He blows on his hands and pulls up his collar
-- he wasn't prepared for the weather to be this cold.
He comes to life when he hears a voice on the other
end -- a voice we never hear.
Hey, baby, it's me...
Al... your husband...
I'm up in the woods somewhere on
Listen, sweetheart, listen --
nobody can love you the way I
love you and I want you to take
me back. I made a mistake.
Okay, lots of mistakes. I know
I'm not worthy.
We hear a CLICK.
Honey? Sweetheart? Baby?
He flicks the receiver hook several times. She's gone.
12 EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - NIGHT 12
RAIN POUNDS down as the car climbs to higher elevation.
13 INT. CAR - NIGHT (RAINY) 13
Stump struggles with a map under the dome light as he
EXT. SNOW COVERED MOUNTAIN PASS - HIGHWAY - NIGHT
Stump's car passes a sign that tells all: DONNER PASS.
I confess I was looking forward
to seeing Cobb and being near
his brilliance. My own life
seemed on hold, somehow. Everyday
churning out the same old articles,
drinking at 4 in the afternoon
with the same old guys, the same
old excuses for not writing a
novel, the same old confused
marriages that we all needed
and were trying to get out of
at the same time... Cobb was a
god whose brilliance, however
difficult, could rub off on
me. His problems were different
14 ANGLE ON STUMP'S CAR 14
which pulls off the road and heads up a small mountain
road among snow-covered pines.
A row of mailboxes catches Stump's attention, and he
pulls over to review the names with a flashlight. He
lights his way across the names of a dozen boxes --
The last box, enormously oversized, bears the name "COBB."
CLOSE ON STUMP
He smiles. Perfect.
BACK TO SCENE
His car heads up a mountain road a final hundred yards,
comes around a bend in the trees and there it is --
14 POV SHOT - HUGE MOUNTAIN LODGE 14
In the grand style but, like the mailbox, grotesquely
15 EXT. MOUNTAIN LODGE - NIGHT 15
Stump parks and approaches somewhat warily.
The sound of BREAKING GLASS and SHOUTING voices.
Stump hurries to the door to escape the rain and finds
refuge under the eave. The noise is frightening from
that close. He stands unsurely -- does he knock?
The door is thrown open -- a black man, WILLIE, 40, with
a suitcase stands wildly upset, screaming back into the
Fuck you, Mr. Cobb, I have too much
dignity to spend another moment
with you. I hope you die before
the sun comes up and may you rot
The man whirls and is shocked to see Stump standing
there with his own suitcase.
Who are you?
I'm a writer.
You mean he actually found somebody
to take the job?
Willie bursts out into crazed laughter, as if the world
of Cobb was finally too absurd. Cobb and a writer? In
this weather? In any weather? And the man walks through
the rain, laughing, heading on foot down off the mountain
as Stump just stares.
Stump turns and steps into the open doorway.
16 INT. MOUNTAIN LODGE - NIGHT 16
Stump in the front door -- The place is enormous and
barely lit. Taxidermied game hangs on the wall.
Stump is terrified.
A MAN is sitting in an overstuffed chair reading a news-
paper. Dressed in a business suit and tie, he seems
oblivious to the surrounding chaos. He also seems out of
The man looks at Stump and points upstairs without
More CRASHING sounds from upstairs.
The silence is shattered by a SCRATCH, then VIOLIN MUSIC
from upstairs. STATIC suggests a record is playing.
17 ANGLE ON STAIRS 17
Stump climbs the stairs with caution -- Until he's just
outside the half open door from which light spills. He
Hello? Mr. Cobb?
A GUNSHOT RINGS OUT -- Ripping through the door. Stump
is terrified -- he gasps for air.
Thank you very much, Mr. Cobb,
but I don't need this job that
Stump turns and creeps back toward the stairs, but --
ANOTHER GUNSHOT RINGS OUT -- SHATTERING a hanging LAMP.
Stump freeses one more time. Silence. Then the
Yes, Mr. Stump -- you do need this
job that bad.
17 CONTINUED: 17
Now come in here and meet the great
I won't hurt you.
Stump breathes deeply and steps into the doorway -- He
does it as if there's no choice, accepting his fate. And
18 POV SHOT - TY COBB 18
Lying in bed in a robe. Unshaven. Bottles of booze and
food everywhere. And bottles of pills sit on every
surface. Two hunting dogs sit on the bed with him.
A small record player sits next to he bed. A record
spins, filling the room with FRITZ KREISLER VIOLIN SOLOS.
He places the gun on his night table, knocking pills and
bottles to the floor with a crash he barely notices.
When he speaks it is without a snarl, without threat --
simply, even sweetly, he says:
On the violin -- Fritz Kreisler.
I'm a great admirer of his. I'm
also a great admirer of yours.
BACK TO SCENE
But you are a hopeless romantic
and only a moderate success.
Sir, I am the most successful
sportswriter in America and not
merely a 'moderate success.'
Give me those pills over there.
18 CONTINUED: 18
Stump retrieves some pills that Cobb is pointing towards.
Cobb washes down a handful of pills with a bottle of
Scotch. Momentarily revitalized, Cobb hands Stump a
folded letter which Stump opens to read.
That's an invitation to a
testimonial dinner at the Baseball
Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New
York. You're taking me there --
when is it?
(looking at the letter)
A few weeks.
All the great ones will be there --
The great Mickey Cochrane will be
there! Hornsby, Sisler, Ott, the
Waner Brothers... we used to have
some parties, Stump, I'll tell ya
that right now...
We can't forget.
I won't forget.
Look at me closely, Al...
Lie after lie has been written
about me -- my whole life I've
You're gonna tell the real story
of Ty Cobb.
What's the 'real' story?
Cobb climbs slowly out of bed. His words are reasoned
and not without passion.
That's why you're here.
See, there's two kinds of writers.
The kind that spin endless yarns
about small subjects... that's you.
18 CONTINUED: (2) 18
Or... there's the kind with one
great subject that consumes them
That could be you. Because I am
Cobb hobbles to a table in front of a window. The
table is covered with pills, bottles, needles, and
Jameson! Get your ass up here!
Cobb grabs another bottle of booze and swigs deeply,
liquor spilling over him. Then, suddenly, he holds up
his hand. A calm comes over him as --
He stares out the window into the snowy woods. His
rage has quickly turned into a quiet, intense,
19 POV SHOT - WOODS IN MOONLIGHT 19
near the lodge. A bank of snow -- and a large buck
moves INTO VIEW.
20 CLOSE ON COBB'S FACE 20
His eyes light. A flare in his nostrils. A twitch. And
BACK TO SCENE
Jameson, the man in the suit, arrives and stands in
the back of the room. He takes notes when Cobb speaks.
Cobb continues staring out the window at the buck.
20 CONTINUED: 20
There's a small oil company near
Bakersfield called Honolulu Oil,
sitting near the Elk Hills
I want you to buy all the stock
Getty is expanding in the west,
looking for companies like that.
I got a hunch...
Cobb picks up the revolver and holds it lovingly.
Stump crosses and stands behind Cobb, sharing the view.
I can take that buck. What'ya
With a pistol? No way.
Cobb smiles and loads the revolver. He pushes the window
which swings slowly open.
21 POV SHOT - BUCK IN MOONLIGHT 21
searches for leaves to eat in the snow. Serene. Unaware.
BACK TO SCENE
There's a board meeting of
Coca-Cola in Georgia next week.
Call them up and tell them I can't
make it for medical --
-- personal -- reasons...
... and sell all the 3-M stock
22 COBB 22
raises the gun -- he wobbles badly and steadies himself.
The gun shakes. Then steadies.
Stump stands over his shoulder watching the bizarre
23 POV SHOT - BUCK RAISES ITS HEAD 23
KABLAM! The REVOLVER FIRES with a violent kick.
The buck spins and runs back into the woods, kicking
snow and disappearing in the brush.
24 BACK TO SCENE 24
Like hell you did.
Right behind the ear.
You're full of shit.
If Mr. Cobb said he got him, then
he got him.
You have no vision, Stump. A
writer without vision is a waste
of my time. I think I picked the
Cobb stumbles back into bed, somewhat exhausted by the
And I think I better get back to
San Francisco before the storm
hits. I'll take care of these
transactions, Mr. Cobb.
And Jameson exits the room.
24 CONTINUED: 24
And I'll be leaving as well,
sir, since you think I'm the
wrong man for the job.
Shut up, Stump -- we both know
that I'm your meal ticket.
We need each other.
And we start in the morning.
Cobb reaches over and defiantly turns UP the MUSIC so
that the room is overwhelmed with Kreisler's violin.
Stump stares back at this decrepit, overpowering figure.
Cobb gradually slips into sleep, buried in the music,
the booze, the pills, the pain...
25 EXT. MOUNTAIN LODGE - EARLY NEXT A.M. 25
The morning mist hangs thick over a snowbank in the woods.
A rabbit scurries across the snow, some quail are flushed.
PAN ACROSS the landscape REVEALS the lodge. Smoke curls
from the chimney.
26 INT. LODGE - MORNING 26
Stump sits hunkered over a tiny portable typewriter on
the kitchen table. Cobb mixes a bourbon with orange
juice to wash down some more pills, which he takes
A teletype MACHINE sits on a table nearby -- Throughout
the scene, a tape CLICKS endlessly out, piling on the
floor. Cobb occasionally checks data on the tape.
26 CONTINUED: 26
Ready, Mr. Cobb.
Chapter one, Page one...
'Know ye that a prince and a
great man has fallen this day.'
Stump types it out, then stops.
What the hell is that?
That's what Robert E. Lee said at
the burial of my grandfather who
was a Confederate General killed
So I'm taking notes?
Hell no. That's the first
line of my autobiography.
I ain't writing it.
It's horseshit. It's a third
person comment about someone who's
already dead. An autobiography
has to be in the first person --
plus it can't come from the other
side of the God damn grave.
My story can come from any damn
place I want.
Not to mention you can't call
yourself 'a prince and great
man' -- that's for the world
26 CONTINUED: (2) 26
What kind of a fucking writer you
call yourself -- all tied up in
rules and regulations. What's the
point being a writer if you can't
say what you want to?
You're not treating me like a
writer -- you're treating me like
BLAM! A SHOT RINGS OUT -- Stump types quickly, hunting
and pecking with two fingers, reading aloud.
Know ye that a prince and a great
man has fallen this day...
It has a certain ring to it...
Yes it does.
I thought you might like it.
It's yours, a gift from me.
'Cobb, a prince among men,
misunderstood in his genius, as
genius always is' -
This is the second line from what
will be the greatest biography of
a great man ever written -- type
Cobb checks the tape and suddenly is deep in thought
over some information coming across. Stump types.
Bethlehem Steel's about to dive.
Cobb grabs a phone and dials -- Then barks into the
Jameson. Bethlehem's going in
the toilet. Dump it all!
Cobb slams down the phone, momentarily lost in finance.
26 CONTINUED: (3) 26
You got a stock tip for me?
Yeah... buy Coca-Cola. We're
about to go out in cans.
Coke in cans? I don't think so.
Cobb just stares back in disdain. Then, suddenly --
Cobb starts coughing terribly. He clutches his torso
as if it were about to fall into pieces.
You know what's wrong with Ty
Every disease known to man -- I
got 'em all! And they'll never
get me in a hospital -- never!
My heart leaks -- the doctors who
are nothin' but a buncha hacksaw
artists give me Digoxin to keep it
Cobb grabs a bottle of Digoxin pills and flings it across
the room in a rage. He flings bottles of pills as he
recites his ailments.
They give me Darvon for the
cancer in my back, they give
me Tace for something eatin'
up my stomach, Fleets Compound
for an infection in my bowels,
Librium for my tension, insulin
for my diabetes...
Cobb grabs a hypodermic needle and awkwardly pours from
a bottle into the chamber. Insulin spills as he does.
He jams the needle wildly into his arm without hesitation.
26 CONTINUED: (4) 26
He takes a deep breath as if the drug has produced an
immediate relief from pain.
And if all that wasn't enough,
it's been two years since I
got my pecker in the air...
The South may not rise again but
my dick will.
The PHONE RINGS.
I ain't here!
Stump answers the phone.
(answering the phone)
Cobb's residence... hello.
He's not here -- who's calling?
Ernie? Ernie who?
(his face drops)
It's Ernest Hemingway... for you.
Tell him to go to hell!
Stump covers the receiver nervously.
Jesus Christ, Ty, this is the
great American writer -- this
is the man who inspired me to
become a writer!
Tell him to go to hell anyway.
Him and me used to be pals but we
went on a hunting trip once and he
hired a shitty guide.
26 CONTINUED: (5) 26
That's it? You didn't like a
guide he hired?
Cobb looks at Stump with a fierceness that is so over-
whelming, so physical, that Stump melts.
You tell him to go fuck himself
or I'll kick your Yankee ass!
Stump is terrified. He reluctantly uncovers the
Mr. Hemingway? Mr. Cobb says...
to go to hell.
By the way I'm a big fan of
CLICK, a hang up.
Cobb settles into a chair, letting the drugs and pills
and booze work their way into his thick body.
Hemingway isn't a bullfighter -- he
wrote about bullfighting. What
the hell is that?!
Bullshit... Damn painkillers...
Cobb rubs his head -- The drugs are taking effect.
Ty, you okay?
Stumpy, listen to me -- you know
what I need?
What do you need?
I need a woman.
A woman is definitely what I
26 CONTINUED: (6) 26
And Cobb drifts to sleep in his chair, momentarily
overcome with painkillers.
Stump stares at the sleeping volcano of a man, and
when Cobb starts snoring heavily, he rises, pulls on
a coat, scarf, and hat, and heads out the door.
27 EXT. LODGE - DUSK 27
Snow flurries greet Stump as he heads outside, and
darkness is falling. He takes a deep breath.
I couldn't be around the man for
long without needing a break, which
his painkillers gracefully
My sanity would soon depend upon
a frequent breath of fresh air, a
walk in the woods -- any escape
from what one sportswriter had
called 'Cobb's brooding soul that
bubbled with violence.'
Stump lights a pipe as he walks up a trail, away from the
lodge, toward a ridge, all covered with snow. The
flurries of snow are getting thicker now.
I knew most of the Cobb stories --
first man elected to the Hall of
Fame, ahead of the incomparable
Babe Ruth. Statistics that haven't
been approached in three-quarters
of a century.
Stump stops at the ridge and looks down at the partially
frozen Lake Tahoe in the lingering light.
But I'd known boxing champions and
football players -- they were
gentle souls outside the arena.
How much of Cobb was an act, a
lifetime of theatrical intimidation
to preserve his own legend?
27 CONTINUED: 27
Legends grow in time. Tough guys
are tougher, women more beautiful,
routine acts of self-preservation
Stump continues walking down a crest of snow, through
a stand of snow-covered pines. The light is dark,
purple, eerie, and Stump is lost in thought, until,
suddenly, he sees:
A trail of blood in the snow. He follows it down a
slope, past a tree, growing deeper, thicker. And there
it is --
The buck lies dead in the snow in a pool of blood.
Stump stops in fear, then approaches, leans down
and examines --
The buck's head has a hole blasted behind the ear.
Stump rises quickly to his feet and looks around.
The woods are silent. Snow falls from a branch. And...
