"THE HORSE WHISPERER"
Based on the novel by
INT. STABLES; PILGRIM'S STALL - MORNING
Sunlight illuminates the darkened stable, highlighting the
contours of a magnificent HORSE (PILGRIM) in surreal, dream-
like imagery: his legs, his muscles, his sheen, his mane...
his eyes. He shakes his head and stamps his feet. He seems
confined. Eager to run.
INT. STABLES - MORNING
Pilgrim bursts through the stall and runs out the stables
into a blinding white morning.
EXT. AN OPEN FIELD LEADING TO WOODS - BRIGHT MORNING
Whiteness. Snow and sky without any discernible line between.
Camera is POV, as if on the horse, riding through the
whiteness. Snow kicks up from the side. We hear the breathing
of the horse. As we travel on hills, through trees, we
experience of sense of wild, exhilarating freedom.
We hear the giggles of a GIRL (GRACE) on the horse. An
Yeah, fly boy... that's it... go...
END OF DREAM as we CUT TO:
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Grace awakens, calmly. Takes a breath. Slides out of bed and
stands before a window, overlooking a beautiful Connecticut
country house. We see a snow-covered field and distant woods.
Grace presses her faces against the cold, frosted window
eager to get out.
INT. MACLEAN NEW YORK APARTMENT - MORNING
Alarm rings, ANNIE MACLEAN awakens. She shuts the alarm and
scoots up in bed. She waits. Seconds later the television
across the foot of her bed turns on from a timer -- to a CNN
24 NEWS channel.
INT. HALLWAY/ANNIE & ROBERT'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Grace, fully dressed except for her boots, tiptoes past a
partially opened bedroom door. Her father ROBERT is asleep,
alone, on his huge king size bed.
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE KITCHEN - MORNING
Grace is putting on her boots on a bench beside a back door.
She is wearing her mother's outfit. As she slides the boot
on, we see behind her a row of framed photos -- Robert, Grace
and Annie in happy times.
She slaps a note on the refrigerator, with a magnet -- "Gone
riding. Back around 10. Love, G."
EXT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE, BACK ENTRANCE - MORNING
Grace slips on her jacket and hat as she comes down the steps,
her feet hitting the walk...
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - MORNING
Annie's feet hit the ground, running -- her breath showing
in the cold air. She passes other joggers with ease. She
crosses the street and heads for an elegant CPW building.
INT. MACLEAN'S NEW YORK APARTMENT - MORNING
Dressed in running clothes, Annie opens the door and picks
up several newspapers that were delivered. She carries them
into the kitchen and sets them beside a huge stack of
publications, magazines, papers, etc... Knowing she must
read all of them at some point, she breathes a disgusted
sign. She thumbs through the POST as she pours herself a cup
of coffee. Something catches her eyes and she snarls:
That little shit!
She dials a portable phone and moves through the apartment
as she talks:
Hi Lucy?... Did I wake you?... Have
you read the Post?... They've got a
little item about me and Fiske. He's
saying I fired him and that I faked
the new circulation figures... Ha,
ha... Oh, please... It's the last
act of a desperate gnome... Set up a
phone call with Don Farlow for 9:30...
Throughout the phone call, Annie is selecting clothes, turning
on the shower, undressing...
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
The snow has stopped falling. Grace walks along a hill, hands
in pocket. Spread out on the landscape are horses, on a horse
farm, standing like statues in the white covered fields.
As Grace comes along the hill, we see another GIRL (JUDITH)
coming from the opposite direction. She doesn't have Grace's
lean elegance but her warm, friendly smile brightens her
face. Upon reaching her, Grace returns the smile with a hug.
It's warmer than I thought.
You want to go to a movie tonight?
I thought your mom's coming up?
Judith immediately senses a problem so she continues casually,
as they begin walking away from Camera...
My parents are having friends from
college over. They're really nice...
They have this gorgeous son who wants
to be a forest ranger.
Can I come? I'll start a fire...
Judith laughs as they continue talking, their voices trailing
off, as the girls head for the stables.
INT. STABLES, THE DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
There are several horses in their stalls. Grace and Judith
enter, talking, carrying their English saddles. Judith stops
at a stall, disappearing into it as she says "Hello?"...,
Grace continues to the end stall.
Pilgrim (the horse from the dream) stands looking at her.
Hello, beautiful boy.
He's a massive figure beside her but she shows no inhibition.
She enters, touching his muzzle. He plays with her by nudging
Stop... Will you stop!
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
They lead their horses, now saddled and ready, from the barn.
Pilgrim tosses his head, prancing, playing with the snow.
The girls mount the horses and ride off together.
INT. ANNIE'S MAGAZINE OFFICE - MID-MORNING
Annie, casually dressed, enters the empty offices of her
magazine. She turns on the light, revealing a large row of
stalls and glassed in private offices. Everywhere we look,
we see indications of the kind of magazine she edits.
She strolls to her office -- the largest -- surrounded by
windows. The office walls are covered with photos, most of
which are COVER STORIES ON ANNIE.
(One photo is of Annie's father MARTIN. A BRITISH AMBASSADOR
with his young daughter on his lap, her arms affectionately
around his neck. Her mother stands right behind them, posing
like a member of the royal family.)
Annie sits and takes a breath. The only photo on her desk is
a family portrait, taken when Annie was given the Crystal
Award -- Robert, Grace, herself and the Award. She checks
her watch -- it is almost 9:30.
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM/CLOSET - MID-MORNING
A WALK-IN CLOSET of the master bedroom; one side is Annie's,
one side is Robert's.
Robert stands before his bureau in the closet -- he has just
showered and is putting on his watch and ring which lay beside
his cologne assortment. A FRAMED PHOTO OF HE AND ANNIE in
India -- younger, vibrant, in love... when they first met.
THE PHONE RINGS. Robert enters into the bedroom to pick up.
INSERT ANNIE: They speak in dulled, emotionless voices:
So, what, uh, what train are you
I should be in by two.
Okay. You want me to pick you up?
Sure... What's Grace up to?
Riding with Judith.
I'm sorry about last night. I
shouldn't have brought it up over
That's okay. We have to talk about
it and we're not always in the same
place... so... I just have to get
used to it.
What do you want to do about dinner?
I don't know. We'll figure it out.
Pause. There is a lot unspoken but understood between them.
Annie's other phone line rings. Robert hears it as well.
Okay. We'll see you later then.
Annie picks up the other line and her manner brightens, her
DON! My love, how are you? Did you
hear about Fiske?... No, suing is
too civilized. Can't we get your
friend at Le Cirque to serve him a
fatal piece of poached salmon?...
Ha, ha... That's even better...
EXT. CONNECTICUT COUNTRYSIDE - MORNING
LONG SHOT of the girls riding at an easy pacing, talking all
the time. Grace is an elegant rider, quite self-assured for
a 13-year-old... We come into the scene at the moment the
girls have just shared a secret or a fantasy. Judith is
giggling uncontrollably. Grace laughs as she says:
...Oh, come on! You think the same
I just could never say it!
They stop at the end of the field, facing the woods.
Do you want to go around by the old
Why don't we just cut through the
Grace nods. They ride into the woods, continuing their talk.
EXT. WOODS - MORNING
The girls ride down, along a stand of hickories and poplars
to a RIVER. They stop the horses and their conversation, to
listen to the sound of the water. Below them, off in the
distance, they can just make out a two-lane country road.
You want to go down or stay along
We already did the river. Let's go
down and across the old bridge. We
can circle back.
They begin to make their way.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE - MORNING
Annie's office is now crowded with a dozen or so employees;
sitting on the couch, on the window sills, on the arms of
chairs, against the walls... Paper bag emptied of bagels,
cream cheese, orange juice, paper plates...
Hand Held Camera captures the energy of the room as it follows
overlapping lines, laughter, etc... yet, no matter how casual
it all seems, Annie is very much at the center of control...
We enter the scene of LAUGHTER, as Annie asks KEVIN, a feature
...So what did you say to her?
I said, thank you very much...
(LAUGHTER, AD LIBS)
I really should do the interview...
But perhaps if you'd like to have
LAUGHTER... Everyone starts Ad Libbing...
Dinner!!... He's so cute.... Why
don't I get those kind of
interviews?... Look, he has husband
number eight written on his
All right, all right, all right...
Kevin, good job. Write the interview.
If I don't like it, you may have to
sleep with her for a follow-up!
Now... I'm thinking about another
fashion designer spread... Who's
news out there?
Characters shout out designer names and comments as the phone
rings and LUCY picks up... speaking amidst the talking...
The room goes dead quiet, instantly. Then erupts in laughter
as everyone realizes it. Annie, however, waves her hand as
she takes the phone...
Everyone obeys. Annie presses SPEAKER PHONE.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Everyone. Working overtime. Just for
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Did you speak to Farlow?
Yes. We're suing.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Is that absolutely necessary? It'll
just make it a bigger story.
David, he signed an agreement that
he wouldn't talk to the press and
he's libeled me by saying I faked
the figures. You're not going soft
on me, are you?
Silence. Gottschalk doesn't immediately respond. Everyone
waits. Covert looks between characters suggest this is
interesting -- has Annie over-stepped her bounds with the
magazine's owner? Annie waits without a shred of anxiety --
even though she might have some. Finally:
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Well, I suppose we could use another
good public feud...
Everyone silently acknowledges Annie guts and influence.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - MORNING
It's perfectly still. We are looking down an empty TWO-LANE
ROAD covered with fresh snow. We see the girls slowly riding
out of the woods, talking. They cross the road and start up
into the woods on the other side... They are trying to sing
a LIZ PHAIR song, "CHOPSTICKS"
"I met him at a party and he told me
how he like to drive me home... He
said he liked to do it backwards..."
"...I said it --"
"...and I said that"...
No, wait, it just goes... "he said
he liked to do --"...
Suddenly there's the SOUND OF THE METAL OF JUDITH'S HORSE
scraping on some sheer ice hidden under the soft snow. Judith
What was --
The horse staggers... Judith looks to Grace --
The horse tries to find tracing with his hindfeet, kicking
up sprays of snow and ice shards. The horse suddenly falls
on the ice and goes down hard on its knees...
The horse stumbles to get back on its feet, slipping again.
Frightened, it rears and Judith, caught off balance, is
thrown, her foot catching in the stirrup...
Her horse, unable to find its balance, starts to slide
backward down the incline.
PILGRIM, COME ON! MOVE!
Grace, directly behind Judith, tries to turn Pilgrim to avoid
being hit by the errant horse.
What follows, we see from Grace's perspective. The details
that form the images and sounds of Grace's mind are fast,
disembodied, almost surreal as --
Judith's horse bulldozes into Pilgrim, taking his legs out
from under him, sending both horses careening down the icy
slope. Grace hangs onto Pilgrim's neck. Judith, her leg
helplessly tangled in the stirrup, is dragged, her head
bouncing on the frozen ground.
They slide all the way back down to the COUNTRY ROAD. Pilgrim
is the first to find his legs and stand. Grace manages to
sit up in the saddle. She sees Judith's horse stumbling back
onto its feet, one of his legs broken at the ankles, walking
in confused circles, dragging Judith -- her face bleeding,
her leg hanging from the stirrup.
Jude, you okay?
I'm okay... I'm okay.
She tries to extricate her leg from the stirrup.
Grace sees it before she hears it. A GLINT off of steel. We
then hear the rumbling SOUND of a TRUCK coming around the
bend... The Girls on their horses in the middle of the road...
The Truck, an 18 wheeler carrying logging equipment, comes
around the turn... Grace grabs the bridle, trying to get
Judith's horse out of the road... The driver, seeing them,
lays on the air horn. The Horses bolt at the sound, the bridle
slipping out of Grace's hand...
...The horses turn apart. The Driver starts furiously
downshifting, trying to brake... He seems to get it under
control when suddenly THE TRUCK SKIDS on some ice. It begins
to slide, out of control, the truck bed and the cab jack-
knifing. The truck literally plows over the helpless Judith
and her horse -- the horse going down on the pavement, Judith
disappearing under him. The truck's cab, like a mythic
monster, heads right for Grace and Pilgrim... Grace looks
right into the Driver's helpless, frightened eyes... Suddenly,
Pilgrim rears up at the truck, sending Grace flying, bouncing
her off the pavement and under the wheel of the truck.
Pilgrim instinctively jumps onto the hood of the truck, his
hooves caught between the rear-view mirrors like some
grotesque ornament. His head and chest slams into the window,
shattering through the glass.
And then it is still.
The truck has stopped halfway in the road. Judith's horse
lies in the road, motionless. Pilgrim, on the truck's hood,
his legs splayed, stuck, his head and chest, bleeding. He
shrieks, struggling to get to his feet. He manages to free
his legs and, stepping off the cab onto the road, walks off,
wounded, in pain, into the sanctuary of the woods...
The Driver stumbles out of the cab, his head bleeding, in
shock. He sits on the ground. All we hear is the sound of
the river and the wind in the trees.
Grace, halfway under the truck, frozen, stares up at the
beautiful morning sky.
WE HEAR THE SOUND OF A HELICOPTER...
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE/KITCHEN - LATER MORNING
ANGLE ON GRACE'S NOTE on the refrigerator as Robert enters
from the outside with two bags of groceries. He places them
on the counter near the PHONE MACHINE. He sees ONE MESSAGE
is there. He presses PLAY as he puts away the groceries.
A BEAT LATER the PHONE RINGS and he picks up, with the machine
Hello? Paul, hi -- are you guys back?
How was it? Oh that sounds great. Oh
Paul.. hold on...
Robert! Are you there?... Robert!
It's Liz!... Look, there's... there's
been an accident... Uh... Jesus...
As Robert listens, the voice of Liz's on the machine from
inside, pulls his attention. On hearing "accident," Robert
lowers the receiver, frozen, as he listens to Liz...
Robert, just call me on my call
EXT. THE WOODS - LATE MORNING
Pilgrim is hiding in the shadows under an old railroad bridge,
standing up to his knees in the river. His chest is cut open,
bleeding. His face cut, contorted and swollen. LIZ HAMMOND,
the local veterinarian, hides a hypodermic needle in her
jacket, quietly walking into the water.
A Policeman is going into the water downstream from Pilgrim,
whose chest is heaving, blood drips into the water. He watches
Liz. She is almost to him when suddenly he bolts, running
The Policeman behind him shouts and waves his arm. Frightened,
Pilgrim wheels back toward Liz, who manages to stick the
hypo in his neck. He rears, knocking her down, then runs out
of the river, the hypo still in his neck. He runs for the
sanctuary of the woods.
INT. TRAIN - LATE MORNING
Annie sits on a train -- her laptop out, notes beside her,
her cellular phone, ever-ready. The train passes through
beautiful countryside but Annie is focused on an editorial
The train pulls into a station and stops, causing Annie to
take a break and stretch her arms and neck. She looks out
the window for the first time and sees:
A MAN, his hands in his pockets, waiting on the platform.
She watches as the Man holds out his arms to his two young
children, who are getting off the train. He picks them up as
his wife enters the scene, kissing him and wrapping her arm
around his waist. The children talk a mile a minute and the
father listens to every word.
Annie doesn't even realize she is staring. As they leave the
platform, she turns back to her laptop. As the train begins
to move again, Annie returns to work.
HER CELLULAR PHONE RINGS. She answers.
Yeah?... Hi. I made the 1:00 so...
The expression on her face sinks into a stunned panic.
INT. HOSPITAL, CONNECTICUT - DAY
Annie is running through the corridors, her bags in tow. She
sees Robert standing in the corridor talking to a DOCTOR.
She runs for them.
When she appears, Robert and the Doctor stop their
conversation. Robert looks to Annie, who is waiting for news.
Robert is teary eyed, beaten down.
Annie's horrified, waiting for news of Grace.
What about Grace?
She was in pretty bad shape. They've
done a C.A.T. Scan -- she has some
But nothing we can't handle...
Where is she now?
Surgery! For what?
Annie, her leg was shattered -- what
they call the distal epi.. epi..
Distal epicondyle of the femur...
They have to take the leg off.
Annie responds without tears and cries but with a quiet shock.
We can tell her mind is racing, trying to process the
information, until finally she asks:
The Doctor and Robert are surprised by the question.
What difference does it make?
Annie stares for a beat, then nods apologetically.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
Pilgrim is sedated, lying in his own blood in the snow,
surrounded by Police and trackers. He is being attended to
by LIZ HAMMOND, who is dictating to her assistant:
...His skull, cheek, and nose are
severely fractured. He has a deep
chest wound. I'm not even sure it
can be closed.
(deadpan, local accent)
Animal should be put down -- anybody
can see that.
Liz looks up to him, resentfully, but knows he's right.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
Camera moves from Grace's face down her body to Robert's
hand, which rubs her good leg. He looks at her lovingly,
pushing the hair from her forehead.
Annie, needing to do something, tenderly straightens Grace's
blankets. It is plain to see where her leg had once been.
Robert can't look. Annie, one to face her fears, bravely
looks at it head on. She notices the I.V. Bag and rises on:
That bag's almost empty.
No, it's got a little left. They'll
be in to change it.
(as she exits)
Robert, you leave it up these
Robert is about to respond but Annie is already out the door.
We hear the O.S. DIALOGUE as Robert listens.
Excuse me, my daughter needs a new
We have her down, we'll be right in.
I'd like it taken care of now please.
Annie enters first.
You have to keep on top of these
people or else they just sit on their --
But Robert is ignoring her. Facing Grace, smoothing away her
hair. He's giving her the silent treatment. Annie knows this
means Robert doesn't approve of her dictatorial behavior.
Annoyed, she turns away as well.
The Nurse enters with a new bag and begins to replace the
old one as Robert backs away.
Tch. What are you --
Annie, about to respond to his inappropriate politeness, is
stopped by Robert, who finally looks at her. It's a powerful
look that tells her to calm down and shut up. It's a look
that, for all of Robert's sensitivity, affects Annie. She
gets the message and stays calm.
As the nurse leaves, Annie is about to say thank you, but
Robert beats her to it.
Annie and Robert stand facing each other, when the PHONE
Annie picks up.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
LIZ HAMMOND on a cellular, walking away from the crowd.
Annie, it's Liz. How's Grace?
Her leg was shattered so they had
to, uh... remove it. She had some
bleeding but it's under control.
Oh God, Annie, I'm so sorry. I... I
know you're being hit with a low
now, I don't want to take too much
of your time but I have to talk to
you about Pilgrim.
Annie hears the name as if it's some distant echo she can't
quite identify; Liz speaks quickly as Annie watches Grace
breathing in her sleep --
It's not good. I've never seen an
animal with these injuries still
breathing. I know this is difficult
to hear right now I'd like your
permission to put him down. It's the
really best thing we can do for --
That was too much information for Annie;
Wait, uh, I, I don't understand.
Start again -- He's alive...
Yes, but he's in a tremendous pain...
Well, of course, right...
What is it?
We really shouldn't wait...
Hold on, Liz...
Something about Pilgrim...
The Doctor pokes his head in.
Mr. and Mrs. MacLean...
-- put him down. She says...
(overlapping, to Doctor)
Tell her you'll call her back.
He exits with the Doctor.
Liz, listen, the Doctor's here and I
just can't, uh... talk now... so --
I understand, but Annie, please...
See, what you can do for him...
Annie, no matter what I do, this
horse will never be the same.
...I just don't know right now! Do
whatever you can and when Grace is --
It isn't right to make him suffer...
And I can say the same thing about
my daughter! But she is suffering!
Can you solve that problem!
(Liz is quiet)
I can't deal with this now, Liz! If
you need a yes or no right now, then
no -- don't do it! Not until I know
Grace is all right. Now, please!
Just do what you can. Okay?
Liz is stopped by Annie's almost pleading tone.
They hang up. Annie takes a breath. Robert re-enters.
What did he say?
Nothing new. He's just going off
I'm going to get all the nurses'
names... It's good to know all their
Robert nods. But neither of them moves. They stand motionless
for a beat, then Annie begins to break down and eases herself
into Robert's arms.
Robert embraces her, kissing her head, with an almost fatherly
comfort. His expression tells us it's the moment he's been
expecting... and wanting. Now she'll be all right, in his
Whatever distance between them, whatever problems felt
insurmountable last night on the phone, are now, for the
moment -- for Robert -- gone.
But Annie's expression tells us something different. Her
instinct to hold him was honest... but the effect isn't the
same anymore. Something doesn't feel right. Something isn't
working anymore about his comforting embrace.
I should go get some of her things.
No, let me go.
(gently pushing away)
No, I'll go. You stay... In case she
INT. THE UNIVERSITY ANIMAL HOSPITAL, RECOVERY STALLS - NIGHT
A line of recovery stalls with various sick and hurt animals.
Liz, exhausted asleep, on a chair outside a stall. There's a
slight scratching sound. A hoof against the stall. It gets
louder, awakening Liz. She gets up and looks inside the
Pilgrim is lying in the stall, heavily bandaged. He is waking
up. His first instinct is to kick at the paddled stall walls.
He looks at Liz, his eyes filled with madness -- enraged to
still be alive.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM IN FARMHOUSE - NIGHT
Annie opens the door and enters, flicking on the light.
Camera is on her back, as she places a small suitcase on the
bed and opens it. She begins her task with cool efficiency.
Opening drawers and closets, assessing what should be taken,
what isn't necessary.
Suddenly, she stops. She feels disoriented for a moment. She
can't remember the last time she was inside this room. She
takes a moment to pause and actually look around.
In the light, we now see more of Grace's inner sanctum. Horse
riding prize ribbons in various colors adorn the walls.
Books. A girl's bureau cluttered with teenage possession
ranging from childhood toys to items that suggest a reaching
towards adulthood. Annie examines some items, affectionately.
A GOOD LUCK CHARM from India sits among her things. Annie
takes it to pack in the suitcase.
She notices a framed 8X10 of Grace sitting proudly atop
Pilgrim with Judith at her heel. She then notices the edge
of another picture behind this one, in the frame. She pulls
the Pilgrim photo out to reveal: An old 8X10 of Annie hugging
Grace as a toddler. With her back to Camera, Annie remembers:
INT. GRACE'S ROOM - A DAY REMEMBERED
Annie is playing with toddler Grace. Chasing her around the
room. Picking her and tossing her onto a small, toddler bed.
Blowing into her stomach. Grace is laughing uncontrollably.
