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Amelia Movie Script

Writer(s) : Ronald Bass, Anna Hamilton Phelan

Genres : Drama

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                                        AMELIA

          

                                       Written by          

                           Ronald Bass & Anna Hamilton Phelan



          



                                                        September 14, 2007

          

          1                                                                1

              EXT. BAR, LAE, NEW GUINEA - DAY

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

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

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

              SUPERIMPOSE:   LAE, NEW GUINEA - 1937.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                        2.

          

          

          

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

              No response.   Just her clear direct gaze.

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

              She looks out to sea.

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

          

          

              INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE, NEW YORK - DAY


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

              SUPERIMPOSE:   NEW YORK, LATER 1937.

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

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

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

          

                                                                           3.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

                                                           DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

          3                                                                     3

              INT. RECEPTION AREA - DAY

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                     4.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                5.

          

          

          

                                 GEORGE
                       Miss Earhart?

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

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

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

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

                                   AMELIA
                       I do.

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

                                 AMELIA
                       I'll make it.

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

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

          

                                                          6.

          

          

          

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    Why would that matter?

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

                              AMELIA
                    Was that your advice?

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    Except for the part that goes to
                    you.

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

                              AMELIA
                    You said she wants a flyer.

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

          

                                                                     7.

          

          

          
          He waits for reaction.   She keeps her mouth shut.

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

                               AMELIA
                    Why would anyone want a book from a
                    passenger?

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                        8.

          

          

          

          

          4                                                                  4

              INT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION - LATER

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

                                  GEORGE
                        I honestly feel an apology is in
                        order.

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

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

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

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

                                   AMELIA
                        We.

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                          9.

          

          

          

          

          5                                                                    5

              INT. TRAIN - LATER

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

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

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

                                                            DISSOLVE TO HER

                                                               MEMORY OF...

          

          

          6                                                                    6

              EXT. FIELD, DES MOINES - DAY

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

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

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

              SMASH CUT TO...

          

                                                                         10.

          

          

          

          

          7                                                                    7

              INT. AMELIA'S PLANE - DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                        Almost.

          

          

              EXT. AIRFIELD - DAY


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

          

                                                                        11.

          

          

          

                                    AMELIA
                         Got it.   I think.

          

          

          9                                                                   9

               INT. DENISON HOUSE, BOSTON - DAY

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

                                    A
               Two are blind. Amelia sees Sam...

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

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

                                   OCTOPUS CLUB
                             (on cue)

                         REALLY STRANGE!

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

          

          

               EXT. GROUNDS - LATER


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

                                   SAM
                         And it's a secret.

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

          
               She looks over.

          

                                                          12.

          

          

          

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

                              SAM
                    And no one else knows.

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    Specially if I don't make it.

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

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

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

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

                              SAM
                    And where does that leave us?

          

                                                                        13.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               INT. WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL - DAY


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

               POPPING.

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

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

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

          

                                                                        14.

          

          

          
               As the laughter CONTINUES...

          

          

          12   T                                                          12

               INT. HANGAR, EAST BOSTON AIRPORT - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                   15.

          

          

          

                              GEORGE (CONT'D)
                    We've got Byrd's pilot, we've got
                    his plane...

                              AMELIA

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

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

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

                               AMELIA
                    Hmmn.   What does that do to our
                    fuel?

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                        16.

          

          

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

          

          

          13                                                              13

               EXT. DOCK - LATER

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

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

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

               H
                e meant that.   And she seems oddly touched.

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

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

                                   GEORGE
                             (a smile)
                         Simpkin.

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

          

          

          14                                                              14

               EXT. ROOF, COPLEY PLAZA HOTEL - DAY

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

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

          

                    T

          

          

          

          

                              A

          

          

          

          

                                                                     17.

          

          

          

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    What are you boys doing over there?

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

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

                               G

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                         18.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

                                   PHOTOGRAPHER
                         Hold those smiles for one more,
                         please.

          

          

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


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

          1

          

               EXT. YACHT CLUB DOCK - EARLY LIGHT


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

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

          

                                                                   19.

          

          

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

          DAD.

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

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

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

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

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

                                 AMELIA
                     Have you.

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

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

                               AMELIA
                     But why is he you?
          Oh.

                               GEORGE
                     He's brilliant, charismatic...

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

          

               H

          

          

          

          

                                                                          20.

          

          

          

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

                                      AMELIA

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

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

                                                              DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

          17                                                                   17

               INT. SMALL HOTEL, NEWFOUNDLAND - MORNING

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

               SUPERIMPOSE:     FIRST STOP: CANADA

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

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

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

          

                                     R

          

          

          

          

                                                                           21.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

          

          18                                                                   18

               INT. WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL - DAY

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

          

                                                                     22.

          

          

          

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

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

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

                              R

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                          23.

          

          

          

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

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

          

          

               EXT. HARBOR, TREPASSEY, NEWFOUNDLAND - EARLY MORNING


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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR, NEWFOUNDLAND - LATE NIGHT


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

          

                            A

          

          

          

          

                                                                               24.

          

          

          

          

          21                                                                     21

               INT. ROOM - SAME MOMENT

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

                                      BILL

                            EXPLORER, MY ASS. BYRD COULDN'T

                            FIND A PUBIC HAIR IN A WHOREHOUSE

                             T RUSH HOUR!

          

          

               INT. HOTEL ROOM, NEWFOUNDLAND - LATER


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

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

          

          

               FLASHBACK:       EXT. HOUSE, ATCHISON, KANSAS - DAY


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

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

          

          

               INT. HOTEL ROOM - EARLY MORNING


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

                                      BILL
                            Christ, what time is...

          

                                                                      25.

          

          

          

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

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

                              BILL (CONT'D)
                    It's not good enough.

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

                              B

                               ILL
                    It's not good enough.

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

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

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

                              BILL
                    You're serious.

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

          

                                                                          26.

          

          

          

                                   AMELIA (CONT'D)

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

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

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

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

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

               Y
                ou got that?   Do you?

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

          

          

          25                                                                25

               EXT. TREPASSEY HARBOR - LATER

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

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

          

               S

          

          

          

          

                                                                          27.

          

          

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

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

                                   BILL
                         Have a nice flight.

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

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

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

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

               T
                osses his coffee.   Climbs aboard.

          

          

               INT. FRIENDSHIP - MOMENTS LATER


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

          

                                                                           28.

          

          

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

          

          

          27                                                                 27

               EXT. HARBOR - SAME MOMENT

               ...the seaplane LIFTS, struggles, then SOARS FREE.

