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manure/[mə'njuə]/ n. 肥料, 粪肥 vt. 施肥于 ...

剧本《午夜牛郎》MIDNIGHT COWBOY

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"MIDNIGHT COWBOY"

by

Waldo Salt

Based on a novel by

James Leo Herlihy

Draft: 2/2/68



FADE IN:

INT. TV STUDIO - DAY

A Susskind-type MODERATOR is speaking into camera:

MODERATOR
Tonight we'll discuss a subject most
of us seem to consider either bad
taste or frivolous or funny. But if
our experts are right, we face what
might be called a masculinity crisis.
Every fourth American man uptight,
threatened by the increasing sexual
demands of American women...

EXT. SIDEWALK INTERVIEW - DAY

An IRATE WOMAN speaks into camera:

IRATE WOMAN
They always put it that way, but
well, all it means, you know, is
every fourth American woman's never
satisfied. That's it. I never am --
have been, you know...

EXT. SIDEWALK INTERVIEW - DAY

A COOL WOMAN speaks into camera:

COOL WOMAN
This, this image of the, the man
eating woman. It isn't our increasing
demands. I think it's the shrinking
American male...

EXT. SIDEWALK INTERVIEW - DAY

A SAD WOMAN speaks into camera:

SAD WOMAN
No, I never had, well, whatever it
is you call it. But the hours he
works, I can't blame him...

INT. CAFETERIA SCULLERY (TEXAS) - DAY

Full frame -- a scandal sheet picture of a sex-starved wife,
naked while her husband sleeps, captioned I BUY WHAT MY
HUSBAND CAN'T GIVE.

SAD WOMAN'S VOICE
...but it's a problem. A big problem.
With so many women I know...

Camera pulls back to show the picture among other pinups of
women -- rich, beautiful or naked, but all blonde -- steam
wilted on the wall over a dishwashing machine. JOE BUCK grins
at the wall as he scrapes garbage.

JOE
Just keep your pants on, ladies...

MULTIPLE SPLIT SCREEN

A LADY COMMENTATOR, gradually surrounded by lonely women...
BEAUTY PARLOR
FASHION SHOW
PSYCHIATRIST'S COUCH
COCKTAIL BAR
GYMNASIUM
STATUE OF LIBERTY

LADY COMMENTATOR
Before World War One -- American men
outnumbered women by over six percent.
Today American women not only
outnumber men, but live five years
longer -- leaving them in control of
vast corporate wealth and seventy-
five percent of America's purchasing
power...

The Lady Commentator is replaced by Joe, stacking dishes,
surrounded by frustrated ladies. He laughs tolerantly.

JOE
Y'all,line up and take your turn...

INT. TV STUDIO - DAY

The Moderator smiles into camera.

MODERATOR
My question is this -- will American
know-how come up with a marketable
male to replace all the men who are
worrying themselves into an early
grave over women's increasing sexual
demands?

INT. STALL SHOWER - DAY

Joe sings as he soaps himself, "Whoopee ti yi yo, git along
little dogies, for you know New York will be your new home!"
Sound and image freeze on Joe's open mouth.

SUPERIMPOSED MAIN TITLE AND CREDITS

TITLES follow as indicated, sound and action continuing after
each credit.

INT. SUNSHINE CAFETERIA - DAY

Joe's song continues over a sweating WAITRESS, glancing up.

WAITRESS
Where's that Joe Buck?

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Wrapped in a towel, singing in front of his dresser mirror,
Joe sprays himself with deodorant, aiming a last playful
blast at the unseen crotch -- freezing song and image as
CREDITS continue over...

...a calendar girl on the wall blushing orange, mouth frozen
in a tiny O, staring wide-eyed. Joe's song continues as...

...Joe rips the wrapping from a new Stetson and sets it on
his head, freezing song and image as CREDITS continue.

INT. CAFETERIA SCULLERY - DAY

RALPH, an aging black man, faces a mountain of dirty dishes.

RALPH
Where's that Joe Buck?

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Singing as he buttons his new cowboy shirt, Joe interrupts
himself to answer Ralph...

JOE
Yeah, where's that Joe Buck?

...continuing his song as he pulls up and zips his tight
thighed black slacks, freezing song and image for CREDITS.

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY PARLOR - ANOTHER TIME

SALLY BUCK, a pretty middle-aged blonde, smiles down at
camera,

SALLY BUCK
You look real nice, Joe baby...

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Joe sings as he pulls on his new cowboy boots, arranging his
cuffs to show off the yellow sunburst at the ankle, freezing
song and image for CREDITS.

INT. SUNSHINE CAFETERIA - DAY

The pink MANAGER scowls at his pocket watch.

MANAGER
Where's that Joe Buck?

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Joe hums as he piles a complete wardrobe of cowboy clothes,
still in their wrappers, into a shiny new suitcase of black
and white horsehide.

JOE
Yeah, where's that Joe Buck?

INT. SUNSHINE CAFETERIA - DAY

Holding his watch, the Manager wags a finger at camera.

MANAGER
You're due here at four o'clock.
Look at those dishes, look!

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Joe laughs as he locks his suitcase.

JOE
Know what you can do with those
dishes? And if you ain't man enough
to do it yourself, I'd be happy to
oblige...

Joe picks up his suitcase, a portable transistor radio, walks
away from the mirror, then pauses to run a comb through his
hair, hook a cigarette at the corner of his mouth and strike
a match on his thumbnail before he turns back for one admiring
glance at himself in the mirror -- proud, exultant, ready --
freezing the image as CREDITS END.

EXT. TEXAS TOWN MAIN STREET - DAY

Joe leaves the hotel, carrying his suitcase.

INT. CAFETERIA SCULLERY - DAY

The pink Manager points at his watch angrily.

MANAGER
Four to midnight, understand?

Angle widens to include Joe, holding his suitcase and radio.
Ralph stares at him curiously, stacking dishes.

JOE
Say, look, uh, I gotta have a word
with you, if you got a second.

MANAGER
Later. Later maybe.

The Manager hurries away, carrying a basket of dishes.

RALPH
You ain't coming to work?

JOE
Don't guess. Just come for my day's
pay owing and to tell you I'm heading
East.

Joe tilts his Stetson as the Waitress appears at the door...

WAITRESS
Cups!

...but she disappears without noticing Joe. Ralph offers his
hand. Joe takes it, holds it.

RALPH
What you gonna do back there, East?

JOE
Lotta rich women back there...

RALPH
Yeah?

JOE
Men, they mostly faggots.

RALPH
Must be some mess back there.

JOE
Well, ain't no use hanging around
here.

RALPH
Ain't gonna collect your pay?

JOE
I got me two hundred twenty-four
bucks of flat folding money...
(slaps hip)
He know what he can do with that
chicken-shit day's pay. And if he
ain't man enough to do it for himself,
I be happy to oblige!

