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Grand Theft Parsons Movie Script

Writer(s) : Jeremy Drysdale

Genres : Comedy, Drama

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                          GRAND THEFT PARSONS


                              Written by
          
                            Jeremy Drysdale
          
          
          
          
          June 2003
          
       
          
          OPENING TITLE.
          
          "ALTHOUGH THIS MOTION PICTURE IS INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY,
          CERTAIN CHARACTERS AND EVENTS ARE FICTIONAL."
          
                                                   FADE IN:
          
          SUPER: 'SEPTEMBER 1973'.
          
          INT. PHIL KAUFMAN'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          A phone rings in the dark. A little light falls from the
          open window, illuminating an old bakelite telephone. It
          sits on a small table alongside a large amount of empty
          bottles and a couple of overflowing ashtrays.
          EXT. PHIL'S TRIKE. NIGHT
          
          A three wheeled motorcycle is being driven through the
          night at great speed. The trike is moving very quickly,
          its headlights cutting through the darkness, its wheels
          sending a spray of sand flying towards us, as the driver
          fights to keep it on the road. This is PHIL KAUFMAN, and
          he's in a hurry.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          Two figures are struggling on the floor. The male is
          naked. The woman sits astride him, her movements urgent,
          her breath fast. They appear to be having sex.
          
          EXT. TRIKE. DAWN
          
          The Trike cuts through the night, and we pull back to show
          desert, more desert, and then... a giant bright, flickering
          neon sign: 'Welcome to the Joshua Tree Inn'.
          
          INT. PHIL KAUFMAN'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          That phone - still ringing; shrill, insistent. There is a
          bed next to the table. It is covered in clothes, but there
          is also a man's shape, which now moves.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          A little more light, and it now appears as if our man and
          woman are struggling. There is fear on her face.
          
          INT. PHIL KAUFMAN'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          Still that insistent ringing, and the covers suddenly fly
          off the bed. We see the man from behind as he shakes the
          sleep away and looks for the damn phone.
          
                                                                 2.
          
          
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          The woman is screaming now, and banging on the man's chest
          with her fists. He is motionless underneath her.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE JOSHUA TREE INN. DAWN
          
          The Trike skids to a halt amid a cloud of dust and the
          driver leaps off. He runs at the door, throwing it open in
          one movement, disappearing into the room. A broken striped
          'No Entry - Police' band flutters to the ground.
          
          INT. PHIL KAUFMAN'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
          
          The man finally answers the phone.   At last the ringing
          stops.
                               PHIL
                    Hello?
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          The door bounces back open, and we can see the Phil walking
          quickly through the room.
          
          As he searches, we hear:
          
                              WOMAN'S VOICE
                    Oh my God please help me! I
                    found your number in his pocket
                    and I don't know... I don't know
                    what to do.
          
                              PHIL'S VOICE
                    Ah, what... who are you?
                              WOMAN'S VOICE
                    He's dead... he's dead... and
                    I'm... just... I don't know what
                    to do.
          
          The man glances into the bathroom and opens some drawers.
          
                               PHIL'S VOICE
                    Hold on.   Tell me who's dead.
          
                              WOMAN'S VOICE
                    Parsons. Gram Parsons. We met
                    in a bar and we had a lot to
                    drink and he just...
          
                              PHIL'S VOICE
                    Are you sure he's dead?
          
          He looks under the beds.
          
                                                                3.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                  WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Yeah. He's really dead.    He
                         just...
          
                                   PHIL'S VOICE
                         Listen. Call an ambulance.
                         Where are you?
          
                                   WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree Inn.
                         Room eight.
          
          He checks on top of the wardrobe.
          
                                   PHIL'S VOICE
                         Have you got a car?
                                   WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Yes.
          
                                   PHIL'S VOICE
                         Call an ambulance. Then get out
                         of there. Okay? Okay?
          
                                   WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Yeah, okay. I'm goin'...
          
          He picks up a sheet of paper from the bedside table and
          glances at it. He turns and walks past us to the car and
          for the first time we see Phil Kaufman's face.
          
          EXT. JOSHUA TREE HOSPITAL. MORNING
          
          The Trike skids to a halt outside the small white hospital.
          There are a couple of press vehicles parked outside, and a
          reporter is recording a piece to camera in the background.
          Phil sits for a moment, and then opens the door and walks
          to the entrance.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE HOSPITAL. MORNING - MOMENTS LATER
          
          We move through the reception area up to the nurses'
          station. Phil is in conversation with a large woman in a
          nurse's uniform.
          
                                   NURSE
                         You wanna run that by me again,
                         sir?
          
                                  PHIL
                         Okay. I'd like to see Gram
                         Parsons.
          
          They stare at each other.
          
                                                                4.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   NURSE
                         You want to see Gram Parsons?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yes. Alone, if possible. And
                         would you have a gurney standing
                         by in case I need to move him?
          
          She looks carefully at the pyjamas which peek out from
          under the shabby overcoat. His hair is on end. He is
          wearing biker boots and is holding an unlit but half-smoked
          cigar.
          
                                   NURSE
                         And you are.... his physician?
                         Or perhaps a close relative?
          Phil clears his throat.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Actually, I'm his road manager.
          
          The big nurse smiles mirthlessly.
          
                                   NURSE
                         So you're not his physician or a
                         close relative?
          
          A beat.
          
                                   PHIL
                         No.
          
                                   NURSE
                         Mister Parsons is awaiting a post
                         mortem. He will then be
                         delivered to his family. I
                         suggest you speak to them if you
                         wish to pick through his personal
                         effects. Sir.
          
          She turns away.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Now listen here...
          
                                   NURSE
                         No, you listen here. Mister
                         Parsons is dead and no longer
                         appears to need a road manager.
                         Which makes two of us.
          
          The nurse turns and marches down the corridor. Phil waits
          until she's gone and then walks through a door marked
          'Admittance only to Authorized Hospital Staff'.
          
                                                                  5.
          
          
          
          INT. HOSPITAL LOCKER ROOM. MORNING
          
          Phil slips off his overcoat and stuffs it into the trash.
          He tosses away the unlit cigar, grabs a white coat from a
          hook and puts it on. He walks out through another door.
          
          INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR. MORNING
          
          Phil wanders down the corridor, glancing into rooms and
          checking signs. He pushes open a door marked 'Pathology'.
          
          INT. HOSPITAL PATHOLOGY LAB. MORNING
          
          The room is empty, except for a couple of covered bodies on
          trolleys. Phil checks under the first sheet, and recoils
          at whatever it is which lies beneath.
                              PHIL
                    Sheesh!
          
          He walks over to the next gurney and lifts the sheet.   He
          stares down at the body, visibly moved.
          
                              PHIL (CONT'D)
                    Hello buddy. How you been?
          
          He stands for a moment, gripping the gurney and looking
          down at his friend. Then he snaps out of it.
          
                              PHIL (CONT'D)
                    Well, I can't stand around here
                    chatting with you all day.
                    Things to do...
          
          He wheels the gurney towards the door.
          INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR. MORNING
          
          Phil wheels the gurney down the corridor towards the exit.
          A doctor in green scrubs approaches and glances down at a
          clipboard.
          
                              DOCTOR
                    Can I help you?
          
                              PHIL
                    Naw, I'm cool thanks.
          
          The doctor reads the tag on the body's toe.
          
                              DOCTOR
                    What are you doing?
          
                               PHIL
                    Just taking some stiff down to
                    neurology.
          
                                                                  6.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   DOCTOR
                         We don't have a neurology
                         department.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Urology.
          
          The doctor grabs the end of the gurney. Phil tugs and the
          doctor tugs back. After a moment, Phil sighs and shakes
          his head in frustration.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Okay. Just hold your horses -
                         I'll go check the paperwork.
          
          The doctor holds up his clipboard.
                                   DOCTOR
                         I have the paperwork.
          
                                   PHIL
                         No. You have your paperwork. I
                         need to go check my paperwork.
          
          He slips through the exit. The doctor waits awkwardly     for
          a few seconds, and then pushes open the door.
          
                                    DOCTOR
                         Hello?   Hello...
          
          He glances around in surprise, but there is no-one in
          sight.
          
          EXT. DESERT. MORNING
          Phil's trike accelerates as it approaches a T junction.      To
          the right the sign points to 'Joshua Tree Town', to the
          left 'Los Angeles'. The trike doesn't even slow as it
          skids left, sending a spray of sand and gravel flying
          across the road.
          
          NB. There will be several shots of Phil driving through
          the desert, set to music.
          
          EXT. PHIL'S STREET. DAY
          
          The Trike pulls up outside a rambling old house. Two
          enormous plaster eagles flank the front door, a giant
          Harley Davidson sign hangs from the roof, and there's a six
          foot flashing neon star in the front window. Phil gets
          out, walks up to the door and pulls some keys out of his
          pocket.
          
                                                                 7.
          
          
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Phil walks into the room and pours himself a drink. He
          slumps onto the couch, takes a sip and closes his eyes. We
          see movement behind him, as an attractive girl slips
          through a door and approaches Phil from behind. This is
          SUSIE, and she puts her hands over his eyes.
          
                                 SUSIE
                    Guess who?
          
                              PHIL
                    Martin Luther King.
          
                              SUSIE
                    Try again...
          Susie leans over the back of the chair and gives Phil a
          long slow kiss. She jumps over the couch and resumes
          kissing, this time more passionately. Phil tries to pull
          away with little success.
          
                              PHIL
                    This.... ...isn't.... ...the
                    best time... ...Baby....
          
          Susie continues regardless, Phil is now finding it hard to
          resist. He eventually gives in, and they begin to kiss
          passionately.
          
          INT. PHIL'S KITCHEN. DAY
          
          Phil and Susie are sitting at the kitchen table.   He takes
          a drag from her cigarette and passes it back.
                                 SUSIE
                    God damn!     I'm so sorry, baby.
          
                              PHIL
                    Yeah, out of a job again.
          
                              SUSIE
                    Would never have happened if you
                    were there.
          
                              PHIL
                    How do you know I wasn't?
          
                              SUSIE
                    Well, if you were, you wouldn't
                    have let him die.
          
                              PHIL
                    I was still 'on staff'. He was
                    still my responsibility.
          
                                                                      8.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          They sit quietly for a moment.      Then:
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         So where have you been, anyway?
          
          She sighs, and stands up.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         How long this time? Two weeks?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Yeah, let's have this
                         conversation again. Like you
                         haven't just done six weeks on
                         the road...
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, but I usually leave a note.
                         And there's a paycheck involved.
          
          Susie disappears through the door. Phil's shoulders sag
          and he slumps against the wall. Then Susie reappears with
          a bottle of Jack Daniels and a couple of glasses. She
          pours out two generous measures and hands one to Phil.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Come here...
          
          After a moment, he gets up and follows her out of the room.
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Susie guides Phil to a chair and sits him down.
          
                                   PHIL
                         What's this?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         This is a remembrance.
          
          She crosses to a record player and turns it on, pausing to
          let down the blind on the way back. 'In My Hour of
          Darkness'(or similar music) fills the room.
          
                                                          SERIES OF
                                                          SHOTS:
          
          A) PHIL TAKES A DRINK.
          
          B) GIRL IN TEARS TO CAM OUTSIDE THE JOSHUA TREE MOTEL:
          
                                   GIRL
                             (Earnestly)
                         He was so beautiful, and he
                         understood what my heart was
                         feeling. I'll...
                                   (MOR E)
          
                                                                  9.
          CON TINUE D:
                                   GIR L (CONT'D)
                         never laugh again. My inner joy
                         has gone. It evaporated when
                         Gram departed.
          
          C) MUSIC 'EXPERT' ON CHAT SHOW
          
                                   EXPERT
                         He sang country music in a way
                         that it had never been sung
                         before. It was 'country rock',
                         if you like. And it was kinda
                         catchy. At least, the young
                         people seemed to lap it up. It's
                         fair to say that when Gram
                         Parsons died, he died a star.
          
          D) PHIL TAKES ANOTHER DRINK.      HE MAY BE CRYING.
          E) HIPPIE TO CAM FROM A STREET IN LA:
          
                                   HIPPIE
                         It's like... I can't... It was
                         real, kinda... I... Oh, man.
          
          F) PHIL SLEEPS, AND THE GLASS SLIPS FROM HIS HAND.
          
          G) REPORTER TO CAM FROM OUTSIDE JOSHUA TREE HOSPITAL:
          
                                   REPORTER
                         And another light burns out in
                         the desert. Gram Parsons - the
                         standard bearer of the new
                         country music movement - is dead,
                         following an overdose of drugs.
                         While many of America's young
                         people are today in mourning,
                         their parents will view this as
                         another example of how today's
                         drug culture can so easily claim
                         a life. We'll leave you tonight
                         with the young man's own words.
                         Gram Parsons wrote a song called
                         'In My Hour of Darkness', which
                         contains these words: 'In my hour
                         of darkness...'
          
          We are back in Phil's sitting room. Fade up on the music,
          to match the reporter's words, as Gram's voice fills the
          room: (or similar music).
          
                                   GRAM'S VOICE
                         In my hour of darkness, in my
                         time of need, Oh Lord grant me
                         vision, Oh Lord grant me speed.
                         Oh Lord grant me vision, Oh Lord
                         grant me speed.
          
                                                                 10.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Susie tenderly throws a blanket over the sleeping Phil as
          the record ends. She turns the light off and the room goes
          dark.
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Susie walks in with a coffee. She sits beside Phil and
          strokes his head until he wakes. She kisses him and passes
          him the cup.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Hello.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Hi.
          He sits up and stretches. She leans over to kiss him, then
          stands and starts to tidy. He watches her. She picks up
          some clothing from near his chair and moves away. He drops
          another piece of clothing on the same spot. She says
          nothing and picks it up. He takes a sock off and drops it.
          It has stopped being a game and started being a statement.
          She picks the sock up and drops it in his lap. He pushes
          it back onto the floor. She opens her arms and everything
          falls to the floor. She walks out of the room and into the
          kitchen. He follows.
          
          INT. PHIL'S KITCHEN. DAY
          
          Susie leans on the table, staring out of the window.   Phil
          walks up behind her.
          
                                   PHIL
                         When you're here, I spend my time
                         wondering when you're going. And
                         when you're back, I wonder where
                         you've been.
          
          She turns and walks round to face him.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Phil, you give me laughs and a
                         great time. But I'm not sure if
                         that's enough.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You mean there's more than that?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Yes, there's more than that!
                         There's dependable, responsible,
                         reliable...
          
                                                               11.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         There's dull, boring, normal.
                         You should hook up with someone
                         who works in a bank. I know a
                         guy, actually. He has fish for
                         dinner every Friday, cleans his
                         shoes twice a week and buys his
                         ties in bulk because it works out
                         cheaper that way. I'll put you
                         in touch.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I don't mind loving a crazy
                         bastard, Phil. But you've got to
                         be for something and not just
                         against everything. You have to
                         choose something to represent.
          
                                   PHIL
                         I represent the combined forces
                         of charm, enchantment and
                         exuberance.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Your job is to arrange other
                         people's lives. Maybe it's time
                         to put a little thought into your
                         own.
          
          Susie walks out of the room.
          
