THIS BOY'S LIFE
Based on the book by
March 1992 Draft
THIS BOY'S LIFE
1 EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY 1
It is 1957, and we are in the deserts of Utah. TONY
BENNETT sings "Rags to Riches" on the SOUNDTRACK.
Breath-taking scenery stretches out on either side of a
The CAMERA MOVES to reveal a Nash Ambassador as it labors
up a hill. Twelve cars are caught behind the thirty-mile-
per-hour pace. Two cars decide to ignore safety and
cross the solid yellow line to pass the pokey car.
2 INT. NASH AMBASSADOR - PARALLEL TIME 2
Two people are in the straining car -- a woman and her
son. The woman is CAROLINE WOLFF. Somewhere in her 30s,
she is a pretty woman who can look beautiful if she works
at it. (Just now, though, her prettiness is marred by a
fading bruise on her right cheekbone.) She is bright and
energetic and lively. Even more important than these
qualities, though, is her humor. And most important of
all is a sensual quality she exudes. Her sensuality is
effortless -- as natural to her as the color of her eyes
and hair. Men turn on the street to stare at her.
The boy is TOBY WOLFF. A pleasant-faced boy with won-
derful eyes, he is 13 -- teetering on the brink of
adolescence, so that one moment he seems like a self-
assured teenager, and the very next like a ten-year-old
Just now the ten-year-old kid has the upper hand: bored
and weary with the long trip, Toby has been arguing with
Caroline, who is ignoring him.
... Well, I mean it. I'm serious
-- I do. You promise and promise,
and then you change your mind,
just like that.
You wait 'til you ask me for
something. Just wait. See if you
2 CONTINUED: 2
Toby, hush. Let me just...
So concentrated on her driving she doesn't even finish
her sentence, she nurses the car upward. Finally the car
crests the hill and starts down. Caroline sighs with
relief. She turns to Toby with a smile.
What'd you say?
I said -- for the twentieth time
-- if a person promises somebody
something, they can't just turn
around and take it back.
Oh, honey, Jesus. Don't start
with that again.
Because I'm the mother, and I
get to tell you what to do every
minute of your life 'til you're
eighteen. Seriously, we've got no
money. I can't buy you the
I bet if you'd promised Roy some
moccasins he'd of got 'em.
No talk about Roy, okay? And ditto
the moccasins. We, can't, afford,
Yeah, but you did promise...
Sue me. Take me to court. Oh,
Toby, I know you're disappointed,
Jack. Call me Jack.
2 CONTINUED: (2) 2
You're going to drive me to an
early grave: I'm never going to
make Salt Lake City.
Seriously. If a person can't get
a stinking miserable pair of
moccasins, at least he ought to be
able to choose his own name...
... and I wanna be called Jack!
Fine. And you can call me...
... Jeanette. Jeanette Marie.
Oh, you're so stupid sometimes,
The BAWLING of an AIRHORN interrupts him. Both of them
look through the back window and see a huge tractor-
trailer truck, out of control, bearing down on them.
Caroline brakes and steers a hard right, SKIDDING the
NASH safely onto the side of the road.
The truck, its HORN BLASTING steadily, shimmies and
slides past them, and then, hideously, fails to make the
next curve: it smashes through the guard rails and into
empty space, its HORN still BLARING.
Caroline and Toby look at each other, then scramble out
of the car.
3 EXT. BROKEN GUARD RAIL - DAY 3
Other drivers have stopped to look: hundreds of feet
below, the truck lies on its back among boulders.
Caroline glances, then turns away. She pulls Toby
away, one arm around his shoulder.
4 EXT. NASH AMBASSADOR - MINUTES LATER 4
Caroline fills the Nash's steaming radiator with a can of
(not much heat)
4 CONTINUED: 4
She glances back to where a larger crowd of people stare
avidly down at the truck. She bites her lip.
Oh, that poor man.
There is a pause. Then Toby speaks:
I hope to hell this isn't some
kind of omen.
Caroline turns to Toby, her face worried. Then she sees
the look in Toby's eyes -- he's ragging her. She grins
and gives his shoulder a light, affectionate shove.
5 INT. NASH AMBASSADOR - NIGHT 5
Toby (feet up on the dashboard wearing a brand-new pair
of Indian moccasins) and Caroline sing "Mood Indigo"
together. Toby holds a complicated-looking, black con-
traption which looks something like an antique flashlight.
How's this thing work, anyway?
It makes a black light that, uh,
causes uranium traces to glow.
And we just walk along the street
and find this glowing uranium?
Well, it was everywhere in Moab,
they say -- just like gold in the
But we were too late in Moab, and
that guy at the office said
nobody'd found any uranium in Salt
Well, that means we'll have the
place pretty much to ourselves,
huh? Honey, this could be a big
break for us. If this works out,
oh, just think: we'll get us a
house, get rid of this damn Nash
Ambassador -- no money worries...
It'll be like heaven on a June day.
6 INT. CAR - DAWN 6
We hear "MOOD INDIGO" on the car RADIO and see that a
weary Caroline has driven through the night and Toby is
slumped against the passenger door. Toby stirs, then
opens his eyes.
Ask me how far we are from Salt
Toby is instantly awake, excited. Caroline points to a
small highway sign and both she and Toby yell out.
Forty-seven miles to go!
Both of them are laughing with excitement. Toby claps
his hands together once, very hard, and Caroline yells --
7 EXT. HIGHWAY - MORNING 7
Well, hell. The Nash Ambassador sits by the side of the
road, its hood up, its radiator steaming. Caroline and
Toby sit in a patch of shade by the car.
If I could have one wish right
now -- only one wish -- you know
what I'd like? I'd like to burn
this damn Nash Ambassador to a
(as Toby laughs)
I'm serious. I hate it. I hate
the factory that produced it, and
I hate the man who invented it.
It almost makes me want to see Roy
-- he was the only one could make
the thing stop overheating.
My God, he was boring. Boring and
mean: you sure got crappy taste in
At the mention of Roy's name, Caroline lightly touches
the bruise on her right cheekbone. Not enjoying the talk
about Roy, she pours the water into the radiator, and
speaks directly to the car.
I'd like to burn you to the ground.
(to Toby; big smile)
Let's go get rich in Salt Lake
8 EXT. SALT LAKE CITY (DOWNTOWN) - DAY 8
Toby waits beside the Nash Ambassador, looking toward a
three-story concrete building. He holds a portable
RADIO, which PLAYS DEAN MARTIN singing "Volare."
9 INT. BUILDING - PARALLEL TIME 9
Caroline, holding the imitation Geiger counter, stands
across the counter from a MAN who is looking at her
You're pulling my leg, right?
No, I came here to look for
My God, lady. If you're looking
for uranium, why didn't you go to
We went there, but everybody'd
beaten us there. We were too late.
So you came here just on the
chance you'd find uranium?
Listen, you mind me saying
something to you might sound rude?
Lady, you got more courage than
you got common sense.
10 EXT. NASH AMBASSADOR - DAY 10
Caroline exits the building, dumps the Geiger counter in
a trash can and strides to the car. She gets in, and
says two words:
11 INT. NASH AMBASSADOR - DAY 11
Caroline turns the key in the ignition and gets only a
maddening RER-RER-RER-RER noise from the ENGINE:
wearily, she rests her forehead on the steering wheel.
12 EXT. NASH AMBASSADOR - TWENTY MINUTES LATER 12
Caroline and Toby have the hood up and are peering into
That mechanic in Colorado said it
I know. Don't tell me what I
already know. This thing's a
bottomless pit. I don't know what
to do. No matter how much money I
pour into it...
Suddenly a WOMAN in pedal-pushers and a thin, inexpensive
sweater stops. She's vaguely low-class, but friendly and
I'd rather be whipped with a belt
than have car trouble. 'Course
these days I don't have to worry
about that. My husband got laid
off at the mill, and they
repossessed the car, so wherever
I wanna go, I just have to hoof
it, you know?
Caroline smiles, then her face changes.
You don't have a car?
(as the Woman
shakes her head)
You want this one?
Shocked, the Woman says --
I... uh... I...
You're gonna give our car away?
(to the Woman)
Seriously. It needs points, and
it overheats constantly, but you
can have it if you want it,
because my hand to God, I can't
look at it one more minute.
12 CONTINUED: 12
Get the bags out. Get the owner's
slip out of the glove compartment.
We're rid of this son-of-a-bitch
pink and white albatross. You
don't mind taking a car with a big
dent in the passenger door?
There's no dent there...
Caroline draws back her leg and delivers a terrific,
flat-footed kick to the door, leaving a dent the size
of a dish-pan.
Oh, yes there is!
Toby hands the Woman the owner's slip, Caroline gives her
... you really just giving me this
It's done. It's yours. You got
yourself a Nash Ambassador!
Both of them pick up two bags apiece -- all they have in
the world -- and off they go, feeling good.
13 EXT. CITY STREET - DAY (FEW MINUTES LATER) 13
1957 is all around us: gas is 29.9 cents a gallon; bread
is 19 cents a loaf; cars are curved and heavily chromed;
people occasionally nod and smile at strangers; children
carry hula hoops. In all, a gentler time. Caroline and
Toby stride along briskly, as if they knew where they
... find ourselves a cheap room
someplace, we'll get you into
school, I'll brush up on my typing
and get a job, and things'll start
looking up. I feel it: the good
times are coming. And at least
we're rid of that damn Nash
13 CONTINUED: 13
Yeah, and like Dad used to say,
'We may be broke, but we're never
poor.' And later, if we get a
house with a big yard, I could
get a collie, you know? One like
Lad or Grey Dawn. And someday
maybe a palomino. And I'm going
to try harder in school, too...
The two of them walk on -- a bit foolish, but, in an
odd way, brave as hell.
14 INT. VICE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - DAY 14
A subdued Toby sits in front of the VICE PRINCIPAL.
... like to give new boys the
benefit of the doubt, but this
is the second time in two weeks
that you've been in front of me,
and I don't like that.
(picks up a telephone)
Now I think you better just call
your mother and tell her to come
She works. She's working.
Silent, the man continues to hold out the telephone to
Toby. Finally he takes it and dials.
15 EXT. SCHOOL - AFTERNOON 15
Caroline and Toby exit. Toby sullen; Caroline angry.
It wasn't me broke their stupid
Gee, thanks a lot, Mom -- believe
them instead of me.
If you care anything about me at
all, you'll shut up.
15 CONTINUED: 15
Yeah, well if you'd stayed married
to Dad none of this would've ever
Look, don't you put that on my
back: I can't make your father
call you. I can't make your
brother write you. They dumped
you. Yes. But it's not my fault.
16 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S ROOM - AFTERNOON 16
The place is pretty bleak: a room and a half, Murphy
beds, linoleum floors, and a bath down the hall.
Caroline and Toby enter. She pulls down the Murphy
bed and falls onto it fully dressed, saying:
My head is killing me.
Toby heads for his room.
16A SAME SCENE - DUSK 16A
Caroline wakes up with a start, then sees Toby sitting
in a chair, watching her.
What time is it?
Why didn't you wake me?
I started dinner. The potatoes
are frying, and I'm heating up the
Caroline sees that he's trying to make it up to her, and
pats the bed for him to sit down next to her. He moves
to sit beside her.
Hold your mother's hand.
16A CONTINUED: 16A
I know you are, honey. Ah, well
-- it wasn't fire, and nobody
bled, so I guess we're okay.
The TELEPHONE RINGS and she answers it. When she hears
the VOICE on the other end she once again touches her
right cheekbone with a finger -- the spot where the
bruise had been. She sags back against a wall.
Yes, I know...
All right, yes... in an hour,
Caroline hangs up.
Who was that?
She closes her eyes.
Who was that?
Caroline laughs aloud, then slides down the wall until
she's on the floor still laughing.
We've got a guest for dinner:
it's Roy. He tracked us down.
Toby groans and falls full-length onto the sofa.
17 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S KITCHEN - ONE HOUR LATER 17
Caroline, Toby and ROY are eating at the tiny table. Roy
is good-looking in a meaty, hairy-chested sort of way.
Though he is on his very best behavior just now, there is
a mean streak in him.
Toby, delighted, holds a Winchester .22 rifle across his
lap -- a peace-making gift from Roy.
17 CONTINUED: 17
... I found me a room, but it's
clear the hell and gone 'cross
town. And I think I got a job
lined up doin' tune-ups in a
Texaco station. How you like it
How do you know where I work?
I been here almost a week.
You followed me around? For a
Roy doesn't answer. He just wiggles his eyebrows like
And how did you ever find me?
Again, Roy does the Groucho Marx. He turns to Toby.
You like the rifle, Toby? 'Jack,'
It's the best present I ever got.
I just love it.
I'm going to pretend I'm shooting.
Don't point that thing at anybody
or I won't teach you to shoot.
It's not loaded!
You heard me: anybody or any
It's got no bullets, for God's
Don't make me speak to you again.
17 CONTINUED: (2) 17
I'll point it at the sky, then.
Caroline sighs. Toby opens a screenless window and
points the gun up into the night sky, pretending to fire
it over and over. Caroline starts to clear the table.
Roy jumps up to help her.
18 INT. LIVING ROOM - TWO HOURS LATER 18
Caroline and Roy are kissing on the sofa, and he is all
over her: his hands are on her breasts, her thighs,
everywhere. Aroused in spite of herself, Caroline pulls
away, indicating the light in the other room.
Don't. Toby's still up.
Roy leans back, smiling, and eyes Caroline.
You are one sweet thing, baby:
just the sight of you makes my
He pulls her to him, starting to kiss her. She fends him
off, looking worriedly toward the room where Toby's light
Aw, he won't hear anything.
Again he pulls her toward him; again she turns her head
from the kiss.
Then it happens.
A spasm of anger passes across his face and he shoves
Caroline away from him. It's a hard shove, but nothing
that could really hurt her. Violence has happened before
between these two, and they recognize it. Caroline is
immediately on guard, and Roy is apologetic.
Shit, baby, I'm sorry. I didn't
mean that. I'm just so glad to
He slides toward Caroline, kisses her. This time she
accepts the kiss -- feels she has no choice.
19 INT. KITCHEN - PARALLEL TIME 19
Dressed for bed, Toby stands by an open window. He can
hear every WORD of ROY'S, who continues to apologize
between kisses. The room is illuminated by a nearby
streetlamp. The frosty air from the open window causes
his breath to steam. He raises two fingers to his lips,
pretends to take a drag on a cigarette and blows out the
steam from his breath. The VOICES in the other room grow
a bit LOUDER, almost to an argument, and then SUBSIDE
again. Toby takes another drag from his pretend cig-
arette. He looks very young.
20 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - AFTERNOON 20
Toby wanders toward the rooming house. He stops to watch
TWO fiftyish WOMEN who are working in a garden. One
Woman looks up.
The Woman stops to take a breather, lights a cigarette,
pokes her companion.
My Lord, look at the eyes on
him -- won't he be a heartbreaker
in three, four years?
You live in the neighborhood,
I won't be here long, though,
'cause my dad's coming to get me.
Yeah. I'm gonna live on his
ranch in Phoenix. The "Lazy B,"
20 CONTINUED: 20
That sounds like fun.
It is. I've got a palomino horse
and a collie, and Dad lets us go
on hunts all by ourselves. He
gave me this Winchester .22, and
last year I shot a mountain lion
with it. And Lad -- that's my
dog -- found a nest of rattlesnakes
one time, and killed all twelve
The two Women exchange a glance. It's obvious the boy
21 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S ROOMS - AFTERNOON (SAME DAY)21
Toby enters. Four packed suitcases lie on the bed behind
What're you doing home so --
(as he sees
We going someplace?
We sure are.
I don't know. Got any suggestions?
Good. I was thinking of Phoenix
or Seattle -- lots of opportunities
in both those places.
What about your fabulous
boyfriends? What about the
fabulous, boring Roy? Is he
21 CONTINUED: 21
Not if I can help it. I looked
out the window at work today, and
he was parked across the street,
Roy's so uncool. So boring.
You liked him well enough last
'Oh, Roy, I just love my rifle
so much! It's the bestest present
Oh, shut up.
But he's smiling, completely unbothered.
Suddenly Caroline laughs, stands up, and begins to close
the suitcases. Toby laughs, too.