INT. SUNSHINE CAFETERIA - DAY

The door marked EMPLOYEES ONLY swings open and Joe appears,
measuring his effect on the customers and his fellow employees
as he crosses the sterile white dining room, observing the
drab details of the life he has left behind - garbage on
greasy dishes, limp food in steam table trays, coffee-soaked
cigarette butts, caked mustard and ketchup on formica table
tops -- two pimply high school girls slurping suggestive
noises after Joe through the straws of empty coke glasses.

O.S. a Tiomkin-tradition chorus sings, "From this valley
they say you are going -- we will miss your bright eyes and
sweet smile for they say you are taking the sunshine..."

EXT. TOWN MAIN STREET - DAY

The song ends as Joe comes from the cafeteria "... that
brightened our pathway a while."

JOE
Tough tiddy, ladies, you had your
chance.

From a high angle -- Joe starts his long walk toward the bus
depot along the street of a small Western town struggling to
urbanize itself. The click-clack-click of his boots is loud
but somehow lonely The radio at his ear drones grain prices
on the Commodity change. Joe's pace slows as he passes...

EXT. SALLY BUCK'S BEAUTY SALON - DAY

...a gilt-lettered sign in the window, glittering in the
sun, momentarily hiding the fact that the shop is deserted.
Joe grins as he hears remembered sounds and voices incomplete
flashes, more significant in tone than content a girl giggling
sexily -- "Keep your meat hooks off my beauty operators,
sugar" -- tinkling noises of a busy beauty parlor - Sally
Buck singing "Hush, little baby, don't say a word, Grammaw
gonna buy you a mockingbird..."

...a shift of light revealing a row of tarnished driers, a
broken mirror, a FOR RENT sign in the window. Joe turns toward
the bus depot, radio pressed to his ear.

ANNOUNCER'S VOICE
Benson and Hedges One Hundreds makes
special awards from time to time for
anything that's longer than
anything...

JOE
Care to get out your yardstick,
gentlemen?

At the same moment, a recognizable variant of the "Big
Country" theme blares loud.

INTERCUT WESTERN FILM CLIP

Gary Cooper (or John Wayne) walks a frontier street.

EXT. BUS DEPOT - DAY

High angle of the departing bus, intercut "Big Country"
fashion, alternating high shots with close-ups of the bus
wheels.

EXT. FREEWAY CLOVERLEAF - DAY

Through the bus windshield -- a dizzying montage of traffic
lines, arrows and signs as the bus sweeps around and up onto
the freeway.

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe sits at the front, opposite the driver, cracking his gum
as he watches the huge billboards streaking by, promising
him power, happiness and beautiful women if he chooses the
right breakfast food, hair oil or automobile. Joe listens to
the humming tires, the roar of the engine, shaking his head.

JOE
This is a powerful mothah, ain't it?

Ignored by the driver, Joe rises and walks back to his empty
double seat, glancing around to see what impression he's
made on his immediate fellow travelers -- an OLD LADY in
front of him -- a hostile young sailor with acne behind him --
two teeny-boppers flirting with Joe hysterically -- a PALE
BLONDE directly across the aisle, smiling at Joe weakly.

PALE BLONDE
Do you have a stick of gum?

Joe leans across, snapping his gum as he offers her a stick.
He watches her nibble it daintily on her front teeth.

PALE BLONDE
Thank you.

JOE
Plenty more where that came from.

PALE BLONDE
Thank you, no, it's just till the
Dramamine works. I get carsick.

JOE
I only get carsick on boats.
(waits, then)
But seems to me that's more the fish
smell than the bouncing...

Joe realizes that her eyes are closed. Mildly depressed, he
stretches himself across both seats and turns on his radio,
finds only static and snaps it off. Further depressed, he
examines his reflection in the bus window, squeezes a black
head and runs the comb through his hair, picks a piece of
tobacco off his tooth and lights a cigarette, watching the
flame die in reflection, forgetting to discard the burnt-out
match as he stares out at a vast lonely prairie, a solitary
cowboy in the distance, a row of sharecropper shacks
apparently deserted, a barefoot little girl motionless at
the roadside, watching the bus pass. Through this, leading
into the next scene, Sally Buck sings softly "... if that
mocking bird don't sing, Grammaw gonna buy you a golden
ring..."

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY SALON - ANOTHER TIME

Sally Buck, relaxing in the middle of a busy day, eyes closed
wearily, while little Joe massages her neck. Her song
continues over the noises of the busy beauty parlor "...if
that golden ring turns brass, Grammaw gonna buy you a looking
glass..."

SALLY BUCK
No, a little lower, sugar, yeah,
yeah, that's good. Grammaw's beat.

SALESMAN'S VOICE
You gotta sell yourself, that's the
whole trick...

INT. BUS - DAY

A seedy TRAVELING SALESMAN with badly-fitted dentures and a
frayed collar has taken the aisle seat next to Joe. As he
lectures Joe on salesmanship, he figures his expenses in a
worn leatherette notebook, nervous fingers and eyes
unconsciously revealing the extent of his failure.

SALESMAN
It ain't the product and it ain't
the price, no sir, and it ain't what
you sell, it's personality, pure and
simple. I ain't shined my own shoes
or shaved my own face in forty years,
how's that? Not bad for a kid that
didn't pass the eighth grade, right?

JOE
Yeah, hell, yeah.

SALESMAN
And that's my golden rule. Make 'em
love you. Put yourself over and you
can sell them anything. If they like
you, they'll buy horsemeat for prime
beef...

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY SALON - ANOTHER TIME

A gawky, adolescent Joe sits sprawled on the couch, leafing
through a magazine while Sally Buck bleaches the roots of a
young woman's hair.

SALLY BUCK
You get him to the church, honey. He
ain't gonna find out you ain't a
real blonde till after you're married,
then's too late.

Sally Buck turns, pretending to be stern as Joe laughs.

SALLY BUCK
You getting too big for your britches,
sugar.

EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT

The headlights of the bus flash past a huge sign, painted on
the slant roof of a barn: JESUS SAVES.

INT. BUS - NIGHT

Joe is alone again. The Salesman has disappeared. The bus is
dark, most-passengers trying to sleep. Only one reading light
still burns, over the head of the old-Lady in the seat ahead
of Joe. Joe squirms, restless, trying to lull himself to
sleep with the music of a revivalist gospel group on the
radio.

SALLY BUCK'S VOICE
Don't forget to say your prayers,
honey...

Joe leans forward to help the old Lady, irritably struggling
with the release button on her seat. She scowls as Joe leans
over to release her seat, then pulls her blanket around her
and turns away from him. Joe switches off her reading light.

OLD LADY
I want it on.

Joe switches it on again, fakes a good-natured grin, settles
back with his radio, aware of an OLD COWHAND seated opposite
him, replacing the Pale Blonde. The Old Cowhand is appraising
Joe's wardrobe curiously. He looks away when he sees Joe
watching him. Joe settles back, unable to think of a way to
open a conversation.

EVANGELIST'S VOICE
Oh, my friends, I say unto you, invest
with Jesus, put your dollars to work
where they'll pay off at compound
interest. The Good Book says money
answereth all things...

