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Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House Movie Script

Writer(s) : Melvin Frank, Norman Panama

Genres : Comedy

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                          "MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE"


                                        Written by

                               Melvin Frank and Norman Panama


                                   Based on a novel by

                                       Eric Hodgins



                                                             SHOOTING DRAFT

                

               THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN - STOCK

               FADE IN:

               A very high airplane view of the entire island. Over this, a 
               Voice, authoritative, impressive.

                                     VOICE
                         In any discussion of contemporary 
                         America and how its people live, we 
                         must inevitably start with -- 
                         Manhattan -- New York City, U.S.A!

               NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE - STOCK

                                     VOICE
                         Manhattan -- glistening, modern giant 
                         of concrete and steel reaching to 
                         the heavens and holding in its arms 
                         seven millions!

               NEW YORK CITY - ANOTHER VIEW - STOCK

                                     VOICE
                         Seven millions -- happy beneficiaries 
                         of the advantages and comforts this 
                         gracious metropolis has to offer...

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         Its fine broad streets and boulevards 
                         facilitate the New Yorker's carefree, 
                         orderly existence.

               BROADWAY AND FORTY-SECOND STREET - STOCK

               An enormous traffic jam, horns honking, etc.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         Kindly, courteous public servants 
                         ever on hand to offer a word of 
                         friendly advice.

               TRAFFIC COP AND CAB DRIVER

               yelling at each other.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         A transportation system second to 
                         none in speed and comfort!

               A SUBWAY DURING RUSH HOUR - STOCK

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         Modern recreational facilities for 
                         its children!

               A CROWDED LOWER EAST SIDE STREET - STOCK

               Kids playing ball in truck-laden street.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         For its adults, the peace and privacy 
                         of a day in the sun!

               CONEY ISLAND ON ITS MOST CROWDED DAY - STOCK

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         It's delightful changes in climate!

               A BLINDING, WINDSWEPT NEW YORK BLIZZARD - STOCK

                                                                   DISSOLVE

                                     VOICE
                              (OVER DISSOLVE)
                         Its great institutions of learning! 
                         Open to all. Free of charge.

               BUILDING EXCAVATION - DAY

               Leaning on a railing looking down into the excavation are a 
               group of sidewalk supervisors. The CAMERA MOVES UP to a HEAD 
               CLOSEUP of one of them. It is Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas), a 
               well-dressed, intelligent, attractive looking young man.

                                     BILL
                         I suppose you're wondering what all 
                         this has to do with Mr. Blandings 
                         and his Dream House? Well, I'll tell 
                         you. Jim Blandings is part of the 
                         fabric of this town. Born and raised 
                         right here, he's as typical a New 
                         Yorker as anyone you'll ever meet. 
                         At least he was.
                              (confidentially)
                         And if you want to know the real 
                         story, I guess I'm your boy. Cole's 
                         my name, Bill Cole. I'm Jim's lawyer 
                         and quote, best friend, unquote. 
                         Jim's one of those bright young men 
                         from Yale. Advertising business, 
                         lovely wife, two fine kids, makes 
                         almost fifteen thousand a year. Want 
                         to know why? Just look up there.

               A BILLBOARD

               A billboard -- against a white background is a large ham. In 
               large letters across the ham is printed:

                                          WHAM!
                                    (A WHALE OF A HAM)

               And below this in quotes:

                         "WHEN YOU'VE GOT THE WHIM, SAY 'WHAM!'"

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         "When you've got the whim, say 
                         'Wham!'"... Jim Blandings wrote that 
                         slogan. Seven magic words that shine 
                         like a beacon light for the American 
                         housewife!
                              (impressive; almost 
                              reverently)
                         "When you've got the whim, say 
                         'Wham!'" Jim Blandings' contribution 
                         to the American Scene.

               EXT. A LARGE NEW YORK APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY

               As CAMERA MOVES UP it and TOWARD a window:

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         For fourteen years Jim and Muriel 
                         had been living in their apartment 
                         over on East Seventy-fourth Street. 
                         It was just another of those wonderful 
                         crisp September mornings and the 
                         Blandings were still asleep. Just 
                         like millions of other people in 
                         good old Manhattan -- New York City -- 
                         U.S.A.

               The CAMERA GOES THROUGH the window and INTO:

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BEDROOM - DAY

               Jim (Cary Grant) and Muriel (Myrna Loy) Blandings are asleep 
               in twin beds.

               The room, not large to begin with, gives us the impression 
               of being cluttered up and overcrowded because the beds, 
               oversized chest of drawers, dressing table and chaise lounge 
               take up an inordinate amount of space.

               SOUND of an alarm clock going off. Jim awakens, yawns himself 
               into hazy consciousness, gropes about on the night table for 
               the clock; it isn't there. He slips out of bed, and rubbing 
               his eyes, blindly moves toward the dresser. The circuitous 
               path, which he accomplishes with sleepy dexterity, entails 
               going around the chaise lounge, just missing the ominously 
               pointed edge of Muriel's dressing table, deftly stepping 
               over the low dressing table chair and finally reaching the 
               chest of drawers upon which is the clock. He turns off the 
               alarm and yawningly starts back over the same path. We get 
               the feeling that Jim makes this sleepy excursion every waking 
               morning of his life.

               Back at his bed, Jim sits down, and, yawning loudly, gropes 
               with his feet for his slippers. Before he can find them, 
               however, he begins to doze off and slowly tilts back toward 
               the pillow, pulling the covers over him. In a moment he is 
               sound asleep. Muriel's arm automatically stretches out and 
               shakes Jim into consciousness. As he painfully reawakens and 
               starts to rise, Muriel's arm disappears.

               We get the impression that this, too, is a regular part of 
               the Blandings' daily routine.

               Jim locates his slippers, reaches around for his bathrobe, 
               can't find it, stumbles his way over to the closet, opens 
               the door.

               INT. THE CLOSET

               This is a fairly good-sized closet but it was never intended 
               to be shared by two people, particularly not Jim and Muriel 
               Blandings. Assuming that they had started out on even terms, 
               it is now obviously Muriel, three-to-one. Her dresses, gowns, 
               slips, seem to obscure his occasional pair of slacks, suit 
               or sports coat. Her shoes neatly line the floor and the shelf 
               above is loaded to the ceiling with her hat boxes, in an 
               orderly but somewhat precarious state of balance.

               Groping blindly for a robe, Jim feels around and pulls one 
               out. As he slips into the arms, we see it's much too small 
               for him, obviously Muriel's. In disgust he attempts to put 
               it back. Unable to find a hook he finally jams it in between 
               two silk dresses which fall to the floor. As he bends down 
               and gropes for the dresses, he discovers his robe crumpled 
               under them on the floor. He drags the robe out and dons it, 
               leaving the dresses where they fell. With a guilty look at 
               Muriel he closes the closet door and starts out of the bedroom 
               and into the narrow hall.

               INT. THE HALL

               A narrow corridor extending the length of the apartment. Off 
               it are doors leading to the bathroom, the childrens' room 
               and the foyer.

               Jim shuffles down the hall. He stops at the closed bathroom 
               door, listens, hears the shower, knocks.

                                     BETSY'S VOICE
                         Okay, dad.

                                     JIM
                         Mm.

               Jim continues down the hall, stops at the closed door of the 
               children's room, knocks. No sound. He opens the door and 
               enters.

               INT. CHILDREN'S BEDROOM

               A small room, crowded and cluttered up with the accoutrements 
               of adolescence. Joan, an eleven-year-old is asleep in one of 
               the twin beds. Jim automatically pulls the covers clear off 
               Joan's bed. She awakens, cocks an eye at him.

                                     JOAN
                         Okay, dad.

                                     JIM
                         Mm.

               As she sleepily stretches and prepares to rise, Jim exits 
               into the hall.

               INT. THE HALL

               CAMERA FOLLOWS Jim through the foyer into the living room, 
               on through the very small combination dining and breakfast 
               nook and into the compact but tiny kitchen. Gussie, the 
               colored cook, greets him heartily.

                                     GUSSIE
                         'Morning, Mr. Blandings!

                                     JIM
                              (a feeble attempt at 
                              a smile)
                         Mm.

               Gussie takes a glass of hot water, squeezes in a little lemon, 
               stirs and hands it to Jim who gulps it down, makes a slight 
               face and pats his stomach. Gussie hands Jim a cup of black 
               coffee and he starts back toward the bedroom.

               INT. THE HALL

               Gingerly balancing the cup and saucer, Jim approaches the 
               door to the children's room. With split-second timing, he 
               pauses as the door flies open and Joan, in her bathrobe, 
               towel in hand, rushes out and past him down the hall. She 
               disappears into the bathroom. Jim carefully proceeds down 
               the hall and, as he reaches the bathroom, deftly steps to 
               the left as the door bursts open and Betsy flies by on the 
               way back to her bedroom. All this is done with a timing and 
               shifting of hips of which Knute Rockne might have been proud. 
               Jim continues down the hall, enters the bedroom.

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BEDROOM

               Muriel is still asleep as Jim enters, walks over, nudges 
               her.

                                     JIM
                         Muriel.

                                     MURIEL
                         Mm?

                                     JIM
                         Coffee.

               Muriel awakens, sniffs the fresh coffee, smiles, sits up, 
               takes the cup.

                                     MURIEL
                         Thank you, dear.

               They kiss briefly. Muriel starts to sip the coffee as Jim 
               goes to his chest of drawers. It consists of several rows of 
               small drawers above and large drawers below. Jim ruffles 
               through a couple of small drawers, pulls out a suit of 
               underwear, continues noisily and with some annoyance to look 
               through the other drawers.

                                     MURIEL
                         Looking for something, dear?

                                     JIM
                              (briefly)
                         My socks.

                                     MURIEL
                         Why don't you look in your sock 
                         drawer?

                                     JIM
                              (with restraint)
                         That's where I found my underwear.

                                     MURIEL
                         Oh.
                              (brightly)
                         Well, try your underwear drawer.

                                     JIM
                         I'm in my underwear drawer.

               He reaches in and holds up one of Muriel's silk slips.

                                     MURIEL
                              (sipping coffee)
                         Well, they must be somewhere.
                              (attempt at morning 
                              cheeriness)
                         Socks just don't get up and walk 
                         away by themselves.

                                     JIM
                              (strained patience)
                         Muriel, I thought the top two-and-a-
                         half drawers were to be mine! I wish 
                         you'd tell Gussie --

                                     MURIEL
                         The closet! That's where they are. 
                         We put them in the closet.

                                     JIM
                         Socks? In the closet?

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, there didn't seem to be any 
                         room in the drawers...

                                     JIM
                         And there's so much of it in the 
                         closet!

                                     MURIEL
                         ...so Gussie and I decided that from 
                         now on we'll keep them in a basket 
                         on the shelf.

                                     JIM
                         Well, thanks a lot!

               He strides angrily to the closet, opens the door, reaches up 
               for the basket and pulls it off the shelf. As he does so, 
               all the hat boxes come tumbling down knocking the basket 
               from his hand, the socks spilling on the floor. About to 
               explode, he looks at Muriel.

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim, I do wish you'd make an effort 
                         to be a little less clumsy.

                                     JIM
                              (barely containing 
                              himself)
                         I'll try, dear.

               Jim looks at her barely containing himself, and then puts 
               the hats back in the boxes, jams them back on the shelf where 
               they toter precariously. With bated breath he gingerly closes 
               the closet door. Pause. Silence. He picks up a pair of socks 
               and walks cautiously toward the hall door. Suddenly there is 
               a rumble and crash from inside the closet. Jim exchanges a 
               look with Muriel, is about to say something, changes his 
               mind, exits into the hall. Muriel looks at the closet, sighs, 
               takes another sip of coffee.

               INT. THE HALL

               Jim opens the door of the bathroom. There is a scream. He 
               quickly closes the door, scowling with annoyance. A moment 
               later the door opens and Joan emerges, wrapping her robe 
               around her.

                                     JOAN
                              (sharply)
                         Father, just one morning I wish you'd 
                         knock!

                                     JIM
                              (to her back as she 
                              walks away)
                         'Morning, dear.

               Joan disappears into her room as Jim enters the bathroom.

               INT. THE BATHROOM

               Very small with a stall shower. Jim takes off his bathrobe, 
               yawns, gets on the scale, looks at the dial, shakes his head. 
               He takes a deep breath, draws in his stomach, looks down, 
               scowls, shrugs, gets off, moves to the mirror. He examines 
               the thinness of his hair, the condition of his tongue, etc. 
               Taking his toothbrush he looks down at the tube he is about 
               to use, frowns.

               WHAT HE SEES - THE TOOTHPASTE TUBE

               WHAT HE SEES - the toothpaste tube. It has been squeezed in 
               the middle, one of Blandings' pet peeves.

               CLOSE SHOT - JIM METICULOUSLY SMOOTHES OUT THE TUBE

               CLOSE SHOT - Jim meticulously smoothes out the tube, rolls 
               up the used portion from the bottom. Then placing a small 
               amount on his brush, he caps the tube, and starts vigorously 
               to brush his teeth. As he does so, he attempts with his free 
               hand, to put the tube back in the medicine cabinet which he 
               opens.

               CLOSE SHOT - THE MEDICINE CABINET

               CLOSE SHOT - the medicine cabinet, loaded to the hilt with 
               medical accumulation of fourteen years of family life.

               CLOSE SHOT - JIM

               CLOSE SHOT - Jim. As he pushes the tube into the bulging top 
               shelf, a bottle of iodine falls out. Jim makes a desperate 
               one-handed catch, still brushing his teeth. As he pushes the 
               iodine into the second shelf, a small bottle of pills pops 
               out. Jim catches it, pushes it back into the cabinet. A bottle 
               of cough medicine falls out. He catches it, tries to put it 
               back, finds it won't fit. He looks at the bottle, sniffs it, 
               contemplates its value, throws it in the wastebasket. He 
               finishes washing his mouth, admires his teeth, disrobes and 
               steps into the shower, putting on his shower cap. He reacts, 
               scowls, takes off the cap and turns it upside down, a full 
               cup of water falling out. He reaches out for a towel, dries 
               the inside of the cap, carefully puts it back on his now wet 
               hair. Then he turns the water on and at the first warm spray 
               Jim Blandings' life takes a sharp turn for the better. He 
               starts to sing, a robust bathroom baritone version of "Home 
               On The Range."

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               JIM

               Jim - He stands in front of the washstand lathering his face. 
               Over scene we hear Muriel's voice from the shower. She is 
               singing a lusty chorus of "Home On The Range." Jim picks up 
               his razor and turns to the mirror. He reacts with annoyance, 
               as he discovers it is covered with steam. With weary 
               resignation he takes a towel and starts to rub off the mirror. 
               As he clears one section another clouds up. By the time he 
               gets it all reasonably clear he finds that his lather needs 
               freshening. He grimly relathers his face only to find that 
               the mirror is again clouded up. As he turns with exasperation 
               toward the shower we see Muriel turn off the water, reach 
               for a towel, start to dry herself.

               The mirror cleared off, Jim relathers, starts to shave. During 
               this, Muriel, having dried herself and donned her robe, comes 
               into scene.

                                     MURIEL
                              (reaching for 
                              toothbrush)
                         Excuse...

               She takes her toothbrush and then opens the cabinet to get 
               the paste. Jim, automatically following the mirror, has to 
               squeeze around in a desperately contorted position as he 
               continues shaving.

               CLOSE SHOT - MURIEL

               CLOSE SHOT - Muriel. She takes the tube from the cabinet 
               and, squeezing the tube in the middle, applies the paste to 
               her brush.

               JIM AND MURIEL

               Jim and Muriel - Placing the tube on the washstand, Muriel 
               closes the cabinet. Jim, still shaving, moves back to his 
               original position as he follows the mirror.

                                     JIM
                         Excuse...

               Muriel nods, steps back, starts to brush her teeth. They 
               both hum "Home On The Range". Her mouth full, Muriel taps 
               Jim on the shoulder. Without stopping his shaving, Jim moves 
               to one side as Muriel rinses her mouth. She examines her 
               face in the mirror.

                                     JIM
                              (impatiently)
                         If you don't mind, dear.

               As he steps back in front of the mirror, Muriel continues to 
               look at her face in the glass, over his shoulder. She decides 
               she needs a little skin lotion.

                                     MURIEL
                              (as she steps in front 
                              of him)
                         Sorry.

               She again opens the cabinet. Jim once more follows the mirror 
               around, nicks his face, gives up, stands glaring arms folded. 
               Muriel takes the lotion from the cabinet.

                                     MURIEL
                         Moment, dear.

                                     JIM
                         Take your time. I can spare the blood.

                                     MURIEL
                              (looks up)
                         Oh... cut yourself?

                                     JIM
                         I cut myself every morning. I kind 
                         of look forward to it.

                                     MURIEL
                         Why don't you get an electric razor?

                                     JIM
                              (trying to shave)
                         Don't like them. No close shave.

                                     MURIEL
                         Ridiculous! Bill Cole's been using 
                         one for years.

                                     JIM
                         He doesn't have my beard!

                                     MURIEL
                         That's silly. Bill's beard is just 
                         as tough and coarse and --

                                     JIM
                              (irritably)
                         I'm not interested in discussing the 
                         grain and texture of Bill Cole's 
                         hair follicles before I've had my 
                         orange juice.

                                     MURIEL
                         You don't have to carry on so. I 
                         only said, why don't you get an 
                         electric razor?

                                     JIM
                         Because I prefer the cool, clean 
                         sweep of the tempered steel as it 
                         glides smoothly --

                                     MURIEL
                         Stop writing advertising copy! Hurry 
                         up, dear, you'll be late for 
                         breakfast.

               Muriel exits. Jim sighs, turns back to the mirror and with a 
               few deft strokes finishes shaving. As he reaches for the 
               water faucet, he encounters the tube of toothpaste, squeezed 
               in the middle. Reacting with annoyance, he meticulously 
               smoothes it out and rolls it up from the bottom. He opens 
               the cabinet and gingerly places the tube on the top shelf. 
               The iodine bottle pops out. He grimly catches it, studies 
               his problem, has a solution. With his right hand he starts 
               slowly to close the mirror door. Just before it closes, he 
               slips the bottle into the cabinet with his left hand, quickly 
               slamming the mirror door, trapping the bottle. He reacts 
               masterfully at his triumph, picks up his robe and starts for 
               the door. As he reaches it, there is the SOUND of the cabinet 
               opening and a crash as the bottle obviously hits the 
               washstand. As Jim winces,

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BREAKFAST NOOK - DAY

               Narrow and small. The four Blandings are at breakfast, Jim 
               and Muriel each reading his section of the morning paper, 
               Betsy pasting a clipping in her notebook, Joan engrossed in 
               a magazine of popular science. As we come in, Gussie, taking 
               off the orange juice, is squeezing by Jim who accordingly 
               and automatically ducks his head as she passes. Jim 
               uncomfortably turns the newspaper to another page, folds it, 
               reacts with pained but controlled exasperation.

                                     JIM
                         ...Who did this?

               INSERT NEWSPAPER, a section of which has been cut out.

               BACK TO SCENE.

                                     BETSY
                              (very matter-of-factly)
                         I did.

               She holds out her hand to Joan, who, automatically, and 
               without looking up hands her the salt.

                                     JIM
                         I have repeatedly told you --
                              (ducking as Gussie 
                              comes back with coffee)
                         -- don't cut up the morning paper 
                         until I've had a chance to look at 
                         it!

                                     BETSY
                         I'm sorry, father. It's necessary 
                         research.

               She hands the salt back to Joan who automatically passes it 
               to Muriel.

                                     JIM
                              (with some sarcasm)
                         I suppose this is another of Miss 
                         Stellwagon's so-called Progressive 
                         Projects?

                                     MURIEL
                              (using salt and handing 
                              it to Jim)
                         Now dear, there just isn't any point 
                         in sending your children to an 
                         expensive school if you're going to 
                         undermine the teacher's authority in 
                         your own dining room.

                                     JIM
                         I'm not undermining anything. I happen 
                         to be in the advertising business 
                         and keeping abreast of the times is 
                         important to me.

                                     MURIEL
                         And so is your children's education.

                                     JIM
                         That's not the point.

                                     MURIEL
                         It certainly is.

                                     JIM
                         It certainly is not!

                                     JOAN
                              (without looking up 
                              from her magazine)
                         Bicker, bicker, bicker.

                                     JIM
                         You eat your cornflakes!

               Jim ducks as Gussie passes back on her way to the kitchen.

                                     MURIEL
                              (handing Joan toast)
                         Joan, every time your father and I 
                         have a lively discussion we aren't 
                         necessarily bickering.
                              (to Betsy; solicitously)
                         What is it, dear, another English 
                         composition?

                                     BETSY
                              (taking toast from 
                              Joan)
                         Miss Stellwagon has assigned each of 
                         us to take a want ad and write a 
                         human interest theme about it.
                              (to Jim; passing toast 
                              to him)
                         I found one typical of the 
                         disintegration of our present society.

                                     JIM
                              (taking toast, not 
                              looking up from his 
                              paper)
                         I wasn't aware of the fact that our 
                         society was disintegrating.

                                     BETSY
                         I didn't expect you to be, father. 
                         Miss Stellwagon says that middle-
                         class people like us are all too 
                         prone to overlook the pressures and 
                         tensions which befall the less 
                         fortunate members of our community.

               Jim puts down the paper, turns to Muriel.

                                     JIM
                              (with great restraint)
                         Muriel, I know it's asking a lot, 
                         but just one morning I would like to 
                         sit down and have breakfast without 
                         social significance!

               Picks up his paper.

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim, you really might take a little 
                         more interest in your children's 
                         education.

                                     JOAN
                              (without looking up)
                         You can't squeeze blood from a turnip.

