"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 ]

"GODS AND MONSTERS"

Screenplay

by

Bill Condon

Based on the novel

"Father of Frankenstein"

by

Christopher Bram

May 30, 1997

Shooting Draft



FADE IN:

MAIN TITLES BEGIN

Writhing pools of light and dark, out of which emerge images
from "The Bride of Frankenstein," directed by James Whale.
Elsa Lanchester, as the Monster's Bride, looks up, down,
left, right, startled to be alive. The Monster stares at
her. "Friend?" he asks, tenderly, desperately.

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - NIGHT (B & W)

Lightning splits the black-and-white sky, revealing a single
shattered oak in a desolate landscape. Below, a HUMAN
SILHOUETTE stumbles through the darkness, the top of his
head flat, his arms long and heavy, his boots weighted with
mud.

Suddenly the storm fades. Light creeps into the scene, and
color, as we DISSOLVE TO:

THE PACIFIC OCEAN

melting into a hazy morning sky. In a box canyon off the
coast highway, we see row after neat row of trailer homes, a
makeshift village for beach bums.

INT. TRAILER - DAY

CLAYTON BOONE opens his eyes. He is 26, handsome in a rough-
hewn, Chet Baker-like way, with broad shoulders and a flattop
haircut. He grabs a crumpled pack of Lucky Strikes, lights a
bent cigarette.

Clay stands and walks bare-assed across the single tin room,
his head almost touching the ceiling.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - DAY

Clay goes a few rounds with a weatherstained speed bag that's
set up behind his trailer.

INT. TRAILER - DAY

Clay towels off, glances at the morning paper. He moves aside
a pile of paperbacks on a card table until he finds a
calendar. His finger targets today's first appointment. "10
A.M. - 788 Amalfi Drive."

EXT. TRAILER PARK - DAY

Clay steps out of the trailer, clean-shaven and dressed in
dungarees, a T-shirt with a fresh pack of cigarettes flipped
into one sleeve. He weight-lifts a secondhand mower onto the
bed of his rusty pick-up.

Clay climbs into the truck, slides the key into the ignition.
It takes a few tries but the engine finally turns over.

EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - DAY

Clay's truck sails down the road, "Hound Dog" blaring on the
radio. MAIN TITLES END.

EXT. COLONIAL-STYLE HOUSE - DAY

Sprinklers twirl on a grassy slope outside a rambling
clapboard house. Below, a swimming pool forms a perfect
rectangle of still water. A title reads: SANTA MONICA CANYON.
1957.

The pick-up drives past. Clay parks in the back, hops out.

ANGLE - HOUSE

A SHADOWY FIGURE stands at a window, watching Clay unload
his red power mower.

INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

The shadow is a man with dove white hair, wearing a dress
shirt and seersucker jacket. This is JAMES WHALE, age 67.

DAVID
I'd have more peace of mind if the
live-in nurse were still here.

HANNA
She was nothing but bother. I not
like her, Mr. Jimmy not like her. We
do better if you live-in again, Mr.
David.

In the dining room, visible through open double doors, DAVID
LEWIS, 55, speaks softly with the housekeeper, HANNA. She is
a squat, muffin-faced Hungarian woman in her late 50s, dressed
in black, her hair cinched in a tight bun. She speaks with a
thick accent.

DAVID
You'll contact me if there's an
emergency?

HANNA
Yes, I call you at this number.
(calls out)
Mr. Jimmy? More coffee?

WHALE
What? Oh yes. Why not?

He moves into the dining room, sits opposite David.

WHALE
Isn't Hanna a peach?

Hanna ignores him, returns to the kitchen.

DAVID
She tells me you haven't been sleeping
well.

WHALE
It's the ridiculous pills they
prescribe. If I take them, I spend
the next day stupid as a stone. If I
don't, my mind seems to go off in a
hundred directions at once --

DAVID
Then take the pills.

WHALE
I wanted to be alert for your visit
today. Especially since I saw so
little of you in the hospital.

The remark hits its target.

DAVID
I'm sorry, Jimmy. But with this movie
and two difficult stars --

WHALE
"The fault, dear David, is not in
ourselves but in our stars."

DAVID
(too anxious to laugh)
You remember how a production eats
up one's life.

WHALE
Oh, David. There's no pleasure in
making you feel guilty.
(stands)
You better go, my boy. You'll be
late for that aeroplane.

David extends his hand, but Whale draws him into a hug. As
he starts out, David points to a framed painting.

DAVID
By the way, I like the Renoir.

WHALE
Thank you.

DAVID
(calls out)
Goodbye, Hanna.

Hanna runs out of the kitchen to escort David to the door.
Whale drifts back to the window, watches as Clay revs up the
lawnmower, creating a cloud of white smoke. We CUT TO:

EXT. STREETS OF DUDLEY - DAY (1900)

A bean-pole child with flaming red hair (WHALE at age 12)
stares up at the coal smoke pouring from a seemingly endless
row of chimneys. We're in Dudley, a factory town in the
English Midlands region known as the Black Country.

SARAH WHALE (O.S.)
Stop lagging behind, Jimmy. We'll be
late for church.

YOUNG WHALE
Yes, Mum.

Whale runs to catch up to his six brothers and sisters. His
father, WILLIAM WHALE, frowns at the boy's prissy trot.

WILLIAM WHALE
Straighten up, son.

Young Whale's movements thicken into a dim imitation of manly
reserve. The Whale family marches up a steeply mounting street
to Dixon's Green Methodist Church.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Whale's eyes tighten. He focuses on Clay Boone as he peels
off his T-shirt, revealing a tattoo on his upper right
forearm.

WHALE
Hanna? Who's the new yardman?

HANNA
Bone? Boom? Something Bee. I hire
him while you were in the hospital.
He came cheap.

Whale nods, chooses a walking stick. He emerges into the
sunlight.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DAY

Whale moves jauntily onto the front lawn, singing to himself:

WHALE
The bells of hell go ting-a-ling For
you but not for me. Oh death where
is thy sting-a-ling? Grave where thy
victory?

Whale steps up next to Clay.

WHALE
Good morning.

CLAY
(not looking up)
Mornin'.

WHALE
My name is Whale. This is my house.

CLAY
Nice place.

WHALE
And your name is --?

CLAY
Boone. Clayton Boone.

WHALE
I couldn't help but notice your
tattoo. That phrase? Death Before
Dishonor. What does it mean?

CLAY
Just that I was in the Marines.

WHALE
The Marines. Good for you. You must
have served in Korea.

Clay shrugs nonchalantly.

WHALE
Getting to be a warm day. A scorcher,
as you Yanks call it.

CLAY
Yeah. I better get on with my work.

Whale clears his throat behind the back of his hand.

WHALE
When you're through, Mr. Boone, feel
free to make use of the pool. We're
quite informal here. You don't have
to worry about a suit.

Clay glances warily at Whale.

CLAY
No thanks. I got another job to get
to this afternoon.

Whale holds Clay's look.

WHALE
Some other time, perhaps? Keep up
the fine work.

Whale heads off, smiling to himself. Pleased to be naughty
again.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

The room is filled with unframed canvasses, many of them
copies of paintings by the Old Masters.

Whale rolls out the easel, lifts a half-painted canvas into
position. He stares at the blotches of color, trying to
remember what he intended to paint.

Whale pulls out a heavy volume on Rembrandt, opens to a black-
and-white plate of "The Polish Rider." We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE HOUSE - DUDLEY - NIGHT (1908)

A rough pencil outline of the same painting. Whale, age 16,
sits on his bed, ignoring the roughhousing of the three
younger BROTHERS who share the room. The door opens and
Whale's mother SARAH enters.

SARAH WHALE
Jimmy. The privy needs cleaning.

WHALE
I have my class tonight.

Both have Midlands accents, like head colds that flatten
their speech. Whale holds up the sketch to show his mother.

SARAH WHALE
Don't get above yarself, Jimmy.
Leave the drawring to the artists.

Whale squeezes the pad behind the bed, jumps up.

WHALE
Quite so, mum. To the privy.

And he heads cheerfully out of the room. His mother shakes
her head.

SARAH WHALE
"Quite so."
(calls out)
Jimmy Whale. Who are ya to put on
airs?

But Whale is already out the door. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Whale studies his face in the mirror. He gives his white
hair a few final licks with his silver-backed brush.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

Whale comes in from the bedroom.

WHALE
There is iced tea, Hanna? Cucumber
sandwiches?

HANNA
Yes, Mr. Jimmy.
(smiles)
An interview. After so many years.
Very exciting.

WHALE
Don't be daft. It's just a student
from the university.

The doorbell rings.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Whale settles into his club chair and opens a book, pretending
to read until Hanna ushers in the visitor.

HANNA
Mr. Kay, sir.

WHALE
(feigning surprise)
Yes?

Whale looks up at EDMUND KAY, 22, a slim boy who rests his
weight on one slouched hip, his arms twined behind him. There
is a look of mild disappointment on Whale's face as he
realizes that Kay is a baby poof.

WHALE
Ah, Mr. Kay. I'd almost forgotten.
My guest for tea.

Whale stands and holds out his hand.

KAY
Mr. Whale, this is such an honor.
You're one of my favorite all-time
directors. I can't believe I'm meeting
you.

WHALE
(gently, teasing)
No. I expect you can't.

KAY
And this is your house. Wow. The
house of Frankenstein.
(looks around)
I thought you'd live in a spooky old
mansion or villa.

WHALE
One likes to live simply.

KAY
I know. People's movies aren't their
lives.

He suddenly growls out an imitation of Boris Karloff.

KAY
Love dead. Hate living.

Kay laughs, a high, girlish giggle. Whale fights a cringe
with a polite smile.

KAY
That's my favorite line in my favorite
movie of yours. "Bride of
Frankenstein."

WHALE
Is it now? Hanna? I think we'll take
our tea down by the swimming pool.

It's clear from Hanna's frown that she doesn't approve of
the idea. Whale ignores her, turns back to Kay.

WHALE
Will that be good for you, Mr. Kay?

KAY
Sure.

WHALE
(opens the back door)
After you then.

Whale inspects the boy from behind, noticing his wide hips
and plumpish posterior.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

Kay's hands flap animatedly as Whale leads him down to the
pool.

KAY
I love the great horror films. And
yours are the best. "The Old Dark
House." "The Invisible Man." They
look great and have style. And funny!

Whale points to a small shingled house near the pool.

WHALE
This is the studio where I paint.

KAY
Nice.
(refusing to be
sidetracked)
And your lighting and camera angles.
You're got to go back to German silent
movies to find anything like it.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - UPPER PATIO - DAY

Clay Boone gulps some water from the garden hose. He glances
down at the pool, where Kay and Whale sit in cast-iron chairs.

HANNA
Time for you to leave.

Clay turns to Hanna, who holds a tray loaded with finger
sandwiches and a pitcher of iced tea.

CLAY
I'm on my way.

She doesn't move until Clay starts off.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - POOLSIDE - DAY

Kay flips open his steno pad.

WHALE
So, Mr. Kay? What do you want to
know?

KAY
Everything. Start at the beginning.

WHALE
I was born outside London, the only
son of a minister who was a master
at Harrow. Grandfather was a bishop.
Church of... Church of Eng...

Whale's tongue trips on the word, his voice suddenly drowned
out by the blast of a factory whistle. We CUT TO:

INT. FACTORY SHOP FLOOR - DUDLEY - DAY (1908)

Fiery melt is poured into molds on the shop floor of a machine
parts factory. WHALE, 16, grips the hot casting with tongs.
His father WILLIAM, his face blackened with grime, hammers
away at the flaws. A heavy blow causes young Whale to drop
the mold, prompting catcalls and sneers on the floor. There
is a look of genuine fear in Whale's eyes as he looks up at
his singed, beast-like father. We CUT TO:

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

Kay clears his throat softly.

KAY
Mr. Whale?

Whale smiles politely to cover his momentary disorientation.

WHALE
Yes?

KAY
Your father was a schoolmaster?

WHALE
Of course. I attended Eton -- it
wouldn't do for a master's son to
attend where his father taught. I
was to go up to Oxford but the war
broke out and I never made it. The
Great War, you know. You had a Good
War, but we had a great one.

He glances to see if the boy smiles at the quip.

WHALE
You can't imagine what life was like
after the Armistice. The twenties in
London were one long bank holiday, a
break from everything dour and
respectable. I had a knack with pencil
and paper, so I was hired to design
sets for stage productions.

Hanna comes down the path with the tray. She places it on
the table.

WHALE
Thank you, Hanna. Very nice.

Hanna remains planted next to the table.

WHALE
You can go now.

She makes an audible sigh and starts back up the hill.

WHALE
There was one play in particular, a
beautiful, grim study of war called
"Journey's End". Every experienced
director turned it down, so I offered
myself, bullying and begging for the
job. "Journey's End" made the careers
of everyone associated with it. It
was only a matter of time until
Hollywood beckoned.

KAY
How much longer before we get to
"Frankenstein"?

WHALE
Am I correct in assuming, Mr. Kay,
that it's not me you're interested
in, only my horror pictures?

KAY
Oh no, I want to hear everything.
You made twenty pictures in all --

WHALE
Twenty-one. The romantic comedies
and dramas were much more to my
liking. The horror pictures were
trifles. Grand guignol for the masses.

KAY
But it's the horror movies you'll be
remembered for.

An abrupt look of anger flashes across Whale's face.

WHALE
I am not dead yet, Mr. Kay.

KAY
No. I never said you were. Or will
be soon.

Kay leans over the steno pad, determined to be more worthy.

KAY
So. "Journey's End" brought you to
Hollywood --

Whale takes in the boy's blank, bored expression. He sighs.

WHALE
I have a proposal, Mr. Kay. This
mode of questioning is getting old,
don't you think?

KAY
I don't mind.

WHALE
Let's make it more interesting. I
will answer any question you ask.
But, for each answer, you must remove
one article of clothing.

Kay's mouth pops open.

KAY
That's funny, Mr. Whale.

WHALE
It is, isn't it? My life as a game
of strip poker. Shall we play?

KAY
You're serious.

WHALE
Quite.

KAY
Then the rumors are true?

WHALE
What rumors might those be?

KAY
That you were forced to retire
because, uh -- a sex scandal.

WHALE
A homosexual scandal, you mean? For
me to answer a question of that
magnitude, you'll have to remove
both your shoes and your socks.

Kay just sits there, squinting and grinning.

KAY
You're a dirty old man.

Whale tilts his head as if brushing off a compliment. Kay
kicks off his penny loafers, bends over to remove his socks.

WHALE
You are kind to indulge your elders
in their vices. As I indulge the
young in theirs.

Two pale feet emerge. Whale leans forward to examine them.
He leans back again.

WHALE
No. There was no scandal.

And he reaches into his coat for a cigar. Whale's hand
trembles as he slices a hole at the base, then lights the
cigar with a wooden match, sucking and rotating until the
tip is roundly lit.

WHALE
My only other vice. I suppose you'd
like a fuller answer to your question.

Kay nods.

WHALE
It will cost you your sweater.

Kay hesitates a moment, then sets his pen aside to pull the
sweater over his head, revealing a sleeveless T-shirt.

KAY
Too warm for a sweater, anyway.

WHALE
You must understand how Hollywood
was twenty years ago. Nobody cared a
tinker's cuss who slept with whom,
so long as you kept it out of the
papers. Outside of Hollywood, who
knows who George Cukor is, much less
what he does with those boys from
the malt shops along Santa Monica?

Kay stares at him in disbelief.

KAY
George Cukor? Who made "A Star Is
Born"? I never guessed.

