My name is H. I. McDunnough...
With horizontal hatch lines.
...Call me Hi.
A disheveled young man in a gaily colored Hawaiian shirt is
launched into frame by someone offscreen.
He holds a printed paddle that reads "NO. 1468-6 NOV. 29
The hatch marks on the wall behind him are apparently height
...The first time I met Ed was in
the county lock-up in Tempe,
As his picture is taken.
On the paddle: "NOV. 29 79."
...a day I'll never forget.
A bellowing male voice from offscreen:
Don't forget the profile, Ed!
ANGLE ON THE STILL CAMERA
It is mounted on a tripod. A pretty young woman in a severe
police uniform peers out from behind it.
Turn to the right.
What kind of name is Ed for a pretty
thing like you?
Short for Edwinna. Turn to the right!
HI obliges, but still looks at Ed out of the corner of his
You're a flower, you are. Just a
little desert flower.
On his eye-skewed profile.
Lemme know how those come out.
LOW ANGLE CELL BLOCK CORRIDOR
As Hi is escorted away from the camera toward his cell.
At the far end of the corridor a huge con is sluggishly
mopping the floor.
I was in for writing hot checks which,
when businessmen do it, is called an
overdraft. I'm not complainin', mind
you; just sayin' there ain't no
pancake so thin it ain't got two
sides. Now prison life is very
structured - more than most people
HI'S POV of the MOPPING CON, tracking as he approaches, and
the Mopping Con's POV of Hi as Hi approaches.
...But there's a spirit of camaraderie
that exists between the men, like
you find only in combat maybe...
The Mopping Con snarls as Hi passes:
...or on a pro ball club in the heat
of a pennant drive.
A ballplayer connects - THWOCK - for a home run and the crowd
Panning a circle of men who sit facing each other in folding
chairs. The pan starts on Hi.
In an effort to better ourselves we
were forced to meet with a counselor
who tried to help us figure out why
we were the way we were...
At this point the pan has reached the COUNSELOR, an earnest,
bearded young man who straddles a folding chair with his
arms folded over its back.
He is addressing one of the Cons:
Why do you use the word "trapped"?
CLOSEUP BLACK CON
The huge muscle-bound black man with a shaved head is knitting
his brow in consternation.
Why do you say you feel "trapped" in
a man's body?
He bites his lip, thinking; then, in a resonant bass voice:
...Well, sometimes I get the menstrual
cramps real hard.
PAROLE MEETING ROOM
Three PAROLE OFFICERS - two men and a woman - face Hi across
Have you learned anything, Hi?
Yessir, you bet.
You wouldn't lie to us, would you
No ma'am, hope to say.
EXT. 7-ELEVEN NIGHT
A beat-up Chevy pulls into the all-night store's empty parking
I tried to stand up and fly straight,
but it wasn't easy with that sumbitch
Reagan in the White House...
Hi is getting out of the Chevy in a Hawaiian shirt, holding
a pump-action shotgun.
...I dunno, they say he's a decent
He primes the shotgun - WHOOSH - CLACK - and heads for the
...maybe his advisers are confused.
Full-face exposure of Hi once again in front of the mug-shot
Turn to the right!
Hi obliges but shoots sympathetic glances at Ed who is
obviously upset, wiping away tears and snuffling behind the
What's the matter, Ed?
My fai-ants left me.
She said her fiancée had run off
with a student cosmetologist who
knew how to ply her feminine wiles.
On Hi's profile. He turns back to Ed.
Don't forget his phone call, Ed!
You tell him I think he's a damn
fool, Ed. You tell him I said so -
H.I. McDunnough. And if he wants to
discuss it he knows where to find
As another police officer starts to lead him away:
...in the Maricopa County Maximum
Security Correctional Facility for
CLOSE ON ED
Looking up through her tears as Hi is led away.
...State Farm Road Number Thirty-
one; Tempe, Arizona...
BACK TO HI
Struggling to call back over his shoulder as he is firmly
led out the door.
...I'll be waiting!
The door slams.
LOW ANGLE CELL BLOCK CORRIDOR
As Hi is once again escorted toward his cell.
The Mopping Con is now in the middle-background, having worked
his way about halfway up the corridor since last time we saw
I can't say I was happy to be back
inside, but the flood of familiar
sights, sounds and faces almost made
it feel like a homecoming.
CLOSE ON MOPPING CON
As Hi passes.
Group is meeting again.
Most men your age, Hi, are getting
married and raising up a family.
They wouldn't accept prison as a
Hi looks sheepish.
...Would any of you men care to
Two convicts sitting next to each other, GALE and EVELLE,
appear to be friends.
But sometimes your career gotta come
Work is what's kept us happy.
ANGRY BLACK CON
Yeah, but Doc Schwartz is sayin' you
gotta accept responsibilities. I
mean I'm proud to say I got a
HIGH ANGLE CELL
Looking down from the ceiling. In the foreground, lying on
the top bunk, hands clasped behind his head as he stares off
into space is MOSES. Moses is a gnarled, elderly black con
with wire-rimmed spectacles. On the lower bunk, also with
hands clasped behind his head and staring off at the same
spot in space, is Hi.
I tried to sort through what the Doc
had said, but prison ain't the easiest
place to think.
An' when they was no meat we ate
fowl. An' when they was no fowl we
ate crawdad. An' when they was no
crawdad to be foun', we ate San'.
You ate what?
We ate San'.
You ate sand?!
PAROLE BOARD ROOM
Hi faces the same three PAROLE OFFICERS across the same table.
Well Boy, you done served your twenty
munce, and seeing as you never use
live ammo, we got no choice but to
return you to society.
These doors goan swing wide.
I didn't want to hurt anyone, Sir.
Hi, we respect that.
But you're just hurtin' yourself
with this rambunctious behavior.
I know that, sir.
Of a 7-Eleven parking lot, at night, deserted except for
Hi's car which sits untended, its engine rumbling.
Now I don't know how you come down
on the incarceration question...
Hi backpedals into frame with a shotgun and a bag of cash.
...whether it's for rehabilitation
He spins and grabs his car-door handle. Locked. He tries the
back door. Locked.
...But I was beginning to think...
As we hear the wail of an approaching siren, Hi takes it on
the heel and toe.
...that revenge is the only argument
makes any sense.
On Hi against the mug-shot wall.
Turn to the right!
Don't forget his latents, Ed!
CLOSE ON HI'S HAND
We see his right hand being efficiently manipulated by Ed's
two hands: She is rolling each of his inked fingers into the
appropriate space on an exemplar sheet.
Hear about the paddy-wagon collided
with the segment mixer, Ed? Twelve
hardened criminals escaped.
Ed's hand lingers on top of his. Hi's other hand enters to
rest on top of hers.
Got a new beau?
No, Hi, I sure don't.
Hi slips a ring off his own finger and slides it onto Ed's.
Don't worry, I paid for it.
LOW ANGLE CELL BLOCK CORRIDOR
The surly Mopping Con has now worked his way up to the
Hi is being escorted past him to his cell.
They say that absence makes the heart
grow fonder, and for once they may
Halfway up the corridor Hi points casually at the floor.
You missed a spot.
The Mopping Con turns to watch him recede.
HIGH ANGLE CELL
Same high shot with Moses on the top bunk, Hi on the lower.
More and more my thoughts turned to
Ed, and I finally felt the pain of
An' momma would frow the live crawdad
in a pot of boiln' water. Well one
day I decided to make my own
We begin to crane down to tighten on the absently staring
...an' I frew it in a pot, forgettin'
to put in the water, ya see...
Moses' voice is mixing down as we lose him from frame.
...and it was like I was makin'
popcorn, ya see... The joint is a
lonely place after lock-up and fights
We are now very close on Hi, staring.
...when the last of the cons has
been swept away by the sandman.
The underside of the top bunk.
A sudden flash whitens and fades to leave the image of Ed,
smiling behind her camera, softly supered on the underside
of the bunk.
BACK TO HI
He wearily turns his head to profile on the pillow and shuts
But I couldn't help thinking that a
brighter future lay ahead - a future
that was only eight to fourteen months
Eyes closed, he is illuminated by a flash.
PAROLE BOARD ROOM
Hi and the same three officers.
Got a name for people like you, Hi.
That name is called recidivism.
Not a pretty name, is it, Hi?
No Sir, it sure ain't. That's one
bonehead name. But that ain't me
You're not just tellin' us what we
No Sir, no way.
'Cause we just wanna hear the truth.
Well then I guess I am tellin' you
what you wanna hear.
Boy, didn't we just tell you not to
Over Hi's shoulder as he strides toward a door marked
"Processing" and flings it open.
It is the familiar booking room. Ed looks up from her camera,
having just snapped a picture of another suspect against the
I'm walkin' in here on my knees, Ed -
a free man proposin'.
Hi cocks a finger at the suspect.
As she nervously frets at her white bridal gown in front of
And so it was.
Don't forget the boo-kay, Ed!
CLOSE SHOT ED
Gazing earnestly into the camera. A congregation is seated
behind her - the bride's side wearing police blues; the
groom's side, Hawaiian shirts.
CLOSE SHOT HI
Also staring into the camera.
You bet I do.
Over their shoulders, the minister.
On the newlyweds smiling at the camera.
On the newlyweds smiling at each other, profile to the camera.
HIGH WIDE SHOT TRAILER PARK
In the middle of a vast expanse of desert.
Ed's pa staked us to a starter home
in suburban Tempe...
INT. MACHINE SHOP
Hi is working the drill press, wearing goggles and sweat-
...and I got a job drilling holes in
Next to him idly stands Bud, a veteran of the shop, with a
grimy face and a pair of goggles pushed up on his forehead.
So we was doin' paramedical work in
affiliation with the state highway
system-not actually practicin',
y'understand - and me and Bill's
patrollin' down Nine Mile -
No, not that motherscratcher! Bill
Parker! Anyway, we're approachin'
the wreck, and there's a spherical
object arestin' on the highway...
He pauses to blow and pop a bubble with his chewing gum.
...And it don't look like a piece a
Mostways the job was a lot like
prison, except Ed was waitin' at the
end of every day...
Hi is scowling at his paycheck. Behind the barred window a
fat cashier grins.
...and a paycheck at the end of every
Gummint do take a bite, don't she?
Hi sits in a lawn chair in front of the trailer. Ed sits on
his lap, his arms around her. Both are wearing sunglasses,
looking at the setting sun. The scene is suffused with a
warm yellow light.
These were the happy days, the salad
days as they say...
As the sun sets, the light is turning from yellow to amber.
Hi and Ed watch, their heads following its slow downward
...and Ed felt that having a critter
was the next logical step. It was
all she thought about.
The amber is turning to a more neutral dusky light as the
sun has set. Hi and Ed continue to stare at the point where
...Her point was that there was too
much love and beauty for just the
two of us...
The dusk is slipping away into darkness.
...and every day we kept a child out
of the world was a day he might later
regret having missed.
We are by now holding on pitch black. Crickets chirp. From
That was beautiful.
Ed is crossing off the last day on the calendar before a day
circled in red.
So we worked at it on the days we
calculated most likely to be
Hi is wearily entering after a long day at work, clutching
...and we worked at it most other
days just to be sure.
Ed flies into frame and leaps into his arms, covering him
In each other's arms, Hi and Ed roll over on the bed.
Seemed like nothing could stand in
our way now...
We pan with them rolling and continue off them to the night
table, on which sits a framed pair of photographs of Hi,
probably taken by Ed: One shows him full face, the other in
EXT. TRAILER TWILIGHT
Ed sits in a lawn chair knitting a booty. Hi stands in Bermuda
shorts and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, hosing down the
minuscule patch of front lawn.
...My lawless years were behind me;
our child rearin' years lay ahead.
DUSTY ROAD LEADING UP TO TRAILER DAY
A squad car, its siren wailing, kicks up dust as it roars
into the foreground.
Hi and Ed are seated on folding chairs facing an agent's
desk. Hi wears a sport coat over his Hawaiian shirt. Ed is
in her dress blues.
It's true I've had a checkered past,
but Ed here is an officer of the law
Looking, with a dead pan, from the file to Hi.
...So we figure it kind of evens
His face still deadly neutral, the agent looks back down at
the file and unfolds the accordioned rap sheet, revealing it
to be a couple feet long.
...But biology and the prejudices of
others conspired to keep us childless.
INT. SQUAD CAR
On Ed as she stares vacantly out the passenger window.
Our love for each other was stronger
Driving. He looks from Ed out to the road.
...but I preminisced no return of
the salad days.
Over Hi's shoulder as he stares listlessly at himself in the
mirror, a razor held forgotten in one hand, his face half
lathered and half shaved.
The pizazz had gone out of our lives.
The bedroom is somewhat messy. Ed sits on the edge of the
bed, also staring listlessly. Her police uniform is on but
not yet buttoned. Her hands lie palm-up in her lap, like two
Ed lost all interest in both criminal
justice and housekeeping. Soon after,
she tendered her badge.
Once again Hi works as his sweaty gum-chewing colleague stands
Even my job seemed as dry and bitter
as a hot prairie wind.
So here comes Bill a-walkin' down
Nine Mile - that's Bill Parker,
y'understand - got his sandwich in
one hand, the fuckin' head in the
ON HI DRIVING
Alone in his Chevy. He looks to the side.
I even caught myself drivin' by
HIS MOVING POV
...that weren't on the way home.
TRAILER LIVING ROOM
Hi and Ed sit listlessly watching TV.
Then one day the biggest news hit
the state since they built the Hoover
Ed perks up, reacting to something on TV. Hi notices her
reaction and also sloughs off his stupor to watch.
...The Arizona quints was born.
A newscaster silently reading copy. Behind him news footage
of five nurses holding infants mortices in.
By "Arizona" quints I mean they was
born to a woman named Florence
BACK TO HI AND ED
Watching intently. Eyes still locked on the set, Ed reaches
her hand out to Hi. Eyes still locked on the set, Hi takes
her hand in his.
As you probably guessed, Florence
Arizona is the wife of Nathan Arizona.
And Nathan Arizona - well hell, you
know who he is...
THE TV A LATE-NIGHT LOCAL COMMERCIAL
NATHAN ARIZONA, a stocky middle-aged man in a white polyester
suit, is gesturing expansively with his white cowboy hat
toward a one-story warehouse store with a football stadium
parking lot, chroma-keyed in behind him.
(mixing up on the TV)
So come on down to Unpainted Arizona
for the finest selection in fixtures
and appointments for your bathroom,
...The owner of the largest chain of
unpainted furniture and bathroom
fixture outlets throughout the
And if you can find lower prices
anywhere my name ain't Nathan Arizona!
BACK TO HI AND ED
As they slowly look from the TV set toward each other.
LINE OF NEWSPAPER VENDING MACHINES
Hi lounges near one of the vending machines as a businessman
puts in a quarter.