          EXT. SUBURBAN STREET. DAY
          
          A suburban street of small, neat bungalows. We move down
          the street, past house and identical house, until we rest
          outside another that is identical to the rest. The front
          door opens, and a nondescript man emerges, carrying a small
          overnight bag. He carefully locks the door and walks down
          the path to where a cab waits. We can clearly see 'New
          Orleans Taxi' marked on the door.
          
                                   MAN
                         Airport, please.
          
          This is STANLEY PARSONS, Gram's father.
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          There is a loud banging on the front door. Phil glances
          out of the window, and looks momentarily puzzled. He opens
          the door, and a beautiful woman stands on the step.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Long time, no see, Barbara.
          
                                                                   12.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Don't try and schmooze me,
                         Kaufman, you repellent slimeball.
          
          She notices Susie standing behind Phil.
          
                                   BARBARA (CONT'D)
                         The latest victim?
          
          Barbara walks past them into the kitchen.      Susie looks
          quizzically at Phil.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Meet Barbara.
          
          Barbara calls out from the kitchen.
                                   BARBARA
                         It's a lot tidier than I
                         remember.
          
          Susie raises an eyebrow at Phil.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Who the hell is she?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Gram's ex-girlfriend.
          
          Phil points at his temple as if to say she's nuts.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Girlfriend? Isn't he married?
          
          Barbara walks back into the hall.
                                   BARBARA
                         Welcome to the seventies.
          
                                   PHIL
                         What do you want, Barbara?
          
          Barbara lights a cigarette.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         I'm here to fulfill Gram's
                         wishes.
          
          She waits for him to speak.
          
                                   PHIL
                         That's nice. I have no idea what
                         you're talking about.
          
          She holds up an old piece of writing paper.
          
                                                               13.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               BARBARA
                     Do you know what this is?
          
          Phil reaches for it, but Barbara snatches it away.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     It's Gram's will.
          
          She reads it out.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     To whom it may concern: I would
                     like it to be known that it is my
                     wish to leave Barbara Mansfield
                     my assets and belongings in the
                     event of my death. Signed:
                     Ingram Cecil Parsons.
          
          Phil looks surprised.
          
                               PHIL
                     Did he write that with joined up
                     writing or was it before he knew
                     how?
          
          Barbara gives a wry smile.
          
                               BARBARA
                     Still the jester Kaufman, and
                     still very unfunny.
          
                               PHIL
                     That's not a will Barbara, and
                     you know it.
                               BARBARA
                     It's better than a will,
                     actually. It's a signed promise
                     from Gram to leave me all his
                     assets and belongings. And
                     anyway, it's really none of your
                     business what this is. I've come
                     for the guitar.
          
          Phil shakes his head.
          
                               PHIL
                     Guitar?
          
                               BARBARA
                     Yes. Gram's guitar.   He always
                     kept it here.
          
                               PHIL
                     It's been a while since you were
                     around, Barbara.
                               (MOR E)
          
                                                               14.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
                               PHI L (CONT'D)
                     Gretchen, his wife, took it back
                     six months ago.
          
          Barbara leans forward until their noses are almost
          touching.
          
                               BARBARA
                     I don't believe you, Kaufman.
          
          Barbara pushes past Phil who gives no resistance. She
          walks straight over to the couch and starts pulling up the
          cushions. Susie moves to stop her, but Phil holds her back
          and lets Barbara carry on.
          
          INT. PHIL'S LOUNGE. DAY
          
          Phil and Susie sit on the sofa, an island of calm in a sea
          of chaos. Around them, the floor is covered with papers,
          clothing, empty record covers, torn open cushions and
          books. A broken drawer is propped against the table. A
          lampshade hangs crazily from its bearings, throwing strange
          shadows around the room. Suddenly, Susie gets up and kicks
          a cushion across the room.
          
                               PHIL
                     Hey, well done. You found the
                     only unbroken thing.
          
                               SUSIE
                     Why did you let her in?
          
                               PHIL
                     It's all part of the grieving
                     process.
          
                               SUSIE
                     How can she behave that way?
                     Gram's not even in the ground
                     yet.
          
          Phil stares at her.
          
                                SUSIE (CONT'D)
                     What?
          
                                PHIL
                     Nothing.
          
          He continues to look at her oddly.
          
                               SUSIE
                     Don't you freak out on me.
          
                               PHIL
                     Do me a favor and get the guitar,
                     sweetheart.
          
                                                               15.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          He disappears into the kitchen.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Where are you going?
          
                                   PHIL
                             (O.S)
                         I gotta make a call.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE FUNERAL HOME. DAY
          
          A man with glasses and an ill-fitting black suit does some
          paperwork. He is surrounded by coffins displaying garish
          'special offer' price tickets. The phone rings, and the
          undertaker takes his time answering it.
                                      UNDERTAKER
                         Afternoon.     Joshua Tree
                         Obsequies.
          
          INT. PHIL'S KITCHEN. DAY
          
          Phil is holding the phone.         He frowns.
          
                                   PHIL
                             (into phone)
                         Obsequies? What the hell does
                         that mean? I'm...
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE FUNERAL HOME. DAY
          
          We hear the rest of Phil's mutter from the phone in the
          undertaker's hand.
          
                                   UNDERTAKER
                         It's Latin. It means burial. Is
                         there anything I can help with?
                         Who am I speaking to?
          
          INT. PHIL'S KITCHEN. DAY
          
          Phil straightens up.         He speaks curtly.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yes, you can help me as a matter
                         of fact. I am...
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE FUNERAL HOME. DAY
          
          Again, we hear Phil's voice trumpeting out of the phone.
          The undertaker changes his tone.
          
                                   UNDERTAKER
                         Mister Parsons? I'm sorry, I'll
                         take a look immediately.
          
                                                                  16.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          He puts down the phone and flicks through a big book.    He
          purses his lips. He wipes his nose with a white silk
          handkerchief. Then he picks up the phone.
          
                                   UNDERTAKER (CONT'D)
                         Yeah, he was here.
          
          Mutter.
          
                                   UNDERTAKER (CONT'D)
                         New Orleans. Although he only
                         just went, so he'll still be on
                         his way to Los Angeles Airport.
                         Big thrill for us here, as we're
                         only a small facility. Nearly
                         got Jane Mansfield in '67 when
                         she passed through, but she got
                         diverted to Frisco. Hello?
          
          No mutter.
          
                                     UNDERTAKER (CONT'D)
                         Hello.    Hellooo...
          
          INT. PHIL'S KITCHEN. DAY
          
          The phone sits on the table but the room is empty.
          
                                     SUSIE
                             (O.S)
                         Phil?
          
          Susie walks in, looks around, and leaves.
          
          EXT. PHIL'S DRIVEWAY. DAY
          Phil is lying down in the back of Susie's station wagon,
          his feet sticking out of the back. Susie comes out of the
          house carrying the guitar, and sits on the steps, where she
          watches him. After a minute:
          
                                   SUSIE
                         What are you doing?
          
                                   PHIL
                         These things aren't that big.
          
                                     SUSIE
                         Okay.    Is that a problem?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Not really.
          
          Susie is confused.
          
                                                                   17.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Well, that's good.
          
          No answer.      Phil continues to check out the inside of her
          car.
          
                                   SUSIE (CONT'D)
                         So what are you up to?
          
                                   PHIL
                         It's best you don't know.
          
          Without a word, Susie gets up and walks into the house.
          Phil lies still. After a moment, she reappears with her
          bag. She flounces theatrically past him and opens the car
          door. Phil gets out of the back.
                                   SUSIE
                         I don't know what this madness
                         is, but I'm not getting involved.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, that's the point.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I mean, I don't know what it is
                         you're planning, but I'm not
                         bailing you out again.
          
                                      PHIL
                         Right.
          
                                      SUSIE
                         I'm going.
                                      PHIL
                         Again.
          
          She gets into the car and slams the door. She starts the
          engine, and Phil stands back, but the car doesn't move.
          After a moment the window winds down.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         This time, I'm not coming back.
          
          She gives him a 'so there' smile.
          
                                   SUSIE (CONT'D)
                         I'm going to find a man who buys
                         his ties in bulk.
          
          She drives away.
          
          EXT. LARRY OSTERBERG'S HOME. DAY
          
          Phil arrives on his trike outside a small house.
          
                                                                18.
          
          
          
          INT. LARRY OSTERBERG'S HOME. DAY
          
          A man is sitting cross-legged on the floor. A joss stick
          burns beside him, and sitar music plays in the background.
          This is LARRY OSTERBERG, and he is meditating. There is a
          loud hammering on the door. Larry shows no sign of having
          heard anything. More hammering at the door, but still no
          response. Then the letter box creaks open and an eye
          appears in the slot. After a moment, the eye disappears
          and Phil's face appears momentarily at the window. The
          window seems to be slightly higher than Phil, so his face
          appears every time he jumps up to peer into the room.
          
                              PHIL
                        (O.S)
                    Hello? Anyone there?
          Then Phil is gone. Larry expels a big breath. The
          letterbox creaks opens again and the eye is back.
          
                              PHIL (CONT'D)
                        (O.S)
                    There you are. I'm looking for
                    Larry Osterberg.
          
          Larry sighs, and stretches. He gets up slowly, gently
          shakes himself to relax his muscles and walks to the door,
          which he opens.
          
                              LARRY
                    The door is unlocked.
          
          Phil barrels in and closes the door behind him.   He turns
          to take a look around the room.
                              PHIL
                    You Larry Osterberg?
          
                               LARRY
                    Yes.   Welcome to my house.
          
          This might be sarcastic, but any nuance is lost on Phil,
          who props the guitar up against the wall.
          
                                 PHIL
                    Very nice.     What's that noise?
          
                              LARRY
                    Manomanjari on the sitar by
                    Nikhil Banerjee.
                        (NB. Similar music may
                         be used in this scene)
                    Phil stares at him.
          
                                                                      19.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                             (carefully)
                         Okay.
          
          He pops a cigar into his mouth.
          
                                   LARRY
                         There's no smoking in here, I'm
                         afraid.
          
          Phil stares meaningfully at the burning joss stick, but
          puts the cigar away.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Right.
                                   LARRY
                         Who are you, please?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Oh, I'm Phil Kaufman.
          
                                   LARRY
                         And how may I help you, Phil
                         Kaufman?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'd like to hire your car.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Why?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I need to pick someone up
                         at the airport.
                                   LARRY
                         Don't you know anyone with a car?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yes, of course. It's just that
                         I'm told your car is more
                         suitable.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I see. In what way is my car
                         more suitable?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well... it's a hearse.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Yes.
          
          They both look at each other.         Larry waits for Phil to
          speak.
          
                                                                20.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                     And how is a hearse going to be
                     suitable for picking someone up
                     from the airport?
          
                               PHIL
                     It's... a joke.
          
                                LARRY
                     A joke?
          
          He doesn't look entirely convinced.
          
                                PHIL
                     A prank.   A surprise.
                               LARRY
                     Well, okay. Is it two hundred
                     dollars worth of surprise?
          
                               PHIL
                     No, it's more of a fifty dollar
                     surprise.
          
                               LARRY
                     I can lend you a bicycle.
                     Besides, the car is booked.
          
                               PHIL
                     Booked how?
          
                               MAN
                     I use it to carry equipment for a
                     band.
          Phil pulls some cash out of his pocket and sorts through
          it.
          
                               PHIL
                     Well, here's two hundred dollars
                     to unbook it. Let 'em carry
                     their own trombones.
          
          Phil passes the money over.   Larry starts to count it.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     You don't need to count it.   You
                     could trust me.
          
          Larry doesn't pause counting.
          
                               LARRY
                     Let's see; I've never met you in
                     my life, you shout through my
                     mail slot, you want to hire my
                     hearse as a joke, and...
                               (MOR E)
          
                                                              21.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
                               LAR RY (CONT'D)
                     you're twenty dollars short.   Why
                     should I trust you?
          
                               PHIL
                     That last twenty is for gas.
                     Anyway - I haven't even seen the
                     car yet. I'm the one who's
                     operating on trust.
          
                               LARRY
                     It's a hearse. What else do you
                     need to know?
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE LARRY OSTERBERG'S GARAGE. DAY
          
          The garage doors swing open and a hearse drives out into
          the sun. It is bright yellow and covered in painted
          flowers. One of the side windows is broken and a headlight
          hangs out. Phil's jaw drops open. Larry gets out of the
          driving seat and pats the roof, proudly.
          
                               LARRY
                     Meet Bernice.
          
                                PHIL
                     Bernice?
          
                               LARRY
                     Bernice is a Cadillac Superior
                     Royale Tiara Limousine Funeral
                     Coach. We've got a Seven gallon
                     V8 engine offering three hundred
                     and forty bhp at four thousand
                     six hundred revolutions per
                     minute. You're looking at a
                     twenty one feet beauty with a one
                     hundred and fifty six inch
                     wheelbase containing a four
                     barrel Rochester Quadrajet
                     carburetor with Turbo Hydramatic
                     transmission. Bernice weighs
                     over six thousand pounds.
          
          There is a very long silence.
          
                               PHIL
                     It's yellow.
          
                                LARRY
                     Yes, it's yellow.    Bernice comes
                     in yellow.
          
                               PHIL
                     It's supposed to be black.
          
                               LARRY
                     But they're all black.
          
                                                                    22.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         That might be my point.
          
                                   LARRY
                         So how is a yellow hearse covered
                         with flowers less of a surprise
                         than a black hearse?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I paid you two hundred dollars
                         for a black hearse.
          
                                   LARRY
                             (patiently)
                         No, you paid me a hundred and
                         eighty dollars for a hearse, and
                         a hearse is what you've got. If
                         you take a long, hard look at
                         Bernice, you'll see that she's
                         one of a kind. She's big, she's
                         fast, she's comfortable, and
                         she's beautiful. But she's not
                         black.
          
          They stare at each other for a moment.       Then Phil sighs
          deeply.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Okay.   Where are the keys?
          
                                    LARRY
                         Why?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I gotta go.
          Larry looks from Phil to Bernice and back again.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Oh, no. She doesn't go anywhere
                         without me.
          
          Phil thinks this over.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Okay.   Well, let's boogie.
          
          Larry runs across and closes the doors on a pile of amps
          and band equipment that now sits in the garage. Phil puts
          the guitar in the back seat and they get into the car.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Larry pulls a screwdriver out of the glove compartment and
          jigs it about in the ignition until the engine catches.
          
                                                               23.
          CON TINUE D:
          Then he turns the keys and pull up and down to undo the
          steering lock. Phil watches curiously.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Someone stole her last summer.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I've paid top dollar, so
                         it's nice to see I'm getting the
                         best...
          
                                   LARRY
                         How did you hear of Bernice and
                         me?
          
                                   PHIL
                         You are famous throughout the
                         greater Los Angeles area.
          
          Larry looks pleased.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         But you are the only guy with a
                         hearse. Don't go getting carried
                         away...
          
          EXT. LA HIGHWAY. DAY
          
          One backfire, and Bernice is ready. The hearse weaves
          erratically across the road and then disappears in a cloud
          of exhaust smoke.
          
          INT. BARBARA'S HOME. EVENING
          
          Barbara sits at a table in her shabby kitchen, reading the
          will. She lights a cigarette and sits back in her chair.
          EXT. LAX. EVENING
          
          The hearse drives under a huge sign which reads 'Welcome to
          Los Angeles Airport' and peels off the main road past some
          offices and cargo stores. Bernice drives into a giant
          hangar and pulls up outside a dark and shuttered office.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. EVENING
          
          Phil glances out of the window.
          
