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

"THE BIJOU"

("THE MAJESTIC")

by

Michael Sloane

REVISED DRAFT

October 14, 1997



"...the magic is all around you.
All the time. Everywhere.
In every thing.
The trick... is to see it."

IN BLACK...

...the insistent, persistent, eight-to-the-bar beat of BOOGIE-
WOOGIE. Hot, exciting, pulsating rhythm, ramping up.

THEN...

...in the blackness, falling s-l-o-w-l-y, tumbling g-e-n-t-l-
y, a picture-postcard:

"GREETINGS FROM HOLLYWOOD!"

Then another... and another, each one dropping through frame,
a gentle rain.

In these old postcards, Hollywood is a dream town where movie
stars glide out of big cars to press their hands and
footprints in the wet cement.

ANOTHER POSTCARD:

"I'M MEETING THE STARS AT HOLLYWOOD & VINE!"

In this postcard myth, you'd toddle down to Hollywood and
Vine, bump into Bogie and Bacall, and join them for dinner
at the Brown Derby. Or Ciro's. Or the Coconut Grove...

More postcards. Pictures of movie theaters, but not the ones
that you and I know today. These are palaces. Temples.

Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian. The Carthay Circle. The
Paramount, the Million Dollar. From a time when moviegoing
was a complete experience, not a trip to the local mall. The
ushers were friendly and helpful and wore gold brocaded
jackets and guided you to your seat. The popcorn was hot and
fresh and buttered with real butter, not 30-weight motor
oil.

CUT TO:

THE PILE OF POSTCARDS

a wild jumble. Then, one LAST POSTCARD drops lazily on top
of the pile. It's a view of Hollywood at night, a carpet of
lights under the yawning, protective smile of Mt. Lee's most
famous resident, the fully-lit HOLLYWOOD SIGN. We PUSH INTO
THE PICTURE OF THE SIGN, DISSOLVING UNTIL WE'RE...

...PUSHING INTO THE REAL HOLLYWOOD SIGN, closer and closer,
until we fly right through it -- then crazily loop up and
behind it until we're looking down at...

EXT. HOLLYWOOD (AERIAL VIEW) - NIGHT

SUPER TITLE: 1951

A gigantic aerial shot. Postwar autos fill the muggy midsummer
evening air with the sounds of thousands of HONKING HORNS, a
mere precursor to the traffic yet to come. Darkened outlying
neighborhoods are evidence of the postwar home construction
boom, as scores of stucco bungalows are being built in the
areas surrounding the beating heart of the town, a swath of
garishly bright concrete called

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
Of course, it's not like the postcards
say it is. This is what it's like.
I'm Pete Appleton, and this is my
town.

Still in the same shot, we rocket down into the center of
the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, then head west along
the boulevard, skimming just above the traffic -- past Musso
and Frank's Grill and the Hollywood Canteen, past the Egyptian
Theater and a rumbling Pacific Electric Red Car, across
Highland Avenue, past the Paramount Theater, and across the
street to

GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATER.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
Born and raised here, thank you very
much. Sometimes, it seems like
everyone here is from somewhere else.
But everyone loves the movies, so
Hollywood is everyone's town, and
they come here by the busload. To
them, Grauman's Chinese Theater is
just about the most exciting place
on the planet. To me, it's the theater
that's playing "The African Queen."

And like the man said, the film on the marquee is "THE AFRICAN
QUEEN." Still the same shot, buses disgorge TOURISTS, who
move into the forecourt of the theater. The MEN doff their
hats and mop their brows. The WOMEN pull their blouses away
from their chests, fanning themselves with movie-star maps
as they marvel at the signed cement blocks.

We MOVE AMONG THEM, until we pick up A COUPLE, and we stay
behind them as they work their way through the crowd, on
their way to

THE THEATER ENTRANCE,

where an ornately attired DOORMAN smiles and tears their
tickets.

DOORMAN
Newsreel's just starting, folks.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
That's me and my girlfriend. Her
name is Sandra Sinclair, and this is
her town, too -- she's from Cleveland.
She came out here to be an actress,
and that's just what she's doing.
The first picture I ever wrote, a
little potboiler called "Sand Pirates
of the Sahara." Okay, it ain't
"Citizen Kane," but you gotta start
somewhere.

MOVING INTO THE LOBBY

an explosion of glitz mixed with Chinese myth and legend.

Everywhere you look, it's red and orange and plush carpeting
and golden light. We MOVE THROUGH the lobby, still in the
same shot, still tracking the couple, heading for the
auditorium doors, which are swept open by two ramrod-erect
USHERS and we move into

THE DARKENED THEATER.

As the couple, Pete and Sandra, find seats, we HEAR the
soundtrack of the film before we see the screen, the
unmistakable strains of a march, and then -- still in the
same shot -- we see the screen...

A NEWSREEL.

As the march SWELLS to a crescendo, we HEAR THE NEWSREEL

ANNOUNCER'S SONOROUS VOICE:

NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER
Bringing the news of the world to
you!

Over a newsreel shot of a packed Congressional Committee
Hearing Room, a title blares "HOLLYWOOD REDS GO TO JAIL!"

NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER
Four years ago, in one of filmland's
darkest hours, ten men, the so-called
"Hollywood Ten," were called to
testify before the House Committee
of Un-American Activities,
investigating the proliferation of
the dreaded Red Menace in Hollywood.

We see several shots of WITNESSES engaged in heated verbal
battles with congressmen, especially Committee Chairman T.
JOHNSTON DOYLE and the Majority Counsel, ELVIN CLYDE.

NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER
Refusing to answer the lawmaker's
questions, cowering behind the Fifth
Amendment's protection against self-
incrimination, the ten motion picture
writers dared Congress to come after
them. Well, come after them they
did! And after years of court
wrangling, it's now time to pay the
piper!

Over shots of several of the "Hollywood Ten" being led to
jail in handcuffs, the newsreel narration continues.

NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER
And so, it's off to jail, the charge:
Contempt of Congress! This should
give you fellas something to write
about now! A new round of
investigations begins this fall, the
mandate: Get the reds out of
Hollywood!

In the audience, one man YELLS "Lock up the commie bastards!,"
and a few others cheer and laugh. As the newsreel moves on
to a somewhat more innocuous subject, we

WHEEL AROUND AND...

ENDFRAME ON PETE APPLETON AND SANDRA SINCLAIR.

Pete's a handsome fellow in his 30s, and Sandra's a starlet
pretty girl in her mid-20s. As she rummages in her purse,
Pete watches the newsreel.

SANDRA
Pete, there's time before the picture
starts, you want to get some popcorn?

PETE
You bet, honey.

Pete kisses Sandra on the cheek, then stands and sprints up
the aisle to the concession stand, a big unworried grin on
his face.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
We were young, we were in love, and
we were working in pictures. Life...
was good.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. UNITED PICTURES STUDIOS - MAIN GATE - MORNING

Pete pulls up to the guard kiosk in his spiffy yellow
convertible Plymouth. The Guard, RAY, steps out to meet him.

Pete lights up a cigarette. We get a better sense of him
now. Though earnest, he's jocular, and a bit of a fast talker.

PETE
(very chipper)
Mornin', Ray. Whaddya know whaddya
say? Me and Sandra caught "The African
Queen" at the Chinese last night.
Great picture, great picture.

Ray is nonplussed. Tips his hat. Regards Pete suspiciously.

RAY
Mr. Appleton.

PETE
What's with this "Mr. Appleton" crap?
Your boss hiding in there?

RAY
You're clear to go in.

PETE
What's that mean?

Ray heads back to his kiosk, shaking his head.

RAY
Have a pleasant day.

Pete, covering his worry well, drives onto the lot.

EXT. UNITED PICTURES STUDIOS - WRITER'S BUILDING - MORNING

Pete pulls up, hops out, grinds out his cigarette, looks
around and goes inside.

INT. WRITER'S BUILDING HALLWAY - MORNING

Pete comes down the hall a few steps, stops. Something's
wrong. It's awfully quiet. He pokes his head into the door
marked "TYPING POOL."

INT. TYPING POOL - MORNING

A sea of black Underwoods -- all silent. The lights in the
room are off, and hard shafts of morning sun stream in through
the windows. One typists, LOUISE, is going from machine to
machine, pulling covers over them.

PETE
Louise... what gives?

She looks up, startled.

LOUISE
Oh Pete... they, uh, they gave
everybody the day off... while they
sort things out.

PETE
Sort what out? Are my pages done?

LOUISE
They took 'em.

PETE
They took 'em? Who took 'em? Louise,
what's going on...

LOUISE
Pete, I'm not even supposed to be
talking to you...

She rushes past him. Pete doesn't quite know what to think.

MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Good morning, Peter.

Pete turns. The voice belongs to Pete's agent, LEO KUBELSKY,
a rotund man in his fifties. He wears a perfectly tailored
silk suit.

PETE
Leo... what's going on?

CUT TO:

EXT. STUDIO STREET - DAY

FROM FAR AWAY, we watch as Leo and Pete come out of the
Writer's Building and join a flood of DRESS EXTRAS, all done
up in Puritan pilgrim garb and heading for the commissary.

As they move through the mob and emerge on the other side,
it's clear that Pete is reeling from something he's just
been told.

PETE AND LEO

LEO
Peter, their hands are tied. You see
that, don't you?

PETE
I... I don't believe this.

LEO
Are you saying it's a mistake, that
you didn't go to any meetings? They
say you did.

PETE
Who the hell is this "they?"

LEO
Congress, the FBI, Red Channels, it
don't matter who the hell "they" is.
"They" know who "they" are, that's
all that matters.
(deliberately)
Now, did you go to any meetings?

PETE
(on the spot)
No. Yeah... I... I don't know. Maybe
I did. Leo, this was before Pearl
Harbor. I was in college. It was a
bunch of kids, and I was just one of
'em. I didn't believe in what they
were saying. Hell, I didn't even
know what they were saying!

LEO
So, you're saying that it's true.
You went to a meeting of a known
communist organization.

PETE
Leo, I was trying to impress a skirt.
You know me, I'm non-political.
Republican, Democrat, Communist,
there's not a dime's worth of
difference between 'em anyway.

LEO
You should watch what you say.

PETE
I don't know who fingered me, but
I'm not a communist!

LEO
Kid, that cuts no ice with them.

PETE
(frustrated)
What? That I'm accused of being a
communist when I don't happen to be
one?

LEO
They know you were at that meeting,
Peter. They've been told, and they
know.

PETE
Leo, you're my agent. Tell "them" to
take a flyin' piss. I didn't do
anything wrong. I fought in the war,
for crissakes!

LEO
Fought? Come on, Pete, you ran the
PX at Fort Dix.

PETE
I was decorated.

LEO
I know. A Purple Heart.

PETE
Exactly.

LEO
You broke your arm. You were coming
out of a bar. You were drunk.

PETE
At least I was on our side! Look,
they want me to testify? I'll testify.
I'll tell 'em anything they want to
hear! Jesus, Leo, this is my career!

LEO
You can't testify.

PETE
Why not?

Leo takes a gold cigarette care from his breast pocket, offers
a cigarette to Pete and takes one for himself.

LEO
Don't take this personally, kid. If
it were up to me, I'd have you testify
wearing your uniform and your medal,
wrapped in a flag with one hand on
your heart and the other hand on a
bible. What can I say? I like you.

Leo lights Pete's cigarette and his own. Puts a fatherly
hand on his shoulder.

LEO
They don't want you to testify because
you're not a big enough fish for
them. They just don't want you writing
pictures for now. That's all.

PETE
(under his breath)
Yeah, well, that's enough.

LEO
Peter, I believe in you. More to the
point, I read your new script...
um...

PETE
"Ashes To Ashes?"

LEO
That's the one, "Ashes To Ashes." I
think it's great. But it'll never
get made with this communist business
hanging over your head. You can't
work until you're cleared -- and
believe me, starting right now, I'm
gonna do everything I can to make
that happen.

PETE
So, it is a blacklist.

LEO
(defensive)
Don't say that. There is no such
thing as a blacklist.
(calm)
Now, are you gonna play ball?

PETE
(sullenly)
Yes.
(then, pissed)
Leo, goddammit... this isn't fair!

Leo blows out a thin stream of smoke.

LEO
(hand on Pete's
shoulder)
Kid, this is the United States
Government we're talkin' about. Fair
ain't the point.

CUT TO:

INT. WRITER'S BUILDING/PETE'S OFFICE - DAY

Prominent on the wall is a framed "SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA"
poster. Pete reaches up and takes it down. He leans it up
against the desk, then sits heavily in the wooden swivel
chair. He swivels around to see

STUDIO SECURITY GUARD

standing by the door. He's watching Pete's every move.

Two boxes sit on the desk, partially packed with Pete's
belongings. Pete lights a cigarette and opens the lower desk
drawer. He pulls out a stack of scripts and sets them on the
desk. He looks at the cover of the first one:

"SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA"
By Peter Appleton
A United Pictures Production
February 19, 1951

Pete shuffles the scripts and looks at the cover of the second
one:

"ASHES TO ASHES"
By Peter Appleton

He jams the scripts into one box and turns to the other box,
which contains somewhat more personal items. A ragged gold
pillow with tassels. Legal pads of notes. An old tin-toy
fire truck, its bright red paint chipped and worn. He turns
it around in his hands.

PETE
(musing)
Huh. Red...

Footsteps approach, and Pete swivels toward the door.

SANDRA (O.S.)
Pete? Pete...?

Sandra appears in the doorway. She's in costume -- a Louis
XIV courtier. She bustles past the Guard, rushes to Pete and
embraces him.

SANDRA
Oh, Pete...

They kiss. The Guard watches their every move.

SANDRA
What happened?

PETE
What exactly did you hear?

SANDRA
That you got let go.

PETE
I wasn't alone. Wasn't Frankie Ruskin
directing the picture you're in?

SANDRA
He was, but he got sick. We got a
new director today. Why?

PETE
Well, whatever Frankie's got, it's
catching.

SANDRA
You mean, he was... let go, too?

PETE
(sotto, an appeal)
They're saying I'm a communist, Sandy.
But I'm not, you know that. I'm gonna
fight 'em, and I'm gonna win, but
I'll need your help.

During this last, Sandra has been ever-so-slightly pulling
away from Pete.

PETE
A lot of good people are being accused
of things they didn't do. Hell, even
if I was a communist, this is America,
goddammit, a person should be able
to be whatever they want to be!
Right?

Sandra glances at the Guard, who is watching everything.

SANDRA
(nervously)
Of course, but I... I don't know how
I... how much help I can be to you.
This is the sort of thing... someone
saying you're a communist... it can
ruin your career.

Pete sees where this is going. She's edging toward the door.

PETE
Will you help me, Sandy?

SANDRA
I'll have to think about this. I
have to get back... I should go...

And she's out the door and gone in the blink of an eye.
Pete looks at the Guard.

PETE
So nice to be a pariah.

The Guard turns away. Pete moves back toward the boxes.

Rummaging again, he comes up with a bottle of Jack Daniels
with barely one swig left. He regards the bottle for a moment,
looks to see if the Guard is watching (he isn't), pops the
cork, puts it to his lips and drains it. He looks at it
thoughtfully as we

CUT TO:

A HALF-FULL BOTTLE OF JACK DANIELS setting down on a bartop.

WIDER

INT. THE FROLIC ROOM - NIGHT

The bottle is in front of Pete, who sits at the bar, quietly
getting stewed. The Frolic Room is a classic Hollywood dive,
dimly lit and full of character and characters. It's a quiet
night and getting quieter, as several PATRONS are just
leaving, waving goodbye to the bartender, JERRY, early 40s.

Jerry turns to Pete, eyes him suspiciously from the end of
the bar. Pete picks up the bottle and pours another shot.

Good boy, he got most of it in the glass.

JERRY
Pete. You think maybe you've had
enough?

PETE
Bought the bottle, didn't I?
(raises the shot)
To the United States of America.
Long my she wave.

He knocks it back and Jerry pours him another.

PETE
(trying to light a
smoke)
Thanks, Jerry. Tell me something.

JERRY
What.

PETE
You tight with J. Edgar Hoover?

JERRY
(helps Pete light his
cigarette)
The G-man?

PETE
(thickly)
Zackly.

JERRY
Pete, if J. Edgar Hoover walked in
here wearing a dress, I wouldn't
know him.

PETE
Too bad. He says I'm a communist.

JERRY
(glancing around)
You should watch what you say. You
don't know who's listening.

PETE
You know I'm not a communist, don't
you, Jer?

JERRY
Sure, I suppose. That why you're on
a bender?

PETE
This is not a bender yet. This is
the start of a bender. But I can see
how you were confused, they look a
lot alike.

Pete drains his shotglass, puts it back on the bar. He watches
Jerry, who is not about to refill it. Pete reaches for the
bottle, but Jerry is faster.

JERRY
Pete... go home. Come on, I'll call
that girlfriend of yours, what's her
name... Sandy?

PETE
(laughs)
Sandra Sinclair.

JERRY
Gimmee her number, I'll have her
pick you up.

PETE
Sandra Sinclair. Wanna know her real
name? Bella Iskowitz. No one's who
they really are, Jer. Everyone's
someone else. Even you. Even me.
Especially me. I'm Peter Appleton,
the communist who's not really a
communist.

JERRY
I wanna close up soon. C'mon, let's
call her.

Peter stands, stubs out his smoke, drops a few crumpled bills
on the bar and grabs his hat.

PETE
Nope. Can't. We're through.

JERRY
Then I'll call you a cab.

PETE
I'll save you the trouble.
(beat)
I'm a cab. There. Did it myself.

Pete's preoccupied with putting on his hat and getting his
car keys out of his coat pocket, a daunting task in his
condition.

PETE
'Sides, car's right outside. I'll be
seein' ya, Jer.

JERRY
Pete...

And he's out the door.

EXT. FROLIC ROOM - NIGHT

Pete takes a few steps, stumbles, stops, takes a deep breath,
then totters briskly towards his car. He hauls the door open
and sits inside heavily.

INT./EXT. PETE'S CAR - NIGHT

Sitting slumped against the steering wheel, Pete looks as
though he could fall asleep right there, which would probably
be a good idea.

PETE
(mumbling)
Drive. Drive. Bad idea. Too drunk to
drive.

He looks at his watch.

PETE
One-thirty. Huh! Early. Can't go
home yet.

He turns the key and hits the starter. The engine hums to
life. Pete sits up, opens his eyes wide, shakes off the haze
and puts the car in gear.

The Plymouth lurches forward a few yards, screeches to a
halt and stalls.

PETE
Oops.

He re-starts the car, puts it in gear, and pulls away and
down the deserted boulevard.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SANTA MONICA BEACH, AMUSEMENT PIER - NIGHT

The full moon is low over the ocean. Pete's car is parked at
the edge of the sand, the water fifty yards away. The ferris
wheel and the roller coaster of the amusement pier are dark
and eerie silhouettes, lit only by moonlight. Pete is asleep
in the driver's seat, head tilted back, his hat covering his
face, snoring.

The waves CRASH against the pilings and startle Pete awake.

PETE
Huh? Whatsa...

Instantly, he grabs his head.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
I had no idea how I got to Santa
Monica, but it certainly was a good
idea. I don't think I could've faced
the headache I had alone in my
apartment. At least I had the ocean
air.

Pete takes a deep breath... and starts coughing. He gets out
his cigarettes and lights up. He takes a puff and glances at
his watch.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
Three forty-five. I had only been
there for a couple of hours at most.
Truth be told, I was still fairly
drunk.

He starts the car and heads for the highway.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
I'd head north until the sun came up
or I ran out of gas, whichever came
first.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - NIGHT

Pete drives along the moonlit two-lane blacktop. Waves crash
to the shore below the roadway.

