THE HORSE WHISPERER
The Horse Whisperer
Based on the Novel by Nicholas Evans
INT. STABLES; PILGRIM'S STALL - MORNING
Sunlit illuminates the darkened stable, highlighting the
contours of a magnificent HORSE (PILGRIM) in surreal, dream-
like imagery: his legs, his muscles, his sheen, his mane...
his eyes. He shakes his head and stamps his feet. He seems
confined. Eager to run.
INT. STABLES - MORNING
Pilgrim bursts through the stall and runs out the stables
into a blinding white morning.
EXT. AN OPEN FIELD LEADING TO WOODS - BRIGHT MORNING
Whiteness. Snow and sky without any discernible line between.
Camera is POV, as if on the horse, riding through the
whiteness. Snow kicks up from the side. We hear the breathing
of the horse. As we travel on hills, through trees, we
experience of sense of wild, exhilarating freedom.
We hear the giggles of a GIRL (GRACE) on the horse. An
Yeah, fly boy... that's it... go...
END OF DREAM as we CUT TO:
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Grace awakens, calmly. Takes a breath. Slides out of bed and
stands before a window, overlooking a beautiful Connecticut
country house. We see a snow-covered field and distant woods.
Grace presses her faces against the cold, frosted window
eager to get out.
INT. MACLEAN NEW YORK APARTMENT - MORNING
Alarm rings, ANNIE MACLEAN awakens. She shuts the alarm and
scoots up in bed. She waits. Seconds later the television
across the foot of her bed turns on from a timer -- to a CNN
24 NEWS channel.
INT. HALLWAY/ANNIE & ROBERT'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Grace, fully dressed except for her boots, tiptoes past a
partially opened bedroom door. Her father ROBERT is asleep,
alone, on his huge king size bed.
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE KITCHEN - MORNING
Grace is putting on her boots on a bench beside a back door.
She is wearing her mother's outfit. As she slides the boot
on, we see behind her a row of framed photos -- Robert, Grace
and Annie in happy times.
She slaps a note on the refrigerator, with a magnet -- "Gone
riding. Back around 10. Love, G."
EXT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE, BACK ENTRANCE - MORNING
Grace slips on her jacket and hat as she comes down the
steps, her feet hitting the walk...
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - MORNING
Annie's feet hit the ground, running -- her breath showing in
the cold air. She passes other joggers with ease. She crosses
the street and heads for an elegant CPW building.
INT. MACLEAN'S NEW YORK APARTMENT - MORNING
Dressed in running clothes, Annie opens the door and picks up
several newspapers that were delivered. She carries them into
the kitchen and sets them beside a huge stack of publications,
magazines, papers, etc... Knowing she must read all of them at
some point, she breathes a disgusted sign. She thumbs through
the POST as she pours herself a cup of coffee. Something
catches her eyes and she snarls:
That little shit!
She dials a portable phone and moves through the apartment as
Hi Lucy?... Did I wake you?... Have
you read the Post?... They've got a
little item about me and Fiske. He's
saying I fired him and that I faked
the new circulation figures.. Ha, ha...
Oh, please... It's the last act of a
desperate gnome... Set up a phone call
with Don Farlow for 9:30...
Throughout the phone call, Annie is selecting clothes,
turning on the shower, undressing...
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
The snow has stopped falling. Grace walks along a hill, hands
in pocket. Spread out on the landscape are horses, on a horse
farm, standing like statues in the white covered fields.
As Grace comes along the hill, we see another GIRL (JUDITH)
coming from the opposite direction. She doesn't have Grace's
lean elegance but her warm, friendly smile brightens her
face. Upon reaching her, Grace returns the smile with a hug.
It's warmer than I thought.
You want to go to a movie tonight?
I thought your mom's coming up?
Judith immediately senses a problem so she continues casually,
as they begin walking away from Camera...
My parents are having friends from
college over. They're really nice...
They have this gorgeous son who wants
to be a forest ranger.
Can I come? I'll start a fire...
Judith laughs as they continue talking, their voices trailing
off, as the girls head for the stables.
INT. STABLES, THE DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
There are several horses in their stalls. Grace and Judith
enter, talking, carrying their English saddles. Judith stops
at a stall, disappearing into it as she says "Hello?"...,
Grace continues to the end stall.
Pilgrim (the horse from the dream) stands looking at her.
Hello, beautiful boy.
He's a massive figure beside her but she shows no inhibition.
She enters, touching his muzzle. He plays with her by nudging
Stop... Will you stop!
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM - MORNING
They lead their horses, now saddled and ready, from the barn.
Pilgrim tosses his head, prancing, playing with the snow.
The girls mount the horses and ride off together.
INT. ANNIE'S MAGAZINE OFFICE - MID-MORNING
Annie, casually dressed, enters the empty offices of her
magazine. She turns on the light, revealing a large row of
stalls and glassed in private offices. Everywhere we look, we
see indications of the kind of magazine she edits.
She strolls to her office -- the largest -- surrounded by
windows. The office walls are covered with photos, most of
which are COVER STORIES ON ANNIE.
(One photo is of Annie's father MARTIN. A BRITISH AMBASSADOR
with his young daughter on his lap, her arms affectionately
around his neck. Her mother stands right behind them, posing
like a member of the royal family.)
Annie sits and takes a breath. The only photo on her desk is
a family portrait, taken when Annie was given the Crystal
Award -- Robert, Grace, herself and the Award. She checks her
watch -- it is almost 9:30.
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM/CLOSET - MID-MORNING
A WALK-IN CLOSET of the master bedroom; one side is Annie's,
one side is Robert's.
Robert stands before his bureau in the closet -- he has just
showered and is putting on his watch and ring which lay
beside his cologne assortment. A FRAMED PHOTO OF HE AND ANNIE
in India -- younger, vibrant, in love... when they first met.
THE PHONE RINGS. Robert enters into the bedroom to pick up.
INSERT ANNIE: They speak in dulled, emotionless voices:
So, what, uh, what train are you taking?
I should be in by two.
Okay. You want me to pick you up?
Sure... What's Grace up to?
Riding with Judith.
I'm sorry about last night. I shouldn't
have brought it up over the phone.
That's okay. We have to talk about it
and we're not always in the same place
... so... I just have to get used to it.
What do you want to do about dinner?
I don't know. We'll figure it out.
Pause. There is a lot unspoken but understood between them.
Annie's other phone line rings. Robert hears it as well.
Okay. We'll see you later then.
