"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 ]

"BEING THERE"

Screenplay by

Jerzy Kosinski and Robert C. Jones

January 10, 1979



FADE IN:

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - DAWN

A large-screen color TV dominates a room sparsely decorated
with expensive furniture of the twenties. There are no books,
magazines, newspapers to be seen. A man, CHANCE, is in bed,
sleeping. His eyes slowly open, and, with no change of
expression, he sits up and turns on the TV with a remote
control. He reaches for a pocketwatch on the bedside table,
and, as he looks at it, the watch chimes. He gets out of
bed, crosses to the closet, his eyes never straying from the
TV. Chance puts on a bathrobe and leaves the room.

INT. POTTING ROOM - DAWN

The room is filled with the tools of a gardener. Chance enters
and turns on a 1940's black and white TV that sits on a shelf.

A wheel with colored gels spins in front of the set, giving
an early form of color television. He waters a few of the
plants in the potting room as he watches TV.

INT. GARAGE - DAWN

Chance, with a dust rag and feather duster, cleans off a
1935 limousine, in perfect condition.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - DAWN

Chance takes off his robe, hangs it in the closet, changes
channels on the TV, then goes into the bathroom.

EXT. GARDEN - MORNING

A light snow is falling in a garden between a three-story
brick townhouse and a one-story rear building, guarded on
either side by a high brick wall. The door to the rear
building opens, Chance peeks out, then goes back inside. A
moment passes and Chance reappears, this time with an
umbrella. Smartly attired in suit and tie, Chance, with an
eye on the garden, crosses to the townhouse.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - REAR ENTRANCE/HALLWAY - MORNING

Chance enters, hangs his umbrella on a door knob, then crosses
through the hall. As he goes, we reveal that the furniture
in the house is covered with sheets.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - DINING ROOM - MORNING

A large table, covered with a sheet except for two place
settings. A TV is on the table. Chance comes into the room,
sits and turns on the television. He watches the screen for
a moment, then turns, as if expecting someone.

No one appears, so he turns back to the TV. After a time.
Footsteps are heard and Chance smiles. LOUISE, an elderly
Black maid, hurries into the room, visibly distraught.

CHANCE
Good morning, Louise.

LOUISE
(out of breath)
He's dead, Chance! The Old Man's
dead!

CHANCE
(flatly, turns back
to TV)
...I see.

LOUISE
Must of happened durin' the night, I
don't know... Lord, he wasn't
breathin' and as cold as a fish. I
touched him, just to see, and you
believe me, Chance -- that's doin'
more than I get paid to do... Then I
just cover him up, pulled the sheet
over his head...

CHANCE
(nodding)
Yes. I've seen that done.

LOUISE
...Then I get the hell out of that
room and call the doctor and I think
I woke him probably, he wasn't any
too alert. He just said, 'Yeah, he's
been expectin' it and said he'd send
somebody over...' Lord, what a
mornin'!

CHANCE
(watches news, flashes
of season's first
snowfall)
...Yes, Louise, it's snowing in the
garden today. Have you looked outside
and seen the snow? It's very white.

A beat of silence from Louise, then anger.

LOUISE
Gobbledegook! Dammit, Boy! Is that
all you got to say? More gobbledegook?
(Chance smiles, is
silent)
That Old Man's layin' up there dead
as hell and it just don't make any
difference to you!

Louise takes a long look at Chance, then softens, sits next
to him.

LOUISE
Oh, Lord, Chance -- I don't know
what I was expectin' from you... I'm
sorry for yellin' like I did... No
sir, I just don't know what I was
expectin'...
(Chance doesn't react,
watches TV)
...I 'spose I'd better gather up
some breakfast for you...

CHANCE
(a turn to her)
Yes, I'm very hungry.

LOUISE
(rises, looks upstairs)
Well, no more stewin' those prunes
every mornin', that's somethin', I
guess...
(she starts out, stops
by the door)
...What are you goin' to do now,
Chance?

CHANCE
(gazing at TV)
I'm going to work in the garden.

Louise gives Chance another look, then turns to leave.

LOUISE
(as she goes)
...I'll get you some eggs.

Chance nods in approval, then changes the channel on the TV.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - SERVANT'S STAIRWAY - MORNING

An enclosed stairway. Chance enters, proceeds up the stairs.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MORNING

Chance comes out of the doorway adjoining the main staircase.
He moves off down the hall.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - OLD MAN'S ROOM - MORNING

The furniture in this room is not covered with sheets -- but
the Old Man is. There is a knock a the door, then Chance
enters the room. He stands by the bed for a moment, Then
reaches down and pulls the sheet back from the Old Man's
face. He touches the man's forehead, briefly, then replaces
the sheet. Chance moves to the the TV and turns it on. He
sits in an easy chair next to the Old Man's bed and watches
a movie from the early forties. Chance puts an arm out, rests
it on the Old Man's covered body. He becomes absorbed in a
scene in which a gentleman tips his hat to a lady. The scene
seems to have 'sunk into' his mind.

EXT. GARDEN - MORNING

It has stopped snowing. Chance, wearing a hat, and a gardening
apron over his suit, putters in the garden.

Louise, dressed warmly, comes out of the main house. Chance
sees her, tips his hat exactly like the man he saw on
television.

LOUISE
...Well, ain't you the gentleman
this morning...
(a pause)
...I'm gonna go now, Chance...

CHANCE
(resumes working)
Yes.

LOUISE
You're gonna need somebody, some
one's gotta be around for you...
(he keeps working)
...You oughta find yourself a lady,
Chance...
(she smiles slightly,
with caring)
...But I guess it oughta be an old
lady, 'cause you ain't gonna do a
young one any good, not with that
little thing of yours...
(she reaches out,
puts a hand on his
shoulder)
...You're always gonna be a little
boy ain't you?
(he smiles, keeps
working)
...Goodbye, Chance...

Louise hugs and kisses Chance, then turns to go.

CHANCE
(as she goes)
Goodbye, Louise.

Louise waves as she enters the townhouse. Chance tips his
hat once again as she disappears.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - FRONT HALLWAY - MORNING

Louise enters the hallway, picks up a couple of suitcases
waiting by the door. She stops as she sees TWO Men carrying
a stretcher down the main staircase. A THIRD MAN, a mortician,
follows behind.

LOUISE
...He used to be a big man... 'Spose
he wasted away to about nothin'...
(a beat -- then she
talks to the body of
the Old Man)
I guess I'll be goin' off to find me
some folks, Old Man... I'm not batty
enough to stay around this
neighborhood any longer...

The stretcher bearers move to the front door. Louise steps
in front of them.

LOUISE
Wait up! I'm goin' out that door
first.

Louise takes one more look at the covered body, then opens
the front door, leaves.

EXT. GARDEN - DAY

Chance's pocketwatch chimes as he looks at it. He removes
his gardener's apron as he walks toward the townhouse.

INT. TOWNHOUSE DINING ROOM.

Chance enters and sits at his place. He turns on the TV, and
watches for a moment, then turns, looks for Louise.

She does not appear so he resumes watching TV. He changes
channels, views a wildly exciting game show. At a peak in
the excitement, he again switches channels to news coverage
of the President of the Unite States greeting foreign
dignitaries at the White House. CLOSE SHOTS on television
reveal that the President uses a two-handed handshake when
meeting his guests. Chance grips one hand with the other,
the scene on TV seeming to have 'sunk into' his mind.

INT. TOWNHOUSE - FRONT HALLWAY - DAY

A key is heard in the lock. The door opens and THOMAS FRANKLIN
and SALLY HAYES enter. Franklin, an attorney, is in his late
thirties, carries a large briefcase. Hayes is younger,
attractive, also an attorney. She totes a briefcase, has the
look of a modern woman.

FRANKLIN
(as they enter)
He and my father used to ride together
back in the thirties... Fox hunting...
Before I was born...

HAYES
(looking around)
Will you give me a tour?

FRANKLIN
Gladly...
(he smiles)
...The safe is in Mr. Jenning's
bedroom, that'll be stop number one.

Franklin puts a hand on Hayes' shoulder as they go toward
the stairway. Suddenly, they stop, listen to the off-stage
TV.

INT. TOWNHOUSE DINING ROOM - DAY

Chance still watches TV as Franklin and Hayes appear in the
doorway. They are surprised to see Chance.

FRANKLIN
...Why... Hello, we thought we heard
something...
(moves to Chance,
hand outstretched)
...I'm Thomas Franklin.

Chance remains seated, takes Franklin's hand warmly in both
of his like the President did on TV.

CHANCE
Hello, Thomas... I'm Chance, the
gardener.

FRANKLIN
(a beat)
...The gardener?
(thinks it's a joke,
laughs)
...Yes, of course... Mr. Chance,
this is Ms. Hayes.

Hayes moves to shake Chance's hand.

HAYES
Mr. Chance, I'm very pleased to meet
you.

CHANCE
(doesn't rise, again
shakes with both
hands)
Yes.

Chance turns back to the TV. Hayes and Franklin exchange
looks, there is an uneasy pause.

FRANKLIN
We're with Franklin, Jennings and
Roberts, the law firm handling the
estate.

CHANCE
(a smile, totally at
ease)
Yes, Thomas -- I understand.

FRANKLIN
...Are you waiting for someone? An
appointment?

CHANCE
I'm waiting for my lunch.

FRANKLIN
Your lunch? You have a luncheon
appointment here?

CHANCE
Louise will bring my lunch.

FRANKLIN
Louise?... The maid?...
(a look to Hayes)
But she should have left earlier
today...

CHANCE
(smiles at Hayes)
I see...

FRANKLIN
(a beat)
All kidding aside, Mr. Chance, may I
ask just what you are doing here?

CHANCE
I live here.

Franklin stares at Chance as Hayes unzips her briefcase.

EXT. GARDEN - AFTERNOON

Chance talks to Franklin as Hayes quickly checks through
some paperwork.

CHANCE
The Old Man himself used to visit my
garden. He would read and rest here.

FRANKLIN
Come now, the deceased...
(catches himself)
Mr. Jennings was bedridden for at
least the last thirty-five years,
since he fractured his spine.

CHANCE
Yes, Thomas. Then he stopped visiting
my garden.
(points to a small
area)
I planted a lot of tulips right there.
I like to watch them grow.

HAYES
(looking up from papers)
There is no mention of a gardener.
In fact, according to our inventories,
there hasn't been a man employed
here since 1933... except for a Mr.
Joe Saracini, a brick mason, who did
some repairs to a wall. He was here
for two-and-a-half days in 1952.

CHANCE
Yes, I remember Joe. He was very fat
and had short hair and showed me
pictures from a funny little book.

HAYES
...Some pictures?

CHANCE
Yes. Of men and women.

HAYES
...Oh.

FRANKLIN
Just how long have you been living
here, Mr. Chance?

CHANCE
Ever since I can remember, since I
was a child. I have always worked in
the garden.

HAYES
...Then you really are a gardener?

CHANCE
Yes.
(again points off)
...My roses...

FRANKLIN
...We will need some proof of your
having resided here, Mr. Chance.

CHANCE
You have me, I am here. What more
proof do you need?
(he starts toward
rear building, points
off)
That's where Joe fixed the wall.

FRANKLIN
(starts after Chance)
Are you related to the deceased, Mr.
Chance?

CHANCE
No. I don't think so.
(looks back to garden)
In the springtime, you will be able
to see my flowers.

Chance goes into the garage. A perplexed Franklin and Hayes
follow.

INT. GARAGE - AFTERNOON

Chance enters, Franklin and Hayes close behind.

FRANKLIN
(looking at limo)
That's a nice car. Do you drive it,
Mr. Chance?

CHANCE
I've never been in an automobile.

HAYES
You've never been in a car?

CHANCE
Oh, no. I've never been allowed
outside of the house.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - AFTERNOON

Chance turns on the TV as Hayes and Franklin inspect the
room.

CHANCE
I used to listen to the radio, then
the Old Man started giving me
television sets, this one has a remote
control... I like to watch...
(motions to bed)
You see? This is my bed...
(to closet)
...This is my closet...
(to bathroom)
...This is my bathroom...

HAYES
(goes to closet)
You have a very handsome wardrobe,
Mr. Chance.

CHANCE
Yes. I am allowed to go to the attic
and use the Old Man's clothes. They
all fit me very well.

HAYES
It is amazing how these clothes have
come back into style.

FRANKLIN
Could you show us something with
your address? A driver's license, a
checkbook? Anything to show that you
were employed here?

CHANCE
I don't have any of those things.

HAYES
How about a birth certificate?

CHANCE
Oh, no.

FRANKLIN
What are your plans now, Mr. Chance?

CHANCE
My plans are to work in my garden.

HAYES
How much money did Mr. Jennings pay
you for your work?

CHANCE
Pay me?... Why nothing. I've never
needed money.

FRANKLIN
Mr. Chance, I would like to know
what sort of claim you are planning
to make against the deceased's estate.

CHANCE
I'm fine, Thomas. The garden is a
healthy one. There is no need for a
claim.

FRANKLIN
I see. Would you be willing to sign
a paper to that effect?

CHANCE
No, Thomas. I don't know how to sign.

FRANKLIN
Come now, Mr. Chance.

CHANCE
(smiles)
I have no claim, Thomas.

FRANKLIN
But you won't sign, correct?

CHANCE
Yes, correct, thank you.

FRANKLIN
Very well, Mr. Chance. I have no
alternative but to inform you that
this house is now closed. If indeed,
you have resided here, you have no
legal right to remain. You will have
to move out.

CHANCE
Move out? I don't understand, Thomas.

FRANKLIN
I think you do, Mr. Chance. However,
I will reiterate. This house is closed
and you must leave -- by, let's say --
noon tomorrow.
(he gives Chance his
business card)
Call me if you change your mind about
signing.
(turns to Hayes)
C'mon, Sally -- let's grab a bite...

