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Paradise City .pdf



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EXT. SMALL TOWN TRAIN STATION - DAY
JACK, a fresh-faced All-American 24 year old, stands at the
front of a throng of people waiting on the platform. He
scans a DEPARTURE BOARD for his train and spots it:
"PARADISE CITY - 2 PM."
JACK
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME
CROWD
OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME.
ADAM, a few years older than Jack but worse for the wear,
steps out of the crowd.
ADAM
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME
CROWD
OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
Jack looks down the tracks as the TRAIN pulls into the
station. MICHELLE, a fucking hot 22 year old, pushes past
Jack, but turns and smiles. The CONDUCTOR steps out of the
train and blows his WHISTLE. All the doors fly open, and the
crowd pours inside.
INT. TRAIN - CONTINUOUS
As the seats fill, Jack and Adam stand near each other,
their hands looped in straps suspended from the ceiling.
Michelle stands a few feet in front of Jack. Adam casts
furtive glances at the other passengers.
ADAM
(To himself)
JUST AN URCHIN LIVIN’ UNDER THE
STREET I’M A HARD CASE THAT’S TOUGH
TO BEAT I’M YOUR CHARITY CASE SO
BUY ME SOMETHIN’ TO EAT
The Conductor takes tickets. When asked for his, Adam pulls
his coat aside, exposing the GUN tucked in his waist.
ADAM(CONTD)
I’LL PAY YOU AT ANOTHER TIME

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

2.

CONDUCTOR
(Resigned)
TAKE IT TO THE END OF THE LINE
Jack stares at the back of Michelle’s head as she sings,
trying to get a better look.
MICHELLE
RAGS TO RICHES OR SO THEY SAY YOU
GOTTA KEEP PUSHIN’ FOR THE FORTUNE
AND FAME YOU KNOW IT’S ALL A GAMBLE
WHEN IT’S JUST A GAME YOU TREAT IT
LIKE A CAPITOL CRIME EVERYBODY’S
DOIN’ THEIR TIME
The men and women start to become more and more reverent as
they sing.
CROWD
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME OH
WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME TAKE
ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY WHERE
THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE GIRLS
ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME
A roughly dressed OLD MAN with wild eyes tells everyone and
no one about his troubles.
OLD MAN
STRAPPED IN THE CHAIR OF THE CITY’S
GAS CHAMBER WHY I’M HERE, I CAN’T
QUITE REMEMBER
A WIFE tries to calm their nerves about moving to a new city
with her HUSBAND and KID.
WIFE
THE SURGEON GENERAL SAY’S IT’S
HAZARDOUS TO BREATHE I’D HAVE
ANOTHER CIGARETTE BUTThe kid stands on his toes trying to get a look out the
window.
KID
-I CAN’T SEE
HUSBAND
(To Wife)
TELL ME THAT YOU’RE GONNA BELIEVE

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

3.

ALL
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME YEAH
YEAH TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE
CITY WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND
THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY OH WON’T YOU
PLEASE TAKE ME HOME YEAH
The train rattles down the tracks. Jack’s attention is
divided between the window where skyscrapers loom in the
distance, and Michelle.
JACK
SO FAR AWAY
Adam glances backwards through the window.
ADAM
SO FAR AWAY
Michelle sings wistfully to herself.
MICHELLE
SO FAR AWAY
JACK
SO FAR AWAY CAPTAIN AMERICA’S BEEN
TORN APART
Adam notices Jack and listens to his song.
JACK(CONTD)
NOW HE’S A COURT JESTER WITH A
BROKEN HEART HE SAID TURN ME AROUND
AND TAKE ME BACK TO THE START I
MUST BE LOSING MY MIND
ADAM
ARE YOU BLIND?! I’VE SEEN IT ALL A
MILLION TIMES
CROWD
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME YEAH
YEAH
The train passes through an industrial park.
CROWD(CONTD)
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

4.

CROWD(CONTD) (cont’d)
GIRLS ARE PRETTY OH WON’T YOU
PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
The train flies past dilapidated houses skirting the city.
CROWD(CONTD)
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME YEAH
YEAH TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE
CITY WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND
THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY
ADAM
OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
Adam sees his city come into view.
ADAM(CONTD)
HOME!
CRACK! A BRICK hits the window in front of the kid’s face as
he tries to get a glimpse of his new home. Through the
spider-webbed glass, CARS burn, LOOTERS carry TVs: the city
is RIOTING.
JACK
I WANT TO GO I WANT TO KNOW OH,
WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
MICHELLE
I WANT TO SEE OH, LOOK AT ME OH,
WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
CROWD
TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE
GIRLS ARE PRETTY TAKE ME HOME TAKE
ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY WHERE
THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE GIRLS
ARE PRETTY OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE
ME HOME TAKE ME DOWN TAKE ME ’ROUND
OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME I
WANNA SEE HOW GOOD IT COULD BE OH
WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
A BURNING CAR blocks the tracks and the train comes to a
sudden STOP. The doors open and the passengers pour out.

5.

EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS
They shield themselves with their luggage as they tear
through the maelstrom. Jack, Adam and Michelle are the last
to leave and huddle together for safety.
CROWD
I WANNA SEE HOW GOOD IT COULD BE OH
TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME DOWN TO THE
PARADISE CITY WHERE THE GRASS IS
GREEN AND THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY OH
OH WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME
ADAM
I WANNA GO
MICHELLE
I WANNA KNOW
Jack takes one last look behind him.
JACK
OH, WON’T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME?
The three of them watch as fires rage around them. A GROUP
OF LOOTERS run past, as GUNSHOTS and SIRENS echo in the
distance. They find themselves next to an electronics
store, where televisions behind the window broadcast the
news.
NEWSCASTER
Breaking news. In the last half
hour, riots have broken out all
over the city. Police speculate
gang violence may have sparked it.
A brick flies through the store’s window, and looters snatch
up the TVs.
ADAM
(Sighing)
This city never changes.
JACK
Is it always like this here?
ADAM
Not exactly like this, but
someone’s always itching to start a
fight.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

6.

MICHELLE
You know someplace safe we can go?
ADAM
(Laughing)
No place is really safe here.
Besides, I been outta town for a
while. And besides that, I don’t
know you.
Jack tentatively stretches out his hand.
JACK
Jack. My name is Jack.
ADAM
Jack. And who’s your girlJACK
Oh, she’s not... I’ve never metMICHELLE
Michelle. Nice to meet you. Both of
you.
She turns so Adam can’t see her flash a seductive look at
Jack, then turns and brings it to bear on Adam.
MICHELLE(CONTD)
You don’t know anywhere we could
ride this out?
Adam studies her for a few moments, and then:
ADAM
Anywhere is better than the
streets. I’ve got a place. Come on.
He turns and starts down the street to a main boulevard.
Jack and Michelle exchange wary glances, then follow.
ADAM(CONTD)
You two picked a hell of a day to
ride into town.
JACK
You’re awfully calm about all this.
ADAM
Hell, I’ve seen much worse than
this before.

7.

Adam runs up the stoop of a worn-out, dilapidated building
and fumbles with the stubborn LOCK. Frustrated, he kicks it
open and they enter.
INT. ADAM’S BUILDING - HALLWAY
The long hallway’s floor is grimy and littered with garbage.
What little wallpaper is left peels away from the walls.
Graffiti assaults the walls, ceiling and floor. All the
doors in the hall are closed, except for one, which lies
against the wall next to it’s doorway.
Adam slams the door behind them, runs into the open room,
retrieves a chair and braces the front door.
JACK
Will that hold them?
ADAM
Probably not. But it’s better than
nothing. This way.
Adam leads them through the doorway.
INT. ADAM’S BUILDING - ADAM’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The room is only slightly better maintained than the
hallway. It’s a single-bedroom apartment, with a door to the
bathroom in one corner, and a small kitchenette in the
other. A mattress occupies the third corner, a bookshelf is
against the wall, and a beat-up old couch sits in the center
of the room with a small, smashed TV in front of it.
ADAM
(Seeing the TV)
Fuck.
Jack remains just inside the doorway, taking everything in.
Michelle walks the edges of the room, running her fingers
along the bookshelf and glancing at the titles. It’s all
pulp paperbacks and porn magazines.
Adam looks through the pantry for anything that isn’t
expired. He opens a can of beans and eats them with a spoon,
cold.
ADAM
So. What brings you to the city?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

8.

MICHELLE
I’m looking for... work.
JACK
I just needed to get away from home
for a while.
ADAM
A woman?
Jack looks away, silent.
ADAM(CONTD)
We all need to get away once in a
while. Hell, I’ll be the first to
tell you that. What about you?
MICHELLE
I need work. Figured the city’d be
a good place to find it.
ADAM
And what is it you want to do?
MICHELLE
I don’t quite know yet.
JACK
The news said gangs started the
riots. Are gangs a big problem
here?
Adam laughs.
ADAM
Gangs run this side of town. Well,
there are really only two gangs.
Union’s and Brownstone’s. I used to
run with Union a while ago.
Jack is startled by this.
JACK
What, you’re some sort of criminal?
ADAM
I was pretty low on the ladder.
Part time foot soldier, you know?
Maybe rough some guys up for
protection money now and then.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

9.
JACK
I don’t know if I’m comfortable
with that.
ADAM
You better learn to be. Working for
Union is bound to be the only job
around here. This city’s got no
more room for honest work.

Adam finishes his beans and tosses the can aside.
JACK
Look, I’ve already rented an
apartment. If you could just help
me find itADAM
Too dangerous now. I’ll take you
tomorrow. You’re both welcome to
stay here tonight.
Jack is reluctant, but nods.
JACK
Fine.
MICHELLE
I want to come too. Might as well
start getting to know the city.
ADAM
Good! We’ll go tomorrow. I gotta go
make some calls at the phone down
the hall. Figure out sleeping
arrangements while I’m gone. And
don’t be taking my bed.
He disappears out the door.
JACK
You can take the couch. I’ll take
the...
Jack looks at the carpet riddled with cigarette burns, old
newspapers, empty fast food boxes, and unidentifiable
stains.
JACK(CONTD)
...floor.
Michelle laughs, then bends down to help clear a spot for
him. She finds some clean newspaper and lays it out, then
turns out the lights.
(CONTINUED)


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