WHALE
Take off your vest and I'll tell you
a story.

Kay plucks at his T-shirt, glancing toward the house.

WHALE
Don't be shy. There's time to stop
before you go too far.

KAY
I guess.

Kay peels off the shirt and tosses it on his shoes and
sweater.

WHALE
George is famous for his Saturday
dinner parties. Great artists,
writers, society folk, all rubbing
elbows with Hollywood royalty. But
how many of those oh-so-proper people
know about the Sunday brunches that
follow? Gatherings of trade eating
leftovers, followed by some strenuous
fun and frolic in the pool.
(flicks an ash)
If a goat like that can continue
about his business, my more domestic
arrangements could've raised very
few eyebrows.

The revelation seems to have left Kay a little shaken. He
flips to a blank page.

KAY
Can we talk about the horror movies
now?

WHALE
Certainly, Mr. Kay. Is there anything
in particular you want to know?

KAY
Will you tell me everything you
remember about making "Frankenstein"?

He glances down at his few remaining articles of clothing.

KAY
Can that count as one question?

WHALE
Of course.

KAY
I can't believe I'm doing this.

Kay stands to unbuckle his belt, glancing around the yard
again. He unzips and steps out of his sharply creased flannel
legs. His thighs are thin and pale.

KAY
Just like going swimming, isn't it?

WHALE
Maybe you'd like a swim when we're
through. I never swim myself, so the
pool tends to go to waste.

KAY
Okay. "Frankenstein." Tell me
everything.

WHALE
Righto. Let me see.

Whale swallows a wince, trying to block the pain pushing
against his skull.

WHALE
Universal wanted me for another story,
and wanted me so baldly -- I mean
badly, not baldly. I was given the
pick of stories being developed, and
I picked that one.

KAY
Who came up with the Monster's makeup
and look?

WHALE
My idea. Muchly. My sketches. Big
heavy brow. Head flat on top so they
could take out the old brain and put
in the new, like tinned beef.

KAY
He's one of the great images of the
twentieth century. As important as
the Mona Lisa.

WHALE
You think so? That's very kind --

Whale clutches at the air, suddenly notices that his hand is
empty. He looks down and sees the cigar on the flagstones.

KAY
Boris Karloff. Where did you find
him?

Whale bends down to retrieve his cigar -- and the change of
gravity drives a spike through his skull.

KAY
Karloff, Mr. Whale. How did you cast
him?

Whale turns toward the froggy voice.

WHALE
Please. Excuse me. I must go lie --

He forces himself up with one hand. Kay finally looks up,
notices Whale's colorless lips and desperate eyes.

KAY
Mr. Whale? Are you all right?

WHALE
I just need to -- lie down. Studio.
Daybed in studio.

Whale lurches from the table. Kay jumps forward, catching
him under an arm.

KAY
Oh my God. What's wrong, Mr. Whale?
Is it your heart?

WHALE
Head. Not heart.

He leans against Kay, who leads him toward the studio.

WHALE
Forgive me.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DAY

Hanna runs down the path, clutching the front of her apron
in two tight fists.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Hanna swings open the screen door -- and grimaces when she
sees Kay in his BVDs. He is kneeling next to Whale, who is
stretched out on the daybed.

HANNA
Water. Glasses at the sink.

She goes to Whale, scooping different bottles from the pocket
of her apron.

HANNA
Which ones? I bring them all.

WHALE
Luminal.

She empties a pill into her palm. Whale places it into his
mouth and takes the glass of Water Kay passes over Hanna's
shoulder. Whale swallows the pill, then glances up at Kay,
feigning surprise.

WHALE
Mr. Kay. You're not dressed.

Kay frantically crosses his arms over his chest and middle,
turns to Hanna.

KAY
I was going to take a swim.

WHALE
I'm sorry I spoiled it for you. You
should probably go home.

KAY
Right.

Kay hurries outside to retrieve his clothes. Hanna undoes
Whale's bow tie. She makes no attempt to be gentle.

WHALE
You must think I'm terrible, Hanna.

HANNA
I do not think you anything anymore.
Just back from the hospital and
already you are chasing after boys.

WHALE
Oh shut up. All we did was talk. My
attack had nothing to do with him.

HANNA
Perhaps we should get you uphill
before the pills knock you cold.

WHALE
No. Let me lie here. Thank you.

Hanna nods, moves to the door. Whale closes his eyes,
breathes deeply, trying to block the throbbing SOUND in his
brain. We CUT TO:

INT. FACTORY SHOP FLOOR - DUDLEY - DAY (1908)

The noise is deafening -- the clank of chains, the screech
of wheels and the endless banging of hammers. William Whale
continues to knock away at the hot casting. The rhythmic
sound blends into the insistent knocking of:

A FIST

which smashes against sheet metal.

INT. CLAY'S TRAILER - DAY

Clay Boone's eyes dart open.

DWIGHT (O.S.)
Boone! You awake? Eight o'clock.

CLAY
Fuck off!

DWIGHT (O.S.)
You told me to get you up, asshole.

A baseball-capped head is visible through the louvered glass
in the trailer's door. DWIGHT JOAD, 30, Clay's neighbor,
squints to see inside.

CLAY
I'm up. Thanks.

DWIGHT
Hasta la vista, Boone. And give the
jail bait a squeeze for me.

Clay glances over, seems surprised to see a naked back facing
him on the bare mattress.

CLAY
Hey, um... Rose --

The girl stirs, turns to face him. She is 18 at most.

DAISY
Daisy.

CLAY
Huh?

DAISY
My name is Daisy.

CLAY
Time to go, Daisy.

She presses her naked body against Clay's.

DAISY
You know. I could help you fix up
this place real nice.

Clay takes a deep breath, trying to clear the gumminess from
his brain.

CLAY
Don't you have to be somewhere?
Like high school maybe.

DAISY
I gave it up for Lent.

Daisy smiles at her own joke. Clay frowns.

CLAY
Right.
(jumps up from the
bed)
Time to hit the road, kid.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Whale ponders the half-painted canvas, clearly distressed by
his lack of progress. The stillness is punctured by the sound
of Clay's lawnmower being dragged up the brick steps. Whale
smiles, puts down his brush.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

Clay stops, turns around, feeling someone's eyes watching
him.

WHALE (O.S.)
(singing)
The bells of hell go ting-a-ling...

The mower slips out of Clay's hands momentarily. He looks
around, spots Whale inside the studio.

WHALE
Everything alright, Mr. Boone?

CLAY
Just got away from me. Sorry to
disturb you.

The screen door squeaks open, clatters shut. A leather slipper
and rubber-tipped cane appear. Whale strolls into view,
smiling.

WHALE
I was just about to ask Hanna to
bring down iced tea. I'd like it
very much if you'd join me.

CLAY
I stink to high heaven right now.

WHALE
The honest sweat of one's brow. I
assure you I won't be offended. Let
me tell Hanna to bring tea for two.

Whale's cane trembles in his skeletal hand. His frailty chips
away at Clay's resolve.

WHALE
Or would you prefer a beer?

CLAY
No. Iced tea's fine.

WHALE
Splendid.

Clay hoses the crumbs of grass off his arms. He dries his
hands and arms with his hat, then wads it up and stuffs it
into his shirt to wipe out his armpits.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Clay stands at the screen door.

WHALE
Come in, Mr. Boone.

Whale sits on a daybed, next to a pile of newspapers. He
gestures at a wooden armchair across from him.

WHALE
My workshop, my studio. Hardly
somewhere in which a sweaty workman
should feel out of place.

Clay glances at the unframed canvases on the wall and stacked
in the corners.

CLAY
These are your paintings?

WHALE
What? Oh yes.

CLAY
Excuse me, but -- are you famous?

WHALE
You know what they say. If you have
to ask --

CLAY
I'm just a hick who cuts lawns. But
some of these look familiar.

WHALE
They were familiar when I painted
them. That one's copied from a Dutch
still life done almost three hundred
years ago. And that's a Rembrandt.

CLAY
They're just copies then. Gotcha.

WHALE
But before I retired, you might say
I had a brief time in the sun. Fame,
as it were. Tell me, do you like
motion pictures?

CLAY
Sure, everybody does. When I was a
kid I'd go with my sister twice a
week. Why? Were you an actor or
something?

WHALE
In my youth, yes, but never in
Hollywood. No, I was merely a director
here.

CLAY
Yeah? What were some of your movies?

WHALE
This and that. The only ones you
maybe have heard of are the
"Frankenstein" pictures.

CLAY
Really?

Clay sits up, surprised, skeptical and impressed all at once.

CLAY
"Frankenstein" and "Bride of" and
"Son of" and all the rest?

WHALE
I made only the first two. The others
were done by hacks.

CLAY
Still. You must be rich. Making a
couple of famous movies like those.

WHALE
Merely comfortable. Here's Hanna
with our refreshments. Can you get
the door?

Clay jumps up to open the screen door. Hanna walks past,
refusing to look at him. She sets the tray on a table very
hard, ringing the glasses and silverware.

HANNA
How are you feeling, Mr. Jimmy? How
is your mind today?

WHALE
My mind's lovely. And yours?

Hanna flares her nostrils at him.

HANNA
You remember what the doctor tells
us.

WHALE
Yes, yes, yes. I merely invited Mr.
Boone in for a glass of tea. We'll
have a brief chat and he'll finish
the yard.

HANNA
I am not forgetting your last brief
chat.

WHALE
Just go. We can manage without you.

Hanna stares up at Clay.

HANNA
He looks plenty big. You won't need
my help if anything goes flooey.

WHALE
Go.

She shakes her head and marches out the door. Clay returns
to his chair and sits down again.

WHALE
When they stay in your employ too
long, servants begin to think they're
married to you.
(smiles at Clay)
Please, Mr. Boone. Help yourself.

CLAY
What did she mean by going flooey?

WHALE
I returned recently from a stay in
hospital.

CLAY
What was wrong?

WHALE
Nothing serious. A touch of stroke.

Clay nods, chugs his tea. When he lowers the glass, he finds
the old man watching him.

WHALE
You must excuse me for staring, Mr.
Boone. But you have a marvelous head.

CLAY
Huh?

WHALE
To an artistic eye, you understand.
Have you ever modeled?

CLAY
You mean, like posed for pictures?

WHALE
Sat for an artist. Been sketched.

CLAY
(with a laugh)
What's to sketch?

WHALE
You have the most architectural skull.
And your nose. Very expressive.

CLAY
Broke is more like it.

WHALE
But expressively broken. How did it
happen?

CLAY
Football in college.

WHALE
You went to university?

CLAY
Just a year. I dropped out to join
the Marines.

WHALE
Yes. You were a Marine.

Whale's gaze deepens. He laughs lightly.

WHALE
I apologize for going on like this.
It's the Sunday painter in me. Of
course I can understand your refusal.
It's a great deal to ask of someone.

CLAY
You mean -- you really want to draw
me?

WHALE
Indeed. I'd pay for the privilege of
drawing your head.

CLAY
But why?

WHALE
Even an amateur artist needs a subject
to inspire him.

CLAY
And it's just my head you want?
Nothing else?

WHALE
What are you suggesting? You'll charge
extra if I include a hand or a bit
of shoulder.

CLAY
You don't want to draw pictures of
me in my birthday suit, right?

WHALE
I have no interest in your body, Mr.
Boone. I can assure you of that.

Clay takes a moment to size up Whale -- whose innocent,
slightly befuddled smile makes him appear about as threatening
as a box of cornflakes.

CLAY
All right then. Sure. I could use
the extra dough.

WHALE
Excellent. We'll have a most
interesting time.

Whale lifts his glass, takes a small sip of tea.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DAY

Clay fetches a pair of hedge clippers from his truck. He
can't help stopping by the side-view mirror to look at his
face.

INT. EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY

Doctors and technicians flash lights into Whale's eyes...
test his reflexes... inject him with radioactive isotope.
Whale sits very still with his head behind a fluoroscope
screen while two doctors murmur over the image.

INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY

A pair of X rays are slapped wet on a light board. Two skulls,
one facing forward, the other in profile. DR. PAYNE, a bland
young neurologist, points to a smudge in the side-view X
ray.

DR. PAYNE
This is the area of infarction. By
which we mean the portion of brain
affected by the stroke.

The venetian blinds of the examining room are closed. Whale
sits calmly, flanneled legs crossed at the knees, gazing at
his own skull.

DR. PAYNE
You're a lucky man, Mr. Whale.
Whatever damage was done by your
stroke, it left your motor abilities
relatively unimpaired.

WHALE
Yes, yes, Dr. Payne. But from the
neck up? What's my story there?

DR. PAYNE
That's what I'm trying to explain.

Payne turns off the light board and goes to the venetian
blinds. The room is instantly full of sun.

DR. PAYNE
The central nervous system selects
items from a constant storm of
sensations. Whatever was killed in
your stroke appears to have short-
circuited this mechanism. Parts of
your brain now seem to be firing at
random.

WHALE
You're saying there's an electrical
storm in my head?

DR. PAYNE
That's as good a way as any to
describe it. I've seen far worse
cases. You might even learn to enjoy
these walks down memory lane.

WHALE
But the rest of it? The killing
headaches. The phantom smells. My
inability to close my eyes without
thinking a hundred things at once.
It's all nothing more than bad
electricity?

DR. PAYNE
In a manner of speaking. I've never
encountered the olfactory
hallucinations, but I'm sure they're
related.

WHALE
So what do I do?

DR. PAYNE
Take the Luminal to sleep, or whenever
you feel an attack coming on.

WHALE
You seem to be saying that this isn't
just a case of resting until I'm
better. That my condition will
continue to deteriorate until the
end of my life.

The doctor responds with a sympathetic gaze. Whale nods
solemnly.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Whale makes his way toward the stairs. He passes a stoop-
shouldered ELDERLY WOMAN who leans on the arm of her middle-
aged DAUGHTER. Then an OLD MAN in a wheelchair, his eyes
brimming with bewilderment and despair.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - FOYER - DAY

Hanna opens the door. Clay wears dungarees and a white dress
shirt.

CLAY
Don't worry, you already paid me.
I'm here because --

HANNA
The Master is waiting for you.

She gestures him in, shuts the door.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

Clay follows Hanna into the kitchen.

HANNA
He's down in his studio. Here. Take
this with you.

She thrusts a TV tray toward him. Two glasses, two bottles
of beer, a bottle of Coke.

CLAY
It's your job, lady, not mine.
(hands back the tray)
I'm here so he can draw my picture.

HANNA
I'm keeping away. What you are doing
is no business of mine.

CLAY
What're you talking about?

HANNA
What kind of man are you? Are you a
good man?

CLAY
Yeah, I'm a good man. Something make
you think I'm not?

HANNA
You will not hurt him?

CLAY
Gimme a break. I'm going to sit on
my ass while he draws pictures. Is
that going to hurt him?

HANNA
No. No.
(closes her eyes)
I am sorry. Forget everything I say.
Here. I will take the tray.

CLAY
You do that.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Clay opens the squeaking door and enters behind Hanna. Whale
stands at a drafting table, sharpening a pencil. Hanna sets
the tray down.

WHALE
Very good, Hanna. Now goodbye.

She goes toward the door, wrinkling her forehead at Clay.
The screen door bangs shut.

WHALE
I'm sure you'd like something to wet
your whistle while I work.

Whale opens a bottle of beer, pours it into a glass, hands
it to Clay. He gestures to a chair.

WHALE
We'll go slowly today. Since this is
your first time as a model.

Clay sits. He pulls a "TV Guide" out of his back pocket.