END OF MEMORY
Annie slides the Pilgrim picture back into the frame, then
returns to her task of packing.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Annie enters. No one else is there. She places the suitcase
on a chair and opens it. She takes out the INDIAN LUCKY CHARM
and some horse books, and places them on her bedside table.
She takes care to prop up the Lucky Charm.
She wets a cloth with some water from a pitcher and gently
wipes Grace's sweaty brow... INSERT VISUAL FLASHBACK HERE,
instead of in Country House.
Annie then continues unpacking the suitcase. She opens Grace's
closet and sees a hospital bag filled with Grace's clothes
at the time of the accident. Annie examines them and discovers
they are hers. Annie shoves the clothes into a bag and starts
INT. HOSPITAL CAFETERIA - PRE-DAWN
The clock is ticking on the wall. The cafeteria is empty
except for one tired Intern, drinking coffee on a break.
Robert and Annie are having a cup of coffee. In the silence,
they search for things to say. Until:
I saw Judith's parents while you
were at the apartment...
I wanted to say something...
But I... I was so relieved that Grace
was still... that it wasn't our
We're very lucky.
The funeral's on Friday.
He rises and crosses to the self-help coffee dispenser as he
Oh, uh, I meant to tell you... Alex
brought that fabric over...
It's on the table by the phone. I
didn't know what to tell him...
(returns to table,
...Whether or not we were...
...if we still we're thinking of
redoing the couch.
Annie just nods. She senses Robert is looking for some kind
of reassurance, but she can't give it to him. He continues;
...And uh... Mario called about moving
Oh. Right. I'll call him.
Pause. Annie looks at her husband as he stares off to the
side, deep in his thoughts. She can sense he's sinking as he
fidgets with the napkins. She remembers:
INT. A SMALLER APARTMENT, KITCHEN - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
A younger Annie stands in a bathrobe, noticeably pregnant,
cooking at a stove -- reading instructions from a propped up
cookbook. FRANK SINATRA IS BLASTING as she sings along, in
full voice, without inhibitions;
"SHE'S LOVES THE THEATRE BUT NEVER
COMES LATE... SHE NEVER BOTHERS WITH
PEOPLE SHE HATES... THAT'S WHY THE
LADY IS A TRAMP!..."
A younger Robert, wearing a suit, arrives home from work.
Seeing her, he smiles affectionately. He puts down his
briefcase and bursts into his own playful Sinatra
"She loves the free..."
Startled, Annie turns around and smiles:
(sexily undoing his
"...FRESH, WIND IN HER HAIR... LIFE
WITHOUT CARE... SHE'S BROKE... BUT
(a la fan)
Sing it to me, Frankie!
(a la Sinatra cool)
How's my pregnant chick!
She moves to him and they embrace... He wraps his arms around
her. They kiss. Annie laughs.
You can hardly get your arms around
me. How depressing. You're so early.
I had to excuse myself from a meeting.
It's ridiculous. I kept thinking
about the baby... you... and, I swear,
I was going to start bawling right
into my briefs.
Aw... that's so sweet.
I love you.
Do you? Do you really?
They turn to each other and kiss.
END OF MEMORY.
INT. HOSPITAL CAFETERIA - PRE-DAWN
Annie and Robert sit silently at the table in an empty
hospital cafeteria, a lifetime later.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAYBREAK
The room's lights are dimmed. Dawn is being to break through.
Grace, slowly, opens her eyes coming out of sedation. She
takes a moment to figure out where she is... to remember.
She uses her hands to hoist herself up, but she's unsteady
and knocks into her bedside table -- knocking the Good Luck
Charm from India off the table. It rolls under the bed, with
a water tumbler. Grace never sees the Charm.
Grace looks where her leg once was. She feels the blanket,
the empty space where her leg once was... just like her mother
did (did her father couldn't). Instead of self-pity, she's
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Daylight pours in. Robert and Annie enter. Robert, loaded
with gifts, immediately crosses to Grace, on the side of her
good leg. Annie takes her position beside the lost leg.
Robert kisses his daughter;
Annie's hand finds Grace's hand, and holds one of her fingers
tightly. Grace responds by wrapping her hand around her
mother's. They exchange a look of respect and gratitude.
Have you heard from Judith's parents?
No, not yet.
How's Pilgrim doing?
Liz is taking care of him.
(to change the subject)
The doctor said the sooner you start
therapy the better the chances are
you can --
I can't even get out of bed yet!
You're already putting me in therapy!!
Annie, slightly hurt, drops it as Robert takes over:
The doctor said whenever you're ready.
Take your time. You tell us... But
he thinks it'll only be a few months,
As Robert continues talking, Annie drifts to the Nurse.
Needing to manage something, she asks:
Did you get her fresh towels?
SOME TIME LATER:
EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
A limousine drives up as the Doorman gets the car door. The
weather is slightly warmer. People's clothing looks as if
spring is coming nearer.
Annie exits first, carrying a jacket for Grace. She is
followed by Robert, who immediately turns to help Grace. We
hear her O.S.
Dad! I can do it, OK?!
Annie shoots him a disapproving look.
We see Grace's good leg exit first... then two crutches,
followed by... a PROSTHETIC LEG. Grace scoots into view, and
takes a breath.
You all go ahead. I'll be up by
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
The three sit at a dinner table, eating dinner. Grace picks
at her food. Robert can't help staring at her. Annie eats,
watching them both.
Do you want something else, honey?
We order something else?
No, I'm just not that hungry.
Why don't you go lie down?
I don't want to lie down. I've been
lying down enough.
You want to watch some television?
Maybe... look -- just...
Robert and Annie wait. She doesn't continue. She rises,
reaching for her crutches. Robert moves to help.
I got it! I got it!
She exits into her room. Annie looks at him disapprovingly.
INT. ANNIE AND ROBERT'S BATHROOM/BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie and Robert stand before their separate sinks, talking
to each other through their separate mirrors, as they wash
up for bed.
You've got to stop doing that?
Helping all the time! Running to her
every time she trips or falls...
Anticipating her all the time.
Robert shuts off his sink and dries his face, without a word.
He exits into the bedroom, and gets into bed. For a beat, he
stares up at the ceiling -- then says quite plainly.
You know, Annie, this didn't just
happen to you.
Annie is applying moisturizer when she hears this. As it
sinks in, she doesn't like it.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Grace stands by her door and can hear her parents muffled,
tense voices. Annie is angry at his complacency. Robert just
wants what's best for Grace. She closes the door. Silence.
She puts her crutches against the wall and tries to walk
towards her bureau without them. It is a struggle, but she
does... almost falling, but grabbing the bureau just in time.
The 8X10 of her and Pilgrim, falls face down. She props it
up and looks at it -- focusing on her horse, then on Judith.
Suddenly, she lashes out, knocking the photograph onto the
Honey, you all right? Did something
EXT. GRACE'S PRIVATE SCHOOL - MORNING
Annie pulls up in a Range Rover and stops. Grace moves for
the door. Annie asks respectfully;
Do you want any help?
Grace doesn't even bother to answer. She manages to get onto
the pavements, then turns for her bag...
Annie notices other kids looking at Grace from behind, as
they enter the school.
Dad'll pick you up today, all right?
Grace looks up to her mother. What is unspoken between them
is the understanding that today will be difficult and there's
nothing either one can do about it.
You'll be fine.
Grace nods and turns to the school. Annie watches her go.
INT. GRACE'S SCHOOL - MORNING
Grace makes her way through the hall. It is the first time
she has had to maneuver through a crowd. Some of the younger
children are especially unconscious. Grace sweats her way
through, trying to maintain her balance and her sanity.
As Grace slowly moves along, whatever small faith she had
that she could get through this day, begins to diminish.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE - DAY
Annie moves about the office, hands in pocket, in front of
her wall of windows. LUCY and her staff sitting around the
office. Annie is speaking to a YOUNG WOMAN staff member;
I don't care what he told you! The
man's a liar! The man's an actor,
for Christ's sake. They're all liars!
They'll say anything to get a cover...
The Young Woman looks insulted. AN ASSISTANT comes in to
give Annie a note;
EXT. GRACE'S SCHOOL - DAY
Annie is crossing an empty school yard. Grace is sitting on
the ground, her back against a wall, her "legs" in front of
her. She has been crying. She looks up to her mother.
It's too hard.
Annie kneels before her sympathetically brushing her hair
Oh, honey... What happened?
Doesn't matter. I... I don't want to
come back, that's all.
Oh. Well, what are you going to do?
You have to go to school, honey. I
mean, what --
I'm not coming back! That's it! I
want to go home!
Grace, listen to me. Your body is
just healing. You have to give the
rest of you time as well...
Is that your version of a pep talk?
You are not staying home all day
feeling sorry for yourself. You're
going to get up and you're going to
figure this out.
It's still early. What's your next
With secret delight, Grace viciously utters the word:
INT. ANNIE AND ROBERT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie is at her desk studying Grace's book on Horse
Robert is on his bed with briefs laid out before him.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT
The door is closed. A SONG blares on her stereo. Grace is in
her bed watching a video of her and Pilgrim... riding at a
horse show. There's a shot of Annie standing proudly, watching
her ride. Another shot of her and Judith, both of them on
their horses, waving to camera.
INT. BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT
Both Robert and Annie look up.
I want to see Pilgrim.
Robert and Annie exchange an anxious look.
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM, CONNECTICUT - DAY
It's raining. The MacLean car is parked by the barn. They
are walking towards the stables under their umbrellas as Liz
runs to greet them.
It's so good to see you. How ya doing?
She's doing just great. Aren't you
Well, come on. He's out back now...
Mind how you go. It's pretty muddy
Why is he in the back? Why isn't he
in the barn with the other horses?
Liz stops, causing everyone to stop. She turns to face Grace,
realizing she doesn't know. She looks at Robert and Annie,
accusingly. She tries to explain:
Well, Grace, you see... Pilgrim
just... isn't the same horse he used
(to the parents)
As a matter of fact, maybe now's not
the best time to --
I really want to see him.
Liz looks at Annie. Annie nods. Liz leads them on.
They reach a row of empty old stalls. They cross to one of
the stalls -- its doors are closed. Liz draws back the bolt
on top half of the door.
There is an immediate explosion of sound inside the stall,
the sound of fear, startling them. Then it's still. Liz slowly
opens the door. Grace, with the aide of her cane, walks to
the stall. She hesitates, then looks in. It takes a moment
for her eyes to grow accustomed to the dark. She sees Pilgrim
with his head down in the shadows...
Hello, beautiful boy...
He lifts his head at the sound of her voice. Grace, and the
audience, see him for the first time -- His mad eyes, his
Grace cries out, stepping backwards, nearly stumbling in the
mud... What is left of her horse are gone. Annie realizes
what's happened and, together with Robert, rush to her...
They too see the monster Pilgrim has become and are horrified.
Grace angrily pushes away from them and "runs" off. Robert
goes after her.
Annie is standing in the rain with Liz -- her eyes unable to
move away from the sight of Pilgrim.
You should have told her, Annie. I
tried to explain to you how bad it
was... I guess you had to see it.
But, there's nothing to be done.
This animal's beyond help. Annie,
can I have your permission now to
put him down?
Annie stands in the rain, hands in pocket, fixed on Pilgrim
and more determined than ever;
EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Alone in her study, Annie sits before her computer searching
the Internet for information on HORSES -- Veterinarian
Journals, Therapies, Accidents, Histories... We sense she's
been at it a while...
She locates an ITEM TITLE -- HORSE WHISPERERS. Interested,
she brings it up on the screen.
INT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - NIGHT
Annie sits in the huge reading room, books spread out before
her, under a green reading lamp. Her voice tells us what
"It was in America that horses first
In the books, we see pictures, lithographs, paintings and
"A million years before the birth of
man, they grazed the vast empty plains
of grass and crossed to other
continents over bridges of rocks...
They first knew man as the hunted
knows the hunter, for long before
man saw horses as a means to killing
other beasts, man killed them for
ANNIE'S V.O. CONTINUES OVER;
INT. PILGRIM'S STALL - NIGHT
"...The alliance with man would
forever be fragile -- for the fear
he'd struck into their hearts was
too deep to be dislodged... Since
that Neolithic moment when a horse
was first haltered, there were those
among men who understood this..."
INT. GRACE'S ROOM - NIGHT
Grace sits alone in her darkened room, staring out the window
but not looking at anything. There's a discomforting distance
in her expression.
"...They could see into the creature's
soul and soothe the wounds they found
EXT. A FAIRGROUNDS PARKING LOT, CALIFORNIA - DAY
A hot, dusty fairgrounds horse arena. The worn wooden
bleachers, crowded. Lines of cars and pick-up trucks.
"...For secrets uttered softly into
troubled ears, these men were known
as The Whisperers..."
One particular pick-up truck has its back door opened. A
MAN'S LEG is sticking out, putting on a pair of boots.
A moment later the Man gets out of the car. Holding a cowboy
hat, he has a certain quality, a self-respect, that men who
know themselves seem to have. TOM BOOKER.
A weathered redheaded woman named RONA -- late forties,
strong, wiry horsewoman's build -- is walking towards him.
Hey, Rona. Sorry I'm late.
I wouldn't know what to do if you
were on time.
They walk together towards the fairgrounds.
You're looking fit.
Fit? You want to check my teeth.
Good crowd today. I think you'll
have some fun. You going to stay for
If it's not too much trouble, I
thought I might.
Kind of trouble I'm in the mood for.
Oh-oh... Maybe I better get back in
Rona lets out a hearty laugh as they enter the horse arena.
EXT. HORSE ARENA, CALIFORNIA - DAY
Inside the corral, a small black thoroughbred is being worked
by Tom. As he rides and narrates into a radio microphone to
the crowd, we sense this is a man of good humor and great
skill -- guileless, sensible, of the earth.
...It's always kind of interesting
to hear the horse's side of the
The crowd laughs warmly. He directs his comments to a WOMAN
wearing an expensive Ralph Lauren western outfit, standing
outside the corral...
Now if he was cranky or lazy, like
you say he is, we'd be seeing his
tail twitching there and his ears
back, maybe. But this isn't a cranky
horse, it's a scared horse. You see
how braced he is up around the neck
back there. He just doesn't know
which way to turn...
The Woman nods. Tom turns the horse on a dime so that he
always stays facing the circling thoroughbred...
You see how he keeps pointing his
hindquarters in at me? Well, I'd
guess the reason he seems reluctant
to move out is because when he does,
he gets in trouble for it.
He's not good at transitions, you
know? When I want him to move from a
trot to a lope, say...
Well, I'm sure that's what you think
but that's not what I'm seeing. You
may think you're asking for a lope,
but your body may be saying something
else altogether. You might be putting
too many conditions on him. For
instance, you might be saying "GO,
but, hey, don't go too fast." He can
tell that from the way you feel.
Your body can't lie. You ever give
him a kick to make him move out?
He won't go unless I do.
And then he goes and you feel like
he's going too fast, so you yank him
And next thing you know, he's bucking.
(she nods again)
Well, if someone told you to go,
stop, go, stop -- you'd buck too.
The people laugh. The Woman smiles self-consciously.
It's a dance, see... Somebody has to
lead and somebody has to follow.
Tom gracefully moves his horse around the ring, "dancing".
He then takes up a long coiled rope and throws it so that
the coils slap against the black horse's flank, making it
burst into a lope. And again... Making the animal go from a
trot to a lope, letting it slow, then up to a lope again.
I want him to get so he can leave
real soft. He's getting the idea
now. He's not all braced up and tense
like he was at the start. He's finding
out it's okay.
He throws the rope again and this time the transition to the
lope is a smooth one.
You see that? He's getting better
already. Pretty soon, if you work at
it, you'll be able to make all these
transitions easy on a loose rein.
(sotto voce, wry)
Yeah, and pigs'll fly.
He's going to be okay -- so long as
you don't go yanking on him.
She nods, but he can see she's upset, feeling foolish. He
walks the horse over to her, turns off the microphone and
Look, the truth is it's all about
self-preservation. These animals...
(with great affection)
...well, they just have such big
hearts, you know? There's nothing
they want more than to do what you
want them to do. But when the messages
get all confused, the only thing
they know to do is try and save
themselves... Now, why don't you go
saddle up and see what happens.
Feeling better, and not a little attracted to his heartfelt
man's man, the Woman smiles and reaches for his hand to climb
over the rail. Her horse lets her come right up to him and
stroke his neck. Tom comments;
They won't ever hold a thing against
you. They're the most forgiving
creatures God ever made.
Turning on his mike and turning back to the crowd, he says:
Okay, who's next?
A Young Boy leads a mule into the ring. Tom smiles:
Now God has another idea entirely
with the mule.
EXT. THE FAIRGROUNDS - LATER THAT DAY
Tom has finished his "show." People are shaking his hand,
thanking him, as he walks away from the corral, towards a
The Woman in the Ralph Lauren approaches:
He faces the Woman:
Hi. I'm Dale. I just wanted to -- I
can't get over the way he felt under
me after you'd finish with him.
Everything had just, I don't know,
freed up or something.
The Woman is flirting. Tom shrugs, uncomfortably;
Well, that'll happen.
Where did you learn all this stuff?
What stuff is that?
About horses? I'd love to learn more
about it myself. Do you offer any
private lessons for riders?
(getting the message)
Well... Dale... you know, a lot of
this stuff... it's just... nuts and
What do you mean?
Well, if the rider's nuts, the horse
That's the whole lesson right there.
You have a good day now... Just...
keep on freeing yourself up.
He leaves her, entering the trailer.
INT. RONA'S TRAILER - NIGHT
A small, well-used trailer. Tom and Rona are finishing dinner
like comfortable old friends. Rona rises, taking the plates
into the kitchen and starts rinsing them:
Oh I clear forget. You had a call
from some woman in New York. She
sounded pretty wound up.
I don't any woman in New York. But
from what I hear, most of them are
The number's by the phone.
He nods but doesn't move. He just looks at Rona and smiles.
She's a good woman. But Tom hopes she doesn't want anymore
than what they have together. Rona notices him looking and
What are you looking at, young man?
How long were you married?
You ever miss it?
Does a horse miss a saddle?
She chuckles, shuts the water off and crosses back to him,
sitting beside him.
Well as a matter of fact, I don't...
most of the time.
She starts unbuttoning his shirt.
You know, Rona, we weren't all that
good together even when we were good
Honey... I was always good.
Tom smiles as Rona leans in. They kiss.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE, N.Y.C. - MORNING
Annie is looking over a magazine cover with Lucy and her
She is unhappy.
You know it's perfectly shot, it's
perfectly cropped, it's perfectly
laid out and I'm so bloody bored,
I'd rather buy a Motor Racing magazine --
Some general whines and groans as her assistant hands her a
Uh, would you all excuse me a moment?
She waits for them to leave as she sits before the phone.
One of her lines is lit:
EXT. A ROADSIDE SERVICE STATION SOMEWHERE IN UTAH - DAY
An endless sky. An empty ribbon of two-lane highway in Utah.
A small roadside station. Tom's pick-up truck, his horse
trailer hitched to it, getting gas.
Tom is on the pay phone. We hear Annie's voice:
This is Annie MacLean.
Yeah. Hello. This is Tom Booker. I
got a message you called.
INTERCUT ANNIE IN HER OFFICE:
Oh! Yes. Thank you for calling back.
Uh, all right, let me try to explain
my situation as briefly as possible...
You see, my daughter had an accident
with her horse... They were both
injured and she, my daughter, she
hasn't been able to... fully... uh...
It was an extremely traumatic
experience... and uh...
Tom, sensing her turmoil, listening compassionately.
I went on the Internet and found
this article about you... It says
you're a Horse Whisperer, that you...
you help people with horse problems.
And you have quite a success rate
when it comes to traumatized --
Well, see, truth is, ma'am, I help
horses with people's problems.
Well, you know, however you want to
put it -- I got your information
from the publisher of the article. I
called Montana and your sister-in-
law, I think, gave me this number.
(trying to be charming)
I've been hot on your trail you could
say because I was hoping you'd
consider coming to New York and taking
a look at my daughter's horse and
Ma'am, I'm very sorry about your
problems and I appreciate what your
daughter must be going through, but
I'm afraid you've misunderstood
whatever it is you read. I don't do
that sort of thing.
Well, if you could just come for the
day. New York's only a few hours by
plane, I'd have you home by dinner...
Look, even if it was nearer, that's
just not what I do. I give clinics.
And I'm not even doing them for a
while. I'm heading back to Montana
right now. I got a ranch to take
I'll pay you for your fare. I'll
send you to Montana first class.
Ma'am, first class to Montana is a
waste of good money. Now, am I being
too polite here or when I say NO in
Utah, does that mean YES in New York
Annie is taken aback. Tom feels badly.
I, I don't mean to sound insensitive.
I understand your situation. But
there's nothing I can do. You just
called the wrong person, that's all.
I hear there are a bunch of therapists
in New York. Maybe you should call
one of them.
Mr. Booker, if I could just ex --
I am very sorry, ma'am. Goodbye now.
He hangs up before Annie can continue.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie reaches for Grace's bedroom door, then pauses. She
realizes she should knock. She does and whispers:
Grace, it's mom.
Annie slowly opens the door. She finds Grace's bed empty.
She looks over to the window to find Grace sitting in a chair,
in the dark, looking out the window.
Grace. What are you doing?
Not looking up, Grace speaks in a hollow voice.
I can't find that charm Daddy gave
me from India.
I brought it to you in the hospital.
No, you didn't.
Grace, I put it on the table near
Have you decided about Pilgrim?
What about him?
Well... how you feel all right about
telling Liz to put him down...
I think we should. It's not fair to
let him suffer. He's not much use
anymore. He'd hate living like that.
I think that's... very compassionate
and... mature way of looking at it.
Maybe they should put me down too.
I mean, I'm not much use anymore.
Why can't they be compassionate to
What frightens Annie most is the calm and apathy in Grace's
voice. She's surrendering... Annie, for the first time in a
long time, feels she's losing control.
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Annie sits alone at the kitchen table, nursing a glass of
Robert enters and sits opposite her, wearing a tuxedo -- his
tie and collar undone.
How was the dinner?
All our "favorite" people were there
saying all their "favorite" things
about their "favorite" subjects. I
thought to myself, we've been friends
with these people almost twenty years
and nobody knows anybody. We're so
afraid we won't like each other and
have nobody go to dinners with.
Why did you go?
They're still our friends, Annie.
