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Barton Fink Movie Script

Writer(s) : Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Genres : Comedy, Drama, Thriller

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                                       BARTON FINK

                                        Screenplay

                                            By

                                  Ethan Coen & Joel Coen


								FADE IN:

	ON BARTON FINK

	He is a bespectacled man in his thirties, hale but somewhat 
	bookish. He stands, tuxedoed, in the wings of a theater, 
	looking out at the stage, listening intently to end of a 
	performance.

	In the shadows behind him an old stagehand leans against a 
	flat, expressionlessly smoking a cigarette, one hand on a 
	thick rope that hangs from the ceiling.

	The voices of the performing actors echo in from the offscreen 
	stage:

				ACTOR
		I'm blowin' out of here, blowin' for 
		good.  I'm kissin' it all goodbye, 
		these four stinkin' walls, the six 
		flights up, the el that roars by at 
		three A.M. like a castiron wind. 
		Kiss 'em goodbye for me, Maury!  
		I'll miss 'em - like hell I will!

				ACTRESS
		Dreaming again!

				ACTOR
		Not this time, Lil! I'm awake now, 
		awake for the first time in years. 
		Uncle Dave said it: Daylight is a 
		dream if you've lived with your eyes 
		closed. Well my eyes are open now! I 
		see that choir, and I know they're 
		dressed in rags! But we're part of 
		that choir, both of us - yeah, and 
		you, Maury, and Uncle Dave too!

				MAURY
		The sun's coming up, kid. They'll be 
		hawking the fish down on Fulton 
		Street.

				ACTOR
		Let 'em hawk. Let 'em sing their 
		hearts out.

				MAURY
		That's it, kid. Take that ruined 
		choir.  Make it sing!

				ACTOR
		So long, Maury.

				MAURY
		So long.

	We hear a door open and close, then approaching footsteps. A 
	tall, dark actor in a used tweed suit and carrying a beat-up 
	valise passes in front of Barton: From offscreen stage:

				MAURY
		We'll hear from that kid. And I don't 
		mean a postcard.

	The actor sets the valise down and then stands waiting int 
	he shadows behind Barton.

	An older man in work clothes - not wardrobe - passes in front 
	of Barton from the other direction, pauses at the edge of 
	the stage and cups his hands to his mouth.

				OLDER MAN
		FISH! FRESH FISH!

	As the man walks back off the screen:

				LILY
		Let's spit on our hands and get to 
		work.  It's late, Maury.

				MAURY
		Not any more Lil...

	Barton mouths the last line in sync with the offscreen actor:

				MAURY
		...It's early.

	With this the stagehand behind Barton furiously pulls the 
	rope hand-over-hand and we hear thunderous applause and shouts 
	of "Bravo!"  

	As the stagehand finishes bringing the curtain down, somewhat 
	muting the applause, the backstage actor trots out of frame 
	toward the stage.

	The stagehand pulls on an adjacent rope, bringing the curtain 
	back up and unmuting the applause.

	Barton Fink seems dazed. He has been joined by two other 
	men, both dressed in tuxedos, both beaming toward the stage.

	BARTON'S POV

	Looking across a tenement set at the backs of the cast as 
	the curtain rises on the enthusiastic house. The actors take 
	their bows and the cry of "Author, Author" goes up from the 
	crowd.

	The actors turn to smile at Barton in the wings.

	BARTON

	He hesitates, unable to take it all in.

	He is gently nudged toward the stage by the two tuxedoed 
	gentlemen.

	As he exits toward the stage the applause is deafening.

	TRACKING SHOT

	Pushing a maitre 'd who looks back over his shoulder as he 
	leads the way through the restaurant.

				MAITRE 'D
		Your table is ready, Monsieur Fink...  
		several members of your party have 
		already arrived...

	REVERSE

	Pulling Barton

				FINK
		Is Garland Stanford here?

				MAITRE 'D
		He called to say he'd be a few minutes 
		late... Ah, here we are...

	TRACKING IN

	Toward a large semi-circular booth. Three guests, two me and 
	a woman in evening wear, are rising and beaming at Barton. A 
	fat middle-aged man, one of the tuxedoed gentlemen we saw 
	backstage, is moving out to let Barton slide in.

				MAN
		Barton, Barton, so glad you could 
		make it.  You know Richard St. 
		Claire...

	Barton nods and looks at the woman.

				MAN
		...and Poppy Carnahan. We're drinking 
		champagne, dear boy, in honor of the 
		occasion. Have you seen the Herald?

	Barton looks sullenly at his champagne glass as the fat man 
	fills it.

				BARTON
		Not yet.

				MAN
		Well, I don't want to embarrass you 
		but Caven could hardly contain 
		himself. But more important, Richard 
		and Poppy here loved the play.

				POPPY
		Loved it! What power!

				RICHARD
		Yeah, it was a corker.

				BARTON
		Thanks, Richard, but I know for a 
		fact the only fish you've ever seen 
		were tacked to a the wall of the 
		yacht club.

				RICHARD
		Ouch!

				MAN
		Bravo! Nevertheless, we were all 
		devastated.

				POPPY
		Weeping! Copius tears! What did the 
		Herald say?

				MAN
		I happen to have it with me.

				BARTON
		Please Derek -

				POPPY
		Do read it, do!

				DEREK
		"Bare Ruined Choirs: Triumph of the 
		Common Man. The star of the Bare 
		Ruined Choirs was not seen on the 
		stage of the Belasco last night - 
		though the thespians involved all 
		acquitted themselves admirably. The 
		find of the evening was the author 
		of this drama about simple folk - 
		fish mongers, in fact - whose brute 
		struggle for existence cannot quite 
		quell their longing for something 
		higher. The playwright finds nobility 
		in the most squalid corners and poetry 
		in the most callused speech. A tough 
		new voice in the American theater 
		has arrived, and the owner of that 
		voice is named... Barton Fink."

				BARTON
		They'll be wrapping fish in it in 
		the morning so I guess it's not a 
		total waste.

				POPPY
		Cynic!

				DEREK
		Well we can enjoy your success, 
		Barton, even if you can't.

				BARTON
		Don't get me wrong - I'm glad it'll 
		do well for you, Derek.

				DEREK
		Don't worry about me, dear boy - I 
		want you to celebrate.

				BARTON
		All right, but I can't start listening 
		to the critics, and I can't kid myself 
		about my own work. A writer writes 
		from his gut, and his gut tells him 
		what's good and what's... merely 
		adequate.

				POPPY
		Well I don't pretend to be a critic, 
		but Lord, I have a gut, and it tells 
		me it was simply marvelous.

				RICHARD
		And a charming gut it is.

				POPPY
		You dog!

				RICHARD
			(baying)
		Aaa-woooooooo!

	Barton turns to look for the source of an insistent jingling. 
	We swish pan off him to find a busboy marching through the 
	restaurant displaying a page sign, bell attached, with 
	Barton's name on it.

	TRACKING IN TOWARD A BAR

	A distinguished fifty-year-old gentleman in evening clothes 
	is nursing a martini, watching Barton approach.

	PULLING BARTON

	As he draws near.

				BARTON
		I thought you were going to join us.  
		Jesus, Garland, you left me alone 
		with those people.

				GARLAND
		Don't panic, I'll join you in a 
		minute.  What's you think of Richard 
		and Poppy?

	Barton scowls

				BARTON
		The play was marvelous. She wept, 
		copiously. Millions of dollars and 
		no sense.

	Garland smiles, then draws Barton close.

				GARLAND
		We have to talk a little business. 
		I've just been on the phone to Los 
		Angeles.  Barton, Capitol Pictures 
		wants to put you under contract. 
		They've offered you a thousand dollars 
		a week. I think I can get them to go 
		as high as two.

				BARTON
		To do what?

				GARLAND
		What do you do far a living?

				BARTON
		I'm not sure anymore. I guess I try 
		to make a difference.

				GARLAND
		Fair enough. No pressure here, Barton, 
		because I respect you, but let me 
		point out a couple of things. One, 
		here you make a difference to five 
		hundred fifty people a night - if 
		the show sells out.  Eighty five 
		million people go to the pictures 
		every week.

				BARTON
		To see pap.

				GARLAND
		Yes, generally, to see pap. However, 
		point number two: A brief tenure in 
		Hollywood could support you through 
		the writing of any number of plays.

				BARTON
		I don't know, Garland; my place is 
		here right now. I feel I'm on the 
		brink of success-

				GARLAND
		I'd say you're already enjoying some.

	Barton leans earnestly forward.

				BARTON
		No, Garland, don't you see? Not the 
		kind of success where the critics 
		fawn over you or the producers like 
		Derek make a lot of money. No, a 
		real success - the success we've 
		been dreaming about - the creation 
		of a new, living theater of, about, 
		and for the common man! If I ran off 
		to Hollywood now I'd be making money, 
		going to parties, meeting the big 
		shots, sure, but I'd be cutting myself 
		off from the wellspring of that 
		success, from the common man.

	He leans back and chuckles ruefully.

				BARTON
		...I guess I'm sprouting off again. 
		But I am certain of this, Garland: 
		I'm capable of more good work. Maybe 
		better work than I did in Choirs. It 
		just doesn't seem to me that Los 
		Angeles is the place to lead the 
		life of mind.

				GARLAND
		Okay Barton, you're the artist, I'm 
		just the ten percenter. You decide 
		what you want and I'll make it happen. 
		I'm only asking that your decision 
		be informed by a little realism - if 
		I can use that word and Hollywood in 
		the same breath.

	Barton glumly lights a cigarette and gazes out across the 
	floor.

	Garland studies him.

				GARLAND
		...Look, they love you, kid - 
		everybody does. You see Caven's review 
		in the Herald?

				BARTON
		No, what did it say?

				GARLAND
		Take my copy. You're the toast of 
		Broadway and you have the opportunity 
		to redeem that for a little cash - 
		strike that, a lot of cash.

	Garland looks at Barton for a reaction, but gets none.

				GARLAND
		...The common man'll still be here 
		when you get back. What the hell, 
		they might even have one or two of 
		'em out in Hollywood.

	Absently:

				BARTON
		...That's a rationalization, Garland.

	Garland smiles gently.

				GARLAND
		Barton, it was a joke.

	We hear a distant rumble. It builds slowly and we cut to:

	A GREAT WAVE

	Crushing against the Pacific shore.

	The roar of the surf slips away as we dissolve to:

	HOTEL LOBBY

	A high wide shot from the front door, looking down across 
	wilting potted palms, brass cuspidors turning green, ratty 
	wing chairs; the fading decor is deco-gone-to-seed.

	Amber light, afternoon turning to evening, slopes in from 
	behind us, washing the derelict lobby with golden highlights.  

	Barton Fink enters frame from beneath the camera and stops 
	in the middle foreground to look across the lobby.

	We are framed on his back, his coat and hat. The lobby is 
	empty.  There is a suspended beat as Barton takes it in.  

	Barton moves toward the front desk.

	THE REVERSE

	As Barton stops at the empty desk. He hits a small silver 
	bell next to the register. Its ring-out goes on and on without 
	losing volume.

	After a long beat there is a dull scuffle of shoes on stairs.  
	Barton, puzzled, looks around the empty lobby, then down at 
	the floor behind the front desk.

	A TRAP DOOR

	It swings open and a young man in a faded maroon uniform, 
	holding a shoebrush and a shoe - not one of his own - climbs 
	up from the basement.

	He closes the trap door, steps up to the desk and sticks his 
	finger out to touch the small silver bell, finally muting 
	it.

	The lobby is now silent again.

				CLERK
		Welcome to the Hotel Earle. May I 
		help you, sir?

				BARTON
		I'm checking in. Barton Fink.

	The clerk flips through cards on the desk.

				CLERK
		F-I-N-K. Fink, Barton. That must be 
		you, huh?

				BARTON
		Must be.

				CLERK
		Okay then, everything seems to be in 
		order. Everything seems to be in 
		order.

	He is turning to a register around for Barton to sign.

				CLERK
		...Are you a tranz or a rez?

				BARTON
		Excuse me?

				CLERK
		Transient or resident?

				BARTON
		I don't know... I mean, I'll be here, 
		uh, indefinitely.

				CLERK
		Rez. That'll be twenty-five fifty a 
		week payable in advance. Checkout 
		time is twelve sharp, only you can 
		forget that on account you're a rez.  
		If you need anything, anything at 
		all, you dial zero on your personal 
		in-room telephone and talk to me. My 
		name is Chet.

				BARTON
		Well, I'm going to be working here, 
		mostly at night; I'm a writer. Do 
		you have room service?

				CLERK
		Kitchen closes at eight but I'm the 
		night clerk. I can always ring out 
		for sandwiches.

	The clerk is scribbling something on the back of an index 
	card.

				CLERK
		...Though we provide privacy for the 
		residential guest, we are also a 
		full service hotel including 
		complimentary shoe shine. My name is 
		Chet.

	He pushes a room key across the counter on top of the index 
	card.

	Barton looks at the card.

	On it: "CHET!" Barton looks back up at the clerk. They regard 
	each other for a beat.

				CLERK
		...Okay

				BARTON
		Huh?

	The clerk.

				CLERK
		Okey-dokey, go ahead.

				BARTON
		What -

				CLERK
		Don't you wanna go to your room?!

	Barton stares at him.

				BARTON
		...What number is it?

	The clerk stares back.

				CLERK
		...Six-oh-five. I forgot to tell 
		you.

	As Barton stoops to pick up his two small bags:

				CLERK
		...Those your only bags?

				BARTON
		The others are being sent.

	The clerk leans over the desk to call after him:

				CLERK
		I'll keep an eye out for them. I'll 
		keep my eyes peeled, Mr. Fink.

	Barton is walking to the elevator.

	ELEVATOR

	Barton enters and sets down his bags.

	An aged man with white stubble, wearing a greasy maroon 
	uniform, sits on a stool facing the call panel. He does not 
	acknowledge Barton's presence.

	After a beat:

				BARTON
		...Six, please.

	The elevator man gets slowly to his feet. As he pushes the 
	door closed:

				ELEVATOR MAN
		Next stop: Six.

	SIXTH-FLOOR HALLWAY

	Barton walks slowly toward us, examining the numbers on the 
	doors.

	The long, straight hallway is carpeted with an old stained 
	forest green carpet. The wallpaper shows faded yellowing 
	palm trees.  Barton sticks his key in the lock of a door 
	midway down the hall.

	HIS ROOM

	As Barton enters.

	The room is small and cheaply furnished. There is a lumpy 
	bed with a worn yellow coverlet, an old secretary table, and 
	a wooden luggage stand.

	As Barton crosses the room we follow to reveal a sink and 
	wash basin, a house telephone on a rickety night stand, and 
	a window with yellowing sheers looking on an air shaft.  

	Barton throws his valise onto the bed where it sinks, 
	jittering.  He shrugs off his jacket.

	Pips of sweat stand out on Barton's brow. The room is hot.  

	He walks across the room, switches on an oscillating fan and 
	struggles to throw open the window. After he strains at it 
	for a moment, it slides open with a great wrenching sound.  

	Barton picks up his Underwood and places it on the secretary 
	table. He gives the machine a casually affectionate pat.  

	Next to the typewriter are a few sheets of house stationary: 
	"THE HOTEL EARLE: A DAY OR A LIFETIME."

	We pan up to a picture in a cheap wooden frame on the wall 
	above the desk. A bathing beauty sits on the beach under a 
	cobalt blue sky. One hand shields her eyes from the sun as 
	she looks out at a crashing surf.

	The sound of the surf mixes up.

	BARTON

	Looking at the picture

	TRACKING IN ON THE PICTURE

	The surf mixes up louder. We hear a gull cry.

	The sound snaps off with the ring of a telephone.

	THE HOUSE PHONE

	On the nightstand next to the bed. With a groan of bedsprings 
	Barton sits into frame and picks up the telephone.

				VOICE
		How d'ya like your room!

				BARTON
		...Who is this?

				VOICE
		Chet!

				BARTON
		...Who?

				VOICE
		Chet! From downstairs!

	Barton wearily rubs the bridge of his nose.

				VOICE
		...How d'ya like your room!

	A PILLOW

	As Barton's head drops down into frame against it.

	He reaches over and turns off the bedside light.

	He lies back and closes his eyes.

	A long beat.

	We hear a faint hum, growing louder.

	Barton opens his eyes.

	HIS POV

	A naked, peeling ceiling.  The hum - a mosquito, perhaps - 
	stops.

	BARTON

	His eyes move this way and that. After a silent beat, he 
	shuts them again.

	After another silent beat, we hear - muffled, probably from 
	am adjacent room - a brief, dying laugh. It is sighing and 
	weary, like the end of a laughing fit, almost a sob.

	Silence again.

	We hear the rising mosquito hum.

								FADE OUT

	EXECUTIVE OFFICE

	Barton Fink is ushered into a large, light office by an 
	obsequious middle- aged man in a sagging suit.

	There are mosquito bites on Barton's face.

	REVERSE

	From behind a huge white desk, a burly man in an expensive 
	suit gets to his feet and strides across the room.

				MAN
		Is that him?! Barton Fink?!  Lemme 
		put my arms around this guy!

