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Warm Springs Movie Script

Writer(s) : Margaret Nagle

Genres : Drama

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                    WARM SPRINGS

                     Written by

                   Margaret Nagle




                                          Shooting Draft: 9.14.2004

    FADE IN:

    EXT. A BODY OF WATER - LATE AFTERNOON
1                                                                 1
    A glimpse of sunlight desperately tries to force its way
    through a gray sky before being obliterated.
4
    A MAN, sunburned and bearded, lets himself fall from the edge
    of a boat and into the ocean.
                                                  D
    UNDERWATER, through shafts of light, white limbs are
    FLAILING. The MAN struggles, alone. Bubbles stream upward.

    He breaks the surface and gasps for air.

    He begins to swim. His massive arms and shoulders grab at the
    tide in large, hard strokes. His legs and feet are buried
    beneath the dark ocean water.

    EXT. HOUSEBOAT - CONTINUOUS
2                                                                 2

    A floating tenement.
    A crane LOWERS a fishing net into the water. The MAN swims
    into it. The net is RAISED as he lays, motionless, within its
    grip.

    EXT. BOAT DECK - CONTINUOUS                                   3
3
    The crane swings around with the MAN in the net.

    He is EMPTIED out onto the deck like a fish.

    AHIVERING on the rotting wooden planks he FLIPS himself over
    on his stomach. Slowly, using the palms of his hands, he
    DRAGS his trunk and withered limbs across the deck in a
    labored lobster-walk.

    He uses his chest muscles to swing his legs around the edge
    of the boat. They dangle like pieces of rope, his feet white
    and flaccid.

    A towel, a bottle and a glass are wordlessly placed next to
    him by a CREW PERSON. He pours himself a generous amount of
    scotch and begins drinking.

                                                   ISSOLVE TO:

    INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT                                      4

    The same MAN is illuminated by the light of a single candle.

    He is dancing, holding on tightly to a WOMAN.

                                                                2.

    Though the light is dim it is clear that he is clean shaven,
    with his hair neatly trimmed.

    Their connection is powerful and alive. They stop dancing,
    overwhelmed with mutual desire.

    He holds the WOMAN's face in his hands and KISSES it all
    over, moving into a realm of feeling that is foreign to him.

    He kisses her passionately on the mouth.

                        MAN
              Oh, my dear...

    His fingers run softly over the outside of her breasts. She
    begins to undo the back of her dress and slips it down around
    her ankles. Wearing only her tight corset she brings his
    hands to the laces and together they undo it.

                        WOMAN
                  (whispering softly)
              It's all right, darling. It's all
              right.

    INT. HALLWAY - MORNING
5                                                                    5
    OSCAR, a manservant, is carrying both a silver tray and a
    pair of pants over his extended arm.

                        A VOICE (O.S.)
              Oscar! Where the devil are you?

    Deftly, Oscar opens the door to a spacious bedroom.

                        OSCAR
              My apologies, Mr. Roosevelt.

    INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
6                                                                    6
    There with his bare legs, muscular and lean, sporting black
    socks held up with garters is FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, 39.

    He projects a natural elegance and the confidence of a man
    who can have anything he wants.

    Right now... he wants his pants.

                        FRANKLIN
              I've been standing here for five minutes.

    Oscar offers the tray to Franklin which bear cuff links and a
    Tiffany watch which Franklin grabs.

                                                               3.

                        OSCAR
              Did you sleep well, sir?

                        FRANKLIN
              Don't remember. That's good, isn't it?

                          OSCAR
              Yes, sir.

    Franklin takes his pants from Oscar and steps into them,
    pulling the suspenders up and over his shoulders.

7                                                                   7
    INT. DINING ROOM - MORNING

    Striding into the dining room, Franklin lifts a silver lid
    off a breakfast plate. He dismisses it and instead pours
    himself a cup of coffee from a silver pot on the sideboard.

    He overhears a voice from the nearby sitting room.

                        WOMAN (O.S.)
              I could not be more delighted to have
              received your most charming letter.
              It has been far too long since we last
              corresponded. However, it is with
              great reluctance I must decline your
              kind speaking invitation...
8

                                                                    8
    INT. SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

    ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, 34, is dictating a letter. Her enormous
    eyes, liquid and blue, reveal a woman of extraordinary
    intelligence and depth.

                        ELEANOR
              Unfortunately, I would be of little
              assistance to the Junior Assistance
              League. Particularly if my purpose
              were to appear as an alumna who is
              gifted at public speaking.

    She is dictating to LUCY MERCER, 27, deeply feminine with a
    head of soft dark hair and an accommodating nature. She is
    Eleanor's social secretary and closest friend.

    She is also the WOMAN dancing with Franklin the night before.

                        LUCY
              And what do you really want me to say?

                        ELEANOR
              Thank you and if you ask again I
              shall scream?

                                                          4.

They share a laugh -- which is not shared by the homely
rumpled mess of a man draped over a sofa in the corner.

                    LOUIS
          Why don't you ask your husband for
          some pointers? He's a pretty gifted
          public speaker, don't you think?

LOUIS HOWE, 48, is a wizened man of limited stature and
unlimited soul. Franklin's political advisor extraordinaire --
part consiglieri and part priest. He is the mastermind behind
what he believes will be the greatest political career of the
twentieth century.

He gets up and leans in closely to Eleanor. A cigarette dangles
off his lip and the smoke rises up and curls in her face.

                    LOUIS
          You should get out once in a while.
          Accepting that invitation would be
          good for Franklin's career.

                    ELEANOR
          Mr. Howe, wouldn't you be more
          comfortable waiting for my husband
          outside?

                    LOUIS
          In the street, Mrs. Roosevelt?

                    ELEANOR
          If you like.

Eleanor smiles oh-so politely at Louis, as Franklin enters
from the dining room.

                    FRANKLIN
          I see it's not even eight a.m.
          and already the gloves are off.
              (kissing Eleanor on the
               cheek)
          Good morning, Babs. Hello, Miss
          Mercer.   L
                     UCY
          Good morning, sir.

Quickly, she lowers her eyes to her work.

                    LOUIS
              (annoyed)
          You're late. Honestly, why do you
          enjoy keeping people waiting?

                                                                5.

                        FRANKLIN
              Because they always seem more
              grateful to see me when I arrive.

    He leans in and kisses Eleanor on the cheek.

                        FRANKLIN
              Have a lovely day, Babs.

                        ELEANOR
              Should I expect you for dinner?

                        FRANKLIN
              I have the Navy reception this
              evening. I'll be home quite late.
              Unless you've changed your mind
              about coming?

    Louis looks up from his paper at Lucy who is writing
    furiously.

                        ELEANOR
              Do you wish me to come?

                        FRANKLIN
              Well... whatever you'd like.

                        ELEANOR
                  (a beat)
              Thank you, no.

                        FRANKLIN
              Very well then.
                  (tipping his hat)
              Good day, Miss Mercer.

    Lucy nods and Franklin exits. Then Louis tips his hat to the
    ladies and follows him out.

    EXT. WASHINGTON, D.C. SIDEWALK - DAY
9                                                                    9
    A car pulls over and Franklin is first out, followed by
    Louis, walking at a brisk pace as they cross the opposite
    side of the street. Louis struggles to keep up while
    consulting a small appointment book.

                        LOUIS
              At ten you've got a meeting with
              representatives from Pittsburgh
              Steel. Their bid on the ship
              building contract has already been
              turned in and is on your desk for
              approval.

                                                         6.

                    FRANKLIN
          What did I think of it?

An AFRICAN-AMERICAN man steps off the curb, letting Franklin
and Louis pass.

                    LOUIS
          You had some problems with it.

                    FRANKLIN
          I better read it. Steel workers
          tend to vote democratic. Next.

                    LOUIS
          Lunch with Secretary Daniels.

                    FRANKLIN
          Must I?

                    LOUIS
          He's your boss.

                    FRANKLIN
          Anything else?

                    LOUIS
              (a beat)
          What if she'd said yes?

                    FRANKLIN
          Who?

Louis shoots him a look that says "you know who."

                    LOUIS
          People know. It's time to stop.

                    FRANKLIN
          I can handle my own affairs, Louis.

                    LOUIS
          Not this one. This is Washington,
          D.C., not the Harvard Club.
              (off-put by Franklin's
               arrogance)
          How can you be so cavalier?

                    FRANKLIN
          You say that like it's a bad thing.

Louis takes a quick last drag on his cigarette and follows
him inside a building.

                                                                 7.

     INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT
10                                                                10
     A large grandfather clock reads 3:00.

     The sound of a key in the front door turns and Franklin
     quietly enters. His hair is a mess and his clothing is
     slightly askew.

     As he comes through the hall two eyes shine in the darkness.
     They belong to Eleanor sitting rigidly on a settee, listening
     to the sound of Franklin's footsteps going up the stairs.

11                                                                11
     INT. UPPER LANDING - CONTINUING

     Franklin goes into his bedroom. Eleanor quietly comes up the
     stairs and stops for a brief moment by Franklin's door, then
     goes off to her bedroom closing the door behind her.

     INT. FRANKLIN'S BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING
12                                                                12
     Franklin lays sleeping in his bed as Eleanor enters quietly
     so as not to wake him.

     Carefully she picks up a set of keys on the dresser then
     turns and notices a packet of letters sitting on top of an
     open duffle bag.

     Tentatively she reaches for them. She brings the packet, tied
     with a piece of ribbon, up to her nose. She is shocked by
     their familiar scent.

     With trembling hands she unties the ribbon. Tears flood down
     her cheeks as she reads.

     Franklin opens his eyes.

                                                       CUT TO:

     EXT. HYDE PARK - DAY
13                                                                13
     Springwood is the three-story Roosevelt mansion. It is
     surrounded by a thousand acres of forests, fields, bridal
     paths and a glorious view of the Hudson River.

     THE FIVE ROOSEVELT CHILDREN are screaming on the front lawn
     playing a boisterous game of croquet.

     INT. SPRINGWOOD - DINING ROOM - DAY
14                                                                14
     SARA ROOSEVELT, 65, sits at the head of the table. She is one
     for whom the expression "Grande Dame" was coined.

                                                                 8.

     Franklin is at the opposite end of the table, looking pale.
     Louis, as always, is by his side.

     Eleanor, like a prisoner who has accepted her fate, sits
     across from them, calm and composed.

                         ELEANOR
               I have offered Franklin his freedom.

                         FRANKLIN
               And I have accepted.

                         SARA
                   (to Eleanor)
               His freedom is not yours to offer!

                         FRANKLIN
               I am in love with Miss Mercer, Mama.

                         LOUIS
               Lord save us from fools in love.

                         SARA
               Falling in love is out of the
               question. Why do you think men have
               mistresses? Duty. Duty to their
               families and their careers.

     Eleanor rises from the table.

                         SARA
               Where do you think you're going?

                         ELEANOR
               It's obvious that my input in this
               matter is of little importance.

     She begins to exit the room, but Franklin is up like a shot.

                         FRANKLIN
               Babs!

                         SARA
               Come back here! Both of you!

     INT. ENTRY HALL - CONTINUOUS
15                                                                15
     Franklin chases Eleanor. Midway up the stairs, she turns.
                          E
                          LEANOR
               I don't know whether to hate you
               or thank you.

                                                              9.

                           FRANKLIN
               For what?

                         ELEANOR
               For forcing me to face my life
               honestly for the first time.

                         FRANKLIN
               I didn't mean to hurt you, Babs.

                         ELEANOR
               You never do. You live your life
               skimming the surface... never aware
               of the attachments beneath.
                   (finding her anger)
               It must be a luxury.

     She goes up the stairs without looking back.

16                                                                16
     INT. DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     Franklin slowly walks back into the room.

                         SARA
               Divorce will finish your career in
               politics. How do you intend to
               support yourself?

                         FRANKLIN
               My trust fund.

                         SARA
               Divorce Eleanor and there is no
               trust fund.

     Franklin turns away. He looks out the large picture window
     and attempts to light a cigarette, but his hands shake.

                         LOUIS
               We've come so far, boss. State
               Assembly, Assistant Secretary of
               the Navy -- all pages right out of
               Cousin Teddy's play book. We're on
               the road to the White House. Don't
               do this.

     Franklin sees his son, ELLIOT, 10, playing separately from
     the rest of his siblings. Elliot looks up at his father as
     Franklin bares his best politician's smile at him.

     A ROAR begins to fill his ears. It becomes clearer that it is
     the sound of a CROWD CHEERING.

                                                                 10.

                         CROWD NOISE (O.S.)
               Rose-velt! Rose-velt! Rose-velt!

     INT. DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION HALL - SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT
17                                                                    17
     CONVENTIONEERS shout out Franklin's name holding up PLACARDS
     emblazoned with:

                       "COX/ROOSEVELT IN '20!"
     Franklin BOLTS, running vigorously down the center aisle of
     the hall lit by the circle of a spotlight. The CROWD goes
     wild over this unconventional entrance.
     W
      hen he reaches the edge of the stage he LEAPS onto it. This
     final act of daring pushes the crowd into frenzy.

     CLOSE UP - FRANKLIN
18                                                                    18
     Smiling for no one. For everyone.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (breathless)
               I humbly accept your nomination for
               Vice-President!

     The CROWD roars back in reaction to his less-than-humble stance.

                          FRANKLIN
               They say the best way to get   rid of
               a man is to have him run for   Vice-
               President.
                   (he holds for the laugh)
               You might well have asked my   cousin
               Teddy if that's how they got   rid
               of him!

     Franklin stands on the stage, the music rising, the crowd
     cheering. Slowly, the sound of the convention fades to
     something far more delicate...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     INT. TEA ROOM - WASHINGTON, D.C. - AFTERNOON
19                                                                    19
     A harp playing in an elegant tea room. The hushed tones of
     polite conversation wafts through the air.

     Franklin sits with his cousin, ALICE ROOSEVELT, 36, daughter
     of Teddy. Brilliant and acerbic, she would have had a career
     in politics had she been born a man.

                                                   11.

                    ALICE
          Of course you lost. A Roosevelt on
          the democratic ticket? Our ancestors
          are turning in their graves.

                    FRANKLIN
          Cousin Alice, if Teddy were alive
          he'd be a democrat -- and you know it.

                    ALICE
          Rubbish. But I do know one thing:
          You're exactly like him. My father
          was born wanting only one thing: to
          be President.

                    FRANKLIN
          And what's wrong with that?

They both share a laugh.

                     ALICE
          Do you know what they're saying
          about you?

Franklin's smile fades.

                    FRANKLIN
          No, but I'm sure you'll tell me.

                    ALICE
          They say F.D.R. stands for
          "featherduster." That you're a
          lightweight. A dilettante with no
          substance; no point of view.

                    FRANKLIN
          Is that what you think?

                    ALICE
          You lead with your vanity. You
          talk when you should listen.
          Unless these are the qualities of
          a democrat?
                    F
                     RANKLIN
          The democratic party is the party
          of the people. I am a man of the
          people.

                    ALICE
          Darling, you're a Roosevelt. What
          do you know about people?

                                                             12.

     She leans in conspiratorially.

                         ALICE
               Of course, I can think of one person
               you did manage to find the time to
               invest in. A Miss Mercer, I believe?

                         FRANKLIN
               Alice, stop.

                         ALICE
               Don't misunderstand me, Franklin.
               Being married to Eleanor I think
               you deserved some fun. But you made
               the right decision. Especially
               since Miss Mercer has gone on with
               her life.

                         FRANKLIN
               What are you talking about?

                         ALICE
               Edward Rutherford is a wonderful
               catch for a girl like her.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (stunned)
               She's married?

                         ALICE
               Last week. A small event, of course.

                         FRANKLIN
               When I last heard she was governess
               to his children.

                         ALICE
                   (with a smile)
               And then love bloomed. As a "man of
               the people," I wouldn't be too hard
               on her, Franklin. We can't all have
               trust funds you know.

     EXT. STATEN ISLAND BOY SCOUT CAMP - DAY
20                                                             20
     Franklin, Louis and a PHOTOGRAPHER disembark from a touring car.

                         LOUIS
               We're not taking this defeat lying
               down, boss. We'll run you for
               Governor --

                                                        13.

                    FRANKLIN
              (kidding)
          Really? Of which state?

Louis shoots him a look.

                    LOUIS
          Very funny. No, this buys you time.
          It buys you experience.

                    FRANKLIN
          What about Al Smith?

                    LOUIS
          He's vulnerable. You're still a
          fresh face, boss. We'll use that to
          our advantage.

They walk down a hill towards some waiting Boy Scouts as the
PHOTOGRAPHER follows them.

                    FRANKLIN
          Boy Scouts, Louis? Hardly my
          political base.

                    LOUIS
          They've got parents. Besides
          they're photogenic.

Franklin begins glad-handing the assembled group of mostly
underprivileged children.

                    FRANKLIN
          Franklin Roosevelt, happy to
          meet you.

Franklin masks his thinly veiled discomfort with an
artificial good cheer. Meanwhile, Louis, in full political
mode, makes sure the L
                     Photographer gets everything.

                        OUIS
          Over here!

Franklin poses with two Scouts. The picture is taken.

                    SCOUTMASTER
          Okay, boys, lunch. Line up to wash!
              (to Franklin)
          Will you be joining us?