It's nothing serious. You kid about
them all the time... And I could
tell Paul really appreciated me being
He drinks Annie's wine as she looks at him.
Did you get a hold of that horse
What did he say?
Robert nods. Accepting. Silence. Annie sips her wine. Then:
I was thinking... Maybe we should
think about the three of us going
someplace warm... Remember that house
we rented in Bermuda... The pink one
with the --
His arm accidentally spills the wine.
As he bends down to wipe it up with a napkin, Annie watches
Robert clean the spill. Something about his movements, his
posture -- a sense of weakness, of surrendering, of not having
the inclination to fight, of just accepting and smoothing
over the rough sports -- strikes her hard. Annie realizes
the love she feels for Robert isn't fading. It's gone.
He finishes cleaning and sits.
What was I saying?
About us going someplace warm...
Someplace Grace'll have to wear shorts
or bathing suits or summer dresses...
Robert looks at her and realizes it's a bad idea. He nods,
again, getting the message. Silence. In that silence, Annie
looks at him... and makes a decision:
Robert, I want to take Pilgrim out
to Mr. Booker. Drive him out to
Montana... With Grace.
Robert is confused... and a little worried.
I don't understand. You just said he
He did, but... I think I can change
That's the craziest thing I ever
heard. Absolutely not.
Robert, Grace isn't adjusting to
school. And she can't sit in this
apartment all day... I think it would
be good for her.
(at a loss)
NO! What are you -- you're serious
I've called Liz. They can set me up
with a trailer for Pilgrim. I thought
we'd stay at motels along the way...
You've already made arrangements!?
No. I was just researching. Calm
I come home and you tell me we're
going to drive a psychotic horse to
Montana! I can't just pick up and
I'm not asking you to. I'll do it.
You want to do this by yourself?
How? You can't take care of Pilgrim
all the --
He'll be sedated. I know horses,
Robert. I'm the one who taught Grace
how to ride.
What... No... What about the magazine?
I'm in charge. I went back very soon
after the accident. They didn't expect
me for a couple of months. I'll just
take that time now... I can still
oversee things from Montana... Take
my fax... My computer...
Beat. Robert fears this is about the marriage. Yet --
No. It's, uh... No, I really don't
think it's a good idea
Her psychiatrist... said... she needs
security now... stability...
I can't say he's been all that
effective with her.
Are you a psychiatrist? He said it
I don't care what he says! We have
to do something, Robert! I can't sit
here and trust everything's going to
work out just by pretending it will.
I'm not pretending anything!
Beat. Robert just stares at her. He looks concerned... almost
worried. Annie gets uncomfortable.
It is very difficult for Robert to say;
I thought... well, ever since the
accident, I just thought we...
He stops. Annie knows where he headed and prays to God he
doesn't continue. He doesn't. A thick silence hangs between
I really wish I could understand why
you think this is so necessary.
Robert, we're losing her. We're losing
I don't care what the doctors say.
The truth is, they don't know anymore
than we do -- less, when it comes to
Grace... This may not sound sensible
or... logical, but nobody's suggesting
anything better. I can't explain it,
Robert. I just have this feeling...
this annoying... bloody feeling that
if... if, somehow, Pilgrim can be
made all right... then so can Grace.
I just know it!
Robert can feel the strength of her will. He can find no way
What if she doesn't want to go?
She will if you think she should.
And you think it's best if I don't
No, that's not what I said. I'm not
a dictator. If you feel you should
come, then come. Just do whatever
you think is right.
At some moment, they realize Grace is standing at the entrance
to the kitchen. They are surprised.
I'm not going! I don't care what she
Annie lowers her head. Robert stares at Grace as she walks
Daddy?... I don't want to go.
Grace stands next to Robert. He holds her hands. Annie looks
at him, without sympathy. Robert looks back. In his face is
the total acceptance of what must be. As well as the sadness
of it's inevitability. He looks back at his daughter, whose
eyes have never left him.
EXT. JOAN DYER STABLE - DAY
Pilgrim is being loaded into the trailer by four strong stable
men, violently kicking and pulling all the way.
Annie watches with anxiety -- an almost giddy Liz by her
Maybe we should give him another
Problem is, there aren't many
volunteers. He's already had enough
to sink a battleship. You have a
pin, just in case?
Of course not.
Probably best. You may want to shoot
yourself half way to Ohio.
In the back seat of ANNIE'S SUBURBAN sits Grace -- her back
to the action. Hearing Pilgrim's struggle. Putting her walkman
on her ears and raising the volume... We hear --
GRACE'S MUSIC, ON THE SOUNDTRACK, bringing us to:
EXT. A HIGHWAY, IN PENNSYLVANIA - DAY
Annie's Suburban drives along Route 80, pulling the horse
INT. SUBURBAN - DAY
Grace, in the back seat, wearing her headphones, listening
to her music (maybe LIZ PHAIR OR HOLLY COLE). Detached. Non-
committal. As trucks pass by, their time slapping the
pavement, she reacts and turns to the other window.
Annie, in sunglasses, shifts her attention between the road
and her rear-view mirror -- checking on Grace.
EXT. HIGHWAY IN - EARLY MORNING
The Suburban drives as the sun begins to set.
EXT. MOTEL IN OHIO - NIGHT
The Suburban and Horse Trailer are parked in the lot.
INT. MOTEL ROOM, OHIO - NIGHT
A small furnished motel room with two twin beds.
Grace sits up in bed watching TV, with no expression. A sitcom
with canned laughter serves as a hypnotic drug.
Annie enters from the bathroom, after showering, drying her
hair. Grace doesn't bother to look up.
You want to take your bath?
(Grace shakes her
We have to get up early tomorrow.
You may not have enough time to --
Fine -- I'll take my bath.
She begins moving off the bed.
No, I don't mean you have to. It's
just that we may not have enough --
-- enough time tomorrow. I know.
Look, if you want to take it in the
morning, that's fine.
(interrupts on "fine")
I don't care.
Annie realizes she may have pushed too hard, but she also
realizes there's no talking to Grace now. So, she achieves
her goal --
Take it now.
Grace hobbles off the bed, enters the bathroom and shuts the
INT. MOTEL ROOM IN OHIO - NIGHT
The lights are off. Annie lays in bed, wide awake. It is the
middle of the night.
Grace, asleep in the other bed, begins whimpering. She's
having a bad dream. Annie rises -- considering whether or
not to intercede... Finally, Grace begins to cry out... softly
at first, but with increasing intensity until she awakens in
fear... Annie appears right by her side.
What, sweetheart? What?
Shaken, Grace cannot fight how much she needs her mother at
that moment. She wraps her arms around her, tightly, and
tries to catch her breath.
It's sleeping in a strange bed, that's
all. Happens sometimes. It's Ok.
EXT. ANOTHER ROAD, MID-WEST - DAY
The Suburban continues its journey.
Once again -- Annie, in the front, and Grace, in the rear,
drive without a word between them.
INT. SUBURBAN - DAY
Grace and Annie occupy their same positions. Annie is on the
car phone with her office.
Okay, listen -- let's do this. When
I get to the next motel, I'll see if
they have a fax. If not, I'll call
you tomorrow to --
Annie continues O.S. when we hear a shifting, a rocking in
the trailer behind them. As if Pilgrim made a sudden move.
Grace quickly turns her head. Annie looks in the rear view
Uh Lucy, look, I have to go. OK...
Annie hangs up and smiles at Grace through the mirror. Grace
reaches for her walkman and headphones. Annie offers;
Grace lowers one side of her headphones;
Would you like to put your music on
Grace shrugs. Annie shrugs it off as well. Grace replaces
the headphone. Annie turns on the radio -- nothing but country
or gospel or religious talk shows... She shuts it off.
Frustrated, Annie looks up ahead and sees:
TRUCK STOP DINER
Annie yells to be heard through the headphones;
IT'S ALMOST LUNCHTIME. ARE YOU
Whatever you want.
Annoyed, Annie pulls onto the gravel and stops, talking to
She exits the car, banging the door. As she walks around the
car to help Grace, she talks to herself in a sarcastic
"Whatever you want!" Well, this is
what I want. I want to eat lunch and
I want to smoke a cigarette and I
want to keep talking to myself for
the next two thousand fucking
She opens Grace's door. Grace senses her mother's anger.
INT. TRUCK STOP DINER - DAY
Annie and Grace enter. They look around:
Formica floors, truckers in caps and beer bellies stuffed
into booths or at the counter. There is not a single space
Annie and Grace stand near the entrance. Another Trucker
enters and they step aside, huddled together in this foreign
INT. MOTEL IN IOWA - NIGHT
Grace and Annie enter the room to find A DOUBLE BED instead
of two twins. Neither comments.
Annie exits O.S., carrying the bags inside, as she says:
You should call your dad before it
gets too late.
I already did.
This morning. When you went running.
Oh. You didn't tell me.
I didn't know I had to.
(stares angrily, speaks
Silence. Annie exits past her to the car.
Grace is asleep in her twin bed. Once again, Annie is wide
awake. The clock reads: 4:55 AM. But Annie can not sleep.
Camera moves away from Annie, past her side of the bed, to
the other side of the room.
WE SEE THE SHADOW OF A WOMAN coming towards the bed. She
comes in camera angle and we follow to her back to the bed,
which has now transformed into --
A BED FROM THE PAST, IN WHICH A TEN-YEAR-OLD ANNIE IS SLEEPING
WITH HER YOUNGER BROTHER GEORGE.
WE ARE IN MEMORY.
The Woman gently shakes little Annie awaken.
Annie... Annie, sweetheart... wake
The little girl, with sleep in her eyes, turns and sees her.
Bad news I'm afraid. Your Daddy's
END OF MEMORY.
Annie, in present time next to Grace, thinks of this as she
stays awake. Putting her jogging parka on over her nightgown,
she goes outside.
EXT. IOWA MOTEL - NIGHT
She crosses the motel parking lot to the horse trailer. She
looks in through the siding at Pilgrim, checking on him. She
sees he is caught his halter on the side of the van. She
crosses to the trailer door, hesitates, then opens it.
Pilgrim looks at her. Gathering her courage, she climbs
inside. He is still, looking at her. She carefully frees his
halter. And suddenly he bares his teeth, biting at her. She
stumbles back out of the trailer, slamming the door shut.
She stands leaning against the trailer -- wondering if she's
out of her mind for attempting this.
EXT. IOWA MOTEL - LATER THAT SAME MORNING
Annie is returning from her jog, sweating. As she crosses to
her motel room, she stops by the window, looking in to see:
Grace, on the floor, straining to do her exercises.
Annie fills with compassion for her girl -- reminded of the
struggle she faces everyday.
EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
In the distance, the Suburban and horse trailer look like a
dot on the horizon, moving across the Badlands.
INT. THE SUBURBAN - ANOTHER TIME, DUSK
Grace leans against the window in the back, in one of her
darker moods. Annie switches radio stations, from Bible
thumping to Farm reports. She shuts it off. Silence.
She sees a ROAD SIGH: "LITTLE BIGHORN NATIONAL MONUMENT".
Grace reads the sign.
Would you like to see that?
I don't care.
I don't care.
Annie's comic mimicking, throws Grace off center.
Annie turns off onto the exit. They drive by a massive casino --
it's neon sign flickering. They drive up a hill past a cafe,
two Indians in high crowned Cowboy hats standing outside of
the cafe. She drives up a hill towards the parking lot of
This'll be nice. We haven't seen any
of the sights yet. It's history.
When I was thirteen I used to love
seeing things like this.
You were never thirteen, Mom.
Annie laughs, taking it as a joke. Grace almost smiles.
But, Annie drives up to sign only to find a CLOSED SIGN. The
park was closed at six. Annie stops the car. She's hit a
brick wall once more. Silence. Finally, Grace speaks with
her usual sarcasm;
Great idea. So now what?
Beat. Annie's patience snaps;
How long is this going to go on?
You know what I mean?
(turns to the back
Is this it now? Is this the way we're
going to be from now on?
Ignoring her, Grace edges to the passenger side and exits
the car. Annie gets out of the driver's side and walks around
as she speaks:
Do you want us to turn around and go
back home? Do you?
What are you asking me for? You didn't
ask me if I wanted to come in the
first place -- now I get to decide?
She begins to turn away. Annie grabs her arm.
Who do you think I'm doing this for?
I'm doing this for you!
Bullshit! It's about you! About you
deciding! About you always being
right! You always getting everything
your way, controlling everybody --
like we work for you or something!
I don't believe this!
You just want to get away from Daddy
and you're using me to do it!
That's not true! Whatever problems
your father and I are having, have
nothing to do with this.
You're amazing! You act like I don't
live in that house! Don't you think
I hear the two of you!? Don't you
think I can tell what's going on?
I'm not five years old, Mom!
(Annie is stopped)
You want to divorce Daddy and Daddy
doesn't want to.
Did he tell you that?
He doesn't have to! It's, like, so
obvious you can't stand him.
That's not true!
Then why do you want to leave?
It's... it's not that simple to
explain. I know you think it is, but
it's not. The truth is, I don't really
know what I want to do. I don't have
all the answers.
No, you just act like you do.
Annie is choked with fury. She doesn't know whether to scream,
cry or strangle Grace. She turns away and begins walking
quickly, blindly, up past a grove of trees. She comes to a
CEMETERY enclosed by a black railing. At the crest of the
hill there's a stone monument "The Little Bighorn Cemetery."
In the growing darkness, she sees, scattered on the hillsides
below her, white tombstones. A place of sorrow. A cool breeze
ruffles her coat and she sticks her hands in her pockets.
Frustrated, alone, at a complete loss as to what to do, what
action to take -- Annie, for the first time in frozen,
standing still -- and with her, comes a rush of emotion.
She sits with her back against the monument and begins to
weep. For Grace, for Robert, herself, for the tombstones,
A FLASHLIGHT shines on her face. It is a PARK RANGER.
You okay, ma'am?
That young lady is getting a little
Annie realizes she left Grace alone as it got darker.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry...
Annie rises and is escorted back to the Suburban by the
Ranger. She sees:
Grace is sitting in the front seat now, waiting for her --
like a little girl lost.
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie gets into the driver's seat. Buckles up. Grace holds
You buckled up?
Annie reaches into the back seat and pulls a blanket out,
handing it to Grace, making sure it covers her. Grace turns
towards the window and closes her eyes. Annie starts the
EXT. MONTANA, BACK ROAD - MORNING
C.U. on Pilgrim's head in the trailer as we PULL BACK to
reveal the Suburban coming down an empty, seemingly infinite
stretch of two-lane road in Montana.
INT. SUBURBAN - MORNING
Annie and Grace, both in front seats, eating doughnuts and
coffee. They stop.
POV -- Through the windshield is an endless sky and a rolling
sea of land.
Gee, this looks like a fun place.
Don't they believe in signs here?
What would they say? "Ten miles to
big rock." "Twenty miles to bigger
There was supposed to be a turn off.
Did I miss it?
I didn't see it.
Their Suburban is the only vehicle on what seems like miles
of road. Annie sighs and puts the Suburban in drive.
EXT. PETERSON'S MOTEL & STABLES, RED FORK MONTANA - DAY
The Suburban and the horse trailer, pulls into Peterson's --
a collection of motel cottage adjacent to an expanse of land
that includes stable, corral, a main house and various riding
trails into the mountains.
Mr. Peterson runs out from the main house to greet Annie as
she gets out of the car.
INT. SUBURBAN, ON ANOTHER MONTANA BACK ROAD - LATER THAT DAY
Annie, showered and changed, is trying to follow Mr.
Peterson's directions to Tom's ranch -- written on Peterson
motel stationary. She is lost once again.
...after left, stay on main road
until rise, then...
What bloody rise?!? What main road!?
She stops the Suburban (no longer carrying the trailer).
EXT. ANOTHER MONTANA BACK ROAD - CONTINUOUS
From outside the Suburban, we see, but cannot hear, Annie
hitting the steering and cursing in frustration.
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie, panting, looks ahead and sees nothing but empty space,
above and below -- as if the earth and sky met with nothing
She sighs and starts the car again. As she moves forward,
she senses an almost indistinguishable rise in the road --
as we follow her POV up the road through the windshield to
POV -- A BREATHTAKING VALLEY just beyond the rise, hidden
from view only a few yards before. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH
sits nestled in the valley, a few miles away. Annie is
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE RANGE - DAY
Men are working in the corral, saddle horses standing nearby,
trying to get a sick calf to suckle a cow. One of the men is
Tom Booker, working along side his brother FRANK, and his
nephew, JOE. Frank is a good man -- solid work ethic,
Christian fearing, wry sense of humor. With the build of a
football player, his strength never overwhelms his boyish,
good-natured heart. Joe is eleven, wearing his cowboy hat
like a badge of honor. The three men seem as inseparable to
each other, as they are to the land. As they work:
Can we take a look at Bronty's foal
when we're done here, Dad?
Sure. As long as she don't mind.
There's a kid at school says we
should've imprint-trained him.
Tom and Frank don't say anything. Just nod, knowingly.
He says if you do it soon as they're
born, it makes them real easy to
handle later on.
That's what some folks say.
There was this thing on the TV about
a guy who does it with geese. He has
this airplane and these baby geese
all grow up thinking it's their mom,
and he flies it and they just follow.
You hear 'bout that, Uncle T?
Yeah, I hear about that.
Well, what do you think about that
Well, Joe, I'll tell ya -- I don't
know a whole lot about geese. Maybe
it's okay for them to grow up thinking
they're airplanes. But horses, as
far as I can tell, can't fly.
Frank laughs. Joe smirks as Tom messes his hat up. There's
the sound of a car. They turn.
The Suburban is coming over the ridge, heading down the
driveway in a cloud of dust.
We expecting company?
Frank shakes his head. As the Suburban slows down, Tom
recognizes the driver.
I don't believe it.
You know her?
Annie, out of her element, hiding behind sunglasses, gets
out as Tom approaches her by himself. Annie girds herself
for the confrontation.
Hello, Mr. Booker. Annie MacLean.
From New York. We talked on the phone.
She extends her hand. TOM shakes it, nodding, staring at her
It's, uh... beautiful country. I had
a little bit of a hard time finding
the place. There are no signs.
Plenty of signs -- just none of them
printed. Who do I get the idea you're
not just passing through!
Well... OK... here it is... Uh...
I'd like you to take a look at my
horse. Now -- it won't take long and
if, after that, you still don't
Were you thinking of personally
driving me back East?
Oh no. She's here. I brought him
along. And my daughter, too. We're
staying at Peterson's...
You mean you hauled him all the way
out here? Just like that?
(slightly taken aback)
Well... yes... I had a trailer. It's
not like I made him run along side
of the car.
All by yourself?
She nods. Tom cannot help be impressed by her guts and
Camera cuts away for a moment to a window in the ranch house,
through which DIANE -- Frank's fiery, loyal pioneer wife --
looks at the duo with suspicion.
I uh... ha, ha... I don't think I
ever met a lady quite like yourself
and I appreciate all the pains you've
gone through to --
Look! Please! Don't do the "shucks,
ma'am" thing again!
I've driven a few thousand miles for
a few minutes of your time. I've
brought him here -- to your neck of
(seeing no woods)
-- mountains. Just take a look at
him. If you still feel the same way,
I'll be on the road by morning and
you'll never see me again. OK? Deal?
Tom tries to hide a smile of respect. Annie, thinking she
may have him, starts backing away towards her car -- as one
would a dangerous animal they think they might have tamed...
We're at Peterson's. Whenever you're
free. You don't even have to call.
She gets into the Suburban. Tom watches her drive off.
EXT. ANNIE AND GRACE'S COTTAGE - DAY
Tom walks up some wooden steps to a door and knocks. He hears
a TV on inside. And Grace's Voice:
MOM! The door!
He hears Annie's muffled reply from O.S. He hears some banging
as Grace fumbles for her crutch and comes to the door. She
opens it only so far as to reveal her upper body:
Uh, I'm Tom Booker. Your mother
Grace hops to the side as Tom walks by her, into the room.
Grace is closing the door as he turns to see, for the first
time, that Grace is one leg.
She'll be right out. She's on the
Grace hops back to the bed in front of the TV. Tom nods and
puts his hat down -- noticing the prosthetic leaning against
the window, near her bed. He hears Annie on the phone and
looks to the other room, the door ajar -- seeing only her
legs, seated on the edge of her bed, as she talks. Her foot
First time in Montana?
Grace, rudely nods, still looking at the TV.
Beat. Tom doesn't like her manner, but can easily see through
it. He sits.
She gonna be long?
Probably. She's on the phone twenty-
three hours a day.
What does she do?
She's an editor.
Mmm. An editor.
Not like books or literature or
anything. Just a magazine... Just in
case she hasn't told you -- which
I'm sure she hasn't -- I don't want
to be a part of this, OK?
Tom just sort of nods. A beat or two later, Annie enters.
Sorry about that. Hi. Grace, this is
Mr. Booker... Have you looked at
Tom sees Grace turn away, just as Annie enters. He takes a
moment. He could say no right there, but something stops
Uh, no. I was gonna take a look now.
You want us to come with you? I just
have to run to the main house and
give Mr. Peterson a check.
Grace?... Grace, you want to come
with us, take a look at Pilgrim?
Grace keeps looking at the TV. No reply. Tom is half way out
the door when he says to Annie -- making sure Grace can hear --
Probably best she stays behind,
He disappears. Annie gives Grace a final look and exits,
closing the door.
Alone, Grace flings her body across the bed, reaching for
her prosthetic -- putting it on feverishly. She is completely
intrigued by Tom.
EXT. PETERSON'S STABLES - DAY
Tom stands alone at the stable. Opening the bottom door,
ducking under the stall, he goes inside.
Okay now... Okay now...
Walking towards him, Tom raises his hand, showing Pilgrim a
sign of respect, of trust... He quietly makes his way along
Pilgrim's side, along his flank, prompting Pilgrim to move
out from the shadows, into the light. Tom moves to look at
him. And Pilgrim suddenly kicks out at him. Tom, not cowed,
stands his ground. He bends, looking at Pilgrim's withered
legs. He looks up at his scarred head. He looks into the
pools of the horse's tortured eyes. Pilgrim stands still --
allowing Tom this brief intimacy.
As Grace walks towards the stable, she realizes that the
door is open and Tom must be inside. She is amazed.
Annie, appearing behind her, is also impressed.
Tom exits the stable and sees them, as he closes the doors.