INT./EXT. PETE'S CAR (DRIVING) - NIGHT

Pete is finally relaxed. He takes off his hat and jams it
down in the back seat. He takes a deep breath -- with the
wind in his hair, a smile grows on his face and he seems at
peace. He glances down at the speedometer -- then at the
fuel gauge.

INSERT - FUEL GAUGE

Pinning on "empty."

PETE
Shit.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
Guess which came first.

He scans the road ahead -- nothing. Glances to his right.

PETE'S POV

The lights of a small town can be seen off in the distance.

Pete veers the car off the highway and makes the turn that
will take him toward the lights. He passes a hand-painted
sign that gives him hope: "GAS - 1 MI."

CUT TO:

EXT. RORY'S GAS STATION - NIGHT

Pete's car rolls up and stops. There's a light on the sign
and another in the station's window, but the place is
deserted.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
I should've known better than to
think that a service station in the
sticks would be open at this hour,
but it wasn't like I had a lot of
choices.

Pete looks ahead toward the town. Its few lights twinkle in
the distance.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
What the hell. At least there'd be a
diner opening in a couple of hours.
I'd get some pie and coffee, and
then I could worry about the gas.

Pete pulls out onto the road.

EXT. ROAD - NIGHT

Pete's car trundles along, blowing past a hand-painted
roadside sign which reads:

SLOW!
NARROW BRIDGE - SINGLE LANE - NO GUARDRAIL
USE CAUTION!

INT./EXT. PETE'S CAR (DRIVING) - NIGHT

Pete's headlights catch a glimpse of another sign, reading
"LAWSON WASH," just in front of a small wooden auto bridge.

Barely reducing his speed, Pete heads onto the bridge...

HIS POV - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD

...his headlights pick up the glowing eyes of a hapless
possum...

Pete swerves to avoid the animal, and a wheel drops off the
edge...

EXT. BRIDGE - NIGHT

...and the Plymouth careens over the side of the bridge and
into the rapidly-moving water below!

EXT. UNDERWATER - NIGHT

The water is flowing very quickly, and the current is intense.
Pete pulls himself out of the driver's seat (thankfully,
it's a convertible) and swims over the windshield.

But... his left sleeve is caught on the door handle. Nearly
out of breath and panicking, Pete shucks off the jacket and
heads for the surface.

EXT. THE WASH - NIGHT

Pete breaks the surface and gasps for air. His fight isn't
over yet, as the current is pulling him rapidly downstream.

He swims with all his might toward the far bank.

EXT. FAR BANK OF THE WASH - NIGHT

Drained, Pete pulls himself out of the water and staggers to
his feet.

PETE
(gasping)
Oh my god! I don't believe... oh my
god...

He stumbles along backwards a couple of steps... and his
heel hits a rock...

Pete falls backward -- and his head strikes a glancing blow
on another rock. He rolls down the bank, unconscious, and
lands face down in the mud.

CUT TO BLACK.

IN BLACK, we slowly become aware of a panting, breathing
sound -- the sound of a dog...

FADE IN:

ON A DOG'S FACE

A yellow labrador, full frame. It takes a couple more sniffs,
then starts licking furiously.

OLD MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Maggie, whatcha got there? Huh, girl?
Whatcha find?

EXT. FAR BANK OF THE WASH - DAWN

Pete is still laying face down on the bank, being fervently
licked in the face by the dog.

ON THE OLD MAN

A no-nonsense sort in his late-60s, he wears overalls and an
old railroad cap. He comes down to Pete, and using his walking
stick, pokes him in the side.

OLD MAN
Mister, who are ya? My dog likes
you, but that don't mean much, she
likes skunks, too. Sweet n'stupid,
that's why I keep her.

Pete blinks up at the Old Man, his mouth gaping open.

OLD MAN
Mister, you okay? You look wet. You
in an accident or somethin'?

PETE
I... I don't know.

He sits up, and the Old Man gets a look at his head, which
is caked with mud and blood on one side.

OLD MAN
You best come with me. Can ya walk?

PETE
I... yes, I think so.

He stands up shakily. The Old Man gives Pete a hand.

OLD MAN
Come on, we'll have the Doc look you
over.

PETE
My head hurts.

OLD MAN
I shouldn't be surprises. You smell
like that was quite a night before
you had there.
(to the dog)
Maggie! Let's go now!

And they head toward the road to town. BOOMING UP, we SEE
them pass a roadside sign:

ON THE SIGN:

WELCOME TO
LAWSON, CALIFORNIA
EST. 1869
ELEV. 275 POP. 1755
THE TOWN
THAT GAVE ITS ALL

OLD MAN (STANTON)
Name's Stanton Lawson. My ancestors
founded this town.

PETE
Ancestors?

STANTON
Actually, my grandpap. But "ancestors"
sounds better, don't it?
(hands Pete a
handkerchief)
Here.

Pete takes the handkerchief and wipes the mud and some of
the blood off his face.

PETE
I suppose. Thanks.

STANTON
You look familiar, fella. What's
your name?

Pete stops, thinks for a moment.

PETE
I'm... I... I honestly don't know.

CUT TO:

EXT. COMMERCE STREET - LAWSON, CALIFORNIA - DAY

Pete and Stanton walk along Commerce Street, the main drag
through the center of the small town. Lawson is a bit run
down, creeping inexorably toward decrepit. Despite that,
there's a timeless quality to the small buildings, a familiar
All-American feel.

Several of the PEOPLE walking along the street take notice
of Pete and nod to Stanton, who nods back.

PETE
They all know you?

STANTON
'Course they all know me. And I know
all them. Town's got my name, don't
it?

They pass the window of the drug store, COLE'S PHARMACY.

PETE LOOKS DOWN AND SEES

TWO FADED GOLD STARS

in the window with two faded photos, all decked in tattered
black crepe. Two boys, no more than 18 and 19, who went off
to war and didn't come back.

Stanton notes Pete stopping to look at the stars and photos.

STANTON
Ernie Cole here just got himself
elected mayor. Lost both his boys in
the war. Kenny at Anzio and Willie
at Normandy.

PETE
(thinking)
The war...

STANTON
(points across the
street)
Mabel over there at the diner lost
her husband Max. Okinawa, I believe.

ANGLE - MABEL'S DINER

A typical small-town greasy spoon -- with one faded star
prominent in the window.

CLOSER

On MABEL LANIER, a sweet-faced woman in her 30s. She stares
vacantly into space, her reverie broken by a customer needing
a coffee refill.

STANTON
All told, this little town gave sixty-
two of its finest to the war.
Seventeen of 'em at Normandy alone.
More'n its share, I should say. Got
us a letter from President Truman.
City council commissioned a war
memorial. Been sittin' in the basement
of city hall these six years. Town
never had the heart to put it up.
Place just hasn't been the same since
the war.

STANTON AND PETE

Pete looks longingly toward the diner. Stanton takes note.

STANTON
You hungry, son?

PETE
Yes. Very.

STANTON
Got any money?

Pete rummages in his pants pockets, and comes up with three
quarters.

STANTON
Six bits. More'n enough to buy some
breakfast. C'mon.

And they head across the street.

CUT TO:

A PLATE WITH TWO PIECES OF APPLE PIE

A fork comes into frame and tears into one of the slices.

WIDER

INT. MABEL'S DINER - DAY

Pete is fairly shoveling the pie into his mouth, pausing
only to wash it down with gulps of coffee.

MABEL

stands nearby, watching in amazement as her pie is consumed
in record time.

Pete notices that Stanton and Mabel -- and the other PATRONS,
for that matter -- are watching his feeding frenzy. He stops
in his tracks, and starts chewing leisurely. He smiles at
Mabel.

PETE
(mouth full)
Pie's... good.

MABEL
(wryly)
Like you could tell.
(to Stanton)
Where'd you find him?

STANTON
Down by the wash.

MABEL
We gotta put a rail on that thing
before someone else gets killed.
(to Pete)
Three people have died there, Mister.
You're lucky to be alive.

PETE
(draining the coffee
cup)
Thanks. More coffee?

Mabel obliges. As she pours the coffee, she looks at Pete.

MABEL
You know, you look familiar. You
ever been in here before?

Pete shakes his head.

STANTON
He don't remember who he is, Mabel.
Gonna take him to the Doc, as soon
as he gets in.

MABEL
(distractedly)
Doc should be in for his coffee and
bear claw any minute...
(to Pete)
You sure you never been in here?

Pete looks up at Mabel and smiles winningly.

PETE
I'd remember this pie.

Mabel, thoroughly charmed, smiles back at Pete.

MABEL
(patting his hand)
I'll just get you another piece.

EXT. COMMERCE STREET - DAY

A stoop-shouldered little man in his late 60s, HARRY TRUMBO
shambles along the street, headed for Mabel's Diner. There's
a sadness about Harry, the world-weary melancholy of a man
who has little to smile about because he has little to care
about. After a couple of steps, he's met up by DOC BEN
LARDNER, a vigorous man in his 50s. He comes up behind Harry
and claps him on the back.

LARDNER
'Mornin' Harry. Fine day, isn't it?

HARRY
Morning, Doc. Yes, yes it looks just
fine.

LARDNER
Plenty to do today?

HARRY
(vaguely)
Oh, yes, plenty. Plenty.

They're at the door of the diner. Doc opens it for Harry.

LARDNER
After you.

INT. MABEL'S DINER - DAY

Lardner comes over to Mabel, who hands him a tall paper cup
of coffee and bags him a bear claw.

LARDNER
Mornin' Mabel, Stan.

MABEL
Mornin' Doc. Got some new business
for you today.

Lardner and Pete make eye contact, and the doctor notices
the bump on his head.

LARDNER
Hello, son. How'd that happen?

STANTON
He don't know. And he don't know his
name, neither. Found him down by the
wash.

LARDNER
You'd better come with me, son.
(to Mabel, indicating
the coffee and danish)
On my tab?

MABEL
You bet.

Lardner, Stanton and Pete rise and move to the door. Pete
turns back, takes the three quarters out of his pocket, and
puts them on the counter, smiling brightly at Mabel.

PETE
Thanks. Great pie.

MABEL
(blushing)
You're welcome. Come again.

ON HARRY

seated at the opposite end of the counter. He glances up at
Pete.

HARRY'S POV

as Pete smiles at Mabel and turns to go.

ON HARRY

His mouth falls open, his hand moves to cover it. He's just
seen a ghost...

HARRY'S POV - SLOW MOTION...

...as the three men pass by the diner's window.

CLOSE - HARRY

HARRY
(wide eyed)
Sweet Jesus...

CUT TO:

A FINGER --

moving left-to-right, right-to-left through space.

LARDNER'S VOICE
Follow my finger. Just use your eyes.
That's it. Good.

WIDER

INT. EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY

Doc Lardner is checking Pete's eyes. Pete sits on an
examination table, his shirt off, his head freshly bandaged.

Stanton lurks in the corner, Maggie curled at his feet.

STANTON
He was passed out cold. Maggie woke
'im.

LARDNER
Uh-huh. He looks familiar.
(to Pete)
Open your mouth. Say "ah."

Pete does. Lardner has a look as Stanton pulls out a pocket
watch.

STANTON
Said as much myself, Doc. Can't place
him, though. To look at him, you'd
think the cheese slid off his cracker.
(looks at his watch)
Well, morning's half-over. I'm off.

PETE
Thank you, Mr. Lawson.

STANTON
Don't mention it. Whoever-you-are.

Stanton and Maggie exit. Lardner checks Pete's ears.

LARDNER
Any idea how you got here, son?

PETE
No, sir.

Lardner sniffs him.

LARDNER
Been drinkin' a bit, have we?

PETE
I don't remember. I guess so. Smells
like it.
(smacks his lips and
frowns)
Tastes like it.

LARDNER
Well, you've been wet to the skin.
You must've fallen in.

PETE
I guess I did.

LARDNER
Lucky you got out, that water's got
quite a pull, and it empties straight
into the ocean.

Lardner takes a shirt off his counter and hands it to Pete.

LARDNER
Here, one of mine.

PETE
Thanks.

Pete puts on the shirt.

LARDNER
Do you remember if you were driving
a car? Maybe you went over the bridge.
No guard rail there, it's easy to
do. It's happened before.

PETE
It's possible. I just don't remember.

LARDNER
And you don't know your name or who
you are, that right?

PETE
(frustrated)
I... no, I... I just can't...

LARDNER
(gently)
It's okay, son. We just need to call
you something. That's all.

Pete stifles a laugh.

LARDNER
What is it?

PETE
Call me... Ishmael?

LARDNER
Well, at least you remember "Moby
Dick."

CUT TO:

INT. DOC LARDNER'S PRIVATE OFFICE - DAY

Lardner is on the phone, sipping his coffee and nibbling his
bear claw. Pete is standing, nosing around the office --
diplomas, photographs, knick-knacks. He zeros in on one photo
in particular.

ON THE PHOTO

one of Lardner and a beautiful YOUNG WOMAN. They've been
fishing, and the young woman displays a much larger catch
than Lardner.

LARDNER
(into phone)
Stanton found him by the wash. Not
hurt too bad, but he took a nasty
bump on the head and he can't remember
who he is. We both think he looks
familiar, but we can't place him.
You bet. He'll be here.

Lardner hangs up and watches Pete looking at the pictures.

LARDNER
That's me and my daughter Adele. My
pride and joy. Charms the fish right
out of the lake, she does.

PETE
She's very pretty.

LARDNER
Thanks. Well, Sheriff's on his way
over, and maybe we can get to the
bottom of who you are...

Lardner stares at him. Pete takes note, turns toward him.

LARDNER
...sorry 'bout that, but you do look
familiar to me.

PETE
Wish I could say the same thing.

CUT TO:

EXT. DOC LARDNER'S OFFICE - DAY

The Sheriff's sedan pulls up to the office and SHERIFF CECIL
ELDRIDGE, 45, gets out. As he gets a few steps from the door,
Harry Trumbo jumps out from around the side of the building
and stops him.

HARRY
(excited)
Cecil! Cecil, there's a young man in
there...

ELDRIDGE
(startled)
Lord love a duck, Harry, you wanna
give me a heart attack right in front
of the doctor's office?

HARRY
Listen to me! The young man in
there...

Eldridge keeps moving to the door.

ELDRIDGE
(interrupting)
Stan Lawson found him unconscious by
the wash this morning, and I'm here
to investigate, and if we find
anything interesting, it'll be in
the paper, so why don't you just...

Harry jumps in front of Eldridge and grabs him by the
shoulders.

HARRY
Cecil, listen to me!

The sheriff stops.

HARRY
(breathless)
It's Luke.

CUT TO:

INT. DOC LARDNER'S PRIVATE OFFICE - DAY

Sheriff Eldridge is seated across from Pete. He's staring at
him intently. Silence.

ELDRIDGE
No wallet, huh?

LARDNER
No identification at all.
(beat)
What're you thinkin', Cecil?

ELDRIDGE
What I'm thinkin' is we got us one
a'two things here. A mystery or a
damn miracle. And by god I can't
tell which.
(to Pete)
Boy, you say you have no idea who
you are? That right?

PETE
Yes.

ELDRIDGE
You ever been in this town before,
to your knowledge?

PETE
No. But...

ELDRIDGE
But what?

PETE
Well, this place sorta reminds me of
something.

ELDRIDGE
What's that?

PETE
"It's a Wonderful Life."

ELDRIDGE
The Jimmy Stewart picture? I remember
that one. Saw it over at the Bijou.
So, you remember that, huh?

PETE
"It's a Wonderful Life?"

ELDRIDGE
Or the Bijou. Either one.

PETE
I remember the picture... but I don't
remember where I saw it.

The Sheriff rises and crosses to the door.

ELDRIDGE
Doc, with your permission, I want to
bring someone in here. Maybe it'll
jar this young man's memory.

LARDNER
By all means.

Eldridge opens the door.

ELDRIDGE
(to someone offscreen)
Harry, why don't you come on in here.

Harry enters the office, doffs his hat, revealing a full
head of snow-white hair. He nods to Eldridge and Lardner,
and slowly turns to face Pete. He looks closer... and closer.

Hesitantly, he takes a couple of steps towards Pete, who
slowly rises out of his chair to meet the old man's gaze.

Finally, they're standing practically toe-to-toe.

PETE

looks a bit puzzled, but the old man has such a sweet face...

HARRY

has tears forming in his eyes. A smile turns up the corners
of his mouth, and quickly lights up his whole face.

LARDNER
(softly, to Eldridge)
Are you saying that he's...

ELDRIDGE
(smiling broadly)
Shhhhhh.

Harry takes Pete in his arms and hugs him tightly, burying
his face in Pete's shoulder and sobbing.

HARRY
I knew all along. I knew you were
alive! Oh, Luke...

Pete doesn't quite know what to think. He clearly has no
idea who this old man is.

LARDNER
(mouth agape in
disbelief)
Mother o'god...

ELDRIDGE
(to Pete)
Give the man a hug, boy! That's your
father!

Pete looks at Harry. It's not so much that he remembers
anything -- he's swept up in the moment.

PETE
My father...?

Pete wraps his arms around Harry and hugs him tightly,
glancing over at

ELDRIDGE AND LARDNER

who look on goofily, fighting back tears. They smile at Pete,
who smiles back tentatively.

CUT TO:

EXT. DOC LARDNER'S OFFICE - DAY

Harry, Pete, Eldridge and Lardner come outside.

ELDRIDGE
C'mon, I'll give you two a lift back
to the Bijou.

PETE
The Bijou?

LARDNER
That's where you live.

PETE
We live in a theater?

HARRY
Only one in town.
(he opens the car
door for Pete)
Get in, son.

ELDRIDGE
(sotto, to Lardner)
Ben, when's Delly due back?

LARDNER
(sotto)
Tomorrow afternoon...
(seized by a thought)
...oh my god...

ELDRIDGE
(sotto)
Exactly. Break it to her gently.

Eldridge and Harry get in the car. Lardner comes over to
Pete's back seat window.

LARDNER
Get plenty of rest, Luke. You took a
pretty big wallop there.

He turns to move away, then turns back.

LARDNER
Good to have you back.

Eldridge starts the car and they drive away.

(NOTE: Henceforth, "PETE" will be known as "LUKE." It'll be
easier to keep track of things, since everyone's now calling
him Luke, anyway. Trust me.)

CUT TO:

INT. ELDRIDGE'S CAR (DRIVING) - DAY

Harry sits next to the Sheriff, and Luke has the back seat
all to himself. He leans forward toward the front seat and
taps Harry on the shoulder.

LUKE
Excuse me... what's your, um, your
name?

HARRY
Harry, son. Harry.

LUKE
And... what's my name again?

HARRY
Albert Lucas Trumbo. But you've been
"Luke" since you were a baby.

LUKE
Ah.
(taking it for a spin)
Luke. Luke. I like it.

Luke looks at the town as they drive down Commerce Street.

HIS POV

Shops are open for business, TOWNSPEOPLE are going about
their lives. A few stop and watch as the Sheriff's car goes
by.

LUKE
How long have I been gone?

Eldridge looks at Harry, who stares ahead.

LUKE
How long?

Pause. The silence is too thick, and Harry has to answer.

He turns around in his seat and faces Luke.

HARRY
(gently)
You never came back from the war. We
were told you were missing and
presumed dead.

LUKE
When did I leave?

HARRY
You joined up one month to the day
after Pearl Harbor. January seventh...
nineteen forty-two.

Luke sits back against the back seat and lets this sink in.

HARRY
Nine and-a-half years ago.

LUKE
Nine and-a-half years...

ELDRIDGE
Comin' up on the Bijou, gents.