          

          

               INT. FRIENDSHIP - DAY/NIGHT


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

                                        AMELIA

                            YOU OKAY?

                                      BILL

                            BE BETTER IF OUR DAMN RADIO WOULD

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

          

          

          29                                                                 29

               FLASHBACK:    EXT. AMELIA'S HOUSE, ATCHISON, KANSAS - DAY

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

          

                                                                        29.

          

          

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

          

          

          30                                                               30

               INT. FRIENDSHIP

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

                                   BILL

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

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

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

                                   AMELIA (CONT'D)

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

          

                                                                      30.

          

          

          

                                BILL

                    RADIO'S   STILL OUT. NO WAY TO

                    COMPUTE   WINDSPEED AND DRIFT IN THE

                    FOG, SO   GOD ONLY KNOWS WHERE

                    IRELAND   IS.
          Checks his watch.

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                    NINETEEN HOURS PLUS. WE'VE GOT

                    MAYBE AN HOUR OF PETROL LEFT.

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

                              AMELIA

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

                              AMELIA (CONT'D)

                    IF WE LAND NEAR THEM, WE'VE GOT A

                    RESCUE.
          Their eyes are locked.

                              BILL

                    THINK THOSE RIDICULOUS SKIS COULD

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

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                    YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO MAKE IT.

                    ARE YOU A LIAR?

                              AMELIA

                    NOT ON THIS OCCASION.
          A rare smile...

                              BILL

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

          

                         A

          

          

          

          

                                                                       31.

          

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

                                    A

               SPUTTER.

                                    MELIA

                         WHEN'S THAT HOUR OF FUEL RUN OUT?

                                   BILL

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

                                   AMELIA

                         THE LONGER I OBSERVE MEN THE MORE

                         I AM AWESTRUCK. BY THEIR CAPACITY

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

          

          

               EXT. SHORE, BURRY PORT, WALES - DAY


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

                                   AMELIA
                         Out of gas. May have to swim for

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

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

          

                                                                     32.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                           33.

          

          

          

                                   SHERIFF
                         Sorry Ma'am. Shoulda brought
                         more men.

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

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

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

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

                                    R

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

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

          

          

               EXT. SOUTHAMPTON - DAY


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

          

                                                                         34.

          

          

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

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

          

          

               INT. HYDE PARK HOTEL, LONDON - DAY


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

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

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

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

                                   REPORTER
                         So you could have done it yourself!

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

          

                            Y

          

          

          

          

          3

          

          

          

          

               S

          

          

          

          

                                                                             35.

          

          

          

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

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

                                      AMELIA (CONT'D)
                            It starts women thinking.

          

          

               EXT. BROADWAY, NEW YORK CITY - DAY


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

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

          

          

               EXT. RECEPTION HALL - DAY


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

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

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

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

                                      GEORGE
                             ou're the boss.

          

                                                                       36.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                              (MORE)

          

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

          

          

          36                                                                36

               EXT. PUTNAM HOME, RYE, NEW YORK - DAY

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

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

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

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

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

                                   GEORGE
                         Lucky Strike endorsement.      I wrote
                         the copy myself.

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

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

                                    AMELIA
                         True and misleading.      Why would I
                         sign that?

                                   GEORGE
                         So Bill and Slim get paid.

          

                                                                         38.

          

          

          
               Oh.   His smile simple, comfortable.

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

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

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

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

          

          

               INT. AUDITORIUM, BARNARD COLLEGE, NEW YORK - NIGHT


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

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

          

                                                                     39.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                            40.

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               INT. HOTEL, CHICAGO - DAY


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

          

                                                                   41.

          

          

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

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

                               ELINOR
                    Um.   Thanks, and.   You, too.

                              AMELIA
                    Feel like a drink?

                               GEORGE
                    Amelia!   What would her mother
                    say?

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

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

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

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

          
          The girl looks from one to the other.

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

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

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

          

                                                                       42.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

                                   ELINOR
                         I do.

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

                                    A

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

          

          

               INT. PUTNAM HOUSE - CHRISTMAS DAY


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

          

                                                                         43.

          

          

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

          

          

          40                                                                 40

               EXT. GARDEN - MOMENTS LATER

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

                                   GEORGE
                         Lovely party, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                           44.

          

          

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

          

          

               INT. KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT


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

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

                                    AMELIA
                          For a long, long time.

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

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

                                    AMELIA
                          I can't do that.

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

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

               S
                he comes close enough to kiss.

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

                                    GEORGE
                          What if I promise not to learn?

          

                                                                         45.

          

          

          

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

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

                                   GEORGE (CONT'D)
                         Race you to bed.

          

          

               EXT. AIRFIELD - DAY - NEWSREEL


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

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

          

          

               INT. RECEPTION AREA, PUTNAM'S - DAY


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

          

                                                                   46.

          

          

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

                              ELINOR
                    Wish I was important enough for
                    you to manage.

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                             47.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                 GEORGE
                       You haven't changed.

          N
           o smile at all.

          

                                                                   48.

          

          

          

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

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

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

                              ELINOR
                    That's a threat.

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

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

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

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

                              GEORGE
                    Oh, sure she does.
          A straight smile...

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

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

                                                       DISSOLVE TO...

          

                         Y

          

          

          

          

                         S

          

          

          

          

                         W

          

          

          

          

                                                                      49.

          

          

          

          

          44                                                            44

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

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

                                   GEORGE

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

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

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

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

                                   GEORGE
                         I didn't say that.

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

                                   GEORGE
                          ou're making your life hap...

                                   AMELIA
                         But this is different.
               It is.

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

          

                       I

          

          

          

          

                       F

                       T

          

          

          

          

                                                             50.

          

          

          
          Are you listening?

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

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

                                  EORGE
                       I did it for fun?

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

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

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

                                    GEORGE
                           did.   I do.

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                          51.

          

          

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

          

          

          45                                                                   45

               INT. GEORGE'S MOTHER'S HOME, NOANK, CONNECTICUT - DAY

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

               S

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

          

          

               EXT. HOME - MOMENTS LATER


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

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

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

          

                         M

          

          

          

          

                                                                            52.

          

          

          

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

                                   AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)

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

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

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

          

          

          47                                                                    47

               INT. PARLOR - LATER

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

                                                               DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               INT. KITCHEN, RYE - MORNING


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

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

          

                                                                           53.

          

          

          

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

                                    A
                          this, because...?

                                     MELIA
                          I might fly to Paris.
               Silence.

                                    GEORGE
                          Which is actually across the
                          Atlantic.

                                    AMELIA
                          Hence, the article.
               Ah.   He nods.

