Leaving Las Vegas by Mike Figgis
LEAVING LAS VEGAS
Based on the novel by John O'Brian
TITLE ON BLACK; '10 P.M. - LOS ANGELES'
1 INT. SMART BAR IN BEVERLY HILLS - NIGHT
It is the kind of bar where the well-to-do folks of LA go
to pick up - or be picked up. Lesser-known actors, agents
and executives of all ages.
Into this bar comes Ben.
Ben is in his thirties. He is wearing an Armani suit
that could use a visit to the dry-cleaner's. He hasn't
shaved in the last twenty-four hours (but neither has
any of the actors in the bar). He is a good-looking man
but is clearly in trouble of some kind. Although still
in control of his faculties, it becomes clear in the
following scene that he is much the worse for wear with
drink. He looks around the room until he sees someone he
recognizes and then walks over to a table where two couples
are seated. The men are young execs, the girls, both blonde
and busty, have very white teeth and smile all of the time.
The camera follows Ben over to the table. One of the execs
looks up as Ben gets close. He recognizes him but delays
his recognition until the last moment in the hope that Ben
is not looking at him.
Ben... how are you, man?
They shake hands. Ben is not invited to take a seat and
Peter waits for a while before being forced to introduce him
to the table.
Ben Sanderson, Marc Nussbaum, Sheila, Debbie.
Nice to meet you. I think I
spoke to you on the phone a
couple of years ago. Weren't
you both at MGM with Laddie?
That's right. Are you still
No, I'm at Tri-Star now.
That's great. Say hello to
Mike for me. That's a
beautiful dress, Debbie, and
those are fabulous earrings,
There is an awkward silence. Ben does not make a move and
is not invited to join them. The girls smile.
I gotta tell you, I'm a big
fan of your writing. I loved
Bay of Pigs.
Thanks a lot. I didn't
actually write it, I just got
the credit. I was fired.
Can I talk to you for a
Peter gets up and he and Ben walk to the door together.
Peter speaks very quietly.
Listen, Ben, I can't help you
any more. Do you understand?
This is the last time.
Promise. I just need some
cash tonight. I lost my
credit cards. The money'll be
on your desk first thing
tomorrow morning, Scout's
honor. How's the new one
coming along? I here you got
The two men look at each other for a while. Peter's
friends are looking at them, as are other people in
the room. Peter takes out his wallet and extracts some
This is all I have in cash.
Please don't drink it here.
Yes, that's fine. I'll
messenger it over to you
I don't want it. Ben... I
think it would be best if you
didn't contact me again.
And he turns and walks away, back to his table.
CUT TO BLACK:
TITLE ON BLACK; 'LAS VEGAS - 1.20 A.M.'
FADE UP ON:
2 EXT. HELICOPTER SHOT - DAY
Las Vegas. A blaze of color in the middle of a desert.
Credit sequence begins.
3 INT. LOBBY OF EXPENSIVE HOTEL - NIGHT
A mixture of businessmen and gamblers creates a sense
of activity and superficial excitement. Music wafts
across the soundtrack, almost drowned by the dense
texture of thousands of slot machines, creating an
insane New Age symphony.
Credit sequence ends.
Into the lobby from the street comes Sera.
It's hard to tell how old Sera is - somewhere between
twenty-five and thirty-five. She is a beautiful American
girl. Her face has the freshness of a model in a Sears
catalogue. She is dressed simply in a short black skirt
and matching jacket. High heels complete the picture.
Heads turn as she passes a group of businessmen and it's
clear they find her very sexy. She acknowledges their
glance with a half-smile and steps into the elevator.
She could be a secretary, or a PA to one of the many
execs here in Las Vegas at a convention. The body language
is a bit different, though.
4 INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE OF HOTEL - NIGHT
A view of night-time Las Vegas through a window. Traffic up
and down The Strip; bright, gaudy neon flashing and winking.
We hear the sound of men laughing and the camera pulls
focus and we see reflected in the glass...
...a group of people.
On the table are bowls of potato chips and dip and
sandwiches. The TV is on at a sports channel and two
boxers pound the shit out of each other.
5 INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT
Sera looks at herself in the gold-tinted mirror in
the elevator. She takes out a lipstick and freshens
her lips. Some people get out and the elevator climbs
higher. We see from the indicator that she has punched
the Penthouse button. Camera moves in tighter and we
see that she is nervous but concealing it well. The
elevator stops, the doors open and she steps right
into the Penthouse.
6 INT. PENTHOUSE - NIGHT
A bottle of Scotch is almost empty. The man talking is Yuri.
He is Russian, in his early forties, a little overweight,
a big man wearing a blue silk suit. His thick black hair
is greased and combed back. He wears a lot of jewelry,
all gold. Rings, a bracelet and a Rolex. Two men in
business suits and a weird stoned woman in her late
thirties listen to him.
...but please, my friends,
call me Yuri. It is my
American name... I picked it
The three people laugh. There is a hint of contempt in
the way that they speak to Yuri.
Where are you from, Yuri? I
mean, you sure don't talk
like you're from this neck of
Yuri smiles at them.
No... you are right, my
friend. How very observant
you are. I am from Latvia.
Yes, I hear this too. But I
am not a tough man. I am a
simple man who is here to
learn from my new American
The door opens and Sera comes in. Everybody stares at her.
Is this your friend, Yuri?
Ah, yes... Sera.
The second businessman takes out a small manila envelope from
his inside pocket.
Sera is my gift to you, my
friends from New York City.
You may do with her as you
wish in this beautiful room,
which is also my gift for the
night to my friends. You will
find her a very willing girl,
for all of you...just as we
Yuri smiles again as the Second Businessman hands him the
envelope. The rest of them just stare at Sera, aroused by the
idea of her.
Of course, Yuri. I think
you'll find this just as we
Yuri gets up.
So, my friends... I have other
business to attend. Enjoy.
He heads for the door, passing Sera. She holds out his arm as
Yuri... please! Can I talk to
you for a moment.
Still smiling, he takes Sera's arm and leads her into the
My friends... excuse me for
just one moment.
7 INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Mirrors reflect mirrors.
I don't want this. Yuri,
please. I really don't want
this. You know I don't like
to do groups.
I want this, Sera. I need
He holds put his arms. Sera goes to him. He hugs her with one
arm. He pulls up her skirt so that her panties are exposed.
These are pretty.
Sera watches in the mirror as he pulls her panties to reveal
her buttocks. He strokes her there gently with his other
hand. We see that there are two fine scars there. He speaks
gently, like a father to a daughter.
Is this how you would repay
me for coming all this way to
find you again? Driving
through the desert to protect
my little Sera.
FLASHBACK-SILENT-GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE
8 INT. ROOM - NIGHT
Yuri and Sera - different time, different place. Sera looking
frightened, backing away from Yuri, who pulls a switchblade
from his jacket and opens it.
CUT BACK TO:
9 INT. PENTHOUSE - NIGHT
Yuri enters from the bedroom. The weird woman is doing a line
Sera wanted me to ask if she
might undress at once for
you. She has a very beautiful
undergarment witch she would
like you to see.
ANGLE ON BEDROOM DOOR
Sera comes into the room. She smiles and begins unbuttoning
She takes it off and drops it on the floor, and then unzips
her skirt and steps out of it. Sera is now in control and
playing the room. In the background. Yuri leaves the room.
Sera walks over and something strange takes place between
10 INT. BEN'S BAR. LA - MORNING
The bar is dark but through a small window we see that it is
a very bright sunny day outside. The bartender reads the Los
Angeles Times. The bar surface is red vinyl. There are five
customers, all single men. One of them is Ben and he is
sitting at the bar watching TV. A game show is in progress
and the TV sound is loud. Ben finishes his drink and grimaces
before indicating to the barman that he'd like a repeat.
Barman pours him a whiskey - Cranberry - and the camera moves
in closer to Ben, ending in a close-up. Ben takes a big hit
from the drink and concentrates on the TV. We hear from the
TV sound that it is a word game with a big prize. Ben smiles
BEN'S POV OF TV
The talk show hostess, an American TV beauty, is showing the
audience the prizes available in today's game show.
ANGLE ON BEN
As he finishes that drink and asks for another. The camera
moves in close on his eyes.
BEN'S POV OF TV
She turns from the prizes and looks straight into the TV
camera, which starts zooming into her. At first, what she is
saying makes complete sense, but then things change...
(smoky, sexy voice)
Just look at this studio,
Ben, filled with glamorous
merchandise, including an
extra special prize chosen
just for You! A big, bad, BMW
motorcycle, complete with
saddle bags stuffed with
thousands of US dollars.
"There are oohs" from the audience.
(tosses her hair)
Let's find a bar, get drunk
and go for a ride.
The studio lights dim.
Then we can get a suite
somewhere and order up a case
of champagne while we fuck
Close-up on males in the audience doing the grunt.
This is it, just for You,
She unbuttons her top, licks her fingers and makes her
Because You've been so
patient, and because I want
to fuck you, take care of
You, and because there's
nothing else in the world
Section of the audience clapping - some women dabbing their
Tell you what, Ben, let's go
to Las Vegas. The bars stay
open twenty four hours night
and day. Just you, just me,
Ben, think about it, all
ANGLE ON BEN
Lost in his fantasy
I'll think about it.
He looks back at the screen, but the show has returned to
what is known as "normal". He finishes his drink and then an
attack of nausea hit him. He takes a deep breath and rolls
his neck and his head. The barman puts down a fresh drink.
Ben looks at his own hands...which are steady.
You should go on that show.
11 INT. SMART BUSINESS SPACE - MORNING
Ben sitting at a desk with a phone wedged on his ear, a cup
of black coffee on the desk. The walls are covered with
framed film posters and one complete wall has shelves jammed
with scripts. He nods from time to time and sometimes says
'yes' or 'OK', but it becomes clear that there is no one on
the other end. He drinks from the coffee cup. A woman comes
up to his desk, a business colleague. She puts a wad of
messages down on the desk.
Yeah, but what's the back end
like? By the time we're
through with P and A, the
above-the line is going to
take it to about fifteen and
with something like this... I
don't know if Disney will go
for it... can I call you back
on this? OK... chow for now.
(to the woman)
Ben... Mr. Simpson was looking
for you. I said that you had
a doctor's appointment. He
said for you to go in as soon
as... are you OK?
(pulling himself together)
I'm fantastic, but I gotta go
out now... very important
meeting, could make a coupla
million for the company.
Ben gets up and as he passes her he grabs her and dances a
few steps. It is clear that she likes Ben, but when his face
gets close to hers she smells the alcohol on his breath and
she turns away. Ben stops dancing and smiles sadly.
You should go now.
She leaves the room and Ben goes through some routine at the
desk. He opens a drawer of a filing cabinet and puts in his
whole arm, looking for something at the very back. He pulls
out a small vodka bottle and opens it and then pours the
contents into his coffee cup. With cup in hand he leaves the
12 INT. SMART OFFICE - DAY
Ben is sitting opposite his boss, Mr. Simpson, who is very
upset. He hands Ben an envelope. Ben opens it and pulls out a
check. He looks at the amount.
