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本周熱門小說

廊橋遺夢The Bridges Of Madison County

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1 
Our story begins in 1965, on a hot afternoon in August. 
FADE IN EXT. IOWA LANDSCAPE - DA 
Rolling green hills, lush farmland, vast open space. Not a house or sign of life in sight. On a long dusty road, a TRUCK 
is driving across the screen. Clouds of dirt follow in its tracks -- its motor, the only sound we hear.   
INT. TRUCK - DAY 
FRANCESCA JOHNSON is sitting in the front seat of the pick-up truck. Her expression is distant. Her eyes are sad, as if 
hiding a burden she can hardly bear. Her husband, RICHARD JOHNSON, is driving.   
RICHARD 
You feeling better Franny?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. I'm fine. It's just this heat I think. 
He nods, satisfied. He turns on the radio as the VOICE OF DINAH WASHINGTON sings a bluesy, haunting love song, "I'LL 
CLOSE MY EYES."   
DINAH WASHINGTON 
(SINGS)   
2   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
Carolyn steps out of the doorway and heads for the car, out of which exit her brother Michael and his country girl wife 
BETTY, a stout buxom chatterbox. Both boast Florida tans and fashion styles.   
MICHAEL 
(to Carolyn) 
Explain to me again why we didn't do this in Des Moines in an air conditioned office?   
CAROLYN 
Mom's orders.   
MICHAEL 
Lawyer here?   
CAROLYN 
(nods) 
I have some sandwich fixings if you're hungry.   
BETTY 
(proudly) 
No, we just had lunch at the hotel with my brother and his new wife. She told me all the dirt. I forgot how interesting things can get around here. It was so good to see them. The last time we visited they were in Europe. He is doing so well. He ordered champagne. For lunch! I nearly died.   
MICHAEL 
I nearly died when we split the bill.   
BETTY 
Michael doesn't understand. People who make the kind of money my brother makes don't carry money on them. They keep it all in various accounts.   
MICHAEL 
Then we should have had lunch at the bank. 
Carolyn tries not to laugh. Betty shoots him a dirty look, then stops to take in the house and its surroundings.   
BETTY 
Boy. It sure has been a long time.   
MICHAEL 
(correcting her) 
We were here two Christmases ago.   
BETTY 
Well, that's a long time.   
MICHAEL 
It's not that long.   
BETTY 
(suddenly upset) 
Well, why don't I just say black so you can say white! 
(to Carolyn) 
Don't be surprised to find your brother hasn't changed an iota. He hardly ever talks and when he does it's in that tone! You should have heard him at lunch -- not two words until the bill came and then he says, "Worth every penny."   
MICHAEL 
(defensive) 
SO!   
BETTY 
(angry) 
You said it in that tone! Like you were angry at me, my brother, at the world for forcing you to eat a nice lunch! 
MICHAEL 
Oh Jesus.   
BETTY 
(staring to cry) 
I simply can not stand that tone!   
CAROLYN 
(sympathetically) 
Come inside. You're just tired from 
the trip. 
She comforts Betty who indulges in the attention.   
BETTY 
I am so sick and tired of apologizing 
and not knowing what I've done!   
CAROLYN 
I'm sure you haven't done anything. 
Have some iced tea. How are the kids?   
MICHAEL 
He dropped them off at Betty's mom. 
Where's Steve?   
CAROLYN 
(uncomfortably) 
He's not coming. 
Betty suddenly stops crying and abrasively focuses on Carolyn's problems.   
BETTY 
Aw, is he still cheating on you, hon? 
Carolyn suddenly hoses sympathy for her.   
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY 
The lawyer hands Michael a document.   
LAWYER 
Just sign here as having received the contents from the safe deposit box. 
(Michael does) 
And this one, which clears the bank of all further responsibility fo0r the contents. 
Betty whispers to Carolyn.   
BETTY 
This is kind of exciting. You think we'll find out your mother had secret millions lying around? 
Carolyn smiles weakly. Michael hands back the papers.   
LAWYER 
All right. Why don't we begin. 
He takes out Francesca's Last Will and Testament.   
LAWYER (cont'd) 
Your mother has been interred at Lakeside Funeral Home until arrangements can be made.   
MICHAEL 
(to Carolyn) 
I thought everything WAS arranged.   
CAROLYN 
Well, there's a problem.   
MICHAEL 
What problem?   
LAWYER 
Your mother left explicit instructions that she wished to be cremated.   
MICHAEL 
Cremated?!   
BETTY 
Eeeww!   
CAROLYN 
I know. I don't understand it either.   
MICHAEL 
When did she decide this?   
LAWYER 
(reading will) 
Apparently just before her death.   
MICHAEL 
Well, that's crazy. I don't know anybody who gets cremated.   
BETTY 
My Jewish friend's grandmother did.   
MICHAEL 
Well, no one in my family did! Dad bought cemetery plots at Oak Ridge. One for him, one for mom.   
LAWYER 
It clearly states in the will --   
MICHAEL 
I don't care what it says! Maybe Mama was delirious, you know. She didn't know what she was saying. If she wanted to be cremated, why the hell did she let dad buy two plots, huh?   
LAWYER 
Well, she was very specific. She wanted her ashes to be thrown over Roseman Bridge.   
MICHAEL 
WHAT!   
BETTY 
How bizarre!   
CAROLYN 
Mr. Peterson, are you sure mama wrote all this?   
LAWYER 
Well, it was notarized, and witnessed by a Mrs. Lucy Delaney. Maybe you can ask her.   
MICHAEL 
Who the hell is Lucy Delaney?   
CAROLYN 
I remember a Mrs. Delaney but Mama told me years ago she died.   
MICHAEL 
Well, I don't care if it's legal or not, we're not cremating her and throwing her all over some bridge where we can't even go visit her because she's going to be blown all over the place like an ashtray.   
BETTY 
Not to mention people driving over her and doggies doing their business --   
MICHAEL 
(interrupting) 
We're not doing it! I'm not even sure it's Christian.   
BETTY 
Maybe it's an Italian thing. Their mother was Italian.   
MICHAEL 
Doesn't matter. Move on. 
The women dare not object. The lawyer raises his eyebrows and continues:   
LAWYER 
Well, we'll come back to that. Shall we open the box?   
JUMP CUT TO:   
3   
MOMENTS LATER   
C.U. SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX 
A key is inserted and the lid is opened. There are many papers, deeds, et. Michael begins sorting through these. 
Carolyn notices a manila envelope addressed to her mother, postmarked 1965. She opens it up to find TWO LETTERS and A 
PHOTOGRAPH -- FRANCESCA standing NEAR A COVERED BRIDGE, her hair wind blown, her expression serene, beautiful and sad. 
She wears a RED DRESS with buttons down the front.   
CAROLYN 
Michael, look -- I've never seen this 
picture of mama. Have you? 
Betty and Michael look over her shoulder. He shakes "no."   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
It was in this envelope from 1965.   
BETTY 
She's not wearing a bra. 
(takes bridge photo) 
This is Roseman Bridge in case 
anyone's interested. 
Interested yes, but no one thinks anything of it. Michael returns to the other papers. Betty takes the photograph for 
further examination. Carolyn opens one of the letters and begins to read. 
The following dialogue is heard OS, as CAMERA ANGLES ON CAROLYN reading one of the letters:   
BETTY (O.S.) 
It's a beautiful picture of her.   
MICHAEL (O.S.) 
(to lawyer) 
Why are there two deeds here?   
LAYER (O.S.) 
One of for the original parcel your father bought and this one is for the additional acres he purchased in '59.   
MICHAEL (O.S.) 
And this?   
LAWYER (O.S.) 
Those are bills of sale from the equipment your mother sold in .. 
(CONTINUES O.S.) 
Throughout their conversation, we focus on Carolyn as she reads and her expression sinks into one of shock and onfusion. She flips to the last page of the letter to read who it is from. She can't believe her eyes.   
BETTY (O.S.) 
What's that? 
Carolyn jumps a little, so engrossed in her discovery. She lies.   
CAROLYN 
Oh, just a old letter from a friend.   
BETTY 
(laughs) 
No treasure maps, huh?   
CAROLYN 
(laughs nervously) 
No. 
Betty starts inspecting knit knacks around the house she might be able to take. Carolyn looks to Michael.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
Michael.   
MICHAEL 
(reading documents) 
Yeah.   
CAROLYN 
Michael.   
MICHAEL 
(irritated) 
What?!   
CAROLYN 
Come here a minute. 
Michael crosses impatiently to Carolyn. Carolyn looks around to the others, then guides him OS into the kitchen for privacy. He protests.   
MICHAEL 
What? Where are we going? 
They exit. Alone with the impatient lawyer, Betty examines a vase as she pumps him for info.   
BETTY 
Did she say anything in there about me? Leaving me anything in particular?   
LAWYER 
No. 
Betty prattles on as she examines each item, much to the lawyer's dismay, hiding her resentment and hurt.   
BETTY 
I didn't expect so. She never liked me. It's okay. I always knew. Thought we married too young. Nobody broke his arm -- that's what I said but you know mothers and their sons. Also, she never liked the fact of us moving to Florida although what's where the opportunities were. Couldn't deny that. Suppose we should have visited more but you know she hardly ever made an effort to come to Tampa. Not even to see her grandchildren. She was a cold woman. They say Italians are hot-blooded but not her. She was cool as ice. 
(picks up a candlestick) 
She leaves these to anyone? 
Michael and Carolyn re-enter the living room. Michael's expression now matches Carolyn in disbelief.   
BETTY (cont'd) 
What's going on?   
MICHAEL 
Um... we were just wondering how it might be better if me and Carolyn went over the stuff by ourselves. Not keep you two waiting around. I'll contact your office about the legal work. 
Grateful, the lawyer packs up to leave.   
BETTY 
I don't mind waiting.   
MICHAEL 
Well, there's a lot of boring stuff to do. Lists of people we have to write to. Find mama's relatives addresses in Italy -- stuff like that.   
BETTY 
Well, I can help.   
MICHAEL 
I said NO! 
That came out a bit aggressively. Betty is hurt.   
MICHAEL (cont'd) 
Why don't you go to your mothers. Or back to the hotel. Sit in some air conditioning. Take a bath.   
BETTY 
(near tears) 
I do not need instructions from you to bathe! 
(gets her bag) 
I knew you'd do this! I knew I'd come all the way here and be shut out as usual! I came to be here for you! I didn't have to come! 
(genuinely hurt) 
Lord knows I was never much welcome in this house before. Apparently dead or alive, nothing's changed.   
CAROLYN 
Aw, Betty. 
Carolyn feels badly for her. An impatient Michael refuses sympathy. Embarrassed, Betty starts to exit then stops at 
the mantle.   
BETTY 
Carolyn -- you want these candlesticks?   
CAROLYN 
No. You can have them. 
Betty grabs them both and exits. Carolyn looks at him disapprovingly. Michael takes the letter from her hand.   
MICHAEL 
Now what's this about?   
CUT TO:   
4   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER 
Sitting at the kitchen table, Carolyn is in the middle of reading the letter to Michael.   
CAROLYN 
"-- going over and over in my mind every detail, every moment of our time together and I ask myself, "What happened to me in Madison County?" I struggle to put it together in a way that allows me to continue knowing we're on separate roads. But then I look through the lens of my camera, and you're there. I start to write an article and I find myself writing it to you. It's clear to me now we have been moving towards each other, towards those four days, all our lives --   
MICHAEL 
(rises) 
Goddamn sonofabitch! I don't want to hear anymore! Sonofabitch! Burn the damn thing! I don't want to hear it! Throw it away! 
arolyn continues reading silently. Michael's curiosity gets the best of him:   
MICHAEL 
What's he saying now?   
CAROLYN 
Well, he just gets on about how if mama ever needed him, she could find him through the National Geographic magazine. He as a photographer. He promises not to write again. Then all it says is... 
(beat) 
I love you... Robert.   
MICHAEL 
Robert! Jesus! I'll kill him.   
CAROLYN 
That would be some trick. He's already dead. That's what this other letter is. 
(takes letter and skims) 
From his attorney. He left most of his things to mama and requested... 
(she stops)   
MICHAEL 
What?   
CAROLYN 
That he be cremated and his ashes thrown on Roseman Bridge.   
MICHAEL 
DAMN HIM! I knew mama wouldn't have thought of that herself. It was some damn perverted... photographic mind influencing her! When did the bastard die?   
CAROLYN 
'82.   
MICHAEL 
Wait a minute! That was thirty years after daddy. Do you think...?   
CAROLYN 
I don't know. I'm completely in the dark here. That's what I get for moving away.   
MICHAEL 
This happened way before we both got married. I... I can't believe it. 
(then, innocently) 
You think she had sex with him? 
Carolyn cannot believe he is this dense.   
CAROLYN 
(sarcastic) 
My Lord. It must feel real nice living inside your head with Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny.   
MICHAEL 
Don't talk to me like that. She was my mother for Christsakes. And now I find out she was... She was a --!   
CAROLYN 
Don't say that!   
MICHAEL 
Well, what am I supposed to think?   
CAROLYN 
I can't believe she never told me? We spoke at least once a week. How could she do that?   
MICHAEL 
How did she meet him? Did Dad know? Anything else in that envelope?   
CAROLYN 
No, I don't think so. I -- 
She dumps it over and a SMALL KEY FALLS OUT. Pause, as Carolyn and Michael look to each other -- they grab the key 
and run out of the kitchen, almost comically falling over each other in their obsession to put this puzzle together.   
A SERIES OF JUMP CUT -- 
From one lock to another as they try to find the keyhole that fits the key -- they try closets, attic doors, jewelry boxes, night tables, vanity drawers... Finally --   
INT. BEDROOM - DAY 
At the foot of their parents bed sits an WALNUT HOPE CHEST, covered with a tapestry. Michael and Carolyn look to each 
other first, before one removes the tapestry and the other tries the key. It fits. They open the chest to find:Camera equipment, a chain with a medallion that reads "FRANCESCA," three leather bound notebooks -- and a sealed envelope with "Carolyn or Michael" written on it.   
CAROLYN/MICHAEL 
You read it! 
Carolyn relents. She takes out the lefter and reads:   
CAROLYN 
"January, 1987. Dear Carolyn. I hope you're reading this with Michael. I'm sure he wouldn't be able to read it by himself and he'll need some help understanding all this, especially the parts about me having sex..." 
Insulted, Michael pulls the lefter out of her hand and defiantly attempts to read it aloud himself to disprove his 
mother's claim. But after looking at a few lines, he surrenders and hands the lefter back to his sister.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
"First, and most of all, I love you both very much and although I feel fine, I thought it was time to put my affairs, excuse that word, in order."   
MICHAEL 
I can't believe she's making jokes.   
CAROLYN 
Sshhh. "After going through the safety deposit box, I'm sure you'll find you're way to this letter. It's hard to write this to my own children. I could let this die with the rest of me, I suppose. 
(cont'd) 
But as one gets older, one fears subside. What becomes more and more important is to be known -- known for all that you were during this brief stay. Row said it seems to me to leave this earth without hose you love the most ever really knowing who you were. It's easy for a mother to love her children no matter what -- it's something that just happens. I don't know if it's as simple for children. You're all so busy being angry at us for raising you wrong. But I thought it was important to give you that chance. To give you the opportunity to love me for all that I was..." 
Carolyn and Michael look to each other like two school children about to take a difficult exam. They continue.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
"His name was Robert Kincaid. He was a photographer and he was here in 1965 shooting an article for National Geographic on the covered bridges of Madison County. Remember when we got that issue and looked at those bridges we'd seen for ears but never noticed? How we felt like celebrities? Remember when we started getting the subscription?They don't remember.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
I don't want you to be angry with him. I hope after you know the whole story, you might even think well of him. Even grateful.   
MICHAEL 
Grateful!?   
CAROLYN 
(reads) 
"... It's all there in the three notebooks. Read them in order. If you don't want to, I suppose that's okay too. But in that case I want you to know something -- I never stopped loving your father. He was a very good man. It's just that my love for Robert was different. He brought out something in me no one had ever brought out before, or since. He made me feel like a woman in a way few women, maybe more, ever experience..."   