	He bear-hugs Barton.

				MAN
		...How the hell are ya? Good trip?

	He separates without waiting for an answer.

				MAN
		My name is Jack Lipnik. I run this 
		dump. You know that - you read the 
		papers.

	Lipnik is lumbering back to his desk.

				MAN
		Lou treating you all right? Got 
		everything you need?  What the hell's 
		the matter with your face? What the 
		hell's the matter with his face, 
		Lou?

				BARTON
		It's not as bad as it looks; just a 
		mosquito in my room -

				LIPNIK
		Place okay?

	To Lou:

				LIPNIK
		...Where did we put him?

				BARTON
		I'm at the Earle.

				LIPNIK
		Never heard of it. Let's move him to 
		the Grand, or the Wilshire, or hell, 
		he can stay at my place.

				BARTON
		Thanks, but I wanted a place that 
		was less...

				LIPNIK
		Less Hollywood?  Sure, say it, it's 
		not a dirty word. Sat whatever the 
		hell you want. The writer is king 
		here at Capitol Pictures. You don't 
		believe me, take a look at your 
		paycheck at the end of every week - 
		that's what we think of the writer.
			(to Lou)
		...so what kind of pictures does he 
		like?

				LOU
		Mr. Fink hasn't given a preference, 
		Mr.  Lipnik.

				LIPNIK
		How's about it, Bart?

				BARTON
		To be honest, I don't go to the 
		pictures much, Mr. Lipnik -

				LIPNIK
		That's okay, that's okay, that's 
		okay - that's just fine. You probably 
		just walked in here thinking that 
		was going to be a handicap, thinking 
		we wanted people who knew something 
		about the medium, maybe even thinking 
		there was all kind of technical mumbo-
		jumbo to learn. You were dead wrong. 
		We're only interested in one thing: 
		Can you tell a story, Bart?  Can you 
		make us laugh, can you make us cry, 
		can you make us wanna break out in 
		joyous song? Is that more than one 
		thing? Okay.  The point is, I run 
		this dump and I don't know the 
		technical mumbo-jumbo. Why do I run 
		it? I've got horse-sense, goddamnit.  
		Showmanship. And also, and I hope 
		Lou told you this, I bigger and meaner 
		than any other kike in this town. 
		Did you tell him that, Lou? And I 
		don't mean my dick's bigger than 
		yours, it's not a sexual thing - 
		although, you're the writer, you 
		would know more about that. Coffee?

				BARTON
		...Yes, thank you.

				LIPNIK
		Lou.

	Lou immediately rises and leaves. Lipnik's tone becomes 
	confidential:

				LIPNIK
		...He used to have shares in the 
		company.  An ownership interest. Got 
		bought out in the twenties - muscled 
		out according to some. Hell, according 
		to me. So we keep him around, he's 
		got a family. Poor schmuck. He's 
		sensitive, don't mention the old 
		days. Oh hell, say whatever you want.  
		Look, barring a preference, Bart, 
		we're gonna put you to work on a 
		wrestling picture. Wallace Beery. I 
		say this because they tell me you 
		know the poetry of the street. That 
		would rule out westerns, pirate 
		pictures, screwball, Bible, Roman...

	He rises and starts pacing.

				LIPNIK
		But look, I'm not one of these guys 
		thinks poetic has gotta be fruity.  
		We're together on that, aren't we? I 
		mean I'm from New York myself - well, 
		Minsk if you wanna go way back, which 
		we won't if you don't mind and I 
		ain't askin'. Now people're gonna 
		tell you, wrestling. Wallace Beery, 
		it's a B picture. You tell them, 
		bullshit. We don't make B pictures 
		here at Capitol.  Let's put a stop 
		to that rumor right now.

	Lou enters with coffee.

				LIPNIK
		...Thanks Lou. Join us. Join us. 
		Talking about the Wallace Beery 
		picture.

				LOU
		Excellent picture.

				LIPNIK
		We got a treatment on it yet?

				LOU
		No, not yet Jack. We just bought the 
		story. Saturday Evening Post.

				LIPNIK
		Okay, the hell with the story. Wallace 
		Beery is a wrestler. I wanna know 
		his hopes, his dreams. Naturally, 
		he'll have to get mixed up with a 
		bad element. And a romantic interest. 
		You know the drill.  Romantic 
		interest, or else a young kid. An 
		orphan. What do you think, Lou?  
		Wally a little too old for a romantic 
		interest?  Look at me, a writer in 
		the room and I'm askin' Lou what the 
		goddamn story should be!

	After a robust laugh, he beams at Barton.

				LIPNIK
		...Well Bart, which is it? Orphan? 
		Dame?

				BARTON
		...Both maybe?

	There is a disappointed silence. Lipnik looks at Lou.  Lou 
	clears his throat.

				LOU
		...Maybe we should do a treatment.

				LIPNIK
		Ah, hell, let Bart take a crack at 
		it.  He'll get into the swing of 
		things or I don't know writers. Let's 
		make it a dame, Bart, keep it simple. 
		We don't gotta tackle the world our 
		first time out. The important thing 
		is we all have that Barton Fink 
		feeling, but since you're Barton 
		Fink I'm assuming you have it in 
		spades.  Seriously Bart, I like you. 
		We're off to a good start. Dammit, 
		if all our writers were like you I 
		wouldn't have to get so goddamn 
		involved. I'd like to see something 
		by the end of the week.

	Lou is getting to his feet and signaling for Barton to do 
	likewise.

				LIPNIK
		...Heard about your show, by the 
		way. My man in New York saw it. Tells 
		me it was pretty damn powerful. Pretty 
		damn moving.  A little fruity, he 
		said, but I guess you know what you're 
		doing. Thank you for your heart. We 
		need more heart in pictures.  We're 
		all expecting great things.

	TRACKING SHOT

	We are in the sixth-floor hallway of the Earle, late at night. 
	A pair of shoes sits before each door. Faintly, from one of 
	the rooms, we can hear the clack. clack. clack. of a 
	typewriter.

	It grows louder as we track forward.

	EXTREME CLOSE SHOT - TYPEWRITER

	Close on the typing so that we see only each letter as it is 
	typed, without context.

	One by one the letters clack on: a-u-d-i-b-l-e. After a short 
	beat, a period strikes.

	BARTON

	Elbows on his desk, he looks down at what he has just written. 
	He rolls the paper up a few lines, looks some more.

	THE PAGE

	It says:

								FADE IN:

	A TENEMENT BUILDING

	On Manhattan's Lower East Side. Early morning traffic is 
	audible.

	BARTON

	After a beat he rolls the sheet back into place.

	EXTREME CLOSE SHOT

	The letter-strike area. It is lined up to the last period, 
	which is struck over by a comma. The words "as is" are typed 
	in and we cut back to -

	BARTON

	- as he continues typing. He stops after several more 
	characters and looks.

	Silence.

	Breaking the silence, muffled laughter from an adjacent room. 
	A man's laughter. It is weary, solitary, mirthless.

	Barton looks up at the wall directly in front of him.

	HIS POV

	The picture of the girl on the beach.

	BARTON

	Staring, as the end-of-the-tether laughing continues. Barton 
	looks back down at his typewriter as if to resume work, but 
	the sound is too insistent to ignore.

	WIDE SHOT

	The room, Barton sitting at his desk, staring at the wall.  

	The laughter.

	Barton pushes his chair back, goes to the door, opens it and 
	looks out.

	HIS POV

	The empty hallway, a pair of shoes before each door. At the 
	end of the hall a dim red bulb burns over the door to the 
	staircase, punctuating the sick yellow glow of the line of 
	wall sconces.

	The laughter, though still faint, is more resonant in the 
	empty hall.

	Perhaps its quality has changed, or perhaps simply because 
	it is so insistent, the laughter now might be taken for 
	weeping.

	Barton pauses, trying to interpret the sound. He slowly 
	withdraws into his room.

	HIS ROOM

	Barton looks down at his typewriter for a beat. The 
	laughter/weeping continues.

	He walks over to his bed, sits down and picks up the house 
	phone.

				BARTON
		Hello... Chet? This is Barton Fink 
		in room 605. Yes, there's uh, there's 
		someone in the room next door to 
		mine, 604, and he's uh... He's uh... 
		making a lot of... noise.

	After a beat:

				BARTON
		...Thank you.

	He cradles the phone. The laughter continues for a moment or 
	two, then abruptly stops with the muffled sound of the 
	telephone ringing next door.

	Barton looks at the wall.

	The muffled sound of a man talking.

	The sound of the earpiece being pronged.

	Muffled footsteps next door.

	The sound of the neighbor's door opening and shutting.  

	Footsteps approaching the hall.

	A hard, present knock at Barton's door.

	Barton hesitates for a beat, then rises to go get the door.

	ON THE DOOR

	As Barton opens it. Standing in the hall is a large man - a 
	very large man - in short sleeves, suspenders, and loosened 
	tie. His face is slightly flushed, with the beginnings of 
	sweat.

				MAN
		Did you... Somebody just complained...

	Hastily:

				BARTON
		No, I didn't - I mean, I did call 
		down, not to complain exactly, I was 
		just concerned that you might - not 
		that it's my business, but that you 
		might be in some kind of... distress. 
		You see, I was trying to work, and 
		it's, well, it was difficult -

				MAN
		Yeah. I'm damn sorry, if I bothered 
		you.  The damn walls here, well, I 
		just apologize like hell...

	He sticks his hand out.

				MAN
		...My name's Charlie Meadows. I guess 
		we're neighbors...

	Without reaching for the hand.

				BARTON
		Barton Fink.

	Unfazed, Charlie Meadows unpockets a flask.

				CHARLIE
		Neighbor, I'd feel better about the 
		damned inconvenience if you'd let me 
		buy you a drink.

				BARTON
		That's all right, really, thank you.

				CHARLIE
		All right, hell, you trying to work 
		and me carrying on in there. Look, 
		the liquor's good, wuddya say?

	As he enters:

				CHARLIE
		... You got a glass? It's the least 
		I can do.

				BARTON
		Okay... a quick one, sure...

	He gets two glasses from the wash basin.  Charlie sits down 
	on the edge of the bed and uncorks his flask.

				CHARLIE
		Yeah, just a nip. I feel like hell, 
		all the carryings-on next door.

				BARTON
		That's okay, I assure you. It's just 
		that I was trying to work -

				CHARLIE
		What kind of work do you do, Barton, 
		if you don't mind my asking?

				BARTON
		Well, I'm a writer, actually.

				CHARLIE
		You don't say. That's a tough racket. 
		My hat's off to anyone who can make 
		a go of it. Damned interesting work, 
		I'd imagine.

				BARTON
		Can be. Not easy, but -

				CHARLIE
		Damned difficult, I'd imagine.

	As he hands Charlie a glass:

				BARTON
		And what's your line, Mr. Meadows?

				CHARLIE
		Hell no! Call me Charlie. Well Barton, 
		you might say I sell peace of mind. 
		Insurance is my game - door-to-door, 
		human contact, still the only way to 
		move merchandise.

	He fills a glass with whiskey and swaps it for the empty 
	glass.

				CHARLIE
		...In spite of what you might think 
		from tonight, I'm pretty good at it.

				BARTON
		Doesn't surprise me at all.

				CHARLIE
		Hell yes. Because I believe in it. 
		Fire, theft, and casualty are not 
		things that only happen to other 
		people - that's what I tell 'em. 
		Writing doesn't work out, you might 
		want to look into it. Providing for 
		basic human need - a fella could do 
		worse.

				BARTON
		Thanks, I'll keep it in mind.

				CHARLIE
		What kind of scribbler are you - 
		newspaperman did you say?

				BARTON
		No, I'm actually writing for the 
		pictures now -

				CHARLIE
		Pictures! Jesus!

	He guffaws.

				CHARLIE
		...I'm sorry, brother, I was just 
		sitting here thinking I was talking 
		to some ambitious youngster, eager 
		to make good.  Hell, you've got it 
		made! Writing for pictures! Beating 
		out that competition!  And me being 
		patronizing!

	He gestures toward his face:

				CHARLIE
		...Is the egg showing or what?!

				BARTON
		That's okay; actually I am just 
		starting out in the movies - though 
		I was pretty well established in New 
		York, some renown there,

				CHARLIE
		Oh, it's an exciting time then. I'm 
		not the best-read mug on the planet, 
		so I guess it's no surprise I didn't 
		recognize your name. Jesus, I feel 
		like a heel.

	For the first time Barton smiles.

				BARTON
		That's okay, Charlie. I'm a 
		playwright. My shows've only played 
		New York. Last one got a hell of a 
		write-up in the Herald. I guess that's 
		why they wanted me here.

				CHARLIE
		Hell, why not? Everyone wants quality.  
		What kind of venue, that is to say, 
		thematically, uh...

				BARTON
		What do I write about?

	Charlie laughs.

				CHARLIE
		Caught me trying to be fancy! Yeah, 
		that's it, Bart.

				BARTON
		Well, that's a good question. Strange 
		as it may seem, Charlie, I guess I 
		write about people like you. The 
		average working stiff. The common 
		man.

				CHARLIE
		Well ain't that a kick in the head!

				BARTON
		Yeah, I guess it is. But in a way, 
		that's exactly the point. There's a 
		few people in New York - hopefully 
		our numbers are growing - who feel 
		we have an opportunity now to forge 
		something real out of everyday 
		experience, create a theater for the 
		masses that's based on a few simple 
		truths - not on some shopworn 
		abstractions about drama that doesn't 
		hold true today, if they ever did...

	He gazes at Charlie.

				BARTON
		...I don't guess this means much to 
		you.

				CHARLIE
		Hell, I could tell you some stories-

				BARTON
		And that's the point, that we all 
		have stories. The hopes and dreams 
		of the common man are as noble as 
		those of any king. It's the stuff of 
		life - why shouldn't it be the stuff 
		of theater?  Goddamnit, why should 
		that be a hard pill to swallow? Don't 
		call it new theater, Charlie; call 
		it real theater. Call it our theater.

				CHARLIE
		I can see you feel pretty strongly 
		about it.

				BARTON
		Well, I don't mean to get up on my 
		high horse, but why shouldn't we 
		look at ourselves up there?  Who 
		cares about the Fifth Earl of Bastrop 
		and Lady Higginbottom and - and - 
		and who killed Nigel Grinch-Gibbons?

				CHARLIE
		I can feel my butt getting sore 
		already.

				BARTON
		Exactly, Charlie! You understand 
		what I'm saying - a lot more than 
		some of these literary types. Because 
		you're a real man!

				CHARLIE
		And I could tell you some stories -

				BARTON
		Sure you could!  And yet many writers 
		do everything in their power to 
		insulate themselves from the common 
		man - from where they live, from 
		where they trade, from where they 
		fight and love and converse and - 
		and - and... so naturally their work 
		suffers, and regresses into empty 
		formalism and - well, I'm spouting 
		off again, but to put it in your 
		language, the theater becomes as 
		phony as a three dollar bill.

				CHARLIE
		Yeah, I guess that's tragedy right 
		there.

				BARTON
		Frequently played, seldom remarked.

	Charlie laughs.

				CHARLIE
		Whatever that means.

	Barton smiles with him.

				BARTON
		You're all right, Charlie. I'm glad 
		you stopped by. I'm sorry if - well 
		I know I sometimes run on.

				CHARLIE
		Hell no! Jesus, I'm the kind of guy, 
		I'll let you know if I'm bored. I 
		find it all pretty damned interesting. 
		I'm the kind schmoe who's generally 
		interested in the other guy's point 
		of view.

				BARTON
		Well, we've got something in common 
		then.

	Charlie is getting to his feet and walking to the door.

				CHARLIE
		Well Christ, if there's any way I 
		can contribute, or help, or whatever-

	Barton chuckles and extends his hand.

				BARTON
		Sure, sure Charlie, you can help by 
		just being yourself.

				CHARLIE
		Well, I can tell you some stories -

	He pumps Barton's hand, then turns and pauses in the doorway.

				CHARLIE
		...And look, I'm sorry as hell about 
		the interruption. Too much revelry 
		late at night, you forget there are 
		other people in the world.

				BARTON
		See you, Charlie.

	Charlie closes the door and is gone.

	Barton goes back to his desk and sits.

	Muffled, we can hear the door of the adjacent room opening 
	and closing.

	Barton looks at the wall.

	HIS POV

	The bathing beauty.

	From offscreen we hear a sticky, adhesive-giving-way sound.

				BARTON
		He looks around to the opposite - 
		bed - wall.

	HIS POV

	The wallpaper is lightly sheened with moisture from the heat.  

	One swath of wallpaper is just finishing sagging away from 
	the wall. About three feet of the wall, where it meets the 
	ceiling, is exposed.

	The strip of wallpaper, its glue apparently melted, sags and 
	nods above the bed. It glistens yellow, like a fleshy tropical 
	flower.

	BACK TO BARTON

	He goes over to the bed and steps up onto it. He smooths the 
	wallpaper back up against the wall.

	He looks at his hand.

	HIS HAND

	Sticky with tacky yellow wall sweat.

	He wipes it onto his shirt.

	We hear a faint mosquito hum.

	Barton looks around.

