VOTE | 32 fans

#106 : Hantée

Titre VO : House

Johnny a des visions de sa mère dans sa maison, et en vient à penser qu’elle n’est pas morte de cause naturelle mais que c’est le révérend Purdy qui l’a tuée. Il a en réalité des visions lui suggérant que le révérend est impliqué dans le camouflage du meurtre de sa mère. Lors d’une confrontation avec Purdy, Johnny le touche et comprend ce qu’il s’est passé : sa mère s’est suicidée et le révérend Purdy a tout fait pour que cela ne se sache pas. Il réalise alors que la perte d’un enfant peut conduire un parent à la mort, et vient en aide à ses voisins dont le fils aîné vient de mourir.


5 - 1 vote

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(Playing army… slithering on their stomachs through bushes and foliage. These are Eric, 9, Jim, 7 and most particularly Lindsay, 10, a girl who never has, never will play with dolls. Eric has a pair of binoculars… whispers excitedly…)


ERIC: Visual contact!


LINDSAY: Let me see…


(A brief struggle for binoculars…)


JIM: No, it's my turn…


LINDSAY: It's your turn when I say it's your turn.


JIM: (above a whisper) Not fair.


LINDSAY: Shut up, they'll hear you.


(She puts the glasses to her eyes… POV (Binocular matte) Johnny is in work clothes, restoring a vintage Jeep in his driveway; Bruce's car is parked behind it. We can't hear what they're saying but Bruce is handing Johnny a tool…)


LINDSAY (O.S.): He… he looks so… weird.


(Johnny does something mechanical under the hood… Jim grabs the binoculars… looks through them… repeating as little kids do --)


JIM: He looks so weird.


(Johnny and Bruce All whispers :)


ERIC (O.S.): Is it true about the cane, you think?


LINDSAY (O.S.): What about the cane?


ERIC (O.S.): That he uses it to kill rats in his basement?


LINDSAY (O.S.): Why would anyone use a cane to kill rats, stupid?


ERIC (O.S.): Because it's fun?


(Suddenly Johnny looks directly over at them…)


JIM (O.S.): He's looking over here!




(Johnny and Bruce pretending not to look.)


BRUCE: Yeah, it's them again, all right.


JOHNNY: When did I turn into Boo Radley, huh?


(He shakes his head…)


BRUCE: Maybe you should talk to some of their parents.


JOHNNY: The parents are more afraid of me than the kids are. People walk their dogs on the other side of the street.


BRUCE: Good news for your lawn, man. It's all how you look at it.


(Johnny tries to start the jeep… it cranks but doesn't turn…)


BRUCE: Why don't you just buy a new one?


JOHNNY: This one's the perfect fit for me. Out of commission for a few years, needs to be rebuilt from the inside out but still a classic.


(He cranks it up again… in the background the mailman arrives and Bruce takes the mail… the car still won't start…)


JOHNNY: (to the car) We'll get there, Nellie Belle.


BRUCE: Good luck. Got to get to the hospital.


(Bruce hands Johnny his mail as he gets into his car, starts the engine on the first try…)


BRUCE: (re: the engine) Modern technology.


(And drives off while Johnny walks to the mailbox and gets his mail as he waves good-bye.)




(Lindsay has the glasses again…)


JIM: You think he saw us?


LINDSAY: Oh, he knows we're here.


ERIC: How do you know?


(She lowers the glasses, Eric takes them.)


LINDSAY: Because he's psychic, stupid.


JIM: What's 'psychic' anyway?


(Eric looks through the glasses --)


ERIC: Hey!


ERIC (O.S.): Where'd he go?


LINDSAY: Give me those.


(She looks… no luck…)


LINDSAY (O.S.): You lost him, Eric. He could be anywhere.


JOHNNY: He could even be right behind you.




(They scramble out of the bushes and run for their lives. Moving to Johnny's face watching them go… smiles, but it's a defensive smile that speaks to his isolation…)




(As Johnny enters, moves into the living room and begins to thumb through the mail, typical collection junk mail, some catalogues, bills, and a manila envelope from a lawyer… Johnny reacts to that one and opens it… A cover letter from a law office briefly states that these documents have been in their possession for several years and are forwarding them for Johnny's files. We don't have to read that… but as Johnny flips through them, we can see the papers are related to his mother's estate, including her signed will. As Johnny touches the will, suddenly the silence is interrupted by the creak of a wood floor… Behind him, we see - but he doesn't - the legs of a child in short pants crossing the foyer shrouded in shadows. Johnny reacts, turns too late to see anything… as he moves into the hallway… listens… nothing…)


JOHNNY: Hello…?


(He hears a footstep and turns too late to see anything, but out of the corner of his eye -- One of the shadows barely moves before it disappears into the darkness going up the stairs… Johnny reacts…)


JOHNNY: Okay, gang. Fun's over. Not in my house, okay?


(Begins to climb the stairs… When he’s at the top of the stairs he pauses… Barely a glimpse of a shadow disappearing into the master bedroom… Johnny moves down the long hallway…)


JOHNNY: I'm not fooling around now.


(…reaches the master bedroom.)




(Vera Smith's old bedroom - not a room that Johnny goes in often - curtains are drawn; it's dark, gloomy… he moves inside, looks around…)


JOHNNY: I know you're in here…


(He walks through the dark room… moves to the bathroom door which is closed… he opens it slowly… the door creaks as he does… he switches on the light and enters…)




(Tiled with antique porcelain fixtures - all sparkling white. Johnny looks around curiously at the empty room and is about to leave when he hears a gurgle from… The drain in the tub. The gurgle continues as… Johnny leans down to look at the drain as a trickle of blood backs up into the tub… Johnny reacts as… The trickle becomes a flood. Blood filling the tub… and faster, punctuated intercuts with -- reacting with horror as… The tub overflows and blood spills all over the white tiled floor and… Johnny recoils back into the bedroom trying to escape… The river of blood coming toward him from the bathroom door… but as it reaches… Johnny, it disappears as the vision ends and… reacts… looks back into the bathroom which is as clean and white as it was before. On his reaction…)











(Purdy strolling with Dana eating a Good Humor bar on a stick… he acknowledges students as they walk…)


DANA: He's keeping a low profile, stays home a lot…


PURDY: Is he seeing anyone?