The Old Cowhand has rolled-himself a cigarette. Joe quickly
lights a match on his thumb and holds it across the aisle.

JOE
Light?

The Old Cowhand's "thanks" is lost in a fit of coughing as
he inhales his first drag. He settles back, wiping his watery
eyes on a faded bandanna.

EVANGELIST'S VOICE
...everyone who sends a dollar to
the Evangelical Congregation of the
Air will get free gratis a genuine
leatherette hymn book so you can
sing along with Sister Rosella and
the Evangelical Choir...

JOE
You throw in Sister Rosella and you
got a deal, right, old timer?

Joe glances across the aisle. The Old Cowhand manages a faint,
humorless smile.

JOE
Going far?

OLD COWHAND
Up the line. Not far.

JOE
I'm bound for New York City.

The Old Cowhand reappraises Joe's wardrobe even more
curiously.

JOE
Ever happen to come across a cowman
name of Woodsy Niles? Friend of my
grammaw Sally Buck...

The Old Cowhand considers, shakes his head. Joe leans back,
laughing to himself.

INT. REMEMBERED BEDROOM - ANOTHER TIME

Little Joe's head is lost in a beat-up cowboy hat, similar
to the one worn by the old Cowhand. Sally Buck smiles on
WOODSY NILES -- a long-legged cowboy with a shock of black
hair -- who stands at her dressing table, admiring himself
in a new Stetson.

SALLY BUCK
Like it, honey? Does it fit?

WOODSY
You do me good, Sal, you do me real
good. You know what I gonna give you
for that Stetson?

Woodsy grabs Sally Buck, lifting her off her feet, carrying
her to the bed. Struggling, they fall across the covers
together, Little Joe laughing with them.

SALLY BUCK
Woodsy Niles! The boy!

WOODSY
He don't know what makes little apples
by now, it's time he found out.

INT. BUS - NIGHT

Joe shakes his head, grinning, offering the old Cowhand a
cigarette.

JOE
Smoke?

The old Cowhand shakes his head, showing the rolled cigarette
Joe lit for him. Joe nods, still bemused.

INT. REMEMBERED BEDROOM - ANOTHER TIME

Little Joe is cuddled in Sally Buck's arms, under the covers,
watching Woodsy, sitting cross-legged on the bed, naked except
for his Stetson and guitar, singing drunkenly.

WOODSY
...git along little dogies!

EXT. MIDWEST TOWN - MORNING

From a high angle -- the bus slows to a stop.

INT. BUS - MORNING

Joe awakens, stiff-necked, momentarily confused. He
straightens in his seat as he sees the old Cowhand lifting a
sweat-stained saddle down from the overhead rack, starting
toward the front of the bus. Joe calls after him.

JOE
Nice talking to you, old timer.

Joe stuffs a stick of gum in his mouth, turns to wave at the
Old Cowhand through the window as the bus pulls away.

WOODSY'S VOICE
She-dogs squat, boy. He-dogs stand
up and lift their leg...

INT. REMEMBERED MEN'S ROOM - ANOTHER TIME

Woodsy, in his new Stetson, watches Little Joe in his beat-
up cowboy hat, trying to balance on one foot, one leg lifted
in front of the trough. Woodsy roars with laughter.

WOODSY
...but he-men stand and shoot from
the hip.

INT. BUS RESTROOM - DAY

Joe laughs, flushes, checks his hair in the mirror.

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

The bus streaks past a brightly-colored billboard -- IN NEW
YORK, A WELCOME AWAITS YOU AT THE TIMES SQUARE PALACE HOTEL!

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe is now sitting in the wide rear seat, between two young
MARINES and a group of VETERANS wearing campaign caps and
convention buttons, passing a bottle, singing "From the Halls
of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli..." Joe follows the
conversation between a VETERAN and a MARINE, participating
only because he's sitting beside them, adopting a remembered
military stance.

VETERAN
Ever stationed at Kennedy? Those
Florida chicks...

MARINE
Instant V-goddam-D.

VETERAN
This Pensacola teeny-bopper -- jail
bait -- but built? Ten bucks she
wanted. Three of us made a deal for,
twenty-five, see, big goddam bargain?

MARINE
Big peni-goddam-cillin bargain, right?

VETERAN
You got it.

MARINE
No. You got it.

JOE
Jesus goddam Christ, I ain't laughed
so hard since I was out at Fort
Benning, Georgia.

MARINE
Did you make the Viet?

JOE
What? Oh, hell no. Motor pool
mostly...
(shakes his head)
Kee-rist...

INT. REMEMBERED WHOREHOUSE - ANOTHER TIME

A plump, aging PROSTITUTE laughs up into camera.

PROSTITUTE
Hey, hey, what you try to do to me?
You gonna cost me money, soldier!

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe laughs as he passes the bottle, trying to sing along
without knowing the words as the Veterans segue into "Over
hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail, as the caissons
go rolling along..."

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY SALON - ANOTHER TIME

Sally Buck fondly wipes lipstick from Joe's lips.

SALLY BUCK
Keep your meat hooks off my operators,
sugar, hear?

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe slaps one of the Veterans on the back, trying to follow
the song into "Off we go, into the wild blue yonder..."

INT. REMEMBERED MOVIE HOUSE - ANOTHER TIME

ANASTASIA clutches a younger Joe, eyes wild, gasping.

ANASTASIA
You're the only one, Joe, the only,
only one ever!

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe is leaning across the two Marines, staring out of the
window as the Veterans switch to "Anchors aweigh, my boys,
anchors aweigh..."

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - DAY

A stunning view through the bus window past Joe's reflection.

JOE'S REFLECTION
Gonna swing my lasso and rope that
whole goddam island, yeah!

EXT. BROADWAY PARADE - DAY

Drum majorettes leading the parade -- ticker tape and confetti --
girls at skyscraper windows.

INTERCUT NEWSREEL CLIP

Charles Lindberg (or James Stewart) waving at the crowd.

EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR - DAY

Girls lining the piers -- flags, banners, bunting -- ship
horns, whistles, bells.

INT. BUS - DAY

Joe crowded as the veterans prepare to leave the bus, lifting
down banners and flags.

EXT. LINCOLN TUNNEEL - DAY

The bus suddenly surrounded by converging traffic, horns
honking, segueing into the noises of Times Square.

EXT. MARQUEE - DAY

Flag draped, reading: WELCOME VETERANS.

EXT. STREET - BANNER - DAY

Flapping in the wind -- WELCOME VETERANS!

EXT. TIMES SQUARE PALACE HOTEL - DAY

The marquee announces TRANSIENTS WELCOME. O.S. a singing
radio station break blares "W-I-N-S NEW YORK..."

EXT. RADIO TOWER - DAY

The sign flashes WINS "...ten-ten on your dial!" A torchy
woman's voice sings from a lonely echo chamber -- introducing
a love theme which will haunt Joe throughout the film.

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

Joe sets his radio on the dresser, his suitcase on the bed,
then turns to examine his new home -- as anonymous as his
Texas hotel room -- but boasting a coin-operated television
set. Fascinated, Joe inserts a quarter.

