The Ghost and the Darkness script
Synopsis: Sir Robert Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is behind schedule on a railroad in Africa. Enlisting noted engineer John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) to right the ship, Beaumont expects results. Everything seems great until the crew discovers the mutilated corpse of the project's foreman (Henry Cele), seemingly killed by a lion. After several more attacks, Patterson calls in famed hunter Charles Remington (Michael Douglas), who has finally met his match in the bloodthirsty lions.

THE TRAIN WHISTLE sounds.

HELENA:

Go, now.

(He kisses her hand)

Such a gentleman.

(Now he holds her)

PATTERSON:

I am desperate to see Africa- but I

hate the leaving.

CUT TO:

HELENA. She hates it, too.

HELENA:

You build bridges, John-

(beat)

-you've got to go where the rivers are.

They hold each other a moment more, then break, then back into

each other's arms a final time, then-

CUT TO:

THE TRAIN, and thick clouds of steam-

-Patterson runs into the clouds and disappears.

HOLD FOR A MOMENT.

KEEP HOLDING.

Patterson runs out of the steam and we

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

A DIFFERENT TRAIN, A DIFFERENT COUNTRY, A DIFFERENT WORLD.

This is the train to TSAVO and Patterson is alone on the engine

seat- a wooden bench in front of the engine used by railroad

inspectors and visiting VIPs. Behind it is a white circular piece

of wood used to keep the engine heat from the passengers.

CUT TO:

NIGEL STARLING, running as best as he can alongside the train,

trying to pull himself up onto the engine seat.

STARLING is a terribly appealing young man. Clothes do not fit him

well, and he is constantly tugging at this sleeve or that

shirttail, trying to get things right. He wears glasses, tends

nonetheless to squint at the world. He is, above all, a good man,

morally impeccable and very much a product of these Victorian

times.

STARLING:

(as Patterson helps

him aboard)

Many thanks.

(squints)

You're Patterson, yes?

(Patterson nods)

Nigel Starling- I'll be assisting you

at Tsavo- but surely Beaumont must

have told you that.

PATTERSON:

He just gave me his "monster" speech.

STARLING:

That. I know Robert seems dreadful,

but when you truly get to know the man,

well, he's much worse.

(beat)

And I'm one of his defenders.

(Patterson smiles)

Forget him for now- it's your first

ride to Tsavo- I think you'll find it

breathtaking.

(And on that word-)

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William Goldman

William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist, before turning to writing for film. He has won two Academy Awards for his screenplays, first for the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and again for All the President's Men (1976), about journalists who broke the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon. Both films starred Robert Redford. more…

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"The Ghost and the Darkness" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_ghost_and_the_darkness_472>.

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