                                      PHIL
                         Pull over.
          
          Larry parks, and Phil looks at his watch.
          
                                      PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Shit.
          
                                                                   24.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         What's the matter?
          
                                     PHIL
                         Nothing.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well... What flight are they on?
          
                                   PHIL
                         We'll wait here.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Okay. Well, what time is the
                         flight due?
                                     PHIL
                         Soon.
          
                                    LARRY
                         Okay.   How soon?
          
                                    PHIL
                         Why do you ask so many damn
                         questions?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well... I don't know.
          
          There is silence.         Then:
          
                                   LARRY (CONT'D)
                         Shouldn't we be at arrivals?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Look, will you please shut up
                         asking me stuff?
          
                                     LARRY
                         Okay.
          
          He looks out of the window, and then back at Phil, who now
          has his eyes closed.
          
                                   LARRY (CONT'D)
                         So how long are we going to wait?
          
          Phil doesn't answer for a moment.      Just as Larry opens his
          mouth to ask again, Phil speaks.
          
                                     PHIL
                         Morning.
          
          Larry looks at Phil with astonishment.
          
                                                               25.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                                LARRY
                     Morning?   What do you mean,
                     morning?
          
                               PHIL
                     We'll make the pick-up in the
                     morning.
          
          Larry tries to start the car. Phil leans over and plucks
          the screwdriver from his hand. He reclines his seat and
          closes his eyes.
          
                               LARRY
                     You wait till morning.   I'm going
                     home.
          Larry opens the door and gets out of the car. He slams the
          door shut behind him and stomps off into the gloom. Phil
          doesn't move.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. EVENING - MOMENTS LATER
          
          The drivers' door opens and Larry gets back into the car.
          
                               LARRY
                     I'm only back because I don't
                     trust you with Bernice. I don't
                     even know you, and if you think
                     I'm going to leave my car with
                     you and just walk away, then
                     you've got another thought on the
                     way.
          
          He stares at Phil, who hasn't moved an inch: eyes still
          closed, unlit cigar hanging out of the corner of his mouth,
          feet up on the dash.
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                     I'm staying right here. Where I
                     can keep an eye on things...
          
          There is still no response from Phil. After a moment,
          Larry settles back in his seat and closes his eyes.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. NIGHT
          
          The hearse disappears into the gloom as the light fades and
          night falls.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE BARBARA'S HOME. MORNING
          
          A door swings open, and Barbara appears. She is looking
          quite stunning, with a tight black suit doing equal justice
          to her womanly curves and her duties as a mourner. She
          strides down the sidewalk, and as a group of schoolchildren
          appears around the corner Barbara scatters left and right.
          
                                                               26.
          CON TINUE D:
          Then she cuts across the road, and a delivery van skids to
          a halt inches away, horn blaring. The driver leans out of
          the window, furious.
          
                                      DRIVER
                         Hey, lady!
          
          Barbara stops and whips round, her hair cascading across
          her shoulders, her blue eyes flashing. The man simply
          stares at her, enchanted by her beauty.
          
                                      BARBARA
                         Yes?
          
          He continues to stare, and is only shaken back to his
          senses by a burst of abuse from further back in the road.
                                   DRIVER
                         You... should be careful.
          
          Barbara smiles.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Why, thank you...
          
          INT. AIRPORT CHECK IN DESK - LAX. MORNING
          
          Stanley is standing at the Airport Airlines check-in desk,
          facing the check-in clerk.
          
                                      STANLEY
                         Parsons.
          
          The clerk checks her paperwork.
          
                                   CHECK-IN CLERK
                         You've just arrived from New
                         Orleans, mister Parsons?
          
                                      STANLEY
                         Yes.
          
                                   CHECK-IN CLERK
                         And you're flying directly back
                         to New Orleans? On the same
                         plane?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         That is correct.
          
          The clerk awaits an explanation, but none is forthcoming.
          She raises an eyebrow.
          
                                   CHECK-IN CLERK
                         Okay. Well, enjoy your stay at
                         Los Angeles Airport, Mister
                         Parsons.
          
                                                                         27.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                      STANLEY
                         Thank you.
          
          Stanley turns to go, but then pauses.
          
                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         I've come to pick up my son's
                         body.
          
          The line behind him falls quiet, and the officious clerk
          wobbles slightly. Stanley raises his voice.
          
                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         My son died out here, you see?
                         So I've come to bring him home.
          Everyone looks at Stanley.            Stanley looks at the clerk.
          
                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         I'm wondering if that's enough
                         information for you?
          
                                   CHECK-IN CLERK
                         Yes. Yes. I'm sorry. We'll...
                         see to it that you get every
                         assistance on your journey, sir.
          
                                      STANLEY
                         Most kind.
          
          INT. BANK. MORNING
          
          There is a line leading to the information desk, but
          Barbara ignores it. She walks up to a female teller, who
          is serving another customer, and cuts in.
                                   BARBARA
                         I'd like to see the manager,
                         please.
          
                                   CUSTOMER
                         Wait your turn.
          
          Barbara's eyes immediately water, and her lower lip
          trembles.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         I'm sorry. It's just that the
                         man I loved died yesterday. I
                         was forgetting my manners...
          
          She dabs at her eyes with a lace handkerchief.           The
          customer looks embarrassed.
          
                                      CUSTOMER
                         I'm sorry.     Please... go ahead.
          
                                                                28.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Barbara fixes the teller with a no-nonsense look.   The
          teller responds with a similar look.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         The manager?
          
          EXT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          A man unlocks the shutters with a clatter and goes inside.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The sound wakes Phil, who glances around and stretches,
          before getting out of the car.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          Phil walks over to the door and walks inside the mortuary.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The clerk busies himself opening up. Phil wanders around
          and knocks into a coffin. The lid bangs closed and the
          sound echoes around the hangar.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Can I help you?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'm here to pick up a... coffin.
          
          The clerk looks Phil over. He's dressed in denim, with
          scuffed Harley-Davidson cowboy boots, topped off with a cut-
          down denim jacket with 'Sin City' stitched into the back.
                                   CLERK
                         No you're not.
          
                                     PHIL
                         Yes I am.
          
                                  CLERK
                         No. You're here to pick up a
                         casket.
          
          Phil looks irritated.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Okay.   A casket.
          
                                   CLERK
                         What flight number?
          
                                                               29.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                     PHIL
                         It   was due out on the next flight
                         to   New Orleans, but I'm driving
                         it   now. The stiff doesn't like
                         to   fly.
          
          The clerk stares at him.
          
                                   CLERK
                         You're one of those funny guys,
                         right.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, but it's my day off.
          
                                     CLERK
                         Name?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Mine or the...?
          
                                   CLERK
                         The deceased.
          
          Phil moves to the desk.
          
                                     PHIL
                         Parsons.
          
          The clerk turns and shouts over his shoulder.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Barney - bring up Parsons.
          
          INT. BANK - MANAGER'S OFFICE. MORNING
          The Bank Manager is staring at the piece of paper.
          
                                   BANK MANAGER
                         I simply can't give you any money
                         based on this piece of paper.
          
          Barbara is totally calm.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         It's not a piece of paper. It's
                         a promise from Gram to leave me
                         all his money.
          
                                   BANK MANAGER
                         Well, I'm sorry, but it's highly
                         likely that the estate will go to
                         probate and be divided up
                         accordingly, subject to a valid
                         will existing.
          
                                                               30.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          She just looks at him.      He tries again.
          
                                   BANK MANAGER (CONT'D)
                         Mister Parsons was a customer of
                         ours. We can't just pass his
                         money across to someone who says
                         they're in the will. There
                         are... rules.
          
          Barbara, realizing that she's getting nowhere, starts to
          cry.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         You don't seem to understand.
                         These are his wishes.
          Barbara is now sobbing, and the bank manager is becoming
          increasing uncomfortable. He gives her his handkerchief.
          
                                   BANK MANAGER
                         No... I do... understand, Miss
                         Mansfield. Really I do.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Please tell me how I'm supposed
                         to get my money.
          
                                   BANK MANAGER
                         Well I imagine that you first
                         need to prove that mister Parsons
                         is actually dead.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Are you saying that I'm lying?
                                   BANK MANAGER
                         No, absolutely not. But getting
                         a copy of the death certificate
                         would probably be a good first
                         step.
          
          INT. PLANE - LAX. MORNING
          
          Stanley takes a swig from a hip flask and looks out of the
          window. A very overweight, red-faced man squeezes into the
          next seat. He bangs Stanley with his knee as he sits, but
          Stanley doesn't move. He peers at Stanley and shuffles in
          his seat, but there is still no reaction. Next, a deep
          sigh is forced out between his fat wet lips - he is plainly
          keen to start a conversation. Stanley keeps looking out of
          the window. He is watching the cargo being loaded.
          
                                   P. J. GAMBRELL
                         Paw on the space, don'tcha think?
          
          Stanley turns slowly.
          
                                                                   31.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                      STANLEY
                         I'm sorry?
          
          The fat man smiles and extends a chubby hand, which Stanley
          shakes awkwardly and reluctantly.
          
                                   P. J. GAMBRELL
                         P J Gambrell, at yer assistance.
                         Pernell Jayson. Jes' saying paw
                         on the space in dese buckets.
          
          Stanley is obviously having problems fully understanding
          what is being said. After a moment:
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Stanley Parsons.
                                   P. J. GAMBRELL
                         Gowna be a trip. Besta know yer
                         otherwise gowna be a slow one.
          
                                    STANLEY
                         Yes.   I suppose so.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The clerk scribbles on a form.
          
                                      CLERK
                         Papers?
          
                                   PHIL
                         They'll be along. With this
                         being a rush job, they said you'd
                         understand.
          He passes a folded banknote across.      The clerk pockets it
          without a change of expression.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Well, you'd better tell them that
                         we've got rules.
          
          The men stare at each other. Then Phil pulls another note
          out of his pocket and passes that over. Again, the clerk
          pockets it.
          
                                   CLERK (CONT'D)
                         And this is the exception which
                         proves that particular rule.
          
          A beat.   Then:
          
                                    CLERK (CONT'D)
                         Although you don't need to tell
                         them that.
          
                                                               32.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Phil smiles broadly at him. The clerk turns and selects a
          casket from a gurney behind the counter.
          
                                   CLERK (CONT'D)
                         And this... is your deceased.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Phil is wheeling a casket on a gurney down the middle of
          the hangar. He can see Larry peering through the window at
          him. He can also see a uniformed policeman approaching
          Larry from the other side of the street. As he speeds up
          to try and reach Larry first, the clerk calls out from his
          desk.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Good luck with her.
          
          Phil closes his eyes and slows to a halt.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Larry is jumping up and down nervously outside the window.
          The policeman appears at his shoulder.
          
                                   COP
                         Excuse me, sir.    Is that your
                         hearse?
          
          Larry turns slowly.
          
                                    LARRY
                         Hearse?
          
          The cop points at Bernice.
                                   COP
                         That hearse.
          
          Larry has started to sweat profusely.
          
                                   LARRY
                         That hearse?
          
          The cop looks at him carefully.
          
                                   COP
                         Are you okay, sir?
          
                                    LARRY
                         Okay?   Sure...
          
          He leans against the window for support.
          
                                                                 33.
          
          
          
          INT. PLANE - LAX. MORNING
          
          Stanley is looking out of the plane's window, but the fat
          man is now locked on. He gestures around him.
          
                              PJ GAMBRELL
                    Jes sayin' 'bout the space.
          
          Another thoughtful pause from Stanley.
          
                               STANLEY
                    Yes.
          
          He glances out at the cargo loaders.
          
                              PJ GAMBRELL
                    Space ma game, kinda.
                    Partitions. Fixed. Slidin'.
                    Demountable. Integrated.
          
                               STANLEY
                    Right.
          
                              PJ GAMBRELL
                    Always say. Why have one room?
                    When you can have two?
          
                               STANLEY
                    I see.
          
          He leans forward to watch a loader wheeling a casket
          towards the back of the plane.
          
                              PJ GAMBRELL
                    What's your bidness?
          Stanley watches the coffin and doesn't answer. A tear
          rolls down his face. The fat man pulls some candy out of
          his pocket and takes a bite.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Phil and the clerk peer into the open casket.
          
                               PHIL
                    Yup.   That's a she.
          
                              CLERK
                    And yours is supposed to be male?
          
                               PHIL
                    Yeah...
          
          The clerk walks back to the counter and peers at his
          paperwork.
          
                                                                       34.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                     CLERK
                         Well...    Gone.
          
                                     PHIL
                         Gone?    Whaddya mean, gone?
          
                                   CLERK
                         We got the wrong box.      Your box
                         is being loaded.
          
                                      PHIL
                         Nice work.     So how do I get my
                         box back?
          
          The clerk raises an eyebrow.         Phil understands immediately.
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         You're a damn thief.
          
                                   CLERK
                         That's very hurtful.
          
          Phil reluctantly hands another note over and the clerk
          speaks into a radio.
          
                                     CLERK (CONT'D)
                         Barney.    You receiving?
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Larry is standing by the hearse.          The cop is reading his
          license.
          
                                   COP
                         So, whatcha doin' here?
                                     LARRY
                         Doing?    Here?
          
          INT. PLANE - LAX. MORNING
          
          Stanley has his eyes closed. The fat man eats. Suddenly,
          Stanley's eyes snap open and he peers out of the window. A
          motorized cart chugs into view with the casket covered in a
          blanket on the back. It is driving away from the plane.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         What the hell?
          
          He stands up and turns to the fat man.
          
                                      STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         Excuse me.
          
                                      PJ GAMBRELL
                         Why?
          
                                                               35.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I need to get off the plane.
          
          The fat man reluctantly struggles to his feet and squeezes
          out into the aisle.
          
                                     PJ GAMBRELL
                         Sheesh.    Only jes' got settled.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Phil glances nervously out to where Larry is being
          interrogated by the cop. The clerk is reading a paper.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Can you speed things up?
                                   CLERK
                         What's the hurry?
          
          Phil is distracted, watching the cop and Larry out of the
          window.
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'd like to get to the Joshua
                         Tree while it's still light.
          
          The clerk looks up.
          
                                   CLERK
                         I thought you were taking him to
                         New Orleans?
          
                                     PHIL
                         What?
                                   CLERK
                         When you came in, you said you
                         were driving the casket out to
                         New Orleans. But just now you
                         said you were headed for the
                         Joshua Tree...
          
          Phil is under pressure.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Joshua Tree, yeah.
          
          A buzzer sounds.         No-one moves.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Joshua Tree, Louisiana. Just
                         outside the city.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Never heard of that.
          
                                                               36.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         It's small. Just another local
                         community struggling to get by.
          
          The buzzer goes again, and Phil attempts to change the
          subject.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Use your phone?
          
          After a moment, the clerk nods towards the phone on the
          desk, before turning and disappearing into the rear of the
          mortuary. Phil wipes some sweat from his forehead, picks
          up the phone and dials.
          
          INT. PHIL'S LOUNGE. MORNING
          Susie is packing. The phone rings and she hesitates for a
          moment. Then she continues loading her case, leaving the
          phone unanswered.
          
          INT. CHECK IN DESK. DAY
          
          Stanley tries to ask a question at the check in desk, but
          gives up and walks toward an exit.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The clerk returns with a casket on a gurney and Phil
          replaces the receiver as the clerk flips open the top of
          the casket and peers inside.
          