CLAY
Did you see this? They're showing
one of your movies tomorrow night.

WHALE
You don't say? Which picture?

CLAY
"Bride of Frankenstein."

WHALE
Hmmm. I much prefer "Show Boat" or
"The Invisible Man." Shall we begin?

Clay takes a swig of beer and sets the glass on the floor.

CLAY
Ready when you are.

Whale stares at Clay.

WHALE
That shirt, Mr. Boone.

CLAY
It's new.

WHALE
I'm sorry. It's too white, too
distracting. Would it be asking too
much for you to take it off?

CLAY
I'm not wearing an undershirt.

WHALE
Pish posh, Mr. Boone. I'm not your
Aunt Tilly.

CLAY
But it's just my face you want to
draw.

WHALE
Oh if it's going to make you
uncomfortable...
(sighs)
Perhaps we can find something else
for you to wear.

He lifts a drop cloth off a footlocker, revealing a stack of
"Physique" magazines. Whale casually covers them with a
newspaper.

WHALE
We could wrap this like a toga around
your shoulders. Would that help you
overcome your schoolgirl shyness?

CLAY
All right already. I'll take it off.
Kind of warm in here anyway.

He unbuttons the shirt and pulls it off.

WHALE
Yes. Much better.
(steps forward)
Here.

Clay adjusts his belt buckle as Whale hangs the shirt on a
wall peg. He moves back to the easel again.

WHALE
I think we'll have you sit slightly
sideways, so you can rest one arm on
the back of the chair. Yes. Just so.

The arm with the tattoo faces the easel. Clay smirks.

CLAY
Take a picture, it lasts longer.

WHALE
That's exactly what I intend to do.

A clatter of pencils in the easel's tray, followed by a moment
of silence. Finally, a low, whistly scratch. Clay concentrates
on keeping still, focusing on an open window.

WHALE
You seem to have no idea how handsome
you are, Mr. Boone. It has to do
with how snugly your face fits your
skull.

Clay wipes a thin line of sweat from his waist.

WHALE
Would you be more comfortable
barefoot? Feel free to remove your
boots and socks.

CLAY
No. I'm fine.

WHALE
It's a bit like being at the doctor,
isn't it? You have to remain perfectly
still while I examine and scrutinize
you.

Whale suddenly sniffs, as if smelling something. He sniffs
several times more but continues to draw.

WHALE
(to himself)
Dripping?
(to Clay)
Do you ever eat dripping in this
country? The fat from roasts and
such, congealed in jars. Used like
butter on bread.

CLAY
Sounds like something you feed the
dog.

WHALE
It is. Only the poorest families
ever ate it. We kept ours in a
crockery jar.

CLAY
Your family ate dripping?

WHALE
(catching himself)
Of course not. As I said, only poor
people --

Whale stops. He lets out a bitter laugh.

WHALE
I'm sorry. I've just realized how
terribly ironic it all is.

CLAY
What?

WHALE
I've spent most of my life outrunning
my past. Now it's flooding all over
me.

Clay stares out blankly.

WHALE
There's something about the openness
of your face that makes me want to
speak the truth. Yes, my family ate
dripping. Beef dripping and four to
a bed, and a privy out back in the
alley. Are you also from the slums,
Mr. Boone?

CLAY
We weren't rich. But we weren't poor
either.

WHALE
No, you were middle class, like all
Americans.

CLAY
I guess you'd say we lived on the
wrong side of the tracks.

WHALE
In Dudley there were more sides of
the tracks than any American can
imagine. Every Englishman knows his
place. And if you forget, there's
always someone to remind you. My
family had no doubts about who they
were. But I was an aberration in
that household a freak of nature. I
had imagination, cleverness, joy.
Where did I get that? Certainly not
from them.

Whale's voice has changed, becoming more pinched and nasal.

WHALE
They took me out of school when I
was fourteen and put me in a factory.
They meant no harm. They were like a
family of farmers who've been given
a giraffe, and don't know what to do
with the creature except harness him
to the plow.

Whale seems completely lost in the past by now.

WHALE
Hatred was the only thing that kept
my soul alive in that soul-killing
place. And among those men I hated
was my own poor, dumb father. Who
put me in that hell to begin with.

Whale peers out from behind the square of paper. He pales
when he sees his father William, his face covered with grime,
glaring at him from across the room. Whale retreats behind
the pad, takes a breath.

CLAY (O.S.)
Mr. Whale?

Relief floods Whale's face. He looks out, smiles at Clay.

WHALE
You have to excuse me, Mr. Boone.
Since my stroke, I am often overcome
with nostalgia.

CLAY
I don't mind. I'm not crazy about my
old man either.

Whale rubs a hand across his eyes and steps into the open.

WHALE
Why don't we break for five minutes?
You probably want to stretch your
legs.

Whale pulls the cover sheet over the pad to hide what he's
drawn so far.

DWIGHT (V.O.)
So you just sat there while this old
limey banged his gums?

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

The place is dead. There's only Clay and Dwight sitting at
the bar with the owner, HARRY, a balding hep cat with a
scraggly tuft of beard. And, in a booth, KID SAYLOR, a cocky
20-year-old, necking with a pony-tailed TEENAGER.

CLAY
I liked it. You learn stuff listening
to old-timers.

DWIGHT
(to Harry)
You ever hear of this Whale fellow?

HARRY
Can't say that I have. Can't say
I've heard of a lot of people though.

CLAY
If you don't believe me, let's watch
this movie. See if his name's on it.
How about it, Harry? Can I watch my
damn movie?

HARRY
I told you. I don't turn on the TV
except for the fights.

BETTY CARTWRIGHT appears behind the bar, lugging a bucket of
ice from the storeroom. She's an attractive woman in her
early 30s, big-boned and almost as tall as Clay.

BETTY
A spooky movie. Just what this place
needs tonight.

DWIGHT
Couldn't make it any deader, doll.
Set me up.

BETTY
Sure. Your friend want one?

Clay reacts to the silent treatment with a tight smile.

DWIGHT
Yeah, one for what's-his-name here.

She sets down two bottles of Pabst without looking at Clay.

CLAY
Thanks, doll.

BETTY
(to Harry)
I say let loverboy watch his movie.
And be grateful Boone's not cutting
Shirley Temple's lawn.

CLAY
Why is everybody giving me crap
tonight?

DWIGHT
Jesus, Boone. You come in here proud
as a peacock because some old coot
wants to paint your picture. We're
just bringing you back to earth.

BETTY
Sounds screwy to me. I can't imagine
a real artist wanting to spend time
looking at that kisser.

CLAY
This kisser wasn't so bad you couldn't
lay under it a few times.

DWIGHT
Ooooh.

Betty glares at Clay, who realizes he's gone too far.

BETTY
I bet this is just some fruit
pretending to be famous. So he can
get in the big guy's pants.

DWIGHT
Ooooh.

CLAY
What makes you say that?

BETTY
Just thinking out loud.

CLAY
Yeah, well keep your filthy thoughts
to yourself.

BETTY
All right, then. He's interested in
you for your conversation. We know
what a great talker you are.

CLAY
Fuck you.

BETTY
Not anymore you don't. Doll.

CLAY
(explodes)
We're watching the movie, Harry.
You got that! We are watching my
fucking movie.

HARRY
Calm down, Clay. Just calm down.
We'll watch it.

CLAY
Good. Fine.

Harry reaches up, turns on a battered Motorola. On the tv, a
voice announces: "Tonight, Boris Karloff in 'The Bride of
Frankenstein.'" The titles come on. Ending with the phrase
"Directed by", which floats over a white blob. The blob jumps
forward to form letters: "James Whale."

CLAY
Right there. What did I tell you?
James Whale.

The movie starts. The Monster being roasted alive in the
flaming wreckage of a mill.

BETTY
This looks corny.

CLAY
Go wash glasses if you don't like
it.

In a flooded crater under the mill, the Monster kills an old
man. He climbs up, flips the man's wife into the pit below.
An owl blinks impassively.

DWIGHT
Not bad. Two down and it's just
started.

Minnie, a hatchet-faced woman with fluttering ribbons, is
now alone with the Monster.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Whale and Hanna are in bathrobes and slippers, and there is
a glass of milk and a plate of cookies on Whale's TV tray.
On the tv, Minnie (played by UNA O'CONNOR) squeaks and
whimpers and screams. Whale laughs.

WHALE
Wonderful old Una. Gobbling like an
old turkey hen.

But Hanna isn't amused. She unclenches her arms to close the
bathrobe over her throat.

HANNA
Oh, that monster. How could you be
working with him?

WHALE
Don't be silly, Hanna. He's a very
proper actor. And the dullest fellow
imaginable.

Minnie flees in a bowlegged jig up the hill. Whale smiles
again.

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

On the tv, Dr. Pretorius (played by Ernest Thesiger) delivers
a toast with inimitably ripe enunciation: "To a new world of
gods and monsters!" Dwight and Harry and Betty all laugh.

BETTY
These old movies are such a hoot.
They thought they were being scary,
but they're just funny.

CLAY
(defensively)
Maybe it's supposed to be funny.

BETTY
Funny is funny and scary is scary.
You don't mix them.

Suddenly the tinny tv soundtrack is drowned out by the voice
of Elvis Presley. Kid Saylor bends over the jukebox, wagging
his denim butt and tapping a high-top sneaker.

CLAY
Hey! Some of us are watching a movie!

SAYLOR
Go ahead. Free country.

Clay jumps from his stool. Saylor sees him coming, steps
aside.

SAYLOR
You want me to turn it down?

Clay slams the heel of his hand against Saylor's chest. The
boy staggers backward. Clay grabs the corner of the jukebox
and jerks it from the wall; the needle scratches across the
song. Saylor holds up both hands in a nervous surrender.

SAYLOR
Hey, I didn't know. It's your favorite
movie. Sorry, okay?

Clay returns to the bar and uprights the stool. Saylor escorts
his girl to the door.

HARRY
You're like a dog with a bone over
this movie, Clay.

CLAY
I just want to watch it, okay?

On the tv, the blind man thanks God for sending him a friend.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Hanna's frown pops open.

HANNA
He is not going to kill the old man?

WHALE
No, Hanna. My heart isn't that black.

In a crypt, the Monster meets Dr. Pretorius, who is having a
midnight snack on top of a closed coffin. "Friend?" the
monster asks. "Yes, I hope so," answers Pretorius, without
batting an eyelash. He offers the Monster a drink, then adds:
"Have a cigar. They're my only weakness."

WHALE
The cigars were my own brand. So
that I could have the leftovers.

On the tv, the Monster groans: "Love dead. Hate living."
Whale's focus sharpens, prompted by the unexpected discussion
of death.

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

The Monster holds a skull in both hands and happily growls,
"Wiiife." Betty, shudders, for real this time.

HARRY
Sick stuff. Necrophilia. I wonder if
they knew how sick they were.

CLAY
The Monster's lonely and he wants a
friend, a girlfriend, somebody.
What sick about that?

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Dr. Frankenstein and Pretorius make their final preparations.
Frankenstein inquires where the fresh heart came from. "There
are always accidental deaths occurring," Pretorius replies.
"Always." Once again, Whale responds to the talk of death.

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

Finally, the Bride comes to life. She looks up, down, left,
right, uncertain who she is. The Monster stares tenderly.
"Friend?" He timidly touches her arm and she screams.

BETTY
All right! You don't want him.

The Monster is heartbroken. Nobody loves him, not even his
Bride.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

The Bride shrieks again.

HANNA
She is horrible.

WHALE
She is beautiful.

The Monster's pain turns to anger. He tears through the

lab, orders Frankenstein to escape with his wife. But he
wants Pretorius and the Bride to stay. "We belong dead."
Whale reacts sharply to the line.

The Monster blows up the laboratory and the movie ends. Hanna
shivers as she stands.

HANNA
Ugh. I am sorry, Mr. Jimmy, but your
movie is not my teacup. Still, I am
glad there is a happy ending. The
bad people are dead and the good
people live.

She hits the button on the Magnavox with the flat of her
palm.

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

Betty turns off the Motorola.

BETTY
Weird movie. Weird, weird, weird.

Harry stands up and stretches. Clay remains seated.

CLAY
So what did you think?

BETTY
Weird.

DWIGHT
I loved it. I want a switch like
that in my trailer, so I can blow us
to kingdom come when things don't go
my way.

He wobbles when he climbs off his stool.

DWIGHT
Damn but it's getting drunk in here.
Late too. The bride of Dwight is
going to bite my head off.

He tilts toward the door.

DWIGHT
You coming, Boone?

CLAY
I think I'll hang around.

HARRY
Go home, Clay. We're closing up.

CLAY
I thought I'd give you a hand since
I kept you open.

He waits to see how Betty reacts. She shrugs. Harry takes
his book and cash drawer to the back door.

HARRY
I'm next door if you need me.

He gives Clay one last look and goes out to the breezeway
and his apartment.

CLAY
You know what? I think you guys are
all jealous.

BETTY
(laughs)
What's to be jealous of?

CLAY
I've gotten to know someone who's
famous.

BETTY
Not so famous any of us have ever
heard of him.

CLAY
If he were that famous, he probably
wouldn't give me the time of day.
This way, he's like my famous person.
(laughs at himself)
Yeah, my own personal famous person.
Who treats me like I'm somebody worth
talking to.

Clay leans down to plug in the jukebox.

CLAY
You want to go for a swim?

She snaps her mouth open and imitates the Bride's furious
cat hiss.

CLAY
What's that mean?

BETTY
It means it's too cold to go swimming.
And I don't mean the water.

CLAY
I wasn't going to try anything.

BETTY
Yeah, and I'm never going to smoke
another cigarette.

He patiently waits by the door while Betty turns out the
lights. She walks briskly through the glow of the jukebox,
waving Clay outside with her hand.

EXT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

Betty pulls the door shut and bends over to lock it. Clay
catches a glimpse of skin in the side slit of her shirttail.

CLAY
Let's go for a walk at least. Walk
and talk. I really feel like talking
tonight.

Betty's eyes blink in mock surprise.

CLAY
This old guy -- he's the kind of
person I expected to meet when I
moved out here. Someone who's done
things with his life.

BETTY
Do you realize you're more interested
in this old goober than you ever
were in me?

CLAY
It's different. He's a man. And by
the way you have no business calling
him a homo.

BETTY
It never crossed your mind?

CLAY
He's an artist. Anyway, he's too old
to think about sex.

BETTY
All the old men I know think about
nothing but sex.

She opens the door of her Chevy. Clay grabs it with both
hands to keep her from getting in.

CLAY
C'mon. What's eating you tonight?

Betty hesitates, then looks him sharply in the eye.

BETTY
You picked up that girl right in
front of me.

CLAY
Hey, no strings, right? That's what
you always said. Just good pals who
have the hots for each other.

BETTY
It still hurt. A lot.

CLAY
I didn't mean to...

BETTY
No, I'm actually kind of glad it
happened. It made me wonder what the
hell I was doing with my life.
Letting you pull me into bed whenever
the spirit moved you.

CLAY
You liked it too.

BETTY
Sure. I loved it.

CLAY
If you enjoy it, you should do it.

BETTY
You know, I just can't do that
anymore. I still have time to get
things right. Get married again --

CLAY
You mean us?

Betty bursts out laughing.

BETTY
The look on your face! You're not
marriage material. You're not even
boyfriend material. You're a kid. A
big, fun, slightly irresponsible
kid.

CLAY
I'm not a kid.

BETTY
What are you then? What will you be
ten years from now? Still cutting
lawns? Still banging horny divorcees
in your trailer?

