187 Movie Script
REVISED SHOOTING DRAFT
November 4, 1996
FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
1 8 7
1 EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN SKYLINE - BROOKLYN BRIDGE - MORNING 1
ON a pair of black Dexter penny loafers diligently
pedaling an old Schwinn mountain bike. ADJUST ANGLE now
to meet the bicyclist...
He's African-American. Anywhere from 33 to 40. Wears
wire-rim glasses, a fresh white oxford shirt, creased
slacks and a solid green tie. An unobtrusive figure, at
once familiar and yet undiscerning. The type you'd pass
on a sidewalk and never even notice. He's TREVOR GARFIELD.
ADJUST ANGLE FURTHER now to reveal the upper promenade
bike path and a dramatic view of Lower Manhattan behind
him. Morning sun glimmers off the Trade Center towers.
Trevor's shadow skitters along the wooden path, 160 ft.
above the East River.
A fat briefcase, strapped to the back of his bike, rocks
back and forth as he pumps the pedals.
FROM ABOVE now a sweeping view of Trevor, alone on the
bike path, a speck, suspended above a sea of rush hour
traffic on the bridge below.
2 EXT. ATLANTIC AVENUE (BEDFORD STUYVESANT) - MORNING 2
A wrought-iron train trestle covered with graffiti shakes
as an "EL" TRAIN ROARS overhead. Trevor races parallel
with it along Atlantic Avenue. Every city block becomes
more and more rundown.
3 EXT. ROOSEVELT WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL (BEDFORD 3
STUYVESANT) - MORNING
A cyclone fence frames the stalwart face of the old
three-story administration building. Ubiquitous gray
patches of paint fail to cover where taggers have most
recently left their marks. The ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, a
black man with a booming voice, barks at late-comers who
are about to be tardy...
(clapping his hands)
... Let's go, people! Tardy lock-
out starts in one minute! Get
your butts in gear! One minute,
people! Move it!
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 2.
3 CONTINUED: 3
SUPERIMPOSE: ROOSEVELT WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL -
The Assistant Principal, attention diverted, doesn't even
notice Trevor as he enters on his bike and races down the
sidewalk in front of the school. With all the prompting,
students still don't seem to be in much of a hurry.
4 OMITTED 4
5 INT. RWHS "A" BUILDING - MAIN ENTRANCE 5
... as Trevor squeezes through the doorway past students
being processed through card readers and metal detectors
and turns down the main hall.
6 INT. RWHS - MAIN FLOOR 6
With a glance over his shoulder, Trevor hops back onto
his bike and pedals it down the middle of the corridor.
STRAGGLING STUDENTS either ignore him or look at him
like he's insane.
(as Trevor passes)
... No ridin' bikes in 'a hallway,
6A INT. STAIRWELL 6A
As Trevor reaches the end of the main corridor... and
steers his bike down the stairs.
7 INT. RWHS - BOTTOM FLOOR 7
Trevor coasts skillfully down the stairs and emerges
onto the bottom floor of the school. He pedals away
toward the other end of the corridor.
7A EXT. TREVOR'S CLASSROOM 7A
A crowd of 10th graders loiter outside Trevor's room.
Seeing him coming, they stir to life with a flurry of
taunts. Trevor chooses to face all dissension with a
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 3.
7A CONTINUED: 7A
As Trevor hops off his bike and unlocks the classroom
door, he notices two lovers making out in the hallway...
VOICE IN CROWD
... Yuh late, Garfield.
(catching his breath)
... No, bell hasn't rung yet.
Okay, let's get inside. C'mon.
(as they file
into the room)
... Morning, morning. Rise and
TWO STUDENTS make passing comments...
(shaking his head)
... You one crazy-ass nigga, G.
(a quarter stuck
in one ear)
... Damn skippy.
Thank you for sharing, Auggie.
... Auggie doggie.
Fuck you, Tywan. Yer mama's a
Trevor offers a pleasant greeting to the two lovers.
'Scuse me, you two... this isn't
the Playboy Channel.
Trevor enters the room, but ducks his head back into
8 INT. RWHS - TREVOR'S CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 8
Walls are covered with assorted science posters.
Styrofoam nuclei dangle from the ceiling. Trevor
unstraps the fat briefcase from his bicycle and sets
it on a metal stool next to his desk...
8 CONTINUED: 8
Let's get started. August and
Tywan, you pass out the books.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Auggie and Tywan don't budge.
Whas up wit' your car, G? Yer
Pinto blow up?
The majority of students aren't even paying attention. A
group in the back is already starting a card game.
No, I don't own a Pinto, Tywan.
(addressing the class)
Okay, can I have everyone's
No response, but it doesn't phase Trevor. He removes
the front wheels from his bike.
The purpose of the bicycle is to
demonstrate the principle of
centripetal force. That's the
opposite of the force we studied
yesterday, which was...
VOICE IN THE CROWD
Hoots and laughter.
Centrifugal force... Centripetal
force is where the acceleration of
a body moving in circular motion
is directed toward its center by an
opposing force, thus creating
momentum that constrains the body to
its circular path. Like a gyroscope.
It's better if I show you. Here,
Tywan, you be my helper.
Tywan and Auggie are busy talking in the corner. They
still haven't passed out the books.
8 CONTINUED: (2) 8
Tywan? Come on.
Tywan, solidly built like a Rodin bronze, saunters over.
(to rest of class)
Hey, shut up! Y'all too damn
Class quiets but only marginally.
I need you to demonstrate
Here, have a seat.
Tywan sits and Trevor hands him the upside-down bicycle.
Okay, hold the bike steady with
your knees. That's it. Seat
positioned against your chest.
Tywan glances over at Auggie and starts to laugh.
Shut up, foo.
Okay, now crank the pedals and get
that back wheel spinning about
Whas up wit' dat?
(coaxing him along)
You'll see. Be patient.
A skeptical Tywan starts to crank the pedals, but he's
not pedaling hard enough.
... Put some muscle into it.
Tywan cranks the pedals harder now. Trevor back-pedals
over to the textbook shelf and randomly selects a
physical science book (but doesn't open it).
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 6.
8 CONTINUED: (3) 8
... Keep pedaling. Harder.
A paper airplane sails past an oblivious Tywan. He
cranks harder and harder until he's sweating ham juice.
Now, he impales Trevor with a befuddled squint.
Whas up? I tol' you you was
A thin smile of confidence from Trevor now...
Now tilt the wheel to your right.
Tywan does and immediately the wheel pulls him to the
right, causing the stool to slowly spin on its axis.
(eyes wide like
a little kid)
Aw, damn. I'm spinnin'. Lookit
Trevor flickers a smile as Tywan's spinning starts to
draw the attention of the rest of the class.
Now Trevor refers to the physical science book in his
hand. Smile on his face immediately fades.
INSERT: Physical science textbook. In magic marker.
The large number 187 has been scrawled across every
page. Trevor flips through the book. He checks the
front page to see who it belongs to.
Juxtaposed to Trevor's distracted state, the class is now
focused on Tywan's achievement...
... Tywan, Tywan, Tywan.
9 INT. RWHS - "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - SECOND 9
One of the fluorescent lights overhead flickers. The
place is deserted except for a custodian who pushes a
cresting wave of trash ahead of his broom. Now Trevor
heads up the north stairwell at the far end of the
corridor. He clutches the desecrated physical science
book. A student slides down the banister past him.
10 OMITTED 10
11 INT. COUNSELING OFFICES - WAITING AREA 11
A PUERTO RICAN WOMAN prods a group of gangbanger wanna-
bes. Two of the teens hover over a Sony Walkman, sharing
Okay, fellas, off the table. Put
the Walkman away. I said put it
A 10th grade counselor's office opens and a student
emerges. Trevor walks directly in.
Walter, I need to speak with you.
WALTER (Anglo; 52) is a disheveled middle-aged counselor.
A lifer. He chews on an empty smoking pipe as he glances
through a student "cum" (cue-mm).
I'm pretty busy right now,
Garfield. What is it?
Trevor sets the book down on Walter's desk and nervously
adjusts his glasses.
Could you open it, please?
Walter opens the book.
(a weary look
Don't suppose this kid cares about
our budget crisis?
(shuts the book)
Have the textbook room charge him
for the book.
Walter snaps the book shut and looks up at Trevor.
One-Eight-Seven is a penal code
number for murder, Walter.
Means the same thing as T-O-S.
'Terminate On the Spot.'
11 CONTINUED: 11
For chrissake, I know what it
stands for. Look, kid probably
heard it in a rap song. Doesn't
... The book belongs to Dennis
Broadway. He's a known gangster,
Walter -- a 'Five Percenter.'
Garfield, if I had a dollar for
every time a student threatened
faculty... Don't you think you're
overreacting a little?
Did you tell Dennis Broadway he
was getting a fail from me?
I have legal access to those
He's a transfer from Nixon High
School, isn't he?
Look, I'm not obligated to track
you down every time a transfer
student comes through here. You
want confidential information
like that, come look it up in his
Trevor exhales a sigh of resignation.
Do you have him on a contract?
If he gets through the semester
without a fail then he gets to go
back to Nixon, so what?
... and be with his homeboys.
11 CONTINUED: (2) 11
Walter's caught between a rock and a hard place. His
instincts lean toward self-preservation.
So he blew his opportunity. Now
he has to learn to live with the
I don't think this kid's ready to
deal with the consequences. I
think he wants me dead.
Relax, has nothin' to do with you.
I should have been told, Walter.
Hey, I'm on your side, Garfield,
but my hands are tied. Kid has a
right to his privacy... Know what
your problem is? You're an
What's wrong with that?
You only see what you wanna see,
that's what's wrong. On one hand
you think someone's trying to kill
you. On the other hand you
actually believe kids are paying
attention in your classes.
Trevor resigns himself to the fact that he's come to
the wrong person for support.
Never mind. It's not a problem.
(an empty promise)
Tell you what, as soon as I get a
chance I'll summons the kid.
Trevor's bemusement holds us.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 10.
12 INT. RWHS "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - MORNING 12
Trevor retraces his steps back up the empty corridor as
the passing BELL RINGS. Within seconds the corridor is
teeming with teenagers.
Into SLOW MOTION now. MANEUVERING THROUGH the crowd to
DISCOVER DENNIS BROADWAY (16). About ten paces behind.
His Snoop-Dogg Afro frames a gold earring and a pair of
deep-set eyes filled with vitriol. Oblivious of Dennis,
Trevor presses on toward the north stairwell.
VARIOUS SHOTS OVERHEAD and THROUGH crowd as the gap
between Dennis and Trevor narrows. Every facial
expression, every blink of an eye, all magnified a
Broadway's right hand is wrapped in a dirty white
handkerchief as he reaches into the front pocket of his
baggie Solos and pulls out a block of wood with a
ten-penny nail imbedded in it.
13 INT. RWHS - AT NORTH STAIRWELL 13
Trevor's heavy eyelids blink as he slowly glances up into
a parabolic mirror on the wall. A silent, paroxysmal
terror registers on his face.
In a parabolic mirror, the blurred image of Dennis
Broadway, pushing hard toward a conclusion now.
BACK TO SPEED as Dennis explodes forward, body blocking
Trevor from behind, pinning him against a wall and
sending the "187" textbook flying.
He rams his weapon into Trevor's back.
In a SERIES OF RAPID-FIRE CUTS, filtered sunlight
shimmers off the sharpened nail as it slashes downward.
A barrage of stabbing motions, tearing at cloth and
flesh. Trevor's backward flailing arms are ineffective
in blocking the frenzied stabfest. Downward slashing,
again and again... 10 times.
Aftermath. As quickly as it began it's over. Dennis
Broadway slams open an exit door and is gone. Students
scatter like cockroaches. An eerie stillness lingers.
Trevor Garfield is lying on his back now in a pool of
blood; black plastic framed glasses in pieces on the
floor; lifeless arms spread out at his sides. His
rheumy, unblinking eyes stare upward into infinite space.
Breathing is the major focus of his concentration now as
we SLOWLY MOVE IN ON his face. HOLD and now...
14 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) - 14
SUPERIMPOSE: LOS ANGELES - SAN FERNANDO VALLEY,
SEVENTEEN MONTHS LATER
It's a tiny one bedroom house in the East San Fernando
Valley. A chain-link fence surrounds the perimeter and a
large olive tree shades the neatly-mowed front lawn.
And in the back there's a wooden tool shed that borders
a narrow alley.
15 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM 15
In the predawn light a terra cotta angel stands guard
over a bookshelf.
16 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - BEDROOM 16
Stillness. Now the PHONE RINGS. A shape in the bed
stirs. A desk lamp flickers on, illuminating the phone.
Trevor's hand reaches for the receiver.
SUB UNIT (V.O.)
'Morning, Mr. Garfield. This is
the Sub Unit. Are you available
(clearing his throat)
... Yes, uh huh.
SUB UNIT (V.O.)
There's a science class in the
Valley at John Quincy Adams. It's
a four day assignment. Teacher's
name is Eskander.
17 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - TREVOR'S PRAYER - SERIES OF SHOTS 17
We hear what God hears over the following...
A) IN SHOWER
Trevor hangs his head under a torrent of soothing
Ceremoniously, he irons a shirt... and polishes his
shoes, a broad scar shows across the back of his hand.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 12.
17 CONTINUED: 17
C) ANOTHER ANGLE
His pressed slacks and tie hang meticulously over a
chair as he gets dressed.
Now Jesus Christ looks down on Trevor from his crucifix
on the bedroom wall.
... If you're listening, God,
please help me today. All I ask
is a chance to do my job... t'do
the job you put me here to do in
the first place.
Please help me accept those things
I cannot change... and give me
strength to change those things I
... This is me, Trevor, God.
18 EXT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS H.S. (SAN FERNANDO VALLEY) - 18
"A" BUILDING - MORNING
Traffic bottle-necks as students cross in front of cars,
and big yellow L.A.U.S.D. buses pull in. The green lawn
is scattered with students (about 65% Hispanic).
Compared to the scarred, institutional look of Roosevelt
Whitney, the face of John Quincy Adams is unblemished.
(This is your own backyard, not the inner city)
Sagging pants (Dickies, Ben Davis) and oversized jackets
(County Bens, Duke, Georgetown) are represented. The
different socio-economic and ethnic groups stick with
their own kind; the IHPs (Individual Honors Program), the
taggers, the Gangbangers, the Asians, the Armenians...
18A EXT. JQA PARKING LOT 18A
Anglo boy, Stevie Littleton, gets out of his mom's Lexus
in the school parking lot and walks towards school.
19 INT./EXT. TREVOR'S '64 RAMBLER AMERICAN - FACULTY 19
PARKING LOT DRIVEWAY
Trevor sits behind the wheel of his Rambler. Watches a
passing parade of students with detachment.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 13.
20 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING ENTRANCE - FEW 20
Trevor, fat briefcase in hand, crosses the front lawn.
He's not the same Trevor we met back in Bedford-
Stuvyesant. Withdrawn, guarded, he manufactures a
cautious smile at students in passing.
Trevor now approaches VICTOR SIFUENTES, a young plain-
clothes narc, who intermittently wands students with a
metal detector at the front doors. FAVOR a kid now who
wears a baseball cap with an emblem on the crown that
... Baseball cap, give it up.
The kid grudgingly reciprocates, handing over his cap.
(stopping Trevor now)
Hold it, please.
Trevor produces his blue employee card.
I'm a substitute.
Okay, you want the Main Office,
straight ahead. Check in with
21 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING/MAIN CORRIDOR - 21
BEFORE FIRST PERIOD
Trevor wanders up the crowded corridor. Along with his
briefcase he now carries a sub folder that contains a
homeroom roster, lesson plans and seating charts.
A sporadic row of teachers, like weary sentinels, stand
outside their classrooms.
TEACHER #1 is an insipid woman in her mid-forties. She's
overweight and wears too much make-up.
... 'Scuse me. I'm lost. I'm
looking for Bungalow...
(checks homeroom roster)
21 CONTINUED: 21
All the way out, next to the
parking lot. Last bungalow on the
... Thank you.
Her comment weighs on him as he resumes his winding path
through the bustle of students headed for first period.
22 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - MAIN CORRIDOR/CLASSROOMS - 22
Glancing through open doorways. Observing the inner life
of various classrooms in passing... sees students watch-
ing TV, teacher ignores them.
23 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - CLASSROOM #2 23
ANGLO MALE, 39, slouching behind his desk, attempting to
read a newspaper but distracted by an offstage commotion.
CLASSROOM #2 TEACHER (ANGLO MALE)
... Sit down. I come back there
and you're gonna be sorry.
