We hear the RUSTLE of corn stalks and the HUM of insects.
CLOSE ON THE FACE OF ARTHUR NORMAN (8)
Short hair. Dirt smudged face. Tan skin, slightly burnt. He
is dozing peacefully. WIDEN TO REVEAL we are…
EXT. CORN FIELD – DAY – CONTINUOUS
In every direction, dry corn stalks stretch to the horizon.
Arthur is sleeping in a cozy clearing. Enclosed in his
peaceful nest by the high stalks. Arthur’s head rests lightly
on the stomach of a large HOUND DOG.
Suddenly, the dog’s ears prick up. We hear FOOTSTEPS
approaching. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Arthur raises
himself onto his elbows. He listens intently.
FIRST MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
Waits for a response. Tries again.
FIRST MAN’S VOICE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Henry! It’s me, Casey!
A door BANGS shut. FOOTSTEPS approaching.
SECOND MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
Howdy there Casey!
Christ, what happened to your eye?
FIRST MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
Henry… listen… me and some boys
from town, we’ve been thinking up a
plan, I want to let you in on it.
Arthur stands. He peers through the stalks at:
HIS POV – two men talking on a dirt road. The first man is
CASEY REYNOLDS (50’s). Wiry build. Ugly black eye. Pointed
face, reminiscent of a weasel. Casey is talking to Arthur’s
father, HENRY NORMAN (30’s). Gruff. Sandpaper skin. He wears
faded blue overalls.
We watch the following conversation from Arthur’s POV.
You’ve been causing trouble again,
haven’t you? Christ Casey, one day
your weaseling will get you killed.
It ain’t as bad as it looks.
Henry gestures towards the house.
Want to talk inside?
No. Thanks. I only have a minute.
As I was saying…
If your plan has anything to do
with that eye, I don’t want no part
in it. Understand?
Let me finish, all right?
He leans in close to Henry.
I been thinkin, us folks, we got to
stick together. I’m sick and tired
of getting pushed around. The plan
is this: next time the tractor men
come round, we sound the alarm. Us
neighbors join together and raise
such hell for those blasted men,
that they’ll have no choice but to
make a run for it.
Casey seizes Henry’s shoulders. Wild and vehement.
This is our land! And this might be
our last chance to fight for it!
Disturbed from his sleep, the dog raises its head and WHINES.
It’s all right.
Arthur strokes the dog’s head. The dog licks his hand
affectionately. The conversation continues…
Have you lost your mind?
Henry removes Casey’s hands from his shoulders.
You and me, we got this land in our
blood. I know it as well as you do.
But this… this is delusion. You
ain’t nothing more than a mosquito
to them. You seen what they did to
Casey nods solemnly.
I came here today to ask for your
help. We need men. That’s the only
way we do this.
Look here. I don’t much care what
you decide to do. But me and my
family, we’ll get up and leave like
civilized folks. Like folks who
know they’ve lost. It ain’t a
choice, but it’s what we’ll do.
Casey looks at the ground. Henry’s words are a kick in the teeth.
Suddenly, Arthur is distracted by a low GROWL. His dog is
staring at a small gray MOUSE at the edge of the clearing.
Arthur holds him back, while trying to follow the conversation.
You can’t just give up… What ever
happened to the Henry I used to
know? Huh? We used to go raising
hell all over town. And now… I
look at you and your someone I
don’t even know.
I got a boy to protect Casey. It’s
different now. What if I went and
got myself killed? Huh? What then?
Who’ll take care of him?
Deflated, Casey scuffs his feet in the dirt. The dog paws the
Easy boy. Hang in there.
It just ain’t fair, that’s all.
Course it isn’t. Many things —
A loud BARK rings out. The dog breaks loose and goes CRASHING
through the corn after the mouse. The stalks swaying after
him. Both men turn and stare into the corn field – directly
Hey! Arthur, you git on out of
Grudgingly, Arthur pushes through the corn. The game is over.
Howdy there buddy!
Hullo Mr. Reynolds. How do you do?
Fine. Thank you.
C’mon. Let’s go.
Take care now.
With a hand on his shoulder, Henry steers his son towards the
house. Casey watches them go. A moment later, the dog comes
bounding down the road. Arthur breaks away from his father’s
hold and races off after the dog.
TITLE CARD: “This Land”