Now? We're going now? What about
all the food?
Even the canned stuff?
They grab the four heavy suitcases and head out the door.
Both of them are laughing.
22 INT. BUS STATION - AFTERNOON 22
Caroline and Toby stand at a ticket counter,
Well, ask him when the next one
to Phoenix is.
Tomorrow morning, eleven
22 CONTINUED: 22
Toby and Caroline groan, then Caroline brightens.
What about Seattle?
(consults a list)
Leaves in nine minutes.
They look at each other.
23 EXT. BOARDING AREA 23
Toby and Caroline hurry onboard a Greyhound bus with
Seattle as its destination.
... I've always had a good head
for figures, and if I could get
my C.P.A. license, I believe we
could make a real go of it in
Seattle. I'll advertise for
roommates, and I bet we find us
a real cute house to rent.
If there's a big yard, can I get
Sure. Oh, honey, I feel a wind
at my back: I think this is
going to work out good.
(as they board
Yeah -- like heaven on a June day.
The DOORS of the bus close. WHOOSH! The bus begins to
move. Caroline and Toby's faces are at the window:
Seattle or bust.
24 EXT. TRACT HOUSE (SEATTLE, WASHINGTON) - AFTERNOON 24
The house is a nasty little thing with peeling paint.
From inside we hear:
24 CONTINUED: 24
... and if you cut school again
I'll just wear you out -- do you
hear me? I'm tired of it!
Toby exits the house.
But, Jesus, what a new Toby: he's turned cool. A few
months have passed. He now wears T-shirts and jeans
which ride way low on his hips. As he walks along, he
combs his hair into a duck's ass in back, and forward
into a curl at the center of his forehead. He's 1957 hip
-- or thinks he is. He strolls on, feeling cool.
24A EXT. TRACT HOUSE/FURTHER DOWN STREET - AFTERNOON 24A
From one of the houses TERRY TAYLOR emerges, falling into
step with Toby. He's Toby's age, and is almost an exact
replica of him.
Hey, Jack. What'd your mom say
about skipping school today?
You go over to Wanda's house last
(as Toby nods)
You make out good?
(as Toby nods again)
I fucked her 'til her nose bled.
Sure you did! Oh, Wolff, you're
25 INT. APARTMENT - AFTERNOON 25
TERRY SILVER opens the door to admit Toby and Terry
Taylor. Silver is a clone of both Toby and Terry Taylor.
26 INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON 26
As the three boys troop through the room, they pass Terry
Silver's two SISTERS, who are sprawled sensually on a
Oh look -- it's Elvis, Elvis,
Excuse me, but does your face
hurt? 'Cause it's killing me.
With that piece of high wit, they're out of the room.
27 INT. TV ROOM - AFTERNOON 27
The boys light up three cigarettes (opening a window so
the smoke will disappear), then throw themselves onto the
floor in front of a black-and-white TV.
Superman is ON. When Lois Lane comes on, Terry Taylor
starts moaning as if sexually aroused; Terry Silver jumps
to his knees and licks the TV screen repeatedly, also
moaning. Toby closes his eyes, also as if in sexual
Oh, Lois. Oh, baby, come here --
I got six hot inches just waiting
Man, look at her! Look at that
Um-m-m-m. M-M-M. Oh, Annette, I
want you. I want you so bad.
You make my dick hard!
The three carry on for a few more seconds.
THREE OF THEM
Yum, yum, yum.
27 CONTINUED: 27
Making wet kissing noises, or just rocking their heads
back and forth as if tempted beyond endurance. Then,
slowly, they shut up and lie back down.
27A SAME SCENE - LATER 27A
And this is what they really wanted: absolutely silent,
all three boys stare fixedly at the screen. They are
totally absorbed, caught up in the sweetness and warmth
of the show.
Not one of these boys has ever touched a girl's breast;
all three are at least two years from their first shave;
all three are pre-pubescent, and their sexuality is all
bravado -- now we see them for what they are: three
skinny-armed 13-year-olds, fascinated by Superman.
28 INT. TOBY AND CAROLINE'S KITCHEN - DUSK 28
Caroline pirouettes for her two roommates, KATHY, a
diffident, sweet-faced young woman, and MARIAN, a
heavyset, loud, red-faced woman who eats compulsively
from a package of oatmeal cookies. Both of the women ooh
and aah over Caroline's dress.
That belt just makes it.
It does pick up the green, doesn't
And you say he's getting serious
Yes, I think. He keeps talking
about marriage, keeps saying he
wants to meet Toby.
Well, that's it -- three dates and
you got 'im good.
I don't know if I want him --
She stops as Toby enters the kitchen.
28 CONTINUED: 28
Don't want who?
Well, it's the tough guy who can't
be bothered to go to school.
Oh, it's nothing -- we were
talking about Dwight. I told you
He the one drives down from the
boondocks? The mechanic? Dwight.
What a stupid name.
(he draws the name
There is a KNOCK on the front door. Toby sticks his head
around the door, looking into the living room. A man is
outlined against the sunset, only his black silhouette is
visible. It is our first glimpse of DWIGHT.
Has the man heard him? Toby doesn't know for sure.
Caroline brings Dwight into the kitchen. He is older
than her, an attractive-enough man. He is well-built,
has a full head of brown hair, and very white teeth.
Those are his good points. On the minus side: his over-
eagerness to please, his nervous smiles and his clothes.
He wears two-tone shoes, a hand-painted tie, and a
monogrammed handkerchief, folded beyond perfection, in
Caroline introduces him to Marian and Kathy. Then she
introduces Dwight to Toby.
Dwight is all smiles.
Would you like coffee before we
go? Or a Coke?
You know, I believe I could stand
a cup of java.
28 CONTINUED: (2) 28
As Caroline pours the coffee, Dwight turns to Toby.
So you're Toby.
You're not Toby?
Oh, he wants to be called 'Jack.'
It's so silly... ever since he
read Jack London.
Well, I'll call him anything he
I always say people can call me
anything they want, long as they
don't call me late for supper!
Kathy and Marian think it's pretty funny. They laugh.
Caroline smiles. Toby just stares.
So, Jack, you like school?
He might like it if he ever went
there and tried it.
Oh, have another cookie, Marian --
keep your strength up.
I'd like to just yank that nasty
tongue of yours out by the roots.
(to Dwight, light)
My son's decided to try to drive
me into an early grave. Truly.
28 CONTINUED: (3) 28
(to Toby; not so
You straighten up and be polite,
you hear me?
Dwight takes a swallow of the coffee. His eyes widen.
Who made this?
Well, well, well, all I can say is
that you people are pretty lucky
to live in a house where -- oh.
Marian puts a cigarette into her mouth. Dwight jumps up,
pulls a velvet case from his pocket and extracts a mono-
grammed Zippo. He snaps open the top of the lighter
against his leg, and holds the flame in front of Marian's
face. She lights her cigarette. Then Dwight perform the
Zippo drama in reverse.
What a conversation stopper. Finally, Kathy speaks to
I hear you're invited up to
Dwight's next week for
Aw, you'll love it. Great air,
great water. For scenery, all you
have to do is step outside your
front door and open your eyes.
And there's a turkey shoot
Thanksgiving Day. Your mom said
you might like it, so I signed you
Toby sits up, eager.
Really? I can shoot my Winchester?
Great! I bet I could be the one
to get the turkey.
28 CONTINUED: (4) 28
Well, amazing: it can sit up and
talk like a normal human being.
(notices the time)
Dwight, we're going to be late.
She grabs her coat (which Dwight jumps up to hold for
her) and they exit. As Dwight leaves he kisses his hand,
then throws the kiss toward Marian and Kathy. The
instant the front door slams:
TOBY MARIAN KATHY
What a geek. I love a man knows He's so appealing.
how to dress.
29 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - AFTERNOON 29
We hear SCREAMING. Toby and Terry Taylor race BY the
CAMERA on stolen tricycles, yelling as if they're attack-
ing Indians. Behind them comes Terry Silver, on foot.
Atop a small hill, both boys jump off, letting the
TRICYCLES SMASH into a parked car. Then they run like
hell with Terry Silver bringing up the rear.
30 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING 30
Caroline is dressed casually. Toby has on a shirt and
sweater. He is pretending that he's buck-toothed.
Caroline finishes packing a small suitcase.
I want you to be polite to Dwight
I mean it, now.
I said 'Okay,' didn't I?
Hey, c'mon, maybe the weekend'll
be fun... maybe Concrete will be
30 CONTINUED: 30
Oh, Concrete, my favorite town.
Welcome to beautiful Concrete!
And stop that.
Sometimes I could kill you as free
as I could eat a bite.
A car stops and through a window, we see Dwight.
Caroline turns to Toby.
Please be nice.
Toby stops the buck-toothed thing and speaks normally.
31 EXT. ROAD - MORNING 31
We see Dwight driving his shiny Buick, Caroline and Toby
beside him. As the CAMERA TRACKS the car with VARIOUS
SHOTS, we hear:
... air like wine at my place, and
I don't mind saying I wouldn't
live anywhere else, and that's the
God's honest truth. There's good
schools, honest people, and some
of the best fishing in the world.
Ted Williams -- you like baseball,
Toby? That is, Jack, I mean --
you like baseball? 'Cause Ted
Williams, whom I believe is one of
the all-time greats, is also a
world-class angler. Many's the
day he and I've talked over the
best way to get a fish to say yes
to a hook.
31 CONTINUED: 31
DWIGHT (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Hunting, too: there's game
everywhere you look. I don't
think I flatter myself by saying
that I'm something of a whiz with
a rifle, and Concrete gives me
every opportunity to prove it...
32 EXT. SMALL BRIDGE - DAY 32
The three stand by the edge of the bridge, looking down
into the water.
They see salmon fighting the last few yards of their
yearly battle to spawn. Against the rapid current, they
leap again and again. Long strips of flesh hang from
They always show you salmon
fighting to get upstream, but they
never show you what they look like
when they get there.
Her face strained, Caroline leans over for a closer look.
The salmon swim in slow, stunned circles, some with an
eye missing or hanging by a membrane, a hideous sight.
It's pitiful. Awful.
They'll spawn, and then they'll
die. They're dying now.
As Toby and Caroline move to the passenger side of the
car, Toby speaks so Dwight can't hear:
I hope to hell it's not an omen.
Caroline has to fight back a smile.
A33 EXT. CONCRETE SILO - DAY A33
The Buick drives into town past an enormous disused
Concrete silo where "Welcome To Concrete" is painted in
huge faded letters.
A33 CONTINUED: A33
So here we go. Welcome to
Concrete. Dwight's home sweet
home. Finest people in the whole
state of Washington, you ask me.
Lots of churches, too. A neighbor
of mine says, "Looking for nice
churches, come to Concrete.
Looking for sin, go to hell." I
think that's funny...
Caroline and Toby are severely underimpressed with their
first impression of Concrete.
33 EXT. DWIGHT'S HOUSE - DAY 33
Dwight's Buick pulls to a stop; Dwight, Caroline, and
Toby get out. The scenery is as beautiful as Dwight said
All the houses are converted Army
barracks, made into duplexes --
Three children exit the house. SKIPPER, a pleasant boy
who is average in every way, is 17. NORMA is 18, slow-
spoken and sensual, Toby cannot take his eyes off her.
The third is PEARL, two years younger than Toby. Pearl
has a bald spot the size of a dollar, high on the side of
Well. Let's see here. Kids, this
is my pretty friend, Caroline
Wolff, and her boy To...
33 CONTINUED: 33
(he catches himself)
Jack Wolff. These are my kids:
Skipper, Norma and my baby, Pearl.
Everybody says hello, shakes hands, then they all head
into the house.
34 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - DAY 34
They enter and look around: well, it's not awful, but
it sure as hell isn't wonderful. The room is dark, on
the small side, and shows the lack of a woman's hand.
Caroline looks a bit taken aback, but tries to hide it
by saying the word "nice" over and over.
The CAMERA FOLLOWS them FROM room TO room:
Okay, so that was the living room;
over here is the kitchen -- I plan
on getting all new fixtures in
here -- and down that hall are the
three bedrooms and the bath.
He stops at an extra, no-particular-purpose, nondescript
room furnished only by two easy chairs and a card table.
This is sort of a lounging area.
(as nobody says
You know, just in case you want
He searches, can't think of how to finish the sentence in
any impressive way. He gives up, finishes weakly:
Skipper snorts with laughter, but cuts it off when Dwight
gives him a look. Toby, trying to be good, bites his lip
to keep from laughing.
35 EXT. BUSINESS STREET - DAY 35
The business area is small and rather forlorn. The six
of them walk in pairs -- Dwight and Caroline, Skipper and
Norma, and last, Toby and Pearl. (Toby's eyes are glued
to the movement of Norma's body.)
35 CONTINUED: 35
(about a gas station)
And over there's where I work.
(to Skipper and Norma)
How about you guys? You like it
They glance at each other.
Fine. Yeah, it's fine.
It's a little isolated, is all.
Not that isolated.
Well, maybe not that isolated.
Pretty isolated, though.
Aw, there's plenty to do in
Concrete if you kids would take a
little initiative. When I was
growing up we didn't have T.V. --
we used our imaginations. We read
the classics. We played musical
instruments. You show me a bored
kid, I'll show you a lazy kid.
I didn't know you played an
instrument, Dwight. What do you
Sax. Tenor sax.
Skipper and Norma glance at each other, then look away.
Caroline takes a cigarette from her purse. Again Dwight
jumps to her service: we are once more treated to the
mini-drama of Dwight unsheathing the Zippo from its
velvet case, opening the top on his pants leg, etc.
(back to Skipper and
How's the school here?
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
There isn't one. We go to
It's a few miles downriver.
Come off it -- it's not that far.
Yeah, I clocked it: thirty-nine
In spite of the fact that he's eager for this day to go
well, Dwight's bottom teeth begin to show.
Ah, you'd bellyache if the goddam
school was in your fugging
back yard. Just shut your god-
They all shut their pie-holes. The six walk in a tense,
uncomfortable silence for five full beats. Then Pearl
tries to help out:
I'm in fifth grade.
Nobody seems to care.
36 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - HOUR LATER 36
Dwight has recovered his good mood. Dressed in a
marksman's coat with a padded shoulder, Dwight is laughing
as he attempts to assemble Toby's Winchester .22.
36 CONTINUED: 36
'Turkey shoot' is just a figure of
There's no real turkey?
No, it's just regulation paper
targets. It's a test of skill.
And, Jack, I just found out
yesterday that they won't let
But you said I could!
I know, but they got it all
screwed up somehow and told me
wrong at first.
Toby starts to argue, but Caroline touches his arm.
Dwight, you did tell him.
I don't make the rules, Caroline.
If I made the rules, I might make
different ones, but I don't make
37 EXT. OPEN FIELD - DAY 37
A sullen Toby stands with Pearl. Dwight is giving his
name and the entry fee to a MAN. As the Man moves away,
Caroline stops him and holds out some money.
Wolff. Caroline Wolff.
You mean you want to enter? I
think it's against the rules.
37 CONTINUED: 37
Well, that sign says this is an
N.R.A. club, and I'm a dues-paying
N.R.A. member. That gives me the
right to participate in the
activities of other chapters.
You'll be the only woman shooting.
Caroline just smiles. The Man shrugs, takes her money
and writes down her name.
38 EXT. SHOOTING RANGE - DAY 38
The shooting match has begun. The contestants have ten
turns to fire ten shots apiece at a large paper bull's-eye
fifty yards away. The scores and rankings are on a
A contestant finishes SHOOTING. There is a pause.
Everyone watches as his score is raised from behind the
concrete wall on which the bull's-eye hangs.
The score comes: 84.
There is a smattering of applause, and it's Dwight's
From his stance, Dwight looks as if he is a pretty good
shot. He's nervous, though, because Caroline is going
to shoot, and he squeezes off his TEN SHOTS in RAPID
SUCCESSION, hardly pausing to breathe. A pause, and then
his score is raised: 73. Dwight smiles an inappropriate
smile and hands the Winchester to Caroline.
