THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
Based on the novel by Richard Condon
and the screenplay by George Axelrod
Current revisions by
Daniel Pyne, August 18, 2003
1 Restless bodies. Scuffing of feet. Somebody coughs. 1
Approximately sixty four hundred hours
before Desert Storm, we were on a routine
recon inside Iraqi-controlled terrain,
assessing troop strength for what Saddam
Hussein promised to be the mother of all
wars ... but turned out to be just a
little warm up for the whomping he got a
few years later.
2 EXT. DESERT - NIGHT 2
PROWLING ACROSS undulating land dotted with BURNING OIL
WELLS that give the vague impression of, well, hell. The
inky sky is awash with stars.
ON THE CREST OF A DUNE
A U.S. ARMY BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLE and matching HUMMER
Muffled THUMP of rap music thrums from the Bradley, and low
voices stray from the open doors of the Hummer.
Why can't we go directly in ...
3 INT./EXT. THE HUMMER - NIGHT 3
A topographical MAP glows on the LCD screen of a laptop
portable, faintly lighting the faces of CAPT. BEN MARCO and
his big, gentle, French guide, LAURENT TOKAR.
... this way --?
Yes, well -- I see the Captain enjoys the
road less travelled.
Marco is seemingly unflappable, completely engaged by life.
The Captain enjoys not dragging his ass
down the highway for every Tom, Dick and
Qadhafi to take a whack at.
Laurent swings his finger on the arc of approach.
Well. Of course it is very bad, here.
And here. And here, here, here, here --
He refers to some satellite surveillance maps --
Nobody at Command said anything about --
Exxon and Global Petroleum hired private
contractors to do the work in '86, as
part of their asset security program.
Hired an Iraqi firm, in fact, who, now,
well -- only they know where the little
Nordic fuckers are planted.
And we RUSH TOWARD: A SOLDIER IN A LAWN CHAIR, face lifted
to the heavens, sitting directly between the two armored
vehicles. This is SGT. RAYMOND PRENTISS SHAW, late
twenties, haunted and aloof.
(suddenly behind him)
Rolling in two minutes.
Yes, Captain. Everything's fine. Here.
I'll "rally" the troops.
4 INT. THE BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLE - NIGHT 4
MUSIC blares around eight soldiers, including wiseguy PFC.
ED MAVOLE, crowded into space designed for four --
Yo Melvin. You gonna play that hand, or
-- CPL. AL MELVIN grunts, then they all look up, almost in
unison, at Raymond when he swings open the back door. PFC.
BOBBY BAKER, a slender man, barely eighteen, a driver,
ejects a CD from the onboard stereo. Silence.
We're moving out.
Beat. He shuts the door again.
5 EXT. THE BRADLEY - NIGHT 5
Raymond waits. Another beat. Then some LAUGHTER from
inside the vehicle.
He shifts his shoulders, walks back into the darkness.
6 OMITTED 6
7 OMITTED 7
8 INT. HUMMER - NIGHT - TRAVELLING 8
Marco, bug-like in night goggles, drives the infamous
Highway of Death -- a macabre landscape of abandoned cars,
trucks, minivans, shopping baskets, broken wooden pushcarts
and festering fires; pots and pans and clothes and personal
belongings are scattered out into the desert on either side
of the road. Laurent rides shotgun. Raymond is in the
back, facing forward, rifle at ease.
Why don't I ever ride in the Bradley with
the other enlisted personnel?
Maybe I enjoy your company, Sergeant.
Sir, I don't want to be singled out for
special treatment because of my mother's
Too late for that, Shaw. As a charter
member of the Lucky Sperm Club your
benefits include unlimited suck-up from
High-ranking Officers hoping to curry
Congressional favor for their future
career moves. But. If you want to ride
in the Bradley, hey, I got no objections.
Trust me, sir, I don't wish to ride in
the Bradley with the others, I'm just ...
The men don't care for me very much.
No, they don't. But. On the plus side,
you don't really like them, either.
That's absolutely correct, Captain.
So. See? It, you know. Balances out.
Marco follows Laurent's gaze out the side window --
9 NIGHT VISION GOGGLES: JUST OVER A DUNE 9
SOLDIERS ON CAMELS slip along like ghosts, pacing the
Hummer, parallel at maybe fifty yards --
Through the driver's side window: more of the CAMEL CAVALRY
tracks with them --
Camels. You gotta be kidding me.
10 BACK TO - HUMMER - MARCO 10
glancing to his rear-view mirror --
11 IN THE MIRROR - ON THE ROAD BEHIND THEM: 11
Two dark trucks converge suddenly out of the darkness, on
either side of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle --
They SLAM together in a pincer-wedge just in front of it,
and the Bradley CRASHES into them -- climbs over them, off-
balance, and SMASHES DOWN onto the roof of one of the trucks
and is effectively low-bridged -- tracks spinning, unable to
move -- DARK FIGURES scurry from the trucks.
12 THE HUMMER -- skids around in a tight 180, stops, facing 12
back at the helpless Bradley. Automatic weapons fire in
bursts, bright, and ricochet harmlessly away --
IN THE HUMMER -- MARCO scrambles up out of his seat, pops
the roof hatch and screams at Raymond --
Take the wheel, Sergeant!
13 EXT. HUMMER - NIGHT 13
-- as Marco emerges to take the handles of the roof-mounted
machine gun -- drops his NVGs back over his eyes and FIRES
at the dispersing enemy figures around the Bradley --
14 INT. BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLE - NIGHT 14
Marco's cover fire RATTLES insanely off the armor --
LOCK AND LOAD! LOCK AND I CAN'T GET US OFF THIS
Quarter million dollars of U.S. Army
hardware rat-fucked by a coupla used
He grabs a fire extinguisher and aims it at flames flaring
from a console of instruments.
15 OMITTED 15
16 OMITTED 16
17 EXT. MARCO'S NIGHT VISION GOGGLES: THE DESERT 17
TRACER BULLETS. A lone enemy SOLDIER runs forward lugging a
personal rocket launcher -- disappears behind a dune --
18 MARCO -- coming off the machine gun, grabbing Raymond's 18
rifle and rolling toward the back of the Hummer -- as he
kicks out of the rear door --
Shaw! Sniper with an RPG! DON'T STOP!
19 EXT. HUMMER - CONTINUOUS 19
-- Marco is firing before his feet touch the ground.
20 NIGHT VISION GOGGLES: THE DESERT 20
Rocket Launcher man does a face-plant in the sand.
21 THE BRADLEY -- its rear door HEAVES OPEN and our guys spill 21
out, coughing, hacking, guns ready.
22 THE HUMMER - SAME TIME -- careens suddenly away, exposing a 22
surprised Marco -- Raymond has lost control, fishtails into
a deep trough -- the Hummer lurches onto its side, engine
racing -- wheels spinning uselessly in air -- stalling --
Oh shit, Shaw --
23 ANOTHER ENEMY WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER -- slides around an 23
overturned trailer and FIRES:
24 OMITTED 24
25 THE ROCKET hits the Bradley Fighting Vehicle at a slant into 25
its exposed belly, and the truck EXPLODES -- Marco's team
scattering, pressing themselves into the sand, covering
their heads --
A BOY'S VOICE
Were you scared?
THICK DARK SMOKE momentarily blankets the road. Silence.
FLASH FORWARD: A YOUNG BOY SCOUT - DAY 26
waiting for an answer, stares earnestly upward at:
FLASH FORWARD: MAJOR BEN MARCO - DAY
behind a podium, in his crisp dress uniform. His current
self: older, tired. Lost for a moment.
You don't really have time to be scared.
Uneasy rustling of an o.s. audience. Somebody coughs. An
air-conditioner KICKS IN, rumbling, becoming --
27 EXT. THE KUWAITI HIGHWAY - NIGHT - MARCO 27
raises his head. SEES:
-- the Bradley, in flames.
-- the Hummer, on its side in the ditch, headlights aglow --
-- shadows of enemy soldiers, retreating across the dunes.
-- MILITARY HELICOPTERS materializing out of the smoke and
darkness ... circling ... NO SOUND --
I couldn't hear anything, as I was
temporarily deaf from the explosion of
the Bradley ...
-- SOLDIERS WITH GAS MASKS lean out of the open doors of the
helicopters and drop GAS CANISTERS down on Marco's team.
IN SLOWING MOTION:
28 MARCO'S SQUAD -- the effect of the gas is immediate: Mavole 28
collapses in his tracks. Melvin points a gun skyward and
FIRES a burst that goes harmlessly wide of a helicopter.
Then he falls on his back. HEAVY, LUMINOUS, YELLOW-ORANGE
VAPOR swirls across the battle --
WITH MARCO -- his shirt pulled up over his mouth and nose,
he wheels to get away from the drifting gas, feet unsteady.
Grabs a dazed Bobby Baker by the collar --
I got your back, Baker. I got ...
-- and tries to pull him to safety ... knees buckling ... he
29 MARCO'S P.O.V. - THE HUMMER -- is no longer stalled on its 29
side in the ditch, but improbably is righted again, back on
four wheels and attacking. A vision of Raymond behind the
machine gun, firing at the advancing enemy --
WITH MARCO -- trying to process this. Coughing. Fading.
30 OMITTED 30
FLASH FORWARD: MAJOR BEN MARCO 31
Behind the podium. Takes a sip of water, then:
-- and with complete disregard for his
own life and safety, Sgt. Shaw single-
handedly engaged an entire company of the
FLASH FORWARD: MAJOR MARCO
Behind the podium, repeating himself:
-- of the enemy --
32 EXT. KUWAITI TWO-LANE - NIGHT 32
The Hummer weaves through the wreckage, one of its tires
WHIRLING IN FLAMES -- Raymond has the machine gun SPITTING
BULLETS recklessly at the helicopters like a cartoon hero --
33 RESUME: MARCO 33
Sgt. Shaw repeatedly attacked from a
mobile position, confounding the enemy --
34 EXT. KUWAITI TWO-LANE - NIGHT 34
One of the helicopters EXPLODES, the other spins away,
trailing smoke and flames.
-- neutralizing his aerial support --
RESUME: MARCO 35
Behind the podium.
-- and finally dividing and defeating an
overwhelmingly superior force.
36 INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM - CONTINUOUS 36
A Boy Scout luncheon banquet.
WASHINGTON D.C., NOW
A full chicken buffet table, banners, flags, and over one
hundred SCOUTS, LEADERS and DADS, all looking somewhat
attentively up at the guest speaker, U.S. Army Major Ben
Like Edmonds in Korea, Holderman in Viet
Nam, Raymond Shaw was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor. I signed
the recommendation myself.
A hand shoots up. Marco nods toward it.
Were you wounded?
I was --
FB36 FLASH: MARCO ON THE KUWAITI TWO-LANE FB36
Turning away from the overturned Humvee, and right into a
head-high rifle-butt swung by the hands and arms of a gas
RESUME - AUDITORIUM - MARCO
-- injured. I fell, had a, uh,
concussion -- lost focus -- Sgt. Shaw
took command --
A disheveled man comes into the back of the room noisily,
Did your unit sustain any casualties?
Yes. Two. Two of my people were killed.
Silence. No more questions. The disheveled man (MELVIN)
coughs. Marco pointedly ignores him.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award
to which any soldier can aspire. From
the jungles of Iwo Jima to the desert of
Kuwait, what these brave men I've talked
about today did will never be forgotten.
Since 1917, only 827 medals have been
given to a total of more than 30 million
Americans in arms. Only three have been
awarded in the last 40 years. Who knows?
Maybe someday one of you fine boys will
earn one yourself in defense of this
A SCOUTMASTER, thin, bearded, stands up:
Major Marco, on behalf of Troops 484 and
488 -- just like to thank you, for coming
to talk to us, about the Medal of Honor,
and your interesting experiences in the
Thanks for listening. My family has
claimed the Army as a trade ever since a
young gunnery officer who grew up with
Hernando De Soto left Spain for a look at
the upper Mississippi.
My life is in service to my country.
You ever wish it'd been you?
Won the medal. Been the hero.
Something causes Marco to hesitate. Then, as if he'd
No, I'm just proud to have been there.
He sits down. Spattering of polite applause.
37 INT. H.S. AUDITORIUM ENTRANCE - LATER 37
The luncheon is breaking up. A couple of scouts chase each
other through the clusters of men. Marco's leaving. Men
stop him to shake his hand and thank him for coming.
Marco turns, stares blankly into the eyes of the bedraggled-
looking man, who half-salutes.
It's Al Melvin, Sir. Corporal Melvin.
From your unit. Desert Storm.
Marco stares hard. Melvin looks like a homeless guy, his
clothes rumpled, his fingernails stained and broken, his
eyes wild with fatigue and paranoia.
Melvin. Jesus -- how are you --
I have these dreams, Major.
Yeah. Kuwait. You and me. Mavole, and
Baker. Raymond Shaw.
See, I remember it happened the way you
just said. And then I don't.
Well, we had a pretty rough time over
there, Al, it was hairy, and -- it was a
long time ago, now. Memories shift.
Do you have dreams, sir?
Everybody has dreams, Corporal --
Beat. Marco stares at him.
No I don't.
Melvin's face falls, disappointed. Fumbling in his clothes,
he finds a SPIRAL NOTEBOOK, dog-eared, and fat with
newspaper clippings -- tries to press it into Marco's hands.
It's bad, sir. It's making me crazy. I
write it down, every night, after I wake
up, I try to get it all -- it doesn't
always go together -- all of what I can
remember, and --
-- Al, you know, maybe you should be
going to the VA and talking to a doctor,
I mean if these dreams are really --
-- I've been to doctors!
The notebook DROPS BETWEEN THEM, and PAGES SCATTER on the
floor. Both men go down to collect them --
I'm so stuck, sir. I mean -- I remember
Shaw saving us, but it does not make
sense -- it should have been you. And
Shaw, he --
Well, that's -- it's over and done.
We've got to move on --
-- Marco rocks back on his heels as he stares down at a
SKETCHY PORTRAIT OF AN ARABIC WOMAN whose face is covered
with intricate designs -- Marco stares curiously, as if he
recognizes her --
I can't get my hand around it. I thought
maybe, if you had the dreams ...
You need money --?
No. No sir.
Self-conscious (people are staring) Melvin shoves the
notebook back inside his jacket.
-- here --
Marco already digging for a crumpled twenty. Melvin waves
it off, backing away, suddenly pissed.
I don't need your money.
Okay. Okay. Well, look, Al, I gotta --
-- run, yeah. But.
It was great seeing you. And good luck
Melvin just scowls sadly at Marco. Flash of glass, a door
opens and closes, and Marco is gone.
38 EXT. H.S. PARKING LOT - DAY 38
Marco is motionless in his car, head resting against the
steering wheel. He straightens up, with a thousand-yard
stare. His hands are trembling. Slowly, he grips the
steering wheel ... tighter and tighter ... until the
39 INT. SUPERMARKET - CHECK-OUT COUNTER - NIGHT 39
A pretty CASHIER (ROSIE) empties Marco's basket: bottled
water, three romance novels, a bottle of No-Doz, a bag of
tomatoes and two dozen boxes of instant noodles.
40 INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - CORRIDOR - NIGHT 40
Marco comes up the stairs with his groceries. An ELDERLY
WOMAN sticks her head out from her apartment door:
-- Thirty seven.
Marco stops, looks at her blankly.
From the landing. Every week it gets
longer. I'm worried about you.
He takes the romance novels out of his grocery bag and hands
them to her.
From the landing. Every week it gets
longer. I'm worried about you.
He takes the romance novels out of his grocery bag and hands
them to her.
None of these involve slave traders or
sheiks, Abby. I checked.
What do I owe you?
41 INT. MARCO'S STUDIO APARTMENT - NIGHT 41
He enters, and a visible exhaustion overtakes him. He turns
on the t.v., and sags to the sofa bed, drained.
BEHIND HIM - ON A BULLETIN BOARD:
yellowing newspaper clippings and wire photographs of
Raymond Shaw. SENATOR'S SON SAVES UNIT IN KUWAIT. "LOST
PATROL" FOUND AFTER THREE DAYS IN DESERT; ALL BUT TWO
SURVIVE ORDEAL. SHAW RECEIVES NATION'S HIGHEST HONOR. GULF
HERO HONORED AT WHITE HOUSE DINNER. SHAW WINS N.Y.
CONGRESSIONAL SEAT; WILL BE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF HOUSE ...
Marco's not letting anything go.
TV41 ON THE TELEVISION TV41
News coverage, the crowded floor of a political convention:
-- with public anxiety rekindled by the
events of Bloody Friday, with the war on
terror marching into yet another year, no
end in sight --
Yawns -- his eyelids flutter -- he shudders awake, digs in
his grocery bag for the No Doz and shakes out half a dozen.
Which he swallows dry.
-- the American people are looking for a
new agenda -- but because this party
remains deeply divided on so many issues,
the choice of a vice presidential nominee
may be the key unifying factor for the
delegates of this convention in much the
way Johnson helped Kennedy in 1960 ...
Then he's up on his feet, moving to the kitchen through the
small, cramped space overflowing with books, unopened boxes
from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
42 INT. MARCO'S APARTMENT - LATER 42
Marco sits at a clearing on the tiny kitchen table, eating
instant noodles and trying to read Prizzi's Honor.
TV42 VOICE/JORDAN TV42
(on the t.v.)
We need to look inward -- attend to our
own house -- the danger to our country is
not from some terrorists at large --
terrorists we've helped engender with
twenty years of failed foreign policy --
An open cabinet door behind Marco reveals ROWS AND ROWS OF
INSTANT NOODLES in the cupboard.
ON THE TELEVISION
News coverage, the crowded floor of a political convention.
A poised, silvery, avuncular man, SENATOR THOMAS JORDAN
(according to the title on the screen) on the podium:
-- no, the real danger is from suspending
civil liberties, gutting the Bill of
Rights, allowing our fear to destroy our
democratic ideals --
43 INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT 43
The same speech continues, largely ignored by Congressman
RAYMOND PRENTISS SHAW. Still intense and moody, the new
Raymond Shaw's suit is expensive and crisp, his hair
perfect. He's playing solitaire. And winning.
