ゴールデンボーイ(1998年)

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[amazonjs asin=”B00006AUW9″ locale=”JP” title=”ゴールデンボーイ DVD”]FADE IN:

Through the window of a moving vehicle, we see a series of
small, middle-class houses. This could be any suburban street
in America.

INT. CITY BUS – DAY

A boy is seated near the back of a moving bus. This is TODD
BOWDEN, 15, as All-American as they come. He stares out at the
other passengers indifferently. Then something catches his eye.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – SANTO DONATO – DAY

TITLE: SANTO DONATO, CA FEBRUARY 1984

Todd pedals his bike down a quiet street and pulls up to an
unassuming bungalow set far back on its lot. This is the kind
of house one would hardly notice driving through the peaceful
suburban community of Santo Donato. Todd gets off his bike and
heads up the front steps. On the way, he bends down to pick up
the L.A. Times.

Two signs, in laminated plastic, are secured neatly above the
door bell. The first reads: “ARTHUR DENKER”. The second reads:
“NO SOLICITORS, NO PEDDLERS, NO SALESMEN”.

Todd RINGS the bell. Nothing. He looks at his watch. It is
twelve past ten. He RINGS again, this time longer. Still
nothing. Finally, Todd leans on the tiny button, staring at his
watch as he does so. After more than a minute of SOLID RINGING,
a voice is heard from within.

DUSSANDER (O.S.)
All right. All right. I’m coming. Let it
go!

Todd lets go as a chain behind the heavy door starts to rattle.
Then it opens. An old man stands behind the screen. He is KURT
DUSSANDER, a.k.a. Arthur Denker. Mid-seventies. Standing there
in his bathrobe and slippers, a cigarette smashed in his mouth,
he looks like a cross between Boris Karloff and Albert Einstein.
Dussander stares at Todd, who tries to speak, but suddenly
cannot.

DUSSANDER
(continuing)
A boy. I don’t need anything, boy. Can’t
you read? I thought all American boys could
read. Don’t be a nuisance, now. Good day.

The door begins to close. Todd waits till the last moment
before speaking.

TODD
Don’t forget your paper, Mr. Dussander.

The door stops. Dussander opens it slowly. He unlatches the
screen and slips his fingers around the paper. Todd does not
let go.

DUSSANDER
Give me my newspaper.

TODD
Sure thing, Mr. Dussander.

Dussander snatches the paper away and closes the screen door.
Quickly, almost imperceptibly, the old man’s eyes survey the
area: across the street, up and down the sidewalk, the boy’s
bicycle.

DUSSANDER
My name is Denker. See?
(pointing)
Denker. Perhaps you cannot read after all.
What a pity. Good day.

As the front door closes, Todd speaks rapidly into the narrowing gap.

TODD
Bergen-Belsen, January ’43 to June ’43.
Auschwitz, June ’43 to June ’44. Then you
went to Patin.

The door stops, still partly open.

TODD (CONT’D)
After the war, you escaped to Buenos Aires.
From 1950 to ’52 you were in Cuba, and
then… From 1952 to ’58… I don’t know. No
one does. But in 1965, you popped up in West
Berlin, where they almost got you.

The door opens wider.

DUSSANDER
Listen, boy. I don’t know what is the matter
with you. But I don’t have time for this
game. Now, get out of here before I call the
police.

TODD
Call them if you want.

DUSSANDER
Fine.

The heavy door slams shut.

TODD
It’s okay by me Herr Kommandant. I’m sure
the police would love to meet the “Blood-
fiend of Patin.”

In a flash the front door is open, so is the screen. Dussander
is through the doorway and descending upon Todd with the rolled
umbrella raised to strike him. Todd stumbles back against the
porch rail.

DUSSANDER
You get away from this house, God damn you!
I’ll beat you all the way home.

But Todd regains his composure quickly. He brushes himself off
and levels his eyes at the old man who now hardly seems the
threat he was a few seconds ago.

TODD
After 1965, no one saw you again… Until I
did. Three weeks ago on the downtown bus. If
you want to call the cops, go right ahead.
I’II wait on the steps.

DUSSANDER
You’ll do no such thing.

TODD
I won’t? Listen, old man, if I want to start
screaming right here, I will. If I want to
ride down to the police station and bring the
cops back myself, then I will. I will do
what ever I want. Do you understand?
(pause)
But if you like, I could come in for a
minute. We could talk.

Pause.

DUSSANDER
I’d be out of my mind to let an insane boy
like you into my home.

Pause.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Is that what you want, to come into my home?
So be it. There is no arguing with crazy
people.

Dussander turns and steps back through the screen door. He
stops at the threshold of the house and turns. He is holding
the screen door open with one leg, the front door open with the
other. He looks straight ahead. A moment later, Todd steps
into the house.

INT. DUSSANDER’S HOUSE – DAY

Dussander’s home is what you would expect of a single, poor, old
man. Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary. Todd looks
around, perhaps half-expecting to find a Nazi flag or an oil
painting of Der Fuehrer hanging above the mantle. But he
doesn’t, and moves into the living room where an old picture of
a woman sits framed on an end table.

DUSSANDER
My wife. She died in 1955 of lung disease.
At that time I was working at the Menschler
Motor Works in Essen. I was heartbroken.

Todd’s attention drifts away and his fingers slip over to a
lampshade next to the photograph. He begins to feel it as
though he were inspecting it for something.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Stop that!

Todd jumps back a little but then recovers.

TODD
Tell me, wasn’t it Ilse Koch who made the
lampshades out of human skin?

DUSSANDER
Now I don’t know what you’re talking about.

TODD
Sure you do, Mr. Dussander.

DUSSANDER
Denker. Denker. Denker. You don’t listen,
boy. The television has fried your brain.

Pause.

TODD
Your hands are shaking.

DUSSANDER
Yes, they’re shaking. I’m old. We all
shake. You are most tiresome, and rude. Now
if you have a point I wish you’d come to it.

TODD
We’re in no rush. If I thought you had
plans, I’d say cancel them, but since I know
you don’t…

DUSSANDER
You know nothing of my business —

TODD
What business? You sit in that ugly chair
and watch soap operas all day. Except on
Friday afternoons when you walk down to the
movie theater. And twice a week you take the
bus downtown to do your shopping. You always
use the express lane because you never have
more than ten items.

DUSSANDER
You have been following me?

TODD
Of course, I followed you. You think I
normally go around to peoples’ houses and
accuse them of being Nazi fugitives?

DUSSANDER
Perhaps for me you made an exception.

TODD
No, for you I had to be sure. For Kurt
Dussander I had to be absolutely certain.
…Now, I am, and that’s why I’m here.

Todd sits on the sofa.

DUSSANDER
Oh, yes, I see now. As I am this ex-Nazi
fellow, as you say, then this must be the
part where I offer you my hidden stash of
gold, taken from the mouths of old Jewish
men, of course, which I keep buried in the
basement. Isn’t that right, boy? Well, I’m
afraid you’re wasting your time. I have no
money. If I did I might even give you some
just to be done with this nonsense.

TODD
I don’t need money. You don’t have any
anyway. At least, I don’t think so. You
probably had to spend it all to sneak in the
country. A good American passport is
expensive on the black market, that I know.

DUSSANDER
Do you? Good for you.

TODD
Yes, I do. I know it all, Dussander. You’re
my One Great Interest.

DUSSANDER
Your what?

TODD
My One Great Interest. Well, not you
personally, but, …well, it’s something I
learned back in eighth grade. Our teacher,
Miss Harmon, she said we’d have to find our
One Great Interest in life. You know, the
thing that would really grab us. Once we did
that, everything would fall into place. Like
hers, she said, wasn’t teaching, but
collecting nineteenth-century postcards. I
guess there’s no money in that, so she has to
be a teacher. Anyway, she told us to start
thinking about it. So I did, but nothing
happened. Until the following summer, in
Ronny Pegler’s garage. That’s where I found
it.

INT. RONNY PEGLER’S GARAGE – DAY

Todd and RONNY, both 13, rummage through several large boxes in
the corner of the garage. We see that the boxes are filled with
old war magazines. Ronny tosses several of them to the ground
as he digs for his dad’s old copies of Penthouse. Ronny selects
one Penthouse and rifles through it. He discards it a moment
later.

RONNY
One of these has three girls doing it at the
same time
.

But the old war magazines catch Todd’s attention. He picks one
up curiously and carefully flips through the tattered pages. We
see a few of the photographs: Nazi storm troopers, prisoners
behind barbed wire, the ovens.

RONNY (CONT’D)
I got it! Check this out. …Todd, look.

TODD
Hang on a sec.

As young Todd stares into this secret world, his voice comes
in…

TODD (CONT’D)
It was all there… pictures of stuff I’d
never seen, stuff they never put in the books
anymore, especially the ones they give us to
read. And here were stacks of them.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Todd speaks excitedly. Dussander, very bored, clearly indulges
him.

TODD
It… grabbed me. It was just like Miss
Harmon said. I couldn’t believe it. But
there it was, the camps, the uniforms, the
…the way they saluted each other. But what
am I telling you for? You know more about
this stuff than anybody.

DUSSANDER
Yes, what are you telling me for?

TODD
(ignoring him)
Then last year I wrote my big term paper on
Dachau. I got an A+. It was the only A+ she
gave. I mean I always do real well. A’s on
everything. That’s why I’m accelerated.

DUSSANDER
Accelerated?

TODD
You know, accelerated. I skipped two grades,
second and ninth. I didn’t need them.
That’s why I’m already a junior.

Dussander sits.

DUSSANDER
I see…

TODD
Some kids resent me for it. That’s not
important. Anyway, my paper really floored
my history teacher. I guess because I got
through all those books without throwing up.
But I learned something. I learned that when
you talk about the camps now, you have to
remember to sound really disgusted. I mean,
you can’t just say what happened like the
magazines did and leave it at that. If I
tried that the teacher would have freaked and
called my parents in.

INT. RONNY PEGLER’S GARAGE – DUSK

Todd sits on one of the boxes surrounded by dozens of the old
magazines. The door to the house opens and Ronny, looking
cross, pokes his head out.

RONNY
Todd, your mom’s on the phone. She says you
have to come home for dinner. …Todd?

Todd, lost in the sea of old photographs, doesn’t notice Ronny
at first. Then he looks up at him. In his eyes is a glint of a
darkness that we will come to know better.

TODD
What?

RONNY
(suddenly wary of Todd)
Your mom’s on the phone.

ANGLE on Todd.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

TODD
Nowadays you have to… soften it.

DUSSANDER
Why do I care about this?

TODD
Because, I don’t want it softened.

Todd hops up and begins to pace the floor. Dussander stares at
him blankly, unsure of where this is going.

DUSSANDER
I am sure you trouble your parents to no end.

TODD
Actually, I’m pretty low maintenance. That’s
what my dad says.

DUSSANDER
You told your parents about me, then?

TODD
You think I’m crazy?

DUSSANDER
I think you’re crackers, but go on. I’m
riveted.

Todd looks deep into Dussander’s eyes. Dussander is
uncomfortable. Slowly, Todd reaches out and brushes his finger
against Dussander’s hand. Dussander gets up.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
What are you doing?

Pause.

TODD
And then it happened… I was on my way to
the library. It was raining…

FLASHBACK: INT. CITY BUS – DAY

Todd’s voice narrates what we are seeing. Todd, seated near the
back of the bus, watches Dussander climb aboard. Todd thinks
nothing of it at first, but soon finds that he is unable to take
his eyes off him. Todd is trying to place the old man’s face in
his mind…

TODD (V.O.)
You climbed on the bus and started this slow
walk down the aisle. Just like you were
examining a new batch of inmates. I don’t
think anybody gave you a second glance but
me, but somehow …people seemed to move out
of your way. And under your arm you carried
a rolled up umbrella. But what really did
it, what really set me off was the coat. You
were wearing this long black rain coat. My
mind suddenly flipped back to a picture of
you taken at Patin. You in your S.S.
greatcoat with a riding crop under your arm.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

TODD
It was incredible.

Dussander stares back at him flatly.

DUSSANDER
All of this… because of a rain coat?

TODD
Well, it wasn’t that easy. I mean, I had to
really check up on it. And every picture of
you in those books is forty years old, at
least. I went back to the library to find
the picture. And then I matched it with the
photos I took.

DUSSANDER
You took photographs of me?

TODD
Yeah, I got this little camera. Fits right
in the palm of my hand.

DUSSANDER
(crunches cigarette into ashtray)
Clever boy.

TODD
But even then I couldn’t be sure. I needed
real proof. So I went to the mall and bought
a fingerprint kit from the hobby shop and a
book that tells you what you’re supposed to
look for and then dusted your mailbox while
you were at the movies. Pretty smart, huh?

DUSSANDER
You… put dust on my mailbox? For
fingerprints? You took photographs of me?
What else did you do?… I don’t believe any
of this.

TODD
I already had a copy of your fingerprints.
They’re on your want sheet from the Israeli
government. It’s on database at UC Irvine.
Can you believe that?

DUSSANDER
Bourbon.

He storms toward the kitchen and stops.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Would you care for a drink, boy?

TODD
Sure, you got a Coke?

DUSSANDER
No Kok.

TODD
Milk?

DUSSANDER
Milk.

Dussander disappears into the kitchen. Todd stands alone in the
living room.

He lets out a long, nervous breath, showing for the first time
the presence of something other than the cold confidence he has
been putting up for Dussander. He knows he has crossed into
dangerous territory from which there is no going back. But
after a moment he composes himself; he has come this far. The
sternness returns to his eyes. Todd is all business. He takes
a breath, and then speaks loudly enough for Dussander to hear
him in the kitchen.

TODD
It takes eight good matches, they’re called
compares, actually, for a fingerprint to get
accepted in court.

DUSSANDER (O.S.)
Is that right?

FLASHBACK: EXT. DUSSANDER’S FRONT PORCH – DAY

Todd steps up onto the porch and looks around calmly. He pulls
the powder and brush from his pocket and begins to examine the
mailbox for prints.

TODD (V.O.)
Yeah, there were two sets of prints. The
first I figured were the mailman’s. Once I
knew what I was looking for, yours were easy
to spot.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

DUSSANDER (O.S.)
You should be a detective.

The SOUNDS of a refrigerator opening and closing come from the
kitchen. Drinks being poured. Todd begins to move slowly
toward the kitchen.

TODD
Maybe I will… Mom thinks I’d be good at it.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

He reaches the doorway just as Dussander turns around with the drinks.

TODD
I found fourteen compares.

Dussander approaches him carrying a tumbler of milk and a glass
of bourbon. He hands the tumbler to Todd, who brings it up to
his lips and hesitates.

TODD (CONT’D)
You have some.

DUSSANDER
Good Gott.

He snatches the cup and swallows twice.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
You see? It’s milk, boy. From Dairylee
Farms. On the carton is a picture of a
smiling cow.

Todd pauses and then begins to drink.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
(more to himself than Todd)
…And two missing children.
(pause)
Boy what you have done, I have to explain
this to you because clearly you don’t
understand, what you have done is a
violation.

TODD
A violation?

DUSSANDER
Yes.

TODD
Kind of like those experiments with the
decompression chamber. Now, that was a
violation, Dussander.

DUSSANDER
That fucking name. Enough of that. I demand
it.

TODD
You what?

DUSSANDER
I demand —

TODD
You demand nothing from me. Ever. Get it?

Pause.

DUSSANDER
Boy, I will tell you this once more, and for
the last time. My name is Arthur Denker. It
has never been anything else. It has never
even been Americanized. If you must know,
and apparently you must, I was named by my
father who greatly admired the stories of
Arthur Conan Doyle. I did serve in the
reserves, I admit, and in the late thirties,
when I was first married, I supported Hitler.
I supported him most, I suppose, because for
the first time in years there was work and
there was tobacco. …Would you like a
cigarette?

TODD
No. My dad used to smoke. Mom made him
quit. Now he’s addicted to Nicorette…
that’s nicotine gum.

Dussander turns toward the counter and pulls a kitchen match
from a cabinet. He lights his cigarette with his back to Todd.

DUSSANDER
Nicotine gum.

Dussander’s eyes drift to the collection of kitchen knives
neatly stuffed in their block on the counter in front of him.
He lingers a moment, pulls deeply on the cigarette, then turns
and continues.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Anyway, Hitler lost his mind at the end,
directing phantom armies at the whim of his
astrologer. He even gave his dog, Blondi, a
death capsule. On May 2nd, 1945, my regiment
surrendered to the Americans. I remember
that a private named Gonzales gave me a
chocolate bar. I wept.

Bored, Todd sinks into a chair at the table.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
I was interned at Essen where I was treated
very well. We listened to the Nuremberg
trials on the radio and when Goering
committed suicide, I bought half a bottle of
schnaps and got drunk. When I was released,
I put wheels on cars at the Essen Motor Works
until I retired in 1963. In 1967 I emigrated
here, to California, and became a U.S.
Citizen. I am as American as you are. I
vote. No Buenos Aires, no Berlin, no koo-ba.
And that’s it, my whole story. I hope you’re
satisfied. But if not, it’s, as you say,
tough shit for you. Now, you go. Enough of
this.

Dussander points to the door, but Todd remains motionless in his
chair.

TODD
That was pretty good. So much to remember.
But I guess it helps when you have forty
years to practice your story.

DUSSANDER
Oh, to hell with this and to hell with you.
I’m calling the police. Your father is
going to beat your behind when he picks you
up at the police station.

TODD
No. My parents don’t believe in violence.

DUSSANDER
Well, they should start. I’m calling.

Dussander steps past Todd and picks up the receiver of the phone
hanging on the wall above the table. The boy still sits
motionless behind him. Dussander dials a “9”, and then, with
more difficulty, a “1”. He stands with his finger poised over
the final “1”. Tiny beads of sweat roll over his forehead. His
shoulders drop. Todd stands up. Their faces are close
together.

TODD
Hang up the phone.

DUSSANDER
This is unforgivable. Do you know the things
you’re accusing me of?

TODD
Do it.

Slowly, Dussander brings the receiver down onto its hook.

DUSSANDER
If you don’t want money, what do you want?

TODD
I want to hear about it.

DUSSANDER
Hear about what?

TODD
The camps. Everything. The experiments. The
examinations. All the stuff the writers are
scared to put in their books because people
will think they’re sick. That’s what I want,
…everything.

DUSSANDER
Everything?

TODD
Exactly. And you’re going to tell it to me.

DUSSANDER
You’re a monster.

TODD
According to history you’re the monster.

DUSSANDER
How could you ask me to remember such things?
I can barely remember to take my heart
medicine.

TODD
You were there. You did those things. No
one can tell it better than you can. And you
will tell it, starting today. Right now. If
you don’t, I’ll tell everyone who you are. I
swear it.

DUSSANDER
Why should I? Why should I do any of it?

TODD
Because you hung up the phone. That’s why.
…And just so you know, just so there is no
misunderstanding whatsoever. Everything I
have on you, the compares, the want sheet,
all the photographs, are all in an envelope
under my mattress. I’m going to put it there
every time I come to see you. If anything
happens to me, if I should suddenly
disappear, some one will find it. Believe
me —

DUSSANDER
That’s a foolish thing to do. What if your
mother goes in your room anyway? What if she
hires a maid?