He hurries back through the woods up the ridge, momen-
tarily lost as the snow swirls, he finally spots the
28 INT. LODGE - NIGHT 28
Stump bursts into the lodge as the brewing storm blows
Cobb is standing there in a hunting jacket, high laced
boots, a hat, with a suitcase. He holds a paper bag
wrapped in twine.
We're going to Reno. I want a
There's a blizzard out there!
When a man wants a woman, a man
wants a woman.
28 CONTINUED: 28
Let's just put on some soup, build
a fire, and we can work on the
(holds up the
I got 25 thousand in cash and
negotiable securities in here.
Don't let it out of your sight.
Look, Ty, the roads are impassable.
You lead, I'll follow.
I'm not driving in this stuff!
I need a woman!
29 EXT. TWO LANE HIGHWAY IN SIERRAS - DUSK 29
A blizzard -- two cars ease down an ice-covered road
in an increasingly horrendous snowstorm.
30 INT. STUMP'S CAR - DUSK 30
Stump is terrified, straining to see through the
flurries which grow thicker by the second. He keeps
checking his rearview mirror.
POV SHOT THROUGH REARVIEW MIRROR
Cobb at the wheel of a huge, black, Chrysler Imperial.
He looks possessed.
31 INT. COBB'S CAR - DUSK 31
Cobb at the wheel -- A madman.
You call that driving, Alice?!
My sister can drive faster than
that! Step on it!
31 CONTINUED: 31
He grabs a bottle of bourbon on the seat and chugs it
32 EXT. HIGHWAY IN BLIZZARD - DUSK 32
A treacherous cliff drops quickly away from the road,
certain death protected by an inadequate guardrail.
Into a blizzard, increasingly out of control, the cars
slip and slide and skid down the mountain.
Cobb leans on his HORN -- HONK, HONK, HONK.
33 INT. STUMP'S CAR - DUSK 33
Stump struggles to hang on as the car fishtails on
the edge of losing control. He keeps glancing at
Cobb who continues screaming.
Get off the road -- ya can't
drive any faster?! Move it!
Stump is caught between fear and rage.
Fuck you! I ain't dying in
this God damn ice cube!
34 INT. COBB'S CAR - DUSK 34
Cobb's eyes flare -- The WIND roars, the blizzard beats
against the windshield.
The man drives like an old woman...
Cobb steps on the gas -- His car pulls out into the
oncoming lane and accelerates to pass.
35 EXT. HIGHWAY IN BLIZZARD - DUSK 35
Cobb's car passes Stump's car down the steep grade.
Insane, impossible, suicidal -- not another car on the
road, the highway closed, barely visible... and here
Stump stares in disbelief as he clings to the wheel.
36 STUMP'S POV 36
Cobb waves his fist as he speeds past --
37 CLOSE ON COBB 37
He laughs, cackling madly at Stump.
Drive, motherfucker, drive!
38 STUMP'S POV 38
The black Chrysler rushes down the mountain into the
struggles to see through the windshield -- snow is
Cobb's car disappears into the blizzard, fishtailing as
BACK TO SCENE
39 EXT. HIGHWAY 39
Stump's car creeps along the edge of a deep ravine that
plunges to a raging, icy river. The car fishtails,
straightens, and continues on, slowly groping down the
40 CLOSE ON STUMP 40
Sheer terror. It takes his full powers of concentration
to keep the car on the road.
He's a goner, Al, save your own
God damn ass...
40 CONTINUED: 40
CLOSER ON STUMP
He sees something.
41 EXT. HIGHWAY 41
His car lights reveal tire tracks in the snowdrifts on
the highway. The tracks skid wildly, clearly out of
control, and head straight off the road.
42 ANOTHER ANGLE 42
Stump stops his car and gets out -- He hurries to the
edge of the road where the bank drops away quickly.
POV SHOT - COBB'S CAR
lies nose down at the bottom of a snow-filled ravine,
thirty feet away. The tail lights are still on. The
car is totalled.
BACK TO SCENE
Stump plows his way on foot down the embankment, fighting
bad footing and snowdrifts, until --
He arrives at the car -- Surely nobody could survive
this. With difficulty, he makes his way to the back door
of the huge car and wrestles it open.
Stump sticks the top half of his body into the car.
Cobb lies upside down, ass in the air, his face buried
under the dash of the car. There's blood on his face.
It's about fucking time you
Cobb struggles to right himself, twisting and turning
42 CONTINUED: 42
I wouldn't call it living but
it'll do. Help me outta here.
Stump helps Cobb back out of the car. It is an awkward,
clumsy, difficult task.
Of course there's blood! I just
put my head through the windshield
of a car, what the hell ya think,
ya big fucking jerk.
Ty Cobb can't die like this!
They'll bury me and nobody'll
know who it is!
I said shut up.
Stump drags Cobb awkwardly through the snowbank back up
to the highway. When they get to the edge of the high-
way, Cobb stops to stare at the tire tracks leaving the
Look't that! No guard rail! I'm
suing the State Highway Commission,
I'm suing the Governor, I'm suing
every God damn body!
I coulda been killed!
God damn it, shut up and get in
The blizzard swirls around the two men, now at Stump's
car on the highway.
Gimme your keys, I'm driving.
42 CONTINUED: (2) 42
Do you know how to get to Reno?
Hell, no! I'm driving.
Over my dead body!
Cobb pulls a gun from his overcoat pocket and aims
it right at Stump's head.
You miserable son of a bitch. You
coward, you pathetic, frightened,
desperate old man -- you can't do
anything without that gun and
frankly it doesn't impress me to
keep flashing it because I know
you're not gonna shoot me 'cause
you need me worse than I need you.
What, you're gonna kill me?
Cobb smiles. He loves it when someone stands up to him.
He thrives on confrontation.
I've killed a man.
Fine, then put me outta my fuckin'
misery. I'm freezing.
Cobb hands the gun to Stump.
Here ya go, Stumpy. I like a man
who stands up to me.
Stump holds the gun awkwardly, not knowing what to do.
Now give me the keys. I'm
43 EXT. HIGHWAY TO RENO - DUSK (MOMENTS LATER) 43
The car races down the mountain -- a wild ride.
44 INT. CAR IN BLIZZARD - NIGHT 44
Cobb at the wheel is perfectly happy and at peace. Stump,
in the passenger's seat, braces himself for certain death.
It's only another hour -- plenty
of time to tell you my story
before we find us some women.
Some for you, some for me. We'll
have a helluva time. The
broads're probably lining up right
now, waiting for ol' Ty and his
And Cobb launches in as he accelerates down the mountain,
every curve risking death. He seems at peace with the
world -- in the driver's seat, literally, on the edge of
being utterly out of control.
I suppose you want to know about
my childhood. Writers usually do.
None of this 'know ye that a
prince and great man has fallen'
My philosophy is simply this --
Life is too short to be
diplomatic. A man's friends
shouldn't mind what he does or
says, and those who are not his
friends, well, to hell with 'em.
And Cobb drifts into a story of his youth. He's suddenly
so relaxed that he pays little attention to the road.
I was born in a small town in
Georgia, of course... my sweet
sister Florence still lives
44 CONTINUED: 44
And I started playing baseball
when I was a kid like everybody
else only I was better than every-
body else. When I was seventeen I
started playing for money -- my
father didn't approve.
He was a great man...
45 EXT. HIGHWAY 45
As the snow whirls around the car hurtling down the
mountain, the snowflakes FILL the SCREEN and turn to
confetti as we:
46 EXT. ROYSTON (GEORGIA) - DAY (1900) (B&W) 46
Confetti falls from the sky -- PROFESSOR COBB, 40, Ty's
father, waves to the crowd in front of city hall. Signs
everywhere declare him to be the newly elected MAYOR COBB.
A band plays "Sweet Georgia Brown" as the Mayor makes a
He was the mayor, they were
grooming him for governor, he was
a learned man, a professor, and
the Head Deacon in the Baptist
47 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - DAY (B&W) 47
Professor Cobb sings loudly with the Deacons behind the
Pastor as the CONGREGATION joins in.
'There is a fountain filled with
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins...'
CLOSE ON TY'S MOTHER
Very young and pretty, singing in the Congregation. And
young Ty next to her, also singing at the top of his
47 CONTINUED: 47
My mother was the most beautiful
woman in the county... she married
my father when she was twelve
which was the way they used to do
And she taught me to believe in
the hymns we sang... I especially
liked the bloody ones...
(singing the hymn)
'And sinners plunged beneath that
Lose all their guilty stains...'
48 EXT. RIVER IN GEORGIA - DAY (B&W) 48
Young Ty Cobb is baptized in the river.
I remember after I was baptized
and I was walking home with my
49 EXT. TRAIN TRACK IN RURAL GEORGIA - DAY (B&W) 49
Young Ty and three buddies walk along the track.
I was feeling very Christian,
ready to live the good life --
my father didn't drink, smoke,
gamble or chase women -- and I
wasn't going to either --
The boys skip rocks and start across a trestle bridge.
... when all of a sudden a train
was coming at us.
POV SHOT - TRAIN
headed right for the boys.
There I was, a newly baptized
child of God who hadn't hardly
sinned, and I was gonna die.
49 CONTINUED: 49
BACK TO SCENE
The other other boys leap safely into the river, well
ahead of the oncoming train. But young Ty stays on the
The engine bore down on me till
I could see the whites of the
engineer's eyes -- I was
CLOSE ON ENGINEER
He pulls the WHISTLE and screams at the young boy standing
defiantly on the track.
CLOSE ON YOUNG COBB
His face filled with excitement as the space between him
and the engine reduces to nothing.
Closer and closer the engine comes -- 50 yards, 25 yards,
10, five, four, three... moments before death --
Young Ty Cobb leaps to safety, flying in front of the
engine, out over the water till he splashes, mere milli-
seconds before he would have been crushed to death.
Young Cobb surfaces in the river and waves his arms in
triumph. His pals shriek with delight and embrace him at
... it was the greatest thrill in
my life not counting the first
time I saw a woman naked...
50 SERIES OF SHOTS (B&W) 50
Other trains on other tracks bearing down on young Cobb.
In each case --
Young Cobb dances in the track and leaps with grace to
50 CONTINUED: 50
I felt protected. By my father,
my mother, the baptism, I don't
know -- but from that moment on
I knew I couldn't be hurt.
SERIES OF SHOTS
Young Cobb hurtles through the air toward the river, just
missing the locomotive...
51 INT. CAR IN BLIZZARD - DUSK 51
Cobb and Stump continue racing down the mountainside.
My father died in a terrible
accident, you know.
No, I didn't, really...
Didn't you do your research on me
before you came up here?
I didn't have time... I mean, I
knew the basics.
Then you've read that I'm the
meanest bastard of them all?
People have said that, yes...
I don't care what people think.
Then why do you care what I write?
I am who I tell you I am! Why
are you making things so
That's what writers do.
51 CONTINUED: 51
Well writers oughta make things
simple! Everything's complicated
enough as it is.
Maybe you're right!
Of course I'm right!
Stump suddenly looks up and shouts in terror.
A snow-covered truck in the middle of the road, broken
down and abandoned, is on top of us.
Cobb spins the wheel -- The car spins out of control,
just missing the truck, and hurtling on down the icy
Don't shout like that, Stumpy --
it just increases my tension. I
saw that truck all along -- you
think I'm gonna hit a truck when
I'm getting close to finding me
Stump is in sheer terror by this time.
My father was murdered, y'know.
Your father was murdered?
I mean that's the sort of thing
you're looking for, isn't it?
Murdered on the balcony of his
own house... the house I grew up
52 EXT. GABLED HOUSE IN GEORGIA - NIGHT (B&W) 52
The head of a horse in f.g., shaking its head, uncomfort-
able with the bit in its mouth. In the b.g., the gabled
house in the moonlight. A small light spills from a
second- floor window onto the balcony.
A man on the balcony porch moves toward the window from
which light spills.
The man pulls up the window and --
KABLAM! A SHOTGUN BLAST rips the silence and darkness.
The man falls on his back.
KABLAM! A second SHOTGUN BLAST takes off his head.
53 INT. CAR ON HIGHWAY - DUSK 53
Stump is stunned by this information as the car careens
wildly down the mountainside.
Your father was murdered? How
come nobody knows about this?
The oldtimers in Royston know
about it. Nobody else's business.
It happened when I was 17, a few
days before Detroit called me up.
But this helps explain why --
He catches himself.
Why I'm such a prick? Ha!
That's too easy -- you're a
better writer than that --
Was the killer ever caught?
There was an arrest, a trial, and
an acquittal. Nobody was ever
Jesus Christ --
53 CONTINUED: 53
Aw, don't go sob-sister on me,
The only thing that finally
matters is a man's accomplishments
and I must say, in all humility,
Al, in all humility -- I was the
greatest ballplayer of all time.
Nobody is even a close second.
54 EXT. DETROIT BALL PARK - DETROIT DUGOUT - DAY (c1910) 54
A gambling den. Money on the bench. Two men is suits are
placing bets, intermingling with the players. A player
smokes, another drinks -- this is as far from the anti-
septic modern game as can be imagined.
Cobb, early 20's, selects his bat, talks to the gambler.
Single to left, steal second,
steal third, steal home...
Eight to one.
Ten to one.
Cobb tosses some money on the pile, and climbs up the
dugout steps, shouting.
55 EXT. ON-DECK CIRCLE - DAY (B&W) 55
Cobb swings the bat and shouts at the pitcher.
Hey, greaseball, check your wife
-- one of the players is missing!
55 CONTINUED: 55
The pitcher flips Cobb the finger and takes a sign, deliv-
ering a pitch which is swung on and missed, strike three.
Cobb heads to the plate, passing his dejected teammate
who has just struck out.
Who the hell ever signed you?
Go to hell.
Cobb laughs -- He seems to feed on these exchanges, and
he stands in at the plate, addressing the UMPIRE.
Hey, Cyclops, you're missing a
Shut up, Cobb.
As Cobb digs in, he reaches into his back pocket and
drops something on home plate, in front of the CATCHER.
Here ya go...
The Catcher holds up a pair of women's panties.
Your old lady left 'em in my car
last night -- I thought you could
give 'em back to her.
CLOSE ON CATCHER
He flips his thumb, a sign for the pitcher to deck Cobb.
You're going down, Cobb.
The pitcher delivers a fastball right at Cobb's head --
He hits the dirt just before the pitch arrives (and this
is long before players wore protective headgear).
Cobb rises, laughing defiantly.
55 CONTINUED: (2) 55
(to the pitcher)
That's as hard as you can throw?!
Shit, it that was my fastball I'd
wear a dress!
Then Cobb shouts at the shortstop, a large German-American
athlete, the great HONUS WAGNER.
Hey, Wagner! I'd shade me a
little up the middle if I was
Wagner doesn't budge, comfortable in his position, not
drawn into Cobb's taunts. Stoic, implacable -- far from
You try to take my head off then
you throw a sinker away, in and
out, same old shit -- sinker
CLOSE ON COBB
His chatter stops, his focus is intense and sudden. He
holds the bat strangely, with a split grip, a left-
handed batter, he dangles the bat almost parallel to the
ground. For all his fierceness, there's a delicacy in
the way he holds the bat. A baton, a paintbrush, a magic
Here comes the pitch -- sinker away -- and Cobb unleashes
a swing that is at once quick and powerful. He drives the
ball to left, the opposite way --
Wagner lunges to his right -- But the ball skips into
Cobb streaks to first and rounds the base viciously, daring
to stretch it into a double but slamming on the brakes and
returning to first when the throw rifles into second.