HAYES
(stops by the door)
What about medical records? Could
you gives us the name of your doctor?
Or your dentist?

CHANCE
I have no need for a doctor or
dentist. I have never been ill.

HAYES
(a smile to Chance)
I see... Well, good day, Mr. Chance.

CHANCE
(returns smile)
Good day, Sally.

Chance watches as they leave, then puts Franklin's card on a
desk without ever looking at it and turns to stare at
television.

INT. TOWNHOUSE - ATTIC - AFTERNOON

A large attic filled with the Old Man's possessions of the
past. Chance enters, turns on an old black-and white TV with
a magnifying lens attached to the front. As it plays, he
selects a fine leather suitcase from several, takes a hand-
made suit from a long rack.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - AFTERNOON

The TV is on as Chance packs his belongings. He tries to fit
in his umbrella, but it is too long for the suitcase.

EXT. GARDEN - AFTERNOON

Chance, very nicely dressed, with his suitcase and umbrella,
stands in the middle of the garden looking around.

INT. TOWNHOUSE - FRONT HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

Chance is reluctant to open the front door. After some
hesitation, he gathers up his courage, opens it and steps
outside, closing the door behind him.

EXT. FRONT OF TOWNHOUSE - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON

Chance stops short on the steps; the front of the townhouse
is run down and the yard filled with trash. He tries to return
to the safety of inside, but the door is locked.

Chance stays on the steps for a moment, ponders which way to
go. Making a decision, he steps to the sidewalk and walks
down the street to reveal a decaying ghetto.

Windows are shattered or boarded up, walls are smeared with
graffiti. Chance passes a group of black people huddled
together in threadbare stuffed furniture on the sidewalk, a
fire burning between them for warmth. Chance nods politely
to the the people; they stare back, no sign of friendship in
their faces.

EXT. GHETTO STREET - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON

Chance walks along a ghetto sidewalk. He notices something,
moves across the street toward a gang of eight to ten hardcore
ghetto youths.

EXT. GHETTO STREET - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON

Chance approaches the gang.

CHANCE
(friendly)
...Excuse me, would you please tell
em where I could find a garden to
work in?

They turn to him as one, silent. After a moment, LOLO, one
of the gang, speaks.

LOLO
What you growin', man?

CHANCE
There is much to be done during the
winter, I must start the seeds for
the spring, I must work the soil...

The leader of the gang, ABBAZ, moves forward and interrupts.

ABBAZ
Bullshit. Who sent you here, boy?
Did that chickenshit asshole Raphael
send you here, boy?

CHANCE
No. Thomas Franklin told me that I
had to leave the Old Man's house,
he's dead now, you know...

ABBAZ
Dead, my ass! Now get this, honkie --
you go tell Raphael that I ain't
takin' no jive from no Western Union
messenger! You tell that asshole, if
he got somethin' to tell me to get
his ass down here himself!
(edges closer to Chance)
You got that boy?

During this, as Abbaz becomes more hostile, Chance reaches
into his pocket, takes out his remote control TV changer.

He points the changer at Abbaz and clicks it three times,
tries to change the picture. ABBAZ immediately pulls out a
switchblade knife, holds it at Chance.

ABBAZ
Now, move, honkie! Before I cut your
white ass.

Chance, disappointed that the changer did not work, returns
it to his pocket.

CHANCE
Yes. I understand. If I see Raphael,
I will tell him.
(as he leaves)
Good day.

Abbaz, Lolo and the gang watch him go, then begin to buzz
with excitement: "Who the fuck died?" "Why'd he pull that
changer on us, man?" "The Old Man died, must be Papa Joe!"
"He's some weird honkie, man!"

EXT. PORNO AREA - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON

A street lined with adult book stores, X-rated movies and
strip joints. An elderly Black Woman approaches carrying a
bag of groceries. Chance steps in front of the woman, stops
her.

CHANCE
I'm very hungry now. Would you please
bring my lunch?

The woman looks up to Chance, becomes very frightened.

She turns and half-runs into a sleazy bar for safety.

Chances watches after her for a moment, then continues along.

EXT. PARK - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON

Chance stands looking through a chain-link fence watching
some teenage boys playing basketball. He bangs on the fence,
calls to them.

CHANCE
I have seen your game! I have watched
Elvin Hayes play it many times! They
call him 'Big E!'

The boys ignore him, Chance walks away.

EXT. - WASHINGTON, D.C. - LATE AFTERNOON

Chance seems stumped on which way to walk. He looks one way,
then the other, turns and looks behind him and sees a large
statue of Benito Juarez pointing. Chance smiles and goes off
in the direction that Benito points.

EXT. WASHINGTON, D.C. - LATE AFTERNOON

Chance walks down the center meridian of a divided street.

He seems oblivious to the automobiles passing on either side.
In the background can be seen the Capitol Building.

EXT. REAR OF THE WHITE HOUSE - DUSK

Chance is across the street from the White House, inspecting
the branches of a potted tree. He moves to a POLICEMAN
standing nearby.

CHANCE
Excuse me...
(points to tree)
...That tree is very sick. It should
be cared for.

The Policeman looks at the tree, then at Chance, figures a
man dressed that well must be important.

POLICEMAN
Yes sir. I'll report it right away.

CHANCE
Yes. That would be a good thing to
do. Good day.

POLICEMAN
Good day.

The Policeman takes out his walkie-talkie as Chance leaves.

EXT. BUSINESS DISTRICT - EVENING

A fashionable area. Expensive shops, well-kept streets and
sidewalks. Chance stands by the display window of a TV store,
looks in at a dozen or so color TVs, all turned on, playing
various channels. A video camera points outward and is focused
on the sidewalk to allow passersby to see themselves live on
TV. Chance is intrigued by his own image.

He poses, then steps back off the curb, frowns as his likeness
disappears from the frame. Standing between two parked cars,
Chance takes out his remote control, clicks it at the store.

Four or five other sets in the window change channels, but
he does not reappear on the giant screen. As he does this,
the car to his left, a large, American-made limousine, backs
up. The limo bumps Chance, pins him against the car to his
right. Chance cries out in pain, drops his suitcase, his
umbrella, his changer, and bangs his hand on the trunk of
the limo. The chauffeur, DAVID, and the liveryman, JEFFREY,
immediately jump from the car, run back to Chance.

DAVID
I'm very sorry, sir... I...

David and Jeffrey reach out to help, but Chance is wedged
solidly between the two cars.

CHANCE
(in pain)
...I can't move... My leg...

DAVID
(rushes back to limo)
...My Lord...

JEFFREY
This is terrible, sir -- I hope you're
not badly injured...

CHANCE
No. I'm not badly injured. But my
leg is very sore.

David pulls the car forward, freeing Chance. A few bystanders
begin to gather as Jeffrey helps Chance to the sidewalk.

JEFFREY
Can you walk? It's not broken, is
it?

CHANCE
(leans against limo,
holds leg)
I hope not.

DAVID
(returning)
Perhaps I should call an ambulance.

A BYSTANDER interrupts.

BYSTANDER
Somebody ought to call the police!

CHANCE
(looks over, smiles)
There's no need for police, it's
just my leg.

During this, the rear door of the limo opens and EVE RAND
steps out. Eve is in her mid-thirties, and is rich.

She is not pleased with this inconvenience

JEFFREY
Let's have a look, do you mind?

CHANCE
Of course. I would like to look.

Chance bends, raises his trouser leg. A red-bluish swollen
bruise is forming on his calf. Eve moves closer, looks at
the bruise.

EVE
(to Chance)
...Won't you let us do something for
you? Your leg should be examined, we
could take you to a hospital.

CHANCE
(smiles at Eve)
There's no need for a hospital.

EVE
Why, there certainly is. You must
see a doctor, I insist on it. Please,
let us take you.

Eve turns to get back in the limo. David goes with her to
hold the door.

DAVID
I'm terribly sorry, Mrs. Rand, I
never saw the man.

EVE
Oh, I don't think it was anyone's
fault, David.

DAVID
Thank you, ma'am.

Jeffrey holds the door open but Chance is hesitant about
getting in the car.

CHANCE
I've never ridden in an automobile.

JEFFREY
(a beat)
I assure you, sir, David is a very
careful driver.

CHANCE
(looks at the car,
then decides)
...Yes. You can take me.

JEFFREY
(as Chance gets in)
Very good.

Jeffrey closes the door, goes back to pick up Chance's
suitcase and umbrella but does not notice the remote control.
As Jeffrey puts Chance's bag into the trunk, we see the
personalized license plate "Rand 1."

INT. LIMOUSINE MOVING THROUGH TOWN - EVENING

Chance and Eve are settled in the back seat. As they talk,
Chance is experiencing his first ride in a car.

EVE
I hope you're comfortable.

CHANCE
Yes, I am.

EVE
These situations can be so trying --
everybody seems to make such a todo
over a simple little accident...
(eyes Chance)
...the insurance, police, the news
and all... Is your leg feeling any
better?

CHANCE
No, it isn't.

EVE
I see.

Chance looks out the window at passing cars.

CHANCE
It looks very much like television
but you can see further.

EVE
(not hearing him)
Say -- if you came to our house, we
could take care of you there.

CHANCE
Your house?

EVE
Yes. My husband has been very ill.
His doctor and nurses are staying
with us. Those hospitals can be so
impersonal -- why, it might be hours
before you are treated...

CHANCE
I agree.

EVE
Fine, it will save a lot of
unnecessary fuss and it will be so
much more pleasant for you...
(leans forward)
David, we'll just go on home. Jeffrey,
would you call and let them know?

JEFFREY
Yes ma'am.

Jeffrey closes the glass between them, then dials the limo
telephone.

There is a moment of silence. Eve, a bit uncomfortable,
presses a button. The limo's bar moves out, revealing a row
of decanters and glasses.

EVE
Would you care for a drink?

CHANCE
Yes. Thank you. I am very thirsty.

As Eve pours cognac into a monogrammed crystal glass, Chance
notices the limo's TV set.

CHANCE
I would like to watch television.

EVE
(a bit surprised)
Oh? Certainly...

She hands Chance the cognac, turns on the TV.

EVE
May I ask your name?

Chance takes a sip of the cognac, is not accustomed to
alcohol, coughs.

CHANCE
(with a slight cough)
My name is Chance.

EVE
Pardon me, was that Mr. Chance?

CHANCE
No, I'm a gardener.

EVE
Oh... Mr. Gardiner... Mr. Chauncey
Gardiner... You're not related to
Basil and Perdita Gardiner are you?

CHANCE
No... I'm not related to Basil and
Perdita.

EVE
Oh. Well, they're just a wonderful
couple, we've been friends for years.
We visit their island quite often.

Chance suddenly starts going through his pockets, searching.

EVE
Did you lose something?

CHANCE
Yes. I lost my remote control.

EVE
Oh... Well, I'm very sorry...

Another pause, Chance reaches out, changes channels on TV.

EXT. HIGHWAY - WOODED AREA - NIGHT

The limo approaches, then turns into the entranceway of the
Rand Estate. Two guards stand on either side of the open
gate, salute as the car passes through.

INT. LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

As Eve speaks, Chance is glued to the TV, switches channels
to the news.

EVE
Is there anything special you like
to watch?

CHANCE
I like to watch. This is fine.

EVE
I know it's very important to stay
informed of all the latest events,
but I find there is so much to
assimilate that it can become quite
muddling at times...

Chance nods, changes the channel, watches a Mighty Mouse
cartoon. Eve takes it for a small joke and smiles
patronizingly.

EXT. RAND MANSION - NIGHT

At least three uniformed people, two valets, WILSON and
PERKINS, and LEWIS, the Doorman, are waiting at the front of
the Rand Mansion as the limousine arrives. There is a general
hubbub as the three of them, along with Jeffrey, help Chance
into a wheelchair.

INT. RAND MANSION - FRONT HALLWAY - NIGHT

As the group comes through the front doors, Wilson is wheeling
Chance. A uniformed woman, GRETA, is waiting to take Eve's
coat.

EVE
(to Wilson)
You take Mr. Gardiner to the third
floor guest suite.
(to Chance)
I'll see you after Dr. Allenby has a
look at your leg.

CHANCE
Yes, I think he should examine my
leg.

Eve heads off partially revealing a remarkable and large
place to live in as Wilson wheels Chance into the elevator.

INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT

As the door closes on them, Chance looks to Wilson.

CHANCE
...I've never been in one of these.

Wilson thinks that Chance is talking about the wheelchair.

WILSON
It's one of Mr. Rand's. Since he's
been ill...

CHANCE
(looks around elevator)
Does it have a television?

WILSON
(laughs)
No -- but Mr. Rand does have one
with an electric motor, that way he
can get around by himself.

CHANCE
I see.

Chance again checks out the elevator.

CHANCE
How long do we stay in here?

WILSON
How long? I don't know, see what the
doctor says...

The elevator stops on the third floor.

INT. RAND MANSION - PALM COURT - NIGHT

Eve is talking to ROBERT ALLENBY. He is in his late fifties
and has been Benjamin Rand's doctor for years.

EVE
I pray that I did the right thing,
Robert. I didn't want to take the
risk of any publicity, especially
with Benjamin being so ill.

ALLENBY
I'm sure you did, Eve. But let's
just hope he's not one of those
opportunists that try and make a
fortune out of every little bruise.

EVE
Well, I'm sure we could make a
settlement if we had to, but I'd
rather not -- find out what you can,
I'm going to change.

ALLENBY
(as she goes)
Ben's been asking about you...

EVE
(over her shoulder)
I'll see him soon.

Allenby watches after her for a beat, then turns, goes off
in the other direction.

INT. GUEST SUITE - NIGHT

An enormous bedroom, filled with 18th Century antique
furniture. Allenby dabs Chance's ass with a piece of cotton
soaked in alcohol, prior to an injection. Chance stands with
his pants to the floor, looks to the television which is not
turned on.