DANA: One date. If you ask me, I think he still has an eye for the sheriff's wife.


PURDY: (concerned) Oh, we don't want that. We need to find Johnny a good god-fearing woman.


(A pair of comely co-eds pass by and smile at Purdy… he gives them a warm nod…)


DANA: Why, we might even find one right here on the university campus.


PURDY: I just want him to be happy. Loving another man's wife will lead to nothing but trouble.


DANA: …As the bible points out over and over…


PURDY: I'm happy to hear you're still reading it. (Beat, casual) God has spoken to me about Johnny, Dana.


DANA: Really. E-Mail or burning bush.


PURDY: (grins) He told me the world needs a little Johnny Smith right now. If Johnny inspires faith and a belief in a greater power, God would welcome it.


DANA: You make him sound like a prophet.


PURDY: No, Dana, you do. You and all the other reporters.


DANA: My editor is increasingly skeptical.


PURDY: There will always be skeptics. Can Johnny do what people think he can do? Who knows? The important thing now is to put the story of Johnny Smith in the proper context. In difficult times, people need something or someone to believe in. Why not Johnny Smith?


DANA: (getting his drift) The son of one of the founders of the Faith Heritage Alliance.


PURDY: (takes the last bite of his ice cream) Mention that in your next story, won't you? Attendance is down seven percent this year.


(He nods hi to another co-ed.)




(Little Johnny playing soccer in a junior league. Moving to find Sarah and Johnny watching… Johnny's mind still preoccupied with the vision…)


SARAH: All right, Clams! Let's go!


(Off someone's look across the field (they see her, we don't)…)


SARAH: Mrs. Stanton is giving us the eye again.


JOHNNY: Which one is she?


SARAH: Prune face with the fat kid. I don't think she approves of me being here with you.


JOHNNY: Married woman without her husband -- it is New England after all.


SARAH: I feel the scarlet letter on my bosom.


JOHNNY: Maybe I should go.


SARAH: And give her the satisfaction? Never. Come on, Mighty Clams! (Beat) I'm sorry. 'Clams' is not a good sports name.


(A beat. Johnny's mind is obviously not on the game.)


SARAH: So, you gonna tell me?


JOHNNY: Tell you what?


SARAH: What's bothering you?


JOHNNY: Who said anything's bothering me?


SARAH: I know when something's bothering you. For thirty years, I've always known.


JOHNNY: (admits) Something's bothering me.


SARAH: I know.


JOHNNY: (beat) I had a… a kind of disturbing vision, that's all. About mom. At least I think it was about mom… a lot of blood…


SARAH: (reacts) Blood?


(Johnny acknowledges uneasily.)


JOHNNY: Sarah, when she died, it was a heart attack, right? There wasn't any…


SARAH: I wasn't at the house. But they told me she died peacefully. In her sleep. Mrs. Runyon found her in the morning and called the police.


JOHNNY: Mrs. Runyon, the housekeeper? (Sarah acknowledges) I wonder if she's still around.


SARAH: She passed away a few years ago. Cancer, I think.


JOHNNY: Was Walt at the house that day?


SARAH: He wasn't Sheriff yet. It was an older fellow who retired - I don't remember his name. You should ask Walt.


(A beat. Johnny's mind works.)


SARAH: You're positive this had something to do with your mother?


JOHNNY: I was holding her will when it started. The blood was in her room… (Beat) I'm not sure. But I think something… terrible… happened in that house.


(As we push into Johnny's face…)




(Ominous in this context now. Finding Johnny who has returned home, standing in front, considering it. Johnny minds still thinking about the vision as he moves toward the house… The kids in a new hiding spot… watch him go inside…)


LINDSAY: He's going inside. Let's go.


(They crawl out from their cover… move toward the Smith house…)




(The dark quiet emptiness makes it unsettling. As Johnny enters, he pauses as he hears the sound of a woman crying… inconsolable weeping… it's coming from upstairs again…)




(As Johnny reaches the top of the stairs and the sound of the sobbing is closer... and once again, it's coming from the master bedroom… Johnny moves to the door which is closed. Johnny slowly opens it.)




(It is empty and the crying has stopped but the window is open and the draft makes the curtains blow lightly, eerily… a rocking chair by the window slowly eases back and forth in the breeze… there's a photograph of Vera and five-year-old Johnny on the nightstand… Johnny enters the room cautiously, turns on the light…, shuts the window… wondering who left it opens… we move with him to… which has a bathtub filling with blood… A reverse angle past Johnny as he reacts to the tub to include the open door to the hall… we catch a shocking glimpse of a shadowy figure of an old woman as she moves past the door in the hall behind him… (Later, we will recognize her as MRS. Runyon, 56, the housekeeper who died of cancer a few years ago.) Johnny never sees her. We hear a window breaking downstairs… Johnny reacts… The bathroom is normal again. He hears the sound of running feet outside… he frowns, moves quickly out of the room… Down the stairs, Johnny moves quickly to investigate the broken glass… sees a small window broken with a rock inside on the floor with the glass… looks out the broken window to see the kids scrambling for cover… bolts out --)




(Johnny coming out moving as fast as he can with his cane… moving straight to the kids' hiding place…)


ERIC: Run!


