Almost Famous

Synopsis: Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan who is inspired by the seminal bands of the time. When his love of music lands him an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater -- fronted by lead guitar Russell Hammond and lead singer Jeff Bebe William embarks on an eye-opening journey with the band's tour, despite the objections of his protective mother.
Production: DreamWorks SKG
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 52 wins & 103 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.9
Metacritic:
90
Rotten Tomatoes:
89%
R
Year:
2000
122 min
$31,716,715
Website
1,106 Views


1FADE IN1

A close-shot of a yellow legal tablet. A young hand comes

into frame, holding a pencil. For a few moments, we hear only

the soft scratching of pencil on paper, as credits are written

in a series of dissolves. The hand carefully erases and

corrects an error or two along the way. And then the sound of

an old friend... the warm crackle of a vinyl record... as we

now hear Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Christmas Song."

2EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN -- DAY2

A lone palm tree rises up into a yellow afternoon sky. Behind

it, the sparkling blue of the Pacific Ocean and the city of

San Diego. A dry, hot Southern California day. Even the wind

is lazy, and a little bored.

3EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD SHOPPING CENTER - DAY3

Santa Claus wears shorts and sandals, ringing a bell as he

collects for the Salvation Army. This is Christmas in the

Southland. No snow, no winter wonderland. Just a pleasantly

thick heat and an unchanging season, as music continues.

Turning the corner, walking into frame is ELAINE MILLER, 35.

She is a tall woman, consumed by the fevered conversation she's

Having with her pale young son WILLIAM, late pre-teens. They

stand apart from the other shoppers. All around them is the

highly-charged salesmanship of the season... silver glittering

fake Christmas trees. She hurries her son through the

commercial juggernaut, continuing their lively intellectual

conversation, when something stops her. A Workman is affixing

letters to a store-front. He has already placed the MERRY...

now he's finishing the XMAS. Elaine is strong, but always

pleasant, always clear about her purpose in this life.

ELAINE:

Excuse me, I'm a teacher. There is no

word in The English Language -- "Xmas."

It's either Merry Christmas... or Happy

Holidays.

The Workman nods thanks, with faux appreciation, as Mom turns

away. The Workman shares a look with William, who shrugs -

that's my Mom.

TITLE:
1969

4EXT. MINI-TRACT CONDO COMPLEX -- DAY4

This is the new professional-class. It's a mini-condo

community. Rows of Spanish-styled three-bedroom houses with

common walls. Move in on one of these homes, the one without

Christmas lights. At the door is a furtive 15 year-old Girl.

She checks her cheek, straightens her hair. She hides

something under her coat, and gathers the proper nonchalance

to enter. Music fades.

5INT. KITCHEN -- DAY5

We now hear the dialogue between this lively Mother and her

son, as she cooks a pan full of soy-based health-food cutlets.

The meal simmers unappetizingly in the pan. Across the kitchen

we see William. He's a great listener, with a calm and curious

face that takes everything in.

WILLIAM:

- so Livia -

ELAINE:

-- killed everyone off so her son

Tiberius could inherit the throne.

(thoughtful pause)

Just like Nixon.

William nods, intrigued. He has a good disposition. The

world of knowledge engages him, and he loves what it brings

out in his Mom. There is a small clatter at the front door,

as the girl we've just seen enters, barely brushing some chimes.

She silently curses herself.

ELAINE (cont'd)

Anita, is that you?

ANITA'S VOICE

Hey Mom! I already ate.

Mom moves to the living room to greet William's sister. William

peers into the next room.

6INT. LIVING ROOM -- DAY6

She's almost to her bedroom down the hall when mom catches

her. We now discover ANITA, 16, up-close. She is an alluring

young Natalie Wood, with a suspicious and sunny smile.

ELAINE:

You sure? I'm making soy cutlets.

The words "soy cutlets" sends a small shiver through the girl.

ANITA:

I'm fine. Already ate.