ALLENBY
This will ease the pain and swelling,
Mr. Gardiner.

CHANCE
I understand. I've seen it done
before.

ALLENBY
Now, you'll barely feel this. It
won't hurt at all.

Allenby administers the injection, Chance reacts from the
pain.

CHANCE
You were wrong, it did hurt.

ALLENBY
(a chuckle)
But not for long...

As Allenby puts a band-aid on Chance's ass, Chance spots a
remote control for the TV on the bedside table. He reaches
out, picks it up.

ALLENBY
It's good that there was no apparent
damage to the bone.

CHANCE
Yes. I think so, too.

ALLENBY
There could be minor hemorrhaging,
which really isn't too serious at
the time, but can cause secondary
problems if not looked after.

CHANCE
(turns on TV)
I see.

ALLENBY
(a look to the TV,
then to Chance)
You can pull your trousers up, now.

CHANCE
Oh, fine.

ALLENBY
Just to take the proper precautions,
Mr. Gardiner, I'd recommend we take
you downstairs and X-Ray your leg.

There is no reaction from Chance, Allenby takes a long look
at him.

ALLENBY
...By the way, Mr. Gardiner, I would
like to ask you something straight
out.

CHANCE
(doesn't understand)
...Straight out?

ALLENBY
Yes. Are you planning on making any
sort of claim against the Rand's?

CHANCE
(after a beat)
Claim...? ...Oh, claim, that's what
Thomas asked me.

ALLENBY
Thomas? Who's Thomas?

CHANCE
Thomas Franklin, an attorney.

ALLENBY
An attorney?

CHANCE
(turns to TV)
Yes.

ALLENBY
(suddenly very cold)
Then you wish to handle this matter
through your attorneys?

CHANCE
There's no need for a claim, the
garden is a healthy one.

ALLENBY
(gives Chance a look)
Oh, I see...
(laughs)
...Well, then... You caught me off
guard, I must admit...

CHANCE
(changes channels,
sits on bed)
Thank you.

ALLENBY
Good, keep your weight off that leg,
Mr. Gardiner. In fact, it would be
best if you could stay here for a
day or two, if that would be possible.
I can promise you the finest in care.

CHANCE
Yes, I could stay here. Does this
house have a garden?

ALLENBY
...Why, yes -- many.

Allenby picks up his bag, heads for the door.

ALLENBY
I'll send Wilson up to take you for
X-Rays, Mr. Gardiner. Feel free to
use the telephone, and please let me
know if you have any discomfort.

CHANCE
(clicking changer)
Yes, I will.

Allenby gives him a look, then leaves. Chance watches an old
movie of a man lighting a cigar. The man enjoys the cigar,
blows out smoke. The scene seems to 'sink into' Chance's
mind.

INT. EVE'S BEDROOM/SITTING ROOM - NIGHT

Allenby enters to reveal Eve standing in front of large double
windows that are wide open. She is wearing different clothes,
different hair.

ALLENBY
Good God, Eve -- you'll freeze.

EVE
I wanted some fresh air. How is Mr.
Gardiner?

ALLENBY
A rather large contusion, but there
isn't any...

EVE
(interrupts)
That's not what I meant, Robert.

ALLENBY
(a beat)
Okay... Well -- he seemed to be a
most reasonable man, I don't think
he'll cause any trouble.

EVE
Thank God for that.

ALLENBY
I'd like to keep an eye on him, though --
I suggested that he stay here for a
couple of days.

EVE
Stay here? Is that necessary?

ALLENBY
Not necessary, but preferable. Don't
worry, Eve -- he might be a breath
of fresh air...

EVE
(a beat)
...Yes, he is different... He's very
intense, and internal, don't you
think?

ALLENBY
Perhaps... Actually, I found him to
have quite a sense of humor.

EVE
Good. It might be pleasant for a
couple of days....

Eve is silent for a moment, looks out to the darkness.

EVE
I guess I should go see Ben now.
(turns)
I'll see you at dinner.

Eve leaves the room.

INT. RAND'S CONVERTED BEDROOM - NIGHT

Eve enters through heavy glass doors. BENJAMIN RAND, wearing
a silk bathrobe, lies on a king-sized bed to one side of the
room. Rand perks up as sees Eve crossing to him. He is in
his sixties, maintains an inner strength and dignity despite
the sapping effects of his illness.

RAND
(with weakness)
...Eve...

Eve kisses him, holds his hand.

EVE
(with conviction)
Oh, Ben -- I do miss you when I'm
out... How are you feeling?

RAND
Tired... And I'm getting tired of
being tired. Other than that, I'm
doing very well.

EVE
I'm so glad... No headaches?

RAND
No, it's been a good day -- better
than yours, from what I've been told.

EVE
You heard?

RAND
I may be a shut-in, but I do not
lack for news. I'm sorry you had to
go through all that.

EVE
Oh, it wasn't all that bad darling.
We were fortunate that Mr. Gardiner
turned out to be so reasonable.

RAND
Reasonable? Good, I'd like to meet a
reasonable man. Why don't you ask
this Gardiner to join us for dinner?

EVE
For dinner? Are you well enough for
that?

RAND
(smiles)
Hah!... Tell me the truth, Eve -- if
I wait until I feel better, will I
ever meet the man?
(Eve is silent)
Constance!

CONSTANCE, in a nurse's uniform, appears in a side doorway.

RAND
Constance! I want new blood tonight,
I'm getting up for dinner.

CONSTANCE
But, Mr. Rand...

RAND
Don't argue, tell Robert I want new
blood!
(turns to Eve)
...Ask him to dinner.

Rand pulls Eve's hand close, kisses it.

EVE
(after a beat)
...I ran into Senator Jansen at lunch
today and he all but ignored me...
And it's starting to happen a lot
lately... since you've been sick.

RAND
Dammit, there's no excuse for that.
I'll call him tomorrow.

EVE
Thank you, darling.

INT. RAND MANSION - FIRST FLOOR HALLWAY - NIGHT

The elevator door opens to reveal Wilson with Chance in the
wheelchair.

CHANCE
(as Wilson wheels him
out)
...Thats is a very small room.

WILSON
(laughs)
Yes sir, I guess that's true --
smallest room in the house.

CHANCE
(glancing around)
Yes. It seems to be.

Wilson takes this as another joke, chuckles as he wheels
Chance toward Rand's hospital room.

INT. RAND'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

A glass-enclosed room, next to Rand's bedroom, filled with
the very latest in hospital emergency equipment. CONSTANCE
and another nurse, TERESA, stand by as Rand is being given a
transfusion. Rand lifts his head as Wilson wheels Chance
into the room.

RAND
Welcome to Rand Memorial Hospital,
Mr. Gardiner.

CHANCE
(looks around room)
...I see.

Wilson pushes Chance to the X-Ray machine, where BILLINGS, a
Black technician helps him onto the table.

CHANCE
(inhales deeply)
I feel very good in here.

RAND
That's the oxygen! When I first got
sick I had it all glassed in so I
could have a little extra oxygen
pumped in, keeps my spirits up.

Chance is now flat on his back as Billings lines up the X-
Ray camera.

CHANCE
You must be very sick.

RAND
Aplastic anemia, Mr. Gardiner --
aplastic anemia. Failure of the bone
marrow to produce red blood cells...
Not a damn thing they can do about
it. Oh, they can make me comfortable,
prolong my life with steroid therapy
and transfusions... But what makes
my blood boil, what little I have
left, that is, Mr. Gardiner -- is
that it's generally a young person's
disease... Here I am, getting on in
years and about to die of a young
person's disease...

CHANCE
(smiles at Rand)
I've never seen anything like this
on television.

BILLINGS
Please, hold still, Mr. Gardiner.

CONSTANCE
You too, Mr. Rand, you must stay
quiet.

RAND
(lays his head back)
..You will join us for dinner, won't
you, Mr. Gardiner?

CHANCE
Yes. I am very hungry.

RAND
...So am I, my boy -- so am I.

Chance stares at Billings, reacts to him being black.

CHANCE
Do you know Raphael?

BILLINGS
No sir, I don't believe I do.

CHANCE
Oh. I have a message for him.

BILLINGS
Yes, sir.

CHANCE
A black man gave me the message.

BILLINGS
Well, I still don't believe I know
the man, Mr. Gardiner. Now, please
hold still.

INT. RAND DINING ROOM - NIGHT

The dining room is immense, a 75-foot ceiling, huge
fireplaces. Allenby, Eve, Rand and Chance (both in
wheelchairs) sit around the table. THURMAND, a waiter, and
MARIANNE, a waitress, enter carrying trays of food. Eve turns
to Chance.

EVE
I do hope your injury won't prevent
you from attending to business, Mr.
Gardiner?

CHANCE
No. It won't do that.

EVE
...Would you like us to notify anyone
for you?

CHANCE
No. The Old Man died and Louise left.

EVE
Oh. I'm very sorry. Well, if you
have a need for any of our facilities,
please don't hesitate to ask.

RAND
Do you need a secretary?

CHANCE
No, thank you. My house has been
closed.

RAND
Oh, you mean to say that your business
was shut down.

CHANCE
Yes. Shut down and locked by the
attorneys.

RAND
What'd I tell you?... I know exactly
what you mean. Today the businessman
is at the mercy of kid-lawyers from
the SEC. All they want to do is
regulate our natural growth!

ALLENBY
It's happening to everyone, I'm
afraid. The way things are going
they'll probably legislate the Medical
Profession, as we know it, right out
of existence.

CHANCE
Yes. Right out of existence.

RAND
And it's a damn shame -- it's all
happening too fast...
(sighs)
What are your plans now, Mr. Gardiner?
Or may I call you Chauncey?

CHANCE
Yes. Chauncey is fine.

RAND
And I'm Ben.

ALLENBY
(smiles to Chance)
Robert.

EVE
(also smiles)
...Eve.

RAND
So tell me, Chauncey, just what are
your plans?

CHANCE
I would like to work in your garden.

EVE
(laughs)
Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I
sometimes enjoy puttering around
myself, such a pleasant way to forget
one's troubles.

RAND
I never had a feel for it myself...
But, Eve -- why don't you show
Chauncey our gardens tomorrow...
(to Chance)
They're quite lovely.

EVE
Well, it'll have to wait until I get
back from Boston... Unfortunately,
my morning will be taken up by another
one of those charity events.

CHANCE
I am a very good gardener.

RAND
Isn't that what a businessman is? A
gardener? A person that makes flinty
soil productive with the labor of
his own hands, who waters it with
sweat from his own brow, and who
creates a place of value for his
family and community? Yes, indeed,
Chauncey, a productive businessman
is a laborer in his own vineyard.

CHANCE
I know exactly what you mean, Ben.
The garden that I left was such a
place. But I don't have that any
more...
(points to ceiling)
...All that's left for me now is the
room upstairs.

RAND
Now, wait a minute, Chauncey -- you
have your health... for God's sake
don't give up on yourself! You have
to fight! You can't let those bastards
keep you down! I don't want to hear
any more from you about the 'Room
Upstairs.' That's where I'm going
soon.

There is a long pause. Chance looks up, then smiles at Rand.

CHANCE
It's a very pleasant room, Ben.

RAND
(laughs)
Yes, I'm sure it is. That's what
they say, anyway.

Another period of silence. The servants bustle around the
room as Allenby studies Chance.

INT. RAND'S POOL ROOM - NIGHT

Allenby is shooting pool. Rand is offering Chance a cigar
from a humidor.

RAND
Have one of these, Chauncey -- they're
Cuban.

CHANCE
Thank you, Ben.

Chance examines the cigar, does not see Rand clip the end
off his own.

RAND
It's one thing Robert can't keep me
from. I've enjoyed a cigar as long
as I can remember.

Rand turns the cigar clipper to Chance. As Chance tries to
figure out the clipper, the flame from an ornate lighter
catches his eye and Chance watches intently as Rand lights
his own cigar.

RAND
...You know, Chauncey, there are
thousands of American businessmen,
large and small, that share your
plight. I've been concerned with the
situation for some time now.
(hands lighter to
Chance)
...I'd like to offer the decent
'gardeners' of the community a helping
hand. They've been harassed long
enough by inflation, excessive
taxation, unions, all sorts of
indecencies...

Allenby watches Chance as he first tries to light the lighter,
then tries to light the unclipped cigar.

RAND
After all, they are our strongest
defense against the pollutants that
threaten our basic freedoms and the
well-being of our middle class. So
I've been thinking about beginning a
financial assistance fund... Tell
me, Chauncey, would you have any
thoughts on such a program?

CHANCE
(puffing, trying to
light cigar)
No, Ben.

RAND
(a smile)
Reluctant to speak, eh, Chauncey?
Well, I can understand that. When a
man loses everything, anger has a
tenancy to block out reason for a
time. Just give it some thought,
work with the idea, I'm sure you'll
have plenty to say in a few days.

Chance puts the unlit cigar in the ashtray, smiles at a most
curious Allenby.

INT. MANSION - ELEVATOR - NIGHT

Wilson stands behind Chance in the wheelchair. Chance glances
slowly around the elevator. Suddenly, Wilson breaks out into
laughter.

WILSON
...Sorry, sir... I thought you were
going to come out with another one
of your jests about the elevator...
Excuse me, sir...

The elevator stops, the door opens.

INT. MANSION - THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY - NIGHT

Wilson wheels Chance out of the elevator.

CHANCE
...Hmmm... Elevator.

WILSON
(laughs again)
...Yes sir -- elevator!

Wilson stops laughing as he notices Eve coming toward them.

EVE
Chauncey, I wanted to tell you how
dreadful I feel about your leg, but
how delighted I am that you are
staying with us.

CHANCE
Thank you, Eve -- I like this house
very much.

EVE
...And Ben is just mad about you --
you've lifted his spirits so -- it's
just... Well, it's just a real
pleasure, your being here...

CHANCE
Ben is very ill, Eve -- I've seen
that before.