(They push their way out of the bushes… but Lindsay trips on a root and falls and it's long enough for Johnny to grab her… as he does --)




(To reveal a pair of stern-faced naval officers… Lindsay is holding the door open looking up at them curiously… the flash ends as we…)




(Who reacts, puzzled at the vision, but has his hands full as the little girl struggles like mad to get out of his grip…)


ERIC: (running away) Oh my God, he's got Lindsay! He's got Lindsay!


JIM: He's got Lindsay!


(They're gone. Overlapping dialogue --)


LINDSAY: Let go. Let go of me…


JOHNNY: Would you just… I'm not going to hurt you… hey, take it easy…


LINDSAY: I didn't do anything… I swear…


JOHNNY: Okay. Okay. That's enough. We're just gonna go talk to your parents…


LINDSAY: I'm not from around here.


(Johnny chuckles.)


LINDSAY: What's so funny?


(They're both out of breath and tired of the struggle…)


JOHNNY: Just that I remember saying the same thing to old Mr. Fordyce down the street after I painted his cat. I was a little younger than you.


LINDSAY: (surprised) You lived in this neighborhood?


JOHNNY: I wasn't always a zombie. I was actually a kid once. If I let go of you, you gonna run?




JOHNNY: Because it's hard to hold you and this cane and walk at the same time…


LINDSAY: I told you, no.


JOHNNY: Our legs would get all entangled… see?


(Johnny illustrates how walking with the cane and holding her would be almost comical… he lets go…)


JOHNNY: Besides I know your name is Lindsay. I heard your friends. Lindsay what?


LINDSAY: I know a trick question when I hear one.


JOHNNY: We can just knock on doors until we find your parents if we have to.


LINDSAY: Why don't you let me go, you know, for old time's sake…


JOHNNY: Sorry, doesn't work that way. You get old and mean and busting kids is one of the few pleasures left in life, you know?


(Lindsay studies him, shakes her head, gives up.)


LINDSAY: It's the grey house over there.


(And they begin to walk toward a house across the street, just a little up the block…)




(As they move down the block…)


LINDSAY: Can I ask you something?




LINDSAY: Is it true?




LINDSAY: What they say.


JOHNNY: I don't kill rats with my cane.


LINDSAY: I mean that you see things. Like the future and stuff.


JOHNNY: Is that why you're scared of me?


LINDSAY: I'm not scared of you.


JOHNNY: Then why throw rocks?


LINDSAY: (sorry) We were just trying to get you to come out. We didn't mean to break the window. (Beat) I'll pay for it.


JOHNNY: You betcha.


(A beat.)


LINDSAY: Davis. My name is Lindsay Davis.


JOHNNY: Nice to meet you.


LINDSAY: You ever think about going on the psychic channel? You could make a lot of money…


JOHNNY: You don't happen to know a guy named Bruce, do you…




(As Johnny rings the doorbell… Lindsay's father (Mr. Davis) answers the door… reacts as he sees Johnny standing there with his daughter…)


JOHNNY: I'm sorry to bother you, but my name is Smith, I live across the street…


MR. DAVIS: (not letting him finish, to Lindsay) Are you all right?


(Mrs. Davis moves into view behind her husband… these are two people who look at Johnny with fear and loathing, like a mentally disturbed person who has moved onto their block. Lindsay's father leans down and grabs her by the arm and pulls her inside…)


JOHNNY: She was with a couple of friends; they threw a rock through my window…


(As the father leans down... Johnny can see past him to – A photographer of Lindsay's brother, a naval flight officer in a frame on a foyer table…)


LINDSAY: It was an accident. I've already told him I'll pay for it…


MR. DAVIS: (reacts) We told you to stay away from that man.


MRS. DAVIS: I'm sorry. She won't bother you again.


JOHNNY: She seems like a nice…


(But the door is slammed in his face. As… Johnny takes a breath and turns to go… We…)










(As Johnny returns… moves toward the house as he studies it with a deep concern… and the house seems to take on a personality of its own in these shots… As he looks up to the second floor window at Vera's room… the light still on before…and there seems to be a figure of a woman sitting there, looking out… or is it his imagination…? He moves quickly into the house…)




(Johnny enters… but his movement toward the stairs is halted when he catches two dark figures moving through the shadows of the living room… he reacts… moves quickly into the living room and sees… The figures are moving away toward the other door… pausing to glance back in his direction… and their faces are illuminated for an instant by moonlight from a window… and it's the damnedest thing you've ever seen because it sure as hell looks like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe… and then they move out of view and disappear into the shadows… Johnny reacts with appropriate confusion… but his attention is promptly drawn to an eerie sound coming from upstairs… a young boy singing…)


BOY'S VOICE: "This little light of mine… I'm gonna let it shine… this little light of mine… I'm gonna let it shine…"


(He moves back to the staircase, looks up toward the voice.)


BOY'S VOICE: Every day, every day, every day, every day. Gonna let my little light shine."




(Vera, age 31, is sitting, brushing the hair of five year old Johnny who is wearing short pants, singing "Let It Shine" (they are the same pair in the photograph on the nightstand)… Five year old, "On Monday, he gave me the gift of love; On Tuesday, peace came from above…" Move to find adult Johnny entering at the door watching… Vera joins the child for the next few lines (using as much of the song as necessary to support the action)… Vera & five years old, On Wednesday told me to have a little more faith; On Thursday, gave me a little more grace. Johnny moves inside slowly and kneels down and looks at the boy who doesn't see or acknowledge his presence… Vera & five year old, On Friday, told me to watch and pray; On Saturday told me just what to say. On Sunday, gave power divine; just to let my little light shine… As Johnny reaches out to touch the boy that he once was, the mother and child vanish, the last line of the song drifting off into echoes… as we stay on Johnny as he reacts to the creaking of… The rocking chair …that moves back and forth, back and forth, as it faces the window… and the gurgle from the drain in the bathroom… brings Johnny's attention back to… In the bathroom, the tub overflowing with blood…)




(Purdy and Johnny coming out of an administration building. Purdy is reacting to what Johnny has told him…)


PURDY: Perhaps we should get you to a hotel… the house may not be the best place for you…


JOHNNY: I'm more concerned about finding out the truth about my mother.