Annie picks up the other line and her manner brightens, her
DON! My love, how are you? Did you hear
about Fiske?... No, suing is too
civilized. Can't we get your friend at Le
Cirque to serve him a fatal piece of
poached salmon?... Ha, ha... That's even
EXT. CONNECTICUT COUNTRYSIDE - MORNING
Long Shot of the girls riding at an easy pacing, talking all
the time. Grace is an elegant rider, quite self-assured for a
13-year-old... We come into the scene at the moment the
girls have just shared a secret or a fantasy. Judith is
giggling uncontrollably. Grace laughs as she says:
...Oh, come on! You think the same thing!
I just could never say it!
They stop at the end of the field, facing the woods.
Do you want to go around by the
Why don't we just cut through the
Grace nods. They ride into the woods, continuing their talk.
EXT. WOODS - MORNING
The girls ride down, along a stand of hickories and poplars
to a RIVER. They stop the horses and their conversation, to
listen to the sound of the water. Below them, off in the
distance, they can just make out a two-lane country road.
You want to go down or stay along
We already did the river. Let's go down
and across the old bridge. We can circle
They begin to make their way.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE - MORNING
Annie's office is now crowded with a dozen or so employees;
sitting on the couch, on the window sills, on the arms of
chairs, against the walls... Paper bag emptied of bagels,
cream cheese, orange juice, paper plates...
Hand Held Camera captures the energy of the room as it
follows overlapping lines, laughter, etc... yet, no matter how
casual it all seems, Annie is very much at the center of
control... We enter the scene of LAUGHTER, as Annie asks
KEVIN, a feature writer:
... So what did you say to her?
I said, thank you very much...
(LAUGHTER, AD LIBS)
I really should do the interview... But
perhaps if you'd like to have dinner...
LAUGHTER... Everyone starts Ad Libbing...
Dinner!!... He's so cute.... Why don't I
get those kind of interviews?... Look,
he has husband number eight written on
All right, all right, all right... Kevin,
good job. Write the interview. If I don't
like it, you may have to sleep with her
for a follow-up!
Now... I'm thinking about another fashion
designer spread... Who's news out there?
Characters shout out designer names and comments as the phone
rings and LUCY picks up... speaking amdist the talking...
The room goes dead quiet, instantly. Then erupts in laughter
as everyone realizes it. Annie, however, waves her hand as
she takes the phone...
Everyone obeys. Annie presses SPEAKER PHONE.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (VO)
Everyone. Working overtime. Just for you.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (VO)
Did you speak to Farlow?
Yes. We're suing.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (VO)
Is that absolutely necessary? It'll just
make it a bigger story.
David, he signed an agreement that he
wouldn't talk to the press and he's
libeled me by saying I faked the figures.
You're not going soft on me, are you?
Silence. Gottschalk doesn't immediately respond. Everyone
waits. Covert looks between characters suggest this is
interesting -- has Annie over-stepped her bounds with the
magazine's owner? Annie waits without a shred of anxiety --
even though she might have some. Finally:
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (VO)
Well, I suppose we could use another
good public feud...
Everyone silently acknowledges Annie guts and influence.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - MORNING
It's perfectly still. We are looking down an empty TWO-LANE
ROAD covered with fresh snow. We see the girls slowly riding
out of the woods, talking. They cross the road and start up
into the woods on the other side... They are trying to sing a
LIZ PHAIR song, "CHOPSTICKS"
"I met him at a party and he told me how
he like to drive me home... He said he
liked to do it backwards..."
"... I said it--"
"... and I said that"...
No, wait, it just goes... "he said he
liked to do-"...
Suddenly there's the SOUND OF THE METAL OF JUDITH'S HORSE
scraping on some sheer ice hidden under the soft snow. Judith
What was --
The horse staggers... Judith looks to Grace --
The horse tries to find tracing with his hindfeet, kicking
up sprays of snow and ice shards. The horse suddenly falls on
the ice and goes down hard on its knees...
The horse stumbles to get back on its feet, slipping again.
Frightened, it rears and Judith, caught off balance, is
thrown, her foot catching in the stirrup...
Her horse, unable to find its balance, starts to slide backward
down the incline.
PILGRIM, COME ON! MOVE!
Grace, directly behind Judith, tries to turn Pilgrim to avoid
being hit by the errant horse.
What follows, we see from Grace's perspective. The details
that form the images and sounds of Grace's mind are fast,
disembodies, almost surreal as --
Judith's horse bulldozes into Pilgrim, taking his legs out
from under him, sending both horses careening down the icy
slope. Grace hangs onto Pilgrim's neck. Judith, her leg
helplessly tangled in the stirrup, is dragged, her head
bouncing on the frozen ground.
They slide all the way back down to the COUNTRY ROAD. Pilgrim
is the first to find his legs and stand. Grace manages to sit
up in the saddle. She sees Judith's horse stumbling back onto
its feet, one of his legs broken at the ankles, walking in
confused circles, dragging Judith -- her face bleeding, her
leg hanging from the stirrup.
Jude, you okay?
I'm okay... I'm okay.
She tries to extricate her leg from the stirrup.
Grace sees it before she hears it. A GLINT off of steel. We
then hear the rumbling SOUND of a TRUCK coming around the
bend... The Girls on their horses in the middle of the road...
The Truck, an 18 wheeler carrying logging equipment, comes
around the turn... Grace grabs the bridle, trying to get
Judith's horse out of the road... The driver, seeing them, lays
on the air horn. The Horses bolt at the sound, the bridle
slipping out of Grace's hand...
... The horses turn apart. The Driver starts furiously
downshifting, trying to brake... He seems to get it under
control when suddenly THE TRUCK SKIDS on some ice. It begins
to slide, out of control, the truck bed and the cab jack-
knifing. The truck literally plows over the helpless Judith
and her horse -- the horse going down on the pavement, Judith
disappearing under him. The truck's cab, like a mythic
monster, heads right for Grace and Pilgrim... Grace looks
right into the Driver's helpless, frightened eyes... Suddenly,
Pilgrim rears up at the truck, sending Grace flying, bouncing
her off the pavement and under the wheel of the truck.
Pilgrim instinctively jumps onto the hood of the truck, his
hooves caught between the rear-view mirrors like some
grotesque ornament. His head and chest slams into the window,
shattering through the glass.
And then it is still.
The truck has stopped halfway in the road. Judith's horse
lies in the road, motionless. Pilgrim, on the truck's hood,
his legs splayed, stuck, his head and chest, bleeding. He
shrieks, struggling to get to his feet. He manages to free
his legs and, stepping off the cab onto the road, walks off,
wounded, in pain, into the sanctuary of the woods...
The Driver stumbles out of the cab, his head bleeding, in
shock. He sits on the ground. All we hear is the sound of the
river and the wind in the trees.
Grace, halfway under the truck, frozen, stares up at the
beautiful morning sky.
WE HEAR THE SOUND OF A HELICOPTER...