               Jim reacts with painful resignation, folds his arms, puts 
               down the paper, turns slowly to Betsy.

                                     JIM
                         All right. All right. I'll listen.

                                     BETSY
                              (picking up her 
                              scrapbook)
                         It's just twenty-four words. But in 
                         simple eloquence it mirrors a minor 
                         tragedy of our times.

                                     JIM
                              (quietly)
                         Well?...

                                     BETSY
                              (reading)
                         "Forced to sell. Farm dwelling, oak 
                         grove, apple orchard, trout stream, 
                         hay fields, four barns, seclusion, 
                         superb view, original beams, paved 
                         highway, acreage...
                              (with emotion)
                         Will sacrifice..."

               Pause.

                                     JIM
                         Go on.

                                     BETSY
                              (simply)
                         That's all.

                                     JIM
                         That's all?!

                                     BETSY
                         You don't see it, do you, father?

                                     JIM
                         No. Fellow wants to sell a house so 
                         he puts an ad in the paper. What did 
                         you expect him to do, take it to the 
                         United Nations!

                                     MURIEL
                         There must be more to it than that.
                              (to Betsy)
                         Isn't there, dear?

                                     BETSY
                         Certainly, mother. What some people 
                         don't see is the whole sordid picture. 
                         A poor, honest farmer, pushed to the 
                         wall by hardship, soil erosion, 
                         mortgages, everybody gobbling, 
                         gobbling, gobbling, until finally, 
                         in desperation, he is "forced to 
                         sell," and stoops to the crass 
                         commercialism of newspaper 
                         advertising.

                                     JIM
                              (muttering)
                         Oh, indeed... crass commercialism... 
                         advertising...

                                     JOAN
                              (nose in her magazine)
                         Miss Stellwagon says advertising is 
                         a basically parasitic profession.

                                     JIM
                              (with extreme control)
                         Oh, she does?

                                     JOAN
                         Miss Stellwagon says that advertising 
                         makes people who can't afford it buy 
                         things they don't want with money 
                         they haven't got.

                                     JIM
                              (elaborate sarcasm)
                         Perhaps your Miss Stellwagon is right. 
                         Perhaps I ought to get out of this 
                         "basically parasitic profession," 
                         which at the moment is paying for 
                         her very fancy tuition, those extra 
                         French lessons, her progressive summer 
                         camp and for that matter, the very 
                         braces on your teeth!

                                     MURIEL
                         I wish you wouldn't discuss money in 
                         front of the children.

                                     JIM
                         Why not, they spend enough of it!

                                     JOAN
                         Bicker, bicker, bicker.

               As Jim gives her a look and buries himself in his paper, the 
               downstairs buzzer rings. Gussie enters, squeezes by Jim who 
               automatically ducks, goes to the phone in b.g.

                                     GUSSIE
                         Hello. Who?
                              (calls)
                         Miss Blandings, there's a Mr. 
                         Funkhauser wants to see you.

                                     MURIEL
                         Funkhauser?
                              (remembers)
                         Oh, Mr. Funkhauser!

                                     GUSSIE
                         That's what he says.

               Muriel looks nervously at Jim who is preoccupied, reading 
               his paper. Then she turns back to Gussie.

                                     MURIEL
                         Uh -- better ask him to come up.

                                     GUSSIE
                              (into phone)
                         Says to come up.

               Gussie hangs up, squeezes by Jim, exits into the kitchen. 
               Pause.

                                     MURIEL
                              (tentatively)
                         Oh -- uh -- darling, Mr. Funkhauser's 
                         here.

                                     JIM
                              (looking up)
                         ...Who?

                                     MURIEL
                         You remember, Bunny Funkhauser, that 
                         clever young interior decorator we 
                         met at the Collins' cocktail party?

                                     JIM
                              (distastefully)
                         What's he doing here?

                                     MURIEL
                              (nervously)
                         Well, I imagine he's brought the -- 
                         uh -- estimates.

                                     JIM
                              (blankly)
                         ...Estimates?

                                     MURIEL
                              (rapidly; to conceal 
                              a feeling of guilt)
                         Darling, you know how long we've 
                         said we've got to do something about 
                         this apartment, and, well, he called 
                         last week, and I had him come over, 
                         and he's got some simply wonderful 
                         ideas!

                                     JIM
                              (quietly)
                         There couldn't be two Bunny 
                         Funkhausers, could there?

                                     MURIEL
                         Why, no, dear.

                                     JIM
                         Then this is the same clever young 
                         man who's responsible for that zebra-
                         striped monstrosity in the Collins' 
                         living room?

                                     MURIEL
                         That couch is terribly functional.

                                     JIM
                         Phil Collins told me what he paid 
                         for all that function!
                              (angrily)
                         If you think I'm going to --

               SOUND of doorbell ringing.

                                     MURIEL
                         Darling, please!
                              (changing subject)
                         Children, you'll be late to school. 
                         Run along and --

               The children rise, pick up their school paraphernalia.

                                     JOAN
                         Miss Stellwagon says that 
                         functionalism in modern furniture --

                                     MURIEL
                         Never mind, dear.

               She hustles Betsy and Joan toward the foyer as Jim rises.

               INT. FOYER

               Gussie has just admitted Mr. Funkhauser. He is a tall, 
               slender, effete-looking, young man. He is loaded down with 
               sketches, samples of wallpaper, bolts of material. Betsy and 
               Joan brush by him on their way out.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Good morning.

                                     THE GIRLS
                              (with a sharp 
                              appraising look)
                         Hi.

               As they rush out and the door closes, Jim and Muriel enter 
               scene.

                                     MURIEL
                         Good morning, Mr. Funkhauser. You 
                         remember Mr. Blandings?

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         But of course.

               He sweeps by them into the living room, taking over 
               completely.

               INT. LIVING ROOM

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         You'll have to pardon my bursting in 
                         at this dreary hour --
                              (puts a sketch on a 
                              chair)
                         -- practically the middle of the 
                         night --
                              (puts wallpaper against 
                              mantel)
                         -- but I did so want to catch you 
                         in. I've been at it hammer and tongs 
                         all week and I'm just a mess --
                              (drapes bolt of chintz 
                              over high-backed 
                              chair)
                         -- but then Muriel and I thought we 
                         ought to talk it over with you before 
                         we take the plunge...

               Funkhauser looks briefly for a high object over which to 
               display his last bolt of chintz, finds none, settles for 
               Jim's shoulder over which he drapes the cloth, the folds 
               flowing down in front. As Jim reacts:

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                              (smoothing out folds 
                              on the chintz)
                         After all, it's your home, too, and 
                         it should reflect you. You know, 
                         Man's Castle, all that sort of thing.

               Jim looks down at the chintz.

                                     JIM
                              (ominously)
                         Muriel!

                                     MURIEL
                              (quickly)
                         Jim, just wait till you hear. He's 
                         got some wonderful ideas for the 
                         foyer.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Oh, that's out! All out! Changed the 
                         whole thing! I just couldn't live 
                         with it! I said to myself, "Bunny, 
                         what are the Blandings? How shall we 
                         do them?" And the answer was perfectly 
                         obvious. Very American, very grass 
                         roots, very blueberry pie -- that 
                         sort of thing.

                                     JIM
                              (dark look at Muriel)
                         Mm.

               Funkhauser fingers the material of a drape, disdainfully 
               removes his hand.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Now first, let's dig into this living 
                         room of yours, it's really a dreary.

                                     MURIEL
                              (quickly; to Jim)
                         We want this room to be very gay, 
                         dear. Something in bright reds, 
                         yellows and greens.

                                     JIM
                              (appalled)
                         Red, yellow and green?!

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Oh, come, Mr. Blandings, let's not 
                         run away from color.

                                     JIM
                         Not running away --
                              (a lame joke)
                         -- just backing off a little.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Uh -- yes.
                              (brightly)
                         Now as I see our room, it's definitely 
                         Colonial. You know, cobbler's bench, 
                         breakfront, pie cooler, student lamp, 
                         hooked rug. But everything in good 
                         taste. It must not jump out at you 
                         and scream: "Look -- see how antique 
                         I am!"

                                     JIM
                         Heaven forbid.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Of course, these things take 
                         imagination. You've simply got to be 
                         able to visualize.

                                     JIM
                              (politely, removing 
                              chintz)
                         If you'll forgive me, Mr. Funkhauser, 
                         what I'd like to visualize -- at 
                         this dreary hour -- is how much is 
                         this all going to cost?

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Well, really, I hesitate to say. 
                         After all --
                              (indicates)
                         -- by the time this wall is out we 
                         may find --

                                     JIM
                              (reacting)
                         This wall is -- what?

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Out. Source of light is from the 
                         east. Obviously if our room is to 
                         have any function at all --

                                     JIM
                         You're going to tear out the wall?!

                                     MURIEL
                         Dear, it's a wonderful notion.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Visualize three feet of leaded panes, 
                         the rest --

                                     JIM
                         Can you give me a figure?

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Well! Costs aren't what they used to 
                         be, you know, and --

                                     JIM
                         Just a figure.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Materials are impossible, labor has 
                         just run wild --

                                     JIM
                         Just an overall figure.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Well!... I shouldn't like to be tied 
                         down. But I suppose if you must have 
                         a figure, I'd say -- mm --
                              (lightly)
                         -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 
                         seven.

                                     JIM
                         Mm... Seven.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                              (nodding)
                         Mm.

                                     JIM
                         That would be seven... thousand?

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Mm.

               Jim looks at Muriel, considers.

                                     JIM
                              (soberly)
                         We-ll. That seems fair.
                              (gathering up materials)
                         After all, we're not running away 
                         from color --
                              (picks up wallpaper)
                         -- and we are tearing out walls --
                              (picks up sketches)
                         Mr. Funkhauser, do you have a card?

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim, we haven't even discussed the 
                         rest of the house.

                                     JIM
                         We will, dear.
                              (leads the whole batch 
                              on Funkhauser)

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                              (huffy)
                         Well, really, I --

                                     JIM
                              (deftly steering him 
                              toward the door)
                         We'll talk it all out and then we'll 
                         get in touch with Bunny.

               CAMERA TRUCKS with them to the door.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         Well, really, I mean, I was under 
                         the impression we'd come to some 
                         decision today.

                                     JIM
                         I'm sure we will.

                                     FUNKHAUSER
                         We-ll!

                                     JIM
                         So nice of you to come.
                              (puts Funkhauser's 
                              hat on his head)
                         Good day.

               And Funkhauser is gone. Jim closes the door, turns ominously.

                                     MURIEL
                              (apprehensively)
                         Now darling, you -- you just don't 
                         go to a man like Funkhauser and ask 
                         how much it's going to cost before 
                         you even know what he's going to do!

                                     JIM
                         No, that would be too logical! Seven 
                         thousand dollars! Blueberry pie! I 
                         wouldn't put seventy-five cents into 
                         this broken-down rat trap!

                                     MURIEL
                              (sentimentally)
                         It's our home, Jim. Betsy was 
                         practically born in this apartment.

                                     JIM
                         That does not make it a national 
                         shrine!
                              (vehemently)
                         Seven thousand dollars and not one 
                         word about closets.

                                     MURIEL
                         Closets! You wouldn't even let him 
                         get to the bathroom!

                                     JIM
                         I haven't got that kind of money!

                                     MURIEL
                         The way you talk, Jim Blandings, 
                         you'd think I was some kind of 
                         congenital idiot!

                                     JIM
                         Sometimes I'm beginning to wonder!

                                     MURIEL
                              (furious)
                         You can just get out of here!

                                     JIM
                         That's not a bad idea!

               He angrily jerks open the hall closet door, pulls his hat 
               down from the shelf, several hat boxes, some ski boots and a 
               tennis racket tumbling down on his head. Jim jams his hat 
               onto his head, takes a deep breath and storms out, slamming 
               the door. Muriel walks over to the closet, is about to bend 
               down and pick up a hatbox when all of her pent-up emotions 
               explode. She kicks the hat box into the closet, slams the 
               door, starts to cry.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. RADIO CITY - ESTABLISHING SHOT - (STOCK)

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE OF JIM'S OFFICE - DAY

               Exiting from the elevator, Jim enters a door marked:

                                    DASCOMB AND BANTON
                                       ADVERTISING

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. JIM'S OFFICE - DAY

               On the wall are various framed copies of Jim's handiwork. 
               Most prominent are advertisements for a meat product called 
               "Wham!" "A Whale of a Ham!" There is ample evidence of the 
               fact that Jim's most successful slogan is: "When you've got 
               the Whim - say 'Wham!'"

               Jim enters, goes to his desk, sits down, still emotionally 
               upset. He glances at a photograph of Muriel, looks guiltily 
               away, then back.

                                     JIM
                              (to photograph)
                         Sorry.

               His secretary enters.

                                     MARY
                         Good morning, Mr. Blandings.

                                     JIM
                              (briefly)
                         'Morning.

                                     MARY
                         You wanted to see the color copy 
                         from this month's House and Stream.

               She hands him a magazine. He looks at it perfunctorily, is 
               about to hand it back when his eye is caught by an ad on the 
               back cover.

               INSERT THE BACK COVER - A COMMUNITY AND EXTOLLING LIFE IN 
               THE COUNTRY

               INSERT THE BACK COVER - A community and extolling life in 
               the country, sponsored by a group of realtors, local chamber 
               of commerce etc. Over a pastoral scene of lovely little houses 
               checkering a rolling landscape are the words:

               LIVE IN THE COUNTRY COME TO PEACEFUL CONNECTICUT TRADE CITY 
               SOOT FOR SYLVAN CHARM

               In smaller type:

               CHOOSE YOUR OWN COMMUTING TIME HOUSES OLD AND NEW... ACREAGE

               Over this:

                                     MARY'S VOICE
                         Will that be all?

               JIM - MARY.

               Jim - Mary.

                                     JIM
                              (looking up; blankly)
                         Hm?

                                     MARY
                         Will that be all?

               Without answering he turns back to the ad. The CAMERA COMES 
               IN for a HEAD CLOSEUP as he studies the ad and on the sound 
               track we hear:

                                     BETSY'S VOICE
                         "Forced to sell. Farm dwelling, oak 
                         grove, apple orchard, trout stream, 
                         hay fields, four barns, original 
                         beams --"

               As he looks up thoughtfully:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. JIM'S CAR - DAY - (PROCESS)

               It is a convertible, the top down. Jim is driving through 
               Manhattan.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Well, that's the way it all started. 
                         The ad was enough to convince Jim --

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE CAR - DAY - (PROCESS)

               Jim and Muriel - They are leaving Manhattan, entering the 
               Merritt Parkway. Muriel, wearing an orchid corsage, looks 
               curiously at Jim. His answering gesture says, "Just wait and 
               see." Over this:

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         -- But Muriel was a little tougher. 
                         I guess the corsage did it.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim, Muriel and Mr. Smith - They are driving through a 
               beautiful Connecticut countryside. Mr. Smith, a local real 
               estate dealer, is of that shrewd Yankee breed which 
               specializes in the understatement, underselling school of 
               salesmanship.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         There they are, two little fish from 
                         New York -- out in the deep deep 
                         waters of Connecticut real estate. 
                         That's Smith, the real estate 
                         salesman. Mighty shrewd cookie in a 
                         quiet sort of way. Never thought 
                         he'd get a bite this quick.

               Smith looks speculatively at the Blandings.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Now he's sizing up the catch. "Mm. 
                         Let's see. Convertible -- orchids -- 
                         must be pretty well fixed. Wonder if 
                         they're lookers or buyers?"

               Jim takes a deep breath, looks at Muriel as if to say, "Get 
               that air!" Muriel smiles with approval. Jim pats her hand 
               affectionately. Smith reacts.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         They're buyers.
                              (confidentially)
                         Yes, sir, Smith, looks like you're 
                         finally going to unload the old 
                         Hackett place. Now first thing is 
                         get 'em a little anxious.

               Jim slows down the car as they approach a rather picturesque-
               looking old Connecticut farmhouse. He and Muriel react with 
               approval, look questioningly at Smith. Smith shakes his head, 
               "no," as though to say, "Not nearly good enough for you."

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Th-a-a-t's right!

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim, Muriel, Mr. Smith - They pass another house. Jim and 
               Muriel appraise it with interest, look at Smith.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Uh-uh, not yet.

               Smith firmly shakes his head "no."

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim, Muriel and Mr. Smith - Another house.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Take it easy, Smith, give 'em a little 
                         more line.

               Smith shakes his head "no".

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim, Muriel and Mr. Smith - The car pulls to a stop.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Now we're ready to gaff 'em.

                                     SMITH
                              (proudly)
                         Well, folks, there she is -- the old 
                         Hackett Place.

               The Blandings look off, react with interest and approval.

               WHAT THEY SEE -- BURROWED INTO THE UPWARD SLOPE

               What they see -- Burrowed into the upward slope of the land 
               is the old Hackett farmhouse. If the roof seems to sway a 
               little and the massive stone chimney to tilt a bit and the 
               overall condition of board and beam to be a trifle unsteady, 
               charge it up to age, which will be a hundred and seventy 
               years come next April. However, the overall effect is 
               definitely one of picturesque rustic beauty. In the back are 
               a series of barns and behind them the rolling hills known as 
               Bald Mountain.

                                     SMITH'S VOICE
                         Fifty mighty pretty little acres...

               JIM, MURIEL AND SMITH.

               JIM, MURIEL AND SMITH

                                     MURIEL
                              (involuntarily)
                         It's simply charming!

               Jim's look cautions against her over-enthusiasm.

                                     MURIEL
                         That is, for an old house.

                                     JIM
                              (casually)
                         Of course, you understand, Mr. Smith, 
                         we're just window shopping, so to 
                         speak. Nothing really definite in 
                         mind.

                                     SMITH
                         Perfectly all right.

                                     JIM
                              (studies house; with 
                              assumed indifference)
                         Mm. Not a bad-looking place, but 
                         it's certainly a lot older than 
                         anything we had in mind.

                                     SMITH
                         She's no spring chicken --
                              (sagely)
                         -- but that's just what makes her 
                         such a buy.

               They look at him curiously. Smith's attitude is matter-of-
               fact, almost without enthusiasm.

                                     SMITH
                         This isn't just old timber, or a 
                         virgin stand oak grove other side of 
                         the trout stream, or a couple of 
                         fruit orchards... You're buying a 
                         piece of American history.

                                     JIM
                              (interested in spite 
                              of himself)
                         You don't say! How's that?

                                     SMITH
                         First year she was built, General 
                         Gates stopped right here to water 
                         his horses.

                                     JIM
                              (impressed)
                         Oh! Old General Gates -- Civil War.

                                     SMITH
                         Revolutionary War.

                                     JIM
                         Oh. Oh, that General Gates. Hear 
                         that, honey, General Gates!

                                     MURIEL
                              (with concern)
                         Wouldn't that make the house over a 
                         hundred years old?

                                     SMITH
                              (proudly)
                         Hundred and seventy come next April.

               The Blandings exchange a doubtful look which Smith catches.

                                     SMITH
                         Now I'm not trying to sell you 
                         anything -- all I'm saying is that 
                         one of these days someone with a 
                         little vision and imagination's goin' 
                         to come along, and just steal this 
                         place --
                              (confidentially)
                         and I mean steal it.

               The Blandings, as one, turn to the house with renewed 
               interest. This is not lost on Smith.

                                     SMITH
                         Mr. Blandings, I know you can look 
                         at that house and just about picture 
                         what a couple of coats of paint and 
                         a little pointing up here and there 
                         can do to it.

                                     JIM
                         Mm.

               The CAMERA MOVES TO a HEAD CLOSEUP of Jim as he begins to 
               visualize

               WHAT HE SEES

               WHAT HE SEES - The Old Hackett Place suddenly DISSOLVES into 
               the New Blandings' Place -- Jim's version. It is a lovely 
               country house. Massive. Masculine. Jim, in jodhpurs, tweed 
               coat, pipe and accompanied by two large Irish Setters, is 
               proudly surveying his property. He nonchalantly holds a sleek, 
               beautiful shotgun in the most precisely correct position.

               CLOSE SHOT - JIM'S FACE.

               CLOSE SHOT - Jim's face. His lips don't move but we hear his 
               voice.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         Hm. Wonder what he meant by "steal?"

               THREE SHOT.

               THREE SHOT.

                                     SMITH
                         And I guess I don't have to tell 
                         you, Mrs. Blandings, what a woman's 
                         touch could do to a place like this.

                                     MURIEL
                         Well --

               CAMERA MOVES to a HEAD CLOSEUP of Muriel as she starts to 
               visualize.

               WHAT SHE SEES - THE OLD HACKETT PLACE

               WHAT SHE SEES - The Old Hackett Place DISSOLVES into a dainty, 
               feminine cottage with criss-cross curtains at the window and 
               a lovely little white rail fence enclosing "her garden." 
               Muriel, in delightful gingham, is in the garden, admiring 
               her latest triumph - the largest rose ever grown in Lansdale 
               County.

               CLOSE SHOT - MURIEL'S FACE.

               CLOSE SHOT - Muriel's face. Her face is soft. Her lips don't 
               move but we hear:

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         It is a nice old house. It just needs 
                         someone to love it, that's all.

               THREE SHOT

               THREE SHOT

                                     SMITH
                         Yes, sir, you've certainly got to 
                         visualize.

               CAMERA MOVES to a HEAD CLOSEUP of Smith as he, too, begins 
               to visualize.

               WHAT HE SEES - THE OLD HACKETT PLACE.