...the love song continues over a television talk Show
featuring a POODLE WIGMAKER defending his profession against
a Joe Pyne-type PANEL HOST, "...well, I perform a real
service, there's a need, so many people, you know, really
live in their pets, I mean, lonely, I grant you, but their
feeling is real. They want to lavish as much love, give them
as much, yes, pamper them like they were really human children
or whatever..."

SALLY BUCK'S VOICE
There's a TV dinner in the fridge,
lover boy...

INT. REMEMBERED PARLOR - ANOTHER TIME

Little Joe stares sullenly at an antique TV box while Sally
Buck puts her hat on at the fireplace mirror. There is a
framed picture of Woodsy Niles on the mantle.

SALLY BUCK
You be okay, won't you? Maybe I bring
you a treat if you're a good boy...

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

Joe watches the Panel Host, "... you're a nut case, fella, a
real nut case..."

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY SALON - ANOTHER TIME

Little Joe massaging Sally Buck's neck -- continuing the
earlier scene.

SALLY BUCK
I'm so beat, no point you waiting
round, toots, think I'll stop in for
a beer or two...

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

Joe sits on the edge of the bed, watching the poodles primp.

INT. REMEMBERED PARLOR - ANOTHER TIME

Little Joe stares unblinking at the TV screen as Sally Buck
kisses him on the forehead, dressed for the street.

SALLY BUCK
Expect me when you see me. Looks
like I got me a new beau, lover boy,
how's that for an old grammaw? I'll
leave you movie money...

Sally Buck tucks a dollar bill under a framed picture of
Jesus, who has replaced Woodsy Niles on the mantle.

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

As a fairy godmother's magic wand removes sticky hair spray
from a pretty model's head, Joe's quarter runs out and the
screen goes blank. At the same moment, the love song is cut
off by a singing station break "W-I-N-S NEW YORK" Joe rises,
flipping the dial of the radio to a cultured woman's voice
reading "...the Dow Jones averages, brought you by Morgan
Vandercook. Up your income with sound investment
counseling..."

JOE
Up yours, lady.

...but Joe leaves the lady on, savoring the expensive sound
of her voice reading the stock quotations. Joe seats himself
at the desk, pleased to find a postcard photograph of the
hotel. He picks up a ballpoint pen, counts ten floors up
from the street and marks a huge X -- THIS IS ME, then turns
the card over, pen poised over the address blank.

INT. CAFETERIA SCULLERY - DAY

Ralph stares at the card, surrounded by dirty dishes.

RALPH
Hell, he know I can't read...

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

Joe's pen wavers, starts to write and stops.

EXT. SALLY BUCK'S BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY

As we saw it last, deserted, a FOR RENT sign in the window.
Joe's reflection appears, staring at himself, dressed in his
dishwasher's clothes.

JOE'S VOICE
After all them dishes are washed,
what?

JOE'S REFLECTION
Then they bring some more dishes and
I wash them and then I, uh, sleep
some and then wash some more dishes
and then I...

JOE'S VOICE
Say it, lover boy!

JOE'S REFLECTION
Die.

INT. ROOM 1014 - DAY

Joe stares at the postcard, bemused,

JOE'S VOICE
Well, you better just shake your
tail, lover boy, and root, hog or
die.

Joe rises abruptly, rips up the postcard and tosses it out
the window.

JOE
Goddam if I came to this town to
write postcards.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE - DAY

The torn fragments flutter down on the crowd -- a woman
brushing irritably at her hair -- a man grimacing, glancing
up -- a cop removing his hat to examine it.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE PALACE HOTEL - DAY

From a low angle -- identical with the postcard photograph --
an unseen hand scrawls a huge X--- THIS IS ME. Camera zooms
up to a close-up of Joe at the window.

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - DAY

From on high -- as though Joe were watching himself -- the
Stetson moves through a crowd of Fifth Avenue shoppers...

EXT. GLASS BUILDING - DAY

...passing a glass bank, lady tellers counting money...

EXT. CAR SHOWROOM - DAY

...passing a display of imported luxury cars...

EXT. JEWELRY STORE - DAY

...passing a window which features a single gem -- pausing
as horns blast O.S. and a mod blonde in a stalled sports car
motions to Joe -- she needs a push. Joe grins, glances at
himself in the window, runs a comb through his hair, then
turns back to see a cop helping the mod blonde.

EXT. PARK AVENUE - DAY

Joe's heels drag as he walks a deserted block of luxury
apartment houses. O.S. The torchy woman's voice sings Joe's
love theme in counterpoint to the blasting horns, a siren, a
fire bell, a screech of brakes. Joe's spirits rise as he
hears the tic-tac-tic of high heels overtaking the heavy
click-clack-click of his boots. He adjusts his pace to arrive
at the corner at the same time as a smart and -- in Joe's
eyes -- very RICH LADY. Joe grins boyishly, holding his
Stetson over his heart.

JOE
Beg pardon, ma'am, I'm new here in
town, just in from Houston, Texas,
and looking for the Statue of Liberty.

The delicate profile gives no signs of hearing. Joe follows
her to the parkway in the middle of the avenue. There she
stops and turns, neither friendly nor hostile.

RICH LADY
Were you looking? About the Statue
of Liberty?

JOE
Joking? No, ma'am. Oh no! I mean
business!

RICH LADY
I'm sorry. I thought you were --
never mind -- I've never actually
been there, but let me see, you take
the Seventh Avenue subway, I think,
to the end of the line...

JOE
You sure are a pretty lady.

The Rich Lady tries to frown, taken aback, blushing.

RICH LADY
You're not looking for the Statue of
Liberty at all.

JOE
No, ma'am, I'm not.

RICH LADY
Why, that's perfectly dreadful. Aren't
you ashamed of yourself?

A twinkle of amusement and sympathy reveals the age lines at
the corner of her eyes. Then she continues on quickly, just
as the light turns. Joe's view is blocked for a moment by
traffic, then he sees...

...the Rich Lady, newly aware of her flanks as she climbs
the steps of a brownstone and searches for her key. Still
from Joe's viewpoint, he sees himself move into frame and
follow the Rich Lady up the steps. The love theme swells
O.S. as the Rich Lady leads him into the house and closes
the door...

...leaving Joe standing alone on the parkway island,
surrounded by towering wealth. The love theme continues
over...

EXT. LEXINGTON AVENUE - DAY

...a pair of high-heeled pink slippers, walking a miniature
poodle -- slowing slightly, reacting to Joe's cowboy boots
as they pass, pause and turn back.

CASS'S VOICE
Hurry up, Baby. Do um goody-goods
for Mama.

Joe grins, holding his hat over his heart as he approaches
CASS TREHUNE, a blonde lady in a tight black dress, with the
look of a movie star who wrecked her career with food.

JOE
Beg pardon, ma'am. I'm brand spanking
new to this town, come from Houston,
Texas, and hoping to get a look at
the Statue of Liberty...

CASS
You're hoping to get a look at what?