24 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - CLASSROOM #3/COMPUTER LAB 24
On the opposite side of the corridor... we can hear
Ellen Henry's voice before reaching her doorway. All
brightness and light, full of enthusiasm...
(like, a buzzer;
... EEEEgghh! Wrong. William,
you know this. C'mon, how do you
find the pound sign? What's the
24 CONTINUED: 24
Now we see her through the doorway. ELLEN HENRY (TEACHER
#3). She's thirty, Anglo, and non-tenured. At the front
of the class ten students stand linked together, arm-in-
arm, in a human chain. WILLIAM (15) sits behind a computer
in the front row struggling to decipher the problem...
You're not thinking.
(a major clue)
How 'bout Binary search.
William remains puzzled. The chain of students delight
in chiding him. "C'mon, Beavis!"...
You split them!
Ellen attempts to bisect the impulsive chain of students
with a double-handed karate chop. Fickle chain that they
are, they resist.
... Very funny.
Now a SLOW MOTION fleeting moment as she catches Trevor's
passing gaze and openly smiles at him.
25 INT. MEN'S BATHROOM 25
Trevor rinses his face at the sink as Victor Sifuentes'
head speaks to him from above one of the heavily
graffitied stalls in b.g.
So who yuh here for?
Aw, man, you got bungalow
26 EXT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - BUNGALOWS - MORNING 26
On a MEANDERING COURSE, MERGING with Trevor now.
26 CONTINUED: 26
Increasing evidence of tagging, and bands of wandering
students, indicate a higher degree of disorder the
further one gets from the Main Office.
FROM ABOVE NOW, like Algernon and his maze, Trevor
negotiates his own path deeper and deeper into the
configuration of bungalows.
... And Trevor's trepidation. Eyes discerning every
passerby. His PULSE AUDIBLY RACES, senses heightened.
SHIFTING INTO SLOW MOTION AGAIN... And the reverberating
SOUND of a SPRAY PAINT MARBLE as Trevor rounds a corner
and comes face to face with three tag-bangers concealing
spray paint cans inside their oversized jackets. One of
the taggers locks eyes with Trevor as he passes, a slow
premonitory burn. The tagger has a "skin tight" (pelon)
hair cut and a string of black rosary beads around his
neck. A barcode tattoo on the back of his neck identi-
27 EXT. UTILITY SHED AND VICINITY - MORNING 27
... Behind the bungalows, adjacent the delivery gate.
Meet DAVE CHILDRESS, a forty-something ditto-head.
The residual effects of a hangover linger as he sneaks a
cigarette before first period. He wears a faded Hawaiian
shirt and Huarache sandals. An old military tattoo
emblazons his left forearm. As he crushes out his
cigarette, something catches his eye.
28 EXT. UTILITY SHED 28
... Thru a chain-link fence we see a handful of cholo-
types loitering around the shed.
Childress investigates. As he approaches the fence...
... Hey, ese(s)?!
Homeboys scatter in all directions, some hop the chain-
link fence, others scurry out a narrow gate behind the
shed. Childress weighs an amused smirk. Now out of
nowhere a gangbanger lurches from the shed, buttoning
his sagging Dickies and tripping over his own feet. He
scrambles out the back gate and is gone.
Childress, curiosity piqued, now enters the compound
through a tear in the fence.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 17.
29 INT. UTILITY SHED - MOMENTS LATER 29
As Childress pokes his head inside he discovers...
Rita Nartinez, seventeen... braless. A niobium belly-
ring piercing her navel. She pulls a dark blue sweat
shirt on over her head. Glances up at Childress. Masks
her shame with a defiant smirk.
(Behind the heavy eyeliner and baggy pants of a chola,
Rita's really nothing more than a little lost girl.)
(knowing full well)
What the hell's going on here,
30 INT. BUNGALOW "84" - MORNING 30
Trevor flicks on the lights, exposing bare, colorless
walls and closed venetian blinds. His breathing's
slightly labored as he sets down his briefcase. His back
faces the mob of students that trickle in now as he takes
a surreptitious hit off an inhaler. Almost instantly his
breathing returns to normal.
Now he shuts his eyes and prepares to conjure up the
dormant enthusiasm he used to have. Takes a deep
cathartic breath. Now he digs a file folder out of his
briefcase, opens it, selects a dispatch and approaches
BELL RINGS as he picks up a piece of chalk... and begins.
First he writes his name in the corner of the blackboard.
Now he moves to the center of the blackboard and begins
to write per the file folder in his hand...
"GLIS WAS VERY FRAPPER. SHE HAD DENARPEN FARFIE'S
No one pays much attention. Back still facing the
... Before taking roll, I'd like
to prove a point.
Now one or two students begin to notice the
indecipherable gibberish he is writing on the board...
30 CONTINUED: 30
(Armenian; a disparaging
Whad up, Farfie?
Trevor mentally blocks out the salvo of grunts, groans
and expletives. With each subsequent stroke of the chalk
he is exorcising his demons...
... It's not important what... or
who... 'Farfie' is.
Turning to face the class now...
Yuh wanna play, yuh gotta stay.
Have a seat, please.
A handful of students take their seats.
The point I'd like to make is
this... Anyone here can be a
... a grudging buzz of confusion.
... What's he talking about?
... A scientist is like a
detective. He investigates data.
He scratches the surface of things
he doesn't understand to see
(pointing to blackboard)
... Things like this. Okay, who
wants to read?
Barsek (the class clown) breaks in...
I'll do it.
Trevor quiets a harmless barrage of, "Bart," "sit down"
and "Armenian Power sucks"...
30 CONTINUED: (2) 30
Come on, we don't need disrespect.
Let 'im do it.
What's your name?
A wisp of gratification flickers at the corner of
Okay, Barsek. Read.
(The following is read in fits and starts and accompanied
by diminishing laughter and ridicule.)
... Glis was very frapper. She
had denarpen Farfie's Mardsen.
She couldn't galp a giberter for
Farfie. Instead she wharked to
plimp a mardsen binky for him.
Okay, anyone know what Barsek just
... A unanimous "No." Trevor can see the light at the
end of the tunnel now. He's back in the zone.
That's alright. You don't need to
understand something to answer a
few simple questions about it.
Every one of you is capable of
decoding data. Watch.
Trevor writes question #1 on the board...
1. WHY WAS GLIS FRAPPER?
... Why was Glis Frapper? Can
anyone tell me?
The Asian Girl, into it now, tentatively raises her hand.
30 CONTINUED: (3) 30
Asian Girl's POV as she studies the first two sentences
on the board.
... Glis was frapper... because...
she had denarpen Farfie's mardsen?
That's right. You got it.
(reactions all around)
Let's try another.
Trevor reads and writes question #2 on the board...
2. WHAT DID GLIS PLIMP?
... What did Glis plimp?
Before Trevor can finish writing the question, an
unidentified voice blurts out, "He plimped a Ho."
Scattered laughter. Trevor grimaces, shakes his head.
Now attempts to add the question mark at the end of the
sentence but the chalk breaks, causing dissension.
... Hold on, hold on. Where's
your teacher keep the chalk?
... In the desk.
Trevor hastily rifles through the teacher's drawers. A
startling discovery abruptly halts his search...
CLOSER now INTO a brown paper bag Trevor has opened.
Inside the bag is a .357 Magnum.
OFF Trevor's narrowing gaze, an offstage voice
... Can I help you?
Trevor lifts his head to see Dave Childress standing in
the doorway of the bungalow. Trevor shuts the desk
drawer. You can hear a pin drop.
Childress piston-chews a wad of gum as he approaches
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 21.
30 CONTINUED: (4) 30
Sorry I'm late. Had to handle
something. You a sub?
I thought this was Science.
Childress weighs a shit-eating grin as he glances at
Trevor's name on the board.
No. This is Dave Childress,
Some students brave a laugh at Trevor's expense.
... Don't know how to break it to
Trevor's name again)
... Garfield... but this is
Childress now places a patronizing hand on Trevor's
shoulder and steers him toward the window blinds.
See, you zigged when you shoulda
zagged. Course it's not your
fault someone jacked the number
off my door. Keep askin' Garcia
to fix it but all I get is 'nada.'
Childress draws the blinds on one of the windows exposing
another bungalow across the way.
31 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - THROUGH WINDOW PANE 31
... In complete disarray. Students clutter the doorway
as wads of paper intermittently zing past them.
... that mess over there, that's
OFF Trevor's unflinching stare...
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 22.
32 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - MORNING 32
The bungalow was originally designed for lab science:
glass-encased cupboards, a caged white lab rat on a side
counter, an 8' by 3' counter top (island) at the front of
the room, including a built-in sink and butane gas valve.
Students crowd the opened windows on the far side of the
room. The chaotic atmosphere centers around one
student... Benny Chacon (18), the tagger we met earlier.
Trevor's back to square one. He struggles with
trepidation as he steps into the doorway of the bungalow
A young black girl, LAKESIA STEWART (16), stands near the
doorway. She cradles a realistic looking E.N.A.B.L. baby
(Education Now And Babies Later).
You our sub?
Trevor takes a peek at the doll.
It's not real. We're studying
teen parenting in home-ec.' It's
computerized, so it cries and shit.
Crowd at the windows begins to disperse now, finding
their seats, except for Benny who doesn't budge. Trevor
approaches, gazes out the window, eyes sizing up the
33 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - TREVOR'S POV - TEXTBOOKS 33
Scattered on the blacktop between the parking lot fence
and bungalow #86 are 35 science textbooks.
34 INT. BUNGALOW #86 34
You know how the books got
Benny plays with the black rosary around his neck.
Responds with mock ignorance.
No speaky Engless.
34 CONTINUED: 34
Class erupts with laughter. A wad of paper sails past
Trevor and out the window.
You speak Spanish, Mister... Whas
... You speak Spanish, Mister G?
(as Trevor ignores
Eh, G... know what dat means when
a homeboy calls you 'G'? Dat means
gangster, homes. You a gangster,
No, I'm not a gangster.
Would you please do me a favor and
pick up the books?
Andate a la mierda.
I ain't pickin' dat shit up. You
go pick it up.
Benny now finds a seat. Trevor follows him.
What's your name?
Cesar Chavez. Don't you recognize
Class laughs. Trevor refers to the seating chart (inside
the sub folder) in his hand but Benny's not sitting in
his proper seat. Benny indicates a 2" by 3" monitoring
device strapped to his ankle...
See dis? I'm already on house
arrest, homes. Ain't nothin' more
you can do to me.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 24.
34 CONTINUED: (2) 34
Suddenly three students across from Benny (the other
three taggers we saw earlier, Cesar Sanchez, Stevie
Littleton and Paco) stand with bold impunity. All are
17. Cesar has a buzz-cut, Stevie's an Anglo speed freak
with a runny nose and a bleached one-clip haircut (roots
showing) and Paco, a Latino.
Sit down, please.
Cesar, Stevie and Paco ignore Trevor and walk out of the
bungalow. Their departure is accompanied by a tumultuous
outburst of catcalls and whistles.
Mr. G, those guys that jus' walked
out aren't even in here this
(pointing to Benny)
And this fool's name is Benny
(whirls in his seat)
Shut yer mouth, hood rat! School
Okay, Benny. That's enough.
Benny turns his wrath on Trevor now.
Hey, you ain't no real teacher.
Fool, you're nothin' but a sub.
T'ink yer so cool... You mus' be
Scattered laughter. Trevor closes the sub folder and
just looks at Benny.
(a cool curiosity)
Why do you wear a rosary?
Ain't none a' yer damn business.
To put God on me, okay? Why don't
you jus' go sit down and read yer
newspaper. Wanna-be, mother
34 CONTINUED: (3) 34
Trevor just stands there, studies Benny. A palpable
Are you done?
There is dead silence as Benny stares Trevor straight in
the eye. Trevor stares right back.
Jus' gimme a referral. Shit.
Trevor turns and calmly walks back to the island counter,
searches and finds a referral slip in one of the drawers,
fills it out...
For future reference, anyone who
disrupts a class, or in any way
infringes on the rights of others
to get an education, is subject to
When I'm here, ladies and
gentlemen, I expect to be treated
... hopefully in an atmosphere of
mutual respect. This classroom is
our sanctuary, yours and mine.
For your information, I am a real
Whatever you say, Opie.
Benny has a smirk on his face as he sashays past Trevor
with the referral slip.
Okay, who would like to help me
pick up the books?
Benny, a self-aggrandized exit, crumbles the referral
slip and tosses it at Trevor, hitting him square in the
Like a reflex, Trevor whirls and ducks. Students laugh
at his heightened reaction.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 26.
34A EXT. JQA - FACULTY DINING ROOM 34A
We see kids at an armored Coke machine. PAN OFF machine
to see kids at lunch.
35 INT. JQA - FACULTY DINING ROOM - LUNCHTIME 35
Trevor sits by himself, lost in stirring a bowl of soup.
He observes a talkative clique of teachers at the far end
of the table, including Teacher #1.
Now Dave Childress sits down, disrupting Trevor's
How goes the battle, Garfield?
Dave bites into a messy sandwich as he skims the front
page of a newspaper that someone left behind.
D'juh get that binky marsden farfied?
Trevor doesn't say a word. Just keeps stirring his soup
... Now notices Ellen Henry as she enters and joins the
Know what I think? I think that
Chacon punk's the one who opened
your bungalow this morning.
Eskander doesn't know how to lock
TREVOR'S POV - ELLEN AND CASHIER
The cashier (Armenian girl, 15) is one of Ellen's
students. As Ellen pays for a sandwich...
... Come by the lab after school,
we'll work on it...
BACK TO TREVOR AND CHILDRESS
Want some advice?
Trevor slides Dave a glance.
35 CONTINUED: 35
First homeboy that gives you the
slightest bit of trouble... send
'um tuh Larry Hyland. He's their
counselor. Right off the bat, yuh
have to sacrifice one. Let 'um
know who's boss. Show some balls.
(as Trevor nods)
And don't look for support from
the administration. Most of 'em
haven't been in a classroom in ten
years. They don't know shit. I
got tenure and I'm still out here
in the damn bungalows. I should
be in the 'A' building with a nice
You met Garcia yet? The principal?
Trevor shakes his head as Ellen Henry takes the empty
seat at the end of the table, smiles at Trevor.
Ah! New blood!
(extends a hand)
Ellen Henry, computer science.
As they shake right in front of Childress' face he can't
help noticing the mean scar on the back of Trevor's hand.
Nice scar yuh got there.
There's something familiar about this sub.
Ever sub here before?
What about permanent?
I taught seven years in the
Bedford-Stuyvesant section of
Brooklyn. Roosevelt Whitney High
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
Roosevelt Whitney? Didn't some
teacher get stabbed to death there
Actually, he survived.
No, it was on 'Sixty Minutes.' Some
gangbanger stabbed this guy with a
ten-penny nail like a dozen times
in a hallway and...
Childress looks from Trevor silently stirring his soup
down to the scar again... and now it hits him.
Jesus Christ, you're him. It was
Holy shit, Garfield. When was
that? December before last? No,
it was fall.
Whadda schmuck. I'm sittin' here
givin' advice to a man with a
Inexplicably, she gets up and leaves. As Trevor watches
Ellen go, Childress slides closer to him.
Lemme tell yuh somethin'. In my
book you're a fuckin' hero. Damn
Trevor slides a look back to Dave as he eats his soup.
... Getting stabbed doesn't make me
35 CONTINUED: (3) 35
So what'd they give the kid?
They put 'im upstate in a facility
until his twenty-first birthday.
That all? They shoulda caned the
bastard. Like they did that kid
in Singapore. Remember?
President of Singapore had a few
choice words. Use to have it
memorized... He said something
like, 'When a state of increasing
disorder and defiance cannot be
checked by the rules... then new
and sometimes drastic rules have
to be forged to maintain order.'
'The alternative is to surrender
order to chaos and anarchy.'
So why do you still teach?
Same reason as you, Garfield -- for
36 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (SIXTH PERIOD; NEXT DAY) 36
The windows and blinds are shut now.
37 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CLOCK ON WALL - CONTINUOUS ACTION 37
is inching toward the top of the hour.
Closing their books and loading their knapsacks, the
students talk and pay more attention to the inexorable
march of time than to Trevor writing on an overhead
Okay, someone tell me the
difference between the central
nervous system and the lymphatic
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 30.
37 CONTINUED: 37
Rita Nartinez (the chola from the "utility" shed) sits
near the front of the class. She wears her usual heavy
eyeliner and a new nose ring.
Mr. G, you gotta nice butt.