               WHAT HE SEES - The Old Hackett Place. Suddenly SUPERIMPOSED 
               over it in large figures is:

                                        $9,000.00

               GROUP SHOT - SMITH LOOKS AT HIM AND MURIEL

               GROUP SHOT - Smith looks at Him and Muriel who are looking 
               at the house with unabashed affection. Jim's arm goes tenderly 
               around Muriel's waist. Smith looks back at the house.

               WHAT HE SEES - THE OLD HACKETT PLACE.

               WHAT HE SEES - The Old Hackett Place. The

                                        $9,000.00

               is quickly replaced by:

                                        $11,000.00

               GROUP SHOT.

               GROUP SHOT.

                                     SMITH
                              (brightly)
                         Shall we go up and take a look at 
                         her?

                                     MURIEL
                              (a little too casual)
                         Well -- I -- suppose as long as we're 
                         here...

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         I guess it doesn't hurt to take a 
                         look.

               As Smith precedes them up the path toward the house:

                                     MURIEL
                              (sotto)
                         It does have possibilities. Do you 
                         think we can get it?

                                     JIM
                              (sotto)
                         Like taking candy from a baby.

                                     MURIEL
                              (same)
                         Now don't lose your head.

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         Shh. Just keep quiet and let me handle 
                         this.

               As they enter the house:

                                     JIM
                         Tell me, Smith, what kind of a price 
                         is the owner asking for this old 
                         place?

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT PLACE - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY

               Jim and Muriel precede Smith as they exit from the house. As 
               Jim and Muriel carry on a sotto voce conversation, Smith 
               looks off with some concern in the direction of the road.

                                     MURIEL
                         It's wonderful, Jim! That master 
                         bedroom with those two closets!

                                     JIM
                         Shh!

                                     MURIEL
                         Funkhauser could do wonders with 
                         this --

                                     JIM
                              (firmly)
                         Funkhauser will have nothing to do 
                         with this house! Shh!

               Smith's face suddenly brightens as a weatherbeaten old car 
               appears, turns up the driveway, stops.

                                     HACKETT
                              (calling)
                         Hi, George!

                                     SMITH
                         Hi, Eph!
                              (to the Blandings; 
                              feigned surprise)
                         What do you know, it's Eph Hackett, 
                         owner of the place!

                                     JIM
                              (pleased)
                         Well, you don't say.

               Eph Hackett gets out of the car, saunters over. Hackett is a 
               middle-aged, rural-looking, taciturn New Englander

                                     SMITH
                         Eph, this is Mr. and Mrs. Blandings -- 
                         from New York City.

                                     HACKETT
                         Howdy.

                                     THE BLANDINGS
                         How do you do?

                                     MURIEL
                         You certainly have a lovely place 
                         here, Mr. Hackett.

                                     HACKETT
                              (briefly)
                         Ye-ap.

                                     JIM
                              (pleasantly)
                         Mr. Hackett, we've just been talking 
                         to Smith here about -- uh -- taking 
                         the old place off your hands.

               Hackett exchanges the briefest of looks with Smith who almost 
               imperceptibly shakes his head "no."

                                     HACKETT
                              (firmly)
                         Ain't for sale!

               As the Blandings react with dismay:

                                     SMITH
                              (smoothly)
                         Why don't you folks just go out in 
                         back and take a look at the orchard?

               He gives them a wink which says, "Just leave it to me." The 
               Blandings exchange a look, turn and walk off.

                                     HACKETT
                         How'm I doin', George?

                                     SMITH
                         Nice timin', Eph. Think we got 
                         something here.

                                     HACKETT
                         They the same people you showed it 
                         to in nineteen-thirty-eight?

                                     SMITH
                         They were lookers -- this is the 
                         real thing.

                                     HACKETT
                         If they got five thousand dollars on 
                         'em. don't let 'em get away.

                                     SMITH
                         They already offered ten.

                                     HACKETT
                              (mildly)
                         Y'don't say... What's my asking price?

                                     SMITH
                         Fifteen...

                                     HACKETT
                         A mite stiff...

                                     SMITH
                         I've got 'em measured.
                              (mellower)
                         They're gonna take the place for --
                              (turns, looks back at 
                              house)
                         eleven thousand.

                                     HACKETT
                         Make it eleven thousand five hundred 
                         fifty.

                                     SMITH
                         Odd kind of figure.

                                     HACKETT
                         Might as well take the commission 
                         out of them instead of me.

               As Smith raises a knowing eyebrow:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BREAKFAST NOOK - DAY

               Muriel and the two children are having breakfast. Jim enters 
               in high spirits. During this scene we repeat the business of 
               passing, etc. used in the previous breakfast scene.

                                     JIM
                              (singing gaily to 
                              "Home On The Range")
                         "Home, home in Connecticut With a 
                         closet to hang up your petticut..."

                                     MURIEL
                              (as he seats himself)
                         ...Jim?

                                     JIM
                              (going on, as he places 
                              his napkin in his 
                              lap)
                         "No hustle or fuss No Fifth Avenue 
                         bus --"

                                     MURIEL
                         Uh -- Jim?

                                     JIM
                         Hm?

                                     MURIEL
                         I was just wondering, dear. Ten 
                         thousand dollars is such an awful 
                         lot to offer --

               Jim looks suspiciously at her, at the children, then back at 
               her.

                                     MURIEL
                         That is, for two people who don't 
                         know anything at all about real 
                         estate, or anything...
                              (Jim's look darkens)
                         I mean, don't you think perhaps we 
                         should have asked someone's 
                         professional advice?

                                     JIM
                         Like... say... a lawyer?

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, Bill knows about these things 
                         and --

                                     JIM
                         Muriel, for once in my life I'm going 
                         to make one small decision, on my 
                         own, without the legalistic 
                         machinations of Mr. Bill Cole.

                                     MURIEL
                         It seems very peculiar that when 
                         your very best friend happens to be 
                         one of the very cleverest young 
                         lawyers in New York City --

                                     JIM
                         Muriel, I don't want to hear another 
                         word about Bill Cole!
                              (turns to children)
                         Well, did your mother tell you about 
                         the house?

                                     BETSY
                         Yes.

                                     JIM
                         Well?

                                     JOAN
                         Miss Stellwagon says the current 
                         craze for modernizing old farmhouses 
                         is a form of totem worship.

                                     JIM
                              (with great restraint)
                         Did it ever occur to you two that 
                         there may be some remote, intangible 
                         subjects upon which your Miss Irma 
                         Stellwagon is not the final authority?

                                     JOAN
                         Why don't we buy a Solaxion house?

                                     JIM
                         ...You know it's just barely 
                         conceivable -- What kind of a house?

                                     JOAN
                         Solaxion. It's built on a mast like 
                         a tent and it revolves with the sun.

                                     JIM
                         Oh, it... revolves... with the sun?

                                     JOAN
                         That's right.

                                     JIM
                         Who lives next door -- Buck Rogers?!

                                     JOAN
                         It's the only practical way to live. 
                         When a new model comes out you trade 
                         the old one in like a used car.

                                     JIM
                              (plaintively)
                         Muriel --

                                     MURIEL
                         Children, you haven't even seen this 
                         house yet.

                                     BETSY
                         Personally, I'd like a Crane Mobile 
                         home. It comes all folded up and all 
                         you do is plug it in for electricity 
                         and water and --

                                     JIM
                         Now just a minute!
                              (to Muriel)
                         What kind of children are these?
                              (to girls)
                         Do you want to spend the rest of 
                         your lives in chromium tents and 
                         portable merry-go-rounds? This house 
                         was built before our country became 
                         a nation. It has dignity. It's -- 
                         it's --

               Gussie enters with a letter.

                                     GUSSIE
                              (handing it to Jim)
                         Special delivery, Mr. Blandings.

                                     JIM
                              (with suppressed; 
                              excitement)
                         From Smith!

               As he eagerly opens it and reads, his face falls.

                                     JIM
                         Mm.

                                     MURIEL
                         Well?

                                     JIM
                              (reading)
                         "I have conveyed your offer of ten 
                         thousand dollars to Mr. Hackett and 
                         am sorry to say he is not interested. 
                         However, I feel..."

                                     MURIEL
                         Oh, dear. Maybe we should have gone 
                         a few dollars higher.

                                     JIM
                              (stoutly)
                         He's bluffing. Simple as that.

                                     JOAN
                         For ten thousand dollars we could 
                         get a Rockford Trailer and a Zamboni 
                         Power Unit. It's kitchen, bathroom 
                         and air conditioning all rolled up 
                         into --

               Jim gives her a weary look, turns to Muriel.

                                     JIM
                              (firmly)
                         Muriel, I'll let him push me to ten 
                         thousand, two hundred, but not a 
                         penny more!

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               JIM'S COST CHART

               INSERT JIM'S COST CHART - Rising diagonally and bisecting 
               the chart is a line graduated in scale starting at $5000 and 
               running up to around $17,000. Resting on the line at exactly 
               $10,000 is a miniature of the old house. Fluttering across 
               the scene from left to right is a letter from Smith on the 
               stationery of the Lansdale Realty Co.

               As we see the letter and hear the voice of Smith, miniature 
               figures of Smith and Hackett appear at the lower side of the 
               house. Their shoulders start pushing the house up the 
               graduated scale. Over this:

                                     SMITH'S VOICE
                         "Dear Mr. Blandings: While your offer 
                         of ten thousand two hundred is still 
                         not acceptable to Ephemus Hackett --
                         "

               A letter on Danton & Bascomb's stationery flutters across 
               the screen from right to left. A miniature figure of Jim 
               appears above the house, desperately pushing it back. Over 
               this, we hear:

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         "Dear Mr. Smith: You may inform Mr. 
                         Hackett that the very highest I could 
                         possibly go --"

               As a succession of letters flutter across the screen, first 
               from left to right and then from right to left, and the house 
               is jockeyed back and forth, they are punctuated with the 
               following lines:

                                     SMITH'S VOICE
                         "Dear Friend Blandings --"

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         "My dear Friend Smith --"

                                     SMITH'S VOICE
                         "Dear Blandings --!"

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         "Dear Smith - !"

               Throughout this Smith's voice remains bland and unperturbed 
               while Jim's has the desperate, frenetic quality of a man 
               being slowly pushed to the wall.

               The Special Effect concludes with the house finally and firmly 
               at rest on the preordained $11,550. As the antagonists on 
               both sides of the house relax, Smith reaches around in front 
               of the house and shakes hands with Jim. It's a deal!

               About halfway through when the going gets tough, Jim beckons 
               Muriel to help in the losing fight. As they now embrace, 
               Smith and Hackett shake hands in mutual congratulation.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               DOOR

               Door - on it is printed:

                                         MR. COLE
                                         PRIVATE

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. BILL COLE'S OFFICE - DAY

               A successful lawyer's office, the walls crowded with leather-
               bound books. Jim and Muriel are seated facing the large desk 
               behind which sits Bill Cole. Bill finishes reading a series 
               of papers, the sum total of correspondence between Jim and 
               Mr. Smith. He sets down the papers, leans back thoughtfully. 
               Jim and Muriel look at him with nervous but eager 
               anticipation.

                                     JIM
                              (not too sure)
                         What do you think, Bill? Steal, huh?

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         It certainly is.

               Jim looks triumphantly at Muriel.

                                     BILL
                         Perhaps "steal" is an understatement -- 
                         "swindle" might be a little more 
                         appropriate.

                                     JIM
                              (with pride)
                         Well, it wasn't much, Bill. I just 
                         saw a good thing and I --
                              (take)
                         What do you mean?

                                     BILL
                         Every time you get a little tight 
                         you weep on my shoulder about the 
                         advertising business and how it forces 
                         a sensitive soul like yourself to 
                         make a living by bamboozling the 
                         American public.
                              (picks up Smith's 
                              correspondence)
                         I would say that a small part of 
                         this victimized group has now 
                         redressed the balance.

                                     JIM
                         What are you talking about?

                                     BILL
                         You! You've been taken to the cleaners 
                         and you don't even know your pants 
                         are off!

                                     MURIEL
                         Dear, I told you. I said we should 
                         call Bill --

                                     JIM
                         Never mind, Muriel!
                              (to Bill; challengingly)
                         All right, just what's wrong with 
                         this deal?

                                     BILL
                         First time around you offered ten 
                         thousand dollars for fifty acres, 
                         right?

                                     JIM
                         What of it?

                                     BILL
                         That's two hundred dollars an acre. 
                         I know that part of Connecticut and 
                         one hundred dollars an acre is 
                         standard top-gouge price to city 
                         slickers. When the natives sell to 
                         each other it's around forty or less.

                                     MURIEL
                         Forty dollars an acre!

                                     JIM
                         The man's entitled to a fair profit.

                                     BILL
                         Not two hundred and eighty-four 
                         percent.
                              (indicates papers)
                         And besides, you're not getting fifty 
                         acres, you're only getting thirty-
                         five, more or less.

                                     JIM
                         Where does it say that?

                                     BILL
                              (picks up letter)
                         I refer to a rather obscure post-
                         script on the back of the second 
                         letter from Friend Smith.

               He hands the letter to Muriel.

                                     MURIEL
                              (reading)
                         "Incidentally, Mr. Hackett has been 
                         a little over-optimistic about the 
                         acreage. It will probably survey 
                         somewhere in the neighborhood of 
                         thirty-five acres, more or less, but 
                         I feel sure..."

                                     JIM
                              (on the defensive)
                         All right, so it's thirty-five! What's 
                         the difference? Do you know how many 
                         tennis courts you can get on thirty-
                         five acres?

                                     BILL
                         You're not spending eleven thousand 
                         five hundred dollars for tennis 
                         courts!

                                     JIM
                         That's not the point!

                                     BILL
                              (very businesslike)
                         That's precisely the point. We're 
                         going to write this Hackett a strong 
                         letter and tell him he can either 
                         kick in with those fifteen acres, 
                         reduce the price, or find another 
                         sucker.

                                     JIM
                              (rising emotion)
                         We'll do no such thing! I'm not going 
                         to queer this deal over fifteen broken-
                         down acres!

                                     MURIEL
                              (to Bill)
                         We were just going window shopping 
                         and so far it's cost us eleven 
                         thousand five hundred dollars and 
                         they even made us pay the commission!

                                     JIM
                         You don't understand business.

                                     BILL
                         You mean extortion.

               As Jim turns on Bill and is about to answer him explosively:

                                     MURIEL
                              (thoughtfully)
                         I wonder if we could get another two 
                         year lease on the apartment?

                                     JIM
                              (heatedly)
                         Now wait a minute! You can't measure 
                         everything on a slide rule. This 
                         house has certain intangibles.

                                     BILL
                         Like what, for instance?

                                     JIM
                         Like antique value, for instance! It 
                         just so happens that General Gates 
                         stopped right there, at that very 
                         house, to water his horses.

                                     BILL
                         I don't care if General Grant dropped 
                         in for a scotch and soda -- you're 
                         still getting rocked!

                                     JIM
                         That was a different war!

                                     MURIEL
                         I think Bill's absolutely right.

                                     JIM
                              (struggling to contain 
                              himself; quietly)
                         Let me explain something. To both of 
                         you. For fifteen years I've been 
                         cooped up in a four room cracker 
                         box! Just getting shaved in the 
                         morning entitles a man to the 
                         Congressional Medal for bravery.

                                     BILL
                         That doesn't make this a good buy.

                                     JIM
                         Bill -- Muriel and I have found what 
                         I am not ashamed to call our Dream 
                         House. It's like a fine painting. 
                         You buy it with your heart, not your 
                         head. You don't ask, how much was 
                         the canvas, how much was the paint? 
                         You look at it and you say, "It's 
                         beautiful... I want it," and if it 
                         costs a few pennies more you pay it -- 
                         and gladly -- because you love it 
                         and you can't measure the things you 
                         love in dollars and cents!

               Muriel looks at Jim, impressed, her face softening with 
               compassion.

                                     JIM
                              (emotionally spent)
                         Well -- that's how I feel about this 
                         place. And when I sign those papers 
                         Saturday, I can look the world in 
                         the face and say, "It's mine! My 
                         house! My home! My thirty-five acres!"

                                     MURIEL
                              (coming over; moved, 
                              touched)
                         Our house. Our home. Our thirty-five 
                         acres...

               They tenderly kiss.

                                     BILL
                         ...more or less...

               On Jim's reaction:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. LANSDALE COUNTY COURTHOUSE - DAY

               Comprehensive Shot showing village green of a small, typical, 
               quaint New England town.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. RECORDS ROOM LANSDALE COUNTY COURTHOUSE - DAY

               Old Judge Quarles is reading from the title deed, the 
               proceedings almost over. Jim stands in front of the bench 
               flanked by Muriel and Bill. Mr. Smith and Hackett are the 
               only other people present. As the Judge drones on, Jim and 
               Muriel exchange a smile. Jim squeezes her hand intimately.

                                     JUDGE QUARLES
                              (reading)
                         "...thence along said stonewall fence 
                         forming the East boundary of said 
                         Lansdale Road, N 20� 27' E, 21.84 
                         feet to the end of said stonewall 
                         fence, thence along a wire fence, N 
                         16� 31' W, 78.66 feet to a dead twenty-
                         inch chestnut tree, thence westward 
                         to said stonewall fence, to a total 
                         of thirty-one and a half acres --"

                                     JIM
                              (reacting)
                         What was that? How many acres?

               Judge Quarles looks up impatiently at the interruption.

                                     BILL
                              (precisely)
                         Thirty-one and a half.

                                     JIM
                              (to Hackett)
                         I was under the impression your 
                         property was thirty-five acres, Mr. 
                         Hackett.

                                     HACKETT
                         It is... more or less.

               Bill looks significantly at Jim.

                                     SMITH
                         You see, Mr. Blandings, when you 
                         signed the purchase agreement it was 
                         subject to traced map attached. 
                         Surveyed to an even thirty-one and a 
                         half acres.

               Jim turns to Bill for affirmation. Bill soberly nods his 
               head, "yes."

                                     JUDGE QUARLES
                         Anything wrong?

                                     BILL
                         It's nothing, Your Honor, just a few 
                         less tennis courts.

               Jim gives Bill a sour look as the Judge continues:

                                     JUDGE QUARLES
                              (with ministerial 
                              resonance)
                         "...to have and to hold to him, the 
                         said Grantee, his heirs and assigns 
                         to his and their own proper use and 
                         benefit forever."

               During this, and as a shaft of sunlight hits them, a beatific 
               look comes across the faces of Jim and Muriel. For a moment 
               it has become their wedding day. After a momentary pause:

                                     JUDGE QUARLES
                              (very businesslike)
                         Subject to a six thousand dollar 
                         mortgage held by Ephemus Whittaker 
                         Hackett...

               As the Blandings are startled back to grim reality:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. RURAL COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

               LONG SHOT - The Blandings' car. The Blandings and Bill Cole 
               driving along. They approach a fork in the road which leads 
               to a very old covered New England bridge. On the bridge is a 
               sign which reads:

                                       SHRUNK MILLS
                                          2 Mi.

               They pause, turn, go through the bridge.

               INT. THE CAR - (PROCESS)

               As they drive through the dark interior of the bridge there 
               is an appropriate rattling and rumbling of the ancient 
               timbers.

               EXT. THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE BRIDGE

               There is another fork in the road. Muriel points to the road 
               to the right. Jim shakes his head, points to the road to the 
               left. Muriel points to the right. Jim emphatically shakes 
               his head, puts the car in gear, drives off on the road to 
               the left.

               LONG SHOT - THE CAR

               LONG SHOT - the car. It goes up to the top of a hill, stops, 
               starts up, disappears.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. A ROAD - DAY

               As the car approaches, the CAMERA discloses it is back at 
               the same covered bridge. The car stops.

               INT. THE CAR

               Jim reacts with annoyance, mops his brow.

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         Congress ought to pass a law. When a 
                         man buys a house in Lansdale County 
                         there's a prize -- he gets ten percent 
                         off if he can find it.

               EXT. THE BRIDGE

               Jim backs up and, over Muriel's protestation that they go 
               right, turns the car left.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               LONG SHOT - THE CAR

               LONG SHOT - the car. It drives up an empty road, disappears.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. A ROAD - DAY

               As the car approaches, the CAMERA reveals it is again back 
               at the old covered bridge. The sign still reads: "SHRUNK 
               MILLS - 2 Mi."

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim and Muriel look at each other with disgust and 
               resignation.

                                     JIM
                         What in the world are "Shrunk Mills?"

                                     BILL
                         They are probably mills that have 
                         shrunk.

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, you certainly aren't much of a 
                         help.

                                     BILL
                              (wearily)
                         Look -- you really want to find that 
                         house of yours -- it's no problem.

               They look at him curiously.

                                     BILL
                         Just pretend you're one of General 
                         Gates' horses and you're thirsty... 
                         Now where would you go for a drink 
                         of water?

               Jim looks at him darkly, drives through the bridge, turns 
               right, as Muriel looks slightly triumphant.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT PLACE - DAY

               Jim, Muriel and Bill stand a little distance from the house, 
               looking at it. A vast lilac spreads across it. The Blandings 
               are in quiet rapture, and it is Bill who speaks first.

                                     BILL
                              (frank and open)
                         Well, I must admit it's a very 
                         beautiful thing.

                                     MURIEL
                              (misty)
                         The house and the lilac are just the 
                         same age, Bill; if the lilac can 
                         live and be so old, so can the house. 
                         It just needs someone to love it, 
                         that's all.

               Three shingles slide from the roof. As Jim and Muriel react:

                                     BILL
                         It's a good thing there are two of 
                         you -- one to love it and one to 
                         hold it up.

               As Jim gives him a look:

                                     BILL
                         What'd your engineer say when he 
                         checked over the foundation and that 
                         roof?

                                     JIM
                         Who needs engineers? This isn't a 
                         train, you know.

                                     BILL
                         I just saw it move.