TODD
You better hope she doesn’t.
(looking at watch)
We’re wasting time. Let’s get started. I
have to be home for dinner. Today I want to
hear about the ovens. How you baked them
after they were dead… and before.

Pause.

DUSSANDER
(to himself)
A boy… a boy…

TODD
But before we start, put your teeth in. You
look better with your teeth.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S HOUSE – DUSK

It is later the same day. Todd emerges from the house. The
setting sun tells us he has been inside for several hours. He
picks up his bike and hops on. He stops. He turns to look up
the street in both directions. No one. A moment later he
pedals off down the street.

MAIN TITLES

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM – DAY

TITLE: SEPTEMBER 1984

A typical high school image. Rows of students sit listening to
a lecture from MR. PROXMIRE, fifties, as he weaves his way
through the aisles.

PROXMIRE
But in 1902, Panama didn’t exist. The
country we know as Panama was part of
Columbia.

As the teacher continues to lecture, the camera stops on JOEY,
17. On his desk is a folded note. He hands it across the aisle
and motions for it to be sent to Todd a few rows over. The note
moves across the room, avoiding the meandering teacher, on its
way to Todd.

PROXMIRE (CONT’D)
Now the nations of the west knew they needed
a canal through Central America. They were
tired of waiting for their ships to sail
around Cape Horn. This was the new century,
the age of modernization. And the U.S. was
at the forefront. Teddy Roosevelt was in the
White House, looking for any chance to assert
the might of America. When Columbia balked
at the offer made by the U.S. and England,
Roosevelt sent his naval war ships to sit off
the coast of Panama, just sit there, where
they could be seen from the coast.

The FEMALE STUDENT across the aisle from Todd now has the note.
She whispers to him but he doesn’t hear. Todd is trying to say
awake with great difficulty.

The girl extends the note just as Proxmire passes. He stops,
turns around, plucks the note from the girl’s hand and heads for
the front of the class.

PROXMIRE (CONT’D)
Finally Columbia gave up the territory for
about a tenth of its original price. And as
Roosevelt would say later, “The U.S. stole
the Panama canal fair and square.”

Without glancing at it, Proxmire crumples the note and drops it
into the waste basket by his desk.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – LOCKER AREA – DAY

It is in between classes. The denizens of STUDENTS crowd around
their lockers. Among them is Todd. He searches through his
locker and selects a book. Suddenly the door SLAMS shut to
reveal the face of Joey standing against the lockers. Todd,
startled, jumps back.

JOEY
(laughs)
Take it easy, Jesus. It’s just me, flinch-
man.

TODD
(serious)
Don’t do that.

JOEY
I got news for you. You’re gonna like it.

TODD
Walk with me to French.

The two walk down the corridor.

JOEY
Someone likes you. Someone good.

TODD
Who?

JOEY
Well, I heard my sister talking on the phone
with Lisa Herman, and… well —

TODD
You going to tell me who it is?

Two CHEERLEADERS pass them.

JOEY
(lowering voice)
You didn’t hear it from me.

TODD
Fine.

JOEY
Becky Trask.

TODD
Was that so hard?

JOEY
So ask her out and the weekend after next you
can double with me and Vanessa.

TODD
What about this weekend?

JOEY
I’m already planning on being grounded.

TODD
Grounded? What for?

JOEY
Where the hell you been? Report cards were
sent out today. I know that never affects
you…

They arrive at the door of Todd’s classroom as the BELL SOUNDS.

JOEY (CONT’D)
Shit. Don’t forget what I told you.

Joey runs off, leaving Todd looking after him.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S BACK PORCH – DAY

TITLE: OCTOBER 1984

It is late afternoon. Dussander sits in a rocking chair facing
out into the backyard. Todd is in the lawn chair off to the
side. He has just finished a McDonald’s cheeseburger and is
about to start another one. Dussander eats a Big Mac, washing
it down with bourbon. A large cat keeps jumping onto
Dussander’s lap while he is eating. He brushes it away annoyed.

TODD
I’ve never seen anyone drink bourbon with
McDonald’s before. …So, How did the stuff
get to Patin?

DUSSANDER
In railroad cars marked “Medical Supplies.”
It came in long crates that looked like coffins.

TODD
That’s fitting. Was it always Zyklon-B?

The cat jumps into Dussander’s lap again. He throws it down,
this time harder.

DUSSANDER
No, from time to time we would be sent
something else. Experimental gases. The
High Command was always interested in
improving efficiency. Once they sent us a
gas code-named “Pegasus.” A nerve gas.
Thank God they never sent it again. It…

Todd sits up a little, leaning in.

TODD
It what?

DUSSANDER
It didn’t work very well. It was quite boring.

TODD
Bullshit. You’re lying. What did it do?

DUSSANDER
It killed them. What do you think it did,
made them walk on water? It killed them.

The cat jumps up a third time. This time Dussander picks it up
and tosses it a good six feet. The animal hits the ground and runs away.

TODD
Tell me.
(slurps on his Coke)
Tell me.

DUSSANDER
I won’t. I refuse. Where are my cigarettes?

He finds the pack and fumbles a cigarette to his lips. He
lights it. Todd watches calmly, giving the old man a moment to
collect himself, and then…

TODD
What did it do?

DUSSANDER
It made them dance.

TODD
Dance?

DUSSANDER
Like Zyklon-B, it came in through the shower
heads. After a few seconds the prisoners
began to leap about. Some were screaming.
Most of them were laughing. They began to
vomit and to… to defecate helplessly.

TODD
You mean they… they… shit themselves?
…Woah.

But Dussander ignores him, staring out into the yard as he
begins to remember more easily.

DUSSANDER
They began to twitch all over and make high,
strange sounds in their throats. At last
they collapsed and just lay there on the
concrete, twitching and yodeling, with blood
streaming from their noses. But I lied to
you, boy. It didn’t kill them. Either
because it wasn’t strong enough or because we
couldn’t bring ourselves to wait that long.
I suppose it was that. I sent five men in
with rifles to end their agonies. These were
five men I trusted. It would have looked bad
on my record to have wasted so many
cartridges at a time when the Fuehrer had
declared every cartridge a national resource.
I was always given high marks for efficiency.

TODD
Yeah, I bet.

Dussander looks down at the remains of the meal in his lap. As
if his own story has suddenly disgusted him, he balls the food
up in its wrapper and shoves it into the paper bag.

DUSSANDER
How do you eat this crap everyday?

TODD
Why didn’t you just do the job yourself? You
carried a gun, didn’t you?

DUSSANDER
(incredulous)
I was the commandant of the camp.

TODD
So you never killed anybody?

DUSSANDER
(getting frustrated)
The entire world was at war, boy. People died.

TODD
That’s not a real answer. I’m asking about
you.

DUSSANDER
Boy, I was a soldier in a position of power.
You don’t get to be there by selling …girl
scout’s cookies.

TODD
I know what the SS was, Dussander. Who are
you talking to? It was a bunch of dumb, rich
kids who bought their way into the service so
they wouldn’t have to go fight on the front.

Dussander stares at Todd, wanting to say something. Todd
shovels a few more fries into his mouth, then looks up and sees
Dussander eyeing him.

DUSSANDER
That’s enough for today, boy. I beg you.
I’m tired.

TODD
Yeah, fine. That was good story though. You
always tell them good, once I get you started.

ANGLE on Dussander.

DUSSANDER’S DREAM #1: EXT. OPEN FIELD – DAY

Dussander is asleep in his bed. A low groaning sound comes in
very slowly. Dussander’s eyes open. He sits up, looks around,
sees that his bed is in the middle of a large open field. It is
grassy, but certainly not beautiful. Something is wrong about
this place.

He stands out of the bed, wearing pajamas. But it is cold. He
takes the sheet and wraps himself in it. The groaning is
getting louder, more human. We have never seen him frightened,
until now. He steps a few paces from the bed. The groans have
becomes low screams. There is no where to go. Slowly, as if he
knows what he’s going to see, he looks down at the ground. It’s
just grass. But the human voices are now wailing desperately.

His knees buckle, but he tries to fight it. He reaches his
knees and lowers his head toward the ground. The white sheet
flows around him and blows off in a gust of wind. The screams
are now at a feverish pitch. His ear is inches from the grass
and his eyes, marked with unmistakable terror, are wide open
as…

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Dussander bolts upright in his bed.

EXT. OUTDOOR SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

RICHARD (DICK) BOWDEN, 38, is a taller, grayer version of his
son. He stands over Todd’s shoulder watching him shoot at a
paper target. He still has on a tie from work, but the knot has
been loosened and his shirt sleeves rolled up. Both Dick and
Todd wear headphones and orange shooting glasses. Dick chews
gum. They are alone on the range.

Todd fires a few rounds from his father’s .30-.30. A strained
tension exists between the two Bowdens.

DICK
You’re tight. Don’t hold your breath so long.

TODD
Forget it. I can’t concentrate.

He pulls off his headphones in disgust and hands the rifle to
his father. Dick takes it and begins to reload it for him.

DICK
I know your upset. So am I. So is your
mother.

TODD
These honors classes… they aren’t as easy
as I thought they’d be. I totally admit it,
I didn’t prepare enough. I’m sorry.

DICK
Well, fine, but now is not the time to slack
off. You got a chance to finish at the top of
your class–

TODD
Nobody wants that more than I do, Dad.

DICK
Well you haven’t been hitting the books very
much.

TODD
I know…

DICK
And seeing as you’re not playing soccer this
year it’s not like you don’t have enough
time–

TODD
That still bothers you, doesn’t it?

DICK
(with difficulty)
No, son. If you weren’t enjoying it, then
you shouldn’t play.

TODD
I think it bothers you and you’re not telling
me.

Dick decides to take a shot himself. He readies himself and
fires.

DICK
That was lousy. Here.
(gives the gun back to Todd)
I want to see your grades come up, buddy.
That’s all that bothers me. And if you say
you need more time to study, then that’s what
we’ll do. The first thing is to cut out all
the time you spend reading to Mr. Denker.
It’s a nice thing to do, but it’s not helping
our school work a bit.

Dick is looking at his son, unsure if he has just seen a
contortion of rage on his son’s face. But Todd is cocking the
rifle and…

DICK (CONT’D)
Hey, Todd. You still with me?

TODD
Yeah… no. Dad, don’t do that. Please.
Don’t punish Mr. Denker for something that’s
my fault. I mean, he’d be lost without me–

DICK
He’ll be fine without you. He was fine before
and he’ll be fine after. There’s nothing
wrong with wanting to help people, but you
gotta make sure you got yourself squared away
first. That’s what matters.

Todd turns to face his father, and speaks to him with a new
seriousness.

TODD
Dad, am I like other kids?

DICK
Not by a long shot.

TODD
Then trust me on this. Don’t lose faith in
me because I blew a couple of exams. I will
get my grades back up. In fact I’ve already
started. Three days a week I go over to
Freddy Tremain’s for extra help. He’s a wiz
at trig. But please, Dad, whatever you do,
don’t punish a helpless old man for something
that’s my fault.

Pause.

DICK
Did you practice that in front of a mirror or
something?

Todd smiles. Feeling his father caving in, he aims the rifle and
squeezes off a round. Dick keeps his eyes on Todd as he shoots.

DICK (CONT’D)
Hey, he’s not…?

TODD
(it takes him a second)
…No.

DICK
Just checking.
(thinks for a moment)
All right… We’ll give your way a shot. If
you think you can do it, if you really do,
and your serious, then… okay.
You really like the old guy, don’t you?

TODD
I’m making a difference in somebody’s life.
It’s that simple.

Todd aims the rifle down range and pulls the trigger. The gun
jams. Todd tries to move the lever but it gets stuck.

DICK
Okay, okay.
(takes the rifle)
Don’t ever force it. Watch.

Dick begins to methodically unjam the gun.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DUSK

TITLE: NOVEMBER 1984

Dussander looks shabbier than in previous scenes. His clothes
and hair reflect an increasing disregard for personal
appearance. He goes to the basement door and, leaning carefully
over the steps, retrieves a fresh bottle from his stash, stored
precariously on some shelves leading down to the basement. He
comes back to the counter and cracks the bottle open. Todd’s
irritated voice booms in from the living room.

TODD (O.S.)
Don’t get too drunk. We still have a little
while.

Dussander mumbles contemptuously and then speaks so Todd can
hear him.

DUSSANDER
You don’t have to do that, you know.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – DUSK

Todd has built a fire, probably the first fire Dussander’s
fireplace has seen in twenty years. The room is bathed in a
warm orange glow as the winter sun sets outside. Todd uses the
poker to adjust one of the logs.

TODD
Screw you. I’m doing this for me. This
place is freezing.

Dussander comes back in with his drink and settles into his easy
chair, which has been positioned in front of the hearth.

DUSSANDER
Yes, it must be fifty degrees outside. I’m
sure to you it seems positively frigid.

TODD
Why didn’t you pay your gas bill?

DUSSANDER
It slipped my mind. I will attend to it
tomorrow.

TODD
Slipped your mind. I noticed it didn’t slip
your mind to stock up on a new case of
bourbon.

DUSSANDER
Leave me alone.

Todd finishes with the fire and sits on the floor a few feet
away.

TODD
All right, so finish your story, because I’m
still not clear. You cook up this stew, and
you bring the prisoner in, and you let them
smell it, and suddenly they tell you
everything?

DUSSANDER
Oh, don’t misunderstand me. Certainly with a
pistol pressed to their head, a prisoner
would tell us everything we wanted to know,
sometimes more. But mine was a much more …
elegant method. Remember, it had been months
since they had smelled real potatoes
simmering over an open flame, and boy, when
that delicious odor hit their noses their
mouths would drop and out would pour an
account of every minor infraction their
friends had committed, I mean it was
magnificent…

TODD
And you let them eat the soup?

DUSSANDER
Oh, we never promised them the soup in
exchange for information. We never mentioned
it at all.

Pause. Todd is impressed.

TODD
Wow, that’s really good, Dussander. I mean
that’s…
(pointing)
that’s thinking.

Dussander does not respond. He gazes deeply into the fire.

DUSSANDER
…But, as the war pressed on, the time for
such civilized measures became a luxury. I
remember by April of ’45, we had barely
enough food to feed ourselves. The sound of
the Russian mortars grew louder everyday, but
still, the train cars from France and Poland
kept coming. This was a time of desperation.
The ovens burned day and night and still I
knew we would not beat the arrival of the
Russian forces. Many of my men, the cowardly
ones, deserted during the night. But the men
that remained, the same ones I had called
upon so many times, …continued the work.
At first we thought a massive fire in the
main building would serve our purpose. We
could just crowd them in and pull a gas torch
up to each of the windows. But with so many
of them, we couldn’t be sure the bodies would
burn properly. We needed something
…certain. Then a young, bright soldier, I
shall never forget his enthusiastic smile,
pointed to a pair of bulldozers near the
Western gate which had been used during
construction. How perfectly simple it was.
The bulldozers carved a narrow trench, four
meters deep, down the center of the camp.
For two hours they dug until I realized we
may not have enough gas to finish the job.
So the inmates were given shovels and told
they were building a shelter from the
incoming artillery. When they were done, I
immediately called for a practice drill and
three thousand naked bodies began to march
into the trench. It took less than twenty
minutes to get them in place. Quickly the
bulldozers moved down the sides of the pit
sending the piles of earth into the massive
grave. Those who tried to free themselves
were shot, of course, but very few cartridges
were wasted that day. The machines were too
fast. Back and forth they went… packing
the dirt. One by one the tractors ran out of
gas and my men had to scurry along with
shovels. But by sunset… it was done. I
gave the order to evacuate. In the distance
the plumes of Russian mortar fire rose like
an approaching thundercloud. But I knew that
no matter what happened, …no one would ever
forget what we did here.

Dussander stares into the fire. Todd, wide-eyed, is locked on
Dussander when…

The PHONE RINGS.

They look at each other, a bit puzzled. Clearly, it does not
ring very often, and when it does, Dussander cannot help but be
apprehensive.

It rings again. Dussander gets up and moves toward the kitchen,
Todd watches him go.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Hello?
(Pause. Then with apprehension)
Yes? …No, no trouble at all. …Yes.
…Yes, he’s here. …I see.
(his face softens)
…Really? …No, no plans. …Ah, lovely.
…My dear, I’d be delighted. …Certainly.
…Of course I will. …Yes, until then.
…All right. …Good-bye.

He hangs up and turns to Todd with a odd grin.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
It seems I am to be your guest for
Thanksgiving dinner.

INT. OLD TOYOTA CAR – ROADSIDE – NIGHT

Todd and Becky are in the backseat of Becky’s car. They are on
a date and have parked on the side of a road overlooking the
lights of their town. At 16, BECKY TRASK, is an attractive girl
who has recently discovered that boys like her and she likes
them. They are kissing in the back seat. MUSIC plays on the
stereo. Becky’s blouse is unbuttoned. She stops kissing Todd.

BECKY
Is everything all right?

TODD
Yeah, I’m fine.

Becky smiles to herself, unconvinced.

BECKY
You’re nervous. I think it’s sweet.

TODD
No… No, I’m cool.

BECKY
Do you want me to do something else?

Todd just stares at her. He doesn’t know what he wants. Becky
decides for him. She slides down out of the frame. Todd is
startled at first, but lets her. After a moment, he closes his
eyes.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S BACK PORCH – NIGHT

Dussander sits in his rocking chair. A small blanket drapes
across his lap. He smokes a cigarette and holds a near-empty
glass. On the ground beside him, there is a small bowl.

DUSSANDER
Here kitty-kitty. Here kitty-kitty.

Out in the yard, the large cat emerges from the darkness and
moves across the grass. It sees Dussander and, more
importantly, the bowl next to him. We see that the bowl is
filled with milk.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Come, puss-puss. That’s right. I’ll wait.

Dussander sits perfectly still. Cautiously, the cat moves
toward the porch.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
That’s right, puss-puss. You can smell it
now, can’t you?

The cat creeps to the edge of the steps. It takes them one at a
time.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
That’s right, kitty-kitty. That’s right.

After a moment the cat edges up to the bowl. Its tail twitches
nervously. Finally, it begins to lick up the milk. Dussander
crunches the cigarette out in his empty glass. His movements
are slow and patient. From under the blanket he pulls a pair of
yellow rubber gloves. He begins to put them on. The cat jumps
back for a moment. Dussander freezes. He waits the cat out.
Soon the animal is back at the bowl. Dussander continues with
the gloves. He watches the cat’s tail. As the animal gets
comfortable, its tail flips under the rail of the rocking chair.
Dussander slams the chair back. The CAT SHRIEKS. Dussander
flips the blanket on top of the cat and wraps it into a tight,
squirming, HISSING bundle. He stands out of the chair.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Gotcha.

INT. BECKY’S TOYOTA – ROADSIDE – NIGHT

It is later. Becky sits behind the wheel. Todd is next to her.
A different song is on the RADIO. They sit for a moment in
silence, clearly uncomfortable.

TODD
I’m sorry.

BECKY
It’s all right. Maybe you’ll be more in the
mood later.

TODD
I don’t know. That’s never happened before.

