Based on the novel by
November 9, 2009
WILLIAM FAULKNER wrote of Mammy Callie after her death:
"...she gave to my family a fidelity without stint or
calculation or recompense and gave to my childhood an
immeasurable devotion and love".
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 1963
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
AIBILEEN, black, 53, sits at a table in a small, green
kitchen. She wears a yellow dress with black piping and
grips a tattered spiral notebook.
Although cracked, the window behind her is crystal clear.
Three framed portraits hang on the wall above her: John F.
Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and an UNKNOWN YOUNG
BLACK MALE wearing thick glasses.
Aibileen swallows hard.
I was...born in 1911...on Piedmont
Plantation in Cherokee County.
An UNSEEN WOMAN interviews Aibileen.
Did you know as a girl, growing up,
that one day you'd be a maid?
Yes, ma'am. I did.
And you knew that because?
Momma was a maid. My grandmother
was a house slave.
The woman repeats Aibileen's answer slowly as she writes.
WOMAN (O.C.) (CONT'D)
A...House...Slave. Uh-huh. Okay.
Aibileen squeezes the notebook in her lap.
WOMAN (O.C.) (CONT'D)
Now, did you ever dream of being
Aibileen gulps. She doesn't answer. The room is quiet.
WOMAN (O.C.) (CONT'D)
Well then, what's it feel like, to
raise a white child when your own
child's at home...being looked
after by somebody else?
Aibileen's hand trembles as she sips from a glass of water.
She glances sadly up to the picture of the young black male.
FADE TO BLACK:
I done raised seventeen kids in my
life. Lookin' after white babies,
that's what I do.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - MAE MOBLEY'S ROOM - MORNING
MAE MOBLEY LEEFOLT, 2 1/2 years old, lies in a crib, crying.
AIBILEEN enters. Her dark black skin contrasts angelically
with a brilliant white work dress, white panty hose and shoes
I know how to get them babies
asleep, stop cryin' and go in the
toilet bowl before they mommas even
get outta bed in the mornin.'
Aibileen lifts Mae Mobley out of her crib and pulls her into
her expansive bosom.
AIBILEEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Babies like fat. They like big fat
legs too. That I know.
Aibileen sits with Mae Mobley in a rocking chair.
AIBILEEN (V.O) (CONT'D)
I work from eight to four, six days
a week. Ninety-five cents an hour
comes to a hundred seventy-two
dollars ever month. I do all the
cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing
and grocery shopping, but mostly, I
take care a baby girl...And law, I
worry she gone be fat. Ain't gonna
be no beauty queen either.
Mae Mobley reaches up and touches Aibileen's face. Aibileen
kisses her and whispers in her ear.
You is kind. You is smart. You is
Mae Mobley's mother, ELIZABETH LEEFOLT, 21 and lanky, enters
wearing a green dress very much under construction. Pins and
double-stick tape hold it all together.
Elizabeth has pointed features and a nest of teased, brittle
Aibileen, bridge club's in an hour!
Did you finish the chicken salad?
Oh, and Hilly's deviled eggs. No
Elizabeth rotates around like the Tin Man.
Does this dress look homemade?
I reckon when you finish, it won't.
Elizabeth exits with her pinned hemline sloping at a good
twenty degree angle. Aibileen shakes her head.
AIBILEEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Miss Leefolt still don't pick Baby
Girl up but once a day. The
birthin' blues had got holt a Miss
Leefolt pretty hard. I done seen it
happen plenty a times...once babies
start havin' they own babies. And
the young white ladies of
Jackson...Oh, law, they was havin'
INT. JACKSON JOURNAL NEWSPAPAER - OFFICE - SAME DAY
A smoking RECEPTIONIST, 50, leads EUGENIA "SKEETER" PHELAN,
23, across a smoke-filled news office. Even the light bulbs
But, not Miss Skeeter...
Skeeter has very frizzy blond hair cut short above her
shoulders. She carries a red satchel.
AIBILEEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
No babies...No man...And not
She wears flats, careful not to add more than a centimeter to
her towering height. Dressed well, Skeeter tugs on her
INT. MR. BLACKLY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
The receptionist and Skeeter enter the office of MR. HAROLD
BLACKLY, 68. He has greased, grey hair and the face of a
mean man. Smoke pours into the room.
Shut the Goddamn door!
He snaps his fingers over a chair. Skeeter sits down.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
They announced last week
cigarettes'll kill you.
Mr. Blackly pours a pack of nuts into his mouth.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
Okay, let's see what you got.
Skeeter quickly hands Mr. Blackly a resumé. He skims it
over, marking it violently with a red pen.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
"Murrah High Editor, Ole Miss Rebel
Rouser Editor, double major, Junior
League editor...Damn girl, didn't
you have any fun?
Mr. Blackly sighs, hands the resumé back to Skeeter.
You got any references?
Skeeter nods slowly. She takes a deep breath and pulls a
letter out of her satchel. She hands it to Mr. Blackly.
Mr. Blackly snatches the letter and reads it quickly,
mouthing the words as he does. He drops the letter on his
desk, and looks to Skeeter, flabbergasted.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
That...is a rejection letter.
Skeeter's face flushes hot and quick.
Not exactly. Missus Stein-
-STEIN?! Missus who?
Skeeter points toward the letterhead.
Elaine Stein, Senior Editor at
Harper and Row Publishing. In New
York. I'm going to be a serious
writer, Mr. Blackly. So, when I
applied to Harper and Row, Missus
-She told you "no."
Until I gain some experience, Mr.
Blackly! See, it says it right
there at the end. "Great
potential...Gain some experience
and please apply again."
Mr. Blackly pours the rest of the peanuts in his mouth.
Oh, Christ...I guess you'll do.
Can you clean?
Mr. Blackly sees cigarette smoke bleeding under his door.
Mr. Blackly pulls up a box filled with letters and
newspapers. He slams it down in front of Skeeter.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
Miss Myrna's gone shit-house crazy
on us, drunk hair spray or
something. Read her past columns
and all these letters. Answer them
just like she did, nobody'll know
the damn difference.
Skeeter forces a smile.
MR. BLACKLY (CONT'D)
You know who Miss Myrna is?
I read her articles all the time.
Articles? Ha! It's a cleaning
advice column, Miss Phelan. Eight
bucks a week. Copy due Thursday.
Mr. Blackly picks up the phone and starts yelling at someone.
Skeeter excitedly grabs the box of letters and leaves.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - BATHROOM - SAME DAY
HILLY HOLBROOK, 22, white and hefty, sits on a closed toilet
seat in a well-appointed bathroom. She's covered in red plaid
and bows and has a round face topped by a perfect beehive.
Momma! We're late for bridge!
Hilly carefully rolls toilet paper out from its holder. She
raises a pencil and places the tiniest dot imaginable on the
first and second sheets of paper.
Miss Hilly was the first of the
babies to have a baby. And it must
a come out of her like the eleventh
commandment. `Cause once Miss
Hilly had a baby, ever girl at the
bridge table wanted one too.
She carefully rolls the paper back up in the roll.
Minny! Go get Momma!
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - ENTRY FOYER STAIRWELL - SAME TIME
MINNY JACKSON, 33, black, plump and in uniform, rolls her
eyes beneath a crystal chandelier. She shouts up the
Missus Walters?! You need help
MISSUS WALTERS, 60, passes quietly behind Minny.
Minny jumps with a yelp, spins around.
MISSUS WALTERS (CONT'D)
Gone give me a heart attack!
Missus Walters ambles toward the closet door. Minny quickly
tries to turn her toward the front door. Missus Walters
Minny, I'm getting my coat.
Missus Walters opens the closet.
It's ninety degrees out there,
Missus Walters pulls out a red, wool coat with cheetah print
The early stages of Alzheimer's have appeared, but Missus
Walters is still quite proud at eighty percent capacity.
Once Missus Walters' arteries went
hard, Miss Hilly moved her and
Minny in with her. Fired the maid
she had just to make room. See,
Minny about the best cook in
Mississippi, and Miss Hilly wanted
Hilly's approach is marked by the whishing sound of her
plaid, fat thighs.
She nonchalantly grabs the coat from her mother and carries
it out the door.
Minny and Missus Walters follow. Minny carries a chocolate
pie. Hilly barks over her shoulder.
Minny, William took Billy out for
ice cream. So, hurry back and get
Billy down for his nap. No dilly
Minny raises the pie behind Hilly's beehive, dreaming of
smashing it into her head.
Minny my best friend. A old lady
like me lucky to have her.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - BATHROOM- SAME DAY
Aibileen kneels next to Mae Mobley who sits on a small
children's training toilet.
It's a tricky thing...you try to
make a baby go in the toilet bowl
before it's time. If theys can't
get the hang of it, theys get to
thinking low a theyselves.
Mae Mobley sticks her lip out.
You drunk up two glasses a grape
juice, I know you got to tee-tee.
Mae Mobley shakes her head.
I give you a cookie if you go.
Tee-tee immediately sprinkles into the bowl.
Mae Mobley! You going!
Aibileen and Mae Mobley laugh excitedly as Elizabeth storms
into the bathroom in her finished dress. The hemline now
slants in the other direction.
Aibileen, the girls are pulling up,
and the table isn't set!
Mae Mobley go, Momma!
Get in your room! Right now!
Mae Mobley rises behind Aibileen's leg.
Elizabeth reaches down and scoops up Mae Mobley like a sack
Mae Mobley looks to Aibileen over her mother's shoulder, her
eyes have welled up.
Aibileen mouths "I love you" and blows her a kiss.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - DINING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
The Leefolt's small, wood paneled, two bedroom "ranch" is
destined to become income property one day.
FIVE YOUNG WOMEN, early 20s, and Elizabeth hover around two
collapsible card tables arranged in the living room.
Aibileen methodically arranges grapes on a platter of chicken
salad resting on Elizabeth's dining table. The table has a
small L-SHAPED CRACK in the middle.
I lost my own boy, Treelore, right
before I started waitin' on the
Elizabeth glances anxiously to the dining table then catches
eyes with Aibileen, nodding ever so slightly.
Aibileen carefully slides the platter over the L-SHAPED CRACK
making sure it's hidden.
AIBILEEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
After Treelore died, a bitter seed
was planted inside a me. And I
just didn't feel so accepting
Hilly enters the front door holding Missus Walters coat.
Minny follows behind holding the pie and Missus Walters' arm.
(over her shoulder)
Put Momma in a chair before she
breaks a hip.
I'm not deaf yet, Hilly.
Minny spies Aibileen in the corner and gives her a "here we
go" look as she lowers Missus Walters into a chair.
Hilly approaches Aibileen with the coat.
Aibileen, I want you to have this
coat. It's too big for Momma now
and it's way too expensive to put
in the coat drive.
Hilly extends the coat with a smile.
Aibileen takes the coat.
Thank you, Miss Hilly.
Go on. Try it on.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Minny plows through the swing door and reaches for Hilly's
Aibileen rushes in behind her wearing the cheetah collared
coat. The sleeves are about a foot too short.
Hold on! Those are Miss Hilly's.
Aibileen pulls another plate of eggs out of the fridge.
Gots to have paprika on `em.
Minny takes an egg. It disappears in a single bite.
Forgive me, Lord, but I'm gonna
have to kill that woman.
Aibileen removes the coat and lays it over a chair.
Watch yo mouth, Minny.
Looks like a walking Christmas
present with all them bows.
Aibileen shakes with silent laughter.
And, now she gone to puttin' pencil
marks on the toilet paper.
Oh, law! Did she?
Uh-hum. But, I carry paper in from
my own damn house. That fool don't
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
Elizabeth and Hilly cackle with a group of girls as Missus
Walters sits on the couch watching "Guiding Light."
Skeeter suddenly rushes through the front door.
JOLENE FRENCH, 24, approaches and hugs Skeeter.
Well, if it isn't Long-Haul-
Skeeter. We didn't think you'd
ever leave Ole Miss.
Well, it's supposed to take four
Skeeter spins around to Hilly and Elizabeth with a sigh.
Sorry I'm late. I had to stop by
the cleaners and pick up my black
Hilly and Elizabeth look at Skeeter with concern.
About supper club tonight...Honey,
Stuart had to cancel.
Hilly places her hand on Skeeter's shoulder.
He can't get off the rig, Skeeter.
It's offshore! Stuart is a very
successful oil man.
I'm starting to think this Stuart
is a figment of your imagination.
Raleigh called his cousin down in
Hattiesburg. He'll drive up.
The cousin with one eye?!
I guess his black patch will match
my dress. Just forget it.
Skeeter storms off. Hilly glares at Elizabeth.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER THE SAME DAY
Aibileen clears the dining table as bridge begins.
Hilly, Elizabeth and Skeeter sit with Jolene. Skeeter takes a
deep breath and belts out her news.
I got a job today... at The Jackson
Everyone looks at Skeeter as if she just threw up on herself.
Finally, Hilly pats Skeeter on the leg.
They'd be a fool not to hire you.
Jolene raises her glass.
To Skeeter...and her job. Last
stop `til marriage.
Hilly kicks Jolene under the table.
The Miss Myrna column. Have y'all
Well, no! But, I bet the poor
girls without any help, in South
Jackson, read it like the King
Everyone laughs. Skeeter's forehead crinkles.
Elizabeth, would you mind if I talk
to Aibileen? To help me answer
some of the letters? Just until I
get a knack for it.
Aibileen clears dishes as if she hasn't heard a thing.
Elizabeth gets very still.
Aibileen? My Aibileen? What can't
you just get Constantine to help
Skeeter looks to her lap and shakes her head.
What?! Oh, my gosh!
Skeeter nods her head sadly.
I'm so sorry, Skeeter.
I really don't want to talk about
The girls nod.
Anyway...I don't know how to answer
Elizabeth looks to Aibileen.
Well...I mean as long as it doesn't
interfere with her work.
A phone rings. Elizabeth nods to Aibileen.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Aibileen rushes in the kitchen and answers the phone.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE (INTERCUT) - KITCHEN - SAME TIME
Pink, fuzzy slippers anchoring bare, sexy legs stand on a
black and white check floor.
CELIA FOOTE (O.C.)
Ah-hem. Hello, is Elizabeth in?
Rising up a slim torso, sizeable cleavage bursts out of a
pink robe's collar.
She having bridge club right now.
May I take a message?
CELIA FOOTE, 28, peroxide blonde, stands in all her country
She speaks with a thick, unrefined, Southern accent, mired in
Please tell her Celia Foote called
again. I'll call back tomorrow.
Celia nervously twists herself around in the phone cord.
"Miss" strikes Aibileen as very odd.
I'm looking for some help at my
house. You know any maids looking?
Okay. Celia Foote. Emerson 6-8-4.
Celia hands up the phone with a frown and sips from a coca-
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen enters the living room with a coffee pot.
Who was that on the phone?
Miss Celia Foote called again.
Elizabeth leans over and touches Hilly's arm.
I've never called her back, Hilly.
She can't take a hint, can she?
Who's Celia Foote?
That tacky girl Johnny married.
Girl? I heard she's twenty-eight.
Oh my God!
Uh-hmm, worked concessions at a LSU
game and sold him a hotdog. And,
boy, he got a whole lot more.
All the girls laugh.
Could have been you, Hilly.
And live thirty minutes outside of
town? Anyway, I ran into her at
the beauty parlor, and she had the
nerve to ask if she could help with
the children's benefit.
Aren't we taking non-members? The
benefit's gotten so big.
Yes, but we're not telling her.
Everyone laughs but Skeeter. Aibileen pours Skeeter a cup of
coffee. Skeeter looks up decidedly and smiles.
Thank you, Aibileen.
Hilly begins squirming in her seat, obviously making a point.
Elizabeth leans over.
Oh, Hilly, I wish you'd just go use
Ah-hem. I'm fine.
Missus Walters shouts out from the sofa.
She's upset cause the nigra uses
the guest bath, and so do we.
Elizabeth turns to Aibileen.
Aibileen, go check on Mae Mobley.
Aibileen disappears. Elizabeth leans into Hilly.
Just go use mine and Raleigh's.
If Aibileen uses the guest
bathroom, I'm sure she uses yours
SHE DOES NOT!
Aibileen turns the corner in the hall and stops.
Wouldn't you rather them take their
Skeeter sees a reflection of Aibileen listening off of a
picture in the hall. Skeeter tries to change the subject.
Did y'all see the cover of "Life"
this week? Jackie's never looked
-Tell Raleigh every penny he spends
on a colored's bathroom, he'll get
back in spades when y'all sell.
It's just plain dangerous.
Everybody knows they carry
different diseases than we do. I
Elizabeth takes a puff of her cigarette and fidgets with her
I can't ask Raleigh until tax
season. But, it would be nice.
That's why I've drafted The Home
Help Sanitation Initiative.
"The Home"...the what?!
As a disease preventative bill that
requires every white home to have a
separate bathroom for the colored
help. I've even notified the
Surgeon General of Mississippi.
Skeeter again glances at Aibileen. Their eyes meet.
Maybe we ought to just build you a
bathroom outside, Hilly.
The room grows eerily quiet.
You ought not to joke about the
Hilly leans in toward Skeeter.
I'll do whatever it takes to
protect our town. Your lead,
Jolene suddenly looks to a wall clock. She jumps up and
throws her cards to the table.
I have to skedaddle! Gotta get
over to the station!
Daddy's letting me do the weather
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - BACKYARD - SAME DAY
Celia delicately prunes two rosebushes. Her long pink
fingernails wrap easily around a pair of sheers.
As Celia stands back to admire her work, We widen to see the
Foote estate. Ancient oaks dripping in Spanish moss surround
a perfectly manicured lawn. "Tara" pales in comparison.
Oddly, the two rosebushes have been planted in the center of
the lawn, jeopardizing the Antebellum Feng Shui.
Now, Miss Celia had her a man.
`Bout the best lookin' man in all
of Mississippi. But, no baby and
JOHNNY FOOTE, 23, Celia's ridiculously handsome husband,
sneaks up behind her as he removes his jacket and tie.
Roses look like weeds next to you.
Celia turns with a yelp. She slaps him playfully.
Johnny, you scared the daylights
out of me!
Johnny begins kissing her neck.
You're home early.
Celia pushes him back.
Johnny, I can't get any of your old
friends from school to call me
Oh, who cares, honey. We got all
we need right here.
Johnny kisses her again and lowers her to the grass.