EXT. IN FRONT OF THE BIJOU - DAY

Eldridge's car rounds the corner, pulls up and stops.

ELDRIDGE
Here we are.

HARRY
Well, son, you're home!

Luke peers across the street... his mouth gapes open...

HIS POV - THE BIJOU.

The Bijou is a decaying, Dada-esque, grab-bag of building
styles. It's as though the architect took random parts of a
Chinese temple, a Mosque, a Pagoda, a Sphinx, a symphony
hall and a slaughterhouse, put them in a bag, gave it a good
shake, tossed the contents out onto a blueprint and promptly
built the result.

As a matter of fact, if you didn't know that the place was
"The Bijou," you'd probably wonder what the cryptic message

" HE B J U"

was trying to convey from atop the crumbling parapet.

And now, the reason for the deteriorated state of the " HE B
J U" sign becomes apparent. Train tracks run right behind
the building on an elevated trestle. As we watch, a TRAIN
ROARS BY. Everything shakes. It's not an earthquake, it's a
trainquake. The "J" teeters at a jaunty angle, threatening
to dislodge and tumble down to join its fallen brothers.

LUKE

stares at the monstrosity. His face is ashen. His heart has
sunk to somewhere below his knees.

The Bijou.

Harry jumps out of the car excitedly.

HARRY
Thanks for the lift, Cecil.

ELDRIDGE
Don't mention it. Welcome home, Luke.

LUKE
(faint smile)
Thanks.

Luke opens the back door and slowly steps out. Harry grabs
his arm and pulls a ring of keys from his pocket.

HARRY
Wait'll you see the inside!

LUKE
(deadpan)
Can't wait.

CUT TO:

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - DAY

The interior of the theater fulfills every promise made by
the exterior. Moth-eaten velvet-flocked wallpaper hangs in
shards and pieces from the walls. It's sort of a cross between
a gaudy cathouse and a mausoleum, served up with generous
helpings of dust and grime, an almost unbeatable combination
of questionable taste and neglect.

Above the center of the lobby hangs what was -- and is --
probably the only truly beautiful item in the whole theater --

A DELICATE CRYSTAL CHANDELIER.

Even under a veneer of dust, the fragile droplets of cut
crystal seem to pick up every available point of light and
scatter it in a hundred directions.

TILT DOWN TO REVEAL

Luke and Harry standing below. Luke is lost in a gulf
somewhere between surprise and disgust.

HARRY
We've been closed for a while.

LUKE
(smiling wanly)
Ah.

Luke walks toward the auditorium doors and slowly, cracks
one open.

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

The ocean of two hundred or so seats on the main floor seem
to be, for the most part, intact -- although the occasional
row seems to have loosed itself from its moorings and heaved
itself up against the row behind or in front.

THE SCREEN

is really not much more than a tatty bit of yellowing muslin,
framed by ragged red velveteen drapery.

In the tiny orchestra pit, as we will see later, is an old
upright piano.

Luke walks a few steps down the aisle. He picks a seat on
the aisle near the middle of the theater and sits. As he
does, a CAT, an orange tabby, leaps out from under another
seat, jets past Luke and disappears down the aisle and
backstage. Harry comes over and sits behind him.

LUKE
(turning to Harry)
Exactly how long has the Bijou been
closed?

HARRY
Hmmmm... after you left, it was
difficult, and then Lily -- that's
your mother -- she took ill and
died... we haven't shown a picture
since forty-eight.

LUKE
Why?

HARRY
(deep breath)
Well, after the war, with so many of
the town's boys killed, people around
here didn't much feel like going to
the movies, I guess. Some of 'em
moved away -- Los Angeles, Sacramento,
San Francisco. Wasn't much to keep
'em here, I expect. And now with
this "television" thing -- people
just aren't going out as much as
they used to.

LUKE
Didn't you have any help?

HARRY
Oh, I had Irene and Old Tim but they
really couldn't help much. Broke
their hearts when we closed up. Broke
mine, too.
(brightening)
But now that you're back, well, things
will be different around here, that's
for sure.
(rises, grabs Luke's
arm)
C'mon, I'll show you where we live.

CUT TO:

INT. BIJOU APARTMENT - DAY

The small apartment above the projection booth is quite a
contrast to the rest of the theater. It's neat as a pin, and
fairly lit, as Harry has just pulled back the curtains,
allowing the sun to flood the room.

A beam of golden light falls across a table, atop which are

SEVERAL FRAMED PHOTOS.

One of the photos is of the real, much-younger Luke. It's a
Norman Rockwell scene, at a train depot, with an army-issue
olive drab duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He has one
arm around Harry and the other around his mother.

(And by the way, Pete's resemblance to the real Luke -- even
in a nearly 10 year old photo -- is pretty damn startling...)

HARRY
The day you shipped out. That was a
proud day for your mother and me.
Last time you saw her. Last time I
saw you.

He smiles.

HARRY
Till today.

Luke sets it down and picks up another photo, that of a fine
looking woman. It's a formal portrait, dating perhaps from
the 30's.

HARRY
That's Lily. Your mother, rest her
soul.

LUKE
(repeating)
Mother.
(to Harry)
She's beautiful.

HARRY
(coming over)
Well, yes, that she was. She certainly
made this place a home.

He takes the picture from Luke, kisses it, and gently replaces
it on the table. Luke goes over to the sofa and sits.

HARRY
(brightly)
Can I get you anything? I can put
some coffee on or some...

Harry looks at Luke, who has almost instantly fallen asleep
on the sofa.

He goes to him, gently picks his feet off the floor, lifts
them onto the sofa. Removes his shoes, sets them on the floor.

CUT TO:

A BLANKET

being drawn up Luke's chest.

HARRY

stands, looks down warmly at his son. Then, suddenly, he's
seized by a thought. He turns and crosses to the window.

CLOSE - THE WINDOW

There's a small picture frame in the window. Harry reaches
down, gingerly picks it up and turns it around.

ON THE FRAME

It's a single, faded gold star. One war casualty.

Harry clutches it to his chest, looks over at the sleeping
Luke and smiles.

HARRY
(softly)
When I woke up this morning, my son
was dead. Now, I have my boy again.
(closes his eyes)
I have my boy again.

FADE TO BLACK.

FADE IN:

INT. BIJOU APARTMENT - MORNING

It's early morning. Luke is sound asleep, still in his
clothes. In the distance, a train sounds its HORN.

Luke rolls over on his back, still asleep, snoring lightly.

Slowly, he starts to wake up, eyes still closed.

Something's strange, though. He frowns. The train is GETTING
CLOSER. Luke's eyes POP OPEN.

LUKE'S POV

As the train RUMBLES BY, shaking everything in the room,
Luke looks up to see three ancient cherubs staring down at
him.

Harry, an elderly WOMAN, and an elderly BLACK MAN.

HARRY
(smiling)
'Morning, Son.

ELDERLY WOMAN
(smiling)
Good morning, Luke.

ELDERLY BLACK MAN
(no expression)
'Mornin'.

HARRY
Sleep well?

Luke is speechless. It he dreaming this?

HARRY
They couldn't wait to see you.

LUKE
Who... are they?

HARRY
This is the staff of the Bijou.

LUKE
Oh. What... what time is it?

HARRY
Six-thirty. I thought we'd get an
early start.

Luke sits up on the sofa and tries to get a little more awake.
He rubs the side of his head that is still bandaged.

The elderly woman nudges Harry gently.

HARRY
Oh, I'm sorry, they know you, but
you don't... you need to be re-
introduced. Luke, this is Mrs. Irene
Terwilliger.

Luke stands and shakes MRS. TERWILLIGER'S hand. She's tiny,
seventy if she's a day. She smiles and curtsies slightly.

Her eyes sparkle brightly, her manner almost coquettish.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Head cashier and refreshments clerk.
So glad to have you back, my boy!
(to Harry)
Much more handsome than I remember
him.

HARRY
And this fine fellow is our head
usher, resident fix-it man and
custodian. Luke, meet Old Tim.
(to Old Tim)
You remember Luke, don't you?

OLD TIM is -- well, old. His clothes are a tad shabby, but
well maintained, though they hang loosely on his gangly frame.
He wears an old blue knit cap, which he quickly removes as
he shakes Luke's hand. He's a man of few words, his manner
is painfully shy -- and he never smiles.

LUKE
Is there a young Tim?

OLD TIM
No.

LUKE
Well, then, why do they call you
"Old Tim?"

Pause.

OLD TIM
I'm old.

Harry steps forward, takes Luke's arm.

HARRY
Well, lots to do, so we'd better get
a move on...

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Luke, Harry and Mrs. Terwilliger walk down the aisle toward
the screen. Old Time lags a few steps behind. At the orchestra
pit, Harry climbs the steps, crosses the pit. The screen is
a sea of repair patches. Harry pats it. Dust flies.

HARRY
'Fraid this has seen better days.
Well, I was meaning to get a new
screen, anyway.

OLD TIM
I n-need me a new uniform.

Luke looks at Old Tim, then at Harry.

HARRY
(to Luke)
I promised him a new uniform when we
re-opened.
(to Old Tim)
And you'll get one, too.

LUKE
You know, I hate to bring this up,
but screens and uniforms and paint
and repairs are going to take money,
which I'm willing to bet none of us
has.

Silence from the group.

LUKE
I thought so.

Beat. Harry brightens, clambers down the steps and races up
the aisle.

HARRY
Anyone want to see the projector?

CUT TO:

TWO CARBON ARCS

are squeakily being cranked together above the din of a fan
motor. A puff of smoke, then -- BZZZZZZZZZTT -- LIGHT. A
metal door is closed over the arcs.

INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - DAY

Harry dances around to the other side of the projector and
adjusts the focus on the beam of light. The others look on
as he gazes at the screen through the tiny window.

HARRY
Beautiful. Bright and even from edge
to edge. See for yourself.

The carbons sputter and die. The light flickers out. Harry
is crestfallen, turns off the motor.

HARRY
She's always been a bit tricky.

CUT TO:

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - DAY

Mrs. Terwilliger is dusting the concession stand with a ragged
feather duster, a hopeless task. Old Tim is on a rickety
ladder, replacing burned-out bulbs in the chandelier.

The orange tabby cat scratches itself on the leg of the
ladder.

Old Tim climbs down and catches his breath. Mrs. Terwilliger
sneezes.

OLD TIM
Bless.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Thank you, Timothy.

They both stop their work and glance warily at the door marked
"OFFICE."

MRS. TERWILLIGER
(sotto)
What do you suppose they're talking
about?

OLD TIM
Dunno. Boy's smart.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
(brightly)
Yes, he seems to be.

OLD TIM
Bad for us.

INT. BIJOU OFFICE - DAY

Luke is poring over the ledger books, adding up figures on
an old manual adding machine.

LUKE
Um... Harry? Did I ever keep the
books here?

HARRY
No, your mother did, then I did after
she passed.

LUKE
Well, I'm the first one to admit
that I don't know anything about
bookkeeping, but there are some very
interesting things in here.

He scans down a page.

LUKE
(reading)
"February 10, 1942. Picture 'Ball of
Fire.'"

HARRY
(appreciatively)
Gary Cooper. And Barbara Stanwyck.
Yowsa.

LUKE
(reading)
"Eight p.m. showtime, ninety-six
admissions, receipts including
concessions, $84.75... plus one fryer
and two-dozen eggs."

He closes the book and looks expectantly at Harry.

HARRY
Yes?

LUKE
"one fryer and two-dozen eggs?"

HARRY
Forty-two was a lean year around
here. The war had just started...
you were gone less than a month...
and we were coming off a bit of a
drought as I recall. Not everyone
could ante up the price of a ticket,
and a chicken's as good as money if
you ask me. At that time, it meant a
lot to the folks around here to be
able to come to the pictures.

LUKE
Yeah, I know, but poultry...?

HARRY
(rhapsodically)
I know it's hard to believe, son,
but this place, this little place
this wasn't a theater then, this was
a palace! Any man, woman, child,
you, me, it didn't matter, you bought
your ticket and you walked in and
you...

Harry puts his hand on his chest and sighs.

HARRY
...you were in a palace. It was like
a dream. It was like heaven, like
you died and went to a palace in
heaven, that's what it was like. And
spotless, too.

Inspired, Harry stands, takes Luke by the arm.

HARRY
Come with me!

He drags him out of the office and into the lobby.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - DAY

Mrs. Terwilliger and Old Tim watch as Harry leads Luke through
the lobby.

HARRY
(smiling)
Maybe you had problems and worries
out there, but once you came through
that door, they didn't matter anymore.
In here, you were safe. Maybe it was
just an escape from reality, but...
oh, god... it was beautiful.

Harry leads Luke into the auditorium. The car follows, but
Mrs. Terwilliger and Old Tim stay behind.

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Harry trots down the aisle and looks up at the screen.

HARRY
(exuberant)
Charlie Chaplin. Keaton and Lloyd.
Swanson. And later on, Clark Gable
and Claudette Colbert and Jimmy
Stewart and James Cagney and Bogart
and Becall and Judy and Mickey...
and Fred and Ginger.

He turns to Luke.

HARRY
(emphatically)
They... were... like... gods!

He points to the screen.

HARRY
And that... was the altar. Would you
remember if I told you, we felt lucky
to be here, to have the privilege of
watching them?
(sadly)
This television thing. Why would you
want to sit at home and watch a little
box with a little screen? Because
it's convenient? Because you don't
have to get dressed and put on a
coat and a tie and a hat? Because
you can just... sit there? How can
you call that "entertainment," all
alone in your living room? Where are
the other people? Where's the
audience?

Harry comes over to Luke.

HARRY
(emphatically)
Where's the magic?

He stands behind Luke and whispers in his ear.

HARRY
I'll tell you. In a place like this,
the magic is all around you. All the
time. Everywhere. In every thing.

He turns Luke around and looks him in the eye.

HARRY
The trick... is to see it.

Pause.

LUKE
But I...

HARRY
Son, I think you loved the Bijou
even more than I did. You've got to
remember that. You've got to.

Still looking at Luke, Harry takes a step back, then slowly
walks up the aisle, disappearing into the lobby.

Luke walks down the aisle. At the edge of the orchestra pit,
he stands looking up at the screen. The orange tabby cat
MEOWS, and Luke glances toward it, standing onstage by the
edge of the screen. They exchange looks as we

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Doc Lardner is seated in an easy chair, his feet up, reading
Life magazine. The radio is on, and Patti Page is singing
"The Tennessee Waltz."

There's a noise offscreen, and Lardner looks up. In the
entrance hall, the front door opens.

ADELE "DELLY" LARDNER

enters. She's a strikingly beautiful woman in her late 20s.

She takes off a felt cap, and her long, auburn hair cascades
down.

ADELE
Dad?

LARDNER
Delly? In here.

Lardner rises as Adele comes into the living room. They
embrace warmly.

LARDNER
How'd it go?

ADELE
Not as bad as I thought it would. I
think I passed.

LARDNER
(kisses her forehead)
That's my girl!
(he hugs her again)
Did you...?

ADELE
No hiccups, which was good. Who wants
an attorney who gets the hiccups
when she gets nervous?
("serious" lawyer
voice)
"Your
(hic!)
Honor, I
(hic!)
Object!"

They laugh.

LARDNER
I always told you, baby...
(taps her head)
...it's all up here.

Lardner gives her an extra squeeze, continues to hold onto
her just a bit too long. Adele detects something amiss.

ADELE
Dad? What is it?

Beat.

LARDNER
Well, it's...

Adele breaks away from him.

ADELE
(extreme concern)
Oh my god... who died?

CUT TO:

GLASS OF WATER

on a kitchen table. Offscreen, we HEAR A HICCUP. Then another.
Adele's hand reaches into frame.

WIDER

INT. LARDNER KITCHEN - EVENING

Lardner stands over Adele, who is seated at the table, holding
the glass of water.

LARDNER
Drink slowly.

She raises the glass to her lips.

LARDNER
From the other side of the glass.

It's a particularly gymnastic way in which to drink water,
but Adele accomplishes it with aplomb. She waits for a moment --
then hiccups again.

ADELE
I think
(hic!)
it's worse
(hic!)
now.

LARDNER
That always used to work.

ADELE
Yeah, well it's not everyday you get
(hic!)
news like this. You're sure he's
(hic!)
okay? Other than the
(hic!)
bump on the head?

LARDNER
(hedging)
Well...

ADELE
(hic!)
Dad...
(hic!)

Lardner sits at the table and takes Adele's hand.

LARDNER
He doesn't remember anything, Delly.
Doesn't know how he got here, doesn't
remember his father, the town, the
Bijou, anyone...

ADELE
...including me. Right?
(hic!)

LARDNER
I'm afraid not. He looked right at
your picture without batting an eye.
But it's probably temporary. He got
all the way to Lawson, so he clearly
knew who he was and what he was doing
until he hit his head. I'm sure it'll
all come back to him. It just takes
a catalyst.

ADELE
You mean,
(hic!)
me?

LARDNER
It's possible.

Off Adele's thoughtful hiccuping, we

CUT TO:

EXT. COMMERCE STREET - EVENING

Luke and Harry, walking along, make a turn onto Commerce
Street, heading for Mabel's. It's still light out, and a
soft breeze skitters some leaves along the sidewalk.

HARRY
I take breakfast and supper at Mabel's
every day except Sunday. Have for
years, since Lily died. If it weren't
for Mabel, I'd probably starve to
death.

ERNIE COLE, a slight, balding man in his 50s, is locking the
door of his pharmacy across the street, when he spots Harry
and Luke.

ERNIE
Harry! Hold on a second!

Ernie runs across the street and, slightly winded, stands
before Luke, staring. Luke shoots a glance at Harry, who
taps Ernie on the shoulder.

HARRY
It's really him, Ernie.

ERNIE
(agape)
Well, I'll be...

He sticks his hand out and Luke takes it. Ernie pumps it
enthusiastically.

ERNIE
By god, Luke, if it isn't good to
see you again.

LUKE
(uncertain)
Uh, thanks. Good to see you again,
too, uh...

HARRY
Ernie.

LUKE
...Ernie.

ERNIE
(still at a lose)
Well, I'll be...

HARRY
We were just gonna get some supper.
Would you like to join us?

ERNIE
Would I ever!

The three walk toward the diner, but before they get two
steps, they hear:

WOMAN'S VOICE
Is that Luke Trumbo?

They turn to see a stout woman, KATIE RUTHERFORD, 40s, rushing
toward them. She rushes right into a very surprised Luke's
arms and hugs him tightly.

KATIE
Oh, Luke, it's so good to have you
back!

HARRY
Katie, would you like to join us for
dinner? The more, the merrier.

CUT TO:

EXT. MABEL'S DINER - NIGHT

The diner is packed. In addition to Ernie and Katie, MEN,
WOMEN and CHILDREN occupy every seat and table, and many
more are standing, even hanging out the door.

At the focus of the crowd are Luke and Harry, seated at the
counter. Harry is leisurely eating a chicken dinner, while
Luke is working on a steak. A young man seated at the opposite
side of the counter is speaking. He's CARL LEFFERT, 30s.

CARL
(eagerly)
Hey, Luke, remember the time you and
me, we was playing with firecrackers
and the one you was lighting blew up
too soon and singed all the hair
offa my head?

A few people shake their heads, smile and laugh.

LUKE
Uh, no. What happened?

CARL
(deflated)
Well... um, all the hair got singed
offa my head. It was pretty funny.

A couple of TITTERS are heard.

LUKE
Oh.

CARL
Even my eyebrows. But they grew back.

Luke leans toward Harry, who never looks up from his chicken.

HARRY
Carl. Friend of yours from high
school. Everybody calls him "Cueball."

LUKE
(sincerely)
Oh, hi Cue... Carl. Sorry.