EVE
Yes... I know Chauncey.

CHANCE
I like Ben very much... He reminds
me of the Old Man...

EVE
He does...?

CHANCE
Yes. Are you going to leave and close
the house when he dies?

Eve is not prepared for such a question.

EVE
...Why... No, I don't think so...

CHANCE
That's good.

Chance smiles at Eve and there is a moment of silence before
Eve moves away.

EVE
...Good night, Chauncey.

CHANCE
Good night, Eve.

Wilson wheels Chance toward the guest room.

EXT. FRONT OF RAND MANSION - MORNING

Chance comes out of the front door, walking with a limp for
his first view of the Rand grounds. The attendant, Lewis,
hurries to Chance.

LEWIS
Did you want a car, sir?

CHANCE
Yes. I would like a car.

LEWIS
Yes, sir.

Lewis goes to his post, picks up a phone. As Chance looks at
the surroundings, Allenby and Wilson, with Chance's
wheelchair, come out of the house.

ALLENBY
Chauncey, there you are. What are
you doing on that leg?

CHANCE
It's fine today, Robert.

ALLENBY
Shame on you, Chauncey -- you should
let me be the judge of that. Please,
sit in the chair.

Wlison pushes a wheelchair to Chance, he sits.

ALLENBY
(checks leg)
I swear, Chauncey, between you and
Benjamin, I've got my hands full...
(examines Chance's
calf)
...Say, that is coming along, the
swelling has gone down considerably...

A limousine pulls up to the front of the mansion, waits for
Chance.

ALLENBY
(continues examining)
...Benjamin has been hounding me to
allow him to address the annual
convention of his Financial Institute
today, but obviously, the strain
would be impossible... How about
here, Chauncey, any soreness?

CHANCE
Hardly any, Robert.

Lewis, the attendant, interrupts.

LEWIS
Your limousine, sir.

CHANCE
Oh, thank you.

ALLENBY
...Are you going somewhere?

CHANCE
No, Robert.

ALLENBY
(a beat)
...Oh... Anyway, the President offered
to sit in for Ben at the convention,
quite a nice gesture. He's due here
soon, I believe.

CHANCE
Yes, Robert. I know about the
President.

ALLENBY
(mildly surprised)
...Oh? You've heard?

CHANCE
Yes. Ben called me. He wants me to
meet the President.

ALLENBY
He does, does he?

CHANCE
Yes, Ben asked me to be in his room
at ten o'clock.

ALLENBY
Why, that's terrific, Chauncey.

CHANCE
How do I know when it's ten o'clock?

A long reaction from Allenby, then he looks at his watch.

ALLENBY
...It's five of, you'd best get on
in there.

CHANCE
Thank you, Robert.

Wilson begins to push Chance.

CHANCE
I would like to walk today.

ALLENBY
Hell yes -- walk. You're meeting the
President, aren't you?

CHANCE
(gets out of chair)
Yes. I like to watch him on
television.

Allenby, a bit puzzled, watches as Wilson opens the front
door for Chance.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - MORNING

Rand is in an easy chair, dressed for his meeting with the
President. The two nurses are nearby. Rand smiles as Chance
is shown into the room by Wilson.

RAND
Chauncey, up and around this morning,
are you?

CHANCE
Yes, Ben. I like to walk.

RAND
Well, that's good news, my boy.

CHANCE
You're looking much better today,
Ben.

RAND
Hah! It's all makeup, Chauncey... I
asked nurse Teresa to fix me up, I
didn't want the President to think I
was going to die during our talk.

CHANCE
I understand.

RAND
No one likes a dying man, my boy --
because few know what death is. All
we know is the terror of it. But
you're an exception, Chauncey --
that's what I admire in you, your
marvelous balance. You don't stagger
back and forth between fear and hope --
you're a truly peaceful man.

CHANCE
Thank you, Ben.
(looks at Rand closely)
...Nurse Teresa did a very good job,
Ben.

The nurses turn, look at Chance.

INT. RAND MANSION - THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY - MORNING

Allenby gets off the elevator, stands and thinks for a moment,
then heads off down the hallway in the direction of Chance's
room.

EXT. FRONT RAND MANSION - MORNING

Perkins is at the head of eight servants lined up on the
front steps. Two black PLYMOUTH SEDANS pull up and EIGHT MEN
in grey business suits get out. One of them, WOLTZ, goes
directly to Perkins.

WOLTZ
Good morning, Perkins.

PERKINS
Good morning, Mr. Woltz, nice to see
you again.

WOLTZ
Thank you. How have you been?

PERKINS
Fine, thank you.
(hands Woltz paper)
We have an additional guest with us
today, Mr. Chauncey Gardiner.

WOLTZ
(reads list)
I see...
(turns to other men)
Okay, let's go to work.

The eight servants pair up with the eight men in suits and
go into the house.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - MORNING

Chance watches television as Rand speaks.

RAND
Yes, when I was younger I had thoughts
about public office... But I found,
Chauncey -- that I was able to
contribute more as a private
citizen... Of course, my wealth
provided me with considerable
influence, but I've tried, believe
me, not to misuse that power... It's
extremely important, Chauncey, that
you don't allow yourself to become
blinded to the needs of the country
even when the temptations are strong.
I've been labeled a 'kingmaker' by
many, but I have tried to stay open
to the voices of the people... I
have tried to remain honest to
myself...

CHANCE
(changing channels)
...I see, Ben.

INT. RAND MANSION - A HALLWAY - MORNING

One of the servants accompanies Secret Service Agent RIFF as
he knocks on each door, checks inside, then moves on.

EXT. FRONT RAND MANSION - MORNING

Lewis picks up his phone and dials as he sees the President's
motorcade come through the far gate.

LEWIS
(into phone)
The President is arriving now, Mrs.
Aubrey.

INT. RAND MANSION - MRS. AUBREY'S OFFICE - MORNING

MRS. AUBREY is Rand's executive secretary, but her office is
the Nerve Center of Rand Enterprises.

MRS. AUBREY
(on phone)
Very good, Lewis, thank you.

Mrs. Aubrey clicks off, pushes another button.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - MORNING

Rand smiles at Chance as the phone buzzes.

RAND
He's here.
(into phone)
Yes, Mrs. Aubrey?
(listens)
Fine. Show the President to the
library, we'll be along in a few
minutes.

Rand hangs up the phone, turns to Chance with a twinkle in
his eyes.

RAND
It's an old habit that goes along
with power -- keep them waiting...

Teresa brings Rand's wheelchair to him.

RAND
(stands, very week)
Not now, Teresa. I'm seeing the
President on my own two feet.

TERESA
But, Mr. Rand...

RAND
(puts an arm around
Chance for support)
Shall we go, Chauncey?

CHANCE
Yes, Ben. That's a good idea.

Rand walks slowly, clings to the limping Chance tightly as
they leave the room.

EXT. HALLWAY - MORNING

The President and his entourage are seen on their way to the
library as Rand and Chance enter and stop in front of Mrs.
Aubrey's office.

RAND
Mrs. Aubrey, have you received the
papers on the Caracas agreement?

MRS. AUBREY
Yes, sir. They're ready for you to
sign.

RAND
Excellent.
(as they move away)
A good woman, Mrs. Aubrey.

CHANCE
I agree, Ben.

They shuffle off down the hallway and are met immediately by
Woltz and and another agent, Barker. Both carry small metal
detectors.

WOLTZ
Good morning, Mr. Rand.

RAND
Woltz...
(nods toward Chance)
This is Mr. Gardiner.

WOLTZ
(indicates detector)
Just a formality, Mr. Gardiner.

Barker passes the detector over Rand as Woltz checks Chance.

RAND
Good thing we're not in our
wheelchairs, you boys would have a
devil of a time.

CHANCE
(as Woltz finishes)
Thank you very much.

INT. RAND LIBRARY - MORNING

A somewhat nervous PRESIDENT waits for Rand and Chance.

When they enter, he goes to Rand with both hands outstretched.

PRESIDENT
Ben!

RAND
...Mr. President, how good to see
you.

PRESIDENT
It's so good to see you too, Ben,
you look terrific!

RAND
(with a look to Chance)
Thank you, Mr. President. Let me
tell you, your visit has raised my
spirits...

PRESIDENT
Well, I've missed you, my friend.
(guides Rand to chair)
Here, sit down, get off your feet.

As Rand sinks into the chair, Chance approaches the President
with both hands outstretched.

CHANCE
Good morning, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT
(smiling)
...Hello.

RAND
Oh, Mr. President, I'd like you to
meet my dear friend, Mr. Chauncey
Gardiner.

Chance and the President exchange a two-handed handshake.

The President reacts.

CHANCE
You look much smaller on television,
Mr. President.

PRESIDENT
(a beat)
...Oh, really...

RAND
(smiling)
You will find that Chauncey does not
bandy words, Mr. President.

The President gives Chance a look, then laughs.

PRESIDENT
Well, Mr. Gardiner, that's just fine
with me -- I'm a man that appreciates
a frank discussion... Be seated,
please, Mr. Gardiner...

CHANCE
(sitting)
Yes, I will.

PRESIDENT
(also sits)
Now, Ben, did you happen to get a
chance to go over...

Chance reacts to the mention of his name, interrupts.

CHANCE
Yes?

There is a beat as the President look at Chance quizzically,
then he continues.

PRESIDENT
...I just wonder if you had gone
over my speech, Ben.

RAND
Yes, I did.

PRESIDENT
...Well?

RAND
Overall -- pretty good. But, Mr.
President, I think it's very dangerous
to resort to temporary measures at
this stage of the game.

PRESIDENT
Well, Ben... I...

RAND
I sympathize with you and, I know
how difficult it is to be
straightforward, but I'm telling you
right now, Bobby -- your position on
this is going to cause more dissension
that you want or might even be able
to stand.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - MORNING

Allenby is searching through Chance's clothes looking for
something. There is a knock at the door, Allenby pulls back
from the closet as Riff opens the door, looks inside.

ALLENBY
Oh... Hello.

RIFF
(entering)
Good morning. I'm Riff, Secret
Service.

ALLENBY
...Yes. Of course.

Allenby spreads his arms as Riff passes the metal detector
over him.

INT. LIBRARY - MORNING

The President paces, is worried about what Rand is telling
him. Chance smiles through it all.

RAND
...There is no longer any margin for
inflation, it has gone as far as it
can. You've reached your limits on
taxation, dependence on foreign energy
is at a point of crisis, and, from
where I see it, Mr. President, the
so-called Free Enterprise System
could be at the breaking point.

PRESIDENT
You don't think I should take that
chance, huh?

RAND
Absolutely not.

Chance has reacted to his name, but doesn't know what to
say. The President sits, turns, to Chance.

PRESIDENT
Do you agree with Ben, Mr. Gardiner?
Or do you think we can stimulate
growth through temporary incentives?

CHANCE
(a beat)
As long as the roots are not severed,
all is well and all will be well in
the garden.

PRESIDENT
(a pause)
...In the garden?

CHANCE
That is correct. In a garden, growth
has its season. There is spring and
summer, but there is also fall and
winter. And then spring and summer
again...

PRESIDENT
(staring at Chance)
...Spring and summer...
(confused)
Yes, I see...Fall and winter.
(smiles at Chance)
Yes, indeed.

RAND
(interrupts)
I think what my most insightfult
friend is building up to, Mr.
President, is that we welcome the
inevitable seasons of nature, yet we
are upset by the seasons of our
economy.

CHANCE
Yes. That is correct. There will be
growth in the spring.

PRESIDENT
(pleased)
...Well, Mr. Gardiner, I must admit,
that is one of the most refreshing
and optimistic statements I've heard
in a very, very long time.
(he rises)
...I envy your good, solid sense,
Mr. Gardiner -- that is precisely
what we lack on Capitol Hill.
(glances at watch)
I must be going.
(holds out hand to
Chance)
...This visit has been most
enlightening...

Chance rises and shakes the President's hand.

CHANCE
Yes. It has.

PRESIDENT
...You will honor me and my family
with a visit, won't you?

CHANCE
Yes. I will.

PRESIDENT
Wonderful, we'll all look forward to
seeing you.
(turns to Rand)
Is Eve around? I'd like to say hello.

RAND
No, she flew up to Boston for some
charity event. She'll be sorry to
have missed you.

PRESIDENT
I'm sorry, too. Well, Nancy wanted
me to send along her best to the two
of you -- and, Ben, I want to thank
you for your time and thoughts.

RAND
Nonsense, Mr. President -- I thank
you for coming to spend time with a
dying man.

PRESIDENT
Now, Ben, I won't have any any of
that. Why don't you listen to your
good friend Chauncey -- this is a
time to think of life!

The President claps Rand's hand.

RAND
You're right, Mr. President -- I
don't like feeling sorry for myself.

PRESIDENT
Take care of yourself, Ben.

RAND
You too, Bobby.

PRESIDENT
(as he turns to go, a
smile to Chance)
...Chauncey...

CHANCE
...Bobby...

The President leaves the library and Chance turns to Rand.

RAND
(as the door closes)
He's a decent fellow, the President,
isn't he?

CHANCE
I'm glad he came, Ben. It was nice
talking to the President.

INT. RAND MANSION - HALLWAY - MORNING

The President and his entourage are moving along toward the
front door. One aide, KAUFMAN, walks next to the President.

PRESIDENT
Kaufman, I'm going to need information
on Mr. Chauncey Gardiner's background.

KAUFMAN
(makes note of name)
Gardiner, yes, sir.

PRESIDENT
And I'd like it some time today.

KAUFMAN
No problem, Chief.

INT. RAND MANSION - TAPESTRY ROOM - MORNING

Rand has an arm around Chance as the two of them walk.

Behind them, Wilson and Perkins push empty wheelchairs.

RAND
(very weak)
...You know, Chauncey, there's
something about you... You don't
play games with words to protect
yourself. You're direct...
(they walk a few more
feet in silence)
You know what I was talking to you
about last night?