								FADE OUT

	A TYPEWRITER Whirring at high speed. The keys strike too 
	quickly for us to make out the words.

	SLOW TRACK IN

	On Barton, sitting on a couch in an office anteroom, staring 
	blankly.  Distant phones ring. Barton's eyes are tired and 
	bloodshot.

	HIS POV

	A gargoyle secretary sits typing a document.

	The office door opens in the background and a short middle-
	aged man in a dark suit emerges.

	To his secretary:

				EXECUTIVE
		I'm eating on the lot today -

	He notices Barton.

				EXECUTIVE
		...Who's he?

	The secretary looks over from her typing to consult a slip 
	of paper on her desk.

				SECRETARY
		Barton Fink, Mr. Geisler.

				GEISLER
		More please.

				BARTON
		I'm a writer, Mr. Geisler. Ted Okum 
		said I should drop by morning to see 
		you about the -

				GEISLER
		Ever act?

				BARTON
		...Huh? No, I'm -

				GEISLER
		We need Indians for a Norman Steele 
		western.

				BARTON
		I'm a writer. Ted O -

				GEISLER
		Think about it, Fink. Writers come 
		and go; we always need Indians.

				BARTON
		I'm a writer. Ted Okum said you're 
		producing this Wallace Beery picture 
		I'm working on.

				GEISLER
		What!?  Ted Okum doesn't know shit. 
		They've assigned me enough pictures 
		for a goddamn year. What Ted Okum 
		doesn't know you could almost squeeze 
		into the Hollywood Bowl.

				BARTON
		Then who should I talk to?

	Geisler gives a hostile stare. Without looking at her, he 
	addresses the secretary:

				GEISLER
		Get me Lou Breeze.

	He perches on the edge of the desk, an open hand out toward 
	the secretary, as he glares wordlessly at Barton.

	After a moment:

				SECRETARY
		Is he in for Mr. Geisler?

	She puts the phone in Geisler's hand.

				GEISLER
		Lou? How's Lipnik's ass smell this 
		morning?... Yeah?... Yeah?... Okay, 
		the reason I'm calling, I got a writer 
		here, Fink, all screwy. Says I'm 
		producing that Wallace Beery wrestling 
		picture - what'm I, the goddamn 
		janitor around here?...  Yeah, well 
		who'd you get that from?...  Yeah, 
		well tell Lipnik he can kiss my 
		dimpled ass... Shit! No, alright... 
		No, no, all right.

	Without looking he reaches the phone back. The secretary 
	takes it and cradles it.

				GEISLER
		...Okay kid, let's chow.

	COMMISSARY

	Barton and Geisler sit eating in a semicircular booth. Geisler 
	speaks through a mouthful of food:

				GEISLER
		Don't worry about it. It's just a B 
		picture. I bring it in on budget, 
		they'll book it without even screening 
		it. Life is too short.

				BARTON
		But Lipnik said he wanted to look at 
		the script, see something by the end 
		of the week.

				GEISLER
		Sure he did. And he forgot about it 
		before your ass left his sofa.

				BARTON
		Okay. I'm just having trouble getting 
		started. It's funny, I'm blocked up.  
		I feel like I need some kind of 
		indication of... what's expected -

				GEISLER
		Wallace Beery. Wrestling picture. 
		What do you need, a road map?

	Geisler chews on his cottage cheese and stares at Barton.

				GEISLER
		...Look, you're confused? You need 
		guidance? Talk to another writer.

				BARTON
		Who?

	Geisler rises and throws his napkin onto his plate.

				GEISLER
		Jesus, throw a rock in here, you'll 
		hit one. And do me a favor, Fink: 
		Throw it hard.

	COMMISSARY MEN'S ROOM

	Barton stands at a urinal.

	He stares at the wall in front of him as he pees. After a 
	moment, he cocks his head, listening.

	We hear a throat clearing, as if by a tenor preparing for a 
	difficult passage. It is followed by the gurgling ruch of 
	vomit.

	Barton buttons his pants and turns to face the stalls.

	There is more businesslike throat clearing.

	Barton stoops.

	HIS POV

	We boom down to show the blue serge pants and well-polished 
	shoes of the stall's kneeling occupant.

	A white handkerchief has been spread on the floor to protect 
	the trouser knees.

	The toilet flushes. The man rises, picks up his handkerchief 
	up off the floor and gives it a smart flap.

	BARTON

	He quickly straightens and goes to the sink. He starts washing 
	his hands. We hear the stall door being unlatched.

	Barton glances over his shoulder.

	HIS POV

	The stall door opening.

	BARTON

	Quickly, self-consciously, he looks back down at his hands.

	HIS POV

	His hands writhing under the running water. We hear footsteps 
	approaching.

	BARTON

	Forcing himself to look at his hands. We hear the man reach 
	the adjacent sink and turn on the tap.

	Barton can't help glancing up.

	THE MAN

	A dapper little man in a neat blue serge suit. He has warm 
	brown eyes, a patrician nose, and a salt-and-pepper mustache. 
	He smiles pleasantly at Barton.

	BARTON

	He gives a nervous smile - more like a tic - and looks back 
	down at his hands. We hear the man gargling water and spitting 
	into the sink.

	After a moment, Barton looks up again.

	THE MAN

	Reacting to barton's look as he washes his hands. This time, 
	a curt nod accompanies his pleasant smile.

	BARTON

	Looks back down, then up again.

	THE MAN

	Extends a dripping hand.

				MAN
		Bill Mayhew. Sorry about the odor.

	His speech is softly accented, from the South.

				BARTON
		Barton Fink.

	They shake, then return to their ablutions.

	We hold on Barton as we hear Mayhew's faucet being turned 
	off and his foot-steps receding. For some reason, Barton's 
	eyes are widening.

				BARTON
		...Jesus. W.P.!

	The dapper little man stops and turns.

				MAYHEW
		I beg your pardon?

				BARTON
		W.P. Mayhew? The writer?

				MAYHEW
		Just Bill, please.

	Barton stands with his back to the sink, facing the little 
	man, his hands dripping onto the floor. There is a short 
	pause. Barton is strangely agitated, his voice halting but 
	urgent.

				BARTON
		Bill!...

	Mayhew cocks his head with a politely patient smile. Finally 
	Barton brings out:

				BARTON
		...You're the finest novelist of our 
		time.

	Mayhew leans against a stall.

				MAYHEW
		Why thank you, son, how kind. Bein' 
		occupied here in the worship of 
		Mammon, I haven't had the chance yet 
		to see your play -

	He smiles at Barton's surprise.

				MAYHEW
		...Yes, Mistuh Fink, some of the 
		news reaches us in Hollywood.

	He is taking out a flask and unscrewing its lid.

				BARTON
		Sir, I'm flattered that you even 
		recognize my name. My God, I had no 
		idea you were in Hollywood.

				MAYHEW
		All of us undomesticated writers 
		eventually make their way out here 
		to the Great Salt Lick. Mebbe that's 
		why I allus have such a powerful 
		thrust.

	He clears his throat, takes a swig from the flask, and waves 
	it at Barton.

				MAYHEW
		...A little social lubricant, Mistuh 
		Fink?

				BARTON
		It's still a little early for me.

				MAYHEW
		So be it.

	He knocks back some more.

				BARTON
		...Bill, if I'm imposing you should 
		say so, I know you're very busy - I 
		just, uh... I just wonder if I could 
		ask you a favor... That is to say, 
		uh... have you ever written a 
		wrestling picture?

	Mayhew eyes him appraisingly, and at length clears his throat.

				MAYHEW
		...You are drippin', suh.

	Barton looks down at his hands, then pulls a rough brown 
	paper towel from a dispenser.

	Mayhew sighs:

				MAYHEW
		...Mistuh Fink, they have not invented 
		a genre of picture that Bill Mayhew 
		has not, at one time or othuh, been 
		invited to essay. I have taken my 
		stabs at the wrastlin' form, as I 
		have stabbed at so many others, and 
		with as little success. I gather 
		that you are a fresh-man here, eager 
		for an upperclassman's council.  
		However, just at the moment...

	He waves his flask.

				MAYHEW
		...I have drinkin' to do. Why don't 
		you stop at my bungalow, which is 
		numbah fifteen, later on this 
		afternoon...

	He turns to leave.

				MAYHEW
		...and we will discuss wrastlin' 
		scenarios and other things lit'rary.

	THE NUMBER "15"

	We are close on brass numerals tacked up on a white door.  

	Muted, from inside, we hear Mayhew's voice - enraged, 
	bellowing.  We hear things breaking. Softer, we hear a woman's 
	voice, its tone placating.

	REVERSE TRACKING SLOWLY IN

	On Barton, standing in front of the door.

	The noise abates for a moment. We hear the woman's voice 
	again.

	Barton hesitates, listening; he thinks, decides, knocks.  

	With this the woman's voice stops, and Mayhew starts wailing 
	again.

	The door cracks open.

	The woman looks as if she has been crying.

				WOMAN
		...Can I help you?

				BARTON
		I'm sorry, I... My name is Fink... 
		Uh, Bill asked me to drop by this 
		afternoon.  Is he in?

				WOMAN
		Mr. Mayhew is indisposed at the 
		moment-

	From inside, we hear Mayhew's wail.

				MAYHEW
		HONEY!! WHERE'S M'HONEY!!

	The woman glances uncomfortably over her shoulder and steps 
	outside, closing the door behind her.

				WOMAN
		Mr. Fink, I'm Audrey Taylor, Mr. 
		Mayhew's personal secretary. I know 
		this all must sound horrid. I really 
		do apologize...

	Through the door Mayhew is still wailing piteously.

				BARTON
		Is, uh... Is he okay?

				AUDREY
		He will be... When he can't write, 
		he drinks.

				MAYHEW
		WHERE ARE YOU, DAMMIT! WHERE'S 
		M'HONEY!!

	She brushes a wisp of hair out of her eyes.

				AUDREY
		I am sorry, it's so embarassing.

				BARTON
		How about you? Will you be alright?

				AUDREY
		I'll be fine... Are you a writer, Mr 
		Fink?

				BARTON
		Yes I am. I'm working on a wres - 
		please call me Barton.

	Audrey reaches out and touches Barton's hand.

				AUDREY
		I'll tell Bill you dropped by. I'm 
		sure he'll want to reschedule your 
		appointment.

				BARTON
		Perhaps you and I could get together 
		at some point also. -I'm sorry if 
		that sounds abrupt. I just... I don't 
		know anyone here in this town.

	Audrey smiles at him.

				AUDREY
		Perhaps the three of us, Mr. Fink.

				BARTON
		Please, Barton.

				AUDREY
		Barton. You see, Barton, I'm not 
		just Bill's secretary - Bill and I 
		are... I love. We-

				MAYHEW'S VOICE
		M'HONEY!! WHERE'S M'HONEY!!

	Audrey glances back as we hear the sound of shattering dishes 
	and heavy footsteps.

				BARTON
		I see.

				AUDREY
		...I know this must look... funny.

				BARTON
		No, no -

	Hurriedly:

				AUDREY
		We need each other. We give each 
		other...  the things we need -

				VOICE
		M'HONEY!!... bastard-ass sons of 
		bitches... the water's lappin' up...
		M'HONEY!!

				AUDREY
		I'm sorry, Mr. Fink. Please don't 
		judge us. Please...

	Flustered, she backs away and closes the door.

	CLOSE ON A SMALL WRAPPED PACKAGE

	Hand-printed on the package is the message:

	"Hope these will turn the trick, Mr. Fink. - Chet!"  

	The wrapping is torn away and the small box is opened.

	Two thumbtacks are taken out.

	BARTON'S HOTEL ROOM

	Late at night. The swath of wallpaper behind the bed has 
	sagged away from the wall again, and has been joined by the 
	swath next to it.

	Barton enters frame and steps up onto the bed.

	He smooths up the first swath and pushes in a thumbtack near 
	the top.

	EXTREME CLOSE SHOT

	On the tack. As Barton applies pressure to push it in, tacky 
	yellow goo oozes out of the puncture hole and beads around 
	the tack.

	ON BARTON

	Smoothing up the second swath.

	As he pushes in the second tack he pauses, listening.  

	Muffled, through the wall, we can hear a woman moaning.  

	After a motionless beat, Barton eases his ear against the 
	wall.

	CLOSE ON BARTON

	As his ear meets the wall.

	The woman's moaning continues. We hear the creaking of 
	bedsprings and her partner, incongruously giggling.

	Barton grimaces, gets down off the bed and crosses to the 
	secretary, where he sits. He stares at the paper in the 
	carriage.

	HIS POV

	The blank part of the page around the key-strike area, under 
	the metal prongs that hold the paper down.

	We begin to hear moaning again.

	BACK TO BARTON

	Still looking; sweating.

	HIS POV

	Tracking in on the paper, losing the prongs from frame so 
	that we are looking at the pure unblemished white of the 
	page.

	The moaning is cut short by two sharp knocks.

	THE DOOR

	As it swings open.  Charlie Meadows leans in, smiling.

				CHARLIE
		Howdy, neighbor.

				BARTON
		Charlie. How are you.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus, I hope I'm not interrupting 
		you again. I heard you walking around 
		in here.  Figured I'd drop by.

				BARTON
		Yeah, come in Charlie. Hadn't really 
		gotten started yet - what happened 
		to your ear?

	- for Charle's left ear is plugged with cotton wadding. As 
	he enters:

				CHARLIE
		Oh, yeah. An ear infection, chronic 
		thing.  Goes away for a while, but 
		it always comes back. Gotta put cotton 
		in it to staunch the flow of pus. 
		Don't worry, it's not contagious.

				BARTON
		Seen a doctor?

	Charlie gives a dismissive wave.

				CHARLIE
		Ah, doctors. What's he gonna tell 
		me?  Can't trade my head in for a 
		new one.

				BARTON
		No, I guess you're stuck with the 
		one you've got. Have a seat.

	Charlie perches on the corner of the bed.

				CHARLIE
		Thanks, I'd invite you over to my 
		place, but it's a goddamn mess. You 
		married, Bart?

				BARTON
		Nope.

				CHARLIE
		I myself have yet to be lassoed.

	He takes his flask out.

				CHARLIE
		...Got a sweetheart?

				BARTON
		No... I guess it's something about 
		my work. I get so worked up over it, 
		I don't know; I don't really have a 
		lot of attention left over, so it 
		would be a little unfair...

				CHARLIE
		Yeah, the ladies do ask for attention. 
		In my experience, they pretend to 
		give it, but it's generally a smoke-
		screen for demanding it back - with 
		interest. How about family, Bart?  
		How're you fixed in that department?

	Barton smiles.

				BARTON
		My folks live in Brooklyn, with my 
		uncle.

				CHARLIE
		Mine have passed on. It's just the 
		three of us now...

	He taps himself on the head, chuckling.

				CHARLIE
		...What's the expression - me myself 
		and I.

				BARTON
		Sure, that's tough, but in a sense, 
		we're all alone in this world aren't 
		we Charlie?  I'm often surrounded by 
		family and friends, but...

	He shrugs.

				CHARLIE
		Mm... You're no stranger to 
		loneliness, then. I guess I got no 
		beef; especially where the dames are 
		concerned. In my line of work I get 
		opportunities galore - always on the 
		wing, you know what I'm saying. I 
		could tell stories to curl your hair 
		- but it looks like you've already 
		heard 'em!

	He laughs at his reference to Barton's curly hair, and pulls 
	a dog-eared photograph from his wallet. As he hands it to 
	Barton:

				CHARLIE
		...That's me in Kansas City, plying 
		my trade.

	THE PHOTO

	Charlie smiles and waves with one foot up on the running 
	board of a 1939 roadster. A battered leather briefcase dangles 
	from one hand.

				CHARLIE
		...It was taken by one of my policy 
		holders. They're more than just 
		customers to me, Barton.  They really 
		appreciate what I have to offer them. 
		Ya see, her hubby was out of town at 
		the time -

				BARTON
		You know, in a way, I envy you 
		Charlie.  Your daily routine - you 
		know what's expected. You know the 
		drill. My job is to plumb the depths, 
		so to speak, dredge something up 
		from inside, something honest. There's 
		no road map for that territory...

	He looks from Charlie to the Underwood.

				BARTON
		...and exploring it can be painful. 
		The kind of pain most people don't 
		know anything about.

	He looks back at Charlie.

				BARTON
		...This must be boring you.

				CHARLIE
		Not at all. It's damned interesting.

				BARTON
		Yeah...

	He gives a sad chuckle.

				BARTON
		...Probably sounds a little grand 
		coming from someone who's writing a 
		wrestling picture for Wallace Beery.

				CHARLIE
		Beery! You got no beef there! He's 
		good.  Hell of an actor - though, 
		for my money, you can't beat Jack 
		Oakie. A stitch, Oakie. Funny stuff, 
		funny stuff. But don't get me wrong 
		- Beery, a wrestling picture, that 
		could be a pip. Wrestled some myself 
		back in school. I guess you know the 
		basic moves.

				BARTON
		Nope, never watched any. I'm not 
		that interested in the act itself -

				CHARLIE
		Okay, but hell, you should know what 
		it is. I can show you in about thirty 
		seconds.