PURDY: What truth, Johnny. I… I don't mean to doubt that you saw something… but that doesn't mean…


JOHNNY: I don't know what it means, Reverend.


PURDY: I can assure you your mother died of a heart attack. The housekeeper found Vera in bed…


JOHNNY: Did you go by the house that day?


PURDY: Later in the day, yes. After they'd taken her to the mortuary.


JOHNNY: And there was no blood.


PURDY: Johnny, please, don't do this to yourself.


(Purdy tries to comfort Johnny and puts a hand on his shoulder before Johnny can avoid it… on his touch…)




(In Vera's bathroom…. his hands covered in blood…)





PURDY (CONT'D): Your mother died in her sleep.


(On Johnny's reaction…)




(As Johnny enters with urgency… moves to Roscoe at the first desk…)


JOHNNY: Is he here?


(Roscoe acknowledges, picks up a phone…)


ROSCOE: Let me tell him you're…


(But Johnny is already on the move into Walt's office before Roscoe can finish… closes the door behind him. Roscoe never had the chance to call Walt, so he thinks and then dials an outside number…)


ROSCOE: Dana, Roscoe. Guess who just came in…




(Johnny has just told him his suspicions about Purdy…)


WALT: Come on. Please. You can't do this to me… Reverend Purdy is, is a… a reverend, for god sakes…


JOHNNY: (overlapping) I saw blood on his hands. In my mother's bathroom.


WALT: Well, maybe he, he cut himself shaving in the morning. Not to suggest he slept over but…


JOHNNY: What if mom was about to change her will, cut off his money? So he kills her, gets the whole estate and…


WALT: (overlapping) 'What if' doesn't count for much in the criminal justice system. And so far, I don't see any evidence… which is not unusual for you, I might add…


JOHNNY: Maybe they covered it up.


WALT: Oh, it's a 'they' now. A conspiracy…


JOHNNY: Something happened in that house, Walt. I'm being assaulted with… I don't know what it is -- psychic… debris…


WALT: Psychic debris. Good. Cause for a moment there, I was afraid you were seeing ghosts…


JOHNNY: I wouldn't call them ghosts. Although I really don't know how to explain Elvis and Marilyn…


(Walt gives him a deadpan look… a long beat…)


JOHNNY: Monroe. They… they were at the house too.


WALT: (dry) There you go - your co-conspirators.


JOHNNY: What can we do?


WALT: Somehow I don't think I have enough for a grand jury indictment yet.


JOHNNY: What about the Sheriff who was here when it happened? Can we find him?


WALT: (just to get rid of him) Art Paulson. I think he moved to Hartford. Fine. I'll track him down, okay? But if you think something happened, I need…


JOHNNY: Evidence.


WALT: Actual evidence from our own planet.




(Dana smiles as Johnny comes out; Johnny sees her, frowns and exits… undeterred.)


DANA: It's good to see you too.


(And follows him out…)






DANA: Where are we going?


JOHNNY: I'm going to the coroner's office.


DANA: You've never been to the coroner's office before, have you?


JOHNNY: How did you know?


DANA: Because it's in the other direction.


(He looks at her and they turn in the opposite direction.)


DANA: Someone die?


JOHNNY: Dana, this is personal. It really is none of your business.


DANA: Okay.


(But she doesn't go away…)


JOHNNY: A family matter. Private.


DANA: I understand.


(He gives her a look that says: then why are you still here?)


DANA: You have an appointment?


((Johnny doesn't) They won't see you without an appointment. And then it takes days to find anything… She can see Johnny's disappointment…)


DANA: Come on, I know all the people in there.


(Johnny considers and has to appreciate her offer…)




(Paperwork and files are scattered on a work table in a typical county morgue office…)


DANA: The medical examiner ruled it a heart attack, plain and simple.


JOHNNY: (frowns, thinking) You've seen a lot of reports like these, haven't you?


DANA: Yeah, on the police beat, you see a few.


JOHNNY: You think you could tell if anything wasn't… quite right?


DANA: 'Quite right'… as in…


JOHNNY: Not quite right, you know…


DANA: Like somebody made a mistake.




DANA: Lied.


JOHNNY: I probably shouldn't be talking to a reporter about this…


DANA: Don't.




DANA: If a voice inside is telling you, you shouldn't be talking to a reporter, don't talk to a reporter.


JOHNNY: Why would you be telling me that?


DANA: Because I'm trying to ingratiate myself, worm my way into your good graces. See? Don't trust me. Always, always wait for the words: 'off the record'.


JOHNNY: 'Off the record'.


DANA: Just some personal advice.


JOHNNY: Thanks.


DANA: Off the record, why do you think someone would lie about your mother's death?


(Johnny hesitates.)


DANA: I said the words. (‘Off the record') You can talk now.


JOHNNY: I… just have reason to believe these reports may not be accurate.


DANA: (her mind is working) I didn't see anything unusual… but I'll look through them more carefully if you'd like…


JOHNNY: I appreciate it. I owe you one.


DANA: Never say 'I owe you one' to a reporter because you know what? Now you owe me one.


(And she's serious. She smiles… her cell phone rings.)


DANA: This is Dana. (Listens) Got it. I'll get right over there. (Hangs up, to Johnny) I have to go over to Cleaves Mills. Can I give you a lift?


JOHNNY: Sure. What's going on?


DANA: Sad news. A local navy flier has been reported missing in action.