Becky lights a joint. She takes a puff and exhales toward Todd.

TODD (CONT’D)
Can you blow that the other way?

BECKY
Maybe you don’t like me.

TODD
No, I do.

BECKY
(exhaling out the window)
Maybe you don’t like girls.

For a moment it is as though Todd’s face were purple with rage.
But a moment later the expression is gone. Todd turns away.
Becky sees that her comment has hurt him.

BECKY (CONT’D)
That was a lousy thing for me to say. I’m
sorry, honey.

She kisses him on the cheek. He nods reluctantly.

TODD
Let’s just go home.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Dussander bursts through the door with the bundle. A single paw
emerges from the corner of the blanket and flails at Dussander,
clawing him across the neck.

DUSSANDER
Oww, you mother-fucker.

They move across the room to the stove. With difficulty,
Dussander pulls open the oven door, revealing the glowing red
interior. The animal SCREAMS and claws at Dussander’s neck and
arms, escaping more and more from the blanket with every
gyration of its body. With a mighty shove Dussander plunges the
cat toward the opening, but the animal braces its paws on the
edge of the stove. The two are deadlocked. But Dussander’s
hands are too close to the heat. He screams. His grip loosens
just enough. With a desperate cry, the animal charges up
Dussander’s body, over his head, and leaps to the floor.
Dussander dives after it.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Come here!

But the animal is too swift. In a second, it is atop the
counter and out the open window above the sink. Although
defeated and exhausted, Dussander cannot contain his excitement.
His panting gives way to a twisted, hearty laugh.

TODD’S DAYDREAM: INT. EXAMINATION ROOM – DAY

This is a 1940’s laboratory. Todd is in his boxer shorts.
Dussander is next to him, wearing a lab coat and his S.S.
officers hat. Todd looks down on the examination table. A
YOUNG GIRL, about 16, is held to the table with clamps. She is
naked, staring at Todd. Behind the table is a glass window and
behind that is another room where OTHER SCIENTISTS are
monitoring equipment.

Over Dussander’s methodical voice, Todd’s dream shows flashes of
what is being done: some sort of sexual experiment on the girl.

DUSSANDER
(to other scientists)
Test run eight-four. Electricity, sexual
stimulus, metabolism. Based on the Thyssen
theories of negative reinforcement.

Dreamlike SOUNDS and images pass before us: Todd’s breathing,
the girl’s cry, electrical equipment, naked flesh, maybe
Todd’s, maybe the girl’s.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Subject is a young Jewish girl, approximately
sixteen years of age, no scars, no
identifying marks, no known disabilities —

Inside the control room, a SCIENTIST monitors a volt meter,
calling out the readings as Dussander yells for the voltage to
be increased. As the meter rises, the girl SCREAMS more
violently. Perhaps her eyes roll back, her tongue flutters in
her mouth. Through all of this, the scientists call out and the
record heart rate, blood pressure, brain activity, voltage, etc.
Todd’s eyes close. His breathing accelerates as does the motion
of his hips until…

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM – DAY

Todd snaps out of his daydream. His trigonometry class is
having an examination. He sits at his desk, staring blankly at
the paper before him. Most of the answer spaces are empty. He
knows he is going to fail another test.

EXT. OUTOOOR SHOOTING RANGE – DAY

Todd is blasting away, rapid-firing the rifle down range at an
unfortunate paper target. The protective headphones lay on the
counter beside him, as does his backpack. He stops shooting
when a voice snaps over the P.A. speaker next to him.

VOICE (O.S.)
You, on lane twelve. You need to have your
headgear on at all times. (click) And no
rapid firing.

Todd looks over at the man frowning at him from inside a small
booth. Todd puts on the headgear, and after a moment, the man
goes back to reading a newspaper. Todd looks up and down the
range. One or two other shooters are concentrating on their
targets. Todd quickly hoists his rifle up and aims it at the
man in the booth. He snaps off a single dry round. Todd smiles
weakly at the sound of the click. Unnoticed by anyone, he turns
back toward the target, strangely comforted.

INT. DINING ROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – DAY

Thanksgiving dinner. All the Bowden’s are there, including
Dick’s parents, VICTOR and AGNES. Dussander sits at the head of
the table, Todd next to him. The family has finished dinner and
is having coffee. Dick and his father smoke cigars. Todd’s
mother, MONICA BOWDEN, still pretty at 36, pours Dussander some
more coffee.

MONICA
Todd loved that dog. A lot more than Dick
did.

DICK
We all loved that dog.

AGNES
I remember when you had to put it down, Todd
cried for two weeks. Just about broke my
heart.

DUSSANDER
Excuse, me, Mrs. Bowden. Put it down? I’ve
been here over twenty years but that’s a new
one.

VICTOR
Means put it to sleep, Victor.

Dussander still looks puzzled. He looks to Todd, but Victor
jumps in.

VICTOR (CONT’D)
Well, it’s how they kill it, Arthur. They do
it all the time at the pound, …sick dogs,
dogs nobody wants.

MONICA
It’s very humane.

DUSSANDER
I see.

Todd shoots him a fiery glare that the others don’t notice.

MONICA
Some more pie?

DUSSANDER
As my departed wife used to say, ‘One must
never overdo the sublime.’

AGNES
It was delicious, Monica.

VICTOR
Tell me, Arthur, if you don’t mind me asking.
What did you do during the war?

AGNES
Now don’t get too personal, Victor.

A quick moment between Todd and Dussander.

DUSSANDER
I was a student at the University until my
reserve unit was called in 1943.
(notices Victor)
But we were not a combat unit, thank God.
Mechanical engineers. Help me find my
cigarettes, Todd. Would you? In those days,
not even the call of higher learning could
exempt an able body from military service.

Dussander’s cigarettes are right in front of him. Todd fetches
one and, bringing it to his own lips, lights it for him.

MONICA
Todd Bowden!

DUSSANDER
(laughs knowingly)
My dear, I do apologize. My hands are too
arthritic to strike a match, I’m afraid.
Your son has been good enough to help an old
man with his filthy habits.

MONICA
Well…as long as you don’t inhale.

TODD
Cigarettes are gross, Mom.

VICTOR
Well, Victor, you were doing your part like
we all were, I suppose. Of course, if you
were in the Pacific Fleet I’d have to shoot
you.

Everyone laughs, except Todd.

DICK
(to Dussander)
My dad is very proud of the fact that the
Bowden men have hit every major conflict
since the Civil War.

VICTOR
That’s right. Dickie served two tours in
Vietnam. Earned a bronze star and a purple
heart.

DICK
It’s one family tradition I’d like to put an
end to. Todd and I blow a few caps down at
the range every week. That’s all the combat
he needs.

TODD
(perking up, offended)
What’s that supposed to mean?

DICK
Forget it.

DUSSANDER
(looking at Todd)
Perhaps your son would excel in combat.

MONICA
Todd could excel at anything. Right, honey?

Todd doesn’t answer. His eyes are still on Dick. Dick notices
him.

AGNES
(getting up, starts to clear some
dishes)
Oh, let’s don’t even talk about this. I can’t
stand to think of you boys fighting another
war.

DUSSANDER
The Purple Heart. You were injured?

TODD
He was knocked unconscious and woke up in a
hospital.

A long pause. Dick is embarrassed and offended by Todd’s stab.
He puffs on his cigar. Agnes comes in from the kitchen and picks
up some more dishes. Dick stands suddenly to help her.

DICK
Mom, let me get that for you.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – SIDEWALK – NIGHT

Todd and Dussander walk together in silence. Todd is clearly in
a bad mood. Dussander prods him.

DUSSANDER
You shouldn’t be so hard on your father.

TODD
Why don’t you mind your own business.

DUSSANDER
(amused at Todd’s short fuse)
Boy, It’s not so easy to raise children. Your
father does the best he can, I’m sure. Having
his own father there is bound to cause some
anxiety on his part–

TODD
Oh, give me a frigging break, will you? Look
who’s talking to me, for Christ’s sake. And
what was that crap about the dog? If you
were any more charming I was going to puke.

DUSSANDER
Heavens, boy, wasn’t that precisely the
point? I used the evening to our advantage.

TODD
Our advantage? Our advantage?

DUSSANDER
Certainly now they will offer no objections
if you continue to come over and read to me.

TODD
You sure take a lot for granted. Do you
think there’s anybody forcing me to come over
to your scuzzy house and watch you slop up
booze all day? Do you?

DUSSANDER
Lower your voice. People will hear.

TODD
So what?

Dussander stops.

DUSSANDER
No, nobody forces you to come. In fact, you
are welcome to stay away. Believe me, boy, I
have no scruples about drinking alone. None
at all.

They start walking again. Dussander turns up his driveway.
Todd follows.

TODD
You know, if they found out what you are,
they’d spit on you.

DUSSANDER
I am sure they would have nothing but
revulsion for me. But what would they say
about you, boy, when I told them you had
known about me for nine months… and said
nothing?

Dussander unlocks his door and steps in.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Come and see me if you please, and stay home
if you don’t. Good night, boy.

He closes the door.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

TITLE: DECEMBER 1984

Todd places a brightly wrapped Christmas present on the table in
front of Dussander, who looks at it skeptically.

TODD
Go ahead, open it. Wait, I better pull down
the shades, first.

DUSSANDER
What for?

TODD
Just to be safe.

DUSSANDER
(getting up)
To hell with this. You open it.

TODD
Oh, relax, old man. Sit down and open it.

Todd opens the refrigerator and pulls out a can of Coke.
Dussander slowly sits back down.

DUSSANDER
You wrapped it yourself, I see.

He begins to remove the bow, and then the paper. He moves very
cautiously, as if the package might explode at any moment.

Finally, he removes the lid and his expression shifts from one
of fear to one of exasperation.

TODD
Merry Christmas!

We see that the box contains a replica of an officer’s S.S.
uniform, complete with hat and jackboots. Dussander reads the
label.

DUSSANDER
Pete’s Quality Costume Clothiers – Serving
You Since 1976.

TODD
Go ahead, try it on.

DUSSANDER
Are you out of your mind, boy? What makes
you think I would put something like that on?

TODD
I thought you’d like it —

DUSSANDER
Like it? My God, you’re a bigger fool than I
thought. Maybe I’ll put it on and do a
little shopping downtown. Is that what you
thought? You stupid, boy.

TODD
Don’t call me stupid.

DUSSANDER
You… You know, you are correct. I am the
stupid one. For months I have suffered your
indignities. I have exposed my past to you
while watching you stuff your face with those
wretched hamburgers. I have stocked my
refrigerator with Coca Cola and ding dongs.
All for you, I have done these things and I’m
tired of it. But because I value my life and
my freedom, what’s left of it anyway, I do
them. But I’ll die before I put this thing
on, you fucking piss-ant.

TODD
That’s enough. You don’t get to talk to me
like that.

Dussander bangs the table.

DUSSANDER
I should smash you.

TODD
Do it. Please.
(pause)
Indignities? What you’ve suffered with me is
nothing compared to what the Israelis would
do to you. Remember what happened to
Eichmann? You forget that, I think. And,
you know, that’s my fault. I have let you
forget. You have gotten comfortable with
this situation. Well, don’t you for one
minute ever forget who holds the cards here.
Don’t you ever forget that envelope under my
mattress. I tried to do this the nice way, I
tried to do something to please you, but you
don’t want it. So fine, we’ll do it the hard
way. You will put this on because I want to
see you in it. Now strip.

DUSSANDER
I hope you go to hell —

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

It is five minutes later. Dussander stands in the uniform. He
looks at it indignantly.

DUSSANDER
The insignia is all wrong. The boots should
be leather, not imitation.

TODD
That suit cost me over eighty bucks… with
the boots.

DUSSANDER
And this material… what? Polyester?

TODD
Quiet. Straighten that hat.

Dussander ignores him.

TODD (CONT’D)
Straighten that hat, soldier!

DUSSANDER
Good Gott.

Dussander does what he is told.

TODD
Actung!

Slowly Dussander straightens up.

TODD (CONT’D)
Now, march… Do it!

Dussander begins to move his feet in place.

TODD (CONT’D)
That’s it. March.

Dussander has gotten into a rhythm, marching faster in place.

TODD (CONT’D)
About face.

Dussander spins sharply on his heels. He continues to march.

TODD (CONT’D)
About face.

Dussander is stomping in place vigorously. He spins on command,
facing Todd. He gives a Nazi salute. Todd watches him march
for a moment. At first he enjoys the domination, but as
Dussander gets caught up in the marching, Todd’s expression changes.

TODD (CONT’D)
Okay, that’s enough.

Dussander is still marching furiously.

TODD (CONT’D)
I said that’s enough!

Suddenly Dussander stops. He collapses into a chair, exhausted.
He sits there panting for a moment.

DUSSANDER
Boy… be careful. You play with fire.

DUSSANDER’S DREAM #2: INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Dussander wakes to a strange, faint rumble. He climbs out of
bed and walks across his bedroom toward the source of the sound.
We follow him as he moves farther and farther away from his bed.
Soon it is apparent that he is in a space much larger than his
room. Yet he is still in darkness, as if his room has suddenly
ended and continues into a black void.

But the rumble gets louder, more mechanical sounding. As the
sound crescendoes we see what Dussander sees. A train car.
Steam rises in the air as if the train has just come to a
complete stop in the night.

Dussander stares at the boxcar coldly, and we realize that
something is staring back at him. Eyes, dozens of them, glare
back at him from between the slatted boards of the train. Some
are low to the flooe, like those of children. Others are
higher. Dussander snaps at them in German.

DUSSANDER
(in German)
Come out. …Come out, now!

No one exits the train. Yet, the eyes seem to move around
cautiously within the boxcar. Dussander is getting angry. His
orders aren’t being carried out. Suddenly the door of the train
slides open. But still only the eyes are visible.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
(in German)
Line up in front of the train. Now!

Again, no one gets off. Enraged, Dussander takes a few steps
toward the train. In a flash the eyes charge at him. But these
are not the eyes of prisoners. These are wolves. Dussander can
only cover his face with his arms as the snarling teeth descend
upon him.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Dussander wakes from his nightmare in a cold sweat. His pajamas
are soaked. Disoriented and out of breath, he climbs out of bed
and clicks on the light.

The closet. He stares at the closed closet door for a moment and
then moves toward it slowly. He opens the door and runs his
fingers across the assortment of shirts and jackets. His hand
stops near the back.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – FIVE MINUTES LATER

Dussander is seated on the side of the bed smoking a cigarette.
He is dressed, with the exception of the boots and hat, in the
SS uniform. He appears calmer, less agitated. He crunches out
the cigarette and slips under the covers. He turns off the
light. He closes his eyes. For the moment, he is at peace.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – LOCKER AREA – DAY

Todd stands facing his open locker. He is staring at his report
card. Sweat collects on his forehead. He looks like he is
about to explode. He wipes his brow with his sleeve and turns
around to see if anyone notices him. TWO STUDENTS catch his
eye. They are both Asian. They are smiling and pouring over
each other’s report cards. Todd zips open his backpack, giving
us a quick glimpse of the disassembled rifle pieces inside. He
throws the report card in and zips up the bag. Slinging the bag
over his shoulder, he slams the locker shut and heads off down
the hall.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM – DAY

Todd is shooting baskets with Joey. It is after school. Todd
wears a white T-shirt. Off to the side, we see the dress shirt
he was wearing earlier and his school bag.

JOEY
So what are you going to do?

TODD
Fuck if I know.

Todd throws up a clumsy shot. It misses.

JOEY
You’re throwing it flat. Let it roll off
your fingers more.

TODD
(snapping at him)
I don’t need a lesson.

Todd adjusts his grip on the ball anyway. He shoots again. No
good.

JOEY
Your dad, man. I don’t know. I mean, I’m a
fuck up. My dad is used to this crap from
me.

Todd does not respond to his friend’s attempt at humor. He is
slamming the ball around with great force. He bounces it hard
off the back wall to give himself a rebound. He is mumbling to
himself.

JOEY
What?

TODD
What?

JOEY
You said something?

TODD
No.

JOEY
You’re talking to yourself, Bowden. It’s not
the first time I’ve noticed it. What is
going on with you?

TODD
Nothing, Joey. I fucked up. I’II fix it.
I’II fix it.

JOEY
(hurt)
All right, man. Whatever you say. Look, I
got to get to practice.

No response from Todd.

JOEY (CONT’D)
If you need to talk, you can call me. You
know that. I’II see you around.

Joey walks off. Todd continues shooting the ball.

TODD
(mumbling)
You’re talking to yourself, Bowden. You’re
talking to yourself, Bowden.

He throws up a shot. It is good.

TODD (CONT’D)
I’II fix it. I’II fix it.

A strange SQUAWKING sound is heard. Todd doesn’t hear it at
first, but as the sound grows louder Todd stops the ball and
looks around. His eyes focus on the area near an open doorway.
Sunlight streams into the empty gym. Todd walks closer, seeing
that the sound is coming from an injured bird that has crawled
in from outside. He goes up to it. The bird is black. Its
wing is damaged. It SQUAWKS loudly, looking up at Todd. Todd
begins mumbling again. He starts to dribble the ball
thoughtlessly. As his words become clearer, the bouncing gets
harder.

TODD (CONT’D)
I’ll fix it. I’ll fix it. I’ll fix it.

Todd is bouncing the ball very hard next to him. The bird
continues to SCREAM. Slowly the ball drifts from beside Todd to
in front of him, gaining force with every bounce. He brings it
up to his face and with both hands throws it down with all his
might. When it comes back up, it is smeared with blood. He
throws it down again, this time it comes up with feathers
smeared in the blood. The squawking has stopped. Blood
splatters on Todd’s shirt. His eyes close.

He stops the ball, looks around. No one has seen him. He
notices his shirt. Calmly, he tears it off, wraps the ball in
it, and tosses it in a nearby trash can.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – DAY

Todd pedals his bike through town, carrying a brown paper bag
under one arm. He turns down Dussander’s street. He stops in
front of the house and heads for the front door.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

Dussander emerges from the basement just as Todd comes into the
kitchen. Todd sniffs the air, frowns.

TODD
What the fuck happened in here?

DUSSANDER
Ah, boy… I burned my TV dinner, I’m afraid.

TODD
Something’s come up. Sit down.

Dussander’s studies Todd for a moment. Although Todd appears
calm, his tone reflects a somber, business-like attitude.

DUSSANDER
I see.
(sits at table)
What seems to be the trouble?

Todd sets his grade card and the envelope on the table.
Dussander picks up the grade card and examines it.

DUSSANDER
Quarterly Progress Report.
(he reads silently)
You seem to have fallen on the rocks, my boy.
One B, three C’s and a D. Hardly the work of
a “National Merit Scholar,” or whatever you
call yourself.

TODD
This isn’t a joke, Dussander. I can’t blame
this on teachers or honors classes anymore.

DUSSANDER
Looks like you have a problem then.

TODD
I have a problem? You still don’t get it.
I’m out of excuses. Do you know what’s going
to happen when my dad sees that? He’s going
to hit the fucking roof. He’ll get it all
out of me. The truth, you…everything.

DUSSANDER
Boy, it’s not my fault your grades have
fallen.

TODD
Don’t be so sure.