	He is getting down on his hands and knees.

				CHARLIE
		...You're a little out of your weight 
		class, but just for purposes of 
		demonstration -

				BARTON
		That's all right, really -

				CHARLIE
		Not a bit of it, compadre! Easiest 
		thing in the world! You just get 
		down on your knees to my left, slap 
		your right hand here...

	He indicated his own right bicep.

				CHARLIE
		...and your left hand here.

	He indicated his left bicep.

	Barton hesitates.

				CHARLIE
		...You can do it, champ!

	Barton complies.

				CHARLIE
		...All right now, when I say "Ready...  
		wrestle!"  you try and pin me, and I 
		try and pin you. That's the whole 
		game. Got it?

				BARTON
		...Yeah, okay.

				CHARLIE
		Ready... wrestle!

	With one clean move Charlie flips Barton onto his back, his 
	head and shoulders hitting with a thump. Charlie pins Barton's 
	shoulders with his own upper body.

	But before the move even seems completed Charlie is standing 
	again, offering his hand down to Barton.

				CHARLIE
		Damn, there I go again. We're gonna 
		wake the downstairs neighbors.  I 
		didn't hurt ya, did I?

	Barton seems dazed, but not put out.

				BARTON
		It's okay, it's okay.

				CHARLIE
		Well, that's all that wrestling is. 
		Except usually there's more grunting 
		and squirming before the pin. Well, 
		it's your first time. And you're out 
		of your weight class.

	Barton has propped himself up and is painfully massaging the 
	back of his head. This registers on Charlie.

				CHARLIE
		...Jesus, I did hurt you!

	He clomps hurriedly away.

				CHARLIE
		...I'm just a big, clumsy lug. I 
		sure do apologize.

	We hear water running, and Charlie reenters with a wet towel.  

	Barton accepts the towel and presses it to his head.

				CHARLIE
		...You sure you're okay?

	Barton gets to his feet.

				BARTON
		I'm fine, Charlie. Really I am. 
		Actually, it's been helpful, but I 
		guess I should get back to work.

	Charlie looks at him with some concern, then turns and heads 
	for the door.

				CHARLIE
		Well, it wasn't fair of me to do 
		that. I'm pretty well endowed 
		physically.

	He opens the door.

				CHARLIE
		...Don't feel bad, though. I wouldn't 
		be much of a match for you at mental 
		gymnastics. Gimme a holler if you 
		need anything.

	The door closes.

	Barton crosses to the secretary and sits down, rubbing the 
	back of his head. He rolls up the carriage and looks at the 
	page in the typewriter.

	HIS POV

	The page.

								FADE IN:

	A TENEMENT BUILDING

	On Manhattan's Lower East Side. Early morning traffic is 
	audible, as is the cry fishmongers.

	BACK TO BARTON

	He rubs the back of his head, wincing, as he stares at the 
	page.

	His gaze drifts up.

	HIS POV

	The bathing beauty.

	BARTON

	Looking at the picture. He presses the heels of his hands 
	against his ears.

	HIS POV

	The bathing beauty. Faint, but building, is the sound of the 
	surf.

	BARTON

	Head cocked. The surf is mixing into another liquid sound.  
	Barton looks sharply around.

	THE BATHROOM

	Barton enters.

	The sink, which Charlie apparently left running when he wet 
	Barton's towel, is overflowing. Water spills onto the tile 
	floor.

	Barton hurriedly shuts off the tap, rolls up one sleeve and 
	reaches into the sink.

	As his hand emerges, holding something, we hear the unclogged 
	sink gulp water.

	BARTON'S HAND

	Holding a dripping wad of cotton.

	BARTON

	After a brief, puzzled look he realizes where the cotton 
	came from - and convulsively flips it away.

								FADE OUT

								FADE IN:

	ON THE TITLE PAGE OF A BOOK:

	"NEBUCHADNEZZAR  
	BY  
	W.P. Mayhew"

	A hand enters with pen to inscribe: "To Barton -

	May this little entertainment divert you in your sojourn 
	among the Philistines.  - Bill"

	The book is closed and picked up.

	WIDER

	As-thoomp!-the heavy volume is deposited across the table, 
	in front of Barton, by Mayhew.

	Barton, Mayhew, and Audrey are seated around a picnic table. 
	It is one of a few tables littering the lot of a small stucco 
	open-air hamburger stand.

	It is peaceful early evening. The last of the sunlight slopes 
	down through palm trees. Barton, Mayhew, and Audrey are the 
	only customers at the stand.

	Mayhew's black Ford stands alone at the edge of the lot.  

	Mayhew leans back in his chair.

				MAYHEW
		If I close m'eyes I can almost smell 
		the live oak.

				AUDREY
		That's hamburger grease, Bill.

				MAYHEW
		Well, m'olfactory's turnin' womanish 
		on me - lyin' and deceitful...

	His eyes still closed, he waves a limp hand gently in the 
	breeze.

				MAYHEW
		...Still, I must say. I haven't felt 
		peace like this since the grand 
		productive days. Don't you find it 
		so, Barton? Ain't writin' peace?

				BARTON
		Well... actually, no Bill...

	Barton looks nervously at Audrey before continuing.

				BARTON
		...No, I've always found that writing 
		comes from a great inner pain. Maybe 
		it's a pain that comes from a 
		realization that one must do something 
		for one's fellow man - to help somehow 
		to ease his suffering.  Maybe it's a 
		personal pain. At any rate, I don't 
		believe good work is possible without 
		it.

				MAYHEW
		Mmm. Wal, me, I just enjoy maikn' 
		things up. Yessir. Escape... It's 
		when I can't write, can't escape 
		m'self, that I want to tear m'head 
		off and run screamin' down the street 
		with m'balls in a fruitpickers pail. 
		Mm...

	He sighs and reaches for a bottle of Wild Turkey.

				MAYHEW
		...This'll sometimes help.

				AUDREY
		That doesn't help anything, Bill.

				BARTON
		That's true, Bill. I've never found 
		it to help my writing.

	Mayhew is becoming testy:

				MAYHEW
		Your writing? Son, have you ever 
		heard the story of Soloman's mammy-

	Audrey, anticipating, jumps hastily in. She taps the book on 
	the table.

				AUDREY
		You should read this, Barton. I think 
		it's Bill's finest, or among his 
		finest anyway.

	Mayhew looks at her narrowly.

				MAYHEW
		So now I'm s'posed to roll over like 
		an ol' bitch dog gettin' ger belly 
		scratched.

				AUDREY
		Bill -

				BARTON
		Look, maybe it's none of my business, 
		but a man with your talent - don't 
		you think your first obligation would 
		be to your gift? Shouldn't you be 
		doing whatever you have to do to 
		work again?

				MAYHEW
		And what would that be, son?

				BARTON
		I don't know exactly. But I do know 
		what you're doing with that drink. 
		You're cutting yourself off from 
		your gift, and from me and Audrey, 
		and from your fellow man, and from 
		everything your art is about.

				MAYHEW
		No son, thisahere moonshine's got 
		nothin' to do with shuttin' folks 
		out. No, I'm usin' it to build 
		somethin'.

				BARTON
		What's that?

				MAYHEW
		I'm buildin' a levee. Gulp by gulp, 
		brick by brick. Raisin' up a levee 
		to keep that ragin' river of manure 
		from lappin' at m'door.

				AUDREY
		Maybe you better too, Barton. Before 
		you get buried under his manure.

	Mayhew chuckles.

				MAYHEW
		M'honey pretends to be impatient 
		with me, Barton, but she'll put up 
		with anything.

				AUDREY
		Not anything, Bill. Don't test me.

				BARTON
		You're lucky she puts up with as 
		much as she does.

	Mayhew is getting to his feet.

				MAYHEW
		Am I? Maybe to a schoolboy's eye. 
		People who know about the human heart, 
		though, mebbe they'd say, Bill over 
		here, he gives his honey love, and 
		she pays him back with pity - the 
		basest coin there is.

				AUDREY
		Stop it, Bill!

	He wanders over to a corner of the lot between two palm trees, 
	still clutching his bottle, his back to Barton and Audrey, 
	and urinates into the grass.

	He is singing - loudly - "Old Black Joe."

	Audrey walks over to him.

	BARTON

	Watching her go.

	HIS POV

	Audrey touches Mayhew's elbow. He looks at her, stops singing, 
	she murmurs something, and he bellows:

				MAYHEW
		The truth, m'honey, is a tart that 
		does not bear scrutiny.

	She touches him again, murmuring, and he lashes out at her, 
	knocking her to the ground.

				MAYHEW
		Breach my levee at your peril!

	BARTON

	He rises.

	AUDREY

	Coming back to Barton.

	MAYHEW

	Stumbling off down the dusty road, muttering to himself and 
	waving his bottle of Wild Turkey.

				AUDREY
		Let him go.

				BARTON
		That son of a bitch... Don't get me 
		wrong, he's a fine writer.

	He looks down the road. Mayhew is a small lone figure, weaving 
	in the dust.

				MAYHEW
		I'll jus' walk on down to the Pacific, 
		and from there I'll... improvise.

				BARTON
		Are you all right?

	We hear distant bellowing:

				MAYHEW
		Silent upon a hill in Darien!

	Audrey bursts into tears. Barton puts his arms around her 
	and she leans into him.

				BARTON
		Audrey, you can't put up with this.

	Gradually, she collects herself, wiping her tears.

				AUDREY
		...Oh Barton, I feel so... sorry for 
		him!

				BARTON
		What?! He's a son of a bitch!

				AUDREY
		No, sometimes he just... well, he 
		thinks about Estelle. His wife still 
		lives in Fayettesville. She's... 
		disturbed.

				BARTON
		Really?...

	He considers this for a moment, but his anger returns.

				BARTON
		...Well that doesn't excuse his 
		behavior.

				AUDREY
		He'll wander back when he's sober 
		and apologize. He always does.

				BARTON
		Okay, but that doesn't excuse his -

				AUDREY
		Barton. Empathy requires... 
		understanding.

				BARTON
		What. What don't I understand?

	Audrey gazes at him.

	MAYHEW

	He is very distant now, weaving but somehow dignified in his 
	light summer suit. "Old Black Joe" floats back to us in the 
	twilight.

								FADE OUT

	BARTON'S HOTEL ROOM

	From a high angle, booming down on Barton.

	The room is dark. Barton lies fully clothed, stretched out 
	on the bed, asleep. The hum of the mosquito fades up in the 
	stillness.

	Suddenly Barton slaps his cheek. His eyes open, but he remains 
	still. The hum fades up again.  Barton reaches over and turns 
	on the bedside lamp. His eyes shift this way and that as he 
	waits, listening.

	The hum fades down to silence.

	Barton's eyes shift.

	HIS POV

	The typewriter sits on the secretary, a piece of paper rolled 
	halfway through the carriage.

	THE TYPEWRITER

	Barton enters frame and sits down in front of the typewriter.

	HIS POV

	Next to the typewriter are several crumpled pieces of paper.  
	The page in the carriage reads:

								FADE IN:

	A TENEMENT HOTEL

	On the Lower East Side. We can faintly hear the cry of the 
	fishmongers. It is too early for us to hear traffic; later, 
	perhaps, we will.

	BACK TO BARTON

	Looking down at the page.

	CLOSE ON BARTON'S FEET

	Swinging in the legwell.

	One foot idly swings over to nudge a pair of nicely shined 
	shoes from where they rest, under the secretary, into the 
	legwell.

	We hear typing start.

	THE PAGE

	A new paragraph being started: "A large man..."

	BARTON'S FEET

	As he slides them into the shoes.

	THE PAGE

	"A large man in tights..."

	The typing stops.

	BARTON

	Looking quizzically at the page. What's wrong?

	HIS FEET

	Sliding back and forth - swimming - in his shoes, which are 
	several sizes too large.

	We hear a knock at the door.

	BARTON

	He rises and answers the door.

	Charlie stands smiling in the doorway, holding a pair of 
	nicely shined shoes.

				CHARLIE
		I hope these are your shoes.

				BARTON
		Hi, Charlie.

				CHARLIE
		Because that would mean they gave 
		you mine.

				BARTON
		Yeah, as a matter of fact they did. 
		Come on in.

	The two stocking-footed men go into the room and Barton 
	reaches under the secretary for Charlie's shoes.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus, what a day I've had. Ever had 
		one of those days?

				BARTON
		Seems like nothing but, lately.

	Chalrie perches on the edge of the bed.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus, what a day. Felt like I 
		couldn't've sold ice water in the 
		Sahara. Jesus. Okay, so you don't 
		want insurance, so okay, that's your 
		loss. But God, people can be rude. 
		Feel like I have to talk to a normal 
		person like just to restore a little 
		of my...

				BARTON
		Well, my pleasure. I could use a 
		little lift myself.

				CHARLIE
		A little lift, yeah...

	Smiling, he takes out his flask.

				CHARLIE
		...Good thing they bottle it, huh 
		pal?

	He takes a glass from the bedstand and, as he pours Barton a 
	shot:

				CHARLIE
		...Did I say rude? People can be 
		goddamn cruel. Especially some of 
		their housewives. Okay, so I've got 
		a weight problem. That's my cross to 
		bear. I dunno...

				BARTON
		Well it's... it's a defense mechanism.

				CHARLIE
		Defense against what? Insurance?  
		Something they need? Something they 
		should be thanking me for offering? 
		A little peace of mind?...

	He shakes his head.

				CHARLIE
		...Finally decided to knock off early, 
		take your advice. Went to see a doctor 
		about this.

	He indicates his ear, still stuffed with cotton.

				CHARLIE
		...He told me it was an ear infection.  
		Ten dollars, please. I said, hell, I 
		told YOU my ear was infected. Why 
		don't YOU give ME ten dollars? Well, 
		THAT led to an argument...

	He gives a rueful chuckle.

				CHARLIE
		...Listen to me belly-achin'. As if 
		my problems amounted to a hill of 
		beans. How goes the life of the mind?

				BARTON
		Well, it's been better. I can't seem 
		to get going on this thing. That one 
		idea, the one that lets you get 
		started - I still haven't gotten it.  
		Maybe I only had one idea in me - my 
		play. Maybe once that was done, I 
		was done being a writer.  Christ, I 
		feel like a fraud, sitting here 
		staring at this paper.

				CHARLIE
		Those two love-birds next door drivin' 
		you nuts?

	Barton looks at him curiously.

				BARTON
		How did you know about that?

				CHARLIE
		Know about it? I can practically see 
		how they're doin' it. Brother, I 
		wish I had a piece of that.

				BARTON
		Yeah, but -

				CHARLIE
		Seems like I hear everything that 
		goes on in this dump. Pipes or 
		somethin'. I'm just glad I don't 
		have to ply MY trade in the wee-wee 
		hours.

	He laughs.

				CHARLIE
		...Ah, you'll lick this picture 
		business, believe me. You've got a 
		head on your shoulders. What is it 
		they say? Where there's a head, 
		there's a hope?

				BARTON
		Where there's life there's hope.

	Charlie laughs.

				CHARLIE
		That proves you really are a writer!

	Barton smiles.

				BARTON
		And there's hope for you too, Charlie.  
		Tomorrow I bet you sell a half-dozen 
		policies.

				CHARLIE
		Thanks, brother. But the fact is, I 
		gotta pull up stakes temporarily.

				BARTON
		You're leaving?

				CHARLIE
		In a few days. Out to your stompin' 
		grounds as a matter of fact - New 
		York City. Things have gotten all 
		balled up at the Head Office.

				BARTON
		I'm truly sorry to hear that, Charlie.  
		I'll miss you.

				CHARLIE
		Well hell, buddy, don't pull a long 
		face!  This is still home for me - I 
		keep my room, and I'll be back sooner 
		or later...

	Barton rises and walks over to his writing table.

				CHARLIE
		...And - mark my words - by the time 
		I get back you're picture'll be 
		finished. I know it.

	Barton scribbles on a notepad and turns to hand it to Charlie.

				BARTON
		New York can be pretty cruel to 
		strangers, Charlie. If you need a 
		home-cooked meal you just look up 
		Morris and Lillian Fink.  They live 
		on Fulton Street with my uncle Dave.

	We hear a tacky, tearing sound.

	Barton looks toward the door.

	Charlie rises and walks over to the stand next to where Barton 
	sits.

	The two staring men form an odd, motionless tableau - the 
	slight, bespectacled man seated; the big man standing in a 
	hunch with his hands on his thighs; their heads close 
	together.

	THEIR POV

	A swath of wallpaper in the entryway has pulled away from 
	the wall. It sags and nods.

				CHARLIE
			(off)
		Christ!

	THE TWO MEN

	Frozen, looking.

				CHARLIE
		...Your room does that too?

				BARTON
		I guess the heat's sweating off the 
		wallpaper.

				CHARLIE
		What a dump...

	He heads for the door and Barton follows.

				CHARLIE
		...I guess it seems pathetic to a 
		guy like you.

				BARTON
		Well...

				CHARLIE
		Well it's pathetic, isn't it? I mean 
		to a guy from New York.

				BARTON
		What do you mean?

				CHARLIE
		This kind of heat. It's pathetic.

				BARTON
		Well, I guess you pick your poison.