CARL
(brightening)
Oh, heck, that's all right. It's
just good to have you back. Isn't
that right, Bob? Hey, Luke, you
remember my brother Bob? You two
joined up the same day.

Luke smiles and nods at the young man sitting next to Carl.

BOB LEFFERT

is a good-looking fellow, a few years older than Carl. His
face is pale and downcast, and he wears a cap pulled down on
his forehead. He looks up at Luke with hollow eyes. Brings
his right hand up, pushes the brim of his cap up. Except
there's no hand there -- it's a hook.

LUKE
(quietly)
Hey, Bob. Good to meet you.

Bob doesn't react. He glances away, and for a moment, his
eyes meet Mabel's. She smiles warmly. He turns away.

Ernie Cole pipes up.

ERNIE
Luke, I know there's a question that's
on everybody's mind.

LUKE
What's that?

ERNIE
Well, now that you're back, what're
your plans?

All eyes on Luke. He freezes, having just taken a forkful of
food in his mouth. Harry jumps in.

HARRY
Gonna re-open the Bijou, that's what.

A MURMUR goes through the crowd. Stanton Lawson, standing
behind Luke, taps him on the shoulder.

STANTON
That true?

LUKE
(on the spot)
Well... we're gonna try.

ERNIE
That's a lot of work, son. Place's
been closed, what, three, four years
now. Gonna be tough.

HARRY
If it's tough, that means it's worth
doing.

Someone shouts "That's the spirit!," another shouts "Hear,
hear!," and a chorus of VOICES join in agreement.

ERNIE
Hey, where's Spencer Wyatt?

SPENCER'S VOICE
Uh, back here, Mr. Mayor.

ERNIE
Well, come on out here so's we can
see you.

SPENCER WYATT steps around from the back of the crowd near
the door. He's a tall, dark-haired, gangly, bespectacled
kid, no more than 19 or 20. Painfully shy, he clutches a
clarinet case to his chest. He timidly smiles and waves at
Luke, who smiles and nods back.

SPENCER
Hey, Luke.

LUKE
Hi, Spencer.

ERNIE
Spence, that band of yours -- you
think they're ready to play?
(to Luke)
Spencer and his pals went ahead and
got together a good ol' big band.

SPENCER
We've been practicing... uh, sure, I
guess.

ERNIE
Well, how about tomorrow night, eight
p.m., in city hall square? What I'm
proposin' is a "Welcome Home Luke"
celebration.

Vociferous general AGREEMENT from the crowd -- which is
quickly quieted by a MURMUR, which starts at the front door.

The crowd parts and grow silent, revealing a woman standing
in the doorway.

ADELE

She locks eyes with Luke. Her hand goes to her mouth and her
eyes well up. Slowly, she moves around the counter, the crowd
moving aside for her.

She stands in front of Luke, who has stood up to meet her.

Her eyes moist, she looks up at him.

ADELE
Do you... remember me?

LUKE
I've seen you before. Your picture...

Mabel, clutching a napkin, leans over to Katie.

MABEL
(sotto)
Look!

LUKE
...but I don't think I remember you.

Adele leans up and kisses him softly. He looks at her.

LUKE
But I'll sure try.

As Mabel and Katie dab at their eyes, we

CUT TO:

EXT. COMMERCE STREET - NIGHT

Adele and Luke stroll down the street side by side. She looks
at him for a long moment.

LUKE
What.

ADELE
No, I... I just wondering where you've
been all this time.

LUKE
Me too.

ADELE
You look... different.

LUKE
I do?

ADELE
Yeah, a little. I think you grew an
inch or so. And you've lost weight.

LUKE
I did? Huh!

Tentatively, she takes his hand and holds it. From behind
them, we HEAR A SHUFFLING SOUND. Adele turns...

ADELE'S POV

Keeping a discreet distance, EVERYONE from the diner is
following them. Adele turns and addresses the crowd.

ADELE
(to the group)
You can all go home, now. He's not
going anywhere.

LUKE
Go on home, folks. And thanks for
the welcome.

Harry comes over.

LUKE
I'll be home in a little while, Harry.
Don't wait up.

HARRY
You two have a lot of catching up to
do, I guess.

LUKE
You bet.

HARRY
Goodnight, son.
(tips his hat)
'Night, Delly.

And the rest of the crowd disperses, variously wishing the
pair goodnight. Luke and Adele watch them disperse.

LUKE
There. We're alone.

They turn and start walking.

ADELE
Then why do I feel like we're still
being shadowed?

LUKE
Well... where can we go?

Adele brightens.

ADELE
I know a place. Come on!

She grabs his hand and they run toward the town square.

EXT. LAWSON CITY HALL - NIGHT

Adele and Luke stand by the front steps.

LUKE
City hall?

ADELE
You must not remember anything. Come
on.

She grabs his hand and they run to the side of the building.

EXT. SIDE OF CITY HALL - NIGHT

Adele and Luke stand by a basement window, inches off the
ground. She looks around. Certain the coast is clear, she
pounds on the window in three "special" places, and it pops
up and open. She looks at Luke.

ADELE
You first.

LUKE
Why me?

ADELE
Be a gentleman. You have to help me
down.

As Luke climbs in, we

CUT TO:

A LARGE, MUSLIN-COVERED OBJECT.

Slowly, the muslin is drawn off, revealing A STATUE OF A
KNEELING SOLIDER, praying before a soldier's grave. We slowly
PAN DOWN from the top of the statue...

INT. CITY HALL BASEMENT STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT

ADELE (O.S.)
When we were kids, my Dad was mayor,
and you and me and a bunch of others
used to come down here all the time.

ON ADELE AND LUKE

looking up at the statue in this city hall basement storage
room, lit only by a single shaft of moonlight from the window.
The muslin covering lay bunched at their feet.

ADELE
Of course, there was a lot more room
before they stuck the memorial down
here.

LUKE
(looks at the door)
How'd they get it inside?

ADELE
Through the door. It comes apart.

She moves to the memorial. Squinting, she examines its base.

ADELE
Your name's on here. See?

Luke comes over.

ON THE BASE OF THE MEMORIAL -- LUKE'S NAME

ADELE
Right here. "Albert Lucas Trumbo."

And all the others. I knew them all. So did you. We went to
school with most of them.

LUKE
It doesn't seem right, this being
down here. It ought to be where people
can see it.

ADELE
After they commissioned it, no one
could ever agree on where to put it.
The Methodists wanted it in front of
the Methodist Church, the
Presbyterians wanted it in front of
the Presbyterian Church, the city
council wanted it in the lobby of
City Hall. Everyone finally got tired
of the fighting. So they stuck it
down here.

He looks at her for a long moment. There's an electricity
between them, and they both feel it.

LUKE
So, you're really gonna be a lawyer?

ADELE
(suddenly defensive)
And why not?

LUKE
Whoa.

ADELE
(smiling)
Sorry. You don't know how many times
I've heard that. "A lady lawyer? Are
you crazy?" Like a woman couldn't be
as good a lawyer as a man. Or better,
in fact.

LUKE
Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?

ADELE
You... don't remember, but yes, ever
since I was a little girl.

LUKE
What did... what did I want to be?

ADELE
(gently)
Oh, well... I guess you... in high
school, you were a pretty good first
baseman. And we were on the debate
team together. But... I think you
were gonna run the Bijou. You were
brought up there, and you loved it
so much. And I think you knew how
much the town needed a place like
that.

He turns away, rubs his head.

LUKE
I just wish I could remember some of
this.

He turns back to her.

LUKE
You don't have a boyfriend or
anyone... you know... like that?

ADELE
Actually, I was married. For four
years. But... well, we didn't fit
together. I'm divorced now.

LUKE
I'm sorry.

ADELE
No, it's okay. See, when two people
belong together, the other person
should be the... the key that unlocks
the rest of you... I'm not making
sense, am I?

LUKE
(moving toward her)
No, you are. I know exactly what you
mean. It's not that you're missing
something. It's that the other person
gives something to you... that you
had all the time. You just didn't
see it until they came along.

ADELE
(smiling)
Yeah...

Pause.

LUKE
We were in love... weren't we?

ADELE
(quietly)
Yes.
(then:)
Hic!

She instantly covers her mouth, but it's no good. She has
the hiccups again.

LUKE
What was that?

ADELE
Nothing.
(hic!)

LUKE
Do you have the...

ADELE
I'm
(hic!)
fine. Really.
(hic!)

Luke smiles and watches Adele as she makes the decision to
not struggle against the hiccups. She has them, and that's
just the way it is.

LUKE
Were we going to get married?

ADELE
Eventually. We were going to be
(hic!)
engaged... when you came back from
(hic!)
overseas...

He looks at her. She's strikingly beautiful at this particular
moment and in this particular light -- hiccups and all. He
moves closer to her. She moves closer to him.

ADELE
(breathless)
...but you had to go... serve
(hic!)
your country...

They kiss passionately. She reaches up and puts her arms
around him. He starts kissing her neck, and she suddenly
realizes -- she's stopped hiccuping.

ADELE
Hey... it worked.

And as she smiles and kisses him again we

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE BIJOU - NIGHT

Luke comes down the street and heads for the front door. He
has a definite spring in his step as he pulls out his keys
and enters.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

It's very dark. Luke is about to swing shut the heavy door,
when he looks down and sees

THE ORANGE TABBY CAT

shoot into the lobby, stopping in the middle of the floor.

It looks at Luke, and PURRS.

Luke closes the door and moves to the cat. He crouches down
and pets it, and its back rises to meet his hand.

LUKE
Hey, fella. So you live here, too,
huh? How come Harry didn't mention
that?

The cat moves to the auditorium door, pausing to look back
at Luke. Curiosity piqued, Luke follows the cat.

INT. BIJOU BASEMENT HALLWAY - NIGHT

In the dim light, we SEE an old mop and pail, some dirty
film cans, and a large beat-up cardboard standee of "The
Tramp" with the legend, "Chaplin Short To-Day."

The cat comes around a corner and disappears through a door
at the end of a hallway. Luke, following the cat, comes around
the same corner and looks at

THE DOOR.

Slightly ajar, there's a light coming from within, as well
as the sound of Old Tim softly humming "It's a Long Way to
Tipperary."

Luke moves to the door and knocks.

LUKE
Um, Old Tim? Sorry, it's late. It's
Luke. Can I come in?

The humming stops, and after a moment, the door swings open,
revealing Old Tim, a pipe in his mouth, holding the cat,
stroking its fur.

OLD TIM
Found me.

LUKE
Yeah. I hope you don't mind. I didn't
know anyone lived here... well,
besides Harry. And me.

Old Tim moves into the room and gestures for Luke to follow
him.

INT. OLD TIM'S ROOM - NIGHT

The room is lit by a small table lamp next to the neat cot,
which is perfectly made, military-style.

OLD TIM
Not used to visitors.
(gesturing)
Sit.

Old Tim points to a ragged, overstuffed easy chair next to
the "kitchen" area -- a sink, dishes and utensils, a tiny
icebox.

Luke sits in the chair, and Old Tim sits on the cot, facing
him. Silence. Luke glances up at a photo atop the bureau.

ON THE PHOTO

It's a much younger Old Tim, looking quite serious and
handsome in his Great War doughboy's uniform.

The cat jumps down from Old Tim's arms and moves to Luke. He
rubs against his legs, purring. Luke leans down to pet him.

LUKE
So I guess this fellow belongs to
you. What's his name?

OLD TIM
Cat.

LUKE
Cat. That's simple. I like it.
(pets Cat)
Hi, Cat.

OLD TIM
(sudden change-of-
subject)
We thought you was dead, you know.
(another new thought)
It's okay that I live here?

LUKE
Of course.

Pause, then suddenly.

OLD TIM
Do you think I'll get me a new u-u
uniform?

Luke looks up at the old man, who stammers when he speaks
more than a couple of words.

LUKE
I'll do everything I can.

Old Tim puffs on his pipe, strangely detached.

OLD TIM
T-t-thank you. Thank you. I... I
always... I always wanted to wear my
uniform from the Great War, but your
daddy, he always said no, that's not
an usher's u-u-uniform, that's an
army uniform and the Bijou, she's
not the army. They give me a medal,
but I lost it in the h-h-hospital.
I forget things sometimes. Since the
w-w-war.

LUKE
Yeah... me too.

CUT TO:

INT. PETE'S APARTMENT (L.A.) - DAY

It's a pretty typical bachelor's apartment. The "SAND PIRATES"
poster leans up against a chair. Pete's two boxes of
belongings from the studio are on the coffee table, the empty
bottle of Jack Daniels on top.

There's an insistent KNOCK at the door.

MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Mr. Appleton? Mr. Appleton? You in
there? This is the Super, I have the
master key and I'm coming in!

We HEAR the key in the lock and the door swings open,
revealing the building SUPER, 50s. Behind him is Leo Kubelsky.
They enter the room, and the Super sniffs the air.

LEO
You smell gas?

SUPER
Don't smell nothin'. He must not be
dead in here.

LEO
Jesus.

SUPER
Hey, it's the best way to tell.

Leo moves to the boxes and rummages through them. He picks
up the empty bottle, examines it.

SUPER
You think he's drunk somewhere?

LEO
(under his breath)
Wouldn't blame him if he was.

SUPER
Well, his rent's past due and he
said to call you in case of an
emergency. He lose his job or
somethin'?

LEO
(holding out his
folding money)
What's his rent?

SUPER
Thirty a month.

Leo peels off a hundred-dollar bill.

LEO
Here's three months rent, and a ten
spot for no more questions and to
keep an eye on his place. Now, I
need a moment alone.

SUPER
(examining the bill)
Huh?

LEO
Take a hike. Am-scray.

SUPER
Huh? Oh, sure. Just pull the door
shut when you leave.

The Super exits and Leo crosses to the phone and dials "O."

LEO
(into phone)
Police department. I want to report
a missing person.

CUT TO:

INT. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HALLWAY - DAY

ON A DOOR

It reads: "OFFICE OF THE MAJORITY COUNSEL - MR. ELVIN CLYDE"

AGENT WALTER SAUNDERS and AGENT STEVEN BRETT, both 30s and G-
men to the core, hustle into the office.

INT. ELVIN CLYDE'S OFFICE - DAY

ELVIN CLYDE is 35, a small, thin-lipped, reptilian man in
the Roy Cohn mold. He's on the phone at the moment.

CLYDE
(into phone)
You say you know nothing about it.
You say this, yet you offer no proof.
How am I supposed to believe you?

Clyde's SECRETARY knocks on the door, sticks her head in.

SECRETARY
Mr. Clyde? Agents Saunders and Brett
need to see you.

CLYDE
(covering the phone)
You do see that I'm busy, do you
not?

SECRETARY
It's about Appleton.

Clyde's eyes brighten.

CLYDE
Tell them to come in.
(into phone)
I'll have to call you back. I love
you too, Mother.

Saunders and Brett stride into the office.

SAUNDERS
We've got a situation developing...

CLYDE
(interrupting)
Will you take those goddamn hats
off?

They stop, shuck off their hats. Saunders starts over again.

SAUNDERS
We've got a situation developing out
on the coast. Appleton's just been
reported missing.

Clyde grins darkly.

CLYDE
This is good. This is very good.

BRETT
Los Angeles Police Department
investigated. His car's missing. No
signs of forced entry or struggle at
his apartment.

Clyde considers this for a beat, then:

CLYDE
You two are on this as of now. Tell
the LAPD their investigation has
been federalized on my order. You
find me this Appleton.
(leans back, smiling)
I want to see what this one has to
say.

CUT TO:

INT. BIJOU OFFICE - DAY

Luke is sitting at the desk, making notes and adding up some
figures. He puts his pencil down and rubs his eyes, then
looks up at

HARRY AND OLD TIM

who are sitting on the floor, going through piles of lobby
cards and folded one-sheets like little boys fascinated with
their baseball cards.

HE SHIFTS HIS GAZE TO

MRS. TERWILLIGER

who is straightening out and dusting the tops of the two or
three file cabinets in the corner of the office. As she works,
she hums an old song, occasionally breaking into the lyrics:

MRS. TERWILLIGER
(sings)
"The object of my affection, Can
change my complexion, From white to
rosy red..."

Luke takes a breath:

LUKE
Well...

HARRY
Yes?

LUKE
Between a new screen, paint, plumbing
for the concession stand, and about
a hundred other repairs around the
theater... it's going to cost at
least nine hundred dollars to get
the Bijou into shape to open up.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Oh, my.

HARRY
(taken aback)
Nine hundred...

LUKE
And you have sixty-eight dollars and
thirty-seven cents in the bank. Your
only source of income are my veteran's
death benefit of forty dollars a
month, to which you're no longer
entitled since I'm alive, and these
ten dollar a month cash deposits you
make. What are those?

HARRY
(glances at Old Tim)
They're...

OLD TIM
That's my r-r-rent.

LUKE
Oh.

HARRY
It's all my fault. I was neglectful
and this is the price of that.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Don't say that.

HARRY
Well, it's true. Wanting to open
this place back up. It's folly, Irene,
pure and simple. Might as well just
call it what it is.

Off everyone's worried looks, we

CUT TO:

A TV SCREEN

It's tiny, with rounded corners, black-and-white, and a
hopeless chaos of horizontal bars and snow.

WIDER

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Doc Lardner is fiddling with a brand-new console television
set, trying vainly to tune in a clear picture of "Your Show
of Shows." He adjusts the dials, fiddles with the rabbit
ears, steps back -- and is successful. SID CAESAR And IMOGENE
COCA are involved in an elaborate pantomime sketch, and
Lardner fairly roars with laughter.

He turns to go back to his chair, but the second he does so,
the reception goes haywire. He returns to the spot in front
of the TV, and the picture is perfect again.

The DOORBELL RINGS. He's torn -- if he moves, the picture
will break up. The doorbell RINGS again, and we HEAR Adele's
voice from upstairs:

ADELE (O.S.)
Daddy, that's Luke, can you let him
in? I'll be right down.

LARDNER
Honey, I... I can't... it's the...

There's a KNOCK at the door.

LARDNER
(giving in)
Oh, hell...

He moves from his spot. The reception goes bad, and he marches
to the door.

He opens it, and Luke is standing there, wearing a slightly
out-of-date coat and tie.

LARDNER
Evening, Luke.

LUKE
Evening, Doctor Lardner.

Lardner freezes, staring at Luke.

LUKE
What's wrong?

LARDNER
(shaken from his
reverie)
Uh, no... just seeing you standing
there, it reminded me... there's a
word for it...

LUKE
Oh, you mean the suit. Harry kept
all my old clothes. Fits okay, but
it's a little big.

Adele comes down the stairs. Halfway down, she stops suddenly
and stares at Luke.

ADELE
Oh...

Awkward pause. Adele's staring at Luke, Lardner's staring at
Luke, and Luke's getting nervous.

LUKE
I shouldn't have worn the suit.

Adele comes down the stairs.

ADELE
No... you were wearing that suit the
last time we went out before...

LUKE
Oh...

ADELE
...and it's just... well, deja vu.

LARDNER
That's it. Deja vu.

Another awkward pause as Adele and Luke stare at each other.

Lardner breaks it.

LARDNER
You kids off to the dance?

LUKE
Aren't you coming?

LARDNER
No, I'm not much of a dancer.

ADELE
(chidingly)
Besides, Daddy's still trying to
figure out how to get his new
television set working.

LARDNER
I had it, a minute ago...

He glances at the TV set. The picture is suddenly crystal
clear.

LARDNER
...ooooh, It's back.
(encouraging them
toward the door)
Well, you kids have fun now...

Adele takes Luke's arm and they exit, exchanging goodnights
with Lardner, who closes the door and turns toward the living
room.