Clay glares at her, his jaw working forward in anger.

CLAY
I like my life. I'm a free man.

BETTY
Sure you're free, for now at least.
But how long before you're just alone?
Pathetic and alone.

Clay's anger jumps from his jaw into his shoulders and arms.
He grabs the door handle.

CLAY
So you don't want to fuck. That's
what you're telling me?

BETTY
Is that all this conversation means
to you? Am I going to put out or
not?

CLAY
Damn straight. I'm sick of playing
games.

Betty quickly gets into the car. Before she can pull the
door shut, Clay slams it on her, hard. Her hands leap in
front of her face, as if he'd hit her. The look of fear in
her eyes startles Clay out of his rage.

CLAY
Betty, look. This is coming out all
wrong --

She frantically turns the key in the ignition and the Chevy
pulls out.

BETTY
From here on out, Boone, you're just
another tired old face on the other
side of the bar.

The car screeches away. Clay stumbles across the highway.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - NIGHT

Clay comes to the dump at the end of the canyon. He climbs
into it, kicking at loose cans.

CLAY
It's all shit! Shit on by women!
Shit on by the Marines. Shit on by
the world! Fuck!

He shouts the word at the cliff, for the raw, sudden violence
of shouting.

CLAY
Fuuuck!

A dog in the carport starts to bark. The sound of Clay's
pain echoes off the canyon as we CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale is sitting up n bed when Hanna knocks. She enters with
a tray loaded with bottles and vials.

HANNA
You will take them all, Mr. Jimmy?

WHALE
I'll be fine, Hanna. Thank you.

HANNA
Good night.

Whale takes the pills, one by one, until he comes to the
bottle of Luminal. He opens the pheno bottle to shake out a
capsule and a dozen spill into his palm. He stares at them.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Hanna opens the door, gasps when she sees Whale lying
motionless on the bed. She spots the empty bottle of Luminal.

HANNA
Oh no, Mr. Jimmy.

Hanna kneels next to the body. She makes a Sign on the Cross,
launches into a frantic "Hail Mary." We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale snorts at the imagined scene. One by one, he returns
the capsules to their bottle, until a single pill remains.
He places it on the table, then turns out the lamp and lies
on his back in the dark, waiting for sleep.

The distant sound of laughter invades the darkness. Whale
sits up, straining to identify the voices. The bedroom wall
opposite him melts away, revealing:

INT. SPECIAL MAKEUP TRAILER - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - DAY (1935)

ELSA LANCHESTER and BORIS KARLOFF sit side by side in dentist
chairs, cloths around their necks, heads tilted back. JACK
PIERCE, the makeup artist, is patting the hair drawn over a
cage on Elsa's head. He looks up, sees Whale, and breaks
into a conspiratorial grin. Elsa's eyes are closed; she hasn't
heard whale enter.

ELSA LANCHESTER
You done yet, love? I am absolutely
dying for a fag.

Whale tiptoes in for a better look. Karloff has a mouthpiece
to help him breathe while the assistant adds another coat of
green sizing to the still incomplete makeup.

BORIS KARLOFF
(gurgles)
Goo' 'orning, 'ames.

WHALE
Good morning. And a very good morning
to you.

Elsa's eyes snap open. There are no mirrors on the walls.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Uh-oh. The way you look at me, James.
What have you done this time?

WHALE
Bring a mirror. Let the Bride feast
upon her visage.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Boris? Do I look a fright?

Karloff shrugs, irked that she's getting all the attention.
Jack Pierce lifts a large mirror.

JACK
(nasal New Yorkese)
Behold, the Bride of Frankenstein.

Elsa stares at the beautiful corpse in the mirror. She snaps
her head left, right, up, down, startled by the sight of
herself, electrocuted into frightened, spastic jerks.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Oh, James.

As Whale observes his star we see her spasms through his
eyes -- as a series of dissonant, line-jumping close-ups.

ELSA LANCHESTER
And you said there'd be some of me
left. Nobody's going to know me in
this getup.

WHALE
Nonsense, my dear. You look
extraordinary.
(to an assistant)
Today's script. Quick. And a pencil.

Whale scans the page of shooting script, the margin marked
in pencil: CU, MS, MLS. Whale pencils in a bracket and
scribbles: CU a,b,c,d--MOS.

WHALE
Jack, I want to get on this right
away. Sorry, Boris, we won't get to
you until this afternoon.

BORIS KARLOFF
I 'ish you 'old 'e 'ooner.

The assistant removes his mouthpiece.

BORIS KARLOFF
I could have spent the morning tending
to my roses.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE - DAY

The interior of Stage C is completely filled by the laboratory
set. Electricians adjust the lights on the wooden tower beside
the Bride's table. COLIN CLIVE (Dr. Frankenstein) and ERNEST
THESIGER (Dr. Pretorius) sit off to the side, in full makeup
and costume. Clive mumbles earnestly over his script.
Thesiger pinches his face over the needle he dips in and out
of an embroidery ring.

Whale comes on the set with Elsa on his arm. She walks regally
beside him, the train of her long white robe thrown over one
arm. There's a wolf whistle from overhead, and applause,
causing Elsa to curtsy to her admirers. Thesiger takes her
hand, leans back to study her.

ERNEST THESIGER
My God. Is the audience to presume
that Colin and I have done her hair?
I thought we were mad scientists,
not hairdressers.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Only a mad scientist could do this
to a woman.

ERNEST THESIGER
Oh no, my dear. You look absolutely
amazing. There's no way I can compete
with you. The scene is yours.

ELSA LANCHESTER
In the sequel, James, two lady
scientists should make a monster.
And our monster would be Gary Cooper.

ERNEST THESIGER
I would've thought Mr. Leslie Howard
would be more your line.

ELSA LANCHESTER
More your line.

ERNEST THESIGER
My line nowadays runs to Rin Tin
Tin. Dogs are so much more dependable
than men.

WHALE
Colin? Please. It's time.
(softly, to Thesiger)
How is he today?

ERNEST THESIGER
Stiff as a board.
(calls out)
Yes, Colin. Come see what they've
done to our Elsa.

Clive walks over, glumly.

COLIN CLIVE
I'm not at my best today, Jimmy. A
touch of flu, you know.

Whale sees through the excuse, rests an arm on Clive's
shoulder.

WHALE
Relax, my boy. You could do this
scene in your sleep.

Clive grits his teeth and nods. Whale positions them in front
of the upended table, Clive and Thesiger holding Elsa's robe
out by the hems. The shadow of the sound boom passes back
and forth while they rehearse.

ERNEST THESIGER
I gather we not only did her hair
but dressed her. What a couple of
queens we are, Colin.

Elsa giggles. Clive looks distraught -- which brings some
life to his stiffness. Whale sees this, decides to tune it
higher.

WHALE
Yes, a couple of flaming queens.
And Pretorius is a little in love
with Dr. Frankenstein, you know.

Clive's distress reads clearly now. He is twitchy and alive.

WHALE
Yes. I think it's coming together.
Shall we have a go?

He sits in the canvas director's chair, nods to the assistant
director.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Quiet on the set!

The warning bell rings.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Lights!

The lights sizzle and blaze.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Sound!

SOUND MAN
Okay for sound.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Camera!

A young man with a clapboard steps in front of the camera.

CAMERA ASSISTANT
Scene two-fifteen. Take one.

WHALE
Action.

The Bride snaps her head in various directions. Thesiger
slopes back, fingers splayed, intoxicated by his creation:

ERNEST THESIGER
The Bride of Frankenstein!

Whale sits with his legs crossed, jogging his raised foot as
if conducting the scene with his show. Fully engaged,
intensely alive. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale glances at the clock, sees that it is 3:15. He is wide
awake. He reaches over, picks up the Luminal.

WHALE
Luminal. Illumine all.

Whale reluctantly places the pill on his tongue and Swallows.
He rests his head on the pillow and stares at the ceiling,
where the reflection of the window sheers casts an ever-
shifting pattern of light and dark. We move down to reveal:

INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT (BLACK & WHITE)

It's a cobblestone cell, a plaster set from "Bride of
Frankenstein." Whale sits in a massive chair, straining
against thick iron chains, as a lightning storm rages outside.
In the distance, heavy footsteps, coming closer, until the
cell door is filled with the silhouette of the Monster.
Whale hardly dares to breathe as the Monster rips off the
door and enters the cell.

The Monster steps into the light, allowing us to see his
face for the first time. It is Clay Boone, dressed in a Marine
parade uniform. He uses his hedge clippers to cut the chains
from around Whale's chest.

WHALE
Thank you. Thank you so much.

Clay leans down and takes Whale in his arms, cradling him
like a child. They move across the sound stage -- Clay
carefully sidestepping the lights and cables on the floor --
until they reach the next set:

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - NIGHT

Clay carries Whale past a painted backdrop of a stormy English
countryside.

INT. FRANKENSTEIN'S LAB - NIGHT

Whale lies on the Bride's table. Clay pulls on a doctor's
smock, picks up a scalpel from a table covered with various
medical instruments. He carves a thin circle around the top
of Whale's forehead. Then, with one deft movement, he pops
off Whale's scalp and pulls out the brain. It is soot-covered,
charred, used up.

Whale watches with detached fascination as Clay tosses it on
the floor, then takes a throbbing, luminous mass from a tray.

Clay inserts the new brain into Whale's skull, sutures the
scalp back into place. He fastens the conducting clamps around
Whale's temples, then throws the heavy circuit breaker.
Lights throb with bursts of energy... loose sparks crackle...
rotary sparks create snapping circles of fire... as the energy
of the raging storm is harnessed into the machinery.

Clay steps back to take in his handiwork. A sudden look of
panic fills Whale's face.

WHALE
It isn't working. The experiment is
a failure.

Clay glances down at Whale, whose breathing is slowing.
Realizing that the new brain hasn't taken:

CLAY
Just go to sleep.

A serenity suffuses Whale's features as he stares up at the
pale flicker of lightning. His breathing finally stops, his
face a tranquil mask of death. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Whale wakes with a start. He checks the clock, sees that
it's past nine. He presses an intercom button on the bedside
table.

WHALE
I'm up, Hanna.

Whale sits up, drinks in the sunlight. He notices some grass
clippings and leaves scattered on the bedspread.

WHALE
What in God's name --

Whale turns and sees Clay lying next to him. He gasps.

CLAY
(angrily)
I told you to sleep.

Clay's hands close around Whale's neck. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Whale opens his eyes groggily. He scans the room in panic,
clearly unable to get his bearings.

Whale tries to stand but his legs give way beneath him.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY (LATER)

Whale and Hanna stare straight out as she reaches down and
unbuttons the tiny buttons on his pajama fly. Whale supports
himself with one hand on Hanna's shoulder as he relieves
himself with the other.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY (LATER)

Whale sits up in bed, staring dumbly at the morning paper.
Hanna reaches in to take away the breakfast tray.

WHALE
Does the yardman come today?

HANNA
Of course. This afternoon.

A thin smile forms on Whale's face.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DAY

Clay prunes the roses on the front lawn. Hanna appears,
frowning.

CLAY
Something I can do for you?

HANNA
The Master wants to know if you are
free for lunch. I tell him you will
be having other plans, but he insists
I ask.

CLAY
Got a lawn this afternoon, but I'm
free until then.

HANNA
Expect nothing fancy.

Hanna goes inside. Clay rolls the mower down the path.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

Clay knocks on the bottom of the Dutch door as he lifts the
latch and walks in. He is wearing a fresh madras shirt.

HANNA
The Master is dressing. I am to offer
you a drink. There is whiskey and
there is iced tea.

CLAY
Tea is fine.

He sits at the kitchen table.

HANNA
No. You are a guest now. You go in
the living room.

CLAY
That's okay, Hanna. I'm more
comfortable in here. It is Hanna,
isn't it?

She eyes him suspiciously, shrugs, pours a glass of tea.
Clay notices a Bible on the counter.

CLAY
How long you worked for Mr. Whale?

HANNA
Long enough. Fifteen years.

CLAY
I bet you've seen a lot of famous
people come and go? Movie stars?

HANNA
No. We live simply, Mr. Jimmy and I.
People come to play bridge. And now
and then, young men to swim. You
have people, Boone?

CLAY
You mean family? All in Joplin,
Missouri.

HANNA
Your wife?

CLAY
I'm not married.

HANNA
Why?

CLAY
Oh, I don't know. Because no girl in
her right mind will have me?

HANNA
A man who is not married has nothing.
He is a man of trouble. You need a
woman.

CLAY
You proposing what I think you're
proposing? Don't you think I'm a
little young for you?

Hanna twists her head around with such an indignant look
that Clay bursts out laughing. She realizes that she is being
teased.

HANNA
Men. Always pulling legs. Everything
is comedy.
(mimics an English
accent)
"How very amusing. How marvelously
droll."

Hanna stares at Clay until his smile fades. She resumes her
chopping in silence.

CLAY
You ever been married, Hanna?

HANNA
Of course. I am married still.

CLAY
Yeah? What's your husband do?

HANNA
He is dead now, twenty years.

CLAY
Then you're as single as I am.

HANNA
No. I have children, grandchildren
too. I visit when I can. But now
that Mr. Jimmy cannot be left very
long, I do not get away much.
(sighs)
Poor Mr. Jimmy. There is much good
in him, but he will suffer the fires
of hell. Very sad.

CLAY
You're sure of that?

HANNA
This is what the priests tell me.
His sins of the flesh will keep him
from heaven.

CLAY
Sins of the flesh? Everybody has
those.

HANNA
No. His is the worse.
(worse)
The unspeakable. The deed no man can
name without shame?

She loses patience with Clay's blank look.

HANNA
What is the good English? All I know
is bugger. He is a bugger. Men who
bugger each other.

CLAY
A homo?

HANNA
Yes! You know?

Clay slowly sits up.

HANNA
That is why he must go to hell. I do
not think it fair. But God's law is
not for us to judge.

CLAY
You're telling me Mr. Whale is a
homo.

HANNA
You did not know?

CLAY
Well... no, not really --

HANNA
You and he are not doing things?

CLAY
No!

HANNA
Good. That is what I hope. I did not
think you a bugger too. I fear only
that you might hurt him if he tries.

CLAY
I'm not going to hurt anyone.

HANNA
Yes. I trust you.

Off in the distance, a throat loudly trumpets itself clear.

HANNA
You must go in. Quickly. He will not
like to think I have had you in the
kitchen.

Clay gets up slowly, reluctant to leave the room.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Whale comes forward as Clay enters, offering a hand at the
end of a spindly wrist.

WHALE
How are you, Mr. Boone? So glad you
are free for lunch.

CLAY
All right, I guess.

WHALE
I assume you worked up an appetite
with your labor.

A hesitant smile from Clay. Whale picks a stack of mail off
the table, rifles through envelopes.

WHALE
Forgive my rudeness. At my age, the
post is the cream of the day.

He returns the stack to the table but holds on to a square
envelope.

WHALE
Do you mind?

CLAY
Go ahead.

Clay looks off while Whale opens the envelope.

WHALE
Hmmm? Princess Margaret?

He is examining a folded card. He rubs a thumb over the
printed lettering.

WHALE
Her Majesty's Loyal Subjects in the
Motion Picture Industry... Cordially
invited... Reception at the home
of... Mr. George Cukor!

His lips smack open in disgust.

WHALE
That pushy little -- horning in on
the Queen's sister, then offering to
share her with the whole damn raj?
I live in this country to get away
from this rubbish!

He tosses the invitation on the table.

WHALE
Is this David's doing?

CLAY
This David's a friend?

