EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - DAY
Specifically, a garbage scow.
We see it from ON HIGH, chugging down the placid but mighty
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
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.
We are ARCING slowly around a jailer's key on a ring that
hangs from a nail. The OFFSCREEN snoring and whirring
The TRACK'S SHIFTING ANGLE now makes the light catch a spider
web spun between the key and the wall.
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
The muffled ringing continues; the sheriff looks, puzzled,
at the phone. Now the ringing stops and we hear a muffled
voice next door:
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,
He manages to compose himself and give the intruder a smile:
Afternoon, Miz Munson.
Entering is an elderly black woman in a floral print dress
and fruited bonnet.