True Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino

 

Produced by Samuel Hadida

Steve Perry

Bill Unger

 

Directed by Tony Scott

 

 

 

Cast List:

 

Christian Slater Clarence Worley

Patricia Arquette Alabama Whitman

Dennis Hopper Clifford Worley

Michael Rapaport Dick Ritchie

Bronson Pinchott Elliot Blitzer

Christopher Walken Vincenzo Coccotti

Saul Rubinek Lee Donowitz

Samuel L. Jackson Big Don

Brad Pitt Floyd

Val Kilmer Elvis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typed with two bare fingers by Niki Wurster

 

 

When you are tired of relationships,

try a romance.

 

 

 

INT. BAR – NIGHT

 

A smoky cocktail bar downtown Detroit.

 

CLARENCE WORLEY, a young hipster hepcat, is trying to pick up an older lady named LUCY. She isn't bothered by him, in fact, she's alittle charmed. But, you can tell, that she isn't going to leave her barstool.

 

CLARENCE

In "Jailhouse Rock" he's everything rockabilly's about. I mean he is rockabilly: mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie he couldn't give a fuck about anything except rockin' and rollin', livin' fast, dyin' young, and leaving a good-looking corpse. I love that scene where after he's made it big he's throwing a big cocktail party, and all these highbrows are there, and he's singing, "Baby You're So Square... Baby, I Don't Care". Now, they got him dressed like a dick. He's wearing these stupid-lookin' pants, this horrible sweater. Elvis ain't no sweater boy. I even think they got him wearin' penny loafers. Despite all that shit, all the highbrows at the party, big house, the stupid clothes, he's still a rude-lookin' motherfucker. I'd watch that hillbilly and I'd want to be him so bad. Elvis looked good. I'm no fag, but Elvis was good-lookin'. He was fuckin' prettier than most women. I always said if I ever had to fuck a guy... I mean had too 'cause my life depended on it... I'd fuck Elvis.

 

Lucy takes a drag from her cigarette.

 

LUCY

I'd fuck Elvis.

 

CLARENCE

Really?

 

LUCY

When he was alive. I wouldn't fuck him now.

 

CLARENCE

I don't blame you.

(they laugh)

So we'd both fuck Elvis. It's nice to meet people with common interests, isn't it?

 

Lucy laughs.

 

CLARENCE

Well, enough about the King, how 'bout you?

 

LUCY

How 'bout me what?

 

CLARENCE

How 'bout you go to the movies with me tonight?

 

LUCY

What are we gonna see?

 

CLARENCE

A Donny Chiba triple feature. "The Streetfighter", "Return of the Streetfighter", and "Sister Streetfighter".

 

LUCY

Who's Sonny Chiba?

 

CLARENCE

He is, bar none, the greatest actor working in martial arts movies ever.

 

LUCY

(not believing this)

You wanna take me to a kung fu movie?

 

CLARENCE

(holding up three fingers)

Three kung fu movies.

 

Lucy takes a drag from her cigarette.

 

LUCY

(laughing)

I don't think so, not my cup of tea.

 

 

INT. DINGY HOTEL ROOM – DAY

 

The sounds of the city flow in through an open window: car horns, gun shots and violence. Paint is peeling off the walls and the once green carpet is stained black.

 

On the bed nearby is a huge open suitcase filled with clear plastic bags of cocaine. Shotguns and pistols have been dropped carelessly around the suitcase. On the far end of the room, against the wall, is a TV. "Bewitched" is playing.

 

At the opposite end of the room, by the front, is a table. DREXL SPIVEY and FLOYD DIXON sit around. Cocaine is on the table as well as little plastic bags and a weigher. Floyd is black, Drexl is a white boy, though you wouldn't know it listen to him.

 

DREXL

Nigger, get outta my face with that bullshit.

 

FLOYD

Naw man, I don't be eatin' that shit.

 

DREXL

That's bullshit.

 

BIG DON WATTS, a stout, mean-looking black man who's older than Drexl and Floyd. Walks through the door carrying hamburgers and french fries in two greasy brown-paper bags.

 

FLOYD

Naw man, that's some serious shit.

 

DREXL

Nigger, you lie like a big dog.

 

BIG D

What the fuck are you talkin' about?

 

DREXL

Floyd say he don't be eatin' pussy.

 

BIG D

Shit, any nigger say he don't eat pussy is lyin' his ass off.

 

DREXL

I heard that.

 

FLOYD

Hold on a second, Big D. You sayin' you eat pussy?

 

BIG D

Nigger, I eat everything. I eat pussy. I eat the butt. I eat every motherfuckin' thang.

 

DREXL

Preach on, Big D.

