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Thursday, May 26, 2011

FILM: Excerpt from Killer Wives

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help other writers get unstuck, as well as to help myself.  When I came up with the topic of film I was originally going to wax poetic on the genius of Edward Arnold or Allen Jenkins ( I'll do those in another venue), or write a review. But then I thought "Why don't you see if this is working?" I had been working on a screenplay called Killer Wives for a while and then I got blocked. So I opened up the file and started where I left off and also tried  to incorporate the topic. The basic story is 3 friends have different reasons for wanting their husbands dead. At this point in the story Fay and Evy have been visiting their friend Mary who's been put into the hospital by her abusive husband Gary. Having just resolved that they will do whatever it takes to avenge their friend they are on their way out when Fay realizes she's forgotten her cell phone. The new stuff starts after Fay's line "We'll follow him, Marlowe, We'll follow him." I should add that Fay has film noir fantasies throughout the script, so she's something of an authority on the subject.


INT. ROOM 602 HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL - MOMENTS LATER
Evy and Fay enter the doorway and freeze in shock.

   CUT TO:

REVERSE ANGLE- INT.ROOM 602 HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL- CONTINUOUS 

Gary sits beside Mary on the hospital bed, smiling, with his arm around her. There is a large vase of flowers on the table beside the bed. Mary attempts to smile, but isn’t quite making it.

GARY
Hello, Ladies!

There is a long awkward pause.

FAY
Hi Gary...

EVY
Hi...

There is another long awkward pause.

GARY
Forget something.

EVY
What?!

Gary holds up Fay’s cell phone.

GARY
This?

FAY
Yes, that’s exactly what I came back for... 
Thanks for picking up on that, or picking that up ha ha ha!!

Fay edges over to Gary holding the cell phone and gingerly takes it from it him, then 
returns to Evy’s side. There’s another glassy eyed silence then...

EVY
Well, we’ve got some very important shopping we need 
to be getting back to. Get better Mary! G’bye Gary. C’mon Fay.

FAY
Yeah...Get better Mary. Goodbye Gary. C’mon Fay. 

Fay and Evy exit awkwardly through the door walking backwards.

CUT TO:
INT.  CORRIDOR OF HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL - CONTINUOUS

Fay and Evy hustle down the hall.

EVY
Well, at least now we know where he is. What’s next, Sam Spade?

FAY
We follow him, Marlowe. We follow him.

CUT TO:
EXT. HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL PARKING LOT - LATER

Fay and Evy are crouched down in Fay's Van

EVY
Can we get up? My back is starting to seize.

FAY
(sitting up)
I’m just as uncomfortable but you wanted to play hard boiled dick.
 This is how its done. Ever see “The Big Sleep”?

EVY
(also sitting up)
Trying to follow the plot gave me a headache...

FAY
The plot’s easy...

EVY
Like fun it is. 

FAY
It is !

EVY
So explain it to me

FAY
Okay, I will. Philip Marlowe gets hired by the wealthy retired General Sternwood, 
who has 2 daughters, the youngest,Carmen, who parties too hard and her older sister,divorcee Vivien Rutledge. Marlowe has already met Carmen, who 
attempted to seduce him, when he arrived at their home.A man named Arthur Gwynne- Geiger is blackmailing the General with Carmen’s gambling debts and Sternwood wants Marlowe to pay them off. When Marlowe tries to leave he is met by Vivien, who unsuccessfully attempts to find out why her father has hired him. She thinks The General is looking for his companion/bodyguard, Sean Regan, who has suddenly gone missing.Marlowe tells her nothing, and sets out to find the blackmailers.

EVY
And how far into the movie are we at this point?

FAY
About 10 minutes...

EVY
I’m already confused.

FAY
Marlowe traces Arthur Gwynne Geiger to an antiquarian bookshop 
that they are using as a front...

EVY
Fay...

FAY
...for their operation. Marlowe goes the Hollywood public library 

EVY
Fay!

FAY
...to research antiquarian books

EVY
FAY!!

FAY
What?

EVY
He’s coming!

CUT TO:
EXT.HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL MAIN ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS

Gary exits the hospital and heads toward the parking lot

CUT TO:
EXT. HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Fay and Evy duck back down. Gary passes by.

FAY
I’ll tell you the rest later.
EVY
I’ll read the book. It’ll be faster.

CUT TO:
EXT. HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Gary’s car passes by Fay’s van. A few moments later the van pulls out.

2 comments:

  1. Didn't the killers always pay the price in film noir, or was the Code breaking down by then? Either way, SO good to see you're no longer blocked on this particular one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love all your film noir stuff. Moar Plz

    ReplyDelete