This is to generous Peter.
(close to tears)
Well... we liked having you
around, Ben, but you know how
Sure thing... and I'm sorry.
Ben takes a swig from his coffee cup.
(trying to cheer things along)
Well... what are you going to
I thought I might move out to
Simpson looks puzzled.
The bars never close.
13 INT. BEN'S BMW — DAY
Ben drives though Beverly Hills. He pours the content of a
small bottle of vodka into an empty Coke can, puts the empty
bottle under the seat and then drinks from the can.
He slips a tape into the player and we hear "Lonely
Teardrops", by Michael McDonald, one of Ben's favorite songs.
At a traffic light a cop on a bike pulls up next to him and
Ben takes a pull from the Coke can and smiles, mouths the
word "hot". The cop nods back at him, the light changes and
they both pull away.
14 EXT. SANTA MONICA STREET — DAY
Ben carries a brown paper bag which clinks. Camera follows
him as he walks down the street. He looks at...
A girl walking ahead of him in the same direction. She is
walking her dog. She is attractive from behind. We hear Ben's
Beautiful, no just the shape
which is nice, but the whole
walk, the feeling, the
movement. This girl is
pleased with herself. Maybe
this is the only art I can
appreciate... I don't know if
this is good or bad, but
right now she is really
beautiful. When I was a boy
it would have been really
important that she have a
pretty face, to go with this
body, I mean. I still would
like to see her face, but her
beauty is no dependent on her
The dog gets interested in something on the sidewalk and she
bends down to pull at its collar.
I wonder what kind of panties
she's wearing. Shit, that's
too specific, but... on the
other hand, you can never be
too specific... but then, the
infinitesimal must be, by
definition, as infinite as
Suddenly the girl stops. Ben catches up with her and cannot
resist looking into her face.
God, she's so young.
The girl sees Ben and smiles an innocent smile,
15 EXT. BEN'S HOUSE IN SANT MONICA - DAY
Ben walks up to his house still carrying the paper bag. A
young boy of about thirteen years of age is fixing a beat-up
bike. Ben greets him.
Hey, Brad... how's it going?
Hey Ben. There were a couple
of guys looking for you.
What did they look like?
Suits. I didn't tell them
anything. You know anything
Ben takes a look. The gear mechanism is all bent out of
shape. He bends down to have a look. It is clear from the way
he deals with this mechanical problem that he's good with his
hands. He doesn't try to force anything but he moves the
chain and gear mechanism to get to the problem.
How'd this happen?
I was going real fast down on
the beach and something
slipped and everything got
The news is not good, kid.
This bit here... see
there... it's broken. You need
a new one.
How much, do you think?
I don't know. I'll find out
Ben gets up, picks up his bottles and heads for his house. He
looks back and Brad is sitting still by the bike, looking
totally dejected. This really seems to upset Ben.
16 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON
Ben is naked and the shower can be heard in the background.
The house is austere, only the minimum of furnishing. He
pours a large tumbler of vodka and takes a gulp, then tops up
the glass. He turns on the stereo, selects a record - Miles
Davis, Kind of Blue - and puts it on the turntable. He turns
on the cassette recorder and inserts a new blank tape. He
puts the machine into the record mode. He kneels down next to
the deck and with complete precision puts the needle on the
second track without any problem. The music starts and
continues through the next sequence.
17 INT. SHOVER - DAY
Ben is in the shower with the glass in his hand.
18 INT. BATHROOM - DAY
Ben shaving with the glass in his hand. He does the area
around his mouth first so that he can drink while he does the
19 INT. LIVING SPACE - DAY
Showered and shaved and wearing a smart dark suit, Ben looks
handsome and normal. He selects another record and again sets
up the cassette machine to record. He turns the stereo up
full and dances by himself while watching MTV silent. He
tries a turn which is a bit ambitious and loses hi balance.
In slow motion we see him fall. Ben lies still on the floor.
He smiles to himself and decides top stay there for a
20 INT. SERA'S BEDROOM. LAS VEGAS - DAY
Sera wakes up in bed next to Yuri. (The camera is high above
the bed looking down.) She is completely drenched in sweat. A
thin shaft o light comes from the crack in the drapes and
falls across their bodies. Other than that, the room is in
darkness. To get out of bed she would have to climb over him.
She lies still. Yuri speaks without opening his eyes...
I missed you, Sera. You have
Sera blinks and turns her head towards him.
I'm older now, Yuri.
He puts his hand between her legs, over the sheets and grasps
You have been lonely?
(tensing a little)
I've been all right.
I will keep you safe. We are
He climbs on to her and mounts her. Familiarity.
You have been lonely?
I am lonely, Yuri.
He begins thrusting into her.
Yes... so am I.
Camera move slowly into a tight portrait of Sear.
I had a new dress... we were
at the fair, Daddy bought me
an ice-cream and I spilt it
on my dress...
21 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Sera is sitting on a sofa talking to an unseen person.
(Although it is no entirely clear when this is taking place,
the sense of it is that we are in present, i.e. all the
events in the film are in the past tense.)
... Mom was with Helen, and
Dad looked around first to
see if she was watching and
then he scraped it all off
and threw it on the grass and
then he kissed me and hugged
me and told me it was all
22 INT. SERA'S KITCHEN. LATER THAT DAY
Yuri is tucking into a hearty breakfast. Sera plays with her
(planning his day)
This is such a small
apartment, Sera. I cannot
stay here. We will find a big
apartment. You know how much
money I can bring you. I
... wealth and luxury.
He suddenly looks up from his food and smiles at her.
Why did you run away from me
in Los Angeles?
Sera says nothing.
Because you are sly. Mmm? You
knew all along that there was
more money in Las Vegas.
Sera nervously plays with her food.
You have nothing to fear from
me. You know why? Because we
belong together, Sera. Don't
Sera forces a smile.
QUICK CUT TO:
23 INT. ROOM - NIGHT
Grainy black-and-white image. Sera on a bed, pinned down by
Yuri, who has a knife.
CUT BACK TO:
24 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAY
I'm pleased with you,
Sera... how you have moved up
in the world. I showed you a
glamorous world when I took
you off the streets...
(shaking his head)
and how you repay me.
Where have you been staying?
With an old friend.
He drops his fork.
But that is none of your
affair. You will call this
morning and book me into a
hotel suite where I will make
new contacts for us.
The mood has changed and Sera does her best to move out of
these dangerous waters.
You'll need some money, then.
Yuri nods. Sera rises goes to a kitchen drawers and finds
It is, after all, Sera, my
Yes, of course. How much do
(shaking his head)
All of it. I need to buy many
things... all of it!
Yuri is very angry and as Sera hands him the money, he hits
her, hard, knocking her back into the refrigerator. His ring
cuts her cheek.
Don't look at me like that.
And then his anger goes and he becomes quite tender with her.
He takes her face in his hands to look at the cut.
It's not so bad. It is
I need money, Sera. I need it
fast. You must go on the
street tonight. For me.
He sits down with shaking hands. He suddenly seems more
vulnerable than she is. He goes to the window and looks out,
left and then right, as if he expects to see something.
I need money fast, Sera. I
want you back on the street.
FADE IN SLOWLY - SOUND FIRST:
25 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Ben opens his eyes. The only light comes from the TV. The
miles Davis record has got caught on a scratch and is
repeating the sane phrase over and over again. He looks at
his gold Rolex and then fingers the wedding band on his
26 INT. BEN'S BAR. LA - NIGHT
Ben is sitting at the bar. He drinks a large glass of
something very quickly and then immediately orders another.
He drinks this a little slower but still too quick, finishes
it and then orders another. He looks around the bar and sees
a woman sitting by herself, thirtyish, pretty and receptive.
She looks and sees Ben, and he smiles at her. She smiles
right back. Ben talks across the bar.
Ben walks over to where she is. She is pleased that this
good-looking man has come over to make a play. She makes a
noise with her straw to indicate that her glass is empty.
I'll get you another
one... and me too. Mind if I
She watches him walk to the bar. He gets the drink and walks
back to her. He sets the drinks down on the table and sits
down. As he does so, his face gets close to hers and she
smells the booze on him.
Wow... been drinking all day?
But of course.
She looks at him, a disappointed expression on her face. She
is no longer interested in being seduced by this man and this
much is clear to Ben.
Why don't we finish these and
go to my apartment on the
She doesn't respond.
We can watch a movie and I'll
mix you up a gooey blender
Ben winces at his own words. He shakes his head.
I have to get up pretty early
tomorrow. I'll just finish
this and go. Thanks anyway.
They drink in silence for a while. Ben takes a deep breath.0
I really wish that you'd come
home with me. You're so cute
and I'm really good in
bed... believe me... you smell
He stops and frowns as he stares into his empty glass.
Ben tries to stand and has to pull himself up by holding the
bar. It's a strange thing with drunks like Ben... when they're
up they have balance and timing, but when they're down it all
falls apart. She starts to speak but then doesn't. A look of
great sadness comes over her.
I have to go now. Thanks
She stands to go.
Maybe you shouldn't drink so
She walks to the door and Ben turns to the bar, watched by he
Barman, who is a little concerned.
Maybe I shouldn't breathe so
much, Teri. Ha... ha.
Time to go, buddy... We're
Ben gets out his wallet but his hands are shaking so much
that he cannot extract any bills. He is very embarrassed and
tries again, but to no avail.
Would you... ?
The barman shakes his head in disgust as he goes into the
wallet and takes some money.
27 EXT. LA STREETS - NIGHT
Ben is cruising in his car, listening to music on his stereo.
28 INT. STRIP CLUB - NIGHT
Ben comes into the club and sits down next to the stage,
where a dancer is doing her thing accompanied by a live blue
trio. A swimsuited waitress comes to the table.
There's a one-drink minimum per show, I hope you saw the sign
when you came in. Anyway, they're supposed to tell you.
Yes, I heard, and it's not a
What do you want?
What are my choices?
Everything's ten dollars, and
there's no alcohol.
No alcohol. You gotta get
something else. Everything's
ten dollars. What do you
What do you think I should
Non-alcoholic malt beverage?
Sparkling apple cider?
One drink minimum per show.
Everything's ten dollars.
Now... tell me what you want
or I'll eighty-six you.
She writes down W.A.T.E.R. and walks away. Ben calls her
Just how much would it cost
for you to eighty-six me?
ANGLE ON THE STAGE
A tough black girl dances in a world of her own, impervious
to the men who stare at her. The trio grinds out a dirty
blues. A man opposite Ben places a dollar bill on the stage
and as the dancer squats down to pick it up he stares between
her legs an winks. The Waitress puts down a styrofoam cup and
a bottle of water in front of Ben but refuses to look at him.
Ben puts down a hundred on to her tray.
Could I have fives please?
Keep one for yourself.
This throws the Waitress for a loop.