                       FRANKLIN
          Of course!

                                                                14.

     Franklin steps into a line before a large communal water
     barrel and glances sideways at GUISEPPE, 9, an immigrant
     child of the city streets. He wears his uniform proudly and
     smiles at Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               What's your name, son?

                           GUISEPPE
               Guiseppe.

     Franklin puts his arm around Guiseppe, forcing the moment
     between them. He waits patiently as the cameras click away.

                         FRANKLIN
               Guiseppe! Come sta, ragazzo?

                         GUISEPPE
                   (puzzled)
               Okay, I guess.

     The SCOUTS begin washing their hands together in the water
     barrel and Franklin joins in as Louis looks on admiringly.

     As Guiseppe splashes some of the water on his face, Franklin,
     not to be outdone, does so as well. It's all for the cameras.

     ESTABLISHING SHOT - CAMPOBELLO ISLAND

     EXT. ROOSEVELT SUMMER HOME - DAY
21                                                                21
     A large but unpretentious house with a sweeping lawn that
     looks out over the icy waters of the Bay of Fundy.

22                                                                22
     EXT. PORCH - LATE AFTERNOON

     Eleanor sits quietly on the front porch knitting -- in a
     world of her own.

     A few feet away -- also in a world of his own -- sits Louis,
     overdressed for summer in a three piece suit. An overflowing
     ashtray is by his side and piles of newspaper lie at his
     feet.

     He holds up a paper to Eleanor with the photo of Franklin and
     the Boy Scouts.

                         LOUIS
               He's a natural.

     Eleanor gives it a cursory glance then looks out to where
     Franklin and the children come bounding up the lawn.

                                                         15.

Franklin and Elliot break out from the rest and begin racing
up the lawn. Franklin, no match for his son's speed, loses.
He doubles over, trying to catch his breath.

                    ELLIOT
          Vae victis! ("Woe to the
          conquered!")
C
 aught up in his victory, Elliot doesn't see Franklin sneak
up behind him and tackle him to the ground.

                    FRANKLIN
          Festina lente! ("Not so fast!")

One by one the other children all pile on top of Franklin and
Elliot.

                    ELEANOR
          Dinner is in one half-hour! Come in
          and change, children!

                    FRANKLIN
          Up! Up, chicks! You heard your
          mother!

Everyone runs up the porch stairs and into the house except
Franklin.

                    ELEANOR
          Go wash up.

Utterly spent, Franklin lays on the grass, not moving.

                    LOUIS
          Hey, boss! Are you all right?

Slowly, Franklin gets up and walks with great effort up the
porch stairs.

                    FRANKLIN
          I'm fine.
              (re: her knitting)
          Oh, that's pretty, Babs.

He puts his hand on Eleanor's shoulder and leans in to buss
her cheek but Eleanor quickly stands.

                    ELEANOR
          I must check on dinner.

There is a cursory formality to her words and little warmth.

                                                              16.

                            FRANKLIN
               Very well.

     She goes into the house. Louis then hands Franklin letters.

                            LOUIS
               Tired?

                         FRANKLIN
               Of you? Never.

     Wearily, he sorts through the envelopes.

                         LOUIS
               Why don't you nap before dinner?

                            FRANKLIN
               Yes, dear.

     Franklin heads into the house leaning heavily against the
     screen door struggling for control.

                                                    DISSOLVE TO:

     INT. SUN ROOM - DAY
23                                                                 23
     Franklin lays on a chaise being examined by a DOCTOR, who
     leans over him holding out his hand.

                         DOCTOR
               Can you take my hand?

     Franklin tries, but can't. Almost his entire body is
     paralyzed. He can only breathe and blink.

     The Doctor glances at Eleanor, Louis and Sara indicating they
     should follow him out.

     EXT. SCREENED PORCH - DAY
24                                                                 24
     As the door from the sun room opens onto the porch, Elliot is
     there waiting. Seeing them coming, he dashes off into the
     yard so as not to be seen as Eleanor, Louis, Sara and the
     Doctor enter.

                         DOCTOR
               He has Infantile Paralysis. Polio.

     Sara sinks into a chair.

                         SARA
               I knew it. I knew it.

                      D




                (




                      D




                                                         17.

                      ELEANOR
          I
              thought it only struck children.

                     OCTOR
          Not necessarily.

                    LOUIS
          How did he get it?

                    DOCTOR
          Some experts believe it is linked
          to contaminated water. But that
          theory is speculative at best.

                    LOUIS
          It was the visit to that god damned
          Boy Scout Camp!

                    DOCTOR
          In all honesty you need to be
          looking forward, not back.

                    ELEANOR
          What is the prognosis?

                    DR. LOVETT
          The damage to his leg muscles is
          extensive. I suspect he will be
          paralyzed from the waist down.

                     ELEANOR
          Dear God.
               beat)
          And the children?

                    DR. LOVETT
          If they don't have any symptoms by
          now then they have been spared.

Sara stands -- her bearing once again erect and proud.

                    SARA
          Then we must count our blessings.

                     R. LOVETT
          You will need to prepare yourselves.
          There is a deep depression that
          follows an illness of this magnitude.
          I'm afraid life as he knew it is over.

Their discussion is suddenly interrupted by the sound of a
child crying. Eleanor rushes off the porch to the bushes.

                            L




                                                               18.

     EXT. BUSHES - CONTINUING
25                                                                25
     Eleanor finds Elliot, having heard everything, curled up in a
     ball, weeping. She leans down and wraps her arms around him.

     INT. BEDROOM - WEEKS LATER
26                                                                26
     CLOSE-UP - WALLPAPER

     A pink background covered in small white flowers with red
     centers and green leaves. There is a seam in the paper. A
     tiny white spot where glue has soaked through.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL - Franklin in bed.

     This is all he stares at -- hour after hour after hour.

     His lips are dry.

     A glass of water sits tantalizingly on the night stand. He
     reaches for it but it's a few inches out of his reach.

     Slowly, he begins to rock his torso back and forth.

     INT. HYDE PARK - PARLOR - CONTINUOUS
27                                                                27
     Sara, Eleanor and Louis are in heated conversation.

                         SARA
               Now that politics are out of the
               question he can stay here at home
               with me.

                         ELEANOR
               But what kind of life is that?

                           OUIS
               I've rented him an office downtown.
               He can still practice law.
                         S
                          ARA
               Why would you want to do that?

                         LOUIS
               Because he needs it.

                         ELEANOR
               He can pursue a career, Mama.

                         SARA
               A man as proud and vital as
               Franklin... you're inviting him to
               be hurt.
                         (MORE)

                                                              19.
               And you, Mr. RA(cont'd)
                         SA Howe, engaged in the
               fantasy of a political future for
               my son... is there nothing you
               won't do to keep your job?

     Sara leaves as Eleanor goes after her.

                         ELEANOR
               Mama! That's not fair!

     INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
28                                                               28
     Franklin, still rocking his torso, has now gained some
     momentum, managing to have moved just a few inches.

     INT. SUN ROOM - CONTINUOUS
29                                                               29
     Sara busies herself arranging flowers.

                         SARA
               What kind of life is it to be
               pitied and stared at?

                         ELEANOR
               What kind of life is it to be
               hidden away? I know you believe
               that what you are suggesting for
               Franklin is best. But I think you
               are making it harder for him.

                         SARA
               I think I know what's best for
               Franklin. I am his mother!

                         ELEANOR
               And I am his wife.

     Sara stares at Eleanor in disbelief. Eleanor stares back --
     unflinching.

     INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
30                                                               30
     Franklin reaches his arm towards the glass only to fall from
     the bed to the floor with a thud. Frustrated beyond words,
     Franklin lunges at his wheelchair and shoves it across the
     floor letting out an anguished cry.

     In agony, from both the pain and the humiliation, he stares
     up and fixes his gaze on the ornate ceiling overhead.

     Then, closing his eyes, a POUNDING in his head starts to get
     louder and louder --

                                                       CUT TO:

                                                               20.

     INT. BOAT - DAY - BACK TO PRESENT
31                                                                31
     Franklin, on his back, his face and body drenched with sweat,
     is asleep in his bunk in the boat. He awakens to the sound of
     the POUNDING. Voices are calling him accompanied by FISTS
     smashing at the door. He opens his eyes and is disoriented.
     He tries to sit up -- momentarily forgetting that he can't.
     H
      e lifts the sheet and visibly WINCES in disgust at the sight
     of his crippled legs. BONES covered by FLESH with barely an
     ounce of muscle.

     Finally the door BURSTS open.   Two young crewman, EUGENE and
     STANLEY enter.

                         EUGENE
               Mr. Roosevelt, we got a storm
               comin'!

     He lifts Franklin over his shoulder. Stanley grabs clothes and
     pulls a set of long iron leg braces from a hook off the wall.

     Eugene grabs a bucket and holds Franklin up to urinate.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (while peeing)
               Leave me here. Let the ocean
               swallow me up. Burial at sea.
               Perfect for a navy man.

     Stripped to his underwear Franklin is laid across the bunk.
     Eugene kneels and puts on Franklin's socks and shoes. Then he
     and Stanley slide on his braces and pants.

     Their hands zipper, clasp, buckle and tie. Each hand works in
     synchronicity with the other.

     Clumsily they lift Franklin up, struggling under his weight.

     EXT. BOAT - DAY
32                                                                32
     Eugene and Stanley carry Franklin off in the driving rain.

     INT. DINER OFF THE FLORIDA COAST - DAY
33                                                                33
     Kerosene lamps light the diner which is filled with people,
     mostly fishermen, seeking refuge from the coming storm.
     Franklin, soaked-to-the-skin and wrapped in a blanket, is
     being pushed through the door by Eugene in a wheelchair.

     The restaurant collectively pauses to take them.

                                                        21.

Franklin is slowly wheeled across the restaurant. He shrinks
from the stares of the patrons.

A LITTLE GIRL eating with her parents gets excited when she
sees Franklin's braces and points. Franklin gives her a hard
look and she is hurt.

What he can't see is that under the table she wears a set of
braces like his.

Franklin is wheeled up to his table and EUGENE and STANLEY sit
down with him.

Louis enters resembling a drowned rat. He rips off his hat
and raincoat and puts down his suitcase.

                    FRANKLIN
              (genuinely surprised)
          Louis?

                    LOUIS
          I never miss Florida in the rainy
          season.

                    FRANKLIN
          No letter? No wire?

                    LOUIS
          Why? Would you have answered it?

                    FRANKLIN
          What the hell are you doing here?

                    LOUIS
          Good to see you too. Nice whiskers.
          You look like Chester Arthur.

                     FRANKLIN
          Stanley, this is Mr. Howe. He gets
          sea-sick at the mere sight of a
          boat so he's probably happy that
          it's being Ldestroyed right now.

                     OUIS
          Boys, I need to talk to Mr. Roosevelt
          alone. Find your own breakfast. Here's
          a five spot. Make it a feast.

They look at the money and take their leave.

                    FRANKLIN
          You're always so generous with my
          money.

                                                          22.

                    LOUIS
          You mean your mother's, don't you?

The Waitress puts down two cups of coffee. Franklin pulls out
a flask and pours some into his cup. He then lights a
cigarette and begins smoking, but doesn't offer one to Louis.
Without asking, Louis helps himself.

                     FRANKLIN
          So Mama financed this fool's
          errand, has she? Well, it's a waste
          of a trip.

                    LOUIS
          It was Eleanor's idea.

Franklin's face is immobile.

                    WAITRESS
          What can I get you?

                    LOUIS
          I'd like some ham and eggs, sunny
          side up, please?
              (to Franklin)
          What's your fancy, boss?

                    FRANKLIN
          Nothing. I fancy nothing.

                    LOUIS
          He'll have the same.

The Waitress grabs their menus and scurries away. Louis opens
his briefcase and hands Franklin a stack of mail. Franklin
glances it, but doesn't open any.

                    LOUIS
          There are a few from your children.

                    FRANKLIN
          I can still read.

Franklin flips through the mail and finds a letter that
interests him, opening it.

                    LOUIS
          Your wife wants you to come home.
              (choosing his words)
          She's concerned. I'm concerned.
          This life on a boat... where is it
          getting you?

              (




                    F




                                                 23.

                    FRANKLIN
          Getting me? For one thing, no one
          gets to see me and I don't get to
          see them.

                    LOUIS
          Don't say that. Everyone's waiting
          for you to come home. The kids...
          they're aching to see you.

                     RANKLIN
              (reading)
          Really?

Louis looks sadly at his friend.

                    LOUIS
          What's that?

                    FRANKLIN
               skimming the letter)
          From George Foster Peabody. He owns
          a resort in rural Georgia for
          investment purposes. Hot springs or
          something. He claims that only
          recently a crippled boy swam in the
          waters and can walk again.

                    LOUIS
          Oh, for Chrissake...

                    FRANKLIN
              (reading)
          "
           The high magnesium content of
          these natural springs will hold
          anyone up. Although it is not a
          resort for infirm types I am
          extending you my personal
          invitation to come visit in the off-
          season."
              (putting the letter aside)
          I'm only welcome in the "off-
          season."

Eugene and Stanley approach the table.

                    EUGENE
          Mr. Roosevelt, we got bad news.

                    FRANKLIN
          What?

F




                     F




                                                24.

                    STANLEY
          It's the boat... it got banged up
          real bad tied to the dock.

                      RANKLIN
          How bad?

                    STANLEY
          I don't think you can stay there
          anymore.

 ranklin absorbs this.

                    EUGENE
          Maybe it's a blessing in disguise,
          Mr. Roosevelt. I don't know about
          you, but I'm homesick.

                    FRANKLIN
          And I'm sick of home.
              (to Louis)
          Where's the letter from Peabody?

                    LOUIS
          You can't be serious?

He hands Franklin the letter who rereads it.

                    FRANKLIN
          Why not miracle waters? I've drunk
          the oil of monkey glands, been
          zapped with electricity and hung
          upside down in harnesses. After all
          that, this sounds downright
          peaceful.

                    LOUIS
          I can't quite picture you in the
          back woods of Georgia.

                    FRANKLIN
          Where do you picture me, Louis?

                    LOUIS
          1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

                    FRANKLIN
          President, Louis? I can't visit the
          bathroom without a team of
          associates to help pull my pants
          down.

                         E




                         F




                                                             25.

                         LOUIS
               Give it a little time.

                          RANKLIN
               There's a reason they say a man
               runs for office.
                   (a beat)
               I'm going to Georgia.

                                                       CUT TO:

     INT. A TRAIN CAR - DAY
34                                                               34
     Franklin and Eleanor sit next to one another. Franklin is now
     shaved and cleaned up considerably.

     However, the tension between them is palpable. Eleanor knits
     furiously while talking. Franklin looks out the window at
     African-American FIELD HANDS hard at work in the red clay
     hills of Georgia.

                         ELEANOR
               James has been doing so much better
               now that Elliot has joined him at
               Groton. They've put their
               differences behind them and have
               become a real team.

     Franklin observes two YOUNG BOYS, African-American, running
     alongside the slow-moving train.

                          ELEANOR
               Two peas in a pod. Last week they
               were both in the infirmary with the
     F         same cold.

      ranklin eyes a wagon pulled by a mule. The driver, a FARMER,
     takes off his hat and wipes his brow in the hot sun.

                          LEANOR
               Meanwhile, any suggestion I make to
               Anna for her future -- she
               dismisses me. I am going to have to
               enlist your support in this,
               Franklin. She listens to you.

     She looks over at Franklin and sees that he is staring out the
     window, deep in thought -- not having heard a word she's said.

                                                              26.

     EXT. BULLOCHVILLE TRAIN STATION - GEORGIA - DAY
35                                                              35
     TOM LOYLESS, 39, stands waiting by a car dressed in a white
     suit. Laconic, with a dry sense of humor, Tom is a man of few
     words whose poker face hides a true desperation. He holds a
     telegram from Franklin in his hand.

     As the train pulls in Tom looks for Franklin among the
     passengers making their exit.

     There are two different exits on the platform clearly marked
     WHITE and COLORED. Whites exit from the front of the train
     and Blacks from the rear.

     LIONEL PURDY, tiny, and dressed in a mailman's uniform,
     approaches Tom. Of indeterminate age and dubious intellect,
     his mail bag is almost as big as he is.

                         LIONEL
               Someone important?

                         TOM
               You might say so, Lionel.

                         LIONEL
               Who?

                         TOM
               A Mr. Roosevelt.

                         LIONEL
               Teddy?

                         TOM
                   (patiently)
               No, he's dead.

                         LIONEL
               Oh.

     The STATIONMASTER approaches.

                         STATIONMASTER
               Tom, your guest needs some
               assistance. We're gonna need some
               able-bodied men to move him.

                         TOM
                   (to Lionel)
               Go over to the livery stable...

                         LIONEL
               ... and get the Collier boys.

                                                               27.

     EXT. A TRAIN CAR - DAY
36                                                                36
     Franklin exits the train slung in a fireman's carry over the
     shoulder of ROY COLLIER, African-American, 29. His brother
     PETE, 27, is close behind, carrying luggage -- both hover at
     around 6' 4".

     Tom approaches. Franklin attempts to hide his embarrassment
     with good cheer.

