Miller’s Crossing


Millers Crossing stars Gabriel Byrne, four-time Academy Award nominee Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito and J.E. Freeman. Set in 1929 in an unnamed Eastern city, it’s the compelling story of the friendship between Leo (Finney), the local political boss, and Tom (Byrne), the man behind the man.

While watching these fantastic movies, have you ever thought of the technical aspects which help these movies to achieve perfection.  Technology has made movie-watching a blissful experience.  Why not look here for the details you were eager to know for years?

  1. Sound: Latest sound technology used in movies give a crystal clear hearing experience for the viewers.  You feel as though it is happening very near you.  Latest concepts like Dolby Atmos, Auro3D etc. gives the same sound experience whether you are watching from the first row or the last.
  2. Light: Technology has enabled extensive research on lighting concepts.  There are various types of lighting like Soft light, High key light, and soft light.  Using the correct type of lighting depends on the characters and the mood of a particular scene shot.  Technology has enabled recording with clarity using the available natural lighting.
  3. Graphics: Graphics has made giant progress.  From the usage of simple morphing, the concept of graphics has resulted in 4D animation.  Graphics add richness to a movie.  It thrills the viewer using unimaginable technology.
  4. Camera: Now film making has leaped to the usage of drone cameras.  Next time when you gasp at those remarkable aerial views, thank these cameras.  Technology goes on improving the pixels.  The clarity and potential to capture minute details has become easy and a wide range of options are available.
  5. Protection: You dream to watch the movie first day first show at your favorite theatre.  Alas! That is already streamed on those hacking sites.  But technology is striving continuously to protect the rights of the original movie makers.  There is advanced software which can easily prevent hacking by creating a counter virus in the system.

Back to the story of Miller’s crossing.

Their friendship is severed when Leo and Tom fall in love with the same woman. Tom joins ranks with Johnny Caspar, Leo’s foremost enemy and rival for political power, and a bloody gang war erupts. For a better perspective on the movie, read Dashiell Hammett’s “The Glass Key”: much of the film’s brilliant dialogue is directly from the Novel.

The Man Who Wasn’t There

1949, Santa Rosa, California. A laconic, chain-smoking barber with fallen arches tells a story of a man trying to escape a humdrum life. It’s a tale of suspected adultery, blackmail, foul play, death, Sacramento city slickers, racial slurs, invented war heroics, shaved legs, a gamine piano player, aliens, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

Before you go into the detailed story- have you ever thought about how movies have emerged as a successful form of entertainment.  It is a long story.  Why not find out more?

Before movies came, people had to kill boredom with dramas and magic shows.  We do not have a clear history to trace the origin of film making.  However, it starts with the screening of commercials created by the Lumiere brothers in 1895.    Before this, the movies were just a minute long.  But Lumiere brothers pioneered the creation of motion pictures.

Soon this resulted in the creation of longer motion pictures with recorded sound.  The building of studios started in 1897.  In early 1900, various technical concepts like shooting successive shots, close-up shots etc. were introduced.  In 1905, a permanent theatre called ‘The Nickelodeon” was built to play movies.  From the year 1910, American movies grew popular in Australia and Europe.

Improvements in various fields of moviemaking like- Artificial and low-key lighting were introduced during this stage.  In the 1920s, the United States started producing an average of 800 films per year.  From then on there was no looking back. In late 1920s various technological development in sound recording came into practice.

The world war II resulted in increased popularity of movies.  Many movies were created based on war-time stories.  In the 1950s there was a slight set back due to the introduction of television.  Few theatres had to be closed because of bankruptcy.  But the setback was temporary.  Nothing could match the experience of watching movies.  So, film making was once again blooming.  Many academies and organizations offered patronage to movies of non-English languages also.   Slowly film making has reached the current stage.  Back to the story of the Man who wasn’t there.

Ed Crane cuts hair in his in-law’s shop; his wife drinks and may be having an affair with her boss, Big Dave, who has $10,000 to invest in a second department store. Ed gets wind of a chance to make money in dry cleaning. Blackmail and investment are his opportunity to be more than a man no one notices. Settle in the chair and listen.

Joel Coen

(1954 – )
Biography from Baseline’s Encyclopedia of Film
Occupation: Director
Also: Screenwriter
Born: November 29, 1954, St. Louis Park, MN
Simon’s Rock of Bard College;
Institute of Film and TV, NYU

Working with his brother Ethan, screenwriter/director Joel Coen has built a reputation as one of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmakers of the late 20th century. Combining thoughtful eccentricity, wry humor, arch irony, and often brutal violence, the films of the Coen brothers have become synonymous with a style of filmmaking that pays tribute to classic American movie genres — especially film noir — while sustaining a firmly postmodern feel. Beginning with Blood Simple, their brutal, stylish 1984 debut, the brothers have amassed a body of work that has established them as two of the most compelling figures in American and world cinemas.

Born in St. Louis Park, MN, in 1954, Joel Coen studied at New York University before moving into filmmaking in the early ’80s. He and his younger brother began writing screenplays while Joel worked as an assistant editor on good friend Sam Raimi’s 1983 film The Evil Dead. In 1984, they made their debut with Blood Simple. Both of them wrote and edited the film (using the name Roderick Jaynes for the latter duty), while Joel took the directing credit and Ethan billed himself as the producer. It earned considerable critical acclaim and established the brothers as fresh, original talent. Their next major effort (after Crimewave, a 1985 film they wrote that was directed by Raimi), 1987’s Raising Arizona was a screwball comedy miles removed from the dark, violent content of their previous movie, and it won over critics and audiences alike. Their fan base growing, the Coens went on to make Miller’s Crossing (1990), a stark gangster epic with a strong performance from John Turturro, whom the brothers also used to great effect in their next film, Barton Fink (1991). Fink earned Joel a Best Director award and a Golden Palm at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the festival’s Best Actor award for Turturro. A surreal, nightmarish movie revolving around a writer’s creative block, it was a heavily stylized, atmospheric triumph that further established the Coens as visionary arbiters of the bizarre.

Their 1994 follow-up to Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, was a relative critical and commercial disappointment, though it did boast the sort of heavily stylized, postmodern irony that had so endeared the brothers to their audience. Whatever failings The Hudsucker Proxy exhibited, however, were more than atoned for by the unquestionable success of the Coens’ next film, Fargo (1996). A black, violent crime comedy with a surprisingly warm heart, it recalled Blood Simple in its themes of greed, corruption, and murder, but provided more redemptive sentiment than was afforded to the characters of the previous film. The brothers shared a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their work, and another Oscar, for Best Actress, went to Frances McDormand, to whom Joel had been married since 1984.

Following Fargo, the Coens went on to make The Big Lebowski in 1998. A blend of bungled crime and warped comedy, Lebowski was a laid-back, irreverent revision of the hardboiled L.A. detective genre. It met with mixed critical reception, though it did receive a Golden Bear nomination for Joel Coen at the Berlin Film Festival. The year 2000 brought the Coens into the depression-era with O Brother, Where art Thou? An admittedly loose adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey, O Brother starred George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts on a surreal journey through 1930s Mississippi. Wasting no time in production of their next feature, the following year found Joel the recipient of his third Best Director award at Cannes for the darkly comic, monochromatic post-noir The Man Who Wasn’t There. Starring Billy Bob Thornton as a humble, small-town barber who gets mixed up in a tangled web of blackmail and deceit, the moody atmosphere of The Man Who Wasn’t There eschewed the wacky antics of O Brother in favor of a darker, more moody tone that recalled such earlier Coen efforts as Blood Simple and Barton Fink.

Two years later, Joel and Ethan re-teamed with Clooney for Intolerable Cruelty, a film that represented their version of a ’30s screwball comedy. The film was noteworthy in that it was the first movie made by the brothers that did not originate with them; they rewrote a script that was already in existence. Joel and Ethan were also listed as executive producers on the 2003 Terry Zwigoff film Bad Santa, a story that came from one of their original ideas. 2004 saw the release of the Coens’ first remake, The Ladykillers starring Tom Hanks. That film also marked the first time Joel shared directorial credit with Ethan. — Rebecca Flint

Ethan CoenEthan Coen
(1957 – )
Biography from Baseline’s Encyclopedia of Film
Occupation: Producer
Also:  Screenwriter
Born: September 21, 1957, St. Louis Park, MN
Simon’s Rock of Bard College,
Massachusetts; Princeton University, NJ (philosophy)

Working alongside his brother Joel, Ethan Coen is widely considered one of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmakers of the late 20th century. Combining thoughtful eccentricity, wry humor, arch irony, and often brutal violence, the films of the Coen brothers have become synonymous with a style of filmmaking that pays tribute to classic American movie genres — especially film noir — while sustaining a firmly postmodern feel.

Born in St. Louis Park, MN, in 1957, Ethan Coen studied philosophy at Princeton University. Soon after he graduated, he and his brother began writing their first screenplays, and, in 1984, they made their debut with Blood Simple. Both of them wrote and edited the film (using the name Roderick Jaynes for the latter duty), while Joel took the directing credit and Ethan billed himself as the producer. It earned considerable critical acclaim and established the brothers as fresh, original talent. Their next major effort (after Crimewave, a 1985 film they wrote that was directed by Sam Raimi), 1987’s Raising Arizona was a screwball comedy miles removed from the dark, violent content of their previous movie, and it won over critics and audiences alike. Their fan base growing, the Coens went on to make Miller’s Crossing (1990), a stark gangster epic with a strong performance from John Turturro, whom the brothers also used to great effect in their next film, Barton Fink (1991). Fink earned Joel a Best Director award and a Golden Palm at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the festival’s Best Actor award for Turturro. A surreal, nightmarish movie revolving around a writer’s creative block, it was a heavily stylized, atmospheric triumph that further established the Coens as visionary arbiters of the bizarre.

Their 1994 follow-up to Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, was a relative critical and commercial disappointment, though it did boast the sort of heavily stylized, postmodern irony that had so endeared the brothers to their audience. Whatever failings The Hudsucker Proxy exhibited, however, were more than atoned for by the unquestionable success of the Coens’ next film, Fargo (1996). A black, violent crime comedy with a surprisingly warm heart, it recalled Blood Simple in its themes of greed, corruption, and murder, but provided more redemptive sentiment than was afforded to the characters of the previous film. The brothers shared a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their work, and another Oscar, for Best Actress, went to Frances McDormand, to whom Joel had been married since 1984. Following Fargo, the Coens went on to make The Big Lebowski in 1998. A blend of bungled crime and warped comedy, Lebowski was a laid-back, irreverent revision of the hardboiled L.A. detective genre. It met with mixed critical reception, though it did receive a Golden Bear nomination for Joel Coen at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1999, Ethan closed out the decade by publishing Gates of Eden, a collection of his short stories.

The Coens next served up the depression-era comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), which turned out to be their biggest box-office success at that time and spawned a Grammy-winning soundtrack. 2001 saw the release of The Man Who Wasn’t There, yet another ode to film noir and another award winner at Cannes. In 2003, Ethan and Joel were credited as executive producers on Terry Zwigoff’s hit comedy Bad Santa largely due to the fact that the origin of the film’s story came from the Coens. That same year, the brothers re-teamed with George Clooney (one of the stars of O Brother) for the screwball comedy Intolerable Cruelty. In 2004, the duo released The Ladykillers starring Tom Hanks, a remake of the classic British comedy. The film marked the first time Ethan Coen officially shared the directing credit with Joel, as well as the first time they shared producer credit. — Rebecca Flint

Toronto gets A Serious Man World Premiere

The Toronto International Film Festival announced today that the Coen Brothers new film A Serious Man will be premiering there.  The festival begins September 10th less than a month before the official US release date.

In one of their recent interviews, the Coen brothers revealed the sneak peek of their upcoming film, ‘A serious man’. The film revolves around a physics professor, Larry Gopnik, who suddenly encounters a series of unfortunate events. When he starts looking for ways to unravel the incidents, he finds a shocking coincidence between the events and finally, the truth would be revealed. Coen Brothers reveal that it is a period film, dating back to 1967. This time they have come up with the black comedy genre.