Johnny starts kissing Celia's breasts. She becomes uneasy
and rolls out from under him.
I don't know what's taking us so
long. I'm sorry.
Johnny brushes hair from Celia's face.
Hey, we've never done it in the
yard. Maybe that's the trick.
Celia seductively bites her lower lip.
Watch my hair.
Johnny's hand slides up her thigh.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - LATER THAT DAY
Bridge over, Skeeter smokes while watching through a window
as Minny arrives in Hilly's car. Skeeter blows smoke toward
Hilly and Elizabeth saying good-bye.
A sermon plays over an old AM radio nestled between
canisters of sugar and flour.
Aibileen enters with a stack of dirty coffee cups.
Aibileen becomes nervous at the sight of Skeeter alone.
I had hoped to ask you myself if
you could help me with the "Miss
So...Would you help me?
Aibileen nods and looks out to Elizabeth on the street.
Miss Myrna gets it wrong lotta
times. Be good to get it right.
Thank you, Aibileen. I plan on
splitting the pay with you, too.
Aibileen doesn't respond. She grabs a basket of rolls.
Listen...all that talk in there
today. Hilly's talk I mean...I'm
sorry you had to hear that.
Aibileen quickly turns her back to Skeeter. A gospel choir
begins singing on the radio.
Is that Preacher Green's sermon on
Yes, ma'am, it is.
That reminds me so much of my maid
Aibileen starts wiping down a serving tray.
Constantine and me...were in church
Skeeter turns to Aibileen as she puts out her cigarette.
She loved me like you love Mae
Skeeter moves closer to Aibileen.
Aibileen? How could she just quit
Aibileen stops wiping and looks up to Skeeter...
Yes. When I got home from school
last week, Momma said she had quit.
Back in March to go live with her
people up in Chicago. She didn't
leave me a note or anything.
Aibileen turns and resumes wiping the tray.
Could you do that to Mae Mobley?
Aibileen slowly turns back to Skeeter.
No, ma'am. I couldn't...
Do you have an address for her or
Aibileen shrugs her shoulders, reeling it all back in.
Just then, Elizabeth walks into the kitchen holding papers
stapled together. She looks between Aibileen and Skeeter.
I'm sorry. Did I interrupt
Skeeter and Aibileen shake their heads.
Elizabeth hands Skeeter the papers. Home Help Sanitation
Initiative is written on the cover.
Hilly wants this put in the League
Aibileen, I'll drop by at ten
tomorrow to get started on Miss
Elizabeth looks at Aibileen.
Tomorrow is silver polishing day,
so y'all make it quick, okay?
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - LATER THAT DAY
Skeeter speeds down a country road lined with ancient oak
trees in a white Cadillac.
I knew I had said too much to Miss
Skeeter, but Constantine's story
weren't mine to tell. Some things
a girl shouldn't have to know about
her own mother.
Her frizzy hair swirls about as she passes a truck full of
INT. CADILLAC (FANTASY SEQUENCE) - SAME TIME
Skeeter looks ahead and sees an OLDER BLACK WOMAN walking
with a LITTLE BLONDE GIRL, 6. They hold hands.
The black woman smiles and waves as Skeeter passes. When
Skeeter looks in her rear view mirror, they're gone.
Skeeter suddenly stops the car just short of an intersecting
Skeeter slowly turns down the old road.
EXT. CONSTANTINE'S HOUSE - DAY
Skeeter's car pulls into the overgrown yard of an old shack
with a rusted-out tin roof.
Two clapboard rooms are separated by an open breezeway. The
front door is cracked opened.
Skeeter gets out and walks toward Constantine's home.
INT. CONSTANTINE'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter enters to find only a small bed, dresser, table,
rocking chair and a wood burning stove.
Past intruders have long since taken anything of value.
As Skeeter approaches Constantine's bed, an OPOSSUM scurries
out from underneath.
Skeeter screams as the opossum runs out the door. Her eyes
suddenly catch something.
Lying on the bed is an OLD CORN PIPE.
Skeeter picks it up and brings it to her face. Her eyes
begin to well up.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter pulls in front of a grand antebellum home and parks
to the side of her family's graveyard.
Skeeter carries her black dress up the stairs of a covered
An old black man with white hair, JAMESO, 70, tightens a
Hello, Miss Eugenia.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - ENTRY FOYER - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter walks through the front door.
If the Smithsonian had wished to assemble the perfect
antebellum home, Skeeter would be standing in it.
INT. PHELAN HOME - PARENTS' BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter enters and looks around curiously at an ARRAY OF WIGS
resting atop a dresser.
Skeeter's mother, CHARLOTTE BOUDREAU CANTELLE PHELAN, 50,
glides into the room wearing a wig. Her floral print dress
has a gazillion perfectly pressed pleats.
Charlotte turns to a mirror and adjusts an auburn-colored,
Is this a little too young?
It's a little too everything.
Charlotte removes the wig with a sigh. Only now do we
realize her decision to wear wigs isn't elective. Thinning
hair detracts from her perfectly made up face.
Charlotte puts on a classic bouffant/flip in dark brown.
Your daddy bought me this dress in
Mom, I want to ask you about
-Right after Ole Miss won the Sugar
Charlotte unzips the dress and takes it off.
Come on, you try it on.
What really happened?
Charlotte winces with pain and grasps her stomach.
I told you...she went to live with
her people in Chicago...Now,
Skeeter, your mother is dying, and
she wants to see you in this dress.
Charlotte stands in her slip and bra holding the dress.
Skeeter begins taking off her clothes.
How could she just take off without
I told her not to write you. I
didn't want you upset in the middle
of final exams. Honey, we were
just a job to her. With them it's
all about money...Did I tell you
Fanny Peatrow got engaged? After
she got that teller job, her mother
said she was just swimming in
Good for "Fat Fanny Peatrow."
She lowers the dress over Skeeter's head and zips it.
This looks precious on you! Four
years ago my daughter went off to
college, and what did she come home
A diploma. A pretty piece of paper.
Hilly and Elizabeth have such
They dropped out of college to
become housewives, Mother.
If only you'd show a little
Well, I did get a job today.
Writing...for The Jackson Journal.
Charlotte plumps up the dress around Skeeter's behind.
Great. You can write my obituary.
"Charlotte Phelan dead. Her
daughter still single."
Momma, would it really be so
terrible if I never met a husband?
With that, Charlotte grabs Skeeter's hand and takes her to a
love seat. They sit. This is serious.
I need to...ask you something,
Skeeter. I read the other day
about how some girls...get
unbalanced, start thinking
these...well, unnatural thoughts.
Charlotte begins to twist the handkerchief she holds.
Are you...do you...find men
attractive? Are you having
unnatural thoughts about...
Charlotte shuts her eyes tight.
Girls or...or women?
Oh my God!
Because, this article says there's
a cure, a special root tea.
Skeeter jumps up.
Mother, I want to be with girls as
much as you wanna be with Jameso.
Skeeter storms out of the room.
Carlton's bringing Rebecca to
dinner. Try to look presentable!
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - DINING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
The Phelan dining room is lit solely by candles.
The Phelan's new maid, PASCAGOLUA, 40, rolls a cart of
casseroles around the table.
Charlotte sits at the head of the table. She's having a bowl
Skeeter sits next to her Father, ROBERT PHELAN, 60.
Skeeter's brother, CARLTON, 25, sits next to his fiancé,
REBECCA, 21. They're perfectly groomed with Hollywood good
What the hell do you know about
cleaning a house, Skeeter?
It's a start, Carlton.
I thought you wanted to write
Leave your sister alone, Son. I'm
proud of you, Sweetheart.
Charlotte scoops up some broth with a spoon.
Oh, the irony of it all. Givin'
advice on how to keep up a home
Charlotte's spoon goes in her mouth.
Pascagolua tries to scoop some sort of casserole covered in
almonds onto Skeeter's plate. Skeeter stops her.
Oh! No, Pascagolua! You couldn't
have known this...But, see, I'm
allergic to almonds.
Sorry, Miss Eugenia.
Last time I had an almond, I
stopped liking men.
Charlotte glares at Skeeter. Carlton lets out a chuckle.
Rebecca is mortified.
Oh my Lord.
It's okay, Rebecca. They have a
special root tea now.
You have pushed it, Young Lady!
Pascagolua scurries off. Skeeter turns to her father...
Daddy, what happened to
The room grows silent. Carlton looks down to his plate.
Ah...well, Constantine went to live
with her family. People move on,
Skeeter. But I do wish she'd
stayed down here with us.
I don't believe you.
Skeeter looks to her mother who immediately busies herself
with scooping up more broth.
Mother, did you...fire her?
You wouldn't understand. Not until
you've hired help of your own.
She raised me!
Charlotte slaps the table and stands.
SHE DID NOT!
Skeeter's eyes fill with tears...
She worked here for twenty-nine
Charlotte presses both hands to her stomach.
It was a colored thing, and I've
put it behind me.
Charlotte passes behind Rebecca and kisses her head.
Excuse me, Rebecca. My daughter
has upset my cancerous ulcers.
As Charlotte leaves the room, Rebecca looks at Skeeter like
she's the worst person on earth.
Skeeter gets up and storms off into the entry foyer.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION (FLASHBACK) - ENTRY FOYER - NIGHT
Skeeter, 13 and lanky, wears a party dress. Despite a tight
bun, her strong-willed hair has started to frizz.
Skeeter's father and brother race down the stairs with
suitcases. Carlton wears a varsity sweater.
Good luck down there, Carlton.
Have fun at the dance, Skeeter
Robert and Carlton race outside as Charlotte enters, healthy
Eugenia! You've grown another inch
since breakfast. Go put on a dress
that fits before that boy and his
daddy come pick you up.
A horn blows. Charlotte kisses Skeeter on the cheek and then
looks over to CONSTANTINE, 50.
Constantine stands tall. Her skin is black as night. Her
eyes have a striking honey colored hue to them. She wears a
white sleeping gown.
Pray Carlton doesn't like LSU,
Constantine. It's so far. It
might be the last we see of him.
The horn blows again. Charlotte is out the door.
Skeeter turns to Constantine who is all smiles.
Gone be just you and me all
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION (FLASHBACK) - PATIO - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter sits at a picnic table smoking a cigarette.
Constantine smokes tobacco out of a corn pipe.
I just couldn't tell her I didn't
get asked to the dance.
Some things we should just keep to
Skeeter looks down to her long, bony legs.
I'm already taller than the boys'
basketball coach. How tall are
I'm five-thirteen, so quit feeling
sorry for yourself.
Momma was third runner up in the
Miss South Carolina pageant.
"Miss" what? Shoot, Child! You
gone be "Miss Something Better."
Constantine grabs Skeeter's hand and presses her thumb firmly
to her palm.
Now you listen. Your momma didn't
pick her life. It pick her, and she
done even know it. You gone do
something big with yours. Bigger
than your momma or your brother.
Constantine lets go of Skeeter's palm and wipes a tear from
What about you? What did you want
to be, Constantine?
Oh, Child! We don't get to pick.
This pick us, and that just how it
Tight on Skeeter's face as Constantine gives her a big hug.
INT. PHELEN PLANTATION - SKEETER'S BEDROOM - NEXT MORNING
Skeeter lies in bed staring holes into the ceiling as a
rooster announces the morning.
A sudden revelation washes over her. In a flash, Skeeter is
out of bed and running down the stairs.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Pascagoula tends to a skillet full of eggs next to a black
and white TV resting on the counter.
CLOSE ON TELEVISION:
Jolene French attempts to deliver the weather on WLBT.
Sunny skies and a high of ninety-
eight today with ninety-nine
percent humidity. There's a slight
chance of afternoon showers so
y'all carry an umbrella.
Jolene pivots to camera, lowers her chin and smiles.
Skeeter runs past Pascagoula with a phone and disappears
inside the pantry.
INT. HARPER AND ROW PUBLISHING - OFFICE - NEW YORK - LATER
ELAINE STEIN, 45, hard but stylish, talks on the phone in a
large corner office. She lights a cigarette and swivels her
chair toward the Manhattan skyline.
What gave you this idea, Miss
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION (INTERCUT) - PANTRY - SAME TIME
Skeeter sits on a huge sack of flour. A millennium's supply
of can goods fills the shelves.
I was...well, I was raised by a
colored woman. I've seen how
simple it can be and...well, how
complex it can be, too...between
the families and the help.
I'd like to write something from
the point of view of the help.
These colored women raise white
children, and then twenty years
later those children become the
employer. It's that irony, Miss
Stein, that we love them and they
love us yet...we don't even let
them use the toilet in the house.
Miss Stein's swivels her chair back around and sits up.
Margaret Mitchell glorified the
mammy figure who dedicates her
whole life to a white family but no
one...ever asked Mammy how she felt
about it. There is both undisguised
hate for white women and an
inexplicable love, but nobody ever
talks about it down here.
So, a side to this never before
Charlotte knocks on the pantry door.
Skeeter, who are you talking to in
Skeeter covers the mouth piece and opens the door.
Skeeter slams the door.
So, yes, their side of the story.
Skeeter leans back against the shelves.
Who was that?
My mother. She just dropped by to-
Look, no maid in her right mind
would ever tell you the truth.
That's a hell of a risk in a place
like Jackson, Mississippi. I
watched them try to integrate your
bus station on the news. Oy! They
jammed fifty-five Negroes in a jail
built for four.
I already have a maid.
Skeeter can't believe what just came out of her mouth. Miss
Stein rises and sits on the edge of her desk.
Really? A negro maid has already
agreed to talk to you?
Skeeter blinks hard. No turning back now.
Well...I suppose I could read what
you come up with. The book biz
could use a little rattling.
You'd do that?
I'm saying I'll let you know if
it's even worth pursuing.
Oh, thank you, Miss Stein!
And for God's sake, you're a twenty-
four-year-old educated woman. Go
get an apartment.
She hangs up.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - LATER THAT DAY
Skeeter sits across the table from Aibileen, reading the
`Miss Myrna' letters.
Outside, winds howl, and the sky grows dark. Jolene's
forecast appears to be a bit off.
"Dear Miss Myrna, How do I remove
the rings from my fat, slovenly
husband's shirt collar when he is
such a pig and sweats like one
Which one she want a get rid of?
Them rings or the husband?
Skeeter chuckles and shrugs her shoulders.
Tell her a vinegar and Pine-Sol
soak. Then let it set in the sun a
Skeeter writes this down.
Bout an hour. Let it dry.
Skeeter keeps writing. Aibileen notices something outside.
Hilly walks into the Leefolt backyard with her son, BILLY, 3,
perched on her hip.
A CONTRACTOR, 30s, follows holding a set of plans.
Skeeter turns to the open window. It's already started to
Build it just like the one at my
house, right against the garage.
The contractor nods. Lightning strikes, thunder cracks.
Hilly is off and running with Billy. Skeeter seizes the
Aibileen, do you ever wish you
Aibileen turns slowly from the window.
I mean, all that talk yesterday and
now with what Hilly's up to.
Aibileen's eyes fall to the floor.
My momma fired Constantine. Thank
you for telling me that.
I never tolt you that!
Aibileen jumps up as another crack of thunder sounds out.
Aibileen, I have an
idea...Something I want to write
about...But I need your help.
I want to interview you...about
what it is like to work as a maid.
Aibileen stops at the refrigerator, gripping the life out of
I'd like to do a book of interviews
about working for white families.
Show what it's like to work for,
Aibileen begins to perspire. She grabs the counter to steady
herself, then moves toward her chair.
You know what'd happen to me if
Miss Leefolt knew I was tellin'
stories on her?
I was thinking we wouldn't tell
her. The other maids will have to
keep it secret, too.
I was hoping to get four or five.
To really show what it's like in
Jackson. To see what y'all get
paid, the babies, the bathrooms,
the good and the bad.
Aibileen shakes her head.
They set my cousin Shinelle's car
on fire just cause she went down to
the voting station.
A book has never been written like
`Cause they's a reason. I do this
with you, I might as well burn my
own house down.
Bam! The front door slams shut.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME (INTERCUT) - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
Soaking wet, Elizabeth and her husband, RALEIGH, 25, stand
toe to toe.
I put up with the new clothes and
all the damn trips to New Orleans,
but this takes the goddamn cake!
It'll confuse Mae Mobley if she
sees Aibileen going inside. And we
can't risk her health.
Aibileen hears Mae Mobley crying, but she is frozen.
Hilly spoke to the Surgeon General!
She also said it'll add value to
Great! Mae Mobley can just go to
college in that bathroom, too.
Honey, Hilly's covering the
cost...and said you can just do
William's taxes to pay her back.
We don't take orders from the
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Raleigh storms in and is surprised to see Skeeter.
Skeeter? How you doing?
Fix me a sandwich, Aibileen.
Raleigh storms out as Elizabeth charges into the kitchen.
Aibileen, Mae Mobley's crying her
Aibileen runs off. Elizabeth sees Skeeter and tries to
Skeeter...Hello. I'm sorry but I
think it's best if you leave now.
Skeeter gathers her things.
And...I don't think this Miss Myrna
thing is gonna work out with
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - DEN - LATER THAT DAY
The storm has escalated. The Holbrook house is without
power. Hilly runs around lighting candles.
Missus Walters lies on the couch while Minny fans her with a
You're making it a lot hotter
flapping your arm like that.
Minny stops and begins squirming with discomfort. Missus
Walters notices her looking out to the garage bathroom.
Lightning strikes. Leaves blow across the yard. Hilly plops
down in a chair with a candle.
That should do it. Minny, go get
me and Momma some iced tea.
Minny hesitates. She gulps.
As Minny turns, Missus Walters calls out to her.
You go on ahead and use the guest
bath, Minny. It's okay.
Oh, for crying out loud. It's just
a little rain. She can go get an
umbrella up in William's Study!
I believe she was working for me
before you dragged us both here.
Minny looks outside just as wind slams an aluminum lawn chair
against the garage bathroom.
Boom! Another crash of thunder. Large hail stones begin
falling in the yard.
I'm gone get your tea.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - BATHROOM - SECONDS LATER
Minny sneaks into the guest bath with a candle and shuts the
door. She carefully lowers the seat and sits. Relief
spreads across her face.
There's a knock on the door. She freezes.
Minny panics, staying completely quiet.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE (INTERCUT) - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Hilly leans into the bathroom door.