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

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

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

          

          

               EXT. GARDEN, RYE - DAY


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

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

                                      GEORGE
                          Really.

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

          

                         D

          

          

          

          

                         W

          

          

          

          

                                                                         54.

          

          

          

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

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

                                    A
               reaches now, starts REPACKING her soil...

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

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

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

          

          

               EXT. TEETERBORO AIRPORT - DUSK


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

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

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

          

                                                                     55.

          

          

          

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

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

                                GEORGE
                      Do you have money?

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

                                AMELIA (CONT'D)
                      All this? G

                                 EORGE
                      Sure.

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                        56.

          

          

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

                                   AMELIA (CONT'D)
                         See ya.

          

          

               INT. VEGA - NIGHT


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

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

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

          

          

               EXT. VEGA - LATER


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

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

          

          

               INT. VEGA - SAME MOMENT


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

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

                                   (MORE)

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                          58.

          

          

          

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

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

          

          

          54                                                                 54

               EXT. VEGA - SAME MOMENT

               The SPINNING plane PLUNGING...

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

          

          

               INT. VEGA - SAME MOMENT


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

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

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

               T
                he sea DISAPPEARS below.   Only cloud.

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

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

          

                                                                          59.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

          5

          

               INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE - DAY


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

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

          

                                                                         60.

          

          

          
               A full beat.

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

                                                          SMASH CUT TO...

          

          

               EXT. SKY - DAY


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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    MAN
                          In Gallagher's pasture.

               O
                ne more beat.

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

          

                                                                       61.

          

          

          

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

                             (POINTS)
                         It's over there.

          

          

               EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR- DAY


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

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

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

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

                                                          DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

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


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

          

                    G

          

          

          

          

                    W

          

          

          

          

                    W

          

          

          

          

                                                                    62.

          

          

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

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

                               GEORGE
                     hy would you even read that
                    garbage?

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                  63.

          

          

          

                               GEORGE
                     You've made them feel like this.

                               AMELIA
                     That's not enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                GEORGE
                     And.   It's fun.
          From the stage...

                               ANNOUNCER (O.S.)

                     LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THE

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

          

                                                                      64.

          

          

          

                               PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

                    THE GOLD MEDAL OF THE NATIONAL GEO-

                    GRAPHIC SOCIETY WAS LAST AWARDED

                    FIVE YEARS AGO TO COL. CHARLES

                    LINDBERGH.
          George murmurs close to her ear...

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

                              PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

                    IT HAS NEVER BEEN AWARDED TO A

                    WOMAN...

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

                              PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

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

                              PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

                    IT IS MY HONOR TO WELCOME TO CONSTI-

                    TUTION HALL, A ROLE MODEL FOR

                    LADIES EVERYWHERE...

                                AMELIA
                    Ladies.

                              PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

                    MISS AMELIA EARHART.

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

          

                                                                         65.

          

          

          

          

          60                                                                  60

               INT. TRAIN - DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                           66.

          

          

          

                                   GEORGE (CONT'D)

                         S
                          ounds like a great idea.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

          61                                                                 61

               INT. RESTAURANT, BOSTON - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                     67.

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

                               AMELIA
                     How's Nina doing?

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

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

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

          

                                                                    68.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

                                 AMELIA
                    At seven?

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

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

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

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    Wish you'd do something about that.

          

                                                                           69.

          

          

          

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

                                     AMELIA
                          I know.   Always.

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

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

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

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

                                    AMELIA
                          We don't have to.

                                    GENE
                          With all respect.    Yes, you do.

          

          

          62                                                                 62

               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - LATER

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

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

          

                         T

          

          

          

          

                         T

          

          

          

          

               H

          

          

          

          

                                                                         70.

          

          

          

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

                                                             DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               INT. BANQUET HALL, WASHINGTON - NIGHT


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

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

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

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

                                    MELIA
                         So he hasn't actually forbidden
                         you.

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

          

                    I

          

          

          

          

                    I

          

          

          

          

                    T

          

          

          

          

                    O

          

          

          

          

                                                                     71.

          

          

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

                              AMELIA
                    The wrong Roosevelt got elected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                             72.

          

          

          

                                   AMELIA
                         Outstanding.

          

          

          64                                                                   64

               INT. CONDOR AIRLINER - LATER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                             DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM - DAY


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

          

                         Y

          

          

          

          

                                                                             73.

          

          

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

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

                                   ROOSEVELT (O.S.) (CONT'D)

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

                                                             DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               EXT. PUTNAM HOME, RYE - EVENING


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

          

          

               EXT. GARDEN, RYE - DAY


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

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

          

                    M

          

          

          

          

                    I

          

          

          

          

                                                                      74.

          

          

          
                              GEORGE (working)
                    You have, actually. Twice.

                                 AMELIA
                    Sorry.

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    When are you leaving?

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

                              AMELIA
                    I don't really see how I can.

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

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

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

          

                            B

          

          

          

          

                                                                             75.

          

          

          

                                      AMELIA
                            What are you trying to say?

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

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

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

                                                                DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               EXT. LOS ANGELES COLISEUM - DAY


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

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

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

          

                                   G

          

          

          

          

                                   G

          

          

          

          

                                                                          76.

          

          

          

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

          

          

               INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE, NEW YORK - DUSK


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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               INT. LOS ANGELES HOME - DAY


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

          

                                      G

          

          

          

          

                                                                             77.

          

          

          
                                      AMELIA (softly)
                          Hi.

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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               BACK TO LOS ANGELES

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

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

                              (LISTENS)

                                    (MORE)

          

                         S

          

          

          

          

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

                                                          DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

          72                                                               72

               EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT - NEWSREEL FOOTAGE - NIGHT

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

                                    A
               in now for a landing. Smooth trajectory.

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

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

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

          

          

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


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

          

                    T

          

          

          

          

                                                                    79.

          

          

          

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

                              AMELIA
                    Must be the ambience.   And the
                    nuts.

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

          S
           he chews, staring at him.

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    You'll see it.

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

                                 AMELIA
                    Gore, huh?

                               GENE
                    Sure.   I'm completely indifferent.

                                 AMELIA
                    I wish.
          Do you?

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

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

                              (MORE)

          

                     A

          

          

          

          

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

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

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

                               AMELIA
                     What's special about now?

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

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

                               AMELIA
                     Not unless someone makes me.

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

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

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

          

                       I

          

          

          

          

                       I

                       O

          

          

          

          

                                 G

          

          

          

                       H

          

          

          

          

                       I

          

          

                       A

                       S

          

          

          

          

                       F

          

          

          

          

                                                             81.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                 AMELIA
                       Thanks for the tip.