There are a couple of whistles as Caroline takes her
position, and someone in the crowd yells out, "Oh, Mama,
shake that thang!" Caroline ignores it, taking her
shooting stance, which is surprisingly graceful and
She SHOOTS her TEN BULLETS, taking time to breathe once,
deeply, between each shot. The pause, and her score is
raised: 93. There is a moment of surprised silence, and
then the crowd gives Caroline a sincere round of
SAME SCENE - LATER
Dwight looks stunned, and Toby is almost equally
38 CONTINUED: 38
On the scoreboard, we see that Caroline is in second
place and by only two shots. As the next-to-last round
finishes, Caroline is surrounded by a few people who are
complimenting her shooting. Dwight's smile is even
bigger: Oh, he wanted to be the one to win.
The last round starts. A MAN, evidently the one in first
place, heads to the shooting alley for his turn. As he
passes Caroline, trying to rattle her, he speaks
That second-place trophy ain't
Then you won't feel too bad about
carrying it home, will you?
Several people laugh, and the Man, bested, turns away.
Everyone turns quiet to watch the Man shoot. He is
evidently the one who's nervous, though, for after he
SHOOTS and waits, the score is raised: 95. There is
an immediate stir -- Caroline can win if she shoots a
virtually perfect round.
Dwight's name is called. He takes his position, but
clowns around, SHOOTING first left-handed, then right-
handed, then with both eyes closed.
His score is raised: 24. There is scattered laughter,
and Dwight leads it -- hell, it's all a joke to him, his
Caroline takes her stance. Rock-steady, she SHOOTS her
TEN SHOTS and waits. And then it comes: 98. She's won.
The second-place Man wheels away angrily, but everyone
else congratulates the laughing Caroline, as an official
presents her with a small trophy of a gold rifle on a
pedestal, and a huge ham.
In the midst of the hubbub, Toby manages to get close
enough to congratulate his mother. Caroline glances
toward Dwight as she whispers to Toby:
That was for you, honey.
I didn't know you were a member of
38 CONTINUED: (2) 38
I'm a little behind in my dues --
Thirty-six years behind.
39 INT. DWIGHT'S KITCHEN - DAY 39
Caroline, Toby and Pearl enter. Norma is cooking
Thanksgiving dinner. Dwight WALKS HEAVILY down the hall
to his bedroom and SLAMS the DOOR.
Mom won the turkey shoot.
Oh, boy. Now we're in for it --
he thinks he's some kind of big
Well, he killed a deer once.
That was with the car.
They all laugh.
40 INT. DINING ROOM - AFTERNOON 40
Though there are some occasional sentences like "Could I
have the potatoes, please?" or "This dressing is really
delicious," mostly there is just silence and the noise
of SILVERWARE ON PLATES. Dwight is working hard on the
I got just one thing to say.
I'm sitting at the table with the
best damn shot in the county!
Everybody relaxes, and general conversation begins.
41 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 41
Norma plays "Blue Monday" on an upright piano whilst Toby
sings it. After finishing the song, Norma launches into
"On Moonlight Bay." Everybody joins in.
41 CONTINUED: 41
Toby and Caroline glance at each other and smile.
41A SAME SCENE - MIDDLE OF NIGHT 41A
Caroline, who is sleeping on the sofa bed, returns from
the bathroom. She sees that Toby's awake on his pallet
on the floor. She sits on the floor beside him. (The
whole conversation is conducted in whispers.)
So what do you think?
They're okay. What's that bald
spot on Pearl's head? Ugh.
Some sort of infection.
They're all nice, but Dwight keeps
rushing me, keeps talking about
marriage. And I don't really want
to get married -- not now anyway.
That's fine with me.
(a beat; new tone)
I wish you would've stayed married
Oh, don't wish Duke back on me.
That woman he married? Is she
Like King Midas. Okay, look,
we'll go back to Seattle and see
how things go. I've been thinking
about taking a course in
stenotyping. A court reporter's
pay is real high. Kathy got
engaged, so either I find us
another roommate or I've got to
make some more money. And this
stenotyping thing sounds just
right. This could turn out good,
42 INT. BOYS' BATHROOM AT SCHOOL - DAY 42
Toby, Terry Silver and Terry Taylor lounge against the
I mean I blew it off, man -- I
blew his fuckin' turkey's head
Terry Silver takes a long slow drag on his cigarette.
The other boys glance at each other: they don't buy it.
With a .22.
Fuckin' A. Winchester .22. Pump.
Wolff, you are so full of shit.
Don't believe me -- see if I care.
All a .22 bullet would do is make
a hole in his head.
Toby takes a drag on his cigarette.
One bullet, maybe.
Oh. Oh, I see -- you hit the
turkey more than once. While he
was flying. In the head.
Toby nods. Silver and Taylor howl with laughter.
Furious, Toby says "Fuck you" over and over. He pulls
out a rat-tail and scratches the words "FUCK YOU" onto
the soft paint of the bathroom wall.
43 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - AFTERNOON 43
Toby stands at the top of a small hill with Terry Silver
and Terry Taylor. They are too casual, their faces too
innocent: something's up.
They wait until a middle-aged man raking leaves turns
and disappears around a corner. Then the three of them
open the door of a car, take off the emergency brake, and
start it rolling down the hill.
43 CONTINUED: 43
The car rolls silently down the hill. It CRASHES into
another car at the bottom, making a LOUD NOISE.
The three boys run like the wind out of sight.
44 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S KITCHEN - NIGHT 44
Caroline, Toby, Marian and Kathy sit at the table eating
... exactly what I wanted for my
dress. It's a Simplicity pattern,
and I'm pretty sure I can make it
myself. It's got big puff
Caroline takes out a cigarette. Then everybody jumps
as Toby yells and jumps up knocking his chair over
Toby grabs Caroline's lighter, and begins to imitate
Dwight: saying, "Oh!" and "Oh, yes!" and Oh, my!"
and "Here, let me!" and "I'll do that!"
It's a mean, accurate imitation of Dwight. All three
women laugh in spite of themselves. Caroline keeps
saying "Jack, that's enough," and Marian says, "Dwight's
not that bad." But they can't help laughing. Toby
offers the other two women a light, then offers a broom,
the back door, and the refrigerator a light.
45 INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - DAY 45
The principal, MR. SHIPPY, sits behind his desk. Toby,
looking scared, sits across from him. A secretary lets
Caroline into the room. Mr. Shippy rises and introduces
himself. Caroline doesn't respond to the introduction.
What did he do?
He violated the school property
and flouted the law.
Can you say that in English?
45 CONTINUED: 45
He wrote obscene words on the
Did you do it?
(as he shakes his
He didn't do it.
He wrote obscene words on the wall.
What obscene words?
(after a beat)
That's one obscene word.
Mr. Shippy looks stymied. There is a pause.
Look, Mrs. Wolff, Jack's teachers,
like him but they think he's fallen
in with the wrong kind of friends.
(peers at Toby's
Is that nicotine stain on your
(as Toby shakes his
I hope not. Let me tell you a
story: I started smoking in
college. Two packs a day. I ate
One night I went to have a
cigarette and lo and behold, the
pack was empty. I went downstairs
and started to rummage through the
garbage cans. But as I reached
down -- I mean, right down into a
garbage can -- I suddenly thought,
'Whoa. Hold on right there,
Buster.' I went back to my room
and to this day I haven't smoked
45 CONTINUED: (2) 45
MR. SHIPPY (CONT'D)
After that, every day I saved the
exact amount of money I would've
spent on cigarettes. In three
years, I put it all together, and
you know what I bought? I bought
(a dramatic pause;
... a Nash Ambassador.
Caroline gives a bark of laughter. She brings out a
handkerchief and coughs, as if she has a cold. Mr.
Shippy looks puzzled.
Well, back to the point: I think
two weeks' suspension.
46 INT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S HOUSE - SAME DAY (LATER) 46
Caroline and Toby enter the house. Caroline goes into
the bedroom, shuts the door. Toby sits on the couch.
46A SAME SCENE - NIGHT 46A
Late afternoon sun slants through the venetian blinds.
Toby sits exactly as he sat before. Then Caroline comes
out of the bedroom, ominously calm. She sits down.
So what shall we do?
What do you mean?
Ever since Duke and I got divorced,
you're a different boy. I know
he never calls you and I could
kill him for it -- but that's how
Duke is. And Gregory's in
Princeton now, so I guess...
So what shall we do? Because this
We barely have enough money,
Kathy's moving out, and on top of
it all, you've gone wild. You
46A CONTINUED: 46A
No I don'...
Yes, you do. You steal from
Marian's purse -- I just can't
handle you anymore, and it scares
me. I don't know what to do.
So, you tell me what to do.
(he means it)
I can be better. I will be.
(it bursts out of
And I hate the way I am anymore!
I don't know why I do it!
What about that stenotyping
thing you were gonna do?
With peculiar intensity, Caroline speaks in a soft,
It won't happen. It won't happen.
It won't happen. Things aren't
going to turn out well, things
aren't going to start looking up,
and it's never going to be like
heaven on a June day. There is
no uranium. There is no
stenotyping. There is no C.P.A.
license. There isn't...
She stands for a few moments as if listening for a
... I talked to Dwight: after
Christmas, he wants you to come
up to Concrete and live with him
for a few months -- go to school
What are you going to do, just
give me away to him?
If you two can get along, if it
works out, then I guess he and I
might get married.
46A CONTINUED: (2) 46A
The two stare at each other.
I can't think of anything else to
do. But first I want your
Again the two stare at each other.
Caroline nods, turns away.
47 INT. CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY 47
Christmas is over: a few scattered pieces of wrapping
paper lie scattered on the floor, and a small Christmas
tree with bubble-lights glows in a corner.
Caroline shuts a suitcase and looks at Toby.
I put in both your sweaters. You
wear them now, the nights are so
chilly up there.
Okay. I will.
You don't have to go if you don't
want to, honey.
No, it's okay. I'll go.
O.S. we hear a KNOCKING and Dwight's cheery voice.
Here I am, you lucky people!
48 EXT. CAROLINE AND TOBY'S HOUSE - DUSK 48
Dwights hustles the bags into the trunk, tells Toby to
kiss his mother, and hops into the car, all smiles, all
cheeriness. The Buick pulls away, leaving Caroline
white-faced and miserable.
49 INT. BUICK - NIGHT 49
Dwight takes a pull from a pint bottle of whiskey and
gives Toby a sneering, contemptuous look. Toby reaches
over, SNAPS ON the RADIO. Immediately Dwight SNAPS IT
off. Then, in the headlight's glare, Toby sees a dark
Hey, look: is that a raccoon or
Dwight swerves deliberately to hit the animal. There is
a sickening THUMP, and Dwight stops. As he backs up:
Go get it -- the pelt's worth
fifty bucks, minimum.
That thing's probably got rabies...
50 EXT. ROAD - NIGHT 50
Toby moves to where the dead beaver lies on its back,
its eyes open, in the red glow of the taillights. Toby
picks the thing up and lugs it back toward Dwight, who
has the trunk open.
51 INT. BUICK - NIGHT 51
Dwight is still drinking, between swallows, he gives Toby
sneering glances. Dwight is driving very fast. The
road begins a series of curves. Dwight doesn't slow
down, and the TIRES begin to SCREAM on the curves.
The road runs along a steep gorge. Dwight increases
the speed, and the car begins to fishtail.
I'm a little sick to my stomach.
Sick to your stomach? A hotshot
I'm not a hotshot.
51 CONTINUED: 51
That's what I hear. I hear you're
a real hotshot. Come and go where
you please, do what you please.
Isn't that right? Yeah, regular
man about town. Performer, too.
That right, Jack? You a performer?
That's a goddamned lie.
Dwight keeps glancing from the road to Toby, and back
If there's one thing I can't
stomach, it's a liar.
I'm not a liar.
Sure you are. You or Marian. Is
Marian a liar? She says you're
quite the little performer. Is
that a lie? You tell me that's a
lie and we'll drive back to Seattle
so you can call her a liar to her
face. You want me to do that?
Then you must be the one's a liar,
(as Toby nods)
And you're a performer?
You guess? You guess? Let's see
your act. Go on. Do your act.
(when Toby is silent)
51 CONTINUED: (2) 51
Sure you can.
Do me. I hear you do me.
Again Toby shakes his head, and then gasps as the CAR
SKIDS hideously close to the cliff's edge. Dwight is
oblivious to the danger.
Yeah, I hear you're good at doing
me. Here. Do me with the lighter.
Go on. Take it.
Dwight holds out the velvet-covered Zippo, driving with
one hand, and the car is all over the road. Dwight puts
the lighter back into his pocket. The car slows a bit.
Hotshot. You pull that hotshot
stuff around me and I'll break
every bone in your body. You
You're in for a change, mister.
You got that? Huh? You got that
You're in for a whole 'nother
52 EXT. DWIGHT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 52
Dwight's Buick pulls to a stop as Norma, Skipper and
Pearl come out to meet them. Dwight is calmer now.
Skipper, go get that washtub out
back, and Pearl, bring the hose
around and fill it up. Hotshot
and me hit a beaver. We'll salt
Skipper and Pearl move out on the run. Dwight slits the
beaver from throat to testicles, guts it, then pulls the
52 CONTINUED: 52
I know you think you're better
than me. Caroline told me all
about your rich daddy and your
prep-school brother, but your
fancy days are over: you're a
Concrete boy now. I'm gonna give
you a big injection of Concrete.
That's right -- inoculate you.
Oh, my, yes. You're gonna find
out that in Concrete we have to
be able to do more than sing Fats
Domino songs, we work...
Skipper and Pearl bring the tub with four blue stars
painted on its side, Dwight plops the skinned beaver
into the water. The hairless carcass stands in the
tub, its chin on the edge. Pearl shudders and turns
53 INT. DWIGHT'S KITCHEN - SAME NIGHT (LATER) 53
Dwight, Toby, Norma, Skipper and Pearl are eating dinner
at the kitchen table. Norma speaks to Toby.
You'll be in Miss Graham's class?
Yeah, is she nice?
She's okay. She's pretty.
I hate changing schools.
Speaking of changing, I had a talk
with Jack on the way up here, and
he says he wants to be a better
boy. And that's good, 'cause
things weren't going well for him
in Seattle: the police actually
came to his house to talk to
Caroline about him. Uh-huh, the
(very low; to Toby)
53 CONTINUED: 53
So here's what I think: I think
idle hands are the devil's
workshop, and so I found our Jack
a little something to do.
I picked up two barrels of horse-
chestnuts in the park. You can
spend your evenings hulling 'em.
And I enrolled you in the Boy
Scouts, and you've got a paper
route, starting Monday, every
afternoon from three to six-thirty
-- pays fifty-five bucks a month.
What d'you say?
Toby glances around the table, he is subdued.
I'll do it.
I want to be... better.
That's what I like to hear. Okay,
you guys get these dishes cleaned
up. Let's show Jack how we do it
54 INT. SCHOOL ROOM - DAY 54
MISS GRAHAM stands in front of the class. Toby is midway
back in the room.
'Of course I prayed -- and did God
care? He cared as much as on the
air a bird had stamped her foot
and cried, "Give me".' Now. What
is the tone of this short poem?
Is it religious?
No -- even though it talks about
God, I wouldn't say it was
54 CONTINUED: 54
Well, closer, maybe. But no.
There is a pause. Finally, Toby raises his hand.
It's angry, sort of bitter.
Very good, Jack. Bull's-eye.
From the front of the room, a tall, thin, effeminate
boy, ARTHUR GAYLE, turns to look at Toby and holds
the gaze for three full beats, then turns around and
faces the front. What the hell does it mean?
55 INT. SKIPPER AND TOBY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 55
The room is dark. Skipper is asleep. Toby lies in a
cot. Dwight leans against the wall near the head of
Toby's bed. He speaks in a low, reasonable voice:
... 'cause I don't believe that
crap, you know? I believe there
is such a thing as a bad boy --
bad clear through. And it's gonna
be my job to turn you around, to
kill or cure. Kill. Or. Cure.
Understand? And I'm up to the
job, oh yes, believe me, hotshot,
I am ready, willing and able to
take you on -- you and that
jibagoo music you like to sing.
I'm just the guy to knock that
music out of your head and put in
some respect and obedience.
Now your mother has just about
washed her hands of you -- that's
obvious, 'cause she's shipped you
off up here. I mean, she has had
it with you. She told me: she
said 'Dwight, I just can't handle
him anymore.' So don't go crying
to Mama, 'cause Mama won't listen.