Dussander throws Todd a dismissive wave. He gets up to get a drink

DUSSANDER
Please, you don’t spend that much time here.
I hardly think–

TODD
(quickly, as if confessing something)
I can’t study anymore.

Pause. Dussander looks at him oddly, a bit surprised. But then
opens the cabinet and pulls out a glass, allowing Todd to continue.

TODD
(with difficulty)
I try. But it’s… different now. I sit in
front of my books and start thinking about…
about corpses, and electrified fences and
people getting strangled with piano wire.
All that crap you tell me. The next thing I
know it’s after midnight. I sit in class
like a zombie, …useless. But that’s not
the half of it. Check out the letter.

Dussander goes back to the table and picks up the envelope. He
opens it.

DUSSANDER
(reading letter)
‘Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bowden, this note is to
suggest that we have a group conference
concerning Todd’s first semester grades. In
light of his previous good work in this
school, the sudden deterioration in his
grades suggest a specific problem which
should be addressed before his academic
advancement is jeopardized permanently. Such
a problem can often be solved by a frank and
open discussion. I am ready to work out a
time for us to meet. In a case such as this,
earlier is usually better. Sincerely yours,
Edward French.’ Who is this Edward French,
the headmaster?

TODD
French? Fuck no. He’s a stupid guidance
counselor.

DUSSANDER
Guidance counselor? What is that?

TODD
He guides and he counsels. You read the
fucking note. Do you realize I could have to
go to summer school? Me, in there with all
those fuck-ups. I do not want to go to
summer school.

DUSSANDER
Or to the reformatory.

TODD
What did you say?

DUSSANDER
Boy, …you have a far greater problem than
your school grades. Before you speak to me
about what they will “get out of you”,
remember the facts. …Seventy thousand
people died at Patin. Have you forgotten
that? To the world at large I am the most
despicable of criminals, a monster. Do you
think I would stand aside and let you turn me
in so easily? Without a fight? Is your
American self-confidence so bloated that you
have never once realized you are an accessory
to my crimes. You have criminal knowledge of
an illegal alien, and have not reported it.
Don’t you see that? And if I’m caught, I
will tell the world all about you. When the
reporters put their microphones in my face it
will be your name I’ll repeat over and over
again. Todd Bowden, yes that’s his name.
How long?… oh, for months, almost a year.
He wanted to know everything… That’s how
he put it, yes – everything.

TODD
They’d never believe you.

DUSSANDER
Perhaps, perhaps not. It’s a gamble. How
would you explain all those books you were
reading to me? My eyes are not what they
were but I can still read fine print. I can
prove it.

TODD
So what? I’d say you tricked me.

DUSSANDER
Why would I do that?

TODD
For friendship, because you’re lonely and had
no one in your life. No jury would take your
word over mine. A Nazi? Forget it. Just
get it out of your head. You can’t threaten
me and you can’t scare me. What you can do
is find me a pencil.

DUSSANDER
A pencil, what for?

Todd sets the small paper bag on the table. Dussander opens it
and removes a small bottle. The label reads: “ink eradicator.”
He also removes an x-acto knife and a few sheets of rub-off
letters.

TODD
That will take care of the report card, I
think. About that fucking letter, I don’t
know.

Todd sits down at the table. He takes the bottle from Dussander
and examines the report card.

TODD (CONT’D)
Fuck… come on, a pencil. A sharp one.
With an eraser.

Dussander pauses. He knows Todd is right. Slowly, he goes to
the counter and opens a drawer. He rummages through it as Todd
sits with his back to him. Dussander picks out a pencil with an
extremely sharp point. He holds it point out and approaches
Todd. He gets closer, the point moves in toward the back of
Todd’s head. He holds the point inches from the boy’s neck. He
deliberates.

DUSSANDER
Will this do?

Todd grabs the pencil. Dussander turns toward the window. He
thinks for a moment.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Tell me, does this French know your parents
in a social way?

TODD
Him? Fuck, no. They wouldn’t mix with a
geek like him.

DUSSANDER
How about professionally? Has he ever called
them before?

TODD
No. I’ve never needed it. Why?

DUSSANDER
I have an idea. It will require you to make
one phone call.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – OFFICE WAITING AREA – DAY

Kurt Dussander, a.k.a. Arthur Denker, a.k.a. Victor Bowden,
Todd’s grandfather, sits outside an office marked, “Edward
French – Guidance.” Dussander looks the best he has ever
looked. His hair is clean and combed. His face is shaved. And
he is smartly dressed in his best blue suit. As he waits, he
glances down at a piece of paper. We see that it is a “crib-
sheet” of Todd’s family tree. Several names appear on the
sheet, connected to other names by lines and arrows. By each
name is one or two word description, such as “dead: cancer,
1981″ or “divorced, Dallas, Tex.” The door opens up. Dussander
pockets the note. EDWARD FRENCH, 40’s, stands in the doorway.
He wears a turtle neck under his sportcoat.

FRENCH
Mr. Bowden?

DUSSANDER
Mr. French, a pleasure.

There is a bit of hesitation on French’s part, but they shake
hands. Dussander notices the shoes on French’s feet, bright red
converse high-tops.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
My, those are some… colorful shoes.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – FRENCH’S OFFICE – DAY

French makes his way around his desk. Dussander stands by the
door.

FRENCH
To you, sir, I’m sure they seem quite out of
the ordinary. But when it is your job to get
confused sixteen year-olds to open up to you,
you take whatever steps you need. Please
have a seat.

They both sit.

DUSSANDER
And the shoes work?

FRENCH
They seem to help, believe it or not. Well,
I thank you for coming down, Mr. Bowden, but
I’ll be frank with you…

DUSSANDER
Yes, please do.

FRENCH
The fact that you’re here and not Todd’s
parents tells me a great deal.

DUSSANDER
I’m sure. My son and his wife asked me to
come in and discuss this sorry business with
you, Mr. French. Todd is a good boy, believe
me. This trouble with his grades is only
temporary.

Dussander pulls out his cigarettes and then, thinking twice,
puts them back.

FRENCH
It’s all right.
(pulls an ashtray from desk
drawer)
There’s no smoking on school grounds, but if
it will make you more comfortable, I’ll never
tell.

DUSSANDER
A terrible habit, but thank you.
(lights up)
I suppose I should begin by informing you
that my son and my daughter-in-law are having
troubles at home. Rather bad troubles, I
should think.

FRENCH
I appreciate your candor.

DUSSANDER
(leaning in)
The mother drinks.

FRENCH
Oh.

DUSSANDER
Yes. The boy has told me that he has come
home on two occasions and has found her
sprawled out on the kitchen table. He knows
how my son feels about her drinking and so on
these occasions he has put dinner in the oven
himself and forced enough black coffee down
his mother’s throat so that she will at least
be awake when Richard gets home.

FRENCH
That’s bad. Has Mrs. Bowden thought about
getting professional help for her problem?

DUSSANDER
The boy has tried to persuade her, but she is
far too ashamed, I think. If she was given a
little time… You understand?

FRENCH
Of course. Your son… Todd’s father…

DUSSANDER
He is not without blame, believe me. The
hours he works. The meals he has missed.
They take a toll on a family. I was raised
to believe that a man’s family came before
his work or anything else. I tried to teach
my son that… but —

FRENCH
There’s only so much we can teach our kids,
Mr. Bowden. …What about Monica’s mother or
father? Couldn’t they talk to her?

DUSSANDER
Her mother, Sabrina, lives in a nursing home
in Florida. I’m afraid after her husband
died she lost her will to live.

FRENCH
Probably not the best person for Monica to
speak to.

DUSSANDER
Indeed.

FRENCH
Mr. Bowden, I don’t have to remind you, I’m
sure, of Todd’s stellar academic record.
National Merit Scholar finalist, Academic
All-Stars.

DUSSANDER
Yes. I keep his certificates on the wall of
my store. I run a small bookstore in San
Remo.

A hint of skepticism crosses French’s eyes.

FRENCH
(glancing at folder on desk)
Yes, I see that. Anyway, Todd is, and I hate
to phrase it this way, but he’s one of the
ones worth fighting for. He’s a special kid,
we both know that. But If Todd’s grades
don’t improve drastically and quickly…
he’ll be opening a real nasty can of worms.
Summer school would just be the beginning.
His whole college acceptance schedule would
be thrown way off course. The good schools
won’t know what to make of him. I’m sure
he’d hate that and so would you.

DUSSANDER
Of course.

FRENCH
So let’s get to the bottom line, shall we?
What I’m proposing is some family counselling
at the Counselling Center downtown.
Everything is in confidence, of course. A
man in charge down there, Harry Shumacher, is
a good friend of mine. I think Todd and his
parents should go see him together. It might
be difficult for Todd to go to his parents
with this; I think you should do it. Maybe
we can get everybody on track by the end of
the next quarter. It will be tough, but not
impossible.

DUSSANDER
I’m not sure that would be the best thing for
the boy. The parents might resent him if I
took them that proposal right now. Things
are very delicate. To swing the scale too
far in the wrong direction might cause more
harm than good. The boy has promised to work
harder in his studies. He is most concerned
by the drop in his grades, more alarmed than
you might expect. He has his mind set on
attending Stanford or Berkeley next fall and
does not wish to see his plans altered.

FRENCH
Yes, well —

DUSSANDER
Also, the parents would resent me. Monica
already thinks I meddle too much in her
affairs.

FRENCH
I have a great deal of experience in these
matters, Mr. Bowden. And please understand
that my interest in your son’s marital
problems begins and ends with the effect they
are having on Todd. And right now I think
they are having quite an effect. I really
think counselling is in order here.

DUSSANDER
Allow me to make a counter proposal. You
have, I believe, a system for warning parents
of poor grades?

FRENCH
Yes, Interpretation of Progress cards. IOP
cards. The kids call them flunk card. They
only get them when their grades in a class
fall below the seventy percent. That means a
“D” or an “F”. Why?

DUSSANDER
And they are sent out when?

FRENCH
Mid-quarter. That’s about three weeks into
the new marking period.

DUSSANDER
Allowing for Christmas break, the next time
they are sent out will be in late January,
correct?

FRENCH
Yes, that’s right.

DUSSANDER
Good. Then what I suggest is this…

EXT. DUSSANDER’S BACK PORCH – DAY

Dussander still wears the blue suit. The tie has been loosened
and top button undone. Todd still wears his backpack.

TODD
You what?

DUSSANDER
I told him you were getting back on track by
your own accord. I gave him my word. If you
get even one flunk card–

TODD
Are you out of your fucking mind? I’m going
to get three or four flunk cards. I failed
an economics test today, so there’s another
one.

DUSSANDER
Boy, it was the best I could do without
arousing suspicion.

TODD
I could have done better myself —

DUSSANDER
Well you didn’t, did you? This is the way it
is and now you are upset because the only way
you can make things right is to work.

TODD
You’re insane. I’m upset because it can’t be done.

DUSSANDER
It can. And it will. You will work.

TODD
I don’t take orders from you. Maybe you’ve
forgotten —

DUSSANDER
(turning on him)
Listen, boy. Before today it was possible,
just barely possible, that you could have
denounced me and come out clean yourself.
The way your nerves have been lately I don’t
think so, but never mind that. It was – at
least technically possible. But now things
have changed. Today I impersonated your
grandfather, one Victor Bowden. And it was
you who arranged the meeting. What would
people make of that? If things come out
now… perhaps you were right, your age and a
good attorney might keep you out of jail, but
you would be humiliated, boy, publicly. You
would be infamous. Your parents too. Do you
know what such a scandal would do to them?
To you? Think about that.

Todd is stunned. He turns away, then back again, struggling for
the right words.

TODD
You fucker.

DUSSANDER
It’s a done deal, boy. If you don’t like it,
you can discuss it at family counselling.

TODD
God! I wish… I wish —

DUSSANDER
Never mind your wishes. Your wishes make me
sick. All I want to hear is that you
understand the situation.

Todd is furious. He sees there is no other way, but continues
fighting.

TODD
Look, you gotta believe me. There is no way
in hell that I can pull myself out of a half
year slide in a couple of weeks. I wish I
could, but we’re just going to have to think
of something else.

DUSSANDER
Boy, the time for discussion is over. This
is the way it is. You are going to work.
And I am going to be right here with you.

TODD
What are you talking about?

EXT. BIKE PATH – DAY

Todd is standing with his bike on a dirt path. He is looking
out at something. The wind blows throw his hair. A distant
glimpse of some buildings off to the side tell us he is on a
hill.

DUSSANDER (V.O.)
You are going to spend the rest of this
quarter, all of your vacation and the first
three weeks of January studying. During your
free period you will study. During lunch,
you will study. And after school and on
weekends you will come here and do the same.

EXT. BIKE PATH – TUNNEL – DAY

Todd pedals his bike furiously toward the camera. He approaches
a tunnel lined with corrugated metal below an overpass.

TODD (V.O.)
Not here, at home.

DUSSANDER (V.O.)
No. At home you will dawdle, you will talk
on the telephone, watch TV. Here, I can make
sure that nothing distracts you from your
studies.

Todd emerges from the tunnel.

DUSSANDER’S DREAM #3: EXT. PRISON YARD – NIGHT

Spotlights, like those from a guard tower, criss cross over a
small compound surrounded by an electrified fence. Inside the
pen, wolf-like dogs snarl and gnash their teeth. The spotlight
catches the source of their aggravation…

Dussander, caught ghoulishly in the roving light, stands in
uniform outside the pen. He is laughing. In his hand is his
Luger. He fires through the fence, killing one of the dogs.
They go wild. He laughs harder. He shoots again, and then
again. It is like shooting fish in a barrel.

The light beam passes the pen to reveal that the dogs have
transformed into human prisoners. They maneuver helplessly to
avoid Dussander’s bullets. But he fires faster, his laugh
growing more extreme. His movements in between shots becomes a
sort of dance. One prisoner flies against the fence in a pools
of sparks. As Dussander’s waltz reaches it’s climax, one
prisoner remains in the pen. He looks up. It is Todd. Angle
on Dussander’s toothy grin. The gun comes up…

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – IMMEDIATELY AFTER

Dussander wakes up. A CLANKING SOUND echoes from the street.
Dussander looks like he could have been having a wonderful sex
dream, but he turns his head toward the direction of the street.
He clicks on the light. Dressed in the SS uniform, he gets up
and moves toward the window.

Through the window, bathed in the glow of a street lamp, a
derelict, who we will come to know as ARCHIE, rummages through
Dussander’s trashcans. Under his arm are a few of the empty
bourbon bottles.

INT. BECKY’S TOYOTA – NIGHT

The car pulls into the driveway of Todd’s house. Becky is
smoking a joint and blowing the smoke out the window. They both
look a little tipsy, as if they have been to a party. She holds
the joint up to Todd. He contemplates, then takes it. Todd’s
first toke of marijuana isn’t very small. Becky looks on,
surprised. She reaches out for the joint and Todd waves her
off. He pulls again, this time ingesting a huge hit. He holds
it, then exhales. He gives the roach back to Becky.

TODD
Their light is still on. I’ll get out on
your side. Don’t say anything.

Becky gets out. Todd slides over and does the same. She
crushes the joint out on the pavement and puts the rest in her
purse.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Dussander watches Archie collect the cans and bottles. There is
something about Archie that makes Dussander wonder if he has
seen him before. Archie looks up, right into Dussander’s
window, as if he were expecting him to be there. The two stare
at one another for a long moment. Suddenly Dussander is aware
that he is dressed in the SS uniform.

He quickly steps back from the window. His breathing is short
and erratic as he waits in the shadows for Archie to finish.
After a long moment, the noise from the street stops. We hear
only the faint steps of Archie walking away.

INT. TODD’S BEDROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – NIGHT

Todd and Becky’s lips are locked in a passionate kiss. In their
exuberance they fall onto the bed. As they try to undress and
kiss at the same time, Becky begins to moan. Todd brings his
fingers to his lips.

TODD
Shhh.

Their clothes tumble off around them.

TODD (CONT’D)
Don’t move.

He slides off her and opens the drawer by his bed. He pulls out
a condom. By now she is naked. Todd slips out of his underwear
and falls on top of her. The RADIO plays in the b.g. as Todd
begins to grind away with his hips. She moans softly with
delight.

The CAMERA MOVES off of them to reveal a man in a lab coat
setting up a volt meter. This is one of the scientists from
Todd’s laboratory nightmare. The CAMERA continues TO PAN across
the bedroom, showing the other scientists preparing for the
electricity experiment. The CAMERA STOPS on Dussander,
clipboard in hand, observing everything carefully.

Todd releases with a final thrust. Becky is MOANING in a series
of high, fast yelps. Todd lies still on her body. Becky is
speechless, still quivering from the unusually intense love
making.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

The bedroom is dark except for the glowing tip of a cigarette.
Dussander is in bed, wide awake…

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

TITLE: JANUARY 1985

Todd sits alone at the table, eating while he studies.
Dussander crosses the frame behind him, drink in hand. Todd is
noticeably annoyed by Dussander’s presence.

EXT. BIKE PATH – TUNNEL – DUSK

It is raining. Todd is riding fast. He wears a raincoat with
the hood up. He talks to himself loudly, but we can’t make out
what he is saying. He enters the tunnel.

The muddy run-off inside the tunnel catches Todd by surprise.
He loses control of the bike and falls into the mud.

TODD
Fuck.

Todd gets up and tries to free his bike, but the mud and water
do not make the job easy. He is almost finished when a gruff
voice catches his attention.

ARCHIE (O.S.)
Hey, kid, you having some trouble?

Todd looks up and sees a figure moving toward him in the shadows
of the tunnel. Todd quickly pulls out a pocket knife. He flicks
open the blade and hides it behind his leg.

TODD
No. I got it… thanks.

The figure steps closer. The light catches his face to reveal
Archie. He is an unshaven, filthy mess, and when he speaks his
words are slurred from years of steady drinking.

ARCHIE
That case maybe you could loan me a dollar.
Help out a Vietnam vet? How ‘bout it?

Todd eyes the man cautiously. He looks around. No one is
nearby. The constant din of the rain echoes within the confines
of the tunnel.

TODD
I… I don’t know… I don’t think so.

Todd palms the knife out of sight and slowly approaches the bum.

ARCHIE
C’mon, you got something for me. I know you
do.

TODD
Well, maybe… I have to check.

Todd’s hands go into his pockets. He stops a few feet from the
bum.

ARCHIE
See, I got to get up to L.A. Got a job
waiting for me up there.

Todd moves closer. Close enough to touch the bum.

TODD
I thought I did have a couple of quarters…

The bum looks at him hopefully. Todd looks back at him, sizing
him up, really noticing him for the first time.

ARCHIE
You know,
(his voice drops)
For a dollar I’ll give you a blow job. Take
you right up there where it’s still dry. You
never had so good, kid. You’ll come your
brains out.

Todd freezes for a moment. The bum is right in his face.
Suddenly Todd throws a handful of change at the bum and sprints
back to his bike. He hops on and is gone in a flash, leaving
the bum there to pick up the scattered coins.

As Todd zips away, the hood is off his head. The rain begins to
beat away the splattered mud from his face.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – HISTORY CLASS – DAY

Mr. Proxmire makes his way through the rows of desks. He is
passing out papers.