CHANCE
(blankly)
No, Ben.

RAND
Oh, sure you do, the financial
assistance program for the
businessman.
(another beat)
Well, I think you might be just the
man to take charge of such an
undertaking. I'd like you to meet
with the other members of the Board
so you can discuss the matter at
greater length with them.

CHANCE
I understand.

RAND
And, please, Chauncey -- don't rush
your decision. I know you're not a
man to act on the spur of the moment.

CHANCE
Thank you, Ben.

RAND
And now, Chauncey, I'm afraid you
must excuse me -- I'm very tired...

Rand sits down in his wheelchair and Perkins starts off with
him.

CHANCE
(as they go)
I'm sorry that you are so sick, Ben.

Chance watches after them for a moment, then his interest is
taken by one of the large tapestries.

EXT. RAND MANSION - MAIN GARDEN - DAY

Chance and Eve walk through the garden. At one end, is a
huge Victorian greenhouse, with smaller greenhouses next to
it. Off to one side, stands an attractive stone house.

Five young men work in one area, shoveling mulch.

EVE
There are over sixty thousand tulip
bulbs planted here. It's quite a
sight when they're blooming. Of
course, the roses are beautiful,
too. We have, I think, around twenty
thousand bushes.
(gestures to men
working)
...We plant something different every
year in that area... But I haven't
decided what I would like this spring.
What do you think, Chauncey?

CHANCE
I don't know.

EVE
Well, give it some thought.
(indicates stone house)
That's the gardener's house over
there.

Chance looks off to the two story stone house.

INT. A GREENHOUSE - DAY

Chance and Eve are in the middle of a huge potting greenhouse
where hundreds of young plants are tended by four workers.

CHANCE
I like to watch the young plants
grow.

EVE
It is wonderful, isn't it?

CHANCE
Young plants do much better if a
person helps them.

Eve looks at Chance as he inspects some of the flowers.

She has decided to make a move.

EVE
...Ben tells me the President was
very taken with you this morning.

Chance doesn't know what to say, continues inspecting the
flowers.

INT. VICTORIAN GREENHOUSE - DAY

Chance and Eve move through a large and an extra lush
greenhouse until they reach a long room filled with cacti.

EVE
(as they move)
...Chauncey... Last night you
mentioned an old man, that died. Was
a relative? Or an intimate friend?

CHANCE
(looking at greenhouse)
He was a very wealthy man, he looked
after me since I was young.

EVE
Oh, I see... Your mentor.

CHANCE
...Mentor...?

Eve takes his uncertainty as a reluctance to discuss the Old
Man.

EVE
Forgive me, Chauncey -- I don't mean
to pry. You must have been very close
to him.

CHANCE
Yes. I was.

EVE
I'm sorry...
(getting more to the
point)
...And what about Louise? You
mentioned that she had gone. Were
you close to her also?

CHANCE
Yes. I liked Louise very much. She
was his maid.

EVE
(relieved)
Oh, his maid!... Stupid me, I thought
perhaps she was someone that you may
have been romantically involved with,
or maybe your sister.

CHANCE
Oh no. She brought me my meals.

EVE
(pleased)
Of course.

Eve edges slightly closer to Chance. Chance edges slightly
closer to the cacti, is fascinated by it.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - DAY

Rand is in bed, looking bad. Eve, Chance and Allenby are
seated around him, the two nurses stand to one side. They
all watch the President's address to the Financial Institute
on TV.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
...I know that many of you believe
that we are on the brink of the worst
financial crisis in this nation's
history. And there are some of you
who would like to see us put mandatory
freezes on prices and wages, and
then call it a temporary measure.
Well, that's exactly what I was going
to do until this moment. But I have
decided there are no temporary stop
gaps. So I am going to re-think my
position and find another solution.
And, you'll be very pleased to know
that your founder and chairman-of-
the-board, Mr. Benjamin Turnbull
Rand, agrees with me on this...
(a beat)
...for once.

There is applause and laughter from the audience.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
(after applause)
Chauncey Gardiner, Mr. Rand's close
friend and advisor, was at our meeting
this morning. I found Mr. Gardiner
to have a feeling for this country
that we need more of. He likened us
to a garden... To quote Mr. Gardiner,
a most intuitive man, 'As long as
the roots of industry remain firmly
planted in the national soil, the
economic prospects are undoubtedly
sunny.'

Rand starts coughing, breathing heavily. Allenby and the
nurses rush to his bedside. Allenby shoots a quick look to
Eve and Chance.

ALLENBY
(motioning toward
door)
I think you should leave.

Eve and an interested Chance leave the room as Allenby
administers aid to Rand.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
Gentlemen, let us not fear the
inevitable chill and storms of autumn
and winter, instead, let us anticipate
the rapid growth of springtime, let
us await the rewards of summer. As
in a garden of the earth, let us
learn to accept and appreciate the
times when the trees are bare as
well as the times when we pick the
fruit.

INT. RAND MANSION - HALLWAY - DAY

Eve and Chance stand in silence near the palm court. Eve's
eyes are swollen, red, she has been crying. She turns to
Chance, reaches out, touches his hand.

EVE
(hesitates)
...I'm...
(pause)
...I'm very grateful that you're
here, Chauncey...
(pause)
...With us...

CHANCE
So am I, Eve.

Allenby comes out of Rand's room, his mood is serious.

ALLENBY
...This has been an exhausting day
for Ben... He's resting comfortably
now. There's no cause for alarm...

Mrs. Aubrey approaches.

MRS. AUBREY
Mr. Gardiner, I have a telephone
call for you, Sidney Courtney.

CHANCE
...Telephone call?

MRS. AUBREY
Yes, Sidney Courtney, the Financial
Editor of the "Washington Post."

Chance does not react.

MRS. AUBREY
(after a moment)
Would you care to take it, sir?

CHANCE
Yes.

Chance still does not move. Eve mistakes this for concern
for herself.

EVE
I'll be all right, Chauncey -- you
go ahead with Mrs. Aubrey...

CHANCE
Yes, Eve. You'll be all right.

Chance follows Mrs. Aubrey. Eve watches Chance go, then turns
to Allenby.

EVE
...He's such a sensitive man, so
considerate...

INT. MRS. AUBREY'S OFFICE - DAY

Three television sets are on. Mrs. Aubrey hands a phone to
Chance, he looks at it, uncertain.

CHANCE
(after a moment, into
phone)
...Hello.

INT. WASHINGTON POST - COURTNEY'S OFFICE - DAY

SID COURTNEY, a man in his fifties, wears a rumpled wool
jacket, smokes a pipe.

COURTNEY
Hello, Mr. Gardiner. I'm sorry to
disturb you, but I watched the
President's speech at the Financial
Institute today, and I wondered if
you have any comments on the meeting
that took place between Mr. Rand,
the President and yourself.

INTERCUT - MRS. AUBREY'S OFFICE/COURTNEY'S OFFICE - DAY

CHANCE
The President is a nice person. I
enjoyed it very much.

COURTNEY
Good, sir. And so, it seems, did the
President -- but we would like to
have some facts; such as, uh... What
exactly is the relationship between
yourself and that of the First
American Financial Corporation?

CHANCE
I think you should ask Mr. Rand that.

COURTNEY
Of course. But since he is ill I'm
taking the liberty of asking you.

CHANCE
(watching three TV
sets)
Yes, that is correct. I think you
should ask Mr. Rand that.

Courtney doesn't understand but continues his questioning.

COURTNEY
I see. Then one more quick question,
Mr. Gardiner.

Chance hangs up the phone, watches the TVs.

Courtney listens to the dial tone, then puts the receiver
down.

COURTNEY
(to himself)
No wonder he's so close to Rand...

INT. MRS. AUBREY'S OFFICE - DAY

Mrs. Aubrey puts a call on hold, speaks to Chance who is
still intrigued by the three televisions.

MRS. AUBREY
Mr. Gardiner, I have the producer of
the 'Gary Burns Show' on the line.

CHANCE
Yes, I have watched that on
television.

MRS. AUBREY
Of course. They would like you to
appear on the show tonight. The Vice-
President was scheduled, but he had
to cancel, and they asked if you
would be interested.

CHANCE
Yes. I would like to be on television.

MRS. AUBREY
Fine.

Chance turns back to the televisions. Mrs. Aubrey talks to
the producer.

MRS. AUBREY
(into phone)
Hello, Mr. Hull... Mr. Gardiner has
agreed to do the show... Yes, I'll
tell him. The show will be taped and
then shown at ten o'clock, but he's
to be there at seven.

INT. EVE'S BEDROOM - EVENING

Eve is on the phone while being attended to by a MANICURIST
and a HAIRDRESSER. Eve talks to Sophie as if they weren't
there as one wig is taken off, another is put on.

EVE
(into phone)
...Are you kidding? Of course, I'll
bring him, I promise -- but I'll get
Ben to suggest it... Hands off, Sophie --
this one's mine... No, I haven't
done that, but give me time... Yes,
be sure and watch the 'Burns' Show
tonight, you'll see what I mean...
Ben? Oh, he's okay -- he's got his
ups and downs...

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - EVENING

Chance wears a velvet bathrobe, watches TV. Wilson and Perkins
lay out a suit, shirt, tie, etc. There is a KNOCK at the
door.

PERKINS
Excuse me, sir.

Perkins answers the door, it is Eve.

EVE
(entering)
Chauncey, I wanted to wish you well.
I know you'll be just smashing.

CHANCE
(rising)
Thank you, Eve.

EVE
And Benjamin sends along his best
wishes.

CHANCE
How is Ben feeling?

EVE
He's tired, Chauncey -- but he's
going to watch you tonight. We'll
both be watching.

CHANCE
That's good. I like to watch, too.

EVE
I know you do -- you and your
television...
(a pause)
...Good luck, Chauncey.

Eve impulsively steps forward, kisses Chance on the cheek.

Chance smiles at her. Eve returns the smile, then leaves the
room. Chance sits back down, watches TV as Wilson and Perkins
attend to his clothes with a whisk broom.

INT. WASHINGTON POST - RESEARCH ROOM - NIGHT

A woman, KINNEY, sits behind a stack of paperwork. She has a
downcast expression as Sidney Courtney, followed by three
staffers, enters the room.

COURTNEY
(to Staffers)
Gardiner is laconic, matter-of-fact.
The scuttlebutt is that he's a strong
candidate for one of the seats on
the Board of First American.
(to Kinney)
...Kinney, what did you come up with
on his background?

KINNEY
(after pause)
...Nothing.

COURTNEY
Skip the levity, Kinney -- what have
you got?

KINNEY
(another pause)
I realize this sounds banal -- but
there is no information of any sort
on Gardiner. We have no material on
him -- zilch...

The room is quiet.

INT. TV STATION - CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Chance is intrigued by the the surroundings as MORTON HULL
guides him through the corridor.

HULL
Of course, Mr. Gardiner, your position
in the financial community carries a
lot of weight, but what caught Gary's
attention was your down-to-earth
philosophy.

CHANCE
I see.

They walk a while through the corridor.

HULL
(making conversation)
Do you realize that more people will
be watching you tonight that all
those who have seen theater plays in
the last forty years?

CHANCE
Yes. It's a very good show.

Hull takes Chance into the makeup room.

EXT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

AIR FORCE 1 taxies to the ground.

INT. AIR FORCE 1 - NIGHT

The President sits on a couch in one of the compartments on
the jet. With him are six of his STAFF, Kaufman included.

PRESIDENT
What do you mean, no background?
That's impossible, he's a very well
known man!

KAUFMAN
Yes, sir -- we are aware of all that,
but still, we haven't been able to...

PRESIDENT
(interrupts)
He's an advisor and close personal
friend of Rand's! For Christ sakes,
they have volumes of data on Benjamin!

KAUFMAN
Yes, Mr. President, I plan on
contacting Mr. Rand as soon as...

PRESIDENT
(again interrupts)
I do not want Benjamin Rand disturbed!
You have other ways of gathering
information than to trouble a dying
man. Use whatever agencies are
necessary to put together a detailed
history of Chauncey Gardiner, if you
run into problems, alert Honeycutt.
(he stands)
Have it in my office at seven in the
morning.
(he starts for door)
I've got to take a leak.

KAUFMAN
Right, chief.

As the President goes to the Men's Room, two of the aides
reach for telephones.

INT. TV STATION - CORRIDOR/MAKEUP ROOM - NIGHT

A PAGE comes through the corridor carrying a glass of water.
He turns into the makeup room to reveal Hull sitting next to
Chance in front of the mirror. The makeup man, COLSON, works
on Chance as he watches the guest preceding him on a TV
monitor that is reflected in the mirror.

PAGE
(gives Chance water)
I thought you might need this about
now, Mr. Gardiner. It gets real hot
under these lights.

CHANCE
Thank you. I am very thirsty.

The Page leans against the door jamb, smiles if anyone looks
at him.

HULL
(briefing Chance)
Now, if Gary wants to interrupt you,
or ask you a question, he'll raise
his left forefinger to his left
eyebrow.

CHANCE
(to Colson)
Nurse Teresa did Ben's makeup.

COLSON
(laughs)
Oh? Did she do a good job?

CHANCE
Yes, very good.

On the TV, GARY BURNS finishes with his guest and the band
goes into a hot instrumental number.

COLSON
(a last minute dab)
Okay, Mr. Gardiner, looks like you're
up.

Hull leads Chance out of the makeup room. Colson sits and
watches the TV monitor. The Page, his back to Colson,
carefully picks up Chance's water glass so as not to smear
the fingerprints, then leaves the room. On the TV monitor,
the band plays, the audience applauds as Burns introduces
Chance.

INT. RAND LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

BURNS
(on TV)
I always find it surprising, Mr.
Gardiner, to find men like yourself,
who work so intimately with the
President, yet manage to remain
relatively unknown.

CHANCE
(on TV)
Yes. That is surprising.