Mama is sick to death of her baby
55 CONTINUED: 55
And your rich Daddy Warbucks and
your Princeton brother don't give
a shit about you, 'cause Caroline
told me they haven't even written
in over two years. So it looks
like I'm all you got now -- it's
just you and me. Feels sort of
inevitable, doesn't it, hotshot?
It's like we were fated for each
other, like I'm the one guy on
Earth could set you straight.
And don't you ever think I won't
enjoy doing it, 'cause...
SERIES OF SHORT SCENES TO INDICATE TIME PASSING
55 A) (AFTERNOON) Toby delivers papers in a sack filled 55
with papers slung over one shoulder which thuds
against his hip with every step making him tilt
to one side against the weight.
55 B) (NIGHT) Toby sits in a utility porch. The floor 55
around him is two feet deep in horse chestnuts. With
a knife and a pair of pliers he husks the chestnuts.
His hands are covered with scrapes and cuts and the
chestnut hulls bleed a juice that has dyed them a
Dear Toby, I sure do miss you,
honey -- the house is like a tomb
since you left. So quiet. My
only entertainment tonight was
watching Marian eat a whole pint
of ice cream. I hope you're
liking it up in Concrete. I just
know you'll try hard in school and
be good and mind Dwight. I worry
about you so much, and I hope this
will be just what you need.
55 C) (DAY) Toby rubs futilely at his yellow hands with 55
a cloth and watches Norma, who is drying her hair
in her bedroom. She bends over so her head is in
a patch of sunlight. Toby is riveted by the girl
and her hair gleaming in the sunlight.
55 CONTINUED: (2) 55
55 D) (AFTERNOON) Again see Toby delivering his papers. 55
He sees Arthur Gayle coming toward him in the
street. His hips sway as he walks, and his head
tilts to one side. As he and Toby pass one another,
he raises one arm and points at Toby. The he walks
Dear Mom, Thanks for the birthday
present. It fit fine. You don't
have to worry so much. I'm okay
here. The weather is nice, and I
like Scouts a lot. Dwight took us
all to see Bridge on the River
Kwai. I liked it. So things are
all right with me, except for
stupid Pearl, who I hate. Don't
worry all the time...
55 E) (NIGHT) Dwight introduces Toby at a Scout 55
meeting. All the other boys have on Scout
55 F) (DAY) Toby is on the utility porch husking the 55
horse chestnuts. His hands are now orange. Pearl
stands in the doorway watching him work. Norma
appears beside Pearl. Norma's face turns
You remind me of that boy in the
fairy tale who had to spend twenty
years sifting sand to find a
golden needle. Remember that one?
Toby doesn't answer. The two girls move away. Toby
sighs, and picks up another chestnut.
55 G) (DAY) Toby, keeping an eye on the door to make 55
sure he's unobserved, reaches under the mattress
of Skipper's bed and pulls out several billfold-sized
black and white pornographic photographs. The hair
styles of the women in them are decades old.
Toby takes the photographs into the bathroom,
shutting the door behind him.
Dear Toby, Just a note before
going to bed. Dwight tells me
that the two of you are getting
along like a house afire. I'm
so glad. I wanted this to work
out for you. You left your sock
cap here. Do you need it...?
55 CONTINUED: (3) 55
55 H) (NIGHT) Skipper is asleep in his bed. Across the 55
room, Toby lies with his portable RADIO against his
head. We hear, very, very softly, ROSEMARY CLOONEY
crooning "Hey, There." He's tired. He's lonely.
56 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON 56
Toby and Pearl are playing a card game called "Slap-
Jack." Toby slaps a card down hard, yelling "I win
again!" and Pearl pouts.
That's no fair. You make me sick.
I don't know why you have to live
here, anyway. Daddy says we
should think of it like you were
a charity kid.
Toby takes out his comb, combs his hair a bit, then
holds it out to Pearl, an exaggerated look of innocence
on his face.
Wanna comb your hair, Pearl?
Pearl covers her bald spot with one hand.
Probably you do, since you've
got such pretty hair. I know if
I had hair as pretty as yours,
Pearl, I'd comb it all the time.
Pearl is on the verge of tears. There are THREE TREMEN-
DOUSLY LOUD FLAT-FOOTED KICKS against the front door.
Open the hell up! I got us a
Pearl opens the door revealing a beaming Dwight holding
two dishpans piled high with snow. We see through the
doorway that the sun is shining and there isn't snow
We're gonna have snowcream!
57 INT. DWIGHT'S KITCHEN - LATER 57
Dwight, Toby, Skipper, Norma, and Pearl are enjoying
... heard there was a fresh snow
this morning, so I drove up to
the mountains. I stopped in a
field where it was all clean. I
was finished packing it up high
when somebody said...
This's private property, in case
I turned around and there was this
Yechh! Ugliest woman I ever saw
-- ugly as a madman's ass she was.
And frowning on top of it.
(to Pearl; soft;
You're ugly as a madman's ass.
No, you are.
What'd you say to the ugly woman?
I didn't say nothin' -- I ran.
Everybody laughs again. They eat in silence for a beat.
I'm gonna get you a Scout uniform,
57 CONTINUED: 57
Can I join the Girl Scouts?
I'm getting one for me, too.
Don't believe in doing anything
halfway. If you're serious about
(as Toby nods)
... then I want you to do it right.
We'll do it right together.
Dwight takes out a magazine entitled Boy's Life. He
hands it to Toby.
I got you a subscription to this.
I'll take the price out of your
paper route money.
It's the official Scout magazine.
Tells about what it means to be a
Scout, what kind of boy you need
to be, and, oh, about merit badges
and stuff like that.
Toby opens the book at random, reads from it.
'Suggested good turns a Scout can
do: assist a foreign boy with
some English grammar. Help put
out a burning field. Give water
to a crippled dog.' I could do
Hell, yes, you could. You're a
bright kid. I want this Scout
thing done right, okay?
Toby nods, enthusiastic, happy.
58 INT. TOBY AND SKIPPER'S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON 58
Toby stands in front of a full-length mirror wearing a
huge Scout uniform that's been unsuccessfully cut down
58 CONTINUED: 58
The shirt-sleeves have been shortened but the shoulders
extend two inches beyond the ends of his shoulders. The
pants legs have been cut off and hemmed but the crotch of
the trousers hangs down three inches too low, giving him
a stumpy, dwarfish look. Toby yells to someone O.S.
I'm not going.
The hell you say.
I'm not. Cut down Skipper's old
stuff, and he's twice as big as
me -- I'm gonna stay home.
You're gonna shit and fall back in
it -- that's all you're gonna do.
Now get out here.
59 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON 59
As Pearl watches Dwight also stands in front of a mirror,
adjusting his hat. He is resplendent in a brand-new
Scout uniform. Toby stalks into the room. Pearl laughs
Shut your pie-hole.
You look fine.
I look like an idiot.
You act like an idiot, you look
You said you'd get me a new
I said I'd try to get you a new
uniform. Beside, this one is new
-- new to you.
59 CONTINUED: 59
But look at the sleeves and how it
hangs down between my legs!
Oh piss and moan -- all you can do
is piss and moan.
Yeah, piss and moan -- I notice
you're all jazzed up in new stuff.
They didn't have second-hand
uniforms in my size.
Oh, yeah, pull the other leg, it's
got bells on it!
Toby throws himself down on the sofa.
And what're you gonna tell
Caroline this weekend? You gonna
say you wouldn't join the Scouts
because... him didn't wike his
Dwight picks up the copy of Boy's Life and thumbs through
it, He reads:
'No boy given over to dissipation
or negativity can stand the gaff.
He quickly tires and gives up. He
is the type who usually lacks
courage at the crucial moment. He
cannot take punishment and come
Dwight looks at Toby expectantly. Toby hesitates, then
All right, but this stinks.
Toby walks outside. Dwight follows.
Hotshot, you don't know it yet,
but me and Concrete are in your
blood. We're going to make a
man of you yet -- and in years to
come you'll thank me. You'll
remember me. Me and Concrete.
60 EXT. CAROLINE'S HOUSE - DAY 60
Dwight's Buick pulls up and Caroline bursts out the front
door. She runs to the car and hugs Toby.
Oh, I missed you!
You look good. How are you?
I'm okay. I'm fine.
Dwight comes around the car, kisses Caroline, and the
three head into the house.
I said to hell with the budget and
bought a roast. I made dumplings --
God, what's wrong with your hands?
It's just juice from some
chestnuts -- it'll wear off.
I hope so. My, your hair's short.
61 INT. CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY 61
Dwight, Caroline and Marian are having a drink. Toby
plays FATS DOMINO'S "Blue Monday" on the RADIO, the
Well, it's done him a world of
good to be up there with you.
Oh, we have us some pretty good
times. Don't we, Jack? Have us
some good times?
Toby, not looking away from the radio, nods.
We go to the Scouts together every
week. He's got a good start
already on merit badges...
61 CONTINUED: 61
... though he does concentrate too
much on the easy ones, like the
one for dental hygiene...
... and we had snowcream one
night, and, oh, just lots of
Caroline glances at Toby, then at Dwight, then back
62 EXT. CAROLINE'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON 62
Toby and Caroline walk slowly, idly down the rail tracks.
Toby avoids her eyes.
How is it in Concrete?
School's school. My grades are
You haven't been in any trouble?
(as he shakes his
Good. How're you and Dwight?
He made us all snowcream, like he
Stop that, honey.
Well, you've got your eyes out of
focus. Look at me. Now, are
things all right?
62 CONTINUED: 62
You swear? You act odd.
No, I'm fine.
Well, good. I'd feel awful if it
hadn't worked out.
I told Dwight I'd marry him. In
two weeks. I don't know what else
to do. I mean, he's been helping
me with the rent since Kathy left.
And you need a father. I think
it's the best thing all the way
around -- what d'you think?
There is a pause as they look at each other.
I think it's the best thing.
I think it's the best thing, too.
Caroline smiles, smooths his hair, then goes into the
house. Toby continues to walk. Suddenly, he spins
around and tears out toward the house. By God, he'll
tell her just what's been going on. He bangs through the
front door and up the stairs.
63 INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY 63
Toby stops dead as he sees Dwight and Caroline locked
in a busy kiss. He stops dead and shrinks back into the
64 INT. SKIPPER AND TOBY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 64
Toby is alone in the room in his Boy Scout shirt and hat
in front of a mirror. A copy of Boy's Life magazine is
open in front of him with drawings of Indians performing
sign language. Watching himself in the mirror, Toby
makes a sign.
64 CONTINUED: 64
He makes another sign.
He makes another sign.
He makes another sign.
He makes another sign.
He stares silently at himself in the mirror.
A65 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - DAY A65
Tarpaulins are everywhere. Toby stands surrounded by
seven five-gallon cans of paint. Carrying paintbrushes,
Dwight enters, dressed in old clothes singing "In The
Still Of The Night."
Now that's a song. Not all this
Elvis Presley shit. Elvis sings
about like I do brain surgery.
He imitates Elvis -- moves his hips slightly and sings a
'... uh-huh-huh, my blue suede
Dwight gives Toby a flash of his teeth and Toby smiles
Let's get this place ready for
They begin painting. After only a few strokes, though,
Toby looks doubtful.
A65 CONTINUED: A65
It's so white.
I got a good deal on this paint.
It'll darken up when it dries.
65 SAME SCENE - LATER 65
The walls and ceiling are almost finished, but the paint
has not darkened.
As he paints, he absentmindedly sings "Blue Suede Shoes."
Then he stops painting, as he notices Toby looking at the
What? I like it. It looks clean.
Yeah, but it makes everything else
look so dark.
Dwight's face changes. He has an idea.
65 A) SAME SCENE - LATER 65
On the SOUNDTRACK, ELVIS BLASTS OUT "Blue Suede
Shoes." Dwight and Toby paint the coffee table and
lamp base white.
65 B) SAME SCENE - LATER 65
Dwight and Toby, working faster, are painting the
end tables white.
65 C) INT. DINING ROOM - LATER 65
The walls and ceiling are white, Dwight and Toby are
painting the dining table white.
65 D) OMITTED 65
65 CONTINUED: (2) 65
65 E) INT. KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT 65
Dwight and Toby are painting the cabinets and kitchen
65 F) INT. LIVING ROOM - NEXT MORNING 65
Everywhere we look is white, the walls, ceiling,
furniture -- all of it. Only the old Baldwin upright
piano has escaped painting. Dwight eyes it
Sort of stands out, doesn't it?
Yeah, you could say that.
65 G) SAME SCENE - LATER 65
They paint the Baldwin white. Dwight hesitates, then
starts to paint the foot pedals.
65 H) SAME SCENE - LATER 65
Dwight's face tells us that something still doesn't
suit him. He glances at Toby, Toby nods, and they
converge on the piano.
65 J) SAME SCENE - LATER 65
Very carefully, Dwight and Toby finish painting the
dark ivory keys to match the rest of the room. ELVIS
SCREAMS OUT the last line, "You can do anything, but
stay off of my blue suede shoes!"
They stand up, look around -- Arctic white is every-
where. Dwight likes it. Toby is less sure.
The MONTAGE ENDS.
66 EXT. DWIGHT'S HOUSE - DAY 66
Skipper and Norma are carrying Caroline's suitcases into
the house from Dwight's Buick. From inside the house we
hear a WOMAN'S LAUGHTER.
67 INT. DWIGHT'S LIVING ROOM - PARALLEL TIME 67
Caroline is trying to stifle her laughter, as she stares
at the wilderness of white. Dwight and Toby, Skipper,
Norma, and Pearl all stand watch.
67 CONTINUED: 67
Oh! Oh, I'm so sorry... don't
know what's the matter with me...
you're right... it does look
But she can't stop laughing. Her laughter has just a
tinge of hysteria.
68 INT. SMALL CHURCH - MORNING 68
Dwight and Caroline are being married. Caroline wears
a pale blue suit, and Dwight looks good in a navy single-
breasted. Aside from Toby and Dwight's children, the
only guests are Marian, Kathy, and three people we
haven't seen before -- friends of Dwight's.
69 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT 69
The bed is a rat's nest of twisted sheets as Dwight and
Caroline make love. He takes his lips away from
Caroline's breast and moves so that his head is at the
bottom of the bed. Holding her foot up, he kisses the
instep, then runs his tongue over the same spot and then
down under the arch of her foot. A sexy scene.
M-m-m. There's not a straight
line on you -- everything's
Caroline draws him up to her, and they kiss. Then
Dwight turns Caroline on her side, away from him, pre-
paring to enter her. Caroline makes a small sound of
protest, turning back toward him.
Oh, Dwight, not like that. Not
this time -- not tonight.
It's good this way.
But I want to see your face while
we make love.
Oh, no -- I just don't... uh...
like that way.
69 CONTINUED: 69
Dwight continues to stroke Caroline, his hands everywhere,
but now she is unresponsive.
You mean you don't like to make
love face to face?
No, I don't like it. I can't
handle it -- I don't like to see
You mean ever?
Dwight murmurs an assent. Caroline is appalled.
But that's grotesque...
(stung; flares up)
Look, you can get it doggie-style
or you can get it laying on your
side -- those are your only
choices. This is my house, and I
get to say. Wherever McGinty sits
is the head of the table, you
Disgusted, Caroline turns back away from Dwight. He
shifts down on the bed a few inches, again preparing to
70 INT. KITCHEN - NEXT MORNING 70
Toby is eating toast at the kitchen table. Norma has
made a big breakfast, and she hurriedly pours the coffee
when she hears Dwight and Caroline's bedroom DOOR OPEN.
Happy Wedding Breakfast!
Caroline's eyes are red and swollen. Dwight turns ON a
RADIO, sips his coffee, and chats with Norma. Toby gives
Norma's rear-end an appreciative glance, then comes up
behind Caroline, speaking sotto voce:
So how's the bride?
70 CONTINUED: 70
The bride doesn't want to chat?
Well, the bride is sure snotty
Smiling, Toby waits for some response to his teasing,
but there is none. She turns away and sits at the table.