                                     JIM
                         This house has been standing since 
                         the second year of the Continental 
                         Congress. You take one look at it 
                         and shingles start to fall off!

               As if on cue, a few more shingles slide off the roof, nearly 
               hitting Jim.

                                     BILL
                              (solicitously)
                         Look -- let me do you a favor. I've 
                         got a client, crackerjack structural 
                         engineer, Joe Apollonio; he 
                         practically built the George 
                         Washington Bridge single-handed.

                                     JIM
                         Thanks a lot, but we're not building 
                         a bridge.

                                     BILL
                         He's the follow who advised the 
                         Government not to raise the Normandie -- 
                         they didn't listen to him, cost them 
                         five million dollars.

                                     JIM
                         You have my word, if I were raising 
                         the Normandie, I wouldn't make a 
                         move without Apollonio.
                              (indicates door)
                         Now would you like to come inside 
                         and look around?

                                     BILL
                              (a skeptical look at 
                              the roof)
                         No thanks, I'll just stay out in the 
                         car and listen to "Life Can Be 
                         Beautiful."

               As Jim opens the door and disappears, there is a crash, 
               followed by a series of other crashes. Muriel looks in, turns 
               back to Bill.

                                     MURIEL
                         I think you'd better contact Mr. 
                         Apollonio.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT PLACE - DAY

               Near the front entrance. After a moment, the door opens, and 
               the Blandings and Mr. Apollonio emerge. Jim, limping, is 
               aided and abetted by a cane. Apollonio is a stolid, New York 
               construction man, replete with derby, blue serge suit, and 
               cigar. A short rule sticks out of a back pocket. As they 
               emerge, the Blandings are hopefully enthusiastic; Apollonio 
               is thoughtfully noncommittal.

                                     MURIEL
                         It has charm, hasn't it, Mr. 
                         Apollonio?

                                     APOLLONIO
                              (through his cigar)
                         Uh-huh.

                                     JIM
                         Of course, any small changes would 
                         have to conform with the character 
                         of the countryside.

                                     APOLLONIO
                              (through his cigar)
                         Mm-hmm.

                                     MURIEL
                         And yet still be functional.

               Apollonio casually walks over to the corner of the house, 
               kicks an exposed beam. It crumbles, apparently rotted by 
               termites. Two shingles fall off. The Blandings watch him 
               anxiously.

                                     APOLLONIO
                              (gazing upward; 
                              oblivious)
                         Uh-huh.

               As he thoughtfully rubs his chin, Jim, followed by Muriel, 
               limps his way over to him.

                                     JIM
                         Well, uh, what's your professional 
                         opinion?

               Apollonio looks at the Blandings, at the house, then back at 
               the Blandings. He takes the cigar from his mouth.

                                     APOLLONIO
                         Tear it down.

                                     JIM
                              (appalled)
                         Tear it down??!

                                     APOLLONIO
                         If your chimney was shot and your 
                         sills was okay, I'd say go ahead, 
                         fix her up. If your sills was shot 
                         and your chimney was okay, again I'd 
                         say go ahead, fix her up. But your 
                         sills are shot and your chimney is 
                         shot.

               During this speech Apollonio picks up a wooden frame, squares 
               it with a pocket square, levels it on a fence, and looks 
               through it at the house.

                                     APOLLONIO
                              (beckoning)
                         Take a look at the way she sags.

               The Blandings step over, look through the frame.

               WHAT THEY SEE.

               What they see. Outlined against the frame, the house slants, 
               sagging perceptibly.

               THREE SHOT AS THE BLANDINGS REACT WITH SOME DISMAY

               THREE SHOT as the Blandings react with some dismay.

                                     APOLLONIO
                         So I say don't throw good money after 
                         bad -- tear it down.

                                     JIM
                              (coolly)
                         Thanks a lot.

                                     APOLLONIO
                         It's okay.

               He tips his hat, walks out of scene.

                                     JIM
                              (bitterly)
                         Bill Cole and his experts!

                                     MURIEL
                              (bitterly)
                         Darling, we'll get our own experts.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT HOUSE - DAY

               The Blandings have just finished surveying the house with 
               Mr. Simpson, another expert.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         And so they got their own experts. 
                         Mr. Simpson said --

                                     SIMPSON
                         Tear it down.

               The Blandings look at each other.

                                                              FAST DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT HOUSE - DAY

               The Blandings have just finished examining the house with 
               Mr. Murphy, another expert.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         On the other hand, Mr. Murphy said --

                                     MURPHY
                         I think you'd better tear it down.

               The Blandings smile feebly.

                                                              FAST DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE OLD HACKETT HOUSE - DAY

               The Blandings and Jones, another expert.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         And then just to be a wee bit 
                         different, Mr. Jones said --

                                     JONES
                              (firmly; deep bass 
                              voiced)
                         Tear it down!

               The Blandings are now considerably shaken.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               A SHINGLE.

               A shingle. It reads in neat, conservative lettering:

                                      HENRY L. SIMMS
                                        ARCHITECT

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         And that's how our friend, Mr. Simms, 
                         came into it.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. HENRY L. SIMMS' LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Jim, Muriel, Simms. The room is in quiet, good taste, a 
               flagstone fireplace, modern steel casement windows, window 
               seats, etc. The walls are crammed with books and photographs 
               of Simms' handiwork. There are a couple of gold medal 
               citations of his work conspicuously spaced around the room.

               Simms is a tweedy, pipe-smoking, conservative New Englander, 
               a distinguished-looking local architect. He puffs thoughtfully 
               on his pipe as he looks at a photograph of the old Hackett 
               place, an exact duplicate of the shot we saw through the 
               window frame.

                                     SIMMS
                         Of course you could fix up that old 
                         house. You can fix up any structure 
                         that's still standing. The sills and 
                         floors couldn't be worse, I grant 
                         you, and I guess you'd have to jack 
                         up that west corner at least three 
                         feet to make it level. Need new 
                         chimney. New roof. Complete new 
                         plumbing.
                              (sigh)
                         Too bad you didn't buy it ten years 
                         ago. Could have fixed it up in jig 
                         time then, and it would have made 
                         some sense.

                                     JIM
                              (nervously nibbling 
                              at his nails)
                         Uh-huh... mm-hmmm... uh-huh.

                                     SIMMS
                         Fact is, before you're through, it 
                         would be less expensive to tear the 
                         old place down and build a new one, 
                         same size.

                                     JIM
                         Mm. New house...
                              (as the notion sinks 
                              in, becomes attractive)
                         New house.

                                     MURIEL
                              (to Simms, with 
                              pleasant incredulity)
                         You mean... for the same money... we 
                         could build a brand new house?

                                     SIMMS
                         It certainly wouldn't cost any more.

                                     JIM
                              (soberly)
                         Hm... New house...

               He turns and looks thoughtfully at Muriel who raises an 
               interested eyebrow. Then, to Simms:

                                     JIM
                              (tentatively)
                         Just... what sort of thing do you 
                         have in mind?

                                     SIMMS
                         Well, I imagine the type of house 
                         you'd want would be something in 
                         quiet good taste, two story, frame 
                         and brick veneer construction -- 
                         modern, but of course fitting in 
                         with the architectural traditions of 
                         the countryside.

                                     JIM
                         Well, I -- What do you think, Muriel?

                                     MURIEL
                         I think it sounds fine.

                                     SIMMS
                         Perhaps you'd like to see a basic 
                         floor plan --
                              (reaches into file 
                              behind him)
                         -- something like this.

               Simms places the basic floor plan on the desk before him, 
               the Blandings moving around, flanking him. They examine the 
               plan with interest.

               WHAT THEY SEE -- THE PLAN.

               What they see -- the plan. A simple master plan of a two 
               story house, the names of the various rooms indicated. As he 
               talks, we see Simms' hand, holding a pencil, point out the 
               various rooms

                                     SIMMS
                         First floor. Living room, study, 
                         dining room, kitchen, service porch, 
                         maid's room -- upstairs three family 
                         bedrooms with two adjoining baths.

               THREE SHOT. THE BLANDINGS PRAISE THE PLAN

               THREE SHOT. The Blandings praise the plan with the 
               uncompromising expertness of two people who have never seen 
               such a plan before in their lives.

                                     MURIEL
                         It's very nice, I'm sure, but -- uh -- 
                         well -- doesn't it seem just a little 
                         bit conventional?

                                     JIM
                         Yes, Simms, if we were going to build 
                         a house we want it -- well, you know -- 
                         just a little bit different.

                                     SIMMS
                              (he's heard all this 
                              before)
                         Yes, of course.

                                     JIM
                         Now, for instance --
                              (takes Simms' pencil)

               THE DRAWING BOARD.

               THE DRAWING BOARD. Jim's pencil traces as he talks.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         -- here in the study if we could 
                         just push out this wall a little -- 
                         and put in a built-in bar we could --

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         Excuse me, dear --

               Her hand takes the pencil from his, starts to trace as she 
               talks. Jim's fingers drum with the beginnings of impatience.

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         These bedrooms. They do seem rather 
                         small. And, of course we'd have to 
                         have a little dressing room -- and --

               As she draws it in, Jim's hand takes the pencil. Muriel's 
               fingers drum nervously.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         And closets, Simms, lots of closets.
                              (traces them in)
                         If there's one thing this family 
                         needs, it's closets.

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                              (as his hand reaches 
                              for the pencil)
                         If I might make a suggestion --

               But Muriel's hand reaches the pencil first.

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                              (as she draws them in)
                         And bathrooms, Mr. Simms. Each bedroom 
                         must have at least one bathroom.

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                         But that would be four bathrooms, 
                         Mrs. Blandings --
                              (his hand reaches for 
                              the pencil)
                         I think I'd better point out to you --

               Jim's hand reaches the pencil before Simms. Now Simms' fingers 
               and Muriel's drum in unison.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         Just a minute. Do you think --
                              (tracing)
                         we might manage a little playroom in 
                         the basement, nothing tremendous, 
                         you know, something like this --

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                              (as his hand reaches 
                              for the pencil; 
                              cautiously)
                         Well, it's always possible, but at 
                         the moment our fundamental problem --

               But Muriel's hand has the pencil.

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                              (as she traces)
                         And I've always wanted a little sewing 
                         room upstairs --
                              (Jim's and Simms' 
                              fingers drum 
                              impatiently)
                         You know, a little utility room where 
                         I can be alone, and sew, or sulk, or 
                         on a rainy afternoon...

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                              (as his hand takes 
                              pencil)
                         Pardon me, dear. On that playroom, 
                         Simms, not too small. You know, plenty 
                         of room for ping-pong, darts, nice 
                         big poker table...

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                              (as his hand reaches 
                              for another pencil)
                         If you don't mind, I --

               But Muriel has reached the pencil first. As she and Jim sketch 
               simultaneously and the scene begins to DISSOLVE, we hear:

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         ...And off the kitchen, I'd like a 
                         little flower sink just to putter 
                         around in...

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         ...And a terrace off the study, with 
                         an owning and little outdoor 
                         fireplace...

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               THE DRAWING BOARD - THE ORIGINAL PLANS

               THE DRAWING BOARD - The original plans are lost in a maze of 
               the Blandings' extensions, alterations and additions.

               THREE SHOT - THE THREE ARE SOMEWHAT EXHAUSTED

               THREE SHOT - The three are somewhat exhausted, silently 
               looking at the plans. Simms wearily runs his hand through 
               his hair.

                                     SIMMS
                              (delicately)
                         We-ll... let's just see what we have 
                         here. In the first place --

               THE DRAWING BOARD - SIMMS'

               THE DRAWING BOARD - Simms' pencil indicates as he talks.

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                         -- I'm afraid you've got the upstairs 
                         about twice as big as the downstairs.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         It's all those bathrooms.

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         It is not, it's all those closets.

               THREE SHOT.

               THREE SHOT.

                                     SIMMS
                         By extending this breakfast room 
                         you've eliminated the possibility of 
                         any stairs going to the second floor.

                                     JIM
                         Oh, you can just shove those stairs 
                         in anywhere.

                                     SIMMS
                              (patiently; almost 
                              paternally)
                         And, Mrs. Blandings, on that sewing 
                         room, the way you have it now, the 
                         chimney stack would come up right 
                         through the middle of the room, 
                         leaving you with something in the 
                         shape of a square doughnut.
                              (tactfully)
                         Which, of course, might be very warm 
                         in winter, but otherwise of doubtful 
                         utility.

                                     MURIEL
                         You could always move the chimney 
                         somewhere else, couldn't you?

                                     SIMMS
                         We-ll...
                              (rising; resigned to 
                              his fate but tactful)
                         Look, I think I know just about what 
                         you two have in mind. Why don't I go 
                         ahead with some preliminary plans 
                         and --

                                     JIM
                              (hearty)
                         You do that, Simms, but remember, 
                         we've got to hold it down to ten 
                         thousand.

                                     SIMMS
                              (candid)
                         That, I can tell you right now, is 
                         impossible. Even with a considerable 
                         trimming of the things you've 
                         indicated, I don't see how we can 
                         bring it in for less than twelve or 
                         twelve-five.

                                     JIM
                         Twelve-five!
                              (looks at Muriel; 
                              then)
                         Well, I guess we're not going to 
                         quibble about a few pennies one way 
                         or the other.

                                     MURIEL
                              (can't resist)
                         No, you'll find Mr. Blandings never 
                         quibbles about pennies.

                                     SIMMS
                         And -- uh -- have you any notions 
                         about how you'd like the old place 
                         taken down?

                                     JIM
                              (a rueful joke)
                         Why don't we just blow on it?

                                     SIMMS
                              (wry smile)
                         There's a good local house wrecker. 
                         I'll have him contact you.

               Jim expansively puts his arm around Simms' shoulders.

                                     JIM
                         Fine. You just shoot ahead with those 
                         plans, and remember, try to keep it 
                         down to ten, ten-five.

                                     SIMMS
                              (doubtfully)
                         Well -- we'll try.

               As the Blandings walk to the door:

                                     JIM
                         There's one good thing about getting 
                         that old relic down. Those original 
                         beams and everything -- this time 
                         somebody pays us.

               As they go out the door:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. ROAD NEAR OLD HACKETT HOUSE - DAY - WINTER - (PROCESS 
               MATTE SHOT)

               Old Hackett house matted to show winter sky, bare trees. In 
               the f.g. bare ground with patches of snow.

               Eph Hackett is standing with one of the wreckers. In the 
               b.g. we see the frame of the old house, firmly intact, the 
               chimney still standing within it. There are mountains of 
               shingles, splintered boards and other rubbish, piled about. 
               The piles are reasonably neat and sorted.

                                     HACKETT
                         Them beams is worth money. You payin' 
                         him, or he payin' you?

                                     WRECKER
                         He's payin' me.

                                     HACKETT
                         How much?

                                     WRECKER
                              (hesitating)
                         A thousand.

                                     HACKETT
                         A thousand!

                                     WRECKER
                         He squawked, but he paid.

                                     HACKETT
                              (drily)
                         Hmm. I guess maybe I got a little 
                         somethin' comin' too.

               As he starts out of scene:

                                     VOICE
                         Okay, boys, let her go!

               Tractors attached to chains and cables start to pull.

               MINIATURE SHOT

               MINIATURE SHOT - What is left of the house collapses.

               EXT. HILL OVERLOOKING THE OLD HACKETT PLACE - PROCESS OF 
               MATTE OR MINIATURE SHOT

               Jim and Muriel are standing there, having watched the 
               demolition. As the dust settles:

                                     JIM
                              (sigh)
                         Well, so far it's cost us thirteen 
                         thousand, three hundred and twenty-
                         nine dollars and forty-five cents.

                                     MURIEL
                         But we've got the nicest vacant lot 
                         in the state of Connecticut.

               They exchange a look of mixed emotions.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               SIMMS' NEW PRELIMINARY PLANS

               INSERT SIMMS' NEW PRELIMINARY PLANS - Fresh and workmanlike, 
               a few small sections crossed out where cuts have been 
               indicated.

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                              (wearily)
                         Something will have to give somewhere, 
                         that I know.

               The CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS to disclose:

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Jim, Muriel and Simms are going over the preliminary plans. 
               Betsy and Joan are present, Betsy reading the Lansdale Blade 
               and Joan reading a science book.

                                     MURIEL
                         It's impossible. I don't see how we 
                         can cut another inch.

                                     JIM
                         Honey, you heard Simms. As the house 
                         stands now it's over fifteen thousand 
                         dollars!

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, it just doesn't seem possible --
                              (afterthought)
                         for a house with such small rooms.

                                     SIMMS
                              (patiently)
                         Mrs. Blandings, I've already 
                         explained. It's not only the size of 
                         the rooms so much as it is the number. 
                         You see, our primary problem is one 
                         of cubage --

                                     JIM
                         That's right, dear, cubage.

                                     MURIEL
                         What's that?

                                     JIM
                         Oh --
                              (sorry he got into it)
                         just a figure of speech.

                                     MURIEL
                         But what does it mean?

                                     JIM
                              (a little irritably)
                         Cubage. It's just the number of cubic 
                         feet that --
                              (lost, lamely)
                         -- go into a cubic foot. Go on, Simms.

                                     SIMMS
                              (consulting plans)
                         Now is it absolutely essential for 
                         each of your daughters to have her 
                         own room with two closets and a 
                         separate bath?

                                     JIM
                              (a look at the girls; 
                              clearing his throat)
                         Yes. You see, er, my daughters are, 
                         er, approaching womanhood, and, er --

                                     SIMMS
                              (brief look at the 
                              girls)
                         I hadn't realized they were 
                         approaching it quite so fast.
                              (to Jim)
                         Perhaps what you need is not so much 
                         a house as a series of little 
                         bungalows.

                                     JIM
                         Hmmm.
                              (examining plans)
                         What about that silly flower sink? 
                         We could eliminate that.

                                     MURIEL
                         I beg your pardon.

                                     JIM
                         Or that sewing room upstairs, that's 
                         certainly a waste.

                                     MURIEL
                         If we're going to eliminate anything, 
                         we'll lose that ridiculous play room 
                         in the basement with that great big 
                         poker table.

                                     JIM
                         Honey, I've got to have some 
                         relaxation.

                                     MURIEL
                         We've got thirty-one and a half acres. 
                         Go out in the back and do a little 
                         gardening.

                                     JIM
                         Sure, and get poison ivy!

                                     SIMMS
                              (with dogged patience)
                         If I may interrupt, I'd like to 
                         suggest that none of these are really 
                         major eliminations. Now if we could 
                         do with one less bathroom on the 
                         second floor --

                                     MURIEL
                         I'm sorry. We couldn't possibly.

                                     SIMMS
                         Mrs. Blandings, a simple bathroom, 
                         eight by ten by eight with grade A 
                         fixtures will cost around thirteen 
                         hundred dollars.

                                     MURIEL
                         I refuse to endanger the health of 
                         my children in a house with less 
                         than four bathrooms.

                                     JIM
                         For thirteen hundred dollars they 
                         can live in a house with three 
                         bathrooms and rough it!

                                     SIMMS
                         Look, perhaps the most practical 
                         thing would be --

                                     BETSY
                         Oh, look, we're in the Lansdale paper!
                              (reading)
                         "Historical Society Blasts Vandalism!"

                                     JIM
                         Muriel, Simms explained to you. We've 
                         just got to cut, cut --
                              (reacts)
                         What's that?

                                     BETSY
                              (reading)
                         "Censure Vote Passed re Destruction 
                         of Famed Hackett Edifice."

                                     JIM
                         Well, isn't that just too bad! Let 
                         me see that.

               He takes the paper, scans it, suddenly bursts into laughter.

                                     MURIEL
                         What's so funny.

                                     JIM
                              (laughing)
                         Prutty. Mrs. Bildad Prutty. Get a 
                         load of this!
                              (reads)
                         "The semi-monthly meeting of the 
                         Lansdale Historical Society was turned 
                         into an uproar last night when its 
                         president, Mrs. Bildad Prutty" -- 
                         How do you like that, Bildad Prutty? -- 
                         "reported the total demolition by 
                         its New York buyer of the historic 
                         old Hackett house."
                              (laughs)
                         Bildad Prutty! Muriel, I've got to 
                         send this to the New Yorker!

                                     BETSY
                              (drily)
                         Read on, father.

                                     JIM
                              (scans paper)
                         "Mrs. Prutty," -- Bildad, that is -- 
                         "reminded her audience that several 
                         years ago the Society started to 
                         raise a fund to purchase and restore 
                         the old house to its original 
                         condition."
                              (looks up, laughs 
                              scornfully)

                                     BETSY
                         Read on, father.

                                     JIM
                              (back to paper)
                         "The project fell through by being 
                         seven hundred dollars short of the 
                         sum of twenty-six hundred dollars..."
                              (Jim slows down as 
                              the following 
                              registers)
                         "...which Ephemus Hackett testified 
                         was the lowest reasonable price he 
                         could accept as --"

               The paper drops.

                                     JIM
                              (weakly)
                         ...Twenty-six hundred dollars.

                                     BETSY
                         And what did we pay, father?

                                     JOAN
                         Eleven-five, with the commission.

                                     JIM
                         Muriel, isn't it time for those 
                         children to be in bed?

                                     MURIEL
                         Now girls, I don't want to tell you 
                         again.

               The front doorbell rings.

                                     MURIEL
                         Excuse me.

               As the CAMERA FOLLOWS Muriel to the door, we hear:

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         Twenty-six hundred dollars!

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                              (comfortingly)
                         I wouldn't be too concerned about 
                         Mrs. Prutty and her committee. After 
                         all, it's your property and if you 
                         want to tear it down --

               Muriel opens the door, admits an excited Bill Cole.

                                     MURIEL
                              (surprised)
                         Why, Bill!

