Lawrence B. Marcus
From the novel by
FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
1 EXT. ROADSIDE DINER - EARLY MORNING
A strip of two-lane highway runs through a tall pine forest. There
is a truck-stop coffee shop beside the roadway. A few 14-WHEELERS
are scattered across the big dusty parking lot. Morning sunlight
glints off their chrome stacks. It bakes the asphalt and warms the
mangy hides of stray DOGS asleep in the dirt. A HELICOPTER hovers
about the treetops like a lazy hummingbird. It's the beginning of a
A highway PATROL CAR slowly trolls among the trucks and dogs and
parks beside the slat and shingled building.
TWO TELEPHONE LINEMEN are scaling a power pole at the forest's edge.
2 POWER POLE - ANGLE ON TELEPHONE LINEMEN
High on the pole, the linemen lean back against their safety straps
to work, their bodies forming a "Y." One of them suddenly turns,
pointing at a nearby treetop.
He grabs a PORCELAIN INSULATOR from his belt, cocks his arm and
hurls it across the open stretch. It lands smack in the middle of
the tree. SQUAWK! A rattle of leaves, a rustle of feathers and a
HUGE BUZZARD comes flapping out. The lineman cackles over his
3 CLOSE ANGLE ON BUZZARD - MOVING SHOT
The big, frightened beady-eyed bird is lumbering through the sky,
flapping for its life and suddenly...SPLAT! It crashes head-on into
3A the bubble of the passing HELICOPTER.
4 INT. HELICOPTER
The ship rocks as the PILOT wrestles the controls. There are THREE
OTHERS in the cabin. The man beside the pilot, ELI CROSS, is
sketching in a manuscript and eating an apple. He glances up in
Hey, will you stop wiggling?!
Don't yell at me...yell at the
goddamn crazy bird! It tried to
(back to his manuscript)
Oh yeah, that's your story. What's
the bird got to say about it?
Eli bites into his apple, grimacing at the mushy mouthful He tosses
it out the hatch.
5 EXT. FOREST - TREETOPS
The apple drops into the trees, bounces down from branch to branch
and falls on the slanted roof of the ROADSIDE DINER beneath. It
rolls down the eaves, off the edge and lands on top of the parked
Highway Patrol car.
6 INT. PATROL CAR
Something hit the roof.
So will the Chief...if we don't grab
this guy Cameron.
They climb out as we see a SECOND PATROL CAR sliding up behind them.
MORE POLICEMEN emerge from the second car.
7 EXT. DINER - ON POLICEMEN
They huddle, then move toward the diner entrance. As they pass an
open WINDOW the CAMERA HOLDS.
A FRY COOK serves behind the long counter where MEN on stools eat
watching the overhead TV. There is a PINBALL MACHINE in action.
The policemen are seen ENTERING b.g. A TRUCK DRIVER ambles up and
straddles a stool.
Gettin' hot early. It's gonna be a
The fry cook fills the driver's empty water glass from a pitcher,
then move down the counter.
9 ANGLE ON CAMERON
He sits a few stools away. He's about 25, even-featured, bone-
weary. His appealing face needs a shave. The cook fills his water
glass. The ice cubes rattle as Cameron's hand trembles. His eyes
are riveted on the policemen.
10 CAMERON'S POV
Two policemen take seats at a booth across from the counter; one
policeman moves to a WALL TELEPHONE, another stands near the CASH
REGISTER looking at a magazine. They seem nonchalant, but are
placed to block all avenues of escape.
11 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Suddenly startled as someone slaps him on the arm. He whirls to
face the man beside him.
That's really a beaut...really a
The MAN is staring at the TATOO which shows below the rolled-up
sleeve of Cameron's shirt, a large American Eagle with elaborate
scrollwork and a patriotic slogan. The man pulls up his own sleeve
to show a small tatoo of an anchor.
My wife still yells about this...but
yours -- that's some eagle...like a
(eyes on police)
Yeah, that's the grand old bird.
Right now I just wish the son-of-a-
bitch could fly.
Cameron rises and moves across the diner to the pinball machine.
12 ANGLE ON PINBALL
The PLAYER wiggles and contorts, using body English to influence the
Hey Morton, you think your ass is
connected to the machine? You
wiggle, it's gonna make the ball go
where you want?
12A Cameron's eyes scan the room, passing the TV above the counter. On
it, the commercial shows a beautiful girl (who we'll later know as
NINA FRANKLIN) bending over a bowl of dog food. Her ass, too,
12B wiggles engagingly. The pinball player leaves the machine.
Cameron, stalling for time, works the plunger while a cop stalks
closer; like the cat to the mouse hole.
Hey, you're lucky. Somebody left a
Cameron shoots. The ball bounces crazily inside the machine, lights
and buzzers flashing. Another policeman approaches.
You got 20,000! You're gonna win...
A free game!
He rests his hands on the machine, glancing about. Escape seems
...that's just what I needed...one
more chance to lose.
In a lightning-swift motion, the cop clamps his hands down over
Cameron's wrists, snapping the HANDCUFFS on. The trap has sprung.
13 CLOSE ON COP AND CAMERON
Cameron nods his head in resignation. A big uncontrollable grin
breaks and spreads over the cop's face.
Then suddenly, Cameron bolts, desperately springing full speed for
the back door. He flings it open. The cops are moving toward him.
One has almost got his gun out.
Cameron! Halt! I'll shoot!
Cameron lunges through the doorway, not realizing in his frenzy the
screen door still blocks his path. He tears through it, but gets
No!...God, don't shoot!
Swinging his manacled arms like a club against the tangled mesh, he
breaks free and runs.
14 EXT. REAR OF DINER
As Cameron flies down the back steps, a COP stationed at the rear
door, caught off-guard, tries to stop him but is shoved flat on his
back. Cameron weaves and scrambles across the yard, over fences,
between the shed and the barn, rolling beneath a building, out the
other side. Behind him, distant shouts and a gunshot.
15 INT. FOREST - MOVING SHOT ON CAMERON - DAY
As Cameron runs, he moves with a skill that suggests forests are not
alien to him. He crouches low, following tiny avenues in the maze
of tree trunks, scrambling on all fours over needles and fallen
cones. Sweat pours down his face. His breath rasps in his throat.
He breaks into a clearing and FREEZES...suddenly face to face with a
MAN who crouches, blocking his path. It is one of the telephone
linemen we saw earlier.
16 WIDER ANGLE
The lineman, kneeling at his tool chest, is surprised by Cameron.
The other lineman is halfway up the power pole. They both stare at
Cameron's handcuffs. Cameron edges back, his escape route blocked.
The man on the ground grabs a WRENCH and moves forward with the same
gleam in his eye we saw when he scared that bird from the tree.
Stand right there like a good old
boy and do what I say. You wanna
try and mess with me, you've had
fair warning. I was a combat Marine
in Korea. Okay?
The lineman advances on him as Cameron backs away.
Korea? No shit, so was my old
(he suddenly stamps his
foot and shrieks)
The lineman jumps in surprise. Then, enraged like a startled bull,
he lunges forward with the wrench. Cameron uses the man's weight
against him, his moves those of a trained fighter. A hard knee to
his stomach doubles up the lineman. The handcuffed arms slam down
like a club between his shoulder blades driving him to the ground.
A kick thrown sideways to his head and the man is out. The other
lineman who had started to descend the pole freezes and takes one
step back up. Cameron grabs the lineman's toolbox in his handcuffed
grasp and dashes off into the forest.
17 MOVING SHOT - ON CAMERON
He slides down a slope on a carpet of fallen leaves, tumbling to the
bottom and falls face forward into a running stream where he holds
his head and drinks. CAMERA MOVES ACROSS the terrain. There are no
pursuers, the forest is silent.
18 CLOSE UP - HANDCUFFS
The jaws of a wire-cutter clamp down severing the chain connecting
the cuffs around Cameron's wrists. He lifts his knee from the
cutter handle. His arms are now free. He wedges a chisel against
one bracelet and swings a sledgehammer against it. We hear his
19 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Doubled up, holding his wrist in pain. The bracelet is still
intact. He buttons his shirt cuffs over the metal bands and climbs
the slope to the bright sunlight on the road above.
20 EXT. OLD ABANDONED ROAD - DAY
Cameron is trudging along the old road winding down through the
mountainous pass. He crosses a bridge. Through the arches of its
low stone railing, he sees a BLACK RIVER twenty feet below rushing
toward the sea. Then, glancing back, he is suddenly alert.
21 CAMERON'S POV
In the far distance, almost lost in the shimmering heat waves from
the road, is a tiny speck moving toward him.
22 ANGLE ON CAMERON
He clambers down the embankment behind the railing, peering out from
this hidden vantage.
23 ANGLE ON ROAD
The speck grows larger. The SOUND of the engine is faintly audible
now. Sunlight flashes from metal and glass. Cameron's apprehension
suddenly changes to wonderment, for the vehicle is not the police as
he had feared, but something else. Moving in the shimmering heat
wave is a splendid, high, humpbacked World War I vintage DUESENBERG
SEDAN with gleaming brass headlights, roaring towards him.
24 ANGLE ON CAMERON
He scrambles up the embankment to thumb a ride. The Duesenberg
roars past him, filling his eyes and mouth with dust. Suddenly
there is a screech of brakes.
25 ANGLE ON CAR
The Duesenberg goes into a skid and then bounces to a stop.
Running, Cameron reaches the car, pulls the front door open and
climbs in beside the DRIVER.
26 INT. CAR
Thanks. I thought you didn't see
The driver, BURT, is a husky, red-haired man about Cameron's age and
deeply agitated. Pounding his fist against the steering wheel, he
talks half to Cameron, half to himself.
Damn it. Screwed it up. Lost my
Fishing a Vick's inhaler from his pocket and shoving it in his
Goddamn sinuses. Can't even see
Cameron looks at him, puzzled.
You want me to drive?
Burt whirls on him, enraged.
What the hell is that supposed to
No offense...thought you might...
Every one of you jerks is a goddamn
hotshot expert! Thanks for the vote
of confidence. If you think you can
do any better, just come and try it!
He puts his boot in Cameron's stomach and shoves hard.
27 EXT. CAR
Cameron comes flying out and lands on his back in the road as the
Duesenberg squeals forward, its open door slamming shut from the
Stunned, the wind knocked out of him, Cameron rises to his elbows.
Before the old relic has gone thirty yards, again the brakes
screech, swinging the car into a sliding salute turn, one hundred-
eighty degrees and it is suddenly screaming back toward Cameron.
INT. CAR - ANGLE ON BURT
Driving with one hand on the door handle, his head halfway out the
window watching the bridge railing and the water beyond.
29 ANGLE ON ROAD - CAR AND CAMERON
Cameron, sprawled on the road, is momentarily paralyzed at the sight
of the Duesenberg's great brass grill bearing down. His hand closes
over a rock and with the same illogical gesture that a soldier
flings a Coke bottle at a tank, Cameron hurls the rock in the
direction of the car and frantically rolls sideways. The big
spinning tires brush him as they pass. We catch a momentary glimpse
of the rock smashing against the gleam of the passing windshield.
As he stops rolling, once more face down in the dust, eyes closed,
expecting death, he becomes aware there is only silence. He opens
his eyes, climbs to his feet. The road is empty. The Duesenberg is
gone. Astonished, confused -- he walks to the side of the bridge
where the railing ends and the car might have plunged off. There is
nothing below but the rushing black water. Here and there bubbles
swirl to the surface. They could be from a sinking car or could be
caused by the current.
30 ANGLE ON CAMERON
His thoughts racing. Was it the sun, has he imagined the whole
thing? Suddenly a HELICOPTER appears, hovering, almost at eye
level. Sunlight flashes through the spinning blades like a strobe.
31 WIDER ANGLE
It is the same helicopter we saw in the opening sequence. It has
swiftly descended beside the bridge just beyond the railing,
catching Cameron with no chance to run or hide. FOUR MEN Can be
seen inside the plastic cockpit barely a few feet away. The man
beside the PILOT is ELI CROSS. He grabs the radio microphone and
begins speaking into it. Cameron whirls, scrambles down a bank to a
field. The helicopter drops to within a few feet of the water,
hovers. Protected from sight, Cameron runs between the tall stalks,
away from the road.
32 CAMERON - MOVING SHOT
Glancing back through the stalks as he runs, Cameron sees a STAKE
TRUCK barreling toward the sight of the accident. In the back,
THREE MEN are frantically putting on black wet-suits. They look,
from this distance, like little black toys tumbling against each
other. Cameron runs on.
- 10 -
33 EXT. BLUFF - OVERLOOKING SEASHORE TOWN
A few hotels, like a cluster of old Victorian gingerbread, surround
a sandy cove beyond which is the sea. There is a fishing pier,
boardwalk, hot dog stands, pizza parlors, all swarming with
sunbathing TOURISTS. The town's bucolic, turn-of-the-century charm
might even survive these, if not for a monstrous yellow CONSTRUCTION
CRANE, which juts ten stories into the sky from the center of the
sandy cove. Cameron appears on the bluff.
34 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Surveying the town -- expressionless, a jungle beast going to
survive no matter what -- at least for a few more hours. He reaches
down and rips off his trouser legs at the thigh, turning them into
cutoffs a vacationing bather might wear. He pulls off his worn
boots and flings them into the brush, his eyes never leaving the
town below. There are crowds to get lost in down there. He
unbuttons his sleeve and looks at the handcuff still encircling his
wrist. Stopping beside a large rock, he smashes the bracelet
against it. It won't open. Grimacing in pain, he re-buttons the
sleeve, opens his shirt and begins descending the palisades toward
35 EXT. BOARDWALK
The SCREEN is yellow and on it are the words: 'HAVE A NICE DAY.'
THE ANGLE WIDENS and we realize the words are on the back of a
YELLOW HAT that jiggles as its wearer walks. It is Cameron. Beyond
him we see the tide of tourists in oils and ointments flirting with
the sun. Teenage girls at portable toilets adjusting their bikinis.
The boardwalk cops in white shirts, looking like ice cream vendors,
whom Cameron deftly avoids. Then, he looks up at the sky,
perplexed: the helicopter from the bridge is overhead, circling.
Cameron watches it warily as he walks.
35A ANGLE ON BOARDWALK
A BIG CROWD has formed at the railing of the pier. Many of the
people with CAMERAS CLICKING at the sand below. Cameron notices the
helicopter is now sharing the sky with a brightly painted open
cockpit BIPLANE. It is a WORLD WAR I FIGHTER with BRITISH INSIGNIA.
35B ANGLE ON BOARDWALK AND SKY
Cameron works his way through the crowd. All eyes now look upward
at the plane. A LOUD VOICE is HEARD coming through an electric
- 11 -
All right, people. Quiet! We're
losing the sun! This is a take!
You're welcome to watch, but please,
no flashbulbs. They'll spoil the
Cameron's world has become more ordered again. It's a film company
shooting on location -- this somehow must explain the Duesenberg.
His eyes go to the scene below.
36 ANGLE ON COVE
A CAMERA RIG suspended from the end of the yellow construction crane
is PHOTOGRAPHING the surf where EXTRAS in German WWI uniforms
unload ashore. The bright little plane has started a lazy dive
toward the soldiers, its engine whining. From here it looks as
fearsome as Snoopy and the Red Baron.
37 ANGLE ON THE BEACH
As the British plane pulls out of the dive, there is a tremendous
explosion. In the flash of smoke and flame, barge, rowboats,
ammunition and people are blown sky-high. The smoke from the
exploding ammunition momentarily obscures the scene.
38 ANGLE ON CROWD
The onlookers are very impressed and pleased and then abruptly their
pleasure turns to horror and disbelief.
39 ANGLE ON COVE
As the smoke lifts, the Tom and Jerry violence has become a
horrifying reality. Bodies are scattered about. One man has been
severed in half, drenched in blood. Chunks of meat, arms and legs
litter the beach.
40 ANGLE ON CROWD
Paralyzed by the sense of catastrophe.
Something went wrong.
Then, people begin to moan and scream.
- 12 -
41 CLOSE ON CAMERON
Staring tensely at the carnage. By reflex, a shout escapes his
Medic! Get the medics!
41A A WOMAN sags into a faint. A small child in the crowd is crying and
clutching Cameron's leg.
42 ANGLE ON COVE
As the scene continues we hear a voice on the Bullhorn.
Cut! I said CUT! That's a print.
Suddenly the reality of the horror turns into an obscene, absurd
farce as what appear to be the missing parts of bodies begin
wriggling out of the sand where the extras were partially buried to
create the macabre effect and now the extras become whole human
beings before our eyes once again.
43 ANOTHER ANGLE
The crowd reacts in various ways. Sighs of relief, laughter, anger.
The exhumed extras wipe sand from their eyes and shake it down their
Beautiful, Harvey. You gave
everybody a heart attack.
HARVEY, the Second Unit Director, yells back.
Eli will hate it. He said he wanted
the shot in one? Now watch, he'll
do six hours of pick-ups.
The crowd disperses. A TOURIST turns to Cameron.
Great...but why do they always use
so much blood? It ruins the
realism, don't you think?
- 13 -
(still shaken, quietly
The tourist stiffens as Cameron turns away, his attention now drawn
by the beating sound of the helicopter. He glances up.
44 CAMERON'S POV
The helicopter is descending toward the beach while the FILM CREW
rapidly moves equipment from the last scene into piles to clear a
45 ANGLE ON FISHING PIER
Wary of the men in the chopper, Cameron is moving down the pier away
from the landing site. Suddenly he stops short, caught by something
he sees O.S. Excitedly he points and begins to shout.
Hey! Hey you...!
46 CAMERON'S POV
Below him, walking away on the sand is one of the actors with the
same red hair, the same old British army jacket as Burt -- the man
in the Duesenberg. Hearing the shout, the actor stops and
tentatively turns. It's a mistake. Clearly the features are
different. It's not Burt.
47 ANGLE TO INCLUDE CAMERON
Cameron is puzzled. He watches as the red-haired actor looks about
to see who called and finding no one, starts off, but is stopped by
a LITTLE OLD LADY holding a parasol and offering her autograph book.
LITTLE OLD LADY
Mr. Bailey! Aren't you Raymond
Bailey, the actor? Would you please
sign your autograph? Write 'to
Emily...for eternal peace.'
Raymond signs the book with the easy charm of a man who's done it a
million times. He has those special rugged good looks that belong
to Marlboro men and movie stars.
- 14 -
LITTLE OLD LADY (CONT'D)
I'm certainly glad you're all right.
I lost my husband and my son in the
The sound of the chopper blades has become deafening as it hovers
for a landing. The Old Lady snatches her autograph book and heads
for the landing site.
48 ANGLE ON HELICOPTER
As it touches the ground and its doors fly open. Out step the
CREWMEN and ELI CROSS. The ASSISTANT DIRECTOR rushes up and shouts
over the hissing blades of the idling chopper.
What happened on the bridge?!
All the divers found in the car was
the goddamn camera.
No Burt! All gone...caught in the
current probably and...they're
diving downstream and searching the
riverbanks, but...don't say anything
to the crew yet...
Yeah, Jesus Christ.
What do you want to do?
- 15 -
I don't know...call my mother and
have her tell me it wasn't my
...What the hell could have
Their words are lost in the sound of the rotor as the chopper slowly
rises. The sudden WIND from its blades blows some screening off a
pile of equipment. It falls on the Little Old Lady who has been
approaching Eli and topples her into the surf. She is trapped in a
tangle of ancient skirts and petticoats. Before she can regain her
balance, a wave tumbles her further into the sea.
49 ANGLE INCLUDING CAMERON
Cameron, sitting on the edge of the pier over the water, has watched
this mini-disaster. The undertow from the wave has swept the Old
Lady directly beneath him. Reaching down toward her, he yells:
Hey! Hey, give me your hand!
He can't quite reach her. As a last resort, he drops off the edge
into the water by her side.
50 ANGLE ON WATER
He grabs for the struggling Old Lady.
Don't be afraid! You're gonna be
Like groping through seaweed, he reaches past her tangled skirts,
grasps her waist and lifts her to keep her head above water. She is
choking, gasping for air. She turns her face toward him.
51 CAMERON'S POV
Her features are distorted; they seem to be melting away. She frees
her hand and violently tears at her face, pulling away the RUBBER
MASK on which is the melting putty and make up. With it goes her
wig and what is left is a startlingly beautiful young girl.
- 16 -
(choking on water)
You're...I know you...that girl from
TV...the actress. Nina...
The sun glistens on the wet, wild young perfection of her face,
ingenuously sparkling laughter and for an instant it's breathtaking
- a universal boyhood fantasy to suddenly be thrown this close to
that kind of "movie star" beauty. It's something Cameron feels in
the pit of his stomach.