INT. MACLEAN FARMHOUSE/KITCHEN - LATER MORNING
ANGLE ON GRACE'S NOTE on the refrigerator as Robert enters
from the outside with two bags of groceries. He places them on
the counter near the PHONE MACHINE. He sees ONE MESSAGE is
there. He presses PLAY as he puts away the groceries.
A BEAT LATER the PHONE RINGS and he picks up, with the machine
Hello? Paul, hi -- are you guys back?
How was it? Oh that sounds great. Oh
Paul.. hold on...
Robert! Are you there?... Robert! It's
Liz!... Look, there's... there's been
an accident... Uh... Jesus... uh...
As Robert listens, the voice of Liz's on the machine from
inside, pulls his attention. On hearing "accident," Robert
lowers the receiver, frozen, as he listens to Liz...
Robert, just call me on my call phone...
EXT. THE WOODS - LATE MORNING
Pilgrim is hiding in the shadows under an old railroad bridge,
standing up to his knees in the river. His chest is cut open,
bleeding. His face cut, contorted and swollen. LIZ HAMMOND,
the local veterinarian, hides a hypodermic needle in her
jacket, quietly walking into the water.
A Policeman is going into the water downstream from Pilgrim,
whose chest is heaving, blood drips into the water. He
watches Liz. She is almost to him when suddenly he bolts,
The Policeman behind him shouts and waves his arm. Frightened,
Pilgrim wheels back toward Liz, who manages to stick the hypo
in his neck. He rears, knocking her down, then runs out of
the river, the hypo still in his neck. He runs for the
sanctuary of the woods.
INT. TRAIN - LATE MORNING
Annie sits on a train -- her laptop out, notes beside her,
her cellular phone, ever-ready. The train passes through
beautiful countryside but Annie is focused on an editorial
The train pulls into a station and stops, causing Annie to
take a break and stretch her arms and neck. She looks out the
window for the first time and sees:
A MAN, his hands in his pockets, waiting on the platform. She
watches as the Man holds out his arms to his two young
children, who are getting off the train. He picks them up as
his wife enters the scene, kissing him and wrapping her arm
around his waist. The children talk a mile a minute and the
father listens to every word.
Annie doesn't even realize she is staring. As they leave the
platform, she turns back to her laptop. As the train begins
to move again, Annie returns to work.
HER CELLULAR PHONE RINGS. She answers.
Yeah?... Hi. I made the 1:00 so...
The expression on her face sinks into a stunned panic.
INT. HOSPITAL, CONNECTICUT - DAY
Annie is running through the corridors, her bags in tow. She
sees Robert standing in the corridor talking to a DOCTOR. She
runs for them.
When she appears, Robert and the Doctor stop their
conversation. Robert looks to Annie, who is waiting for news.
Robert is teary eyed, beaten down.
Annie's horrified, waiting for news of Grace.
What about Grace?
She was in pretty bad shape. They've
done a C.A.T. Scan -- she has some
But nothing we can't handle...
Where is she now?
Surgery! For what-?
Annie, her leg was shattered -- what
they call the distal epi.. epi..
Distal epicondyle of the femur...
They have to take the leg off.
Annie responds without tears and cries but with a quiet
shock. We can tell her mind is racing, trying to process the
information, until finally she asks:
The Doctor and Robert are surprised by the question.
What difference does it make?
Annie stares for a beat, then nods apologetically.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
Pilgrim is sedated, lying in his own blood in the snow,
surrounded by Police and trackers. He is being attended to by
LIZ HAMMOND, who is dictating to her assistant:
... His skull, cheek, and nose are
severely fractured. He has a deep
chest wound. I'm not even sure it
can be closed.
(deadpan, local accent)
Animal should be put down -- anybody can
Liz looks up to him, resentfully, but knows he's right.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
Camera moves from Grace's face down her body to Robert's
hand, which rubs her good leg. He looks at her lovingly,
pushing the hair from her forehead.
Annie, needing to do something, tenderly straightens Grace's
blankets. It is plain to see where her leg had once been.
Robert can't look. Annie, one to face her fears, bravely
looks at it head on. She notices the I.V. Bag and rises on:
That bag's almost empty.
No, it's got a little left. They'll be
in to change it.
(as she exits)
Robert, you leave it up these people...!
Robert is about to respond but Annie is already out the door.
We hear the O.S. DIALOGUE as Robert listens.
Excuse me, my daughter needs a new
We have her down, we'll be right in.
I'd like it taken care of now please.
Annie enters first.
You have to keep on top of these people
or else they just sit on their --
But Robert is ignoring her. Facing Grace, smoothing away her
hair. He's giving her the silent treatment. Annie knows this
means Robert doesn't approve of her dictatorial behavior.
Annoyed, she turns away as well.
The Nurse enters with a new bag and begins to replace the old
one as Robert backs away.
Tch. What are you --
Annie, about to respond to his inappropriate politeness, is
stopped by Robert, who finally looks at her. It's a powerful
look that tells her to calm down and shut up. It's a look
that, for all of Robert's sensitivity, affects Annie. She
gets the message and stays calm.
As the nurse leaves, Annie is about to say thank you, but
Robert beats her to it.
Annie and Robert stand facing each other, when the PHONE RINGS.
Annie picks up.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
LIZ HAMMOND on a cellular, walking away from the crowd.
Annie, it's Liz. How's Grace?
Her leg was shattered so they had to,
uh... remove it. She had some bleeding
but it's under control.
Oh God, Annie, I'm so sorry. I... I
know you're being hit with a low now,
I don't want to take too much of your
time but I have to talk to you about
Annie hears the name as if it's some distant echo she can't
quite identify; Liz speaks quickly as Annie watches Grace
breathing in her sleep --
It's not good. I've never seen an animal
with these injuries still breathing. I
know this is difficult to hear right now
I'd like your permission to put him down.
It's the really best thing we can do for --
That was too much information for Annie;
Wait, uh, I, I don't understand. Start
again -- He's alive...
Yes, but he's in a tremendous pain...
Well, of course, right...
What is it?
We really shouldn't wait...
Hold on, Liz...
Something about Pilgrim...
The Doctor pokes his head in.
Mr. and Mrs. MacLean...
-- put him down. She says...
(overlapping, to Doctor)
Tell her you'll call her back.
He exits with the Doctor.
Liz, listen, the Doctor's here and I
just can't, uh... talk now... so --
I understand, but Annie, please...
- See, what you can do for him --...
Annie, no matter what I do, this horse
will never be the same.
... I just don't know right now! Do
whatever you can and when Grace is --
It isn't right to make him suffer...
And I can say the same thing about my
daughter! But she is suffering! Can you
solve that problem!