Class erupts. Rita enjoys the attention. Trevor turns
and looks at her squarely.
You seem to be an expert on
anatomy, Miss --
-- Nartinez. Central nervous
system and lymphatic system.
What's the difference?
Trevor doesn't expect anything remotely close to the
It's like the central nervous
system, that's your brain and
spinal cord, and the lymphatic
system, that's the stuff in your
blood that fights diseases.
A beat. Trevor looks up at her.
Trevor notices Cesar Sanchez writing on his desk. Stevie
cranes his neck to observe. Paco snoozes.
Cesar throws back his head and jerks both hands from his
desk top. Trevor walks up the aisle.
You writing on your desk?
37 CONTINUED: (2) 37
You see anything in my hands?
I don't think so.
Trevor looks down at the tagging on Cesar's desktop. In
one corner are the letters K-O-S, and below that the word
K-O-S, what's that? That a
Cesar shrugs with a big grin.
Cartoon... Is that you, Cesar?
(off no response)
'K-O-S' has something to do with
your friend Benny?
... Dawg. You're a sucker. K-O-S
stands for 'Kappin' Off Suckers.'
Don't disrespect my homeboy, Benny.
He don't like it. He don't like
Trevor dismisses Cesar's comments.
Do me a favor, Cesar. Go get a
paper towel from the counter and
wipe off your desk.
And Mr. Littleton, please oblige
me and turn that tagger shirt
Stevie wears a fusion T-shirt emblazoned with a giant
Hyland said it was okay, Sucker.
Neither of them budge. Momentous deliberation. Now the
BELL RINGS and the classroom empties in a matter of
seconds. Cesar stares daggers at Trevor as he exits.
Rita hangs back, the last one to leave. She doesn't want
anyone to see her talking to Trevor.
37 CONTINUED: (3) 37
Don't pay no attention to them.
They jus' tryin' tuh fuck wit'
you, Mr. G. I mean play wit' you.
Sorry I said you had a nice ass.
(a pensive beat)
... Apology accepted.
(in her own defense)
I ain't no school girl.
God forbid anyone should think
Rita flickers an awkward smile, turns and exits. The
class empties and Trevor is left staring at the empty desks
where Benny and Cesar sat... WHACK -- Trevor's reverie is
broken by a BASKETBALL smashing against the side of the
POV - OUT THE WINDOW
A group of boys grin mischieviously at the reaction they
get from Trevor... continue smashing the ball against
shifts his gaze from them to the venetian blinds framing
the window... to the clock over his desk.
38 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CLOSE ON VENETIAN BLINDS - LATER 38
as they open -- revealing the clock -- and just as
suddenly close. TILT DOWN to find Trevor working the
cords to the blinds he's rigged over the timeplace.
A FAINT KNOCK breaks his spell as he glances up to
discover Ellen Henry standing in the open doorway.
May I come in?
38 CONTINUED: 38
(points at her)
He sees her looking quizzically at the blinds he's rigged
over the clock.
I'm making time a reward instead
of a distraction.
Impressed, Ellen peruses the room now with a benign gaze.
Clever... Listen, I wanted to
apologize for jumping up like I
did at lunch. I was just feeling
a little weird...
For what it's worth, Dave
Childress thinks you walk on
Is that a good thing?
Ellen flickers a grin, point taken.
I think it takes a lot of
courage to go back into a
classroom after something like
Not if the only thing you ever
wanted to do was teach.
Now you see, there's our
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 34.
38 CONTINUED: (2) 38
WHACK -- the noise pulls Ellen's attention out the
window where the boys play a rough game of BASKETBALL.
I assume you've met Benny Chacon?
Last week Benny and his tagging
crew had Ms. Eskander pinned in
the corner over there.
... She's seven months pregnant
and he's tormenting her with a
broom handle... Can I help you
Trevor is trying to put some books on an upper shelf,
but he's having trouble raising his arm high enough.
Ellen sees he's in pain.
She watches him struggle, then breaks the awkwardness.
So anyway, Gloria kicks Benny...
and if the district construes it
as assault and battery on a
student, she's gone.
They'd do that?
In a heart beat. She's non-
tenured, they don't want to get
Don't be surprised if she files
for stress leave by the end of
the week. Too bad, too. She's a
WHACK... WHACK... Outside, the kids continue to play.
The late sun makes their violent shadows swarm over Ellen.
Can I ask you a personal question?
38 CONTINUED: (3) 38
Trevor glances up. Here's what she really wants to
Why'd that kid attack you?
Because I flunked him.
Is there any way you can see
something like that coming?
When they say they wanna kill you,
you'd best take it serious. This
kid was an O.T. -- Opportunity
Transfer -- but nobody told me
until it was too late.
Did you know Benny's an O.T.?...
In less than a year he's been
convicted of felony assault and
suspended twice. I even testified
against him as a character witness.
Now I get to see him every day in
homeroom. I'm stuck with him.
Condition of his probation is
that he stay in school.
You talk to the principal?
Many times... Three weeks ago,
Garcia calls Benny's mother in for
a conference, but she refuses to
show up. She's afraid they'll
deport her because she's illegal.
So she contacts the A.C.L.U. and
some attorney tells her she
doesn't have to come in.
Garcia got cold feet and dropped
the whole thing.
This kid's threatening me and all
he's worried about is a lawsuit.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 36.
38 CONTINUED: (4) 38
What'd Benny say to you?
Tears involuntarily well up in Ellen's eyes. HOLD for
an awkward moment as she collects herself.
That he wanted to hurt me. Real
Does he know where you live?
I think so. Someone's been phoning
me at night and hanging up... Two
weeks ago, my car was broken into...
And last Friday, I think he was
inside my house... But I can't
The shadows of the basketball players rage inside the
(bottom lip quivers)
... I don't know what to do.
You can quit.
OFF Trevor's severe gaze...
39 EXT. LA RIVER OVERPASS - NIGHT 39
... Trace the cold underbelly of the overpass. The glare
of oncoming headlights flash overhead as we DISCOVER a
... The wall is completely covered with graffiti. The
centerpiece of the wall is a 5' by 10' multi-color
"placa" that reads...
ANGLING TO DISCOVER an Anglo tagger now as he defaces
the "S" in K-O-S, covering it with his own piece.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 37.
39 CONTINUED: 39
Suddenly the lone tagger feels a presence at his back.
He freezes. Now slowly turns to see...
... Benny, Cesar and Paco.
Merely shadows. Benny lights a blunt, illuminating his
face. Passes it to Cesar...
Do I know you?
You should. You're fuckin' with
my piece, puto.
... You from K.O.S.? No shit?
Cesar and Paco burst into hysterical laughter which
only manages to get Benny piqued.
Look, I didn't mean nothin'. Lemme
fix it. I can fix it. Okay?
Cesar and Paco laugh harder.
Eh, shut up, mojado!
(to Tagger now)
Don't mess wit' me, whiteboy. I'll
cap yer ass.
He pulls a .380 or a .25 automatic out of his pocket.
Brandishes it at Cesar and Paco...
I said shut up! Shut the fuck up!
A BEEPER hooked on Benny's pants pocket BEEPS. Benny
shuts it off. The Tagger sees his opportunity and makes
a break for it. Without a second thought, Benny SHOOTS
him in the leg. Tagger crumbles to the ground. Benny's
really pissed now. Checks his beeper's glow-in-the-dark
face for the message.
(reacting to message)
I don't have no time to put up
wit' 'dis shit!
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 38.
39 CONTINUED: (2) 39
Cesar and Paco attempt to subdue their laughter but
You think it's funny?!
Benny lifts a pant leg. Indicates his ankle monitor with
the barrel of his gun.
I don't call my P.O. in 15
minutes, I'm fucked.
Venting rage, Benny walks up the wounded Tagger and
STARTS SHOOTING (one hand high near his face, shooting
downward). Now he kisses the crucifix on his rosary like
a sick, distorted affectation.
Dis is K.O.S.' neighborhood.
Cesar and Paco laugh even harder now, falling all
over each other. Benny storms off. He marches past a
street lamp and is swallowed up by the night.
40 EXT. L.A. RIVER - NIGHT 40
SUBJECT CAMERA FOLLOWING Benny. Oblivious that he's
being followed, Benny walks at a steady pace. As we
continue gaining ground on him, a SOUND UPCUT of
TREVOR CALLING ROLL transports us to...
41 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - ON BENNY'S EMPTY DESK - NEXT MORNING 41
Amid unresponsive cross talk:
Sergio Arrellano... Blanca
Orantes... Andrew Blackwell...
Benny's not here.
Trevor gazes opaquely at Benny's empty seat.
I think he went AWOL, Mr. G.
42 EXT. VACANT DIRT LOT - AFTERNOON 42
An eight-year-old Hispanic kid pulls a red Flexi-Flyer
wagon (laden with pop bottles and aluminum cans) across
weeds and cracked earth.
He suddenly stops and stares at something in the weeds.
Snatches it up, studies it, and tosses it with everything
SLOWLY MOVING IN ON the wagon now...
... thru a thin shroud of dust as it bangs and bumps
Even CLOSER now on the last retrieved article... It's
Benny's ankle monitor.
43 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - 43
DAY (FIFTH PERIOD)
Trevor emerges from Assistant Principal Ford's office and
walks up the empty corridor, without breaking stride.
Trevor retraces his steps back to the door of Ellen's
plant-filled, personalized computer lab. Over the
CLACKING of COMPUTER KEYS...
Eskander filed for stress leave.
They want me to finish out the
It's only 'til the end of the
Listen, I never thanked you
for letting me cry on your
Trevor flickers a conciliatory nod, now he averts his
43 CONTINUED: 43
Hey, have you seen Benny lately?
(as Trevor shrugs)
Ford told me he hasn't phoned
his P.O. in four days.
You know what they say. Be
careful what you pray for. Don't
get me wrong, Benny's made my life
a living hell. I even moved back
in with my mother because of him.
I love my mother, but if I eat one
more dinner off a TV tray or watch
one more rerun of 'Wheel of
Fortune,' I think I'll lose my
Now an EGG TIMER RINGS O.S. on Ellen's desk. Back into
Time's up. Everyone stop working.
Realizing now that all the CLACKING COMPUTER KEYS have
stopped moments ago. All eyes are fixed on Ellen and
... Big knowing grins all around.
44 OMITTED 44
45 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - EVENING 45
Balmy and still.
ON bug zapper above garage, a churning, SLOW MOTION
swarm of bugs repeatedly throw themselves headlong into
46 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 46
MUSIC plays faintly on the STEREO. Numerous artifacts
occupy the bookshelves. A primitive AFRICAN MASAI BOW
(with two arrows) is mounted on a wall.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 41.
46 CONTINUED: 46
Trevor, tie loosened. Ellen, in nylon stocking feet,
leaning back against a couch. On the coffee table before
them are dirty dishes and half-full wine glasses.
Trevor's lost in a thin introspective smile.
(breaks the silence)
... So you have a wife hiding in a
No. No wife.
Don't you ever get lonely?
Trevor considers the question.
Sometimes. There's this passage
in God's Lonely Man by Thomas
Wolfe where he says, '... The
whole conviction of my life rests
upon the belief that loneliness is
the central and inevitable fact of
human existence.' I believe that.
God that's depressing.
They both laugh.
... My New York mentality.
It's not always easy looking on
the bright side.
Especially after spending a year
in and out of a hospital, I
Actually, that wasn't the toughest
part -- it's the robbery that's
been hardest to recover from.
(didn't know about this)
What'd they steal?
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 42.
46 CONTINUED: (2) 46
My passion. My old, unguarded
self. I resent that. I want them
He offers a smile. Ellen returns it.
They're still there. Everybody
around me seems to have given up.
They're all so beaten down. But
you're different. You refuse to
So do you.
Kindred souls. Ellen fills her glass.
Remember the last time a student
You mean where a light goes on?
Yeah. Where the kid surpasses all
... Been awhile. So few you can
actually get through to... You?
... That would have to be Daniel
Terrazas. This was last year
sometime. Kid was failing miserably
... But he was the best Salsa dancer
in the whole school.
So I made 'im a deal. Tutoring in
exchange for Salsa lessons.
Saw it... Jerry Springer.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 43.
46 CONTINUED: (3) 46
No, no. He was a perfect
Male teachers can't do things like
that. They get arrested.
Yep, double standard... By the way,
did you know Cesar Sanchez was
(as Trevor shakes
Yep, he never should've been
mainstreamed. His I.E.P. says he's
L.H. but he acts more like S.E.D.
Severely Emotionally Disturbed...
A beat. Then Ellen gets up, wine glass balanced in her
Come on, Garfield -- on your feet.
Lemme teach you how to Salsa.
No, no, I'm no good at that.
Ellen spins the tuner on the STEREO to a LATIN STATION
and practically yanks Trevor to his feet.
Let's go. Don't play shy with me,
Trevor grimaces, awkwardly relinquishes, as Ellen walks
him through it.
(still holding wine
That's it... Okay, follow me. It
starts on the one. Step forward
with your left foot... One. Change
weight on, two.
46 CONTINUED: (4) 46
And three, feet
back together... Now do the same
in reverse, starting with your
(talks their way
One, two, three... One, two
Trevor concentrates. Up to speed now. Technically he's
got it, he just needs to loosen up. Ellen suppresses a
gleeful snicker. Now, Trevor attempts to cut loose.
He spins Ellen once, into a tango step, one-two-three.
Now an awkward dip, causing her glass to spill wine down
the back of his shirt...
Oh, my God... your shirt. Oh, no,
I'm so sorry.
He dashes toward the hallway bathroom.
Can I help?
Grab the baking soda outta the
In a flurry, Ellen rushes into the kitchen. Flips on the
kitchen light, jerks open the refrigerator and locates
the baking soda.
FOLLOWING now, as she MOVES STEADILY FROM the kitchen TO
the hallway bathroom...
47 OMITTED 47
48 INT. TREVOR'S - HALLWAY/BATHROOM 48
as Ellen steps into the doorway and lets out a startled
gasp, dropping the box of baking soda.
Trevor is bent over, scrubbing his shirt in the sink.
His bare back and shoulders are scattered with brutal
49 EXT. MOTHER HENRY'S - AFTER MIDNIGHT 49
A tract house in the central San Fernando Valley.
Trevor's Rambler is parked at the curb. The house is dark
except for a porch light.
Trevor and Ellen are greeted by Ellen's golden retriever
Jack, who's chained to the front porch. JACK WHIMPERS,
ready to bark.
Don't start barking, Jack.
Hey there, boy. You're a good
dog. Yes, you are.
Jack nuzzles up to Trevor, tail wagging furiously, no
barking. Now Trevor stands and faces Ellen...
Sorry for reacting the way I did
Don't apologize. That's how most
Didn't scare me. It just
... Thanks for dinner. I had a
Awkward silence. Trevor struggles with the urge to kiss
her good night. They look at each other timidly for a
moment. Now he moves to kiss her and she inadvertently
adjusts her stance. The result is a kiss that doesn't
quite hit her mouth. It's an awkward moment. Ellen
feels horrible for him, desperately picks up a strange
little plant by her feet.
Here... you need a little life in
that place of yours.
Trevor takes it, smiles "thanks"...
... Good night.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 46.
49 CONTINUED: 49
... turns and starts toward his car...
50 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - AROUND 2 AM 50
In the moonlit darkness. Trevor's abandoned bed. The
sheets are twisted and damp. We TILT UP to see a digital
clock at bedside reading 2:49 AM, and Trevor's sweat-
panted figure moving down the hall in b.g.
51 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LOW ANGLE - TREVOR - NIGHT 51
madly pedaling TOWARD us on a bike. He wears running
shoes, shorts and a Morehouse College sweat shirt and his
face is contorted from the effort. He wipes sweat from
his head, takes a gasping hit from his inhaler as CAMERA
CRANES UP to reveal Trevor on a stationary bike in the
back yard of his house, rapidly going nowhere.
52 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE 52
His sleepless night continues. Planted at his desk.
Trevor corrects a stack of science papers, like a fervent
prayer. Sun peeks through the window above his desk.
52A OVER SUBURBAN CLUTTER - RISING SUN - ESTABLISHING 52A
Then burning out to white.
52B EXT. TREVOR'S BUNGALOW - DAY 52B
Shimmering in heat waves.
53 INT. TREVOR'S BUNGALOW - DAY 53
It's sweltering. A single fan stirs the air.
Amidst growing disorder, Trevor stands behind the front
counter. AGENDA is written on the overhead as he
flips through pages of a physical science text book.
Rita's out of her seat, feeding the caged, white lab rat.
