Kramer vs. Kramer script
Synopsis: On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns that his wife, Joanna (Meryl Streep), is leaving him and their young son, Billy (Justin Henry). Forced to raise his son alone, Ted loses his job but gains a stronger relationship with the child with the help of another single parent, Margaret (Jane Alexander). When Joanna returns to claim custody of Billy, the ensuing court battle takes a toll on everyone concerned.

FADE IN:

1INT. OFFICE, ADVERTISING AGENCY, MIDTOWN - EVENING

WIDE SHOT--A large and very comfortable office over-

looking St. Patrick's Cathedral. At the moment the

office is filled to bursting with men and women, slumped

in chairs, sitting on desks, all of them very tense.

Among the crowd of people we note: MURRAY FISHER, a

young and very ambitious junior executive and PHYLLIS

BERNARD, an attractive woman in her early thirties.

She is a lawyer with the agency.

At the moment, TED KRAMER, nice-looking without being

what you would call a matinee idol, paces back and

forth. His tie is loosened, he checks his watch every

fifteen seconds. Clearly he is very distraught.

TED:

(predicting the worst)

They're not gonna call...I tell

you they're not gonna call. I

blew it. I don't know what I

did wrong, but I--

REVERSE ON JIM O'CONNOR--Ted's boss and good friend.

He is in his middle fifties, nattily dressed with the

slightly bleary look of a heavy drinker. He sits back

in his chair with his feet propped on the desk and a

drink in one hand.

O'CONNOR

(not unfriendly)

Ted, will you take it easy?

Revlon's not about to drop an

account that represents more

than two million in gross

billing receipts in a small

agency like this, without making

us sweat. Now just relax, okay?

Everything's gonna be fine.

TED:

(at this stage,

nothing will help)

I don't think so, Jim. Maybe I

shouldn't have--

Sound-effect:
the phone rings.

Everyone freezes. As O'Connor reaches for the phone,

CUT TO:

2A INT. CHILD'S ROOM, KRAMER APT. - EVENING

The room is dark, the only light coming from a small

night light. We SEE a beautiful five year old boy

(BILLY KRAMER). He lies in bed, half asleep. HOLD

FOR A BEAT as a beautiful woman (JOANNA KRAMER) leans

over, kisses the child and hugs him tightly to her.

JOANNA:

(intense)

I love you, Billy...

BILLY:

(drowsy)

I love you too, mommy...Good-

night...

ON JOANNA--She gets up from the bed and starts toward

the door of the child's room.

JOANNA:

Sleep tight...

BILLY:

Don't let the bedbugs bite...

Joanna stops in the doorway, silhouetted against the

light. She turns, takes a last look at her son, then

steps outside.

CUT TO:

3INT. HALLWAY - EVENING

ON JOANNA--Now that the light is brighter, we can SEE

her more clearly. In her mid-thirties, she is beauti-

ful, dressed in a style that can best be described as

Bloomingdale's. HOLD FOR A BEAT as she leans against

the door. It is clear from her expression that she

is terribly upset. Then, making up her mind, she

crosses to a closet and takes out a suitcase.

4THE CAMERA TRACKS WITH HER as she carries it into the

bedroom, lays it out on the bed and opens it. PAN WITH

HER as she crosses to a closet, grabs an armload of

clothes and dumps them helter-skelter into the

suitcase.

CUT TO:

5INT. O'CONNOR'S OFFICE - EVENING

It is a few minutes later, the news has obviously been

good because there is a general celebration in progress.

Jim O'Connor, now standing, raises one hand for

silence, then making a toast.

O'CONNOR

Here's to Ted Kramer.

Cheers and good-natured jokes.

O'CONNOR

(putting an arm around

Ted squeezing him tight)

I wanna tell you something about

this little runt. He went out

there and sold the shit out of

Revlon and that's why we got

the account. It was his idea,

it was his concept, right down

the line...

More hoots and cheers. People start to yell "Speech."

TED:

(embarrassed, but

cannot stop grinning)

All I can say...All I can say

is this is maybe one of the five

best days of my whole life...

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Robert Benton

Robert Douglas Benton is an American screenwriter and film director. He won the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Kramer vs. Kramer and won a third Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Places in the Heart. more…

All Robert Benton scripts | Robert Benton Books

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"Kramer vs. Kramer" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/kramer_vs._kramer_720>.

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