                                 GENE
                       Thanks for not being defensive.
          Full beat.

          

                            T

          

          

          

          

                                                                                82.

          

          

          

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

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

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

                                                                 DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

               EXT. ROSE GARDEN, WHITE HOUSE - DAY


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

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

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

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

          

                                                                        83.

          

          

          

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

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

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

          

          

          75   C                                                            75

               INT. WOMEN'S DORMITORY, PURDUE UNIVERSITY - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

          

                      W

          

          

          

          

                      W

          

          

          

          

                                                                      84.

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                               (

          

          

          

          

                                                                      85.

          

          

          

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

                                BEAT)
                           Me, too.

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

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

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

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

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

          7

          

               EXT. PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK - NIGHT


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

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

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

          

                                                                         86.

          

          

          

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

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

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

                                 AMELIA
                       May as well be a billion.

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

                                 AMELIA
                       And your surprise is, you robbed a
                       bank.

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

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

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

                               G
          to startle passersby. It only makes him chuckle.

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

          

                                                                               87.

          

          

          

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

                                        GEORGE
                            Nah.
               She grins.

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

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

                                        AMELIA
                            Cat food.    A whole case.

          

          

               INT. HOME, RYE - DAY


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

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

               A
                s she writes, DISSOLVE TO...

          

                                                                        88.

          

          

          

          

          78                                                                 78

               INT. DINING ROOM, PURDUE UNIVERSITY - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               G
                eorge and Amelia gaze at each other.

          

                            Y

                            A

          

          

                            F

          

          

          

          

                            A

          

          

          

          

                            Y

          

          

          

          

                                                                       89.

          

          

          

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

          

          

          79                                                             79

               INT. HANGAR - DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                      GORE
                            Pretty much.

          

                       W

          

          

          

          

                       T

          

          

          

          

                                                              90.

          

          

          
          Now he's grinning.       She just glowers harder.

                                    G

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

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

                                   AMELIA (CONT'D)
                       Dare me.

                                   GORE
                       Okay.

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

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

                                 AMELIA
                       I'll have to refuel.

                                   GORE
                       Where?

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

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

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

                                 GORE
                       I guess we'll find out.

          

                     F

                     D

          

          

          

          

                     I

          

          

          

          

                                                                     91.

          

          

          
          Another.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                    O

                    I

          

          

          

          

                    T

          

          

          

          

                                                                   92.

          

          

          

                              AMELIA
                    I've taken bigger risks.

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

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

                              AMELIA
                    It's your vacation home.

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

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

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

                               GENE (CONT'D)

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

                              GENE (CONT'D)
                    Can you handle that?

          

                            T

                            2

          

          

          

          

                                                                      93.

          

          

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

          

          

          80                                                            80

               EXT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - MORNING

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

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

                                      FRED
                            I hear you like your coffee black.

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

                                      FRED
                            Be right back.

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

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

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

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

          

                       E

          

          

          

          

                       P

          

          

          

          

                                                              94.

          

          

          

                                 AMELIA
                       Better odds of hitting that island?

                                 F

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

                                 AMELIA
                       Even with cloud cover?

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

                                   AMELIA
                       They did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                         T

                         I

          

          

          

          

                                                                       95.

          

          

          

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

          

          

          81                                                                81

               INT. BARCLAY HOTEL, NEW YORK - DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                         1
                           85 pounds of fuel, I lost out.

          

                     T

          

          

          

          

                     T

          

          

          

          

                                                                    96.

          

          

          
          Gazes at his wife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                         T

          

          

          

               T

          

          

          

          

               S

          

          

          

          

                                                                          97.

          

          

          

                                   AMELIA (CONT'D)
                         ...and maybe even some men.

          8

          

           2                                                                82

               EXT. LUKE FIELD, HONOLULU - SUNRISE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               TO...

          

          

               INT. ELECTRA


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

          

                         N

          

          

          

          

                                                                         98.

          

          

          

          

          84                                                               84

               EXT./INT. ELECTRA

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

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

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

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

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

          

          

               EXT. OAKLAND AIRPORT - DAY


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

                                   MAN

                         NO FIRE! NO FIRE, FALSE REPORT!

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

          

                           I

          

          

          

          

                           T

          

          

          

          

                                                                         99.

          

          

          

          

          86                                                               86

               EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES HOME - ALMOST SUNRISE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                      GEORGE
                           Maybe.   Or...

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

                                     (MORE)

          

                         W

          

          

          

          

                         A

          

          

          

          

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

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

                                   AMELIA
                         You mean after.

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

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

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

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

                                   GEORGE
                         Lucky for you.
               A held beat.

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

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

          

          

               INT. HANGAR - NIGHT


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

          

                    T

          

          

          

          

                    I

          

          

          

          

                    S

          

          

          

          

                                                                    101.

          

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

                                GEORGE
                    Have fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                G

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

          

                                                                   102.

          

          

          

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

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

                              GENE
                    I'd appreciate that.
          Draws a breath.

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

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

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

                              GENE
                    You and Fred alone for a month...

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

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

                              GENE
                    How do you feel?

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

          

                                    G

          

               T

                         A

          

          

          

          

                                                                         103.

          

          

          

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

                                     G

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

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

          

          

          88                                                                88

               EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT - DAY - NEWSREEL FOOTAGE

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

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

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

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

          

          

               EXT. BEACH, MIAMI - DUSK


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

          

                            O

          

          

          

          

                            T

                            O

          

          

          

          

                                                                         104.

          

          

          

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

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

                                      AMELIA
                            I'll try to make you proud.

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

               A
                   beat.   The doubt comes.

                                      AMELIA
                            And then what?

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

          

          

               EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT - DAY


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

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

               SUPERIMPOSE:      MIAMI AIRPORT.   JUNE 1.

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

                                      (MORE)

          

                     C

          

          

          

          

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

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

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

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

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

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

                               GEORGE
                     We're saying he's cruel?

                                 AMELIA
                     No.

                               GEORGE
                     Controlling?

                                 AMELIA
                     Insecure.

          

                     I

          

          

          

          

                     T

          

          

          

          

                                                              106.

          

          

          
          Ah.   The light begins to dawn.

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

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

                     F
                       ire than anyone knows.

                               GEORGE
                     Especially the mice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          

                                                                        107.

          

          

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

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

                                    GEORGE
                          Well, I love you back.

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

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

                                                             SLOW DISSOLVE

                                                                     TO...

          

          

               EXT./INT. MONTAGE


          91                                                                 91

               SERIES OF ANGLES, CROSSFADES, DISSOLVES, INCLUDING...