... I am not a professional politician.
I am not a professional politician ...
TV43 JORDAN (T.V.) TV43
-- because once we start overturning our
constitutional protections, our enemies
... I am ... a professional politician.
KNOCKING on his door -- it opens, and Secret Service AGENT
EVAN ANDERSON removes his key while SEN. ELEANOR SHAW,
pretty and ageless, sweeps in -- closing the door on her
aide (GILLESPIE) --
Raymond? Darling, what were you going to
do, make me stand out there like room
-- soft curves conceal razor claws and titanium backbone --
she kisses her son on the lips, straightens his collar, his
tie, lets her hands smooth his shirt to his chest for a
little too long, and never stops talking:
I asked downstairs and Miss Freeman, your
'wrangler' -- helpful Ms. Freeman -- said
you were up here practicing your speech.
Honestly, I don't understand why you
insist upon isolating yourself, people
adore you, Raymond, they crave your
company and yet here you are, holed up,
as if you were some kind of emotionally
challenged individual like your father
instead of Raymond Prentiss Shaw, a
handsome, intelligent, people-loving war
hero with a great deal to offer to his
party and his country.
No what? Baby, I haven't even asked you
a question. Your hair is too flat. And
that tie. The tie is wrong.
No to the question you're going to ask.
No to all the questions you pretend to
want to ask --
Something a little less busy.
-- and no you may not engage in your
usual back-door political thuggery to
shovel me onto the presidential ticket.
Oh. You're not interested? I thought
you were. Did I miss my cue?
Of course I'm interested -- I wouldn't be
here if I wasn't -- but not if it means
attacking the reputation of a statesman
like Thomas Jordan, which I'm sure was
your plan. Let democracy run its course,
mother. Let the people decide.
Now Ellie stares at him, mouth agape.
I'm sorry, for a second there I thought
it was your father speaking -- that
dreaded Shaw blood rising -- and the
stink of defeat made me nauseous.
And excuse me, when have I ever attacked
the honorable Mr. Jordan, despite the
shameful way his daughter misled you that
summer at the shore.
Mother, you chased her away --
If that's how you want to remember it.
-- you ruined everything.
Honey, you're oversimplifying things
somewhat -- but, yes, okay -- I promise,
promise I will stay out of it. You have
Raymond stares at her.
After all, you're young and you have
plenty of party conventions ahead of you
in which to discover, as your father did,
that democracy is an elusive and
imperfect science, and the meek do not
happily inherit the earth, but simply get
eaten by the alpha dogs, chewed up,
digested and deposited on the carefully
mown parkways of American politics.
Raymond rolls his eyes. She ruffles his hair again, heads
into the bedroom.
One day, you will, I'm sure, tearfully
memorialize me in your acceptance speech.
Don't you have a different tie in here?
Your grandfather always let me pick his
Raymond smooths his hair back down.
I'm wearing the one I have on.
44 CLOSE - CONVENTION PODIUM - NIGHT (TELEVISED VIDEO) 44
Raymond is speaking. His tie is different. So is he: now
he exudes a telegenic warmth and vivacity, his manner
confident, easy, open.
TV44 RAYMOND TV44
I've always said I am not a professional
politician, although I hold, and have
been held -- well, hugged -- in elected
(a winning smile:)
-- you all know my mother, Senator
Eleanor Prentiss Shaw ...
A CHORUS of cheers, and appreciative laughter -- he's won
them over already --
45 INT. MARCO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 45
Marco, on the sofa, stares hard at the televised Raymond
TV45 RAYMOND/T.V. TV45
... and some of you no doubt remember my
father ... the late Senator John Shaw.
(he seems to want to say
more, but doesn't)
I've been honored to serve my two terms
in Congress. But I also grew up on the
Hill. I've seen how the game is played
by professionals --
Marco reaches for his steaming cup of coffee, his eyes never
leaving the screen -- he just doesn't get this at all --
46 INT. CONVENTION HALL - BACK STAGE 46
Ellie in the f.g., intently watching a monitor while, in the
deep b.g., slightly out of focus, we can SEE Raymond
speaking, and his convention audience beyond ...
TV46 RAYMOND TV46
-- how deals are struck, committees
bullied, agendas bought and sold -- and,
with apologies to my mother, I wish to
remain an amateur. I believe democracy
is not negotiable. We need to secure
Ellie shakes her head fondly, and begins to move away as
CROWD ROARS --
47 CONVENTION CENTER CORRIDOR, BACK STAGE - CONTINUOUS 47
TRACKING with Ellie and Gillespie and his two aides, and a
posse of three other FORMIDABLE-LOOKING POLITICIANS through
a hallway crowded with NETWORK CAMERA CREWS, STRAY
DELEGATES, HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND members and a complete
DRILL TEAM in red-white-and-blue sequined leotards, as:
That was the inference.
Raymond's speech echoes incoherently through the corridor.
They should be down on their fat white
knees thanking me for saving this party
from committing political seppuku.
You gave them every opportunity to do the
right thing, Senator.
(glances at him)
No. I gave them one opportunity. And
that was unusually generous of me.
She pushes through a door, and into --
48 INT. CONVENTION BACK ROOM - CONTINUOUS 48
Raymond's speech plays, low, on a television, and half a
dozen DELEGATES and POWER PLAYERS with "Arthur For
President" buttons grimly watch Ellie breeze in. Party
Chairman VAUGHN UTLY anticipates her:
The decision is final, Senator. Tom
Jordan is on the ticket. We don't need
your blessing, but we'd like it.
Before we get started, I'm dying to know:
which genius here hatched the scheme of
pairing a Sound Bite from Nebraska with a
relic who thinks keeping suicide bombers
off our busses is unconstitutional?
All the research indicates that an Arthur-
Jordan ticket sits quite well with the
American public and --
'Sits quite well' translates into how
Your son is largely unknown outside of
New York. His public service, his
Congressional record, while commendable,
My son is a war hero.
Governor Arthur has agreed to consider
Raymond for a cabinet post.
A cold silence. Ellie stands --
We didn't come here to have a discussion.
Senator -- (to her posse)
Did we come here to have a
Ellie, you don't have the votes to block
this, or even push the nomination to a
Even running against this cut-and-fold
vice president, with his party's record
of abysmal failure at home and abroad,
Arthur is still unelectable without help.
(cold, hard logic:)
Consider. The Governor is a corn-belt
candidate who -- scratch and sniff --
looks and smells alot like the kind of
liberal-labor-intellectual Dukakis was,
but without, thank God, the helmet.
Assume our intrepid Arthur can carry the
Northeast, plus his home ground, and
California. We're still dead in the
South, and Southwest, where they win by
landslides. The mid-central is a toss-
up. Tom Jordan actually becomes a
liability in Florida because of his
Castro-appeasement profile, and in the
Carolinas, where he fumbles the military
vote over his "terrorism isn't a war it's
a social disease" nonsense.
The room is surreally silent. Ellie spins and moves like a
televangelist, preaching to the frightened faithful.
You know this. Your own polls and
surveys back me up.
You're counting on Jordan to help you get
the black vote, women, college kids -- my
gut instinct says he won't -- and Arthur
holding the center -- where he's soft at
best. And who's to say the President
won't throw troops into another third-
world skirmish, pushing his sidekick's
approval ratings up into the eighties
again, and the campaign off the front
We're confident this is a winning ticket,
What's your margin of error? Five
I can swing that, and you know it. I can
swing seven away from you -- more than
enough to split the party and --
-- and deny us the White House for four
more years? No. Not even you would do
that, Senator. You're bluffing.
Ellie stares at them. OUTSIDE, SUDDENLY: the marching band
begins playing "It's a Grand Old Flag," and hurries out onto
the ROARING convention floor ...
America is facing the greatest test of
its history, gentlemen. Not just from
terrorist organizations both outside and
within our borders, but from covert
alliances of disaffected nations so
terrified of winding up on our shit list
they believe the only way to protect
themselves is to hit us with everything
they can find before we get around to
them. Am I the only one in this room
paying attention to the NSA reports? We
are on the brink of nuclear cataclysm, on
our own soil, while our policies remain
shackled by Jordan-style One Worlders who
insist that human beings are essentially
Good ... and that Power is something
shameful, and Evil.
Make no mistake, the people of this great
country are frightened. They know what's
coming. They can feel it. And we can
shovel them the same old shit and call it
sugar, or arm them, with a young,
vibrant, populist congressman, a war hero
with heart -- forged by enemy fire, in
the desert, in the dark, when American
lives hung in the balance.
49 INT. CONVENTION FLOOR - NIGHT (VIDEO) 49
One of Ellie's back-room adversaries at the microphone, as
balloons fall and the crowd CHEERS:
TV49 SENATOR WELLS TV49
-- proud to offer into nomination the
name of the next vice president of these
United States, RAYMOND SHAAAWWWWWW --!
50 INT. MARCO'S STUDIO APARTMENT - NIGHT 50
The images on the television flicker across Marco, who
stares with apparent disbelief at the coverage:
TV50 NEWSCASTER #1 TV50
... a remarkable development --
TV50A ON THE PODIUM - RAYMOND (VIDEO) TV50A
Hands held high, linked with the presidential candidate,
ROBERT ARTHUR who is clearly eclipsed by Raymond's youth,
his heroic good looks, his natural charisma ...
(from the convention floor)
-- like a long shot catching the favorite
on the back stretch of the Derby ...
TV50B A STACCATO FLURRY OF IMAGES -- Raymond and his mother, newsTV50B
clips, still photos -- appear behind a MAJOR MEDIA ICON:
Raymond Shaw bears the lineage of the
fabled Prentiss family dynasty --
grandson of legendary industrialist and
diplomat Tyler Prentiss, son of
controversial Senator Eleanor Prentiss
Shaw, who took over the seat vacated by
her husband, the esteemed John Shaw, when
he died tragically over twenty years ago.
Marco taking it all in --
For many, Raymond Prentiss Shaw is an
enigma: millionaire Harvard honors
student who enlists in the military --
INTERCUT: NEWS FILE FOOTAGE of Raymond's personal history:
-- refusing the officer's commission to
which he was entitled. The Medal of
Honor winner beloved by the men of the
'Lost Patrol' he saved from an enemy
ambush, and then guided back across the
open desert to safety --
TV50C CPL. MELVIN IN 1992 TV50C
(Gulf War news archive,
after the squad was
Sgt. Shaw? Hell, he's probably the
kindest, bravest, warmest, most selfless
human being I've ever known.
Marco reacts to the image of Melvin from ten years ago:
young, engaging, eyes alive -- Marco's lips move in sync
with words of Melvin's statement ('bravest, warmest'
'selfless' 'ever known') -- as if he knows it by heart --
his mind shifting --
The war hero who dedicated himself to
public service after Desert Storm ...
PUSH IN on Marco. His eyes distant, glazed -- tranced:
... the revolutionary science of bio-
genetics, which has, literally --
51 PUSH IN ON THE TELEVISION: TIGHT - A RED SUPERTOMATO 51
now commands the screen, plump and glistening in an olive-
skinned hand decorated with intricate henna tattoos --
-- transformed the common garden tomato,
through genome-level intervention, from
that fragile, fickle, vulnerable fruit
one must struggle to simply nurture to
-- the supertomato slowly bisects itself -- opening, oozing
viscous red liquid -- revealing an inner structure far more
suggestive of the human brain than any tomato we've ever
-- into a resilient, dependable,
categorically superior individual in
every conceivable way --
-- moving through
52 MARCO'S DREAMSCAPE -- where the MYSTERIOUS ARABIC WOMAN from 52
Melvin's drawings -- henna tattoos on her face, as well as
her hands -- thick, blood-red pulp of the supertomato
dripping between her fingers -- glides dreamily across
intricate, sun-bleached tile work through a gathering of
similarly clothed Arabic WOMEN. A few OLDER, ARABIC MEN are
off to one side, expressionless, hands in pockets.
-- strappingly resistant to parasite,
disease, over-ripening and systemic
failure -- while, at the same time,
fiercely heat and water tolerant --
IMPRESSIONS of soldiers -- MEMBERS of Marco's squad -- flak
jackets and BDUs, rifles at ease, some squatting, some
leaning against the wall ... Cpl. Al Melvin preternaturally
engrossed in the presentation ...
We hear a SANDSTORM raging outside, causing LONG DRAPERIES
to FLUTTER and POP! like sails ... STRONG IMPRESSIONS of
PFCs ED MAVOLE and BOBBY BAKER ...
-- yet -- note the complexity of the
frontal lobe -- nevertheless retaining a
sweet, juicy plumpness reminiscent of the
finest English Beefsteak or Italian Plum.
IMPRESSIONS of the American Flag. IMPRESSIONS of SGT.
RAYMOND SHAW -- he waits for the mysterious woman like an
obedient schoolboy, dutifully holding his SERVICE REVOLVER
in his hand.
Those of you with ties to the
Intelligence community may recall the
CIA's misguided MK-ULTRA program, the
KGB's Novichok research, and similar half-
assed ventures in Great Britain and China
-- under the lay term of 'mind control.'
53 OMITTED 53
54 OMITTED 54
55 The Bedouin women begin to make a spooky trilling sound, 55
their ZAGHAREET -- as the mysterious woman's voice starts to
MORPH into a MAN'S VOICE:
Street-corner schizophrenics with tin
foil on their heads offer sad proof of
the failure of those endeavors.
She smiles, creepy, puts a hand on Raymond's shoulder --
MYST. W./NOYLE'S VOICE
I can assure you, this is a whole new
MARCO -- is here, too -- his head wrapped in a bandage, he's
wearing hospital greens. WIRES AND TUBES are rigged to his
head, chest, arms and legs like some HIGH-TECH MARIONETTE --
-- all coiling up into the shadows of the high ceiling, into
thicker cables and tubes beneath which robotic BRACKET ARMS
adjust, whirring softly, with his every movement ... he's
drugged to the gills, jerking with spasms as low voltage
electricity courses through his brain ...
... and the women's shrill zaghareet PEAKS --
Captain Marco --
DR. ATTICUS NOYLE
the mysterious Arabic woman has become the sleek, Caucasian
scientist, ATTICUS NOYLE, whose oddly accented English is
-- when you're rescued and returned with
your patrol to command headquarters, what
will be among the first duties you will
56 ON MARCO all rigged up with his wires -- 56
I'll recommend Sergeant Shaw for the
Medal of Honor, ma'am. He saved our
lives, terminated the enemy and led us
across the desert to safety.
Now the dreamscape visuals seem REAR-PROJECTED on luminous,
rippling white fabric ... the Bedouin people, tomato/brain
images, the mystery woman, appear as TWO-DIMENSIONAL FILMED
IMAGES, flickering across draperies ...
Yes. Brilliant. But there were
There are always casualties, ma'am.
... the DREAM SOUNDS (wind, fabric, women chanting) emanate
from audio speakers, the sandstorm's wind caused by huge,
moveable FANS ...
... IMPRESSION of an OLD MAN shaking a percussive gourd,
... IMPRESSIONS of the squad all rigged up like Marco, with
tubes and wires ... Laurent glides behind them -- lab coat,
SURGICAL GLOVES on his hands ...
A collection of remote cameras on scaffolding and tripods
BUZZ and WHIR as they swivel to follow him.
Here, then, are ten subject soldiers in a
clinically-induced functional fugue
state. Hyperdelusional that they've been
bivouacked in a small caravansary to wait
out a sandstorm.
Marco blinks: sees the mysterious Arabic woman dressed in
Noyle's simple suit.
A simple Pavlovian parlor trick.
SNAPPING of fabric, the wind gets louder.
57 MARCO -- looks around -- no more tubes or wires, and NOYLE 57
is now a PROJECTED IMAGE on the fabric. The dreamscape is
bending, smearing ... realities overlapping.
PUSHING IN ON SPOOKY, HERKY-JERKY, STREAMING-VIDEO-STYLE
Our Candidate's course of treatment will,
of course, involve considerably more
sophisticated intervention over a
sustained time period, to ensure that a
stable mechanism is irrevocably in place.
We employ a kind of neurocellular
conversion. Psychological abreaction
through genomic repurposing.
"But Dr. Noyle, all the literature -- all
the literature says you cannot make an
individual act against his deepest moral
nature -- or his own self interest."
Hmmm. Let's see.
Sgt. Shaw. Ever killed anyone?
IMPRESSIONS of RAYMOND -- hyper-alert -- frighteningly
engaged, and agreeable.
Not even in combat?
Brilliant. Casualty time.
Raymond's wires and tubes float with him as he circles,
pleasantly exchanging greetings with Marco --
Raymond. Suffocate Private Mavole.
IMPRESSION of Raymond thrusting a plastic bag over Mavole's
Whoawhoa -- wait -- wait a sec --
-- Raymond's hands twist it TIGHTLY -- Mavole's limbs in
turmoil, hands fluttering, his SHROUDED FACE suffocating in
the translucent fog of the plastic bag --
PFC. BOBBY BAKER -- intent upon Raymond's killing of Mavole,
gaze unwavering, untroubled -- SOUND of the zaghareet,
And at the instant he completes this, or
any task, Raymond has already forgotten
that he has ever been involved in it.
RAYMOND SHAW -- all business -- focused and purposeful --
twists the bag even tighter -- the plastic bag steaming --
tubes break, spit liquid, blood -- wires SPARK -- while
Noyle floats through the b.g., a blur --
58 INT. MARCO'S STUDIO APARTMENT - NIGHT 58
Marco willing himself awake -- like a man shaking off death
itself -- the t.v.'s a blurred reflection warped across the
window glass behind him:
TV58 NEWSCASTER #2 TV58
... Wisconsin makes it official. Raymond
Shaw is the vice-presidential nominee ...
59 EXT. SERIES OF SHOTS - WASHINGTON D.C. - DAY 59
Monuments, stark and cold. Capitol Hill. Supreme Court.
The White House. The Lincoln Memorial ... the Pentagon.
A60 EXT. WALTER REED ARMY HOSPITAL - DAY A60
LT. COL. HOWARD (O.S.)
Taking your meds?