S-l-o-w-l-y, he sneaks into the room, watching the TV
carefully all the while. The reception is staying perfect.

Caesar and Coca are involved in an intricate bit of business,
and Lardner wants to laugh, but he's afraid to. He stifles
his urge, and heads for his chair. Gingerly, he sits. Still
perfect.

Satisfied, he finally LAUGHS out loud and puts his feet up.

The picture goes completely haywire again.

LARDNER
Aw, crap.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Adele and Luke walk along, arm-in-arm.

ADELE
This is strange. Do you feel it?

LUKE
What?

ADELE
We've done this before, so many times.
The last time was so long ago, but
it feels like yesterday.

LUKE
Oh.

Pause.

ADELE
You know, everyone's so excited about
the Bijou re-opening...

LUKE
(interrupting)
It's gonna cost over nine hundred
dollars to open the place, Delly.

ADELE
(shocked)
Nine hundred...

LUKE
Yeah, and needless to say, none of
us has that kind of money lying
around.

ADELE
What about a loan? You could go to
the bank...?

LUKE
A loan to a man who ran his business
into the ground and his son who can't
account for the last nine-and-a-half
years of his life? Not likely.

ADELE
Well, there's got to be a way...

LUKE
(suddenly)
Have you got a cigarette?

Adele stops.

ADELE
When did you start smoking?

LUKE
I don't smoke?

ADELE
You tried to once. It was pretty
pitiful.

LUKE
Oh.

Adele glances curiously at Luke as we

CUT TO:

A CLARINET

launching into the opening bars of "Don't Be That Way," an
old Benny Goodman tune.

EXT. CITY HALL SQUARE - DAY

Spencer Wyatt's big ban is comprised of a dozen or so
MUSICIANS about Spencer's age -- except for the drummer,
AVERY WYATT, 40s, Spencer's dad. Though no Gene Krupa, he
pounds the skins pretty well, all the while smiling proudly
as his son plays clarinet and leads the band.

Despite the last minute decorations, the Square looks nice,
hung with multicolored paper lanterns and colored lights.

ON LUKE AND ADELE

dancing to the music, along with several other COUPLES.

LUKE
(nodding toward the
band)
They're not bad.

ADELE
No, they're not. I'd say your
investment was paying dividends.

LUKE
My what?

ADELE
Back in '37, you heard Benny Goodman
play for the first time, so you went
out and got a used clarinet. You
wanted nothing more than to be able
to play like him. You tried hard,
but it wasn't long before it was
clear that Benny Goodman would never
be looking over his shoulder. So you
gave the clarinet to Spencer.

LUKE
Huh. That was nice of me.

ADELE
You had a hidden agenda, though.
See, when he was five or six, little
Spence used to follow you around
like a puppy. Bothered the hell out
of you. But as soon as you gave him
the clarinet...

LUKE
...he started practicing, and he
left me alone from then on.

ADELE
Exactly. And he got good.

LUKE
No kidding.

They dance a bit.

ADELE
Now, did you remember that, or...

LUKE
Nope. Just filling in the blanks.

ADELE
Oh. Okay.

And as they dance away, we

CUT TO:

THE SAME - LATER

ON THE REFRESHMENTS TABLE

Luke is pouring two glasses of punch, while Adele is being
shyly admired (and having her ear bent) by two twin brothers,
ALEX and CHARLIE MCKENNA, mid-20s.

ALEX
You're the luckiest guy in town,
Luke. Delly's 'bout the prettiest
thing ever come outta Lawson.

LUKE
(to Alex)
Thanks, Charlie.

ALEX
I'm Alex. He's Charlie.

CHARLIE
I'm Charlie.

ALEX
Yessir, 'bout the prettiest thing we
ever seen, ain't that right, Charlie?

CHARLIE
You bet.

ADELE
(ala Mae West)
Thanks boys, ya flatter me no end.

The brothers laugh goofily.

CHARLIE
Hey, she's doin' that movie star,
what's her name...?

ALEX
(ignoring his brother)
Hey, Delly, what was that test you
was outta town takin'?

ADELE
It's called the State Bar Exam.

CHARLIE
Shoot!

ALEX
Imagine that, Charlie! A lady
bartender!

CUT TO:

THE SAME - LATER

Adele and Luke are slow dancing to "Thanks for the Memory."

LUKE
How do you tell those two apart,
anyway?

ADELE
Alex and Charlie? Simple. Alex is
the smarter one.

LUKE
That's... pretty frightening.

They laugh and dance a bit more.

ADELE
Your dancing's very good.

LUKE
Thanks.

ADELE
It never used to be. You were two
left feet on the dance floor. Like
pulling teeth to get you to do a
little box step.

LUKE
Guess I must've learned.

Luke dances Adele away, a slightly nonplussed expression on
her face. The band finishes the song, and everyone
enthusiastically APPLAUDS. Spencer bows shyly, blushing
slightly. He nods to the band, and they bow before he motions
for the crowd's attention.

SPENCER
(nervously)
Thanks, folks. Gee, can you tell we
never played in front of people
before?

The crowd yells "No!," "You guys sound great!," etc.

SPENCER
Well, this is our first time, and
it's really all because of Luke. I
mean, it's because of Luke coming
back that we're here tonight -- but
I'm talking about this.

He holds up the clarinet and scans the crowd until he sees
Luke.

SPENCER
(to Luke)
When you didn't come back, I learned
how to play this so I could remember
you. And now that you're back, well,
I'll never forget you.
(to the crowd)
Luke gave me this clarinet, but he
gave this night to all of us.

The crowd APPLAUDS warmly.

SPENCER
Okay folks, here's Mayor Cole!

The crowd APPLAUDS as Ernie Cole mounts the band riser. He
turns and addresses Avery Wyatt, on drums.

ERNIE
Pretty proud of your boy, Avery?

Avery smiles broadly and beats the KICK DRUM five or six
times to register his reaction.

ON THE KICK DRUM -- "WYATT'S HARDWARE, LAWSON, CALIF."

ERNIE
Looks like you might have to find
someone else to mix paint at the
store, 'cause I think Spencer's got
a big career ahead of him.

APPLAUSE again, and Ernie waits for it to settle. As soon as
he starts speaking, the crowd becomes totally silent.

ERNIE
You know folks, here in Lawson, we
gave a lot for our country. A lot.
And we never complained and we never
faltered. And we never forgot.

Ernie's voice cracks slightly with emotion. He clears his
throat and continues.

ERNIE
We never forgot. And so when one of
our own came back to us, I gotta
tell you folks, it was like a miracle.
Luke, seein' you walking down the
street, it was... well, it was kinda
like seein' one of my boys alive
again. I think I speak for everyone
here when I say that not a day goes
by when we don't keep our boys'
memories alive. But Luke, having you
back among us... well, it helps us
keep their spirits alive, too. God
bless you, son.

The crowd APPLAUDS. Adele takes Luke's hand and smiles.

Ernie wipes his eyes and changes the subject.

ERNIE
All right, enough a'that. This is a
celebration, so let's have us a good
time -- but not too good a time,
'cause I see just about every member
of the city council here tonight,
and we have an eight a.m. council
meeting tomorrow morning, and I expect
y'all to be there! All right, take
it away, Spencer!

And Spencer kicks the band into the next tune as we

DISSOLVE TO:

THE SAME - LATER

Luke and Adele come over to Harry and Mrs. Terwilliger,
standing at the periphery. Old Tim stands a few feet back.

LUKE
Why don't you two get out there and
dance?

HARRY
Oh, no, I...

Mrs. Terwilliger blushes.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
I haven't danced with another man
since Mr. Terwilliger passed.

LUKE
When was that?

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Nineteen-oh-nine.

Harry touches Luke's arm.

HARRY
Son, we're gonna go. You two kids
have a lovely time.

Goodnights are exchanged, and the trio leaves. Alex McKenna
comes up to Adele and taps her on the shoulder.

ALEX
Delly, can I have a dance?

ADELE
Sure.

Alex leads her to the dance floor as Adele shoots Luke a
little "help me!" look. Luke smiles back and watches the
dancing crowd. After a moment, a man in a white suit and bow
tie, ROSCOE FITTS, 40s, comes over to Luke and extends his
hand.

FITTS
Luke, you probably don't remember
me, Roscoe Fitts, I'm the grocer
here in town.

LUKE
(shakes his hand)
Good to meet you. Again.

FITTS
Like Ernie said, we're all glad to
have you back.

LUKE
Thanks.

FITTS
And I hear you and Harry are planning
on re-opening the Bijou.

LUKE
We're gonna try. Place needs a lot
of work.

FITTS
I can only imagine. You know, I spoke
with your Dad last year about maybe
taking the Bijou off his hands. I
don't think he gave it very much
thought.

LUKE
Well, he loves the place. It's his
home.

FITTS
Luke, I'm hopping you can help him
see the reality of the situation.
I'll come to the point. I want to
buy the property, and I'm prepared
to offer six-thousand dollars for
it. And that's just for the property,
mind you. If you want, I'll leave it
to you and your father to dismantle
and liquidate the building for
whatever salvage value it has, and
you keep those proceeds. I just want
the land.

LUKE
(taken aback)
That's... well, that's very generous,
but if you've already got a store...?

FITTS
The days of the storefront grocery
are numbered. I plan on putting up a
free-standing supermarket.

LUKE
(it's an alien word)
A super market. Huh.

FITTS
You think it over. No reason to risk
financial ruin for the sake of a
crumbling old building.

Fitts takes Luke's hand and shakes it.

FITTS
Good to have you back, Luke.

As Luke watches Fitts walk off, we

CUT TO:

THE SAME - LATER

ON SPENCER

SPENCER
Last dance, folks!

The crowd MOANS slightly, and Spencer kicks the band into
"Moonlight Serenade," slow and easy.

ON ADELE AND LUKE

As they hold each other close and dance. Adele rests her
head on Luke's shoulder, her eyes closed. Luke strokes her
hair and sways her gently to the music.

Luke looks toward the edge of the dance floor.

LUKE'S POV

Bob Leffert is standing there, staring at the band. Mabel
comes up behind him and taps him on the shoulder. She's asking
him if he would like to dance. Bob looks down at the ground,
self-consciously shoves his hook-hand in his pocket and moves
away, leaving Mabel standing there.

As Luke watches and the MUSIC CONTINUES OVER, WE

DISSOLVE TO:

MONTAGE:

Luke and Adele dancing...

...walking slowly arm-in-arm down Adele's street, up her
walk to her door...

...kissing passionately on her doorstep...

...Adele going inside and Luke walking away, each unable to
take their eyes off the other...

...Luke walking the quiet streets of Lawson, smiling
beatifically...

MATCH DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE BIJOU - NIGHT

Luke turns the corner and heads for the theater door. He
pulls out his keys and enters.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Luke's about to close the door, when he looks down and sees

CAT

MEOWING at him from the sidewalk. He holds the door open,
and Cat shoots into the lobby, disappearing into the
auditorium. Luke closes the door... and stops. He HEARS
something, and so do we. Soft and faraway, it's a PIANO.

The melody is soft, lilting -- almost a lullaby.

Luke turns toward the music, which is coming from the
auditorium. The piano continues, building slightly in volume.
He moves to the auditorium doors and tentatively pushes one
open.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

Luke enters, his face bathed in the soft, flickering,
reflected light of

THE SCREEN.

The movie is "The Big Parade." The old, decomposing nitrate
print is badly scratched and stained. A young, beautiful
Renee Adoree is bidding a tearful farewell to her lover,
John Gilbert, as he marches off to fight the Great War.

Luke stares at the screen. The look on his face is one of
bewilderment -- and awe.

ANGLE - THE PIANO

The rickety old upright is tinny-sounding and slightly out-
of-tune. But it really doesn't matter.

CLOSER

Mrs. Terwilliger is playing passionately. She never takes
her eyes -- which are full of tears -- off the tattered
screen, except to close them when she is overcome with
emotion. Even so, she never misses a beat.

HER HANDS

fairly dance upon the keys. Stiff and wrinkled as they are,
they manage to elicit every possible fragment of sensitivity
that the old piano can muster.

Luke is moved by what he's witnessing. This is the magic...

WIDER ANGLE - THE CENTER SECTION

To the right of Luke, sitting in the center of a row, is Old
Tim. Stroking Cat, Old Tim stares at the poignant scene
unfolding on the screen, pausing only to wipe his eyes and
nose with a handkerchief. He doesn't notice

LUKE

who looks up towards the projection booth.

CUT TO:

A BRIGHT, WHITE, FLICKERING LIGHT,

filling the frame. We're looking directly into the beam of
light radiating from the projector.

PUSHING INTO THE LIGHT, we get closer to the windows of the
booth. We come out of the beam and can just barely make out
the figure of Harry, framed in a small window next to the
projector.

WE CONTINUE PUSHING IN -- closer and closer -- until Harry's
face fills the screen. He is watching the film; his eyes are
wide and moist, as though he's experiencing the magic that's
unfolding on the screen for the very first time.

The warning bell on the projector CHIMES THREE TIMES,
signaling the end of the reel. Harry moves away from the
window.

INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - NIGHT

Never taking his eyes off the screen, Harry watches as the
film comes to an end and flap! Falp! Falps! Out of the
projector. He kills the motor and cranks the carbon arcs
apart, and the bright beam dies. It's not the end of the
movie, but it is the end of the only fragment they have.

Harry moves to the house lights rheostat, and slowly fades
them up. This done, he pulls a handkerchief from his back
pocket and blows his nose loudly.

He crosses back to the projector, unlatches the full take-up
reel and takes it down. He's about to move away, when he
senses that he's not alone. He looks over the projector to
see

LUKE,

standing there. Their eyes meet. Someone should say something --
both men search for words. Suddenly, Luke feels very out-of-
place, almost embarrassed -- as though he's interrupted a
very private ritual.

Harry senses this. Clutching the precious reel of film tightly
to his chest, he searches Luke's face and smiles warmly.

HARRY
Beautiful, wasn't it?

LUKE
(softly)
Yes.

HARRY
Well, son, I wish I could've shown
you more, but this is all that's
left. Just this one reel that never
got sent back from a picture we showed
here a long time ago. Nineteen twenty-
five, to be exact...

LUKE
Dad, I...

HARRY
(a tiny laugh)
Ha!

LUKE
...what?

HARRY
You know, since you've been back,
that's the first time you've called
me "Dad."

Father and son look at each other for a long moment --
searching each other's eyes. Harry smiles a sort-of half-
smile at Luke, and, still clutching the reel, crosses to the
rewind bench. Methodically, he mounts it and threads the end
of the film onto an empty reel. Slowly, he begins to turn
the crank, rewinding the film.

He stops and looks to where Luke was standing... but he's
not there.

ANGLE - PROJECTION BOOTH DOOR

Luke is leaning up against the wall just outside of the
projection booth.

ON LUKE

As he closes his eyes...

FADE TO BLACK.

FADE IN:

ON HARRY

In bed, sound asleep, snoring. A HAND reaches into frame and
shakes him awake.

LUKE'S VOICE
Harry. Dad, wake up. Wake up.

Harry opens his eyes and looks up.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - DAY

HARRY
(bleary)
Luke... what time is it?

LUKE
Six-thirty.
(smiles)
I thought we'd get an early start.

CUT TO:

INT. CITY COUNCIL MEETING ROOM - DAY

A meeting of the Lawson City Council is in session, Mayor
Cole presiding. Of the dozen council MEMBERS, we also
recognize Avery Wyatt and Roscoe Fitts. VERA DWIGHT, the
council secretary, a cherubic woman in her 40s, is reading
the minutes of the last meeting.

VERA
Finally, Roscoe Fitts moved, and Red
Curtis seconded, that the council
form a committee to investigate the
adoption of a new property taxation
structure. Motion carried, nine to
two, one abstention.

As Vera speaks, the meeting room door opens and Luke, Harry,
Old Time and Mrs. Terwilliger slip inside and take seats on
the unoccupied benches.

ERNIE
Thanks, Vera.

Ernie notices Luke and the trio.

ERNIE
Well, the chair notes the presence
this morning of Luke and Harry Trumbo
and the rest of the Bijou staff.
Frankly, the chair notes the presence
of just about anyone who ever finds
their way into one of these meetings.
G'moring, folks.

LUKE & THE TRIO
Good morning.

ERNIE
I'm just guessing, but I bet it's
not a sudden interest in Lawson
politics that brings you all here.

Luke stands.

LUKE
Well, no...
(clears his throat)
I wanted to thank you all for giving
me such a nice welcome, and making
me feel at home. But I... we're...
actually here on business of a sort...

DALEY THORNHILL, 30s, the council parliamentarian, pipes up.

He's waving a copy of "Roberts Rules of Order."

DALEY
Point of order, Mr. Mayor, this comes
under the heading "New Business,"
and this is not the time...

ERNIE
I think we can make an exception
here, Daley.

DALEY
It'll need to be moved and seconded.

Ernie rolls his eyes, then quickly and mechanically, without
inflection:

ERNIE
All right, motion to hear the speaker
out of order.

WYATT
Seconded.

ERNIE
Motion on the floor, discussion open,
discussion closed, all those in favor
signify by saying "aye."

ALL
Aye.

ERNIE
Opposed? Hearing no opposition, the
motion is carried.

Pause. Ernie turns to Luke and smiles.

ERNIE
Go ahead, son.

LUKE
Thanks. Well, I'll make this short
and sweet. The Bijou needs a lot of
repairs, and the truth of the matter
is, Harry, um, that is, Dad and me,
Mrs. Terwilliger and Old Tim, we
can't possible afford them all. So,
I'd like to ask your help to... well,
to scrounge around a bit, and see if
you have anything that might help us
out.

WYATT
What kinds of things are you talking
about?

LUKE
Oh, paint, brushes, plaster, light
bulbs, yardage, and if you can't
come up with any of that, we can use
some old-fashioned elbow grease.

Fitts leans forward.

FITTS
So... you do intend to fix the place
up after all?

LUKE
Mr. Fitts, with all due respect, I
think Lawson needs the Bijou a bit
more than it needs a super market.
And I think Lawson deserves the Bijou.
There's not a lot that can be done
to help us get past the pain we've
all felt...

He looks at Harry and smiles.

LUKE
...but I think a good dose of magic
is as good a place as any to start.

The council members MURMUR amongst themselves, then:

WYATT
(eagerly)
Motion to encourage the citizenry of
Lawson to help out the Bijou in any
way they can...

DALEY
(a subtle reminder)
...short of the allocation of city
funds...

WYATT
(agreeing)
...short of allocation of city funds.

DALEY
(enthusiastically)
Seconded!

ERNIE
(brightly)
Motion on the floor, discussion open,
discussion closed, all those in favor
signify by saying "aye."

ALL
AYE!

ERNIE
Hearing no opposition, the motion is
carried! Congratulations, Luke, you
got yourself a town to help you out!

CUT TO:

INT. CITY HALL BASEMENT STORAGE ROOM - DAY

As the entire city council and the Bijou trio looks on, Luke
moves to the memorial and pulls down the huge piece of muslin
covering it. Harry steps forward and gathers some of it in
his arms.

Ernie and Daley step forward and look up at the monument.

Ernie touches the names of his two sons inscribed on the
base of the monument.

ERNIE
(slowly)
You know, this really ought to be
out where people can see it.

Luke overhears this last, and as he smiles, he turns to Harry,
who brightens as he pulls a large section of the muslin taut
between his outstretched arms...

CUT TO:

MONTAGE - WITH SOME HARD-DRIVING BOOGIE-WOOGIE UNDER...

ANGLE - THE SCREEN

Harry's on a ladder, snipping the cords holding up the old
screen, which is dropping, bit-by-bit, into the arms of Luke
and Adele, who are surrounded by a group of LITTLE KIDS,
watching the goings-on in wide-eyed awe.