                         FRANKLIN
               Hello! Hello! Mr. Loyless?

                         TOM
               Tom, Mr. Roosevelt.

                         FRANKLIN
               Then you'd better call me Franklin.

     Still in the fireman's carry, Franklin extends his hand for
     Tom to shake.

                           TOM
               Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               And this is the Misses.

                         ELEANOR
               Call me Eleanor.

                         TOM
               Pleased to make your acquaintance.

     Roy then carries him over to Tom's car and gingerly places
     him inside. Pete follows.

                         ROY
                   (to Tom)
               There's a trunk and a chair with
               the wheels, too.

                         TOM
               I'll send a wagon right over.

                         PETE
               We got a wagon, sir.

     EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
37                                                                37
     Tom drives Franklin in front, Eleanor sits in the back.

                                                             28.

     Pine trees tower over the sides of the dirt road. In
     occasional clearings, Franklin spies barefoot children
     playing out in front of broken-down shacks. They stop their
     play to look at the car.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (covering his discomfort)
               Beautiful country.

                         ELEANOR
               How long have you been manager of
               the Inn?

                           TOM
               Not long.

     They BANG over a large pothole. They all fly up and land hard.

                         FRANKLIN
               Got any paved roads?

                         TOM
               No we don't.

     EXT. THE MERIWETHER INN - DAY
38                                                               38
     Tom's car turns into a driveway. Franklin has a brochure for
     "The Meriwether Inn" opened in his lap. He tries to spy the
     building through the trees but cannot.

     He looks back at the brochure. The picture is of a lavish
     Victorian Hotel and the words, "Our renowned mineral hot
     springs can cure whatever ails you!"

     Franklin looks up and sees a three-story hideous green and
     yellow monstrosity leaning slightly to one side. Paint is
     peeling everywhere. What once were flower beds are overgrown
     with weeds.

     The car pulls to a stop.

                         TOM
               You'll have a great deal of
               privacy. There are only a few
               guests right now as it's the off-
               season... I'm hoping to make some
               improvements by next Spring --

     Franklin puts out his arm preventing Tom from getting out of
     the car.

                           F




                                                                29.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (panicked)
               I... I can't stay here. This place
               is a wreck.
                         E
                            LEANOR
               Franklin!

                         TOM
               Look on the bright side. Most of
               your time will be spent in the
               water.
                   (a beat)
               It's true, we've fallen on some
               hard times...

                          RANKLIN
               Hard times? This is a disaster! It
               should be condemned!

     Tom's southern manners are being put to the test, but he
     stays remarkably calm.

                         TOM
               Yes, we've seen better days.
                   (a beat)
               But then I imagine so have you.

     Franklin blinks incomprehensibly at Tom and what he has just
     said.

                         TOM
               I'm happy to drive you back to the
               train station right now, if that's
               what you want.

     They lock eyes. Franklin wonders if Tom's bluffing, but he
     can't tell.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (in a low voice)
               Fire. I'm frightened of fire. I
               can't get out if I'm upstairs.

                         TOM
               We've got options.

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN GROUNDS - DAY
39                                                                39
     Tom's car is now parked in front of a group of small
     cottages. Roy and Pete's horse drawn wagon is behind it.

                                                               30.

     EXT. COTTAGE - DAY
40                                                               40
     Tom and Pete open a set of shutters over the windows of a
     tiny cottage.

     Franklin and Eleanor sit in the car, watching.

     INT. COTTAGE - DAY
41                                                               41
     Sheets cover the furniture, cobwebs span the beams and dust
     particles fill the air.

     As Tom maneuvers the wheelchair through the front door,
     Franklin notices a broken window.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (caustic)
               Well ventilated, at least.

     Roy enters with a suitcase.

                          ROY
               Where do you want this, Mr.
               Roosevelt?

                         FRANKLIN
               The bedroom, Roy, thank you.

     He looks after Roy as he exits.

                         FRANKLIN
               Tom, this young man appears quite
               competent. Would you ask him if
               he'd like to stay on as my valet?

                         TOM
                   (politely)
               Why don't you ask him yourself?

     He tips his hat and goes outside.

     EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
42                                                               42
     Pete, alone, drives the wagon past the Inn and out onto the
     road.

     INT. COTTAGE - DAY
43                                                               43
     Eleanor stands in the middle of the tiny living room stunned
     by the squalor. She speaks to Franklin who is changing in the
     other room.

                           T




                                                             31.

                         ELEANOR
               This is madness.

                           FRANKLIN (O.S.)
               No doubt.

                         ELEANOR
               Tell me again, Franklin, why are we
               here?

     Franklin is wheeled out by Roy, now changed into a bathing
     suit.

                         FRANKLIN
               For the waters. Are you coming?

     EXT. A DIRT PATH - DAY
44                                                                44
     Roy wheels Franklin while Tom walks in front of them leading
     the way.

                          OM
               Mrs. Roosevelt want to swim?

                         FRANKLIN
               Mrs. Roosevelt doesn't know how.

     Franklin takes in the surroundings. Deserted horse stables in
     total ruin and tennis courts covered with underbrush mar the
     landscape.

45                                                                45
     EXT. POOL - DAY

     An immense, T-shaped pool rimmed in concrete. The bluish
     water is clear and sparkling and a delicate steam rises out
     of the warmth.
     A
       MOTHER, eyeing Franklin approaching in his wheelchair,
     comes to the edge of the pool and coaxes her CHILDREN out of
     the water.

     AUNT SALLY, an ancient, gaunt, African American woman, stands
     guard by the edge of the water.

                         TOM
               Mr. Roosevelt, I'd like you to meet
               Aunt Sally.

                         FRANKLIN
               Aunt Sally.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Good day, sir. I have towels for you.

                                                                32.

     Roy wheels Franklin as close to the rim of the pool as
     possible. Tom lends his assistance and both he and Roy HOIST
     Franklin out of the chair and place him at the edge, letting
     his feet dangle in the warm water.

     Twisting on his massive arms, Franklin lowers himself cautiously.

                         TOM
               Now give it a minute. You'll see
               that the mineralization makes the
               water more buoyant. The crippled
               boy who swam here was actually able
               to walk in the water.

     Franklin's legs flop as his useless feet touch the shallow
     bottom. Crushed, all hope drains from his face.

                         FRANKLIN
               I can't even stand.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Well, not yet.

     EXT. CABIN - NIGHT
46                                                                46
     Roy sleeps on a couch on the front porch. Crickets hum.

     INT. CABIN - CONTINUING
47                                                                47
     Eleanor tosses and turns on a roll away bed.

48                                                                48
     INT. CABIN BEDROOM - CONTINUING

     Franklin lies in bed staring up at the ceiling.

     INT. MERIWETHER INN - DINING ROOM - DAY
49                                                                49
     A handful of guests are spread out in a huge dining room.
     Franklin and Eleanor sit together. He is eating heartily, but
     Eleanor merely moves her food around.

                         ELEANOR
               This is simply revolting.

                         FRANKLIN
               It's not very good, but it is
               mysterious.
                   (holding out his plate)
               What in the world do you think
               they've poured over this chicken?
               Or is it possum?

     Eleanor sizes Franklin up. She knows this is a preamble.

H




                                                33.

                    ELEANOR
          You want to stay.

                       FRANKLIN
          Yes.

                    ELEANOR
          New York has the best doctors and
          hospitals in the country.
                    F
                     RANKLIN
          I need something new.

                    ELEANOR
          This isn't about getting better is
          it? You don't want to come home.
          You don't want to live with us.

                    FRANKLIN
          I refuse to be a burden to anyone.

                    ELEANOR
          You're not a burden, you're my
          husband.

 e reaches out and takes her hand in his.

                    FRANKLIN
          I want to offer you the freedom you
          once so generously offered me.
              (she pulls it away)
          All you've ever known is duty. To
          me and to a political career that
          unless I can walk no longer exists.
          You've been exemplary. Now I'm
          telling you you're free to go.

                       ELEANOR
                 (her voice rising)
          No.
              (a beat)
          I don't want freedom. I want a
          marriage. I want a life with you.

Franklin won't let himself believe it.

                    FRANKLIN
          I can't imagine what you think that
          life is going to be.

This takes the wind out of Eleanor.

                                                             34.

                            ELEANOR
                  Oh Franklin... it's not up to me to
                  imagine, it's up to you.

     Eleanor folds her napkin and gets up from the table.

     EXT. COTTAGE DRIVEWAY - DAY
50                                                               50
     Pete helps Eleanor into his livery wagon.

     Franklin watches from the porch as Eleanor rides away. Her
     suitcase slides across the open wagon bed, as the wagon makes
     the tight turn from the driveway onto the main road.

     ON ELEANOR

     Looking out -- straight ahead.

     ON FRANKLIN

     Alone and scared as he watches the wagon fade from sight.

51                                                               51
     INT. HYDE PARK - DAY

     Eleanor is pouring tea for Louis, who is seated.

                            ELEANOR
                  Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Howe.

                            LOUIS
                  I thought you might want to see a
                  friendly face.
                     (off the silence)
                  So how's our boy doing?

                            ELEANOR
                  Well, he's enjoying the waters very
                  much. He...
                      (suddenly overwhelmed)
                  I think we've lost him.

     Her pent-up tears burst in a free-flow. Louis leads her to a
     nearby settee and hands her his handkerchief.
                          E
                             LEANOR
                  Please excuse me, Mr. Howe.

                            LOUIS
                  Don't you think it's time you
                  called me Louis?

                            ELEANOR
                  Louis.

                          E




                                                             35.

                         LOUIS
               Maybe we've been going about this
               all wrong. He's down there to be
               alone so let's give him what he
               wants. We change our focus.

                           LEANOR
               To what?

     Louis smiles, knowingly.

                          LOUIS
               To you.

     EXT. COTTAGES - SUNSET
52                                                             52
     The row of abandoned cottages look strangely pretty, aglow in
     the setting sun.

53                                                             53
     EXT. COTTAGE - CONTINUOUS

     Franklin is seated on the ramshackle porch in his chair. His
     cigarette hangs from his lip as he mixes martinis in a glass
     milk bottle. He pours one for Tom, then himself.

                         FRANKLIN
               To your mineral pool, or whatever
               you call it.

                         TOM
               Warm Springs.

     They clink their glasses. Tom takes a polite sip, then chokes
     back the bad taste.

                         FRANKLIN
               Too strong?

                         TOM
               Haven't been in a drinking mood lately.

                          FRANKLIN
               I have.

                         TOM
               Actually, its the most god-awful
               martini I've ever tasted.

                         FRANKLIN
               Are you always this direct, Tom?

                                                              36.

                         TOM
               Well, I never tasted a martini this
               bad before.

     Franklin takes another sip, checking. It tastes fine to him.

                          FRANKLIN
                   (hurt)
               Everyone likes my martinis...

                         TOM
               So they say.

     INT. COTTAGE - MORNING
54                                                              54
     Franklin's bed is already empty.

     EXT. POOL - MORNING
55                                                              55
     Aunt Sally is seated, talking with Roy while Franklin lies on
     his back in the water, swimming. All his movement comes from
     his shoulders and arms. The morning sun streams down on him.

     Tom sits off to one side reading the newspaper.

                         FRANKLIN
               Tell me more about what that boy
               did, Aunt Sally.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Well, first he'd always swim over
               to the side of the pool and hold
               himself there -- make sure he
               righted himself. Then... before he
               knew it... he'd be standing.

                         FRANKLIN
               If it was only that easy.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Well, you make it hard. Get over to
               the side of that pool and grab it.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (
                    humoring her)
               Yes, ma'am.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Now you got to remember how you did
               it.

     Franklin holds the edge of the pool, closing his eyes.

                         F




                                                             37.

     For a long moment there is silence. Almost without realizing
     it, Franklin lets go of the edge of the pool.

     When he opens his eyes -- he is standing -- all by himself in
     the water.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (a nervous laugh)
               I'm standing.

     His laughter gets stronger. Tom, Aunt Sally and Roy look on.

                         FRANKLIN
               I'm standing.

     The release is powerful as Franklin dissolves into tears.

     EXT. COTTAGE PORCH - EVENING
56                                                               56
     Tom, who's been mixing cocktails, hands Franklin a drink and
     lifts his glass.

                         TOM
               To standing on your own two feet!

     They clink and drink.

                          RANKLIN
               This water could be the cure -- the
               cure! In six months I could be up
               and walking!

     Lionel, the mailman, comes down the path carrying a
     flashlight, reading an open letter.

                         LIONEL
               Evening folks.

                         FRANKLIN
               Cocktail, Lionel?

                         LIONEL
               I can't. I'm working for the
               federal government.

                         FRANKLIN
               All the more reason.
                   (shoving a drink at him)
               Sort of late for the mail, isn't it?

                    F




                    L




                                                 38.

                    LIONEL
          Not for me it isn't. Got a whole
          packet of clippings for you, Mr.
          Roosevelt. From a Mr. Howe. New
          York Times, Journal-American...
          don't know what else.

He hands an already opened letter to Franklin.

                    LIONEL
          Your mother wants to know when
          you're coming home. She says they
          got swimming pools in Hyde Park.
          She's mad as all hell.

                    FRANKLIN
          Reading other people's mail is not
          only impolite, it's illegal.

                    LIONEL
          Sheriff don't mind. He likes I read
          his mail. Saves him the time. Plus
          a lot of folks around here can't
          read, so it's more a public
          service, really.

                    FRANKLIN
          Astonishing. Thank you, Lionel.

He hands Lionel a letter.

                      IONEL
              (reading)
          "Miss Missy LeHand." Who's she?
                    F
                     RANKLIN
          If you must know, she's my social
          secretary.
              (to Tom)
          I'm having her come down.

Lionel reaches into his bag.

                    LIONEL
          Almost forgot... your wife wrote
          the nicest letter. She's gonna make
          a speech at the League of Women
          Voters.

                     RANKLIN
          Give me that.

                   (




                                                                39.

     He hands the letter to Franklin who immediately begins
     reading.

                         LIONEL
                   (to Tom)
               Says she's gonna keep the Roosevelt
               name alive. Least till he starts
               walkin' and all.

     Lionel takes the letter Franklin just handed him, opens it,
     flicks his flashlight back on and continues on his way.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (studying the letter)
               This is so unlike Eleanor. She's
               terrified of crowds.

                                                         CUT TO:

57                                                                 57
     INT. HALLWAY - DAY

     Louis and Eleanor approach a set of double doors.

                         ELEANOR
               We are facing imminent disaster.

                         LOUIS
               I take full responsibility if you
               hyperventilate or faint.

     They enter the room.

     INT. MEETING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
58                                                                 58
     At a lectern, behind which a banner reads "LEAGUE OF WOMEN
     VOTERS," the CHAIRWOMAN sees them and waves them forward.

                         CHAIRWOMAN
               Ah, here she is now. Ladies, Mrs.
               Franklin Roosevelt.

     A small crowd of about two dozen women offer up polite, but
     scant applause for Eleanor.

                         ELEANOR
               Good afternoon. I am so pleased to
               be invited here today.
                    looking down at her
                    cards)
               Too often....

     A PHOTOGRAPHER snaps a picture which throws Eleanor off.

                                                           40.



                    ELEANOR
          Too often...

She stops. The pause is deadly. Louis looks ready to jump out
a window. Eleanor continues, her voice still pitched too high.

                    ELEANOR
          Too often the great decisions are
          originated and given form in bodies
          made up wholly of men...

Slowly, she begins to find her voice.

                     ELEANOR
          So that whatever political value
          women have to offer is shunted
          aside... without expression.
          T
            his is a mistake.

She looks up from her cards and stares at the audience...
and for the first time speaks spontaneously.

                    ELEANOR
          I think this might be the reason I
          am having such a difficult time
          giving voice to my own thoughts
          here today.

The immediacy of her self-effacing comment charms the room.

                    ELEANOR
          I'm reminded of what someone once
          said about looking at an elephant.
          That it is impossible to ever see
          an entire elephant from one place --
          you must walk around it. If our
          elected leaders are to be truly
          effective then they must be willing
          to go out of their way to look
          beyond what is right in front of
          them. To see the entire elephant.
          And for that... they need our help.

The ladies applaud her, much to her relief. Louis beams.

LATER

At a reception following the speech, Eleanor and the
Chairwoman are drinking tea.

                            F




                                                             41.

                         CHAIRWOMAN
               That was so moving, Mrs. Roosevelt.
               The Child Welfare Amendment could
               use someone with your passion. You
               must consider being our
               spokesperson.

     Eleanor looks to Louis who nods.

                         ELEANOR
               Oh. It would be an honor.

                            CHAIRWOMAN
               Wonderful.

59                                                             59
     EXT. POOL - DAY

     Franklin is attempting to walk in the water, working
     diligently. Tom watches him from a few paces back.

                            TOM
               Morning.

                         FRANKLIN
               I walked five steps today!

                         TOM
               Congratulations. Listen, Franklin,
               I got word a local reporter wants
               to do a story on you.

                          RANKLIN
               I'm hardly newsworthy these days.
                   (a beat)
               How did he find out I'm here?

                         TOM
               Small town -- word gets out. It
               probably won't amount to more than
               a provincial puff piece but it
               might give us some free publicity
               for the Inn.

