"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"THE BIRDS"

by

Evan Hunter

Based on the novel "Birds"

By

Daphne Du Maurier

FINAL DRAFT 2nd Revision March 2, 1962



FADE IN:

FULL SHOT - GRANT STREET - SAN FRANCISCO - DAY

It is mid-afternoon, and there is a tempo and pace to the
people walking, the doorman HOOTING for taxicabs, the
policemen directing traffic.

PAN SHOT - PEDESTRIANS

waiting at street corner for light to change.

CLOSE SHOT - MAN

at the end of line of pedestrians. He is looking up at the
sky.

TWO SHOT - MAN AND WOMAN NEXT TO HIM

as she follows his gaze upward.

LONG SHOT - THE SKY

with hundreds of gulls in it, wheeling.

MED. SHOT - THE STREET CORNER

as the light changes and people begin to cross. In the crowd
walking the other way, a man turns to look up at the wheeling
gulls in the sky overhead. The CAMERA LOCATES:

MED. SHOT - MELANIE DANIELS

in the crowd of pedestrians, approaching Davidson's Pet Shop.
She is a young woman in her mid-twenties, sleekly groomed,
exquisitely dressed, though hatless. She walks with the quick
sureness of the city dweller, a purposefulness in her stride,
a mischievous grin on her face. She continues toward the
front door of a pet shop and enters.

INT. BIRD SHOP - MED. SHOT

Melanie opens the door and comes through, still looking back
toward the street and skywards. The proprietor, a MRS.
MacGRUDER, comes toward her.

MELANIE
Hello, Mrs. MacGruder, have you ever
seen so many gulls?

MRS. MACGRUDER
Hello, Miss Daniels.

MELANIE
What do you suppose it is?

MED. SHOT

Mrs. MacGruder takes a look out at the sky. A puppy is
BARKING, o.s.

MRS. MACGRUDER
(shaking her head)
There must be a storm at sea. That
can drive them inland, you know.

They are climbing the short flight of steps into the bird
department now. The BARKING of the dog SEGUES into the clamor
of innumerable birds, TWEETING, TWITTERING, CAWING as Melanie
and Mrs. MacGruder go to the counter at the far end. There
is a circular cage in the center of the room, and the walls
are lined with wire-mesh cages and smaller wooden cages so
that the effect is one of being surrounded by birds, contained
birds to be sure. The birds are quite beautiful, mostly exotic
birds, small splashes of color behind the wire-mesh cages,
larger bursts of brilliant hue on the parrots and parakeets
in the bigger cages. As they walk:

MRS. MACGRUDER
I was hoping you'd be a little late,
Miss Daniels.
(apologetically)
You see, he hasn't arrived yet.

MELANIE
You said three o'clock.

MRS. MACGRUDER
I know. Oh, I know.
(she is more distressed
now)
I've been calling all morning. Oh,
you have no idea. Miss Daniels,
they're so difficult to get, really
they are. We get them from India,
you know, when they're just little
chicks, and then we have to...

MELANIE
Well, this one won't be a chick,
will he?

MRS. MACGRUDER
Certainly not. Oh, no. Certainly
not. This will be a full grown myna
bird. Full grown.

MELANIE
And he'll talk?

MRS. MACGRUDER
Well, yes, he'll talk. Well, no, no.
You'll have to teach him to talk.

MELANIE
Yes.

MRS. MACGRUDER
Yes.
(pause)
Oh my, I suppose I should call them
again. They said three o'clock.
(pause)
Maybe it's the traffic. I'll call.
Would you mind waiting?

MELANIE
(judiciously)
I think maybe you'd better deliver
him. Let me give you my address.
(she begins taking
off her gloves)

MRS. MACGRUDER
(producing pencil and
pad)
Oh. Oh, well, all right.

As Melanie starts writing:

MRS. MACGRUDER
I'm sure they're on the way, though.
Could I just call?

MELANIE
(with a resigned sigh)
Well, all right, but...

She scurries out behind the counter and out of sight. Melanie
finishes writing her address and stands impatiently by the
counter. She taps her teeth with the pencil.

MRS. MACGRUDER (O.S.)
Hello, this is Betty MacGruder at
Davidson's.
(pause; accusingly)
It's past three, you know.
(pause)
Well, how long do you think...? All
right, would you check it please?
Yes, I'll wait.

Melanie sighs. Leaving her gloves and purse on the counter,
she begins wandering around the shop, still tapping her lips
with the pencil. There is no menace in the birds surrounding
her. They are active and beautiful as they dart behind the
bars and mesh of their cages. Off screen, the puppy begins
BARKING again as the front door opens. Melanie looks up.

MED. SHOT - MITCH BRENNER

as he closes the entrance door behind him and starts up the
steps to the bird department. He is a handsome man, about
twenty-nine or thirty, well-dressed, and carrying a felt
hat.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

seeing him, and then turning away to bend before the cage of
strawberry finches. She pokes the pencil through the mesh.
The birds are startled into scarlet flight.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as they pass each other in the aisle. He gives a polite little
nod, and she gives a polite little smile. But as he passes
her, and unknown to her, he turns for a second look -- and
then vanishes behind the circular cage as he turns he corner.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

looking at her watch as she wanders around the other side of
the cage and then comes face to face with Mitch again.

MITCH
I wonder if you could help me.

MELANIE
What?

MITCH
(deliberately, and
with a touch of
hauteur)
I said I wonder if you could help
me.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

a trifle annoyed by his manner at first. She is about to
inform him, if you please, that she is not a shopgirl. But
then something rebellious flashes in her eyes and an idea
comes to her.

MELANIE
(solicitously)
Yes, what was it you were looking
for, sir?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MITCH
(deadpan)
Lovebirds.

MELANIE
Lovebirds, sir?

MITCH
Yes. I understand there are different
varieties, it that true?

MELANIE
Well... yes, sir, there are.

MITCH
These are for my sister... her
birthday you see. As she'll be eleven
and... well, frankly, I wouldn't
want a pair of birds that were too
demonstrative.

MELANIE
I understand completely, sir.

MITCH
As the same time, I wouldn't want
birds that were aloof, either.

MELANIE
(leading him around
shop)
No, of course not.

MITCH
Do you have a pair that are just
friendly?

MELANIE
I think so, sir.
(she looks around)
Now then, let me see.

MITCH
(at the finches)
Aren't these lovebirds?

MELANIE
No, sir, those are... redbirds.

MITCH
The sign says strawberry finches.

MELANIE
(airily)
Yes, we call them that too.
(she moves away)
Ahhh, here we are, Lovebirds...
(and stops before a
cage of canaries)

MITCH
Those are canaries, Miss.
(pause)
Doesn't this make you feel awful?

MELANIE
(baffled)
Doesn't what make me...?

MITCH
All these innocent little creatures
caged up like this?

MELANIE
Well, we can't just let them fly
around the shop, you know.

MITCH
I suppose not. Is there an
ornithological reason for keeping
them in separate cages?

MELANIE
Oh, certainly. It's to protect the
species.

MITCH
I imagine that's very important.
Especially during the moulting season.

MELANIE
Yes, that's a particularly dangerous
time.

MITCH
Are they moulting now?

MELANIE
Some of them are.

MITCH
How can you tell?

MELANIE
Well... they get a sort of hangdog
expression.

CLOSE SHOT - A CAGED BIRD - MITCH'S P.O.V.

The bird is wearing a distinctly hangdog expression.

MITCH
Yes, I see.
(pause)
About those lovebirds, Miss...

MELANIE
Are you sure you wouldn't like to
see a canary instead? We have some
very nice canaries this week.

MITCH
All right.
(he smiles)
She smiles back.

MITCH
(he waits)
All right, may I see one, please?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

as she realizes she is expected to take one of the canaries
out of the cage. She smiles feebly, glances toward the counter
where she expects Mrs. MacGruder to reappear momentarily,
and then takes a deep breath. She opens the door to the canary
cage, and cautiously puts her hand into it.

MELANIE
(feebly)
Here, birdie. Here, birdie, birdie.

One of the canaries suddenly flutters out of the cage and
into the room. Melanie leaps back, startled.

MELANIE
Oh! Ohhhhh!

FULL SHOT - THE BIRD DEPARTMENT

as the canary flies frantically about the room, Melanie and
Mitch in pursuit. Mrs. MacGruder appears at the counter,
finally confronted with the chaos she's been expecting all
day.

MRS. MACGRUDER
What is it? Oh! Oh my, one of the
birds is loose!

She joins in the chase around the room. The bird flutters up
to the ceiling, and then lands on the counter and watches
them suspiciously.

MITCH
Shhh! Shhhh!

He tiptoes up to the bird, hat in hand. Quickly, he covers
the bird with his hat, then reaches under to grab it.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

the canary in his hand.

MELANIE
There we are!

MRS. MACGRUDER
Oh, good! Oh, wonderful.

FULL SHOT - THE BIRD DEPARTMENT

as Mitch carries the canary back to the cage. He opens the
door.

MITCH
(putting the canary
in)
Back into your gilded cage, Melanie
Daniels.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

startled.

MELANIE
What did you say?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MITCH
(savoring this)
I was merely drawing a parallel,
Miss Daniels.

MELANIE
But how... how do you know my name?

MITCH
(secretly)
A little birdie told me.
(he smiles politely)
Good day, Miss Daniels.
(he bows to Mrs.
MacGruder)
Madam.
(he starts out)

MELANIE
Hey, wait a minute!

She goes after him. Mitch turns, stops, smiles, enjoying her
bafflement immensely. Melanie studies him. Then:

MELANIE
I don't know you.

MITCH
Ahhh, but I know you.

MELANIE
How?

MITCH
We met in court.

MELANIE
We never met in court or anyplace
else.

MITCH
That's true. I'll rephrase it. I saw
you in court.

MELANIE
When?

MITCH
Do you remember one of your practical
jokes that resulted in the smashing
of a plate glass window?

MELANIE
I didn't break that window!

MITCH
No, but your little prank did. The
judge should have put you behind
bars!

MELANIE
What are you? A policeman?

MITCH
I simply believe in the law, Miss
Daniels, and I'm not too keen on
practical jokers.

MELANIE
What do you call your lovebird story
if not a practical...

MITCH
Ahhh, but I really do want those
birds.

MELANIE
You knew I didn't work here. You
deliberately...

MITCH
Right. I recognized you when I came
in. I thought you might like to know
what it felt like to be on the other
end of a gag. What do you think of
that, Miss Daniels?

MELANIE
I think you're a louse.

MITCH
I am.
(he tips his hat)
Good day.
(to Mrs. MacGruder)
Madam.
(and he goes down the
steps)

MELANIE
And I'm glad you didn't get your
lovebirds!

MITCH
(breezily, as he goes
out)
I'll find something else.
(he gives a slight
bow)
See you in court some day.

The door closes. The puppy begins BARKING.

MELANIE
(angrily)
That... that... who was that?

MRS. MACGRUDER
I have no idea.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

seething as she stares after him. Suddenly, she gets an idea.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

going down the steps and to the front door of the shop. She
looks through the glass.

LONG SHOT - MITCH - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

getting into his car at the curb.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

looking after the car at the curb.

CLOSE SHOT - THE LICENSE PLATE CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

seeing the plate, giving a brief, determined, angry nod. She
begins to repeat the numbers to herself as she turns.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

as she comes up the steps again and walks toward the counter.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE - MRS. MACGRUDER'S P.O.V.

as she comes up to the counter.

MELANIE
Have you got a pencil?

MRS. MACGRUDER
What? Oh, yes, certainly.

As Melanie begins writing:

MRS. MACGRUDER
They said the myna bird would be
here later this afternoon. If you'd
care to come back...

MELANIE
No, you'd better send him. May I use
your phone?

MRS. MACGRUDER
(bewildered by
everything)
Yes, certainly.
(she puts phone on
counter)

MELANIE
(as she dials)
Do you have any lovebirds?

MRS. MACGRUDER
No, not in the shop. But I can order
them for you.

MELANIE
How soon?

MRS. MACGRUDER
Well... well, how soon would you
want them?

MELANIE
Immediately.
(into phone)
Is this the Daily News? Melanie
Daniels. Would you get me the city
desk, please?

MRS. MACGRUDER
I might be able to have them by
tomorrow morning. Would that be all
right?

MELANIE
(with an edged anger)
That would be just fine.
(into phone)
Hello, Charlie, this is Melanie. I
want you to do a favor for me.
(pause)
No, this is a small one.
(pause)
Pressure you? Why, Charlie darling,
would I try to pressure you? Will
you call the Department of Motor
Vehicles for me and find out who
owns this license plate? DKQ dash
one seven six.
(pause)
Yes, a California plate.
(pause)
No, I'll stop up there in a little
while. Is daddy in his office?
(pause)
Oh. No, no, I don't want to break in
on a meeting. Just tell him I'll see
him later. Thank you, Charlie.
(she hangs up)

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE ICY DETERMINATION ON HER FACE.

MELANIE
Now. What time tomorrow morning?

FADE IN:

FULL SHOT - MELANIE'S SPORTS CAR

pulling up in front of Mitch's building, the top down. She
glances up at the address, gets out of the car, comes around
to the other side, and opens the door.

CLOSE SHOT - THE LOVEBIRDS

in a cage as Melanie reaches for them.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

turning from the car and going into the building. She pauses
in the lobby, studies the names alongside the bell buttons.

CLOSE SHOT - HER GLOVED HAND

running down the list of names slowly. It stops.

INSERT - THE CARD

her finger beside it.

BRENNER, M. 3B

CLOSE SHOT - HER GLOVED HAND the forefinger extended as she
runs it down over every bell button in one column, and then
does the same for the next column.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

as she turns from the bells to the inner door of the lobby,
grabbing the knob. A BUZZ SOUNDS. She opens the door.

REVERSE SHOT - MELANIE

coming through the door and into the lobby. She walks swiftly
toward the elevator where a well-dressed man is standing,
waiting. Behind her, the inner door is BUZZING wildly with
answering BUZZES. Melanie and the man stand waiting for the
elevator, silently. Behind her, the BUZZING STOPS. The
elevator doors open. The man smiles pleasantly and allows
her to enter first. She does so with a small nod. The
elevator doors close.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND THE MAN - IN THE ELEVATOR

The birds are CHIRPING wildly in their cage. The man and
Melanie stand silently side by side. The man's eyes wander
down to the bird-cage. Melanie's eyes move toward him. Self-
consciously, she stands with the cage of CHATTERING birds.
The man is dead-panned, unsmiling. The elevator stops. The
doors begin to open.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

stepping out of the elevator as the doors open. The man is
right behind her. She begins looking for apartment 3B. The
man is walking down the corridor beside her. She stops in
front of the apartment, hesitates, hoping the man will turn
the corner in the corridor. Instead, he stops at the apartment
just opposite. He begins fumbling in his pocket for his key.
He looks at Melanie.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

smiling at him feebly.

FULL SHOT - THE CORRIDOR

The man spread change and an assortment of junk on the palm
of his hand as he searches for his key. Impatiently, Melanie
watches him. Making a decision, she puts the birdcage down
before the door to apartment 3B, and then opens her purse.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE'S GLOVED HAND

reaching into the purse for a white envelope.

INSERT - THE FACE OF THE ENVELOPE

written there in Melanie's handwriting: MR. MITCHELL BRENNER.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

as she props the envelope against the cage, and then hurriedly
goes down the hallway, intent on retreat.

MAN'S VOICE
Miss...? She stops, distressed.

FULL SHOT - THE CORRIDOR

the man at the one end, key in his hand; Melanie at the other
end, near the elevator.

MAN
Is that for Mitch Brenner?

MELANIE
(curtly)
Yes.

MAN
He's not home.

MELANIE
That's all right.

She presses button for the elevator.

MAN
He won't be back until Monday. I
mean, if those birds are for him....

MELANIE
Monday?

MAN
Yes. I don't think you should leave
them in the hall, do you?

MELANIE
(trapped)
Well, I...

The elevator doors open.

MELANIE
Well, where did he go?

MAN
Bodega Bay. He goes up there every
weekend.

MELANIE
Bodega Bay? Where's that?

MAN
Up on the coast. About sixty miles
north of here.

MELANIE
Sixty...
(her face falls)
Oh.

MAN
About an hour and a half on the
freeway. Or two if you take the coast
highway.

MELANIE
Oh.

MAN
I'd hold the birds for him, but I'm
going away myself. Someone's got to
feed them, I suppose.

MELANIE
(in utter despair now)
Yes. Yes, someone's got to feed them.

MAN
(apologetically)
I'm awfully sorry.

He puts the key into his lock, opens the door, and goes
inside. The door closes. Melanie is alone in the hallway.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

exasperated. She looks at the open elevator. She turns to
look at the birds.

LONG SHOT - THE LOVEBIRDS

in their cage outside the apartment door, CHATTERING.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

surrendering with a gesture of resignation. She walks down
the hall, picks up envelope and puts it in her purse, picks
up the bird cage, carries it back to the elevator. The birds
are COOING and CHIRPING madly.

MELANIE
Oh, shut up!

And she steps into the elevator.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - MELANIE'S OPEN CAR - (MATTE)

on the coast highway. It is a spectacularly beautiful day,
with a cloudless blue sky. The montage of SHOTS that follow
should alternate between the winding, twisting road and the
ocean below, and CLOSEUPS of Melanie driving with the caged
birds on the seat beside her. The last shot should be a FULL
SHOT of the car rounding a particularly sharp curve.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

She turns wheel forcefully.

CLOSE SHOT - THE LOVEBIRDS

in the cage as the car rounds the bend. They lean to one
side as the car turns, come up straight again as the car
rounds the curve.

FULL SHOT - (MATTE)

Car approaching Bodega Bay seen high up.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

at the wheel, she glances out toward the bay.

FULL SHOT - A CLUSTER OF BUILDINGS AT WATERFRONT

ahead, through the windshield as the car approaches.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

behind the wheel, leaning forward slightly for a look at the
town.

LONG SHOT - DOCKS ON LEFT

through the windshield as Melanie slows her speed.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

behind wheel.

LONG SHOT - STORES

on right of the road as Melanie enters the town. SLOW PAN
matching car's cruise past BAKERY, SHOE REPAIR, CLEANERS,
RADIO AND TELEVISION.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

behind wheel.

LONG SHOT - THE TIDES

past the gas station and beyond to the parking area and the
docks, continuing Melanie's slow observation of the place.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE - (PROCESS)

studying the town. The car turns into road by gas station.

FULL SHOT - THE TOWN

through the windshield. The car turns right. There is life
in the town now, fishermen crossing the road, women with
their hair in curlers, old ladies carrying shopping bags.
This is Saturday morning, and the town -- such as it is --
is alive with its inhabitants. We see them from Melanie's

P.O.V. AS SHE SCANS THE PLACE FOR ITS POST OFFICE. (THIS TO
BE TAKEN ON BACK LOT.)

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

pulling in, in front of the post office. Melanie opens the
door and steps out. She is smartly dressed in a traveling
suit and sweater. She looks up at the sign, and then walks
quickly toward the front door.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

enters post office.

CLOSE SHOT - POSTAL CLERK

behind cage as Melanie approaches it. He is busy filling out
a form of some kind, affixing stamps to it, etc. He does not
look up as she approaches.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

through the bars of the cage.

MELANIE
Good morning.

CLOSE SHOT - POSTAL CLERK

CLERK
(without looking up)
Morning.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND THE CLERK

MELANIE
I wonder if you could help me.

CLERK
Try my best.

MELANIE
I'm looking for a man named Mitchell
Brenner.

CLERK
Yep.

He is still busy with his form, still does not look up.

MELANIE
Do you know him?

CLERK
Yep.

MELANIE
Where does he live?

CLERK
Right here. Bodega Bay.

MELANIE
Yes, but where?

CLERK
Right across the bay there.

MELANIE
Where?

It seems as if the Clerk will not answer her. Suddenly, he
leaves the window.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

through the bars, exasperated.

REVERSE SHOT - FULL - MELANIE

as she tries to peek through the bars to see where he's
vanished. A door to the left of the window opens, and the
Clerk steps out. He walks a little distance as Melanie watches
him, then stops, turns and looks at her surprised, as if
he'd expected her to be right behind him. He stands stock
still, looking at her, saying nothing. She understands then
that he wants her to follow him, and she catches up, neither
speaking. They go to the front door. He opens it, looks at
her, then looks out across the town and the bay. He extends
his arm and points.

CLERK
See where I'm pointing?

MELANIE
Yes?

FULL SHOT - THE BAY - THEIR P.O.V. - (MATTE)

CLERK (O.S.)
See them two big trees across there?

MELANIE (O.S.)
Yes?

CLERK (O.S.)
And the white house?

MELANIE (O.S.)
That's where the Brenners live.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND THE CLERK

MELANIE
The Brenners? Mr. and Mrs. Brenner?

CLERK
Nope, just Lydia and the two kids.

MELANIE
The two kids?

CLERK
Yep. Mitch and the little girl.

MELANIE
I see. How do I get down there?

CLERK
Follow the road straight through
town 'til it curves off on the left.
That'll take you right around the
bay to their front door.

MELANIE
The front door.
(pause)
Isn't there a back road I can take?

CLERK
Nope. That's the road. Straight
through town, stay on your left,
right around the bay to the front
door.

MELANIE
You see, I wanted to surprise them.

CLERK
Mmmm.

MELANIE
I didn't want to come right down the
road, where they could see me.

CLERK
Mmmm.

MELANIE
It's a surprise, you see.

CLERK
Mmmmmm.
(long pause)
'Course, you could get yourself a
boat, cut right across the bay with
it. The Brenners got a little dock
there you could tie up at. If that's
what you wanted to do.

MELANIE
Where would I get a boat?

CLERK
Down at the dock by the Tides
Restaurant. Ever handled an outboard
boat?

MELANIE
(looking at him)
Of course.

CLERK
(looks back at her)
D'you want me to order one for you?

MELANIE
(surprised)
Thank you.

CLERK
What name?

MELANIE
Daniels.

CLERK
Okay.

He nods briefly and goes inside. Melanie looks across the
bay.

FULL SHOT - THE BAY - MELANIE'S P.O.V. - (MATTE)

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

smiling. She gets a new idea. She reaches into her purse for
the envelope. She looks at the envelope, then tears it up
and stuffs the torn envelope into her handbag. She turns
back toward the post office.