BURNS
...Well, your anonymity will be a
thing of the past from now on.

CHANCE
(doesn't understand)
I hope so.

BURNS
(a beat)
Yes... of course. Well, I assume,
since the President quoted you, that
you agree with his view of the
economy.

CHANCE
Which view?

Applause and laughter from the TV audience.

INT. ALLENBY'S ROOM - NIGHT

Allenby watches, concerned as to which way it will go.

BURNS
(a beat)
Well, the President compared the
economy of this country to a garden,
and stated that after a period of
decline a time of growth would
naturally follow.

CHANCE
Yes, I know the garden very well. I
have worked in it all my life. It is
a good garden and a healthy one;

INT. RAND'S ROOM - NIGHT

Rand is in bed. Eve sits in a chair next to the bed, squeezes
Rand's hand in the excitement as they both watch Chance on
television. Teresa and Constance watch in the Background.

CHANCE
(on TV)
Its trees are healthy and so are its
shrubs and flowers, as long as they
are trimmed and watered in the right
seasons. The garden needs a lot of
care. I do agree with the President;
everything will grow strong, and
there is plenty of room in it for
new trees and new flowers of all
kinds.

The TV audience applauds Chance and Constance quietly leaves
the room.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The President and First Lady are in bed together watching
the show.

BURNS
So you're saying, Mr. Gardiner, if
the Stock Market collapses, and
unemployment keeps increasing, that
this is just another season, so to
speak, in the garden?

The First Lady cuddles up to the President.

INT. RAND LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

Chance continues to watch himself.

CHANCE
Yes. In a garden, things grow -- but
first some things must wither; some
trees lose their leaves before they
grow new leaves...

INT. THOMAS FRANKLIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Franklin, the attorney that evicted Chance, comes out of the
bathroom brushing his teeth. His wife, JOHANNA, is in the
bed absorbed in the show. Franklin sits on the end of the
bed.

CHANCE
(on TV)
...And if you give your garden a lot
of love, and if you work very hard
and have a lot of patience, in the
proper season you will see it grow
to be very beautiful...

More applause from the TV. Franklin leans closer to the set.

FRANKLIN
(puzzled)
It's that gardener!

JOHANNA
Yes, Chauncey Gardiner.

FRANKLIN
No! He's a real gardener!

JOHANNA
(laughs)
He does talk like on, but I think
he's brilliant.

BURNS
Well, that's very interesting, Mr.
Gardiner, but, what about the bad
seasons?

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Constance is in Chance's closet searching through his
clothing. Finding nothing, she checks the labels on his suits,
copies them in a notepad.

BURNS (O.S.)
(on TV)
Such as prolonged droughts that have
wiped out crops, disastrous winters,
hurricanes? Doesn't a country need
to have someone in charge that can
see it through such crises? Don't we
need a leader capable of guiding us
through the bad seasons as well as
the good?

CHANCE
(on TV)
Yes. We need a very good gardener.

Constance continues her work in the closet.

INT. PRESIDENT'S BEDROROM - NIGHT

The President and First Lady are very attentive.

BURNS
(on TV)
I realize this might be a difficult
question for you, Mr. Gardiner --
but there are a lot of us around the
country that would like to hear your
thoughts on the matter.

CHANCE
(on TV)
I understand.

BURNS
(on TV)
Do you feel that we have a 'very
good gardener' in office at this
time, Mr. Gardiner?

PRESIDENT
...That bastard...

CHANCE
(on TV)
Oh, yes. It is possible for one side
of the garden to be flooded, and the
other side to be dry... Some plants
do well in the sun, and others grow
better in the cool of the shade.

The First Lady moves closer to the President.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT

A group of ELDERLY BLACK PEOPLE sit in the lobby, watching
the show on an old black-and-white TV.

CHANCE
(on TV)
..It is the gardener's responsibility
to take water from the flooded area
and run it to the area that is dry.
It is also the gardener's
responsibility not to plant a sun-
loving flower in the shade of a high
wall...

During the preceding speech, Louise, the maid from the Old
Man's house, chatters.

LOUISE
Gobbledegook! All the time he talked
gobbledegook! An' it's for sure a
White man's world in America, hell,
I raised that boy since he was the
size of a piss ant an' I'll say right
now he never learned to read an'
write -- no sir! Had no brains at
all, was stuffed with rice puddin'
between the ears! Short-changed by
the Lord and dumb as a jackass an'
look at him now! Yes, sir -- all you
gotta be is white in America an' you
get whatever you want! Just listen
to that boy -- gobbledegook!

There is a chorus of "Amens" as she finishes.

INT. RAND LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

Chance watches himself.

CHANCE
(on TV))
...It is the responsibility of the
gardener to adjust to the bad seasons
as well as enjoy the good ones.

Chance changes channels to a Game Show.

INT. PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The President and First Lady still watch Chance.

CHANCE
(on TV)
If the gardener does his job,
everything will be fine.

PRESIDENT
Oh, Jesus...

Audience applause is heard on TV.

BURNS
Before we take a break... What sort
of gardener would you be?

CHANCE
(with confidence)
I am a very serious gardener.

BURNS
I'm sure you are, Mr. Gardiner.
(looks at camera)
We'll be right back.

As a commercial comes on, the President rolls over in bed.

The First Lady reaches out, puts a comforting hand on his
shoulder.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - NIGHT

The commercial is on TV.

RAND
He's a remarkable man, remarkable...
(to Eve)
You're fond of him too, aren't you,
Eve?

EVE
(a beat)
...Yes, I am, Ben.

RAND
That's good... that's good.

Rand looks up as Constance comes back into the room.

RAND
Constance! Where have you been? You
missed the whole show -- Chauncey
was wonderful.

INT. FRANKLIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Franklin shuts off the commercial on TV, is talking on the
phone.

FRANKLIN
Okay, Sally, I'll see you in twenty
minutes.

Franklin hangs up the phone, scurries around getting dressed.
His wife, Johanna, sits grimly in bed.

FRANKLIN
(notices her look)
I won't be long, I've just got to
talk to her about this Gardiner...

JOHANNA
(turns over in bed)
Good night.

FRANKLIN
Look, Johanna...

JOHANNA
(cuts him off)
I said good night!

Franklin gives up, hurries from the room.

EXT. RAND MANSION - NIGHT

Some of the household staff are lined up applauding Chance
as he steps from the limousine. Perkins and Wilson come
forward.

WILSON
Bravo, sir! You were outstanding.
Outstanding!

PERKINS
May I take your coat, Mr. Gardiner?

CHANCE
Yes. Thank you, Perkins.

Perkins nods, takes Chance's overcoat, allows everyone to
enter the house. Once alone, Perkins quickly searches through
the coat pockets, finds nothing.

INT. PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The First Lady is snuggled up close to the President, caresses
his body. After a moment, it becomes clear to her that he is
not up to the occasion.

FIRST LADY
...Darling... What's wrong?

PRESIDENT
...I can't... I just can't right
now... I'm sorry, dearest... I just
can't...

The First Lady looks at him for a beat, then turns, lies on
her back and stares at the ceiling.

INT. RAND'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

Rand is in his wheelchair, stripped to the waist. Eve stands
nearby. Chance breathes deeply, enjoys the oxygen.

Allenby and the nurses prepare four separate injections for
Rand, which Allenby administers to him during the scene.

RAND
(with some effort)
Senator Rowley's widow is hosting a
reception tomorrow night honoring
the Soviet Ambassador and I think
it's rather obvious that Robert won't
allow me to attend. So, Chauncey,
you would be doing me a great favor
if you would escort Eve, and go in
my place.

CHANCE
Yes. I would like to escort Eve.

RAND
Good. Together, the two of you should
create quite a stir -- I can already
hear the gossip.

EVE
...Ben, really...

RAND
...You possess a great gift, Chauncey,
of being natural. And that, my boy,
is a rare talent -- tonight on
television, you were strong and brave
and didn't moralize. I hope the entire
country was watching -- the entire
country.

Allenby gives Rand the last injection.

INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE - NIGHT

An 'in' meeting place for the upper-middle Washington, D.C.
crowd. Thomas Franklin and Sally Hayes sit at a table, drinks
in front of them.

FRANKLIN
...It didn't make any sense to me at
all. I didn't know what the hell he
was talking about...

SALLY
It wasn't meant for us, Tom -- he
was talking to the masses. He was
very clever, keeping it at a third
grade level -- that's what they
understand...

FRANKLIN
Yeah? Well, I don't understand why
he was in Jennings' house? What was
up his sleeve when he pulled that
stunt with us? What was he doing?
And why?

SALLY
Who knows...? Maybe the government
had something to do with it.

FRANKLIN
You know, Sally -- he made a fool
out of me, ...and you know what that
means, don't you?... It means that
any political future I had is right
down the toilet!

The CAMERA begins to slowly move away from the table, the
sound of Franklin's voice continues.

FRANKLIN
...Jesus, the thought of spending
the rest of my life as an attorney,
that is really a downer... And,
Christ, Sally, I almost forgot --
Johanna is starting to think
something's going on between...

Franklin's voice fades into the background hubbub. The voice
of Kinney, the research assistant from the WASHINGTON POST
is heard as the camera settles on a table occupied by Sidney
Courtney and his staff.

KINNEY
...Sid, be reasonable -- I've been
everywhere, there's no place left to
check!

COURTNEY
Try again.

KINNEY
Sure, try again -- where? There's
nothing, it's like Gardiner never
existed!

COURTNEY
Try again.

KINNEY
It's useless!

COURTNEY
(coldly)
I said -- try again.

Kinney stands, shoves her paperwork across the table.

KINNEY
Up yours, Sid. You try again, I quit!

Kinney takes her drink with her as she leaves the lounge.

INT. RAND MANSION - THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY - NIGHT

The elevator door opens revealing Eve and Chance inside.

EVE
(as they come out)
I'll bet you don't have a tuxedo
with you, do you?

CHANCE
No, thank you.

EVE
...Well, we can fix up one of Ben's
for you tomorrow. Sophie insists on
Black Tie.

CHANCE
I see.

They walk in silence for a moment. Eve stops, then Chance.

EVE
(softly)
...I have very few friends,
Chauncey... And Benjamin's friends
are all quite a bit older...

Eve gives Chance a long look, then kisses him on the lips.
She steps back, smiles.

EVE
...Good night, Chauncey.

CHANCE
Good night, Eve.

Eve goes into her bedroom, closes the door. Chance heads for
his room as though nothing had happened.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE ANTE ROOM - MORNING

Kaufman and the five other Aides nervously await the
President's arrival. The door opens, the President briskly
enters.

PRESIDENT
Good morning, gentlemen.

AIDES
(as one)
Good morning, sir.

The President leads the way into the Oval Office.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - MORNING

As the President goes to his desk, Kaufman hands him a folder.
The President sits, reads it quickly, it is very brief.

PRESIDENT
(to Kaufman)
This is not what I requested.

KAUFMAN
No, sir.

PRESIDENT
This information goes back a day and
a half! I want the standard file,
you know that.

KAUFMAN
Right, Chief.

PRESIDENT
So...? Where the hell is it?

KAUFMAN
We...uh, have been unable to come up
with any information before Mr.
Gardiner appeared at the Rand's...
and, uh...

PRESIDENT
What the hell are you talking about,
Kaufman?

KAUFMAN
Well, we do have some data from the
Bureau, but it isn't pertinent.

PRESIDENT
I'd like to hear that data Kaufman.

KAUFMAN
Yes, sir.

Kaufman takes a clipboard from the man at his right.

KAUFMAN
(reading)
...Suits hand-made by a tailor in
Chicago in 1928. The tailor went out
of business in 1933, then took his
own life. ...His shoes were hand-
made in 1936. The cobbler has long
since been dead. Underwear, all of
the finest cloth, factory destroyed
by fire in 1948. The man carries no
identification; no wallet, no driver's
license, no credit cards... He carries
one item along with him, a fine Swiss
Patek-Phillipe watch, made in 1887,
but there is no record of where or
when it was purchased... Computers
have analyzed Gardiner's vocal
characteristics; it is impossible to
determine his ethnic background,
they feel his accent may be
northeastern, but they will not commit
to that... Fingerprint check proved
negative, no identification possible.
(a pause)
...That's it, Mr. President.

The President stares at Kaufman for a beat, then speaks into
his intercom.

PRESIDENT
Miss Davis -- I'd like my eggs poached
this morning, please.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - MORNING

Chance is in bed, a tray on his lap, eating breakfast.

A pile of the morning's newspapers lie at the foot of the
bed, untouched. The TV is playing, Chance watches as he eats.
There is a knock at the door.

CHANCE
(without turning from
TV)
Come in!

Eve enters, wearing a robe over her nightgown.

EVE
Chauncey! Have you seen the papers?

CHANCE
No, Eve. I don't read the papers.

EVE
(moving to bed)
Well, it seems you've been described
as one of the architects of the
President's speech. And your own
comments from the television show
are quoted side by side with the
President's.

CHANCE
I like the President. He is a very
nice man.

EVE
(sits on bed)
I know...
(a moment)
...So are you, Chauncey...
(another moment, Chance
watches TV)
...Do you mind my being here, like
this?

CHANCE
(a bite of toast)
No, Eve. I like you to be here.

Eve smiles, moves a little closer to Chance.

EVE
...You know, Chauncey... I want us
to be...
(with difficulty)
I want us... You and I to become...
close... I want us to become very
close, you know...?

CHANCE
Yes, Eve. I know that.

Eve suddenly begins to cry, sobbing quietly at first, then
losing control, the tears flowing freely. To comfort her,
Chance puts his arm around her shoulder, nearly tipping his
breakfast tray. Eve responds to his touch, draws closer,
holds Chance tightly. Chance does his best to avoid slipping
his breakfast, keep an eye on the TV, and to comfort Eve.
She begins to caress Chance, running her hand over his body.
She kisses him, his eyes, his neck, his lips, his ears. Chance
does not return the lovemaking, and Eve eventually catches
hold of herself, stops. She lies quietly beside Chance for a
time, regains her demeanor, then speaks.