                                     BILL
                              (briefly)
                         Hello, Muriel.
                              (he strides past her 
                              waving a telegram; 
                              to Jim)
                         Well, you've done it again'. Once, 
                         just once, why don't you come to me 
                         and find out if it's all right, if 
                         it's legal, before you go barging 
                         off and run yourself smack into 
                         another jam!

                                     JIM
                         What's eating you?

                                     BILL
                              (ignoring him; to 
                              Simms)
                         And I must say, Simms, I hold you 
                         equally responsible!

                                     JIM
                              (alarmed)
                         What? What happened?

                                     SIMMS
                         I'm afraid I don't understand.

                                     BILL
                              (to Simms; indicating 
                              Jim)
                         Did you let this idiot tear down 
                         that house?

                                     JIM
                         What if he did? What of it?

                                     SIMMS
                              (to Bill)
                         Reconstruction was unsound and totally 
                         impractical.

                                     BILL
                         I quite agree. But you're dealing 
                         with a man who doesn't think before 
                         he acts, who goes off half-cocked!

                                     JIM
                         What is it? What did I do?

                                     BILL
                              (ignoring him; to 
                              Simms)
                         You're an architect! You must have 
                         been aware of the legality involved.

                                     JIM
                         What? What legality?

                                     BILL
                              (to Simms)
                         You knew there was a mortgage on 
                         that house.

                                     SIMMS
                         I assumed as much.

                                     JIM
                         What happened? What are you talking 
                         about?

                                     BILL
                              (ignoring him; to 
                              Simms)
                         And you know the requirements in 
                         regard to a mortgage where there's 
                         demolition intended!

                                     SIMMS
                         Certainly. But since you were his 
                         lawyer, I naturally assumed --

                                     BILL
                         With a man like this you can't assume 
                         anything!

                                     JIM
                              (loudly)
                         Just one minute! I am entitled to 
                         know what I did! This is America! A 
                         man's guilty until he's proven 
                         innocent --

                                     BETSY
                         It's the other way around, father.

                                     JIM
                         You go to bed!

                                     MURIEL
                         Girls!

                                     JIM
                         Bill, I've had a very trying day. 
                         Would you mind telling me in clear, 
                         concise English just what crime I've 
                         committed -- and why?!

                                     BILL
                              (with weary resignation)
                         In clear, concise English, you tore 
                         down a house on which another man 
                         holds a mortgage without first getting 
                         his written permission.

                                     JIM
                         Well, I -- I did?!

                                     BILL
                         And in such case, the mortgagee can 
                         demand the full payment of said 
                         mortgage upon demand --
                              (waves telegram)
                         and Mr. Ephemus Hackett so demands! 
                         Six thousand clams! And he wants 
                         them now!

                                     JIM
                              (appalled)
                         Now?!

                                     BILL
                         You've got ten days.

               Jim gulps. Pause.

                                     JOAN
                         For six thousand dollars we could 
                         have had a Solaxion house and a Crane 
                         Mobile home.

                                     JIM
                         Muriel!

                                     MURIEL
                              (herding the kids 
                              toward the door)
                         Girls, say your good nights and off 
                         to bed without another word.

                                     BETSY
                              (reluctantly)
                         Good night, Mr. Simms. Uncle Bill.

                                     JOAN
                              (protesting)
                         Miss Stellwagon says the problems of 
                         the parents should be the problems 
                         of the children.

                                     MURIEL
                              (shooing them out)
                         You keep that in mind, dear. It'll 
                         help prepare you for motherhood.

               The children exit. An embarrassed pause.

                                     SIMMS
                         Perhaps we'd better let the plans go 
                         for the time being and --

                                     JIM
                              (weakly)
                         No, Simms, I'll work this out. You 
                         go ahead with your final plans and 
                         let's see some estimates.

                                     MURIEL
                         And we'll just forget about that 
                         extra bathroom.

                                     SIMMS
                              (preparing to leave)
                         Very well. You'll hear from me as 
                         soon as possible. Good night.

               Good nights are exchanged. Muriel takes Simms out of scene 
               toward the door. CAMERA HOLDS on Bill and Jim.

                                     JIM
                              (defeated)
                         Six thousand dollars!

               Bill looks at Jim with compassion.

                                     BILL
                         What'll you do for collateral on 
                         your building loan?

                                     JIM
                         I don't know, turn in my insurance 
                         policies or something.

                                     MURIEL
                              (coming into scene)
                         Now, Jim, you can't do that.

                                     JIM
                         Why not?

                                     MURIEL
                         What if something should happen? You 
                         can't leave the children unprotected.

                                     JIM
                              (somewhat irritably)
                         I'm not dead yet! And if I die, 
                         there's plenty left to take care of 
                         them.

                                     MURIEL
                         Not if you cash in your policies.

               As Jim reacts with painful resignation:

                                     BILL
                         I'm sure it won't be necessary. I'll 
                         see the boys at the bank. Maybe you 
                         can put up your insurance as 
                         collateral. If necessary, I'll sign 
                         a personal note.

                                     JIM
                              (wearily)
                         Thanks, Bill.

                                     BILL
                              (paternally)
                         And Jim, do me a little favor. The 
                         next time you're going to do anything, 
                         or say anything, or buy anything, 
                         think it over very carefully, and 
                         when you're sure you're right -- 
                         forget the whole thing. Good night, 
                         Muriel.

               He goes to Muriel and kisses her on the cheek. Jim sees it, 
               is annoyed.

                                     MURIEL
                         Good night, Bill.

               CAMERA FOLLOWS Muriel and Bill to the door. He exits. Muriel 
               comes back into the room.

                                     MURIEL
                         What a wonderful friend.

                                     JIM
                              (darkly)
                         What's with this kissing all of a 
                         sudden?

                                     MURIEL
                         What's that?

                                     JIM
                         Just because a man is helpful in a 
                         business way, it doesn't give him 
                         extra-curricular privileges with my 
                         wife!

                                     MURIEL
                         That's a fine thing to say about a 
                         friend of fifteen years!

                                     JIM
                              (testy)
                         Well, I don't like it. Every time he 
                         goes out of this house, he shakes my 
                         hand and he kisses you.

                                     MURIEL
                              (sharply)
                         Would you prefer it the other way 
                         around?!

                                     JIM
                              (irritably)
                         Well, I don't like it, that's all! 
                         Why is he always hanging around? Why 
                         doesn't he ever get married -- or 
                         something?

                                     MURIEL
                              (assumed innocence)
                         Because he can't find another girl 
                         as sweet and pretty and wholesome as 
                         I am.

                                     JIM
                         Well -- it -- it doesn't look right. 
                         There are limits to friendship and --

               Muriel comes over, puts a sympathetic arm around him.

                                     MURIEL
                         Darling, let's not be silly about 
                         this. It's not Bill, it's the house 
                         you're upset about.

                                     JIM
                              (sigh)
                         I suppose so.

               They kiss.

                                     JIM
                         Do you think it's worth all this?

                                     MURIEL
                         Of course, darling. We're not just 
                         building a house -- it's a home. A 
                         home for ourselves -- and our children -- 
                         and maybe our children's children.

                                     JIM
                              (whimsically)
                         It's getting awfully crowded with 
                         only three bathrooms.

               They look at each other, smile and kiss intimately, as we

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. SIMMS' LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Jim and Muriel are watching Simms, who has just taken a 
               typewritten sheet from his files. Simms looks at the sheet, 
               turns to them a little apprehensively.

                                     SIMMS
                         Well -- here are the estimates. Before 
                         you look at them, I think I'd better 
                         explain --

                                     JIM
                         Don't bother, Simms.
                              (takes the sheet)
                         I'm getting to be an old hand at 
                         this sort of --

               Jim is halfway into his chair as his eye catches the first 
               bid. There is a sharp MUSICAL EFFECT as Jim bounces out of 
               his seat.

                                     JIM
                         Jumping H. Mahogany --!!

               The CAMERA GOES IN for a CLOSE SHOT of the column of 
               estimates. As the CAMERA IRISES DOWN ON each sum, there is a 
               dissonant MUSICAL EFFECT.

               Antonio Doloroso, Builders  $32,117.00
               Caries & Plumline  $30,500.00
               Julius Akimbo & Co.  $28,575.00
               Zach, Tophet & Payne  $24,250.00
               John Retch & Son  $21,000.00

               THREE SHOT JIM, MURIEL, AND SIMMS

               THREE SHOT - Jim, Muriel, and Simms. Muriel has read the 
               column over Jim's shoulder.

                                     SIMMS
                         Now obviously these bids are way out 
                         of line, that is, all except John 
                         Retch and Son at twenty-one thousand.

                                     MURIEL
                              (reacting)
                         Twenty-one thousand!

                                     SIMMS
                         And with some judicious cutting, I 
                         think we can pare that down to 
                         eighteen.

                                     MURIEL
                         We've only asked for the barest 
                         necessities --

                                     SIMMS
                         Frankly, with all the extras you two 
                         have --

                                     JIM
                         Never mind.
                              (hands estimates to 
                              Simms)
                         If you'll just send us a bill for 
                         your services, I'll see that it's 
                         taken care of.
                              (takes Muriel's hand 
                              and starts for door)
                         Now, if you'll excuse us.

                                     MURIEL
                         Where are we going?

                                     JIM
                         I am going out to get my head 
                         examined! Then, if I don't jump off 
                         the Brooklyn Bridge, I'm going to 
                         find the owner of our building and 
                         sign a twenty-year lease!

               As they are about to exit, they pause as their eyes are caught 
               by a drawing on an adjacent drawing board.

               WHAT THEY SEE - A BEAUTIFUL PENCIL AND CHARCOAL DRAWING

               What they see - a beautiful pencil and charcoal drawing of 
               their completed prospective house. Under it, in neat letters 
               is printed:

                       RESIDENCE OF MR. AND MRS. JAMES H. BLANDINGS

               JIM, MURIEL, AND SIMMS.

               Jim, Muriel, and Simms. They look at the drawing, then at 
               each other. Jim's face softens. Muriel looks at him 
               appealingly.

                                     JIM
                              (quietly)
                         What's the name of that contractor?

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INSERT JIM'S COST CHART. The house rests on the diagonal 
               line at the figure of $13,500. As the miniscule Jim and Muriel 
               watch with apprehension, the small figures of Smith and 
               Hackett are joined by Simms, John W. Retch, and several sub 
               contractors, who put their collective shoulders to the house 
               and push it past the Blandings and up to $31,000.00

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXCAVATION - LOCATION #2 - EARLY SPRING - DAY

               A sign on a sawhorse - it reads:

                                  JOHN W. RETCH AND SON

               Over scene is the thunderous dissonance of the various SOUNDS 
               that go into preliminary construction. A steam shovel in 
               action, a bulldozer, the sawing of wood, and intermittently 
               the loud, earth-shaking crash of a well-digger's rig.

               As the CAMERA PULLS BACK, we see the machines and workmen at 
               their various tasks. The scene has all the rustic peace of 
               the invasion of Hollandia.

               The ANGLE CHANGES, and we see Jim, Muriel, and Bill drive up 
               the improvised driveway very close to the scene of activity.

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               Jim and Muriel look at their property with unconcealed pride. 
               Bill is interested but would like it better if there were 
               less noise.

                                     JIM
                              (shouting over noise)
                         Well, things are certainly humming.

                                     BILL
                              (same)
                         What's that?

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         I said, humming.

                                     BILL
                         Oh.

               As they get out of the car, there is an unusually loud crash 
               from the well-digger's rig.

                                     BILL
                              (loud)
                         What's going on over there?

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         That's Mr. Tesander. He's digging 
                         our well.

                                     BILL
                              (same)
                         Well? What happened to the trout 
                         stream, with that pure, clear, cold 
                         mountain water?

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         I decided against it --

               There is a sudden cessation of the steam shovel and complete 
               silence. Jim, unaware of it, continues to shout.

                                     JIM
                         The trout stream --
                              (reacts; quietly)
                         didn't seem practical.

                                     MURIEL
                         It wasn't exactly a decision, dear.
                              (to Bill)
                         We discovered the trout stream dries 
                         up in August and the rest of the 
                         year it's polluted.

                                     JIM
                              (defensively; groping)
                         Well, anyway, I'd rather have artesian 
                         water. It's healthier. Calcium -- 
                         vitamins -- artesian --

                                     BILL
                              (indicating)
                         What's wrong with that steam shovel?

               They look off.

               WHAT THEY SEE. A CLUSTER OF WORKMEN

               WHAT THEY SEE. A cluster of workmen have gathered around Mr. 
               Zucca, the driver of the steam shovel, who is swearing in 
               voluble but undistinguishable Italian.

               JIM, MURIEL AND BILL.

               Jim, Muriel and Bill.

                                     JIM
                         Better take a look.

               He starts off for the steam shovel, nimbly jumping over a 
               drainage trench. Muriel starts to follow, pauses, unable to 
               negotiate the trench.

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim!

               Jim turns in time to see Bill pick Muriel up and carry her 
               across the trench. As he sets her down:

                                     MURIEL
                              (sarcastic; to Jim)
                         Thank you, dear.

               Jim frowns, annoyed. They approach the group around the 
               shovel.

                                     JIM
                         What's the matter, Mr. Zucca? 
                         Something wrong?

                                     ZUCCA
                         How do you lika that? Broka my bucket. 
                         Two times this week I broka my bucket?

                                     JIM
                         What did you do, strike a boulder?

                                     ZUCCA
                              (darkly)
                         Atsa no boulder, atsa ledge.

                                     JIM
                              (weakly)
                         What does that mean?

                                     ZUCCA
                         Meansa we gotta blast!

                                     JIM
                         Blast?

                                     ZUCCA
                         Blast. Witha dynamite.

                                     JIM
                         What do you mean, dynamite?

                                     MURIEL
                              (a little annoyed)
                         What do you mean, "What do you mean?" 
                         Mr. Zucca just explained. He's going 
                         to use dynamite and blast until he 
                         gets rid of the rock.

                                     ZUCCA
                         Atsa no rock, atsa ledge.

                                     BILL
                         What Mr. Blandings means is -- what 
                         precisely is a ledge?

                                     ZUCCA
                         Ledge. Lika bigga stone, only a-
                         bigger.

                                     JIM
                         Like a boulder?

                                     ZUCCA
                         No, like ledge.

               Jim looks at Muriel and Bill.

                                     BILL
                         ...Like a ledge.

                                     ZUCCA
                         But you don't gotta worry. Only cost 
                         twenty-four cents a cubic foot, plussa 
                         dynamite an'a fuse.

                                     JIM
                         But how far will you have to blast?

                                     ZUCCA
                         Harda tell. Might be a lilla baby 
                         ledge -- mighta run the whole toppa 
                         the mountain.

                                     JIM
                              (appalled)
                         At twenty-four cents a foot? Do you 
                         realize what that means?!

                                     ZUCCA
                              (simply)
                         Meansa we gotta blast.

               Zucca walks off.

                                     JIM
                              (with quiet resignation)
                         Well, anyway, our house will never 
                         sink.

                                     MURIEL
                              (drily)
                         If it does, we can always get Mr. 
                         Apollonio. He raised the Normandie.

               There is a crash from the well-digging rig.

                                     BILL
                         "Come to peaceful Connecticut --
                              (another crash)
                         Trade city soot for sylvan charm."

               Another crash.

                                     JIM
                              (irritably)
                         How long does that go on?

                                     MURIEL
                         I don't know.
                              (to Bill)
                         Three weeks now at four dollars and 
                         fifty cents a foot.

                                     JIM
                              (asserting his 
                              authority)
                         I think I'd better have a little 
                         talk with Mr. Tesander.

               He starts off. Muriel and Bill, curious, follow.

               EXT. AT THE WELL RIG

               Tesander, a stolid New England well-digger, the soul of 
               industry and candor, attacks the earth. Jim, followed by 
               Muriel and Bill, walks into scene, stands by, watching him. 
               After a moment:

                                     JIM
                         Oh -- Mr. Tesander --

               The motor is making too much noise.

                                     JIM
                              (louder)
                         Mr. Tesander!

               Tesander looks up, shuts off his motor.

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep?

                                     JIM
                         How's it coming?

                                     TESANDER
                              (considers a moment; 
                              then:)
                         It's comin'.

               With a nod he turns on his motor, resumes work. Jim exchanges 
               a look with Muriel and Bill.

                                     JIM
                         No -- no -- I mean --

               But he's drowned out by the motor.

                                     JIM
                              (shouts)
                         Mr. Tesander!

               Tesander patiently stops his motor, looks up.

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep?

                                     JIM
                         What I meant was -- how far down are 
                         you?

               Tesander looks at his equipment, considers.

                                     TESANDER
                         Oh -- 'bout a hundred and ninety 
                         feet.

                                     JIM
                         Well -- isn't that pretty deep?

                                     TESANDER
                              (thinks it over; he's 
                              not one for snap 
                              judgments; then:)
                         Yep.

               He's about to turn on his motor, but Jim detains him.

                                     JIM
                         Do you think maybe you'd better try 
                         another spot?

                                     TESANDER
                         Up to you.

                                     JIM
                         I mean -- well, have you hit anything 
                         yet at all?

                                     TESANDER
                              (thinks it over)
                         Hit some limestone yesterday.

                                     JIM
                         Is that good?

                                     TESANDER
                         That's bad.

               Jim looks at Bill who shakes his head with mock commiseration.

                                     TESANDER
                         And right now it looks like we're 
                         coming into some shale.

                                     JIM
                         That's bad?

                                     TESANDER
                         That's good.

                                     JIM
                         Oh...

               Jim looks at Muriel for comfort which isn't forthcoming.

                                     TESANDER
                         'Course it might turn out to be 
                         sandstone.

                                     JIM
                         That's bad?

               Tesander shakes his head, "No."

                                     JIM
                         That's good?

               Tesander shakes his head, "No."

                                     TESANDER
                         Can't tell. Might be good. Might be 
                         bad. One thing you know -- you got 
                         plenty of shale, sandstone and 
                         limestone.

                                     JIM
                         ...I see.

               He turns a little helplessly to Muriel and Bill.

                                     BILL
                         On a hot day there's nothing like a 
                         nice cool limestone shower.

                                     MURIEL
                              (sweetly)
                         Mr. Tesander, just for the record, 
                         of course, what ever happened to 
                         water?

                                     TESANDER
                         Oh, it's there, all right.
                              (he smiles, nods, 
                              tips his hat to Muriel)
                         Just got to be patient.

               He turns on his motor, goes back to work. Jim, Muriel and 
               Bill start to move off.

                                     BILL
                         If you ask me, this project's getting 
                         a little out of hand.

                                     JIM
                              (defensively)
                         Nothing's getting out of hand at 
                         all. I've made a chart of the whole 
                         operation, and --
                              (indicates Tesander)
                         with a few minor deviations, I know 
                         exactly what every penny's going to 
                         cost.

                                     MURIEL
                         Two pennies.

                                     JIM
                              (coolly)
                         And just what does that mean?

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         Meansa we gotta blast.

               There is a loud dynamite blast o.s. As a shower of dirt and 
               rocks cascade down and they run for cover:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               JIM'S COST CHART

               INSERT JIM'S COST CHART - Jim stands casually above the house 
               holding the line with one hand. The group pushing from below 
               now consists of Smith, Hackett, Simms, Retch, Tesander, Zucca 
               and assorted sub-contractors and workmen. As the house moves 
               up a thousand dollars, Jim firmly pushes it back. It now 
               rests at $33,500.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. JIM'S OFFICE - DAY

               Jim and Mary.

                                     JIM
                         You see, Mary, the average fellow 
                         who builds a house doesn't know where 
                         he stands from day to day -- but I 
                         do things a little differently. With 
                         a few minor deviations I know exactly 
                         where every penny is going --

               There is a knock on the door. It opens and Bill Cole appears, 
               briefcase under his arm.

                                     BILL
                         Hi.

                                     JIM
                         Bill! Come in, come in.

                                     BILL
                              (entering)
                         Just going over the Knapp contracts 
                         with old man Dascomb and I -- uh --
                              (indicates Mary)
                         Can I talk?

                                     JIM
                              (a little concerned)
                         Sure. What's up?

                                     BILL
                              (obliquely)
                         While I was in there with Dascomb 
                         the conversation kind of got around 
                         to you and -- uh --

                                     JIM
                              (impatiently)
                         What is it?

                                     BILL
                         Well, he didn't say in so many words 
                         that ever since you started with 
                         that house you haven't turned in a 
                         decent piece of copy, but --

                                     JIM
                         But you kind of got the feeling...

                                     BILL
                         ...that if I told you, you'd know 
                         that he knew that you knew that he 
                         knew... that you knew... or something.

                                     JIM
                         What's he worrying about? The 
                         deadline's three months off. I've 
                         always --

               The phone rings. Mary answers.

                                     MARY
                         Hello? Yes. Just a minute.
                              (hands phone to Jim)
                         Mrs. Blandings calling from Lensdale.

                                     JIM
                         Yes, Muriel. What? What's that? 
                         Tesander struck water! Say that's 
                         wonderful!
                              (to Bill)
                         We've finally got our well.

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         Congratulations.

               He extends his hand. Jim absently shakes it, then:

                                     JIM
                              (listens at phone)
                         Huh? What's that?
                              (face falls)
                         What do you mean we've got two wells?
                              (listens; then, grimly)
                         I'll be right out.
                              (hangs up, rises)
                         Come on, Bill, we'd better get out 
                         to Lansdale.

                                     MARY
                         Anything wrong?

                                     JIM
                              (soberly, as he slips 
                              into his coat)
                         Mary, have you ever seriously 
                         considered building a house?

                                     MARY
                         Well, no offense, Mr. Blandings, but 
                         my boy friend says that anybody who 
                         builds a house today is crazy.