(Liz is quiet)
I can't deal with this now, Liz! If you
need a yes or no right now, then no --
don't do it! Not until I know Grace is
all right. Now, please! Just do what you
Liz is stopped by Annie's almost pleading tone.
They hang up. Annie takes a breath. Robert re-enters.
What did he say?
Nothing new. He's just going off duty.
I'm going to get all the nurses'
names... It's good to know all their
Robert nods. But neither of them moves. They stand motionless
for a beat, then Annie begins to break down and eases herself
into Robert's arms.
Robert embraces her, kissing her head, with an almost fatherly
comfort. His expression tells us it's the moment he's been
expecting... and wanting. Now she'll be all right, in his arms.
Whatever distance between them, whatever problems felt
insurmountable last night on the phone, are now, for the moment
-- for Robert -- gone.
But Annie's expression tells us something different. Her
instinct to hold him was honest... but the effect isn't the
same anymore. Something doesn't feel right. Something isn't
working anymore about his comforting embrace.
I should go get some of her things.
No, let me go.
(gently pushing away)
No, I'll go. You stay... In case she
INT. THE UNIVERSITY ANIMAL HOSPITAL, RECOVERY STALLS - NIGHT
A line of recovery stalls with various sick and hurt animals.
Liz, exhausted asleep, on a chair outside a stall. There's a
slight scratching sound. A hoof against the stall. It gets
louder, awakening Liz. She gets up and looks inside the
Pilgrim is lying in the stall, heavily bandaged. He is waking
up. His first instinct is to kick at the paddled stall walls.
He looks at Liz, his eyes filled with madness -- enraged to
still be alive.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM IN FARMHOUSE - NIGHT
Annie opens the door and enters, flicking on the light.
Camera is on her back, as she places a small suitcase on the
bed and opens it. She begins her task with cool efficiency.
Opening drawers and closets, assessing what should be taken,
what isn't necessary.
Suddenly, she stops. She feels disoriented for a moment. She
can't remember the last time she was inside this room. She
takes a moment to pause and actually look around.
In the light, we now see more of Grace's inner sanctum. Horse
riding prize ribbons in various colors adorn the walls.
Books. A girl's bureau cluttered with teenage possession
ranging from childhood toys to items that suggest a reaching
towards adulthood. Annie examines some items, affectionately.
A GOOD LUCK CHARM from India sits among her things. Annie
takes it to pack in the suitcase.
She notices a framed 8X10 of Grace sitting proudly atop
Pilgrim with Judith at her heel. She then notices the edge of
another picture behind this one, in the frame. She pulls the
Pilgrim photo out to reveal: An old 8X10 of Annie hugging
Grace as a toddler. With her back to Camera, Annie remembers:
INT. GRACE'S ROOM - A DAY REMEMBERED
Annie is playing with toddler Grace. Chasing her around the
room. Picking her and tossing her onto a small, toddler bed.
Blowing into her stomach. Grace is laughing uncontrollably.
END OF MEMORY
Annie slides the Pilgrim picture back into the frame, then
returns to her task of packing.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Annie enters. No one else is there. She places the suitcase
on a chair and opens it. She takes out the INDIAN LUCKY CHARM
and some horse books, and places them on her bedside table.
She takes care to prop up the Lucky Charm.
She wets a cloth with some water from a pitcher and gently
wipes Grace's sweaty brow... INSERT VISUAL FLASHBACK HERE,
instead of in Country House.
Annie then continues unpacking the suitcase. She opens
Grace's closet and sees a hospital bag filled with Grace's
clothes at the time of the accident. Annie examines them and
discovers they are hers. Annie shoves the clothes into a bag
and starts unpacking.
INT. HOSPITAL CAFETERIA - PRE-DAWN
The Clock is ticking on the wall. The cafeteria is empty
except for one tired Intern, drinking coffee on a break.
Robert and Annie are having a cup of coffee. In the silence,
they search for things to say. Until:
I saw Judith's parents while you were
at the apartment...
I wanted to say something...
But I... I was so relieved that Grace
was still... that it wasn't our daughter.
We're very lucky.
The funeral's on Friday.
He rises and crosses to the self-help coffee dispenser as he
Oh, uh, I meant to tell you... Alex
brought that fabric over...
It's on the table by the phone. I didn't
know what to tell him...
(returns to table, sits)
... Whether or not we were...
... if we still we're thinking of redoing
Annie just nods. She senses Robert is looking for some kind
of reassurance, but she can't give it to him. He continues;
... And uh... Mario called about moving
Oh. Right. I'll call him.
Pause. Annie looks at her husband as he stares off to the
side, deep in his thoughts. She can sense he's sinking as he
fidgets with the napkins. She remembers:
INT. A SMALLER APARTMENT, KITCHEN - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
A younger Annie stands in a bathrobe, noticeably pregnant,
cooking at a stove -- reading instructions from a propped up
cookbook. FRANK SINATRA IS BLASTING as she sings along, in
full voice, without inhibitions;
"SHE'S LOVES THE THEATRE BUT NEVER COMES
LATE... SHE NEVER BOTHERS WITH PEOPLE SHE
HATES... THAT'S WHY THE LADY IS A TRAMP!..."
A younger Robert, wearing a suit, arrives home from work. Seeing
her, he smiles affectionately. He puts down his briefcase and
bursts into his own playful Sinatra impersonation:
"She loves the free..."
Startled, Annie turns around and smiles:
(sexily undoing his tie)
"... FRESH, WIND IN HER HAIR... LIFE
WITHOUT CARE... SHE'S BROKE... BUT
(a la fan)
Sing it to me, Frankie!
(a la Sinatra cool)
How's my pregnant chick!
She moves to him and they embrace... He wraps his arms around
her. They kiss. Annie laughs.
You can hardly get your arms around me.
How depressing. You're so early.
I had to excuse myself from a meeting.
It's ridiculous. I kept thinking about
the baby... you... and, I swear, I was
going to start bawling right into my
Aw... that's so sweet.
I love you.
Do you? Do you really?
They turn to each other and kiss.
END OF MEMORY.
INT. HOSPITAL CAFETERIA - PRE-DAWN
Annie and Robert sit silently at the table in an empty hospital
cafeteria, a lifetime later.
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAYBREAK
The room's lights are dimmed. Dawn is being to break through.
Grace, slowly, opens her eyes coming out of sedation. She
takes a moment to figure out where she is... to remember.
She uses her hands to hoist herself up, but she's unsteady
and knocks into her bedside table -- knocking the Good Luck
Charm from India off the table. It rolls under the bed, with
a water tumbler. Grace never sees the Charm.
