Frame on the Wall: The Making of 'The Door in the Floor'

26 min

Dead means they're broken?

Well, their bodies

are broken, yes.

And they're under the ground?

Their bodies are, yes.

Tell me what dead is.

Mmm. When you--

When you look at the photographs

of Thomas and Timothy,

do you remember the stories

of what they're doing?


Hmm, well,

Tom and Timmy are alive

in your imagination.

lt makes me sad

to think about them.

Makes me sad too, Ruthie.

But Mommy's sadder.

Well, yes.

[ Rhythmic Clicking ]

[ Clicking Continues ]

[ No Audible Dialogue ]


Does your son have a driver's license?

Huh! Ooh!



You don't have to yell, Minty.


Well, let me consider it, will ya?


All right.

l'll call you back. Bye.

Eh, it still gets cold

in the evening, huh?


Jesus. Look at this yard.

We should clear out some of these

straggly looking flower beds.

l want to put in a swimming pool.


Oh, for Ruth when she gets older.

Something like the one we had

in Providence. They loved it.

And the lawn--

lt ought to be more like an athletic field.


[ Turning Pages ]

Look at this picture.

Who is he?

That's Minty O'Hare's son-- the

boys' English teacher from Exeter.

He wants a summer job.

He wants to be a writer.

What would he do for you?

lt's mainly for the experience,

l suppose.

l mean, if he's thinking about becoming a writer,

he should see how one works, see what it takes.

What would he actually do for you?

Mmm, well--

l've been thinking.

l want to try separating...

for the summer.

Just temporarily.

[ Man On TV]

So you began your career writing novels?

Yes, but they were terrible novels. Uh,

unfortunately l had to write three of them...

before l realized

l am not a writer of adult fiction.

l am simply a entertainer of children,

and l like to draw.

[ Man ] Edward, don't be nervous because

he's famous. [ Continues, lndistinct ]

He's an Exonion.

His sons were charming boys...

but... mediocre students.

Why do cautionary tales for children come so

naturally to you? They were both in my class.

Well, l think l can imagine

their fears and express them.

Um, in my stories,


uh, you can see what's coming, but you don't see

everything that's coming. just pick up what you can.

Note his work habits.

[ Continues ]

See if there's a method

to his madness.

And... above all...

throw yourself in headlong and just

do whatever it is he wants you to do.

ln my opinion, there is no better opening to any story

than the opening of The Mouse Crawling Between the Walls.

l mean, the first lines--

''Tom woke up, but Tim did not.''

Daddy, l had a dream.

l heard a sound.

Uh, what sort of sound, Ruth?

lt's in the house,

but it's trying to be quiet.

[ Exhales ]


Well, let's go look for it then.

lt's a sound that's trying to be quiet?

What did it sound like?

lt was a sound like someone

trying not to make a sound.

Your penis looks funny.

My penis is funny.

Come out sound.

Come out sound.

l'll tell you a story

about a different sound.

One night when Thomas

was just your age,

and Timothy was still in diapers,

Tommy heard a sound.

Did they both wake up?

Oh, Tom woke up,

but Tim did not.

And Tom woke up his father...

and asked him,

''Did you hear that sound?

[ Rubbing ]

There's the sound again,''

Tom whispered to his Father.

''lt's a monster!'' he cried.

''lt's just a mouse...

crawling between the walls,''

his father said,

and thumped the wall hard

with his hand.

And the mouse...

[ Fingers Scuffling ]

scurried away.

''lt's just a mouse.

That's all,'' Tom said.

And he quickly fell asleep.

But Tim,

he stayed awake all night long.

And every time that thing crawling

between the walls came crawling back,

he'd hit the wall,

and he'd listen to the monster...

scurry away,

dragging his thick, wet fur,

and no arms and no legs with it.

- And that--

- ls the end of the story.

Where's Mommy?

Mommy, uh-- lt's her turn

at the other house, remember?

lt's my turn tomorrow night.

But she'll be here in the morning, okay?

- [ Smacks Kiss ] Okay.

- Are there any mice in this house?

Hmm. Everyone has mice.

Mice are everywhere.

See you in the morning, Ruthie.

[ Electric Typewriter Clacking ]

[ Typewriter Motor Shuts Off]

[ Turn Signal Clicking ]

[ Ship's Horn Blowing ]

[ Children Laughing ]

Eddie? Eddie?

Mrs. Cole?



You can drive, can't you?

Oh, yeah. Yes l can.

l know boys your age. They love

to drive every chance they get.

Yes, ma'am. But l don't

know how to drive a stick.

lt's an automatic.


Yes, ma'am.

Sorry about before. l was--

l was expecting Mr. Cole.

Ted lost his license

three months ago.

You're not at Exeter anymore.

You can call us by our first names.


[ Door Opening ]

[ Doors Shut ]

[ Thumping ]

Aren't you coming in?

Not tonight.

[ Door Shuts, Engine Starts ]

[ Man Chuckles ] Did it

hurt? Does it hurt much?

No, l'm all right. l'm all right.

Don't worry about me. Eddie!

lt is an honor to meet you, sir.


l want to thank you in advance for this

experience. Ah, well, l hope you find it worthwhile.

Ed, this is Doctor Loomis.

Eddie's my new assistant. Hi.


Yeah. Exeter, '05.

l was class of'61.

Good stuff.

So, Tuesday, yeah? Right.

See you then. Tuesday, yeah.

Nice to meet you, Eddie. Ciao.

l've read all your novels and

all your children's books-- 3:30?

Yeah, 3:

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Frame on the Wall: The Making of 'The Door in the Floor'" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <'the_door_in_the_floor'_7137>.

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