29 INT. BATHROOM OF STRIP CLUB - NIGHT
Ben drinks all of a fifth of bourbon. Other guys come and go,
pissing against the urinal. Ben offers one of the guys a
drink, the pianist from the trio. He takes a shot.
30 INT. STRIP CLUB - NIGHT
Ben sits next to another man watching the show. On stage a
tall blonde dances with her own reflection in a mirror. Ben
turns to his neighbor.
To me nothing is more
beautiful than the
relationship between the
reflection of a woman and the
woman who has created it.
30A EXT. LA STREETS - NIGHT
Ben drives in his car.
31 EXT. SUNSET BOULEVARD - LATER THAT NIGHT
Ben is cruising in his car, listening to 'Lonely Teardrops'
again. He's looking for a prostitute. He sees a girl, but
when he slows down she ducks into a doorway.
He looks in his rear-view mirror and sees a cop car coming up
fast. Ben panics for a second. There is a bottle between his
legs. The cop car draws level and cruises alongside him for a
while, but then puts its lights and siren on and speeds off,
doing a U-turn.
Ben continues and then sees an Hispanic girl and stops. He
winds down the window. He is by now almost incoherent.
32 EXT. KERBSIDE - NIGHT
The girl looks up and down the street and then walks over to
the car and bends down to the window.
You wanna date? You wanna
The girl's eyes shift constantly from Ben to the street and
then back again.
(cut to the chase)
I'll give you a hundred
dollars for a straight forty-
five minutes. You get the
Ben shows her the money.
(trying to take him)
The room is twenty. You pay
OK... but only because I think
that the concept of surrender
fits in with the big picture
right now. How about over
He gives her a twenty and indicates a motel across the
street. She sets off and he gets out of the car. As he does,
a wave of nausea hits him. He shakes his head violently and
then lurches across the street, causing two cars to hit their
brakes. The camera follows him into the dark parking lot of
the motel, where the Hispanic girl is waiting.
I canremember... if
mywifeleffme... or Illeff
The girl laughs at Ben and says something in Spanish.
Slowly the picture gets darker, until all that can be seen is
the headlights from the passing cars on Sunset... and then...
33 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Ben wakes up on the kitchen floor. The fridge door is open
and its light is what lights Ben. Inside the fridge are one
green pepper and four bottles of vodka. Without too much
effort Ben feels for his wallet and sees that it is still
there, as are his car keys. He closes the fridge door and in
the green light from the window he lies still. The first
birds start singing. (the birdsong continues through the
following sequence, which does not have sync sound.)
34 EXT. SUNSET BOULEVARD MOTEL. PARKING-LOT DUMPSTERS - NIGHT
At the rear of the motel. Next to some garbage hoppers, the
Hispanic girl hugging him and kissing his neck. He tries to
kiss her on the mouth, but she turns her face away.
35 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Ben lying on the floor, thinking.
36 EXT. SUNSET BOULEVARD MOTEL. PARKING-LOT DUMPSTERS - NIGHT
The Hispanic girl kneeling in front of him, unzipping his
trousers. Through a gap in the fence, we see traffic going up
and down Sunset.
37 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Ben lying on the floor, thinking...
38 EXT. SUNSET BOULEVARD MOTEL. PARKING-LOT DUMPSTERS - NIGHT
The girl takes his hand and kisses it. She begins sucking the
fingers, taking the whole hand into her mouth.
39 INT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Ben suddenly sits up and looks at his hand. His wedding ring
has gone. He thinks about this for a long time.
40 INT. BANK - MORNING
Ben waiting in line to cash a check. He looks unwell and is
having difficulty standing straight. At last it is his turn.
He goes to the counter and hands over a check to the girl.
OK... four thousand, six
hundred dollars... one moment,
She looks at her computer read-out.
That'll leave five dollars in
your account. Would you sign
the back of the check,
You couldn't cash it just
like it is?
I'm sorry, sir. Is there a
Ben picks up a pen and tries to sign, but his hands are
shaking so much that he cannot do it.
Well... to tell you the truth,
I'm a little shaky right now.
I just had a brain
surgery... Why don't I come
back after lunch, when I'm
feeling a little better? We
can take care of it then.
41 INT. BEN'S BAR. LA. - MORNING
Ben seated at the bar, a pile of bills in front of him. The
Barman sets down a vodka, picks up the empty glass and takes
some bills, shaking his head in disapproval. The TV is on,
some game show as before, and Ben watches carefully, looking
for a sign from the girl, but the show proceeds in its
'normal' fashion. The only difference is that the hostess is
played by the girl in the bank. Ben grabs the Barman's
I think, when I'm done with
this, I'll have gin and
tonic... Bombay gin and tonic.
The Barman loses it
You should be having coffee.
Do you know what time it is?
You're a young man.
It's none of my business, but
if you could see what I see,
you wouldn't do this to
Ben is taken aback by the emotion in his voice. In his mind,
cynicism and the desire to cry fight it out. He holds the
emotion back, and looks down at the bar.
I understand what you're
saying... I appreciate your
concern. Its not my intention
to make you uncomfortable.
Please... serve me today and I
will never come in here
If I do, you can eighty-six
Sure, sure, I can eighty-six
you now if I want to. Stop
fucking with me. I don't give
a fuck what you do.
He picks up a bottle of gin, fills a glass, slams it on the
counter in front of Ben and knocks twice with his knuckles on
On the house, son.
Ben looks at the TV for a sign. None is forthcoming.
42 INT. BANK - DAY
Ben waiting in line again. The same Bank girl is there and
she is dealing with her customers in the same inanely
cheerful way that the game-show Hostess dealt with her prize-
winners. She notices Ben waiting and an irritated look
flashes over across her face. Ben studies her. She is pretty
in an ordinary kind of way. We hear Ben's thoughts as voice-
over (or maybe he says them out loud to himself).
Are you desirable? Are you
irresistible? Maybe if you
drank bourbon with me, it
would help. Maybe if you
kissed me and I could taste
the sting in your mouth, it
Close-up on the Bank Girl as she does her thing, efficiently
counting money, smiling, perfect teeth framed by a Cupid
mouth. She is wearing a white blouse through which frilly
lingerie can just be made out.
If you drank bourbon with me
naked... if you smelled of
bourbon as you fucked me, it
would help... it would
increase my esteem for you.
If you poured bourbon on to
your naked body and said to
me... drink this...
Camera moves in tighter on her face as she chats with a
customer about the weather.
... if you spread your legs
and had bourbon dripping from
your breasts and you vagina
and said drink here... then I
could fall in love with you,
because then I would have a
purpose, to clean you up, and
that would prove that I'm
worth something. Id lick you
clean so you could go away
and fuck someone else.
Ben takes a moment to come out of his reverie. He smiles and
comes to the counter, completely in control of himself.
I'm back, I've got my
check... and baby... I'm ready
He flips the check over, makes sure she is watching and signs
with a flourish.
There... Steady as a fucking
rock, excuse my French.
Wanna have dinner with me?
She counts the money out and glares at him as she hands it
I'm glad you're feeling
better. Do you need a
Ben looks at her and smiles.
43 INT. SUPERMARKET - DAY
Ben throws items into a trolley. Garbage bags, firelighters
and charcoal lighter fluid.
44 INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - DAY
Ben putting all the kitchen utensils into a large garbage
bag. Three other bags are already filled and the kitchen is
45 INT. BEN'S BEDROOM - DAY
Ben is stuffing all the bedding into a garbage bag. Next he
opens a drawer on the dresser and begins taking out clothes
and stuffing them into another bag. He pauses for a moment to
take a drink from a tall glass.
46 INT. BEN'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
All the books from the bookcase go into another bag. Then all
the records. But he selects certain favorites and as this
sequence progresses we can see that Ben is making tapes of
these tracks. As soon as he is done with the recording, he
throws the album into a garbage bag.
47 EXT. BEN'S YARD - NIGHT
Ben pours lighter fluid on to a pile of photographs and then
throws a match on to it. It bursts into flames. He throws
more stuff on and the fire blazes. A curious neighbor watches
from a safe distance, not wanting too get involved.
ANGLE ON THE FIRE
A watercolor, a poem to his wife, photograph of him and his
wife, a Polaroid of a naked woman, his medical records, his
birth and marriage certificates, divorce papers, strips of
photographs from booths, postcards from Hawaii. Two small
ANGLE ON BEN
Now the flames are high and Ben has to stand back as he
throws things on to the fire ... his camera, an engraved box,
his wife's 'left behind' clothing , a clock...
48 EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Fifteen neatly tied garbage bags and Ben's furniture are
stacked up on the sidewalk. Ben comes out of his front door
carrying a racing bike. He walks to the neighbors' house and
places the bike on the porch. We see a label saying 'To Brad
from Ben'. He walks to his black car with a small suitcase,
gets in and drives off.
49 EXT. DESERT LANDSCAPE WITH ROAD - DAY
A high wide shot shows a small black car making its way
across the frame.
50 INT. CAR - DAY
Through the window we see a dead straight road stretching to
The sunlight is painfully bright. On the soundtrack we hear
one of Ben's chosen tapes, which continues through into the
51 EXT. GAS STATION IN THE DESERT - DAY
Ben is filling his car. A Town Car drives in and stops next to
the BMW. Three men get out. They look like Russian Mobsters.
Ben nods at them and they nod back.
52 INT. CAR - NIGHT
Same angle through the window but this time we see Las Vegas
at night as Ben drives down the main drag. An overdose of
52A EXT. LAS VEGAS STRIP - NIGHT
Ahead we see the light changing, but Ben doesn't notice until
it's almost to late. The car stops and we see Sera crossing
in front of the car. She gives Ben a look of real attitude
because he is over the line and she has to change course to
cross in front.
53 EXT. HOTEL FORECOURT - NIGHT
Sera is talking to Yuri. A middle-aged man gets out of a cab
and Yuri shakes him by the hand and introduces him to Sera.
He hands Yuri an envelope and then Sera and he go into the
hotel together. Yuri looks around thoughtfully before getting
into a cab and driving off.
54 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
INT. MOTEL RECEPTION - NIGHT
Ben waits to check in while the manager explains the house
rules to a family of large people from the Midwest.
All rooms to be paid a week
in advance, maid service is
optional, use of the pool is
at your own risk, there is no
lifeguard on duty.
Above the manager's head is the name of the motel, The Whole
Year Inn. Ben stares at it and then smiles.
The sign has changed to The Hole You're In.
56 INT. LIQUOR STORE - NIGHT
Ben has almost filled a trolley with bottles of various
brands. He is whistling and seems happy.
57 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
58 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Ben driving. He sees Sera and follows her, then drives up on
the sidewalk. She sees him.
Are you working?
Working? What do you mean,
working? I'm walking.
And she walks a few steps to prove it, stopping on the
passenger side of his car. They pause for a moment and Ben is
confused. He is quite taken with her beauty, but this is not
going according to plan. He reaches into the car quickly and
picks an open can of bee, draining it before tossing the
empty back on to the rear seat.