WHALE
Yes. An old, useless friend. You
must excuse me, Mr. Boone. This is a
world I finished with long ago. I
pay them no mind and expect them to
return the compliment.
(a deep breath)
Lunch should be ready. Shall we?

He holds out an open hand so that Clay can precede him into
the dining room.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Hanna sets down two steaming plates of omelettes. Whale hands
a glass of red wine to Clay.

WHALE
Cheers.

They both take a sip of wine.

WHALE
Smells lovely, Hanna.

Hanna nods, steals a glance at Clay as she leaves.

CLAY
Saw your movie the other night.
Watched it with some friends.

WHALE
Did you now?

CLAY
I liked it. We all did.

WHALE
Did anyone laugh?

CLAY
(covering)
No.

WHALE
Pity. People are so earnest nowadays.

CLAY
Why? Was it supposed to be funny?

WHALE
Of course. I had to make it
interesting for myself, you see. A
comedy about death. The trick is not
to ruin it for anyone who isn't in
on the joke.
(a sip of wine)
But the Monster never receives any
of my gibes. He is noble. Noble and
misunderstood.

Whale gazes pointedly at Clay, who eats with his elbows on
the table, quickly bolting the hot omelette.

WHALE
In Korea, Mr. Boone?

Clay looks up.

WHALE
Did you kill anyone?

CLAY
I don't like to talk about that.

WHALE
It's nothing to be ashamed of, in
the service of one's country. That's
something to be proud of.

CLAY
Proud? Any jerk with a gun can kill
someone.

WHALE
Quite true. Hand-to-hand combat is
the true test. Did you ever slay
anyone hand-to-hand?

CLAY
(defensive)
No. I could have, though.

WHALE
Yes, I believe you could.
(a sip of wine)
How free is your schedule this
afternoon?

CLAY
Full up. I got the hedges to do here,
then another lawn out by La Cienega.

WHALE
What is we say phooey to the hedges?
Could you spare an hour after lunch?
To sit for me?

CLAY
Can't today.

WHALE
I'll pay our going rate. Plus what
you'd get if you did the hedges.

CLAY
Sorry. I don't feel like sitting
still today.

WHALE
All righty. I understand.

Whale tilts a scrutinizing eye at Clay.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - PANTRY - DAY (LATER)

Hanna carries the dirty dishes back to the kitchen.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Clay starts to bite the tip off a cigar.

WHALE
Use this.

Whale passes him a gold penknife.

WHALE
Just a trim. And mine while you're
at it. Fingers are a bit stiff today.

CLAY
You ever been married, Mr. Whale?

WHALE
No. At least not in the legal sense.

Clay hands a clipped cigar back to Whale.

CLAY
So you had a wife?

WHALE
Or a husband. Depending on which of
us you asked. My friend David. He
lived here for many years.

The other cigar crunches faintly between Clay's fingers.

WHALE
Does that surprise you?

CLAY
No, I -- you're a homosexual.

WHALE
Oh dear. If one must have a clinical
name.

CLAY
I'm not, you know.

WHALE
I never thought you were.

CLAY
You don't think of me that way, do
you?

WHALE
What way might that be?

CLAY
You know. Look at me like -- like I
look at women.

WHALE
Don't be ridiculous. I know a real
man like you would break my neck if
I so much as laid a hand on him.
Besides, you're not my type.

Clay suddenly laughs. Whale's smile deepens.

WHALE
So we understand each other?

CLAY
What you do is no business of mine.
Live and let live, I say.

WHALE
I hope this has nothing to do with
your refusing to sit for me today?

CLAY
No. I --

Whale continues to smile, slyly.

WHALE
What are you afraid of, Mr. Boone?
Certainly not a frail old man like
me.

Clay has no answer. He gives in with a sigh.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Clay sits sideways on the chair again. Whale stands at the
easel.

CLAY
Can I see what you did so far?

WHALE
It will only make you self-conscious.
You'll have to remove your shirt.

CLAY
Sorry. Not today.

WHALE
But we have to match the other sketch.

CLAY
I just feel more comfortable keeping
it on. You just said you didn't want
me self-conscious.

Whale steps forward.

WHALE
Perhaps if we open the shirt and
pull --

Whale's hands to in. Clay's flesh tightens; he shrinks back.
The hands stop, palms raised.

WHALE
Oh dear. I have made you nervous.

CLAY
I'm fine. I'd just rather keep it
on.

WHALE
Suppose we unbutton the top and pull
it down around your shoulders? Two
buttons. Is that so much to ask?
Just two little buttons.

Whale's thumb and fingers unpluck buttons in midair.

CLAY
No! Look. What you told me at lunch
is still very weird for me. So either
you sketch me like I am or I'll say
forget it and go do your hedges.

Whale takes a step back. His eyes are locked on Clay,
fascinated by his temper.

CLAY
I don't mean to be a prick, but that's
how I feel.

WHALE
Of course. I don't want to scare you
off. Not before I'm finished with
you.

Whale glides behind the easel. The pencils rattle in the
tray.

WHALE
Tell me more about yourself, Mr.
Boone. You have a steady companion?

CLAY
Not at the moment.

WHALE
Why not?

CLAY
You know how it is. You have to kiss
ass just to get a piece of it.

WHALE
Very well put.

CLAY
The world is just one kiss-ass game
after another. A man has to make up
his own life, alone.

WHALE
Ah. A philosopher.

CLAY
Thoreau with a lawnmower.

WHALE
(smiles)
I like that. But take care, Mr.
Boone. Freedom is a drug, much like
any other. Too much can be a very
bad thing.

Clay glances out the window. Feigning a merely casual
interest:

CLAY
Is that why you and your friend split
up? Because you wanted to be free?

WHALE
In a way, yes. I suppose so. I know
it's why I stopped making pictures.

Whale backs away from the easel and stares at the paper with
a sour frown.

WHALE
You might not think it to look at me
now, but there was a time when I was
at the very pinnacle of my profession.
The horror movies were behind me.
I'd done "Show Boat." Major success.
Great box office. Now I was to do
something important. "The Road Back."
An indictment of the Great War and
what it did to Germany. It was to be
my masterpiece.

CLAY
What happened?

WHALE
The fucking studio butchered it. It
was 1937, Hitler's armies were already
massing -- and still the New York
bankers stood in line to curry his
favor. Anything to avoid losing the
German market. They cut away the
guts and brought in another director
to add slapstick. The picture laid
an egg, a great expensive bomb. For
which I was blamed.

A shadow passes over Whale's eyes. He presses two fingers
against his temple.

WHALE
After that, I went out of fashion.
I was no longer able to command the
best projects, so I walked away. Why
should I spend my time working in
such a dreadful business?

CLAY
Do you miss it?

WHALE
(dismissive)
It's so far in the past now. Over
fifteen years --

Whale stops himself. He smiles gently at Clay.

WHALE
Making movies was the most wonderful
thing in the world. Working with
friends. Entertaining people. Yes, I
suppose I miss it. More so now that --

Whale reaches into his pocket, takes out the bottle of
Luminal.

WHALE
I think we all want to feel we've
left our mark on the world. Yes. I
wish I had done more work.

CLAY
You've done a helluva lot more than
most people.

WHALE
Better work.

Whale moves across the room to the screen door.

WHALE
But I chose freedom. David was still
in the thick of it, his life full of
anxiety and studio intrigue. I didn't
fancy spending my golden years as
merely "the friend." The dirty little
secret of a nervous producer.

CLAY
How long were you...?

WHALE
Twenty years. Too long. We were like
a play whose run outlasted the cast's
ability to keep it fresh. So I finally
decided to close down the show.

Whale places a pill on his tongue and swallows. He fixes
Clay with a pinched smile.

WHALE
When all fetters are loosened, a
certain hedonism creeps in, don't
you think? There was a period when
this house was overrun with young
men. Some even posed for me. Right
where you're sitting now.

Clay sits uncomfortably in his chair. His face flushes.

WHALE
Of course, they weren't nearly as
bashful. No, this room was once filled
with bare buttocks. And pricks.
Hard, arrogant pricks --

CLAY
Cut it out!

Clay explodes out of his chair, knocking over a small side
table.

CLAY
Fuck it. I can't do this anymore.

He looms over Whale, whose breathing starts to quicken.

CLAY
Isn't it enough you told me you're a
fairy? Do you have to rub my nose in
it?

WHALE
I assure you, Mr. Boone, I meant no --

CLAY
From now on, Mr. Whale, I cut your
grass and that's it. Understand?

Before Whale can respond Clay storms out, nearly ripping the
screen door off its hinges. Whale sits on the daybed, takes
a few quick breaths. Suddenly the air is filled with the
sounds of people cavorting in the pool.

Whale looks up, sees a young man standing outside the screen
door. It is now dark outside.

YOUNG MAN
Come on, Jimmy. Watch me dive.

Whale offers a melancholy smile.

WHALE
I think I'll just rest for a moment.

The man shrugs, disappears into the shadows. We move across
the room and through the door...

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Whale sits in a director's chair, a martini in one hand, a
cigar in the other, a harmless old uncle watching young men
swagger and splash in the pool.

WHALE
I think we're ready to go.

He glances over, sees Clay in plaid bathing trunks, sitting
apart from the others. He is puffing on a Camel.

WHALE
You're up, Mr. Boone.

Clay ignores him. Whale puts down his martini and cigar,
picks up a Polaroid camera. He moves over to clay.

WHALE
The extras are in their places. Now
we need the star. Wouldn't you like
to get in the pool?

CLAY
You first.

WHALE
Oh no. I never swim.

Whale removes Clay's cigarette, crushes it with his shoe.
Behind him, the pool is now a pit full of naked shadows.

WHALE
You'll have to remove that shirt.

Whale touches Clay's bare chest. Clay grabs hold of his wrist,
causing the old man to yelp in pain. In the pool, the extras
shriek in alarm.

Clay's hands close tightly around Whale's throat.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Whale's hands fly to his throat. He opens his eyes and gasps
greedily for air, the young men's screams lingering in the
room. There is a look of genuine terror on his face.

EXT. BRENTWOOD HOUSE - YARD - DUSK

The sun goes down. Clay wearily pushes his lawnmower,
struggling to concentrate on the darkened lawn.

EXT. BRENTWOOD HOUSE - BACK DOOR - NIGHT

The smug PROPERTY OWNER peers out at Clay from behind a screen
door.

CLAY
Do you mind turning on a light?
It's getting pretty soupy out here.

OWNER
Should have been here when you said
you would. You whack off a toe, don't
think about taking me to court.

CLAY
You're lucky I even squeezed you in
today.

OWNER
Don't take that tone with me, bub.
There's Japs in this town that work
cheaper and do flowers too.

Clay takes a deep breath. He can't afford to get angry.

CLAY
Will you just turn on the porch light?
Sir?

The owner flicks on the light.

INT. HARRY'S BEACHCOMBER - NIGHT

Clay presses through the Saturday night crowd. Clay cranes
his neck to scan the crowd.

CLAY
Where's Betty?

HARRY
She took the night off. Heavy date.
Some guy she's had her eye on for a
while.

Harry smiles pointedly at Clay, hands him the beer.

CLAY
Thanks a lot, pal.

Clay turns his back on the bar. He sees Dwight moving through
the crowd.

CLAY
Dwight!

Dwight nods, a little coolly.

DWIGHT
Hey, Boone.

CLAY
Have a drink?

Dwight's WIFE, a pert, steely-eyed brunette, places a firm
hand on his shoulder. Dwight shrugs, heads toward the door.

Clay turns. A pretty, too-tan BLONDE WOMAN in her early 30s
is standing at the end of the bar, eyeing Clay. He lifts his
glass and she responds with an open smile.

EXT. CLAY'S TRAILER - NIGHT

Clay and the woman go at it, their shadows visible through
the glass louvers.

INT. CLAY'S TRAILER - BATHROOM - DAY

Clay tugs on a cord and the harsh overhead fluorescent buzzes
to life. He splashes his face with water, then catches his
reflection in the mirror.

EXT. SANTA MONICA LIBRARY - DAY

Clay parks outside the local branch of the public library.

INT. READING ROOM - DAY

Clay leafs through an oversized folio, bound copies of The
New York Times. He glances at an article from 1936.
"Interview With a Passing Whale." There is a picture of Whale,
captioned "Famous British Director." A LIBRARIAN approaches
with more leatherbound books.

LIBRARIAN
Here are the trade newspapers you
wanted.

Clay takes the books, opens one.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Whale eats lunch off a TV tray. His attention remains focused
on "Queen for a Day" as Hanna clomps into the room behind
him.

WHALE
Who was that at the door?

HANNA
A visitor.

Whale turns. His face registers surprise when he sees Clay.

WHALE
Thank you, Hanna. That will be all.

Hanna retreats toward the kitchen. Clay steps tentatively
into the room.

WHALE
Mr. Boone. You're not due to cut the
lawn until Wednesday.

CLAY
I'd like to sit for you again. But
only if you ease up on the locker
room talk. Okay?

Whale holds up two fingers, affects an American accent.

WHALE
Scout's honor.

Clay smiles.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Whale and Boone are back in their familiar positions. An
empty glass of beer sits on the floor next to Clay.

WHALE
I'm curious, Mr. Boone. What convinced
you to come back?

CLAY
I don't know. I guess I like your
stories.

WHALE
Everybody has stories to tell.

CLAY
Not me.

WHALE
What about your stint in Korea? I'm
sure it was full of dramatic episodes.

CLAY
I told you. I don't like to talk
about that.

Whale nods, sensing that he's touched a sore spot.

WHALE
And the fear you showed at our last
session? How did you overcome that?

CLAY
Not fear. More like disgust.

WHALE
Same difference, Mr. Boone. Disgust,
fear of the unknown -- all part of
the great gulf that stands between
us. Am I right in assuming that you've
had little experience with men of my
persuasion?

CLAY
There's no people like you in my
crowd.

WHALE
No teammates in football? No comrades
in Korea?

CLAY
You must think the whole world is
queer. Well it's not. War sure isn't.

WHALE
Oh, there may not be atheists in the
foxholes, but there are occasionally
lovers.

CLAY
You're talking through your hat now.

WHALE
Not at all. I was in the foxholes
myself.

CLAY
You were a soldier?

WHALE
I was an officer.

Clay breaks his pose to turn and look at Whale.

CLAY
This was World War I?

WHALE
No, my dear. The Crimean War. What
do you think? The Great War. You had
a Good War, while we had --

Whale clears his throat, bored by his standard line.

WHALE
-- a war without end. There were
trenches when I arrived, and trenches
when I left, two years later. Just
like in the movies. Only the movies
never get the stench of them. The
world reduced to mud and sandbags
and a narrow strip of rainy sky.
(a dry snort)
But we were discussing something
else. Oh yes. Love in the trenches.

Now he's talking only to himself.

WHALE
Barnett. Was that his name? Leonard
Barnett. He came to the front straight
from Harrow. And he looked up to me.
Unlike the others, he didn't care
that I was a workingman impersonating
his betters. How strange, to be
admired so blindly. I suppose he
loved me. But chastely, like a
schoolboy.

CLAY
Something happened to him?

Whale looks up at Clay, stares at him.

WHALE
I remember one morning in particular.
A morning when the sun came out.

EXT. TRENCHES - DAY (1917)

LEONARD BARNETT, 19, boyish and handsome, peers into a
periscope. Whale stands beside him, pointing out landmarks
on the bleak landscape.