Cobb shouts defiantly at the pitcher.
You God damn coward! You shoulda
thrown at me again! You shoulda
hit me in the fucking head!
55 CONTINUED: (3) 55
Cobb looks down at Wagner who stands implacably at short-
stop, a large, powerfully-built man.
Hey, Krauthead, I'm coming down.
CLOSE ON WAGNER
He just nods.
The pitcher stretches, looks and delivers -- and Cobb
breaks for second. The pitch is wide. The Catcher fires.
Wagner takes the throw as Cobb arrives in a spikes-up
And Wagner swipes a brutal tag in Cobb's face -- his giant
ham of a hand in the tiny glove clutching the ball lashes
across Cobb's mouth. Blood gushes. The ball pops free.
Wagner seems unbothered by the fact that Cobb is safe at
second -- he has bloodied Cobb's face. Cobb seems unboth-
ered by the fact that his face is a bloody mess -- he has
stolen second. Both men seem satisfied.
BACK IN DUGOUT
More money is wagered.
Stretches and delivers -- Cobb takes off for third. The
throw is high -- he slides in safely.
Bets are doubled. The stands are full of wagering. The
whole ballpark is like a giant saloon -- drinking,
smoking, wagering -- and the game is played by thugs and
COBB ON THIRD
Yells at the pitcher and Catcher.
55 CONTINUED: (4) 55
You want in on the action? My
mother has a better arm than you!
(to the Catcher)
I'm coming to you, greaseball!
Coming to kick your dago ass!
steals a glance at Cobb who takes a menacing lead off
third. The Catcher gives a signal to the pitcher.
nods, winds up, and as he does --
Here comes Cobb with a recklessness beyond reason. And
as the pitch arrives in the Catcher's hands, the Catcher
digs in to take on Cobb --
Cobb slides spikes high, flying above the earth, his back
leg slashing his spikes like knives. It is a slide of
utter defiance and violence, a slide intended to harm.
A vicious collision between Cobb and the catcher -- blood
and dust. The ball rolls free. Safe.
Cobb and the catcher immediately start punching and in
seconds, a brawl breaks out, both benches clearing. As
the police rush out to break up the brawl...
In those days you didn't hold
hands and dance with the men on
the other teams. They were the
enemy -- you fought with 'em.
And I was the most hated man in
56 EXT. PHILADELPHIA BALLPARK - DAY (B&W) 56
Cobb enters the stadium through the dugout. The crowd
rises to boo Cobb. The boos are overpowering.
Cobb warms up in front of the dugout. The boos are
deafening. The vindictive threats are ceaseless.
You're a shit, Cobb!
56 CONTINUED: 56
Cobb continues warming up.
I hate your guts, Cobb!
Cobb tips his hat and speaks easily to the fan.
A good day to you, too, sir...
The police escort Cobb to right field -- the roar of the
vitriolic crowd increases.
Do you know what it's like to be
booed like that?
Cobb in right with the cops -- the crowd on its feet,
booing so loudly that the air is all one giant, wailing
moan of hatred.
It feels wonderful! They couldn't
live without me! They came to the
ballpark to see me!
57 INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT (B&W) 57
Cobb opens a stack of mail -- a police chief and subor-
dinate officers are with him.
CLOSE ON MAIL
Cut-out letters read: "COBB - YOU'RE DEAD"
Cobb puffs on a cigar defiantly as he reads his hate
Fifty thousand fans trying to kill
me everywhere I went!
58 EXT. PHILADELPHIA BALLPARK - DAY (B&W) 58
Armed police patrol the stands looking for snipers as
Cobb plays the game in right field surrounded by police.
The booing increases -- fans truly hate him.
58 CONTINUED: 58
CLOSE ON COBB
I loved it. Only great men are
booed. Captains of industry and
presidents. I knew 'em all...
59 EXT. WHITE HOUSE (C. 1920) (B&W) 59
INT. WHITE HOUSE STUDY
Woodrow Wilson and Cobb have a drink.
Woodrow Wilson had the best
60 INT. WHITE HOUSE STUDY (B&W) 60
Harding, Cobb and others play cards. A lot of money is
on the table. And booze. And women that look suspi-
ciously like they've been hired. A floozy drapes herself
around President Harding.
Warren Harding had the best
61 INT. WHITE HOUSE STUDY (B&W) 61
A formal portrait with President Calvin Coolidge and
Cobb. Coolidge doesn't smile, doesn't seem to do any-
thing. Just another portrait.
And Calvin Coolidge wasn't any
damn fun at all...
CLOSE ON COBB'S MOUTH
during the portrait. We can read his lips as he mouths
"fuck you" silently.
62 INT. CAR CAREENING DOWN MOUNTAINSIDE - DUSK 62
Like an out of control bobsled -- Cobb races and Stump
hangs on for his life.
After World War Two, General
Patton asked me for an autograph
-- he said he patterned himself
Are you getting this?
Why aren't you writing?!
'Cause I'm trying to have a good
grip on things when this car goes
over the next cliff! I ain't
ready to die yet!
Cobb's tone changes suddenly -- he questions Stump with-
out guile or anger, as if his answer is obvious.
But neither am I.
Cobb stares at Stump, waiting for an answer, and forgets
about the road.
Stump looks up in fear and points at the road.
Cobb swerves wildly back onto the road, such as it exists
in the blizzard.
I said I'm not ready to die.
Then watch the fucking road.
But you're not listening to me! I
may have every God damn disease
known to man but I am never going
to check into a hospital because I
am alive and I am going to get
laid in Reno!
62 CONTINUED: 62
You're gonna get laid, too,
Maybe I don't wanta get laid!
I thought you were divorced.
We're in the middle of a...
problem. We're talking.
Talking my ass! Quit hanging on
-- get a divorce. Is that why you
don't wanta get laid in Reno?
'Cause you're feeling loyal to a
woman you're divorcing? That's
really stupid, Stumpy...
I'm not getting a divorce. I'm
Is that why you used to wine and
dine that little brunette who had
an office across the courtyard
from you in Santa Barbara?
Stump is nailed.
What do you know about her?!
I do my homework, Stumpy. I know
where the bodies are buried.
It didn't last long!
62 CONTINUED: (2) 62
Hey, no need to defend yourself.
When it comes to women I'm a total
shit -- the difference is, Stumpy,
that I know I'm a shit.
Nobody knows about the brunette.
Our little secret, huh?
And that part about me being a
shit with women? That ain't gonna
be in the book.
I gotta put your family in my
Your book?! My book! And nothing
about my ex-wives or children are
gonna be in it. My book is about
My book is about Cobb!
Cobb is baseball!
63 EXT. HIGHWAY 63
Suddenly something appears ahead on the roadside. Cobb
doesn't see it. Stump does. It looks like a figure,
huddled, wrapped, immobile in the swirling snow. It
Ty! Look! It's a man!
THEIR POV - FIGURE
attempts to wave at the car. A nearly-frozen, desperate
attempt to flag down the car.
BACK TO SCENE
63 CONTINUED: 63
Stop the car!
Cobb brakes -- the car spins to a stop some distance past
the figure standing knee-deep in snow.
Whoever it is he's gotta be pretty
stupid to be out in this shit.
We're out in this shit!
And Stump climbs out of the car.
64 EXT. SIDE OF ROAD (BLIZZARD) - DUSK 64
Stump trudges back to the half-frozen figure who flails
his arms stiffly at the apparition of a car in all this.
The figure is wrapped in blankets, his head covered. We
cannot see who it is until we are in his face.
FIGURE IN SNOW
Help me. Please help me.
My God... it's you. Are you okay?
It is Willie, the black man who Cobb fired the day
WILLIE (FIGURE IN SNOW)
I can't believe you found me...
Let me help you to the car.
I told you that you'd only last
one day with the bastard.
Cobb's in the car. He's driving.
Willie stops trudging toward the car.
Mr. Cobb's in the car?
64 CONTINUED: 64
Then I'm not getting in the car
with that son of a bitch. I'd
rather take my chances out here.
And Stump drags Willie to the car, though the man is re-
luctant the whole way, he is in no condition to resist.
(muttering the whole
He hates me. He hates black
He fucking hates everybody. Don't
give him the pleasure of dying out
If dying out here gives him
pleasure then I won't die out
They get to the car -- Stump opens the back door to help
the nearly-frozen man into the car. Cobb grumbles.
Ty, it's Willie. We can give him
a lift to town.
Bullshit! I ain't givin' no
nigger a ride nowhere!
65 INT. STUMP'S CAR - DUSK 65
And Stump loses it -- he grabs Cobb's pistol off the seat
of the car and aims it right at Cobb's head.
Shut the fuck up and give him a
Now who's the coward! You won't
shoot me! You need me!
Stump hands the gun to Willie.....
65 CONTINUED: 65
No. But I'm sure Willie would
take great pleasure in it.
Willie climbs into the back seat with the gun. Cobb is
You'll pay for this, Stumpy...
Say, Willie, you a baseball fan?
Who's the greatest ballplayer of
all time, in your opinion?
Willie Mays, no doubt about it.
That nigger couldn't hold my jock!
Excuse me, Mr. Cobb, the man is
66 NEW ANGLE 66
And Cobb jumps on the gas -- the car races off, back down
the mountain, fishtailing as it goes.
And I'd say the second greatest
player of all time is Jackie
Robinson... or maybe Josh
And of course, the greatest base
runner of all time isn't riding in
this car -- the fastest baseball
player of all time was Cool Papa
Bell -- Cool Papa would've easily
broke all your stolen base
66 CONTINUED: 66
Cool Papa was so fast that when he
entered a hotel room and flipped
the light switch off, he'd be
asleep in bed before it got
And then there's Satchel Paige...
Oh yeah, Satchel Paige could throw
a porkchop past a wolf, Mr. Cobb,
ol' Satchel woulda had you eatin'
outta his hand, he woulda had you
hittin' .220 and kissin' his black
ass to boot...
Shut this man up!
The man with the gun does the
talking, you wretched, old
67 LONG SHOT - CAR 67
racing down the highway in the snow, and we go out
hearing Willie recount the greatest ballplayers of all
time -- all of them black -- as Cobb seethes, a gun to
his head. Stump feeds Willie, watching Cobb's racism
Into the storm the car disappears -- fishtailing down the
The blizzard grows thicker, the flurries taking over the
mountain, until all we see is --
The thick snow falling from the dark sky. Suddenly --
Ice! Slow down! Tyyyy!
68 POV - STEEP DOWNGRADE 68
as slick as a bobsled run.
68 CONTINUED: 68
CLOSE ON STUMP
CLOSE ON WILLIE
Terror. He lowers the gun and hangs on for dear life.
CLOSE ON COBB
He accelerates with vengeance.
69 CAR 69
wobbles and starts spinning -- out of control, then
spinning continuous 360s down the grade.
70 CLOSE ON THREE MEN 70
The world spins around them as they cling for their
THUD -- the car slams into a bank of snow. Suddenly,
The three men sit without speaking for several beats,
slowly acknowledging that they have survived. Finally:
Fucked up roads. They don't build
highways like they used to.
71 POV - HOTEL SIGN IN DISTANCE 71
glows a welcome sign in the night. It is no longer
BACK TO SCENE
Well, Mr. Cobb, thank you for a
lift into town...
Willie hands the gun to Stump and climbs out of the car,
bidding farewell to Stump as he does.
71 CONTINUED: 71
And you, sir, should leave this
disgusting, wretched, sorry son of
a bitch immediately. Good
Willie tips his hat and trudges to the neon glow in the
distance. Cobb and Stump alone in the car.
They both look out -- the car is buried, hood deep, in
the bank of snow.
72 EXT. EDGE OF RENO - NIGHT 72
Under the famous arch that reads: "The Biggest Little
City in the World," a tow truck pulls Stump's car into
town, and up to:
EXT. LAST CHANCE HOTEL - NIGHT
The truck stops -- Stump helps Cobb out and into the old
style building adjacent to the gaudier casinos.
73 INT. LAST CHANCE HOTEL - NIGHT 73
Stump helps Cobb to the registration desk in a clean, but
very modest old hotel.
A WOMAN, 30s, stands at the counter in the middle of some
dispute with the clerk. She wears a long, cheap, plain-
cloth overcoat and galoshes.
Stump bursts in, oblivious to the conversation in
Two rooms, please...
The woman turns to confront the two men. Now we see her.
On a fabulous platinum-blonde wig is stuck a yellow
slicker-type rain hat. The ear flaps are awry, the
platinum-blonde wig curls up around it -- the effect is
73 CONTINUED: 73
WOMAN IN WIG
Stand back, you old farts. I'm
in the middle of something --
(back to clerk)
The heat's on the blink and
the mattress is lumpy -- I
want a discount.
Aw, c'mon, you always want a
Ra-mona... and the mattress
is always lumpy --
Cobb pulls out a bottle of pills and washes a handful
down with a deep swig from a pint bottle of whiskey.
The Clerk looks on with alarm.
Excuse me, I've gotta get him
checked in. He's very sick.
We're all sick in the eyes of God
-- but some of us still have
She whirls and leaves the lobby, leaving the three men.
Two rooms, next to each other.
74 INT. COBB'S ROOM - NIGHT 74
Stump helps Cobb shoot up with insulin -- The needle
clumsily groping for a vein in the old man's arm.
CLOSE ON COBB
His face looks terrible, drawn, drained.
Cobb reaches into his pouch and pulls out a bundle of
cash and security notes, tied neatly with a string.
74 CONTINUED: 74
Your money's okay, Ty, right
Your gun's okay, too... right
And Stump hands Cobb his beloved pistol, which Cobb
takes with great affection and comfort.
Stump helps Cobb into bed, covering him with a blanket.
The gun and the money sit on the pillow next to his
Cobb speaks with great pain just before he passes out
from pain, drugs, and exhaustion.
We haven't missed the testimonial
dinner, have we?
No we haven't missed the dinner...
Cobb manages a small, pained smile before drifting
off into sleep. Stump turns off the light and exits.
75 INT. STUMP'S ROOM NEXT DOOR - NIGHT 75
Stump pours a glass of vodka, settles into a chair, and
dials the phone. He swallows deeply of the drink, and
Hello? Happy Birthday! It's
your Daddy! Yeah!
Your birthday was yesterday?!
No, it couldn't be!
Stump quickly checks a calendar on the wall and realizes
he's missed his son's birthday.
75 CONTINUED: 75
Omigod, what can I say? I feel
terrible -- no, it's not okay,
jeez... When I get off the road
we'll do something special -- a
late birthday, eh? Maybe you
can go to spring training or
something with me, eh? Yeah...
Listen, is your mother there?
I know she doesn't want to speak
to me, but I want to speak to her.
Okay, okay -- I feel terrible
about the birthday... I'll call
you real soon. And tell your
mother I'm not drinking anymore.
Okay... 'bye, 'bye...
Stump hangs up the phone -- Takes a deep breath,
He pours another drink, and sits down to his typewriter.
Stump is hunkered over his typewriter pounding away. His
VOICE OVER indicates what he is writing.