60 INT. WALTER REED HOSPITAL - ARMY SHRINK'S OFFICE - DAY 60
Marco with LT. COL. HOWARD, a kindly but pedantic Army staff
psychiatrist, referring to notes:
Beat. Howard looks up at Marco.
The meds make me ... spongy. I float.
I'm not sharp --
LT. COL. HOWARD
The meds help you sleep.
When I sleep, I dream. I don't want to
LT. COL. HOWARD
You're off your meds, sleep-deprived, you
have an unexpected encounter with a
member of your Gulf War recon team, Al
Melvin, who mentions some dreams he's
been having --
Dreams like mine.
LT. COL. HOWARD
-- and suddenly your own bad dreams come
charging back. Made worse by your
chronic fear of them. Add in all the
recent campaign news about Congressman
Shaw, which is obviously rekindling your
feelings of guilt and jealousy --
-- I'm not jealous of Raymond Shaw, sir.
LT. COL. HOWARD
Okay. How did you feel when you heard
the news from the convention?
LT. COL. HOWARD
A shrug isn't a feeling.
I felt ... fine. No big deal.
LT. COL. HOWARD
Glad for him. He deserves it. Raymond
Shaw is probably the kindest, bravest,
MARCO LT. COL. HOWARD
-- most selfless human being -- most selfless human being
I've ever ... you've ever known.
Half a beat --
LT. COL. HOWARD
You're fucking with me, Major.
No sir. I wouldn't do that, sir.
LT. COL. HOWARD
What other conclusion can I draw?
Marco says nothing. Holding back what he's thinking.
LT. COL. HOWARD
Look, we've been over this a million
times. Until you forgive yourself for
what happened that night in Kuwait, the
loss of your men -- for what you did, for
what you didn't do ...
No reaction from Marco. The Lt. Colonel sighs.
LT. COL. HOWARD
How's Public Affairs?
It sucks, sir. I want to get back to
LT. COL. HOWARD
Then for God's sake, Ben, go back on your
meds. And stay on them, this time. Get
some sleep. I'll see you in two weeks.
Yes sir. Same time, same station.
Marco starts to get up --
LT. COL. HOWARD
And stay the hell away from television.
61 OMITTED 61
62 OMITTED 62
63 INT./EXT. D.C. BOTANICAL GARDENS - DAY 63
Festive champagne brunch. Lush indoor foliage. The Capitol
Dome visible in the b.g. Huge, graphic banners declaim the
campaign slogan: SECURE TOMORROW and the ticket: ARTHUR-
An elegant ALL-WOMAN HARP ORCHESTRA plays new-age patriotic
music, and a thick crowd of WEALTHY PARTY INNER CIRCLE
members jostle between elegant food stations, or cue up for
thirty seconds with presidential-hopeful Robert Arthur.
MOVING WITH - MARCO
who has two retired, old bastard Generals in his company,
stars gleaming on their shoulders. Marco's eyes scan the
room; he's a man on a mission:
No offense, Major, but it chaps my ass we
gotta have a babysitter.
Sir, I'm just here to keep you from
getting into fist-fights with the Navy
The old generals laugh, appreciate this. Marco stops --
eureka -- he's found his target:
MARCO'S P.O.V. - ACROSS THE HUGE ROOM - RAYMOND
holding side-show vice-presidential court for some enamored
young women and their banker husbands. SECRET SERVICE
agents, including his everpresent Anderson, maintaining a
GENERAL WILSON (O.S.)
Major Marco --
MARCO AND THE GENERALS
Marco forced to pull his gaze away from Raymond:
-- this Army of Two's gonna do some recon
on the no host bar.
Right behind you, sirs.
SENATOR ELEANOR SHAW
powers through with Gillespie and a couple of our media
FLAKS, giving them an earful:
-- billions of dollars, thousands of
troops, sacrificed on behalf of a
disastrous foreign policy which has only
served to galvanize our enemies --
Excuse us please -- Whoa --
FOR AN INSTANT Ellie and Marco lock eyes -- then the crowd
swallows her again --
They oughta put up a crossing guard.
Or rig her with an air horn.
-- distractedly staring at a pretty young woman (JOCELYN
JORDAN) near the entrance.
(to the bankers and wives)
I mean -- that's supposed to be the whole
point of this great country, isn't it?
That everybody matters. Not just the
people at this party -- no offense -- but
the people who can't afford to be here.
(to the couples)
-- sorry to interrupt --
But she's not. Slipping her arm through his and steering
You must learn not to let yourself get
cornered by the bottom-feeders.
I devour everything in my path, darling,
top or bottom, you know that.
...to join a lively group of corporate heavyweights. DAVID
DONOVAN is a man possessed of a commanding presence,
radiating charm, brilliance and stealth. J.B. (JAY)
JOHNSTON is younger than the others, a three-sport letterman
who graduated with distinction from Princeton and happily
works until there's no one left in the office to give
instructions to. MARK WHITING is gracious and warm.
Ellie greets Whiting with a fondness she reserves for old
friends -- as a former Tyler Prentiss protégé, he now stands
comfortably at the fertile crossroads where big industry
meets big government, and profits soar.
Eleanor! Congratulations, Raymond. Your
grandad would be so goddamn proud of you.
Nice to see you Mark. Thanks.
The following flows, overlapping, easy:
-- Raymond, this is J.B. Johnston, from
Manchurian Global --
Yes, hi --
-- and David Donovan, their Managing
-- and co-chair of the U.S. International
One and the same. (teasing)
They're desperate to be of
service to you, Raymond.
Go away, mother. You've earned your fee.
Raymond flashes a dazzling Kennedyesque smile, as the men
The plucky idealist.
Ellie glides off, unfazed. The men banter on:
Gentlemen, how's business?
Good, Raymond. Business is good.
Could always be better.
Careful. Any better, you'll be a
There's the challenge. Maximizing the
market share and potential of a company.
Or a country.
Off their shared, collegial laughter --
ACROSS THE ROOM - MARCO - MONETS LATER
watches Raymond take his leave from the Manchurian Global
guys -- while, at the bar, the generals have established
their beachhead of Bloody Marys with a couple of younger men
in NAVY WHITES:
REAR ADMIRAL GLICK
Every great civilization has been
anchored by a great Navy.
Bullshit. You guys are sea chum, ripe
for some raghead with a rocket launcher
to put a hole in your bucket.
Marco laughs deliberately, trying to diffuse the tension.
If you can't behave yourselves, Generals,
we're gonna spend the rest of the day
watching the Orioles game back at the
Whereupon Raymond parades past, with his Secret Service
handlers, oblivious to Ben until he calls out.
Congressman -- Sergeant Shaw --
Raymond turning, but not stopping --
It's Major, and -- (as if it surprises
I need to talk to you.
But he keeps walking --
-- Marco frowns, watches Raymond weave through the crowd
towards Jocie, at the entrance. Marco follows, passing:
ELLIE AND JORDAN
locked in fierce, low battle, off to one side, voices hard,
rising out of the din:
-- the political extortion you committed
in order to destroy my vice presidential
bid so that --
-- so that you might vicariously bask in
reflected limelight from your son --
Tom, please, just because the party felt
a younger, more dynamic man could help
the ticket, I don't think it's fair for
you to single me out and --
You know, I have such contempt for you,
Eleanor, that when I think of you, I
actually fear for this country. Raymond
is nothing. A riddle. A wild card at
worst. But you, you are the smiler who
wraps her dagger in the cloak of the flag
and waits for her chance to strike.
Which I pray will never come.
He wheels away --
64 OMITTED 64
65 EXT. BOTANICAL GARDENS - ENTRANCE - MARCO 65
has found Raymond with Jocie -- outside -- but hangs back --
overhearing Raymond's earnest and intense conversation with
Jocie, who is slightly uncomfortable with this but trying to
make light of it --
... but Raymond, my God, it's been so
many years -- I've been married and
I've changed too.
That's not what I -- but, yes, it's
great, really -- I see that you have --
-- But my feelings haven't. Changed, I
Jocie starts to say something, is at a loss for words --
... I guess I've never stopped -- feeling
-- wondering -- how it might have turned
out, you know, between us, if --
Raymond -- people can't rewrite their
Jocie, I haven't even been with another
girl since we ... stopped seeing each
other -- doesn't that say something to
That you must be just about the loneliest
person on earth, and it breaks my heart.
Raymond is staggered -- doesn't know what to say --
I've got to go -- good luck with the
She hurries to a waiting limo -- her father's already inside
-- Raymond still wants to say something, he wants to stop
her, but --
Sergeant Raymond Shaw --
Raymond turns --
Marco slides in front of him with a disarming grin.
I want to talk to you too.
-- Not now.
-- I know you're busy -- I just have to
ask you --
He starts to move away, but Marco grabs his arm --
I saw Al Melvin the other day -- remember
Raymond yanks his arm away --
Don't touch me.
Okay -- sorry -- but -- Melvin, he's
extremely disturbed about what happened
to us, on the recon patrol, back in
Don't ever touch me.
Beat. Marco's eyebrows go up.
Raymond's secret service agent, ANDERSON slips himself
between him, smiling politely, easing Marco away:
Tried the Pad Thai, Major? I'm told it
CLOSE - COLONEL GARRET
tense and unsmiling.
What were you hoping he'd say?
66 INT. PENTAGON - CONFERENCE ROOM - MARCO 66
is in a more formal setting -- Lt. Col. Howard is with
COLONEL GARRET and an enlisted soldier, a WOMAN, taking
I don't know, sir.
It isn't so much what he said, or didn't
say -- but his demeanor, his attitude.
Sir, I overheard an exchange he --
(talks over this)
I think you hoped Congressman Shaw would
say, "yes, Major, I've had those same
dreams. Tomatoes and sandstorms. You're
not nuts, there's some crazy shit going
Marco says nothing.
Major, we've been down this road with you
No, sir, not this road, sir. But I hear
what you're saying, and I want to do this
through the proper channels.
LT. COL. HOWARD
Are you back on your meds?
Lt. Colonel Howard -- with respect --
I've had a dozen years of experts telling
me I've got Gulf War Syndrome, or a
stress disorder. Twelve years being a
good soldier, denying what every nerve
ending in my body tells me is more real
than not. One dream, over and over. Not
variations on a dream, the same one,
night after night after night --
LT. COL. HOWARD
-- Your guilt and your jealousy require
you to construct this ... elaborate
fiction, so that you --
MARCO LT. COL. HOWARD
No -- -- can avoid the truth.
-- No sir. Something happened to us, in
the desert, ten years ago. Not what we
thought it was. And it happened on my
Have you contacted any other members of
the unit besides Shaw and Melvin? Asked
them about the dreams?
(from notes he's made)
Owens died of cancer in '97. Villalobos,
a car crash. Atkins committed suicide.
Jamison was at the Pentagon, 9-11, body
never recovered. Wilson I'm still trying
to track down.
Garret and Howard trade looks.
Sir, I know I can't ask you to talk to
Congressman Shaw, not yet, but Al Melvin,
it's a phone call, a quick q&a -- look at
his notebooks, hear what he's been
dreaming -- and either he will support
the credibility of what I'm saying, or he
won't. And I'll shut up.
And what is it you are saying, exactly,
Major? That you misrepresented --
falsified -- what happened In Kuwait?
About the Medal of Honor? In effect,
If you just talk to Melvin --
-- No, no, I'm sorry -- you're saying an
entire squad of U.S. Army soldiers was
hypnotized into believing that Raymond
Shaw deserved the Medal of Honor. And
somehow you're the only one who knows the
Silence. Marco looks down at his hands.
Major Marco. You will stay clear of
LT. COL. HOWARD
And you will resume your meds, Major.
That is an order.
Beat. Marco stands up, to leave, but --
Major, do you ever take a step back and
consider why you've remained at rank for
all these years? Missed Bosnia,
Afghanistan, Iraqi Freedom. While men of
lesser promise and inferior talent have
enjoyed the fruits of those campaigns and
moved beyond you?
Every day, sir.
67 INT. STAGE - VICE-PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE (VIDEO) 67
FAVOR Raymond, at a podium, his VICE PRESIDENTIAL OPPONENT
slightly out of focus at his identical podium in the near
TV67 V.P. OPPONENT TV67
... there are still VRF terrorists in
Sierra Leone, new terrorist alliances
forming in many parts of Asia and South
America -- we can't simply, suddenly
relinquish our commitment to world
leaders who have stood by us.
Congressman Shaw -- your rebuttal?
68 INT. MARCO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 68
Marco on his phone, the t.v. blaring, under:
(on the phone)
Hello, Victor? Marco. How's it goin'?
Public affairs sucks, my friend. I miss
you guys. Listen, favor: guy from my old
unit, Melvin, Alfred R. -- I need an
address on him, I think he's here in D.C.
... yeah, go ahead.
Holding, Marco studies the image of Raymond.
TV68 RAYMOND/T.V. TV68
-- but meanwhile, somebody's grandmother,
in a small American town, is standing in
her kitchen -- she's got her medicine
bottle in one hand, she's opening the
refrigerator with the other. And she's
thinking: I can pay for my medicine, or I
can pay for my dinner. I can't do both.
In America. In America, our mothers and
grandmothers shouldn't have to worry
VOICE on the other end of Marco's call, but he's slow to
respond -- mesmerized by the "new" Raymond --
(on the phone)
Yeah, yeah. I'm here ...
As he starts to write an address --
69 OMITTED 69
70 EXT. SKID ROW - WASHINGTON D.C. - NIGHT 70
There are gaps in this country. Ugly
chasms that we need to bridge ...
THE SIDE OF A BUS with a HUGE SKIN of Gov. Arthur and
Raymond Shaw and the ARTHUR/SHAW "SECURE TOMORROW" campaign
icon -- it SLIDES away, revealing:
MARCO -- crosses the street, walks along a row of
dilapidated apartments --
... the gap between rich and poor,
between government and people --
-- the area is desolate, depopulated, an economic wasteland.
Under a crumbling awning and into
71 INT. SKID ROW RESIDENTIAL HOTEL - LOBBY - NIGHT 71
Marco checks a room number he's written under an address on
a scrap of paper.
TV71 RAYMOND (T.V.) TV71
-- between true security and the notion
of feeling safe ...
A NIGHT CLERK sits behind bullet proof glass, watching the
... between what is real and what is not.
Dontcha love this guy?
72 INT. SKID ROW HOTEL CORRIDOR 72
At the far end of a long and gloomy hallway, we can see
Marco arrive at the door to Melvin's room. He hesitates,
then knocks --
Al? Al Melvin, it's Marco ...
Nothing. He looks at his watch, turns, walks back down the
narrow, high-ceilinged corridor -- haunting sounds of radios
and televisions and broken conversations -- he disappears
down the stairs --
73 INT. FANCY HOTEL CORRIDOR - NIGHT 73
Raymond comes down the brightly-lit, elegant hallway, tired,
trailing Anderson and his SECRET SERVICE entourage.
... The enemy is among us. The wolf is
at the door ... the fox is in the
henhouse ... the weasel is ... the weasel
They take his room keycard from him, open the door --
74 INT. RAYMOND'S HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT 74
Anderson and another AGENT move through the suite, securing
it -- Raymond losing steam:
The weasel is a weasel. Frog and Toad
-- returning to the door and handing Raymond his keycard.
The PHONE BEGINS TO RING --
Sir, we'll be right outside.
I know. Good night.
He closes the door after them. Breathes out. Glances at
his watch. Then crosses to answer the phone:
You have thirty seconds, Mother.
75 INTERCUT - ELLIE'S SENATE OFFICE - NIGHT 75
Ellie behind her desk.
Am I this predictable?
You have no idea.
I'm calling to compliment you, Mr.
Grumpy. I thought you were magnificent
tonight. So do all the network campaign
experts. "Presidential" was a word they
Raymond's second line flashes with another call.
This compassionate vigilance thing is
working quite well for you. I might have
I happen to believe in it.
Of course you do. Now Raymond --
Raymond punches a button and puts his mother on HOLD.
76 INT. ELLIE'S SENATE OFFICE - NIGHT 76
Ellie listens to the dead air of the other end of her call.
77 INT. RAYMOND'S HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT 77
Raymond stares --
Mom on hold, flashing red light. The second call, light
punches the line, lifts the receiver --
VOICE ON THE PHONE
Who is this?
CLOSE on RAYMOND'S EAR --
VOICE ON THE PHONE
Sergeant Raymond Shaw?
Beat. Raymond's puzzled. Cocks his head, eyes searching
the corners of the room. SOUND: a distant desert wind,
CLOSE on RAYMOND'S EYE --
VOICE ON THE PHONE
Raymond Prentiss Shaw?
-- Raymond's senses appear to QUICKEN NOW, as the LIGHTING
in the room changes, morphing somehow -- even as SOUNDS of
steady percussion, and the zaghareet -- the wailing cry of
the Arab women -- rise out of the wind --
-- everything is brighter, sharper, more luminous -- more
etched than it was just moments ago --
VOICE ON THE PHONE
Enter the bathroom, and go to the closet
WIDE - THE SUITE
Raymond moves with tremendous assurance across the living
room and down the hallway and into the bathroom --
light flashing, Eleanor on HOLD -- stops --
78 INT. BATHROOM 78
Double sinks, walk-in shower, and a huge closet which
Raymond opens to reveal --
79 INT. CLOSET 79
A THICK PANEL in the back wall just being unmoored -- the
RUSHING ROAR of a sandstorm and --
A MAN IN BLACK
steps through, gloves and soft-soled shoes. Raymond just
watching as he places a small clam-shell video screen open
on the counter -- we can SEE a B&W surveillance view of the
CORRIDOR OUTSIDE RAYMOND'S ROOM, with Anderson sitting the
night watch, reading.
The man gestures Raymond through the closet passageway --
80 INT. A HUGE ROOM BESIDE RAYMOND'S SUITE - CONTINUOUS 80
-- where Raymond is met by TECHNICIANS in sterile gear,
He's entered some kind of portable, surreal operating
theater, filled with monitoring device and computers ... a
one-way video-conference camera is aimed at a big
examination chair in one corner, surrounded by I.V. racks
and more techno-medical equipment.
The man who is obviously in charge here, starts a digital
timer and turns to face Raymond. It's NOYLE.