EVE
...I'm grateful to you, Chauncey...
I would have opened to you with a
touch, and you know that...
(Chance, confused,
turns to her)
...But you're so strong -- I can
trust myself with you...

CHANCE
Yes, Eve. I'm very glad that you
didn't open.

EVE
I know you are, Chauncey... And I
appreciate why you've decided to
wait... until... until...

There is a long moment, then Eve rises, straightens her robe
and moves toward the door.

EVE
(stopping by door)
...I do love you, Chauncey.

Eve leaves. Chance eats his once-warm scrambled eggs and
watches "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" on TV.

INT. RAND MANSION - ALLENBY'S ROOM - DAY

Allenby is at his desk, searching through the Washington,
D.C. telephone book. He finds a number, dials.

ALLENBY
(into phone)
Mr. Thomas Franklin, please.
(a wait)
Is Thomas Franklin in?
(a beat)
Yes, this is Dr. Robert Allenby,
would you please tell Mr. Franklin
that I would like to talk to him? It
concerns Chauncey Gardiner.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - DUSK

Rand is in bed, very still, deep in thought. Teresa and
Constance work in the background.

EXT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

Chance wears Ben's tuxedo and Eve is done to the teeth as
they emerge from the limousine and are met by the press: a
couple of reporters, 5 photographers and a mini-cam crew
from a local TV station.

REPORTER #1
Mr. Gardiner, what did you think of
the Posts' editorial on the
President's speech?

CHANCE
(smiling for photogs)
I didn't read it.

REPORTER #2
But sir -- you must have at least
glanced at it.

CHANCE
No. I did not glance at it.

REPORTER #3
Mr. Gardiner, the New York Times
spoke of your 'Peculiar brand of
optimism,' what was your reaction to
that?

CHANCE
(continues to pose
for pictures)
I did not read that either.

REPORTER #3
Well, how do you feel about that
phrase, 'Peculiar brand of optimism?'

CHANCE
I do not know what it means.

REPORTER #2
Sorry to persist, sir, but it would
be of great interest to me to know
what newspapers you do read.

CHANCE
I do not read any newspapers. I watch
TV.

There is a moment of silence as the reporters digest this.

The TV Reporter smiles, questions Chance.

TV REPORTER
...Do you mean, Mr. Gardiner, that
you find television's coverage of
the news superior to that of the
newspapers?

CHANCE
(flatly)
I like to watch TV.

TV REPORTER
Thank you, Mr. Gardiner.

CHANCE
(thinks the interview
is over)
You're welcome.

Chance turns and goes toward the house, Eve follows. The TV
Reporter turns to the TV camera.

TV REPORTER
Well, that is probably the most honest
admission to come from a public figure
in years. Few men in public life
have the courage not to read
newspapers. None, that this reporter
has met, have the guts to admit it.

INT. SOPHIE'S - EVENING

Chance and Eve move through the hallway toward the Living
Room.

EVE
I've never seen anyone handle the
press the way you do, Chauncey --
you're so cool and detached.

CHANCE
Thank you, Eve.

They move on to reveal the Black Tie Reception in progress,
crowded with Ambassadors and other such dignitaries.

SOPHIE ROWLEY, the hostess, comes rushing toward to greet
them.

INT. WASHINGTON, D.C. COCKTAIL LOUNGE - NIGHT

The same lounge as before. Sidney Courtney sits at the same
table as earlier, only this time with the editor of the
Washington Post, LYMAN STUART. Courtney puffs on his pipe as
he speaks.

COURTNEY
...It's strictly rumor at this stage,
Lyman -- just something in the wind...

STUART
Something rather big in the wind,
I'd say. So whose files were
destroyed? The CIA's or the FBI's?

COURTNEY
I don't know. But we should start
nosing around, see if we can talk to
some people...

The CAMERA begins to slowly MOVE AWAY from their table.

STUART
What is it about his past they are
trying to cover up?
(his volume fades)
...A criminal record? A membership
in a subversive organization?
Homosexual, perhaps?

The SOUND of Stuart's voice dissolves into Thomas Franklin's
as the CAMERA SETTLES on Dr. Allenby and Franklin sitting at
a table nearby.

FRANKLIN
...And he told us that he had been
living there since he was a child,
working as a gardener. He showed us
a room in the garage, where he said
he stayed, and I... Well, I didn't
really believe him, of course -- but
why the act? He must have been
involved on some major financial
level with the deceased...
(catches himself)
Mr. Jennings, but our firm has no
record of any such transactions.

ALLENBY
Hmmm. You say he showed you his
garden?

FRANKLIN
Well, he said it was his, he walked
us through it.

ALLENBY
I see.
(leans close to
Franklin)
Mr. Franklin, I must ask you and
Miss Hayes to keep this incident
with Mr. Gardiner to yourselves.
There's no telling what he was
involved in, and the matter may be
extremely confidential. So please,
not a word.

FRANKLIN
Of course, Doctor, I understand.

ALLENBY
Fine. Thank you, Mr. Franklin.

FRANKLIN
Certainly, glad to be of help.

Allenby rises, leaves the bar.

INT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

Sophie pulls Eve and Chance to AMBASSADOR SKRAPINOV and his
WIFE. As they arrive, Eve steps in front of Sophie and makes
the introduction.

EVE
Mr. Chauncey Gardiner, let me
introduce you to the guest of honor,
His Excellency Vladimar Skrapinov,
Ambassador of the Soviet Union.

Chance warmly shakes Skrapinov's hand with both of his own.

CHANCE
(stumbles over name)
Hello... His... His...

SKRAPINOV
Delighted, Mr. Gardiner...
(a nod to Eve)
Mrs. Rand, delighted.

SOPHIE
And this is Mrs. Skrapinov.

Chance smiles at Mrs. Skrapinov as The Ambassador puts an
arm around him.

SKRAPINOV
(to Chance and Eve)
You must sit with us, my friends, we
have much to discuss.

CHANCE
I agree.

SOPHIE
(tugs at Eve)
Come, Eve, let's let the men talk.
(to Chance and
Skrapinov)
Would you two excuse us for a moment?

SKRAPINOV
Regretfully -- we shall yield the
pleasure of your company to others.

CHANCE
Yes, Eve. I shall yield, too.

EVE
Fine. You two have a nice chat.

Skrapinov leads his wife and Chance to their table as Eve
and Sophie move through the crowd.

EVE
(with self-importance)
You see? Didn't I tell you?

SOPHIE
Oh, I'm so glad you brought him, it
makes everything perfect.
(looks back at Chance)
He's very, very sexy -- don't let me
alone with him for too long...

A smiling Senator Jensen comes out of the crowd.

SENATOR JENSEN
Mrs. Rand! How good to see you!

EVE
Well, Senator Jensen.

SENATOR JENSEN
I certainly would like to meet Mr.
Gardiner.

EVE
I'm sure you would.

Eve turns away, Sophie follows.

As they are met by the Senator, we CUT.

INT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

Chance is seated between Ambassador Skrapinov and his wife
at their table.

SKRAPINOV
(moves chair close to
Chance)
Considering the gravity of your
economic situation, Mr. Gardiner,
shouldn't we, the diplomats, and
you, the businessmen -- get together
more often to exchange our thoughts?
What does a Russian know about
business? On the other hand, what
does an American know about diplomacy?
So why not a coming together? An
interchange of opinion? We may find,
my friend, that we are not so far
from each other, not so far!

CHANCE
(an engaging smile)
We are not so far...
(motions at nearness
of their chairs)
...our chairs almost touch.

SKRAPINOV
(laughs)
Bravo! Bravo! Our chairs are indeed
almost touching! And we want to remain
seated on them, correct? We don't
want them snatched from under us, am
I right? Because if one goes, the
other goes, and then -- boom! Boom!
And Boom, Boom! And we are both down
before our time, you see? And neither
of us wants that, do you agree?

CHANCE
I certainly do.

SKRAPINOV
Yes. Tell me, Mr. Gardiner -- do you
by any chance enjoy Krylov's fables?
I ask this because there is
something... there is something
Krylovian about you.

CHANCE
Do you think so? Do you think so?

SKRAPINOV
So you know Krylov!

Skrapinov pauses, then leans close to Chance, speaks softly
in Russian. Chance, having never heard this language, raises
his eyebrows and laughs. Mrs. Skrapinov remains impassive.

SKRAPINOV
(amazed)
So you know your Krylov in Russian,
do you? Mr. Gardiner, I must confess
I had suspected as much all along.

CHANCE
(beat)
Would you tell me your name again,
please?

SKRAPINOV
(slaps Chance on the
back)
Ho! Ho! A dash of American humor!
Vladimar Skrapinov!

CHANCE
Yes. I like that name very much.

SKRAPINOV
And yours, sir -- Chauncey Gardiner!
(in Russian)
How poetic! Chauncey, a name of
uncertain meaning! And Gardiner, a
bit of French, a suggestion of a
stroll through the flowers! A
beautiful name, my friend!

INT. WHITE HOUSE - PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

A light from the adjoining bathroom filters into the darkened
bedroom. The President and the First Lady are in bed. They
each lie on their backs, a distance apart and are silent.

FIRST LADY
(after some time)
...Maybe you should talk to somebody,
darling.

PRESIDENT
No, that won't do any good.

FIRST LADY
(another pause)
...Is it me? Is there something I've
done?

PRESIDENT
Oh, no, sweetheart -- it's not you...

FIRST LADY
(another pause)
It's your damn job. It never happened
when you were a senator...

PRESIDENT
It's not that, I just...

The inter-White House phone buzzes, the President reaches
for it.

PRESIDENT
(into phone)
Yeah, Kaufman -- what is it?

KAUFMAN'S VOICE
(over phone)
Chief, we have a break in the case.
Our man at the Washington Post says
they are working on a story that
either the CIA or the FBI destroyed
Gardiner's files before anyone could
get to them.

PRESIDENT
What? Why?

KAUFMAN'S VOICE
(over phone)
I can't say at this time -- neither
agency will admit to a thing.

PRESIDENT
(getting out of bed)
Okay, get Honeycutt and Baldwin over
here, I'll be right down.

The President hangs up the phone as the First Lady stares at
the ceiling.

INT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

Eve and Chance are talking. AMBASSADOR GAUFRIDI of France
edges toward them.

EVE
Chauncey, you had Ambassador Skrapinov
eating out of your hand, and you
never told me you spoke Russian.
That's incredible!

Gaufridi joins in.

GAUFRIDI
It's extremely useful to speak Russian
these days. Are you proficient in
other languages, Mr. Gardiner?

EVE
Mr. Gardiner is a modest man,
Ambassador Gaufridi. He doesn't
advertise his accomplishments, his
knowledge is for himself.

Chance smiles, then turns away to select an hors d'oeuvre,
where he is approached by RONALD STIEGLER, a publisher.

STIEGLER
Mr. Gardiner, I'm Ronald Stiegler,
of Harvard Books.

CHANCE
(a two-handed handshake)
Hello, Ronald.

STIEGLER
Mr. Gardiner, my editors and I have
been wondering if you'd consider
writing a book for us? Something on
your political philosophy. What do
you say?

CHANCE
I can't write.

STIEGLER
(smiles)
Of course, who can nowadays? I have
trouble writing a post card to my
children! Look, we could give you a
six figure advance, provide you with
the very best ghostwriters, research
assistants, proof readers...

CHANCE
I can't read.

STIEGLER
Of course not! No one has the time
to read! One glances at things,
watches television...

CHANCE
Yes. I like to watch.

STIEGLER
Sure you do! No one reads! ...Listen,
book publishing isn't exactly a bed
of roses these days...

CHANCE
(mild interest)
What sort of bed is it?

INT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

KARPATOV, an aide, sits next to Skrapinov and his wife.

SKRAPINOV
I want to know everything about his
relationship with Rand. And found
out the real reason the President
has singled him out.
(Karpatov takes notes)
And I want this quote included in
the TASS coverage... "Chauncy
Gardiner, in an intimate discussion
with Ambassador Skrapinov, noted
that 'unless the leaders of the
opposing political systems move the
chairs on which they sit closer to
each other, all of their seats will
be pulled from under them by rapid
social and political changes.'"

Karpatov writes out the quote.

INT. SOPHIE'S - NIGHT

Eve is with SENATOR SLIPSHOD, MRS. SLIPSHOD, and DENNIS WATSON
of the State Department.

SENATOR
I heard that he speaks eight
languages, and on top of everything
else, holds a degree in medicine as
well as law. Isn't that true, Eve?

EVE
Well, I really don't know, Senator,
but it wouldn't surprise me.

MRS. SLIPSHOD
He's very attractive.

EVE
Isn't he?

DENNIS
Yes... Very.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - NIGHT

Allenby enters the room quietly and stands in the shadows
watching Rand sitting up in bed with a large loose-leaf type
book on his lap. He has a dictaphone mike in one hand, with
the other, he moves his finger down a page and stops.

RAND
(into mike)
Sell all 750,000 shares of C.C.T.

His finger continues down the page, does the same to two
more pages before stopping again.

RAND
(into mike)
...Let's see -- just sell a million
shares of Inland Oil.
(takes a beat)
Oh, and Mrs. Aubrey, have 30,000
shares of Standard transferred into
your name. That's for you.

ALLENBY
(steps out of shadows)
...Ben.

RAND
(looks up)
Robert... I was just cleaning up
some loose ends -- getting rid of
some of the dead wood so Eve won't
have to put up with it...

ALLENBY
(a beat)
...Ben, I want to talk to you about
Chauncey.

RAND
(smiles)
Oh, yes -- Chauncey -- you know,
Robert -- there's something about
him that I trust -- he makes me feel
good. Since he's been around, the
thought of dying has been much easier
for me.