INT. THE POST OFFICE - FULL SHOT

as Melanie approaches the Clerk's window. He is still busy,
still does not look up.

MELANIE
I wonder if you could tell me...

CLERK
Yep?

MELANIE
The little girl's name.

CLERK
The little Brenner girl?

MELANIE
Yes.

CLERK
Alice, I think.
(he turns, shouts to
someone in rear)
Harry, what's the little Brenner
girl's name?

HARRY'S VOICE
(shouting)
What?

CLERK
(shouting)
The little Brenner girl.

HARRY'S VOICE
(shouting)
Lois!

CLERK
(shouting)
It's Alice, ain't it?

HARRY'S VOICE
(shouting)
No, it's Lois!

CLERK
(to Melanie)
It's Alice.

MELANIE
Are you sure?

CLERK
Well, I ain't positive, if that's
what you mean.

MELANIE
I need her exact name, you see.

CLERK
That case, I tell you what you do.
You go straight through town 'til
you see a little hotel on your left
there. Not the motel, that's the
other end of town. This is the hotel.
Now you take a right turn there, you
got that?

MELANIE
Yes?

CLERK
Near the top of the hill, you'll see
the school and right behind it, the
church. You head for the school.
Now just past the school, you'll see
a little house with a red mail box.
That's where Annie Hayworth lives,
she's the school teacher. You ask
her about the little Brenner girl.

MELANIE
Thank you.

CLERK
Yep.
(pause)
Could save yourself a lot of trouble.
Her name's Alice for sure.

MELANIE
Can I have the boat in about twenty
minutes?

The Clerk nods.

MELANIE
How much for the phone calls?

CLERK
(brushing this aside)
It's nothing.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

grinning, as she makes for the door and EXITS.

EXT. GENERAL STORE - MED. SHOT - MELANIE

getting into the car and slamming the door.

DISSOLVE

LONG SHOT (MATTE) - MELANIE'S CAR turning in school road.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE'S CAR

passing the school and pulling up outside the teacher's house.

CLOSE SHOT - THE RED MAIL BOX

with the name "Hayworth" on it. PULL BACK to reveal:

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

passing the mail box and going up the walk to the front door.
The house is a two-story frame with steps leading to the
front door. There are white curtains in every window of the
house, and a sign in the window to the left of the doorway
advises, ROOM TO LET. Melanie rings the doorbell.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

waiting. She RINGS the bell again:

ANNIE'S VOICE
(shouting)
Yes? Who is it?

MELANIE
Me!

ANNIE'S VOICE
Who's me?

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

walking along the porch of the house. The walk in front of
the house is lined with beautifully planted and cared-for
flowers. ANNIE HAYWORTH comes round from the back of the
house as Melanie reaches the corner. She is a woman of thirty-
two, tall, big-boned, with a strong beautiful face. Her
hair is disarrayed at the moment, and she is dressed for the
garden, wearing slacks and a loose-fitting sweater, and earth-
stained gloves. But there is something about her, a feeling
of expansive comfort, rather than sloppiness.

MELANIE
Miss Hayworth?

ANNIE
Yes?

MELANIE
I'm Melanie Daniels. I'm sorry to
bother you, but...

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

She is puzzled by Melanie who, exquisitely dressed and
groomed, seems singularly out of place in Bodega Bay. She
studies her openly.

ANNIE
Yes?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

MELANIE
The man at the post office sent me.
He said you'd know the name of the
little Brenner girl.

ANNIE
Cathy?

MELANIE
The one who lives in the white house
across the bay?

ANNIE
That's the one. Cathy Brenner.

MELANIE
(smiling)
They seemed sure it was either Alice
or Lois.

ANNIE
Which is why the mail in this town
never gets delivered to the right
place.
(She takes out package
of cigarettes, offers
one to Melanie)
Did you want to see Cathy about
something?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

taking cigarette, hesitating.

MELANIE
Well... not exactly.

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

studying her, thinking she understands.

ANNIE
Are you a friend of Mitch's?

MELANIE
No, not really.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

There is an awkwardness here. Annie wants to know more. She
puffs on the cigarette, smiles, tries a friendly approach.

ANNIE
I've been wanting a cigarette for
the past twenty minutes, but I
couldn't convince myself to stop.
This 'tilling of the soil' can get a
little compulsive, you know.

MELANIE
It's a lovely garden.

ANNIE
Thank you. It gives me something to
do with my spare time.
(pause)
There's a lot of spare time in Bodega
Bay.
(another pause)
Did you plan on staying long?

MELANIE
No. Just a few hours.

ANNIE
You're leaving after you see Cathy?

MELANIE
Well... something like that.
(pause)
I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound so
mysterious.

ANNIE
Actually, it's none of my business.

There is a pause. Melanie, by her silence, affirms that it
is none of Annie's business.

ANNIE
(putting out cigarette)
I'd better get on my way. Thank you
very much.

ANNIE
Not at all.

They begin walking toward the car.

ANNIE
(still curious)
Did you drive up from San Francisco?

MELANIE
Yes.

ANNIE
It's a nice drive.
(pause)
Is that where you met Mitch?

MELANIE
(hesitating, then)
Yes.

ANNIE
I guess that's where everyone meets
him.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

as she gets in behind the wheel. Annie's remark is not lost
on her, and a quick look of sudden understanding crosses her
face.

MELANIE
Now you sound a bit mysterious, Miss
Hayworth.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

as Annie leans over the seat.

ANNIE
Do I?
(she shakes her head,
smiles wistfully)
No, I'm an open book, I'm afraid.
(pause)
Or maybe a closed one.
(she smiles again,
sees the lovebirds)
Pretty. What are they?

MELANIE
Lovebirds.

Taking this as a further indication of Melanie's relationship
with Mitch:

ANNIE
Mmm.
(pause)
Well, good luck, Miss Daniels.

MELANIE
Thank you.

She nods pleasantly, starts the car, pulls away.

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

watching the car, a look of sad resignation on her face.

DISSOLVE

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

coming out of Brinkmeyer's General Store, carrying a small
paper bag, walking toward her car out front. The CAMERA
FOLLOWS her as she gets in. She opens her purse and reaches
in for the paper bag.

CLOSE SHOT - HER HANDS

She pulls out a birthday card from the paper bag.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

reaching into her purse again for a fountain pen. She unscrews
the cap, braces the card on her closed purse.

INSERT - THE CARD

Happy Birthday, the usual rhyming sentiments. The pen writes:
To Cathy

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - MELANIE'S CAR

crossing the highway down into the parking area behind the
Tides, close to the docks.

HIGH SHOT

She gets out of the car and walks onto one of the docks, the
bird cage in her hand. Melanie approaches a waiting fisherman.
She asks for her boat. The fisherman nods. He leads her to
the dock and the waiting boat. She gets into the outboard
motorboat, the fisherman helping her. He hands down the
lovebirds in their cage.

FULL SHOT - THE BOAT

pulling away from the dock, heading across the bay.

VERY LONG SHOT (MATTE) - THE BOAT

and the wide expanse of the bay, as it heads on a direct
course for the house on the other side.

VERY LONG SHOT (MATTE)

Another spectacular SHOT of the small boat.

FULL SHOT - THE BOAT

coming head-on toward CAMERA, Melanie at the tiller. She
cuts the motor. The motor drifts to a stop. The bay is silent
except for the cry of the gulls.

LONG SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

There is not a sign of activity as the boat drifts just a
little closer. As Melanie watches, the front door opens and
a woman comes out, walks to a red pickup truck, starts the
engine. A little girl comes out of the house, goes to the
truck, gets in. The woman shouts something to a man -- Mitch
Brenner, probably, though it is difficult to tell from this
distance -- and he comes over to the truck.

The truck grinds into gear, goes around the turnabout, and
heads down the road away from the farm, a huge cloud of dust
behind it. The farm is still again. Mitch stands looking
after the truck for a moment, and then begins walking up
toward the barn in the distance.

CLOSE SHOT

watching, biting her lip.

LONG SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE

Mitch reaching the barn and entering. Silence.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

watching, waiting.

LONG SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE

Not a sign of life.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

picking up paddle from deck, beginning to paddle in toward
dock.

FULL SHOT - THE BOAT

edging in toward the dock. Closer, closer, Melanie puts down
the paddle. The boat drifts in.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

leaping ashore, tying up the boat, reaching down for the
cage. She climbs onto the dock and approaches the CAMERA
until she is in WAIST SHOT. The CAMERA STARTS to RECEDE in
front of her as she walks forward.

THE CAMERA MOVING TOWARD THE HOUSE AND BARN

The barn door closed, still no sign of Mitch.

WAIST SHOT - MELANIE

Coming off the dock and onto the lawn, the CAMERA still
RETREATING in front of her. She makes her way carefully across
the lawn, glancing toward the barn, carrying the bird cage.

FULL SHOT - CAMERA GETTING NEAR THE HOUSE AND BARN

WAIST SHOT - MELANIE

crossing the lawn, the CAMERA RETREATING in front of her.

FULL SHOT - CLOSER - CAMERA APPROACHING THE HOUSE AND BARN

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE - WALKING

CAMERA RETREATING in front of her: Excitement and anticipation
on her face. She wets her lips. The CAMERA PANS WITH her as
she goes to front door and lets herself in.

FULL SHOT - INT. THE BRENNER HOUSE ENTRY

as the door opens. Melanie ENTERS quickly, and closes the
door behind her. She glances around for a moment, getting
her bearings. The house is silent.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

entering the dining room. Hastily, she puts the cage on the
dinning room table, props the card up against it, then glances
through the lace curtains on the dinning room window.

FULL SHOT - THE BARN - CLOSER - THROUGH THE CURTAINS

as before.

EXT. BRENNER HOUSE - WAIST SHOT - MELANIE - MOVING P.O.V.

as the front door opens and Melanie EMERGES. CAMERA PANS AND
FOLLOWS her back down front walk. Melanie glances over her
shoulder toward the barn.

EXT. BARN - MOVING P.O.V.

Mitch has not emerged.

MOVING P.O.V. - MELANIE

CAMERA CONTINUES MOVING on Melanie's back toward the end of
the dock. Melanie again glances over her shoulder toward the
barn.

MOVING P.O.V.

further along the dock toward the barn. Still no Mitch.

BACK TO MELANIE

CAMERA CONTINUES on her back for a short distance and STOPS
as Melanie continues to the end of the dock and climbs into
the boat.

MOVING P.O.V. - MELANIE

CAMERA CONTINUES on her back for a short distance and STOPS
as Melanie continues to the end of the dock and climbs into
the boat.

MOVING P.O.V. - MELANIE

CAMERA FOLLOWS Melanie as she paddles away from the dock.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE (PROCESS)

as she looks toward the house and barn. She starts to duck
down.

EXT. BARN - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

as Mitch EMERGES from the barn and goes toward the house. He
goes INSIDE.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE (PROCESS)

peering over the stern of the boat.

EXT. HOUSE - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

Mitch dashes OUT of the front door and looks around.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

as she watches Mitch.

MELANIE'S P.O.V.

as Mitch runs back INTO the house.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE (PROCESS)

peering over stern of the boat.

MITCH - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

as he EMERGES from the front door and raises binoculars.

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

as he looks towards Melanie's boat through the binoculars.
The Bay is reflected in the glass.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE (THROUGH BINOCULARS)

She is pulling at the cord which starts the motor. She sits
down and grabs the tiller. She looks back over her shoulder,
as the boat moves away.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

He is smiling with amused recognition; he lowers the
binoculars and dashes OUT OF FRAME.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE (PROCESS)

The CAMERA IS MOVING WITH her as she looks toward Mitch.

LONG SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE

Mitch is running for his car. The car door SLAMS. The ENGINE
STARTS. The car practically leaps out of the driveway.

CLOSE SIDE-ON SHOT - MELANIE

as she watches the car race along the shore.

LONG SHOT - CAR - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

Mitch's car racing along the shore.

CLOSE SHOT - THREE QUARTER BACK LEFT - MELANIE (PROCESS)

She looks off RIGHT toward car.

CAR - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

Mitch's car racing along the shore road, turns inland at
Keesport.

CLOSE SHOT - STRAIGHT BACK - MELANIE (PROCESS)

Melanie looks CAMERA RIGHT, her eyes slowly turn CAMERA LEFT.

CAR - MELANIE'S MOVING P.O.V.

Mitch's car races past wrecked ferry boat.

CLOSE SHOT - STRAIGHT BACK - MELANIE (PROCESS)

Her head continues to turn CAMERA LEFT. She looks off and
sees:

LONG SHOT - THE DOCK - MELANIE'S MOVING P.O.V.

moves forward slower. Mitch drives onto dock, gets out of
the car and stands waiting.

CLOSE SHOT - STRAIGHT BACK - MELANIE (PROCESS)

partially posing for Mitch, her hair blowing in the wind,
her head tilted back, a smile on her face.

FULL SHOT - GULL

swooping down from UPPER LEFTHAND CORNER OF FRAME TO LOWER
RIGHT. CLOSE SHOT - STRAIGHT BACK - MELANIE (PROCESS)

as gull strikes the back of her head. She recoils and looks
up with shock and pain.

GULL - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

The gull soars away from LOWER RIGHTHAND corner of frame to
UPPER LEFT.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

reacting to the sudden attack and looking after receding
gull. Blood is starting down her temple from her hair.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

as the boat comes closer. The boat drifts in toward a second
boat tied up at the dock. Mitch crosses the docked boat,
leaps into Melanie's boat.

MED. SHOT - MITCH AND MELANIE

in the boat.

MITCH
That was the damndest thing I ever
saw.

MELANIE
What made it...

MITCH
It deliberately came down at you --
you're bleeding...

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

a thin line of blood trickling from the cut on top of her
head, down onto her forehead and cheek. She seems dazed.
She shakes her head in answer to him, then touches the top
of her head, looks at her bloody fingers, and then nods
weakly.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

concerned.

MITCH
Come on, let's take care of that.

FULL SHOT - THE DOCK

as they climb onto it. A fisherman standing by looks at
Melanie curiously.

FISHERMAN
What happened, Mitch?

MITCH
(over his shoulder)
A gull hit her.

FISHERMAN
A what?

The CAMERA FOLLOWS them as they walk across the parking area
behind the Tides, and to the closest office. Mitch tries the
door knob. The door is locked.

INSERT - SIGN ON DOOR OUT TO LUNCH TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND
MITCH

as he tries door of next office. It, too, is locked.

MITCH
Come on, we'd better go up to the
restaurant.

They walk quickly up the slope to the Tides, establishing
gas station across the road, the collection of stores
opposite, the cars pulling in and out. Mitch opens the door
for her, and they ENTER.

INT. THE TIDES - FULL SHOT

This is a small neighborhood restaurant, with the feeling of
a local hangout. There are fishermen lounging at the bar,
and a teenage boy playing one of the pinball machines. Two
ladies in housedresses, with their hair in curlers, are
sitting at one of the booths, having coffee. The rear wall
of the restaurant is almost all window, looking out over the
bay and the parking area below. A television set over the
bar is going. The shots and horsehoof beats of an old Western
movie should be HEARD muted throughout following. DEKE
CARTER, who owns the restaurant with his wife, alternates
his attention between serving his customers and watching the
Western. He looks up immediately when Mitch and Melanie ENTER.

MED. SHOT - THE BAR

Mitch and Melanie coming over to it.

MITCH
Deke, have you got a first aid kit
back there?

DEKE
(instantly alarmed)
What happened?

MITCH
Young woman cut herself.

DEKE
Shall I call the doctor?

MITCH
(accepting the first
aid kit)
I don't think it's that serious.
You want to sit up here?

Melanie climbs onto the stool.

DEKE
You cut yourself outside, Miss?

MITCH
Stop worrying, Deke. She was in a
boat.

He is rummaging around in the kit.

DEKE
I had a man trip and fall in the
parking lot once, sued me before I
could bat an eyelash.

MITCH
I don't think Miss Daniels is going
to sue anybody.

DEKE
(doubtfully)
Well, you're the lawyer.
(goes to other end of
bar)

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as he unscrews cap from bottle of peroxide.

MELANIE
What's that?

MITCH
Just some peroxide. I want to clean
out the cut.

He pours peroxide onto a gauze pad and begins swabbing the
cut. They are silent for several seconds. Then:

MELANIE
So you're a lawyer.

MITCH
That's right. What are you doing in
Bodega Bay?

MELANIE
Do you practice here?

MITCH
No, San Francisco. What are you...?

MELANIE
What kind of law?

MITCH
Criminal.

MELANIE
Is that why you'd like to see everyone
behind bars?

MITCH
Not everyone, Miss Daniels.

MELANIE
Only violators and practical jokers.

MELANIE
That's right.

As he swabs cut.

MELANIE
Ouch!

MITCH
I'm sorry.
(pause)
What are you doing up here?

MELANIE
Didn't you see the lovebirds?

MITCH
You came all the way up here to bring
me those birds?

MELANIE
To bring your sister those birds.
You said it was her birthday.
Besides, I was coming up anyway.

MITCH
What for?

MELANIE
To see a friend of mine.
(she winces)
Will you please be careful?

MITCH
I'm sorry.
(pause)
Who's your friend?

MELANIE
Why...
(pause, stymied)

MITCH
Yes?

MELANIE
(blurting the only
name she knows)
Annie. Annie Hayworth.

MITCH
Well, well, small world. Annie
Hayworth.

MELANIE
(realizing this was a
mistake)
Yes.

MITCH
How do you know Annie?

MELANIE
(the lie getting deeper)
We... we went to school together.
College.

MITCH
Did you! Imagine that! How long will
you be staying?

MELANIE
Just a few... just a day or two...
the weekend.

MITCH
I think we'll have to shave the hair.
Deke, have you got a razor?

MELANIE
(pulling away)
Oh, no you don't!

MITCH
It's still bleeding a little. Here,
let me put this on.

He takes up a tiny Band-Aid and, tearing the gauze off, says:

MITCH
Bend your head down. This little
Band-Aid won't show.

He presses the tiny Band-Aid over the cut. Melanie takes a
mirror from her handbag and, bending her head down, looks at
it. She covers her hair over it as Mitch says:

MITCH
So you came up to see Annie, huh?

MELANIE
Yes.

MITCH
I don't believe you.
(grins)
I think you came up to see me.

MELANIE
Why would I want to see you, of all
people?

MITCH
(shrugging)
I don't know. But it seems to me you
must have gone to a lot of trouble
to find out who I was, and where I
lived and...

MELANIE
It was no trouble at all. I simply
called my father's paper. Besides, I
was coming up here anyway, I already
told you...

MITCH
(grinning)
You like me, huh?

MELANIE
I loathe you. You have no manners.
And you're arrogant and conceited
and... I wrote you a letter about
it, in fact, but I tore it up.

MITCH
What did it say?

MELANIE
None of your business.
(pause)
Am I still bleeding?

She lowers her head.

MITCH
Can't see a thing.

MELANIE
I can't say I like your seagulls
much, either. I come all the way up
here to...

MITCH
But you were coming up anyway,
remember?

MELANIE
I was! And all I get for my pains is
a... a... a hole in the head!

MITCH
(grinning)
Right next to the one you already
had.

MELANIE
(angrily)
Look, Mr. Brenner...

LYDIA (O.S.)
Mitch?

They turn toward the door.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA BRENNER

closing the door behind her, coming toward the bar. She is a
woman in her late forties, attractive, wearing shirt, blouse,
cardigan sweater, low heels. There is nothing agrarian-looking
about her. She speaks with the quick tempo of the city
dweller, and there is lively inquiry in her eyes.

LYDIA
(puzzled)
I thought I saw your car. What are
you doing in town?

MITCH
(rising to greet her)
I had to acknowledge a delivery.
(grins)
Mother, I'd like you to meet...

LYDIA
A what?

MITCH
(continuing)
Melanie Daniels. Melanie, my mother.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

Her eyebrows raising ever so slightly, not in displeasure,
but simply in enormous curiosity as she acknowledge the
introduction.

LYDIA
How do you do, Miss Daniels?
(to Mitch)
Acknowledge a what?

BACK TO SCENE

MITCH
A delivery, Mother. Miss Daniels
brought some birds from San Francisco.

Lydia thinks she understands. This is one of Mitch's San
Francisco chippies.

LYDIA
Oh. I see.

MITCH
For Cathy. For her birthday. By the
way, where is she?

LYDIA
Across at Brinkmeyer's.

MITCH
Miss Daniels is staying for the
weekend. In fact, I've already invited
her to dinner tonight.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

turning to him in surprise, beginning to shake her head.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
After all, you did go to the trouble
of bringing up those birds.

MELANIE (O.S.)
I'm sorry. I couldn't possibly...

BACK TO SCENE

LYDIA
You did say birds?

MITCH
Yes, lovebirds. We couldn't let you...

LYDIA
(understanding
completely now)
Lovebirds, I see.

MITCH
...get away without thanking you in
some small way. After all, you haven't
even met Cathy and you are staying
for the weekend...

MELANIE
Yes, but...

MITCH
You are, aren't you?

MELANIE
Certainly, but...

MITCH
Then it's settled. What time is
dinner, Mother?

LYDIA
Seven o'clock, same as usual.

MITCH
I'll pick you up, Miss Daniels.
Where are you staying?

MELANIE
With... with Annie, of course.

MITCH
Of course, how stupid of me. A quarter
to seven, will that be all right?

MELANIE
Annie... Annie may have made other
plans. I'll have to see. Besides, I
can find my own way.

MITCH
You're sure now? You won't hire a
boat or anything?

MELANIE
I'm sure.

MITCH
Seven o'clock then.

MELANIE
Maybe.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

grinning.

MITCH
We'll be waiting. How's your head
now?

MED. SHOT - THE GROUP

Lydia looks at Mitch inquiringly.

MELANIE
(with an overwarm
smile)
It's nothing, Mrs. Brenner. A gull
hit me, that's all.

Lydia stares at her doubtfully.

DISSOLVE

EXT. ANNIE HAYWORTH'S HOUSE - FULL SHOT

Melanie is standing on the front steps, a paper bag in her
hands. She rings the doorbell. The ROOM TO LET sign is still
in the window. The door suddenly opens.