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

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

               SUPERIMPOSE:   IMAGES FROM TRAVEL MAP

          

               -

          

          

          

          

                                                                         108.

          

          

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

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

                                                              DISSOLVE FROM

                                                              MONTAGE TO...

          

          

               EXT. AIRPORT, CALCUTTA - EVENING


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

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

                                   FRED

                         YOU'RE NOT REALLY TAKING OFF!

                                   AMELIA

                         IT'S GOING TO GET HEAVIER AND

                         WE COULD BE STUCK HERE FOR DAYS.

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

                                    A

                                    MELIA (CONT'D)

                         ONLY 700 MILES TO BANGKOK, IT'S

                         LIGHTER THERE.
               He doesn't move.

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

          

                                                                          109.

          

          

          

          

          93                                                                 93

               EXT. AIRSTRIP - MOMENTS LATER

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

               CLIMB.

          

          

               EXT. ELECTRA - LATER


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

          

          

          95                                                                 95

               INT. ELECTRA - SAME MOMENT

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

                                   AMELIA

                         YOU THINK WE SHOULD TURN BACK, HUH?

                                      FRED

                         NOPE.     I THINK WE SHOULDN'T HAVE

                         COME.
               An AIR POCKET DROPS them 200 feet.

                                   AMELIA

                         HARD TO IMAGINE LANDING IN THIS.

                                   FRED

                         I'VE GOT AN IDEA.     LET'S NEVER COME

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

                                   AMELIA

                         HOW COULD YOU FIND OUR WAY BACK?

                                    FRED

                         SINCE I FORGOT TO DROP BREAD

                         CRUMBS, WE'LL HAVE TO USE DEAD

                         RECKONING.
               Beat.

                                      AMELIA

                         THAT'S IT?     JUST A GUESS?

          

                            I

          

          

          

          

                                      F

          

          

          

          

                                                                      110.

          

          

          

                                      FRED

                            US NAVIGATORS PREFER THE TERM `WILD-

                            ASS GUESS.'
               Held look.

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

          

          

               INT. ELECTRA - DAY


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

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

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

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

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

                                      FRED
                            Cream, no sugar.

          

               A

          

          

          

          

                                                                       111.

          

          

          

          

          97                                                                97

               EXT. GOVERNOR'S HOUSE, CALCUTTA - TWILIGHT

               Establishing shot of a graceful pillar of the Raj.   Night
               falling.

          

          

               EXT. COURTYARD, GOVERNOR'S HOUSE - SAME MOMENT


          98                                                                98
               A fountain in an ornate courtyard. There is a RECEPTION, as
               every evening for Amelia, attended by local DIGNITARIES.
               Fred, already a little drunk, leads Amelia to a massive teak-
               wood table. He breaks off the corner of a cracker, sets it
               down in the center of the table.

                                     FRED
                           Howland Island.
               He strikes a match. SNUFFS the flame. Puts the burned-out
               match head just by the scrap of cracker.

                                     FRED (CONT'D)

                           B
                            lack smoke from the Navy ship that
                           could help us get a fix.
               Points way across the marble courtyard.

                                     FRED (CONT'D)
                           Now stand over there. That's what
                           it's going to look like, if the
                           weather's good.

                                     SERVANT (O.S.)
                           Mrs. Earhart?
               She glances up.   He beckons respectfully.
                NGLE. Alcove still with a VIEW of Fred and the courtyard.
               She lifts a telephone...

          

          

               INTERCUT:   INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE - DAY


          99                                                                99
               CLOSE on a WALL MAP. We realize that George has been fol-
               lowing her odyssey on a map of his own. We PULL BACK to
               reveal...

                                     GEORGE
                           Mrs. Earhart? Mr. Earhart, here.
               He looks elegant in crisp suit and tie.
               INTERCUT: Amelia's eyes WIDE. She seems truly thrilled.
               INTERCUT BETWEEN THEM now throughout...

          

                           .

          

          

          

          

                           R

          

          

          

          

                           S

                           T

          

          

          

          

                                                                        112.

          

          

          

                                     AMELIA
                           Oh, my goodness.   Simpkin, is it
                           really you?
                George makes a PURRING sound.     A sharp MEOW.

                                     AMELIA (CONT'D)
                           This is insane. It's so
                           extravagant.

                                     GEORGE
                           It gets worse, I bought a brand-new
                           suit and tie. Got a date with my
                           wife.

                                     AMELIA
                           We can't possibly afford this.

                                     GEORGE
                            ure, we can. It's Tuesday's call
                            o Lae that we can't afford.
                                     AMELIA (delighted)
                           You hang up the phone this minute.
                           You'll bankrupt us and I'll have
                           to walk home.

                                     GEORGE
                            easoning with me. A magnificent
                           display of useless courage.
                Her eyes remember.    A soft...

                                     AMELIA
                            ..and it's fun.
                HOLD on her face.    And MATCH DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

                EXT. BAR, LAE - NIGHT


          100                                                                100
                ...Amelia's FACE, as we left it in the first scene. The
                STORM PELTING all around the open-sided bar. Fred studying
                her across the table.

                                     FRED
                           A touching love story, really.
                He's been drinking, we can hear it in his voice.   SEE the
                bottle now. Nearly gone.

                                     AMELIA
                           An honest one. It's what you
                           wanted.
                He nods.   That's right.

          

                       Y

          

          

          

          

                                                                      113.

          

          

          

                                 FRED
                       I wonder if it's honest enough for
                       George. If it's what he wanted.
                        ou know.

                                 AMELIA
                       If you mean Gene, we're not
                       together anymore. In that way.
                       Not for a long time.

                                 FRED
                       Whose choice was that?
          She doesn't like his tone.      Shifts in her seat.

                                 AMELIA
                       It was mine.

                                 FRED
                       Well, isn't it always? You choose
                       in, you choose out. Makes things
                       easy.

                                 AMELIA
                       Anything but easy. Are you
                       disapproving of the way I live?

                                 FRED
                       Hell, no. It's just like me. In
                       fact, it's like most guys I know.
          His smile.

                                 FRED (CONT'D)
                       Actually, I'd like a piece of it
                       myself. Right about now.
          Her eyes harden.       A

                                  MELIA
                       If you have a point, Fred.   Make
                       it.

                                 FRED
                       Oh, I believe I have.
          She rises slowly. Zips her flight jacket.        Takes her slicker
          from the back of her chair.

                                 AMELIA
                       Allow me to cut you a deal, my
                       friend.
          Steel in the spine of that.