Isn't it illegal to drink and
I wonder if you'll take two
hundred and fifty dollars to
Sera doesn't say anything.
That is, if you'll come to my
room for an hour, I will give
you five hundred dollars.
Maybe you shouldn't stand in
the road like that. You're
He bites his lips as he waits for her to respond.
You're pretty drunk.
Not really. My room's not
far. The Whole Year Inn. You
can drive with me if you
She makes no response.
... or we can walk... or I'll
give you cab fare.
Takes out his money.
Whatever you want.
She touches the door handle.
Why don't you give me the
money when I'm in the car,
and I'll drive you.
It takes a moment or two to register that she is saying yes.
He comes around the car to open the door for her.
They shake hands.
She gets in. Ben gets in.
59 INT. CAR - NIGHT
Ben hands her the money.
Sarah - with an H?
No - S.E.R.A.
They grin at each other.
You wanna start the engine?
They drive off.
60 EXT. MOTEL PARKING LOT - NIGHT
They sit in the car for a while before speaking.
I'm sort of curious... if
you're willing to pay me two-
fifty... not that I mind... I
mean, I'm OK with that - why
aren't you staying in a
We can go to one if you'd
No, this is fine. I was just
Ben switches off the engine but makes no move to get out of
Well... I'm here because I'm a
drunk who tends to pass out
at odd hours for
unpredictable stretches. I'm
going to a hotel soon. A room
with a balcony to pass out
on... or off.
He falls silent.
Umm. We can stay in the car
for an hour if you want. But
I really have to go then.
It's your time.
Right, I'll get your door. I
tend to fade in and out
I guess I do too.
I sometimes fade out.
Oh... well, maybe we better
synchronize our spells... or
You were going to get my
He gets out and she waits for him to open the door. She gets
out and he offers her his arm. She takes it and they walk
into the motel.
61 INT. BEN'S ROOM - NIGHT
As Ben closes the door. Sera surveys the room.
What this room needs... is
There are bottles everywhere. Ben has gone to a lot of troble
to lay them out in a pleasing way.
Do you think so?
She turns and looks at him, appraising him. Suddenly she's
all business, in control, and Ben likes it.
Mind if I use the bathroom?
She goes into the bathroom.
Want a drink? I'm having one.
A shot of tequila, if you can
Ben smiles, happier than we've ever seen him. He gets her
order ready and then he takes a big swig from a bourbon
bottle. He sits on the edge of the bed.
The bathroom door opens and Sera comes in wearing a black bra
and panties. She's acting the hooker now, tough and sexy.
For two-fifty we can do
pretty much what you want.
You've been drinking, so it
might be better if I got on
top, but the other way's fine
too. I have some jelly in
case you want to fuck my ass,
that's up to you. If you want
to come in my face, that's OK
too, just try to keep it out
of my hair, I just washed
it... and my eyes, it stings.
She walks to the table and downs her tequila in one. Then
comes to the bed, where Ben is sitting. She kneels, unzips
his fly and begins sucking him. Ben watches her, looks at her
reflection in the closet mirror, reaches for the bottle and
drinks some, being careful not to disturb Sera. After a while
Sera comes up.
Do you want to fuck now?
Maybe another drink first.
She takes the bottle and drinks. She goes down again. Ben
What's the story? Are you too
drunk to come?
I don't care about that.
There's time left. You can
have more money. You can
drink all you want. You can
talk or listen. Just stay,
that's all I want.
She looks at him, confused. She sees a strange look on his
face. It throws her.
This is a turning point. Both of them are momentarily
Ben lifts the sheet and moves to one side, indicating that
she should come into the bed. She's as confused as he is. She
gets in with him and he hands her the bottle.
62 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
Yuri is losing at one of the tables. He continues to bet
though, putting half of what he has left on one number. He
lose again. He mops his face with a red silk handkerchief and
places another bet.
63 INT. SOMEWHERE IN THE CASINO - NIGHT
The three Russian Mobsters we saw in the desert are walking
through the casino, looking for someone.
64 INT. BEN'S ROOM - NIGHT
They are both in bed, drinking.
So, Ben, what brings you to
Las Vegas? Business
They both laugh and Ben hands her the bottle.
No, I came here to
drink... myself... you know...
Yes, that's right.
He looks at her, she at him, not sure whether to believe him
I cashed in all of my money,
paid my AmEx card, gonna sell
the car tomorrow.
How long's it gonna take, for
you to drink yourself to
I think about four weeks, and
I've got enough for about two
hundred and fifty to three
hundred dollars a day.
Yes... that should do it. What
am I? A luxury?
Yeah. And your meter just ran
Ben looks at his watch.
It's OK... nice watch. Go on.
Talk some more.
Ben yawns, suddenly deeply tired.
In LA I kept running out of
booze and the store would be
closed because I'd forget to
look at my watch... so I
decided to move here because
nothing ever closes and
because I got tired of
getting funny looks when I
would walk into a bar at six
o'clock... even the bartenders
Here, everyone's from out of
town so no one cares, no one
is overtly fucking up
Sera is in focus, Ben is asleep.
I guess I was intrigued by
him... There was a lot of
stuff that I wanted to ask
him about but didn't because
I didn't want to sound too
interested in a trick. But I
felt as if a relationship was
being forged very quickly.
65 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Improvised scene. (3)
65A EXT. SERA'S APARTMENT COMPLEX - DAWN
Sera gets out of a cab and makes her way towards her
apartment, changing out of her high heels as she walks.
66 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAWN
Sera lets herself in. Yuri is standing in the shadows. She
gets a fright when she sees him.
Where have you been?
It was a slow night. I went
to a hotel for a few drinks.
Yuri holds out his hand for her bag. She gives it to him. He
finds the money and counts it.
A full night on the street
and this is all?
Like I said... it was a slow
night... I'm sorry. It was
hard to score.
Yuri slaps her.
Don't hit me.
What do you think... you are
sixteen years old on
Yuri talks in Russian, becoming angrier, and slaps her again.
He spits on the floor.
Sera falls against the kitchen table and picks up a lethal-
looking knife. Yuri stops.
Maybe nobody wants to fuck a
chick with a cut on her
She throws the knife to Yuri, who catches it. She bends over
the table and pulls up her skirt.
There, go ahead!
She mimics him.
A shower of Russian comes out of Yuri, but he doesn't touch
her. He tries to regain his dignity by putting on a coat.
I could kill you. You know
He goes to the door.
Work, tonight, bring me
money, no matter the hour.
And he exits. Sera is still on the table.
I will Yuri. I will.
67 INT. PAWN SHOP - DAY
The proprietor is handling over some cash to Yuri, whose
jewelry is on the counter. He pockets it and as he turns to
leave, Ben comes in. They pass without taking much notice of
each other. Ben removes his Rolex and shows it to the man.
68 EXT. STREET, LAS VEGAS - DAY
Yuri is walking in the hot sun, sweating. We see him through
long-lens heat haze. The camera wanders into the traffic and
we see the black Town Car crawling along behind him, three men
69 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Improvised scene. (4)
70 INT. MAIN BAR, HOTEL - NIGHT
A lounge singer belts out a fair rendition of a Tony Orlando
number. Sera sits at the bar, an empty seat on either side of
her. She watches a younger hooker in the final moments of
pulling a dangerous-looking man. The girl is aware of Sera
without even looking at her. The guy she is with looks around
and sees Sera. The girl shoots an icy look. A man sits next
to Sera: a conventioneer.
About ready for another
Yes, that would be great. Are
you her for the convention?
Do I look that obvious? My
They shake hands.
No, of course not, just a
wild guess. I'm Sera and
that's a margarita.
The barman is already pouring. The young hooker leaves with
her dangerous guy. She pauses long enough to give Sera a
nasty smile. The conventioneer pays for the drink and is a
little lost for words. Sera tries to help.
So... are you alone, or are
you just using me to make
someone else jealous?
Alone. Alone. I'm here alone.
Where are you staying?
Right here at the hotel. Why?
(moving a little closer)
Well... I thought you might be
looking for a date.
A date. What, are you a
(voice getting louder)
What do you mean a date?
I've got a wife back home. I
just came over to talk for a
I'm sorry, I guess I
She looks around.
Please don't raise your
voice. I won't bother you
about it again.
Sorry. Look... you seem like a
nice girl. I'm just sick of
everyone in this town trying
to get my money.
He gets up.
Here, have another drink. I
He leaves. Sera is uncomfortable. People are watching her,
aware that something has been going on. The Barman comes over
to where Sera is sitting.
Maybe you should give it a
miss for this evening.
He walks away. Sera finishes her drink and leaves.
71 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Sera at work is looking more carefully than usual, hoping to
see Ben. A huge silver limo pulls up and, after some
negotiation, she gets in.
72 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Long-lens shot of Ben, very drunk on the street. He falls and
lies still for quite a long time before getting up. He falls
into the road and tries to hail a cab, but none stops. A cop
car cruises to a halt and Ben more or less imitates a normal
person as he walks out of shot.
73 EXT. THE POOL, MOTEL - DAY
Ben dives in and swims a length under water. He pulls himself
out and sits next to the large Midwestern family. The father
says hello and introduces his family to Ben. They are all
very friendly. It's a nice atmosphere around this pool and
for a moment Ben even looks healthy.
74 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
A limo pulls up and Sera gets out. She sees something.
Ben sitting at a bus stop, drinking out of a cocktail glass.
When he sees her he gets up, a little unsteadily.
I couldn't remember what
happened last time. I was
afraid that I might have been
rude, or mean to you.
He looks at her.
If I was I'm sorry.
No, just drunk... but that's
OK. Where's your car?
I sold it this morning. I'm
going to take cabs from now
Sera looks up and down the strip.
Don't run away.
Why should I? I know you're
not a cop, so what is it
tonight? Another two-fifty to
watch you sleep?
Ben sits down, a little hurt.
I was looking for you
tonight. I don't know if you
have a boyfriend...
... or a girlfriend, but if
you have some free
time... maybe we could have
(tough again, but pleased)
Are you serious.
I think you know I'm serious.
I'll pay you if you
like... but I'd like to see
No, I can't have dinner with
And she hails a taxi, which stops immediately and she gets
The Mojave Hotel, please.
Ben watches the cab drive off.
75 INT. CORRIDOR OF HOTEL - NIGHT
Sera walks along, checking numbers on the doors. She finds
the right one and knocks firmly.
It's me, Yuri.
The door opens a crack and Yuri peers out.
He looks around for a clock.
... it's late.
76 INT. YURI'S ROOM - NIGHT
Sera comes into the room, takes her purse out and counts out
seven hundred dollars.
Sorry, Yuri... good
night... lots of tricks... I
think things are picking up.
Yuri sits on the bed. He looks unwell and disoriented. His
face is covered with a thin film of sweat. He seems to be
listening for something, because he stops her talking by
putting his fingers to his lips. He looks at her and then
beckons her to the bed. Sera is nervous. As she walks to the
bed, she begins unbuttoning her blouse. Yuri stops her with a
wave of his hand. Sera is puzzled and frightened now. Yuri
seems to be deranged.