Harry snips the last line, and the rest of the old screen
drops down on Luke's head. Suddenly... LUKE'S A GHOST!! He
raises his arms and plays the bogeyman for the kids, who
scream in mock terror and scatter, as Harry and Adele laugh.

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Old Tim and Harry carry a dilapidated row of seats up the
aisle, as Adele and Mabel move in, tearing up the rotten
carpeting and sweeping up the dust and debris.

The men are having a tough time carrying the seats, and just
as they're about to drop the row, someone rushes in next to
Harry and grabs his end. It's Carl Leffert. A second later,
someone else grabs Old Tim's end.

BOB LEFFERT

has a good purchase on the seats with his good hand and his
hook. He nods to Old Tim, who steps away, mopping his brow.

Luke smiles as he sees this from the front of the auditorium.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - DAY

Harry, Stanton and Mrs. Terwilliger, with the help of Avery
Wyatt and his son Spencer, tear down the rotting draperies
and scrape off the wallpaper covering the lobby walls. Then,
as Harry, Spencer and Stanton sand down the walls, Avery and
Mrs. Terwilliger hand them freshly-mixed cans of red wall
paint and brushes. Immediately, they all set to work painting.

EXT. THE BIJOU SIGN - DAY

Luke is on the roof of the theater, pliers in hand and tool
box nearby. He's just straightened out the "J" and he steps
back... carefully... to admire his handiwork. For the first
time in a long time, the sign actually reads, "THE BIJOU."

But not for long. Luke tenses... the building starts
shaking... and the train passes by behind the theater. Luke
lunges out of the way as three letters shake lose and fall.

Once again, the sign reads, " HE B J U." Luke winces.

EXT. CITY HALL SQUARE - DAY

Ernie Cole and Avery Wyatt stand solemnly at the front of a
small group gazing at the base of the war memorial, as it
takes shape in a prominent place in the square...

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Harry is on a ladder, attaching the final spring stretcher
to a corner of the muslin. It snaps into place, and voila --

new screen! Luke, Adele, Doc Lardner, and Sheriff Eldridge,
standing below, applaud enthusiastically.

INT. ORCHESTRA PIT - DAY

As work progresses all around her, Mrs. Terwilliger has just
finished dusting off the piano. She opens the keyboard cover
and trails her hand delicately over the keys. She sits, closes
her eyes, and begins to play -- Chopin's Op. 10 Etude No. 3 --
delicate, flowing music. Even though the piano is a bit out
of tune, it's still beautiful.

As she plays, all the work slowly comes to a halt. Before
long, all eyes are on her. Everyone's listening.

Transported.

After a moment, she stops. Overcome. Everyone applauds.

Surprised, Mrs. Terwilliger stands, and, blushing, bows.

LUKE
That was beautiful.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
I taught you that.

LUKE
I can play the piano?

MRS. TERWILLIGER
(all fluttery)
Oh dear, yes. You were an excellent
student, before all that clarinet
nonsense. You loved Chopin. You used
to call it "heaven music." "Teach me
some heaven music," you used to say.

She sits at the piano.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Sit. Play with me.

LUKE
No, I...

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Some of it might come back to you.

Reluctantly, Luke sits down to her left. As she begins to
play a Chopin waltz, she encourages him to keep the 3/4 time.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
That's good... that's good...

But it's clear Luke has no idea what he's doing. He's just
plunking bass notes. But after a moment, the bass figures
he's improvising start to change -- and before long, it's
transformed into the eight-to-the-bar figure of a boogie
woogie beat. Mrs. Terwilliger stops playing, annoyed.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Really, Luke! That's no way to treat
Mr. Chopin!

She stands and moves away. Luke keeps playing, grinning madly --
he's loving it! After a moment, Spencer Wyatt runs over and
takes Mrs. Terwilliger's place, improvising the top half to
Luke's bass line.

OLD TIM

is tapping his foot to the beat. He turns to Adele and says:

OLD TIM
I taught him that.

Off Adele cracking up.

THE MONTAGE CONTINUES...

EXT. THE BIJOU SIGN - DAY

Luke and all the letters up again. He steps back, checks his
watch, and like clockwork, the rumbling begins and a train
goes by. This time, however, only the "J" tips over at a
jaunty angle. Luke smiles.

INT. MABEL'S DINER - DAY

Luke, Adele and Harry, wearing coveralls, sit at the counter,
devouring hefty plates of turkey with dressing and mashed
potatoes and gravy. Luke's and Adele's hair is practically
white from plaster dust and Harry's face and hands are stained
with paint specks.

At the other side of the counter, Mabel is chatting amiably
with Bob Leffert. She smiles at him warmly, then turns to
refill Harry's coffee cup. Harry thanks her, then turns back
to the newspaper he's reading.

INSERT - THE FRONT PAGE OF THE LAWSON JOURNAL-AMERICAN

Prominent is the black-and-white photo of a little boy and a
policeman holding up Pete's jacket, with the accompanying
headline:

BOY, 5, FINDS SUSPECTED RED'S
JACKET ON SANTA BARBARA BEACH
Hollywood Writer Feared Dead
Were Red Agents Involved?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE BIJOU SIGN - NIGHT

Luke's standing near the sign. He yells to Adele, down below
on the ground. She, in turn, yells to Harry, standing near a
switch panel behind the candy counter. He throws the switch...

...and the sign lights up beautifully! Then, they all feel
the rumble -- the train rolls past, and, although they rattle
and shake, no letters fall. A CHEER goes up from Adele, Harry,
and the small crowd of ONLOOKERS below. Delighted, Luke takes
a formal bow. The boogie-woogie ends as we

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CITY HALL SQUARE - DAY

ON THE MEMORIAL

Complete and polished, standing proudly in the center of the
square.

WIDER

It's a clear, balmy day, and the whole town is turned out.

Mayor Ernie Cole is at the podium. He finishes his remarks,
then picks up the two faded gold stars representing the lost
lives of his sons. He holds them up, high above his head.

ON THE CROWD

One-by-one, the gold stars of the town's boys are solemnly
held aloft by their loved ones.

Luke and Harry stand at the side of the square, looking out
at the sea of four or five dozen gold stars being held aloft.

Luke catches a glimpse of a man in an army uniform...

LUKE'S POV

It's Bob Leffert, standing with Mabel, looking very sharp in
his dress greens. He brings his hook-hand up and salutes
smartly. Mabel takes his good hand, squeezes it as she blinks
back tears.

Luke smiles at this scene as Harry wipes his eyes and puts
his arm around Luke's shoulder, pulls him close and kisses
him on the forehead.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE SAME - LATER

The Lawson High School Marching Band is set up on the steps
of City Hall, playing the "Star Spangled Banner." They are
being conducted by their director, MR. PHILLIPS. Luke and
Harry, hands over their hearts, watch and sing along. Then,
Luke takes a closer look at the DRUM MAJOR...

ON THE DRUM MAJOR,

a tall young man wearing an ornate brocaded red and white
uniform with "LHS" emblazoned across the chest.

ON LUKE

He has an idea. The anthem ends, and Luke excuses himself
and moves forward, buttonholing Mr. Phillips as he comes
down the steps...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BIJOU - DAY

Luke and Adele are on ladders, hanging letters on the marquee,
which reads:

GRAND RE-OPENING TONIGHT!
GENE KELLY
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Harry comes outside and gets their attention. Grandly, he
gestures toward the door, and out strides

OLD TIM,

wearing his new uniform -- it's the Lawson High School drum
major's uniform, modified here and there. "B-I-J-O-U" is
proudly emblazoned across his chest in gold brocaded letters.

Luke and Adele applaud. Old Time looks up at them -- AND
SMILES!

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Old Tim stands at attention, clutching the front door handle.

Mrs. Terwilliger, wearing a new dress, her hair newly and
perfectly coiffed, stands at the ready at her candy counter,
ready to sell tickets and refreshments.

Harry and Luke nervously pace the lobby. Luke checks his
watch. It's time. He shakes Harry's hand, and nods to Old
Tim, who swings the door open...

ON THE DOOR

Immediately, PATRONS come flooding into the theater. Luke
exchanges surprised glances with Harry -- then walks outside.

OUTSIDE THE THEATER

Luke comes out and looks down the block.

HIS POV

The line of PATRONS stretches two deep down the block and
around the corner.

Luke smiles. Success.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE BIJOU'S MARQUEE -- "FRED ASTAIRE - ROYAL WEDDING"

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - DAY

Luke's selling tickets from behind the candy counter while
Mrs. Terwilliger sells refreshments to a line of CUSTOMERS.

Luke sells a ticket to a WOMAN, who moves away, revealing

BOB LEFFERT AND MABEL.

Luke smiles at Bob, who smiles back, his eyes now fairly
dancing with life. He plunks down his admission, and Luke
hands him two tickets, which he takes with his hook-hand.

Mabel smiles at Luke, takes Bob's good hand, and they move
away, revealing A FARMER AND HIS WIFE, 50s.

The Farmer steps up and holds out a plucked chicken by its
neck.

Luke, surprised, jumps back -- then smiles, pulls off two
tickets, and exchanges them for the chicken.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE BIJOU'S MARQUEE -- "THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL"

INT. BEHIND THE SCREEN - NIGHT

The only light back here is the light of the movie, spilling
through the screen. Luke is straightening up the backstage
storage area, when Adele taps him on the shoulder. He turns,
and she throws her arms around his neck and kisses him. She
hands him a paper to read.

ON THE PAPER

Luke angles it so he can read it by the light of the screen.

IT SAYS:

California State Bar Association
ADELE LOUISE LARDNER
has PASSED the State Bar examination.

Luke, thrilled, grabs Adele and picks her up, twirling her
around with joy. He sets her down and kisses her passionately.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE BIJOU'S MARQUEE -- "SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA"

INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - NIGHT

Harry is frantically threading the changeover projector. The
bell on the running projector DINGS! once, signalling that
the reel is coming to an end. Harry looks out the window at
the screen, then back to the task at hand.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Luke comes out of the office carrying a folded movie poster.

With a satisfied smile, he walks through the lobby, admiring
how handsome the old place looks. Old Tim, snappily attired
in his uniform, is sweeping a tiny pile of debris into a
dustpan. Mrs. Terwilliger is straightening up the candy
counter. All is well.

Luke goes to the lobby's poster case. He opens it, and unfolds
a brand-new one-sheet poster for "SAND PIRATES" -- the same
design as the one-sheet we saw in Pete's apartment.

Methodically, he thumbtacks the poster up and closes the
case.

As Luke passes the auditorium doors, a MAN comes out of the
theater and crosses to the candy counter. The door stays
open for a moment, and Luke decides to duck inside and catch
a bit of the picture.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

ON THE SCREEN - "SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA"

The second-to-last reel of a black-and-white early-50's
programmer. It's nighttime in the desert. A huge full moon
hangs over a B-movie soundstage version of the pyramids.

GREGORY, a dark, handsome leading man in a pith helmet is
engaged in a fierce swordfight with KHALID, the villain.

Pete takes a seat on the aisle near the door.

GREGORY (ONSCREEN)
You don't think you can win this, do
you?

Khalid lunges and draws Gregory's blood.

LUKE
(ala "Khalid")
"Ha! I'd say I was winning!"

KHALID (ONSCREEN)
Ha! I'd say I was winning!

Luke's look is "How did I know he was gonna say that?"

Onscreen, an EVIL HENCHMAN is sneaking up behind Gregory.

LUKE
"Gregory! Look out!"

WOMAN'S VOICE (ONSCREEN)
Gregory! Look out!

Pete did it again.

Onscreen, Gregory turns and kills the Henchman, then quickly
dispatches Khalid. He stands over the body, catches his breath
and says:

GREGORY
It's all right, Rebecca.

WOMAN'S VOICE
Is he dead?

GREGORY
Yes, Rebecca. He's dead.

REBECCA, a beautiful American woman, comes into view and
takes our attention because she's being played by Sandra
Sinclair, Pete Appleton's ex-girlfriend...

ON LUKE

His mouth is gaping open. He stares at the screen.

LUKE
(a whisper)
Sandra...?

Luke stands. Confused, he stumbles backward, moving into the
lobby as the Man goes back into the auditorium with his
popcorn and the door closes.

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Luke is staring at the closed auditorium doors. Old Tim and
Mrs. Terwilliger take note of his odd behavior.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Luke? Dear, are you all right?

Without answering, Luke turns and runs to the poster case.

ON THE POSTER - "SAND PIRATES OF THE SAHARA"

Forget the cheesy B-movie artwork. As Luke looks at the
poster, it's clear that he's remembering something. He looks
at the picture of Sandra -- then scans down to the credits
block at the bottom of the poster. His eyes lock upon

WRITTEN BY PETER APPLETON

LUKE
My god... my god... no...

Suddenly, all of Pete Appleton's worries have come crashing
down on him...

...because he remembers...

INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - NIGHT

The warning bell DINGS! twice, but the changeover projector's
carbon arcs keep sputtering and the motor keeps dying.

HARRY
(pleading)
Oh, baby, make your daddy happy...

Harry's trying to keep the projector going, as the previous
reel is about to end. Given no other choice, he finally gives
the changeover projector a good swift kick.

It hums to life. A perfect changeover. Harry pets the
projector.

HARRY
You're a good girl. No matter what I
say.

As he turns away, he feels a sudden, sharp pain in his left
arm. Wincing, he grabs his arm, staggers back towards a chair,
and sits heavily.

He tries to clear his throat, but it dissolves into a hacking,
choking COUGH. He tries to stand, but drops to his knees,
clutching his left arm harder than before.

HARRY
(in pain)
Oh, Jesus...

Harry falls to the floor, and as he does

THE FILM

breaks in the projector gate... flap! Flap! Flap!...

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Luke is still staring at the poster, lost in thought.

Offscreen, we HEAR the audience WHISTLING AND HOOTING in
reaction to the broken film.

Mrs. Terwilliger has been calling Luke's name, but he doesn't
come out of his stupor until Old Tim comes up behind him and
spins him around...

OLD TIM
Mr. Luke!

Luke stares wide-eyed at the old man.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
Luke! Luke, something's wrong!

The film broke, and I can't raise Harry on the house phone!

LUKE
(still dazed)
What?

MRS. TERWILLIGER
You've got to talk to them before
they tear the theater apart!

Finally, Luke pulls himself together, hears the audience
noise, and moves toward the auditorium doors.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

Amid the shouting and tossing of popcorn and debris, Luke
tries to regain his composure as he strides down the aisle
toward the stage.

LUKE
Come on, folks, this happens every
once in a while, just settle down...

The crowd quiets down a bit. Luke shields his eyes from the
light and calls up to the projection booth.

LUKE
Harry! Harry, why don't you cut the
projector and bring up the house
lights?

No reaction. Just the flickering beam of light.

LUKE
Harry? Harry...?

Luke, gripped by a sudden fear, rushes up the aisle and into
the lobby. The crowd goes silent...

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Old Tim and Mrs. Terwilliger watch as Luke tears into the
lobby and makes for the balcony stairs...

INT. BALCONY - NIGHT

...and charges between the seats and up the stairs to the
projection booth.

INT. PROJECTION BOOTH - NIGHT

Luke bursts in the sees Harry on the floor. He rushes over
and kneels down next to him.

LUKE
Jesus...

HARRY
(with difficulty)
The film broke...

LUKE
I know, I know... keep still.

A MAN pops his head into the projection booth door.

LUKE
(to the man)
Get Doc Lardner.

CUT TO:

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Harry is in bed, eyes closed. Doc Lardner has a stethoscope
to his chest. He leans up and pats Harry's hand.

He stands and comes over to Luke and Adele, who are near the
door. Just outside, angling for a view into the room, are
Old Tim and Mrs. Terwilliger.

LARDNER
It's a pretty massive heart attack.
His lungs have filled with fluid,
and, well... it seems as though his
body is just... shutting down.

LUKE
Can we get him to the hospital?

LARDNER
Even if we could, and the move didn't
kill him, there'd be very little we
could do there that we can't do here.
(puts his hand on
Luke's shoulder)
I'm sorry.

Harry's eyelids flutter.

HARRY
(weakly)
Did you... did you...

Luke rushes to Harry's side and takes his hand.

LUKE
I'm here.

HARRY
Did you... did you...

LUKE
Did I what?

HARRY
(irritated)
Did you fix the damn film? It broke
in the last reel.

LUKE
I know. Everyone went home. We offered
them refunds.

HARRY
Anybody take it?

LUKE
A few.

HARRY
(closes his eyes)
Vultures...

Luke smiles.

HARRY
I'm not happy about this, mind you,
but if I have to go, at least I'm
going in my own bed, the same bed my
Lily died in, and... knowing that my
son is alive. That's not too shabby,
is it?

LUKE
You're not going anywhere, Harry.

HARRY
Don't tell me, I know about these
things. I've seen it before. It's
all right. It's... all right. You're
here. Oh, God, I love you, son.

Harry smiles. Luke kisses his hand and leans up, whispering
in Harry's ear:

LUKE
And I love you... Dad.

Harry smiles faintly, looks at Luke. He nods, then closes
his eyes.

HARRY
(softly)
Oh, so... much... lighter...

Slowly, Harry exhales. His face relaxes, completely at peace.
He doesn't breathe again.

Luke looks at Harry's face for a moment. Then as the tears
well up, he leans over and ever-so-gently places a kiss on
Harry's forehead.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LAWSON CEMETERY - DAY

It's a beautiful, bright, sunny day. Luke and Adele stand at
the front of the large group of mourners. REVEREND COLEMAN,
50s, conducts the service.

COLEMAN
We commit to the earth the mortal
remains of Harry Bernard Trumbo,
safe in the knowledge that his
immortal soul is at peace and at
last reunited with his beloved Lillian
in the bosom of the Lord. Let us
pray.

Everyone bows their heads.

COLEMAN
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall
not want, he maketh me to lie down
in green pastures..."

Luke looks up at the sky, then steps forward and lays a single
rose on Harry's casket. Then, as everyone surreptitiously
watches, he turns and walks away from the gravesite, toward
the cemetery entrance.

Adele watches Luke depart...

ANOTHER ANGLE

...and she's not alone. Agents Saunders and Brett are watching
everything from their car, which is parked nearby.

As Luke walks away, Saunders snaps his photo with a long-
lens camera...

DISSOLVE TO:

THE BASE OF THE WAR MEMORIAL,

and Luke's name inscribed there.

EXT. CITY HALL SQUARE - DUSK

Luke stands in front of the memorial, head bowed. After a
moment, he sits, leaning against the memorial.

ON LUKE

Lost in thought, he buries his face in his hands.

ADELE'S VOICE (O.S.)
Mind if I join you?

Luke looks up, squinting. Adele stands above him, backlit by
the golden light of the sundown.

LUKE
Sure.

She sits next to him. Tentatively, she touches his shoulder.

He leans into her, and she enfolds her arm in his.

Pause.

LUKE
Your father said... that I would
start to remember things.

Suddenly, Adele feels as though she's walking on eggshells.

ADELE
(slowly)
What... do you remember?

LUKE
Well... everything. It started coming
back a couple of days ago. I remember
everything now.

ADELE
I see...

LUKE
Delly. I'm... I'm not... Harry wasn't
my father. And I'm not... I'm not
Luke.

She closes her eyes. All her suspicions are suddenly
confirmed.

ADELE
(adrift)
Oh...

Her tears start, and she moves to hug Luke -- but instead,
she starts hitting him, flailing, beating on his chest. He
hugs her tightly, and she completely lets go.

