アメリア 永遠の翼 (2009年)

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EXT. BAR, LAE, NEW GUINEA – DAY

CLOSE on a mud-streaked AIRFIELD in mist and driving RAIN.
A Lockheed ELECTRA sits. Sleek, twin-engine, state-of-the-
art, its metallic surface battered by the monsoon. Waiting.
PULL BACK to see…

…our VIEW down onto the landing strip is from an open-
sided, thatched roof BAR high above the airfield. And
peering down through the mist and rain…

…a WOMAN in grimy flight clothes gazes at the plane.
Slender. Feminine. At first glance, fragile. Then the gray
eyes change like the sea, as a stray thought transforms her.
Something fierce lives there.

SUPERIMPOSE: LAE, NEW GUINEA – 1937.

FRED (O.S.)
Sure I can’t talk you inta
somethin’ more adventurous?
She turns. FRED NOONAN is tall and lean, ruggedly handsome
in a reckless way. His flight clothes as rumpled and dirt-
streaked as her own. He carries his bottle of tequila, and a
Coke which he sets down for her.

AMELIA
Adventurous? You’ve got the wrong
girl, Mister. You should know that
by now.
Her eyes study him. Assessing something as he pours himself
four fingers.

FRED
Actually. I knew that the moment I
met ol’ George.
He sips his drink. She says nothing.

FRED (CONT’D)
I like how you don’t talk about
him.

AMELIA
That why I get so many chances to
not do it?

FRED
Well. Natural curiosity.
His charming smile. She’s thinking more about the tequila.
She reaches to take his bottle and glass. Moves them to her
side of the table.

2.







FRED
I mean, why would a guy who needs
to run the show. Pick the one girl
he knew could kick his tail?

No response. Just her clear direct gaze.

FRED (CONT’D)
I’ll bet he knew that. First time
he met you.

She looks out to sea.

AMELIA
He thought I hated him. He never
knew I was fascinated.





INT. GEORGE’S OFFICE, NEW YORK – DAY

2 2
Alone by the window, he gazes at the city. A powerfully
built man in a perfectly-tailored suit. The face at once
strong and elegant, capable of every emotion. Yet just now,
there are none to be seen. Even as…
…a door OPENS. A pretty SECRETARY enters soundlessly, sits
respectfully. Waits, her pen suspended above her steno pad.
Does he know she’s there?

SUPERIMPOSE: NEW YORK, LATER 1937.

GEORGE
(without turning)
The first time I met her she sat
in that chair.
The secretary doesn’t know whether to write that down. And
still with his back to her…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
You may as well write it down,
Mary. Write it all down. Even the
parts that are confused or
graceless or boring.
He turns with a soft smile to put her at ease.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
We’ll see if I remember how to
edit.
She smiles back. She likes him, as much as her level of
being awed by him permits. She begins to write, as…



3.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
I’d kept her waiting two hours.

T
She hated me on sight, but she
hought I couldn’t tell.
His gaze drifts to a bookcase crammed with volumes. And one
object, oddly out of place. A stuffed CAT, with boots and a
green frock coat. It wears a confident ironic smile.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
She was a person who cherished her
privacy and was devoting her life
to social work. And there I was…
His smile is kind. And honestly self-mocking.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Self-obsessed. Wallowing in the
glory of my authors and celebrity
acquaintances. A vain, fast-
talking, manipulator. But then I
guess you know all that, don’t you?
She looks up reproachfully. Nothing of the kind, and you
know it.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Oh, yes. And the kind of man who
fishes for compliments.
He’s made her laugh.

DISSOLVE TO…





3 3

INT. RECEPTION AREA – DAY

She is younger, dressed conservatively. The calm at the
center of a storm. Agents, authors, couriers, peddlers come
and go. But she has her legs drawn up beneath her, pouring
through a small stack of volumes. As if preparing for an
exam.

SUPERIMPOSE: G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS PUBLISHING CO. 1928.

GEORGE (V.O.)
The waiting made her furious.
She undoubtedly felt I was

E
stablishing my dominance and
importance.
She doesn’t look furious at all. Thumbing through WE by COL.
CHARLES LINDBERGH. Photos of Lindy beside the Spirit of St.
Louis in Paris.



4.







GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Actually, I hadn’t given her a
thought. Oblivious as usual.
Which, perhaps, was even worse.
Now, SKYWARD by ADM. RICHARD BYRD. Photos of the explorer
preparing for his flight over the North Pole. One of Byrd
with George himself, displaying considerable gravitas.

AMELIA (V.O.)
I figured he’d be pompous.
Her eye travels over the stack of books. Adventurers,
explorers, celebrities. On an end table, a framed photo of
George with the great Lindbergh.
A pretty SECRETARY comes to summon her. Amelia rises,
smooths the wrinkles from her brown suit. They head down
the corridor.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I knew, of course, that he wasn’t
going to choose me. I had no
discernible qualifications
whatsoever.
They reach the door, already ajar. It says GEORGE PALMER
PUTNAM on a small bronze plate. The secretary gingerly
pushes it open…
…revealing George on the phone in crisp shirtsleeves and
suspenders. He paces, prowls, trailing the cord behind him,
negotiating non-stop even as he flips through a pile of
messages. Off again, stalking the room. Dashing, electric,
masterful.

AMELIA (V.O)
But to be rejected by this…
parasite. A man who had given up
any life of his own to flutter near
the famous.
He glances up, realizing for the first time that she is
there. Sit, please. But she doesn’t.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I didn’t know whether to laugh or
throw something at the jerk.
He gestures again, more commandingly. Sit. She doesn’t
move, she doesn’t smile. She doesn’t take her steady gaze
from him. He hangs up the phone.
They stare at each other for a frozen beat. He breaks the
moment with a charming smile…



5.







GEORGE
Miss Earhart?

AMELIA
Mr. Putnam?
GEORGE (softly)
I asked you to sit.

AMELIA
Was that the thing you did with
your hand? Sadly, I don’t speak
dog.
His smile now only a trace. But more genuine.

GEORGE
A Ah. Well, stand if you like.
melia sits.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I’m told you want to fly the
Atlantic Ocean.

AMELIA
I do.

GEORGE
In the 12 months since Lindbergh,
55 people in 18 planes have tried.
Three planes made it. Fourteen
people have died.

AMELIA
I’ll make it.

GEORGE
Three women died trying. Two
others escaped with their lives.
If you do make it, you’d be the
first. Which…is the real
attraction for both of us, I
suspect.
She nods. No smile.

AMELIA
Always nice to know what the real
attraction is.
His smile. Beginning to enjoy this conversation.



6.







GEORGE
The plane was bought from Adm. Byrd
by Amy Guest, a socialite who
wanted the record for herself. Her
family wouldn’t tolerate the
danger. She has asked for a
replacement…
He gestures. Perhaps you.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
…who is American, educated, well-
spoken, a flyer, preferably
physically attractive…

AMELIA
Why would that matter?

GEORGE
Because she wants the world to pay
attention. And pretty girls
command more attention.

AMELIA
Was that your advice?

GEORGE
Sure. My role is selling this
event to the public. There will be
a contract for the girl’s story
with the New York Times. Also a
book to be published over her name.
Understood…? G

EORGE (CONT’D)
But all the money from these will
go to Mrs. Guest.

AMELIA
Except for the part that goes to
you.

GEORGE
Which will be as great as I can
manage, I assure you.

AMELIA
You said she wants a flyer.

GEORGE
Don’t get your hopes up. The
celebrated Wilmer Stultz will be
the pilot. There’ll be a male co-
pilot and navigator. The woman
will be purely a passenger.



7.






He waits for reaction. She keeps her mouth shut.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
That’s good for your chances.
Because your level of flying
experience wouldn’t place you
anywhere near the group that would
be considered for this. If the
woman were to do any flying at all.
No punches pulled. Not his style.

AMELIA
Why would anyone want a book from a
passenger?

GEORGE
Because the hook is that we’re
making the woman the commander.
The pilot will sign a contract
saying he is under her direction
and control. It’s her ship, her
flight.

AMELIA
Good for my chances, you said.
What are my chan…

GEORGE
The job’s yours.
She blinks. Stunned speechless.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I chose you the moment you walked
through the door.
He smiles his charming smile. Several phones are RINGING.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Now assuming my awful manners
haven’t soured you on the
enterprise. May I give you a lift
to the station?
Amelia rises. Is she pissed at being toyed with?

AMELIA
You’re a busy man, Mr. Putnam. I
can find my way.
The look holds. He shrugs. You probably can.



8.









4 4

INT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION – LATER

Two figures on the platform. Her train is ready to leave.

GEORGE
I honestly feel an apology is in
order.

AMELIA
Fine. What have I done?
She watches his smile.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I didn’t mind waiting. Caught up
on my reading. Knitted a sweater.

GEORGE
I mean an apology. For what’s
coming.
His voice softens.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I’m going to be pretty controlling
these next few months. How you
dress, move, cut your hair. Speak
in public. It’s all part of the
package we’re selling.

AMELIA
We.

GEORGE
That’s right. If you’re not in
there selling with me, it won’t
work.
The smile turns friendly.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
You’re the star. I’m no one at
all.

AMELIA
Spoken like a gentleman.
She steps up onto the train. Extends her hand like a man.
He shakes it firmly. The train begins to move. She watches
his cheery wave as she rolls away.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Of course a gentleman. Would have
paid for my ticket.



9.









5 5

INT. TRAIN – LATER

Gazing out the window as she rattles toward Boston. She
looks down now to a notebook in her lap. As she flips pages,
we see it is a collection of hand-written POEMS and thoughts.
She writes…

AMELIA (V.O.)
Courage is the price that life exacts
For granting peace
We SUPERIMPOSE over her image the wall of a little girl’s
bedroom, filled with treasured NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS about
women doctors, officials, bank presidents, women who had
established themselves in positions previously thought to be
available only to men.

AMELIA (V.O.)
The soul that knows it not
Knows no release
From little things

DISSOLVE TO HER

MEMORY OF…





6 6

EXT. FIELD, DES MOINES – DAY

Two LITTLE GIRLS, maybe 10 years old, walking in a field.
Amelia and a girlfriend. They stop, hearing…
The DRONING of an engine, a small red plane APPEARING above
the treetops. The pilot seeing two girls alone in the field,
SWOOPS down to BUZZ them. Amelia’s friend runs for her life.
But Amelia stands still, throws her arms WIDE, and the
plane…
…DROPS lower, and LOWER, as it CLOSES straight in on the
slender girl with her outstretched arms. LOUDER and FASTER,
as if intent on winning some impulsive duel of wills. The
aircraft SCREAMS past, just above her head.

AMELIA (V.O.)
As the little red airplane passed
by, it said something to me.
Amelia beams. She fills her lungs, transported.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I don’t think I’ve ever stopped
listening.
HOLD on her, hair and uniform whipping in the breeze.

SMASH CUT TO…



10.









7 7

INT. AMELIA’S PLANE – DAY

Amelia flying her little yellow Kinner. Feeling the freedom
she thrilled to as a A
child.

MELIA (V.O.)
Ten years, 28 jobs and an unspeak-
able number of crashes later, I
hadn’t changed my mind.
She LIFTS the nose of the tiny craft. Begins to CLIMB.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I even had my own plane. Bought
with my last dime.
At the apex of her climb, she FLIPS into a breathtaking LOOP
THE LOOP, as…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Course in the early days of
flying…
…her engine SPUTTERS. Then STALLS. The plane DIPS into a
TAIL-SPIN, PLUNGING downward…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…crashing was so common, you
almost forgot it could kill you…
Amelia STRUGGLING to start the engine, the little plane
HURTLING toward earth, SPINNING as it goes.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…until it did.
The engine COUGHS to life and at the last second she SWOOPS
harrowingly above the ground to SOAR FREE.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Almost.





EXT. AIRFIELD – DAY

8 8
A small HANGAR in a lonely field. See a group of…
…MECHANICS in their grease-stained jumpsuits. Three big
guys and one little one working on an engine that’s been
pulled from Amelia’s Kinner. When the little guy comes up
for air…
…he isn’t a guy at all.



11.







AMELIA
Got it. I think.





9 9

INT. DENISON HOUSE, BOSTON – DAY

SAM CHAPMAN, a handsome young man is being led down an
institutional hallway and out onto the grounds of this
venerable settlement house. He finds…
…Amelia sitting cross-legged on the grass. Reading to a
group of CHINESE GIRLS, who hang on her every animated word.
On the periphery, ADULTS sit, taking in the story. They are
of various ethnicities, homeless or handicapped or immigrant.

A
Two are blind. Amelia sees Sam…

MELIA
Girls, this is Mr. Samuel Chapman.
Sam, say hullo to the Octopus Club.
The Octopus Club waves to Sam. The adults wave, too.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
You’re just in time. Alice has
come through the Looking Glass,
and things are getting, well…

OCTOPUS CLUB
(on cue)

REALLY STRANGE!

AMELIA
They are, actually.
She pats the grass beside her. Sam has no choice but to sit.





EXT. GROUNDS – LATER

10 10
Amelia and Sam walk a wooded path beside the grounds.
Through the chain link fence, they watch other social workers
playing with groups of children.

SAM
And it’s a secret.

AMELIA
Has to be. Competition, you know.
Millionaire heiresses, hot shot
girl pilots. If George knew I told
you, he’d have me publicly flogged.


She looks over.



12.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
So long as he could sell tickets.
He’s not smiling.

SAM
And no one else knows.

AMELIA
Marion. She’s giving me a leave
of absence.

SAM
I would think so. Your name will
be in all the papers, and not just
Boston. Denison House stands to
come in for funding, national
attention.

AMELIA
Specially if I don’t make it.

SAM
Don’t joke about that.
She wasn’t joking at all.

SAM (CONT’D)
You’ll make it. And then you’ll
have opportunities to work in
aviation. Anywhere you want.
She laughs.

AMELIA
Well, I’ll have impressive
credentials as a long-distance
passenger. That’s not exactly a
career in aviation.
She looks up at his eyes.

I AMELIA (CONT’D)
‘m not going anywhere, social work
is my life. After all the years of
false starts, I found the thing I’m
meant to do.
Keep walking. She gives him time to say…

SAM
And where does that leave us?



13.







AMELIA
You do love to look on the dark
side. Whatever did you see in a
sunny character like me?
She gives him a sweet playful smile. It doesn’t reassure
him.

SAM
It’s not as if I’d been putting
pressure on you.

AMELIA
What love means to you. What it
requires. Is the pressure.
He stops walking.

SAM
I love you. Is that such a
terrible problem?
She gazes at him. Can he even hear this?

AMELIA
The problem is what it’s always
been. The problem is me.





INT. WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL – DAY

11 11
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL footage, accompanied by their signature
fanfare theme. Hotel conference room jammed with press. A
sexy brunette in a sweater that seems to be made of strips of
GOLD FOIL steps to a bank of microphones. Flashes start

POPPING.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
The Queen of Diamonds Mabel Boll,
about to become the first female to
fly the Atlantic in the wake of
Lindbergh’s historic journey,
regales an eager world press…
The sound switches to Mabel at the mikes…

MABEL
Okay, boys. I’ll take any
questions you wanna throw my way.
Except about what’s behind this
sweater.
The boys ROAR. Mabel keeps her smile tight.

MABEL (CONT’D)
The story. Behind it. Of course.



14.






As the laughter CONTINUES…





12 T 12

INT. HANGAR, EAST BOSTON AIRPORT – NIGHT

he heavy door rolls OPEN. George and Amelia enter the
brightly-lit hangar to see two men working on the FRIENDSHIP,
a sea-plane with golden wings. Its red-orange fuselage
stands beside gigantic PONTOONS, each 29 feet long. The
pontoons have been opened, and the men are attaching them to
the plane.
They turn toward us now. BILL STULTZ is short and wiry with
quick eyes. Only 28, he seems weathered by his adventures
and the streaks of gray through his hair. He is not
necessarily happy to see us.

AMELIA (V.O.)
George had told me Stultz was Adm.
Byrd’s favorite pilot, fearless,
gifted. He drank. But George said
it never affected his work.
George waves as we approach. Bill and Amelia seem locked on
each other.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
When he said it, I must have had a
funny look. So I just said, `Yeh,
I grew up around a guy like that.’

GEORGE
Boys, I’d like to introduce your
commander, Miss Amelia Earhart.

AMELIA
We felt `commander’ was less
grandiose than, say, `empress.’
Bill doesn’t smile. The other man does…

GEORGE
Say hello to Slim Gordon your
navigator.
She is shaking hands in that strong, direct way.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
And Bill Stultz here, simply the
most talented pilot working.
She takes Bill’s powerful hand. The look between them calm,
yet somehow intense. As if each is establishing a tone for
their relationship.



15.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
We’ve got Byrd’s pilot, we’ve got
his plane…

AMELIA

Y
ou mean the Admiral flies on
those?
The pontoons. She does not seem admiring.

GEORGE
Nope, those are new, personally
suggested by the old man himself.
Bill nods on that. Sure were.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
This way, if you’re forced down
at sea, you can wait for a rescue.

AMELIA
Hmmn. What does that do to our
fuel?

BILL
Costs us at least 400 gallons.
Don’t bother bringing clothes for
Paris, we’ll be lucky to hit the
nearest beach in Ireland. Real
lucky.

GEORGE
The Admiral estimates the pontoons
only cut our range by 200 miles.
But Amelia looks to Bill. That’s not really possible is it?

BILL
The Admiral is the Admiral. He
gets to estimate any damn thing he
wants. All we have to do is figure
out how to fly without petrol.
She turns to George with challenging eyes.

BILL (CONT’D)
Don’t go blaming the bookseller.
He’s been all through this with
Mrs. Guest, but she worships the
Admiral. And it’s money that puts
planes in the air.

AMELIA
I wonder if it can keep them up
there. Not that I’ve ever had
enough to try.



16.






Bill’s small smile. Maybe the girl’s all right.





13 13

EXT. DOCK – LATER

George and Amelia approach a waiting motorboat, as the lights
of Boston glimmer across the harbor. His head is down.
She’s watching his profile.

AMELIA
Sorry. I’ll try keeping my mouth
shut.

GEORGE
What I ought to try. Is listening
to you once in awhile.

H
e meant that. And she seems oddly touched.

AMELIA
Careful. I could get to like it.
No reaction from him. He hops into the boat. Turns, holds
out his hand. She hesitates. Clearly doesn’t need his help
to jump into a boat. Their eyes lock. We are watching her
decide. And then…
She reaches to clasp his hand. Hops down beside him.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Thank you, Simpkin. Thank you for
everything.

GEORGE
(a smile)
Simpkin.