WHALE (V.O.)
Odd, how even there one could have
days when the weather was enough to
make one happy. He and I were standing
on the fire step and I showed him
the sights of no-man's land, through
the periscope. It was beautiful.
The barbed wire was reddish gold,
the water in the shell holes green
with algae, the sky a clear
quattrocento blue. And I stood
shoulder to shoulder with a tall
apple-cheeked boy who loved and
trusted me.

Whale reaches over and lays his arm across Barnett's shoulder.
Barnett smiles timidly at him. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY

Whale leans forward, completely disoriented. His eyes fix on
Clay, the white eyebrows screwed down, until he is able to
recognize the face.

WHALE
Don't do this to me again, Mr. Boone.
I absolutely refuse.

Whale stands, his legs shaky.

WHALE
You will not set me on another walk
down memory lane. Not this lane.
Not today.

CLAY
I didn't --

WHALE
Why do I tell you this? I never told
David. I never even remembered it
until you got me going.

CLAY
You're the one who started it.

WHALE
You're very clever, Mr. Boone. You
just sit there and let me talk. What
a sorry old man, you're thinking.
What a crazy old poof.
(comes closer)
Why are you here? What do you want
from me?

CLAY
You asked me to model. Remember?

WHALE
Of course I remember. Do you think
I'm so senile --

Whale stands over Clay. His pale face turns left, right,
looking at Clay with one cold eye, then the other. Clay
returns the gaze, worried for Whale.

CLAY
Mr. Whale? Are you okay?

Whale turns away. He yanks out a handkerchief.

WHALE
Stupid. Very stupid. What have I
been thinking?

He sits on the daybed and bends over, covering both eyes
with the handkerchief.

WHALE
Just go. Please. Why don't you go?

CLAY
I don't get it. First you creep me
out with homo shit. Then you hit me
with war stories. And now you're
upset because I listen? What do you
want?

WHALE
I want -- I want...

His pained eyes focus on Clay, and soften.

WHALE
I want a glass of water.

Clay gets up and goes to the sink.

WHALE
A touch of headache.

Clay hands him the water.

WHALE
Thank you.

Whale sets the glass down and sits with his head lowered,
his body folded like a bundle of sticks.

WHALE
My apologies. I had no business
snapping at you.

CLAY
No harm done.

WHALE
It was foolishness to attempt this
portrait. You cannot force what will
not flow.

CLAY
You don't want me to sit for you
anymore?

Whale shakes his head sadly. He gazes up at Clay, sees the
disappointment on his face.

WHALE
How would you like to come to a party
with me? A reception for Princess
Margaret.

CLAY
I thought you weren't going.

WHALE
If you don't mind driving, I'd like
to take you as my guest. There should
be lots of pretty starlets to keep
you amused.

CLAY
I'm game. Sure.

WHALE
Very good, Clayton. May I call you
Clayton? Or do you prefer Boone?

CLAY
Clayton is fine.

Whale smiles gently.

EXT. OCEAN PROMENADE - DUSK

The sun is setting over the Pacific. Clay stands in a phone
booth on the strand.

INT. PHONE BOOTH - DUSK

Clay smiles anxiously as the call connects.

CLAY
Mom? Yeah, it's me.

Clay pauses as his mother shoots questions at him.

CLAY
No, I'm not in jail... I don't want
any money, no...
(louder, to be heard)
Look, is Sis there? I want to tell
her about this movie person I met
out here. She'll get a kick out of
it.

We hear the phrase: "She's out, Clay." Clay closes his eyes
as his mother rambles on.

CLAY
No, I still... I'd give you my phone
number if I had a phone --

Clay tries to stay calm as his mother berates him for not
staying in touch.

CLAY
How's the old man?

Before Clay can protest we hear: "Hold on." Clay glances out
at couples strolling up the promenade. An operator interrupts,
says: "One dollar for the next three minutes." Clay deposits
two quarters before his mother returns. "He's busy, Clay."

CLAY
Right.

The operator comes on again, asking for fifty more cents.
Clay stares at the quarters in his hand.

CLAY
Time's up. I better go.

Clay listens as his mother prattles on, until the connection
is broken and the phone goes dead. Clay steps out of the
booth, takes a deep breath of ocean air.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Whale and Hanna go through the closet together.

HANNA
Mr. Boone. He is an interesting
friend.

WHALE
I'd hardly call our yardman a friend.

HANNA
No. But someone you can talk to.

Whale stops, turns to Hanna.

WHALE
Do you miss having someone to talk
to, Hanna?

HANNA
I have my family. Also our Lord Jesus
Christ.

WHALE
Of course. How is the old boy these
days?

The naughty remark is met with a solemn stare. Whale reaches
up, chooses a lightweight blue suit.

WHALE
It needs a hat. There was a wide-
brimmed cream fedora...

HANNA
It must be up in your old room. I
will look.

The phone rings. Hanna hurries to answer it.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - MAIN HALL - DAY

Hanna speaks softly in Hungarian. Whale points upstairs to
let her know he will look for the hat himself.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY

Whale opens the closet door and takes down a stack of hatboxes
from the overhead shelf. He opens the first box, takes out a
rubbery wad of heavy fabric with two round windows like eyes.
It's a gas mask. We CUT TO:

INT. TRENCHES - NIGHT (1917)

The night sky explodes with light and smoke. Whale moves
calmly through the chaos, trying to maintain a modicum of
order among the troops.

WHALE
Gas masks on. Gas masks on.

At the end of the line, young Barnett is struggling with his
straps. Mustard gas is starting to stream into the trench.

BARNETT
Don't mind me, Lieutenant. Save
yourself.

Whale slips the mask over Barnett's face, fastens it. He
slides his own mask into position moments before the trench
is obliterated by the yellowish smoke. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY

Hanna stands in the door with a forlorn frown.

HANNA
Oh, Mr. Jimmy. You make a mess of
it. Here.

Hanna lifts the lid of an unopened box to show him the missing
fedora.

HANNA
(stacking boxes)
That is my daughter. She say she and
her husband are coming to town this
afternoon. I am sorry, Mr. Jimmy. I
will make it short.

WHALE
I'll be out this afternoon, remember?
Your family can visit as long as
they like.

HANNA
No. I do not cook for them. My
daughter's no-good husband will not
take one bite of our food.

Hanna holds out the box for the gas mask. Whale gives it a
long, final look, then drops it in the box.

WHALE
You can toss this one in the trash.

Hanna clamps the lid on the box.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - FOYER - DAY

Hanna has opened the door. At the end of the hall, silhouetted
against the bright afternoon sky, is Clay. His shoulders
fill the doorway. The top of his head is perfectly flat.

WHALE
Good afternoon, Clayton.

CLAY
Do I look okay?

Clay steps into the light. His khaki pants are clean and
pressed. A blue knit shirt fits his muscles snugly.

WHALE
You look splendid, my boy. Quite
splendid.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - GARAGE - DAY

Whale crosses to the passenger side of the Chrysler.

WHALE
I suppose you'd like the top down.

CLAY
If that's okay?

WHALE
Nothing would please me more.

Clay squeezes behind the wheel, shifts the seat back, explores
switches. The vinyl top pops up and folds backward.

Whale gets in. Clay starts the engine and backs out.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DAY

Hanna stands at the front door, hands tangled in her apron.
Whale tugs his hat brim at her as the car swings around the
driveway.

Whale smiles at the wide open sky overhead. Clay steps on
the gas and the Chrysler takes off.

EXT. CUKOR HOUSE - DAY

The party is clearly audible from the road, where Clay has
squeezed the Chrysler into a long row of shiny cars nuzzling
the high brick wall. Whale puts his dark glasses on.

WHALE
Stars, you know. The suns of other
galaxies.

They walk up the steep road to the gatehouse.

WHALE
Good old George. He loves to put on
the dog. Only his dogs tend to have
a bit of mutt.

A WOMAN at the gate inspects the invitation, waves them
through.

EXT. CUKOR HOUSE - LAWN - DAY

A sunny patio with hedges and statues. Wickets and stakes
have been set up for a game of croquet, but only a handful
of very tanned children strut around with mallets.

WHALE
What did I tell you? Listen.

CLAY
I don't hear anything.

WHALE
Exactly. Cukor was too cheap to hire
music. There's nothing but chin-wag.
The cold dreary custard of English
chin-wag.

Whale scans the crowd.

WHALE
Slim pickings. Well, it's early yet.
Perhaps this is a good time to pay
our respects.

Clay follows Whale toward a trellis alcove covered in ivy. A
handful of people grin at the mismatched couple who stand in
the shade: a homely older man in glasses and a pretty woman
in a white dress with polka dots. GEORGE CUKOR and PRINCESS
MARGARET.

WHALE
Let's get this over with quickly.

Whale forgets to remove his hat when he comes forward. Before
he can give Cukor their names Princess Margaret's polite
smile bursts open in a joyful display of teeth.

PRINCESS MARGARET
I had no idea you'd be here.

She seizes Whale's hand in her little white gloves.

PRINCESS MARGARET
How are you?

WHALE
(taken aback)
Fine. Quite fine. And Your Royal
Highness?

PRINCESS MARGARET
Splendid. Now that I know you're
around.

Standing beside him, Clay is clearly impressed that Whale
knows a princess.

PRINCESS MARGARET
Can we get together while I'm in
town? I so badly want to sit for you
again.

WHALE
Sit?

PRINCESS MARGARET
I've changed my hair, you see. Since
our last session. Those old snaps
look rather dowdy now.

Whale realizes she's mistaken him for someone else. He tugs
his sunglasses down his nose so she can see his eyes.

PRINCESS MARGARET
Oh dear. Have I made a blunder?

WHALE
Ma'am, the pleasure is all mine.
James Whale.

PRINCESS MARGARET
(laughs)
I am such a goose. I mistook you for
Cecil Beaton. It's the hat. You're
wearing one of Cecil's hats, you
know.

Whale attempts to chuckle while he fights a feeling of
humiliation. He turns to Cukor for help.

WHALE
Hello, George. James Whale. David
Lewis's friend. I once made pictures
myself, Ma'am.

GEORGE CUKOR
Yes. Of course. One can't throw a
rock in this town without hitting
one of us old movie directors.

Whale feels the sting. He turns to Clay.

WHALE
Ma'am, may I present Mr. Clayton
Boone?

Clay steps forward to shake hands.

WHALE
My gardener, who insisted I bring
him today. He so wanted to meet
royalty.

Cukor's face goes blank with indignation.

CLAY
Pleased to meet you.

PRINCESS MARGARET
Quite. I adore gardens.

Whale narrows his eyes at Cukor and sharpens his smile.

WHALE
He's never met a princess. Only
queens.

Cukor puffs out his chest, quivers a bulbous lower lip at
Whale.

WHALE
George, Ma'am, this has been an honor.
An occasion to remember for the rest
of my days.

He leads Clay away and an American couple promptly crowd in
to take their place. Striding through the garden, Whale is
obviously pleased with himself.

CLAY
What was that about?

WHALE
Nothing of importance. Just two old
men slapping each other with lilies.
Shall we have a drink?

Whale leads Clay to a tented bar. Across the way, David Lewis
has come through the gate with a WOMAN on his arm. People
look discreetly, not at David but at the woman, lightly veiled
in a scarf and sunglasses.

CLAY
Who's that?

WHALE
David. The friend I thought was in
New York.

CLAY
No. The girl.

WHALE
Girl? Oh. Elizabeth Taylor.

Clay watches in amazement as ELIZABETH TAYLOR waves to someone
and pipes out a happy hello. She hurriedly unties her scarf,
thrusts it at David and runs off on tiptoes to embrace a
woman.

CLAY
Is that really her?

WHALE
David produced her last picture.

David glances around while he slips the scarf into a coat
pocket. He sees Whale looking at him. He puts on a tight
smile and strolls across the patio.

DAVID
What are you doing here?

WHALE
Just what I was about to ask you. I
thought you were in New York.

DAVID
I was, until last night. Publicity
asked me to fly Miss Taylor in for
today's reception.

The waiter arrives with their drinks. Only when Clay takes
his glass of beer does David see that Whale is not alone.

DAVID
David Lewis.

CLAY
Clay Boone.

WHALE
Our yardman. Who was kind enough to
serve as my escort to George's little
do.

David freezes. Whale lifts his martini glass at Clay and
takes a sip.

DAVID
Should you be drinking in your
condition?

WHALE
Oh, David, stop being a nanny.

Clay clears his throat, eager to escape this domestic
squabble.

CLAY
I think I'll go look at Elizabeth
Taylor.

He hurries off.

WHALE
You should have seen Georgie's face
when he met Clayton.

DAVID
You didn't, Jimmy.

WHALE
I did. But Princess Margaret was a
doll. We're all equals in her eyes.
As commoners, I presume.

DAVID
You only embarrass yourself.

WHALE
Oh dear. I'll never work in this
town again?

DAVID
You know what I mean. Your reputation.

WHALE
But I have no reputation. I'm as
free as the air.

DAVID
Well the rest of us aren't. Can't
you remember that?

WHALE
No. I never could. You must regret
having had the invitation sent.

David is looking over Whale's shoulder.

DAVID
I didn't ask George to invite you.

WHALE
Then who did?

DAVID
Jimmy, there are people here I need
to speak to. You'll be fine on your
own?

WHALE
Yes. Perfectly.

DAVID
All right, then. I'll come by tomorrow
for breakfast.

Whale nods, watches David stroll over to the pool and greet
a gaggle of executives. Whale drifts toward some deck chairs
at the far end of the croquet lawn. He sits, takes a sip of
his drink. Suddenly a high-pitched giggle pierces the air.

KAY
Mr. Whale!

Whale looks out to see Edmund Kay, his interviewer from
several weeks ago, marching across the lawn.

WHALE
Mr... Kay?

KAY
Bet you thought you'd never see me
again. I didn't know if you'd be
well enough to come to this party.

WHALE
You didn't?

KAY
I'm the one who got you on Mr.
Cukor's guest list.

WHALE
You, Mr. Kay? How do you know George
Cukor?

KAY
I interviewed him after I met you.
I'm his social secretary now. Well,
assistant to his secretary.

WHALE
I commend you. If you're going to
pursue poofs, go after those who can
do favors for you. You waste
everybody's time when you court
dinosaurs.

KAY
Don't think that, Mr. Whale. I love
your movies. That's why I wanted you
to come to this. So I could see you
with your monsters.

WHALE
My monsters?

KAY
Don't go away.

Whale tries to do just that, but finds himself caught in the
chair. He is stumbling to his feet when Kay returns with
Elsa Lanchester, 55, at his side.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Jimmy. How are you?

WHALE
Elsa?

She takes Whale's hand, with a look of deep concern and
sympathy. Kay races off again.

ELSA LANCHESTER
I saw Una O'Conner a few weeks ago.
She said you'd been under the weather.

WHALE
Oh, nothing out of the ordinary.
Growing old.

ELSA LANCHESTER
We're all getting a bit long in the
tooth.

WHALE
But you appear quite fresh, my dear.

She swats aside the compliment and gestures at the chair.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Please. You shouldn't stand on my
account.

WHALE
Perfectly all right. But if you'd
like to sit --

ELSA LANCHESTER
I'm fine, Jimmy. I can only stay a
few minutes.

WHALE
Of course.

ELSA LANCHESTER
What's our pesky friend up to now?

Kay returns, accompanied by a stopped, gray-haired man with
a long rectangular face and wary, heavy-lidded eyes.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Is that Boris? Our little chum appears
to be arranging a reunion.

WHALE
Oh dear.

Karloff, age 70, comes reluctantly, followed by his niece
ALICE, a bashful young woman who carried a blanket-wrapped
bundle.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Boris, darling. I didn't know you
were here. These public revels are
hardly up your alley.