I was a fool for thinking Cobb's
brilliance might be what I needed
at this moment of my life... Ty
Cobb was the last thing I needed.
He was not misunderstood -- he was
understood perfectly well. He
hated blacks, he hated Jews, he
hated Catholics -- he hated
everything except himself and his
own view of the world...
At times it seemed like he would
drop dead in front of me...
... and other times he seemed
75 CONTINUED: (2) 75
STUMP (V.O.) (CONT'D)
I was reluctant to view the great
Ty Cobb as a pathetic character,
lost in the past, paranoia, and
the shallow defense of 'his own
We hear SOUNDS of the TYPEWRITER BANGING away as...
We DRIFT OUT the window -- Leaving Stump to write all
night, at first viewing through the window, then moving
until we have a view of --
76 EXT. VIEW OF RENO - NIGHT 76
We hear the incessant BANGING OF the TYPEWRITER GRADUALLY
77 INT. STUMP'S ROOM AT HOTEL - DAY 77
Stump asleep -- full sun shines in the window. Noon.
A BOTTLE CRASHES against the headboard jarring Stump to
consciousness. He looks up to see:
Cobb reading the pages in a rage. He tears them as he
'Pathetic, paranoid, lost in the
past!' What is this shit?!
Stump awakens slowly, disoriented, amidst a shattered
Those are my notes! You can't
look at my notes!
You're notes -- my life! You're
gonna betray me, you son of a
You want the truth? I'm gonna
tell the truth!
77 CONTINUED: 77
Mine, for crissakes, I'm the
But I'm the legend and legends are
These are just notes...
Don't you understand anything
Maybe you should find another
There's not enough time left.
This frank admission momentarily stops Stump.
I'm entitled to my opinions --
Now that's pathetic. Who gives a
good God damn about the opinions
of Al Stump?! What people want to
know about is Ty Cobb! And they
don't want to know who he hates
'cause everybody hates somebody!
They don't wanta know if he had
two wives or ten! They don't wanta
know if he hit women or if they hit
You think they wanta know how
to steal second base?
Well I don't!
77 CONTINUED: (2) 77
Oh, oh, oh... I get it. You're
one of them college psychology
type guys. You wanta find the
missing piece to finish the puzzle
known as the Madman Cobb -- you
think you're the next Hemingway
but you're just a moderate success
in a moderate-sized pond.
Fuck you, Cobb! I'm much more than
a moderate success!
That's it, now you're showing some
life. You want psychology? I'll
give you some fucking psychology!
I'm all ears.
My father was a great man...
78 EXT. MOONLIT ROAD THROUGH SOME GEORGIA WOODS - NIGHT - 78
A horse shakes its head, attached to a buggy. A man
pats the horse and ties it to a tree.
My father told my mother he was
going out of town for the weekend
on business. But he didn't go.
He came back 'cause he thought she
was being unfaithful...
79 INT. HOUSE - NIGHT (B&W) 79
The woman preparing for bed.
I don't know why he thought it --
'cause my mother was a wonderful
woman -- but he thought it.
80 EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT (B&W) 80
The father climbing up the trellis onto the balcony.
My father thought he would catch
the man who was trying to steal
his wife from him... catch him
in the act...
81 FATHER (B&W) 81
pulls a gun as he nears the window.
INT. HOUSE - NIGHT (B&W)
The woman hears noises on the balcony and leaps out
of bed in terror.
CLOSE ON WOMAN (B&W)
She turns and looks toward the bed. We don't see
whatever she's looking at.
WOMAN'S POV (B&W)
The window. It starts to open.
My father had high standards...
the highest. He believed in
quality... he believed in
education... he believed in God...
he believed in me... he believed
in my mother... But on that night
he seemed like a prowler... and
82 EXT. BALCONY - NIGHT (B&W) 82
A SHOTGUN BLAST takes out Cobb's father's stomach
and he reels back onto the balcony. He rolls to his
elbows and looks up.
My mother killed my father...
shot him in the belly...
And then blew his head clean
82 CONTINUED: 82
A SECOND SHOTGUN BLAST takes his head off.
83 INT. STUMP'S ROOM AT HOTEL - DAY 83
Cobb stands above Stump who is still in bed.
How's that? A pretty God damn
good piece of psychology, eh?
That what you're looking for?
The childhood incident that
Cobb spits on the papers of Stump's text.
Well I was a prick before it
happened and a bigger prick after
it happened so stick that up your
Sigmund Freud ass!
Silence. Stump is shaken by this story.
Your mother killed your father?
And you ain't printing it.
I have to.
Not if I say so. I don't think
you understand something -- I have
final editorial approval of the
No, I do. I always have it.
Did you read your contract?
It's my standard contract. I just
signed. I would never have agreed
to this if you had final approval.
83 CONTINUED: 83
Cobb calmly picks up the phone and hands it to Stump.
Call your agent.
Stump quickly dials and gets an answer.
Hello? Charlie? Al... I'm in
Reno... yeah... things are fine...
Yeah, listen... I'm just checking...
did we give away final editorial
approval on this Cobb book?
(long beat of
We did? Cobb has it? Jesus...
Stump listens long and hard -- his face sinks.
Cobb smiles and hangs the phone back up for Stump who
reaches for the bottle on the nightstand and pours
himself a morning drink of vodka.
Well, you were pretty stupid to
give up approval, weren't ya?
Fuck you, Cobb?
Fuck me? Why me?
Why you mad at me? Your agent made
the deal, your lawyer, your
publisher, you didn't even read
the contract because you trusted
them! Who the hell ever trusted
a lawyer or an agent?! If I was
Al Stump, the guy I'd be pissed
off at would be Al Stump!
Listen to me, you son of a bitch --
if you die before the book is
finished, I'll write the story I
But I ain't dying first.
I'll write slow.
83 CONTINUED: (2) 83
I'll die slow.
Cobb lights a big cigar -- and sets fire to Stump's
pages. Both men watch them go up in smoke.
Now get dressed so we can go
find some women...
Stump just stares back -- exhausted and overmatched.
84 INT. HARRAH'S CLUB (RENO) - NIGHT 84
The main room -- Showtime. In progress.
LOUIS PRIMA WITH KEELY SMITH are thrilling a packed house
full of dinner tables.
LOUIS PRIMA AND GROUP
'That old black magic has me in
That old black magic that you
weave so well..'
Cobb and Stump at a table drinking and eating.
A cigarette girl works the room at a nearby table. She's
all legs and fishnet stockings... and wig.
Look't that -- hundred bucks says
I get in her pants before dawn.
The cigarette girl turns and we recognize her.
My God -- it's Mona... Ra-mona...
We met her at the hotel...
Ramona is a vision in this outfit as she approaches them.
I don't remember...
Ramona arrives at their table.
Cigarettes, gentlemen? Cigars?
We stockpiled some Havanas before
Senor Castro did his little number.
84 CONTINUED: 84
Coupla Monte Cristos, Ramona,
Have we met?
At the hotel -- checking in.
Ohyeah, you were the asshole.
Cobb is suddenly gallant, gentlemanly, even charming.
Excuse me, young lady, I must
apologize for the behavior of
my friend -- he has a crude side.
Ramona delivers the cigars and collects the money.
Stump is a bit chagrined and caught off guard by this
Ramona... Spanish name... lovely...
it means 'moonlit garden of the
Actually it's German and means
'wise protectoress' but thanks for
Louis Prima takes the mike -- His number has finished to
much applause from the drunken crowd.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you
very much, you're a great crowd
... I have been informed that we
have a celebrity with us tonight
who is a legend, a man who truly
needs no introduction...
84 CONTINUED: (2) 84
LOUIS PRIMA (CONT'D)
... so let's give a Harrah's
Casino warm welcome to the
greatest baseball player of all
time, the one and only Ty Cobb!
The spotlight flies to Cobb who kisses Ramona's hand.
Stump has been left out of the exchange, and mumbles.
'Moonlit garden of the gods'?
The audience stands to applaud Cobb -- Full and genuine.
Cobb graciously waves to the crowd, bowing, basking.
BACK ONSTAGE - LOUIS PRIMA
motions to his band.
And this one's for the Georgia
They break into "Sweet Georgia Brown."
LOUIS PRIMA/KEELY SMITH
No gal made has got a shade on
Sweet Georgia Brown,
Two left feet but oh so sweet is
Sweet Georgia Brown...
Cobb breaks into a little dance with Ramona at the table,
much to Stump's (and Ramona's) amazement. For a moment,
at least, there is great footwork and lightness in his
movement -- we get a glimpse of the great athlete he once
The great Ty Cobb! C'mon up
They want you, Ty --
Of course they want me.
And Cobb heads for the stage, walking better but not
without effort, a walk enhanced by drugs and booze. As
he does, Ramona turns to Stump.
84 CONTINUED: (3) 84
The greatest baseball player of
I don't know baseball from
shmaseball but I know a nice man
when I see one and I also know
it's time for my coffee break.
And she's off with her trayful of tobacco to the cocktail
As Cobb arrives...
LOUIS PRIMA AND GROUP
Fellas, she can't get, are fellas,
she ain't met,
Georgia made her, Georgia claimed
her, Sweet Georgia Brown.
Louis Prima welcomes Cobb to the mike to thunderous
My great pleasure, sir --
I've always wanted to ask you
something, Mr. Cobb, with all the
great ballplayers playing right
now -- how well do you think
you'd do against today's players?
Well, I figure against today's
pitchers I'd only hit about .275,
That's amazing, Mr. Cobb,
considering your lifetime average
is nearly a hundred points higher.
Why do you think you'd only hit
.275 against today's pitchers?
84 CONTINUED: (4) 84
Because I'm 72 fucking years old,
that's why, God damn it. Give me
Cobb grabs the mike and takes over.
First of all I wanta thank you
for that song, 'Sweet Georgia
Brown... it's a great song about
my home state and I appreciate
That song has become the theme
song for the Harlem
(as Prima nods with
It's too bad such a fine song had
to be stole by a buncha niggers
playing a faggot game in their
Prima and his cohorts are aghast. They cling to the hope
that this is some put-on, some joke. They force a small,
Stump winces and leaves the room, heading for the bar.
'Course the Globetrotters are
owned by a Jew named Saperstein
so whadda you expect?
A disaster. Prima tries gamely to seize the mike back.
Thank you very much. Another
round of applause for the Georgia
Peach, Ty Cobb!
I got the mike, Dago -- gimme a
God damn minute. Nobody's got
respect for their elders any
Cobb turns to the crowd which, even in it's drunken state,
is appalled and in disbelief.
84 CONTINUED: (5) 84
Now let me explain to you how to
hit a baseball. It's a lost art.
Ever since that half-nigger Ruth
started hitting home runs, the
skill, the art, and the science
have been lost.
Cobb grabs a clarinet from a member of Prima's band.
Now, say this is a bat...
The CASINO MANAGERS and SECURITY FORCES are quickly
gathering to figure out what to do.
Let's just haul him off --
That's Ty Cobb! He'll fucking
You see, the bat is like a wand,
a magic wand... it should be
caressed, held like a woman...
like a woman who's really in need
of a man...
The Casino Manager winces and consults.
Oh God, here we go...
Hitting a baseball is really very
easy... you can't force it... you
can't overpower it... you go with
the pitch... you let the bat do
the work... it's all rhythm and
And Cobb starts demonstrating hitting techniques to the
bewildered audience and casino staff. He strikes that
familiar, strange stance -- choked up on the bat, a split
grip, the bat held parallel to the ground...
85 INT. CASINO BAR - NIGHT 85
Stump sees Ramona at the bar, her cigarette/cigar tray on
the bar. She's smoking and working her way through a
tall drink. He approaches her.
You again? You could learn some
manners from your friend.
I'll try harder.
You're a beautiful woman.
It's the wig.
Ramona pulls the wig off her head revealing a sea of
bobby pins and hair pins tying her natural brown hair to
her head. She sets the wig on the counter and scratches
her natural scalp.
The damn thing itches but it's
good for tips. Give me a
scratch, will ya?
Stump scratches the back of her scalp, somewhat embar-
rassed and somewhat aroused.
Turn you on? Hey, Harvey, another
round. On him.
Vodka and grapefruit juice.
Ramona slaps the wig back on her head. Slightly
akilter. She doesn't care. Harvey delivers another
Your wig's crooked.
Does it bother you?
No, no... I was just --
85 CONTINUED: 85
You wanta go to bed with me,
Stump is so taken aback that he doesn't know how to
answer. Flustered, he looks around, then takes a deep
hit on his drink. He is very unsure.
You want money?
I'm not a whore! I don't screw
for money?! Jesus!
I'm sorry. I didn't know. I
mean I'm not good at this.
Just divorced, huh?
It's written all over ya. Giant
letters right across the
forehead. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Ha!
Plain as day.
Ramona lets out a loud, hearty laugh without inhibition.
It's obvious, huh?
So, if ya wanta pay me to screw,
I won't do it.
Then I won't.
Screw or pay?
85 CONTINUED: (2) 85
So ya don't wanta screw?
No, I do.
All this ambiguity -- I see why
she's divorcing ya.
Stump, completely befuddled, lets down completely. He
doesn't care about getting laid or drunk or anything for
the moment, except having someone to talk to -- the some-
one is Ramona.
I don't know what I'm saying or
doing anymore... I'm trying to
speak my heart.
I told my wife I wanted a
divorce. She said 'okay' -- then
I realized maybe I don't.
Then go back to her.
Then quit crying. You want a
divorce, you don't want a
divorce, you're asking marital
advice from a woman you're trying
to get in the sack -- Jeez
I'm not myself.
A sigh. Stump is lost. He motions to the bartender.
85 CONTINUED: (3) 85
Another round, Harvey.
(back to Ramona)
This assignment has me befuddled.
I'm supposed to tell the world
that a monster is really a
prince. I'm supposed to lie.
You being paid?
Then it's not a lie. It's a job.
Quit agonizing -- take the money,
do what you gotta do, and get it
For godsakes why not?
Stump has to think about this for a while.
He knows greatness. I'm in the
presence of greatness. I want to
learn about greatness.
She looks at him like he's crazy.
Greatness is overrated.
Maybe you're right, maybe you're
So what do you want?
Stump drinks deeply -- his heart needs alcoholic
85 CONTINUED: (4) 85
I want to be in someone's arms
Oh that. Why do men have such a
hard time saying what they want?
86 INT. STUMP'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 86
Stump and Ramona stagger in drunkenly -- they are awkward
She grabs his vodka and takes a swig from the bottle.
Wait, wait... don't drink too
Ya think I won't be able to screw
if I'm too drunk?
Screwed, stewed, and tattooed!
She laughs a hearty laugh, letting it all out.
C'mere... I want to hold you.
You're so thoughtful -- the
others are trying to get me
drunk and you're trying to keep
me sober. You'd be good husband
Not so fast --
I didn't mean --
86 CONTINUED: 86
They embrace -- and hold each other fully, doing nothing
but holding on. Stump relaxes.
I'm not a whore.
Shh, shh... I know, I know...
A moment of quiet, simple bliss -- when:
The door bursts open -- the LOCK SPLINTERS with a CRASH,
Cobb bursts into the room -- Full of rage.