                                     JIM
                         You stick with that boy, he's got a 
                         great future.

               As he and Bill start for the door:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE EXCAVATION AT BALD MOUNTAIN - DAY

               Muriel, Jim, Bill, Simms and Retch stand at the edge looking 
               down at the excavation which is partially filled with bubbling 
               water.

                                     JIM
                         You mean you hit a spring, a bubbling 
                         spring right here in our cellar?

                                     SIMMS
                         It'll have to be diverted before 
                         Retch here can lay his cement.

                                     RETCH
                              (dubiously)
                         May take a while. Pumps are over in 
                         Jersey.

               Tesander walks into scene, looks down at the water.

                                     TESANDER
                         Tsk, tsk, tsk.

                                     JIM
                              (mild sarcasm)
                         Water, Mr. Tesander.

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep.

                                     JIM
                         At six feet!

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep.

                                     JIM
                              (indicates)
                         And over there, just thirty-two yards 
                         away, you had to go down two hundred 
                         and twenty-seven feet to hit the 
                         same water.

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep.

                                     JIM
                         How do you account for that, Mr. 
                         Tesander?

               Tesander considers a moment, rubs his chin, then:

                                     TESANDER
                         We-ll, way it seems to me, Mr. 
                         Blandings, over here the water's 
                         down around six feet and over there 
                         it's -- uh --

                                     BILL AND TESANDER
                         -- down around two hundred and twenty-
                         seven feet.

               Jim exchanges a weary look with Muriel.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               SPECIAL EFFECT: MONTAGE

               SPECIAL EFFECT: It consists of a Montage of the following 
               DISSOLVING SHOTS:

               (1) The water being pumped out of the excavation.

               (2) The cement mixer pouring cement into wheelbarrows.

               (3) The pouring of the cement floor, walls and foundations.

               (4) Planks, shingles and plumbing equipment begin to arrive 
               and are strewn about the property.

               (5) The exterior framing of the house begins to go up.

               (6) The sheathing is put on.

               (7) The roof is constructed.

               OVER THIS MONTAGE IS SUPERIMPOSED:

               Jim's Cost Chart. - With each successive operation, a new 
               workman is added to the already considerable group of people 
               who are pushing the house inexorably upward, this against 
               the frantic efforts of a slowly weakening Jim Blandings.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE BLANDINGS' HOUSE - DAY

               The exterior sheathing is completed and, in the roughest of 
               terms, the project begins to resemble a house. Among the 
               workmen's cars we notice the Blandings' convertible.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE INCOMPLETE LIVING ROOM - LOCATION #1 - DAY

               A dozen hammers, saws, trowels, etc. are heard in other parts 
               of the house busily rasping and banging away. Jim and Muriel 
               and Bill appear in the doorway before entering the rough 
               unfinished interior of what will eventually be the living 
               room.

                                     BILL
                         What's this, another closet?

                                     JIM
                         This happens to be our dining room.

                                     MURIEL
                         Not the dining room, dear, the living 
                         room.
                              (indicates)
                         There's the fireplace.

                                     JIM
                         Then where's the dining room?

                                     BILL
                         Maybe it's that little room off the 
                         hallway.

                                     JIM
                         That's the breakfast nook.

                                     MURIEL
                         It's not the breakfast nook, it's 
                         the powder room.

                                     JIM
                         Oh.

                                     BILL
                         Do me a favor -- don't ever invite 
                         me here for a meal.

               Two workmen pass by carrying a few long pieces of lumber. 
               The workmen don't see the Blandings.

                                     FIRST WORKMAN
                         I don't figure this Blandings at 
                         all. If you gotta build on the 
                         windiest hill in Connecticut, why do 
                         you have to pick the windiest side 
                         of the hill?

                                     BILL
                              (to workman)
                         You know these New York millionaires -- 
                         they're eccentric.

               The workmen pass from view.

                                     JIM
                         I think I'd like to go outside.

                                     BILL
                              (gesture to door)
                         After you, Rockefeller.

               As they enter the foyer, a carpenter appears.

                                     CARPENTER
                              (to Jim)
                         Just the man I want to see. Would 
                         you step over here a second?

                                     JIM
                         Sure.

                                     BILL
                              (indicating)
                         I'll browse around upstairs.

               As Bill starts up the stairs, Jim and Muriel follow the 
               carpenter.

                                     CARPENTER
                              (pointing up)
                         On them second floor lintels between 
                         the lally columns, do you want we 
                         should rabbet them or not?

                                     JIM
                              (lost)
                         The -- second -- floor -- lallys?

                                     CARPENTER
                         The second floor lintels, between 
                         the lallys.

                                     JIM
                         Oh. Oh, the lintels between the 
                         lallys?

                                     CARPENTER
                         Yeah. From the blueprints you can't 
                         tell. You want they should be 
                         rabbeted?

               Jim throws a brief look at Muriel who is regarding him 
               skeptically.

                                     JIM
                         Un -- umm. No, I guess not.

                                     CARPENTER
                         Okay, you're the doctor.
                              (calls)
                         Hey, fellas, you got any of them 
                         rabbeted lintels set, rip 'em out!

               After the sheerest pause there comes a shriek of nails 
               brutally withdrawn from timber, a loud splintering of wood 
               and then something of the appearance of entrails comes 
               hurtling down end over end landing with a dusty slap at Jim's 
               feet. The carpenter exits. Muriel gives Jim an accusing look.

                                     JIM
                              (sheepishly)
                         It sounded less... expensive to say 
                         no.

               There is another loud screech and more "entrails" come 
               hurtling down, narrowly missing them. Muriel yells in the 
               direction from which they came.

                                     MURIEL
                         Stop it! Stop it!

               From upstairs comes a long, shrill whistle. Instantly all 
               sound of activity ceases and a voice is heard.

                                     VOICE
                         Okay, fellas, let's quit!

                                     JIM
                              (to Muriel)
                         Now look what you've done.

               As Muriel turns with apprehension, eighteen workmen come 
               trooping down the stairs.

                                     JIM
                              (conciliatory)
                         Look, men, Mrs. Blandings didn't 
                         mean anything.
                              (the workmen regard 
                              him curiously)
                         I mean, there's no point in walking 
                         off a job just because... a woman 
                         makes a silly little remark.

                                     WORKMAN
                         It's Saturday, mister. We quit at 
                         twelve o'clock. This ain't a chain 
                         gang, you know.

               As the workmen exit the Blandings look at each other a little 
               sheepishly, start up the stairs.

               CRANE SHOT - AS THE BLANDINGS GO UP THE STAIRS

               CRANE SHOT - as the Blandings go up the stairs.

                                     MURIEL
                         I'm just sick. From the outside this 
                         house looks like a grain elevator, 
                         and on the inside everything's miles 
                         too small.

               As they reach the second floor landing, we hear, o.s. a steady 
               but muffled pounding.

               They stop as they hear the thumping.

                                     MURIEL
                         What's that?

                                     JIM
                         What's what?

                                     MURIEL
                         That noise -- listen.
                              (again the thumping)
                         It's coming from the closet!

               They rush to the closet, open the heavy oak door. Bill is 
               inside, leaning disgustedly against the wall.

                                     JIM
                         What happened?

                                     BILL
                         The door blew shut. I got locked in.

                                     JIM
                         Impossible. I had this closet built 
                         especially for myself. The lock opens 
                         from the inside.

                                     BILL
                         Maybe for Houdini -- not for me.

               As Bill starts to step out, Jim detains him.

                                     JIM
                         Nothing to it. A child could work 
                         it. Look, I'll show you.

               He steps inside with Bill, firmly closes the door. A moment's 
               pause. The door re-opens.

                                     JIM
                              (condescendingly)
                         You see, it just takes a little good 
                         old Yankee know-how.

                                     MURIEL
                         You know, dear, it's just possible 
                         the lock worked for you and not for 
                         Bill.

                                     JIM
                         Ridiculous. Even you could do it.

                                     MURIEL
                              (sarcastic)
                         Thank you.

                                     JIM
                         Come on, I'll show you.

               He ushers Muriel inside and the door closes on the threesome. 
               The CAMERA REMAINS on the closed door.

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         Go ahead, dear, just open it.

               The knob turns, jiggles a little, but the door remains closed.

                                     MURIEL'S VOICE
                         I don't seem to be able to ---

                                     JIM'S VOICE
                         Here, let me show you! You just take 
                         the knob and turn it clockwise.

               An efficient clockwise turn of the knob. Pause. An impatient 
               doubletwist of the knob. Pause. A more forceful rattling of 
               the knob, plus a slight kick. A furious rattling, pounding 
               and kicking. The door remains closed.

               INT. THE CLOSET

               As Jim turns sheepishly:

                                     BILL
                         Nothing like that good old Yankee 
                         know-how.

               Jim turns back to the door, pounds on it, yelling:

                                     JIM
                         Hey! Hey! Somebody let us out of 
                         here!

               Silence. Muriel is at the shoulder-high circular frame solid 
               glass window. She looks out.

                                     MURIEL
                         Oh, dear.

               Jim and Bill look out.

               WHAT THEY SEE - THE LAST OF THE WORKMEN'S CARS

               WHAT THEY SEE - The last of the workmen's cars driving away.

               INT. CLOSET

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         Leave a call for seven o'clock.
                              (afterthought)
                         Monday morning.

               Jim gives him a look, turns back to the window, sizing up an 
               escape, starts muttering to himself.

                                     JIM
                         If I could just get over to that 
                         scaffolding...

               He tests the window frame, finds it solid.

                                     JIM
                              (still muttering)
                         Seems a shame but I guess it's the 
                         only way...

               Jim picks up a piece of tar paper.

                                     MURIEL
                         What are you going to do?

                                     JIM
                         Don't get panicky, I'll get you out 
                         of here.
                              (hands tar paper to 
                              Bill)
                         Here, hold this over the window.

               As Bill somewhat skeptically complies, Jim picks up a piece 
               of two-by-four.

                                     JIM
                         Stand back, Muriel.

               Jim raises the plank, takes a stance.

                                     JIM
                              (to Bill)
                         Ready?

                                     BILL
                         Roger.

               Jim swings; the window shatters. Almost simultaneously there 
               is a click and the door to the closet swings open. As Jim 
               turns with a sense of accomplishment, his face falls as he 
               and the others see that the erratic door has opened.

                                     MURIEL
                              (sweetly)
                         In case of emergency -- break glass. 
                         Come on, Bill.

               As Muriel and Bill precede Jim out of the closet and down 
               the stairs, Jim pauses, speculatively toying with the lock.

                                     JIM
                              (muttering)
                         Funny... always worked before. Huh. 
                         I wonder...

               INT. FOYER - STAIRWAY

               Muriel and Bill walking down the stairs. From upstairs comes 
               a steady sullen pounding from the interior of the closet. 
               Without a word, they stop, look at each other, turn and walk 
               back upstairs.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BREAKFAST NOOK - DAY

               Muriel and the children are having breakfast. Jim enters, in 
               fairly high spirits, once again improvising to "Home On The 
               Range."

                                     JIM
                              (as he sits down)
                         "Home, home in Connecticut -- Where 
                         you have to conform to local 
                         traditions, customs, politics and 
                         etiquette..."
                              (picks up his morning 
                              mail, starts to thumb 
                              through it)

                                     JOAN
                         Dad, do you suppose I could have a 
                         chemistry lab in the basement?

                                     JIM
                              (preoccupied with 
                              mail)
                         Sure, why not?

                                     BETSY
                         I think it's awful. Smelling up the 
                         house with those horrible chemicals.

                                     MURIEL
                         Never mind, Betsy.
                              (to Jim)
                         Dear, I'm going up to the place this 
                         afternoon to see about landscaping. 
                         Bill's driving me.

                                     JIM
                              (preoccupied)
                         That's nice.
                              (looking up; darkly)
                         What do you mean, Bill's driving 
                         you?

                                     MURIEL
                              (a little annoyed)
                         Why do you always say, "what do you 
                         mean," when you know perfectly well 
                         what I mean and what you mean?

                                     JIM
                         I mean that every time I turn my 
                         back Bill Cole's driving you some 
                         place or something.

                                     MURIEL
                         He's only being helpful.

                                     JIM
                              (annoyed; tears open 
                              a letter)
                         I thought he was a lawyer! Why isn't 
                         he out suing somebody?

                                     JOAN
                         Bicker, bicker, bicker.

                                     MURIEL
                              (to Joan)
                         Another word and you don't get your 
                         laboratory.

                                     BETSY
                         Well, that's something!

               Jim suddenly explodes, crumpling a letter he has just read.

                                     JIM
                         We'll just see about that!

                                     MURIEL
                              (concerned)
                         What is it, dear?

               Ignoring her, he reaches for the phone, starts to dial.

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim, what's the matter?

                                     JIM
                              (into phone; sharply)
                         Mr. William Cole, please.
                              (pause; then with 
                              rising emotion)
                         Hello, Bill? I want you to fight 
                         this thing! I know my rights as a 
                         citizen! They can't get away with 
                         it!... What do you mean, what am I 
                         talking about? The letter, of course. 
                         From the owner of this building. 
                         They want us to move! It's a thirty 
                         day notice!
                              (listens a moment)
                         But that's ridiculous. How can I 
                         move into a house that isn't even 
                         finished?! No windows, no plaster -- 
                         or paint, or -- or plumbing!
                              (listens a moment; 
                              then with rising 
                              emotion)
                         Now you listen to me! I have no 
                         intention of moving in thirty days! 
                         This is not legal! I'm going to fight 
                         this thing! And I don't care if it 
                         takes every penny I've got!
                              (listens)
                         Yeah... Yeah... Yeah... All right!
                              (hangs up)

                                     MURIEL
                              (expectantly)
                         ...Well?

                                     JIM
                              (quietly)
                         We're moving in thirty days.

               On Muriel's reaction:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. ROAD AND COVERED BRIDGE - DAY

               Two moving vans are approaching the bridge. Behind them is 
               the Blandings' convertible. In it are Jim, Muriel and the 
               children. Behind it and attached is a trailer. After a pause, 
               over this, we hear:

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         So-came thirty days -- and they moved.

               MED. CLOSE SHOT - ENTRANCE TO BRIDGE.

               MED. CLOSE SHOT - Entrance to bridge. As the cavalcade passes 
               through we see in the rear of the trailer, jammed among the 
               household effects, Gussie and a very uncomfortable Mr. Bill 
               Cole.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         I mean -- we moved.

               OTHER END OF BRIDGE AND FORK

               The moving vans precede the convertible, make the wrong turn. 
               Jim stops the convertible at the fork and honks as he 
               impatiently gestures to the drivers to turn in the opposite 
               direction. Over this:

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                              (as Jim would say it)
                         That's the wrong road! Any fool knows 
                         that!

               Jim starts his car up leading the way.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. ROAD AT THE HOUSE - DAY

               The moving vans turn up the new gravel driveway. Jim stops 
               his car and they all look off at the house, react with 
               pleasant surprise.

               WHAT THEY SEE - LONG SHOT - THE HOUSE IS RAPIDLY NEARING 
               COMPLETION.

               WHAT THEY SEE - LONG SHOT - The house is rapidly nearing 
               completion. A half dozen men are finishing the exterior 
               painting, planing down doors, etc. In front, a couple of men 
               from the nursery are working on the landscaping. For the 
               first time we, as well as the Blandings, see the property as 
               a clean, bright and very attractive new house.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Well, there she is, bright and shining -- 
                         and just about complete -- the 
                         residence of Mr. and Mrs. James H. 
                         Blandings.

               INT. THE CAR - DAY

               MOVING SHOT - Jim and Muriel are visibly affected by the 
               sight of their Dream House. They exchange a warm intimate 
               smile.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Not bad at that.

               EXT. THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE - DAY

               MED. SHOT. The car pulls up, stops.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                              (efficient scoutmaster)
                         All right! -- Everybody out.

               Everybody piles out of the car. As Jim and Muriel walk toward 
               the house away from us and Bill, Muriel sentimentally reaches 
               out, takes Jim's hand.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Guess you can't blame them for feeling 
                         just a little bit proud.

               At the door, Jim stops, indicates that he'd like to carry 
               Muriel across the threshold.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                              (sentimentally)
                         Look -- he wants to carry his wife 
                         across the threshold. Romantic, isn't 
                         it?

               JOAN AND BETSY.

               Joan and Betsy. They look on with distinct adolescent 
               disapproval.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Ooops! I guess I meant "corny."

               GROUP SHOT. OVER MURIEL'S PLAYFUL PROTEST

               GROUP SHOT. Over Muriel's playful protest, Jim starts to 
               pick her up.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Uh-uh. Watch that sacroiliac. Fifteen 
                         years since you've done this sort of 
                         thing.

               Jim manages to lift Muriel.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Whew! Nice work, Tarzan. Now, let's 
                         see if you can make it into the hall.

               Jim carries Muriel over the threshold and into the foyer.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         That's right. Go right in. Don't pay 
                         any attention to the sign.

               The CAMERA PANS TO a LOW SHOT of a sign on the floor of the 
               foyer. It reads:

                                       WET VARNISH

               FULL SHOT - FOYER.

               FULL SHOT - foyer. In the b.g. is a painter, varnishing the 
               floor. He looks up in complete dismay as he sees his newly 
               varnished floor being violated. After a couple of steps, Jim 
               stops, suddenly aware of the painter. The painter rises, 
               throws down his brush, says something caustic.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                              (imitating painter)
                         Don't mind me, buddy, I just got 
                         through varnishing that floor.

               Jim reacts, raises a tentative foot, the sticky varnish 
               practically holding it to the floor. Jim says something.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Whose bright idea was this?

               The painter says something, points at Muriel. Jim looks darkly 
               and accusingly at Muriel whose weak smile is an admission of 
               guilt.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         She just wanted everything to be 
                         nice and shiny on the day they moved 
                         in.

               Jim turns and shouts something to the painter.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Stop painting that floor and put 
                         some planks down in here, or some 
                         thing!

               The painter shouts back.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Okay, mister, but take it easy. The 
                         Republicans ain't in yet, you know.

               Jim reacts, turns and walks back out of the foyer, desperately 
               trying to match his clearly outlined incoming footsteps. 
               Each step is outlined by strands of thick sticky varnish.

               EXT. THE FRONT DOOR OF THE HOUSE - DAY

               As Jim appears, still carrying Muriel, Betsy and Joan catch 
               his attention, indicate the front wall of the house which is 
               complete except for the windows. Jim reacts.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Oh, fine! A house without windows! 
                         We'll just see about that!

               Abruptly handing Muriel to Bill he starts off. Ahead of him 
               and unnoticed are a layer of newspapers which have been spread 
               out.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         Look out for those papers!

               But Jim has stepped on the papers. They stick to his feet. 
               After a few steps he is aware of it, tries to get rid of 
               them. After a few hectic but futile attempts, he disgustedly 
               disappears around a corner of the house, the newspapers 
               flapping behind him.

               EXT. SIDE OF HOUSE - DAY

               Jim flaps his way up to a workman who is staring at a pile 
               of window casements.

                                     JIM
                         Where's Simms?

                                     WORKMAN
                         Around back trying to figure out 
                         what to do about them windows.

                                     JIM
                         What's the problem? You put windows 
                         up.

                                     WORKMAN
                         Not these. They don't fit.

                                     JIM
                              (angrily; control 
                              going)
                         Oh, they don't, don't they?

               He continues on toward the back of the house, the newspapers 
               flapping beneath him.

               EXT. REAR OF HOUSE - DAY

               Simms and Retch. More window frames are neatly stacked against 
               the wall. Simms and Retch react as they see an angry Jim 
               Blandings flap his way into scene, his varnished shoes having 
               picked up additional paper, shavings, shingles, etc. Retch 
               hands Jim a sheaf of papers.

                                     RETCH
                         Oh, Mr. Blandings, you'd better look 
                         these over.

                                     JIM
                         What's this about the windows?

                                     SIMMS
                              (calmly)
                         I'm afraid there's a little slip-up. 
                         These windows seem to belong to a 
                         Mr. Landings in Fishkill, New York. 
                         I talked to Mr. Landings this morning.

                                     JIM
                         Well, has he got mine?

                                     SIMMS
                         No, he seems to have some windows 
                         that belong to a Mr. Blandsworth of 
                         Peekskill.

                                     JIM
                         Where are my windows?!

                                     SIMMS
                         As near as we can figure out they've 
                         either been sent to a Mr. Benton in 
                         Evanston, Illinois, or a Mr. Bamberger 
                         of Phoenix, Arizona.

               Bill wanders into scene, looks over Jim's shoulder.

                                     JIM
                         What are we supposed to do -- live 
                         the rest of our lives in a house 
                         without windows?

                                     SIMMS
                         It'll just be a matter of a few days.

                                     BILL
                         What's a "Zuz-Zuz Water Soft-N-R"?

                                     JIM
                         How should I know?

                                     BILL
                              (indicating)
                         You've got one.

                                     JIM
                              (reading from bill)
                         "Furnishing and installing one Zuz-
                         Zuz Water Soft-N-R, two hundred and 
                         eighty dollars!"
                              (explosively)
                         I will not have any such piece of 
                         equipment in my house!

                                     SIMMS
                         I'm afraid I authorized that, Mr. 
                         Blandings -- to save your boiler and 
                         water pipes.

                                     JIM
                         From what?!

                                     SIMMS
                         Rust. The plumbing man assures us 
                         the water from your well is the most 
                         corrosive in his entire experience 
                         in the trade.

                                     BILL
                         Another first!

                                     JIM
                              (pursing his lips)
                         Mm.
                              (irritably)
                         Well, if it's necessary, put it in! 
                         We're moving in today, you know and --

                                     RETCH
                         It's in.