William stands in the doorway now, watching, monitoring, as

Mom moves closer to his sister. She sees something curious

about her daughter.

ELAINE:

Wait. You've been kissing.

ANITA:

(too quickly)

No I haven't.

ELAINE:

(peering at her lips)

Yes... yes, you have...

ANITA:

No I haven't.

ELAINE:

Yes you have. I can tell.

ANITA:

(boldly)

You can't tell.

Mom steps closer and examines the lips even more carefully.

To her, everything is a quest for knowledge.

ELAINE:

Not only can I tell, I know who it is.

It's Darryl.

Anita is stunned silent. She turns slightly to look at herself

in a hall mirror, searching for clues, implicating herself

immediately.

ELAINE (cont'd)

And what have you got under your coat?

This is the booty Anita didn't want to give up. Mom picks at

the corner of an album cover now visible under her jacket.

She withdraws the album. It's Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends.

ANITA:

(busted)

It's unfair that we can't listen to

our music!

ELAINE:

(weary of the issue)

Honey, it's all about drugs and

promiscuous sex.

ANITA:

Simon and Garfunkel is poetry!

ELAINE:

Yes it's poetry. It's the poetry of

drugs and promiscuous sex. Look at

the picture on the cover...

CLOSE ON BOOKENDS ALBUM COVER

Mom's fingers at the edges. We examine the insolent faces on

Richard Avedon's classic album cover. Even Simon and Garfunkle

look guilty under her scholarly inspection.

ELAINE (cont'd)

... honey, they're on pot.

ANITA:

First it was butter, then sugar and

white flour.

(beat)

Bacon. Eggs, bologna, rock and roll,

motorcycles.

Nearby, William squirms as he watches the gently escalating

conversation. Anita glances at her brother. He silently

urges her to downshift. She can't.

ANITA (cont'd)

Then it was celebrating Christmas on a

day in September When you knew it

wouldn't be "commercialized."

ELAINE:

That was an experiment. But I

understand -

ANITA:

What else are you going to ban?

ELAINE:

Honey, you want to rebel against

knowledge.

ELAINE (cont'd)

I'm trying to give you the Cliff's

Notes on how to live in this world.

ANITA:

(simple and direct)

We're like nobody else I know.

These are the words that sting Mom most.

ELAINE:

I'm a teacher. Why can't I teach my

own kids?

(pats chest)

Use me.

ANITA:

Darryl says you use knowledge to keep

me down. He says I'm a "yes" person

and you're trying to raise us in a

"no" environment!

ELAINE:

(immediately, can't help

it)

Well, clearly, "no" is a word Darryl

doesn't hear much.

Anita gasps. Ever the peacemaker, William weighs in. Nearby

is a poster - "No More War."

WILLIAM:

Mom --

ELAINE:

Everything I say is wrong.

ANITA:

I can't live here! I hate you! Even

William hates you!

WILLIAM:

I don't hate her.

ANITA:

(to William)

You don't even know the truth!

William looks vaguely confused.

ELAINE:

Sweetheart, don't be a drama queen.

Anita takes a breath and then out of her mouth comes the

strangled-sounding words of a kid swearing at her parent for

the first time.

ANITA:

Feck you! All of you!

ELAINE:

Hey!

Anita runs down the hall to her room. Elaine turns to William,

relating to him more as a fellow parent than a child.

ELAINE (cont'd)

Well, there it is. Your sister using

the "f" word.

WILLIAM:

I think she said "feck."

ELAINE:

(sputtering)

What's the difference?

WILLIAM:

(encouraging)

Well. The letter "u"...

Shot moves in on the kid, as we hear the opening strains of

The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin."

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Cameron Crowe

Cameron Bruce Crowe (born July 13, 1957) is an American actor, author, director, producer, screenwriter and journalist. Before moving into the film industry, Crowe was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, for which he still frequently writes. more…

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    "Almost Famous" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/almost_famous_298>.

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