MINNYYYY, are you in there?
Are you sitting down?
Minny gets up quickly and flushes the toilet. Hilly beats on
GET OFF OF MY TOILET!!!
Outside the house, an eerie, groaning sound, much like a
freight train, intensifies.
The top of a huge tree snaps off and falls against the house,
shattering a window.
Minny crouches down and covers her head. A draft sucks the
candle's flame toward the bottom of the door.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - MAE MOBLEY'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen sits with Mae Mobley against an interior wall,
holding a mattress on top of them and humming in her ear.
On top a Minny losin' her tenth
job, eighteen people died in
Jackson that day. Ten white.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - SAME TIME
Skeeter stands in her backyard facing Jackson. Cool winds
head toward the dark, swirling horizon.
In the distance, lightning strikes.
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - FRONT PORCH - SAME TIME
Celia leans on the porch railing, gazing helplessly as the
relentless hail storm pummels her two rosebushes.
God don't pay no mind to color or
class once he sets a tornado loose.
Within seconds, the rose blossoms are gone.
INT/EXT. BATHROOM/BACKYARD (INTERCUT) - THREE MONTHS LATER
Aibileen uses the newly completed bathroom Hilly has built in
the garage. The walls consist of unpainted plywood with a
small window hugging the ceiling.
Beads of sweat glisten on Aibileen's forehead under a single
bulb hanging above.
Soon after, that bitter seed inside
of me had sprout and was growing
Well into her second pregnancy, Elizabeth exits the house
with Mae Mobley at her side. She wears an awful, homemade
Hurry, Aibileen. Mae Mobley's up,
and I'm off to the doctor.
Aibileen reaches behind and flushes the toilet. Mae Mobley
gets excited and points to the garage bathroom.
Aibee bafroom, Momma!
Mae Mobley walks toward the bathroom and calls out.
MAE MOBLEY (CONT'D)
Elizabeth grabs her and forces her down on the back step.
Be right there, Baby Girl.
Aibileen pulls up her panty-hose.
EXT. BUS STOP - LATER THAT AFTERNOON
Aibileen waits with YULE MAY, 45, as well as other maids and
black males at a bus stop. Yule May is tall, pretty and
graceful. Her hair is pulled tightly into a bun.
Skeeter walks down the sidewalk toward them. She and
Aibileen catch eyes. Skeeter waves.
Yule May inches away from Aibileen. One BLACK MAN in
particular looks with concern as Skeeter walks up.
Aibileen nods nervously, looking at the other domestics.
Can I talk to you?
A bus pulls up.
You got some "Miss Myrna" questions
Yule May and others board. Skeeter grabs Aibileen's arm.
Aibileen signals to Yule May to go on ahead without her.
The bus pulls away.
Please let me interview you. I
know it's scary, but I really
believe this has to be done. We'll
This already ain't careful, Miss
Skeeter. You not knowing that is
what scares me most. I'm sorry.
Skeeter hands Aibileen a piece of paper with her phone number
written on it. Aibileen turns and walks off down the
EXT. BUS STOP - LATER THAT NIGHT
Dark outside, Aibileen approaches another, more integrated
I know pretty well what happens if
the white ladies found out we was
writing about them. Womens, they
ain't like men. Women don`t beat
you with a stick. Naw, they like
to keep they hands clean. Got a
shiny set a tools they use, sharp
as witches' fingernails.
As Aibileen ambles toward a bench, TWO WHITE WOMEN in nurse
uniforms push in front of her and sit.
INT. MISSISSIPPI LAW LIBRARY - NEXT MORNING
Skeeter sits at a long table surrounded by books piled high
as if to provide a shield of sorts.
Lying before her, is an old, thin, onionskin booklet curling
at the edges. It's titled:
"Compilation of Jim Crow Laws of the South"
Skeeter opens the booklet and begins reading.
Any person printing, publishing or
circulating written matter urging
for public acceptance of social
equality between whites and negroes
is subject to imprisonment.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Aibileen sits at a table wearing a nightgown. She carefully
combs and styles her wig for work in the morning.
Her real hair is bound tightly in dozens of tightly bound
The rotary wall phone rings. Aibileen hangs the wig on her
chair and answers.
INT. MINNY'S HOUSE (INTERCUT) - HALLWAY - SAME TIME
Minny is hysterical.
Oh, Aibileen! I went and did it
Minny wraps a hand up in the phone cord.
Miss Hilly been tellin' everbody in
town I stole a candelabra! That's
why I can't get no job.
Everbody know you honest, Minny.
Oh, but I got her back...I did
something awful, Aibileen.
What you did?!
EXT. HOLBROOK HOUSE (FLASHBACK) - DAY
Minny stands on Hilly's porch holding a chocolate pie.
I cain't tell! I ain't tellin'
nobody! I done a terrible awful
thing to that woman. And now she
knows what I did!
Hilly answers the door and snarls at Minny. Minny presents
the pie and says "I am sorry."
Hilly waves Minny inside.
INT. MINNY'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER
She got what she deserve, Aibileen.
But, now I ain't gone never get no
work again...Leroy gone kill me.
Minny's husband, LEROY, 40, approaches behind Minny. Minny
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Aibileen hears a loud slap and Minny's phone dropping to the
floor. Yelling and screaming follows.
She can't bear to listen and hangs up the phone. She sees
Skeeter's phone number taped to the wall.
Aibileen's breath becomes heavy. Anger wells inside her.
She picks up the phone again and begins to dial.
EXT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - NEXT NIGHT - DUSK
Wearing a black scarf over her hair and clutching her red
satchel, Skeeter approaches a small, one-story wood
structure. White paint peels, hydrangeas fill the yard.
Skeeter spies an old pickup truck parked on the side of
Aibileen's house, completely covered in years of dust.
Skeeter checks over her shoulder several times. The porch
steps creak under her big feet.
Aibileen quickly opens the door and waves her inside.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Aibileen wears the same yellow dress she wore in the first
I parked way up on State Street and
caught a cab here like you asked.
Got dropped two streets over?
Aibileen, I now know it's against
the law for us to meet like this.
Skeeter stares Aibileen up and down. Aibileen self-
consciously flattens our her dress.
I've never seen you out of uniform
before. You look nice, Aibileen.
Aibileen motions for Skeeter to sit on a narrow sofa behind a
coffee table covered in hand-tatted lace.
A tray holds a teapot, two cups that don't match and cookies
resting on folded napkins.
As Aibileen pours the tea, her hand shakes.
I'm sorry. I've never had a white
person in my house before.
Skeeter sips her tea.
I've never been in a colored
person's home before. I think
we're both doing great. This tea
is really nice.
Aibileen watches as Skeeter takes a bite of the cookie.
Miss Skeeter, What if...What if you
don't like what I got to say?
About white peoples?
I...this isn't about my opinion.
It doesn't matter how I feel.
You gone have to change my name.
Mine, Miss Leefolt's, everbody's.
Everybody? So, you know other
maids who might be interested?
Aibileen is quiet for a moment. She shakes her head.
It gone be hard.
What about Minny?
Minny got her some stories, sho
nuff. But, she ain't real keen on
talking to white peoples right now.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
We continue with the interview seen on page one.
What does it feel like, to raise a
white child when your own child's
at home, being...looked after by
Aibileen glances up to the framed picture of Treelore.
Is that your son?
Yes, ma'am. He dead two years now.
Got run over at the lumber yard.
Lungs were crushed.
I'm so sorry. That's horrible.
And, Aibileen, you don't have to
call me "ma'am." Not here anyway.
Aibileen nods. Skeeter stares at her list of questions.
Do you want to talk about the
bathroom? Or, about Elizab--Miss
Leefolt? Anything about the way
she pays you? Has she ever yelled
at you in front of Mae Mobley?
Aibileen shakes her head.
I'm sorry, I-
Aibileen covers her mouth with her hand. Skeeter becomes
disgusted with herself.
No, I am.
She pulls out a stack of Miss Myrna letters.
Let's just do a couple of Miss
Myrna letters, and I'll run on...
I thought I might write my stories
down and read them to you.
Well, sure I guess.
It no different than writing down
You don't say your prayers aloud?
Prayer like electricity. It keep
life going. Writing it down make
it more powerful. Lot a ailing,
sick peoples in this town.
I didn't get a chance to pray for
God took him fast `cause he didn't
want to argue with me. He was just
twenty-four years old. The best
part of a person's life.
But he'd like we's doing this. He
always said we gone have a writer
in the family one day...After my
prayers last night, I got some
stories down too.
Skeeter nods. Aibileen opens her notebook and reads.
My first white baby to ever look
after was named Alton Carrington
Speers. It was 1938, and I'd just
turned fourteen years old. Daddy
had left us, so I dropped out a
school to help momma with the
INT. MOUNT ZION BABTIST CHURCH - MORNING
A congregation of three hundred stand singing lively with the
Aibileen stands next to Yule May and is whispering in her
ear. Yule suddenly leans back, shocked, shaking her head
Minny watches from two pews back. Her curiosity is peaked.
Alton's momma died a lung disease.
I loved that baby, and he loved me.
That's when I learned I could make
children feel proud of theyselves.
INT. HARPER AND ROW PUBLISHING - OFFICE - NEW YORK
Miss Stein sits at her desk reading Aibileen's stories.
Alton used to always be asking me
how come I's black...
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
It just ate him up, so one time I
told him it cause I drank too much
coffee. Oh, law, you should a seen
Skeeter laughs as she writes down Aibileen's story.
This is great. You have no idea
how much I appreciate this...But I
just have to ask. What changed
Miss Hilly Holbrook.
INT. JUNIOR LEAGUE HEADQUARTERS - MORNING
Hilly stands at a podium banging a gavel. The pleats of her
navy blue sailor's number fan out like an accordion.
A room full of JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBERS sits up and quiets down.
Half the girls are pregnant and most all drink TAB and are
smoking. Skeeter sits in the back next to Elizabeth.
We're running behind on our "coat
drive," girls. So hurry up and
clean out those closets...But our
Christmas Benefit, however, is
right on schedule as y'all have
already filled all our baked goods
The girls applaud, turning to each other with praise.
Y'all think we can put a dent in
the African Children's hunger this
More applause. Those who aren't pregnant, stand. Hilly
beams. Elizabeth nudges Skeeter out of her chair.
Now for some exciting news...I
wanted y'all to be the first to
know...My William is seeking
election to the State Senate this
Now, even the pregnant women stand. Elizabeth grabs
Skeeter's arm and pulls herself up.
He's runnin' on a platform of
health. Protecting our children.
Protecting our way of life. So, I,
with William, have drafted The Home
Health Sanitation Initiative.
This sets off a room of whispers.
Skeeter, when can we expect to see
the initiative in the newsletter?
I gave it to you a month ago.
Everyone turns to Skeeter. Elizabeth panics.
I gave that to you myself!
I, ah...Well, I-
Would you please stand, Skeeter?
As Skeeter rises, several women shake their heads.
I'll have it in there soon.
Skeeter glances at the initiative tucked in her satchel.
EXT. LEAGUE HEADQUARTERS - PARKING LOT - LATER THAT DAY
Skeeter turns a corner and sees Hilly leaning on her car.
Hilly? Do you need a ride?
Hilly shakes her head with little emotion.
I'm sorry about the newsletter.
Hilly nods. A soft smile begins to form.
With Momma being sick and-
Hilly erupts with excitement.
He's coming! Oh, Skeeter, he's
definitely coming this time. This
Oh, Hilly, he's cancelled twice
before. Maybe it's a sign.
Don't you dare say that!
You know I won't be his type.
Hilly grabs Skeeter by the shoulders.
It's your time, Skeeter. And
damnit, I'm not going to let you
miss this just because your mother
convinced you you're not good
enough for somebody like him.
INT. MINNY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING
Minny is again wearing her maid's uniform. She puts two
plates of food down on the kitchen table.
She sits next to her daughter, SUGAR, 15. Sugar wears a
brand-spanking-new maids's uniform.
Eat up, Girl. Miss Woodra's like
to not feed ya on try-out day.
Sugar takes a bite of toast.
I still say you're too young to be
waitin' on white peoples...Now,
Sugar, I want you to listen to me,
and you listen to me good.
Minny grabs Sugar's face and looks her right in the eyes.
These are the rules for working in
a white lady's house.
Sugar jerks her face away and sticks her lip out.
Rule Number One: Don't you ever let
White Lady find you sittin' on her
Number Two: You keep your nose out
of White Lady's problems, and don't
cry to her with yours. White
people ain't your friends.
EXT. RURAL BUS STOP - LATER THAT MORNING
Minny steps off a bus and walks down an old country road.
Number Three: When you're cooking
white food, taste it with a
different spoon. They see you put
the tasting spoon back in the pot,
might as well throw it all out.
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - LATER
Minny approaches the Foote estate. She stops just short of
stairs leading up to the front porch.
Four: You use the same cup, same
fork, same plate every day.
Minny takes her first step on the stairs.
MINNY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Five: Don't hit her kids. White
people do they own spanking.
Minny slowly raises her hand to knock on the front door.
MINNY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Six: No sass-mouthing!
Number six, Minny. Number six.
The door flies open. Celia Foote answers. She's covered in
tight pink clothes. Flour covers her face and hair.
Hey there! I'm Celia Rae Foote.
Aibileen said you'd be on time.
Minny looks down disapprovingly to Celia's bare feet.
Can I get you a cold Coca-Cola?
No, thank you. I'm Minny
One of those upsidedown cakes from
the magazine. It ain't workin' out
too good. Come on in.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Minny enters behind Celia gawking at the flour massacre.
What in the hell-
Minny catches herself.
Tuck it in, Minny. Tuck it in.
I guess I have some learnin' to do.
You sure do.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Minny and Celia enter a huge dining room. Minny gawks at a
dusty mahogany table surrounded by twelve chairs.
Johnny's momma wouldn't let me
decorate a thing. If I had my way,
this house would have wall to wall
white carpet with gold trim and
none of this old stuff.
Minny spies a framed battle-worn Confederate flag complete
with bullet holes.
Where you from?
Celia lowers her head in shame...
Sugar Ditch. It's near Memphis.
I know Sugar Ditch. My cousin live
Celia changes the subject.
Let's go meet Oscar!
Celia grabs Minny's hand. Annoyed, Minny pulls it away.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Minny stands at the base of a massive, stuffed Grizzly bear.
It clears the twelve-foot ceiling by an inch.
Johnny's granddaddy shot him up in
Montana back in 1910 with Teddy
Celia points to fifteen guns mounted behind Oscar.
We got five bedrooms and bathrooms
here in the main house. The pool
house has two more beds and baths.
When you gone have some chillins,
start fillin' up all these beds?
Celia swallows hard. She places her hand on her stomach.
I'm pregnant now.
Minny steps back and surveys Celia.
Gone be eatin' for two. Double the
Celia slumps her shoulders as she looks around the house.
I know it's an awful lot to do.
Five other maids have already
turned me down...Can I at least
give you some bus money?
When you hear me say I don't wanna
clean this house?
What? So...You'll do it?!
Before Minny can nod. Celia throws her arms around her.
Minny backs away.
No huggin', now. No huggin'.
I'm sorry. This is my first time
hiring a maid.
We got to talk about some things
first. I work Sunday through
Celia bites her pinky nail.
You can't come at all on weekends.
Okay. What time you want me here?
After eight, and you have to leave
Okay. Now what your husband say
you can pay?
Celia looks away.
Johnny doesn't know I'm bringing in
And what's Mr. Johnny gone do if he
comes home and finds a colored
woman up in his kitchen?
It's not that I'd be fibbing. I
just want him to think I can do
this on my own...I need some help
`til I get the hang of it. I need
A course you do. Last one done got
shot in the head.
Minny sniffs the air.
Miss Celia, I think you done burned
up yo cake.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - KITCHEN - SECONDS LATER
Celia grabs a rag off the sink and jerks the cake out of the
She drops the burnt cake on the floor.
You can't use no wet towel on a hot
Minny grabs a dry towel and picks up the cake.
I'll take this burnt up cake with
me so Mister Johnny don't see it.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - MAE MOBLEY'S ROOM - MORNING
Aibileen removes Mae Mobley's wet cloth diaper on a changing
table. Mae Mobley's behind is covered with inflamed diaper
Aibileen shakes her head. Elizabeth enters the room.
I'm off, Aibileen. Don't forget
Raleigh wants pot roast tonight.
Aibileen's eyes narrow.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOME - KITCHEN - LATER THAT NIGHT
Skeeter works with a typewriter now. Aibileen, more casually
dressed than before, waits for Skeeter to finish typing.
I reckon I'm ready...to talk about
Miss Leefolt now.
Skeeter stops typing and looks up. She nods.
Baby girl don't get her diaper
changed `til I get there in the
morning. That's `bout ten hours
she gots to sit in her mess. I be
so worried about her on my day off.
I always come in an hour early on
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Charlotte sits at a table sorting through mail as Skeeter
enters and grabs an apple
Miss Leefolt pregnant again, too.
And, law, I pray this child turn
out good. It a lonely road if a
momma don't think theys child is
Charlotte glances down disapprovingly at the dingy, huarache
shoes on Skeeter's feet. Skeeter heads for the door.
Where are you going, Skeeter?
On a Saturday night?
Momma, God doesn't care what day of
the week it is.
Skeeter walks out the back door as Charlotte shakes her head.
EXT. JOLENE FRENCH'S HOUSE - GARAGE - DAY
Hilly, Elizabeth and Jolene French stand with Hilly's
contractor. He unrolls a set of bathroom plans.
Hilly and Elizabeth look to Jolene and nod approvingly.
INT. AIBILEEN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
Skeeter's typing slows.
Miss Leefolt be spending so much
time keeping up with the society
ladies, she done forgot the child
she got now.
Just then Minny barges through the kitchen back door.
Minny stops cold in her tracks at the sight of Skeeter.
Yule May told me what y'all up to.
Aibileen nods. Minny's face hardens.
Medgar Evers live five minutes
away. They blew up his carport
last night. For talking!
Minny scowls at Skeeter.
What makes you think colored people
need your help? You white. Why
We all working for the same thing.
Maybe you just want to get her in
Skeeter is petrified. Her face reddens.
I want to show her perspective...so
people might understand what it's
like from your side.
Well it's a real Fourth of July
It's what we dream a doing all
weekend long, get back in they
house to polish the silver. And we
just love not getting minimum wage
or Social Security.