Allenby is silent and thoughtful.

INT. SOPHIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Dennis Watson is a homosexual and is coming on strong to
Chance.

DENNIS
You're fascinating, Mr. Gardiner --
I've never met anyone like you in
Washington before.

CHANCE
Yes, I've been here all my life.

DENNIS
Really? Well, where have you been
all my life?
(Chance smiles)
Tell me, Mr. Gardiner, have you ever
had sex with a man?

CHANCE
(a beat)
No. I don't think so.

DENNIS
We could go upstairs right now.

CHANCE
Do they have a TV upstairs?

DENNIS
A TV? I'm sure they do.

CHANCE
I like to watch.

DENNIS
You like to waaaaaatch? Well -- you
wait right here, I'll go get Warren.

Dennis hurries off. Eve appears, moves to Chance.

EVE
Let's get out of here, Chauncey --
Let's go home...

Eve takes Chance by the arm and they move off.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

The President sits behind his desk in a bathrobe, his hair
mussed. Standing before him are GROVER HONEYCUTT, the Director
of the FBI, and CLIFFORD BALDWIN, CIA Chief.

Kaufman stands to one side. All are red-eyed, tired, and
frustrated.

HONEYCUTT
I never gave such a directive, Mr.
President.

BALDWIN
Nor I, sir -- it would be out of the
question.

PRESIDENT
Gentlemen, I didn't call you here at
such an hour to make accusations, I
just want to explore the
possibilities. Now, I have three
questions: Is the man a foreign agent?
Or, have we suddenly found that our
methods of gathering data are grossly
inefficient? Or, thirdly, have the
man's files been destroyed? Now, I'd
like some answers.

BALDWIN
Gardiner is not a forign agent, there
are now sixteen countries
investigating the man. We can rule
that out.

PRESIDENT
Very well... Can we rule out
inefficiency?

There is silence in the room. A couple of looks, but silence.

PRESIDENT
I see. What about question three?
Is it possible to erase all traces
of a man?

HONEYCUTT
Highly unlikely, sir... In fact, the
boys around the Bureau feel that the
only person capable of pulling it
off would be an ex-F.B.I. man.

BALDWIN
(a look to Honeycutt)
I don't think that's entirely true,
Grover.

PRESIDENT
(to Baldwin)
And what do the boys around
Intelligence think?

BALDWIN
Well, Mr. President... They don't
know quite what to think.

More silence, more looks.

INT. RAND LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

Chance watches TV. Eve sits beside him, her hand on his thigh.

EVE
I feel so close to you, so safe with
you, Chauncey... and Benjamin
understands that, dearest... He
understands and accepts my feelings
for you...

CHANCE
Yes. Ben is very wise.

Eve moves her hand up higher on Chance's thigh, there is no
reaction.

INT. RAND MANSION - 3RD FLOOR HALLWAY - NIGHT

Eve and Chance stand close together in the hallway.

EVE
...It's difficult to say good night
to you, Chauncey -- it's very hard
for me to leave you.

CHANCE
It's very hard for me, too, Eve.

EVE
...Oh.

Flustered at the thought, Eve turns and leaves. Chance watches
her go, then moves off to his room.

INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Chance is propped up in bed, watches an old movie on
television. The hero gives his lady a passionate kiss and
embrace.

The scene seems to 'sink into' Chance's mind. Suddenly, Eve,
robe over her nightgown, comes into the room.

EVE
Oh, Chauncey -- I just couldn't stand
it any longer.

She goes to the bed, takes Chance in her arms, starts to
kiss him, when he abruptly takes Eve into his arms and kisses
her full on the mouth. Once done, Chance's attention returns
to the television while Eve is in a frenzy of passion. She
holds him, kisses him, runs her hands over his body.

Chance neither resists nor responds, he just watches
television. Suddenly Eve stops, lets her head fall on Chance's
chest.

EVE
...You don't want me, Chauncey...
You don't feel anything for me...
Nothing at all...

Chance, feeling her sadness, gently strokes her hair as he
looks at TV.

EVE
...I just don't excite you... I don't
know what you want... I don't know
what you like...

CHANCE
I like to watch.

EVE
(not understanding)
To watch...? To watch me...?

CHANCE
Yes. I like to watch.

EVE
(uncertain)
...Is that all you want...?
(a hesitation)
...To watch me...?

CHANCE
Yes. It's very good, Eve.

EVE
...But I've never done...
(another hesitation)
...You mean...? When... When...
When I do it?... When I touch
myself...?

Eve slowly gets up from the bed, nervously paces the bedroom
as Chance watches TV. She makes a decision, moves to Chance,
kisses him.

EVE
(getting aroused)
Oh, Chauncey... I do love you so
much.

She steps back, slips off her robe. She does not undress any
further, instead, leans close to Chance.

EVE
One of those little things you don't
know about me yet, darling -- I'm a
little shy.

She smiles, drops to the floor. Chance divides his attention

between Eve and the TV, watching both with an equal
detachment. Eve becomes more and more involved with herself,
finding immense pleasure with her own body. Chance changes
the channel with the remote control. Eve reaches orgasm, her
body shaking violently, then a delicate tremor. Then she is
still. Chance turns off the TV with the remote, turns over
in bed.

CHANCE
Good night, Eve.

A low purr is heard from Eve.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - MORNING

There is a feeling of urgency as Allenby and the nurses attend
to Rand.

ALLENBY
(to nurses)
Get set up for a transfusion right
away.

RAND
(very weakly)
...No more, Robert -- no more
needles...

ALLENBY
It's not good, Ben -- I'm sure you
can feel it.

RAND
I know, Robert... I know...

INT. RAND MANSION - PATIO - MORNING

A light snow is falling. Eve is in a fur coat, holds a
steaming cup of coffee. Chance stands near her next to the
railing. He reaches out, catches snowflakes as they fall.

EVE
...And I feel so free now, Chauncey.
I never felt so acknowledged by a
man... Until I met you, I always had
the feeling that I was just a vessel
for a man, something that he could
take hold of, pierce, and pollute. I
was merely an aspect of somebody's
lovemaking. Do you know what I mean?

Chance turns to her, says nothing, presses the cold snowflakes
to his face.

EVE
You uncoil my wants; desire flows
within me, and when you watch me my
passion dissolves it. You set me
free. I reveal myself to myself and
I am drenched and purged.

Teresa appears in the doorway.

TERESA
Mr. Gardiner. Mr. Rand would like to
see you.

CHANCE
Yes. I would like to see Ben.

Chance gives Eve a warm smile, then follows Teresa into the
house.

INT. RAND'S ROOM - MORNING

Allenby, with nothing more he can do to prolong Rand's life,
stands close to him, grips his hand tightly. Teresa shows
Chance into the room and Allenby motions to the nurses to
leave. Chance, with a smile, goes to Rand's bedside.

RAND
(slowly)
...Chauncey... Chauncey...

CHANCE
Yes, Ben -- are you going to die
now?

Allenby winces.

RAND
(a weak smile)
...I'm about to surrender the Horn
of Plenty for the Horn of Gabriel,
my boy...

CHANCE
I see.

RAND
(reaches out to him)
Let me feel the strength in your
hand, Chauncey... Let me feel your
strength...
(holds Chance's hand)
Yes, that's good... I hope, Chauncey --
I hope that you'll stay with Eve...
Take care of her, watch over her,
she's a delicate flower, Chauncey...

CHANCE
(smiling)
A flower...

RAND
She cares for you and she needs your
help, Chauncey... there's much to be
looked after...

CHANCE
Yes. I would like to do that.

RAND
...My associates, Chauncey -- I've
talked with them about you... They're
eager to meet with you... very
eager...
(trails off)
...Tell Eve..

Rand slumps down, dead. Allenby checks his pulse, turns to
Chance.

ALLENBY
...He's gone, Chauncey.

CHANCE
Yes, Robert. I have seen it before.
It happens to old people.

ALLENBY
(covers Rand's face)
Yes, I suppose that's true.

Chance reaches out, uncovers Rand's face, gently touches the
man's forehead, feels the coldness. Allenby eyes him as Chance
stays with Rand for a moment, then replaces the sheet.

CHANCE
(turns to Allenby)
Will you be leaving now, Robert?

ALLENBY
In a day or two, yes.

CHANCE
Eve is going to stay. The house will
not be closed.

ALLENBY
(a moment, a look)
...You've become quite a close friend
of Eve's -- haven't you...
(a beat)
...Chance...?

CHANCE
Yes. I love Eve very much.

ALLENBY
I see...
(another beat)
...And you really are a gardener,
aren't you?

CHANCE
(brightens)
Yes, Robert -- I am.
(a smile at Allenby)
I'll got tell Eve about Ben now,
Robert.

Chance leaves the bedroom. Allenby watches him go, then sits
back in a chair, his head spinning.

EXT. RAND ESTATE - DAY

Rand's funeral services are being held on a hill overlooking
the mansion. Six distinguished-looking men stand near Rand's
casket, which is placed on a concrete block. They are the
PALLBEARERS. The Rand mausoleum is fifty yards further up
the hill, while the MOURNERS, all close friends and associates
of Rand's, stand fifty yards down the hill from the
pallbearers.

Chance stands with Eve and Allenby. The President of the
United States is before the microphone, which feeds
loudspeakers for the Rand servants lined up in front of the
mansion.

PRESIDENT
...I know that Ben said keep it small
and quiet... No eulogies, no
fanfares... And I don't want to go
against Ben's wishes. But I thought
it would be good, while our close
friends carry Ben to his last resting
place, to read from his quotes, which
I'm sure will have special meaning
to all of us who are gathered here
today.

With this, the Pallbearers pick up the casket and begin the
chore of taking it to the mausoleum. It is hard work.

PRESIDENT
(reading quotes)
...'I have no use for those on
welfare, no patience whatsoever...
But if I am to be honest with myself,
I must admit that they have no use
for me, either.' ...'I do not regret
having political differences with
men that I respect; I do regret,
however, that our philosophies kept
us apart.'... 'I was born into a
position of extreme wealth, but I
have spent many sleepless nights
thinking about extreme poverty.'

As the President speaks, Chance turns and walks away. Eve
and Allenby watch as he goes toward the trees surrounding
the area.

PRESIDENT
(continues reading)
...'When I was a boy, I was told
that the Lord fashioned us from his
own image. That's when I decided to
manufacture mirrors.'... 'Life is a
state of mind.'

The Pallbearers are enroute, they are all breathing heavily.
JAMES DUDLEY, a powerful industrialist, speaks.

DUDLEY
Yes, I agree, Maxwell would be an
excellent man for the job -- but
he's boring, he would never take an
election.

SEWELL NELSON, a corporation Chairman, speaks.

NELSON
Correct, the people of this country
need to be awakened.

PETER CALDWELL, another executive:

CALDWELL
What about Lawson? He's charismatic,
exciting...

DUDLEY
A bit too exciting, I'm afraid...

Once they start bringing things up about his background.

WEBB, railroad money:

WEBB
Well, gentlemen. Time is running
out, we must come to a decision.

EXT. WOODS - DAY

Chance, his umbrella under his arm, walks through the woods.

He stops by a tree, brushes some snow from a branch, moves
on.

EXT. RAND ESTATE - DAY

The President is still reading Rand's quotes.

PRESIDENT
(reading)
'The world parts with Rand, and Rand
parts with the world: A fair trade,
don't you agree? Security,
tranquillity, a well-deserved rest:
All the aims I have pursued will
soon be realized.'

Eve is concerned about Chance, she turns to Allenby.

EVE
(quietly)
I've got to find Chauncey.

She leaves the funeral, heads toward the trees.

PRESIDENT
(reading)
...'I do not know the feelings of
being poor, and that is not to know
the feelings of the majority of people
in this world. For a man in my
position, that is inexcusable.

The Pallbearers near the mausoleum, they are struggling.

DUDLEY
But what do we know of the man?
Nothing! We have no inkling of his
past!

NELSON
Correct, and that is an asset. A
man's past can cripple him, his
background turns into a swamp and
invites scrutiny.

CALDWELL
...Up to this time, he hasn't said
anything that could be used against
him.

NELSON
The response from his appearance on
the 'Burns Show' was overwhelming;
mail and telephone response was the
highest they ever had, and it was
ninety-five percent pro!

CHARLIE BOB BENNET, a Texas oil millionaire;

BENNET
Well, I'm certainly open to the
thought -- it would be sheer lunacy
to support the President for another
term.

LYMAN MURRAY, a banker;

MURRAY
Exactly. That is why I agree with
Ben's final wishes, and I firmly
believe, gentlemen, if we want to
retain the Presidency, that our one
and only chance is Chauncey Gardiner!

EXT. WOODS - DAY

Chance happens on a tree with a cracked limb, hanging to the
ground. He stops, inspects the break, runs his fingers along
the split of the bark. He looks to the ground, notices that
an end of the limb has fallen on a seedling, bending it
double. Chance pulls the limb away, then kneels beside the
seedling. He removes an expensive pair of suede gloves, and,
with gentle fingers, brushes the dirt and snow away from the
seedling. Chance glances up to the remaining limbs of the
larger tree which could fall and threaten the emerging tree.

He unfolds his umbrella, places it over the seedling in a
way to give it protection, yet still allow it to receive
light from the winter sun. Chance stands, and is putting his
gloves on when Eve appears, running towards him.

EVE
(breathless)
Chauncey! Chauncey!

CHANCE
(looks)
Hello, Eve.

EVE
(holds him)
Oh, Chauncey, darling. Where were
you? I've been looking for you. I
was scared.

CHANCE
Yes. I've been looking for you too,
Eve.

She hugs him one more time, then leads him back from whence
she came. The President can still be heard reading quotes.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
(in the distance)
I've lived a lot, trembled a lot,
was surrounded by little men who
forgot that we enter naked and exit
naked and that no accountant can
audit life in our favor.

THE END

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