 

FLOYD

Look here. If I ever did eat some pussy – I would never eat any pussy – but, if I did eat some pussy, I sure as hell wouldn't tell no goddamn body. I'd be ashamed as a motherfucker.

 

BIG D

Shit! Nigger you smoke enough sherm your dumb ass'll do a lot a crazy ass things. So you won't eat pussy? Motherfucker, you be up there suckin' niggers' dicks.

 

DREXL

Heard that.

 

Drexl and Big D bump fists.

 

FLOYD

Yeah, that's right, laugh. It's so funny, oh it's so funny.

(he takes a hit off of a joint)

There used to be a time when sisters didn't know shit about gettin' their pussy licked. Then the sixties came an' they started fuckin' around with white boys. And white boys are freaks for that shit –

 

DREXL

– Because it's good!

 

FLOYD

Then, after a while sisters use to gettin' their little pussy eat. And because you white boys had to make pigs out of yourselves, you fucked it up for every nigger in the world everywhere.

 

BIG D

Drexl. On behalf of me and all the brothers who aren't here, I'd like to express our gratitude –

 

Drexl and Big D bust up.

 

FLOYD

Go on pussy-eaters... laugh. You look like you be eatin' pussy. You got pussy-eatin' mugs. Now if a nigger wants to get his dick sucked he's got to do a bunch of fucked-up shit.

 

BIG D

So you do eat pussy!

 

FLOYD

Naw naw!

 

BIG D

You don't like it, but you eat that shit.

(to Drexl)

He eats it.

 

DREXL

Damn skippy. He like it, too.

 

BIG D

(mock English accent)

Me thinketh he doth protest too much.

 

FLOYD

Well fuck you guys then! You guys are fucked up!

 

DREXL

Why you trippin'? We jus' fuckin' with ya. But I wanna ask you a question. You with some fine bitch, I mean a brick shithouse bitch – you're with Jayne Kennedy. You're with Jayne Kennedy and you say "Bitch, suck my dick!" and then Jayne Kennedy says, "First things first, nigger, I ain't suckin' shit till you bring your ass over here and lick my bush!" Now, what do you say?

 

FLOYD

I tell Jayne Kennedy, "Suck my dick or I'll beat your ass!"

 

BIG D

Nigger, get real. You touch Jayne Kennedy she'll have you ass in Wayne County so fast –

 

DREXL

Nigger, back off, you ain't beatin' shit. Now what would you do.

 

FLOYD

I'd say fuck it!

 

Drexl and Big D get up from the table disgusted and walk away, leaving Floyd sitting all alone.

 

Big D sits on the bed, his back turned to Floyd, watching "Bewitched".

 

FLOYD

(yelling after them)

Ain't no man have to eat pussy!

 

BIG D

(not even looking)

Take that shit somewhere else.

 

DRXL

(marching back)

You tell Jayne Kennedy to fuck it?

 

FLOYD

If it came down to who eats who, damn skippy.

 

DREXL

With that terrible mug of yours if Jayne Kennedy told you to eat her pussy, kiss her ass, lick her feet, chow on her shit, and suck her dog's dick, nigger, you'd aim to please.

 

BIG D

(glued on TV)

I'm hip.

 

DREXL

In fact, I'm gonna show you what I mean with a little demonstration. Big D, toss me that shotgun.

 

Without turning away from "Bewitched" he picks up the shotgun and tosses it to Drexl.

 

DREXL

(to Floyd)

All right, check this out.

(referring to shotgun)

Now, pretend this is Jayne Kennedy. And you're you.

 

Then, in a blink, he points the shotgun at Floyd and blows him away.

 

Big D leaps off the bed and spins toward Drexl.

 

Drexl, waiting for him, fires from across the room.

 

The blast hits the big man in the right arm and shoulder, spinning him around.

 

Drexl makes a beeline for his victim and fires again.

 

Big D is hit with a blast, full in the back. He slams into the wall and drops.

 

Drexl collects the suitcase full of cocaine and leaves. As he gets to the front door he surveys the carnage, spits and walks out.

 

 

EXT. CLIFF'S MOVING CAR – MORNING

 

A big white Chevy Nova is driving down the road with a sunrise sky as a backdrop. The song "Little Bitty Tear" is heard a capella.

 

 

INT. CLIFF'S MOVING CAR – MORNING

 

Cliff Worley is driving his car home from work, singing this song gently to the sunrise. He's a forty-five-years-old ex-cop, at present a security guard. In between singing he takes sips from a cup of take-out coffee. He's dressed in a security guard uniform.

 

 

EXT. TRAILER PARK – MORNING

 

Cliff's Nova pulls in as he continues crooning. He pulls up to his trailer to see something that stops him short.

 

 

Cliff's POV Through windshield

 

Clarence and a nice-looking YOUNG WOMAN are watching for him in front of his trailer.

