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The Stunt Man (1980)
Synopsis: On the run from the police, Cameron (Steve Railsback) crashes the set of a Hollywood war movie. When he inadvertently causes a stunt man's death, the film's manipulative director, Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole), decides to shelter Cameron from the cops if he steps in as the daredevil's replacement. Though the arrangement seems like a good deal, it soon becomes a perilous position, with the situation only complicated when Cameron falls for the movie's lead actress, Nina Franklin (Barbara Hershey).

FADE IN:

EXT. ROADSIDE DINER - EARLY MORNING

A strip of two-lane highway runs through a tall pine forest. There

is a truck-stop coffee shop beside the roadway. A few 14-WHEELERS

are scattered across the big dusty parking lot. Morning sunlight

glints off their chrome stacks. It bakes the asphalt and warms the

mangy hides of stray DOGS asleep in the dirt. A HELICOPTER hovers

about the treetops like a lazy hummingbird. It's the beginning of a

perfect day.

A highway PATROL CAR slowly trolls among the trucks and dogs and

parks beside the slat and shingled building.

TWO TELEPHONE LINEMEN are scaling a power pole at the forest's edge.

POWER POLE - ANGLE ON TELEPHONE LINEMEN

High on the pole, the linemen lean back against their safety straps

to work, their bodies forming a "Y." One of them suddenly turns,

pointing at a nearby treetop.

FIRST LINEMAN:

Lookee there!

He grabs a PORCELAIN INSULATOR from his belt, cocks his arm and

hurls it across the open stretch. It lands smack in the middle of

the tree. SQUAWK! A rattle of leaves, a rustle of feathers and a

HUGE BUZZARD comes flapping out. The lineman cackles over his

marksmanship.

CLOSE ANGLE ON BUZZARD - MOVING SHOT

The big, frightened beady-eyed bird is lumbering through the sky,

flapping for its life and suddenly...SPLAT! It crashes head-on into

the bubble of the passing HELICOPTER.

INT. HELICOPTER

The ship rocks as the PILOT wrestles the controls. There are THREE

OTHERS in the cabin. The man beside the pilot, ELI CROSS, is

sketching in a manuscript and eating an apple. He glances up in

irritation.

ELI:

Hey, will you stop wiggling?!

- 2

PILOT:

Don't yell at me...yell at the

goddamn crazy bird! It tried to

kill us!

ELI:

(back to his manuscript)

Oh yeah, that's your story. What's

the bird got to say about it?

Eli bites into his apple, grimacing at the mushy mouthful He tosses

it out the hatch.

5

EXT. FOREST - TREETOPS

The apple drops into the trees, bounces down from branch to branch

and falls on the slanted roof of the ROADSIDE DINER beneath. It

rolls down the eaves, off the edge and lands on top of the parked

Highway Patrol car.

6

INT. PATROL CAR

FIRST POLICEMAN:

Something hit the roof.

SECOND POLICEMAN

So will the Chief...if we don't grab

this guy Cameron.

They climb out as we see a SECOND PATROL CAR sliding up behind them.

MORE POLICEMEN emerge from the second car.

7

EXT. DINER - ON POLICEMEN

They huddle, then move toward the diner entrance.

open WINDOW the CAMERA HOLDS.

8

INT. DINER

As they pass an

A FRY COOK serves behind the long counter where MEN on stools eat

watching the overhead TV. There is a PINBALL MACHINE in action.

The policemen are seen ENTERING b.g. A TRUCK DRIVER ambles up and

straddles a stool.

TRUCK DRIVER:

Gettin' hot early. It's gonna be a

scorcher.

The fry cook fills the driver's empty water glass from a pitcher,

then move down the counter.

- 3

9

ANGLE ON CAMERON

He sits a few stools away. He's about 25, even-featured, bone-

weary. His appealing face needs a shave. The cook fills his water

glass. The ice cubes rattle as Cameron's hand trembles. His eyes

are riveted on the policemen.

10

CAMERON'S POV

Two policemen take seats at a booth across from the counter; one

policeman moves to a WALL TELEPHONE, another stands near the CASH

REGISTER looking at a magazine. They seem nonchalant, but are

placed to block all avenues of escape.

11 ANGLE ON CAMERON

Suddenly startled as someone slaps him on the arm. He whirls to

face the man beside him.

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Richard Rush

Richard Rush (born April 15, 1929 in New York, New York) is an American movie director, scriptwriter, and producer. He is best known for the Oscar-nominated The Stunt Man. His other works, however, have been less celebrated. The next best-known of his movies is Color of Night — also nominated, but in this case for the Golden Raspberry Award. Rush also directed Freebie and the Bean, an over-the-top police buddy comedy/drama starring Alan Arkin and James Caan. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1990 movie Air America. more…

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"The Stunt Man Movie Script" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 May 2017. <http://www.scripts.comscript/435>.

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