53 CONTINUED: 53
Cesar, with sunglasses and typical disregard, holds court
in the back of the room. He and Stevie are high.
Trevor eyes them, finds what he was looking for in the
Since some of you seem to have an
interest in anesthetics, I've
prepared a little demonstration.
Glances over at Rita now. Checks the wall clock.
Rita, bring your friend in the
cage over here, please.
Bringing the cage over...
His name's Snowball. Like 'dat
lil' pig dude from Animal Farm.
You've read Animal Farm?
(above the din)
(snapping a look)
Shut up, Cesar.
You read Animal Farm, Cesar?
No, but I fucked a sheep.
Stevie and Paco love it.
Cesar, come up here.
I want you to have a front row
seat for this.
Surprisingly, Cesar does what he's told as Trevor removes
an old pocket watch from his briefcase and sets it next
to Snowball's cage...
53 CONTINUED: (2) 53
And remove the 'lokes.'
Cesar removes his dark glasses. His eyes are bloodshot
Why your eyes so red?
Mus' be pink-eye, sir.
(eyes Trevor's pocket
Nice watch, homes. Can I have it?
Disregarding Cesar, Trevor opens a drawer and removes two
latex surgical gloves from a cardboard box. He puts on
the gloves and selects a petri dish from another drawer.
Rita, would you bring me a sugar
cube from the shelf over there?
She does. Trevor now removes a small amber bottle
(with an eye-dropper top) from his briefcase. The
class starts to settle down now as Trevor pre-measures
water in a pipette and adds it to the petri dish.
(referring to text)
Cesar, read Young's rule for us.
Page 564. At the top.
(like it's above him)
I ain't gonna read 'dat shit.
Rita, give Cesar your book. Let
Rita places her book on Cesar's desk.
Jeers from the class, "Come on, read". "Hurry up,
53 CONTINUED: (3) 53
'Young's rule...' Go on.
Rita points to the passage in the book. Cesar slaps her
... Chunt. (Choont.)
Touch her again, Cesar, and you'll
answer to me personally.
Rita knits her eyebrows at Trevor. Cesar laughs.
You like her, Mr. G?
Settle down, everyone. We all
have to learn how to forgive and
get along. C'mon, Cesar, read.
At first Cesar doesn't budge. Now grudgingly he looks
down at the book...
(attempting to read)
... Young's rule... ff... fo...
Cesar heaves the book across the room: Class erupts,
"Refer 'im," "Send 'im tuh Hyland." Trevor walks over
and picks up the book. Class now settles. Watches
Trevor closely to see what he's going to do. Trevor
gazes at Cesar...
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 50.
53 CONTINUED: (4) 53
... I say everyone deserves another
chance. Whadda you say, Cesar?
Cesar knits his eyebrows, puzzled. Now Trevor walks over
and sets the textbook down in front of Rita...
Rita, would you please read Young's
rule for me?
... 'Young's rule formulates
proper dosage levels for children
Resume the lesson now. Trevor indicates the amber bottle...
... In the brown bottle I have a
prescription for liquid Demeral.
Where'd that come from, sir?
Cesar grudgingly watches as Trevor places a measured drop
of the liquid demeral into the petri dish and stirs the
Demeral is a morphine sulphate...
and is soluble in water.
Using the pipette, Trevor administers two drops of the
demeral and water solution to the sugar cube, which he
has placed inside Snowball's cage. As Snowball eats the
Young's rule says, divide the age
of the patient by the patient's
age plus twelve, giving us the
fraction of the adult dosage
suitable for the patient.
53 CONTINUED: 53
In Snowball's case, I've
calculated the dosage necessary
to tranquilize a one-year-old
child... then further divided
that fraction by 30, based on his
weight, to arrive at .002
Having eaten most of the sugar cube, Snowball is rendered
... Don't worry, he'll be back to
normal in exactly 10 minutes.
Trevor peers at his pocket watch.
54 INSERT - FULL SCREEN - TREVOR'S POCKET WATCH 54
The hour and minute hands read 2:40. HOLD as we...
TIME DISSOLVE TO:
55 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - TEN MINUTES LATER 55
Trevor's pocket watch now reads 2:50...
... He shoulda woke up by now?
Snowball isn't moving. HOLD for an uncomfortably long
moment ON the class, clustered around Trevor's desk.
The class, for once, is completely silent. Beads of
perspiration form on Trevor's upper lip as he
resolutely watches the sleeping rat.
You just caught a murder case,
Now Snowball begins to stir and the class reacts with
scattered applause. A thin smile flickers across
Trevor's face. As the BELL RINGS....
Okay, anyone who didn't finish
answering the questions on 246,
finish them for homework.
55 CONTINUED: 55
As students head for the doors, he pulls off his latex
gloves and looks for his pocket watch... but it's gone.
Hold it, Cesar.
Cesar and Stevie are almost out the door.
Where's my watch?
Hey, I gotta go. I ain't got no
Empty your pockets, both of you.
Want me to break it down to you?
I gotta catch a bus.
Cesar heads out the door.
56 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - MOMENTS LATER 56
Trevor locks bungalow #86, picks up his briefcase, and
along with the rest of the foot traffic, heads in the
direction of the "A" building.
57 EXT. JQA - ON EDGE OF BUNGALOWS 57
As Trevor rounds a corner and runs smack into Ellen on
the opposite side of a chain link fence.
Sorry. I'm trying to catch Hyland
before he leaves.
Trevor keeps moving.
I've been meaning to come by your
(keeping it light)
... It's almost been a week. My
guess is you're avoiding me.
57 CONTINUED: 57
Trevor's tongue-tied. Now he removes the Proventil
inhaler from his pocket, take an innocuous hit.
Trevor nods, sustains an awkward smile.
Has nothing to do with you, Ellen.
It's... hard for me...
A struggle, fighting against his true feelings...
Pretty much been like that
since... you know, my accident.
Has nothing to do with you.
Is it because I'm white?
Trevor stares into her eyes, a soulful, searching gaze.
Now he averts a self-conscious look.
We can still be friends. Just don't
Trevor just looks at her. Nods, somewhat bewildered.
(back to lighter note)
Now, can I ask you a favor? After
you're done with Hyland, can you
give me a ride to my car? It's at
the mechanics, about five or six
blocks up Lankershim. If you can't,
it's okay, I can walk.
(a little embarrassed)
... I think I can manage that.
Victor Sifuentes approaches now.
Que paso, Victor?
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 54.
57 CONTINUED: 57
Base three to base one. 'Found
As their paths converge and they stop, face to face...
Mr. Garcia would like to speak
with you in his office.
OFF Trevor's puzzled look...
58 OMITTED 58
59 INT. PRINCIPAL GARCIA'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON 59
A wall air conditioner...
blows on Stevie and Cesar's sweaty backs. Trevor enters,
shirt equally drenched in sweat. The dead silence is
like that of a courtroom. MR. GARCIA, late forties,
drawn, sits behind his desk...
MR. HYLAND, stands in the outer office behind a glass
partition, head lowered. Hyland flashes Trevor a
defeated smile as we...
Trevor coolly deciphers the situation.
Garcia reaches down, switches on a portable tape recorder.
You don't mind if I tape record
our conversation. Matter of
record. You understand.
Of course, you know Mr. Hyland.
Trevor weighs the situation. Nods.
Am I being questioned?
Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Littleton tell
me you've accused them of stealing
your watch. If that's the case, I
need to address the accusation.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 55.
59 CONTINUED: 59
... For the record, I primarily
suspect Mr. Sanchez. Although I
wouldn't be surprised if Stevie
was an accomplice.
(glances over at
Cesar and Stevie)
Beginning of sixth period, Cesar
admired the watch. I believe his
exact words were, 'Can I have it?'
(looks back to Garcia)
Either way, I'd like my watch back.
When I asked him to empty his
pockets, Cesar refused.
Is that true, Mr. Sanchez?
No way. He never asked me nothin'
like that! I don't go 'round
taxing no teachers...
Okay. Calm down.
With fervor now, Cesar turns his pockets inside out,
emptying the contents (house keys and two dollars in
change) onto Garcia's desk.
... I ain't got no watch, man.
Mr. Littleton, may we see your
Stevie empties his pockets now. Nothing but a twenty
dollar bill and an empty pack of Marlboros.
Trevor just stares at him.
I'd like a locker search, please.
Garcia hesitates, now looks to Cesar and Stevie...
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 56.
59 CONTINUED: 59
You're excused, gentlemen. Take
your things. Thank you.
The boys collect their belongings off Garcia's desk and
shoot looks at Trevor as they exit. Now Garcia turns
back to Trevor...
... Let me try and explain
something. I try and think of
our students here at John Quincy
Adams like they're my clients.
I can't accuse anybody just on
your hunches. I need more than
that. I need facts.
(looking at Hyland)
I won't have another law suit like
we did with that Blackwell case.
(now to Trevor)
Boy's mother spent $400 that she
couldn't afford on new clothes for
her son. Unfortunately we
considered the clothing gang
attire and sent the boy home.
That cost the district a quarter
of a million dollars.
So I want you to be straight with
me, Mr. Garfield. Did you
physically see Cesar take your
No, I didn't...
Do you have any witnesses who saw
him take it?
Unless there's reasonable cause to
show that Cesar, or Mr. Littleton
took your watch then I can't
authorize a locker search. I'm
sorry. Any concerns regarding my
decision, you can look up in the
handbook. It's section 628.1 of
the Education Code.
59 CONTINUED: 59
That was my grandfather's watch.
Can't you see what they're doing?
Weren't you ever a teacher?
Afraid I never had the privilege.
Teaching and being a principal
don't necessarily go hand in hand,
OFF Trevor's defeated gaze...
60 EXT. GARCIA'S OFFICE - MAIN CORRIDOR - AFTERNOON 60
As Trevor and Hyland emerge from Garcia's office and walk
steadily up the empty corridor...
Is it me or is Garcia a real
Trevor doesn't respond, lost in thought.
I've been thinking about
videotaping my classes.
... Yeah, well, here's some free
advice. Cover your ass.
Trevor slides him a glance. They stop in front of
Hyland's office door. He unlocks the door with a key...
If Garcia asks, your main purpose
is to observe you, not the
students. Excuse me, I mean his
PHONE RINGS as they enter...
61 INT. HYLAND'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON 61
Some gangbanger might think we're
violating his civil rights...
Trevor weighs it as Hyland picks up the phone...
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 58.
61 CONTINUED: 61
Signals Trevor to take a seat.
Sorry, Iris. Completely forgot.
INTERCUT Trevor as his eyes idly fix on an index card
box (on Hyland's desk) labeled, "LOCKER COMBINATIONS."
Hyland hangs up.
Yuh have a minute? Wanna talk to
you about our discipline committee.
Gotta run up to the office real
Trevor shifts his gaze back to Hyland.
Yeah, fine, go ahead. I'll wait.
Hyland rushes out and Trevor glances back at the index
box. Momentous deliberation. Now he reaches over and
carefully opens the small tin box. Methodically now, he
flips through the file cards until he finds Cesar
Sanchez's locker combination. Trevor's eyes scanning
the information on the locker combination card. LOCKER
#204. Combination sequence...08-24-53.
62 EXT. TRAFFIC SIGNAL - AFTERNOON 62
Trevor's Rambler, with Ellen in the passenger seat, stops
at a large intersection.
63 INT./EXT RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS ACTION 63
... I have to fly up there for a
Day after tomorrow.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 59.
63 CONTINUED: 63
As Trevor gets distracted by something he sees...
Never been to San Francisco.
64 EXT. RITA'S BUS STOP - TREVOR'S POV 64
At a right angle to Lankershim, down Magnolia Blvd., Rita
Nartinez sits alone on a bus stop bench.
Oh, you should go sometime,
Trevor. I think you'd like it.
Really. It's only an hour by air.
Maybe five or six by car.
Completely different attitude
from L.A. Much more like a real
city... like Chicago or New
As Ellen continues talking we see a lowered blue Nissan
mini-truck (with matching shell) pull up next to the bus
stop. A cholo from the utility shed hangs out the
passenger window and taunts Rita. Rita immediately
stands and walks back down Magnolia.
The mini-truck follows her in reverse. Rita halts and
begins ranting at the cholo, waving her arms all around.
Now she stomps away and the mini-truck drives away with a
... Only problem is I hate to
leave Jack with my mother for any
extended period of time. I'm
afraid she'll forget to feed him
and he'll starve to death.
65 INT. TREVOR'S RAMBLER 65
INTERCUT Trevor's distracted gaze.
If you want, I'll take care of
I can't ask you to do that.
(straight at Ellen now)
Sure you can.
66 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (NEXT DAY; FIFTH PERIOD) 66
Trevor's conference period. He stands atop a ladder in
the front of the room, drilling holes in the wall for a
jerry-rigged camera mount. As he climbs down, Rita
enters. Paces back and forth, wringing a clenched spiral
notebook, English Comp. essay tucked inside...
... Aren't you supposed to be at
P.E. fifth period?
(rants; kicks a desk)
... Sunland Boyz gettin' crazy,
ol lady's... fucked up. Fuck dis
being down shit. I wanna do
somethin' wit' my life.
A POLAROID PHOTO drops out of her notebook. Trevor
reaches down and scoops it up.
INSERT - POLAROID PHOTO/DEAD GANG MEMBER IN CASKET
Puppet... a young 16-year-old cholo, dressed in gang
colors, laid out in an open casket.
Now as he hands the photo back to Rita.
... You know this guy?
Rita takes the photo back. She doesn't want to talk
begins to cry)
'Gotta make J-C next year. 'Got
to! I ain't never gonna get up
Rita, slow down.
'Dat bitch Quinn, I'm 'onna sue
her ass. 'Swear tuh God...
Okay, okay. Calm down a second.
66 CONTINUED: 66
Rita collapses into a desk.
Who's Quinn? What's she teach?
English Comp. She's failin' me.
Trevor tentatively picks up Rita's essay (branded with a
big red "F") and begins reading it.
'Bitch say I don't talk right.
Trevor scrutinizes her with a glance. Now back to Rita's
She hates me. She's racist
Trevor sets the essay down on Rita's desk. Regards her
with genuine candor...
Just cause you're a Latina doesn't
mean everyone's racist against
Hey, I'm a La Raza, prof-eh.
Okay... just stop blaming everyone
else. You're too smart for that.
(as Rita's rocked
And every mistake in that essay is
fixable, okay? So relax, it's not
the end of the world.
Rita collects herself, wipes the streaks of mascara
running down her cheeks with her sleeve. Trevor studies
her for a moment.
(points to counter)
Tissues are in the first drawer.
Rita pulls herself together and walks over to the island
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 62.
66 CONTINUED: 66
How come you always wear so much
... To make me pretty.
You don't need it.
She grabs a handful of tissues, dabs at her smeared
mascara. Now her hair falls forward, exposing the back
of her neck... and a tattoo that reads "Puppet" in
a scrawling signature. She tosses her hair back and it
That your name?
He indicates the back of her neck.
(with fervor and
It's a gang thing. But I'm
kickin' dat shit... Jus' cuz I look
down for my neighborhood don't
mean I'm stupit.
I know you're not.
She inserts her "failed" essay inside the rolled-up
The ideas in your essay aren't the
problem, Rita. It's your
punctuation and grammar.
They need work. Am I lying?
(as Rita shrugs)
If you want help I'm here for you.
... I dunno.
66 CONTINUED: 66
Have to be in the library after
(shaking her head)
... Somebody could see us.
All right then, I'll come to your
No... No way.
Where then? You name the place.
The passing BELL for 6th period RINGS. OFF Rita's torn
67 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - ON VIDEO CAMERA - SHORT WHILE LATER 67
... fully mounted now on the wall above the blackboard.
Every eye in the class is riveted on the camera. SETTLE
ON Cesar and Stevie seated in the back of the bungalow.
OFF their malignant stares...
Dog, you invadin' my privacy.
Cesar, would you come up here
Leveling a hard look, Cesar swaggers up to the island
Rita watches, a bated gaze, from her seat.
Trevor motions for him to come around behind the counter.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 64.
67 CONTINUED: 67
Now Trevor removes his grandfather's pocket watch from
his briefcase and furtively dangles it for Cesar to
Since you were so concerned, I
though you might like to know... I
found my watch.
Cesar glares at the watch, looks up at the video
... You broke into my locker.
Dat's a serious felony, prof-eh.
You caught a case for sure now.
Whadda yuh propose to do, Cesar?
(as Cesar weighs it)
Whadda yuh gonna tell 'im? That I
broke into your locker to steal
back the watch you denied taking?
