Born to Be Blue

Synopsis: Born to be Blue starring Ethan Hawke is a re-imagining of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker's life in the 60's. When Chet stars in a film about himself, a romance heats up with his costar, the enigmatic Jane (Carmen Ejogo). Production is shelved when Chet's past comes back to haunt him and it appears he may never play music again but Jane challenges him to mount a musical comeback against all the odds.
Director(s): Robert Budreau
  3 wins & 7 nominations.
97 min


[projector whirring]

[soft vocal and string music]


- Sunk.

- K5.

[soft music]


- [sighs]

[low dramatic music]


[breathing heavily]

[music intensifies]


[door opens]

- [speaking in foreign language]

[jazz music]


[women screaming]

[indistinct chatter]

- Are you coming to the show?

Who do you like better,

me or Miles Davis?

- We're proud

to present the man

who's been voted number one

in the nation

for both trumpet and vocals.

All the way from the sunny

shores of California,

the James Dean of jazz,

the Prince of Cool,

the man "Time" magazine credits

with inventing West Coast Swing.

[cheers and applause]

That's right, folks.

And he's here

playing a double bill

with our very own Miles Davis

and Dizzy Gillespie.

Making his Birdland debut,

Chet Baker

and his quartet!

[cheers and applause]

- It's gonna be great.

It's gonna be great.

- How do I look?

- Perfect.

[cheers and applause]

[jazz music]

[audience cheering]


[lively trumpet melody]





[cheers and applause]

- Yeah, baby!


- Thank you.

Thank you very much.

- We love you, Chet!

[frantic jazz music]



[indistinct chatter]

- Shh!

Elaine? Honey?

[music continues]


[both laugh]



- And then you wait

till it melts.

I can't believe

you never tried before.

You're so square.

- I hate needles.

Will you do it for me?

- Yeah.

Hello, fear.

- Hello, fear.


- Get it tight.

Hello, death.

- Hello, death.

- F*** you.

- F*** you.


[door opens]

Oh, hey, babe.

Hey, hey.

- Get out.

Get out!

Take your sh*t with you!

And you too!

I should have known.

Stop it!

God damn it!

- I'm so sorry.

- It was, like, a week.

That is your child.

- [indistinct mumbling]

- What is this sh*t?

What is this sh*t?

[breathing heavily]

You did this

because of Miles?

Chet, say something!

- Shh.


See, once you're here,

it's like you're crawling back

inside your mama's womb

clinking and clanging.

It all melts away,

and you can hear.

- This is the scene

where you're meant

to do heroin

for the first time.

- I know what scene it is.

- Those are not the lines.

- Well, he told me

to make up lines.

He said he wanted it

to be improve.

- But that's way off script.

Come on.

- Well, the whole thing

is fake.

I mean, if you want it

to be real,

there should just be puke


It wasn't like this at all.

I was 22, for f***'s sake.

- That's going way, way off

script, Chet.

- I don't know

what the f*** I'm doing.

Can we just

do the make-out part again?

- I lost a nail.

- All right, guys.

- Yeah.

[telephone ringing]

- Do you want

to rehearse the scene,

or do you want to pick up

on Monday?

- We'll pick up on Monday.

- All right, folks, that's

a wrap. See you next week.

- That's unprofessional, Chet.

- Jane?

- Yeah.

- Jane, that was great.

- I don't think so.

- Keep doing what you're doing.

- Okay, you sure?

- Yeah, just keep improvising.

You'll be okay.

- All right.

Appreciate it.

Oh, thanks, Ellie.

[indistinct chatter]

- What I'm doing is trying to

make him look like a nice guy.

- No, no, what you're doing

is making me look

like a clown.

- Oh, are you Dick Bock?

- Yeah, yeah, I-


- Hey, Dick.

- Why didn't you tell me

you were back in the US

and now you're shooting

a movie?

- Well, I...

- I thought you had

another couple of years in jail.

- Well, I-I was supposed to,

you know,

but then this director, he's

like, he's super talented-

- Oh, and he offered you

a lot of money?

- Well, he paid somebody;

that's for sure.

- Oh, I could've

played myself, Chet.

- Dick, you're not-

you're not an actor.

- Neither are you.

- Well, that's true.


Don't tell anyone.

- A let's, uh-

a let's changed since you left.

- Yeah, I see.

- Jazz is dying.

Dylan went electric.

- You sold Pacific, Dick.

- No, I built it up.

You tore it down.

- We built it up-

- I built it up.

- We built it up.

- You tore it down.

- And-and you sold it out.

- I sold-yeah, at least

I didn't abandon my wife and kid

and become the world's

biggest junkie.

- I did f*** everything up,

didn't I?

- Yeah.

- I miss you, Dick.

I really do.

- Chet!

- I just wish

you would have called.

- Two-two seconds, okay?

I should've called.

I'm-I'm sorry.

- Yeah.

- [chuckles]

You remember that old

daft pharmacist at Jerry's

that give us the prescriptions

for those morphine


- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh, you liked him.

- Well, I had to be high

before I could get my finger

out of my ass.

- Chet!

- Yeah, two-two seconds.

What happened to him?

- Yeah, he's in jail.

Aren't you on the-aren't you

on the straight and narrow?

- Oh, yeah.

- Yeah?

- Yeah.

Clean as a hound's tooth.

- Great.

All right,

let's get together.

All right? Let's talk

about doing another record.

- I would like that

very much, Dick.

- We're grown-ups now.

Let's do another record.

- Let's do it.

That'd be great.

- All right.

- Hey, Nick,

is everything okay?

- It's going great.

It's gonna be great.

Look, tomorrow the studio booked

another press conference.

- Another press?

- In the afternoon.

- In the afternoon? What time?

- 1:

- Hi, Chet.

- 1:
00, okay.

- Listen, how's it going

with you and Jane?

Everything okay?

- I don't know.

I mean, you tell me.

- I think it's great.

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Robert Budreau

Robert Budreau (born January 25, 1974) is a Canadian director, screenwriter and producer at his production company Lumanity with offices in Toronto. Budreau was born in London, Ontario. Before completing the highly acclaimed Born to Be Blue starring Ethan Hawke, he made the Genie-nominated theatrical feature film That Beautiful Somewhere starring Roy Dupuis, and before that, he made a series of short films that won awards at film festival around the world and aired on various television stations. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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