AMELIA
It’s in a book. Oh, that’s right.
You read the ones you publish.
Her smile is friendly, not flirtatious. She goes to sit in
the bow. He doesn’t follow. But he is watching.





14 14

EXT. ROOF, COPLEY PLAZA HOTEL – DAY

Amelia in a flying outfit. Hands on her hips as if posing.

AMELIA (V.O.)
There’s a Beatrix Potter story
about a cat named Simpkin.
PULL BACK to see the PHOTOGRAPHER, George beside him. They
are on a hotel rooftop, precariously high above Boston.



T









A









17.







AMELIA (V.O.)
He wasn’t happy unless he had
several mice, each under a
different teacup. So he could
never become bored.
We see that Amelia’s POSE looks exactly the SAME as a photo
of CHARLES LINDBERGH in the photographer’s hand. It is
labeled `LUCKY LINDY.’

AMELIA (V.O.)
THe illusion of activity was
essential for him to feel at peace.
The photographer now shows George ANOTHER PHOTO of Lindbergh
in a different pose.

AMELIA
What are you boys doing over there?

GEORGE
Trying to make you look like a
girl.
George studies the photo, then goes to Amelia and begins
moving her body into the new pose. Tilting her head to
Lindbergh’s angle.

MELIA (V.O.)
I wondered. Was I Mr. Putnam’s
43rd mouse? Or his 307th.
Now touching her, adjusting her coat, fluffing a bit of her
hair, pulling the collar around to frame her face…

G

EORGE
he more we can make you look
like a girl, the better.

AMELIA
Oh god, is it worth the effort?
He cocks his head, studies her. Nah, guess not.

GEORGE
Wondering who should play you
in the film of all this. I’m
thinking Chaplin.

AMELIA
Valentino’s not available?
He shakes his head sadly. Adjusts her collar once more.
This time, his hands linger.



18.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
Two things. One, Chaplin can’t
play me because he’s perfect for
you. And two, you have company.
She glances to where a WOMAN, beautiful and aristocratic, is
being helped onto the roof. George’s face lights to see her.
He rushes over, sweeps her into his arms, kisses her
tenderly. Amelia smiles to see this, makes her like them
both.

GEORGE
Amelia Earhart, this is Dorothy
Binney Putnam.
The women trade smiles. They shake hands, holding eye
contact.

DOROTHY
Great to meet you. George talks
so much about you.
(a wink)
In fact, lately, you’re all he
does talk about.


George steps in close, and the photographer SNAPS a three-
shot. And another.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Hold those smiles for one more,
please.





EXT. JEFFREY YACHT CLUB HARBOR, EAST BOSTON – EARLY LIGHT 15

15
The FRIENDSHIP bobbing on its pontoons. Bill and Slim are
off-loading equipment and other gear from the plane to a
TUGBOAT filled with support crew and family. The plane’s
engines REV in the predawn stillness. PULL BACK to see…

1



EXT. YACHT CLUB DOCK – EARLY LIGHT

6 16
…the yacht club dock. George and Amelia alone at the
railing. She’s wearing her leather flight jacket and boots.
They stare out at the plane, so frail and awkward. From her
bag now, she pulls three ENVELOPES…
Puts them in George’s hand. Straight, unblinking…

AMELIA
Popping off letters. For my dad,
my mom, my sis. You know. In
case.



19.






He stares down. Rocked by the weight of this against the
simplicity of her words. The top envelope says: DEAREST

DAD.

GEORGE
I’m honored. That you’d leave
these with me.

AMELIA
Who else? If I do pop off, it’s
your fault.
Said in her sunny way. But she’s not kidding. It takes a
beat before he can offer…

GEORGE
I’ll call them once you’re safely
on your way.

AMELIA
Sam will handle that. They trust
him.
That registers.

GEORGE
I’ve figured out the Simpkin thing,
you know.

AMELIA
Have you.

GEORGE
Sure. There are so few books I
haven’t published, it was easy
to find.
Well…?

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Beatrix Potter, the Tailor of
Gloucester. He’s a cat in a
green frock coat.

AMELIA
But why is he you?
Oh.

GEORGE
He’s brilliant, charismatic…

AMELIA
So you haven’t actually read it.
Do you actually read?



H









20.







GEORGE
…neurotic, compulsive,
manipulative. Am I getting warmer?
She sighs.

AMELIA

P
ray I make it. Or the secret pops
off with me.
A held look. A friendly…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Well. See ya.
She walks off down the dock toward the Friendship.
e stands watching her go.

DISSOLVE TO…





17 17

INT. SMALL HOTEL, NEWFOUNDLAND – MORNING

Amelia alone, leaving her hotel room in her flight jacket.
Locking the door.

SUPERIMPOSE: FIRST STOP: CANADA

AMELIA (V.O.)
Our first hop was to Canada, to
start from as close as we could get
to Ireland. Just in case we
couldn’t get the thing in the air
and had to row.
She walks briskly down the corridor.

AMELIA (V.O.)
The fuel was going to be so close,
every single mile counted.
Turns a corner. Approaches the dining room door.

AMELIA (V.O.)
George told me to keep to my room,
just in case there was a reporter
or two somewhere.
She enters the hotel dining room. Stops cold. Across the
room a disgruntled Bill and a sheepish Slim stare at her from
their breakfast, surrounded by 15 REPORTERS and
PHOTOGRAPHERS. Holy shit. Half a dozen CAMERAS RISE as one.
It is a defining moment. And Amelia…
Cocks her head. Throws an effortless golden smile.



R









21.







AMELIA
Hi there, boys. How are the ham
and eggs?
The FLASHES EXPLODE as one. They keep POPPING as Amelia
makes her way to them.

BILL
Don’t blame us, lady. I think
somebody’s starting to sell books.
The reporters are handing her their morning editions. The
New York Times front page headline: BOSTON GIRL STARTS FOR

ATLANTIC HOP.
There beneath the headline, the glamorous PHOTO we watched
being taken on the Copley Hotel roof, Lady Lindy. Next to
it, an earlier photo of her as a demure social worker.

A
melia is sifting through the other papers, grinning and
shaking her head.

EPORTER
Say, Amelia. What have you got for
Mabel Boll to chew on?

AMELIA
Now why would a famous gal like
Mabel give a thought to someone
like me? I don’t have a single
sweater made out of gold.
The boys ROAR, Slim louder than anyone. Even Bill cracks a
smile. They’re shouting, teasing, YOU CAN’T KID US!

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Hey, not even silver.
The boys make room. Bill rises to hold Amelia’s chair. A
friendly murmur…

BILL
The ham’s a little tough,
Commander. But the bacon’s swell.





18 18

INT. WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL – DAY

MOVIETONE NEWSREEL footage, accompanied by their signature
fanfare theme. Once more, the hotel conference room jammed
with press. Today Mabel wears a luxurious silver fox coat,
shimmies up to a bank of microphones at the podium. Flashes
start POPPING.



22.







ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
The Queen of Diamonds Mabel Boll,
upstaged by upstart social worker,
seems madder than a rich wet hen.
Hey Mabel, tell us about your
rival!
The sound switches to Mabel leaning her sultry voice to the
mikes…

MABEL
Well, how would any woman feel
about some tart who steals her man?
Reporters furiously writing, more flashes EXPLODE.

MABEL (CONT’D)
Bill Stultz and I were going to
make history together, until this
poor little social worker and her
sugar daddy, oh excuse me,
`publisher,’ started throwing money
and I don’t know what else at him.

R

EPORTER
Mabel, are you implying Miss
Earhart used her feminine charms on
your pilot?

MABEL
I don’t know, Charlie, I never seen
her. Has she got any?
LAUGHTER, they’re all calling out. She shows them a smoky
smile, but stays on message.

MABEL (CONT’D)
Well, she had to use something on
somebody to get from nowhere to
here. You figure it out, or wait
til George Putnam feeds it to you.
Two dozen questions at once. She’s not even listening.

MABEL (CONT’D)
We’re going to Canada, waiting for
some good weather on the Atlantic,
and then we’ll kick Little Miss
Whoozis in the keester.

REPORTER
What makes you so cocky that she
won’t leave first?



23.







MABEL
Rusty, we can carry enough fuel to
go to China. That thing they’re
flying can’t load enough gas to
make Yonkers. Tell that to
Putnam’s girlie. And while you’re
at it…
She snuggles the gleaming fox fur around her.

MABEL (CONT’D)
Tell her I do wear silver. So I’m
two up on her.





EXT. HARBOR, TREPASSEY, NEWFOUNDLAND – EARLY MORNING

19 19
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL CONTINUES. We are looking at foggy, bleak
Trepassey Harbor as the Friendship makes an unsuccessful
attempt to take off.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Eleven days of failure for plucky
Amelia Earhart and her crew. If it
isn’t storms over the Atlantic,
it’s the inability of the
seaplane’s pontoons to lift from
the sea.

S
ERIES OF ANGLES. One failed take-off after another.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Perhaps it’s for the best.
Remember, no woman has beat the
jinx of the Atlantic and three have
died trying. Including a princess
and the niece of former President
Woodrow Wilson.
The plane’s engine SPUTTERS and STALLS. It floats on the
sea.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Maybe this one’s not to be. Hey,
Mabel! How’s your weather report?





INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR, NEWFOUNDLAND – LATE NIGHT

20 20
Amelia coming down the hotel corridor. She passes a room,
and hearing DRUNKEN LAUGHTER from a group of MEN within the
room…
She stops. Stares at the door with more concern than anger.



A









24.









21 21

INT. ROOM – SAME MOMENT

Bill, Slim and three of the REPORTERS are drinking up a
storm.

BILL

EXPLORER, MY ASS. BYRD COULDN’T

FIND A PUBIC HAIR IN A WHOREHOUSE

T RUSH HOUR!





INT. HOTEL ROOM, NEWFOUNDLAND – LATER

22 22
Amelia curled up on her bed with CHARTS of the Atlantic
spread everywhere. From next door, the sound of drunken men

CONTINUE.
Amelia looks down from her charts. Her mind going to…





FLASHBACK: EXT. HOUSE, ATCHISON, KANSAS – DAY

23 23
Seven-year-old KIDS dressed as cowboys and Indians are
gathered on the front lawn of a white clapboard home. We
CLOSE on a clear-eyed tomboy with war paint and tousled hair,
AMELIA at seven, looking up excitedly as a car pulls to the
curb.

H
er FATHER climbs slowly from the car, WOBBLES his way across
the lawn. The kids part to let him through, the confusion
and disappointment on every face. He ignores them all, even
Amelia. The front door opens…
…Amelia’s MOTHER gazes at him with shame and disdain. As
she helps him stagger inside…





INT. HOTEL ROOM – EARLY MORNING

24 24
Amelia in her flight gear, sitting on the edge of her bed, an
open TELEGRAM lies beside her. Her elbows rest on her knees.
Her hands are locked together. Her profile is stony,
determined. TILT DOWN to the telegram…
It reads: WEATHER PERMITTING, MABEL FLIES THIS AFTERNOON.
She grabs her flight bag, leaves the room. She only has to
travel as far as the next door. POUNDS on it. Waits.
Pounds LOUDER with both fists.
Slim opens the door. Looking bad. Bill sits up in bed,
groggy, disoriented.

BILL
Christ, what time is…



25.







AMELIA
Time to fly. Get up, get dressed,
we’re going now.
She is calm and angry at once. A powerful combination. Slim
pulls his pants off a chair.

BILL
Where’s the weather report?
She goes to his bed. Hands him a slip of paper. He blinks,
still waking up. Reads.

BILL (CONT’D)
It’s not good enough.

AMELIA
Great. Maybe Mabel will think so,
too. Because if she doesn’t, she’s
going to Paris and you’re going
home. Today.

B

ILL
It’s not good enough.

AMELIA
It’s fine, there’s a tail wind all
the way, we’ll off-load to 700
gallons, which gets us off the
water and the wind gets us to
Ireland.

BILL
We’ve had better than this and we
haven’t gone.

AMELIA
But this is the day Mabel’s ready,
so we’re going now. The weather
is going to get better and we’ll
be there to enjoy it.

BILL
You’re serious.

AMELIA
Just as serious as you’re hung
over.
(to Slim)
You go now, get the late weather,
we’ll meet you at the plane.
Go. Now! Slim pulls on his shoes, grabs his jacket, his
bag. Looks to Bill, but the pilot is glaring at his
commander.



26.







AMELIA (CONT’D)

(QUIET)
Slim, get out. I’ve got this.
A beat. Slim goes, the door shuts quietly. Amelia sits on
the edge of Bill’s bed.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’ve loved one person
unconditionally, Bill. He is the
most caring and generous and
charming and flat-out funny guy
I’ll ever know. He’s my father.
Her eyes are burning with this. And Bill keeps quiet.
Anyone would.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
He’s a drunk. And he’s let me down
all my life.
She leans closer.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Now you get out of that bed. And
you fly that god-damned thing to
Ireland. Or I swear to you,
Bill…
Just above a whisper…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I swear to you I will. Or die
trying.

Y
ou got that? Do you?

AMELIA (CONT’D)
And either way. You’re going to be
living with it.





25 25

EXT. TREPASSEY HARBOR – LATER

It’s dark and cold. Bill and Amelia stand at the dock beside
their plane. He’s drinking coffee as they watch Slim come
down the quay with a slip of paper in his hand. Amelia steps
forward to take it. Reads with neutral eyes.

AMELIA
Good. Slim, start the engines.
She still hasn’t given the paper to Bill. Slim steps onto a
pontoon. Starts CRANKING up the propellers. As the engine
KICKS to life…



S









27.






She hands the weather report to Bill. He reads. Looks to
her eyes.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
You signed a contract. You’ve got
a direct instruction from me to go.
That report indicates some degree
of risk and it’s a risk I’m taking.

BILL
Have a nice flight.

AMELIA
Thanks.
She motions to Slim, get on board. The navigator grins,
starts to climb up, looking back at Bill…

SLIM
Hey, I’m scared shitless of this
dame.
She climbs up after him. One look back…

AMELIA
Read tomorrow’s papers, Bill.
We’ll both be in them.
And disappears. Alone on the dock, Bill hears the engines
REV. Jesus, God, she’s going to do it. He takes a step
toward the plane, but her head appears in the hatch…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
So, to take off, you pull back
on the thing, right?
Her perfectly straight, innocent face. He BUSTS out
laughing. This fucking girl.

T
osses his coffee. Climbs aboard.





INT. FRIENDSHIP – MOMENTS LATER

26 26
WITH Amelia as she locks the hatch. For the first time, we
can see the inside of the plane. The cabin is too small for
anyone to stand. The plane has been emptied of everything
but two huge elliptical FUEL TANKS.
he wedges herself between the gigantic tanks. Bill pulls
the throttle and the Fokker Tri-motor LURCHES forward,
STRAINING against the surface of the sea in a rattling,
throbbing desperately VIBRATING all-out attempt.



28.






Amelia crawls to the tiny window, her face to the glass as
chop and spray FLY PAST like shrapnel, and the engines WHINE
and PULSE louder…
…twenty seconds, thirty. Still on the surface. Forty
seconds, fifty, her eyes shut, her forehead bangs against the
glass, come on, sixty seconds, and at 67…





27 27

EXT. HARBOR – SAME MOMENT

…the seaplane LIFTS, struggles, then SOARS FREE.





INT. FRIENDSHIP – DAY/NIGHT

28 28
Amelia kneels at the tiny window. A kid on a rainy day.
Only outside this window is impenetrable FOG and a STORM that
ROCKS the plane like the shock waves of endless explosions.
As she braces herself against the hull…
…water DRIPS onto her from a loose seam. Could this be
dangerous? She looks around. Through the opening between
the elliptical fuel tanks…
…Bill and Slim at the controls. Bill is banging on
something beside the instrument panel. Beneath his seat, she
sees the TOOLBOX. The water drips on her faster. She crawls
forward toward the boys, arriving to see…
…Bill POUNDING what we can now see is his RADIO. His face
is red, angry. She watches for a beat.

AMELIA

YOU OKAY?

BILL

BE BETTER IF OUR DAMN RADIO WOULD

JOIN THE PARTY!
He never turns to her, but she studies him. Is he impaired
or simply frustrated? She slips the toolbox from beneath his
seat and crawls back to the leak. But as she opens the
box…
…there, among the wrench and pliers, a BOTTLE of whiskey.
She stares at it as we SNAP TO…





29 29

FLASHBACK: EXT. AMELIA’S HOUSE, ATCHISON, KANSAS – DAY

RAPID SERIES OF ANGLES. War-painted Amelia looking up from
the cowboy she’s tied to a tree. The car pulling to the
curb. Out climbs…



29.






…her FATHER glassy-eyed. Stumbling through the children.
Her MOTHER at the door.
ANGLE. Amelia still in war paint enters her parents’ room
She knows just where to go. Opens a drawer, digs beneath
crisply starched shirts. Finds the BOTTLE.
ANGLE. Amelia in the bathroom, POURING the bottle out into
the sink. She looks up in the mirror to see…
…her father in the doorway. She turns straight to him.
MEETS his eyes, direct and unafraid.





30 30

INT. FRIENDSHIP

BACK to Amelia with Bill’s bottle, as the battered plane
lurches every which way in the storm. She lifts it from the
toolbox. Hides it in the camera bag, as suddenly the plane
DROPS fifty feet, and Amelia is SLAMMED against the ceiling,
then crashes back to the floor. Dazed, she sees Bill turned
around…

BILL

HOLD ONTO SOMETHING FOR CHRISSAKE!
She GRABS the leg of the navigation table which has been
bolted down. Stares out the window, wondering if she’ll make
it.

AMELIA (V.O.)
Dearest Dad. Hooray for the last
grand adventure. I wish I had won,
but it was worthwhile anyway. You
know that. I have no faith we’ll
meet anywhere again, but I wish we
might.
HOLD on the gray eyes. DISSOLVE TO…
LATER. Amelia at the window, still opaque with fog.
Suddenly, the plane SWOOPS down toward a clearing in the
clouds. There to the south, a FREIGHTER running across our
path. No land in sight.

A
melia SCRAWLS a note, ties it to an ORANGE from her flight
bag, and crawls back to the boys.

AMELIA (CONT’D)

HOW FAR TO LAND?
The boys are studying the freighter.



30.







BILL

RADIO’S STILL OUT. NO WAY TO

COMPUTE WINDSPEED AND DRIFT IN THE

FOG, SO GOD ONLY KNOWS WHERE

IRELAND IS.
Checks his watch.

BILL (CONT’D)

NINETEEN HOURS PLUS. WE’VE GOT

MAYBE AN HOUR OF PETROL LEFT.

PROBABLY LESS.
She shows him the note and the orange.