I don't think so. I'd say we're
even now, wouldn't you, Cesar?
No, I'd say we're just getting
Cesar walks out. Trevor smiles innocuously. At a
stalemate now. You can hear a pin drop. Suddenly
the CRIES of an E.N.A.B.L. BABY break the palpable
68 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - 4 P.M. 68
... Trevor's Rambler is parked out front.
69 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 69
A stilted Rita, planted on the couch. Wearing less
makeup than usual.
Her notebook and pens are laid out on the coffee table
along with an old English grammar textbook. Trevor
stands in the kitchen doorway...
69 CONTINUED: 69
Want something to drink? We have
Coke, Fanta or Sprite...
... Coke's awright.
OFF Trevor's mollifying nod...
70 INT. TREVOR'S KITCHEN - TREVOR 70
A moment of self-examination as he pours a glass of Coke
(to Rita offstage)
'Want you to know, you're not the
only one risking a reputation
here. Normally I don't tutor
students at my house.
(adds ice cubes)
Rita, maybe you can clear
something up. Can you explain
to me what machismo is all about?
Cuz this whole respect/code of
honor thing baffles me.
71 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM 71
as Trevor approaches the couch, eyes focused on Rita's
Ask yourself this question. Is
pride really that important?
Now he looks up and freezes. Quickly turns away.
Rita, lying on the couch, completely naked. Not sexual in
the least. More like a distorted offering. Or a patient,
placidly waiting for her doctor.
Put your clothes on, Rita.
An awkward moment. Chagrin becomes repressed sobs as
Rita picks up her pile of clothes off the floor and gets
dressed. This is one fucked-up little girl.
71 CONTINUED: 71
No harm done... Don't cry now.
Fully dressed again, remotely staring, Rita holds back
tears. Trevor sits down on the couch next to her. Opens
Why don't you go ahead and copy
the first rule there for the verb
'to be.' Can you do that for me?
(hiccups a sob)
I jus' wan'ed to thank you.
You don't have to thank me, I'm
Rita opens her notebook and begins to copy the rule. She
wipes at the tears with the sleeve of her baggy sweat
shirt. Trevor resists the urge to comfort her.
... From now on I think the best
thing for us to do is meet in the
72 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - THAT EVENING (MAGIC HOUR) 72
Trevor kneels at the foot of his bed. Fully dressed,
shirt and loosened tie. Glimpses up at the crucifix on
the wall. Bows his head again...
... I'll try.
73 EXT. BLYTHE STREET PROJECTS - EVENING 73
BOOMING DOWN FROM the Blythe St. sign...
A cement barricade covered in graffiti chokes off street
... Crack dealers and gangbangers freely wander the rows
of clapboard tenements, kids throwing sneakers, bangers
drinking from glass bottles.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 67.
73 CONTINUED: 73
Now apartment 105 (Cesar Sanchez's).
MOVING IN ON the MUTED sounds of an ARGUMENT (in Spanish).
74 INT. APARTMENT 105 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 74
Dingy. Yellowing walls. Cesar and his mother continue
their arguing as Cesar watches first the "Animaniacs" and
switches channels to "The Deer Hunter," while his BABY
SISTER CRIES in her high chair.
MRS. SANCHEZ is older looking than her thirty-four years.
Clutching her purse...
MRS. SANCHEZ *
(on the verge (subtitles... You stay
of tears) out of my
... Deja mis cosas, Cesar. things, Cesar. You hear
Me oyes? Ese dinero es me? That money puts
para poner comida en el food on your baby
plato de tu hermanita. sister's plate.
Cesar yells at his SISTER to stop CRYING...
CESAR (subtitlesshut up,
Callate el osico, Rosillo! Rosillo!
(now to his mother)
Que? Me estas mandando? You tellin' me what to
Yo soy el hombre de esta do?! I'm the man in
casa! Enceneme respeto! this house! you show me
MRS. SANCHEZ (subtitlesIf you're the *
Pues si eres tan hombre, man then
ve busca trabajo. Para go get a job. Take care
que mantengas a tu madre y of your mother and
hermanita y no tenga que sister. Don't rob from
robar de mi bolsa. my purse.)
In a rage, Cesar digs into his pocket and throws twenty
dollars in his mother's face. She cowers.
CESAR (subtitlesHere, I don't
Tenga, no nesecito su need your
pinche, apestoso dinero! stinkin' money!)
They're interrupted by a KNOCK at the front door.
I ain't getting it. You get it.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 68.
74 CONTINUED: 74
Cesar plops down on an old worn out recliner and goes
back to watching "Animaniacs" on the TELEVISION.
ROSILLO STOPS her CRYING and Mrs. Sanchez carefully
gathers the money scattered at her feet.
75 INT. APARTMENT 105 - FRONT DOOR 75
Behind the screen door, a silhouette fills the doorway.
MOVING IN ON CESAR.
He can faintly hear the O.S. conversation as he watches
MRS. SANCHEZ *
(O.S.) (subtitlesYes, who's
Si, quien es? there?)
TREVOR (O.S.) (subtitlesMrs. Sanchez?
Senora Sanchez? Soy el I'm Mr. *
senor Garfield, Profesor Garfield, Cesar's
de ciencia de Cesar. science teacher.
MRS. SANCHEZ (O.S.)
Cesar's stunned look lifts him from the recliner.
TREVOR (O.S.) (subtitlesI know it's
Se que es tarde. Ojala no late. Hope
este estorbando nada. I'm not disturbing
Me permite hablar con anything. May I speak
usted por un momento? with you a moment?
MRS. SANCHEZ (O.S.)
Entre, por favor.
76 INT. APARTMENT #105 - CESAR'S POV - TREVOR AND MRS. 76
PIVOTING now to see Trevor enter the front door.
Cesar glares with flint-hard eyes at Trevor.
Breaking his unrelenting stare, Cesar now squeezes past
Trevor and out the screen door, slamming it behind him.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 69.
77 INT. APARTMENT #105 - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER 77
Mrs. Sanchez cradles Rosillo in her lap.
MRS. SANCHEZ *
(beside herself) (subtitlesI don't know
No se que hacer, maestro. what to
El no hace caso. do, maestro. He doesn't
listen to me.)
ROSILLO begins to CRY again...
MRS. SANCHEZ (subtitlesGod, but there *
Perdona me Dios, pero hay are
veces que quisiera times I want to kill
Suppressing her emotions, she comforts her baby. Trevor
weighs a vacuous stare. Now he notices a bruise under Mrs.
Sanchez's hairline, above her left eye.
(indicating bruise) (subtitlesHow'd that
Como paso eso? Arriba del happen...
ojo? above your eye?)
Overcome with shame, she attempts to cover the bruise.
Nada... es nada.
78 EXT. BLYTHE STREET PROJECTS - EVENING 78
Steadfast and unflinching, Trevor beats a path back to
his car, parked outside the barricade. Cesar now appears
from nowhere. Carries a '40 ouncer' in a paper bag.
He's been drinking.
Puto! You lied to Benny. You
said you don't speak no Spanish!
No I didn't.
Enjoy hitting your mother, Cesar?
You must be proud of yourself.
78 CONTINUED: 78
A handful of gangbangers, drinking and loitering
around Trevor's car, sharpen their stares and listen
intently. Cesar grows nervous.
... He's lyin', man.
Fuckin' liar! Homeboy don't
never disrespec' his mother.
Never. You hear me, joto?!
Whatever you say, Cesar.
Trevor steps around the gangbangers and climbs into
I'll find out where you stay.
As the Rambler drives away Cesar heaves his 40 ouncer at
it. Shatters all over the pavement.
Valla ala chingada!
Cesar stands in the middle of the street, throwing hand
79 EXT. PARKING LOT/BUNGALOW #86 - NEXT MORNING 79
Trevor approaches, via the parking lot, through a gate in
a chain-link fence. ADJUST the ANGLE now to discover
first period students mobbing the open doorway of
'Scuse me. What's going on?
Lakesia, who opened the door?
It was like that when I got here.
80 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 80
Trevor squeezes through the doorway to find Dave Childress
pacing the bungalow, assessing the damage. VIDEO CAMERA
(AND HOUSING) are scattered in pieces all over the floor.
80 CONTINUED: 80
One of the windows is smashed-in. A serpentine trail of
BLACK SPRAY PAINT encircles the entire room. Provocative
epithets tag the walls... "Pinche madre", "Puto" and "Fuck
Whoever did this is gonna pay!
Better believe it, ese(s).
A curious stream of students fill the room now. Childress
vents his anger at them...
Get the hell outta here!
(to Armenian kid)
Barsek, don't touch anything,
And now Snowball... as Barsek discovers him... Lifeless.
Impaled by a pair of scissors on the front counter.
Oh, damn. Lookit the rat.
OFF Trevor's stricken gaze...
Childress snaps. He grabs Barsek by the throat. The
crowd scatters, students tripping over each other to get
out of the bungalow.
Think it's funny?! Huh?! Yuh
Trevor attempts to separate Childress from Barsek...
Dave! No! Let go of 'im!
D'you do this?!
80 CONTINUED: 80
Trevor pries them apart. Barsek crumbles to the floor,
gulping for air and scurrying out of the bungalow on his
hands and knees.
He didn't do anything. He's a
81 EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - MORNING (NUTRITION PERIOD) 81
ESTABLISHING the different student factions.
MUSIC, playing over a PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM, fills the
Trevor, now an interloper, crossing the senior lawn,
openly searching for Cesar.
Tag-bangers, a clique of eight or nine K.O.S. wanna-be(s).
Feature PACO (16) as they take quick hits off a blunt.
Now Cesar extinguishes the blunt with his fingertips and
hides it as Trevor wanders into their midst.
Been smokin' the chronic, Cesar?
I'm hooked on phonics... not
'hooked on chronic.'
Laughs all around.
You wouldn't happen t'know who
vandalized bungalow eighty-six
You guys know anything about that?
Sorry, maestro... nada.
81 CONTINUED: 81
Garcia may not think there's
enough here to prove anything.
But you and I both know who's
responsible. Don't we?
Whadda you, a narc? Seriously, I
don't know what the fuck you're
Trevor maintains his fervent demeanor. Now he notices
the ring on Cesar's right index finger.
INSERT - CESAR'S RING
emblazoned with a green marijuana leaf.
The ring, Cesar... lemme have it.
Cesar dramatically jerks back his finger.
Watch it, eh... that's my trigger
As Cesar, with purpose, aims an invisible gun at Trevor...
It's inappropriate attire...
... Are you finished?
Cesar starts to laugh. A crowd begins to gather.
What? Finished with what? Don't
get crazy on me, dude.
The boisterous crowd escalates... hoots and hollers.
After weighing the situation, Trevor exchanges palpable
looks with Cesar.
81 CONTINUED: 81
Now he reluctantly back-pedals, squeezing his way past
the wall of bodies pressed in behind him.
His departure across an empty lawn is accompanied by a
hail of "boos" and taunts.
82 EXT. BURBANK AIRPORT - LANDING RUNWAY - TWILIGHT 82
as an 737 ROARS down onto the tarmac. In the f.g.,
Trevor and Ellen PEEL away from the curb angrily.
83 EXT. TREVOR'S RAMBLER (AIRPORT VICINITY) - NIGHT 83
Traveling down Hollywood Way.
84 INT./EXT. RAMBLER - TREVOR AND ELLEN - CONTINUOUS ACTION 84
in the front seat...
... These conferences mainly focus
on software now.
(flickers a smile)
So, how's Jack?
... Jack's good.
As they pull up to a stop light...
And what about Trevor? Was Trevor
a good boy, too?
Triggers an unintended response...
What's that supposed to mean?
84 CONTINUED: 84
Is that supposed to mean
The light changes to green. An impatient young man in
the car behind them BEEPS his HORN. Lays it on a little
85 EXT. INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS ACTION - NIGHT 85
As Trevor gets out of the car, marching up to the car
behind, slamming his hand down on its hood...
Can't you see I'm talking to the
The young man shrinks, quickly rolling up his window.
86 INT. RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS ACTION 86
as Trevor gets back in and they drive away. Not a word
is spoken. Exorcising his demons now. He simmers.
... I'm sorry. Forgive me.
OFF Ellen's disturbed gaze...
87 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT 87
as the Rambler pulls into the driveway. Ellen's '92 Jeep
Cherokee is parked on the street. Bug zapper above the
garage flickers on.
88 INT./EXT. TREVOR'S FRONT YARD THROUGH CAR WINDSHIELD - 88
Light now spills into the front yard. No sign of Jack.
Trevor SHUTS OFF the IGNITION. A portentous silence.
88 CONTINUED: 88
... Come out, come out, wherever
you are. Where is he?
Trevor reaches for a flashlight in the glove compartment.
89 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS 89
Trevor and Ellen step out of the car.
MOVING THROUGH the chain-link fence, into the front yard.
Ellen whistles faintly. Trevor turns on his flashlight.
Here, boy... here, Jack. Come to
The glare of the flashlight fixes on the trunk of the
Jack's chain stretching tautly toward the back alley.
... Oh, my God.
Trevor and Ellen, propelled now toward the alley, hearts
pounding, frantically rushing toward the conclusion as
the flashlight traces the length of the chain...
(right behind Trevor)
The chain disappears over the top of the alley wall.
Trevor kicks open the alley gate and freezes.
90 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - OTHER SIDE OF ALLEY WALL - JACK 90
centered in the flashlight beam, dangling there,
strangled to death at the end of his dog collar.
91 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - ELLEN AND TREVOR - NIGHT 91
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 77.
91 CONTINUED: 91
Trevor holds her back. She unleashes her torment, punching
and kicking until fully spent, crumbling to her knees now,
HOLD ON her fitful sobs, and...
92 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - IN ALLEY - THAT NIGHT 92
(APPROXIMATELY AN HOUR LATER)
Trevor, a beaten hypnotic gaze, watches as an ANIMAL
REGULATIONS OFFICER fatefully slams the cargo door of his truck.
ANIMAL REGULATIONS OFFICER
Don't beat yourself up too much.
It was an accident. He was probably
after a cat... or someone walked
past back here in the alley.
Whatever it was, he jumped over the
fence. What can you do?
Ellen watches Trevor's house; behind a screen door.
93 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 93
Ellen sits on Trevor's bed, fighting back tears.
Trevor enters with a glass of water and a pill. Sits
down on the edge of the bed.
... I can't talk to you right now,
Trevor. Please. I'm so upset I
can't even drive. I just need some
Trevor acquiesces. Steps over to his desk and sets the
glass of water down. A key protrudes from one of the desk
drawers. He leans over, removes the key and plays with it
for a moment.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 78.
93 CONTINUED: 93
I know about what's not fair. I
left part of my lung in a damn
hospital because some gangbanger
didn't like the grade I gave him.
Sometimes you do all the right
things. You work hard in
school... get a good job... pay
your taxes. Things still go bad.
I'm so sorry, Ellen.
Ellen shuts her heavy eyelids now. Shuts out the world.
94 EXT. ALLEY BEHIND TREVOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT 94
A thorough investigation now at the foot of Jack's
... Trevor's flashlight fixes on a faint set of shoe prints
in the dirt.
Waffle-soled Doc Martens. He follows their trail, down
Hesitating at the wall again. He now focuses his
flashlight beam on a smattering of graffiti... and
discovers a fresh tag...
In black spray paint, the letters K.O.S. Trevor reaches
out and touches a coagulated trickle of paint. As he
inspects the faint residue on his fingertip...
95 OMITTED 95
96 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - LATER THAT NIGHT 96
About 2 a.m. The street's empty.
Cesar's darkened apartment is tucked away in the
distance. Now a lone figure emerges and beats a path
through the projects... CLOSER now... it's Cesar. White
T-shirt, sagging gray dickies...
FOLLOWING HIM now... as he crosses the edge of a dirt
lot. FOCUSING ON his Doc Marten boots and their waffle-
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 79.
97 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - NIGHT 97
Merging with Cesar as he slinks down the dark alley
corridor. Lighting a blunt off his Zippo lighter...
98 FURTHER DOWN 98
Cesar spray paints a wall with a can of black enamel paint.
He takes another hit. Chokes down a shit-eating grin. And
admires his work... a goofy dog smoking a blunt.
... below the dog he scrawls the word, "CARTOON." Above
it, "K.O.S. As he slips the spray can into his front
pocket, he senses a presence..
... 'At you, Stevie?
Profound silence. Grin dissolves. Riveted, Cesar takes
another slow hit off his blunt. Suddenly a coyote darts
... Hells, man. Stupit dog.