MICHAEL 
That's it!   
Grabbing the letter, he starts putting everything back in the trunk.   
CAROLYN 
What are you doing?   
MICHAEL 
This is crazy. She waits till she's dead to tell us all this. Well, I got news for you. She was my mother. That's enough for me. I don't have to know who she was.   
CAROLYN 
Well, I'd like to read them.   
MICHAEL 
No. We're going to lock this up and --   
CAROLYN 
STOP IT! 
(Michael freezes) 
I want to read them! If you don't want to, then just leave. But don't you push me around like I'm some mule you paid for -- I already GOT A HUSBAND! 
Michael is stymied.   
	 
5   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER 
Carolyn opens the first notebook which is dated AUGUST 1965. Michael sits beside her with a cup of coffee.   
CAROLYN 
(reads) 
"I suppose his coming into my life was, in many ways, prepared for weeks, maybe even months before. There was a restlessness I feeling. Out of the blue and for no apparent reason. There's nothing more frightening to a woman whose been settled down for almost twenty years than to suddenly feel unsettled. I don't know when it started ... I do 
remember one night in particular, a little over a week before Robert arrived..."   
CAROLYN'S VOICE BECOMES FRANCESCA'S VOICE AS WE: 
DISSOLVE TO: 
1965   
INT. JOHNSON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 
Richard is fast asleep while Francesca sits up in bed reading.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"It was late at night after a long day. Your father was tired -- fighting all afternoon with that new equipment Robert Harrison convinced him to buy. But I wasn't tired. Lately, I could hardly sleep more than two hours a night. I was reading some John O'Hara novel, skimming the words, turning the pages without absorbing what I was reading. My mind 
was far away. And no matter how I tried, I couldn't call it back." 
Francesca closes the book and turns off the light. She nestles into the bed and tries to sleep. After a beat, she 
opens her eyes and turns on the light. As she gets out of bed she awakens Richard.   
RICHARD 
What time is it?   
FRANCESCA 
Later. Go back to sleep.   
RICHARD 
Where you going?   
FRANCESCA 
I'm not tired. I thought I might finish Carolyn's skirt.   
RICHARD 
Now?! 
(checks clock) 
It's after eleven.   
FRANCESCA 
I can't sleep.   
RICHARD 
Again? Maybe you should see a doctor.   
FRANCESCA 
I'm not sick, Richard. I'm just not tired, now go back to sleep before you're up for the whole night too! 
Francesca exits. Richard nestles under the covers, mumbling:   
RICHARD 
If you're not sick, how can it be 
contagious?   
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT 
Francesca sits at her sewing machine, working on Carolyn's skirt. When the thread runs out, she checks her sewing box 
for another spool of that color. Not finding it, she raises and walks to an opened closet. She pulls on a light cord and 
checks her supplies. 
There are shelves of boxes, crates, old clothes and shoes all crammed together. She pulls out one shoe box and an entire 
stack of items tumble off the shelf onto her head.   
FRANCESCA 
Damn it! Shit! 
She looks at the mess and decides it's time to re-organize.   
LATER: 
The clock reads 2:30 AM. The closet has been emptied. 
Francesca rummages through box after box. 
Two huge piles have been created -- one for items to be thrown away, another for items to be kept. Francesca is wiping the bare shelves down with a rag and some cleanser. Looking up to the bottom of the next shelf, she notices A SHOULDER STRAP hanging, wedged between the wall and the shelf. Pulling over a stool, she steps up to be eye level with the shelf. 
It is an OLD HANDBAG -- of a style not seen since the forties when she was a young girl. She pulls it down to examine. It is very dusty and worn, but the snaps still work. She places it against her side to see if it would still be fashionable. She opens it and finds an old lipstick -- reading the bottom where the name of the shade is located.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Ha, they don't even made this color 
anymore. 
She exits the closet and moves to an old mirror, trying the lipstick on. As she decides whether or not she likes it, a 
thought occurs to her... she remembers something.She crosses back to the handbag and feels the inside for a compartment hidden by a flap of material and a snap. She unsnaps it and an old BACK & WHITE PHOTO slips out. She looks at its image -- two young people against an Italian background. Francesca is twenty years younger with her arms around a handsome, black-haired charmer named --   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"Niccolo. I couldn't remember the last time I had seen that face. And then the memories wouldn't stop. Like an avalanche..."   
CUT TO: 
FLASHBACK -   
EXT. NAPLES COUNTRYSIDE, 20 YEARS EARLIER - DAY 
A hot, breezy summer day. A young vibrant Francesca is storming through an open field, angry, while Niccolo calls after her in pursuit. 
The following scene is played in Italian with subtitles.   
NICCOLO 
Francesca! Francesca! Where the hell are you going?   
FRANCESCA 
Leave me alone!   
NICCOLO 
You play these games and I'm supposed to follow -- run after you like a schoolboy. Well, I'm not! I'm fed up!   
Niccolo stops. Several yards ahead of him, Francesca stops and turns. Suddenly, she storms back towards him until they 
are face to face.   
FRANCESCA 
So that's it! You just give up!   
NICCOLO 
What "give up"? You agreed with them! Mommy and Daddy said stay away from me and you said all right. What am I supposed to do?   
FRANCESCA 
Fight for me! 
Niccolo grabs her violently.   
NICCOLO 
ENOUGH! You don't know what you want! Stop looking for me to tell you! STOP IT! 
Francesca knows he's right. He releases her.   
NICCOLO (cont'd) 
We can go back now and end it or we can go back and you tell them off. This is your choice! Not mine. But I won't do this anymore. This is for children! 
Frustrated and sad, Francesca sits upon the ground. Niccolo knows she cannot face her parents yet he looks sympathetic.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAWN 1965 
Francesca sits on the back porch in her bathrobe, looking out over the pasture as if she were watching the previous scene happen right before her eyes. 
In the pasture stands NICCOLO as he was twenty years ago. Memories have overlapped. A field in Naples is now a pasture 
in Iowa and Niccolo is as real to her as the grass. He is staring at her seated on the porch of her Iowa home, a woman 
twenty yards older than when he knew her. He smiles.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"I had forgotten this. I had somehow remembered it being more his fault, his decision. Then I remembered we made love in that field before we left for home. And I remembered it was my idea. I remembered tearing his shirt and biting his body, hoping he would kidnap me. I had forgotten that too. And I wondered, as I sat there... how many other things I'd forgotten."   
RICHARD (O.S.) 
Frannie. 
Startled, Francesca turns as if she were caught in the act. Richard is fully dressed, prepared to start the day. Francesca turns back to the pasture -- Niccolo is gone.   
CUT TO:   
	 
6   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE - EVENING 
It is a week later. Francesca is making dinner. A COUNTRY STATION is tuned in on the radio.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"The following week was the Illinos State Fair. The two of you were going with dad to exhibit Carolyn's prize steer. It was the Sunday night you left. I know it sounds awful but I couldn't wait for you all to leave. You were going to be gone until Friday. Four days...(beat) Just four days..." 
Francesca's expression looks as if she needs a break from her family for more like four years.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Michael! Carolyn! Richard! Dinner! 
She sets down a bowl of potatoes, a plate of sausages, coffee and corn as one by one her family enters and sits down. 
Michael enters through a screen door from the back, letting the DOOR SLAM SHUT.   
FRANCESCA 
Michael, what did I tell you about 
that door? 
Richard enters after Michael, letting the door SLAM THE same way. Francesca is about to say something, but gives up. 
Everyone begins eating -- in complete silence. 
When Michel can't open the ketchup bottle, Francesca grabs it, palms the top skillfully and twists it off. She hands it 
back to Michael who makes no comment. 
When Richard scans the table for something that obviously isn't there, Francesca is up out of her seat before he can 
ask, at the fridge, grabbing the sour cream, closing the fridge and back at the table with incredible swiftness. 
When Michel moves his big arm to reach for the salt, he knows over his cup and saucer, which Francesca catches with 
both hands before they hit the floor. Her reflexes are like a trained athlete. 
Finally, Francesca is able to sit and sip her coffee. She watches her teenage daughter fill her plate with a blank 
expression that lets nothing slip through -- no indication of all the tempests of emotions that go through a teenage girl.   
FRANCESCA 
You excited about going, Carolyn? 
Without looking up, Carolyn fakes a smile. Looking at her, Francesca remembers Carolyn as a three-year-old girl:   
FLASHBACK. 
In the same kitchen, THREE-YEAR-OLD CAROLYN runs around her mother's feet completely naked, squealing with delight as 
Francesca flicks her water from the tap.   
FLASHBACK ENDS. 
Francesca watches as Carolyn eats in silence, distant, locked in her own secret teenage thoughts and dreams. 
Francesca then looks to her son, shoveling food into his mouth at an alarming rate. She attempts a conversation.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
How was your date last night?   
MICHAEL 
(w/o looking at her) 
Okay.   
FRANCESCA 
What's her name?   
MICHAEL 
Betty.   
FRANCESCA 
What's she like?   
MICHAEL 
Okay. 
Silence. Frustrated, Francesca has a fantasy -   
FANTASY: 
Francesca picks up a blunt butter knife, rises out of her seat, grabs her son and shoves the knife at his throat:   
FRANCESCA 
Do you like her? 
Michael finally reacts with more than one word -- frightened for his life.   
MICHAEL 
Uh... Yeah. Yeah. She's real nice.   
FRANCESCA 
Well, what's nice about her? Tell us!   
MICHAEL 
Well, she's... she's real pretty and... and she's got a cute shape... she's a good sport, ya know, for laughs and 
(desperate)... she loves fried chicken wings and beer.   
FRANCESCA 
Isn't that nice? You should bring her home to meet us!   
FANTASY ENDS. 
Francesca looks at Michael in disgust.   
RICHARD 
We better get moving. 
(to Francesca) 
You sure you don't want to come? 
Francesca looks at Richard with complete conviction.   
FRANCESCA 
I'm positive.   
RICHARD 
I'm going to miss you.   
FRANCESCA 
It's only four days. 
He gives her a sweet peck on the lips. Francesca smiles, anxious for them all to leave.   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT 
Alone, dressed in her bathrobe, Francesca checks the front door. She crosses to the living. Noticing two throw pillows 
on the floor, she arranged them neatly on the couch. She sits herself in an easy chair then flicks on a reading lamp and 
opens her book. After five seconds, she closes the book. She crosses to the TV and turns it on, then turns it off before 
the picture tuned in. 
She turns and leans on the TV, flicking the ON/OFF switch on and off as her mind wanders. She gets an idea. She crosses to the hi-fi and looks through several albums she got from her Columbia Record Club. But nothing inspires her and she 
quickly loses the desire for music. She's antsy. She has this time alone and she doesn't know how to spend it. 
She walks through the dining room, passing a china closet filled with fancy dishes and glasses. She stops. Shoved in 
the corner behind is an old, un-opened bottle of BRANDY. She removes up, setting atop the dining table to open it. 
But when she catches a reflection of herself in the window opposite her, she stops. She sees a lonely, frustrated woman 
in a tattered bathrobe anxious to open a bottle of liquor. Deflated, she returns the brandy to the cupboard and exits.   
EXT. BACK PORCH - NIGHT 
Francesca sits on the porch with a book in her lap, gazing out over the pasture. It's a hot night. She opens the top of 
her rope a bit. Feeling the air against her skin, she decides to open it a bit more. She gets an idea. 
Standing, she looks to see if anyone is around -- though rationally she knows there isn't a soul for miles. She turns 
off the porch light. With a brave and daring impulse, she sheds her bathrobe and stand naked under the night sky. The 
air feels good against her body. She opens her arms up against the night sky and moon like an Indian priestess. 
Suddenly, she starts hitting her body as mosquitoes begin attacking her bare torso. Thwarted, she quickly covers 
herself with a robe and runs into the house.   
CUT TO: 
INT. KITCHEN - MORNING 
Francesca trudges into the kitchen. As if on automatic, she takes the coffee pot and fills it with water. She gets the 
coffee and begins spooning it out. She stops. She gets the idea of taking herself out for breakfast and dumps the coffee 
pot out.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. MAIN STREET; WINTERSET - MORNING 
A one street town. On either side are rows of storefronts, an old coffee shop/diner, a bank, a medical center, a newspaper building, a courthouse and a movie theater showing CAT BALLOU. The steeple of the local church is the highest structure, towering over the town from the end of Main Street.   
	 
7   
INT. COFFEE SHOP/DINER - MORNING 
Dressed in jeans and a light summer blouse, Francesca sits alone -- treating herself to breakfast and the paper. Some of 
the gossip news includes rumors of Frank Sinatra, 49, marrying Mia Farrow, 19: Cary Grant 61, marrying DYAN CANNON, 
27. Francesca shakes her head in disbelief at such news.She tries to continue reading, but is distracted by the loud 
conversation in the booth beside her: 
TWO MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN and ONE MIDDLE-AGED HUSBAND sit after 
breakfast discussing the local gossip.   
ELEANOR 
Oh, this heat! Times like this I wish we took that offer from your brother and moved on up to Michigan.   
HENRY 
They got heat in Michigan.   
ELEANOR 
Not this kind of heat.   
HENRY 
Heat is heat.   
ELEANOR 
Heat is not heat! There's different kinds! And this heat is much hotter than what they got in Michigan. You go and call your brother and see if he don't say the same thing.   
HENRY 
I'll get right on it. 
Mrs. Delaney, an attractive well-off woman in her forties, enters the shop and heads for the counter.   
GLADYS 
(whispers) 
Mrs. Delaney. 
(Eleanor looks) 
Did you hear the latest?   
ELEANOR 
No, what?   
GRADYS 
Apparently, she caught them. 
(Eleanor gasps) 
Ran right into them in Des Moines in the middle of her shopping.   
ELEANOR 
Oh, what a horror. Poor woman. That Redfield girl's got no business showing her face in daylight.   
GRADYS 
I don't know how that tramp stands living here. No one can bear even speaking to her. She has no friends.   
HENRY 
Well, nobody put a gun to his head.   
ELEANOR 
Oh, shut up! It's the woman who's in control of these situations. Men don't know which end is up till a woman points. 
Mrs. Delaney acts as if nothing is wrong. Yet, she knows everyone knows and everyone knows she knows they know, yet no 
one says a word. She sits at the counter.   
MRS. DELANEY 
Just coffee, please. 
Francesca hears the gossip continue in hushed tones:   
GLADYS 
See. Money don't buy happiness. I must say, she's taking it well.   
ELEANOR 
I'd kill him. Him and that Redfield woman. Together. First one then the other. And then I'd laugh.   
GLADYS 
I'd laugh first then I'd kill them. Make sure they heard me laughing. 
Eleanor nods. Not being able to stand it, Francesca rises. She must pass them on the way to the counter, in order to 
pay. Eleanor immediately stops her.   
ELEANOR 
Francesca! So, everybody got off okay last night?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes, thanks.   
GLADYS 
What you going to do all alone for four days -- a woman of leisure?   
FRANCESCA 
Oh, you know there's always something to be done. Have a good day. Henry. 
Henry nods back. As she exits, they whisper.   
ELEANOR 
She's changed.   
GLADYS 
Oh, yes.   
ELEANOR 
She used to be so friendly.   
HENRY 
Maybe she's going through "the 
changes."   
Eleanor hits him in the chest.   
ELEANOR 
What do you know about "the changes"?   
HENRY 
Well, I didn't know they was a secret club.   
ELEANOR 
Don't talk about what you don't know. Besides, she's too young for "the 
changes."   
GLADYS 
My niece had "the changes" when she 
was thirty-one.   
ELEANOR 
No. What a tragedy. What happened?   
GLADYS 
(wisely) 
She changed. 
At the counter, Francesca pays up. She looks to Mrs. Delaney and tries to smile, but Mrs. Delaney works hard at not making eye contact with anyone. Suddenly, she rises telling the waitress:   
MRS. DELANEY 
Excuse me for a moment, I left something in the car. 