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen are equally excited like his audience over the movie launch at the theToronto film festival. This is not the first time that their movie is being screened at Toronto. Still, every year, the excitement and stress to perform better peaks up.

Recently, rumors have sparkled that the Coen brothers are having a tough time together and they are planning to separate. But the movie which is directed by the Coen brothers together shattered all the rumors. Personal questions during the interview sessions do not impress the Coen brothers. Recently, a journalist from one of the most reputed film magazines, encountered Joel with a question about their integrity and family? He really got annoyed and responded harshly. The Coen brothers are known to be unrepentant and unapologetic.

When it comes to doing films, the Coen brothers show high professionalism and there is nothing that they can’t do. Their films belong to a wide genre like high flying comedies, revenge tales, and hot romance. They have got picturesque eye, making every frame looks perfect and pleasing to eyes. So, with much expectations and speculations, the Coen brothers are going mark presence at the Toronto.  Once the movie is screened, we will release the first-hand review on our website and the audience get to know, ‘what is it worth?’. Brace yourselves to experience an absolute thriller!

Also participating in the festival will be new work from Michael Moore (Capitalism: A Love Story) and Werner Herzog (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans).

November 9th In Select Theaters

It is upon us, unprepared as always. For those of you in the chosen cities you’ll be seeing No Country For Old Men this Friday. I’ll be at the dentist. Hope you all enjoy.

Comment from Anonymous
Time December 17, 2007 at 10:38 PM

i hardly ever go to the theater but this film was worth the 11 dollars. i commend the bros. for making a compelling movie. and mr mcarthy for the incredible writing. this is proof that hollywood can make a movie that uses violence to make a point. i dont have the faculties to make a poignant interpretation of the underlying meanings but rest as sure i will be pondering it.

Comment from Koby Feldman
Time December 28, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Since you seem to be the top Coen Brothers site, I was hoping you could help me out. I’ve heard rumors that the Coen Brothers are planning on filming A Serious Man in their hometown of St. Louis Park, and are going to be looking for local people to be in the movie. I’m an actor, who has lived in St. Louis Park since I was 14. Do you know anything abotu this? You can e-mail me at

Comment from Cent
Time January 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I’m writing from .Cent Magazine in London where No Country for Old Men will soon be out. To mark the occasion I am putting together a piece on the Coen brothers and as part of this I am looking for fans to write reviews of their favourite Coen movies, tracking the boys career through the voices of the fans. If you want to write for an international art and style magazine then drop me an email on


Fashion Editor
.Cent Magazine

Comment from Mouths Of Dogs
Time February 16, 2008 at 7:28 PM

If you love this movie as much as the band Mouths Of Dogs did, you’ll love the song inspired by the movie, come listen to Dutchboy… I dare you.

…Capture the Sun

Comment from Kris Law
Time February 19, 2008 at 3:38 AM

anybody got the Coens brothers email add? if you do, pls email me at

Comment from Juanita’s Journal
Time February 24, 2008 at 11:49 PM

What Google did to me is amazing. It makes me aware of the new releases and provides options to book tickets online, which is cool for a film lover like me. Ethan and Joel do not fail to impress the audience every time with a creative plot and engaging screenplay.

Congratulations to Ethan and Joel Coen for winning Best Director and Best Picture.

Comment from fernando
Time August 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

spanish citizen
coen´s at its best
a metaphor of the violent country you got there
besides, stunnign performance of spanish actor bardem
you should watch all coen´s and bardem´s films
excuse my shitty english
let´s see your spanish

Write a comment

Interview – Coen Brothers – The Big Lebowski

The rascally Coen brothers have never been the best interview subjects, possibly because they rankle at the constant questions about their relationship with each other. (When asked by Elle magazine, “Do you guys ever fight?” Joel Coen replied, “That’s not an interesting question.”)

I feel that this kind of questions is totally irrelevant to the public. I even saw the journalists asking about the Coen brothers’ family and kids. The directors were not read to take up personal questions. Then, Joel insisted the journalists go right here to the queries about their films.

So it can be a somewhat painful experience to see the brilliant siblings in a hotel hospitality suite being bombarded with questions from a dozen journalists about everything except their movies. Awkward silences, long pauses, and a couple of audible groans were among the responses to various questions.

But when the topic of conversation narrows to specific questions about their hilarious film “The Big Lebowski” starring Jeff Bridges (as “The Dude”, a doobie smoking burn-out who gets mixed up in a wacky kidnapping scam), the boys open up (just a bit).

The movie, which also stars John Goodman, Julianne Moore and includes an hysterical cameo from John Turturro, returns the Coens to the comic-genius territory of “Raising Arizona”.

indieWIRE: You majored in philosophy at Princeton. What is your philosophy of filmmaking?

Ethan Coen: Oooh -I don’t have one.I wouldn’t even know how to begin. You’ve stumped me there. None that I’ve noticed. Drawing a blank on this one.

IW: How much did “The Big Sleep” influence “The Big Lebowski”?

Joel Coen: We wanted to do a Chandler kind of story – how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery. As well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.

Ethan: And there was something attractive about having the main character not be a private eye, but just some pothead intuitively figuring out the ins and outs of an elaborate intrigue. And then there’s Walter, whose instincts are always wrong.

iW: Why is kidnapping a favorite theme of yours?

Ethan: It just turned out that way. I don’t know why kidnapping has figured into three of our movies. Not because of any personal obsession.

iW: Did you ever run around with the kinds of Los Angeles bowling-dope-smoking types that are depicted in the film?

Joel: To tell you the truth, we’re still tourists in LA. We have lived there for short periods of time, but we’ve always really lived in New York. But the character of the Dude is based on a member of an amateur softball league, but we changed it to bowling because it was more visually compelling, and it’s the kind of sport you can do while you’re drinking and smoking. And it’s also very retro – just as the characters are products with an earlier time, it seems that there’s so much associated with bowling in terms of design, and specifically in LA.

iW: Is Jeff Dowd one of those types?

Joel: Yeah, Jeff Dowd [an indie producer’s rep and friend of the Coens] is certainly one of those types that the Dude is based on. . .

iW: What’s the attraction of setting the film specifically in 1991?

Ethan: Well, setting the film during the Gulf War was an opportunity to have Walter gas about something –

Joel: That’s the main reason.

Ethan: And it’s more attractive to make something time specific than just present day, because –

Joel: – because just what is present day?

iW: What will you do if you ever win an Oscar for editing? [The Coens edit their own films under the credited pseudonym Roderick Jaynes, a fictional British film editor who supposedly hates their work.]

Ethan: We actually had a discussion with the Academy about that. Proxies can’t accept anymore after Marlon Brando queered it for the rest of us.

iW: Did you set out on this movie to teach America what Nihilism means?

Ethan: (laughs) Nihilism strikes a terrible chord in Walter [John Goodman’s character] who is particularly horrified by it.

Joel: (bitterly sarcastic) Everything’s a lesson for America. 
This Text was taken from IndieWire



VOICE-OVER: My name is H. I. McDunnough …


With horizontal hatch lines.

VOICE-OVER: … Call me Hi.

A disheveled young man in a gaily colored Hawaiian shirt is

launched into frame by someone offscreen.

He holds a printed paddle that reads “NO. 1468-6 NOV.

29 79. ”

The hatch marks on the wall behind him are apparently

height markers.

VOICE-OVER: … The first time I met Ed was in the

county lock-up in Tempe, Arizona …

The success of movies largely depends on the way the script is written.  While depicting incidents similar to real life more care is needed.  People view these movies with various questions like who killed really, is it a scam (or) what exactly happened?  Besides script, the camera angles too play a good role.  Read on to know more.


As his picture is taken.


On the paddle: “NOV. 29 79.”

VOICE-OVER: … a day I’ll never forget.

A bellowing male voice from offscreen:

SHERIFF: Don’t forget the profile, Ed!


It is mounted on a tripod. A pretty young woman in a severe

police uniform peers out from behind it.

WOMAN: Turn to the right.

HI: What kind of name is Ed for a pretty thing like


ED: Short for Edwinna. Turn to the right!

Hi obliges, but still looks at ED Out of the corner of his eye.

HI: You’re a flower, you are. just a little desert flower.


On his eye-skewed profile.

HI: Lemme know how those come out.


As Hi is escorted away from the camera toward his cell.

At the far end of the corridor a huge con is sluggishly

mopping the floor.

VOICE-OVER: I was in for writing hot checks which,

when businessmen do it, is called an overdraft. I’m not

complainin’, mind you; just sayin’ there ain’t no pancake

so thin it ain’t got two sides. Now prison life is very

structured-more than most people care for …


Hi’s POV of the MOPPING CON, tracking as he approaches,

and the MOPPING CON’S POV of Hi as Hi approaches.

VO: … But there’s a spirit of camaraderie that exists

between the men, like you find only in combat

maybe …

The mopping. con snarls as Hi passes:

CON: Grrrr . . .

VO: … or on a pro ball club in the heat of a pennant



A ballplayer connects-THWOCK-for a home run and the

crowd roars.


Panning a circle of men who sit facing each other in folding

chairs. 7he pan starts on Hi.

VO: In an effort to better ourselves we were forced to

meet with a counselor who tried to help us figure out

why we were the way we were …

At this point the pan has reached the COUNSELOR, an

earnest, bearded young man who straddles a folding chair

with his arms folded over its back.

He is addressing one of the cons:

COUNSELOR: Why do you use the word “trapped”?


The huge muscle-bound black man with a shaved head is

knitting his brow in consternation.

CON: Huh?

COUNSELOR: Why do you say you feel “trapped” .

in a man’s body?

CON: Oh …

He bites his lip, thinking; then, in a resonant bass voice:

… Well, sometimes I get the menstrual cramps real



Three PAROLE OFFICERS-TWO men and a woman-face Hi

across a table.

CHAIRMAN: Have you learned anything, Hi?

HI: Yessir, you bet.

WOMAN: You wouldn’t lie to us, would you Hi?

HI: No ma’am, hope to say.

CHAIRMAN: Okay then.


A beat-up Chevy pulls into the all-night store’s empty

parking lot.

VO: I tried to stand up and fly straight, but it wasn’t

easy with that sumbitch Reagan in the White House …

Hi is getting out of the Chevy in a Hawaiian shirt, holding a

pump-action shotgun.

… I dunno, they say he’s a decent man, so …

He primes the shotgun-WHOOSH-CLACK-and heads for

the store.

… maybe his advisers are confused.


Full-face exposure of Hi once again in front of the mug-shot


ED: Turn to the right!

Hi obliges but shoots sympathetic glances at ED who is

obviously upset, wiping away tears and snuffling behind the


HI: What’s the matter, Ed?

ED: My fai-ants left me.

VO: She said her fiance had run off with a student

cosmetologist who knew how to ply her feminine wiles.


On Hi’s profile. He turns back to ED.

HI: That sumbitch.

SHERIFF (offscreen): Don’t forget his phone call, Ed!

HI: You tell him I think he’s a damn fool, Ed. You tell

him I said so-H. 1. McDunnough. And if he wants to

discuss it he knows where to find me …

As another police officer starts to lead him away:

HI: … in the Munroe County Maximum Security

Correctional Facility for Men …


Looking up through her tears as Hi is led away.

HI (OS): … State Farm Road Number Thirty-one;

Tempe, Arizona …


Struggling to call back over his shoulder as he is firmly led

out the door.

HI: … I’ll be waiting!

The door slams.


As Hi is once again escorted toward his cell.

The mopping CON is now in the middle-background,

having worked his way about halfway up the corridor since

last time we saw him.

VO: I can’t say I was happy to be back inside, but the

flood of familiar sights, sounds and faces almost made it

feel like a homecoming.


As Hi passes.

CON: Grrrr …


Group is meeting again.

COUNSELOR: Most men your age, Hi, are getting

married and raising up a family. They wouldn’t accept

prison as a substitute.