71 EXT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - AFTERNOON 71
Toby, his news bag slung over his shoulder, stands
talking idly with two boys from school, OSCAR BOOKER and
JIMMY VOORHEES. One of them says, "Uh-oh," and jerks his
head to indicate where Toby and the other boy should
They look in the direction indicated, and see Arthur
Gayle coming down the road toward them, followed by a
small black dog called Pepper. As the boys watch
What's his name again?
What a homo.
He sure walks like a girl.
And runs like one and talks like
one and throws like one. Probably
takes a pee like one too -- just
squats right down.
He smarted off to me the other
day -- told me I was a bourgeois.
What the frig's a bourgeois?
71 CONTINUED: 71
Call him a sissy.
Just see what he says.
Yeah, do it.
By this time Arthur is next to them. Smiling a superior
smile, he stops and glances at all three of them as if
they were just the oddest things he's ever seen. Then
his eye falls on Toby's yellow hands.
Oh, my, my -- look at all that
yellow: Didn't your mama teach you
to wash your hands after you pee?
Oh, shut up.
(rolls his eyes;
Now that's what I like -- an
insult with some originality.
Did you just make that up? Just
now? So clever.
Why don't you take a long walk
off a short pier?
(though he's not
nearly close enough
to smell Toby's
Excuse me, but has anyone ever told
you your breath would gag a maggot?
Both of Toby's friends laugh.
Well, at least I'm not a great
Two things happen instantly: the superior smile vanishes
from Arthur's face, and Toby's friends exchange a single
expectant look: "Here it comes."
71 CONTINUED: (2) 71
Without warning, Arthur swings a fist at Toby, catching
him on the ear. Arthur's second blow hits him in the
back of the head.
The fight is on.
Arthur throws punches sidearm, with lots of wrist action,
but there are so many of them. Before Toby can react,
Arthur has hit him four times, including one wild haymaker
that puts Toby on his knees.
While Toby's still on his knees, Arthur tries to kick
him in the stomach. The kick is deadened by the papers
in Toby's bag, Arthur bends over Toby, screaming as if he
has lost his mind:
GET UP! GET UP, YOU SON OF A
BITCHING MAGGOT GAGGER! I'LL
STOMP YOUR GUTS OUT! I'LL KILL
Toby gets up, and again Arthur sails in with those wild
roundhouse swings. Then Toby gets in a solid punch to
Arthur's face that rocks the bigger boy back on his
heels. Arthur grabs his head and roars like a wounded
buffalo. Almost immediately Arthur's eye puffs and
begins to swell shut. Snot streaming from both nostrils,
still roaring, Arthur flies at Toby again. Toby closes
with him, to hold those flailing arms still, and the
two stagger around the street like drunken dancers.
They separate, exchange a few blows, then grapple with
each other again.
Then Arthur hooks Toby's leg, trips him, and the two
roll off the shoulder of the road and down an embankment.
They hit the muddy bottom of the gully still hitting,
flailing, kicking -- first Toby is on top, then Arthur,
then Toby, then Arthur. By now they are panting, each
breath is a heave, a gasp. Then, suddenly, Arthur gives
out completely -- he falls on top of Toby, pressing him
deeper into the mud. With his last bit of strength Toby
throws the bigger boy off him and sits up, while PEPPER
BARKS FURIOUSLY at him and threatens to nip his leg.
Toby staggers to his feet and starts to climb the gully.
He looks relieved -- at least it's over.
No, it's not.
From behind him he hears three words.
Take it back.
71 CONTINUED: (3) 71
Toby turns to see a bloody-faced, swollen-eyed Arthur
clambering up the hill after him, like some monster
that won't die. Both boys reach the top and stand
facing one another.
Take it back.
Arthur's words are not angry anymore. Toby's worn out
Okay. I take it back.
No, say 'You're not a sissy.'
Toby glances at Oscar and Jimmy. Their faces are gleeful
but he doesn't care what the hell they think.
You're not a sissy.
Arthur immediately turns and walks away, but Toby ignores
them and walks away in the opposite direction, delivering
his hated newspapers.
72 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 72
Caroline is painting the white walls a soothing buff
color. On the sofa lie half-finished curtains she's
making. She is totally focused. She hears Toby, turns,
sees his filthy clothes. Her shoulders sag.
I won't do it, you know. I won't
be a referee between the two of
Who asked you?
You both do. You do. Just by
coming home like this you ask me
to take your side when he raises
72 CONTINUED: 72
Well, the answer's 'No.' I'm going
to make this marriage work. No
Oh, the bride is calm. Who the
Caroline refuses to argue. She picks up a piece of
material and holds it up to the window to see if her
choice of color was a good one.
... seems like this place is so
ugly. Seems like everywhere I
look there's something... ugly.
73 INT. SKIPPER AND TOBY'S ROOM - EVENING 73
A worried Toby sits dreading Dwight's arrival. Behind
him, on the wall, Toby has pinned the covers of fifteen
copies of the Scout magazine: so that, above Toby's
head are the words BOY'S LIFE fifteen times.
There is a MURMUR of VOICES, and FOOTSTEPS COMING toward
Toby. Toby expects the worst. But, surprisingly, Dwight
Uh, well, uh... he's the one can't
see out of one eye.
Hot damn! You actually gave
little Lord Gayle a black eye?
Well, it wasn't black yet.
But it was all puffed up?
(as Toby nods)
Then it was a shiner.
73 CONTINUED: 73
Dwight sits down next to Toby, eager for details.
How'd it start?
I called him a sissy.
Dwight hoots with laughter and slaps his leg.
Well, he sure's hell can't sue you
for slander. That boy fights for
the pink team. Did you make him
Well... he was just ready to. I
called him a big-assed, squat-
(as Dwight slaps his
I'd have won bigger except he hit
me when I wasn't looking.
He dry-gulched you. Now that's
your fault. You gotta keep your
guard up. There's no excuse for
getting dry-gulched. I'll show
you a couple moves after supper
that'll leave Miss Arthur Gayle
wondering what month it is.
74 INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING 74
Still excited, Dwight is holding forth for the whole
family. (We hear THUNDER of an approaching storm)
... so he says, 'You and who
else's army?' 'Just the three of
us,' I say. 'Me, myself and I.'
Well, after school he's waiting
for me and he yells something -- I
tell you, with people like that,
you got to hurt 'em, gotta inflict
pain, or they'll never leave you
74 CONTINUED: 74
So it was real hot out, okay? And
there were these horse turds laying
all over the place. I picked one up
and went up to him, but not acting
tough, okay? Acting more like, 'Oh
gee, I'm so scared, please don't
hurt me.' Sort of like this:
Dwight slumps his shoulders, drops his chin, and looks up
through his eyebrows, a simpering expression on his face.
So I say, 'Excuse me, but what's
the problem?' And he starts in on
me again, blah, blah, blah, and I
jam a horse turd right into that
big mouth. Then I give him a
sucker punch in the breadbasket,
and he goes down like a...
Dwight goes on, relishing the story.
75 EXT. UTILITY PORCH - NIGHT 75
A steady downpour falls outside the porch. Dwight and
Toby, both stripped to the waist, are boxing. Dwight is
totally serious about this, absolutely sincere.
The sweat streaming off the two, Dwight patiently corrects
Toby's movements, or catches the boy's fist to suggest
better form. Their feet shuffle, squeak on the floor.
No, no. From the shoulder.
Like this. This. Otherwise you
leave yourself wide open.
(as Toby tries)
Yeah, better, better... and keep
those feet moving, shuffle,
shuffle, that's right... now try
for my face... good...
76 INT. LIVING ROOM - PARALLEL TIME 76
Caroline is on the telephone, her voice low. (Behind
her, through a doorway, we can see Dwight and Toby
76 CONTINUED: 76
... not good, to tell you the
truth not good at all.
No, he's not mean to me...
No, he's good about that: comes
home right after work every night.
Oh, Marian, I don't know -- maybe
I just got my hopes too high,
although I don't think so. All I
want is a little...
... a little son-of-a-bitching
sweetness. That's all.
You think so, huh? You always did
have an eye for Dwight, didn't
(leans back; watches
Dwight and Toby)
The thing is, he's out on the
porch teaching Jack to box right
now. I keep thinking if I can
hang on, things'll settle down.
If I can just hang on long enough,
it'll work out and my kid'll have
a father. You know?
77 EXT. UTILITY PORCH - LATER 77
Both Dwight and Toby sweating heavily. They lean against
a wall, resting.
You said you'd show me how to
Okay. Now you can always kick
somebody in the balls, but I like
this one better: What you do is
hit 'em in the throat with the
side of your forearm. You wait
'til -- hah!
Without warning, Dwight lunges at Toby and swings the
side of his arm toward Toby's throat. Toby dodges
wildly, falling backward over a box of sports equipment.
77 CONTINUED: 77
Now that's dry-gulching. Hit 'em
in the throat, but do it before
they're expecting it. Now you try.
I'm afraid I'll hurt you.
But I might.
Finally Toby gives a half-hearted "Hah!" and swings the
side of his forearm toward Dwight's throat. Dwight
catches the arm easily.
Come onnn. You're not trying.
Again Toby hesitates, again he says "Hah!" and gives a
lukewarm swing at Dwight's throat.
Well, don't go all shy and delicate
on me -- you're as sissy as little
Miss Arthur Gayle. Yeah -- I'll just
call you 'Little Miss Jackie Wolff.'
Ooh, my, yes -- Hello, Jackie.
Toby's eyes flare up, then he lowers his head, biting
his lip, sniffling a bit.
Aw, Jesus Christ, if you're gonna --
Without warning, Toby lunges at Dwight, screaming "HAH!"
trying for the man's throat. Caught off guard, Dwight
stops the main force of Toby's arm, but is slammed onto
the ground stunned.
You just about got dry-gulched, my
Dwight manages a grin, but he is not happy to have been
78 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 78
Dwight and Caroline lie on the bed, kissing passionately.
It is clear that Caroline is as excited as Dwight.
78 CONTINUED: 78
I know you may think this is
silly, Dwight, but it seems
like... I don't know, like an
emblem or something. I want to
be able to see your face when we
make love. How else can we be
The rest of the word is jerked out of her as Dwight turns
her onto her side, away from him, and proceeds to make
love again in his favorite manner.
You just don't know what's good,
Sugar. You're too tense. You
just relax and Dwight'll take you
on a little trip. Okay? You'll
have a good time.
Caroline closes her eyes.
78A SAME SCENE - HOURS LATER 78A
Dwight leans back against the headboard of the bed.
Caroline sits between his legs, her back against his
chest. With one hand, Dwight strokes Caroline's hair.
The other hand is curled around her throat.
... are the prettiest thing I've
ever seen. I mean it. You are.
The way your hair curls up right
there. So pretty. I just love
you so much. I don't know what
I'd do if you ever left me. I
couldn't take it.
Guy I knew in the Navy had a
saying: 'If you love her, here's
what to do: Let her go visit
places new. If she loves you,
she'll come back to you. If
she don't come back... hunt the
bitch down and kill her.'
That's awful, I guess. I don't
feel that way, but close. My
We see that Caroline realizes the enormity of her
79 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - MUCH LATER 79
Smoking a cigarette and wearing a nightgown, Caroline
walks to the front door.
She opens the front door and stands looking out. Then
she puts her finger on the door and slowly pushes it shut
with one finger. She does this once more. Then she does
it again. She turns, walks toward Toby's room.
80 INT. SKIPPER AND TOBY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 80
Caroline enters and stands by Toby's bed. She bends over
the boy and she starts to touch his hair, decides not to.
She stares at Toby for a few beats.
81 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 81
Caroline enters, looks down at the sleeping Dwight. She
gets back into the bed and Dwight throws a sleepy hand
over her. Caroline hesitates, but forces herself to put
a hand over Dwight's.
82 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S KITCHEN - MORNING 82
THROUGH a window, Dwight, dressed in his coveralls,
leaves for work. Caroline is sewing on a machine whilst
Toby leans against the kitchen sink.
... but ask him again, why don't
you? I hate it so much.
(never stops sewing)
I asked him a week ago, I asked
him this morning -- he wants you
to keep the paper route.
Then make him give me the money.
It's mine, I earned it. It's
He won't. He says he'll keep it
for when you really need it.
That's not fair. I ought to be
able to have my own money.
(as Caroline shrugs)
But it's mine.
82 CONTINUED: 82
You remind me of a baby bird --
you know those frantic little
things with their mouths wide
open, wanting, wanting.
Well, at least ask him about my
gym shoes again. I can practice
barefoot but for games I gotta
I'm not a referee. I won't do
Oh, we know, we know: the bride
won't argue. The bride won't
raise her voice.
Well, I'll tell you what the bride
will do: the bride will get up
and walk over there and slap hell
out of the bride's son. Now does
the bride's son want his face
Oh, I hate it here! I wish we
could just get up and go.
I don't have another 'get up and
go' left in me! You understand?
I'm telling you I've hit a god-
damn wall. I can't run anymore.
Now this whole thing isn't perfect
for me, either... let me impress
that on you real strong, okay? I
don't wake up singing every morning.
But I'm going to make this marriage
work -- I won't join in any fights,
you got that? I won't even raise
Caroline points to the sink.
See those two roses? He picked
them for me on his way home last
82 CONTINUED: (2) 82
I'm trying to concentrate on the
Norma appears in the kitchen door, wearing her cap and
gown. She strikes a pose.
What d'ya think? I think I look
like a fool.
Who cares? Six weeks to graduation,
and California, here I come!
Norma snaps her fingers and goes back to her bedroom.
Seriously: you have to
concentrate on the good stuff.
Caroline turns her attention back to the curtains.
83 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - SAME NIGHT 83
"The Lawrence Welk Show" is ON the TELEVISION. Dwight,
Caroline, Skipper, Norma and Pearl and Toby watch an
Irish tenor sing a lugubrious ballad. Dwight stands in a
corner of the room, his saxophone to his lips. He's
playing along with the MUSIC, but silently.
Occasionally he gets overcome and accidentally causes
the saxophone to squawk.
The Irish ballad ends, and Lawrence Welk's Champagne
Orchestra strikes up a lively polka. Dwight takes a sip
of his drink and grabs Caroline, pulls her to her feet,
and begins to dance with her.
A polka can be a decorous, contained dance. He dances
Caroline vigorously around the living room, out into the
kitchen, around the table, and then back again.
Dwight is really good, and Caroline matches him every
step of the way. Skipper turns the VOLUME UP and Dwight
kicks the dance into an even higher, wilder gear: The
kids clap on the beat, the two whirl and stamp and spin.
83 CONTINUED: 83
Faster and faster -- Caroline's heel catches an end table
and sends it spinning and faster they go. Caroline's
head is thrown back; she's laughing with pleasure.
As the MUSIC reaches its CLIMAX, Dwight spins Caroline
back to the sofa, lets her go, and WHAM! she lands back
where she was seated exactly on the last note of the
song. Amid the general laughter and applause, Caroline
smiles at Toby.
Try to find the good stuff, honey.
84 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON 84
Dwight and Toby face one another in the living room.
Both wear their Scout uniforms. Dwight holds a box of
chocolate-coated cherries in one hand.
I'm telling you I didn't.
And I know damn well you did.
Well, you're wrong.
About some things, yeah. Not
about this. You're a goddam hog,
and I proved it.
How do you know Skipper didn't eat
it? Or Norma? Or Pearl?
I told all three of them to stay
away from this candy for twenty-
Well, how do you know I even ate
(a triumphant smile)
I counted them. You hogged down
eleven chocolate covered cherries
since yesterday afternoon.
84 CONTINUED: 84
So that makes you a hog. I just
wanted to establish that fact, and
now I have.
Caroline and Skipper enter, carrying throw pillows and
(to Caroline and
Hey. Mr. Hotshot Hog and I've
just been establishing some facts,
and what we come up with is this:
One, he's a pig who gobbles down
everybody's candy; two, he lies
about it; three, he lays around
on his lazy ass day and night
reading, reading; and four, he's
not getting any ten-dollar gym
shoes. That's about what we've
come up with so far.
(a high, mincing
Skipper leaves the room. Caroline sits down, begins to
try various materials as coverings for the pillows.
Why don't you ever take up for me?
Why don't you ever help me
straighten that boy out?
Caroline doesn't even look up. She threads a needle and
begins to sew. Whilst Dwight paces around the room.
All he does is read or listen to
records or sing.