My God!...Why the hell...?
(laughing and choking)
...Makeup test...it's for the
Regaining his composure enough to attempt flattery, but he means it.
They gotta be crazy to cover that
I'm only old at the end of the
As they are only in a few feet of water, there is no longer any
reason to hold her. He starts to put her down.
No, don't do that. Rescue me!
In three feet of water?
Oh come on, please. I always wanted
someone to rescue me from
Grinning, he carries her toward shore.
- 17 -
ANGLE ON BEACH
Eli, surrounded by the crew and dozens of tourists, is standing at
the water's edge as Cameron wades in and sets Nina down.
Nina! You damned near scared me to
At the sight of Eli, she becomes like a little girl who, having
skinned her knee and run to daddy, now can allow herself to cry.
Oh hell, it's all ruined now and I
wanted you to see the makeup, Eli.
Where were you?...I even got
Raymond's autograph and he didn't
know...You'd have been proud...
Nina is surrounded by people who are rubbing her with towels, taking
pictures, all shouting at once. The CROWD closes in, excluding
Cameron to the outskirts.
(to the A.D.)
Get her into a tub, then bed...and I
want to see her in makeup and
costume again before dinner.
THREE CREWMEN hustle her off, as she searches the crowd for
Cameron...then spots him.
Hey! Thank you! That was really
gallant...rescuing an old lady!
Cameron waves and starts to wander off as they whisk Nina away.
53 ANGLE ON ELI
He moves toward Cameron.
Wait a second! I want to thank you,
As Eli trots up, Cameron tenses, finally facing this man who saw him
from the helicopter.
- 18 -
Don't run away. What is that, a
habit with you?
Yeah, I also smoke too much.
You and Burt on the bridge...how
about telling me what happened?
Eli begins to stroll along the sand toward the pilings which support
the pier. Cameron hesitates, but Eli's manner compels him to
I don't know. He must've gone
crazy. He tried to run me down.
Oh?...Why would he do that?
...I didn't ask him why! All I know
is he was comin' at me very fast.
(quoting an axiom spouted
by top sergeants in a
thousand boot camps)
'You want to get home for
Thanksgiving, you better figure the
guy comin' at you is tryin' to kill
you'...That's one thing I learned
from the gooks.
Gooks?...That has a nostalgic
They have reached the pier. Eli stops, he is watching something
You guys really used to call them
gooks? I thought that was just Time
- 19 -
That was 'Nam. What should I call
'em, WOPS? Nobody'd known what I
was talkin' about.
He turns to follow Eli's gaze.
54 CAMERON'S POV - POLICE CAR
A POLICE CAR has driven onto the beach. From it, THREE OFFICERS
have emerged. They are armed and efficient looking. The PRODUCTION
MANAGER moves to greet them. Eli takes Cameron's wrist and gently
pulls him back into the shadow of the pilings, (privately reacting
to the handcuff he feels beneath the shirt). JAKE, the Chief, is
irate enough to be clearly heard from this distance.
All right, this time you've had it!
Where is he?!
Chief, I'm glad you dropped by. Eli
says you gotta do something about
all these people on the beach.
Thirty minutes is what you've got to
get your goddamn equipment off this
beach and out of town!...You tell
Eli Cross if your men are on the
streets after four o'clock, I'll
throw their ass in jail!
55 ANGLE ON ELI AND CAMERON
Eli squats down on his heels and leans back against a piling,
smiling up at Cameron.
Speaking of jail...would you get
upset if I asked how many cops were
What are ya talkin' about?
- 20 -
Your I.D. bracelet...the look on
your face...the way you ran from the
(with exaggerated delicacy)
I...don't suppose you want to tell
me what you did.
Cameron studies Eli, not knowing what to make of him.
(brightly, with humor)
...Could I try categories?
Cameron half laughs despite himself.
Ever done any stunt work?
How'd you like to be a stunt man?
You look like you're in pretty good
shape, fast on your feet. You could
(getting to his feet)
Besides, You're not gonna have much
Jake has spotted them and is approaching with his men and the
Production Manager. Eli puts his hand on Cameron's shoulder and
steps out into the sunlight.
(softly, to Cameron)
Now, don't get hasty. And, remember
your ass, it's just like mine...
maybe I can save them both.
- 21 -
(trailing after Jake)
...but we've gotta have three days
to finish this picture...
(striding toward Eli)
You said you'd be gone four days
ago, before the season started. You
lie, break promises...
(he is now close enough
and shouting at Eli)
Cross, I've gone out of my way, but
A TRAM beeps, clangs and passes between them, interrupting Jake and
leaving him sputtering. As it departs, Eli seizes the moment.
Jake, it's been a rotten morning.
You're hot and tired. Let's go in,
have us a drink and find out what's
(turning beet red)
Don't treat me like these other
morons! You know goddamn well
what's eating me is that Duesenberg
on the bottom of the river with the
dead man in it!
There is silence. Eli stands thoughtfully kicking the sand with his
toe. Then Jake starts shouting again.
I mean, that is a goddamn public
bridge and a public river! You go
there without permits, without any
precautions and get a man killed!
No more bullshit explanations. Just
go...before I figure out how to hang
you with a manslaughter charge!
- 22 -
(after a pause; quietly)
No explanations...don't have any.
But, maybe he does...
(staring at Cameron)
Go ahead, ask him, Jake.
Eli's words are exploding in Cameron's mind -- that illusory event
on the bridge has crystallized into hard reality.
...Now wait!...You're not blaming me
(wheeling on Cameron)
Why not, Burt?! Because you're a
fake?! Because you're just a
goddamn daredevil with a head full
Cameron vaguely understands that Eli is trying to pass him off as
Burt and that he, somehow, may be saved by going along with this
madness. Eli, turning to Jake, continues passionately...
He grabs the bread, blows the shot,
screws you up...screws me up. He's
dumb, Jake, but thank God, he ain't
dead yet. So do me a favor, put
your handcuffs on this son-of-a-
bitch and put him some place where
he can't get hurt!
The Chief is dazed. If this is Burt, the stunt man, he is obviously
alive. Jake goes to Cameron.
How did you get out of the car?
He didn't get out. Our divers got
him out...and brought him back in
The Chief stares at Cameron. His clothes and hair are wet. There
is a small bruise on his cheek from when he fell out of the
Duesenberg. He looks the part. Jake turns to Eli with resignation.
- 23 -
Cross, when these three days are up,
I'm going to arm my men with
shotguns and tell them it's open
season on any fruit carrying a
He walks to the waiting police car, surrounded by TOURISTS snapping
pictures. He glares at them, angry at the world. Eli puts his arm
on Cameron's shoulder and leads him through the dispersing crowd
toward the hotel. Eli is now easygoing and friendly.
You did that very well.
I didn't get a chance to say a word.
I just listened.
There are only a few actors in the
world who have mastered that art.
Anyway, it was a good audition. You
landed the part.
How? What about the crew? They
going to look at me and say, 'Hi,
Unless you prefer, 'Hi, Elizabeth.'
Don't worry about my crew, they'll
call you anything I want 'em to.
Look, I'm not being callous. Burt
is a fucking tragedy, but there's
nothing in the world I can do about
it...I've gotta have this location
for three more days...and you need a
place to hide.
They have reached the steps of the HOTEL. A BUS has stopped in
front. TOURISTS are piling out. The POLICE CAR pulls up and parks
nearby. Jake and his men can be seen surveying the crowd.
(shouting in b.g.)
Eli! The crew's waiting. We need
the next setup!
- 24 -
The hand! Close-up of the hand! Be
there in a minute!
An Eli minute or a real minute?!
Eli turns back to Cameron as they mount the steps.
By tomorrow the local cops'll know
what I look like. I can't hang
"Burt," stop worrying! Haven't you
heard of "movie magic?"
(pointing to the etched
glass doors of the hotel)
That door is "the looking glass,"
and inside...is Wonderland. You're
gonna pose as a stunt man, who's
posing as an actor, who's posing as
a character in a movie...who's
posing as an enemy soldier...In that
big a crowd, who's gonna notice you?
People like to believe in things and
cops are just people.
The have reached the front door. Eli holds it open for Cameron.
(with mock confidentiality)
Frankly, your problem's so simple,
it's almost beneath me. Have faith,
'Alice.' Close your eyes and enjoy.
In exhaustion and resignation, Cameron nods and wearily closes his
SCREEN GOES BLACK
Open your eyes...and don't touch.
- 25 -
56 INT. HOTEL BASEMENT - CLOSE ON CAMERON'S REFLECTION
His eyes open. He stares at his face in the mirror, pleased at the
subtle transformation. His hair has been cut shorter and dyed red,
somehow changing his whole aspect. He rubs the red mark on his
wrists where the bracelet has been removed.
56A WIDE ANGLE
Part of the laundry room is being used for the film's Hairdressing
Department. Cameron sits in a barber chair wearing a plastic apron,
surrounded by dryers, wigs, etc. In b.g., washing machines churn
constantly. DENISE, the Hairdresser, an attractive earthy woman of
thirty-two, stands over him. He is still wary and trying not to
(looking in mirror)
...Could be worse...could be
green...I think I like it.
Of course you like it...ask
anybody... Denise gives great hair.
Got any grass?
(shaking his head)
She touches his hair to test the dryness, holding her hand there for
a moment longer than seems necessary. He grins at her, rises and
crosses to the wall mirror to get a better look.
What else don't you have that I
She moves to a basement window and gazes out.
57 POV - BEACH
Through the window, the crew is setting up a shot while Eli
rehearses with Nina and his red-haired male star, RAYMOND BAILEY,
(who Cameron earlier saw on the beach). Bailey is dressed as a
World War I British aviator and Nina as a young girl of that era.
Our male star isn't going to like
- 26 -
TWO SHOT - CAMERON AND DENISE
(moving toward window)
You're too good looking. His idea
of a perfect stunt double is two-
hundreds pounds of hamburger in a
He studies the view, his attention focused on Nina.
What's she like? I've seen her on
(irritated by his
interest in Nina)
At selling douche powder, she's
fabulous; dog food?...I'm not sure
What are you sore about?
I'm not sore. Isn't that what you
wanted to know?
...Or did you mean, what's the real
Nina Franklin like--without the
greasepaint and tinsel...
Moving to a pile of laundry heaped on the floor, she pokes around
with the toe of her shoe.
...You mean, what's she like --
Snaring a crumpled garment, she kicks it toward Cameron, who catches
it instinctively, then holds it up for inspection -- a pair of
(Nina's) lace panties. He grins, mildly embarrassed by the charade.
- 27 -
(moving toward him)
What do those say about the girl who
wears them? Shy? Delicate?
She reaches for the panties, but instead takes his hand and yanks
sharply, pulling him off balance, falling back on the laundry pile
with Cameron on top of her, their faces inches apart; surprise on
his, amusement on hers.
(touching his hair)
Still wet...very wet.
Cameron is trying to remember: what was it Eli said? "Close your
eyes, relax and enjoy." Across the room the washing machines churn,
whirl and heave.
59 EXT. BEACH AREA
Eli and his crew are shooting a scene: a "pick-up" shot for the
explosion sequence we saw earlier. Eli and GABE, the cameraman, are
lying beside the camera. Before them, the "severed" arm protrudes
from the sand in which its owner is buried, out of sight.
You sure he can breathe?
(a mumbling assent from
beneath the sand)
(Raymond kneels beside
Remember, you just crashed...you
were wandering the beach behind the
German lines looking for a place to
hide when you saw the explosion.
You're stunned by the carnage. That
bomb was dropped by a guy in your
squadron. Okay? Roll the film.
60 POV THRU CAMERA
Through the CAMERA, WE SEE the 'arm' protruding from the sand. We
HEAR o.s. VOICES yelling: "Turning"... "speed"... "action." We see
the fingers begin to move spasmodically. Eli's voice yells: "Okay,
Suddenly the fingers on the hand start to swell, bigger and
bigger...like a rubber glove filling with air...then BANG! BANG!
BANG! The (balloon-covered) fingers EXPLODE.
- 28 -
61 ANGLE ON BEACH
Everyone has broken up with laughter at the prank, including Eli.
Gabe is patting Eli's face, Raymond squeezing his jaw affectionately
as one would a pet dog's.
Gotcha that time! Didn't we?
(through his laughter)
Yeah, you got me another half-hour
Eli climbs to his feet as the laughter subsides. Cameron, now
wearing a uniform exactly like Raymond's, watches from the
Thought the chief could use a little
cheering up today.
(turning quiet and
...So you heard the news about
Any more word?
Afraid not...there's no picture ever
made that's worth it.
(shaking his head)
I'll never understand why these guys
do it -- take the chances.
- 29 -
Don't know. Trying to beat the
system, I guess...we all know that
some day we're gonna die of nothing
more important than wrinkles...and
that makes us so scared and crazy,
we'll do anything. Go off
There is great sadness among them. Eli breaks the mood lightly.
That's what our film's about -- or
didn't you know?
Hey, Burt, come over here.
Cameron crosses to them. He and Raymond stand appraising each
other, red-haired men in identical uniforms. As Raymond offers his
My new cock and balls?
Not new...It's important not to let
that get around as yet. So, for the
time being, let's make like he's the
(adding a touch of color)
But no longer known as "Bad-assed
Burt." Ever since his 'fortunate
rescue,'...we call him "Lucky."
62 EXT. CHURCHYARD - ANGLE ON CHUCK - LATER THAT DAY
CHUCK BARTON is a tall, rugged-looking man in his mid-thirties, the
Stunt Gaffer on Eli's film. A MESSENGER trots up and presents a
receipt book. Chuck sets down his stunt bag and signs it absently.
Your film from that camera in the
Duesenberg's on the way to the lab.
Put it on the plane with my own
- 30 -
When do we get it back?
Don't know. Stamped it "rush."
If I stamp "rush" on my mare's ass,
she'll still take eleven months to
foal. Call the lab and find out
I lost a man today. I wanna see
that footage and find out why.
As the Messenger leaves, Chuck strolls over to where Cameron stands
waiting, circles around him, sizing him up. Cameron is no longer
wearing the uniform, but now is in jeans and a work shirt.
Done any stunt work?
Not really? You have or you
I got out of Vietnam in one piece.
Let me tell you that wasn't a bad
That's ancient history.
Seems like yesterday.
(pointing at church
Could you jump from that tower to
the that roof?
- 31 -
63 ANGLE ON CAMERON (AND STEEPLE)
Gauging the fifteen-foot gap between the CHURCH STEEPLE and the roof
of the nearby MUNICIPAL BUILDING. He unconsciously grimaces at the
four-story drop between them.
Once, to save my ass, I jumped out
of a banana tree into an oxcart full
of buffalo shit. Does that count?
We'll see. Put these on.
He throws Cameron some knee pads from his stunt bag and begins
marking off two lines on the bare earth between the gravestones in
(puzzled by the pads)
Where do they go?
(tapping his knee)
Under the pants.
(pointing to lines he has
I want you to jump from here...to
Cameron hops up to the starting line, finishing with the knee pads
clumsily, surveys the distance of not more than seven feet.
Makes a casual jump, landing on the line and looking at Chuck for
Very good. Except you're dead!!
Your brains are scattered all over
the goddamn pavement. You landed on
the edge and fell backwards four
stories. Where do we send the body?
- 32 -
(returns to the starting
Don't bury me yet.
He takes a running start and leaps hard. While he's still in mid-
air, Chuck yells.
You're still dead! You fell over
the other side of the building.
Cameron has landed three beyond the mark and looks up at Chuck a bit
You wanna try it right, once? You
should land in a tuck-and-roll.
Show me, sergeant.
Chuck launches himself head-first. His hands touch the ground just
beyond the second mark to break his fall, easing him into a shoulder
roll, he somersaults to his feet.
He takes a running start and does the same. Not quite as well, but
well enough. As he rolls to his feet:
My speciality is Hopscotch.
Chuck turns on him enraged, overreacting.
- 33 -
And Burt's specialty was drowning.
You know one goddamn daredevil on
this picture was enough! What the
hell was Eli thinking, giving me a
smart-ass, cocky, amateur kid when I
need a stunt man! It's a little
different running across that roof
when they're pumping tracer bullets
over your head.
(eloquently pleading his
I was running for twenty-six months
with guys shooting at me...not over
my head...at my head and I'm alive.
I knew daredevils. I got nothing
against them...it's just they're all
dead. So ease off and give me a
Cameron is surprised to see that Chuck is grinning.
Hey, were you putting me on?
Me? I wouldn't know how to do that.
Chuck starts to walk away, then stops and looks at Cameron.
64 EXT. ROOFTOP MUNICIPAL BUILDING - CLOSE ON CHUCK - MINUTES LATER
Can you imaging Eli doing a World
War I picture without horses? Do
you know the gags I could do with
four runaway horses pulling a
Cameron sailing into the SHOT. Chuck ducks slightly, catching
Cameron on his back and flipping him into a somersault. Cameron
lands on the sharply slanted slate roof of the municipal building.
Chuck stands beside him straddling the peak. The church steeple can
be seen in b.g. (and we now realize time has passed and we are no
longer in the graveyard of the previous sequence, but atop the
- 34 -
...Next time hit me higher.
(climbing to his feet)
What's Eli got against horses? I
Don't butter me up.
Cameron goes running at Chuck and once again flies over his
shoulder. Sprawling on the slippery slate, he looks up to see Chuck
strolling down the hazardous incline like a mountain goat. Cameron
scrambles to follow.
(as he walks)
We'll draw a sight line for you to
follow down the roof here, while
you're rolling. Now there's nothing
very difficult. But this is where
you gotta think. Your mind can't be
on snatch. It's gotta be on
grabbing that gutter.
They have reached the lower edge of the roof. Cameron looks down at
Or my brains are all over the
pavement again, right?
You know a good falling horse makes
more money in four minutes than a
bank president does in a year?
Picture's not over. Maybe you'll
still get your chance.
Chuck has stopped and they peer down through a skylight to where the
crew is setting up a shot in a room below.
Naw, all they care about is story.
- 35 -
They move to another edge of the roof overlooking a NARROW CENTRAL
COURTYARD. They gaze down at a WINDOW AWNING two stories below that
juts from the side of the building-wing across the court.
Now here's where the scuffle ends.
When the pipe breaks loose, you fall
and hit that awning. Then Eli yells
"cut" and old Raymond takes your
place for the close-ups and the
glory. That's where the German
soldiers catch him and throw him in
the nuthouse. They're shootin' that
scene downstairs now.
(staring at awning)
That's supposed to hold me?
Probably doesn't hold rain.
It's not a real awning, it's a
65 EXT. MUNICIPAL BUILDING ROOF - CLOSE ON CAMERON - DAY
Cameron's face is beginning to sweat and the veins are bulging from
the growing strain of some physical effort.
It's no harder up here than it is on
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Cameron dangling from a section of rain
gutter, four stories above the ground.
CHUCK'S VOICE (CONT'D)
It's the same gag...it's just a
little scarier. And that's what you
get paid for.
Yeah, how much?
You're stealing candy with this gag.
You get six hundred bucks.
- 36 -
...Christ! Watch it, will ya?
(helping Cameron onto
What did you think a stunt man is?
He's a professional. If the camera
jams, that's another six hundred and
if Eli says "try it again," six
66 INT. MUNICIPAL BUILDING - ASYLUM SET
In a large vacant hall on the ground floor of the municipal
building, a movie set has been erected representing the ward room in
a World War I military asylum. In it, Eli's crew is filming a
sequence -- a dozen enraged INMATES in tatters, heads shaven, wild-
eyed, advance toward Raymond, shrieking (as though in echo of
Cameron's exultant yell).
67 CLOSER ANGLE
Raymond, dressed as a British Flyer, his face bloodied, crouches and
retreats in terror, a man caught in a nightmare, as these mutilated
derelicts suddenly swarm over him. One, like a mad dog, goes fro
his throat, another wields his own artificial limb as a club.
Raymond (in character) breaks free and screams.
For an instant, the inmates stop in stunned silence -- broken only
by a distant shout overhead.
(on the roof overhead)
beautiful dollars! I can't believe
The slavering madmen look up, then out at the camera, madmen no
longer, simply bewildered actors.
All right. Hold it! Hold it!
- 37 -
ANGLE ON CREW
Eli stands amidst the camera crew photographing the scene. He is
waving for order.
...Save it, everybody.
Jesus Christ, what the hell was
that? Somebody get their ass up on
(cutting him off)
...Never mind. I didn't like it
As Eli steps down from the DOLLY, a solemn, quiet man approaches him
from among the onlookers. It is SAM BAUM (the writer).