				CHARLIE
		So they say.

				BARTON
		Don't pick up and leave without saying 
		goodbye.

				CHARLIE
		Course not, compadre. You'll see me 
		again.

	Barton closes the door.

	He goes back to the desk, sits, and stares at the typewriter.  
	After a beat he tips back in his chair and looks up at the 
	ceiling.

	We hear a loud thump.

	HIS POV

	The ceiling - a white, seamless space.

	As we track in the thumping continues - slowly, rhythmically, 
	progressively louder - the effect, it seems, of odd doings 
	upstairs.

	LOOKING DOWN ON BARTON

	From a high angle, tipped back in his chair, staring at the 
	ceiling.

	We track slowly down toward him. The thumping continues, 
	growing louder, sharper.

	HIS POV

	Moving in on the ceiling. We close in on an unblemished area 
	and cease to have any sense of movement.

	With a blur something huge and dark sweeps across the frame 
	to land with a deafening crash, and an instant later it is 
	gone, having left a huge black "T" stamped into the white 
	ceiling.

	We are pulling back from the white, past the metal prongs of 
	the key-strike area on a typewriter. More letters appear 
	rapid-fire, growing smaller as the pull back continues. The 
	thumpimg becomes the clacking of the typewriter.

	BEN GEISLER

	Is emerging from his office.  As he enters the secretary 
	stops typing, glances down at a slip of paper, and murmurs 
	tonelessly, without looking up:

				SECRETARY
		Barton Fink.

				GEISLER
		Yeah. Fink. Come in.

	The clack of the typewriter resumes as Barton rises.

	GEISLER'S OFFICE

	The two men enter.

	This office is considerably smaller than Lipnik's, done in 
	grays and black. There are pictures on the wall of Geisler 
	with various celebrities.

	Geisler sits behind his desk.

				GEISLER
		Wuddya got for me - what the hell 
		happened to your face?

				BARTON
		Nothing. It's just a mosquito bite.

				GEISLER
		Like hell it is; there are no 
		mosquitos in Los Angeles. Mosquitos 
		breed in swamps - this is a desert 
		town. Wuddya got for me?

				BARTON
		Well I...

				GEISLER
		On the Beery picture! Where are we? 
		Wuddya got?

				BARTON
		Well, to tell you the truth, I'm 
		having some trouble getting started-

				GEISLER
		Getting STARTED! Christ Jesus! 
		Started?!  You mean you don't have 
		ANYthing?!

				BARTON
		Well not much.

	Geisler leaps to his feet and paces.

				GEISLER
		What do you think this is? HAMLET? 
		GONE WITH THE WIND? RUGGLES OF RED 
		GAP? It's a goddamn B picture! Big 
		men in tights! You know the drill!

				BARTON
		I'm afraid I don't really understand 
		that genre. maybe that's the prob-

				GEISLER
		Understand shit! I though you were 
		gonna consult another writer on this!

				BARTON
		Well, I've talked to Bill Mayhew-

				GEISLER
		Bill Mayhew! Some help! The guy's a 
		souse!

				BARTON
		He's a great writer -

				GEISLER
		A souse!

				BARTON
		You don't understand. He's in pain,
		because he can't write-

				GEISLER
		Souse! Souse! He manages to write 
		his name on the back of his paycheck 
		every week!

				BARTON
		But... I thought no one cared about 
		this picture.

				GEISLER
		You thought! Where'd you get THAT 
		from?  You thought! I don't know 
		what the hell you said to Lipnik, 
		but the sonofabitch LIKES you! You 
		understand that, Fink? He LIKES you! 
		He's taken an interest. NEVER make 
		Lipnik like you. NEVER!

	Some puzzlement shows through Barton's weariness.

				BARTON
		I don't understand-

				GEISLER
		Are you deaf, he LIKES you! He's 
		taken an interest! What the hell did 
		you say to him?

				BARTON
		I didn't say anything-

				GEISLER
		Well he's taken an interest!  That 
		means he'll make your life hell, 
		which I could care less about, but 
		since I drew the short straw to 
		supervise this turkey, he's gonna be 
		all over me too! Fat-assed sonofabitch 
		called me yesterday to ask how it's 
		going - don't worry, I covered for 
		you. Told him you were making progress 
		and we were all very excited. I told 
		him it was great, so now MY ass is 
		on the line.  He wants you to tell 
		him all about it tomorrow.

				BARTON
		I can't write anything by tomorrow.

				GEISLER
		Who said write? Jesus, Jack can't 
		read.  You gotta TELL it to him-tell 
		him SOMEthing for Chrissake.

				BARTON
		Well what do I tell him?

	Geisler rubs a temple, studies Barton for a beat, then picks 
	up a telephone.

				GEISLER
		Projection...

	As he waits, Geisler gives Barton a withering stare. It 
	continues throughout the phone conversation.

				GEISLER
		... Jerry? Ben Geisler here. Any of 
		the screening rooms free this 
		afternoon?...  Good, book it for me. 
		A writer named Fink is gonna come in 
		and you're gonna show him wrestling 
		pictures... I don't give a shit which 
		ones! WRESTLING pictures!  Wait a 
		minute- isn't Victor Sjoderberg 
		shooting one now?... Show him some 
		of the dailies on that.

	He slams down the phone.

				GEISLER
		...This ought to give you some ideas.

	He jots an address on a piece of paper and hands it to Barton.

				GEISLER
		...Eight-fifteen tomorrow morning at 
		Lipnik's house. Ideas. Broad strokes.  
		Don't cross me, Fink.

	SCREEN

	Black-and-white footage. A middle-aged man with a clapstick 
	enters and shouts:

				CLAPPER
		DEVIL ON THE CANVAS, twelve baker 
		take one.

	Clap! The clapper withdraws. The angle is on a corner of the 
	ring, where an old corner man stands behind his charge, a 
	huge man in tights who is a little too flabby to be a real 
	athlete. His hair is plastered against his bullet skull and 
	he has a small mustache.

				VOICE
		Action.

	The wrestler rises from his stool and heads toward center 
	ring and the camera. He affects a German accent:

				WRESTLER
		I will destroy him!

	He passes the camera.

				VOICE
		Cut.

	Flash frames.

	The clapper enters again.

				CLAPPER
		Twelve baker take two.

	Clap! He exits.

	The wrestler moves toward the camera.

				WRESTLER
		I will destroy him!

				VOICE
		Cut.

	The clapper enters

				CLAPPER
		Twelve baker take three.

	Clap!

				WRESTLER
		I will destroy him!

	SLOW TRACK IN ON BARTON

	Seated alone in a dark screening room, the shaft of the 
	projection beam flickering over his left shoulder.

	As we creep in closer:

				WRESTLER
			(off)
		I will destroy him!... I will destroy 
		him!... I will destroy him!... I 
		will destroy him!...

	Another off-microphone, distant voice from the screen:

				VOICE
		Okay, take five...

	THE SCREEN

	A jerky pan, interrupted by flash frames. The wrestler is 
	standing in a corner joking with a makeup girl who pats down 
	his face as he smokes a cigarette.

	A cut in the film and another clapstick enters.

				CLAPPER
		Twelve charlie take one-

	ON THE CLAP:

	BACK TO BARTON

	Staring at the screen, dull, wan, and forlorn.

				VOICE
			(off)
		Action.

	THE SCREEN

	The angle is low - canvas level. We hold for a brief moment 
	on the empty canvas before two wrestlers crash down into 
	frame.

	The German is underneath, on his back, pinned by the other 
	man.

	The referee enters, cropped at the knees, and throws counting 
	fingers down into frame.

				REFEREE
		One... two...

				WRESTLER
		AAAAHHHH!!

	The German bucks and throws his opponent out of frame.

				VOICE
		Cut.

				CLAPPER
		Twelve charlie take two.

	Crash.

				REFEREE
		One... two...

				WRESTLER
		AAAAHHHH!!

	BARTON

	Glazed.

				WRESTLER
			(off)
		AAAAAAHHHHHH!!... AAAAAAHHHHHH!!...  
		AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!...

	PAGE IN TYPEWRITER

	The screaming drops out abruptly at cut. We hear only the 
	sound of heavy footfalls on carpet.

	Below the opening paragraph, two new words have been added 
	to the typescript:

	"Orphan?"

	"Dame?"  

	The foot falls continue.

	THE HOTEL ROOM

	Night. Barton paces frantically back and forth.

	He looks at his watch.

	HIS POV

	It is 12:30.

	CLOSE ON THE PHONE

	It is lifted out of the cradle.

				BARTON
		Hello, Chet, it's Barton Fink in 
		605. Can you try a number for me in 
		Hollywood...  Slausen 6-4304.

	We pull back to frame in Barton as we hear his call ring 
	through.  Barton sweats.

				BARTON
		Pick it up... Pick it up. Pick it-

				AUDREY
		Hello.

				BARTON
		Audrey, listen, I need help. I know 
		it's late and I shouldn't be calling 
		you like this - believe me I wouldn't 
		have if I could see any other 
		alternative, but I - I'm sorry -
		listen, how are you - I'm sorry. You 
		doing okay?

				AUDREY
		...Who is this?

				BARTON
		Barton. I'm sorry, it's Barton Fink.

	Through the phone, in the background, we hear Mayhew's drunken 
	bellowing.

				MAYHEW
		Sons of bitches! Drown 'em all!

	We hear various objects dropping or being thrown to the floor.

				AUDREY
		Barton, I'm afraid it's not a good 
		time-

				MAYHEW
		Drown all those rascals...

				BARTON
		I'm sorry, I just feel like -I know 
		I shouldn't ask, I just need some 
		kind of help, I just, I have a 
		deadline tomorrow-

				MAYHEW
		I said drown 'em all! Who is that?

	There is more clatter.

	Audrey's voice is hushed, close to the phone:

				AUDREY
		All right Barton, I'll see if I can 
		slip away-

				MAYHEW
		Who is that?! Gaddamn voices come 
		into the house... sons of bitches...

				BARTON
		If you could, I'd -

				AUDREY
		If I can. He gets jealous; he-

				MAYHEW
		Goddamn voices... DROWN 'EM!

				BARTON
		I need help, Audrey.

				AUDREY
		I'll try to slip out. If he quiets 
		down, passes out... I'm afraid he 
		thinks - well, he said you were a 
		buffoon, Barton. He becomes 
		irrational-

				MAYHEW
		Hesh up! Be still now! DROWN 'EM!  
		DROWN 'EM! DROWN -

	WIDE ON THE ROOM

	Later. It is quiet. We are craning down toward the bed, where 
	Barton lies stretched out, his head buried beneath a pillow 
	as if to blot out the world.

	The track reveals the wristwatch on Barton's dangled arm: 
	1:30.

	THE HALLWAY

	At the end of the dimly lit corridor a red light blinks on 
	over the elevator, with a faint bell.

	BACK TO BARTON

	With two violent and simultaneous motions he whips the pillow 
	off his head and throws out his other wrist to look at his 
	watch.

	There is a knock at the door.

	Barton swings his feet off the bed.

	THE DOORWAY

	Barton opens the door to Audrey.

				AUDREY
		Hello, Barton.

				BARTON
		Audrey, thank you for coming. Thank 
		you.  I'm sorry to be such a... such 
		a... Thank you.

	They enter the main room, where Audrey perches on the edge 
	of the bed.

				AUDREY
		Now that's all right, Barton.  
		Everything'll be all right.

				BARTON
		Yes. Thank you. How's Bill?

				AUDREY
		Oh, he's... he drifted off. He'll 
		sleep for a while now. What is it 
		you have to do, exactly?

	Barton paces.

				BARTON
		Well I have to come up with - an 
		outline, I'd guess you call it. The 
		story. The whole goddamn story. Soup 
		to nuts. Three acts. The whole goddamn-

				AUDREY
		It's alright, Barton. You don't have 
		to write actual scenes?

				BARTON
		No, but the whole goddamn - Audrey?  
		Have you ever had to read any of 
		Bill's wrestling scenarios?

	Audrey laughs.

				AUDREY
		Yes, I'm afraid I have.

				BARTON
		What are they like? What are they 
		about?

				AUDREY
		Well, usually, they're... simply 
		morality tales. There's a good 
		wrestler, and a bad wrestler whom he 
		confronts at the end. In between, 
		the good wrestler has a love interest 
		or a child he has to protect.  Bill 
		would usually make the good wrestler 
		a backwoods type, or a convict. And 
		sometimes, instead of a waif, he'd 
		have the wrestler protecting an idiot 
		manchild.  The studio always hated 
		that. Oh, some of the scripts were 
		so... spirited!

	She laughs - then stops, realizing that she has laughed. She 
	looks at Barton.

				AUDREY
		...Barton.

	She shakes her head.

				AUDREY
		...Look, it's really just a formula. 
		You don't have to type your soul 
		into it.  We'll invent some names 
		and a new setting.  I'll help you 
		and it won't take any time at all. I 
		did it for Bill so many times -

	Barton's pacing comes up short.

				BARTON
		Did what for Bill?

	Guardedly:

				AUDREY
		Well... THIS.

				BARTON
		You wrote his scripts for him?

				AUDREY
		Well, the basic ideas were frequently 
		his-

				BARTON
		You wrote Bill's scripts!  Jesus 
		Christ, you wrote his - what about 
		before that?

				AUDREY
		Before what?

				BARTON
		Before Bill came to Hollywood.

	Audrey is clearly reluctant to travel this path.

				AUDREY
		Well, Bill was ALWAYS the author, so 
		to speak-

				BARTON
		What do you mean so to speak?! Audrey, 
		how long have you been his... 
		secretary?

				AUDREY
		Barton, I think we should concentrate 
		on OUR little project-

				BARTON
		I want to know how many of Bill's 
		books you wrote!

				AUDREY
		Barton!

				BARTON
		I want to know!

				AUDREY
		Barton, honestly, only the last couple-

				BARTON
		Hah!

				AUDREY
		And my input was mostly... EDITORIAL,
		really, when he'd been drinking-

				BARTON
		I'll bet. Jesus - "The grand 
		productive days." What a goddamn 
		phony.

	He resumes pacing.

				BARTON
		...W.P. Mayhew.  William Goddamn 
		Phony Mayhew. All his guff about 
		escape. Hah!  I'LL say he escaped!

	Barton sighs and looks at his watch.

				BARTON
		...Well, we don't have much time.

	He sits down next to Audrey. Audrey's tone is gentle.

				AUDREY
		It'll be fine... Don't judge him, 
		Barton.  Don't condescend to him...

	She strokes Barton's hair.

				AUDREY
		...It's not as simple as you think. 
		I helped Bill most by appreciating 
		him, by understanding him. We all 
		need understanding, Barton. Even 
		you, tonight, it's all you really 
		need...

	She kisses him.

	As Barton tentatively responds, we are panning away.

	We frame up on the door to the bathroom and track in toward 
	the sink. We can hear the creak of bedsprings and Audrey and 
	Barton's breath, becoming labored.

	The continuing track brings us up to and over the lid of the 
	sink to frame up its drain, a perfect black circle in the 
	porcelain white.  We track up to the drain and are enveloped 
	by it as the sound of lovemaking mixes into the groaning of 
	pipes.

							BLACK

								FADE IN:

	BARTON

	The hum of a mosquito brings us out of the black and we are 
	looking down at Barton, in bed, asleep. It is dawn.

	Barton's eyes snap open.

	HIS POV

	The white ceiling. A humming black speck flits across the 
	white.

	BARTON

	Slowly, cautiously, he props himself up, his look following 
	the sound of the mosquito.

	His gaze travels down and to one side and is arrested as the 
	hum stops.

	HIS POV

	Audrey lies facing away on her side of the bed, half covered 
	by a blanket.

	BARTON

	Gingerly, he reaches over and draws the blanket down Audrey's 
	back.

	HIS POV

	The alabaster white of Audrey's back.

	The mosquito is feeding on it.

	EXTREME CLOSE ON BARTON'S EYES

	Looking.

	EXTREME CLOSE ON THE MOSQUITO

	Swelling with blood.

	WIDER

	As Barton's hand comes through frame and slaps Audrey's back.  

	She doesn't react.

	Barton draws his hand away. Audrey's back is smeared with 
	blood.

	ON BARTON

	He looks at his hand.

	HIS POV

	His hand is dripping with blood. Too much blood.

	BACK TO BARTON

	Eyes wide, he looks down at the bed.

	HIS POV

	Blood seeps up into the sheet beneath the curve of Audrey's 
	back.

	BARTON

	He pulls Audrey's shoulder.

	AUDREY

	She rolls onto her back. Her eyes are wide and lifeless.  

	Her stomach is nothing but blood. The top sheet, drawn to 
	her waist is drenched red and clings to her body.

	BARTON

	He screams.

	He screams again.

	We hear rapid and heavy footfalls next door, a door opening 
	and closing, and then a loud banging on Barton's door.  

	Barton's head spins towards the door. He is momentarily 
	frozen.

	Another knock.

	Barton leaps to his feet and hurries to the door.

	THE DOORWAY

	Over Barton's shoulder as he cracks the door.

	Charlie stands in the hall in his boxer shorts and a 
	sleeveless tee.

				CHARLIE
		Are you all right?