Yep, Florence had been taking
fertility pills, and she and Nathan
had hit the jackpot.
The businessman takes his newspaper and releases the machine
door as he turns to leave.
Hi snags the door before it closes and takes his own five-
finger discount copy.
He flips the paper over to look at the headline.
FRONT PAGE OF NEWSPAPER
The banner headline of the Tempe Intelligencer is:
"ARIZONA QUINTS GO HOME!"
The subhead: "More Than We Can Handle,' Laughs Dad." Next to
it is a picture of Nathan.
Now y'all who're without sin can
cast the first stone...
A pull back from the paper shows Hi and Ed reading it together
at home. They look from the paper to each other.
Hi opens to an inside page and we pan a row of pictures -
the five tots with their names underneath: "HARRY, BARRY,
LARRY, GARRY and NATHAN JR."
...but we thought it was unfair that
some should have so many while others
should have so few.
In the middle of the desert. It reads: "WELCOME TO TEMPE!
POPULATION 13,948... PLUS FIVE!"
EXT. TRAILER TWILIGHT
We are floating in toward Ed who is seated, waiting, in the
driver's seat of Hi's Chevy. Hi enters frame and cinches
down a ladder that is tied to the roof of the car. Pieces of
red flag flutter at either end of the ladder where it sticks
out beyond the car.
With the benefit of hindsight maybe
it wasn't such a hot idea...
Hi gets in the car.
FROM BEHIND THE CHEVY
It starts down the long, winding road leading away from the
trailer, kicking up dust.
...but at the time, Ed's little plan
seemed like the solution to all our
problems, and the answer to all our
The title of the film burns in: "RAISING ARIZONA". A building
chord snaps off in a shock cut to:
SUBURBAN LIVING ROOM EVENING
Tableau of a couple at home. Nathan Arizona is on the
telephone, his stocking feet up on an ottoman. Florence sits
reading Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care.
The living room is dominated by a large oil portrait of Nathan
and Florence, gazing out from the wall over the mantelpiece.
(into the phone)
Eight hundred leaf tables and no
chairs?! You can't sell leaf tables
and no chairs! Chairs, you got a
dinette set! No chairs, you got dick!
I ask my wife she got more sense!...
TITLE IS SUPERED:
"THE ARIZONA HOUSEHOLD"
From somewhere upstairs we hear an infant start to cry.
Florence stops reading and looks up at the ceiling. Nathan
...Miles, all I know is I'm away
from the office to have me some kids
and everything goes straight to heck!
I ain't gonna stand for it!
Another title is supered below the first: "SEPTEMBER 17,
1985". The baby stops crying and Florence's attention returns
to her book.
...Yeah, and if a frog had wings he
wouldn't bump his ass a-hoppin'! I'm
sick of your excuses, Miles! It is
As he throws out his wrist to look at his watch a third title
is supered beneath the first two: 8:45 p.m.
...8:45 in the p.m. I'm gonna be
down to the store in exactly twelve
hours to kick me some butt!
He starts to replace the receiver but brings it back with an
...Or my name ain't Nathan Arizona!
As he slams the phone into the cradle the titles disappear.
Another baby starts crying. Florence looks up at the ceiling.
That sounds like Larry.
Close on the crying baby as Hi bounces it, gently but
Shhhh! Shh! Nice baby...
He starts to lower it back into the crib. The crib is
unpainted with the name of each baby burned Bonanza-style
into the headboard: Harry, Barry, Larry, Garry, and Nathan
Jr. Instead of quieting as he is lowered into the crib, the
squalling baby only sets off one of his brothers. Hi hurriedly
lifts him back out.
He looks desperately around the room.
The room is wallpapered with nursery rhyme characters.
There are toys strewn around. There is one adult-sized easy
chair in the corner.
Hi carries the baby over to the chair, stepping on and
reacting to the squeal of a squeeze-me toy on the way. He
sits the baby deep in - the chair and then returns to the
crib to deal with the second crying baby.
He lifts the baby out of the crib and gently bounces it.
This baby stops crying.
Another one in the crib starts bawling.
Hi sets the second baby down on the floor and gives it a
rattle to keep it pacified. He reaches for the third baby in
the crib. Sweat stands out on Hi 's brow. He is desperately
chucking the third baby under the chin when we hear a muffled
He whirls to look across the darkened room.
The first baby has dropped off the easy chair and is
energetically crawling away toward a shadowy corner.
Nathan and Florence are sitting stock-still, staring at the
ceiling. After a moment, another baby starts crying.
What're they, playing telephone?
They stare at the ceiling.
Loose babies are crawling everywhere. Hi is skittering across
the room in a half-crouch, a baby tucked under one arm,
reaching out with the other as he pursues a crawling baby
across the room.
He hefts the other baby with his free arm and brings the air
back to the crib.
He turns to look frantically around the room.
The other three babies have disappeared.
There is perfect quiet.
Hi goes over to the closet door, which is ajar, and swings
He reaches under a moving pile of clothes on the floor and
pulls out a baby.
He returns it to the crib and freezes, listening.
The sound of a rattle.
He drops to the floor to look under the crib.
WIDE ANGLE UNDER CRIB
A baby holding a rattle leers into the camera in the
foreground. Behind him Hi, on his stomach, is reaching in to
grab at his leg.
Hi is pulling the baby out, away from the camera, when with
a plop! a baby drops onto Hi 's back from the crib above.
Hi twists one arm back to grope for the baby crawling on top
He is straightening up, a baby in each arm, when he reacts
in horror to something he sees across the room.
The hindquarters of a diapered baby are just disappearing
around the corner of the nursery door into the hallway.
Florence and Nathan are staring at the ceiling. After a beat
we hear a muffled plop! on the ceiling. A beat later, the
bleat of the squeeze-me toy.
...Whyn't you go up and check on
They sound restless.
The floor-level wide-angle shot shows a baby crawling toward
the camera in the foreground. Behind him, in the background,
just rounding the open door from the nursery, yet another
baby is making a mad dash for freedom.
Hi emerges from the nursery and, stepping around the
background baby, trots toward the baby in the foreground. By
the time he reaches it the low-angle cropping shows us only
his feet and calves.
CLOSE ON HI
Perspiring as he tiptoes the last two steps to the baby.
The baby and, beyond it, the stairway down to the main floor.
We hear footsteps approaching.
BACK TO HI
He scoops up the baby and hurriedly tiptoes away toward the
The baby at the nursery door in the foreground; the staircase
in the background. As Hi reaches the baby we hear footsteps
climbing the stairs.
Hi's free arm comes down into frame to scoop the baby up and
out of frame just as:
Florence's head appears, bobbing up as she climbs the stairs.
She approaches the nursery, still clutching the Dr. Spock
As Florence enters from the hallway door.
We track back into the room, on her, as she approaches the
crib. Halfway there she freezes, staring, in shock.
All of the babies have been replaced in the crib but not
lying down: They are seated in a row, staring back at her,
lined up against the far crib railing, like a small but
distinguished panel on "Meet the Press."
THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD OF THE CHEVY
ED'S POV of Hi approaching the car. He is shrugging and
displaying a pair of manifestly empty hands.
CLOSE ON ED
Barely able to fight down her anger. Hissing:
What's the matter?!
Hi appears at her - the driver's-window.
Sorry honey, it just didn't work
He is reaching to open the door but she slaps his hand away
from the handle.
What d'you mean it didn't work out?!
They started cryin', then they were
all over me...
He is trying to open the door, which Ed is holding shut with
all her might.
...It was kinda horrifying - Lemme
Course they cried! Babies cry!
I know that now! Come on honey, we
better leave -
Ed is rolling up the window and locking the door.
You go right back up there and get
me a toddler! I need a baby, Hi;
they got more'n they can handle!
Muffled, through the closed window, and very forlorn:
Aw honey I -
Don't you come back here without a
Florence is holding one of the babies cradled against her
shoulder. She is facing the hallway door; her back is to the
crib and window. The baby, peeping out over her shoulder, is
facing the window.
CLOSE ON BABY
Of the window, as Hi's head appears in it.
Looking back, he holds a finger to his lips.
Florence starts bouncing it, patting it on the back.
Hi and the window bouncing up and down.
Nathan is leafing through the lingerie ads in the newspaper.
We can hear Florence's returning footsteps. Muttering:
Christian Dior my butt...
...They pay money for that?
How're the kids?
Fuckin' kids, I love 'em.
We hear the bleat of the squeeze-me toy. Florence and Nathan
look at the ceiling for a beat, then Nathan clears his throat
and returns to the newspaper.
Ed sits anxiously waiting in the driver's seat, peering
intently through the windshield. As she catches sight of
something she breaks into a broad smile, unlocks the door,
and slides over to the passenger seat.
Hi is opening the door with one hand, cradling a baby in the
Which one ya get?
As he gets into the driver's seat:
I dunno. Nathan Jr., I think.
He hands her the infant, then hands her the copy of Dr.Spock's
Baby and Child Care.
Here's the instructions.
Oh, he's beautiful!
Hi nods as he pulls away from the curb.
He's awful damn good. I think I got
the best one.
Ed is gushing and kissing the baby through the rest of the
I bet they were all beautiful. All
babies are beautiful!
Yeah. This one's awful damn good
Don't you cuss around him.
He's fine, he is. I think it's Nathan
We are doin' the right thing, aren't
we Hi? - I mean, they had more'n
they could handle.
Well now honey we been over this and
over this. There's what's right and
there's what's right, and never the
twain shall meet.
But you don't think his momma'll be
upset? I mean overly?
Well a course she'll be upset, sugar,
but she'll get over it. She's got
four little babies almost as good as
this one. It's like when I was robbin'
convenience stores -
Ed suddenly bursts out crying.
I love him so much!
I know you do, honey.
I love him so much!
TRAILER LIVING ROOM
As the lights are thrown on. The room is hung with streamers.
A string of cut-out letters reads "Welcome Home Son!"
Okay, bring him in!
Ed is entering with Nathan Jr.
This is it young Nathan Jr. Just
feast your eyes about, old boy!
Don't be so loud around him, Hi.
Damn, I'm sorry honey.
And don't you cuss around him.
Aw, he don't know a cuss word from
Well see that he don't.
He's all right, he is.
He reaches for the child.
...Come on over here, Nathan Jr.,
I'll show you around.
He takes the baby in both hands and holds him out at arm's
length, pointing him at the various places of interest. The
baby looks goggle-eyed at each one.
...Lookahere, young sportsman. That -
there's the kitchen area where Ma
and Pa chow down. Over there's the
TV, two hours a day maximum, either
educational or football so's you
don't ruin your appreciation of the
finer things. This - here's the divan,
for sociahzin' and relaxin' with the
family unit. Yessir, many's the day
we sat there and said wouldn't it be
nice to have a youngster here to
share our thoughts and feelin's -
Impatient with the nonsense:
He's tired, Hi.
Well we'll just sit you right there,
He is propping Nathan Jr. up in the corner of the couch. Hi
sits at the other corner and Ed sits in a facing chair.
...Just put those dogs up'n take a
Hi beams at Nathan Jr. Ed smiles at Nathan Jr. Nathan Jr.
looks from one to the other, deadpan. They seem to be waiting
for him to contribute to the conversation.
Suddenly Hi slaps his knee.
What are you kiddin'?! We got a family
Ed is getting up.
...He's a scandal, honey! He's a
As she picks up the baby:
He's a good boy.
He ain't too good! You can tell by
that twinkle in his eye!
Don't you think we should put him to
Hang on, honey...
He is frantically reaching for a Polaroid camera.
...Let's us preserve the moment in
Just one, okay?...
She sits down on the couch with Nathan Jr. as Hi starts
screwing the camera into a tripod.
...I gotta tell ya, I'm a little
Absently, as he sets up the camera:
How come is that, honey?
Well we got a baby, Hi. It's an awful
As he peers through the lens:
Honey, could ya slide over a tad and
raise the nipper up?
As she complies:
I mean we never done this before and
I'm kinda nervous.
You're doin' real good, sugar.
Hi sits on the couch, holding the camera's cable release. He
puts his arm around Ed and smiles at the offscreen camera.
Ed nestles her head against Hi's shoulder.
I love you, Hi.
We're set to pop here, honey.
You're gonna help, aren't ya?
Through his teeth as he continues to grin at the offscreen
How's that, honey?
Give Nathan Jr. a normal family
background, just quiet evenings at
We begin to hear distant thunder.
You can count on it, honey.
...Everything decent'n normal from
here on out.
As he squeezes the cable release - FLASH - the image
momentarily freezes on Hi beaming, Nathan Jr. staring, and
Ed looking at Hi with a little bit of concern.
DARK FIELD SAME NIGHT
The rolling thunder has built to a thunderclap at the cut,
and the flash of the Polaroid match cuts to lightning throwing
a momentarily harsh glare on the field.
Rain beats down on the bare patch of ground we are looking
at - by now just a patch of mud.
Faraway lightning flickers and we hear the rumble of more
thunder approaching, then suddenly:
THWACK - A head pops up out of the mud. It is Gale, the con
we saw in group therapy. He bellows as lightning and thunder
flash and crack nearby.
His head is covered with mud, although the driving rain is
already starting to wash it away.
We are beginning to track in an arc around Gale's head, who
is now struggling, working to get his shoulders and arms up
out of the mud. The end of the 180-degree arc and a flash of
lightning reveal, way in the distance, the wire-topped walls
of a penitentiary.
Still bellowing, as if in some primal rage, Gale has gotten
his muck-covered arms up out of the earth and is now pushing
down to haul up the rest of his body. It comes with much
effort, and with the loud sucking-popping sounds of the
fiercely clinging mud.
Finally he is free.
With a great cry, the mud-covered man plunges his right arm
straight back down into the earth, all the way up to his
shoulder. He gropes intently and then, apparently having
grabbed hold of something underground, he starts pulling.
His arm comes slowly back up out of the mud. Clasped in his
hand is - a human foot.
Bellowing with effort he continues to pull, liberating the
foot... leg... torso of his companion, and finally his head.
As the rain starts to wash the mud off his companion's head
we see that it is his friend Evelle.
Both are bellowing.
Mud sucks and pops.
INT. GAS STATION MENS ROOM
At the cut the ear-splitting thunder drops out to quiet. We
hear only the muffled patter of rain and the hum of a bare
The two bedraggled escaped cons are standing side by side,
combing their hair in the mirror. The men seem absorbed in
their task, using hair jelly from a jar that sits on the
shelf between them to restore their duck's-ass haircuts.
Evelle cracks the bathroom door and looks out into the rain.
What is it?
Mercury. Looks nice.
EXT. GAS STATION
The two men are trotting out to a Mercury that sits untended
at a gas island, a gas hose on automatic stuck in its tank.
As Gale starts up the car Evelle yanks the hose out and drops
it to the ground. Gale is already starting to peel out as
Evelle gets in.