The scene's wrong.
(yells to the A.D.)
Call a break.
The A.D. Calls "Five minutes" and the crew moves toward the coffee
urn. Eli wanders toward the door, Sam pursuing.
(fighting for his scene)
Eli, it played like a dream. My
God, it was Marat-Sade.
It played like shit!
- 38 -
Well, who was that on the phone in
the middle of the night when you
first read it, raving about the
magical madhouse scene, the upstairs
Eli rips the page with the "madhouse scene" from his screenplay as
they stride out of the building.
69 EXT. MUNICIPAL BUILDING
There, beside the rear entrance on a pile of construction sand, sits
Eli, cross-legged, staring morosely at some kids who play nearby.
He is absently folding a torn script page into a paper airplane.
Behind him, at a respectful distance, stand the Production Manager,
A.D., half a dozen assorted crew chiefs and Sam Baum, all looking
concerned. Sam looks at the others, shrugs and approaches Eli,
squatting beside him on the sand pile.
What do you wanna do, Eli?...
They're all waiting.
While Sam talks, Eli takes a fistful of sand and pours it in Sam's
shoe. Suddenly noticing, Sam yanks his foot away.
Being childish isn't going to help
your movie...You know, there's
nothing wrong with the story.
(removing his shoe and
shaking the sand out)
The real problem is since I wrote
this thing two years ago, you've had
Watergate, the energy crisis,
Women's Lib, the economy is down the
tubes...You want to talk about
burning issues?...There's arsenic in
the glue on the back of food stamps!
That's why you don't like the
"madhouse scene." Your goddamn war
story has lost its relevance.
Don't be negative, Sam. We can
start a new one in time for the
- 39 -
Sam has finished replacing his shoe and Eli pours a fistful of sand
into Sam's other shoe.
Cut it out, will ya?
70 INT. HOTEL DINING ROOM - THAT NIGHT
Eli is at the head of a long table, CAMERA PULLING BACK TO REVEAL a
dozen members of the company dining with him. Nina sits beside Eli
listening with rapt attention to Sam's monologue, her dessert fork
sensuously lingers at her lip.
Two years ago you were all charged
up to make a great big anti-war
statement and they wouldn't let you.
Now they let you, but you haven't
got a war. What you've got is egg
on your face because Vietnam's long
gone and it's too late!
Our picture's not about fighting
...It's about fighting windmills.
The truth in Eli's statement registers on Sam. Cameron sits farther
down the table, watching Nina watch Eli...and wishing she were
War isn't the disease...It's only
one of the symptoms.
What's the disease?
- 40 -
That's the big question, Sam. Name
the disease and you've licked the
Ask him. 'Cause he knows what the
film is about. Right Lucky? Tell
'em...How'd you like Vietnam?
How'd you like bubonic plague?
See, Sam? Here's another one who
hates war...but he enlisted.
You fought in Vietnam for two years?
...I mean actually were out there
...Hey, I didn't kill that many
Don't be modest, Lucky. Everybody
digs a little violence...What was
that you said on the beach?
Cameron is starting to bristle at Eli's needling, particularly with
About getting home for Thanksgiving?
...that you better figure the guy
coming at you is trying to kill
- 41 -
Yeah. See, Sam?...That's what the
disease is about...being scared
shitless. Inventing enemies.
Whistling in the dark. I wish you'd
talk to the kid, Sam, I mean it.
You know, really, you guys should
(getting the last word)
Hey, Lucky, give me your cot by the
window and I'll let you read a great
They all laugh.
All right, Eli. I'll write you
another scene. What difference does
it make? The studio will cut it all
out anyway and what you got left is
a lot of swell battle scenes, which,
when I was back there they said were
No, they won't.
Yeah, what makes you different?
Because they know if they cut my
picture, I'll kill 'em.
The deadly in Eli's voice was more than intended and there is
suddenly an awkward silence at the table. Cameron eyes Eli with a
You mean, bang? Kill 'em, just like
- 42 -
(matter of fact)
No. I'll kill 'em and eat 'em...I
hate to waste anything.
They call him "Eli the Terrible..."
Sam, my picture is the only kid I've
got! If the studio said your
daughter, Jennifer, would look
better with her fingers chopped off,
what would you do?
Being an insecure writer, I'd call
my agent...and get another opinion.
Jake, the Chief of Police, is seen in the background approaching the
table. Cameron spots him and starts to rise.
...If you'll excuse me...
Don't go away, Burt. I want you.
Jake! Long time, no see. You taken
care of my problem with the beach?
I'm not talking to you.
(to Production Manager)
I understand you got that film out
of the Duesenberg...
It's at the lab, Jake.
- 43 -
I'm talking to this gentleman.
(to Production Manager)
We want to see it.
Cameron, realizing the film might disclose his presence on the
bridge, reacts with alarm, which increases as Eli says...
Tell the Chief it's our pleasure.
Soon as it gets back...but ask him
(choked up with its
You can tell your Mr. Cross this
inquiry comes from a source so high
it is not his to question...
(now at a loss for proper
...it is his to do it, or else.
Someone they're looking for may have
been on that road when the car went
Burt, you see anybody?
Then, suddenly noticing something different about Cameron's
Hey, did you have red hair
She sprays it every day so I look
like Raymond...I didn't see a soul.
(to the rescue)
Tell the Chief that Burt was so busy
being brilliant, he wouldn't have
noticed Jesus Christ walking on the
Jake pulls a PHOTOGRAPH from a manila envelope and hands it to
71 INSERT PHOTOGRAPH
- 44 -
A wire photo, front and side views of Cameron, taken at his military
induction. War ages a man...he looks younger and quite different in
his GI Haircut.
Hey, Burt! You got it upside down.
The eyes go on top.
72 ANOTHER ANGLE
Cameron hands the photo back to the Chief, who passes it around the
table. Denise receives the photograph, studies it and glances up at
Cameron, expressionless. He returns her gaze.
A couple of telephone linemen say
they saw him headed this way.
Eli takes the photograph.
Looks like a nice clean-cut kid.
I know about fifty guys who don't
What'd he do?
(to Production Manager,
ignoring Eli's question)
The minute that film gets here you
give me a call.
(yawning and rising)
I don't know about those fifty guys,
but I know one weary guy who's gonna
crawl upstairs and hit the sack.
Eli looks at Cameron with grudging admiration.
I know a weary guy who's driving to
Cape Long to dance and booze all
- 45 -
(camping, takes Gabe's
I know a weary gay who's going with
They mince off (the fag act all the more amusing because of
Raymond's strictly masculine looks). Eli shouts after them.
So long as you're back in ninety
minutes. It's a work night for some
...Those who give a shit.
Raymond "gathers" Nina along the way, wrapping his arm about her
shoulders -- Cameron watching silently. Then, charging from across
the dining room like a tanker steaming in their wake, comes a
gushing, overwrought, blue-rinsed MATRON.
Miss Franklin! Miss Franklin! Your
'Feminique Spray' commercial is on
TV. My God, it's simply heavenly!
73 INT. CAMERON'S HOTEL ROOM - CLOSE ON DRESSER - NIGHT
Drawers are slamming open and shut as Cameron hurriedly stuffs his
few belongings into his pockets.
It's a mean little bedroom, with Sam's clothes, typewriter, etc., in
evidence. Seeing Sam's wallet, Cameron pulls a wad of money from
it, at the same time accidentally knocking Sam's false teeth off the
dresser. He hesitates, then stuffs back all the bills but a twenty.
He strides to Sam's closet, pulls out shirt and slacks, stuffs them
in a cloth beach bag, also belonging to Sam and starts out the door.
Then he stops, gets on his hands and knees, looking for the false
teeth, which he finally finds. Now, annoyed at himself for being a
"nice guy," he throws them carelessly on the dresser and quickly
- 46 -
74 EXT. HOTEL - LATER THAT NIGHT
As Cameron moves down the steps, the returning company STATION WAGON
pulls to a stop in the driveway. Nina, Raymond and a few others
emerge from the car. Cameron turns away so as not to be seen as
they pass him on the steps heading for the entrance.
Bet they're looking for that nut who
killed all those campers in Montana...
...Too many campers, weed 'em out!
...Imagine, sitting an hour at a
We should have waited, it wouldn't
have been an hour.
74A They've entered the hotel. Cameron continues to the bottom of the
stairs, hesitates, looking back at Nina.
75 CAMERON'S POV
Silhouetted through the etched glass doors (on the other side of
"The Looking Glass") he sees the lithe, gay, exquisitely beautiful
figure of Nina -- light sparkling from the cut glass dances about
her face -- a hauntingly romantic image.
76 ANGLE ON CAMERON
He watches for a moment with hopeless longing. Finally, turning
from her, he looks about at the dark water and deserted boardwalk.
There come some of Eli's crew, laughing, joking, cutting a swatch
through the stillness, pushing their heavy brutes toward some nearby
spot to light a night shot. There's the CHURCH TOWER. He stares at
it, wavering in his resolve to leave, wondering what would happen
What next? Do you rescue the maiden
from the tower?
She has come up behind him, unnoticed. He turns, startled, and
there she stands.
- 47 -
For a moment they search each other's eyes -- for intentions. Then
she glances at the tower.
Yes. It does look pretty high.
Are you worried about tomorrow?
Cameron's mind is racing over all the things he'd like to say so she
would know him instantly. But his answer is simple and sounds
Not much. I guess if there were any
real danger, Eli wouldn't let me do
it, would he?
No. I'm sure it's safe.
(abruptly, with a boyish
Good. Then you jump.
She understands the slightly jealous rebuke for her blind faith in
Eli. Her laughing answer hangs like a challenge.
Well, come on.
(willing, but flustered)
What, right now?
For a moment he weighs it: whether to "run" or stay. Then acts on
his decision. Starting to laugh, he takes her hand and pulls her
toward the tower. She holds back, struggling playfully.
- 48 -
Wait, I'm afraid of heights! What
if I freeze up?
(pulling her along)
Don't worry, I'll give you a push.
Isn't that what a pal's for?
77 INT. BELL TOWER - NIGHT
It is crowded with bells, a small walkway and railing surrounded
them. The city lights are seen beyond. Below are the sheds where
crewmen are preparing the next day's shooting. Just beyond is the
overwhelming silhouette of the huge CRANE. Nina and Cameron reach
the top of the stairs winded and laughing, as they rush to the
railing and lean over. Nina gasps, clutching Cameron in genuine
Oh, my God! It's terrifying! You
can't jump from this...you'll get
killed! It's crazy!...
...It's not that bad. It looks
worse at night... Chuck says it's
like robbing a candy store.
Now stop that! ...I'm going back.
She whirls to go. He stops her, taking her by the shoulders.
Her concern for him has turned to anger, like a mother slapping her
child for running in the street.
It's just dumb...to strut around
trying to talk brave...
His arm still restrains her. She takes hold of it, then suddenly
softens with a look of slight surprise.
- 49 -
Oh...you are scared...aren't you?
Yes. You are...You're trembling.
After a moment, he answers quietly.
So are you...and you're not even
It's true. She is trembling and so is he -- not from fear. He
slowly draws her toward him, her mouth reaching up to his. And then
they are devouring each other. Abruptly, they're illuminated by a
fierce blast of white light. They separate and stare, blinking in
shock and confusion.
Okay, hit two and three.
They are pinned in the crossbeams of two more giant arcs. Quickly
she yanks him down with her out of sight behind the railing.
78 EXT. CHURCHYARD - ELI AND CREW - NIGHT
Eli is lounging in the bucket suspended from the crane. Beside him
Gabe adjusts one of the giant brutes.
(business as usual)
I could kill this brute and fill
with juniors. You'd get a halo
around the tower.
(struggling to resist)
Got no time...it's an establishing
shot...two seconds on the screen.
...You got six minutes.
Gabe smiles, scurries off. Eli glances at the tower, grins, having
toyed with them long enough, he yells.
- 50 -
Hey! While you're up there, be
useful. We're lighting. Stand up
and look towards the sea so you're
79 CLOSER ANGLE ON TOWER - NIGHT
As Nina's arm raises into view with the middle finger extended.
Light this, Eli!!!
80 EXT. CHURCHYARD - BENEATH THE TOWER - NIGHT
The church door swings open. Nina and Cameron emerge, covering
their embarrassment with bravado. Nina is prattling as though to a
81 CLOSE ON CAMERON AND NINA
...And those bells are so
interesting. Imagine four hundred
years ago by boat from Amsterdam.
Thank you for the tour. It was so
informative. I'm going to write my
father. He's so interested in God
and things like that.
Hiya. Want a lift?
Eli miraculously appears from above. He descends and rides around
beside them in the bucket of the crane.
Oh, for Christ's sake...
There once was a maiden fair,
smooching a guy with red hair...
Eli, get away with that thing!
- 51 -
...Could it be Raymond who's turning
this dame on? ...Or his double,
young Lucky Pierre?
Unable to elude Eli in his basket, Nina turns on him in mock
It's gotten to the point where I
have to look under the stopper of
the bathtub when I take a shower to
make sure I've got some privacy!
(broadly gesturing to
Thank you one and all and good
Privately, she gives Cameron's arm an affectionate squeeze, then
disappears around the corner of the building. He is left holding
the beach bag, pursued by the Peter Pan in the basket. It has now
dropped to ground level so Eli is looking up at Cameron.
Step right in, folks...the "Killer
Crane" ride of the century.
Thanks, I'll walk.
Eli's basket now moves up a few feet so he's looking down at
Cameron, riding beside him while he walks.
Ah, youth. Six hours in town and
caught with the leading lady. Not
bad. Shouldn't be so upset.
Okay to be upset about what happened
in the dining room? Why'd you
promise to show that cop the film?
He'll recognize me.
You really don't trust me, do you?
Hop in. I got a present for you.
- 52 -
He pulls Cameron into the basket beside him so unexpectedly that
Cameron drops Sam's bag. Eli picks it up and plops it into
Cameron's lap. Suddenly Cameron finds himself soaring skyward at a
stomach-churning rate -- while Eli rattles on...probing, disarming,
You constantly amaze me. You don't
go to movies. What's that tatoo, a
disguise? You a Commie? Don't you
know that King Kong was only three
feet tall? He came up to Fay Wray's
belly button. If God could only do
the tricks we can. What are you
worried about the film and the cop
Now, hanging ten stories above the city, Eli is adjusting his
viewer, looking at a cluster of RED FLASHING LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE.
He hands the viewer to Cameron, who looks through it.
81A We see a telescoped view of THE POLICE ROADBLOCK at the end of a
highway with cars waiting to get past ARMED POLICE.
What am I worried about the cops
Another one over there.
81B THE VIEW WHIPS to a second police roadblock at the other entrance to
ELI'S VOICE (CONT'D)
It's a pair.
81C TWO SHOT
(puts viewer down)
Is this my present?
No, your present is a piece of good
- 53 -
(patting Sam's beach bag)
You've got that look again. That
gleam of the sprinter about to set a
record for the 50-yard dash. Is
that why all those cops are chasing
you? What are you, some kind of sex
freak running across America with
your fly open? Is that why they're
You're close. What's your advice?
Button your fly and be at the
airport on Sunday at three o'clock
with the rest of the crew. Climb
aboard our chartered 707 and fly
away with us to where the setting
sun bleeds into a million swimming
pools a man can hide in. You do
swim as well as run?
(overwhelmed by the
I'll swim like a fish. You really
Why are you trying to save my ass?
Eli hesitates, then answers quietly -- for him there is great
meaning in it.
...Because you're as crazy as the
guy I'm doing the picture about.
(then grinning archly,
the mood broken)
...Besides, I've fallen madly in
love with the dark side of your
- 54 -
82 EXT. CHURCH TOWER - NEXT MORNING - BRIGHT DAYLIGHT
The thunderous clang of bells! Cameron ready, coiled tight, heart
pounding as loud as the bells. A burst of machine gun bullets tears
through the railing beside him, sending splinters flying against his
83 CAMERA CREW
HARVEY (Second Unit Director) and CAMERA OPERATOR behind the
MITCHELL, looking up tensely. Harvey gestures, yelling.
84 IN BELL TOWER
Near Cameron, the SECOND A.D., crouched out of sight with a walkie-
talkie, stabs a finger at him.
A burst of tracer bullets streak past Cameron. Sparks fly, as stray
bullets seem to bounce and ricochet off the bells.
85 MACHINE GUN
A 50-calibre MACHINE GUN, a SPECIAL EFFECTS MAN in Levi's and sport
shirt, pumping tracers past the bell tower.
86 TWO SHOT - BELL TOWER
The Second A.D. slams his hand down on a PLUNGER, setting off a
series of explosive squibs. Like machine gun bullets, they start
shattering the railing, moving toward Cameron, forcing him to the
edge of the tower.
Vaulting over the rail, he clings to the side of the bell tower.
Explosive bursts disintegrate the railing in his hand. He shoves
out, launching himself into space. Twisting, hurtling across the
gap between the buildings, falling, crashing to the slate roof,
crawling and scrambling for a hand hold. The relentless tracer
bullets chip the slate beside him. Crouching low, Cameron, like an
animal, moves across the roof to the safety of a water tower.
Squibs burst over his head and spouts of water stream from the
- 55 -
Moving around the tower, suddenly there are TWO GERMAN SOLDIERS
running at him with bayoneted rifles. He wheels and there stands
ANOTHER GERMAN (Chuck), who leaps toward him, slamming down his
rifle butt. The blow glances off Cameron. They grapple, kicking,
clawing, rolling down the steep slope, picking up momentum.
87 RAIN GUTTER
The roof's edge rushes toward them, below it a fearsome drop.
Cameron's hands reach out desperately grabbing for the railing as
Chuck, screaming, hurtles off the edge, writhing as his body tumbles
in space toward the ground.
Sweat pouring from his face, a gash on his cheek gushes blood, his
eyes glazed, he pulls himself back on the roof.
Chuck, lying relaxed on the straw and mattress safety pad which
caught him on the ground, looks up, cups his hands and shouts at
Cameron, running for his life along the edge of the roof, the
soldiers shooting down at him from the roof's peak. He reaches the
far end, looks down. There is the awning jutting from an adjacent
wall two stories below. He scrambles off the roof. Clinging to the
down spout, he starts descending it.
91 SPECIAL EFFECTS MAN
Looking up from the ground, he yanks a control rope.
The bracket holding the down spout breaks loose. The spout starts
to fall away from the side of the building. Cameron clings to it,
riding its downward arc as though it were a falling tree.
- 56 -
At the end of the arc, Cameron throws himself free for a safe
landing and smashes against the awning. Instead of holding, it rips
apart like paper and, in that unexpected instant, Cameron's eyes
widen in genuine terror as he plummets through the shredded canvas
toward a skylight one floor below.
Exploding in a shower of glass and wood as it is struck by Cameron's
body. He hurtles downward toward a blur of images.
95 ANGLE ON COT
Collapsing from the impact of Cameron's fall. The MAN and WOMAN who
were making love on the cot have been flung to the ground and roll
entwined with him. Cameron is dazed. Like a drowning man, he rages
to free himself from the tangle of naked limbs and smothering flesh.
A painted face shrieks in laughter -- as the door to the room he is
in is thrown open, revealing:
96 BROTHEL SET INT. MUNICIPAL BUILDING
Cameron has fallen into a cubicle in what appears to be a World War
I German army brothel. In the high-ceilinged room, there is a row
of cots separated by makeshift screens. COUPLES jump up from the
cots startled. A line of partly naked GERMAN SOLDIERS waiting their
turn at the whores have broken into shouts and laughter at Cameron's
unorthodox entrance. They crowd around the cubicle where Cameron
fell and now struggles with the couple.
97 ANGLE ON CAMERA CREW
Gabe at the EYE PIECE, Eli beside him, photographing the scene.
(calling out to soldiers)
The clothes!...Do the clothes!
98 ANGLE ON CAMERON
The men tear him free from the couple shouting playfully.
What are you a field marshal?
- 57 -
Wait your turn like the rest!
Cameron's confusion changes to helpless fury as he kicks and
struggles against a forest of grasping hands ripping his clothes
away, passing him back toward the rear of the line.
Where are your manners?
This is a whorehouse, not a stable.
Whores have left their cots to join in the assault, screeching in
glee. As he maniacally lashes out at his good-natured molesters,
the blood from Cameron's face smears a whore's body.
Instantly everything stops. Cameron is sprawled half-naked on his
knees at the end of the line. Enraged, he whirls toward Eli who has
caused this humiliation. Then the CLAPPING begins, the CAST and
CREW applauding his stunt. People slap him on the back admiringly.