She exits quickly. Francesca pays up as the waitress adds:   
WAITRESS 
Poor woman.   
EXT. COFFEE SHOP/DINER - MORNING 
Francesca exits and heads for her truck. As she crosses from one corner to another, she notices down the side street -- 
Mrs. Delaney sitting alone in her own car, sobbing. Unable to bear the humiliation, she stole herself away to cry. 
Francesca wants to help but feels useless. She quickly heads for her truck.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
Francesca sits on the front porch with some iced tea, trying to cool herself off. It is a scorcher. She is barefoot, her 
blouse hanging out of her jeans, her hair fastened up by a tortoise shell comb. 
Camera begins a slow move into close-up, as she sips her tea and lets her mind wander. WE INTERCUT HER FANTASIES WITH HER ON THE PORCH:   
FANTASY: Back in town, Francesca slides into Mrs. Delaney's car. She embraces the woman who cries into her arms. 
-- Francesca on the porch. 
FANTASY: Mrs. Delaney's car is surrounded by townpeople staring into it. Francesca hugs Mrs. Delaney closer to her in 
defiance. 
-- Francesca on the porch. 
FANTASY: Mrs. Delaney's car drives up to a train station. She and Francesca exit with suitcases. They are surrounded by 
news reporters as they make their way to the train.   
REPORTER 
Mrs. Johnson! Mrs. Johnson! Is it true Cary Grant has proposed to you?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. And I've accepted.   
REPORTER 
What about his engagement to Dyan Cannon?   
FRANCESCA 
I said to him Cary you're being 
ridiculous. You're more than half her age. He said no one had ever been that honest with him and he falls in love with me.   
REPORTER 
What about your husband?   
FRANCESCA 
I'm very sad but Richard said that since it's Cary Grant, he completely understands. I'm also taking Mrs. Delaney away from this town. She'll be living with Cary and I in Beverly Hills. 
She boards the train with Mrs. Delaney.   
END OF FANTASIES.   
	 
8   
Tired of her fantasies, Francesca looks up to the sun to clear her mind. It is blinding. When she looks back out onto 
the road, her vision is momentarily blurred. Until, slowly, out of the blue, she sees: 
A TRUCK driving toward her house, kicking up dust, like some phantom appearing through the etheric plane. Francesca isn't even sure it's real. She sips cool drink & blinks to regain her vision. The truck slows down and turns into her 
driveway. Francesca watches with suspicious curiosity as: 
The truck stops and ROBERT KINCAID steps out. Flashing his blue eyes in her direction, he smiles and says:   
ROBERT 
Sorry to bother you, but I've got a feeling I'm lost. 
Francesca remains guarded.   
FRANCESCA 
Are you supposed to be in Iowa?   
ROBERT 
(laughs) 
Yeah.   
FRANCESCA: 
Well, you're not that lost. 
He laughs. She puts down her tea and crosses to him.   
ROBERT 
I'm looking for a covered bridge out this way... uh... wait a minute -- 
He looks through a small notepad for the name. Francesca finds herself scanning his body.   
FRANCESCA 
Roseman Bridge?   
ROBERT 
That's it.   
FRANCESCA 
Well, you're pretty close. It's only about two miles from here.   
ROBERT 
Oh, terrific. Which way? 
Pause as Robert awaits directions and Francesca scans a sudden impulse.   
FRANCESCA 
Well, I can take you if you want. 
Robert is pleased, but a bit surprised as is Francesca who anxiously recants:   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Or I can tell you. I can take you or tell you. It's up to you. I don't care. Either way. 
Robert smiles finding her sudden nervousness charming.   
ROBERT 
Well -- 
Suddenly, from the opposite direction of the road, A CHEVY barrels by. The driver, FLOYD, toots his horn.   
FLOYD 
Howdy, Francesca.   
FRANCESCA 
Hey, Floyd.   
He drives off. Francesca knows they've been seen. Slightly annoyed by Iowain neighborliness, she turns to Robert and 
with some defiance says:   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
It'd be better if I show you, I think.   
ROBERT 
If I'm not taking you away from anything.   
FRANCESCA 
No. I was just going to have some iced tea then split the atom, but that can wait. 
(he smiles) 
I just have to get my shoes. 
Robert watches her as she turns and heads back to the house. He watches her lift her blouse and tuck it into her jeans, revealing her shapely hips and buttocks. He turns back to the truck and notices the mailbox -- MR & MRS. RICHARD JOHNSON. He nods as if he knew all along and begins to make room on the 
front seat for Francesca.   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE 
Francesca is slipping on her boots when she suddenly stops. "What am I doing?", she asks herself silently.   
EXT. JOHNSON DRIVEWAY 
Francesca approaches the truck. On the door, she reads: KINCAID PHOTOGRAPHY, BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON. 
Robert is clearing away paper cups, banana peels, paper bags, photography equipment. In the back, Francesca notices a 
cooler and a guitar case.   
ROBERT 
I wasn't expect company. Let me get this out of the way. 
He hauls a case of film from the front to the back. Francesca notices his tanned, muscular arm move in one graceful sweep.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Okay. All set. 
Francesca smiles. They both get into the truck.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Now, where are we going?   
FRANCESCA 
Out, then right.   
CUT TO:   
EXT. MADISON COUNTY ROAD - DAY 
As the truck drives, we see no one else in sight.   
INT. KINCAID'S TRUCK 
They drive in silence. Francesca is enjoying the breeze against her face.   
ROBERT 
Pretty country.   
FRANCESCA 
Hmm-mmm. 
She looks out at the vast expanse. It depresses her.   
ROBERT 
There's a wonderful smell about Iowa -- very particular to this part of the country. Do you know what I mean?   
FRANCESCA 
No.   
ROBERT 
I can't describe it. I think it's from the loam in the soil. This very rich, earthy kind of... alive... No. No, that's not right. Can you smell it?   
FRANCESCA 
(shakes her head) 
Maybe it's because I live here.   
ROBERT 
That must be it. It's a great smell. 
Francesca wants to know more about him.   
FRANCESCA 
Are you from Washington originally?   
ROBERT 
Uh-huh. Lived there till I was twenty or so and then moved to Chicago when I got married.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh. When did you move back?   
ROBERT 
After the divorce.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh.   
ROBERT 
How long you been married?   
FRANCESCA 
Uh... uh... 
(can't remember) 
Umm... long time.   
ROBERT 
You don't look like a native, if you don't mind my saying so.   
FRANCESCA 
No, I don't mind. I'm not from here. I was born in Italy.   
ROBERT 
Well, from Italy to Iowa -- that's a story! 
(Francesca smiles) 
Whereabouts in Italy?   
FRANCESCA 
Small town on the Eastern side no one's ever heard of called Bari.   
ROBERT 
Oh yeah, Bari. I've been there.   
FRANCESCA 
(surprised) 
No, really?   
ROBERT 
Oh, yeah. Actually, I had an assignment in Greece and I had to go through Bari to get the boat at Brindisi. But it looked so pretty I got off and stayed for a few days. Breathtaking country. 
Francesca is overcome by the idea of such freedom.   
FRANCESCA 
You just... got off the train because it looked pretty?   
ROBERT 
Yeah. Excuse me a sec. 
He reaches over with one arm, brushing slightly against her thigh. He opens the glove compartment and pulls out a pack of Camels and a Zippo lighter.   
ROBERT 
Like one? 
Francesca, who doesn't usually smoke, accepts.   
FRANCESCA 
Sure. 
She takes a cigarette out of the pack. Robert drops the pack and, with the same hand, flicks open the Zippo and ignites it. Francesca leans over. The road is bumpy and a breeze blows through both windows. 
She cups her hands around his to shelter the flame. She feels his skin for a brief moment. 
She sits back and enjoys the ride and her cigarette as Robert lights up. Silence. They drive.   
ROBERT 
So, how long you've been living here?   
FRANCESCA 
Long. 
(changes subject) 
You just got off the train and stayed without knowing anyone there?   
ROBERT 
(laughs) 
Yeah.   
	 
9   
EXT. ROSEMAN BRIDGE - DAY 
The truck stops. They exit. Robert takes out some equipment.   
ROBERT 
This won't take long. I'm shooting tomorrow morning. I just need to do some prep work.   
FRANCESCA 
I don't mind waiting. 
He smiles and takes his equipment to the bridge. Francesca slowly follows. She watches his body move. Catching herself, she stops. 
Robert sets up a tripod in the small ravine beneath the bridge, pointing a view finder up as he plans his shots. Francesca walks through the bridge, noticing lovers names scrawled on the inside: CATHY & BUDDY 4 EVER... ROSIE AND 
HANK TILL THE END OF TIME. Through a crack in one of the wooden planks, Francesca watches like a voyeur as Robert 
works. She sees him take out a handkerchief and wipe the sweat off his neck, then inside his shirt and around his chest. 
Without knowing where Francesca is, Robert speaks aloud:   
ROBERT 
Is it always this hot? 
Francesca moves quickly away from the plank, like a Peeping Tom who's been caught.   
FRANCESCA 
This time of year.   
ROBERT 
Would you do me a favor and go to the truck? Inside that leather bag with the pockets is a package of lens cleaners. Would you grab me one? 
Francesca obliges, grateful for something to occupy her. 
Inside the truck, she scans for the leather bag. She sees it next to a duffel bag. The bag' zipper is opened. She glimpses inside as Robert's personal things -- clothes, socks, underwear, shaving kit. Life magazines from July and August, one depicting the death of Aldai Stevenson; the other a cover photo of the Watts riots. She grabs the leather bag and opens it. 
At the bridge, Francesca looks for Robert in the raving but he is gone. She looks through the bridge to the other end 
and sees only the tripod. No Robert. She walks through the bridge and out the other end. She finds Robert bent over, 
picking flowers.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh there you are.   
ROBERT 
Oh! You caught me. 
He rises with a bouquet of wildflowers for her.   
ROBERT 
Thanks for your help. 
Francesca smiles, not knowing how to take this.   
ROBERT 
Men sill give women flowers, don't they? I mean, as a sign of appreciation? I'm not that out of date, am I?   
FRANCESCA 
No, not at all -- 
(suddenly) 
except those are poisonous.   
ROBERT 
WHAT! 
He flings the flowers down. He wipes his hands furiously.   
FRANCESCA 
I'm sorry. I was kidding. 
Robert looks at her with a shocked smirk, secretly liking her strange behavior.   
FRANCESCA 
I'm sorry. I don't know what -- I'm sorry. Really. They're lovely. 
She begins picking up the flowers.   
ROBERT 
(smiling) 
Are you by nature a sadistic person?   
FRANCESCA 
No, I'm not. 
(trying not to laugh) 
I don't know why I said that. I've been in a very... strange mood all day. I've never done anything like that before. It's... I'm just... 
(looking for excuse) 
Well, you know, the whole world is just going nuts. 
Robert looks at her like she's nuts. Francesca tries to dig herself out of her hole. Robert enjoys offering no help.   
FRANCESCA 
What with those riots in Los Angeles and people burning draft cards and ... Adlai Stevenson dying last month. 
She rises with the flowers. Robert gives her a friendly pat on the arm.   
ROBERT 
Shouldn't let things get to you so much. 
He continues with his work. Francesca expresses relief and embarrassment behind his back.   
INT. TRUCK - LATER 
Driving back, Francesca sits with her feet up on the dashboard. Robert drives while he fiddles with the radio. All 
he can find are country stations.   
FRANCESCA 
Looking for something in particular? There's not much of a selection.   
ROBERT 
I found this Chicago station before. Wait a minute... 
(he tunes it in) 
Here it is. 
We hear a BLUES SINGER with a sax arrangement.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh, that's nice.   
ROBERT 
Want another cigarette?   
FRANCESCA 
Sure. 
Francesca's having a great time.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
Robert's truck drives down the road and into the driveway.   
ROBERT 
Well, thank you for all your help, 
Mrs. Johnson.   
FRANCESCA 
Francesca.   
ROBERT 
Francesca. Robert. 
Francesca nods, as if to say hello and goodbye in the same 
moment. She gets out of the car, closes the door, then asks:   
FRANCESCA 
Would you like some iced tea?   
INT. KITCHEN - DAY 
Robert fiddles with the kitchen radio, tuning in to the 
Chicago station. Francesca is making iced tea. Robert sits 
back down at the kitchen table.   
FRANCESCA 
Lemon?   
ROBERT 
Sure. 
With her back to him, Robert never takes his eyes off her. 
She turns and crosses to him, with the tea.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Thanks. 
Francesca smiles and sips her own. She watches him gulp down 
the tea so fast, some of it dribbles down the side of his 
face and neck. Francesca finds it sexy. He empties it.   
FRANCESCA 
Would you like another one? 
Robert nods and he pulls out his cigarettes.   
ROBERT 
Mind if I smoke?   
FRANCESCA 
(at the sink) 
Not at all. 
Robert lights up as he watches her fix another iced tea. He watches her slip off one boot, then the other -- never missing a beat of her preparation. He can't help eyeing her body. When she returns, she also has the flowers he picked for her arranged in a Casper the Friendly Ghost jelly glass. She places them on the table and sits.   
ROBERT 
Sure you want to keep those in the house?   
FRANCESCA 
I'm so sorry about that. It was rude. I think I just got nervous for some reason.   
ROBERT 
I thought it was funny. 
She likes that.   
FRANCESCA 
Where are you staying while you're here?   
ROBERT 
A little place with cabins. The something-Motor Inn. I haven't checked in yet.   
FRANCESCA 
And how long are you here for?   
ROBERT 
As long as it takes, I might stay a week. No more I don't think. Where's your family?   
FRANCESCA 
My husband took the kids to the Illinos State Fair. My daughter's entering a prize steer.   
ROBERT 
Oh. How old?   
FRANCESCA 
About a year and a half.   
ROBERT 
No, your kids.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh. Michael's 17 and Carolyn's 16.   
ROBERT 
Must be nice having kids. 
Francesca looks at him and FANTASIZES SAYING:   
FANTASY: 
FRANCESCA 
Not any more. It's awful. They're awful. I can't stand them.   
END OF FANTASY: 
But in reality, Francesca chooses instead to say:   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
They're not kids anymore. Things change.   
ROBERT 
Everything does. One of the laws of nature. People are always so afraid of change. But if you look at it like it's something you can count on happening, it's actually a comfort. Not many things you can count on for sure.   
FRANCESCA 
I guess. Except I'm one of the people it frightens.   
ROBERT 
I doubt that.   
FRANCESCA 
Why?   
ROBERT 
Italy to Iowa? I'd call that a change.   
FRANCESCA 
(explaining) 
Richard was in the army. I met him while I was living in Naples. I didn't know where Iowa was. I only cared that it was America. And of course, being with Richard.   
ROBERT 
What's he like?   
	 
10   
As Francesca thinks of an answer, she looks over to the entranceway between the kitchen and the front hall and sees:   
FANTASY: 
Richard standing there in his underwear, reaching over his shoulder.   
RICHARD 
Franny, could you clean out my boil again?   
END OF FANTASY: 
Francesca answers Robert, half of her still in fantasy --   
FRANCESCA 
He's very... clean.   
ROBERT 
Clean?   
FRANCESCA 
(catching herself) 
No. I mean yes, he's clean but he's also other things. He's a very hard worker. Very honest. Very caring. Gentle. Good father.   
ROBERT 
And clean.   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. Very clean.   
They drink. Francesca thinks she sounds like an idiot.   
ROBERT 
So you must like Oiwa, I guess. 
Francesca looks at him. She wants to tell the truth, but holds back.   
FRANCESCA 
It's... uh... uh... 
She stops. Robert smiles.   
ROBERT 
Go ahead. I won't tell anyone. 
Surprised, Francesca looks at him oddly -- as if he already knows and is giving her permission.   
FRANCESCA 
It's... 
(tries again) 
I... 
(finally) 
I hate it!   
She covers her mouth, like a reflex -- worried someone heard. Robert just smiles and nods. 