	Barton stares dumbly for a moment.

				CHARLIE
		...Can I come in?

				BARTON
		No!... I'm fine. Thank you.

				CHARLIE
		Are you sure -

				BARTON
		No... no...

	Barton is nodding as he shuts the door in Charlie's face.  

	He walks back into the room.

	HIS POV

	Audrey's corpse, in long shot, face up on the bed.

	BARTON

	He walks toward the bed, wheels before he reaches it, and 
	starts back toward the door.

	He stops short and turns back again to the room. He averts 
	his eyes - as it happens, toward the secretary.

	He walks stiffly over and sits, his back to Audrey.

	CLOSE ON BARTON

	As he sits in. He stares emptily down at the desk, in shock, 
	totally shut down. Behind him, we can see Audrey on the bed.  

	He stares for a long beat.

	Strange, involuntary noises come from his throat. He is not 
	in control.

	Becoming aware of the noise he is making, he stops.

	He lurches to his feet.

	THE DOORWAY

	As Barton enters, opens the door, and sticks his head out.

	HALLWAY

	Barton peers out the see if the coast is clear.

	HIS POV

	The long hallway.

	In the deep background, Chet, the night clerk, is stooping 
	in front of a door to pick up a pair of shoes. Next to him 
	is a castored shoe caddy.

	All of the doorways between us and Chet are empty of shoes.

	CHET

	Close on him as, mid-stoop, he looks up.

	CHET'S POV

	Up the long hall. In the deep background a door is closing.

	CHET

	He pauses, then straightens up and puts the shoes on the 
	shoe caddy. It squeaks as he pushes it on down the hall.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	Barton stands at the door, listening to a very faint squeak.  
	Eventually it becomes inaudible.

	He cracks the door again, looks out, and exits.

	HALLWAY

	Barton goes to Charlie's room and knocks.

	Footfalls end as the door is cracked open.

				CHARLIE
		Barton. Are you all right?

				BARTON
		No... Can I come in?

				CHARLIE
		Why don't we go to your room-

				BARTON
		Charlie, I'm in trouble. You've gotta 
		help me.

	Once again he is breathing hard.

	Charlie steps out into the hall and shuts the door behind 
	him.

				CHARLIE
		Get a grip on yourself, brother. 
		Whatever the problem is, we'll sort 
		it out.

				BARTON
		Charlie, I'm in trouble - something 
		horrible's happened - I've gotta 
		call the police...

	Charlie leads him towards his room.

				BARTON
		...Will you stay with me till they 
		get here?

				CHARLIE
		Don't worry about it, Barton. We can 
		sort it-

	He is pushing Barton's door open, but Barton grabs an elbow 
	to stop him.

				BARTON
		Before you go in - I didn't do this. 
		I don't know how it happened, but I 
		didn't... I want you to know that...

	Charlie looks into his eyes. For a moment the two men stare 
	at each other - Charlie's look inquisitive, Barton's 
	supplicating.

	Finally, Charlie nods.

				CHARLIE
		Okay.

	He turns and pushes open the door.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	The two men enter.

	Barton lingers by the door. Charlie walks into the foreground 
	to look off toward the bed.

	His eyes widen and he screams.

	He turns and disappears into the bathroom. We hear vomiting, 
	then the flush of a toilet.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus... Jesus... Jesus have mercy...

	His reaction has not encouraged Barton, who is more and more 
	agitated.

	Charlie emerges from the bathroom, sweating.

				CHARLIE
		...Jesus, Barton, what the hell is 
		this?  What're we gonna do?

				BARTON
		I've gotta call the police - or you 
		could call for me -

				CHARLIE
		Hold on -

				BARTON
		You gotta believe me -

				CHARLIE
		Hold on -

				BARTON
		I didn't do this, I did NOT do this-

				CHARLIE
		Hold on. Stop. Take a deep breath. 
		Tell me what happened.

				BARTON
		I don't know! I woke up, she was... 
		God, you gotta believe me!

	Charlie, in spite of himself, is sneaking horrified glances 
	back into the room.

				CHARLIE
		I believe you, brother, but this 
		don't look good.

				BARTON
		We gotta call the police -

				CHARLIE
		Hold on. I said hold on, so hold on.

				BARTON
		Yeah.

				CHARLIE
		What do you think happened?

				BARTON
		I don't know!  Maybe it was her...  
		boyfriend. I passed out. I don't 
		know.  Won't the police be able to -

				CHARLIE
		Stop with the police! Wake up, friend!  
		This does not look good! They hang 
		people for this!

				BARTON
		But I didn't do it - don't you believe 
		me?

				CHARLIE
		I believe you - I KNOW you. But why 
		should the police?

	Barton gives him a dumb stare.

				CHARLIE
		...Did you... Barton, between you 
		and me, did you have sexual 
		intercourse?

	Barton stares at Charlie. He swallows.

	Charlie shakes his head.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus... They can tell that...

				BARTON
		They GOTTA believe me, Charlie! They 
		gotta have mercy!

				CHARLIE
		You're in pictures, Barton. Even if 
		you got cleared eventually, this 
		would ruin you.

	He turns and starts toward the bed.

				CHARLIE
		...Wait in the bathroom.

	BATHROOM

	Later. Barton, still in his underwear, sits leaning against 
	the wall, staring glassily at his feet.

	From the other room we hear the creak of bedsprings and the 
	sounds of bed clothes being torn off.

	Finally there is a last creak of bedsprings and the sound of 
	Charlie grunting under great weight.

	We hear heavy footsteps approaching.

	Barton looks up through the open bathroom door.

	HIS POV

	Charlie is groping for the front doorknob, cradling the 
	sheetswaddled body in his arms.

	BACK TO BARTON

	His neck goes rubbery. His eyes roll up. His head lolls back 
	to hit the wall.

	BLACK

	Slap! Slap!  

	We are low on Charlie, who is following through on a slap 
	and backing away, having aroused Barton. Charlie is now 
	wearing pants but is still in his sleeveless tee, which has 
	blood flecks across the belly.

				CHARLIE
		You passed out.

	Barton looks groggily up.

				BARTON
		...Uh-huh... Where's Audrey?

				CHARLIE
		She's dead, Barton! If that was her 
		name.

	TRACKING IN ON BARTON

	He stares at Charlie.

				CHARLIE
			(off)
		Barton, listen to me. You gotta act 
		like nothing's happened. Put this 
		totally out of your head. I know 
		that's hard, but your play from here 
		on out is just to go about business 
		as usual. Give us some time to sort 
		this out...

	Barton looks at his watch.

	THE WATCH

	7:45.

				CHARLIE
			(off)
		...Just put it out of you head...

	TRACKING

	Toward a pool set in a grand yard with shaped hedges and 
	statuary set amid palms trees.

	Sunlight glitters angrily off the water; we are approaching 
	Jack Lipnik who sits poolside in a white deck chair.

				LIPNIK
		Bart! So happy to see ya!

	REVERSE

	Pulling Barton, who is being escorted by Lou Breeze.

	Barton is haggard, sunken eyes squinting against too much 
	sun.

				LIPNIK
		Sit! Talk! Relax for a minute, then 
		talk!  Drink?

	As Barton sits:

				BARTON
		Yeah... rye whiskey?

				LIPNIK
		Boy! You writers! Work hard, play 
		hard!  That's what I hear, anyway...

	He laughs, then barks at Lou Breeze.

				LIPNIK
		... Lou.

	Lou exits.

				LIPNIK
		Anyway. Ben Geisler tells me things're 
		going along great.  Thinks we've got 
		a real winner in this one. And let 
		me tell you something, I'm counting 
		on it. I've taken an interest. Not 
		to interfere, mind you - hardly seems 
		necessary in your case. A writer - a 
		storyteller - of your stature.  
		Givitta me in bold strokes, Bart. 
		Gimme the broad outlines. I'm sitting 
		in the audience, the lights go down, 
		Capitol logo comes up... you're on!

	He beams expectantly at Barton.  Barton licks his parched 
	lips.

				BARTON
		Yeah, okay... well... we fade in...

	Lipnik is nodding, already involved in the story.

				BARTON
		...It's a tenement building. On the 
		Lower East Side...

				LIPNIK
		Great! He's poor, this wrestler! 
		He's had to struggle!

				BARTON
		And then... well...

	Barton looks back out at the pool, his eyes closed to slits 
	against the sun. He looks back at Lipnik.

				BARTON
		...Can I be honest, Mr. Lipnik?

				LIPNIK
		CAN you?  You damn well better be. 
		Jesus, if I hadn't been honest in my 
		business dealings - well, of course, 
		you can't always be honest, not with 
		the sharks swimming around this town 
		- but if you're a writer, you don't 
		think about those things - if I'd 
		been totally honest, I wouldn't be 
		within a mile of this pool - unless 
		I was cleaning it. But that's no 
		reason for you not to be. Honest, I 
		mean.  Not cleaning the pool.

	Lou has entered with a drink, which he sets next to Barton. 
	Lou sits.

	Barton looks around, takes the drink, sips at it greedily, 
	but must finally take the plunge.

				BARTON
		Well... to be honest, I'm never really 
		comfortable discussing a work in 
		progress.  I've got it all worked 
		out in my head, but sometimes if you 
		force it out in words - prematurely 
		- the wrong words - well, your meaning 
		changes, and it changes your own 
		mind, and you never get it back - so 
		I'd just as soon not talk about it.

	Lipnik stares at him. His smile has disappeared. There is a 
	long beat.

	Lou Breeze clears his throat. He apparently feels obliged to 
	fill the silence.

				LOU
		...Mr. Fink. Never mind me. Never 
		mind how long I've been in pictures. 
		Mr. Lipnik has been in pictures just 
		about since they were invented. HE 
		practically invented them.

	Lipnik has turned to look curiously at Lou.

				LOU
		...Now I think if he's interested in 
		what one of his contract employees 
		is doing while he draws pay, I think 
		that employee ought to tell him, if 
		he wants to stay an employee. Right 
		now the contents of your head are 
		the property of Capitol Pictures, so 
		if I were you I would speak up. And 
		pretty goddamn fast.

	Lou looks at Barton, expectantly. Lipnik continues to stare 
	at Lou.

	There is a long silence, terribly heavy.

	Finally, Lipnik explodes - at Lou.

				LIPNIK
		You lousy sonofabitch! You're telling 
		this man - this ARTIST - what to 
		do?!

	Lou Breeze is stunned.

				LOU
		Mr. Lipnik, I -

				LIPNIK
		This man creates for a living! He 
		puts food on your table and on mine! 
		THANK him for it!  Thank him, you 
		ungrateful sonofabitch! Thank him or 
		YOU'RE fired!

	Barton is staring, aghast.

				BARTON
		Mr. Lipnik, that's not really necessar-

	Lipnik, still staring at Lou, gives no sign of hearing Barton. 
	He rises and points.

				LIPNIK
		Get down on your knees, you 
		sonofabitch!  Get down on your knees 
		and kiss this man's feet!

				LOU
		Mr. Lipnik, please -

				BARTON
		I - Mr. Lipnik -

				LIPNIK
		KISS THIS MAN'S FEET!!

	Lou, aghast, looks at Barton.

	Barton, aghast, can only return the same stunned look.

	Lipnik snarls at Lou:

				LIPNIK
		...Okay, get out of here. You're 
		fired, you understand me?  Get out 
		of my sight.

	Lou gets stiffly to his feet and stumbles away.

				BARTON
		Mr. Lipnik, I -

				LIPNIK
		I apologize, Barton.

				BARTON
		No no, Mr. Breeze has actually been 
		a great help -

				LIPNIK
		You don't have to cover for him. 
		It's noble of you, but these things 
		happen in business.

				BARTON
		Mr. Lipnik, I really would feel much 
		better if you could reconsider -

				LIPNIK
		Ah, forget it, kid. I want you to 
		pull this out of your head. If that 
		sonofabitch wouldn't apologize to 
		you, goddammit, I will. I respect 
		your artistry and your methods, and 
		if you can't fill us in yet, well 
		hell, we should be kissing your feet 
		for your fine efforts.

	He gets down on his knees in front of Barton.

				LIPNIK
		...You know in the old country we 
		were taught, as very young children, 
		that there's no shame in supplicatin' 
		yourself when you respect someone.

	Barton stares, horrified, at Lipnik, on the ground at his 
	feet.

				LIPNIK
		...On behalf of Capitol Pictures, 
		the administration, and all a the 
		stockholders, please accept this as 
		a symbol of our apology and respect.

	BARTON'S POV

	Lipnik kisses his shoe and looks up at him.

	Behind Lipnik the pool glitters.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	The cut has a hard musical sting. Out of the sting comes a 
	loud but distorted thumping noise.

	We are looking down, high angle, form one corner of the room. 
	We are presented with a motionless tableau: Barton sits, 
	hunched, in the far corner, elbows on knees, staring at the 
	bed in front of him. He wears only trousers and a T-shirt 
	and his body and face glisten with sweat. The bed's sheets 
	have been stripped and the ratty gray mattress has an enormous 
	rust-red stain in the middle.

	After a beat, in the foreground, the only motion in the scene: 
	A bead of tacky yellow wall-sweat dribbles down the near 
	wall.

	Silence, then the thumping repeats, resolving itself to a 
	knock at the door.

	Barton rises slowly and crosses to the door.

	THE DOOR

	Barton opens it to Charlie, who is dressed in a baggy suit, 
	his hair slicked back, a tan fedora pushed back on his head. 
	It is the first time we have seen him well turned out.

	A battered briefcase is on the floor next to him. He holds a 
	parcel in his left hand, about one foot square, wrapped in 
	brown paper and tied up with twine.

				CHARLIE
		Barton. Can I come in?

	Barton stands back from the door and Charlie picks up his 
	briefcase and enters.

	THE ROOM

	As the two men enter.

				BARTON
		Jesus... You're leaving.

				CHARLIE
		Have to, old timer. Just for a while.

	Barton sounds desperate:

				BARTON
		Jesus, Charlie, I...

				CHARLIE
		Everything's okay, believe me. I 
		know it's rough mentally, but 
		everything's taken care of.

				BARTON
		Charlie! I've got no one else here! 
		You're the only person I know in Los 
		Angeles...

	He starts weeping

				BARTON
		...that I can talk to.

	Charlie, also disturbed and unhappy, wraps both arms around 
	Barton.

	Barton sobs unashamedly into his shoulder. Charlie is somber.

				CHARLIE
		It's okay... It's okay...

				BARTON
		Charlie, I feel like I'm going crazy 
		- like I'm losing my mind. I don't 
		know what to do... I didn't do it, 
		believe me. I'm sure of that, Charlie. 
		I just...

	His breath comes in short gasping heaves.

				BARTON
		...I just don't know what... to do-

				CHARLIE
		You gotta get a grip on, brother. 
		You gotta just carry on - just for a 
		few days, till I get back. Try and 
		stay here, keep your door locked. 
		Don't talk to anyone. We just gotta 
		keep our heads and we'll figure it 
		out.

				BARTON
		Yeah, but Charlie -

				CHARLIE
		Dammit, don't argue with me. You 
		asked me to believe you - well I do.  
		Now don't argue with me.

	He looks at Barton for a beat.

				CHARLIE
		...Look, pal - can you do something 
		for me?

	Charlie hands him his parcel.

				CHARLIE
		...Keep this for me, till I get back.

	Barton, snuffling, accepts the package.

				CHARLIE
		...It's just personal stuff. I don't 
		wanna drag it with me, but I don't 
		trust 'em downstairs, and I'd like 
		to think it's in good hands.

	Still snuffling:

				BARTON
		Sure, Charlie.

				CHARLIE
		Funny, huh, when everything that's 
		important to a guy, everything he 
		wants to keep from a lifetime - when 
		he can fit it into a little box like 
		that. I guess... I guess it's kind 
		of pathetic.

	Wallowing in self-pity:

				BARTON
		It's more than I've got.

				CHARLIE
		Well, keep it for me. Maybe it'll 
		bring you good luck. Yeah, it'll 
		help you finish your script. You'll 
		think about me...

	He thumps his chest.

				CHARLIE
		...Make me your wrestler. Then you'll 
		lick that story of yours.

	Barton is tearfully sincere:

				BARTON
		Thanks, Charlie.

	Charlie solemnly thrusts out his hand.

				CHARLIE
		Yeah, well, see you soon, friend. 
		You're gonna be fine.

	Barton shakes. As they walk to the door:

				BARTON
		You'll be back?

				CHARLIE
		Don't worry about that, compadre. 
		I'll be back.

	Barton shuts the door behind Charlie, locks it, and turns 
	around.

	HIS POV

	The room. The bed. The blood-stained mattress.

	Barton walks across the room and sits carefully at the edge 
	of the bed, avoiding the rust-colored stain. For a long beat, 
	he sits still, but something is building inside.

	Finally, when we hear the distant ding of the elevator 
	arriving for Charlie, it erupts:

	Barton sobs, with the unself-conscious grief of an abandoned 
	child.

	HIGH WIDE SHOT

	Barton weeping, alone on the bed, next to the rust-colored 
	stain.

								FADE OUT

								FADE IN:

	BATHING BEAUTY

	With the fade in, the sound of the surf mixes up.