ANNIE
(surprised)
Oh, hi!
(pause)
Did you find her all right?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

MELANIE
Yes, I did.

There is a long awkward pause. Annie smiles expectantly at
Melanie. Melanie seems hesitant.

MELANIE
I was wondering...

ANNIE
Yes?

MELANIE
That sign.
(pause)
Do you think I could have the room
for a single night?

ANNIE
Well, I'd really hope to rent it
for...

MELANIE
I would appreciate it. I've tried
everywhere in town, and they're all
full.

ANNIE
(after a pause)
Sure. You can have it.
(smiles)
Where's your bag? In the car?

Melanie holds up the paper bag. Annie looks at it and then
smiles.

ANNIE
It's utilitarian, I'll say that for
it.

MELANIE
(smiling)
I just picked up some things for the
night at the general store. You see,
I hadn't planned on spending much
time here.

ANNIE
Yes, I know. Did something unexpected
crop up?

There is a moment where both women look at each other...
When Melanie answers, it is abrupt and a trifle cold -- she
is again telling Annie to mind her own business.

MELANIE
Yes.
(pause)
May I use your phone? I'd like to
call home.

There is another moment where Annie appraises Melanie's
attitude, and then accepts it. She suddenly smiles warmly.

ANNIE
Why don't you come in then? I was
just about to mix a martini.

She is about to lead Melanie into the house when they both
hear a SOUND overhead. They turn to look skyward.

LONG SHOT - A FLOCK OF LARGE BIRDS

flying in beautiful precise formation against the sky.

TWO SHOT - ANNIE AND MELANIE

ANNIE
(shaking her head)
Don't they ever stop migrating?

But Melanie is watching the sky and the birds with a curiously
serious expression.

DISSOLVE

LONG SHOT - THE APPROACH ROAD to the Brenner house. Melanie's
car is driving along the shore. Behind her, the sky is stained
with sunset. There are gulls on the bay, cawing into the
silence.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

as it pulls into the Brenner yard.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

reaching up for the rear view mirror, tilting it to examine
her lipstick, touching the edge of her mouth with one hand.
She gets out of the car, CAMERA FOLLOWING her to the house.
She climbs the porch steps, KNOCKS on the door. There is no
answer. Puzzled, she begins walking back into the yard. In
the distance, she sees Mitch, Lydia and Cathy coming from
behind the chicken sheds. She raises her arm in greeting.

MELANIE
(calling)
Hi!

FULL SHOT - MITCH, CATHY, LYDIA

in the distance. Mitch and Cathy raise their arms.

CATHY
(excitedly)
Hi!
(she breaks into a
trot toward Melanie)

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY as she approaches. She is an eleven-year-
old child, clear-eyed, bright, uninhibited, wearing a shirt
and blouse, her hair cropped close to her head. She hesitates
for just a moment.

CATHY
Miss Daniels?

MELANIE
Yes?

And Cathy flings herself into Melanie's arms, almost knocking
her off her feet, hugging her fiercely.

CATHY
They're beautiful! They're just what
I wanted! Is there a man and a woman?
I can't tell which is which.

MELANIE
Well, I suppose...

FULL SHOT - ALL OF THEM

MITCH
(coming up)
Hi. Annie had no plans, huh? I'm
glad you came. Are you hungry?

MELANIE
Famished.

MITCH
Dinner's just about ready.
(explaining)
We were out back looking at the
chickens. Something seems to be wrong
with them.

LYDIA
(going toward house)
There's nothing wrong with those
chickens, Mitch. I'm going to call
Fred Brinkmeyer right now.

MITCH
(as they follow into
house)
I don't know what good that'll do.
(aside to Melanie)
Chickens won't eat.

FULL SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE

as they ENTER, CAMERA FOLLOWING them throughout into dining
room where Lydia dials phone, talking to Mitch all along.

LYDIA
He sold the feed to me, didn't he?

MITCH
Caviat emptor, Mother. Let the buyer
beware.

LYDIA
Whose side are you on?

MITCH
I'm simply quoting the law.

LYDIA
Never mind the law. Cathy, you can
start serving the soup.

She has finished dialing now, is waiting while the phone
RINGS.

LYDIA
This won't take a minute, Miss Dan...
(into phone)
Hello, Fred? This is Lydia Brenner.
I didn't interrupt your dinner, did
I?
(pause)
Fred, that feed you sold me is no
good.
(pause)
The chicken feed. The three bags I
brought.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

holding the telephone.

LYDIA
Well, it's just no good. The chickens
won't eat it.
(pause)
They're always hungry, Fred. I opened
one of the sacks when I got home,
and I poured it out for them, and
they wouldn't touch it. Now you know
chickens as well as I do, and when
they won't eat, there's just something
wrong with what they're being fed,
that's all.
(pause)
No, they're not fussy chickens.
(pause)
Who? What's he got to do with it?
(pause)
Fred, I don't care how much feed you
sold him. My chickens...
(pause)
He did? Dan Fawcett?
(pause)
This afternoon?
(pause)
Well, that only proves what I'm
saying. The feed you sold us is...
(pause)
Oh. Oh, I see. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-
huh. Maybe I ought to go over to see
him. You don't think there's something
going around, do you?
(pause)
No, never.
(pause)
No, Fred, they don't seem sick at
all. They just won't eat.
(pause)
Mmmm. Mmmmm. Well, I'll try to get
over to Dan's farm. Maybe he'll...
mmmmm... mmmmm... all right, Fred,
thanks.
(she hangs up, puzzled)

FULL SHOT - THE DINING ROOM

as Lydia comes to the table. Mitch and Melanie are sitting
opposite each other in the center chairs. Cathy is serving
the last bowl of soup.

LYDIA
(as she sits)
He got a call from Dan Fawcett a
little while ago. His chickens won't
eat, either.

CATHY
It's what you said, Mom. Mr.
Brinkmeyer's feed is no good.

LYDIA
(slowly)
No, Cathy. He sold Mr. Fawcett a
different brand.
(extremely worried)
You don't think they're getting sick,
do you, Mitch?

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

her eyes troubled as she picks up her napkin.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - THE LIVING ROOM

The meal is over. The lovebirds in their hanging cage have
been covered for the night. In the b.g. Mitch and Lydia are
carrying the stacked dishes to the kitchen. In the f.g.
Cathy and Melanie are by a small upright piano. Melanie is
playing a Debussy Arabesque: She picks up a cigarette from
the ashtray now and again to take a puff.

CATHY
I still don't understand how you
knew I wanted lovebirds.

MELANIE
Your brother told me.

LYDIA
(as she goes into
kitchen)
Then you knew Mitch in San Francisco,
is that right?

MELANIE
No, not exactly.

CATHY
Mitch knows lots of people in San
Francisco. Of course, they're mostly
hoods.

LYDIA
(from the kitchen)
Cathy!

CATHY
Well, Mom, he's the first to admit
it.
(to Melanie)
He spends half his day in the
detention cells at the Hall of
Justice.

LYDIA
(coming from kitchen)
In a democracy, Cathy, everyone is
entitled to a fair trial. Your
brother's practice...

CATHY
Mom, please, I know all the democracy
jazz. They're still hoods.
(to Melanie)
He's got a client now who shot his
wife in the head six times. Six times,
can you imagine it?
(she starts for living
room)
I mean, even twice would be overdoing
it, don't you think?

MELANIE
(to Mitch as he carries
load of dishes out)
Why did he shoot her?

MITCH
He was watching a ball game on
television.

MELANIE
What?

MITCH
His wife changed the channel.

He GOES INTO kitchen.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND CATHY

Melanie interrupts her playing to take another puff at her
cigarette.

CATHY
Is smoking fun?

MELANIE
Oh, I suppose so.

CATHY
Could I have a puff?

MELANIE
I don't think your mother would like
that.

CATHY (O.S.)
Just a little one.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND CATHY

They both glance conspiratorially toward the kitchen.
Quickly, Melanie extends the cigarette. Quickly, Cathy takes
a small puff.

CATHY
(delighted)
Why, it's just like air, isn't it?
(determined)
When I grow up, I'm gonna smoke like
a chimney! I'll be eleven tomorrow,
you know.

MELANIE
I know.

CATHY
Are you coming to my party?

MELANIE
I don't think so.
(seeing the child's
face)
I have to get back to San Francisco.

CATHY
Don't you like us?

MELANIE
(touching her hair)
Darling, of course I do!

CATHY
Don't you like Bodega Bay?

MELANIE
I don't know yet.

CATHY
Mitch likes it very much. He comes
up every weekend, you know, even
though he has his own apartment in
the city. He says San Francisco is
just an ant hill at the foot of a
bridge.

MELANIE
(smiling)
I guess it does get a little hectic
at times.

CATHY
If you do decide to come, don't say
I told you about it. It's supposed
to be a surprise party.

Melanie laughs.

CATHY
You see, they've got this whole
complicated thing figured out where
I'm going over to Michele's for the
afternoon, and Michele's mother is
going to say she has a headache and
would I mind very much if she took
me home. Then, when we get back here,
all of the kids'll jump out!
(pause)
Won't you come? Won't you please
come?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

shaking her head, glancing toward the kitchen.

MELANIE
I don't think so, Cathy.

INT. KITCHEN - TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MITCH

Mitch is helping her as she loads the dishwasher.

LYDIA
She's a charming girl, isn't she,
Mitch?

MITCH
Yes, very.

LYDIA
And certainly pretty.

MITCH
Yes.

LYDIA
How long have you known her?

MITCH
I told you. We met yesterday.

LYDIA
In a bird shop.

MITCH
Yes.

LYDIA
She was selling birds.

MITCH
No. I only led her into believing I
believed she was... Mother, it's
really very complicated.

LYDIA
But she did buy the lovebirds and
then brought them all the way...

MITCH
Mother, where did you go to law
school?

LYDIA
(laughing)
Forgive me. I suppose I'm just
naturally curious about a girl like
that.
(pause)
She's very rich, isn't she?

MITCH
I suppose so. Her father owns a big
newspaper in San Francisco.

LYDIA
You'd think he could manage to keep
her name out of print. She's always
mentioned in the columns, Mitch.

MITCH
I know, Mother.

LYDIA
She is the one who jumped into that
fountain in Rome last summer, isn't
she?

MITCH
Yes, Mother.

LYDIA
Perhaps I'm old-fashioned.
(pause)
I know it was supposed to be very
warm there, Mitch, but... well...
actually... well, the newspaper said
she was naked.

MITCH
I know, Mother.

LYDIA
It's none of my business, of course,
but when you bring a girl like that
to...

MITCH
Mother?

LYDIA
(looking up)
Yes?

MITCH
I think I can handle Melanie Daniels
by myself.

LYDIA
Well...
(she sighs)
So long as you know what you want,
Mitch.

MITCH
I know exactly what I want, Mother.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - THE BRENNER LAWN - EXTERIOR - NIGHT

as Mitch and Melanie cross it to her car. A wind is blowing
off the water, and high fast clouds are scudding across the
face of the moon.

MITCH
You'll be able to find your way back,
won't you?

MELANIE
Oh, yes.

MELANIE
Will I be seeing you again?

MELANIE
San Francisco's a long way from here.

MITCH
I'm in San Francisco five days a
week. With a lot of time on my hands.
I'd like to see you.
(he grins)
Maybe we could go swimming or
something. Mother tells me you like
to swim.

MELANIE
How does Mother know what I like to
do?

MITCH
I guess she and I read the same gossip
columns.

MELANIE
Oh. That. Rome.

MITCH
Mmmm. I like to swim. We might get
along very...

MELANIE
In case you're interested, I was
pushed into that fountain.

MELANIE
Without any clothes on?

MELANIE
With all my clothes on! The newspaper
that ran the story happens to be a
rival of my father's paper. Anything
they said...

MITCH
You were just a poor, innocent victim
of circumstance, huh?

MELANIE
I'm neither poor nor innocent, but
the truth of that particular...

MITCH
The truth is you were running around
with a pretty wild crowd...

MELANIE
Yes, but...

MITCH
...who didn't much care for propriety
or convention or...

MELANIE
Yes.

MITCH
...the opinions of others, and you
went right along with them, isn't
that the truth?

MELANIE
Yes, that's the truth. But I was
pushed into that fountain, and that's
the truth, too.

MITCH
Sure. Do you really know Annie
Hayworth?

MELANIE
No.
(pause)
At least, I didn't until I came up
here.

MITCH
So you didn't go to school together.

MELANIE
No.

MITCH
And you didn't come up here to see
her.

MELANIE
No.

MITCH
You were lying.

MELANIE
Yes, I was lying.

MITCH
Did you really write a letter to me?
Or was that a lie, too?

MELANIE
I wrote the letter.

MITCH
What did it say?

MELANIE
It said, "Dear Mr. Brenner, I think
you need those lovebirds, after all.
They may help your personality."
That's what it said.

MITCH
But you tore it up.

MELANIE
Yes.

MITCH
Why?

MELANIE
Because it seemed stupid and foolish.

MITCH
Like jumping into a fountain in Rome!

MELANIE
I told you what happened in Rome!

MITCH
Do you expect me to believe...?

MELANIE
I don't give a damn what you believe!

Angrily she gets into the car, is about to slam the door
when Mitch catches it in his hands.

MITCH
I'd still like to see you.

MELANIE
Why?

MITCH
I think it could be fun.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

pulling the door shut.

MELANIE
That might have been good enough in
Rome last summer. But it's not good
enough now.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
It is for me.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
But not for me.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
What do you want ?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
(angrily sarcastic)
I thought you knew! I want to go
through life laughing and beautiful
and jumping into fountains naked!
Good night!

MED. SHOT - THE CAR

as it pulls away. Mitch yanks his hands back from the door.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

as he watches the car leave.

LONG SHOT - THE ROAD

The car turns the bend and disappears. Empty road. Only the
long line of telephone poles and wires and... something
strange on the wires.

CLOSE SHOT MITCH

His attention caught by the poles and wires.

CLOSE SHOT - THE WIRES

Hundreds of birds sitting on them.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

standing and watching. A wind blows off the water. He shivers
suddenly, turns up his collar, and heads for the house.

DISSOLVE

INT. ANNIE HAYWORTH'S LIVING ROOM - MED. SHOT - ANNIE

HAYWORTH

In an easy chair, reading. She is wearing a robe and smoking,
absorbed in her book. She turns when she hears the front
DOOR OPENING.

ANNIE
Miss Daniels? Is that you?

MELANIE (O.S.)
Yes.

Annie rises to greet her. As Melanie ENTERS THE SHOT:

ANNIE
Hi.
(seeing her face)
Is something wrong? Is that cut
beginning to bother you?

MELANIE
(touching her head)
No, it's not the cut that's bothering
me.

ANNIE
(concerned)
Would you like some brandy?

MELANIE
If you have some, I'd...

ANNIE
I'll get it, sit down, Miss Daniels.
Do you want a sweater or something?
A quilt?

As Annie gets the brandy:

MELANIE
No, thank you.
(pause)
Won't you call me Melanie?

ANNIE
All right.
(she smiles)

MED. SHOT - MELANIE sitting, tucking her legs up under her.
She is disturbed by her conversation with Mitch and, in fact,
by the way this entire trip has worked out. Annie brings her
the glass of brandy, and she takes it gratefully.

MELANIE
Thank you.

ANNIE
(sitting opposite her)
It gets a little chilly here at night
sometimes. Especially if you're over
near the bay.

Melanie nods and sips at the brandy. There is a long pause.

ANNIE
Well, how'd your evening go?

Melanie shrugs.

ANNIE
Did you meet Lydia?

Melanie nods.

ANNIE
Or would you rather I changed the
subject?

MELANIE
(with a tired smile)
I think so.

ANNIE
(nodding)
How do you like our little hamlet?

MELANIE
I despise it.

ANNIE
(laughing)
Well, I don't suppose it offers much
to the casual visitor. Unless you're
thrilled by a collection of shacks
on a hillside. It takes a while to
get used to.

MELANIE
Where are you from originally, Annie?

ANNIE
San Francisco.

MELANIE
How'd you happen to come here?

ANNIE
Oh, someone invited me up for the
weekend a long time ago.

There is an awkward pause. Annie shrugs.

ANNIE
Look, I see no reason for being coy
about this. It was Mitch Brenner.

Melanie nods.

ANNIE
I guess you knew that, anyway.

MELANIE
I suspected as much.

ANNIE
You needn't worry. It's over and
done with. A long time ago.

MELANIE
Annie -- there's nothing between
Mitch and me.

ANNIE
Isn't there?
(she shrugs)
Maybe there isn't. Maybe there's
never anything between Mitch and any
girl.

MELANIE
What do you mean?

ANNIE
I think I'll have some of that, too.
(she pours brandy,
drinks, sighs)
I was seeing quite a lot of him in
San Francisco, you know.
(she smiles weakly)
And then, one weekend, he asked me
up to meet Lydia.

MELANIE
When was this?

ANNIE
Four years ago. Of course, that was
shortly after his father died. Things
may be different now.

MELANIE
Different?

ANNIE
With Lydia.
(pause)
Did she seem a trifle distant?

MELANIE
(smiling)
A trifle.

ANNIE
Then maybe it isn't different at
all. You know, her attitude nearly
drove me crazy. I simply couldn't
understand it.

ANNIE
When I got back to San Francisco I
spent days trying to figure out just
what I'd done to displease her.

MELANIE
And what had you done?

ANNIE
Nothing! I simply existed. So what
was the answer? A jealous woman,
right? A clinging possessive mother.
(she shakes her head)
Wrong. With all due respect to
Oedipus, I don't think that was the
case at all.

MELANIE
Then what was it?

ANNIE
Lydia liked me, you see. That was
the strange part of it. In fact, now
that I'm no longer a threat, we're
very good friends.

MELANIE
Then why did she object to you?

ANNIE
Because she was afraid.

MELANIE
Afraid you'd take Mitch?

ANNIE
Afraid I'd give Mitch.

MELANIE
I don't understand.

ANNIE
Afraid of any woman who'd give Mitch
the only thing Lydia can give him --
love.

MELANIE
Annie, that adds up to a jealous,
possessive woman.

ANNIE
No, I don't think so. She's not afraid
of losing her son, you see. She's
only afraid of being abandoned.

MELANIE
Someone ought to tell her she'd be
gaining a daughter.

ANNIE
She already has a daughter.

MELANIE
What about Mitch? Didn't he have
anything to say about this?

ANNIE
(apologetically)
I can understand his position. He
went through a lot with Lydia after
his father died. He didn't want to
risk going through it all over again.

MELANIE
I see.

ANNIE
So it ended. Not immediately, of
course. I went back to San Francisco,
and I still saw Mitch every now and
then... but we both knew it was
finished.

MELANIE
Then what are you doing here in Bodega
Bay?

ANNIE
You get straight to the point, don't
you?

MELANIE
I'm sorry. Forgive me.

ANNIE
No, that's all right, I don't mind.
I came up here for two reasons. To
begin with, I was bored with my job
in San Francisco. I was teaching at
a private school there... well, you
know, you probably went to one
yourself.

MELANIE
I did.

ANNIE
Then you know. Little girls in brown
beanies. Deadly. Here I have a life.
I'll go into that classroom on Monday
morning, and I'll look out at twenty-
five upturned little faces, and each
of them will be saying, 'Yes, please
give me what you have.'
(pause)
And I'll give them what I have. I
haven't got very much, but I'll give
them every ounce of it. To me, that's
very important. It makes me want to
stay alive for a long long time.
(she sighs)
That's the first reason.

MELANIE
And the second?

ANNIE
(simply)
I wanted to be near Mitch.
(pause)
It was over, and I knew it, but I
wanted to be near him, anyway.
(she smiles)
You see, I still like him a hell of
a lot. That's rare, I think. I don't
want to lose his friendship... ever.

There is a moment of silence. Into the silence, the TELEPHONE
shrills. Annie hesitates a moment, and then goes to answer
it.

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

at the phone.

ANNIE
Hello? Oh, hello. No, no, I wasn't
asleep. What is it?
(pause)
Yes, just a little while ago. Sure,
hold on.
(she turns to Melanie)
It's Mitch. For you.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

as they stare at each other across the room, Melanie
hesitating.

ANNIE
He's waiting.

Melanie rises and goes to the phone. The CAMERA FOLLOWS Annie
to the wing chair in the foreground and stays on her
throughout following, recording her reactions as Melanie
talks to Mitch in the background.

Annie is not devastated by this call, and yet there is a
wistfulness to her expression as she realizes she may finally
and irrevocably be losing Mitch to another girl.

MELANIE
(at phone; coolly)
Hello? Yes, this is Melanie. Fine,
thank you. No, no trouble at all. I
simply followed the road. It's a
very bright night.
(pause)
What? Oh. Well, there's no need to
apologize. I can understand...
(pause; she listens)
Well...
(she listens again)
That's very kind of you. No, I'm not
angry.
(she listens)
I couldn't. I'm afraid I have to get
back to San Francisco.
(pause)
No, I wouldn't want to disappoint
Cathy, but...
(pause)
I see.
(she is warming)
I see. Well, if you really...
(pause)
All right. Yes, I'll be there.
(pause)
Good night, Mitch.

She hangs up and looks at Annie in embarrassment.

MELANIE
He wants me to go to Cathy's party
tomorrow afternoon.
(pause)
I said I would.

ANNIE
I'll be going, too, to help out. It
should be fun, Melanie.

MELANIE
It seems so pointless.
(she sighs)
I think I'll go to sleep. This has
been a busy day.
(picking up her paper
bag)
My luggage.

She smiles, takes out a flowered muumuu, holds it up to Annie.

ANNIE
Pretty. Did you get that at
Brinkmeyer's?

Melanie nods and drapes the muumuu over her arm. She is silent
for a moment, pensive. Then:

MELANIE
Do you think I should go?

ANNIE
That's up to you.

MELANIE
It's really up to Lydia, isn't it?

ANNIE
Never mind Lydia. Do you want to go?

MELANIE
(firmly)
Yes.

ANNIE
Then go.

The room is silent. Melanie nods, slowly, and then smiles.

MELANIE
Thank you, Annie.

Suddenly, into the silence, comes a THUMP at the door,
startling them both.

ANNIE
(rising)
Who can that be at this hour?
(she walks to door)
Who is it?
(no answer)
Is someone there?