WIDE SHOT TRAILER LIVING ROOM
Late at night. Hi sits asleep on the sofa at the far end of
the room, in a pool of lamp light.
We hear faint, distant knocking. As we track in toward Hi
the knocking becomes louder and more present.
As we approach Hi we see that several Polaroids are spread
over his gently rising and falling chest.
By the time we tighten on his face the knocking has become
Hi starts awake with a grunt.
...Open up in air!
He looks up, alarmed.
The front door of the trailer. Someone is pounding
Open up! It's a police!
BACK TO HI
He sits up and tenses. He looks around.
Ed stands in her nightgown at the mouth of the hallway,
holding Nathan Jr. and squinting at Hi. She hisses:
Hi! What's goin' on?
Po-lice, son! Open her up!
Hi gets to his feet, hurriedly tosses the Polaroids under a
cushion of the couch and takes out a gun.
Get in the bedroom.
They ain't gonna take Nathan?!
Well I'd like to see 'em fly.
As Ed turns back to the bedroom:
Open up and maybe we'll letcha plea-
As Ed enters and shuts the door. She listens hard at the
Hi's footsteps cross the living room, the click of the door
opening, silence... a burst of raucous male laughter.
...Honey! Come on out here! Want you
to meet a couple friends of mine!
As Ed enters, carrying Nathan Jr. All three men - Hi, Gale,
and Evelle - are beaming at her.
Honey, like you to meet Gale and
Evelle Snopes, fine a pair as ever
broke and entered.
Gale roars with laughter.
...Boys, this - here's my wife.
Ed smiles politely, then squints at Hi.
Kind of late for visitors, isn't it
Well yeah honey, but these boys tell
me they just got outta the joint.
Gotta show a little hospitality.
Gale is admiring the baby.
Well now H.I., looks like you been
up to the devil's bidnis!
That a him or a her?
It's a little boy.
Got a name, does he?
Hi and Ed look at each other uncomfortably. Hi clears his
Well so far we just been using Junior.
We call him Junior.
Say, thairs good - JR., just like on
Gale is staring at the streamers and decorations. Reading
"Welcome... Home... Son." Where's he
Hi and Ed respond simultaneously:
He was, uh... he was visiting his
Was that yer folks ma'am?
No, I'm afraid not.
I thought yer folks was dead, H.I.?
Well we thought Junior should see
their final resting place - Whyn't
you boys have a seat?
As the two men move toward the couch Ed hesitantly pipes up:
Hi, it's two in the morning...
She wrinkles her nose.
...What's that smell?
We don't always smell like this, Miz
McDunnough. I was just explainin' to
yer better half here that when we
were tunneln' out we hit the main
sewer - dumb luck, that - and just
followed that to -
You mean you busted out of jail!!
We released ourselves on our own
What Evelle means to say is, we felt
the institution no longer had anything
to offer us.
He is looking at the baby.
...My Lord he's cute.
He's a little outlaw, you can see
Now listen, you folks can't stay
Gale, Evelle, and Hi look up at Ed, dumbstruck. After a beat:
You just can't stay! I appreciate
your bein' friends of Hi and all,
but this is a decent family now...
She looks at Hi.
...I mean we got a toddler here!
Gale leans in close to Hi, a look of sincere concern on his
face, and says under his breath:
Say, who wears the pants round here
Now honey -
Don't you honey me. Now you boys can
set a while and catch up, and then
you'll be on your way.
There is an awkward silence as she leaves and slams the
Gale is carefully studying his thumbnail; Evelle stares
fixedly at the ceiling. Still looking at his thumb:
Gotcha on a awful short leash, don't
Sometime later, as Hi tiptoes in. Ed lies in bed facing the
wall; we see only the back of her head. Hi sits gingerly on
the edge of the bed and, smiling, sticks a finger through
the bars of the crib to play with the baby.
The sound of the TV set in the living room filters faintly
They still here?
Hi is momentarily startled, then goes on playing with the
Yeah, they're just gonna stay a day
or two. It's raining out honey, they
got nowhere to go.
Ed finally turns to face him. We hear the two men laugh
raucously in the living room.
They're fugitives, Hi...
Hi turns to face her.
...How're we gonna start a new life
with them around?
Well now honey you gotta have a little
charity. Ya know, in Arab lands they'd
set out a plate -
Promise just a day or two.
Tonight and tomorrow, tops.
EXTREME HIGH ANGLE
Looking straight down at Hi, asleep in bed. It is later:
filtering softly in from the other room is the end of the
"Star Spangled Banner" on TV. We are craning down.
That night I had a dream.
For a brief moment we see a wall of flames and hear it roar.
BACK TO HI
Still craning down.
...I'd drifted off thinkin' about
happiness, birth, and new life...
Wall of flames. Deafening roar.
BACK TO HI
Craning down. The faint National Anthem ends: we hear the
WEEEEEEEE of a test pattern.
But now I was haunted by a vision of -
WALL OF FLAMES
Roaring. At the cut: WHOOOOOSH! a huge low-rider motorcycle
bursts through the flames, its engine roaring even louder
than the fire. Its driver is a huge leather-clad hellion.
The chains worn by the Biker clank ominously as he rides.
He was horrible...
The Biker roars out of frame.
As the Biker roars into frame, his rear tire laying down a
wake of fire.
...a lone biker of the apocalypse...
TRACKING ON BIKER
As he roars along a ribbon of desert highway.
...a man with all the powers of her
at his command.
The Biker reaches for his bullwhip.
...He could turn the day into night...
The Biker cracks the whip and, at the crack:
The sky behind him turns instantly to black. Bolts of
lightning crackle across it as thunder roars.
ANOTHER DESERT SCENE DAY
Tracking with and also in on the Biker from behind as he
roars along a strip of highway. He is reaching for the two
sawed-off shotguns which are strapped crisscross across his
...and laid to waste everything in
REVERSE TRACK ON BIKER
Pulling the Biker from a distance as he levels the two
shotguns. The tracking camera pulls back further to reveal a
running jack-rabbit keeping pace with us in the foreground.
He was especially hard on the little
CRACK - as the first shotgun spurts orange the foreground
rabbit keels over. The Biker slues the other gun around.
LOCKED-DOWN WIDE SHOT
On a rock in the foreground, a desert lizard suns himself.
The Biker is approaching in the distant background.
...the helpless and the gentle
CRACK - from afar, the foreground lizard is blown away.
LOCKED-DOWN LOW-ANGLE WIDE SHOT
Of the empty desert road stretching away. In the foreground
a lone desert flower blooms.
The Biker roars into frame.
He left a scorched earth in his wake,
befouling even the sweet desert breeze
that whipped across his brow.
As the Biker roars away, the foreground flower bends with
his draft and then bursts into flame.
TRACKING ON BIKER
From in front. He twirls the shotguns in either hand and
reaches back to plunge them over his shoulders into their
I didn't know where he came from or
We are moving in on his chest, where two crisscrossed
bandoliers carry two rows of hand grenades, their silver
pins glinting in the sun. We follow the line of one of the
bandoliers up to his right shoulder which bears the tattoo:
"Mama Didn't Love Me."
I didn't know if he was dream or
REVERSE TRACK ON BIKER
From behind, booming down as we track. We are approaching
the crest of a rise.
But I feared that I myself had
Of the Biker approaching, craning down as he draws near.
...for he was The Fury That Would
With the crane down we momentarily lose him from view over
the rise; then suddenly - ROAR - he tops the rise and, wheels
spinning, is airborne
As he crashes back down to earth in the foreground and roars
away. Only now we are no longer in the desert:
We are looking down a twilight street at the end of which is
the Arizona house.
...as soon as Florence Arizona found
her little Nathan gone.
The roar of his engine and clank of his chains recede as the
Biker gradually dissolves into thin air.
We are left looking at the empty street and the faraway
The receding roar has left behind eerily beautiful singing,
a woman singing a lullaby. Faintly, behind the singing, there
is also a droning high-pitched noise.
The camera starts floating forward very close to the ground,
moving slowly toward the Arizona house. The high-pitched
drone is becoming less faint under the singing.
The camera is accelerating. The drone is growing louder - we
can now tell that it is a human scream.
As we approach the Arizona house we can see that a ladder is
propped up to a second-story window.
We are moving quite fast now. The scream all but buries the
We are rushing toward the house, toward the base of the
ladder, the sustained scream drawing us on.
We hurtle toward and then straight up the ladder with no
abatement of speed, sucked forward by the deafening scream.
We reach the top and hurtle - THWAP! - through the white
curtains of the open second-story window into the nursery to
reveal Florence Arizona, her back to us, screaming over the
We are rocketing toward her.
She is turning to us, hands pressed to her ears, mouth
stretched wide in an ear-splitting shriek and we are rushing
into an extreme close-up of her gaping mouth and her wildly
vibrating epiglottis and we
EXTREME CLOSE SHOT OF HI'S EYES
As they snap open.
The screaming snaps off at the cut. The singing that the
building scream covered, however, is now audible again.
Perspiration beads Hi's forehead. He looks down toward the
foot of the bed.
It is now morning. Ed walks back and forth, gently bouncing
the baby as she walks. She is singing it a lullaby.
Faintly, from the next room, we can hear Gale and Evelle
snoring away like buzz saws.
He all right?
He's all right. He was just havin' a
Hi is getting out of bed.
He crosses to the bedroom window and cracks the venetian
blind. Orange light filters in.
Beyond a clothes line and a septic tank, a huge orange ball
of sun is rising. We can almost hear the roar of its burning
BACK TO HI
...Sometimes it's a hard world for
The orange sun, rumbling, perceptibly rising.
ARIZONA HOME FRONT FOYER
At the cut the rumble of the sun is snapped off by the high-
pitched ba-WEEEEeeee... of a strobe going off as a flash
picture is taken: We are looking over Nathan Jr.'s shoulder
as he stands at his open front door, facing a battery of
press people who stand out on the porch.
An obie light over a local TV news camera glares in at us;
various flashbulbs pop.
No, the missus and the rest of the
kids've left town to I ain't sayin'
where. They'll be back here when
we're a nuclear fam'ly again.
Mr. Arizona, which tot was abducted?
Nathan Jr., I think.
Do you have anything to say to the
Yeah: Watch yer butt.
Sir, it's been rumored that your son
was abducted by UFOS. Would you care
Now don't print that, son. If his
mama reads that she's just gonna
lose all hope.
A POLICEMAN from inside the house is taking Nathan by the
We really have to ask you some more
As Nathan allows himself to be led back into the house he
calls back over his shoulder:
But remember, it's still business as
usual at Unpainted Arizona, and if
you can find lower prices anywhere
my name still ain't Nathan Arizona!
We are following the two, hand-held, as the Police leads
Nathan toward the living room.
The room is filled with policemen milling about in several
different uniforms: local police, state troopers, plainclothes
The original Policeman is leading Nathan to a table where a
white-smocked technician is preparing inkpad and exemplar
The dialogue is urgent, rapid-fire and overlapping.
Mr. Byrum here can take your exemplars
while you talk.
MR. BYRUM has taken Nathan's right hand and is rolling its
fingers onto the inkpad.
Just let your hand relax; I'll do
Nathan jerks his hand away.
What is this?! I didn't steal the
Two men in conservative suits are approaching.
Sir, these men are from the FBI-
Are you boys crazy?! All I know is I
wake up this morning with my wife
We just need to distinguish your
prints from the perpetrators', if
they left any.
Giving his hand back:
Course! I know that!
Sir, we have an indication you were
born Nathan Huffhines; is this
Yeah, I changed m'name; what of it?
Could you give us an indication why?
Yeah, would you buy furniture at a
store called Unpainted Huffhines?
All right, I'll get to the point-
Was the child wearing anything when
he was abducted?
No one sleeps nekkid in this house,
boy! He was wear-
I'm asking the questions here,
If we're gonna put out an APB we
need a description of the -
He was wearin' his-
It's just that we're better trained
to intervene in crisis situations
What was he wearing?
A dinner jacket! Wuddya think, he
was wearing his damn jammies!
The child was wearing his jammies.
Are you happy?
Do you have any disgruntled employees?
Hell, they're all disgruntled! I
ain't runnin' a damn daisy farm!
What did the pajamas-
My motto is do it my way or watch
What did the pajamas-
So you think it might have been an
Don't make me laugh. Without my say-
so they don't piss with their pants
What did the pajamas look like?
I dunno, they were jammies! They had
Yodas'n shit on 'em!
BELLOWING VOICE OFFSCREEN
Would ya mind, I'm trying to set up
a Command Post here!
Nathan bellows back:
Get your feet off m'damn coffee table!
Also raising his voice at the offscreen bellower:
Ron, you're upsetting the victim.
Nathan is getting worked up.
Damnit, are you boys gonna go chase
down your leads or are you gonna sit
drinkin' coffee in the one house in
the state where I know my boy ain't
Sir, there aren't any "leads" yet,
aside from this coat-
He grabs the overcoat being displayed by FBI #2.
That's a five-hundred-dollar camel's
Sir, you might want to wash your
hands at this point.
Nathan realizes that he's gotten ink from his fingerprinting
all over the coat.
He is rising to his feet and hurling the coat to the floor.
He furiously kicks the coat.
...Everyone leaves microbes'n whatnot!
Throughout the speech Nathan stalks the room, working himself
into a frenzy, furiously putting coffee cups onto coasters,
generally cleaning up, hectoring the police, and swiping
their feet off his furniture.
...Hell, that's your forte, trackin'
down them microbes left by criminals'n
commies'n shit! That's yer whole
damn raison d'itre! No leads?! I
want Nathan Jr. back, or whichever
the hell one they took! He's out
there somewhere! Somethin' leads to
him! And anyone can find him knows
the difference between a lead and a
hole in the ground!!
HOLE IN THE GROUND - DAY
Specifically, it is the hole in the muddy patch of earth
that Gale and Evelle climbed out of. We hear only the squish -
suck of many feet walking around in the mud offscreen.
We are pulling back to reveal the feet-the shiny black patent
leather shoes and blue pants cuffs - becoming quickly
spattered - of several policemen milling about the hole.
German shepherds sniff around also.
With a roar, motorcycle wheels enter frame. The bike's
jackbooted rider casually tools around the hole once; police
step back and dogs skitter away to give him room.
He backs toward the camera and stops, standing astride the
bike. The burning stub of a cheroot is dropped into frame;
it hisses angrily and dies in the mud. We start to crane up.
The whipcracking Biker cue mixes up. The Biker's motorcycle
idles with a deep rumble, like the roar of fire on the sun.
We are now framed looking over the Biker's shoulder. The
policemen's attitude to him seems to be deferential. One cop
in front of him is pointing a direction. The Biker is shaking
his head; he doesn't think they went that way.
Suddenly, with a loud whipcrack effect, the Biker's head
snaps to profile. He is staring across the field, stock-still,
having heard, smelled or sensed something.