Well... You're closest anyone's
He walks straight towards them -- veering more to Grace. He
stops in front of her and they look into each other's eyes --
in a way that reminds us of how Tom looked at Pilgrim.
Except, Grace is made even more uncomfortable by the intimacy.
She turns away and walks to the corral, to lean on a post --
as if she doesn't care. Tom turns to Annie.
I have to be honest. I still feel
you made a long trip for nothing.
He looks at Annie. Annie has no more words -- just an ever-
present pleading in her face.
Tom watches as Grace makes a small, naked movement -- putting
her hand on her cheek, like a hurt child.
He can't help but see these three being connected by one
But before I even think about it, I
need to know something here and now.
It's a question for Grace here.
When I work with a horse, it's no
good just me doing it. It doesn't
work that way. The owner needs to be
Well, that'll be a little complicated --
You can make it as complicated or as
easy as you like. But she's the one
who's gonna be riding him, am I right?
So here's the deal. I'm not sure I
can do anything, but I'm prepared to
give it a go --
-- if you'll help.
(Grace gives a bitter
You have a problem with that?
Isn't it like, obvious?
Not to me. Either you want to or you
Look, I'll talk to Grace and call
Excuse me, with all due respect, but
this is her decision, not yours. And
I don't want to waste anybody's time --
Grace reacts anew to Tom's remark. She likes her mother being
dis-empowered. Annie keenly understands the importance of
Tom putting it this way to Grace. Grace has all eyes on her --
just what she wants. All waiting for her response. She turns
away, flicks her head and says:
Well, there's nothing else to do
Annie smiles in relief. But Tom isn't satisfied.
Not good enough. I can't help you.
He starts walking away. Annie doesn't know what to do. Grace
What do I have to do?
Tom keeps walking out... Grace says it louder.
I said, what do I have to do?!
Tom stops and looks at her. Annie holds her breath.
INT. THE RANCH HOUSE, DOUBLE DIVIDE - NIGHT
Frank, Tom, Joe and TOM'S TWIN BOYS, 6 years old, sit at a
dining table eating dinner, as Diane serves. We parachute
into the middle of the conversation:
...well, I just think she's got a
lot of nerve showing up here. Draggin'
that child and that poor animal all
(to one of the Twins)
You eat with those fingers again and
you know what'll happen!
(the boy cowers)
Frank, don't you think she's got a
Oh hell, I don't know... According
to Tom, she's a pretty determined
woman. Must've thought it was worth
I guess they'll want feeding and
all, out here all day long.
I don't believe they'll expect that.
What, they ain't going forty miles
into Choteau everytime they want a
I believe women from New York eat
mixed salads. Ain't that right, Tom?
Tom hides a grin -- he knows Frank into teasing her now.
I believe so. Saw it on a television
Well, that's just what we need on a
cattle ranch -- a vegetarian from
Everyone eats. Beat.
When you figure on branding?
Weekend after next...
If the weather holds.
Frank nods. Silence again. Everyone eats. Beat.
What's an editor do anyway?
We're not sure, sweetheart, but they
eat like rabbits.
Tom and Frank chuckle. Diane smiles -- in on the joke with
them. The children are curiously confused.
INT. ANNIE AND GRACE'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Camera moves to reveal Annie on the phone in front of her
computer and fax... plugging in extension cords as she talks:
...the phone company's putting in
extra lines. I'll call back with the
numbers. Oh, and I want you to get
in touch with this lady in town here --
they say she's sort of a physical
therapist for the rodeo boys but
keep the one at the hospital we
already contacted on call...
Grace sits alone in the living room. Watching TV, but anxious
and disturbed about what she's committed herself to.
INT. DOUBLE DIVIDE KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
Diane is in her bathrobe doing bills at the kitchen table,
as she listens to a BOOK ON TAPE. Her hand on her forehead,
her other hand writing. Tom enters to take his hat off the
sideboard. He moves to the table and reaches over for a cookie
from a plate of cookies. Without looking up, Diane slaps his
hand. Tom then pours himself a cup of coffee... then swiftly
sneaks his hand back and grabs a cookie. Diane smiles.
It is only then that Diane looks up after him.
INT. UPPER FLOOR OF RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Camera follows Tom towards his bedroom -- passing the others.
Perhaps we see Frank sprawled out asleep already in his
underwear. We might see the Twins in their bunks. One of the
Twins' lower torso is laying outside of the blanket. He
casually flips the blanket over the kid's bare feet and
continues to his room.
INT. TOM'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Tom enters and closes the door. Turns on a stereo which plays
a cello piece by Yo-Yo Ma. Books fills his room. He sits at
his desk, puts on eye glasses and looks through some
Suddenly he stops, looking over the paperwork, into space. A
thought passes by. We don't know what.
EXT. THE RANCH, A CORRAL - DAYBREAK
First light of day. Pilgrim stands stock still in the middle
of the corral. Tom, motionless, is crouched on his haunches
in the corral -- watching him.
TOM'S POV: As Pilgrim moves, he can see that the horse is
He softly tosses a handful of dirt at Pilgrim's withered
legs... Pilgrim, sensitive to the slightest provocation,
bucks, wheeling away from him. Then stops. Tom sits on his
haunches again... and watches him.
Frank appears, exiting from the barn (perhaps).
Tom leaves Pilgrim, hooking up with Frank -- the two brothers
go off, discussing the ranch work that is ahead of them.
EXT. THE RANCH - ANOTHER DAY
Annie and Grace arrive in the Suburban. They exit. As they
head towards the ranch, they see in the distance:
Pilgrim standing along the fence of a round pen. Tom stands
in the pen, holding a rope, looking at Pilgrim.
EXT. THE ROUND PEN - DAY
Tom stands in the pen with Pilgrim. He looks to see Annie
and Grace approaching but makes no acknowledgment. He turns
his focus back to Pilgrim.
Annie and Grace appear. Grace takes a position (that is to
become her regular spot) a distance away from the pen. Annie
moves in closer, beside SMOKEY (a ranch hand) with one leg
up on the pen fence.
He and Annie watch as Tom stands before Pilgrim -- turning
sideways... then standing...
What's he doing?
Trying to get his eye.
How's it going?
Smokey doesn't respond -- how it's going is exactly how it
looks. Tom takes a few steps, stops and stands still again.
We sense the process is long and requires great patience.
EXT. ROUND PEN - DAY
Two hours later. Grace is in the same spot. Smokey is gone,
doing his work. Annie has taken a different position, looking
over SEVERAL PAGES OF FAXES on her lap.
Tom is still standing in the pen trying to get Pilgrim's
Joe has joined the proceedings, sitting on the pen rail.
Tom deftly throws a hoolihan, gently lassoing Pilgrim around
the neck. And Pilgrim, at the touch of the rope, crazed,
resists, pulling back, striking at the rope... The rope
cutting into Tom's hands. Tom gives him some slack, giving
his head, letting him relax... then gently heads him by the
rope, walking him around the pen, getting his feet to moving.
Grace's eyes never leave Tom.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
Tom, off in the distance -- against a sky that seems to be
touching the land -- is riding along a creek. Closer up, we
see he's rustling the bushes with a stick. Some stray cows
run out of the bushes. Tom races after them. His horse
shepherds the cow across the creek and up a hillside.
At the top of the hill, with the ranch spread out endlessly
before him, Tom sees Frank on his horse, chasing strays. Tom
whistles. Frank waves back. In the near distance, a pickup
truck is parked on the range.
Joe and the TWINS are throwing food pellets out of the back
of the truck. Cattle come from across the range for the food.
What begins as a handful of cows becomes dozens, then hundreds --
the truck virtually disappearing among them.
Tom stops for a moment to look out at his ranch. Far off in
the distance, he sees Annie's Suburban coming along the road
to the ranch. He watches as Annie's distant figure gets out
of the car with Grace. Annie instinctively turns and looks
across the land. Even though there is such a distance, there's
a sense Tom and Annie are looking at each other.
Tom senses Joe driving Frank's truck, slowly moving off the
range -- the Twins in the back, the cattle following. Tom
sits on his horse atop the hill.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - ANOTHER DAY
Pilgrim, his scarred head above water, legs moving in odd
syncopation, swimming. We discover he is in a pond, tethered
to a pole... Except for the sound of his legs in the water,
everything is quiet and focused on Pilgrim.
SMOKEY, holds the pole, walking on the outside of the pond,
leading Pilgrim back and forth as he swims. Tom, crouched by
the pond, silently concentrating on Pilgrim...
Grace watches, off by herself... Annie stands beside Joe.
She can't help but be intrigued by the sight. She asks Joe;
I though horses were afraid of water?
Joe doesn't answer her. Grace likes that. Annie, frustrated,
feels she has the right to simple shout out to Tom.
Is that to get his strength back?
Tom pays her no mind -- concentrating on Pilgrim.
Suddenly, Annie's CELL PHONE rings, jarring the proceedings.
Tom turns to Annie. She hides her embarrassment by answering
it, walking away. Tom gives her a look. Grace is loving this.
Tom turns back to Pilgrim. After a few moments --
Tom, taking the rope tether, unhooks it from the pole. He
starts to lead Pilgrim out of the water. Pilgrim, fearful,
fights him. He rears, splashing Tom, not wanting to come out
of the water. Grace is worried. She looks to Joe and sees he
is concerned too, though he stands quietly.
Annie hears the commotion from where she stands and finishes
her call to return to the pond.
Tom enters the pond, waist deep in water, trying to grab
Pilgrim's rope. Pilgrim rises up, rearing at him. Joe and
Smokey, sensing danger, come closer to the pond. Annie appears
beside Grace and watches as Tom reaches for the rope again.
Pilgrim rears again. Tom stumbles backwards from his hooves.
Annie gasps. Grace turns to walk away from the pond.
She can't watch -- it brings back too much. But as she does,
she is stopped by the sight of --
Tom, righting himself, unphased, calmly walks back to Pilgrim.
The horse, baffled by this man's lack of fear, lets him take
the rope and walk him out of the pond.
Grace can't help but be impressed. Joe nods. Annie is shaken.
Mr. Booker, I'm not at all comfortable
with you taking those kinds of
As Tom leads Pilgrim out, the horse suddenly whirls, bolting,
knocking Tom down...
Pilgrim runs off, pulling the wet rope behind him. Joe runs
over and grabs for the rope.
NO... LET HIM GO!
Joe obeys. Pilgrim runs past the corral and down into a hill
out onto a pasture, He keeps on running into the distance --
running across the pasture, not knowing where he is going...
Tom, arms folded across his chest, watches him run. A
concerned Annie approaches.
He's running away! How are you going
to get him back?
Tom doesn't respond. He walks off down the hill out onto the
pasture, stops, arms folded and watches Pilgrim. Annie turns
when she hears Smokey, who appears behind her:
He don't really want to run. Don't
know where he's going. All this open
space scares the daylight out of
Confused, Pilgrim stops running and walks, in no particular
My guess is he's spent his life in a
six-by-eight stall... He's forgot
what it's like to be a horse...
Smokey ambles off and she turns back to see Tom crouching on
his haunches, sitting in the grass, just waiting. Pilgrim
walks back towards the ranch, stops a distance from Tom,
looks at him... Annie, needing to know exactly what's going
on, crosses down the hill to him.
So what now? Should we leave?
Tom continues watching Pilgrim. Annie looks at him, sitting
there motionless and feels like an idiot. Clearly she doesn't
understand all this and clearly no one thinks this is the
time to explain to her.
Well, we're going to go then...
Without looking at her, Tom just nods. Annie, awkwardly,
walks back up the hill to where Grace is...
ON THE GRASSY HILLSIDE, Grace is watching the scene by herself
as Joe appears, staring at her leg... It makes her
She turns to him with a curt, impatient tone;
Their eyes meet. Joe is so guileless, Grace is taken off
guard when he asks in such a compassionate voice;
Does that hurt you?
Grace tries to think of an answer -- and of how to say it:
Only when I kick somebody.
Her gentle delivery makes him smile. She smiles, then:
Don't you go to school?
Twice a month they give you a day
off to work on the ranch.
He tips his hat down as he looks out to Pilgrim with respect;
Look at him out in the pasture --
Yeah, he must've been a big, beautiful
looking horse. How was he to ride?
Grace is uncomfortable again. She looks away, just struggling.
Joe senses she's done talking;
Excuse me. I got chores to look after.
He tips his hat and walks off, passing Annie as she arrives.
You ready to go?
Grace hesitates. Then mother and daughter take one more look --
POV -- Pilgrim standing in the pasture with Tom crouching in
the grass waiting for him.
EXT. PASTURE - LATER THAT DAY
Tom is still sitting in the grass, just where we left him --
waiting patiently. Pilgrim is still out in the pasture.
EXT. PASTURE - STILL LATER THAT DAY
Afternoon shadows cross the ranch. Tom is in the exact same
spot and position. Pilgrim is somewhat closer -- but still
at a distance -- watching him.
Frank rides back from work. As he passes Tom, the two nod as
if nothing usually is going on. Frank rides up to the barn.
INT. PETERSON'S MOTEL
Grace is flicking the television -- repeating the only three
channels over and over...
Annie works at her computer, surrounded by work. She notices
the time, gets a thought and dials the phone...
Hello, Mr. Booker... Oh, hello, Frank.
This is Annie MacLean... I was
Uh-huh... And Pilgrim?...
Okay then. Thank you.
She hangs up, pauses, then speaks to the window out loud
enough for Grace to hear --
He's still sitting in that damn field.
(w/o looking at her)
I think they call it a pasture.
Annie looks at her as if to say the last thing I need to
know is a lesson on the local lingo...
Let's go see what's going on, then
get something to eat.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH - DUSK
The sky is changing colors, the temperature has dropped. Tom
is still sitting in the grass, although someone has brought
him a blanket for his shoulders. Pilgrim is in the pasture,
but now -- he too is motionless, looking back at Tom.
The sound of a car makes Tom turn to see Annie driving up.
She gets out, stands by the car with a proprietary air,
watching Tom and Pilgrim. Grace remains in the car. There's
a sound. She turns to see Diane coming out of the house...
There's coffee inside... I was just
bringing this to Tom.
Would you mind if I did? I'd like to
talk to him.
Diane, knowing full well Tom ain't in a talking mood, hands
her a cup...
(seeing Grace in car)
Does your daughter want to come
Uh, no, we're going to dinner... Is
this the way to the pasture?
Pasture? Oh, that stretch of field
near the hill? Yeah.
She's gone. Annie grimaces, then crosses the hillside to
where Tom is squatting down. She appears to his side and,
without speaking, tries to indicates she has his coffee by
leaning it toward him. Tom sees her and accepts it with a
grateful nod. Annie waits. Nothing happens. Feeling foolish,
she begins to walk back.
At some point, she turns to see Pilgrim moving across the
pasture toward Tom. He stops in front of him, just a few
feet away. Tom says something to him. Annie is intrigued --
and she knows enough to stay quiet now. She watches Pilgrim
walk over to him. She watches as Tom gets up and pats
Pilgrim's scarred head. In spite of herself, Annie is somewhat
moved by this act.
Only we see Grace, peering out from the car, seeing this act
of communion as well. Only we see her reaction to it.
As Tom turns and walks back to the ranch, Pilgrim follows
As he passes Annie, all he says is...
From now on, leave your phone
As he moves past her, Annie responds;
But I have business calls I have to --
Tom keeps heading for the barn as he suggests, without turning
Then drop off Grace in the morning,
go on back and do your business.
Come pick her up around dinner.
Standing there, Annie has the impulse to respond to this
suggestion, but has no idea what to say and saying it wouldn't
make much sense since Tom is already out of ear shot.
Diane appears from the house and calls out:
Mrs. MacLean -- why don't you and
daughter stay for dinner?
Oh uh, thank you. No, we don't want
No imposition. Plenty of food. Gonna
get pretty dark soon. Hard to find a
Annie looks up to the alien sky and realizes she's right.
She looks to Grace, who doesn't seem to oppose the idea.
INT. RANCH HOUSE/KITCHEN - NIGHT
Everyone sits around the kitchen table. Joe, still wearing
his hat, eyes Annie and Grace with acute curiosity.
Joe, take off the hat -- I'm not
going to say it again.
Joe obeys. Diane puts the last of the serving plates on the
table -- pork chops, potatoes, gravy, peas, bread... And a
big bowl of mixed salad. The boy can't help eyeing how the
"vegetarians" will act.
Annie and Grace eye the food. Annie reaches out for a serving
ladle, picking up Grace's plate to serve her as Grace reaches
for a piece of bread, when:
Dear Lord, we are humbly thankful
Annie and Grace freeze as Frank continues his prayer -- they
notice everyone's head bowed slightly.
these gifts. For the blessings on
our home, our family and our guests.
Bless those that aren't as fortunate.
Bless all God's creatures.
Everyone begins eating. Annie and Grace breath a sigh of
Silence. Utensils hitting plates, the only sound.
Bank out us a couple more men to run
We should be fine, then.
Beat. Annie and Grace listen...
Teacher asked me why we raise Black
Angus-Herefords 'stead of Pure
Tell her they suit the weather better.
Their udders are black, 'stead of
They don't get burned by the sun
bouncing off the snow. And they're
Our daddy raised Pure Herefords.
Silence... Eating... Annie tries her hand at conversation:
You know, that's interesting. I always
wondered when I went into a restaurant
what was the difference between a
regular steak or a Black Angus steak.
I couldn't taste any difference
although I could swear one was more
tender. I didn't know there was that
big a difference between cows...
I've never been on a cow farm before.
I must say, the bulls seem to have
the best time of it. Just laying
around the fields all day until
they're asked to...
do their... work.
Well, get born a bull, got a ninety
percent chance of getting castrated
and served up as hamburger. On a
balance I reckon I'd choose being a
Would you mind passing that salad
How's Peterson's holding up for you?
It's fine. Comfortable. I still can't
get used to how dark it gets around
here, though. When we leave the ranch,
I always hold my breath until I can
see the motel.
You know, Tom, while you're working
on that horse of theirs, Annie and
Grace should move into the old Creek
Diane and Tom react accordingly; Diane hiding her annoyance,
Tom hiding his surprise and pleasure.
Nobody's using it. Silly for her to
be driving back and forth when she
don't know her way around that well...
Oh, I don't know...
Well, I know Peterson's. Old place
is as good as falling down around
They're already all settled in, Frank.
Anyway, I'm sure Annie wants her
It's got doors, Diane. Private as
can be. Tom?
I don't have a problem with that.
It's up to Annie.
Well, it's worth it, really? I mean,
how much longer do you think you
need to work with Pilgrim?
That's up to Pilgrim.
Everyone waits on Annie's answer as she considers this.
INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Grace is on the phone with Robert. Annie is packing things
up. Grace is telling him about the day;
I know. Me, too. Why don't you come
Annie reacts to this.
We'll have more room because we're
moving onto the ranch. They have
this empty house near this creek.
It's actually pretty... OK... I love
Dad wants to talk to you.
(takes the phone)
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Robert is burning the midnight oil in the study with files
all around him.
Hey... She sounds like she's doing
all right. How is she?
Grace exits into the bathroom. Annie talks softly;
Yeah. She seems to be getting more
comfortable on the ranch, which is
why I said yes to this move. But,
whenever it's just the two of us, I
don't know... Anyway... what's
happening with the Delco lawsuit?
Taking forever. I just got an
additional list of sixty-two employees
to interview before Monday. I don't
know how I'm going to do it.
Well, it's good that you're there.
Robert didn't mean to validate his separation from them.
So, how are you doing in Marlboro
country? Is the magazine complaining
Yeah, but nothing I can't handle.
Lucy tells me she thinks Gottchalks's
plotting, but what else is new.
When are you coming home?
You know, I just asked that myself
tonight. He doesn't know.
Well then... maybe I will take some
time... come visit.
Beat. Annie knows Robert needed an invitation from her. But
she can't do it. Robert tries again.
I miss you, Annie.
I know. We miss you too.
Awkwardly, they hang up. Grace exits the bathroom.
Did you ask him to come visit?
You already did.
Did he mention it?
Yeah, he's going to think about it.
You want me to pack for you?
Grace looks at her disapprovingly as she passes to go to the
bathroom. Annie registers this.
INT. RANCH HOUSE - LATE DAY
Diane is washing windows while listening to an audio book on
her tape player. Through the windows, she sees:
Joe and the Twins helping Annie and Grace move into the Creek
Diane has conflicting feelings about this. She continues her
INT. CREEK HOUSE - LATE DAY
VARIOUS SHOTS of ANNIE CONNECTING HERSELF BACK TO THE REST
OF THE WORLD, BY PLUGGING IN HER COMPUTER, FAX, ETC...
Grace is in the other room, as she was in the motel. Alone.
With no television, she is just listening to her music laying
on the couch. The two women remain separate no matter where
But we see a small difference. Grace rises and walks to the
window. She looks out;
POV: She sees people working about the ranch. Maybe Joe is
among them -- riding his horse as he works. Or maybe it's
just a vision of people with tasks to complete -- who do so
with pride, discipline and clarity.
Grace looks out the window longingly.
EXT. THE RANCH - ANOTHER DAY
A cloud of dust. A dozen or so horses are running in an arena
by the stables. Tom is riding among them, holding a long
stick with an orange flag at the end of it, waving it at the
young horses, making them run away from him. The colts stay
close together. One of the horses, PILGRIM, stays at a
distance, off to himself.
Grace watches from along the railing. She alternates her
attention from the horses... to Tom.
What we're doing here, Grace, is
trying to get him to learn how to be
a horse again.
He cracks the flag, the horses move together...
The others already know, see. That's
how they are in the wild -- herd
(cracks the flag)
...When they've got a problem, like
they have now with me and this flag,
they look to each other. But old
Pilgrim there has forgotten. I'm the
rock and they're the hard place. He
thinks he hasn't got a friend in the
whole wild world...
C.U. on GRACE, who clearly feels the same way... but wants
desperately not to. She watches him ride off towards Pilgrim
who has stopped like all the others at the far end of the
ring. He stands by himself, tossing his head, snorting, not
wanting to be around other horses. Tom cracks the flag,
keeping them moving. Pilgrim does his own private dance.
Tom rides by Grace and hands her the stick;
Hold this for a minute...
Grace stiffens. She doesn't want to, but she's afraid to say
"No" to Tom. He just insists by tossing it to her...
Hold onto it, go on...