(As Johnny reacts…)










(Johnny gets out of Dana's car... and watches her go down the block to Lindsay's house. A military car is parked in the Davis's driveway. Johnny reacts, grim, moves toward his house… reacts as he sees Lindsay who is sitting on his porch, waiting for him… her eyes are dry now but she's been crying recently… he moves to her…)


LINDSAY: Tell me if my brother's alive.


JOHNNY: Lindsay, I'm sure as soon as they have any news, they'll…


LINDSAY: He may be hurt somewhere… you might be able to help rescue him…


(A beat. Johnny really has no alternative…)


JOHNNY: It doesn't always work.


LINDSAY: Please.


(Johnny looks at her… and reaches out to take her arm… on his touch, ramp to his face as a vision begins…)




(There are two crewmen and Johnny is sitting behind the co-pilot. The desert horizon of Afghanistan is visible in the windows, twisting and turning… there are explosions on all sides… the ride is lurching… The pilot, Lindsay's brother, with the name, "Davis" on the uniform… is desperately doing everything he knows how to do to maintain control… all dialogue through radio filters :)


BROTHER: Watch the engine temp!


CO-PILOT: Temp reading is red!


BROTHER: Can you get a visual on damage?


CO-PILOT: Number two is on fire!


(Seeing the ground looming…)


CO-PILOT: Pull it up! Pull it up!


BROTHER: Trying... I've lost number two…


(But he never finishes, the ground out the window seems to reach out and grab them… as we push into Johnny's face… the vision ends on a…)




(He feels the horror… but does the best to control what he shows to the girl… turns his face away… Lindsay looks at him curiously…)


LINDSAY: What did you see?


(Johnny takes a beat to collect himself.)


JOHNNY: Nothing. I'm sorry.


LINDSAY: Nothing.


JOHNNY: I told you. It... doesn't always work.


(She looks at him, disappointed and angry.)


LINDSAY: So you're a fake. You don't have any powers.


(She charges away… but turns back and yells at him for the world to hear…)


LINDSAY: Johnny Smith is a fake!


(And moves down the block toward her house… Johnny looks at her as she moves across the street toward her house…

Johnny looks to -- A second floor window in the Davis house. He can see the distinct figure of a woman sitting at the window, staring out mournfully… just as he saw a figure looking out from Vera's window earlier. As… Johnny reacts…)




(Johnny and Bruce working on the old car…)


JOHNNY: What was I supposed to do? I couldn't refuse; I couldn't tell her the truth…


BRUCE: You're sure he's dead…?


(Johnny nods, feeling helpless, angry. He puts more force into a wrench he's turning…)


JOHNNY: (sarcastic) Some talent, huh. Lindsay was right - I should go on the psychic channel and make money… Hi, your brother's dead, that'll be thirty dollars, visa or MasterCard?


BRUCE: There's only so much you can do, John.


JOHNNY: I'm tired of The Johnny Trick. I'm tired of seeing more than I ever wanted to see. I've got to find a way to shut it off, Bruce…


BRUCE: Shut it off, you mean like brain surgery.


JOHNNY: (continuing his thought) …Before I… (‘Go crazy')


BRUCE: (off his pause) What?


JOHNNY: (serious) I mean I come into this house and see Elvis Presley now…


BRUCE: A lot of people see Elvis…


JOHNNY: (beat) There used to be a guy a few streets over when I was a kid… used to sit on the curb and yell at people going by… I was scared to death of him… like people are scared of me now… for the longest time, I swear I thought he was Charles Manson… he had long hair and those crazy eyes, you know… and he'd just sit there and yell… about government conspiracies and Vietnam and Nixon…


BRUCE: Funny thing is everything he was saying was probably true.


JOHNNY: I don't want to be that guy, Bruce.


JOHNNY (CONT'D): (beat) I can understand why people don't want me in the neighborhood.


(Bruce looks at him…)


BRUCE: Hey, there are neighborhoods where they don't want me, you know?


(Johnny reacts looks at Bruce who is very, very serious.)


BRUCE: It's easy to start thinking that they're right. The way they look at you. But you're not crazy, John. You're different. You are who you are. And you don't apologize for being who you are.


(Johnny smiles at his friend, appreciating him.)


BRUCE: And by the way, I'm really into this psychic network idea…


(Johnny smiles… then reacts as he hears music from inside the house… a cha cha… Bruce doesn't hear the music but notices the look on Johnny's face…)


BRUCE: What?


JOHNNY: Did we leave the radio on in the house?


BRUCE: Radio? I don't hear any radio…


(Johnny's already on the move… Bruce follows him…)




(As they come in… the music is louder…)


JOHNNY: (reacts) It's coming from the parlor…



[INT. PARLOR - 1960S – DAY]

(As Johnny and Bruce come down the stairs and enter… pulling back to see… a costume party circa 1967… so we could easily see Beatles costumes, Flower children, Mary Poppins, James Bond, and yes, Elvis and Marilyn in the famous white dress from The Seven Year Itch… a Prez Prado record is on the juke box… and some of the guests are dancing…)


JOHNNY: A costume party.




(A dark deserted room, a long time since anyone used it… dusty, drop cloths, packing boxes…)


BRUCE: It's been awhile since anyone had a party in this room.


JOHNNY: There's Mary Poppins, Lawrence of Arabia, James Bond... and Elvis and Marilyn doing a cha-cha, I wasn't crazy…


BRUCE: No, but I say we get out of this house…


JOHNNY: I can't leave yet.




(Matching their movement…)


JOHNNY (CONT'D): There's gotta be a reason I'm seeing this…


BRUCE: Why do white people always stay in the house?


(He moves to Marilyn and Elvis who are doing the cha-cha on the dance floor… they don't acknowledge Johnny… but Johnny gets a close look at Marilyn Monroe…)


JOHNNY: It isn't Marilyn Monroe. It's my mother. (Looking at Elvis) And father. They're so young.