	We pan down the picture to discover that a snapshot has been 
	tucked into a corner of the picture frame: it is the snap of 
	Charlie, smiling and waving, with his foot up on the running 
	board of the 1939 Ford roadster.

	BARTON

	Sitting at the desk, staring at the picture. From his glazed 
	eyes and the way his mouth hangs open, we may assume he has 
	been staring at the picture for some time.

	He notices something on the desk and picks it up.

	HIS POV

	The Holy Bible - Placed by the Gideons.

	Barton opens it, randomly, to the Book of Daniel. The text 
	is set in ornately Gothic type.

	"5. And the king, Nebuchadnezzar, answered and said to the 
	Chaldeans, I recall not my dream; if ye will not make known 
	unto me my dream, and its interpretation, ye shall be cut in 
	pieces, and of your tents shall be made a dunghill."

	BARTON

	Staring at the passage. His mouth hangs open.

	THE BIBLE

	Barton riffles to the first page.

	In bold type at the top:

	"THE BOOK OF GENESIS"

	Underneath, in the same ornately Gothic type:

	"Chapter One 1. Fade in on a tenement building on Manhattan's 
	Lower East Side.  Faint traffic noise is audible; 2. As is 
	the cry of fishmongers."

	BARTON

	Squinting at the page through bloodshot eyes.

	His mouth hangs open.

	BARTON'S ROOM - DAY

	At the cut the harsh clackety-clack of typing bangs in. 
	Sunlight burns against the sheers of Barton's window, making 
	it a painfully bright patch in the room which itself remains 
	fairly dim.

	Barton sits at the secretary, typing furiously.

	He finishes a page, yanks it out of the carriage, and places 
	it face-down on a short stack of face-down pages.

	He feeds in a blank sheet and resumes his rapid typing. He 
	is sweating, unshaven, and more haggard even than when we 
	left him the previous night.

	The telephone rings. After several rings Barton stops typing 
	and answers it, absently, still looking at his work. His 
	voice is hoarse.

				BARTON
		Hello... Chet... Who?...

	He puts the receiver down on the desk, leans over the 
	typewriter, and examines something he has just written.

	He picks the phone back up and listens for a beat.

				BARTON
		... No, don't send them up here. 
		I'll be right down.

	ELEVATOR

	A small oscillating fan whirs up in a corner of the elevator.  

	We pan down to Barton, who is riding down with Pete, the old 
	elevator operator. Barton's voice is hoarse with fatigue.

				BARTON
		...You read the Bible, Pete?

				PETE
		Holy Bible?

				BARTON
		Yeah.

				PETE
		I think so... Anyway, I've heard 
		about it.

	Barton nods.

	They ride for a beat.

	LOBBY

	Late afternoon sun slants in from one side. The lobby has 
	the same golden ambiance as when first we saw it.

	Barton is walking toward two wing chairs in the shadows, 
	from which two men in suits are rising. One is tall, the 
	other short.

				POLICEMAN
		Fink?

				BARTON
		Yeah.

				POLICEMAN #2
		Detective Mastrionotti.

				POLICEMAN #1
		Detective Deutsch.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		L.A.P.D.

				BARTON
		Uh-huh.

	All three sit in ancient maroon swing chairs. Mastrionotti 
	perches on the edge of his chair; Deutsch slumps back in the 
	shadows, studying Barton.

				DEUTSCH
		Got a couple questions to ask ya.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		What do you do, Fink?

	Still hoarse:

				BARTON
		I write.

				DEUTSCH
		Oh yeah? What kind of write?

				BARTON
		Well as a matter of fact, I write 
		for the pictures.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Big fuckin' deal.

				DEUTSCH
		You want my partner to kiss your 
		ass?

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Would that be good enough for ya?

				BARTON
		No, I - I didn't mean to sound -

				DEUTSCH
		What DID you mean?

				BARTON
		I - I've got respect for - for working 
		guys, like you -

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Jesus! Ain't that a load off! You 
		live in 605?

				BARTON
		Yeah.

				DEUTSCH
		How long you been up there, Fink?

				BARTON
		A week, eight, nine days -

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Is this multiple choice?

				BARTON
		Nine days - Tuesday -

				DEUTSCH
		You know this slob?

	He is holding a small black-and-white photograph out toward 
	Barton.

	There is a long beat as Barton studies the picture.

				BARTON
		...Yeah, he... he lives next door to 
		me.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		That's right, Fink, he lives next 
		door to you.

				DEUTSCH
		Ever talk to him?

				BARTON
		...Once or twice. His name is Charlie 
		Meadows.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Yeah, and I'm Buck Rogers.

				DEUTSCH
		His name is Mundt. Karl Mundt.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Also known as Madman Mundt.

				DEUTSCH
		He's a little funny in the head.

				BARTON
		What did... What did he -

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Funny. As in, he likes to ventilate 
		people with a shotgun and then cut 
		their heads off.

				DEUTSCH
		Yeah, he's funny that way.

				BARTON
		I...

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Started in Kansas City. Couple of 
		housewives.

				DEUTSCH
		Couple of days ago we see the same 
		M.O. out in Los Feliz.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Doctor. Ear, nose and throat man,.

				DEUTSCH
		All of which he's now missin'.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Well, some of his throat was there.

				DEUTSCH
		Physician, heal thyself.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Good luck with no fuckin' head.

				DEUTSCH
		Anyway.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Hollywood precinct finds another 
		stiff yesterday. Not too far from 
		here. This one's better looking than 
		the doc.

				DEUTSCH
		Female caucasian, thirty years old. 
		Nice tits. No head. You ever see 
		Mundt with anyone meets that 
		description?

				MASTRIONOTTI
		But, you know, with the head still 
		on.

				BARTON
		...No. I never saw him with anyone 
		else.

				DEUTSCH
		So. You talked to Mundt, what about?

				BARTON
		Nothing, really. Said he was in the 
		insurance business.

	Deutsch indicates Mastrionotti.

				DEUTSCH
		Yeah, and he's Buck Rogers.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		No reputable company would hire a 
		guy like that.

				BARTON
		Well that's what he said.

				DEUTSCH
		What else?

				BARTON
		He... I'm trying to think... Nothing, 
		really... He... He said he liked 
		Jack Oakie pictures.

	Mastrionotti looks at Deutsch. Deutsch looks at Mastrionotti.  
	After a beat, Mastrionotti looks back at Barton.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Ya know, Fink, ordinarily we say 
		anything you might remember could be 
		helpful. But I'll be frank with you: 
		That is not helpful.

				DEUTSCH
		Ya see how he's not writing it down?

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Fink. That's a Jewish name, isn't 
		it?

				BARTON
		Yeah.

	Mastrionotti gets to his feet, looking around the lobby.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Yeah, I didn't think this dump was 
		restricted.

	He digs in his pocket.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		...Mundt has disappeared. I don't 
		think he'll be back. But...

	He hands Barton a card.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		...give me a call if you see him. Or 
		if you remember something that isn't 
		totally idiotic.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	We are tracking toward the paper-wrapped parcel that sits on 
	the nightstand next to Barton's bed.   

	Barton enters and picks it up. He holds it for a beat, looking 
	at it, then brings it over to the secretary and sits.

	He shakes it.

	No sound; whatever is inside is well packed.

	Barton holds it up to his ear and listens for a long beat, 
	as if it were a seashell and he is listening for the surf.  

	Finally he puts it on his desk, beneath the picture of the 
	bathing beauty, and starts typing, quickly and steadily.

								DISSOLVE

						    THROUGH TO:

	REVERSE

	Some time later; Barton still types. He is face to us; beyond 
	him we can see the bed with its rust-colored stain.

	The phone rings. Barton ignores it. It continues to ring.  

	Barton rises and exits frame; we hold on to the bed in the 
	background. We hear Barton's footsteps on the bathroom tile 
	as the phone continues ringing.

	Barton sits back into frame stuffing cotton into each ear. 
	He resumes typing.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Barton typing. The desk trembles under the working of the 
	typewriter.  Charlie's parcel chatters.

	Barton takes a finished page out of the carriage and places 
	it face down on the growing stack to his right. He feeds in 
	a new page. We hear the muted ding of the elevator down the 
	hall. Barton resumes typing.

	We hear a knock on Barton's door. Barton does not react, 
	apparently not hearing.

	THE DOORWAY

	We are close on the bottom of the door. Someone in the hallway 
	is sliding a note beneath the door; then his shadow disappears 
	and his footsteps recede.

	The note is a printed message headed: "While You Were Out... 
	" Underneath are the printed words: "You were called by" 
	and, handwritten in the space following: "Mr. Ben Geisler."  

	Handwritten below, in the message space:

	"Thank you. Lipnik loved your meeting. Keep up the good work." 

	Barton's offscreen typing continues steadily.

								FADE OUT

	HALLWAY

	A perfectly symmetrical wide low angle shot of the empty 
	hall.  Shoes are set put in front of each door except for 
	one in the middle background.

	At the cut in we hear faint, regular typing.

	We hold for a beat. There is no motion. The long, empty hall. 
	The distant typing.

	We hold.

	The typing stops. There is a beat of quiet.

	It is broken by the sound of a door opening. It is the 
	shoeless door in the middle background.

	A hand reaches out to place a pair of shoes in the doorway.  

	The hand withdraws.

	The door closes.

	A short beat of silence.

	The distant typing resumes.

	The long empty hall. The distant typing.

								FADE OUT

	OVER THE BLACK

	We hear the distant sound of a woman's voice, tinny and 
	indistinct.

				WOMAN
		Just a minute and I'll connect you...

								FADE IN:

	CLOSE ON BARTON

	His eyes are red-rimmed and wild. He sits on the edge of his 
	bed holding the phone to his ear.

	His voice is unnaturally loud:

				BARTON
		Hello? Operator! I can't... Oh!

	He stops, reaches up, takes a cotton wad out of his ear.

	We hear various clicks and clacks as the telephone lines 
	switch, and then a distant ring. The phone rings three or 
	four times before it is answered by a groggy voice.

				VOICE
		...Hello.

				BARTON
		Garland, it's me.

				GARLAND
		Barton? What time is it? Are you all 
		right?

				BARTON
		Yeah, I'm fine, Garland - I have to 
		talk to you. I'm calling long 
		distance.

				GARLAND
		Okay.

	Muffled, we hear Garland speaking to someone else.

				GARLAND
		...It's Barton. Calling long distance.

	Back into the receiver:

				GARLAND
		...What is it Barton? Are you okay?

				BARTON
		I'm fine, garland, but I have to 
		talk with you.

				GARLAND
		Go ahead, son.

				BARTON
		It's about what I'm writing, Garland. 
		It's really... I think it's really 
		big.

				GARLAND
		What do you mean, Barton?

				BARTON
		Not big in the sense of large - 
		although it's that too. I mean 
		important. This may be the most 
		IMPORTANT work I've done.

				GARLAND
		Well, I'm... glad to hear that -

				BARTON
		Very important, Garland. I just 
		thought you should know that. Whatever 
		happens.

				GARLAND
		...That's fine.

				BARTON
		Have you read the Bible, Garland?

				GARLAND
		...Barton, is everything okay?

				BARTON
		Yes... Isn't it?

				GARLAND
		Well, I'm just asking. You sound a 
		little -

	Guardedly:

				BARTON
		Sound a little what?

				GARLAND
		Well, you just... sound a little-

	Bitterly:

				BARTON
		Thanks, Garland. Thanks for all the 
		encouragement.

	He slams down the phone.

	OVER HIS SHOULDER

	A one-quarter shot on Barton from behind as he picks up the 
	cotton wad and sticks it back in his right ear.

	He resumes typing, furiously.

	After a beat he mutters, still typing.

				BARTON
		...Nitwit.

	THE BATHING BEAUTY

	Later. We hear typing and the roar of the surf.'

	CLOSE ON TYPEWRITER

	We are extremely close on the key-strike area. As we cut in 
	Barton is typing:

	"p-o-s-t-c-a-r-d-."

	The carriage returns a couple of times and "T-H-E-E-N-D" is 
	typed in.

	The paper is ripped out of the carriage.

	CLOSE ON A STACK OF PAGES

	Lying face down on the desk; the last page is added, face 
	down, to the pile.  The pile is picked up, its edges are 
	straightened with a couple of thumps against the desktop, 
	and then the pile is replaced on the desk, face up.  The 
	title page reads:

	"THE BURLYMAN 
	Motion Picture Scenario 
	By 
	Barton Fink"

	Barton's right hand enters frame to deposit a small cotton 
	wad on top of the script.

	Barton's left hand enters to deposit another small cotton 
	wad on top of the script.

	We hear Barton walk away. We hear bath water run.

	THE BATHING BEAUTY

	Still looking out to sea.

	USO HALL

	We are booming down to the dance floor as a raucous band 
	plays an up-tempo number.

	BARTON

	Dancing animatedly, almost maniacally, his fingers jabbing 
	the air.

	The hall is crowded, but Barton is one of few men not in 
	uniform.

	USO GIRL

	Giggling, dancing opposite Barton.

				GIRL
		You're cute!

	BARTON

	Caught up in his dancing, oblivious to the girl.

	A white uniformed arm reaches in to tap Barton on the 
	shoulder.

				SAILOR
		'Scuse me, buddy, mind if I cut in?

	Barton glares at him.

				BARTON
		This is MY dance, sailor!

				SAILOR
		C'mon buddy, I'm shipping out 
		tomorrow.

	For some reason, Barton is angry.

				BARTON
		I'm a writer! Celebrating the 
		completion of something GOOD!  Do 
		you understand that, sailor? I'm a 
		WRITER!

	His bellowing has drawn onlookers' attention.

				VOICES
		Step aside, four-eyes! Let someone 
		else spin the dame! Give the navy a 
		dance! Hey, Four-F, take a hike!

	Barton turns furiously against the crowd.

				BARTON
		I'm a writer, you monsters! I CREATE!  
		He points at his head.

				BARTON
		...This is my uniform!

	He taps his skull.

				BARTON
		...THIS is how I serve the common 
		man!  THIS is where I -

	WHAPP! An infantry man tags Barton's chin on the button. 
	Bodies surge. The crowd gasps. The band blares nightmarishly 
	on.

	HOTEL HALLWAY

	Quiet at the cut.

	After a beat, there is a faint ding at the end of the hall 
	and, as the elevator door opens, we faintly hear:

				PETE
		This stop: six.

	Barton, disheveled, emerges and stumbles wearily down the 
	hall. He stops in front of his door, takes his key out, and 
	enters the room.

	BARTON'S POV

	Mastrionotti is sitting on the edge of the bed reading 
	Barton's manuscript.

	Deutsch stands in front of the desk staring at the bathing 
	beauty.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Mother: What is to become of him. 
		Father: We'll be hearing from that 
		crazy wrestler.  And I don't mean a 
		postcard. Fade out. The end.

	He looks up at Barton.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		...I thought you said you were a 
		writer.

				DEUTSCH
		I dunno, Duke. I kinda liked it.

				BARTON
		Keep your filthy eyes off that.

	Deutsch turns toward Barton and throws a folded newspaper at 
	him.

				DEUTSCH
		You made morning papers, Fink.

	Barton opens the paper. A headline reads: Writer Found 
	Headless in Chavez Ravine. The story has two pictures - a 
	studio publicity portrait of Mayhew, and a photograph of the 
	crime scene: two plainclothes detectives stare down into a 
	gulley as a uniformed cop restrains a pair of leashed dogs.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Second one of your friends to end up 
		dead.

				DEUTSCH
		You didn't tell us you knew the dame.

	With a jerk of his thumb, Mastrionotti indicates the 
	bloodstained bed.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Sixth floor too high for you, Fink?

				DEUTSCH
		Give you nose bleeds?

	Barton crosses the room and sits at the foot of the bed, 
	staring at the newspaper.

				DEUTSCH
		Just tell me one thing, Fink: Where'd 
		you put their heads?

	Distractedly:

				BARTON
		Charlie... Charlie's back...

				MASTRIONOTTI
		No kidding, bright boy - we smelt 
		Mundt all over this. Was he the idea 
		man?

				DEUTSCH
		Tell us where the heads are, maybe 
		they'll go easy on you.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		Only fry you once.

	Barton rubs his temples.

				BARTON
		Could you come back later?  It's 
		just...  too hot... My head is killing 
		me.

				DEUTSCH
		All right, forget the heads. Where's 
		Mundt, Fink?

				MASTRIONOTTI
		He teach you to do it?

				DEUTSCH
		You two have some sick sex thing?

				BARTON
		Sex?! He's a MAN! We WRESTLED!

				MASTRIONOTTI
		You're a sick fuck, Fink.

				DEUTSCH
		All right, moron, you're under arrest.

	Barton seems oblivious to the two men.

				BARTON
		Charlie's back. It's hot... He's 
		back.

	Down the hall we hear the ding of the arriving elevator.  

	Mastrionotti cocks his head with a quizzical look.

	He rises and walks slowly out into the hall. Deutsch wathces 
	him go.

	HIS POV

	Mastrionotti in the hallway in full shot, framed by the door, 
	still looking puzzled.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		...Fred...