The dogs milling around the hole also react, snapping to
attention, a split second after the BIKER.
A jackrabbit is bounding away at the far end of the field.
After a moment, their attention returns to the hole.
His attention also returns to the matter at hand. He squints,
concentrating. His bike rumbles. Gradually his face sets in
a specific direction.
We pan down to the tattoo on his shoulder: "Mama Didn't Love
Me." His shoulder flexes once or twice as he revs the
throttle; then he puts the bike in gear and it roars out of
TRAILER KITCHEN CLOSE ON GALE AND EVELLE
They are both intently munching cornflakes, staring at
something offscreen. After a beat:
...Awful good cereal flakes, Miz
Ed is sitting in the living room, bottle-feeding Nathan Jr.
She is surrounded by the rumpled sheets and blankets used by
the house guests. She does not respond to the ice-breaker.
Gale puts his spoon down and picks up a cigarette which has
been smoking in the ashtray next to him. There is a bead of
milk dribbling down his chin.
He takes a contemplative puff, studying Ed.
...Whyncha breast feed him? You 'pear
to be capable.
Mind your own bidnis.
Through a mouthful of cornflakes:
Ya don't breast feed him, he'll hate
you for it later. That's why we wound
up in prison.
Gale blows out smoke and picks up his spoon to start back in
on his cornflakes.
Anyway, that's what Doc Schwartz
Hi is walking in, yawning.
Sharply, as Hi sits and starts to pour cornflakes into a
Hi holds the cornflakes box arrested in mid-air. He looks at
Ed, who is motioning to gale and Evelle with her eyes.
Oh yeah... Say boys, you wouldn't
mind makin' yourself scarce for a
couple hours this afternoon?
We're havin' some decent friends
Gale and Evelle are looking dumbly from Ed to Hi.
Heh-heh... What Ed means to say is,
seein' as you two boys are wanted,
it wouldn't exactly do to have folks
seein' you here - I mean for your
Anything you say.
More relaxed now, to Ed:
Matter of fact honey, maybe I'll
skip this little get-together myself,
Glen won't mind, and I'll just duck
out with the boys, knock back a couple
We'd love to have ya.
CLOSE ON ED
Looking pleadingly at Hi.
BACK TO HI
Feeling the look, he goes back to his cornflakes.
...Well... maybe that ain't such a
hot idea either.
Gale leans back to blow smoke at the ceiling.
So many social engagements. So little
WIDE SHOT GAS STATION BATHROOM
It is the bathroom where we earlier saw Gale and Evelle
combing their hair, now empty.
We are looking toward the door. The bathroom is quiet except
for the dripping sink, and the faint rumble of an approaching
motorcycle. It grows louder, then begins to recede as the
bike shoots by the station.
Suddenly we hear the screech of the bike's brakes.
EXT. THE STATION
We are on the road outside the gas station as the motorcycle
screeches to a halt in the foreground. The low wide shot
crops the BIKER at his shins. In the background behind him
is the gas station.
The Biker pauses for a moment, thinking or feeling.
BACK TO INT. BATHROOM
We hear the rumble of the bike approaching, very loud.
CRASH - the bathroom door flies open as the Biker bursts in
astride his hog, bright daylight streaming in with him to
throw him into imposing silhouette. The shafts of light
pouring in are defined by motes of dust dancing in the air.
Fast track in on the jar of hair jelly sitting on the shelf
under the mirror.
BACK TO BIKER
An extreme close shot shows his nostrils dilating as we hear
He revs the rumbling bike, stealing thunder from a far
FRONT STOOP OF TRAILER
Hi, with Ed standing by, is just opening the door to a young
couple. Glen is a short stocky blond man in his early
thirties, wearing Bermuda shorts. DOT is wearing slacks,
heels, and a scarf over her hair.
As the door opens, Dot hops up the stoop shrieking.
Where's at baby? Where's he at?
From behind, Glen gives her an energetic THWOK on the ass.
Go find him honey!
Dot spins and smacks Glen across the face with her purse.
Through clenched teeth:
Cut it out, Glen!
He reels under the blow.
He's asleep right now.
Dot shrieks again, but this time muffles it with her own
hand. She tiptoes into the trailer, hand to her mouth.
Glen, rubbing his cheek, seems angry at himself.
Shit, I hope we didn't wake it!
Can I just sneak a peek-a-loo?
Glen at the top of the stoop, turns out to the yard.
Come on kids...
WIDE SHOT GLEN AND DOT'S KIDS
A scad of children, ranging in age from two to seven, are
crawling over Hi's car. One is beating on it with a large
stick, another sits on the hood pulling back one of the
windshield wipers, etc.
...Get away from Mr. McDunnough's
As Ed and Dot enter, Ed beaming as they go to the crib.
What's his name?
Uh... Hi Jr. Till we think of a better
Whyncha call him Jason? I love
Biblical names. If I had another
little boy I'd name him Jason or
Caleb or- Oh!
She puts her hand to her forehead, reacting to the baby as
if she is about to faint.
...He's an angel!
She hides her face in her hands and looks away as if blinded,
then sneaks a look around her hands.
...He's an angel straight from heaven!
Now honey I had all my kids the hard
way so you gotta tell me where you
got this angel. Did he fly straight
down from heaven?
You gonna send him to Arizona State?
TRAILER LIVING ROOM / KITCHEN
The weaving knee-level tracking shot is following a six-year-
old boy in shorts and a dirty T-shirt as he tramps around
the trailer, brandishing a big stick. He strikes the walls,
furniture, various other objects with his stick, hollering
"Bam! Bam-Bam!" with each blow.
The track weaves off him and onto Hi, who is bending down to
pull a couple of beers from the refrigerator. He raises his
voice to make himself heard over the din of all the children
boiling around the room:
Need a beer, Glen?
Does the Pope wear a funny hat?
Hi considers this.
...Well yeah, Glen, I guess it is
Say, that reminds me! How many
Pollacks it take to screw up a
I don't know Glen, one?
Hi looks down.
One of Glen's children, in a cowboy hat, is squirting a squirt
gun into his crotch area.
Nope, it takes three!
He starts laughing, then catches himself.
...Wait a minute, I told it wrong.
Here, I'm startin' over: How come it
takes three Pollacks to screw up a
I don't know, Glen.
Cause they're so durn stupid!
He laughs; Hi doesn't react.
...Shit man, loosen up! Don't ya get
Hi looks over at the TV, which the bam-shouting six-year-old
is banging with his stick.
No Glen, I sure don't.
Shit man, think about it! I guess
it's what they call a Way Homer.
Cause you only get it on the Way
I'm already home, Glen.
The kid in the cowboy hat is reaching up to slap Hi on the
You wetchaself! Mr. McDunnough wet
Say, that reminds me! How'd you get
that kid s'darned fast? Me'n Dottie
went in to adopt on account of
something went wrong with m'semen,
and they told us five years' wait
for a healthy white baby! I said
healthy white baby! Five years! Okay,
what else you got? Said, two Koreans
and one Negro born with the heart
He takes a sip of beer.
...Yeah, it's a crazy world.
Someone oughta sell tickets.
Sure, I'd buy one.
Hi is looking at another child who is just finishing off the
T in FART in crayon on the wall.
Glen chuckles, looking at his errant child.
...That Buford's a sly one. Already
knows his ABCs. But I'm sayin', how'd
ya get the kid?
Well this whole thing is just who
knows who and favoritism. Ed has a
friend at one of the agencies.
Well maybe she can do something for
me'n Dot. See there's something wrong
with m'semen. Say, that reminds me!
What you gonna call him?
Uh, Ed-Ed Jr.
Thought you said he was a boy.
Well, as in Edward. Just like that
(not really interested)
Yeah, it's a good one... Course I
don't really need another kid, but
Dottie says these-here are gettin'
too big to cuddle. Say, that reminds
The sound of shattering glass. Glen looks around.
Mind ya don't cutchaseff, Mordecai...
EXT. PICNIC GROUNDS
Dot faces Hi and Ed across a picnic table covered with grilled
hamburgers, rolls, green jello mold, cooler, etc.
One of the younger children sits in the middle of the table,
occasionally taking a fistful of jello and flinging it at
Hi. The two women don't seem to notice.
...and then there's diphtheria-
tetanus, what they call dip-tet. You
gotta get him dip-tet boosters yearly
or else he'll get lockjaw and night
vision. Then there's the smallpox
vaccine, chicken pox and measles,
and if your kid's like ours you gotta
take all those shots first to get
him to take 'em. Who's your
We ain't exactly fixed on one yet.
Have we Hi?
Hi sits stock-still with a stony face.
...No, I guess we don't have one
Well you just gotta have one! You
just gotta have one this instant!
Yeah, what if the baby gets sick,
Hi, even if he don't get sick he's
gotta have his dip-tet!
He's gotta have his dip-tet, honey.
Hi shrugs, then flinches as a piece of jello hits his
You started his bank accounts?
Have we done that honey? We gotta do
that honey. What's that for, Dot?
That-there's for his orthodonture
and his college. You soak his thumb
in iodine you might get by without
the orthodonture, but it won't knock
any off the college.
Hi sits stoically. Dot is looking offscreen:
...Reilly, take that diaper off your
head and put it back on your
sister!... Anyway, you probably got
the life insurance all squared away.
You done that yet honey?
You gotta do that, Hi! Ed here's got
her hands full with that little angel!
What would Ed and the angel do if a
truck came along and splattered your
brains all over the interstate? Where
would you be then?
Yeah honey, what if you get run over?
Or you got carried off by a twister?
We are tracking on Hi and Glen as they walk side by side.
Glen is sopping wet, wearing only swimming suit and wing-
tipped shoes. His body is ghostly pale except for a V-area
at his neck and his arms below the short-sleeve line, which
are a bright angry red.
Hear about the person of the Polish
persuasion he walks into a bar holdin'
a pile of shit in his hands, says
"Look what I almost stepped in."
Glen bursts out laughing; Hi walks on in silence.
...Yeah, that's funny all right...
Ya damn right it's funny! Shit man,
what's the matter?
I dunno... maybe it's wife, kids,
family life... I mean are you, uh,
satisfied Glen? Don't y'ever feel
suffocated? Like, like there's
somethin' big pressin' down...
Eeeeeyep... I do know the feelin'.
Hi shakes his head.
And I told Dottie to lose some weight
but she don't wanna listen!
He roars with laughter and slaps Hi heartily on the back. As
he chuckles sympathetically:
...No man, I know what you mean. You
got all kinds a responsibilities
now. You're married, ya got a kid,
looks like your whole life's set
down and where's the excitement?
Yeah Glen, I guess that's it.
Okay! That's the disease, but there
is a cure.
Sure; Doctor Glen is tellin' ya you
can heal thyself.
What do I gotta do?
Well you just gotta broaden your
mind a little bit. I mean say I asked
you, what do you think about Dot?
Fine woman you got there.
Glen is eyeing him shrewdly.
Okay. Now it might not look like it,
but lemme tell you something: She's
But what's that got to do with-
Don't rush me!
He stops walking. Hi stops also, looking at Glen, Still
puzzled. Glen lays a companionable hand on his shoulder.
Now the thing about Dot is, she thinks-
and she's told me this-
He looks around as if to make sure they are not being
overheard. His tone is confidential.
...she thinks... you're cute.
Hi looks suspiciously at Glen's hand on his shoulder.
Glen nods energetically:
I'm crappin' you negative! And I
could say the same about Ed!
Through tightly clenched teeth:
What're you talkin' about, Glen?
What'm I talkin' about?! I'm talkin'
about sex, boy! What the hell're you
talkin' about?! You know, "L'amour"?!
I'm talkin' me'n Dot are Swingers!
As in "to Swing"! Wife-swappin'!
What they call nowadays Open Marriage!
Beaming, he takes his hand off Hi's shoulder and spreads his
I'm talkin' about the Sex Revolution!
I'm talkin' about-
THWAK - Hi's fist swings into frame to connect solidly with
Glen's feet leave the ground. He flies back and lands in a
Glen in the foreground, groggily rubbing his jaw; Hi
Keep your goddamned hands off my
He is scrambling to his feet.
...I was only tryin' to help!
Keep your goddamned hands off my
With Hi still advancing, Glen starts to run.
TRACKING ON GLEN
With Hi pursuing in the background.
Glen is looking back over his shoulder to shout at Hi as he
You're crazy! I feel pity for you,
CRASH! - Glen runs smack into a tree and drops like a sack
INT. CAR NIGHT
Hi is driving, his jaw rigidly set, his temple throbbing.
Nathan Jr. sits in a safety seat between him and Ed.
We finally go out with some decent
people and you break his nose. That
ain't too funny, Hi.
His kids seemed to think it was funny.
Well they're just kids, you're a
grown man with responsibilities.
Whatever possessed you?
He was provokin' me when I popped
How'd he do that?
But Hi, he's your foreman, he's just
gonna fire you now.
I expect he will.
And where does that leave me and
With a man for a husband.
He is pulling into a convenience store parking lot.
That ain't no answer.
Honey, that's the only answer.
He puts the car in park but leaves it running.
...Nathan needs some Huggies. I'll
be out directly.
As he gets out of the car:
...Mind you stay strapped in.
A hand enters to take a package of panty hose from the
CLOSE SHOT HUGGIES
A hand enters to take a big carton of disposable diapers
from the shelf.
A pimply-faced lad with a paper 7-Eleven cap on his head. He
is looking up from a dirty magazine, reacting in horror to
Hi is approaching the check-out island with a gun in one
hand, the carton of Huggies tucked under the other. The L'Eggs
stocking is pulled over his head to distort his features.
I'll be taking these Huggies and
whatever cash you got.
CLOSE SHOT CASHIER'S HAND
As he presses a silent alarm under the lip of his counter.
Ed is reading to Nathan Jr. from a large picture book.
"Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-
chin." Then I'll huff and I'll
She pauses for a moment, listening. We can barely hear a
distant siren. She resumes absently, but her voice trails
"...and I'll blow your house in..."
We can definitely hear the WHOO-WHOO of the siren now, and
it is definitely approaching. Ed hooks an arm around the
seat and looks behind the car, then looks forward.
Indistinctly visible through the semi-reflective glass are
two figures at the check-out island. One is pointing something
at the other.
BACK TO ED
As the siren is growing louder. Under her breath:
She unstraps herself and gets out of the car.
Two-shot of Hi and the CASHIER, who is stuffing bills into a
grocery bag. Beyond them we can see Ed, outside, circling
the front of the car.
Her shout is muffled through the glass:
With this Hi notices her. He turns to the Cashier.
Better hurry it up. I'm in dutch
with the wife.
But Ed is already getting into the driver's seat of the car.
BACK TO ED
As she slams the car door shut. The siren is quite loud now.
That son-of-a-bitch. Hang on, pumpkin.