AMELIA

WESTERN UNION, SPECIAL DELIVERY.
Bill has to smile. Are you serious? As a heart attack.
Okay, he tries to get closer to the ship, but we’re jerked
and buffeted as we swing past and Amelia…
…DROPS the orange toward the freighter, watching the heavy
winds CARRY it two hundred yards WIDE of the mark. Our three
stare grimly.

AMELIA (CONT’D)

IF WE LAND NEAR THEM, WE’VE GOT A

RESCUE.
Their eyes are locked.

BILL

THINK THOSE RIDICULOUS SKIS COULD

HOLD US UP IN THIS KIND OF SEA?
She’s been wondering the same.

BILL (CONT’D)

YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO MAKE IT.

ARE YOU A LIAR?

AMELIA

NOT ON THIS OCCASION.
A rare smile…

BILL

WELL, THEN.
And SWOOPS back on course. Amelia’s hand squeezes his
shoulder. DISSOLVE TO…
LATER. Amelia crouched behind Bill’s seat. Fog starting to
break up.



A









31.




Her face drawn, she almost seems to be holding her breath.
Something down below. As we drop, we hear the engines

A

SPUTTER.

MELIA

WHEN’S THAT HOUR OF FUEL RUN OUT?

BILL

EIGHTEEN MINUTES AGO. WHY?
She glances over to Slim, who is busy unwrapping a sandwich.
She can’t believe this. He takes a healthy bite.

AMELIA

THE LONGER I OBSERVE MEN THE MORE

I AM AWESTRUCK. BY THEIR CAPACITY

FOR DENIAL.
She crawls back to the navigation table. As she looks out
her window, a SANDWICH SAILS past! She WHIPS around…Slim’s
arms raised in jubilation. Down below…
Land.





EXT. SHORE, BURRY PORT, WALES – DAY

31 31
The little plane sputtering, shuddering, as Bill drops in for
a splashdown. We PAN to the shore…
…a rural railroad dock. Deserted except for THREE WORKERS
who glance up as the Friendship taxis to a buoy a few hundred
yards offshore. Amelia at the hatch, tiny in distance, WAVES
a towel…
…one friendly worker takes off his coat and WAVES back.
Then all three guys go back to work. SNAP TO…
REVERSE ANGLE. From the Friendship, we watch the workers
ignoring us. Bill and Slim HOLLER and jump up and down on
the pontoons. Nobody cares. Amelia sits in the doorway, her
legs swinging free.

AMELIA
Out of gas. May have to swim for

I
t.
LATER. Amelia alone. Six pages written by her side. Still
working, as a rowboat pulls up. Bill stands in the bow.
Calls to her…

BILL
Mr. Putnam phoned. He says there’s
fella coming from London. Hilton
Railey.



32.







AMELIA
Oh, yeh. Very important man. More
important than any of us.
Really? Yep.

BILL
He says ya mustn’t come ashore til
he gets here. No matter what.
Great. She doesn’t like it, but there it is. She waves, so
long.

BILL (CONT’D)
Some kind of royalty, is he?
She nods.

AMELIA
Public relations.
Goes back to work. DISSOLVE TO…
LATER. Amelia sits with her papers in her lap, dangling her
feet from the hatch. Alone. Hear the BUZZ of…
…a PLANE dropping slowly from the sky, gliding onto the
water on its pontoons. She stares at it. Gathers up her
things.
LATER. Amelia sitting in a tiny dinghy, behind her the
Friendship in distance. She is being rowed to shore. Our
VIEW is over the back of the man rowing. Amelia is staring
past him, vaguely apprehensive.
REVERSE ANGLE. She’s looking at TWO THOUSAND WELSHMEN
swarming the docks. You can’t even see the sand.
The crowd is silent and staring. No cheers. As if they were
staring at an alien or an animal in the zoo. Bill and Slim
help pull the dinghy to the rocky shore. But when Amelia
jumps out, the crowd…

.
..begins to soberly APPLAUD, and slowly CLOSES IN around
her. At first she seems pleased, trying to shake every hand
thrust toward her. She doesn’t see that Bill and Slim have
been shunted to the back. Suddenly…
…people get BOLDER. CLAPPING her on the back, reaching to
TOUCH her, someone SNATCHES her scarf, she looks around
frantically for Bill and Slim as…
…a SHERIFF and three DEPUTIES muscle their way to her using
billy clubs to push people back. They surround Amelia, begin
to escort her to the station…



33.







SHERIFF
Sorry Ma’am. Shoulda brought
more men.

AMELIA
No, really, this is very sweet,
it’s an honor. I’m actually
enjoying it.

SHERIFF
That’s a good thing.
She looks at him as they are jostled along.

SHERIFF (CONT’D)
Because you’re stuck with it.
From here on.
She is brought to a smiling avuncular HILTON RAILEY, standing
beside the closest thing Burry Port has to a limo. She
throws an affectionate arm around him, kisses his cheek.

AMELIA
Hullo, Hilton.
Railey stands back as FLASHBULBS catch the moment. He’s
brought photographers with him. And more.

R

AILEY
Amelia, say hullo to Allen Raymond
of the New York Times.
A hearty handshake. She holds out her sheets of paper.

AMELIA
I believe you’ve come for these.
Both men regard the pages as if they were gold bullion. Come
for these indeed.





EXT. SOUTHAMPTON – DAY

32 32
MOVIETONE FOOTAGE of Amelia being welcomed by a SEA OF PEOPLE
on the dock at Southampton. A mob . Folks spilling into the
water. Ships circling, fireboats spray, every craft BLARES
its horn. Police hold back the screaming throng as FLASHES
EXPLODE and NEWSREEL CAMERAS CHURN. Amelia at the center of
the storm. Welcomed by AMY GUEST and the lady LORD MAYOR of
Southampton.
Throughout, we see SUPERIMPOSED IMAGES of the article she
gave Railey, displaying her byline, on the front pages of the
London Times, New York Times, the Times of India, Sydney
Morning Herald, the Toronto Star, Le Monde, as her story
echoes around the world. These IMAGES CONTINUE OVER…



34.






QUICK SERIES OF ANGLES. Amelia cheering animatedly at the
races…watching tennis at Wimbledon…front row gallery at
the House of Commons, as…

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
A whirlwind week for Boston’s
Amelia Earhart, our own Lady Lindy.
Races at Ascot on Gold Cup
day…watching Helen Wills Moody
play at Wimbledon…Lady Astor’s
3 guest at the House of Commons…





INT. HYDE PARK HOTEL, LONDON – DAY

3 33
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL CONTINUES. The British press are gathered
in a huge Victorian parlor. Dark woods, rich leather, a bank
of microphones, an electric expectancy…
Bill and Slim stand next to a seated Amy. Amelia steps to
the microphones…

AMELIA
I was a passenger on this journey.
Just a passenger. Everything that
was done to bring us across was
done by Wilmer Stultz and Slim
Gordon. All the praise…

REPORTER
(calls out)
But you can fly, can’t you?
Amelia stares at the man. Conflicting agendas.

AMELIA
This flight was solely to the
credit of Bill and Slim. Women
should know, however, that I have
had 500 hours solo flying and once
held the women’s altitude record.

REPORTER
So you could have done it yourself!

AMELIA
This particular flight, under these
conditions, I wonder if anyone but
Bill Stultz could have pulled it
off. But certainly, one day a
woman will do this. As easily, as
skillfully, as professionally as
any man.
Such calm self-possession. Such confidence in that.



Y









3









S









35.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
Aviation is clear today for the
pioneer. And if the pioneer has
good ideas nobody will ask whether
P the pioneer is a man or woman.
olite applause. Mostly from women. She looks around the
room.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I hear your doubt. That doubt is
our challenge. This is where our
Atlantic flight, or any other good
flight by a woman can help…
She nods. To them, to herself.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
It starts women thinking.





EXT. BROADWAY, NEW YORK CITY – DAY

34 34
Ticker tape PARADE down Broadway, crowds lining the streets,
leaning from windows to welcome Amelia home.

UPERIMPOSE: NEW YORK CITY
Amelia sits in an open car between Bill and Slim, WAVING to
everyone. In the front seat, George and Dorothy share the
moment.





EXT. RECEPTION HALL – DAY

5 35
Amelia flanked by George and Dorothy, coming out of a
reception hall. Amelia glances to George…

AMELIA
Guess you can burn those letters.
Dorothy wonders. Letters?

GEORGE
I saved them for your book.
One simple shake of Amelia’s head. A soft…

AMELIA
The book’s yours. The letters are
mine.
He smiles. Bows in submission.

GEORGE
ou’re the boss.



36.







DOROTHY
Hey, that’s my job.
(to Amelia)
Do you think there’s enough of him
to boss for the two of us?
Amelia still looking at George. Laughs.

AMELIA
Barely enough for one.
A battery of reporters and flashbulbs wait by our motorcade.

REPORTER
Miss Earhart, can you tell us some-
thing about your future plans?

S
he likes this question. Fixes the man with that clear,
honest gaze.

AMELIA
Well, being a social worker by
trade and passion, I’ll be going
back to work at Denison House when
all this fun is over.
She sends the guy a smile, and a dozen FLASHES catch it.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
…if I haven’t been fired.
George holds the door of their limo. She looks up to him
with a mischievous smile. And with no warning…
…Amelia bypasses the limo, climbs into the SIDECAR of a
cop’s motorcycle, and SMACKS its side. The cop looks up to
George, who…
…nods, go for it. And the cop DOES, wheeling out into
traffic, opening up the SIREN, as everyone laughs or cheers
or darts into the street desperate for a fleeting photo.
George watching her go. Dorothy watching George.

REPORTER
Mr. Putnam, sir. How did a social
worker like Miss Earhart become
comfortable as a celebrity so
quickly?
George smiles. His eyes still following Amelia.

GEORGE
The truth is, she was a celebrity
on smaller stages all her life.

(MORE)



37.
GEORGE(cont’d)
This is just when the rest of us
discovered her.
And Dorothy. Watches this, too.





36 36

EXT. PUTNAM HOME, RYE, NEW YORK – DAY

Amelia in a sunlit garden ringed by trees. She sits at a
folding table, writing longhand. A large dog lies at her
feet.

AMELIA (V.O.)
So they took me home with them to
Rye. And I lived there, while I
wrote my book.
PULL BACK to see our view has been George’s. He sits at an
antique writing desk, watching her through a picture window.
He rises slowly. We see that he has been reviewing a
CONTRACT, which he takes with him.

A
NGLE. Amelia writing, looking up to see George coming down
the back porch steps to the garden.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I thought he’d be a tyrant and that
I would have to manage him.
He smiles as he approaches. She goes back to work.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Instead he was kind and generous.
And only picked the fights he
needed to win.
He drops the contract on her table. She looks at it.

GEORGE
Lucky Strike endorsement. I wrote
the copy myself.

AMELIA
What does it say? `I don’t smoke
but you should?’

GEORGE
It says Lucky Strikes were the only
cigarettes aboard the Friendship.
That’s true.

AMELIA
True and misleading. Why would I
sign that?

GEORGE
So Bill and Slim get paid.



38.






Oh. His smile simple, comfortable.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
If you’re too proud to take tobacco
money, donate it to Byrd’s
expedition, and we get great
publicity.
She stares at him with hard eyes. His smile just becomes
more relaxed. An easy win, no big deal. She begins to sign
the contract. He places a stack of letters in front of her.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
This week’s marriage proposals.
The top one’s the most creative.
It’s from Sing Sing.
She starts to read. Her eyes widen. Goodness.
AMELIA (reads)
`…in the prison yard, so everyone
can watch and share in our…’

(
looks up)
Did you write the copy on this one,
too?
DOROTHY (O.S., approaching)
Have you no shame, George? No
sense of the scandal you create?
They look up. She has a tray of lemonade and cookies.

DOROTHY (CONT’D)
You make her work for nothing. At
least you can feed her.
(to Amelia)
Are you done yet? If not, make him
write the rest, he will anyway.





INT. AUDITORIUM, BARNARD COLLEGE, NEW YORK – NIGHT

37 37
A women’s college. The hall is packed.

GEORGE (V.O.)
The lecture and publicity schedule
was fierce. I was with her pretty
much all the time.
Amelia and George alone in the wings.



39.







GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
This was the moment of opportunity.
Could we launch her into Lindbergh
status as a permanent icon, before
her name fell out of the news-
papers.
He re-ties her scarf. Checking out the effect.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
We had separate agendas. For her,
it was the advancement of aviation
and of women.
He very slightly rearranges her hair, as if every lock
matters.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
As for me, I liked to tell myself
it was about the money. Though
there was never much of that left
over.
She stands for inspection, with her trace of a teasing smile.
He holds out his hand and she gives him her note cards.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Really, it was about the chance
to be around her.
He flips through the A
cards, frowning as he goes.
MELIA (George imitation)
This will never do, A.E., simply
unacceptable.
He looks up. She starts pacing around, gesturing as he
would…
AMELIA (George imitation)
You need more ammunition in these
cards, and where’s the goddamned
humor, for Chrissake? By which I
mean something actually funny!
He’s trying to look annoyed. It isn’t easy.
AMELIA (George imitation)
And please remember not to turn
your pretty little backside to the
crowd when you use your pointer,
it’s your face they’re paying to
see. Well, most of them.
She WHIPS around. He’s deadpan.



40.






AMELIA (George imitation)
And another thing. Your hats.
Are a menace.
Staring at each other.
GEORGE (softly)
Everything about you. Is a menace.
The stare holds. Because this is the moment.

AMELIA (V.O.)
I remember the first kiss.
It is only one step. Her hand goes to his chest. Her eyes
close, as…
She brings her mouth to his. Tender and strong. And deep.
It is an act of decision.
A held look. No one smiles. We hear her name ANNOUNCED from
the podium. But she keeps looking at him. And as the
APPLAUSE CONTINUES, she finally…
…turns. STRIDES onto the stage, with one graceful wave,
she brings the applause to a crescendo.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Of course, I knew all the stories

T
hat Dorothy had been having a
torrid affair with Fred Upton.
Everyone did.
She steps to the microphone. The crowd quiets.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
But I didn’t kiss him because I
felt sorry for him. Or because
it would mean the world to him.
INTERCUT. George in the wings. His heart in his eyes.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I did it. Because I wanted to.
He looks down. He’s still holding her cards.





INT. HOTEL, CHICAGO – DAY

38 38
Hotel corridor. An elevator OPENS and ELINOR SMITH a
striking young woman emerges. Looks at a slip of paper.
Nervous. Heads down the hallway to a door. As she gathers
herself to knock, she looks scared enough to pass out.



41.






George answers the door, looking gracious and suave. They
shake hands. Then, Amelia appears, warmly clasping the
girl’s hand, and Elinor looks as starstruck as a teenager at
the Oscars.

AMELIA
It’s so good to meet you. I’ve
been following your career with
a great deal of admiration.

ELINOR
Um. Thanks, and. You, too.

AMELIA
Feel like a drink?

GEORGE
Amelia! What would her mother
say?

AMELIA
Relax, George. I meant a Coke.
As she leads Elinor into the sitting room of their suite, the
girl’s eye falls on the door to the bedroom. It is slightly
ajar, revealing an unmade double bed. Unseen by the others,
the kid reacts. Oh, my.

L
ATER. Tea in the sitting room. Elinor leaning forward,
guileless, eager…

ELINOR
They’re saying you get $500 a week
on the lecture circuit.

GEORGE AMELIA
On a bad week. On a good week.


The girl looks from one to the other.

AMELIA
All depends. On whether you want
the sell or the real.

ELINOR
Oh, I don’t underestimate the value
of selling. It’s why I’m here.

GEORGE
A 16-year-old girl sets an altitude
record, then makes headlines
illegally flying under the four
bridges of the East River. You
don’t seem to need much help
selling yourself.



42.







ELINOR
Well, actually Mr. Putnam, I was
hoping you could do to me what
you’ve done to her.
Inadvertently, her eyes flick to the bedroom door. Catching
this, our couple shares a dry smile. The kid sees that. Uh-
oh.

ELINOR (CONT’D)
What I mean is. It’s a good thing.
That’s why I want it.
Now our couple is trying not to laugh.

GEORGE
Just so we’re clear, young lady.
What is your primary ambition?
ELINOR (straight back)
To take Amelia’s place as the
number one female pilot.
The honesty, the suddenness, leave George atypically
dumbstruck.

AMELIA
Well, good for you! I would have
expected nothing less. You want
a tip?

ELINOR
I do.

AMELIA
Keep doing what you’re doing.
The girl nods, seriously. Okay.

A

MELIA (CONT’D)
And don’t let anyone turn you
around.





INT. PUTNAM HOUSE – CHRISTMAS DAY

39 39
Holiday party in progress. Christmas decorations everywhere.
A small crowd around the living room bar where George is
telling a story.
Now we see Dorothy standing, drinking, watching George with
hard eyes. She turns on her heels and walks OUT into the
garden. George sees this, excuses himself, follows her, as
we PAN to…



43.






…Amelia standing with a group of guests. She’s seen it
all.





40 40

EXT. GARDEN – MOMENTS LATER

Here she comes along the roses, still drinking, still fuming.
A figure comes up behind her. Falls in step.

GEORGE
Lovely party, huh?

DOROTHY
Depends on your point of view.
I’ve been listening to some idiot
brag about his girlfriend.
Still walking. She never looks at him.

GEORGE
Well, in that case, for your
information, it is a lovely party
indeed. Anything on your mind?

DOROTHY
It’s not so much that my husband
is having an affair with his meal
ticket. It’s just a pity we can’t
have one honest conversation about
it.

GEORGE
What’s wrong with this one? A
promising start, I’d say, in the
honesty department.
She finishes her drink. Throws the glass away. From our
ANGLE we can now see D
Amelia in the window, watching them.

OROTHY
If this is what you call an honest
talk, I’d say you need some
practice.

GEORGE
Great. Let’s try one about you
and Fred Upton.
She stops walking. Turns in shock, to see his easy smile.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Well, I’m waiting for our practice
conversation. Hoping I’ll learn
something. About honesty.



44.






She GLARES at him, and storms off. He lets her go. Hear a
car engine TURN OVER. Dorothy PEELING OUT. George reflects.
As he walks back toward the party, he now sees Amelia in the
window. He stops. Their look holds.





INT. KITCHEN – LATE NIGHT

41 41
George at the kitchen table in dim light. It’s very late. A
HAND places a steaming mug of coffee before him. Followed by
a slice of pie. A fork. He smiles. And softly…

GEORGE
Dorothy and I are through.
She sits beside him. Very close.

AMELIA
For a long, long time.

GEORGE
It’s different now.
She looks at him. Squints. How?

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Marry me.
Oh. A breath.

AMELIA
I can’t do that.

GEORGE
If you give it a chance, you’ll
learn to love me.
He seems so sunny and strong. What can he be feeling?