Francesca is so taken by his understanding and acceptance, she lets the flood gates open, speaking faster than her mind 
can keep up --   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
(without a pause) 
I hate it! I hate it! I HATE IT! I hate the corn and the dust and the town and the cows and that SMELL that you love! I hate the people. Everybody knows everybody's business, I mean it's nice now and then, they're always there to help out, but that's just it, it's like they're waiting for something awful to happen to help out and when nothing awful is happening, then they just sit around and talk about what is happening which is none of their business. I want to kill them sometimes for how cruel they can be -- 
Camera begins slowly moving out to a wider angle...   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
-- everybody's talking about poor Mrs. Delaney whose husband is having an affair with that Redfield woman and "isn't it a shame," and "isn't it awful," and the truth is THEY'RE LOVING IT! Poor woman can't even be cheated on without the grocery man knowing about it -- no one respects anyone's privacy. You're not even safe in your own home! They think 
they can just walk right into your house because they BAKED you something. It's like they have a secret password and YOU CAN'T KEEP THEM OUT! I live in fear of that door opening and having a peach cobbler shoved at me... 
(CONTINUES MOS IF NEEDED) 
Throughout this rapid fire monologue, camera has moved to a wide angle as Robert just sits and listens, letting her get it all off her chest. She continues as we:   
DISSOLVE TO:   
INT. LIVING ROOM 
Francesca is lying on the couch as Robert places a cold cloth on her head. Her "confession" took a lot out offer.   
ROBERT 
Feeling better?   
FRANCESCA 
Much.   
ROBERT 
Is the dizziness gone?   
FRANCESCA 
I think so. 
She sits up. She feels exposed. But also, relieved.   
ROBERT 
I better go. You sure you're all right? 
(she nods) 
It's been a pleasure. Sincerely.   
FRANCESCA 
I feel so embarrassed.   
ROBERT 
Why? You uncorked a bottle. From what I can tell, I got here just in time. Any later and you'd have made the 
front page, running down Main Street naked, smoking Camels out of your butt.   
FRANCESCA 
(laughs) 
But I... We don't even know each other.   
ROBERT 
(sincerely) 
You have no reason to feel ashamed. You haven't said anything you don't have a right to. And if anybody tells you different -- you just send them to me. 
She smiles. He turns to exit.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Better get my stuff. 
Francesca surprises herself. She doesn't want him to go.   
FRANCESCA 
Would you like to stay for dinner? 
(he turns) 
There aren't many choices in town and... anyway, you'd have to eat alone. So would I.   
ROBERT 
That's very nice of you. I don't get many dinner invitations on the job. It would be a welcome change. Thanks.   
CUT TO: 
INT. BEDROOM - LATER 
Francesca rushes in and starts to disrobe, getting ready to shower and change for dinner. She glances out the window and 
sees:   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE 
Robert is at the water pump. His shirt is off and he is washing himself. (WE INTERCUT THE TWO.) 
Francesca finds herself staring, a bit open mouthed. He has a muscular, firm body. She watches how the water cascades 
over his body. How he seems so unashamed, so "in his skin," moving with such strength and grace. 
Robert pauses and looks out over the open pasture. The cold water feels good. Since the pump is the back of the house, hidden from the road, no one can see him. He decides to take off his pants and cool himself further. 
Francesca begins watching this in shock until she has to literally pull herself away from the window with such a force 
that she rams herself into a chest of drawers, knocking over an array of perfume bottles and a mirror. She deftly catches a falling bottle and freezes. Taking a breath, she pulls herself together.   
FRANCESCA 
This is ridiculous. Stupid! 
She replaces the bottle and heads for the bathroom quite composed, then, without warning, makes an immediate 180 
degree turn and heads back to the window to sneak a peek. 
Seeing him, she gasps.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Oh my God. 
Watching him, she is possessed by some very frightening feelings and runs from the window, into the bathroom, closing 
the door behind her.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - EARLY EVENING 
Francesca is gathering some vegetables for dinner, from her garden. Robert is at his truck, in his pants, changing into 
a fresh shirt.   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER 
Francesca is cutting up vegetables. Robert enters with some of his gear.   
ROBERT 
I'm just going to put some of this film in your fridge. Heat isn't too forgiving out there. 
He does. On the radio, TONY BENNETT sings "WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS." Robert approaches Francesca.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Can I help?   
FRANCESCA 
(surprised) 
Help cook?   
ROBERT 
Sure. Men cook. We don't all eat bananas with our feet, ya know.   
FRANCESCA 
(laughs) 
Okay. 
They stand side by side. Francesca hands him a stack of carrots and a knife.   
MONTAGE: 
Tony Bennett's up-tempo tone plays over a series of images of Francesca and Robert talk and prepare dinner. 
-- Four hands side by side, cutting and chopping. Occasionally, a hand brushes against another as it reaches 
for something. 
-- Robert's hand gently touching Francesca's waist as he reaches around her for an onion. 
-- Robert lighting Francesca a cigarette. 
-- Robert brings in his cooker through the screen door. HE MAKES SURE IT DOESN'T SLAM. FRANCESCA MAKES A NOTE OF THIS. 
-- Robert opens the cooler and removes two cold beers, tossing one to Francesca. 
-- Francesca opening a new tablecloth and spreading it out on the table. 
-- Francesca handing Robert plates from the shelf, their fingers only barely touching.   
END OF MONTAGE   
	 
11   
INT. KITCHEN - EVENING 
Robert and Francesca are in the middle of dinner. But instead of the usual silence that surrounds Johnson family eating, 
Francesca is mesmerized by Robert as he manages to eat and tell a story. The scene begins with a LAUGH FROM FRANCESCA.   
ROBERT 
(laughs) 
... No, wait, it gets better. 
He stands up and acts it out for her.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
You have to get the full picture here. I have three cameras around my neck, a tripod in one hand and my pants down around my ankles. I thought this was a private bush. I look up and this gorilla, this female gorilla, is staring at me with what can best be described as the most lascivious expression I've ever seen on a female with so much body hair. 
(Francesca laughs) 
I freeze. 'Cause that's what they tell you to do. In this position. She comes towards me and... and she... 
(he stops awkwardly)   
FRANCESCA 
What?   
ROBERT 
She starts sniffing me.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh my God... 
(laughs) 
You're blushing.   
ROBERT 
It's still a very sensitive memory for me.   
FRANCESCA 
Then what happened?   
ROBERT 
We got engaged.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh you! 
She throws a napkin at him.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
None of this is true!   
ROBERT 
No, it is. Except for the engagement part. She wouldn't have me, although I still get a Valentine every year. 
Francesca is laughing so hard she can't breath. Robert loves making her laugh.   
FRANCESCA 
You ought to write these stories down.   
ROBERT 
Nah. I've tried. My writing's too technical, I think. Problem of being a journalist too long is you stop giving yourself permission to invent. I better just stick to making pictures.   
FRANCESCA 
"Making pictures." I like that. You really love what you do, don't you?   
ROBERT 
(nods, smiles shyly) 
I'm kind of obsessed by it, actually.   
FRANCESCA 
Why, do you think?   
ROBERT 
I don't know if obsessions have reasons. I think that's why they're obsessions.   
FRANCESCA 
You sound like an artist.   
ROBERT 
No. I wouldn't say that. National Geographic isn't exactly the hub of artistic inspiration. They like their wild life in focus and without any personal comment. I don't mind really. I'm not artist. I'd faced that a long time ago. It's the course of being well-adjusted. I'm too normal.   
FRANCESCA 
(supportively) 
I don't think you're normal.   
He looks at her in surprise. She catches herself again.   
FRANCESCA 
I didn't mean that the way it sounded.   
ROBERT 
Well, let's just call it a compliment and move on. 
(changes subject) 
Did you love teaching?   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Sometimes. When there was a particular student who made a difference. I know they're all supposed to, but it's not 
true. You tend to single out one or two you think you can contribute something to.   
ROBERT 
And did you?   
FRANCESCA 
I'd like to think so. I know one of them went on to Medical school.   
ROBERT 
Why did you stop?   
FRANCESCA 
My children. And Richard didn't like my working.   
ROBERT 
Do you miss it?   
FRANCESCA 
I don't know. I've never thought about it... what was the most exciting place you've ever been to? Unless you're tired of talking about it.   
ROBERT 
You're asking a man if he's too tired to talk about himself? You don't get out much, do you? 
Francesca smiles, a little embarrassed.   
ROBERT 
I'm sorry. That was...   
FRANCESCA 
(overlapping) 
No. It's all right. I just meant, it might be a little dull for you, telling all this to some housewife in the middle of nowhere.   
ROBERT 
This is your home. It's not nowhere. And it's not dull. 
Francesca smiles again, this time relieved.   
ROBERT 
Let's see -- my favorite place... 
Francesca settles in to listen, never taking her eyes off of him.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Well, it's the obvious choice, but I think I'd have to say Africa. It's another world. Not just the people and the cultures but the land, the colors you see at dawns and dusks -- and the life there. It charges every molecule of air. 
Francesca is fascinated, being drawn into his imagery.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
It's tangible -- the moment to moment of life and death, the co-habitation of man and beast, of beast and beast, 
who'll survive, who won't -- and there's no judgement about it. No right or wrong or imposed morality. It's just life. It's a voyeurs paradise really because those animals don't want anybody in their business. You can watch but at a distance. 
(excited) 
I remember one time I was on a truck headed for the Niger. 
Lights begin to dim as Francesca is so taken in by his story, she begins to actually see what he is describing.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
We were driving north. The truck was old so I guess the sound of the motor muffled this kind of rumbling in the distance -- until finally, it was upon us like, like a hundred thunder claps all at once... 
CU on FRANCESCA as WE BLEND THE SOUNDS OF AFRICA and --   
CUT TO: 
EXT. AFRICA - DAY   
Robert and a driver are in a truck driving north. Robert turns to look out the window and sees:   
A HERD OF GIRAFFES AND GAZELLES AND WATERBUCKS AND ZEBRA are running in the grasslands to the right of the truck. Robert 
excitedly instructs the driver:   
ROBERT 
Get us closer!! 
The driver veers off towards the stampede as Robert opens his door and makes his way to the flatbed part of the truck with his camera. The truck takes its position within this breathtaking force of wildlife, as giraffes, zebras and 
gazelles surround it -- all going in the same direction. 
Robert stands in the truck, shooting as fast as he can. The truck races to keep up with the animals. Robert is so pumped 
he can hardly catch his breath. Suddenly, the force and beauty of these creatures causes him to lower his camera. He 
is unable to film it because it overwhelms him. He just stands there in awe and lets out a primal scream. The animals 
gradually veer off to where the truck can no longer follow. 
Robert watches them disappear into the distance.   
CUT BACK TO: 
INT. JOHNSON KITCHEN - NIGHT 
Francesca has seen all of this in her mind. Robert smiles at her, sensing how in tune with the story she was.   
FRANCESCA 
My God. How I'd love to see that.   
ROBERT 
They have safaris for tourists now. Maybe you can convince your husband. 
Francesca smiles. There is an awkward pause between them.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
It's a beautiful night. Would you like to go for a walk?   
FRANCESCA 
Well, it's kind of buggy out there.   
ROBERT 
(rises) 
Have no fear. This Shoshone Medicine Woman taught me how to make bug repellent tea out of tree root.   
FRANCESCA 
You drink bug repellent?   
ROBERT 
No, you rub it on you. I have some in the truck. Don't go away. 
She shakes her head. He runs out the screen door, not letting it slam. Francesca looks like a teenager with first date 
excitement.   
	 
12   
EXT. PASTURE - NIGHT 
Francesca and Robert walk through the pasture. She sniffs her arm.   
FRANCESCA 
Smells like dirt.   
ROBERT 
You get used to it.   
FRANCESCA 
When?   
ROBERT 
(laughs) 
You want to go back in?   
FRANCESCA 
No. I'm all right. It's working. 
Silence. They walk. It is a beautiful night.   
ROBERT 
You've got it all right here, you know. It's just as beautiful as any other place I've seen. God, it knocks me out.   
FRANCESCA 
What?   
ROBERT 
(indicating the night) 
This "... Of what I call God and fools can Nature." Who wrote that?   
FRANCESCA 
Umm, I don't know. I can look it up.   
ROBERT 
I'd appreciate it. I like knowing who I'm stealing from. If you can't create art I think the least you can do is recognize it around you, don't you think? There is...(genuinely affected)... so much beauty. 
She watches him with great appreciation. He smiles at her. Instead of looking away, their eyes remained locked for a 
moment. There is clearly an attraction. They simultaneously look away and continue walking. 
Francesca's heart is beating a mile a minute yet she can't deny she is enjoying herself. Walking side by side in 
silence, Francesca turns back occasionally to look at her house as they get further away from it. Suddenly, the more 
distant the house becomes, the more frightened she starts to feel. Something inside her knows she's going too far with 
this man -- too far from home. Although a part of her wants it, she is surprised to find a larger part of her finds 
too unknown. She stops.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
What's wrong? 
Francesca looks confused for a moment, not knowing what she wants. She can't move. She searches for a way out.   
FRANCESCA 
Would you like some coffee? Or maybe, some brandy? 
Somehow Robert can sense her uneasiness. He obliges.   
ROBERT 
How about both?   
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT 
Francesca moves about the kitchen preparing coffee -- dropping the coffee pot basket, spilling the grounds. She acts tense. Robert sits at the table opening the brandy bottle Francesca almost opened the night before, aware of her mood. 
Francesca gets the coffee going then sets the table with cups and saucers.   
ROBERT 
You sure you won't let me help you with those dishes?   
FRANCESCA 
(coldly) 
No. I'll do them later.   
ROBERT 
Francesca?   
FRANCESCA 
What?   
ROBERT 
Are you all right?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes.   
ROBERT 
Francesca?   
FRANCESCA 
What?   
ROBERT 
We're not doing anything wrong, do you. 
Francesca freezes. He has read her mind again.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
(smiles) 
Nothing you can't tell your children about. 
Once again, he relieves her of fear and anxiety. He hands her a glass of brandy...   
CUT TO: 
1995   
INT. KITCHEN - DAY 
Carolyn and Michael have come to the end of a notebook.   
MICHAEL 
He's getting her drunk. That's what happened. Jesus, maybe he forced himself. That's why she couldn't tell us.   
CAROLYN 
Oh, he did not. He's such a nice guy.   
MICHAEL 
Nice? He's trying to sleep with somebody's wife.   
CAROLYN 
I don't think so. Not yet anyway. And besides, something like that doesn't make you a bad person. He reminds me 
of Steve in a way. Steve's weak, immoral and a liar but he's still a real nice guy. He just shouldn't be married. 
(laughs) 
At least not to me. You getting hungry? I'm hungry. 
Michael nods, then speaks with sincere compassion.   
MICHAEL 
I had no idea it's gotten that bad, sis.   
CAROLYN 
Oh, don't feel sorry for me. Please. No one's forcing me to stay.   
MICHAEL 
Then why do you?   
CAROLYN 
And do what? Live alone? Go back to school? Find someone else? Start a magazine for confused woman? ... What if I can't do any of those things? 
Michael can't answer her. Carolyn looks through the cabinets.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
There's not much here to make.   
MICHAEL 
Let's go into town and get a bite. We'll take the books with us. 
Carolyn nods. Michael looks for the next notebook, checking the dates.   
INT. CAR - EARLY EVENING 
Michael drives as Carolyn opens the next notebook and reads:   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"We sat sipping brandy. I thought if anybody walked through the door now there'd be no explaining it. But I didn't care. And I loved that I didn't care. I almost wanted it to happen. Then there'd be no turning back. I wanted to be like him. I lived this life of his. We talked about his wife and I was jealous -- not of her -- but of his leaving. His fearlessness. He knew what he wanted. How did he do that.   
CUT BACK TO: 
1965   
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 
Francesca sips her brandy. Robert sits in the easy chair.   
FRANCESCA 
Do you mind if I... ask you why you got divorced?   
ROBERT 
Not at all. I wasn't around much... So why did I get married? Well, I thought it was a good idea at the time. Have a home base. Roots. You can get lost moving around so much.   