The car squeals out of the lot.
WIDE SHOT THE STREET
The squad car tops a rise to bounce into view, its siren
BACK TO THE STORE
Hi bursts out the door, still wearing the stocking. The carton
of Huggies is still tucked under one arm.
Bellowing hopefully after his departing car:
We hear the SMACK-CRACK of a gunshot and glass impact, but
the approaching squad car is still too far down the block to
have been the source.
Hi looks around the parking lot, bewildered.
The wailing siren is becoming painfully loud.
Hi looks behind him at the plate-glass front of the store,
where a bullet pock mars the glass.
Through the glass we see the pimply young Cashier with the
paper 7-Eleven cap pop up from behind the counter to sight
down his huge .44 Magnum for another shot. The gun is so big
he uses both hands to heft it.
SMACK-CRACK - the bullet kisses another hole in the glass.
Hi is off and running.
The squad car is screeching into the lot. An officer tumbles
out of the passenger side before the car is fully stopped.
He rolls on the pavement, then hurriedly rights himself and
takes up a half-kneeling shooting stance.
At the same time the little Cashier is emerging from the 7-
Eleven with his gun.
The two bang away at Hi's retreating figure - the Policeman's
revolver popping, the Cashier's Magnum booming.
We hear the Policeman who is still in the car drawling over
Halt. It's a police warning, son.
Put those groceries down and turn
TRACKING ON HI
Legs pumping, panty hose still over his head, its unused leg
streaming behind him like an aviator's scarf. The gun is
tucked into his belt; the Huggies are tucked securely under
Behind him we can see the OFFICER and the Cashier squeeze
off another couple shots, and then the policeman piles back
into the squad car.
Driving. She hears distant gunshots.
That son of a bitch... Hold on,
Nathan. We're gonna go pick up Daddy.
She hangs a vicious U-turn.
TRACKING ON HI
Huffing and puffing down the road with his Huggies.
The cop car careens onto the street in the background, its
The PASSENGER COP is leaning far out his window, one hand
gripping the light-and-siren rack, the other pointing a gun
at Hi, shooting away.
Bullets whizz past.
Suddenly, with a soft pthunk! the Huggies box pops forward,
out from under Hi's arm - hit by a bullet. Still running, Hi
reaches forward, tries to catch it on the fly, bobbles it,
tips it - loses it. He overruns it a couple steps before he
can bring himself up short.
He turns and reaches to pick up the box but - PING-PING -
bullets chew up the road near his hand.
Leaving the Huggies, Hi takes off through a well-manicured
The police car is proceeding on down the street to catch him
around the corner, the driver still drawling over his
That's private property, son. Come
back out to the street and reveal
yourself to Officer Steensma and
Officer Scott - that's me.
Hi vaults a fence to land in the backyard.
As he straightens to his feet we hear a horrible snarling
A huge black Doberman is bounding across the lawn. It looks
like it means to rip Hi's throat out.
LOW TRACKING SHOT TOWARD HI
The dog's racing POV as it bounds toward the paralyzed Hi.
The dog leaps - camera flying up toward Hi's face - and:
CLOSE SHOT HI'S FROZEN PROFILE
The dog's slavering muzzle flies into frame and - stops,
bare inches from Hi's nose, and the dog falls back, having
reached the end of his chain.
Hi resumes running.
On the dog, snarling and straining against the end of his
Down along the chain toward the spike mooring it to the
ground. As the dog strains, the spike starts to stir in the
Other dogs can be heard barking now, the Doberman having
started a sympathetic wave.
Her jaw set, she takes a hard turn, looking this way and
That son of a bitch...
The police car approaches and roars by, the Passenger Cop
still hanging out his window.
...Lookie Nathan, a police car...
She is looking in her rearview mirror.
...Say, that looks like Bill Steensma.
LOW TRACKING SHOT
The camera is shooting forward at ground level, following
the Doberman as it bounds along. The Doberman is dragging
his chain and spike, which stretch into the foreground,
bumping and scraping along the road.
Far ahead we can see Hi running, then turning down an
A second dog peels into the road to bound along with the
TRACKING BEHIND HI
Running up a dark street. There is an oncoming pickup. Hi
runs directly at it.
The DRIVER screams and brakes - not quite in time.
Hi rolls onto the hood, and off, and gamely trots over to
open the passenger door.
The Driver is leaning over to tell him:
Son, you got a panty on your head.
Just drive fast...
He is displaying his gun as he starts to climb in.
...and don't stop till I tell ya.
Before Hi can get his door shut the Driver is obediently
Hi is reacting to an oncoming car. He peels the stocking off
to look, and leans across the Driver's lap to bellow as Ed's
Hi turns to look through the back window.
Ed's car is braking and spinning into a U-turn.
BACK TO HI
Leaning out the window.
Mind the baby now!
Next to him, the Driver is screaming.
As Hi turns forward, the entire windshield explodes in.
The pimply-faced Cashier from the 7-Eleven is standing in
the middle of the road ahead, sighting down his .44 Magnum
for another shot.
We are rushing in.
Ready to fire and - THUMP - he is bowled over by the arriving
Doberman, still trailing chain and spike, and now accompanied
by three other dogs, all braying at the top of their lungs.
Still screaming, the Driver puts his body into a hard right
turn to avoid the Cashier and hellhounds.
Roaring up the new street, they are now directly in the path
of the oncoming police car, its siren wailing, barreling
straight at them.
Still screaming, the Driver leans into another hard right.
Wind is whistling in through where the windshield used to
Two wheels hop curb as the car skids into the new street,
fishtails, and roars away.
She hears dogs, siren, squealing brakes on an adjacent street.
Hold on Nathan, we'll take a shortcut.
She gives the wheel a hard right turn.
But there is no cross street. The car hops the curb and roars
up someone's nicely tended front yard, heading for the gap
between this house and the one next door.
Recovered and turned around from its near collision with the
SCREAMING; Driver, the squad car is now squealing onto the
street the Screamer swerved on to - resuming pursuit.
As the police car roars down the street, Ed's car appears
from between two houses behind it, bounces down the front
yard to the street and follows the police.
Raking two-shot of Hi and the Screamer. Hi is looking back
over his shoulder at the pursuing police.
Can I stop now?
Hi looks forward.
They are rushing toward an imposing colonial house planted
at the end of the dead-end street.
BACK TO HI
Maybe you better.
CLOSE SHOT BRAKE PEDAL
Stepped on hard. The brakes scream.
As the car squeals to a halt Hi is catapulted through where
the windshield used to be, tumbling over the hood onto the
He rolls to his feet and, as he runs up the lawn, calls back
over his shoulder:
INTO THE HOUSE
We are tracking behind Hi as he runs up to the house and
crashes through the screen door.
Still tracking behind him as he runs through the living room.
A middle-aged couple sits on the couch watching TV. They
look up as Hi rushes by.
Hi plunges down a staircase. As he does so we hear: ka-chick
ka-chock ka-chick ka-chock.
He emerges into a rec room where he and we rush past two
kids playing ping-pong. He runs out the back door.
TRACKING WITH THE POLICEMAN
As he runs into the house.
As he runs through the living room we catch a glimpse of the
middle-aged couple gaping at him.
OFFICER STEENSMA plunges down the stairs.
TRACKING ON HI
Outdoors now, running, crossing the street behind the house
and entering the parking lot of a supermarket on the other
BACK TO THE HOUSE
As a pack of dogs thunders in. The lead Doberman with chain
and spike has now picked up about a dozen neighborhood dogs.
The dogs thunder through the living room and down the stairs.
As they hit the rec room the thunder of their feet turns
into the clatter of nails on tile.
As Hi bursts in. Tracking on him as he runs down the broad
front aisle, head whipping as he runs, looking up each
perpendicular lane, searching for something.
He turns up one of the last lanes, races along it and grabs
a carton of Huggies, still on the flat run.
He emerges into the broad back aisle and runs along it, but
at the first perpendicular lane he hits, we see Officer
Steensma, gun leveled, at the other end. He fires.
Hi keeps running.
The Policeman is running along the front aisle, keeping pace
with Hi running along the back aisle. He squeezes off shots
at Hi as each lane gives him the opportunity.
Hi abruptly stops between lanes and doubles back, losing the
Policeman. He runs down the second lane he comes to toward
the front of the store.
The pack of dogs appears at the end of the lane and thunders
up toward Hi, braying at the top of their doggy lungs. The
lead Doberman holds in his teeth a paper 7-Eleven cap.
Hi reverses again, and emerges into the back aisle.
BANG! A pyramid of cranberry juice explodes at his shoulder.
The Policeman has been waiting at the end of the back aisle;
he aims once again.
Hi plunges down the next lane but is brought up short as KA-
BOOM! five jars of applesauce explode in front of him.
Standing in the raised platform-cubicle at the front of the
store is the Store Manager, a fat man in a white short-sleeved
shirt with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.
The Manager cracks open his shotgun and inserts two more
cartridges - THOONK THOONK - in the smoking chamber.
Hi doubles back once again toward the back aisle.
He is still several paces from the end of the lane when the
Policeman appears there, squaring to face him.
The Policeman is in front of him. The MANAGER is blowing out
groceries on the shelves behind him.
CLOSE ON POLICEMAN
As he coolly levels his police special and takes aim at Hi .
Still on the dead run, Hi is flinging the carton of Huggies.
The carton rockets straight at the camera.
BACK TO POLICEMAN
Futilely raising his gun to avoid-impact: The Huggies catch
him square on the chest. The force makes him stumble one
fatal step backwards - into the back aisle - where:
CRASH - He is hit broadside and bowled over by a rocketing
shopping cart, propelled by an hysterically screaming SHOPPER.
TRACKING ON SHOPPER
Racing on down the back aisle, bellowing.
Tracking from in front. Beyond her we can see the pack of
furiously barking dogs, nipping at her heels. They boil over
the prostrate Officer Steensma, and this is the last we see
of him in this movie.
As Hi emerges through the back door. Ed is just skidding
around the corner.
Hi scrambles in the passenger side.
Raking two-shot with Hi in the foreground. The car peels out
of the lot.
Thank you honey, you really didn't
have to do this-
THWAK - Ed gives him a good hard slap and Hi's head rolls
toward the camera.
You son-of-a-bitch! You're actin'
like a mad dog!
Rubbing his jaw:
Turn left, honey.
Still at top speed, she leans into a hard left, tires
What if me'n the baby'd been picked
up? Nathan Jr. would a been accessory
to armed robbery!
Nawww honey, it ain't armed robbery
if the gun ain't loaded-
What kind of home life is this for a
toddler?! You're supposed to be an
Now honey, I never postured myself
as the three-piece suit type - Turn
We got a child now, everything's
Well Nathan Jr. accepts me for what
I am and I think you better had,
too. You know, honey, I'm okay you're
okay? That - there's what it is.
I know, but honey -
See I come from a long line of
frontiersmen and - here it is, turn
here dear - frontiersmen and outdoor
Hi's eyes are fixed on something in the road ahead.
I'm not gonna live this way, Hi. It
just ain't family life!
Hi's attention is still on the road. He is opening his door,
even though the car is still racing along. He absently
Well... It ain't Ozzie and Harriet.
LOW ANGLE THE STREET
In the extreme foreground sits the first carton of Huggies
that Hi dropped in the middle of the road. The car is
As the car passes the carton, Hi's hand reaches from the
passenger door and snags it.
As Hi pulls the carton in and slams his door shut. Crane up
in the car speeding away.
TRAILER LIVING ROOM
As Ed bursts in the front door, holding Nathan Jr.
You two are leaving.
ON GALE AND EVELLE
They look up, dumbstruck and mortified, from the sofa where
the have been watching TV.
Tomorrow morning. Now I got nothing
against you personally...
Gale and Evelle look appealingly toward Hi, who shifts
uncomfortably behind Ed.
...but you're wanted by the
authorities and you're a bad influence
in this household, in my opinion.
Well ma'am... we sure didn't mean to
And if we did, we apologize.
Ed is unmoved.
I'm goin' in to town tomorrow to see
about some shots for the baby. When
I come back you better be gone or
I'll kick you out myself.
She storms into the bedroom and slams the door.
There is an awkward silence as Gale studies his thumb and
Evelle stares at the ceiling. Finally Evelle turns to Hi.
...What's he need, his dip-tet?
I'm awful sorry boys, but when Ed
gets mad, you know, when she gets an
Well there ain't a thing to apologize
He looks at Evelle.
...It seems pretty clear what the
situation is here.
Yeah, I guess the Missus wants us to
Now H.I., you'll pardon me for sayin'
so, but I get the feelin' that this-
His gesture seems to take in the trailer and the entire
...ain't exactly workin' out.
Well now Ed's generally a real
And as per usual, I wouldn't be
surprised if the source of the marital
friction was financial.
Well, matter of fact, I did lose my
Come on Hi. you're young, you got
your health - what do you want with
But look, I'd rather light a candle
than curse your darkness. As you
know, Evelle'n I never go anywhere
without a reason... and here we are
in your little domicile. We come to
invite you in on a score.
A bank, Hi.
Hi is shaking his head.
Aw boys, I don't-
I know you're partial to convenience
stores but, H.I., the sun don't rise
and set on the corner grocery.
It's like Doc Schwartz says: You
gotta have a little ambition. Why we
just heard on the news how somebody
snatched off one of the Arizona
babies. Now there's someone thinkin'
And here you are sittin' around on
your butt playin' house with a -
don't get me wrong, H.I., with a
fine woman - but a woman who needs
the button-down type.
Well now that ain't really any of
He is handing Hi a folded-up picture.
Picture of El Dorado, Hi.
Though the locals call it the Farmers
and Mechanics Bank of LaGrange. Looks
like a hayseed bank and, tell you
the truth, it is a hayseed bank.
Except the last Friday of every
financial quarter there's more cash
in that bank than flies at a barbecue.
And guess what day it is tomorrow?
Ya see, H.I., it's when the hayseeds
come in to cash their farm subsidy
Got it in the joint from a guy named
Lawrence Spivey, one of Dick Nixon's
undersecretaries of agriculture.
He's in for solicitin' sex from a
Ordinarily we don't associate with
that class of person, but...
...he was tryin' to make brownie
points with some of the boys.
Boys, I can't -
We need someone handy with a scatter-
gun to cover the hayseeds while we
get the cash.
Y'understand, H.I., if this works
out it's just the beginning of a
spree across the entire Southwest
proper. We keep goin' 'till we can
retire - or we get caught.
Either way we're fixed for life.
Hi is still shaking his head.
Boys, it's a kind offer, but you're
suggesting I just up'n leave Ed. Now
that'd be pretty damn cowardly,
Would it? Think about it, H.I. Seems
to me, stayin' here, y'ain't doin'
her any good. And y'ain't bein' true
to your own nature.
The camera has floated in to a close shot of Hi, staring
glumly at GALE.