(The song ends… and everyone laughs, party Walla… and some clap… Johnny's dad, Herbert (29) holds on to his wife…)


HERBERT: Wait... before we put on another record… we have an announcement…


(Bruce moves beside the bar, standing, without realizing it beside a man who is dressed as Zorro… with a black cape and a handkerchief mask and the typical hat… we'll come to realize this is a young gene Purdy…)


HERBERT: We're going to have a baby.


(Everyone cheers. Rush to congratulate them, slap him on the back, hugs and so forth… young Vera's cheeks turn rosy, blushing…)


JOHNNY: (repeating for Bruce) We're going to have a baby. My mom's pregnant! With me.





BRUCE: (dry) Congratulate the happy couple for me.



[INT. PARLOR - 1960S]

(Purdy, next to Bruce, is clearly heartsick at the news… hides his reaction as everyone else moves to the couple. Johnny notices (and recognizes him because he's known Purdy all his life)…)


JOHNNY: Zorro doesn't seem very happy for them. It's Purdy. Right beside you.


(Bruce looks the wrong way at the bar… as though to address Purdy…


BRUCE: How ya doing', Reverend?


(Someone pops some champagne and in mid-spritz, time seems to stand still… the action freezes, Johnny moves lowly through the still-life people to Purdy who is clearly bitter in this moment…


JOHNNY: This was before he was a Reverend. But not before he loved my mother. When I was growing up, I used to hate it when he came around… there was always mom and dad… and this other guy…


BRUCE: Oh, you mean, like Walt 'n Sarah 'n you.


(That cuts through Johnny like a knife because it's true...)




(Bruce is looking at Johnny's continued reaction…)


BRUCE; He loved her his whole life. But you still think he killed her.


(It challenges Johnny's assumptions… suddenly, he's not so sure… his eyes fill with uncertainty… looks back at…)




(The action jump starts. Purdy tries to compensate for his bitterness… he's already a little drunk… fills his glass with more champagne… puts on a brave face…)


PURDY: A toast! A toast!


(As the crowd quiets…)


JOHNNY: She never married him. Even after dad died. And I know he asked her more than once.


PURDY: To everyone's favorite couple, Herb and Vera Smith…


JOHNNY: Maybe… she rejected him once too often.


(But he's not sure. Could this man who loved his mother actually be driven to kill her some day? It's all part of the mystery for Johnny.)


PURDY: …May your child have a long, healthy and prosperous life.


(Voices cheer, 'hear, hear'… classes clink… and Purdy's eyes barely betray his sadness… And Johnny's cell phone rings in the present… ending the vision and we're back in…)




(Johnny answers the cell phone on his belt…)


JOHNNY: Hello?





WALT: I tracked down Art Paulson, the ex-sheriff for you. He said he was at your house about noon. Didn't see anything suspicious.


JOHNNY: You believe him?


WALT: (exasperated) Why wouldn't I believe him? Unless you've come up with some kind of evidence…


JOHNNY: No. But I did find out that Elvis and Marilyn were my parents.


WALT: Can you understand why I don't want you hanging around my house? Look, there was one thing, I know what you're gonna say, but it probably doesn't mean a thing…




WALT: Well, Art said that the housekeeper found your mom in bed just like it says in the reports… but she wasn't the one who called the police.


JOHNNY: Who was it?


WALT: Reverend Purdy.


(Off Johnny's reaction…)










(Purdy moving to his limo… the driver opens the door as Dana approaches…)


DANA: In a hurry?


PURDY: (not really) Johnny asked me to drop by…


DANA: We need to talk.


(He considers her a beat… motioning to the back seat of the car.)


PURDY: Step into my office.




(He looks to her…)


DANA: (the subject) Vera Smith.


(Purdy is not happy to discuss this subject… his eyes grow cold…)


DANA (CONT'D): There are a few things about her death that are… troubling…


PURDY: You've been talking to Johnny…


DANA: You asked me to talk to Johnny, remember…?


PURDY: There is nothing to this.


(Dana studies him… he's betrayed a little too much emotion. He senses it and puts on the charm…)


PURDY: Dana, seriously, the boy is confused… he sees things, his mind obviously isn't right, never will be…


DANA: Why was Vera Smith cremated?


(A beat as he studies her; he's lying but he covers very well :)


PURDY: Those were her wishes.


DANA: It wasn't in her will.


PURDY: She expressed them to me. I don't know why it would matter that…


DANA: You sent her body to be cremated at your mortuary before the medical examiner even arrived at the scene.


(Purdy leans forward and presses the button that raises the window between the back and the driver…)


PURDY: There was no scene.


DANA: Why did the Alliance hire Mrs. Runyon, Vera Smith's housekeeper, after she died?


PURDY: (irritated now) I'd known Mrs. Runyon for years. We needed help. She needed a job. Are you accusing me of something?


DANA: What'd you have in mind?


PURDY: I strongly suggest you drop this.


(Dana studies him, can't suppress a trace of a smile at his discomfort.)


DANA: Can't do that, Reverend.


PURDY: I'll talk to your editor if I have to.


DANA: You'll have to.


(On his look, she gets out of the car.)




(On Dana as the car drives away…)




(A limousine pulls into the driveway… the chauffeur jumps out to open the door… Purdy gets out… looking a little uncomfortable…)




(Looking down at Purdy in the driveway, finding Johnny watching him move to the door… the doorbell rings…)




(As Johnny lets him in…)


PURDY: Johnny…


JOHNNY: Thanks for stopping by, Reverend.


PURDY: 'Gene', please. Aren't we past formalities after all this time?


(Johnny grins pleasantly…)


JOHNNY: It's hard to break a habit. After all, I was brought up to call you 'Reverend'.