FRANCESCA 
So what happened?   
ROBERT 
I never got lost. For some reason, I'm more at home everywhere than at one place. So I decided I'll think of myself as some kind of world citizen. I belong everywhere and nowhere. I'm kin to everyone, and no one in particular. See, once you get into the habit of not needing anyone, it's kind of hard to break.   
FRANCESCA 
You must get lonely at times.   
ROBERT 
Never touch the stuff. I've got friends all over the world. Good friends I can see when I want, if I want.   
FRANCESCA 
Woman friends, too?   
ROBERT 
I'm a loner, I'm not a monk. 
Francesca averts her eyes, before continuing her investigation.   
FRANCESCA 
You really don't need anyone?   
ROBERT 
No, I think I need everyone! I love people. I want to meet them all! I just think there are too many out there saying "This is mine." or "She's mine." Too many lines have been drawn. World's breaking apart because of man's weakness for some testosterone conquests over territory and power and people. He wants control over what deep down he knows he has no control over whatsoever and it scares him silly.   
FRANCESCA 
Why doesn't it scare you?   
ROBERT 
I embrace Mystery. I don't know what's coming. And I don't mind.   
FRANCESCA 
Do you ever regret it? The divorce,I mean.   
ROBERT 
No.   
FRANCESCA 
Do you ever regret not having a family?   
ROBERT 
Not everybody's supposed to have a family.   
FRANCESCA 
But -- how can you just live for what you want? What about other people?   
ROBERT 
I told you, I love other people.   
FRANCESCA 
But no one in particular.   
ROBERT 
No. But I love them just the same.   
FRANCESCA 
But it's not the same.   
ROBERT 
That's not what you're saying. I know it's not the same. What you're saying is, it's not as good. Or it's not as normal or proper.   
FRANCESCA 
No, I'm just saying --   
ROBERT 
(interrupting) 
I'm a little sick of this American Family Ethic everyone seems to be hypnotized by in this country. I guess you think I'm just some poor displaced soul doomed to roam the earth without a self-cleaning oven and home movie.   
FRANCESCA 
(irritated) 
Just because someone chooses to settle down and have a family doesn't necessarily mean they're hypnotized. Just because I've never seen a gazelle stampede doesn't mean I'm asleep in the world.   
ROBERT 
Do you want to leave your husband? 
Francesca is completely stunned and thrown off guard.   
FRANCESCA 
No. Of course not. 
(rising, upset)   
	 
13   
Beat. Awkward silence. Suddenly there is tension between them.   
ROBERT 
My mistake. I apologize.   
FRANCESCA 
What made you ask such a question?   
ROBERT 
I thought that's what we were 
doing -- asking questions.   
FRANCESCA 
(defensive) 
I thought we were just having a conversation. You seem to be reading all this meaning into it. Meanings I must be too simple to, uh... interpret or something.   
ROBERT 
I already apologized. 
Silence. Robert remains seated. Francesca remains at the sink.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
It's getting late. 
(rises) 
Thank you for dinner. 
Pause. Francesca feels badly.   
FRANCESCA 
Listen, I'm sorry I --   
ROBERT 
No, no. Forgive me. I made a mistake. It was an inappropriate thing to ask.   
FRANCESCA 
(shrugs it off, then:) 
... I feel like something's been spoiled now. 
Robert smiles and crosses to her. He takes her hand into both his hands.   
ROBERT 
It's been a perfect evening. Just the way it is. Thank you. 
Francesca smiles. The possibility of a kiss hangs in the air between them until Robert turns to get his film out of the 
fridge. As he exits through the screen door, he stops.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
One thing though -- don't kid yourself, Francesca. You're anything but a simple woman. 
He smiles and exits, catching the screen door before it slams. 
Francesca doesn't move for a moment, then crosses to the door as if to run after him when she is stopped by the PHONE 
RINGING. She picks up.   
FRANCESCA 
Hello?   
RICHARD (on phone) 
Franny?   
FRANCESCA 
Richard, hi.   
RICHARD (on phone) 
How are you?   
FRANCESCA 
Fine. Everyone settled in okay?   
RICHARD (on phone) 
Just fine. We're all in one room. Michael's on the couch and Carolyn's... 
(continues...) 
She hears Robert's truck door open and close. She hears the motor being turned on. She half-listens to Richard.   
FRANCESCA 
Uh-uh... good... Hmmm... 
She hears the truck driving away as Richard continues:   
RICHARD (on phone) 
We got our position in the Fair. Not bad although I would have liked to be third which is not too early and not too late. But I told Carolyn not to worry... 
(continues, if needed)   
CUT TO: 
INT. FRANCESCA BEDROOM - NIGHT 
Francesca exits her bathroom, in her bathrobe, shutting the light. She is brushing her hair and thinking of Robert. She sits on the edge of the bed. She sees her reflection in a mirror on the closet door. 
She stands and takes her robe off. She steps forward to look at her body -- running her hands gently around her curves, her neck, down the side of her thighs, her face, her breasts. 
She shuts off the lights and gets into bed under the covers. She closes her eyes and tentatively begins to explore her body. It is awkward for her but we can see her trying to let herself go. Until she opens her eyes in frustration. It's no good. She can't do it. She feels ashamed. The shame turns into anger.   
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 
Francesca sits at a writing table with two large books opened before her containing literary quotations. She searches for the line Robert mentioned in the pasture. 
A note sits before her as well. On it reads: "Robert. Again, I'm sorry for last night. Would you like supper again tonight after you're finished. I'd like it very much if I were one of those good friends you have in the world. Anytime is fine -- Francesca... P.S. By the way, "Of what I call God and Fools call Nature" was..." She writes the name BROWNING.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. ROSEMAN BRIDGE - NIGHT 
Francesca is tacking a note for Robert to the bridge. She considers taking it down a moment later, but decides not to. She gets back into her truck and drives away.   
WIDE ANGLE OF BRIDGES - DAWN 
DISSOLVE TO: 
The view of the bridge goes in and out of focus until we realize we are seeing it through Robert's camera lens. 
Once the focus it sets, Robert notices something is tacked onto the bridge. He crosses to it hurriedly -- time for the perfect shot is running out -- pulls it down, thumbtack and all, and shoves it into his pocket, unread. He returns to 
his camera to take his shots.   
CUT TO:   
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM - MORNING 
Francesca is making her bed when she hears a truck driving down the road. She looks out the window to see: 
Robert's truck. However, it passes right by her house. 
Francesca's spirit sinks. She feels silly, ashamed and rejected. She sits on the bed.   
FANTASY: 
Inside the truck, Robert drives by the house and chuckles to himself at the foolishness of some boring, frustrated 
housewife. Francesca's note has been crumbled and stuffed into a dirty ashtray.   
END OF FANTASY: 
Francesca enters her bathroom, slamming the door behind her.   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER THAT MORNING 
Francesca sits at the kitchen table in her bathrobe with a cup of coffee -- a comic portrait of shame and self-pity. Her hair is a mess, she hasn't showered or dressed and she stares into space while listening to the bluesy Chicago radio 
station. 
The sink is full of dirty dishes she refuses to clean. Beside it is an ashtray of butts from the night before. She carries it over to the table and begins fingering for a butt to smoke in desperation. She lights up and stares into space.   
FANTASY: 
Robert is in Africa talking to TWO ZULU TRIBE MEMBERS. THE DIALOGUE IS SUBTITLED IN SWAHILI: 
ROBERT 
(laughs) 
... and then she tacks this note on the bridge asking me to have dinner with her again! 
One Zulu turns to the tower and remarks.   
ZULU 
How pathetic.   
END OF FANTASY: 
Francesca put out her cigarette and suddenly gets an idea. She goes to the phone, reads a number off of a slip of paper 
and dials.   
FRANCESCA (on phone) 
Hello? Is Richard Johnson staying there?... No, I don't want to leave a message. Maybe you can help me -- I'm his wife and I live in Winterset Iowa -- I wanted to surprise them by driving up tonight. What would be the fastest route, the Interstate?... Huh-huh... Hold it, let me get a pen.   
CUT TO:   
	 
14   
EXT. PAY PHONE, GAS STATION - LATE MORNING 
Francesca's note is opened in Robert's hand. Her phone number is written after the "P.S." He stands in the pay phone 
getting a busy signal from Francesca's line. He hangs up. 
CUT TO:   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
Francesca, dressed and packed, prepares to leave. She checks her purse to make sure she's got everything. She grabs her 
bag and exits. 
A few beats later, the phone rings. But she doesn't return. It rings again. We hear Francesca's truck door open and 
close. It rings again. We think Francesca is on her way, until: 
We suddenly hear her burst into the house and see her leap for the phone.   
FRANCESCA 
Hello?   
INTERCUT -- 
INT. SLOW BEND SALOON/RESTAURANT - DAY 
Robert is at another pay phone.   
ROBERT 
Francesca?   
FRANCESCA 
(out of breath) 
Yes! Hi.   
ROBERT 
Am I interrupting anything?   
FRANCESCA 
No. I was just... No.   
ROBERT 
I'm sorry I didn't call sooner, but I just read your note. I stuffed it into my pocket. The light was fading and I had to get my shot.   
FRANCESCA 
(relieved) 
The light was fading. Huh-huh.   
ROBERT 
I would love to come for dinner.   
FRANCESCA 
(smiles) 
Wonderful. Uh...   
ROBERT 
Listen, I have to shoot Cedar Bridge until a little after sunset. I want a few night shots. Would you like to come with me? If you're interested...   
FRANCESCA 
Oh, sure. Great.   
ROBERT 
I'll pick you up.   
FRANCESCA 
No. I'll drive myself. I have a few errands. I'll meet you there.   
ROBERT 
Okay. See you later.   
FRANCESCA 
Yeah. See you later. 
Francesca is thrilled. Her mind races with a list of things she must do before tonight. She opens a cabinet, removes a coffee can and empties it of her house money. She quickly counts it, then shoves it into her purse.   
EXT. ON THE ROAD - DAY 
Francesca drives past a sign marking Des Moines as the next town.   
INT. SLOW BEND SALOON/ RESTAURANT - DAY 
The second of two eating establishments in Winterset. A lunch time crowd fills the place. Robert is seated at the 
counter. He can sense their eyes on him, wondering who this stranger is and what's he doing here. He knows the whispered 
conversation is about him. 
A MIDDLE-AGED COUPLE talk at table.   
WIFE 
Thelma told me he checked into the Motor Inn and the bill goes to National Geographic Magazine.   
HUSBAND 
National Geographic? What the hell's he doing here? We ain't got no naked pygmies to take pictures of.   
WIFE 
He's taking pictures of the bridges.   
HUSBAND 
Ain't no pygmies there either. 
Robert wants to finish his lunch as quickly as possible. At that moment, someone enters the restaurant and all the 
conversation stops. He overhears one waitress turn to the other and whisper --   
WAITRESS 
God. It's Lucy Redfield.   
Both the Waitress and Robert (though more subtly) turn to see: 
THE REDFIELD WOMAN. But instead of being the harlot we might think, she's actually a rather plain, demure looking woman -- not nearly as fancy or pretty as Mrs. Delaney herself. 
As she crosses the counter, Robert immediately picks up on the vibes in the room. He notices all the patrons stare then 
turns away to whisper. The waitress behind the counter ignores her. A customer eating at the counter places a bag on an 
empty stool beside her, so the Redfield woman can't sit down near her. 
Robert and the Redfield woman's eyes meet. She is clearly uncomfortable. She turns, about to leave, when Robert clears his cameras off of a stool next to him and offers:   
ROBERT 
Got room right here if you like. 
She is surprised at his courtesy. Others are astounded. Some disgusted. She accepts his offer and sits beside him.   
REDFIELD WOMAN 
Thank you.   
ROBERT 
Hot out there today. 
She nods and smiles. The waitress tosses a menu at her and slams down a glass of water, then moves on down the counter. The Redfield woman tries to act casual, glancing through the menu. Robert subtly scans the room as all eyes are on them, 
then turn away. 
Robert returns his glace back to the Redfield woman who is now only pretending to read the menu. She is so embarrassed. 
She wants to leave but can't move.   
WAITRESS 
Well, are you ordering anything!? 
Her harsh tone startles the Redfield woman as well as Robert. Gathering her dignity, she responds.   
REDFIELD WOMAN 
No. Thank you. I've changed my mind. 
She politely nods to Robert, gathers her things and exits. Robert looks to the waitress, as a SECOND WAITRESS enters.   
SECOND WAITRESS 
I'd've thrown that water right in her face.   
WAITRESS 
Poor Mrs. Delaney. 
The waitress walks O.S. leaving the second waitress facing Robert, who looks at her curiously. The second waitress looks 
back as if to say, "What business is it of yours?" and exits.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. DES MOINES - DAY 
A metropolis compared to Winterset. 
Francesca exits a liquor store with a bottle of wine in a paper bag. She also carries a bag of groceries as she heads down the street to her parked truck. She passes a DRESS SHOP and stops.   
CUT BACK TO:   
EXT. WINTERSET - DAY 
Robert enters a general store. He buys a six pack of beer for his cooler and approaches the counter for the Cashier.   
CASHIER 
That all? 
Robert nods. He decides to have some fun and test the waters a little bit.   
ROBERT 
Isn't it awful about poor Mrs. Delaney? 
With this, the damn bursts -   
CASHIER 
Tragic is more like it. The pain that woman has been subjected to by that no-good husband. I never liked him. Known him for years. People say he's quiet. Well, it's the quiet ones that can sneak up behind you and stab you in the back. I heard yesterday, that she confronted him. Gave him the ultimatum and you know what he did?-- 
(CONTINUES AS NEEDED) 
Robert stands astounded, listening to this diatribe of gossip.   
CUT BACK TO:   
INT. DES MOINES DRESS SHOP - DAY 
Francesca sits in her slip, alone in a dressing room, with several dresses strewn about. The panic of indecision has set in. She looks at herself in the mirror and begins to doubt that seeing Robert is a good idea. Or perhaps she's imagining 
something that isn't there. And what about Richard?   
MEMORY: 
A few years back. Francesca is dressed up for some formal affairs. She heads down the stairs. Richard is waiting in the hall, in a suit and tie. He looks at her admiringly.   
FRANCESCA 
Ready. You have the keys? 
But Richard doesn't answer. He's just staring at her. Francesca stops. Richard looks at her like a little boy.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
What's the matter? 
Richard is obviously impressed by how she looks, but he can't say anything. He just smiles shyly and shakes his head to say nothing is wrong and opens the door for her.   
END OF MEMORY: 
Francesca feels guilty when a SALESWOMAN enters with a pretty summer dress.   
SALESWOMAN 
How about this one? 
Francesca examines it. She likes it. But the guilt...   
FRANCESCA 
I don't know. I haven't bought a dress for myself in so long.(saleswoman nods)I mean, I'm just buying a dress. It's 
not a special occasion or anything. I'm just shopping. Just shopping for a new dress, that's all.   
SALESWOMAN 
(completely understands) 
That might work. And if he's still mad, just tell him you could have done better but you married him out of pity. That's always works for me.   
CUT TO:   
15   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 
Francesca enters with her new dress, groceries and wine as the PHONE RINGS. She puts everything down to answer.   
FRANCESCA 
Hello? 
Intercut ROBERT at a pay phone.   
ROBERT 
It's Robert.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh, hi. Look, I'm running a little late, but I'll still...   
ROBERT 
(w/difficulty) 
Listen, don't take this the wrong way but, I'm wondering if this is such a good idea. 
Francesca's heart sinks.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh.   
ROBERT 
I uh... I had lunch in town today. Happened to cross paths with "that Redfield woman." I apologize. I thought you were half-joking about that.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh. I guess you got the whole story.   
ROBERT 
The cashier at the general store was very dangerous.   
FRANCESCA 
I think he's running for town crier next year.   
ROBERT 
I now know more about their affair than I remember about my marriage. 