I know, Minny. Maybe things might
What law's gonna say you gotta be
nice to your maid? And another
thing, I don't want my children
going to school with white kids.
And I don't care a thing about
votin.' Only thing black mens get
elected to is Deacon of the church.
You don't have to do this, Minny.
You damn right I don't! You two
givin' me the heart palpitations.
Minny storms out the back door. Skeeter looks like she might
And that was a good mood.
Minny immediately storms back in the kitchen.
All right...I'm gone do it. I just
want to make sure you know this
ain't no game we're playing here.
Skeeter nods, trembling as Minny slides a chair in the middle
of the kitchen and sits.
Slide your chair out from under
that table and face me. I want to
see you square on at all times.
Still trembling, Skeeter slides her chair from the table and
just sits there staring at Minny.
I's got to come up with your
Let's begin...begin with...with
where you were born.
Aibileen grabs her notebook and begins writing.
Belzoni, Mississippi on my great-
auntie's sofa. Next!
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - HOURS LATER
Minny talks a mile a minute. Aibileen continues writing.
Once Minny got to talking `bout
food, she liked to never stop...
I put the green beans in first,
then I go on and get the pork chops
going cause, mmm-mmm, I like my
chops hot out the pan.
Just as Aibileen fills the first notebook, Skeeter hands her
another from her satchel.
But when she got to talking about
the white ladies, it took all
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - SUNRISE
The first signs of morning sun filter into the kitchen.
"Oh, Minny, I'm gone give you a
week paid vacation." Now, I ain't
had no paid vacation in my life. A
week later, I come back and they'd
moved to Mobile. "Miss Lazy
Fingers" scared I'd find a new job
before she moved...
Minny spins around to Aibileen with sudden realization...
We gots to get more maids!
Minny stands. Skeeter's eyes widen with hope.
I know, but it hard, Minny.
Mind racing, Minny flies out the door without a word.
Aibileen turns to Skeeter.
You gone and done it now.
INT. HARPER AND ROW PUBLISHING - OFFICE - NEW YORK - DAY
Miss Stein discusses Aibileen and Minny's stories with
Skeeter on the phone.
I like this "Sarah Ross." She can
kvetch but not complain too much.
INT- PHELAN PLANTATION (INTERCUT) - PANTRY
Skeeter nods rapidly as if she knows what "kvetch" means.
And this "Bertha"...she's got
chutzpah. I'll give her that.
So...you liked it?
Eugenia, Martin Luther King just
invited the country to march with
him in D.C. this August. This many
negroes and whites haven't worked
together since "Gone with the
Does this mean you'll publish it?
I never said that. My advice is to
write it fast before this civil
rights thing blows over. I need it
by New Year's, and don't send me
anything more until you have twelve
INT. AIBILEEN'S KITCHEN - THAT NIGHT
Minny, Aibileen and Skeeter sit at the kitchen table.
Aibileen and I done asked everbody
we know. Thirty-one maids.
Everbody too scared, think we
Then we might as well stop!
I got plenty a stories, Miss
Skeeter. Just write`em down and
invent a maid that said it. We
already making up everbody's name.
Make up the maids, too.
Skeeter jumps up from her chair.
We can't do that!
Aibileen and Minny lean back.
I mean...I would never do that. It
wouldn't be real. It's wrong.
Don't give up on us, Miss Skeeter.
Skeeter softens and sits back down.
I'm sorry. Thank you both for
INT. JACKSON JOURNAL NEWSPAPER - OFFICE - DAY
Skeeter delivers the "Miss Myrna" columns to the
receptionist, who hands her back a paycheck.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - KITCHEN
Celia and Minny stand at a fried chicken assembly line.
What can you cook?
Minny dips pieces chicken in an egg wash, then drops them in
a paper bag. A puff of flour rises out of the bag.
I can cook corn pone, boil
potatoes, and do grits.
Minny bursts out laughing.
We didn't have electric current
where I was raised.
Well, I reckon if there's anything
you ought to know `bout cooking...
Minny holds up a can of Crisco.
It's this. The most important
invention since they put mayonnaise
in a jar. You don't even know the
things you can do with this here
Celia peers into the skillet as Minny spoons out a mound of
How pretty. Looks like frosting.
Minny rolls her eyes and hands Celia the bag of Chicken.
Celia starts shaking the bag.
This is fun!
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - KITCHEN - LATER
Minny sits down at the table with a plate of chicken. Celia
sits down next to her.
Looks so good! I'm starved.
Aggravated, Minny stands.
You supposed to eat in the dining
room, Miss Celia. That how it
Minny grabs Celia's plate.
Here, I'll take your plate in the
dinin' room for ya. Want tea?
I'm fine right here, Minny.
Minny sits back down with a sigh. Celia touches her arm.
I'm real grateful you're here.
Miss Celia, you got a lot more to
be grateful for than me.
A car is heard pulling up in the driveway. Minny panics.
Oh, no! Hide!
Minny slides down underneath the kitchen table.
Oh...It's just the florist. Johnny
must have sent me flowers.
Minny pulls herself up off the floor. She's mad.
Miss Celia, I ain't playin' around
no more! He gone catch me here and
shoot me dead right here on this no-
wax floor! You gots to tell him.
Ain't he wondering how the cooking
You're right. Maybe we ought to
burn the chicken a little.
The doorbell rings. Celia runs off to answer.
Minny don't burn chicken.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - KITCHEN - DAY
Skeeter sits with a towel draped across her shoulders.
Charlotte, now in an auburn wig, squirts mounds of goo from a
pink tube onto Skeeter's hair.
This is bound to work, Sweetie. It
even smells expensive.
She begins twisting Skeeter's hair into gooey spikes.
I feel the hope in your fingers.
Skeeter resembles a papier maché starfish.
How can you not know his last name?
He's William's cousin. That's all
That's just so sweet of Hilly.
Charlotte takes a drag from her cigarette, then lifts up a
silver machine complete with power cord and rubber hose.
What is that?!
The Shinolator! It cost eleven
dollars. I'm a good mother.
Charlotte puts a shower cap device on Skeeter's head and
reads from the Shinolator manual.
"The Miracle Straitening Cap" must
remain on the head for two hours."
Charlotte flips a switch and takes another drag. The machine
groans to life. Skeeter's cap inflates.
I'll have Pascagoula bring you a
Skeeter snatches her mother's cigarette and takes a drag.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter sits under the Shinolator buried in a magazine.
Pascagoula enters and sets down a glass of tea.
Thanks, Constantine. Do you think
this dress is cute?
Skeeter holds the magazine up to Pascagoula. Only now does
she realize what she's said and done.
I'm sorry. Thanks, Pascagoula.
Pascagoula nods and starts to walk away then turns.
I knew Constantine. She was a
mighty fine woman.
INT. PHELEN PLANTATION - SKEETER'S BEDROOM - LATER THAT DAY
The Shinolator was a success. Skeeter's hair is straight,
silky and beautiful.
You've shrunk five inches. You'll
be able to wear heels tonight.
Charlotte looks down to the huarache shoes on Skeeter's feet
and rushes to the closet.
You're not leaving this house in
those awful, Mexican, man shoes.
Charlotte pulls out a dress and pair of heels.
What time is he picking you up?
He's meeting me at Hilly's. Can I
take the Cadillac?
We promised Carlton the Cadillac
tonight. So, William's cousin will
just have to come get you himself.
I'll take the truck.
It's hooked to the motor grader.
I'll drive slow.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - FIELD - LATER THAT AFTERNOON
Skeeter pulls away in a rusted 1941 Chevy farm truck with a
huge motor grader attached. Charlotte runs next to the
truck. Her wig is askew.
Don't mope. Remember to smile!
Skeeter floors it. Charlotte runs faster.
And, don't sit like some squaw
Indian. Cross! Your! Ankles!
Skeeter leaves her mother in a cloud of dust.
I love you!
INT. FARM TRUCK - COUNTRY ROAD - MOMENTS LATER
Chunks of mud fly off the tires. The June sun has set the
truck's interior at a stubborn 115 degrees.
Skeeter has no choice but to lower her window. The
Shinolator meets its match.
A mangy, STRAY CAT suddenly jumps out in the road. When
towing 10,000 pounds of farm equipment, slowing down quickly
isn't an option.
A loud thud sounds out from the truck's grill.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - PARLOR - LATER THAT NIGHT
Hilly, her husband, WILLIAM, and Skeeter's date, STUART
WHITWORTH, drink high balls and eat cheese in the Holbrook
parlor. Gold swag curtains hang on the windows.
Balding and pudgy, only William's family money once made him
a desirable bachelor. Stuart, on the other hand, is very
handsome, the "Marlboro Man" in a well-tailored suit.
Yule May (who we met earlier at church with Aibileen) now
works for Hilly. She clears empty glasses.
With your daddy's endorsement, I
can win that Senate seat.
Stuart feigns interest.
I'll talk to him.
Ice slams against Stuart's teeth as he downs his drink.
Hilly pats William's leg then turns with concern to a
grandfather clock announcing half past the hour.
The front door flies open. Skeeter enters completely out of
breath and sweaty. Her HAIR HAS TRIPLED IN SIZE. She waves.
As Hilly races toward Skeeter, William and Stuart stand.
Stuart is as tall as he is handsome.
Boys, we'll be right back. Y'all
talk about quarterbacks or
something. Yule May, get Miss
Skeeter a Coca Cola.
Yule May runs off. Hilly pulls Skeeter down the hall.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter sits on the toilet downing a Coca-Cola. Hilly twists
the last of Skeeter's hair into giant rollers.
Skeeter, you don't even have on
Skeeter dabs her armpits.
It was so goddamn awful. I hit a
Hilly sprays Final Net.
Well...What do you think of him?
Skeeter applies lipstick. Hilly removes the rollers.
He looks handsome.
Skeeter stands up and does a twirl for Hilly.
All right, give it to me. One to
Hilly sprays Skeeter with perfume and stands back.
Hilly nods, lets out a little squeal.
Honey, you're beautiful. Just go
on out there...you're gonna do
great. It's your time, Skeeter. I
just know it.
Hilly hugs Skeeter.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Hilly, William, Stuart and Skeeter sit at a round table
adorned with white linens, silver and fine china.
The room buzzes with Jackson's elite all trying to be noticed
as a JAZZ QUARTET plays softly in a corner.
A WAITER approaches. Stuart leans into Skeeter without
making eye contact.
You want a drink?
Just water, please.
Double Old Kentucky straight...with
a water back...Make that two backs.
THANKS?! So...you went to Alabama?
Stuart nods. Hilly rolls her eyes.
"Roll Tide." We still love him.
Hilly pinches Stuart on the cheek.
Now you're in the oil business.
Hilly says you're a rigsite leader.
The money's good. If that's what
you really want to know.
That's not what I-
Skeeter and Hilly watch as Stuart's and William's eyes fix on
the front of the restaurant.
Celia and Johnny have entered. Celia wears a tight green
dress and the reddest lipstick ever put in a tube.
Isn't that your old boyfriend,
Hilly? Johnny Foote?
Who's his girl? Lord, she's hotter
than Delta asphalt.
Celia spots Hilly and gives a self-conscious wave.
William! The Lieutenant Governor
just walked in.
Hilly jumps up and pulls William away. The waiter returns
with Stuart's drink and the water backs.
So, what do you do with your time?
I write a...a domestic maintenance
column for the Jackson Journal.
Stuart smirks, taking a huge sip of his drink.
You mean housekeeping?
Skeeter nods and grabs her water.
Jesus, I can't think of anything
worse than reading a cleaning
column. Except maybe writing one.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - LOBBY - SAME TIME
Hilly and William finish shaking hands with the Lieutenant
Governor. As he walks away, Hilly shouts out.
We'd love your support on election
Celia and Johnny walk up. Hilly stiffens.
Hilly, you look lovely tonight.
Thank you, Johnny.
William, have you ever met Celia?
William steps forward and shakes Celia's hand.
Nice to meet you.
Hilly grabs the crook of William's arm.
Sweetie, we need to go order our
Celia musters up all the courage inside her.
Hilly, did you ever get the
messages that I've been calling
I did not.
Well, I would love to help with the
benefit. I have a lovely hand if
you need invitations addressed.
"Save the dates" were mailed weeks
ago...You didn't get one?
Celia shakes her head.
Mail's a lot slower way out there
in the country, huh?
Now, come on, before they run out
of Trout Almondine.
Hilly pulls William away. Johnny grabs Celia's hand.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Sounds like a ploy to find a
husband...becoming an expert on
Well, you must be a genius. You
figured out my whole scheme.
Skeeter fumes as Hilly and William return and sit.
What'd we miss?
Isn't that what you women from Ole
Miss major in? Professional
I'm sorry, but were you dropped on
your head as an infant?
Stuart blinks and then smiles, somewhat impressed. Desperate
to change the subject, Hilly claps her hands.
Who? Is? Hungry?
Not me! A kiss from God couldn't
turn this `frog' into a `prince.'
Tables begin to stare.
Or you a `princess,' Sweetheart!
As Skeeter walks away, she purposefully slides her purse into
a glass of water, knocking it over into Stuart's lap.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - DINING ROOM - MORNING
Hilly and William each have a section of newspaper in their
face as Yule May clears breakfast dishes. Yule May lingers
Run on, now, Yule May. Got a big
crowd coming for Miss Leefolt's
Miss Hilly, I would like to ask you
and Mister William something.
Hilly lowers her paper and nods. Yule May begins wrenching
YULE MAY (CONT'D)
My twin boys finished high school,
both on the honor roll...My husband
and I have been saving for years to
send them to college.
Only now does William lower his paper.
We are short seventy-five dollars
on one of the tuitions.
William stands up, kisses Hilly on the cheek.
Well, I'm late. Gotta go.
Now...We're faced with having to
choose. Which son gets to go...if
we don't find all the money.
Hilly draws in a deep breath as does Yule May.
YULE MAY (CONT'D)
Would you consider givin' us a
loan? I'll...I'll work for free
until it's paid off.
That's not working for free, Yule
May. That's paying off a debt.
As a Christian, I'm going to do you
Yule May's eyes widen as a hopeful smile forms.
God doesn't give charity to those
who are well and able. You need to
come up with this money on your
own. You'll thank me one day.
Hilly raises the paper up to her face as Yule May exits.
INT. WHITE GROCERY STORE - LATER THAT MORNING
Minny and Aibileen, in uniform, push carts side by side in
the grocery store. The white shoppers are dressed casually.
Other maids in the store (all required to be in uniform while
shopping) keep quietly to themselves.
White women smile and chat with one another as they meander
down the aisles as if the black maids aren't even there.
Minny suddenly spots Celia in the produce section. She pulls
Aibileen close as they peer around the corner.
Aibileen's mouth drops open at the sight of Celia's shorts
and tight sweater. Celia is having trouble selecting
Lord, she's trying to shop.
Celia walks up to a maid, grabs her, and pulls her to the
tomatoes. The maid, clearly uncomfortable, selects a tomato,
hands it to Celia, and scurries away.
Miss Celia just don't see `em. The
lines. Not between us, Miss Hilly,
Aibileen just nods.
What you so quiet for? I know you
got a opinion `bout all this.
You gone accuse me a
I ain't afraid a no philosophy.
I don't believe in lines anymore.
Lines is in our heads `cause people
like Miss Hilly try to make us
believe they there.
Celia squeezes a canteloupe with another scared maid.
Oh, they there. I know. I get
punished for crossing them.
EXT. BUS STOP - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen and Minny continue their conversation while waiting
with several other maids at a bus stop in front of the store.
Lotta of folk think if you talk
back to your husband, you crossed a
line...need to be punished.
You know I ain't studying no line
Cause it ain't there. `Cept in
Leroy's head. Lines between black
and white ain't there either.
Minny and Aibileen watch as Celia exits the store with her
groceries and prances toward her car.
So, I ain't crossing no line if I
tell Miss Celia she ain't good
enough for Miss Hilly? Tell her
she ain't in Miss Hilly's league?
All I'm saying is kindness don't
have no boundaries.
Just then, MYRLIE EVERS, 30, (Medgar Evers wife) approaches
the bus stop with her three Children. SONS, 10 and 3, and a
Aibileen and Minny nod as the Evers walk past and sit on a
Law, the Evers children have gotten
Cause they happy. Myrlie got her a
good man...And you better not try
to say they ain't no line between
her Medgar and my Leroy.
No. You got me.
A bus pulls up and the doors open. Minny, Aibileen and the
other maids step aside to let the Evers family board first.
EXT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - BACK YARD - LATER THAT DAY
Aibileen has come along to aid Yule May with Elizabeth's baby
A table is set in the middle of the yard covered in white
linens and Hilly's best sliver.
Hilly's son sits on her lap. The other girls' children wear
bathing suits jumping noisily in and out of two plastic kiddy
Yule May clears cake plates while Aibileen removes crumbs
with a sterling crumb scraper.
Mae Mobley wanders up to the table. Her belly almost looks
distended crammed inside last year's one piece.
Mae Mo hungry, Momma.
Elizabeth turns to Mae Mobley but never gets up.
She's always hungry.
All the women laugh except for Skeeter.
You know she can hear you,
Elizabeth looks down to her plate. Aibileen sets down the
scraper and kneels down to Mae Mobley.
I'm on cut you some cake, Baby.
Aibileen, we gave that scraper to
Hilly and William for their wedding
It so pretty.
Hilly begins bouncing William Jr. on her knee.
Aibileen, are you enjoying your new
bathroom over at Elizabeth's?
Hilly nods with a tight smile and glances to the ground at
Skeeter's red satchel.
Nice to have your own, isn't it?
Separate but equal. That's what
Ross Barnett says, and you can't
argue with the Governor.
Not in Mississippi. Birthplace of
modern day government.
Hilly narrows her eyes at Skeeter and turns to Aibileen.
Aibileen, did you know that me and
Mister Holbrook arranged for that
bathroom? Sent the boys over and
the equipment, too.
Hilly stays on Aibileen, waiting for her to say something.
Skeeter fumes, hoping Aibileen doesn't say it.
Yes, ma'am...And I thank you.
Hilly smiles and nods.
Well...You. Are. Welcome.
Hilly shoots Skeeter a last look. William Jr. leans into
Hilly and hugs her.
One thing I got to say about Miss
Hilly, she love her children.