AMELIA
I already love you. That’s why I
can’t marry you.
GEORGE (a murmur)
Well, that explains it. For a
minute there, I thought you were
stuck for an excuse.

S
he comes close enough to kiss.

AMELIA
I know me. And you don’t. Not
really.

GEORGE
What if I promise not to learn?



45.







AMELIA
The day will come. When I will run
away. And when it does…
He stops her with a kiss.

GEORGE
If you love me. I’ll take my
chances.
He stares in her troubled eyes. There is no answer.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Race you to bed.





EXT. AIRFIELD – DAY – NEWSREEL

42 42
Amelia and nearly 20 WOMEN lined up in front of planes.
Waving, smiling, talking to each other.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Amelia Earhart and a bevy of lovely
competitors say hello to the press
announcing the First Women’s Air
Derby, racing from Santa Monica to
Cleveland. Dubbed by Will Rogers
`the Powder Puff Derby,’ these gals
certainly know how to capture our
attention.
The next ANGLE shows Amelia watching some of her colleagues
bouncing playfully on a see-saw. She smiles tolerantly, but
maybe there’s a little too much cheesecake for her taste.





INT. RECEPTION AREA, PUTNAM’S – DAY

43 43
The crowded waiting room. We CLOSE on a young woman we
scarcely recognize. It is Elinor. Though less than a year
has passed, she seems much older. Sophisticated, poised.
ANGLE. A secretary leads Elinor down the corridor to
George’s office. As they enter, George is pacing on the
phone. G
EORGE (into phone)
Because Amelia invented the Powder
Puff Derby for female pilots. Then
the men running the damn race
suddenly decide every woman has to
carry a male navigator, and start
from east of the Rockies so they
won’t crash into the mountains!
Listens, impatient.



46.






GEORGE (into phone)
I’ll tell you why it’s a front page
story. Because Amelia pulled every
woman out of the race. So the
organizers had to roll over and
give in, or they’d have lost their
shirts. You want me to write your
headline?
He glances over. Elinor in the doorway.
GEORGE (into phone)
Call you back. I’ve got a very
important guest.
He hangs up, gesturing graciously for her to sit. As she
does…

ELINOR
Wish I was important enough for
you to manage.

GEORGE
Well, I’ve just got one client.
And most days she’s more than I
can manage.
Even Elinor’s smile seems older, more capable of subtlety.

ELINOR
Get in line behind the boys she
smacked around on the Derby.
He grins back. You bet.

ELINOR (CONT’D)
Some of the gal flyers had their
doubts about her…well, her skill
level. But she’s everyone’s
champion now.

GEORGE
And both of those things. Are the
S reasons I called you.
trange words. He has her attention.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I think it would be huge for women
flyers if Amelia won the Derby.
The publicity would put the race,
and all of you, up there with the
boys.



47.







ELINOR
I’m not sure she has much of a
chance, Mr. Putnam.

GEORGE
Well, the one shot would be putting
her in a far more powerful plane
than anything she’s flown. We’re
thinking the Lockheed Vega.
The girl’s shock. He really means this.

ELINOR
Sir, I’ve test piloted the Vega.
It’s way more than she could ever
handle. It wouldn’t be safe, let
alone successful.
He smiles.

GEORGE
That’s why I’m thinking of you
flying with her. You could handle
the cross-country flying, the more
difficult bits, and I’d pay you $75
a week.
Elinor WHISTLES low.

ELINOR
Well, I think that’s the most
generous opportunity I’ve ever
been offered.
He stares at her.

GEORGE
There’s just one thing. Obviously,
it has to appear that Amelia did
all the flying. So when pictures
are taken, you’ll stand off to one
side.
Her eyes narrow. He’s completely serious.

ELINOR
In that case, I’ll get my own plane
and win the race myself.

GEORGE
You haven’t changed.

N
o smile at all.



48.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
Unfortunately for you, neither
have I.
The look in his eye is not to be ignored.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
You can’t win if you can’t get a
plane to enter. Let me predict
that you won’t.
The voice calm and low and riveting.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
In fact. If you reject my
generosity, you may come to regret
it. For a long, long time.

ELINOR
That’s a threat.

GEORGE
I’m an intensely loyal person,
Elinor. And this is what my
loyalty requires.
She’s glaring. Reeling. Trapped.

ELINOR
She’s the one who said I shouldn’t
let anybody turn me around.

GEORGE
She probably meant me.
So honest, the words confuse her.

ELINOR
Obviously, she doesn’t see me as
a threat.

GEORGE
Oh, sure she does.
A straight smile…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
She just doesn’t care.
…which silently fades.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
My job. Is to care for her.

DISSOLVE TO…



Y









S









W









49.









44 44

INT. OAK ROOM, PLAZA HOTEL, NEW YORK – NIGHT

LONG ANGLE. Sophisticated watering hole. Crowded tonight.
PAN to find George alone, waiting. A waiter leads Amelia to
the table. George stands, smiling. But the smile is not
returned. We CLOSE as they sit…

GEORGE

A
hat’s wrong?
MELIA (clearly furious)
What could be wrong? I had such a
lovely afternoon with Elinor Smith.
Oh.

GEORGE
he told you that I shut her out of
the Derby. And that’s true.

AMELIA
And when were you going to tell me?
GEORGE (calm, straight)
Never. I knew you’d go crazy. And
I felt it needed to be done.
She can scarcely believe this.

AMELIA
What? You think I wanted it done,
but just let you do the dirty work?

GEORGE
I didn’t say that.

AMELIA
Because I’m no angel. Business is
competition and competition is
rough, and I thank my stars that
you’re there making this life
happen for me, but…

GEORGE
ou’re making your life hap…

AMELIA
But this is different.
It is.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
If women are going to stab women in
the back, then women are going
nowhere.



I









F

T









50.






Are you listening?

GEORGE
rom here on, I’ll just stab men in
he back. A

MELIA
You didn’t do this for business,
anyway. G

EORGE
I did it for fun?

AMELIA
You did it because you love me.
That stops him.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
And when we’re married, you mustn’t
ever…
Now she stops. Because his eyes are wide.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
What’s the big shock? I thought
you wanted to get married.
Full beat.

GEORGE
did. I do.

AMELIA
Well, then.
His eyes moving over her face.

GEORGE
What about what you said? The day
S will come when you run away.
he nods. It will.

AMELIA
You’ll be destroyed. And part of
me will, too. And I think we both
know it.
And yet.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Sometimes things happen that way.
You’re not better safe than sorry.
Tears stand in his eyes. He is so happy.



51.






AMELIA (a whisper) (CONT’D)
Yes?
GEORGE (a whisper)
Hell yes.





45 45

INT. GEORGE’S MOTHER’S HOME, NOANK, CONNECTICUT – DAY

Through a window, a dry, wintered garden. Snow falling, at
once soft and heavy. Beyond, Morgan Point Lighthouse,
Fisher’s Island Sound, Long Island Sound. One lonely fishing
boat braves the cold water. PULL BACK to see…
…Amelia at the breakfast table in a windowed room. She is
writing, and as she does…

S

UPERIMPOSE: WEDDING DAY. CONNECTICUT, 1931.
…her eyes are swimming with tears. She brushes at them.
Stares down at her work. Continues.
ANGLE. The parlor. George, his MOTHER, the MINISTER, a
small number of close FRIENDS. From the doorway, Amelia
beckons George. The letter is in her hand.





EXT. HOME – MOMENTS LATER

46 46
Amelia holds tight to George’s hand, leading him out into the
falling snow. She turns, fixes him with a look. Hands him
the letter. And steps back. As if giving him space.
At first, he smiles. What is this? She gestures for him to
read. As he begins, there is nothing for a few seconds.
Then…

AMELIA (V.O.)
…I want you to understand I shall
not hold you to any medieval code
of faithfulness to me. Nor shall
I consider myself bound to you
similarly.
Snow falling. Absolute silence.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
If we can be honest I think the
difficulties which may arise may
best be avoided should you or I
become interested deeply, or in
passing, with anyone else.
She gazes intently, her heart in her eyes. He never looks
up.



M









52.







AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Please let us not interfere with
the other’s work or play, nor let
the world see our private joys or
disagreements.
And then…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)

I
must exact a cruel promise. And
that is you will let me go in a
year if we find no happiness
together.
He stops on this. His thoughts unreadable.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I will try to do my best in every
way. And give you that part of me
you know and seem to want.
He folds the letter carefully. Places it in his pocket. And
smiles.

GEORGE
y Amelia. Brutal in her frank-
ness. Beautiful in her honesty.
He steps to her. Looks in her eyes. They kiss.





47 47

INT. PARLOR – LATER

LONG ANGLE. The minister reading the vows. The witnesses
standing silent. Two black cats rubbing against George’s
ankles.

DISSOLVE TO…





INT. KITCHEN, RYE – MORNING

48 48
George at the breakfast table. His eggs and toast ignored
for the moment, he’s reading a magazine article. PAN to
Amelia, sipping her coffee. Watching him.
GEORGE (reads aloud)
`Why I Believe Women Pilots Can’t
Fly The Atlantic. An outspoken
warning by Lady Heath.’

(READING)
`…pure suicide for any woman
today…it is madness for them to
attempt it and…’
He looks up to her.



53.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
`…at least the first dozen will
be drowned.’ And we’re reading

A
this, because…?

MELIA
I might fly to Paris.
Silence.

GEORGE
Which is actually across the
Atlantic.

AMELIA
Hence, the article.
Ah. He nods.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m thinking of doing it solo.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Would you mind?
He butters his toast.

GEORGE
Not at all. When would you like
to go?





EXT. GARDEN, RYE – DAY

49 49
CLOSE on Amelia as she kneels, carefully putting new plants
into the ground. We see patience, concentration.
Contentment. After a moment…

AMELIA
I’m surprised you’re all right with
this…
WIDEN ANGLE. George kneeling beside her. Happily planting
his own.

GEORGE
Really.

AMELIA
Mmm-hmmn. I was braced for the
lecture. Five years since
Lindbergh, no one’s made it solo,
so many of them died.
He looks at her work. Reaches over. Starts packing the
earth HARDER around her plant. She just watches, then…



D









W









54.







GEORGE
ell, they were only men. This is
different.
She reaches to his plant and starts LOOSENING the soil…

AMELIA
I was waiting to hear that I’m only
doing this because I was just a
passenger last time, and I’d rather
die than go on living as a fraud..
No one cracks a smile. It’s like Laurel and Hardy in a food
fight where each lets the other take his best shot. George

A
reaches now, starts REPACKING her soil…

MELIA (CONT’D)
But you don’t think that, do you,
ear?

GEORGE
Of course not. But if I did…
She SMACKS his hand. He just keeps working. She finally
grins, smacks him HARDER. He doesn’t seem to notice.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
…all the more reason to say yes.





EXT. TEETERBORO AIRPORT – DUSK

50 50
AERIAL ANGLE. In the sun’s last light, two figures walk
slowly, far below us. The Vega waits.
CLOSE ANGLE. They stand beneath the wing. Her ground crew
in far distance, giving them their moment. Her look is not
breezy and cavalier this time, but tender and intimate. She
knows the fear beneath his easy smile.
He produces a RING, a band of black fibers.

GEORGE
Elephant hair, I think you wear
it on your toe. It’s good luck.
He puts it in her hand.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Anyway. That’s what the elephant
told me.
Amelia looks at the ring. Turns it in her fingers.



55.







AMELIA
I think luck has rules. And I try
to respect them. My favorite is…
She glances up.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
We make our own luck, you and I.
Remember that.
He will remember that. And more.

GEORGE
Do you have money?

AMELIA
No.
He pulls out a twenty dollar bill. Hands it to her.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
All this? G

EORGE
Sure.

AMELIA
Thank god, I thought you were going
to tear it in half.

GEORGE
I spent our money on ocean liner
passage to go bring you back. It’s
non-refundable. So try to do your
part.
She nods. She’ll try. He doesn’t want to leave her yet.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
So the Simpkin thing. What was all
that?

AMELIA
I put it in a letter. Which you’ll
get if I don’t make it. So…mixed
emotions, huh?
He shakes his head.
GEORGE (very soft)
Either way, something to look
forward to.
She puts her hands on his face. She doesn’t want to leave
him either.



56.






AMELIA (murmurs)
Stake up the peonies, huh? They’re
messy when they bloom on the
ground, and…
And.
AMELIA (a whisper)
I want to see their heads high.
When I come home.
She leans up to kiss him. And again. Feeling in her eyes
that he will never forget.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
See ya.





INT. VEGA – NIGHT

51 51
Amelia alone. Starry night. 12,000 feet below are ICEBERGS.
A single fishing boat.

AMELIA (V.O.)
The weather report wasn’t perfect.
But we knew our real chance was to
take weather that others wouldn’t.
Ahead, towering CLOUDS in moonlight. Too high to fly over.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I closed the deal by choosing May
20, five years to the day from
Lindbergh’s flight. It was too
good a sell for George to resist.
5 What we didn’t know…





EXT. VEGA – LATER

2 52
A terrifying STORM BATTERS the plane, which bobs and darts
and dips like a leaf in a gale.

AMELIA (V.O.)
…was that my altimeter would conk
out. Never to return.





INT. VEGA – SAME MOMENT

53 53
Amelia fights for control as the plane is TOSSED and SHAKEN.

AMELIA (V.O.)
The only way to have any sense of
altitude, was to keep dropping
toward the sea.

(MORE)



57.
AMELIA(cont’d)
When the engines sputtered, that
was my low-level limit.
A sudden JOLT knocks her OUT of her seat. She scrambles
back, as we see WHITECAPS A FEW FEET BELOW. She JERKS the
nose UP, the engine COUGHS…
…and CLIMBS.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I was too busy to grasp how
impossible the situation had
become. The joke was…
LATER. Flying in and out of cloud cover.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
All those months flying only with
instruments, I should have been
practicing without them.
PAN to the windshield. A small GLOW at the surface of a
vibrating engine. Amelia hasn’t noticed.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I started to wonder if luck was
paying me back. For thinking I
knew the rules.
A small BLUE FLAME LICKS out into the night.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Then I smelled burning oil.
She sees it now. The flame coming through a broken weld in
the manifold ring. A

MELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
A bad weld, already a small flame.
It would be hours back to Canada,
trying to find an unlit field,
landing with a heavy fuel load.
She stares at the little flame. Is it growing bigger?

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I told myself, push on. After all,
if it was a stupid choice…
LATER. Flying in blackness. Rising, as the engines seem
sluggish.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…no one would ever know.
Suddenly, a FILM of SLUSH on the windscreen.



58.







AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
With seemingly no warning, there
was ice. The controls froze.
And the Vega DIVES into a DIZZYING SPIN.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Through the spin I had one thought,
it would be warmer lower, the ice
would melt, I just had to regain
control…





54 54

EXT. VEGA – SAME MOMENT

The SPINNING plane PLUNGING…

AMELIA (V.O.)
…before I hit the water.
And ARCING at last to SWOOP above the whitecaps. Way close
for comfort. SMASH CUT TO…





INT. VEGA – SAME MOMENT

55 55
Amelia REELING in her seat, her fingers FUMBLING in her
flight bag, for…

AMELIA (V.O.)
…or passed out.
…SMELLING SALTS, she inhales, again, blinks, starts to
climb…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The ice happened twice more, and I
began to lose heart. Then I
remembered Lindbergh’s book saying
the same thing happened to him.

T
he sea DISAPPEARS below. Only cloud.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
So I figured, if he’s twice as
good, I just have to be twice as
lucky…

DISSOLVE TO…
HOURS LATER. Amelia seriously fatigued. She breaks through
cloud into DAZZLING SUNLIGHT, and blinks, blinded.



59.







AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I’d read that part in George’s
reception room that first day.
Bless him for keeping me waiting.
The FUEL GAUGE reads EMPTY. She switches on the RESERVE
TANK. And as she DROPS back down into opaque clouds…
…she feels something. Her fingertips go to her left
shoulder, and come away…
Wet. Slick.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The cockpit gauge was defective.
There was a steady trickle of fuel
down my neck.
She looks around helplessly for a way to stem the dripping.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Toss-up whether the bigger danger
was running out of gas or going up
in a fireball. I had my answer in
less than an hour, when…

DISSOLVE TO…
LATER. Amelia beyond exhaustion. Staring fixedly at some-
thing we can’t see. Until we PAN through the wind screen to
the leak in the manifold weld. The BLUE FLAME is startlingly
LARGER, now LICKING its way along the surface of the
fuselage…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The manifold weld began to
separate. I gauged the likelihood
of explosion at somewhere between
probable and inevitable.

5



INT. GEORGE’S OFFICE – DAY

6 56
Arms folded, George stares out his window. He hasn’t slept
or eaten. PAN to his desk. The phone is OFF the hook. The
door opens softly…

SECRETARY (O.S.)
Mr. Putnam? Line three.
He turns and looks at her. The girl’s eyes go down and he
BOLTS to the phone, SNATCHES the receiver, SLAMS the
button…
GEORGE (into phone)
Putnam.



60.






A full beat.

VOICE (O.S.)
Sir, this is Douglas McGuire of the
Press Association. I’m sorry to
tell you that Miss Earhart’s plane
has crashed in a field, short of
Le Bourget airport.

SMASH CUT TO…





EXT. SKY – DAY

57 57
A plane swooping downward through cloud and fog. The SOUND
of George’s call CONTINUES…

GEORGE (O.S.)
Is she all right?

MCGUIRE (O.S.)
If the crash is as reported, sir,
I’m afraid not. There were
terrible flames.
LOWER, it’s dropping fast, maybe too fast, WOBBLES in a
crosswind, here comes the GROUND, and…

GEORGE (O.S.)
Are they completely sure it’s her
plane?

MCGUIRE (O.S.)
Yes sir, absolutely.
…the Vega RIGHTS itself and GLIDES in for as fine a landing
as a bumpy meadow could allow. COWS look up as she rolls
past, toward…
…one lone astonished FARM WORKER. She cuts her engines,
leans from the hatch…

AMELIA
Excuse me, sir. Where am I?
A blink. The truth…

MAN
In Gallagher’s pasture.

O
ne more beat.

MAN (CONT’D)
Where are ya supposed to be?



61.







AMELIA
When I left, I was aiming for
Paris.
Oh.
MAN (very sad)
Ya missed, y’know.

(POINTS)
It’s over there.





EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR- DAY

58 58
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE of Amelia arriving at New York
Harbor to an overwhelming reception.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Amelia Earhart arrives to a tumul-
tuous New York reception after her
whirlwind tour of Europe, in which
our Queen of the Skies danced with
her royal counterpart the Prince of
Wales, before meeting both Benito
Mussolini and the Pope.
The MAYOR, the GOVERNOR, every dignitary that could get an
invitation is there to greet her.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
The second human to fly the
Atlantic solo, she is the only one
ever to fly it twice. And she set
the record, man or woman, for the
fastest crossing. Fourteen hours
54 minutes.
As she waves to the crowd…

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Now it’s America’s turn to show our
girl what we think of her!

DISSOLVE TO…





INT. BACKSTAGE, CONSTITUTIONAL HALL, WASHINGTON, D.C. – NIGHT

59 59
We are standing in the wings. Through the curtains, we
GLIMPSE the eager, packed house in an auditorium. From the
stage, a speaker DRONES, but backstage…
…George peeks out at the throng. When he looks back, we
see Amelia, her troubled face. The folded newspaper in her
hand.



G









W









W









62.






AMELIA (reads)
`Only an average flyer, she has
pushed herself to the front by
following the tactics of the
feminists…
She looks up to him.

GEORGE
ell, I’m glad someone besides me
finally noticed.
His smile is light. Her eyes watching him. Then…
AMELIA (reads)
`Using a man-made perfect machine,
tuned by men mechanics, trained by
men flyers, on a course laid out by
a man. By a lucky break she just
managed to make the hop.’
She stares at the paper. His voice comes gently…

GEORGE
hy would you even read that
garbage?

AMELIA
Well, it reminds me how much I owe
to the men of this world. Keeps me
humble.

GEORGE
ood. And remembering how little
you owe me keeps me humble.
And softly…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
He’s a crackpot. Let it go.
He points to the packed hall…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Cheer up. They’re crazy about you.
AMELIA (quiet)
Well, they’re crazy about
something.
She looks down. Self-doubt flickers.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
What have we really done?



63.







GEORGE
You’ve made them feel like this.

AMELIA
That’s not enough.

GEORGE
Most of them are women. And for
them, it’s very much enough.
She shakes her head.

AMELIA
The World Telegram said, `a
magnificent display of useless
courage.’

GEORGE
The question is. Can any magnif-
icent display of courage be use-
less? A

MELIA
The point is. Men do it every day.
And no one throws a parade.
Ah. Well…

GEORGE
One day closer, then. To the day
when they won’t think to throw one
for you.
She doesn’t turn. She doesn’t smile.

AMELIA
Reasoning with me. A magnificent
display of useless courage.
He nods to himself.

GEORGE
And. It’s fun.
From the stage…

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
HAIL TO THE CHIEF strikes up. We hear the deep applause.
George begins to straighten Amelia’s outfit, touching her
hair, as he did long ago on the Copley Hotel roof.



64.







PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

THE GOLD MEDAL OF THE NATIONAL GEO-

GRAPHIC SOCIETY WAS LAST AWARDED

FIVE YEARS AGO TO COL. CHARLES

LINDBERGH.
George murmurs close to her ear…

GEORGE
If a bomb goes off tonight, the
whole government of the United
States is out there…

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

IT HAS NEVER BEEN AWARDED TO A

WOMAN…

GEORGE
Some dog catcher will have to
become President.
She smiles. Just for him.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

UNTIL TONIGHT.
GEORGE (a whisper)
Boy. Imagine if you’d actually
done something.
AMELIA (a whisper)
Imagine.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

IT IS MY HONOR TO WELCOME TO CONSTI-

TUTION HALL, A ROLE MODEL FOR

LADIES EVERYWHERE…

AMELIA
Ladies.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

MISS AMELIA EARHART.

M GEORGE
iss.
She’s through the curtain, and the crowd CRACKLES with
APPLAUSE as…
…George stands in the wings. Proud. And concerned.



65.









60 60

INT. TRAIN – DAY

A train rumbles through countryside. A private compartment
finds Amelia staring out the window. George studying her.

GEORGE (V.O.)
The irony is, I’d finally put that
wedding day letter out of my mind.
Stopped watching every beautiful
accomplished man who crossed her
path.
REVERSE ANGLE. Through the glass of our compartment door, a
crowd stands jouncing against each other. Gazing at their
Queen of the Skies.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I had a call from the Byrds.
They’ve asked us to dinner
Thursday.

AMELIA
Thursday, I’ll be in Boston.
Meeting Gene Vidal and Paul
Collins.
Said lightly. Not even looking at him. While through the
glass, it’s become quite a tussle.

GEORGE
Don’t tell me Gene wants to
resurrect Transcontinental?

AMELIA
No, he’s starting a shuttle
service. Washington, New York,
Boston…
One woman goes flying from view, as a younger one gets her
place.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Could be a money maker for us. Get
me off the lecture grind.
He stares in her eyes. Almost as if looking for something.

GEORGE
Gene’s a dashing guy. He could
talk anyone into anything.
Their look holds.



66.







GEORGE (CONT’D)

S
ounds like a great idea.

DISSOLVE TO…





61 61

INT. RESTAURANT, BOSTON – NIGHT

PAN the dark, elegant restaurant. In a corner by the fire-
place, Amelia and her dinner companions are being served
lobsters. GENE VIDAL leans to Amelia as he speaks, and she
hangs on every word.

GENE
Transcontinental was too ambitious.
Too many hops, too tough on the
ladies. But the shuttle…
A lean athlete’s body, easy grace in every movement.
Strikingly handsome features that convey not only intellect,
but kindness and decency.

GENE (CONT’D)
Washington, New York, Boston. I
think it’s the future. Will you
go there with us?
She’s trying to crack her lobster, but can’t take her eyes
off her host.

AMELIA
What on earth would you need me
for?
She’s making a real mess of the lobster. Gene notices. PAUL
COLLINS doesn’t…

PAUL
Hasn’t George taught you anything?
Lady Lindy, the queen of the air,
the best known woman in the entire
U.S. of A?
Gene reaches over, as if it were his own plate, and begins
cracking her lobster for her. She looks in his eyes and
tries to concentrate.

PAUL (CONT’D)
Gene on the poster with you.
Legendary athlete at West Point,
two events in the Olympics, a top
pilot who should be running the
skies for Roosevelt when he wins…



67.






Gene looks up at Paul, as if to say: Enough. Now he smiles
at Amelia. She blinks, what? Don’t you want your lobster?

G
Oh. She starts eating…
ENE (looking only at Amelia)
Thanks, Paul. I think you’ve even
talked me out of it.

DISSOLVE TO…
LATER. Paul has gone. Gene and Amelia are at the bar,
huddled over his beer and her Coke.

AMELIA (V.O.)
Gene had a terrible marriage and
was separated from his alcoholic
adulterous wife. But he was too
kind to humiliate her with a
divorce…
Gene drains the last of his beer.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
As a result, he was basically a
single parent to their young son,
Gore.
He glances at his watch. Wow.

GENE
I’m rattling on here, and you’ve
got a morning train.
But she’s just staring in his eyes. This could be her last
chance to ask…

AMELIA
How’s Nina doing?

GENE
Oh, fine.
Really? He smiles, gently.

GENE (CONT’D)
Actually, she hasn’t been feeling
her best. She’ll probably summer
in Newport. So my kid’s stuck with
Dad again.

AMELIA
If you two get bored, I could tag
along sometimes.



68.







GENE
You suggesting you’re less boring
than I am?

AMELIA
Well, yeh.
He smiles first. Hers is slower, but here it comes.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Any given meal, I can eat a lobster
and have you boys in stitches.
A full beat. He’s deciding.

GENE
Gore would love that. He has a
little crush, I’m afraid.

AMELIA
At seven?

GENE
He’s eight.
Well, then. He breaks the look. Fishes out some cash for
the bar tab. G

ENE (CONT’D)
Listen, Paul and I would be
thrilled to rope you into our
shuttle.

AMELIA
Are you kidding, it’s a godsend.
No matter how hard George and I
work, how many lectures we cram in,
there’s never enough money for the
next adventure.
He looks at her. Lets the silence sit there. His eyes seem
to convey a depth of understanding.

GENE
The next adventure. What is it?
She shrugs. No idea.

GENE (CONT’D)
Because we’re running out of
oceans.

AMELIA
Wish you’d do something about that.



69.







GENE
I’m serious, Amelia.
Her soft smile.

AMELIA
I know. Always.

GENE
The only way you can stay where you
are. And be who you are…
Serious indeed.

GENE (CONT’D)
Is to keep feeding the beast.
She can’t smile anymore. Because this is the very fear she
lives with.

GENE (CONT’D)
And the beast always needs
something larger, greater, more
daring…
AMELIA (quiet)
He costs money, too.

GENE
The price of fame, literally. Do
you and George talk about this?
Silence.

AMELIA
We don’t have to.

GENE
With all respect. Yes, you do.





62 62

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR – LATER

Walking together down the hallway of her hotel. No one
speaks. Their thoughts are their own. She reaches her room,
finds her key. Opens the door, and…
…turns to him. A brief, direct look. She reaches one hand
gently behind his head. Leans up.

K
isses his mouth.
AMELIA (a whisper)
Thank you.
His eyes question.



T









T









H









70.







AMELIA
For understanding.
There is no smile. Without a word, she goes into her room.
CLOSES the door behind her.
e stands alone. Do I knock on that door? Then, smiles to
himself, and simply…
Walks away.

DISSOLVE TO…





INT. BANQUET HALL, WASHINGTON – NIGHT

63 63
Crowded hall, each table ringed by diners in formal dress.
At a table of honor, George sits next to Elinor Smith,
chatting comfortably. PAN to the head table…

GEORGE (V.O.)
After Roosevelt won, his wife
Eleanor brought the advancement of
women to national attention with
stunning success.
CLOSE on ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, eating heartily, chatting,
laughing with a companion we don’t see until…

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
A gutsy gal who rode a bobsled in
he Winter Olympics, spent hours
each morning on horseback, and
carried a pistol on car trips.
She possessed boundless energy, a
towering intellect…
…we reveal Amelia in a formal satin dress at her side,
dishing with the First Lady like the closest of girlfriends.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…and was Amelia’s idol. As it
happened, she was obsessed with
flying, making Amelia her absolute
heroine. A

MELIA
So he hasn’t actually forbidden
you.

ELEANOR
Franklin doesn’t forbid. He just
feels it’s a waste of my valuable
ime to learn. Since I can’t
afford to buy a plane.



I









I









T









O









71.






They share a look of such mutual understanding, neither has
to smile.

AMELIA
The wrong Roosevelt got elected.

ELEANOR
And it will take at least four
years to correct the mistake.
Keeps eating.

ELEANOR (CONT’D)
I did ask about aviation, but he
hasn’t decided on the structure
yet. It might be under the Bureau
f Commerce.

AMELIA
I think the structure may be less
important than the man chosen to
run it.
Said casually, looking at her plate.

ELEANOR
My hearing is failing. I missed
the words `or woman,’ which you
undoubtedly added after, or per-
haps before, the word `man.’

AMELIA
his could be one of those rare
instances. When the most
accomplished candidate. Turns out
to be male.
Glances up for the reaction.

ELEANOR
How exciting. I love finding the
exception that proves the rule. Is
t a name I know?
Amelia’s straight gaze. Her small smile.

AMELIA
How do you feel about flying at
night?
Eleanor’s eyes register the change of topic. Rolling with
it…

ELEANOR
I’ve never done it. Franklin finds
t dangerous.



72.







AMELIA
Outstanding.





64 64

INT. CONDOR AIRLINER – LATER

Raucous party in the small cabin, hosted by George and fueled

.
by champagne. PAN slowly to…
..the cockpit. Amelia at the controls in her evening dress
and formal gloves. Eleanor in the co-pilot’s seat, awestruck
by the brilliant starry night. Amelia glances over, moved by
her friend’s almost childlike wonder.
AMELIA (softly)
Put your hands on the wheel.
Eleanor looks over. Are you serious?

AMELIA
It’s dual controls. No one will
ever know.
Hesitation.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Don’t you trust me?
And slowly, Eleanor’s fingers close on her wheel. Amelia’s
hands come away from hers.

ELEANOR
Dear God.
The Condor purrs along through the night air. The moon bobs
slightly off to one side. Eleanor’s eyes are swimming with
the thrill of this.

AMELIA
I feel like a Coke. Can I get you
something?
And stands up. Only the trace of her smile as the pilot’s
eyes WIDEN in absolute shock.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Do try not to hit the ground.

DISSOLVE TO…





INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM – DAY

65 65
A sea of press, quiet, poised, attentive. REVERSE ANGLE
to…



Y









73.






…CLOSE on a seated Roosevelt before a bank of microphones.

ROOSEVELT
Today, we proudly announce an
appointment critical to America’s
commerce, and to its role as
technology’s leader in the
Twentieth Century.
PAN to Gene at his side. Sober. Distinguished. Proud.

ROOSEVELT (O.S.) (CONT’D)

G
ene Vidal is an obvious and
perfect choice as our first
Director of Commerce’s Aeronautics
Branch. His extraordinary
credentials include…

DISSOLVE TO…





EXT. PUTNAM HOME, RYE – EVENING

66 66
A taxi slowly pulls up to the home we know. Warmly lit,
music playing from within. Gene climbs from the cab, as yard
lights go ON.
As Gene starts up the path, the front door opens and Amelia
BURSTS into the night, RUNNING to Gene, JUMPING INTO his
arms, HUGGING him in her delight. We PULL BACK to…
George watching it all from the doorway. His easy smile
seems comfortably in place, as…
…Amelia walks Gene up the path, her arm around his waist,
talking excitedly, flushed as a schoolgirl. As they reach
the door…
George is the picture of calm and dignity. He beams and
CLASPS Gene’s hand. Throws an arm around his shoulder as
Amelia leads them inside.
The door closes. We hear laughter.





EXT. GARDEN, RYE – DAY

67 67
Amelia on her knees, tending to her garden. She seems happy
and filled with energy. George comes and kneels beside her.
Starts weeding.

AMELIA
Have I told you what a perfect job
ou did on the peonies? They’re
miraculous.



M









I









74.






GEORGE (working)
You have, actually. Twice.

AMELIA
Sorry.

GEORGE
It’s all right. You’ve been
distracted lately.
No spin on that. If G
anything, the tone is kind.

EORGE (CONT’D)
Listen, I’ve put together a month
n Europe. Close some foreign
licensing deals, open new
markets…
She doesn’t look up.

AMELIA
When are you leaving?

GEORGE
Thing is. I’d like you to come.
She stiffens only slightly. Can he sense it?

AMELIA
I don’t really see how I can.

GEORGE
I’ve talked to the promoters,
they’ll switch some lecture dates
for us.
Now he’s looking at her profile. Saddened, if not surprised,
by what he sees.

AMELIA
Well, it’s not just that. There’s
y work on the shuttle, we’re at a
critical stage, and…I’ve just
started as Gene’s consultant at the
Aeronautics Branch…
She knows he’s watching. Shakes her head. Keeps on working.

GEORGE
Normally, I’d be worried about
leaving you here alone. But I
suppose that won’t be a problem,
will it?
She stops now. Looks up at him. If he wants a direct
conversation, he can have it.



B









75.







AMELIA
What are you trying to say?

GEORGE
I think I’ve just said it.
A long held look. Neither backing away. Sadness on both
sides.
GEORGE (softly)
Is there anything you want to say?
She sighs. Her fingers reach out, rub his hand with
affection.

AMELIA
I can’t think of anything helpful.
He nods. Well, then. Rises slowly…
Walks back toward the house, his garden tools forgotten. She
stares after him.

H
e disappears into the house. She’s still staring.

DISSOLVE TO…





EXT. LOS ANGELES COLISEUM – DAY

68 68
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE introduced by its theme. A
stadium in brilliant sunlight, filled with more than 100,000
people.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Los Angeles, California. The Tenth
Olympics of the modern era kick
off, as movie stars mingle with
ordinary Joes.
On the track, WOMEN RUN the 100 meter high hurdles as every
throat CHEERS.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Here’s the gold medal run of the
world’s best woman athlete,
abe Didrickson. Cheered on by
the most celebrated woman of
today…
TIGHT INSERT of Amelia with Gene and 8-year-old GORE, all
applauding excitedly.



G









G









76.







ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
…that’s right, Amelia Earhart.
Hollywood glamor, American winners,
and wait til our boys warm up for
their action.
The camera lingers as Amelia says something to Gore. They
look like a family.





INT. GEORGE’S OFFICE, NEW YORK – DUSK

69 69
CLOSE on George alone in his office. He goes to the door,
LOCKS it. His face is drawn, grim.

EORGE (V.O.)
By this time, I had a side job as
chairman of the editorial board of
Paramount Pictures. So Amelia and
I bought a little place in Los
Angeles.
He goes slowly back to his desk. On it, sits a large
cardboard CARTON.

EORGE (V.O.)
She was out there, preparing for a
flight, when our home in Rye burned
to the ground.
We SEE that the contents of the box, papers, small objects,
have been SINGED or CHARRED. He stares into it.

GEORGE (V.O.)
We both cried when I called to tell
her. She asked to come be with me.
But I insisted she stay there, to
keep on schedule for her flight.
He reaches into the box…

GEORGE (V.O.)
So many treasures lost. Letters
and poems she’d written. I poured
through the rubble…





INT. LOS ANGELES HOME – DAY

70 70
Amelia curled up on the sofa of a cozy, pleasant little home.
The doors are open to the patio and yard. Winter is
different here. Tropical flowers, fruit trees in bloom. The
phone RINGS and she picks it up quickly, knowing it’s George.



G









77.






AMELIA (softly)
Hi.

(BEAT)
Yeh. What’s today been like? You
still okay?
INTERCUT George at his office. He’s standing at the window,
phone in one hand, single sheet of paper in the other. Like
the other objects in the box, it is partially singed.

EORGE
I found something you’d written.
Draws a breath. Reads…

G
EORGE (reading)
`To touch your hand or see your
face today is joy. Your casual
presence in a room recalls the
stars that watched us as we lay.
BACK to Amelia. Tears fill her eyes.
GEORGE (reading)
I mark you in the moving crowd
And see again those stars a warm
night lent us long ago. We loved
so then. We love so now.
INTERCUT George. His eyes are dry.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Thank you for writing that.
A beat. His voice still softer…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Even though I’d never seen it.
HOLD on him. The pain of what that must mean. And…





BACK TO LOS ANGELES

71 71
Her lips are parted. She’s searching for words.

AMELIA
I suppose I thought. It was too
revealing.
WIDEN ANGLE. Gene enters the room with a drink in his hand
and sits down next to her, concerned by her obvious distress.
AMELIA (into the phone)
I’m so glad you have it now.

(LISTENS)

(MORE)



S









78.
AMELIA(cont’d)
Of course. Me, too. I’ll call
you later.
She hangs up slowly. The tears begin to fall. She looks at
Gene helplessly. Then stands without a word.
Walks out into the yard.