Grace looks where her leg once was. She feels the blanket,
the empty space where her leg once was... just like her mother
did (did her father couldn't). Instead of self-pity, she's
INT. GRACE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Daylight pours in. Robert and Annie enter. Robert, loaded
with gifts, immediately crosses to Grace, on the side of her
good leg. Annie takes her position beside the lost leg.
Robert kisses his daughter;
Annie's hand finds Grace's hand, and holds one of her fingers
tightly. Grace responds by wrapping her hand around her
mother's. They exchange a look of respect and gratitude.
Have you heard from Judith's parents?
No, not yet.
How's Pilgrim doing?
Liz is taking care of him.
(to change the subject)
The doctor said the sooner you start
therapy the better the chances are you
I can't even get out of bed yet! You're
already putting me in therapy!!
Annie, slightly hurt, drops it as Robert takes over:
The doctor said whenever you're ready.
Take your time. You tell us... But he
thinks it'll only be a few months, then --
As Robert continues talking, Annie drifts to the Nurse.
Needing to manage something, she asks:
Did you get her fresh towels?
SOME TIME LATER:
EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
A limousine drives up as the Doorman gets the car door. The
weather is slightly warmer. People's clothing looks as if
spring is coming nearer.
Annie exits first, carrying a jacket for Grace. She is
followed by Robert, who immediately turns to help Grace. We
hear her O.S.
Dad! I can do it, OK?!
Annie shoots him a disapproving look.
We see Grace's good leg exit first... then two crutches,
followed by... a PROSTHETIC LEG. Grace scoots into view, and
takes a breath.
You all go ahead. I'll be up by
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
The three sit at a dinner table, eating dinner. Grace picks
at her food. Robert can't help staring at her. Annie eats,
watching them both.
Do you want something else, honey?
We order something else?
No, I'm just not that hungry.
Why don't you go lie down?
I don't want to lie down. I've been
lying down enough.
You want to watch some television?
Maybe... look -- just...
Robert and Annie wait. She doesn't continue. She rises,
reaching for her crutches. Robert moves to help.
I got it! I got it!
She exits into her room. Annie looks at him disapprovingly.
INT. ANNIE AND ROBERT'S BATHROOM/BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie and Robert stand before their separate sinks, talking
to each other through their separate mirrors, as they wash up
You've got to stop doing that?
Helping all the time! Running to her
every time she trips or falls...
Anticipating her all the time.
Robert shuts off his sink and dries his face, without a word.
He exits into the bedroom, and gets into bed. For a beat, he
stares up at the ceiling -- then says quite plainly.
You know, Annie, this didn't just happen
Annie is applying moisturizer when she hears this. As it
sinks in, she doesn't like it.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Grace stands by her door and can hear her parents muffled,
tense voices. Annie is angry at his complacency. Robert just
wants what's best for Grace. She closes the door. Silence.
She puts her crutches against the wall and tries to walk
towards her bureau without them. It is a struggle, but she
does... almost falling, but grabbing the bureau just in time.
The 8X10 of her and Pilgrim, falls face down. She props it up
and looks at it -- focusing on her horse, then on Judith.
Suddenly, she lashes out, knocking the photograph onto the
Honey, you all right? Did something
EXT. GRACE'S PRIVATE SCHOOL - MORNING
Annie pulls up in a Range Rover and stops. Grace moves for
the door. Annie asks respectfully;
Do you want any help?
Grace doesn't even bother to answer. She manages to get onto
the pavements, then turns for her bag...
Annie notices other kids looking at Grace from behind, as they
enter the school.
Dad'll pick you up today, all right?
Grace looks up to her mother. What is unspoken between them
is the understanding that today will be difficult and there's
nothing either one can do about it.
You'll be fine.
Grace nods and turns to the school. Annie watches her go.
INT. GRACE'S SCHOOL - MORNING
Grace makes her way through the hall. It is the first time
she has had to maneuver through a crowd. Some of the younger
children are especially unconscious. Grace sweats her way
through, trying to maintain her balance and her sanity.
As Grace slowly moves along, whatever small faith she had
that she could get through this day, begins to diminish.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE - DAY
Annie moves about the office, hands in pocket, in front of
her wall of windows. LUCY and her staff sitting around the
office. Annie is speaking to a YOUNG WOMAN staff member;
I don't care what he told you! The
man's a liar! The man's an actor, for
Christ's sake. They're all liars!
They'll say anything to get a cover...
The Young Woman looks insulted. AN ASSISTANT comes in to give
Annie a note;
EXT. GRACE'S SCHOOL - DAY
Annie is crossing an empty school yard. Grace is sitting on
the ground, her back against a wall, her "legs" in front of
her. She has been crying. She looks up to her mother.
It's too hard.
Annie kneels before her sympathetically brushing her hair away:
Oh, honey... What happened?
Doesn't matter. I... I don't want to
come back, that's all.
Oh. Well, what are you going to do? You
have to go to school, honey. I mean, what --
I'm not coming back! That's it! I want to
Grace, listen to me. Your body is just
healing. You have to give the rest of you
time as well...
Is that your version of a pep talk?
You are not staying home all day feeling
sorry for yourself. You're going to get
up and you're going to figure this out.
It's still early. What's your next class?
With secret delight, Grace viciously utters the word:
INT. ANNIE AND ROBERT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie is at her desk studying Grace's book on Horse Whisperers.
Robert is on his bed with briefs laid out before him.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT
The door is closed. A SONG blares on her stereo. Grace is in
her bed watching a video of her and Pilgrim... riding at a
horse show. There's a shot of Annie standing proudly,
watching her ride. Another shot of her and Judith, both of
them on their horses, waving to camera.
INT. BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT
Both Robert and Annie look up.
I want to see Pilgrim.
Robert and Annie exchange an anxious look.
EXT. DYER HORSE FARM, CONNECTICUT - DAY
It's raining. The MacLean car is parked by the barn. They
are walking towards the stables under their umbrellas as Liz
runs to greet them.
It's so good to see you. How ya
She's doing just grea. Aren't you
Well, come on. He's out back now...
Mind how you go. It's pretty muddy back
Why is he in the back? Why isn't he in
the barn with the other horses?
Liz stops, causing everyone to stop. She turns to face Grace,
realizing she doesn't know. She looks at Robert and Annie,
accusingly. She tries to explain:
Well, Grace, you see... Pilgrim just...
isn't the same horse he used to be.
(to the parents)
As a matter of fact, maybe now's not
the best time to --
I really want to see him.
Liz looks at Annie. Annie nods. Liz leads them on.
They reach a row of empty old stalls. They cross to one of
the stalls -- its doors are closed. Liz draws back the bolt
on top half of the door.
There is an immediate explosion of sound inside the stall,
the sound of fear, startling them. Then it's still. Liz
slowly opens the door. Grace, with the aide of her cane,
walks to the stall. She hesitates, then looks in. It takes a
moment for her eyes to grow accustomed to the dark. She sees
Pilgrim with his head down in the shadows...