JOE
The Statue of Liberty.

CASS
It's up in Central Park, taking a
leak. If you hurry, you'll make the
supper show. Now get lost.

But as she turns, Cass winks, dimpling the corners of her
mouth, signaling Joe to follow her.

INT. APARTMENT HOUSE ELEVATOR - DAY

Cass holds the DOOR OPEN button till Joe enters the elevator,
then the doors close with a soft expensive little kllooosh
and Cass turns with the smile of a very tiny girl...

CASS
Hi.

...her lips closing on Joe's as the poodle yaps shrilly at
their feet. Superimposed, almost subliminally, a golden dollar
sign appears, halating like a star, and the bell of a pinball
machine rings O.S.

INT. CASS'S APARTMENT - DAY

A princess telephone is ringing on a gold and white desk.
Cass runs to grab it...

CASS
Hello?

...as Joe steps from the elevator, which opens directly onto
Cass's penthouse. Cass beckons him toward her, hooks a finger
into his neckerchief and pulls his mouth toward hers while
she talks on the phone.

CASS
Morey? Hi-ee, honey...

Cass gurgles happily as her free hand unbuckles Joe's garrison
belt.

CASS
I'm just out of breath, honey, running
to catch the phone.

As her fingers reach for Joe's zipper, cut to...

...Joe's hand unzipping her dress.

CASS
I was walking Baby. Him got to do
him goody-goods, right?

The poodle tugs at Joe's slacks until they fall. Cass steers
her ear to Joe's mouth, shuddering deliciously.

CASS
Oh God, oh stop. I can't stand that.
I just die...
(quickly into phone)
It's Baby, Morey. Him trying to say
hello. Say hello to Morey, Baby.

Cass holds the phone toward the yapping poodle, twisting
herself against Joe as she wriggles out of her dress, passing
the phone from one hand to the other.

CASS
Okay, old goosie? Now lookie, when
do you want me to meet you? Whatever
you say. I'll take a nap, watch TV,
you know, kill time. Okay, but just
one, a big wet one.

Cass hangs up. The poodle yaps hysterically, disentangling
himself from her tumbling dress -- hops onto the couch glances
off and flees again as an overturned lamp crashes O.S.

INT. CASS'S BEDROOM - DAY

The poodle bounces onto the bed -- remaining long enough to
establish a TV REMOTE CONTROL TUNER lying on the satin
coverlet -- then leaps down in panic as he hears Joe and
Cass explode into the bedroom, laughing lustily...

...the remote control tuner buried suddenly under the full
flesh of Cass's hip, activating...

...a twenty-five-inch television screen, blasting at full
volume...

...Cass's eyes widening, profoundly impressed...

CASS
Ye gods...

...the images and sound of the television set flicking
joyfully from channel to channel...

...Joe laughing, engulfed by Cass's abundance...

...Cass wild-eyed, overflowing the frame...

...a gleaming slot machine -- three Sahara cowgirls clicking
into line for jackpot -- silver dollars overflowing the
frame...

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - DAY

...the Mutual of New York tower flashes MONY!

JOE'S VOICE
Holy shee-it, this is a goddam
penthouse you got here, Cass, a real
goddam penthouse.

INT. CASS'S BEDROOM - DAY

Joe turns away from a small terrace, buckling his belt,
glancing off toward the sound of Cass in the shower. He

flicks the TV remote control, enjoying his power, ignoring
the silent images on the screen -- battle casualties, a pretty
girl recommending aspirin, a man's stomach flashing animated
pain, starving war refugees, a dog eating pzazz -- flicking
it off to concentrate on the costume jewelry and perfume
bottles on Cass's dressing table.

CASS'S VOICE
Don't look, baby...

Joe turns to look as Cass comes from the bathroom, holding a
towel around her as she runs behind the closet door.

JOE
Say, Cass, I, uh, sure have enjoyed
being here. Believe it's as fine a
time as I've had in my life!

CASS'S VOICE
Me, too, lover.

JOE
That's good, it is, cause, well I
guess I didn't tell you why I came
to New York, did I?

A tower of black bugle beads emerges from the closet door.

CASS
Zip this thing, will you, Tex?

Joe zips her dress, follows her to the dressing table, where
she sprays her hair with lacquer.

JOB
Truth is, Cass, I'm, well, I'm in
business.

CASS
Oh, poor you. Morey's got terrible
ulcers.

Cass stretches her upper lip across her teeth and she smears
it with, orange lipstick.

JOE
Don't know what line Morey's in, but
myself now, fact is -- I'm a hustler.

CASS
(lips stretched)
Hers'n zodda meg a livig.

JOE
Beg pardon, ma'am?

CASS
Said, a person's gotta make a living.

JOE
You sure you heard what I said?

CASS
Scuse me, hon, fraid I'm only half
here. Maybe you oughta run on along.
But why don't you take this phone
number?

Joe grins, relieved as she takes out a gold lame purse and
opens it. He frowns as she folds; it upside down, empty.

CASS
Darn! I didn't get to the bank --
Tex -- could you let me have a little
coin for the taxi-waxi?

Joe stands mute as she cups his chin in her hand, seductively.

CASS
You're such a doll. I hate money,
don't you? God, it's been fun.

JOE
Funny thing, you mentioning money. I
was just about to ask you for some...

Joe tries to laugh but it sticks in his throat as Cass speaks --
an impassioned whisper -- still holding Joe's chin.

CASS
You bastard! You son of a bitch! You
think you're dealing with some old
slut? Look at me! You think just
cause you're a longhorn bull you can
get away with this crap? Well, you're
out of your mind. I am a gorgeous
chick, thirty-one, that's right, you
said it!

Sobbing suddenly, she throws herself on the bed. Joe stands
bewildered by the vastness of her grief.

JOE
Hey. Hey, Cass. Did you think I meant
that? Christ, would I be asking you
for money with a wad like that riding
on my hip?

Joe waves his wallet at her, but she only cries louder. He
hands her a kleenex. She clutches it to her face, wailing.
Joe leans over the bed, whispering in her ear:

JOE
Hey. You are a gorgeous-looking piece,
Cass. Guy gets horny, just looking
at you. It's a fact. How much you
need for that taxi? Ten? Twenty?
There you go.

Joe tucks a twenty-dollar bill into her bosom, tilts his
Stetson and starts out. Cass blows her nose, looking after
him. O.S. chorus sings, "From this valley they say you are
going -- we will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile..."

EXT. LEXINGTON AVENUE - DAY

From a high angle, Joe walks away from the apartment house,
chorus continuing O.S. "... they say you are taking the
sunshine that brightened our pathway a while."

INT. EVERETT'S BAR - DAY

Joe sits at the bar, staring morosely at his image in the
mirror, already quite drunk, oblivious to the assorted types
hiding from daylight in the barn-like saloon, waiting for
night to fall.

RATSO'S VOICE
Excuse me, I'm just admiring that
colossal shirt...

RATSO studies Joe across the corner of the bar -- a sickly,
child-size old man of twenty-one -- hopefully nursing an
empty beer glass, contemplating the money on the bar in front
of Joe.

