The Butler

Synopsis: The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. It is inspired by Wil Haygood's Washington Post article "A Butler Well Served by This Election".
Genre: Drama, History
Year:
2013
315 Views

INT. WESTFALL HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY - 1926

PATTY CAKE, 50’s, heavy, arranges baked chicken on a tray.

Cecil pays close attention. Annabeth enters to oversee.

ANNABETH:

Quiet when you’re serving. I don’t

even want to hear you breathe.

A fearful Cecil nods.

INT. WESTFALL HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT - 1926

Cecil stands behind Patty Cake holding a bowl of potatoes

that she scoops onto Annabeth’s, Thomas’, and her TEENAGE

GRANDSON’S plates. These men appear to be an ungrateful

bunch. Cecil holds his breath, struggling not to make a peep.

CECIL V.O.

It was much nicer working in the

house than in the field.

Thomas grabs Cecil’s arm.

THOMAS:

Give me more.

INT. STUDY - DAY - 1926

Cecil pours iced tea for Annabeth who reads The Adventure of

Sherlock Holmes. Annabeth examines the tea. Satisfied, she

goes back to her book, flicks her hand at him to leave.

INT. WESTFALL HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY - 1926

SEQUENCE - TIME LAPSE: Cecil serving throughout the household

as we dissolve from 8 year old Cecil to 15 year old Cecil.

15 year old Cecil bows his head at his father’s grave.

CECIL V.O.

When I got older, I knew I had to

go before he killed me too.

He then heads up the road walking through the poverty

stricken sharecropper’s houses.

CECIL V.O. (CONT’D)

Part of me was scared to leave, it

was the only world I ever knew.

4.

EXT. SHARECROPPER HOUSE - DAWN - 1933

Hattie Pearl sits in the corner, a shell of a woman. The

years have broken her mind. Cecil goes to his mother, he

holds out an old watch.

CECIL:

Ma, I took pa’s watch.

Hattie doesn’t respond.

CECIL (CONT’D)

Ma, I’m leavin’.

She’s too far gone to even notice him. He hugs her goodbye.

CECIL V.O.

My ma never spoke much after that.

I knew she’d miss me. But I also

knew she wanted me to leave that

place.

EXT. PORCH - NIGHT- LATER - 1933

Annabeth sits in the rocker on her porch as she tucks a book

into Cecil’s shirt.

CECIL V.O.

And even though Miss Annabeth never

said it, I knew she’d miss me too.

EXT. SHARECROPPER HOUSE - DIRT ROAD - 1933

Cecil walks down a lonely dirt road by himself.

CECIL V.O.

I don’t think God meant for people

to not have a family. I yearned for

one.

INT./EXT. CULVERT - NIGHT - 1933

A rainstorm hammers down upon the roof of a small culvert.

Cecil cradles his shivering body. Water drips from the roof

down onto Cecil’s head. DRIP...DRIP...DRIP. With each DRIP of

water, he looks like he’s slowly going mad.

CECIL V.O.

Outside the cotton fields was much

worse than I thought it’d be.

5.

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Danny Strong

Daniel W. Strong (born June 6, 1974) is an American actor, film and television writer, director, and producer. As an actor, Strong is best known for his roles as Jonathan Levinson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doyle McMaster in Gilmore Girls. more…

All Danny Strong scripts | Danny Strong Scripts

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Submitted by acronimous on March 03, 2019

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"The Butler" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Oct. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/the_butler_24131>.

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