You two-timing bastard! You
God damn Judas Iscariot! You
stealing my girl! I'll kill
She's not 'your' girl!
And Cobb lashes out at Stump -- Stump tries to block
the blow, but Cobb is relentless, and Cobb hits him
Stump falls backwards -- His head hits a corner of the
What're you doing?!
And Cobb backhands Ramona across the face, knocking her
Stump lies on the floor only half conscious. He grabs
his head. Blood. The room swirls in front of him as --
Cobb grabs Ramona, pulling his everpresent gun from his
pocket as he does.
You're coming with me!
I don't want to!
Cobb jams the pistol into her jaw.
86 CONTINUED: (2) 86
A dizzying view of Cobb dragging the woman out of his
room. And he passes out.
87 INT. HOTEL - COBB'S ROOM - NIGHT 87
Cobb throws Ramona to the floor and locks the door. Her
wig falls off.
Cobb picks it up and stares at it.
Put it back on.
She does -- The wig sits at a funny angle.
Who are you again?
I am the Georgia Peach. I have
4,191 base hits in 11,429 at-
bats, 920 stolen bases, 2,244
runs scored, and 92 batting
And I want you to undress.
Cobb clicks the hammer of his gun with icy calm.
That don't scare me 'cause if you
kill me I'll be dead and you ain't
gonna screw a dead lady.
87 CONTINUED: 87
She stares at the madman.
You're right. You might.
Take your clothes off.
Ramona removes her top -- her breasts are jammed into a
classic 50's push-up bra.
You got big tits. I like big
They aren't so big. They're
average, actually -- but these
bras are great. Push 'em right up
there. I owe a lot to the bras
and wigs. A girl needs what she
Shut up. Take it off.
She does. And covers her breasts with her hands.
Shy, huh? Get on the bed.
Ramona gets on the bed -- Cobb circles the bed
You're a beauty. Roll over.
She rolls on her face, propping herself on her elbows.
CLOSE ON HER FACE
Terror and tears.
Mr. Cobb, I --
87 CONTINUED: (2) 87
CLOSE ON COBB
His eyes are full of fury and lust.
What I coulda done with you in my
I'm sure you --
What do you want from me?!
Terrified, she does.
I want you to do exactly what I
88 INT. HALLWAY - VIEW OF STUMP'S ROOM - NIGHT 88
THROUGH the open door -- Stump rises to his feet, feels
his head, and groggily staggers out. Blood on his hand.
Stump feels his way past a couple doors, listening in,
unsure which room is Cobb's until a booming voice --
Stump hurries to Cobb's door and listens in to be sure.
89 INT. COBB'S ROOM - NIGHT 89
Cobb stands above her with his gun and his money.
Exactly what I say...
89 CONTINUED: 89
Cobb pulls a stack of bills from his bag.
A thousand dollars...
He holds out the money for her.
Do what you gotta do and get it
over with, Mr. Cobb.
Silence. Cobb takes a big, sloppy hit from a bottle,
throwing in a few pills for good measure.
I want you to tell everyone you
meet that you fucked me and I was
the best fuck you ever had.
That's a lot.
For a thousand bucks? Hell yes.
He reaches out and straightens her wig which is pretty
crooked by now. She lets him. Then he falls apart, vio-
lently grabbing his crotch.
I'm looking at the most beautiful
woman in the world, do you hear
Cobb grabs his crotch with the violence he does
And I'm dead down here! Dead!
Nothing! And it's been like that
for over two years! Nothing! Now
get outta here before I hit you!
Cobb lashes out at Ramona -- a vicious right hand. She
ducks as his fist slams through the headboard.
Georgia Peach my ass -- Georgia
trash is what you are!
89 CONTINUED: (2) 89
Ramona grabs her clothes and runs from the room, past
Stump who has heard it all. He enters Cobb's room.
Cobb sits at the foot of the bed, thoroughly flustered.
Stump helps him into his bed where he curls up with his
money and his gun, barely conscious.
She was a great piece of ass,
Stumpy, best I ever had...
Have we missed the Testimonial
No we haven't, Ty... now get some
Stump tucks Cobb in his bed as the old man drifts into
sleep, turns off the light, and heads back to his own room.
CLOSE ON COBB
asleep. Even in sleep, dying, he is twitching and full
of fragments of unspent energy.
He slept for days. I thought he
was gone for sure. But even in
sleep he was restless and in
motion, a fire always burning in
90 INT. HOTEL - STUMP'S ROOM - DAY 90
Stump at the typewriter, pounding away without
By this time I was working on two
manuscripts -- one was his
version, My Life In Baseball --
which for better or worse was a
history of how to steal second
base or how to hit the breaking
ball to the opposite field.
90 CONTINUED: 90
STUMP (V.O.) (CONT'D)
It contained nothing about his
parents, much less the death of
his father at the hands of his
91 INT. COBB'S ROOM - DAY 91
Cobb tossing and turning in his sleep, squeezing a pillow
or blanket in a death grip.
... It contained nothing about
his children and ex-wives, none
of whom would even speak to
It contained no insights from his
friends because I couldn't find
92 INT. STUMP'S ROOM - CLOSE ON TYPEWRITER - NIGHT 92
Pages of the baseball book in progress next to a neatly-
stacked manuscript in progress.
It was a baseball book and I kept
it in the typewriter for him to
discover and amend...
It was a book I never planned to
Stump sits on his bed smoking his pipe and writing in
longhand on pieces of paper of all sizes.
The second version, my version,
was written on legal pads and
hotel stationery and cocktail
napkins and anything I could
scrape together without drawing
I kept my version in a box at the
bottom of my suitcase --
92 CONTINUED: 92
Stump packs "his" version into a box, hiding it deep in
The whole thing had become an
agonizing death watch, and most
days I couldn't believe the son of
a bitch wouldn't die...
The door flies open and Cobb bursts in -- full of vim and
vigor, a fresh set of clothes on, fire in his eyes.
Nothing like a cigarette girl and
thirty hours of sleep to
invigorate a man, Stumpy! You
look like shit.
Been writing, Ty...
Cobb goes straight for the typewriter and yanks out a
page, grabbing the stack of typed pages as well.
Well let's see how we're doing...
Cobb reads the pages with utter seriousness. Stump
Yes, God damn it, Stumpy, yes!
Now you're getting it! None of
this Sigmund Freud bullshit!
Baseball, Stumpy, baseball! Yes!
Cobb rushes to Stump and embraces him, almost like a
child. His eyes are wet with tears.
You understand! People are no
damn good but you're different!
You're okay, Stumpy, you get it!
And I can trust you...
Stump stares back. And nods.
Now let's go roll us some dice,
Alimony, I feel a hot hand coming
93 INT. CASINO - NIGHT 93
Cobb and Stump approach the gaming tables and as they do,
Cobb is recognized and approached for autographs. He
signs as he walks, suddenly gracious in this moment.
Y'see how it works, Stumpy... they
boo ya your whole career, then
when you're about to kiss off,
they put ya on a pedestal. That's
what being a legend's all about.
Arriving at a craps table, Cobb barges right in.
Send the dice to the Peach, boys,
and belly up to the bar...
The croupier pushes the dice to Cobb who places a bet, as
do the others.
Cobb rolls the dice -- but he sees something. Somebody.
Stumpy, what is that?!
POV - RAMONA AND WILLIE
are rolling dice at a nearby table. They appear
friendly, not intimate, two among twelve.
BACK TO SCENE
My girl went for the nigger?
I think they're just next to each
other by accident.
Mona! You with that nigger!
Cobb's voice silences the tables. Ramona looks up.
Willie! Is she with you?!
93 CONTINUED: 93
Ramona seizes the moment and kisses Willie on the cheek,
draping herself all around him as if they were close.
The intention is strictly to get back at Cobb.
This is my man, Mr. Cobb, and he's
My girl with my nigger!
She's not your girl and he's not
Cobb pulls his gun and tries to climb across the table.
He's got a gun.
Cobb on the table with a gun as Stump and police officers
scramble to grab his gun hand. Customers hit the deck.
What is the world coming to?!
BLAM, BLAM, BLAM -- the gun is FIRED REPEATEDLY into the
ceiling fixtures, into the mirrors above the tables.
Cobb is wrestled to the table by several men, including
Stump. And it takes all of them to escort the struggling
Cobb out of the casino into the lobby.
(to security men)
We're leaving, we're leaving!
There's no reason to press
Do you know who I am?!
You're a crazy old fool, that's
who you are!
93 CONTINUED: (2) 93
Back off, God damn it! We're
Where we going, Stumpy, I wanta
find us some more women!
Stump hesitates, chaos swirls around them. Cobb is out
of control, we hear threats of arrest -- when...
Ty, Ty, Ty, calm down. It's time
for the testimonial dinner!
This stops Cobb cold. He's immediately sober.
94 EXT. RENO ARCH - DAWN 94
Stump's car passes under the arch, heading out of town,
and we go to voice over:
Actually the testimonial dinner at
the Hall of Fame was still weeks
away, but it was the only thing
that got him calmed down enough to
get us out of town without getting
thrown in jail -- or getting
95 EXT. ROUTE 66 (ARIZONA) - DAY 95
The car takes Stump and Cobb eastward.
And as we headed across country,
Cobb as usual was oblivious to the
chaos he'd left in his wake. In
fact he was buoyed with new
enthusiasm at the prospects of
seeing his cronies once again...
96 INT. CAR ON HIGHWAY - DAY 96
Cobb is in an upbeat mood. He's reading a map. A tape
recorder with hand mike sits between them.
96 CONTINUED: 96
Y'know something, Alimony, I
believe you're the best friend I
Swear on a Bible, Stumpy -- I
feel I can trust you now.
CLOSE ON STUMP
deeply alarmed by this confession.
I was disturbed, to say the least,
that he felt we were friends --
but at least for the moment it
made things bearable.
And he started talking -- the
world according to Ty Cobb...
Cobb talks into a tape recorder sitting on his lap,
enjoying the hand microphone.
And then this fat ass named Babe
Ruth came into the league and damn
near destroyed the game of
baseball... We all thought he was
gonna eat and fuck his way outta
the league but he hung around for
a few years --
'Hung around'? He was --
-- next to you -- the greatest
player of all time. He hit 714
Anybody can hit home runs. Now
excuse me, I got work to do...
Sorry, Ty --
And Cobb resumes into the tape recorder.
96 CONTINUED: (2) 96
I didn't care that they cheered
and adored Ruth -- I cared that
they respected his ballplaying --
Christ, they built Yankee Stadium
for him with a 297-foot right
field line. My sister Florence
could hit the ball 297 feet!
97 EXT. STADIUM - DAY (1920S) (B&W) 97
Game in progress -- Detroit vs. New York.
Cobb at the plate -- a pitch at his head knocks him down.
Immediately, both benches clear in a major brawl.
Whenever we got into a fight with
the New Yorkers, 24 of our guys
would fight 24 of their guys and
me and Ruth would take on each
As the benches clear -- Cobb races not at the pitcher but
straight to right field where The Babe is charging in
like a rhino straight for Cobb. Somewhere near second
base the two giants collide in a thunderous smash,
falling to the ground in a brawl, as 48 players slug it
out in the b.g.
98 EXT. ROUTE 66 (SOUTHWEST) - DUSK 98
The car races into the sunset, Cobb babbling on...
During the day, we worked on his
version of the story. At night I
worked on mine...
99 INT. CHEAP MOTEL (ROUTE 66) - NIGHT 99
100 STUMP 100
alone in a room, is writing on pads of paper.
100 CONTINUED: 100
He pours another drink and lights a cigarette.
I was drinking like a fish,
smoking cigarettes again, and now
lying about the hidden
And by writing two versions
without telling him, I was
becoming something Cobb was not.
I was becoming a liar.
An O.S. RUMBLE -- Stump quickly hides the manuscript as:
Cobb thunders in with the typewritten version, the ver-
sion written for Cobb's approval.
Fabulous stuff, Stumpy, just
brilliant. You're a genius.
I love reading about me.
Cobb takes a swig of booze. Some routine outside noise
drifts in, young people LAUGHING and CARRYING ON.
Goddamn it, who's out there?
Cobb hurries outside, drawing his pistol.
101 EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT 101
Cobb charges outside -- FIRING his PISTOL into the air.
The manager and a security guard hurry over. Followed
quickly by Stump, who's now an expert at this.
He shot up his share of motels
for all the usual reasons --
guests were too noisy, he
couldn't get any sleep, it didn't
matter -- he was always boiling
101 CONTINUED: 101
Stump leads Cobb back inside and calms the locals.
... and I became expert at
keeping the peace wherever we
102 INT. SAME MOTEL - BATHROOM - CLOSE ON COBB'S VEINS - 102
as Stump helps him shoot up.
I also became expert at finding
Which always revived him...
103 EXT. SOMEWHERE ON ROUTE 66 - DAY 103
The car is parked by the side of the highway. Cobb
stands with the tape recorder next to an endless plain of
flat desert or rolling farmland. The hood is up on the
car, steam spills from the radiator. And Cobb is dictat-
ing like Marc Antony.
... by the age of 25 I was a
millionaire, by the age of 30 a
multi-millionaire, by the age of
Stump wades up in the weeds to give Cobb his pills.
104 EXT. HIGHWAY (PENNSYLVANIA) - DAY 104
105 INT. CAR - DAY 105
Stump driving as Cobb babbles away into the tape
105 CONTINUED: 105
Somewhere along the way I'd gone
from biographer to stenographer
to chauffeur to nurse... I was
the only thing keeping the
bastard alive... and I kept
hoping he'd die.
Y'know, Stumpy, with a friend
like you, I just might go on
Cobb grabs the recorder mike and launches in again.
(back into the
Where were we -- ohyeah -- then, at
the age of 42, I batted .323 which
was an embarrassment to me but
would be a career for anyone else...
Until, by the grace of God, we
arrived -- days, weeks, months
later, I don't know -- in
Cooperstown, New York, for his
beloved testimonial dinner...
106 EXT. BASEBALL FIELD (COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK) - DUSK 106
The ball field -- No game. Nearby, a set of buildings.
The Baseball Hall of Fame. Stump's car pulls into town.
107 EXT. ABNER DOUBLEDAY MOTEL (COOPERSTOWN) - DUSK 107
A classic 50's motel.
108 INT. MOTEL - DUSK 108
Stump and Cobb get dressed for the testimonial dinner. A
black-tie affair, Stump has to help Cobb finish dressing.
Cobb is full of boyish enthusiasm.
108 CONTINUED: 108
You're gonna meet great athletes,
great warriors, great men at this
Hall of Fame dinner, Stumpy.
None of this modern, pansy
I've been looking forward to this
for a long time --
You fucking liar. You've been
hoping I'd die first.
You got me wrong.
I got you right. But it's okay
'cause I need your help.
Stump squirms. A KNOCK at the door. Stump answers it.
A beat-up 70-YEAR-OLD MAN stands there -- looking like a
Can I help you?
I'm Mickey Cochrane.
Jesus. Ty, it's Mickey Cochrane.
Stump lets Cochrane in the door. Ty stares at him.
Where's your tux?
I don't have one.
I sent you money for it.
108 CONTINUED: (2) 108
It didn't arrive.
You drank it, you mean. You
can't go to the Hall of Fame like
that. I won't allow it.
Things have been rough, Ty.