                                     JIM
                         Oh.
                              (a final show of 
                              authority; sharply)
                         Then get me the bill for it!

                                     BILL
                              (indicating bill)
                         You've got it.

                                     JIM
                         All right then.

               And he stalks off, his papers, shavings, etc. flapping behind 
               him.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

               The moving vans are driving away.

               INT. THE FOYER - LATE AFTERNOON

               A general flurry of activity; Gussie and several workmen 
               carrying furniture upstairs, unpacking barrels, etc. Muriel, 
               list and samples in hand, is explaining her color scheme to 
               Mr. PeDelford, a polite, cigar-smoking, noncommittal boss 
               painter. In the b.g., casually leaning on the bannister is 
               PeDelford's taciturn and somewhat skeptical-looking assistant.

                                     MURIEL
                         Now I want the living room to be a 
                         soft green.
                              (PeDelford nods)
                         Not quite as bluish as a robin's 
                         egg, but yet not as yellow as daffodil 
                         buds.

                                     PEDELFORD
                         Mm.

                                     MURIEL
                              (handing him a sample)
                         The best sample I could get is a 
                         little too yellow, but don't let 
                         whoever mixes it go to the other 
                         extreme and get it too blue. It should 
                         just be sort of a grayish yellow 
                         green.

                                     PEDELFORD
                              (making a note)
                         Mm-hmm.

               They turn to the dining room.

                                     MURIEL
                         Now the dining room I'd like yellow. 
                         Not just yellow, a very gay yellow.

                                     PEDELFORD
                         Mm-hmm.

                                     MURIEL
                         Something bright and sunshiny.
                              (sudden inspiration)
                         I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll 
                         just send one of your workmen to the 
                         A&P for a pound of their best butter 
                         and match it exactly, you can't go 
                         wrong.

                                     PEDELFORD
                              (making a note)
                         Mm.

                                     MURIEL
                         This is the paper we're going to use 
                         here in the foyer.
                              (hands sample to him)
                         It's flowered but I don't want the 
                         ceiling to match any of the colors 
                         of the flowers. There are some little 
                         dots in the background, and it's 
                         these dots I want you to match. Not 
                         the little greenish dots near the 
                         hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish 
                         dot between the rosebud and the 
                         delphinium blossom. Is that clear?

               PeDelford looks carefully at the sample, then:

                                     PEDELFORD
                              (making note)
                         Mm-hmm.

                                     MURIEL
                         The kitchen's to be white. Not a 
                         cold, antiseptic hospital white -- a 
                         little warmer but not to suggest any 
                         other color but white.

                                     PEDELFORD
                              (note)
                         Mm.

                                     MURIEL
                         Now for the powder room, I want you 
                         to match this thread.
                              (hands him thread)
                         You can see it's practically an apple 
                         red. Somewhere between a healthy 
                         Winesap and an unripened Jonathan.

                                     PEDELFORD
                              (making note)
                         Mm.

               There is a crash from the kitchen.

                                     MURIEL
                         Will you excuse me?

               Muriel hastily exits toward the kitchen. PeDelford turns to 
               his assistant.

                                     PEDELFORD
                         Got it, Charlie?

                                     CHARLIE
                              (deadpan; indicating 
                              rooms with his thumb)
                         Green, yellow, blue, white, red.

                                     PEDELFORD
                         Check.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. PANTRY - OFF KITCHEN - DAY

               Joan is on a stepladder helping Gussie put away some dishes. 
               Remains of two broken plates are on the floor below them.

                                     MURIEL
                         Joan, you know father was to take 
                         care of the heavy dishes.

                                     JOAN
                         He disappeared. I haven't seen him 
                         for an hour.

               Betsy flies into the room waving a railroad timetable.

                                     BETSY
                         Where's Uncle Bill? I just checked 
                         the timetable -- he's going to miss 
                         his train.

                                     MURIEL
                         If they've run off somewhere it 
                         certainly isn't very --
                              (suddenly stops, 
                              listens)

               From upstairs comes the SOUND of a steady, methodical thumping 
               of a hand on a solid oak door.

                                     MURIEL
                         Heavens!

               She rushes for the door.

                                                             QUICK DISSOLVE

               UPSTAIRS LANDING

               Muriel opens the closet door revealing Jim and Bill, who 
               have been locked in the closet for the last hour. Each leans 
               against the wall, arms folded, in an attitude of boredom and 
               disgust. Without a word Jim and Bill exit from the closet. 
               The three start down the stairs.

                                     JIM
                              (darkly)
                         I thought you were going to take 
                         care of it.

                                     MURIEL
                         I thought you were.

                                     BETSY
                              (from below)
                         You're going to miss your train, 
                         Uncle Bill! It leaves Lansdale in 
                         twenty-five minutes.

                                     BILL
                         Isn't there a later one?

                                     BETSY
                         Not till the Commuter's Special 
                         tomorrow morning at six-fifteen.

                                     JIM
                         You mean seven-fifteen.

                                     BETSY
                         No, Dad, six-fifteen.

                                     JIM
                         What about the seven-fifteen I'm 
                         supposed to take to the office every 
                         morning?!

                                     BETSY
                              (consulting timetable)
                         There's a little asterisk. The seven-
                         fifteen only runs Saturdays, Sundays 
                         and holidays.

                                     JIM
                              (taking timetable)
                         Let me see that!
                              (scans table, 
                              tightlipped)
                         Muriel!

                                     MURIEL
                         Oh, dear, don't tell me I read it 
                         wrong.

                                     JIM
                         That's fine! For the rest of my life 
                         I'm going to have to get up at five 
                         o'clock in the morning to catch the 
                         six-fifteen, to get to my office by 
                         eight, which doesn't even open until 
                         nine -- and which I never get to 
                         until ten!

                                     MURIEL
                         Perhaps if you started earlier you 
                         could quit earlier.

                                     JIM
                              (sharply)
                         So I could get home earlier to go to 
                         bed earlier to get up earlier!

                                     BILL
                         Maybe you can have the railroad push 
                         the train up to four-fifteen -- then 
                         you won't have to go to bed at all!

                                     BETSY
                         Uncle Bill, you're going to miss 
                         your train!

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim, you clean up this mess. I'll 
                         drive Bill to the station and pick 
                         up some cold cuts for dinner.

               Betsy and Joan pick up some boxes and walk into the dining 
               room.

                                     BETSY
                         You'd better hurry!

                                     BILL
                              (indicating upstairs 
                              closet)
                         Kind of hate to leave that little 
                         place. Just four walls and a couple 
                         of mothballs, but to me it'll always 
                         be home.

                                     JIM
                              (preoccupied with 
                              timetable)
                         So long, Bill.

               Bill and Muriel exit.

               INT. THE DINING ROOM

               As Jim drifts in, still preoccupied with timetable:

                                     JOAN
                         It's certainly going to be fun this 
                         summer when Uncle Bill comes up for 
                         his vacation.

                                     BETSY
                         We'll get in a lot of doubles.

                                     JIM
                         Hmm?
                              (looks up from 
                              timetable)
                         What are you talking about? Bill's 
                         going to Europe.

                                     BETSY
                         No, he's not. I heard him and mother 
                         talking. He's going to move his 
                         vacation up and take a place in 
                         Lansdale.

                                     JIM
                              (vaguely annoyed)
                         Uh-huh... Mm-hm. Mm-hm... Uh-huh.
                              (then, covering up)
                         All right, come on, come on. Get 
                         busy.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' CAR - (PROCESS)

               Evening is beginning to fall as Muriel drives Bill into town.

                                     MURIEL
                         I'll scout around and find you a 
                         place in Lansdale.
                              (quickly)
                         Now, you're not going to change your 
                         mind about coming up?

                                     BILL
                         Don't worry, I'll be on the job.

                                     MURIEL
                         It won't be easy. I promise you a 
                         Cook's tour of every lamp maker, rug 
                         weaver, and antique shop in Lansdale 
                         County.

                                     BILL
                              (philosophically)
                         When I married you two I suppose I 
                         took you for better or for worse.

               Muriel smiles warmly, and in a friendly gesture reaches over 
               and pats his hand.

                                     MURIEL
                         Good old Uncle Bill.

                                     BILL
                              (drily)
                         Good old Uncle Bill.

               As they exchange an understanding smile:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               It is dark outside and getting quite chilly. The children 
               are unpacking a last barrel. They have made a rather unsteady 
               pile of books and boxes, obviously Muriel's personal effects. 
               Jim is in the process of trying to start his first fire in 
               the fireplace. The immediate result is a clouding of the 
               room with smoke. As he backs away, coughing, he bumps into 
               the pile which falls to the floor spilling open a box which 
               contains, among other things, Muriel's diary and a lifetime 
               accumulation of sentimental trinkets.

                                     JIM
                         Now look what you've done!

               Betsy coughs her way to the fireplace, turns the flue handle. 
               The smoke immediately goes up the chimney and the room starts 
               to clear.

                                     BETSY
                         Father, the first principle of 
                         lighting a fire is to see if the 
                         flue is open. A three-year-old child 
                         knows that.

                                     JIM
                         Next time we want a fire I'll send 
                         out for a three-year-old child!
                              (indicates trinkets)
                         Get that stuff cleaned up and go in 
                         and help Gussie set the table. It's 
                         getting late.

               The children start gathering up the debris. Joan picks up 
               some trinkets which have spilled from a cardboard box.

                                     JOAN
                         Look, Dad, your fraternity pins.

                                     JIM
                              (busy cleaning the 
                              fireplace)
                         Pins? I only had one.

                                     JOAN
                         There are two of them here.

                                     JIM
                         All right, all right. Just put them 
                         away.

                                     JOAN
                              (examining them)
                         Funny, this one says W.C. on the 
                         back. W.C.?
                              (brightly)
                         William Cole! It must be Uncle Bill's!

                                     JIM
                         Huh?
                              (reaching for it)
                         Let me see that.
                              (examining pin)
                         Hmmmm.

               Betsy has picked up a small leather-bound book. She whistles.

                                     JOAN
                         What's that?

                                     BETSY
                         Mother's diary when she was in 
                         college. It's slightly torrid.

                                     JOAN
                              (coming over)
                         Let's see.

                                     JIM
                              (sharply)
                         That's none of your business!

                                     BETSY
                              (scanning page)
                         I'd say mother and Uncle Bill were 
                         somewhat of an item!

                                     JIM
                              (taking book from 
                              Betsy)
                         People do not read other people's 
                         diaries! It's not a very nice thing 
                         to do!
                              (shooting them out)
                         Now go in there and help Gussie with 
                         the table.

                                     BETSY
                              (indicating debris)
                         What about --?

                                     JIM
                         I'll take care of that. Now, shoo, 
                         shoo.

               The children exit. Jim is about to put down the diary when 
               his curiosity gets the better of him. Making sure he's 
               unobserved, he sits down on a box, opens the book, starts to 
               read. As his brows wrinkle with concern:

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE HOUSE - NIGHT

               The wind is howling, the trees swaying. The lights are on in 
               the kitchen. CAMERA MOVES UP to the open kitchen window.

               INT. THE KITCHEN - NIGHT

               The family, in overcoats, is huddled around the kitchen table 
               finishing dinner. Gussie, in overcoat and muffler, is clearing 
               the dishes away. Jim, a sober look on his face, rises, takes 
               a steaming kettle from the stove.

                                     MURIEL
                         Where are you going?

                                     JIM
                         To shave.

                                     MURIEL
                         Tonight??

                                     JIM
                         While I can still trust myself with 
                         a razor. At six o'clock in the morning 
                         I'd probably cut my throat. Goodnight.

               Jim abruptly exits. Muriel looks after him with concern.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' BATHROOM - NIGHT

               Jim, in his pajamas and overcoat is shaving. After a few 
               moments Muriel, in her nightgown and overcoat, enters the 
               scene.

                                     MURIEL
                         Excuse...

               She takes her toothbrush and opens the cabinet, Jim 
               automatically moving around back of it in their previously 
               established pattern. As Muriel puts the paste on her brush, 
               replaces the tube, shuts the cabinet and starts to brush her 
               teeth, Jim uncomfortably moves back to his original position.

                                     MURIEL
                         Excuse...

                                     JIM
                         Muriel, do you have to do that now?!

                                     MURIEL
                         There's no need to be so irritable 
                         just because you have to shave at 
                         night.

                                     JIM
                         I'm not irritable!

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, you're certainly something! 
                         You haven't said a civil word all 
                         evening.

                                     JIM
                         Sometimes a man doesn't feel like 
                         talking.

                                     MURIEL
                              (solicitously)
                         What is it, dear? Something down at 
                         the office?

                                     JIM
                         No.

                                     MURIEL
                         Have you got the new slogan for 
                         "Wham"?

                                     JIM
                         It's not due yet!

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, it's something. You're certainly 
                         upset about something. I can always 
                         tell.

                                     JIM
                         I'm not upset.
                              (going back to shaving; 
                              with studied unconcern)
                         It's just that I don't happen to 
                         approve of falsehood and deception. 
                         Particularly in my own wife.

                                     MURIEL
                         What are you talking about?

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         Oh, nothing. It's just that I 
                         distinctly remember your telling me 
                         you gave back Bill's fraternity pin 
                         fifteen years ago.

               Muriel looks at him, puzzled.

                                     JIM
                         Well, did you or didn't you?

                                     MURIEL
                         Did I, or didn't I what?

                                     JIM
                         Give it back to him.

                                     MURIEL
                         Of course I did. If I said I did, I 
                         did.

                                     JIM
                              (suddenly Sam Spade)
                         Then perhaps you'd have the goodness 
                         to explain how this happened to fall 
                         out of your jewel box?

               He takes the pin out of his pocket and hands it to her. Muriel 
               takes the pin, looks at it sentimentally. Suddenly she looks 
               at Jim and bursts out laughing.

                                     JIM
                         What's so funny?

                                     MURIEL
                         You! You're jealous! You're standing 
                         there with your face full of soap 
                         and you're jealous.

                                     JIM
                              (angrily)
                         If you were so crazy about the guy, 
                         why didn't you marry him?!

                                     MURIEL
                              (beginning to be a 
                              little angry)
                         Because I wasn't in love with him!

                                     JIM
                              (vindictively)
                         That's not what you said in your 
                         diary!

                                     MURIEL
                              (now really angry)
                         Oh, now you've been reading my diary!

                                     JIM
                              (a little guilty)
                         Well -- it happened to fall open 
                         and... I... happened to look at it. 
                         It... just happened.

                                     MURIEL
                         I'll just bet!

                                     JIM
                         It's all over the book so why don't 
                         you admit it? You were in love with 
                         Bill Cole!

                                     MURIEL
                         Don't be absurd! Of course I was in 
                         love with Bill. In those days I was 
                         in love with a new man every week.

                                     JIM
                         Then why did you marry me?

                                     MURIEL
                         I'm beginning to wonder!
                              (exploding)
                         Maybe it was those big cow eyes of 
                         yours or that ridiculous hole in 
                         your chin! Maybe I knew that some 
                         day you'd bring me out to this thirty-
                         eight thousand dollar icebox with a 
                         dried-up trout stream and no windows! 
                         Or maybe I just happened to fall in 
                         love with you -- but for heaven's 
                         sake, don't ask me why!

               Muriel stalks out of the bathroom. Jim looks after her, 
               thoughtfully starts to dry his face.

               INT. THE BEDROOM

               Jim enters. Muriel stands with her back to him angrily winding 
               the clock. Jim noisily clears his throat. No reaction.

                                     JIM
                              (tentatively)
                         ...Muriel?

               No reaction.

                                     JIM
                         ...Honey?

               No reaction.

                                     JIM
                         Would it do any good to say I'm sorry?

                                     MURIEL
                         I don't know.

               Jim gently turns her around facing him.

                                     JIM
                         Well -- I am. I acted like a schoolboy 
                         and I'm sorry.

               Muriel looks at Jim. Finally she smiles.

                                     MURIEL
                         Oh, Jim!

               She goes into his arms and they kiss intimately. As their 
               lips part:

                                     MURIEL
                              (dreamily)
                         Why don't you take the soap out of 
                         your ears?

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         Why do I love you so much?

               Jim again kisses her tenderly, warmly.

                                     MURIEL
                              (breathless)
                         Darling, it's awfully late.

               Jim kisses her again, a little more ardently.

                                     MURIEL
                              (same)
                         Maybe you ought to go down and lock 
                         the doors.

                                     JIM
                              (kissing her ear)
                         What for? The windows are all open 
                         anyway.

                                     MURIEL
                              (as he starts to kiss 
                              her again)
                         Jim, you have to get up at six 
                         o'clock.

                                     JIM
                              (considers; logic 
                              prevails; brief sigh)
                         Yes, I guess so.

                                     MURIEL
                              (reluctantly)
                         Goodnight, dear.

                                     JIM
                              (same)
                         Goodnight.

               Each gets into his own bed, still wearing the overcoats.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INSERT JIM'S COST CHART - The house now wavers at $37,000. 
               As Jim and Muriel still try to stem the tide, the group that 
               is pushing the house ever upward includes all of the previous 
               people connected with the house and -- in addition --plumbers, 
               painters, landscape gardeners, etc. Over this, and across 
               the scene flutter more bills, more extras.

                                     BILL'S VOICE
                         And so the days sped by -- and the 
                         bills -- and the extras -- and as 
                         the house approached forty thousand 
                         dollars, Jim approached his deadline 
                         for the new slogan. It was almost a 
                         photo finish.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. RADIO CITY - NIGHT (STOCK)

               It is raining. The lights are on in the buildings.

               INT. JIM'S OFFICE - NIGHT

               Mary is attending to some detail work as the door opens and 
               Jim enters, disturbed. Mary looks at him questioningly.

                                     JIM
                         You'd better send out for coffee and 
                         sandwiches,... It looks like an all 
                         night session.

                                     MARY
                              (concerned)
                         What did he say?

                                     JIM
                              (wearily, seating 
                              himself at desk)
                         Tomorrow morning.

                                     MARY
                              (sighs)
                         Well, I guess you'll just have to 
                         dream something up -- good or bad.

                                     JIM
                         I rather got the impression it had 
                         better be good.

                                     MARY
                              (raised eyebrow)
                         Oh.

               He picks up a pencil, nibbles on it thoughtfully. The silence 
               in the room is broken only by the patter of raindrops on the 
               window. It strikes a note in Jim's subconscious. He swivels 
               around in his chair and stares soberly out the window.

                                     JIM
                              (ruminatively, almost 
                              to himself)
                         Funny how you look forward to the 
                         little things. Rain, for instance.

               Mary looks at him curiously. He turns to her.

                                     JIM
                         For a month now, I guess I've been 
                         looking forward to the first rainy 
                         night at the house.
                              (looks at Muriel's 
                              picture)
                         Big blazing fire. Muriel knitting. 
                         Me in my new smoking jacket... with 
                         my pipe and slippers, reading my 
                         paper...
                              (sighs)
                         Oh, well.

               As he starts to work.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INT. THE BLANDINGS' LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Note: The house is painted and almost completely furnished.

               A hard rain beats on the windows. There is a blazing fire in 
               the fireplace. Muriel, in a warm bathrobe, sits near it, 
               comfortably knitting. In fact, the scene is exactly the one 
               Jim has just described, except that the man with slippers, 
               pipe and smoking jacket, reading the paper, is Bill Cole. 
               Near the fire, Bill's rain-drenched jacket, shirt and shoes 
               are hanging up to dry. The cozy tranquillity is broken by a 
               sharp RINGING of the front doorbell.

                                     MURIEL
                              (with relief)
                         Thank heavens! The children.

                                     BILL
                              (rising)
                         Stay put. You look too comfortable.

               The CAMERA FOLLOWS Bill to the front door. He opens it. A 
               man in raincoat and boots stands there in the pouring, driving 
               rain. The man enters as Bill struggles to get the door shut 
               against the wind.

                                     MR. JONES
                         Whew! What a night! I'm Jones, from 
                         down the road. Just came over to 
                         tell you your kids are all right, 
                         Mr. Blandings.

                                     BILL
                         Oh, I'm not Mr. Blandings. Cole's 
                         the name, Bill Cole.

               He sees Jones' doubtful look at the smoking jacket, feels an 
               explanation is necessary.

                                     BILL
                         Friend of the family. Wet clothes. 
                         Just came in out of the rain.

               Muriel walks into scene. Jones takes in the bathrobe, again 
               looks skeptically at Bill.

                                     MURIEL
                         I'm Mrs. Blandings.

                                     JONES
                         How do. Mrs. Williams just called. 
                         Says your phone's out of order. Wanted 
                         me to tell you the water's rising 
                         and they've got the bridge roped 
                         off. Girls'll spend the night over 
                         at her place.

                                     MURIEL
                         Thank you. I was beginning to get 
                         concerned. Can I make you a cup of 
                         tea?

                                     JONES
                         No, thanks. Better be gettin' back 
                         'fore I have to swim for it. 'Night, 
                         Mrs. Blandings.
                              (to Bill)
                         'Night, Mr. Bl--

                                     BILL
                              (weak smile)
                         Cole. Bill Cole. Friend of the family. 
                         Just came in out of the rain.

                                     JONES
                              (uncertainly)
                         Well -- 'Night.

                                     MURIEL
                         Goodnight... and thanks so much.

               The door is opened with a terrific swirl of wind and rain. 
               Jones exits as Muriel and Bill push the door against the 
               wind, finally getting it shut.

                                     BILL
                         That's fine. No bridge. How do I get 
                         back to Lansdale?

                                     MURIEL
                              (simply)
                         You'll just have to spend the night 
                         right here.