A robe is thrown around him. He is helped to his feet. Suddenly
Nina is there flinging her arms about him and kissing him on the
I'm so proud of you...I could just
He is pulled away from her by the backslappers. Now Cameron is
responding to this strange new sensation -- the warmth of public
acclaim. He regains his poise, hoping his embarrassing anger wasn't
noticed. Chuck is now beside him, reaching up to the wound on
Cameron's face and pulling away the plastic makeup patch with fake
blood inside; the "wound" is gone. He starts feeling Cameron's
shoulders, arms and ribs for possible damage.
(quietly to Chuck,
wincing in pain)
Why didn't you tell me about the
awning? I could have been killed.
- 58 -
No chance. You were in your
mother's arms from the time you hit
the sugarglass skylight. Those
stunt men you fell on would have got
you out of anything.
The one with the tits and the other
Why didn't you tell me? Afraid I'd
Eli likes some things spontaneous.
Makes 'em more believable. You're
okay. Whaddya want?
Not to think I'm going crazy.
99 ANGLE ON ELI
He is moving through the crowd.
Where's Raymond? Raymond, were you
watching that closely?
What can I tell you? I'm a brave
There is general laughter. Eli, raising his arm like a referee.
All right. We're doing the
coverage. Camera here.
Eli continues toward Cameron. Chuck is spraying ethyl chloride on
his bare tattooed shoulder.
- 59 -
Careful. Don't blind the eagle.
I owe you six hundred bucks.
If anything bothered you, be happy
to do it again.
Eli laughs and moves off, Cameron staring after him.
I can't take my eyes off the son-of-
a-bitch. Everybody does what he
wants them to, even me. I feel like
thankin' him 'cause I fell on my
...It's just a crush. You'll get
99A ANGLE ON SAM
Approaching Eli, who turns to Sam, eager, vulnerable.
What did you think?
You are a smug, insufferable son-of-
a-bitch. When I read the insane
asylum scene to my wife and four
children, my wife cried, my oldest
son shook my hand for the first time
in his whole life. So, why is it,
Eli, that this vulgar little scene
turns out to be so much...stronger,
- 60 -
God knows, Sam. Maybe...because you
get the feeling that the enemy might
just be some poor horny slob like
you, lookin' for the nearest
(putting his arm around
How about that, Lucky? When that
stunt man's boob hit you in the
mouth, was it just another boob...or
did it taste like kraut?
The crew laughs and so does Nina. Cameron feels humiliated by Eli's
It tasted lousy. But what do I
know? You try it, Eli. You're the
expert in bad taste.
(for the group)
Uh-oh, sounds like the soldier's got
his feelings hurt.
Naw, naw. I just don't know about
Germans. Where I was we only raped
100 INT. HOTEL GARAGE - CLOSE ON ELI
As though continuing previous dialogue.
Oh, is that why the cops are after
you? ...After all this time?
Damn! You finally guessed it!
100A WIDER ANGLE
Revealing Eli and Cameron walking through the hotel GARAGE toward a
replica of the lost Duesenberg which a MECHANIC works on.
- 61 -
...Really? Rape? No. I think
you're putting me on. Come on, now,
no more hints.
Let's see...Christ, could be
anything. I know a guy in this
state got 20 years for having
cunnilingus with his wife.
No...I guess you're not the type.
More likely some hideous crime of
Eli is getting under Cameron's skin. They stop at car.
Have you seen Harvey?
I think he's in there.
Mechanic nods toward a door at the rear of the garage. Eli pats the
fender of the Duesenberg. Cameron views it with a strange sense of
unease. Putting his arm around Cameron's shoulder, Eli leads him
toward the back door yelling to mechanic.
You'll have it ready on time?
Yeah, but don't look under the hood
or you'll find a Chevy.
100B At the door, Eli can barely open it to squeeze through.
101 INT. STORAGE ROOM
An incredible number of people have wedged themselves into this tiny
smoke-filled room, peering over each other's heads toward a lighted
area at the far end.
Harvey in here?
- 62 -
Quiet. We're shooting.
(then back to business)
Come on...let me have a little more
face...a little more face!
Eli squats on his haunches peering between the legs of the onlookers
and tugs on Cameron's sleeve to join him.
Hazily, through the restless shifting limbs, male and female, like
the first rays of morning sun breaking through to the depths of the
forest, we glimpse Raymond and Gabe shooting their eight millimeter
epic: Two people screwing in a rowboat. Raymond suddenly throws
his hands up in despair.
Jesus, Kenneth. Great control. All
right, who's doubling for Kenny on
103 ANGLE ON ELI AND CAMERON
Cameron and Eli rise to their feet.
Can you believe this? They spend
the whole day working in a
whorehouse and look how they relax?
That's dedication. You think sex
can save the world?
(grins at Cameron)
That's not my bag, Eli.
Sex, or saving the world?
...The world, that's your special
job. And Jesus, are we all lucky to
have you around...
Suddenly Cameron is shoved backwards by the door as someone pushes
against it to get in.
- 63 -
104 ANOTHER ANGLE
It is Harvey standing in the doorway with Nina.
Hey Chief, ya lookin' for me?
Nina tries to peer over the heads of the crowd, pushing into the
room. Cameron steps toward her without thinking. He wants her out
What's happening? What's going on?
Look who's here! Nina, we need you.
Still got your makeup on?
Nina, who by now has seen what's happening, laughs.
That's a daring touch, Raymond! The
rowboat. Terribly symbolic.
There is general laughter, but not shared by Cameron. He
surprisingly finds himself angry at Nina's presence here and
everyone's easy familiarity toward her. She sees Cameron and Eli
through the smokey dimness and works her way toward them smiling.
Eli puts his arms about her shouting over the din.
Just like the old days, huh kid?
Remember the sunglasses and garter
belts back when we got our start?
Make you nostalgic?
More laughter. Nina turns to Cameron.
Hi Lancelot. What's a nice boy like
you doing in a place like this?
Going to rescue the maiden from the
He just asked if he could do the
rowing. Didn't you, kid?
- 64 -
Having fun with me, aren't you?
It's Eli's potty training class.
Show little Lucky the pretty lady.
Make dirt on the pretty lady. Watch
little Lucky puke. Trouble with you
is you think the whole world is your
own personal crapper.
(Cameron starts to exit)
Have yourself a time...Just wallow
around in it, man. Watching you
makes me feel like Mr. Clean.
Cameron storms out in a rage. Eli watches with a thoughtful smile.
Sam, who has witnessed the outburst, turns to Eli, furious:
...Goddamn little prudish bastard!
No more than you and me...it's the
human condition. We just hide it
...Are you kidding?...If That guy in
the rowboat was a Marine sticking a
bayonet in her instead of a cock,
that uptight son-of-a-bitch would
Eli starts laughing.
Fucking Fascist. What are you
It's just...that girl in the
rowboat, she looks exactly like your
Goddamn you, Eli. That's not funny!
He grabs Eli by the shirt front, cocking his fist.
(laughing and wrestling)
- 65 -
Get 'em, Sam! Sic 'em! Kill 'em,
boy! That's my uptight killie
Sam's anger fades to a sheepish grin, realizing he's fallen into
Eli's trap. Where his daughter is concerned, he's just as prudish
as Cameron. Eli snaps an affectionate headlock around Sam's neck.
Son of a bitch.
See what I mean? Old Victoria's
still got us all by the balls. God
save the queen!...Only difference
is, we like to make movies about it.
With hardly a pause, he turns.
Harvey, dailies at six o'clock
tomorrow morning. We're shooting at
Rubbing his hands together (the old pro taking over), he starts
pushing his way through the crowd.
All right now, let's put a little
bit of class into this production!
He elbows his way to center stage.
105 INT. BASEMENT SCREENING ROOM - NEXT DAY
On the folding chairs facing the PORTABLE SCREEN, a dozen people are
silhouetted against the light from the projected dailies. Cameron
enters, pausing so his eyes can adjust to the dark.
- 66 -
In the dimness, Nina sits separated from Eli, Sam and a few others.
On the screen, a World War I British biplane in steady flight is
interrupted by a couple of subliminal cuts. Another subliminal
flash holds and replaces the scene on the portable screen. It's a
"NUDIE" SHOT -- a rear view of the lady taken in the rowboat the
What the hell is that?
The watchers all break up, recognizing the work of Raymond and Gabe.
Hey Nina, there's your toothpaste
I love her smile...
As Nina laughs good-naturedly, the airplane is back on the portable
107 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Involuntarily smiling to himself and now less uptight about last
night, he walks over and sits down beside her.
How they get the film developed so
Without even glancing at him, Nina gets up and moves to a chair some
distance away. He is stunned, then angry. Then confounded. Then
resigned to the ways of women, he goes over and sits beside her.
What's the matter?
(turning on him)
Don't let the fact that Eli treats
you as an equal go to your head.
- 67 -
Nina, we're watching dailies.
I'm sorry, Eli.
But he can say anything and that's
...What goes on in that dim little
head of yours? How dare you open
your mouth to him like that? Have
you the vaguest idea what he's
trying to say to people with this
film?!...That man is the most
Eli's voice interrupts, angry, like a schoolteacher dismissing a
child for talking.
Nina, you can go now.
Nina, close to tears, quickly gets up and hurries out of the
theater, as Cameron sits there numbly staring at the screen.
On the portable screen, Raymond in helmet and goggles is in the
cockpit of an airplane. He stuffs a bottle of champagne into a
leather flying boot, dangles the package over the side and lets it
go. Raymond looks down and salutes (like that famous scene in
PRODUCTION MANAGER'S VOICE
Who says nothin' changes? Like to
see one of our boys in a B-52 try
Eli's voice yells 'cut' on the sound track. The angle on the
portable screen widens and we see that the airplane sits on the
ground with an electric fan blowing wind in Raymond's face.
- 68 -
Now the scene on the portable screen changes: from the ground, we
see the same biplane flying low. An object drops from the cockpit
(the boot). Then there is a burst of flame in the engine. Trailing
smoke, the plane wobbles, crash-lands (sliding alarmingly close to
CAMERA). It ground-loops, goes up on one wing and, as it crashes
down, we see that the pilot who we assumed was Raymond, is really a
dummy that is flapping absurdly and falling to pieces before our
eyes during the crash. There are groans, laughter and raspberries
107B INT. SCREENING ROOM (AS THE LIGHTS GO UP)
Jesus, Eli, I'm sorry. I'll do a
It's so awful, it's beautiful. Wish
I could use it.
That's all we'd need.
107C ANGLE ON GROUP
We goddamn well need something, Sam.
Something better than we got...
Better? How better?
(starting to shout)
Dropping a dead man's boots over his
own airfield, out of chivalry...
that's not crazy enough for you?!
They did it in "Wings." Even the
dummy was bored.
- 69 -
(anxiety at the breaking
...Eli, please! You simply will not
accept the fact that we are living
on borrowed time...
But Eli and Sam are not listening.
You can't shake your finger at 'em,
Sam. If you've got something to
say, you better slip it in while
they're laughing and crying and
jacking off over the sex and
violence. He should do
Something to catch the stink of
madness behind all that good clean
fun. Why the hell did we pick World
War I in the first place?...The
ultimate romantic insanity!
Like...I don't know what! What
would Lucky do if he were on the
wing of that plane? Picture that
because it would be a hell of a lot
realer than that flapping dummy.
108 Cameron is startled. He was not aware that Eli even knew he was in
Is that what you're after, reality?
I thought you wanted something
- 70 -
Reality can be pretty outrageous.
Look at soldier boy there, jumping
off fucking buildings, risking his
ass every day, doing stuff way over
his head!...What would you do in
that plane, Lucky, if you were about
(off guard, embarrassed)
What else? I'd dance for joy...I'd
probably do a jig.
Great! That's what we'll do.
All right, not a jig...a
...On the wing of the airplane!
You're damn right...
The Charleston is silly...They won't
I'll do it so they'll believe it!
You'll get a laugh, Eli.
- 71 -
Only when I want them to laugh!...
(toward rear of the room)
109 (SHOCK CUT TO SKY) - CLOSE ON GERMAN FIGHTER PLANE - DAY
It screams down vertically, full power, machine guns blazing, then
smashes into the earth, shredding to fragments hurled in every
direction. The dead German pilot is flung crumpled to the ground.
The plane's carcass explodes, filling the screen with fire and black
smoke through which we see a brightly colored PARACHUTE descending.
The FIGURE dangling beneath it passes through the smoke and flames
and tumbles to the ground, rolling, his parachute now ablaze. It is
Cameron dressed in a British flyer's uniform.
110 ANGLE WIDENS
To show the hand-held Arriflex at Gabe's eye, Eli behind him,
steering Gabe by the back of his belt and carrying the battery pack
as they photograph Cameron shedding the harness. With the camera,
they crouch and move together like a three-headed, four-armed, four-
Banking steeply, a British fighter roars past Cameron, its wingtip
almost brushing the ground, machine guns rattling, driving some
advancing German soldiers back toward the woods.
The plane touches down to rescue Cameron, the pilot beckoning.
Cameron has pulled off the dead German pilot's boots and helmet.
Stray bullets strike about him as he sprints to the idling British
plane. It is a single-seater. It starts to pick up speed. He
grabs a strut and scrambles up onto the lower wing.
111 ANGLE ON CONSTRUCTION CRANE
The bucket hanging from the giant CRANE descends. Smoothly Eli
guides Gabe backward, seating him in the bucket. The bucket rises,
lifting Gabe while he photographs the scene, as the plane with
Cameron on the wing becomes airborne.
112 ANGLE ON PICKET FENCE
Behind it is a CROWD OF SPECTATORS who jump up and down shrieking.
CAMERA PANS to show Nina among them, her excitement hardly more
- 72 -
113 ANGLE ON CRANE BUCKET AND BRITISH AIRPLANE
The giant arm of the crane swings and rises with the plane,
completing Gabe's spectacular shot. Now we see a HELICOPTER drop
into frame, photographing the plane from the other side. The
chopper and the vintage British plane bank together in perfect tight
formation with Cameron standing spread-eagled between the wing
struts like a flying Christ, as they soar into the sun.
114 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Seated on the wing, his back against he fuselage, legs firmly
against the struts. His white silk scarf streams into the tearing
wind. Jamming a champagne bottle into the German's boot, he holds
it up. The pilot grins approval, popping the cork on a second
bottle which spouts foam into the slipstream. Laughing, he passes a
glass to Cameron and pours from above. The liquid is lost in the
wind. Shrugging, he swigs from the bottle and hands it to Cameron.
Cameron drinks. The champagne pours down his throat and face and,
holding the strut with one hand, he rises to his feet.
The pilot waggles his wings, giving Cameron a seesaw ride to get his
bottle back. Cameron now seems drunk. He lets go of the strut and
stands leaning against the wind. As the pilot toasts his courage,
Cameron's balance falters and he grabs the strut.
Now, Cameron picks his way through the guywires toward the end of
the wing. Then he bounces up and down, rocking the plane. The
pilot starts to sing to Cameron's rhythm, "How ya gonna keep 'em
down on the farm..." And Cameron dances the Charleston.
115 INT. HELICOPTER
Gabe at the eyepiece of the Mitchell, slowly tilting up and down to
follow the action.
Fan-fucking-tastic. Whaddya been
feeding that soldier-boy...brave
Through the plastic bubble, the biplane can be seen in the distance
going through its antic maneuvers.
It's not what he's eating...it's
what's eating him...that makes it
sort of interesting.
Okay, drop the package.
- 73 -
CLOSE ON BIPLANE
Cameron holds the boot poised, lets go. Then, the pilot is struck
by a bursting shell. As he slumps over, the plane skids and slips
and drops off into a spin. Cameron clings for his life as the
sickening momentum grows, until his feet are flung out from under
him and he dangles from the wing, whipping in space.
117 WIDE ANGLE
Suddenly it becomes clear how what we are seeing is possible -- the
airplane is no longer in flight, but is dangling a few feet above
the ground, suspended from the cable of the huge crane. The crewmen
shove at its tail and wingtips to keep it revolving. Cameron is,
indeed, clinging to the wing strut, his feet held in space by the
centrifugal force. But, if his hands slip, he will fall ten feet
instead of to certain death.
118 ANGLE ON ELI AND CAMERA CREW - SHOOTING FROM GROUND
How is it?
(panning and tilting)
Okay, now level out.
119 ANGLE ON CRANE OPERATOR
Easing some levers back.
120 POV THROUGH LENS
As the spin slows down and the plane appears to level out, Cameron
regains his footing, perches on the wing and looks forward in
121 WIDER ANGLE
As the swinging arm of the crane glides the plane forward toward a
stand of trees at the edge of a clearing.
- 74 -
122 PAST CAMERON - MOVING SHOT
We see the rapidly approaching trees. Closer and closer, until with
a horrendous crash, the plane sails between two trunks, shearing off
the wingtips, the nose smashing into another, hurling Cameron off
the wing like a crumb flicked from the table.
123 EXTREME CLOSE UP - CAMERON
Apparently hurtling through the air, his eyes widen at the impending
impact. A gasp and then a sharp cry. But instead of the
crash...the ANGLE WIDENS and we see it is Cameron reaching orgasm.
With extreme contentment on his face, he rolls over revealing Nina,
who, it is clear, has also had a lovely time.
124 WIDER ANGLE - INT. NINA'S HOTEL BEDROOM - NIGHT
They are in bed in a pleasant large room (the Queen Anne Suite),
untidy, with script pages, wigs, costumes, fresh flowers, the
leftovers of a room service dinner. Nina caresses his back,
noticing bruises. She kisses them gently and starts to giggle. He
looks at her quizzically.
That's twice for me today. Now.
And when I watched you do the stunt.
The ALARM CLOCK on the dresser BEGINS RINGING. He sits up, puzzled.
I have to study my scene for
tomorrow. The Old Lady at the
cemetery. It's brutal. I set the
clock in case we dozed off.
Cameron gets up, moving toward the dresser to turn off the clock,
but instead stops at the stand holding the Old Lady wig. He runs
his fingers through it as the clock continues to ring.
How come they cast you as an old
I start out as a young girl hiding
this American flyer. I'm Austrian...
Will ya turn off the clock?
Subtly, we sense something is bothering Cameron. He ignores the
- 75 -
Anyway, his patriotism is stronger
than his love and he leaves me with
another little patriot in my belly.
During this he has taken the wig and puts it over his head, glancing
in the mirror.
Why can't I double for both of you?
I could use the money and I don't
look half bad.
Honey, you'll ruin it. Take it off.
The clock's electric. It'll ring
Instead of turning off the clock, he crosses to the Old Lady's dress
on a hanger. He looks at the dress appraisingly.
Eli might really go for that, the
big soldier as a little old lady.
Disturbed, Nina leaves the bed, turns off the alarm clock and
adjusts the wig properly on its stand.
They embrace and cling to each other. She starts back for the bed,
but he detours for the clock and pulls out the alarm again, and
again it BEGINS RINGING.
What are you doing?
- 76 -
We've got to consider Eli. If you
don't study the scene, he'll be
mad...then you'll get mad...and I'll
get shot out of a cannon.
With the alarm still ringing, he starts toward the bed.
Did you fall on your head today?
I want it to ring.
For me, that's why. That's Eli
yelling for you to work on your
scene and us saying, "Up yours,
Eli," and I like that.
Do you want to leave?
I want to make love to you while Eli
is screaming his head off.
The whole idea is so incongruous that she starts laughing. He gets
on the bed with her. THE ALARM CONTINUES TO RING. They struggle
about, giggling at the absurdity.
I can't make love with the clock
While he moves over her body, she grabs a pillow and hurtles it at
the clock. It falls over, but keeps on ringing. By now, Cameron
has entered Nina and she is rapidly becoming more involved in that,
than in the clock.
(to ringing clock while
making love to Nina)
You tell 'em, Eli.
- 77 -
CLOSE ON MOVIOLA
In the darkness, the machine is like an ominous hunchback,
splattering shards of light against Chuck's intensely watching face.
He is highly disturbed at the unseen image.
ANGLE WIDENS, showing a small STORAGE ROOM has been converted to a
makeshift EDITING ROOM, where Chuck sits working the MOVIOLA.
Slowly becoming aware of someone, he glances up through the spinning
reels and dimly sees Cameron leaning in the doorway.
There was no way it could go
wrong...unless he just went ape.
Cameron ambles over as Chuck reverses the film to see it one more
time. Even as he catches a glimpse of the film whirring backward,
he realizes he's seeing BURT'S DEATH SCENE in the water. Now Chuck
has reached the beginning of the film and is moving it forward
125A CLOSE UP - VIEWER OF MOVIOLA
The film whirs as we see through the windshield over Burt's
shoulder, the car flying through the air, hitting the water and
sinking beneath the surface. Burt goes through the motions of a man
trying to free himself.