(And we begin a remarkable ballet that will take us through this sequence - as the people Johnny and we have seen in the house during his visions, move about the present day action. For musical theater fans, it may remind of the showgirls of the past that haunt the stage of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. Johnny and we see them; obviously Purdy does not. Our camera is moving, fluid throughout and we pick up glimpses of them as the camera moves by them… or they move in and out of shadows… Here, the five year old Johnny in short pants plays on the floor with a toy of the era…)


PURDY: Well, it seemed more appropriate when you were five. And the alternative would have been augh, 'Uncle Gene'…


(Johnny laughs casually, nods as they walk into the living room…)


JOHNNY: Can I get you something?


PURDY: No, I'm fine…


JOHNNY: A soft drink? A glass of champagne?


(Vera as Marilyn Monroe laughs and drinks champagne in the background…)


PURDY: I'm fine, thank you.


(They sit. Purdy on a couch. Johnny takes a chair across the room a few feet, sits on the footrest.)


JOHNNY: I asked you to come over because I still have questions about mom…


PURDY: If there's anything I can do to put your mind at ease…


JOHNNY: I appreciate that, Gene. Maybe there is. (Beat) It's interesting.


JOHNNY (CONT'D): Living in a house where you and your family have lived for what? - fifty years?


PURDY: (nods) Your mom and dad bought this house in the sixties.


JOHNNY: You walk in your own footsteps… and theirs… and most of the time never stop to think about it. But they were right here in this room…


(Another Vera, the one who brushed little Johnny's hair, moves by…)


JOHNNY (CONT'D): …walking through these very halls… sleeping in these beds… dancing at parties…


PURDY: There were some wonderful times in this house. Your dad was such a good friend… Elvis moves by…


JOHNNY: It's not easy to remember him sometimes…


PURDY: You were still a little boy when he passed.


JOHNNY: In a way, I almost feel a part of him is still here, with me. Not in a literal sense, of course. But a trace of him. A molecule. I can see him sometimes. I can see Mom too… Elvis and Marilyn cha-cha…


JOHNNY: (beat) I'm probably scaring you…


PURDY: Not at all. I'm very curious about your… abilities. At an appropriate time, I'd… I'd love to explore the spiritual meaning of them with you…


JOHNNY: Why not right now?




JOHNNY: Why not.


(Johnny is on his feet, Purdy rises uncertainly, follows him…)




(From upstairs, the sound of a woman crying… the five year old, runs by them up the stairs… Five years old, "This little light of mine… I'm gonna let it shine… This little light of mine…"


JOHNNY: (to Purdy) This'll just take a sec.




(The old housekeeper rushes past them in the hallway… as Johnny leads the way to…)




(As they enter. Johnny turns on the lights.)


JOHNNY: This is where I've been seeing those visions I talked to you about…


(Vera brushes five-year-old Johnny's hair…)


PURDY: Johnny, you never had a chance to mourn her passing. This may be your mind's way of…


JOHNNY: (ignoring him) But one of the images in this room that I find the most confusing is the one of… you… Gene…




JOHNNY: With blood on your hands.


(Purdy's eyes narrow. This is his first direct exposure to Johnny's powers… there's a long beat…)


PURDY: Johnny, whatever you're thinking…


JOHNNY: Did you kill her, Gene?


PURDY: Johnny, I loved your mother…


JOHNNY: She never loved you.


PURDY: She did, in her own way…


JOHNNY: For years I watched her give you a fortune…


PURDY: She was supporting God's work…


JOHNNY: Was she going to change her will… cut you off…?


PURDY: I did not kill her, Johnny.


JOHNNY: (beat, evenly) Put my mind at ease.


(And Johnny grabs his arm… and it's not your usual Johnny taking someone's arm kind of moment - this is a psychic assault, in anger… Purdy tries to pull away…)


PURDY: What are you doing?


(But Johnny holds tight and we ramp to his face as we hear a woman scream and…)




(Blood on his hands as we saw in the earlier flash… then after a long beat of this…)


PURDY: Does anyone else know about this?


(Moving to find Mrs. Runyon, the housekeeper, who has been weeping, still shaky…)


MRS. RUNYON: No sir. I called you right after I found her…


(And finding Johnny standing there, forcing himself to watch… Purdy is kneeling by the bloody bathtub, the figure of Vera's nude body is suggested but blocked by Purdy and the housekeeper… Purdy bows his head and says a quiet prayer for Vera… Johnny sees a bloody razor blade on the side of the tub. Purdy rises, moves back into the room, there are tears in his eyes… moves to the phone… dials…)


PURDY: This is Gene Purdy. I need a hearse out at Vera Smith's house. She died in her sleep last night. The housekeeper found her this morning. …Yes, she's to be taken to our mortuary and cremated immediately. No, I'll contact the Sheriff's office, thank-you.


(Purdy collects himself and turns to Mrs. Runyon.)


PURDY: No one is ever to know what happened here. I will take care of everything, do you understand?


PURDY (CONT'D): (she nods) We need to clean everything… wash her, bandage her wrists, put her in bed. Do you think you can help me do that?


(And as they move to begin their conspiracy… the vision ends…)




(As he finally releases his grip… his face showing the emotional impact of the revelation… he takes several beats…)


JOHNNY: Suicide?


(Purdy studies him, doesn't know where Johnny's coming from. He looks back at Purdy.)


JOHNNY: My mother… killed herself?


(Purdy is blown away by Johnny's insight…)


JOHNNY: Why would she…


(He stops because he knows the answer before he even finishes asking the question…)


PURDY: When a parent loses a child… (Beat) I tried to console her. I couldn't. She spent almost every day in this room, crying, sitting in her rocking chair… staring out the window…


(Johnny turns and sees an older, tortured Vera Smith sitting in the rocking chair looking out the window…)


PURDY: (beat) They told her you'd never recover. She'd lost her only son. And her faith in God.