PROXMIRE
Our illustrious administration, in its quest
to make my job as difficult as possible, has
decided that home room teachers are now
responsible for handing IOP cards for all
your classes. So for those of you getting
flunk cards, you’ll find them attached to
last week’s exam.

Moans erupt from the class. Todd sits motionless at his desk.
The moment of truth. Proxmire passes him and places the exam
face down on Todd’s desk. Todd hesitates before turning it
over. He is sweating.

He flips the paper over and glares at the small card clipped to
the top of the paper. He picks up the card and reads it: “I’m
sure glad I didn’t have to give you one of these for real!
Great improvement, Todd. — Anne Leland.” Todd cannot contain
his delight. Nearby students stare curiously at the strange boy
beaming over his flunk card.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

Dussander sits at the table. He holds the IOP card out at arm’s
length to read it. The bourbon bottle next to him is empty.
Todd sits across from him.

DUSSANDER
Well, this calls for a celebration, no?

Dussander gets up and goes to the refrigerator.

TODD
Look, I guess I owe a lot of this to you.
I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

DUSSANDER
(eyeing him cautiously)
Your gratitude humbles me.
(pause)
How about some Ritz crackers and Velveeta?

TODD
Sure, what the hell.

Dussander goes about his task, taking items from the cabinets,
etc. Todd watches all of this intently, but without expression.

DUSSANDER
I would have expected you to be doing back
flips down the hallway after such good news.
You are so quiet.

Todd does not respond.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Today, I think, I give you the day off from
studying. How’s that? How about one of my
stories instead? I still have a few good
ones saved up.

TODD
I don’t care. Whatever you want.

Todd is wringing his hand together nervously under the table.
Dussander places a box of crackers on the table and goes back to
the counter.

DUSSANDER
Let’s see. I could tell you about the
special soap we made. Or there is always the
story of how I escaped from Berlin after I
was foolish enough to go back. That was a
close one, I promise you.

TODD
Anything, really.

DUSSANDER
No, none of these I think. You don’t seem to
be in the mood.

Dussander slices open a pack of Velveeta and puts it on a plate.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
I think today I will tell you the story of an
old man who was afraid. He was afraid of a
certain young boy who was, in a queer way,
his friend. The boy proved to be a very good
student, but perhaps not in the way his
mother or his teachers had envisioned. At
first the old man disliked the boy intensely,
but then he grew to… to enjoy the boy’s
company. Of course, there was still a great
deal of distrust between them.

He puts a glass of Coke in front of Todd and goes back to the
counter. He opens a drawer, takes something out, closes it.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Each knew something that other wanted to keep
secret. But over time, the old man began to
feel that things were changing. He felt his
hold on the boy slipping away from him.

Dussander goes to the cellar door. His back is to Todd. He
opens the door and clicks on the light. Todd stands up
silently.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
So. One sleepless night the old man got out
of bed and wrote down the story of his
involvement with the boy. Everything he
could remember, from the first day forward.

Todd has moved across the floor, careful not to let the floor
creak under his steps. He is right upon Dussander. Dussander
reaches out with one arm for a fresh bottle, grasping onto the
railing with the other. His body hangs over the steep
staircase.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
When he finished his hand was stinging from
arthritis but he felt good for the first time
in weeks. He felt safe.

He gets his balance again and turns to face Todd. Dussander
holds the kitchen knife he was using earlier down at his side
where Todd can see it. A tense silence passes between them.

Todd is frozen. Dussander steps past him and back into the
kitchen. He closes the cellar door behind him.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
He climbed back into bed and slept until it
was time for General Hospital.

Dussander sits back in his chair, cutting the seal on the fresh
bottle.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
On the following day the old man put on his
best suit and went down to one of the local
banks and rented a safety deposit box. The
bank officer explained to the old man that he
would have a key and the bank would have a
key. To open the box both keys would be
needed. No one but the old man could use the
old man’s key without a signed, notarized
letter of permission from the old man
himself. With one exception.

Todd sinks into a chair across from Dussander and takes a sip of
Coke.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
That exception is made in the event of the
box-holder’s death.

TODD
Then what?

DUSSANDER
Then the box is opened in the presence of a
bank official and a representative of the
Internal Revenue Service. The contents of
the box are inventoried. In this case they
will find only a twelve-page document. Non-
taxable… but highly interesting.

Todd understands what the old man has told him. He slams his
glass down on the table and jumps out of his chair.

TODD
You can’t… you can’t do that.

DUSSANDER
My boy, it is already done.

TODD
But… Christ! Look at you. You could go at
any time.

Todd stares at Dussander in disbelief. After a moment he storms
out the back door to the porch.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S BACK PORCH – DAY

Todd is leaning over the rail looking out at the yard when
Dussander steps onto the porch. He carries with him the bottle
of bourbon and a glass.

TODD
Then there is nothing for me.

DUSSANDER
But there is. As the years go by, as I get
closer to the grave, your hold on me will
become worth less and less. A man five, ten
years older than I worries more about his
ailing heart than being extradited to Israel.
And there will come a day – if I live long
enough – when I decide what you know no
longer matters. Then, and only then, I will
destroy my document.

TODD
But… but so many things can happen to you
in between. Accidents. Sickness. You could
slip in the shower, for Christ’s sake…

Dussander shrugs and lights another cigarette. He begins to
sing softly, then gets caught up in the song… Todd turns away, angry.

DUSSANDER
Que sera, sera… Whatever will be, will
be… The future’s not ours to see… Que
sera, sera…

Pause. Dussander sees he has pressed Todd’s button. He moves
closer.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
My dear boy, I see you thinking about it,
even now. It is in your eyes. Killing me.
It would take only a flick of a knife. Or
maybe push me down the steps, make it look
like an accident? I am old. You are strong.
You are angry. Good assets for killing. But
there is something missing…

Dussander speaks with a near whisper in Todd’s ear.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
To have some one in your control. To have
them know that they are alive because you
have not decided to the contrary. Do you
have that power? Ask yourself. It is no
easy question. I think you know that.

There is a long pregnant pause. Then Todd lets out a sigh, as if
to dismiss what he has just heard. He turns to face Dussander.

TODD
You know this means we’re through. You won’t
be seeing me around here anymore.

DUSSANDER
No, I suppose I won’t.

TODD
I’m never coming here again.

DUSSANDER
And so it comes to an end. Here.

Dussander pours a splash of bourbon into the boy’s glass.

TODD
What are you doing?

DUSSANDER
A drink. To our lives together, the
beginning… and the end.

Todd picks up his glass.

TODD
I think you should fuck yourself.

He CLICKS his glass against Dussander’s.

DUSSANDER
My boy, don’t you see that we are fucking
each other?

He drinks. Todd, reluctantly, does the same.

FADE TO BLACK.

EXT. MAIN STREET – SANTO DONATO – DAY

TITLE: APRIL 1985

Dussander, dressed smartly for a day out of the house, emerges
from a matinee at the movie theater and strolls down the
sidewalk, the umbrella under his arm. He stops at an empty bench
and sits to wait for the bus.

Archie sits down next to him. At first Dussander doesn’t pay
attention to him, but Archie’s behavior tells us that he is
keenly aware of Dussander’s presence. Dussander stares out into
the street, but Archie fidgets about, his eyes roaming, and
finally slides a little closer to Dussander. Dussander looks at
him flatly. Archie grins. Dussander turns away, prepared to
dismiss this odd behavior as that of a crazed derelict. Then
Archie speaks…

ARCHIE
(leaning over)
I notice the kid don’t come around no more.

Dussander doesn’t respond. He catches Archie in a glance and
sees that he is staring at him.

DUSSANDER
What?

ARCHIE
Little blond-hair boy. …What’s the matter,
you ain’t his friend no more?

Dussander is like stone, flashing the eyes of a man who is not
to be harassed. Finally…

DUSSANDER
You mistake me for somebody else. …Pardon
me, my bus is coming.

Dussander stands, slightly rattled only to those who know him
well. He looks down the street for the bus. Archie doesn’t
move. Rather, he inspects Dussander from head to toe, stopping
on the shoes.

ARCHIE
Damn… Cuban high heels. Nice ones, too.

The SQUEAL of brakes grows louder as the bus comes to rest in
front of Dussander. He has become perceptibly more nervous as
he waits for the passengers to exit. He climbs up the first
step.

ARCHIE
I ain’t seen a pair like that since I was in
Havana.
(talking louder because of the
bus)
That’s the only place you can get’em. Can’t
get’em exported… Government don’t let you.

The door closes behind Dussander. The bus pulls away. Through
the window of the bus Dussander watches Archie as he continues
his speech to no one.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE – DAY

TITLE: MAY 1985

Todd sits nervously in a chair next to a tough, leather-clad
trouble maker. A SECRETARY sits behind a long desk. Her phone
beeps and she picks it up.

SECRETARY
Go in, Todd. They’re waiting for you.

Todd approaches a door marked: “Dr. Carl N. Morgan – Principal.”
He goes in.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – DAY

Todd opens the office door. As his eyes scan the floor he
notices a familiar pair of yellow high-tops. He looks up to see
Ed French leaning against the wall. Seated at the desk is
MORGAN, a thin, stern man, around 50. Todd’s face shows a
moment of trepidation, but he regains his composure almost
instantly.

MORGAN
Have a seat, Todd.

Todd does as Morgan pours over Todd’s files.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
I see from your record and from what Mr.
French tells me that after a minor slip up
last semester you’re right back on course.
Straight A’s for the quarter so far. And I
hear your little slip didn’t bother the folks
up at Stanford too much either.

FRENCH
A good break for you, Todd.

MORGAN
Looks like that little talk with your…
(looks at file)
grandfather… really helped. Well, we don’t
want to keep you too long.
(to French)
You tell him.

FRENCH
Well, it seems Sally Chong didn’t do to well
in A.P. biology.

MORGAN
She failed it.

FRENCH
I’m afraid so. She refused to take part in
the fetal pig dissection. The teacher begged
her to drop the class, but Sally thought she
could pass anyway.

MORGAN
Stubborn girl… What we’re telling you, son,
is that because Sally Chang –

FRENCH
Chong.

MORGAN
Because Sally Chong wouldn’t hack up a baby
pig, you snuck by her in the rankings. So if
you can keep your grades up for two more
months — any reason that shouldn’t happen?

TODD
No.

MORGAN
Then you’ll make valedictorian, Todd.
Congratulations.

FRENCH
Congratulations, Todd.

French shakes Todd’s hand, an uneasy moment passes between the
two of them.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE – DAY

Todd comes out of Morgan’s office. French follows him.

FRENCH
Todd, you really should be proud of yourself.
To tell you the truth, I’m amazed you pulled
it off.

TODD
Thanks, I guess.

He starts to walk away.

FRENCH
I was glad to hear you made varsity baseball.
I spoke to the coach. He says your coming
along real well.

TODD
Thanks.

FRENCH
It’s turning out to be a good year for you.

TODD
Yeah.

He turns to go, but French stops him again.

FRENCH
Todd, wait.

He steps up to Todd and lowers his voice, as if he were hedging
a touchy subject.

FRENCH (CONT’D)
Todd, you’ve got a lot of good things going
on right now. You should be enjoying
yourself.

TODD
I am.

French’s looks says, “No, you’re not.”

FRENCH
How are things at home?

Todd realizes he is not going to get out of this easily.

TODD
Look, things with my parents were bad for a
while. But they’re doing a lot better.
Thanks for your concern, really. I should
get back to class.

He is pulling away from French as he speaks.

FRENCH
(unconvinced)
Okay, Todd. I know this isn’t the place to
talk about this. But my door is always open…

TODD
I know. Thanks.

Todd walks away.

FRENCH
And it’s going to stay open.

But Todd does not turn around. French stares after him. The
BELL RINGS, and Todd is swallowed by the stream of students
emerging from the class rooms.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL – DAY

Todd is kneeling down at the bike rack. His backpack is on the
ground next to him. He unlocks his bike and begins to coil the
chain around his wrist when Joey walks by. He sees Todd and
considers going by, but stops. We can tell they haven’t spoken
in a while.

JOEY
Hey there.

Todd looks up. He seems pleasant, but there is little warmth in
his voice.

TODD
Hey.

Pause. They look at each other. Joey wants to talk. Todd
slips the chain lock into a pocket on his backpack. Joey
jingles his car keys anxiously.

JOEY
I… ah, I heard about Stanford. I heard a
couple of weeks ago actually. …Congrats.

TODD
Thanks.

JOEY
I got into school to. Long Beach. It’s no
Stanford, but…

Joey shrugs. It’s an awkward moment. He walks closer.

TODD
No, no… that’s good, Joe.

JOEY
Well, …I just wanted to say hi. Here let
me get that.

Joey reaches for Todd’s backpack. He lifts it. The heaviness
puzzles him. Todd takes it from him.

JOEY (CONT’D)
What do you have in there?

Todd stares at him stone-faced. Joey doesn’t like Todd’s
expression. Todd takes the bag from him and puts it on.

TODD
You busy now?

JOEY
Uhh…

TODD
Come with me. Hop on.

JOEY
Hop on? I have a car now, Todd.

TODD
You can’t drive where we’re going.

EXT. DIRT PATH – DAY

Joey sits on the handle bars as Todd pedals over the rugged
terrain. Joy looks scared, but appears to be enjoying the ride
and the chance to be with his old friend.

The next shot shows Todd’s bike laying on the ground. The
wheels still turn slowly. The camera moves to reveal Todd and
Joey standing on a rocky ledge. Orange Country sprawls out
before them.

Under the cross-hairs of a telescopic sight, a truck, from the
freeway below, zooms out of frame. The image vanishes. We see
Joey looking through the scope which he holds in one hand.

JOEY
This is so cool.

TODD
Point it over here. That’s the middle
school. You can see right into our old class
room.

JOEY
Oh yeah… But I still don’t see what you
need the rest of it for. Doesn’t your Dad
notice?

The hunting rifle, disassembled, sticks out of Todd’s backpack
on the ground.

TODD
He hasn’t yet.

JOEY
Yet?… Jesus, Todd.

He is trying to joke, but the seriousness is clearly in his
voice.

TODD
And over here, that’s your dad’s office. And
there’s the old drive-in.

Joey isn’t looking through the scope anymore. He holds it out
to Todd, watching him.

JOEY
Here. Take it.

Todd grabs the scope. But Joey doesn’t let go. He finally
locks Todd in a stare that he has been avoiding for months. He
wants to say something. Todd takes the scope. He sees that
Joey is serious. He takes a few steps toward the edge, toward
the gun. He looks out.

TODD
It’s such a rush, you know?… To be up here.
Don’t you feel it? So high above them they
never know we’re here. It’s like an ant
farm. We’re the gods on Mt. Olympus, Joey.
They can’t see us, they can’t hear us, but
every so often we can make them feel us.
Just so they never forget. Look…

He looks through the scope at the freeway. He picks out passing
cars.

TODD (CONT’D)
There goes a future track star. There goes a
judge. A mom and her two kids. A policeman.
That one’s a school teacher, that one’s a
drug dealer… You see, Joey, it doesn’t
matter. It doesn’t matter how smart you are
…or how many grades you skip. There’s
always someone who can take it all away. The
right person snaps their fingers… and it’s
done.

Joey takes a few steps backward. Todd doesn’t notice.

JOEY
Todd, I’m gonna go. I’m gonna… walk home.

Todd turns his head toward Joey, but it is as though no one is
there. He looks away again.

JOEY (CONT’D)
Todd…

Pause. Todd looks again. But this time Joey is really gone. A
slight chuckle escapes Todd’s mouth.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S STREET – EVENING

TITLE: JUNE 1985

Dussander plods down the sidewalk with his sacks of groceries.
He is a little more winded, moves a little slower than
previously.

Suddenly Archie emerges from behind a group of trees. He moves
quickly up to Dussander, catching him off guard.

ARCHIE
I can do that. I can help you carry those.

Dussander jumps back. Archie stops.

ARCHIE (CONT’D)
You don’t gotta be afraid. I can carry those.

Dussander does not move. But slowly his face changes and we
realize that he remembers Archie from the bus stop.

DUSSANDER
I don’t need any help. …Excuse me.

He starts off again. Archie follows.

ARCHIE
Hey, I ain’t a bad guy. You don’t gotta
worry. I’m a veteran. I just want–

DUSSANDER
(snapping at him)
What? What do you want? Why do you bother me?

Archie is taken aback by the sudden viciousness.

ARCHIE
(plaintively)
You got a nice face.

DUSSANDER
No I don’t.

ARCHIE
Look, we’re practically neighbors. I stay
right over there most nights.
(pointing across the street)
I see you walking down the street. I come up
to help. It’s called being neighborly.

They are nearing Dussander’s yard.

DUSSANDER
Piss off.

Fed up with his belligerence, Archie strips the bags from
Dussander’s hands with ease. Dussander knows he is outmatched.

ARCHIE
Ain’t no reason to be rude. You see, I know
something about you. …I know your a nice
guy. I’m nice too, …just like the kid.

Dussander looks up and down the street. No one is around.

DUSSANDER
I see.

ARCHIE
And I know you got some bourbon in these
bags. I ain’t ashamed to say I could use a
drink about now. But I don’t need no charity.
If you want to invite me in, like a friend,
we could have a nice drink.

DUSSANDER
A drink.

ARCHIE
That’s what I’m saying.

Long pause.

DUSSANDER
You smell like a toilet.

ARCHIE
Maybe you let me use your shower. But first
a drink. After that I’ll do anything you say.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – EVENING

Dussander and Archie come through the front door. Archie scans
the room.

ARCHIE
Yeah, this is nice. Real nice.

DUSSANDER
Let me take those.
(takes the bags)
Right this way.

Dussander moves toward the kitchen. Archie watches him walk
away. A smile crosses his face as he follows him to the kitchen.

INT. LIVING ROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – EVENING

Todd and his parents are together in the living room. Todd is
studying for his trigonometry final. Monica sits at the couch
addressing graduation announcements. Dick is at his desk,
pouring over a pile of receipts.

MONICA
I guess your parents don’t need a graduation
announcement.

DICK
No.

TODD
Grandma and Grandpa aren’t coming?

MONICA
(to Dick)
I thought you told him.

DICK
Christ, I forgot. Todd, my aunt Patty, Dad’s
sister, died on Wednesday. Mom and Dad have
to drive up to Fresno to settle her estate.
We can’t ask Dad to drive six hours each way
for graduation.

MONICA
If we ask them, they’ll do it.

DICK
That’s why. You understand, don’t you, Todd?

Todd thinks for a moment, realizes something.

TODD
Of course, Dad. It’s all right. Tell
Grandpa I’ll spend the week with him and
Grandma when they get back.

MONICA
What about Mr. Denker? I almost forgot about
him.

TODD
No, He won’t want to come.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN & BASEMENT – EVENING

Archie, seated at the table with his back to Dussander, is in
the middle of a sprawling monologue about his life to which
Dussander half-listens. Dussander goes to the cabinets and
takes out two glasses. He pours the drinks and sets the glasses
on the table. Archie picks his up and is about to drink.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Ah-ah.