Have you told anyone that I'm
Yuri suddenly hears something. He grabs Sera's hand and takes
her to the wall. He presses her head to the wall.
Do you here that?
He looks at her.
They're talking about me.
He pulls himself together.
Go. Stay at home. I will call
Yuri... are you...
Sera... please go.
He indicates the wall.
This is very important... and
I must listen. Now go.
They face each other for a moment and then Yuri does an
almost comic gesture to tell her to go. He hustles her to the
door and shoves her out as she is still buttoning up her
blouse. He slams the door.
(through the door)
Goodbye, Sera. Don't come
back here. I will not see you
Sera stands there for a while, almost in shock, and then she
begins to walk. The camera follows her as she makes her way
down the endless corridor of doors. Ahead of her, three men
are walking towards her, checking the door numbers as they
make their way. Sera doesn't take them in. They pass and turn
a corner. We recognize them as the men from the black
The men have stopped outside Yuri's room. The camera pans and
we see Sera down the other corridor getting into the
77 INT. BEN'S ROOM AT THE MOTEL - NIGHT
Ben is lying on the bed watching a game show, drinking.
A coughing fit hits him. He is very short of breath. We see
how ill he really is.
There is a tap at the door.
No thanks... I'm fine.
The tapping persists and eventually Ben gets off the bed and
unlocks it, but keeps the chain on. It is Sera.
Still want to have dinner?
Ben stares at her for a while.
I have to change and take a
shower first. If you want to
come home and wait.
Ben opens the door.
We should pick up a bottle of
tequila on the way. I owe you
78 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Sera is finishing in the shower and Ben is sitting at the
kitchen table. He gets up and walks around the house, trying
to get a sense of her. The furniture is very plain and there
is spartan quality about the hose. He looks with interest at
the bookshelf, which has a good selection of literature.
This is the home of an angel.
You OK out there?
Yes. Take your time. I'm
He pours himself another drink.
Pour yourself another drink.
He sots down and she comes in, toweling her hair.
Of course. Wow... you look
Thank you. What time is it?
Don't know. My watch went the
way of the car.
He holds up his empty wrist for her to see. Then looks up and
sees her watching him.
I'm rambling. I really like
you. You make me want to
talk... I don't know what time
I like hearing you talk.
If you feel up to a short
walk, there's a place to eat
around the corner. All the
food in Vegas is terrible so
the place doesn't really
matter. How does that sound
Do they have drinks?
79 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Ben and Sera walk and talk.
80 INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Ben and Sera are eating. He plays with his food, eating very
little of it. Finally he pushes it away and orders another
I'm from the East. I went to
college, did an arts course.
I now live in Vegas. I think
of it as home. I came here
deliberately to carve out a
life. I was in LA before, but
I'll come back to that later.
The tough times are behind me
now. I can deal with the bad
things that happen. There
will always be dark
characters. But my life is
good. It is as I would want
it to be. So, why are you a
Is that really what you want
to ask me?
Well, then I guess this is
our first date... or our last.
Until now, I wasn't sure it
Sera thinks for a while and decides to give in to him on
First. It's our first. I'm
just concerned. So... why are
you killing yourself?
Interesting choice of words.
I don't remember. I just know
that I want to.
Want to kill yourself? Are
you saying that you're
drinking as a way to kill
And she leans across the table to be close to him, listening
intently. Ben becomes uncomfortable and tries to joke it off.
Or killing myself as a way to
Sera continues to stare at him, wanting to know the real
answer. He takes a slug from his drink. She sits back.
We'll talk about it some
other time maybe. OK?
Sera relaxes and continues with her food. We hear her
thoughts for a moment.
It wasn't so important to me.
I mean, he never asked me why
I was a hooker, sand that was
impressive. I really liked
him. So I decided to just
play my part. I mean... it's
good to help someone once in
a while., it's a bonus to
being alive, and that was my
plan... to stay alive. I
suddenly came to a decision.
What are you thinking? Are
you angry with me?
Ben, why don't you stay at my
place tonight? I mean... look,
you're so drunk. I like you.
I trust you.
That's astonishing. Sera,
I hate to think of you in
that cheesy motel. I mean...
And she folds her arms and grins at him.
Let's face it, what the fuck
are you doing in Las Vegas?
(overwhelmed by her)
I'm going to move to a smart
hotel, tomorrow if it'll make
you feel better.
(looks at her)
Let's talk about tomorrow.
Wanna do something?
Sure... tonight. Then please
stay at my place.
Sera... you know I'm not much
good in the sack.
It's not about sex, Ben. I'll
make you up a bed on the
sofa. Do it for me. We can
talk till late and then sleep
till late. As you know, I am
my own boss.
Ben laughs loud, the most animated we've seen him, and his
laugh as infectious, and Sera join in. Other diners turn to
stare at them. They seem like a couple.
81 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Ben and Sera walk and talk, holding hands.
82 EXT. DESERT - DAY
A wide shot. The black Town Car makes its way across frame.
Left to right.
83 INT. SERA'S house - day
Ben is asleep on the sofa. As he wakes up, he becomes aware
that Sera is watching him from across the room. They smile at
How long have I been her?
Three nights, two days. When
is your rent coming up at the
I don't know.
I'll go and sort it out
today. Why don't you
come?... We'll find a real
room for me. You can pick it
out, a tower on the strip.
There's no reason to blow all
your money on a hotel room.
What do you mean?
What I mean is that you
should bring your stuff over
here. We're spending all this
time together... what the
Let's face it, Ben, we're
having fun here. I've never
done so much talking in my
So! Let's dispense with the
formalities. I want you
Sera you are crazy.
So... I'm not too concerned
with long term plans.
Don't you think you'll get a
little bored living with a
That is what I want. Why
don't you go and get your
You haven't seen the worst of
it. These last few days I've
been very controlled. I knock
things over... I throw up all
(looks at her)
Now I feel really
good... You're like some kind
of antidote that mixes the
liquor and keeps me in
balance, but that won't last
forever. You'll get tired of
it really quickly. Believe
They sit in silence for a while.
OK, you go back to your hotel
and I'll go back to my
glamorous life of being
She walks out of the room, and into the bathroom, where she
sits on the toilet to pee.
The only thing I have to come
home to is a bottle of
Listerine to wash the taste
of come out of my mouth. I'm
tired of being alone... that's
what I'm tired of.
She finishes, wipes herself and flushes the toilet. Pulling
up her panties, she walks back into the bedroom, where Ben is
putting on his shoes.
Don't you like me, Ben?
Don't be silly?
Ben is unable to deal with the fact that he is absolutely in
love with her. He walks out of the room. She foolows.
We gotta decide this... right
now. Before we go any
further. You either stay here
with me or...
Ben turns to look at her.
... we can't see each other
Ben and Sera look at each other for a long time.
Sera... what you don't
Ben is deeply troubled. He comes to a decision.
You can never... never... ask
me to stop drinking. Do you
I do. I really do.
OK. I have to do some
shopping alone. You go out
for a few drinks and then
pick up your things. Don't
hurry and I'll be back before
you to let you in.
Sera grabs him in a big embrace that knocks him off balance
and into the wall. She kisses him all over his face and
squeezes his skinny frame.
84 INT. BEN'S ROOM AT THE MOTEL - DAY
Ben is packing his liquor into his suitcase. The almost-empty
bottles he pours into a large cup, which he drinks from. The
suitcase is now full and Ben suddenly realizes that he hasn't
packed any clothes. They are all in a pile on the bed. He
talks to himself.
Maybe this isn't a good idea
He tries to put clothes in with the bottles, but the lid
won't close. He sits on the bed and has an imaginary
conversation with Sera.
Listen, angel... the thing is
that I'm nuts about you and
this is a bad thing... because
my real plan is to die here
and you were never even part
of my plan... but like I said,
I'm nuts about you... wait a
minute, I have an idea,
And he opens the closet and finds some plastic laundry bags,
which he puts his clothes in.
85 SCENE CUT.
86 EXT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAY
Sera's neighbors, a husband and wife, are standing outside
her house. They stop her. They are also her landlord.
We didn't know whether to
call the police or not.
And they indicate the sleeping figure of Ben, in the doorway,
clutching a bottle of bourbon, using hi suitcase as a pillow.
He's been there for about
half an hour. My husband
thought he'd seen you two
together, but I thought it
best to wait until you got
Yes, he's my friend. I guess
he just had a little too much
I'll help him inside.
(puts down her packages)
Thanks for the concern. Sorry
to trouble you.
Well, call me if there's
anything I can do.
They go to their own house. Sera opens the front door, kneels
down next to Ben and shakes him gently.
Can you wake up?
Ben opens his eyes and looks around with a pleasant, cheerful
Why don't you go in and sit
down. I have some gifts for
Ben stands and almost loses his balance. He picks up his
suitcase and attempts to pick up her packages as well, but
she stop him.
Don't worry... I got'em.
Ben staggers in with his case. As Sera enters, she looks
around and sees Husband and Wife at the window, still
Want a drink? Great nap.
Wanna go out tonight?
Seriously, Ben... I need to
keep pretty low-key around
here. Maybe next time you
could nap this side of the
door. That was the landlord.
She reaches into her purse.
Gift number one.
And she gives him a newly cut key. He takes it and tries it
in the lock, then drops it into his pocket.
I used to carry a lot of
keys, but one by one they all
fell victim to the great
condensation. Now I have just
this one... which is...
And he tails off and stares at the floor. She waits for him
to continue and then comes to him and touches him on the arm.
87 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAY
He shakes his head.
I was miles away.
He sees the parcels.
Ah... more gifts. I have to
sit down for this.
He strides into the living room and flops on to the sofa. She
Sera, I love that
name... S.E.R.A. Before we
proceed onwards, there is
something I need to say. OK?
I've come this far... here I
am, in your house. I want you
to let me pay the rent for
this month. All right?
And he stares at her as if to say that nothing can happen
until this matter is resolved.
Because... it's better for me
that way. OK?
She is uncomfortable.
They sit in silence for a while.
Sera... I hope that you
understand how I feel about
this. First of all, you're
welcome to my money. We can
buy a couple of cases of
liquor and you can have the
rest. But I don't think
you're talking to me right
now about money.
No. I think you're talking
about you. I'll tell you
right now that I'm in love
with you... but, be that as it
may, I'm not here to force my
twisted life into your soul.
I know that...
... and I'm not here to demand
your attention to the point
where it changes your life.
We know I'm a drunk... but
that seems to be all right
with you. And I know that
you're a hooker. I hope you
understand that I'm a person
who is totally at ease with
this... which is not to say
that I'm indifferent or that
I don't care... I do... it
simply means that I trust and
accept your judgement. What
I'm saying is... that I hope
you understand that I
Thanks, I do understand. I
was worried about how that
would be... but now I'm not.