     Franklin looks at Tom knowing full well he's arranged this.

                         TOM
               All right, I know the gentleman.
               I'm doing him a favor. You know, I
               used to be a journalist.

                         FRANKLIN
               Do you mean all this time I've been
               talking to a newspaper man?

                                                             42.

                         TOM
               Not anymore. I got in a bit of
               trouble in Atlanta. Seems some of
               the editorial pieces I wrote
               offended the sensibilities of a
               local civic group. So I needed to
               lay low for a while.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (a beat)
               You mean the Klan? Good God, Tom...
                         T
                          OM
               Thankfully, Mr. George Foster
               Peabody gave me this job...

                         FRANKLIN
               Well, that explains a few things.
               For the life of me, I couldn't
               figure out why someone like you was
               running this --

                           TOM
               Rat-trap?

                         FRANKLIN
                   (laughing, swimming off)
               I was going to say dump, but rat-
               trap fits nicely.

     EXT. FRANKLIN'S COTTAGE - FRONT PORCH - DAY
60                                                               60
     Franklin is seated -- but not in his wheelchair. He wears
     long pants even though it's blisteringly hot.

     CLEBURNE GREGORY, 28, sits across from Franklin -- a second
     string reporter in a three-piece suit.

                         GREGORY
               Now in 1920 when you were running
               for Vice-President...

                         FRANKLIN
               I can't imagine your readers are
               interested in ancient history. Cox
               and I lost the election by a wide
               margin.

                         GREGORY
               It was only a few years ago, Mr.
               Roosevelt...

     H




                                                             43.

                         FRANKLIN
               Now it's the waters extra minerals
               plus its warmth that makes all the
               difference. At 90 degrees I can
               work my muscles for hours and not
               get cold.

                         GREGORY
               As Assistant Secretary of the Navy
               during the Great War did you
               condone the use of...

                         FRANKLIN
               I forgot one more thing you will
               need to write down. Poor
               circulation is a chronic problem
               for people in my condition.

     Gregory looks at Franklin. It's clear he's not going to get
     the interview he came for.

                         GREGORY
               So... you think it could be a cure?

                         FRANKLIN
               I don't know.

                         GREGORY
               But you're hopeful?

                            FRANKLIN
               Yes. I am.

     INT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
61                                                                61
     Franklin is laid out on the bed as Roy slides the braces off
     his legs. Roy unlaces his shoes and slips them off his feet.

      e is about to put them under the bed when Franklin motions
     for Roy to hand them to him.

     Still flat on his back, Franklin luxuriates in the rich
     leather cobbled by hand. He examines their smooth, immaculate
     soles... worn but never walked in.

     INT. COTTAGE - MORNING
62                                                                62
     A newspaper clipping of Eleanor in her speech to the League
     is taped to the wall.

     We hear the sound of an Underwood typewriter clacking away
     and Franklin's voice, dictating.

                                                        44.

                    FRANKLIN
          Therefore, a formal questionnaire
          should be composed in order so we
          may hear from all recent delegates
          as to how we can do better in '28 to
          present a more united front. Signed,
          Franklin Roosevelt, etc., etc.

MISSY LE HAND, 30, is sitting at a card table, typing.
Brunette with some early gray, she is sturdy in build with a
plain but friendly face.

                    MISSY
          Very good. Do you want this out
          today?    F
                     RANKLIN
          Tomorrow will be fine.

                     MISSY
          Alright.

                    FRANKLIN
          Thank you, Missy, and c.c. that to
          Louis.

Missy rises with a stack of envelopes and heads out.

Roy enters with a plate of pancakes in front of Franklin.

                    ROY
          Hungry, Mr. Roosevelt?

                    FRANKLIN
          Not really.

                    ROY
          Who do you write to every morning?

                    FRANKLIN
          Different people I knew in
          politics. Just in case they ever
          want me back.

                    ROY
          So you'll be ready when you get
          your legs workin' again?

                     FRANKLIN
          Exactly.

                                                        45.

There is a knock at the screen door. An earnest young man,
BENJAMIN PRENDERGAST, 18, is peering in. He has a newspaper.

                    PRENDERGAST
          Excuse me, are you Mr. Roosevelt?

                    FRANKLIN
          Yes. Who are you?

Roy opens the door to Prendergast, who enters.

                    PRENDERGAST
          My name is Benjamin Prendergast.
          I've come to see if you could speak
          at this year's graduation ceremony
          at the schoolhouse. You being so
          famous and all.

Prendergast unfolds the newspaper. There is a picture of
Franklin under the heading "FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT SWIMS HIS WAY
TO HEALTH!"

                    FRANKLIN
          I'll be damned.

                    PRENDERGAST
          Would you be available?

                    FRANKLIN
              (looking up)
          When? Next spring?

                    PRENDERGAST
          Next week. We only have a four
          month school year.

                    FRANKLIN
          How is that possible?

                    PRENDERGAST
          Tax dollars only cover that much.

                    FRANKLIN
          Are you graduating?

                    PRENDERGAST
          No, sir. I'm the principal.

                    FRANKLIN
          I see.

But Franklin doesn't see.

                                                                46.

     EXT. SCHOOLHOUSE - DAY
63                                                                63
     A small breeze or a decent rain would knock it to the ground.

     INT. SCHOOLROOM - CONTINUOUS
64                                                                64
     A bookshelf with four books.

     A few FARMERS and their WIVES sit with large groups of filthy
     children. They look at Franklin askance.

     Prendergast stands proudly beside three GRADUATES-TO-BE.

     Tom stands in the back observing.

     Franklin, in his wheelchair, sits uncomfortably before the
     gathering. He notices a FATHER staring at his legs.

                          PRENDERGAST
               Now that we're all here let me
               introduce to you to our guest
               speaker today, Mr. Franklin
               Roosevelt.

                         FRANKLIN
               Good afternoon.

     A fly begins buzzing around his head. He laughs derisively,
     almost to himself.

                         FRANKLIN
               At Groton, where I graduated from
               high school, our beloved Headmaster
               encouraged his students to enter
               public life...

     He looks up and catches the glazed eyes of an undernourished
     child which unsettles him.

                         FRANKLIN
               I chose to attend Harvard for my
               undergraduate work and then
               Columbia for my law degree.
     H
      e takes in their uncomprehending expressions.

                         FRANKLIN
               I followed my Headmaster's advice
               and sought a career in public life.
               But circumstances beyond my control
               have made that... very difficult...

                         R




6




                                                             47.

     He stares at his tiny audience, all of whom know something
     about circumstances beyond their control.

                         FRANKLIN
               I've given many speeches in my
               life... I don't know why I'm having
               such a hard time making this one...

     Horrified and unable to speak, Franklin seems temporarily
     lost, but the tiny audience doesn't seem to notice. They just
     see Franklin.

 5                                                                65
     INT. TOM'S AUTOMOBILE - DAY

                         FRANKLIN
               My God did you see how they were
               looking at me?

                         TOM
               They welcomed your company, Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               Don't patronize me.

     Tom is losing his patience.

                         TOM
               Don't patronize them. These people
               go to bed night after night with
               half-empty stomachs -- your legs
               are the least of their worries.

     They continue to drive in silence.

66                                                                66
     EXT. POOL - DAY

     It's a cold day and Franklin is swimming in the pool.

     Roy is wearing a sweater. Aunt Sally is there, too, wearing a
     patched up coat with a scarf around her neck. Tom is nearby
     raking leaves.

                         AUNT SALLY
               Mr. Roosevelt, aren't you cold?

                          OY
               Mr. Roosevelt, you're gonna catch
               the chill if you don't get out of
               the water.

     Franklin ignores them and dips under the water as Tom comes
     over.

                                                             48.

                         AUNT SALLY
               You got to tell him, Mr. Loyless.
               He won't listen to us.

     Franklin comes up from under.

                         TOM
               Franklin, we need to talk...
               Normally we close up this time of
               year and the staff goes home for
               the holidays.

     Franklin looks at Tom, then at Roy and Aunt Sally,
     acknowledging.

     The sound of a TRAIN WHISTLE is heard.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

67                                                                67
     INT. HYDE PARK, NEW YORK- LIVING ROOM - DAY

     The WHISTLE is coming from a MODEL TRAIN as it zooms around a
     track set up on a table in the Roosevelt living room. Elliot,
     now 15, is mesmerized.

     Sara sits at a piano between FRANKLIN, JR., 9, and JOHN, 7.
     They are finishing a rousing rendition of "Angels We Have
     Heard on High" as an enormous Christmas tree gets decorated.

     JAMES, 18, is at the top of a ladder while his sister, ANNA,
     19, decorates from the lowest rung.

     Eleanor holds up a tiny porcelain ornament to Anna.

                         ELEANOR
               Grandmother Delano brought this
               from China.

     Franklin, working from his wheelchair is filling out the
     lower branches of the tree, his lap filled with ornaments.
                          E
                          LLIOT
               Have you ever been to China,
               Father?

                         FRANKLIN
               No, Elliot. Just your grandmama.

                         SARA
               I adored China. It smelled of
               ginger cookies.

               L




                                                                49.

                         FRANKLIN, JR.
                et's go in the backyard and dig
               our way there!

                         SARA
               That sounds like an adventure.

     Anna looks over at her father, sadly and Franklin catches her
     eye. She quickly looks away.

     From behind his back, John, pulls out the Christmas star and
     places it on his father's knee.

                         JOHN
               Put it on top.

     Silence descends over the room. No one dares to breathe.

                         ELEANOR
               Give it to James. He's the tallest.

                          JOHN
               No.

                         ANNA
               John, give it to him!

                         JOHN
               Papa always does it.

                         FRANKLIN
               I can do it.

     Franklin tosses the star in an attempt to reach the top. It
     almost catches, but it falls to the floor.

     Quickly, aiding to avoid his father's embarrassment, James
     climbs back up and puts the star on top. Sara sensing the
     awkwardness of the moment begins to play and sing an overly
     cheery rendition of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

     INT. STUDY - LATER
68                                                                68
     Roy is spotting Franklin as he pulls himself along a set of
     parallel bars. Eleanor observes as Franklin uses his arms to
     drag his legs behind him.

                         ELEANOR
               It was an extraordinary turnout
               this afternoon. Louis says there
               were over two hundred people in the
               audience.

                                                               50.



                         FRANKLIN
               That's marvelous, Babs.

     Eleanor is flushed with pride. Franklin, catching her look,
     slips slightly on the bars as Roy grabs hold of him.

                         ROY
               I've got you, sir.

     Franklin then takes note that Eleanor's expression has turned
     to one of pure heartbreak.

                         FRANKLIN
               You wonder why I want to go back to
               Georgia... it's to avoid people who
               look at me the way you just did.

                         ELEANOR
               You truly believe the waters...
                   (with difficulty)
               ... that they are helping?

                         FRANKLIN
               Don't talk to me as if I were a
               child. Choosing your words so
               carefully...

                         ELEANOR
               How am I supposed to talk to you?

                         FRANKLIN
               Like I was! Talk to me like I was!

     Roy turns Franklin around on the bars and they begin walking
     away from Eleanor.

                         ELEANOR
               I don't know how anymore.

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

     EXT. COTTAGE - DAY
69                                                                  69
     Franklin is being lifted out of Pete's wagon by Roy and
     placed into his wheelchair. He sees Tom approaching.
                          T
                          OM
               You're a sight for sore eyes...

                         FRANKLIN
               We missed you at the station...

                                                                51.

     The smile on Franklin's face slips to a look of shock as he
     takes in Tom's changed appearance. His face is sallow and his
     trademark white suit is hanging on him.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (concerned)
               Tom, are you all right?

                         TOM
               It's just an ulcer. I can't eat
               anything I like anymore.

     Roy carries the luggage into the cottage.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (covering)
               My father had ulcers. Damn irritating.

                         TOM
               Yes, they are.

     A silence hangs in the air.

                         TOM
               Ready to swim?

     EXT. POOL - DAY
70                                                                70
     Franklin now dressed in his bathing suit is being wheeled by
     Roy. Tom follows.

                         TOM
               We've got some new guests. Some
               paying, some non-paying...

     As they get closer, Franklin is stunned by what he sees --

     A DOZEN PEOPLE -- all in different groupings -- some on
     crutches, others in wheelchairs, are gathered around the
     pool.

                         FRANKLIN
               What in blazes?...

                         TOM
               The interview you gave was
               syndicated in Sunday papers all
               over the country.

     Franklin looks up at Tom, dumbfounded.

                         TOM
               They're here to see you.

     H




                                                             52.

     This news hits Franklin with the force of a sledgehammer.

     PAT DOYLE, 50, is stuffed into his wheelchair with a huge
     cigar between his fat lips.

      is eyebrows have a life of their own. He wheels himself to
     Franklin.

                         PAT
               Mr. Roosevelt, Pat Doyle. I've come
               all the way from Minneapolis to
               shake your hand, sir.

     He reaches out his hand to Franklin.

                         PAT
               Stuck in this chair I do nothing
               but read. Newspapers, mostly.
               Usually I'm just looking for
               something -- anything -- that'll
               tell me there's even the slightest
               chance I'll walk again.

     Franklin is uncomfortable, especially as Pat won't let go of
     his hand.

                         FRANKLIN
               I really don't know what to say.

                          PAT
               Well, you're here. And we're here.
               Together... we'll think of
               something.

     Franklin looks to Tom and gestures for him to come closer.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (whispering)
               Get me out of here.

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - GROUNDS - DAY
71                                                                71
     Franklin is pushing the chair himself along the dirt path,
     his anger propelling F
                          him away from Tom.

                          RANKLIN
               I want no part of this. I come here
               for privacy!

                         TOM
               This isn't your personal spa!
               I have a business to run.

                                                          53.

                    FRANKLIN
          Exactly. You have a business to
          run, not I!

                    TOM
          No one's asking anything of you!

                    FRANKLIN
          Of course they are!

                    TOM
          Do you know what it took for most
          of them to get here?

                    FRANKLIN
          It's not my concern. I want to be
          left alone!

                    TOM
          My God, you're afraid of these people.

                    FRANKLIN
          Afraid? What you're talking about?

                    TOM
          You look at them with the same
          repulsion and pity as everyone else.

                    FRANKLIN
          Don't be ridiculous. I resent your
          trying to --

                    TOM
          You don't want to be around them
          because then that would make you
          one of them, wouldn't it?

Franklin furiously wheels himself back towards the cottage,
getting stuck on the dirt path along the way.

                    FRANKLIN
          God damn it!

Tom comes to his aid but he is brushed off by Franklin.

                    FRANKLIN
          Out of my way! Get out of my
          goddamn way!

Franklin wheels himself off.

                                                             54.

     EXT. BULLOCHVILLE TRAIN STATION - DAY
72                                                             72
     Franklin, in his wheelchair, smokes a cigarette. His bags are
     next to him, as is Roy. A train's whistle BLOWS and pulls in.

                         ROY
               Right on time.

     Franklin sees someone else on the platform. He squints in the
     distance. It's Tom.

     He walks closer towards Franklin and Roy.

                         TOM
               Good evening.

     Franklin nods in Tom's general direction. Tom has a telegram
     in his hand which peaks Franklin's curiosity.

                         FRANKLIN
               Expecting someone?

                         TOM
               Yes.

     The train comes to a complete stop. A CONDUCTOR steps out
     onto the platform. A single ELDERLY WOMAN gets off the train.

                         TOM
                   (to the Conductor)
               I'm looking for a young gentleman
               by the name of Botts. Fred Botts?

                         CONDUCTOR
               Don't know anything about that.

                         TOM
               I expect he would be in a
               wheelchair.

                         CONDUCTOR
               You mean the cripple? He's in the
               baggage car.

     EXT. BAGGAGE CAR - DAY
73                                                             73
     Tom, Franklin and Roy are in front of the large door as the
     Conductor pushes it back slowly.

                                                               55.

     INT. BAGGAGE CAR - DAY
74                                                                74
     Amongst crates and luggage is FRED BOTTS, a young man of
     fifteen lying on the floor, unconscious. A wheelchair is next
     to him, turned over on its side.

                         FRANKLIN
               Mother of God.

     Tom leaps up and into the car as does Roy leaving Franklin
     below. Tom takes his wrist.

                         TOM
               His pulse is slow.

75                                                                75
     EXT. STATION PLATFORM - DAY

     Roy lays Fred on a bench. Franklin wheels himself over.

                         FRANKLIN
               Son, can you hear me?

     Tom brings a cup of water. Franklin puts it to Fred's lips.

                            FRANKLIN
               Fred?

     Fred opens his eyes. They are large and brown with a
     sweetness to them. His face comes alive when he recognizes
     Franklin.

                         FRED
               Mr. Roosevelt?...

                         FRANKLIN
               It's going to be all right, son.
     H
      e hands Franklin a worn newspaper clipping from his pocket.
     The headline reads: "FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT SWIMS HIS WAY TO HEALTH!"

                         FRED
               The conductor wouldn't let me ride
               in the passenger car with my chair.

     Franklin looks at the clipping, then at Fred.

                         FRANKLIN
               When did you last eat?

                            FRED
               Knoxville.

                                                        56.

                    TOM
          Knoxville had to be three days ago.

                    FRANKLIN
          Roy, take him to the car.