There's two things a man should
never do -- complain or explain.
Now go buy a God damn tux!
Cobb peels some cash from his roll of dough and throws it
The stores are closed.
How could you be so good behind
the plate and so bad everywhere
Cobb grabs the phone and dials impatiently.
Operator? What's the best men's
shop in town. Who owns it? Jack
who? Gimme his home number.
Better yet, ring him up for me.
Jack?! This is Ty Cobb. Go down
to your shop and open it up and
sell a tux to the great Mickey
Cochrane. And sell him a
cumberbund and a shirt and a bow
tie and some God damn cologne.
He smells like shit. What's the
(makes a note)
He'll be there in twenty minutes.
Cobb thrusts the card into Cochrane's hand.
God damn it, Mickey, ya gotta
give a better effort.
108 CONTINUED: (3) 108
And Cochrane exits, leaving Cobb with Stump once again.
He's lost, Stumpy, the poor man's
been lost ever since he took a
fastball in the ear.
You take care of him?
For years -- but that ain't goin'
in the book.
Jesus, Ty, why not?
Because it would embarrass him.
Cobb winces as he tries to rise, almost falling.
I don't wanta take the cane
You've got to have your cane.
I don't have to have anything --
if you stay near me... in case I
wobble or something... just a
firm hand right here...
(touches his own
That'll keep me upright. I'd
appreciate it. Now how do I
Cobb poses in his tux -- proudly, unsurely.
You look like the greatest
ballplayer of all time. You
going to be okay?
I'll be okay when I hear the
109 EXT. HALL OF FAME BUILDING - NIGHT 109
A crowd of locals has gathered and is cheering as the
great old warriors of baseball get out of one limo after
another and pass a phalanx of security guards, television
cameras, and photogaphers. A P.A. ANNOUNCER presents
The great left-handed pitcher
from the New York Giants, who
struck out five men in a row in
the 19-- All-Star game -- Carl
Lanky Carl Hubbell, 50's, waves to the crowd and cameras
as he enters to applause from the locals gathered.
The great third baseman from the
Chicago Cubs, Harold Joseph 'Pie'
Pie Traynor, 60's, struggles to the entrance using a
Paul and Lloyd Waner, the Waner
brothers -- Big Poison and Little
Poison -- from the Pittsburgh
The Waner Brothers, 60's, jauntily wave and enter.
Fifty-eight home runs in a
season -- Mr. Double-X -- the
great Jimmy Foxx!
The barrel-chested Jimmy Foxx, 60, gets out and waves.
And ladies and gentlemen, the
highest lifetime batting
average of all time, first man
elected to the Hall of Fame,
retired with over 90 batting
records, the one and only Georgia
Peach, Ty Cobb!
Cobb gets out, followed by Stump. Cobb walks into the
building, past the cameras, utterly erect and upright,
stretching his full six feet one inch. The applause is
the most enthusiastic yet.
109 CONTINUED: 109
CLOSE ON COBB'S FACE
His concentration is intense, his focus is mesmerizing,
full of pride and rage. He makes it to the door.
Your hand, Stumpy, your hand!
Stump slips his hand to Cobb's lower back just as they
arrive at the door, and the two men enter together.
Thank you, my friend...
And Cobb is met by the Hall of Fame director, CHARLES,
50, who shakes his hand and shows him in.
Hello, Mr. Cobb, good to see you
And they head inside.
110 INT. HALL OF FAME - BANQUET ROOM - NIGHT 110
An orchestra is playing "Georgia On My Mind" as Cobb
holds court at his table of honor. The great old players
keep coming up to him, renewing old acquaintances.
The first is WAHOO SAM CRAWFORD, 80's, a contemporary and
at one time both teammate and adversary of young Cobb.
Sam Crawford, Ty, Long time no
Good to see you, Sam. You doin'
I'm alive, Ty, I'm alive...
The boys'll get together later
and have a little party, eh?
Be some parties tonight, Peach...
110 CONTINUED: 110
ROGERS HORNSBY, 60's, moves in as Wahoo Sam Crawford
Stumpy, meet Rogers Hornsby, next
to me the greatest hitter of all
How d'ya do. You're looking
I look like shit and you know it.
We'll have a real smoker later,
Ohyeah... we'll tear it up
The EMCEE raps a fork on a glass, bringing the dinner to
Welcome to Cooperstown, ladies
and gentlemen. We're here to
acknowledge the greatest
ballplayers of all time, those
men still gracing our presence
who were among the earliest
inductees into the Hall of Fame.
Waner, Hubbell, Foxx, Cochrane,
Hornsby, Traynor -- these are the
giants, the Old Masters of our
The spotlight moves around the room and each man waves,
half rising from his chair.
But the greatest of all is with
us tonight -- simply put, the
best ballplayer ever -- Tyrus
A spotlight hits Cobb, who rises and waves to the crowd
as the lights dim.
We have gathered from the
archives some film on Mr. Cobb...
110 CONTINUED: (2) 110
The lights dim -- a giant screen is lowered, and the
screen fills with old black and white footage of Cobb in
111 FILM (B&W) 111
With the familiar voice of a NARRATOR.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
This rare footage of Ty Cobb
reflects his love of children,
and they admired him by the
FILM - COBB (B&W)
posing with kids in uniforms. He clowns with them,
tousling their hair, knocking off their caps.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
On another occasion he partakes
in a Donkey Baseball game,
showing his not-so-well-known
FILM - COBB (B&W)
on a donkey in a Donkey Baseball game.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
And here's Cobb with two other
immortals, Babe Ruth and Tris
FILM - COBB, RUTH AND SPEAKER (B&W)
pose on the dugout steps.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
Cobb and Speaker were great
friends off the field, and of
course were accused of fixing
some games by pitcher Dutch
112 CLOSE ON COBB 112
watching the film -- He can't believe what he's seeing
113 COBB'S POV - FILM (B&W) 113
Cobb and Speaker carousing with obvious gambler types.
(NOTE: Cobb's POV of the film is subjective and dif-
ferentiated from the film everyone else is seeing. We,
the audience, see both versions.)
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
Cobb and Speaker were clearly
involved with unsavory gamblers,
but finally were acquitted by
Judge Landis, though many
questions remain unanswered --
114 COBB 114
leans over to Stump with grave concern.
What the hell is this?!
It's a great film --
Me and Speaker and the fix?
I think the medication's getting
to you, Ty -- I'm watching you
run the bases.
115 STUMP'S POV (B&W) 115
Cobb on the basepaths rounding second and heading for
third where he slides, spikes high, safe.
116 CLOSE ON COBB 116
Staring at the screen.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
Cobb's unique batting style led
to an unprecedented 12 batting
championships and a lifetime
average of .367 which places him
far above the field...
117 FILM - COBB (B&W) 117
at bat, demonstrating his unique stroke.
117 CONTINUED: 117
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
His ruthless competitive
spirit has sometimes been
118 COBB 118
turns to Stump again. Something is wrong.
Al, what are you seeing?
Your batting stroke.
119 COBB'S POV - FILM - COBB IN UNIFORM (B&W) 119
climbs into the stands and starts attacking a heckler
with his fists.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
In an infamous incident on August
xx, 19xx, Cobb attacked a heckler
who turned out to have no arms or
legs, and was briefly suspended
for the incident...
120 COBB 120
stands up next to Stump, who pulls him back down.
Stumpy, what's going on?
Ty, I think you're not well
-- I'll take you back to the
What're you seeing?
You and Connie Mack.
121 FILM - COBB (B&W) 121
in his A's uniform poses with Connie Mack.
122 COBB 122
settles back down and says nothing the rest of the film,
though he continues to see different images.
CLOSE ON STUMP
Enamored of the old footage.
123 STUMP'S POV - FILM (B&W) 123
Cobb running and sliding with abandon and disregard, a
124 CLOSE ON COBB 124
Silently watching, disturbed.
125 COBB'S POV (B&W) 125
He strikes his wife and she falls to the floor. He
stands over her defiantly.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
Cobb and his friends were notorious
for booze and sex parties they had
in the off-season, parties they
called 'Smokers,' which took place
in various hunting cabins they
would fill with hookers...
COBB'S POV - NAKED STRIPPER (B&W)
on a table gyrates to a room so thick with smoke that
Cobb and his cronies are barely visible sitting around
the room, a hooker on each lap, bottles of booze flowing.
126 CLOSE ON COBB 126
He rubs his eyes. What is this?
CLOSE ON COCHRANE, HORNSBY, WANER BROTHERS ET AL.
as they watch the same film Stump is watching.
127 FILM - COBB (B&W) 127
rounds third and slides home in a spray of dirt.
127 CONTINUED: 127
FREEZE FRAME as the Narrator wraps it up.
FILM NARRATOR (V.O.)
And when he retired in 1929, Cobb
left behind 92 batting records and
a legacy of greatness that may
never be approached.
128 CROWD 128
A standing ovation from the crowd as the lights come on.
CLOSE ON COBB
He's still disoriented by the "film" he's seen, but the
applause brings him back, and --
The orchestra plays "Sweet Georgia Brown" to Cobb's
129 INT. LARGE LOCAL HOTEL - LATER THAT NIGHT 129
Cobb and Stump move through the hallway.
Crawford and Foxx have something
cooking in Room 212 --
Over here, Ty.
I never partied with these boys
but they had a reputation.
They knock. JIMMY FOXX opens the door a crack.
You got some booze?
129 CONTINUED: 129
Who's in there?
Me, Sam and Pie.
Got any women in there?
Cobb lights up.
Me and Stumpy want some action.
Wanta meet some great broads?
And Jimmy Foxx opens the door letting in Cobb and Stump.
130 INT. ROOM 212 - NIGHT 130
Wahoo Sam Crawford, PIE TRAYNOR, and Jimmy Foxx are sit-
ting quietly in the room with their wives, each woman in
Cobb and Stump stand awkwardly.
Hello, Ty. You know my wife,
And this is Mrs. Traynor.
Pearl, meet Ty Cobb and --
130 CONTINUED: 130
Foxx pulls Cobb aside and whispers discreetly.
Hornsby's got something on the
third floor -- maybe more what
you're looking for.
131 INT. THIRD FLOOR HOTEL - NIGHT 131
Cobb and Stump hurry along looking for Hornsby's room.
LOUD MUSIC and LAUGHTER spills out of the room at the end
of the hall. We see a woman enter the room.
There it is!
You sure you're up for this?
I've never been readier!
Cobb takes a hit on his flask and they knock at the door.
Hornsby answers the door -- we can see a party behind
him, full of old players, booze, cigars -- and even some
women, though the whole thing is infinitely tamer than
the smokers Cobb remembers.
You ain't comin' in, Ty.
It's me! An' Stumpy here!
Cobb starts pushing on the door. Hornsby holds firm.
You're a bastard and you ain't
coming to our party.
Who's in there?!
131 CONTINUED: 131
Me and Mickey an' a coupla broads.
Let me talk to Mickey.
Hornsby signals to Cochrane who comes over to the door.
Ya look good in that tux, Mick.
I can't let ya in, Ty. It's Rogers'
party. I'm an invited guest.
God damn it, let me in!
Cobb tries to break into the party but Hornsby rushes
over and shoves the door in his face, leaving Ty and
Presidents of the United States of
America used to invite me to the
White House to drink their Scotch
and smoke their cigars and fuck
Let's go to the motel, Ty...
Cobb heads down the hallway pounding on every door --
he's ready to explode.
Let me in, God damn it! I
invented this game! Let me in!
Let's go home, Ty, this isn't a
good place to be...
I fought for players' rights and
salary increases and unions while
all you crawled around on your
knees begging massa' for bread
crumbs just thankful for a job!
131 CONTINUED: (2) 131
Open up, God damn it! Ballplayers
can make big money but they're too
stupid! You're all too stupid!
The hell with ya!
Cobb grabs Stump and pulls his face close.
Take me back to the Hall!
132 EXT. HALL OF FAME BUILDING - LATE AT NIGHT 132
Charles, the Hall director, opens the door for Cobb and
Stump. He clearly has been summoned in the middle of the
I appreciate your coming.
For Mr. Cobb, no problem.
Cobb is silent. He and Stump enter.
133 INT. HALL OF FAME - NIGHT 133
The director flips on a couple lights -- the hall is
partially lit. Charles stays in the b.g., as -- Cobb
leads Stump past all the displays, various shrines and
photos and old bats and balls and records, until --
A glass case full of Cobb's things -- his original
Detroit Tiger uniform hangs there. Three of his famous
"Black Betsy" bats, his glove, a couple balls, and his
Cobb stands in front of the case just staring. Stump
stands respectfully a few paces away. Cobb stares at his
old uniform. Stump stares at Cobb.
And Cobb starts crying, softly at first, then swelling
until the muffled deep, convulsive sounds become more
audible. He starts crying like a baby.
Stump stands quietly nearby, afraid to move, until,
133 CONTINUED: 133
Cobb sucks up the tears and finally turns to Stump.
What did you see on that film
I saw Ty Cobb playing baseball.
I was raised in the Baptist Church
but I know that Heaven is just the
ol' oskefagus -- the change-up.
You swing from your ass 'cause you
think life is a fastball down the
middle and after your bat has
crossed the plate and you're all
off balance and looking stupid,
the ball just kinda flutters
across home, slow and juicy and
hittable, and as it crosses the
plate, the ball looks at you and
smiles a nasty smile and laughs
its way into the catcher's mitt...
We don't just lose -- we're made
You were the best.
Save the romance for the book...
... and take me home to Georgia.
134 EXT. SOUTHERN HIGHWAY - DAY 134
A black limo crosses the landscape.
135 INT. LIMO - DAY 135
Cobb reads the typed manuscript next to Stump who just
stares out the window at the passing landscape.
135 CONTINUED: 135
Cobb parted with some of his hard-
earned money and rented a limo in
order to make what he called a
'grand re-entrance to his beloved
home town of Royston...'
Cobb marks the margin of the manuscript.
He loved the manuscript, as well
he should -- it made him out to be
a saint --
Cobb looks up from the manuscript.
Greatest biography ever written --
The book, like Cobb, was almost
finished. But he was dying slower
than I was writing, and like
everything else, he viewed it as a
competition that he was not going
CLOSE ON COBB
Sweating, pale, hanging on. A grim smile.
To me, we weren't riding to
Georgia in a limo...
We were riding in a hearse...
136 BLACK LIMO 136
heads into the deep South, past catfish restaurants,
shanties, and Civil War battlegrounds.
It looks like a hearse.
137 EXT. HIGHWAY SIGN - DAY 137
"WELCOME TO GEORGIA -- 'The Peach State'"
The hearse rushes into Georgia.
138 INT. HEARSE - CLOSE ON COBB - DAY 138
staring out the window as the Georgia landscape
CAR POV - OLD WOODEN SIGN
Paint chipped and faded.
We're here. And the fuckin' sign
The sign reads: "WELCOME TO ROYSTON, GEORGIA
"HOME OF TY COBB"
A large painting of Cobb rounding third is still visible,
though barely, as part of the sign.
The limo passes.
139 EXT. DOWNTOWN ROYSTON - DAY 139
The limo moves slowly and ominously through the
Old folks, black and white, sitting on chairs and
benches in front of the stores, under awnings, stare
at the strange sight of a limo cruising slowly.