BORIS KARLOFF
I came for the sake of my visiting
niece. Alice. And Miranda, my great-
niece.

His huge hand lifts the blanket in Alice's arms, revealing a
bald infant with enormous blue eyes. Karloff gurgles and
coos at the child.

ELSA LANCHESTER
And what do you make of our royal
visitant?

BORIS KARLOFF
Perfectly charming. A real lady.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Of course she's a lady. What did you
expect? A hussy in tennis shoes?

Whale looks up and discovers Clay standing a few feet behind
Karloff. He is ogling two bosomy actresses who are listening
intently to the monocled British consul.

Whale's eyes try to focus Karloff and Clay together, his
once and future monsters. Kay shouts to a passing photographer
carrying a bulky Speed Graphic.

KAY
Hey, you! With the camera! We got a
historical moment here. Come get a
picture of it.

The man scans the scene for a famous face.

KAY
This is Mr. James Whale, who made
"Frankenstein" and "Bride of
Frankenstein." And this is the Monster
and his Bride.

Clay looks up when he hears Kay identify Karloff.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Oh, Karloff. Right.

Karloff and Elsa drift into position next to Whale. The flash
goes off, a snap and a crunch of light. Whale cringes in
pain.

ELSA LANCHESTER
(through clenched
teeth)
Don't you just love being famous?

Another flash. From Whale's perspective, the bulb resembles
nothing so much as the translucent tube of electrical current
from Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. Whale concentrates on
his smile as another snap of light stabs his brain. He
clutches Elsa Lanchester's hand.

ELSA LANCHESTER
Are you all right, Jimmy?

A sharp nod from Whale. The photographer motions to Karloff's
niece.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Let me get one with Frankenstein
holding the kid.

Alice hands over the baby. Karloff gently cradles the child.
Whale stands on his left, Elsa on his right. They all smile
at the baby, who gurgles and points up. Whale follows the
baby's gaze to the sky, where a large kite rocks and strains
in a furious electrical storm.

The camera flashes once, then again.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Got it!

Whale glances up -- the kite is gone. Thunder rumbles as the
group starts to disperse. Whale nods to the faces exchanging
good-byes.

BORIS KARLOFF
So good to see you again, James.

He strolls off, clucking and cooing at his baby.

KAY
Catch you before you go, Mr. Whale.
I'll make sure everybody gets sent a
print.

He goes off with the photographer. Elsa kisses Whale on the
cheek.

ELSA LANCHESTER
We'll be in touch, Jimmy.

WHALE
Good-bye. So nice to see you...

Finally Whale is alone. He staggers to the deck chair and
lowers himself sideways into the lawn chair.

CLAY
You okay?

Whale gazes up at Clay.

WHALE
Tired. A bit tired.

Clay nods. Whale smiles at him.

WHALE
Are you enjoying yourself?

CLAY
Actually, no. I feel a little out of
place.

WHALE
Neither of us really belongs here.

CLAY
Must have been funny for you. Seeing
your monsters again.

WHALE
Monsters? The only monsters...
(closes his eyes)
...are here.

Across the lawn, conversation has stopped. Birdlike shrieks
come from all directions.

CLAY
Oh fuck. And we left the top down.
You want to run for it?

WHALE
Run for what?

CLAY
Can't you see? It's raining!

The rain is only a flickering of air, but people are jumping
and shrieking, throwing coats over their heads as they dash
toward the house.

CLAY
Here.

He takes Whale under the arm, helps him up and escorts him
to a small tent. On the patio, everyone shoves and squeezes
to get through the one open door.

Whale stares out, hypnotized by the deluge. From his POV, we
see a young man step into the rain. Whale squints, is finally
able to identify the man as Leonard Barnett.

Whale's eyes follow Barnett as he emerges onto a new
landscape, a scarred and barren battlefield. As the storm
continues to rage:

CLAY (O.S.)
Mr. Whale?

Whale shifts his gaze to Clay. He takes a moment to orient
himself.

WHALE
Let's get out of this funk hole

CLAY
You don't want to wait it out? Rain
should let up soon.

WHALE
We're not sugar. We won't melt.

Whale adjusts the brim of his hat and steps into the downpour.
Clay has no choice except to follow. They walk briskly, the
minute splashes on Whale's hat forming a ghostly aura of
spray.

INT. CAR - DAY

Whale opens the door and climbs in next to Clay. The roof
slowly closes over them.

CLAY
I better get you home before you
catch your death from pneumonia.

WHALE
Catch my death.

Clay glances over, sees Whale sitting very wet and rigid,
staring straight ahead.

CLAY
You all right, Mr. Whale?

Whale blinks, slowly turns. There is a cracked look in his
eyes.

WHALE
Jimmy. Please. Call me Jimmy.

Clay smiles, starts to back the car out.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - FOYER - DUSK

The hallway is pitch-dark as Whale and Clay enter.

WHALE
Hanna! Bring us some towels. We're
drenched to the bone!

No response.

WHALE
Blast her. If we soil her holy floor,
it's her own damn fault.

Whale goes squashing down the hall. Clay remains just inside
the open door, prying off his shoes and peeling off his socks.
He follows Whale into:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DUSK

Whale stands over the table with his jaw open.

WHALE
I don't believe this.

He slides a note to Clay.

WHALE
It's not like her.

CLAY
(reading)
Just a night out. Sounds like she
can't say no to her daughter.

WHALE
Certainly you have better things to
do than babysit an old man?

CLAY
Good. Let's get dry.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale stands just inside the closet, buttoning a crisp white
shirt. He reaches for a red bow tie, closes the closet door.
In the mirror, Leonard Barnett stands behind him, in uniform.
Whale's eyes twinkle in surprise. He drapes the tie around
his collar.

WHALE
What do you think?

Barnett smiles his approval.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

Clay opens the bathroom door, calls out.

CLAY
Mr. Whale?

No answer. He goes to the top of the stairs and calls out.

CLAY
Where's those clothes you promised?

Again, nothing. Rain ticks against the windows. Clay goes
down the stairs.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale fiddles with the knot of his tie.

WHALE
He trusts me, you know.

Barnett sits on the edge of the bed now. He smiles, a bit
sadly.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

There's glow coming from the bedroom, and the sound of Whale's
voice.

CLAY
Mr. Whale? Jimmy?

Clay steps slowly toward the door, pushes it open. He peers
in.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale pulls on a blazer.

CLAY
Mr. Whale?

Whale jumps. He slaps a hand over his chest, twists around,
sees Clay.

WHALE
Oh, of course. Clayton. You finished
your shower already?

CLAY
Ten minutes ago. Didn't you hear me
calling?

WHALE
I'm afraid not. Terribly sorry.
(stands)
I believe I promised you some clothes.

Whale crosses to the closet. Barnett is nowhere to be seen.

WHALE
You're much wider than I am. You
won't want to attempt to get into my
pants.

CLAY
No. Definitely not.

Clay chuckles. Whale smiles.

WHALE
Very good, Clayton.

He takes a robe from a hook on the closet door. Clay tries
it on but it won't close over the towel.

WHALE
I know.

Whale opens a drawer, takes out a crewneck sweater.

WHALE
Absolutely swims on me, but should
take care of your upper half.

Clay pulls the sweater over his head.

WHALE
That only leaves the rest.

CLAY
You don't have any baggy shorts?
Pajama bottoms?

WHALE
Sorry. My pajamas are tailored.
Would it be too distressing to
continue with the towel? No more
immodest than a kilt, you know.

CLAY
Do I have any other choice?

WHALE
Very sporting of you, Clayton.

Clay notices a framed drawing on the desk.

CLAY
Is that --?

WHALE
(nods)
The only memento I ever kept. My
original sketch for the Monster.

He hands the sketch to Clay, who stares down at the famous
flat head, hooded eyes, bolted neck of the Monster.

WHALE
Shall we?

Clay puts down the sketch, starts into the hall. Whale turns
back, sees Barnett standing by the window. Whale flips off
the light and closes the door.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Clay sits at the kitchen table. Whale opens the refrigerator
and brings out two plates wrapped in wax paper, and a bottle
of beer for Clay. He pours himself a shot of Scotch from a
decanter and sits down.

WHALE
After dinner, if Hanna isn't back?
Can we try a few more sketches?

CLAY
I thought you'd given up on my
picture.

WHALE
I'd like to try again. If you're
game.

CLAY
Why not? Give us something to do
while we wait.

Clay munches on his sandwich. Whale pours himself another
Scotch, takes a sip.

WHALE
Tell me something, Clayton. Do you
believe in mercy killing?

CLAY
Never gave it much thought.

WHALE
Come now. I'm sure you came across
such situations in Korea. A wounded
comrade, or perhaps one of the enemy?
Someone for whom death would be a
blessing.

Clay stops chewing. He stares down at his plate.

CLAY
I never went.

He takes a deep breath, looks up at Whale.

CLAY
I never made it to Korea.

WHALE
But you said --

CLAY
-- that I was a Marine. Which is
true. You filled in the rest.

WHALE
I see.

Clay downs his beer, refills the glass.

CLAY
My old man was a Marine. He enlisted
the day he turned seventeen.

WHALE
The Great War?

CLAY
(nods)
By the time he was ready to ship
out, the fighting was over. He missed
out.

WHALE
A very lucky thing indeed.

CLAY
That's not the way he saw it. To
him, it was like his life never got
started. Nothing else really mattered.
Definitely not his family.

Whale gazes sympathetically at Clay.

CLAY
The morning after Pearl Harbor, he
drove down to St. Louis to reenlist.
He was so damn excited. World War II
was going to be his second chance.
(sighs)
They told him he was too old... fat...
nearsighted. Said he'd be more use
to his country if he stayed home and
looked after his family.

WHALE
Is that why you joined the Marines?
For your father's sake?

CLAY
I figured he'd think, you know -- it
was the next best thing. Hey, I loved
it too. A chance to be a part of
something important. Something bigger
than yourself.

WHALE
What happened?

CLAY
I didn't have the guts for it.

A look of surprise crosses Whale's face.

CLAY
I mean, literally. My body screwed
me up. Burst appendix. They gave me
a medical discharge. All I thought
about was, how am I going to tell
the old man.

He breaks into a crooked smile.

CLAY
You know what he did when I called
him? He laughed. He laughed so hard
he practically burst a blood vessel.
Said it was a good lesson for me.
Not to try to fill his shoes.

WHALE
I'm very sorry.

CLAY
Them's the breaks, right? No war
stories for this pup.

WHALE
That's where you're wrong, Clayton.
You've just told one. A very good
story indeed.

Whale lifts his glass in a toast. Clay empties his glass of
beer. He motions toward the decanter.

CLAY
Do you mind?

WHALE
Not at all.

He hands the decanter to Clay.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Clay sits in a straight-backed chair, smoking a cigarette
and sipping his Scotch. Whale sketches from a wing chair
across the room.

CLAY
Storm's getting worse.

WHALE
"A perfect night for mystery and
horror. The air itself is filled
with monsters."

CLAY
That's from your movie, right? "The
only monsters are here."

WHALE
I don't remember that one.

CLAY
James Whale. This afternoon at the
party.

Whale looks up.

CLAY
I said it must be weird seeing your
monsters again, and you said, "The
only monsters are here." I was
wondering which here you meant.

WHALE
I don't recall. Memories of the war,
perhaps.

CLAY
But that was so long ago. It can't
still bother you.

WHALE
Oh, but it does. Especially in light
of the journey I'm about to make.

CLAY
You're planning a trip?

Whale's gaze remains dreamy and preoccupied as SOUNDS of
battle fill the room. A relentless rat-a-tat of gunfire. The
whistling of bombs. The tortured wailing of dying men. Whale
stands, moves over to the window.

WHALE
Barnett. Barnett on the wire.

CLAY
Your friend?

Whale gazes out at the storm. From his POV, we see a scarred
and barren landscape, illuminated by occasional flashes of
lightning.

WHALE
He caught his one night coming back
from the reconnoiter. I wouldn't
take him out, but McGill did. Just
to give the lad a taste. They were
nearly home when a Maxim gun opened
fire.

EXT. TRENCHES - NIGHT (1917)

We race along the open trench with Whale, the darkened sky
intermittently punctured by bursts of gunfire. He reaches
the periscope, pulls an enlisted man off it. From his POV,
we see Barnett and McGill dodging bullets as they attempt to
make their way back.

WHALE
(through clenched
teeth)
Come on. Come on.

McGill leaps over the barbed wire of a forward trench. Barnett
follows. Just as his feet leave the ground his chest is
riddled by a fresh round of gunfire. Whale's eyes snap closed,
trying to obliterate what they've just seen.

WHALE (V.O.)
Barnett's body fell in wire as thick
as briers. It was hanging there the
next morning, a hundred yards from
the line, too far out for anyone to
fetch it.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Whale stares out impassively.

WHALE
We saw him at morning stand-to and
evening stand-to. "Good morning,
Barnett," we'd say each day. "How's
ole Barnett looking this morning?"
"Seems a little peaky. Looks a little
plumper." His wounds faced the other
way and his hat shielded his eyes,
so one could imagine he was napping
on bedsprings. He hung there until
we were relieved. We introduced him
to the new unit before we marched
out, speaking highly of his
companionship.

Clay's eyes are filled with pity.

WHALE
Oh, but we were a witty lot. Laughing
at our dead. Telling ourselves it
was our death too. But with each man
who died, I thought, "Better you
than me, poor sod."
(bitterly)
A whole generation was wiped out by
that war. Millions and millions of
young men.

Whale begins to hum, a tune we have heard before:

WHALE
Oh death where is thy sting-a-ling?
Grave where thy victory?

CLAY
You survived it. It can't hurt you
now. It's no good to dig it up.

WHALE
Oh no, my friend. It's digging itself
up. There is nothing in the here and
now to take my mind off it. All my
diversions have abandoned me. Parties.
Reading. Painting. Work. Love. All
gone to me now.

Whale remains perfectly still, staring out the window. Clay
deliberates a moment, then puts down his drink next to the
decanter of Scotch. He stands and yanks the neck of the
sweater over his face, then tosses it on the sofa. Whale
blinks at the reflection in the glass, not yet understanding.

CLAY
You wanted to draw me like a Greek
statue. All right, then.

Clay pulls at the knot, lets go of the towel. He defiantly
parks his hands on his hips.

CLAY
There. Not so bad.

Whale continues to stare at the reflection, his back to Clay,
his eyes wide and expressionless. He turns slowly, fully
expecting the vision to evaporate. When he sees that Clay is
truly naked he mutters softly under his breath.

WHALE
So it is going to happen after all.

CLAY
What'd you say?

Whale doesn't respond. Finally he opens his mouth to take a
breath.

WHALE
No. It won't do.

CLAY
What won't do?

WHALE
You are much too human.

CLAY
What did you expect? Bronze?

WHALE
Don't move.

Whale moves abruptly across the room. He walks past Clay.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Whale passes quickly through the dining room and out to the
kitchen.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - GARAGE - NIGHT

Whale reaches for the hatbox, which sits on top of a garbage
can. Suddenly a large hand appears on the box. Whale gasps
when a flash of lightning reveals the face of the Monster.

The Monster growls out an inarticulate greeting. He picks up
the box and hands it to Whale.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Whale removes the lid, sets the hatbox on the sofa.

WHALE
I would like you to wear this?

Whale steps back. Clay takes the box and covers his lap with
it. He lifts out the gas mask.

CLAY
Why?

WHALE
For the artistic effect. The
combination of your human body and
that inhuman mask. It's quite
striking.

