My Own Private Idaho script
Synopsis: In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike's estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.

INSIDE, WE SEE:

Counters displaying COLORFUL COMIC-LIKE plastic covered MAGAZINE

and BOOK COVERS with names like HONCHO - BUTCH - JOYBOY.

INDICATING A Homoerotic section of the bookshop.

GROUPS OF MEN loiter about the magazine shop flipping through the

books and disappearing in and out of curtained doors.

THE COUNTERMAN is on the phone.

Next to him is a particularly interesting YOUNG MAN on the cover

of one of the magazines - a bright yellow background, jeans open

two buttons on the top, shirtless wearing a black cowboy hat.

This character is named SCOTT.

FULL VIEW of the MAGAZINE cover as Scott comes to life - and

talks to us.

SCOTT:

I never thought I could be a real

model, you know fashion-shit,

cause I'm better at full body

stuff It.8 okay so long as the

photographer doesn't come on to

you and expect something for no

pay I'm trying to make a living,

you know, and I like to be

professional 'Course if the guy

wants to pay me, then shit/yeah.

Here I am for him. I'll sell my

ass, I do it on the street all the

time for cash. And I'll be on the

cover of a book. It's when you

start doing it for free that you

start to grow wings, Right, Mike?

ACROSS THE AISLE ON ANOTHER SHELF IS ANOTHER COVER OF A MAGAZINE,

AND ANOTHER YOUNG MAN ON THE COVER STARTS TO MOVE AND SPEAK,

ADDRESSING SCOTT.

This character is named MIKE. (MIKE SHOULD BE DIFFERENT FROM

SCOTT, MIKE SHOULD BE BLOND AND SCOTT SHOULD BE BROWN HAIRED,

ALTHOUGH BOTH POSSESS A CERTAIN PAINFUL DOWN AND OUT HANDSOMENESS

OF A STREET HUSTLER.)

MIKE:

What are you talking about? What

wings?

SCOTT:

Wings, man, you grow Wings and

become a FAIRY

MIKE:

I ain't no fairy.

ANOTHER COVERBOY INTERRUPS MIKE AND SCOTT'S DISCUSSION, BUTTING

IN.

COVERBOY:

He ain't saying you is a fairy;

faggot, he's saying that if you go

working for free then you has no

choice, you turn into a fairy,

with wings and all. That's all he

mean, dunk.

MIKE (to Scott)

Well, nevertheless, what do you

care about doing stuff for free or

for money, shit You're going to

inherit a hunch of money, you

might as well do it for free.

COVERBOY:

Is that right, sweetie?

OTHER COVERBOYS PERK UP AND START FLIRTING WITH SCOTT

COVERBOY 2

How much is a bunch of money;

honey?

COVERBOY 3

What are you doing on the cover of

that magazine, slumming?

Scott listens to all of them then looks back at Mike. Mike

smiles.

SCOTT:

(to us)

Actually, I'm on the street to

settle a bet with my goddamned

stone-faced old man. I've decided to

live away from home for three years.

To prove a point. That I can live on

my own. And to appreciate the value

of a dollar. And Mike is right,

there, I am going to inherit money.

A lot of money

IdAho

The desert in the daytime.

MIKE enters the frame in front of a blue sky filled with white

clouds. He has a Texaco gas station attendant's shirt on with a

name tag that reads: BILL (not Mike, his name).

The clouds are puffy against a deep blue sky. The road is red.

Purple mountains surround Mike on all sides far in the distance,

ten miles away. Mike looks in front of him at a long stretch of

road that disappears into the horizon.

Mike looks at his wristwatch on his arm. He times how long it

takes to walk ten steps down the road.

Ten seconds. He glances back at a duffel bag. The duffel bag

falls over.

Mike looks at the picturesque sights surrounding him. A wind

sends a tumbleweed into the air. He takes ten steps back to his

duffle bag and checks watch again.

The sun is now setting.

MIKE:

(to himself)

You can always tell where you are by

the way the road looks. Like I Just

know that I been to this place

before. I Just know that I been

stuck here like this one fuckin'

time before, you know that?

ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD A JACKRABBIT IS LISTENING TO HIM.

MIKE:

There ain't no other road on earth

that looks like this road. I mean,

exactly like this road. (sniffs)

One of a kind. (Sniffs) Like

someone's face. Like a fucked up

face...

THE ROAD HAS A DEFINITE FACE. TWO DISTANT CACTUS FOR EYES - A

CLOUD SHADOW FOR A MOUTH, MOUNTAINS FOR HAIR.

MIKE:

Once you see it, even for a

second, you remember it, and you

better not forget it, you gotta

remember people and who they are,

right? Friends and enemies. You

gotta remember the road and where

it is too...

MIKE SUDDENLY LUNGES AT THE LITTLE RABBIT LISTENING TO HIS CHAT

ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, AND THE RABBIT RUNS FOR HIS LIFE.

MIKE:

I Just love to scare things... I

don't know. It gives me a sense

of.... Power.

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Gus Van Sant

Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. is an American film director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician and author who has earned acclaim as both an independent and more mainstream filmmaker. more…

All Gus Van Sant scripts | Gus Van Sant Books

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"My Own Private Idaho" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/my_own_private_idaho_711>.

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