RATSO
That is one hell of a shirt. I bet
you paid a pretty price for it, am I
right?

JOE
Oh, it ain't cheap. I mean, yeah,
I'd say this was an all right shirt.
Don't like to, uh, you know, have a
lot of cheap stuff on my back.

Ratso spits as JACKIE leans on the bar next to Joe -- a
feminine young person, heavily made-up, hair teased, wearing
earrings and a lace-trimmed blouse over shocking pink Levis.

JACKIE
Got a cigarette, cowboy?

RATSO
(a stage whisper)
More goddam faggots in this town.

Reaching for a cigarette, Joe glances at Jackie, startled as
Jackie twitches his pink levis angrily and turns away.

JOE
Shee-it...
(shakes his head)
Kee-rist, you really know the ropes.
Wish to hell I bumped into you before.
I'm Joe Buck from Texas and I'm gonna
buy you a drink, what do you say to
that?

RATSO
Enrico Rizzo from the Bronx. Don't
mind if I do.

JOE
(slaps bar)
Same all around! For my friend, too!

The TV screen over the bar features a mating game program as
Jackie cruises down to join a tall farm boy with plucked
eyebrows. The TV HOST points to three young men, visible
only from the shoulders up, from whom a pretty DATE GIRL in
blindfold must choose an escort.

TV HOST
...and for the losers, who don't get
the girl, we'll give as consolation
prices -- a six month supply of
underarm deodorant...

In a booth now -- the TV screen in the background, continuing
the game -- Joe is refilling Ratso's beer glass as he speaks,
loud over the laughter of the TV audience.

JOE
...you see what I'm getting at here?
She got a penthouse up there with
color TV and more goddam diamonds
than an archbishop and she busts out
bawling when I ask for money!

RATSO
For what?

JOE
For money.

RATSO
For money for what?

JOE
I'm a hustler, hell, didn't you know
that?

RATSO
How would I know? You gotta tell a
person these things
(shakes his head)
A hustler? Picking up trade on the
street like that -- baby, believe me --
you need management.

JOE
I think you just put your finger on
it, I do.

RATSO
My friend O'Daniel. That's who you
need. Operates the biggest stable in
town. In the whole goddam metropolitan
area. A stud like you - paying! --
not that I blame you -- a dame starts
crying, I cut my heart for her...

JACKIE'S VOICE
I'd call that a very minor
operation...

Ratso grabs the neck of a bottle, sliding back in the booth.
Joe scowls as Jackie appears with the tall farm boy.

JACKIE
...in fact, you just sit comfy and
I'll cut it out with my fingernail
file. You won't even need Blue Cross,
Ratso.

RATSO
The name is Rizzo.

JACKIE
That's what I said, Ratso.

JOE
(suddenly)
Hey now, you heard him.

On the TV screen -- the Date Girl announces:

TV DATE GIRL
I pick Number Two! He's cool!

RATSO
That's okay, Joe. I'm used to these
types that like to pick on cripples.
Sewers're full of 'em.

JACKIE
May I ask one thing, cowboy? If you
sit there and he sits way over there,
how's he gonna get his hand into
your pocket? But I'm sure he has
that all figured out...
(to Ratso)
Good night, sweets.

TV HOST
May present your chosen mate!

The TV host pulls aside the screen which has concealed the
lower half of the three young men. Number Two, her chosen
mate, is a dwarf sitting on a high stool. The girl's
spontaneous dismay starts everyone laughing hysterically,
including the dwarf.

EXT. SIXTH AVENUE - DAY

Joe has difficulty keeping up with Ratso, who swings himself
along with surprising agility, his half skipping little gate
favoring one game leg.

RATSO
Look, with these chicks that want to
buy it, most of 'em are older,
dignified, right? Social register
types. They can't be trotting down
to Times Square to pick out the
merchandise. They need a middleman,
right? That's O'Daniel.

Joe hesitates as Ratso darts into traffic against a red light,
yelling unheard obscenities at a cab driver who blasts his
horn. Joe runs recklessly forward as Ratso slams the taxi
fender with his fist, pretending to be hit, falling into
Joe's arms. The taxi stops, halting traffic. Ratso, recovers,
strolls casually in front of the cab, biting his thumb at
the river.

RATSO
It is a crime, a stud like you passing
out double sawbucks to a chick like
that. With proper management you
should be taking home fifty, a hundred
bucks a day. More if you wanta
moonlight...

EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - COCKTAIL HOUR

At the corner of Central Park South, Ratso points toward a
young man with diamond cuff-links, sitting with a blue-haired
matron who puffs on a small cigar. Ratso waves jauntily at
the young man, raising his thumb and forefinger in a circle,
leaving the young man baffled as Ratso hurries Joe on.

RATSO
Him I placed with O'Daniel just two
weeks ago. And look. Not much of a
stud either, what I hear...

EXT. CENTRAL PARK SOUTH - COCKTAIL HOUR

Ratso automatically checks the coin return boxes of the phone
booths they pass. Walking the park side of the street, looking
across at the limousines and taxis waiting outside luxury
hotels and apartment buildings.

JOE
Hey, listen, how about you take me
to mee this Mister O'Diddle bird
right now?

RATSO
Well, Joe, you're a nice guy, and
I'd be doing you both a favor, but
why? What'm I dragging my bum leg
all over town for? It's no picnic
and what for, for me myself, what?

Ratso stops opposite the Plaza hotel, pointing across at an
aristocratic blonde stepping out of a Rolls Royce.

RATSO
Tomorrow when some piece like that's
scratching your back in a Fifth Avenue
townhouse, where'll your pal Rizzo
be? Nedicks.

JOE
Hold it, just hold it. You think I'm
that kinda sombitch? Just name your
cut, whatever you want, you got it
right now. Five? Ten, how's that?

Joe peels a ten from his wallet and offers it to Ratso.

RATSO
Joe, please. You know what I'd ask
anyone else? Oh hell, tell you what
I'll do, I'll take the ten...
(he does)
...but when I hand you over to Mr.
O'Daniel, I'll have to have another
ten, Joe; just to like cover
expenses...

INT. PUBLIC PHONE BOOTH - DUSK

Ratso is on the phone. Joe holds the door open, listening.

RATSO
This boy is just your meat, Mr.
O'Daniel, believe it, I'm telling
you -- what? -- Enrico Rizzo from
the Bronx. The point is he needs
you. Right now. Tonight...
(aside to Joe)
I got his tongue hanging out...

EXT. WEST SIDE HOTEL - DUSK

Camera moves slowly up the anonymous wall of a drab hotel,
following the line of dim red lights marking the fire exits.

RATSO'S VOICE
Name's Joe Buck. Cowboy. Just in
from Texas, don't know the ropes,
new to the city, but very promising
material, sir, and ready, if you get
what I mean. Fabulous. Right away.
What's that room number there again?