(seriously) 
Francesca, the last thing I want to do is put you in any kind of situation that would... even though we know it's just -- I mean, it's nothing like that, but if anybody saw us or... 
(can't finish)   
FRANCESCA 
(disappointed) 
I understand. 
(touched) 
That's very kind of you. 
Silence. Both want to meet. Both experience the idea of not seeing each other even again in this brief moment. Someone 
has to say something to save it -- but who will it be?   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Robert?   
ROBERT 
Yeah?   
FRANCESCA 
I want you to come. 
Robert is relieved.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
I'll meet you at the bridge just like we planned all right. Don't worry about the rest of it... I'm not.   
ROBERT 
All right. See you there. 
Francesca smiles and hangs up. In that moment, Francesca realizes consciously what she is doing and what she wants.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. CEDAR BRIDGE - DUSK 
Robert is already there, working. He checks his watch, anxious for Francesca to arrive, when he hears a truck driving up. He looks to see Francesca stop and get out. By their expressions we can tell how glad they are to see each other.   
FRANCESCA 
Sorry I'm late. Richard called.   
ROBERT 
Oh, how is he?   
FRANCESCA 
Fine. They're all having a good time. How many more shots do you have?   
ROBERT 
Couple. Want to help? 
She nods. He extends his hand. She pauses, then takes it. He leads her to the bridge. Walking away from camera, they say:   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
I should stop off at the motel to clean up before dinner.   
FRANCESCA 
Well, I have plumbing at my house.   
CUT TO: 
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING 
Francesca enters. Robert is in the bathroom, in the shower, with the bathroom door slightly ajar. His clothes are laid on the bed with his bag beside them. A fresh shirt is folded. Francesca takes his dirty shirt and decides to clean it. As she exits, her eye can't help roaming toward the bathroom door. For a moment, she pauses to listen to the sound of the water as it hits his body.   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER 
Francesca is busy preparing dinner. Robert enters, cleaned and dressed.   
ROBERT 
Can I help?   
FRANCESCA 
Actually, no. I've got everything under control. I'd like to clean up myself a bit. I'm going to take a bath. Dinner'll be ready in about a half hour.   
ROBERT 
How about if I set the table?   
FRANCESCA 
Sure.   
ROBERT 
Would you like a beer for your bath?   
FRANCESCA 
(surprised) 
Yes, that'd be nice. 
Robert gets her one.   
INT. BATHROOM - LATER 
Francesca lounges in a tub with a beer poured into a wine glass. She finds it very elegant. She takes a deep breath, 
thinking "What's going to happen tonight?"   
INT. KITCHEN - LATER 
Robert is at the radio when Francesca enters in her new dress. She looks beautiful. And it's all over Robert's face.   
FRANCESCA 
What's wrong? 
Unlike her husband, Robert has an answer.   
ROBERT 
Absolutely nothing. You're just sort of a knockout in that dress. 
She smiles and crosses to the stove.   
FRANCESCA 
Table looks beautiful. 
He can't take his eyes off of her. On the radio we hear DIHAH WASHINGTON begin to sing "IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO" -- a beautiful, blusey lovesong. Francesca pulls out a pan of hot rolls as THE PHONE RINGS. Francesca moves toward it with a roll, which she tosses to Robert. He burns his fingers and he smiles at her joke. The song plays throughout.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Hello? Hi, Madge? 
Francesca and Robert do not take their eyes off of each other throughout the call. Robert takes a bit of the roll.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Huh-huh. Nothing, just making myself some dinner... No what?... Oh... I heard about him. Yeah, I hear he's some kind of photographer. 
(Robert smiles) 
No, I didn't... Huh-huh... Hippie? I don't know, is that what hippies 
look like?... 
Robert steps closer to her, purposely reaching across her body for a napkin.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Oh he is, huh? Well, don't tell Floyd, he'll be out with a shotgun... 
She notices a crumb on Robert's mouth and wipes it off. Robert takes her hand and holds it, lowering it to his side.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
Well, listen, I have a pot boiling. I've got to go... No, they don't get home until Friday morning... Well, maybe I'll give you a call. Okay. Bye. 
She hangs up. The two are now almost face to face. Robert raises her hand up and slips his free one around her waist. 
They begin to dance to the song. The kitchen lights have not been turned on since the sun went down. The sky, a dark 
orange and magenta, illuminates the room through the window. They never take their eyes off of each other. Suddenly, 
Robert stops.   
ROBERT 
You're shaking. Are you cold? 
Francesca shakes her head. They dance a bit more, but Francesca is shaking which makes it difficult. They both 
stop. Robert places his huge hands on either side of her face, gently stroking her hair away from her cheek. He 
whispers.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
If you want me to stop, tell me how. 
He brushes his cheek and face softly against hers. Francesca 
rubs hers against him. She can barely breathe.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Francesca, I won't be sorry. I won't 
apologize for this.   
FRANCESCA 
Nobody's asking you to. 
They kiss. Hands gently explore. Their bodies touch. Their lips never spend more than seconds away from each other. 
Robert gently slide his hands down her breasts and torso, exploring every inch of her. Francesca grips his massive 
back, sliding up to his neck and hair. Robert lifts her leg and presses it against his hip, kissing her neck and 
shoulders. Francesca starts to lose herself, clutching his head at her breast then pulling him up to her mouth once 
again.   
CUT TO:   
16   
1995 
INT. SLOW BEND CAFE - PRESENT DAY - EVENING 
The same saloon/restaurant of twenty-five years ago has been turned into a modern cafe yet the original charm is still 
there. 
Carolyn and Michael sit in a booth, with half-eaten dinners before them. Carolyn has been reading the book to Michael 
when she looks across from her to find -- Michael looking like a little boy who is fighting not to cry.   
CAROLYN 
What's the matter? 
Michael shakes his head. He can't or won't explain. He's too upset. His eyes tear up. Carolyn feels badly for him.   
MICHAEL 
I'm going to get some air. 
He exits. Carolyn smiles sympathetically. Somehow this last passage of their mothers doesn't affect her in the same way. 
She returns to the book but first asks a passing waitress, with great urgency.   
CAROLYN 
Can I smoke here? 
The waitress nods. Carolyn needs a cigarette for the rest of this. She opens her bag to get her pack. Inside her bag she 
notices a BUSINESS CARD. She picks it up to read IRA NEWMAN, attorney. Divorce. Pre-Nuptials. Marital Litigation. She 
pauses for a moment. Then, tossing the card back inside, she lights her cigarette and takes a drag. We follow the curls of smoke up as we:   
DISSOLVE TO: 
1965 
INT. JOHNSON LIVING ROOM 
Camera moves down curls of smoke, to reveal: 
Robert and Francesca in each others arms, under a blanket on the living room floor on a bed of couch pillows, smoking a 
cigarette after lovemaking. Francesca seems miles away -- feelings of regret and guilt creeping in.   
ROBERT 
Are you comfortable? 
(she nods) 
Do you... want to move to the bedroom?   
FRANCESCA 
No. I can't. Not yet. 
She can't bring herself to go into her husband bed.   
ROBERT 
You want to eat something?   
FRANCESCA 
Are you hungry?   
ROBERT 
No. 
Silence. Robert shifts his body to face her.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Honey. Are you all right? 
She looks at him and starts to cry, shaking her head. The room is filled with memories of her family. She nestles in his arms. He folds her. She closes her eyes.   
FRANCESCA 
Take me somewhere.   
ROBERT 
What?   
FRANCESCA 
Right now. Tell me someplace you've been -- someplace on the other side of the world. Anywhere but here.   
ROBERT 
(thinks, then:) 
How about Italy?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes.   
ROBERT 
How about Bari?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. Tell me about the day you got off the train.   
ROBERT 
Have you ever been to that station?   
FRANCESCA 
Yes.   
ROBERT 
You know that little place nearby with the striped awning that sells sandwiches and little pizzas... 
The two transport themselves together to another place, where there is no familiar memories surrounding them to interfere.   
CUT TO: 
EXT. JOHNSON PORCH - NIGHT 
The two sit in bathrobes on the porch looking out over the pasture. They have plates of dinner on their laps. They eat 
voraciously.   
ROBERT 
Do you have anymore of the stew? 
Chewing, Francesca nods and leans over, picks a pot off the porch and ladles some more onto his plate. Too much falls out and it spills onto the robe.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh, I'm sorry.   
ROBERT 
It's okay. It's not that hot anymore. Thanks God. 
Francesca hands him a dish rag. Robert wipes off the food revealing his bare leg. She reaches over and touches it. He looks at her and smiles. She leans over and kisses him passionately until, suddenly, she pulls away. She looks upset. She rises and moves away to look out to the pasture. Robert can sense what is wrong.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
You think too much, you know that?   
FRANCESCA 
I just feel like I'm getting a little... out of control that's all. It's kind of frightening.   
ROBERT 
Why?   
FRANCESCA 
Why!? Because, I'm having thoughts I hardly know what to do with. I... can't seem to... stop them.   
ROBERT 
Nobody's asking you to.   
FRANCESCA 
(excited) 
And arraccinos and zeppolis. Yes! I know it!   
ROBERT 
I sat outside and had coffee.   
FRANCESCA 
Where? Near the doorway or the near the front of the church?   
ROBERT 
Near the church.   
FRANCESCA 
(closes her eyes) 
I sat there once. It was hot. Like today. I'd been shopping. I had all these bags around my feet I kept having to move every time the waiter came by...   
DISSOLVE TO: 
EXT. SANDWICH CAFE - BARI - DAY 
Francesca sits at the outdoor cafe in Bari with shopping bags around her feet. She re-arranges them as the waiter passes by, mumbling something vulgar under his breath. When she looks up -- Robert is standing there. She smiles. He offers her hand. She takes it and rises. They leave the cafe.   
MONTAGE: 
Francesca and Robert together against the breathtaking backdrop of the Italian countryside.   
EXT. BARI COUNTRYSIDE - DAY 
On a lakefront, Robert and Francesca make love.   
WE INTERCUT WITH: 
INT. JOHNSON LIVING ROOM - EVENING 
FRANCESCA AND ROBERT MAKING LOVE ONCE AGAIN. 
Francesca looks at him and understands he is giving her full permission to explore whatever she wants. Hesitantly, she crosses to him and takes his plate away. She stands before him, leaning him back into his chair. She slowly, tentatively, opens her robe. She strokes his hair, then caresses his head and gently guides it between her legs.   
1994 
INT. SLOW BEND RESTAURANT - NIHT 
C.U. on an ashtray filled with cigarette butts as Carolyn anxiously lights another. These last entries have over 
stimulated her. She calls to the waitress abruptly.   
CAROLYN 
Can I get another cup of coffee, please? 
When she looks up, she sees Michael has returned. He sits.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
Where did you go?   
MICHAEL 
Bar across the street.   
CAROLYN 
Have you called Betty? 
(she shakes his head) 
Maybe you should.   
MICHAEL 
I found out who Lucy Delaney is. 
(she looks interested) 
Remember the Delaneys from Hillcrest Road?   
CAROLYN 
Yeah. But I thought she died.   
MICHAEL 
He remarried. Apparently they were having an affair for years. 
Apparently the first Mrs. Delaney was a bit of a stiff.   
CAROLYN 
You mean -- she didn't like sex?   
MICHAEL 
(nods, then simply:) 
I bet mom could've helped her.   
CAROLYN 
Boy. All these years I've resented not living the wild life in some place like Paris and all the time I could've moved back to Iowa... Are you drunk?   
MICHAEL 
Not yet. You want to go?   
CAROLYN 
I think I better. Between the book and the coffee, I'm this close to raping the busboy.   
17   
EXT. IOWA LAKEFRONT - NIGHT 
Michael and Carolyn have parked in a secluded area near a lake. Some place where the moonlight and the scenery create a beautiful backdrop. They sit on the ground, leaving the headlights and the radio on. They are getting drunk sharing 
a bottle of whiskey.   
MICHAEL 
I used to love this place. I used to take Kathy Reynolds down here.   
CAROLYN 
You never dated Kathy Reynolds!   
MICHAEL 
Not officially. Her and Steve Kendall were pinned at birth. But I was crazy about her. And for about three months, 
I managed to catch her during her "exploring" stage.   
CAROLYN 
I never knew that.   
MICHAEL 
(sadly) 
Nobody did.   
CAROLYN 
Was this during Betty?   
MICHAEL 
Everything was during Betty. God we were so young. Why did we think we had to do it all so fast? I've never cheated on Betty. Not once we were married, I mean.   
CAROLYN 
Did we want to?   
MICHAEL 
Only about a thousand times. What do I do now? "What's good enough for mom is good enough for me?"   
CAROLYN 
(pissed off) 
What gets me is I'm 46 years old. I've been in this crummy fucking marriage -   
MICHAEL 
Carolyn!   
CAROLYN 
(ignores him) 
-- for over twenty years because that's what I was taught -- you stick with it! Normal people don't get divorced. I can't remember the last time my husband made love to me so intensely that he transported me to Europe, for Christ's sake -- quite frankly, I don't think he ever did! And now I find out in between bake sales, my mother was Anais Nin!   
MICHAEL 
What about me! I feel really weird. Like she cheated on me, not dad. Isn't that sick? I don't mean I wanted to sleep with her or anything but -- ya know -- being the only son. You're sort of made to feel like you're the prince of the kingdom, ya know? And in the back of your mind, you kind of think your mother doesn't need sex anymore because she has you.   
CAROLYN 
You're right -- that is sick. 
They drink.   
MICHAEL 
If she was so unhappy, why didn't she leave? 
They look to each other without an answer. Then simultaneously they reach for the notebooks.   
MICHAEL (cont'd) 
Can I read it now? I think I'm ready. 
Carolyn offers him the book then lays back in a relaxed position in order to listen. Michael flips to an ear marked 
page.   
MICHAEL (cont'd) 
What paragraph were you up to?   
CAROLYN 
(casually) 
She just made him perform oral sex on the porch. 
Michael freezes. He loses his nerve. Carolyn helps.   
CAROLYN (cont'd) 
Go ahead, Michael. You've got to do this. Just think, "Today I am a man." 
Michael nods and takes another swig. He reads:   
MICHAEL 
"I'd never had a man make love to me that way before." 
(stops) 
Oh Jesus. 
(continues) 
"I couldn't believe the feelings bursting inside of me. As if I had opened some forbidden Pandora's box." 
Camera begins to move to wide angle as Francesca takes over.   
FRANCESCA 
"It seems, thinking about it now, that in those few days I lived a completely different life as a completely different woman. What was recognizable as me before Robert was gone. We decided to spend Wednesday away from Winterset. Away from 
Madison County. Away from pastures and bridges and people too familiar and reminders too painful. We let the day take us where it wanted..."   
1965 
INT. DES MOINES MOVIE THEATER - DAY 
VIVIEN LEIGH is walking down a ships stairs in the 1965 film "SHIP OF FOOLS." She is alone on screen. She walks, slightly intoxicated. Suddenly, Charleston music plays out of nowhere and she begins to dance, by herself, without any self-consciousness. 
In the movie theatre, Robert sits with his arm around Francesca like teenage lovers. Her head is nestled in his chest as she eats from a bag of popcorn. Robert barely keeps his eyes on the screen, staring at Francesca and stroking her hair.   
EXT. DOWNTOWN DES MOINES STREET - DAY 
Francesca and Robert walk hand-in-hand, window shopping and taking in the sights. For Francesca, it is as if she is 
seeing everything for the first time.   
INT. BOOK STORE - DAY 
Robert introduces Francesca to the photography section, showing her a book of one of his favorite photographers, Walker Evans. Francesca admires one photograph in particular -- a mother and child during the depression.   
FRANCESCA 
On that one is beautiful. Look at their expressions. As if the camera weren't on them at all. As if they had no strength left to hide what they were feeling.   
ROBERT 
He's a genius. They're not photographs -- they're stories, entire histories captured in moments.   
FRANCESCA 
I bet you could do a book.   
ROBERT 
No. I couldn't.   
FRANCESCA 
Why do you say that?   
ROBERT 
Because I already tried once.   