It wasn't exactly the 'grand re-
entrance to a home town' that he
CLOSE ON TWO OLD BLACK MEN
sitting under an awning. They point and discuss among
themselves who this could be.
140 INT. LIMO - DAY 140
Cobb motions to the driver and to Stump.
My sister lives down this way...
Turn right here...
140 CONTINUED: 140
POV - ROW OF OLD HOMES
They look kinda the same...
When's the last time you saw her?
About fifteen years ago. But she
There! No... damn....
BACK TO SCENE
The limo cruises slowly through a quiet neighborhood.
Maybe she moved.
There! I think...
POV - HOUSE
like the others.
I'll see if it's her. Wait here.
Stump gets out of the car and heads up the walk.
141 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 141
Stump knocks at the door -- the door opens -- a woman in
her 60s appears. It is FLORENCE COBB XXXXX.
Good day, ma'am. I'm looking for
Florence Cobb --------.
141 CONTINUED: 141
I have your brother in the car.
Yes. And he'd like to see you.
COBB'S POV FROM CAR - STUMP AND SOMEBODY
He can't quite see who it is from his angle.
BACK TO SCENE
I don't wish to see him.
It's been a long time, he said.
He's not well.
I have nothing to say to him, and
wish to hear nothing he has to say
I know there's been problems, but
the family is very important to
Young man, the family he talks
about never existed.
He loved his father.
If his father, if my father, was
such a great man, why did Tyrus
turn out to be so evil?
Stump hesitates. He doesn't have a ready answer.
He's dying. He just wants to see
141 CONTINUED: (2) 141
And she politely closes the door in Stump's face. Stump
turns, sees that the limo is at such a distance that Cobb
couldn't possibly have seen, or heard, her. He returns
to the limo.
142 INT. LIMO - DAY 142
Stump climbs back in next to Cobb. He motions to the
driver to head off -- the limo does.
It wasn't your sister. The woman
in the house said your sister moved
a long time ago... she doesn't know
You cocksucking liar. My sister
doesn't want to see me and you're
And Stump, at last, goes off --
Liar?! A cocksucking liar?! Of
course I'm a liar! That's what
I'm paid to do, isn't it?! Lie
about Ty Cobb?!
If you didn't like the job, why
didn't you quit?
Who would take care of you?
Don't give me the sob-sister
I listen to your bullshit, I
interpret and shape and find words
for your bullshit and you give me
nothing but grief!
142 CONTINUED: 142
You love being this close to
Stop the car!
The car stops. Stump climbs out, searching for room
and for air to breathe. The skies are overcast and
143 EXT. CAR BY ROADSIDE - DAY 143
Stump walks away from the car and from Cobb. Some wind
blows, and the threat of rain.
I wish you'd die!
I will, Stumpy, I will...
Cobb is out of the car on his cane -- following Stump.
And go to hell!
A line of lightning signals a storm in the distance.
Oh, I'll do that, too.
And look how convenient you've
They look up -- The entrance to the Royston Cemetery. A
casually-maintained slope of several acres up a hill.
That was your sister alright, and
she didn't want anything to do
with you either!
I forgive her.
Stump walks into the cemetery to escape Cobb, who follows
nonetheless with a cool resolution. Stump laughs at
143 CONTINUED: 143
You forgive her?! That's rich!
Forgiveness is crucial to human
maturity and religious growth.
We all need to forgive more, Al...
you oughta try it. You're too
angry. You're all pent up.
Through the cemetery they keep walking, up a long hill
full of tombstones and shrines and sprays of dead and
dying flowers and gaudy plastic bouquets. Cobb following
steadily along with his cane, several paces behind Stump.
THUNDER shakes the ground. And more lightning.
Are you angry because I discovered
you were a whore? Is that it,
Is it the divorce? You gotta let
go of it...
I love her! I don't want a
Sure ya do. You're just so used
to accommodating people that you
don't know what you want anymore.
I accommodate nobody.
Stump whirls near the top of the hill to face Cobb who
continues making his way along, slowly and surely.
But you have no friends!
143 CONTINUED: (2) 143
Do you? Who are they?! Those
drunken hacks you hang out with
who all think they're gonna write
the great American novel but all
they're gonna ever do is bitch and
moan and write lousy leads about
high school football games? How
about the brunette in the
courtyard? Is she your friend?
I heard she fucks everybody -- she
must be everybody's friend!
A mausoleum looms behind Stump, bigger than anything in
the cemetery, classical, outsized, monumental, even
elegant. One simple word is above the door, carved in
I'm glad we're here -- I was gonna
bring you here anyway sooner or
Stump turns to see the mausoleum, and the word COBB.
Which Cobb of Georgia is that?
Several beats as the men take it all in. Finally:
That is me.
And rain suddenly falls from the skies, threatening to
soak the two men.
Cobb heads for the mausoleum -- Stump follows.
144 INT. MAUSOLEUM - DAY 144
Just enough room for the two men to stand. On either
side of them are two crypts, enough for four burial
vaults. Cobb is very calm now, and lucid. Rain falls
144 CONTINUED: 144
When I die, my mother and father
will be moved in here and, in time,
my dear sister, Florence will join
us as well.
The family will be together again.
Stump is still fuming, angry and cynical.
Under one roof? That's romantic!
You want that in the book? Ty
Cobb brings the family together at
last to enter the gates of Heaven
You mock my family -- you mock me.
Cobb grabs Stump by the throat and stares him in the
My father was a great man!
Then why are you such a bastard?
Being a bastard is a small price
to pay for greatness. I, too,
am a great man.
Let me go!
My mother didn't kill my father.
What're you talking about?
Cobb's fist clinches Stump's throat, forcing him to hear.
Outside the mausoleum, RAIN pours down now, a Southern
spring thunderstorm unleashing torrents.
My father told my mother he was
leaving town for the weekend but
he came back to the edge of the
woods where he tied up his horse...
145 EXT. MOONLIT ROAD THROUGH SOME WOODS - NIGHT (B&W) 145
A horse shakes its head, attached to a buggy.
A man starts through the thinning woods.
... because my father thought my
mother was being unfaithful to
POV SHOT - GABLED HOUSE (B&W)
In the window a silhouette of the woman. She turns. A
EXT. BALCONY ON HOUSE - NIGHT (B&W)
The man climbs over the railing and peers in the window.
He pulls a pistol from his belt.
... he was going to catch my
mother with another man...
146 POV SHOT - WOMAN (B&W) 146
Young, thin, beautiful. She turns and looks towards a
bed we cannot see.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT (B&W)
The woman whirls -- She hears a noise. She ducks down.
She reaches under the bed and pulls out a shotgun.
She lifts the shotgun up awkwardly and without
I stood by my mother when she was
tried for murder a few months later.
I said she was noble and true and
loved my father completely and the
whole thing was an accident and she
was acquitted as she should have
146 CONTINUED: 146
His mother looks away at something.
Because my mother did not kill
His mother hands the shotgun to a naked man climbing
My mother's lover killed my father.
Cobb's father raises the winow -- KABLAM! The lover
FIRES into his stomach. Cobb's father lurches onto
CLOSE ON COBB'S FATHER (B&W)
on his back staring up at his mother's lover.
The last thing my father saw was
the face of the man fucking his
The lover unloads the second shell -- blowing his
147 INT. MAUSOLEUM - DAY 147
The rain pours down on the cemetery. THUNDER.
Lightning. Cobb still holds Stump by the throat.
Well?! Is that what you want?!
'Cause that's all I know and the
only other people who know about
it are dead! But it ain't going
in the book, either, 'cause you're
the only friend I got left, and
you're the only man I can trust.
Cobb lets Stump go, relaxing his grip and --
Stump rages back outside into the rain. Cobb stays
dry in the doorway of the mausoleum.
147 CONTINUED: 147
I don't want to be your friend!
I don't want to feel sorry for you!
So your mother's lover blew your
father's head off! I don't care.
You were a prick before it
happened, you were a prick after it
happened, you've been a prick ever
since, and you're a prick now!
Cobb quietly takes a hit on his flask from the doorway
of the mausoleum, watching Stump rant and rave in the
Public relations are overrated.
What the hell're you talking
Cobb holds out his flask for Stump.
You need a drink.
Fuck the drink!
Cobb motions for the limo to pull up the slope towards
You're too angry, Al, you just
gotta learn to let it out.
Stump stands in the rain screaming at Cobb who stands
out of the rain, calm, centered, drinking, dying.
I'm gonna tell the truth about you,
Cobb! I'm gonna tell the world you
hate women, Jews, and niggers!
You shouldn't use the word 'nigger',
Stumpy, it's racist and demeaning.
And I don't hate women -- I'm just
not very good with 'em, which puts
me in the same boat with you and
every other man I know.
147 CONTINUED: (2) 147
You treat people like dirt!
Cobb comes out into the rain toward Stump.
The children of America need
heroes, Al, you know that...
Cobb takes him by the arm and tries to lead him to the
Get your hands off me!
(taking by the
You're making a fool of yourself
out here. It's not dignified...
Come in out of the rain...
And Cobb helps Stump into the limo, which pulls out of
the cemetery still being drenched by rain.
148 EXT. JEFFERSON DAVIS MOTEL - NIGHT 148
The rain is thick -- Yet another motel, another neon
sign, and the limo parked in front of one of the
149 INT. MOTEL - NIGHT 149
Both men are sitting in rocking chairs in front of a
fireplace. Stump is in a bathrobe, his feet in a big
pan of warm water, a bottle of booze in his hand. He
looks a mess. Cobb is idly playing with his pistol.
He's calm, introspective.
You're an educated man...
tell me what you think...
Stump just sits there, drinking.
149 CONTINUED: 149
Either my father was... inadequate
... for my mother... he was not
the man I thought he was... not a
great man... not even a good man...
... or my mother was... trash...
a common whore...
It's that simple, isn't it?
Stump just shrugs and takes another hit.
As a boy I stood in court next to
her because suddenly I was the man
of the house but as I stood there
steadfastly by her side and heard
the jury say 'not guilty' I knew
she'd been with another man the
night of the killing.
Stump drinks deeply once again.
A man must defend his mother at
all times, isn't that right, Al?
Or am I a fool?
A man must defend his mother
at all times.
That's what I thought...
And the two men sit there silently, rocking slightly,
trying to stay warm, when there is --
Suddenly a KNOCK at the door -- They stare at each
Cobb puts down the gun, struggles to the door and answers
A MAN stands in the rain, carrying a briefcase, trying
vainly to keep dry.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
149 CONTINUED: (2) 149
Cobb lets the man inside -- points to Stump in the chair.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
Mr. Al Stump?
Stump nods as he swigs on the bottle.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
I've been chasing you all over the
-- I'm here to serve you papers.
I'm afraid it's divorce, Stumpy.
I know this routine.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
You're being sued for divorce.
But my wife and I are still
Yeah, and what she's saying is
Fuck me? Well fuck her. No,
Stump reaches for the gun and aims it at the man.
You ain't serving me no papers.
The Man is frozen with terror as Stump rises from the
chair -- drunk and crazed, aiming the shaky gun.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
I'm just doing a job.
I love my wife.
We all loved our wives, Al, that's
got nothing to do with it.
149 CONTINUED: (3) 149
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
You'll find somebody else.
There's a million broads out
there, Stumpy -- put down the gun.
KABLAM! Stump FIRES at the man but the shot goes wild.
He's drunk, he's not experienced with guns, he's shaking.
I am not going to accommodate
this man, Tyrus.
You're all mixed up. Give me the
You're absolutely right, Tyrus,
I've been accommodating people
my whole life and it stops right
You've killed a man. I'll kill a
KABLAM! KABLAM! He misses again.
The Man drops to his knees, begging for his life.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
No! Please, dear God! I have a
Don't give me that sob-sister
Stump tries to hold the gun with two hands, approaching
the man, to nearly point-blank range.
Al... no... Al... Al...
Stump looks crazed, a bathrobe falling open, his feet
bare and wet, his hair awry from the rainstorm. He aims
the gun at the man's head, looks at Cobb with wild glee.
149 CONTINUED: (4) 149
Life is too short to be
diplomatic. A man's friends don't
care what he says or does. You're
my friend, Ty, right? You're my
Stump pulls the TRIGGER -- CLICK. Empty.
As the Man looks up, realizing he's alive, Stump strikes
him across the face with the gun, drawing blood.
The Man scrambles to his feet and races from the room,
grabbing his briefcase, and running to the door.
MAN WITH BRIEFCASE
You're crazy! No wonder she
wants to divorce you! You're
And the Man runs into the rainy night, leaving Cobb and
Stump's head collapses in his hands -- Bewildered,
exhausted. The two men sit alone for several beats
before Stump speaks. He is completely lost.
I almost killed a man.
A little drunken excess...
No. I put a gun to a man's head
and pulled the trigger. I wanted
to kill him.
It's forgotten already. I saw
nothing. Nothing happened.
Yes it did.
Al, listen to me.
149 CONTINUED: (5) 149
If I was hired to write a
biography of the greatest
sportswriter of our time -- a
biography of Al Stump -- would I
include what happened tonight?
Attorneys are pigs -- divorce
attorneys are lower than pigs.
What happened tonight was private.
An intimacy. Your own business.
Our own business. Nobody else's.
It wouldn't belong in a book about
Nobody's gonna write my
And when the brunette in the
courtyard brushed against you, I
know what happened, Al. A warm
summer breeze, the smell of
jasmine, her black hair against a
white blouse -- you came to life
again, you got hard -- and when
you saw her naked it was more
than you could bear... it's okay,
Al, it's okay...
The brunette ain't gonna be in
the book either...
Stump looks up at Cobb but says nothing. He picks up a
nearly-empty bottle off the floor and takes a hit.
And the drinking? Well, they
used to say ol' Ty had a drinking
problem but you can booze me
right under the table right
now... no problem... and nobody's
God damn business, either...
Stump raises his hand, motioning Cobb to stop.
I get it... I get it...
A moment. A look.
Then get some sleep. You look
149 CONTINUED: (6) 149
Stump crawls on the bed toward the pillows with the
stupid grace of a drunk looking for a key under the mat.
Cobb helps Stump lie down, pulling a blanket over him.
Stump rolls over to go to sleep, Cobb tucks the blanket
around him, and picks up the bottle from the pillow.
Cobb takes a last hit of the bottle -- Finishing it off.
He throws it to the ground, and looks around the room for
COBB'S POV - STUMP'S SUITCASE
lies open on a chair. A nearly-full bottle of Scotch is
BACK TO SCENE
He makes it to the bottle -- Steadies himself -- he's ex-
hausted. He takes a deep swig from the Scotch. Several
deep gulps, enough to kill a horse, but it only helps him
And he sees something in the suitcase -- He looks down
COBB'S POV - CARDBOARD BOX
which Stump has been filling with his secret manuscript.
BACK TO SCENE
Cobb opens the box and pulls out a paper. He reads it.
He looks at Stump, and --
Cobb takes the box and the bottle to the chair by the
fireplace, where he sits down, puts on his reading
glasses, and starts reading "the real story."
CLOSE ON COBB
He reads page one slowly and carefully, then starts mov-
ing through the box full of odd sizes of paper, hotel
stationery, cocktail napkins, legal pads, all handwritten
in secret. He keeps glancing up at the bed where Stump
is in the deep stupor of sleep.