Dussander picks up his glass to toast Archie. Archie CLINKS his
glass to Dussander’s and downs the shot.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
I believe we need another bottle, my friend.

ARCHIE
Well if you’re offering, I’m accepting.

Dussander goes to the cellar door to retrieve another bottle.

DUSSANDER
No trouble at all. Now where is my bottle
opener? Ah, here it is.

Dussander pulls something out of a drawer. He goes to the table
and stands right behind Archie.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Why don’t you drink mine?

Archie picks up the glass and begins to drink, slower this time.
Dussander pulls Archie’s tattered hat off his head and sets it
on the table. He then begins to stroke the matted knots of
Archie’s hair.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
You don’t mind do you?

ARCHIE
No. I don’t mind. …Maybe in the morning –
everything goes okay – you could let me have
ten dollars.

DUSSANDER
Perhaps.

ARCHIE
Maybe even twenty.

DUSSANDER
Perhaps. We shall see.

Pause.

ARCHIE
You can relax, you know, I’ve done this before.

DUSSANDER
It’s all right. So have I.

Dussander raises a meat fork up to the back of Archie’s neck.
He starts to plunge it in just as Archie turns back to look at
him. The fork goes in crooked. Archie explodes from the chair,
HOWLING, his arms flailing like those of a grizzly bear. With
the fork protruding from his back, Archie tosses the table to
the side. The empty bottle tumbles to the middle of the floor
and shatters. Archie spins and slams a fist into Dussander’s
temple. Dussander collapses against the counter. Archie moves
about wildly, trying to grab the fork and pummel Dussander at
the same time. Blood is streaming freely from his wound.

Dussander grabs a frying pan from a rack of drying dishes on the
counter. As Archie approaches, Dussander swings the pan into
Archie’s descending fist. Archie winces and staggers backward.
He stomps down on the broken bottle and screams. His guard
falls briefly. Dussander is upon him. He swings the pan,
catching Archie squarely in the face.

Archie brings his hands up to his face, which now oozes with
blood. Blinded by the blow, Archie charges Dussander, who
crouches to the side, and as Archie passes, hurls himself into
the man’s back, sending him through the open door of the cellar.
Archie flies down the stairs face-first, tumbling into the
packed dirt floor like a derailed train. Dussander, exhausted
and bloodied, exhales deeply. Looking down at the crumpled body
below, he straightens his tie, brushes the hair from his face,
and then surveys the kitchen.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
What a mess.

He rises slowly and brushes himself off before heading down the
steps to finish the bum for good. After about three steps he
stops abruptly. He appears puzzled, but after a moment the
expression changes. A look of searing pain rushes across his
face. Dussander brings his hand to his chest. He collapses on
the stairs. He is having a heart attack and knows it.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Oh my God.

He looks down at Archie, up to the kitchen, then back down to
the cellar. A moment of decision.

The stairs appear ten times longer in each direction than they
did a minute ago. Getting to his feet, he turns slowly toward
the kitchen. He starts up the steps at a painfully slow pace,
counting with each step.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Ein… Zwei… Drei…

INT. LIVING ROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – NIGHT – LATER

The same scene as before.

DICK
Monica… how long did we rent those jet skis
in Hawaii?

MONICA
About two hours. Why?

DICK
This receipt says we had two jet skis for
twenty-three hours a piece. The bill is
fifteen hundred dollars. Didn’t you look at
the receipt before you signed it?

Todd doesn’t look up from his textbook.

TODD
Way to go, Mom.

MONICA
That bill was written in Japanese. I told
you that.

DICK
Numbers are numbers, Monica, in any language.

MONICA
That guy didn’t speak a word of English. I
told you not to rent from him.

The PHONE RINGS. Monica gets up to get it.

MONICA (CONT’D)
I’ll get it.

DICK
That’s not the point. You should always read
the bill before you sign. I’ve told you that
a hundred times.
(to Todd)
Fifteen hundred dollars.

TODD
Maybe it’s in yen.

Pause. Dick looks at the bill.

DICK
Hey, maybe you’re right.

Monica comes back into the room.

MONICA
Todd, it’s Mr. Denker. He sounds excited
about something. You better speak to him.

Todd rises from the couch. His mood shifts instantly.

TODD
(into phone)
Mr. Denker?

INTERCUT: between Todd in his living room and…

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Dussander leaning against a wall in his blood-stained kitchen.
The wall above Dussander read 6:50.

DUSSANDER
Come over right away, boy. I’m having a
heart attack, a bad one, I think.

TODD
Gee, that sounds exciting, Mr. Denker, but I
was studying for my trig final —

DUSSANDER
I understand that you cannot talk, but you
can listen. I cannot call 911… at least
not yet. There is quite a mess here. I need
help… and that means you need help.

TODD
Well if you put it that way —

DUSSANDER
Tell your parents I’ve had a letter, an
important letter, and I need you to read it
to me.

TODD
Yeah, sure. I’ll be right there.

DUSSANDER
Now we see what you are made of, boy.

Dussander hangs up the phone and falls into a chair.

INT. LIVING ROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – NIGHT

TODD
Bye.
(hangs up)
I’ve got to run over to Mr. Denker’s for a
minute.

MONICA
Is everything all right?

TODD
Oh, he just got a letter from a nephew in
Hamburg or Dusseldorf or one of those places.

DICK
I thought his family was killed in the war.

Todd zips up his jacket.

TODD
So did he. That’s why he sounded excited. I
shouldn’t be too long. I’ll take your car,
Mom?

MONICA
I don’t know, you have a final tomorrow.

TODD
I know, I was almost finished studying anyway.

DICK
Don’t be gone too long, Todd.

TODD
See you in a bit.

He kisses Monica on the cheek. He is out the front door.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD VARIOUS STREETS – NIGHT

Todd’s driving reflects his state of mind: erratic and out of
control. He meets a police car at an intersection and almost
runs a red light. The police car doesn’t bother him, however,
and a moment later he pulls the Honda up to Dussander’s house.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Todd appears in the door of the kitchen. His face tells us that
what he sees is ten times worse than whatever he expected. The
room is a gruesome sight. Blood and broken glass are
everywhere. The table has been knocked to the side. Dussander,
barely conscious, slumps in a chair.

TODD
What the fuck…?

Todd moves to the center of the room, careful not to step in any
blood. He doesn’t know what to do. His attention falls on
Dussander. Suddenly he rushes to him and begins to inspect his
body carefully.

TODD (CONT’D)
Where are you bleeding?… wake up.

Dussander does not respond. Todd shakes him harder.

TODD (CONT’D)
Wake up, goddamnit!

Dussander stirs a little, aggravated.

TODD (CONT’D)
I thought you said you had a fucking heart attack.

DUSSANDER
It’s not my blood, for Christ’s sake.

Pause.

TODD
What did you say?

DUSSANDER
It was self-defense, boy. Go downstairs.
You’ll see what needs to be done.

Dussander points to the open cellar door.

TODD
Fuck you. I’m not going down there. What
happened? What did you do?

Dussander only stares back at him, then looks away, almost
smiling through his incredible pain, as if to challenge Todd.

TODD (CONT’D)
What the hell is this?

Dussander does not respond. Todd stares at him for a moment,
then moves toward the cellar.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

Todd is half-way down the stairs when he freezes. Sprawled out
on the ground below him is Archie, motionless. The meat fork
still protrudes from his neck like an antenna.

TODD
Jesus Fucking Christ.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Suddenly Dussander is more awake than we realize. When he hears
Todd discover the body, he slides his chair over to the cellar
door and slams it shut. His face is red with pain as he pushes
the dead bolt into place, locking Todd in the cellar.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT & KITCHEN – NIGHT

Todd races up to the door. He tries the handle and then pounds
on the door with his fist. The following conversation cuts back
between Todd and Dussander on opposite sides of the door.

TODD
Open the fucking door! Right now. Right
now!

Dussander shoves his chair under the doorknob. He drags the
table against the door as he speaks. Todd is screaming on the
other side and begins to kick at the door violently.

DUSSANDER
You give me no choice, boy.

TODD
What are you doing? Open the door.

DUSSANDER
If you won’t help me, then I’ll make you help
me. If you don’t, we are finished.

TODD
Fuck you, old man. This is your problem. I
didn’t do this. Open the door!

Todd pounds awayat the door. Tears now stream down his cheeks.
His relentless pounding has Dussander enraged. Dussander pounds
back at the door to shut Todd up. It works.

DUSSANDER
Enough. Enough. Enough! If you don’t stop
screaming like a fucking school girl I’m
going to…

A surge of pain from his chest silences him. He recovers,
speaking slowly and deliberately.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
Now listen to me, boy, very carefully. If
you don’t help me, I’m going to die here.
And if I die, there is no Stanford for you.
There is no scholarship. There is jail. My
document…

TODD
Fuck your document. I got nothing to do with
this. Don’t make it sound like I do. I came
here, I saw this shit, and now I’m getting
the fuck out of here. That’s what I’m gonna
tell the police.

DUSSANDER
Why not tell them the truth? Tell them I
locked you in the cellar. Tell them I
wouldn’t let you out until you buried the
body.

TODD
I’m not listening to this.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

Todd runs down the stairs and leaps over Archie’s body. Under
the dim glow of a single naked bulb hanging from the ceiling, he
searches for a way out. He crosses the dirt floor toward a tiny
window high on the opposite wall.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

DUSSANDER
You must be at the window, yes? As you can
see I had it barred a few years ago. A bad
element started to move into the
neighborhood, you know how it is.

TODD (O.S.)
Fuck.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

Todd realizes he can’t get through the bars. He turns around to
find another option. In the obscured background, Archie begins
to stir. Silent and bewildered, he feels the area around him
and rises slowly to his knees. Todd doesn’t see him and moves
into a dark corner of the cellar, rummaging through the piles of
cluttered junk for something to help him escape. He disappears
for a moment into complete darkness and then emerges holding a
shovel, a fresh confidence on his face. He holds it like a
sledge hammer.

DUSSANDER (O.S.)
We are wasting time now, boy.
(switches to a loud whisper)
Come back to the door. You are not going to
find anything down there to help you.

TODD
(to himself)
Oh really?

Todd runs toward the staircase and is only a few feet from
Archie when he sees him. Todd, mortified, lets out a scream.
This startles Archie, who cannot speak. He only gurgles a
SICKENING WHINE, the fork still sticks out of his neck. Blood
drips into his eyes from a gash above his forehead. Yet even on
his knees, he is an imposing figure.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Dussander, puzzled by the commotion, presses his ear against the
door.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

Archie blocks the stairs from Todd.

TODD
Get out of the way.

But Archie is too disoriented to move. Summoning all his
courage, Todd pokes the shovel into him, as if to prod him out
of the way.

But when the blade of the shovel touches him, Archie counters
violently, grabbing the metal end and swinging it to the side.
Todd holds tightly to the handle, an act which sends him flying
across the cellar. The shovel stays with Archie, and now he
wields it like it were a child’s toy. He slashes it viciously
through the air. Todd hides under the stairs, watching Archie
duel with the shadows. Todd bumps into something. Archie hears
him. Through the slats in the staircase we see Archie jabbing
the shovel at Todd.

TODD
Stop it! Stop it!

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Alarmed, Dussander reaches for the lock, but hesitates, forever
mindful of the chance of being duped. His ear goes back against
the door.

DUSSANDER
What are you doing, boy? It’s not going to
work, whatever it is.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

Archie pushes the shovel in too far and can’t retrieve it. Todd
grabs the other end and pulls it through.

TODD
Fuck this.

Fed up, he comes around from under the stairs and confronts
Archie. Archie sees him and takes a step toward him.

TODD (CONT’D)
I mean it get the fuck away from me.

Archie steps closer. Instantly, Todd tightens his grip on the
shovel. He is no longer afraid. He swings the shovel at
Archie’s head striking him. Archie staggers back, stunned, but
then charges forward. Todd strikes him again, this time with
more force and anger. Todd lifts the shovel to strike again,
but this time catches the ceiling light with the metal blade.
The glass shatters. The room goes black.

A second later we HEAR a SHARP, authoritative BLOW, followed
quickly by another, then another.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Dussander knows something is wrong. He slides the bolt back and
slowly turns the handle. He opens the door slightly and speaks
into the darkness.

DUSSANDER
Hello?

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

A shaft of dull light from the kitchen cuts across the cellar
floor, revealing Archie’s slain body. An expanding pool of
blood seeps out from his head. As the door upstairs opens
wider, the light falls on Todd standing over Archie, the shovel
still in his hands, his face spattered with blood.

The Todd we knew only a minute ago has been transformed. He
stares up at Dussander, not with the eyes of a boy, but with
those of a man. A man who can no longer be saved.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Quietly Dussander moves away from the door, leaving Todd alone
with what he has done. He slides the furniture away from the
door, knowing, as Todd does, that the two of them are now
working together.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – LATER

Todd’s face is suddenly illuminated as he screws a fresh light
bulb into the dangling cord. He picks up the shovel. Archie’s
body still lies where it fell. Todd goes to the open area of
the floor and with a forceful stomp, plunges the shovel into the
dirt.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT – LATER

Todd smacks the back of the shovel on the finished grave to pack
the dirt, then smooths the area over to destroy any markings.
He is sweaty, dirty, and tired. But his manner is cool and
efficient as he concentrates intently on the matters at hand.
He runs upstairs, hopping over the bloody spot where Archie’s
body used to be.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Todd bursts through the door. He notices the old man in his
chair. Dussander doesn’t look good. Todd levels his eyes at
him. His voice snaps with the authority of an S.S. commander.

TODD
Where’s the fucking pinesol?

Dussander points to the cabinet under the sink. Todd throws the
door open and pulls out bottles of cleaner.

TODD (CONT’D)
Rags. I need rags.

DUSSANDER
Cellar. Under the stairs.

Todd checks the clock, it is 9:25. He gets the bottle and a
bucket and goes for the cellar.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – NIGHT

A SERIES OF SHOTS showing Todd cleaning up the mess. He is on
the stairs sponging up the blood. Then we see him skimming the
area where the pool of blood was with the shovel. The NEXT SHOT
has him sprinkling fresh dirt over the same area. Then, on his
knees, he carefully picks up bits of broken glass from the light
bulb and drops them into a bucket. In the FINAL SHOT, Todd
stands on the steps as his eyes comb the cellar. The shovel has
been cleaned and replaced. The floor looks smooth and even.
Satisfied, he goes upstairs.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

The table has been put back in its spot. Todd is in his boxer
shorts. A SHOT of a washing machine, somewhere else in the
house, shows us that Todd is cleaning his bloodied clothes. Now
he is washing the dishes in the sink. The water in the sink is
a murky pink. He pulls the meat fork from the suds and holds it up.

TODD
I ought to run this through your chest, you
know that?

DUSSANDER
It couldn’t hurt more than a heart attack.

He looks at the clock – 10:15.

TODD
Christ, my parents are going to freak.

DUSSANDER
Stay calm, boy. You are doing fine.

Todd dries the murder weapon and puts it away. For a moment he
slows down, a hint of a smile suddenly comes over him.
Dussander sees something is different about him.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
What are you thinking about?

The sound of Dussander’s voice snaps Todd out of his funk. He
is all business again.

TODD
Fuck off.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT – LATER

Todd is back in his clothes. He wears a white T-shirt. He
brings a knife up to Dussander’s neck and slices down his suit,
still stained by Archie’s blood.

TODD
Your pants are okay. The shoes… no.

Todd takes off Dussander’s shoes and balls them up in the
tattered suit.

TODD (CONT’D)
Put this on.

He holds up Dussander’s bathrobe. The old man slips into it
with difficulty as Todd dumps the bloodied clothing into a trash
bag. Dussander looks at Todd’s T-shirt.

DUSSANDER
Is that my undershirt?

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT – LATER

The blood and glass have been removed. Todd runs a mop over the
floor. His job is almost over. Sweat pours down his face. The
same for Dussander.

DUSSANDER
Hurry up, for God’s sake.

TODD
Don’t you die on me, you old bastard. Not
now.

Todd puts the mop away. He surveys the room as before.
Dussander does the same. There is a strange silence as the two
of them look around the room for anything damning.

DUSSANDER
I think we’re okay.

TODD
Me too.

DUSSANDER
Call an ambulance.

Todd turns to face Dussander. He brings his face up to his and
speaks softly.

TODD
The key.

DUSSANDER
What are you talking about?

TODD
The safety deposit box. I want the key…

DUSSANDER
For God’s sake, boy…

TODD
I want the key and I want to know where the
bank is.

Dussander cannot argue.

DUSSANDER
Hillcrest Savings on Domingo Avenue. The key
is behind the clock on the mantle piece.

INT. DUSSANDER’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Todd goes straight for the mantle. He moves the clock and finds
the key.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT

Todd holds a blank piece of paper in front of Dussander and
hands him a pen.

TODD
Sign this.

DUSSANDER
What for?

TODD
Sign it.

Dussander starts to scrawl his name across the paper.

TODD
No! At the bottom… neatly.

With great difficulty, Dussander does as he is told. Todd folds
the paper and stuffs it into his pocket with the pen. He picks
up the phone and dials.

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
911 emergency. Do you need an ambulance?

TODD
Yes. It’s my friend, Mr. Du–

Todd nearly bites his lip in half. Dussander notices the slip
and cringes.

TODD (CONT’D)
Denker. He had a heart attack.

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
Is he conscious?

TODD
Yeah, he’s awake. I’m really scared. The
address is 9 —

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
We have the address here. The ambulance is
on the way. It should take about ten
minutes. I’ll stay on the line with you —

TODD
No. I have to call my parents. Just send
the ambulance —

He hangs up.

TODD (CONT’D)
It smells too clean in here.

Todd sees a pack of cigarettes on the table.

TODD (CONT’D)
(offering)
Cigarette?

Dussander is not amused. Todd lights two cigarettes and lets
them burn down in the ashtray. He picks up the phone again and
dials.

TODD (CONT’D)
Mommy, it’s me. Let me talk to Dad.

MONICA (V.O.)
What is it?

TODD
Just let me talk to him.

MONICA (V.O.)
Hold on —

DICK (V.O.)
Todd, what’s wrong.

TODD
Mr. Denker had a heart attack.

DICK (V.O.)
Jesus. Is he conscious?

TODD
Yeah, he’s awake.

DICK (V.O.)
Thank God. Todd, call an ambulance.

TODD
I did. They’re on the way.

DICK (V.O.)
All right, son. Don’t touch him. I’ll be
there in five minutes.

TODD
Okay.

He hangs up. He sits down across from Dussander. The old man
is near death, but through the slit of an eye he watches Todd.
The stare between them is lethal. For a long moment this
continues until…

TODD (CONT’D)
Fuck!

DUSSANDER
What? What is it?

TODD
The letter. Where is the goddamn letter? I
told my parents I came over to read you a
letter from Germany.

DUSSANDER
A letter. Yes, we’ll say it’s from Willi
Frankel —

TODD
We need a letter. I told them it was your
nephew, I think.

DUSSANDER
My bedroom. Look in the dresser. Second, no
third, drawer… from the top. There is a
small wooden box. You will have to break it
open. I lost the key. There are letters,
very old ones. From a friend. All in
German. None of them are signed or dated. A
page or two will be fine.