DISSOLVE TO…





72 72

EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT – NEWSREEL FOOTAGE – NIGHT

Spectators at Newark Airport. A plane CIRCLES the field as
FLOOD LIGHTS FLASH ON, and the crowd begins to CHEER. Arcing

A
in now for a landing. Smooth trajectory.

NNOUNCER (O.S.)
The odyssey began in Honolulu when
he became the first person, man
or woman, to fly solo over half the
Pacific to California.
Touching down, the cheering CROWD held back by police. As
Amelia taxies to a stop, the crowd BREAKS THROUGH police
lines and SURGES toward the plane.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Then, the first human to solo from
California to Mexico City. Followed
by her daring solo across the Gulf.
As she passed over Washington,
D.C., she eclipsed the time of a
certain previous flight, from 27
hours to 13 hours.
Amelia hops down from the plane, grinning and waving. She is
surrounded by adoring fans.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
The pilot of that previous flight?
Some guy named Lindbergh.
The JOSTLING of the crowd gets out of control, the police
can’t protect her as she is SWEPT ALONG by the mob, beaming,
laughing, enjoying it all.





INT. MAYFLOWER HOTEL BAR, WASHINGTON, D.C. – NIGHT

73 73
Dark little piano bar. They sit in a quiet corner, com-
fortable in silence. Gene with his martini, Amelia with her
Coke. She’s shelling peanuts from a bowl, popping some in
her mouth, passing a few over to him.



T









79.







GENE
If you don’t drink, why do you come
o bars?

AMELIA
Must be the ambience. And the
nuts.

GENE
What worries me is, in some of
these bars the nuts are the
ambience. Specially when they make
a pass at you.

S
he chews, staring at him.

AMELIA
Any guy would have to be nuts to do
that. I’m considerable trouble, if
you haven’t noticed.

GENE
You keep advertising that, but I’m
still waiting to see it.
She looks down at her fingers as they shell. Barely
audible…

AMELIA
You’ll see it.

GENE
Well, here’s your chance. I’m
taking Gore to the conference in
Bermuda. He wants you to come.

AMELIA
Gore, huh?

GENE
Sure. I’m completely indifferent.

AMELIA
I wish.
Do you?

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Would make life simpler.
She throws a peanut which BOINKS off his face. He smiles a
suddenly goofy, very non-elegant smile.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Actually, I’ll be in Indiana.
Edward Elliot of Purdue wants

(MORE)



A









80.
AMELIA(cont’d)
me to build a women’s careers
department there.
Really? He likes that.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’ll be back and forth. When I’m
there, I’ve asked to stay in the
dorm with the girls.

GENE
That’s a wonderful idea.
Especially now.
Something in the way he said that.

AMELIA
What’s special about now?

GENE
A good time for some positive press
about you as a role model.
Her eyes harden. Whatever do you mean?

GENE (CONT’D)
You don’t read the papers?

AMELIA
Not unless someone makes me.

GENE
Well, someone should. Because
they’re all saying you took
recklessly dangerous solo flights
for no earthly purpose except
publicity. Meaning, money.
Dead. Silence. G

ENE (CONT’D)
They also harp on a growing list
of products that you commercially
endorse.

AMELIA
How thoughtless of me to be doing
ll this in a society where no one
else is interested in making money.
Present company included.
He’s not afraid of her.



I









I

O









G







H









I





A

S









F









81.







GENE
Look, George had you taking money
rom the sugar cartel for the
Hawaii flight, the Mexican
Government for theirs, he’s selling
commemorative stamps which you
carried on the flights…

AMELIA
If this is about George, just say
o. Because we made those calls,
nd we includes me.

GENE
I’m sorry I said it that way. This
s actually about you, because I’m
picking a fight, apparently a
useless one, for the benefit of
someone I care about.

AMELIA
And what’s your point? Women are
eld to some higher standard?
Bankers and industrialists are ad-
mired for succeeding, but women are
just considered selfish and
grasping?
ENE (quietly)
Of course they are.

AMELIA
Well, let’s change that, shall we?
r would you just prefer to adopt
t, since groveling would be
easier.
Staring at each other.

GENE
If you want to make money, my guess
s that people viewing you as Lady
Lindy, America’s Sweetheart of the
Skies, the wife/mother/daughter
they all wished they had. Would be
helpful.

AMELIA
Thanks for the tip.

GENE
Thanks for not being defensive.
Full beat.



T









82.







AMELIA
Well, I’m an open-minded girl. And
o prove it, I’m hereby resigning
as your consultant at the
S Aeronautics Branch.
he throws some money on the table for the drinks.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
The public linking of our names
does more harm to that image of
mine than everything else put
together.
She stands up.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Next time you read the papers. Try
reading between the lines.
Walks out. Gene makes no move to follow. He’s said his
piece.

DISSOLVE TO…





EXT. ROSE GARDEN, WHITE HOUSE – DAY

74 74
MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE introduced by its theme. Against
a backdrop of flowerbeds, Amelia is flanked by four WOMEN
with conservative hats and middle-aged gravitas. The
photographers edge closer.

AMELIA
I came to Washington today with the
National Women’s Party, to ask the
President for his aid in passing
the Lucretia Mott Amendment for
equal rights.
She waits for the press to quiet.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
And that’s because I haven’t needed
it.
The winsome smile.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m the lucky one. Our Department
of Commerce shows no prejudice in
issuing licenses to fly. A pilot
is a pilot.
And now it fades.



83.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
How about giving the rest of our
women. The ones who can be
productive for their families and
for our nation an equal break?
She is not defiant. Gentle and strong.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
They are your sisters and your
daughters. They are your wives.
And fellas…
The smallest shake of her head.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
You’ve no excuse. And you know it.





75 C 75

INT. WOMEN’S DORMITORY, PURDUE UNIVERSITY – NIGHT

o-Eds gathered in the common room in robes and nightgowns.
They fill the old couches, the mismatched easy chairs, curl
up in blankets on the floor. PAN TO…
…Amelia in flannel pajamas, sitting on the grand piano,
pointing to the next question among the many raised hands.

CO-ED
Okay, it’s all well and good to
tell us to study whatever we want,
and work at whatever we want, and
not give a darn about what the
world of men think…

AMELIA
…including them wanting us to say
darn instead of damn.
Laughter. The girl flushes a little, her point is a crucial
one…

CO-ED
But what about those of us who are
getting married when we graduate?
What advice do you have for us?

AMELIA
Don’t.
She meant that. And no one is laughing now.



W









W









84.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
Build your career first. And,
surprisingly, that’s the best thing
you can do for your eventual
marriage.
So many eager faces, so many disturbed ones.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Look. It starts with a strong
sexual attraction, that the
oman assumes must be love.
Some heads are nodding. Some eyes suspicious.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Everything works until the first
financial crisis jars the man’s
confidence and threatens the
oman’s security. Why…?
She looks from one to the next.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Because she can’t help. All she
can be is dependent. Because that

I
s what she’s been trained to be.
A phone RINGS. One of the girls snatches it up to cut off
the interruption.
CO-ED #2 (hushed)
Common room. Oh. Sure.
(hand over phone, to

AMELIA)
He says he’s the man in your life.
Amelia hops off the piano. There are plenty of curious
faces.

AMELIA
Trust me. Only a husband talks
like that.
In their laughter, she goes to the phone. EVERYBODY hangs on
every word of…
AMELIA (into the phone)
Yes? Yes. Yes…
(hand over phone, to the

GIRLS)
They love when we say `yes.’
Laughter.



(









85.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m flying in Tuesday. Yes, of
course, I’ll make time.

BEAT)
Me, too.

(BEAT)
Me, too. Thanks for the roses.
She hangs up. Turns to her adoring pupils, and drops a
curtsy. Ta-da! They APPLAUD. She stares at them. As if
deciding whether to say…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Can you women keep a secret?
They can. And boy, do they want to hear one.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Well, it’s no secret that I’m a bit
driven, some might say obsessive,
about my little flying adven-
tures…
They are nodding, wide-eyed, go on.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’ve decided to embark on easily
the most exciting, possibly cra-
ziest, ever…
They hold their breath.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m going to fly. Around the
world.
A frozen beat for them to even absorb this. They BURST into
WILD APPLAUSE, Amelia beaming, as we DISSOLVE TO…

7



EXT. PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK – NIGHT

6 76
Amelia and George, bundled against the cold, walking Park
Avenue hand in hand. Christmas decorations, bright lights.
A good mood prevails.

AMELIA
Are you going to tell me your
surprise, or do I have to get
physical?

GEORGE
Boy, that is the last thing I’d
want.
Well, then?



86.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
I only thought that if you’re
serious about this around-the-world
nonsense. It might be handy to
have a plane to fly in.

AMELIA
Except it would have to be an
Electra, and they cost…

GEORGE
…$36,000. After a generous
discount from Lockheed.

AMELIA
May as well be a billion.

GEORGE
…not to mention at least another
36 to get it modified and ready.
She glances at him. He looks awfully smug.

AMELIA
And your surprise is, you robbed a
bank.

GEORGE
Actually. A university.
They stop. What on earth…?

GEORGE (CONT’D)
I’ve sort of persuaded Ed Elliot to
create an Amelia Earhart Fund for
Aeronautical Research at Purdue.
And suggested a budget item of…
He shrugs.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
…oh, eighty grand. For a
suitable `flying laboratory.’
Her eyes just bug out. No! He nods, slowly. Uh-huh. And
she…
…THROWS her arms around his neck, KISSING him hard enough

G
to startle passersby. It only makes him chuckle.

EORGE (CONT’D)
As I said, I’ve sort of persuaded
Ed. There are a bunch of trustees
and donors, tho. We have to get
them on board.



87.







AMELIA
Think I could help?
He looks in her eyes.

GEORGE
Nah.
She grins.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
By the way. That’s not the
surprise.
It’s not? Uh-uh. And he glances to…
…the window of the GALLERY they’ve stopped at. She sees a
magnificently carved CHEST. On a crest in the front: AE.
We PAN the surface, to see planes, oceans, a shamrock for the
Londonderry landing, dozens more symbols of her triumphs, and
in a bottom corner, looking up at all of this in wonder…
…a small cat. In a long frock coat.
GEORGE (a whisper)
Merry Christmas.
Her tears just come. She’s standing on Park Avenue and she
can’t do anything about it. He reaches a tender hand…
…and strokes her hair. He is her hero. See it in her
eyes.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Can’t wait to see what you got me.
She sniffles.

AMELIA
Cat food. A whole case.





INT. HOME, RYE – DAY

77 77
Amelia at her writing desk. Determined, focused. She begins
to write…

AMELIA (O.S.)
Dear Mr. President: Some time ago
I told you and Mrs. Roosevelt about
my confidential plans for a world
flight. The chief problem is the
jump westward from Honolulu…

A
s she writes, DISSOLVE TO…



88.









78 78

INT. DINING ROOM, PURDUE UNIVERSITY – NIGHT

A glittering table surrounded by high rollers. George and
President Elliot sit on either side of Amelia, who has risen
to speak.

AMELIA
As President Elliot has said, it
would be a shining adventure,
beckoning with new experiences.
Making me more useful to the
program here at Purdue.
She looks into the eyes of each in turn…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
It is much more. I believe that
women should do for themselves what
men have done – and occasionally
what men have not.
Yes?

AMELIA (CONT’D)
This might encourage other women
toward greater independence of
thought and action. And I know how
deeply you gentlemen desire that.
There is gentle laughter. Amelia reacts in mock surprise.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I know, of course, from my chats
earlier in the evening. With each
of your wives.
More laughter. Applause from a wife, then the others, then
all.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
In that spirit, I want each of you
to reach for your checkbooks…
She regards their amusement. And losing none of the warmth
of her own smile…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I mean that quite literally. This
is an opportunity for me to exhibit
the quality my husband admires
most.

G
eorge and Amelia gaze at each other.



Y

A





F









A









Y









89.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
The capacity. To be relentless.





79 79

INT. HANGAR – DAY

The LOCKHEED ELECTRA, a sleek state-of-the-art aircraft with
its gleaming metallic surface, nose up in the center of a
huge space. Its engines are on hoists, being worked on by a
team of MECHANICS.
Eight-year-old Gore gazes up, as if he has never seen
anything quite so wondrous. Amelia and Gene watch, with
barely suppressed smiles. He’s in a suit. She’s in grease-
stained overalls from working with the mechanics.

GORE
So you’d be the first one, right?
ou always like that.
First one?

GORE (CONT’D)
To fly around the world.

AMELIA
Well, there’s Magellan, 400 years
go. Actually, he didn’t make it.
And he died. And he used a boat.

GORE
So it’s almost the same, except
it’s completely different.

AMELIA
Pretty much.
He glowers at her. She glowers back.

GENE
There are men who say they flew
around the world, but they didn’t
ly around all of it.

GORE
Because at higher latitudes, it’s
short trip. At the North Pole,
ou just spin in a circle and
you’ve gone around the world.

AMELIA
So why are you asking? Just to
show how smart you are?

GORE
Pretty much.



W









T









90.






Now he’s grinning. She just glowers harder.

G

ORE (CONT’D)
The only way to really fly around
he world is to fly the entire
circumference of 27,000 miles.
Like at the equator.

AMELIA
No one’s tried it. You think I
should?
No answer.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Dare me.

GORE
Okay.

AMELIA
Okay.
Is she serious? She seems to be.

GENE
Ask her about the Pacific. The
maximum range of the Electra is
4000 miles. And the closest land
est of Honolulu is farther than
that.
Gore looks to her. Well?

AMELIA
I’ll have to refuel.

GORE
Where?

AMELIA
In the air. One plane to another.
The boy is staring at her now. Staring.

GORE
You’re really going to do all this,
aren’t you?

AMELIA
Well, don’t you think I can?
A beat.

GORE
I guess we’ll find out.



F

D









I









91.






Another.

AMELIA
Pretty much.
HOLD on Gene. He smiles at his kid…

GENE
Go out to the car and get Sara.
Ask if she’ll take you for an ice
cream. Okay?
The boy knows he’s being dismissed. Looks from his dad to
Amelia, who steps forward to give him a hug and a kiss.

AMELIA
We’ll play some cards before you
leave.
Okay, then. He waves. One more glance at dad, and Gore
goes. Gene gestures for Amelia to come with him, away from
the mechanics. What’s up? But he’s already walking to…
…a little folding table, off in a corner. She follows.
Sits. Well…? G

ENE
You can’t refuel in the air.
Just like that.

AMELIA
s that an opinion or an order?
His rueful smile.

GENE
The only good thing about losing
our former relationship is I feel a
little freer to tell you when
you’re being completely crazy.

AMELIA
Oh, I bet there are more advantages
than just that.
No one’s backing down on this.

GENE
You’re not a good enough pilot to
o mid-air refueling. You will
not be able to control the Electra
or that docking maneuver for that
amount of time.



O

I









T









92.







AMELIA
I’ve taken bigger risks.

GENE
I’ve noticed. Don’t be so proud
of it.
He reaches into a pocket. Pulls out a folded sheet of paper.
It opens to reveal a MAP of the Pacific. A dot is CIRCLED in
red.

GENE (CONT’D)
This is Howland Island. It’s half-
way between Honolulu and New
Guinea. It has no elevation, no
trees, it’s a mile wide and a mile
and a half long. Hardly anyone
knows or cares that it exists.

AMELIA
It’s your vacation home.

GENE
We’re colonizing it, because when
the Japanese make their move, we’re
going to need a refueling strip
there.
She blinks. The Japanese.

GENE (CONT’D)
Try reading the newspapers between
he lines. We haven’t started
building the runways yet. Maybe
if someone I knew could get the
President’s attention…
She stares at the map. The dot.

GENE (CONT’D)
It’s really tiny, a grain of sand
n the middle of a thousand miles
f nowhere.
Her eyes are clicking through a calculus of their own.

GENE (CONT’D)

F
You’d need a first-class navigator
or that leg. Which means the trip
can’t be entirely solo.
And softly…

GENE (CONT’D)
Can you handle that?



T

2









93.






No answer. He waits without saying a word.
AMELIA (softly back)
Don’t rush me. I’m thinking.





80 80

EXT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES – MORNING

A Coast Guard station overlooking the Pacific. A lone woman
leans on a railing. From the station, a MAN emerges, he
has…
…a thermos and two large mugs. He pours steaming coffee
into each, and brings them to the woman at the rail. She has
turned to study him as he approaches.

AMELIA
Hullo, Fred. It’s good to meet
you.
She holds out her hand. He juggles the mugs, so he can shake
it. Strong look in each other’s eyes. Hands her a mug…

FRED
I hear you like your coffee black.

AMELIA
This time of day, I like it with
bacon and eggs.
His slight grin. A handsome guy.

FRED
Be right back.

AMELIA
Over easy on the eggs. Your job
could depend on it.
Silence between them. Comfortable smiles.

FRED
Are we sizing me up?
And, of course, this is exactly what she’s doing.

AMELIA
I’m told that mid-air refueling
would be beyond my abilities.

FRED
Maybe, maybe not. 20% it works.
0% you crash. 60% you don’t get
he fuel, so you’re cooked anyway.



E









P









94.







AMELIA
Better odds of hitting that island?

F

RED
How do you feel about 100%?
Watching his eyes as he says that. Evaluating.

AMELIA
Even with cloud cover?

FRED
I’ve crossed the Pacific by air 18
times. Pan Am told you I’m the
best celestial navigator they’ve
ever seen.

AMELIA
They did.

FRED
Someone else told you I have a
drinking problem. Which is a big
art of why we’re here, yes?
No answer.

FRED (CONT’D)
Pan Am will tell you. Everyone I
ver worked for will tell you.
Nothing’s interfered with my
performance. Not once.

AMELIA
My dad drank. He lied all the
time. Rest his soul.

FRED
You trusted Bill Stultz. That
worked out. Rest his soul.

AMELIA
Bill just had to find Europe.
We’re looking for something less
than two miles long, with nothing
higher on it than 18 feet.
He shakes his head.

FRED
That’s what you’re looking for.
I’m looking for coordinates on a
map. And if it doesn’t work…
He spreads his large hands…



T

I









95.







FRED (CONT’D)
Money-back guarantee.
She holds the look.
AMELIA (softly)
Hey. How can I lose?





81 81

INT. BARCLAY HOTEL, NEW YORK – DAY

Amelia at a bank of microphones, smiling, modest,
comfortable. George and Fred stand back to one side.
FLASHBULBS go crazy, NEWSREEL cameras churn.

AMELIA
Did I pressure the navy to build a
landing strip at Howland Island?
How exactly would I do that?
L Threaten not to enlist?
aughter in the room. More flashes.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
The airstrip has been planned for a
long time. I was thrilled to learn
it will be ready in time for my
flight. The navy has been
wonderful, as always.