Hi looks sheepish.

COUNSELOR: … Would any of you men care to


Two convicts sitting next to each other, GALE and EVELLE,

appear to be friends.

GALE: But sometimes your career gotta come before


EVELLE: Work is what’s kept us happy.

ANGRY BLACK CON: Yeah, but Doc Schwartz is sayin’

you gotta accept responsibilities. I mean I’m proud to say

I got a family … somewheres.


Looking down from the ceiling. In the foreground, lying on

the top bunk, hands clasped behind his head as he stares off

into space is MOSES. MOSES is a gnarled, elderly black con

with wire-rimmed spectacles.

On the lower bunk, also with hands clasped behind his

head and staring off at the same spot in space, is Hi.

VO: I tried to sort through what the Doc had said, but

prison ain’t the easiest place to think.

MOSES: An’ when they was no meat we ate fowl. An’

when they was no fowl we ate crawdad. An’ when they

was no crawdad to be foun’, we ate San’.

HI: You ate what?

MOSES (nodding): We ate San’.

HI: You ate sand?!

MOSES: Dass right . . .


Hi faces the same three PAROLE OFFICERS across the same


CHAIRMAN: Well B, you done served your twenty

munce, and seeing as you never use live ammo, we got

no choice but to return you to society.

SECOND MAN: These doors goan swing wide.

HI: I didn’t want to hurt anyone, Sir.

SECOND MAN: Hi, we respect that.

CHAIRMAN: But you’re just hurtin’ yourself with this

rambunctious behavior.

HI: I know that, sir.

CHAIRMAN: Okay then.


Of a 7-Eleven parking lot, at night, deserted except for Hi’s

car which sits untended, its engine rumbling.

VO: Now I don’t know how you come down on the

incarceration question …

Hi backpedals into frame with a shotgun and a bag of cash.

… whether it’s for rehabilitation or revenge .

He spins and grabs his car-door handle. Locked. He tries the

back door. Locked.

… But I was beginning to think …

As we hear the wail of an approaching siren, Hi takes it on

the heel and toe.

… that revenge is the only argument makes any



On Hi against the mug-shot wall.

ED: Turn to the right!

SHERIFF (OS): Don’t forget his latents, Ed!


We see his right hand being efficiently manipulated by ED’S

two hands: She is rolling each of his inked fingers into the

appropriate space on an exemplar sheet.

HI (OS): Hear about the paddy-wagon collided with the

see-ment mixer, Ed? . . . Twelve hardened criminals


ED titters offscreen.

ED (OS): I heard that one.

She is done rolling off his prints. Her hand lingers on top of

his. Hi’s other hand enters to rest on top of hers.

HI (OS): Got a new beau?

ED (OS): No, Hi, I sure don’t.

Hi slips a ring off his own finger and slides it onto ED’S.

HI (OS): Don’t worry, I paid for it.


The surly MOPPING CON has now worked his way up to the


Hi is being escorted past him to his cell.

VO: They say that absence makes the heart grow

fonder, and for once they may be right.

Halfway up the corridor Hi points casually at the floor.

HI: You missed a spot.

The MOPPING CON turns to watch him recede.

CON: Grrrr …


Same high shot with MOSES on the top bunk, Hi on the lower.

VO: More and more my thoughts turned to Ed, and I

finally felt the pain of imprisonment.

MOSES: An’ momma would frow the live crawdad in a

pot of boihn’ water. Well one day I decided to make my

own crawdad …

We begin to crane down to tighten on the absently staring Hi.

… an’ I frew it in a pot, forgettin’ to put in the water,

ya see …

MOSES’ voice is mixing down as we lose him from frame.

… and it was like I was makin’ popcorn, ya see …

VO: The joint is a lonely place after lock-up and fights

out …

We are now very close on Hi, staring.

… when the last of the cons has been swept away by

the sandman.


The underside of the top bunk.

A sudden flash whitens and fades to leave the image Of ED,

smiling behind her camera, softly supered on the underside of

the bunk.


He wearily turns his head to profile on the pillow and shuts

his eyes.

VO: But I couldn’t help thinking that a brighter future

lay ahead-a future that was only eight to fourteen

months away.

Eyes closed, he is illuminated by a flash.


Hi and the same three officers.

CHAIRMAN: Got a name for people like you, Hi. That

name is called recidivism.

SECOND MAN: Ree-peat 0-fender.

CHAIRMAN: Not a pretty name, is it, Hi?

HI: No Sir, it sure ain’t. That’s one bonehead name.

But that ain’t me anymore.

CHAIRMAN: You’re not just tellin’ us what we wanna


HI: No Sir, no way.

SECOND MAN: ‘Cause we just wanna hear the truth.

HI: Well then I guess I am tellin’ you what you wanna


CHAIRMAN: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?

HI: Yessir.

CHAIRMAN: Okay then.


Over Hi’s shoulder as he strides toward a door marked

“Processing” and flings it open.

It is the familiar booking room. ED looks up from her

camera, having just snapped a picture of another suspect

against the hatched wall.

HI: I’m walkin’ in here on my knees, Ed-a free man


Hi cocks a finger at the suspect.

HI: Howdy Kurt.


As she nervously frets at her white bridal gown in front of a


VO: And so it was.

SHERIFF (OS): Don’t forget the boo-kay, Ed!


Gazing earnestly into the camera. A congregation is seated

behind her-the bride’s side wearing police blues; the groom’s

side, Hawaiian shirts.

ED: I do.


Also staring into the camera.

HI: You bet I do.


Over their shoulders, the minister.

MINISTER: Okay then.


On the newlyweds smiling at the camera.


On the newlyweds smiling at each other, profile to the



In the middle of a vast expanse of desert.

VO: Ed’s pa staked us to a starter home in suburban

Tempe …


Hi is working the drill press, wearing goggles and sweat-

stained overalls.

VO: … and I got a job drilling holes in sheet metal.

Next to him idly stands Bud, a veteran of the shop, with a

grimy face and a pair of goggles pushed up on his forehead.

BUD: So we was doin’ paramedical work in affiliation

with the state highway system-not actually practicin’,

y’understand-and me and Bill’s patrollin’ down Nine


HI: Bill Roberts?

BUD (barking): No, not that motherscratcher! Bill

Parker! Anyway, we’re approachin’ the wreck, and

there’s a spherical object a-restin’ on the highway …

He pauses to blow and pop a bubble with his chewing gum.

… And it don’t look like a piece a the car.

VO: Mostways the job was a lot like prison, except Ed

was waifin’ at the end of every day …


Hi is scowling at his paycheck. Behind the barred window a

fat cashier grins.

VO: … and a paycheck at the end of every week.

CASHIER: Gummint do take a bite, don’t she?


Hi sits in a lawn chair in front of the trailer. ED sits on his

lap, his arms around her.

Both are wearing sunglasses, looking at the setting sun.

The scene is suff-used with a warm yellow light.

VO: These were the happy days, the salad days as they

say …

As the sun sets, the light is turning from yellow to amber. Hi

and ED watch, their heads following its slow downward arc.

. . . and Ed felt that having a critter was the next

logical step. It was all she thought about.

The amber is turning to a more neutral dusky light as the sun

has set. Hi and ED continue to stare at the point where it


… Her point was that there was too much love and

beauty for just the two of us . . .

The dusk is slipping away into darkness.

… and every day we kept a child out of the world

was a day he might later regret having missed.

We are by now holding on pitch black. Crickets chirp. From

the darkness:

ED: That was beautiful.


ED is crossing off the last day on the calendar before a day

circled in red.

VO: So we worked at it on the days we calculated most

likely to be fruitful …


Hi is wearily entering after a long day at work, clutching his


VO: … and we worked at it most other days just to be


ED flies into frame and leaps into his arms, covering him with



In each other’s arms, Hi and ED roll over on the bed.

VO: Seemed like nothing could stand in our way

now …

We pan with them rolling and continue off them to the night

table, on which sits a framed pair of photographs of Hi,

probably taken by ED: One shows him full face, the other in



ED Sits in a lawn chair knitting a booty. Hi stands in

Bermuda shorts and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, hosing

down the minuscule patch of front lawn.

VO: … My lawless years were behind me; our child

rearin’ years lay ahead.


A squad car, its siren wailing, kicks up dust as it roars into

the foreground.

VO: So we worked at it on the days we calculated most

likely to be fruitful …


Hi is wearily entering after a long day at work, clutching his


VO: … and we worked at it most other days just to be


ED flies into frame and leaps into his arms, covering him with



In each other’s arms, Hi and ED roll over on the bed.

VO: Seemed like nothing could stand in our way

now …

We pan with them rolling and continue off them to the night

table, on which sits a framed pair of photographs of Hi,

probably taken by ED: One shows him full face, the other in



ED Sits in a lawn chair knitting a booty. Hi stands in

Bermuda shorts and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, hosing

down the minuscule patch of front lawn.

VO: … My lawless years were behind me; our child

rearin’ years lay ahead.


A squad car, its siren wailing, kicks up dust as it roars into

the foreground.


Hi and ED are seated on folding chairs facing an agent’s desk.

Hi wears a sport coat over his Hawaiian shirt. ED is in her

dress blues.

HI: It’s true I’ve had a checkered past, but Ed here is

an officer of the law twice decorated . . .


Looking, with a dead pan, from the file to Hi.

HI: … So we figure it kind of evens out.

His face still deadly neutral, the agent looks back down at the

file and unfolds the accordioned rap sheet, revealing it to be a

couple feet long.

VO: … But biology and the prejudices of others

conspired to keep us childless.


On ED as she stares vacantly out the passenger window.

VO: Our love for each other was stronger than

ever . . .


Driving. He looks from ED Out to the road.

VO: … but I preminisced no return of the salad days.


Over Hi’s shoulder as he stares listlessly at himself in the

mirror, a razor held forgotten in one hand, his face half

lathered and half shaved.

VO: The pizzazz had gone out of our lives.


The bedroom is somewhat messy. ED sits on the edge of the

bed, also staring listlessly. Her police uniform is on but not

yet buttoned. Her hands lie palm-up in her lap, like two dead.


VO: Ed lost all interest in both criminal justice and

housekeeping. Soon after, she tendered her badge.


Once again Hi works as his sweaty gum-chewing colleague

stands idly by.

VO: Even my job seemed as dry and bitter as a hot

prairie wind.

BUD: So here comes Bill a-walkin’ down Nine Mile-

that’s Bill Parker, y’understand-got his sandwich in one

hand, the fuckin’ head in the other …


Alone in his Chevy. He looks to the side.

VO: I even caught myself drivin’ by convenience

stores …



VO: … that weren’t on the way home.


Hi and ED Sit listlessly watching TV.

VO: Then one day the biggest news hit the state since

they built the Hoover Dam …

ED perks up, reacting to something on TV. Hi notices her

reaction and also sloughs off his stupor to watch.

… The Arizona quints was born.


A newscaster silently reading copy. Behind him news footage

of five nurses holding infants mortices in.

VO: By “Arizona” quints I mean they was born to a

woman named Florence Arizona.


Watching intently. Eyes still locked on the set, ED reaches her

hand out to Hi. Eyes still locked on the set, Hi takes her hand

in his.

VO: As you probably guessed, Florence Arizona is the

wife of Nathan Arizona. And Nathan Arizona-well hell,

you know who he is …


NATHAN ARIZONA, a stocky middle-aged man in a white

polyester suit, is gesturing expansively with his white cowboy

hat toward a one-story warehouse store with a football

stadium parking lot, chroma-keyed in behind him.

NATHAN ARIZONA (mixing up on the TV): So come on

down to Unpainted Arizona for the finest selection in

fixtures and appointments for your bathroom, bedroom,


VO: … The owner of the largest chain of unpainted

furniture and bathroom fixture outlets throughout the


NATHAN ARIZONA: And if you can find lower prices

anywhere my name ain’t Nathan Arizona!


As they slowly look from the TV set toward each other.