Todd turns to go and stops.

TODD
Are you crazy? I don’t read German, you numb
fuck.

DUSSANDER
Why would Willi write me in English? If you
were to read me the letter in German, I would
understand even though you would not. Your
pronunciation would be terrible, but I could
manage —

TODD
All right. All right.

Todd dashes out of the room.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS – NIGHT

Dick’s Porsche speeds along the same streets that Todd took two
hours earlier.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Todd bursts through the door and drops to his knees in front of
the dresser. He yanks on the drawer. It comes half way out and
stops.

TODD
Goddamn you, come out.

The drawer flies out, knocking Todd back. He digs through it,
the contents of Dussander’s fake lives spilling about the room.
He finds the box at the bottom. As he expected, it is locked.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he slams the box down on the post
of the bed frame. It doesn’t open, but bits of the frame fly
across the room.

On the third attempt the tiny box shatters. Todd freezes, cocks
his head. Outside he hears the distinct ROAR and sputter of the
Porsche engine. He grabs two pages of a letter. There is
nothing he can do about the mess in the room. He closes the
door on his way back to the kitchen.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT – LATER

Todd enters the kitchen and places the pages on the table just
in time to look up and see Dick standing in the kitchen doorway.

TODD
Dad.

We hold on Dick for a moment as he takes it all in: Dussander,
Todd, and the room. A hint of uncertainty crosses his face.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – NIGHT – LATER

A PARAMEDIC straps Dussander onto a stretcher. Todd is talking
to the other one.

TODD
He started laughing at something in the
letter. I don’t know what it was, it’s in
German.

Dick sees the letter on the table and picks it up. Todd watches
him. Without much of a thought, Dick puts the letter back on
the table.

PARAMEDIC
Well, we’ll take care of him now. We’re
going to take him to St. Luke’s. It’s a good
thing you called when you did. You saved his
life.

The medics wheel Dussander out.

DICK
You did real good, son.
(looking around the room, as if
searching for something)
You did real good…

Todd doesn’t like Dick’s apprehension. He grabs his father’s
hand and leads him out of the room.

TODD
C’mon. Let’s make sure he gets checked in
all right.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

TWO ORDERLIES push a gurney through the door. A man in his late
thirties, DAVID KRAUSS, walks with them. A NURSE, following
behind, addresses him.

NURSE
He needs to rest now. You can come back
tomorrow after ten.

David approaches the gurney. Lying prone is BEN KRAUSS, 70.
David kisses him on the forehead.

DAVID
I’ll be back in the morning with the girls.

BEN
I can’t wait to see them.

The orderlies lift Ben onto his bed.

NURSE
(to Ben)
The doctor will be in to see you in a few
minutes.

BEN
Thank you.

The orderlies, the nurse and David leave the room. Ben notices
his roommate in the next bed. It is Dussander, who has been
watching all of this quietly.

BEN (CONT’D)
My nephew, David.

Dussander smiles politely.

BEN (CONT’D)
His parents died when he was very young. He
is like a son to me. I have no children of
my own.

DUSSANDER
I see.

BEN
David is very protective of me. Of course, I
don’t mind. I enjoy his company. A few
years ago he started working with me at the
university. I teach chemistry. My name is
Ben, by the way.

DUSSANDER
Arthur.

BEN
A pleasure, Arthur. What do you do?

DUSSANDER
I’m retired.

Pause.

BEN
These tubes in my arm. No one said they
would itch like this.

DUSSANDER
You will find, in time, you don’t notice.

Ben looks oddly at Dussander. The wheels of his memory slowly,
very slowly, begin to turn.

BEN
Well, we’ll see. Looks like I’ll be here for
a while. I didn’t want to alarm my nephew
just yet, but this break in my leg… well,
we’ll see what the doctor says.

DUSSANDER
Yes, of course. But for now, you must
forgive me, my medication has made me drowsy.
Do not be offended if I fall asleep.

BEN
Don’t be offended if I keep talking anyway.
It beats wondering if I’m ever going to walk
again. I tell you, my friend, the ways of
God are not meant to be understood.

But Ben’s words are lost on a sleeping man. He continues to
stare at Dussander.

INT. DUSSANDER’S HOUSE – DAY

Todd comes through the front door, using his key to get in.

INT. DUSSANDER’S KITCHEN – DAY

Todd grabs the letter off the table and stuffs it into a plastic
trash bag.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BEDROOM – DAY

Todd manages to get the drawer back into the dresser. He throws
all the remaining debris and bits of wood into the trash bag. He
goes to the closet and searches through the clothes. He
finds the S.S. uniform, now tattered from many night of fitful
sleep, and places it in the trash bag.

INT. HILLCREST SAVINGS AND LOAN – DAY

The BANK CLERK behind the counter is a fat, elderly woman,
pleasant-faced and not too sharp. Todd stands solemnly on the
other side of the counter. She stares hard at a piece of paper.
We see that it is a note: “Please allow my grandson, Todd, to
retrieve my insurance documents from my safety deposit box.
Thank you, Arthur Denker.” It is Dussander’s phony signature
at the bottom.

TODD
He’s really sick. …Please.

The woman looks up at Todd, the key in his hand, then back down
at the note.

INT. BANK SAFE – DAY

The woman inserts her key into the first lock and Todd does the
same in the second. A moment later he is holding the box in his
hands.

BANK CLERK
I sure hope your granddaddy feels better.
You can bring that in here.

She escorts him to a small room where he can view the contents
of the box. She leaves.

INT. BANK – SMALL ROOM – DAY

Todd puts the box on a table and opens it. It is nearly empty:
a few old photographs, some financial records. There is no
document. Todd is swept up in a wave of emotion– anger,
relief, contempt. He’s been played like a fool, but is
nonetheless grateful. Ultimately, he is so overwhelmed a laugh
springs from his lips.

TODD
Son of a bitch.

He scoops out the contents of the box and puts them in his pocket.

INT. BANK SAFE – DAY

On the other side of the door, the clerk listens curiously to
Todd’s words. She pushes her ear against the door to hear more.

EXT. WOODED AREA – DUSK

Todd has dug a hole in a remote location. He empties the
letters, the S.S. uniform, and the contents from the safety
deposit box into the hole. A little lighter fluid. A match.
Todd watches the evidence burn.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY – LATER

Todd stands next to the bed holding a small clump of flowers.
Dussander notices the bouquet.

DUSSANDER
You shouldn’t have.

Todd is aware that Ben is listening, even though he is
pretending not to. Todd goes to put the flowers in a glass of
water. He sets the glass on the table by the bed.

TODD
They’re from my mother.

He sits in the chair by the bed and lowers his voice.

TODD (CONT’D)
Here.

He flicks a tattered photo onto the bed. We recognize it as one
from the safety deposit box. It is a black and white portrait
of a woman and a small boy.

TODD (CONT’D)
Everything else I burned.

Dussander grins weekly.

DUSSANDER
I had to protect myself from you, boy.

Todd drags a screen over to prevent Ben from hearing. Long pause.

DUSSANDER (CONT’D)
I suspect that we shall never see each other
again.

TODD
No, I don’t think we will.

Dussander looks almost hurt to hear Todd say it. Pause.

TODD (CONT’D)
Well, I better go.

DUSSANDER
Wait, boy… There is something I want to ask
you.

TODD
What?

Dussander waves him over with his finger. Reluctantly, Todd
brings his ear an inch from Dussander’s mouth.

DUSSANDER
…Was it like you thought?

Todd pulls his head back, stands up. He contemplates the
question, …confessing. He touches Dussander on the shoulder.

TODD
I should go.

He turns for the door.

DUSSANDER
Perhaps… perhaps I could persuade you to
wait here just until I fall asleep. This
medicine makes me quite woozy… please.

Todd resigns himself to stay. He picks up a magazine and begins
to read, not even looking at Dussander.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY – LATER

Todd emerges from behind the screen toward the door. Dussander
is asleep.

BEN
Excuse me, young man.

Todd is startled.

BEN (CONT’D)
You’re a fine boy to visit your grandfather
like that.

TODD
Thanks. But he’s just a friend.

BEN
Is that right? Well, you are a good friend
to him. Tell me, is he bad off? He doesn’t
talk much.

TODD
The doctors say he’ll be out soon.

BEN
That is good news, indeed. Tell me, from the
way he speaks I’d guess he’s been
naturalized, like me. Is he?

Todd is starting to be wary of where this is going.

TODD
He’s from Germany… From Essen. Do you know
that town?

BEN
I was only in Germany once. I’m Polish.
Originally, I mean, I’m from Radom. I wonder
if he was in the war.

TODD
I really couldn’t say.

BEN
It doesn’t matter, I suppose. It was a long
time ago, the war. Soon in this country we
may have a president born after the war was
over. How about that?

Todd starts to leave.

TODD
I’m sure you’re right.

BEN
Your friend is lucky to have you. A great
man once said, ‘No man is an island entire of
itself.’

TODD
John Donne. Take care, sir.

Todd heads for the door. He stops, turns back to Dussander’s
bed. He contemplates something… waking him. He decides
against it.

TODD (CONT’D)
Good-bye.

BEN
Good-bye.

Todd exits. Ben sits quietly for a moment, thinking. He turns
on the television– “The Price is Right”. We hear it over the
following. Ben glances over at the screen which separates him
from Dussander. Slowly his eyelids begin to get heavy. He
starts to nod off. But as sleep begins to envelope him, his
eyes suddenly fly open. A surge of terror burns across his
face.

He sits up frightened. A single crutch stands next to the bed.
He grabs it. He strips away his covers and the restraints on
his leg, once or twice shoving his hand over his mouth to quell
a painful scream. He gets to his feet awkwardly, hobbling,
half-dragging his bad leg. Every step he takes is a study in
agony.

ANGLE on the screen. It slides out of the way, revealing Ben
staring down at the sleeping Dussander. In the pained struggle
to keep silent, he brings his face right up to Dussander’s,
close enough to smell his breath.

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – CONTINUING

Ben stumbles out of his room into the hall. The crutch falls to
the ground. He slides against the wall toward the nurses’
station. Tears stream down his face. As he clutches the wall,
we glimpse the faded green numbers on his forearm.

He reaches the nurse’s desk. She is on the phone. He grabs her
by the shoulder and pulls her face up into his. She lets out a
startled SCREAM. But Ben’s emotion stops her from resisting.
He is sobbing uncontrollably. Orderlies appear and pull him off
of her. He collapses to the ground, consumed by grief.

BLACK.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Dussander slowly wakes up for the first time since his surgery.
A large black man, DARREN, stands above him changing the IV bag.
He notices Dussander is awake. Dussander’s voice is low and
hoarse from hours of sedation.

DUSSANDER
Where’s the nurse?

DARREN
My name is Darren. I’ll be taking care of
you from now on. I’ll tell the doctor you’ve
woken up.

Darren finishes with the IV unit and goes to the door.
Dussander watches him, a bit puzzled, but his eyes are closed
again before Darren is out of the room.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY – LATER

Dussander wakes up again. Something is different in his room.
He looks to the table next to him. All his magazines are gone.
He looks to the other side of the room. Ben is gone, his bed
stripped of all linen. Finally he looks to the door. It is
cracked open. Two men in suits are talking in the hallway. One
we will come to know as Detective GETTY. The other is a
subordinate. Dussander is clearly bothered by what he sees. He
reaches over for the call button and rings it several times.

A moment later Darren comes in. Getty sees this and stops
talking. He watches Dussander from the hall.

DARREN
Did you need something?

DUSSANDER
What is going on here? Where is Ben?

DARREN
Mr. Krauss has been moved. I’m going to give
you something. It will help you sleep.

Darren readies Dussander’s arm for an injection.

DUSSANDER
I don’t want it. Who is that man?

Before Dussander can protest, Darren sticks him with the needle.

DARREN
Your surgery was a success. Just try to
relax.

FADE TO BLACK.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – MORNING

WEISKOPF (O.S.)
(in German)
Wake up. Wake up, old man.

Dussander’s eyes open. The first thing he sees are three men,
all in suits, standing over him.

DUSSANDER (in German)
Are you speaking to me?

The voice comes from WEISKOPF, 40’s. His suit is dark gray,
well tailored, probably European. He speaks eloquently despite
an accent that shows roots of Europe and the Middle East.

WEISKOPF
(back in English)
No one else is here.

Dussander looks over at Ben’s former bed.

WEISKOPF (CONT’D)
Mr. Krauss is recuperating elsewhere. Are
you awake now, Dussander?

DUSSANDER
Yes, of course, but you seem to have me
confused with someone else. My name is
Arthur Denker. Perhaps you want a different
room —

Weiskopf sits on the edge of the bed. Dussander notices the pin
on his lapel. A small, silver Star of David.

WEISKOPF
My name is Weiskopf. You are Kurt Dussander.

DUSSANDER
I know no one by that name. Shall I ring for
the nurse?

Dussander reaches for the Call button and stops in horror. He
looks at his hands. His fingertips are smeared with black ink.
He looks up at the men in disbelief.

WEISKOPF
The man in the next bed was Benjamin Krauss.
He was imprisoned for ten months at Patin.
You were responsible for the death of his
wife and two daughters. His identification
of you was quite specific. I’m sure his
reward from my government will help offset
the burden of his broken leg.

DUSSANDER
My name is Arthur Denker. I am an American–

WEISKOPF
Please don’t bother. Your papers will not
stand up to serious examination and you know
it.

The detective, GETTY, snaps a few pictures of Dussander. The
other man is FBI Special Agent DAN RICHLER.

RICHLER
We have all we need here, Isaac.

DUSSANDER
Who are you men? What are your names?

RICHLER
My name is Richler, FBI. This is Detective
Getty from the Orange County Sheriff’s
Department.

WEISKOPF
And I think you know who I work for. When
you get your strength back, you will be
moved. Until then, this entire ward will be
under surveillance. You can expect to be in
Tel Aviv by the end of the summer.

The three men are out the door.

INT. TODD’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Todd’s room is dark as he lies on the floor, writing something
on a pile of index cards. The only light comes from the hallway
through the open door of the bedroom. Todd is deep in thought,
but from the bits of shredded index cards we can tell the
writing is not coming easily.

TODD
The road ahead reveals itself, uh, God, no.
The road ahead… grrrr, The fucking road
ahead.

Monica appears in the doorway.

MONICA
Todd?

Todd doesn’t notice her. He stares down at the card. Finally he
looks up, as if it took her voice a few seconds to register in
his mind. His response is hardly audible.

TODD
Huh?

MONICA
What are you doing there in the dark?

TODD
Oh, …working.

Monica reaches in to his room to turn on the light. She touches
the switch but then pulls her hand back. Todd is back at the
note card. She looks at him oddly, worried, but then steps away
from the door and goes downstairs.

Todd’s lips are moving, as if he were speaking to himself. He
pauses. Then, in a sudden gust of inspiration begins to write
furiously. He finishes and stands up, catching his reflection
in the mirror above his desk. In the eerie half-light, he
stares at the ghost-like image of himself.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL – FOOTBALL FIELD (GRADUATION) – DAY

Todd, in cap and gown, is seeing his parents to their seats in
the second row. Ed French comes up to Todd and puts his hand on
his shoulder. Todd is startled.

TODD
Mr. French.

FRENCH
Hello, Todd. It’s your big day, isn’t it?

They shake hands. French sees Dick and Monica sitting behind
Todd. Before Todd can stop him, he introduces himself.

FRENCH (CONT’D)
These must be your parents.
(extends hand)
Hi, Ed French. It’s good to finally meet
you.

Dick and Monica are the picture of happiness, hardly the
dysfunctional drunkards that French believed them to be. They
all shake hands.

DICK
Dick Bowden, nice to meet you. This is my
wife, Monica.

MONICA
Are you one of Todd’s teachers?

French is a bit puzzled.

FRENCH
No. I’m his guidance counsellor.

A WOMAN behind Monica taps her on the shoulder.

WOMAN
Monica, I thought that was you.

Monica turns away from French. Suddenly, the band strikes up
opening notes to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

TODD
(to French)
That’s our cue.

FRENCH
(to Dick)
It was nice meeting you.

DICK
You too.
(to Todd)
Good luck, son.

FRENCH
I’ll talk to you and your wife after the
ceremony.

Todd and French dash off in different directions.

EXT. GRADUATION – DAY – LATER

Standing at the podium is a black, female graduate, TASHA
LITTLE. She is reading the end of a poem by Emily Dickinson.
Principal Morgan and Todd sit in chairs next to the podium. In
the b.g. is the graduating class, Joey is among them. French
sits among the faculty, who are lined up to the right of the
podium.

TASHA
Thy sacred emblems to partake –
Thy consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!

There is polite applause from the audience as she takes her seat
and Morgan goes to the podium.

MORGAN
Thank you, Miss Little for that superb
invocation.

Pause. More applause.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
And now it gives me great pleasure to
introduce a young man who’s academic
achievement at this institution stands as
testament to the power of hard work and
determination. Todd had a tough time a few
months ago, so by God, he buckled down, hit
the books, and pulled himself through it.

Todd’s eyes scan the crowd indifferently. He notices Becky,
seated in the audience near some friends.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
Ladies and gentlemen, students and faculty,
here to deliver the student remembrance for
the class of 1985, this year’s valedictorian,
Todd Bowden.

The crowd burst into applause.

EXT. DUSSANDER’S HOUSE – DAY

A half dozen police cars are in front of the house. One OFFICER
is blocking off the entire yard with yellow tape. A news van
pulls up.

EXT. GRADUATION – DAY – CONTINUING

Todd shakes Morgan’s hand and takes the podium. The crowd
quiets. Todd begins:

TODD
We all have dreams that we carry with us.
Perhaps it is a dream of prosperity, or
happiness. But now, so early in our lives,
it seems that all we should ask for is to be
at peace with the world, because only then
can we be at peace with ourselves.

INT. DUSSANDER’S HOUSE – DAY

Weiskopf and Richler, both wearing rubber gloves, are carefully
looking through the contents of Dussander’s dresser. They pour
over everything, placing some items in clear plastic bags. A
few DEPUTIES are milling around. Richler picks up a small
photograph of a young woman. Todd’s voice comes in:

TODD (V.O.)
We learn from our education that we are the
master’s of our own destinies. We learn what
it is that separates us from the others, why
we are special.

RICHLER
What about this?

WEISKOPF
Yes. All photographs.

Detective Getty comes in.

GETTY
You boys better come down to the cellar.
You’re not going to believe this.

INT. DUSSANDER’S BASEMENT – DAY

Getty comes down the steps followed by Weiskopf and Richler.
Weiskopf gazes across the cellar. Whatever he sees disturbs
him. He turns away and goes back up the stairs.

TODD (V.O.)
Each of us have unique talents and interests
unlike those of anyone else. The challenge
now, as we stand at the doorway to adulthood,
is to channel our abilities into our goals.

Richler, moves to the rail and looks out, disgusted. He pulls a
handkerchief from his pocket and covers his nose and mouth. A
DEPUTY, wearing rubber gloves, carries the shovel up to him.