The harness is okay...the roof is
holding...it all seems fine.
But look at him struggle...
...Badly. Eli wouldn't use a foot
of it...poor slob died for nothin'.
126 ANOTHER ANGLE
Sweat is running down Cameron's face. Finally, with dread...
That crack...in the windshield...
- 78 -
What about it? Probably from the
impact. No water coming in.
Cameron's face reflects immense relief. At least he's not guilty of
that. The flung stone was not the cause. Now, abruptly, Burt's
body begins to move more violently.
There! Look at that. He's starting
to panic. Will you, for Christ's
sake, tell me why?
As Chuck slows the film, we see Burt's head duck beneath the view of
the underwater camera, leaving only the steering wheel and
windshield. For an instant, the current changes the light and the
crack glows brightly, like a spider web. Burt reappears, his face
now toward camera, wild with terror. The slow motion lends a
bizarre elegance to his agony. Abruptly, the FILM GOES BLACK.
Shit. That's where it stops. That
fuckin' Henry...got spooked and took
his finger off the remote button.
Is this how the story was supposed
to end, with the flyer dying in the
Sure as shit ended that way for
Burt, didn't it?
127 INT. REHEARSAL HALL - DAY
In one of the private DINING ROOMS off the lobby, tables and chairs
are pushed against the wall to make room for a rehearsal now in
progress. Some early morning TOURISTS have gathered outside the
entrance, watching. A few members of the kitchen staff peer through
an inside doorway. Sam and key crewmen stand on the sidelines as
Eli rehearses with Nina.
- 79 -
The graveyard's over here...
(he takes a few steps)
...Her car's parked here.
(sets down a folding
...Lots of these little graveyards
along the roadside...most of the
stones are unmarked...
He takes Nina by the hand and pulls her down beside him, kneeling on
You're tired...you're broke...all
things which meant so much are gone.
What's left is a single memory...
that brief bright love.
Nina's listening intensely but something catches her eye. Among the
tourists at the doorway stands Cameron, who has paused to watch, his
costume slung over his shoulder. He nods to her with a small tender
smile. Subtly, so Eli won't notice, she smiles back, then renews
...You spent your month's pension in
hiring the car. You just can't look
for his grave any longer...so you
pick one...any one. You kneel...
then lay the flowers down.
(yells to the prop man)
What have we got for her?
I got roses.
No...something she picked herself...
wildflowers or something.
Sam crosses over to them and kneels beside Eli and Nina.
- 80 -
Eli. An idea, maybe. Instead of
flowers, what if she brought him the
things of their life together...of
their sexuality...like her
nightgown, her underclothes...
Eli looks at him thoughtfully.
'Course they'd be rags by now, but
let me show you this...
From a paper bag, he takes a SMALL BRONZE CASTING of a BEAR and A
GIRL on a SWING beneath a tree. He sets it down.
128 INSERT ON THE BRONZE
Sam's hand presses a lever on the side of the bronze. There is a
whirring of the clockwork and a music box melody plays. The girl
begins to swing. The bear slides toward her. She mechanically
lifts her bronze dress until they meet, performing their clockwork
love rite. Nina giggles.
It's authentic. Early Victorian.
Mechanical bronzes were quite a
129 ANGLE ON GROUP
Eli shakes his head patiently, kindly.
Sam, you'll get a belly laugh.
What do you mean? It'll break their
Eli begins to beam. Sam, realizing he has again fallen into the
trap, winces, chagrined. Eli grabs him in a bear hug.
Welcome to the picture, Sam!
Sam struggles to escape from the iron grip as Eli dances him about
130 INT. BASEMENT - HAIRDRESSER SECTION - CLOSE ON CAMERON'S HEAD
- 81 -
Denise, with spray can and fingertips, is massaging in red dye, as
the CAMERA PULLS BACK.
Naw, nothin' too unusual today...get
run over by a tank, blown up by a
land mine, a house falls on me...
Easy stuff, but I can use a rest.
...And some manners. As one of the
world's greatest middle-weight
lovers, I hate to play a one-night
stand. I heard you been busy, but
you know the old saying...like, if
you can't come, call?
I wanted to, but I was scared.
They're so square where I hail from.
Twice is considered a love
affair...didn't want to rush you.
...Three times is a love affair.
Twice is nice...
Hey Denise, for Christ's sake! We
got a set call in forty minutes.
131 ANOTHER ANGLE
To include a MAKEUP TABLE against the far basement wall with THREE
ACTORS sitting at it, wearing plastic aprons to shield their
You just sit here...dry...and
She crosses to the men at the makeup table.
Glad ya could tear yourself away.
- 82 -
Don't panic. He's still got that
whole big emotional thing to do with
the dog food lady before they even
get to you. You may not work 'til
You wait. Eli'll wave his wand and
get it out of her in five minutes.
(trimming his hair)
You're confused...He got it into her
in five minutes. To get it out of
her...it takes longer.
There is general knowing laughter as Denise crosses back to Cameron
and sees by the look on his face she has hit her target. The
thought of Nina and Eli as lovers had never occurred to Cameron.
DENISE'S VOICE (CONT'D)
Oops...somebody didn't know...
The effect is stronger than she had expected. Now compassion sets
Hey. C'mon, Red...I'm a woman
scorned...I'll say anything.
Cameron just sinks back in the chair, slowly dying.
EXT. GRAVEYARD - CLOSE ON "MECHANICAL BRONZE"
Over the tinkling sound of the music box, the BEAR and MAIDEN
perform their ritual as the CAMERA PULLS BACK revealing the
GRAVESTONE decorated with the worn filmy lace undergarments of
another era. They flutter in the soft wind and amber light of a
summer afternoon, strangely beautiful against the mossy granite
marked "UNKNOWN." Somehow these rotting women's underthings have
the dignity of a sacred tapestry draping an altar.
OLD LADY'S VOICE
...You terrible bear... so
impatient... tearing something so
The ANGLE WIDENS and we see Nina, now made up to look wrinkled and
gray, tragically old, her eyes moist as she kneels beside the grave.
- 83 -
OLD LADY (NINA)
(sudden deep sincerity)
Why do I lie? I couldn't wait
either. I think both of us are
(a soft nostalgic smile)
Go, young maiden, you'll be late for
your piano lesson.
An elegantly-dressed CARIBINERRI (ITALIAN POLICEMAN) appears.
OLD LADY (NINA)
I'm almost finished.
Signora. This desecration... some
flowers perhaps...would be
OLD LADY (NINA)
But, we want these.
Please, signora. It's not right.
The grave is unmarked.
OLD LADY (NINA)
Ask the driver how many graves we
visited today. I could have chosen
five hours ago. I came here and my
soul said, "Oh yes." I know that is
hard to believe...
Anything is possible, signora.
(tries urging her to her
Now, you must permit me to escort
you to your car.
OLD LADY (NINA)
As soon as I am gone, you will take
- 84 -
OLD LADY (NINA)
(tears streaming down her
You will, and I can't stop you, and
it's wrong. We loved each other...
Where else should these go?
The unexpected sound of laughter makes her turn to see a SMALL GROUP
OF PEOPLE who've gathered beside their PARKED CARS watching.
OLD LADY (NINA)
Yes, I know I'm ridiculous, but you
laugh without knowing anything. You
would buy a plastic wreath for a man
of such importance.
She pulls free of the Caribinerri and, trying to kneel down,
stumbles and falls. Now, like some confused child, she searches
among the garments. Taking a SCROLL from a wooden box, she shakes
it at them like a schoolteacher would a ruler.
OLD LADY (NINA)
President Wilson...from the
President of the United States...for
heroism. To me for sheltering
(smiling to herself)
How silly. I 'sheltered' him to be
with him. He was my beloved...Where
is it?...Oh, here, did you see this?
She now holds up a fist from which dangles a swastika on a sash.
OLD LADY (NINA)
Given to me by Adolf Hitler...for
our son. Our son...
Her voice suddenly fierce with the pain of that memory.
OLD LADY (NINA)
(then, with simple
...A thousand years of peace...is
what he said. That would be very
The Caribinerri, spellbound, has taken a backward step, bumping into
a REFLECTOR, which now teeters and falls into the scene, knocking
off his hat, barely missing the Old Lady and crashing across the
grave and shattering all illusion. The Caribinerri stands there
- 85 -
with his eyes closed and his fists clenched, wishing he were in the
grave. Nina stands in speechless horror.
133 WIDER ANGLE - INCLUDING CREW SHOOTING
Eli, I'll kill myself.
It's deadly silent as Eli walks over to Nina. They stare at each
other for a moment.
(eyes brimming over)
Thank you, baby.
They fall into each others arms like lovers never do.
134 MEDIUM - CAMERON WATCHING ELI AND NINA EMBRACE
Everybody is applauding, wild with joy over Nina's great
performance. Tears of happiness run unabashedly down Sam's nose.
Only Cameron is sullen, seething with anger and jealousy as he views
them in the light of his recent information.
(through bull horn)
All right, that wraps the graveyard.
Don't pack it...just stick it in the
truck. Come on, we're losing sun,
everybody. In ten minutes at the
Cameron is standing aside, while Nina vainly looks around for him.
Denise is unpinning her wig. Chuck approaches Cameron.
- 86 -
Change of plans. We're making the
stunt a fire gag. When you come out
of the barn, you're in
flames...wanna try it.
Cameron, still watching Nina and Eli in the now dwindling circle of
admirers, doesn't answer.
Look, don't do it if you don't
What does Eli say?
You know Eli... "Tell the soldier
it's an extra hundred bucks and
he'll do it without the asbestos."
Tell Eli to do it.
Hey, what the hell is wrong with
I'm tired of being somebody's
(moving into the shot)
Hey, you don't want to do it, don't
do it, but be happy! It's a great
day! Did you see her performance?
Terrific. It's a day for humility
and brotherly love!
Fine, Eli. Let's be brotherly.
Milk brothers, sucking from the same
- 87 -
135 ANGLE - EXT. FARMHOUSE - DAY
As it explodes, Cameron is BLOWN THROUGH THE WALL -- ON FIRE. He
tumbles to the ground, frantically writhes, rolls, trying to smother
the flames, finally collapsing in some wagon tracks filled with
muddy water. Cameron lifts his head at the approach of a THUNDERING
SOUND...an ENGLISH CAISSON hurtles toward him, the driver dead and
mangled over the barrel of the gun, the horses insane with terror.
Before Cameron can move, the charging horses are on top of him. He
rolls between their hooves, the giant steel wheel of the caisson
barely missing him. Shells from a cannon barrage are bursting all
about. Cameron staggers to his feet and scrambles over a low stone
wall for protection, drops to the other side and then hurtles into
the air as the wall is shattered by an exploding shell.
136 CLOSE ON TRAMPOLINE
As Cameron falls into the shot, landing on a hidden TRAMPOLINE near
the stone wall, bouncing up and down 'til he finally comes to rest.
137 ANGLE TO INCLUDE ELI AND CREW
Who said that?
Cameron stares over the edge of the trampoline as Henry, the
assistant cameraman, uneasily faces Eli.
We had a film run-out.
How many feet are left in that
(checking the Mitchell)
Eli advances murderously on the assistant cameraman, building to a
rage we have not seen in him before.
Goddamn you! How many times are you
going to do this to me? How dare
you yell cut on my set?
- 88 -
Thirty-six feet is nothing...
It's twenty-two seconds! In twenty-
two seconds, I could break your
spine...I could pinch your fucking
head off like an insect and smear it
on the pavement...I could put
twenty-two bullets in that fat gut
of yours! The only thing I can't
seem to do in twenty-two seconds is
keep you from fucking up my film!
Cameron is so intrigued that he hasn't realized an EMBER is burning
through his asbestos protector, until suddenly he feels the flame
and frantically begins beating it out and thus, is even denied the
pleasure of savoring Eli's anguish.
138 EXTREME CLOSE UP - NINA (INT. SAM'S AND CAMERON'S ROOM - NIGHT)
Rosy-faced and dewy-eyed and wearing a big floppy hat. Sensing
trouble with Cameron and that she might be at fault, she has decided
to do a campy, cutesy Blanche Dubois stepping off "THE STREETCAR
NAMED DESIRE" number, ten years too soon.
...I can't tell you how pleased I
was with your conduct. When you
congratulated me after my scene this
afternoon, all the other glowing
tributes faded to nothing...
139 WIDER ANGLE - INT. CAMERON'S AND SAM'S ROOM
Sam has stopped typing and sits silently, waiting for the storm.
Cameron lies on his bed in a T-shirt and shorts, an elastic bandage
around his knee and an ice bag at his neck, coldly watching Nina's
performance as she grandly moves through the doorway into the room.
- 89 -
...Nevertheless, I'm cancelling your
invitation to an intimate party
given by my parents, who arrived
unexpectedly to honor me on the
occasion of my birthday...but don't
feel too badly. As consolation for
a lovely evening missed, I'm
presenting you with the "good-sport-
From behind her back, she takes an APPLE with a tiny cocktail
parasol stuck in it and holds it out to Cameron. Cameron lies
glaring at her with mounting rage.
Mr. Baum, will you notify this young
savage that it's customary to cover
one's privates when accepting an
award? It's one of the common
What should I congratulate you for?
The fucking scene or for fucking the
Nina stands there shaken, looking at him sadly.
For fucking the director, honey.
(biting into apple)
Didn't you know that's how little
girls get into the movies?
She leaves. Cameron lies there seething, then abruptly leaps up and
storms into the bathroom. Sam sits rubbing his head, resumes
typing. Cameron rages out of the bathroom, flings himself onto the
bed. Unwinding the elastic bandage, he sprays ethyl chloride on his
knee. Sam's typing stops.
Young man, taking my life in my
hands, I must inform you that you
are an asshole.
Cameron ignores Sam.
- 90 -
Being a devout masochist, it follows
that I'm Eli's best friend. I know
quite a lot about him and Nina.
You and the entire crew, buddy.
He met her three years ago. Two
lonely people rattling around New
York. A brutal winter. Eli's
marriage had just broken up...
(interrupting in anger)
...All she had to do was tell me!
She could have done that in four
seconds. They went to bed once and
they were lousy as lovers. But they
had a problem. They liked each
other. They recognized some area of
mutual sensitivity. I'm boring you.
You telling me he banged her once
three years ago?
I'm going to see if they can put me
up in the employees' toilet.
He begins to type again, then philosophically...
SAM'S VOICE (CONT'D)
I think he 'banged' her twice to
confirm the awful truth...Was she
supposed to be a virgin?
But he says this so sadly and looks so miserable that Sam knows he
has reached him and it touched.
- 91 -
I had a virgin once. Had to go to
Guatemala for it. She was blind in
one eye and had a stuffed alligator
that said, "Welcome to Miami Beach!"
Cameron sits there feeling dumb and full of regrets. Then he gets
up, goes to Sam's closet and begins rummaging through the clothes.
Sam watches him curiously.
So how's the new ending coming?
I got fourteen versions. Take your
(worried about his
What are you doing in there?
...Fourteen gory ways to die?
Thirteen. In one version he
lives...turns the girl in, opens a
gay bar in Berlin, gains fifty
pounds and changes his name to
(now deeply concerned)
...Please, anything but the
sweaters. You'll stretch the hell
out of the sleeves.
140 INT. RESTAURANT
The pleasant SEAFOOD RESTAURANT is on the pier over the water.
Cameron, now wearing Sam's sweater after all, is searching about the
crowded room trying to find Nina and what might be her family. He
is about to leave when he sees a group at a window table, a MAN and
WOMAN in their early fifties and a FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL,
attractive despite the baby fat. Something about the composite of
all their features is familiar enough to give them a second look.
In doing so, he sees a half-eaten BIRTHDAY CAKE on their table, in
front of an empty place. He goes to the table.
- 92 -
I was sort of invited to a birthday
party and I can't seem to find
it...and this seems to be a birthday
The FATHER, a hearty, bluff, good-natured man, looks at Cameron
amiably and with a father's intuition.
A birthday party is a birthday
Who was this birthday party for...
animal, vegetable or mineral?
NANCY, the fourteen-year-old, giggles.
Will you stop teasing this young
She's really worth finding, ma'am.
She's a very rare mineral.
(pleased with Cameron)
How old is this mineral?
This morning she was acting about
ninety, but she might be lying a
year or two.
The father now really comfortable, recognizing a fellow humorist.
No, you got the wrong table...this
one's acting like she's six...but
the missus tells me birthdays are
very emotional for the ladies.
At this moment Cameron can tell from their faces that they've seen
Nina behind him. He turns.
- 93 -
Nina has emerged from the ladies' room looking miserable and is
walking toward them. At the shock of seeing Cameron, her hand flies
to her mouth in such embarrassment and joy and confusion at the way
she feels, that she starts back to the refuge of the ladies' room.
Catching herself, she turns back to face him, her eyes now glowing
with tears of happiness.
142 HOTEL CORRIDOR - CLOSE ON CAMERON - LATER THAT NIGHT
He moves forward and kisses Nina. We now realize we are at her
HOTEL ROOM DOOR. She on the inside, he on the outside, kissing
through the doorway, which stands slightly ajar. With their mouths
I'm sorry it got so late...that damn
five o'clock makeup call...I feel as
bad as you do...
In the same place I do?
Will you take a raincheck?
(slipping her room key in
...A permanent one?
He puts his hand on the pocket and grins at her.
A season pass.
Closing the door.
143 INT. HOTEL BAR - LATE NIGHT
On HENRY (the ASSISTANT CAMERAMAN who Eli screamed at), his luggage
beside him, his elbows, empties, loose change scattered before him
on the bar top.
Lucky...hey Lucky, come over here!
- 94 -
ANGLE shifts to include Cameron a few stools down. He looks up from
his beer and crosses to henry.
Guess who tole 'em to take their job
and stuff it?
Fuckin' A. Gettin' out tonight.
But not without splittin' a Schlitz
with the one guy, 'cept me, who
wouldn't take shit from that
As the BARTENDER is taking away the empties, Henry puts his finger
down on a DIME.
Change is for you, except that.
That's a very special dime.
(holds it up for Cameron
Know what this is? Ask me!
It's a dime...am I close?
It's Eli Cross' ass. People think
'cause you're easygoin' they can
walk all over you. Bull-shit...I'm
blowin' the whistle with this dime
in that phone...killin' a man and
hiding it from the police...are you
kiddin'...? Who is he think he is?
Cameron pales, knowing that drunken Henry's desire for revenge can
expose him to the police. He grabs the dime from Henry's fingers
and drops it into a PEANUT VENDING MACHINE.
What the hell you doin'?
Cameron stuffs the bag of peanuts in Henry's shirt pocket, grabs his
suitcase and hustles him out of the bar toward the FRONT DOOR.
- 95 -
I'm putting you in a cab for your
own good and sending you to the
airport. He's mine, Henry, all
mine. Just leave that son-of-a-
bitch to me!
They have reached the HOTEL DOORWAY. By now, Henry is convinced
Cameron means business. He stops.
Do whatever you wanna do, but I
better do it with ya! You'll need
help 'cause that goddamn looney is
Not to me, he ain't. I'm going to
the cops. You gotta earn your
living in pictures, but I don't give
a shit. He can't hurt me.
Don't be too sure. Damned psycho
nearly strangled me! Don't believe
me? Wanna see marks...?
(tears open shirt collar
to show bruises)
...Lucky to be alive!
Henry, what are you talking about?
I watched that whole thing today, he
didn't even touch you.
- 96 -
Not today. When Burt went into the
(Cameron is wide-eyed)
I could tell from up there in the
chopper something' was wrong. So, I
stopped shootin' and that crazy man
gets me by the throat and starts
screamin' to roll the film...I mean
that guy's down there dying and he's
screamin', "Keep shooting! Keep
shooting!" Then, he starts fighting
me for the switch and it falls
down...like a crazy house up there,
with him thrashin' on the floor...He
didn't care about Burt. All he
cared about was to get that man
dyin' on film! Sickest thing I ever
As Henry's last words sink in, Cameron stands pale and shaken.
I better grab that cab.
Henry takes the suitcase from Cameron's numb hand and pushes through
the door, looks back for a parting shot.
You tell 'em everything...don't
As he goes towards cab, some MERRYMAKERS push their way into the
144 CLOSE ON CAMERON
Staring ahead, Henry's words echo like his own death warrant. The
merrymakers jostle past him, discussing suntan ointments. Cameron
turns and walks across the HOTEL LOBBY and UP the STAIRS...his pace
increasing until he is taking them three at a time.