Hi lounges near one of the vending machines as a

businessman puts in a quarter.

VO: Yep, Florence had been taking fertility pills, and

she and Nathan had hit the jackpot.

The businessman takes his newspaper and releases the

machine door as he turns to leave.

Hi snags the door before it closes and takes his own five-

finger discount copy.

He flips the paper over to look at the headline.


The banner headline of the Tempe Intelligencer is:

ARIZONA QUINTS GO HOME! The subhead: “More Than We

Can Handle,’ Laughs Dad.” Next to it is a picture of


VO: Now y’all who’re without sin can cast the first

stone …

A pull back from the paper shows Hi and ED reading it

together at home. They look from the paper to each other.

Hi opens to an inside page and we pan a row of pictures-

the five tots with their names underneath: HARRY, BARRY,


… but we thought it was unfair that some should

have so many while others should have so few.


In the middle of the desert. It reads: “WELCOME TO



We are floating in toward ED who is seated, waiting, in the

driver’s seat of Hi’s Chevy. Hi enters frame and cinches down

a ladder that is tied to the roof of the car. Pieces of red flag

flutter at either end of the ladder where it sticks out beyond

the car.

vo: With the benefit of hindsight maybe it wasn’t such

a hot idea …

Hi gets in the car.


It starts down the long, winding road leading away from the

trailer, kicking up dust.

vo: … but at the time, Ed’s little plan seemed like the

solution to all our problems, and the answer to all our


The title of the film burns in: RAISING ARIZONA

A building chord snaps off in a shock cut to:


Tableau of a couple at home. NATHAN ARIZONA is on the

telephone, his stocking feet up on an ottoman. FLORENCE Sits

reading Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care.

The living room is dominated by a large oil portrait of

NATHAN and FLORENCE, gazing out from the wall over the


NATHAN (into the phone): Eight hundred leaf tables and

no chairs?! You can’t sell leaf tables and no chairs! Chairs,

you got a dinette set! No chairs, you got dick! I ask my

wife she got more sense! …

A title is supered: THE ARIZONA HOUSEHOLD

From somewhere upstairs we hear an infant start to cry.’

FLORENCE stops reading and looks up at the ceiling. NATHAN

is oblivious.

NATHAN: … Miles, alls I know is I’m away from the

office to have me some kids and everything goes straight

to heck! I ain’t gonna stand for it!

Another title is supered below the first: SEPTEMBER 17, 1985

The baby stops crying and FLORENCE’s attention returns to

her book.

… Yeah, and if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump

his ass a-hoppin’! I’m sick of your excuses, Miles! It is

now …

As he throws out his wrist to look at his watch a third title is

supered beneath the first two: 8:45 P.m.

. . .8:45 in the P.m. I’m gonna be down to the store in

exactly twelve hours to kick me some butt!

He starts to replace the receiver but brings it back with an


. . .Or my name ain’t Nathan Arizona!

As he slams the phone into the cradle the titles disappear.

Another baby starts crying. FLORENCE looks up at the


NATHAN: That sounds like Larry.

Close on the crying baby as Hi bounces it, gently but


HI: Shhhh! Shh! Nice baby . . .

He starts to lower it back into the crib. The crib is unpainted

with the name of each baby burned Bonanza-style into the

headboard: Harry, Barry, Larry, Garry, and Nathan Jr.

Instead of quieting as he is lowered into the crib, the

squalling baby only sets off one of his brothers. Hi hurriedly

lifts him back out.

He looks desperately around the room.

The room is wallpapered with nursery rhyme characters.

There are toys strewn around. There is one adult-sized easy

chair in the corner.

Hi carries the baby over to the chair, stepping on and

reacting to the squeal of a squeeze-me toy on the way. He sits

the baby deep in- the chair and then returns to the crib to deal

with the second crying baby.

He lifts the baby out of the crib and gently bounces it. This

baby stops crying.

Another one in the crib starts bawling.

Hi sets the second baby down on the floor and gives it a

rattle to keep it pacified. He reaches for the third baby in the

crib. Sweat stands out on Hi’s brow. He is desperately

chucking the third baby under the chin when we hear a

muffled pthump!

He whirls to look across the darkened room.

The first baby has dropped off the easy chair and is

energetically crawling away toward a shadowy corner.


NATHAN and FLORENCE are sitting stock-still, staring at the

ceiling. After a moment, another baby starts crying.

NATHAN: What’re they, playing telephone?

They stare at the ceiling.


Loose babies are crawling everywhere.

Hi is skittering across the room in a half-crouch, a baby

tucked under one arm, reaching out with the other as he

pursues a crawling baby across the room.

He hefts the other baby with his free arm and brings the

air back to the crib.

He turns to look frantically around the room.

The other three babies have disappeared.

There is perfect quiet.

Hi goes over to the closet door, which is ajar, and swings it


He reaches under a moving pile of clothes on the floor and

pulls out a baby.

He returns it to the crib and freezes, listening.

The sound of a rattle.

He drops to the floor to look under the crib.


A baby holding a rattle leers into the camera in the

foreground. Behind him Hi, on his stomach, is reaching in to

grab at his leg.

Hi is pulling the baby out, away from the camera, when

with a plop! a baby drops onto Hi’s back from the crib above.

Hi twists one arm back to grope for the baby crawling on

top of him.

He is straightening up, a baby in each arm, when he reacts

in horror to something he sees across the room.


The hindquarters of a diapered baby are just disappearing

around the corner of the nursery door into the hallway.


FLORENCE and NATHAN are staring at the ceiling. After a

beat we hear a muffled plop! on the ceiling. A beat later, the

bleat of the squeeze-me toy.

NATHAN: … Whyn’t you go up and check on ’em?

They sound restless.


The floor-level wide-angle shot shows a baby crawling toward

the camera in the foreground. Behind him, in the background,

just rounding the open door from the nursery, yet another

baby is making a mad dash for freedom.

Hi emerges from the nursery and, stepping around the

background baby, trots toward the baby in the foreground. By

the time he reaches it the low-angle cropping shows us only

his feet and calves.


Perspiring as he tiptoes the last two steps to the baby.


The baby and, beyond it, the stairway down to the main floor.

We hear footsteps approaching.


He scoops up the baby and hurriedly tiptoes away toward the



The baby at the nursery door in the foreground; the staircase

in the background. As Hi reaches the baby we hear footsteps

climbing the stairs.

HI’S free arm comes down into frame to scoop the baby up

and out of frame just as:

FLORENCE’s head appears, bobbing up as she climbs the


She approaches the nursery, still clutching the Dr. Spock



As FLORENCE enters from the hallway door.

We track back into the room, on her, as she approaches the

crib. Halfway there she freezes, staring, in shock.


All of the babies have been replaced in the crib but not lying

down: They are seated in a row, staring back at her, lined up

against the far crib railing, like a small but distinguished

panel on “Meet the Press.”


ED’S point of view of Hi approaching the car. He is shrugging

and displaying a pair of manifestly empty hands.


Barely able to fight down her anger. Hissing:

ED: What’s the matter?!

Hi appears at her-the driver’s-window.

HI: Sorry honey, it just didn’t work out.

He is reaching to open the door but she slaps his hand away

from the handle.

ED: What d’you mean it didn’t work out?!

HI: They started cryin’, then they were all over me . . .

He is trying to open the door, which ED is holding shut with

all her might.

… It was kinda horrifying-Lemme in, honey.

ED: Course they cried! Babies cry!

HI: I know that now! Come on honey, we better


ED is rolling up the window and locking the door.

ED: You go right back up there and get me a toddler! I

need a baby, Hi; they got more’n they can handle!

Muffled, through the closed window, and very forlorn:

HI: Aw honey I-

ED: Don’t you come back here without a baby!


FLORENCE is holding one of the babies cradled against her

shoulder. She is facing the hallway door; her back is to the

crib and window. The baby, peeping out over her shoulder, is

facing the window.




Of the window, as Hi’s head appears in it.




Looking back, he holds a finger to his lips.


FLORENCE starts bouncing it, patting it on the back.


Hi and the window bouncing up and down.


NATHAN is leafing through the lingerie ads in the newspaper.

We can hear FLORENCE’s returning footsteps. Muttering:

NATHAN: Christian Dior my butt . . .

FLORENCE enters.

… They pay money for that?

FLORENCE: Yes dear.

NATHAN: How’re the kids?

FLORENCE: Fine dear.

NATHAN: Fuckin’ kids, I love ’em.

We hear the bleat of the squeeze-me toy. FLORENCE and

NATHAN look at the ceiling for a beat, then NATHAN clears his

throat and returns to the newspaper.


ED sits anxiously waiting in the driver’s seat, peering

intently through the windshield. As she catches sight of

something she breaks into a broad smile, unlocks the door,

and slides over to the passenger seat.

Hi is opening the door with one hand, cradling a baby in

the other.

ED: Which one ya get?

As he gets into the driver’s seat:

HI: I dunno. Nathan Jr., I think.

ED: Gimme here.

He hands her the infant, then hands her the copy of Dr.

Spock’s Baby and Child Care.

HI: Here’s the instructions.

ED: Oh, he’s beautiful!

Hi nods as he pulls away from the curb.

HI: He’s awful damn good. I think I got the best one.

ED is gushing and kissing the baby through the rest of the


ED: I bet they were all beautiful. AU babies are


HI: Yeah. This one’s awful damn good though.

ED: Don’t you cuss around him.

HI: He’s fine, he is. I think it’s Nathan Jr.

ED: We are doin’ the right thing, aren’t we Hi?-l

mean, they had more’n they could handle.

HI: Well now honey we been over this and over this.

There’s what’s right and there’s what’s right, and never

the twain shall meet.

ED: But you don’t think his momma’ll be upset? I mean


HI: Well a course she’ll be upset, sugar, but she’ll get

over it. She’s got four little babies almost as good as this

one. It’s like when I was robbin’ convenience stores-

ED suddenly bursts out crying.

ED: I love him so much!

HI: I know you do, honey.

ED (still sobbing): I love him so much!


As the lights are thrown on. The room is hung with

streamers. A string of cut-out letters reads “Welcome Home


HI (OS): Okay, bring him in!


ED is entering with NATHAN JR.

HI: This is it young Nathan Jr. Just feast your eyes

about, old boy!

ED: Don’t be so loud around him, Hi.

HI: (softly): Damn, I’m sorry honey.

ED: And don’t you cuss around him.

HI: Aw, he don’t know a cuss word from shinola.

ED: Well see that he don’t.

HI (jovially): He’s all right, he is.

He reaches for the child.

… Come on over here, Nathan Jr., I’ll show you


He takes the baby in both hands and holds him out at arm’s

length, pointing him at the various places of interest. The

baby looks google-eyed at each one.

… Lookahere, young sportsman. That-there’s the

kitchen area where Ma and Pa chow down. Over there’s

the TV, two hours a day maximum, either educational or

football so’s you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer

things. This-here’s the divan, for sociahzin’ and relaxin’

with the family unit. Yessir, many’s the day we sat there

and said wouldn’t it be nice to have a youngster here to

share our thoughts and feelin’s-

Impatient with the nonsense:

ED: He’s tired, Hi.

HI: Well we’ll just sit you right there, boy …

He is propping NATHAN JR. up in the corner of the couch. Hi

sits at the other corner and ED Sits in a facing chair.

… Just put those dogs up’n take a load off.

Hi beams at NATHAN JR. ED smiles at NATHAN JR. NATHAN

IR. looks from one to the other, deadpan. They seem to be

waiting for him to contribute to the conversation.


Suddenly Hi slaps his knee.

HI: What are you kiddin’?! We got a family here!

ED is getting up.

… He’s a scandal, honey! He’s a little outlaw!

As she picks up the baby:

ED: He’s a good boy.

HI: He ain’t too good! You can tell by that twinkle in his


ED: Don’t you think we should put him to bed?

HI: Hang on, honey …

He is frantically reaching for a Polaroid camera.

… Let’s us preserve the moment in pictures!

