U Turn script
U Turn (1997)
Synopsis: U Turn is a 1997 modern western neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone, and based on the book Stray Dogs by John Ridley. It stars Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes and Nick Nolte.

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST - DAY

BEGIN TITLES OVER:

It is early morning and already hot. INSECTS drone, crackle,

and scurry for shade. PRAIRIE DOGS burrow to escape the sun.

We can see the heat shimmering off the surface of the Earth.

On a dusty highway, a pair of VULTURES dine on a dead coyote.

One of them snags an intestine and tugs a few feet of it out of

the carcass.

In the distance, where a long, dusty road meets the horizon, a

small shape appears -- a Sixty-four-and-a-half Mustang

convertible, its top down. Its candy-apple red burns like a

brilliant fireball under the sun. As the car drifts closer, we

see steam escaping from under the hood. Sammi Smith's "Please

Help Me Get Through The Night" plays on the car's radio.

INT. BOBBY COOPER'S MUSTANG - DAY

At the wheel, ignoring impending disaster, BOBBY COOPER, young,

good-looking, fiddles with the RADIO dial, annoyed only to find

country stations. He's been driving since noon yesterday and it

shows -- along with a heavily-bandaged left hand resting on the

steering wheel. He finds something by Pearl Jam or Smashing

Pumpkins and he cranks it. He pops a Percodan with his good hand

as, in the shimmering distance ahead, he sees black shapes in

the road and lays on the horn.

BOBBY:

Get off the goddamn road!

EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY

As the MUSTANG powers by, the VULTURES move off the shoulder,

silently watching.

INT. MUSTANG - DAY

The RADIO blares as BOBBY fights to stay awake. His attention is

caught by blue and red lights flashing in the oncoming lane. He

sits up as the POLICE CAR (SHERIFF POTTER inside) closes

quickly. The SIREN starts faintly, then SCREAMS as the cruiser

roars past at speed.

BOBBY:

Fuck you!

There is a loud pop from the front of the Mustang and a thick

cloud of steam now pours from the hood. The temperature gauge

now starts rising.

BOBBY:

No!...Not now!...Shit!

A couple of SEMIS roar past in the opposite direction,

buffetting the Mustang with their air waves.

EXT. FORK IN THE ROAD - DAY

The car rolls into a fork in the road, limping with the droop of

an animal that won't make another hundred yards.

One sign on the larger road says "GLOBE" is 29 miles away. The

other sign, on the lesser road, tells us "SUPERIOR" is only 2

miles. A third sign confirms his destiny with "Gas, Food, 1

Mile."

BOBBY seems to have no choice. He aims the car down the lesser

road towards "Superior, Arizona."

EXT. OUTSKIRTS SUPERIOR - DAY

The car rattles on its last legs, as BOBBY mutters incantations,

noticing a old, ghostlike MINING COMPANY at the base of the

mountains overlooking the TOWN. It's deserted now, no one

visible, the gates shut, but in its vast, dark bulk, we sense

the ancient richness and power of this town. Bobby moves on.

EXT. HARLIN'S GARAGE - DAY

Down the road from the MINING COMPANY, BOBBY'S CAR pulls into a

small GAS STATION, made of weather-beaten wood, its windows long

since dusted over. The pumps themselves look to have been

manufactured in the early fifties. Above the station is a sign

so faded it's barely readable: HARLIN'S.

Bobby gets out of the car and with great care, favoring his

bandaged left hand which seems to give him a great deal of pain,

he opens the hood. A plume of steam hits him in the face.

BOBBY:

Oh shit!

Bobby looks around for someone, anyone. After a few moments he

reaches into the car and blows the horn. He waits, then blows

it again. From out of the station walks DARRELL - a

slow-looking man in coveralls caked with grease and dirty. He

looks the part of a yokel.

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John Ridley

John Ridley IV (born October 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, and showrunner, known for 12 Years a Slave, for which he won an Academy Award in 2013 for Best Adapted Screenplay. more…

All John Ridley scripts | John Ridley Books

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