84 CONTINUED: (2) 84
(he sings five seconds
of a grotesque
I'm so sick of that shit! And
when he isn't singing, he's
And don't say you don't 'cause
when I come home I always put my
hand on top of it to see if it's
warm, and it always is. This is
the news, kid -- I'm wise to you.
Oh, big, big deal, who cares, and
as long as we're passing out news
here, I don't want to do my paper
I bet you don't -- big lazy candy
hog like you'd rather lay on his
ass and read, wouldn't you?
Let me tell you something: you're
gonna deliver those papers if I
have to walk behind you with a
horsewhip ever' step of the way.
Then give me the money I earn!
Hell, no. I'm putting that in the
bank for you for when you really
need it -- cuss me now, thank me
Mom, won't you at least make him
let me have the shoes for gym?
How can I play basketball without
gym shoes? I'm the only one who --
Toby stops suddenly. He looks at Dwight for a beat or
two, and then speaks in a different tone:
It's not the shoes, is it? Or the
candy. It's me, isn't it? You
just can't stand the fact of me.
Dwight glances at Caroline, who still looks at her
84 CONTINUED: (3) 84
I, well, no, it's not that -- I
just want you to be well-behaved.
Your rich daddy 'Duke' doesn't
care anything about you, and so
somebody's got to train you, and
one of the things you've gotta be
trained about is not to be a hog
and eat everybody's candy like a --
Dwight stops short as Caroline says one word.
Dwight and Toby glance at each other nervously. What
(her eyes still on
her sewing; soft)
What's the matter, honey?
Are you sick, Mom? Don't you feel good?
A furious Caroline raises her head, doubles up both
fists, and yells.
I. Will. Not. Referee.
Jack, I think you've made your
mother nervous, so why don't we
just go on to Scouts and let her
You lay down and rest awhile.
Dwight and Toby grab their caps and hotfoot it out the
85 INT. SCOUT MEETING - NIGHT 85
Father and son photographs are being taken. Dwight is
the only father who wears a complete uniform and cap.
When Dwight and Toby's turn comes, Dwight puts on a big
smile and throws an arm around Toby's shoulder.
Check for the tongue tonight --
you forgot it last week.
Otherwise you won't get your
85A SAME SCENE - LATER 85A
Six boys are lying on the floor pretending unconscious-
ness. Six other boys, Toby among them, are going through
several life-saving steps such as turning the bodies
over, checking for pulses, etc.
The BOY on whom Toby is working is a heavy, pimple-faced
Toby checks if the Boy's breathing is obstructed.
Gingerly, he tugs on the Boy's chin, starting to open the
Suddenly the Boy opens his mouth wide, exposing a half-
chewed mass of cheese n' crackers. Toby gives the lout
a knee in the ribs.
Bastard. Swallow that.
Give my pud a big squeeze while
you're at it, why don't you?
Toby and the life-savers on either side of him laugh a
86 EXT. SCOUT HALL - NIGHT 86
As Toby kneels down to tie his shoelace, a small black
dog runs up to him. Toby pets it. Arthur Gayle, his
black eye healed, stands ten feet away.
You like my dog?
Yeah, he's nice.
86 CONTINUED: 86
Smart, too -- he can talk.
Sure -- I just about believe you.
Hey, Pepper -- what's on a tree?
As PEPPER BARKS TWICE:
Bark! Way to go, Pepper -- pretty
smart. Oh, I was wondering,
Pepper -- I wanted to ask you
something: how's the world
As PEPPER BARKS ONCE:
Rough! Yeah, I know what you
That's dumb. A little funny,
though. How come your dad never
comes to meetings with you?
I don't have a dad. Never did. I
sprang full-blown from my mother's
forehead. You want to walk home
with me and Pepper?
Sure -- compared to a ride home
with Dwight, it'll be like heaven
on a June day.
87 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT 87
Toby and Arthur are eating ice cream cones and smoking
cigarettes at the same time. They walk slowly,
desultorily. Though still effeminate, Arthur has dropped
much of the flounciness that he uses in public.
... Tobias? Your real name is
Tobias? Toby... Tobias... I like
it -- it's very elegant.
87 CONTINUED: 87
My real parents would probably have
given me an elegant name, too.
I say 'real parents' because I
suspect I'm a foundling. Somebody
royal -- or at least very, very
beautiful had me and gave me to
my poor but honest mother.
Tell me more about you.
Every day of my life feels like
a mile on the Bataan Death March.
I knew I'd like you.
Why'd you point at me that day?
Because you're an alien. You don't
belong in Concrete any more than I
do. This place would like to kill
us because we're different.
Oh, come on, Arthur. That's a
Think so? You know what chickens
do if one chicken's born with a
little difference? With a few
black feathers on its head, say?
They peck at the black spot 'til
the chicken's dead -- they can't
stand the fact that it's
different. Now we're both
different. Your difference is
something other than...
... my difference...
But we're both aliens here.
I don't exactly feel like an
alien. I've got friends here.
87 CONTINUED: (2) 87
Yes, and they're fools. And you
act like a fool when you're around
them. A prediction: if you stay
in Concrete, you'll wind up working
at the A&P -- either that or you'll
go on a rampage with a hunting rifle.
Yeah, and you'll wind up a recluse
that everybody says likes to dress
up in his mama's old clothes.
Maybe, maybe, but no matter how
many times I have to repeat: my
primary goal's to get out of
Arthur and Toby laugh. As they walk on, though, Toby's
face is thoughtful.
88 INT. SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - NIGHT 88
Toby and ten other boys are practicing lay-ups. All the
boys, Toby included, wear basketball uniforms. All the
other boys wear gym shoes. Toby is barefooted. He is
however, a smooth, skillful player.
89 EXT. EDGE OF TOWN - AFTERNOON 89
Toby tosses his last newspaper into a yard, folds his
sack, and stands wearily for a few beats.
90 INT. UTILITY PORCH - EARLY EVENING 90
A large, ugly DOG next to the box of baseball bats and
gloves GROWLS and snaps at Toby as he goes past.
91 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - EARLY EVENING 91
As Toby enters the room, Norma exits, wearing theatrical
makeup and a gypsy costume. Behind her, drink in hand,
sits Dwight, wearing a suit and tie, watching the
TELEVISION NEWS with the SOUND VERY LOW.
Whose dog is that on the porch?
91 CONTINUED: 91
You said you wanted a dog.
A collie, though. Not this one.
Well, he's yours. You paid for him.
Go get ready for Norma's play.
What d'you mean I paid for him?
But Dwight doesn't answer. Toby waits, then shrugs and
leaves the room.
92 INT. SKIPPER AND TOBY'S ROOM - AFTERNOON 92
Toby gets out his book of Indian signs. He reaches up
for his rifle, but it is gone.
93 INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON 93
Toby walks in, Dwight is petting the dog.
My Winchester's gone.
(eyes never leaving
This dog is pure-bred Weimaraner.
I don't want it.
Well, you're purely out of luck,
aren't you, 'cause that rifle's
on its way to Seattle.
I want my rifle!
93 CONTINUED: 93
Well, want in one hand and shit in
the other -- see which gets full
But, Dwight, that Winchester was
And Champ's your dog. Jesus, I
trade some old piece of crap for
a valuable hunting dog, and all
you can do is piss and moan.
I'm not pissing and moaning.
The hell you aren't. You can just
make your own deals from now on.
94 EXT. HOUSE - AFTERNOON 94
Toby sits on the front stoop. Caroline approaches
carrying groceries. She notices Toby's expression.
Dwight traded my rifle for a dog.
He says the dog's for me, but it's
some stupid dog he wanted.
For a moment Caroline doesn't respond. Then she nods her
All right. Okay, Dwight. You
stay here. Don't come inside.
Toby nods. Caroline heads inside, loaded for bear.
95 INT. KITCHEN - AFTERNOON 95
Norma, dressed up for her play, and Pearl are setting the
table. Dwight is fixing himself another drink. Caroline
enters, puts down the groceries, and goes to the dish
cabinet. Calmly, in total control, she takes a PLATE and
SMASHES it against the countertop.
95 CONTINUED: 95
Get his rifle back.
But that dog's a champion!
Caroline calmly SMASHES another PLATE on the countertop.
Get his rifle back.
Am I supposed to go clear to
Seattle just to get...
Before he finishes the sentence, Caroline SMASHES a GLASS
on the countertop.
Get his rifle back.
Jesus Christ, woman, I don't even
know the guy's last name.
Caroline picks up a bowl.
All right, all right. The guy's
supposed to send the A.K.C. papers.
When he sends 'em, I'll know his
name and address, and I'll go get
the god-damn rifle back. Jesus.
Caroline exits leaving Dwight, Norma, and Pearl with
their mouths open.
96 EXT. HOUSE - EVENING 96
Caroline walks to Toby, sits next to him on the stoop.
Well, I did it -- and the bride
didn't even raise her voice: he
says he'll get the rifle back as
soon as the guy who sold him the
dog sends the papers.
Toby nods. Caroline looks up at the evening sky and then
96 CONTINUED: 96
'Course, having seen that dog, I
wouldn't suggest you hang by your
thumbs 'til those papers come. I
mean, that dog is ugly.
Toby gives her a dirty look, but Caroline's smile makes
That's nice -- I haven't seen a
real smile out of you in a month.
Oh, Mom, can't we leave here? I
hate it so much. You don't like
it either -- all you do is stick
your head in a sewing machine
night and day. Let's just leave
and start over someplace else.
'Start over.' Do you know how
many times I've started over,
sweetheart? I don't want to do
it anymore. This is as far as I
want to go. This place. I have
to make this work somehow. We do.
You're fourteen now -- you have
to help me.
But me no buts, honey. I told
you: I've hit a wall. And
besides, it's not so bad here,
if you just try to --
If you say 'look for the good
stuff,' I'm gonna get Dwight's
30/30 and shoot myself!
Seriously, though: give the place
a chance. Give him a chance.
Great. Just great. What a life:
I gotta live with Dwight... I got
a sissy for a new best friend...
96 CONTINUED: (2) 96
I got no rifle... I got no gym
Well, look on the bright side...
You got a dog.
In spite of his disappointment over the rifle, in spite
of all that Caroline had said about staying with Dwight,
Toby is happy to see Caroline completely back to her old
self again, joking with him. He grins and, with the palm
of his hand, he gives her shoulder a gentle shove. She
returns the gesture. And the two of them sit on the
steps, staring into the twilight.
97 INT. ARTHUR GAYLE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY 97
Arthur is playing the piano. He and Toby sing an old song
called "I Wandered Today To the Hill, Maggie." Both of
them are enjoying it. As they finish the song, Arthur
says a dry "Will you be able to use your musical
abilities at the A&P?" Toby laughs and gives him a hard
elbow in the ribs.
98 INT. TOBY'S ROOM - NIGHT 98
Toby is using a nail clipper over a wastebasket when he
He looks up just in time to see a flashlight fly through
the air toward him. He catches it. Dwight stands in
If you can tear yourself away from
your pedicure, I want you to fetch
me some of that paint from the
Dwight switches the room light off.
Is now too soon.
99 INT. DWIGHT'S ATTIC 99
Dwight and Toby are looking for something. They both
shine flashlights around the dark attic, illuminating
old magazines, dolls, etc. Dwight says, "I know I put
'em up here somewhere." Then Toby's flashlight lands
on the unusual tub with the four blue stars which had
held the beaver. Forgotten all this time, the beaver
has transmogrified into a weird, two-foot high pile of
what looks like cotton candy. And, hideously enough,
the cloud-like stuff is still in the shape of the beaver.
Then Dwight says, "Shit -- the roof must've leaked on
'em." Toby turns to where Dwight shines his flashlight
on the ten boxes of chestnuts.
Also forgotten, the chestnuts are covered with mold,
too -- but a different kind: this is wet, slick-looking
stuff that rises off the chestnuts like dough in a
breadpan. A spasm of rage crosses Toby's face, and he
turns and bangs out of the attic.
100 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (LATER) 100
A drink in one hand, idly fondling Champ's ears with the
other, Dwight is watching the NEWS.
On the TELEVISION we see a distraught Lana Turner and
her daughter, Cheryl Crane, as the teenaged girl is
led into a tall building. While we see this, and then
a photograph of a stockily handsome Italian man, we hear:
... Cheryl Crane, daughter of Lana
Turner, was held for questioning
today in the stabbing death of
Johnny Stompanato, Miss Turner's
companion. A spokesman for Miss
Turner said today that the
stabbing was an accident, and that
Miss Turner's daughter will not
spend even one night in jail for
what the spokesman called a
Suddenly aware of another presence in the room, Dwight
turns and sees Toby, who is standing in the doorway,
also listening to the NEWSCAST. Toby is not watching
the television, though, he is staring fixedly at
Dwight reacts then glances back at the set, where the
Stompanato murder story continues. He turns slowly back
to Toby, whose eyes are still locked onto his face. The
SOUND on the TV FADES.
101 INT. GYMNASIUM - NIGHT 101
A WHISTLE FADES UP.
Toby's basketball game against the Van Horn team is
starting. Alone among all the other players, Toby wears
his street shoes. Heavy squarish brogans, they CLOMP,
and THUD as Toby runs up and down the court.
The leather soles slip like skates on the highly-polished
floor, and Toby falls repeatedly. At first the crowd is
silent, collectively embarrassed at the boy wearing these
strange shoes. Then Toby takes a particularly hard fall,
and somebody laughs. The crowd in general takes it up,
and soon there is GENERAL LAUGHTER whenever Toby's shoes
SQUEAL particularly loudly, or whenever the shoes trip
him up or cause another boy to stumble.
Soon one WOMAN'S HIGH-PITCHED LAUGH DOMINATES the
gymnasium. The laugh is hideous, shrill and mindless,
like some ringer planted in the audience of a situation
Toby sees Norma necking with some guy and is horrified.
Toby slips and slides, falls and rises. All the while
his expression is hard as stone: he will get through
this or die. And, like a mantra, he mutters one phrase
over and over: "gotta get out, gotta get out, gotta get
out, gotta get out." Finally he makes a basket. One
VOICE from the audience YELLS out "Okay, kid -- way
to go!" and then two or three people APPLAUD. Instants
later, Toby catches a rebound and makes another basket.
The fickle crowd decides to love an underdog and APPLAUDS
heartily for the boy in the funny shoes. But Toby's
expression never changes.
102 INT. DWIGHT'S GARAGE - SAME NIGHT (VERY LATE) 102
The Buick, rolls silently down the driveway pushed by a
straining but cautious Toby. Champ runs into the street,
Toby tries to shoo him away. The DOG BARKS ONCE, and
Toby quickly opens the car door and lets him in, STARTING
103 INT. BUICK - LATE NIGHT 103
Toby drives fast leaving Concrete behind. He turns the
RADIO ON, and a VOICE bawls out "Oh, Maybelline," Toby
turns the VOLUME UP, turns it UP AGAIN, so that the MUSIC
is DISTORTED. Toby begins to accelerate. The needle
creeps past ninety, and hovers close to one hundred.
103 CONTINUED: 103
Trees flash past in the headlights, occasional cars are
overtaken and passed in an instant. Toby starts laughing
hysterically and sings loudly along with the THROBBING
The Buick begins to shudder and wobble -- Toby hits the
brakes but the Buick spins and goes sideways into the
104 EXT. BUICK - LATE NIGHT 104
The car is caught so that two of the wheels are off the
ground, and can get no purchase. Toby starts walking
back toward Concrete.
105 EXT. ROAD - LATE NIGHT 105
Toby and Champ have been walking a long time. A truck
comes from behind Toby, pulls over.
That your car in the ditch back
(as Toby nods)
How'd you do that, anyway?
It's hard to explain.
106 EXT. BUICK - VERY LATE NIGHT 106
The man is winching the Buick out of the ditch.
107 EXT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S HOUSE - DAWN 107
Toby silently closes the garage door, the Buick
inside and heads for the house.
107A SKIPPER AND TOBY'S ROOM - NOON 107A
The clock shows noon. Toby is in bed reading Boy's Life,
holding a sandwich and trying to stay awake. Suddenly
Dwight appears. Dwight puts his hands into his pockets,
leans against the doorway.
107A CONTINUED: 107A
Your mother said you were sick.
Yeah, I am.
Good, good. Get some sleep, did
Yeah, I slept about four hours.