          

                                                                            114.

          

          

          

                                     AMELIA (CONT'D)
                           You show up tomorrow morning.
                           You show up sober and you get
                           me to Howland Island.
                Okay?

                                     AMELIA (CONT'D)
                           And I'll forget you ever said that.
                She WHEELS around and holding her slicker over her head, goes
                OFF into the POUNDING RAIN.
                Fred's smile is gone.     He stares after her.

                                                                 DISSOLVE TO...

          

          

                EXT. RADIO HUT, LAE - LATER


          101                                                                 101
                Amelia down the path in her slicker toward a small hut.       She
                knocks. Opens the door to reveal...

          

          

                INT. RADIO HUT - NIGHT


          102                                                                 102
                ...the radio receiver and transmitter.     The operator BALFOUR
                is a wiry Scot. He nods respectfully.

                                     BALFOUR
                           Ready, Mum.
                He stands and she takes his seat. He shows her the key to
                press, then steps back toward the window. But she makes no
                move to the radio. Just stares at him. He doesn't
                understand.
                                     AMELIA (gently)
                           Feel like stepping out for a
                           smoke...?

                                     BALFOUR
                           I don't smoke.

                                     AMELIA
                           ...or something?
                Oh.   The monsoon beats down.

                                     BALFOUR
                           If you need help, I'll be right
                           outside. In the rain.

                                        AMELIA
                           Thank you.     I'll only be a moment.

          

                            I

          

          

          

          

                                      G

          

          

          

          

                                                                           115.

          

          

          
                He puts on his slicker.   OPENS an umbrella.    Leaves.
                She looks back to the radio.   FLIPS the switch.
                            E         AMELIA (soft)
                             arhart here.

          

          

                INTERCUT:   COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - DAY

          103                                                                103
                George at a window, looking west.     Over the Pacific.   She's
                there somewhere.

                                       EORGE
                            You should be sleeping.
                He smiles to keep his voice up. The eyes aren't smiling.       We
                INTERCUT their conversation throughout...

                                      AMELIA
                            You should be working.

                                      GEORGE
                            I'm running a big adventure here,
                             'm a very important fellow.

                                      AMELIA
                            You told me I was the star.   And
                            you were no one at all.
                                      GEORGE (soft)
                            I thought I was lying. Guess the
                            joke's on me.
                Silence.

                                      GEORGE (CONT'D)
                            How's Fred?

                                      AMELIA
                            I'm mad at him. I'll be in
                            Honolulu on the 3rd, and with you
                            in Oakland for Fourth of July.
                            Okay?

                                      GEORGE
                            Don't keep me waiting.

                                      AMELIA
                            I won't dare. You're a very
                            important feline. Uh, fellow.

                                      GEORGE
                            Talk to me about Fred.

          

                                                                116.

          

          

          

                               AMELIA
                     Fred is fine. He's calculating
                     head-wind speed versus fuel as we
                     speak.
          CLOSE on his face.

                               GEORGE
                     You wouldn't sell a salesman would
                     you?

                                  AMELIA
                     He's fine.

                               GEORGE
                     So what's that I hear in     your
                     voice?
          A beat.

                               GEORGE
                     Is he drinking?
                               AMELIA (soft)
                     I can handle it.

                               GEORGE
                     Call it off. Right now.      I mean
                     it.

                               AMELIA
                     I can handle it.
          And then...

                               AMELIA
                     I love you.
          Silence.

                               GEORGE
                     After the Fourth.     We're going
                     home.

                               AMELIA
                     Where's that?

                                GEORGE
                     For me?   Anywhere you are.
          She begins to cry. Both hands fly to her mouth and she looks
          away. She swallows hard.

                               AMELIA
                     I'm going to like it there.

          

                            I

          

          

          

          

                                                                           117.

          

          

          
                And then...

                                      AMELIA (CONT'D)
                            I'd better. Since this is my last
                            flight.
                A long silence.

                                        GEORGE
                            Well.    If you insist.
                She nods.   She does.

                                       AMELIA
                             t's late here. Guess I'll go
                            curl up under a teacup.

                                      GEORGE
                            I'll go tell the world you're on
                            your way.
                Neither wants to let go.      We feel it so strong.
                                      GEORGE (a whisper)
                            Sweet dreams.
                A beat.
                                        AMELIA (whispers back)
                            See ya.
                And he's gone.      She stares at the radio.

          

          

                INT. AMELIA'S HUT - LATER


          104                                                                104
                FLICKER of a kerosene lamp.      Amelia writing at a tiny desk.
                Thinks now. Thinks.
                Lost in it.

          

          

                EXT. AIRFIELD, LAE - DAWN


          105                                                                105
                A sober, contrite Fred comes down the runway in early light.
                As he reaches the Electra, he sees a pile of discarded
                OBJECTS on the tarmac...
                ...metal containers, carton of oranges, parachutes.
                Bedrolls, cold weather gear. Souvenirs from their stops:
                flags, a metal plaque, native crafts, a Welcome Miss Amelia
                Earhart banner. As he studies the pile...
                ...a COFFEE POT comes FLYING out of the plane to roll at his
                feet. Suddenly, a 10 pound coffee tin SAILS PAST, as he
                DUCKS. Amelia appears at the hatch, sees him.

          

                             G

          

          

          

          

                                                                             118.

          

          

          

                                       FRED
                             You're finding the range. But it
                             might be easier to just shoot me.
                She stares at him for a moment.       A subdued voice...

                                       AMELIA
                             Traveling light, that's all.
                She sits on the lip of the hatch.       Her legs dangling.   Her
                eyes down.

                                       FRED
                             Got room for 190 pounds of asshole?
                No answer.       She's still looking down.   He's never seen her
                like this.

                                       FRED (CONT'D)

                             M
                              a'am, I am so sor...

                                          AMELIA
                             It's fine.
                Her eyes come up.

                                       AMELIA (CONT'D)
                             Everything is.
                He doesn't understand, but he's glad to be forgiven. She
                takes a LETTER from her pocket. Runs her finger over the
                envelope.

                                       FRED
                             I can run into town before we go.
                              et that in the post for you.
                She shakes her head slowly.

                                       AMELIA
                             It's for my husband. I'm going to
                             hand it to him. So I can watch his
                             face as he reads it.
                She sniffles slightly.

                                       AMELIA (CONT'D)
                             It's our tradition.

          

          

                EXT. RUNWAY, LAE AIRFIELD - MORNING


          106                                                                  106
                A RUNWAY that ends in a drop-off at the waters of Huon Gulf.
                The Electra, engines REVVING. Ready to go for it. Our ANGLE
                CLOSES on the belly of the plane. The ANTENNA MAST
                supporting a trailing WIRE ANTENNA.

