1500 Words

Synopsis: What would you do if you went to the doctors and discovered that you only had 1500 words left to live? What would you say? Are some words more important than others? '1500 Words' is a funny and moving short film about one man trying to keep his marriage and himself alive whilst using the fewest words possible.
9 min

Well thank you for coming in

we've had the test results in at last

There's been a bit of a wait

but no surprise there

The bad news is the results themselves...

When Stanley Franks was told

he had 1500 words left to live

his reaction could be said to consist

of 5 distinct stages.

Firstly, anger

No! You're wrong! You're wrong!

You're wrong! You're wrong!

You don't know what you're on about!

Talking out your arse!


Then came despair

I don't wanna to die

Then a terrible thirst

A brief half-hearted attempt at suicide

and finally quiet resignation

When he'd finished

the doctor straightened his tie

reunited the skeleton with his tibia

and informed Stanley that the total

now stood at 50.

He handed Stanley a silver metallic counter

and then returned to writing a letter

in which he explained to his wife

that he was running off with the local

oncolagist called Patricia.

NOTE Paragraph

If you're really struggling

you can call this number

Thank you doctor


Stanley wondered how

he was going to tell Julia

He reasoned that 46 words should

be more than enough to sustain

a loving relationship.

They'd known each other since school.

What more really needed to be said?

Plus, she wasn't good with big news.

He'd seen that at first hand

with the whole Princess Diana episode.

In the end, Stanley decided the best thing

to do was just not tell her,

and see how that went.

Stanley had worked out,

that the majority of a relationship

the real grist, was spent in silence anyway.

40% of it you slept.

Then you had eating.

Brushing your teeth.

Watching TV.

Taking the bins out.

That left maybe 30% of your day

to worry about.

Stanley found that the best method

to fill any potentially awkward silences,

was a combination of winking,

long meaningful eye contact,

and playful punches on the arm.


Every now and again, he would adorn her

with exotic and unusual words,

as if they were precious stones.

Words like:



and occasionally...



after a while Julia had had enough

of all the winking, the arm punching,

and the staring at her while she slept.

The silence began to fill the house,


like a gas leak.

Until it was eventually broken

by the 4 words that Stanley

had been dreading.

"We need to talk"

Stanley went to the place he

always went to in times of strife...

the woods.

Armed with a 12 pack of super strength

Danish lager.

There he drank.

He drank until language lost all meaning

Verbs, tenses, cases collapsed around him.

Grammar dissolved, pronouns prolapsed.

Words became strange guttural noises.

He drank until he was just another animal

heaving and lowing at the midday sun.

He bellowed at the trees

he howled at the birds

and still he drank

until he had just one word left.

Stanley awoke the next day with a start.

He thought back to the night before,

and dimly recalled shouting

the word "Julia" over and over again

at a nearby duck.

Which in retrospect was a real waste.

Hello! Please enter how many words

you have left.

You have...

1... words left

Is this correct?

Press 1 for yes,

or 3 for...

I'm sorry... to hear that.

Would you like to hear a list of suggested

last words? Press 1 for yes or...

Suggested last words:






If you would like us to send a loved one

a recorded message, press zero.

Please type in your loved one's name

using the keypad on your telephone now.

You typed in...


Is this correct?

Press 1 for yes...

Or 3...

Great. Composing suggested message to...

Jugliat now.

"Dear Jugliat,

I'm so sorry I'm dead,

I'll be waiting for you in heaven".

Would you like to send this message?

Press 1 for yes, or 3 for....

To record your own personal message to

Jugliat, press zero now.

For suggested adjectives which best

describe your loved one, press 1.

For help recalling the first time you met,

press 2.

For words that rhyme with...

Jugliat, press 3.

For help putting into words how much

you love them, press 4.

For more time, press 5.

I'm sorry, I didn't get that.

Would you like more time?

Would you like more time?

Would you like more time?

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James Menzies

All James Menzies scripts | James Menzies Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "1500 Words" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/1500_words_1562>.

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