Synopsis: Limbo tells the story of people trying to reinvent themselves in the Southeastern islands of Alaska. The story revolves around Joe Gastineau, a fisherman traumatised by an accident at sea years before, singer Donna de Angelo and her disaffected daughter Noelle who come into Joe's life. When Joe's fast-talking half-brother Bobby returns to town and asks Joe for a favor, the lives of the characters are changed forever.
Director(s): John Sayles
Production: Sony
  2 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
126 min

Welcome to America's last frontier...

...where the final lumbering

remnants of the Ice Age...

...the massive and

awe-inspiring glaciers...

...calve cathedral-sized

icebergs into the sea...

...where nature's bounty unfolds

in a panoply of flora and fauna...

...the like of which is seen

nowhere else on the planet.

From the ocean depths,

plumbed by ageless cetaceans... azure skies,

where the mighty eagle soars.

This land abounds with creatures

great and small, strange and majestic.

It is a land steeped in tradition...

...its mists redolent of the hearty

souls of men who have gone to sea:

Tlingit and Haida...

...lnuit and Aleut...

...Russian and Norwegian.

Their languages and deeds...

...lingering on in the names of our

countless islands and passageways.

A land that has lifted its siren call

to the bold and adventurous... those willing to risk their lives

for the promise of untold fortune... it from fur, fin, from the heaven-

pointing spires of old-growth spruce...

...or from the buried treasures of gold

or black energy-rich petroleum.

A land visited each year

by the relentless and mysterious salmon.

Each river and stream welcoming home

the king and sockeye...

- the coho and dog, pink or humpback...

...which is smashed into cans...

...and quick-cooked to give the

colourful local folks something to do...

...other than play cards

and scratch their nuts all day.

A land where that nice old lady

from Fort Lauderdale...

...who had the stroke

three cabins down...

...was probably parked next to the

thawed-out halibut you'll eat tonight...

...while your floating hotel

chugs through the Hecate Strait... deliver its precious

load of geriatrics... the hungry

Visa-card-accepting denizens...

...of our northernmost and

most mosquito-infested state!


What's "redolent"?

Having or emitting an odour.

You mean people wanna

come here because of the smell?

Pleasantly fragrant!

- Not talking about this place.

- Damn right!

Soon as they close this down, they'll

turn it into a tourist attraction!

They'll disinfect the joint, and you can

get a job in one of those cases.

Like in a museum.

One of those displays.


Dioramas. In that diorama...

...they'll hang fake fish guts

all over you, put a label underneath:

"Typical Filipino Cannery Worker"!

Probably pay better than this.

I'll be out on the water in my boat...

...and every time I make a set...

...there'll be a floating

nursing home...

...with 500 sons of bitches and

their cameras capturing the moment.

And what boat is this?

My boat.

You don't have a boat, honey.


Oh, yes, I do.

I'm getting it back today.

Would you like some hors d'oeuvres?

Would you like some hors d'oeuvres?

Thank you.

Would you like some hors d'oeuvres?

Nice uniform.

The bride's parents wanted uniforms.

I look stupid.

You look like an angel.

I look like a little white maggot.

- Would you like one?

- Thank you.

How come you don't have to wear one?

This is the unemployed

pulp mill worker's uniform.


Would you like some hors d'oeuvres?

- No, thanks.

- I'll have one.

You gotta look at the big picture. You

clear-cut the trees, what do you have?

Hundreds of thousands of dollars

worth of timber.

Yeah, but it's ugly.

The point is to try to get the trees

down without spending a fortune.

You're thinking short-term.

My mother told me,

"You don't shit in your front yard."

- Your mother said that?

- Constantly.

Look, our people cruise by an island.

They got their binoculars out,

the ones that can still see.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

John Sayles

John Thomas Sayles (born September 28, 1950) is an American independent film director, screenwriter, editor, actor and novelist. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996). His film Men with Guns (1997) has been nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His directorial debut, Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980), has been added to the National Film Registry. more…

All John Sayles scripts | John Sayles Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Limbo" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer


    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.