Always tellin' them they smart and
beautiful. Can't go more than ten
minutes without givin' one a kiss.
Hilly kisses her son gently.
AIBILEEN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And, law, do they love her back.
When she starts up on me, I just
try and think a my sweet Treelore
and how much he loved me. That
kind a love makes me cry. Even
when it going to Miss Hilly.
Hilly again glances to the red satchel, staring quizzically
at the worn booklet of The Jim Crow laws sticking out.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER THAT DAY
Yule May washes dishes as the women are heard saying their
"good-byes" on the street. Skeeter slips into the kitchen.
May I get you something?
Yule May, I wanted to talk to you.
Yule May turns off the sink faucet making sure Hilly is still
cackling out on the street.
I know what you want to ask, Miss
Skeeter. Aibileen and Minny
Yule May closes the kitchen door.
YULE MAY (CONT'D)
I'm trying to get my boys off to
college. It's worthwhile what
y'all doing, but my boys are worth
What do you "understand," Skeeter?
Skeeter and Yule May turn to find Hilly standing in the
swinging door leading into the dining room.
Ah...Yule May was just telling me
how excited she was that her boys
were going to go to college.
Is that true, Yule May?
Skeeter notices that Hilly is holding the booklet of Jim Crow
laws in her hand.
Did you also ask Miss Skeeter if
you could borrow money?
Of course not, Hilly!
Hilly approaches Skeeter.
Skeeter, I'm starting to think
you're intentionally not putting my
initiative in the newsletter.
Eyes down, Yule May hurries out of the kitchen.
Not at all. I'm just so busy right
now with Mom.
Skeeter...I'm sorry about your
mother. And I know you must be so
Hilly holds up the Jim Crow booklet.
But I'm worried about you. All
this carrying on lately and now
you're reading this stuff?
My dad had me get that for him.
I mean, around your friends is one
thing...But, believe it or not,
there are real racists in this
town! If the wrong person caught
you with this...you'd be in serious
Skeeter snatches the booklet from Hilly.
Thanks, Hilly! And thanks for
going through my things.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - SKEETER'S BEDROOM - NEXT DAY
Skeeter types feverishly while smoking a cigarette. Keys type
out: "Home Help Sanitation Initiative."
Skeeter picks up Hilly's document and shakes her head. She
types: Don't risk your children's and family's health!
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Yule May vacuums. She pulls the sofa away from the wall to
clean beneath it.
Noticing something on the floor, Yule May leans over.
She rises holding a SMALL RUBY RING. Years of dust and hair
blanket the pitiful gem set in ten karat gold.
The vacuum seems to roar louder now. Yule May breathes
heavily. She shoves the ring into her uniform pocket.
INT. PHELEN PLANTATION - SKEETER'S BEDROOM - THAT AFTERNOON
As Skeeter bangs away on her typewriter, Charlotte bursts
into the room, stuck somewhere between panic and joy.
Don't panic, but there's a very
tall man named Stuart here for you.
He's a drunken asshole, Mother.
You wouldn't like him.
Charlotte pulls a sun dress out of Skeeter's closet.
Skeeter, love and hate are two
horns on the same goat. And, you
need a goat!
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter, Charlotte and Stuart sit in the living room.
Pascagoula serves finger sandwiches.
Stuart looks nice in khaki pants, a blue blazer and a red
tie. His nose is pink from working in the sun.
No one says a word. Finally...
Stuart, would you like a cocktail?
Skeeter shoots her mother a "What the..." look.
No, Ma'am. Little too early.
Charlotte moves on.
What's your last name, Stuart?
Hmm...Where are you from?
Really? Well, I know a Whitworth
from Natchez...But he's a Senator
up in Washington.
Yes, Ma'am. That's my daddy.
Senator Whitworth. That's my
Charlotte's jaw drops to her string of pearls.
Stuart nods. Charlotte stands, flustered yet joyful.
Well...tell him I said
"Hello"...I'm going to go see if
Pascagoula needs some help in the
Charlotte backs away behind Stuart's chair. She points at
Skeeter violently, as if to say, DON'T MESS THIS UP!
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - BACK YARD - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter and Stuart stand beneath an old Cypress tree as
Charlotte peeps from an upstairs window.
Look. I know it was a few weeks
back, but I came here to say I'm
sorry for the way I acted.
Who sent you? William or Hilly?
Neither. I was rude, and I've been
thinking about it a lot.
Well, I haven't. So, just go.
Now, look. I told Hilly I wasn't
ready to go out on any date. I
wasn't even close to ready.
Stuart shoves his hands in his pockets like a boy.
I was engaged last year. She ended
Skeeter refuses to pity him.
We'd been dating since we were
fifteen. You know how it is.
Actually, I don't. I've never
dated anyone before.
Stuart looks up and starts laughing loudly.
Well! That must be it then.
I've never met a woman that said
exactly what she was thinking.
I've got plenty to say...
Would you like to...come downtown
with me and have dinner? We could
talk... We could listen to each
other this time.
I can't think of anything worse.
Stuart looks down and nods.
Then, I'm sorry. That's what I
came to say and...I said it.
Stuart turns and walks towards his car, self-consciously
weaving his strong fingers through his hair.
Skeeter looks up to her mother's empty window and shouts out
Just give me a minute!
Let me get my sweater.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - DINING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Skeeter and Stuart sit closely as the same waiter as before
What do you want, Skeeter?
I'll have a Co-cola. Lots of ice.
No, I mean in life. What do you
Only now does Skeeter notice the tray of champagne the waiter
is holding. Stuart nods as two glasses are set before them.
The waiter leaves.
I want to be a journalist. Maybe a
novelist. Maybe both.
I like that...I've been thinking
about you. You're smart, you're
Yes. And I read your column. Very
I never knew Crisco got rid of
Skeeter laughs and slaps him playfully.
I hope you get to write something
really good, Skeeter. Something
you believe in.
Stuart suddenly leans over and kisses Skeeter.
EXT. DRIVE-IN-MOVIE - ONE WEEK LATER
Stuart and Skeeter make out HARD in the back of the
Holbrook's convertible. Hilly and William sit in the front.
Hilly peers into the rearview mirror to get a better view.
Proud of herself, she pats William's leg.
William slides his hand up Hilly's leg. She jerks it away.
EXT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
Aibileen sits on the kitchen floor next to a bucket. She
feverishly scours grease off the baseboards.
Elizabeth's car pulls up. Aibileen smiles.
Baby girl home.
The car door slams shut.
Aibileen! My trunk's full!
Aibileen rises slowly, placing a hand on her knee. Outside,
Elizabeth suddenly shouts out hysterically.
ELIZABETH (O.C.) (CONT'D)
Mae Mobley! No! Stop!
Aibileen panics. She gets up, looks out the window.
INT. LEEFOLT BACKYARD - SAME TIME
Mae Mobley sits on Aibileen's toilet in the garage. Door
wide open, pants around her ankles.
Me and Aibiee bafroom, Momma.
Elizabeth runs over and yanks Mae Mobley off, popping her
hard on the behind.
It! Is! Not!
Mae Mobley begins to cry. Aibileen watches as Elizabeth hiss-
whispers and yanks Mae Mobley hard on the arm.
This is dirty out here! You'll
Elizabeth punctuates with three more slaps to her legs.
No! No! No!
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen sits on the couch with Mae Mobley who eats a cookie.
Mae Mobley's face is red and damp.
I'm here, baby girl. Aibee's here.
Aibileen kisses her on the cheek.
You is kind. You is smart. You is
important...You want me to tell you
one a our secret stories?
Mae Mobley nods. The phone rings. Aibileen rises.
I got it!
Aibileen sits back down and leans into Mae Mobley.
One day this wise Martian come down
to Earth to teach us people a thing
Martian? How big?
Oh, he about six-two.
What's his name?
Martian Luther King.
What did he look like?
Looked just like us, nose, mouth,
hair on his head. But, sometimes
people looked at him funny and were
just downright mean to him.
Why Aibee? Why was they so mean?
`Cause he was green.
Elizabeth suddenly barges into the living room.
Aibileen! Come on! We have to go
help Hilly. Now! Come on!
Elizabeth runs outside. Aibileen grabs Mae Mobley.
EXT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Elizabeth wobbles briskly up the street holding her pregnant
belly. Aibileen and Mae Mobley follow.
A stream of people walk toward them, laughing.
They round a corner to see FIFTY OLD TOILETS, in every shape
and color imaginable, littering Hilly's lawn.
Some have towering tanks with chain pulls at the top,
providing amusement to the procession of cars driving by.
The Holbrook's station wagon sits in the driveway, doors
still open with LUGGAGE tied to the roof.
Two OLD BLACK MEN struggle to remove a toilet under William's
Aibileen hides her smile. Mae Mobley points.
Look! Look, Aibee.
Hilly flies out of her house as a REPORTER snaps a picture of
Get out of here!
Hilly pushes him in the bushes and runs up to Elizabeth.
Skeeter! She put it in the
newsletter. I specifically said
old coats are to be dropped at my
house. Not commodes!
Hilly faces the toilets again and screams.
She put it in the newsletter when
she knew we'd be down at the beach.
Hilly steps up to Aibileen and points to the old men.
Go help those boys GET THOSE
TOILETS OFF MY LAWN!
INT. BUS - LATER THAT NIGHT
Aibileen rides in the back of a bus with a YOUNG BLACK MAN.
Two white men sit right behind the white driver.
The bus slows to a stop in the middle of the road.
In the distance, blue lights flash in front of a road block.
A few people gather.
Y'all stay put. Let me find out
what's going on.
As the driver gets up, a WLBT-TV news truck whizzes by
followed by a police motorcycle. Aibileen leans in the aisle
and looks ahead.
The driver returns. The young black man speaks up.
YOUNG BLACK MAN
What happen up there, Mister?
Colored people off. White people
lemme know where y'all are going.
I'll get you as close as I can.
As the young black man helps Aibileen down the aisle, a white
passenger taps the driver on the shoulder.
What's going on?
Aibileen and the young man walk down the stairs.
I don't know. Some nigger got
shot. Where you headed?
The bus door shuts and the driver backs away.
EXT. STREET - MINUTES LATER
Aibileen and the young man walk along a dark street. The
sound of cicadas and sirens fill the air.
YOUNG BLACK MAN
You all right? You close to home?
I be all right. My house is seven
blocks from here.
YOUNG BLACK MAN
Want me to walk you?
Naw, thank ya. I'll be fine...Law,
I hope this ain't as bad as-
Aibileen turns to discover the young man is gone. She stares
into the darkness. Scared, she begins to run.
She cuts through a yard and trips over a hedge. She falls
hard to her knees.
Terrified, Aibileen begins to sob. She sees Minny's porch
light and pulls herself up.
INT. MINNY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - SECONDS LATER
Minny sits with all five of her children, Sugar, LEROY JR,
12, KINDRA, 10, FELICIA, 6, and BENNY, 4. They all listen
anxiously to a radio on the table.
Aibileen opens the screen door and falls to the floor.
Minny jumps up to help her. She sees blood and grass stains
streaking the knees of Aibileen's panty hose.
Aibileen! You okay?
Aibileen nods, trying to compose herself.
RADIO ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Almost ten years serving as the
Field Secretary for the
NAACP...Medgar Evers is dead.
Aibileen swallows hard.
KKK shot him! Hour ago. Right in
front a his children, Aibileen.
We gone pray for the Evers. We
gone pray for Myrlie.
Minny raises her fists.
We living in hell! We trapped.
Our kids is trapped.
Minny turns to Sugar.
Take your brother and sister and go
get in my bed. Stay there!
Sugar leads the kids to the back of the house.
What they gone do to us if they
catch us with Miss Skeeter?
We gone be careful.
Hitch us to a pickup and drag us
behind? Shoot me front a my kids?
We ain't doing civil rights with
Miss Skeeter. We just tellin'
stories like they really happen.
Minny and Aibileen grab hands and squeeze hard.
You a fool, old woman. A fool!
Aibileen hugs Minny.
I can't believe I'm on say this...
But, I actually wish Leroy was home
Aibileen and Minny laugh a little through the tears.
INT. HARPER AND ROW PUBLISHING - OFFICE - NEW YORK
Elaine Stein sits at her desk flipping through the New York
Times. She notices something, actually laughs.
CLOSE ON PAPER:
A picture shows Hilly standing among the fifty toilets in her
front yard. A caption reads:
"Come on by, have a seat!"
Home of William and Hilly Holbrook, Jackson, Mississippi.
EXT. OFFSHORE OIL RIG - DAY
Stuart, on the deck of an offshore oil rig, laughs as he
looks at Hilly's picture inside a local newspaper.
He writes on the back of a postcard addressed to Skeeter:
I guess you potty trained Hilly!
Much love, Stuart.
EXT. JUNIOR LEAGUE - PARKING LOT - THREE DAYS LATER
Skeeter parks and gets out of her car. She suddenly finds
herself face to face with Hilly.
You are sick. Do not speak to me.
Do not look at me. Don't say hello
to my children. How long had you
been planning to humiliate my
That's not it, Hilly.
You thought you were so clever,
didn't ya? But I've already
installed three of those old
toilets in people's garages.
Technically, it was a typo, Hilly.
I intend to tell Stuart he's
ruining his reputation by
associating with you. Jolene's
yard boy saw you hanging around the
colored bus stop.
I wasn't hanging-
I guess your car was in the shop?
Skeeter looks away.
You know as well as I do, people
won't buy so much as a slice of
pound cake from an organization
that harbors racial
Skeeter steps forward.
Hilly, just who is that pound cake
money being raised for, anyway?
Hilly rolls her eyes.
"The Starving Children of Africa."
Skeeter nods and walks away. Hilly shouts out.
Just so you know, Lou Ann Templeton
has taken your seat at bridge club.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - LIVING ROOM - MORNING
Minny walks in, notices it's eerily quiet.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Minny walks into Celia's bedroom.
Miss Celia, you in here?
Minny hears running water and muffled crying behind the
bathroom door. She presses her ear to the door.
Hello? You sick?
Minny twists the knob. It's locked.
I'm fine. Minny. Go on home for
You mess up your hair coloring
again? I helped you fix it last
time, got it back real pretty.
Celia yells at Minny for the very first time.
I said go home, Minny!
Minny sees water creeping out from under the door. She steps
back and charges, shoulder first.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
The bathroom door bursts open with splinters of wood. Minny
slips in a pool of watered down blood.
Celia sits against the wall in a bloody nightgown.
Celia aimlessly moves the blood around with a wash cloth.
There's so much blood. Why is
there so much blood this time?
Minny crawls over, peers into the toilet bowl and gags.
Please, Minny. Will you get it
out? I can't look at it again.
Shaken, Minny reaches for a trash can. She puts her hand on
Celia's neck and pushes it down.
Keep your head down.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE- BEDROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Celia lies in bed while Minny presses a cool rag to her
forehead. Celia stares out of her bedroom window.
The two rosebushes stand in the middle of the front lawn.
A DOCTOR enters the room.
Give her another pill if she gets
too agitated. There'll be more
bleeding, but don't call me unless
Minny nods as the doctor leaves.
We got married because I was
pregnant. But it slipped out too.
That's just God's way. Next one's
Johnny wants kids now. I thought
if I was real still, brought
somebody in to do the house and
cooking, maybe I'd hold on to this
one. Oh, Minny, what's he gonna do
He gone have to get over this. He
needs to know this takes time.
He doesn't know about this one, or
the one before...
Minny turns to Celia, stunned by this revelation.
Minny, you know how to play bridge,
Yes, ma'am. I used to help Missus
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - MORNING
Aibileen holds a plate of grits covered in toasted
marshmallows, strawberries and three lighted candles.
Happy Birthday! Mae Mobley two
Mae Mobley laughs as Aibileen sets down the grits.
Mae Mobley three!
You sure is, Baby Girl. Blow'em
out `fo they run up in your grits.
Mae Mobley blows out the candles.
How old are you, Aibiee?
Do you get burfdays?
Mae Mobley picks up a candle and licks off the grits.
Gone be fifty-four next week.
Do you have some babies?
I gots seventeen of `em.
Where are the babies?
They all over town.
Aibee...You're my real mama.
Now, you know who your momma is.
I'm your real baby, Aibee. Those
other ones are just pretend.
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - FRONT YARD - EARLY MORNING
Celia digs a hole next to the two existing rosebushes. A
closed shoebox and new rosebush wait to be planted.
Celia lowers the box in the grave, covering it with dirt.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT MORNING
Celia and Minny sit at a card table holding playing cards.
Two additional hands lay face up on the table in front of two
empty chairs across from them.
Minny lays down one of her cards then looks over to Celia's
She removes a card from Celia's and lays it down. She then
points to the hand next to Celia. Celia nods.
INT. JUNIOR LEAGUE - MEETING HALL - DAY
Hilly stands at her podium, tan and ready to lead. She holds
her gavel like a weapon.
Okay. First order of business.
We're updating our newsletter.
Hilly stares right at Skeeter who sits alone in the back.
We're adding a fashion column with
all the latest trends...Your
dresses better be cute at next
The women applaud and tap each other on their thighs.
Now it's time to choose a new
editor for our new modern monthly.
Skeeter braces herself as hands pop up everywhere. Jolene
I nominate Hilly Holbrook.
Jolene looks back and snarls at Skeeter.
Jolene, you're the sweetest thing!
I second. I third. All in favor
of Hilly, say "Aye."
The room erupts.
Skeeter's ousting took less than ten seconds. Elizabeth
secretly turns to Skeeter from a few rows ahead.
I'm so sorry.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - FRONT PORCH - MORNING
Skeeter sits alone on the porch swing in her nightgown,
shifting through the Miss Myrna letters.
Charlotte steps onto the porch.
Honey, would you like me to drop
you off at bridge club on the way
to my doctor's appointment?
No, Ma'am. It's been cancelled.
Mae Mobley's sick or something.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Bridge is underway at the Leefolt house. Aibileen enters
holding a tray of coffee cups.
Elizabeth, Hilly, Jolene and several other girls giggle as
they kneel down behind furniture.
Elizabeth looks back. Her belly is huge.
There's a knock at door.
Elizabeth, it's me, Celia Foote. I
was in the neighborhood and thought
I'd drop by.
The girls giggle more loudly now. Celia peers into the
living room window.
The bridge tables are in plain view. Celia's face grows
pinker than her sweater.