Melanie goes to stand beside Annie. Puzzled, Annie unlocks
the door, and then opens it. She looks out into the night.
There is nothing but the SOUND of the wind.

ANNIE
(to the emptiness
outside)
Is anyone there?

MELANIE
(pointing to the ground)
Look.

CLOSE SHOT - A DEAD SEAGULL

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

ANNIE
(sympathetically)
Ohhh. Oh, the poor thing. He probably
lost his way in the dark.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

who stares at the dead bird as Annie stoops to pick it up.
And then, slowly:

MELANIE
But... it isn't dark, Annie. There's
a full moon.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND ANNIE

as Annie, stooping, looks up at her. On their puzzlement and
consternation:

FADE OUT

FADE IN

HIGH SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE The place is decorated with
balloons strung from the house to various points on the lawn.
The children, in party clothes, with their parents, are
clustered around a long folding table upon which are
sandwiches, ice cream and soft drinks. The parents are either
helping the children to more or telling them they are having
too much. There is a general SOUND of kid's CHATTER and
LAUGHTER. Coming up the sloping path, away from the party,
are Melanie and Mitch. The CAMERA PANS them UP the slope and
away from the party in background. As they turn the hairpin
bend of the slope, and come up toward the CAMERA, we see the
entrance of the harbor and the Pacific in the background.
The CAMERA PANS them as they come near to us and, once more,
the party is in the background. Mitch and Melanie pass the
CAMERA out to the left.

CLOSER SHOT - THE TOP OF THE DUNES

Melanie and Mitch come INTO the picture from the right and
stand against the sky. Mitch takes a martini shaker from one
of his pockets, and two glasses from the other. He hands one
of the glasses to Melanie, and then pours.

MELANIE
I really shouldn't have any more.
I'm a little tipsy already.

MITCH
I'm trying to get you to stay for
dinner. We're going to have a lot of
roast left over.

MELANIE
I couldn't possibly. I have to get
back.

MITCH
(with a shrug)
Cheers.

MELANIE
Cheers.

They drink.

MELANIE
What's in this? Nitro-glycerin?

MITCH
Why do you have to rush off? What's
so important in San Francisco?

MELANIE
Well... I have to get to work tomorrow
morning, for one thing.

MITCH
(surprised)
You have a job?

MELANIE
(sipping at the martini)
I have several jobs.

MITCH
What do you do?

MELANIE
I do different things on different
days.

MITCH
Like what?

MELANIE
(hesitating)
On Mondays and Wednesdays, I work
for the Travelers' Aid. At the
airport.

MITCH
Helping travelers.

MELANIE
Yes.

She hesitates for a moment, thinking. She has never really
considered before what she does with her time, and now that
she is accounting for it, it sounds a little meaningless and
unimportant.

MELANIE
And on Tuesdays, I take a course in
General Semantics at Berkeley. That's
not a job, of course. I just take it
because...

MITCH
What about Thursdays and Fridays?

MELANIE
On Thursdays I have my meeting and
lunch.
(pause)
I'm chairman of a group that's sending
a little Korean boy through school.
We plan how to raise funds and...
things like that.
(she shrugs)

MITCH
And Fridays? What do you do then?

MELANIE
Nothing.
(she smiles)
I go to bird shops on Fridays.

MITCH
I'm glad you do.

MELANIE
Do you know what I was doing in that
shop?

MITCH
What?

MELANIE
I have an aunt, you see. Aunt Tessa.
She's seventy years old, and veddy
prim and strait-laced.
(she does an imitation)
She's coming back from Europe at the
end of the month, and I'm going to
give her a myna bird that'll talk to
her.

MITCH
What'll it say?

MELANIE
(facetiously)
You'll think me very bold, sir.

MITCH
No, tell me.

She leans over and whispers in his ear. They both burst out
LAUGHTER. But then suddenly, a very serious look comes into
Melanie's face.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

serious, introspective.

MELANIE
That's silly, isn't it? Teaching a
bird to shock my aunt. That's just
silly and childish.
(slight pause)
Maybe I ought to go join the other
children.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as she moves abruptly away from him, and starts toward where
the children have begun playing Blind Man's Bluff. Mitch
stares after her for a moment, moved by this sudden glimpse
of character, and then follows her down the dune. The children
are all in a circle. Annie is busy changing the blindfold
from Michele to Cathy.

CAMERA PANS - MELANIE AND MITCH

The CAMERA is now on the lawn POINTING UP toward dunes. We
see Mitch and Melanie descending. They are coming down by
way of a short cut and are not on the zig-zag path. As they
reach the lawn they move along the side of it at the foot of
the dunes. They are absorbed in each other. The CAMERA PANS
OFF them and BRING INTO the picture Annie, surrounded by the
children. She is in the act of changing the blindfold from
Michele to Cathy. She hands Michele her glasses back. During
this, and while she is putting the blindfold round the eyes
of Cathy, she is looking to her right and obviously is
watching Mitch and Melanie.

MITCH AND MELANIE - ANNIE'S P.O.V.

MED. SHOT - ANNIE

CAMERA MOVES A LITTLE to her left (CAMERA RIGHT). At this
moment, in the background, Lydia is emerging with the birthday
cake. The candles on it are unlit. Lydia immediately also
catches sight of Mitch and Melanie and she slows up somewhat
as she walks to the long table, her eyes still on the couple.
During this we see Annie in the foreground sending Cathy
off.

ANNIE
All right then, here we go.
(she spins her)
Once!
(she spins her again)
Twice!
(she spins her again)
Three! Go get 'em, Cathy!

She says all this while still looking toward the couple. She
turns her head away from the couple with a new expression on
her face. She twists completely around to look at Lydia as
though she were wondering if Lydia sees what she sees.
Suddenly we HEAR a little boy's voice crying:

LITTLE BOY (O.S.)
Look! Look!

Annie swings round and the CAMERA RUSHES INTO her face as
she looks up.

LONG SHOT - ANNIE'S P.O.V.

A gull is swooping down.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

as she changes her tactics, stops dead, and then cautiously
reaches out in front of her at the air. The gull suddenly
swoops at her, hitting her shoulder. She whirls.

CATHY
No touching allowed!

She almost falls.

FULL SHOT - THE GULL

seen from Cathy's position. He flies off, cycles and then
returns.

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

reacting to gull. She turns her head back to Cathy.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

reacting to the gull hitting Cathy. They start towards Cathy.

MED. SHOT - ANNIE

with Cathy and the children around. The CAMERA PANS DOWN as
she ducks with two gulls swooping by.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

hurriedly putting the cake onto the table. She rushes round
to the front of it.

FULL SHOT - ANNIE - LYDIA'S P.O.V.

Annie rising from the ground. Cathy and the other children
are running in the background.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

reacting to two more gulls diving.

FULL SHOT - TWO GULLS - LYDIA'S P.O.V.

diving toward the children.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

She starts to run out CAMERA RIGHT.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA REACHES CATHY

She pushes her to the ground as a gull attacks.

TWO SHOT - TWO MOTHERS

as a gull swoops between them.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

coming out of the house with a broom.

TWO GULLS

swooping down at the children's heads.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

swinging at gull and missing.

LONG SHOT - LITTLE BOY

running toward bank. Gull swooping after him.

CLOSE SHOT - LITTLE BOY

falling forward against the bank as the gull smashes into
him.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

running to the injured boy, who is lying against the bank.

THREE SHOT - MELANIE, MITCH AND LITTLE BOY

They look up.

LONG SHOT - THE GULLS

against the sky, flying away in formation.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

about to swing with the broom again, but the birds are no
longer there. A puzzled look crosses his face. He turns to
Melanie.

MITCH
Are you all right?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MELANIE
Yes.

ANNIE
(coming over)
That's the darnest thing thing I've
ever seen in my life.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MITCH

LYDIA
Are they gone?

MITCH
They're gone, Mother.

FULL SHOT - THE LAWN

as the children begin drifting back toward the table and the
cake. There is the curious feeling of lighting having struck
very close by without having injured anyone. All that
adrenaline has boiled up, and now it has no place to go.

LYDIA
Well... well, is everyone all right?

MITCH
(with a small boy)
I think he got a little scratch,
Mother.

GIRL #3
Did you see them? They were hawks!

GIRL #4
They were bigger than hawks!

ANNIE
Children, they were only seagulls.

And then the meaning of what she has just said strikes her,
and she remembers the bird hitting her door the night before.

TWO SHOT - ANNIE AND MELANIE

as Annie turns to look at her and they exchange a silent
meaningful glance.

BACK TO SCENE

CATHY
They must have been after the food,
Mother.

They all turn toward the table.

CLOSE SHOT - THE TABLE AND THE REST OF THE FOOD ON THE TABLE,
UNDISTURBED CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

eyes narrowed.

MITCH
They didn't touch anything.

BACK TO SCENE

ANNIE
(trying to restore
order)
Well, they're gone now, so... so
let's...
(pause)
Who was 'it?' You were 'it,' weren't
you, Cathy?

GIRL #2
Can I be 'it,' Miss Hayworth?

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as Annie and the children begin the game behind them.

MITCH
You look a little shaken.

MELANIE
I... I am.
(pause)
Mitch, is... Mitch, this isn't usual,
is it? The gull yesterday when I was
in the boat, and the one last night
at Annie's, and now...

MITCH
Last night? What do you mean?

MELANIE
A gull smashed into Annie's front
door.
(pause)
Mitch... what's happening?

MITCH
(concerned)
I don't know, Melanie.
(pause)
Look, do you have to go back to
Annie's?

MELANIE
No, I have my things in the car.

MITCH
(gently)
Then stay and have something to eat
before you start back. I'd feel a
lot better.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

She nods, and then looks up at the sky. Suddenly she shudders.

DISSOLVE

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH'S HANDS - DINING ROOM INT. IN BACKGROUND

He is slicing the leftover roast beef.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

putting the meat onto plate, turning over his shoulder to
call into living room. The lovebirds in their cage are making
a terrible racket.

MITCH
Do you want some mustard with this?

MELANIE (O.S.)
No, thank you.

CATHY
(coming from kitchen)
Why didn't Annie stay for dinner?

MITCH
She said something about having to
get home to take a call from her
mother back East.

CATHY
Oh. Where d'you want the coffee?

MITCH
Take it into the living room, would
you, hon?

CATHY
(seeing the birds)
What's the matter with them?

Lydia turns from a side table, where she is cutting some
French bread.

LYDIA
What's the matter with all the birds?

She covers the cage. Under the cover, the birds are still
tweeting madly. Lydia stares at the covered cage for a moment,
and then signs heavily.

LYDIA
Hurry up with the rest, Mitch. I'm
sure Miss Daniels wants to get on
her way.

As she moves into the living room.

CATHY
I think you ought to stay the night,
Melanie.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

a sharp look at her daughter.

MED. SHOT - CATHY

pouring coffee into the cups set on coffee table.

CATHY
We've got an extra room upstairs and
everything.

MITCH
(coming in with two
plates)
That road can be a bad one at night,
Melanie.
(he picks up coffee
cup, hands it to
Melanie)

They are now all eating with plates on their knees - buffet
style.

MELANIE
If I go across to Santa Rosa I'll
come onto the freeway much earlier.

LYDIA
(picking up a cup)
Yeah, and the freeway's well-lighted,
isn't it, Mitch?

MITCH
Yeah, but she'll be hitting all that
traffic going back to San Francisco.

CATHY
Did you put the cover on that cage,
Mom?

LYDIA
Yes, I did.

CATHY
Just listen to them!

MITCH
(to Melanie)
Some cream?

MELANIE
I'll get it.

She reaches over for the cream pitcher. Her eye is caught by
something in the fireplace.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

looking curiously.

CLOSE SHOT - THE FIREPLACE

a single swift is sitting on the hearth.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

turning to Mitch.

MELANIE
Mitch...

CLOSE SHOT - THE FIREPLACE

as dozens of swifts begin pouring from the opening.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

frightened now.

MELANIE
(shouting it)
Mitch!

CLOSE SHOT - THE FIREPLACE

hundreds of birds pouring into the room.

FULL SHOT - LYDIA

shrieking in terror, dropping her coffee cup.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

full of birds, swooping, diving. Mitch runs to the door,
throws it open.

MITCH
(to the others)
Get outside! Run!
(he turns toward Lydia)

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA in terror, surrounded by birds.

MITCH (O.S.)
Mother!

MED. SHOT - MITCH

wrenching the cloth from the coffee table, cups, coffee pot,
sugar bowl, creamer falling to the floor as he swings the
cloth at the birds.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

covering her face.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

reaching for small fireplace broom.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

shrieking as the birds dive at her face.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

realizing it's impossible to run. They must stay and fight.

MITCH
(shouting)
Cathy, get some matches!

MED. SHOT - CATHY

running for the kitchen. Birds swooping after her.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

swinging the fireplace broom.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

rushing to the fireplace. He is almost knocked over by birds
coming out of the opening. He stuffs paper under the logs
already in place there.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

She lets out a horrified scream. There are birds fluttering
in her hair, caught there.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

swinging the broom, covered with birds.

MED. SHOT - A PICTURE ON THE WALL

(an enlargement of a photograph of Cathy, smiling.) As a
bird flutters against it.

MED. SHOT - CATHY

running into the room, covering her face with bent arm,
rushing to Mitch with the box of matches.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

taking the matches. He lights one. A bird hits his arm. He
drops the match. He lights another one.

CLOSE SHOT - THE MATCH

falling onto the paper in the fireplace. It flickers for a
moment, then catches. Birds are still pouring out, past the
paper beginning to catch.

CLOSE SHOT - ANOTHER WINDOW PANE

as a bird crashes through it.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

rushing to Lydia, swinging the cloth at her head. She is
hysterics now, BABBLING. The SHRIEK of the birds is a wild
cacophony.

CLOSE SHOT - THE FIRE

blazing.

MED. SHOT - A BIRD

swooping out of the fireplace, its wings aflame.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

less birds in the air now, the single flaming bird flying
toward the drapes.

MED. SHOT - THE DRAPES

as the flaming bird lands on them.

CLOSE SHOT - THE DRAPES

catching fire.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

swinging the broom wildly.

MELANIE
Mitch! The curtains!

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

turning, seeing, his eyes opening wide.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

ripping at the flaming curtain. He throws it to the floor,
begins stamping on it.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

CATHY
It's working! The fire's working!

CLOSE SHOT - THE FIREPLACE

only the blazing fire. No more birds entering.

MED. SHOT - THE WINDOWS

birds bursting through the panes, leaving.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

as she beats away another bird.

CLOSE SHOT - ONE OF THE BROKEN WINDOWS

the birds leaving en masse now.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

A shambles. Windows broken, furniture knocked over, pictures
askew, the floor covered with birds and broken glass. In a
corner of the room, Lydia crouches with her hands covering
her face, sobbing. The burnt curtain is still smoldering.
Mitch is covered with soot. Melanie puts down the broom
wearily. The attack is over.

DISSOLVE

INT. BRENNER LIVING ROOM - CLOSE SHOT - A HAND

reaching down to pick up a dead bird.

MED. SHOT - AL MALONE, THE DEPUTY

a plain man with a limited intelligence, used to giving out
speeding tickets or warning drunks. He holds the bird on the
palm of his hand, looks at it steadily, nodding all the while.

MALONE
That's a chimney swift, all right.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
We know what it is, Al.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

Lydia is huddled in one of the easy chairs, still in shock.

MALONE
Well, these birds live in chimneys,
you know.

MITCH
Not by the thousands.

MALONE
No, I gotta admit this is peculiar.
(pause)
Did you have a light burning or
something.

MITCH
Yes, but the curtains were drawn.

MALONE
'Cause sometimes birds are attracted
by light, you know.
(pause)
Sure is a peculiar thing.

MITCH
What are we going to do about it,
Al?

MALONE
I don't think I get you, Mitch. Do
about what?

MITCH
Well...
(he feels a little
foolish)
Well... these birds attacked us.

CLOSE SHOT - MALONE

slight disbelief on his face.

MALONE
What's more likely, they got in the
room and was just panicked, that's
all.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
(still a little
hesitant)
All right, I'll grant you a bird'll
panic in an enclosed room. But, they
didn't just get in. They came in!
Right down that chimney.

TWO SHOT - MITCH AND MALONE

MALONE
(trying to make sense
of this)
My wife found a bird in the back
seat of her car once.

MALONE
(shrugs)
Didn't know how he got in there.
Had a broken leg, turned out. Just
fluttering all around there.
(he shrugs again)

MITCH
These birds were...

MALONE
What I'm trying to say, Mitch, is
these things happen sometimes, you
know? Ain't much we can do about it.
(he shrugs)

LYDIA
Tell him about the party.

MITCH
That's right. We had a party here
this afternoon for Cathy. Her
birthday.

MALONE
Oh, yeah, yeah.
(he grins)
How old is she now?

MITCH
Eleven. In the middle of the party,
some gulls came down at the children.
And Miss Daniels was attacked by a
gull just yesterday after...

CLOSE SHOT - MALONE

considering this.

MALONE
Yeah.
(thinking)
Were the kids bothering them or
something? 'Cause sometimes they'll
do that, you know. If you make any
kind of disturbance near them, they'll
just come after you. I seen that
plenty of times myself.

TWO SHOT - MALONE AND LYDIA

LYDIA
The children were playing a game,
Al. Those gulls attacked without...

MALONE
Now, Lydia, 'attack' is a pretty
strong word, don't you think? I mean,
birds just don't go around attacking
people without no reason, you know
what I mean? The kids just probably
scared them, that's all.

LYDIA
These birds attacked!

MALONE
(nodding)
Well, what would you like me to do,
Lydia? Put out a pick up and hold on
any suspicious birds in the area?
(he smiles)
Now, that'd be pretty silly, wouldn't
it?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
Does this room look silly?

TWO SHOT - MITCH AND MALONE

MALONE
No, you got quite a mess here, I'll
admit that.
(pause)
Maybe you oughta put some screening
on top of your chimney
(pause)
Seems a little pointless, though.
Freak accident like this wouldn't
happen again in a million years.
(pause)
You want some help cleaning up?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

exasperated.

MITCH
I can handle it myself.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

giving a small moan.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
I'll take Cathy up to bed.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
Are you staying?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
I think I should, don't you?

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

observing, making no comment.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

putting her arm around Cathy's shoulders.

MELANIE
I'll get my things from the car. Do
you want to walk with me, Cathy?

TWO SHOT - MITCH AND MALONE

as Cathy and Melanie go out.

MALONE
Well, if there's anything else I can
do, Mitch...

MITCH
Thanks, Al. We'll be all right.

MALONE
Goodnight, Lydia.

No answer.

MALONE
Sure is peculiar, I got to say that
for it.

He exits.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

It is silent. Mitch looks across at Lydia who sits as still
as a stone in her chair. The door closes gently on a note of
utter helplessness.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. BEDROOM IN BRENNER HOUSE - MED. SHOT - MELANIE

Melanie has just gotten out of bed. She is wearing the rather
unsophisticated nightdress she brought at the store. Her
hair is loose. She wears no makeup. She is bent over a
lavatory which has been installed in the bedroom. She is
busily brushing her teeth. Her head half turns as she HEARS
VOICES.



LYDIA'S VOICE
Mitch! Mitch! Mitch, I'm going to
drop Cathy off now.

MITCH'S VOICE
Okay.

LYDIA'S VOICE
I'll probably drive over to the
Fawcett farm. Do you need anything
in town?

MITCH'S VOICE
No.

Melanie finished brushing her teeth. She goes to the window
and looks out. Outside, we HEAR the SOUND of the pickup truck
starting.

FULL SHOT - THE YARD BELOW - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

as Cathy, carrying her schoolbooks, runs to the pickup truck
and climbs in. The truck moves out of the yard and down the
road. It turns the bend, and moves out of sight.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

turning from the window. She goes to the bedroom door, CAMERA
FOLLOWING. She opens the door.

MELANIE
Mitch?

There is no answer.

MELANIE
Mitch?

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

coming down the steps from the attic room. The house is empty.
The CAMERA FOLLOWS her into the dining room, where she stops
at the cage of lovebirds, bends down to them with a smile on
her face.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE AND THE BIRDS

She smiles and pokes her finger into the cage. The birds
TWEET at her.

MELANIE
(imitating them)
Chee-chee-chee-chee-chee.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

leaving the cage. She walks to the sideboard upon which is
an electric coffee percolator which is plugged into the wall.
She feels it with her hand. It is hot. She pours a cup, then
peers out of the side window.

LONG SHOT - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

Mitch on the shore, working with a rake in his hands. A thin
column of smoke is climbing the sky.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

carrying the cup of coffee. She sets it down for a moment to
put on her fur coat, which is hanging on the hall stand. She
picks up the cup again, walks to the front door and EXITS.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

coming out of the house and into the garden, carrying the
cup of coffee. It is a beautiful day. She sips at her coffee
and then breathes deeply of the air.

CLOSE SHOT - HER FACE

fresh, rested. There is a contentment in her which we have
not seen before. She looks off toward the shore.

LONG SHOT - MITCH

on the shore, working with the rake. The thin column of smoke
is climbing the sky.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

She turns her attention away from Mitch, and walks to the
end of the garden toward the shore. A wind is blowing off
the water, moving white puffs of cloud swiftly across the
sky, whipping the full short shirt of muumuu about her legs
as she walks. She stands there silhouetted against the sky
for a moment.

SLOW PAN

as Melanie scans the horizon. There isn't a bird anywhere in
sight. The day is still and clear, but somehow ominous in
its silence. Her gaze comes to rest on Mitch and the thin
column of smoke again. In the distance, Mitch sees her and
raises his arm in greeting. She waves back at him. He puts
the rake down and begins walking toward the house.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

There is anticipation on her face now. She watches Mitch
coming toward her, her eyes glowing.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

closer to the house now.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

waiting, anticipating.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

He stops, looks at her, and then turns toward the house.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

as first surprised, and then puzzled. The back screen DOOR
CLATTERS shut off screen. A small hurt look crosses her face.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

as she turns away from the house and begins walking in the
garden, sipping idly at her coffee. A screen DOOR CLATTERS
again. She turns.

Mitch is coming out of the house, from the front door, wearing
a different shirt, buttoning it as he walks to her.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MITCH
I wanted to change my shirt.

Melanie is uncomprehending.

MITCH
It smelled of the fire.

