The Ladykillers script
Synopsis: The Ladykillers is a 2004 American black comedy thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The Coens' screenplay was based on the 1955 British Ealing comedy film of the same name, written by William Rose. The Coens produced the remake (their first), together with Tom Jacobson, Barry Sonnenfeld and Barry Josephson. It stars Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J. K. Simmons, Tzi Ma and Ryan Hurst, and marks the first time that the Coens have worked with Tom Hanks. This was the first film in which Joel and Ethan Coen share both producing and directing credits; previously Joel had always been credited as director and Ethan as producer.

EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - DAY

A BOAT:

Specifically, a garbage scow.

We see it from ON HIGH, chugging down the placid but mighty

Mississippi.

Head credits play over COVERAGE of the garbage scow. No sound,

except for an incongruously heroic score.

The COVERAGE is a little rough, coarse-grained; along with

the overbearing score it almost suggests an industrial film

rather than a feature.

One piece of sound -- the toot of the boat's horn -- is

obviously library. And not a new library either.

The garbage scow passes under a bridge spanning the broad,

sluggish waters, and proceeds on to its landfill, a steaming

river island. Disturbed gulls and other scavenger birds rise

from where they were picking through trash. Their squawks,

like the boat horn, are not quite believable as SYNC.

The head credits end as the anthemic music resolves.

EXT. SAUCIER, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

AN OLD HOUND DOG

lies on the weather-grayed and -roughened planking of a front

porch. The porch is half-shaded from the noonday sun. It is

quiet except for the chirr of heat bugs, close by, and, very

distant, many voices in chorus, engaged in divine worship in

a Baptist church sufficiently far away that vagaries of breeze

fan them in and out of audibility.

We once again hear the toot of the scow's horn, distant now

and played as real, not slapdash effect. At this, the dog

lifts his nose to catch the breeze, sniffs, and then, whining,

lowers his head to the floor and covers his snout with his

forepaws. He huffs briefly and goes to sleep.

We DRIFT UP to show that the dog is sleeping before the

SAUCIER WORM STORE

Your source for worms, lures, etcetera, etcetera...

We TRAVEL OVER TO REVEAL that the modest one-story structure

houses two establishments; its other front door leads to the

SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING.

A campaign sign in the window on the municipal side shows a

black man of late middle-age beaming and giving the viewer a

thumbs-up:

RE-ELECT WAYNE WYNER SHERIFF/He Is Too Old to Go to Work.

INT. SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING - DAY

We hear snoring on top of a low, steady hissing sound.

We are DRIFTING toward the door of the lock-up, which stands

open. The small cell is empty, its bed neatly made.

A KEY:

We are ARCING slowly around a jailer's key on a ring that

hangs from a nail. The OFFSCREEN snoring and whirring

continues.

The TRACK'S SHIFTING ANGLE now makes the light catch a spider

web spun between the key and the wall.

POLICE SCANNER:

We DRIFT across the face of the radio. The peaceful steady

hissing jumps in louder at the CUT: it is uninterrupted: a

transmissionless, crimeless, misdemeanorless idle radio hiss.

The snoring is also louder here. As we TRAVEL OFF the radio

we are COMING ONTO a pair of feet propped up on the desktop.

They belong to SHERIFF WYNER, tipped back in his chair,

fingers laced on his chest, head lolling forward.

As the MOVING CAMERA FINALLY ENDS on him, there is the ring

of a telephone -- muffled, not present.

It nevertheless rouses the sheriff who almost strangles on a

snore as he awakes, and then rocks forward to pick up his

phone.

SHERIFF WYNER:

Sheriff Wyner...

The muffled ringing continues; the sheriff looks, puzzled,

at the phone. Now the ringing stops and we hear a muffled

voice next door:

VOICE (O.S.)

Worms.

The sheriff replaces the phone, leans back again, adjusts

his hat, and is about to go back to sleep when we hear the

front door open.

The sheriff looks and reacts with genuine, if momentary,

fear.

He manages to compose himself and give the intruder a smile:

SHERIFF WYNER:

Afternoon, Miz Munson.

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Joel Coen

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for No Country for Old Men (2007), The Big Lebowski (1998) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child. more…

All Joel Coen scripts | Joel Coen Books

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"The Ladykillers" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 11 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_ladykillers_891>.

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