EXT. ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - 4:00 AM
A patch of water. PULL BACK TO REVEAL more water. BACK
FARTHER TO REVEAL an expanse of river, up the bank to
massive lawn running up to a great, classic Hudson River
manor house; the country estate of William Parrish.
INT. PARRISH COUNTRY ESTATE - 4:00 AM
MOVE THROUGH French doors that lead from a wide terrace into
an expansive living room, DOWN wide corridors lined with
Bierstadt and Cole paintings, the Hudson River School, mists
and trees and small boats and distant humans.
INT. PARRISH BEDROOM - 4:00 AM
MOVE THROUGH the doorway to reveal a master bedroom furnish-
ed with exquisite simplicity, revelatory of its sleeping
occupant, WILLIAM PARRISH, 64, a warm but commanding face, a
man of maturity yet who exudes a glow of enthusiasm.
Although asleep, there is an uncommon restlessness to him.
Parrish grips his upper arm as if in pain. Now the severity
of the pain wakes him, he squeezes his arm. The wind comes
up, through the wind a VOICE is heard distantly, or is it the
Parrish blinks, has he heard something, has he not, he is
not sure, he releases his arm, his grimace of pain fades,
the discomfort seems momentarily to have subsided.
He rises now, crosses to the bathroom. As he pees, a breeze
outside the window, the wind again, but then the Voice comes
It is unmistakably a Voice, it is not the wind, Parrish has
heard something, he looks around, but no one is there. He
can't finish peeing, turns back to his bedroom. All beweild-
ered, Parrish looks around once more, climbs back into bed,
trying to trace the source of what he has heard or hasn't
heard; he is not sure.
He pulls the covers up now, not a SOUND, tries to close his
Parrish sits up again, frightened, but still there is no one
there, he seems fraught with indecision, should he get up,
should he not, what is happening? He looks out: absolute
stillness and silence, CRICKETS chirp down by the river, a
light FLICKERS from a shadboat, Parrish closes his eyes but
then they flutter open, he glances up at the ceiling and
finally, exhausted, falls back asleep.
EXT. REAR TERRACE, PARRISH COUNTRY ESTATE - NEXT MORNING
The great lawn infested with workmen, planting stakes, un-
rolling a huge canvas tent, gardeners fashioning topiary and
adding landscaping of their own, crews setting up platforms,
speakers, lights. Ubiquitous is ALLISON, 35, Parrish's
older daughter, foremen competing for her attention and she
relishing every moment.
A Painter approaches.
The big tent, Miss Allison --
Paint is rust and moss green.
Medieval colors -- Daddy's like
an old knight.
A Florist stops her.
The head table --?
What about it?
The flowers, ma'am--?
Freesia, freesia, everywhere. Daddy
loves freesia -- and you, over there,
lights. Not too bright. I'm looking
for a saffron glow -- sort of tea-
EXT. GREAT HALL, COUNTRY ESTATE - MORNING
Parrish, groomed for the day, trots down the stairs, observ-
ing the activity outside through the windows. He checks his
watch, strides down the hall, encounters MAY, 50, a family
retainer who is opening the doors to the terrace as Parrish
What do you think of all this, May?
It's going to be beautiful. And
Miss Allison says the President may
Oh, the President's got better
things to do than come to my