She's forced to catch it. He turns and rides away, chasing
down Pilgrim, trying to edge him toward the herd. For a
moment, he has him breaking to the left with the horses. But
as soon as he's clear of Tom, he separates himself and comes
to stop on his own.
Tom rides back to Grace, taking back the flag.
We'll get there, Grace.
As he says this, he flashes a small, reassuring smile and a
little wink. Grace melts just a little. As he rides away.
Annie appears, having come from the Creek House. She calls:
Grace? The clinic just called...
They had to change your physical
therapy appointment. We have to leave
Grace frowns a little -- her mother's "perfect timing." Annie
approaches the arena, watching Tom riding. As he passes her;
Annie notices how he says her name.
He flashes a smile in her direction and Annie's expression
comically matches her daughter's reaction. She quickly covers
it, however. Her eyes follow him as he glides around the
arena. It's like watching a great ballet -- his control of
the horses, his effortlessness, his grace, his strength...
She smiles to herself in appreciation. Then catches herself:
You got everything you need?
If I had everything I need, I wouldn't
be going to physical therapy.
Tom approaches as he overhears Grace respond;
(trying to cheer her)
Honey, come on. Would you like to
stay in town for dinner? Maybe see
what movie's playing tonight?
Why? There's no food in the house?
No. I just thought... forget it.
He's getting a clearer view of their relationship.
You know, we're branding here
tomorrow. If you two want to come by
to watch or give a hand, you're
I haven't branded in years.
Uh, I don't, honey. Branding? Oooh...
I think we'd just be in Mr. Booker's
As long as you don't get in the way
of the branding iron, it doesn't
matter too much.
Annie smiles. She turns to Grace, questioningly. Grace says
matter-of-factly, to prove her point.
I watched Margo Neuberger get a
Tom squints. Annie shrugs and nods.
As Grace and Annie walk to the car, Tom says:
Hey, Grace -- maybe we can get your
mom to put me and you branding on
the cover of her magazine. Start a
whole new fashion craze.
They continue walking as Grace smiles, enjoying being singled
out for his joke. Annie responds, almost flirtatiously.
Try not to fall off your high horse,
Tom tips his hat and rides away... Annie smiles and nods...
Grace doesn't like their sudden familiarity. Or her mother's
coy manner. As they enter the Suburban, Grace asks point
Did you call Dad today?
Annie is caught off guard.
Tom, riding in the arena, catches himself looking after
them... then goes riding after Pilgrim.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The air smells of scorched flesh. There is nothing but NOISE.
Calves, separated from their mothers, "cry." They are moved
out through a series of connected pens into a narrow chute,
and then one by one into a holding pen. They're clamped and
lowered sideways onto a table and given a shot, a yellow
insect tag in one ear, branded, then sent back to their
mothers. The bulls, in a pen by themselves, stand haughty,
paying no attention. Frank helps "doctor" the calves. Joe
Annie and Grace are standing by the railing, watching with a
mixture of fascination and disgust.
Tom moves in the feeder pen, waist deep in calves, moving
them through the chute. He looks to Annie.
Hey, over there, you want to make
It isn't a question.
Hank, I got you a volunteer!
Annie and Grace realize they have no choice.
-- WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SEQUENCE OF SCENES SHOWING ANNIE AND
GRACE PARTICIPATING IN THE BRANDING. AND HOW THEY GRADUALLY
COME TO LOSE THEMSELVES IN THE EXPERIENCE.
SEQUENCES WILL INCLUDE:
-- HANK, A RANCH HEAD, HELPING ANNIE INTO THE CHUTE... ANNIE
GETTING KICKED BY A CALF.
-- GRACE BEING SHOWN HOW TO HOLD THE BRANDING IRON.
-- HANK TEACHING ANNIE HOW TO SAY "HYAH!!"...
-- TOM IN THE HOLDING PEN WITH HIS ARMS AROUND GRACE, SHOWING
HER HOW TO APPLY THE BRAND... GRACE, A LITTLE FRIGHTENED OF
THE BRAND, IS IN HEAVEN IN TOM'S ARMS...
-- ANNIE IS STILL TRYING TO SAY "HYAH"!! WITH THE PROPER
FORCE. SHE CLAPS HER HANDS, PUSHING THE CALVES ALONG, KNEE
DEEP IN COW SHIT.
-- GRACE CLOSES HER EYES AND THE IRON TOUCHES THE CALF'S
That's good... firm but gentle...
(Grace opens her eyes)
It hurts but he'll get over it.
Grace smiles proudly.
You handled that pretty well. Think
it's time you earn your keep around
here. So, when we're not working and
when you don't have your therapy,
I'd like you to help out with the
horses... Rubbing them, cleaning up
the stalls... You think you can handle
Grace knows him well enough to know;
That's not a question, is it?
You're catching on.
-- Annie turns and, not looking where she's doing, trips
over a calf, falling down. And calves, coming down the chute,
start to run towards her. Suddenly, Tom grabs her by the leg
and pulls her to safety. He helps her up and dusts her off.
(not wanting to smile,
It is cocktail hour yet?
Tom laughs. She takes a big breath.
EXT. THE RANCH - LATE AFTERNOON
The ranch is colored in amber light.
Near the house, two long tables pushed together to make one
long one... A gentle breeze ruffles the tablecloth. Everyone
is seated for a meal. We hear laughter and conversation...
We parachute into the middle of the moments;
-- Hank helping with his wife get to their three children to
sit still for dinner...
-- Diane organizing the women and their various plates of
-- The Ranch Hands piling up their plates and kidding each
-- Joe is instructing Grace on the various sauces for the
ribs. The Twins are making fun of him behind his back.
-- Tom and Smokey are barbecuing, the last one to sit.
-- Frank assists his frail mother, ELLEN BOOKER, at the table,
filling her plate with all the things she can't reach for.
The faces are beautiful. Laughing. Eating. Everyone is tanned
and exhausted after a long day, but filled with life and
eager to live it. The tables are covered with heavy food.
The communion at this table is as much a part of the ritual
as the branding itself...
Annie and Grace look different to us. Tanned from the sun,
their bodies sore -- they feel softened, yet more vital. As
if the artifice had been worn off... the armor of urban life.
As the table thrives with conversations, we focus on:
Annie and Ellen Booker. Annie looks calmer than we've seen
her -- and more naturally beautiful. She is seated beside
Ellen Booker. We sense they have been talking for a while.
Annie is so sincerely interested in listening to her, she's
hardly touched her own plate...
...he was a blacksmith by trade, my
father. My grandson Joe was named
for him. But he always dreamed of
having his own place and raising
We see Tom a few places down and across from Annie and his
mother -- but fully aware of their conversation.
He'd heard of some land. What's
Stockett now. Rode out there. Got
off his horse and walked about as
far as he could in one way. Then he
walked as far as he could another
way and another until he got back to
where he started and that's where he
put his roots down... That's where
my husband and I ranched and raised
Frank and Tommy...
She motions proudly to Tom who looks up. Annie smiles to
He looks to her with gratitude for the respect she's showing
Quite a different life from what you
know, I expect. Which place to you
Well, I was born in London, but my
father was an ambassador and we moved
constantly. I've lived in a lot of
places but I don't really know what
I'd call home.
Tom listens to this.
An ambassador! My! That's very
He was a wonderful man.
She looks to Tom and he can sense a sadness around this in
I sure hope you're gonna eat more
than that, young lady. You're a
I've never eaten this much in my
Probably never worked so hard,
neither. Those arms of yours are
gonna be pretty sore tomorrow. I'll
give you a little bit of ointment I
make. It's a magic recipe my Mama
We used to call Diane's mother
Medicine Woman. None of us never
went to the doctor when she was alive.
Annie and Grace listen in...
Too bad she wasn't here for old Henry
Not much would have helped him.
I never got that whole story, what
Old Henry was changing a flat tire
on his truck over on 118 when that...
...two-hundred-year-old jack he has
gives way and the side of that truck
come slamming down on that rock he
There's laughter -- everyone knows Old Henry. Except:
Knocked him out for a while. He woke
up, finished putting on the tire and
drove himself to the hospital.
Old Fool... Darling, pass down those
peas for me, thank you.
Annie and Grace don't know how to respond... But everyone
else takes it their stride as they continue eating...
Grace notices Joe is whispering something to Frank, who nods
his head and speaks to the table.
Huh, Joe here has something to say.
Joe stands, somewhat formally, with his hat on.
I wrote this for you Grandma...
Mrs. Booker, and Diane, beam. Annie and Grace don't know
what to expect. Joe stands straight as an arrow and recites
a poem from memory...
At first, Annie and Grace appear to be embarrassed for the
boy but soon they can't help but be won over by his
He finishes and everyone applauds. Hank's wife asks:
That was lovely. Who wrote that,
I wrote it myself, ma'am.
Now son, you tell 'em when it came
Be honest, I can't say I did it all
myself. My grandma helped me get the
OOoo's and aah's and smiles and conversations erupting over
Only we see, Grace looking over to Joe who gives her kickass,
(raising his beer)
Well, I'd like to welcome Annie and
Grace to their first branding...
And next time, Miss Annie, you can
run down the calves...
I'll drink to that...
Everyone toasts and drinks. Annie and Tom exchange a look.
She smiles, but not in a alluring way -- rather, in a grateful
way. Grateful for this brief moment of community and good
feeling. And somehow, Tom knows what she's feeling.
No one notices this silent exchange -- except for Diane, who
sees everything that's going on.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHTFALL
The Women are bringing in dishes and plates and food from
the tables through the house and into the kitchen. Annie is
among them, feeling apart of the group. She enters carrying
a large bowl, that held the corn.
Diane is replacing newly-cleaned forks and knives in her
dining room drawers, above which are several FAMILY PICTURES.
(referring to clean
Where does this go, Diane?
Oh, you can just set up on the dining
table. I have to rearrange my shelves
Annie complies. She notices the framed pictures on the wall
in the dining room.
Is this Mr. Booker? Tom's grandfather?
Diane looks at a faded photo circa late 1800's.
Mm-mm. I never knew him. He died
before Frank and I met. This here's...
Frank and Tom's mother and father...
there's little Frank and Tom...
She calls him Tommy...
Always did. I think she favored him
a little. You tend to when you have
more than one, even though you love
'em all the same.
She studies the old faces of Tom's Parents -- although 20th
Century people, there is still a pioneering strength in their
visage... a stoicism and power.
(putting away forks)
Ha, she loves telling this story
about how when he was two years old,
he ran off. They found him in the
barn, sleeping between two giant
hooves of a Percheron stallion. She
said that horse was protecting him
and nobody could convince her
I got a little confused though. The
ranch Ellen was talking about --
that's not this one?
Diane is sorting silverware throughout the following:
No. See, Frank and Tom were raised
near the Clark's Fork River, right
between the Pryor and Beartooth
Mountains. Beautiful piece of land.
But they had this uncle Ned -- useless
man, never interested in ranching.
And when the grandparents died, he
left for the city and sent word
through lawyers he wanted his claim
to the land so he could sell it.
Three years of legation broke their
father. Frank took it all in stride,
but Tom... Tom loved that land. I
don't think he ever got over it --
His home being sold out from under
him. Seeing his father like that.
Once he and Frank got their folks
set up in a new place, Tom left...
went off. We didn't see him for
Annie is intrigued by what she's learning about Tom.
Something outside the window catches her eyes. She watches:
Tom and Frank, on either side of Ellen, are escorting her to
a car that will drive her home.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie wanders out, passing Grace and Joe on her way out. The
two are sitting in a glider. As Annie exits O.C., we hear
Why do you always wear that hat?
Because it fits my head. You want to
try it on?
Grace doesn't know if she should.
Annie continues towards Tom who's sitting in a rocker playing
with the twins.
Show us again! Come on! One more
time! It's my turn now!
All right, all right. Hold out your
Annie takes a seat nearby and watches as Tom holds out the
first finger of his right hand. The Twins holds out his. Tom
splits his focus between Annie and the Twins as he takes a
small piece of rope out of his back pocket. He ties the ends
together making a loop. He puts the loop over the Twin's
finger. And holding the other end of the loop taut with his
left hand, he draws one side of the cord over the other with
the middle finger of his right hand. Then he rolls his hand
over so it's under the loop, and back over it again, so that
his finger is tip to tip with the Twin's. The loop seemingly
knotted around their touching fingertips, and can only be
removed if their touch is broken.
The loop's knotted, right.
Looks like the only way to take it
off, is if we break our touch...
Annie and the Twins look down at the touching fingers as Tom
gently pulls the rope away, revealing they are still knotted,
and without even breaking their touch...
Again! Again. One more time!
Oh, no. No, no. I only fall for that
once. Go inside now before your mother
starts hunting you down. Go on.
The Twins exit. Annie and Tom make eye contact.
(smiles, relaxes back)
So how was your first and last day
Don't be so sure it's my last. There
are a few people back home I'd like
to put under a red hot iron.
Tom looks at her with a sly expression, and notices she's
You got too much sun today... Here...
He takes his jacket and puts it around her shoulders.
He sits back down. Annie crosses her arms over her chest,
looks around, unconsciously swinging her foot. Tom watches
her leg. Annie notices him watching;
You ever just stand still for a
You stand still too long in New York
you get hit by a bicycle messenger.
You know, sometimes, I get the
feeling, Mr. Booker, that you're
laughing at me. Why is that?
Tom shrugs. Annie waits a beat, then:
That's your cue to say you're not
laughing at me.
Oh, I see, you write both sides of
It's a man's world, Mr. Booker. Most
women have to.
Well, maybe I am laughing a bit... I
just thought, as long as you're here,
it would be nice for you to relax
into the place a little.
Well... It's beautiful country, I'll
give you that. And I could see having
some kind of vacation place. Retreat.
But I don't know how you do it full
time. Don't you miss the rest of the
What's that to miss?
Ha... if you've never lived in a
city with museums, theater, music,
restaurants, uh... god, a million
things, then it's something I can't
(thinks, teasing a
Does Chicago count?
You lived in Chicago?
When I was first married.
You were married to a woman in
Tom likes disturbing her picture of him as the predictable
cowboy. He smiles;
I once heard Itzhak Perlman guest
star with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra. He played Rachmaninov's
Vocalize Opus 34. No. 14. It was one
of the most beautiful pieces of music
I ever heard. I actually forgot where
I was for a time.
(Annie is floored)
You seem surprised?
(not wanting to insult)
Well, I, uh... you didn't...
Just who's been laughing at who here?
Tom says this with a wry smile. Annie returns with a smile --
as an understanding is reached between them: they've both
stereotyped the other. They are both pleased -- and attracted --
by what they don't know.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is fast asleep, exhausted. She does not stir when the
Annie picks up from her own bed, awakened, still dressed in
her branding clothes, having just passed out on the bed.
INT. CENTRAL PARK WENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
INTERCUT: Robert, alone, in the vast apartment.
I thought you guys were going to
Oh, Robert, I'm sorry. We were so
tired from the branding. Grace barely
made it to her bed and I didn't have
the energy to take my clothes off.
Oh well... branding will do that to
Everything all right.
Fine. Actually, today was a good
day. You should have seen her.
I wish I did.
The sound of self-pity was so obvious for both of them, so
Robert quickly re-groups, resorting to something he knows is
important to her;
Well, uh the real reason I called,
actually, was to tell you I saw Lucy
at Jo-Jo's tonight and she seems
Apparently, Gottschalk's been seen
around town lunching with some very
prominent magazine editors. Lucy
said she tried to call you, but no
one answered so she faxed you the
list of names. She said one of them
have contracts up fairly soon.
Oh. I didn't look at my faxes today.
We left before sunrise.
Honey, I hope you're not endangering
your position. Listen, if you need
to come back and you want me to come
take over, for a while, I'll work it
out. I mean, the firm's got other
lawyers, but the magazine's got only
one of you.
After a day of hard work and simple pleasures, Annie begins
to succumb to old anxieties and pressures.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie is awake reading the faxes Lucy sent. One after other.
As she flips through them, one falls to the floor near the
She gets down on all fours to retrieve and sees something
under the bed. AN OLD, BATTERED CELLO CASE. She pulls it out
to find the initials R.B. carved on the top. She opens it to
find papers, receipts, bills -- all from Tom's married life.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - EARLY MORNING
Tom rides a young colt along the creek. He hears footsteps.
He turns and sees Annie running along the creek on the other
side. He stops to watch. When his horse SNORTS, Annie looks
up to see him. She stops. He tips his hat to her.
I've decided it's impossible to
properly say hello in this place
without a hat.
A jogger, huh?
I don't jog, Mr. Booker. I run.
Lucky for you. The grizzlies around
here only go for joggers.
If I can survive rush hour, I figure
I can handle grizzlies...
You sleeping all right in that house?
I don't sleep all right anywhere.
But the house is fine.
Tom walks his horse across the creek to her, comfortable in
the silence. Annie moves about, uncomfortable in the waiting.
Tom is finding Annie's blunt curiosity more endearing.
I found this old cello case filled
with bills and receipts.
Sorry about that. I thought everything
got cleared out. R.B. is my wife...
ex-wife... Rachel. We used to live
in that house together.
I thought you lived in Chicago?
I thought you were an editor, not a
Annie smiles and nods, realizing she's asking too many
She tries to casually reach out to touch the horse's head,
but it's too abrupt and the horse tosses his head away, taking
a couple of steps back. Annie is embarrassed.
I have a way with animals.
It's all right. He's young. Just
hold out your hand a little lower so
he can get the smell of you.
Oh yes. I forgot.
She does and the horse sniffs at her hand.
Why don't you ride anymore? Grace
told me you used to ride when she
Annie is somewhat moved by her daughter telling him that.
I don't know, really. No time mostly.
A cold wind blows. She folds her arms across her breasts.
I thought it was supposed to be
Tom can't help but notice her nipples are hard from the cold.
He looks away. She laughs.
Are you shy, Mr. Booker?
Just polite. Well, maybe you'd like
to try riding again, some time before
you go home.
Annie is struck by the words "before you go home." Tom ambles
off on his horse.
Enjoy the day.
Annie steps across the rocks at the ford, crossing the creek.
Her foot slips, one of her shoes goes into the water.
Need a lift?
I can handle it!
She crosses the creek. She turns, giving him a small wave.
He touches his hat. She runs off. Tom watches her go, head
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
A tense Annie is having a difficult phone with DAVID
...David, we've been behind a day or
two before. But Lucy just Fedexed me
all the material and it'll be approved
by the end of the day.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
If nothing goes wrong. If the faxes
don't go down. If the phone lines
are opened. I can't have this magazine
hitting the streets by the skin of
its ass, Annie.
During David's lines, Diane has entered, carrying fresh towels --
she crosses into the bathroom.
Oh, come on! This is such bullshit!
The work is getting done, David.
Lucy keeps me on top of everything.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Lucy isn't you. We're losing something
without you being here. Now, I know
this is a rough time for you, but I
think we should make another
Without Annie's awareness, Diane re-enters and takes her
time leaving, so she can take in all of Annie's things; her
business "office," books, etc...
What the hell does that mean? How
much more do I have to do to prove
how important this magazine is to
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
If this magazine is so important to
you Annie, why are you in Montana?
Diane can't help but notice a slight vulnerability in Annie.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Look, this is what we're going to
do. Finish up this issue. I'll set
up a conference call in a few weeks.
Just you, me and your lawyer and
we'll just work this out so that
everyone will be taken care of. Fair
Annie is now aware of Diane's presence and chooses to play
it cool. It's not the moment.
Uh, yes... Sure, David.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
All right. Speak to you then.
He hangs up. Annie forces a smile to Diane.
Thank you. You're all doing too much.
Oh, it's... I wanted to tell you
that, if you'd like, you being so
busy, I could take Grace to her
therapy exercises for you. I have to
go in once a week for shopping anyway.
Annie doesn't know whether or not to accept.
Oh... Well... thank you very much. I
Before she finishes her line, the phone rings again.
Hello? Hi, yeah, I just spoke to
him. Oh, you know David, Mr. Strong
Diane feels out of place and exits. Annie doesn't notice
until she hears the door close. She pushes back her hair and
takes a deep breath. She looks out through the side window
Grace and Joe doing chores. Grace looks involved and not at
all self-conscious. A moment of gratitude and calm for Annie.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
Pilgrim bursts out of a chute and into the riding arena. He
runs to the far end and abruptly stops. Tom is holding the
orange flagstick, and coiled rope, coming through a gate
into the arena, crossing to the middle of the ring. Something
in his demeanor tells us that fun and game are over.
Pilgrim and Tom stand there, motionless, eyeing each other.
Pilgrim snorts and takes a few, small steps backward. Tom
takes a beat, then starts slowly towards Pilgrim, lifting
the flag and "cracking" it. At the sound, Pilgrim whirls
away from him and runs, around the arena. He starts to slow,
looking at Tom. Again, Tom cracks the flag and Pilgrim runs,
round and round the arena... like a ringmaster, Tom keeps
Pilgrim moving, cracking the flag.
Something about Tom's demeanor tells us it isn't going well.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
Tom, carrying a saddle, comes around the side of the barn.
Through the slats, he sees Grace working in the barn, watering
a horse. She has stopped and is looking through the cracks
of Pilgrim's stall at him. She turns and sees Tom through
the slats. She goes back to work as Tom comes to the barn
Come and take a ride with me.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
They walk towards his pick-up truck.
Can you drive?
Drive? I'm not old enough yet.
It's never too soon to start.
He enters the passenger side.
I don't have all day.
She hesitates and gets into the truck.
INT. PICK-UP TRUCK - DAY
Grace doesn't know what to do.
Put the key in and turn it.
The right pedal is gas, the other
one's the brake.
I don't know if I can with my leg.
Well, there's only one way to find
(puts truck in gear)
Give it a little gas.
She awkwardly puts her prosthetic foot on the gas pedal. Too
much. It lurches forward. She takes her foot off.
Well, we know you can. Now you just
got to feel how much. Try it again.
She does. They slowly, very slowly, move along the dirt road.
Nice, real nice. There's a little
road down at the end here, turn onto
Grace badly oversteers, but makes the turn. She drives along
the road, across a pasture, heading toward distant mountains.
Just follow this. Nothing to it. I'm
going to shut my eyes here for a
little while. Just keep going till
you run out of road.
I don't know if I can.
Not a question of if you can -- you
are. Just keep your eyes on the road
and your foot on the pedal and the
rest will take care of yourself.