                                    CLERK
                              (into casket)
                         Hello there. We was looking for
                         you.
          
          He wheels the casket over and Phil has a quick look inside.
          
                                   CLERK (CONT'D)
                         Need you to sign for it again.
          
          Phil signs the papers.
          
                                    CLERK (CONT'D)
                         Looks like it's your lucky day
                         after all.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Yeah.   I'm a real lucky guy.
          
          Phil again glances out of the window.
          
                                                                    37.
          
          
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The cop is wandering around the hearse.    Larry trails
          behind him, disconsolately.
          
                              COP
                    I don't like the look of you.
          
                              LARRY
                        (miserably)
                    No. Fair enough.
          
                              COP
                    Wherever there's a hippie there's
                    a crime, even if it hasn't
                    happened yet. That's what I
                    always say.
          
                               LARRY
                    Right.   Good saying.
          
          He prods at the broken light with his baton.
          
                              COP
                    So whatcha doing here?
          
                              LARRY
                    We're meeting someone off a
                    flight.
          
                              COP
                    You're meeting someone off a
                    flight?
          
                               LARRY
                    Yes.
          
                              COP
                    In a hearse?
          
                               LARRY
                    Yes.   It's a... surprise.
          
                               COP
                    Which parts the surprise: The
                    fact that you're in a bright
                    yellow hearse, the fact that
                    you're dressed like something out
                    of a horror film, or the fact
                    that you're half a mile from the
                    terminal and they're gonna have
                    to walk across two runways to
                    reach you?
          
          Larry is looking increasingly desperate.
          
                                                               38.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well... the first part.
          
          The cop nods and repeats it to himself.
          
                                   COP
                         The first part.
          
          They stare at each other.
          
                                   COP (CONT'D)
                         Okay, now why don't you tell me
                         what the hell's going on?
          
                                     LARRY
                         Going on?
          They stare at each other. The cop shifts position and
          purses his lips. Larry stares at the ground looking for
          some kind of inspiration. Just when the silence moves
          beyond uncomfortable, the door of the mortuary opens and
          Phil clatters out with the casket.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I don't care if it is first
                         thing in the morning - but I sure
                         need a coffee. I tell you, I've
                         never seen so many darned bits of
                         paper to sign! It's paperwork
                         which is slowing this great
                         country down. We're drowning in
                         triplicate!
          
          He's busying himself at the back of the hearse, and appears
          to notice the cop for the first time.
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Good morning officer.
          
          The cop peers at him suspiciously.
          
                                     COP
                         Mornin'.
          
                                   PHIL
                         I was just saying how people with
                         work to do - people like
                         yourself, officer - are just
                         getting engulfed by paper. Grab
                         the end, will you? Doesn't that
                         just drive you plain crazy?
          
          The cop hesitates and then takes the end of the casket and
          helps load it into the hearse.
          
                                                               39.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               COP
                     I guess it does.
          
          Phil gestures at Larry to get into the car, which he does.
          
                               PHIL
                     One casket, six sheets to sign.
                     Six! That can't be right. Does
                     that sound right to you?
          
          He closes the back doors and gets into the passenger seat.
          
                                COP
                     Nope.   Sure don't.
          
                               PHIL
                     And the very last thing I want to
                     do is to hold you up further with
                     my chatter. Thank you for your
                     help, officer. You have a good
                     day, now.
          
          It looks like they've got away with it.   But:
          
                               COP
                     Just a moment, boys.
          
          Phil smiles up at him.
          
                                PHIL
                     Yessir?
          
                               COP
                     Your sidekick here has just
                     finished telling me that you're
                     gonna pick someone up from the
                     terminal. A surprise, he said.
                     And here you are loading a coffin
                     into your vehicle...
          
          Phil doesn't miss a beat.
          
                               PHIL
                     And there you have it, officer.
                     You see the gentleman we're
                     meeting from the plane doesn't
                     yet know about the sad passing of
                     his... aunt.
          
                               COP
                     And you're gonna meet him off his
                     flight with her coffin?
          
          He raises an eyebrow.
          
                                                               40.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
                               COP (CONT'D)
                     That's a real nice touch.
          
                               PHIL
                     Yeah. We're doing it this way
                     for the avoidance of doubt.
          
          He gestures at Larry to start the car. Larry pulls out the
          screwdriver and starts to jig it about in the ignition.
          The cop watches. As the engine refuses to catch, Larry
          starts to panic.
          
                               LARRY
                     Ignition's a bit temperamental.
          
                                 COP
                     Right.
          
          More fiddling.     No ignition.
          
                               LARRY
                     Have to use a screwdriver.
          
                               COP
                     I see that.
          
          The car starts.
          
                               PHIL
                     Thanks for everything, officer.
                     We'd best be off...
          
          He looks meaningfully at the cop, who grudgingly moves
          back. As they move off, Stanley hurries round the corner
          with his overnight bag in his hand.
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Inside the car, Phil bangs on the dashboard in joy and
          exultation.
          
                                 PHIL
                     Yes!    We did it!!
          
                                 LARRY
                     Did what?    What did we do?
          
          Phil changes the subject.
          
                               PHIL
                     What was all that babbling about
                     earlier?
          
                               LARRY
                     I didn't babble. I just... have
                     a problem with authority.
          
                                                               41.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         What the hell does that mean?
          
                                   LARRY
                         I don't like them and I don't
                         know what to say to them. They
                         make me feel uneasy.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well of course they make you feel
                         uneasy. They're supposed to make
                         you feel uneasy.
          
          Larry sulks. Phil shakes his head and glances back at the
          cop and Larry crashes the car straight into the hangar
          wall.
          EXT. OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          We pull back to reveal the enormous opening that Larry has
          missed.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          They both sit there, staring out of the windshield at the
          wall.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You hit the wall.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I clipped it. I clipped the
                         wall.
          
                                   PHIL
                             (shouts)
                         There's a gap fifty yards wide!
                         You just had to aim for the gap.
                         How could you miss the gap?
          
                                   LARRY
                             (babbles)
                         I was distracted. We're supposed
                         to be picking someone up and you
                         arrive with a coffin and I'd only
                         just woken up and...
          
          The cop peers in at the window and gestures at Phil to wind
          it down. As he does, the glass falls out.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Hello, officer. I guess they
                         make these hearses wider than
                         they need to...
          
          The cop ignores him and concentrates on Larry.
          
                                                                      42.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   COP
                         Are you on drugs, boy?
          
          Larry swallows hard.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Uh, not at this time, no sir.
          
                                   COP
                         Not at this time. Okay, well
                         let's see. You just missed a gap
                         of fifty yards and hit a wall in
                         broad daylight. Why was that?
          
          Larry licks his lips.
                                      LARRY
                         Well...
          
          Pause.   Phil wills him to speak.
          
                                      PHIL
                         Well...
          
          Still nothing. Larry looks like he's trying to form words,
          but nothing emerges.
          
                                   COP
                         Now I'm gonna...
          
          The radio in his car crackles into life. We - and he - are
          too far away to hear what is said. He is torn for a
          moment, but then:
          
                                      COP (CONT'D)
                         Wait.
          
          He walks back to his car.           Phil shakes his head.
          
                                      PHIL
                         Fantastic.     Well done.
          
                                      LARRY
                         Oh, right.     So it's all my fault?
          
                                   PHIL
                         You... you just drove into a
                         wall! Of course it's your fault.
                         Jesus!
          
          They both stare out of the window at the cop, who is
          talking animatedly into his radio. Then the flashing
          lights and siren go on.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Here it comes...
          
                                                                 43.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
          The police car drives up to, and then past, the hearse,
          before disappearing out of the hanger at speed. Phil and
          Larry look at each other.
          
                                  PHIL (CONT'D)
                     Well?
          
                                  LARRY
                     Well what?
          
                               PHIL
                     Well, what are we doing now?
          
                               LARRY
                     He said to wait.
          Phil just stares at him. After a moment, Larry reverses
          Bernice and then drives the battered car through the gap
          and out of the hangar. Phil slumps back in his seat.
          
                               PHIL
                     Nice going, hippie. Went right
                     through the gap that time.
          
          Larry says nothing.     Phil leans back in his seat.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     Well, we got it. Whoooh!!!
          
          Larry slams the brakes on and the huge car skids to a halt
          in a cloud of dust. Phil is flung forward in his seat.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     Jesus... What now?
                                  LARRY
                     Get out.
          
                               PHIL
                     What are you talking about?
          
          He looks nervously out of the back window.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     C'mon, we gotta keep moving.
          
                               LARRY
                     Get out and take your friend with
                     you.
          
                               PHIL
                     Look, I can see you're a bit...
                     sensitive about this whole...
                     casket thing.
          
                                                                44.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
                                  LARRY
                     Get out.
          
                                PHIL
                          (shouts)
                     Stop saying that!    I can't get
                     out.
          
                                  LARRY
                     Why not?
          
                               PHIL
                     I... look, it's not right to
                     throw me out onto the street with
                     a coffin.
          Larry slips the car into gear and it moves forward.
          
                                  PHIL (CONT'D)
                     Thank God.
          
          Larry makes a U-turn.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     What the hell are you doing?
          
                               LARRY
                     I'm driving back to the mortuary.
          
                               PHIL
                     You can't do that.
          
          Nearly at the turn now. Phil opens the car door with a
          mind to jump out, but one look at the fast-moving road
          changes his mind. He glowers at Larry and shuts the door.
          The hearse skids round the corner, Larry slams on the
          brakes and the car slides to a halt outside the mortuary.
          
                                  LARRY
                     Talk.
          
                                  PHIL
                     What talk?
          
          Larry gestures towards the back of the car.
          
                               LARRY
                     Who's the stiff?
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          The clerk is standing at the counter staring at Stanley.
          
                                  CLERK
                     Parsons?
          
                                                                45.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                    STANLEY
                         Parsons.
          
          The clerk looks worried.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Long blond hair, blue eyes, mid-
                         twenties?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Well... yes.
          
                                   CLERK
                         Was he in a Berkeley?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         What's a Berkeley?
          
                                   CLERK
                         A luxury casket of solid
                         mahogany, finished with a split-
                         hinged lid, eight brass plated
                         casket handles and an engraved
                         inscription plate.
          
          INT. LA DEPARTMENT OF BIRTHS MARRIAGES & DEATHS. MORNING
          
          Barbara is sitting in a cubicle opposite a middle-aged
          woman in a suit. Her allure appears lost on the official,
          who gives the dress a disapproving look.
          
                                    BARBARA
                         Parsons.
          
                                    OFFICIAL
                         Parsons.   And he's a... musician?
          
          She says 'musician' with great distaste.
          
                                    BARBARA
                         Was.   He was a musician.
          
          The woman flicks through some papers on her desk.   Barbara
          watches her. Eventually:
          
                                   OFFICIAL
                         I'm afraid we have no official
                         notification of death.
          
          With a flourish, Barbara places a copy of the LA Times on
          the table. The headline is 'Country-Rock Pioneer Dead' in
          large black print. The official glances at it and gives a
          thin smile.
          
                                                                     46.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   OFFICIAL (CONT'D)
                         At this current time, the Greater
                         Los Angeles registrar of Births,
                         Marriages and Deaths does not
                         regard the local newspaper as an
                         official recorder of record.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Larry is staring at Phil.      Waiting.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Can we please talk about this
                         later? This is not a great place
                         to be right now.
          Larry moves to get out of the car.        Phil grabs his arm.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Oh, just a minute. Now I
                         understand... You think there's a
                         body back there.
          
          He starts to laugh.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         You think there's a body in the
                         coffin!
          
          Larry watches him laugh.      Phil catches the look and stops
          laughing.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         I can fully understand why you'd
                         think that. I mean, it is a
                         coffin and all. But would I -
                         would I really - steal a real
                         live dead body?
          
          INT. MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Stanley and the clerk are staring at each other.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         You just gave the body away?
          
                                   CLERK
                         Well, it's not like this is a
                         bank. People round here don't
                         generally take dead bodies
                         they're not entitled to.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Why did you give it to him?
          
                                                                        47.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   CLERK
                         Well, he signed for it.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Who signed for it?
          
          The clerk peers at his paperwork.        When he eventually
          speaks, it is wearily.
          
                                   CLERK
                         John Nobody.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         And where do I find this John
                         Nobody?
          The clerk's attention switches to a point just above
          Stanley's shoulder. He points out through the window to
          where the hearse is parked over a hundred yards away.
          
                                   CLERK
                         There.
          
          INT. HEARSE - OUTSIDE MORTUARY. MORNING
          
          Larry is staring at Phil.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Empty?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Absolutely, completely, totally.
          
                                   LARRY
                         It looked pretty heavy, for an
                         empty casket.
          
                                   PHIL
                         They are made of finest...
                         poplar. That's very heavy wood.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Poplar? No way?   Mahogany, or
                         oak, but not...
          
                                   PHIL
                         Look, I'm not going to argue with
                         you now. Poplar is very well
                         suited to the making of coffins.
          
          Larry stares hard at Phil. We see the door of the mortuary
          open over Larry's shoulder and Stanley and the clerk
          emerge. Then:
          
                                                                    48.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         Okay. So why have we got an
                         empty coffin in the back of the
                         car?
          
          Phil glances at the approaching Stanley.
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'm... selling them on to a
                         company in Palm Springs. Lots of
                         stiffs, lots of money. And then
                         of course, it's very
                         environmentally sound. And...
                         look, under the circumstances,
                         perhaps we should renegotiate the
                         financial arrangement between us.
          Larry still stares at Phil.      Stanley is almost at the car.
          
                                    PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Fifty-fifty? That baby's worth
                         two grand.
          
          Stanley is getting ever closer. Phil can see him in his
          wing mirror. Larry releases the safety brake and the giant
          car roars away, leaving Stanley standing in a cloud of
          dust.
          
          INT. LA DEPARTMENT OF BIRTHS MARRIAGES & DEATHS. MORNING
          
          Barbara picks up the newspaper and rips it into pieces,
          which she scatters onto the desk. She walks towards the
          door.
          
                                   OFFICIAL
                         Don't forget now...
          
          Barbara keeps walking.
          
                                   OFFICIAL (CONT'D)
                         Notification of death.
          
          Barbara is gone, the door slamming behind her.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Larry drives. Phil is still pitching.        They are driving
          alongside the airport runway.
          
                                   PHIL
                         So then Bobby transfers 'em into
                         hardboard boxes just prior to the
                         cremation and I drive the caskets
                         over to a guy I know in Palm
                         Springs who resells them.
          
                                                                           49.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                     LARRY
                         As new?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well I'm not sure the 'one
                         careful owner' thing works with
                         coffins.
          
                                   LARRY
                         The whole thing is completely
                         immoral.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, well. I saw how outraged
                         you were back there, when I
                         mentioned money. Just think of
                         it as recycling.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Look, I really need to get home.
          
                                     PHIL
                         Why?
          
                                   LARRY
                         I just... do.
          
          Larry is sweating.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, while I acknowledge the
                         power of your argument, we have
                         to be somewhere else. So just
                         settle back and enjoy the ride.
          Larry slows the car down.
          
                                     PHIL (CONT'D)
                         What now?
          
                                     LARRY
                         Gas now.
          
          Larry pulls the car onto a Gas station forecourt.
          