 

 

CLOSEUP – CLIFF

 

Upon seeing Clarence, a little bitty tear rolls down Cliff's cheek.

 

BACK TO:

 

 

CLIFF'S POV

 

Clarence and the Young Woman walk over to the car. Clarence sticks his face through the driver's side window.

 

CLARENCE

Good Morning, Daddy. Long time no see.

 

 

INT. TRAILER HOME – MORNING

 

All three enter the trailer home.

 

CLIFF

Excuse the place, I haven't been entertaining company as of late. Sorry if I'm acting a little dense, but you're the last person in the world I expected to see this morning.

 

Clarence and the Young Girl walk into the living room.

 

CLARENCE

Yeah, well, tha's OK, Daddy, I tend to have that effect on people. I'm dyin' on thirst, you got anything to drink?

 

He moves past Cliff and heads straight for his refridgerator.

 

CLIFF

I think there's a Seven-Up in there.

 

CLARENCE

(rumaging around the fridge)

Anything stronger?

(pause)

Oh, probably not. Beer? You can drink beer, can't you?

 

CLIFF

I can, but I don't.

 

CLARENCE

(closing the fridge)

That's about all I ever eat.

 

Cliff looks at the Girl. She smiles sweetly at him.

 

CLIFF

(to Girl)

I'm sorry... I'm his father.

 

YOUNG GIRL

(sticking her hand out)

That's OK, I'm his wife.

(shaking his hand vigorously)

Alabama Worley, pleased to meetcha.

 

She is really pumping his arm, just like a used-car salesman. However, that's where the similarities end; Alabama's totally sincere.

 

Clarence steps back into the living room, holding a bunch of little ceramic fruit magnets in his hand. He throws his other arm around Alabama.

 

CLARENCE

Oh yeah, we got married.

(referring to the magnets)

You still have these.

(to Alabama)

This isn't a complete set; when I was five I swallowed the pomegranate one. I never shit it out, so I guess it's still there. Loverdoll, why don't you be a sport and go get us some beer. I want some beer.

(to Cliff)

Do you want some beer? Well, if you want some it's here.

 

He hands her some money and his car keys.

 

CLARENCE

Go to the liquor store –

(to Cliff)

Where is there a liquor store around here?

 

CLIFF

Uh, yeah... there's a party store down 54th.

 

CLARENCE

(to Alabama)

Get a six-pack of something imported. It's hard to tell you what to get 'cause different places have different things. If they got Fosters, get that, if not, ask the guy at the thing what the strongest imported beer he has. Look, since you're making a beer run, would you mind too terribly if you did a foot run as well. I'm fuckin' starvin' to death. Are you hungry too?

 

ALABAMA

I'm pretty hungry. When I went to the store I was gonna get some Ding-Dongs.

 

CLARENCE

Well, fuck that shit, we'll get some real food. What would taste good.

(to Cliff)

What do you think would taste good?

 

CLIFF

I'm really not very –

 

CLARENCE

You know what would taste good? Chicken. I haven't had chicken in a while. Chicken would really hit the spot about now. Chicken and beer, definitly, absolutely, without a doubt.

(to Cliff)

Where's a good chicken place around here?

 

CLIFF

I really don't know.

 

CLARENCE

You don't know the chicken places around where you live?

(to Alabama)

Ask the guy at the place where a chicken place is.

 

He gives her some more money.

 

CLARENCE

This should cover it, Auggie-Doggie.

 

ALABAMA

Okee-dokee, Doggie-Daddy.

 

She opens the door and starts out. Clarence turns to his dad as the door shuts.

 

CLARENCE

Isn't she the sweetest goddamned girl you ever saw in your whole life? Is she a four alarm fire, or what?

 

CLIFF

She seems very nice.

 

CLARENCE

Daddy. Nice isn't the word. Nice is an insult. She's a peach. That's the only word for it, she's a peach. She even tastes like a peach. You can tell I'm in love with her. You can tell by my face, can't ya? It's a dead giveaway. It's written all over it. Ya know what? She loves me back. Take a seat, Pop, we gotta talk –

 

CLIFF

Clarence, just shut up, you're giving me a headache! I can't believe how much like your mother you are. You're your fuckin' mother through and through. I haven't heard from ya in three years. Then ya show up all of a sudden at eight o'clock in the morning. You walk in like a goddamn bulldozer... don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see you... just slow it down. Now, when did you get married?

 

CLARENCE

Daddy, I'm in big fuckin' trouble and I really need your help.

 

BLACK TITLE CARD: "HOLLYWOOD"

 

 

INT. OUTSIDE OF CASTING DIRECTOR'S OFFICER – DAY

 

FOUR YOUNG ACTORS are sitting on a couch with sheets of paper in their hands silently mouthing lines. One of the actors is DICK RITCHIE. The casting director, MARY LOUISE RAVENCROFT, steps into the waiting room, clip board in hand.