INT. WEST SIDE HOTEL ELEVATOR - DUSK

As ancient open cage lift rises at the same pace as camera
in preceding shot. Joe grins excitedly at Ratso, who nods
but glances significantly at the elevator operator. Ratso
follows Joe to door as the operator grinds to a stop.

INT. WEST SIDE HOTEL CORRIDOR - DUSK

Ratso steps out with Joe, gesturing to the corridor...

RATSO
Hold it a second...

...but the operator slams the door and starts on up. Ratso
leans heavily on the down button, glancing at Joe.

RATSO
Nine-oh-one, got it?

Ratso glances up the elevator shaft nervously, rings again
and turns back to Joe.

RATSO
Let's see how you look. Fine. You
look fine. Now I'm gonna have to
have that other ten...

JOE
(digs in wallet)
Ten, ten -- I got a twenty -- take
that...

RATSO
Oh hell, forget it.

JOE
Now take it. Go on.
(gives it to him)
Listen, where can I reach you? Cause
I'm gonna make this right with you
soon's I get me set up...

RATSO
Forget it.

JOE
I mean, dammit, where you live?

Ratso leans on the DOWN as the cage grinds slowly down into
view and stops.

RATSO
Sherry-Netherlands Hotel. Now get
your ass in there. He's waiting!

Ratso steps into the elevator as the door opens then closes,
leaving Joe alone, repeating "Cherry Neverlin" as he starts
along the corridor looking for 901.

EXT. WEST SIDE HOTEL - DUSK

Ratso bursts from the hotel, almost running as he disappears.

INT. WEST SIDE HOTEL CORRIDOR - DUSK

Joe finds 901 at a dark end of the corridor, knocks
confidently, hearing a few bars of his love theme as he stuffs
a fresh stick of gum in his mouth. Then the door is thrown
open by O'DANIEL -- for an instant appearing to wear a diamond-
studded skull-cap, the naked overhead light bulb bright after
the dark corridor, halating in Joe's eyes like the earlier
dollar sign.

O'DANIEL
You must be Joe Buck. Come in.

O'Daniel, fat in a worn-out bathrobe, examines Joe like a
prodigal son as he leads him into the room -- as anonymous
as Joe's own room.

O'DANIEL
Am I tickled to find you, boy! Come
on in and let's get a look at you.
Turn around. Good strong back. You'll
need it. So you want help -- take a
seat, relax, tell me about yourself.
Cowboy, huh?

JOE
No sir, I'm no cowboy really, but
I'm a first class stud.

O'DANIEL
Take it,easy, boy...
(laughs)
Seems to me you're different than a
lotta boys that come to me. Most of
'em seem troubled, confused, but I'd
say you knew exactly what you want.

JOE
You bet I do, sir.

O'DANIEL
But I'll bet you got one thing in
common with them other boys. I'll
bet you're lonesome.

JOE
Well, not too, I mean, a little.

O'Daniel rises suddenly in a fury of self-righteousness,
pacing, his voice simpering, whining sarcastically.

O'DANIEL
I'm lonesome. I'm lonesome so I'm a
drunk. I'm lonesome so I'm a dope
fiend. I'm lonesome so I'm a thief,
a fornicator, a whore-monger. Poop,
I say, poop! I've heard it all and
I'm sick of it, sick to death.

JOE
Yessir, I can see that.

O'DANIEL
Lonesomeness is something you take.
You bear? Dammit, you take it and go
about your business, that's all.

JOE
Well, uh, I'm raring to go.

O'DANIEL
Yes, I believe you are. Cowboy, huh?

JOE
Uh, yessir.

O'DANIEL
Ready for hard work, son?

JOE
Ready for anything.

O'DANIEL
I got a hunch, Joe Buck, it's gonna
be easier for you than most.

JOE
Gonna be like money from home.

O'DANIEL
Money from home, see, there's your
strength, you put things in earthy
terms any man can understand, son. I
warn you I'm gonna use you, I'm gonna
run you ragged!

Joe laughs, driving an obscene uppercut into the air. O'Daniel
laughs with him.

O'DANIEL
You're a wonderful boy. You'n me
gonna have fun, dammit, it don't
have to be joyless. Say, why don't
we get right down on our knees now?

JOE
Get down -- where?

O'DANIEL
Right here, why not? I prayed in
saloons, I prayed in the street, I
prayed an the toilet. He don't care
where, what He wants is that prayer.

O'Daniel drops on all fours, crawling to find the plug of an
electric cord. He shoves it into a wall socket, switches off
the overhead light and suddenly a hollow, tinted plastic
Jesus glows on the dresser. O.S. a revivalist congregation
sings. And now we notice, with Joe, placards and flags, horns
and tracts, all the paraphernalia of a street corner
evangelist.

JOE
Shee-it...

O'DANIEL
That's the ticket, just open your
heart and let it flow. It ain't the
words, it's the love beyond 'em!

EXT. REMEMBERED BAPTISM - ANOTHER TIME

Sally Buck sings with the congregation while a rawboned
preacher stands in the river, preparing to immerse little
Joe.

O'DANIEL'S VOICE
Don't fight it, boy!

INT. WEST SIDE HOTEL ROOM - DUSK

O'Daniel tries to pull Joe down beside him.

O'DANIEL
Pray and you shall be heard!

EXT. REMEMBERED BAPTISM - ANOTHER TIME

Camera becomes little Joe, glimpsing the fevered faces of
Sally Buck and the congregation singing on the riverbank,
just before being plunged under the river. O'Daniel's voice
reechoes, filtered through water.

O'DANIEL
Don't be frightened, son!

EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

Joe runs in aimless panic, pushing through the crowd, pursued
by O'Daniel's voice and the singing congregation.

O'DANIEL
Don't run from Jesus!

Joe stops short as he sees the front page of a tabloid on a
newsstand. There is a picture of Joe being led away by two
deputies, under a headline ALABAMA MURDERER SHOTGUNS ELEVEN.

EXT. FORTY-SECOND STREET - NIGHT

Joe searches the faces of the crowd, running forward suddenly
as he sees Jackie and the farmboy picked up by two men in a
large convertible. Joe chases the car to Eighth Avenue but
stops, frightened as he sees himself in multiple image on
the front of every newspaper displayed on a newsstand.

INT. EVERETT'S BAR - NIGHT

The saloon is almost empty during the after dinner lull. The
BARTENDER doesn't look up from his newspaper as Joe
approaches.

JOE
Say, you know that runty little
bastard I was with?

BARTENDER
I don't know nothing.

Joe tenses as he sees the tabloid picture of himself on the
back of the bartender's paper. Joe's hand closes around an
empty beer bottle, a terrible violence surging very near the
surface. O.S. women scream.

INT. REMEMBERED BEAUTY SALON - ANOTHER TIME

Reflected in the mirror, we see little Joe wildly smashing
bottles and glass display cabinets -- the voices of women
screaming O.S. -- little Joe hurling a perfume bottle which
shatters the mirror and his own image.