As Roy lifts Fred in his arms, Franklin wheels himself to the
engine car. Tom follows as they approach the CONDUCTOR.

                    FRANKLIN
          Who in their right mind let's a
          child ride in the baggage car!
          You could have killed that boy.

                    CONDUCTOR
          He had polio. Probably still
          contagious.

The Conductor walks away, dismissively. Franklin pushes his
chair up and stops the Conductor in his tracks.

                    FRANKLIN
          Don't dismiss me because I sit in
          this chair!

                    CONDUCTOR
          Get away from me.

Franklin pushes the wheels of his chair with such force he
knocks the Conductor over.

                    FRANKLIN
          You ignorant son of a bitch. If I
          could, I'd get up right now and
          lock you in that box car! See how
          you like it!

                    TOM
          Franklin...

The Conductor struggles to get up.

                    CONDUCTOR
          Get this lunatic off me!

Franklin wheels himself towards Tom's car where Fred is now
lying across the back seat. The sight of Fred drains all
anger from Franklin's face.

                    FRANKLIN
          Where's the nearest hospital?

                                                               57.

                            TOM
               Atlanta.

                         FRANKLIN
               What about a doctor?

                         TOM
               Closer, but not by much.

     The train whistle BLOWS.

                         ROY
               Train's ready.

     Franklin looks at Fred, then at Roy and Tom.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (quietly)
               Let's go home.

     INT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
76                                                               76
     Fred lays in Franklin's bed while Franklin sits by the
     bedside. Roy lays a cold compress on Fred's forehead.
     F
      ranklin is using his watch to take Fred's pulse.

     Roy pulls back the sheet to give Fred air revealing his
     withered legs. Alabaster skin stretched over bones.

     Franklin looks away.

     INT. COTTAGE - DAY
77                                                               77
     Franklin sits at a card table with his check book in front of
     him. Tom stands before him, shifting uncomfortably.

                         FRANKLIN
               How many can pay?

                         TOM
               Fewer than half.

     Franklin opens the check book and begins writing.

                         FRANKLIN
               I want these people in the
               cottages, not in the inn. It's
               safer.

                         TOM
               Well, it's the way it has to be.

                                                          58.

                    FRANKLIN
          What do you mean?

                    TOM
          I've already had some complaints.
              (awkwardly)
          This is the start of the season,
          Franklin. I've got regulars who
          have come for years. Healthy folks
          over all... They're threatening to
          check out, afraid they might catch
          polio.

                    FRANKLIN
          Such ignorance! Don't they know
          that after the fever breaks we are
          no longer contagious?

                    TOM
          I'm going to have to ask that you
          not use the pool during regular
          hours. I'll put time aside for you
          late in the day... and it won't be
          possible for you to eat in the
          dining room either. But I promise
          I'll find someplace suitable.

                    FRANKLIN
          They don't want us to eat in their
          presence?

                    TOM
          Of course for you I can make other
          accommodations.

                    FRANKLIN
              (a beat)
          That won't be necessary.

Franklin goes back to writing out the check. Tom stands
waiting, the sound of the pen scratching seemingly
interminable. Their mutual discomfort is obvious.

Franklin rips the check from the ledger and holds it for Tom.

                       TOM
          Thank you.

                    FRANKLIN
          We still need a doctor here.

                       TOM
          For Fred?

                                                          59.

                         FRANKLIN
                   (pointedly)
               For everyone.

     EXT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
78                                                          78
     Franklin is in his wheelchair, writing.

                         FRANKLIN (V.O.)
               "Dear Babs, Things are very
               different upon my return."
7

 9                                                          79
     INT. HYDE PARK - DAY

     Eleanor sits in a chair reading Franklin's letter.

                         FRANKLIN (V.O.)
               I am taking on responsibilities
               which none of my schooling in the
               spheres of higher learning or
               politics could have prepared me
               for... I have seen the casualties
               of war. But I have never seen this,
               a suffering so insidious, so
               silent, that it rattles my soul."

     INT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
80                                                          80
     Franklin is tucking Fred in for the night.

                         FRED
               When can I swim?

                         FRANKLIN
               Soon. When you're a little stronger.

                         FRED
               When I'm asleep, in my dreams, I
               can still walk.

                         FRANKLIN
               Me too.
                   (a beat)
               How long has it been... since you
               walked?

                          FRED
               Nine years. I'd just learned to
               ride a bike. After I got sick my
               mom was sure that the bike had
               caused it.

                                                                60.

                         FRANKLIN
               Did she sell it?

                         FRED
               No. She took it out back and shot it.

     Franklin howls with laughter, joined by Fred.

     EXT. POOL - DUSK
81                                                                81
     Franklin is in the pool with the new guests. They are all
     nervously waiting to test the water.

     From the looks on their faces it's clear they only want to
     take their cues from Franklin.

     A MOTHER carries her adorable 4 year old GIRL into the water.

                         FRANKLIN
               And who is this delightful child?

                         DAISY
                   (giggling)
               Daisy.

                         FRANKLIN
               All right Daisy, try and kick your legs.

     Daisy wiggles back and forth in her MOTHER's arms giving it
     her very best effort.

                         FRANKLIN
               Excellent, Daisy!

     JAKE PERRINI, 32, Bronx-born with an upper body of steel
     wheels over to Roy who is fixing a wheelchair.

                         JAKE
               Jake Perrini, Bronx, New York.

                           ROY
               Roy, sir.

                         JAKE
               How you doin'?

     Jake reaches out his hand to shake. Roy is unsure what to do.

                         JAKE
               C'mon -- I won't bite.

T




                                                           61.

                    ROY
              (shaking his hand)
          Mighty fine, sir. Mighty fine.

                    JAKE
          Hey, would you mind pulling me
          outta this trap, Roy? I wanna get
          airborne.

Roy gently lifts Jake up and out of his chair, into his arms
like a child.

                    JAKE
          Do me one more favor? Throw me in?

Roy tosses Jake to the heavens and he SAILS through the air
emitting a jungle cry of pure emotional release before
SPLASHING down hard in the water.
H
 e bobs up to the surface. There is applause.

                    FRANKLIN
          Now folks, these exercises are of
          my own devising so bear with me.

Some laugh, some are confused. This is new territory for
everyone.

                    FRANKLIN
          My hope is that in repeating these
          movements over and over in the
          water I'm in some way causing the
          muscles to regenerate themselves
          and repair the damage.

He swims to the edge of the pool.

                    FRANKLIN
          So everybody grab the edge of the
          pool and move what you can!

 hey disperse, eagerly ready to do what Franklin tells them.

                    FRANKLIN
          Go ahead now, do your best!

Their legs barely rise up to splash the surface. Undeterred,
Franklin leads them on, spiritedly.

In the distance we see Tom, leaning against a tree, watching
everything.

                          F




                                                                62.

     INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
82                                                                82
     Tom oversees the dinner service of paying guests -- none of
     whom have disabilities.

     INT. BACK ROOM - NIGHT
83                                                                83
     Segregated in a back room, all the polio guests are gathered
     for dinner seated around a couple of sawhorses with old doors
     thrown across them serving as makeshift dining tables.

     Roy carries DAISY in and places her in the chair next to
     Franklin.

                          RANKLIN
               Do you have a reservation?

     She begins to giggle. It's infectious and soon everyone has a
     smile on their face, overriding the awkwardness of the
     situation.

                         FRANKLIN
               Whether in here or our there, I
               guarantee you the food will taste
               the same... terrible.

                         DAISY
               Shouldn't we pray first?

                         FRANKLIN
               By all means. Would you do us the
               honor?

     Franklin bows his head for grace.

                         DAISY
               Bless the food on our table. Keep
               us healthy, strong and able. Amen.

                          ALL
               Amen.

     EXT. FACTORY - DAY

     With Louis in tow, Eleanor is touring the exterior of an
     ironworks factory. She is the only woman in a large gathering
     of men.

                         ELEANOR (V.O.)
               "My dear Franklin, I too am
               embarking on an altogether
               remarkable experience."

8




                                                                63.

     EXT. BUILDING - DAY
85                                                                85
      leanor stands against a banner that reads "CHILD WELFARE
     LEAGUE." She is passing out pamphlets to a small crowd that
     has gathered.

                         ELEANOR (V.O.)
               "It seems everywhere I go there are
               more people in dire need of help.
               It would be overwhelming if not for
               my deep belief that help is
               possible..."

     INT. NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY - DAY
 6                                                                86
     Eleanor is being introduced by Louis to members of the New
     York State Assembly -- all men -- eager to shake her hand.

                         ELEANOR (V.O.)
               "Louis's latest flash of brilliance
               is to take me 'mainstream.' He said
               that you would know what he means
               by this."

     EXT. POOL - DAY
87                                                                87
     Franklin is in the water. Roy lifts Fred out of his
     wheelchair and gently puts him in the shallow end. Franklin
     receives him. Fred's face is ecstatic as he floats on his
     back in the water.

                         ELEANOR (V.O.)
               "I hope you are finding your work
               to be gratifying in both mind and
               heart. Your beloved, Eleanor."

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY
88                                                                88
     A very old car comes coughing in, steam hissing from its
     engine.

     HELENA MAHONEY, 43, gets out of the driver's seat. Her iron
     will is matched only by her deep reserves of empathy. She
     gets a good look at the Inn. This is what she has come for?

     EXT. COTTAGE PORCH - DAY
89                                                                89
     Franklin and Roy, having finished lunch, are playing
     checkers. Fred is sitting nearby eating a piece of pie.

     Helena approaches. Roy pulls off a triple jump.

                                                        64.

                      FRANKLIN
          Damn!

                      ROY
          King me.

Franklin reluctantly tops Roy's checker.

                    FRED
          You're losing, Doc.

                    HELENA
          Doc? I'm sorry, you're Franklin
          Roosevelt, aren't you?

                    FRANKLIN
          Depends.
              (suspiciously)
          Are you a lawyer?

                      HELENA
          No.

                    FRANKLIN
          Then Roosevelt it is. Wait!

He jumps one of Roy's checkers.

                     HELENA
          I'm Helena Mahoney. I'm a physical
          therapist.
              (off their blank looks)
          You have no idea who I am, do you?

                      FRANKLIN
          Should I?

                    HELENA
          I wrote you a letter right after I
          saw the article in the paper.
          Didn't you read it?

                    FRANKLIN
          It got read, I assure you. But
          probably not by me.

Helena glances down at the checkerboard and points to it.

                    HELENA
              (to Roy)
          He's open right there.

                                                       65.

                         ROY
               He sure is.

     Roy trounces Franklin with three swift moves.

                         ROY
               Thank you, ma'am.

     Helena sits at the table with them.

                         HELENA
               I've been studying the effects of
               moist heat on polio patients and I
               think with repeated exercise in
               warm water...

                         FRANKLIN
               It can help them regain lost
               strength.

                         HELENA
               Yes.

                         FRANKLIN
               Incredibly I've come to the same
               conclusion myself.

                         HELENA
                   (a half-smile)
               Well, you're the doctor.

90                                                       90
     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY

     Helena is wheeling Franklin around the grounds.

                         HELENA
               No ramps, no running water, no
               doctors... from the article in the
               newspaper I assumed this was a
               rehabilitation center.
                         F
                          RANKLIN
               Don't believe everything you read.

                         HELENA
               I feel like I was brought here
               under false pretenses.

                         FRANKLIN
               Join the club.

                   (




                                                             66.

     INT. A BARN - DAY
91                                                                91
     Franklin lies across a makeshift examining table. Helena's
     examination is in progress.

     She is completely absorbed -- all business -- pouring over
     his muscles inch by inch. She kneads, bends and stretches
     them with a laser-like focus, finally picking up Franklin's
     leg and rotating it out and around.

                         HELENA
               Push against my hand.

     Franklin, with difficulty, tries to do so.

                         FRANKLIN
               Give me the good news first.

                         HELENA
               Your gluteus maximus is better than
               I hoped. It will serve you well.

                         FRANKLIN
               Must be all that sitting.

                         HELENA
               I'm serious. Your right leg has
               some movement along the thigh.
               That's good because we can use it
               to help extend your hip, flex your
               knee and rotate your tibia.

                         FRANKLIN
               I'm supposed to walk on one side?

                         HELENA
               The water may help build some
               strength I'm not able to see yet.
               But to do that you would need to
               swim in the water much of the day.
               Not the limited hours you have now.
                    a beat)
               Why should this place cater to a
               few able-bodied folk when it could
               be opened year round with polios?

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY
92                                                                92
     Tom is pushing Franklin in his wheelchair.

                          FRANKLIN
               There's a need for a place like
               this, Tom.
                          (MORE)

                                                          67.
          Are you aware NKLIN(cont'd)
                    FRA that in the last
          epidemic over 16,000 people got
          polio in the New York area alone?

                    TOM
          Sounds like you've been reading up.

                    FRANKLIN
          I wish there was more to read. Damn
          few things being written about any
          of this. To think of someone like
          Fred... locked away... his mind and
          heart so vibrant...

                    TOM
          It's a waste. An awful waste.

Franklin takes a beat -- the weight of this sinking in.

                    FRANKLIN
          What's the acreage here?

                    TOM
          Roughly twelve hundred or so. Why?

                    FRANKLIN
          I want to buy it. I think it would
          make one hell of an investment.

                    TOM
          Investment?

                    FRANKLIN
          Twelve hundred acres? Enough for
          two resorts, don't you think?

                    TOM
          It would take money. There's a lot
          of land, rebuilding the inn, adding
          ramps and so many people can't pay...

                    FRANKLIN
              (undeterred)
          Do you think old Peabody will sell?

                    TOM
          He'll sell.

                    FRANKLIN
          How can you be so sure?

                    TOM
          Have you taken a look at this
          place?

                                                             68.

     INT. TOM'S OFFICE   - DAY
93                                                               93
     Franklin sits in his chair at a desk.

                          FRANKLIN
                    (full of charm)
               Peabody you old reprobate! How are
               you?

     Tom is pacing back and forth

                         FRANKLIN
               You'll never guess why I'm calling.

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - MAIN ENTRANCE - DAY
94                                                               94
     Helena is training a group of YOUNG MEN how to lift and carry
     using a raven haired young woman, ELOISE HUTCHISON, 18, as
     the test model. She sits shyly in her wheelchair before them.

                         HELENA
               Woodhall, this is Eloise. Lift her
               gently.

     WOODHALL BUSEY, 17, has bright red hair and a face full of
     freckles. Over six feet tall he has spent his life working in
     the fields.          W
                             OODHALL
               Yes, ma'am.

     He picks Eloise up effortlessly, then sets her back down.

                         HELENA
               Very good! Watch her braces.

     Woodhall kneels before Eloise like Prince Charming, carefully
     straightening out her legs.

                         WOODHALL
               You're light as a ...

     He notices the long jagged scars along Eloise's wrists.
     Eloise, sensing his eyes, self-consciously pulls down her
     sleeves. He stares at her questioningly.

                         ELOISE
                   (looking away)
               I was a dancer...

     Tom and Franklin come out. Franklin gives a questioning look
     to Helena, pondering how these boys have suddenly appeared.

                         T




                                                             69.

                         HELENA
               Good news... I raided the pool
               hall. I call them my Push Boys.

                         FRANKLIN
               Welcome Push Boys! Good day, Eloise.

                         ELOISE
               Hello, Mr. Roosevelt.

                         TOM
               Want to tell them your good news?

     Franklin is smiling like the cat that ate the canary.

                         FRANKLIN
               It's hardly a done deal, but for
               better or worse, you may be looking
               at the new owner of this God-
               forsaken place.

     INT. COTTAGE - EVENING
95                                                             95
     A free wheeling game of poker. Heavy with cigarette and cigar
     smoke, Franklin, Tom, Fred, Jake and Pat are playing.

                         PAT
               Polio's always going to be a losing
               financial proposition, but it doesn't
               mean you shouldn't buy the place.

                         FRANKLIN
               I am buying it. Make no mistake
               about that.

                         PAT
               Good for you, Doc.

                         FRED
               If you don't mind my asking, how
               will people pay for the services
               you are going to offer here? Most
               people with polio have a hard enough
               time making ends meet as it is.

                          OM
                   (gently)
               The boy makes a good point, Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               Not everything in this world has to
               be about profits.

                         P




                                                             70.

                         TOM
               I'll see your twenty-five and raise
               you twenty-five.
                         J
                          AKE
               C'mon will ya! The night's still
               young.

                         TOM
               It's twenty-five cents not twenty-
               five dollars.

                         PAT
               Don't mind him, Tom. He's a cheap
               bastard.

     Fred and Pat fold immediately as does Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               Too rich for my blood.

                         JAKE
                   (to Tom)
               Fine! Here's your twenty-five! You
               better have something.

     They eyeball each other. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

                         TOM
               Take it. I was bluffing.

     Gleefully, Jake slaps his hands together and rakes in the pot.

                          AT
                   (handing Franklin a fresh
                    deck)
               Your deal, Doc.

                         FRANKLIN
               Very well. Gentlemen, the game is
               Five Card Stud, sevens are wild.

     Everyone groans.

                         FRANKLIN
               Sevens are wild and you can all go
               to Hell!