	Deutsch stands and pushes his suit coat back past the gun on 
	his hip, revealing a pair of handcuffs on his belt. He 
	unhitches the cuffs and slips one around Barton's right wrist 
	and the other around a loop in the wrought iron footboard of 
	the bed.

				DEUTSCH
		Sit tight, Fink.

	THE HALLWAY

	As Deutsch joins Mastrionotti.

				DEUTSCH
		Why's it so goddamn hot out here?

				MASTRIONOTTI
		...Fred...

	Deutsch looks where Mastrionotti is looking.

	THE WALL

	Tacky yellow fluid streams down. The walls are pouring sweat.  

	The hallway is quiet.

	MASTRIONOTTI AND DEUTSCH

	They look at each other. They look down the hall.

	THEIR POV

	The elevator stands open at the far end of the empty hall.  

	For a long beat, nothing.

	Finally Pete, the elevator man, emerges.

	At this distance, he is a small figure, stumbling this way 
	and that, his hands presseed against the sides of his head.  

	He turns to face Mastrionotti and Deutsch and takes a few 
	steps forward, still clutching his head.

	MASTRIONOTTI AND DEUTSCH

	Watching.

	PETE

	He takes on last step, then collapses.

	As he pitches forward his hands fall away from his head. His 
	head separates from his neck, hits the floor, and rolls away 
	from his body with a dull irregular trundle sound.

	MASTRIONOTTI AND DEUTSCH

	Wide-eyed, they look at each other, then back down the hall.  

	All is quiet.

	THE HALLWAY

	Smoke is beginning to drift into the far end of the hall.  

	We hear a muted rumble.

	MASTRIONOTTI AND DEUTSCH

	Mastrionotti tugs at his tie. He slowly unholsters his gun.  
	Deutsch slowly, hypnotically, follows suit.

				DEUTSCH
		... Show yourself, Mundt!

	More quiet.

	THE HALLWAY

	More smoke.

	LOW STEEP ANGLE ON ELEVATOR DOOR

	The crack where the floor of the elevator meets that of the 
	hall.

	It flickers with red light from below. Bottom-lit smoke sifts 
	up.

	CLOSE ON MASTRIONOTTI

	Standing in the foreground, gun at ready. Sweat pours down 
	his face.

	Behind him, Deutsch stands nervously in the light-spill from 
	Barton's doorway.

	The rumble and crackle of fire grows louder.

	THE HALLWAY

	More smoke.

	PATCH OF WALL

	Sweating.

	A swath of wallpaper sags away from the top of the wall, 
	exposing glistening lath underneath.

	With a light airy pop, the lathwork catches on fire.

	MASTRIONOTTI AND DEUTSCH

	Sweating.

				DEUTSCH
		...Mundt!

	THEIR POV

	The hallway. Its end-facing-wall slowly spreads flame from 
	where the wallpaper droops.

	LOW STEEP ANGLE ON ELEVATOR DOOR

	More red bottom-lit smoke seeps up from the crack between 
	elevator and hallway floors.

	With a groan of tension relieved cables and a swaying of the 
	elevator door, a pair of feet crosses the threshold into the 
	doorway.

	JUMPING BACK

	Wide on the hallway. Charlie Meadows has emerged from the 
	elevator and is hellishly backlit by the flame.

	His suit coat hangs open. His hat is pushed back on his head. 
	From his right hand his briefcase dangles.

	He stands motionless, facing us. There is something monumental 
	in his posture, shoulders thrown back.

	MASTRIONOTTI

	Tensed. Behind him, Deutsch gulps.

				MASTRIONOTTI
		There's a boy, Mundt. Put the policy 
		case down and your mitts in the air.

	CHARLIE

	He leans slowly down to put the briefcase on the floor.

	CLOSE ON MASTRIONOTTI

	Relax. He murmurs:

				MASTRIONOTTI
		He's complying.

	BACK TO CHARLIE

	He straightens up from the briefcase, a sawed-off shotgun in 
	his hands.

	BOOM! The shotgun spits fire.

	Mastrionotti's face is peppered by buckshot and he is blown 
	back down the hallway into Deutsch.

	Bellowing fills the hallway over the roar of the fire:

				CHARLIE
		LOOK UPON ME! LOOK UPON ME! I'LL 
		SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND!!

	THE HALLWAY

	The fire starts racing down the hallway.

	CLOSE STEEP ANGLE ON PATCH OF WALL

	Fire races along the wall-sweat goopus.

	TRACK IN ON DEUTSCH

	His eyes widen at Charlie and the approaching fire; his gun 
	dangles forgotten from his right hand.

	HIS POV

	Charlie is charging down the hallway, holding his shotgun 
	loosely in front of his chest, in double-time position. The 
	fire races along with him.

	He is bellowing:

				CHARLIE
		LOOK UPON ME! I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE 
		OF THE MIND! I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE 
		OF THE MIND!

	DEUTSCH

	Terrified, he turns and runs.

	REVERSE PULLING DEUTSCH

	As he runs down the flaming hallway, pursued by flames, smoke, 
	and Karl Mundt - who, also on the run, levels his shotgun.

	BOOM!

	PUSHING DEUTSCH

	His legs and feet spout blood, paddle futilely at the air, 
	then come down in a twisting wobble, like a car on blown 
	tires, and pitch him helplessly to the floor.

	PULLING CHARLIE

	He slows to a trot and cracks open the shotgun.

	PUSHING DEUTSCH

	Weeping and dragging himself forward on his elbows.

	PULLING CHARLIE

	He slows to a walk.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	Barton strains at his handcuffs.

	HIS POV

	Through the open doorway we see Charlie pass, pushing two 
	shells into his shotgun.

	PULLING DEUTSCH

	Charlie looms behind him and - THWACK - snaps the shotgun 
	closed.

	Deutsch rolls over to rest on his elbows, facing Charlie.  

	Charlie primes the shotgun - CLACK.

	He presses both barrels against the bridge of Deutsh's nose.

				CHARLIE
		Heil Hitler.

	DEUTSCH

	Screams.

	CHARLIE

	Tightens a finger over both triggers. He squeezes.

	BLAM!

	TRACK IN ON BARTON

	He flinches.

	The gunshot echoes away.

	Barton strains at the handcuffs.

	We hear Charlie's footsteps approach - slowly, heavily.

	THE DOORWAY

	Charlie, walking down the hall, glances in and seems mildly 
	surprised to see Barton. The set of his jaw relaxes. His 
	expression softens. He pushes his hat farther back on his 
	head.

				CHARLIE
		Barton!

	He shakes is head and whistles.

				CHARLIE
		...Brother, is it hot.

	He walks into the room.

	BARTON'S ROOM

	As Charlie wearily enters.

				CHARLIE
		How you been, buddy?

	He props the shotgun in a corner and sits facing Barton, who 
	stared at him.

				CHARLIE
		...Don't look at me like that, 
		neighbor.  It's just me - Charlie.

				BARTON
		I hear it's Mundt. Madman Mundt.

	Charlie reaches a flask from his pocket.

				CHARLIE
		Jesus, people can be cruel...

	He takes a long draught from his flask, then gives a haunted 
	stare.

				CHARLIE
		...if it's not my build, it's my 
		personality.

	Charlie is perspiring heavily. The fire rumbles in the 
	hallway.

				CHARLIE
		...They say I'm a madman, Barton, 
		but I'm not mad at anyone. Honest 
		I'm not. Most guys I just feel sorry 
		for. Yeah. It tears me up inside, to 
		think about what they're going 
		through. How trapped they are. I 
		understand it. I feel for 'em. So I 
		try and help them out...

	He reached up to loosen his tie and pop his collar button.

				CHARLIE
		...Jesus. Yeah. I know what it feels 
		like, when things get all balled up 
		at the head office. It puts you 
		through hell, Barton. So I help people 
		out. I just wish someone would do as 
		much for me...

	He stares miserably down at his feet.

				CHARLIE
		...Jesus it's hot. Sometimes it gets 
		so hot, I wanna crawl right out of 
		my skin.

	Self-pity:

				BARTON
		But Charlie - why me? Why -

				CHARLIE
		Because you DON'T LISTEN!

	A tacky yellow fluid is dripping from Charlie's left ear and 
	running down his cheek.

				CHARLIE
		...Jesus, I'm dripping again.

	He pulls some cotton from his pocket and plugs his ear.

				CHARLIE
		...C'mon Barton, you think you know 
		about pain? You think I made your 
		life hell?  Take a look around this 
		dump. You're just a tourist with a 
		typewriter, Barton. I live here. 
		Don't you understand that...

	His voice is becoming choked.

				CHARLIE
		...And you come into MY home... And 
		you complain that I'M making too... 
		much... noise.

	He looks up at Barton.

	There is a long silence.

	Finally:

				BARTON
		...I'm sorry.

	Wearily:

				CHARLIE
		Don't be.

	He rises to his feet and kneels in front of Barton at the 
	foot of the bed.

	The two men regard each other.

	Charlie grabs two bars of the footboard frame, still staring 
	at Barton. His muscles tighten, though nothing moves. His 
	neck fans with effort. All of his muscles tense.  His face 
	is a reddening grimace.

	With a shriek of protest, the metal gives. The bar to which 
	Barton is handcuffed had come loose at the top and Barton 
	slides the cuff off it, free.

	Charlie gets to his feet.

				CHARLIE
		I'm getting off the merry-go-round.

	He takes his shotgun and walks to the door.

				CHARLIE
		...I'll be next door if you need me.

	A thought stops him at the door and he turns to face Barton.  
	Behind him the hallway blazes.

				CHARLIE
		...Oh, I dropped in on your folks. 
		And Uncle Dave?

	He smiles. Barton looks at him dumbly.

				CHARLIE
		...Good people. By the way, that 
		package I gave you? I lied. It isn't 
		mine.

	He leaves.

	Barton rises, picks up Charlie's parcel, and his script.

	THE HALLWAY

	As Barton emerges. Flames lick the walls, causing the 
	wallpaper to run with the tack glue sap. Smoke fills the 
	hallway. Barton looks down the hall.

	HIS POV

	Charlie stands in front of the door to his room, his briefcase 
	dangling from one hand, his other hand fumbling in his pocket 
	for his key.

	With his hat pushed back on his head and his shoulders slumped 
	with fatigue, he could be any drummer returning to any hotel 
	after a long hard day on the road.

	He opens the door and goes into his room.

	BACK TO BARTON

	He turns and walks up the hallway, his script in one hand, 
	the parcel in the other.

	A horrible moaning sound - almost human - can be heard under 
	the roar of the fire.

	BLACKNESS

	STUDIO HALLWAY

	We are tracking laterally across the lobby of an executive 
	building. From offscreen we hear:

				BARTON
		Fink! Morris or Lillian Fink! Eighty- 
		five Fulton Street!

	Filtered through phone:

				OPERATOR
		I understand that, sir -

				BARTON
		Or Uncle Dave!

	Our track has brought Barton into frame in the foreground, 
	unshaven, unkempt, bellowing into the telephone. In a hallway 
	in the background, a secretary gestures for Barton to hurry 
	up.

				OPERATOR
		I understand that, sir, but there's 
		still no answer. Shall I check for 
		trouble on the line?

	Barton slams down the phone.

	LIPNIK'S OFFICE

	Barton enters, still clinging on to Charlie's parcel.

	Lou Breeze stands in one corner censoriously watching Barton.  
	Lipnik is at the far end of the room, gazing out the window.

				LIPNIK
		Fink.

				BARTON
		Mr. Lipnik.

				LIPNIK
		Colonel Lipnik, if you don't mind.

	He turns to face Barton and we see that he is wearing a 
	smartly pressed uniform with a lot of fruit salad on the 
	chest.

				LIPNIK
		...Siddown.

	Barton takes a seat facing Lipnik's desk.

				LIPNIK
		...I was commissioned yesterday in 
		the Army Reserve. Henry Morgenthau 
		arranged it. He's a dear friend.

				BARTON
		Congratulations.

				LIPNIK
		Actually it hasn't officially gone 
		through yet. Had wardrobe whip this 
		up. You gotta pull teeth to get 
		anything done in this town. I can 
		understand a little red tape in 
		peacetime, but now it's all-out 
		warfare against the Japs. Little 
		yellow bastards.  They'd love to see 
		me sit this one out.

				BARTON
		Yes sir, they -

				LIPNIK
		Anyway, I had Lou read your script 
		for me.

	He taps distastefully at the script on his desk, which has a 
	slightly charred title page.

				LIPNIK
		...I gotta tell you, Fink. It won't 
		wash.

				BARTON
		With all due respect, sir, I think 
		it's the best work I've done.

				LIPNIK
		Don't gas me, Fink. If you're opinion 
		mattered, then I guess I'd resign 
		and let YOU run the the studio. It 
		doesn't and you won't, and the 
		lunatics are not going to run THIS 
		particular asylum. So let's put a 
		stop to THAT rumor right now.

	Listlessly:

				BARTON
		Yes sir.

				LIPNIK
		I had to call Beery this morning, 
		let him know we were pushing the 
		picture back.  After all I'd told 
		him about quality, about that Barton 
		Fink feeling. How disappointed we 
		were. Wally was heartbroken. The man 
		was devastated. He was - well, I 
		didn't actually call him, Lou did. 
		But that's a fair description, isn't 
		it Lou?

				LOU
		Yes, Colonel.

				LIPNIK
		Hell, I could take you through it 
		step by step, explain why your story 
		stinks, but I won't insult your 
		intelligence. Well all right, first 
		of all: This is a wrestling picture; 
		the audience wants to see action, 
		drama, wrestling, and plenty of it. 
		They don't wanna see a guy wrestling 
		with his soul - well, all right, a 
		little bit, for the critics - but 
		you make it the carrot that wags the 
		dog. Too much of it and they head 
		for exits and I don't blame 'em.  
		There's plenty of poetry right inside 
		that ring, Fink. Look at "Hell Ten 
		Feet Square".

				LOU
		"Blood, Sweat, and Canvas".

				LIPNIK
		Look at "Blood, Sweat, and Canvas". 
		These are big movies, Fink. About 
		big men, in tights - both physically 
		and mentally. But especially 
		physically. We don't put Wallace 
		Beery in some fruity movie about 
		suffering - I thought we were together 
		on that.

				BARTON
		I'm sorry if I let you down.

				LIPNIK
		You didn't let ME down. Or even Lou. 
		We don't live or die by what you 
		scribble, Fink. You let Ben Geisler 
		down. He liked you. Trusted you. And 
		that's why he's gone. Fired.  That 
		guy had a heart as big as the 
		outdoors, and you fucked him. He 
		tried to convince me to fire you 
		too, but that would be too easy. No, 
		you're under contract and you're 
		gonna stay that way.  Anything you 
		write will be the property of Capitol 
		Pictures. And Capitol Pictures will 
		not produce anything you write. Not 
		until you grow up a little. You ain't 
		no writer, Fink - you're a goddamn 
		write-off.

				BARTON
		I tried to show you something 
		beautiful.  Something about all of 
		US -

	This sets Lipnik off:

				LIPNIK
		You arrogant sonofabitch!  You think 
		you're the only writer who can give 
		me that Barton Fink feeling?!  I got 
		twenty writers under contract that I 
		can ask for a Finktype thing from. 
		You swell-headed hypocrite!  You 
		just don't get it, do you?  You think 
		the whole world revolves inside 
		whatever rattles inside that little 
		kike head of yours. Get him outta my 
		sight, Lou. Make sure he stays in 
		town, though; he's still under 
		contract. I want you in town, Fink, 
		and outta my sight. Now get lost. 
		There's a war on.

	THE SURF

	Crashing against the Pacific shore.

	THE BEACH

	At midday, almost deserted. In the distance we see Barton 
	walking.

	The paper-wrapped parcel swings from the twine in his left 
	hand.

	BARTON

	He walks a few more paces and sits down on the sand, looking 
	out to see. His gaze shifts to one side.

	HIS POV

	Down the beach, a bathing beauty walks along the edge of the 
	water. She looks much like the picture on the wall in Barton's 
	hotel room.

	BARTON

	He stares, transfixed, at the woman.

	THE WOMAN

	Very beautiful, backlit by the sun, approaching.

	BARTON

	Following her with his eyes.

	THE WOMAN

	Her eyes meet Barton's. She says something, but her voice is 
	lost in the crash of the surf.

	Barton cups a hand to his ear.

				BEAUTY
		I said it's a beautiful day...

				BARTON
		Yes... It is...

				BEAUTY
		What's in the box?

	Barton shrugs and shakes his head.

				BARTON
		I don't know.

				BEAUTY
		Isn't it yours?

				BARTON
		I... I don't know...

	She nods and sits down on the sand several paces away from 
	him, facing the water but looking back over her shoulder at 
	Barton.

				BARTON
		...You're very beautiful. Are you in 
		pictures?

	She laughs.

				BEAUTY
		Don't be silly.

	She turns away to look out at the sea.

	WIDER

	Facing the ocean. Barton sits in the middle foreground, back 
	to us, the box in the sand next to him.

	The bathing beauty sits, back to us, in the middle background.  
	The surf pounds.

	The sun sparkles off the water.

	THE END