ED: just one, okay? …

She sits down on the couch with NATHAN IR. as Hi starts

screwing the camera into a tripod.

…I gotta tell ya, I’m a little scared

Absently, as he sets up the camera:

HI: How come is that, honey?

ED: Well we got a baby, Hi. It’s an awful big


As he peers through the lens:

HI: Honey, could ya slide over a tad and raise the

nipper up?

As she complies:

ED: I mean we never done this before and I’m kinda


HI: You’re doin’ real good, sugar.

Hi sits on the couch, holding the camera’s cable release. He

puts his arm around ED and smiles at the offscreen camera.

ED nestles her head against Hi’s shoulder.

ED: I love you, Hi.

HI: We’re set to pop here, honey.

ED: You’re gonna help, aren’t ya?

Through his teeth as he continues to grin at the offscreen


HI: How’s that, honey?

ED: Give Nathan Jr. a normal family background, just

quiet evenings at home together …

We begin to hear distant thunder.

HI: You can count on it, honey.

ED: … Everything decent’n normal from here on out.

HI: Uh-huh.

As he squeezes the cable release-FLASH-the image

momentarily freezes on Hi beaming, NATHAN JR. staring, and

ED looking at Hi with a little bit of concern.


The rolling thunder has built to a thunderclap at the cut, and

the flash of the Polaroid match cuts to lightning throwing a

momentarily harsh glare on the field.

Rain beats down on the bare patch of ground we are

looking at-by now just a patch of mud.

Faraway lightning flickers and we hear the rumble of more

thunder approaching, then suddenly:

THWACK -A head pops up out of the mud. It is GALE, the

con we saw in group therapy. He bellows as lightning and

thunder flash and crack nearby.

His head is covered with mud, although the driving rain is

already starting to wash it away.

We are beginning to track in an arc around GALE’s head,

who is now struggling, working to get his shoulders and

arms up out of the mud. The end of the 180-degree arc and a

flash of lightning reveal, way in the distance, the wire-topped

walls of a penitentiary.

Still bellowing, as if in some primal rage, GALE has gotten

his muck-covered arms up out of the earth and is now

pushing down to haul up the rest of his body. It comes with

much effort, and with the loud sucking-popping sounds of the

fiercely clinging mud.

Finally he is free.

With a great cry, the mud-covered man plunges his right

arm straight back down into the earth, all the way up to his

shoulder. He gropes intently and then, apparently having

grabbed hold of something underground, he starts pulling.

His arm comes slowly back up out of the mud. Clasped in

his hand is-a human foot.

Bellowing with effort he continues to pull, liberating the

foot … leg … torso of his companion, and finally his head.

As the rain starts to wash the mud off his companion’s

head we see that it is his friend EVELLE.

Both are bellowing.

Mud sucks and pops.

Thunder crashes.


At the cut the ear-splitting thunder drops out to quiet. We

hear only the muffled patter of rain and the hum of a bare


The two bedraggled escaped cons are standing side by side,

combing their hair in the mirror. The men seem absorbed in

their task, using hair jelly from a jar that sits on the shelf

between them to restore their duck’s-ass haircuts.

EVELLE cracks the bathroom door and looks out into the


EVELLE: … Okay.

GALE: What is it?

EVELLE: Mercury. Looks nice.


The two men are trotting out to a Mercury that sits untended

at a gas island, a gas hose on automatic stuck in its tank.

AS GALE starts up the car EVELLE yanks the hose out and

drops it to the ground. GALE is already starting to peel out as

EVELLE gets in.


Late at night. Hi sits asleep on the sofa at the far end of the

room, in a pool of lamp light.

We hear faint, distant knocking. As we track in toward Hi

the knocking becomes louder and more present.

As we approach Hi we see that several Polaroids are spread

over his gently rising and falling chest.

By the time we tighten on his face the knocking has become

quite loud.

VOICE: Open up!

Hi starts awake with a grunt.

. . .Open up in air!

He looks up, alarmed.


The front door of the trailer. Someone is pounding


VOICE: Open up! It’s a police!


He sits up and tenses. He looks around.

ED stands in her nightgown at the mouth of the hallway,

holding NATHAN JR. and squinting at Hi. She hisses:

ED: Hi! What’s goin’ on?

VOICE: Po-lice, son! Open her up!

Hi gets to his feet, hurriedly tosses the Polaroids under a

cushion of the couch and takes out a gun.

HI: Get in the bedroom.

ED: They ain’t gonna take Nathan?!

HI: Well I’d like to see ’em fty.

AS ED turns back to the bedroom:

VOICE: Open up and maybe we’ll letcha plea-bargain.


As ED enters and shuts the door. She listens hard at the door:

Hi’s footsteps cross the living room, the click of the door

opening, silence … a burst of raucous male laughter.

HI’S VOICE: … Honey! Come on out here! Want you

to meet a couple friends of mine!


AS ED enters, carrying NATHAN IR. All three men-Hi,

GALE, and EVELLE-are beaming at her.

HI: Honey, like you to meet Gale and Evelle Snopes,

fine a pair as ever broke and entered.

GALE roars with laughter.

… Boys, this-here’s my wife.

GALE: Ma’am.

EVELLE: Miz McDunnough.

ED smiles politely, then squints at Hi.

ED: Kind of late for visitors, isn’t it Hi?

HI: Well yeah honey, but these boys tell me they just

got outta the joint. Gotta show a little hospitality.

GALE is admiring the baby.

GALE: Well now H. I., looks like you been up to the

devil’s bidnis!

EVELLE: That a him or a her?

ED: It’s a little boy.

GALE: Got a name, does he?

Hi and ED look at each other uncomfortably. Hi clears his


HI: Well so far we just been using Junior.

ED: We call him junior.

EVELLE: Say, thairs good-J.R., just like on the Teevee.

GALE is staring at the streamers and decorations. Reading


GALE: “Welcome … Home … Son.” Where’s he


Hi and ED respond simultaneously:

HI: Tulsa.

ED: Phoenix.

HI: He was, uh … he was visiting his grandparents.

ED: They’re separated.

GALE: Was that yer folks ma’am?

ED: No, I’m afraid not.

GALE: I thought yer folks was dead, H.I.?

HI (very uncomfortably): Well we thought Junior should

see their final resting place-Whyn’t you boys have a


As the two men move toward the couch ED hesitantly pipes


ED: Hi, it’s two in the morning …

She wrinkles her nose.

… What’s that smell?


GALE: We don’t always smell like this, Miz

McDunnough. I was just explainin’ to yer better haff here

that when we were tunnehn’ out we hit the main

sewer-dumb luck, that-and just followed that to-

ED: You mean you busted out of jail!!

GALE: Waaaal …

EVELLE: We released ourselves on our own


GALE: What Evelle means to say is, we felt the

institution no longer had anything to offer us .

He is looking at the baby.

… My Lord he’s cute.

EVELLE: He’s a little outlaw, you can see that.

ED: Now listen, you folks can’t stay here!

GALE, EVELLE, and Hi look up at ED, dumbstruck. After a


EVELLE: … Ma’am?

ED: You just can’t stay! I appreciate your bein’ friends

of HI and all, but this is a decent family now …

She looks at Hi.

… I mean we got a toddler here!

GALE leans in close to Hi, a look of sincere concern on his

face, and says under his breath:

GALE: Say, who wears the pants round here H.I.?

HI: Now honey-

ED: Don’t you honey me. Now you boys can set a

while and catch up, and then you’ll be on your way.

There is an awkward silence as she leaves and slams the

bedroom door.

GALE is carefully studying his thumbnail; EVELLE stares

fixedly at the ceiling. Still looking at his thumb:

GALE: Gotcha on a awful short leash, don’t she H.I.?


Sometime later, as Hi tiptoes in. ED lies in bed facing the

wall; we see only the back of her head. Hi sits gingerly on the

edge of the bed and, smiling, sticks a finger through the bars

of the crib to play with the baby.

The sound of the TV set in the living room filters faintly


ED: They stiff here?

Hi is momentarily startled, then goes on playing with the


HI: Yeah, they’re just gonna stay a day or two. It’s

raining out honey, they got nowhere to go.

ED finally turns to face him. We hear the two men laugh

raucously in the living room.

ED: They’re fugitives, Hi …

HI turns to face her.

. . .How’re we gonna start a new life with them


HI: Well now honey you gotta have a little charity. Ya

know, in Arab lands they’d set out a plate-

ED: Promise just a day or two.

HI: Tonight and tomorrow, tops.


Looking straight down at Hi, asleep in bed. It is later:

filtering softly in from the other room is the end of the “Star

Spangled Banner” on TV. We are craning down.

VO: That night I had a dream .


For a brief moment we see a wall of flames and hear it roar.


Still craning down.

VO: … I’d drifted off thinkin’ about happiness, birth,

and new fife …


Wall of flames. Deafening roar.


Craning down. The faint National Anthem ends: we hear the

WEEEEEEEE of a test pattern.

VO: … but now I was haunted by a vision of-


Roaring. At the cut: WHOOOOOSH! a huge low-rider

motorcycle bursts through the flames, its engine roaring even

louder than the fire. Its driver is a huge leather-clad hellion.

The chains worn by the BIKER clank ominously as he rides.

VO: He was horrible . . .

The BIKER roars out of frame.


As the BIKER roars into frame, his rear tire laying down a

wake of fire.

VO: … a lone biker of the apocalypse . . .


As he roars along a ribbon of desert highway.

VO: . . . a man with all the powers of heR at his


The BIKER reaches for his bullwhip.

… He could turn the day into night . . .

The BIKER cracks the whip and, at the crack:

The sky behind him turns instantly to black. Bolts of

lightning crackle across it as thunder roars.


Tracking with and also in on the BIKER from behind as he

roars along a strip of highway. He is reaching for the two

sawed-off shotguns which are strapped crisscross across his


VO: . . . and laid to waste everything in his path.


Pulling the BIKER from a distance as he levels the two

shotguns. The tracking camera pulls back further to reveal a

running jack-rabbit keeping pace with us in the foreground.

VO: He was especially hard on the little things . . .

CRACK-as the first shotgun spurts orange the foreground

rabbit keels over. The BIKER slues the other gun around.


On a rock in the foreground, a desert lizard suns himself.

The BIKER is approaching in the distant background.

VO: . . . the helpless and the gentle creatures.

CRACK-from afar, the foreground lizard is blown away.


Of the empty desert road stretching away. In the foreground

a lone desert flower blooms.

The BIKER roars into frame.

VO: He left a scorched earth in his wake, befouling

even the sweet desert breeze that whipped across his


As the BIKER roars away, the foreground flower bends with

his draft and then bursts into flame.


From in front. He twirls the shotguns in either hand and

reaches back to plunge them over his shoulders into their


VO: I didn’t know where he came from or why . . .

We are moving in on his chest, where two crisscrossed

bandoliers carry two rows of hand grenades, their silver pins

glinting in the sun. We follow the line of one of the bandoliers

up to his right shoulder which bears the tattoo: “Mama

Didn’t Love Me.”

I didn’t know if he was dream or vision . . .


From behind, booming down as we track. We are approaching

the crest of a rise.

VO: But I feared that I myself had unleashed him …


Of the BIKER approaching, craning down as he draws near.

VO: … for he was The Fury That Would Be …

With the crane down we momentarily lose him from view

over the rise; then suddenly-ROAR-he tops the rise and,

wheels spinning, is airborne


As he crashes back down to earth in the foreground and roars

away. Only now we are no longer in the desert: We are

looking down a twilit street at the end of which is the Arizona


VO: … as soon as Florence Arizona found her little

Nathan gone.

The roar of his engine and clank of his chains recede as the

BIKER qraduall’y dissolves into thin air.

We are left looking at the empty street and the faraway

Arizona house.

The receding roar has left behind eerily beautiful singing, a

woman singing a lullaby. Faintly, behind the singing, there

is also a droning high-pitched noise.

The camera starts floating forward very close to the

ground, moving slowly toward the Arizona house. The high-

pitched drone is becoming less faint under the singing.