TRACKING ON MOTORCYCLE NIGHT
Following it, very close, we see only its rear wheel and
fender and twin exhaust pipes, one on either side. Flame is
boiling in each exhaust pipe as the hog roars.
HIGHER TRACKING SHOT
From behind the Biker's head as he rides through the night.
With the sharp whipcrack effect he suddenly looks left,
searching. With a second whipcrack effect he suddenly looks
right, still searching.
He banks into a turn.
Creeping in. Late at night. We are tracking in toward the
one window that is illuminated, with a feeble yellow light.
In voice-over, Hi is composing a letter.
My dearest Edwinna. Tonight as you
and Nathan slumber, my heart is filled
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Creeping in on Hi 's hunched back, as he sits over the kitchen
table writing the letter. The yellow lamp sitting on the
table is the only light on in the trailer.
...I hope that you will both
understand, and forgive me for what
I have decided I must do. By the
time you read this, I will be gone.
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Creeping in on GALE and EVELLE, sprawled on the sofa and
easy chair respectively, sawing boards.
...I will never be the man that you
want me to be, the husband and father
that you and Nathan deserve...
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
BACK TO HI
Still creeping in.
Maybe it's my upbringing; maybe it's
just that my genes got screwed up -
I don't know...
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Creeping in on the pimply-faced Cashier, sitting asleep behind
the counter, a dirty magazine lying face-down, open on his
But the events of the last day have
showed, amply, that I don't have the
strength of character to raise up a
We are slowly panning over to the newspaper rack, revealing
tomorrow's headline: "WHERE IS NATHAN JR.?"
...in the manner befitting a
responsible adult, and not like the
wild man from Borneo.
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Creeping in on Nathan Jr. in the living room, asleep in his
ottoman armchair, lit only by the snow from the TV set he is
facing, a half-full glass of milk on the coffee table next
His robe is disheveled; his eyeglasses have slid down his
...I say all this to my shame.
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Creeping in on Ed and Nathan Jr., asleep together in the
double bed. Ed's arm is draped protectively over the sleeping
...I will love you always, truly and
deeply. But I fear that if I stay I
would only bring bad trouble...
We start to hear the rumble of the motorcycle mix up again.
...on the heads of you and Nathan
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
Night sky. The motorcycle tire enters frame as the bike comes
to a halt. The Biker plants a jackbooted foot in the
The engine rumbles.
I feel the thunder gathering even
now; if I leave, hopefully, it will
leave with me.
We are craning up over the Biker's back to reveal what he is
looking at: We are on a bluff overlooking the trailer park.
In the window of one trailer below, a yellow light glows.
I cannot tarry...
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
BACK TO HI
Still creeping in.
Better I should go, send you money,
and let you curse my name. Your
Roaring at the cut. Through it we can see the Biker sitting
on the ground, legs stretched out in front of him, back
resting against his parked motorcycle, arms folded across
Perfectly motionless, he stares at the campfire.
We are floating in toward him.
As we come closer, eventually drawing in to a close shot of
his face, we gradually realize something peculiar about his
eyes: He seems to have none. Although his eyes are
unblinkingly open we do not see eyeballs, but only fire -
either a reflection of the campfire or something roaring -
CLOSE SHOT DOOR MAT
It reads: "Come On In! To Unpainted Arizona."
The smoking butt of a cheroot is dropped onto the mat. A
jackbooted foot grinds it out.
CLOSE SHOT BAR ON GLASS DOOR
Leading into the showroom. The Biker's mail-and-chained fist
pushes the door open.
LOW WIDE TRACKING SHOT
Behind the jackboots as they stroll through a showroom of
unpainted furniture and bathroom fixtures.
TRACKING ON THE MAILED HAND
Swinging as he walks, the Biker's hand produces a fresh
cheroot from no apparent source-either sleight-of-hand or
THE OTHER HAND
Similarly producing a long wooden match.
Biting down on the cigar.
Dragging the kitchen match along the unfinished wood surface
of an expensive bureau, leaving an ugly black scar.
The match erupts into roaring flame.
Crackling as it is lit.
Reading "Executive Offices." The mailed fist pushes it open.
PEBBLED GLASS DOOR
From the inside of the office. The name on the pebbled glass
is a backwards Nathan Arizona.
There is the shadow of a man approaching the door, and muffled
I'm sorry, Mr. Arizona, he just barged
The door swings open and Nathan stands looking in, his middle-
aged secretary hanging at his elbow.
...Should I call Dewayne?
Nathan is staring toward his desk.
Hell no, why wake the security guard.
I'll take care a this.
The secretary leaves.
The Biker sits with his back to us, jackboots propped lazily
on the desk.
His head bobs and ducks, as if he is following some movement
in the air in front of him.
BACK TO NATHAN
Eyes on the Biker he slams the door shut behind him, looking
for some reaction.
No reaction. His head continues to bob and duck.
BACK TO NATHAN
Circling the Biker as he crosses to sit behind his desk.
Arcing around to reveal the Biker's face. He still does not
react to Nathan, not even bothering to give him a glance.
His eyes continue to follow some phantom movement.
When the Biker speaks it is still without looking at Nathan,
and with a surprisingly soft voice and mild, unhurried manner:
You got flies.
He finally looks at Nathan, and smiles faintly.
I doubt it. This place's climate-
controlled, all the windows are
sealed. Who the hell are you?
Name of Leonard Smalls. My friends
call me Lenny...
He takes a drag on his cigar.
...Only I ain't got no friends.
Stop, you'll make me bust out crying.
Listen Leonard, you want some
furniture or a shitbox, they're out
on the sales floor.
SMALLS is pleasantly shaking his head.
Nooo, I ain't a customer, I'm a
manhunter. Ordinarily. Though I do
hunt babies, on occasion. Hear you
got one you can't put your hand to.
What do you know about it?
Wal, that's my business. I'm a tracker-
part Hopi Indian, some say part hound
dog. When some dink skips bail,
crashes outta the joint, I'm the man
Mister, I got the cops, the state
troopers and the Federal-B-I already
lookin' for my boy. Now if you got
information I strongly advise-
Cop won't find your boy. Cop couldn't
find his own butt if it had a bell
on it. Wanna find an outlaw, call an
outlaw. Wanna find a Dunkin Donuts,
call a cop.
Smalls, first off, take your damn
feet off m'furniture. Second off,
it's widely known I posted a twenty
grand reward for my boy. If you can
find him, claim it. Short of that
what do we got to talk about?
Price. Fair price. And that ain't
whatever you say it is; fair price
is what the market'll bear. Now there
are people, mind you, there are people
in this land, who'll pay a lot more'n
twenty grand for a healthy baby.
Nathan is looking at him stonily.
What're you after?
Give you an idea, when I was a lad I
m'self fetched twenty-five thousand
on the black market. And them's 1954
dollars. I'm sayin, fair price. For
fifty grand I'll track him, find him-
Quick as a flash the heretofore languid Smalls bolts forward,
his fist stopped an inch short of Nathan's nose.
EXTREME CLOSE SHOT SMALLS' FINGERS
His index finger and thumb are pinched together-holding the
leg of a struggling fly that he has just plucked from the
...and the people that took him...
He flicks the fly away.
...I'll kick their butts.
He sits back down.
...No extra charge.
Nathan stares grimly at Smalls.
And if I don't pay?
Oh I'll get your boy regardless.
Cause if you don't pay, the market
You wanna know what I think? I think
you're an evil man. I think this is
nothin' but a goddamn screw job. I
think it's a shakedown. I think you're
the one took Nathan Jr. and my fine
friend, I think you're the one gonna
get his butt kicked...
Nathan swivels to punch numbers on a telephone.
I think I'm on the phone to the cops
right now, and I-
He swivels back, looking up, and his speech stops short.
The office is empty. A whipcrack effect builds to the cut
CLOSE ON HI
His eyes snap open as the whipcrack echoes away.
He has been slumped over the kitchen table, asleep.
Up and attem, H.I. Today is the first
day of the rest of your life...
...and already you're fuckin' it up.
Hi looks up.
Gale and Evelle are smiling down at him.
Come on, the missus'll be back from
Hi takes the envelope that he was slumped over, to Ed written
on its face. As he sticks it to the refrigerator door with a
Where's the baby?
Bedroom, in his crib.
He's sawin' toothpicks, he'll be
There is a harsh knock at the door. All three tense.
...You expectin' anybody?
Hi is staring. The knock comes again.
No. You two stay outta sight.
He goes to the door, pulls back its shade and peeks out.
Under his breath:
He opens the door.
It is Glen. He backs nervously down to the foot of the stoop
as Hi stands in the half open doorway. Glen comes to rest a
few feet away from the stoop.
He is wearing a neckbrace. The bridge of his eyeglasses is
taped together. Cotton wadding is stuffed up his nose, which
is darkly discolored. He holds a rolled up newspaper.
His station wagon is parked behind him, idling.
Glen speaks in a very nasal voice:
I ain't comin' in if ya don't mind.
I'll just keep my distance.
I didn't invite you in, Glen.
Well don't even bother. First off,
you're fired - and that's official.
I kinda figured that, Glen.
Well that ain't why I'm here neither.
No sir. You're in a whole shitload
of trouble, my friend.
Hi is looking at him evenly.
Why don't you just calm down, Glen.
Why don't you make me?! Know that
little baby you got in there? Remember
him? I know what his real name is!
Hi is suddenly nervous and urgent:
Wanna keep your voice down, Glen?
I'll pitch my voice wherever I please!
His name ain't Hi Jr.! His name ain't
Ed Jr.! But it's junior an right!
Yes sir, it's Nathan Jr.!
Hi takes one step down holding out a calming hand.
Glen takes two nervous steps away and reassures himself by
resting a hand on the door of his station wagon.
...Stay away from me, McDunnough!
Hi stops short. Glen smiles.
...Sure, you're an awful big man
when you got somethin' around to
clobber a guy with!
I ain't a big man.
That's right! And now you're at my
He spits on the dirt in front of him.
...I'm your worst nightmare! I wanted
to just turn you in for the re-ward.
But Dot, she wants something to
cuddle. So it looks like that baby's
gonna be Glen Jr. From now on!
Hi's face is set in rigid dismay.
...I'll give you a day to break the
news to Ed...
Glen is getting into his car.
...Dot'll be by tomorrow to pick him
He slams the door.
...It's either that or jail. Oh and
say, that reminds me! You'll find a
doctor bill in the mail in a few
days. I recommend you pay it!
And the car squeals off.
Hi looks back at the trailer.
A slat in the window blind drops back into place.
BACK TO HI
He opens the door.
Evelle is already emerging from the bedroom with the baby in
Hi moves toward Evelle. His teeth are set; he means business.
What's goin' on here.
Gale steps in front of Hi.
You know what's goin' on, H.I. It's
just business. Now this can go either
hard or easy-
Hi gives Gale a hard push to get past him. Gale staggers
back but recovers and grabs Hi in a bear hug.
Hi flips Gale. Gale lands on a coffee table which flips up
and crashes back down.
Evelle is dancing back out of Hi's reach. As Hi lunges for
him the prostrate Gale grabs his legs.
Hi goes down hard.
Gale leaps to his feet and - CRASH - bangs his head up against
an overhanging lamp. Both of his hands fly up to massage the
top of his head.
THOOMP - Hi's fist flies into frame to connect with Gale's
unguarded stomach. Gale doubles over, clutching at his gut.
Hi interlaces his fingers to make a club of his two hands.
With Gale's bowed head a target in front of him, Hi swings
his hands up over his head.
Hi's knuckles scrape painfully against the plaster of the
too - low ceiling. Skin is flayed, plaster crumbles.
Hi grabs at his knuckles in pain. Gale lunges with a mid-
body tackle that sends Hi crashing into the wall.
Gale, still on top of him, reaches back to throw a punch.
The reach-back sends his elbow crashing through a window but
doesn't stop the punch.
It connects with Hi's jaw.
Gale throws another quick punch, all his weight behind it.
Hi's head bobs sideways just in time and Gale's fist goes
through the wall. It is momentarily stuck there.
Hi uses the opportunity to grab Gale's one free arm with
both of his. He is twisting it to make Gale, roaring with
pain, twist around and present his back to him.
Hi climbs aboard, grabbing Gale's face.
Gale, still roaring, is pulling his fist out of the hole. He
grabs a lath exposed by the hole and pulls; it tears out of
the wall and snaps free, giving him a length of about two
Gale is rampaging around like a grizzly bear hemmed in a too-
small space. Hi is hanging on for dear life, his own feet
flailing this way and that, knocking over lamps and wall
fixtures as Gale bends and twirls about, trying to shake him
loose. Gale crashes and bounces off the walls, roaring in
pain and fury.
Close shots of Gale's face show his features impossibly and
grotesquely contorted by Hi's hand, squeezing, gripping and
clutching at it.
Evelle is dancing around with the baby, dodging crashing
furniture and flailing body parts.
EXT. WIDE SHOT THE TRAILER
At the cut Gale's roaring drops out. We hear the chirping of
birds and the laughter of children playing in the
It is a sunny day.
BACK TO INT. TRAILER
Gale still roars. With a last mighty effort, he finally swings
Hi off his body.
Hi crashes against a wall and through it to land in the:
Amid a shower of plaster dust and lath. Hi has landed,
groggily, against the toilet.
Evelle enters now with his hands free, apparently having set
the baby down somewhere.
He yanks the cord off the bathroom blinds.
Hi is seated in a straight-back chair, still violently
struggling but Gale's arms are wrapped around him from behind.
Evelle is just finishing tying off his wrists behind the
No one talks; there is nothing left to say.
Finished, Gale goes to the door and Evelle goes to the
bedroom. He emerges with the baby and precedes Gale out the
door, Gale slamming it behind him.
Hi starts bucking and struggling, weeping tears of rage and
frustration. He succeeds only in tipping forward, face down
into the carpet, the strapped-on chair pressing down on top
His profile is pressed into the carpet.
Offscreen we hear the door of the trailer opening.
At carpet level. Gale's shoes enter his field of vision.
They stride over to a mess of debris in the corner of the
As Gale paws through the wreckage to expose the copy of Dr.
Spock's Baby and Child Care. He grabs the book.
The feet walk away and leave his field of vision.
CLOSE ON HI
As we hear the door slam shut with horrible finality.
Hi's mouth stretches wide. He ROARS with grief and
Moving down the road toward an oncoming car. As the oncoming
car gets closer we can see Gale and Evelle in its front seat.
As the car passes we pan with it, to reveal that we have
been shooting from the inside of another car, and we hold on
the profile of its driver: Ed. She has just watched the other
car shoot past.
QUICK FADE OUT
INT. DEVASTATED TRAILER
As Ed sits heavily into frame, apparently in shock, her frozen
profile to the camera as she stares straight ahead into space.
Her foreground hand absently holds a length of cord.