REPORTER #1
Amelia, what do you say to the
charges that your husband is
pulling the strings, pressuring you
nto this around-the-world flight
o make a financial killing?
George BOLTS forward to the microphones, looks at his wife
with astonishment…

GEORGE
Wait a minute, you’re flying around
the world? Don’t you know a
woman’s place is in the home??
The press ROARS with laughter.

REPORTER #2
George, why don’t you go along this
time? Watch over the little woman.

GEORGE
I begged to go. But it seems that
between 185 pounds of husband and

1
85 pounds of fuel, I lost out.



T









T









96.






Gazes at his wife.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
At least, I think that’s what all
he laughter meant.
He gives her a kiss. Thirty FLASHES record it. As he steps
back…

REPORTER #3
Experts are saying that this
`flying laboratory’ is a sham.
There’s nothing to be learned for
aviation, and you’re just in this
for the money.
The place gets really quiet.

AMELIA
Who am I to argue with `experts?’
I’ll just give you my plain old
common-sense thinking on this…
Pens come up, cameras jockey for position. This is what
they’re waiting for. She holds up one finger. First…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
We may not learn much about the
plane, but we will about the pilot.
Endurance over a month’s journey,
flying nearly every day. Response
o stress, crises. I think that
will make a contribution.
Holds up a second finger. Two…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m a working stiff like all of
you. I don’t apologize for the
fact that I need money to live.
And to keep financing my flying,
which is what I love. I think
that’s a positive example for
women.
Third finger. Three…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’m not doing this as a scientist.
I’m a flyer, boys, pursuing my
passion. For the fun of it. The
fun of it. Something I recommend
as a healthy motive for women.
A wink. A shrug…



T







T









S









97.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
…and maybe even some men.

8



2 82

EXT. LUKE FIELD, HONOLULU – SUNRISE

The Electra ready to go in first light, engines humming.
Amelia walking alone toward the plane.

SUPERIMPOSE: LUKE FIELD, HONOLULU. MARCH 20, 1937.
he waves goodbye to crew and press. Climbs the steps to be
welcomed by Fred’s hand gently pulling her aboard. The door
CLOSES. We see Amelia and Fred in the cockpit. He checks a
gauge.

FRED
Lovely. We’ve got so much fuel we
can’t possibly get off the ground.
Much safer than flying.

AMELIA
Well, we need enough for a third
pass at Howland. After you miss it
the first couple times around.
Ah.

FRED
Good thinking.
he runway lights go ON, and…

GEORGE (V.O.)
We were, all of us, fearful about
hat landing. No one guessed…
Amelia ROARS OFF, gathering SPEED.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…it would be the take-off.
The Electra SUDDENLY VEERS TO THE RIGHT, and we SMASH CUT

TO…





INT. ELECTRA

83 83
Amelia THROTTLING DOWN the left engine. The plane SWINGING
WILDLY to the left, as…



N









98.









84 84

EXT./INT. ELECTRA

…the RIGHT WHEEL COLLAPSES, the plane SPINS TO THE LEFT and
we INTERCUT between the cockpit and the runway as the
Electra…
…CAREENS MADLY for a thousand feet, Amelia CUTTING THE
SWITCHES to the engines, fighting for control, PROPELLERS
SMASHED by the concrete runway, SPARKS FLYING IN EVERY

DIRECTION…
INTERCUT. Oakland Airport. George and his retinue waiting.
A phone RINGING. Someone takes the call, his face freezes,

.
he looks wildly around to…
..George, who’s there, SNATCHING the receiver.

VOICE (O.S.)
Have you heard? They crashed, the
ship’s in flames.
SMASH CUT to the cockpit, the Electra SPINNING crazily on its
belly, SPARKS EVERYWHERE, the plane suddenly comes…
…to a BONE-JARRING STOP. The right MOTOR is pushed up INTO
its wing, which itself has BUCKLED, the stabilizer BENT, the
left wing extends UPWARD from scraping the runway, the
landing gear no longer exists.
SIRENS SCREAM as fire trucks and ambulances race toward them.
Amelia is ashen, disbelieving. Next to her, a gentle…

FRED
Good reaction, cutting the switch.
You saved our ass.
She doesn’t even hear, THROWING open the cockpit, WAVING to
signal they’re all right, we SMASH CUT TO…





EXT. OAKLAND AIRPORT – DAY

85 85
George wandering numbly on the airfield, as someone RUNS LIKE
CRAZY from the office, shouting…

MAN

NO FIRE! NO FIRE, FALSE REPORT!

O ONE HURT!
George alone on the tarmac. Stops in his tracks. Now he can
cry.



I









T









99.









86 86

EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES HOME – ALMOST SUNRISE

Two figures in a garden, walking in light so spare they are
silhouettes. Her head is down. His hands are in his
pockets. We CLOSE on them as she fingers a blossom, we now
see she is miserable, fighting absolute despair.

GEORGE
Three weeks, she’ll be good as new.
It’s a remarkable crew. The best

T
hat…
He stops. Realizing where he was going. She never looks up.

AMELIA
…the best that money can buy. I
just can’t believe I’ve done this
o us. All the money wasted that’s
never coming back.

GEORGE
You cut the engines. It would have
cost a bundle more to replace a
burned-up plane. Not to mention
pilot.
She shakes her head. No.

AMELIA
I overreacted. The plane was too
heavy, I should have used the
rudder pedal instead of the
throttle.
Tears stand in her eyes. She is so ashamed and remorseful.
He lets it stay silent as they walk. Then…

GEORGE
t’s only money, we’ll figure it
out. We always do.

AMELIA
I’ll make it back and more, I
promise. The book sales, the
lectures, this flight will keep us
going another three years.

GEORGE
Maybe. Or…

AMELIA
No, it will. Our prices, our
sales, are going to double.

(MORE)



W









A









100.
AMELIA(cont’d)
This showed them how dangerous it
all is, they were taking it for
granted…

(SNIFFLES)
They thought I was competent.
GEORGE (softly)
I meant. Or maybe we can quit.
She looks over. Not sure if…

AMELIA
You mean after.

GEORGE
Or. Even now.
A strong smile. He nods. We could.

AMELIA
So my exit would be a stupid crash.
nd withdrawing from a world-
publicized attempt to finally do
something no man had done before.

GEORGE
Yeh. That. And it would be fine
ith me.
Her eyes overwhelmed A his offer.
by Her voice soft with…

MELIA
But that’s because you’re an idiot.

GEORGE
Lucky for you.
A held beat.

AMELIA
And what if it’s not something I
have to show the world?
Hmmn?

AMELIA
What if it’s something I have to
show me.
He has no answer for that. Takes her hand. They head toward
the house.





INT. HANGAR – NIGHT

87 87
Massive enclosed space. The rebuilt Electra in pieces at
various work stations, being perfected by teams of mechanics.



T









I









S









101.




The whirr and clang of tools. Amelia and George confer with
one foreman, as George sees something. He touches her arm,
points in our direction. REVERSE ANGLE as she sees…
…Gene has entered the hangar. Stands by the folding table
we’ve seen before.

GEORGE
Have fun.

AMELIA
Who let you off the hook on this?
She takes his hand firmly and together they cross the hangar
toward Gene. He smiles, unfolds a third chair. As they
arrive, Amelia steps forward…
…kisses Gene on the cheek. George shakes his hand.

GENE
Thanks for letting me come.
As they sit, Gene looks from one to the other.

GENE (CONT’D)
I guess I’m already outvoted.

GEORGE
She’d outvote you all by herself.
he does it to me every day.
Gene’s smile can’t mask the concern in his eyes.

AMELIA
I don’t have a choice. I have to
reverse my route and fly east. If
go west now, I’m risking
hurricanes in the Caribbean and
monsoons in Africa…

GENE
But you’re flying Howland last,
when you’re exhausted.
She knows this. In the silence…

G

EORGE
Gene, this way our first leg is
Oakland to Miami. It’s a shakedown
o make sure the plane is right.
That’s crucial.
Gene nods, slowly. His eyes still locked on her.



102.







GENE
Maybe I’m obsessing on Howland
because it was my bright idea,
and I’d feel responsible if…

AMELIA
Well, if I do pop off, I’ll try
to make it somewhere that’s not
your fault.

GENE
I’d appreciate that.
Draws a breath.

GENE (CONT’D)
You miss that island. You’ll be
out of fuel, with 2000 miles to go.

AMELIA
But I’ll have Fred so I won’t miss.
In fact, I’m taking Fred along for
this whole trip.
Surprisingly, he doesn’t seem to like this. She smiles.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Giving up my little arrogance about
solo. Safety first, yes?
But he’s still unhappy. She waits for him to say.

GENE
You and Fred alone for a month…

AMELIA
If you’re worried about his
drinking, I’ll deal with it.
Straight look.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I can handle Fred.
And now we get a sense of exactly what does worry him. He
glances to George…

GENE
How do you feel?

GEORGE
Tip-top. Every little girl needs a
man around. Even strong girls like
ours, hmmn?
A very direct gaze. Words neither said nor needed.



G



T

A









103.







GEORGE (CONT’D)
She can handle us. She can handle
Fred.
A full beat. The look holds between the men.

G

EORGE (CONT’D)
And thanks for being here. You’ve
always had Amelia’s best interests
t heart.
he look still unbroken.

EORGE (CONT’D)
And, for that. I’m grateful.





88 88

EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT – DAY – NEWSREEL FOOTAGE

Amelia and George crossing the tarmac from the Electra,
waving to the crowd.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
The legendary Amelia Earhart lands
in Miami, completing the first and
easiest leg of her around-the-world
equatorial flight. A feat no man
has ever attempted. That’s hubby
George with her, he gets off here.
Behind them, coat slung casually across his shoulder, is
Fred. Waving like he belongs.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
That handsome guy behind them isn’t
a movie star. Nope, it’s navigator
Fred Noonan, who will be Amelia’s
sole companion on the exotic
odyssey…
CLOSE on the rugged smile.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Hey, where does a guy go to apply
for a job like that?





EXT. BEACH, MIAMI – DUSK

89 89
The pastel sky has darkened along the row of legendary
hotels. At first, we can barely find them at the water’s
edge. CLOSE to see her sitting where the surf can’t quite
reach her toes. He’s lying back, hands cradling his head.
Watching the stars come out. Nothing said. Then…



O









T

O









104.







AMELIA
I’ll be flying sky no one’s ever
been in. You made that happen.
She looks down to his easy smile.

GEORGE
Hate to think where you’d be
without me.
She smiles back. Tenderness we don’t always see.

AMELIA
I’ll try to make you proud.

GEORGE
You did that long, long ago. Only
ne person left to prove yourself
o. Just make sure you do it.

A
beat. The doubt comes.

AMELIA
And then what?

GEORGE
Then the best part. The future.
She stares in his eyes. Leans to him.
AMELIA (a whisper)
Oh yeh. That.
She brings her hands to his face. Her mouth to his. Deep.
Longing. Her body sinks into him.
LONG ANGLE. Two alone. Only each other.





EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT – DAY

90 90
LONG ANGLE. From the open door of a hangar we see Amelia and
George facing reporters in front of the idling Electra. She
sits on the wing, he’s just beneath her.

GEORGE (V.O.)
The radio problems crept up on us
ver time.

SUPERIMPOSE: MIAMI AIRPORT. JUNE 1.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The marine 500 kilocycle radio was
left in Oakland. Amelia said she

(MORE)



C









105.
GEORGE(cont’d)
and Fred were both amateurs at
Morse Code, so the radio wasn’t
worth what it weighed.
Amelia has made the boys laugh. George laughs with them.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The 250 foot trailing auxiliary
antenna, she would leave behind
in Miami. Too heavy, not
important.
FLASHES now. And plenty of them. She reaches down to take
George’s hand and HOPS down from the wing. More FLASHES…

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Then, suddenly our remaining radio
ouldn’t reach its designated
frequencies. Pan Am hurriedly
replaced the main antennae. And we
thought all was well.
Amelia and George coming toward us now, hand in hand, leaving
the press behind. Into…
The hangar. In shadow here. The world far away, she takes
his hands. A silence.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Race you to California. I’ll go
west. Five bucks?

AMELIA
If you’ll fly the plane. Make it
twenty.
And then…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Simpkin keeps many mice at one
time. Each under a different
teacup.
Wow. He’s finally going to hear this.

GEORGE
We’re saying he’s cruel?

AMELIA
No.

GEORGE
Controlling?

AMELIA
Insecure.



I









T









106.






Ah. The light begins to dawn.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
He needs the illusion of activity
o feel comfortable. That he’s
preparing for all contingencies.
George has to grin.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
That he has more irons in the

F
ire than anyone knows.

GEORGE
Especially the mice.

AMELIA
Exactly. Each poor mouse thinks
it’s all about her.
Staring at each other.

GEORGE
And one of them. Is right.
AMELIA (a murmur)
She knows.
And then…

GEORGE
want you to give me something.
He’s never sounded quite like this before.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Tell me this is your last flight.
Her eyes flicker. Look down. A whispered…

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Promise.
And when the eyes come up.

AMELIA
Don’t you know I couldn’t? Even if
part of me wanted to. Very, very
much.
The look holds.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
How can we be anything. But what
we are?



107.






There is no answer. She leans up into a slow kiss.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I do love you.
Something in her serious face makes him smile.

GEORGE
Well, I love you back.

AMELIA
Thanks.
Takes a step back toward the hangar door. One hand slightly
up, stay here. Then, the smile he’s waited for.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
See ya.
He smiles back. She turns and heads out toward the idling
plane. She seems small, even fragile, alone on the tarmac.
STAY with George. Watching her go.

SLOW DISSOLVE

TO…





EXT./INT. MONTAGE

91 91

SERIES OF ANGLES, CROSSFADES, DISSOLVES, INCLUDING…

IMAGES FROM THE ELECTRA:
– VIEW down onto an endless sea of triple-canopy RAINFOREST.
– VIEW of Brazilian CITY from ABOVE.
VIEW onto the ocean and African coast.
– VIEW of ANIMALS running beneath us.
– VIEW of the SAHARA’S sands

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM STOPS:
– Children surrounding Amelia at an African airfield
– Amelia sleeping in the open desert
– being welcomed by turbaned dignitaries
– Amelia on a camel, suddenly kicks it into a gallop

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM TRAVEL MAP













108.






– its RED LINE tracing our journey from Miami to San Juan to
Venezuela, to Brazil
The RED LINE moving across the Atlantic, to French West
Africa and North to the Sudan
– The RED LINE moves from The Nile River across the tip of
Arabian Peninsula, through Persia, Afghanistan and finally to
Calcutta.

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM AMELIA’S ARTICLES
– HEADLINES from various installments of her daily ARTICLE
in the Herald Tribune, with her BYLINE.

DISSOLVE FROM

MONTAGE TO…





EXT. AIRPORT, CALCUTTA – EVENING

92 92
Driving RAINSTORM as Amelia carries her gear toward the
Electra. Fred waits. The umbrellas aren’t keeping them dry.

SUPERIMPOSE: DUMDUM AIRDROME, CALCUTTA
The buildings have thatched roofs. There are oxcarts by the
runway, abandoned to the downpour. Fred has to shout over
the storm…

FRED

YOU’RE NOT REALLY TAKING OFF!

AMELIA

IT’S GOING TO GET HEAVIER AND

WE COULD BE STUCK HERE FOR DAYS.

EVEN WEEKS.
He just glares at her. Rain POUNDING all around them.

A

MELIA (CONT’D)

ONLY 700 MILES TO BANGKOK, IT’S

LIGHTER THERE.
He doesn’t move.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Stay if you like.
And she climbs into the plane. He just stands in the rain
and glowers.



109.









93 93

EXT. AIRSTRIP – MOMENTS LATER

The Electra ROARING down the runway. It’s all alone, no one
else crazy enough to be out there. At last the plane…
…LIFTS INTO the rain. Wobbles just a beat. And begins to

CLIMB.





EXT. ELECTRA – LATER

94 94
A wrenching battle, plane versus monsoon. The storm is
heavier, deafening, actually STRIPPING PAINT from the
Electra’s wings.





95 95

INT. ELECTRA – SAME MOMENT

Amelia beyond exhaustion, but focused, fighting it. We think
she’s flying alone. Until…
…Fred drops into the seat beside her. No words as he
watches her struggle. Our plane is all over the sky. The
DIN is ungodly.

AMELIA

YOU THINK WE SHOULD TURN BACK, HUH?

FRED

NOPE. I THINK WE SHOULDN’T HAVE

COME.
An AIR POCKET DROPS them 200 feet.

AMELIA

HARD TO IMAGINE LANDING IN THIS.

FRED

I’VE GOT AN IDEA. LET’S NEVER COME

DOWN.
She glances over. For once, she’s scared.

AMELIA

HOW COULD YOU FIND OUR WAY BACK?

FRED

SINCE I FORGOT TO DROP BREAD

CRUMBS, WE’LL HAVE TO USE DEAD

RECKONING.
Beat.

AMELIA

THAT’S IT? JUST A GUESS?



I









F









110.







FRED

US NAVIGATORS PREFER THE TERM `WILD-

ASS GUESS.’
Held look.

AMELIA
That’s more like it.
She starts to TURN the plane around.





INT. ELECTRA – DAY

96 96
Amelia flying down through heavy turbulence, though it is no
longer raining. Her features tense. We see the accumulated
strain of the adventure.

F
red appears from the catwalk, slips into the seat beside
her. He’s worried. Points, and we see…
…CALCUTTA below, sprawling and endless. Between us and the
ground, a huge gathering of FLYING SHAPES.

RED
Black eagles. If one of those
clips a propeller. Or flies into
the engine…
Her tired features form a smile.

AMELIA
‘ve got an idea. Let’s never
land. Better safe than sorry.
He takes her point. She turns back to work…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’ll wake you when the coffee’s
ready.
And with cold-blooded nerve, she SWOOPS down, down, THROUGH
the flock of eagles, scattering them as we arc in for a
perfect landing. She never turns to…
…Fred, who is still white-knuckling, trying to get his
heart started. He can’t believe what she’s just done.
Rolling, rolling…

FRED
Cream, no sugar.



A









111.









97 97

EXT. GOVERNOR’S HOUSE, CALCUTTA – TWILIGHT

Establishing shot of a graceful pillar of the Raj. Night
falling.





EXT. COURTYARD, GOVERNOR’S HOUSE – SAME MOMENT

98 98
A fountain in an ornate courtyard. There is a RECEPTION, as
every evening for Amelia, attended by local DIGNITARIES.
Fred, already a little drunk, leads Amelia to a massive teak-
wood table. He breaks off the corner of a cracker, sets it
down in the center of the table.