MELANIE
(nodding)
It's hard to believe anything at all
happened yesterday, isn't it? It's
so beautiful and still now.
(pause; then sagely)
I think I've got it all figured out,
by the way.

MITCH
Really? Tell me about it.

MELANIE
(secretively)
It's an uprising.

MITCH
Of birds?

MELANIE
Certainly, of birds.

Mitch grins.

MELANIE
It all started several months ago
with a peasant sparrow up in the
hills, a malcontent. He went around
telling all the other sparrows that
human beings weren't fit to rule
this planet, preaching wherever anyone
would listen...

MITCH
Growing a beard...

MELANIE
(delighted)
Yes, of course, he had to have a
beard! 'Birds of the world, unite!'
he kept saying, over and over...

MITCH
So they united.

MELANIE
Not at first. Oh yes, a few sparrows
out for kicks...

MITCH
Well, they'll go along with anything.

MELANIE
Sure. But eventually, even the more
serious-minded birds began to listen.
"Why should humans rule?" they asked
themselves.

MITCH
Hear!

MELANIE
Why should we submit ourselves to
their domination?

MITCH
Hear, hear!

MELANIE
And all the while, that sparrow was
getting in his little messages.
Birds of the world, unite!

MITCH
Take wing!

MELANIE
You have nothing to lose but your
feathers.

They both burst out laughing, then fall into silence, then
laugh again and finally are silent. The garden is deathly
still.

MITCH
(attempting to be
serious)
What it was, probably...

MELANIE
Mmm?

MITCH
They're probably hungry, that's all.
This was a bad summer. They eat
berries and... and nuts, you know,
and the hills are all burned out, so
they're probably searching for food
wherever they can get it.

MELANIE
With my little sparrow leading team.

She laughs, and Mitch joins her, but it is hollow this time.
Like children who have told themselves a too realistic horror
story, they are becoming a little frightened.

MITCH
It's so damn quiet out there.

MELANIE
It was like that yesterday.

MITCH
What do you mean?

MELANIE
After the gulls attacked.

MITCH
I hadn't thought of that.
(pause)
And then the swifts came.

MELANIE
It makes you feel as if they're...
they're waiting or... resting...
or....

MITCH
(trying to make it
light again)
No, they're having a meeting, Melanie.
Your sparrow is standing on a soap
box and...

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

her face dead serious.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
...waving his little wings...

His voice trails. His face becomes serious, too. Again, the
garden is silent.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

her face set and grim, her eyes serious, her words coming
slowly and with the chill of horror on them.

MELANIE
They were angry, Mitch. They came
out of the chimney in fury.
(pause)
I had the feeling they wanted each
and every one of us dead.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

He takes her in his arms suddenly, to comfort her. She goes
to him longingly.

MITCH
Melanie, Melanie...

MELANIE
I'm frightened, Mitch.

MITCH
No, no...

MELANIE
I'm frightened and confused and I...
I think I want to go back to San
Francisco where there are buildings
and... and concrete and...

MITCH
Melanie...

MELANIE
...everything I know.

She looks up at him suddenly.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
Oh damn it, why did you have to walk
into that shop?

They kiss suddenly and fiercely. On their kiss,

DISSOLVE

EXT. FAWCETT FARM - FULL SHOT - THE RED PICKUP TRUCK

Lydia at the wheel, pulling into the Fawcett farm, the name
of the farm clearly visible on a painted arch over the gate.
Lydia gets out of the truck and walks to the front door. She
knocks. There is no answer.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
Dan?

She comes down off the steps, the CAMERA FOLLOWING, back a
little away from the house.

LYDIA
Dan?

There is no answer. She shades her eyes and looks out over
the fields.

LONG SHOT - FARMHAND ON TRACTOR

FULL SHOT - THE BARNYARD

as Lydia crosses to a fence and cups her hands to her mouth.

LYDIA
(shouting)
Hi, there!

LONG SHOT - THE FARMHAND

He stops the tractor, turns toward Lydia, shading his eyes.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
(shouting)
Is Mr. Fawcett home?

LONG SHOT - THE FARMHAND

FARMHAND
(shouting back)
I think so, ma'm. His missus is in
Santa Cruz, but he ought to be here.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
Have you seen him this morning?

LONG SHOT - THE FARMHAND FARMHAND

No, ma'm. I reckon he's in there, though.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
(shouting it)
Thank you!

FULL SHOT - LYDIA

as she crosses the barnyard again. There are several chickens
scurrying about. She walks closer to them, sees an open bag
of feed lying against the fence.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

getting an idea.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA

reaching into the bag of feed. She scatters some on the
ground.

LYDIA
Here, chick, chick, chick, chick.
Here, chick, chick, chick, chick.

CLOSE SHOT - A CHICKEN

He struts up to the scattered grain.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

watching him.

CLOSE SHOT - THE CHICKEN

He seems to be examining the feed. Then he turns away from
it and struts off.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

a small knowledgeable nod of her head. The chicken's reaction
strengthens her determination to talk to Fawcett. She turns.

FULL SHOT - LYDIA

approaching the front door again. She knocks. No answer.

LYDIA
Dan?

She backs away from the house again. The barnyard is silent.
In the distance, we can HEAR the SOUND of the tractor.

LYDIA
Dan? Are you home?

No answer.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

a little annoyed. She glances at the ground floor window
closest to the door.

CLOSE SHOT - THE WINDOW

A small pane of glass is broken.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

puzzled.

FULL SHOT - LYDIA

going to the front door, trying the knob.

MED. SHOT - LYDIA

The door opening ahead of her as she pokes her head into the
house.

LYDIA
Dan?

The house is still and silent.

INT. THE ENTRY HALL - FULL SHOT

as Lydia comes in. We can see the living room off to the
right, but it looks normal and untouched. Lydia turns to her
left and looks down a long corridor.

FULL SHOT - THE CORRIDOR - LYDIA'S P.O.V.

a door at the end of it is partially ajar, spilling artificial
light into the corridor.

LYDIA
Dan?

No answer.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

a little troubled. She seems deciding whether or not she
should leave. A determined look comes over her face.

FULL SHOT - THE CORRIDOR - LYDIA'S P.O.V.

as she walks down it slowly toward the open door at the
opposite end. Outside the door, she pauses.

LYDIA
Dan? Are you in there?

No answer. Lydia puts out her hand, slowly begins showing
the door open.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

coming into the room. Her eyes begin to take in the room.

SLOW PAN OF THE ROOM - LYDIA'S P.O.V.

starting to the right of the doorway as she enters and
continuing a little below eye level, the CAMERA PICKS OUT: A
standing floor lamp, the shade dangling, but the light still
burning; a picture hanging askew on the wall, its glass
shattered; the window to the left of the picture, every pane
of glass shattered; a dresser with two stuffed birds on its
top; both birds have been badly damaged, the stuffing ripped
out of them, the head of one hanging at a crooked near
decapitated angle; the window to the left of the dresser,
all the panes shattered. The level of the CAMERA DESCENDS,
and begins a SLOW PAN of the floor. It PICKS OUT broken glass,
continues its PAN to SHOW scattered feathers, continues its
PAN to SHOW a broom, feathers caught in the straw, a single
bedroom slipper, continues to SHOW a pair of legs in pajamas,
one foot bare, the other slippered, and then immediately

CUTS TO:

CLOSE SHOT - DAN FAWCETT

His face. Covered with blood, the eyes missing from their
empty staring sockets. Immediately

CUT TO:

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

a terrified scream erupting from her mouth.

FULL SHOT - LYDIA

turning and running for the door. The CAMERA FOLLOWS her in
an unbroken headlong flight, the scream continuing as if she
is incapable of stopping it, as she stumbles, runs, trips
her way down the corridor and bursts out of the house, still
screaming, into the pickup truck. The engine starts, she
backs the truck out at breakneck speed and hits the highway,

CAMERA FOLLOWING. CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

at the wheel, her face stamped with terror, her eyes wide.

FULL SHOT - THE TRUCK

at breakneck speed, negotiating the severe curves on the
highway. It almost hits a small car coming from the opposite
direction, swerves, screeches around the curve.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

behind the wheel, unmindful of anything but flight.

FULL SHOT - THE ROAD - LYDIA'S POV

through the windshield, blurring past. She turns the bend
leading to the house. For an instant, through the windshield,
there is a quick glimpse of Melanie and Mitch in embrace in
the garden. Then the tires shriek, and the truck turns and
barrels into the front yard.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

alarmed as he runs out of the garden and toward the truck
just as it jerks to a stop.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

through the truck as he pulls open the door opposite Lydia.

MITCH
(alarmed)
What is it?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

as he sees his mother.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

slumped on the wheel of the car, her head on her arms,
sobbing. On her sobs...

DISSOLVE

INT. BRENNER KITCHEN - MED. SHOT - MELANIE

at the kitchen stove, taking a kettle of tea from the burner.
She pours it into a cup, puts the cup on a tray already set
with sugar and creamer. She looks up as Mitch comes into the
kitchen.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MITCH
That was Al on the phone. He wants
me to meet him out at the Fawcett
place. Says some detectives from
Santa Rosa'll be there in a little
while.
(pause)
Will you be all right here?

MELANIE
Yes. I was just taking her in some
tea.

He goes to her, puts his arms around her from behind, kisses
her hair. But she turns in his arms suddenly and clings to
him fiercely, and then buries her head in his shoulder.

MELANIE
Be careful. Please.

She walks him to the door. At the door, they kiss -- a long,
full kiss.

FULL SHOT -- THE KITCHEN

as Mitch goes out. Melanie looks after him for a moment, and
then picks up the tray. Outside, we HEAR the SOUND of his
car starting. The CAMERA FOLLOWS Melanie out of the kitchen,
through the dining room, and to one of the bedroom doors on
the other side of the house. Gently, she KNOCKS.

LYDIA (O.S.)
Mitch?

FULL SHOT - THE BEDROOM

This is Lydia's room, and cluttered with the mementos of a
life no longer valid. There are photographs of her dead
husband, souvenirs of trips taken together, bric-a-brac of
Mitch's childhood. Under it all, there is a distinct
femininity. She sits up in bed as Melanie enters, bearing
the tray.

MELANIE
No, it's me, Mrs. Brenner. I thought
you might like some tea.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MELANIE

LYDIA
Oh, thank you.

There is a long silence as Melanie puts the tray on the bed,
arranges the pillows behind Lydia.

LYDIA
Where's Mitch?

MELANIE
Al Malone wanted him out at the
Fawcett farm.

LYDIA
Why? Didn't Al believe my story?

MELANIE
He was calling from the farm, Mrs.
Brenner.

LYDIA
Then he saw.

MELANIE
He must have. He sent for the Santa
Rosa police.

LYDIA
What good will they do?

She sips at the tea. There is a long awkward pause. Melanie
walks to the window and looks out over the bay.

LYDIA
Do you think Cathy's all right?

MELANIE
What?

LYDIA
Cathy. At the school.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

at the window, her face turned away from Lydia. Her expression
clearly shows that she doesn't know whether Cathy is all
right. But when she turns to Lydia, there is a comforting
smile on her face, and her voice is soothing.

MELANIE
Yes, I'm sure she's fine.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND LYDIA

LYDIA
Do I sound foolish to you?

MELANIE
No.

LYDIA
I keep seeing Dan Fawcett's face.
(she shudders)
They have such big windows at the
school.
(pause)
All the windows were broken. In Dan's
bedroom. All the windows.

MELANIE
Try not to think of that, Mrs.
Brenner.

LYDIA
I wish I were a stronger person.
There is a long awkward silence. She
sips at her tea reflectively.

LYDIA
I lost my husband four years ago,
you know.
(pause)
It's odd how you depend on someone
for strength, and then suddenly all
the strength is gone, and you're
alone.
(pause)
I'd love to relax some time. I'd
love to be able to sleep.
(pause; the worried
look again)
Do you think Cathy's all right?

MELANIE
Annie's there. She'll be all right.

LYDIA
I'm not this way, you know. Not
usually. I don't fuss and fret over
my children.
(pause)
When Frank died...
(pause)
You see, he knew the children, he
really knew them. He had the knack
of being able to enter into their
world, of becoming a part of them.
That's a rare talent.

MELANIE
Yes.

LYDIA
I wish I could be that way.

There is another silence. A curious thing is happening in
this room. Lydia, for perhaps the first time since her
husband's death, is discussing it with another person.
Curiously, the person is Melanie.

LYDIA
(honestly and simply)
I miss him.
(pause)
You know, sometimes I wake up in the
morning, and I think 'I have to make
Frank's breakfast,' and I... I get
up and there's a... a very good reason
for getting out of bed until... until,
of course, I remember.
(pause)
I miss talking to him.
(pause)
Cathy's a child, you know, and
Mitch...
(she shrugs a little
sadly)
...Mitch has his own life.
(pause)
I'm glad he stayed here today. I
feel safer with him here.
(she sighs deeply)

MELANIE
Would you like to rest now, Mrs.
Brenner.

LYDIA
No. No... don't go yet.
(pause)
I feel as if I... I don't understand
you. And I want so much to understand.

MELANIE
Why, Mrs. Brenner?

LYDIA
Because my son is...
(pause)
My son seems to be fond of you.
(pause)
And I...
(pause)
I'm not quite sure how I feel about
it. I really don't know if I... like
you or not.

MELANIE
Is that so important, Mrs. Brenner?
You liking me?

LYDIA
Yes, I think so. My son is important
to me. I want to like any girl he
chooses.

MELANIE
And if you don't?

LYDIA
(with a faint smile)
Then I don't suppose it'll matter
much to anyone but me.

MELANIE
I think it might also matter to Mitch.

LYDIA
(shaking her head)
Mitch has always done exactly what
he wanted to do.
(pause)
I'm not complaining. That's the mark
of a man. But...
(pause)
You see, I... I wouldn't want to
be... be left alone. I don't think I
could bear being left alone. I...
forgive me. This business with the
birds has me upset. I... I don't
know what I'd do if Mitch weren't
here.

MELANIE
(going to the bed;
adjusting the pillow)
Why don't you try to sleep now, Mrs.
Brenner.

LYDIA
(sighing)
I wish I were stronger.
(she pauses and looks
toward the window.)
Do you think she's all right? Do you
think she's safe at the school?

MELANIE
Would you like me to go for her?

LYDIA
I couldn't ask you to.

MELANIE
I don't mind, really.

LYDIA
Would you? I'd feel so much better.

MELANIE
I'll just clear up here, and then
dress.

She picks up the tray and starts for the door.

LYDIA
Melanie?

At the door, Melanie turns.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

her face soft.

LYDIA
(gently)
Thank you for the tea.

DISSOLVE

EXT. BODEGA BAY - DAY - LONG SHOT

Melanie's car turns and goes up School Road.

EXT. SCHOOL - DAY - MED. SHOT

Closer shot of the car coming to a stop outside school.
Inside the school, we HEAR the children SINGING.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
I married my wife in the month of
June. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, mo, mo
mo!

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

smiling as she gets out of the car and heads for the school.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
I carried her off in a silver spoon.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey bombosity,
knickety-knackety, retro-retroquo-
quality, willoby-wallaby, quo-mo,
mo, mo! Uality, willoby-wallaby,
quo-mo, mo, mo!

The CAMERA FOLLOWS Melanie into the school and down the
corridor. The children's VOICES are LOUDER now.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
She combed her hair but once a year.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, Mo, mo, mo!
With every rake, she shed a tear.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey bombosity,
knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality,
willoby-wallaby, Mo, mo, mo!

Melanie is at the door to Annie's room now. She opens the
door and looks in.

FULL SHOT - ANNIE - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

leading the children in song. She catches sight of Melanie
at the door. Melanie wiggles her fingers. Annie points to
her wristwatch indicating that she'll be finished in a few
minutes and motions for her to wait in the play-yard outside.
Melanie turns and starts down the corridor again.

EXT. SCHOOL - MED. PANNING SHOT

Melanie emerges and strolls up street toward Annie's house.
Inside the children are still singing.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
She swept the floor but once a year.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, mo, mo, mo!
She swore her broom was much too
dear. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey
bombosity, knickety-knackety, retro-
quo-quality, willoby-wallaby, mo,
mo, mo!

CLOSE SHOT

Melanie turns back and seats herself on seat in front of
play yard.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
She churned the butter in Dad's old
boot. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, mo,
mo, mo! And for a dasher she used
her foot. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee,
hey bombosity, knickety-knackety,
retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby,
mo, mo, mo!

CLOSE UP - MELANIE

A side profile of Melanie as she sits. Size of shot has seat
on bottom of screen. We are shooting three-quarter toward
the school.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
The butter came out a grizzle-y-
ygrey. Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, grey.
Mo, mo, mo! The cheese took legs
and ran away! Ristle-tee, rostle-
tee, hey bombosity, knickety-knackety,
retro-quo-quality, willoby-wallaby,
mo, mo, mo!

MED. SHOT - PLAY YARD

Three-quarter angle on play yard behind Melanie. A CROW
alights on the Jungle Jim.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
I brought my wife a horse one day.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, mo, mo, mo!
She let the critter get away. Ristle-
tee, rostle-tee, hey bombosity,
knickety-knackety, retro-quo-quality,
willoby-wallaby, mo, mo, mo!

CLOSER SHOT - MELANIE

a nearer cut of Melanie same angle as previous. Waist shot.

MED. SHOT - PLAY YARD

again four more crows arrive.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

Nearer shot of Melanie smoking. Same angle. Just above waist -
bust shot.

MED. SHOT - PLAY YARD

Again five more crows arrive.

CLOSE UP - MELANIE

head and shoulders of Melanie as she sits smoking. There is
no sound except for the faint voices of the children singing
inside the schoolhouse. Melanie is puffing away at her
cigarette and occasionally glances in the direction of the
school. We hold on this shot of Melanie for a very long time
so that we are able to express her ignorance of what is going
on behind her with the crows. After a wait of about what
seems to be a half a minute or more, Melanie's attention is
drawn to something above her.

MED. SHOT - SKY

A crows is coming down.

CLOSE UP - MELANIE

as her eyes follow the flight of the crow.

MED. SHOT - SKY

Crow moving down and LEFT to RIGHT, the sky and Annie's roof
in the background.

CLOSE UP - MELANIE

Her head has twisted around to follow the flight of the crow.
She is almost looking into the play yard.

MED. SHOT - PLAY YARD

A crow slowly descends to the play yard and as the CAMERA
FOLLOWS it down, we see for the first time that the number
of crows has increased to an alarming number - almost 200 or
even perhaps 250. This last crow settles down with the others.

CHILDREN (O.S.)
(throughout preceding)
I asked my wife to wash the floor.
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, mo, mo, mo!
She gave me my hat and showed me the
door! Ristle-tee, rostle-tee, hey
bombosity, knickety-knackety,
Retro-quo-quality,
(the song slows -- it
is near the end)
Willoby-wallaby, mmmmmmmo, mmmmmmmoo,
Mo!

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE The CAMERA WHIPS UP as she leaps to her
feet in alarm. Her body has turned, but we are now facing
the opposite side of the school yard.

CLOSER SHOT - PLAY YARD

The play yard is full of crows.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

Big head of horrified Melanie.

MED. SHOT - PLAY YARD

A closer view of the menacing birds.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

Big profile of Melanie. She turns with back to CAMERA and
goes toward school looking at crows as she goes away. The
CAMERA FOLLOWS her for a few paces and then STOPS so that
her image becomes smaller as she goes up steps into

EXT. PLAY YARD - DOLLY SHOT

A side view of the crows as seen by Melanie.

FULL SHOT - THE INTERIOR CORRIDOR

Melanie in headlong flight toward Annie's room.

ANNIE (O.S.)
All right, children. Now please put
your books in your desks, and bring
the songsheets to the front of the
room. No one's going out to play
until I have all the songsheets.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

Annie is lining the children up near the door leading to the
play yard.

ANNIE
We're not going outside until we
quiet down. Ralph? Did you hear me?

The children mutter for a moment, and then are still.

ANNIE
All right now.

She begins opening the play yard door. Suddenly, the door
from the corridor bursts open, and Melanie rushes wildly
INTO the room. She goes directly to Annie, shoves her out of
the way, and SLAMS shut the play yard door.

CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

ANNIE
wh...?

TWO SHOT - ANNIE AND MELANIE

against a background of children's VOICES, as they react to
this new excitement.

MELANIE
Outside.

LONG SHOT - THE CROWS - THROUGH THE WINDOWS TWO SHOT - ANNIE
AND MELANIE

MELANIE
We've got to get the children out of
here. These big windows... there's
no way to board them up.

Annie gives a quick nod, understanding immediately.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

Through the windows, we can see the waiting crows. One moves
restlessly into flight, then settles on the equipment again.

ANNIE
Quiet down, children! Quiet down!

The children modulate into silence.

ANNIE
Miss Daniels wants to see how we
conduct ourselves during a fire drill.
I'd like you to...

CHILDREN
(grumbling in Unison)
A fire drill? This is our play period,
Miss Hayworth! Gee whiz! Etc.

ANNIE
I'd like you to show her how quiet
and obedient you can be.

The children again fall silent.

ANNIE
We're going to go out of the school
now. Those of you who live nearby
can go directly home. I want the
rest of you to go down the hill, all
the way to the hotel. Do you
understand?

CHILDREN
All the way down the hill? Gee, Miss
Hayworth, we never... Home? Why do
we...?

ANNIE
(shushing them)
I want you to go as quietly as you
can, not a sound, until I tell you
to run. And then I want you to run
as fast as you can. Does everyone
understand?
(pause - silence)
All right. John, would you lead the
class, please?

The children walk two-by-two to the corridor door. John opens
it, and they begin filing out. Melanie turns to look at the
play yard.

CLOSE SHOT - A SINGLE CROW

fluttering at the window, almost in exploration. He hangs
there for a moment, then wings back to the playground
equipment.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

MELANIE
(whispering)
Hurry!

EXT. PLAY YARD - FULL SHOT (6)

straight on of all the crows.

NEARER SHOT - PLAY YARD (8)

but a different angle.

CLOSER SHOT - PLAY YARD (10)

but a different angle from the others

CLOSE SHOT - (12)

A low angle of five or six crows filling the screen.