145 CLOSE ON DOOR LOCK
Cameron's hand thrusts KEY into the hole, flings open the DOOR TO
NINA'S BEDROOM and barges in.
Nina...your crazy Eli...
- 97 -
He FREEZES. Over his shoulder, we see Nina, naked, lying on the
bed. Raymond, also naked, sits slumped on the edge of the bed,
utterly disconsolate. The three stare at each other, an absurd
tableau. Cameron whirls and leaves, slamming the door behind him,
almost off its hinges.
146 INT. HOTEL LOBBY
He comes down the steps like a madman. Raging, Cameron stomps
across the lobby toward the glass doors that will take him out of
Eli's grotesque wonderland. He collides with a group of returning
night FISHERMEN still in their slickers, carrying their equipment,
their catch wrapped in newspapers. For a moment he is tangled in
their tackle, FISH TUMBLING AND SLIDING along the marble floor.
Jesus...don't step on 'em.
Cameron stares at them, whirls and rushes back across the lobby and
up the stairs.
147 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM
As Cameron bursts in. She stands in her robe in the center of the
room, glaring at him.
Get out of here!
Hearing WATER running in the bathtub, he dashes in, but finds the
bathroom empty. He moves to the closet and slides the door so
violently that it almost falls off: No Raymond.
I'll have you thrown out!
She crosses to the phone.
Is there anybody in this whole
company you haven't screwed?
147A In the HALLWAY, a little group of PASSING TOURISTS turn in
wonderment at the tumult through the open doorway. Nina leaves the
phone, crosses to the door and kicks it shut in the people's faces
with all her strength.
- 98 -
You stupid, ignorant bastard! How
dare you storm in here like you won
me in a raffle?!
Cameron, realizing for the first time that instead of being ashamed
or frightened, she is livid with rage?
My girl gave me her key!
I am not your girl! I am that man's
girl! That man and I have been
lovers for six months! I've known
you two days!
Then gee, ma'am, I sure hope you
didn't tell him about all that
ballin' last night.
Don't you dare be clever with me!
He came scratching at the door
tonight like a beaten dog, begging
me to say that you were some twenty-
four hour nonsense.
(against her will she
starts to cry)
...and I had to tell him I thought I
was falling in love with...
(not giving an inch)
You couldn'a said that with your
Nina lets out an incoherent roar of rage.
Goddamn you! The wounded stud! He
is entitled to some dignity! To
lose his "pure and faithful lover"
without the new boy barging in!
Where do you suppose he is now?
Did ya look in the laundry hamper?
- 99 -
GET OUT! Get the HELL OUT!!
Cameron crosses to the door. Searching through this madness for
some kind of logic, turning on her.
I don't have any rights? I don't
have the right to be pissed off...?
You don't have the right to breathe!
I knew him before I met you! Do you
understand that?! Before I met
you!! If we were frightened, we
woke each other in the dark...we
slept in each other's arms...
The word is "fuck!"
All right, the word is fuck! You
narrow, insensitive, stupid...!
Don't. Don't push me. I don't know
this freaky world you live in, but I
know that there still must be a
couple of places where people
somehow believe in...
He is at a loss for words.
Believe in what? You're blushing.
A place where what? Don't get
embarrassed at this late date!
...A place where a guy has a right
to blow his top if he finds his
Raymond's lover! Raymond's lover!
Say it! Raymond's lover!
- 100 -
Cameron, exhausted, slides down the wall and sits on the floor.
I'll have it typed up and
notarized...! Raymond's lover! And
you will sign where it says, agreed!
He says nothing. She on the bed and he on the floor, are drained of
all strength and emotion.
You won't turn me into some rotten
whore because your papa once told
that a woman is a certain way "and
that's how it's gonna be 'til
Gabriel blows his horn..."
Okay...okay. I just want to sit a
couple of seconds without having to
say a word. Because if I start
trying to say, "I'm sorry I caught
you and Raymond fucking," I'll start
laughing and when I laugh too hard,
I get the hiccups and they can last
(after a long beat;
Don't get hiccups.
Isn't anything what it seems to
- 101 -
Don't you think that's kind of
They sit there unable to leave each other, unable to move to each
other. They just sit there.
148 INT. BASEMENT SCREENING ROOM - MORNING
Dailies are in progress. Eli watches, surrounded by a few crew
members. Cameron sits in the back row with Nina's MOTHER, FATHER
and SISTER. Nina is not present. On the PORTABLE SCREEN is a shot
of Nina as a wild, radiant eighteen-year old Austrian girl running
pell-mell along a willow-lined VILLAGE STREET, dodging children and
148A bicycles. She collides with an OLD MAN, her basket falls, its
contents scattering; his momentary anger vanishing as he is infected
with her joy of life. He helps her refill the basket and she
rewards him with a sausage and a kiss. The old man watches her
wistfully as she runs away.
149 ANGLE ON PARENTS
There's a tear of pride in Nina's mother's eye. Father gently puts
his hand on top of hers as the room lights come on.
You okay back there?
Happy as clams.
150 ANOTHER ANGLE INCLUDING ELI
She's so beautiful. Isn't it
amazing how they put it all together
But Eli is already involved in the SCRIPT GIRL's notes.
- 102 -
...132 through 40 next? Sam should
see this. I think I left in a line
of his dialogue.
151 ANGLE ON PORTABLE SCREEN
The room dims and the film starts. We see a slate board reading
"150A Take 1." The clapper claps and the board is removed,
revealing an ATTIC. Nina sprawled on her stomach, stark naked, atop
Raymond's naked body, her breasts resting on his chest, her legs
apart, interlocked with his. They look directly at the CAMERA
awaiting their cue with the calm resignation of two people waiting
for the Wilshire bus. The MAKEUP GIRL appears in the shot spraying
Nina's back and ass with glycerin sweat from an aerosol can. She
disappears as Eli's voice on the sound track calls, "ACTION." The
ANGLE TIGHTENS into a less revealing, more artistic composition.
Their mouths meet. Their bodies writhe.
152 CLOSE ON NINA'S PARENTS
They stare at the screen in open-mouthed shock and horror. Their
once gentle hands grip each other like iron claws, trying to squeeze
away the nightmare.
153 ANGLE ON CAMERON
In shock and anger, leaning forward on the edge of his chair,
looking from Eli to the parents, not knowing what to do to stop
154 ANGLE ON NANCY
She sinks down in her seat, her surprise becoming malicious pleasure
at the reaction of her parents.
155 ANGLE ON ELI
Sweet Christ! I told 'em to hold
(starting to leave her
I'll stop it.
- 103 -
Too late now...only make it worse.
We hear the passionate murmurings from the screen as Eli scrunches
down in his seat.
156 ANGLE ON PORTABLE SCREEN
The lovers convulse with erotic abandon as they approach orgasm.
157 ANGLE ON NINA'S PARENTS
Like a Charles Addams' rendering of a Brady tintype. Their faces
wear the stiff frozen smiles of the hopelessly insane.
158 EXT. MOVIE SET - CLOSE ON NINA
She's now made up to look like a woman in her forties. Everything
about her tells us these have been brutal years, filled with pain
and loss. She is reacting in anguish to something O.S. But, even
though she manages a few tears, it doesn't quite ring true. Eli
steps into the shot.
(to the crew, O.S.)
All right, save it.
159 ANGLE TO INCLUDE CAMERON
On the sidelines, as he coldly watches Eli put his arm around Nina
and stroll her away from the crew so they are out of earshot.
160 ANGLE ON ELI AND NINA - MOVING
Nina. The shame of it...the shame!
You've lost your son, your lover.
You want to tear his throat out...
but you stand meek...your guts
burning with the shame of it.
God, I don't know what's wrong with
She has looked up at her parents, who stand off to one side like
- 104 -
Maybe it's them...I feel like I'm in
a zoo. Let me say bye-bye and get
'em on their way. It might help.
She starts to move towards her parents but Eli puts a restraining
hand on her.
Honey...you better know this...don't
get all shook up now...
Nina looks at him with foreboding.
Something got screwed up...the
The attic scene. The bare-ass attic
scene... I'm sorry... I don't know
how... it was too late to stop it...
161 CLOSE ON NINA
She has not blinked, not turned her heard, for fear that her
father's eyes might meet hers. She is like a statue trembling in an
earthquake, about to shatter. The sick, loathesome shame that fills
her, brims over and the statue's blind eyes flow tears.
162 CLOSE ON ELI
Tense, barely breathing.
(an urgent whisper)
He eases back out of view. The ANGLE SLOWLY TIGHTENS.
- 105 -
163 CLOSE ON NINA
As she falls apart before our eyes, and an O.S. VOICE on a PLAYBACK
TAPE insinuates into our consciousness, echoing as though heard
through many loudspeakers.
I envy you the pride you must feel
today. A young hero has fallen
gloriously on the field of battle.
Hands reach in and drape a sash around Nina's throat. From it
dangles a SWASTIKA. For Nina, there is still no voice, no camera,
only the obliterating shame for that image of her naked body burned
into her father's memory. And yet, that shame is so similar to the
shame she should be feeling as the woman in Eli's film at this
mockery of her son's death.
A nation has lost a son! A mother
has lost a son!
The sound has now grown to a proportion reminiscent of those German
newsreels of Hitler victory rallies.
This sacrifice in blood brings
closer man's noblest dream...a
thousand years of peace!
The THUNDEROUS SOUND of ten thousand voices shouting: "Sieg Heil!
Sieg Heil!" has shattered Nina's isolation. She is now aware that
her personal despair has been used to accomplish an acting trick,
and it only adds to her degradation and sense of shame, ironically
making her performance even more poignant. The crowd on the
playback roars with fanatic zeal.
164 EXT. HALL - CLOSE ON CAMERON - LATER
Striding rapidly down the hall, looking like a man who hopes to find
a fight, to dissipate his residual anger. He rounds a corner,
almost colliding with Eli, who comes rapidly from an intersecting
corridor. Eli puts his arm around Cameron's shoulder, hurrying him
along even faster.
Giddyap, soldier. Last one there's
Cameron shrugs his arm off in annoyance as they round the corner and
hurry down some STAIRS.
- 106 -
Where are we rushing to? I Was
Trouble staying awake, huh?
They reach the bottom of the steps and move swiftly down another
corridor, as Eli fishes through his pockets and comes up with a
PIECE OF CHEWING GUM.
Stick of gum? Makes you hum!
(ignored, he chews it
Do you read?
Eli finds a BOOKLET he has been looking for and hands it to Cameron.
Schickel and Bergenstadt... couple
of Dutch comedy writers. See, it's
got pictures. But don't skim.
Chuck's gonna quiz you. If you
pass, you get a free trip to
Amsterdam and you can stick your
finger in a dike.
(looking at the book as
What the hell is this?
A pamphlet on how to get out of a
sunken car. You know, they got this
problem in Holland...those canals.
So these guys are experts.
Did Burt read this?
Off hand, I'd say no, wouldn't you?
(hands it back to him)
- 107 -
There you go rejecting me again.
Eli pushes open the double doors and they find themselves standing
in the MAKESHIFT SCREENING ROOM.
You've gotta think positive, Burt.
165 INT. SCREENING ROOM
Jake is there with SEVERAL OTHER MEN. But before Cameron can even
register who they are, Eli is saying...
I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I've got
exactly two minutes of borrowed
time. I'm in the middle of a scene.
Get it started.
Immediately the lights snap off and the film is projected on the
screen. In the dark, the men in the room fumble their way to seats.
On the projection screen we see a helicopter SHOT OF THE DUESENBERG
APPROACHING THE BRIDGE. Cameron is suddenly alert like a jungle
beast who's just heard the trap slam shut behind him. His eyes dart
around at the official-looking faces staring at the O.S. film. One
face looks disturbingly familiar, but in the dark he can't place it.
(addressing a man next to
This fellow here is the stunt man
driving that car.
Thompson is from the FBI. They
wanted you here in case they have
On the projection screen, we see the DUESENBERG GO OFF THE EDGE OF
THE BRIDGE, disappear in the water.
I don't see anybody else on the
road...did you, Burt?
- 108 -
The MAN Cameron couldn't recognize speaks out.
My buddy and I saw that son-of-a-
bitch break out of the woods and
head that way, down the road.
The lights go on and Cameron looks at the speaker, recognizing him
as one of the TELEPHONE LINEMEN. Apparently, the lineman doesn't
recognize Cameron in his new identity.
...I had a clear view. I was on top
of the pole.
Do you mind if we see that again?
Help yourself, the room is yours.
But I've got thirty people on the
set being paid for doing nothing.
(moving toward the door
Come on Burt, you've got some
reading to do.
Cameron follows Eli as the lights go out and the film begins again.
Hey Burt, glad you're still alive,
considering who you're working for.
166 INT. HALL
Cameron moves swiftly down the corridor behind Eli, who starts up
the stairs, still blithely chewing his gum.
Something wrong? Why are you
I'm trying to figure it out. That
film. Where was I?
How tall is King Kong?
- 109 -
Good boy. I got all kinds of
versions. Wanna go back and see
Cameron understands the implied threat and Eli, knowing he has made
his point, continues good-humoredly.
I've even got a version where you
fly the helicopter and I'm driving
the Duesenberg. It's a dilly.
166A They have now charged out of the building and are racing across the
grounds toward the set.
What about the version where I go
over the bridge and die in the
Hey, kid, what is this with you?
That red dye must be eating through
your scalp and affecting your brain.
Why would I want to hurt you?
Because you don't like my tatoo.
I think it's beautiful. It's
heroic! I think it's a major work
that may rank with the Edsel grill!
Now goddamnit, I gotta go back and
do my picture! Will you take this
thing and read?!
He holds the booklet out to him and it is very hard for Cameron to
reach out and take it. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees the
FBI MEN leaving the building, heading off in another direction. He
stares at the booklet.
I knew a guy...who stepped on a
bouncing Betty booby trap. Stepping
on it wasn't his problem...they
explode when you step off. So all
- 110 -
he could do was just stand there.
It was getting light. If we didn't
get out, we'd of been shot up. So
Eli has been watching him thoughtfully.
...He had this screwy West Texas
accent, I remember, "Hey
Eli blows a BUBBLE with his gum that POPS on cue as though it were
the explosion of the bouncing Betty. Grinning, he sticks the
booklet in Cameron's shirt pocket, turns and walks off.
167 ANGLE ON ELI - MOVING SHOT
Sam catches up and walks beside him toward the set.
Why don't you let the kid go before
he gets hurt?
Chuck keeps an eye on him.
He's dangerous to have around. Stop
playing games, Eli. Tell Jake
you've replaced him. What are you
so hooked on?
He helps me understand the kid in
- 111 -
He's like one of those land mines
left over from a war, that go off
from time to time. You read about
it in the paper two or three years
later...some kid in a bell tower
shoots a dozen students for no
reason at all...his mother says he
was always such a good boy...I guess
I'd like to know what he really did.
As they reach the set, Gabe, the cameraman, charges up.
Did you bring the tampax? Raymond's
still acting like he's got the
(with black humor)
You suppose Raymond knows how to
drive a Duesenberg?
168 INT. NINA'S BEDROOM
Scattered about the room are suitcases, a wardrobe trunk, the almost
completed packing for tomorrow's departure. Nina lies in bed
staring into nothing, Cameron beside her. Each is talking aloud to
himself, adrift in his private world, unaware they have lost contact
with the other. The room is semi-dark, except for the nightstand
light on Cameron's side, by which he studies the BOOKLET Eli gave
...It was so unnecessary...For
Christ's sake, I'm no shrinking
violet...I've had my ass pinched
black and blue by account execs for
not showing enough enthusiasm for
Vitalis. But this from Eli...it was
..."Open All windows slowly to keep
pressure from caving in the roof,
should an unexpected skid achieve
aquatic consequences..." That's
kind of witty.
- 112 -
(still in her own world)
...Could've handled it later on. It
doesn't look so raunchy after it's
cut...Maybe I'd of got them
stoned...something...but for Eli to
trap them like that...
(eyes on the book)
Beautiful...There's a second school
of thought that says the first
school is all wet. It says, "Keep
the windows rolled up tight and wait
for the air bubble."
Say it was an accident...benefit of
the doubt. But then to use me that
way...like a gadget...Why would Eli
do that? He's not a cruel man...
(not looking up)
He's not a cruel man. He's a crazy
man. A maniac.
"The water pressure at two hundred
feet can crush a man into the size
of an egg." He wants to get that on
film....so he's gonna kill me.
(jumping out of bed)
What in God's name are you babbling
It's a rotten shame about your folks
and your naked ass, but dying always
scared me a little, okay?
- 113 -
...and you are beginning to scare
me. You're talking like a wild
Did you know that Eli almost
strangled a man because he stopped
the camera when Burt got killed?!
What is going on in that head of
yours?! You take the word of
...I saw the bruises!
...And I saw Eli that night when he
had to tell Burt's brother on the
phone...I saw the tears.
She saw the tears! Did you ask him
what he was crying about?! 'Cause
you can bet your sweet tits, it
wasn't over Burt. He was crying
over losing his fucking shot!
To keep from exploding, Nina opens her luggage and furiously starts
Didn't they give I.Q. tests in the
army? What did you get...minus
twelve? Haven't you figured out yet
why he's working himself to death?
What his film is all about? He's
trying to tell people not to kill
And you know what? You want the
shock of your life...? I understand
what the son-of-a-bitch is saying,
and he may be right...which makes me
what? Minus twelve, the dumb
schmuck with a gun. That doesn't
change the fact that he's crazy. If
he had his way, there wouldn't be a
soldier left alive by morning. But
- 114 -
all he's got on hand is me. I don't
know if he is doing it consciously,
but it's a hell of an idea. If he
can really get it on film, a genuine
dumb fuck grunt cashing in, before
your very eyes, I mean the real
McCoy...that's gotta help his
picture...Then he's killed two birds
with one stone. It's got a nice
logic. Trouble is, both birds are
Against her instincts, Nina is emotionally affected by what Cameron
Stop it...sweetheart...I'd die if
anything happened to you.
The TELEPHONE RINGS. Her head whips to look at it. It continues
ringing, but she doesn't move.
It's my father...I won't talk to
him...You're all driving me
crazy...I won't talk to him.!
Cameron calmly picks up the phone.
Tell them I'm not here. Tell them
anything. Tell them I'm working.
(glancing at Nina)
Okay, Chuck. I'll meet you in an
(he hangs up)
For me. Amazing how they keep
secrets around here.
He walks over to the still-stricken Nina and tenderly embraces her.
She leans against him, the trembling subsiding.
What if I told you I wasn't going to
do the stunt?
- 115 -
I'd say fine.
And what if I told you I was gonna
get out of here tonight...and that I
want you to come with me?
(upset and confused)
But there's just one more day of
What if I can't wait?
I...I have two more scenes...
That's a shame.
...I could meet you...
When he doesn't answer, Nina resorts to her last defense, irrational
...Look, don't do the stunt! If you
believe Eli's a killer, call the
police...Why are you doing this to
me? That's all I need right now,
with all I've been through!...For
you to give me now-or-never
ultimatums and tell me my director
By now she is stalking about the room throwing things from one
suitcase to another as Cameron silently watches her.
- 116 -
169 INT. GARAGE - LATE NIGHT - LOW ANGLE ON THE BLACK DUESENBERG
Which stands alone like Moby Dick awaiting its victim. Chuck and
Cameron appear from behind the car, stalking it like it were the
Sunday Special on a used car lot, Chuck the "hearty" salesman,
Cameron the reluctant customer.
Look at this mother...I'll bet these
guys could build an Arabian out of a
Why not? You built a stunt man out
Stunt man? Three days and you've
already grown those big brass balls?
Jump up and down and let me hear 'em
clang, and then do me a favor and
leave 'em home for this gag.
(yanks open the door)
There's just enough room in that
Duesenberg for a normal guy...who
(Cameron slides in)
Show me how long you can hold your
Cameron inhales deeply and Chuck clicks his stopwatch.
- 117 -
Now, look around. Whaddya see?...No
roll bar in the roof. That's
because the roof caving in really
looks gassy on film. You got your
protection in the back of the
seat...steel sheeting. If the roof
goes too far, you get your goddamn
head down quick! You listening to
me?!...Nod Your head.
(slapping Cameron on
You got good lungs.
You got no shoulder harness because
it would show on camera. So when
you hit the water, you brace
yourself against the steering wheel.
It's reinforced. You couldn't break
it loose with dynamite...you gettin'
Cameron shakes his head, "No."
Keep your hands off the doors...
You're leaving through the window.