And you should know that
included with the rent here
is a complimentary blow job.
Ah, yes... I suppose sooner or
later we ought to fuck.
Whatever that means. Open
She hands him the larger of the two parcels.
Open this one first.
Ben awkwardly unwraps the present, a large, colorful shirt. A
genuine smile comes on to his face.
He holds the shirt against himself.
This should work very nicely
with my suit, which, by the
way, is the only item of
clothing I brought over from
the motel with me.
Sera raise an eyebrow.
Right... the suitcase was
clinking. So what did you do
with your clothes?
I threw them into the
garbage., which was perhaps
immoral, but I wanted to come
to you clean, so to speak. I
thought we could go shopping
and pick up a pair of jeans
and forty-five pairs of
underwear and just throw them
out each day.
Nice talk, Ben. Keep
drinking. In between the
hundred and one proof breath
and the occasional drool,
some interesting words fall
from your mouth.
She hands him the last present.
Now, try this one.
Ben unwraps the smallest gift. It is a silver hip flask. He
is very touched and a little tear trickles down his cheek.
Well... looks like I'm with
the right girl.
He turns it in his hands.
I must say that I'm very
impressed that you would buy
this for me. I know you
wouldn't do this without
thinking about it.
Funny... you did just what I
would have done.
Ben stands and tries the flask in his pocket for fit. It is
fine. He walks to the door.
I'm going to fill it right
Do you want to go gambling
tonight? We could go out and
play for a few hours.
Ben comes back into the room, takes the flask out of his suit
pocket and has a drink.
I hadn't planned to
gamble... but if you would
keep the bulk of my money
here, then I could safely
blow a couple of hundred
He takes out all of his money, peels off a few hundreds and
then gives her the rest.
Giving you money makes me
want to come.
I'm going to change. Watch
TV. I'll be half an hour.
And she leaves. There is a slight edge to her voice and Ben
is not sure if he offended her or not. He watches through the
small angle of the door as she changes.
I am planning to go out and
do some work.
Tomorrow night as a matter of
88 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Ben and Sera walking. The camera follows them. He is wearing
his new shirt and looks good in it. She is wearing a green
dress and mismatched earrings and looks great. They walk and
I like your earrings.
He changes sides.
I like women who wear
Well, then... I hope we don't
run into any tonight.
What do you mean?
I expect some kind of loyalty
here. Just because I fuck for
money doesn't give you cause
to start picking up women and
leaving me looking silly.
And she stops and looks at him, smiling but serious.
And I only have eyes for you.
And we both know that you
would never become
romantically involved with a
89 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
They walk around the huge space, which is full of people and
energy, and suddenly Ben grabs Sera and pushes her against a
slot machine and kisses her deeply. At first she resists and
then she gives in to him and responds. They knock over some
change, which falls to the floor, and Ben pulls from her a
beat to bend down and scoop up all the change and hand it to
the bemused player, before returning to Sera's mouth or more.
They break for air and then Ben leads her towards the bar. As
he waves to attract the barman's attention, she squeezes his
I love you.
But he doesn't hear her.
ANGLE ON CASINO ACTIVITY
On long lens we see Ben and Sera at the bar. Suddenly Ben
seems to fall asleep. Sera tries to wake him and then he goes
crazy and falls backwards off his stool, knocking a waitress
and her drinks over. Security Guards appear and begin arguing
90 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Ben wakes up on the sofa, fully dressed. A night-light gives
a soft glow. He rolls off the sofa, landing on all fours on
the floor. He crawls to the kitchen , opens the fridge door
and takes out a vodka bottle and carton of orange juice. With
difficulty he gets to his feet, finds a glass and pour s a
drink. He swallows the mix and then stands over the sink just
in case he has to vomit.
91 INT. SERA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Sera wakes and Ben comes in and gets into bed with her.
How are you doing?
Very well... umm... I never
expected to have to ask you
this again... but how did our
evening go? I remember
getting to the casino... I
remember kissing you... that
was really nice but
everything after that is a
Well - I was prepared for
worse, but it wasn't so bad.
We were sitting at the bar,
talking about blackjack. You
seemed just fine, a little
drunker than usual, but
nothing really strange, but
then your head started to
droop and I put my arm on
your shoulder and then, wham,
you swung you arm at me, and
fell backwards off your stool
into a cocktail waitress. You
smashed everything on her
tray, it was a real mess. You
kept yelling and yelling.
Oh, and what did you do?
I tried to shut you up and
help you to your feet but you
kept swinging at me - not
like you wanted to hit me,
but more just waving me away.
Security came and when you
saw them you stopped yelling.
They wanted to carry you out
and dump you on the street,
but I talked them into
letting me walk you out.
That's impressive. How did
you do that?
I told them you were an
alcoholic and T would take
you home. I also promised
that we would never come in
(holds her hand)
What happened then?
You were OK for a while, so
we walked for about a block
and then you said you wanted
to go home and fuck, but I
think even you knew that
wasn't going to happen. We
got a cab and you asked him
to stop at a liquor store,
even though I told you that
we had plenty at home. In the
store you gave the kid a
hundred and told him to keep
the change. I asked you if
you knew it was a hundred.
You said you did, so I let
you do it. We got here, you
fell asleep on the couch and
I covered you up and came to
I warned you...
(kisses her hand)
... but I'm sorry.
Here's my speech...
(kisses his hand)
... I know this shouldn't be
acceptable to m, but it is.
Don't ask me why. I sense
that your trouble is very
big... and I'm scared for
you... and so I'm doing what I
think you need me to do.
Falling down in casinos is
little stuff. It doesn't
bother me. It has nothing to
do with us.
That's amazing. What are you?
Some sort of angel visiting
me from one of my drunk
fantasies? How can you be so
She turns away to the wall and curls up like a small girl.
I don't know what you're
saying. I'm just using you. I
need you. Can we not talk
about it any more, please.
Not another word.
He thinks about this. He gently pushes her until she is lying
on her front and then he pulls up her nightdress and strokes
her naked back. He kisses her in the small of her back.
Why don't you go back to
sleep. I'll go out and buy us
He stands and goes to the door.
As he leaves the room, she calls after him.
Ben, I'm working tonight.
He opens the door and smiles at her.
92 EXT. SIDEWALK - EARLY MORNING
Ben gets out of his cab and walks up to the doorway of a
grocery store. It is locked. Ben looks at his wrist and then
remembers that he no longer has a watch. He looks around,
sees something and exits frame.
93 INT. ROUGH ENGLISH BAR - EARLY MORNING
Ben enters and makes his way to the bar. This is a dirty,
dark place. An ageing blonde in leather hot pants is dancing
by herself at the jukebox. A very drunk Biker Couple argue
noisily in a corner, slurring their words. There ins not much
gambling taking place at the eight slot machines. Ben sits at
the bar and the Bartender slaps down a paper napkin.
A beer and a double kamikaze
Sure thing. Anything to eat?
Not quite yet. First I have
to drink myself sober,
then... a few crackers, maybe
an egg and toast...
The Bartender walks away to get Ben's drinks, Ben continues
... then I'll go home with the
groceries and we'll have
breakfast together, and
that'll make her feel better
about my condition...
Ben is interrupted by the arrival of the Biker Girl. She is
young tough and pretty. She puts an arm around him and
presses against him.
Who the fuck are you talking
Why are you all dressed up,
honey? My, don't you look
She runs her tongue around her mouth.
I am very bored with my date.
Would you like to buy me a
Ben looks around and sees the Biker staring at the two of
Do you mind if I buy her a
Fuck her. I don't care what
the fuck you do with her.
Maybe I could buy you both a
Fuck you. Don't fuck with me,
motherfucker. Fuck off. Go to
it, she's waiting for her
The Biker walks over to the slot machine and begins dropping
in quarters, never taking his eyes off Ben and the Girl.
See what an asshole he is.
I'll have a rum and Coke.
Barman? A rum and Coke,
The Girl leans with her back to the bar, closer to Ben , who
is facing the bar on a stool. She brings her face closer to
Can I stay with you for a
You mean move in with me?
Isn't this a bit sudden?
Oh, I don't have a lot of
I don't think my wife would
dig it too much.
She moves to his ear to whisper.
Maybe we could just go find a
room and fuck all day. You
wouldn't have to tell your
wife about that, would you? I
could suck you like this.
And she begins sucking on his lobe. Behind them. At the slot
machine the Biker is still watching. His face fills with a
See, the thing is... fucking
you would be wonderful, but I
am deeply in love with
The Biker throws down his beer can and walks towards the bar.
... and it's almost impossible
for me to imagine being with
The Biker arrives at the bar and grabs Ben.
Now listen, asshole, I'm not
gonna just sit around and
watch her suck on your ear.
The Biker is about to hit Ben then holds back. He leans in
and puts his face next to Ben's.
Now, I know that she came
over to you, like she does,
so I'm gonna pretend that
you're innocent and give you
one chance to walk out of
this place... right now.
Get lost, jerk.
The Biker slaps her and then grabs Ben by the collar.
What do you say?
Ben shakes his arm free from the Biker's grip. He thinks
about it for a couple of beats and then decides.
I'm sorry... but she and I
have decided to spend a few
hours together in a mo -
The Biker headbutts Ben in the face, sending him crashing off
his stool to the floor. His head cracks against the tiled
floor. The Biker walks over to him, picks him up by his shirt
front and punches him in the nose. Blood sprays on to his
face. The Biker walks out of the bar. The Girl follows him
quickly. The Bartender takes a wet towel and walks over to
where Ben is struggling to get up, holding his face.
You're quite a fighter.
He gives him the towel.
This may sound silly, but I'm
going to have to ask you to
leave. It's what we do around
here when there's a fight.
Men's room is around the
94 EXT. SERA'S HOUSE - MORNING
Ben lets himself in with his key. He is carrying a big bag of
groceries. His clothes are bloodstained. The Landlady watches
He walks into the living room and finds Sera reading on the
couch. She looks up and sees his face and his bloodstained
Oh, no! Oh, fuck, Ben, look
at your face. You get in a
fight? I thought you didn't
fight. Goddammit. How do you
feel? Wait here. Sit down.
She goes to the bathroom and we hear her rummaging in the
Did you stop at the bar?
She comes back into the room, armed with bottles and cotton
Did you say something stupid
to someone stupid?
She goes to work on his face, dabbing an open cut with some
Absolutely not... ow... I was
defending the honor of some
poor wayward maiden.
She thinks about this for a moment and then kisses him on the
Why don't you go and finish
this in the bathroom. Take a
shower and put on your other
shirt. I'll fix breakfast and
then we'll go shopping and
get some new clothes. I think
this suit must be unlucky.
95 INT. MALL - DAY
Ben and Sera come out of a clothing store. Ben is wearing
black jeans, red socks and a white dress shirt. They go up
the 'up' escalator.
Very creative. Now we can get
you a black bow tie and you
can look like one of those
OK, but remember that they
wear it because they have to.
I wear it because I want to.