Hello Raymond. Do you remember me?
(to his group)
We have twenty minutes for our little
check up from the neck up.
81 EXT. PAY PHONE - NIGHT 81
Marco on a public phone, across the street from Melvin's
residential hotel. Shaken.
My God. I'm sorry to hear that. When
did it ...
Yeah, I know. I know.
Listen, Mrs. Wilson -- can you tell me if
Nathan was ever -- preoccupied -- with
his experience in Kuwait? Did he ever
mention dreams or nightmares ... about
what happened ... the firefight,
-- uh-huh. Sure. No, I understand.
Thank you for --
Dial tone. He hangs up. Exhales.
82 Marco listening to the phone on the other end of his call 82
ring, and ring and ring. Dull HISS of the city.
83 Another call. 83
... no, Mr. Villalobos, I'm just --
Army's got me running statistics on
stress disorders, I'm trying to gather
information on my old squad members ...
yes sir --
A84 INT. NOYLE'S HIDDEN HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT A84
Raymond sits in a chair, rigged up with wires and tubes
(much like he was ten years ago) -- a TRANSLUCENT BOX around
his face overlaid with a METRIC GRID, his head held
motionless by a semi-circular BRACE, curved calibration
offering precise positioning for a MICRO-DRILL that Noyle
moves into place -- and then a long, tiny drill bit WHIRS
DOWN through STERILE LATEX stretched very tight across
Raymond's head --
-- and plunges precisely and effortlessly through Raymond's
skull, then STOPS -- he has no reaction, feels nothing --
LCD screens -- show a VIRTUAL MAP OF RAYMOND'S BRAIN, in a
full range of primary colors -- sections morphing as
thoughts and memories race through his mind, as
MINISCULE, INTERWOVEN WIRES -- are threaded down through the
HOLLOW core of the surgical drill, deep into Raymond's
brain. Noyle plays to one of the cameras:
No decay, no slippage. Everything
appears to be in flawless working
Raymond can you remember the deaths of
Mavole and Baker?
The LCD SCREENS show activity in areas of Raymond's brain.
84 INT. SKID ROW RESIDENTIAL HOTEL - NIGHT 84
Marco knocking at Melvin's door again.
... Al? You in there?
Still nothing. He checks the hallway, takes an Army utility
knife from his pocket and forces the lock --
85 INT. MELVIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 85
The light switch doesn't work. Click, click. Eerie shudder
of neon from the sign on the building, shapes crowd the
room, claustrophobic ...
... Marco has a PENLIGHT -- he turns it on, sweeps in front
of him with its weak beam:
THE ROOM -- stacked floor to ceiling with old newspapers,
magazines, and HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF NOTEBOOKS, covering
nearly every available surface.
Marco picks up a notebook. Moves to a desk and sits. Opens
the book --
86 OMITTED 86
87 OMITTED 87
88 BEAM OF THE PENLIGHT aimed down at pages filled with CRUDE 88
DRAWINGS OF BRAINS/TOMATOES -- number-gibberish (cross-
sections, size and weight parameters, and growth sequences)
-- AMERICAN FLAGS --
-- in the margins, many attempts to capture likenesses of
DR. NOYLE AND THE MYSTERIOUS ARABIC WOMAN, repeatedly
crossed out, never right.
FB88 FLASH: DREAMSCAPE FB88
Noyle turning toward us, eyes bright --
RESUME - MARCO
-- under the headline WHAT HAPPENED, extremely small,
cramped handwriting that goes on for pages --
"The recon ends without incident, and we are
heading back to forward command..."
... we're heading back to forward
command. The night is clear. Stars but
no moon --
Marco closes the book, opens another journal. Same
drawings. Same title page. Same cramped writing, that
begins exactly the same way --
89 TIGHT - RAYMOND (STREAMING VIDEO) 89
The video feed from Noyle's hidden hotel room cameras,
TV89 RAYMOND (VIDEO) TV89
-- We're engaged unexpectedly by ground
forces with helicopter support. In the
ensuing firefight, Bobby Baker gets
himself separated to the left. Mavole
goes after him ...
90 INT. MELVIN'S ROOM - NIGHT 90
Marco reading these same words, which Melvin has scrawled in
... An incoming mortar shell kills both
of them instantly, before I am able to --
FB90 FLASH CUT: A GIANT MONITOR FB90
Marco's whole squad, staring at a digital screen animation
of Raymond's one-man military fire-fight -- a CGI Hummer
with a flaming tire, Raymond heroically spewing machine gun
fire at the enemy, exactly as we've seen it in Marco's
-- instantly before Sergeant Shaw is
able to locate and eliminate the source
of the ordnance ...
FB90A SHOCK CUT: REFLECTED IN A MIRROR - MARCO FB90A
Strapped to a chair back in the dreamscape, head back, his
mouth pried open and a hypodermic needle plunged deep up
into his palette -- thin electrode wires splayed across his
face and neck -- Noyle's just behind him --
(distant, foreign, precise:)
... locate and eliminate the source of --
91 INT. MELVIN'S ROOM - MARCO 91
flips compulsively ahead through the notebook, lit by the
harsh beam of the penlight. Endless, repetitive writing.
FEVERISHLY RENDERED IMPRESSIONS of the dreamscape, medical
apparatus, choppers, guns -- MORE and MORE images of Raymond
Shaw -- of Raymond strangling Mavole --
-- and A DRAWING OF A MAN WHO MIGHT BE MARCO, unfinished,
uncertain except for the eyes -- Marco with a GUN in his
FB91 FLASH: BOBBY BAKER FB91
-- as a bullet hole is punched in his forehead -- FALLING
AWAY -- with a look of astonishment on his face -- blood
just beginning to seep from the wound --
RESUME - MELVIN'S ROOM - MARCO
he drops the notebook like it's on fire --
TIGHT - ON THE FLOOR - THE NOTEBOOK
-- SKETCHES of Bobby Baker with a bullet hole in his
-- topples the chair as he stands up -- and then:
THE BARE, OVERHEAD LIGHTBULB IN THE ROOM
shudders to life -- dies -- glows again -- brighter -- AND
NOW MARCO SEES:
THE WALLS OF MELVIN'S APARTMENT
are COVERED with DRAWINGS and SCRAWLINGS and newspaper
clippings and patterns made with paper plates and empty
Noodle containers -- the crazy patterns of the tiles from
Noyle's dream lab -- it's as if Marco has entered the mind
of a mad man -- everything from the notebooks, and more,
much more -- dominated by tormented, repeated images of
Raymond Shaw --
-- Marco is stunned --
PUSHING IN -- as a painstakingly rendered DRAWING OF RAYMOND
SHAW fills the screen: wild-eyed with SNAKES writhing out of
his head, Medusa-like, EVOKING THE WIRES AND TUBES FROM
MARCO'S NIGHTMARE DREAMSCAPE --
92 TIGHT - NOYLE (VIDEO STREAMING) 92
Pixels blown out and distorted, streaming insanely -- Noyle
stares right into camera, intent:
TV92 NOYLE TV92
SCREAM OF A TRAIN.
93 INT. BULLET TRAIN TO NEW YORK - DAY 93
Marco sits at a window, eyes closed, head pressed to the
glass, the world just a blur beyond him. He opens his eyes,
sitting down across from him. Smiling.
Is this seat taken?
94 INT. BULLET TRAIN TO NEW YORK - DAY 94
Marco opens his eyes -- head pressed to a window, the world
a blur beyond him -- SEES:
Nothing. An empty seat opposite him. Laurent was a dream.
Marco looks around, self-conscious, and --
THROUGH THE SEATS - A WOMAN'S FACE
staring back at him. Not enough to tell much more than
she's pretty. Marco looks away, out the window. Then back.
She's gone. Another dream?
WOMAN'S VOICE (ROSIE)
Maryland's a beautiful state.
Marco jumps -- looks. The pretty woman is sitting down
opposite him, folding and pushing aside a newspaper with the
headline: WHITE HOUSE INSISTS WAR ON TERROR IS STILL
WINNABLE. COST OF PERUVIAN CAMPAIGN HITS $100 BILLION.
Below the fold: ANGRY MOB KILLS MUSLIM STUDENT AT YALE.
This is Delaware.
I know. But, Maryland, it's a beautiful
He's staring at her, trying to figure out --
Paper or plastic.
From the grocery store. You were
wondering where, we, you know -- and
right at the check-out stand, "paper or
plastic," that's me. I see you all the
time. Bennett Marco. Checks from the
First National Bank, and you always put
your spare change into the March of Dimes
Romance novels, instant noodles, No-Doz
Anyway, I'm on vacation, holiday in the
City and so forth, I saw you sitting here
... I thought, okay, girl -- it's now or
You headed to New York City?
No. Guy I knew ... in the Army. He's in
politics now. We've kinda lost touch.
(awkward beat, then)
What's your name?
Yeah. Crazy French pronunciation and
I guess your friends call you Jenny.
Not yet they haven't, thank God. But you
can call me Jenny.
What do your friends call you?
Rosie. My full name is Eugenie Rose.
I've always liked the Rosie part better.
Eugenie is, well, fragile.
Still. When I asked you your name, you
said it was Eugenie.
Yeah. Well. Maybe 'cause I was feeling
fragile. At the time.
Beat. Their eyes lock. Marco blinks --
FB94 FLASH: PFC. BOBBY BAKER -- stares back at him from where FB94
Rosie was sitting. Bullet hole in his forehead and a small,
lost smile. Reaching out to him --
ROSIE -- as before. Slight look of puzzlement, because --
MARCO -- is on his feet, rattled, moving out to the aisle --
-- and LURCHING toward the back of the train, nearly losing
his balance as he goes through the sliding doors.
95 INT. TRAIN CORRIDOR - AS BEFORE 95
-- Marco catches himself, hands against the bulkhead wall
near the bathroom. Another PASSENGER squeezes past him,
headed in the opposite direction. Marco tries the bathroom
door. Locked. OCCUPIED.
Marco reaches into his pocket for a plastic vial of
medicine. Tries to shake one of the TINY PILLS OUT, but --
A BURLY PASSENGER in the bathroom emerges and the door
SMACKS Marco hard across the back --
-- THE PILLS scatter onto the floor --
OW dammit --
BIG MAN MARCO
Sorry. I didn't know you It's okay. It's okay.
-- Marco's DOWN ON HIS KNEES, struggling to gather the pills
together and put them back in the plastic vial. The big man
sinks down next to him. Calm. Deftly plucking the pills
from the floor.
My mother would tell you to wash these.
Marco looks up at her blankly. She takes the vial, caps it,
gives it back.
I didn't mean to upset you.
It's not you, it's me. I'm not -- my
-- nothing's ...
(stares at her)
I wish I smoked.
It's way overrated.
They stare at each other. Then:
Rosie, I'm gonna go in here, wash my
face, take my pill, and get myself
Marco ducks into the bathroom and shuts the door.
96 INT. TRAIN MEN'S ROOM - DAY 96
Marco cups water in his hands and smears it on his face,
wiping it away with a paper towel. He comes up looking in
the mirror, avoiding his own gaze as --
IN THE MIRROR: THE DOOR OPENS
and a man comes partway in -- now it's Dr. Noyle.
Marco pivots -- no Noyle. The door is shut, locked. He's
all alone. Losing his mind.
97 INT. TRAIN CORRIDOR - ROSIE 97
Lost in thought. Faint smile. She puts her hand flat
against the door, then turns and heads back to her seat.
98 INT. TRAIN MEN'S ROOM - MARCO 98
Turns to the mirror again ... and again SEES Dr. Noyle
behind him, smiling:
Hello Captain. Do you remember me?
KNOCKING at the door, a pass-key rattling in it --
99 INT. TRAIN CORRIDOR - MARCO 99
emerges from the bathroom to find an irritated CONDUCTOR now
awkwardly trying to extract his key from the door, and Rosie
Are you okay, sir? Ben?
Jesus. You've been in here twenty
minutes. I thought you'd fallen off.
Marco stares at Rosie. Twenty minutes? The train SHUDDERS
to a halt --
100 INT. PENN STATION - DAY 100
Marco comes up the escalator, into a SEA OF COMMUTERS.
Momentarily lost. Rosie is behind him, a moment later with
her bag, and --
I'm gonna get a cab, you want me to drop
No. I'm okay, thanks.
Your friend gonna meet you here?
El Dorado 59970.
(off Marco's frown)
My cell phone, in case you -- you know.
I like to say it the old way -- can you
remember the number, or should I write it
on your chest with a sharpie?
Marco feels his shirt -- soaked. Long beat. She reaches
out and feels his forehead. No fever. Sizing him up.
Listen. You got a place to go and get
101 INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 101
Rosie lets Marco in. It's incredibly cramped, everything in
one room, window facing a brick wall, lots of play posters.
-- It's my cousin's apartment. She's in
Cleveland with the road company of 'Mamma
Mia.' There's ... a view of the park ...
if you go out on the fire escape and
kinda ... tilt your head ...
Marco puts down the suitcases and waits in the middle of the
room while Rosie takes off her coat, turns on some lights.
I'm nervous. I'm sorry. I yak when I
Me, I get quiet.
Another awkward beat. She stands there. Studying him.
Dreams, I've been having these --
Catches himself. That's just how Melvin said it.
Is that what happened on the train?
I could be dreaming you.
What if you are?
You'd be the best dream I've had in a
long time, Rosie.
Beat. Rosie smiles at him.
If that's a line, Ben Marco, it kinda
102 INT. BATHROOM - SHOWER - MARCO 102
The water cascades down on him. He feels around on his back
where the door on the train whacked him -- feels something
on his shoulder -- a bump -- CAMERA CURLS around as he
twists, contorts, can't see it, but feels it and --
FB102 OMITTED FB102
TIGHT - MARCO'S HAND
turning off the shower, hard --
103 RESUME - ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT 103
She's sitting, watching the closed bathroom door. No noise
from the shower.
Earth to Ben -- how're you doing in
104 INT. BATHROOM - MARCO 104
hyper, rummaging through the vanity, searching for -- pair
of cuticle scissors, tweezers, anything sharp -- a little
basket of sample perfumes CRASHES into the sink --
Ben, what's going on -- are you okay --?
Marco finds a razor blade -- twisting it clumsily in his
fingers to reach the slight bump on his back he can only
barely see in the mirror --
105 INTERCUT - ROSIE - OUTSIDE THE DOOR 105
-- Rosie's KNOCKING HARDER, NOW.
Ben, I need you to open this door. Okay?
Just for a sec.
You're scaring me. Ben --?
106 INT. BATHROOM - MARCO 106
He SLASHES at the lump. Blood blossoms. SLASHES again,
oblivious to pain.
PUSH IN as Ben presses the blade sharply down into his skin
... cutting a slit through which the blunt edge of
AN EXTREMELY TINY OBLONG THING
appears, like a grain of rice. It slides out into Ben's
107 Rosie's PUSHING against the door, trying to force it open. 107
108 MARCO 108
puts his trembling hand under the faucet, grips the thing
between two fingers, turns on the water --
109 THE DOOR - ROSIE 109
breaks in -- sees the BLOOD smeared down Marco's back --
-- and the razor in his hand -- she pushes him away --
-- loses his grip on the oblong thing before he can even get
a good look at it, and it goes into the sink --
SHIT. Oh no NO ...
-- and down the drain -- Marco twists the faucet off, and
FLOOR LEVEL - UNDER THE SINK
where he puts both hands on the fittings of the u-joint trap
and struggles to get them loose -- succeeding finally, water
spewing everywhere --
-- the trap falls to the floor, disgorging soap chips, slimy
hairballs and pipe corrosion and water ... but not the thing
he wants. It's --
-- Gone. Shit.
MARCO -- rests his head on the cool tile, eyes far away.
Defeated. Rosie crouches next to him. A little scared.
She blots the blood from his back with the towel, and then
presses her ice pack against it.
Tell me you saw that.
Rosie just stares at him.
You didn't. You didn't see it.
Marco closes his eyes.
110 EXT. ISOLATED WAREHOUSE - ON THE HUDSON RIVER - DAY 110
Stark building with a huge parking lot and only one car
parked in it. A CAB pulls through the open gate, stops.
Marco gets out.
Implant delusions. Number three on the
paranoid top ten list.
111 INT. WAREHOUSE STAIRWAY - DAY 111
Ben and RICHARD DELP ascend at a good clip. Delp wears a
lab coat, trappings of a medical researcher:
This wasn't a delusion.
That's what they all say, Marco.
Some wicked shit got sprayed on you guys
during Desert Storm. Besides all the
depleted uranium, I mean ...
He stops, unlocks a door, and they go --
112 INT. DELP'S RESEARCH LAB - SKY BOOTH - DAY 112
A narrow, glassed-in space with a cluster of monitoring
equipment against the wall of darkened windows. Fluorescent
lights flicker on, revealing a CAVERNOUS SPACE BELOW, in
which an intricate MAZE of CAGES contains unhappy, SCREAMING
research MONKEYS with Orwellian stainless-steel hardware and
antennae bolted to their bisected skulls. Strange SOUNDS
and various LIGHTING EFFECTS emerge from the different
... I personally know of a coupla Rangers
who swear that they see only in tertiary
colors now --
-- and can pick up sports talk radio in
their cortical block if they get too
close to a Con-Ed transformer.
-- Delp. It's not GWS.
Delp has known Marco too long, and too well, not to take him
A dozen years ago, the Army did this tiny
implantable I.D. thing -- you could imbed
it under the skin, then scan it like a
bar code for medical emergency
information, blood-type, DNA. Pentagon
ordered up half a million, and stuck
about five thousand experimentally into
high-risk soldiers and infantry. But the
scanners proved skittish and field
hospitals hated 'em, so the whole deal
got eighty-sixed and forgotten.
The Army never put one in me.
That you know of, man. That you know of.
How'd you find me?
I looked under Mad Scientists in the
yellow pages -- there was a full page ad.
Marco stares down into a big pit. Among the racks of
equipment are two primate-sized stainless-steel beds with
restraints and I.V. trees waiting.
You seriously believe somebody's messed
with your mother board.
What are you studying here, Delp?
For the Agency?