His sick smirk returns. But only momentarily. Now a
premonitory flicker registers on his face. He blinks as
a Masai arrow splits the darkness and pierces his left
Exhaling a stunned breath, Cesar looks down at the arrow.
An incredulous, stupefied laugh escapes him as he pulls
the arrow out of his chest and studies it...
The normal length of the arrow's been shortened by half
and the tip has been fitted with a modified hypodermic
needle. (The needle extends from a rubber stopper which has
retracted into the hypodermic casing, causing the
solution in the hypo to jettison through the needle and
... Mutha fuck.
Now back-pedaling, stumbling, dropping the arrow, he
turns and runs off.
99 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS 99
Cesar collapses onto a pile of garbage bags. MOVING IN.
His eyes fixed and dilated. Forehead beaded with
perspiration. Fighting against the effects of the
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 80.
100 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (3 AM) 100
Ellen awakens with a start.
She glances about, momentarily disoriented. Now she
remembers where she is and what happened.
No response. Choking back emotions.
101 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 101
TV SET ON. Ellen enters, glances around. No Trevor.
102 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER 102
As Ellen returns. She notices the glass of water on the
desk. Bravely collects herself. Crosses over to the
desk and sits down.
... Where'd you put the aspirin?
Like an involuntary reflex she tugs on the center drawer
of the desk, but it's locked. Now she pulls on one of
the side drawers and it slides open. Ellen stops at what
... a treasure-trove of homemade shivs, Bic lighters,
Walkmen, pagers... and Benny Chacon's black rosary beads.
BACK TO Ellen and her curious, sobered look. Now she slowly
shuts the drawer.
103 INT. TREVOR'S FOYER - A SHORT WHILE LATER 103
Fumbling in her purse for her keys, Ellen makes a hasty
104 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - PREDAWN 104
Almost six AM. Encroaching sunlight creeps toward the
horizon. A vapid stillness. Not a soul stirs.
105 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - TIGHT ON CESAR'S FACE - 105
as he comes to.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 81.
105 CONTINUED: 105
Eyes feverish, registering pain. His head throbs. He
begins to move and discovers a pounding in his right
... Lifting his hand up in front of his face. Cesar's
ring index finger has been severed clean off. Blood is
Cesar emotes a silent panic-stricken scream. Reduced to
a snot-sobbing wreck, he frantically searches the ground
on his hands and knees...
My finger. Please, somebody help
me! Where's my finger?!
106 OMITTED 106
107 INT. EMERGENCY ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION - MORNING 107
PUSHING IN ON the Emergency Room Sign... MOVING PAST the
unrelenting urgency that permeates the ER. DISCOVER
Cesar now in a wheelchair, right hand completely wrapped
in gauze. He pleads with two police DETECTIVES...
... I put it on my mother, sir.
... So your science teacher shot
you with an arrow full of drugs
then chopped off your finger.
Come on, you can do better than
It had to be him!
He smoke the `mota' for yuh, too,
Pinche madre... he hates my guts,
You covering for somebody, homes?
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 82.
107 CONTINUED: 107
DETECTIVE #2 (CONT'D)
Cuz, this circumstantial bullshit
won't hold up in court, I'll tell
you that right now.
Detective #1 refers to a rap sheet...
Caught too many priors, Cesar.
Juvenile GTA, vandalism...
I know he did it! Don't you hear
what I'm saying?
You saw his face?
Yeah, yeah. I seen him.
Detective #2 shakes his head and grimaces.
Lemme save yuh from perjuring
yourself, asshole... You're full
I swear it! For reals!
(turns to leave)
C'mon, this guy's wasting our time.
(points to Cesar)
Come up with something better than
that, or the truth, then maybe we'll
Detective #2 walks away. Detective #1 follows.
Cesar hangs his head, mumbling a disparaging flood of
108 INT. E.R. RECEIVING DESK - ANONYMOUS POV - CONTINUOUS 108
THROUGH passing patients and personnel... APPROACHING the
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 83.
108 CONTINUED: 108
... As the blurred shoulder of an orderly CROSSES OUT to
reveal a legal-sized white envelope now on the counter
A busy E.R. nurse notices the envelope. Glances around.
Picks up the envelope and reads the name typed across the
face of it... CESAR SANCHEZ... narrowing her gaze as she
opens the envelope.
In the envelope, Cesar's severed finger, nesting in a
clump of newspaper.
Appears to be something tattooed across the side of it
but we can't quite make it out.
The Nurse gasps and drops the envelope, spilling the
finger onto the counter top.
CLOSE now ON the finger and the fresh "tatt" scrawled
across its side: R-U-DUN?
SOUND FADES now from the scene, replaced by a TECHNO HIP-
HOP TRACK that CONTINUES THROUGH the CUT...
109 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (6TH PERIOD) 109
Rain lashes the faculty parking lot...
110 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 110
HIP-HOP TRACK FADES now replaced by the buzz of
cross-talk. Trevor strolls the aisles, an open
science book in hand.
(NOTE: Rita is dressed in overalls, very subdued
compared to her usual attire.)
Cesar's back... and seated in his regular seat, across
from Stevie Littleton. Uncharacteristically, his eyes
are fixed on the book in front of him.
... Name one of four parts that
make up the human hand?
Trevor holds up his hand for display.
... Hands, please.
A reluctant cross section of hands go up.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 84.
110 CONTINUED: 110
6th period is by no means a synchronized whole but there
has developed an odd sort of order to its madness.
Trevor looks around. Picks on an Anglo girl in the second
... The metacarpals.
The Metacarpals. That's one.
Name some more?
Now he picks on Rita...
The wrist... and thumb.
A flurry of thumbs go up as if on cue.
(holding up all his
... And don't forget the phalanges.
Fingers shoot up and wiggle on cue...
Phalanges, phalanges, phalanges...
Scattered laughter and groans at this embarrassing
Cesar's beaten gaze remains riveted to his book. Now he
slides a look at the "R-U-DUN" tatt on his right index
finger. The severed finger has been sewn back on,
supported by a finger brace.
Stevie openly stares at the back of Trevor's head as
Trevor passes by in the aisle.
111 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING/COMPUTER LAB - 111
RAIN steadily plays AGAINST the WINDOWS.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 85.
111 CONTINUED: 111
Ellen sits behind her computer, lost in a grading
Trevor now enters. Damp hair and shoulders.
May I come in?
Ellen stops what she's working on.
Where'd you go the other night?
I was going to ask you the same
... I went for a run.
Wanna get some Chinese later?
There's a new place in the Valley
Center. 'Spose to be pretty good.
... Can't tonight. Maybe another
Weighs it, and...
(stands there for
... I should probably correct
papers anyway. Some of these
bungalow kids actually care
about a grade. Even Cesar's doing
better. Today, for the first time
since I took over for Eskander, he
actually did his work.
Today Cesar Sanchez was a success.
Maybe for the first time in his
111 CONTINUED: 111
... Much better, thank you.
A tacit satisfaction that all is well...
... I really am sorry about Jack.
He exits now leaving Ellen alone with her thoughts.
112 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS SCHOOL LIBRARY - MORNING 112
Before school tutoring session. The minute hand on the
wall clock jerks ahead one minute... 7:23 AM.
Trevor and Rita at a table near the back of the library.
Trevor gazes blankly at Rita's essay. Rita revises one
of the pages.
INTERCUT Dave Childress at the front counter as the
librarian (late fifties) photocopies a page from a
history book for him. Childress scrutinizes Trevor and
Rita as he waits.
Satisfied now, Rita slides the page to Trevor...
Trevor blinks himself back to reality...
... Let's hava look..
He adjusts his glasses. Pores over the paper...
... I was just thinking, since
your essay's about gangs and
getting away from their influence,
you probably could've left some of
those double negatives you like so
So now you wan' me to use bad
112 CONTINUED: 112
Only if it suits your topic.
I know. We're all products of our
environment 'n' shit.
No, I think that's just an excuse.
I say if we're strong, we can rise
(lets it sink in)
But it's like rap or hip-hop...
Correct all the grammar and it
loses its impact.
So you like hip-hop, Mr. G?
(shakes his head)
... I hate it.
What kinda black man are you?
Trevor bursts forth a laugh.
Childress perks up at the front counter.
Trevor's laugh evokes a smile from Rita. Now she pries
a little further...
Why you here anyways? Don't you
got nothin' better t'do?
... Everything I wanna do is right
(back on track now)
It's a good essay, Rita. You put
a lot of effort into it, it shows.
(a laconic grin)
Comes from the heart, maestro.
I'm a writer... not a fighter.
Trevor returns a cognitive flicker.
112 CONTINUED: 112
... Ms. Quinn was telling me she
picks two seniors each year to
read their essays at graduation.
She ain't gonna pick my paper.
Anyway, I don't wanna get up in
fronna all those people and make
a fool outta myself.
Why not? It'd be a Pyrrhic
... In your case, irony. Refers
to King Pyrrhus. Never mind.
Look it up sometime.
OFF Rita's reluctance...
113 EXT. LOS ANGELES RIVER/SEPULVEDA DAM BASIN - AFTERNOON 113
A churning fist of muddy water cuts a path along the
perimeter of a golf course and jogging trail.
TRACING jogging trail, KEEPING PACE now with a die-hard
runner. Something registers in the runner's eyes, pace
slowing, now stopping. Not fully comprehending what he
is looking at...
FOLLOWING HIS GAZE... THROUGH a curtain of rain and tall
swamp grass... along the riverbank... TO the base of the
Burbank Boulevard Overpass.
SLOWING ANGLE to discover precariously jutting out of the
rushing waters, in a tangle of chicken wire fence, a
partially decomposed torso...
114 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTER LUNCH 114
Ellen walks down an aisle of computers as the class
114 CONTINUED: 114
... Before getting side-tracked
with viruses and T-S-R programs,
we were talking yesterday about
INTERCUT Stevie. Ellen passes Stevie's computer as
he shares cryptic information with a kid sitting next
Ellen approaches her computer console on wheels at
the front of the class.
If you click-on the mail icon in
your tray, you'll be ready to
send and receive mail. My
computer's already set-up.
Everyone go ahead and click the
white envelope in the lower...
Ellen's interrupted by her own computer. A little white
envelope icon in the lower left hand tray flashes and
BEEPS. Now a COMPUTER VOICE announces: "You've got mail."
Ellen's taken aback. Class titters. Now she grins.
Looks like someone's way ahead of
To retrieve your mail simply double
click the top item in your mail
(as she does)
Since we're all a part of the
same network, we share mail... so
go ahead and do that.
The message read: TEACHER FUCKS NIGGERS
Class is dumbstruck. Ellen's riveted. Now she turns.
Without losing her temper, she scours the class with
a narrow gaze.
Class starts to buzz. Now a clicking frenzy to retrieve
the same message.
The anonymous message pops up on computer screens all
around the classroom.
Ellen's POV of students (and Stevie). Deciphering
reactions. LINGERING ON Stevie's poker face.
114 CONTINUED: 114
Her own poker face now...
Whoever sent that message isn't
as anonymous as they think.
Ellen turns to her console, clicks the REPLY button. A
new mail message window opens up. It's addressed to
the anonymous sender, STUDENT #00. Ellen types in:
GO TO THE OFFICE
All the while anticipation builds on Stevie's face. He
glances around, starting to get nervous.
Ellen now clicks the SEND button...
Stevie's COMPUTER BEEPS... COMPUTER VOICE: "You've got
... A window opens in the middle of Stevie's monitor
revealing Ellen's return message.
Class erupts and Stevie springs out of his seat...
'Dat's bullshit, man!
He rushes up to the front of the class.
You best step off, Ms. H. Cuz
you can't prove nuthin'. And I
know you can't afford to lose
'dis minimum wage job 'a yers.
You're right, Stevie. I can't
afford to live in a big house
south of the boulevard. Like
Class erupts again, coming down on Stevie and his wanna-be
poor boy from the streets image. They're laughing at him
now, not with him. In a rage, Stevie kicks open the
hallway door and exits the classroom.
115 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS MAIN OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 115
Ellen hastily enters, looking for Stevie. Addresses
IRIS (a thirty-something Hispanic woman) behind
115 CONTINUED: 115
Iris, did Steven Littleton come
Haven't seen 'im.
Teacher #1, the insipid woman, checks her mail slot. It's
her conference period.
You're not supposed to leave
your classroom unattended.
Teacher #1 exits in a flurry. Ellen now glances to her
right. Seated there in rigid silence is BENNY CHACON'S
Benny Chacon's mother. Told
'er Garcia had to leave early
today but she jus' sits there.
She been saying some pretty
Mrs. Chacon begins speaking Spanish in plaintive spurts.
Ellen can't decipher what she is saying...
(to Mrs. Chacon)
... Espanol, muy poquito, senora.
Mrs. Chacon... you have to slow down.
(back to Iris)
What's she saying?
Hesitating. Now with apprehension...
You heard 'bout that body they foun'
in the L.A. River... She says she
thinks it's Benny.
OFF Ellen's unblinking gaze...
116 EXT. LOS ANGELES COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE (DOWNTOWN) - 116
A concrete fortress... Ellen and Mrs. Chacon approach.
117 OMITTED 117
118 INT. ASSISTANT CORONER'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS ACTION 118
Ellen and Mrs. Chacon sit stiffly in front of the
ASSISTANT CORONER (mid-forties). Desk cluttered. Half-
eaten sandwich in front of him. He nurses a Styrofoam
cup of coffee as he flips through a John Doe folder.
You say he's been missing
approximately four weeks?
... Four, almost five weeks.
That's a long time. Lots a
things happen to a body after
four or five weeks. Makes it
difficult to I.D.
A faint, incongruous smile.
(indicating John Doe)
So he just sits here?
We keep 'um up to thirty days.
Lady, we get 80, sometimes 90 Does
a month. Floaters, gangbangers,
illegals, junkies. Most of 'um
cheap homicides. Nobody's even
lookin' for 'em.
This guy here, has a dent in his
head. Could be post-mortem
trauma. Probably hit a retaining
wall on his way down river after
that rain we had. Who knows.
Yuh ask me, this kid was dead
before he got his head caved in.
Overdose by morphine. That's what
it looks like t'me.
Ellen weighs it. Assistant Coroner now refers to some
sort of questionnaire.
On the phone you said the mother
mentioned some identifying marks.
Ellen refocuses a far-off, introspective gaze.
118 CONTINUED: 118
She said he has some pockmarks on
his chest; from a bad case of
chicken pox. And there's a bar-
code tattoo on his neck.
A cognitive flicker now as the Assistant Coroner sets
down his coffee...
119 INT. AUTOPSY ROOM - EVENING 119
The acrid fecal smell causes Ellen to flinch. Averting
her eyes, she holds onto Mrs. Chacon's arm as they stand
next to the autopsy table. A plastic diaphanous sheet
covers the body.
Now the Assistant Coroner raises the sheet...
Mrs. Chacon's traumatic gaze confirms her worst fears.
She raises a hand to her mouth. Now the tears come...
As she comforts Mrs. Chacon...
(to Assistant Coroner;
Did you find any rosary beads with
120 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT 120
... The digital clock next to Trevor's bed reads:
Trevor sleeps. HOLD for a portentous moment. Now the
stillness is broken by a CLATTER at the front door.
Someone enters the house. Trevor awakens. Jolts out of
bed. Disoriented a beat.
121 INT. TREVOR'S HALLWAY 121
In boxer shorts and a T-shirt, adjusting his glasses,
Trevor ventures through darkness...
121 CONTINUED: 121
... Who's there?
A light flickers on in the living room.
You should keep your door locked.
ADJUSTING the ANGLE now as the living room comes INTO
Ellen paces back and forth, consumed by what's troubling
(still half asleep)
What's the matter?
Ellen ignores his question.
(impaling him with
I just want you to tell me one
Now something she sees stops her pacing...
... The black rosary beads on the dinner table.
Following her gaze, he picks up the rosary beads. As he
places them in a drawer in the credenza.
What is it?
Ellen's confused. Lost in a fixated gaze.
... If you had any idea what I've
been thinking lately... you'd
think I was crazy.
(running it through
... Remember that John Doe they
found in the L.A. River. Turned
out it was Benny.
121 CONTINUED: 121
Who told you that?
... Benny's mother identified the
Trevor just looks at her, a bated pause. Now he blinks.
Benny was no saint, Ellen. This
is a kid who terrorized hald the
school. He even broke into your
house. Maybe we should think
about that 'fore we shed any tears.
Ellen just looks at him.
... Maybe he's better off.
That's a horrible thing to say.
Trevor accepts that it is.
Do you believe for every troubled
kid like Benny there's one or two
others just waiting to take his
place? Like Cesar... or his
An awkward moment of silence...