ADELE
(crying)
Oh, god, I knew! I knew! I knew from
the start! I wanted you to be Luke!
I wanted you to be alive! You're so
much like him, you have no idea. No
wonder everyone else accepted you!
You don't know what you -- what Luke
meant to this town, suddenly being
alive! You don't know what this town
lost! You just don't know...

She pulls away, stands, and looks him in the eye. Luke rises.

ADELE
(sobbing uncontrollably)
I knew you weren't Luke! And I tried
not to fall in love with you! And...
I don't even know your name! Oh,
god...

Luke moves toward her. She backs away.

LUKE
I fell in love with you, too, Delly.
Only now I don't know how I feel,
about you or about anything. I only
think I know how Luke would feel.

She's still sobbing. He moves to her, takes her in his arms.

LUKE
Delly, shhhhhh...

ADELE
(pulling away)
No... I can't... I have to... I
can't...

She runs off, crying...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MABEL'S DINER - DAY

ON SHERIFF ELDRIDGE,

making short work of a steak and eggs. As he powers down his
meal, Agents Saunders and Brett, distinctly out-of-place in
their dark suits and hats, enter the diner. They take note
of Eldridge, and come over.

SAUNDERS
Are you the sheriff?

ELDRIDGE
And I got the uniform to prove it.

SAUNDERS
I'm Special Agent Walter Saunders,
this is Special Agent Steven Brett,
FBI. May we have a word with you?

They flash identification, which Eldridge notes.

ELDRIDGE
(gesturing)
Please, sit.

They sit across from Eldridge. As Saunders speaks, Agent
Brett pulls a photo from his coat pocket.

SAUNDERS
A couple of days ago, a county flood
control maintenance crew pulled a
car out of the Lawson Wash ocean
outlet. They checked its registration,
and when the owner was identified,
they notified us.

Agent Brett slides the photo toward Eldridge.

ON THE PHOTO

It's Peter Appleton -- Luke.

ELDRIDGE
(smiling)
Well, that'd be Luke Trumbo. Looks
like you boys've solved a little
mystery we've had going on for a few
months.

BRETT
Sir, that's a photo of man named
Peter Appleton. He's been missing
from Los Angeles for close to three
months now.

ELDRIDGE
What? No, there's got to be a...

SAUNDERS
Sheriff -- this man is a suspected
communist.

CUT TO:

INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

(Oh, and by the way, from here on, he's PETE again.)

Pete sits across from Eldridge, Saunders and Brett. The
silence in the room is thick.

PETE
Am I under arrest?

Eldridge glances at Agent Saunders, who stares at Pete
impassively.

ELDRIDGE
Well, no, but these gentlemen would
like to get some answers...

PETE
I don't know what else to tell you.
I wasn't hiding out. I hit my head
and I didn't remember anything until
a few days ago.

SAUNDERS
Now that you remember who you are,
were you planning on telling anyone
your true identity?

PETE
I already have.

SAUNDERS
Who?

PETE
My girlfriend. If she still is...

SAUNDERS
(checking his notebook)
Would that be Miss Sinclair?

PETE
(ironic smile)
No. No, not Miss Sinclair. I'm talking
about Adele Lardner.

Agent Saunders glances at Eldridge.

ELDRIDGE
The doctor's daughter. She was Luke
Trumbo's sweetheart.

Pause.

SAUNDERS
Mr. Appleton, I have reason to believe
you're holding something back, and
that just rubs me the wrong way.
(pause)
Sir, are you a communist?

PETE
(firmly)
No. Absolutely not.

SAUNDERS
All right. All right. We'll see.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHERIFF'S STATION - DAY

Pete comes out into the bright midday sun. It takes a moment
for his eyes to adjust, and when they do, he becomes aware
of perhaps TWENTY PEOPLE lining the sidewalk in front of the
station.

PETE'S POV

We recognize several of the people. Carl Leffert. Bob Leffert
and Mabel Lanier. Daley Thornhill. Katie Rutherford. Stanton
Lawson. Now, there's nothing in the least bit threatening
about the gathering -- and that's what's so disturbing about
it. They're not an angry mob, they're just standing there,
running the gamut of emotions.

Shock. Disillusionment. Betrayal.

It's an awkward moment. Pete doesn't quite know how to react.
He wants to go over and talk to them, but he wouldn't know
what to say. He wishes one of them would talk to him, just
say something, anything. But no one does.

Then, Bob Leffert turns away from Pete. He shoves his hook
hand into his pocket and sullenly moves away, followed by
Mabel, then his brother, then the others...

...leaving Pete alone.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BIJOU LOBBY - NIGHT

Old Tim, in his doorman's uniform, stands by the open, empty
door.

Mrs. Terwilliger, behind the candy counter, wipes up an
imaginary spill, a full wheel of unsold tickets by her elbow.

Pete anxiously paces the lobby. He looks into

THE AUDITORIUM.

Every seat is empty.

He glances at his watch, then turns to Old Tim and Mrs.
Terwilliger:

PETE
Let's close up.

As Mrs. Terwilliger and Old Tim silently shamble off, Pete
goes over and flips OFF several light switches. Most of the
theater goes dark.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE BIJOU SIGN - NIGHT

Pete sits leaning up against the base of the dark sign. A
gentle breeze tousles his hair as he gazes up at the stars.

After a moment, he HEARS footsteps coming up the ladder to
the roof.

PETE
Who's that?

ADELE'S VOICE
It's me.

Adele climbs onto the roof, comes over and sits down next to
Pete.

ADELE
Hi.

PETE
Hi.

Pause.

ADELE
I'm sure a lot of people down in
L.A. are worried sick about you.

PETE
Yeah? I'm sure a lot more people
down in L.A. want a piece of me.

He turns to her.

PETE
This Luke was a pretty good guy,
wasn't he?

ADELE
(wistful smile)
Oh, yes. Yes, he was.

PETE
Well... let me tell you, I'm not
Luke. I know who I am now, and you
don't. And... I don't like me very
much.

ADELE
(changing the subject)
You know, it's going to take me a
while to get used to calling you
Pete.
(she takes it for a
spin)
Pete. Pete. It's a nice name.

PETE
Thanks, I like it. I think.

Pause.

PETE
Delly, I want to do the right thing.

Pete can't believe he just said that -- but he did.

ADELE
I believe you.

PETE
The truth is, I'm a lot of things,
but communist isn't one of them.

ADELE
But if you only went to one meeting,
why does anyone care? Besides, why
should it even matter if you were a
communist?

PETE
Come on, Delly, look at the country
today. We're fighting communists in
Korea, we're paranoid about the
Russians, we've got this thing with
the Rosenbergs and the atomic bomb...
(bitterly)
You think they want "suspected
communists" entertaining the American
public with party propaganda like,
gosh I don't know, "Sand Pirates of
the Sahara?"

ADELE
Forget about all that. You want to
do the right thing? Then defend your
name. If someone says something about
you that's untrue, you have to stand
up and say so. I know the law, and
the law's on your side.

Beat.

PETE
What about you, Delly?

ADELE
I am, too.

Pete smiles and puts his arms around her.

PETE
You'll stand by me?

ADELE
Whatever happens.

They kiss, and we

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. RORY'S GAS STATION - MORNING

There's a thick bank of coastal fog just down the road,
obscuring any view of the ocean a mile away. It's deadly
quiet as gas station owner RORY, late 60s, pulls up and parks
his Model A truck. He gets out, and an big old German
Shepherd, LOTTIE, jumps out of the truck bed.

Rory moves to the door, and is about to put his key in the
lock, when Lottie starts whining, looking toward the fog
bank and sniffing the air expectantly.

RORY
Whatsit, girl?

He stops -- he hears something, too -- a LOW RUMBLE. Lottie
starts BARKING. The RUMBLE is getting LOUDER. Rory's getting
worried. He looks at

THE FOG BANK.

It's starting to GLOW from within. Lottie's barking gets
LOUDER and angrier. Suddenly, a large black car punches out
of the fog bank and tears down the road. It's followed by
another, and another -- and perhaps a dozen more cars and
trucks, all heading hell-bent-for-leather toward the town.

Rory moves toward Lottie, trying to quiet her as the cars
fly past the station.

RORY
Shhhhh. I know, Lottie. This time, I
thought it was the Martians for sure.

CUT TO:

EXT. COMMERCE STREET - DAY

The place is bedlam, overflowing with REPORTERS, NEWSREEL
CAMERA CREWS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, you name it.

A RADIO CREW is broadcasting in front of Mabel's Diner. The
REPORTER is on-the-air, hugging his microphone, speaking
above the din. Mabel stands next to him, his hand on her
shoulder. Bob Leffert stands nearby, grim.

REPORTER
I'm here with Mabel Lanier, the owner
of the diner here on Commerce Street
where Appleton often took meals.
Mrs. Lanier, tell me, what are your
thoughts about having such a
celebrated suspected communist in
your midst all this time?

MABEL
Well, its kinds hard to believe,
'cause Luke -- I mean Peter -- is
such a... I mean, since he's been
back, I've never seen the town so
happy and all. It's like he gave us
some... I don't know... some hope, I
guess.

REPORTER
What she's referring to folks, is
yet another bizarre twist in this
story. Not only is Appleton alive,
but he's been suffering from amnesia
and living here in Lawson, where,
due to a startling resemblance,
everyone in town for the last three
months has taken him for one of
Lawson's dead war heroes, Albert
Trumbo...

MABEL
(a catch in her voice)
Luke. We always called him Luke.

Mabel glances at Bob, who lowers his head.

CUT TO:

INT. BIJOU OFFICE - DAY

Pete is at the desk, staring into space. Adele leans against
the radiator behind him. The silence in the room is thick.

Across the desk from Pete sits Leo Kubelsky.

LEO
The FBI can't arrest you, because
you haven't done anything wrong.

PETE
Well, that's a relief. I understand
they usually don't let that stop
them.

LEO
However... you're gonna be subpoenaed
to testify before the Un-American
Activities Committee when they open
hearings in Los Angeles. Now, if you
play ball and tell them what they
want to hear, they'll clear you.

PETE
And I won't be a communist anymore.

LEO
Exactly.

PETE
So it doesn't make any difference
that I'm not one now, and have never
been one.

Leo stands and walks to the window.

LEO
Kid, don't get philosophical with
me. This is a game, but it's not
your game. You play by their rules,
or they'll ruin you. And they have
the power to do it.

ADELE
Doesn't it bother anyone that this
is a perversion of democracy?

Leo turns to her and smiles. His tone is charmingly matter-
of-factly, not condescending in the least.

LEO
Darling, don't kid yourself. We don't
have a "democracy" in this country.
The Declaration of Independence? The
Constitution? These are pieces of
paper with signatures on 'em. And
you know what a piece of paper with
a signature is? It's a contract. And
you know what a contract is? Something
that can be re-negotiated at any
time. It just so happens that the
House Un-American Activities Committee
is re-negotiating the contract this
time around.

Leo takes out a cigarette, lights it.

LEO
Next time, it might be the FBI. The
time after that, it might be the
President. But it'll always be
someone. Count on it.

PETE
That's not the country Luke fought
for.

LEO
Lest we forget, Peter, your own
military career was somewhat less
illustrious than Luke's.

PETE
It's wrong, Leo.

LEO
Peter, don't let that stop you all
of a sudden.

Leo pulls a folded paper from his coat pocket and hands it
to Pete.

LEO
Here. When you're called, read this
to them. Just tell the bastards what
they want to hear, and we can all
get on with our lives.

There's a knock at the door. Leo opens it. Standing there is
a small MAN wearing a serious suit and an even more serious
fedora.

THE MAN
Peter Appleton?

PETE
(standing)
You found him.

The Man reaches into his breast pocket and withdraws a blue
backed folded document, which he hands to Pete. As he does,
a FLASH lights the room.

At the door, a pair of PHOTOGRAPHERS and a NEWSREEL CAMERAMAN
are jockeying for position. Pete rolls his eyes.

THE MAN
Peter Appleton, you are hereby
subpoenaed to appear as a witness
before a special session of the House
Committee on Un-American Activities.
You are to appear in Los Angeles,
California, at the Biltmore Hotel,
at the date and time specified herein.

Pete takes the subpoena. There's an awkward moment, as the
newsreel camera is still rolling. Pete cradles the subpoena
like an Oscar statuette and smiles into the lens.

PETE
("on")
This is a great honor. I'll treasure
this always. Thank you.

CUT TO:

THE SUBPOENA

in a partially-packed suitcase.

WIDER

INT. PETE'S BEDROOM - DAY

Pete is sitting in a chair, reading the statement Leo gave
him.

PETE
(softly)
"I, Peter Appleton, do hereby renounce
my membership in the American
Communist Party, and by way of purging
myself of my indiscretion, wish to
provide the following names of fellow
members to this committee, so that
those persons may have the opportunity
to do as I have done..."

He scans down the page. It's a long list.

PETE
Jesus...

He HEARS a "meow!" And turns to look.

CAT

is standing in the bedroom doorway. He folds up and pockets
the list.

PETE
Old Tim?

After a moment, Old Tim appears in the doorway, wringing his
knit cap in his hands.

OLD TIM
Can I... Can I t-t-talk to you?

PETE
Sure. Come on in. I was just packing.

Pete stands, gestures Old Tim to the chair, as he sits on
the bed.

PETE
Please, sit.

OLD TIM
Thanks.

He sits. Pause.

OLD TIM
They'll come back, you know. They'll
all c-c-come back.

PETE
The customers? I don't know...

OLD TIM
They will. They w-w-will.

Pete turns to Old Tim, fixes him in the eye.

PETE
Tim, I have to tell you something.

OLD TIM
Oh.

PETE
It's about me.

OLD TIM
Oh.

Pause, as Pete gathers courage and tries to find the words.

PETE
I'm... I'm not Luke. Luke is dead.
He died in the war. He's not coming
back, and I'm not him. I don't even
belong here. This whole thing started
out as an accident, and that's all
it is. An accident.

OLD TIM
Oh...

PETE
My name isn't Luke. It's Peter. Peter
Appleton.

Old Tim stands and looks askance at Pete.

Pause.

OLD TIM
Did you think I didn't kn-kn-know
that?

PETE
(taken aback)
I thought you...

OLD TIM
I know more than you give me c-c-
credit, that's for sure. Don't you
see, it don't m-m-matter who you
are? All that matters is what you g-
g-gave us. And you can't take that
away now. You're wrong, Peter
Appleton. You do belong here.

He leans down to Pete.

OLD TIM
You hafta give us back the B-B-Bijou.

Old Tim straightens up, nods at Pete. Then, silently, he
picks up Cat and exits.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LAWSON PASSENGER DEPOT - DAY

Pete and Adele walk slowly down the platform toward the
waiting train.

ADELE
You've got everything?

PETE
Yeah. Except a chance in hell of
coming out of this intact.

ADELE
You'll be fine. No matter what Leo
Kubelsky says, you've got a hundred
and seventy-five years of American
law on your side. Don't forget that.

PETE
I wish you were coming with me.

ADELE
And who's gonna run the projector
until you get back? Mrs. Terwilliger?

PETE
Maybe we could train Cat to run the
projector. You know, a system of
scratching posts, and gears, and
levers...

They both smile as the train's HORN blows.

CONDUCTOR
Board!

Pete picks up his suitcase and they walk toward the passenger
compartment.

ADELE
Did you bring along something to
read?

PETE
Damn...

Adele pulls a pocket-sized leather-bound book out of her
purse and hands it to Pete.

ADELE
I didn't think so. Here. This is
mine, you can borrow it.

INSERT - THE BOOK

Well-worn and scuffed, nevertheless the title is clear:

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
ANNOTATED EDITION

Pete looks at the book, then at Adele.

ADELE
Not exactly light reading, I know.
Believe it or not, I've read this
since high school, and it got me all
the way through law school. Besides,
there's something in there that'll
help you. You won't have to get very
far, it's near the beginning.

PETE
(clearly touched)
Delly... thanks, thank you. I'll
take good care of this.

ADELE
Just remember two things. First, the
law is a living thing. It made us
free and it keeps us free. Sometimes
it gets twisted around by people for
their own purposes. Sometimes it
makes mistakes, sometimes big
mistakes. But in the end, the law
prevails for the just. Sometimes, it
takes a while.

PETE
Okay. What's the second thing?

She thinks for a moment. She needs the right words.

ADELE
I'll be here... if you come back.

The train pulls out. Adele and Pete exchange waves as we

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM (LOS ANGELES) - DAY

The House Committee on Un-American Activities has effectively
taken over the Grand Ballroom of this magnificent hotel, and
the joint is packed to the rafters. Members of the AUDIENCE
crane their necks to see out into the hallway, from where
the witnesses will be entering.

The COMMITTEE MEMBERS are seated at their dais, brightly lit
by the dozens of newsreel and TV lights. Elvin Clyde is seated
at the far right. Dead center of the dais is the Chairman,
CONGRESSMAN T. JOHNSTON DOYLE of Wisconsin, a husky man in
his late 50s. He SLAMS his gavel down several times and the
room goes quiet -- the talking stops, and the cameras start
whirring.

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - DAY

Adele's in a chair, eyes glues to the TV set. Mrs. Terwilliger
and Old Tim sit on the couch, watching attentively.

Doc Lardner's in a straight-backed chair at a jaunty angle
to the set, holding the rabbit ears uncomfortably high aloft.

ADELE
That's perfect, Dad.

DOYLE (ON TV)
The committee and the chamber will
come to order.

Lardner forces a smile at Mrs. Terwilliger and Old Tim.

LARDNER
(sweating and wincing)
This television's a grand little
invention, isn't it?

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

DOYLE
The agenda for this morning's special
session of the House Committee on Un-
American Activities shows a number
of witnesses, and I'd like to admonish
those that are here to view the
testimony of our first witness to
keep order at all times, or this
chamber will be closed. I'm referring
especially to the ladies and gentlemen
of the press. I hope that's clear.

Beat. Doyle scans the room. He clearly means business.

DOYLE
Call Peter Appleton.

All eyes and cameras swing toward the door.

ON PETE

As he enters the chamber, dozens of FLASHBULBS fire as every
eye and every camera follows him silently to his seat. As he
sits, he glances behind him.

PETE'S POV

Leo Kubelsky is sitting in the front row of spectators. He
smiles and nods at Pete.

Pete doesn't acknowledge him, and turns back.

DOYLE
The witness will please stand and
raise his right hand.

Pete does as instructed.

DOYLE
Do you swear that the testimony you
are about to give before this
committee of the United States House
of Representatives will be the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth, so help you god?

PETE
I do.

DOYLE
Be seated and state your full name
and place of residence for the record.

PETE
Peter Kenneth Appleton. Hollywood,
California.

DOYLE
The chair notes that you are appearing
without the benefit of counsel today,
Mr. Appleton. We certainly hope this
means that you intend to be fully
forthcoming with this committee?

PETE
(faint smile)
I'll do my best, Mr. Chairman.

DOYLE
Now, we're informed that you have a
statement you'd like to read, is
that correct?

PETE
(innocently)
A statement?

Doyle and Clyde exchange glances.

DOYLE
Yes. A prepared statement.

PETE
Um... no. I don't have a statement
at this time.

Pete turns in his chair and winks at Leo. Leo rolls his eyes
and shakes his head.

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - DAY

Adele breathes a sigh of relief.

MRS. TERWILLIGER
I think he's doing very well, so
far.

ADELE
They haven't called out the dogs
yet.

DOYLE
Very well then, the questions will
be asked by the Majority Counsel,
Mr. Clyde.

The TV shot swings to see Elvin Clyde. He puts on his glasses
and fixes Pete with an oily grin.

ADELE
I spoke too soon.

CLYDE (ON TV)
Thank you Mr. Chairman, and thank
you Mr. Appleton, for appearing today.