You lower them slowly as you sink to
equalize the pressure. What are you
waitin' for? I'm not gonna be down
there holding your hand.
Slower. When you hit bottom, the
windows are open and you're gonna
make like a minnow. But first, a
little fresh air wouldn't hurt. You
reach down under the seat and, what
do you know, a respirator...Make
like you're reaching for it.
There'll be one there tomorrow.
Cameron reaches for the non-existent respirator.
No, keep your face forward, the
camera is behind you and it's still
- 118 -
By this time, Cameron's breath is giving out and he's struggling to
You feel like your lungs are gonna
burst? Good. That's the way you're
supposed to act like you feel. The
moment that water gets above your
nose, you gotta look like you're
drowning. Remember? Burt wasn't so
good at that.
That knocks the wind out of Cameron.
He sure as hell convinced me.
Chuck clicks his stopwatch and scowls.
Things happen crossin' the street!
If somethin' goes cockeyed...screw
the scene! Get that mask on.
There's enough oxygen to get you to
(rolls up the window)
We'll try it again.
Let me catch my breath.
What you'll catch is a lungful of
water! You're at the bottom of the
river!...You breathe when I goddamn
tell you to breathe!
(the pupil tricking the
Hey, Chuck, you blind?...Can't you
see I've got my respirator on?
You just goddamn remember you don't
169A Chuck has stalked over to the WORKBENCH and angrily picks up the
PHONE, which has been ringing incessantly over the last few lines.
- 119 -
(listens, then yells to
Eli's at the police station!
That's the best news I've heard.
Let's hope it's a felony.
He needs Gabe. They're lookin' for
a driver so I'm gonna take him.
Come on with me.
(climbing into the
You and me are gonna talk about
windows and oxygen and seat belts
and things like that. And if you're
a good boy and listen and don't be a
smart ass, maybe I'll let you sit in
the back seat with Nina Franklin.
Chuck, already in the car, is grinning. Now he's even for the
You might even get to hold hands.
170 EXT. POLICE STATION - MOVING SHOT ON CAMERON
The POLICE STATION comes into view, seen through the window of the
company car, which slows as it moves toward the curb. Eli, sitting
on the front stoop, leans wearily against the stone lion. As he
sees the car approach, he moves toward it quickly, opening the door
almost before it stops.
- 120 -
Eli pulls Gabe and Nina toward the police station, yelling back to
Cameron and Chuck.
You two better wait here.
Cameron watches them, confused, as they start up the steps toward
the station house.
171 ANOTHER ANGLE - ELI, NINA, GABE - MOVING SHOT
I hate this, damn it! Couldn't you
have done it without me?
Let's say you owe it to him. Until
two or three days ago, I had a
pretty good actor on my hands. Next
time you take out the clippers, be a
little humane, make sure the guy's
got one to spare.
What did you want me to do? Take
him in the back room and unzip his
fly every time he fluffed a line?
What else can I do for your film?
Just get your greedy little ass
inside and make sure you give the
performance of your life.
This next number, I dedicate to
- 121 -
172 INT. POLICE STATION
As the three enter. The station is old with a high sergeant's desk
and wooden benches against the walls. Raymond, beyond tears,
destroyed, sits among the other refuse of the night: derelicts,
stoned kids, etc. On one bench is a SAILOR, with that adenoidal
look that betrays the weakness he tries to hide with his "butch"
arrogance. Jake, in the doorway of his office, savors the fact that
he has finally nailed Eli Cross. Eli captures the setup in a
glance...then, instant theater. He strides across the police
station to Raymond, takes his head in his hands and kisses him smack
on the mouth.
Who's better, booby...him or me?
Gabe has come up behind a PATROLMAN, grabs him by the hips and
starts humping like a dog in heat. The policeman shrieks in dismay
and tries to escape, but Gabe trots along as if they were locked.
Jake! Throw some water on him,
quick! Only way to get 'em apart!
Gabe is now distracted by the sight of the sailor, who is agape with
growing disbelief. Gabe ogles him.
Yummy...look at the seafood! You're
a humpy little number.
(then to Raymond,
stamping his foot)
You nasty boy. You could've died of
The sailor leaps to his feet in horror, screaming.
Jesus Christ, they're all faggots!
173 ANGLE ON SERGEANT'S DESK
Eli has stormed to the counter and slams his fist down on it
furiously, confronting Jake.
- 122 -
I'm registering a complaint! Thirty-
two members of my company got V.D.
from your local virgins. The
Chamber of Commerce didn't say
anything about that in their
You can stop clowning, Eli, I've got
a sworn complaint from this
(jabbing his finer in
Raymond's O.S. direction)
...Your man over there touched his
174 ANGLE ON RAYMOND AND NINA
She is snuggled against him tenderly, her open mouth kissing his
neck and cheek. Raymond, although aware of his desperate situation,
is too sick with self-loathing to respond.
175 ANGLE ON ELI AND JAKE
Oh, Jake! Come on! You wouldn't
know your anal invert from a hole in
the ground. Raymond makes bad
jokes, but they're not illegal.
Christ, you've seen us all on the
176 EXT. POLICE STATION
Cameron stands, peering in through the big front window, feeling
once again betrayed. It's like watching TV with the sound shut off.
From here, Nina and Raymond are very convincing. Chuck leans
against a lamppost, smoking a cigarette, as the charade goes on.
- 123 -
177 INT. POLICE STATION
Eli now going full blast.
My company's been pouring sixty
thousand dollars a week into this
place, for which your mayor and
governor seem very grateful! We
paid enough in taxes and fees alone
to buy you parking meters from here
to the boardwalk!
(feeling it's all going
Everything I said in that statement
is the flat-ass truth!
Eli pays no attention, knowing that he's got Jake. He gestures
toward Nina embracing Raymond.
Jake, I got a very horny leading
lady who's got an early call and
would like to spend some time with
her boyfriend before she makes
"night-night." Now, can I please
get 'em outta here before they
really do something illegal...and in
front of witnesses!
178 INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - ON ELEVATOR DOORS - NIGHT
It's three o'clock in the morning. The corridors are empty as the
elevator door swings open and Nina and Eli step out and move down
the hallway, functioning on their last ounce of nervous energy.
Sorry I had to put you through that.
I know it was humiliating.
...It was awful...I hated it. But
you did save that man's life.
- 124 -
Yeah, that was really nice of me.
I'm a nice person. I just wish I
had the strength to go to his room
and break his spine. On the last
day of filming the queen decides to
come out of the closet! Wouldn't
that have made a lovely headline?
You understand, of course, that the
film would've been destroyed. Doing
that to me...
Eli, what's wrong?
Nothing serious. Just a little
Eli, on the edge of nervous exhaustion, is actually close to tears.
I'm sorry, but you know...it's too
goddamn much. Why's everybody on my
back? When's somebody gonna say,
"There, there Eli?" I'm really
surrounded by friends, allies and
you..."What else can I do for your
That's not fair.
They have reached a turn in the corridor where each would go his
separate way. They stop.
What's not fair...getting my
feelings "hurt?" When did I lose
you to that soldier boy, Nina? That
nice, wholesome, swell-looking
kid...wanted by every cop, the FBI
and God knows who else, for God
knows what crime.
Nina is paralyzed with shock.
- 125 -
Come on, Nina, those blue eyes have
bedazzled our little girl. For
Christ's sake, he reeks of blood.
You sound as crazy as...
He thinks you're trying to...
(she can't say 'kill')
Any number of people are trying to
He walks off down the corridor.
179 INT. HOTEL BASEMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT
Partly crated props and costumes, luggage belonging to the departing
film crew is piled against the wall and on shelves. In the
cavernous half-lit room, Cameron, once again the coiled, stealthy
animal, moves through the shadows among the racks of suitcases,
pulling them aside, searching. Discovering one, he sets it on the
floor. It's locked. With a metal bar, he breaks the lock and
eagerly rifles the contents. Then, sensing a presence, he turns.
There stands Nina at the base of the steps watching him. With only
a glance to her, he goes on with his search.
How'd you know I was down here?
The desk clerk...
He finds a WALLET, opens it, getting to his feet triumphantly.
How about that for luck? Burt's
from Idaho...no picture on the
Cameron stuffs the wallet in his pocket, moving along the row of
suitcases. He pulls out a duffel bag, unzips it, shaking the
- 126 -
contents on the floor. Now with the open bag on his arm, he goes
along the row of costumes and props like a man in the supermarket,
stuffing in things he will need: a pair of hiking boots, a couple
of work shirts, a heavy jacket. Passing a shelf of bayonets, he
picks one out and throws it in the bag.
Who are you?
Above the bayonets are army helmets. He tries one on.
Hey, how's this? A World War One,
uh...what did they call 'em?...
dogfaces... somethin'... doughboys.
(flings a nurses uniform
Wanna be the nurse?
179A From some hospital props, he grabs a wheelchair and shoves it toward
...You tell me this wouldn't work?
A pretty nurse pushing a vet in a
wheelchair? When we hit that
roadblock, we'd have 'em crying like
Who the hell are you?
Somebody trying to stay
alive...anybody--that can get past
the dogs and the quicksand...
(making a shrewd guess)
Who did Eli say I was?
I'm asking you, God damn...
She has fiercely grabbed his naked shoulder.
- 127 -
Easy with that tatoo...it mighta
lost me Eli, but it won me Lt. Emily
Schmidt, the greatest boobs in
Southeast Asia...and a very
patriotic chick. So I got this
tattoo, for 28 bucks. And when she
saw this shoulder, let me tell ya,
holy Jesus! Following which I got
the clap from the Lt. And hepatitis
from the tattoo needle. You know
what bothers me? I think Emily is
gonna be very offended by Eli's
Nina cannot endure another moment of this charade.
Why do they want you? What did you
Eli'd tell you...I was a soldier. I
did the same as everybody, just one
of the boys... emptied my M-16 at
any sound... don't know whether I
killed gooks or cherries...the new
kids from the States, we call 'em
cherries, which they were for maybe
fifteen minutes. The dry season is
when it really breaks loose. You
get very tired. It's like falling
asleep at the wheel. You close your
eyes and it still goes on. You're
killin' them, they're killin' you.
Couldn't tell ya now what was real
except I'm here.
We sense in him the fatigue he is describing, then, pushing aside
- 128 -
Hey, once when things were rough and
the grass ran out, I shot the hell
out of a water buffalo.
(he considers, then passes
judgment on himself)
Actually, I wasn't a bad
soldier...better than most. Got
lotsa pretty ribbons. Funny...sort
of like when I did that first stunt
and everybody started clapping...
nothing like a slap on the back to
ruin a man, blow his sense of
proportion. So, I got home...and,
uh...I guess I expected something.
Nothing fancy, but... something, you
know...a free car wash, double blue
chip stamps, extra time on the
parking meter... I don't know...
Instead, people... uh, didn't seem
(trying to hide a lot of
In fact, they acted like I was gonna
start killing babies...
She crosses to him, deeply moved.
Shit. I was supposed to get
married, run an ice cream parlor.
(picks up his suitcases)
I gotta go.
179B Although they're standing only a couple of feet apart, he lifts his
hand tentatively, as if to wave goodbye.
...What about the roadblocks?
I'll go through the woods.
Don't you suppose there'll be cops
in the woods.
- 129 -
I suppose there are cops in the
woodwork! But what the hell...it's
a nice night.
(he starts to go)
Lovers facing farewells have a gift for suspending time, and Nina
speaks out, unable to let him leave.
I've always liked the woods at
night. They're very romantic... You
can hunt for truffles. It might be
such fun, we'd just keep going.
Cameron can't afford to fall for her softness.
You said "we." What about your two
That's true...One of them is three
pages of me making a tunafish salad
for an American flyer in 1917... And
I've got to weigh that against
losing the man I love. It's a big
Nina, you're making me crazy.
I'm sorry. I'm a little crazy
myself. I can't let you go and I
don't even know who you are.
(suddenly the dam bursts
and all self-control is
Why are they chasing you?! What
have you done? What happens to me
in the woods? Will I need a bayonet
179C He stands there, staring at her, his face suddenly savage. After
everything, the lady is afraid of him. He picks up the duffel bag
and moves for the door, then turns on her, punishing her with his
- 130 -
The charge was attempted murder. I
bashed this cop's head in. It took
the jury about two fucking minutes.
It could of been worse. It could of
been life. But the judge...he
looked real nice at me, and said you
were a damn good soldier, son...So
he only gave me twenty years. No
way! Enough!...You know how long I
was in that prison -- nineteen
months -- and then I was gone! I
She stares in shock and horror. His anger is like ice.
Caught me breaking into a
store...oh, not to rob it...I went
there to kill the bastard who owned
179D Suddenly the ice turns to steam. His self-control shatters like
glass. There in the basement of a 100-year old hotel, before an
audience of one, Cameron ERUPTS, spewing out the memory of his
mortification and crucifixion...not without the silent resignation
of Jesus, but with the howling rage of a mad dog...Pluto with the
...Because...it seemed like a good
idea to twist his fucking head off!
Said I could be his partner when I
got back...lyin' son of a bitch was
"real sorry things were slack..."
Slack my ass...he just didn't want
me hangin' around because he was
bangin' my old lady. So I go down
and start bangin' on his door!
(he starts pounding on
- 131 -
...He's closed. It's two o'clock in
the morning. I want to smash his
face in and he's closed! "OPEN UP,
179E Cameron's fist SMASHES his own face in the dressing table mirror.
His reflection crazes and falls to pieces.
Cameron holds up his fist to her, shaking it in glee.
Bang! That bright, shiny front
window went bye-bye!
(reveling in his own
...Maybe he's screwin' her behind
the counter...I climb in there
screamin' "WHERE ARE YA? Come out
here and be a man! Where are ya?
Behind that counter, you son-of-a-
Cameron kicks over the makeup table as though it were the
counter...tubes and glasses shatter all over the floor.
Ya know what's behind that
(the ultimate horror)
CREAM..." and all that fuckin'
179F There is a rainbow row of makeup jars and hair tints. He starts
HURLING them against the wall where they smash, punctuating his
speech with bursts of gooey color.
...And these little Mickey Mouse
faces on the walls!...with candy
He pauses, catching his breath, as another image emerges from the
swirl of memory.
- 132 -
(tense and frightened)
...Then...I see this thing glowing
in the dark...I hit that floor so
fast. Christ, I nearly swallowed my
heart. That second I was sure...it
was Charlie...a cigarette butt, some
guy on a V.C. Patrol!...
(his panic subsides)
Know what it was? It was the
GODDAMN PILOT LIGHT ON THE HOT FUDGE
MACHINE!! That did it! That DID
IT! HOT FUDGE?! Me buried in shit,
being the damn good soldier the
judge said I was, yes sir, people
sitting there on their fat asses
feedin' their fat faces. "Can I
have an extra cherry? Can I have an
Cameron rips Denise's electric hair dryer from the wall and hurls it
across the basement.
I smashed that fucking fudge pot
across the room, smack into that
shelf full of animals...and it
starts raining pussycats and monkeys
and kangaroo cookies like Noah's
The hair dryer smashes against a shelf, toppling ammunition boxes
and bottles onto the carcass of a disassembled World War I airplane.
The propeller topples and falls through a German recruiting poster,
and just out at the Kaiser's crotch.
"How long should a girl wait" she
says? FOR GODDAMN EVER, BITCH,
THAT'S HOW LONG!
Cameron's hands have come to rest on a metal laundry bin. He grips
it and lifts it over his head.
I picked up this fifty-pound ice
I started running with that son-of-
- 133 -
Cameron starts running across the room and just as he's about to
hurl it, he COLLIDES with a jutting shelf, which knocks him flat on
his back. The shelf falls and thirty or forty one-gallon PAINT CANS
cascade on top of him. It looks disastrous. Nina runs to him,
terrified, but before the last can has even come to rest, Cameron
emerges from the pile of cans, throwing them aside, still thrashing
and screaming as he struggles to his feet.
At the sight of him, Nina starts laughing. But Cameron, who has
somehow managed to keep his grip on the laundry basket, raises it
over his head as if nothing has happened, hurls the clothes bin,
SCOOP THAT UP YOUR ROYAL BAVARIAN
With the effort, Cameron's feet fly out from under him as if he had
stepped in oil. In fact, he has stepped in paint, and lands flat on
his ass in the green goo. Nina "bracks" out an uncontrollable
It's not funny!
Shamed, Nina runs to him.
But, as she reaches him, her feet too are caught in the paint and
she slides forward like an ice skater, spraddling him, landing on
her ass. His rage vanishes as he points at her, breaking into a
fiendish, uncontrollable cackle. These pratfalls are a catharsis
that has released the pressure and the madness. They attempt to
gain their feet, skidding and sliding in the paint. He succeeds,
but Nina fails.
Let me go to the bathroom. I'm
gonna have an accident.
- 134 -
You'll miss the main part! Killer
Cameron's ghastly crime! I was
freaked out of my head! And,
suddenly there's this big flashlight
shining in my face. I just grabbed
that goddamn ice cream bucket and
slopped it...right over the guy's
Although Cameron's got nothing in his hands, he pantomimes swinging
that fifty-pound ice cream bucket around in the air, losing his
balance and landing on his back in the paint beside Nina. Her
hysteria is renewed, but Cameron stops laughing.
It's not funny. It wasn't him. It
was a cop. I got out of there like
a shot. I didn't know he was
knocked out. How the hell did I
know he was gonna lay there all
night with his head in the ice
Oh, my God. He died?
No, he's in the hospital.
Oh, yes. That ice cream's goddamn
(struggling for a proper
His nose...it froze and his ear
Despite the horror of it, Nina starts giggling. She can't help it.
No, it's terrible!...He lost the tip
of his nose and his ear lobe...
- 135 -
179H Then, Cameron, realizing the absurdity, starts giggling too. Out of
control, Nina scrambles to her feet and dashes for the ladies room.
Cameron follows her to the door, still talking as it closes behind
I'll tell ya, it's a bad year to
mess with cops. You get the FBI
screaming down on your ass...
(through the door)
Oh, God. Too late...Thanks a lot!
Abruptly, Cameron's energy is gone. The hilarity is over. He leans
his forehead against the door in exhaustion and despair.
...If we woke up Eli and told him
about the ice cream...would he
forgive me and call off the
180 INT. GARAGE - PRE-DAWN
The DUESENBERG STANDS silhouetted in the darkness, light glinting
dimly off it like the gleam from fine wood of a splendid coffin
waiting in the slumber room before services begin. Behind it, a
side door of the garage opens. But it is not visitors coming to pay
their last respects, it is Cameron and Nina. He is wearing Burt's
Nina moves quickly to a WHITE CONVERTIBLE as Cameron crosses to the
big overhead garage doors and hits the electric SWITCH. NOTHING
HAPPENS. He flips another switch and harsh overhead lights
illuminate the reality of the garage. Nina has started the
convertible, as Cameron tries to lift the garage door handles.
How the hell d'ya open this thing?
Sorry, folks, it's locked.
Nina gasps. Cameron whirls towards the voice. A COP with a big
flashlight stands in the open doorway peering in at them.
- 136 -
We know it's locked. Would you open
up for us?
Can't...not 'til seven o'clock. Mr.
I'm sure Mr. Cross will understand
when you tell him that Miss Franklin
had a sudden desire for Swedish
pancakes for breakfast and this
gentleman had a sudden desire to
keep me company...I'm Nina Franklin,
the star of the film.
Pancake house don't open 'til eight.
That's all right, we'll find some
Town's closed up pretty tight this
time of night.
Then we'll drive to Cape Long.
Ya'll never get through the
Chief's orders. Mr. Cross didn't
want any members of the company
leavin' town tonight. Guess he
wanted everybody good and rested for
the last day.
Figure it's no secret about the
Chief hopin' this is the last day...
- 137 -
Are you telling me that if I decide
to take a drive at any time of the
day or night or whenever I damn
please, I need Mr. Cross's
permission? Mr. Cross does not
control me or anyone else, including
this gentleman and he does not
control the public roads!
No, but the police do. I'll wake
Mr. Cross up and ask him if you
want, but it's an awful hour.
Should be somebody in the hotel
kitchen by now. I'll get 'em to
rustle somethin' up for you. Maybe
not pancakes, but eggs, if you want
I think the lady had her heart set
on pancakes, but thanks.
Okay. You change your mind, call...
I'll be around.
He leaves. The officer is gone and so is their plan. They're in
limbo...people in a waiting room whose flight has been cancelled.
