Scene From an Old & Unfinished Screenplay (October, 2008)

(I found an unfinished screenplay from over 2 years ago silently lurking in my Screenwriting folders from my first semester in Columbia College’s Film Department. Most of it reads like absolute shit to me – a half-assed, transparent rehash of the neo-noir genre. However, I decided to post an exert of it here because the script -although unfinished – was over 30 pages long, and maybe it deserves to see the light of a day – at least a sliver of light. Maybe if someone digs it, it will give me motivation to finish it, or at least give it a second shot).


Clark’s Cocktail Lounge is a classic “old man’s” bar, with rounded leather booths and rustic interior; the kind of place where it’s okay to drink during the day, attracting the after work crowd of blue collared laborers and the frequent bar flys.

JACK HOLIDAY (52), sits at the desolate bar drinking straight bourbon on the rocks, a cigarette burning in the ashtry next to him. Jack is sensibly dressed in a common blue suit that is tailored to his tall, thin body. His collarded shirt is unbuttoned, and his tie hangs lossley around his neck. A distinguished grey, Jack’s aesthetic reflects that of an old lion – a man who has dealt with suffering and heart-break and has lived to prosperously tell about it while still looking handsome and sounding youthful.

Jack sips his bourbon as Donny enters Clark’s Cocktail Lounge through the front doors. Donny tips his sunglasses in Jack’s direction and grins. Donny begins walking towards him. Donny approaches Jack from behind and puts his hands over Jack’s eyes.


Guess who?

Jack turns around as Donny removes his hands.


Ah, well I’ll be damned. Donny Damel!

Jack stands up and hugs Donny. After they embrace, Jack looks Donny up and down.


Look at you, kid…Why the hell you wearing sunglasses?


Jack and Donny sit across from eachother in a large leather booth in the corner of the lounge. The booth is dimly lit, most light coming from a candle burning in the middle of the table. In the center of the table there is a filled ashtray, surrounded by empty bottles of beers and cocktail glasses. Donny continues to wear his sunglasses.


So how does it feel to be back, kid?

Donny takes a drag from his cigarette and blows out a cloud of smoke.


I don’t know. I’ve only been back for an hour or so.

Jack chuckles. Jack’s smile fades as he looks at Donny with a stern expression.


…Nobody else knows you’re back, right?


Shit, are you kidding me? No, of course not. The only person I’ve talked to is you…and that hotel receptionist at the Windchester.


And what about that gas station attendant off Route 32?

Donny looks at Jack in disbelief.


Oh, c’mon Jack, you know that I’m –


I know that you’re what, Donny? I know that you’re getting cocky?


I ain’t getting cocky, Jack.


Donny, you’re a confident kid, but it’s one thing to be confident, and it’s another thing to be smug. Everyone respects a confident man, but nobody likes a man who is smug.

Donny and Jack sit in awkward silence at the booth. Donny hangs his head and runs his fingers through his hair.


And what’s with the sunglasses?


Well I don’t want anyone to recognize me.


Well then you wear a hat.


I don’t look good in hats.


Well grow a mustache or something -don’t wear sunglasses at night in some dark bar. You’re drawing more attention to yourself than you are keeping it away.

Jack reaches into his suit jacket pocket and removes an envelope. He tosses it onto the table in Donny’s direction.


What’s this?


2 Responses to “Scene From an Old & Unfinished Screenplay (October, 2008)”
  1. Chris says:

    I’m seeing Jack played by Tom Waits here

  2. ehehr1955 says:

    Hahaha, yeah definitely. Tom Waits would make a great Jack. I could also see Philip Baker Hall pulling it off. It would give the character a different twist, but it could work.

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