          EXT. GAS STATION FORECOURT. DAY
          
          An attendant is filling Bernice.           He looks Phil over.
          
                                   ATTENDANT
                         You an undertaker?
          
                                     PHIL
                         Sure am.
          
                                                                 50.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   ATTENDANT
                         Ain't yer surposed to be in
                         black?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Nope. We're special rock 'n roll
                         undertakers. Musical morticians.
          
          INT. REST ROOM - GAS STATION. DAY
          
          Larry is sitting on the toilet seat - still fully dressed
          but bent double with cramps. Then Phil bangs on the door
          and calls from outside.
          
                                   PHIL
                             (O.S)
                         C'mon, hippie - let's roll.
          
          Larry turns to look at his reflection in the grimy mirror.
          He is shaking.
          
          EXT. GAS STATION FORECOURT. DAY
          
          The tank is full, and the attendant screws the cap back on.
          Phil reaches into the back and pulls out his jerry can. He
          passes it to the guy.
          
                                      PHIL
                         High test.
          
                                   ATTENDANT
                         This car runs on regular.
          
          Phil raises an eyebrow, glances across at the casket, and
          winks.
                                   PHIL
                         Who says it's for the car?
          
          The man gapes at him. Larry walks over to the car and Phil
          gets into the passenger seat. He passes some money to the
          attendant and takes the can.
          
                                   ATTENDANT
                         Ain't fer the car?
          
                                      PHIL
                         Nope.
          
          Larry jiggles the screwdriver, slips Bernice into gear, and
          they're gone. The attendant watches them go.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Larry is driving, Phil is looking out of the window.   They
          are still in a built up area with cars around them.
          
                                                               51.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         We could go back.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Why would we want to do that?
          
                                   LARRY
                         I wasn't expecting a long trip.
                         I haven't packed any spare
                         clothes. We could pick up some
                         supplies and drive out tomorrow.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You want to go home to pick up
                         fresh clothes?
                                      LARRY
                         Well, yes.
          
          Phil stares at him.
          
                                   PHIL
                         And then drive back out tomorrow?
          
                                   LARRY
                         We could do that.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Just drive the car, okay?
          
                                   LARRY
                         We could just...
          
                                      PHIL
                         No.
                                   LARRY
                         It would...
          
                                      PHIL
                         No.
          
                                      LARRY
                         I...
          
                                      PHIL
                         No.
          
          INT. BARBARA'S HOME. DAY
          
          Barbara is standing in her sitting room, the phone to her
          ear.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         You might need to repeat that.
          
                                                               52.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Her mouth drops open and she sinks down onto her couch.
          
                                   BARBARA (CONT'D)
                         Stolen? What the hell do you
                         mean, stolen? Who steals a body?
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil is smoking. Larry is driving, his fingers tapping
          nervously on the wheel. He looks distracted and speaks to
          break the silence.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I still don't fully understand
                         what you do.
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I do everything.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Everything?
          
                                   PHIL
                         This little number is for
                         drinking money. By trade I'm a
                         Road Manager.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Oh, one of those.   Like a well-
                         paid gopher.
          
                                   PHIL
                         No, not like a well-paid gopher.
                         I'm responsible for movement,
                         maintenance and management. I'm
                         a confidante and a companion, a
                         partner and a patron, an ally,
                         agent and ambassador. I'm like
                         an executive nanny. Not a
                         gopher.
          
          Larry backs down with hint of sarcasm
          
                                   LARRY
                         An executive nanny, not a gopher.
                         Thanks for clearing that up.
          
          EXT. 10 FREEWAY. LA. DAY
          
          Bernice cruises along the freeway then takes an exit for
          Joshua tree.
          
          INT. MORTUARY. DAY
          
          Stanley and the clerk are standing just inside the hangar
          door.
          
                                                               53.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   STANLEY
                         So where are the cops?
          
          The clerk pulls the money out of his top pocket and looks
          at it. He shrugs his shoulders.
          
                                   CLERK
                         I called them.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         There's supposed to be a funeral
                         in New Orleans. I need to find
                         my boy.
          
                                   CLERK
                         New Orleans?
          Clerk points into the distance.
          
                                   CLERK (CONT'D)
                         The man said he's going to Joshua
                         Tree, Louisiana.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Joshua Tree?
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Susie is moving her suitcases into the sitting room when
          there is a banging on the front door. Susie opens the door
          and Barbara is standing outside.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Where's the son of a bitch?
                                   SUSIE
                         The son of a bitch isn't here.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Well, he's stolen Gram.
          
          Susie looks bemused.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Stolen Gram?
          
          Barbara lights a cigarette.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         They had some kind of weird pact.
                         I think Phil's taken Gram out to
                         the desert.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Why?
          
                                                                54.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Some kind of voodoo thing with
                         hot wax and dolls to stick pins
                         in.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Don't be ridiculous.
          
          Barbara glances down at the packed bags and smiles.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Now that is a wise move, if you
                         ask me.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I didn't ask you.
          EXT. MELON STALL. DAY
          
          The hearse is parked by the side of the road, near a
          rickety stall where an old lady sits, selling melons.
          Larry sits inside and Phil walks to a phone by the side of
          the road. He dials.
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          The girls are still arguing.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         You'll learn about Phil Kaufman.
                         If you stick around long enough.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         And you know him?
                                   BARBARA
                         I know he's a brainless,
                         interfering asshole, yes.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I don't need to listen to this
                         garbage.
          
          The phone starts to ring. Susie instinctively moves
          towards it, then stops. Barbara watches carefully.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         That's him, isn't it?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Generally, it's best to answer
                         the phone to discover who's
                         calling.
          
          She still makes no move to answer it.
          
                                                               55.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Fine.
          
          She walks across the room and picks up the phone.
          
          EXT. MELON STALL. DAY
          
          Phil is holding the phone.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Hello baby, it's the love
                         machine. How are ya?
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Barbara smiles unpleasantly.
                                   BARBARA
                         Hello Kaufman. I know what
                         you're up to, you thieving
                         bastard. I know where you're
                         going, and I know about your
                         sick, revolting plans, and I'm
                         coming after you. And when I
                         catch you...
          
          EXT. MELON STALL. DAY
          
          Phil looks surprised.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Hello Barbara. How nice to hear
                         from you again. And so soon...
          
          Suddenly the door of the hearse flies open and Larry runs
          out. Phil holds the phone away from his ear as Barbara's
          shouting can be heard coming out of the receiver. He
          watches as Larry just makes it to a cactus and is violently
          sick. He glances across to where the old melon woman
          watches, expressionless, from her stall. After a moment,
          Larry wipes himself down and walks back to the car.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Sorry Barb, gotta go.
          
          He goes to replace the receiver, and then pops in a last
          comment.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         It's been real, though.
          
          He puts the phone down, cutting off Barbara's squawk and
          watches Larry get into the hearse. He frowns.
          
                                                                   56.
          
          
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          Barbara slams the phone down. Then she picks up the
          receiver again and smashes it onto the table.
          
                              BARBARA
                    Sonofabitch!
          
          She walks to the door, brushing past Susie.   Then she
          stops.
          
                              BARBARA (CONT'D)
                    Okay, honey. Do you want to see
                    who Phil Kaufman really is? Do
                    you want to see what he's capable
                    of?
          Barbara shows Susie the door.
          
                              BARBARA (CONT'D)
                    Or maybe you already know I'm
                    right.
          
          Susie hesitantly dismisses the challenge.
          
                              SUSIE
                    You don't know shit about him.
          
                              BARBARA
                    Well why don't we find out?
          
          Barbara turns and walks out.    Susie looks at her packed
          bags then follows.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          Phil gets into the hearse, looks back at the coffin and
          sniffs. He looks down at the air conditioning and turns it
          up full. Larry starts the engine and the car stalls.
          
                              PHIL
                    So what's that about?
          
                                 LARRY
                    Sunstroke.
          
          Phil shakes his head.
          
                               PHIL
                    You've hardly left the car since
                    we met. How can you have
                    sunstroke?
          
                              LARRY
                    I'm susceptible.
          
                                                                    57.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Phil doesn't look convinced.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You're a winner, that's what you
                         are. A winner...
          
          Eventually, the engine catches. Phil immediately gestures
          at a small road that heads off into the desert.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Turn off here.
          
                                   LARRY
                         This isn't the way to Palm
                         Springs.
          Phil winks at him.
          
                                   PHIL
                         It is if you're a coffin
                         smuggler.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY
          
          The old woman watches them go.
          
                                                       START TIME
                                                       LAPSE:
          
          We stay on the old woman and her melon stall as the light
          rapidly changes, cars and pedestrians whizz by, and an hour
          passes in moments.
          
          END TIME LAPSE.
          As we slow to normal speed, a car drives past, stops, and
          reverses back to park by the stall.
          
          EXT. MELON STALL. DAY
          
          Stanley gets out of the Avis/Budget hire car.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Good afternoon.
          
                                   OLD WOMAN
                         Hello.
          
          He points at a melon.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I'll take that one, please.
          
                                   OLD WOMAN
                         Fifty cents.
          
                                                                          58.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I was wondering... Have you seen
                         a hearse pass this way in the
                         last couple of hours?
          
                                   OLD WOMAN
                         What's it look like?
          
          The question throws Stanley.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Well... It... It's a big car. A
                         big yellow car. Two guys inside.
          
                                   OLD WOMAN
                         Was one of 'em sick in them
                         bushes?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Well... I don't know.   Maybe.
          
          The old woman nods.
          
                                    OLD WOMAN
                         Yup.   I seen it.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Larry drives and talks, Phil looks tense.
          
                                   LARRY
                         See, the Yin is the negative -
                         the darkside. And the Yang
                         represents positive - good. If
                         you like, the first is earth and
                         the second heaven.
          
                                                           DISSOLVE TO:
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY - A LITTLE LATER
          
          Larry still talks.       Phil now looks bored.
          
                                   LARRY
                         The Yin Yang symbol is really
                         evocative about the whole
                         concept. As you travel around
                         the circle, white or black will
                         increase until the opposite color
                         is almost gone. But never
                         totally gone, right? And this
                         cycle then repeats for the
                         opposite color.
          
                                                           DISSOLVE TO:
          
                                                               59.
          
          
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY - A LITTLE LATER
          
          Larry still talks, glancing across to Phil to make his
          point every now and then. Phil is tossing a cigarette into
          the air and trying to catch it between his teeth.
          
                              LARRY
                    What seems like Yin is often
                    supported by Yang, and vice
                    versa. Let me give you an
                    example: To truly know good, you
                    must first know evil, and without
                    good as a comparison, nothing can
                    be evil. So by allowing Yin to
                    flourish, you welcome Yan. By
                    letting go of Yin, you are
                    waiting for its return. Another
                    example is...
          
          There is a crash, and the car slams to a halt. Larry is
          thrown forward, but manages to grab the wheel. Phil is not
          so lucky, and catapults into the dashboard, before being
          thrown back into his seat, the crumpled cigarette still
          gripped between his teeth.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY
          
          Bernice has driven into a road sign set into a concrete
          pillar. In fact, the sign that Bernice has driven into is
          the only thing anywhere near the road for miles in any
          direction.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil is dazed. He checks his forehead, which is bleeding.
          Then he gazes out at the desolate road and the solitary,
          buckled sign.
          
                              PHIL
                    It would be really nice if we
                    could get through a couple of
                    hours without crashing the car.
          
                              LARRY
                    I was distracted.
          
          Phil looks out of the window at the vast expanse of nothing
          but desert.
          
                              PHIL
                    Of course you were.
          
                                                                     60.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          There is a faint noise. Larry hears it first and then Phil
          and then, as they strain to identify it, they see a tiny
          dot on the road ahead of them, which grows and grows as
          they watch it, and they peer hard into the wind to identify
          it and... it's a motorcycle cop.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         I don't believe it. Middle of
                         nowhere, and... quick - stand in
                         front of the car!
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY
          
          They jump out of the car and shuffle sideways, until they
          are standing in front of the actual point of collision.
                                     LARRY
                         What now?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Pretend we're having a
                         conversation.
          
          The buckled sign hangs dangerously above them as they both
          grin at the approaching policeman in a friendly manner.
          
                                    LARRY
                         Okay.   What about?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I don't know what about! Ever
                         since I met you, you've talked.
                         Yabba, yabba, yabba, every waking
                         minute. Religion, your
                         supersonic, supercharged car, the
                         darkside. Now you need to talk,
                         and you can't think of anything
                         to say.
          
          The cop slows down but drives past.        Phil waves at him.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Whatever your damn fool religion
                         is called, I think it works.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well... it's more a philosophy
                         than a religion.
          
          The cop does a U-turn and motors towards them.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Oh, well done. Good work.
          
          He shoots a vicious look at Larry.      The cop parks his bike
          and removes his helmet.
          
                                                                      61.
          CON TINUE D:
          As he opens his mouth to speak, a headlight falls off the
          car and rolls off the road. They all watch it go.
          
                                      MOTORCYCLE COP
                         Afternoon.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Afternoon, officer.    How's it
                         going today?
          
          The sign gives an ominous creak.         Larry takes a sideways
          step, out of danger.
          
                                   MOTORCYCLE COP
                         Oh, it's going fine, thank you.
                         How are things with you?
                                   PHIL
                         Fine, fine. We just... stopped
                         to take a look at...
          
          He waves his arm at the desert.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         ...the fine view you folks have
                         got around here.
          
          The cop takes his sunglasses off and takes a look around,
          as if it's the first time he's seen it.
          
                                   MOTORCYCLE COP
                         Well, it is mighty nice around
                         these parts. If you like desert.
          
          They all look appreciatively at the desert, and the cop
          glances down at the keys in Larry's hand.
                                   MOTORCYCLE COP (CONT'D)
                             (to Larry)
                         And how are things with you
                         today, sir?
          
          Larry looks flustered.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Ooooh, I'm well. Really well,
                         actually. Thank you.
          
          The cop doesn't respond, just keeps looking at Larry with a
          pleasant half-smile on his face.
          
                                   MOTORCYCLE COP
                         The reason I ask, is that you
                         appear to have driven into one of
                         our road signs.
          
                                                               62.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
          Larry turns and appears to see the huge buckled pole for
          the first time.
          
                                     LARRY
                     Oh.
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP
                     I'm surprised that you hadn't
                     noticed earlier, as it does
                     appear to be impeding your
                     forward progress.
          
          Phil starts to laugh.
          
                               PHIL
                     That's a great line...
          The cop turns to Phil.        He is still smiling.
          
                                     MOTORCYCLE COP
                     Thank you.
          
          A long pause.      Then:
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP (CONT'D)
                     I wonder if you gentlemen can
                     help me?
          
                                     PHIL
                     Anything.
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP
                     I'm looking for some fellows who
                     stole a body back there at the
                     airport.
          Larry wobbles with shock.
          
                                  LARRY
                     A body?     Stole a body?
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP
                     A body. Rather like the one in
                     the back of your car.
          
                               LARRY
                     That's an empty coffin, officer.
          
          The cop ignores him.        Phil lights his cigar.
          
                                                                63.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP
                     I know it sounds strange. But
                     these guys - there are two of
                     them - they stole a body, loaded
                     it into the back of an old yellow
                     hearse painted with flowers, and
                     they're supposed to be driving
                     out this way.
          
          Larry thinks hard.
          
                                LARRY
                     Hearse.   Flowers.
          