Hello, beautiful boy...
He lifts his head at the sound of her voice. Grace, and the
audience, see him for the first time -- His mad eyes, his
Grace cries out, stepping backwards, nearly stumbling in the
mud... What is left of her horse are gone. Annie realizes
what's happened and, together with Robert, rush to her... They
too see the monster Pilgrim has become and are horrified.
Grace angrily pushes away from them and "runs" off. Robert
goes after her.
Annie is standing in the rain with Liz -- her eyes unable to
move away from the sight of Pilgrim.
You should have told her, Annie. I
tried to explain to you how bad it was...
I guess you had to see it. But, there's
nothing to be done. This animal's beyond
help. Annie, can I have your permission
now to put him down?
Annie stands in the rain, hands in pocket, fixed on Pilgrim
and more determined than ever;
EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Alone in her study, Annie sits before her computer searching
the Internet for information on HORSES -- Veterinarian
Journals, Therapies, Accidents, Eistories... We sense she's
been at it a while...
She locates an ITEM TITLE -- HORSE WHISPERERS. Interested, she
brings it up on the screen.
INT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - NIGHT
Annie sits in the huge reading room, books spread out before
her, under a green reading lamp. Her voice tells us what she's
"It was in America that horses first
In the books, we see pictures, lithographs, paintings and
"A million years before the birth of
man, they grazed the vast empty plains of
grass and crossed to other continents
over bridges of rocks... They first knew
man as the hunted knows the hunter, for
long before man saw horses as a means to
killing other beasts, man killed them for
ANNIE'S V.O. CONTINUES OVER;
INT. PILGRIM'S STALL - NIGHT
"...The alliance with man would forever
be fragile -- for the fear he'd struck
into their hearts was too deep to be
dislodged... Since that Neolithic moment
when a horse was first haltered, there
were those among men who understood
INT. GRACE'S ROOM - NIGHT
Grace sits alone in her darkened room, staring out the window
but not looking at anything. There's a discomforting distance
in her expression.
"... They could see into the creature's
soul and soothe the wounds they found
EXT. A FAIRGROUNDS PARKING LOT, CALIFORNIA - DAY
A hot, dusty fairgrounds horse arena. The worn wooden bleachers,
crowded. Lines of cars and pick-up trucks.
"...For secrets uttered softly into
troubled ears, these men were known as
One particular pick-up truck has its back door opened. A
MAN'S LEG is sticking out, putting on a pair of boots.
A moment later the Man gets out of the car. Holding a cowboy
hat, he has a certain quality, a self-respect, that men who
know themselves seem to have. TOM BOOKER.
A weathered redheaded woman named RONA -- late forties, strong,
wiry horsewoman's build -- is walking towards him.
Hey, Rona. Sorry I'm late.
I wouldn't know what to do if you were
They walk together towards the fairgrounds.
You're looking fit.
Fit? You want to check my teeth.
Good crowd today. I think you'll have
some fun. You going to stay for dinner?
If it's not too much trouble, I thought
Kind of trouble I'm in the mood for.
Oh-oh... Maybe I better get back in the
Rona lets out a hearty laugh as they enter the horse arena.
EXT. HORSE ARENA, CALIFORNIA - DAY
Inside the corral, a small black thoroughbred is being worked
by Tom. As he rides and narrates into a radio microphone to
the crowd, we sense this is a man of good humor and great
skill -- guileless, sensible, of the earth.
... It's always kind of interesting to
hear the horse's side of the story...
The crowd laughs warmly. He directs his comments to a WOMAN
wearing an expensive Ralph Lauren western outfit, standing
outside the corral...
Now if he was cranky or lazy, like you
say he is, we'd be seeing his tail
twitching there and his ears back,
maybe. But this isn't a cranky horse,
it's a scared horse. You see how braced
he is up around the neck back there.
He just doesn't know which way to turn...
The Woman nods. Tom turns the horse on a dime so that he
always stays facing the circling thoroughbred...
You see how he keeps pointing his
hindquarters in at me? Well, I'd guess
the reason he seems reluctant to move
out is because when he does, he gets in
trouble for it.
He's not good at transitions, you know?
When I want him to move from a trot to a
Well, I'm sure that's what you think but
that's not what I'm seeing. You may think
you're asking for a lope, but your body
may be saying something else altogether.
You might be putting too many conditions
on him. For instance, you might be saying
"GO, but, hey, don't go too fast." He can
tell that from the way you feel. Your
body can't lie. You ever give him a kick
to make him move out?
He won't go unless I do.
And then he goes and you feel like he's
going too fast, so you yank him back?
And next thing you know, he's bucking.
(she nods again)
Well, if someone told you to go, stop,
go, stop -- you'd buck too.
The people laugh. The Woman smiles self-consciously.
It's a dance, see... Somebody has to lead
and somebody has to follow.
Tom gracefully moves his horse around the ring, "dancing". He
then takes up a long coiled rope and throws it so that the
coils slap against the black horse's flank, making it burst
into a lope. And again... Making the animal go from a trot to
a lope, letting it slow, then up to a lope again.
I want him to get so he can leave real
soft. He's getting the idea now. He's
not all braced up and tense like he was
at the start. He's finding out it's okay.
He throws the rope again and this time the transition to the
lope is a smooth one.
You see that? He's getting better
already. Pretty soon, if you work at
it, you'll be able to make all these
transitions easy on a loose rein.
(sotto voce, wry)
Yeah, and pigs'll fly.
He's going to be okay -- so long as you
don't go yanking on him.
She nods, but he can see she's upset, feeling foolish. He
walks the horse over to her, turns off the microphone and
Look, the truth is it's all about self-
preservation. These animals.
(with great affection)
... well, they just have such big hearts,
you know? There's nothing they want more
than to do what you want them to do. But
when the messages get all confused, the
only thing they know to do is try and
save themselves... Now, why don't you go
saddle up and see what happens.
Feeling better, and not a little attracted to his heartfelt
man's man, the Woman smiles and reaches for his hand to climb
over the rail. Her horse lets her come right up to him and
stroke his neck. Tom comments;
They won't ever hold a thing against
you. They're the most forgiving
creatures God ever made.
Turning on his mike and turning back to the crowd, he says:
Okay, who's next?
A Young Boy leads a mule into the ring. Tom smiles:
Now God has another idea entirely with
EXT. THE FAIRGROUNDS - LATER THAT DAY
Tom has finished his "show." People are shaking his hand,
thanking him, as he walks away from the corral, towards a
The Woman in the Ralph Lauren approaches:
He faces the Woman:
Hi. I'm Dale. I just wanted to -- I can't
get over the way he felt under me after
you'd finish with him. Everything had
just, I don't know, freed up or something.