Must've needed it.
Oh, by the way, you didn't happen
to hear a funny pinging noise in
the engine, did you?
I was downtown with Champ a few
minutes ago, and I met a guy who
recognized him. Said he'd seen
my dog this very morning. Told me
an interesting story of how he and
the dog happened to meet. What
d'you think about that?
I don't know what you --
Suddenly Dwight is across the floor and onto the bed.
He straddles Toby and slaps him across the face with the
left hand then the right, again and again.
Toby holds a forearm protectively across his face.
Dwight holds both Toby's hands with one of his and, slaps
the boy's face again and again.
Finally Toby manages to get his right hand loose. He
slams his forearm across Dwight's throat.
Dwight rears back, choking and gagging. Toby throws off
the covers and tries to run. Still choking, Dwight
grabs the back of Toby's hair and forces the boy's face
down against the mattress.
107A CONTINUED: (2) 107A
Then he doubles up his fist and slams it into the back
of Toby's neck. Toby goes rigid with pain. Dwight
stumbles up gasping for breath.
Only me. On this whole earth, to
straighten you out. And I will do
it kill or cure. Now get your ass
up -- you're going to school.
108 EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - NOON 108
A BELL RINGS as Dwight's BUICK SCREECHES to a stop and
Toby gets out. As he heads toward the doors. Toby then
turns to stare at Dwight's car. They lock eyes, then
Dwight smirks and pulls away. Toby watches the car
disappear, then spins around and walks into the school.
FADE UP TO:
108A SAME SCENE - AFTERNOON 108A
The CAMERA is in the EXACT SAME SPOT.
The school seems a bit seedier, and two newly-planted
saplings established in the previous scene are both eight
feet taller, with wide spreading branches.
Students pour out the door. Among them Toby, taller and
a bit heavier, he now wears black leather boots, and a
pack of cigarettes rolled into the sleeve of his T-shirt.
His hair is still pure Elvis.
Toby comes back out the door with four very different
friends. CHUCK BOLGER, the most reasonable-looking of
Toby's companions, is the son of a minister. A second
boy, known as PSYCHO, is a hulking boy with a tendency
toward sadism. JERRY HUFF is handsome in a pouty, heavy-
lidded way. His Elvis pompadour is even higher than
Toby's. ARCH COOK is an amiable simpleton who sometimes
talks to himself or laughs for no reason.
Toby and his four friends pile into Chuck Bolger's '53
CHEVY, and they PEEL OUT.
109 INT. CHUCK BOLGER'S CAR - NOON 109
As the car barrels through downtown Concrete, we see a
movie marquee reading...
109 CONTINUED: 109
... The Apartment, and a five foot poster that says,
"ELECT JOHN KENNEDY, 1960."
In the back seat, Psycho pours vodka into a half empty
can of Hawaiian punch, then takes a huge swig.
Ag-Hhh! Gorilla blood.
Oh, Psycho, shut up.
Oh, look -- there goes Carol
Baumgarten. Ain't she sweet?
She's hot for Wolff.
Won't do her any good, though --
Jack's saving himself for Rhea
Knock it off.
You know what he said about Rhea?
Said even the inside of her arm
turned him on. You slay me,
Wolff. She is pretty though.
(after a pause;
I'd sure like to eat Rhea Clark's
There is general laughter, mixed with groans.
JERRY PSYCHO CHUCK
God, here we Eatin' pussy Jesus, give it
go again. is all that a rest, Arch.
No, I mean it. I'd like to get
down and really grovel on it.
Spend about a week with my face
right in it.
109 CONTINUED: (2) 109
There is a pause while all the boys dwell on this thought.
It sounds good to them.
110 EXT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 110
Chuck Bolger's CAR SCREECHES to a halt, and Toby exits,
followed by an empty Hawaiian Punch can which someone
tosses after him. Toby gives a wave, starts toward the
house, and the CAR LAYS RUBBER, while OVER that we hear
Psycho SCREAMING, "AGH-H-H!"
111 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON 111
Pearl is setting the table and singing the Everly
Brothers hit, "Bye, Bye, Love." The passage of two years
has improved Pearl. Her bald spot has grown back in, and
she has learned to fix her hair and use makeup. She smiles
and nods to Toby, never stopping her singing for a moment.
Toby stands next to her and sings harmony for a few notes.
It is clear that their relationship has improved. Toby
Still singing, Pearl points to the living room.
112 INT. LIVING ROOM - EARLY EVENING 112
Caroline is watching a newscast of John Kennedy and Harry
Truman at a press conference outside Truman's Missouri
office. She hears Toby, turns to him.
We see that the last two years have marked her. She's
changed. Her expression is fixed, almost as if she were
wearing a mask. Even the words are cheerful, but some of
the old optimism is gone.
Oh, honey, good news -- Truman's
going to campaign for him.
(lowers her voice)
I gave twenty-five dollars to his
campaign office today. I've been
thinking I'd like to work...
She is interrupted by Dwight's voice O.S.
112 CONTINUED: 112
Here I am, you lucky people!
Toby and Caroline exchange a glance. It speaks volumes.
113 INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT 113
Dwight, Caroline, Toby and Pearl sit at the table, eat-
ing. Champ sits by Dwight's chair -- obviously his dog.
Dwight seems unchanged by the two years.
Just now, Dwight is in the middle of telling another of
his "Dwight Is The Best" stories. From the bored faces
around the table, this is another in a long series.
... So the S.O.B. had been on my
back for a week at work, okay?
Sayin' I stole his wrench, an'
poured oil all over his tools, as
if! Anyway, he went just one step
too far with old Dwight, okay?
Spat on the floor as I walked by.
I turned around and walked back
to him, acting so dainty and
humble and scared, you know, all
innocent -- and the minute he took
his eyes off me, BLAM, I dry
gulched him! I shut his water off
good! Never gave me another
second's grief to this very day.
There is a pause. One more story. Nobody has much of a
I heard Kennedy on the news again
tonight -- I don't know: I hate
the Democrats and the Republicans,
but then once in a while somebody
comes along who doesn't seem
... a liar.
Kennedy -- the senator from Rome.
He gives me hope.
I know what he gives you, and it
sure as hell isn't hope.
113 CONTINUED: 113
It's true he is attractive! And
it may just be those white teeth
that I respond to. But I don't
I'm going to work for his campaign.
No. Too many Republicans in this
town. They hear my wife's working
for the Democrats, they'll take
their cars someplace else to be
fixed. Bad idea. No.
There is a brief silence. Suddenly Caroline leans across
the table and speaks to Dwight in a loud, exaggerated
(louder; same whine)
Oh, Ricky-y-y! Please let me
come down and work at the club!
What the hell are you doing?
Well, you treat me like Lucy,
I'll act like her. I'll be
working for Kennedy's campaign.
114 INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME NIGHT (LATER) 114
The four of them are watching "The Untouchables." We
watch as a frightened man speaks to Al Capone, who sits
behind a large desk.
FRIGHTENED MAN (V.O.)
... please, Mr. Capone, it'll never
happen again, I swear it. It was
an accident. I can promise you
faithfully it won't be repeated.
Finally Al Capone speaks. He leans across his desk, bugs
out his eyes, and hisses:
114 CONTINUED: 114
AL CAPONE (V.O.)
Why don't you take a little ride
The man's eyes bulge with fear, and he cries, "No! No!"
as two men escort him out the door.
In the next shot we see a long black car parked on a
country road, and we hear a SHOT.
115 INT. BATHROOM - SAME NIGHT (LATER) 115
Toby is brushing his teeth when Dwight enters.
I'll be through in a minute.
Dwight looks around.
You left the lid off the damn
(not looking at him)
Oh, Dwight, is that the best you
can come up with?
Angered, but keeping his voice low. He pushes Toby's
This is my bathroom, and I say
about the toothpaste, got it?
Huh? Have you? Huh? Now if you
lived with your daddy Duke and
his rich wife, maybe things'd be
different, but he's not here now,
(high, flutey voice)
Oh, Duke? Duke, are you here?
Dukie? Oh, how sad -- Duke's not
here. Oh, boo hoo!
My bathroom. I get to say. Got
Still Toby doesn't respond -- Dwight reaches out and
pinches the skin on Toby's waist, hard. Toby still
doesn't respond, when Dwight begins to twist it. Toby
spins around, eyes blazing.
115 CONTINUED: 115
Come on. Oh, come on. Give me
Toby hesitates, then leaves the bathroom, humiliated.
116 INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT 116
Toby exits the bathroom, then sees Caroline in a doorway.
She's heard it all. They look intently at each other.
Toby nods and walks on down the hall.
117 INT. TOBY'S ROOM - INSTANTS LATER 117
Furious, Toby throws himself onto the bed, and snaps on
a reading light.
(Behind him, the wall is now completely papered with
the front pages of the Scout magazine, so that we see
the words BOY'S LIFE BOY'S LIFE BOY'S LIFE BOY'S LIFE
repeated one hundred and twenty times.) Then Toby takes
a slick brochure from under his pillow -- it's a bro-
chure of Princeton. Photographs of beautifully tended
lawns, and students on their way to class. Toby stares
at the photographs, smoothing the pages carefully, long-
ing in his face.
118 INT. SCHOOL BUS - NEXT MORNING 118
Toby bangs onto the bus, throws himself into a seat
beside Arthur. He hands a grade card to Toby.
You didn't pick this up yesterday
-- congratulations, you got
nothing higher than a C.
He signs the grade card, saying, "Presto."
You're gonna get caught some day.
(as Toby laughs a
You act more like those morons you
hang around with every day. Aghhh!
I'm psycho! I'm retarded!
118 CONTINUED: 118
It's a good imitation of Psycho, and Toby laughs.
He hears you do that, you're
dead. Hey, lemme copy your math
No, but I'll show you how to work
I tell you I'm thirsty, you offer
me a sandwich thank you and fuck
I take it back you don't act like
Psycho, you act like Dwight.
I know it. He's winning. I do
act like him. I feel like him
sometimes. I've gotta get out of
this place or I'm a dead one.
I know, but you've said that for
I mean it. I may go live with my
brother Gregory in Princeton.
You mean the brother Gregory in
Princeton who never calls you?
That brother Gregory?
He wrote me.
And he asked you to live with him?
118 CONTINUED: (2) 118
No. But I'm going. Or maybe I
could go to a prep school like
Gregory did. Like my dad did.
What about your grades? And what
would you use for money?
I don't know. Dwight owes me
over twelve hundred bucks! If I
hadn't let him keep my paper
route money, I'd be okay.
If the dog hadn't stopped to pee,
he'd have caught the rabbit.
Suddenly Toby is angry. He stands up, moves to another
I think Dwight was right about
you I think you fight for the pink
Toby falls into another seat, then, pulls his head back
and bangs it against the window. Then does it again,
119 EXT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - AFTERNOON 119
His mood even fouler, Toby toils at his paper route. He
throws the papers against the houses with all his might.
Suddenly Chuck Bolger's CAR SCREECHES to a stop next to
Toby. We hear Psycho's "Arghhh!" and Toby climbs into
120 EXT. DERELICT CRUSHER PLANT - NIGHT 120
We see the Concrete silo dimly-lit in the distance. We
can read "Welcome To Concrete" on it. Toby is leaning
against a wall in a large derelict Concrete plant staring
at the silo. Behind him is a small campfire where the
other guys are slumped around talking. Toby takes a
long, angry pull on a bottle of whiskey, then turns
around and heads toward them.
120 CONTINUED: 120
Nobody in your family ever even
been in a Corvette, let alone
You wait and see if I don't get
one. I'm gonna move down to
Seattle, get a job at Bendix and
drive a 'Vette to work every day.
My uncle can have any car he
wants. He makes big bucks as an
Yeah? How big?
Hundred seventy-five a week, take
Fuck you, it's true.
Even the supervisors at Bendix
don't make that.
So how are you ever gonna make
enough to drive a 'Vette then,
The others all laugh at Chuck. Toby has reached the
group and stands on the lip of the large wooden platform
that they are on and listens while leaning on a large
I'm gonna drive a T-bird, someday.
An' I'm gonna own a Corvette if I
have to hold up the Bendix payroll
to get it.
120 CONTINUED: (2) 120
Me. I want to eat a big
The others all laugh at him. Toby regards them with a
Losers. What a bunch of losers.
Who you calling a loser,
All of you.
You're gonna drive a Fairlane
just like your daddy does.
How you ever going to drive a
Thunderbird when you're a janitor
like the rest of your family?
An' you can forget being an
electrician, you can't even pass
tenth grade math.
Well fuck you. Who died an' made
you King Shit?
Yeah, you're no better than us.
I know that, Psycho. That's my
point: Ha, ha, ha. You guys are
my buddies. You guys are my pals.
And my dear old dad's called
(he spreads his
Welcome to Concreeee...
Toby topples over and falls down a bank of rubble. The
other burst out laughing and hooting. The CAMERA MOVES
off them and CRANES DOWN to a spread-eagled Toby's face.
The LAUGHTER ECHOES around the building. Toby begins to
laugh, but it soon turns to bitter tears.
121 OMITTED 121
122 INT. KENNEDY CAMPAIGN OFFICE - DAY 122
Toby enters the small office where Caroline is running
hundreds of flyers on a duplicating machine. Surprised
she sees Toby's expression.
What is it?
I called Gregory at Princeton.
(as Caroline reacts)
He's sending me applications for
prep schools. I need you to
take me to Seattle to take some
Would a prep school take you
with, uh, your school record?
I've got to get out of here, Mom.
I've got to. I've got to get
When are the tests?
You'll be there.
He won't let you have the Buick.
You'll be there!
123 EXT. LAKESIDE SCHOOL IN SEATTLE - DAY 123
Graceful buildings, green lawns, a CARILLON CHIMING.
Toby walks toward a large building.
124 INT./EXT. TESTING ROOM - DAY 124
Twenty-three boys and Toby stand waiting restlessly for
the tests to begin. Toby looks very different from the
other intelligent looking, well-bred boys in his Elvis
124A SAME SCENE - LATER 124A
All the boys are taking the test, working hard.
125 INT. DWIGHT'S BUICK - LATE AFTERNOON 125
Caroline turns as Toby gets into the car.
How was it?
Hard. I think I did okay. I'll
126 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S KITCHEN - EVENING 126
Dwight sits at the table, a drink in his hand. Caroline
hurriedly prepares dinner. She tosses a milk carton into
a brimming waste basket, then speaks to Toby, who enters
Take that trash out for me,
Toby grabs the trash and exits.
127 EXT. REAR OF DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S HOUSE - EVENING 127
Toby opens a metal trash can, dumps the trash, puts the
lid back on, and then hesitates. He lifts the lid again
and peers into the trash can, almost hidden, are the tips
of four white envelopes made of heavy, expensive paper.
He pulls them up and, though covered with tomato seeds,
128 INT. KITCHEN - EVENING 128
Toby walks in, fans out the four envelopes, speaks to
My application forms must've come
today, and he threw them away.
Hey, I thought I was helping
him -- thought I'd save him some
trouble 'cause he's got no chance
of getting into some fancy prep
You've always got your nose
pressed up against the bake shop
window, don't you, Dwight?
You feel like everybody else is
inside, and you're stuck on the
outside. It turns you mean. It
turns you ugly. And one day do
you hear me, Dwight? One day all
that ugliness is going to snap
back and hit you in the face.
128 CONTINUED: 128
Ooooooh, oh, I'm so scared. Oooh.
129 INT. TOBY'S BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT 129
Toby has the applications open in front of him. We
see the words "Official Transcript Required" on one
application. On another we see spaces for the ap-
plicant to list "Community Services" and "Athletic
Achievements" and "Foreign Travel" and "Languages." Toby
looks despairingly at the forms.
130 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - MORNING 130
Between classes, Toby and Arthur are at a row of lockers.
I won't do it.
But why? You work right in the
office -- nobody'll ever know.
I'm surprised you'd want help from
anybody who fights for the pink
I'm asking you to help me, man.
I got word yesterday that I did
really well on those tests -- but
that's not enough. I've got to
cheat and lie -- but I don't care:
this is my one chance to get out
No. Why should you get to be the
one? Why not me?