EXT. PLAY YARD

The screen is filled with crows. About fifty or more. All of
a sudden we HEAR the distant PATTERING of children's feet as
they start running. Immediately the crows rise and the CAMERA
PANS UP with them into the sky.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - LONG SHOT - (PLATE) (15)

The FULL SHOT showing the children running toward the CAMERA -
Annie herding them at the rear. The crows - about two hundred -
rising over the schoolhouse roof and descending toward and
reaching the running children. Shot as a moving background
with six or seven children in front on a treadmill with the
mechanical birds coming into top of screen as though
continuing on from the plate. The birds swing around and
among the foreground children.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (4) (S)

A side view of running children with Melanie in front urging
them forward. Birds fly between them, two or three others
wheel around, one live one sweeps by in foreground.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (P)

Three or four children running. Birds overhead - one or two
children spread out as others come in from sides and take
their places. Birds swerve in and out.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (S)

Profile of running child. Bird catches up and bites.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (S)

A nearer side on view without Melanie. Birds wheeling in and
out - others overhead.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (P)

Bird on top of girl's head (showing feet and wings).

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (S)

A three-quarter back of two children running - lots of birds
overhead and others wheeling. Screen almost full of birds.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (P)

One-half child's face - a bird's head and beak on left,
dashing round to the child.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - CLOSE UP (L)

of feet running.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - HIGH MOVING SHOT (6) (L)

showing the crows among the running children.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (P)

Big head of girl - bird lands on her right shoulder - wing
over her face.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (P)

One SCREAMING child as bird swoops from top left down to
lower right.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (S)

Head and shoulders of boy who ducks behind pole -- bird goes
by as another attacks him from right-hand side.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (FP)

Back view of boy's head running. He looks back.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD () (P)

Big head of bird coming at CAMERA.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (FP)

Back view of little girl running. She looks over her shoulder.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD () (P)

Big head of bird coming into CAMERA.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (L)

Straight back CLOSE SHOT of Annie dragging slow children. No
birds in back, but several wheeling around them.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - HIGH MOVING SHOT (6) (L)

showing the crows chasing the children down the street -
with the Bay in the distance.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (S)

A bird dives to head of Michele and she falls OUT of picture.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - CLOSE UP (1) (L)

of Michele as she hits ground.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - CLOSE UP () (L)

Her glasses smash.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (S)

Flash Cathy - she sees and runs back. Birds swirling around.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (1) (S)

Six birds descend on fallen Michele - legs running by.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (S)

Cathy RUSHES IN. She disperses birds and bends to pick up
Michele.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (S)

Melanie stops, looks back and sees Cathy and Michele, heads
of other children rushing by in foreground. Birds swirling.
Melanie dashes out left.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (3) (S)

Melanie reaches Cathy and Michele -- Michele is now on her
feet. Birds swirling -- Melanie looks about -- sees.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (2) (L)

Station wagon across the street. Birds swirling about and
children running by.

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD (5) (L)

Melanie drags Cathy and Michele to the station wagon. We see
the Bay in the distance and children running on the bottom
of the street.

INT. STATION WAGON - CLOSE SHOT (8) (S)

Shooting inside the wagon across the front seat. The three
scramble in, Cathy first, then Michele and Melanie last --

the door SLAMS on crows swooping around. Cathy and Michele
are SCREAMING with fright.

INT. STATION WAGON - P.O.V. (3) (FP)

Through the windshield we see crows attacking. Bay and running
children in distance.

INT. STATION WAGON (3) (P)

The faces of the three - Birds are fluttering on the rear
window.

INT. STATION WAGON - MELANIE (3) (P)

wheel in foreground. She starts to slam hand on horn ring.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (S)

Crows attacking side window.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (S)

Hand on horn ring.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (P)

Cathy and Michele's faces huddled together.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (P)

Melanie's big head - she looks down.

INT. STATION WAGON - CLOSE UP (1) (P)

Knob of wiper -- her hand comes in and pulls it out.

INT. STATION WAGON (3) (FP)

Wipers starting. Crows retreat.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (P)

The three faces staring out.

INT. STATION WAGON - P.O.V. (3) (P)

through windshield. The crows are starting to go away.

INT. STATION WAGON (2) (P)

Melanie looks out and sees:

EXT. SCHOOL ROAD - P.O.V. (6) (FP)

through windshield. Annie running back with stick. She beats
the last of the crows away.

INT. STATION WAGON (6) (S)

Melanie flops in exhaustion over the wheel as Annie comes
round to the side window and starts to open the door.

DISSOLVE

INT. THE TIDES - FULL SHOT

It is lunchtime and there is a busy bustle to the place as
DEKE CARTER officiates behind the bar and HELEN CARTER, his
wife, rushes back and forth between diners at the tables. A
DRUNK sits at the bar, old, grizzled, the weary wisdom of
booze in him. In one of the booths sits SEBASTIAN SHOLES in
his shirt sleeves, eating a hurried lunch quickly and
efficiently. A WOMAN and TWO CHILDREN are seated at another
table, about to order. A party of noisy SALESMAN is laughing
and clowning around throughout following at a table in the
rear. The phone from behind the bar has been placed on the
counter, and Melanie is speaking into it while Deke listens.
Over her head, the television set is blasting with its
perennial Western, the gun shots punctuating her conversation.

MELANIE
Daddy, there were hundreds of them.
No, I'm not hysterical, I'm trying
to tell you this as calmly as I know
how. All right, Daddy. Yes Daddy.
(she takes a deep
breath)
Just now. Not... fifteen minutes
ago.

The door to the Tides opens and MRS. BUNDY, sixtyish, wearing
walking shoes and a tweed suit, a very masculine-looking
woman with short clipped white hair, comes in, passes through
foreground, goes to bar, her attention slowly caught by what
Melanie is saying.

MELANIE
At the school. No, I don't. Just a
minute.
(to Deke)
What's the name of the school?

DEKE
Just the Bodega Bay School.
(to Mrs. Bundy)
Help you, Mrs. Bundy?

MRS. BUNDY
I need some change, Mr. Carter.

As Deke opens cash register...

MELANIE
The Bodega Bay School.
(to Deke)
Could you turn that down, please?

Deke gives Mrs. Bundy her change, turns off television.

MELANIE
I don't know how many children.
Thirty or forty. Yes.

Mrs. Bundy goes to cigarette machine, pauses to listen to
Melanie.

MELANIE
No, the birds didn't attack until
the children were outside the school.
Crows, I think. I don't know, Daddy.
Is there a difference between crows
and blackbirds?

MRS. BUNDY
(turning from machine)
There is very definitely a difference,
Miss.

MELANIE
They're different, Daddy.
(to Mrs. Bundy)
Thank you.
(into phone)
I think these were crows. Yes,
hundreds of them. Yes, they attacked
the children, attacked them.
(exasperated)
Daddy, a little girl was sent to the
hospital in Santa Rosa. Well, all
right, but you act as if I'm... all
right, all right.
(pause)
No, I can't come home now. I just
can't, Daddy. How is it there? I
mean... are there birds? In the sky?
But no trouble. Well, I hope...
(pause)
I don't know when. I simply can't
leave now. Tell Mother not to worry.
All right, Daddy, good-by.

She hangs up. Mrs. Bundy is at her elbow.

MRS. BUNDY
They're both perching birds, of
course, but of quite different
species. The crow is brachyrhynchos.
The blackbird is cyanocephalus.

MELANIE
Thank you.
(to Deke)
Do you know Dan Fawcett's number?

DEKE
In the book right here, Miss.

As Melanie looks it up...

DEKE
(to Mrs. Bundy)
I don't see what difference it makes,
Mrs. Bundy, crows or blackbirds. If
they attacked the school, that's
pretty serious.

MRS. BUNDY
(with a superior smile)
I hardly think either species would
have the intelligence to launch a
massed attack. Their brain pans aren't
large enough for such...

MELANIE
(dialing)
I just came from the school, madam.
I don't know about their brain pans
but...

MRS. BUNDY
Birds are not aggressive creatures,
Miss. They bring beauty to the world.
It is mankind, rather, who...

HELEN
(going to door leading
to kitchen)
Three Southern fried chicken, Sam.
Baked potato on all of them.

LAUGHTER from salesman at table.

MELANIE
(into phone)
Hello, may I speak to Mitch Brenner,
please?
(pause)
Yes, I'll wait.

MRS. BUNDY
(continuing to Deke)
...insist on making it difficult for
life to survive on this planet. If
it weren't for birds...

DEKE
Mrs. Bundy, you don't seem to
understand. This young lady says
there was an attack on the school.

MRS. BUNDY
Impossible.

MELANIE
(in background)
Mitch? I'm glad I caught you.
Something terrible has happened.

Her background conversation continues through following:

DRUNK
(suddenly)
It's the end of the world!

HELEN
What's this about the school?

DEKE
Bunch of crows attacked the school,
Helen.

DRUNK
It's the end of the world.
(suddenly quoting)
"Thus saith the Lord God to the
mountains, and to the hills, to the
rivers and to the valleys; Behold,
I, even I, will bring a sword upon
you, and I will destroy your high
places.

HELEN
The Lord's not destroying anything,
Jason.

DRUNK
"In all your dwelling places, the
cities shall be laid waste, and the
high places shall be laid waste!"
(he nods)
Ezekiel, Chapter six.

HELEN
(quoting)
"Woe unto them that rise up early in
the morning that they may follow
strong drink."

DRUNK
(nodding)
Isaiah, Chapter 5. It's the end of
the world.

MELANIE
Yes, all right, I'll wait for you.
Good-by.
(she hangs up)

MRS. BUNDY
(laughing)
I hardly think a few birds are going
to bring about the end of the world.

MELANIE
(turning to her)
These weren't a few birds.

CLOSE SHOT - THE WOMAN AND THE CHILDREN

waiting for their lunch, listening to the conversation;
becoming very nervous.

BACK TO SCENE

DEKE
I didn't even know there were many
crows in Bodega Bay this time of
year.

MRS. BUNDY
The crow is a permanent resident
throughout its range. In fact, during
our Christmas Count, we recorded...

CLOSE SHOT - SHOLES

eating.

SHOLES
(suddenly, from his
table)
How many gulls did you count, Mrs.
Bundy?

BACK TO SCENE

MRS. BUNDY
Which gulls, Mr. Sholes? There are
several varieties.

SHOLES
The ones that've been raising the
devil with my fishing boats.

MRS. BUNDY
Probably herring gulls. They arrive
in November, you know, and don't
migrate North again until March or...

MELANIE
(leaping upon this)
Have you had trouble with gulls?

SHOLES
One of my boats did last week.

DEKE
(making a connection)
This young lady got hit by a gull
only Saturday.

SAM'S VOICE
(from kitchen)
Pick up the chicken.

HELEN
Now it's gulls. A minute ago, it was
crows.
(she picks up tray,
shrugs, goes to table)
Deke, I'm still waiting for those
Bloody Marys!

DEKE
Coming right up!

CLOSE SHOT - WOMAN

as Helen brings food. She is beginning to get really
frightened.

WOMAN
Could you ask them to lower their
voices, please? They're frightening
the children.

LITTLE GIRL
Timmy has a canary.

HELEN
That's nice. Are you Timmy?

LITTLE BOY
My cousin is Timmy.

BACK TO SCENE

SAM'S VOICE
(leaving table, coming
to bar)
A whole flock of gulls nearby capsized
one of my boats. Practically tore
of the skipper's arm.

HELEN
(coming back)
You're scaring the kids. Keep it
low.

DEKE
You're scaring me, too. Are you trying
to say all these...
(he shakes his head)
That sounds impossible, Sebastian.

SHOLES
I'm only telling you what happened
to my boat.

MRS. BUNDY
The gulls were after your fish, Mr.
Sholes. Really, let's be logical
about this.

MELANIE
What were the crows after at the
school?

MRS. BUNDY
What do you think they were after,
Miss...?

MELANIE
Daniels. I think they were after the
children.

MRS. BUNDY
For what purpose?

MELANIE
To...
(she hesitates)
To kill them.

There is a long silence.

MRS. BUNDY
Why?

Another silence.

MELANIE
I don't know why.

MRS. BUNDY
I thought not. Birds have been on
this planet since archaeopteryx,
Miss Daniels; a hundred and twenty
million years ago!

A TRAVELING SALESMAN ENTERS, goes to bar, listens.

MRS. BUNDY
Doesn't it seem odd that they'd wait
all that time to start a... a war
against humanity?

MELANIE
No one called it a war!

SALESMAN
Scotch, light on the water.

MRS. BUNDY
You and Mr. Sholes seem to be implying
as much.

HELEN
Are you finished here, Sebastian?

SHOLES
Let me have some apple pie, Helen.
(to Mrs. Bundy)
Who said anything about war? All I
said was that some gulls...

HELEN
(yelling to kitchen)
One apple pie! You want more coffee?

SHOLES
No. ...came down on one of my boats.
They could have been after the fish,
just as you said.

SALESMAN
Your captain should have shot at
them.

SHOLES
What?

SALESMAN
Gulls are scavengers, anyway. Most
birds are. If you ask me, we should
wipe them all out. World would be
better off without them.

MRS. BUNDY
(outraged)
Birds?

SALESMAN
Yeah, birds. All they do is make a
mess of everything. Who needs them?

MRS. BUNDY
We need them.

SALESMAN
Not if they're starting a war.

MRS. BUNDY
They are incapable of organized
warfare!

MELANIE
Have you ever seen a jay protecting
a nest?

MRS. BUNDY
I have seen jays doing everything it
is conceivable for jays to do.
Ornithology happens to be my
avocation, Miss Daniels. You're
talking about preservation of the
species, a hen protecting her young.
There's a vast difference between...

MELANIE
Maybe they're all protecting the
species. Maybe they're tired of being
shot at and roasted in ovens and...

MRS. BUNDY
Are you discussing gamebirds now?
All birds are not gamebirds, you
know.

MELANIE
I don't know anything about birds
except that they're attacking this
town.

SALESMAN
Then fight back. Get yourselves guns
and wipe them off the face of the
earth.

MRS. BUNDY
That would hardly be possible.

DEKE
Why not, Mrs. Bundy?

MRS. BUNDY
Because there are 8,650 species of
birds in the world today, Mr. Carter.
It's estimated that five billion,
seven hundred and fifty million birds
live in the United States alone. The
five continents of the world...

SALESMAN
(muttering)
Kill them all. Get rid of them.
Messy animals.

MRS. BUNDY
...probably contain more than a
hundred billion birds!

DRUNK
It's the end of the world!

DEKE
Well, we seem to have more than our
share of them right now, Mrs. Bundy.
Maybe this young lady's right. Maybe
they've all gone crazy.

HELEN
Here's your pie, Sebastian. You want
it at the table?

SHOLES
No. Here's fine.
(he begins eating)

HELEN
Where are the Bloody Marys, Deke?

DEKE
Coming.

HELEN
(angrily)
Are we running a business here -- or
a bird sanctuary?

SHOLES
(beginning to change
his mind)
Actually, those gulls must have been
after the fish.

MRS. BUNDY
Of course.

SHOLES
Makes a lot more sense than... well,
an attack.

MRS. BUNDY
Of course it does. If we believe
that birds are attacking, why... why
next we'll believe that grasshoppers
and cockroaches are capable of...

DRUNK
Cockroaches! Urghh!

CLOSE SHOT - WOMAN

getting more and more anxious.

WOMAN
Hurry, children. Finish your lunch.

BOY
Are the birds gonna eat us, Mommy?

SHOLES
Maybe we're all getting a little
carried away by this. Admittedly, a
few birds acted strangely. That's no
reason to believe...

MELANIE
This isn't a few birds! I keep telling
you that! These are gulls and swifts
and crows and...

MRS. BUNDY
And what? Vultures? Hawks? Eagles?

MELANIE
Maybe! Is it impossible?

MRS. BUNDY
Yes. I have never known birds of
different species to flock together.
The very concept is unimaginable.
(laughing)
Why if that happened, we wouldn't
have a chance. How could we possible
hope to fight them?

SHOLES
We couldn't. You're right, Mrs.
Bundy.

WOMAN
(calling from table)
Excuse me, may I have a check, please?

HELEN
(concerned)
Is everything all right, ma'am?

WOMAN
Yes, I... I'm anxious to get on the
road.

SAM
(coming from kitchen)
What's the matter? Something wrong
out here?

DEKE
Nothing's wrong.

SAM
All this shouting.

MRS. BUNDY
We're fighting a war, Sam.

SAM
A war? Against who? Did the
Russians...?

SHOLES
Against birds.

WOMAN
(suddenly)
I'm glad you all think this is so
amusing. You've frightened my children
half out of their wits.

BOY
I'm not scared, Mommy.

WOMAN
Keep quiet. If that young lady saw
an attack on the school, why won't
you believe her?

SAM
What attack? Who attacked the school?

WOMAN
Birds did. Crows! And you're all
sitting around here debating! What
do you want them to do next? Crash
through that window?

LITTLE GIRL
(frightened by her
mother)
Mommy!

WOMAN
Quiet! Why don't you all get home?
Lock your doors and windows!
(her hysteria rising)
Put on your coats, children!
(to Deke)
What's the fastest road to San
Francisco?

DEKE
The freeway, ma'am.

WOMAN
Where do I get it?

SALESMAN
I'm going out that way, lady. You
can follow me.

WOMAN
Then let's go. Now!

SALESMAN
I haven't finished my drink.

WOMAN
(on edge of panic,
shouting at her
children)
Put on your coats! Do you want to
get trapped here?

BOY
I can't find my scarf.

WOMAN
Look in your sleeve!

The door opens. Mitch and Al Malone come in.

MITCH
Melanie?

At the far table, the salesman begin singing, rowdily.

MITCH
(going to her)
I got here as fast as I could.
Where's Cathy?

MELANIE
At Annie's house. She's all right.

SAM
Al, why aren't you over there where
the attack was?

MALONE
Because I just got back from Dan
Fawcett's place, that's why.

MITCH
He was killed last night. By birds.

MALONE
Now hold it, Mitch. You don't know
that for a fact.

MRS. BUNDY
What are the facts, Mr. Malone?

MALONE
Santa Rosa police think it was a
felony murder. They think a burglar
broke in and killed him.

WOMAN
Were the Santa Rosa police at your
school today?
(impatiently, to
salesman)
Are you coming?

SALESMAN
Take it easy, lady.
(through window)
There isn't a bird anywhere in sight.

DRUNK
(quoting)
"Look at the birds of the air: they
do not sow or read, yet your heavenly
father feeds them."

WOMAN
I'll never feed another bird as long
as I live!

SALESMAN
Something like this happened in Santa
Cruz last year. The town was covered
with seagulls.

WOMAN
Can't you please finish your drink?

MRS. BUNDY
That's right, sir, I recall it. A
large flock of seagulls got lost in
a fog and headed in for the town,
where all the lights were.

SALESMAN
They made some mess, too, smashing
into houses and everything.
(shaking his head)
They always make a mess. We're better
off without them.

MRS. BUNDY
The point is that no one seemed to
get upset about it. They were gone
the next morning, just as if nothing
at all had happened. Poor things.

WOMAN
I'm leaving! Are you coming?

SALESMAN
All right, all right!
(he downs his drink)
Hope you figure this out, folks.

DRUNK
It's the end of the world.

The Tides is silent for a moment.

SHOLES
Well, I'd better get back to the
cannery. What do I owe you, Deke?

DEKE
Let's see. Scallops and coffee...

MITCH
Hold it just a minute, Sebastian.

Sholes turns to him.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

his face very serious.

MITCH
Sebastian, I'm not an alarmist.

SHOLES
No one ever said you were, Mitch.

MITCH
(flatly)
I think we're in trouble. I don't
know how or why this started, but I
know it's here and I know we'd be
crazy to ignore it.

MRS. BUNDY
(sarcastically)
Ignore what? The bird war?

MITCH
(exploding)
Yes, the bird war, the bird attack,
the bird plague, you can call it
what you want to, they're out there
massing someplace and they'll be
back, you can count on that!

MRS. BUNDY
Ridiculous!

MITCH
Mrs. Bundy, why don't you go home
and polish your binoculars?

SAM
Go on, Mitch.

MITCH
If we don't do something now, if we
don't get Bodega Bay on the move...

SHOLES
Look, Mitch, even if this is true,
even if all the birds...

MITCH
Do you believe it's true, Sebastian?

SHOLES
(after a long pause)
No. I don't, Mitch. Because I can't
see any reason for it.

MITCH
It's happening. Isn't that a good
enough reason?

SHOLES
(thoughtfully)
I like Bodega Bay as well as any
man. If I thought...
(he shakes his head)

MITCH
Then help me, Sebastian. You're an
important man in this town. If you'll
help, the rest will.

SHOLES
Help how? What do you want to do?

MITCH
I'm not sure, but...

SHOLES
If you don't even know what you want
to do...

MELANIE
Listen to him, please.

SAM
(taking position beside
Melanie)
You listen to him, Sebastian!

MITCH
I only know we've got to drive them
away from town -- before they drive
us away.

SHOLES
How?

MITCH
Mrs. Bundy, you said something about
Santa Cruz. About seagulls getting
lost in the fog, and heading in for
the lights.

DEKE
We don't have any fog this time of
year, Mitch.

MITCH
We'll make our own fog.

SHOLES
How do you plan to do that?

MITCH
With smoke.

MALONE
There's an ordinance against burning
anything in this town, unless it's...

MITCH
We'll use smoke pots. Like the Army
uses.

DEKE
What good'll that do? Smoke's as bad
as birds.

MRS. BUNDY
Birds are not bad!

SHOLES
How can we go on living here if we
blanket the town with smoke?

MITCH
Can we go on living here otherwise?

Pause. They are silent.

SAM
(slowly)
It's worth a try, Sebastian.

There is more silence as they all consider. And then suddenly:

MELANIE
Look!

They turn toward the window.

TIDES CAR PARK - FULL SHOT

Viewed from the side window inside the Tides we see three or
four gulls diving down toward the highway over the roof of
the Tides Office. Two more swoop into the foreground of the
window and out to the left.

DEKE
(alarmed)
Gulls!

MITCH
They're back!

SHOLES
They're only the usual... What are
you...

TIDES TOWN - LONG SHOT

The first gull reaches the gas station but misses the
attendant who is in the act of filling the car. The owner is
seen disappearing into the men's room.