That'll make me look
different. Let's get a drink.
Ben somehow gets on the 'down' escalator, leaving Sera on the
96 INT. SHOPPING MALL BAR. DAY
Ben needs a drink badly but this is not the best place.
Mothers with children, old people and a Waitress with
attitude. Ben tries to order but becomes angry when she
doesn't bring it straight away. People begin staring. At the
next table a dignified older man sits alone.
Ben hands Sera a small package.
There was no time for me to
write a card, with you
breathing down my neck all
day., so you'll just have to
wing it, baby.
He laughs and this induces a coughing fit. He downs his drink
and holds up the empty glass to let the waitress know she
should bring another.
She does so. It is a pair of onyx earrings. Black onyx set in
I think you should wear one
at a time. One of these... and
one of your others. In fact,
I was going to buy just one,
but I didn't think it would
fly... as a gift, I mean.
His new drink arrives and he takes a swallow straight away.
I'll wear them tonight... one
She looks at him, aware of what she has said, wondering how
he is reacting. She smiles and Ben takes a deep swallow,
finishing his drink. His mood suddenly changes.
Yes... tonight. Put it on.
She does so. Ben helps her, bringing his face down close to
You'll be able to feel it,
sharp and hot under your ear,
as one of the brothers is
driving your head, face down
into one of the penthouse
They are both suddenly deeply shocked by what he has said.
They sit in silence for a while. Sera is close to tears. Ben
gets up suddenly, puts down a couple of bills and walks away
from the table. When he is almost at the door Sera gets up
and quickly tries together up all of the packages.
Ben, wait... please wait for
ANGLE ON THE DOOR
The dignified older Man stands in Ben's path and places his
hands on Ben's shoulders.
Maybe you should wait for
Because... you can hear in her
voice that she really wants
Sera catches up and the Man lets go of Ben. Ben takes the
packages from Sera and the two of them step out into the
97 INT. MALL - DAY
They walk together.
What was that all about?
Can we just forget it?
I don't understand any of
Can we just ignore it?
They stop and look at each other. The PA system gives an
Yes... I'll give you that.
Thank you, Sera.
Do you want me not to go
No... we already talked about
98 INT. SERA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Sera is preparing for work. In the background we can hear the
TV next door. She dresses carefully. Black underwear,
stockings, heels, a tight black skirt.
99 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Ben is watching TV and drinking.
100 INT. SERA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Sera at the mirror, putting on her make-up. Her make-up is
more pronounced than we have seen it before . Everything is
101 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Sera comes into the room. Ben looks up at her and sucks in
She walks over to him and takes his head and places it
between her breasts and kisses the top of his head.
Maybe I should follow you
around and ask one of your
tricks what it's like to
sleep with you.
They wouldn't know.
She comes on to him.
Maybe you should ask me
sometime. I'd be happy to
She goes to the door.
I'll be back home around
three. If you're back by then
we can watch TV or
something... I guess what I'm
saying is... that I hope you
are back when I get home.
Please be careful.
You be careful to. I'm going
to miss you.
Shall we go away for a couple
Yeah... I'd like that.
102 INT. SMART HOTEL - NIGHT
Sera walks through the lobby, looking for business.
103 EXT. A STREET - NIGHT
Ben lying down with people walking past and over him.
ANGLE ON BEN'S FACE
A big smile appears on his face. He starts to laugh.
104 EXT. DESSERT - DAY
A blue car drives across frame. The sun is bright.
105 EXT. DESERT MOTEL, POOL - DAY
Sera is a very good swimmer and we see that Ben must have
been quite an athlete. They look at each other under water.
They're under water for a long time. Ben exhales. Sera pushes
him towards the surface.
Ben and Sera come to the surface. Ben has swallowed water and
has a coughing fit. Sera hugs him until the fit passes. The
camera moves in tighter on them and music gives the moment a
Don't do that to me. Don't
frighten me like that.
106 EXT. POOL - NIGHT
Ben and Sera are watching the TV next to the poll. They are
sitting in reclining chairs. Inn the distance a coyote howls.
Years ago, in LA, I turned a
trick on Sunset and Western.
The guy was polite and didn't
argue about the price. He
parked his car and I took him
to a house that I had an
arrangement with. A fat
Mexican woman was watching a
TV and I told him to give her
the twenty for the room.
There were three or four
small naked children playing
on the floor and we had to
step over them to get into
the room. The room had a bed
and a dresser. He lay on his
back on the bed and I put a
rubber on him and sucked him
for a while until he was hard
and then I eased on to him.
About twenty minutes later
there was a knock on the door
and it was the woman saying
our time was up. I felt kind
of guilty because he hadn't
come and I offered to reason
with the woman and get
another ten minutes, but he
said it was all right and
began dressing. When we were
ready to leave the room he
stopped me and... hugged me
and kissed me on the cheek.
He gave me an extra hundred
as a tip and went back to his
car. I remember being
relieved that I wouldn't have
to work again that evening.
Last spring I happened to
walk past a house that I had
once patronized. There was a
cool breeze blowing off the
ocean and through the window
I could see a bare leg. The
girl must have been taking a
break between customers. It
was a strange moment for me
because it reminded me of my
mother and despite the fact
that I was late for something
already I just stayed there,
loving the atmosphere of it
and my memory and... the
reason I'm telling you this
epilogue is that I felt that
I'd come full circle.
Where was that house? The one
in LA, I mean.
Fifth and Mayflower. You know
Yes. One of my friends was
there. I wonder if you ever
They watch the TV in silence for a while. Sera holds his
I like it here with you.
Let's stay for a while.
107 INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY
Ben mixes a cocktail for himself, then one for Sera. The
camera follows him as he goes...
108 EXT. POOL-SIDE - DAY
... to the side of the pool, where Sera is sunbathing. He
lowers himself unsteadily into the chair but avoids spilling
a drop of the drinks, which he puts down on to a glass-topped
table. He is pretty loaded. Sera turns over and moves out of
I've missed the best sun. Why
did you have to pawn your
I didn't know I'd ever need
Sera gets up, takes a drink and then walks to the diving
board. As she takes a position at the end, she pulls the
bathing suit out from her bottom, does a very natural dive
into the pool, swims a length under water and then comes out
near Ben, pulls herself out of the pool in one move and bends
down and kisses Ben for a long time. Ben responds and kisses
back. There is no one else around the pool.
The kiss becomes heated and urgent and Sera sits on Ben,
making him wet from her. He pushes the top of her suit down
and kisses her breasts. She picks up the glass and drinks,
letting the alcohol spill from her mouth, over her breasts.
Ben drinks from her.
Take this off.
He tries to pull her swimsuit down.
Maybe we should go inside.
She stands up, covering herself. Ben stands up, laughing,
loses his balance and slips on the wet concrete. He falls
backwards, half on to the chair, which he breaks, and then on
to the glass table. The table goes over and it and the
glasses all shatter on the concrete. Ben falls on the broken
glass and cuts himself all over his back and his arms. Glass
goes into the pool. Blood mingles with the water on the
Sera picks up her towel and lays it down next to him. She
kneels and helps him up, trying to pullout the little bits of
glass sticking to him. Ben stands unsteadily.
I'll go and clean up. Perhaps
you could take care of this.
He indicates the mess, then walks to their room. Sera begins
carefully picking up the broken glass. The desk clerc appears
with a broom and a dustpan.
Yes, fine. Don't worry. We'll
pay for the chair, and I'll
clean all this up, the pool
He begins sweeping the broken glass into the pan, cheerfully
You seem prepared for
Yeah... we get a lot of screw-
He looks directly at Sera.
Now, you two keep you loud
talk and your liquor to your
room. Check out first thing
tomorrow and after that I
don't want to see either of
you here again. I don't need
you paying for the chair or
cutting your pretty hands on
the glass. Let's leave it at
Nodding firmly, he goes back to the mess, indicating that the
conversation is over.
See ya in the morning.
109 INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY
Sera comes into the room.
She sees that he is already asleep on the bed, his half-naked
body covered with countless bits of bloodstained tissue. The
image has an almost religious feel to it. The TV is on and a
sitcom is playing.
Something funny catches Sera's attention. She laughs and sits
on the bed next to Ben.
I think we realized that we
didn't have long and accepted
it. My charm, for him, was
that I accepted him exactly
as he was and didn't expect
him to change. I think we
both realized that about each
other. Ben needed me and I
liked his drama. I loved him.
110 EXT. DESERT LANDSCAPE - DUSK
We see Las Vegas lighting up. The blue rental car passes
through frame and drives towards the town.
FADE UP ON:
111 INT. SERA'S BEDROOM, LAS VEGAS - NIGHT
Ben wakes from a dream. He is fully clothed and very
112 INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Sera is cooking.
I'm in here. You probably
don't want to hear about it
right now, but I bought some
plain rice. I thought it
might be something you could
eat. So if you get hungry
later on, just let me know.
Ben comes in from the kitchen and takes vodka bottles from
113 scene cut.
114 scene cut.
115 INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Ben's hands are sweating and it's difficult for him to keep
hold of the bottle as he drinks. He gets most of it down and
then he hunches over the sink and immediately vomits. He
takes the second bottle and tries again.
116 INT. SHOWER - NIGHT
Still holding the bottle, Ben stands in the shower. He drinks
some more and closes his eyes.
117 INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Ben enters, smartly dressed and smiling.
I think I'm ready for the
118 INT. DINING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Ben and Sera sitting opposite each other. He has a bowl of
rice, which he is pretending to eat in between sips of vodka.
She has a bowl of vegetables and rice. She sits, silently for
a while, and then puts down her chopsticks.
You're pretty sick.
Ben looks away.
What are you going to do?
She folds her arms.
I want you to go see a
He thinks for a while and then turns to meet her gaze. They
look right into each other's eyes.
Sera... I'm not going to see a
Sera continues to look at him almost defiantly.
Maybe it's time I moved to a
And do what... rot away in a
We're not going to talk about
that. Fuck you! I will not
talk about that. You're
staying here. You are not
moving to a hotel.
Will you lighten up, please?
(close to tears)
One thing... one thing... this
is one thing you can do for
me. I've given you gallons of
free will here! You can do
this for me.
She leans right forward.
Let's face it. Sick as you
are, I'm probably the only
thing that's keeping you
She stands up
I have to go to work now.
Ben doesn't say anything. He just stares a hole in his bowl
119 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
Ben walks by himself. He is deep in thought.
120 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
Ben recklessly bets two hundred dollars at the craps
table... and wins. As he leans forward to collect his
winnings, he sees...
... a Blonde in a very low-cut outfit. She smiles at Ben and
walks around the table to pick him up. Ben puts all of his
winnings on one bet and wins again. This pattern repeats a
few times and drinks are on the house.
Hey... that was quite a play.
You in for the convention?
Ben gets to the point.
I'd like to fuck you.
A few people hear Ben and the Blonde is almost put off, but
he does have about eight thousand dollars in winnings and so
she leans in very close so that she can talk quietly.