INT. EVERETT'S BAR - NIGHT

The empty beer bottle stands where it was. Joe has
disappeared. On the TV screen over the bar, sound drowned
out by the jukebox, we see a blowup of the tabloid photograph,
revealing a young man very similar to, but clearly not Joe.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

Colorful lights still flash seductive promise. The vertical,
lights on the MONY tower reach bottom and freeze momentarily.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe at his hotel window staring out blankly. Gun fire O.S....

INT. SHOOTING GALLERY - DAY

The radio at Joe's ear is drowned out by a kid in cowboy
hat, shooting alone in the gallery. Two policemen idly slap
their thighs with night sticks. Joe moves on, unconsciously
checking the coin return box of a pay phone.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe curled up on his bed like a baby, fully dressed, his
radio on the night stand. O.S. his love theme, remote,
hollow...

EXT. FORTY-SECOND STREET - NIGHT

Joe's radio is at his ear "...never too late to look great,
Ben's Bargain Basement's open 'till five a.m., miles and
miles of Western styles, worth more at any store, money talks
and nobody walks." For the first time, Joe is aware of the
other midnight cowboys lurking in doorways, the cruising
queens, the middle-age men in sport shirts. Joe moves on
self consciously as he sees a scar-faced policeman,
unconsciously massaging his night stick. Camera holds on a
window display of gag buttons, featuring NEW YORK WILL BREAK
YOUR HEART, BABY.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe soaking in the tub, eyes closed.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE DANCE HALL - DAY

Joe's radio promises job opportunities for young men eighteen
to twenty-five in the U.S. Air Force. He stands with a crowd
staring up at a girl go-go dancing in the window of SERGEANT
PEPPER'S LONELY HEART CLUB.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe staring in the mirror. O.S. static over his love theme.

EXT. SIXTH AVENUE - NIGHT

By work-light, the tarrier in metal helmet leans on a jack
hammer, beyond the sign DIG WE MUST, drowning out Joe's radio.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe flexing his muscles in his jockey shorts while -- LIVE
ON TV SCREEN -- a physical culture personality finishes push-
ups and starts pitching his own extra protein bread.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE PANCAKE HOUSE - DAY

Joe's radio continues the super-break commercial while a fry
cook flips flapjacks in the window. But Joe's eyes are on a
sign DISHWASHER WANTED. Joe looks up and his eyes meet those
of the young man scraping garbage behind the counter. It's
Joe.

JOE
Shee-it.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe sits in the hotel lobby, staring out at the street, unable
to concentrate on his comic book. On two-way radio, a woman's
voice giggles as she speaks, "When I can't sleep, well, I
just dial the time and listen to those old seconds clicking
by like, you know, counting sheep?"

EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - COCKTAIL HOUR

Joe watches a young man hold a taxi door for an older lady,
at the same corner where Ratso waved to another young man.
The woman's predatory eyes linger momentarily on Joe before
she leads the young man into the Cafe. The two-way radio
continues over, "...that's what I do about insomnia."

JOE
Well, now, ma'am, next time you got
that feeling coming on, you dial Joe
Buck. I'll show you what to do...

STILL PHOTOGRAPH

Joe straddles a chair, staring at a blank TV screen.

SINGING COMMERCIAL
Need a little easy money? It's E-Z.
Want a little easy cash? It's E-Z.

E-Z LOAN COMMERCIAL

As the jingle continues, we follow Joe and his radio into
the loan office, the depressing reality photographed and
edited in the style of a TV commercial:

JINGLE
Easy locations to get to Easy ladies
to greet you Easy chairs to seat you
Easy payments to meet Let E-Z set
you On Easy Street.

Joe arrives confident Harassed E-Z receptionist Lines of
uneasy customers Desperate, angry faces Reams of E-Z forms
to fill Clerk's sneer, says Joe has to be kidding.

INT. TIMES SQUARE PALACE LOBBY - NIGHT

Joe's image frozen -- as if another still photograph -
standing at the desk, waiting for his key.

JOE'S VOICE
Key to 1014...

Action continues as the DESK CLERK hands Joe a folded paper
instead of a key. Joe opens it, deeply perplexed.

DESK CLERK
Looks like you been locked out of
your room, buddy. Till you pick up
your tab.

JOE
Uh, what about my things'n all?

DESK CLERK
We keep them nice and safe till you
get this straightened out.

INTERCUT

Room 1014 warm and inviting, Joe's suitcase on the bed.

JOE
Listen, tell you what, you can keep
all the rest of the goddam junk if
you let me have just the suitcase.
That suitcase means a lot to me.

INTERCUT

The postcard photograph marked X -- THIS IS ME.

DESK CLERK
We keep everything. House rules.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

Joe stands outside the hotel, stunned, seeing the bright
colored lights turn suddenly grey. The film continues in
black and white as Joe walks into the crowd.

EXT. SALLY BUCK'S BEAUTY SALON - DAY

The FOR RENT sign flapping in the wind.

INT. BAR - DAY

Joe nurses a short beer, like the regulars. He looks up as a
crippled panhandler approaches, vaguely reminiscent of Ratso.

JOE
Screw off.

INT. ROOM 1014 - NIGHT

The bed turned back, clean sheets, a soft night light.

INT. BUS DEPOT - NIGHT

Joe is stretched on a bench, his Stetson over his eyes. A
loud speaker announces a bus "departing for Texas" but Joe
does not move. A policeman taps Joe's boots with his night
stick. Joe rises and starts away with mixed anger and
apprehension.

INT. PUBLIC MEN'S ROOM - DAY

Two matching Ivy Leaguers exchange a glance as they see Joe
washing his feet in the basin. Joe stares back with a
belligerent grin.

JOE
Any objection, gentlemen?

INT. ALL NIGHT CAFETERIA - NIGHT

Joe balances a cup of coffee, walking past the other solitary
night people, avoiding each other's eyes. Joe spots what
he's looking for and seats himself next to a gaunt woman and
her ten year old son, both freaked out, erratically touching
things, themselves, each other in a futile effort to make
contact with reality. But Joe is only concerned with the
plastic-wrapped crackers left by their empty soup bowls.

JOB
Y'ain't gonna eat them?

The woman stares at Joe blankly. The boy runs a toy mouse
across the table, up his mother's arm and around her face.
With a polite nod, Joe opens the crackers and squirts one
with ketchup. Joe upsets his chair as a great gob of ketchup
spills onto his pants...

JOE
Shee-it.

...glancing around with an embarrassed laugh, but the only
one looking is a cop, scratching his calf with a night stick.
Joe keeps his back to the customers as he moves to the water
dispenser, wets a paper napkin and tries to wipe away the
stain. But the water has only spread the stain across his
pants and down his leg. He blushes as a blonde young
streetwalker giggles.

SALLY BUCK'S VOICE
Wet your britches, lover boy?

INT. SUBWAY ARCADE - NIGHT

Joe tries to hide the stain with his jacket as he checks the
coin boxes of vending machines, wary as he passes a burly
policeman, abstractedly snapping his handcuffs in front of a
bakery window display of bride-and-groom wedding cakes. Joe
barely glances at a confused MIDDLE-AGE LADY.

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