INT. TIDES

A quick flash of the group of faces at the window of the
Tides Restaurant.

TIDES TOWN - MED. SHOT

A nearer view of the gas station. A second gull hits the man
on the back -- he falls -- hits his head on the pump and
then collapses over the gasoline hose pipe, pulling it out
and causing it to spill. The third and fourth gulls sweep
by. The gas begins to flow away.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

inside the Tides. Mitch dashes toward the door -- Melanie
after him. Through the glass windows into the street we see
people dashing off to the right, in the direction of the gas
station. At the door, Mitch turns.

MITCH
(to Melanie)
Stay back in here.

Deke Carter comes running from behind the bar to join Mitch.
They both EXIT. Melanie dashes back to her original place at
the window. The CAMERA RETREATING with her, we come to the
window and over Melanie's shoulder we see the men arrive to
rescue the attacked gas station attendant.

Three or four gulls are still attacking and they flutter
away as the men appear to beat them off. Suddenly Melanie in
the foreground turns in full profile to her right and looks
down.

TIDES CAR PARK - MED. SHOT

on the sloping pavement before her a stream of gasoline is
flowing to the right into the car park.

CLOSE SHOT - GASOLINE

flowing down to the car park.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

through the window. She suddenly looks toward the gas station.

MED. SHOT - THE CAMERA PANS

along the flowing gas back to the station.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

She turns back to the car park.

FROM MELANIE'S VIEWPOINT

We see the flow of gasoline trickling toward the car parked
below her. At this particular moment, a car has pulled up,
has come to a stop and a man emerges. He is in the act of
lighting his dead cigar, but his attention is drawn to the
happenings around the gas station. With this half-drawn
attention, he strikes the match and holds it to the cigar.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

She quickly slides the window open and yells down to the
man.

FROM MELANIE'S VIEWPOINT

The man looks about him, holding the match I his fingers. As
he catches sight of Melanie, the match burns his finger and
he drops it.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

Her horror-stricken face.

FULL SHOT - THE PARKING AREA

Three fast explosions in a row as the man's car, Mitch's
car, and the one next to it go up in flames.

CLOSE SHOT - THE HORRIFIED FACE OF MELANIE

TURNING TO SEE

FULL SHOT - THE GAS STATION

The line of flame running swiftly from the burning cars,
following the gasoline on the ground, directly to the pump,
which blows up as the men are jumping away with the injured
attendant.

EXT. TIDES TOWN AND CAR PARK - MATTE SHOT

A very high shot shows the beginning of the people of the
town rushing around the car park and the streets across the
highway, endeavoring to put out the two fires. We see
automobiles coming to a stop on Highway One, and the oil
smoke beginning to rise from the burning gas station and the
parked cars. Some men have managed to start a fire hose and
have trained it on the burning cars. Suddenly but slowly the
foreground in the sky just below the CAMERA begins to fill
with wheeling gulls. The whole picture below becomes
obliterated by the foreground birds who now begin to swoop
down on the town.

EXT. TIDES TOWN

A raking shot outside the Tides Restaurant showing the phone
booth and motel off in the background. People are rushing
out from the restaurant and look up in the sky. Gulls begin
to descend into the scene, driving the people back into the
restaurant. Melanie is seen in the distance calling for Mitch:

MELANIE
Mitch...! Mitch!

We see her look up to the sky.

LONG SHOT - THE SKY

The sky is full of seagulls.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

Looking about her frantically. She turns her face up again
to see the descending gulls. She is driven to take refuge in
the phone booth.

CLOSEUP - INSIDE THE PHONE BOOTH - MELANIE

slams the door shut. Gulls are now beating at the glass all
around her.

EXT. TIDES TOWN

From Melanie's viewpoint inside the booth we see the people
who have been rushing to put out the fire now faced with
clouds of birds coming on them.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

looking out in terrified alarm but still searching with her
eyes for Mitch.

MED. SHOT - PEOPLE RUSHING FROM THE TIDES

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

in the phone booth. She turns and looks swiftly in the
direction of the car park.

EXT. TIDES CAR PARK

Some men have secured a hose and are obviously getting water
from the bay. They are turning the stream onto the burning
cars. At this time, the birds are filling the area around
them. They suddenly turn the hose up into the birds.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

Her eyes turn up quickly.

LONG SHOT - FROM HER VIEWPOINT

We see the stream of water swing to and from among the birds.
Melanie turns back from this at the sound of a roaring car.

EXT. TIDES TOWN - FROM HER VIEWPOINT

We see a car zig zag down from the town in a drunken manner
coming toward her in the phone booth. We can see birds flying
in and out of the windows of the car. We can see the arm
and hand of the driver trying to beat them away. In the
background of this scene we see the fire truck arrive.

CLOSEUP - THE HORRIFIED FACE OF MELANIE

as the car comes toward her in the booth.

EXT. TIDES TOWN

At the last minute, the car swerves away from the booth.

CLOSER SHOT

A side view of the car after practically scraping the side
of the booth. We see that it's full of birds attacking the
driver. As it goes by, it near tilts over to inadvertently
give us a view of its interior.

FLASH CLOSEUP - MELANIE

watching the car.

EXT. TIDES CAR PARK

The car goes on and smashes into the other burning cars. It
explodes.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

Suddenly she hears the firing of a gun. She turns.

TIDES TOWN - LONG SHOT

She sees a man with a gun shooting up at birds but to no
avail. One or two descend upon him. He throws the gun down
and rushes back into the Tides Office. Melanie, with a slight
turn, now sees:

THE TIDES TOWN

The fire volunteers with birds descending around them drop
their hose.

CLOSER SHOT

shows the hose snaking wildly and jumping. At one moment the
water turns and comes in a powerful stream hitting the windows
of the phone booth.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

recoils from this water attack. Through the streaming window
she sees the fire volunteers rushing away for cover. To the
left we see a horse with its head covered with gulls; its
palomino-colored body covered with crows. It is bucking and
leaping and kicking its van to pieces.

At this moment the scene is obliterated by the appearance of
a man groping his way closely past the phone booth windows.
His face is poring with blood: his head and shoulders are
covered with attacking birds. He disappears from sight.
Melanie, now almost in a faint, opens her eyes to see Tides
Town. Through the booth window she sees Mitch and Deke Carter,
the owner of the Tides, coming down toward the CAMERA and
waving the birds away from them with flailing arms.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

opens the booth doors and starts out with a cry of
recognition, but she has barely stepped out when more gulls
crash around the booth causing her to go back.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE IN PROFILE

looking out again toward Mitch.

EXT. TIDES TOWN

Through window she sees Deke Carter run off in one direction
while Mitch suddenly sees a child at the window of the burning
building adjacent to the flaming and smoking gas station.
Mitch dashes across and goes up the short staircase into the
smoking building.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

looking across in horror.

LONG SHOT - THE BURNING BUILDING

For a moment there is no sign of anyone about, then suddenly
Mitch appears with the small child at the window. He calls
down. One man dashes from the direction of the Tides Office,
another from the Tides Restaurant. They both wait below the
window as Mitch drops the child.

FLASH - MELANIE

watching this breathlessly.

CLOSER SHOT

The moment the child has dropped, Mitch suddenly looks up.
He slams the window as two or three birds crash into the
windows. They disappear into the building.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

holding her breath.

LONG SHOT - THE BURNING BUILDING

No sign of Mitch.

CLOSEUP - MELANIE

getting more desperate.

CLOSEUP - BUILDING

No sign of Mitch. Suddenly a chair flies through the window
and Mitch climbs OUT and drops to the ground.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

opening the door of the booth, yells out to him.

LONG SHOT - MITCH

sees her and starts running toward the booth.

HIGH SHOT - MITCH

beating his way through the birds. He reaches the booth.

LOW SHOT

close to the Tides Restaurant entrance. We see Mitch drag
Melanie from the phone booth and run with her toward the
CAMERA through the birds into the restaurant.

INT. THE TIDES

There must be at least twenty people all looking toward the
windows. It is as though they are hiding from a storm. The
CAMERA is high enough to see Melanie and Mitch COME IN, very
hurriedly close the door. We see the gulls wheeling outside.
There is a kind of stunned silence among the people. We can
hear the sound of the screaming gulls outside. Suddenly a
woman's voice SCREAMS out:

WOMAN
Why are they doing it?! Why are they
doing it...?!

Some of the heads of the group turn.

CLOSE SHOT

It is the woman who had the two children screaming at Mrs.
Bundy who is seated in a booth table staring numb and
helpless. Mrs. Bundy turns and looks at her and mutters some
words.

MRS. BUNDY
([Mrs. Bundy offers a
weak explanation of
why the birds could
have gone berserk
like this. This
information should
be obtained from Dr.
Stager.])

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

looking across at this slight scene. They turn back and over
their shoulders the gulls seem to be in much less quantity.

MITCH
(looking up)
I think they're going.

Melanie follows his look. At this moment there is a loud
CRASH OF GLASS. They turn their heads suddenly.

MED. SHOT - FROM MITCH'S AND MELANIE'S VIEWPOINT

And past the heads of the other people who have also turned,
we see one of the back windows of the Tides Restaurant has
gone and gulls are coming in. Two or three of the men who
are on the edge of the crowd turn and go back toward the
window, beating them out. They succeed in doing this.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

They turn from the gulls in the restaurant to look to the
street.

MITCH
I think it's safe to get out now.

MELANIE
Don't let's take any chances.

MITCH
We've got to get Cathy.

They open the door and make their way out into the street,
running and looking about them desperately.

EXT. BODIGA STREET

There are one or two gulls flying around. Others are perched
on roofs as we see Mitch and Melanie dashing along the
sidewalk.

EXT. BODIGA STREET

There are still one or two gulls or crows in evidence as
they move along past the last street and come into the more
countrified part of the town.

LONG SHOT - THE SCHOOL YARD

We see them turn and dash up the road toward the school which
we see in the distance. There are some birds perched on the
school roof.

SIDE-ON DOLLY SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

going up the school road. He stops for a moment and looks
up, Melanie following his look.

SKY SHOT - FULL

of wheeling gulls.

SIDE-ON CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO

They move on and go past Melanie's waiting car outside the
school. Suddenly Melanie brings him to a halt.

LONG SHOT - ANNIE'S HOUSE - FROM THEIR VIEWPOINT

There are a few blackbirds on it.

MELANIE'S VOICE
Look... the crows again.

CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO

Mitch starts off. Melanie restrains him.

MELANIE
Careful, Mitch. The crows may be
back in the play yard.

CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO

They advance cautiously. When they are level with the play
yard, we see what they see.

MED. SHOT

THE CAMERA DOLLIES along the play yard. It is again full of
crows.

CLOSE SHOT

They walk stealthily past.

CLOSE SHOT

CAMERA PANNING ALONG the waiting crows.

CLOSE SHOT

Shooting over the shoulders of Melanie and Mitch, they
approach Annie's house. Melanie glances apprehensively over
her shoulder toward the crows.

EXT. ANNIE'S HOUSE

Melanie and Mitch arrive. They come to a sudden stop.

LONG SHOT - ANNIE'S HOUSE

A woman is crumpled lifelessly on the front steps before the
door.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

He reaches the body. He rolls it over.

QUICK CLOSE SHOT - ANNIE

dead.

QUICK CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

The shock registering on his face.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

realizing that Annie is dead, and wondering for a moment
what Mitch's reaction will be.

MED. SHOT - MITCH - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

He kneels silently by the body. Gently, he touches Annie's
face, and then gently and illogically takes off his jacket
and covers her, as if he is tucking a blanket around her to
keep her warm. He turns away then.

MED. SHOT - THE WINDOW

with its ROOM TO LET sign. Cathy is standing near the sign,
with her eyes peering at something outside.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

turning to follow Cathy's gaze.

CLOSE SHOT - MIXED BIRDS

Malevolent, sitting on the fence, the killers.

FULL SHOT - THE ROAD

As in fury, Mitch picks up stones and begins hurling them at
the birds. Melanie dashes forward.

MELANIE
(as the birds flutter
into the air)
Mitch! Don't!

She runs to him, grabs his arm, struggles with him as he
maniacally continues hurling stones at the birds, who are
now hovering flight.

MELANIE
Please! Get Cathy! Let's get out of
here!

Her words reach him. Breathing heavily, he goes INTO the
house and COMES OUT carrying Cathy, who is dazed and in a
state of shock. The CAMERA PANS him over to Melanie who holds
Cathy to her.

CLOSER THREE SHOT

as Melanie looks anxiously toward the house.

MELANIE
Mitch, you can't leave her out there.

He GOES OUT OF PICTURE. Melanie watches him. Over her shoulder
is the white face of Cathy. We HEAR a DRAGGING SOUND and
then a door is CLOSED.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE'S P.O.V.

We see Mitch EMERGING from the house. The body is no longer
in the pathway. He comes toward the CAMERA.

MED. SHOT

He joins Melanie and Cathy. The CAMERA MOVES AHEAD of the
three of them as they silently make their way past the crows
once more, Melanie holding Cathy close to her. They look out
cautiously to the right.

MED. SHOT

CAMERA DOLLYING PAST the crows again.

BACK TO THE DOLLY SHOT OF THE THREE

They move forward stealthily, CAMERA AHEAD of them.

MED. SHOT

Another DOLLY SHOT past the crows.

CLOSE SHOT - THE THREE

The CAMERA is now behind them. They move away from us and go
toward the waiting car.

MED. SHOT

They arrive at the car.

MELANIE
You drive, Mitch.

She goes round the far side and gets into the car. Mitch
slips in behind the driver's seat. The car turns into the
CAMERA and goes down the school road.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR - INTERIOR

Mitch, Cathy and Melanie facing the CAMERA, tensely. Melanie
looks over her shoulder.

MELANIE
(holding her breath)
I don't think they're coming.

Cathy does not turn: she is staring ahead of her, her eyes
wide, her lip trembling. They drive in silence, and then
suddenly, Cathy begins speaking, almost as if to herself, as
the CAMERA COMES IN TIGHT on her face in shock.

CATHY
On our way back from taking Michele
home... we... we heard the explosion
and went outside to... see what...
what it was.
(pause)
All at once the... the birds were
everywhere. All at once. She... she
pushed me inside and... they covered
her.
(pause)
Annie.
(pause)
She pushed me inside.

TWO SHOT - CATHY AND MELANIE

as she takes the child in her arms to comfort her.

DISSOLVE

CLOSE SHOT - A LONE GULL flying low over the water, the CAMERA
TRACKING it. The bay is silent. The gull spreads its wings
to brake, and then sits on the water. The CAMERA continues
low over the water, going through thousands of gulls sitting
there patiently, as if it is threading itself through a crowd,
not a sound, over the gulls, and then lifting to show the
Brenner house in the distance.

FULL SHOT - THE BRENNER HOUSE

Behind the panes of glass, we can see the boards Mitch nailed
across the windows. He is on the roof now, testing the two
attic dormer windows. He turns to look out over the bay.

LONG SHOT - THE BAY

covered with sitting gulls. In the distance, the town is
still smoldering. But the sky is clear of birds.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

picking up his hammer, sliding over the shingles to where
the ladder leans against the side of the house.

FULL SHOT - THE HOUSE

as Mitch comes down the ladder and Melanie turns the corner,
carrying a load of driftwood and old lumber.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as she drops the wood outside the door and he joins her. She
is looking out over the bay when he comes to her. This is
not the Melanie we saw at the beginning of the picture. Her
hair is disarrayed, and her face and clothing are streaked
with soot. But beyond a surface physical appearance, there
is a weary wisdom in her eyes, and a strength to her as she
stands looking toward the distant smoldering town.

MELANIE
The town looks clear.

MITCH
The bay doesn't.

MELANIE
How long have they been gathering
there?

MITCH
The past fifteen minutes.
(pause)
It seems to be a pattern, doesn't
it? They strike and disappear, and
then they start massing again.

Melanie nods. They are both silent, watching the bay.

MELANIE
I keep thinking of Annie.
(she squeezes her
eyes shut)

MITCH
(after a long pause)
It... it doesn't look very different,
does it? A little smoke over the
town, but otherwise...

MELANIE
(looking)
Even the birds sitting out there.
It does look very much the same,
Mitch. This could be last week.

MITCH
It may not be last week again for a
long long time.

They are both silent.

MELANIE
Look. They're still coming.

Mitch nods. Silence.

MITCH
Do you want to try your father again?
(Melanie shakes her
head. Puzzled, Mitch
looks at her)

MELANIE
I tried a little while ago. The
phone's dead.

MITCH
Have we still got power?

MELANIE
Yes.
(leaning against him)
I'm tired, Mitch. I'm so very very
tired.

LYDIA (O.S.)
Mitch! I'm getting something on the
radio!

INT. THE LIVING ROOM - FULL SHOT

Lydia is hovering near the radio. Cathy is sitting on a
footstool. The windows are boarded, and the lights in the
room are on. A tremendous amount of static is coming from
the radio as Mitch and Melanie join them

LYDIA
I can't get any of the local stations.
I think this is San Francisco.

ANNOUNCER
...would include formulation of a
central financing committee to handle
credit and to allocate responsibility
for the various facets of the project.
A vote on the motion is expected
early tomorrow morning.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

listening.

ANNOUNCER
Continuing with the local news, police
are still investigating the series
of valuable jade burglaries in the
Chinatown area. The round-up of known
criminals has not as yet produced a
suspect, but Commissioner Nelson
said today he was certain the
burglaries were quote linked and the
work of the team of professionals
unquote.
(pause)
In Bodega Bay early this morning, a
large flock of crows attacked a group
of children who were leaving the
school during a fire drill. One little
girl was seriously injured and taken
to the hospital in Santa Rosa, but
the majority of children reached
safety in the town.
(pause)
On the national scene today, the
opening of the new session of Congress
was marked by a State of the Union
address that...

MITCH
Is that all?

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
...drew a standing ovation for the
President. The Chief Executive, in
discussing our relation to Europe
and the rest of the world community
said: "These various elements of our
foreign policy lead as I have said
to a single goal --

MITCH
(sighing)
We're going to need more wood for
the fire. We can't let it go out.

ANNOUNCER
(continuing as drone
in background)
The goal of a peaceful world of free
and independent states. This is our
guide for the present and our vision
for the future -- a free community
of nations, independent but
interdependent, uniting north and
south, east and west, in one great
family of man, outgrowing and
transcending the hates and fears
that rend our age. We will not reach
that goal today or tomorrow. We may
not reach it in our lifetime. But
the quest is the great adventure of
our century. We sometimes chafe at
the burdens of our obligations, the
complexity of our decisions, the
agony of our choices, but there is
no comfort or security for us in
evasion, no solution in abdication,
no relief in irresponsibility.
(pause)
In assuming the tasks of the
Presidency, I said that few
generations, in all history, had
been granted the role of being the
great defender of freedom in its
hour of maximum danger. This is our
good fortune, and I welcome it now
as I did when I first took office.
(pause)
For it is the fate of this generation --
Of you in the Congress and of me as
President -- to live with a struggle
we did not start, in a world we did -
not make. But the pressures of life
are not always distributed by choice.
And while no nation has ever faced
such a challenge, no nation has ever
been ready to seize the burden and
the glory of...

LYDIA
(pause)
Did you you get the windows in the
attic, Mitch?

MITCH
I got them all, Mother.

LYDIA
When do you think they'll come?

MITCH
I don't know.

LYDIA
If there are... larger birds, Mitch...
they'll get into the house.

MITCH
That's a chance we have to take.

LYDIA
Maybe we ought to leave.

MITCH
Not now. Not while they're massing
out there.

LYDIA
When?

MITCH
I don't know when. We'll see what...

LYDIA
Where will we go?

MITCH
I don't know yet. I think we'll be
safe here.
(Pause)
Let's bring that wood in.

LYDIA
What happens when we run out of wood?

Music begins to play. The music is sweet, with violins and
long piano arpeggios, almost too much to bear against the
tension being played in front of it.

MITCH
I don't know. We'll break up the
furni...

LYDIA
(shouting)
You don't know, you don't know!
When will you know? When we're all
dead? Like Annie?

CATHY
(shrieking it, her
face white)
Mother!

LYDIA
(at Mitch)
If your father were here...

MITCH
(sharply)
Mother! I'm trying my best!
(shaking his head)
I'm... trying... my...

LYDIA
(trembling, nodding)
I'm sorry, Mitch.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

the strain showing on his face. He nods briefly.

MITCH
Let's get the wood. Why don't you
make us all some coffee, Mother?

FULL SHOT - HOUSE

as Melanie and Mitch come out and head for the pile of wood.
There is a NOISE in the sky. Startled, glancing upward, they
begin to run back toward the house and then stop and slowly
scan the sky.

FULL SHOT - ENORMOUS FLOCK OF BIRDS

flying in tight formation.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MELANIE
Where are they heading?

MITCH
Inland.

MELANIE
Santa Rosa?

MITCH
Maybe.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

watching the birds. A look of utter sadness crosses her face.
It is clear that she is thinking the birds will reach Santa
Rosa, and eventually San Francisco as well.

MITCH (O.S.)
(gently)
Come on. Let's get this wood in.

Melanie nods. But the look of sadness stays on her face, and
her eyes remain on the sky.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - THE LIVING ROOM

Lydia is pouring coffee into cups. In the dining room, we
can HEAR the CHATTER of the lovebirds. As Lydia pours the
sound distracts her. Cathy is sorting candles at the couch.
There is evidence of preparation everywhere: flashlights,
kerosene lamps, a butane burner. Mitch is at the fireplace
putting more wood on the fire. Melanie comes into the room
and dumps another load.

MELANIE
That's the last of it.

LYDIA
Did you close the door?

MELANIE
And locked it.

CATHY
Mitch, can I bring the lovebirds in
here?

LYDIA
(snapping it)
No!

CATHY
Mom, they're in a cage!

LYDIA
They're birds!

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

studying his mother, realizing how close she is to breaking.

MITCH
(softly)
Let them stay in the other room.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

her hand trembling as she pours the coffee.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

as they all sit and accept their coffee. The room is silent
except for the CRACKLE of the fire. Mitch rises to put more
wood on the fire. In the dining room, the lovebirds still
are CHATTERING wildly. Their chirping is the only sound in
the house.

CATHY
Mitch? Why are they doing this? The
birds.