Nah, CIA cut me loose in '97 during the
Macedonian debacle. Now I got this
little grant from Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart? Fear? Marco looks at the monkeys. Doesn't want
to know any more. He shifts his gaze back to Delp. Studies
Look, Delp. My experiences during the
war, in Kuwait ... feel dreamlike to me.
And my dreams? About what happened?
Feel as real as you and me, here, right
Delp just waits.
It's like ... I feel like somewhere along
the line, I've been ... brainwashed. Or
something. You know? All scrambled up.
We've all been brainwashed, Marco.
Religion, advertising, television.
Politics. We accept what's normal
because we're told it's normal and we
crave normalcy. Hell, look at the
Germans under Hitler. Disco, in the
And if you're really worried about
somebody imbedding electric probes and
computer chips in your brain to make you
do things -- it's horseshit, man. Turns
out Pavlov had it right from the getgo.
Dogs and all. A little ECT and sleep
deprivation will do the trick for a
fraction of the price. Ask the Uzbeks.
And you would remember it.
What about my dreams?
What if all this is the fucking dream and
you're still back in Kuwait?
You're not helping me.
I am. You're not helping yourself.
Reality is consensual, man. You just
gotta prove it up. Or play it out.
113 OMITTED 113
114 OMITTED 114
115 NEWS FOOTAGE - AIRPORT ARRIVAL (VIDEO) 115
TV115 Raymond emerges from a private jet, waves to a crowd of TV115
supporters behind a chain link fence --
116 EXT. TETERBORO AIRPORT - TARMAC - CHARTER ARRIVALS - DAY 116
Same. Raymond, his handlers, his Secret Service escort walk
a gauntlet of news cameras, REPORTERS lob questions from
behind a barrier:
Congressman Shaw! Why do you and Gov.
Arthur oppose deploying troops in
We can't clean up the world with dirty
MOVING WITH - MARCO
as he keeps pace with Raymond, walking, moving behind the
reporters, weaving through the crowd.
REPORTER #2 REPORTER #3
What about your mother's Is your mother helping or
allegation that a nuclear hurting your campaign?
attack on this country from
a secret alliance of rogue
states is certain within two
Guys, I gave up a long time ago trying to
second guess my mother. I'm just
surprised the rest of you haven't.
Do you ever dream about Kuwait?
Heads turning to find Marco, folder under his arm -- strange
looks -- Secret Service poised to react, but Raymond slows,
looks -- sees Marco. A cloud passing over his features:
I can never remember my dreams.
MORE QUESTIONS lobbed out, overlapping, but Raymond ignores
them. Marco pushes through as Raymond assures Anderson:
-- it's okay. I know him, it's okay.
117 INT. LIMOUSINE - DAY 117
Raymond and Marco in the back seat facing forward. Anderson
and campaign handler MIRELLA FREEMAN sit facing them,
talking low, on a cell phone, as:
I saw Mavole's Mom and Dad in St. Louis.
I still visit them -- and Baker's mom --
when I can. Do you keep up with anybody
from the unit besides Al Melvin?
I don't keep up with Al Melvin. He found
Why did you ask me about Kuwait?
I didn't. I asked you about your dreams.
At the fundraiser -- why did you say you
needed to talk to me?
(covers the phone)
Mr. Shaw, excuse me -- they want to know
if you'll do an interview with Larry King
What do you want from me, Captain?
Major. Forty minutes of your time.
No to the interview, or no to six?
He wants to talk about my mother. No.
He looks at Marco --
Well, we've got about five minutes, right
now. And this is as private as it gets
for me anymore, so ...
Beat. He waits. Anderson staring at Marco.
There are these dreams that ... some of
the men in our unit have been having.
It's a question of what actually happened
the night our patrol was attacked --
RPG incoming. Mortar fire, we're
ambushed. Total chaos. I can't locate
Baker or Mavole. You're knocked
unconscious -- I find you and pull you to
safety and then --
(cuts him off)
-- Yeah, that's how I remember it, too.
But I dream something else.
The limo pulls to a curb --
118 EXT. ARTHUR/SHAW N.Y. CAMPAIGN OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON 118
Through the windows SEE a crowded clutter of desks, phone
volunteers, stacks of pamphlets. A giant SECURE TOMORROW
logo looms above, flanked by beaming likenesses of Robert
Arthur and Raymond Shaw. Anderson comes out and opens the
limo door for Raymond. Marco struggles out behind him:
Am I in your dreams?
-- You know.
Raymond steps just outside the entrance to his office.
PEDESTRIANS pass between them on the crowded sidewalk.
It's more complicated than that.
Marco reaches into his folder, pulls out one of Melvin's
People just don't have the same dreams
(holds out the notebook)
-- Melvin made drawings, he wrote down
what he dreamed, this is one of his
notebooks -- it's all in here.
-- and Raymond's staring at the notebook without taking it,
the way Marco once did with Melvin. Anderson and Mirella --
the staffers in the office -- are all staring at Marco the
same way the Boy Scouts once stared at Melvin.
I don't have dreams, Captain.
Maybe you should ... see somebody -- talk
to somebody who specializes in this kind
of thing --
I've been to doctors.
... which is exactly what Melvin said to him.
Okay. Okay, I'm sorry.
Marco nods again, numb, makes a vague resigned gesture.
I'm not crazy, Shaw.
He jams the notebook back into his folder, starts to walk
Marco stops, turns.
Are you hungry?
119 INT. RAYMOND'S PRIVATE OFFICE - CAMPAIGN HQ - DUSK 119
Huge posters featuring Raymond's face, emblazoned with
SECURE TOMORROW, stacked against the wall. A desk covered
with papers and enough take-out Chinese food for ten people,
and Raymond sits behind it, nursing a glass of wine, and
pointedly ignoring Melvin's notebook, while:
I kill Mavole?
It's a dream --
-- could mean something else.
-- could be I'm just supposed to think
-- I killed the enemy. I didn't know
them, either. So it was okay. And,
anyway, I remember what we did in Kuwait,
I remember it perfectly. But now that
you mention it, I don't remember doing it
Maybe you didn't.
NO. What a thought.
Now he picks up the dream book. Marco watches. Raymond
flips through the pages for a moment, dismissively. Then
stops at something Melvin has drawn. Frowns. Raises his
eyebrows. Closes it, sets it down:
Life is so bizarre, isn't it? This
absurd campaign, the sordid world of
politics, my whole public life and
persona -- sometimes, occasionally, for
an instant, the fog clears and I look and
I think, what am I doing? I mean, what
the fuck am I doing? Posing and grinning
like a goddamn sock puppet, shaking hands
with total strangers who must be blind if
they can't see what I am, at the core.
What my mother has made me.
Raymond looks steadily at Marco ... who nods, interested:
A Prentiss. Ferociously, a Prentiss --
but not a Shaw, God forbid -- I was
molded by cold hard hands, every detail
of my existence preordained. Can you
even imagine, Ben, how it would feel
never to have a say in what your life
would be? I was twenty years old before
I had a friend -- no, worse, a girlfriend
-- well, almost -- but, yes, a friend, or
I thought so -- outside my mother's
circle of approved encounters -- and it
didn't -- she wouldn't -- precipitating
my one act of rebellion, storming off and
-- in the Army. Which, ironically, only
served ultimately to pad my gilded
Prentiss resume. You know: "fluent in
five languages, Phi Beta Kappa,
Congressional Medal of Honor, blah blah
And after the war I came back to her.
And the family legacy. This. Mother
calls it, "fulfilling my Manifest
Why did you come back, Raymond? What
Seeming startled, Raymond's reverie is broken. His eyes
harden as he refocuses on Marco.
Weren't you listening? Mother happened.
You know, the truth is, I hate it. I've
always despised it.
The medal. The cloying adulation of the
little people. Your pitiful jealousy --
Who said I was jealous?
I don't have the dreams, Ben.
How can you not remember saving the unit?
I do. I said I did.
You said you don't remember doing it.
Ha ha, don't mix me up, I'm tired, and --
Fine. It's like this. It's as if I know
what will happen, Ben, but I never get to
the part where I feel that it actually
did happen. But I think that's probably
Did you ever talk to anybody about this
What? No. Who would I ask? My old Army
"buddies," who love and adore me for
saving their pathetically unimportant --
present company excluded -- asses?
No. You ask Army Intelligence.
Look, we can go together, tomorrow. You
tell them what you just told me,
everything you do remember, what you
don't "exactly" remember, about Kuwait,
let 'em run some tests on you --
I'm sure the press would have a field day
Raymond. They put an implant in me. I
found it yesterday. Maybe they put one
Nobody's put anything in me.
Great. Let's prove it. We can go get an
x-ray -- we can check it right now --
Marco moves toward him, Raymond backs away --
I want to be supportive of you, Ben, I
do, but --
Just check your back, Raymond --
-- this can wait until after the
What are you afraid of? See if there's a
You should leave. This is not, this is
-- just check --
There's nothing there!
Marco LUNGES at Raymond -- they fall, together, over the
desk, onto the floor -- Chinese food scattering.
Somebody was in your head, with big steel-
toe boots, a couple of cable cutters and
a chainsaw, and they went to town!
Neurons got wasted, circuits rewired,
brain cells obliterated --
KNOCKING at the door:
-- you don't even know what they did!
You don't -- you can't CONCEIVE what they
did to you -- and you're worried about
some lame-ass reporters!?
-- where Marco (stronger, better-trained) wraps Raymond in a
headlock, RIPS Raymond's shirt from the shoulder --
If I'm wrong they can put me the fuck
-- are you okay?
-- there -- there's -- something --
INSISTENT KNOCKING at the door. Marco CLAWS AT THE SKIN on
RAYMOND'S BACK -- sinks his teeth in --
-- Raymond shakes him off, and MARCO slams into the wall.
The office door BANGS open --
Anderson and other agents SWARM Marco -- there's blood
smeared on Marco's mouth, his jaws are clenched --
He bit him.
Sir, did he bite you?
MARCO -- shoved to the floor -- twisted -- handcuffed --
blood SMEARING across the carpet -- his eyes wild with
adrenaline and fear --
RAYMOND -- his hand goes to his back -- his eyes LOCK with
Marco's for an instant -- then Marco is hustled out the
Horrified campaign workers crane necks to see inside. Mute
with shock, Raymond pulls his hand away from his back.
Hides the blood.
120 OMITTED 120
A121 EXT. MANHATTAN - STATUE OF LIBERTY - DAY A121
The giant lady is gilded by sunlight, virgin and
You want to help him?
121 INT. ELEGANT MANHATTAN RESTAURANT - PRIVATE ROOM - DAY 121
Raymond and Ellie. Through the wavy glass we see a crowded
dining room, the ever-present Secret Service.
No. That'd be political suicide. Of
course not. I want you to help him.
I can't even imagine why.
Because I feel sorry for him. Because I
said I would.
What should we do? Make him a General?
Mother. Look. My campaign people are
getting a restraining order, he's going
on all the security watch-lists -- but I
won't lock him up. I'm not pressing
It's complicated -- I don't know. It's
just complicated and I don't want to talk
about it, I want to get back to the
campaign and focus on --
You don't actually believe his story?
No. But he does. And he's a fine
soldier and ... my friend. And if his
slim hold on sanity requires that I
tolerate his delusions until he can get
help, I'll do it. It doesn't diminish
me. And I'm not afraid of him.
This is why voters love you. Your
humanity and everything. I've never
Yes I think telling people you want to
"round up all the towelheads and throw
them in a deep pit" probably tips your
That was a joke, you dreadful boy.
A BUSBOY delivers Ellie her meal: a thick steak stuffed with
viscous grey -- off Raymond's disgust:
Stuffed. With oysters?
She starts to cut meat into child-like, bite-sized pieces
and put them on a side plate, for Raymond.
The steak part is mostly for you.
Doesn't it look yummy?
My God. In the world's literature of
food could there possibly be a more
And eating it is an absolute sexual
experience. Try some.
Promise me that you'll help him.
Ellie stops, sighs, puts her fork down and reaches for the
oversized-satchel that doubles as her briefcase and purse.
Oh, Raymond, how much do you really know
about your friend?
Ellie finds two thick files and plops them down, as
punctuation, in front of Raymond.
122 EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING (MANHATTAN) - DAY 122
PHOTOGRAPHS - SCENE PHOTOS - AL MELVIN'S DEAD BODY
being pulled from the chilly waters of the Potomac. Some
clinical AUTOPSY glossies.
Al Melvin ...
123 INT. FEDERAL BUILDING - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY 123
Marco stares, troubled and sad, at bleak photographs of Al
Melvin's bloated, waterlogged corpse.
I went to talk to him. But he wasn't
Across from him are three impatient FBI AGENTS (RAMIREZ,
GOLDRING and JONAS). Ramirez has the notebook Marco took
from Melvin's. Goldring pushes a tiny digital tape recorder
closer to Marco:
Talk about what?
Marco hesitates -- looks to Lt. Col. Howard, who sits
grimly, off the one side, with Col. Garret.
A lone woman, SPECIAL AGENT VOLK, sits in a distant corner
on a folding chair. She's implacable, staring intently at
Marco. Ramirez holds up the notebook -- a page of crazy
drawings and text.
Yeah, there are hundreds more of those in
his apartment. Did your people check out
his place --?
Colonel Garret kindly showed us the file
on you, Marco, you're the shit: Special
Forces. Rangers. Delta.
I wanted to talk to Corporal Melvin about
some unanswered questions involving our
reconnaissance mission in Kuwait, back in
(talks over him)
And he wasn't there, so, what -- you
thought it'd be okay to break in and wait
Marco carefully, respectfully stacks the photographs of
Melvin and turns them over. Exchanges a glance with the
I know this game. Will you explain to
them that I know this game?
Oh right. Army Intelligence. Isn't that
Yeah. Kinda like 'special agent.'
Cut it out, Major.
What's your obsession with Raymond Shaw?
Man of his dreams.
Listen, you might want to advise your ME
to check for an implant in Corporal
Melvin's back -- under the skin, just shy
of the scapula, left side ... if he's not
looking for it, he won't find it.
Implant. The Feds just stare at him. Like he's nuts.
I didn't have anything to do with
Corporal Melvin's death.
Yeah, well, that's your opinion, but
judging from your file here, apparently
you don't know your shit from your
oatmeal, my friend --
Marco snaps, spins out of his chair and lunges at Jonas --
Lt. Col. Howard and the other agents step between the two
men -- pull them apart --
LT. COL. HOWARD
Get this man out of here.
Go ahead, nutball. Try it.
Marco PUNCHES the agent so hard it knocks him down to the
floor between the other two.
-- He hit me! Fuck!
He said I could.
Colonel Garret shoves Marco back into a chair, stays in the
middle of the fracas, while --
LT. COL. HOWARD
Okay, OKAY --! That's enough.
Gentlemen, I need a moment with Major
The Federal Agents retreat with their bloodied-nose, cold-
cocked colleague, door slamming behind them.
Evidently this has been going on for
Only Agent Volk remains, unmoved by what just occurred.
CLOSE ON - MARCO, catching his breath.
... Sad little Tin Soldier.
124 INT. ELEGANT RESTAURANT - PRIVATE ROOM - DAY 124
Ellie eats, while Raymond flips through Marco's extensive
file: cross-agency surveillance, Army psychological
profiling, FBI updates. Repeated buzzwords like: "mentally
unstable," "obsessed with Raymond Shaw," "delusional,"
"borderline functional," "acute stress disorder ..."
Isn't it disgraceful the way troubled
individuals are allowed to simply walk
around with the rest of us until
something horrible happens? Another
failure of the HMOs. I'm thinking of
sponsoring a bill, with Senator Friedman
of Rhode Island --
-- I don't care.
Well, imagine how terrified your people
were yesterday when Major Marco showed up
at the airport and you invited him -- my
God, invited him -- to tag along.
Knowing what they knew.
I know him. I served under him. He was
a good man.
That's what the neighbors always say
about serial killers.
Raymond stares at an old PHOTOGRAPH OF MARCO: curled up in a
fetal position, on a V.A. hospital bed.
Perhaps we could arrange a promotion to a
less stressful posting. Somewhere
125 INT. FEDERAL BUILDING - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY 125
Marco with Howard, who's visibly upset. He likes Marco, it
breaks his heart to watch him unravelling like this. Agent
Volk remains in her chair, on the other side of the room:
The door opens, and Col. Garret comes in, with Agent
Goldring, who gives Marco back his personal effects, and:
Get out of here.
LT. COL. HOWARD
He's free to go?
Shaw won't press charges, and he's got
juice with important friends. It's
today's daily double.
Agent Volk closes her notebook and moves past Goldring as he
picks up the tape recorder. She glances at Howard, and
leaves the room.
Someone from Senator Eleanor Shaw's
office called and intervened on your
A beat. Marco, trying to process all this:
Major, you have reached the terminal end
of the Army's patience. You're relieved
of duty, effective immediately.
LT. COL. HOWARD
There's a young neurologist at Walter
Reed. Zahn. He's had considerable
success with GWS -- I want you to get
your affairs in order and report to him
LT. COL. HOWARD (CONT'D)
for evaluation and treatment first thing
Sir, I know all about Dr. Zahn.
Remember? He's that guy who --
Sir. Yes sir.
LT. COL. HOWARD
Me too, Ben.
126 OMITTED 126
127 SERIES OF X-RAYS 127
micro-circuitry, neat as a pin --
I thought you said you lost this.
TIGHT - THROUGH A STEREOSCOPIC MICROSCOPE - THE IMPLANT
falls into focus, smooth and etched with integrated circuits
as intricate and beautiful as a henna tattoo ...
I found it again.
128 INT. DELP'S LAB - SKYBOOTH - NIGHT 128
Delp looks up from the microscope, at Marco.
These are not supposed to exist, man.
These are only theoretical.
-- leaves the statement hanging --
129 INT. DELP'S LAB - MAIN FLOOR - MOMENTS LATER 129
Delp freaked and hyper, gathering wires and whatnot from
shelves -- a veritable armload, as:
You sure you want to do this man?
-- because I don't.
I'll owe you one.
Delp rounds a corner -- monkeys scrambling around their
cages as he comes to the clearing where
sits on one of the experimental gurneys, using a pen to
write on his arm.