Beyond her in the middle background Hi is rummaging in the
debris. He stands up, cropped from the chest down and starts
loading bullets into the chamber of Ed's .38 police special.
I know you're worried honey but
believe me, there ain't a thing to
worry about. We're gonna get him
back, there just ain't no question
He snaps the chamber shut and leaves frame, still talking.
...We'll get him back, that's just
all there is to it. And you wanna
know another thing?
He is walking back into frame holding another handgun now in
addition to the .38, this one an automatic.
...I'm gonna be a better person from
here on out. And that's final, I
mean that's absolutely the way it's
gonna be, that's official. You were
right and I was wrong...
He snaps a clip into the automatic.
...A blind man could tell you that.
Now they ain't gonna hurt him, they're
just in it for the score...
Hi is leaving frame again, continuing to talk as we hear him
...But I ain't like that no more,
I'm a changed man. You were right
and I was wrong. We got a family
here and I'm gonna start acting
Hi enters frame with the two handguns stuck in his belt,
holding his pump-action shotgun.
...So let's go honey...
He primes the shotgun: WHOOSH-CLACK.
...Let's go get Nathan Jr.
From the front bumper of an automobile. Beautiful desert
stretches to the horizon. The road rushes under the camera.
GALE AND EVELLE'S CAR
Gale drives, gazing out at the road. Evelle holds Nathan
Jr., occasionally bouncing him.
I luuuuv to drive.
You said somethin' there, partner.
...Yessir, I figure with the ransom
and this bank, you'n I'll be sittin'
in the fabled catbird seat.
Evelle is looking down at the baby, shifting him in his lap.
Uh, Gale... Junior had a, uh,
What's that, pardner?
He had a little accident.
Gale looks over.
Wuddya mean, he looks okay.
No, ya see... Movin' though we are,
he just had hisself a rest stop.
Well it's perfectly natural.
Evelle, beaming, looks up from the baby to Gale.
...He smiled at me!
A huge rumbling rippling red ball that fills the frame.
As we hear his footfalls on concrete steps, Smalls rises
into frame, apparently climbing a stoop. The sun behind him
throws him into silhouette; the extreme telephoto flattens
him against the sun. Heat waves ripple between us and him,
making his figure slightly waver.
The rumble builds, louder and louder, until it is snapped
off by a-
CLICK. The front door handle clicks open and Smalls stands
in the doorway. The abandoned trailer is perfectly quiet.
The room is a complete shambles from the fight. Sunlight
filters in between the slats of the venetian blinds. Smoke
from Lenny Smalls' cheroot ripples up through the light.
After only a momentary pause at the door to take in the scene,
Smalls goes directly to a specific spot in the debris and
nudges some of it aside with his toe, exposing a piece of
He bends down to pick it up but suddenly freezes, with a
soft grunt of surprise.
At knee-height on the wall in front of him, "FART" is scrawled
BACK TO SMALLS
As he stands up with the piece of paper.
It is Gale's picture of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank.
INT. CONVENIENCE STORE
Close on a carton of diapers being set down on the check-out
Know how you put these thangs on?
Evelle and the Cashier, a late-middle-aged man (perhaps the
proprietor of this small mom-and-pop store) face each other
across the check-out counter. Evelle has various baby
purchases - the diapers, baby food, etc. - piled on the
counter. The Cashier is ringing them up.
Through the open door beyond them we can see a strip of the
Welp. Around the butt, then up over
the groin area-
I know where they go, old timer. I
mean do I need pins or fasteners?
We see Gale trotting past through the visible part of the
parking lot, cooing "Weeeeee!" as he holds Nathan Jr. Up
over his head.
Well no, they got those tape-ettes
already on there, it's self-contained
and fairly explanatory.
He takes a plastic-covered squirt gun off a display rack and
drops it on the counter. He is looking around at the other
impulse purchases displayed by the register; he unhooks a
bag of balloons.
...These blow up into funny shapes
Gale is trotting by in the opposite direction: "Weeeeee!"
Well no. Unless round is funny.
Evelle is pulling a gun out of his belt.
All right, I'll take these too. Now
you lie down back there-
And don't you move till you've counted
up to eight hundred and twenty-five
and then backwards down to zero.
I'll be back to check - see y'ain't
The Cashier is already down on the floor, out of frame.
You the diaper burglar?
As he heads for the door with the groceries:
Looks like I'm one of 'em.
As Evelle hurriedly emerges with the two bags. Faintly we
can hear the Cashier bellowing: "One one thousand, two one
Get the door, will ya?
Gale is slipping the baby back into his car seat, which sits
on the roof of the car. He starts doing up the straps.
He's a real cheerful little critter
once he warms up to ya.
Hands free now, Gale reaches for the back door.
Hurry up Gale...
Gale has the door open. Evelle starts throwing in the
I don't know how high this one can
GALE AND EVELLE'S CAR
Gale drives as Evelle sorts through his purchases.
I got him some baby grub... baby
wipes... diapers, disposable... packet
They blow up into funny shapes at
Gale is looking around, puzzled.
Say, where's Junior?
Wuddya mean, didn't you put him in?!
No, I thought-
The two men look at each other.
The two men's heads whip around to look in the back seat.
BACK TO FRONT ANGLE
They look at each other in horror.
Where'd we leave him?!
The two men's eyes widen as they remember at the same time:
both look up at the roof of the car.
CLOSE ON GALE'S FOOT
Coming off the accelerator.
CLOSE ON EVELLE
Screaming as he watches the foot:
But too late.
Already plunging down on the brake. SQUEEEEEEEAL...
Evelle is screaming at the top of his lungs as the car rocks
to a stop. He peers through the windshield, still screaming,
but nothing has shot off the roof of the car.
He cranes his neck to look up the slant of the windshield
toward the roof. This of course gives him no view; still
screaming, he thrusts his body out his open window to look
up at the roof. His scream is muted as his head disappears
from view, then comes back full force as he ducks back in,
frantically shaking his head.
With this Gale's last hope disappears and he starts bellowing
Rising from the brake to plunge down on the accelerator.
EXT. THE CAR
As it hangs a squealing U-turn and races off at top speed.
LOW WIDE SHOT
In the foreground Nathan Jr. sits upright in his car seat,
in the middle of the road that fronts the convenience store.
He is placidly looking at the scenery.
Faintly, we hear the Cashier bellowing:
...Seven hunnert ninety-seven one
thousand, seven hunnert ninety-six
GALE AND EVELLE
In their speeding car, both staring out at the road ahead,
mouths gaping, emitting ear-splitting screams.
Shot faces the front of the store with some of the street
visible outside. The Cashier on the floor is out of frame,
but we can hear him loud and clear:
...Seven hunnert ninety-one one
thousand, seven hunnert - ah...
He rises into frame, back to the camera, just as: We see
Gale and Evelle's car, through the front window, roaring up
the street. Quick as a shot, the Cashier has dropped back
out of frame and resumes bellowing:
Seven hunnert ninety - ought one
thousand! Seven hundred eighty -
The car is starting to squeal to a screaming halt.
BACK TO LOW WIDE SHOT
With Nathan Jr. in the foreground. Gale and Evelle's car
comes to a rocking halt behind - and inches shy of - the
Evelle's door is already open. He bolts from it and runs
over to the baby, blubbering. He picks up the car seat and
Gale is also getting out of the car.
Promise we ain't never gonna give
him up, Gale! We ain't never gonna
let him go!
Gale, choked up, speaks in a low unsteady voice:
We'll never give him up, Evelle.
He's our little Gale Jr. now.
HI AND ED'S CAR
Hi driving. Both are staring wordlessly ahead at the road.
Hi looks over at Ed, glum but trying to be kind.
...Ed, I realize I can't be much of
a comfort to you. But lemme just say
He is nodding to himself.
You'll feel a whole lot better when-
I don't wanna feel better.
I don't care about myself anymore. I
don't care about us anymore. I just
want Nathan Junior back safe.
I know that-
If we don't get him back safe, I
don't wanna go on livin'. And even
if we do, I don't wanna go on livin'
This shuts Hi up.
After a moment:
...I guess I still love you Hi; I
know I do. I ain't even blaming you.
The whole thing was crazy and the
whole thing was my idea.
Hi clears his throat.
Well, factually, I myself bear a
Lemme finish. Since those jailbirds
took little Nathan I been doin' some
thinking, and I ain't too proud of
myself. Even if Mrs. Arizona had
more'n she could handle, I was a
police officer sworn to uphold the
Constitution of the United States -
Now waitaminute honey, you resigned
That ain't the point, Hi. We don't
deserve Nathan Jr. Any more'n those
jailbirds do. And if I'm as selfish
and irresponsible as you-
Y'ain't that bad, honey.
If I'm as bad as you, what good're
we to each other. You'n me's just a
FARMERS AND MECHANICS BANK
Baking in the noonday sun.
GALE AND EVELLE
Sitting in the front seat of their idling car, looking at
There she is.
They look at each other. Gale reaches for his door.
...Let's do her.
Waitaminute. What do we do with Gale
Wuddya mean, he waits here.
Are you crazy?! He can't wait here
by hisself. Supposin' we get killed
in there - it could be hours before
INT. FARMERS AND MECHANICS BANK
As Gale and Evelle bang in through the door. Evelle holds a
shotgun; Gale holds a shotgun in one hand and Nathan Jr. in
his car seat in the other.
All right you hayseeds, it's a stick-
up! Everbody freeze! Everbody down
on the ground!
Everyone freezes, staring at Gale and Evelle. An Old Hayseed
with his hands in the air speaks up:
Well which is it young fella? You
want I should freeze or get down on
the ground? Mean to say, iffen I
freeze, I can't rightly drop. And
iffen I drop, I'm a gonna be in
motion. Ya see -
Everone down on the ground!
Y'all can just forget that part about
That is until they get down there.
Y'all hear that?
There is a murmur of acknowledgment from all the people on
Gale is tossing Evelle a sack.
Wanna fill that sack, pardner? We
got - shit!
He is looking in shock at the tellers' counter.
...Where'd all the tellers go?
There is no one behind the counter.
A muffled voice from offscreen:
We're down here, sir.
They're down on the ground like you
I told you not to use m'damn name!
Can't you even try to keep from
Evelle is momentarily abashed, but then brightens:
Not even yer code name?
Gale registers understanding.
Oh yeah... m'code name.
Y'all hear that?
There is a murmur of acknowledgment from all the people on
All right now everone, we're just
about ready to begin the robbery
EXT. POLICE CAR
The camera is locked down on the roof of the rocketing squad
car, looking past its flashing gumballs.
The car is approaching the townlet, its siren wailing.
BACK TO THE BANK
A teller is finishing stuffing the last of two burlap bags.
Close on her hands, we see her putting in a cash packet that
is really only a few bills and a sleeve surrounding and hiding
a small plastic device.
The teller hits a button on the device and it starts ticking;
she shoves it into the sack.
All right now everyone, you know how
this works: Y'all stay flattened for
ten full minutes...
He is grabbing the two sacks and tosses one to Gale, who
also picks up the baby. As the two are backing toward the
...We might come back in five to
check. That's for us to know and y'a
to find out.
Anyone found bipedal in five wears
his ass for a hat.
They bolt out the door.
Siren jumps in loud at the cut. It is the same locked-down
shot over the gumballs.
EXT. GALE AND EVELLE'S CAR
Peeling out from in front of the bank.
INT. GALE AND EVELLE'S CAR
Gale is driving; Evelle starts pawing through one of the
That old timer threw off my
concentration. Otherwise it would a
We done okay. Yessir. This ought to
split nicely three ways.
A thought registers with Gale and Evelle at the same moment.
They look at each other. They both twist frantically to look
in the back seat.
Goddamnit! Ya never leave a man
KA-POP! With a loud flat crack something detonates in the
front seat and the interior of the car is spattered with
bright blue paint.
Gale and Evelle, both covered in blue, are screaming in rage,
fear and incomprehension. Blue dollar bills snap and flutter
around the inside of the car.
The car is swerving wildly as Gale drives blind, the inside
of the windshield covered with blue paint. He reaches forward
to wipe clear a patch of windshield.
As the blue paint is smeared away we see Hi and Ed's car
parked broadside in the middle of the road. Hi and Ed are in
front of it, Hi aiming his scatter gun, Ed a revolver.
The guns spit orange flame.
Down the barrel of his shotgun. The car with the blue interior
is swerving crazily at us, one front tire blown out.
Hi lets go with the other barrel.
The shot chews up the front grill, shatters one headlight
and blows out the other front tire. The hood of the car flies
The car is squealing to a halt and Gale and Evelle pile out,
Goddamnit H.I., ain't we got enough
to contend with?
Ed is running over to Gale and Evelle's car, throwing open
the back door to look for the baby but coming out only with
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care.
Evelle is staggering around in shock, looking in disbelief
at his own blue body.
Where's the baby?
Evelle points this way and that, in a state of confusion.
I think we left him on the roof of
the... he must be back at the...
Hi and Ed are climbing into their car.
Let us come with you!
Hi and Ed are already peeling out.
...He's our baby too!
CLOSE ON NATHAN JR.
Sitting placidly in his car seat that sits in the middle of
the road in front of the bank.
We can hear the wail of the police siren still approaching.
As we hold on Nathan Jr. we hear the distant booming of a
As we boom up to show the empty street beyond the baby, we
hear the crack of return fire and furiously squealing brakes.
The screech culminates in a loud explosion that snaps off
the siren wail. The police car is apparently history.
From beyond the crest of the road ahead a ball of flame has
leapt up with the explosion. As the explosion echoes and
fades we hear the deep rumble of an approaching engine.
Lenny Smalls' motorcycle appears over the rise. Framed against
fire and smoke, he is coming directly toward us, and the
FROM BEHIND HI AND ED
As they top a rise coming from the other direction. We see
the baby sitting in the middle of the street, and Lenny fast
approaching from the background.
LOCKED DOWN TO MOTORCYCLE
The extremely low wide shot, locked down to the speeding
bike, shows us rushing toward the rear of Nathan Jr's car
With a clank of chains Lenny's hand drops down into frame,
palm forward, tensing to scoop up the car seat that we are
A tattoo on Lenny's wrist reads "No Prisoners."
Low shot with Nathan Jr. in the foreground.
He is scooped up and out of frame as Lenny roars by.
Roaring along. He hooks the car seat over his handlebars.
OVER HI AND ED'S SHOULDERS
Lenny is approaching. Under her breath:
What is he?
...D'you see him too?
Lenny is sawing a shotgun out of his back holster and leveling
it at the oncoming car.
Lenny is sighting down the gun, swinging it around as he
approaches the car.
HI AND ED DUCK JUST AS:
The shotgun spits orange flame and the windshield explodes
Lenny roars by.
The baby on the handlebars in the foreground; the road rushing
by beyond him.
The bike banks into a hard turn.