You don't know anything about
Cesar's finger, do you, Trevor?
Sometimes a person just runs out
of bad choices. Then he's gotta
pay a price. What happened to
Cesar was inevitable.
Ellen flickers a terrified smile.
You're scaring me.
121 CONTINUED: 121
We make choices in life and we
live by 'em. You and I chose to
be teachers, to stand on
principle. Benny and Cesar,
they're takers. They want what
they want, and they want it now.
I'm sorry but everyone can't
always get what they want.
Sometimes you gotta take
responsibility for your actions.
Have you ever been ready to die
for a fundamental principle? They
haven't. You think those punks
would die protecting your Civil
Did you know Cesar hits his
mother? Steals money from her
purse? Did you know that?
Did you know he was here that
night? In the alley?
What are you talking about?
Cesar. Jack was provoked. It
wasn't an accident, Ellen. Cesar
Ellen just stares at him. Traumatized...
Where'd you get the rosary beads?
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 97.
121 CONTINUED: 121
I like you, Ellen. I like you so
much. Do you believe that?
Trevor can't find words.
... I don't know you.
With that, Ellen turns and walks out of the house as
quickly as she came.
... You do know me. I'm a
teacher, just like you.
123A EXT. STUDENT QUAD/QUEBRADITA - AFTER SCHOOL 123A
(CINCO DE MAYO)
ESTABLISH hoardes of cowboy hats, belt sashes and boots
as they dance to the loud Mexican band music on the
Non-Hispanics, along with non-Quebradita cliques, look on
from the lawn area...
hanging back, on the fringes, scoping out the crowd.
Notices a pack of cigarettes in the chest pocket of a
15-year-old kid standing next to him. Kid's wrapped up
in talking to another kid, points to something O.S.
(to the kid with
... Don't you know it's not polite
to point at people. Everytime you
point a finger at someone else...
... There's three fingers pointing
back at you.
Lemme have a cigarette.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 98.
122 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - MEN'S BATHROOM - AFTER SCHOOL 122
... Cinco de Mayo. The sounds of a QUEBRADITA waft in
from outside in the quad.
At the same time, Steve follows him into the rest room.
They're all alone.
Eh, Mr. G?
Bracing himself with a fixed, straight-ahead look.
I'm talkin' ta you, Garfield.
Know what you did to Cesar.
... I'm thinkin' maybe you did
That possible? You crush my
friend's skull? Fuck 'im up wit'
a two-by-four, maybe a baseball
No response. As Trevor starts to leave, Stevie blocks
Trevor steps to one side to go around... but Stevie
blocks his path again.
(trying to maintain)
Please, step out of the way.
... You kill my friend? Huh?
Trevor's head begins to swim. His life's falling apart.
Like a trapped animal, he back-pedals a step to escape...
but then suddenly snaps.
He explodes into Stevie, crushing him against the bath-
Trevor impales Stevie with a look that says it all.
Stevie immediately shrinks. Trevor now blinks. Cooling
himself down. Slowing his breathing. Stevie slips out
from under his hold and bolts for the exit.
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 98A.
123 EXT. STUDENT QUAD/QUEBRADITA - CONTINUOUS ACTION 123
Cesar and his tag-bangers... Cesar holds court, drowned
out by the MUSIC. Now Stevie arrives. Out of breath.
Urgent to tell his story.
Rita... Makeup subdued, wearing a cotton button-down blouse.
She watches the Quebradita from behind a tree. A desire
to be part of it, she moves a little closer...
... as Cesar notices her. His head races from Stevie's
news. Eyes penetrating. Now galvanized. On a rampage,
he shoves his way through the crowd.
Victor Sifuentes... on the opposite side of the patio,
snapping a look, spotting Cesar moving in for the kill.
With a start, Victor barks something into his walkie-
talkie and squeezes his way into the Quebradita crowd...
Cesar shoves Rita to the ground.
School girl bitch!
123 CONTINUED: 123
Rita gets to her feet immediately...
You gotta problem?!
Yer fuckin' maestro, 'at's my
I don't know what yer talkin'
Garfield killed Benny!
Rita looks at him like he's insane. Cesar's entourage
gathers around them.
She turns her back and starts to leave. Cesar grabs
Don't turn yer back on me when
I'm talkin' t'you, bitch. You
think yer better than everybody
else. Well you ain't! You ain't
nuthin' but a whore!
Fuck you, asshole!
What? You forget about the time
in the bungalows? We all had our
turn wit you, man!
(gets in her face)
What the fuck you been fuckin'
a nigger for? Huh? You think
he's gonna protec' you? Stop
me from doin' whatever I want
wit' you? Stop any of us from
doin' what we want wit' you?!
Rita just stands there, destroyed and sobbing now.
123 CONTINUED: 123
Fuck you, Cesar.
No, fuck you!
He grabs her blouse and rips it wide open. His eyes
glisten with fervor now as he punches Rita (with his
good hand) square in the face. She crumbles to the
ground as Victor bursts through the crowd and
As Rita gets to her feet and flees into the Quebradita
Garfield better watch his back!
124 OMITTED 124
125 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 125
Standing room only. An impassioned crowd.
... I wanna know if this boy was
killed and whether it was gang-
The audience erupts in unanimous support...
(playing to crowd now)
As a mother and a taxpayer, I have
a right to know. And if it was
gang-related then I want tighter
At this point she's drowned out by the crowd.
On stage the discipline committee, including Trevor,
Childress, Hyland and Quinn sit at the dais. Garcia
stands at the podium, waiting for silence. MRS. FORD,
the assistant principal, a full-figured black woman in
her mid-fifties, stands alongside him, gesturing for
the crowd to settle down.
The death of Benito Chacon is not
125 CONTINUED: 125
MR. GARCIA (CONT'D)
That's something you heard on
the news. It's wrong. It's
Who says? How can you be so sure?
You're talking about my kid's
Please, everyone just calm down.
Thank you, Mrs. Ford.
... The police at this point
aren't even sure if it's a case of
murder. The reason we're having
this meeting tonight is to quash
all the rumors floating around out
there. Okay. Here's what we do
know. Benny Chacon ultimately died
from a drug overdose, technically
it was morphine.
(volume rising again)
Which is what heroin breaks down
... Dat's bullshit! Benny was no
junkie! I know who did it!
... Ellen quietly enters now and stands just inside
one of the doors at the back of the hall...
Up at the dais, Trevor notices her.
It's not the gangbangers y'gotta
worry about. It's the teachers!
That's exactly the type of rumor
we don't need, Mr. Littleton.
Stevie deliberately stands and points at Trevor with
vitriol in his eyes...
125 CONTINUED: 125
... It was Garfield.
The audience grows silent.
(losing his patience)
Say one more word and you're
... Sit down, Stevie.
Trevor doesn't even flinch. Childress scrutinizes him
with a glance.
You're a fuckin' murderer,
(calling for assistance)
... Maybe I can't prove it but I
know he did it. He fucked up
Cesar and he killed Benny.
As Victor and another plainclothes cop attempt to remove
Touch me and I'll sue yer ass!
(as Victor backs off;
now to Trevor)
Yer dead, G! Yer a dead man!
With that Stevie shoves Victor aside and bolts for the
Garcia attempts to regain his composure...
Trevor glances back to the spot where Ellen was
standing... but now she's gone.
126 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT - NIGHT 126
Meeting's broken up. Dave Childress, cigarette dangling
from his mouth, jogs a step to catch up with Trevor...
126 CONTINUED: 126
Garfield, wait up...
Trevor maintains a steady pace, one hopeful eye scouring
the parking lot for Ellen...
... Don't let that Littleton punk
get to you.
Trevor ignores him.
Lil' bastard's a tweaker. He's a
speed freak. You didn't know that?
At Trevor's car now. Hesitating. Turning to
(testing his patience)
What is it, Dave? How can I help
Unintentionally in Trevor's face...
How 'bout a ride?
(taking a step back)
... The wife wouldn't let me drive
my own car. Ain't that a bitch?
Childress is pitiful. Wears a grease-stained tie with
his wrinkled Hawaiian shirt and a Windbreaker.
... You smell like beer.
I only had two. That's all.
Swear ta Christ.
Raising his palms. Surrendering. Trevor studies him
with a sad grimace.
I live right up here off Chandler.
I'll buy you a drink.
127 INT. CHILDRESS'S GARAGE - NIGHT 127
127 CONTINUED: 127
At the end of a gravel driveway, behind a darkened house.
Garage door open.
Childress chain smokes and drinks beer as he leans
against the dented fender of his '66 Lincoln Continental.
Trevor nurses a Diet Coke...
... I had the same situation
'round the time of that 'Night
Stalker' thing. Remember that?
Whole city was scared shitless.
My wife was convinced the frickin'
mailman was the 'Stalker' for
about a week there.
(a tubercular chuckle)
Some mental giant in my 4th period
starts this rumor, see. Childress
is the 'Night Stalker.' Right?
... Idiots. Even after they
caught that Ramirez jerk, I'd
still hear those fucks '... They
got the wrong guy. Childress is
the Stalker, ese.'
He finishes beer. Crumples it.
Trevor studies him, without expression. Now he notices
something stapled to the tar paper wall...
Trevor's POV of the "Certificate of Excellence in
Teaching," yellowed and dogeared, hanging obliquely by
... as Childress opens another beer.
I better get goin'. Thanks for
Wait, wait. Hold your horses.
Just hold on...
... Finding a key in a drawer.
(a twisted grin)
... Can't leave without meetin'
Childress unlocks a particle board cabinet against the
127 CONTINUED: 127
A watery glint in his bloodshot eyes. Cabinet door
swings wide now, revealing a mini arsenal of handguns...
Trevor's eyes remain expressionless.
Childress rhapsodizes as he removes and handles some of
... This one's from
Czechoslovakia. It's a C-Z .22
automatic. Ten round clip. Glow-
(eyeing the sights)
Ain't that a beauty?
... Then we gotta custom Smitty, 9
'milli.' With extended grip.
These Smith & Wessons kick like a
Now this one's special. A Glock
21. Lightest gun in the world.
The barrel and firing pin are
metal. See. Everything else on
(handing it to Trevor)
Here, feel that.
Trevor takes it, reluctantly weighs it in the palm of his
hand. Sets it down.
Now Childress removes a gun from a holster in the small
of his back, under his Windbreaker...
... 'Course you can never be too
prepared. My pukey lil' Davis
(a severe squint)
You wear that thing at school?
... Don't worry. They never use
metal detectors on teachers.
I also keep a .357 inside my desk.
127 CONTINUED: 127
(a wry grin)
... But you already know that.
Didn't think I was payin'
attention, did'ja? Shoulda seen
the look on your face.
Pretending now. Aiming the .380 at an imaginary
Now, Jose, if I've told you once
I've told you a hundred times,
stay in your cotton pickin' seat.
Childress laughs and chokes on his cigarette. Now he
gazes at the .380 in his hand. Lost in a stupid,
Haven't you ever just wanted to
blow one of these little bastards
Childress glances up into Trevor's unflinching gaze.
Smiles to himself now. Thinks he's funny...
... Speaking of blowing, you ever
wanna fuck a high school girl,
(off no response)
'Caught yer girl, Rita, bustin' a
train out in the 'utility' shed
couple months back. Swear to God.
She had at least five or six
cholos lined up back there.
(as Trevor's eyes
Face it, brother, she's a slut.
C'mon, I know you had 'er.
I even did her.
I know you been laughin' at me
behind my back.
127 CONTINUED: 127
I'm talkin' about screwin' high
school broads and you're givin'
off this self-righteous attitude
like your shit don't stink.
Childress rolls back on his heels.
... Tell me the truth now,
Garfield. Did yuh do it? C'mon,
I won't tell. Did yuh whack Benny?
Whadda 'bout Cesar? That was
generous, only taking his finger.
I woulda cut off his balls.
... Go to hell, Dave.
All traces of a smile fade from Dave's face. Trevor
just stands there. Doesn't say a damn word.
Childress makes his own momentous conclusion.
You really did it. You son of a
Awkward glint of admiration in Childress's eye. Leans
forward, hangs a hand on Trevor's shoulder.
You probably think you and me are
Trevor turns and exits the garage. PULLING BACK FROM
Childress's dull anesthetized gaze. Deep down inside
Childress knows he's a pathetic piece of shit...
128 EXT. TREVOR'S DRIVEWAY - AROUND MIDNIGHT 128
Trevor pulls into his driveway, right up to the garage
door. He SHUTS OFF the IGNITION and narrows a gaze out
the front windshield...
129 INT. TREVOR'S CAR - GARAGE DOOR - TREVOR'S POV - 129
Caught in his headlights, tagged all over.
129 CONTINUED: 129
Spray painted threats like, "YOU'RE DEAD," "187-UM,"
"TEACHER-K" (crossed out) and a CARTOON VERSION OF
TREVOR WITH "X'S" WHERE HIS EYES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
129A INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (SHORT WHILE LATER) 129A
Dimly lit. Trevor stands in front of the television
set, staring at a late-night repeat of "Talk Soup."
INSERT - TALK SOUP
A clip from "Sally Jessy Rafael" or "Jerry Springer."
One of those Sturm und Drang moments. Everyone points
the finger at everyone else. No one willing to take
responsibility for themselves.
Only partially watching the television. His eyes are
fixed on a point somewhere in his own mind, lost to the
130 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS SCHOOL LIBRARY - EARLY MORNING 130
Into a parabolic mirror above the library doors...
... an empty corridor stretches forever.
Trevor, now unshaven, looking like he hasn't slept, sits
amidst total silence in his regular spot. No sign of
Rita. He checks his wristwatch.
reads... 7:10 AM.
peering toward the library doors. Nothing. Now above
BACK AND FORTH between the mirror and Trevor. His eyes
glazed and unblinking.
FURTHER INTO the parabolic mirror now. Breathing becoming
more and more labored.
130 CONTINUED: 130
In a flicker, we're transported back to Roosevelt
Whitney... Dennis Broadway's image SLOWLY COMING TOWARD
us down the long corridor...
BACK TO SCENE
Trevor catches his breath and blinks...
... Back to reality. The mirror is empty.
He removes his Proventil inhaler from his shirt pocket.
Suppressing gasps, he takes two hits.
Two girls at the magazine racks whisper to each other,
eyes firmly fixed on Trevor.
Suddenly there's a presence at Trevor's side...
... I don't think she's coming.
131 EXT. RITA'S TRAILER (SUN VALLEY) - SAME MORNING 131
Strictly low rent district. The small dirt yard in front
is contained within a cinder block wall.
Rita, back to her chola look, heavy makeup, black (right)
eye where Cesar punched her, watches her two younger
brothers as they fight over a toy truck. Her
three-year-old baby sister, Maricella (too big to be
carried) straddles her hip as Rita yells at the boys...
Be nice to your brother, Antonio.
Don't make me go get Mommie.
Trevor's car pulls up. Rita's taken aback.
Go play wit' your brothers.
Rita attempts to thwart him at the sidewalk.
Whatcha doin' here, maestro?
131 CONTINUED: 131
I want you to come back to school,
Rita. You can't afford to miss
finals. They won't let you
No way. Forget it. I can't.
What's wrong wit' you.
Trevor really does looks like hell.
Cesar and Stevie won't bother you.
That's a promise.
Something stirs deep inside her.
(struggles with it)
Why'd they have to kill Snowball?
... They didn't.
(on the verge of
What's it fuckin' matter?! 'At
school shit's for other kids, not
That's not true. You're so smart,
Rita. Don't you know that? You
have an opportunity here to change
your life. Please don't throw
away everything we've worked for.
Trevor just stares at her, incredulously.
Rita lowers her gaze, unable to look him in the eye.
Momentous deliberation, and now...
I know what happened with Childress.
131 CONTINUED: 131
He won't ever touch you again.
He ain't done nuthin' tuh me.
That boy's fulla shit. What's he
He ain't never touched me no ways.
What's he sayin'? He say he
fucked me?! He say dat?!
(off Trevor's look)
He's a damn liar!
down her face)
Get the fuck outta here! I don't
need yer damn pity and I don't
But I need you, Rita.
You made a mistake. Dat's all.
With that Rita scoops up Maricella and exits.
132 INT. MR. GARCIA'S OFFICE - SAME DAY (LUNCH PERIOD) 132
Trevor sits transfixed in front of Garcia. Still hasn't
Garcia holds up a handful of phone messages.
They're phone calls about you.
132 CONTINUED: 132
MR. GARCIA (CONT'D)
Cesar's mother told me how you
tried to help him. You're evidently
a good teacher. You should be
commended on your efforts. However...