I...brought you a chocolate
pie...My maid, Minny, made it.
Hilly's face hardens...
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - KITCHEN - DAY
Minny stands at the sink shelling peas. A distinct red cut
is perched above her swollen eye.
Celia sits at the kitchen table halfway through the pie.
They made me stand there like the
vacuum man. Why, Minny?
Minny freezes, keeping her face on the peas.
Because they know about you getting
knocked up by Mister Johnny. They
mad you married one a they mens.
Especially since Mister Johnny and
Miss Hilly had just broke up, too.
So, Hilly probably thinks I was
fooling around with Johnny while
they were still going steady.
Missus Walters says Miss Hilly
still sweet on Mister Johnny, too.
Celia suddenly slaps her thigh with excitement.
No wonder! They don't hate
me...They hate what they think I
They hate you cause they think
you're white trash! And don't be
takin' pies to those women!
Well, I'm just going to have to let
Hilly know I'm not a boyfriend
stealer. In fact, I'll tell her
Friday night at the benefit.
Celia rises and smiles like she just cured cancer.
Now, Miss Celia...please don't be
going to that benefit.
Celia gets some ice out of the fridge.
Did you hear what I said?
Celia places the ice in a towel and approaches Minny. She
looks at the cut above her eye.
What are you doing?
That looks bad.
I got to get my work done.
I know you didn't fall in the tub,
Minny. Let me take a look.
Celia grabs Minny's hand. Minny pulls away.
Just then Johnny pulls up in the driveway. Celia and Minny
turn to the window, then spring into action.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Minny sits crouched on the lid of the guest bath toilet as
Johnny chases Celia around the house. Celia giggles.
Come here, Sexy!
Johnny, you are bad! Bad! Bad!
Minny looks at the ridiculous image of herself crouching on
the toilet in the bathroom mirror.
She raises Celia's ice rag up to her swollen eye.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NEXT AFTERNOON
Skeeter enters quietly through Aibileen's kitchen door.
She is surprised to see twenty other black women standing
solemnly around the kitchen and the living room.
Aibileen approaches with a worried look.
Yule May in prison, Miss Skeeter.
Gone be there four years.
Minny shouts out across the kitchen.
Hilly Holbrook been sent from the
devil to ruirn all our lives.
INT. HOLBROOK HOME (FLASHBACK) - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Hilly and the usual suspects play bridge at Hilly's house.
Aibileen pours coffee an earshot away.
Please! A nigra walks in a pawn
shop with a ring of such size and
clarity. It took'em all of five
minutes to figure out where she
Hilly leads the girls' nods of acknowledgement.
I knew that girl was a thief the
day she started.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
As Minny wipes her nose with her sleeve, Skeeter approaches.
I'll ask daddy to get her a good
She had a lawyer. A white lawyer!
But Miss Hilly friends with the
judge's wife. Whole thing took two
days. Arrested on Tuesday, in the
state pen by Wednesday.
The church gone send them boys to
college. Gone pass the plate `til
The women part, making way as Aibileen leads Skeeter to a
seat at the kitchen table.
PEARLY, 58, sits next to Skeeter and touches her arm.
I'm on help with your stories.
Another WOMAN walks over.
I'm on help too.
Another woman speaks from the living room.
BLACK WOMAN 2
We all are.
Women of all ages slowly rise up and nod their heads. Skeeter
looks around in awe.
Thank you. I don't know what to-
They doing this for Yule May.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter sits and writes as Pearly begins the interviews.
Been there thirty-eight years and
Miss Margaret still makes me put my
hair up in a rag. Say she know
coloreds don't wash theys hair.
But, I love her. She love me too.
I had been workin' for Miss
Jolene's mother up `til she died.
Then her daughter, Miss Nancy,
asked me to come work for her.
Miss Nancy a real sweet lady.
But her momma left it in the will
that I had to work for her
daughter, Miss Jolene. Miss Jolene
a mean woman. Mean for sport. I
tried to get another job, but in
everbody mind, the French family
and Miss Jolene owned me.
CALLIE, 60, takes off her glasses and wipes her eyes.
I used to take a shortcut ever day
to work at Doctor Dixon's house.
Cut through this farmer's lower
forty to get there. One day, that
farmer was waitin' on me with a
gun, said he'd shoot me dead if I
walk on his land again. Doctor
Dixon went and paid that farmer
double for two a those acres. Told
him he `bout to start farmin' too.
But he bought it just for me. So I
could get to work easy. He did.
Skeeter closes her eyes for moment.
When she opens them she sees A VISION OF CONSTANTINE STANDING
Constantine smiles and grabs Skeeter's hand. She presses her
thumb firmly in her palm. When Skeeter blinks again, the
vision is gone.
Standing in place of Constantine is GRETCHEN, 26.
All these colored women have been
real nice, haven't they?
Yes. Very nice.
Well, they hate you. You know
this? Every little thing about
you. But you're so dumb, you think
you're doing them a favor.
Skeeter and the other maids are taken aback.
You don't have to do this.
You know the nicest thing a white
woman's ever done for me? Gave me
the heel of her bread. These women
are playing a trick on you.
They'll never tell you the truth!
You don't know what they've said.
Say it, lady, say the word you
think every time one us stands in
front of you. Nigger.
Aibileen crosses over to Gretchen.
That's enough, Gretchen.
You just as dumb as she is.
Get out a my house!
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Aibileen sits with Skeeter on the sofa reading and answering
Miss Myrna letters. Aibileen is dressed very nicely.
Several flower arrangements are placed around the room. An
unwrapped present rests on the coffee table.
Tell her to pour vinegar in her
trash cans. Then them dogs will
As Skeeter writes this down, someone walks onto Aibileen's
front porch. Skeeter becomes worried. Aibileen looks to a
wall clock and smiles.
About a dozen letters and cards fall into a basket under the
Aibileen jumps up and starts sorting through the cards.
Today my birthday, Miss Skeeter.
Well, happy birthday, Aibileen.
You should have told me.
And, from all over the county, my
babies find they way home.
Aibileen stops on one card in particular. She sits back down
next to Skeeter.
Some even from overseas. Alton
Spears lives in Paris now. Married
him a real pretty French girl. Got
five kids, too...they's my
Aibileen opens the card to find a twenty dollar bill inside
along with a picture of the Spears family. Aibileen reads
the card aloud.
I still don't drink coffee. Happy
Birthday. Love Alton.
Aibileen laughs and raises her hand to her mouth. Skeeter is
The doorbell rings. Aibileen jumps up and opens the door. A
delivery man greets her with two more vases of flowers.
Aibileen looks out to the street where a white woman gets out
of her car with a huge country ham. Two little girls in
matching dresses jump out behind her.
The woman sees Aibileen on the porch and waves. Aibileen
waves back and smiles.
Catching it all, the moment soon grows bittersweet for
Skeeter. She wipes her eye.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - SKEETER'S BEDROOM - 3 WEEKS LATER
Morning light shines into Skeeter's room. Stuart has
returned from the rig. Fully clothed, he and Skeeter sleep
on Skeeter's bed.
Charlotte shouts Skeeter's name from down the hall.
Skeeter's eyes pop open. She's groggy and hasn't fully
realized the company lying next to her.
Stuart throws his arm over Skeeter. Reality sinks in.
Skeeter rolls over to find Stuart, eyes shut, smiling.
Oh my God! Oh my God!
When Stuart tries to get up, Skeeter flattens him reaches
down and pulls the covers up over his entire body.
Don't move a muscle!
Skeeter props up on her side and faces the door making sure
the covers hide that she's clothed.
Charlotte enters and heads straight for Skeeter's closet.
Morning, Sleepy Head.
Charlotte pulls out a dress and lays it on the bed, right on
top of Stuart.
I thought you could take me to the
doctor this morning and then we
could get some lunch afterwards.
Charlotte spies a LARGE TOE sticking out of the covers. It
belongs to Stuart, but she assumes it's Skeeter's.
(looking at toe)
Or...we could...go straight to
Fanny Mae's for a girl day.
Great! I'll get dressed.
When did Stuart leave last night?
Right after you went to bed.
Well, I hope he knows he's welcome
to stay in Carlton's old room.
I'm not really ready for that yet.
"Bird in the hand," Eugenia. Bird.
In. The. Hand...
Charlotte exits and shuts the door.
(under the covers.)
Skeeter is mortified. Stuart sits up, grinning.
Oh my God!
Stuart tries to kiss Skeeter. She resists.
My breath is horrible.
So is mine.
Stuart embraces Skeeter and brings his lips close to hers.
I love you.
I love you, too.
EXT. STREET - DOWNTOWN JACKSON - DAY
A bank's clock shows twelve noon in downtown Jackson. It's
eerily quiet, not a soul on the street...
We hear archival footage of Walter Cronkite addressing the
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - LIVING ROOM - SAME DAY
Minny stands at the top of a tall step ladder vacuuming
Celia runs into the living room. Tears stream down her face.
Minny turns to Celia.
Cronkite tells the nation that John F. Kennedy is dead.
Minny's eyes roll back in her head as she starts to faint.
She grabs on to Oscar's body and slides down to the floor.
EXT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - SAME DAY
Hilly sits with her son William playing on a blanket on the
A neighbor suddenly pulls up in his car stopping in front of
Hilly. He leans out and tells Hilly the tragic news.
In complete disbelief, Hilly puts her hand over her mouth.
She then grabs William, pulls him in close as if he's somehow
EXT. BUS STOP - LATER THAT DAY
Aibileen huddles with a dozen other maids in a circle.
They're all crying. Some throw their hands in the air.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - LIVING ROOM - THREE DAYS LATER
Skeeter and Stuart sit solemnly with the Phelan family
watching Cronkite's coverage of the Kennedy funeral.
Skeeter's dad wipes tears from his eyes. Stuart checks the
time and leans into Skeeter's ear.
Honey, I'm sorry, but I have to get
down to the coast.
Skeeter nods as Stuart kisses her.
I'll be back in time for the
benefit. Love you.
We hear Walter Cronkite's parting thoughts on JFK.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER THAT NIGHT
Minny, Skeeter and Aibileen sit quietly compiling stories.
Aibileen and Minny look up to Aibileen's framed picture of
John F. Kennedy.
Aibileen grows anxious. She suddenly jumps out of her chair
and paces around the kitchen.
Are you okay?
The world done gone crazy, Miss
Skeeter! And I'm scared! What if
folks find out what we writing?
Figure out Niceville really
Jackson, and figure out who who?
Aibileen. We've changed all the
Y'all two gone sit there and tell
me you one hundred percent without
a doubt sure `bout all this?!
Skeeter looks away..
No...So I been thinking...Maybe we
need us some insurance.
Skeeter look to Minny.
I told God I'd never speak of it
again. But we got no choice. It's
time...Time to tell you both "the
terrible awful" I did to Miss
Hilly. It might be the only thing
to protect us.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE (FLASHBACK) - KITCHEN - 6 MONTHS EARLIER
We continue with the earlier flashback where Minny arrives at
Hilly's with her famed chocolate pie. Hilly leads Minny into
the kitchen, Missus Walters follows behind.
Hilly slices a big piece and grabs a fork. She leans against
the counter and takes a big bite.
Nobody wanted to hire a sass-
mouthing, thieving nigra, did they?
Minny stands silent as Hilly finishes in three bites.
Pie's as good as always, Minny.
I'm glad you like it.
Hilly cuts another piece for herself.
If...I take you back, I'll have to
cut your pay five dollars a week.
Not expecting this, Minny leans away from Hilly.
Take me back?
Hilly takes an even bigger bite from the second slice.
What do you put in here that makes
it taste so good?
That good vanilla from Mexico...
Minny's eyes narrow over a forced smile.
And...something else real special.
Missus Walters grabs a plate and reaches for the pie.
No, Missus Walters. That Miss
Hilly's special pie.
Momma can have a piece.
Hilly slides the pie a little too fast down the counter
toward Minny. Minny stops it before it falls to the floor.
Cut her one.
Eat my shit.
Hilly calmly sets her plate down on the counter.
What did you say?
I said eat my shit!
Have you lost your mind?!
Minny moves toward Hilly.
No. But you're about to,
`cause you just did.
Minny nods smugly as she looks down at Hilly's slice.
Missus Walters immediately gets it. She bursts out laughing
so hard she has to lower herself to the floor.
Well, Hilly, that's what you get, I
guess. And you didn't just eat
one. You ate two slices!
Hilly starts to hyperventilate as everything sinks in.
As Minny leaves, Hilly runs to the sink and throws up.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen and Skeeter are speechless.
You trying to get yourself killed?!
No! I never planned to tell her!
I just wanted to see her take a
bite and leave so I could be done
with her. Forever! She was never
supposed to ask me back.
Minny eyes narrow.
And, then for less pay! That got
me even madder. And, then she went
slid that pie at me. Oh lord!
That was it! I just lost control,
Aibileen...you know how I get, now.
So, before I knew it, it just came
on out my mouth...and I had tolt
her what was in that pie.
Aibileen looks to Skeeter shaking her head. Minny suddenly
gets misty. She wipes her eyes.
I've asked God to forgive me. But,
more for what happened to poor
Missus Walters. Miss Hilly threw
her in that nursing home just for
We can't put that story in the
It's too dangerous, Minny.
We need insurance! Hilly Holbrook
can't never let people know that
pie story is about her.
Exactly! If people find out "The
Terrible Awful" was you and Miss
Hilly, then we in trouble. Trouble
there ain't words for!
Right! But don't you see? Miss
Hilly gone go to her grave
convincing people this book ain't
about Jackson. Then we safe,
Minny gets up and walks toward Aibileen.
You brought me into this, and I'm
on finish it! Either put it in or
pull my parts out all together.
Minny storms out of Aibileen's kitchen.
INT. HARPER ROW PUBLISHING/PANTRY (INTERCUT) - DAY
Miss Stein talks to Skeeter on the phone.
The last editor's meeting is
December 17th. If you want a
chance of this getting read, I need
it in my hands by then.
But that's in a week, Miss Stein!
Otherwise it goes in The Pile. You
don't want it in The Pile.
And you must get a piece in about
the domestic who raised you. It'll
add something personal to it.
Skeeter nods with frustration.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - BALLROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
The African Children's Benefit Ball is well underway.
The energy and look of the two hundred attendees feel like a
throwback to the women's suffrage movement. Many older women
wear heavy long black skirts and jackets.
Hilly wears swathes of maroon-colored taffeta. Ruffles
clutch her throat. She stands next to Jolene French and a
Dressed to the nines, Jolene raises a microphone and looks
into the camera.
This is Jolene French reporting
from the African Children's Benefit
Ball, and I'm here with League
President Miss Hilly Holbrook.
Three dozen servers stand in a line. Minny and Aibileen are
Tables are covered with items donated for the auction.
On the baked goods table, Minny's famed chocolate pie
promises to again be a big money maker.
Celia and Johnny enter the ballroom. Celia wears a hideous,
pink and silver sequined gown. As usual, Celia's breasts
The room locks on Celia as specks of light bounce off her
dress and jiggle across the ceiling.
A TITILLATED OLD HUSBAND tips his martini onto his wife's
(a little too loudly)
Look at the jugs on that one!
Other wives dig fingernails into husbands' arms. The man's
wife responds louder.
Bosoms are for bedrooms and breast-
feeding. Not occasions of dignity.
Celia downs a glass of champagne and leans into Johnny.
Do you think I might have
overdressed a little? It's
supposed to be formal, but this
looks like a funeral.
You look gorgeous.
Minny pulls Aibileen aside and points to Celia.
Look what she got on.
Celia grabs more champagne from a passing server.
Lord have mercy. Ladies better
hold onto they husbands tonight.
Celia catches eyes with Minny. She smiles and nods quickly
and then looks away, careful not to tip off Johnny of their
And that's the man that don't even
know he's paying me.
Skeeter enters with Stuart. She wears a long-sleeved black
velvet dress and her hair is being somewhat cooperative.
There's Skeeter and that must be
Stuart. He's handsome... Missus
Missus Walters enters wearing a floor-length blue beaded
gown, circa 1943. A white orchid wilts at her clavicle.
Hilly can throw her in a home, but
she can't keep the taxis away.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - BALLROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Celia approaches Elizabeth and Jolene who talk next to a
punch bowl. Celia is now drinking some kind of pink drink
with an umbrella sticking out of it.
Well, hello, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's homemade maternity ball gown resembles a velvet
potato sack cinched with red ribbon.
Those are lovely dresses.
Really?! I was worried I was a tad
Jolene reaches out an pats Celia's shoulder.
Oh, no. You're just perfect.
Elizabeth pulls Jolene away. Celia downs her drink.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - BALLROOM - LATER THAT EVENING
The guests are now seated at twenty-eight round tables.
Scores of black servers dressed in tuxedos ferry plates.
Hilly makes her way to the podium.
Everybody enjoying their dinner?
The room claps enthusiastically.
Let's give a nice round of applause
for all the men and women that have
helped make tonight possible.
Hilly mechanically gestures toward the servers in the room.
A cause I'm sure is dear to their
hearts as well.
Skeeter shakes her head as the less inspired applause dies
down. Celia waves to Minny and jumps out of her chair.
Johnny grabs Celia by the arm and pulls her back down. Celia
reaches for Johnny's glass of wine.
Honey, maybe you've had enough to
drink. Try to eat your dinner.
And have my stomach poke out?!
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - LATER THAT EVENING
As Celia looks at the prize table's bids, Johnny and Stuart
lean against a bar chatting with a few other bored men.
Hilly suddenly slides next to Johnny completely ignoring
Why, Johnny Foote. I'm surprised
to see you here. Everybody knows
you can't stand parties like this.
Hilly squeezes the crook of his arm.
Celia wouldn't have missed this for
Where is that wife of yours? Out
Johnny looks away.
Oh, you know I'm teasing you. We
dated long enough where I can do
that, can't I?
Johnny walks away leaving Hilly no choice but to acknowledge
Stuart. She and Stuart never look each other's way.
Hilly walks away as Jolene approaches the podium.
I've got the list of winners!
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - BALLROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Jolene finishes up the winners list.
I hope you enjoy your new set of
tires, Missus Atwell. Now, on to
the baked goods.
Jolene flips a page.
Oh, yum! Yum! The highest bid in
baked goods goes to Minny Jackson's
chocolate pie. Congratulations,
The room erupts in applause. Hilly now sits at a table with
her family, Missus Walters, and the Leefolts.