          He looks to Phil for support.   Phil raises an eyebrow.
                               PHIL
                     I think he's onto us, Larry.
                     He's just having a little fun at
                     our expense.
          
          The cop is no longer smiling.
          
                               MOTORCYCLE COP
                     In the car, please.
          
          Phil opens the door and empty beer bottles cascade out into
          the road. They get into the car and the cop cuffs them
          together through the steering wheel and takes the car keys.
          Then he walks back over to his bike and starts to talk into
          the radio.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil closes his eyes and shakes his head.
                                 PHIL
                     God damn!
          
                               LARRY
                     He said a body. He said we stole
                     a body.
          
          Phil opens his eyes.
          
                               PHIL
                     He meant a coffin.
          
                               LARRY
                     He didn't say 'coffin'. He said
                     'body'. Tell me we haven't
                     stolen a real person.
          
                                                                     64.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         Look, the place that I get the
                         coffins from probably haven't
                         filed a report yet. It'll all be
                         sorted out within the hour.
                         Trust me.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Oh, I'm just overflowing with
                         trust for you, man. I feel this
                         overwhelming feeling of... trust
                         every time I look at you.
          
          He shakes his head.
          
                                   LARRY (CONT'D)
                         I'm gonna check inside that box
                         just as soon as we're out of
                         here.
          
          They both stare out of the window.        Phil bangs the cuffs
          against the wheel.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Jesus!
          
          They sit glowering out of different windows at different
          bits of desert. The motorcycle cop can be heard talking
          into his radio.
          
                                   LARRY
                         What are we going to do?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Time.
                                   LARRY
                         What?
          
                                   PHIL
                             (bitterly)
                         We're going to be arrested,
                         that's what we're going to do.
                         Then we'll go to court and then
                         we'll go to jail and we'll do
                         that for a while.
          
          Larry mulls this over.
          
                                   LARRY
                         What about if I could slip out of
                         these cuffs?
          
          Phil treats the theoretical question with indifference.
          
                                                               65.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               PHIL
                     Yeah, that would be great. Then
                     we could suspend you from a
                     bridge in a straitjacket and set
                     the rope on fire.
          
                               LARRY
                     No, really. I really can slip
                     these cuffs.
          
          He has Phil's attention now.
          
                                PHIL
                     Okay.   Show me.
          
          Larry pops his middle finger out of its socket, squeezes
          his hand and slides it out of the handcuff. He hands the
          other cuff to Phil, who stares at him in astonishment.
          
                               LARRY
                     Do you think we should go?
          
                               PHIL
                     Yes, I think we should go.
          
          Larry starts the car. He throws it into reverse and the
          bumper slowly disengages from the metal signpost. Suddenly
          the car tears loose and flies backwards, smashing into the
          cop's motorcycle, leaving him holding the radio and its
          trailing wire. Larry slams on the brakes.
          
                                LARRY
                     Oh shit.
          
                               PHIL
                     Nicely done.
          
          He rolls down his window and addresses the cop, who is
          staring with horror at his ruined motorcycle.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     We'll be moving on, now that your
                     sign no longer appears to be
                     impeding our forward progress.
          
          Bernice accelerates away but slowly starts to turn in a
          wide ark and circles the smashed bike. The cop chases
          them.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil screams at Larry.
          
                               PHIL
                     What the hell are you doing?
          
                                                                 66.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         The steering lock is on.
          
                                    PHIL
                         Well...   turn it off!
          
                                   LARRY
                         I can't - he's got the keys.
          
          Phil turns to watch the chasing policeman.
          
                                   PHIL
                         So, we've escaped but we can only
                         drive in a circle?
          
                                    LARRY
                         Yes.
          
          EXT. DESERT. DAY
          
          They do another circuit. The exhausted cop stops,
          breathing heavily, and then watches in astonishment as the
          hearse turns and heads back towards him.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil and Larry stare at the policeman out of the window as
          the car sweeps past. The cop gets his gun out of his
          holster, and Phil reaches into the glove box and pulls out
          the screwdriver. He leans across Larry, jams it into the
          wheel column, and snaps the steering lock in two. The
          hearse's direction immediately changes.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Can we please go?
                                    LARRY
                         Okay.
          
          EXT. DESERT. DAY
          
          The hearse roars away and the cop watches it go.
          
          INT. BARBARA'S CAR. DAY
          
          Barbara drives and Susie sits in the passenger seat.   It
          doesn't look as if they've spoken for hours.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         If you hate Phil so much, why are
                         you chasing him across
                         California?
          
                                   BARBARA
                         He's got Gram and I need him.
          
                                                             67.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Well, that's really touching.
                         But... you've got to come to
                         terms with the fact that he's
                         dead.
          
          Barbara shoots her a withering look.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         I know he's dead, Honey. But he
                         hasn't been officially
                         identified, and there's no
                         certificate of death.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I don't understand.
                                   BARBARA
                         Let's just say I'm overly
                         sentimental, okay?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         This is all about money, isn't
                         it?
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Isn't everything?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Why do you think you deserve
                         anything?
          
                                   BARBARA
                         I was a great support to Gram
                         before Kaufman came along and
                         spoiled the party.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Phil's not responsible for your
                         problems with Gram.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         What do you know?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I know that he can be a pain in
                         the ass, but when it came to
                         Gram, Phil only ever did the
                         right thing.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         In his whole life, Phil Kaufman
                         didn't do anything because it was
                         the right thing to do. You can
                         bet the ranch that wherever he
                         is, he's having some fun.
          
                                                               68.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               SUSIE
                     Maybe that's what I like about
                     him.
          
                               BARBARA
                     Sure it is, honey. That's why
                     your bags were packed.
          
                               SUSIE
                     Have you any idea what it's like
                     to really love someone?
          
          Barbara laughs.
          
                               BARBARA
                     You might exclusively love Phil
                     Kaufman - but unfortunately, so
                     does he. You're just handy to
                     have around.
          
                               SUSIE
                     I don't have to listen to this.
          
          Susie leans over, grabs the safety brake and pulls it up
          hard. The car swerves and skids to a stop.
          
                               SUSIE (CONT'D)
                     Okay, you vindictive bitch. I'm
                     going with you to Joshua Tree
                     because my life seems to have
                     been turned upside down and I
                     want to know why. But you don't
                     know me and I won't let you judge
                     me. Do it again and I'll smash
                     that pretty little face of yours
                     off the fucking road. Got it?
          
          Barbara dismisses her anger with a tight little smile.
          
                               BARBARA
                     The truth can hurt, can't it?
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY - LATER
          
          Phil finishes his beer, rubs his eyes and slumps back in
          his seat. He looks terrible, but not as bad as Larry who
          is pasty and sweating.
          
                               LARRY
                     Well, that's it! They're going
                     to lock me up and throw away the
                     key.
          
                               PHIL
                     Why would they do that?
          
                                                               69.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         You saw what happened. I drove
                         over that cop's bike. That's
                         destruction of police property,
                         or something.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You worry too much.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Not 'til I met you...
          
          Phil finishes his beer and peers at the empty bottle. Then
          something catches his eye and he leans forward in his seat.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Jesus - what the hell is that?
          
          A large plaster dinosaur appears ahead.
          
                                   LARRY
                         It's a dinosaur.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Very perceptive.   What's it
                         doing?
          
          As they get nearer, they can see that the huge model is
          carrying a sign.
          
                                   LARRY
                             (reads)
                         'The Polyonax Place'.
                             (aside: to Phil)
                         A Polyonax is probably some kind
                         of dinosaur.
          
          Phil shoots him a look.
          
                                   LARRY (CONT'D)
                             (reads)
                         'Dinoburgers, Reptile Steaks and
                         Primeval Soup. Titanosaurion
                         portions, prehistoric pricing.
                         Liquor served'.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Pull over - let's... eat.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Let's not. The cops'll be after
                         us and we should just get on to
                         Palm Springs and do the thing,
                         and then I can get home and you
                         can... do whatever it is you do.
                         Let's do that.
          
                                                               70.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               PHIL
                     We need to stop. I'm starting to
                     get hungry. I'm not nice hungry.
          
                               LARRY
                     You surprise me.    I vote we keep
                     going.
          
                               PHIL
                     What gave you the impression this
                     was a democracy?
          
          EXT. POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          The hearse pulls up around the back of the building, and
          parks in a place that is hidden from the road. Phil gets
          out and stretches. He is joined by Larry, and they both
          peer round the side of the building to check that they have
          not been observed. Then they walk towards the entrance.
          
          EXT. DESERT ROAD. DAY
          
          A Police Car with siren blaring and lights flashing speeds
          past on the road.
          
          INT. KITCHEN - THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          We are with a short-order cook. He expertly flips a burger
          from a hotplate and adds it to a plate overflowing with
          bacon, sausage and fries. He slips this plate onto a tray
          on which there is a second plate containing two pieces of
          plain bread and some lettuce. He dings a bell and a waiter
          enters and picks up the tray. We move with the tray as he
          carries it from the kitchen and into the dining area. He
          stops at the bar to load three foaming glasses of beer and
          a glass of water onto the tray, and delivers it to Phil and
          Larry, who are sitting in a window booth. Larry has his
          head resting on the table. He lifts it as soon as the food
          arrives.
          
                               PHIL
                     You frighten him.
          
                                 LARRY
                     I do not.
          
                               PHIL
                     Everyone else, he announces the
                     food when he brings it.
                     Diplodocus this and Allosaurus
                     that. Us he just slaps it down
                     and runs for cover.
          
          They both look at Larry's bread and lettuce.
          
                                                                 71.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         It's probably the rabbit food.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Look, I'm a vegetarian. I have a
                         problem with dead flesh. Okay?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I understand. Really I do. That
                         stuff'll mess you right up every
                         time.
          
          Phil picks up the first beer and downs it in one go.
          
          INT. STANLEY'S CAR. DAY.
          Stanley is driving along the road. He puts his hand in his
          pocket, takes out his hip flask, pops the lid and goes to
          take a drink. It's empty. Then he notices the dinosaur.
          
          INT. THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          Phil pushes his full plate away and finishes off the third
          beer. He gets up. Larry notices he hasn't eaten anything.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I thought you were hungry.
          
          Phil ignores him.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Gotta make a call.
          
          He glances around and then walks over to the bar.
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Hey man, where's the phone?
          
                                     BARMAN
                         Out back.
          
          He jerks his head by way of direction. Phil wanders off
          just as the door opens and Stanley walks in.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Good afternoon.
          
                                     BARMAN
                         Yup.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Do you have a telephone I might
                         use?
          
                                   BARMAN
                         In a minute, I do.
          
                                                                          72.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   STANLEY
                         In a minute?
          
                                     BARMAN
                         Yeah.    Phone's for customers.
          
          Stanley looks confused.           Then he understands.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I'd better order, then.
          
                                     BARMAN
                         Right.
          
          Stanley picks up a menu.
          INT. 'OUT BACK' - THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          Phil dials a number on the phone.
          
          INT. PHIL'S SITTING ROOM. DAY
          
          The sitting room is empty.          The phone rings.     And rings.
          
          INT. 'OUT BACK' - THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          When it becomes clear that no one is going to answer, Phil
          replaces the receiver and walks back into the diner. He
          pushes past Stanley as he goes to the bar.
          
          INT. THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          Phil joins Larry and puts a bag of beers on the table.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Speak to her?
          
                                     PHIL
                         Who?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Your girlfriend?      Your wife?
          
                                   PHIL
                         None of your damn business.
          
                                   LARRY
                         So you didn't?
          
          A pause.
          
                                     PHIL
                         No.
          
                                                                       73.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                    LARRY
                         Maybe she's out.      Shopping, or
                         something.
          
          Phil pours the rest of his beer down his throat, before
          signaling the barman to serve him another.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, that'll be it.     Shopping.
          
          He raises an eyebrow at Larry. Behind him, we see Stanley
          walk in and take a seat at the bar.
          
                                   STANLEY
                             (to barman)
                         Beer.
          The barman gives Stanley his beer.
          
                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         Would you put a scotch in there,
                         please?
          
                                     BARMAN
                         Sure.
          
          He pours the spirit in.
          
                                     BARMAN (CONT'D)
                         Bad day?
          
          Stanley rubs the top of his head.
          
                                     STANLEY
                         Yeaaaaah.    Yeah, a real bad day.
                                   BARMAN
                         What happened?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         My boy died out here the other
                         day, and some punks have stolen
                         his body.
          
          Stanley reaches for his pocket.          The barman puts his hand
          up to refuse the money.
          
                                   BARMAN
                         That's worth a shot on the house.
          
          The barman tips a little more scotch into the beer.
          
                                     STANLEY
                         Thanks.
          
                                                                  74.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
          Stanley takes a drink.     Phil slips some money on the bar
          and stands up.
          
                               PHIL
                         (to Larry)
                     We gotta go.
          
          Larry is listening to the conversation.
          
                               LARRY
                     Haven't finished my drink.
          
                               BARMAN
                         (to Stanley)
                     Why would someone steal a body?
          Phil picks up the glass of water and drinks it down.
          
                                  PHIL
                     All gone.     C'mon.
          
          He turns and walks to the door.
          
                               STANLEY
                     Well, maybe they were souvenir
                     hunters or something. My boy's
                     kinda famous...
          
                                  BARMAN
                     Who is he?
          
          Phil is back.
          
                               STANLEY
                     Gram Parsons.
          The Barman looks surprised.
          
                               BARMAN
                     Gram Parsons?
          
          Phil reaches across and grabs the back of Larry's jacket.
          
                               LARRY
                     Gram Parsons?
          
          Both the Barman and Stanley look round, but Larry's stool
          is now empty, spinning. He and Phil are already at the
          door.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          Phil propels Larry outside.
          
                                                                  75.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   LARRY
                         Gram Parsons? Is Gram Parsons
                         dead?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Better get going.
          
                                   LARRY
                         He said someone took Gram
                         Parson's body. Two people...
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, he was a real blabbermouth.
                         In fact, I thought he was never
                         gonna stop talking. Anyway,
                         although that's real interesting,
                         we've gotta keep to the schedule.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Schedule? What schedule?   There
                         is no schedule...
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I think we should just make
                         our delivery as soon as possible,
                         don't you? Get our package to
                         Palm Springs. Remember?
          
          Larry looks horrified.
          
                                    LARRY
                         Package?   We've stolen that man's
                         son.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Stolen... his son? That's
                         outrageous! I'm appalled that
                         you could even think we'd do such
                         a thing.
          
          They move round the back of the Polyonax Place, where
          Bernice is hidden behind an outhouse.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I don't know what you take me
                         for. I want to see in that box.
          
          Larry walks round to the back of the car.
          
                                   PHIL
                         We've really got to go.
          
          Larry swings open the back window and pulls at the casket.
          
                                   LARRY
                         It's heavy.
          
                                                                76.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
          Phil glances at his watch.
          
                               PHIL
                     Okay, then. Well, if you're
                     satisfied, let's go.
          
                               LARRY
                     I said it's heavy.
          
                               PHIL
                     Heavy, yes. Well, it is made of
                     wood. Wood is heavy. Actually.
          
                               LARRY
                     Yeah, I remember.    Finest poplar.
          Larry slides the top of the casket off and looks inside.
          He recoils.
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                     Jesusjesusjesus...
          
          He drops the lid and looks at Phil, horrified.   Phil walks
          over and looks inside.
          