I'm very expensive.
How much to lick your pussy?
The Blonde picks up a sizeable stack of chips and looks at
121 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
Sera lets herself in, looks around and opens the bedroom
In one fluid movement the naked blonde gets off the semi-
conscious Ben, pulls her dress over her head and walks past
Sera. Moments later we hear the front door slam. Ben comes to
and looks at Sera. He is more or less unaware of what has
ANGLE ON SERA
Her eyes are wet.
There are limits.
Yes... I guess I knew that.
Ben gets out of the bed. He picks up the bottle on the
bedside table and stands.
Perhaps I could crash on the
couch for a few hours... and
then I'll leave.
He walks out of the room and closes his the door. Camera
moves in on Sera. She covers her face with her hands. She
drops her purse and slides down the wall to the floor,
I heard the door slam a
couple of hours later and he
122 EXT. STREET - DAY
Ben coming out of a liquor store with a large brown bag.
123 EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Sera getting out of a car. The car drives off. Sera examines
her face in a pocket mirror. Puts on more lipstick.
124 INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY
Ben is on all fours in the bathroom trying to vomit. His thin
frame is heaving. Bottles everywhere.
125 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Three college boys with beer bottles walk the The Strip. They
are all wearing the same numbered jersey. Nice middle-class
boys looking for an adventure. They see Sera and go into a
huddle before walking over to her.
TALLEST COLLEGE BOY
How much will it cost us to
The other two College Boys titter. Sera starts to walk away
and then hesitates.
Sorry, guys, but I don't know
what you mean. Anyway, I
never date more than one guy
at a time.
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
Come on... we got money... show
her the money.
The other College Boy gets out his wallet and opens it to
show her. Sera hesitates, not somehow comfortable with the
situation, then goes ahead.
How much of that money did
you guys want to spend?
TALLEST COLLEGE BOY
How much you want? How about
two hundred for an hour?
(becoming annoyed with them)
Don't your friends talk?
Try three-hundred for a half
OTHER COLLEGE BOY
Three hundred for the hour.
OK... three... and we'll see
how it goes. Where are you
TALLEST COLLEGE BOY
The Yukon, room twenty-four.
I'll see you there in fifteen
minutes. You can pay me then.
Why don't you all take a
shower while you're waiting.
OTHER COLLEGE BOY
A shower? In fifteen minutes?
Look... I'll only need one of
you at a time. RIGHT?
UNDERSTOOD? So... the other
two can shower while I'm
They walk off in a huddle, giggling - three small boys.
126 EXT. YUKON MOTEL - NIGHT
Sera drinks from a beer bottle as she approaches their room.
She talks to herself.
Where are the boys this
weekend, Frank? Why, hell,
Charlie, I sent 'em off to
learn the one thing I
couldn't teach 'em.
She looks at the numbers and finds the room. She knocks and a
moment later the Tallest College Boy opens the door in his
127 INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Sera steps in. One boy is coming out of the bathroom wearing
a towel and the third is sitting in a chair smoking a
cigarette, which he passes to the boy in the towel. The other
boy is fooling around with a video camera. The atmosphere is
weird and Sera is suddenly alert.
The Tallest College Boy hands her the money. He is very well
built, a football player. Sera hesitates, holding the money.
The Tallest College Boy closes the door and then leans
against it. They are all staring at her now. No one says
anything. Sera smiles suddenly and puts the money in her
purse. All business.
OK... where's the bedroom, and
They all look at each other.
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
I want to fuck her in the
He looks at the other.
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
... you too, right?
Forget that. No one's doing
that. You'll all go one at a
time. I f you want I'll suck
you instead, but that's all.
Then I'm out of here.
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
(looking at tallest)
You said I could fuck her in
OTHER COLLEGE BOY
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
It's my fucking money)
That's it... Take your money
back. I'm leaving.
The Smallest College Boy gets off the bed and comes over to
SMALLEST COLLEGE BOY
No... don't go.
The Tallest Boy is still standing in front of the door and
things are getting strange. The Other Boy turns on the video
camera. Sera loses her cool.
(to the Smallest Boy)
Maybe you'd like to fuck one
of your friends in the butt
The room goes very quiet. The kid tears up. Sera tries to
Hey... I'm sorry...
The kid punches her hard in the stomach, knocking her to the
CUT TO BLACK:
QUICK FADE IN:
Close-up on Sera's face pushed into a bloodstained pillow,
her body being pounded from behind. The naked legs of two of
the boys behind her. We hear voices, filtered, from a long
Go on... fuck her ass...
Look at me... look at
me... look at me.
A hand comes into frame and pulls her head up by the hair. A
pair of legs moves in. There is the sound of a punch.
Sera's body on the floor. In the background trousers being
hastily pulled on to legs. The boys exit with sport bags.
The last one turns out the lights and closes the door.
128 INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAWN
In the half-light Sera gets up and walks with difficulty to
129 INT. BATHROOM - DAWN
She clicks on the mirror light. Her face is awful. One eye is
swollen almost shut. Her top lip is cut.
CUT TO BLACK:
130 INT. CAB - EARLY MORNING
Sera gets into the cab with considerable difficulty. The cab
driver is a cynic.
What's the matter, honey, get
a back-door delivery you
weren't expecting? You gonna
be able to pay the fare?
Without speaking she takes out a twenty, leans forward and
drops it on the front passenger seat. He drives. Looks at her
in the mirror.
Oh, don't wanna talk to me,
unh? Well, don't take it out
on me, I'm just covering my
ass. What the hell do you
expect, stuttin' around like
that... dressed like that? You
oughta be glad the creep
didn't nail ya.
131 EXT. SERA'S HOUSE - MORNING
As the cab drives off, Sera walks slowly to the door.
Her Landlord's wife passes and takes in her face.
132 INT. SERA'S SHOWER - DAY
Sera is slumped on the floor of the shower, her arms hugging
her legs, the water pounding down on her.
133 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAY
Sera opens the door and we see the Landlord. Behind him, on
the sidewalk, we can see his wife. He is embarrassed.
Sera, wearing dark glasses. She looks terrible. Her mouth is
swollen and some of the bruising around her eye is visible.
I'm sorry... but we'd like you
out by the end of the week.
134 EXT. WHOLE YEAR INN - DAY
Sera gets out of a cab and goes into reception. She is
wearing huge dark glasses to hide the black eye and the
135 INT. HOTEL - DAY
The desk clerk is wearing a shirt of Ben's that we recognize
from an earlier scene.
I'm sorry, ma'am. He never
checked back in.
136 EXT. THE STRIP - NIGHT
Sera walks alone. She's dejected as she looks for Ben.
137 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
Sera comes to an elevator and waits. She is wearing a thin
black top without a bra. Her bruised face makes her suddenly
very conspicuous and vulnerable. A big man in a white stetson
stands next to her. He looks at her and grins. She smiles,
coldly. He takes from his pocket two black, hundred dollar
chips, places one in each hand and deliberately places each
one against her nipples. Other people see this and stop and
watch. Sera looks down at his hands and stares until the man
What's the problem,
honey?... You on strike?
And he walks away laughing.
138 EXT. 7-ELEVEN - DAY
Sera is sitting on a freshly-painted red kerb. She smokes a
cigarette and doesn't give a damn that her short skirt is
somewhat revealing. Opposite her a bum is sleeping on the
pavement. For a moment it looks like Ben. The camera comes in
tight on to her face. She looks more lost that we've ever
seen her. She drinks coffee from a styrofoam cup. The sun is
bright and hot and traffic is noisy.
139 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Improvised scene. (5)
140 INT. CASINO - NIGHT
Sera comes in and the camera follows her as she makes her way
to the bar. She has covered up much of the bruising with
make-up but it is still pretty obvious. In wide shot we see
her strike up a conversation with the man next to her at the
CLOSE SHOT - THE BAR
A hand comes in to shot and grips her arm firmly. We see that
it is a casino security guard.
Let go. What's the problem.
We don't want you in here,
that's the problem. Let's go.
And he jerks her arm. People are watching now.
Don't worry... If you don't
want me in here, then I don't
want to be in here. Just let
go of my arm and I'll walk
out of here.
Yeah... we'll both walk out
He steers her firmly across the floor.
141 EXT. CASINO. NIGHT
They reach the sidewalk and, without relaxing his grip, he
grabs her between the legs with his free hand and says in her
Next time it won't be so
And he pushes her towards the street and walks back into the
Casino. Sera is shocked. She looks around and the group of
people who have stopped to watch the event move away.
142 INT. SERA'S HOUSE - DAY
Sera is throwing clothes into a suitcase. The phone rings.
She thinks about it for a long time and then it stops. She
carries on packing and then the phone rings again. She pick
Ben? Where the fuck are you?
Give me the address.
143 INT. CAB - LATE AFTERNOON
The driver is black and friendly. The radio drones quietly -
a religious program. The Rev. Ike is taking listeners' calls.
What in the hell happened to
Oh... it was an argument.
Leave him, Miss. Pretty girl
like You could get any man
that You wanted.
144 INT. BEN'S MOTEL ROOM - DUSK
The door opens. Ben is naked. His body looks bad. Leaving the
door open, he retreats to the bed.
145 INT. BEN'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Sera comes in, closing the door behind her. The shades are
drawn and the room is gloomy. Ben has got back into bed. She
comes to the bed and sits.
Ben... I've been looking for
You. Have You been here since
You left? It smells bad in
here. It's so dark.
She clicks on the bedside light and is truly shocked by his
I wanted to see you...
Oh, Ben... you look so very
sick... my love... you're so
She goes to the bathroom and returns with a wet face-cloth.
She wipes his face.
I wanted to see you... you're
He sits up painfully and finds a bottle, summoning up some
last strength to drink. His entire body shudders as he drains
the bottle. He puts it down and focuses on her for the first
time. H sees her damaged face, touches her face, looks at her
Something went wrong... I'm
Ben begins to cry and that sets her off.
I'm sorry I put us asunder.
She shakes her head, unable to speak for the moment. She gets
into bed with him, kissing his face. She caresses his whole
body, which is shaking, possessed by an uncontrollable fever.
See how hard You make me
She excites him with her hand, kissing his face gently. When
he is about to come, she straddles him and brings him inside.
As he comes, he opens his eyes wide and looks at her.
You know I love you... yeah?
SLOW FADE TO BLACK:
Sera is sleeping. A sudden gasp wakes her. Ben is having a
spasm. Suddenly his body relaxes. He turns his head, opens
his eyes wide and looks straight at her.
Oh... I'm so sorry...
He smiles and turns his head away. He is very still.
Ben... Ben... Ben?
146 INT. BEN'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
In the darkened room we can just make out Sera sitting on the
bed, looking at the still form of Ben.
147 EXT. STREET NEAR MOTEL - DAWN
Sera walking. A paramedic van goes past with its lights
flashing. The soundtrack is empty - silent. We slowly fade in
theme music and titles start to roll.