FACING HI AND ED
Shooting through where the windshield used to be, cutting in
at the end of the skid as the car rocks to a halt.
Hi and Ed are raising their heads. Facing forward, they do
not see Lenny approaching again through the rear window.
He is sawing out his second shotgun.
Hi looks around, reaches and pulls Ed down beneath him just
KA-BOOM! - The second shotgun roars and the back window spits
As Lenny roars past the back window he casually flips
LOOKING DOWN AT HI AND ED
Folded over in the front seat. Below them something bounces
into and around the leg well - Lenny's grenade.
As the two front doors fly open and Hi and Ed spill out - Hi
from the driver's side, heading for the far side of the road,
and Ed from the passenger side.
As she dives for cover behind a parked car. Beyond her -
KABOOM! - their car explodes and bounces, pouring black smoke.
The explosion flings him to the ground in the middle of the
THROUGH FIRE AND SMOKE
Looking up the street to where Lenny is wheeling his bike in
a U-turn. He is not finished yet.
Hi flat on his back, woozily shaking his head.
He weakly raises himself on his elbows to look down the
Looking down the length of his own body. His legs stretch
away in a V.
Crashing down from a wheelie, Lenny's roaring bike is almost
upon him - aiming up the middle of the V.
He rolls. As the bike is roaring by:
Reaches and snags a chain on Lenny's passing boot.
Dragged several yards before the boot shakes him off, leaving
him on his stomach in the middle of the road.
Hi looks up the road.
Lenny is again sluing the bike around.
REAR WHEEL OF BIKE
Smoking as it skids around in the foreground, completing its
Boom up Lenny's back to reveal Ed stomping straight up the
street toward him - unarmed, unafraid.
I want that baby!
BACK TO HI
He reaches back to pull up his shirt, revealing a gun tucked
in his pants in the small of his back. He grabs the gun.
OVER LENNY'S SHOULDER
As Ed closes in.
Gimme that baby, you warthog from
Lenny's arms rise into frame. With a roll of his wrists two
knives appear in his hands.
BACK TO HI
On his stomach, sighting down the gun toward Lenny.
Ed stepping into his line of fire, blocking Lenny.
FROM BEHIND LENNY
Raising an arm to stab.
Ed stoops to scoop the baby from the car seat, revealing:
Hi, behind her. He fires.
Drilled by Hi's bullet, drops its knife.
The exit wound spurts, not flesh and blood, but a brief jet
Quick as a flash hurling the other knife at Hi.
As the knife stings the gun out of his hand.
KNIFE ON THE GROUND AT LENNY'S FEET
Lenny bends to scoop up the knife he dropped.
TRACKING BEHIND ED
As she runs toward the bank, clutching Nathan Jr. to her
As Ed bursts in. The floor is littered with obedient hayseeds.
From where he lies prone:
Just lie down on the floor, missie.
BANG: The front door bursts open before Lenny's roaring hog.
It sails off a step into the sunken atrium, and lands with a
CRASH amidst the hayseeds.
TRACKING BEHIND ED
As she runs for the back door and pushes through it.
TRACKING BEHIND LENNY
As he slaloms through the wildly scattering hayseeds.
EXT. BACK OF BANK
As Lenny bursts out.
With a whipcrack effect he looks left, then right. He jerks
the bike right, to where an alleyway flanks the side of the
Ed is running up the alley toward the front of the bank as
Lenny enters. He roars after her.
Roaring down the alley.
TRACKING IN FRONT OF ED
As the bike approaches behind her.
BACK TO LENNY'S POV
Closing on Ed as she reaches the mouth of the alley. A plank
swings into frame, straight at the camera.
Matching action as Hi finishes swinging the plank into Lenny's
Lenny hits the ground hard as his bike spins out from under
Riderless, twisting crazily into the street where it
HI AND ED
Lenny is rising to his feet beyond them as Hi nods
encouragement to Ed.
Run along now, honey.
Lenny is reaching back to throw his knife.
Hi, unaware, is turning to face him, presenting the plank as -
the knife is thrown.
It thunks into the plank, piercing it through.
Hi backs up, swinging the knife - studded plank to make Lenny
keep his distance.
TRACKING BEHIND LENNY'S SHOULDER
As he reaches up to unhook a chain from a ring on his vest
As the free chain drops down into his palm.
Swinging the chain - WHOOSH WHOOSH - at the backpedaling Hi.
As the chain snakes around it and rips it out of Hi's hands.
Grabbing Hi by the shirtfront.
LENNY'S OTHER HAND
Swings down and brass knuckles appear on it.
As Lenny's fist swings into frame to club him forehand, then
An uppercut from his heels sends Hi sprawling back.
A PARKED CAR
As Hi lands against it, banging his head. He sinks to the
Lenny is casually walking toward him, lighting a cheroot. Hi
flops over onto his stomach and starts wriggling under the
FROM UNDER THE CAR
Hi's face in the foreground as he desperately seeks escape.
Behind him we can see Lenny casually reaching down and
grabbing an ankle.
The shot is framed identically to the shot in the Arizona
nursery where Hi pulled a baby from under the crib.
Lenny pulls. Hi is dragged away from the camera and out from
under the car.
Struggling to stand up.
Lenny wraps his arms around him and applies a tremendous
Crushed against Lenny. His hands paw futilely at Lenny's
Lenny finally flings Hi away.
Landing in the dust, all the fight beaten out of him.
Tired of the fight: He saws out both shotguns
On the guns as Lenny's thumbs draw them back. He raises the
guns to fire.
The end of the road.
He wearily lifts a hand, defensively extending it in front
of him - then stops, staring at:
A hand grenade pin hangs, glinting, from one of his fingers.
Pawing at Lenny's chest he must have hooked his finger through
Reacting to Hi reacting. He looks down.
On the bandoliers across his chest, silver pins glint in all
the grenades - except one. Its squeeze-lever juts at a right
angle from the grenade.
Hi's jaw drops.
The lit cheroot hits the ground between his boots.
Scrambling to his feet.
Trying to drop the shotguns to free his hands. In his panic
his fingers tangle in the trigger guards.
Starting to run.
Finally freeing his hands.
Diving behind the parked car.
His hands fly in to wrap around the grenade - too late -
Blows sky-high. There is a roar as if the earth were cracking
open and flame as if hell were slipping out.
We pan the fire to the sky.
A white aluminum ladder rises up into the blackness, clanking
softly. The top of the ladder arcs toward the camera.
To the interior of the Arizona second-story nursery as the
ladder comes to rest against the window frame.
It is late at night; the nursery is dark and empty.
Of the unpainted crib with the burned-in names: Harry, Barry,
Larry, Garry, and Nathan Jr.
As we pull back from the headboard Ed's arms are gently
depositing the sleeping Nathan Jr. into the crib. Hi puts
the singed copy of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care next to
Hi and Ed looking sadly down at the baby.
The silence is broken by the bleat of a squeeze-me toy as
the lights are snapped on. Hi and Ed turn, startled.
Nathan stands in his jammies, hair disheveled, holding a gun
and squinting against the light.
Keeping the gun trained on Hi and Ed, he slowly raises a
pair of eyeglasses to his nose.
The hell is goin' on?
He advances cautiously into the nursery, gesturing with his
...Get away from there.
Hi and Ed back away from the crib.
Nathan peers in and studies the baby for a moment.
He lays the gun down, tenderly picks up the baby and holds
him to his chest. A tear forms at the corner of his eye.
Hi and Ed are quietly moving back towards the ladder.
Hi and Ed Stop.
...I ain't through with you. What're
you doin' creepin' around here in
the dark? You in with Smalls?
As he bounces the baby, studying Hi and Ed:
Leonard Smalls, big fella rides a
Harley, dresses like a rock star?
No sir, that's who we saved him from.
It's a long story.
Suppose you tell it.
Well, sir, in a re-ward situation,
they usually say no questions asked.
Nathan turns to put the baby back in the crib.
...All right, boy, I guess you got a
re-ward coming. Twenty thousand
He turns around with a thought:
...Or, if you need home furnishings,
I can give you a fine of credit at
any of my stores. Fact, that's the
way I'd rather handle it, for tax
Nathan throws his hands up in the air.
But it's up to you.
Tell you the truth, I think we'd
prefer the ca-
We don't want no reward.
Hi does a small take, surprised at this much integrity.
...We didn't bring him back for money.
Well, we could work it that way too.
Could I just look at him a little
She stands looking into the crib. Hi steps up next to her
and puts an arm around her shoulder.
Be my guest, young lady... but would
you mind tellin' me exactly how you-
Ed starts crying softly as she gazes into the crib. Hi murmurs
something to comfort her.
Nathan is studying the two of them.
...You took him, didn't you? Wasn't
that biker a'tal.
Hi turns to face him. He speaks in a rush.
I took him, sir, my wife had nothin'
to do with it. I crept in yon window
We both did it. We didn't wanna hurt
him any; I just wanted to be a mama.
It wasn't for money or nothin'. We
just figured you had more'n you could
handle, babywise. But I'm the one
committed the actual crime sir, if
you need to call the authorities-
Shutup boy, no one's callin' the
authorities if there's no harm done.
Thank you sir.
Thank you sir.
Aw bullshit. Just tell me - just
tell me why you did it.
We can't have our own.
Nathan looks at her. Finally he nods and sighs.
...Well lookit. If you can't have
kids you gotta just keep tryin' and
hope medical science catches up with
you. Like Florence'n me - it caught
up with a vengeance. And hell, even
if it never does, you still got each
Sir, those're kind words. But I think
the wife and me are splittin' up...
He indicates Ed with a nod of the head.
...Her point of view is we're both
kinda selfish and unrealistic, so we
ain't too good for each other.
Well ma'am, I don't know much but I
do know human bein's. You brought
back my boy so you must have your
good points too. I'd sure hate to
think of Florence leavin' me - I do
love her so...
He clears his throat and turns to the door. His tone is harder
...You can go out the way you came
He snaps off the lights.
...And before you go off and do
another foolish thing, like busting
up, I suggest you sleep on it...
He has disappeared into the hall. We hear his voice receding:
...at least one night.
Looking straight down at Hi, asleep in the trailer bedroom.
We start to crane down.
That night I had a dream...
EXTREME WIDE SHOT
A beautiful dusk landscape. We are floating in over the field,
abutting the prison, that Gale and Evelle popped out of.
In the middle background of the extreme long shot two men
are walking across the field.
...I dreamt I was as light as the
ether, a floating spirit visiting
things to come...
BACK TO HIGH SHOT BEDROOM
Craning down toward Hi.
The shades and shadows of the people
in my life wrastled their way into
BACK TO FIELD
Still floating forward but now much closer to the two walking
men. We see that they are Gale and Evelle. Both are still
They are approaching the hole in the ground.
I dreamt that Gale and Evelle had
decided to return to prison...
Evelle is starting to climb into the hole.
...Probably that's just as well. I
don't mean to sound superior, and
they're a swell couple guys, but...
Evelle has disappeared and Gale starts climbing in.
...maybe they weren't ready yet to
come out into the world.
FLOATING UP THE WALK OF THE ARIZONA HONE
The front door has a holly wreath on it.
And then I dreamed on, into the
future, to a Christmas morn in the
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
ARIZONA LIVING ROOM
Five three-year-olds in their pajamas are opening presents
around a tree as Nathan and Florence look on.
...where Nathan Jr. was opening a
present from a kindly couple who
preferred to remain unknown.
We have been isolating in on one of the children peeling the
wrappings off a package marked to Nathan Jr. Inside is a
shiny red plastic football.
FLOATING IN TOWARD A STATION WAGON
Pulled over on the state highway in the middle of the desert,
a police motorcycle parked behind it. Glen is leaning out
the driver's window of the car talking to the state trooper
who stands facing him.
I saw Glen, a few years later, still
havin' no luck gettin' the cops to
listen to his wild tales about me'n
Glen is grinning and talking with his hands cupped in front
of him, as when he told Hi about the Pollack who almost
stepped in the pile of shit.
The trooper, in crash helmet and dark sunglasses, is listening
tight-lipped and stone-faced as Glen finishes his story and
slaps his knee.
...Maybe he threw in one Pollack
joke too many...
The trooper is clicking open his ballpoint pen and reaching
his citation book from his breast pocket. The name tag on
the pocket says "SGT. KOWALSKI."
...I don't know.
FLOATING IN TOWARD A FOOTBALL
It sits on a tee in the middle of a football field.
And still I dreamed on...
A cleated foot boots the football out of frame.
...further into the future than I'd
ever dreamed before.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER
Looking up, arms out at his sides, waiting to receive the
...Watching Nathan Jr.'s progress
He catches the ball and starts running.
...Taking pride in his accomplishments
as if he were our own...
He is skillfully eluding and stiff-arming tacklers.
...Wondering if he ever thought of
He reaches the end zone and triumphantly spikes the football.
He whips off his helmet and we track in on the face of the
rosy-cheeked high-school bruiser.
...and hoping that maybe we'd
broadened his horizons a little,
even if he couldn't remember just
how they'd got broadened.
BACK TO BEDROOM
Still craning down, now very close to the sleeping Hi.
But still I hadn't dreamt nothin'
about me'n Ed. Until the end...
DISSOLVE THROUGH TO
The man and woman are sitting on a sofa in the foreground
with their backs to the camera. They are in the living room
of Hi and Ed's trailer, which is suffused with a warm golden
As they face the trailer's front door, all we see of the
couple is the backs of their heads. They both have white
hair, the woman's pulled into a bun. The old man wears a
cardigan, the woman a shawl.
...And this was cloudier 'cause it
was years, years away.
The front door bursts open. Two young couples are entering
as their kids - about a dozen of them - stream in around
The old couple on the couch raise their arms to embrace their
visitors. The children boil onto the couch.
...But I saw an old couple bein'
visited by their children - and all
their grandchildren too. And the old
couple wasn't screwed up, and neither
were their kids or their grandkids.
And I don't know, you tell me. This
whole dream, was it wishful thinking?
Was I just fleein' reality, like I
know I'm liable to do?
FLOATING IN TOWARD A LONG DINING TABLE
In the trailer. The table is all laid out with a Thanksgiving
dinner, a huge turkey sitting at the far end.
Cut-out letters at the other end of the room say: "WELCOME
The grandchildren are running into frame and taking their
seats at the table, accompanied by their parents.
...But me'n Ed, we can be good too...
The elderly couple enter from either side of the camera and
stand in the foreground, backs to us, facing the table.
...And it seemed real. It seemed
like us. And it seemed like well...
our home... If not Arizona, then a
land, not too far away, where all
parents are strong and wise and
capable, and all children are happy
and beloved... I dunno, maybe it was
The elderly man drapes an arm around his wife's shoulder and
draws her close. She rests her head against his shoulder,
Writers : Joel Coen Ethan Coen
Genres : Comedy