                               PHIL
                     Gosh, they must have given us a
                     full one. We'll have to sort
                     that all out when we get to Palm
                     Springs and...
          
          Larry is staring at him with horror.
          
                                  LARRY
                     Oh my God.     You stole Gram
                     Parsons.
          
          Phil gives up.
          
                               PHIL
                     Well, technically, we stole Gram
                     Parsons.
          
                               LARRY
                     I stole a coffin, I didn't know
                     there was a body in it.
          
                               PHIL
                     I'd save that line for court.
          
          As the enormity of the news starts to sink in, Larry hops
          up and down in panic. Phil watches him.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     What are you doing now?
          
                                                                    77.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
          Larry is losing control.
          
                               LARRY
                     I don't know! What am I doing?
                     I mean... What-am-I-doing? Why
                     am I here? Why am I with you?
                     WHAT IS GOING ON?
          
                                  PHIL
                     Calm down.
          
                               LARRY
                     I thought it was bad enough when
                     I ran over the cop's bike, but
                     now I'm a fucking body snatcher.
                               PHIL
                     Well, when you've quite finished,
                     we should go.
          
          Larry goggles at him.     His voice takes on a level of
          hysteria.
          
                               LARRY
                     Go? You go. I tell you what I'm
                     going to do. I'm going inside
                     and I'm going to give that man
                     his son back. I'm going to do
                     the right thing, I'm going to
                     follow my conscience, I'm going
                     to...
          
          Larry walks towards the bar, then quick walks, then runs.
          Phil tackles him around the legs and they both fall.
          Larry's head hits the ground hard and he lies there
          unconscious.
          
                                  PHIL
                     Shit!
          
          Phil picks him up, slings him into the passenger seat, and
          slides behind the wheel. The hearse moves off.
          
          INT. THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          Stanley takes another drink and glances out of the window,
          just as the bright yellow hearse drives past. He stands up
          and walks to the window.
          
                               STANLEY
                     Son of a bitch!
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE THE POLYONAX PLACE. DAY
          
          The hearse picks up speed and powers down the highway out
          into the desert.
          
                                                        78.
          
          
          
          INT. BARBARA'S CAR. DAY
          
          Susie seethes and Barbara smokes.
          
                              SUSIE
                    You're not a very nice person,
                    are you?
          
                               BARBARA
                    Nice? No, I suppose not.    Does
                    it matter?
          
          Susie looks surprised.
          
                              SUSIE
                    It might get you further.
                              BARBARA
                    I do okay. Listen, I was an
                    orphan at fourteen and a waitress
                    at fifteen. I do what I do
                    because it puts food on my table,
                    and because if I don't look after
                    myself, no-one else will.
          
                              SUSIE
                    So what do you want from us?
          
                              BARBARA
                    I don't want anything from you.
                    It would be a bonus to see
                    Kaufman crash and burn, but I
                    don't need to be there when it
                    happens.
                              SUSIE
                    Why do you hate Phil so much?
          
          Barbara lights another cigarette.
          
                              BARBARA
                    Gram was the first good guy I
                    ever hooked up with. He wasn't
                    perfect, but it worked between
                    us. We just seemed to fit
                    together. But Gram was already
                    wild, and I made him wilder.
                    Kaufman watched over him like a
                    hawk, and when he felt things
                    were getting out of control, he
                    turned Gram against me. I lost
                    the only decent thing in my life.
          
                              SUSIE
                    Surely Phil was just looking
                    after Gram?
          
                                                               79.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Gram was an adult.   He didn't
                         need a nursemaid.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Except that now he's dead.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Yeah. Without my help and while
                         Kaufman was babysitting.
          
          Silence for a moment.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I don't like you much, Barbara.
                                    BARBARA
                         That's fine. I just want what's
                         mine and then I'm gone. Gone
                         real fast.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. EVENING
          
          The hearse powers through along the desert highway. They
          pass a sign which reads 'If You're Looking for the Joshua
          Tree National Monument, You're Getting Close. If You're
          not, You're Getting Lost...'
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
          Phil is getting very tired, his vision is blurring and he
          shakes his head to wake himself up. He glances across and
          sees that Larry is awake and staring at him.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Welcome back, hippie.
          
                                   LARRY
                         So why d'ya do it?
          
                                    PHIL
                         Do what?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Have a guess.
          
          There is a moment's silence.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, I gave my word.   This is
                         what Gram wanted.
          
                                   LARRY
                         What, cruise around the desert
                         until he starts to smell? Were
                         you - both bombed?
          
                                                              80.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Phil looks offended.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Do you have friends?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Of course I have friends.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, what would you do for them?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Anything, within reason.
          
          Phil stares out of the window.
                                   PHIL
                         That's what I hate about people
                         like you. Everything's 'within
                         reason'. There are always
                         boundaries, provisos. You only
                         operate with a safety net.
          
          Larry is confused.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Tell me something - if it was the
                         other way round, would Gram be
                         sitting here, driving your bones
                         out into the desert?
          
          Phil says nothing.
          
                                   LARRY (CONT'D)
                         Well?
                                   PHIL
                         You've missed the point. See, it
                         doesn't matter what he would do,
                         or what you and your tie-dyed
                         friends think is the correct way
                         to behave. To me, it only
                         matters what I do. Where you
                         have boundaries and limits and
                         thresholds - I only have right
                         and wrong. If I make a promise,
                         I keep it - that's right. If I
                         break that promise - that's
                         wrong.
          
          Phil rubs his eyes, tired. Suddenly, Larry smashes Phil
          across the head with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Phil slumps
          back in the seat and Larry, dropping the bloodied weapon,
          reaches across to grab the wheel and slow the hearse.
          
                                                               81.
          
          
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT
          
          Bernice fishtails across the road as Larry struggles to
          retain control. It eventually slides to a halt. Larry
          gets out and runs round to the drivers' door.
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
          Larry stares down at Phil.
          
                                LARRY
                    Ohmygod.
          
          He slides Phil across the seat and slips behind the wheel.
          He shouts at the unconscious Phil.
                              LARRY (CONT'D)
                    You made me do it, you bastard!
                    I've never hit anyone in my life,
                    but you pushed and you pushed
                    and... you gave me no choice.
          
          Larry prods Phil to ensure he's unresponsive.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT
          
          The hearse executes a wide U-turn before gently rejoining
          the highway and heading back towards town. A moment after
          completing the turn, the one remaining headlight stutters
          and goes out. Bernice pulls off the road.
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
                                LARRY
                    Shit.
          He flicks the headlight switch, but to no avail. Then, in
          the distance, he sees a car approaching. Stanley can be
          glimpsed in the driving seat as the car flashes past.
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                    Shit.   Shitshitshit.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT
          
          Bernice rejoins the road and drives slowly off into the
          darkness after Stanley.
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
          Phil is motionless, and Larry peers out into the darkness
          as the car limps on, lit only from the light of the moon.
          Larry sees a glow in the distance ahead, and drives towards
          a neon sign; 'Welcome to the Joshua Tree Inn'.
          
                                                               82.
          CON TINUE D:
          He stops by the entrance to the inn and stares at Stanley's
          car parked in the bay outside room 8. He glances across at
          Phil, turns the car around and drives in.
          
          EXT. JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          
          Bernice glides to a stop in the bay next to Stanley's car.
          Larry gets out and looks around. After a moment, he walks
          over to the door of room eight and knocks.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE ROOM 8 - JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          
          A tired-looking Stanley opens the door.
          
                                     STANLEY
                         Yeah?
                                     LARRY
                         Hi.
          
                                     STANLEY
                         Hello.
          
          They stare at each other.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Um. I'm one of the guys that
                         took your son.
          
          After a moment, Stanley steps back and opens the door.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         You'd better come in.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY/CAR PARK - JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          A car drives past the inn and then brakes sharply and skids
          across the road. It reverses and pulls in, parking next to
          the hearse. Barbara and Susie get out and look around.
          Then Susie walks over to the hearse's passenger window and
          raps on the glass, and Barbara marches to the back of the
          hearse and attempts to open it. She can't.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Where's the catch on this piece
                         of shit?
          
          Susie notices Phil, slumped in the seat.
          
                                     SUSIE
                         Phil?    Phil!
          
                                                               83.
          
          
          
          INT. HEARSE - JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          
          Phil comes to. He looks out of the window at Susie, then
          at the 'Joshua Tree' sign, then at the door to room eight,
          then round to the back of the shaking hearse as Barbara
          tries to get the door open. His jaw drops open and he rubs
          his eyes again, before getting out of the car.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE ROOM 8 - JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          
          Phil stands in front of Susie.
          
                              SUSIE
                    What happened to your head?
          
          He touches his head and looks at the blood on his fingers.
          His handcuff hangs from his wrist and Susie stares at it.
          
                              PHIL
                    A hippie hit it.   I thought you'd
                    gone.
          
                              SUSIE
                    Hold that thought.
          
                              PHIL
                    What the hell does that mean?
          
                              SUSIE
                    I need to know what it is you're
                    doing.
          
          Barbara shouts from the back of the car.
          
                              BARBARA
                    I told you what he's doing! He's
                    going to set fire to my Gram in
                    some freaky ceremony with witches
                    and black magic and... dolls.
          
                              PHIL
                    Dolls?
          
                              SUSIE
                    Dolls to stick pins in.
          
                              PHIL
                    What the hell are you talking
                    about?
          
                              BARBARA
                        (shouts)
                    I want my man back!
          
                              PHIL
                    Enough of this shit.
          
                                                                       84.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          Phil walks over to the door of room 8.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         They've gotta be in here.    It's
                         fate.
          
          He opens the door and walks in.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          Larry and Stanley are sitting on the bed.          Phil shoots a
          vicious look at Larry.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Whatever happened to peace, love
                         and understanding, hippie?
                                   STANLEY
                         You're Kaufman?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yup.
          
          Stanley folds his arms.         Susie and Barbara follow Phil into
          the room.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         And you are?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I'm with him.
          
          She indicates Phil.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Hello Stanley. Remember me?     The
                         psychotic girlfriend?
          
                                   STANLEY
                         Hello Barbara. Nothing wrong
                         with your memory.
          
          He turns to Phil.
          
                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         Did you sell tickets or
                         something? Now, you boys want to
                         tell me why you stole my son?
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well, I didn't even know he was
                         in the box.
          
                                                                85.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'm going to cremate him, here in
                         the desert where he felt most at
                         home. That's what he wanted.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         The hell you are, Kaufman.
          
          Stanley picks up the phone and starts to dial.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         You know I can't let you do that?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I know you have to.
          Stanley smashes the receiver down onto the table.   Everyone
          jumps.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I don't have to do anything,
                         Mister Kaufman. This is MY loss!
                         This was MY son! How dare you
                         try to take my grief away from
                         me.
          
                                   PHIL
                         It's too late to claim him now.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         What the hell does that mean?
          
          They are almost nose-to-nose now.
          
                                   PHIL
                         It means that you were never
                         there when it mattered to Gram.
                         It means that you stopped being a
                         father the moment he stopped
                         doing your bidding. It means
                         that you learned to care too
                         late. That's what it means.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         I don't have to justify my
                         relationship with Gram to you.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Not to me, no.
          
          Stanley sits down.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         It's true that when Gram left
                         college, we drifted apart.
                                   (MOR E)
          
                                                                 86.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
                               STA NLEY (CONT'D)
                     He was a disappointment to me,
                     because he wouldn't use his
                     brain. He had so much to offer,
                     but he let it trickle away.
          
                               PHIL
                     No - he gave it his all, but in a
                     way you could never understand.
                     And all he ever wanted from you
                     was approval. He wanted you to
                     be proud of what he had achieved.
          
                               STANLEY
                     I kept everything. Every record,
                     every article, every photo.
          
                               PHIL
                     It's no good telling me.   You
                     should have told him.
          
                               STANLEY
                     I loved him.
          
                               PHIL
                     Too late...
          
          Stanley looks up at Phil.
          
                               STANLEY
                     I understand that you were his
                     right-hand man, as well as his
                     friend?
          
                               PHIL
                     I was both, yes.
                               STANLEY
                     And that you weren't there when
                     he died? When he needed you
                     most?
          
          A beat, then:
          
                                 PHIL
                     Yes.    That's right.
          
                               STANLEY
                     So the guilt isn't all mine,
                     then?
          
                               PHIL
                     I guess not.
          
          Susie walks over and takes Phil's hand. Stanley says
          nothing for a moment, but his eyes fill with tears.
          
                                                               87.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
                               STANLEY
                     You boys took away my son. I
                     lost him once in life, and now
                     you're trying to take him from me
                     again.
          
          He starts to cry. Larry shoots an imploring look at Phil.
          Barbara glances around the room.
          
                               BARBARA
                     Can we just cut through this?
          
          She gestures at Phil and Larry.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     You two stole the body. Theft.
          Indicates Susie.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     Sweetie, I'm sorry, but you seem
                     to be in the whole thing up to
                     your neck. Accessory.
          
          Waves a hand at Stanley.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     And you are an old fool who
                     should have called the police,
                     but hasn't. Stupidity.
          
          She walks over to the phone.
          
                               BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     Now, let's just call the cops and
                     get it done. The sooner we get
                     us a death certificate and bury
                     him, the sooner his soul will be
                     properly laid to rest.
          
          Phil walks over to Barbara, picks her up and carries her
          into the bathroom.
          
                              BARBARA (CONT'D)
                     Hey! What the hell are you
                     doing?
          
          He emerges and slips the back of a chair under the handle,
          effectively locking the door.
          
                               STANLEY
                     Son, you had your chance to look
                     after Gram, and now he's dead.
          
          There is a 'bang' from the bathroom, and the door shakes.
          
                                                                88.
          CON TINUE D: (4)
          
                                 BARBARA
                         (O.S)
                     Bastard!
          
                               PHIL
                     I only failed because I couldn't
                     save him from himself. You
                     failed him all his life. You
                     never believed. I never doubted.
          
          Stanley pauses.
          
                               STANLEY
                     Okay. You tell me why I should
                     let you take my boy.
                               PHIL
                     I was his road manager and his
                     friend. We loved it out here in
                     the desert, and we made a pact
                     that whoever died first, the
                     other would come down here and
                     set them free. Gram gave his
                     word and I gave mine.
          
          Stanley thinks about this.
          
                               STANLEY
                     You're a couple of druggies.   Why
                     should I believe you?
          
          Phil doesn't like the inference.
          
                               PHIL
                     I don't take drugs.
          Another 'bang' from the bathroom.   Stanley turns to Larry.
          
                               STANLEY
                     What about you? Are you a
                     druggie?
          
          There is a long pause.    Then:
          
                                 LARRY
                     Yes.    Yes I am.
          
          Phil closes his eyes. Stanley picks up the receiver and
          starts to dial. Then Phil jumps up off the bed and walks
          out of the room. After a moment, Larry and Susie follow.
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE ROOM 8 - JOSHUA TREE INN. NIGHT
          
          Phil is waiting by the car.
          
                                                                      89.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                             (to Larry)
                         Nice work. Let's go.
          
          Larry gives Phil the screwdriver.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I can't do this.      This isn't
                         right.
          
          Larry walks away leaving Phil with Susie.         He looks at her.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Just do whatever feels right to
                         you.
                                     PHIL
                         God damn!
          
          After a moment, Phil walks back into room eight.
          