EXT. GRADUATION – DAY – CONTINUING

As Todd speaks, he notices his parents, Becky, various teachers.
His eyes stop on Ed French, who is looking oddly at something in
the crowd.

ANGLE ON FRENCH

French notices an elderly couple walking down the aisles of
seated spectators as if they are looking for someone.

TODD (O.C.)
We forge our own paths. Our education is but
a stepping stone to the world.

They are Victor and Agnes Bowden, looking for Dick and Monica.
Todd sees them too. He pauses almost imperceptibly. He looks
back at French.

TODD (CONT’D)
Our.. Our true destinies await us. There we
become the…

Todd’s grandparents come down the aisle to see Dick and Monica
in the second row. They start to slide in, causing a slight
ruckus. Dick is surprised to see his parents, but smiles and
makes room for them. French watches all of this curiously.

TODD (CONT’D)
There we become the men and women that will
make a difference. But we must take away
from this place a sense of purpose for
ourselves. We now begin to see the road
ahead. It is a road from which we cannot
veer.

A connection is made between French, Todd, and the Bowden
family.

EXT. GRADUATION – DAY – LATER

Morgan is reading the last of the names as the graduates file
past and collect their diplomas.

MORGAN
Andrew Woodman… Donald Young… Karmisha
Youngblood… David Zedek… Kyle Zuckerman.
The graduating class of 1985.

The crowd cheers as the graduates throw their caps into the air.
The band begins to play.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
Now we invite all the friends and parents to
join the students and faculty in the main
courtyard for refreshments.

Todd, still pale, bolts off the stage. He reaches his parents.
French starts to walk down to the Bowdens. Todd goes up to his
mother.

MONICA
Honey.

TODD
Mom, I don’t feel so good.

MONICA
What’s wrong?

TODD
I don’t know, I feel like I’m going to pass
out. Can we go home?

AGNES
You looked real good up there, Todd.

Todd ignores her.

DICK
Don’t you want to see your buddies?

TODD
I want to go, Dad. Right now.

Todd and his family start off. As they leave the CAMERA MOVES
to show Ed French working his way through the crowd past the
spot where they had been standing.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT

The following series of images appear under music:

The quiet wing of this hospital has transformed into a frenzied
sea of reporters, cameramen, photographers, and police officers.
Everyone is struggling for a glimpse of the infamous celebrity
through the window that looks into Dussander’s room. Inside,
Weiskopf and Richler are speaking to the doctors. Getty stands
to the side, instructing the DEPUTY who guards the door.

Through all of this Dussander lies like a fossil in his bed as
the bodies whirl around him. Darren enters the room to change
Dussander’s IV bag.

Suddenly the door flies open and a young photographer dashes in,
snapping pictures wildly. Getty and the other officers descend
upon him. The camera flashes. Other photographers try to get
in but are blocked. Pandemonium.

Yet Dussander seems oblivious to the commotion. His eyes are
nothing more than glazed slits, his mouth hangs open. Darren
runs toward the door to help. Dussander’s eyes open slightly.
There is life behind them after all. He turns his attention
imperceptibly toward his IV bag…

The camera moves away from Dussander to the window. Outside in
the parking lot, groups of protesters have gathered. Some hold
candles. Others chant and wave signs. News reporters surround
them.

INT. LIVING ROOM – BOWDEN HOUSE – DAY

ANGLE on a ticking wall clock.

Todd appears apprehensive as he sits down on the couch next to
his mother. She puts her arm around him. He is pale and
glassy-eyed. His parents don’t look much better. Dick is
especially nervous and stands off to the side, watching everyone
intently. Richler and Weiskopf sit across the room in chairs.

RICHLER
Todd, my name is Dan Richler. I’m a special
agent with the FBI. This is my associate, Dr.
Weiskopf.

WEISKOPF
Hello.

DICK
What kind of doctor are you?

WEISKOPF
I’m a school teacher.

RICHLER
Dr. Weiskopf is a professor at the Judaic
Institute in Munich. He is assisting the
Israeli government in certain matters. He is
here today, only as an observer.

A moment passes between Weiskopf and Todd.

RICHLER (CONT’D)
Thanks for calling us up, Mr. Bowden. You
saved us the trouble of tracking through the
911 records.

DICK
Actually, it was Todd’s idea to call. He
thought… we thought there might be some way
we could help your investigation.

RICHLER
Todd, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to hear
about your involvement with Dussander… but
you knew him as Arthur Denker, right?

TODD
Yeah. I never knew of that other name till I
saw it in the paper.

RICHLER
How did you know him?

Todd starts to rub his stomach.

TODD
I met him at the movies. Last summer. …He
asked me where to pick up the number seven
bus. He said his eyes weren’t too good.
…Will you excuse me for a minute?

He gets up before Richler can answer walks toward the stairs.

MONICA
You okay, honey?

TODD
I just gotta use the bathroom. I’ll be right
back.

He vanishes up the stairs. They all watch him go. Monica turns
to Richler.

MONICA
He’s not feeling well.

ANGLE on Dick.

MONICA (CONT’D)
Can I get you some coffee?

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – BATHROOM – DAY

The faucet runs at full blast to hide the noise as Todd digs
through the medicine cabinet and takes out a bottle of Pepto-
Bismol. He takes off the cap and gulps down what is left in the
bottle. He finishes and takes a few deep breaths.

As he turns around he catches his reflection in the mirror. An
empty bottle in his hand, a bright pink ring around his lips, a
few pink splotches down his shirt– he looks totally ridiculous.
Todd can’t help but laugh.

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – DAY

The interview continues. The clock ticks on. Richler drinks
from a coffeee cup. Todd is back in his seat.

RICHLER
Todd, let me tell you what we’re really
interested in here. You told the admitting
nurse that Denker had a heart attack while
you were reading him a letter.

TODD
That’s right. I was. That’s what I was
doing there. It was in German but he
insisted I try to read it anyway. Once or
twice he got pissy about the pronunciation
but I asked him what did he want from me. I
don’t speak German. Mr. Denker…
Dussander… got really excited at one point.
He yelled out, “Yes, that’s what you would do
all right.” but I didn’t know what he was
talking about. Then he grabbed his chest.

RICHLER
And that’s when you called the ambulance,
right?

TODD
That’s right.

RICHLER
Well, this is the part we can’t figure out.
The letter itself, Todd… do you remember
what happened to it?

TODD
I guess it was still on the table. I
couldn’t swear to it, but —

DICK
Wait, I saw a letter. It was in German. I
didn’t think anything of it at the time.
But, yeah, it was on Airmail stationery.

RICHLER
Then it should still be there. This is our
problem.

DICK
It isn’t?

RICHLER
No.

MONICA
Maybe somebody broke in.

RICHLER
Why would somebody break into his house
simply to steal a letter? …Unless… there
was someone… someone right here in Santo
Donato who would want to protect him for some
reason. Maybe a close friend, or even
another fugitive. I know it sounds like a
bunch of Robert Ludlum stuff, but when
Dussander was taken to the hospital, we think
our Mr. X scooted over to the house and
swiped the letter.

TODD
That doesn’t make sense.

RICHLER
Why not, Todd?

TODD
Well, if Denk… if he had an old Nazi buddy
in town, why didn’t he come over himself and
read the letter to him? If you could have
heard the way he corrected me at every word–

RICHLER
A good point. Except maybe this other fellow
is in a wheelchair, or blind.

TODD
Guys that are blind don’t normally go
scooting out to steal letters.

RICHLER
(smiling)
True. Did Dussander have any friends that
you knew of?

TODD
No, not really.

RICHLER
How about phone calls?

Pause.

TODD
No, I heard his phone ring maybe five or six
times in all the time I knew him. It was
never anything out of the ordinary.
Salesmen. Wrong numbers.

RICHLER
Did you ever hear him speak German on those
occasions?

TODD
No. He hardly ever spoke German. He always
said he would teach me someday, but he never
got around to it.

WEISKOPF
Did he ever talk about his past?

Todd looks at Weiskopf. This is the first question he has asked
and Todd is more wary of him than of Richler. Todd shrugs
innocently.

TODD
Not really. Little bits, I guess.

MONICA
Well, don’t you remember what he told us at
Thanksgiving?

Todd looks at her.

MONICA (CONT’D)
He said he was in college–

DICK
(shutting her up)
Monica. They don’t care what we know, they
care what Todd knows.

Silence. Richler notices the tension in the room. He looks at
Weiskopf. Finally, he speaks to Dick.

RICHLER
Look, I’m sure this whole thing has come as a
terrible shock. I think we’ve done enough
for the day.

He and Weiskopf stand. Dick is almost surprised that they are
leaving so soon.

WEISKOPF
Thank you, Todd. Mr. and Mrs. Bowden.

Weiskopf nods good-bye.

DICK
Wait a minute… Agent Richler, before you
go– Todd’s not a suspect in this, is he? I
mean he’s just talking to you, right?

RICHLER
That’s right.

DICK
Because Todd always thought he was helping
that old man. We didn’t know any of this
before today.

RICHLER
Mr. Bowden, you and Todd have nothing to
worry about. I assure you. Your son has
been a great service to us. Thank you, Todd.
For now that’s all we need. Our next step is
to turn that house upside down. We’re
bringing in some special teams to look
through everything. We may come up with
something. We’ll be in touch if we need you.

They are almost to the door, when Richler stops.

RICHLER (CONT’D)
Oh, Todd, by the way….
(casually, pulls a photo out of a
folder he is carrying)
Have you ever seen this man before?

He holds the photo up to Todd. It is a picture of Archie in
military dress, probably a blow-up of his military ID. Todd
stares at it for a moment. His face shows no reaction.

TODD
No.

RICHLER
Okay, thanks.

He smiles. Weiskopf opens the door and the two men leave.

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – TODD’S BEDROOM – DAY

From his window Todd sees Richler and Weiskopf talking by their
gray sedan.

TODD
You’ll be back, won’t you boys? Won’t you,
Special agent Jackoff. You and the sheeny
professor. …I know, let’s show him an old
army picture, that’ll screw him up. …Fuck
you. Fuck-You.

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – UPSTAIRS HALLWAY – DAY

Dick is half-way up the stairs when he hears yelling coming from
Todd’s room. He pauses a moment. Most of Todd’s words aren’t
clear, but the profanity sure is…

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – TODD’S BEDROOM – DAY

After a moment, the sedan pulls away. Todd turns away from the
window and we see that he is holding the barrel of the rifle in
one hand and the scope in the other.

He takes a few breaths, tries to calm down. A burst of nervous
laughter slips out of him.

There is a KNOCK at the door. Two seconds later Dick comes in.

DICK’S POV: Todd stands in the middle of his room. The gun
pieces are nowhere in sight.

DICK
Everything all right, son?

TODD
Yeah… fine.

DICK
You sure?

TODD
I’m fine, Dad.

DICK
Your mother and I feel terrible… like we…

TODD
It’s not your fault.

Dick grabs his son and pulls him close. Todd doesn’t know how
to respond. For Dick, it is like hugging a phone pole. He
knows something is terribly wrong. Todd stands stiff in his
father’s arms until he releases him.

DICK
You know we love you, don’t you?

TODD
I know, Dad.

He smiles at his father, comfortingly. Dick is not comforted.

DICK
Look, ahh, your mother and I are going to go
down and talk to our lawyer. I don’t want
you to worry about a thing. It’s just a
precaution. I don’t trust these cops. We’re
not going to be gone long.

TODD
Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.

DICK
Your old man is on top of things, all right?
I am going to take care of this.

TODD
I know, Dad.

Dick kisses Todd’s forehead. He turns to leave and stops.

DICK
This afternoon, if you’re up for it, we’ll go
do something. How ‘bout it?

TODD
Sure.

Dick tries to smile and goes out, the door, leaving Todd alone.

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

The garage door opens and Dick backs the Porsche into the
street. Monica is with him. Todd, from the upstairs window,
watches them go.

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – BATHROOM – DAY

Todd is near the end of his rope, trying to hold himself
together. We see him splashing water on his face in the
bathroom. He gazes into the mirror, transfixed by the ghost-
like image reflected back at him. Todd pounds his fist against
the sink. He can stand it no longer. He darts out of the
bathroom.

EXT. HOSPITAL ENTRANCE – DAY

Todd drives his mother’s Honda wagon towards the entrance of the
hospital and for the first time witnesses the scope of
Dussander’s discovery. News vans are everywhere. The
protesters have grown in number. A line of cars wait for
admittance into the parking lot. A policeman stands a few feet
away from Todd, directing cars in, turning others away. He is
moving toward Todd. Horns honk around him. Todd sees that more
police officers are standing by the door of the hospital. The
nearby policeman notices Todd and walks closer. Todd doesn’t
wait. He pulls the car out of line and drives off.

INT. HONDA WAGON – DAY

Todd holds the steering wheel with a white-knuckled grip. His
face is sweaty and flushed. He rocks back and forth as he tries
to reassure himself…

TODD
We’re okay. We’re okay. We’re o-kay.

He is almost calm when he nears his house. But it doesn’t last.
He sees something he can hardly believe.

TODD (CONT’D)
You got to be fucking kidding me.

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

An old Vo1vo is parked on the street in front of the house.
Standing on the porch, sneakers and all, is Ed French. Todd
pulls into the driveway and gets out. French has a cautious air
about him as he walks toward Todd.

FRENCH
Hello, Todd.

TODD
Mr. French, what brings you to the wild side
of town?

The two of them are standing on opposites sides of the car.
French pulls a folded newspaper page from his pocket. He starts
to move around the car toward Todd, but Todd circles the other
way, keeping the car in between himself and French.

FRENCH
Todd… I found something troubling in the
morning news. Are your parents home?

TODD
No.

FRENCH
I know the man in this picture is the man who
came to see me.

TODD
It’s sort of a bad time right now. Why don’t
you go home?

FRENCH
I will. But first I need a couple of things
explained to me.

INT. HOSPITAL – OUTSIDE DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

Richler is speaking to the reporters. Cameras and lights are in
his face. His words are low, serving as a backdrop, but we can
tell that he is telling them of the plans to relocate Dussander.
Weiskopf stands close by…

FRENCH (V.O.)
Todd, why don’t you tell me what happened?

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

While Todd almost seems to be enjoying this odd dance around the
car, French does not.

TODD
You know, Mr. French, sometimes one thing
just leads to another and before you know
it… things get out of control.

FRENCH
I’m afraid that’s not much of an answer,
Todd. When do you expect your parents home?

TODD
I don’t know, Ed. You want to come in and
wait? I’ll put on a pot of tea. We’ll talk
about old times.

FRENCH
I think you might need some help, Todd.
That’s why I’m here.

INT. HOSPITAL – DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

Dussander is alone in the room as Richler addresses the
reporters outside. His eyes open wide and his movements are the
liveliest they have been since he was discovered. He reaches
over to his IV unit and begins to disconnect the tube from the
bag…

TODD (V.O.)
You know? You’re right. I do need help. I
really do.

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

Todd becomes more animated, more threatening with every word.
Somehow it is as though French is now retreating from Todd as
they circle the car.

FRENCH
Let me help you, Todd. I want to. You’re
too smart to do anything crazy.

TODD
Can I ask you something, Ed? You don’t mind
if I call you Ed, now that I’m out of your
fucking school, do you?

FRENCH
What?

TODD
You know all this crap you see on TV about
forensics… hairs and fibers, that stuff?
How much of it do think is true and how much
is just bullshit?

French is puzzled by the question. He has no answer.

TODD (CONT’D)
Oh, how would you know? You’re a fucking
guidance counsellor.

French stops.

FRENCH
Todd, this is silly. Why don’t we go inside?

INT. HOSPITAL – DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

Liquid spills onto the floor as the tube comes loose from the
bag. Dussander sits back and pulls the free end of the tube up
to his mouth. His lips wrap around it and his face tightens as
he begins to blow….

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

Todd starts moving again. French does the same.

TODD
Here’s a little factoid for ya. I’ll bet you
didn’t know this one. Hairs fall out of your
head all the time. But it’s even worse when
you’re nervous. And you know what? I’ve
been real fucking high-strung lately.

Todd comes around the rear of the car and stops at the door to
the back seat. He opens it.

FRENCH
Listen, Todd… Please.

Todd bends down to get something from the back seat. His voice
is muffled from the inside of the car.

TODD
That’s how it all happened, you know. One
thing lead to another and before I knew it…

Todd pops back up holding the rifle, fully assembled and aimed
at French’s chest.

TODD (CONT’D)
…you showed up in my driveway, wearing
those same fucking sneakers.

FRENCH
Whoa. To–

Todd rapid-fires. French’s chest explodes red as his lifeless
body sails back onto the grass. In the front yard, a dozen
birds evacuate a tree in a panicked exodus. Todd swoons back on
his heels, overcome by something. But it isn’t pain, rather,
it’s a rush of pleasure. A laugh slips out.

INT. HOSPITAL – DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

Dussander takes the tube from his mouth and lets it fall to the
floor. The camera moves along the tube and stops at Dussander’s
arm, where it ends. He lies back in his bed and waits…

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – DAY

Todd regains his balance. French stares wide-eyed as Todd steps
up to him, the muzzle aimed at French’s head. Todd grins
widely. For the first time he looks …happy.

A single round obliterates half of French’s skull. Todd chokes
back a giggle like a drunk chokes back a belch.

INT. HOSPITAL – DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

Dussander lurches up in the bed in a spastic, contortive fit as
the air embolism reaches his heart. His arm flails against the
IV unit, sending it crashing to the floor. The monitors next to
him reflect a drastic turn in his condition. The door flies
open and a pair of nurses charae in through the swarm of
journalists. Richler and Weiskopf run in and the eager
cameramen follow. The room is bathed in flash explosions as the
nurses try to subdue Dussander.

INT. BOWDEN HOUSE – GARAGE – DAY

Todd throws open a cabinet door above the workbench and eyes the
boxes and boxes of ammunition. He lets out a beautifully wicked
laugh as he dumps all of the cartons into his backpack. He
leaves the cabinet door open as he slips the bag over his
shoulder.

EXT. BOWDEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – STREET – DAY

Todd zooms out of the garage on his bike, the rifle slung over
one shoulder, the backpack over the other. He zips past
French’s body and out into the street. In the distance, we hear
the faint, but rising wail of sirens.

A front door or two slams shut as Todd passes. Suddenly he cuts
up between two houses. A man standing in his back yard sees
Todd and freezes. Todd ignores him. He steers the bike through
the yard and picks up the dirt path he has used so many times
before.

INT. HOSPITAL – DUSSANDER’S ROOM – DAY

From above we see Dussander’s eyes, wide open, motionless. Yet
the expression on his face is one of odd satisfaction. A doctor
pounds on his chest, barks orders. The trauma team prepares the
defibrillator, but we know they are too late…

EXT. DIRT PATH – DAY

Todd rides fast over the dry, rocky ground. The wind streaks
back his hair. His excitement is as palpable as the grin
dancing across his face.

An aerial shot follows him as he angles the bike off the trail
and up a steep embankment. As the camera moves ahead of him, we
see the crest of the hill, and beyond it…

The freeway, teeming with rush-hour traffic.

BLACK.[amazonjs asin=”B00006AUW9″ locale=”JP” title=”ゴールデンボーイ DVD”]




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