No. I'll still owe you for getting my
sorry ass out of Albania.
-- Talk to me about the implant.
Manchurian Global. Heard of 'em?
Private equity fund, specializes in
military support services and weapons
research ... including a certain Army
implant project that went belly-up in the
You said the Army implants were for
medical emergency data.
The ones they publicized were. But, oh
man, there was a parallel project of all
kinds of scary implantable shit the
Clinton watchdogs finally freaked out
over, and closed down.
How do you know all this?
Cuz they funded me to make some of their
What does it do?
I don't know. I don't want to know. You
don't want to know -- shit -- it's out of
you, and you're still alive. That's the
(off his arm)
What are you doing?
INTERCUT - MARCO'S FOREARM
He's scrawling words on his palm, with a ballpoint pen:
ROSIE. RAYMOND SHAW. MANCHURIAN-GLOBAL ...
Back-up in case this makes me forget some
stuff I want to remember.
eases Marco back on the gurney, deftly puts some I.V. taps
into his arms. Marco's legs hang over the edge.
These are built for monkeys, so bear
with me, man.
SERIES OF SHOTS
He's putting thread-thin electrodes INTO Marco's head, just
beneath the skin.
I'm putting you on a cocktail of
methohexitol to take the edge off.
Edge off what?
'Getting clarity.' Or whatever you want
to call it -- ECT not being the precise
science that, say, leeching is.
Wires snake across the floor to the ECT [Electro-Convulsive
You don't think this is going to work.
It's the desperation move, man. But,
hey. There is a school of thought, says
a victim of induced abreaction -- or
ultra-paradoxical brain activity, if
you're at all correct about what happened
to you -- can have it effectively
dispersed by electroshock. Unscrambled.
But the legions of naysayers will tell
you that if the initial work's done
correctly -- if the brain's been not just
washed, but dry-cleaned --
Takes out a bite-guard and puts it in Marco's mouth:
-- fuhgetaboutit. No sale.
Try to relax, okay?
He throws the switch, sending electric current through
Marco's head --
-- Marco's body ARCHES off the table and he goes into
IMAGES FADE IN AND OUT:
FB129 -- a man in a gas mask JAMS his rifle butt down. FADE FB129
FBA129-- black-clad soldiers swarm Marco's team. FADE OUT. FBA129
FBB129-- inside of a helicopter, grey light fluttering -- FBB129
Laurent, gas mask down, confers with a pilot. FADE OUT.
FBC129-- jetting low across dark water as dawn breaks. FADE FBC129
FBD129-- impression of an abandoned village -- FBD129
FBE129-- an abandoned beach -- FBE129
FBF129-- ruins of an ancient caravansary -- FBF129
FBG129-- float DOWN on the upturned face of NOYLE. FADE OUT. FBG129
FBH129-- Marco's HEAD SLAMMED DOWN, hard surface, a gun-like FBH129
ELECTRIC IMPLANT device FIRES its package into the skin
near Marco's shoulder-blade. FADE OUT.
FBI129-- impressions of Melvin, Baker, Mavole, drugged, wired FBI129
up. FADE OUT.
FBJ129-- Raymond releasing Mavole's throat -- FBJ129
FBK129-- Bobby Baker, bloody hole in his forehead, falling FBK129
FBL129-- the crazy pattern of the tile -- FBL129
FBM129-- and Marco running, RUSHING FORWARD -- toward daylight, FBM129
past other platoon members, wires and I.V. tubes snaking
upward, watching animated Raymond Shaw hero footage on a
plasma screen, patriotic music BLARING.
FBN129-- breaking outside, a glimpse of the azure sea waiting FBN129
-- but DOWN, TACKLED ... FADE OUT.
FBO129-- stumbling from helicopters into a rotor-torn FBO129
sandstorm -- the dust clearing to reveal ... weary,
dazed, exhausted soldiers in the middle of nowhere, under an
angry sun ...
... the SCREEN BLOOMS WHITE, and completely empty -- like an
Arabian desert --
130 EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY 130
Marco opens his eyes to the glare of a crisp autumn sun,
surreal colors: blue sky, shimmering green, the skyline.
His head is in Rosie's lap, he lies curled in the grass.
A banana-yellow motorized model plane buzzes in tight
Rosie's talking, but Ben can't hear her. Just the buzzing.
She stops, looks at him.
Marco tries to say something, his mouth is dry.
He said this would happen.
Marco stares, trying to orient himself. His arm comes up to
shade his eyes -- nothing written on it.
I don't remember a friend.
Kind of like a computer system crash --
your brain goes down, then you boot up
again, but you lose all your RAM.
Do you remember me?
(after a beat)
Rosie smiles. Marco closes his eyes again and --
SCREEN GOES BLACK.
Silence. Two beats.
Then the SOUND OF A TELEVISION fades up:
TV130 NEWSCASTER #3 TV130
U.S. planes bombed selected sites in
Guinea today, acting on intelligence that
the African nation's military regime had
secretly resumed its chemical weapons
131 TIGHT - A TELEVISION (VIDEO) 131
131A Campaign footage of Raymond Shaw visiting schools in the 131A
131B inner city, Arthur riding horses in Wyoming, the two men 131B
131C meeting with business leaders in Chicago. 131C
TV131 NEWSCASTER #4 TV131
... latest USA Today polls indicate a
"secure tomorrow" for Gov. Robert Arthur
and Congressman Raymond Shaw. The duo
holds a commanding lead, entering the
last two weeks of the campaign ...
132 INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 132
Marco wakes up, still in a bed. Alone. The room bathed in
blue light from the small television where the news drones.
TV132 OMITTED TV132
Rosie comes out of the bathroom, wearing a long New York
Rangers jersey, bare-legged, barefoot, hair wet from a
Central Park was Monday. I came home
A long beat. Marco stares at the t.v. as she sits on the
edge of the bed, rubs her hair with a towel.
How did I get here?
You called me.
El Dorado 59970.
I remember, and I didn't dream.
It's been weird, talking to you. Knowing
that you could fall asleep with your eyes
open and wake up and have forgotten the
whole conversation. I hope to God that
What'd we talk about?
You said you "loved" me. Not to scare
you. Out of nowhere, but more than once.
I remember that.
Beat. She smiles. She leans in, kisses him lightly.
What else did we talk about?
Rosie opens her mouth --
SCREEN GOES BLACK.
Two beats of silence, then --
133 INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAWN 133
Marco wakes up. Clear headed. Calm. Rosie is asleep
beside him on the bed. The television is off.
134 INT. BATHROOM - DAWN 134
Marco drinks water from the faucet, wipes his mouth. Stares
at himself in the mirror -- he looks like death warmed over.
Starts to smile ...
... but his eyes stray up to the half-open mirror of the
vanity -- reflecting, behind him, the bathroom wall: towel
racks, wall paper, a high VENT ... with a FAINT RED LED
JUMP CUT: MARCO
Standing on the edge of the tub, stretched out, face pressed
up to the vent, trying to see inside --
SUBJECTIVE: MARCO (B&W) - THROUGH THE VENT
Looking back at Marco, peering in. Slightly warped by the
lens. Freaking out.
RESUME - MARCO
He can just make out the shadow of a TINY VIDEO CAMERA,
wires snaking back into the ducting, micro-lens adjusting
automatically to focus.
He slips off the tub, nearly falls, catches himself --
135 INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - DAWN 135
Marco taping newspapers over all the heating vents --
INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - DAWN
Marco going through cupboard, drawers, closets, looking for
... what, exactly?
He doesn't know. His world is caving in. He pivots, looks
at Rosie, still sleeping.
INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - DAWN
Rosie's purse is dumped out on the table, and now Marco's
going through her suitcase.
He's dressed, now, even has his coat on.
Pulling out her clothing, discovering, at the bottom:
FILE FOLDERS, NOTES, REPORTS
Much of the same material that Eleanor Shaw showed Raymond.
Incriminating stuff about Marco, timetables, surveillance
photographs, psychiatric evaluations and
Microcassettes, neatly labelled with dates and hours ...
INTERCUT - SUBJECTIVE: SAME (B&W) - SURVEILLANCE
Rosie, rolling off the bed, sleepy, crossing to where Marco
is gathering the files --
What are you ... oh God.
Sees the hard look on Marco's face. Newspapers over all the
vents. Opens her mouth to explain but Marco SWINGS HARD,
and hits her -- she partially blocks it with her forearm --
backhands her onto the floor --
You're part of it.
-- then he's moving, out the door --
She leaps at him -- SHOVES him hard into the wall, and when
he whirls to shake her off, slips down and uses his weight
and momentum to toss Marco crashing halfway back across the
Now she's between him and the door.
Don't do this, Ben. It's not what you
How can you know what I think?
He tries to get past her again --
Rosie can't beat him, but she's extremely skilled -- Marco
gets stung twice by hard rights -- but whirls, all-defense,
an improvised rope-a-dope that gives him the opening he
-- he SMACKS Rosie sharply, stunning her -- and as she rocks
backward he flies out the door --
136 EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAWN 136
Marco bursts out of the doorway, into the grey light of
morning, and runs, the files fluttering under his arm.
137 OMITTED 137
138 INT. SKYBOOTH OF DELP'S LAB - DAY 138
A CARETAKER rattling keys impatiently behind him, Marco
stands looking down into the pit of the abandoned lab.
Delp and the monkeys are gone. Empty cages and unplugged
equipment are all that remain of Delp and his fear project.
The utter quiet is deafening.
139 EXT. NEW YORK STREETS - DAY 139
Marco moving, head down, eyes everywhere -- anybody could be
following him. Anybody could be watching him. Anybody
could be part of this.
PRELAP sound of a tape fast-forwarding and:
(audio surveillance tape)
You said you "loved" me ...
140 EXT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - ESTABLISHING 140
141 TIGHT - A MICROFICHE SCREEN 141
scrolling old newspapers in a BLUR.
... Not to scare you. Out of nowhere,
but more than once.
WHIR of rewinding audio --
142 INT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - DEEP IN THE STACKS - DAY 142
Marco deep in research, at a small table covered with books
and paper -- a crazy man's kind of chaos.
The file he stole from Rosie's is disemboweled across the
desktop. A library tape machine plays one of the
surveillance tapes he's stolen from Rosie's:
(bleeding through earphones)
What else did we talk about?
INTERCUT - MICROFICHE
stories flip past ...
Raymond Shaw. And about what happened to
you, after you were captured. Black
helicopters, secret laboratories, mind
drugs, mad scientists, shock-torture ...
You don't believe any of it.
It's crazy. It sounds crazy.
-- maybe that's what they want. Maybe
that's what they want.
INTERCUT - TAPE MACHINE
143 Marco pops out one tape, pushes in another. WHIR of the 143
tape rewinding again, then:
-- I watched Raymond Shaw kill someone.
I watched him kill Private Eddie Mavole.
Like it was nothing.
FB143 FLASHBACK: ROSIE'S APARTMENT FB143
Marco, on the bed, numb.
And I think they made me kill someone
too. One of my people. Kid named Bobby
Rosie puts her arms around him --
Or they want you to think that you did.
-- Marco doesn't react -- WHIR of audio fast-forward --
144 RESUME - LIBRARY 144
Marco takes his thumb off the shuttle button and --
... We were all hooked up to IV tubes and
wires and equipment -- heart monitors,
head monitors, electroshock -- and a lot
of stuff I've never seen before ...
... Finding, finally, an inside page of the SCIENCE &
TECHNOLOGY section of the Times, with the headline:
MANCHURIAN HOPES NEW IMPLANTS SAVE LIVES
... and a p.r. PHOTO of Managing Director David R. Donovan,
smiling, flanked by a TEAM OF SCIENTISTS. The caption only
mentions Donovan by name -- in the picture his hand is
extended, he's got a tiny implant device cupped in his palm.
Did he have a name?
Marco stares at the photograph.
PANNING TIGHT - ACROSS THE SCIENTISTS
in the b.g. of the photograph. HOLDING on one, half-hidden,
just slightly out of focus.
The doctor, Ben -- what was his name?
Can you remember?
A long beat. Marco racks his memory. Then --
Noyle. They called him Dr. Noyle.
PUSH in until Noyle is just a mass of pixels --
145 TIGHT - COMPUTER STATION - ANOTHER SECTION OF THE LIBRARY 145
A Google search. Marco types the name: NOYLE.
INTERCUT - COMPUTER SCREEN
A GOVERNMENT website:
SOUTH AFRICAN TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE
Thumbnail photos of "25 SCIENTISTS ACCUSED OF HUMAN
EXPERIMENTATION ON POLITICAL PRISONERS."
SCROLLING DOWN ... UNTIL a photo of Atticus Noyle is center-
screen. Smiling out at us.
CLICK: HEADLINES -- "Capetown U. Scientist Expelled: Alleged
CIA Ties" -- "Genome Researcher Sought for Questioning by
The Hague" --
ON MARCO -- energized by what he's seeing --
CLICK: SLIDE OVER NOYLE'S FACE -- key words like "genetic
memory enhancement," "behavioral modification" ... a
QUICKTIME VIDEO that Marco activates, and --
146 IN STREAMING VIDEO: NOYLE 146
His sanitized, early sales pitch, all digitized and degraded
-- an old web interview:
... we really can reinvent ourselves, you
know, by the remapping of the human
genome. Strengthen character, enhance
personality, not unlike tummy tucks and
breast augmentation. Generate
extraordinary abilities in math, music,
athletics. Tweak the sympathy gene,
boost self-confidence --
CLOSE - ON MARCO
staring, excited -- the freak from his nightmares is real --
-- broaden the very parameters of memory,
to offset the ravages of dementia -- or
virtually liberate an individual from the
limitations imposed by damaging previous
experiences -- literally freeing them
from the burden of their past ...
147 EXT. PENN STATION - DAY 147
Raining, hard. Marco hurrying toward the station entrance,
his research jammed under his arm, and in a grocery bag he's
Collides with a guy in a suit. Papers go everywhere --
Marco YELLS at the guy and scrambles to pick up his
documents, shoving people out of the way --
SERIES OF STILL SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS - SAME
Marco scrambling to get his stuff back together. He looks
like a crazy street person.
148 EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - CAPITOL HILL - DUSK 148
A sun throws yellow across the Mall, and the Senate Office
buildings are ribboned with shadows.
149 INT. SENATOR JORDAN'S OFFICE - DUSK 149
Jordan behind his desk, staring at a white business card
while a high-strung AIDE leans in, talking low:
I called the Pentagon. They told me he's
on medical leave.
The calling card is Marco's, from Army Intelligence. Jordan
flips it over. Marco has scrawled "DO YOU STILL WANT TO BE
Secret Service, they've got him on a
couple of their watch and observe lists.
Through a gap in the doorway, Jordan can SEE Marco sitting
in his outer office, bag of evidence at his feet, hunched
forward, staring at the floor.
I guess there's been some trouble with
this guy, involving Congressman Shaw.
At the mention of the Shaw name, Jordan looks up --
150 INT. SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DUSK 150
Jordan sits behind the table, all of Marco's documents and
evidence arranged tidily in front of him in meager piles,
Marco pacing, watching as Jordan finishes examining a thick
Atticus Noyle computer print out.
Nobody will believe this.
Nobody believed Watergate.
He sits down, opposite Jordan.
Or Oklahoma City, or the World Trade
Center. You wouldn't have believed
Oswald before Kennedy got shot.
On the advisory board of Manchurian-
Global, should they ever publish a list --
which they won't -- you would find former
Presidents, deposed Kings, retired Prime
Ministers, Ayatollahs, African War-Lords,
fallen Communist Dictators and an
assortment of the Fucking Rich, who are
distinguished from the merely Filthy Rich
by factors of billions.
He puts the Noyle file down, pushes everything away.
You bring me rumors and conjecture.
I started with nightmares, sir. Rumors
and conjecture are a giant leap forward.
Nightmares you've interpreted, using as
primary resources a) your spotty memory,
b) the internet -- sacred sanctuary of
idiots and nutters -- and c) random faces
and coincidences, and evidence you chewed
out of a man's back -- all neatly
stitched together with the common thread
of a powerful, well-connected private
equity fund -- who will plead ignorance,
and be shocked, shocked, to learn what
some of their subsidiary partners are
Sir, I don't give a rat's ass about
Manchurian Global! That's not why I'm
I can't touch them, I get that, I'm not
A cold silence. Marco stares at Jordan.
I just want to try and stop this one
thing -- this Raymond Shaw bomb -- from
Jordan nods again, slightly. Lost in thought.
And I'd be lying if I told you I hadn't
factored in huge that you've got a vested
personal, political, and patriotic
interest in how this shakes out.
151 OMITTED 151
A152 OMITTED A152
152 EXT. ELEANOR'S VIRGINIA MANSION - NIGHT 152
A limousine pulls up in front, followed by a car full of
Secret Service. Anderson floats out and opens the door for
153 INT. PRENTISS MANSION - NIGHT 153
An argument in progress as Raymond shrugs off his overcoat
into the hands of a SERVANT.
The low murmur of Jordan's voice, then INCREDULOUS LAUGHTER:
Lies. Fabrications. Fiction. You've
been waiting to do this to me for, what,
twenty years? Get out.
No, I'll wait until Raymond gets here and
we can all --
Get out of my house.
Raymond proceeds down the hallway to --
154 INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS 154
Raymond entering, closing the door behind him as Ellie
throws documents across the room at Jordan:
The man is insane, Tom -- full-blown
schizophrenia -- he's been stalking
Raymond -- if you dare to use this --
Now they see Raymond, under the imposing Andrew Wyeth
painting of Tyler Prentiss that dominates one whole wall of
the study, and Ellie stops.
Your bipolar buddy has been sharing his
dreams with Senator Jordan.
Raymond smiles -- it's terrifying -- the fragile, forced,
frigid smile of a man in pain.
Hello Senator. How's Jocie?
Jordan picks up a picture of Noyle and smoothes it onto the
desk for Raymond to see, as:
Can we please not go down that road?
Do you recognize this man?