The camera is accelerating. The drone is growing louder-

we can now tell that it is a human scream.

As we approach the Arizona house we can see that a ladder

is propped up to a second-story window.

We are moving quite fast now. The scream all but buries

the singing.

We are rushing toward the house, toward the base of the

ladder, the sustained scream drawing us on.

We hurtle toward and then straight up the ladder with

no abatement of speed, sucked forward by the deafening


We reach the top and hurtle-THWAP!-through the

white curtains of the open second-story window into the

nursery to reveal FLORENCE ARIZONA, her back to us,

screaming over the crib.

We are rocketing toward her.

She is turning to us, hands pressed to her ears, mouth

stretched wide in an ear-splitting shriek and we are rushing

into an extreme close-up of her gaping mouth and her wildly

vibrating epiglottis and we



As they snap open.

The screaming snaps off at the cut. The singing that the

building scream covered, however, is now audible again.

Perspiration beads Hi’s forehead. He looks down toward the

foot of the bed.


It is now morning. ED walks back and forth, gently bouncing

the baby as she walks. She is singing it a lullaby.

Faintly, from the next room, we can hear GALE and EVELLE

snoring away like buzz saws.

Hi (groggily): He all right?

ED: He’s all right. He was just havin’ a nightmare.

Hi is getting out of bed.

HI: Yeah, well . . .

He crosses to the bedroom window and cracks the venetian

blind. Orange light filters in.


Beyond a clothes line and a septic tank, a huge orange ball of

sun is rising. We can almost hear the roar of its burning




HI: … Sometimes it’s a hard world for little things.


The orange sun, rumbling, perceptibly rising.


At the cut the rumble of the sun is snapped off by the high-

pitched ba-WEEEEeeee . . . of a strobe going off as a flash

picture is taken: We are looking over NATHAN SR.’S shoulder

as he stands at his open front door, facing a battery of press

people who stand out on the porch.

An obie light over a local TV news camera glares in at us;

various flashbulbs pop.

NATHAN: -No, the missus and the rest of the kids’ve

left town to I ain’t sayin’ where. They’ll be back here

when we’re a nuclear fam’ly again.

VOICE: Mr. Arizona, which tot was abducted?

NATHAN: Nathan Jr., I think.

VOICE: Do you have anything to say to the kidnappers?

NATHAN: Yeah: Watch yer butt.

VOICE: Sir, it’s been rumored that your son was

abducted by UFOS. Would you care to comment?

NATHAN (sadly): Now don’t print that, son. If his

mama reads that she’s just gonna lose all hope.

A POLICEMAN from inside the house is taking NATHAN by the


POLICEMAN: We really have to ask you some more

questions, sir …

As NATHAN allows himself to be led back into the house he

calls back over his shoulder:

NATHAN: But remember, it’s still business as usual at

Unpainted Arizona, and if you can find lower prices

anywhere my name still ain’t Nathan Arizona!

We are following the two, hand-held, as the PoLicE leads

NATHAN toward the living room.


The room is filled with policemen milling about in several

different uniforms: local police, state troopers, plainclothes


The original POLICEMAN is leading NATHAN to a table

where a white-smocked technician is preparing inkpad and

exemplar sheets.

The dialogue is urgent, rapid-fire and overlapping.

POLICEMAN: Mr. Byrum here can take your exemplars

while you talk.

MR. ByRum has taken NATHAN’s right hand and is rolling its

fingers onto the inkpad.

BYRUM: just let your hand relax; I’ll do the work.

NATHAN jerks his hand away.

NATHAN: What is this?! I didn’t steal the damn kid!

Two men in conservative suits are approaching.

POLICEMAN: Sir, these men are from the FBI-

NATHAN (bewildered): Are you boys crazy?! ARs I know

is I wake up this morning with my wife screaming-

BYRUM (patiently): We just need to distinguish your

prints from the perpetrators’, ff they left any.

Giving his hand back:

NATHAN: Course! I know that!

FBI 1: Sir, we have an indication you were born Nathan

Huffhines; is this correct?

NATHAN: Yeah, I changed m’name; what of it?

FBI 2: Could you give us an indication why?

NATHAN: Yeah, would you buy furniture at a store

called Unpainted Huffhines?

FBI 1: All right, I’ll get to the point-

UNIFORMED COP: Was the child wearing anything

when he was abducted?

NATHAN: No one sleeps nekkid in this house, boy! He

was wear-

FBI 1: I’m asking the questions here, officer.

COP: If we’re gonna put out an APB we need a

description of the-

NATHAN: He was wearin’ his-

FBI 2: It’s just that we’re better trained to intervene in

crisis situations (to NATHAN). What was he wearing?

NATHAN: A dinner jacket! Wuddya think, he was

wearing his damn jammies!

FBI 2 (to cop): The child was wearing his jammies. Are

you happy?

FBI 1: Do you have any disgruntled employees?

NATHAN: Hell, they’re all disgruntled! I ain’t runnin’ a

daffm daisy farm!

COP: What did the pyjamas-

NATHAN: My motto is do it my way or watch your


COP: What did the pyjamas-

FBI 1: So you think it might have been an employee?

NATHAN: Don’t make me laugh. Without my say-so

they don’t piss with their pants on fire.

COP: What did the pyjamas look like?

FBI 1: (pained): Officer-

NATHAN (bellowing): I dunno, they were jammies! They

had Yodas’n shit on ’em!


trying to set up a Command Post here!

NATHAN bellows back:

NATHAN: Get your feet off m’damn coffee table!

Also raising his voice at the offscreen bellower:

FBI 1: Ron, you’re upsetting the victim.

NATHAN is getting worked up.

NATHAN: Damnit, are you boys gonna go chase down

your leads or are you gonna sit drinkin’ coffee in the one

house in the state where I know my boy ain’t at?!

FBI 2: Sir, there aren’t any “leads” yet, aside from this


NATHAN: Gimme that!

He grabs the overcoat being displayed by FBI 2.

NATHAN: That’s a five-hundred-dollar camel’s hair-

BYRUM: Sir, you might want to wash your hands at this


NATHAN realizes that he’s gotten ink from his fingerprinting

all over the coat.

NATHAN: Well goddamnit!

He is rising to his feet and hurling the coat to the floor.

… No leads?!

He furiously kicks the coat.

… Everyone leaves microbes’n whatnot!

Throughout the speech NATHAN stalks the room, working

himself into a frenzy, furiously putting coffee cups onto

coasters, generally cleaning up, hectoring the police, and

swiping their feet off his ftirniture.

…Hell, that’s your forte, trackin’ down them

microbes left by criminals’n commies’n shit! That’s yer

whole damn raison d’i&tre! No leads?! I want Nathan Jr.

back, or whichever the hell one they took! He’s out there

somewhere! Somethin’ leads to him! And anyone can find

him knows the difference between a lead and a hole in

the ground!!


Specifically, it is the hole in the muddy patch of earth that

GALE and EVELLE climbed out of. We hear only the squish-

suck of many feet walking around in the mud offscreen.

We are pulling back to reveal the feet-the shiny black

patent leather shoes and blue pants cuffs-becoming quickly

spattered-of several policemen milling about the hole.

German shepherds sniff around also.

With a roar, motorcycle wheels enter frame. The bike’s

jackbooted rider casually tools around the hole once; police

step back and dogs skitter away to give him room.

He backs toward the camera and stops, standing astride the

bike. The burning stub of a cheroot is dropped into frame; it

hisses angrily and dies in the mud. We start to crane up.

The whipcracking BIKER cue mixes up. The BIKER’S

motorcycle idles with a deep rumble, like the roar of fire on

the sun.

We are now framed looking over the BIKER’S shoulder. The

policemen’s attitude to him seems to be deferential. One cop

in front of him is pointing a direction. The BIKER is shaking

his head; he doesn’t think they went that way.

Suddenly, with a loud whipcrack effect, the BIKER’s head

snaps to profile. He is staring across the field, stock-still,

having heard, smelled or sensed something.

The dogs milling around the hole also react, snapping to

attention, a split second after the BIKER.


A jackrabbit is bounding away at the far end of the field.


After a moment, their attention returns to the hole.


His attention also returns to the matter at hand. He squints,

concentrating. His bike rumbles. Gradually his face sets in a

specific direction.

We pan down to the tattoo on his shoulder: “Mama Didn’t

Love Me. ” His shoulder flexes once or twice as he revs the

throttle; then he puts the bike in gear and it roars out of



They are both intently munching cornflakes, staring at

something offscreen. After a beat:

EVELLE: … Awful good cereal flakes, Miz



ED is sitting in the living room, bottle-feeding NATHAN JR.

She is surrounded by the rumpled sheets and blankets used by

the house guests. She does not respond to the ice-breaker.

GALE puts his spoon down and picks up a cigarette which

has been smoking in the ashtray next to him. There is a bead

of milk dribbling down his chin.

He takes a contemplative puff, studying ED.

GALE: … Whyncha breast feed him? You ‘pear to be


ED: Mind your own bidnis.

Through a mouthful of cornflakes:

EVELLE: Ya don’t breast feed him, he’ll hate you for it

later. That’s why we wound up in prison.

GALE blows out smoke and picks up his spoon to start back in

on his cornflakes.

GALE: Anyway, that’s what Doc Schwartz tells us.

Hi is walking in, yawning.

HI: Boys.

EVELLE: Momin’, H.I.

Sharply, as Hi sits and starts to pour cornflakes into a bowl:

ED: … Hi.

Hi holds the cornflakes box arrested in mid-air. He looks at

ED, who is motioning to GALE and EVELLE with her eyes.

HI: Oh yeah … Say boys, you wouldn’t mind makin’

yourself scarce for a couple hours this afternoon?

ED: We’re havin’ some decent friends over.

GALE and EVELLE are looking dumbly from ED to HI.

HI: Heh-heh … What Ed means to say is, seein’ as

you two boys are wanted, it wouldn’t exactly do to have

folks seein’ you here-I mean for your own protection.

GALE: Sure H.I.

EVELLE: Anything you say.

More relaxed now, to ED:

HI: Matter of fact honey, maybe I’ll skip this little get-

together myself, Glen won’t mind, and I’ll just duck out

with the boys, knock back a couple of-uh, Co’Colas-

GALE: Sure H.I.

EVELLE: We’d love to have ya.


Looking pleadingly at Hi.


Feeling the look, he goes back to his cornflakes.

HI: … Well … maybe that ain’t such a hot idea


GALE leans back to blow smoke at the ceiling.

GALE (bitterly): So many social engagements. So little



It is the bathroom where we earlier saw GALE and EVELLE

combing their hair, now empty.

We are looking toward the door. The bathroom is quiet

except for the dripping sink, and the faint rumble of an

approaching motorcycle. It grows louder, then begins to

recede as the bike shoots by the station.

Suddenly we hear the screech of the bike’s brakes.


We are on the road outside the gas station as the motorcycle

screeches to a halt in the foreground. The low wide shot crops

the BIKER at his shins. In the background behind him is the

gas station.

The BIKER pauses for a moment, thinking or feeling.


We hear the rumble of the bike approaching, very loud.

CRASH-the bathroom door flies open as the BIKER bursts

in astride his hog, bright daylight streaming in with him to

throw him into imposing silhouette. The shafts of light

pouring in are defined by motes of dust dancing in the air.


Fast track in on the jar of hair jelly sitting on the shelf under

the mirror.


An extreme close shot shows his nostrils dilating as we hear

him sniff.

He revs the rumbling bike, stealing thunder from a far



Hi, with ED standing by, is just opening the door to a young

couple. GLEN is a short stocky blond man in his early thirties,

wearing Bermuda shorts. DOT is wearing slacks, heels, and a

scarf over her hair.

HI: Glen, Dot-

As the door opens, DOT hops up the stoop shrieking.

DOT: Where’s at baby? Where’s he at?

From behind, GLEN gives ha an energetic THWOK on the ass.