The Woman is flirting. Tom shrugs, uncomfortably;
Well, that'll happen.
Where did you learn all this stuff?
What stuff is that?
About horses? I'd love to learn more
about it myself. Do you offer any
private lessons for riders?
(getting the message)
Well... Dale... you know, a lot of this
stuff... it just... nuts and bolts.
What do you mean?
Well, if the rider's nuts, the horse
That's the whole lesson right there.
You have a good day now... Just... keep
on freeing yourself up.
He leaves her, entering the trailer.
INT. RONA'S TRAILER - NIGHT
A small, well-used trailer. Tom and Rona are finishing dinner
like comfortable old friends. Rona rises, taking the plates
into the kitchen and starts rinsing them:
Oh I clear forget. You had a call from
some woman in New York. She sounded
pretty wound up.
I don't any woman in New York. But from
what I hear, most of them are wound up.
The number's by the phone.
He nods but doesn't move. He just looks at Rona and smiles.
She's a good woman. But Tom hopes she doesn't want anymore
than what they have together. Rona notices him looking and
What are you looking at, young man?
How long were you married?
You ever miss it?
Does a horse miss a saddle?
She chuckles, shuts the water off and crosses back to him,
sitting beside him.
Well as a matter of fact, I don't... most
of the time.
She starts unbuttoning his shirt.
You know, Rona, we weren't all that good
together even when we were good together.
Honey... I was always good.
Tom smiles as Rona leans in. They kiss.
INT. ANNIE'S OFFICE, N.Y.C. - MORNING
Annie is looking over a magazine cover with Lucy and her staffers.
She is unhappy.
You know it's perfectly shot, it's
perfectly cropped, it's perfectly laid
out and I'm so bloody bored, I'd rather
buy a Motor Racing magazine -- Start
Some general whines and groans as her assistant hands her a
Uh, would you all excuse me a moment?
She waits for them to leave as she sits before the phone. One
of her lines is lit:
EXT. A ROADSIDE SERVICE STATION SOMEWHERE IN UTAH - DAY
An endless sky. An empty ribbon of two-lane highway in Utah.
A small roadside station. Tom's pick-up truck, his horse
trailer hitched to it, getting gas.
Tom is on the pay phone. We hear Annie's voice:
This is Annie MacLean.
Yeah. Hello. This is Tom Booker. I got a
message you called.
INTERCUT ANNIE in her office:
Oh! Yes. Thank you for calling back. Uh,
all right, let me try to explain my
situation as briefly as possible... You
see, my daughter had an accident with
her horse... They were both injured and
she, my daughter, she hasn't been able
to... fully... uh... It was an extremely
traumatic experience... and uh...
Tom, sensing her turmoil, listening compassionately.
I went on the Internet and found this
article about you... It says you're a Horse
Whisperer, that you... you help people
with horse problems. And you have quite a
success rate when it comes to traumatized --
Well, see, truth is, ma'am, I help horses
with people's problems.
Well, you know, however you want to put
it -- I got your information from the
publisher of the article. I called
Montana and your sister-in-law, I think,
gave me this number.
(trying to be charming)
I'm been hot on your trail you could say
because I was hoping you'd consider
coming to New York and taking a look at
my daughter's horse and possibly --
Ma'am, I'm very sorry about your problems
and I appreciate what your daughter must
be going through, but I'm afraid you've
misunderstood whatever it is you read. I
don't do that sort of thing.
Well, if you could just come for the day.
New York's only a few hours by plane,
I'd have you home by dinner...
Look, even if it was nearer, that's just
not what I do. I give clinics. And I'm
not even doing them for a while. I'm
heading back to Montana right now. I got
a ranch to take care of...
I'll pay you for your fare. I'll send you
to Montana first class.
Ma'am, first class to Montana is a waste
of good money. Now, am I being too polite
here or when I say NO in Utah, does that
mean YES in New York City?
Annie is taken aback. Tom feels badly.
I, I don't mean to sound insensitive. I
understand your situation. But there's
nothing I can do. You just called the
wrong person, that's all. I hear there
are a bunch of therapists in New York.
Maybe you should call one of them.
Mr. Booker, if I could just ex --
I am very sorry, ma'am. Goodbye now.
He hangs up before Annie can continue.
INT. GRACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Annie reaches for Grace's bedroom door, then pauses. She
realizes she should knock. She does and whispers:
Grace, it's mom.
Annie slowly opens the door. She finds Grace's bed empty. She
looks over to the window to find Grace sitting in a chair, in
the dark, looking out the window.
Grace. What are you doing?
Not looking up, Grace speaks in a hollow voice.
I can't find that charm Daddy gave me
I brought it to you in the hospital.
No, you didn't.
Grace, I put it on the table near your --
Have you decided about Pilgrim?
What about him?
Well... how you feel all right about
telling Liz to put him down...
I think we should. It's not fair to let
him suffer. He's not much use anymore.
He'd hate living like that.
I think that's... very compassionate
and... mature way of looking at it.
Maybe they should put me down too.
I mean, I'm not much use anymore. Why
can't they be compassionate to me?
What frightens Annie most is the calm and apathy in Grace's
voice. She's surrendering... Annie, for the first time in a
long time, feels she's losing control.
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Annie sits alone at the kitchen table, nursing a glass of
Robert enters and sits opposite her, wearing a tuxedo -- his
tie and collar undone.
How was the dinner?
All our "favorite" people were there
saying all their "favorite" things about
their "favorite" subjects. I thought to
myself, we've been friends with these
people almost twenty years and nobody
knows anybody. We're so afraid we won't
like each other and have nobody go to
Why did you go?
They're still our friends, Annie. It's
nothing serious. You kid about them all
the time... And I could tell Paul really
appreciated me being there.
He drinks Annie's wine as she looks at him.
Did you get a hold of that horse guy?
What did he say?
Robert nods. Accepting. Silence. Annie sips her wine. Then:
I was thinking... Maybe we should think
about the three of us going someplace
warm... Remember that house we rented in
Bermuda... The pink one with the --
His arm accidentally spills the wine.
As he bends down to wipe it up with a napkin, Annie watches
Robert clean the spill. Something about his movements, his
posture -- a sense of weakness, of surrendering, of not having
the inclination to fight, of just accepting and smoothing
over the rough sports -- strikes her hard. Annie realizes the
love she feels for Robert isn't fading. It's gone.
He finishes cleaning and sits.
What was I saying?
About us going someplace warm...
Someplace Grace'll have to wear shorts
or bathing suits or summer dresses...