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - GROUNDS - DAWN
96                                                             96
     The sun is about to rise. Tom's car is parked in front of the
     Inn, pulled up very close to the main entrance. The trunk is
     open.

                                                        71.

Tom, struggling with a suitcase, comes down the ramp. He
deposits it in the trunk and then walks precariously back up
the ramp, having difficulty navigating the incline.

He goes back into the house for one last bag. When he comes
out, he's surprised by what he sees --

                    FRANKLIN (O.S.)
          Where do you think you're going?

Franklin is being pushed by Roy in his wheelchair. They are
both dressed in pajamas and bathrobes, though Franklin has a
blanket around his shoulders to shield him from the morning
chill.

Tom is caught. This is everything he wanted to avoid.

                    TOM
          Going to Asheville to see my
          parents.

From the sight of Tom's car stuffed with luggage, it is clear
he is not coming back.

                    FRANKLIN
          I can't do this without you...
          we're only just beginning.

                     TOM
          You. (You're beginning, not me.
                a beat)
          I've got cancer, Franklin. It's
          spread everywhere.

Franklin is stunned -- utterly thrown.

                    FRANKLIN
          I... I'll take you to the best doctors.
          We'll go to Atlanta right now --

                    TOM
          I've seen the best doctors. When
          you were in New York they opened me
          up for the second time. Now I just
          want to die in the bed I was born.

Franklin is struggling with this.

                    TOM
          You're going to do great things.
          This place has an identity now --
          a purpose. It has you.

                                                                72.

     Any guard Franklin had is gone. He reaches out and takes Tom
     by the sleeve slipping his hand into Tom's gripping it tightly.

                         TOM
               Take care of yourself, Roy.

                         ROY
               God be with you, Mr. Loyless.

     Tom takes one last look at Franklin.

                         FRANKLIN
               You never pitied me. Thank you for that.

                         TOM
               On the contrary, I envy you.

                         FRANKLIN
               I will miss you all the days of my
               life.

     Tom gets into his car and looks at Franklin with a smile.

                         TOM
               Good luck, Franklin.

     With a wave he slowly lurches down the long driveway and
     turns onto the main road. Franklin watches the car until it
     is out of sight.

     INT. HYDE PARK, NEW YORK - LIBRARY - DAY
97                                                                97
     Sara paces wildly, waving a letter at Eleanor and Louis.

                         SARA
               He wants to use his entire trust
               fund to buy that... leper colony!

                         ELEANOR
               Franklin has invited Louis and me
               to see the work he's been doing.

                         SARA
                   (derisively)
               Work! Playing in a pool all day
               long? Squandering his birthright on
               a group of fawning strangers? I
               consider this your fault, Eleanor!

                         ELEANOR
               I beg your pardon, Mama?

                                                             73.

                         SARA
               You have indulged him and this is
               the result.

                         ELEANOR
                   (challenging her)
               Indulged him? I have indulged him?

     Sara looks away.

                          ELEANOR
               He's a grown man who makes his own
               decisions.

                         SARA
               But he does not need to buy it.

                         ELEANOR
               If it's of any comfort to you, I
               agree.

                         LOUIS
               I'm against it as well. It will
               consume too much of his time and
               energy.

                         SARA
               Then it is settled. We tell him no.

                          ELEANOR
               No, it is not settled. We must hear
               him out. Louis and I must see for
               ourselves the work that he has been
               doing then we will all discuss this
               further.
                    (a beat)
               A
                 nd tell him no.

     They all look at each other for a moment. For once they agree.

                         SARA
               Perhaps I have underestimated you.

                         ELEANOR
               Perhaps you have. But that has been
               my fault, not yours.

     EXT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY
98                                                             98
     Fred, on crutches, swings himself up using one side and then
     the next under Helena's supervision.

                                                           74.

                    HELENA
          Excellent, Fred! Keep going...

They are surrounded by many others, Franklin, Eloise,
Woodhall, Pat and Jake.

The BEEPING of a car horn gets their immediate attention.

Roy leaps off the porch, skipping the stairs as his brother
Pete drives up in Tom's car. He parks it and steps out.

                    PETE
          Morning, Mr. Roosevelt.

                     FRANKLIN
          Peter, what are you doing with
          Tom's car?

                    PETE
          I was as sorry as anyone to hear
          about Mr. Loyless's passing. Wished
          he coulda' lived to see this!

                    FRANKLIN
          What are you talking about?

                    PETE
          Mr. Loyless had me come up and
          fetch this right after he brung it
          to Asheville. "Pete, he said, "Take
          this home and fix it up for Mr.
          Roosevelt."

                    FRANKLIN
          Pete... I can't drive a car.

                    PETE
          You can now.

Roy opens the passenger door and lifts Franklin into the
driver's seat.

                    PETE
          Get on in and I'll teach ya'!

He begins showing off a system of pulleys and levers that
have been attached to both pedals. They thread through holes
in a second dashboard, attached to polished wood knobs.
It's a hand-controlled automobile.

                    PETE
          That one there is your brake.

                                                               75.

                          FRANKLIN
                Got it.

                          PETE
                And this here's the gas.

                          FRED
                Hot damn! You got hand controls.

                          PAT
                That is a thing of beauty!

      Franklin begins running his hands over the polished wood knobs.

                          PETE
                Now you got to push it real smooth
                or it goes all herky-jerky.

      Franklin excitedly turns the key and starts it up.

                          PETE
                Wait, Mr. Roosevelt, you're not
                ready to drive yet!

                          FRANKLIN
                Oh, yes I am!

      Franklin hits the gas as the car begins HALTING and JERKING
      the whole way down the driveway. Pete is yelling out
      instructions but Franklin ignores him.

      They all watch as he pulls away.

      As the car hits the end of the driveway Franklin reaches
      across Pete and opens his passenger door pushing him out.
      Franklin tears off alone -- out on his first solo spin.

      OVER MUSIC:

      EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
99    F                                                             99
       ranklin is driving by himself with the top down, thrilled to
      be moving on his own. No one is pushing him. He's free. The
      car covers miles of farmland, passing pine forests, peach
      orchards and cotton fields.

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

      EXT. BULLOCHVILLE TRAIN STATION - MORNING
100                                                               100
      A spent and anxious Eleanor, with Louis in tow, stands on the
      station platform, suitcase in hand.

                                                                 76.

                          LOUIS
                It's a far cry from Grand Central
                Station.

      They are both silent for a moment.

                          ELEANOR
                The wire said someone would be here
                to pick us up.

      The sounds of tires screeching and a car horn cause them to
      turn around.

      It is Franklin, sitting in the driver's seat of his car.

                          FRANKLIN
                Your chariot awaits, Madame!

      Louis promptly drops the luggage. Then he and Eleanor walk
      over to the car, taking in the hand-controls.

                          LOUIS
                When did you learn to drive this
                thing?

                           FRANKLIN
                Tuesday!

101                                                               101
      EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

      Franklin drives wild and fast. Louis hat flies right off his
      head. Eleanor just holds on.

      EXT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY
102                                                               102
      Franklin, Eleanor and Louis pull up to the Inn. Though the
      brush has been cleared and the trees are newly trimmed, it's
      still a wreck. Franklin is too proud to concede Louis and
      Eleanor's disappointment.

                          FRANKLIN
                Can't wait to give you the tour!

      EXT. GROUNDS - DAY
103                                                               103
      Franklin wheels himself along the circular driveway, pointing
      things out, almost manic in his energy.

                          FRANKLIN
                A small schoolhouse will go there.
                We need it badly as many of the
                children are barred from the local
                schools due to their infirmities.

                                                                 77.

      He points to a dilapidated gardener's shed.

                          FRANKLIN
                We also require a blacksmith's shop
                so we can craft braces here on the
                premises. I've found a wonderful
                local man who can make crutches and
                canes. His work is outstanding. Of
                course what is most desperately
                needed is a hospital. That's going
                to put my fund raising abilities to
                the test.

      Franklin wheels himself up a ramp to the Inn as Eleanor and
      Louis follow.

      INT. LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
104                                                               104
      Surrounded by peeling wallpaper and threadbare furniture
                           E
      Eleanor and Louis exchange glances.

                           LEANOR
                What exactly are you proposing,
                Franklin?

                          FRANKLIN
                That this will be the first polio
                rehabilitation and treatment center
                in the world. My personal trust
                almost covers the price of the Inn
                and the surrounding land. There
                will be a modest tuition charged to
                the patients which should hold us
                over while I seek out investors.

                          LOUIS
                Franklin, you're risking everything
                you have...

                          ELEANOR
                And there are other costs to
                consider.

                          FRANKLIN
                Mama will see that the children are
                provided for.

                          ELEANOR
                I'm not speaking of money.

                                                78.

                    FRANKLIN
          I have found something here which
          makes waking up in the morning
          remotely bearable and the two of
          you stand there...

                    ELEANOR
          Franklin, I need for you to be
          practical and realistic.

                    FRANKLIN
              (furious)
          Practical? I am trapped inside a
          body that no longer moves of my own
          volition. I am trying to be
          practical. Now either you're with
          me or against me. In or out!

                    ELEANOR
          I don't care for ultimatums
          disguised as debate.

Eleanor starts to leave.

                     FRANKLIN
          Where are you going? Eleanor! Get
          back here.

                    ELEANOR
          I will see you gentlemen tonight.

She leaves.

                    LOUIS
          You can't talk to her like that.

                    FRANKLIN
          Oh really? Are you an expert on
          this now? How should I speak to my
          wife, Louis?

                    LOUIS
          With the respect she deserves.
              (a beat)
          Look, I don't deny the work you're
          doing here could be important --

                      FRANKLIN
          Could be?

                                                              79.

                          LOUIS
                The issue is whether you want to
                run a rehabilitation center or
                whether you want to run for office
                again.

                          FRANKLIN
                When I can walk, I'll run.

      EXT. POOL - DAY
105                                                            105
      Eleanor approaches the pool. It is as quiet as a church. She
      is stunned to observe over a dozen tables set up in the
      water.

      On each table is a child or an adult polio wearing their
      bathing suit. Next to them is a Physical Therapist also in
      bathing attire conducting therapy. In hushed tones the
      Physical Therapists encourage and work the distressed limbs
      of the patients as Helena swims to each table overseeing the
      work being done.

      Eleanor sits down in a chair and watches fascinated.

      INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING
106                                                            106
      The camera pans various tables revealing legs in braces,
      legs in wheelchairs, shapely legs, flaccid legs, children's
      legs... some reveal illicit romances, betrayed by secret
      hand holding and hands on thighs.

      Jake and a new physical therapist, MARY BETH, are
      particularly cozy.

                          FRANKLIN (O.S.)
                This is a very special night we're
                celebrating. At last we are together
                eating in this dining room!

      The hands come up and out from under the table, applauding.

      ON FRANKLIN

      He is in his wheelchair dressed in a jacket and tie.

                          FRANKLIN
                Now please join me in welcoming
                Miss Jackie Mills, a new arrival
                along with her father, Samuel, all
                the way from Oakland, California.

                                                        80.

CLOSE-UP ON JACKIE

Eight years old with black hair. Her legs are in braces and
she grips her father's hand tightly.

ON FRANKLIN

                    FRANKLIN
          Let us also take this opportunity to
          welcome our two able-bodied guests,
          Mr. Louis Howe and my better half,
          Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt.

ON ELEANOR AND LOUIS

Waving politely from their seats.

                     FRANKLIN
          Now for the musical portion of our
          program...

                    JAKE
          Wait a minute! I can't let this
          opportunity pass without saying out
          loud what a lot of us feel in our
          hearts right now.
              (a beat)
          You're a man among men, Franklin.

                       A WOMAN'S VOICE
          And women!

                    DAISY
          And children!

                    JAKE
              (laughing)
          It's a real democracy at Warm
          Springs -- everybody gets heard!
              (to Franklin)
          You listening?

Eleanor, seated next to Franklin, watches as Franklin, in a
rare moment of emotional nakedness, is at a loss for words.

                     JAKE
          All right then, if I may do the
          honors of presenting to you the
          lovely Miss Eloise Hutchison of
          Cottage C.

Eloise wheels herself out. In a sweet, but untrained voice,
she begins the introduction to her song:

                                                        81.

                     ELOISE
               (singing)
          "Think of what you're losing by
          constantly refusing to dance with me.
          Y
          Aou'd be the idol of France with me.
            nd yet you stand there
          And shake your foolish head dramatically,
          W
            hile I sit here so ecstatically.
          You just look and say emphatically:
          Not this season!
          There's a reason!"

Some members of the audience begin to smile, knowing what's
coming. Various STAFF step out from the kitchen to watch.

Eloise is joined by three others -- all of them in wheelchairs.

                    ELOISE & CHORUS
              (singing)
          "I won't dance! Don't ask me!
          I won't dance! Don't ask me;
          I won't dance, monsieur, with you."

Simple, but clever choreography utilizing the wheelchairs,
has the audience cheering.

                    ELOISE & CHORUS
          "My heart won't let my feet do
                    C
          things they should do."

                     HORUS
          "You know what? You're lovely."

                    ELOISE
          "And so what? I'm lovely."

                    CHORUS
          "But oh! What you do to me!
          I'm like an ocean wave that's
          bumped on the shore;
          I feel so absolutely stumped on the
          floor!"

This is too much for the crowd, including Franklin, Eleanor
and Louis. They laugh and cry in equal measure at the sight
of Eloise and her Chorus.

The song finished, Franklin quiets down the crowd.

                                                                 82.

                           FRANKLIN
                 Before we say good night,
                 I understand our Royal-Taskmaster-
                 in-Residence, Miss Mahoney, insists
                 on having the last word.

      Helena rises from her seat.

                           HELENA
                 I don't think words describe
                 adequately what Daisy and I would
                 like to show all of you.
                     (calling out)
                 Are you ready, Daisy?

      Daisy's mother, Cecile, carries Daisy to the center of the
      room where Helena meets them. Helena bends down and removes
      Daisy's braces.

      The room is hushed.

      Daisy then begins to WALK tentatively towards her mother.

      ON FRANKLIN

      Overwhelmed by what is taking place. He looks around and
      takes in the sight of so many different faces...

      Some are beaming, some are fighting back tears, some look
      away... the sight of it almost too painful... a reminder of
      their own private battles.

      ON DAISY

      Only a step or two away from her mother she FALLS the short
      distance and lands in her mother's outstretched arms.

      WILD CHEERS go up in the room while Daisy's face glows with
      pride. She connects with Franklin, who matches her smile with
      his own -- genuine and beatific.

      INT. COTTAGE - BEDROOM - NIGHT
107                                                               107
      Roy lifts Franklin out of the wheelchair and on to the bed.

      Eleanor enters holding a lit candle.

      Roy is about to begin Franklin's bedtime routine, but Eleanor
      gently reaches out and touches him on the arm.

                            ELEANOR
                 Let me.

                                                          83.

Roy looks to Franklin, who nods it's all right, and exits.
Eleanor closes the door and puts the candle on the bureau.
A
 fter a beat, Franklin begins to unbuckle his pants. He then
lies back on the bed.

                    ELEANOR
          What is your most pressing concern?

Eleanor kneels before him and tugs the pants down, slowly, so
as not to catch on the braces.

Eleanor folds the pants and carefully places them over the
back of a chair.

                    FRANKLIN
          Getting a doctor to live on the
          premises full-time. Someone who,
          at the very least, could monitor
          our progress. Make us legitimate.

She begins to take off Franklin's braces -- a series of
intricate buckles.

Eleanor slides the braces off his legs. His legs, though now
deeply tanned are withered and spindly. He is still wearing
his shoes.

                    ELEANOR
          And that costs more money.

                    FRANKLIN
          Yes.

Eleanor puts the heavy braces against the wall and kneels
once again to untie his shoelaces.

                    FRANKLIN
          But the real problem is no one is
          interested. The annual Orthopedics
          Convention is being held in Atlanta
          this weekend and I offered to
          speak.
              (his anger surfacing)
          They turned me down flat.

Eleanor takes Franklin's pajama bottoms off the bed and with
tender care pulls them up his legs.

                                                          84.

                    ELEANOR
          A few weeks ago, the conditions at
          a garment factory on West 27th
          Street were brought to my
          attention. The owners claimed
          everything was satisfactory, but
          would never let anyone in to
          conduct a proper inspection.

She reaches for Franklin's hands and pulls him up to a seated
position. They are now face to face.

                    ELEANOR
          It took awhile, but we finally got in.

                    FRANKLIN
          We?

He searches her face for clues as to the woman she's become.
He starts to unbutton his shirt and put on his pajama top.

Eleanor sits in a chair across from him.

                    ELEANOR
          I showed up with someone from the
          Labor Board and we refused to leave
          until they let us in.

                    FRANKLIN
          What are you suggesting?

                    ELEANOR
          At the risk of my good standing
          with the Junior Assistance League,
          I suggest we crash the party.

She stands and walks over to Franklin and runs her hand
through his hair.    E
                     LEANOR
          Good night, Franklin.

She goes to the door and opens it letting in a shaft of light
against the candle-lit room.

                    FRANKLIN
          Good night, Babs.

She blows the candle out and closes the door.

                          E




                                                              85.