His name is Atticus Noyle. He is a South
African physician, neuropsychiatric
scientist and mercenary -- someone our
CIA trained for covert mind warfare
against the Soviets in Aghanistan --
someone who has sold technology to and
done research for terrorist groups, and
rogue states. Major Marco claims that
this man --
-- brainwashed you --
-- In his dreams.
Sir, Ben Marco is sick. Delusional.
Nevertheless he's pulled from his mad hat
some remarkably lucid connections between
his dreams of your exploits in Kuwait,
and this Dr. Noyle, and the private
equity fund Manchurian Global --
Raymond frowns, looks from Jordan to Ellie.
-- your mother's primary political
benefactor for the past fifteen years.
Christ, Tom. They contribute to half the
Senate, for God's sake.
I don't understand.
At the time of Desert Storm, Dr. Atticus
Noyle was working under a research grant
from Manchurian Global. Your mother's
The color suddenly drains out of Ellie's face.
Rogue scientists. Mind control.
Manchurian Global. Your mother. You.
Connect the dots, Raymond. Possibly,
your mother's blind to them, because they
pay their way --
Possibly the Senator's motives are
colored by his desperation to get himself
back on the presidential ticket now that
the heavy lifting is done --
I don't -- I don't --
It's not about me. As far as I'm
concerned, this should never come out --
it would shred what little remains of the
fabric of our public trust -- think of
the nation --
I don't have the dreams.
He can't prove anything.
Everything you stand for is upside down!
If this were to come out, true or no, it
would be catastrophic for the campaign.
(beat, a threat?)
And it will come out.
What are you saying?
Silence. The question hangs there.
What do I do?
You withdraw. You bow out gracefully.
Personal reasons. An obscure illness.
Yield your spot on the ticket, go into
He glances coolly at Ellie --
... and then surrender yourself to
federal authorities who can help you
address the damage that may have been
inflicted on you.
-- and walks out. Raymond and Eleanor have hardly moved.
Sound of the front door opening, closing.
I feel sick. Christ. What have you done
Raymond, remember when --
NO, never mind -- don't bother. Don't
lie. Don't say anything. No more lies.
There are actual tears in Ellie's eyes. Raymond just stares
at her, coldly.
I can promise you that whatever you've
done, I will undo it.
I know -- I know, baby --
I never want to see you or speak to you
-- I mean it this time.
Raymond heads for the door --
Sergeant Shaw --
Raymond slows -- curious to be addressed like this -- sound
of the desert wind rises --
-- Sergeant Raymond Shaw --
He's turning -- the room coming alive -- light shifting,
intensifying -- that terrible vividness -- and the wall of
the zaghareet ...
EXTREMELY CLOSE ON - ELLIE
Raymond Prentiss Shaw --
155 INT. UNION STATION - WASHINGTON D.C. - DAWN 155
Marco jolts awake, as if from a bad dream, startled --
cramped on a bench, just another rumpled, weary traveler --
early morning commuters gliding past him like a fog.
156 EXT. CHESAPEAKE BAY - JORDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN 156
A lacy fog rising from the reeds on the shoreline as the
Senator drags his kayak from under the pilings of a
pristine, clapboard cottage to the edge of the water.
157 INT. JORDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN 157
The house is beautiful, everything perfect. FLOAT through
FINDING Jocie in a back bedroom, waking slowly in a huge
bed, rolling to look out the window and watch her father, in
his kayak, paddling away ...
158 INT. UNION STATION - WASHINGTON D.C. - DAWN 158
Marco grabs a coffee from off a Starbucks counter, picks up
his bag and heads toward the New York City line platform, to
catch his train --
159 EXT. CHESAPEAKE BAY - JORDAN'S KAYAK - DAY 159
The Senator rows with confidence, his bow cuts the glassy
surface of the bay, fog ripples away from him, dreamy.
Up ahead, he can see the ghost of his house. And a figure
on the shoreline.
It's me, sir.
stops paddling, and lets the kayak drift in. He's breaking
hard, sweat glistening on his face.
sloshes down into the water, wades out waist-deep --
Wait. Oh, don't do that, I can --
I came to apologize, sir.
-- the water must be freezing. What are
you doing? Raymond. Don't bother, I
Raymond catches the bow of the kayak, turns it.
I am too. But, your mother must --
With one motion, Raymond RIPS the two-blade paddle out of
Jordan's hand, and FLIPS the boat over --
I'm sorry, sir.
-- Jordan goes under, legs trapped in the kayak --
160 UNDER THE WATER - JORDAN 160
flailing -- trying to get out of the kayak, incapacitated by
the cold water --
161 INT. JORDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN 161
Jocie wanders, sleepy, into the main room, pulling on a
hooded sweatshirt -- and SEES, THROUGH THE BAY WINDOWS:
-- her father's upended kayak.
-- a figure in the water, as if trying to save him --
162 EXT. JORDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN 162
Jocie sprints down toward the water, screaming --
-- Raymond turns and sees her running toward him. For a
moment time stands still -- Jocie trying to process Raymond
Shaw in the water with her father, and Raymond trying to
process, through the curtain of his fractured consciousness,
leaps into the water, thinking she'll help with a rescue.
The cold hits her like a sledgehammer -- followed by the
realization Raymond's trying to drown her father --
Raymond, what are you doing?! No! Stop
it! Stop --!
She tries to shove Raymond away from the boat, but
turns, grabs her by the hood of her sweatshirt --
-- and whipsaws her out into the deeper water, shoving her
Jocelyn's hands claw at him, but he's stronger, and the
water has no effect on him.
She thrashes wildly ... and he looks down at her through the
water, hair flowing, utterly beautiful ... as if in a dream.
Jocelyn weakens ... succumbs ... her body floats away.
163 NEWS COVERAGE - LATER - SAME DAY (VIDEO) 163
TVA163Cold tapestry of images behind the MAJOR MEDIA ICON: TVA163
police, paramedics, bodies pulled from the water, Jordan's
TV163 MEDIA ICON TV163
... the five-term Senator -- and recent
front-runner for his party's vice
presidential nomination -- appears to
have accidentally drowned when his kayak
overturned near his Chesapeake Bay home.
Police say his daughter, Jocelyn, 35, may
have been trying to rescue Jordan when
she was, herself, overcome by the icy
164 CAMPAIGN COVERAGE 164
an impromptu stand-up with visibly-shaken presidential
candidate Arthur outside ARTHUR-SHAW campaign headquarters:
TV164 ARTHUR TV164
Horrible, horrible thing. Senator Jordan
was a statesman of the highest integrity.
Tom Jordan was a friend. A damn fine
man. A great American.
165 INT. PENN STATION - MANHATTAN - MARCO 165
staring numbly at the news report on a little portable t.v.
in a NEWS KIOSK --
166 INT. CAMPAIGN RALLY - DAY 166
SLOWING MOTION: the world a blur around Raymond as he walks
a gauntlet of reporters shouting questions: about policy,
about Jordan. Expressionless, he just keeps walking, but
his lips move --
-- "tragedy" -- "senseless" -- "great loss" --
167 EXT. GROUNDS OF ELLIE'S MANSION - DAY 167
Donovan walking beside Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw.
Whiting just behind them.
You trusted us to bring your son back to
you, and we deliver. We trusted you with
our technology -- and now you turn him
into a common hit man.
Oh, don't lecture me --
You didn't even ask us. You needed to
Tom Jordan was going to destroy
everything we've worked toward, and every
one of us along with it, and you want me
to call a meeting?
David, if Jordan had gone public --
In any endeavor, there are key players
and role players, and Raymond -- or you,
or me, for that matter -- I'm sorry -- we
are role players, with fixed values and
fixed agendas, that get weighed against
Ellie stops, looks at him.
You can tell yourself that as you go to
bed tonight, David, and I hope it helps
you wake up tomorrow with a clean
conscience -- but we are talking about my
son and the future of this country.
My father, Tyler Prentiss, never asked.
He just did what needed to be done.
168 INT. ROSIE'S COUSIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 168
Rosie asleep. PUSH IN RAPIDLY ... then a HAND comes down
hard and efficiently against her throat --
-- she wakes up, fighting for air --
How does the President die?
He sits on top of her, pinning her arms down. She struggles
to say something. Marco shakes his head.
When. Where. How.
He releases her throat, and she gasps for air --
I'm gonna stop this. We'll go to the
Feds. You and me. And tell them a
Who'll -- believe --
I don't know. I don't care any more.
It's all I have.
Rosie bucks -- gets a hand free -- SLUGS, Marco, and they
tumble off the bed in a tangle of blankets and limbs --
comes up holding a 9 mm revolver to Marco's forehead.
I am the Feds.
She coughs. Marco stares at her, dumbfounded.
We've been watching you, trying to sort
this out. I mean, it's either you're
telling it straight and we've all got
something big-time to worry about, or
you're crazy and dangerous -- either way
we've had to keep you on a short leash,
'cuz if we lock you up we'll never know.
And we can't tell anybody because we
don't know how deep this river runs.
If there is a river.
(off his expression)
You got away from me.
Raymond Shaw murdered Senator Jordan and
(shaking her head)
Oh Ben. The thing is? I want to believe
you. God help me, Ben, I do.
-- he's a time bomb, ticking --
Everybody else wants you junked up on
Thorazine and just not a problem any
I am clearer on this than I've ever been.
It's rich guys, funding bad science, to
put a sleeper in the White House --
Listen to yourself. You're a poster boy
for paranoid fantasies.
Beat. Silence, broken only by their breathing.
I screwed up. Jordan was my trump card,
and I screwed it up.
Either help me, or shoot me, Rosie.
There's no middle ground anymore.
He gets up -- Rosie's not going to shoot him --
SMASH CUT TO:
169 NOYLE 169
Raymond -- Raymond --
DREAMSCAPE - AS BEFORE
Raymond hands a service revolver past Noyle, to
MARCO -- who primes it, aims --
Captain Marco, would you please shoot
Private Baker so we can move on?
-- MARCO SHOOTS BAKER IN THE FOREHEAD --
170 INT. LIMOUSINE - MORNING 170
Raymond awakens with a startled about, face flushed,
sweating. Terrified --
-- Raymond finds himself in the back seat of his limo, his
campaign aide Mirella, her assistant, and Anderson, all
startled and shouting too --
Yeah. Yes. Bad dream.
We've arrived, Congressman.
Raymond sits up.
171 EXT. P.S. 16 - WESTCHESTER - DAY 171
Raymond emerges to cameras and fanfare -- it's election day,
and he's going to vote.
Anderson and other agents clear a path up the steps into the
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL VOTING SITE. Reporters shout questions
that Raymond just answers with his professional smile.
172 INT. P.S. 16 - GYMNASIUM - DAY 172
A temporary polling place. Flags, tables, not too crowded.
VOTERS stepping out of the way. POLL VOLUNTEERS pressing in
to shake hands and wish Raymond Shaw good luck. And
on the edge. She badges Anderson, and talks to him. He
nods, moves over and talks quietly to Raymond as Raymond
signs his name in the voter registration log.
Then lets Rosie guide him to a booth on the end --
173 INT. VOTING BOOTH - RAYMOND 173
pulls the giant lever, the curtains close, finds --
A NOTE -- folded, taped to the machine.
RAYMOND -- opens it, reads it.
VOTING BOOTH - MOMENTS LATER
the curtain opens and Raymond steps out, smiling again.
Cameras flash, video crews wave boom mikes, expecting a
I was on the fence when I walked in there
... but then I saw my name on the ballot
and I knew what I had to do.
Laughter. He whispers to a poll volunteer, and she points
him down a hallway --
174 INT. P.S. 16 - CORRIDOR 174
Raymond, Rosie and his Secret Service detail -- Rosie leads
them to a doorway, holds it open for Raymond, but puts her
hand lightly on Anderson's chest when he starts to go in to
sweep the room --
175 INT. P.S. 16 - SPECIAL ED. ROOM - DAY 175
Small, and private. Raymond turns on the light. Marco is
in the corner, waiting. His Noyle File in one hand.
How's your back?
Raymond locks the door, turns, takes in the room: tiny
chairs and tables, walls covered with kids' drawings, and
nearly every object in the room named and labelled with 3x5
I've been having the dreams, Ben.
Good? They're inside my head. They got
inside, the way you said they would --
We'll get 'em out.
They're all ... twisted together -- and I
dream things, terrible things, that can't
possibly have happened. I'm gone, Ben --
I'm losing it --
No -- you could have had me locked up --
and you didn't. That's a sign.
That they don't control everything. We
can fight it. I mean -- I'm still out
here because you decided I should be --
which means there's a part they can't get
to, deep inside -- the part where the
truth is, and they can't touch us there.
That's what we need to tap into, Raymond,
that's the part where, you and me, we're
gonna take them out.
-- and the Senator.
Did I do it?
I think so, yeah.
I don't remember. I don't remember it.
Raymond looks up at Ben. Emotionless. Uncomprehending.
176 INTERCUT - CORRIDOR - ROSIE AND ANDERSON 176
down the hallway, standing sentinel. Anderson checks his
watch, glances uncomfortably back at the door -- then at
Rosie, who just stares him down.
177 RESUME - SPECIAL ED. ROOM - RAYMOND 177
Tears run down his face, but his voice is normal, he stays
expressionless. He rubs his eyes with the heel of his hand.
I'm all inside-out.
KNOCKING on the door.
Just a minute.
Raymond's cell phone RINGS.
All I've ever done is what I was supposed
to do. What I was told to do --
Raymond -- focus --
-- What others want me to do.
Did they tell you what they want you to
do, Ray? We gotta know what's gonna
happen, we gotta know when's it gonna
happen -- you can help me do this --
You don't think they saw this coming?
You don't think they factored you in?
(matter of fact)
I need to die, Ben.
What? No -- no, man, they've got big
plans for you --
I'm the enemy, Major Marco, and the only
way to stop me is to kill me. I thought
you were smarter than this.
I can get the Feds, the police. Come on,
Ray -- fight it --
Are we friends?
Raymond, you gotta work with me here --
Raymond takes the ringing phone from his inside pocket, and
checks the number of who's calling.
I want to believe we're friends.
Raymond, stay focused. The irrefutable
fact is that Jocie was a mistake, and
we're gonna make 'em pay for it.
I dream you, Ben. You kill Private
(into the phone, pleasant:)
What are you talking about?
(into the phone)
A class BELL RINGS --
178 INTERCUT - CORRIDOR - DAY 178
Students flood the hallway -- Laurent Tokar walks right past
Rosie and Anderson, heading toward the special ed room --
179 RESUME - THE SPECIAL ED ROOM 179
(into the phone)
Yes, he's right here.
Raymond extends the phone to Marco.
She wants you.
Marco hesitates. Me? But takes the receiver --
180 INTERCUT - ELLIE'S PLAZA HOTEL SUITE - MORNING 180
on the phone in her lavish room:
Is this Major Marco?
Yes it is, Senator.
-- Major Bennett Marco --
Marco reacting quizzically -- sound of the distant windstorm
EXTREME CLOSE UP - MARCO - HIS EAR -- at the phone:
MARCO'S EYES flicker to Raymond's eyes --
Bennett Ezekiel Marco --
-- Marco's senses are quickening -- the light literally
changing around him -- that terrible LUMINOSITY -- as --
SOUND of fabric, in the wind -- the SANDSTORM RAGING --
Marco's eyes shining now, hyper-alert -- a warrior's eyes --
181 INT. P.S. 16 - CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER 181
The happy chaos of screaming kids. Raymond emerges,
smiling. Surrounded immediately by Anderson and his secret
service detail, and escorted out of the building.
fights through the throng of students --
-- to the office door. Now it's locked. She bangs on it --
KICKS it open --
182 INT. SPECIAL ED. OFFICE - DAY - ROSIE 182
Empty. Marco gone. The Noyle File lies open -- and empty --
on the floor. She rushes through a connecting door --
183 INT. AUDITORIUM - CONTINUOUS 183
-- third-grade students loud, happy, rehearsing a patriotic
"Abe Lincoln" election day skit -- no Marco here -- she's
lost him --
184 INT. SPECIAL ED. OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 184
Rosie comes back through, out into the hallway and stands,
in the river of children -- she's lost Ben --
185 EXT. P.S. 16 - FRONT STEPS - DAY (VIDEO) 185
TVA185News footage of Raymond emerging from voting, waving, and TVA185
heading back to his car --
TV185 NEWSCASTER #6 TV185
Candidates made ritual trips to the
voting booths today ...
186 EXT. ANOTHER POLLING PLACE (VIDEO) 186
TVA186SIMILAR footage of Arthur emerging, waving to the cameras.TVA186
TV186 NEWSCASTER #6 TV186
... Governor Arthur, casting his ballot
in North Platte, will spend election
night in the Big Apple, with running-mate
Raymond Shaw ...
PULL SLOWLY BACK:
187 EXT. THE PLAZA - LATE AFTERNOON 187
SWOOPING ACROSS on an entrance jammed with cabs and
limousines ... then RISE UP --
-- to the WINDOW of a suite high above the street, where
sunlight still lingers on the glass, shimmering gold, and
PUSH IN --
188 INT. PLAZA HOTEL SUITE - LATE AFTERNOON 188
TV188 A beautiful suit laid out on the king-size bed ... shoes TV188
... the television ON, but silent: network election night
coverage ... numbers flashing. Arthur/Shaw are exit poll
winners in Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New
The bullet will pass over your shoulder,
just missing your head on the way to its
189 INT. BEDROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 189
where Raymond sits, stripped to the waist, watching the
mirror as his mother looms over him, in a beautiful Chinese
silk dress, combing his damp hair.
... because, of course, the assassin --
the deranged, obsessed, tragically
paranoid, lone gunman -- is trying to
The Major is an excellent marksman.
She touches his bare shoulder, leaves her hand there.
But what will happen to him?
The assassin always dies, baby. It's
necessary for the national healing.
She takes his shirt off a hanger, he stands up, and she
starts to dress him --
I'm sure you will never entirely
comprehend this, darling, and I know, the
way you are right now, this is like
trying to have a whimpered conversation
with someone on a distant star ... but it
must be said, Raymond -- I did this for
you -- so that you could have what I
could not, what your father didn't want --
what your grandfather dared to dream
She runs her hands through his hair. Tears fill her eyes.