Folding his arms over his chest, shutting his eyes, Tom
relaxes back. Grace locks her hand on the steering wheel and
her eyes straight ahead...
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The truck is parked at the foot of a mountain. Grace, very
pleased with herself, sits beside Tom on the cab's roof,
looking around them at the great Montana. After a beat;
Where did you get Pilgrim from?
We bought him in Kentucky. My mother
and I took a trip down there to see
That must have been pretty special.
Grace nods. It is a pleasant memory. He motions for her to
be quiet. An old ELK with a prodigious rack of antlers, has
come down out of the mountains. Seeing them, he stops in his
tracks, dead still. They watch each other. Then the elk turns
and runs back up into the mountains. Tom smiles at Grace who
smiles back -- partly because of the elk, partly because
she's alone with Tom.
Are you afraid of anything?
Getting old. Not being of much use,
What went on out there, Grace? With
Grace doesn't say anything. Tom nods then;
You see, Grace, I've got a problem.
When I'm working with a horse, I
like to know its history. Now, most
times, the horse can tell you pretty
much the whole story, but sometimes
he can be so messed up in his head
that you need more to go on. You
need to know exactly what went wrong.
Often times, it's the obvious thing,
but something that went wrong just
before that, maybe even some little
Grace is quiet. She doesn't want to think about that.
It's like if I'm driving and run
into a tree. When somebody asks me,
"Well, what happened?", I don't say,
"Well, I plowed into a tree." I'd
say, "The sun was in my eyes." or "I
skidded." or "I took my mind off the
road for a second." See what I mean?
I don't know how you feel about
talking about it and I can understand
you might not want to. But if I'm
going to figure out what's going on
in his head, it'd sure help if I
knew exactly what happened that day.
Grace looks away. Tom smiles and gently puts his arm around
her shoulders, which has a soothing effect on Grace -- making
her feel safe...
Not today -- whenever you feel like
it. I leave it up to you.
Grace looks into Tom's eyes, wanting so much to unburden
herself to him and have him make everything all right. She
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - LATE AT NIGHT
Tom is making his way to the house at the end of the day,
when he stops and looks over to the Creek house --
POV -- the lights are on. And he can see Annie, exhausted...
approving pages, talking on the phone and faxing all
He gets an idea.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
Annie sits on the porch of the creek house, with a guilt
over herself, sipping coffee and deep in thought. She looks
up to see:
Tom riding towards the house on his horse, leading another
horse behind him. He looks to her and smiles.
Tom reaches the house as Annie rises.
The answer's no.
You haven't heard the question yet.
Truth is, you'd be doing me a favor.
I got all these eager young colts
need riding and poor old Rimrock
here is feeling kind of left out...
He'd be grateful, he'd take real
good care with you.
Is this how you're going to make me
pay my phone bill?
No, ma'am, I'm afraid that's extra.
She gives him a crooked smile.
EXT. THE RANCH, PASTURE - DAY
Annie, in Levis and a jacket, rides Rimrock beside Tom across
the pasture. We overhear them in the midst of talking.
Relax our center... It's just sitting
in a bucket.
Yeah, it's been a while, but I... I
remember the basic ideas...
OK. I'll stop talking then.
He rides a few steps ahead as Annie realizes she doesn't
remember. She just went into automatic "I don't have to be
told anything" mode.
Actually, I never rode Western. I'm
sorry. Go ahead.
Well, he don't know that. Just sit
(watches her ride)
Good... You have a nice seat.
You look all right. You want to pick
it up a little?
Tom urges his horse into a center. Annie canters alongside.
Watch your reins, he'll go with you,
give him some room, let him do the
work. Relax, don't grab him with
your thighs, just so long as he can
feel your body.
Annie responds to every suggestion without resistance. And
she experiences this sense of pleasure -- this great animal
beneath her, the physicality and the surrender of letting
someone else lead...
You want to let it go some more?
She begins to let herself go, losing herself in the
She just nods... Tom breaks into a full gallop... Annie
follows suit... She lets everything go -- her job, her
marriage, motherhood, guilt, anxiety... all of it. Her only
focus is the horse beneath her, and the man on the horse
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
They ride along the creek, crossing at a ford. They ride up
towards the mountains.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
They ride through a narrow pass with sheer rock walls, riding
by a waterfall...
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
They ride across a meadow, cattle stepping lazily aside to
let them pass. And as they ride alongside each other,
appreciating the silence...
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
They ride up along a sloping ridge covered with pine trees.
They come to the rim of a high bluff. They stop. They look
out at the twin valleys that gave the ranch its name. And
they can just see the old CREEK HOUSE hidden in the shade of
some trees along the creek...
Tom looks over at Annie, who is looking out over this
It's a whole other world you have
going on here. It just goes along,
doing what it has to. And you're a
part of it, you just wake up and,
and there you are... And everything
that seems like life or death some
place else -- doesn't affect any of
this one bit.
Tom is impressed by her feelings. He sees her saddle cinch
needs fixing and gets off his horse.
Lift your leg.
Annie complies once she realizes what he's doing.
How long did you live here with your
Five years. My son was born here.
(opens her eyes)
Yeah. I haven't seen him in a while.
He used to come to the ranch over
summers, but then he started having
friends and was going off to college,
so... Good boy. Hal. Lives in New
York near his mom.
How did you meet her?
College. In Illinois. She was playing
the cello. I hadn't heard cello music
growing up. She had the reddest hair,
the bluest eyes. When she played, it
Tom can't find a beautiful enough word. But Annie understands.
She was the most beautiful thing I'd
Annie sees Tom as if with new eyes -- his love for this woman
Why didn't it work out?
She was never really happy here. She
did the best she could.
Annie looks at him and for the first time senses a kinship --
an understanding they both have of being torn between two
worlds... a desire for home...
Grace told me you have a country
house in Connecticut. Sounds like a
It is. It's lovely.
Ever think of moving there full time?
We did at one point. When we thought
we'd have more children. And we after
tried. We tried everything, but...
wasn't meant to be.
There is an awkward silent beat for a moment. Annie is
momentarily self-conscious. Tom helps by speaking of himself;
I hear that! See, I knew she was
never going to be a ranchest, but I
wanted to try -- I thought maybe
she'd give music lessons to the kids
in town or at the school, maybe even
recitals. My son would grow up here.
Maybe have one or two more. I'd teach
'em what I could. They'd play with
my brother's kids. All grow up
together. And even if they all decided
to go out into the world, they'd
always know where home was -- cause
we'd keep it for 'em...
That's very important to you, isn't
Yeah, I think it is. And I don't
mean everybody's got to be married,
have kids -- It's more like, knowing
where you're from, where you belong,
what feeds you, where you can go no
matter what happens... Knowing what
you're supposed to be doing while
How did you find out all that?
Tom looks right into her eyes and confesses without a shred
I got lost.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
The world is in silhouette. Off in the distance, we see Tom
standing by his horse, offering his hand to Annie, helping
her off. There's an awkward moment, neither of them wanting
the day, or the moment, to end.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is standing by the window, looking out at them. Their
movements indicate an intimacy that upsets her.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
After a beat; Tom gets back on his colt. He takes Rimrock's
reins and leads him off. Annie stops for a moment, watching
him ride away...
She watches her mother walk towards the house;
INT. CREEK HOUSE - MOMENT'S LATER
Grace watches her mother stand there a moment, then turn and
walk towards the house. Grace moves away from the window,
her emotions churning -- jealousy, anger -- and enters her
bedroom, shutting the door.
EXT. THE PASTURE - EARLY MORNING
Joe, hat tipped low, is riding his horse, leading some young
horses, exercising them in the morning pasture. He sees Grace,
walking with her cane, coming across the pasture.
She stops. After a beat;
Would you let me ride your horse?
Have you talked to Tom about it?
Of course I have.
I don't know... You sure Tom said
it's all right?
She nods. He hesitates.
Are you going to give me a hand or
He gets off his horse and holds it. She puts down her cane,
then puts her hand on the saddle horn. She puts her prosthetic
leg into a stirrup. Frightened, she starts to shake;
Angry, determined, Grace tries to swing her leg onto the
horse. She can't do it. Tears of frustration on her face.
She tries again. She manages to pull herself halfway on, her
prosthetic leg buckles and she falls. Frightened, Joe runs
She gasps to catch her breath. He reaches to help her up.
She pulls her hand away. Embarrassed, she "runs" off. Joe
remains still. He hears little VOICES. He turns and sees the
TWINS having been watching the whole thing from a small hill.
As they run off, he yells, threateningly.
You better not say anything!!!
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
We follow Joe running towards the creek house, fastening a
good shirt. He's dressed and cleaned for dinner. He's late.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie is in the midst of making a spaghetti dinner. She's a
little frazzled but she's on top of it. Grace enters wearing
a lovely dress -- it is the first time we have seen her in a
dress. Annie hears her enter before she sees her, asking;
Honey, would you see if anybody wants --
Annie notices Grace standing there, in her dress. She stops.
You look really pretty.
Grace is a little self-conscious but grateful. She begins
taking forks out of her dress pocket.
I thought there were too many forks
on the table.
Well, one was for salad...
Mom, they don't mind eating with one
You're right. Good.
Grace puts them away.
Does anybody out there want something
I'll take care of it.
Grace nods and exits to the living room.
The room is silent because every Booker is READING A DIFFERENT
COPY OF ANNIE'S MAGAZINE. Frank covertly glimpses at the
scantily-clad models... The Twins sharing a magazine, doing
the same thing as their father, but keeping an eye out for
mom... Diane is looking at pictorial exposes on the kind of
lives she only hears about on audio tapes...
Tom sits off to the side, amused by the sight.
Grace enters as Joe enters. They nod across the room to each
other with a little smile.
Would anyone like something to drink?
We hear a CRASH in the kitchen, then:
Everybody looks up for a minute. The Twins giggle. Diane
gives them a dirty look.
I'll give your mom a hand.
Diane watches him enter the kitchen, then returns to her
INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Annie has dropped a hot pot into the sink, after pouring the
tomato out of it, and into a terrine.
Everything under control?
Not really. I'd forgotten how long
it's been since I've done this. And
I couldn't get any Parmesan cheese.
Just make yourself comfortable.
I am comfortable.
Ha, ha... all right, well, uh I guess
you can bring out the pasta.
She undoes her apron and crosses towards the bowl. Tom's
eyes never leave her. It's the first time he's seen her in
her dress, sans apron. As she lifts the bowl to hand to him,
she realizes he's been looking at her. There's a silent
You missed a button.
She looks for it. Tom crosses to her and buttons it, then
takes the bowl.
They're quiet for a beat as they exchange a look. Suddenly,
Grace enters -- she clearly doesn't like the two of them
being alone, Annie quickly covers;
Oh, good, Grace, would you bring in
the bread... I'll get the salad and
then we're all set.
Tom has already exited by the time Annie finishes, and Grace
grabs the bread basket.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
We parachute into the middle of the meal. The spaghetti is a
hit... We cut to different conversations and reactions around
Frank is in the middle of saying;
It'd be a whole lot easier to pay
the feed end of the month...
I don't think Warren would go for
Grace is talking to Joe and the Twins.
...like, for instance, you can go on
the Internet and access this thing
called The Visible Man -- who was
this murderer they caught in Texas
that was executed and donated his
body to science and you can call him
up on the screen and dissect him,
like in Three-D...
Grace eats as she talks. Joe and the Twins are fascinated.
Annie asks Tom, Frank and Diane;
Well, did you ever think about hiring
a business manager?
We have a business manager. The best
Diane takes care of the books. I
don't know how, but at the end of
every month, everything adds up to
Ain't brain surgery.
It's pretty impressive. Where I come
from, you'd be a gold mine.
Diane doesn't know how to accept that, but inside she's
bursting with pride. She focuses on the Twins who fight;
This is MY fork. That's YOUR fork,
Hey. You stop that kind of talk at
I'll have another round of that
spaghetti if may?
Absolutely. I made enough for an
I uh... I like the sauce very much.
Maybe I get the recipe.
Annie is so pleased and is about to reply, but Grace, noticing
Tom smiling at Annie:
It's from a jar.
There's an odd silence as a deflated Annie serves Frank.
Finally, Diane saves it.
Well, I tried jar sauce once -- wasn't
this good. Ya gotta know which brand
to buy. I'd like to get the name of
Annie is grateful. Grace feels foolish.
Can we see the dead body on the
It's just my computer.
Oh, I don't --
It's okay. Grace, show them. I'm
going to put the coffee on. I made
an apple tart for dessert.
The Twins excitedly move to the computer. Joe waits for Grace.
I'll help you with the coffee.
Well... I know I should reject that
offer, but I'm not going to.
No reason you should, no reason you
They exit into the kitchen. Frank continues eating.
Tom looks around -- Grace showing the boys the computer.
Annie and Diane in the kitchen. For a second, we see Tom
realize an image of the life he once thought he could.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
As Diane and Annie prepare coffee and dessert;
I was looking in one of your magazines
and saw that picture of the couple
getting married at the Pyramids.
Were you ever in Egypt?
I was there for that shot, actually.
What was it like?
Oh, God -- I think it was the fourth
or fifth time I'd been there, so all
I remember was the heat and how
incompetent the photographer was...
She laughs as she directs this last line to Diane, who just
smiles. And Annie realizes that's not what she meant at all.
This woman is starving for glimpses into this other life.
But, uh, Egypt is, well, it's like
nothing else. It's like going back
I remember as a kid trying to imagine
what a kid my age, centuries ago,
walking over that same ground, was
wondering about or, if they had the
same problems as me... and I felt,
connected to... to time itself,
almost. Ha, I never realized how
hard it was to describe.
I'd love to go there one time...
You and Frank ever take a vacation?
Soon. We're going to Branson, Missouri
to see my cousin Emma married. Frank
loves it there.
Annie can sense the disappointment in her voice, and at the
same time, the comfortable resignation.
Suddenly, from inside, they hear LOUD OVERLAPPING VOICES as
the children fight.
IT WAS MY TURN!
YA JUST HAD A TURN. IT WAS NOT.
Diane and Annie enter to find Joe and Scott fighting, as Tom
tries to break them up...
Boys! Settle down!
You never let me have a turn!
Don't be such a baby!
You just showing off for her!
You shut up, stupid!
You're the one who's stupid -- letting
her go and fall off your horse!!
Everyone goes quiet, except for the computer screen.
You little shit!
I saw 'em. In the pasture. Her trying
to get on Gonzo! I saw 'em.
What does he mean?
Did you go riding?
Joe lunges for Scott and the two start rolling in a fight.
Frank and Tom work to pull them apart as Diane yells.
Annie, I'm so sorry, but they're
just tired. We'll have dessert another
time. Frank, get them out of here.
(to other Twin)
Come on. Say good night and thank
Voices everywhere. Yelling. "Thank you's!!" During which,
Grace quickly turns and exits. Annie eyes follow her out of
the room, but with her guests and the chaos, she doesn't
know whether or not to leave.
Dinner was delicious. Thank you.
Say thank you!!
Diane and Frank usher the kids out. Tom holds onto Joe until
they're gone, then lets him go.
Sorry, ma'am, I thank you for dinner.
It was very good.
Did Grace try to ride, Joe?
I expect you should talk to Grace
about that, ma'am. And if I did
anything wrong, then I am sorry.
Ever the gentlemen, Joe exits. Annie looks to Tom. He's about
to leave, when he stops and says:
Don't let her turn you away.
Annie stands and faces Grace's closed door. Slowly, she lowers
herself to her knees and sits on them, thinking... reminiscent
of Tom, waiting for his moment with Pilgrim, in the field.
INT. CREEK HOUSE, GRACE'S ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
We don't know how long Annie waited, but she knocks gently,
then enters to find Grace, in her nightgown, on her bed,
with the night stand light on. Her prosthesis is against the
Grace? Is everything all right?
Can we talk?
So you tried riding again?
Yeah. Does that mean I'm cured?!
Honey, nobody's trying to cure you --
...You worried everything all right
now and we'll have to go home?
What are you talking about?
You... not wanting to go home because
you hate daddy so much.
Grace, I don't hate your father.
I can't remember the last time you
made him dinner.
I was just trying to say thank you
to Diane and Frank and --
Annie sits by the bed, Grace moves away a little.
Look, I just wanted to say, I think
it's great you're riding again. And...
and I think I know why you, you needed
to do it alone... without anyone
Yeah, you know everything!!
STOP IT! Why can't I talk to you!!
NO, YOU STOP IT! Stop pretending
like you care! Like this really isn't
about you and Tom.
WHAT?! How can you --
(at a loss)
I'm sorry if my friendship with Tom
bothers you so much, but I happen to
value having someone to talk to,
especially when my own daughter
ignores me night and day because no
matter what I say, it's wrong and no
matter what I do, it's wrong... I'm
sorry I'm such a disappointment to
Well, now you know what it feels
I don't deserve that. I have never
looked at you as a disappointment.
If I'm on your back to do better, if
I push you to try harder it's because
I want you to be the best you can
FOR YOU! Because I'm your daughter
which means you're the best mother!
Isn't that what you're always talking
about in interviews -- having it
all, the great career, the great
family... Proving everybody wrong.
Wanting everybody to think you're
this perfect woman!
Beat. They're both exhausted.
Listen, if... if there's a part of
you as parent that... that takes
pride in your child -- that, you can
look at them and see something you've
accomplished as well... if that's
wrong, then I'm sorry.
But it wasn't my intention. I don't
push for me. I do it for you... So
you don't waste half your life feeling
like you don't know where you belong.
Yeah, well, you've done a great job.
Beat. Annie feels deeply hurt.
Well, then I do apologize... But
what I'm most sorry for is turning
you into a spoiled brat who can only
think about what she's feeling...
who can't admit when she's wrong and
who can't forgive when she's not.
LEAVE ME ALONE!!
Annie stops to exit as Grace says something under her breath.
What did you say?
I said... I started.
Grace starts to sob. Annie doesn't understand.
I felt it happen downstairs and when
I went into the bathroom.
Annie reaches down to touch Grace's shoulder. Grace turns --
there is no anger in her face. Annie sits and takes her in
her arms. Grace clings to her and sobs like a little girl.
Annie sees tears run -- gratefully, lovingly.
Who's going to want me now?
What?... Oh baby...
Who's ever going to want me? Nobody
That's not true.
Why should they?
Because you are... one of the most...
incredible, bravest, most beautiful
woman I have ever met. The efforts
you make. Your courage and your
(laughs thru tears)
I don't know where you got it? I
honestly don't know how I would have
handled all this if I were you.
Grace is so grateful, they cling to each other even harder.
As the tears subside, Grace manages to admit...
I'm sorry... about what I said. It's
just that -- all those times you and
Daddy were trying for another kid,
I... I used to pray at night that it
would work. And not because of you
guys or that I wanted a brother or
sister... but... just so I wouldn't
have to be...
So special. Because I was the only
one. You both wanted me to be so
good at everything, so perfect and I
wasn't. I was just me. And now I've
completely ruined everything,
They both start crying again as Annie rocks her gently.
They hold each other as if for dear life...
LATER -- CAMERA PANS to discover mother and daughter, fast
asleep, in each other's arms.
INT. TOM'S ROOM, RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom sits alone, writing at his desk. His music is playing.
He stops to look out the window overlooking the Creek House.
Annie and Grace fell asleep with the lights still on in the
Tom is thinking of Grace and Annie -- wondering what happened
after he left... conflicted by what he feels for Annie...
And remembering why they're here in the first place...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NEXT MORNING
The phone rings, awakening Annie first, then Grace.
Hello, this is ATT Conference Service.
Is this Annie MacLean?
I have a conference call scheduled
for you with Mr. Gottschalk and Mr.
Oh. Oh, yes. One moment, please.
Who is it?
Uh, nothing. I'm going to pick it up
in the other room -- would you hang
this up for me?
Annie moves to the other room, sits down at her office space,
takes a breath, then picks up, yelling to Grace;
Operator?... I'm ready.
EXT. RIDING ARENA - LATER THAT MORNING
Annie and Grace are standing by the arena fence. Frank, Joe
and the Twins are sitting on the fence rail. Joe is holding
a saddle and a bridle, standing in some shadows in an empty
arena. Pilgrim comes running into the ring. Out of habit, he
starts circling the ring. He sees Tom holding a saddle.
Pilgrim walks towards him. Curious, he stops, looking at
Tom puts the saddle down, sitting crossways on it. Pilgrim
walks towards him again. He stops, looking at Tom again. Tom
just sits there, playing with the bridle. Pilgrim walks around
him. Tom doesn't show him any interest. Pilgrim comes closer.
He looks at the saddle. He runs off. He stops, looking back.
Tom just sits. Pilgrim walks back over. Tom stands and shows
him the bridle. Pilgrim comes closer, sniffing it. He rubs
his nose against the leather. Tom pats his head. Then, in
one quick, but deft motion, he puts the bridle on him. Pilgrim
tosses his head, but it doesn't seem to bother him. Grace
and Annie watch intently. Tom takes the reins, walking Pilgrim
around the ring. He walks him to the saddle. Pilgrim paws at
it with his hoof. He turns and runs off. Tom lets him go.
Pilgrim runs around the ring, slows down, looks over at Tom.
Tom picks up the saddle. Pilgrim, cautiously, comes back
over. Tom, with the saddle, walks away from him. Pilgrim,
again curious, follows him. He nudges Tom.
Tom stops. Pilgrim comes around to take a good look at the
saddle. Tom rubs his back. And gently, like laying down a
sheet, puts the saddle on his back. Pilgrim shuffles slightly
at the touch. Tom quickly cinches it. Taking up the reins,
he walks Pilgrim around the ring again. He starts to jog.
Pilgrim jogs with him. And in the middle of the jog, Tom
grabs onto the saddle horn, and without breaking his stride,
pulls himself back up onto his back. He lays across the
saddle, letting Pilgrim feel his weight. He sits up, and
without letting him break his stride, he urges Pilgrim with
his thighs, keeping him in the jog, riding around the ring.
Grace and Annie cheer. Tom tips his hat to them...
INT. THE BARN - DAY
Grace is cleaning stalls, etc... She exits one of the stalls
with a pail and stops -- looking down the barn to where she
knows Pilgrim is. She places the pail down and gathers her
courage. She walks to Pilgrim's stall. She stands motionless
for some moments before she opens the doors and enters...
Pilgrim steps back a bit. He looks at her. He pins his ears
back. Stomps his feet. Grace is about to turn and leave, but
she stops herself and remains still.