(Johnny moves closer to examine the mournful eyes of his mother…)


PURDY: I made the choice to protect her name and her legacy.


(Johnny looks to him…)


PURDY: And yours, Johnny.




(On the front step. Purdy is leaving. Johnny is preoccupied with the revelations of the preceding scene.)


PURDY: Dana Bright has been asking questions.


JOHNNY: I know. I'll call her.


PURDY: What will you tell her?


JOHNNY: (beat) That I was wrong. That it's private. That there's no story here.


(Purdy nods and leaves Johnny alone with his thoughts.)




(Johnny, stares at the engine of the old jeep… a wrench in his hand… his mind far away from cars…)


LINDSAY: Kind of late to be working on your car, isn't it?


(Johnny looks up to see her standing there.)


JOHNNY: I just needed to get out of the house, you know?


LINDSAY: Me too.


LINDSAY (CONT'D): (beat, grim) They found my brother's plane. It crashed in some mountains. They said he died right away.


JOHNNY: I'm sorry.


LINDSAY: They're sending us a medal.


(She studies him.)


LINDSAY: You knew, didn't you? You just didn't want to tell me.


JOHNNY: I didn't know how to tell you.


LINDSAY: I'm sorry for calling you a…


JOHNNY: Forget it. It doesn't matter.


(She lets out a deep breath… a tear runs down her cheek… She doesn't know what else to say…)


LINDSAY: (nods, a beat) Well, I better get back. My mom is… she's really upset…


(She swallows hard and the tears come and Johnny moves to comfort her... puts his arms around her and as he touches her…)




(Johnny reacts…)







(Johnny has moved to the street, mind working, Lindsay not understanding what's happening… he looks at the Davis house… the woman is at the window at the second floor…)


LINDSAY: What is it?


(Johnny feels a chill run up his back…)




(Moments later… in the foreground, Dana is interviewing Mr. Davis in the living room… family pictures are scattered about. They react as the front door opens and Johnny and Lindsay enter…


JOHNNY: I'm sorry to bother you at a time like this… but I have to talk to Mrs. Davis…


(And Mr. Davis doesn't want the weirdo next door anywhere near his wife…)


MR. DAVIS: She's not seeing anyone…


JOHNNY: Sir, it's very important.


MR. DAVIS: Look, I don't want to be rude… I'm sure you're a very nice man but I don't want you here, okay…


(Dana sees the urgency in Johnny's face… isn't sure what's happening but wants to be supportive…)


DANA: Mr. Davis, I know how it must seem but I've seen Johnny do some remarkable things…


MR. DAVIS: (losing patience) Remarkable. Our son is gone. Can you bring him back to life?


JOHNNY: It's your wife I'm concerned about. Her life, sir.


(Davis reacts.)


LINDSAY: Dad. Let him.


(Davis looks at his daughter…)


LINDSAY: Please.


(And against his better judgment, he leads the way upstairs…)


JOHNNY: (to Lindsay) Stay here.


(Johnny looks to Dana who acknowledges she'll watch the girl, puts a comforting hand on her shoulder…)




(As Mr. Davis enters with Johnny… Mrs. Davis is sitting by the window… depressed and detached… her eyes are cried out… she's sullen, angry at life itself… she turns and sees Johnny entering…


MRS. DAVIS: (dull, to Johnny) Please. Go away.


JOHNNY: Mrs. Davis, I've seen you at the window…


MRS. DAVIS: Leave us alone!


MR. DAVIS: This isn't a good… (idea)


(But Johnny has seated himself opposite the woman…)


JOHNNY: (overlapping) Maybe Lindsay has told you… I sense things sometimes… I sensed something about you, tonight…


(Her eyes connect with his… he puts his hand on hers…)




(… In her hand…)




(Mrs. Davis looks at him. She knows he knows.)


JOHNNY: Mrs. Davis, the pain you feel… I can't say it will go away soon… but I'm sure if your son could speak to you now, he would want you to know…


(Moving as we did in Johnny's house - to find the image of Lindsay's brother in his uniform and he speaks in unison with Johnny this one line :)


JOHNNY & BROTHER: …that you are loved and needed in this house.


(That's all and then Johnny finishes...)


JOHNNY (CONT'D): This house could never recover if you were to do harm to yourself.


(She begins to cry. Her husband rushes over and embraces her. The image of the brother is gone.)


MR. DAVIS: (to Johnny) You're upsetting her…


JOHNNY: Mrs. Davis…


MR. DAVIS: …Just, just please leave...


JOHNNY: (softly) … You were going to do it, weren't you?


(And she just looks at him as tears flow and finally she nods… she looks to her husband, desperate for help. Shocked, he holds her as she cries in his arms…)


MR. DAVIS: We'll get help. We'll get through this. (To Johnny, awkwardly) I need to take her to the hospital. I wonder if… I know that I have no right to ask after the way I… but…


JOHNNY: (understands) I'll look after Lindsay while you're gone.


(Davis nods in appreciation.)




(As Dana, Lindsay and Johnny watch the Davises pull out of the driveway…)


LINDSAY: Is she going to be all right?


(Johnny puts a hand on her shoulder… whatever he sees we don't get to share… but his face tells us he's pleased.)


JOHNNY: After awhile. Yeah. You're all going to be all right.


(He grins at Lindsay who takes comfort from his words.)


JOHNNY: (to Dana) Well, I guess you got a story after all.


DANA: Story. What story. I didn't see a thing.


(Johnny reacts with new appreciation for her… and as they walk inside the Davis house, we pull back and up and :)


DANA: Mind if I keep you guys company? I play a mean game of Mario Brothers...








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