-- when you ran away to join the Army,
after that girl, after Jocie -- when you
swore you'd never speak to me again, I
felt your father's shadow pass across us,
and I couldn't let him run you the way
he ruined himself.
That's when Mark Whiting came to me with
talk of extraordinary scientific
breakthroughs ... Attitude adjustment ...
Reconciliation ... Greatness. So I let
them take you, and change you. Not too
much. Not so much that you'd notice.
Just enough to bring you back to me.
And look what you have, now! Look how
far we've come! It's working, darling --
they think they own you, but they are
very, very wrong. You're not something
they can buy and sell, Raymond, not for
any price -- we're one, and there'll be
no stopping us now, will there? We're
going to save this country in the hour of
its greatest need.
Raymond is dazzled by Eddie's radiance.
She straightens his tie. Her hands caress her son's
How much you look like my father, now --
you have his hands, and you hold your
head in the same proud way. And when you
smile it's like I'm a little girl again,
(impulsively kisses him)
When you smile -- when you smile --
Raymond moves to her -- their embrace is all consuming --
190 INT. REGENT WALL STREET - GRAND BALLROOM - DUSK 190
A DIZZYING OVERHEAD SHOT, slowly twisting: campaign
volunteers milling through empty chairs, dozens of t.v.
monitors glow with early election coverage, a STAGE BAND
warming up, bass thumping, the room festooned with "SECURE
TOMORROW" banners, and --
TWO VAST FLOOR-TO-CEILING, VIRTUAL WALL-TO-WALL SCREENS,
specially installed for the occasion, define the entire east
and west walls of the ballroom. They glow pure blue, as if
191 INT. DISUSED PROJECTION BOOTH - HIGH ABOVE THE FLOOR 191
A LAMINATED ALL-ACCESS SECURITY BADGE dangles from
Anderson's neck as he pushes the last screw back into a
cooling vent along the wall.
192 INT. SERVICE CORRIDOR 192
Anderson emerges as another SECRET SERVICE AGENT comes down
the hallway --
He closes the lighting room door.
193 OMITTED 193
194 OMITTED 194
195 INT. GRAND BALLROOM - ON THE GIANT SCREEN, ABOVE THE STAGE 195
remote-cam images of the empty stage and podium blink to
life, enormous, finding focus, and --
AT THE BACK OF THE BALLROOM - ENGINEERING CONSOLE
a DIRECTOR and a team of TECH GUYS murmur in headsets,
commanding a matrix of monitors, control panels and mixing
boards. ON ALL THE SCREENS: different views of the empty
stage, from various cameras.
196 ANOTHER ALL-ACCESS SECURITY BADGE 196
just like Anderson's. PAN UP:
MARCO -- resplendent in dress uniform, hair trimmed, a man
reborn. He looks so rejuvenated, for a moment even we don't
INT. SERVICE HALLWAY - MARCO
steps over television cables and power lines, follows their
drunken path to the end of a narrow corridor --
Marco slips in and out of darkness. Passing no one. NOISE
echoing insanely from the ballroom.
197 INT. DISUSED PROJECTION BOOTH 197
Marco enters, closes the door. Takes his coat off and folds
it neatly and puts it on the floor. FOLLOW HIM as he stoops
to find a HIGH-TECH METAL CASE hidden in the air vent ...
... he opens it, revealing a disassembled SNIPER RIFLE,
stereo RANGEFINDER EYEPIECE, live rounds, sandbag, tripod
and a SIDEARM ...
... he turns toward the back of a MASSIVE WALL-GRID of LIGHT
FIXTURES facing outward to the auditorium, hot with RED-
He walks to the grid and peers through it --
198 INT. BALLROOM - STAGE - A PROCESSION OF CAMPAIGN WORKERS 198
walks out of the back of the stage, a VIDEO A.D. with a
headset leading them, backpedaling, barking instructions
lost in the general din.
They all hold big, hand-printed NAME CARDS: Gov. Arthur's
aide, TATUM (GQ dreadlocks) clowns around with his "Pres.
Arthur" placard. Other p.a.'s and assistants hold: "First
Lady Arthur", "Arthur Kids", "Friends of Bob". Mirella
Freeman has her "V.P. Shaw"; Gillespie, trying to look
amused (but not very) his "Sen. Shaw/Veep's Mom" sign.
BACK OF THE ROOM - ENGINEERING CONSOLE
The Director speaks into his headset, his voice broadcast
over the house speakers:
Okay. Crowd cheering. Much elation.
The president moves to his mark --
199 OMITTED 199
200 OMITTED 200
201 OMITTED 201
202 OMITTED 202
203 OMITTED 203
204 OMITTED 204
205 OMITTED 205
206 FLURRY OF IMAGES (VIDEO) 206
Overlapping news reports:
TV206 NEWSCASTERS (#7/#8/#9) TV206
CBS/ABC/CNN/FOX project Robert Arthur and
Raymond Shaw to be the next President and
Vice President of/have won the
presidential election/have been elected
by a landslide --
207 INT. REGENT WALL STREET BALLROOM - NIGHT 207
Bedlam. Packed now with celebrants. CONFETTI rains down,
the CHEERING overpowers even the rock and roll band as it
strikes up a post-punk rendition of "Yankee Doodle."
208 INT. SECURITY COMMAND CENTER - NIGHT 208
TWO DOZEN MONITORS show different angles of the entrance,
corridors, security lanes, but --
is off to one side with a couple other Feds and a SECURITY
GUY, reviewing the entry tapes from earlier --
ON THE SURVEILLANCE MONITOR
people whoosh through gates in digitized triple time --
-- there's Marco. The image slows. Marco moves herky-jerky
through the security station, stop-action. Rosie pretends
she's interested in somebody else -- then:
The tape resumes triple-time --
209 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO 209
Deliberately hand-feeding live rounds of ammo into his rifle
-- CLICK, CLICK, CLICK --
-- he's ready.
210 OMITTED 210
211 INT. REGENT WALL STREET BALLROOM - ON THE STAGE 211
Arthur and Shaw and their entourage explode victorious from
the back, just like in the rehearsal. ICONIC SAMPLING of
"regular Americans" in full-dress uniform accompany the
winners: a soldier, a sailor, a fireman, a marine, a
policeman, a fighter pilot, everybody waving, smiling.
THE CROWD -- ecstatic.
A tiny island of worry in a sea of celebration. The huge
light grids ripple with patriotic bunting effects.
She scans the crowd, the perimeter, the balconies ...
ON THE GIANT SCREEN, BEHIND THE STAGE
an ENORMOUS close-up of Arthur --
THE TWO COLOSSAL WALL-TO-WALL SCREENS
are alive with soaring, IMAX-style postcard footage of
Americana: Monument Valley, Pike's Peak, Columbia River,
golden waving fields of wheat -- city skylines -- perfect
beaches -- majestic off-shore oil rigs -- galloping herds of
buffalo -- the breathtaking grandeur of American nature,
American achievements --
INTERCUT - MONITORS
Various angles on-stage of Arthur, his wife, his family,
close and loose --
212 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE - SAME TIME 212
Crosshairs finding, locking on Arthur -- who is waving, and
slowing to shake on-stage supports' hands --
213 BALLROOM FLOOR - ROSIE 213
staring up at the left-side lighting grid ... where she
thinks she saw movement. As it blinks OFF, and then ON
again in a different pattern, there's the SILHOUETTE of
A figure behind the grid. Marco? She's sure of it --
-- and she's moving, pushing her way toward an exit, pulling
a tiny walkie-talkie from her pocket and yelling into it --
214 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE: 214
Rock-steady on Arthur and his hundred-watt smile, as he now
separates from the procession and moves to his center stage
mark -- just like in the rehearsal.
The crowd begins to CHANT.
215 ON THE STAGE - RAYMOND 215
Calm and focused. Smiling. His mother leans close,
whispers something --
216 INT. SERVICE HALLWAY - BEHIND THE BALLROOM - NIGHT 216
Rosie joined in stride by Feds from the command center --
SOUND of the celebration booms through the building --
217 INT. STAIRWELL 217
Rosie leads the way, two steps at a time, pulling her gun
from her holster and checking the clip --
218 MARCO'S EYE 218
clear and unwavering -- his pupil tightening as --
219 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE 219
Arthur turns to Raymond and gestures --
220 ON THE STAGE - ELLIE 220
Her eyes shining as Raymond steps forward -- the ROAR of the
221 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO 221
He slips his finger through the trigger guard --
222 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE 222
Cross-hairs on Arthur. But a DARK BLUR suddenly passes in
front of Arthur, momentarily ECLIPSING Marco's view --
223 INT. BALLROOM - ENGINEERING CONSOLE - SAME TIME 223
A few of the camera monitors have empty frames, waiting for
Raymond to arrive, but --
Dammit, Shaw missed his first position --
Find him -- go with him --
ON THE STAGE - SAME TIME
Raymond has joined Arthur center-stage, instead of moving to
the rehearsed first mark --
224 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO 224
his finger motionless inside the trigger guard --
225 THROUGH THE SCOPE: ARTHUR AND RAYMOND 225
But Raymond is blocking Arthur now --
226 CLOSE ON - MARCO 226
Frowning. Raymond has made Marco's shot impossible -- kill
Arthur, and he kills Raymond too.
227 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO 227
coming off the eyepiece of the scope.
FB227 OMITTED FB227
228 He wipes sweat out of his eyes. Blinks. 228
229 ON STAGE - ELLIE - SAME TIME 229
Appalled at Raymond's departure from the plan.
230 OMITTED 230
231 OMITTED 231
FB231 OMITTED FB231
232 OMITTED 232
233 OMITTED 233
234 ON THE GIANT SCREEN, ABOVE THE STAGE 234
A sprawling hero shot of MT. RUSHMORE, featuring the
traditional quartet, plus stony CGI additions of PRESIDENT-
ELECT ARTHUR, and RAYMOND PRENTISS SHAW.
BALLROOM - ENGINEERING CONSOLE
Now music --
MUSIC starts: that lush, full orchestral rendition of "Here
Comes the Sun" that sweeps through the ballroom.
ABOVE THE BALLROOM - LIGHTING GRIDS
change to rippling American Flags --
235 INT. BALLROOM - SAME TIME 235
Music swelling, the room exploding with color and
celebration, lights flaring, side walls alive with iconic
American images --
The raucous crowd starting to CLAP in rhythm -- people
CROONING along with the song's chorus, as --
ON STAGE - A JUBILATION TABLEAU
people waving, hugging dancing -- more super-insiders
joining the throng onstage, shaking hands, high-fiving --
RAYMOND PRENTISS SHAW
waving, staring up into the lights ... searching. Finds the
spot he's been looking for --
A236 PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO A236
raising his gun again.
B236 RESUME - STAGE - RAYMOND B236
turns and smiles at his mother. Moves toward her --
INTERCUT - VARIOUS MONITORS - SAME TIME
-- Ellie, stunned -- painfully aware that the eyes of the
world are on her -- and Raymond moving, taking his mother's
hands -- inviting her to dance.
C236 PROJECTION BOOTH - MARCO C236
places his eye to the scope --
D236 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE - ARTHUR D236
Marco finds him -- adjusts the crosshairs --
236 INT. SERVICE HALLWAY - SAME TIME 236
Rosie and the Feds sprint toward Marco's projection booth --
237 ON STAGE - RAYMOND AND ELLIE 237
as Ellie surrenders to the moment, and enters Raymond's arms
-- what else can she do? -- this is her son, her dream is
halfway there ... and the President can die another day.
They swirl off to the music --
238 THROUGH MARCO'S SCOPE - ARTHUR 238
perfectly centered in Marco's sights, but then --
-- Raymond and Ellie glide in front of Marco's target --
lingering in Marco's eyeline, Raymond stares up into the
scope -- eyes trusting, urging, as if he's saying: now --
-- then ARTHUR IS ALONE AGAIN, in the center of the
crosshairs, waving and grinning at the ROARING CROWD like a
man who's just been elected President, but --
-- MARCO's crosshairs SWING OVER, finding RAYMOND AND ELLIE
239 STAGE - ON ELLIE - SAME TIME 239
looking into Raymond's eyes ... follows his gaze up into the
dazzling glare of the stage lights -- first shadow of doubt
crawling across her --
240 THROUGH THE SCOPE - ELLIE AND RAYMOND 240
They're right in Marco's cross-hairs.
A241 MARCO A241
Committed. Almost serene.
241 ELLIE 241
Eyes wide -- realizing too late --
242 INTERCUT - MARCO 242
Pulls the trigger. BAM BAM BAM.
Raymond and his mother are kicked back into the horrified
celebrants on the stage --
-- the same bullets ripping through both of them --
-- toppling together, dead before they hit the ground --
243 INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - SAME TIME 243
The Feds KICK the door in --
calmly putting a clip into the handgun from his kit --
starting to raise it --
She shoots him.
244 WIDE - THE BALLROOM - NIGHT 244
BALLOONS cascade down on a nearly black-and-white tableau of
pandemonium and chaos, against the soaring wall-to-wall
images of America's greatness displayed on the IMAX screens.
Screaming and shouting. President-elect Arthur vanishing in
a phalanx of Secret Service. VIDEO CREWS pressing in on the
stage, morbidly curious ...
... and a strange clearing around the bodies of Raymond and
Eleanor Shaw, crumpled and bloody ...
... still locked in their embrace.
A245 INTERCUT - IMPRESSIONS OF NEWS FOOTAGE - ON A MONITOR A245
TVA245Crowds pressed to the Regent rear entrance -- frantic copsTVA245
clearing the way for BODY BAGS emerging on stretchers, one,
two ... three -- this third one guided and fiercely attended
by Rosie through the confusion -- shoved into a waiting
morgue truck ... WE ARE:
245 INT. A HUGE OFFICE SOMEWHERE - NIGHT 245
TV245 Donovan stands in front of a massive flat-screen televisionTV245
watching the mayhem at the Regent Wall Street ballroom.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL: a numb collection of horrified
Manchurian Global executive office employees, watching in
silence ... a visibly shaken Whiting, ashen-faced, head in
his hands, eyes red with tears, and Johnston, stunned,
Jesus. Jesus H. Christ ... Jesus H.
TIGHTEN ON DONOVAN. Expressionless, except for a cryptic
frown. He raises his arm and uses a remote to kill the
SCREEN GOES BLACK.
246 OMITTED 246
247 OMITTED 247
248 A VIDEO STILL FRAME MATERIALIZES 248
flickering on. The SECURITY FOOTAGE of Marco entering the
Regent Wall Street hotel. His face turned away.
Marco turning toward us. His FACE becoming artificially
highlighted, digitized -- MORPHED. ZOOM IN as his features
BEGIN TO CHANGE. Non-descript. New features emerging.
Caucasian. Not Marco. CLICKING of a keyboard, and --
ROSIE'S REFLECTION -- becomes visible across the screen of
THE VIDEO MONITOR on which the security footage flickers.
249 INT. VIDEO CGI BOOTH 249
Where an ENGINEER works keyboard and mouse, digitally
altering the footage of Marco is Rosie watches, intently,
from just behind him.
Further back in the same room ... another senior FEDERAL
AGENT, Special Agent VOLK, from Marco's interrogation ...
and Colonel Garret leans against the far wall, arms folded,
MEDIA ICON (V.O.)
... the FBI today released security
footage of the assassin of Raymond and
Eleanor Prentiss Shaw entering the hotel
two hours before the fatal shooting ...
The Engineer finishes what he's doing, resets the tape and
now it begins to PLAY again, IN REAL TIME -- and we watch a
white man in uniform go through security, as:
250 NETWORK NEWSCAST (VIDEO) 250
The footage we've just seen playing behind:
TV250 MEDIA ICON TV250
... Authorities say that they have no
further information about the identity of
the gunman, except that he was a white
male, perhaps 30 years of age, and not a
member of the armed forces.
The tragic deaths of the incumbent vice
president and his Senator mother mark the
end of a family dynasty that has
dominated American politics for more than
fifty years. The mother and the son,
polar opposites on myriad issues,
nevertheless managed to promise a "one
plus one equals ten" kind of equation to
many Americans; the hopeful, heady notion
that these two somehow comprised a united
vision of stunning, almost revolutionary
breadth and depth ... a combined
potential far greater than its parts ...
PUSH PAST her, TIGHTEN IN on the image of the lone gunman
and the image explodes into pixels accompanied by --
-- the rising SOUND of the BLADES OF A HELICOPTER, under:
... President-elect Arthur has vowed to
bring to justice whatever nation -- or
nations -- are responsible. Still
reeling from the recent tragic loss of
Senator Thomas Jordan, Congress has
already announced a fresh investigation
into Jordan's death, in an effort to
learn if it is in any way related to ...
251 EXT. OCEAN - DAY 251
WE ARE JETTING LOW and impossibly fast across whitecapped
azure water, toward crumbled ruins of a long-abandoned
village on an empty beach -- we remember it vividly from
Marco's memory -- arriving to slowly SPIN and hover over the
remnants of an ancient caravansary:
252 EXT. DESERT ISLAND BEACHFRONT - ARABIAN SEA - DAY 252
HIGH ANGLE, DOWN on Marco, moving across the intricate, sun-
bleached tile work we remember from Noyle's lab.
Dissipated trace of a scaffolding superstructure inside
crumbling ruins ...
You don't develop a technology like that
and waste it on two guys.
He looks to Rosie, who stands in an archway. There are
SOLDIERS here, with weapons -- could be here to guard Marco.
Could be here to protect him.
We know that.
Marco looks past her, to the water, which stretches out from
here, as if to forever.
I remember running.
His arm is in a simple sling. He moves like a man who's
been shot, and not quite recovered -- moves past Rosie, out
of the broken-down ruins ...
I had to get out where the sky was.
... Rosie motions the soldiers to stay back, follows him by
I had to get to the water.
PULL BACK as they walk down the beach to the sea. A few
tumble-down buildings are all that remains of an ancient
I thought: if I can just get to the
water, everything will be okay.
Marco approaches the water's edge, staring out at the
Nothing but water as far as the eye can see.
PULL BACK. And back. And back ...