Francesca is surprised. She senses his disappointment.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
It's no big deal. I know how to work a camera, how to make it "make pictures" -- but I don't know how to make it make art. 
(laughs) 
At least that's what six publishers said. To take what we see of this world and give it back with a bit of ourselves in it. It's a mystery to me.   
FRANCESCA 
(smiles, supportive) 
But you don't mind.   
ROBERT 
(smiles) 
No, I don't mind. 
She brushes his hair away from his face affectionately. As he looks at another book, she notices their reflection in a mirror. She puts her arm through his. They look like a couple to her -- two people who belong together.   
INT. FANCY RESTAURANT - DAY 
Francesca and Robert have an elegant lunch.   
FRANCESCA 
What were you like when you were younger?   
ROBERT 
(smiles) 
Trouble. Why?   
FRANCESCA 
(laughs) 
I just wondered. Why were you trouble?   
ROBERT 
I had a temper.   
FRANCESCA 
What were your parents like? 
Pause. Robert doesn't reply. She looks at him curiously.   
ROBERT 
I can't do this, honey.   
FRANCESCA 
What?   
ROBERT 
Try and live a lifetime before Friday. Cram it all in. 
(shakes his head)   
This is the first time either has mentioned their time clock. Francesca nods, understandingly.   
Across the room, Francesca notices A MOTHER having dessert with her FIVE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, a pretty little girl in a 
fancy yellow dress. The mother rises and exits to the ladies room while the little girl continues eating a large sundae. 
Francesca smiles. As the girl licks a spoon of fudge, she sees Francesca looking at her and smiles back. Robert watches 
the silent exchange as he eats. Francesca makes a funny face at her. The little girl giggles as she spoons more ice-cream. Unfortunately, she spoons too much and the ice-cream falls on her pretty dress. She tries to take it off her, but she slips through her fingers and stains her even more. She looks at Francesca as if she's about to cry. Francesca smiles.   
FRANCESCA 
Excuse me a minute. 
Robert watches her cross to the little girl and kneel beside her. He sees her consoling the little girl while taking a napkin and dabbing it in the water glass. 
She helps the girl carefully wipe away the mess, all the while calming her. The mother re-enters the scene and shakes 
her head at her daughter. The daughter is afraid of being reproached but the mother is smiling. She and Francesca begin talking. She thanks Francesca. Robert sees the two mothers exchanging a moment of common experience and brief friendship. The mother and daughter take their leave as Francesca says goodbye and returns to the table. Robert looks at her lovingly. Francesca returns to her meal, but suddenly she is no longer hungry. Robert senses something is upsetting 
her.   
ROBERT 
You're somewhere else, where?   
FRANCESCA 
Just that it's been a perfect day and that I'd like to skip my fancy dessert and go home after this.   
ROBERT 
Uh-huh. And?   
FRANCESCA 
(beat) 
You're right, you know. We don't have much time. 
Uncomfortable silence hangs between them. A waiter passes by.   
ROBERT 
Check, please. 
OS, as the MOTHER YELLS:   
MOTHER 
REBECCA! REBECCA! 
Both Robert and Francesca look to the voice.   
18   
EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY 
The mother stands on the street frantically calling for her daughter.   
MOTHER 
REBECCA! 
The Maitre'd, Francesca and Robert exit the restaurant.   
MOTHER 
Oh my God...!   
FRANCESCA 
What happened?   
MOTHER 
I was paying the check. She ran outside. I told her to wait for me right here! Oh God, where is she? 
Rebecca! 
The sidewalk is filled with people. Francesca looks to Robert. He recognizes the concern in her expression. Going home will have to wait.   
ROBERT 
I'll check down here. Someone call the police. 
The Maitre'd goes back inside. Francesca comforts the mother.   
FRANCESCA 
Think for a second. Is there someplace she said she wanted to go?   
MOTHER 
I don't remember!   
EXT. STREET 
Robert searches through the street, poking in and out of storefronts, looking across the street.   
EXT. RESTAURANT 
Francesca and the mother search in the opposite direction.   
EXT. STREET 
Through the crowd of people, Robert looks across the four lane Main Street to a LARGE CITY PARK. He crosses to it.   
INT. RESTAURANT - AN HOUR LATER 
Francesca sits with the mother as TWO POLICEMEN take down a description. The mother is crying. A waiter brings over some water for her. The Maitre'd stands by.   
MOTHER 
She was right outside. I turned my head for a second.   
POLICEMAN 
When was this?   
FRANCESCA 
About an hour ago.   
MOTHER 
They're not going to find her!   
FRANCESCA 
Yes, they are. 
At that moment, the mother looks up and cries.   
MOTHER 
REBECCA! 
She jumps out of her seat as all turn to see: 
Robert holding the little girl in his arms, entering the restaurant. He carefully hands her over to the mother. The 
two wrap their arms around each other. Francesca looks to Robert, loving him even more now.   
FRANCESCA 
Where was she?   
ROBERT 
Across the street. She went into the park and got turned around and didn't know her way out.   
MOTHER 
You crossed the street by yourself?!   
REBECCA 
(crying) 
It was a green light. 
The mother is too relieved to be mad. Robert sits down.   
MOTHER 
Thank you so much!   
ROBERT 
(frazzled) 
I need a drink. 
Everyone laughs out of relief. Francesca wraps her arm around his shoulder and kisses his forehead. He kisses her back.   
INT. TRUCK - DUSK 
Robert drives as Francesca sits inside his arm. Neither speaks.   
INT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DUSK 
Francesca calmly leads Robert up to her bedroom.   
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM 
Naked, Francesca guides Robert into bed beneath the covers. They begin to make love -- softly, lovingly -- like a couple that are beyond the erotic, discovery stage; a couple that have been together and in love for years.   
LATER - 
Francesca puts her arm around him as he nestles his head to her breast. Francesca strokes his hair as Robert closes his 
eyes.   
ROBERT 
I don't know why I'm so tired all of a sudden.   
FRANCESCA 
Long day. Go to sleep.   
ROBERT 
Am I too heavy for you?   
FRANCESCA 
No.   
Robert settles into her. But Francesca is wide awake. Something is on her mind -- "Tomorrow? What happens after tomorrow?"   
INT. KITCHEN - MORNING 
Francesca is serving Robert breakfast, then sits down beside him. Silence. We can sense some tension between them -- this being their last day together. 
Francesca seems ingeniously friendly. Robert is suspicious.   
FRANCESCA 
Sleep all right?   
ROBERT 
Yes, thanks.   
FRANCESCA 
Good. More coffee? 
(he nods, she pours) 
Robert, I hope you don't mind my asking, but I feel like I should.   
ROBERT 
What?   
FRANCESCA 
Well, these... women friends of yours... all over the world. How does it work? Do you see some of them again? Do you forget others? Do you write them now and then? How do you manage it? 
Her facetiousness startles Robert.   
ROBERT 
I... What do you want?   
FRANCESCA 
Well, I just want to know the procedure. I don't want to upset your routine. Do you want any jam?   
ROBERT 
(insulted) 
Routine! I don't have a routine. And if you think that's what this is -   
FRANCESCA 
Well, what is this?   
ROBERT 
(upset) 
Well, why is that up to me? You're the one who's married. You told me you have no intention of leaving your husband.   
FRANCESCA 
To do what? Be with someone who needs everyone and no one in particular? I mean, what would be the point. Would you pass the butter?   
ROBERT 
I was honest with you. I told you who I was.   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. Absolutely. You have this habit of not needing and that it's hard to break. I understand. 
(beat) 
Of course, in that case, why sleep -- you don't need rest or for that matter eat, you don't need food. 
She takes his plate away from him, rises and throws it into the sink.   
ROBERT 
What are you doing?   
FRANCESCA 
(sarcastic) 
Gee, I don't know. I guess I'm not cut out to be a World Citizen who experiences everything and nothing at the same time.   
ROBERT 
How do you know what I experience?   
FRANCESCA 
(angry) 
I know you! What can this possibly mean to anyone who doesn't "need" meaning - 
(mocking) 
"Who goes with the Mystery" -- who pretends he isn't scared to death.   
ROBERT 
Stop it!   
FRANCESCA 
You have no idea what you've done to me, do you? And after you leave, I'm going to have to wonder for the rest of my life what happened here. If anything happened at all! And I'll have to wonder if you find yourself in some... housewife's kitchen in Romania if you'll sit there and tell her about your world of good friends and secretly include me in that group.   
ROBERT 
What do you want me to say?   
FRANCESCA 
(nonchantly) 
I don't want you to say anything. I don't need you to say anything. 
Robert rises, knocking his chair aside.   
ROBERT 
STOP IT!   
FRANCESCA 
Fine. More eggs or should we just fuck on the linoleum one last time?   
ROBERT 
(grabs her) 
I told you! I won't apologize for who I am.   
FRANCESCA 
No one's asking you to!   
ROBERT 
I won't be made to feel like I've done something wrong.   
FRANCESCA 
(angry) 
You won't be made to feel! Period. You've carved out this little part for yourself in the world where you get to be a voyeur, a hermit and a lover whenever you feel like it and the rest of us are just supposed to feel so incredibly grateful for the brief time you've touched our lives! Well, go to hell! It isn't human not to feel lonely -- it isn't human not to afraid! You're a hypocrite and you're a phony!   
ROBERT 
(cries out) 
I DON'T WANT TO NEED YOU!   
FRANCESCA 
WHY?   
ROBERT 
BECAUSE I CAN'T HAVE YOU!   
FRANCESCA 
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH IT? 
He throws a cup at the wall. It breaks apart. Covering his face, Robert turns away from her as he holds onto the sink. 
Francesca reaches for him but he pulls away, embarrassed.   
19   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
(softly) 
Don't you see, I've got to know the truth, Robert. I've got to know the truth or I'll go crazy. Either way. Just tell me. But I can't act like this is enough because it has to be. I can't pretend I don't feel what I feel because it's over tomorrow. 
Robert, keeping his face from her, tries to tell her:   
ROBERT 
If I've done anything to make you think that what's happened between us is nothing new for me -- is some routine -- then I do apologize.   
FRANCESCA 
What makes it different, Robert? 
Robert turns to face her. He is so hopelessly in love he can hardly find the words. His eyes fill up with tears.   
ROBERT 
Because... if I even think about 
tomorrow -- if I... 
(voice cracks) 
even think about leaving here without you -- I'm not sure I can... that I -(he shakes his head) 
He can't even finish. He kneels down before her wrapping his arms around her and burying his face into her body. Francesca starts to cry -- out of happiness, out of pain -- holding onto him as if for dear life.   
FRANCESCA 
Oh God... what are we going to do? 
She kisses him -- over and over, not wanting to be even an inch apart. As if any space between them might separate them 
forever. 
Suddenly, OS, they hear a CAR DRIVE UP to the house. They panic. Francesca runs to the window to see: 
MADGE, a girlfriend, has come for a visit. Madge is holding a homemade dessert.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd) 
No. No. Where's your truck?   
ROBERT 
Behind the barn. I better go. 
Francesca turns to him -- speechless -- not wanting him to go.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Don't worry. I meant upstairs. 
He exits. Francesca gathers herself and heads for the front entrance, quickly cleaning up the plates.   
INT. FRONT HALL - DAY 
Francesca opens the door to Madge.   
FRANCESCA 
Madge?   
MADGE 
Hi. I made some brown betty. I sent Floyd off to town with the boy. I said -(entering) 
"Floyd, I'm going to visit my girlfriend and spend the afternoon and that's all there is to it. He said who's going to make lunch? I said I'm taking a sick day. Eat at the dinner." Isn't that hilarious? 
(MOVES INTO KITCHEN) 
He didn't dare raise an eyebrow -- I don't even want to tell you how late he was out last night with those good for nothings from the Sandford ranch. I am so sorry, honey, I let two days pass before I came by, but with the boy home the time just escapes me. Have you heard from Richard? How's the fair? God, it's hot. 
Following her into the kitchen, Francesca doesn't know which question to answer first.   
EXT. PORCH - LATER THAT DAY 
Madge and Francesca sit facing the pasture beside a table with coffee and brown betty. We parachute into the middle of 
the scene.   
MADGE 
... I said to her, "what's the point of summer school if all he's going to do are these art projects. The boy 
needs so much work in math and his spelling is a nightmare... 
(continues) 
Francesca isn't listening. Her mind wanders.   
FANTASY:   
FRANCESCA 
Madge. Please. Something's happened. I've met someone. I've fallen in love in a way I've never thought could happen my entire life. It's our last day together. I feel like I'm going to die when he leaves. Please. Help me.   
MADGE 
Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. But you've got to be grateful for even feeling the little you've be given. Believe me. Go to him. Don't let him leave without these new precious hours you've got left. And if you need anyone to cry on, you know where I am.   
END OF FANTASY: 
Madge shoves a plate at her. 
MADGE (cont'd) 
More brown betty? 
Francesca takes the plate. She can't think straight.   
MADGE (cont'd) 
... Anyway, I'm glad that's over with. Sara doing so well though. Everyone thought I was crazy having them so far apart, but... 
(CONTINUES...)   
FANTASY: 
Francesca stands behind Madge, as the latter chatters on MOS. She calmly picks up the brown betty and, from behind, shoves it into Madge's face and holds it there, trying to suffocate her with it. Madge struggles.   
END OF FANTASY: 
Francesca's mind races as Madge continues.   
MADGE 
... without one lesson. The instructor couldn't believe it. So, who knows -- she may have talent. How's Carolyn doing? What are her plans for next year? 
Francesca realizes this is her moment. She holds her head and leans over, unsteadily.   
MADGE (cont'd) 
Honey, what's wrong?   
FRANCESCA 
I don't know. I woke up a little dizzy. I didn't sleep well. I think I need to lay down.   
MADGE 
You want me to call the doctor?   
FRANCESCA 
No, no. I just didn't sleep well. I'm not used to sleeping alone. And this heat. Would you mind?   
MADGE 
No, of course not. I'll just clean up.   
FRANCESCA 
No, leave it. I'll do it later. Listen, maybe you and Floyd can come for dinner on Saturday. I'm sure Richard'll have so many stories to tell you both about the fair and all.   
MADGE 
Oh, that'll be nice.   
CUT TO: 
INT. BEDROOM - LATER THAT DAY 
Francesca enters to find Richard, laying on the bed fully clothed. She sits beside him. He strokes her arm, then guides her to lay down. Once she's in his arms, he speaks.   
ROBERT 
Come with me. 
Francesca knew he was going to say this. Either answer she gives frightens her.   
FRANCESCA 
Hold me. 
She turns to him and they embrace. Robert, however, fears only one response. On the soundtrack, we hear the song "DARN 
THAT DREAM."   
CUT TO: 
INT. KITCHEN - EVENING 
The song continues over the next few images. Camera slowly pans from the radio, upon which the song is playing, to a beautifully set table and candles. It arrives on Robert preparing dinner.   
INT. BEDROOM 
Camera pans the room from two OPENED SUITCASES, as Francesca packs to leave. She moves about the room as if with blinders on -- focused on her task, refusing to take in any sign or memories that might hinder her. She is wearing a RED DRESS, with BUTTONS down the front.   
INT. KITCHEN 
Robert stands at the sink rinsing out some utensils. Waiting for the water to turn hot, he looks out through the window above the sink. He sees a beautiful view of beautiful night. He pauses as it strikes him that this is a view Francesca has seen a million times -- that soon she would not see ever again.   
INT. SECOND FLOOR LANDING 
Camera follows her as she exits the bedroom with her suitcases, then walks down the hall to the stairs, then down the staircase to the front hall.   
She quietly sets the suitcases down, hearing the radio and Robert in the kitchen. She pauses, then enters the living room. One of the throw pillows has fallen off the couch. She replaces it then takes a moment to look about the room. She slowly sits down on the couch. 
We hear voices of the past, auditory memories conjured up by each stick of furniture Francesca sees.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
Michael, get off the back of that chair! What did I tell you!   
WE HEAR HIM FALL AND BEGIN TO CRY.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
All you all right, honey. Let me see... 