          INT. JOSHUA TREE INN - ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          Stanley is sitting on the bed, the receiver in his hand.
          Phil sits facing him.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Did you call them?
          
                                     STANLEY
                         No.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Are you going to call them?
                                   STANLEY
                         Well, you haven't given me a
                         reason not to.
          
          There is another 'crash' from inside the bathroom.        The
          door shakes.
          
                                   PHIL
                         There isn't a reason. If someone
                         tried to steal my son's body, I'd
                         stop them. For sure.
          
          Larry and Susie quietly enter the room.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         So you are prepared to go to
                         jail?
          
                                   PHIL
                         I'm expecting to.
          
                                                             90.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   BARBARA
                             (O.S)
                         Don't you worry - it's gonna
                         happen!
          
                                   LARRY
                         Mister Parsons?
          
          Phil and Stanley look up.
          
                                   STANLEY
                         What is it, son?
          
                                   LARRY
                         I've been a junkie for over four
                         years. I started taking heroin
                         on June 5th 1969 at a concert in
                         Indiana. I...
          
                                   STANLEY
                         You don't need...
          
          Larry holds his hand up to stop Stanley.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I've taken heroin, speed, uppers,
                         downers, blues, morphine,
                         methadone, mushrooms, quaaludes,
                         acid, valium, barbiturates,
                         straight LSD, marijuana,
                         marijuana laced with opium,
                         nembutal, mescalin of course, and
                         medical methaqualone, which made
                         me shake uncontrollably for six
                         weeks and vomit every hour.
                                   STANLEY
                             (dryly)
                         That's very impressive, son.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Not my point.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Better make the point.
          
                                    LARRY
                         I started working my way through
                         that list on June 5th 1969, and
                         since then there hasn't been a
                         day when I didn't at least smoke
                         one joint.
          
          Phil shoots Larry a dangerous look.
          
                                                                  91.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               PHIL
                     Are we sure that this is helping?
          
          Larry ignores him.
          
                               LARRY
                     And now I've stopped. I stopped
                     because it seems that I had
                     something more important to do.
          
          They all look at him.   He gestures at Phil.
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                     He's doing this because he gave
                     his word. I'm prepared to do
                     this now because I think it's
                     right. And because I believe
                     that each body has a soul. And
                     Gram's soul doesn't belong in a
                     family plot surrounded by
                     strangers. It belongs here,
                     where he was happiest.
          
          In the silence, Susie walks over and grips Phil's hand.
          Then Stanley gets up off the bed.
          
                               STANLEY
                     I'm going to go say goodbye to my
                     son.
          
          Everyone looks surprised. Phil gives Larry a look of
          appreciative approval. Barbara starts to kick furiously at
          the door from inside the bathroom. Stanley pauses for a
          moment, and then walks outside. Phil and Larry watch him
          go, and Susie walks over to kiss Phil.
                               PHIL
                     What's that for?
          
                               SUSIE
                     That's for failing to reinforce
                     my expectations.
          
                               PHIL
                     Well... I'll have to do that more
                     often.
          
          The three of them move to the door, and Phil turns to
          Larry.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     Did you really take all those
                     drugs?
          
                               LARRY
                     Of course not.
          
                                                                92.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
          He grins at Phil.
          
                               LARRY (CONT'D)
                     I may have got a little carried
                     away...
          
          The door of the bathroom shakes and one of the hinges flies
          across the room.
          
                               PHIL
                     C'mon, time to go...
          
          EXT. OUTSIDE ROOM 8. NIGHT
          
          Phil, Larry and Susie leave room eight. They look around
          with surprise, but there is no sign of Stanley. Phil opens
          the back of the hearse and takes a quick peek inside the
          casket.
          
                               PHIL
                     Just checking.
          
                               LARRY
                     Yeah, he took the body and
                     stuffed it in the trunk of his
                     car before escaping into the
                     night.
          
          Larry is already behind the wheel.   Phil opens the car door
          and looks at Susie.
          
                               PHIL
                     Are you coming?
          
          She smiles at him.
                               SUSIE
                     I reckon I am.
          
          She gets in. There is a final, almighty 'crash' from
          inside room eight. The three of them look at each other,
          and then Bernice is gone into the darkness. A moment later
          Barbara runs outside. She leaps into her car and screeches
          after them. In the distance a blue flashing police light
          suddenly materializes.
          
          INT. BARBARA'S CAR. NIGHT
          
          Barbara is on the road, driving fast. Suddenly a blue
          flashing police light fills her mirror.
          
                                  BARBARA
                     Thank God!
          
          She pulls over and the police cruiser pulls in behind her.
          The traffic cop walks up and looks through the window.
          
                                                               93.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         Evenin' ma'am.
          
          Barbara gives it everything.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         Please help me, they've got my
                         boyfriend's corpse and they're
                         going to perform a ritual with
                         his body.
          
          The cop turns on his torch and peers at her carefully.
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         May I see your driving license
                         please, ma'am?
                                   BARBARA
                         My driving license?
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         Please.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         I've just told you that they've
                         stolen a body and you want to see
                         my driving license?
          
          He just stares at her.      Barbara is losing it.
          
                                   BARBARA (CONT'D)
                         You people are supposed to be on
                         the lookout for a hearse. A
                         hearse is a big long car. You
                         can usually tell which ones are
                         the hearses, because they have
                         coffins in the back. The one
                         we're looking for is painted
                         yellow. Does this look like a
                         yellow hearse to you, asshole?
          
          Long pause. Barbara realizes that she might have gone too
          far. He starts to write a ticket.
          
                                   BARBARA (CONT'D)
                         Is that a ticket? Are you
                         writing me a ticket?
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         Yes it is, ma'am. And yes I am.
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
          Phil indicates an area just off the road.
          
                                                                   94.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                         Cap Rock. This is perfect.
                         Really peaceful...
          
          Larry pulls the hearse over near the rock. They all sit
          there for a moment. Phil and Larry look at each other.
          
          EXT. DESERT. NIGHT
          
          Phil opens the back of the hearse and slides the casket out
          of the car. He notices that Larry has made no move to
          help. Susie sits on a rock and watches.
          
                                   PHIL
                         You wanna give me a hand here?
          Larry walks over and grabs the other end of the casket.
          They walk it away from the car and lay it down. As they
          lower it, the coffin slips out of Phil's hands and bangs
          down in the sand.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Sorry, Gram.
          
          They stand and stare at the casket.      Susie walks over with
          the guitar and takes Phil's hand.
          
                                     LARRY
                         What now?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Now we... do it.
          
          He gets the gasoline can from the car and stands over the
          casket.
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Take the top off.
          
                                     LARRY
                         Why?
          
                                   PHIL
                         Flesh burns easier than wood.
          
                                   LARRY
                         I can't believe you just said
                         that. I'm not taking the top
                         off.
          
          He walks off. Phil puts the can down and removes the top
          of the casket. He peers inside.
          
                                                                    95.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   PHIL
                             (to Gram)
                         Hey, man. Looking a little
                         peaky...
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Some decorum would be nice.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Right.
          
          He pours some gasoline into the casket.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         Do you think that's enough?
          Against his better judgment, Larry walks over and peers
          inside.
          
                                   LARRY
                         Well, I don't know.   Maybe a
                         little more.
          
          Phil pours a little more fuel in.       He looks over at Susie.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Enough?
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I'm not having a conversation
                         with you about how much gasoline
                         you need to burn a body.
          
          She backs off.
                                   LARRY
                         I think that'll do it.
          
          Phil stops pouring and shakes the can.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Only a little left.
          
          He pours the rest of the can into the casket. Susie walks
          over to stand next to Phil. He looks down at Gram.
          
                                   PHIL (CONT'D)
                         I'm sorry I wasn't there for you
                         when it mattered, but I was there
                         before, and I've been there ever
                         since. Gram, good luck to you,
                         wherever you are.
          
          They all stare at the casket. Phil wipes a tear away and
          tucks a can of beer into the coffin.
          
                                                               96.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     That's my last one, man.
          
          He rests Gram's guitar against the casket, takes big puffs
          on his cigar to get the flame up, then tosses it into the
          coffin. They wait. Nothing happens. Phil edges nearer
          and looks inside. Then the coffin explodes into flames.
          All three of them are thrown backwards by the blast.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT
          
          The traffic cop is finishing the ticket when there is a
          ball of flame in the distance. Barbara just scowls.
          
                                 TRAFFIC COP
                     Jesus!    What the hell's that?
                               BARBARA
                     That'll be Gram Parsons, on fire.
          
                               TRAFFIC COP
                     Get in the car, ma'am.   Now.
          
          EXT. DESERT. NIGHT
          
          Phil, Larry and Susie pick themselves up. They stare at
          the pyre. Phil is close to tears, and Susie puts her arm
          around him. For a moment, Phil thinks he sees the flames
          morph into the shape of an angel over the burning coffin.
          The image disappears when Larry speaks.
          
                               LARRY
                     Maybe too much fuel.
          
                               PHIL
                     Nah, I just didn't factor in the
                     booze inside of him. Gram
                     always...
          
          He breaks off as a flashing police light appears in the
          darkness, followed by a siren.
          
                               PHIL (CONT'D)
                     I think our work here is done.
          
          Larry and Susie run to the car. Phil lingers a moment,
          looking down at the flames. Then he follows the others.
          
          INT. HEARSE. NIGHT
          
          Phil jumps into the car.
          
                                 PHIL
                     Go!
          
                                                                    97.
          CON TINUE D:
          
          The huge car screeches off into the darkness, with no
          lights.
          
          INT. CAR. NIGHT
          
          Stanley watches as the hearse flies past him. He glances
          back at the fire, smiles sadly, and bows his head for a
          moment. Then he turns on the ignition and drives away into
          the darkness.
          
          EXT. DESERT. NIGHT
          
          The police car arrives at the scene.       Barbara and the cop
          get out. He peers into the flames.
          
                                    TRAFFIC COP
                         How do you know it's your
                         boyfriend?
          
                                   BARBARA
                             (sarcastically)
                         I recognize that birthmark on his
                         shoulder. Look, can I make an
                         observation?
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         Be my guest.
          
                                   BARBARA
                         We're in the desert. It is dark.
                         If you want to catch someone in
                         the dark, it's best not to turn
                         on big flashing lights and make a
                         loud noise with a siren.
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         Do you want to know what I think,
                         ma'am?
          
                                   BARBARA
                         No. But I'm really, really keen
                         to find out.
          
          The traffic cop stares into the fire.
          
                                   TRAFFIC COP
                         I think it was suicide. He just
                         wanted to get away from you.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAWN
          
          Phil is fast asleep and snoring in Bernice's passenger
          seat. He wakes slowly and shields his eyes from the bright
          sunshine that pours through the windscreen. He pulls a
          flask out of the glove compartment and takes a long gargle,
          spitting the result out of the window.
          
                                                               98.
          CON TINUE D:
          Then he glances in the rear view mirror and sees the man
          sitting in the casket bay.
          
                                   GRAM
                         Sure is hot.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Hello, Gram.
          
                                     GRAM
                         Phil.
          
          Gram pulls himself along the bay and onto the back seat.
          He then climbs into the front, settles next to Phil and
          holds his hand out for the flask.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Do you think you should?
          
                                   GRAM
                         Not gonna hurt me now, is it?
          
          He takes a drink and looks around.
          
                                   GRAM (CONT'D)
                         Nice wheels. Very stylish.
          
                                   PHIL
                         They're very handy for
                         transporting dead people around.
                         Nothing better.
          
                                   GRAM
                         I am dead, then?
          
                                   PHIL
                         You're more than dead, Gram. You
                         and the box are down to bones and
                         brass.
          
                                     GRAM
                         Oh, well.    Here's mud in your
                         eye.
          
          He takes another drink and hands the flask back to Phil.
          
                                   PHIL
                         What can I do for you, Gram?
          
                                   GRAM
                         You assume I want something.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Well, you're here. And seeing as
                         I just burned you to a cinder,
                         you shouldn't be.
                                   (MOR E)
          
                                                               99.
          CON TINUE D: (2)
                               PHI L (CONT'D)
                     So I'm guessing you've got some
                     kind of reason.
          
                               GRAM
                     Well, okay. I just wanted to say
                     thanks.
          
                                  PHIL
                     What for?
          
                               GRAM
                     Doing the thing that we agreed,
                     keeping your word, keeping them
                     all away...
          
                               PHIL
                     Well, that's okay, Gram.    But I
                     don't need thanking.
          
                                  GRAM
                     You don't?
          
                               PHIL
                     I'm just taking care of business.
                     That's what you paid me for -
                     that's what I do.
          
          Gram grins.
          
                               GRAM
                     You shooting for a raise?
          
                               PHIL
                     Actually, I just quit.
          
          Gram holds his hand out for the bottle and takes a drink.
                               GRAM
                     Well, I s'pose I should be
                     getting along.
          
                               PHIL
                     Goodbye, Gram. I'm glad it all
                     worked out.
          
                                  GRAM
                     What?
          
                               PHIL
                     I said I'm glad it all worked
                     out.
          
          And Gram is now Larry, peering down at Phil.
          
                               LARRY
                     All what worked out?
          
                                                               100.
          CON TINUE D: (3)
          
          Phil sits bolt upright and looks around the car.   Larry and
          Susie stare back at him.
          
                               PHIL
                     Doesn't matter. Can we go now?
                     I'm getting sick of sand.
          
          EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY
          
          We hear Gram's: 'Return Of The Grievous Angel' or some
          similar music.
          
          We follow Bernice as she drives through the desert, and
          into Los Angeles. We follow her through the city streets,
          and we stay with her as she parks.
          Fade down music.
          
          INT. HEARSE. DAY
          
          Phil turns off the ignition and sits back in his seat.   He
          and Larry look at each other.
          
                               LARRY
                     Well, we did it.    We saved a
                     soul.
          
          He leans across to hug Phil, who looks awkward and pats him
          on the shoulder instead.
          
                               PHIL
                     Singed my damn mustache, that's
                     for sure.
          
          Phil pulls a cigar out of his pocket and lights it. The
          handcuff dangles from his wrist and bangs against the dash.
          He stares at the match as it burns.
          
                               LARRY
                     Well, shall we?
          
          Phil blows the match out.
          
                                 PHIL
                     Yeah.    Let's roll, hippie.
          
          They all get out of the car.
          
          EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET. DAY
          
          Phil turns to Susie.
          
                               PHIL
                     Where d'you think you might be
                     when I'm done?
          
                                                              101.
          CON TINUE D:
          
                                   SUSIE
                         I'll be waiting.
          
                                   PHIL
                         Yeah, but where?
          
          There is a small moment of tension, before Phil grins at
          her. They kiss.
          
                                   SUSIE
                         Get out of here.   Finish it.
          
          Phil pats Bernice's battered wing as he walks away and over
          to where Larry is waiting. They cross the road and walk
          into a building through heavy wooden doors. Pull back to
          reveal a sign: 'Los Angeles Police Department'.
          FADE UP ON SUPER: Phil Kaufman and Larry Osterberg
          appeared in West L.A. Municipal Court on November 5, 1973 -
          Gram Parsons's 27th birthday. Since a corpse has no
          intrinsic value, the two were charged with misdemeanor
          theft for stealing the coffin and given a token punishment:
          $708 in damages for the coffin, and a $300 fine for each of
          the bodysnatchers.