          

                                                                       119.

          

          

          

                                       GEORGE (V.O.)
                             Ten A.M., Friday July 2. They
                             lined up on the thousand-yard
                             runway. One thousand gallons of
                             fuel, enough for 20 to 21 hours of
                             flying.
                LONG ANGLE. Crew and onlookers watch as the plane STARTS its
                run, gathering speed, BOUNCING over uneven ground...
                CLOSE now on the jouncing undercarriage, a momentary PUFF of
                DUST, and as the plane moves PAST, we may notice that the
                belly antenna mast seems to be GONE.
                DOWN the runway it RUMBLES, still earthbound, only 200 yards
                to go. Then 100. Then FIFTY, then at the water's edge, the
                Electra RISES and...

                .
                 ..DROPS out of sight below the land, as we SMASH CUT to...
                ANGLE. The Electra has FALLEN to SIX FEET above the surface
                of the Gulf. The engines THROB at max, the propellers
                THROWING SPRAY. The overloaded plane...
                ...RISING.    Slowly, then faster, then...
                ...SOARING free.
                PULL BACK to a VIEW from down the runway. The Electra in
                distance. RACK FOCUS to see something long and slender
                GLINTING on the ground. Could it be a length of WIRE?

          

          

                INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - SUNSET


          107                                                               107
                Through the glass, the sun is disappearing toward Amelia.
                PULL BACK to George, staring at a CABLE in his hands. We

                HEAR...

                                       BALFOUR (O.S.)
                             Mr. Putnam. Their headwinds are
                             stronger than they knew when they
                             took off.
                Then...

                                       BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                             I recalculated their fuel. It will
                             cost them 9%.
                George staring off. Assessing the consequences. PULL BACK
                to see an ENSIGN standing, waiting for instruction.

                                       BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                             I can't raise them, sir. I tried
                             voice, and Morse Code...

          

                          W

          

          

          

          

                                                                       120.

          

          

          
                George looks up.   Calmly.

                                    GEORGE
                           ire back. Tell him to forget the
                          Morse Code. They didn't bring the
                          receiver.
                The young man looks concerned.

                                    GEORGE (CONT'D)
                          Just tell him to stay with voice.
                          He'll get them.

          

          

          108   A                                                        108

                EXT. HOWLAND ISLAND - DAY

                 ERIAL ANGLE. A tiny, flat, nearly invisible speck adrift in
                the endless Pacific. Howland Island. PAN to see just
                offshore...

                                    GEORGE (V.O.)
                          The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca
                          had been anchored off Howland just
                          for us.
                CLOSE on the ITASCA now...

                                    GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                          Its radio would be her lifeline.
                          Its black plume of smoke would
                          reach for miles. More visible than
                          the island itself.
                DISSOLVE TO NIGHT. The island visible only by its slender
                LIGHTHOUSE. The ship illuminated in the darkness.
                CLOSE now on a path by the sea. A lone figure with a
                FLASHLIGHT approaches a SHACK. Enters...

          

          

                INT. RADIO HUT - NIGHT


          109                                                            109
                ...a room filled with radio equipment. He is FRANK CIPRIANI,
                in crisp naval uniform, relieving a SEAMAN who has been on
                duty. As Cipriani sits at his station, he notices...

                                    CIPRIANI
                          The direction finder.   How long has
                          this been on?
                The seaman turns back at the door.   What?

          

          

                EXT. ITASCA


          110                                                            110
                CLOSE on the ship, illuminated.   PUSH IN...

          

                                                                           121.

          

          

          

          

          111                                                                  111

                INT. RADIO ROOM, ITASCA - NIGHT

                The room is 9 x 20 with bare walls. At the transmitter, LEO
                BELLARTS the chief radio man. Short and square, an
                unflappable air of quiet expertise. With him, his assistant
                WILLIAM DALTEN, lean and young with dark serious eyes. At a
                typewriter sits THOMAS O'HARE, barely twenty, headphones
                across his shock of rust-colored hair, telegraph at the
                ready.

                S

                 UPERIMPOSE:    2:45 A.M.
                Dalten adjusting the receiver which is suddenly spitting
                STATIC. Threading through the noise, what could be a human
                voice. Bellarts calls to O'Hare...

                                       BELLARTS
                             That's her on 3105. She said
                             `cloudy and overcast.'
                O'Hare looks at him. Are you serious? Bellarts mimes typing
                with his fingers. O'Hare starts typing into the log.

                DISSOLVE TO...

                SUPERIMPOSE:    3:45 A.M.
                Radio CRACKLES.    All eyes turn.

                                       AMELIA (O.S.)
                             Itasca from Earhart. Overcast.
                Static.   Dalten leans to the mic...
                                       DALTEN (into mic)
                             We are receiving your signal.
                             Please acknowledge ours. What is
                             your position? When do you expect
                             to arrive Howland?
                No answer.    Light static.

                                       BELLARTS
                             Commander estimated 7:00. If she's
                             having trouble on voice
                             transmission, stay with Morse.
                And begins to carefully pack his pipe.      Dalten begins to
                transmit Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO...

                SUPERIMPOSE:    6:45 A.M.
                The radio.    The static.   The sudden voice...

          

                     K

          

          

          

          

                                                                     122.

          

          

          

                               AMELIA (O.S.)
                     Please take bearing on us and
                     report in half hour. I will make
                     noise in microphone. We are about
                     100 miles out.
          The transmission cuts out.     Dalten answers in Morse Code.    No
          response.

                               DALTEN
                     She's got to stay on longer.
          Bellarts dictating as O'Hare types...

                                BELLARTS
                     Earhart signal strength 4, but on

                     A
                       ir so briefly bearings impossible.

                                                         DISSOLVE TO...

          SUPERIMPOSE:    7:18 A.M.
                               DALTEN (to Bellarts)
                     Maybe her Morse receiver is out.
                         (into mic)
                     Can't take bearing on 3105. Please
                     send on 500 or do you want to take
                     bearing on us? Go ahead, please.
          Silence.   O'Hare typing:    NO ANSWER.

          SUPERIMPOSE:    7:30 A.M.
                               DALTEN (into mic)
                     Please acknowledge our signals on
                      ey. Please acknowledge.
          CRACKLE.   O'Hare typing:    UNANSWERED.

                               BELLARTS
                     Tommy, intercom top deck, double
                     check the smoke stack...
          INTERCUT: AERIAL ANGLE high above the ship.       BLACK SMOKE
          PLUMES into clear sky...