               As they start back into the living room:

                                     BILL
                         Muriel, really! With your husband in 
                         New York and your children away -- 
                         think of my reputation.

                                     MURIEL
                              (smile)
                         Don't worry, Snow White, you'll be 
                         as pure and unsullied in the morning 
                         as you were the night before.

                                     BILL
                              (with resignation)
                         That's the story of my life.

               Muriel pokes the dying fire, looks up thoughtfully.

                                     MURIEL
                         Poor Jim, he sounded so worried 
                         before. I certainly hope he comes up 
                         with something.

                                     BILL
                         Don't worry about the man who gave 
                         the world "When you've got the whim, 
                         say Wham!"-- This well will never 
                         run dry.

                                                              SLOW DISSOLVE

               INT. JIM'S OFFICE - EARLY MORNING

               The CAMERA COMES IN ON a package of cigarettes. A finger 
               impatiently rips open what is left of the package, discloses 
               that it is empty. The ANGLE WIDENS to reveal a tired, 
               disheveled Jim. Disgusted, he fishes the most likely butt 
               from a tray littered with them. With considerable difficulty 
               he manages to light it, only to burn his nose. Impatiently 
               stamping out the butt he rises, stretches, walks to the 
               window, pulls up the shade. Early morning sunlight floods 
               the room. He turns off a standing lamp, looks thoughtfully 
               out the window, suddenly gets an idea. Turning, he snaps his 
               fingers. Mary, who is asleep on the desk, her head resting 
               on her elbows, raises her head, opens a sleepy eye.

                                     JIM
                              (selling; a note of 
                              desperation in his 
                              voice)
                         "Compare the price, compare the slice, 
                         Take our advice -- Buy Wham!"

               Mary critically shakes her head "no", closes her eye. Jim 
               wearily throws himself down on the couch, absently toys with 
               his already loosened tie. He pulls it up over his nose, 
               throwing the balance over the top of his head. Suddenly he 
               reacts, snaps his fingers. Mary opens a sleepy eye.

                                     JIM
                         "If you'd buy better ham. You'd better 
                         buy Wham!"

                                     MARY
                         It's Boyle Petroleum. "If you'd buy 
                         better oil, You'd better buy Boyle."

               Her eye closes. Jim sinks back with defeat, his hand dropping 
               over the edge of the couch. It encounters a crumpled piece 
               of paper, earlier work. He smoothes the paper, scans it, 
               kind of likes it. He gets up, comes over, snaps fingers. 
               Mary looks up.

                                     JIM
                         "This little pig went to market As 
                         meek and as mild as a lamb. He smiled 
                         in his tracks When they slipped him 
                         the axe He knew he'd turn out to be 
                         Wham!"

               A long silent look passes between them.

                                     JIM
                              (quietly)
                         "...knew he'd turn out to be Wham!"

               He suddenly and angrily gathers all his papers, slams them 
               into the wastebasket.

                                     JIM
                              (rising panic)
                         It's gone! I've lost my touch! Maybe 
                         I never had a touch! Maybe "Whim Say 
                         Wham" was an accident! Who knows? I 
                         can't think any more! All I've got 
                         on my mind is a house with an eighteen 
                         thousand dollar mortgage, and bills, 
                         and extras, and antiques, and -- and --
                              (dejected)
                         I don't know... I don't know.

               Mary looks at him sympathetically, doesn't quite know what 
               to say. As the CAMERA MOVES to a CLOSE SHOT of the emotionally 
               distraught Jim, his eyes go to a large photograph on his 
               desk of Muriel and the children. He picks it up, looks at it 
               with affection. Suddenly he gets an idea. Rising with 
               determination he puts on his coat and starts for the door.

                                     MARY
                              (startled)
                         Where are you going?

                                     JIM
                         Home, to get some sleep -- and I'd 
                         advise you to do the same.

                                     MARY
                         But -- but you haven't --

                                     JIM
                         Suppose I haven't! This isn't the 
                         only job in town!

                                     MARY
                         But -- but -- what'll I tell Mr. 
                         Dascomb?

                                     JIM
                              (sharply)
                         You just tell him to -- to --
                              (with finality)
                         You just tell him!

               He exits.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               EXT. THE BLANDINGS' HOME - DAY

               It is an especially beautiful, sunshiny morning. A rural-
               looking taxi deposits a weary Jim, who pays the driver. As 
               the cab drives off, Jim looks speculatively at Simms' car, 
               which is parked there, yawns, stretches, opens the door and 
               enters. Under this a slightly sour underscoring of "Home On 
               The Range."

               INT. BLANDINGS LIVING ROOM - DAY

               As Jim comes into the foyer, he sees Muriel, in nightgown 
               and robe, talking to Mr. Simms. She holds the rolled-up volume 
               of blueprints that went into building the house.

                                     JIM
                         'Morning, dear.

                                     MURIEL
                              (going to him; 
                              solicitously)
                         Darling, you must be exhausted. How 
                         did it go?

                                     JIM
                         Fine. Fine.

               They kiss.

                                     MURIEL
                              (obliquely)
                         Is... everything all right?

                                     JIM
                              (unenthusiastic)
                         Everything's fine.
                              (still in embrace; 
                              looking up)
                         Hello, Simms, what brings you out 
                         with the morning dew?

                                     SIMMS
                         Just dropped by to check the 
                         blueprints. Some extras came in from 
                         Retch this morning and there're a 
                         couple of things I thought we ought 
                         to go over together.

                                     JIM
                              (arms still around 
                              Muriel; unconcerned)
                         Really. What are they?

                                     SIMMS
                         Well, let's see.
                              (thumbing through 
                              sheets)
                         Few little things here, all right, I 
                         guess. "Mortising five butts -- a 
                         dollar sixty-eight."

                                     JIM
                         Let's not quibble about that. A man's 
                         entitled to mortise a few butts now 
                         and then.

                                     SIMMS
                              (next sheet)
                         Extra nails and screws -- three 
                         dollars, eighty-nine cents.

                                     JIM
                         Petty larceny, but let him get away 
                         with it.

                                     SIMMS
                         Now there's one here I frankly don't 
                         understand. Ah, here we are.
                              (reads)
                         "Changes in closet, twelve hundred 
                         and forty-seven dollars." Did you 
                         authorize that?

                                     JIM
                         Well, we probably told him to --
                              (reacting)
                         Twelve hundred and what?!

                                     SIMMS
                         Forty-seven dollars. Changes in 
                         closet.
                              (hands bill to Jim)

                                     JIM
                              (explosively)
                         Who does he think we are!
                              (looks at bill; very 
                              businesslike)
                         What's this notation: "Refer to Detail 
                         Sheet Number one thirty-five?"

                                     SIMMS
                              (indicating blueprints)
                         Far as I remember, that would be 
                         something in the back of the house. 
                         Let's just take a look.

               As he unrolls the blueprints, Jim looks suspiciously at 
               Muriel. She seems a little nervous.

                                     SIMMS
                         Ah, here we are. It isn't a closet 
                         at all. It's off the back pantry... 
                         Mrs. Blandings' little flower sink.

                                     JIM
                         Oh... Mrs. Blandings' little flower 
                         sink.

                                     SIMMS
                              (to Muriel)
                         You didn't authorize any changes, 
                         did you?

                                     MURIEL
                              (defensively)
                         Well... they certainly weren't 
                         changes.

                                     JIM
                         What -- have -- you -- done?

                                     MURIEL
                              (speaking rapidly a 
                              little confused)
                         I haven't done anything! And what I 
                         did was... just nothing at all.

                                     JIM
                         What -- have -- you -- done?!

                                     MURIEL
                         Well --
                              (rattling off)
                         All I did was one day I saw four 
                         pieces of flagstone left over from 
                         the porch that were just going to be 
                         thrown away because nobody wanted 
                         them and I asked Mr. Retch if he 
                         wouldn't just put them down on the 
                         floor of the flower sink and poke a 
                         little cement between the cracks and 
                         give me a nice stone floor where it 
                         might be wet with flowers and things. 
                         That was absolutely all I did.

               During the above speech Simms sinks into a chair, puts his 
               head in his hands and closes his eyes, a fact that isn't 
               lost on Jim.

                                     JIM
                         That's all you did?

                                     MURIEL
                         Absolutely. Just four little pieces 
                         of flagstone.

                                     SIMMS
                              (to Muriel; wearily)
                         Did you by any chance authorize a 
                         drain?

                                     MURIEL
                              (verge of tears)
                         Of course I didn't. All I said was I 
                         wanted a nice stone floor and Mr. 
                         Retch was just as nice as could be 
                         and said, "You're the doctor," and 
                         that's all anybody ever said to 
                         anybody about anything.

               Jim takes a deep breath, turns to Simms.

                                     JIM
                         ...Well?

                                     SIMMS
                              (sigh; plunging in)
                         All right, I think I can tell you 
                         what happened. First, the carpenters 
                         had to rip up the flooring that was 
                         already laid. Those planks run under 
                         the whole width of the pantry, so 
                         Retch had to knock the bottom out of 
                         the pantry wall to get at them.

               JIM AND MURIEL

               Jim and Muriel - Jim looks at Muriel as though he were 
               premeditating first-degree murder. She averts his gaze. Over 
               this:

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                         Then he had to chop out the tops of 
                         the joists under the flower sink 
                         space to make room for a cradle. I 
                         guess he bought some iron straps and 
                         fastened them to a big pan to give 
                         him something to hold the cement. 
                         What with that added load on the 
                         weakened joists, I'll bet he had to 
                         put a lally column down there for 
                         support, too.

                                     MURIEL
                         It was just four little pieces of 
                         flagstone, and I only ---

                                     JIM
                         Quiet!

               GROUP SHOT - DURING THE FOLLOWING SPEECH

               GROUP SHOT - During the following speech we see Bill Cole, 
               in Jim's pajamas and robe come down the stairs and enter the 
               room. Jim and Muriel are not aware of his presence.

                                     SIMMS
                         Well, the main soil pipe runs under 
                         there on wall brackets, so Retch had 
                         to get his plumbing man back to take 
                         out a section so he could get that 
                         cradle set. I guess that meant he 
                         had to change the pitch of the soil 
                         pipe from one end of the house to 
                         the other.
                              (looks up)
                         'Morning, Mr. Cole.

                                     BILL
                         'Morning. Hello, Jim.

                                     JIM
                              (turning)
                         Hello, Bill.

               Jim turns away, reacts, suddenly turns back to Bill, taking 
               in the pajamas and robe. A little shocked but unwilling to 
               believe the implication of what he sees, he looks to Muriel 
               for an explanation.

                                     MURIEL
                              (lamely)
                         The bridge was roped off and Bill 
                         had to stay last night.

                                     JIM
                         ...Oh.

                                     BILL
                              (cheerily)
                         Slept like a rock.

                                     JIM
                         I'm delighted.

               Jim looks at Bill, then back at Muriel.

                                     SIMMS
                              (clearing his throat)
                         And then, of course, there are hot 
                         and cold water pipes hooked to the 
                         joists right under that pantry. They 
                         go up to the wing bathroom on the 
                         second floor, and I'll bet my bottom 
                         dollar he had to relocate them.

               THREE SHOT - JIM, MURIEL AND BILL.

               THREE SHOT - Jim, Muriel and Bill. Jim turns to listen but 
               finds himself looking speculatively at Muriel and Bill.

                                     SIMMS' VOICE
                         And I guess the electrician had to 
                         rip out about sixty feet of armored 
                         cable between the main panel and the 
                         junction box by the oil burner, 
                         including the two hundred twenty 
                         volt cable that goes to the stove.

               FULL SHOT - GUSSIE APPEARS IN THE DOORWAY

               FULL SHOT - Gussie appears in the doorway in raincoat, 
               carrying umbrella.

                                     GUSSIE
                         'Morning, everybody. Whew! What a 
                         night!

                                     JIM
                         Where have you been?

                                     GUSSIE
                         Lansdale. Couldn't get back across 
                         the bridge.

                                     JIM
                         You... weren't here last night?

                                     GUSSIE
                         They weren't letting anybody across 
                         that bridge, Mr. Blandings.
                              (to Muriel)
                         I passed the girls over at the 
                         Williams. They'll be along any minute.

               As Jim reacts:

                                     MURIEL
                              (quickly)
                         Thank you, Gussie. You'd better get 
                         breakfast started.

               As Gussie exits, Muriel turns to Simms.

                                     MURIEL
                         Where were we?

                                     BILL
                         We were at the two hundred twenty 
                         volt cable that goes to the stove.

                                     JIM
                         Just a minute.
                              (looks at Bill, then 
                              at Muriel)
                         You mean the children weren't here 
                         last night either?

                                     MURIEL
                         How could they be, dear? The bridge 
                         was closed.

                                     JIM
                         I just came across it.

                                     MURIEL
                         Well, it was closed last night.

                                     JIM
                              (pointedly)
                         It's open now!

               Embarrassed pause.

                                     BILL
                              (attempt at breeziness)
                         If you'll all excuse me -- I -- I 
                         think I'll just go up and slip into 
                         something a little more comfortable.

               Bill exits. Another pause. Simms, aware of the tension, wants 
               to get out of there.

                                     SIMMS
                              (rapidly)
                         Well, that's about the size of it --

               Through Simms' speech, Jim looks darkly at Muriel.

                                     SIMMS
                         -- except that Retch had to repair 
                         the pantry wall and that meant getting 
                         a plasterer back. And of course, he 
                         couldn't have broken through that 
                         wall --

                                     JIM
                         All right, Simms, all right. We'll 
                         take care of it.

                                     SIMMS
                              (preparing to exit)
                         I'll admit it's a little steep. But 
                         I'll try to get Retch to knock a 
                         hundred dollars off the bill. If I 
                         can't get that, I'll certainly try 
                         for seventy-five.

                                     JIM
                         Fine.

                                     SIMMS
                         If he doesn't go for seventy-five, 
                         I'll take a stab at fifty.

                                     JIM
                         You do that.

                                     SIMMS
                              (at the door)
                         Anyway, I'm almost sure we can get 
                         twenty-five.

               There is no answer.

                                     SIMMS
                              (lamely)
                         Well. Good day.

               He leaves. There is a deadly pause.

                                     MURIEL
                              (carefully)
                         Now dear, you're upset, you've got a 
                         lot of things on your mind --

                                     JIM
                              (with dangerous calm)
                         Muriel, there's only one thing on my 
                         mind -- This house -- and how fast 
                         we can get rid of it!

                                     MURIEL
                         That's not what you're thinking.

                                     JIM
                         Maybe it's not. Maybe I'm thinking I 
                         was once a happy man!
                              (the martyr)
                         I didn't have a closet, I didn't 
                         have three bathrooms, but I did have 
                         my sanity, a few dollars in the bank, 
                         two children who loved me and a wife 
                         I could trust!

                                     MURIEL
                         That's a fine thing to say!

                                     JIM
                         I also had a job at Danton and 
                         Bascomb, something I don't happen to 
                         have at the moment!

                                     MURIEL
                         Jim!

                                     JIM
                         That's right, I've resigned! We're 
                         starting all over again! From scratch! 
                         And without this house!

                                     MURIEL
                              (near tears)
                         You love this house!

                                     JIM
                         I hate it!

               In the b.g. Mr. Tesander enters, cap in hand, stands there, 
               nervous and embarrassed.

                                     MURIEL
                         You don't mean that.

                                     JIM
                         Every word of it! Anybody who builds 
                         a house today is crazy! The minute 
                         you start, they put you on the list. 
                         The All-American Sucker list! 
                         Everywhere you turn they've got a 
                         hand in your pocket. If you take out 
                         their hands, they find more pockets!
                              (explosively)
                         It's a conspiracy, I tell you, a 
                         conspiracy against every man and 
                         woman who want a home of their own! 
                         Against every boy and girl who were 
                         ever in love!

               Tesander clears his throat. Jim turns.

                                     JIM
                              (sharply)
                         What do you want?!

               A slight embarrassed pause. Then:

                                     TESANDER
                              (shyly)
                         Well, Mr. Blandings, there's a matter 
                         of twelve dollars and eighty-six 
                         cents.

                                     JIM
                              (with a wild gleam)
                         Twelve dollars and eighty-six cents! 
                         Why be a piker, Mr. Tesander?
                              (emptying pockets)
                         Take everything I've got! Spread it 
                         out among your pals!
                              (advancing toward the 
                              bewildered Tesander)
                         Wouldn't Retch like a little 
                         something? Maybe Zucca could use my 
                         new dinner jacket? It's open house, 
                         Mr. Tesander! Help yourself! If this 
                         isn't enough I'll come over to your 
                         place and do some odd chores. Maybe 
                         I can mow your lawn or scratch your 
                         back!

                                     TESANDER
                              (simply)
                         You don't understand, Mr. Blandings. 
                         This twelve dollars and eighty-six 
                         cents -- you don't owe me, I owe 
                         you.

               There is a momentary pause.

                                     JIM
                         ...W-what was that?

                                     TESANDER
                              (taking out money)
                         Found I overcharged you. Almost three 
                         feet.

               He hands the money to Jim, who stares at it blankly.

                                     TESANDER
                         Better count it. I think it's all 
                         there.

               Jim looks haplessly at Muriel, sheepish, guilty.

                                     MURIEL
                         Thank you very much, Mr. Tesander.

                                     TESANDER
                         Well, I guess I'd better be gettin' 
                         along.
                              (looking around)
                         Sure got a pretty place here.
                              (at door; pauses; 
                              looks back)
                         I'll tell Mr. Zucca about the dinner 
                         jacket.

               Jim and Muriel look at each other a little sheepishly.

               INT. THE FOYER

               As Tesander is about to exit, Bill, dressed, starts down the 
               stairs.

                                     BILL
                         Oh, Mr. Tesander -- could you give 
                         me a lift to town?

                                     TESANDER
                         Yep.

                                     BILL
                         Be right with you.

               INT. LIVING ROOM

                                     MURIEL
                              (concerned)
                         What did you mean before about losing 
                         your job? Will we really have to 
                         sell the house?

                                     JIM
                              (miserable)
                         I don't know, dear... I don't know.

               Bill enters.

                                     BILL
                         In case anyone's interested, I'm 
                         leaving for town.
                              (for Jim's benefit)
                         If you want to count the silverware, 
                         I'll wait.

                                     JIM
                              (sheepishly)
                         Bill, be patient with me. Maybe one 
                         of these days I'll grow up.

                                     BILL
                              (to Muriel)
                         What happened to him?

                                     MURIEL
                         Twelve dollars and eighty-six cents.

                                     BILL
                         Mind if I say something?

               Jim and Muriel look at him curiously.

                                     BILL
                         You know, I've kind of been the voice 
                         of doom about this whole project. 
                         Every step of the way I was firmly 
                         convinced you were getting fleeced, 
                         bilked, rooked, flimflammed and 
                         generally taken to the cleaners. And 
                         maybe you were. Maybe it cost you a 
                         whole lot more than you thought it 
                         would. Maybe there were times when 
                         you wished you'd never started the 
                         whole thing. But when I look around 
                         and see what you two have here -- I 
                         don't know.
                              (pause)
                         Maybe there are some things you should 
                         buy with your heart and not with 
                         your head. Maybe those are the things 
                         that really count... See you around.

               As Bill turns and leaves, the outer door is heard opening 
               and the kids appear. There is an exchange of "Hi's" as they 
               pass.

                                     BETSY
                         'Morning, everybody!

                                     JOAN
                              (surprised)
                         Hi, Dad! How come you're not at the 
                         office?

                                     JIM
                              (a look at Muriel)
                         I'm on a... kind of a vacation.

                                     JOAN
                         You mean you got fired?

                                     JIM
                         Well, not exactly, I --

                                     MURIEL
                         We'll discuss it later.

               Gussie's head appears from the kitchen.

                                     GUSSIE
                              (brightly)
                         Come and get it! Breakfast everybody.

                                     BETSY
                         Good! I'm starving! What are we 
                         having, Gussie?

                                     GUSSIE
                         Orange juice, scrambled eggs and you-
                         know-what.

                                     JOAN
                              (making a face)
                         Ham?

                                     GUSSIE
                         Not ham -- Wham!
                              (cheerily)
                         If you ain't eatin' Wham, you ain't 
                         eatin' ham!

               Gussie's head disappears.

               CLOSE SHOT - JIM.

               CLOSE SHOT - Jim.

                                     JIM
                         What did she say?

               He reacts with the sudden exhilaration of Balboa first seeing 
               the Pacific. He snaps his fingers.

                                     JIM
                         Darling, give Gussie a ten dollar 
                         raise!

               His eyes light up as he begins to visualize.

                                                                   DISSOLVE

               INSERT ADVERTISEMENT IN MAGAZINE - It is a picture of Gussie, 
               smiling, holding a platter with an enormous ham. Under it, 
               the simple caption:

                    "IF YOU AIN'T EATIN' WHAM, YOU AIN'T EATIN' HAM!"

               THE CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS TO DISCLOSE MR. JAMES BLANDINGS

               THE CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS to disclose Mr. James Blandings 
               reclining in a hammock on the patio of his Dream House. In 
               the b.g. Muriel is working at her garden, Joan and Betsy 
               assisting her. Jim reacts with pride and satisfaction as he 
               sets the magazine down, takes a long drink of lemonade and 
               picks up a book which he has been reading. As the CAMERA 
               COMES IN for an EXTREME CLOSE SHOT of Jim we see the title 
               of the book on the jacket cover. It reads:

                          "MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE"

               Jim looks up over the top of the book, directly into the 
               camera and winks.

                                     JIM
                              (with simple sincerity)
                         Drop in and see us sometime.

               As the CAMERA PULLS AWAY to a LONG SHOT tableau of the 
               Blandings and their Dream House, we:

                                                                   FADE OUT

                                         THE END