GLEN: Go find him honey!

DOT spins and smacks GLEN across the face with her purse.

Through clenched teeth:

DOT: Cut it out, Glen!

He reels under the blow.

ED (quietly): He’s asleep right now.

DOT shrieks again, but this time muffles it with her own

hand. She tiptoes into the trailer, hand to her mouth.

GLEN, rubbing his cheek, seems angry at himself.

GLEN: Shit, I hope we didn’t wake it!

DOT: Can I just sneak a peek-a-loo?

GLEN at the top of the stoop, turns out to the yard.

GLEN: Come on kids …


A scad of children, ranging in age from two to seven, are

crawling over Hi’s car. One is beating on it with a large stick,

another sits on the hood pulling back one of the windshield

wipers, etc.

GLEN: … Get away from Mr. McDunnough’s car.


AS ED and DOT enter, ED beaming as they go to the crib.

DOT: What’s his name?

ED: Uh … Hi Jr. TiR we think of a better one.

DOT: Whyncha call him Jason? I love Biblical names. If

I had another little boy I’d name him Jason or Caleb or

ED: Oh!-

She puts her hand to her forehead, reacting to the baby as if

she is about to faint.

… He’s an angel!

She hides her face in her hands and looks away as if blinded,

then sneaks a look around her hands.

… He’s an angel straight from heaven! Now honey I

had all my kids the hard way so you goffa tell me where

you got this angel. Did he fly straight down from


ED: Well-

DOT: You gonna send him to Arizona State?


The weaving knee-level tracking shot is following a six-year-

old boy in shorts and a dirty T-shirt as he tramps around the

trailer, brandishing a big stick. He strikes the walls,

furniture, various other objects with his stick, hollering

“Bam! Bam-Bam!” with each blow.

The track weaves off him and onto Hi, who is bending

down to pull a couple of beers from the refrigerator. He raises

his voice to make himself heard over the din of all the children

boiling around the room:

HI: Need a beer, Glen?

GLEN: Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

Hi considers this.

HI: … Well yeah, Glen, I guess it is kinda funny.

GLEN: Say, that reminds me! How many Pollacks it

take to screw up a lightbulb?

HI: I don’t know Glen, one?

Hi looks down.

One Of GLEN’S children, in a cowboy hat, is squirting a

squirt gun into his crotch area.

GLEN: Nope, it takes three!

He starts laughing, then catches himself.

… Wait a minute, I told it wrong. Here, I’m startin’

over: How come it takes three Pollacks to screw up a


HI: I don’t know, Glen.

GLEN: Cause they’re so durn stupid!

He laughs; Hi doesn’t react.

… Shit man, loosen up! Don’t ya get it?

Hi looks over at the TV, which the bam-shouting six-year-old

is banging with his stick.

HI: No Glen, I sure don’t.

GLEN: Shit man, think about it! I guess it’s what they

call a Way Homer.

HI: Why’s that?

GLEN: Cause you only get it on the Way Home.

HI: I’m already home, Glen.

The kid in the cowboy hat is reaching up to slap Hi on the ass.

KID: You wetchaseff! Mr. McDunnough wet hisseff,


GLEN: Say, that reminds me! How’d you get that kid

s’darned fast? Me’n Dottie went in to adopt on account of

something went wrong with m’semen, and they told us

five years’ wait for a healthy white baby! I said healthy

white baby! Five years! Okay, what else you got? Said,

two Koreans and one Negro bom with the heart

outside …

He takes a sip of beer.

… Yeah, it’s a crazy world.

HI: Someone oughta sell tickets.

GLEN: Sure, I’d buy one.

Hi is looking at another child who is just finishing off the T in

FART in crayon on the wall.

GLEN chuckles, looking at his errant child.

… That Buford’s a sly one. Already knows his ABCs.

But I’m sayin’, how’d ya get the kid?

HI: Well this whole thing is just who knows who and

favoritism. Ed has a friend at one of the agencies.

GLEN: Well maybe she can do something for me’n Dot.

See there’s something wrong with m’semen. Say, that

reminds me! What you gonna call him?

HI: Uh, Ed-Ed Jr.

GLEN: Thought you said he was a boy.

HI: Well, as in Edward. Just like that name.

GLEN (not really interested): Yeah, it’s a good one . . .

Course I don’t really need another kid, but Dottie says

these-here are gettin’ too big to cuddle. Say, that reminds


nffe is the sound of shattering glass. GLEN looks around.

GLEN: Mind ya don’t cutchaseff, Mordecai …


DOT faces Hi and ED across a picnic table covered with grilled

hamburgers, rolls, green jello mold, cooler, etc.

One of the younger children sits in the middle of the table,

occasionally taking a fistful of jello and flinging it at Hi. The

two women don’t seem to notice.

DOT: -and then there’s diphtheria-tetanus, what they

call dip-tet. You gotta get him dip-tet boosters yearly or

else he’ll get lockjaw and night vision. Then there’s the

smallpox vaccine, chicken pox and measles, and if your

kid’s like ours you gotta take all those shots first to get

him to take ’em. Who’s your pediatrician, anyway?

ED: We ain’t exactly fixed on one yet. Have we Hi?

Hi sits stock-still with a stony face.

… No, I guess we don’t have one yet.

DOT shrieks.

DOT: Well you just gotta have one! You just gotta have

one this instant!

ED: Yeah, what if the baby gets sick, honey?

DOT: Her, even if he don’t get sick he’s gotta have his


ED: He’s gotta have his dip-tet, honey.

Hi shrugs, then flinches as a piece of jello hits his shoulder.

HI: … Uh-huh.

DOT: You started his bank accounts?

ED: Have we done that honey? We gotta do that

honey. What’s that for, Dot?

DOT: That-there’s for his orthodonture and his college.

You soak his thumb in iodine you might get by without

the orthodonture, but it won’t knock any off the college.

Hi sits stoically. DOT is looking offscreen:

… Reilly, take that diaper off your head and put it

back on your sister! … Anyway, you probably got the

life insurance all squared away.

ED: You done that yet honey?

DOT: You gotta do that, Hi! Ed here’s got her hands

full with that little angel!

Hi (dully): Yes ma’am.

DOT: What would Ed and the angel do ff a truck came

along and splattered your brains all over the interstate?

Where would you be then?

ED: Yeah honey, what if you get run over?

DOT: Or you got carried off by a twister?


We are tracking on Hi and GLEN as they walk side by side.

GLEN is sopping wet, wearing only swimming suit and wing-

tipped shoes. His body is ghostly pale except for a V-area at

his neck and his arms below the short-sleeve line, which are a

bright angry red.

GLEN: Hear about the person of the Polish persuasion

he walks into a bar holdin’ a pfle of shit in his hands,

says “Look what I almost stepped in.”

GLEN bursts out laughing; Hi walks on in silence.

HI: … Yeah, that’s funny all right …

GLEN: Ya damn right it’s funny! Shit man, what’s the


HI: I dunno … maybe it’s wife, kids, family life … I

mean are you, uh, satisfied Glen? Don’t y’ever feel

suffocated? Like, like there’s somethin’ big pressin’

down …

GLEN (solemnly): Eeeeeyep … I do know the feelin’.

Hi shakes his head.

HI: I dunno-

GLEN: And I told Dottie to lose some weight but she

don’t wanna listen!

He roars with laughter and slaps Hi heartily on the back. As

he chuckles sympathetically:

… No man, I know what you mean. You got all kinds

a responsibilities now. You’re married, ya got a kid, looks

like your whole fife’s set down and where’s the


HI: Yeah Glen, I guess that’s it.

GLEN: Okay! That’s the disease, but there is a cure.

HI: Yeah?

GLEN: Sure; Doctor Glen is tellin’ ya you can heal


HI: What do I gotta do?

GLEN: Well you just gotta broaden your mind a little

bit. I mean say I asked you, what do you think about


HI (puzzled): Fine woman you got there.

GLEN is eyeing him shrewdly.

GLEN: Okay. Now it might not look like it, but lemme

tell you something: She’s a helicat.

HI: That right?


HI: But what’s that got to do with-

GLEN: Don’t rush me!

He stops walking. Hi stops also, looking at GLEN, Still

puzzled. GLEN lays a companionable hand on his shoulder.

…Now the thing about Dot is, she thinks-and she’s

told me this-

He looks around as if to make sure they are not being

overheard. His tone is confidential.

… she thinks … you’re cute.

Hi looks suspiciously at GLEN’s hand on his shoulder.

HI: … Yeah. . . ?

GLEN nods energetically:

GLEN: I’m crappin’ you negafive! And I could say the

same about Ed!

Through tightly clenched teeth:

HI: What’re you talkin’ about, Glen?

GLEN: What’m I talkin’ about?! I’m talkin’ about sex,

boy! What the hell’re you talkin’ about?! You know,

“L’amour”?! I’m talkin’ me’n Dot are Swingers! As in “to

Swing”! Wife-swappin’! What they call nowadays Open


Beaming, he takes his hand off Hi’s shoulder and spreads his


GLEN: I’m talkin’ about the Sex Revolution! I’m talkin’


THWAK-Hi’s fist swings into frame to connect solidly with

GLEN’S jaw.

GLEN’S feet leave the ground. He flies back and lands in a



GLEN in the foreground, groggily rubbing his jaw; Hi

approaching menacingly.

HI: Keep your goddamned hands off my wife!

GLEN: Shit man!

He is scrambling to his feet.

… I was only tryin’ to help!

HI: Keep your goddamned hands off my wife!

With Hi still advancing, GLEN starts to run.


With Hi pursuing in the background.

GLEN is looking back over his shoulder to shout at Hi as he


GLEN: You’re crazy! I feel pity for you, man! You-

CRASH!-GLEN runs smack into a tree and drops like a sack

of cement.


Hi is driving, his jaw rigidly set, his temple throbbing.

NATHAN J.R. sits in a safety seat between him and ED.

ED: We finally go out with some decent people and

you break his nose. That ain’t too funny, Hi.

Hi (stolidly): His kids seemed to think it was funny.

ED: Well they’re just kids, you’re a grown man with

responsibilities. Whatever possessed you?

HI: He was provokin’ me when I popped him.

ED: How’d he do that?

HI: … Never mind.

ED: But HI, he’s your foreman, he’s just gonna fire you


HI: I expect he will.

ED: And where does that leave me and Nathan Jr.?

HI: With a man for a husband.

He is pulling into a convenience store parking lot.

ED: That ain’t no answer.

HI: Honey, that’s the only answer.

He puts the car in park but leaves it running.

… Nathan needs some Huggies. I’ll be out directly.

As he gets out of the car:

… Mind you stay strapped in.



A hand enters to take a package of panty hose from the

standing rack.


A hand enters to take a big carton of disposable diapers from

the shelf.


A pimply-faced lad with a paper 7-Eleven cap on his head. He

is looking up from a dirty magazine, reacting in horror to

something approaching.


Hi is approaching the check-out island with a gun in one

hand, the carton of Huggies tucked under the other. The

L’Eggs stocking is pulled over his head to distort his features.

HI: I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash you



As he presses a silent alarm under the lip of his counter.


ED is reading to NATHAN JR. from a large picture book.

ED: “‘Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. “Then

I’ll huff and I’ll puff . . .”‘

She pauses for a moment, listening. We can barely hear a

distant siren. She resumes absently, but her voice trails off.-

“. . . and I’ll blow your house in . . .'”

We can definitely hear the WHOO-WHOO of the siren now,

and it is definitely approaching. ED hooks an arm around the

seat and looks behind the car, then looks forzvard.


Indistinctly visible through the semi-reflective glass are two

figures at the check-out island. One is pointing something at

the other.


As the siren is growing louder. Under her breath:

ED: That son of a bitch.

She unstraps herself and gets out of the car.


Two-shot of Hi and the CASHIER, who is stuffing bills into a

grocery bag. Beyond them we can see ED, outside, circling the

front of the car.

Her shout is muffled through the glass:

ED: You son of a bitch!