                               BELLARTS (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                     They should be able to see it for
                     twenty miles, at least.
          TILT ANGLE.    In far distance, thirty to forty miles, a gray

          STORM.

          

                           A

          

          

          

          

                                                                         123.

          

          

          

          

          112                                                              112

                INT. RADIO ROOM - MORNING

                A few others enter now. Civilians, sailors, they hang back
                silently, watching as...

                SUPERIMPOSE:   7:42 A.M.

                                     AMELIA (O.S.)
                           KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be
                           on you but cannot see you...
                Glances are traded. It is the first moment of visible
                concern. STATIC interrupts. Then...

                                     AMELIA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                           Gas is running low. Been unable to
                           reach you by radio. We are flying
                            t altitude 1000 feet.
                                     DALTEN (into mic)
                           You are reaching us. We are
                           sending on 3105 and 500 constantly.
                           Please acknowledge.
                Massive BURST of static. Dalten frantically CLICKING a
                message in Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO...

                S

                UPERIMPOSE:    7:58 A.M.
                The room has nearly filled. COMMANDER THOMPSON stands at
                Bellart's shoulder. All eyes fixed on the radio...

                                     EARHART (O.S.)
                           We are circling but cannot hear
                           you. Go ahead on 7500.
                                     BELLARTS (into mic)
                           Itasca to KHAQQ. Your signal is
                           strong. Are you receiving this?
                A breathless moment.   A sharp CRACKLE.

                                     EARHART (O.S.)
                           KHAQQ calling Itasca. We received
                           your signal, but unable to get a
                           minimum. Please take bearing on
                           us and answer 3105 with voice.
                                     BELLARTS (into mic)
                           Your signal received okay. It is
                           impractical to take a bearing on
                           3105 on your voice. Give us a
                           longer signal, please. Go ahead.
                Silence.   Feet are shifting.   No one speaks.

          

                       O

          

          

          

          

                       O

          

          

          

          

                                                                      124.

          

          

          
                                 BELLARTS (softly to Dalten)
                       Keep us at 7500, that's her only
                       acknowledgment.

                                 THOMPSON
                       You've got her signal, dammit.
                       What about the direction finder?

                                 BELLARTS
                       Cipriani reports the battery's
                       dead, sir. It was left on all
                       night.
          Full beat.
                                 THOMPSON (low)
                       I don't believe this is happening.

                                                             DISSOLVE TO:

          SUPERIMPOSE:     8:12 A.M.
                                 BELLARTS (into mic)
                       Itasca to Earhart. Did you get
                       transmission on 7500? Go ahead on
                       500 so that we can take a bearing
                       on you, it's impossible on 3105.
                       Please acknowledge.

                                                             DISSOLVE TO:

          SUPERIMPOSE:     8:33 A.M.
          No breath in this room.      No one moves.
                                 BELLARTS (into mic)
                       Will you please come in and answer
                        n 500? We are transmitting
                       constantly on 7500 and we do not
                       hear you on 500. Please answer on
                       500. Go ahead.

                                                             DISSOLVE TO:

          SUPERIMPOSE:     8:44 A.M.
          Suddenly, a thin and anxious VOICE cuts through a burst of
          static...            A

                                  MELIA (O.S.)
                       We are on the line of position 157-
                       337, will repeat this message on
                       6210 kilocycles. Wait, listening
                        n 6210 kilocycles. We are running
                       north and south.

          

                           B

          

          

          

          

                           F

          

          

          

          

                                                                           125.

          

          

          
                                     BELLARTS (into mic)
                           We hear you. We hear you. Can you
                           receive this...?
                Silence.   Silence.   Silence.
                                     COMMANDER (softly)
                           Mr. Bellarts. When did she say she
                           was low on fuel?
                All eyes shift to Tommy.    He scans the log.    Stares.

                                    O'HARE
                           Um. An hour. And two minutes,
                           sir.
                HOLD on this room.    DISSOLVE TO...
                AERIAL ANGLE. The ship in clear daylight.       The BLACK PLUME
                of smoke stretching to heaven.

                                                                 SLOW DISSOLVE

                                                                         TO...

          

          

                INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - NIGHT


          113                                                                113
                The tiny room we've come to know. It is filled with people
                who stand motionless, staring somberly at one man. In turn,
                he stares at a telephone...
                Which RINGS. Mary reaches, but his hand goes UP and she
                pulls back. He lets it ring three times, four, gathering
                himself. Lifting it...
                                      GEORGE (into phone)
                           Yes.
                There are no other words.    His eyes tear up.    He nods numbly
                at the phone.        G

                                      EORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                           Looking back, the questions were
                           obvious. Why would anyone try to
                            ind such a tiny target in a vast
                           ocean, with barely an hour's lee-
                           way in fuel?
                He draws a breath.
                                     GEORGE (into phone)
                           Well, we're most grateful. With
                           such an effort, of course they'll
                            e found.

          

                           I

          

          

          

          

                                                                           126.

          

          

          
                CLOSE on him now.   As he listens, as he responds graciously,

                MOS...

                                     GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                           So I tortured myself. Why hadn't
                             killed this plan on day one?
                           And then I realized...

                                                               DISSOLVE SLOWLY

                                                                         TO...

          

          

                EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES - LATER


          114                                                                114
                Alone.   In a moonlit garden.

                                     GEORGE (V.O.)
                           If I tried to count the insane and
                           reckless chances she took from the
                           first moment I met her. I wouldn't
                           know where to begin.
                Slowly to his knees.   By the plants they had tended together.

                                     GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                           It was the most tragic of endings.
                           The most cruel and senseless and
                           wasteful. And yet...
                And yet.

                                     GEORGE (CONT'D)
                           It's hard to imagine another.

                                                               SMASH CUT TO...

          

          

                EXT. BRILLIANT SKY, THE PACIFIC - DAY


          115                                                                115
                Sun and cloud.   The sea below.

                                     AMELIA (V.O.)
                           My Simpkin.
                We POINT toward the water.

                                     AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                           I want to be married to you. The
                           way you've been married to me.
                It begins to draw CLOSER.

                                      AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                           As you read this. I am watching
                           your face.


          

                                                          127.

          

          

          
          And CLOSER.

                              AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    I am hoping to see. That you know
                    how much I mean each word.

          Gaining SPEED now...

                              AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    All the things I never said, for
                    so very long...

          HURTLING TOWARD the surface...

                                 AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    Look up. They're in my eyes.

          SMASH CUT TO BLACK.
          Hold.

          

          

          ROLL END CREDITS.



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