Skeeter and Stuart sit at a table full of elderly people they
Minny clears dishes nearby. Hearing her name, she becomes
What? I didn't bid on anything.
Minny turns to find Hilly smiling at her tightly.
Well, wasn't that sweet. Someone
signed me up for that pie.
Celia rushes up behind Hilly, her voice slurred.
Congratulations, Hilly! I didn't
know you're a fan of Minny's pies.
Hilly remains calm. Celia grabs Hilly's long sleeve.
I've wanted to talk to you all
night. Minny told me why you won't
be my friend. You think me and
Johnny went behind your back.
Let me go!
Hilly stands up and pulls away. A ripping sound cuts through
Celia stares at Hilly's torn cuff in her hands.
I'm so sorry.
What are you trying to do to me?
What are you and that nigra up to?
Jolene announces another round of winners loudly over the
microphone, forcing Celia to raise her voice.
I don't know what you-
-You liar! Who did you tell?!
Jolene loses her place on the list. The room grows quiet but
Celia is still yelling.
Hilly, I got pregnant after you and
Johnny broke up!
The room echoes with Celia's words. Across the room, women's
Shut up, Mother.
Stuart belts out with a laugh. Skeeter pinches his arm.
Celia is mortified. Sweat beads on her forehead.
Johnny never cheated on you...At
least, not with me.
Celia starts to breathe heavily. Her eyes start to water.
Johnny would never-
And I'm sorry I thought you'd be
tickled to win that pie.
You tell that nigra if she tells
anybody, I will make her suffer.
Horrified, Skeeter catches eyes with Minny and Aibileen.
They all immediately look away.
Johnny makes his way over. Celia holds her breath, shaking
her head back and forth.
Celia, what's wrong, Honey?
Celia leans over and vomits on the fleur-de-lis print carpet.
The entire room gasps in horror.
Johnny tries to pull Celia back. She pushes Johnny away and
runs for the bathroom. He follows.
Hilly marches over to Aibileen who is standing nearby.
Get that cleaned up before it
starts to smell.
INT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - KITCHEN - LATER THAT NIGHT
Minny's daughter, Sugar, stands over a large commercial sink
filled with sudsy water, washing dishes.
Minny approaches from behind as Sugar holds court with five
other young girls.
That big-boobed lady Momma works
for was drunker than an Injun on
payday. Upchucked in front a
As the girls all laugh, Minny pops Sugar hard on the back of
Don't you never let me hear you
talking bad about the lady who puts
food in your mouth. Clothes on
your back! You hear me?
Minny storms off.
You do it all the time.
EXT. ROBERT E. LEE HOTEL - PARKING LOT - LATER THAT NIGHT
Hilly and William walk to their car. Missus Walters follows
closely behind, holding Minny's pie.
Just come on home and stay with us
No thanks, I got a pie to eat.
Hilly spins around and sees the pie.
You throw that pie away right now!
I spent good money on this. Won it
just for you...
You?! You signed me up?
Missus Walters steps up to Hilly.
I may have trouble remembering my
own name and what country I live
in. But there's two things I can't
seem to forget. That my own
daughter threw me in a nursing
home...And that she ate Minny's
Missus Walters winks at Hilly and ambles to a waiting taxi
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - BEDROOM - NEXT AFTERNOON
Celia lies in bed with the covers pulled over her face.
Minny enters carrying a tray of food, setting it down next to
two other trays of uneaten food.
Ain't Mister Johnny gone wonder how
dinner got on the table if you laid
up in bed?
Celia pulls the covers off her head and sits up a little.
The way Hilly looked at me. Like I
was trash on the road.
Celia pulls a letter out from under the covers.
She billed me for her dress. In
lieu of payment, she's asked that I
send two-hundred dollars to the
African Children's Fund and then
she banned me from all future
She don't count. Don't judge
yourself by the way she see you.
I'm not right for this kind of
life, Minny. I don't need a dinner
table for twelve people.
I couldn't get two people over here
if I begged. She called me a liar
and accused me of getting her that
pie. I wouldn't have thrown up if
it wasn't for that! I can't do
this anymore to Johnny. I'm going
back to Sugar Ditch.
You gone leave your husband cause
you threw up at some party?
Lord, I reckon it's time you knew.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Celia stares at Minny, wide-eyed and disgusted.
Miss Hilly thought you knew `bout
"The Terrible Awful," that you were
making fun a her. It's my fault
she pounced on you. But if you
leave Mister Johnny, then Miss
Hilly done won the whole ball game.
Then she done beat me, and she done
Celia lies there. Minny's concerned she's said too much.
Thank you. For telling me that.
INT. ROOSEVELT HOTEL - NEW ORLEANS - ONE WEEK LATER
Stuart lies on a bed inside the Presidential Suite of the
Roosevelt Hotel. He's on the phone with Skeeter.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION (INTERCUT) - KITCHEN - SAME TIME
Skeeter talks to Stuart. Pascagoula cooks breakfast.
Stuart! How are you calling me?
Aren't you on the rig?
What if I told you I have twenty-
four hours in New Orleans?
That I'm in the Presidential Suite
of the Roosevelt Hotel...That we
have dinner reservations in the
Blue Room tonight and lunch
tomorrow at Galatoires.
Skeeter becomes troubled...
Did you hear me? I spoke to your
dad, and he's gonna have Jameso
drive you down right now.
I have to work.
Work in the car. Jesus, Skeeter,
it's a cleaning column.
I have a deadline, Sweetie. You
should have asked me about this.
I'm trying to be romantic...
I'm sorry, Honey. I can't come.
Stuart shakes his head and hangs up the phone.
INT. FAYE BELLE'S HOME - LATER THAT NIGHT
Aibileen and Skeeter sit across from, FAYE BELLE, 101,
palsied and gray skinned and hunched in a wheelchair.
Aibileen grabs Faye Belle's hand stirring a sudden flash of
memory. Her voice is coarse and hard to understand.
I remember hiding with Miss Lilia
in a steamer trunk while Yankee
soldiers stomped through Master's
house. We were both four. Eighty-
five years later she died in my
arms. We's were friends `til the
end. Her grandson still pays my
rent. Buys all my groceries too.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER THAT NIGHT
The manuscript sits before Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter.
I have one more story to type, but
other than that, we are done.
Law, look at all them pages. Two-
hundred and sixty-six of `em.
Now we just wait and see? Hopin'
Missus Stein publish it?
What story you got left to type?
Aibileen looks at Skeeter.
If your momma won't tell you, I
reckon I will.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Red-eyed, Skeeter enters Charlotte's room. A bowl rests on
the bedside table with a wet rag draped over the side.
Charlotte is wig free and terribly thin. Her collarbone
protrudes long and narrow, but her eyes are as sharp as ever.
Have you been crying? You know
that ages your skin, Dear.
Mother, I need to talk to you about
Oh, Eugenia. That was so long ago.
Well, I have to speak to her.
Now, you look. I was good to
Constantine. Oh, she talked back
plenty of times, and I put up with
it. But, Skeeter, she didn't give
me a choice...
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION (FLASHBACK) LIVING ROOM - DAY
Charlotte, much healthier, scurries around the house
adjusting flower arrangements and straightening pictures.
I was hosting a D.A.R. luncheon.
Constantine was to do the floors
that morning so they'd be dry in
Charlotte finds Constantine mopping the foyer very slowly.
The effects of arthritis are apparent.
CHARLOTTE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Well, the floors were soaking wet
when the first guest arrived.
A guest unnecessarily grabs a table for balance, making a
point about the damp floor...
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION (FLASHBACK) DINING ROOM - DAY
Charlotte sits with twelve women at the dining table as
Constantine pushes the casserole cart around and begins
As the guests sip coffee, each woman grimaces and turns to
Then, she burned the coffee. She
had gotten so old, Skeeter.
Charlotte shoots Constantine a look. Constantine nods
sorrowfully. She picks up a woman's plate and begins filling
it with food from the cart very slowly.
Constantine strains to lower the plate in front of the woman.
Her hands tremble.
CHARLOTTE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Her mishaps were becoming a daily
occurrence, and I had had it.
The plate tilts causing peas to pour into the woman's lap.
With that, Charlotte stands up and slaps the table with her
Get a hold of yourself,
Constantine slowly looks to Charlotte. Totally exhausted,
she grips the casserole cart with both hands to steady
CHARLOTTE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And that's when it happened.
Constantine wets herself.
Slowly the women begin realizing what's happening. The two
women closest to Constantine gasp and quickly move away from
Another woman rises from the table covering her mouth with a
napkin and leaves the room.
Just now realizing what has happened, Constantine looks down
at her soiled dress. No one says a word. No one comes to
Constantine looks to Charlotte.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD (FLASHBACK) - MOMENTS LATER
Constantine hobbles with a cane down a gravel road still
wearing her soiled dress. She turns and looks one last time
at the Phelan Plantation...
I told her she couldn't work here
anymore and to go on home.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter trembles. Charlotte won't look at her.
How could you humiliate her like
I didn't mean to.
Why didn't you help her?
I was upset. I didn't know what
else to do.
So you just threw her away? That
woman did you the biggest favor of
your life. She taught me kindness
and self respect and you just threw
her away like a broken appliance.
Charlotte starts to cry. Skeeter isn't affected.
I didn't throw her away, Skeeter.
Your daddy went to her house the
very next day to give her her job
back. But she had already moved to
Chicago. Left everything behind.
`Cause she didn't have anything
anymore. You broke her heart!
Please don't do this to me,
Skeeter. I feel terrible. And you
have to remember, they're not like
us. They are different.
Charlotte gets defensive.
And you idolized her too much! You
I needed somebody to look up to.
Skeeter turns to leave.
I have to go find her. She needs
We finally found the address of her
daughter in Chicago...so we sent
Carlton up there to go get
Skeeter turns back to her mother.
When he got there...she was dead,
Eugenia. I'm so sorry, Honey.
Charlotte tries to comfort her. Skeeter rejects her mother's
Why didn't y'all tell me all this?
I knew you'd blame me...when it
wasn't my fault. It just happened,
and it was so unfortunate. I'm
When did she die? How long had she
been in Chicago?
Charlotte pulls the white basin closer, hugs it to her side.
Skeeter stands, never turning as she exits.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - PATIO - MOMENTS LATER
Skeeter stands on the back patio crying. She slowly walks
off into the yard.
Constantine's story finally made it
in our book. But the reason she
got fired did not. Miss Skeeter
just couldn't put that kind a shame
on her own mother.
EXT. BOOKSTORE - DOWNTOWN JACKSON - SIX MONTHS LATER
The front window of a bookstore displays many of the nation's
top selling books.
A clerk sets a tiny stack of books in the far corner.
They printed a few thousand copies
with the worst advance Miss Stein
had ever seen.
The stack is "The Help," in hardcover. It's wrapped in pale
blue. A white peace dove spreads its wing under the title.
INT. MINNY'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Minny stands over the stove frying chicken as Sugar enters
with the day's mail. Minny snatches the mail from her and
sees an envelope from Harper and Row.
Minny tears it open. Her eyes go wide.
We got four hundred dollars. Got
another four hundred when it got
printed. Divided thirteen ways
that came to sixty-one fifty-three
Minny hugs Sugar and runs out the screen door with her check
as the chicken sizzles.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOME - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen and Minny hug each other as the jump up and down
with checks in hand.
Minny got so excited she burnt up a
skillet of chicken.
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - FRONT PORCH - DAY
Minny knocks on the door holding bags of groceries.
Come on, Miss Celia! Get out a
that bed and let me in. It's
twelve noon. I did all the
shopping just like you asked.
The door slowly opens. Celia steps out onto the porch,
looking beautiful, still dressed tacky.
Well, look at you, Miss Celia.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - DINING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Celia leads Minny into the dining room. The table, set
beautifully in silver and crystal, is covered with delicious
looking casseroles and fried chicken.
What's all this?
I cooked it all by myself. I wanted
to do something special. I wanted
to say "thank you."
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - DINING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Celia and Minny dine, and Minny's enjoying it.
Greens got just the right amount a
hock taste to `em. That's a good
pot liquor, Miss Celia. Who taught
you to cook like this?
Minny winks as she dunks a piece of corn bread in the greens.
Corn bread's happy now.
Celia lays down her fork.
Are you happy, Minny?
Why you ask such a funny question?
A course I's happy. You happy too.
Big house, big yard, good husband.
You know, if I were you, I'd give
it right back to him. I'd hit him
over the head with a skillet and
tell him to go straight to hell...
Minny starts to protest but is tired of excuses.
Maybe I will.
Celia jumps up.
I almost forgot the dessert.
Minny smiles softly as Celia disappears into the kitchen.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Aibileen irons as Elizabeth enters with shopping bags.
She races to the television and turns it on. As the tube
warms up, we hear the conclusion of a Tide commercial.
WLBT's lunchtime show, "People Will Talk," continues.
INTERCUT WITH STUDIO, LEEFOLT HOME, HILLY'S HOME, AND ALL
OTHER VIEWERS' HOMES.
INT. WLBT TELEVISION STUDIO - MOMENTS LATER
Jolene French sits on the set of Jackson's morning show. A
MALE HOST watches as the show runner counts down.
Five, four, three, two, one.
Welcome back to "People Will Talk."
And do we have something to talk
about. Jolene has quite a book to
Jolene shakes her head, visibly upset.
INT. HOLBROOK'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
Hilly watches Jolene on television as her new maid,
ERNESTINE, pours a cup of coffee with her right hand.
Ernestine's left arm is missing. The maid pickings for Hilly
have gotten slim.
Why are you frowning, Jolene?
Hilly leans over and taps her television.
You don't look cute that way.
It's called "The Help." A new book
by an anonymous author.
Aibileen jerks her head toward the television.
MALE HOST (CONT'D)
Touching and enlightening, it's
filled with testimonials from
Mississippi's own housekeepers.
INT. FOOTE ESTATE - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
Minny watches transfixed as she and Celia eat dessert in
front of the television.
Look how cute that dress is.
Takes place in the fictional town
of "Niceville." The book is
dedicated to C and T. If you're
out there C and T, we'd love to
have you on the show because
Niceville sounds like Jackson, if
you ask me.
The host starts laughing. Jolene snaps.
It's not Jackson! It's a disgrace
to the South! A disgrace to good
Southern women who've spent their
lives taking care of their help.
Smoke rises from the shirt Aibileen is ironing. She snaps to
attention, pulls the iron off the burned shirt.
But did you read that ending?
I know I personally treat my help
like family, and every one of my
friends does the same.
Bertha, if you're listening, I have
a new found respect for what you
do. And, believe me, I'll be
passin' on dessert at your table!
FOOTE LIVING ROOM
Minny walks like a zombie over to Celia and gathers her dirty
plate, never taking her eyes off the television.
Do not buy this book! Ladies of
Jackson, do not support slander
with your husband's hard earned-
Poof! Jolene disappears by way of a Seal-Lily ice cream
Don't cut her off like that.
What's that book called, Aibileen?
I...I wasn't paying attention.
INT. BOOKSTORE - LATER THAT DAY
Stacks of "The Help" rest on tables in the store.
Elizabeth enters, pick up two copies and pulls them close to
She races to the register like a teen buying a Playboy.
TIME LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Back at the table of books, we see in rapid succession the
books quickly disappearing by the hands of Jacksonians.
INT - AIBILEEN'S HOME - KITCHEN - THAT NIGHT
Aibileen, Skeeter and Minny sit at the table. Aibileen's
phone rings off the wall, but she won't answer.
I knew nothing about it. Miss
Stein's P.R. Department called the
Ever maid callin' to say they white
lady's gone and bought the book.
They so scared.
`One-arm-Earnestine' said Miss
Leefolt brought a copy over to Miss
Hilly in less than a hour. She
better read it quick and start the
"this ain't Jackson crusade."
Don't count on it. In her one year
at Ole Miss she never cracked a
Oh, she gone read it. Especially
after that man made such a stink on
the tee-vee. She gone read it.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME/HOLBROOK HOME (INTERCUT) - DAY
Elizabeth and Hilly read the book aloud over the phone with
They stop and nod with speculation.
INT. BUS - DAY
A bus is filled with domestics en route to work. Everyone is
either reading the book or having it read to them.
INT. NURSING HOME - NIGHT
Missus Walters reads to a group of women in the home.
INT. PHELAN HOME BEDROOM - NIGHT
Charlotte lies in bed reading the book next to Robert, who is
As she turns a page, her face reveals a dawning realization.
Troubled, she starts to wake Robert but doesn't.
Charlotte trembles as she brings the book in close to her
She slides down to her pillow and stares at the ceiling.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - PORCH - DUSK
Skeeter sits on the swing with Stuart who's just arrived from
the rig, still wearing his dingy work clothes.
That month felt like a year. I
missed you so much.
Skeeter, I told Daddy I'm not going
back on the rig.
Stuart nonchalantly pulls out a ring from his front pocket
and places it in Skeeter's lap.
A huge diamond is surrounded by twelve small sapphires.
Skeeter's smile quickly fades as she raises the ring.
Stuart...I have to tell you
How about "yes?!" I had this with
me down in New Orleans, you know.
Skeeter touches Stuart's face.
I'm serious...and...you have to
promise not to tell anyone.
Hang on. Did you say `yes'?
Stuart hugs Skeeter. She pulls back.
But listen. Can I have your word?
Skeeter has again ruined Stuart's big moment.
Sure. You have my word.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - PORCH - MOMENTS LATER
Stuart storms off the porch, dumbfounded. Finally.
This is what you've been writing
for the last twelve months?! What
happened to the cleaning column?
I did both.
Skeeter approaches Stuart.
So, the talk in town? I said they
were dead wrong. Told them you
were too smart to get mixed up in
anything like that.
Skeeter reaches to calm him. He pulls away.
That joke you played on Hilly with
the toilets. Hell, that's funny.
But this? I don't understand why
you did this...why you even care.
Things are fine around here. Why
stir up trouble?
I'm not stirring up trouble,
Stuart. Trouble's already here.
I guess it is.
Skeeter grabs his arm.
I had to tell you. You needed to
Stuart shakes his head and pulls away...
I guess I don't really know you,
Skeeter. And I can't marry somebody
I don't know.
Stuart looks down at the ring.
That was my grandmother's.