A sound of Christmas music... of toddlers running and laughing... A birthday party for Carolyn...   
CAROLYN (V.O.) 
Mama, look -- look at the dress Aunt 
Patty sent!   
RICHARD (V.O.) 
Franny, BONNAZA's on!   
ROBERT 
Francesca? 
Francesca snaps out for it and turns to find Robert.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
I've got dinner. 
She smiles.   
INT. KITCHEN 
They eat by candlelight. Neither speaks. Neither is very 
hungry.   
ROBERT 
Would you like a beer? 
She smiles and shakes her head. Robert opens a bottle and takes a sip.   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
You know what I'd like to do before we leave? I'd like to take a picture of you -- at Roseman bridge. Maybe just as the sun's coming up.   
FRANCESCA 
Yes. I'd like that. 
Pause. Robert smiles back and takes another sip. Then, knowing full well what hangs heavy between them, he asks:   
ROBERT 
Tell me why you're not coming with me? 
Francesca stops pretending to eat. She looks at him, having forgotten how well he can read her.   
FRANCESCA 
No matter how I keep turning it around in my mind -- it doesn't seem like the right thing.   
ROBERT 
For who?   
FRANCESCA 
For anyone. They'll never be able to live through the talk. Richard will never be able to. He doesn't deserve that. He hasn't hurt anyone in his life.   
ROBERT 
(getting aggressive) 
Then he can move! People move!   
FRANCESCA 
His family's lived for almost a hundred years. Richard doesn't know how to live anywhere else. And the kids...   
ROBERT 
The kids are grown! They don't need you anymore. You told me that. They hardly talk to you.   
FRANCESCA 
No, they don't say much. But Carolyn's 16. She's just about to find out about all this for herself -- she's going to fall in love, she's going to try and figure out how to build a life with someone. If I leave what does that say to her?   
ROBERT 
What about us? What about me?   
FRANCESCA 
You've got to know deep down that the minute we leave here. It'll all change.   
ROBERT 
Yeah. It could get better.   
FRANCESCA 
No matter how much distance we put between us and this house, I bring with it with me. And I'll feel it every minute we're together. And I'll blame loving you for how much it hurts. And then even these four days won't be anything more than something sordid and... a mistake.   
ROBERT 
(desperately) 
Francesca, listen to me. You think what's happened to us happens to just anybody? What we feel for each other? How much we feel? We're not even two separate people anymore. Some people search their whole lives for it and wind up alone -- most people don't even think it exists and you're going to tell me that giving it up is the right thing to do? That staying here alone in a marriage, alone in a town you hate, in a house you don't feel apart of anymore -- you're telling me that's the right thing to do!?   
FRANCESCA 
We are the choices we've made, Robert.   
ROBERT 
(rises) 
TO HELL WITH YOU! 
He turns his back on her.   
FRANCESCA 
Robert. Please. 
(desperate to explain) 
You don't understand -- no one does. When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children -- in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you're expected move again only you don't remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long. Not even yourself. You never in your life think that love like this can happen to you.   
ROBERT 
But now that you have it -   
FRANCESCA 
I want to keep it forever. I want to love you the way I do now the rest of my life. Don't you understand -- we'll lose it if we leave. I can't make an entire life disappear to start a new one. All I can do is try to hold onto to both. Help me. Help me not lose loving you. 
She embraces him. He wraps his arms around her. He whispers.   
ROBERT 
Don't leave me. Don't leave me alone. Please. 
This breaks her heart, knowing how hard it is for him to say this. She holds him tighter, until -   
ROBERT (cont'd) 
Listen. Maybe you feel this way, maybe you don't. Maybe it's just because you're in this house. Maybe ... maybe when they come back tomorrow you'll feel differently. Don't you think that's possible?   
FRANCESCA 
I don't know. Please...   
ROBERT 
I'm going to be here a few more days. I'll be at the Inn. We have some time. Let's not say any more now.   
FRANCESCA 
No. Don't do this.   
ROBERT 
I CAN'T SAY GOODBYE YET! We'll leave it for now. We're not saying goodbye. We're not making any decision. Maybe you'll change your mind. Maybe we'll accidentally run into each other and ... and you'll change your mind. 
FRANCESCA 
Robert, if that happens, you'll have to decide. I won't be able to. 
She cries in his arms. He kisses her as if for the last time. Then, quickly, separates himself and leaves the house.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE 
Robert walks briskly towards his truck not wanting to look back. He gets in, starts it up and drives away. 
Francesca exits the house and watches the truck recede into the distance. She stops when she reaches the front gate, 
leaning against it. She murmurs to herself -   
FRANCESCA 
Keep going. Please. 
The truck drives away. Then, suddenly, stops. Francesca's heart quickens. She watches as the truck stands on the road in the distance. As if Robert was deciding to turn around or keep going. Francesca waits. Suddenly, the door to the truck 
flies open and Robert exits. Francesca loses all restraint. 
She opens the gate but her dress is caught on it. Robert stands by the truck. Francesca tears at the dress, ripping 
off a button which falls to the ground. She runs down the road. Seeing her, Robert runs towards her as well. 
They grab each other furiously. For these few moments, all considerations are gone. As he kisses her, he murmurs:   
ROBERT 
I forgot to take your picture. 
She laughs through her tears as they continue to kiss. Camera pans up to the road beyond Robert's truck. 
WE SEE RICHARD'S TRUCK DRIVING TOWARDS THEM. For a moment it seems as if they will be caught until we realize RICHARD'S 
TRUCK IS BEING SUPERIMPOSED as the LIGHT GRADUALLY BRIGHTENS TO REVEAL:   
MORNING. 
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE 
Richard, Michael and Carolyn drive down the road toward the house. Robert's truck, and all traces of him, are gone. 
Francesca steps into the doorway in a house dress to welcome her family home -- wondering how this will feel.   
JOHNSON KITCHEN - EVENING 
The Johnson family has dinner as Francesca narrates:   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
You all came home. And with you, my life of details.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE 
Everyone is doing various daily chores.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
A day or two past and with each thought of him, a task would present itself like a life saver, pulling me further and further away from those four days.   
INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING 
Francesca is reading. Richard watches TV. 
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
I was grateful. I felt safe.   
CUT TO:   
20   
EXT. WINTERSET - MAIN STREET - DAY 
Richard and Francesca drive up to the general store to buy groceries. Francesca heads for the store as Richard crosses 
the street.   
FRANCESCA 
Want anything special for dinner?   
RICHARD 
Hmm. How about that brown sugar meat loaf you make?   
FRANCESCA 
(smiles) 
Okay. 
She enters the store.   
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY 
Francesca makes small talk with the grocery lady as she buys what she needs.   
EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY 
Francesca places a bag of groceries on the front seat of the truck, then gets in herself to wait for Richard. She takes a deep breath and removes a handkerchief from her bag to wipe the sweat from her face. She freezes - 
Through the windshield, she sees ROBERT standing beside his truck across the street, staring at her. Her heart stops. 
For a moment, she isn't even sure he's real. 
The town moves about its business around them. But neither notice or care. Whatever safety or forgetfulness she felt is 
gone. Her feelings burst through. She sits there helpless before him -- willing to go or stay depending on what he did. 
He begins walking towards her. She prepares herself. Her life will change -- it has to. There's not turning back. 
But the closer Robert gets, the clearer he can see that she is crying. And he stops. 
Without any words, he realizes what taking her with him would mean. With just a glance, he sacrifices her. With their eyes locked in the middle of Main Street -- in front of the whole town -- they smile and say goodbye. 
Robert returns to his truck. He drives off down Main Street, taking the first left. 
Moments later, Richard throws the feed bag into the back of his truck and gets in. Francesca is wiping her eyes. 
He doesn't notice. He drives off in the same direction as Robert.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
For a moment, I didn't know where I was. And for a split second, the thought crossed my mind that he really didn't want me -- that it was easy to walk away. 
As they pass the corner where Robert made his left turn, Francesca turns to look and sees: 
ROBERT'S TRUCK IS PARKED just off the corner. As if he had to drive away to get out of sight, but couldn't bring himself to drive any further. 
The sight of him hiding there breaks Francesca's heart, she turns away from her husband to hide the tears.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
WE REPLAY THE OPENING SCENE FROM THE MOVIE: 
Carolyn is in the yard picking vegetables. Her parents drive up in their truck. She steps out with her bag of groceries 
and walks briskly into the house. Richard follows more slowly with his bag of feed, stopping at the gate to pick up the 
button from Francesca's red dress.   
INT. KITCHEN 
Francesca enters and places her groceries on the counter. She tries to compose herself. She sees the radio before her. She turns it on. The Dinah Washington song "I'LL CLOSE MY EYES" evokes every feeling of love and loss within her. She begins to cry. 
She hears Richard enter the house. She stands out of sight, holding her hand to her mouth to muffle her crying. She hears:   
MICHAEL (O.S.) 
Dad! You bought the wrong feed! 
RICHARD 
What!? 
She hears Richard exit the house.   
EXT. LUCY REDFIELD'S HOUSE - NIGHT 
A hand knocks on a door. Lucy Redfield opens it to find Francesca standing there with a cake.   
FRANCESCA 
Hi. I'm Francesca Johnson. I just feel awful I haven't come to visit sooner. I hope I'm not interrupting anything. Is it too late? 
Lucy is shocked and moved at the same time.   
LUCY 
No. Not at all.   
FRANCESCA 
I was wondering if... maybe you'd like some company. 
(almost manic) 
I baked a cake! 
Lucy looks at the cake. She's a little dazed by all this.   
LUCY 
Uh... sure. Please. Come in. I'll 
make coffee. 
Francesca enters. Lucy closes the door.   
CUT TO:   
EXT. IOWA LAKEFRONT - DAWN 
Michael continues reading beside Carolyn as the sun rises.   
MICHAEL 
"We became inseparable, Lucy and I. The funny thing is, I didn't tell her about Robert until years later. But, for some reason, being with her somehow made me feel it was safe to think about him. To continue loving him. The town loved talking about the two of us but we didn't care. And neither did your father. Which I thought was a lovely thing. I received Robert's letter and my photograph soon after. I always wondered if your father found them. I was never quite sure..."   
INT. KITCHEN - EVENING 
At dinner, Richard remembers the button he found.   
RICHARD 
Oh, Franny, is this yours? 
Francesca sees the button. She speaks her original lines MOS as HER NARRATION is hard:   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
I almost told him. In that moment I felt as if I couldn't hold it back. If he really loved me maybe he'd understand. 
She returns to her meal. The family eats in silence.   
FRANCESCA (cont'd; V.O.) 
But love won't obey our expectations. Its mystery is pure and absolute. What Robert and I had, could not continue if we were together. What Richard and I shared would vanish if we were apart. But how I wanted to share this. How would our lives have changed if I had? Could anyone else have seen the beauty of it?   
INT. JOHNSON KITCHEN - NIGHT   
Francesca moves about the kitchen with a frantic pace as she puts the finishing touches on a cake. Placing the frosting bowl in the sink, she hears someone upstairs exiting their bedroom. She quickly gathers the cake and her bag and exits 
through the screen door.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - NIGHT 
Fighting tears, she walks to the truck from around the house. She gets in and starts it. She vaguely hears her daughter 
from the front door.   
CAROLYN 
Mom? 
But she doesn't acknowledge it and drives away.   
EXT. MOTOR INN - NIGHT 
Her truck approaches and then speeds past the Inn where 
Robert is staying. We can see his truck in the parking lot.   
1979   
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM - NIGHT 
And older Francesca cares for a sickly Richard. He lies in bed beside an array of medicines and tonics. She wipes his 
forehead with a cool cloth as he takes his pills.   
FRANCESCA 
Better? 
He nods. She smiles. She shuts off the light and lays beside him.   
RICHARD 
Franny?   
FRANCESCA 
Hmm?   
RICHARD 
I just want to say... I know you had your own dreams. I'm sorry I couldn't give them to you. I love you so much. 
Francesca turns to him. She is so touched, tears fill her eyes. She nestles close to him, wrapping her arms around him.   
1982   
EXT. DES MOINES 
Francesca eats at the same restaurant she shared with Robert.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
After your father died, I tried to get in touch with Robert but found out he had left the National Geographic soon after the Madison County. No one seemed to know where he was. My only connections to him were the places we'd been to that one day. And so each week, I'd re-visit them.   
EXT. JOHNSON HOUSE - DAY 
Francesca greets a UPS man with an envelope and a package.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
And then one day, I received the letter from his attorney, with a package.   
INT. JOHNSON LIVING ROOM 
Francesca reads the letter informing her of Robert's death. She then unwraps the package to reveal a MEDALLION with her 
name inscribed and A PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK; a published collection of black and white photos by Robert Kincaid entitled "Four 
Days." Beautiful, dramatic black and white representations of love and passion, loneliness and pain, and union. On the 
front page there reads an inscription "FOR F."   
ROBERT (V.O.) 
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods... There is a rapture on the lonely shore... There is society where none intrudes... By the deep sea and music in its roar... I love not man the less, but Nature more... From these our interviews, in which I steal... From all I may be, or have been before... To mingle with the Universe and feel... What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal." 
The quote is Byron's. She smiles with pride as she cries.   
CUT TO:   
EXT. IOWA LAKEFRONT - EARLY MORNING 
Michael sits with his arm around Carolyn as they look out over the lake. The notebooks are closed, but Francesca's 
narrations continue over the next few scenes.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
There has not been a day since that I have not thought of him. When he said we were no longer two people, he 
was right.   
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM 
Carolyn, looking through her mom's closet, finds the summer dress she bought in Des Moines to wear for Robert.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
We were bound together as tightly as two people can be. If it hadn't been for him, I don't think I would have lasted on the farm all these years. Remember that dress of mine you wanted, Carolyn -- the one you said I never wore. Well, I know I was silly. But to me, it was as if you were asking to wear my wedding dress to go to the movies. 
Carolyn smiles as she holds the dress before her.   
INT. MOTEL - DAY 
A tired Michael finds his way through the motel to his room.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
After reading all this, I hope you can now understand my burial request. It was not the ravings of some mad old lady. I gave my life to my family. I wish to give Robert what is left of me.   
INT. MOTEL ROOM 
Michael enters to find his two children watching TV and an angry Betty folding clothes.   
CHILDREN 
Hey, Dad! 
He looks at them lovingly, then at Betty who angrily motions for him to follow her into the bedroom. 
She slams the door behind him and talks in a irate whisper. 
BETTY 
You have been out all night long! Do I have a right to ask where you've been or is this a family secret? 
Michael just looks at her. He gently takes her hand.   
MICHAEL 
No. No more secrets. 
He kisses her hand. Betty is floored.   
MICHAEL (cont'd) 
Do I make you happy, Betty? 
(she is stunned) 
Because I want to. I want to more than anything. 
He gently kisses her cheek then embraces her. Betty -- for the first time in her life -- is utterly speechless.   
INT. JOHNSON BEDROOM 
Wearing her mother's dress, Carolyn sits on the bed holding the phone, waiting for Steve to pick up. In her other hand, 
she holds the divorce lawyers card.   
CAROLYN 
(on the phone) 
Hi, Steve? It's me. Good. You?... Listen, we have to talk... Well, how about you?... Uh, no -- I've decided I'm going to stay for a while... I don't know how long... No, I won't be coming back... I'm not angry, Steve. I'm not angry at all. 
(smiles)   
CUT TO:   
EXT. ROSEMAN BRIDGE - DAY 
Michael and his family stand beside Carolyn and a Priest.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"I gave Lucy his photography book. If you're interested, take a look. If my words still leave something unclear, perhaps his pictures can illuminate. After all, that's what an artist does best... " 
Michael receives the urn from the priest. He and Carolyn walk away from the group towards the bridge. They stop. Carolyn 
removes the lip. Michael sets his mother's ashes free.   
FRANCESCA (V.O.) 
"I love you both with all my heart. Do what you have to, to be happy in this life. There is so much beauty."   
THE END 
	 
	 
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