Chappaquiddick

Synopsis: Ted Kennedy's life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Production: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
  1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
6.6
Metacritic:
67
Rotten Tomatoes:
80%
PG-13
Year:
2017
106 min
2,149 Views


EXT. DIKE ROAD - NIGHT

A pair of FINE LEATHER SHOES, soaking wet, SQUISH along a

gravel road. With each step, water seeps through the tongue,

reflecting the amber hues of a nearby porch light.

Distant at first, the faint sounds of strained breathing growinto loud gasps for air. Glimpses of an exquisitely tailoredsuit drenched from head to toe. Water drips from the sleevepast a dead, gold Rolex.

Beads of sweat fall from a masculine brow revealing SENATORTED KENNEDY, 37.

EXT. LAWRENCE COTTAGE - NIGHT - MOMENTS LATER

Ted stumbles toward a quaint, Martha’s Vineyard vacationhome, which would resemble an Edward Hopper painting if itweren’t for the raucous party bursting from inside.

He lumbers over to an empty, WHITE PLYMOUTH VALIANT out

front. Opens the rear door and sits in the back seat. Afigure approaches, but Ted doesn’t look back.

TED:

Get me Joe Gargan. We got a problem.

INT. TED KENNEDY’S SENATE OFFICE - THE PREVIOUS DAY

A phone SLAMS down -

TED:

Get me Joe Gargan! We got a problem!

A SECRETARY rushes to her desk and dials frantically. Ted’saide DUN GIFFORD, 30, peeks his head through the door.

GIFFORD:

They’re ready for your interview,

Senator.

TED:

(to secretary)

The second you have him, patch him

through to me.

Ted storms out of his office as Gifford trails behind.

INT. SENATE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

STAFFERS and CAMERA CREW add to the chaos as Ted plows ahead.

DAVID BURKE, 33, Ted’s loyal chief of staff comes running up.

2.

DAVID BURKE:

Just spoke with the Majority Leader.

Ted scowls. Gifford hands him a sheet of paper with abulleted list of talking points.

TED:

(to Gifford)

When does this interview air?

DAVID BURKE:

Senator, you’re not going to like it.

GIFFORD:

Sunday. Just before Apollo 11

starts its descent.

TED:

And these are the talking points?

DAVID BURKE:

Senator. Your health care bill is

making us enemies in the partyleadership --

Ted shoves the talking points in David Burke’s face.

TED:

This is why we’re focused on nationalnews. My name gives me a platforminto every American home. I can speakdirectly to the people instead ofwaiting for the leadership to knowshit from Shinola.

Ted picks up a phone on a corner table, smashes a few buttons.

TED (CONT’D)

Did you get Joe yet?!

SECRETARY (V.O.)

He’s not answering.

TED:

Well, keep trying him!

Ted slams the phone down and enters through a double doorway.

INT. SENATE CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS

A TV CREW with multiple cameras overrun the conference room.

DICK DRAYNE, 31, Ted’s press secretary, catches up to him at

the entryway and guides him past the lights and cables. Tedreviews the talking points with growing frustration.

3.

TED:

What are they thinking I can saythat’s remotely intelligent aboutthe moon landing?

DRAYNE:

They just want you to talk aboutPresident Kennedy. I don’t thinkthey’re expecting anythingintelligent.

Ted tosses the talking points aside.

TED:

My point exactly.

They reach an empty chair across from an ABC REPORTER. Tedshakes his hand.

TED (CONT’D)

So, you’re the man they got to

represent all three networks.

ABC REPORTER:

Well, I represent ABC. But this eventis so historic that we’re licensingyour interview out to the other two.

Ted settles in while a MAKEUP GIRL powders his face and anAUDIO TECH mics him up.

TED:

Good! I don’t get out of bed for lessthan two networks worth of coverage.

The reporter and crew all force smiles and strained chuckles.

ABC REPORTER:

Alright, I think we’re set. Let’sroll camera.

The red lights of the cameras turn on, capturing Ted’ssignature politician smile.

ABC REPORTER (CONT’D)

“We choose to go to the moon notbecause it is easy but because it ishard.” What does your brother’spromise to America mean to you?

TED:

Well, he always was someone who kepthis promises.

(beat)

My brother committed his life to theidea that the United States was the

beacon of democracy for the world.

(MORE)

4.

TED (CONT'D)

And so too, for my family, I thinkhe was a beacon. Someone we all

looked up to, aspired to be, andultimately hope to live up to.

(beat)

I know I sure did.

ABC REPORTER:

He said this mission would have,

quote, “a great impact on the mindsof men across the nation.”

TED:

I think my brother set the coursefor the whole nation in a way thatwe can never abandon. You see it in

the space program, sure, but you cansee it in the passage of the CivilRights Act, the passage of theImmigration Act...even in my own

life, I often ask, “What would Jackhave me do?”

(beat)

Jack Kennedy cast a long shadow; andhe still does. It’s one I walk in

every day.

ABC REPORTER:

What’s it like walking in that shadow?

Ted gives this question a moment of reflection before heremoves his lapel mic. Stands up.

TED:

I think you have what you need.

INT. SENATE HALLWAY - DAY

Ted exits the conference room and finds himself immediatelyflanked on both sides by David Burke and Gifford.

DAVID BURKE:

I got Mansfield’s support on thehealth care bill.

TED:

Did we find Gargan, yet?

DAVID BURKE:

I’m not sure. I was more focused on

salvaging our relationship with theMajority Leader.

TED:

You’re worrying about the wrongthing.

(MORE)

5.

TED (CONT'D)

Mansfield’s smart enough to know I’mgoing to be his boss in three years.

INT. TED KENNEDY’S SENATE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Ted enters his office. His secretary shoots to her feet.

SECRETARY:

Joe Gargan is holding for you.

Ted heads straight for his phone and picks it up.

TED:

Joey!

EXT. SHIRETOWN INN - DAY

JOE GARGAN, 39, Ted’s cousin, stands in a phone booth outsidea small, seaside hotel.

He slicks back a comb over hiding the early signs of areceding hairline. This makes him stick out like a blacksheep at Kennedy family gatherings. Along with his glasses.

GARGAN:

What’s going on, Teddy? I’ve beenon hold here for ten minutes.

INTERCUT:

Ted leans back in his chair and gives a childlike shrug.

TED:

I really needed to talk to you.

He puts his feet on the desk.

GARGAN:

Well, it must have been somethingpretty damn important.

Gargan’s eyes roll; he knows it’s not.

TED:

The hotel on the Vineyard is

overbooked.

GARGAN:

I just checked in. I’m holding thekey to our room right here.

TED:

Not our hotel room. The girls! MaryJo just called me.

6.

GARGAN:

I’m sure she can find all of them

another place. Mary Jo was the most

resourceful of Bobby’s oldsecretaries.

TED:

They don’t know the island! I needthis handled properly.

GARGAN:

What do you want me to do? Slap aninjunction on the desk clerk untilhe coughs up a room?

TED:

I don’t need a lawyer, I need myadvance man!

GARGAN:

I’ve still gotta rig the hull. Theregatta is this afternoon -

TED:

I know when the race is. I’m

sailing the damn boat with you.

GARGAN:

But what about the party?

TED:

There’s no party if the Boiler RoomGirls aren’t there.

Ted stands up from his chair. He grabs a FRAMED PHOTO sitting

on his desk:
Ted, no older than thirteen, plays by the poolwith his brothers Jack and Bobby.

Rate this script:4.3 / 3 votes

Taylor Allen & Andrew Logan

Taylor Allen & Andrew Logan are screenwriters. more…

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