FRED
Howland Island.
He strikes a match. SNUFFS the flame. Puts the burned-out
match head just by the scrap of cracker.

FRED (CONT’D)

B
lack smoke from the Navy ship that
could help us get a fix.
Points way across the marble courtyard.

FRED (CONT’D)
Now stand over there. That’s what
it’s going to look like, if the
weather’s good.

SERVANT (O.S.)
Mrs. Earhart?
She glances up. He beckons respectfully.
NGLE. Alcove still with a VIEW of Fred and the courtyard.
She lifts a telephone…





INTERCUT: INT. GEORGE’S OFFICE – DAY

99 99
CLOSE on a WALL MAP. We realize that George has been fol-
lowing her odyssey on a map of his own. We PULL BACK to
reveal…

GEORGE
Mrs. Earhart? Mr. Earhart, here.
He looks elegant in crisp suit and tie.
INTERCUT: Amelia’s eyes WIDE. She seems truly thrilled.
INTERCUT BETWEEN THEM now throughout…



.









R









S

T









112.







AMELIA
Oh, my goodness. Simpkin, is it
really you?
George makes a PURRING sound. A sharp MEOW.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
This is insane. It’s so
extravagant.

GEORGE
It gets worse, I bought a brand-new
suit and tie. Got a date with my
wife.

AMELIA
We can’t possibly afford this.

GEORGE
ure, we can. It’s Tuesday’s call
o Lae that we can’t afford.
AMELIA (delighted)
You hang up the phone this minute.
You’ll bankrupt us and I’ll have
to walk home.

GEORGE
easoning with me. A magnificent
display of useless courage.
Her eyes remember. A soft…

AMELIA
..and it’s fun.
HOLD on her face. And MATCH DISSOLVE TO…





EXT. BAR, LAE – NIGHT

100 100
…Amelia’s FACE, as we left it in the first scene. The
STORM PELTING all around the open-sided bar. Fred studying
her across the table.

FRED
A touching love story, really.
He’s been drinking, we can hear it in his voice. SEE the
bottle now. Nearly gone.

AMELIA
An honest one. It’s what you
wanted.
He nods. That’s right.



Y









113.







FRED
I wonder if it’s honest enough for
George. If it’s what he wanted.
ou know.

AMELIA
If you mean Gene, we’re not
together anymore. In that way.
Not for a long time.

FRED
Whose choice was that?
She doesn’t like his tone. Shifts in her seat.

AMELIA
It was mine.

FRED
Well, isn’t it always? You choose
in, you choose out. Makes things
easy.

AMELIA
Anything but easy. Are you
disapproving of the way I live?

FRED
Hell, no. It’s just like me. In
fact, it’s like most guys I know.
His smile.

FRED (CONT’D)
Actually, I’d like a piece of it
myself. Right about now.
Her eyes harden. A

MELIA
If you have a point, Fred. Make
it.

FRED
Oh, I believe I have.
She rises slowly. Zips her flight jacket. Takes her slicker
from the back of her chair.

AMELIA
Allow me to cut you a deal, my
friend.
Steel in the spine of that.



114.







AMELIA (CONT’D)
You show up tomorrow morning.
You show up sober and you get
me to Howland Island.
Okay?

AMELIA (CONT’D)
And I’ll forget you ever said that.
She WHEELS around and holding her slicker over her head, goes
OFF into the POUNDING RAIN.
Fred’s smile is gone. He stares after her.

DISSOLVE TO…





EXT. RADIO HUT, LAE – LATER

101 101
Amelia down the path in her slicker toward a small hut. She
knocks. Opens the door to reveal…





INT. RADIO HUT – NIGHT

102 102
…the radio receiver and transmitter. The operator BALFOUR
is a wiry Scot. He nods respectfully.

BALFOUR
Ready, Mum.
He stands and she takes his seat. He shows her the key to
press, then steps back toward the window. But she makes no
move to the radio. Just stares at him. He doesn’t
understand.
AMELIA (gently)
Feel like stepping out for a
smoke…?

BALFOUR
I don’t smoke.

AMELIA
…or something?
Oh. The monsoon beats down.

BALFOUR
If you need help, I’ll be right
outside. In the rain.

AMELIA
Thank you. I’ll only be a moment.



I









G









115.






He puts on his slicker. OPENS an umbrella. Leaves.
She looks back to the radio. FLIPS the switch.
E AMELIA (soft)
arhart here.





INTERCUT: COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES – DAY

103 103
George at a window, looking west. Over the Pacific. She’s
there somewhere.

EORGE
You should be sleeping.
He smiles to keep his voice up. The eyes aren’t smiling. We
INTERCUT their conversation throughout…

AMELIA
You should be working.

GEORGE
I’m running a big adventure here,
‘m a very important fellow.

AMELIA
You told me I was the star. And
you were no one at all.
GEORGE (soft)
I thought I was lying. Guess the
joke’s on me.
Silence.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
How’s Fred?

AMELIA
I’m mad at him. I’ll be in
Honolulu on the 3rd, and with you
in Oakland for Fourth of July.
Okay?

GEORGE
Don’t keep me waiting.

AMELIA
I won’t dare. You’re a very
important feline. Uh, fellow.

GEORGE
Talk to me about Fred.



116.







AMELIA
Fred is fine. He’s calculating
head-wind speed versus fuel as we
speak.
CLOSE on his face.

GEORGE
You wouldn’t sell a salesman would
you?

AMELIA
He’s fine.

GEORGE
So what’s that I hear in your
voice?
A beat.

GEORGE
Is he drinking?
AMELIA (soft)
I can handle it.

GEORGE
Call it off. Right now. I mean
it.

AMELIA
I can handle it.
And then…

AMELIA
I love you.
Silence.

GEORGE
After the Fourth. We’re going
home.

AMELIA
Where’s that?

GEORGE
For me? Anywhere you are.
She begins to cry. Both hands fly to her mouth and she looks
away. She swallows hard.

AMELIA
I’m going to like it there.



I









117.






And then…

AMELIA (CONT’D)
I’d better. Since this is my last
flight.
A long silence.

GEORGE
Well. If you insist.
She nods. She does.

AMELIA
t’s late here. Guess I’ll go
curl up under a teacup.

GEORGE
I’ll go tell the world you’re on
your way.
Neither wants to let go. We feel it so strong.
GEORGE (a whisper)
Sweet dreams.
A beat.
AMELIA (whispers back)
See ya.
And he’s gone. She stares at the radio.





INT. AMELIA’S HUT – LATER

104 104
FLICKER of a kerosene lamp. Amelia writing at a tiny desk.
Thinks now. Thinks.
Lost in it.





EXT. AIRFIELD, LAE – DAWN

105 105
A sober, contrite Fred comes down the runway in early light.
As he reaches the Electra, he sees a pile of discarded
OBJECTS on the tarmac…
…metal containers, carton of oranges, parachutes.
Bedrolls, cold weather gear. Souvenirs from their stops:
flags, a metal plaque, native crafts, a Welcome Miss Amelia
Earhart banner. As he studies the pile…
…a COFFEE POT comes FLYING out of the plane to roll at his
feet. Suddenly, a 10 pound coffee tin SAILS PAST, as he
DUCKS. Amelia appears at the hatch, sees him.



G









118.







FRED
You’re finding the range. But it
might be easier to just shoot me.
She stares at him for a moment. A subdued voice…

AMELIA
Traveling light, that’s all.
She sits on the lip of the hatch. Her legs dangling. Her
eyes down.

FRED
Got room for 190 pounds of asshole?
No answer. She’s still looking down. He’s never seen her
like this.

FRED (CONT’D)

M
a’am, I am so sor…

AMELIA
It’s fine.
Her eyes come up.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
Everything is.
He doesn’t understand, but he’s glad to be forgiven. She
takes a LETTER from her pocket. Runs her finger over the
envelope.

FRED
I can run into town before we go.
et that in the post for you.
She shakes her head slowly.

AMELIA
It’s for my husband. I’m going to
hand it to him. So I can watch his
face as he reads it.
She sniffles slightly.

AMELIA (CONT’D)
It’s our tradition.





EXT. RUNWAY, LAE AIRFIELD – MORNING

106 106
A RUNWAY that ends in a drop-off at the waters of Huon Gulf.
The Electra, engines REVVING. Ready to go for it. Our ANGLE
CLOSES on the belly of the plane. The ANTENNA MAST
supporting a trailing WIRE ANTENNA.



119.







GEORGE (V.O.)
Ten A.M., Friday July 2. They
lined up on the thousand-yard
runway. One thousand gallons of
fuel, enough for 20 to 21 hours of
flying.
LONG ANGLE. Crew and onlookers watch as the plane STARTS its
run, gathering speed, BOUNCING over uneven ground…
CLOSE now on the jouncing undercarriage, a momentary PUFF of
DUST, and as the plane moves PAST, we may notice that the
belly antenna mast seems to be GONE.
DOWN the runway it RUMBLES, still earthbound, only 200 yards
to go. Then 100. Then FIFTY, then at the water’s edge, the
Electra RISES and…

.
..DROPS out of sight below the land, as we SMASH CUT to…
ANGLE. The Electra has FALLEN to SIX FEET above the surface
of the Gulf. The engines THROB at max, the propellers
THROWING SPRAY. The overloaded plane…
…RISING. Slowly, then faster, then…
…SOARING free.
PULL BACK to a VIEW from down the runway. The Electra in
distance. RACK FOCUS to see something long and slender
GLINTING on the ground. Could it be a length of WIRE?





INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES – SUNSET

107 107
Through the glass, the sun is disappearing toward Amelia.
PULL BACK to George, staring at a CABLE in his hands. We

HEAR…

BALFOUR (O.S.)
Mr. Putnam. Their headwinds are
stronger than they knew when they
took off.
Then…

BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT’D)
I recalculated their fuel. It will
cost them 9%.
George staring off. Assessing the consequences. PULL BACK
to see an ENSIGN standing, waiting for instruction.

BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT’D)
I can’t raise them, sir. I tried
voice, and Morse Code…



W









120.






George looks up. Calmly.

GEORGE
ire back. Tell him to forget the
Morse Code. They didn’t bring the
receiver.
The young man looks concerned.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Just tell him to stay with voice.
He’ll get them.





108 A 108

EXT. HOWLAND ISLAND – DAY

ERIAL ANGLE. A tiny, flat, nearly invisible speck adrift in
the endless Pacific. Howland Island. PAN to see just
offshore…

GEORGE (V.O.)
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca
had been anchored off Howland just
for us.
CLOSE on the ITASCA now…

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Its radio would be her lifeline.
Its black plume of smoke would
reach for miles. More visible than
the island itself.
DISSOLVE TO NIGHT. The island visible only by its slender
LIGHTHOUSE. The ship illuminated in the darkness.
CLOSE now on a path by the sea. A lone figure with a
FLASHLIGHT approaches a SHACK. Enters…





INT. RADIO HUT – NIGHT

109 109
…a room filled with radio equipment. He is FRANK CIPRIANI,
in crisp naval uniform, relieving a SEAMAN who has been on
duty. As Cipriani sits at his station, he notices…

CIPRIANI
The direction finder. How long has
this been on?
The seaman turns back at the door. What?





EXT. ITASCA

110 110
CLOSE on the ship, illuminated. PUSH IN…



121.









111 111

INT. RADIO ROOM, ITASCA – NIGHT

The room is 9 x 20 with bare walls. At the transmitter, LEO
BELLARTS the chief radio man. Short and square, an
unflappable air of quiet expertise. With him, his assistant
WILLIAM DALTEN, lean and young with dark serious eyes. At a
typewriter sits THOMAS O’HARE, barely twenty, headphones
across his shock of rust-colored hair, telegraph at the
ready.

S

UPERIMPOSE: 2:45 A.M.
Dalten adjusting the receiver which is suddenly spitting
STATIC. Threading through the noise, what could be a human
voice. Bellarts calls to O’Hare…

BELLARTS
That’s her on 3105. She said
`cloudy and overcast.’
O’Hare looks at him. Are you serious? Bellarts mimes typing
with his fingers. O’Hare starts typing into the log.

DISSOLVE TO…

SUPERIMPOSE: 3:45 A.M.
Radio CRACKLES. All eyes turn.

AMELIA (O.S.)
Itasca from Earhart. Overcast.
Static. Dalten leans to the mic…
DALTEN (into mic)
We are receiving your signal.
Please acknowledge ours. What is
your position? When do you expect
to arrive Howland?
No answer. Light static.

BELLARTS
Commander estimated 7:00. If she’s
having trouble on voice
transmission, stay with Morse.
And begins to carefully pack his pipe. Dalten begins to
transmit Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO…

SUPERIMPOSE: 6:45 A.M.
The radio. The static. The sudden voice…



K









122.







AMELIA (O.S.)
Please take bearing on us and
report in half hour. I will make
noise in microphone. We are about
100 miles out.
The transmission cuts out. Dalten answers in Morse Code. No
response.

DALTEN
She’s got to stay on longer.
Bellarts dictating as O’Hare types…

BELLARTS
Earhart signal strength 4, but on

A
ir so briefly bearings impossible.

DISSOLVE TO…

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:18 A.M.
DALTEN (to Bellarts)
Maybe her Morse receiver is out.
(into mic)
Can’t take bearing on 3105. Please
send on 500 or do you want to take
bearing on us? Go ahead, please.
Silence. O’Hare typing: NO ANSWER.

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:30 A.M.
DALTEN (into mic)
Please acknowledge our signals on
ey. Please acknowledge.
CRACKLE. O’Hare typing: UNANSWERED.

BELLARTS
Tommy, intercom top deck, double
check the smoke stack…
INTERCUT: AERIAL ANGLE high above the ship. BLACK SMOKE
PLUMES into clear sky…

BELLARTS (O.S.) (CONT’D)
They should be able to see it for
twenty miles, at least.
TILT ANGLE. In far distance, thirty to forty miles, a gray

STORM.



A









123.









112 112

INT. RADIO ROOM – MORNING

A few others enter now. Civilians, sailors, they hang back
silently, watching as…

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:42 A.M.

AMELIA (O.S.)
KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be
on you but cannot see you…
Glances are traded. It is the first moment of visible
concern. STATIC interrupts. Then…

AMELIA (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Gas is running low. Been unable to
reach you by radio. We are flying
t altitude 1000 feet.
DALTEN (into mic)
You are reaching us. We are
sending on 3105 and 500 constantly.
Please acknowledge.
Massive BURST of static. Dalten frantically CLICKING a
message in Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO…

S

UPERIMPOSE: 7:58 A.M.
The room has nearly filled. COMMANDER THOMPSON stands at
Bellart’s shoulder. All eyes fixed on the radio…

EARHART (O.S.)
We are circling but cannot hear
you. Go ahead on 7500.
BELLARTS (into mic)
Itasca to KHAQQ. Your signal is
strong. Are you receiving this?
A breathless moment. A sharp CRACKLE.

EARHART (O.S.)
KHAQQ calling Itasca. We received
your signal, but unable to get a
minimum. Please take bearing on
us and answer 3105 with voice.
BELLARTS (into mic)
Your signal received okay. It is
impractical to take a bearing on
3105 on your voice. Give us a
longer signal, please. Go ahead.
Silence. Feet are shifting. No one speaks.



O









O









124.






BELLARTS (softly to Dalten)
Keep us at 7500, that’s her only
acknowledgment.

THOMPSON
You’ve got her signal, dammit.
What about the direction finder?

BELLARTS
Cipriani reports the battery’s
dead, sir. It was left on all
night.
Full beat.
THOMPSON (low)
I don’t believe this is happening.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:12 A.M.
BELLARTS (into mic)
Itasca to Earhart. Did you get
transmission on 7500? Go ahead on
500 so that we can take a bearing
on you, it’s impossible on 3105.
Please acknowledge.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:33 A.M.
No breath in this room. No one moves.
BELLARTS (into mic)
Will you please come in and answer
n 500? We are transmitting
constantly on 7500 and we do not
hear you on 500. Please answer on
500. Go ahead.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:44 A.M.
Suddenly, a thin and anxious VOICE cuts through a burst of
static… A

MELIA (O.S.)
We are on the line of position 157-
337, will repeat this message on
6210 kilocycles. Wait, listening
n 6210 kilocycles. We are running
north and south.



B









F









125.






BELLARTS (into mic)
We hear you. We hear you. Can you
receive this…?
Silence. Silence. Silence.
COMMANDER (softly)
Mr. Bellarts. When did she say she
was low on fuel?
All eyes shift to Tommy. He scans the log. Stares.

O’HARE
Um. An hour. And two minutes,
sir.
HOLD on this room. DISSOLVE TO…
AERIAL ANGLE. The ship in clear daylight. The BLACK PLUME
of smoke stretching to heaven.

SLOW DISSOLVE

TO…





INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES – NIGHT

113 113
The tiny room we’ve come to know. It is filled with people
who stand motionless, staring somberly at one man. In turn,
he stares at a telephone…
Which RINGS. Mary reaches, but his hand goes UP and she
pulls back. He lets it ring three times, four, gathering
himself. Lifting it…
GEORGE (into phone)
Yes.
There are no other words. His eyes tear up. He nods numbly
at the phone. G

EORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Looking back, the questions were
obvious. Why would anyone try to
ind such a tiny target in a vast
ocean, with barely an hour’s lee-
way in fuel?
He draws a breath.
GEORGE (into phone)
Well, we’re most grateful. With
such an effort, of course they’ll
e found.



I









126.






CLOSE on him now. As he listens, as he responds graciously,

MOS…

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
So I tortured myself. Why hadn’t
killed this plan on day one?
And then I realized…

DISSOLVE SLOWLY

TO…





EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES – LATER

114 114
Alone. In a moonlit garden.

GEORGE (V.O.)
If I tried to count the insane and
reckless chances she took from the
first moment I met her. I wouldn’t
know where to begin.
Slowly to his knees. By the plants they had tended together.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
It was the most tragic of endings.
The most cruel and senseless and
wasteful. And yet…
And yet.

GEORGE (CONT’D)
It’s hard to imagine another.

SMASH CUT TO…





EXT. BRILLIANT SKY, THE PACIFIC – DAY

115 115
Sun and cloud. The sea below.

AMELIA (V.O.)
My Simpkin.
We POINT toward the water.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I want to be married to you. The
way you’ve been married to me.
It begins to draw CLOSER.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
As you read this. I am watching
your face.



127.






And CLOSER.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I am hoping to see. That you know
how much I mean each word.

Gaining SPEED now…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
All the things I never said, for
so very long…

HURTLING TOWARD the surface…

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Look up. They’re in my eyes.

SMASH CUT TO BLACK.
Hold.





ROLL END CREDITS.




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