131 INT. SCHOOL WORKSHOP - DAY 131
Toby is working with a table saw. Suddenly a two-inch-
thick manilla envelope plops down beside him. He looks
up to see Arthur standing beside him. Glancing around to
see that he's unobserved, he checks the contents of the
envelope: we see school stationery, blank transcript
forms, and a stack of official envelopes. Toby closes
his eyes. He's saved.
131 CONTINUED: 131
You could leave too, you know.
No, I've grown progressively fond
of Concrete. I think I'll stay
here all alone and dress up in my
mama's old clothes sometimes --
like you said.
Arthur turns and swishes away. Toby pats the manilla
envelope, turns back to the saw. Suddenly he jerks,
looks down, and sees that the ring finger of his left
hand is spurting blood. Toby says a mild, astonished
"Hey," and sinks to his knees.
132 INT. TYPING LAB - SAME DAY (AFTERNOON) 132
With his hand bandaged Toby sits at a typewriter with
a blank transcript. He carefully types "TOBIAS WOLFF."
Then, he begins to type the letter "A" in every slot for
133 EXT. STREET - EVENING 133
Toby mails five letters.
134 INT. TOBY'S BEDROOM - DAY 134
Toby lies in bed reading the paper. He still holds his
hand in the air (the white bandage is now dingy).
Caroline appears in the doorway.
Come help me stuff envelopes.
I'll do some this afternoon.
No, I need to take them with me.
I'll be in in a minute. Let me
finish this article.
134 CONTINUED: 134
Boy, you irritate me.
I think maybe you ought to...
Yeah -- I think maybe you should
... TAKE A LITTLE RIDE WITH
Toby laughs, and gets up to help her.
135 EXT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING 135
Toby starts up the sideway, Pearl exits the house with
several letters in her hand.
'You got letters from those
Toby grabs them as if they were the very stuff of life.
Pearl stands expectantly. Toby notices her, then walks
off holding the letters to his chest.
136 EXT. FIELD - EARLY EVENING 136
Three letters lie crumpled on the ground. Toby sits with
his back against a tree trunk. Slowly Toby opens the
fourth letter. Another refusal. Toby tosses it onto
the ground with the others, leans his head back against
the tree trunk, and closes his eyes.
137 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 137
Dwight, Caroline and Toby read the papers. Caroline
notices Toby's sad face.
Maybe that last school will
Yeah, or maybe he'll get a
contract in the mail asking him
to be a singing star on T.V.
(on Caroline's look)
Well, he's got about as much
chance of one as of the other.
Toby gets up and leaves.
138 EXT. CONCRETE - SAME NIGHT 138
A beauty shop with a tired sign... "ARLENE'S GOLDEN COMB
BEAUTY SALON," a beer joint, a pool hall, a woman's
clothing store with headless mannequins.
Toby surveys the scene, with an expression of despair.
Toby catches his reflection in a store window. He
stares at himself.
A Concrete boy.
139 INT. A&P GROCERY STORE - EVENING 139
Toby, wearing khakis, a shirt and a tie stands before
the store manager.
We only take boys who really want
to work hard. Is that you?
(as Toby nods)
I'd want you to start evenings
now, and I'd want you all summer
-- no vacations.
(as Toby nods)
Food service work isn't easy.
It's not something that comes to
you in a year or two. So. You
think you have what it takes to
be an A&P management trainee?
That's exactly what I've got.
139A SAME SCENE - LATER 139A
Toby now wears a regulation black bow tie and an apron.
An employee is showing him how to price, stamp, and stack
canned goods. Toby's face is expressionless.
140 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S LIVING ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 140
Dwight is listening to a PERRY COMO ALBUM. Caroline and
Pearl work on a jigsaw puzzle. Toby enters the kitchen,
coming from his paper route. He puts down his paper sack
and immediately puts on his black bow tie, preparing to
go to the A&P.
140 CONTINUED: 140
I can't find where this green piece
goes -- it's gotta be grass.
Dwight sighs with irritation at the interruption of his
listening pleasure, and turns UP the VOLUME on the record.
Don't go off without eating.
I'll get a sandwich after work.
Exasperated that conversation is continuing when he's
trying to listen, Dwight reaches over, presses his hand
down on the arm of the record player, then SCRAPES it
back and forth on the record. It's a violent action, and
it makes a GROTESQUE SOUND. The NEEDLE BOUNCES around
on the scarred record. As the three of them stare at
him, Dwight speaks calmly:
I was trying to listen to a
Dwight rises, walks outside into the back yard. Then
the TELEPHONE RINGS. Pearl answers it, listens, then
"Yeah, he's here,"
She holds the receiver out to Toby, whispering, "Are
Hello? All right. Tomorrow, then.
Toby hangs up, turns to Caroline, quietly:
It's Hill School -- the last one
I applied to. They haven't
accepted me, but they're sending
somebody up to interview me.
Caroline upsets the puzzle getting up to hug Toby.
141 INT. DRUGSTORE - AFTERNOON 141
Toby is sitting in a booth with MR. HOWARD, a man in his
Toby has made a real attempt to look good. His hair is
modified, and he wears a tie and a suit.
... Yeah, I enjoy my classes,
especially the ones that are
advanced, but I've been feeling
a little restless lately. It's
hard to explain.
Well, you're probably bored. Not
being challenged. Your application
was very good, Toby, but we have
many boys who want to go to Hill.
Not everybody is comfortable at a
I think I would be. My father
and brother went to prep schools.
Is that right? Where?
Deerfield and Choate.
Mr. Howard is impressed.
I see. Well, maybe you'd like it.
Hill was difficult for me, though
-- classes were hard, and the boys
seemed cold -- interested in money
and social position.
And I hated those snowy
Pennsylvania winters! But then
in my last year, something changed.
The guys in my class grew close,
so close that I still think of
them as a second family.
I want that. I do, and --
141 CONTINUED: 141
He stops talking as we hear, O.S., "AG-H-H-H!" Psycho and
Arch have entered the drugstore. Toby's back is to the
door, and he slouches deeper into the booth, praying that
he won't be seen.
Arch and Psycho buy cigarettes.
... so she said, 'No, I don't want
you to do that,' and I said 'Oh,
baby, let me get down and grovel
on it.' I mean, I ate her pussy
'til my tongue was calloused, and
Arch moves toward the back of the store toward the area
where Toby sits. Toby inches down a bit farther into the
booth. Arch stops at a sunglass rack five feet from Toby
and tries on a couple of pairs.
... so anyway, she went off like a
Roman candle -- I mean that woman
can scream. I said, 'You liked
that, didn't you, baby?' I said,
'You liked the old Arch Cook
special, didn't you?'
Arch decides to let the sunglasses go. He and Psycho
move toward the front of the store, he talks about pussy.
Toby, boys at Hill talk roughly
sometimes too -- you'd have to
be ready for that. I can see
you've had sort of a sheltered
Toby nods his head.
142 EXT. DRUGSTORE - AFTERNOON 142
Mr. Howard shakes Toby's hand.
You seem like a fine boy, and
I'll give you a good report
tomorrow. But there are lots of
boys applying, and we'll just
have to wait and see whether --
From O.S., we hear Dwight's voice, and Toby goes rigid.
142 CONTINUED: 142
Ohh, it's the Hotshot Boy.
Both Mr. Howard and Toby turn to see Dwight, wearing
his coveralls, ten feet away.
Yeah, it's the guy who thinks he
knows everything. Thinks he's so
smart, but fella, what you don't
know would fill a book.
(glances at Mr.
General Motors makes shit cars.
Dwight turns and enters the drugstore.
That's, uh, that's this guy...
he's a mechanic... did some bad
work on our car...
It's not much of an explanation, but Mr. Howard seems to
buy it. He says goodbye to Toby, gets into his car,
drives away. Toby stares after him.
143 INT. A & P GROCERY STORE - NIGHT 143
A few weeks have passed. Toby (his Elvis hairdo further
modified) again prices and stacks food. His face is
serious, his manner industrious.
144 INT. DWIGHT AND CAROLINE'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON 144
Toby walks in; his Elvis hair disappearing. Pearl, who
is boiling hot dogs, turns:
I know something'll make you feel
good: that man called -- you got
Toby grits his teeth and clenches both fists victoriously.
144 CONTINUED: 144
He said they're gonna give you two
thousand three hundred dollars a
year and it costs two thousand
five hundred dollars... so you
gotta come up with the other two
hundred. Great, huh?
I'm making hot dogs -- I'll make
one for you. Can you put mustard
on some bread for us?
Toby gets a jar of mustard from a cupboard, but it's
empty, so he tosses it on top of the trash can, gets a
new jar and starts to open it.
What're you doing home so earl...
Oh! Toby he got that scholarship
-- two thousand and three hundred
Dwight makes himself a drink, takes two large swallows,
then turns to Toby.
Hey, leopard. I say, 'Hey,
leopard.' I know you, leopard --
I can see those spots you can't
Thinks he can go to some fancy
prep school and fool everybody.
Not a chance. I know a thing or
two about a thing or two.
Toby won't rise to the bait, and Dwight falls silent, he,
looks around and sees the jar of mustard on top of the
Who threw that away?
Because it was empty.
144 CONTINUED: (2) 144
Dwight retrieves the bottle. There are a few streaks
of mustard under the neck of the bottle. He holds it
close to Toby's face.
Empty? That look empty to you?
It looks empty to me.
It looks empty to me, too.
Dwight pushes the jar against Toby's eye, leaving mustard
stains on the boy's face.
Look again, hotshot. Is it empty?
Toby jerks his head away, not answering. Dwight slams
down the jar of mustard, grabs Toby by the back of the
hair and forces his face down against the mustard jar.
Now. Now, Mr. Big-Time Prep-
School fucker, is it empty?
Toby struggles, but Dwight has the strength of anger:
trying always to protect his throbbing finger, Toby
pulls free and jumps up from the table. Dwight is too
quick for Toby, though: he grabs an even bigger handful
of hair and forces Toby's face down onto the mustard
jar again and again. And again. Each time he asks if
the jar is empty. Finally, Toby gives up.
No, it wasn't empty.
(lets him go)
All right -- clean it out.
His face smeared with mustard, Toby's expression is
murderous. He picks up a knife and scrapes at the mus-
tard, trying to get up under the neck. He manages to
get a few brown and yellow smudges on the knife, which
he transfers to the edge of a plate. Dwight watches.
144 CONTINUED: (3) 144
Now. Was it empty?
Slowly he stands up and faces Dwight.
Dwight slaps Toby across the mouth and the battle is on.
As Pearl stands frozen, Toby lunges at Dwight, they
grapple and stagger around the room. GLASS SHATTERS, the
kitchen table CRASHES over, and their feet STAMP and
SHUFFLE but Toby is a wild man. Even though he has
only one good hand. He lands a blow between Dwight's
eyes that bangs the man back against the wall.
Dwight grabs the pan with the hot water from the hotdogs,
flings it at Toby. Most of it misses. Again they
grapple. Toby manages to throw Dwight down, then grabs a
broom that has fallen to the floor, presses it against
Dwight's throat, using his good hand and one knee.
Dwight's mouth gapes wide, his eyes bulge, and he jerks
himself frantically trying to dislodge Toby, but Toby
hangs on like grim death. Desperate, Dwight grabs Toby's
bandaged hand, bringing it close to his own face, and
bites the stump of Toby's injured finger as hard as he
Toby and Pearl scream simultaneously. Pearl in horror,
Toby in pain. Pearl runs into her bedroom. Toby reels
back in pain, holding his freshly-bleeding hand. Dwight
takes his chance, grabs Toby by the throat, forces him
down onto the floor and begins to choke the boy. Toby's
eyelids begin to flutter. He's losing consciousness.
From out of nowhere a baseball bat hits Dwight flat
across the shoulder blades, knocking the breath out of
him, stunning him momentarily. As he looks up, we see
Caroline, one of the baseball bats from the utility porch
drawn back, aimed at Dwight's head, ready to strike again.
Get away from him or I will kill
Toby manages to stand up, Caroline speaks to both of them.
What is this?
144 CONTINUED: (4) 144
I got the scholarship and he went
nuts. He's crazy, and I'm leaving.
Give me my paper route money, and
you'll never have to see my face
(manages a smile)
That money is gone with the wind.
(as Toby stares)
That's right. I spent it as you
made it. It's gone. Poof.
Toby starts for Dwight again. Caroline grabs him, saying,
"No. No. No," over and over, literally dragging Toby
away from Dwight.
Caroline looks at Dwight.
It's not so much that you're
disappointing -- it's that you're
Oh, fancy, fancy talk -- fancy
talk for a whore. I know a thing
or two about a thing or two. I
got friends in this town that tell
me things, and I found out some man
down at that campaign headquarters
found you a job in Washington, D.C.
Gonna run off with him, aren't
you, Miss Whore?
He's just a friend.
Miss Liar. Miss Whore Liar.
I'm leaving, Mom. You can leave,
too. You don't have to stay here.
144 CONTINUED: (5) 144
Caroline takes three full beats and then her face
changes. She speaks wonderingly:
I don't, do I?
No, you don't.
I could leave with you, couldn't
Yes, you could!
What about me?
I could just walk right out that
door, couldn't I?
Yes, you could!
Caroline takes a deep breath, a weight has been lifted.
My God... the lightness.
What about me?
I'm leaving, too.
Oh, Dwight, why do you want me to
stay? You don't even like me,
You're not leaving!
Look again, Dwight -- I'm already
144 CONTINUED: (6) 144
Dwight makes a terrible noise of frustration and rage,
doubles his fists, and starts toward Caroline.
Immediately Toby grabs the baseball bat and holds it
out, ready to strike, as the two begin to back toward
... you two've always sided in
against me, always thought you
were better than me. I tried. I
did the best I could. What about
me? Am I supposed to just crawl
off in a ditch someplace and die?
I've always been the nigger.
Everybody's nigger. Ever since I
Caroline and Toby are at the door, run across the yard
and down the street. Dwight stands in the doorway,
What about me? When is it ever
Dwight's turn for some
consideration? What about me?
I'll tell you one thing --
you'll remember me!
145 EXT. FIELD - MINUTES LATER 145
Caroline and Toby slow to a walk after running, laughing,
and catch their breaths.
Man, oh man.
Man, oh man, oh man.
Well, we're out.
Great, isn't it?
Yes. It's great. And you got the
145 CONTINUED: 145
Yeah, I'm out! I'm outta here!
Maybe I'll crash and burn, but
it's a chance, so I'm gone! I'm
history, Histoire. Nobody's
gonna tell me what to do now,
nobody. I'm free as a bird.
(yells it; really
bawls it out)
Heaven on a June day!
Caroline's smile becomes fixed during Toby's speech and
she begins to regard him oddly.
Yeah, heaven on a June day...
What'd he say about you having a
job in D.C.?
Oh, Helen found me something in a
real estate office, but...
So now you can go! Oh. Oh! I am
so damn glad to get out of this
place! I'll be in 'fourth form.'
Doesn't that sound great? And if
you get a two-bedroom place in
D.C., I can come for vacations and
summers. I'm out. I'm out!
Caroline's eyes well up, and she lights a cigarette.
(notices she's upset)
What? Oh, don't cry -- he's not
As sad as she is, Caroline smiles...
She holds Toby at arm's length and studies him.
My you've grown, haven't you.
Then clutches him to her fiercely. Smiling, the two
walk on through the sunny afternoon, singing softly to
146 EXT. BUS STATION - DAY 146
Caroline and Toby stand next to a bus as the driver
STARTS the ENGINE. She is close to tears.
Are you sure you'll be all right?
Get on the bus.
(stuffing bills into
I borrowed money from everybody I
know -- it's the two hundred you
need for the tuition, and an extra
fifty. Buy yourself a blazer.
Oh, God. I'll miss you. I'll
write you. You sure your hand's
Get on the bus, Mom.
Caroline puts her arms around Toby, kisses his cheek
hard, then whispers something into his ear. When Toby
speaks, his words are full of love:
I know that, Mom. I've always
Caroline gets onto the bus, the DOORS CLOSE, WHOOSH and
the bus pulls away. We see Caroline's face at a window.
As the bus recedes, Toby turns and walks in another
direction. His face is shining, incandescent with
happiness. He breaks into a wide grin.
This Boy's Life
Writers : Robert Getchell
Genres : Drama