I'm going to have to let you go.
As much as I'd like to have you
stay until the end of the year, I
can't overlook the seriousness of
Mr. Garcia waits for a response but none is forthcoming.
... Is it true you had meetings with
a female student at your house?
I was trying to help her.
The implications are still there,
Mr. Garfield. I can't afford to
open the door for another lawsuit.
Sure you can appreciate my position.
You can stay until Friday. I hope
that will be sufficient.
This part registers only minimally with Trevor.
133 EXT. BUNGALOW 86 - AFTER SCHOOL (SAME DAY) 133
A VAPID SILENCE HOLDS us. The bungalow is awash in a
sun-soaked pool of light...
Trevor makes his way toward the parking lot with his
briefcase and a cardboard box of personal belongings.
134 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BLDG. - MAIN CORRIDOR/ 134
COMPUTER LAB - CONTINUOUS ACTION
Plagued with doubts, Ellen lingers in the doorway,
confiding with Hyland...
134 CONTINUED: 134
You're not being an alarmist.
He gets a little overzealous at
times... like some other people
I don't think the rosary adds up
to much either, frankly.
It's probably his.
Look, when I received my first
Holy Communion all the boys got
black rosaries and the girls got
white. Trust me, there must be
millions of black rosaries filed
away in desk drawers from here to
Ellen flickers a sad indecisive smile.
This guy's been through a lot,
Ellen. The system failed him.
I don't think any of us can really
appreciate what he's been through.
I say we give the man a break.
Ellen acquiesces a pensive nod.
135 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT/ADJACENT STREET (3:20) 135
THROUGH a CHAIN LINK FENCE Trevor approaches his car.
Traffic is bumper to bumper.
136 OMITTED 136
138 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS ACTION 138
... as Trevor unlocks his car. And hesitates.
138 CONTINUED: 138
TREVOR'S POV - DRIVER'S SIDE CAR DOOR
... a bold 187 has been "keyed" into the paint.
Rivetted. Now he slides the cardboard box, along with
his briefcase onto the front seat.
Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, Ellen pulls up in her
She deciphers Trevor with mixed emotions. Trevor adjusts
his stance, covering the "187."
Ellen now tentatively rolls her window down halfway...
TAILPIPE SPUTTERS, a portentous idle.
... I'd like to apologize for
the other night.
Trevor stands there transfixed for a moment. Now he
looks into her eyes. A soulful gaze.
Shouldn't listen to me. I was
His eyes become damp. Trevor smiles bravely.
We really need to talk.
... Not tonight. Have to finish
Tomorrow then? It's important
(far off now)
(resolves it in
... How 'bout seven o'clock?
Trevor nods. Ellen flickers a tenuous smile.
139 INT. ELLEN'S CHEROKEE - SIDE VIEW MIRROR 139
... as she rolls up her window and drives away, leaving
Trevor standing in the middle of the parking lot. His
image gets smaller and smaller in the mirror.
139A INT./EXT. ELLEN'S JEEP CHEROKEE - ELLEN'S POV 139A
as she watches him in the side view mirror, torn with
140 OMITTED 140
144 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 144
Seeing now that the whole house has been tagged with
graffiti (not only the garage) as the Rambler pulls into
the driveway. With dead calm, Trevor leaves his box of
belongings behind and enters the front door, carrying his
144A EXT. STOLEN BUICK REGAL - CONTINUOUS ACTION - LATE 144A
... as it parks about two houses down from Trevor's.
145 INT. BUICK REGAL - CONTINUOUS ACTION - LATE AFTERNOON 145
All three tag-bangers produce firearms... Cesar loads the
cylinder chamber on his .357 magnum. Stevie double
checks a 7 round clip and a 39 Smith and Wesson. And
Paco plays with a .38 caliber revolver that he hides in
the deep front pocket of is County-Bens.
The interior of the Buick snaps with the hard sound of
gun metal... cocking hammers, loading cartridges and
spinning cylinder chambers...
... As the gun preparations systematically stop. Cesar
now flicks ON an ELECTRIC HAIR CLIPPER, sets it on 'NO
CLIP,' and passes it back to Paco. Paco runs the clipper
over his head. Hair tumbles off in chunks. Stevie
fidgets, picks up a naked one-eyed doll off the floor,
raises it INTO VIEW...
Where'd you jack 'dis car from,
(referring to doll)
'At's nasty, man.
146 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - SUNSET 146
Dutifully seated at his desk. Like a fervent prayer.
Lost in correcting his final graded assignment.
146A INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - POV - SUNSET 146A
PAST wrought iron bars on the outside of the window.
Sun hangs above a distorted horizon.
MATCH CUT TO:
146B ELLEN'S POV - SAME SUNSET 146B
... PAST high tension lines outside Mother Henry's
147 INT. MOTHER HENRY'S KITCHEN - DUSK 147
Ellen's preoccupied with thought as she rinses dishes
and places them in the dishwasher. O.S. hear "WHEEL
OF FORTUNE" on the TELEVISION.
Now a wet DISH slips from her grasp and SHATTERS on the
MOTHER HENRY (O.S.)
As she picks up the pieces...
... It's alright, mother.
148 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - DUSK 148
Sun goes down. A palpable stillness permeates.
149 INT. BUICK REGAL - K.O.S. TAG-BANGERS - CONTINUOUS 149
All three heads clipped "skin tight." Fixed gazes
holding. Stevie nurses a runny nose as he smokes
another "Sherm." Now something flickers in Cesar's
... Okay, let's smoke this bitch.
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 117.
150 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS ACTION - DUSK 150
The house is quiet now as Stevie and Paco disappear
around the back.
Cesar approaches the front door, undaunted, gun drawn.
Without breaking stride he kicks open the door...
151 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS ACTION - EVENING 151
Trevor sits on his bed, watching the red orb of the sun
disappear over the horizon. He can hear DOOR OPENING and
someone moving in his house.
I'm in here, Cesar.
Cesar, Paco, and Stevie enter the bedroom, guns drawn.
Dont' move, mutha fucka!
Stevie flips on a light. Paco SHOOTS out the TV set in
the living room -- an act of intimidation. Cesar jams
his .357 under Trevor's chin. Gets in his face.
You killed Benny. And you cut off
my finger... Say it.
Trevor stares right into Cesar's eyes, unflinching.
Yeah. I did.
Told yuh. Fuckin' A, man.
Lemme do 'im.
No. This nigga's mine.
Cesar sticks the gun barrel right between Trevor's eyes
... and squeezes the trigger. Click. An empty sound.
Trevor blinks. Cesar exhales a malicious laugh. Opens a
fist to reveal six bullets.
Ever seen The Deerhunter, ese?
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 118.
151 CONTINUED: 151
In the middle of the dark house -- Trevor's dining room
table. Trevor on one side, Cesar/Paco/Stevie on the
other. Cesar's seated, loading one of the six bullets
into a cylinder chamber. He shoves the gun toward Trevor
as Stevie and Paco train their pistols on him.
You gon' do yourself, mayate.
Put it to your head and pull the
Trevor grabs the pistol without hesitation, puts it to
his head and squeezes off TWO ROUNDS without incident.
He slams the gun down in front of Cesar without a blink.
A crazed, watery glint in his eye.
That macho enough for you, Cesar?
Huh? That make me a man?
Take more'n that.
Then you do it.
All three tag-bangers are taken aback.
C'mon, show me what you got. Mano
He's playin' with yer head.
Vato's scared. He tryin' to twist
I gotta be a fool to prove you're
a fool? -- okay.
Trevor picks up the gun again, puts it to his head and
pulls the trigger... click. Slams the gun down.
Tha's not how we playin' it.
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 119.
151 CONTINUED: (2) 151
Why -- you too chickenshit to play
yer own game? Got no cojones?
Paco lashes out and hits Trevor with his pistol drawing
Cesar stares at him.
You gonna let your homies defend
your punk ass, Cesar? You gonna
let me dis you? I pulled three
times, you pussy, you leva, you
coward! Lessee you pull one.
C'mon, be a man! Get some respect
back! Do it!
Cesar takes the gun and raises it toward his head.
Whatcho doin', homie?
He grabs Cesar's arm, but Cesar pushes him away.
You disrespectin' me, vato? You
sayin' I ain't a man?
I'm sayin' you're a fool.
Cesar puts the .357 to his temple again...
Don't do it!
They are mesmerized into inaction as Cesar grits his teeth
and pulls the trigger. Click.
You the man, Cesar! You the man!
He got character, homes.
Crazy mutha fucka.
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 120.
151 CONTINUED: (3) 151
Trevor looks at Cesar in disgust as he takes another
bullet and blindly loads it into the cylinder chamber.
He spins the cylinder and slams the gun on the table.
You think you got respect now?
Your kinda respect is bullshit.
Only thing you honor is stupidity.
You ready to die for stupidity,
Cesar? I am, if it'll teach you
somethin'. See you can't kill me,
homeboy. Yeah, my body... but
what I am, who I was? That's
been dead for over a year. And
I'm never gonna get it back -- no
matter how many of you I get rid
of. I realize that now...
... I was a teacher! I wanted to
He snatches up the gun, puts it to his head and pulls the
trigger again... click. Trevor slams it back down on the
You can't kill me... and you can't
Cesar's sweating now, glancing between Trevor and the gun
on the table. Stevie and Paco shift uneasily.
Don't do it, homie.
Yeah, but isn't that what you
respect? Bein' loco? Don't listen
to 'em, Cesar. If you gonna live
stupid don't do it half-assed --
take it all the way. Take your
turn. Pull the trigger.
Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place,
Cesar's hand inches toward the gun. Suddenly Trevor is
screaming at him.
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 121.
151 CONTINUED: (4) 151
Macho is bullshit, fool! Your
whole way of life is BULLSHIT!
Cesar explodes to his feet and screams right back.
It's all I got!
Silence. Trevor studies him with an enigmatic look.
Well then, I'll take your turn for
He snatches up the pistol and puts it to his head...
... pulls the trigger. BLAM!! The SHOT knocks Trevor
out of his chair.
152 OMITTED 152
167A ON PACO AND STEVIE 167A
You see dat! He's out! He's
fuckin' out! Snuffed hisself!
What'd he do that for?
He walks toward the back of the house like a zombie.
... Let's get outta here.
Paco pulls at Cesar, who's staring at Trevor's dead body.
He took my turn.
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 122.
167A CONTINUED: 167A
It was my turn. He took it...
He dissed me.
So fuckin' what, man! He's dead!
Cesar shrugs him off, picks up the .357.
I gotta do this.
Fuck dis shit! Leave it!
He tries to pull Cesar away, pleading with him in Spanish,
but Cesar shoves him off.
I got one chance in six. I'm
'onna beat 'dis bitch... For
Paco rushes toward him, but is stopped by the BOOM!
of the .357. Frozen in shock, Paco stares down at
Cesar's body as Stevie re-enters the kitchen.
Cesar?... Why'd he do it? Why?
167B ON PACO AND STEVIE 167B
Not knowing himself, Paco stumbles out of Trevor's
kitchen toward the back door. Finally Stevie follows
him as we PULL BACK to reveal the crumpled bodies of
Trevor and Cesar lying on the floor.
... Last night tragedy struck in
North Hollywood where a high
school teacher and one of his
students were both found shot
to death inside the teacher's home.
V.O. continues through the...
1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 122A.
168 EXT. J. Q. ADAMS H.S. - MORNING (GRADUATION DAY) 168
TWO WEEKS LATER
... the marquee outside the school reads...
HAPPY GRADUATION -- CLASS OF '97
... The teacher has been
identified as forty-one-year-old
Trevor Garfield, formerly of
New York City. Most recently he
taught science at John Quincy Adams
High School in the San Fernando
Confidential sources reveal that
the teacher had publicly been
accused of foul play in the
death of another student whose
body was discovered just last
month in the L.A. River...
168A EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - AFTERNOON 168A
Graduation in progress. Standing room only.
Administrators have begun to take their seats up on a
makeshift stage. Garcia, Hyland, Assistant Principal
1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 122B.
168A CONTINUED: (A1) 168A
Bleachers now as guests and family members fan themselves
against the searing heat. A banner strung across the top
row of seats reads...
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF '97
Faculty members are seated in the first two rows down
on the field. In front of a sea of mortar boards.
168A CONTINUED: 168A
Dave Childress now enters, his usual shabby attire,
nursing another hangover. He takes a seat away from the
168B EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - PODIUM - SHORT WHILE LATER 168B
As the first speaker approaches the podium...
ON two inch high heels, an occasional wobble as the white
high heels make their way up to the podium. ANGLE RISING
now, LINGERING ON a clinging powder blue dress and mani-
cured fingernails. HOLD ON her clenched essay. Now
CONTINUE UP to reveal Rita Nartinez.
She wears lipstick... and only a moderate amount of eye
shadow. She wears a slightly nervous, preoccupied look.
Rita at the podium, as she adjusts the microphone, a
nervous reflex. Places her essay on the podium. Stares
down at it...
... The title of my essay is,
'Mi Vida Loca'... 'My Crazy Life'...
Rita hesitates. Now she gazes out at the graduating
168C FACES IN CROWD 168C
Waiting... Intently fanning themselves...
168D DAVE CHILDRESS 168D
Apathetic. Arms draped over the empty chairs on either
side of him.
168E BACK TO RITA 168E
(turning to Quinn)
Ms. Quinn, can I say somethin'?
... May I say something?
Ms. Quinn (45) hesitates, now acquiesces with
168E CONTINUED: 168E
... There's been a lotta talk las'
couple weeks whether Mr. Garfield
done those things they been writin'
about in the newspaper. He once
tol' me you can't blame everything
on yer environment.
But I t'ink you can push a good
teacher too far and he might jus'
go bad like anybody else...
169 OMITTED 169
173 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTERNOON 173
INTERCUT VARIOUS CUTS OF Ellen's hands as she clears a
bulletin board... removes a computer graphics display from
a wall... empties desk drawers... and packs away her
computer in a box.
... I dunno if Mr. 'G' did all
those bad things. All I know
is dat teachers don't get no
respect. 'At's the simple truth.
And if Mr. 'G' is responsible,
well den he ain't the only one
174 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AUDITORIUM - PODIUM (GRADUATION) 174
... We're all responsible. You and
me... all of us. I'm up here today
cuz a him. He was dere for me
when nobody else was. Thing is...
I shoulda been 'dere for him
too... but I wasn't. I turned
my back on the only person who
ever cared about me.
He said if I could stand up here
and read my essay it would be a
I ast' 'im, 'What's up wit' dat?'
174 CONTINUED: 174
A trickle of incongruous laughter, awkward yet
He told me in my case it was
irony... and to go look it up...
so I did.
I wonder now if Mr. 'G' was really
talking 'bout hisself.
It refers to this guy named
Pyrrhus. He was a king back
'round 300 B.C.
Rita refers to a piece of scratch paper she has tucked
inside her essay...
INTERCUT ELLEN AND:
175 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB 175
again... as she now empties one last drawer, she dis-
covers her teaching credential. Reluctantly picks it up.
Holds it for a moment. Now read across the face of the
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COMMISSION ON TEACHER CREDENTIALING
issues this document to
175A BACK TO GRADUATION 175A
... Pyrrhus defeated the Romans
on two occasions. But those two
victories lost him a large part
of his army. Now whenever people
say something's a Pyrrhic victory
they mean it's a victory gained
at too great a cost.
Childress stares off into space, flickers a pathetic smirk.
And now Stevie seated amongst the graduates. Glancing
up from under his mortar board cap. He adjusts
a gaze into the bleachers.
175B STEVIE LITTLETON'S POV - HIS PARENTS 175B
Early forties, upper-middle class. Stevie's mother
catches his eye. Like an incongruous SLOW MOTION dream,
she mouth the words, "Were... So... Proud... Of... You."
175C STEVIE LITTLETON 175C
... as guilt eats at him, weaving its insidious web.
175D BACK TO RITA 175D
now at the podium. Holding back tears, Rita now carefully
folds up her piece of scratch paper... and fixes a distant
176 OMITTED 176
177 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTERNOON 177
... Slowly SCAN the walls, stripped completely bare now.
END ON Ellen standing obliquely in the doorway. Brief-
case in hand, files and papers tucked under one arm. Her
face, a solemn vacuous gaze.
Now she drops something into the trash can, shuts off the
lights, and leaves. As the door slowly closes...
MOVE IN ON the trash can...
... and Ellen's crumpled teaching credential. Add another
name to the list of fallen heroes as we...
... and ROLL END CREDITS.