CLAY
I don't know.

WHALE
Please, Clayton. Just for a minute.
Long enough for me to see the effect.

CLAY
It's from the first World War, isn't
it?

WHALE
(nods)
There are straps in back.

Clay fits the mask on the top of his head and draws it down.
The living room turns brownish yellow in the thick glass
goggles.

WHALE
Let me help you.

Whale is suddenly behind him. Clay's vision is enclosed in
two round windows, so he can't see Whale buckling the second
strap.

CLAY
Now what?

Mouth muffled by the inhalator, Clay hears his voice from
inside his head. Whale comes around to stand in front of
him. He grins as he steps back to examine Clay. Clay nervously
taps his knees with his hands.

CLAY
All right. Let's take it off now.

WHALE
What was that?

CLAY
It's too tight.

Clay raises his voice to make himself heard. He reaches back
to undo the buckles.

WHALE
Allow me.

Whale steps in past the goggles.

WHALE
We don't want to tear the straps.

Clay drops his hands so Whale can undo the buckles. But
nothing happens. Clay turns left and right.

WHALE
Oh yes. I am still here.

Two hands grip Clay's shoulders.

WHALE
What steely muscles, Clayton.

Whale's hands squeeze. Clay grabs the frame of his seat, to
stop his arms from automatically swinging a fist. Whale's
hand slides over Clay's shoulder to his arm, caressing the
tattoo. Clay jerks his shoulder to shake Whale off.

CLAY
Just take off the fucking mask!

WHALE
Relax, Clayton. I can't hear you. I
can't hear a word.

Whale presses his lips to Clay's tattoo. Clay's muscles tense
from head to toe.

WHALE
What a solid brute you are.

Whale's tongue moves down Clay's arm.

WHALE
No? Maybe this, then?

The hand slides over Clay's stomach toward his lap. The
tattooed arm swings backward, slamming an elbow against
Whale's skull. Clay jumps from the chair, knocking into an
end table. The glass and crystal decanter fall to the floor.
The lamp spills over and the room goes dark.

Clay's ankle is caught by the sofa leg and he hits the floor,
jamming the inhalator against his mouth. He quickly gets up,
on his knees and elbows, pulling at the mask. Flashes of
lightning strobe the room as Whale collapses over Clay's
back and holds on.

WHALE
Oh yes. I have you now.

A strap breaks. Clay rips the mask off.

CLAY
Get the fuck off!

Whale's hand squeezes between Clay's legs.

WHALE
What will you do to get yourself
back?

Clay jabs with his elbow, flipping Whale on his back. His
body straddles Whale's and pins him, face to face.

CLAY
I'm not that way. Get it through
your fucking head. I don't want to
mess with you.

WHALE
Oh, but you feel good, Clayton.

His hands clasp Clay's hips. Clay's fist opens as it comes
down; he slaps Whale across the face.

WHALE
That didn't even sting. You're not
such a real man after all. Are you?

Clay whacks Whale's face again.

WHALE
Wait until I tell my friends I had
you naked in my arms. Won't they be
surprised?

CLAY
I haven't done a damn thing with
you!

WHALE
Oh, but you have. You undressed for
me. I kissed you. I even touched
your prick. How will you be able to
live with yourself?

Clay snatches Whale's wrist before it can touch his crotch.
With his other hand he picks up the heavy crystal decanter.

CLAY
What the hell do you want from me?!

Whale tilts his face up for another blow.

WHALE
I want you to kill me.

Clay freezes. He stares down at the old man with white hair
and wild eyes lying beneath him.

WHALE
Break my neck. Or strangle me. It
would be oh so easy to wrap your
hands around my neck and choke the
life out of me. Please, Clayton.
We've come this far.

CLAY
You're crazy.

Whale's eyes glimmer in the sporadic bursts of lightning.

WHALE
Exactly, I'm losing my mind. Every
day, another piece goes. Soon there
will be nothing left. Look at the
sketch I made of you.

Clay turns to the sketch pad, which lies on the floor next
to Whale. The page is filled with nothing but doodles and
scrawls.

CLAY
Look, if you want to die do it
yourself!

WHALE
No, I don't want to die alone. But
to be killed by you -- that would
make death bearable. They say you
never see the one with your name on
it. But I want to see death coming
at me. I want it to be sharp and
hard, with a human face. Your face.
Think, Clayton. You'd be my second
Monster. Almost as famous as the
first. It would be the great adventure
you've yearned for. A war story for
both of us to share.

Clay's breathing comes in quick, panicked bursts.

WHALE
You'd be fully exonerated, I've taken
care of that. I wrote a note, I'll
even leave you the house, the car...

Clay's body starts to tremble.

WHALE
Do it now, Clayton. Make me invisible.

Clay lets out a howl -- his shoulders heave and shake.

CLAY
I am not your monster.

He climbs off Whale, crawls away, his body collapsing in
wracking, anguished sobs. Whale opens his eyes, gazes at
Clay.

WHALE
What have I done?
(sits up)
Oh, selfish, selfish fool. I have
lost my mind.

He forces himself to his feet.

WHALE
What was I thinking?

Whale picks up the towel and moves over to Clay.

WHALE
You're a softhearted bloke. A bloody
pussycat.

Whale places the towel around Clay's shoulders.

WHALE
My deepest apologies. Can you ever
forgive me?

Clay doesn't look up.

WHALE
I suppose not.
(a bone-crushing sigh)
Good God, I am tired. I really must
go to bed.

Whale starts slowly down the hall.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale sits on the edge of the bed, tugs the bowtie from his
collar. Clay taps on the door, opens it.

CLAY
You okay?

WHALE
Oh Clayton.

CLAY
Did I hurt you?

WHALE
Nothing I didn't deserve.

CLAY
Need some help?

WHALE
Pray you, undo this button.

He lifts his chin and points to his collar.

WHALE
I can never manage it when I'm tired.

Clay leans in to open the button. His face is only six inches
from Whale's.

WHALE
Do you believe people come into our
lives for a reason?

Clay doesn't answer. Whale turns, breaking their shared gaze.

WHALE
I can undress myself, thank you.

CLAY
(steps back)
All right.

Whale hauls his legs up and stretches out on the bed.

WHALE
When you die... be sure your brain
is the last organ to fizzle --

CLAY
You'll feel better tomorrow.

WHALE
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

Whale smiles fondly at him.

WHALE
Goodnight, Clayton.

Clay pulls the door shut and it clicks. He stands there a
moment.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Clay shakes open a bedsheet and wraps himself in it.

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Clay finds a pack of cigarettes on the floor and lights one,
then sets the furniture back up. He picks up the gas mask
from beside the sofa, shoves it into its box.

Clay sits in the wing-back chair, props his feet on the
hassock, adjusting the sheet around his shoulders. We CUT
TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Whale bolts up in bed. An electrical storm flashes and cracks
in the window.

Whale gets out of bed, stares outside. From his POV, the
lawn is a barren slope covered with stumps.

Whale turns on the desk lamp, sits. He pulls out a piece of
paper.

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT

We're back to the scene that opened the movie, a flat-topped
creature stumbling through the mud. A flash of lightning
reveals Clay's face. He turns, signals for Whale to follow
him. Whale joins Clay on a slight rise of ground, the rim of
a crater. Clay points down into it.

EXT. CRATER - NIGHT

The crater is full of bodies gathered around a pool of water.
Whale stumbles down, reaches the bottom and bends over the
nearest corpse in khaki. It is Leonard Barnett. There are no
wounds on his body, no rips or gaping holes. His eyes are
closed in dreamless sleep.

Whale looks up and sees that Clay is gone. The only other
living creature is an owl, which blinks wearily at him.

Whale lies down, finding a spot next to Barnett. He takes a
last breath and closes his eyes. We CUT TO:

INT. WHALE'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

A roar of bells blasts Clay awake. The telephone is ringing.
A hard pair of shoes thunder out to answer it.

HANNA
Hello? Oh, Mr. David!

Clay blinks at the sight of Hanna in black dress and white
apron, chattering on the phone by the far wall.

HANNA
No, no, he did not tell me. But no
problem. I will make breakfast.

She scoldingly cuts her eyes at Clay.

HANNA
Ten? Very good, then. Good-bye.

She hangs up and faces Clay with a stern frown.

CLAY
It's not what you think.

HANNA
I have brought you your clothes.
All I ask is that you get dressed
and go. We are having a guest for
breakfast.

CLAY
I need to talk to you about Mr.
Whale.

HANNA
There is nothing you can say that
will surprise me.

CLAY
Maybe. But I still need to talk. Do
I have time for a cup of coffee before
I go?

HANNA
I blame my daughter for keeping me
out so late. I only hope you did not
get him excited. It could give him a
new stroke.

She stomps into the kitchen. Clay gets up, slips on his
undershorts. He's zipping up his chinos when she comes out
again with a breakfast tray. She hands him a cup of coffee.

CLAY
Thanks.
(quickly)
Why do you do it?

HANNA
What do I do?

CLAY
Take care of Mr. Whale like he was
your flesh and blood.

HANNA
It is my job. I did it when he was
happy and it was easy. It is only
fair I do it now when he is ill.
(picks up the tray)
Enough talk. I must wake up the
master.

She marches around the corner towards Whale's bedroom. Clay
hears her knocking on a door.

HANNA (O.S.)
Mr. Jimmy? Morning, Mr. Jimmy.

Clay pulls on his shirt. Hanna comes back around the corner.

HANNA
What have you done with him?

CLAY
I put him to bed. He's not there?

She goes to the foot of the stairs and shouts:

HANNA
Mr. Jimmy! Mr. Jimmy!

Hanna starts up the stairs.

HANNA
Look for him!

Clay reaches for his socks when he notices an envelope on
the floor next to the chair. He picks it up. On the front is
scrawled the word 'CLAYTON'. Clay opens the envelope. Inside
is Whale's original sketch of the Monster's head. He turns
it over. There is a message written on the back.

CLAY
No.

Clay drops the sketch, looks out. He sees something.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

Clay crosses the patio, hurtles down the slope.

EXT. WHALE'S HOUSE - POOL - DAY

Clay leaps headfirst into the water. Whale rests lightly on
his back, with an upward sway of straight white hair. Clay
hauls the body toward the side.

CLAY
Almost there. Almost there.

He gets an arm around Whale's chest and heaves the body over
the curb. He climbs out, drags the body forward to rest in
the grass. He grabs the wrist. Nothing.

CLAY
Son of a bitch. You crazy son of a
bitch.

Clay straddles Whale's thighs and applies pressure on his
rib cage. But it's no use. Clay sits up and takes a deep
breath.

HANNA
Ohhh!

Hanna comes down the path, her run slowing to a walk. She
stares at Clay.

CLAY
I didn't do it. This wasn't me.

HANNA
Oh, Mr. Jimmy.

CLAY
He wanted me to kill him, but I
didn't. He did it himself.

HANNA
He says here good-bye. I find it in
his room. He is sorry, he says. He
has had a wonderful life.

She waves a folded piece of paper.

HANNA
You poor, foolish man. You couldn't
wait for God to take you in his time?

Clay slowly stands up. Hanna looks around in panic.

HANNA
You must leave. You were not here
this morning.

CLAY
But I didn't do this!

HANNA
The police will not know that. They
will want to investigate.

CLAY
We have his note.

HANNA
Do you want to be questioned about
you and Mr. Jimmy? Please, Clayton.
It will be better if I find the body
alone.

CLAY
But how're you going to explain this?
(points at the body)
How did you get him out of the pool?

HANNA
You are right. Yes. We must put him
back.

They both hesitate, looking down at Whale. Then Clay drags
the body parallel with the pool. Hanna stoops over to adjust
the collar of Whale's shirt.

HANNA
Poor Mr. Jimmy. We do not mean
disrespect. You will keep better in
water.

She nods to Clay. He rolls the body over and it splashes on
its belly. It bounces a moment in the waves of the splash,
then begins to sink. As it drops, the air in the chest slowly
flips the body around.

Looking up at them with open eyes, Whale sinks backward into
the thickening light. His arms trail upward and the hands
lightly flutter as if waving good-bye. The melancholy sound
of a solo violin pierces the silence as we CUT TO:

EXT./INT. BLIND MAN'S HUT - NIGHT

A black-and-white scene from "Bride of Frankenstein." The
old BLIND MAN plays a mournful lullaby on his violin while
the MONSTER listens outside, moved by the music. He smashes
open the door of the hut in an effort to get closer to the
soul-soothing sound. The blind man stops playing, looks up.

BLIND MAN
Who is it? You're welcome, my friend,
whoever you are.

The Monster attempts to communicate, manages only a plaintive
moan. The blind man stands.

BLIND MAN
I cannot see you. I cannot see
anything. You must please excuse me.
But I am blind.

The Monster holds out his burned hands.

BLIND MAN
Come in, my poor friend. No one will
hurt you here. If you're in trouble,
perhaps I can help you.

The old man touches the Monster, who recoils with a defensive
growl.

BLIND MAN
Can you not speak? It's strange.
Perhaps you're afflicted too. I cannot
see and you cannot speak.

INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - NIGHT (1972)

MICHAEL BOONE, 10, lies on the living room carpet, staring
raptly at the movie playing on the large Zenith console. The
house is small but tidy and comfortable.

BLIND MAN (O.S.)
It's been a long time since any human
being came into this hut. I shall
look after you. And you will comfort
me.

On the tv screen, the old man starts to cry, then collapses
onto the Monster's chest. A thick tear rolls down the
Monster's cheek.

Clay Boone sits on the sofa, a baby on his lap. He's 40 now,
his hair starting to thin but still closely cropped at the
top and sides.

On the tv, daylight fills the hut. The blind man and the
Monster share a meal.

BLIND MAN
We are friends, you and I. Friends.

MONSTER
Friends.

BLIND MAN
Before you came, I was all alone.
It is bad to be alone.

MONSTER
Alone, bad. Friend, good.

He takes the old man's hand.

MONSTER
Friend, good.

The blind man nods. On the sofa, Clay watches his son watch
the movie.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (LATER)

A color promo for "Chiller Theater" fills the screen. Clay
turns off the set.

CLAY
Time for bed, sport.

Michael groans, slowly stands.

CLAY
What'd you think of the movie?

MICHAEL
Pretty cool. Better than most monster
movies.

CLAY
I knew the guy who made it.

Michael glances skeptically at his father.

MICHAEL
Come on, Dad. Is this another one of
your stories?

CLAY
Here.

Clay unfolds Whale's sketch of the Monster, hands it to his

son.

CLAY
It's his original sketch of the
Monster.

Michael turns over the sketch. On the back, scrawled in block
letters: "TO CLAYTON BOONE -- FRIEND?"

MICHAEL
This is for real?

Clay nods. At the same time, his wife DANA appears in the
doorway. A pretty, cheerful woman in her mid-30s.

DANA
The trash, Clay. Before it rains.

CLAY
Okay.

Clay kisses the top of his son's head.

CLAY
Off to bed.

EXT. CLAY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Clay carries a large metal bin down the tidy lawn. The sky
momentarily brightens with a silent flash of lightning.

Clay gazes up at the electrical storm. He glances back at
his house, sees Dana cradling the baby in an upstairs window.

The skies open with a shattering crash of thunder. Clay tilts
up his face, drinks in the cool rain. Then he extends his
arms and staggers along the sidewalk, imitating the Monster's
famous lurch.

We PULL BACK, revealing a sleepy neighborhood of small houses
and neat lawns, until Clay is only a small dot in the
landscape.

FADE OUT

THE END

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