 

RAVENCROFT

Dick Ritchie?

 

Dick pops up from the pack.

 

DICK

I'm me... I mean, that's me.

 

RAVENCROFT

Step inside.

 

 

INT. CASTING DIRECTOR'S OFFICE – DAY

 

She sits behind a large desk. Her name-plate rests on the desktop. Several posters advertising "The Return of T.J. Hooker" hang on the wall.

 

Dick sits in a chair, holding his sheets in his hands.

 

RAVENCROFT

Well, the part you're reading for is one of the bad guys. There's Brian and Marty. Peter Breck's already been cast as Brian. And you're reading for the part of Marty. Now in this scene you're both in a car and Bill Shatner's hanging on the hood. And what you're trying to do is get him off.

(she picks a up a copy of the script)

Whenever you're ready.

 

DICK

(reading and miming driving)

Where'd you come from?

 

RAVENCROFT

(reading from the script lifelessly)

I don't know. He just appeared as magic.

 

DICK

(reading from script)

Well, don't just sit there, shoot him.

 

She puts her script down, and smiles at him.

 

RAVENCROFT

That was very good.

 

DICK

Thank you.

 

RAVENCROFT

If we decided on making him a New York type, could you do that?

 

DICK

Sure. No problem.

 

RAVENCROFT

Could we try it now?

 

DICK

Absolutely.

 

Dick picks up the script and begins, but this time with a Brooklyn accent.

 

DICK

Where'd he come from?

 

RAVENCROFT

(monotone, as before)

I don't know. He just appeared as magic.

 

DICK

Well, don't just sit there, shoot him.

 

Ravencroft puts her script down.

 

RAVENCROFT

Well, Mr. Ritchie, I'm impressed. You're a very fine actor.

 

Dick smiles.

 

 

INT. TRAILER HOME – DAY

 

Cliff's completely aghast. He just stares, unable to come to grips with what Clarence has told him.

 

CLARENCE

Look, I don't know this is pretty heavy-duty, so if you wanna explode, feel free.

 

CLIFF

You're always making jokes. That's what you do, isn't it? Make jokes. Making jokes is the one thing you're good at, isn't it? But if you make a joke about this –

(raising his voice)

– I'm gonna go completely out of my fuckin' head!

 

Cliff pauses and collects himself.

 

CLIFF

What do you want from me?

 

CLARENCE

What?

 

CLIFF

Stop acting like an infant. You're here because you want me to help you in some way. What do you need from me? You need money?

 

CLARENCE

Do you still have friends on the force?

 

CLIFF

Yes, I still have friends on the force.

 

CLARENCE

Could you find out if they know anythin'? I don't know they know shit about us. But I don't wanna think, I wanna know. You could find out for sure what's goin' on.

(pause)

Daddy?

 

CLIFF

What makes you think I could do that?

 

CLARENCE

You were a cop.

 

CLIFF

What makes you think I would do that?

 

CLARENCE

I'm your son.

 

CLIFF

You got it all worked out, don't you?

 

CLARENCE

Look, goddamnit, I never asked you for a goddamn thing! I've tried to make your parental obligation as easy as possible. After Mom divorced you, did I ask you for anything? When I wouldn't see ya for six months to a year at a time, did you ever get your shit about it? No, it was always "OK", "No problem", "You're a busy guy, I understand". The whole time you were a drunk, did I ever point my finger at you and talk shit? No! Everybody else did. I never did. You see, I know that you're just a bad parent. You're not really very good at it. But I know you love me. I'm basically a pretty resourceful guy. If I didn't really need it I wouldn't ask. And if you say no, don't worry about it. I'm gone. No problems.

 

Alabama walks in through the door carrying a shopping bag.

 

ALABAMA

The forager's back.

 

CLARENCE

Thank God. I could eat a horse if you slap enough catsup on it.

 

ALABAMA

I didn't get any chicken.

 

CLARENCE

How come?

 

ALABAMA

It's nine o'clock in the morning. Nothing's open.

 

 

INT. TRAILER HOME – BEDROOM – DAY

 

Cliff's on the telephone in his bedroom, pacing as he talks. The living room od the trailer can be seen from his doorway, where Clarence and Alabama are horsing around. They giggle and cut up throughout the scene. As Cliff talks, all the noise and hubbub of a police station comes through over the line. He's talking to DETECTIVE WILSON, an old friend of his from the force.

 

We see both inside the conversation.

 

CLIFF

It's about that pimp that was shot a couple of days ago, Drexl Spivey.

 

WILSON

What about him?

 

CLIFF

Well, Ted, to