Three Kings script
Three Kings (1999)
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden gold. Led by cynical Sergeant Major Archie Gates (George Clooney), three of the men are rescued by rebels, but Sergeant Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) is captured and tortured by Iraqi intelligence. The Iraqi rebels beg for the American trio to help fight against the impending arrival of Hussein's Elite Guard. The men agree to fight in return for help rescuing Troy.

FADE IN:

EXT. IRAQI DESERT - DAY

WIDE ANGLE POV of wide open desert, flat grey sky.

THE CAMERA is running forward, toward a big sand berm in the

distance. There are O.S. sounds: SOLDIER'S EQUIPMENT

CLANKING, BOOTS RUNNING ON SAND. Hear a MAN's BREATHING.

The back of his helmeted head and his uniformed shoulders

APPEAR in the BOTTOM of the FRAME, running. This is TROY

BARLOW, Sargeant, U.S. Army, 25 years old. On his helmet is

a photo-button with a photo of a newborn baby.

Suddenly, on the sand berm 100 meters ahead, an IRAQI SOLDIER

stands. Troy stops in his tracks, out of breath, and stares

at the figure on the berm. The Iraqi flutters a white flag

over his head, then puts it down and picks up a gun. Troy

turns around, we see his face for the first time.

TROY:

Are we shooting people, or what?

SOLDIER #1 (O.S.)

Are we shooting?

TROY:

That's what I'm asking you.

SOLDIER #1 (O.S.)

What's the answer?

TROY:

I don't know the answer. That's

what I'm trying to find out.

PAN TO THREE SOLDIERS 40 yards away -- ZOOM IN --

SOLDIER #1 unwraps a stick of gum and puts it into his mouth.

TWO OTHER SOLDIERS put out their hands and get pieces of gum.

PAN TO 100 yards away -- ZOOM IN -- SOLDIER #2 stands with

his head tilted back while SOLDIER #3 looks into his eye.

SOLDIER #3

It looks like a grain of sand, but

I don't know how I'm gonna get it

out--

CAPTAIN VAN METER, 37, crab-like, is in the far distance.

CAPTAIN VAN METER

If they surrender, don't shoot, if

they don't surrender, then shoot.

PAN BACK TO Troy, faces the CAMERA, CLOSE, scared, then turns

back to the dune and runs a few yards.

Stops and stares, raises his rifle. He aims at the figure on

the horizon.

POV THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE

The Iraqi soldier in the cross hairs. Hear Troy's breathing,

loud, as he pulls trigger slowly. Slow motion RIFLE sound.

Silent pause. The Iraqi soldier stands there, then his neck

explodes like a sack of blood. Silent, except for sound of

Troy's LOUD BREATHING as he walks toward the big berm, and up

to the crest. All we hear are his footsteps and breathing.

SOLDIER #3 (O.S.)

That guy just shot a towel head.

SOLDIER #4 (O.S.)

Bullshit.

YOUNG IRAQI SOLDIER

lies on the ground. A piece of his neck is blown away. He is

rasping, a flag is clasped in one hand; a rifle in the other.

He is looking up at Troy, who looks down at him.

SMASH CUT TO:

FANTASY - INT. HOSPITAL, TORRANCE, CAL. - DAY

A WHITE BABY GIRL, covered in blood and placenta, is pulled

from between the legs of Troy's WIFE, DARLENE. THE NURSE

holds the SCREAMING BABY aloft, proud and happy.

VIG (V.O.)

(deep southern accent)

Congratulations, you got yourself

a rag head, my man.

EXT. IRAQI DESERT - DAY (PRESENT)

The rasping Iraqi dies.

PAN TO CONRAD VIG, 18 or 20, wiry, intense, deep south,

wearing Army issue glasses, out of breath.

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David O. Russell

David Owen Russell (born August 20, 1958) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. His early directing career includes the comedy films Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999) and I ♥ Huckabees (2004). more…

All David O. Russell scripts | David O. Russell Books

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