Hail, Caesar! script
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Synopsis: In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and filmmakers at Capitol Pictures. His latest assignments involve a disgruntled director, a singing cowboy, a beautiful swimmer and a handsome dancer. As if all this wasn't enough, Mannix faces his biggest challenge when Baird Whitlock gets kidnapped while in costume for the swords-and-sandals epic "Hail, Caesar!" If the studio doesn't pay $100,000, it's the end of the line for the movie star.

FADE IN SOUND:

INT. CONFESSIONAL - NIGHT

DISTANT, BEAUTIFUL VOICES

Male voices. A Gregorian chant.

We fade in on a crucifix in the apse of the church: a

suffering Christ.

We cut to a close shot of a small silver cross on a rosary.

The rosary is held in a man's lap next to a mouse-grey

fedora. The light is dim.

As we hear a panel sliding, more light wipes onto the rosary

beads.

Wider on the man waiting in the confessional: middle-aged,

tired.

VOICE:

Son, it is so late.

MAN:

Yeah, Father, work has just been...

VOICE:

You work too hard.

MAN:

Nah, I’m just... keepin the place

goin’. Anyhow, bless me, Father,

for I have sinned. It’s been uh,

twenty-four hours since my last

confession. I, uh...

VOICE:

Yes my son.

MAN:

I lied to Connie. Uh, to my wife.

VOICE:

This is very serious.

MAN:

I know! I promised her I'd quit

smoking. She thinks it's bad for

me. And I'm trying, but... well, I

snuck a couple of cigarettes...

Maybe three.

2.

VOICE:

Yes.

MAN:

It’s hard.

VOICE:

Yes, my son.

MAN:

——But I’m trying.

A clap of thunder.

EXT. SPANISH HOUSE - NIGHT

HOUSE AT NIGHT:

We are looking, through the rain-pelted windshield of a

parked car, at a small, Spanish-style bungalow. The rattle of

driving rain does not quite cover the sound of drunken female

laughter. There are occasional flashes of lightning outside,

and occasional flashes of strobe light in the windows of the

house.

Inside our surveilling car a wrist rolls over to show a watch

face, streaked with the shadows of dripping rain: 5:00

o’clock.

A voice-over begins, authoritatively omniscient——or maybe it

only sounds so because it is British-accented:

VOICE-OVER

It is 5:
00 A.M. The sun is soon to

rise. But for Eddie Mannix the day

has already begun.

Our car’s driver, Eddie Mannix——the man we saw

confessing——looks up from his watch to the house.

VOICE-OVER (CONT’D)

The movie studio for which he works

manufactures stories——each its own

daylit drama, or moonlit dream.

Flash of lightning, crash of thunder, another bout of

laughter from the house.

Eddie Mannix reaches for his door.

3.

OUTSIDE:

Eddie Mannix emerges from his car——a Packard marking the

period as circa 1950. Eddie pulls down his hat brim, turns up

his collar, and digs hands into coat pockets as he strides

through the rain.

The strobe light flashes inside the house. The laughter grows

louder as we approach.

Eddie Mannix hesitates only momentarily at the front door. He

tests the knob:
unlocked; turns it, enters.

VOICE-OVER (CONT’D)

But the work of Eddie Mannix cares

not for day or night... and cares

little for his rest.

INT. SPANISH HOUSE - NIGHT

On Eddie Mannix at the open door, rain dripping from his

fedora, thunder crashing behind him. His eyes narrow in

distaste.

In the living room a giggling blonde in a milkmaid’s dirndl

with overloaded bodice bends over a butter-churn.

A man with his back to us is peering through a box camera.

MAN:

That’s right, darlin’, a little

lower...

The giggling girl sees Eddie Mannix and stops churning.

GLORIA:

Oh, fer——ecce homo! You, here?!

The photographer turns to face Eddie: a tall weedy-looking

man with a thin mustache. A sheen of sweat on his brow and

upper lip.

EDDIE:

The studio has a right to Gloria’s

likeness, Falco. Gimme the

negatives and things’ll go easier.

FALCO:

You got it all wrong, Eddie! This

is f’private use!

Eddie Mannix strides to the camera, pops its back, and pulls

out a length of film.

4.

FALCO (CONT’D)

Hey!

We hear approaching sirens. Falco reacts, bolting for the

back door.

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"Hail, Caesar!" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 17 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/hail,_caesar!_1302>.

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