MITCH
(putting wood on fire)
I don't know, honey.

CATHY
Why are they trying to kill people?

MITCH
I wish I could say. But if I could
answer that, I could also tell you
why people are trying to kill people.

The room is silent again except for the TWEETING of the
lovebirds offscreen. And then, suddenly, the lovebirds fall
silent.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

turning to look toward the other room, her face going white,
her eyes widening.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

waiting.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

waiting.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

waiting.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

dead silent now. Each of them is sitting on the edges of
their chairs, waiting. There is the SUDDEN SOUND of
splintering glass.

LYDIA
Mitch...

MITCH
Shhh. Shhh.

Silence. Into the silence, another pane of glass, SHATTERING,
the THUD of a bird against the boards. Silence. More panes
of glass SHATTERING. The SOUND of birds striking the boards
and the outside of the house begins building, almost like
muffled drumbeats. THUD, THUD, with an irregularity of rhythm.
Interspersed, like the counterpoint in an alien orchestration,
is the FLUTTER of wings. And then, like another section
entering, we begin to hear the SCRATCHING and CLAWING at the
roof.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

looking up toward the roof, the SOUND getting louder. She
squeezes her eyes shut.

TWO SHOT - CATHY AND MELANIE

as the child cuddles up into her arms. Over the other sounds,
there comes a NEW SOUND, the unmistakable rat-tat-tat-tattat

of a woodpecker. It stops. It begins again. Rat-tat-tat tattat-
tat. Tat-

CATHY
(in terror)
I'm... I'm sick, Melanie. I want.. I
want to throw...

Her face pale, she rises suddenly and starts for the bathroom.

MELANIE
I'll go with you.

They leave the room. Mitch and Lydia sit in silence. We HEAR
Cathy retching offscreen, almost drowned out by the shuffling
of wings and the rasping of claws, the incessant thudding of
birds striking the house.

FULL SHOT - THE ROOM

Mitch rises and puts more wood on the fire. The SOUND of the
birds is still everywhere around the house. He looks at his
watch. He rises, walks into the kitchen to check the back
door. It seems all right. The CAMERA FOLLOWS him into the
dining room. He stops at the cage with the lovebirds.

CLOSE SHOT - THE LOVEBIRDS

watching him. Is there menace or innocence in their eyes?
He cannot tell.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

looking at the lovebirds in puzzlement. There is suddenly a
NEW SOUND offscreen, the splintering of wood, the tearing
sound of bigger beaks. Alarmed, he turns.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

coming into the entry hall.

CLOSE SHOT - THE FRONT DOOR

The wood is beginning to splinter as the bigger birds outside
assail the door.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

turning quickly, the CAMERA FOLLOWING him into the dining
room. He pulls the cloth off the table, begins moving it
toward the door. In the entry, he lifts the table on end and
piles it against the door. He goes into the kitchen again,
CAMERA FOLLOWING. He upends the enamel-topped table, drags
it to the back door. He is piling chairs against the table
when Melanie COMES IN. She looks at what he is doing with
alarm. Mitch looks in the direction of where his mother is
and then back to Melanie, with an expression almost of
desperation. Both turn back to the barricaded door. The
CLAWING and the PECKING fills the void. The noise is a din
now, insidious and increasingly more frightening.

MELANIE
When will they stop?

MITCH
I thought they'd have stopped by
now.

MELANIE
What time is it?

MITCH
Almost two a.m.

MELANIE
You must be exhausted.

MITCH
How about you?

She shakes her head. They both move into the dining room,
the CAMERA FOLLOWING THEM. The lovebirds are sitting in their
cage, close together, silent. Mitch picks up a chair, ready
to carry it to the front door. He hesitates, puts down the
chair, goes to the cage.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

looking at the birds, wondering.

CLOSE SHOT - THE BIRDS

looking back at him. Again, it is impossible to read their
expressions. Malice or benevolence?

MED. SHOT - MITCH

He raises his hand, brings it toward the bars of the cage.

CLOSE SHOT - THE BIRDS

watching, unmoving.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH'S FINGER

as he thrusts it through the bars. The birds sit unmoving.
One of them tweets.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

MITCH
I wonder if Cathy fed them.

He turns away from her, goes to the cupboard, opens the door,
takes out a small box of bird feed.

CLOSE SHOT - THE CAGE

as his hand approaches the door. The birds are watching him.
His hand hesitates. Then his thumb and forefinger lift the
small catch on the cage door. His fingers open the door.
Cautiously, in TIGHT CLOSEUP, his hand goes into the cage.
The birds sit and watch. One of them tweets. He removes the
small feeding tray, puts the bird seed into it, replaces it
in the cage. The birds hesitate another moment. Then,
tweeting, they begin to eat.

FULL SHOT - THE DINING ROOM

as Mitch closes the door to the cage. Melanie is slumped
against the wall. He goes to her and takes her in his arms.
Wearily, she raises her head. The SOUND of the shuffling,
pecking, clawing birds is everywhere around them.

MITCH
(holding her)
You should have left when you wanted
to.

She shakes her head.

MITCH
You'd have been safe in San Francisco.

MELANIE
I don't want to be safe. I want to
be with you.

There is something pathetically comic about her voice, like
a small child's, confused but defiant. Holding her close,
Mitch laughs, and she laughs with him. Exhausted, they stand
in each other's arms, laughing in that weary, silly, dead of
night sort of way. And suddenly... The lights go out.

MITCH
(in the darkness)
The power.

MELANIE
Mitch...

MITCH
Wait here. Don't move.

The screen is totally black for perhaps five seconds. In the
blackness, we HEAR the birds clawing and ripping, and the
SOUND is enormously MAGNIFIED. A flashlight suddenly goes
on.

TWO SHOT - MELANIE AND MITCH

as he comes to her with the flash. We see them only dimly as
he directs the beam upwards.

MITCH
We'd better light some of those lamps.

MELANIE
No... wait.
(pause)
Hold me.

In the near darkness, we see them embrace and kiss. It is
almost black in the room except for the strange effect of
the flashlight as he holds it behind her.

MITCH
I think they're easing off.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - THE LIVING ROOM

A kerosene lamp is burning. Melanie is awake, watching the
fire. Lydia has fallen into a semi-recumbent position asleep
on the couch. Cathy is curled up in one of the easy chairs.
Mitch is asleep by the fire. The fire is burning brightly
and steadily. The house is almost still. There is no longer
the sound of the clawing and pecking, but there is another
SOUND now: the sound of SOMETHING FALLING, or dropping in a
steady dribbling, difficult to place.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

listening to the curious sound, trying to fathom its meaning.

MELANIE
(whispering)
Mitch?

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

as she turns toward him.

MELANIE
(still whispering)
Mitch?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

asleep.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

seeing this, making her decision. The SOUND is still coming
from somewhere in the house. She decides to let Mitch sleep,
picks up a very long flashlight.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

as she goes through the house, checking. She stops in the
entry hall, plays the flashlight over the furniture piled
against the door. Everything seems all right. She goes into
the kitchen, again, checks the door, and then plays the beam
on the boarded windows. Satisfied, she goes down the corridor
outside the bedroom. She opens the first bedroom door, enters,
goes to the windows, plays the beam on them. Everything's
all right. She comes into the corridor again, opens the second
bedroom door, again checks windows, and leaves.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

climbing the steps to the attic. She stops outside the first
door upstairs, opens it, goes into the room, plays the light
on the windows. Nothing. She comes out into the corridor,
goes to the second bedroom, opens the door, enters, walks to
the windows. They are boarded securely. She is starting back
toward the door when she stops.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

looking.

CLOSE SHOT - THE FLOOR

a pile of chipped and broken plaster.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

turning the flashlight up toward the ceiling.

CLOSE SHOT - THE CEILING

A huge hole in it, showing moonlit sky outside.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

turning her eyes from the ceiling, determination on her face,
and suddenly, her eyes open wide.

CLOSE SHOT - AN OWL

sitting in the darkness, staring at her.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

reacting.

QUICK MED. SHOT - THE OWL

wings spread in the beam of light.

FULL SHOT - MELANIE

backing to the door. The owl hits her, sends her staggering
back, causing the door to slam shut. She looks up at the

FULL SHOT - THE CEILING

a swarm of mixed birds coming through the hole and down toward
her.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

in the room swinging the lighted flashlight as the birds
attack her.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

in the room, as the owl hits her full in the face.

MED. SHOT - MELANIE

swinging the flashlight as the birds attack her.

MITCH (O.S.)
Melanie!

FULL SHOT - MELANIE AND THE BIRDS

grotesque and silent as she struggles with them. The room is
a crossing cacophony of mixed light beams and fluttering
wings.

MITCH (O.S.)
Melanie, open the door!

He hurls himself against it. Inside the room, where Melanie
struggles, we HEAR his hammering on it. Melanie is overwhelmed
by the birds.

She falls to the floor, the flashlight beside her. In the
spreading rays of the light, we see the frantic fluttering
of wings as the birds cover her. There is a stronger assault
on the door by Mitch outside.

LYDIA (O.S.)
(screaming)
Mitch, get her out of there!

MED. SHOT - THE ROOM

Melanie, collapsed at the base of the door, is no longer in
view. Neither are the birds, whose fluttering shadows we see
on the door as Mitch again hits it from outside.

MITCH (O.S.)
Melanie!

The door begins to open.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

as the door bursts inward and he stumbles into the room. He
begins swinging at the birds immediately, reaching down for
Melanie, fighting off the attack at the same time. He begins
dragging her out of the room. Her clothes have almost been
shredded from her body, and her face is torn and bleeding.
We catch only quick glimpses of her near-nudity, as Mitch
pulls her into the corridor and then, holding the door shut
behind him with one hand, delivers swinging furious blows at
the few birds that have escaped into the corridor.

MITCH
Mother, get a rope!

LYDIA
Oh, my God, look at her!

MITCH
(shouting)
Get a rope!

She rushes off. He struggles grotesquely with the birds.
There is a wild fury in him, and a methodical dedication. He
will not allow them to defeat him. A large bird strikes his
hand, knocking the club from it.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

as the bird strikes at his face. He reaches out with his
hands, grasping the bird, letting go of the door knob.
Another bird flutters into the corridor.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

in anger and desperation as he throttles the bird with his
hands. He reaches behind him to grab the doorknob again, and
is immediately attacked by the other bird.

MITCH
(yelling)
Mother! Hurry!

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MITCH

as she runs up the steps and into the corridor, carrying a
heavy piece of rope. Mitch grabs the bird and hurls it angrily
to the floor. Lydia is staring down at Melanie in terror and
compassion. He takes the rope from her, loops it over the
doorknob, pulls it taut across the hallway, and ties it to
the bannister, sealing the door. He turns immediately to
Melanie, picks her up and carries her to the steps, Lydia
following. As they go downstairs:

MITCH
Cathy! Get a blanket and some
bandages!

CATHY
(at the foot of the
stars, on the verge
of tears)
Is she all right?

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

cradled against Mitch's shoulder, her face bleeding profusely.

MELANIE
I'm... I'm....

FULL SHOT - MITCH

as he carries her into the living room, but her down on the
couch.

MITCH
Just lie there and keep still.

Cathy rushes to them with a roll of bandages and a blanket.
By the light of the lantern, Mitch drapes the blanket over
Melanie and then begins unrolling the bandage. But his hands
are trembling, and he drops it.

LYDIA
Let me do that, Mitch.

She picks up the bandage.

MITCH
I can handle it.

LYDIA
I know you can.
(her eyes meet his)
But I'd like to.

He nods. Silently, she begins working on Melanie.

MELANIE
(weakly)
Please don't mess me up with bandages,
Mrs. Brenner.

LYDIA
Shhhh. Shhhh.

MELANIE
Please.

But she begins cleaning the wounds, taping bandages over the
cuts. The house is still. She works silently and quickly.

LYDIA
(as she works)
I'm not very good at this, Mitch.

MITCH
You're doing fine.

LYDIA
(Apologizing)
I mean. I want to...

Pause.

CATHY
Listen!

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

raising her eyes. The room is silent. There is nothing to
hear.

LYDIA
They're gone. God have mercy, they're
gone.

FULL SHOT - MITCH

as he goes to the front door, and cautiously moves away the
table and chair. He opens the door a crack.

FULL SHOT - THE YARD

through the crack. Daylight is almost here. There are no
birds visible.

FULL SHOT - THE DOOR

from outside as Mitch opens it wider. The door is scarred
and splintered. As he opens the door, one or two dead birds
spill into the room. He steps out into the yard. Lydia is
directly behind him.

FULL SHOT - THE HOUSE

a shambles, all the windows broken.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MITCH

MITCH
They're gone. The same pattern.

LYDIA
But they'll be back.

MITCH
We won't be here.

LYDIA
Where can we go, Mitch? There's no
place to go.

MITCH
I want to try for San Francisco.
There are buildings there. Steel and
concrete!

LYDIA
(shaking her head)
We'd never make it. They're probably
all over the road.

MITCH
We have to try it.
(a long silence)
We can't stay here.
(silence)
Melanie needs help.
(silence)
Mother, the house won't take another
attack.

LYDIA
If...
(pause)
If... when we get to San Francisco...
(pause)
If they're already there?

MITCH
They won't be.

LYDIA
If they are?

MITCH
We'll worry about that when we get
there.

LYDIA
I'm frightened, terribly frightened.
I... I don't know what's out there,
Mitch.

MITCH
What do we have to know, Mother?
We're all together, we all love each
other, we all need each other. What
else is there? Mother, I want us to
stay alive!

LYDIA
(nodding; then after
a pause)
I started to say... inside...

MITCH
You don't have to.

He holds out his hand to her.

MITCH
I think we'd better get started.

DISSOLVE

FULL SHOT - THE BRENNER YARD

It is covered with the eerie half-light that comes just before
dawn, a light that persists throughout all of the following
until the penultimate shot in the picture. The silence is
deafening. There is not a bird in sight. The door to Melanie's
convertible are open as she and Mitch come out of the house
together and he helps her to the car. He puts her in the
back seat, tucks the blanket around her. In the background
is the pickup truck, too small to hold all of them. Lydia
comes to the door and quickly crosses the yard, not looking
down at the dead birds. Cathy appears in the doorway to the
house.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

She is carrying the cage of lovebirds. She hesitates just
outside the doorway. She looks at Mitch.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

looking back at her.

FULL SHOT - CATHY, MITCH, AND LYDIA

Across the expanse of the desolated yard.

CATHY
May I take them, Mitch?

He does not answer. She continues looking at him.

CATHY
They haven't harmed anyone.

LYDIA
Take them.

MITCH
(with a slow nod)
We'll put them in the trunk, Cathy.

He takes the birds from her and goes to the back of the car.
The CAMERA STAYS on Cathy who gets into the car on the front
seat. Mitch comes around the other side of the car, stops,
and looks toward the trees.

MED. SHOT - THE TREES

covered with waiting birds.

MED. SHOT - MITCH

getting into car.

MITCH
Be careful with that door.

Cathy closes the door gently, and almost soundlessly. Mitch
does the same with his door.

MELANIE
(weakly)
Mitch, if they hear the car
starting... if they see movement...

MITCH
We'll take it slow until we get to
the main road.
(pause)
Are you ready?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH'S HAND

turning the key. The motor springs to life.

FULL SHOT - INT. THE CAR

anticipation on all the faces.

MITCH
All right.
(he takes a deep breath)
Here we go.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

from the outside, as it creeps out of the yard. The bay is
still, the road is still, the car makes barely a sound as it
passes the gate and starts down the road.

MED. SHOT - THE ROAD AHEAD - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD

as they begin driving slowly. The wires are down. A small
fire is burning in the brush, where the wires made contact.
The car continues to move. It turns the first bend in the
road.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE - LOOKING THROUGH THE WINDOW

She gasps quickly.

MED. SHOT - A GROUP OF HERONS - AT WATER'S EDGE

standing, waiting silently.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR - INTERIOR

as the tension begins to starts.

MITCH
Shhh. Shhhh.

MED. SHOT - THE ROAD AHEAD - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD

as they approach the derelict barge. It is covered with
waiting seagulls.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

seeing them. Her lip begins to tremble.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

turning toward the side of the road ahead.

FULL SHOT - AN OVERTURNED SCHOOL BUS - MITCH'S P.O.V.

covered with waiting birds.

CATHY
(whispering)
Mitch, let's turn back.

MITCH
Shhh. Shhhhh.

MED. SHOT - A ROADSIDE HOUSE

as the car passes. A barricade has been set up on the front
porch, and a man is leaning over it, dead, a shotgun in his
hands. The porch is covered with waiting birds. At the boarded
window, we see a woman and child peering from a gap.

CLOSE SHOT - CATHY

reacting.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR - BIRD'S P.O.V.

as it threads its way slowly and cautiously along the winding
road to town. The birds are sitting on some of the still-
standing wires, watching, waiting.

FULL SHOT - THE TOWN APPROACH - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD as
the car turns a bend in the road. There are thousands of
birds ahead, on every gutted and smoldering rooftop, on every
pole, on every fence.

LYDIA
Mitch!

MED. SHOT - MITCH

as he stops the car and looks ahead.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

in the middle of the road, stopped. Ahead are the birds.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

frightened, try not to reveal her fear.

MELANIE
Can we turn back?

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
I... I don't think so. If we get
through town, I think we'll be all
right.

FULL SHOT - INT. THE CAR

There is a long silence. It is Melanie who has the strongest
reason for fearing the birds. It is Melanie, her fear growing,
who makes the decision.

MELANIE
Then go ahead, Mitch.

FULL SHOT - EXT. THE CAR

as it begins moving forward again at an excruciatingly slow
rate of speed, into the town and the waiting birds.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

as she turns to look out the window on her side.

CLOSE SHOT - A LINE OF BIRDS

as the car moves past them slowly.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

closing her eyes.

FULL SHOT - BRINKMEYER'S GENERAL STORE

through the windshield. The roof and sills are covered with
birds. The window is smashed in, canned goods are strewn all
over the sidewalk, bolts of cloth run in a riot from the
open door and across the road, dead people are lying in the
gutter. But in the hotel, we see some faces behind broken
windows.

TWO SHOT - CATHY, MITCH

The tension on their faces,

MED. SHOT - THE STORES OPPOSITE THE TIDES

as the car approaches them. The windows are all broken, and
merchandise is lying on the sidewalk. Birds are everywhere,
waiting.

CLOSE SHOT - A DEAD MAN

lying on the sidewalk, clutching a television set in his
arms.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

strained, looking at the road ahead.

LONG SHOT - THE ROAD AHEAD

a clear sky, a bird-free stretch,

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

MITCH
(almost as a prayer)
Here we go.
(he rams down on the
accelerator)

FULL SHOT - THE CAR - EXTERIOR

as Mitch rams the accelerator to the floor and it zooms ahead
in a burst of speed.

FULL SHOT - THOUSANDS OF BIRDS

taking wing.

MED. SHOT - MORE BIRDS

taking wing.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

screaming.

MELANIE
Mitch!

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

wrenching at the wheel as the car turns a bend.

FULL SHOT - THE ROAD AHEAD

through the windshield, as a flock of birds take wing
immediately ahead.

CLOSE SHOT - THE WINDSHIELD

from the inside, as birds flutter against it.

CLOSE SHOT - THE ROOF OF THE CAR

from the inside, as a beak slashes it, letting in a thin
line of light.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

wrenching at the wheel again, another bend.

HELICOPTER SHOT - THE CAR

navigating the sharp bends in the road as birds streak at it
in straight lines.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MELANIE

in the back seat as several slashes appear in the roof over
their heads, letting in more light.

CLOSE SHOT - THE ROOF

More slashes, more light in scattered beams.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

her fear growing as the scattered light beams bring back the
memory of the attic room and her flashlight battle with the
owl.

CLOSE SHOT - THE ROOF

more slashes, building, the beak thrusts combining with the
incoming beams of light in a weirdly horrifying way.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
(almost a prayer)
Dear God... dear God... please,
please, what have we done? Please.
(and then in anger at
the roof and the
birds)
Can't they leave us alone?
(shrieking it)
LEAVE US ALONE!

MED. SHOT - THE CAR INTERIOR all the passengers, as the roof
suddenly rips back.

FULL SHOT - BIRDS

from inside the car, hovering over it the moment the roof
tears back.

CLOSE SHOT - MELANIE

This is too much for her. She screams at sight of the birds,
and then turns her face into Lydia's shoulder.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MELANIE

as Lydia recognizes Melanie's need. She puts her arm around
Melanie's shoulder and gently, soothingly, holds her close.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

racing along as the birds hover over it.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

his face screwed in anguish, tears rolling down his cheeks
as he grips the wheel and hits the gas pedal.

FULL SHOT - THE OPEN CAR

streaming canvas ribbons behind it. It turns another bend in
the road.

FULL SHOT - THE ROAD AHEAD - (THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD)

It is arrow-straight, no curves.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

in a burst of speed as it hits the straightaway. It begins
to outdistance the birds. The gap widens. A flock of birds
attacks it from the side of the road, but it speeds into
them and through them. The gap grows wider and wider. They
are well ahead of the birds now.

CLOSE SHOT - LYDIA

LYDIA
We're losing them.

CLOSE SHOT - MITCH

only a nod, his face streaming tears.

LONG SHOT - THE CAR (BIRDS' P.O.V.)

as they fall way behind now, the car moving swiftly into the
distance.

TWO SHOT - LYDIA AND MELANIE

on the back seat. Melanie begins sobbing in a sudden release
of tension. Lydia, in compassion, and tenderly, cradles
Melanie's head on her shoulder. Melanie, her eyes glistening,
looks ahead through the windshield.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR INTERIOR

all their faces visible.

CATHY
Mitch? Do... do you think they'll
be all right? In the trunk? Can they
breath?

MITCH
(with the faintest
smile)
I think they'll be all right, honey.

There is hope on their faces as the car streaks into the
wind. Not a wild exuberance, but a relaxation of tension.
They stare ahead through the windshield, and then they squint
their eyes against the sudden sunrise ahead, and Mitch reaches
up to turn down the sun visor.

MITCH
It looks... it looks clear up ahead.

FULL SHOT - THE CAR

moving AWAY FROM THE CAMERA FAST into magnificent sunrise
over the crest of the hills. Further and further into the
distance it goes.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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