Slowly, she reaches out to touch Pilgrim's head... and he
lets her. We see in Grace a maturity of character, a
willingness to face what she must face... the beginning of a
compassion, not only for Pilgrim, but perhaps for herself as
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - NIGHT
A full moon lights the ranch. Tom pulls up to the ranch house
in his truck, parks and gets out. As he walks towards the
house, he hears:
Grace exits the Creek House and coming towards him, a coat
over her nightgown. Tom waits until she reaches him.
I was waiting for you to come back.
Tom instinctively knows what she wants.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Grace sits at the table. Tom is cooking at the stove. It
feels as if they are the only two people on earth. Grace
gets up her nerve... and begins:
Judith was telling me about this boy
she really liked. She never even had
a chance to tell me his name...
She starts to quietly cry, but it doesn't stop her.
We were going to go around by the
And we see the accident all over again... But this time, a
movie -- as clear as reality -- but in deathly silence. Just
the sound of Grace's voice, and her heartbeat...
EXT. THE WOODS, CONNECTICUT - EARLY MORNING
The horses are going up the icy path...
We were laughing about something, I
don't remember what. Her horse fell...
Judith's horse suddenly stumbles on the ice, going down,
throwing Judith, her foot helplessly caught in the stirrup.
Her horse sliding back down the hill.
Grace tries to move Pilgrim to avoid the errant horse, but
it's too late, the horse plows into them, the horses sliding
back down the hillside onto the empty COUNTRY ROAD...
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD, CT. - EARLY MORNING
Pilgrim is first to find his legs. Judith's horse, its leg
broken at the ankle, walks in a confused state. Judith's
foot is helplessly caught in the stirrup...
...Judith's foot was caught in the
stirrup... she couldn't get up, she
was so scared...
I saw this truck, coming around the
She sees the glint of the steel. The Truck suddenly appears
from around the bend.
...He was honking, trying to get us
to move... I tried to grab the reins
to get Judith's horse out of the
Grace grabs the reins of Judith's horse. The horses are
...And the truck started skidding...
The truck skidded on the icy road, going out of control,
jack-knifing, heading right for them...
...It was coming right at us... There
wasn't any time to do anything... It
ran right into Judith's horse...
The truck bed plows into Judith's horse...
...Judith just disappeared... And it
came right at Pilgrim and me...
We see this...
...And Pilgrim reared up at the truck
and I fell off...
Grace falls onto the road, the truck running over her.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Grace sobs uncontrollably now.
Judith... Oh God, Judith. I'm sorry...
Tom is near and holds her as she puts her head on his chest.
I won't tell you it'll stop feeling
this bad... But I can tell you, you
didn't do anything wrong... The same
thing would have happened to me...
or Frank... or Joe... And there's no
sense in looking for a reason why
I used to try and... always came up
short. I don't think the why so's
important as... what we do with what
we get. I remember this boy I'd see
up on the Blackfeet Reservation. He
was sixteen. Great kid. Strong. He'd
gone swimming and dived headfirst
into a rock. Snapped his neck,
paralyzed him... After the accident,
I'd look in on him from time to
time... and he wasn't there anymore.
His mind, his spirit, whatever you
want to call it, it just disappeared.
And what was left was nothing but
anger... It's like the boy I knew
just went away somewhere...
I know where he goes.
I know you do. Don't you disappear.
(holds her tighter)
You do whatever you have to, to hold
I'll tell you one more thing... When
Pilgrim reared up to face that
truck... you know what I think?... I
think that damn horse loved you so
much, he was trying to protect you...
That's what I think.
Grace listens to this. As Tom holds her in silence, it's
almost as if they were father and daughter...
EXT. THE CORRAL - PRE-DAWN
Tom stands with Grace in the corral. Tom's horse, Rimrock,
is saddled nearby. Tom takes Grace's cane.
Let me hold that...
Grace stands, looking at the horse...
I can't... not yet...
There's no hurry. Take you time.
She's trying so hard to be brave. After a moment, she reaches
for the saddle horn. She puts her prosthetic leg in the
stirrup, takes a breath and swings her leg up -- slipping,
falling to the ground. Tom doesn't say anything. She pulls
herself back up. She repeats the action... determinedly. She
swings her leg over again and sits squarely on the horse.
Tom remains still, but proud.
As the day breaks, we leave them in silence -- Tom standing,
hands in pocket... Grace sitting up on the horse, proudly.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE, THE PASTURE - EARLY MORNING
Endless sky. Annie is jogging off in the distance when she
looks up and stops to see: Tom and Grace, both on horses,
stopped on a rolling hill. They do not see her.
Annie is filled with emotion... pride for her daughter,
gratitude for this amazing man.
As the two ride off into the distance we do a slow:
BRIGHT SUNSHINE... CATTLE DRIVE...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Frank and Diane, with the Twins, dogs at their heels, ride
in front of the herd. Behind them, Joe riding alongside Grace.
Smokey and some Hands ride among the herd, keeping them
And riding behind the herd are Annie and Tom...
MONTAGE OF VARIOUS MOMENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY DURING THE
CATTLE DRIVE... Highlighting, in particular, those in which
the rising sexual tension between Tom and Annie is apparent.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - NIGHT
The cattle stands in silhouette. We hear singing.
Everyone is sitting around a campfire. Frank's playing the
guitar, singing along with Tom. They laugh when a lyric or a
note goes wrong. Everyone is enjoying it.
Annie, her arms around her knees, sits off by herself. The
song ends and people applaud.
Frank hands the guitar to Hank;
Play that sweet one you know. The
one makes my wife here so friendly.
(slaps his shoulder)
Hank begins to play and sing a painfully pretty song. His
sweet voice is stark contrast to his gruff, strongman
appearance. Frank offers his hand to Diane, she slaps it
away and laughs, he helps her up and they start to dance. As
Joe stands and offers his hand to Grace;
You wouldn't want to dance with me,
I don't thinks you'd want me tripping
all over you in front of everybody.
I wouldn't let it happen.
You know, you're a good kid.
Joe smiles and helps her up. They come together and start
Annie is watching, holding her breath with gratitude.
Tom notices Annie off by herself and crosses to her. He
extends his hand. She hesitates, looks again to Grace with
Joe, then accepts...
His hand slide to her back. Her hand to his shoulder. They
dance. Their bodies closer than they've ever been. Slowly,
she leans her head against his body. And surrenders, for the
Diane sees them. She holds her husband fast, and buries her
head on his neck.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
MORE CATTLE DRIVE MONTAGE -- Taking Tom and Annie a bit
further in their intimacy; perhaps Tom takes extra special
care to explain things to Annie, or fix her saddle cinch, or
make her laugh...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - EVENING
The cows stands in the pasture, grazing. Annie and Diane are
cleaning some pots and pans in the stream.
Must be nice for you to take a few
days off from your work, huh?
Well, I have more than a few days,
ha, ha... I uh... I'm sort of... not
an editor anymore... right now...
First time I've said it out loud.
They fired you?
No, it's more like a leave of --
Ha, ha, ha. Yeah, they fired me.
You don't seem to upset?
Delayed shock. Or maybe not. I know
I could talk my way back if I wanted
or... go to another magazine,
someplace... Just not sure if I want
Guess you don't have to figure it
out until you go home.
This phrase "go home" stings Annie -- though Diane said it
Did you always know this was the
life you wanted?
I fell in love. After that, I never
thought about being anything but a
rancher's wife. I never saw it like
I was losing some other life, just
felt like I was gaining one. I know
that's not a popular opinion nowadays
and I ain't saying it's the right
one. We all have to find the life
meant for us.
Frank's a good man.
They don't come better. But I don't
deny there are times I wonder about
things I won't have. Maybe one day
I'll get to see Egypt. Maybe not.
But I know if you try too many
different lives, you can wind up
with no life at all...
Sounds like something Tom would say.
Yes, it does.
Annie and Diane resume washing the dishes in silence. Annie
deep in thought. Until Diane stops. After a beat, Annie
Annie, I'm not good at this kind of
talk -- goes round and round a thing
but never comes to it -- so let's
just say what it is. When you first
came here, I didn't like you and I
was worried. Tom means a lot to me
and this family. Don't go looking
here for whatever you looking for.
Don't make that man go through
something it took him a long time to
see his way clear out of the first
I don't think anybody can make Tom
do anything he didn't want.
He's a good man, Tom is. He's got a
gift, come from heaven above, I swear.
But he's still a man. And a woman
can lead a man into the middle of a
mountain lake -- and still make him
think he's on dry land.
Diane's words ring in Annie's head.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DEAD OF NIGHT
Dead in stillness. The cattle dark and motionless. Everyone
asleep in bedrolls around the pasture.
Annie awakens, looks up at the moon, watching it go in and
out of the clouds. She looks over to sleeping Grace... Then
looks to where Tom is -- and sees his sleeping bag is empty.
Quietly, she rises and looks for him.
She starts across the grass and sees him crossing on his
haunches, wearing a slicker, sitting in the grass by the
stream, drinking some water. She watches him.
Tom senses something and turns. For a moment, they just look
at each other -- half disbelieving the inevitable is so close
at hand. Annie approaches as Tom rises.
They meet. They kiss. Tentative at first, but more, just to
make that very, precious first moment of discovery last as
long as it can. The kiss grows more passionate. They begin
to lose themselves in each other.
Until, suddenly, aware of their surroundings, they part. No
words. Their expressions to each other tell all. Annie
separates herself and goes back to her bedroll... Tom stands
in the grass, by the stream... the moving water, the night's
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The cattle drive returns. Tom, Annie, Grace, et al... are on
their horses, heading back towards the ranch when Grace sees
in the distance;
Annie looks up and sees:
POV -- ROBERT has come to the ranch. He is waiting for them
with his luggage beside a rental car... standing out like an
Like The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit in the middle of Wyeth's
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Everyone is being introduced to Robert, as Grace hugs him
from the side, never letting go of him. Frank, Diane -- who
introduce their kids, then Tom and Robert shake hands...
This is Mr. Booker, Robert.
Hi. It's a pleasure. I'm very grateful
for the way you took in my girls
here. I bet you were surprised when
they just showed up out of nowhere.
Laugh. Awkward silence...
Well I uh... I can already see a
And I'm very grateful to you.
Robert is so sincere -- in that openly, modern, "express
your feelings" kind of way. Tom just nods.
Did you notice -- no cane?
I know. Amazing.
Can we show him Pilgrim, Tom?
Oh, we're gonna show your dad plenty.
Why don't you all get settled in and
we'll do the tour. Excuse me.
As Tom walks away, a nervous Robert feels compelled to say:
See you later!
Tom just nods and keeps walking. Annie and Robert face each
other for a beat.
Let's bring your bags inside.
Wait till you see this -- we have
the whole house to ourselves...
The MacLeans walk to the Creek House.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
In the distance, we see the pick-up truck parked out in the
pasture. Tom is standing with Robert -- in jeans, now -- and
Grace, telling Robert about the ranch. Robert has his arms
around Grace, asking questions, interested in everything...
Grace is loving being with her two favorite men...
EXT. RANCH - DAY
Grace waits in the truck as Tom leads Robert through the
cows and cowshit, climbs up and hops over a wood fence. Robert
follows suit -- not as gracefully -- and gets a splinter...
INT. RANCH KITCHEN - DAY
Diane is busy in the kitchen when Annie enters.
Is there anything you need? I'm going
Well, I am going to go after lunch.
No, no, I'll go -- just give me a
Annie is determined. She needs to be by herself for a bit.
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE RANCH - DAY
Tom continues his tour as the dogs run about them. Tom pays
the dogs no attention, except to bark an order. Robert,
however, engages with them -- picking up a stick and throws
it. A dog returns and gives it back. Robert kneels and begins
rubbing the dog's fur, talking to it, looking like an
anachronism in his baggy jeans with designer cowboy belt and
spanking new designer cowboy boots.
Tom waits patiently for Robert, who... and carries on with
the dog a bit too long. When Robert gets up, he habitually
brushes the dirt off his jeans, maybe even his boots, and
makes sure his outfit is hanging properly.
INT. BARN - DAY
Grace is in the stall with Pilgrim. Once again, close enough
to touch him, which he allows.
Outside the stall, stand Robert and Tom. Robert squeezes his
I can't believe it's the same horse.
We still have a way to go.
How much longer do you think?
Tom understands this man wants his family back.
Well, like I told your wife, it's
really up to Pilgrim.
INT. KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING
Everyone is seated around the table, eating, talking,
Grace is right by her father's side. Frank's in the middle
of telling Robert:
We thought we lost him in the snow
storm... Told the kids. Had a funeral
for the damn thing. Finally, snow
stops. Staring to warm up. I go out
and start cleaning the truck...
Goddamn if that dog doesn't jump out
from the back seat covered in snow...
I nearly stained myself.
He thought it was a ghost.
A dog ghost!
Laughter all around.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Everyone is outside enjoying the night after a long day.
Diane and Annie are on the porch. Diane is showing Annie how
she does her needlepoint. Annie is genuinely interested.
Tom and Frank and Robert are sitting out front. Grace is at
Robert's feet. Joe sits on the ground in front of his father,
Is the poverty worse, now, you think?
I haven't been back in over twenty
years, but I wouldn't be surprised.
The population's larger.
What were you doing over in India?
Uh, this was right after college. I
was in the Peace Corps.
Back on Diane and Annie, who hear the laughter O.S. and look.
Diane smiles, seeing how much Grace is enjoying her dad.
She sure loves her daddy, huh?
Annie smiles and looks herself. Yes, she does, she thinks.
Why can't I?
Back to the others. Everyone is very interested in Robert's
stories... especially Tom.
...and I thought before I settled
into law school -- everybody knew
that was the plan -- I'd take this
time for myself.
Grace rises to go to the Creek House.
And I tell you, Frank, it was one of
As Grace passes by, she stumbles a bit and Robert habitually
rises to help, but Grace ignores him and rights herself,
continuing. Robert quickly sits back down, continuing.
...one of the uh... greatest times
of my life... I had experiences that,
I think, changed my outlook forever.
I came back a different person,
Tom listens with great interest and respect.
Back to Diane and Annie, who watch as Joe follows Grace.
I think I'm going to have my hands
full with the son of mine when you
leave. Just might be his first broken
Oh, how sweet.
A burst of laughter pulls their attention to the group --
Robert is now standing, acting out a story.
...and I have no idea what he's saying
because I don't understand Hindu...
Everyone is listening, with big expectant smiles. Annie
watches -- having heard this story before. Her eyes gradually
shift to Tom, who is enjoying the story.
...So, finally I'm trying to explain
to him that I'm allergic to wool and
would he please get his sheep out of
my car --
Laughter. Robert continues, giving a quick look to Annie --
who is looking at Tom... Robert lets it go, continuing his
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is asleep. Robert sits by her bed, lit by the moon
through a window. He stares at this creature he loves so
much. He rises and enters Annie's room.
Annie shrugs. Robert looks at the bed. He teases.
Small bed. Maybe I should sleep in
You're allergic to hay.
I apologize for the surprise, but
the days only opened yesterday and I
You don't have to explain. You have
every right to come.
I can see why you put your faith in
him. He's a genuine... good guy...
Good at what he does. That's rare.
Annie nods. She tries to hide her discomfort. Robert sits on
the bed before her.
You were right about coming here.
I'm sorry for not thinking...
No, it's okay. Believe me, there
were plenty of times I didn't know
what the hell was right.
How are you feeling about work?
Let's not talk about that now.
And they're quiet. He moves to kiss her. It's awkward. They
look to each other -- as they try to remember how to make
I feel like I'm on a first date.
Annie smiles sympathetically.
EXT. BARN DANCE, HANK'S RANCH - DUSK
Cars and pick-up trucks haphazardly parked along a dirt
road... Smoking open grill barbecues. Ranchers and families
move about the ranch, sit and eat at picnic tables with
gingham tablecloths... Some teenagers hanging around the
corral, talking. Diane and some other women, eating and
talking... Frank with a group of men, drinking beer, telling
A BAND has been set up by the barn. People are dancing under
the harvest moon. Grace is dancing with Joe... Tom is dancing
with a local woman... Annie with a rancher... Everyone is
having a good time...
Robert is enjoying a smoke with some men. He looks over to
the dance floor and smiles when he sees Grace and Joe.
Joe and the Rancher trade place... Joe dances with Annie,
the Rancher with Grace... But Tom sees his chance and switches
with the Rancher so that he can dance with Grace... She is
thrilled and he guides her effortlessly across the floor.
Joe and Annie are interrupted by another couple. Joe switches
partners, but Annie smiles and excuses herself -- she wants
Robert continues talking with some of the men. He puts out
his smoke and looks over to the dance floor. He sees Grace
now dancing with Tom... His eyes search for Annie. He moves
away from the men until he sees, from a distance; Annie,
sitting by herself, amidst the crowd... No one would notice
her unless they were looking for her... But Robert does
-- and what he sees is Annie looking at Grace and Tom...
then, only looking at Tom... Smiling to herself gently...
Watching his every move. Suddenly, she rises and exits out
of the barn to get some air.
EXT. HANK'S RANCH - NIGHT
Annie finds an isolated spot, behind the main house, to be
by herself and catch her breath.
INT. BARN - NIGHT
Tom and Grace continue dancing. She's in heaven. Robert
approaches and Tom quickly allows him to take over. Grace
loves the attention from both men. As they dance off, Tom
crosses the dance floor and is met by Hank's wife;
Oh Tom, would you check the shed and
see if there's anymore chairs.
EXT. HANK'S RANCH - NIGHT
Tom is walking along when he turns the corner of Hank's house
and finds; Annie sitting alone, staring up at the night.
They see each other. From behind the house, no one else can
It is as if the fates brought them face to face and alone.
Without any will to stop it, they embrace and kiss
passionately. But when they look into each other's eyes,
there is no joy in the kiss. Tom releases her and walks away,
heading for the shed. Annie quickly pulls herself together
and enters the main house through the back door.
INT. DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Diane is once more sitting at the kitchen table, looking
over some bills before bed. Her tape player is on softly.
Tom enters and crosses to the sink to get a glass of water.
Diane looks up, seeing Tom with his back to her -- standing
at the sink, filling his glass -- staring out the window
over the sink. She looks to the dish of brownies on the table.
I have some brownies left over. Want
(w/o turning around)
Diane senses an uneasiness in Tom. She looks as he drinks
MEDIUM CLOSE-UP ON TOM'S BACK, as if from Diane's POV.
But when we pull back we find ourselves;
INT. BARN - NIGHT
Tom is standing in front of Pilgrim's stall. He opens the
door. They look at each other. He strokes him and begins to
There's something you have to do
Camera gently moves away... and Tom whispers to Pilgrim what
must be done...
EXT. THE RIDING ARENA - DAY
There's a stillness. A sense of import. Annie, Robert, Frank,
Diane, Joe and Smokey, are all at various spots along the
Grace stands inside the ring. Tom is standing beside Pilgrim
in the middle of the ring. Pilgrim is bridled and saddled.
Tom adjusts he stirrup. He walks over to Grace...
Grace swallows hard, nodding. She's worried...
Tom puts his arms around her shoulders and walks out to
Pilgrim. The horse pricks up his ears as they approach. Tom
motions Grace to stop a short distance from Pilgrim so as
not to crowd him. Tom walks over alone, reaching to gently
take hold of him. Holding him by the bridle, he puts his
head beside Pilgrim's, quietly speaking to him, soothing
Pilgrim's neck with his other hand...
Annie and Robert are fascinated. Anxious.
Pilgrim never takes his eyes off Grace. Tom tries to ease
him forward. Pilgrim resists, lifting his head and looking
at Grace so you can see the white at the top of his eye. Tom
turns him away, walking him in circles, trying to calm him.
He leads him back to Grace. Pilgrim tosses his head and stomps
Robert grows more anxious. Annie is calmer, more focused.
Tom climbs up on him, riding him around the arena in an easy
lope. Grace watches them go round the ring. She looks at her
parents and tries to smile. They try as well.
Tom dismounts and leads Pilgrim back to Grace. Pilgrim balks
again, violently throwing his head, kicking... Grace's
shoulders slump, she presses her hands in her pockets,
fighting not to cry...
Smokey climbs over the rail into the ring as Tom says
something to him. Meanwhile Frank reassures Grace:
He'll be okay, Grace. Just you hang
on there a minute or two. Tom'll get
him, okay, you'll see...
Smokey jogs over to the gate, climbing it, and disappearing
into the barn. Tom crosses to Grace.
There's still something going on
inside of him I can't reach. So me
and Smokey here, we're going to try
laying him down. Okay?
What does that mean?
It's more or less how it sounds.
Sometimes it's not pretty to watch.
Some horses fight it real hard. Your
fella's already shown us he likes a
good fight. So if you don't want to
watch, I'll call you when it's done.
I want to watch.
Smokey re-enters the ring, carrying some rope. He talks
briefly to Tom. Pilgrim, sensing something, turns and runs
to the far side of the ring. Tom, his arms spread, walks
over to him, keeping him by the fence. Tom takes him by the
bridle. Smokey comes beside him. Tom unhitches the bridle
and in its place slips a rope halter Smokey passes to him.
Smokey then hands him two long ropes, one at a time. Tom
fastens one under the halter and ties the other to the saddle
horn. Tom asks Smokey.
You got that soft rope?
Smokey hands it to him. Tom quietly talks to Pilgrim, runs
his hand down Pilgrim's left foreleg and lifts his hoof.
Pilgrim slightly shifts. And when he's still, Tom slips the
loop at the end of the soft rope over the hoof making sure
it's snug. And taking the other end of the rope, he hoists
the weight of Pilgrim's raised hoof and ties the rope to the
saddle horn. Pilgrim stands on three legs -- an explosion
waiting to happen. Tom moves away from Pilgrim, taking the
halter line from Smokey. Pilgrim, trying to move, finds he's
crippled. Scared, he lurches, hopping on his right foreleg.
Seeing he can't walk, panicked, he tries to run. Tom and
Smokey, brace themselves, lean back on their ropes and force
him around them in a tight circle. He goes around and around
like a crazed rocking horse with a broken leg. Tom looks
over and sees Annie has left Robert outside the ring to stand
by an anguished Grace -- her hands on her shoulders, gripping
her. Robert watches, feeling too much a foreigner...
Why is he doing this?
It'll be OK, Grace.