With this Hi notices her. He turns to the CASHIER.

HI: Better hurry it up. I’m in dutch with the wife.

But ED is already getting into the driver’s seat of the car.


As she slams the car door shut. The siren is quite loud now.

ED: That son of a bitch. Hang on, pumpkin.

The car squeals out of the lot.


The squad car tops a rise to bounce into view, its siren



Hi bursts out the door, still wearing the stocking. The carton

of Huggies is still tucked under one arm.

Bellowing hopefully after his departing car:

HI: Honey!

We hear the SMACK-CRACK of a gunshot and glass impact,

but the approaching squad car is still too far down the block to

have been the source.

Hi looks around the parking lot, bewildered.

The wailing siren is becoming painfully loud.

Hi looks behind him at the plate-glass front of the store,

where a bullet pock mars the glass.


Through the glass we see the pimply young CASHIER with the

paper 7-Eleven cap pop up from behind the counter to sight

down his huge .44 Magnum for another shot. The gun is so

big he uses both hands to heft it.

SMACK-CRACK-the bullet kisses another hole in the


Hi is off and running.

The squad car is screeching into the lot. An officer tumbles

out of the passenger side before the car is fully stopped. He

rolls on the pavement, then hurriedly rights himself and takes

up a half-kneeling shooting stance.

At the same time the little CASHIER is emerging from the 7-

Eleven with his gun.

The two bang away at Hi’s retreating figure-the

POLICEMAN’s revolver popping, the CASHIER’S Magnum


We hear the POLICEMAN who is still in the car drawling

over its loudspeaker:

SPEAKER: Halt. It’s a police warning, son. Put those

groceries down and turn yourself in.


Legs pumping, panty hose still over his head, its unused leg

streaming behind him like an aviator’s scarf. The gun is

tucked into his belt; the Huggies are tucked securely under his


Behind him we can see the OFFICER and the CASHIER

squeeze off another couple shots, and then the policeman piles

back into the squad car.


Driving. She hears distant gunshots.

ED: That son of a bitch . . . Hold on, Nathan. We’re

gonna go pick up Daddy.

She hangs a vicious U-turn.


Huffing and puffing down the road with his Huggies.

The cop car careens onto the street in the background, its

siren wailing.

The PASSENGER COP is leaning far out his window, one

hand gripping the light-and-siren rack, the other pointing a

gun at Hi, shooting away.

Bullets whizz past.

Suddenly, with a soft pthunk! the Huggies box pops

forward, out from under Hi’s arm-hit by a bullet. Still

running, Hi reaches forward, tries to catch it on the fly,

bobbles it, tips it-loses it. He overruns it a couple steps

before he can bring himself up short.

He turns and reaches to pick up the box but-PING-

PING-bullets chew up the road near his hand.

Leaving the Huggies, Hi takes off through a well-

manicured yard.

The police car is proceeding on down the street to catch him

around the corner, the driver still drawling over his


SPEAKER: That’s private property, son. Come back out

to the street and reveal yourself to Officer Steensma and

Officer Scoft-that’s me.


Hi vaults a fence to land in the backyard.

As he straightens to his feet we hear a horrible snarling

and barking.

A huge black Doberman is bounding across the lawn. It

looks like it means to rip Hi’s throat out.


The dog’s racing POV as it bounds toward the paralyzed Hi.

The dog leaps-camera flying up toward Hi’s face-and:


The dog’s slavering muzzle flies into frame and-stops, bare

inches from Hi’s nose, and the dog falls back, having reached

the end of his chain.

Hi resumes running.


On the dog, snarling and straining against the end of his



Down along the chain toward the spike mooring it to the

ground. As the dog strains, the spike starts to stir in the


Other dogs can be heard barking now, the Doberman

having started a sympathetic wave.


Her jaw set, she takes a hard turn, looking this way and that.

ED: That son of a bitch …

The police car approaches and roars by, the PASSENGER COP

still hanging out his window.

… Lookie Nathan, a police car …

She is looking in her rearview mirror.

… Say, that looks like Bill Steensma.


The camera is shooting forward at ground level, following the

Doberman as it bounds along. The Doberman is dragging his

chain and spike, which stretch into the foreground, bumping

and scraping along the road.

Far ahead we can see Hi running, then turning down an

intersecting street.

A second dog peels into the road to bound along with the



Running up a dark street. There is an oncoming pickup. Hi

runs directly at it.


The DRIVER screams and brakes-not quite in time.

Hi rolls onto the hood, and off, and gamely trots over to

open the passenger door.

The DRIVER is leaning over to tell him:

DRIVER: Son, you got a panty on your head.

HI: Just drive fast . . .

He is displaying his gun as he starts to climb in.

… and don’t stop till I tell ya.

Before Hi can get his door shut the DRIVER is obediently

peeling out.

Hi is reacting to an oncoming car. He peels the stocking off

to look, and leans across the DRIVER’S lap to bellow as ED’

car passes:

HI: … Honey!

Hi turns to look through the back window.


ED’S car is braking and spinning into a U-turn.


Leaning out the window.

HI: Mind the baby now!

Next to him, the DRIVER is screaming.

As Hi turns forward, the entire windshield explodes in.


The pimply-faced CASHIER from the 7-Eleven is standing in

the middle of the road ahead, sighting down his .44 Magnum

for another shot.

We are rushing in.


Still screaming.


Ready to fire and-THUMP-he is bowled over by the

arriving Doberman, still trailing chain and spike, and now

accompanied by three other dogs, all braying at the top of

their lungs.

Still screaming, the DRIVER puts his body into a hard right

turn to avoid the CASHIER and hellhounds.


Roaring up the new street, they are now directly in the path

of the oncoming police car, its siren wailing, barreling

straight at them.

Still screaming, the DRIVER leans into another hard right.

Wind is whistling in through where the windshield used to


Two wheels hop curb as the car skids into the new street,

fishtails, and roars away.


She hears dogs, siren, squealing brakes on an adjacent street.

ED: Hold on Nathan, we’ll take a shortcut.

She gives the wheel a hard right turn.

But there is no cross street. The car hops the curb and roars

up someone’s nicely tended front yard, heading for the gap

between this house and the one next door.


Recovered and turned around from its near collision with the

SCREAMINC; DRIVER, the squad car is now squealing onto the

street the SCREAMER swerved on to-resuming pursuit.

As the police car roars down the street, ED’S car appears

from between two houses behind it, bounces down the front

yard to the street and follows the police.


Raking two-shot of Hi and the SCREAMER. Hi is looking back

over his shoulder at the pursuing police.

Desperately pleading:

SCREAMER: Can I stop now?

Hi looks forward.


They are rushing toward an imposing colonial house planted

at the end of the dead-end street.


HI: Maybe you better.


Stepped on hard. The brakes scream.


As the car squeals to a halt Hi is catapulted through where the

windshield used to be, tumbling over the hood onto the front


He rolls to his feet and, as he runs up the lawn, calls back

over his shoulder:

HI: Thank you.


We are tracking behind Hi as he runs up to the house and

crashes through the screen door.

Still tracking behind him as he runs through the living


A middle-aged couple sits on the couch watching TV. They

look up as Hi rushes by.

Hi plunges down a staircase. As he does so we hear: ka-

chick ka-chock ka-chick ka-chock.

He emerges into a rec room where he and we rush past two

kids playing ping-pong. He runs out the back door.


As he runs into the house.

As he runs through the living room we catch a glimpse of

the middle-aged couple gaping at him.

OFFICER STEENSMA plunges down the stairs.


Outdoors now, running, crossing the street behind the house

and entering the parking lot of a supermarket on the other



As a pack of dogs thunders in. The lead Doberman with chain

and spike has now picked up about a dozen neighborhood


The dogs thunder through the living room and down the

stairs. As they hit the rec room the thunder of their feet turns

into the clatter of nails on tile.


As Hi bursts in. Tracking on him as he runs down the broad

front aisle, head whipping as he runs, looking up each

perpendicular lane, searching for something.

He turns up one of the last lanes, races along it and grabs a

carton of Huggies, still on the flat run.

He emerges into the broad back aisle and runs along it, but

at the first perpendicular lane he hits, we see OFFICER

STEENSMA, gun leveled, at the other end. He fires.

Hi keeps running.

The POLICEMAN is running along the front aisle, keeping

pace with Hi running along the back aisle. He squeezes off

shots at Hi as each lane gives him the opportunity.

Hi abruptly stops between lanes and doubles back, losing

the POLICEMAN. He runs down the second lane he comes to

toward the front of the store.

The pack of dogs appears at the end of the lane and

thunders up toward Hi, braying at the top of their doggy

lungs. The lead Doberman holds in his teeth a paper 7-Eleven


Hi reverses again, and emerges into the back aisle.

BANG! A pyramid of cranberry juice explodes at his

shoulder. The POLICEMAN has been waiting at the end of the

back aisle; he aims once again.

Hi plunges down the next lane but is brought up short as

KA-BOOM! five jars of applesauce explode in front of him.

Hi looks.

Standing in the raised platform-cubicle at the front of the

store is the STORE MANAGER, a fat man in a white short-

sleeved shirt with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.

The MANAGER cracks open his shotgun and inserts two

more cartridges-thoonk thoonk-in the smoking chamber.

Hi doubles back once again toward the back aisle.

He is still several paces from the end of the lane when the

POLICEMAN appears there, squaring to face him.

The POLICEMAN is in front of him. The MANAGER is

blowing out groceries on the shelves behind him.


As he coolly levels his police special and takes aim at Hi.


Still on the dead run, Hi is flinging the carton of Huggies.

The carton rockets straight at the camera.


Futilely raising his gun to avoid-impact: The Huggies catch

him square on the chest. The force makes him stumble one

fatal step backwards-into the back aisle-where:

CRASH-He is hit broadside and bowled over by a

rocketing shopping cart, propelled by an hysterically

screaming SHOPPER.


Racing on down the back aisle, bellowing.


Tracking from in front. Beyond her we can see the pack of

furiously barking dogs, nipping at her heels. They boil over

the prostrate OFFICER STEENSMA, and this is the last we see

of him in this movie.


As Hi emerges through the back door. ED is just skidding

around the corner.

Hi scrambles in the passenger side.


Raking two-shot with Hi in the foreground. The car peels out

of the lot.

HI: Thank you honey, you really didn’t have to do


THWAK-ED gives him a good hard slap and Hi’s head rolls

toward the camera.

ED: You son of a bitch! You’re actin’ like a mad dog!

Rubbing his jaw:

HI: Turn left, honey.

Still at top speed, she leans into a hard left, tires squealing.

ED: What if me’n the baby’d been picked up? Nathan

Jr. would a been accessory to armed robbery!

HI: Nawww honey, it ain’t armed robbery if the gun

ain’t loaded-

ED: What kind of home life is this for a toddler?! You’re

supposed to be an example!

HI: Now honey, I never postured myself as the three-

piece suit type-Tum left, dear.

ED: We got a child now, everything’s changed!

HI: Well Nathan Jr. accepts me for what I am and I

think you better had, too. You know, honey, I’m okay

you’re okay? That-there’s what it is.

ED: I know, but honey-

HI: See I come from a long line of frontiersmen and-

here it is, turn here dear-frontiersmen and outdoor


Hi’s eyes are fixed on something in the road ahead.

ED: I’m not gonna live this way, Hi. It just ain’t family


Hi’s attention is still on the road. He is opening his door,

even though the car is still racing along. He absently


HI: Well … It ain’t Ozzie and Harriet.


In the extreme foreground sits the first carton of Huggies that

Hi dropped in the middle of the road. The car is approaching.

As the car passes the carton, Hi’s hand reaches from the

passenger door and snags it.


As Hi pulls the carton in and slams his door shut. Crane up

on the car speeding away.


AS ED bursts in the front door, holding NATHAN JR.

ED: You two are leaving.


They look up, dumbstruck and mortified, from the sofa where

the have been watching TV.

ED: Tomorrow morning. Now I got nothing against

you personally …