      EXT. ATLANTA STREET - DAY
108                                                            108
      Franklin's car pulls up to a massive stone building built in
      Greek revival style. Franklin looks intimidated -- there are
      two dozen stairs leading up to the main entrance.

      EXT. CONVENTION CENTER - CONTINUOUS
109                                                            109
      Roy climbs the stairs like a stevedore with Franklin slung
      over his shoulder. Using enormous force, Eleanor is pulling
      the chair up and over each step while walking backwards up
      the stairs.

      INT. AMPHITHEATER - DAY
110                                                            110
      The stage is lit with a skeleton hanging on a stand and large
      projections on a screen of spinal discs while a DOCTOR, in a
      dull litany, intones a prepared speech.

                          DOCTOR
                A clinical situation where the
                radicular or nerve root is
                compressed by the prolapsed disc is
                referred to as a radiculopathy.

      Double doors fly open with a BANG as all heads turn to see
      Franklin and Eleanor.

                          ELEANOR
                So sorry we're late!

                          FRANKLIN
                Good afternoon!

      Eleanor talks quickly while wheeling Franklin down the aisle.

                          ELEANOR
                    (introducing herself)
                Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of the
                late President Theodore Roosevelt
                and this is my husband, Franklin,
                former Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

                          FRANKLIN
                    (sotto to Eleanor)
                Are you sure this worked on 27th
                Street?

                           LEANOR
                    (under her breath)
                It seemed to at the time.

                                                          86.

They reach the befuddled Doctor on stage whose name tag
reads, "Dr. Bissell."

                     ELEANOR
           Thank you, Dr. Bissell for agreeing
           to let us share the stage with you
           today. It was so generous of you.

Dr. Bissell smiles limply, saving face. The audience vaguely
applauds. Franklin and Eleanor are now center stage.

                     ELEANOR
           My husband, as many of you may have
           read, is a victim of polio.
           However, victim is only a
           definition, not a state of mind.
           Franklin?

He looks at her completely amazed. Eleanor gives him an
                     F
encouraging nod to take over.

                      RANKLIN
           We all know that poor circulation
           is a chronic problem for limbs
           damaged by polio... I've never been
           able to swim more than a few
           minutes without becoming too cold.
           But there's a place, gentlemen...
           a miraculous place not three hours
           from here where the water is filled
           with natural minerals at a
           temperature of almost 90 degrees.
           That place, gentlemen, is called
           Warm Springs.

CLOSE-UP

One DOCTOR in particular, 60's, leans forward in his chair,
listening with great interest.

                     FRANKLIN
           Patients can stay in these waters
           for up to an hour. This is
           essential in allowing them the time
           to work on strengthening their
           muscles.

                     ELEANOR
           We have come to the shared
           conclusion that research for the
           cause and the cure for infantile
           paralysis is paramount.
                     (MORE)

                                                              87.
                However, until NOR(cont'd)
                          ELEA that day arrives
                more emphasis has be placed on
                rehabilitation. We personally
                invite you to Warm Springs to come
                and take a look. Thank you.

      ON THE AUDIENCE

      These "men of science" are mesmerized by Eleanor's style,
      both warm and immediate. She has disarmed them with her lack
      of pretension.

      ON FRANKLIN and ELEANOR

      Their two separate journeys intersecting -- lightning in a
      bottle.

      INT. LOBBY - DAY
111                                                            111
      There is a receiving line in place to get a last word or an
      autograph with Franklin and Eleanor. DR. WILLIS,
      bespectacled, speaks with them.

                          DR. WILLIS
                I saw you speak at the Legion Hall
                in Cleveland last Spring.

                          ELEANOR
                For the League of Women Voters?

                          DR. WILLIS
                You created quite a stir. Not sure
                you'll be asked back.

      Franklin is ready to intervene but Eleanor puts her hand on
                           E
      his shoulder stopping him.

                           LEANOR
                    (all smiles)
                Well, I believe you must say what
                you feel in your heart -- what you
                feel is right, for you'll be
                criticized anyway. Damned if you do
                -- damned if you don't.

      DR. HEBERT, military in bearing -- the doctor who listened so
      intensely -- steps up in line and shakes hands with Eleanor
      and then Franklin.

                          DR. HEBERT
                Dr. Peter Hebert. I've been doing
                my own studies in this area.
                          (MORE)

                                                              88.
                          DR. HEBERT(cont'd)
                If it is possible I'd like to come
                and make an evaluation for the
                Journal of Orthopedic Medicine.

      Franklin looks to Eleanor, elated.

                          FRANKLIN
                The sooner the better.

      EXT. FRANKLIN'S CAR - TWILIGHT
112                                                               112
      Roy is fast asleep tucked around the wheelchair in the back
      seat.

      Franklin smiles in Eleanor's direction. She looks back at him
      shyly and smiles in return. But her expression changes when
      she sees something in his eyes -- something she hasn't seen
      for a long time.

                          ELEANOR
                What is it?

                          FRANKLIN
                    (a beat)
                Who are you?

      Franklin reaches out and takes her hand, pulling her close.
      He stretches his whole arm around her and places her hand on
      one of the driving knobs, his hand on top of hers.

                          ELEANOR
                I don't know how to drive.

                          FRANKLIN
                I'll teach you.

      They operate the car together -- their connection complete.

      EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY
113                                                               113
      Franklin and Eleanor are sitting in the front seat of the
      car. Louis is already up on the train platform.

                          ELEANOR
                I'll break the news to Mama.

      Franklin smiles as they look at each other like two naughty
      children.

                          ELEANOR
                I think it's going to be fun.

      Eleanor bursts out laughing, Franklin joins in.

                             F




                                                               89.

                          FRANKLIN
                Babs... words fail me.

                          ELEANOR
                You? Franklin Roosevelt?

      She leans in and kisses Franklin on the mouth.

                          ELEANOR
                I do so love you.

      She slides out of the car and goes up to the platform and
      A
      boards the train while Franklin watches her.

        Farmer and his Wife from the school house graduation
      approach Franklin.

                           ARMER
                Mr. Roosevelt you lookin' mighty fit.

                          FARMER'S WIFE
                Fine day, isn't it.

                           FRANKLIN
                It is. How's the Boll Weevil
                situation?

                          FARMER'S WIFE
                I expect the Boll Weevil is always
                gonna be a situation, Mr.
                Roosevelt, but thanks for askin'.

      Franklin's energy and vitality are infectious. The politician
      within him is being reborn.

      INT. TRAIN CAR - DAY
114                                                               114
      A beaming Eleanor sits down next to Louis. He too is looking
      very pleased. Eleanor takes notice.

                          ELEANOR
                Why do I get the feeling we're not
                smiling about the same thing?

      The train begins pulling out.

      They both look out at Franklin. Locals are coming up to his
      car surrounding him -- he is a magnet.

                          LOUIS
                He's ready.

                                                              90.

      INT. STATE ASSEMBLY, N.Y. - VIEWING SECTION - DAY
115                                                               115
      Louis is seated in the front row of the balcony of the State
      Assembly, his feet up on the railing, eating pistachio nuts.

      Also seated are two politicos, JAMES HASTINGS and STEPHEN
      TELLER.

                          HASTINGS
                You can't kiss babies from a
                wheelchair. It'll scare their
                mothers half to death.

                          TELLER
                Al Smith's got a lock on the
                presidential nomination.

                          LOUIS
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't
                you think even after all these
                years that old Al's still a little
                rough around the edges?

      They laugh knowing this is a huge understatement.

                          LOUIS
                Franklin can help soften his image.

                          HASTINGS
                How?

                          LOUIS
                Let him put Smith's name in
                nomination.

      Teller and Hastings are none to sure.

                          TELLER
                Well, he is a helluva speech maker.

                          HASTINGS
                Yeah, but is your man up to it?

                          LOUIS
                It's in the bag, guys. Count on it.

      Bluffing is one of Louis's strong suits and it looks like
      they're buying it.

      Just then, Louis notices a familiar face down on the floor.

      I




      S




                                                               91.

                          LOUIS
                Hey, Stansbury, give my best to the
                Misses!
                    (to Hastings and Teller)
                He's lost weight. Must've been the
                prison food.
1
      INT. MERIWETHER INN - HALLWAY - MORNING
 16                                                               116
      A line stretches outside with patients waiting to be seen.
      Among them is Franklin, chatting with everyone else,
      expecting and receiving no priority attention.

      INT. MERIWETHER INN - DAY ROOM - MORNING
117                                                               117
      Dr. Hebert is examining Daisy. Helena is by his side, filling
      him in on her case history.

      INT. MERIWETHER INN - NIGHT
118                                                               118
      Helena, dressed in a robe, walks the halls of the Inn.
      Something is amiss.

      EXT. GROUNDS - NIGHT
119                                                               119
      An empty wheelchair, illuminated by a sliver of moonlight.

      On a blanket nearby are Jake and Mary Beth.

       he unbuttons his shirt and runs her hands over his
      impressively developed upper body. They begin to kiss
      hungrily, passionately -- completely in their own world.

      Several yards away, across the lawn, Eloise is in
      Woodhall's arms -- they are dancing. He is singing softly
      into her ear as they sway, her feet never touching the ground.

       NT. MERIWETHER INN - NIGHT

      Helena, in a nightgown, is looking out a window into the
      distance. Fiercely protective and slightly envious of her
      charges, she pulls a pack of cigarettes from her bathrobe
      pocket and steals a solitary smoke.

      EXT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
120                                                               120
      Franklin seated alone on the porch in the darkness. He drags
      on his cigarette and the red glow illuminates the contours of
      his face in repose.

                                                      FADE OUT:

                                                              92.

      INT. MERIWETHER INN - FRONT DESK - DAY
121                                                            121
      Franklin is on the phone. Roy stands by his side.

                          FRANKLIN
                Hello, Souders. How are you?...
                Couldn't be better. I was wondering
                if you'd found a buyer for my naval
                prints?
                    (clearly not)
                I see. Well, they're in marvelous
                condition... All right, Souders. Oh
                one more thing... I have some
                beautiful pieces of my
                Grandfather's -- T'ang Dynasty...
                Really?... An auction in the Fall?
                That sounds promising. I'll be in
                touch.

      Franklin hangs up and sits deep in thought. He rubs his
      perspiring forehead with the back of his hand. He looks down
      at his hand and sees that it is shaking.

      EXT. GROUNDS - DAY
122                                                            122
      Franklin is walking on crutches aided by Roy. Nearby, a group
      of children practice on parallel bars with Helena.

                          FRANKLIN
                What am I going to tell these people
                if I have to close things down?

                          ROY
                That you did the best you could.

      Franklin gives Roy a look of gratitude, then notices Lionel
      approaching with his mail bag.

      Lionel hands Franklin a fistful of open envelopes.

                          FRANKLIN
                Any good news?

                          LIONEL
                Creditors are gettin' cranky.

                          FRANKLIN
                The operative word was good.

                          LIONEL
                Oh, yah, almost forgot. The doctor
                that came and studied ya'll sent
                his report.

                                                              93.

      Lionel offers up the envelope, but then pulls it back before
      handing it over.

                          LIONEL
                Save me the stamps?

      Franklin nods then grabs it from Lionel. He rips it open and
      begins devouring the report.

                            FRANKLIN
                     (reading)
                "... therefore, in conclusion, my
                research has shown that the
                overwhelming majority of patients
                here have shown some improvement.
                Enough for me to recommend warm
                water therapy as the standard post
                polio treatment to the Orthopedics
                Society of America!"
                     (
                       he grips Roy's arm)
                Roy!

      Something catches Franklin's eye and his smile begins to fade.

                          ROY
                What is it, sir?

      INT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
123                                                               123
      Helena entering the cottage.

                          HELENA
                It's not as bad as you think.

      Franklin slams the door behind her and wheels over to the
      table. He throws back a drink -- clearly not his first.

                          FRANKLIN
                Read it. Out loud. Page twenty-nine.

                          HELENA
                I already...

                          FRANKLIN
                    (angrily)
                Read it!

                          HELENA
                "Of the twenty three patients examined
                only one, a forty-four year old male,
                showed little visible signs of
                improvement..." This is one doctor's
                opinion, Franklin.

H




                                                          94.

                    FRANKLIN
          Keep reading.

                    HELENA
          "There is marked falling away of
          the muscle masses on either side of
          the spine in the lower lumbar
          region. His lower extremities
          present a most depressing picture."

She brings the pages down, but Franklin gestures her to
continue.

                    HELENA
          "I feel after studying him that the
          psychological factor in his
          management is paramount. He has
          such courage and ambition. Yet at
          the same time he is such an
          extraordinarily sensitive emotional
          mechanism...

It is difficult for her to continue.

                    FRANKLIN
          Please.

                    HELENA
          ... that it will take all the skill
          which we can muster to lead him
          successfully to a recognition of
          his severe physical limitations
          without crushing him."

                    FRANKLIN
          Patronizing son-of-a-bitch! I
          wanted to walk again.

                    HELENA
          And you still might. This report
          legitimizes we've worked so hard
          for. We can raise funs now. It
          could change everything!

                    FRANKLIN
          It won't change anything for me.

                    HELENA
          Franklin, I won't play this game. I
          won't feel sorry for you.

 e reaches for the bottle, but Helena grabs on to it,
stopping him.

                                                        95.

                     HELENA
          I met a boy today, ten years old.
          He's paralyzed from the waist down.
          Why don't you go regale him with
          vivid tales about your trips to
          Europe and playing football at
          school. Tell him how you courted
          your wife and fathered children.
          Tell him of a life he can only
          dream of.
              (
                a beat)
          I can't help you out of a hole if I
          climb in with you. Then we're both
          stuck.

INT. MERIWETHER INN - FRONT DESK - DAY

Fred, wearing a bow tie and an oversized jacket, is proudly
polishing off a desktop sign that reads: "FRED BOTTS:
DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS."

Helena is behind him reading a file.

                    LIONEL
              (entering)
          Here's another one he's refusin'.

He throws a telegram onto an already large stack.

                    HELENA
          Why don't you read it?

                    LIONEL
          Don't like telegrams. All them
          STOPS and stuff.

                    HELENA
          Make you dizzy, Lionel.

                    LIONEL
          A little bit.

Fred eyes the telegram, then impulsively grabs it, ripping it
open.

                    FRED
          "Would be honored if you place my
          name in nomination for President.
          STOP. The party needs you. STOP.
          Yours sincerely, Al Smith."

                      LIONEL
          Who's he?

                    (




                                                                96.

                          HELENA
                The Governor of New York.
                     handing it to Lionel)
                Why don't you slide it under
                his door?

                          LIONEL
                All right. Probably slide it
                right back.

      Lionel leaves. Fred and Helena are silent for a moment.

                          FRED
                He won't go. He doesn't want to be
                seen walking on crutches or being
                wheeled to the podium.

                          HELENA
                The millions listening on radio
                won't be able to see that.

                          FRED
                But all the people at the
                convention will.

      Helena nods, "That's right."

                                                        CUT TO:

      INT. COTTAGE - AFTERNOON
125                                                              125
      Responding to a knock at the door, Roy gets up from sitting
      on the couch with Franklin, sullen and inattentive.
      H
       e opens the door to Louis who walks right in.

                          ROY
                Good afternoon, Mr. Howe.

                          LOUIS
                Hello, Roy.

      Roy takes his hat and coat and exits to the bedroom.

                          LOUIS
                I can't believe you've made me come
                all the way back to this hell hole!

                          FRANKLIN
                I've done no such thing.

F




                                                        97.

                    LOUIS
          I'm here to take you to Houston.
          You started your speech yet?

                    FRANKLIN
          I'm not going.

He stares at Franklin, drinking. Shaking his head, he goes
over to the sidebar and pours one for himself.

                    LOUIS
          You know what this is, don't you?
          It's a golden opportunity. A
          springboard for you to run for
          Governor.

 ranklin is silent. Frustrated, Louis takes a seat in
Franklin's empty wheelchair.

                    LOUIS
          Ever hear of a Civil War General
          named Francis Nicholls?

                    FRANKLIN
          No.

                    LOUIS
          Well, I never heard of him either.
          But this was one brave son-of-a-
          bitch. Fought for the Confederacy
          and lost his left arm in one battle
          and his left foot in another. Then
          after the war he ran and won the
          Governorship of Louisiana -- twice!

                    FRANKLIN
          He was a war hero.

                    LOUIS
              (with emphasis)
          Twice.
              (a beat)
          Look, I've worked like a dog to
          keep your name in play, grovelling
          at the feet of the powers-that-be
          in back rooms.

                    FRANKLIN
          As much for you as for me.

                                                              98.

                          LOUIS
                I'll be damned if I'm going to let
                you pass up a chance like this.
                It's time -- and you're ready.

      EXT. COTTAGE - AFTERNOON
126                                                               126
      Waiting on the porch are Eleanor and Helena, who are seated,
      talking. Louis exits the cottage, defeated.

                             LOUIS
                Your turn.

      Eleanor rises and goes into the cottage as Louis takes her
      seat next to Helena.

      INT. COTTAGE - CONTINUING
127                                                               127
                          ELEANOR
                Roy, so good to see you.

                           ROY
                Very good to see you, Mrs.
                Roosevelt.

      She approaches a surprised Franklin. Leaning in, she runs a
      hand across his stubbly beard. He looks up at her.