- 138 -
I can't believe it...He knows. The
son-of-a-bitch knows whatever I'm
thinking. I'm beginning to feel
like something that Sam wrote! I'm
not real. I'm some jerk American
flyer from World War I who has to go
over a bridge and die because the
goddamn script says so! It's
crazy...I'm trapped in his goddamn
story. If somebody lost that page,
I'd be fine. If he crossed it out
and wrote something else like -- "At
the last moment, he veers the big
car from the railing--then goes
speeding on to live happy ever
(he looks at the
then grins as a plan
starts to form)
...How about that?! Empty road, me
out there all alone, the crew 'way
back, breathless as I approach the
bridge. And then..."Hey, what
happened?!" A fucking rewrite's
what happened! I'll have a fifteen-
minute jump on them before they
figure out they're shooting a new
Nina has come to life, her eyes aglow like a shrewd little girl
who's already decided how the fairy tale will end!
...And what about the love story?
What happens to the Austrian girl?
People will leave the movie feeling
terrible...I know! She goes with
Nina has walked around to the back of the Duesenberg and opens the
- 139 -
Not bad. But, I think they arrange
to meet later...like in a Greyhound
Bus station a couple of towns away.
(she climbs in)
See how big it is? Comfortable,
too...Honestly, honey, it's a better
Nina, get out of the trunk.
The pretending has ended.
And what happens in the morning? Do
I show up on the set in my little
pink pinafore and say, "Hi, Eli.
Where's my hug and kiss...?" How do
I do that now?
...Get out of the trunk.
...Or should I trot up to my room to
catch a couple of winks and cuddle
up with a dozen sleeping pills?
It's my nightmare...Stay out! This
isn't the time to solve your
neurotic problems! I'm trying to
So am I. And I never claimed not to
have "neurotic problems!"
Oh, for Christ's sake...
- 140 -
...They come with the body! It's
all one. A package deal!
The shouting ends...and in despairing silence, VOICES of approaching
WORKMEN are heard, grumbling that the coffee's late.
Nina, please, there's somebody
coming. Get out of the trunk...
As we glimpse the WORKMEN in the doorway, she reaches up, grabs the
inside of the trunk lid and pulls it down, disappearing from sight,
as the trunk slams shut.
181 EXT. THE OLD ABANDONED ROAD - EARLY MORNING
In the stillness, as the morning sun crests the trees, their shadows
move like a parting curtain, leaving sunlight to warm the old stones
of the abandoned road. The ancient bridge spans the black river,
idling toward the sea. It is a perfect day, tranquil except for the
faint distant "rumbling" intruding into our consciousness. As it
grows louder and LOUDER, a flock of birds is frightened from the
trees, a rusty beer can by the roadside begins to tremble and roll
from the vibration.
Rounding the bend of the road into view are a half-dozen kids on
bicycles, peddling furiously, laughing and yelling and looking back
at what now appears behind them: the first vehicle of an incredible
carnival parade -- or is it a funeral procession? Long, short,
tall, fat vehicles; the stretch-out car, the cab towing portable
toilets, the tractor pulling a generator rig, the Cortez Camper
dressing rooms, the stake-bed loaded with reflectors rattling like
radar screens, panel trucks with studio emblems, a vintage German
army truck filled with soldiers, patrol cars and motorcycles, the
huge, bright yellow construction crane on its Caterpillar treads,
its pneumatic snout jutting forward thirty yards like a morning
hard-on sniffing around for some tunnel to hump -- a few technicians
straddle it having their morning Danish and coffee. In the midst of
these, on a low-slung flatbed trailer rides the Duesenberg -- the
coffin on its caisson.
The caravan grinds, hisses, wheezes to a halt and the A.D., astride
the hood of the first vehicle, dismounts and raises his electric
bullhorn to begin what will be an incessant squawking of
instructions, reprimands, coaxings and complaints.
- 141 -
All right, people...the rest period
is over. Another fifteen minutes
and we start losing sun. Come on,
let's get the equipment off those
The Second A.D.'s run around like sheepdogs herding the laborers,
snapping at their flanks, barking their instructions over electric
Chuck...Chuck Barton, where do you
want the Duesenberg?
Grips and laborers are carrying the big reflectors through the brush
into the hills.
Mr. Cross, please. The camera
crew's ready for a setup.
182 ANGLE ON ELI AND THE CAMERA CREW
They are already huddled, squatting on their haunches under a tree.
The R-35 in the chopper on the maxi-
mount, the underwater Imo in the
I'll hide an Arri with a zoom up on
And what about number four? Maybe
hang a platform under the bridge
with the speed camera?
Heavy...From the top of the screen
right into the water...squish.
183 ANGLE ON THE DUESENBERG
Being rolled up to a mark in the center of the road. Crewmen swarm;
in and under it, tuning, polishing, testing, installing camera,
sound, electrical equipment, as Chuck hovers over them.
- 142 -
All drivers, please...I want every
equipment vehicle back behind the
As motors rev, the two sheepdogs squawk: "Out of sight..." "Behind
the bend...," then are lost in the rising dust of their herd.
184 ANOTHER ANGLE
Cables are being strung out of sight along the side of the road,
snapped into junction boxes that spread their electrified tentacles,
strangling the landscape.
(pointing at the mike boom)
What's that supposed to be, Ralph?
...An elm or an oak? Get that mike
off the boom and into the bushes.
Come on, people, let's think! We're
losing the sun!
185 ANOTHER ANGLE FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD
Gabe, Chuck, the A.D. and a Technician move down the road toward us,
shoulder to shoulder, halting on the bridge. Chuck and Gabe move to
the stone railing. Chuck taps on it, producing a hollow sound.
Gabe, examining a corner of this false section...
Have 'em touch up that corner of the
section. It looks phony as hell.
The A.D. has been drawing a chalk line across the road.
Climb down there in the bushes and
stay out of sight.
What about earphones?
Just watch your mark.
- 143 -
186 WIDE ANGLE ON THE DUESENBERG
Behind it, the last of the equipment trucks is being jack-knifed out
of sight. A row of reflectors stand like sentinels on the hill,
bathing the Duesenberg in light. Workmen swarm about it like ants
on the queen's birthday.
187 ANGLE ON ELI
Where's the chopper? We'd kinda
like to have you join us...if you
can find the way.
Fifteen minutes, Eli. We're just
warming her up.
Eli grabs an electric horn from the hand of a passing A.D.
All right, everybody...may I have
your attention, please?
Instantly the frantic A.D.'s begin squawking, "Everybody put down
what you're doing, the director wants to talk."
This is the one and only Duesenberg
we have in stock. When that car
goes into the water, we're not going
to see it again. So, once the
action starts, no matter what
happens, keep it going.
188 ANGLE ON CORTEZ DRESSING ROOM
As Cameron steps out through the open doorway, buttoning his
...We must have this shot.
Therefore, I now order no camera to
jam and no cloud to pass before the
- 144 -
189 LONG SHOT ON THE DUESENBERG
As Cameron moves toward it uncertainly. Eli, some distance away,
surrounded by members of his crew, glances up.
How ya doin', soldier? Where'd ya
learn to do without sleep?
Without awaiting an answer, Eli returns to his work, as Cameron
approaches the Duesenberg.
190 CLOSE ON DUESENBERG
Cameron walks around it, testing and checking, but moving
relentlessly toward the humpback trunk. A horn honks and a police
car slides up. Jake leans out the window, waves at Cameron
How do you guys get accident
insurance? Must cost you an arm and
...that's a good one.
He drives on toward a parked German army truck, in which lounge
several soldiers. Chuck approaches Cameron.
You're lookin' real strong, kid. Is
that loose change I hear jinglin' or
are they beginnin' to grow?
C'mon, lemme show you this truck...
They walk towards the German truck.
I'm sending it on ahead. During the
gag, it's gonna be comin' down the
road towards you when you get to the
Cameron tenses at this information.
- 145 -
Relax, what does it change? I'm
only tellin' you so you don't buzz
off into space when you see 'em.
They'll be shooting at you and
that's what's supposed to make you
go into the river.
190A They've reached the truck where Jake stands proudly. The Property
Man is handing out rifles and boxes of bullets to the German
soldiers, whom we now recognize as police officers from the town.
One cop, tying his shoe, lifts his head and grins at Cameron like an
old buddy -- the officer from the garage last night.
Hey, you ever get those pancakes?
...My boys...Can't recognize 'em.
How could I say no, after all the
crap they've taken because of this
company the last six weeks?
Yeah, a cop'll do anything for fifty
bucks, even be an actor.
These guns are kinda modern for
World War I.
You want me to drive back and get
the old ones.
Shit...forget it. How much'll they
see from the helicopter?
If Cameron was upset by the change in the stunt, he is now really
unnerved by the sight of those cops with guns. The second cop is
- 146 -
(starting back to
Hope those are really blanks.
Don't say so on the box!
191 ANGLE ON DUESENBERG'S TRUNK
As Cameron arrives and casually leans against the trunk and then
gently taps. He must get Nina out of there. With determination, he
reaches for the trunk handle. Arms wearing the same costume as his
own reach in, holding the trunk closed. It is Raymond.
No need to look... If she loves
you, she's still there. If she
doesn't...then it doesn't really
How can he know? -- Everything is out of control -- a voice calls.
Hey, Lucky, we need you!
He turns and moves numbly to the car door.
Get in, will ya?
Dazed, Cameron climbs behind the wheel.
192 INT. DUESENBERG
(leaning in passenger's
Look straight ahead, can you see
that red light out of the corner of
A tiny red light is mounted in the corner over the windshield.
That'll let you know when the film's
running, so be sure you don't turn
your face to the camera.
- 147 -
The technician tightens a final screw on the red light then, leaning
back out of the car, yells O.S.
All right, bump it once.
Does it work?
Cameron, barely hearing, looks straight ahead without response.
Jake lounges at the driver's window, kibitzing the operation.
Bump it again.
(looks back into the car)
The words "CAMERA ON" sound exactly like "CAMERON." It sounded as
though his real name was called and he automatically answered. Has
his identity been exposed? His eyes widen. The technician, getting
no response, calls to Jake.
Ask him if it's on?
He whirls to see Jake staring at him. His hand darts to the
ignition key, the engine roars to life.
Hey, they wanna know is the CAMERA
Cameron realizes his error, but it's too late, he's in a panic. In
his mind, he's given himself away. The road ahead is clear -- GO!
He jams the car in gear and slams the accelerator to the floor. The
Duesenberg leaps forward, screeching wildly. In its wake -- chaos.
Everyone running, yelling...
That crazy bastard! Who cued him?
- 148 -
Roll! Roll the film! Move your
asses -- I want that shot!
At their master's voice, they leap.
193 INT. DUESENBERG
Speed. The needle hits sixty-five -- seventy -- climbing fast.
Cameron grips the wheel, looking at that empty road. An involuntary
shout swells up and escapes his mouth.
(toward Nina in the
Hang on to everything, baby, we're
on our way! You okay?
The needle hits eighty -- eighty-five. Ahead, the bridge is rushing
toward us. Now the arches of the stone railing are strobing past.
Through them, he sees the black river which he has escaped.
Triumphantly, his hand rises, middle finger extended. Suddenly the
red camera light goes on, the underwater camera behind him begins
whirring. He moves his finger behind him for a perfect close-up,
(recalling that moment in the tower):
Shoot this, Eli!
The center of the bridge is an instant away, an approaching blur.
194 EXT. ROADSIDE - ANGLE ON TECHNICIAN
Crouching -- tensely watching the chalk line on the road as the
Duesenberg flashes past. His finger presses a button.
INSERT - FRONT WHEEL OF DUESENBERG
- 149 -
Blam! The whole front wheel of the car is blown off by an explosive
196 ANOTHER ANGLE
The Duesenberg drops on one axle. Metal screams against stone, as
though it were Cameron himself, screaming. Skidding, spinning,
tearing through the papier-mache railing, plunging out of control
into space, where it hovers for a brief instant and arcs downward
like a dying bird.
197 INT. DUESENBERG - CLOSE ON CAMERON
A cry of such anguish and despair.
198 INT. DUESENBERG - WIDE ANGLE PAST CAMERON THROUGH WINDSHIELD
The river rushes up and the car smashes into it with a deafening,
shattering roar, plunging beneath the surface to a dark and
soundless world -- except for a tiny red light, the whir of a camera
and Cameron's desperate cries. Tearing his seatbelt off he flings
himself toward the rear of the car, clawing at the back seat to
reach Nina. Incredibly, there is sunlight again as the car is
buoyed to the surface. There, again, is the living world - the
road, the trees. In that brief instant, through the rear window,
Cameron has a wild, tilted glimpse of a pink pinafore -- Nina,
standing by the rail looking down, Eli beside her. The car noses
downward, water rising swiftly over the rear window. The last image
on Cameron's retina is that wild, eager, little-girl excitement on
Nina's face. Then he's alone again, entombed in the darkening water
as the car plunges toward the bottom.
Cameron sits, immobilized at the realization that his betrayal is
total. Everyone, even Nina, has conspired to bring him to this --
red light glowing, camera whirring, to capture the moment of his
- 150 -
Outrage galvanizes him to action. He reaches for the door handles,
to rip them open -- they snap off in his hands. Now there is a
rumbling and rending of metal as the roof begins to implode,
crushing down toward him. Under the immense pressure, the rear
window bursts inward, the river rushing in a wild torrent. The
memory of Chuck's voice..."the windows." He lowers the front window
slowly. The water now pours in faster. The level has risen to his
chin. He gasps a final breath and the water rises over his head.
Still the red light burns. He reaches beneath the seat for the
oxygen cylinder and tries to pull it loose. It won't move. The
impact of the car hitting the water has bent the seat frame. His
groping hand finds the hose, the oxygen mask. A hope. Though every
second is robbing his chance for life, his movements under water are
as in slow motion. Pulling the mask to his face, he takes an eager
breath and chokes as water fills his mouth. The rubber tube has
broken loose from the cylinder and is floating free -- as it must
have with Burt. Pressure of the onrushing water has stopped as the
water reaches the roof. For a moment there is a strange stillness
which Cameron, his lungs bursting, swims through, out the window and
toward the surface.
199 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Moving upward through river slime, in a world that grows lighter, in
a desperate race to reach air.
Daylight! Gasping, half unconscious, barely able to move his arms
to stay afloat. Adrift in the current, he touches land, clawing at
the rocks and pulling himself onto the shore. His muscles, still
moving by motor reflex, driven by survival instinct, take him
crawling from the river bank through the tall grass -- still the
fugitive, the "man on the run." Then, he lifts his head and stops
at what he sees before him:
Fanned out across the field is a row of men, guns held ready.
Policemen from the truck in their German uniforms moving forward
slowly -- carefully searching the terrain in an arch which, as it
closes, must irrevocably reach Cameron.
201 ANOTHER ANGLE
It's over. Without strength or will, he lies waiting for them as
though his eyes were made of glass. They see him now, but their
pace doesn't change. As they take the last few steps toward him, he
sees their shoulders, waists, knees and then only a circle of feet
Their hands roughly grab him, pulling him to his feet, shoving him
brutally about. Angry cop faced growling: "Kill the son-of-a-
- 151 -
bitch," "Shoot 'im," "Cut it," "Hang 'im," and then loudly, "Cut
it!" He feels a blow on the back, then another. They seem too
gentle. Why is that cop smiling? Some of them are walking away.
Where are the handcuffs? Why is he shaking my hand instead? Then
the jumble of voices is becoming clearer..."No matter what they pay
you, make 'em give you a raise!"..."Fantastic, my wife thinks being
a cop is dangerous -- you guys are terrific!" It finally sinks in,
the insane, absurd, devastating, humiliating realization that it was
all just another scene in a movie that came off as planned.
He is alive and free. Is that gurgle we hear in Cameron's throat
the water that he swallowed or an unseemly giggle? Then it chokes
Here comes Chuck, running across the field with his silly stunt bag
filled with elastic bandages. How funny. Here's the helicopter
hovering with Gabe descending the rope ladder bearing film for Eli,
who runs to meet him. How hilarious. There's the pink
pinafore...Nina holding the skirt up to her waist as she wades
through the tall grass towards him. How sweetly absurd.
All right, come on...let's get the
stuff in the trucks, we're losing
203 ANGLE ON CAMERON
Chuck has reached Cameron, throwing a blanket over him. He pulls a
pint from his back pocket.
Take a belt. Don't be stingy.
As Cameron tilts his head back, the bottle to his mouth, he sees
skin divers setting down their rescue equipment and stripping out of
their dripping wet-suits.
Those guys down there the whole
Chuck, who is rubbing Cameron violently through the blanket to
restore his circulation, replies with the highest compliment he can
I can't hear ya...they're clangin'
- 152 -
204 ANOTHER ANGLE
Nina has reached an impasse twenty yards away in her journey of love
toward Cameron -- a muddy section of swamp.
(shouts across the
distance to Cameron)
I can't come any further. What
should I do? I'll get the dress all
muddy and I need it for the next
(grinning with good
Tunafish salad...I know.
They found me five minutes after you
left. I felt ridiculous.
Just as well!
When Eli told me you'd changed your
mind and decided to do the stunt, at
first I didn't believe him, but I
guess you really did. I tried to
Eli is standing nearby listening to this macabre exchange between
(to include Eli)
I'm sure glad you two made up! Boy,
Lucky, were you wonderful...I guess
I have to go now. See you after.
She awkwardly turns, her dress still held high and yells back over
- 153 -
I'm sorry I was so nutty last night.
I always get crazy at the end of a
Nina continues picking her way toward the road. And then...
205 CLOSE ON NINA
Suddenly she turns, running headlong, pell-mell across the swamp and
through the mud holes, drenching her pink pinafore into a muddy rag,
losing a shoe, ripping her hose -- and then wildly into the arms of
Cameron, smearing him with love and mud! And then, just as quickly,
she is gone, racing back across the field, hopping like a rabbit
without her shoe, toward the road.
206 ANOTHER ANGLE
Cameron is brimming with pleasure. Chuck, totally ignored, picks up
his stunt bag.
Lover, I think your circulation's
back to normal. And please, next
time will ya listen for the cue --
the word is "action."
He walks off, leaving Cameron draped in the blanket like an Indian.
Eli steps up to him looking very serious, lifts his hand in the
Indian sign of greeting and says:
"How!" I have always had a great
compassion for your people. Long
before it was popular, I felt a
repugnance for General Custer.
Cameron stares at him, incredulous.
My God, I think he's breathing.
There're days I can't do anything
right. I hope this doesn't screw up
our relationship, your being alive
- 154 -
(shaking his head)
...You sure took a hell of a chance,
Eli...why didn't you just let me go
What, with Nina in the trunk? I've
got scenes to shoot with her...
...All right. This morning then.
Chuck could have done the stunt.
I knew a guy who made an anti-war
film. When they previewed it in his
hometown, army enlistment went up
six hundred percent. I'm making
this film trying to convince the
whole world that maybe there's a
better way to get home for
Thanksgiving...and I can't even
convince one dumb kid with a
tattoo...I couldn't have you run
around paranoid the rest of your
life thinking I was trying to kill
Sam has run up, out of breath, followed by crew members.
Hey Sam, the kid just licked your
screenplay. He named the disease.
...a social disease, very common.
- 155 -
You're close. It's spread the same
way...by screwing your fellow man.
I hope you find an easier cure.
That was the hardest thousand bucks
I ever made.
A horn honks. It is Jake who, in his enthusiasm, has driven the
police car bumping over the marshes to Eli and Cameron.
You guys want a ride back?
(moving toward the
No, we're goin' in the chopper.
Thanks, Eli, but that looks too
dangerous. I think I'll ride with
Jake. Good luck with the picture.
He moves toward police car.
(yelling to Cameron)
Don't miss that plane, Burt!
(leaning across Cameron
to yell at Eli)
He better not! Any member of your
company found within city limits
after five o'clock tonight, gets
shot on sight!
Eli stops, suddenly registering what Cameron had said.
...What thousand bucks? That stunt
Chuck told me a thousand...
- 156 -
Okay, seven-fifty. Split the
Bullshit! You're trying to screw
Christ! You're doing it again!
(striding toward the
Sam! This paranoid little bastard
still doesn't understand your damn
Eli is climbing into the helicopter.
That's your big problem, Eli! You
use people! I want my money, a
Rewrite the battle scene and let the
tank run him over! The stunt pays
The helicopter takes off, zooms under the bridge, up into a
hammerhead and soars back, while Cameron continues to scream at it.
Come back here. I'm tired of being
your goddamn clown! Pay me my
Eli's voice on the helicopter's P.A. speaker echoes through the
canyon, as the chopper cavorts overhead and skims away.
- 157 -
ELI'S VOICE (ON P.A.)
How tall was King Kong...
- FADE OUT -