But even Frank isn't so sure. Pilgrim, covered in sweat,
still circles. As he runs, his hobbled foot jabs at the air,
trying to find peace. He runs and runs as Tom and Smokey
lean on the ropes -- until he can't run any more and stops.
Tom and Smokey let the lines go slack. Pilgrim, stands there,
his wet sides heaving, panting like an asthmatic, making
loud rasping sounds. Tom and Smokey speak. Smokey hands him
Turning, he gets a coiled lasso out of the sand. He swings
the rope in a wide loop and makes it fall over Pilgrim's
saddle horn. He pulls it tight. And he takes the other end
of the rope to the far side of the fence and ties it in a
quick release knot to the bottom rung. Coming back he takes
the other two lines from Tom. Tom crosses to the rail. He
starts putting pressure on the rope. Pilgrim feeing it, braces
himself. The pressure tilts the saddle hold downward.
(to Grace and Annie)
He's trying to get him to go down on
Pilgrim fights. Tom pulls on the rope. Pilgrim, slowly,
begrudgingly, gives ground. Tom, brings him to his knees,
but it is short lived. Pilgrim is muscling his way back to
his feet. Tom pulls him down to his knees again. Pilgrim,
fighting with every bit of strength, slowly gets to his feet
again. But the pressure Tom is putting on the saddle is too
strong and relentless and finally Pilgrim goes down on his
knees and stays down. Yet Tom keeps the pressure on... Tom
shouts to Smokey.
Drop the lines and come help me...
Smokey, dropping the line, runs over. They both pull on the
That's enough! Stop it!
Pilgrim snorts and foams at the mouth, fighting. But slowly,
like a wounded bird, she starts giving in. He rolls over on
his side and lays his head in the sand and is still. It seems
like a total, humiliating surrender.
Grace starts to sob, burying her face in Annie's chest.
Robert feels impotent to help.
Tom and Smokey stand over the fallen horse like two big game
hunters at the carcass of a kill.
GRACE! Will you come here, please!
Grace shakes her head "NO." Frank motions to Annie for her
to let Grace go... to let stand alone... We see that it's
not easy for Annie to trust this, but she does.
And she steps back to where Robert stands...
Tom, his face set, walks toward Grace...
Grace, I need you to come with me.
Grace violently shakes her head "NO"... Robert gets up the
courage to say aloud:
Well maybe she shouldn't be here...
Annie quickly turns to him and says with quick intensity:
Robert! Let him handle it! Please!
Robert can't watch this. He turns and takes a few steps.
Just stops... standing behind and apart from Annie, to just
watch... slowly becoming transfixed, like someone who can't
stop staring at an accident.
Tom reaches Grace and puts his hand tenderly on her
Grace, I need you to come with me.
No, you're only going to hurt him
He's not hurt. He's okay. Look at
Grace, Listen... you've got to do
this. Just trust me one more time.
Grace looks into his eyes and is reminded of all this man
has done for her... and she remembers her trust.
Tom, prouder of her now than ever before.
I'll show you.
Tom leads her across the ring, with his arm around her
shoulder. Annie tries to maintain her composure. Robert
remains still and focused.
Tom and Grace come to Pilgrim, lying in the dirt, his
breathing plaintive. Tom speaks gently;
I want you to lay down with him. I
want you to stroke him. I want to
start with his hindquarters and rub
him, feel him all over.
Grace is shaking her head "NO." He speaks more firmly.
Grace, you've got to do what I say.
Grace knows there's no way out. She takes a breath and slowly
kneels in the dirt beside him, with Tom's help. She lays on
him, rubbing him, his hindquarters, his legs, his side, softly
rubbing his neck and the wet silky side of his head.
Now, listen. I want you to stand on
Tom responds to their voice without looking at them:
Grace, do what I'm telling you. Stand
on him... now!
Grace obeys him through her tears. She lets Tom take her
hand and guide her up onto the curve of Pilgrim's belly.
Then he lets go. Grace stands there with teas steaming down
her face -- standing on the animal she loved most in the
It's so cruel.
No. He had the choice.
Either fight the way things are or
Robert, however, is hypnotized by the event. He is having a
private epiphany of sorts.
Grace sits in the dirt by Pilgrim and strokes him quietly --
she begins talking to him, the way Tom does. Tom watches, as
he cautiously steps further away. Pilgrim looks up at Grace
out of the dark pool of his one sad eye. They look at each
other. And we understand there's a connection once more. A
moment of understanding... and forgiveness.
Grace starts to untie his ropes. Smokey is about to stop her
but Tom shakes "NO"...
Pilgrim, like an infant coming out of the water, breathing
life for the first time, gets to his feet. Grace and him
look to each other. And all is still.
Grace grabs the saddle horn. Pilgrim shuffles as if he's
going to bolt. Grace quietly reassures him... She then
carefully puts her prosthetic leg in the stirrup. Pilgrim
shifts slightly. Annie covers her mouth so as not to scream
out her fear. Robert breaths heavily. They watch as Grace
swings her leg, determined, and pulls herself into the saddle.
Sitting on his back, Pilgrim tosses his head and looks as
he's going to run off. But Grace puts her arms around his
neck, and once again, quietly reassures him.
She starts to ride him, slowly, her arms around his neck,
talking all the while, around the ring.
Annie laughs as she cries -- emotion overwhelming her. Robert
feels almost numb with fascination, gratitude, confusion...
The slow ride turns into a trot... then a lope... then a
canter... round and round the ring. Frank and Diane smile.
Diane looks to Tom and knows what he's feeling...
Tom watches as any father would -- his heart pounding with
pride for the miracle of his child. But he doesn't let on
for a second.
Grace brings Pilgrim to a stop, lifts her arms to the heavens,
victorious. Everyone cheers. Smokey helps her off the horse.
She stops to look at Tom, who busies himself with picking up
the ropes... So she re-focuses on her parents. They run to
each other and embrace... First, she and Annie... then, she
and her father...
But, as Robert and Grace hold each other and begins to exit,
Annie manages to make eye contact with Tom... and tell him
with one look, how grateful she is... and how much she loves
him. And he receives it...
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
WE FOLLOW THE DAYS AFTER THIS EVENT...
Work on the ranch goes on as usual while Tom and Grace keep
nurturing Pilgrim back to life.
EXT. PASTURE - ANOTHER DAY
Grace and Annie go riding...
EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - DAY
Robert takes an isolated hike up the mountain until he comes
upon a ridge overlooking an inspiring vista. We can tell
Robert is moved by the sight. Sweaty, tired, he find a place
to sit... to be still... and to consider his life.
EXT. THE RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Frank's car is parked up for the trip to the airport that
will take the Bookers to Branson, Missouri for Diane's
Grace, Annie and Robert are outside saying goodbye to the
Bookers; Diane, the Twins... and Joe... Joe awkwardly shakes
her hand... then removes his hat and puts it on her head.
Everyone laughs. They want to hug each other, but don't know
if they would...
Frank and Tom are packing the car...
Oh Frank, don't forget the wedding
present -- it's behind the door in
the laundry room.
(to Robert and Annie)
I got her a pasta maker from the
catalogue... Not that they'll know
what to do with it in Branson,
Missouri... Probably use it as a
Frank's touchy about his cousins.
Well, it was nice to meet you, Mr.
Same here, Mrs. Booker. Thank you
again for all your kindness.
Diane turns to Annie. Robert instinctively steps away, saying
goodbye to Joe and the boys... The two women look at each
other with respect and concern.
Now, are you sure you want to drive
that horse back yourself? There are
plenty of people 'round here who do
that sort of thing.
I already know the way... and it's
not like I have a job I have to rush
Between you and me, I could use the
And you'll be all right by yourself
(referring to Robert
after they've gone?
Tom hears this bit of info as he passes by with the wedding
present and puts it in the truck. Annie makes sure to avert
It's just one night. If I get
uncomfortable, I'll go over to Hanks.
Diane just nods, knowingly. She extends her hand. The women
Good luck to you, Annie.
You too, Diane.
They part. Diane starts giving order as she gets in the car:
All right, everybody in. Frank, we
Camera widens as we hear the voices of departure... see the
MacLeans waving... See Tom off by himself, waving... but
thinking of something else...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
In the midst of packing, Annie has made dinner for Grace and
Robert. In the midst of eating, Robert asks:
Shouldn't we have invited Tom over?
I did. He said he had work to do
Annie remains silent.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE -- NIGHT
Tom exits with a small, leather satchel. He crosses to his
truck, tosses in the satchel, gets in and drives off.
EXT. BARN - MORNING
Grace enters the barn to say goodbye to Pilgrim.
INT. BARN - CONTINUOUS
She moves to his stall and opens the doors. He stands there,
without any fear of her. She smiles and enters. She wraps
her arm around his neck, pets him and whispers.
I'll see you home... OK?
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
Everything is being packed up. Robert is dressed for travel.
Annie is taping up the boxes containing her computer
Are you going to stay in the city or
go up to Connecticut?
Connecticut. I told the office I'd
work out of there next week. When
are you planning to start back?
Probably first thing in the morning.
It's too late to start now. I'm going
to try not to do too much driving in
May I have a suggestion?
Take your time.
What do you mean?
Annie looks up from the box to see Robert is calmly staring
at her. His demeanor is different. Something's going on.
You look like something's wrong.
This is Robert's moment. He knows it. He takes a breath and
hopes it comes out right:
I'll tell you something, Annie -- I
stood there looking at what was
happening to that horse... And, I
swear, it felt like the same thing
was happening to me.
I don't understa-
And I have two choices. I can either
fight the way things are, or accept
(Annie waits; he smiles)
See, I always knew I loved you more.
Didn't bother me. I always felt
lucky... a little amazed... that
such a vibrant, beautiful woman would
want to be with a man like me... And
I guess I thought as long as I did
everything right -- if I was the
best husband I could be, the best
father... even being a good lawyer
only mattered to me because of what
it meant for us... if I could do all
that, it wouldn't make any difference
if we loved each other the same or
not... I wasn't asking for more. I
told myself I didn't need more.
But you don't know how you feel about
me. You don't know... if you want a
life with me anymore...
And I don't want you to come home
until you do know...
(the hard part)
...one way or the other.
Annie cannot remember a time when she ever loved her husband
more than in this moment -- knowing what it took for him to
say this. She would not disrespect it with denials. Her throat
is choked with tears, she swallows down. She nods.
Robert nods, feeling both pride and heartbreak in the same
moment. He picks up his bag, kisses her goodbye and exits.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Annie and Robert walk towards the car to find Grace, leaning
against it -- looking depressed.
What's the matter, honey? Gonna miss
Both Robert and Annie are surprised.
Smokey told me he left last night to
look at some horses in Sheriden. He
won't be back for three days. I can't
believe he didn't want to say goodbye.
(hiding her own
Well... honey... you know... that's
just not his way. Maybe you can write
him a letter or something. Say thank
you... Don't think about it... You
take care and I'll see you home.
She embraces Grace and, over her shoulder, watches Robert
enter the car. Grace follows suit. The car drives off leaving
Annie alone at the Double Divide.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - DUSK
The ranch is still. Annie stands on the porch, her arms
folded, vulnerable, looking at the ranch. All her boxes are
packed and stacked in the room. She looks over to the Ranch
House... to Tom's window.
INT. TOM'S ROOM - DUSK
A light goes on. Annie enters, cautiously. She's never been
in this room. She crosses to the desk, touches it. She notices
a tape player and pushes it on. MUSIC PLAYS... She sees a
small framed photo -- of Tom's son, years ago.
Suddenly, she feels like an intruder. She shuts the music
off and exits...
INT. BARN - DUSK
Annie faces Pilgrim... she gently lifts her hand and caresses
his face. He returns her gentleness. Annie is remembering
Robert's words, her heart is heavy with conflict. She jokes:
Why do I get the feeling you know
what I should do, but you're not
She hears a truck pull up... Then, a door open and close.
Her heart races...
EXT. BARN - DUSK
ANNIE EXITS THE BARN AND SEES:
Tom, walking away from the truck with the headlights left
on... is walking right towards her.
Annie begins moving towards him, When they meet:
I won't apologize for this. And I
won't hide it. Not for anybody.
I won't ask you to.
He takes her in his arms and they kiss.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom leads Annie to the front door. She waits as he unlocks
INT. RANCH HOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, TOM'S ROOM - NIGHT
Tom leads her to his room. Annie cups his grasp on her with
both hands. He opens the door for her, ushers her in, then
closes the door. He hangs his hat. She turns to him. They
embrace, surrendering to each other's passions.
INT. RANCH - DAWN
Camera passes from Tom's window, bright with dawn, past his
desk upon which his classical music is playing, over to the
two lovers in bed, kissing and embracing. Then:
Oh, God, what are we going to do?
I'm supposed to --
Stand still, Annie. Take what we've
got, just for now. Can you do that?
Beat. She nods. The permission Tom is giving her acts like a
great burden being lifted, and for the time being, she
surrenders and accepts the gift of what they feel. They kiss.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
Since the ranch must continue, Tom and Annie move through a
day of ranch chores --
-- TOM AND ANNIE CLEANING STALLS AND FEEDING THE HORSES.
-- TOM IS TRYING TO SHOW ANNIE HOW HE HAS TO FIX SOMETHING.
ANNIE INTERRUPTING WITH HER OWN IDEAS... TOM TRIES TO EXPLAIN
BUT ANNIE KEEPS TALKING, EXCITED BY HER PLAN... TOM LAUGHS.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
ANNIE HAS UNPACKED HER COMPUTER AND HOOKED IT UP, SHOWING
TOM HOW TO USE IT. HE PUSHES THE WRONG BUTTON AND MAKES A
FRIGHTENED FACE... ANNIE SCREAMS, THEN LAUGHS AND HUGS HIM.
THEY ARE MAKING LOVE ON A BLANKET AMIDST OF THE MOVING BOXES
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
INT. KITCHEN, RANCH HOUSE - DAY
-- ANNIE COOKING LUNCH IN THE KITCHEN, SEEING TOM WORKING
EXT. PASTURE - DAY
-- THE TWO ARE EATING LUNCH IN THE PASTURE. THEY ARE TALKING
SERIOUSLY ABOUT SOMETHING... PERHAPS EVEN DISAGREEING...
ANNIE SHAKES HER HEAD, NOT WANTING TO LISTEN. THEY EAT IN
-- THEY ARE WALKING AND DISCUSSING, HOLDING HANDS... UNTIL
TOM WRAPS HIS ARM AROUND HER AND HOLDS HER CLOSER... ANNIE,
BURYING HER HEAD IN HIS BODY.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Tom and Annie, their horses packed with gear, ride across
the high mountain pasture through the grazing cattle...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Annie and Tom sit overlooking a breathtaking view. Tom is
showing her the rope trick... She looks down at their touching
fingers and he gently pulls the rope away, still knotted,
and without ever breaking their touch... Annie looks into
his eyes, understanding what this means, raises his hand to
her mouth and kisses it. She looks up at him with a curious
Show me again.
One more time.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DUSK
Annie lays asleep in Tom's arms, under a blanket. He picks
up another blanket with his free hand and shimmies it under
her head, laying her down. She snuggles with the blanket and
Tom takes a moment to look at her as she sleeps, gently
brushing her hair away from her eyes. He's deeply in love
with this woman and wants to keep her with him. But there is
a sad resignation in his look. A confusion.
He rises and walks to a stream nearby. He bends down to take
some water when he hears something. He looks up and sees on
the other side:
A WILD HORSE giving birth to a foal in the tall grass. And a
WHITE STALLION steps in between Tom and the mare, as if
Tom rises slowly to his feet. Then stands stock still. He
and the Stallion penetrate each other.
Suddenly this beautiful, powerful Stallion rears -- violently.
Tom remains still, but clearly the horse is treating him as
It's as if the Whisperer is now being guided by the Horse
towards understanding. As Tom receives it, he remembers;
Summers are short here, Annie. There
isn't much of a fall. Before you
know it, the roads are closed... the
nights get long.
WE BEGIN TO FADE OUT ON TOM
I don't care! We'd be together.
Two people can't just be alone
together in the world. At least not
I can't do this. I can't leave you...
Voice-Overs have carried over into a...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom and Annie make love...
But there is a difference in their lovemaking. There's a
slowness, a reverence... a sense of two people so bounded,
that they are outside of time... Their love is so strong it
almost feels like despair -- their need to connect has gone
beyond their bodies and into their spirits, for which there
is no earthly satisfaction.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
The sun has risen.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
Annie awakens in bed and discovers she is alone. She looks
around for Tom. She rises and enters the other room to
All her boxes and all her luggage have been removed.
Her heart sinks. Tom re-enters, fully dressed, to get the
last box. He sees on her face a look of confusion and hurt.
I figured, whenever you decided to
go, you'd be all set.
How thoughtful of you. And what if I
decide not to go?
Tom doesn't know how to respond. He looks away and bends
down to reach for the box when Annie commands:
Leave me alone!
Beat. They stand awkwardly for a moment, until;
Tom reaches to embrace her, but Annie attacks him. Punching
his chest... pulling at his shirt as Tom tries to put his
arms around her...
NO!... NO!... YOU DON'T DECIDE
Tom's heart is breaking as he manages to get his arms around
her and hold her... as she breaks down and softly, the rage
passes... Annie speaks softly.
I don't know any other way, Annie.
You think this is easy for me!?
Annie is struck by the powerful sincerity of his words;
It's just happened this way sometimes.
I can't explain it. But I look at
you and see Grace and I see Robert,
and no matter what you decide about
him, I just know this is right. Your
life isn't here and you know it.
Annie looks into his eyes and asks, softly defiant;
Then what have we been doing? I mean
what was the point?
(confused by her
The point was to love each other.
As if there has to be a result... Tom looks at her and says
with an almost innocent conviction:
Because we had to... And I'll never
stop loving you, Annie. Here. Where
my life is.
The simplicity, and truth, of it hits Annie strongly.
Annie releases herself from him and turns away... despondent.
Realizing the utter truth and inevitability of what he says.
She starts shaking her head. Tom can't hear it... He reaches
She turns back into his arms and they kiss passionately...
holding each other... as if for the last time.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Tom is escorting Pilgrim into the trailer attached to the
Suburban. He looks across the ranch to see the figure of
Annie, standing alone, perfectly still, in the pasture,
looking out to the horizon... (reminiscent of Tom earlier in
EXT. THE PASTURE - DAY
Tom approaches Annie from behind, stopping a few feet away.
She doesn't answer... as if she has found her own private
place within her, at last... A place of strength. She looks
as if she knows what must be done... She hears him about to
walk away when she asks:
Can we go for one more ride?
Tom stops. Considers this. Then:
Sure. I'll saddle them up.
He exits. Not seeing the tears in Annie's eyes.
INT. BARN - DAY
Tom enters the barn slowly. He crosses to Rimrock's stall...
then stops. As if he is waiting. As if he knows...
Then... he hears the sound of Annie's Suburban starting up.
He looks up and knows she's leaving. He waits.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - CONTINUOUS
Wide angle of Annie driving away in the Suburban with the
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie doesn't look back -- her eyes wet with tears -- but no
INT. BARN - CONTINUOUS
Tom lowers his head. It is not his way to say goodbye. And
he is moved by Annie's knowing.
EXT. HIGHWAYS & ROADS ACROSS AMERICA - DAYS & NIGHTS
A MONTAGE of images of Annie traveling home...
Across different terrains, we see Annie driving -- missing
Tom... thinking of what she will decide by the time she gets
home. Remembering IMAGES OF TOM:
-- Riding on Rimrock and tipping his hat to her...
-- Sitting in the pasture, staring at Pilgrim. Ignoring her.
-- Seeing her arrive at the ranch for the very first time.
EXT. A DIFFERENT HIGHWAY OR COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
Annie drives, she continues remembering...
-- She and Tom in the branding...
-- She and Tom dancing around the camp fire at the cattle
-- She and Tom kissing in secrecy behind Hank's house the
night of the barn dance...
EXT. ANOTHER HIGHWAY OR COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
Annie continues driving and remembering;
-- Annie and Tom coming towards each other that first night
after everyone had left the ranch...
-- Tom opening the front door to the ranch house...
INT. ROBERT'S HOUSE IN INDIA - A DAY REMEMBERED
A much younger Annie waits, surrounded by luggage, as A DOOR
OPENS revealing a much younger, more vital, very handsome
Hi. Um, there doesn't seem to be any
hotel room available and someone
told me to come here and ask for
"Tubab" who might to have a place
for me to stay. Are you "Tubab"?
No. I am a "tubab."
What do you mean?
Tubab means white man.
Annie is first surprised, then embarrassed but Robert seems
so charming and his smile breaks into a laugh, that she just
nods and laughs herself.
INT. ROBERT'S HOME IN INDIA - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
Over a meal, Robert talks excitedly of his experiences. Annie
INT. ROBERT'S BEDROOM IN INDIA - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
After Annie and Robert have made love, Robert sleeps with
his arms wrapped around Annie. She lies awake, feeling safe
EXT. LITTLE BIGHORN NATIONAL MONUMENT - TWILIGHT
Annie stands where she stood when she and Grace stopped here
on their way to Montana...
She removes from her pocket the KNOTTED LOOP he made for
her, and looks at it.
EXT. MACLEAN CONNECTICUT HOME - DAY
A car is driving up the driveway to the house. It stops.
Robert and Grace get out as Annie exits from the front door.
She looks beautiful -- but in a completely different way
than ever before. There is a calm center to her. A softness
and a strength. She smiles and walks to meet them.
Oh, I miss you. You look beautiful.
So do you.
They kiss as Grace watches.
Was the trip okay?
Mmm. I made good time.
Pilgrim's in the back. I found a new
stable, but they can't take him until
Grace exits excitedly O.C. Annie and Robert face each other.
Robert doesn't know what to expect... but he softens when
I have so much to tell you.
You want to take a walk with me?
(a little nervous)
I don't know. Let's just go and...
Annie nods. He reaches for her hand, and Annie gives it
willingly... They begin to walk away from Camera... together.
Annie begins to speak, telling him what we already know. How
he will react or what will happen, is unknown. But these two
people will no longer avoid their life together... somehow,
they will make the effort to face it together.
As Camera widens, we see included in the frame, Grace and
Pilgrim... as she strokes him and whispers in his ear... and
leads him for a walk...
Copyright © WeeklyScript.com | Scripts Copyright © their respective owners