Skeeter hands the ring back. Stuart shoves it in his pocket.
Don't worry. I won't tell anyone.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Charlotte sits in bed next to Robert who is fast asleep. She
hears a door closing outside.
Skeeter?! Come in here, please.
After a few moments, Skeeter enters.
You okay? Can I get you anything?
Come here, Eugenia. I want to tell
You go first.
Of course. He had to ask Daddy for
She lifts Skeeter's ring hand. Seeing her bare finger,
Charlotte's smile fades. Skeeter prepares for the worst.
Just say it.
What did you do?!
Skeeter stands to walk away.
Young lady, I'm talking to you!
Skeeter sits back down...
Stuart'll come around. It's a funny
(points to Robert )
Took this one a year. Anyway, my
news. After a long talk with your
daddy, I've made a decision. My
health's been on the uptick these
past few weeks. And I know the
doctor says it's some kind of last
Charlotte starts coughing. Skeeter hands her a tissue.
But, as I said, I made a decision.
I have decided not to die.
Charlotte slaps her palms as if throwing the cancer away.
Too late. I tried calling Fanny
Mae's so I could make your hair
appointments for the next twenty
years, but they wouldn't allow it.
Charlotte raises Skeeter's ring finger.
I certainly can't leave you now.
Skeeter laughs and hugs her mother. Robert never stirs.
EXT. GROCERY STORE - PARKING LOT - DAY
Hilly drives in front of Jitney Jingle grocery store. She
wears a scarf on her head and big sunglasses. One-armed
Ernestine rides in the passenger seat.
Hilly slows in front of the store's big glass entrance. She
hurriedly waves Ernestine out of the car.
The voters of Hinds County had
spoke. Mister Holbrook wasn't gone
have no political career.
One-Arm Ernestine races to the storefront and removes
William's campaign poster taped to the window.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Hilly reads the book in bed. William is fast asleep.
Suddenly, her eyes widen, her breath becomes heavy. She
slowly turns a page and freezes. Her face turns white.
Hilly balls both fists, looks to the ceiling and screams
louder than humanly possible.
THE SCREAM CONTINUES OVER:
INT. SKEETER'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME
Skeeter lies in bed sleeping. Her eyes pop open.
INT. AIBILEEN'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME
Aibileen lies in bed sleeping. Her eyes pop open.
INT. MINNY'S BEDROOM - NEXT MORNING
Minny lies in bed sleeping. Her eyes pop open. But, this
time, Hilly's scream fades as knocks at the door grow louder.
Knocking that has actually stirred Minny awake.
Sugar and Kindra enter, jumping in bed with Minny.
Momma, there's a white man at our
Minny Jackson! Are you in there?!
Minny covers the girls with a blanket. She puts on a robe and
grabs a bat from behind the door.
MAN (O.C.) (CONT'D)
I can hear you. Open the door.
INT. MINNY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Minny approaches the door.
Johnny Foote. Minny Jackson, I
want to talk to you. Open up.
Minny slowly opens the door. Johnny is all smiles.
Finally, I meet Minny Jackson...
As Johnny enters, Minny raises the bat and swings. Johnny
turns and stops the bat with his hand.
What the hell are you doin'?!
Minny lets go of the bat and cowers on the floor, raises her
hands in front of her.
Please don't hurt me! My babies
are in the house.
Johnny drops the bat and pulls Minny up from the floor.
Calm down, girl. I'm not here to
He suddenly throws his arms around her and squeezes hard.
INT. MINNY'S KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Johnny and Minny sit at her kitchen table.
When I finally confronted Celia
about you, she told me about the
baby. All of them. You saved her
I don't know about that.
Well, I know the day you came to
our house, she started getting
better. And I'm not just talking
about the cookin' either.
You knew I was there?
Fried chicken and okra on the first
night? Y'all should have at least
put corn pone on the table.
I couldn't make you eat anymore
corn pone, Mister Johnny.
Next morning, I snuck back up to
the house, peeked in the window,
and there you were. Given ol'
Oscar a wipe down.
Minny smiles for the first time.
So I ain't losing my job?
You have a job with us for the rest
of your life, if you want it.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Bridge is underway at the Leefolt house with the usual
suspects, except Skeeter. LOU ANN TEMPLETON has taken her
Aibileen nervously pours coffee.
I heard that Betty character might
It's not Jackson, and that book is
garbage. I bet the whole thing's
made up by some nigra.
Aibileen begins pouring coffee into Hilly's cup.
LOU ANN TEMPLETON
And, Jolene, didn't your momma
leave Cora to you in her will?
Well, yes...But that's not odd is
it? Happens all the time, right?
A sudden realization washes over Jolene.
LOU ANN TEMPLETON
Did anybody ever figured out who C
and T are?
The book is NOT ABOUT JACKSON!
Aibileen spills a few drops of coffee on Hilly's plate. Hilly
looks up to Aibileen slow and deliberate.
You spilled some, Aibileen.
Aibileen takes the cloth from the coffee pitcher handle and
dabs the spilled coffee.
Aibileen glances at Hilly. A secret burns between them.
Get me a new plate. One you
haven't soiled with a dirty cloth.
EXT. MOUNT ZION CHURCH - EVENING
Aibileen and Minny walk into the church parking lot wearing
their Sunday best.
Minny takes note of all the cars.
We late? Looks like Bible study
done already started.
No. We ain't late.
INT. MOUNT ZION BABTIST CHURCH - MOMENTS LATER
As Minny and Aibileen enter the church. Four-hundred members
stand at once. The congregation begins to clap.
Minny and Aibileen look around trying to figure out the
source of adulation. They both start clapping too.
Aibileen steps up to a woman in the last pew.
Who we clappin' for?
The woman laughs.
Honey, we clappin' for you.
The woman raises a copy of "The Help." Aibileen notices a
copy of the book in each member's hand.
Aibileen looks to Minny, realizing she's in on it.
A REVEREND approaches, hands Aibileen a copy of the book.
Aibileen, this is an important time
for you and our church. We know
you couldn't put your name in here,
so we all signed our own.
The Reverend then hands her a box wrapped in white paper,
tied with a blue ribbon.
This is for the white lady. Tell
her we love her like family.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Skeeter sits between Aibileen and Minny on the sofa thumbing
through her signed book.
Hundreds of signatures cover the pages.
Churches over two counties signed
our books. All for you and me.
Aibileen points to the inside back cover.
Doctor King signed it, too. He
readin' our book.
Aibileen glances proudly at the framed portrait of Dr. King.
We did something. We did something
Skeeter closes the book and sets it down regretfully.
Skeeter pulls a letter out of her purse.
I got a job offer from Harper and
Row...in New York.
That real good, Miss Skeeter.
I not taking it. I just wanted to
share it with you both. There's no
one else I can tell.
What you mean you not takin' it?
This is what you been dreaming of.
I can't leave you two right when
things are getting bad from a mess
I created. I set out to write a
book to make white people thankful.
But in the end, what we should say
If bad things happen, they ain't
nothing you can do about it. And
if they happen, at least now theys
a reason behind it. A reason we
can wrap our heads around and be
Skeeter nods with little relief.
Now, I don't mean to rub salt in
your wound, but...you ain't got a
good life here in Jackson. Plus,
your momma's getting better-
Minny aggressively chimes in.
You ain't got nothing left here but
enemies in the Junior League. You
done burned ever bridge there is.
And you ain't never gone get
another man in this town, and ever
body know it. So don't walk your
white butt to New York, RUN IT!
Minny leans over, placing her hand on Skeeter's for the first
time since knowing each other.
And you listen to me. I'm on take
care a Aibileen, and she gone take
care a me.
Go find your life, Miss Skeeter.
EXT. PHELAN PLANTATION - NIGHT
Skeeter stands next to the barn smoking a cigarette reading
the Harper and Row offer for the hundredth time.
Tires crunch gravel down the drive. Skeeter sees a car
moving toward her with the headlights off.
Worried, Skeeter looks toward her home. Charlotte can be
seen in an upstairs window.
Skeeter soon recognizes the car as Hilly's.
Hilly parks, lights a cigarette and gets out of her car.
Skeeter charges toward her.
What are you doing here?
Hilly screams and throws her lit cigarette at Skeeter.
Don't you get an inch closer!
Hilly's a mess. Her shirt is half tucked. Her shorts strain
to contain a newly developed layer of fat.
A horrible fever blister burns hot on Hilly's upper lip.
I've contacted my lawyer, Hibbie
Goodman. He's the best libel
attorney in Mississippi. You're in
big trouble, Missy. And you're
going to jail.
You can't prove anything, Hilly.
I one-hundred-percent know you
wrote it `cause nobody else in town
is as tacky as you. Those nigras of
yours are in a lifetime of trouble.
Exactly who are you talking about?
You don't know anything.
I don't, do I? You tell Aibileen,
the next time she wants to write
about my dear friend Elizabeth...uh-
huh. Remember her? Had you in her
wedding? Let's just say, Aibileen
ought to've been a little bit
smarter before putting in the L-
shaped crack in poor Elizabeth's
dining table. And that nigra,
Minny? Do I have plans for her.
Careful, Hilly. Don't give
yourself away now.
That was not me WHO ATE THAT PIE!
Hilly storms up the porch steps. Skeeter follows.
I did not invite you here!
Skeeter yanks Hilly's arm hard.
I've come to tell your mother what
a hippie you've become. She's
gonna be disgusted by you.
Skeeter can't help but laugh.
You're telling my mother on me?
Hilly opens the door. Skeeter grabs her. They struggle.
You get out of here!
Charlotte suddenly appears. Skeeter lets go of Hilly.
Why, Hilly...It's been such a long
time, Dear. Everything okay, you
Hilly is shocked by Charlotte's frail appearance.
Missus Phelan, I'm...I'm here to-
Hilly, you're a mess. Are you ill?
Hilly self-consciously licks her fever blister.
Well, I...I didn't have time to get
fixed up before-
Darling, no husband wants to come
home and see this.
Charlotte peers closely at Hilly's cold sore.
And that...that is horrendous.
Missus Phelan, I'm here-
You know, Hilly. If I didn't know
any better, I'd say you've been
eating too many...SWEETS?
Hilly's face turns purple with embarrassment. Charlotte
moves in for the kill.
In fact. I'm sure of it. Now GET
OUT OF MY HOUSE...before we all get
one of those on our lip.
Hilly looks back and forth between Skeeter and her mother,
not knowing what to say.
Hilly runs out of the house as Charlotte sashays quietly into
the living room.
Shocked, Skeeter stands alone in the foyer. Hilly sprays
gravel across the Phelan yard as she speeds away.
CHARLOTTE (O.C.) (CONT'D)
Come in here, please.
Skeeter gulps as she heads toward the living room.
INT. PHELAN PLANTATION - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Charlotte pats the sofa as Skeeter enters and sits.
Do you have plans tomorrow? Bible
study? Anything like that?
Good. We're going shopping.
Skeeter lets out a big sigh of relief.
`Cause no single daughter of mine
is going to New York, representing
the great state of Mississippi,
without a proper cosmopolitan
I'm very proud of you, Eugenia.
How do you know about New York?
A friend of Constantine's told me.
Charlotte reaches down and pulls up her copy of "The Help".
Would you do me the honor of
signing my copy?
Skeeter nods. Charlotte hands Skeeter a pen. Her hand
trembles as she signs the book, never having guessed how good
it would feel.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - KITCHEN - MORNING
Aibileen washes dishes as the phone begins to ring. She
answers. Minny screams on the other end of the line.
EXT. GAS STATION (INTERCUT) - SAME TIME
Minny stands barefoot inside a phone booth, her lip swollen,
face bleeding. Her kids stand outside, crying.
They fired Leroy last night! And
when Leroy ask why, his boss say
Mister Holbrook told him to do it.
Said his nigger wife the reason.
He try to kill me with he bare
hands! He threw the kids in the
yard, lock me in the bathroom, and
say he gone set the house on fire.
Where are you now?!
The gas station. I climbed out the
window, and we all ran here.
I'm on come there now.
Wait, Aibileen...I'm pregnant.
Minny, now, you listen to me. That
baby gone be fine, and you ain't
never gone lose your job. Mister
Johnny told you that hisself.
They's more book money coming.
Your baby ain't gone know about
gettin' beat. You hear me? You
free, Minny! You are free.
Minny lets out a chuckle of relief and wipes her eyes.
You hear me?
I hear you...
The Leefolt front door opens. Elizabeth calls out.
INT. LEEFOLT HOME - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Aibileen enters to find Elizabeth and Hilly staring at her.
Elizabeth is two weeks WAY PAST DUE.
Hilly licks her cold sore as she steps forward. She glides
her hand across the L-shaped crack in the Elizabeth's table,
drawing Aibileen's attention to it.
Aibileen, the silver I lent
Elizabeth last week.
It not polished good? Humidity
been fighting me on polishing day.
When you returned it, three pieces
were missing out of the felt
wrapper. A fork and two spoons.
Lemme...lemme go look in the
kitchen, maybe I left some behind.
You know as well as I do that
silver's not in the kitchen.
Aibileen turns to Elizabeth.
You check in Mae Mobley's bed? She
been putting things-
Do you hear her, Elizabeth? She's
trying to blame it on a toddler.
Elizabeth won't look at Aibileen.
I ain't stole no silver.
Elizabeth whispers to Hilly.
She says she doesn't have them.
Then it behooves me to inform you
that you are fired, Aibileen. And
I'll be calling the police. They
Mae Mobley enters the room.
Aibee, my froat hurts.
Mae Mobley coughs.
I go get her some syrup, Miss
Elizabeth can take care of her
Elizabeth looks to Hilly, appearing somewhat upset with this
I'll go get the couch syrup.
Hilly glares at Aibileen as Elizabeth runs down the hall.
I won't tolerate liars!
Mae Mobley becomes scared and hides behind Aibileen's leg.
I didn't steal no silver.
I'm not talking about silver. I'm
talking about those things you
wrote about Elizabeth. Maybe I
can't send you to jail for what you
wrote, but I can send you to jail
for being a thief. And your
friend, Minny? That nigra's got a
nice surprise coming to her.
Johnny Foote listens to what I say.
She's as good as-
Aibileen shouts, interrupting Hilly.
Woman!...I know something about
you. Don't you forget that.
Hilly narrows her eyes.
From what Yule May says, they's a
lot a time to write letters from
jail. Plenty a time to write ever
person in Jackson the truth about
you, and the paper is free.
Nobody would believe something you
I don't know. Already sold a lot a
Fear floods into Hilly's eyes.
Get out of here!
Don't go, Aibiee!
Aibileen kneels down as Elizabeth returns with the syrup.
Baby, you need to get back to bed.
You got a fever.
Noooo! Don't go, Aibee. Please
I gots to, Baby. I am so sorry.
Why? Are you going to take care of
another little girl?
No, Baby, that's not the reason. I
don't want to leave you, but...It's
time for me to retire. You my last
Baby Girl, I need you to remember
ever thing I told you. Okay? Do
you remember what I told you?
To wipe my bottom good?
No, Baby. The other. What you
You is kind. You is smart. You is
That's right, Baby Girl.
Aibileen squeezes Mae Mobley for the last time. They both
cry together. Hilly speaks up.
You need to go now, Aibileen!
Aibileen rises up from Mae Mobley and turns to Elizabeth.
Give my sweet girl a chance.
Elizabeth avoids eye contact. Aibileen turns and walks away.
As Elizabeth leans down to pick up Mae Mobley....HER WATER
BREAKS. She glares at Hilly with shock and regret.
EXT. LEEFOLT HOME - MOMENTS LATER
Aibileen steps out of the house with her purse.
She walks stoically down the driveway. Tears stream down her
Mae Mobley runs to the living room window crying. She beats
on the glass from inside.
Aibeeeee! Don't go!
Aibileen never turns.
Mae Mobley was my last baby. In
just thirty minutes, I felt like my
whole life was done. Of the
thirteen maids, seven of us got
fired. Several other maids got
fired who had nothin' to do with
our book. Guess our stories
weren't so unique after all...But,
like Minny, we was all free.
INT. HOLBROOK HOUSE - FOYER - DAY
Hilly, even fatter now, sifts through the day's mail.
And we's was a lot freer than Hilly
She comes across a piece from Celia Foote addressed to The
Starving Children of Africa Fund. A smug smile forms.
She opens the envelope to find a check for $200.00 made out
to: TWO-SLICE HILLY!
Hilly screams as she rips the check into pieces.
EXT. FOOTE ESTATE - YARD - DAY
Minny folds laundry on a picnic table.
Ever so often, we all get a nice
piece of book money in the mail.
`Manna from heaven' we like to call
Minny looks across the table and smiles at Celia who is
holding and playing with Minny's newborn child.
EXT. CHICAGO - GRAVEYARD - DAY
Close on tombstone:
Born December 24th 1883
Died March 15th, 1963
A bouquet of flowers lay at the foot of the tombstone. A
copy of "The Help" leans against it.
In the distance, a cab slowly pulls away with Skeeter inside.
INT. AIBILEEN'S HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
Aibileen sits at her kitchen table, typing on Skeeter's old
typewriter. We watch as keys write out the rest of
Aibileen's voice over.
Thousands of our books went out all
over the world. We had got paid to
tell the truth and we just couldn't
Aibileen takes this last page out of the typewriter and
places it behind two hundred other typed out pages.
She looks up to the framed picture of Treelore and rises from
the table with pride.
INT. HARPER AND ROW - SKEETER'S OFFICE - NEW YORK - DAY
Skeeter smiles as she reads from a book in her corner office.
The Manhattan skyline rises behind her. She wears Pucci.
Her hair is perfectly styled. She looks gorgeous.
She sets the book down on her desk and picks up the phone.
The book's cover reads:
"All My Babies"
By Aibileen Clark
Next to the book is a glass box. Constantine's corn pipe
AIBILEEN'S NEW HOME - LIVING ROOM - FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
Aibileen, 70, rises from a sofa. Her hair is gray. Reading
glasses hang on a chain from around her neck.
As she begins a slow walk down the hall, we see the
surroundings of her new home for the first time. It's much
bigger, well furnished and beautiful.
She passes a study lined with shelves of books. A copy of
"The Help" and "All My Babies" are placed side by side.
At the end of the hall, Aibileen approaches the opened door
of a brightly lit, sparkling white, bathroom.
She enters the bathroom and closes the door.