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

CLYDE
Mr. Appleton, you mention that your
home is Hollywood, California. But
isn't it true that for the last
several months, you've made your
home in a town called Lawson,
California?

PETE
Sir, that is true.

CLYDE
Mr. Appleton, do you know an "Albert
Lucas Trumbo?"

PETE
Luke Trumbo? We never met. But I'd
like to think I know him.

CLYDE
Is that because you were masquerading
as Luke Trumbo while you were in
Lawson?

PETE
Mr. Clyde you're twisting things
around. I wasn't masquerading. Luke
Trumbo... Luke was a good man who
gave his life for his country. I
just... happen to look a little bit
like him. That's all.

CLYDE
(referring to notes)
Yes, I see that Private Trumbo was
reported missing in action and is
presumed dead. I also see that you
were posted stateside during the
war. Fort Dix?

PETE
Yes, sir.

CLYDE
Well, I'm sure we're all glad to see
you came through it all right.

A few spectators titter.

INT. MABEL'S DINER - DAY

Mabel and Bob listen to the hearing on a radio in the packed
diner.

CLYDE (ON RADIO)
Now, I see that you've been running
a movie theater in Lawson called
"The Bijou," is that also true?

PETE (ON RADIO)
Yes sir. But I didn't go to Lawson
to run The Bijou, that was... that
was something that just happened.
You see, I was involved in an accident
in Lawson, and I spent some time
recovering there.

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

Clyde holds up copies of the Los Angeles Examiner and Los
Angeles Times with Pete's picture on the front page.

CLYDE
Anyone who reads the newspaper is
quite familiar with your...
"accident," Mr. Appleton. An accident
which, conveniently, came hard upon
your dismissal from United Pictures.
Tell us, this "accident" of yours,
are we given to understand that it
affected your memory?

PETE
Yes.

CLYDE
And what is the state of your memory
now?

Beat. Pete smiles.

PETE
I'm sorry, what was the question?

The audience LAUGHS. Clyde nods at Pete, forces a tight smile.

CLYDE
We... appreciate... your little note
of levity, Mr. Appleton, but this is
a very serious matter, and it merits
your fullest attention.
(back to business)
That state of your memory now, Mr.
Appleton?

INT. WYATT'S HARDWARE - DAY

Avery Wyatt listens to the hearing on a store radio. Spencer
comes around the paint aisle, wiping his hands on his apron.

He moves to the radio and listens solemnly.

PETE
Sir, are you referring to the fact
that I was suffering from amnesia,
and I've since recovered my memory?

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

CLYDE
(impatient)
I'm interested in knowing if you
remember things you did in your past,
or if they've been conveniently
"blotted out" as a result of your
"accident."

PETE
(smiling)
Mr. Clyde, I remember everything.

CLYDE
Good. Good.
(holds up a piece of
paper)
Now, I hold in my hand a photostatic
copy of the attendance roster for
the "Bread Instead of Bullets Club"
of the University of California, Los
Angeles, dated October 11, 1935. A
copy of this paper is before you,
Mr. Appleton. Do you recognize it?

Pete looks on the table and finds the roster. He's surprised
to see it.

PETE
Yes... yes, I do.

CLYDE
Referring to line thirty-seven of
the document, does your printed name
and signature appear there?

PETE
Yes it does.

CLYDE
Mr. Appleton, please tell this
committee what was the nature and
purpose of the "Bread Instead of
Bullets Club?"

PETE
Mr. Clyde, do you want to know what
I knew then, or do you want to know
what I know now? They're two different
things?

CLYDE
Start with what you knew then.

PETE
Well, I'd direct the attention of
counsel and committee to line thirty-
six of the document, and the name
printed and signed there.

CLYDE
We see it. For the record, it reads
"Lucille Angstrom." What's the point
of this?

PETE
Well, that's what I knew then. Or
who I knew, I should say. You see, I
was trying to court Miss Angstrom. I
went to the meeting to impress her.

CLYDE
(grinning)
Are you asking this committee to
believe that you attended a meeting
of a communist party front
organization in order to impress a
girl?

PETE
(slyly)
Well, if you'd seen Miss Angstrom...

The audience LAUGHS. Doyle BANGS his gavel.

PETE
You asked for the truth. That's the
truth. I had no idea what the meeting
was about. I just sat through it so
I could be near her. I'm sure even a
Majority Counsel like yourself is
familiar with the concept of
impressing a girl.

The audience LAUGHS. Clyde shoots a look at Doyle, who BANGS
his gavel.

DOYLE
Chamber will come to order.

Clyde shuffles some papers and looks back at Pete.

CLYDE
All right, Mr. Appleton. That was
what you knew then. What do you know
now?

PETE
(takes a deep breath)
Well, I know that I lost my job
because of one meeting I went to
when I was a kid in college. I know
that I've been branded a communist,
which I'm not, but even if I was, it
shouldn't matter, or what do we have
a Bill Of Rights for?

CLYDE
Mr. Chairman, the witness is being
non-responsive...

A few members of the audience APPLAUD. As Pete speaks, their
numbers grow.

PETE
(passionately)
I know that a lot of good, honest,
decent people, people that I consider
my true friends, feel betrayed by
me, not because of who and what I
am, but because of what you say I
am! I know that I...

Doyle BANGS his gavel several times. Pete stops and the room
falls quiet.

DOYLE
(emphatically)
Mr. Appleton, you will respond to
the questions of this committee
without elaboration or speechmaking,
or the chair will find you in Contempt
Of Congress. You will not be warned
again, is that clear?
(he lets this sink
in, then)
Continue, Mr. Clyde.

CLYDE
(looking down at his
desk)
Mr. Appleton...

Clyde takes a long pause for effect, then looks up at Pete.

CLYDE
Are you now, or have you ever been,
a member of the communist party?

PETE
No, sir.

CLYDE
(holding up the roster)
Are you refuting this evidence and
your previous testimony?

PETE
I'm not refuting anything.

CLYDE
Yet you're contradicting yourself.
You earlier testified that you
attended a meeting of a communist
party-run organization, yet you just
said, under oath, that you were not
now -- nor ever -- a member of the
communist party.

PETE
That's not a contradiction at all,
sir. I went to the meeting, but I
didn't go as a member.

CLYDE
Well, then, as what did you go?

Beat. Pete smiles.

PETE
I'm a little hesitant to say.

DOYLE
The witness need not be hesitant to
say anything before this committee,
as long as it's the truth.

Pete shifts in his chair, then leans into the microphone.

PETE
Well, I went as... a horny young
man.

The chamber erupts in LAUGHTER. Even the other COMMITTEE
MEMBERS are laughing, except Clyde and Doyle, who BANGS his
gavel vigorously.

INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

Sheriff Eldridge and Daley Thornhill listen to the hearing
on the radio. They are both laughing at Pete's last comment.

ELDRIDGE
Damn, he don't wanna spar with these
boys. They'll eat him alive.

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

The room settles. Doyle wags his finger accusingly at Pete.

DOYLE
(angry)
Mr. Appleton, you are making light
of a legally constituted committee
of the United States Congress. Believe
you me, you do not want to incur our
wrath.

PETE
(matter-of-factly)
I'm sorry, sir, I have no intention
of making light of this committee.
And I have no intention of incurring
your wrath, Mr. Chairman. I have a
few friends who have already incurred
your wrath. They've sent me letters
from jail.

CLYDE
(interrupting)
Mr. Chairman! Mr. Chairman, the
witness is making another speech. I
would ask that Mr. Appleton be
admonished...

DOYLE
(indifferent)
Mr. Appleton, there is no question
before you at this time, but I'm
sure Mr. Clyde has plenty more
prepared, and if you'd like to either
answer them or plead the Fifth
Amendment, we can at least get on
with the business of this committee.

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - DAY

Adele moves to within inches of the TV screen.

ADELE
Tell them Pete. Tell them...

PETE (ON TV)
(wrestling with this)
Mr. Chairman, as I understand it,
the Fifth Amendment pertains to self-
incrimination, and I can't incriminate
myself because I've done nothing
wrong. Besides, incrimination is why
you have Mr. Clyde working for you.

CLYDE
Mr. Chairman...

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

Clyde is still protesting, but Doyle waves him off.

DOYLE
Well then, Mr. Appleton, just what
is your intention?

Pete's sweating under the lights. He's bluffed his last bluff,
and he's on the ropes. He reaches into his pocket... and
takes out the prepared statement.

INT. LARDNER LIVING ROOM - DAY

PETE
I... Mr. Chairman, I have a prepared
statement I'd like to read...

ADELE
Her hand goes to her mouth.

ADELE
Oh, Pete. No...

INT. BILTMORE HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM - DAY

DOYLE
Go ahead, Mr. Appleton.

PETE
(slowly reading)
"I, Peter Appleton, do hereby..."

He stops suddenly. Pause.

DOYLE
Mr. Appleton? Mr. Appleton?

PETE
I... I need a drink of water.

DOYLE
Go ahead, son.

Pete fills a glass from the pitcher. Nervously, he spills a
bit, and is splashes onto his coat. As some of the spectators
chuckle, Pete brushes the water off. He reaches into his
pocket, and pulls out Adele's copy of the constitution. The
cover is wet. He wipes it off and sets it down on the table.

He takes a sip of water. Looks at the book. Picks it up.

Pete's terrified, but in control. He speaks slowly -- he's
making this up and thinking it out as he goes.

PETE
Mr. Chairman... there's... another
Amendment... that I'd like to invoke
at this time, but it's not the Fifth
Amendment. I wonder if you're familiar
with it.

DOYLE
Mr. Appleton, you will...

He opens the book and reads, tentatively at first.

PETE
"Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press; or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress
of grievances."

Pause. Silence in the room.

ADELE

She's smiling at the TV. Her eyes are filled with tears.

PETE

He looks up at Chairman Doyle. Now fully confident.

PETE
That's the First Amendment, Mr.
Chairman. It's the backbone of this
nation. It's everything that gives
us the potential to be right and
good and just -- if only we'd live
up to that potential. It's what gives
me the right to sit in this chair
and say my piece before this committee
without fear. It's the most important
part of the contract that every
citizen has with this country. And
even though this contract...
(he holds up the book)
...the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights -- even though they're just
pieces of paper with signatures on
them -- they're the only contracts
we have that are most definitely not
subject to renegotiation. Not by
you, Mr. Chairman, not by you, Mr.
Clyde, not by any member of this
committee -- or anyone else -- ever.

Pin-drop silence in the room. Pete scans the faces of the
panel. All betray anger.

ON LEO

He can't help but smile and nod appreciatively.

PETE
And when you get right down to it,
that's really all I have to say to
this committee. Good morning.

And with that, Pete closes the book, picks up the prepared
statement, rips it up, pushes back his chair, stands and
walks toward the door. The cameras swing with him, and
FLASHBULBS fire like machine guns. Doyle BANGS his gavel
insistently.

DOYLE
The witness will resume his seat!
Did you hear me?! You are not excused,
Mr. Appleton!

And then, slowly, APPLAUSE builds in the chamber, reaching a
crescendo as Pete reaches the door and exits.

CLYDE
Mr. Chairman! Mr. Chairman...!

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BILTMORE HOTEL - DAY

As Pete exits the hotel, a DOZEN REPORTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS
have him completely surrounded. FLASHBULBS pop. He's taken
aback, flustered.

FIRST REPORTER
(seeing Pete)
There he is!

SECOND REPORTER
Pete! Are you going back to writing
pictures?

PETE
I don't know...

THIRD REPORTER
You a commie, Pete?

PETE
No, of course not...

SECOND REPORTER
What about the girl, Pete? You gonna
marry her? Is she coming to Hollywood,
or are you...

PETE
Look, fellas, I don't have anything
to say...

Pete is trapped in the crowd, when he feels a hand on his
shoulder.

LEO

spins him around, and pushes him through the crowd toward
the curb.

LEO
Come on, kid.

At the curb is a black Cadillac limousine. Leo hauls open
the back door and pushes Pete in, before climbing in himself.

The limo drives away, as the reporters give chase.

INT. LIMO (MOVING) - DAY

Leo and Pete sit side-by-side in silence for a moment. Leo
breaks it.

LEO
That was quite a show you gave them
today. We shoulda sold tickets.

PETE
I'm not sorry for what I said.

LEO
No, of course not, why should you be
sorry? You're the new Peter Appleton.
You exercised your rights as a solid
citizen, first amendment, freedom of
speech, all that. Very noble.

They sit in silence again for a moment until Leo reaches
into his pocket and withdraws a gold cigarette case, which
he opens and offers to Pete.

LEO
Cigarette?

PETE
No thanks.

Leo takes one for himself and lights up. Pete takes off his
hat and nervously scratches his head.

LEO
When'd you quit smoking?

PETE
Luke didn't smoke.

LEO
Oh, I see. But you're not Luke. You're
Peter Appleton, the picture writer.

PETE
(laughs)
Not any more.

LEO
Why not?

PETE
Leo, you were in there, you saw what
I did. You think they're gonna let
me write pictures? Hell, they're
probably gonna throw my ass in jail.

LEO
(with a smile)
Not at all.

PETE
Besides, I don't even know if I want
to write anymore.

LEO
(snickering)
What, you're going to go back to
that hick town and run the projector
and marry the doctor's daughter?

But before Pete can answer...

LEO
Peter, I'm an agent. I buy lunches
and get deals made for guys like
you. That's what I do. You're a
writer. You write pictures. That's
what you do. And trust me, you'll be
back doing it again tomorrow morning.

PETE
What do you mean?

LEO
Kid, you gave them what they wanted.
This committee, it feeds on names.
The more names, the better. But for
some high-profile witnesses, like
yourself, any name will do.

PETE
Leo, I didn't give them the names. I
wouldn't do that.

LEO
What, all of a sudden, "Lucille
Angstrom" isn't a name?

Pete freezes. He slowly turns to Leo.

PETE
(warily)
Her name was right there in front of
them. They gave it to me, I didn't
give it to them.

LEO
Well, that's not what they think.

PETE
Leo, she was... she was a girl I
knew in college...

LEO
You should keep track of your old
school chums. Turns out she eventually
joined the communist party.
(takes a puff)
On top of which, she's Lucy Angstrom
Hirschfeld now, and she happens to
be a writer for "Studio One" on CBS.

PETE
(realization dawning)
Oh god, oh, god, no, I...

LEO
So, our lawyers had a talk with the
Committee's lawyers. That Elvin Clyde
fella won't be too happy about it,
but we cut a deal. They cleared you --
and they're gonna thank you publicly
for your testimony purging yourself.

PETE
Thank me publicly? For what? For
ruining this woman's life?

LEO
(dismissive)
Climb down off your cross. They
already knew about her.
(off his look)
She was subpoenaed six months ago!
Who the hell do you think named you?

Pete is dumbstruck. He slumps in his seat, ashen.

LEO
(he couldn't be happier)
All of which means... "Ashes To Ashes"
is gonna be made, and you've got
your job back.
(takes a puff)
Congratulations, kid.

Pete's breathing shallowly, on the verge of tears or screaming --
or both.

EXT. PETE'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY

The limo pulls up, and Leo opens the door. Pete vacantly
grabs his suitcase and gets out. Leo shuts the door and calls
after him, waving Pete's hat.

LEO
Peter! Your hat!

Pete comes back and takes his hat. Leo grabs his hand.

LEO
I was lookin' out for you all the
time, kid. You did good. I'm real
proud of you.
(to the driver)
Okay, let's go.
(to Pete)
Get some rest, kid!

As the limo pulls away, we

CUT TO:

INT. PETE'S APARTMENT (L.A.) - DAY

The door opens, revealing the Super, followed by a sullen
Pete, carrying his suitcases and hat. He sets them down and
goes to the coffee table, where his boxes of belongings from
the studio have been gathering dust these last three months.

SUPER
(handing him a key)
Here's a new key for ya. That Mr.
Kubelsky, he's got you paid up through
this month. You got one swell friend
there.

The Super moves to the door and turns back.

SUPER
Good to have you back, Pete.

He exits as Pete reaches into one of the boxes and pulls out
the tin-toy fire truck. Distractedly, Pete puts the toy back
in the box and replies too late:

PETE
Thanks...

He sets his suitcase down and takes off his coat. As he does,
Adele's copy of the Constitution slips out of his coat pocket
and falls open to the floor.

Pete picks it up and absently turns it over -- and the
inscription inside the front cover catches his eye:

TO DELLY, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE ANSWERS.

LOVE, LUKE

Pete closes the book. He thinks for a moment, then glances
over at the phone. He picks it up and dials "0."

PETE
Western Union, please.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRAIN (MOVING) - DAY

Our view of the moving train is from outside, as it speeds
up the spectacular coastline north of Santa Barbara. Looking
into one of the train's windows, we SEE Pete sitting, staring
out at the passing scenery.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
Dear Adele, on my way back to Lawson
STOP. That is, if they'll have me
STOP. Train arrives four p.m. STOP.
Hope you can be there STOP. Pete.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LAWSON PASSENGER DEPOT - LATE AFTERNOON

The train is just pulling in to Lawson. As it SHUDDERS to a
halt, the door of the passenger compartment opens and Pete
steps out -- looks -- and his jaw drops open...

HIS POV

The ENTIRE TOWN has turned out. They're all there, smiling
broadly. A large, hand-lettered banner reads:

WELCOME HOME PETE!
LAWSON'S FAVORITE SON

A CHEER goes up from the crowd, breaking the silence. Pete
descends from the train and moves into the throng. The first
two people he encounters are Bob Leffert and Mabel Lanier.
bob sticks out his good hand and Pete takes it, both smiling
as they shake hands vigorously.

BOB
Luke... um, I mean, Pete, if it
weren't for you, I wouldn't have had
the nerve to ask this fine woman to
marry me.

Mabel's mouth drops open.

PETE
Bob, congratulations! When'd you ask
her?

MABEL
Holy moley! Just now!
(to Bob)
Yes, Bob! Yes!

As Mabel kisses Bob for all she's worth, Pete continues into
the crowd, where he's kissed, embraced, patted on the back.

ADELE

is at the back of the crowd, working her way to the front.

She rushes into Pete's arms, and they kiss. Another CHEER
goes up.

PETE
I see you got the telegram.

ADELE
Pete, I'm so sorry about what they
did to you. I didn't think you'd
come back, I thought you'd want to
write again...

PETE
Dell, I can't write unless I'm happy,
and I can't be happy unless I'm here --
and with you.
(grabs her shoulders)
This is me, Delly. Pete Appleton.
And I love you!

ADELE
(tears in her eyes)
And
(hic!)
I love you, Pete!

They kiss again. Pete pulls away and looks at his watch.

PETE
(smiling)
C'mon, Dell, we gotta go. Showtime
in fifteen minutes.

The train whistle BLOWS as it slowly pulls out of the station.

PETE'S NARRATION (V.O.)
"Happily ever after" is a relative
term, folks. My world is much smaller
now, and my dreams are very different
than they were. But I have something
now that I never had before: I have
the magic. And it's for sale at the
Bijou, every day of the year. All
you need is the price of a ticket.

We BOOM UP to see Pete and Adele moving into and being
enveloped by the crowd.

Spencer Wyatt's band is assembled in front of the depot
office, and they kick into some up-tempo boogie-woogie as we
move up and away -- still in the same shot -- moving over
the town, settling down again to grab a shot of the Bijou's
marquee. The neon chaser lights POP ON, illuminating the
sign, which reads:

THE END

Then, the letters on the marquee START SHAKING. We BOOM UP
TO THE TOP OF THE THEATER, and the "BIJOU" sign...

...as the train RUMBLES BY behind the theater...

...and the "J" teeters loose and swings by a thread...

...and we IRIS DOWN ON IT AND...

CUT TO BLACK.

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