149 CONTINUED: (7) 149
... 'vicious, pathological,
bubbling with violence... Cobb's
demons were not merely exorcized
on the baseball field... they
spilled over into all parts of
his miserable life...'
150 SERIES OF IMAGES (B&W) 150
from the text -- from Cobb's real life.
A) Cobb sharpens his spikes with a file.
B) Cobb steals second base and slides spikes high,
C) Cobb driving a fancy car with a pretty woman at his
D) Cobb beats a man to death in an alley.
E) Cobb onstage with a stripper at a smoker.
F) Cobb striking his wife and knocking her to the
G) Cobb FIRING a GUN at Stump in the hunting lodge.
H) Cobb and Stump being turned away from the parties
I) Cobb's father being blown away by the shotgun.
J) Cobb on third being booed -- More trash on the
field. Police restrain the crowd. Cobb stands
defiantly, waving the crowd away in a menacing
gesture, fearlessly. The sounds of derisive booing
build to a crescendo, and then...
151 INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 151
Cobb's eyes flare -- He's in a rage.
151 CONTINUED: 151
He rises from the chair, his adrenaline has momentarily
overwhelmed his system and he moves as a young man.
Cobb picks up the pistol and reloads it.
Cobb marches resolutely to the bed.
Cobb aims the loaded gun at Stump's sleeping head.
CLOSE ON STUMP
Oblivious in a drunken sleep.
CLOSE ON COBB
Rage is in his eyes. He cocks the gun.
CLOSE ON COBB
He's crying. He shakes his head.
You don't have a point of view,
Stumpy, you ain't worth
Cobb puts the gun into his own mouth -- He clears his
throat, as if to make room for the gun barrel. He gags
slightly and closes his eyes, he thinks for the last
CLOSE ON HIS FACE
Something's not right.
Cobb removes the gun momentarily and looks at it.
He sees that the gun barrel is covered with blood.
152 COBB 152
rushes into the bathroom and faces the mirror. Blood
gushes from his mouth as he coughs again.
152 CONTINUED: 152
CLOSE ON COBB
as he stares into the mirror.
No... no... no... this can't
be... Absolutely not... This is
Cobb coughs again -- More blood covers his chin. He
touches his chin, touches the blood, smears it around a
little, looks at his hands now covered with blood.
Cobb moves around the tiny bathroom like a caged animal.
He falls to his knees in prayer in front of the sink.
Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed by Thy name. Thy
kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily
bread, and forgive us our
trespasses, as we forgive --
Aw, fuck it... little late for
that sob sister stuff...
Cobb rises to his feet and looks in the mirror again.
He grabs a hand towel and daubs his face with it. A bit
more blood trickles from his mouth. And gradually a deep
calm seems to settle over him.
... so this is what it feels
153 COBB 153
returns to the bedroom and sits down on the edge of the
bed, next to Stump who continues his deep, drunken sleep.
Cobb picks up the phone and dials as he continues mopping
his chin with the towel. He speaks with great calm.
153 CONTINUED: 153
Can you get me the Emory
Hello, Ma'am? This is Ty Cobb.
Can you please prepare your
finest room for me? Tomorrow
morning would be fine.
Cobb hangs up and leans back on the bed next to Stump
who is still deep in drunken sleep. One man sleeps
deeply, the other just sits there.
154 EXT. JEFFERSON DAVIS MOTEL - EARLY NEXT MORNING 154
The limousine pulls away from the motel. The rain has
155 INT. MOTEL - EARLY MORNING 155
Stump rolls over -- The hangover is brutal. He looks
worse than we've ever seen him. He reaches for the
(off no answer)
(off no answer)
Stump struggles to his elbow to find Cobb.
STUMP'S POV - COBB'S BED
is empty and still neatly made.
BACK TO SCENE
Stump sits up with a start. He is suddenly, by circum-
stance, awake and alert, though he looks like hell. He's
also alarmed -- something is wrong.
Stump leaps out of bed and looks around.
155 CONTINUED: 155
Three holes of broken plaster and mirror.
BACK TO SCENE
He rushes to the fireplace where only embers now glow.
He sees something --
The "real" manuscript scattered around the floor near the
chair. Nearby, the bathroom door is open.
Stump hurries into the bathroom and stops cold.
Blood is on the sink and on the towels. A note is on the
mirror. He pulls the note down and reads it.
'Dear Alimony, you lying S.O.B.
-- I'm checking myself into the
hospital. I think the end is
near. Your Pal, Ty.'
CLOSE ON STUMP
156 EXT. EMORY STATE HOSPITAL - DAY 156
A cab pulls up -- Stump gets out. He's cleaned up now,
shaved, dressed neatly. He enters.
157 INT. EMORY STATE HOSPITAL - DAY 157
Stump goes up to a reception desk and introduces himself.
I'm here to see...
157 CONTINUED: 157
A CRASHING NOISE and shouting erupt from down the hall.
A tray of food is thrown out into the hall.
Get the hell outta here! You
call this a hospital?! You call
this food?! You know who I am?!
... Mr. Cobb.
Be careful. He's got a gun and
we haven't been able to get it
away from him.
I know, I know...
Stump hurries down the hall to the source of the noise.
A small group of doctors, orderlies and NURSES are
gathered outside Cobb's door, afraid to enter. Also
there are two civilians in business suits.
He doesn't want visitors.
Stump ignores the advice and enters the room.
158 INT. COBB'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY 158
Cobb sits in bed -- His gun and his money are next to
him. He's giving orders, ranting and raving in a classic
Cobb rage. A bottle hangs from a pole, feeding his arm.
A doctor and two Nurses are present, trying to deal with
Hey, Stumpy, where you been?
You can't believe the shit they
call food in this joint. You get
some sleep? Good. I had quite a
read last night...
A Nurse enters warily, but determined, with a small sy-
158 CONTINUED: 158
Excuse me, sir, but I need to
draw some more blood.
Put a bucket under my chin and
I'll cough up a couple pints for
I have to do it this way.
Well don't poke around too long.
He holds out his arm for her. She begins drawing blood.
She's a nice piece of ass, eh,
You come back later and climb on
the big fella?
It's against regulations, sir.
So you read the book.
Yeah, God damn it, I thought I
could trust you -- I used to be
able to figure out people better.
That book is the truth.
You're a God damn romantic! The
truth is a whore! Just like you
and just like my mother!
Another NURSE enters and announces.
A Mr. Barton is here to see you.
He says he's the chairman of the
board of Coca Cola.
Tell the son of a bitch to go
downstairs and have a Pepsi --
I got no time for business.
158 CONTINUED: (2) 158
Nurse #1 tapes Cobb's arm and escapes with the blood
A YOUNG DOCTOR enters, also warily.
I need to take your blood
It's high. What else you need to
I have to do it.
The Young doctor wraps Cobb's arm with the device and
Another OLDER DOCTOR enters and addresses Cobb head on.
Mr. Cobb. We cannot allow you
to have a gun in here.
Cobb picks up the gun and aims it at the doctor.
Come and get it.
The Older Doctor turns and leaves. Stump enjoys the
Y'know, Stumpy, my oldest son
was a doctor -- a hacksaw artist,
that's all they are --
He died of a brain tumor when he
was forty -- hadn't spoke to me
in fifteen years 'cause I was
such a rotten father -- put that
in your God damn book!
The Younger Doctor completes his task and slips away.
(to the Younger
Bad, ain't it?
158 CONTINUED: (3) 158
I don't know which version of your
life I'm going to publish. I
There ya go again! Accommodating
me and you don't have to! I
died faster than you could write!
Cobb waves his gun just as some more doctors enter.
Get the hell outta here! Everybody
but Stumpy! Out!
The room clears -- leaving only Cobb and Stump.
You fooled me, Stumpy, nobody
ever fooled me but you pulled it
off! I thought we were pals!
I didn't know what I was getting
into with this job.
Quit explaining yourself! Stand
by your convictions! You beat
the great Ty Cobb! I respect
that! But if you print it --
print it all!
My second son weighed 300 pounds
and he died of a heart attack in
the arms of a hooker in Paso
Robles. My other son I lost all
track of and my two daughters
won't speak to me and my two ex-
wives won't and my siter you know
won't! Print it all!
And Ty Cobb can't get it up
anymore! Print that too!
It's all... confusing...
158 CONTINUED: (4) 158
It's not! It's simple! You won!
Tell the world that the greatest
ballplayer who ever lived was also
the biggest bastard! Who cares
now?! I give you permission and
my blessing! From here on it's
Stump nods and pulls a pint of whiskey from his coat
pocket. He goes up to Cobb and tucks the whiskey
under the blanket.
Here's a little something might
Cobb nods in appreciation.
Where's my money?
Right here, Peach... next to your
Cobb grabs Stump's hand for one last word.
Stumpy, there's nothing wrong with
Now get the hell outta here.
Stump places Cobb's hand on his money, nods, and --
Stump leaves the room without looking back at --
COBB IN BED
with a gun -- in the last stages of life, his health
in total collapse, he is in complete control.
159 INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - DAY 159
Doctors, nurses, orderlies, men in suits -- all are
waiting nervously outside the door as Stump emerges.
159 CONTINUED: 159
What about the gun? Did you get
Naw, I didn't get the gun...
And Stump leaves the hospital, passing the Coke
Executive. As he does he looks back over his shoulder
POV SHOT - DOCTORS, ET AL.
rushing back into Cobb's room. And --
The sounds of CRASHING, BROKEN GLASS, and COBB'S
Stump smiles slightly and walks away.
160 EXT. "WELCOME TO ROYSTON" SIGN - EDGE OF TOWN - DAY 160
A teenage boy re-paints the faded sign that reads "Home
of Ty Cobb". The luster returns to the old sign.
I gave a few bucks to a local kid
to re-paint the sign, and
disappeared for a while to finish
And wait for Cobb to die...
And while I waited, Ernest
Hemingway blew his brains out,
Getty bought Honolulu Oil Company,
and the brunette in the courtyard
ran away with a handsome young
CLOSE ON SIGN
As Cobb's image rounding third reappears in all its
160 CONTINUED: 160
And on July 17, 1961... Ty Cobb
died quietly in his sleep. I
don't believe it was quiet, nothing
he did was quiet, but that's what
the newspaper writer said who wrote
the lead and we all know that
writers never lie...
PAN OVER ACROSS the sign -- to the adjacent cemetery
A hearse enters the cemetery grounds followed by three
cars. A very humble ceremony.
And the voice of a country gospel singer can be heard.
COUNTRY GOSPEL (V.O.)
'There is a fountain filled with
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins...'
161 EXT. CEMETERY - DAY 161
The mausoleum -- The coffin sits by the open crypt.
Somebody hired a singer...
COUNTRY GOSPEL SINGER (V.O.)
'And sinners plunged beneath that
Lose all their guilty stains...'
... but it was the grimmest damn
funeral service I'd ever seen.
Stump stands in the distance, at the back of the cemetery,
watching the simple, empty service.
He left all his money to his
family, though no members of it
managed to attend the funeral, and
with the rest he founded a hospital
in his own name and an educational
trust fund for poor Georgia
161 CONTINUED: 161
POV SHOT - THREE OLD MEN
in dark suits drop flowers on the coffin.
Only three ballplayers attended
the service -- three oldtimers
who he'd been supporting
financially for many years, a
fact he didn't want made public.
POV SHOT - SCHOOL BUS
pulls in and unloads -- Dozens of Little Leaguers in
uniform join in the service.
Somebody rounded up some Little
Leaguers, probably so the press
photographers would have some
sob sister photos... the sort
Cobb hated... except the press
didn't bother coming.
I'll give him this -- the family
was under one roof again.
BACK TO SCENE
Stump turns and slips quietly out of the cemetery.
I called my publisher. The book
was ready. Only I didn't know
which one to turn in.
162 EXT. SPORTSMAN'S LOUNGE - LATE AFTERNOON 162
The regulars are still there, still drinking, still
... so a woman goes into a bar
with a duck under her arm, sits
down next to a drunk who looks up
and says, 'Where'd you find that
pig?' An' the woman says 'That's
no pig, that's a duck.'
162 CONTINUED: 162
An' the drunk says, 'I know, I was
talking to the duck.'
Bored laughter and another hit on their everpresent
And Stump enters for the first time in nearly a year.
Stump enters comfortably, happy to see his cronies at
last. Frank and the others come over from the bar,
quickly gathering around Stump.
Stranger! Another round on me!
Stump settles in at the table.
Long time no see, etc...
Good to see you guys... how's
it goin'? Alan, how's that
novel coming? Must be about
done by now?
Uh, actually, I haven't started
it yet... been kinda busy...
We all been busy...
Yeah, I know how it is...
We read that Cobb died.
Yeah... finally gave up the ghost.
So? What was he like?
Were the stories true or were
162 CONTINUED: (2) 162
The drinks arrive. Stump plays with his, swirling the
drink around the ice with his finger, considering his
Tell us the truth, man, was he
Or was he just one of the guys?
Stump looks at the faces of his buddies, eagerly
awaiting his judgement as if it is final wisdom. He
stirs his drink.
Ohyeah, the absolute truth, no
bullshit, give it to us
Stump takes a drink and looks his friends in the eye.
A prince and a great man has
Murmurs of deep satisfaction from the Cronies.
Yes, awright, we knew it...
Helluva guy, eh?
A helluva guy, a great man, a
misunderstood artist, a fierce
competitor but a sweet man at
heart... a gentle soul...
As Stump starts lying to his enraptured audience, we PULL
BACK AND UP, going FROM the intimate center of the table
TO a cool distance, and --
163 EXT. DIRT BALLFIELD IN GEORGIA - DUSK 163
Some kids play baseball with a taped-up ball, patched
up bat, no uniforms, rocks for bases. The right way.
I published the lie and put the
truth in a closet...
PAN OVER TO the Royston Cemetery in b.g.
Nearby, two holes in the earth have been opened up and
the caskets of Cobb's mother and father are being moved
into the mausoleum.
Cobb and his father and mother
were together at last...
The man had some deep, unexpressed
sorrow that I could never know.
I embraced him and I hated him...
And I knew I would never write a
novel, unless you considered 'Cobb'
a work of fiction -- which I did
164 EXT. TIGER STADIUM (DETROIT) - DUSK 164
Stump walks from the dugout to the field. He stares up
at the magnificent old structure, the overhanging right
field facade, the great upper deck, almost a century of
baseball has been played there. Cobb's palace.
My friends were thrilled to hear
that the Georgia Peach was a
helluva guy -- it excused their own
failures -- if Cobb was okay, then
by God, they were okay...
But finally I didn't lie for
them, or the children of America,
or somesuch hogwash -- finally I
lied for myself.
I needed Cobb to be somebody he was
not. I needed him to be a hero.
It is my weakness.
164 CONTINUED: 164
Stump turns to walk off the field.
The book was a moderate success...
The empty stadium, cavernous, half cathedral, half
Fritz Kreisler's VIOLIN MUSIC that Cobb adored drifts
165 SHOTS OF COBB IN ACTION (B&W) 165
His demon fury gives way to the fierce joy of his play-
ing. He slashes a ball up the alley, turns first and
never hesitates at second, and as the relay comes into
Cobb slides with spikes high and a cloud of dust.