                          ELEANOR
                You're a mess.

                          FRANKLIN
                The report. I'll never...

      She sits by his side and Franklin begins to cry. His sobs
      grow louder connecting to the despair deep inside him. It
      unleashes an avalanche of grief.

                          ELEANOR
                Oh my darling...

                          FRANKLIN
                I'm useless, Eleanor. I feel so
                useless.

                          ELEANOR
                That's not true. No one can make
                you feel inferior without your
                consent.

      Finally, his sobs subside.

      F




                            E




                                                              99.

                          ELEANOR
                You have done a brilliant thing
                here -- a magnificent thing.

      Eleanor picks up the E
                           doctor's report and puts it in the fire.

                           LEANOR
                Let's get you in the water.

      EXT. THE POOL - DAY
128                                                               128
      Franklin is wheeled down to the pool by Roy and Eleanor. When
      they get closer, Franklin makes out someone already swimming.

                            ELLIOT
                Hi, Pop!

                          FRANKLIN
                   (squinting)
                Who's that?

      ELLIOT ROOSEVELT is now 17 years old. He has his mother's
      enormous blue eyes and his father's natural charisma.

                            FRANKLIN
                Elliot!

                           LLIOT
                Come on! You getting in?

      Louis and Helena approach the pool.

                          FRANKLIN
                I sense a conspiracy.

                          LOUIS
                You ain't seen nothin' yet.

       ranklin smiles, warily.

      EXT. A CLEARING - DAY
129                                                               129
      Elliot is climbing a rope dangling high from a tree as
      Franklin and Eleanor look up at him. Franklin is standing on
      crutches.

      Elliot descends with a flourish as Helena approaches Franklin
      with a single cane.

                          HELENA
                Franklin, let go of your crutches.
                You're not going to need them.

                                                       100.

                    FRANKLIN
          What?

                    HELENA
          We're going to make your arms
          function as your legs.

                    FRANKLIN
          How is that possible?

                    HELENA
          Elliot, go to your father and stand
          on his left side.

                    ELLIOT
          Think this may work, Pop.

                    HELENA
          Eleanor, take the crutch.

Eleanor takes one crutch as Helena takes the other, replacing
it in Franklin's hand with a cane.

Then, with Elliot on Franklin's left side she bends Elliot's
arm at a right angle, like a parallel bar, and hooks
Franklin's left arm around his.

Going over to Franklin's right side she puts a cane in his hand.

                    HELENA
              (to Franklin)
          Now use your right shoulder and
          pull your left leg forward.

He does so.

                    HELENA
          Good! Now with the muscles in your
          left shoulder, pull your right leg.

                    FRANKLIN
          One small bump and I'll land right
          on my keister!

                    HELENA
          That's what Elliot is for. He's
          going to hold you up. Hitch your
          leg! Come on!

Franklin and Elliot attempt to walk. It requires immense
strength and effort on both their parts.

                                                          101.

                     HELENA
              (ever the taskmaster)
          Elliot, don't lean in -- stand up
          straight. Pull against him. He
          needs you!

After one or two steps the enormity of it overwhelms Franklin.

                     FRANKLIN
          I can't.

                    ELLIOT
          I'm strong, pop. You can't hurt me.

                    HELENA
          You can do this, Franklin! Keep
          going!

They start the walk again. It's awkward... difficult... but
it's working.

                    LOUIS
              (under his breath)
          I'll be damned.

Franklin stops, exhausted.

                    ELEANOR
          Franklin, are you all right?

                    FRANKLIN
          I'm fine. I'm just...

Roy runs in with a chair and helps Franklin into it as
Helena, Eleanor, Louis, Elliot and Roy all look at him,
concerned.

                    HELENA
          This isn't a replacement for the real
          work we're doing to get you on your
          feet again, understand? No one is
          throwing in the towel or even agreeing
          with that doctor's report...

                    FRANKLIN
          I know, I know.

                    HELENA
          I know it's not practical --

      F




                          H




                                                               102.

                          FRANKLIN
                No, it's not.
                    (a beat)
                It's political.

      Franklin looks at Louis, then to Eleanor, and realizes that
      this could be it.
1
      EXT. GROUNDS - AFTERNOON
 30                                                               130
      Franklin and Elliot are walking. Helena is close behind,
      coaching.

                           ELENA
                Use Elliot, not the cane. Switch
                your weight to Elliot... good! Keep
                your head up.

      Off to the side Pat, Jake, Eloise, Woodhall and Daisy are
      having an informal picnic, observing Franklin.

                          ELOISE
                Why is he working so hard to hide it?

                          JAKE
                He doesn't have a choice.

                          ELOISE
                Oh, I disagree.

                          JAKE
                How can you disagree? "There but
                for the grace of God goes us,"
                that's what they're saying. As if
                our bodies is who we are, but it's
                not. It's our souls is who we are,
                but they don't know that.

                          ELOISE
                I wish he could just wheel himself
                out there in front of everybody.

                          PAT
                He can't do that Eloise, it's
                politics.

                          JAKE
                It's not gonna matter if he hides
                his legs as long as he don't hide
                what he knows. And what he knows is
                what it's like to be one of us.

       ranklin, getting closer, raises his cane in greeting.

                                                             103.

                          FRANKLIN
                Good afternoon, everyone!

      Off-balance Franklin goes down hard bringing Elliot down with
      him.

      Eleanor, Louis and Roy all rush to his aid, but Helena is
      there first.

                          HELENA
                Take a moment to catch your breath...

                          FRANKLIN
                Damn. You okay son?

                          ELLIOT
                I'm fine, Pop.

                          DAISY
                You fell down.

                          FRANKLIN
                Yes, I did, Daisy. Twelfth time
                today. Must be a new record!

      Daisy laughs as do the others, though some can't hide their
      concern.

      Franklin struggles hard as Roy and Elliot help him to his
      feet.

131                                                               131
      INT. COTTAGE - NIGHT

      Eleanor is packing Franklin's suitcase while Franklin,
      sitting up in bed dressed in pajamas, works on his speech.

                           FRANKLIN
                    (reading aloud)
                And so America must find...
                    (
                      reconsidering)
                No, America needs a pathfinder...

      Louis, pacing in shirtsleeves, nods approvingly.

                          LOUIS
                That's good.

                          FRANKLIN
                To emblaze the trail along a high
                road that will avoid... avoid the
                bottomless morass...

      Discouraged, Franklin pushes aside the pages.

                                                              104.

                          LOUIS
                What is it? What's wrong?

                          FRANKLIN
                What if I fall... trying to get to
                the podium.

                          LOUIS
                If you fall, you show them how to
                get up.

                          FRANKLIN
                No, if I fall in front of thousands
                of people I lose everything but
                their pity.
                    (a beat)
                They'll be writing my obituary
                before I get up off the floor.

                          LOUIS
                Elliot won't let you fall, he'll be
                there. All the arrangements have
                been made, boss. It'll be fine.

                          FRANKLIN
                Who are we fooling? This will never
                work. They'll never let me back
                into politics. They'll never see
                past my legs.

                          ELEANOR
                My darling, they'll never see past
                your legs unless you do.

132                                                               132
      EXT. MERIWETHER INN - MORNING

      Franklin is settling into the driver's seat of his car, aided
      by Roy. Eleanor is seated next to him; Louis and Elliot in
      back.

      Franklin's attention is diverted by something he sees
      straight ahead.

      It is the entire Warm Springs group coming down the driveway
      in chairs and on crutches.

      All the patients, the Push Boys, the physical therapists,
      Helena, Jake, Fred, Aunt Sally, Eloise and Lionel.

                          FRED
                Don't worry, Doc -- we're not
                coming with you.

                       F




                                                       105.

                     FRANKLIN
          Oh, you'll be with me. No question
          of that.
              (a beat)
          I am proud more than you will ever
          know to be part of this community.
              (his voice growing
                stronger)
          A community based not on birthright
          or privilege, but on compassion and
          courage. The true power of these
          waters is that they brought us all
          together. Our ability to help one
          another is what will make our
          victory over polio endure. Our
          ability to survive... despite the
          odds.
F
 ranklin looks out at the sea of faces.

                    FRANKLIN
          What we have done and will continue
          to do until this disease is
          defeated is come together -- like a
          family -- and do what we do best...
              (his voice breaking)
          Lift each other up.

Franklin starts the car as the crowd begins to disperse.
Then, spying Helena, Franklin calls out to her.

                    FRANKLIN
          Miss Mahoney I need to speak with
          you, please.

                       HELENA
          Sure, Doc.

Off her smile, Franklin reaches into his pocket and withdraws
a small box.

                       FRANKLIN
          Thank you.

He hands it to Helena. She just stares at it, at a loss for
words.

                        RANKLIN
          Open it.

She does so, tentatively, revealing a ladies watch.

                                                              106.

                          HELENA
                It's beautiful.

                          FRANKLIN
                Don't wear it in the pool.

                          HELENA
                I'll try not to. Good luck,
                Franklin.

                          FRANKLIN
                I'm throwing myself to the wolves.

                          HELENA
                You've faced worse. And if they
                bite, you can come back here.

                          FRANKLIN
                I'll always come back here.

      Helena steps away and Franklin pulls out and down the
      driveway.

                                                        CUT TO:

133                                                             133
      INT. HOUSTON TRAIN STATION - NIGHT

      Dark and deserted Roy is carrying Franklin down a flight of
      stairs. Louis is hastily checking over his shoulder. If
      possible, Eleanor appears even more nervous than Louis.

                          FRANKLIN
                You're being superstitious, Louis.
                There aren't any reporters here.

      Suddenly out of the darkness a FLASHBULB POPS revealing a
      dozen or more REPORTERS staring incomprehensibly at the sight
      of a six foot, 200 lb. man being carried like a baby in the
      arms of a black man.

      No one does or says a thing. The PHOTOGRAPHER who had the
      wherewithal to snap the one picture raises his camera to take
      another.

      But DAN REED, a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune and
      a gentle giant at over six foot-four, reaches out and places
      a massive hand over the lens.

      Slowly, but firmly, he pulls the camera down.

                            REED
                      (
                       quietly)
                No.

                                                             107.

      Louis and Eleanor stand stock still, tense, watching the
      scene unfold

      Roy is sweating; his arms growing weak. Elliot brings the
      chair around and Roy gently lowers Franklin into it.

      It's a measure of Reed's standing with this group that his
      authority is unquestioned.

      But the Photographer raises his camera again. Only now Reed
      isn't as kind. He grabs the camera from him and opens the
      back, pulling out the film and exposing it.

                             PHOTOGRAPHER
                Hey!

                          REED
                    (tipping his hat)
                Good to see you, Mr. Roosevelt.

                             FRANKLIN
                Thank you.

      INT. CONVENTION HALL - HOUSTON - NIGHT
134                                                               134
      The enormous arena is empty but for some maintenance WORKERS
      and JANITORS. Louis enters and makes his way to the stage.

      He approaches dead center and stands behind the podium looking
      out. GRIPPING the podium hard he ROCKS it back and forth.

      Taking no chances, he pulls a hammer out from the rear of his
      waistband and a bunch of nails from his coat pocket.

      Looking around to see if anyone is paying any attention to
      him he quickly ducks down behind the podium.

      The sound of HAMMERING fills the hall as Louis, on his knees,
      NAILS the podium to the floor.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

      INT. CONVENTION HALL - DAY
135                                                               135
      Twenty thousand CONVENTIONEERS are roasting in the hall. It
      is Houston in the summer and it's broiling hot. A sea of hand-
      held red, white and blue fans are being waved all at once --
      most bearing the words "SMITH FOR PRESIDENT."

      Near the stage is a long table where the new breed of RADIO
      REPORTERS are seated, each in front of a primitive looking
      microphone.

                A




                                                                108.

      Hovering in a group off to the side are Dan Reed and the
      REPORTERS from the previous night.

      INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUING
136                                                               136
      Franklin is standing ramrod straight holding onto Elliot's
      arm. He looks handsome in a navy pin-striped suit. As
      everyone else is sweating no one notices that Franklin is
      perspiring more than F
                           most.

                           RANKLIN
                Where is she seated?

      Louis, a human train wreck himself, reaches over to mop
      Franklin's brow with a handkerchief.

                          LOUIS
                In a box stage left. Give me your
                hand.

      Franklin takes his hand off his cane. It's soaking wet. Louis
      wipes it, gently.

                          FRANKLIN
                Louis, what the hell am I doing?

                          LOUIS
                Putting your big toe in the water.

      Just then, a VOICE booms out from the loudspeakers:

                          LOUDSPEAKER (V.O.)
                Ladies and gentlemen, I would like
                to introduce to you a man who as
                Assistant Secretary of the Navy
                served our country with distinction.
                  member of an illustrious family
                of long-standing political
                commitment to our great nation...
                Ladies and gentlemen: Franklin
                Delano Roosevelt!

      Franklin turns to Elliot and they both take deep breaths.

                          FRANKLIN
                    (to Elliot)
                Let's go.

      The curtains part and they begin moving forward.

                                                             109.

      INT. THE STAGE OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION - CONTINUING 137
137
      A BLINDING SPOTLIGHT picks up Franklin and Elliot. The
      SPOTLIGHT follows them as they make their way to the podium.

      Franklin is hitching each leg forward, slowly. The tip of his
      cane hits the floor with pinpoint accuracy for balance and
      support.

      He leans heavily on Elliot's arm. The walk appears effortless.

      He chats with Elliot the whole way, still managing to flash
      the CONVENTIONEERS his million dollar smile. But the walk is
      slow and the ovation is beginning to fade.

138   L                                                        138
      INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUING

       ouis stands in the wings clutching the curtain with one hand
      and covering his eyes with the other.

      INT. DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION BOX - CONTINUING
139                                                            139
      Eleanor sits looking down at her lap, afraid to even breathe.

      INT. THE STAGE - CONTINUING
140                                                            140
      Franklin and Elliot are still ten steps away from the podium.
      Sensing the crowd noise weakening, he whispers to Elliot.

                          FRANKLIN
                Laugh as if I'm making a joke.

      Elliot throws back his head and laughs. The crowd, wanting to
      be in on it, rise as one in a sustained CHEER!

      But a puddle of sweat caused by the dripping perspiration
      from Franklin's hands is causing the tip of his cane to slip.

      Elliot, ever aware, grips him tighter, averting disaster and
      finally they reach the podium.

      Franklin grabs one side of the podium while Elliot, with a
      sleight of hand Houdini would admire, LOCKS his father's
      braces, whisks the cane away, pulls his father's speech from
      his breast pocket and lays it smoothly on the podium.

      THE VIEW FROM BEHIND displays how Franklin's legs are spread
      wide for stability as he clutches the podium. He holds on
      tightly, as if the wood might snap from his grip.

      FROM OUT FRONT the crowd sees only a powerful man standing
      tall amidst the flashbulbs POPPING.

                                                             110.

      Franklin has made it. He is home.

      INT. MERIWETHER INN - LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
141                                                            141
      All the denizens of Warm Springs are crowded around the radio.

                           RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                Here on the stage is Franklin
                Roosevelt... a figure tall and
                proud even in suffering; a face of
                classic profile; a frame nervous
                and yet self-controlled. A man
                softened, cleansed and illumined
                with pain.
1

 42   INT. WARWICK HOTEL, HOUSTON - SMITH'S SUITE - CONTINUOUS 142

      GOVERNOR AL SMITH, 51, is seated by a radio, surrounded by
      CRONIES. An overblown Irishman with gold capped teeth and
      heavy New York accent. He chomps on a lit cigar that never
      leaves the side of his mouth.

                          CRONY #1
                Hell of an ovation, Al. Couldn't
                have asked for anything more.

      Smith sits silently puffing on his cigar.

                          CRONY #2
                You may have to be careful though.
                Looks like you're raising up a rival.

                          SMITH
                    (after a beat)
                Mark my words. He'll be dead in a year.

      INT. DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION BOX - CONTINUING
143                                                            143
      Eleanor applauds Franklin as a REPORTER leans in.

                          REPORTER
                Mrs. Roosevelt, one last question.

                          ELEANOR
                Yes?

                          REPORTER
                Do you think polio has affected
                your husband's mind?

                          ELEANOR
                    (smiling)
                Yes, I do. I certainly do.

                                                             111.

      INT. CONVENTION STAGE - CONTINUOUS
144                                                               144
      Franklin stands before the crowd. His magnetism is
      incontestable. He radiates infinite possibility.

      He looks up to Eleanor's box and they smile at one another as
      the crowd continues to applaud.

                                                   DISSOLVE TO:

      EXT. WARM SPRINGS - DAY
145                                                               145
      The mineral springs gently ripple as Franklin appears in the
      water. As the following words appear on the screen, Franklin
      slowly and confidently swims out of frame.

                                CRAWL

      Four years later, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected
      President of the United States. He was elected three more
      times -- unprecedented in U.S. History.

      During his years as President, he saw the country through the
      Great Depression and a world war waged on six continents.

      On April 12, 1945, in the thirteenth year of his presidency,
      at the age of sixty-three, Franklin Roosevelt died in his
      cottage at Warm Springs.

      The beneficiary of his $562,000 life insurance policy was
      Warm Springs... which continues to flourish as a
      rehabilitation center to this day.