EXT. SOUTHERN CITY STREET EXTREME CLOSEUP PARKING METER
Its irritating head opens a glaring red eye: the red flag
pops across the entire screen:
PARKING METER SUPPORT (NIGHT)
CLOSEUP of a pipe cutter attached to the meter neck, metal
slivers curling out. From o.s. we HEAR -- LUCAS JACKSON
cheerfully humming and mumbling Auld Lang Syne and then:
Okay, Mister General, you son of a
bitch. Sir. Think you can put things
right with a piece of tin with a
ribbon hangin' on it? Gonna put you
CLOSEUP PARKING METER (NIGHT)
as the meter head falls out of FRAME.
NEW ANGLE ON METER (NIGHT)
as it falls to the ground amidst a forest of meter stands
and Luke's hand comes into the FRAME to pick it up and we
SEE him in CLOSEUP for the first time. He is cheerful, drunk,
wearing a faded GI Field jacket. A bottle opener hangs on a
silver chain around his neck. He addresses the next meter.
All right. Helen, honey. I lost my
head over you. Now its your turn.
Suddenly the beam of headlights crashes in, FLARING the
ANGLE ON PROWL CAR (NIGHT)
sliding up to us, headlights glaring, red toplight revolving
menacingly. TWO OFFICERS, black shapes, get out and start
warily toward Luke.
ON LUKE (NIGHT)
illuminated by the headlights. He grins as the Officers
approach, lifts a bottle of beer, opens it and drinks,
smiling. On his smile, FREEZE FRAME. ON THE FRAME SUPER-IMPOSE
MAIN TITLE and as it FADES
EXT. CLOSEUP A YOYO BLADE IN THE SUN
It swings with a pendulum motion, its shining blade topping
a clump of grass and weeds; it swings on the backstroke,
lopping more grass, then moves a little away from CAMERA.
FROM CAMERA RIGHT, a pair of feet move INTO the FRAME, the
feet of the man swinging the yoyo. They are booted and
connected by chains, riveted around the ankles. The feet
move further INTO the FRAME and the SHOT WIDENS. We are on:
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD (DAY)
and we see the work gang in uniforms (14 men) flailing away
with yoyos, short-handled scythes in the hot sun, guarded by
three men. Three of the workers wear chains (Gambler,
Dynamite, Sailor). The scene is bleached and hot; the men
sweating and dirty in prison shirts and pants. The light
shifts during the following:
A MONTAGE OF A FULL DAY - SUPERIMPOSE TITLES AS APPROPRIATE
ANGLE ON RABBIT:
He is a trustee. He walks up INTO CAMERA and sets up sign:
SLOW DOWN -- MEN AT WORK
ANGLE ON DRAGLINE (9:00 A.M.)
He is a giant, covered with sweat and dust. He starts to
pull off his shirt.
Takin' it off here, Boss!
Yeah, take it off, Dragline!
ANGLE BOSS KEAN (11:00 A.M.)
pulling out watch, looking at the sun.
ANGLE THE BULL GANG
flailing away, most of them naked to the waist.
He is sweating streams.
Wipin' it off here, Boss!
Okay, wipe it off there, Koko.
Koko takes out a limp handkerchief and mops his face.
ANGLE ON GAMBLER (A CHAINMAN) (NOON)
his yoyo flashing like a sword. He pauses, panting.
Drinkin' it up here, Boss!
ANGLE BOSS KEAN:
Awright, drink it up, Gambler. Water
NEW ANGLE GAMBLER AND GANG
as Gambler takes a drink from a tin cup, passed by Rabbit.
FULL SHOT THE GANG (2:00 P.M.)
working away like a machine.
ANGLE PAST BOSS GODFREY TO BOSS SHORTY
Godfrey is the Walking Boss, silent, implacable symbol of
ultimate judgement. He wears a black hat, globular mirrored
sunglasses -- the Man With No Eyes, impassive, emotionless.
He nods to Boss Shorty.
Awright, smoke it up!