Robert looks at her and realizes it's a bad idea. He nods,
again, getting the message. Silence. In that silence, Annie
looks at him... and makes a decision:
Robert, I want to take Pilgrim out to Mr.
Booker. Drive him out to Montana... With
Robert is confused... and a little worried.
I don't understand. You just said he
He did, but... I think I can change his
That's the craziest thing I ever heard.
Robert, Grace isn't adjusting to school.
And she can't sit in this apartment all
day... I think it would be good for her.
(at a loss)
NO! What are you -- you're serious about
I've called Liz. They can set me up with
a trailer for Pilgrim. I thought we'd
stay at motels along the way...
You've already made arrangements!?
No. I was just researching. Calm down.
I come home and you tell me we're going
to drive a psychotic horse to Montana! I
can't just pick up and leave...
I'm not asking you to. I'll do it.
You want to do this by yourself? How?
You can't take care of Pilgrim all the --
He'll be sedated. I know horses, Robert.
I'm the one who taught Grace how to ride.
What... Bo-... What about the magazine?
I'm in charge. I went back very soon
after the accident. They didn't expect me
for a couple of months. I'll just take
that time now... I can still oversee
things from Montana... Take my fax...
Beat. Robert fears this is about the marriage. Yet --
No. It's, uh... No, I really don't think
it's a good idea
Her psychiatrist... said... she needs
security now... stability...
I can't say he's been all that effective
Are you a psychiatrist? He said it takes
I don't care what he says! We have to do
something, Robert! I can't sit here and
trust everything's going to work out just
by pretending it will.
I'm not pretending anything!
Beat. Robert just stares at her. He looks concerned... almost
worried. Annie gets uncomfortable.
It is very difficult for Robert to say;
I thought... well, ever since the
accident, I just thought we...
He stops. Annie knows where he headed and prays to God he
doesn't continue. He doesn't. A thick silence hangs between
I really wish I could understand why
you think this is so necessary.
Robert, we're losing her. We're losing
I don't care what the doctors say. The
truth is, they don't know anymore than
we do -- less, when it comes to Grace...
This may not sound sensible or... logical,
but nobody's suggesting anything better.
I can't explain it, Robert. I just have
this feeling... this annoying... bloody
feeling that if... if, somehow, Pilgrim
can be made all right... then so can Grace.
I just know it!
Robert can feel the strength of her will. He can find no way
What if she doesn't want to go?
She will if you think she should.
And you think it's best if I don't come.
No, that's not what I said. I'm not a
dictator. If you feel you should come,
then come. Just do whatever you think
At some moment, they realize Grace is standing at the entrance
to the kitchen. They are surprised.
I'm not going! I don't care what she
Annie lowers her head. Robert stares at Grace as she walks to
Daddy?... I don't want to go.
Grace stands next to Robert. He holds her hands. Annie looks
at him, without sympathy. Robert looks back. In his face is
the total acceptance of what must be. As well as the sadness
of it's inevitability. He looks back at his daughter, whose
eyes have never left him.
EXT. JOAN DYER STABLE - DAY
Pilgrim is being loaded into the trailer by four strong stable
men, violently kicking and pulling all the way.
Annie watches with anxiety -- an almost giddy Liz by her side.
Maybe we should give him another
Problem is, there aren't many
volunteers. He's already had enough
to sink a battleship. You have a
pin, just in case?
Of course not.
Probably best. You may want to shoot
yourself half way to Ohio.
In the back seat of ANNIE'S SUBURBAN sits Grace -- her back to
the action. Hearing Pilgrim's struggle. Putting her walkman
on her ears and raising the volume... We hear --
GRACE'S MUSIC, ON THE SOUNDTRACK, bringing us to:
EXT. A HIGHWAY, IN PENNSYLVANIA - DAY
Annie's Suburban drives along Route 80, pulling the horse
INT. SUBURBAN - DAY
Grace, in the back seat, wearing her headphones, listening to
her music (maybe LIZ PHAIR OR HOLLY COLE). Detached. Non-
committal. As trucks pass by, their time slapping the pavement,
she reacts and turns to the other window.
Annie, in sunglasses, shifts her attention between the road
and her rear-view mirror -- checking on Grace.
EXT. HIGHWAY IN - EARLY MORNING
The Suburban drives as the sun begins to set.
EXT. MOTEL IN OHIO - NIGHT
The Suburban and Horse Trailer are parked in the lot.
INT. MOTEL ROOM, OHIO - NIGHT
A small furnished motel room with two twin beds.
Grace sits up in bed watching TV, with no expression. A sitcom
with canned laughter serves as a hypnotic drug.
Annie enters from the bathroom, after showering, drying her
hair. Grace doesn't bother to look up.
You want to take your bath?
(Grace shakes her head)
We have to get up early tomorrow. You
may not have enough time to --
Fine -- I'll take my bath.
She begins moving off the bed.
No, I don't mean you have to. It's just
that we may not have enough --
-- enough time tomorrow. I know.
Look, if you want to take it in the
morning, that's fine.
(interrupts on "fine")
I don't care.
Annie realizes she may have pushed too hard, but she also
realizes there's no talking to Grace now. So, she achieves
her goal --
Take it now.
Grace hobbles off the bed, enters the bathroom and shuts the
INT. MOTEL ROOM IN OHIO - NIGHT
The lights are off. Annie lays in bed, wide awake. It is the
middle of the night.
Grace, asleep in the other bed, begins whimpering. She's
having a bad dream. Annie rises -- considering whether or not
to intercede... Finally, Grace begins to cry out... softly at
first, but with increasing intensity until she awakens in
fear... Annie appears right by her side.
What, sweetheart? What?
Shaken, Grace cannot fight how much she needs her mother at
that moment. She wraps her arms around her, tightly, and tries
to catch her breath.
It's sleeping in a strange bed,
that's all. Happens sometimes. It's
Ok. It's OK.
EXT. ANOTHER ROAD, MID-WEST - DAY
The Suburban continues its journey.
Once again -- Annie, in the front, and Grace, in the rear,
drive without a word between them.
INT. SUBURBAN - DAY
Grace and Annie occupy their same positions. Annie is on the
car phone with her office.
Okay, listen -- let's do this. When
I get to the next motel, I'll see if
they have a fax. If not, I'll call
you tomorrow to --
Annie continues O.S. when we hear a shifting, a rocking in
the trailer behind them. As if Pilgrim made a sudden move.
Grace quickly turns her head. Annie looks in the rear view at
Uh Lucy, look, I have to go. OK...
Annie hangs up and smiles at Grace through the mirror. Grace
reaches for her walkman and headphones. Annie offers;
Grace lowers one side of her headphones;
Would you like to put your music on
Grace shrugs. Annie shrugs it off as well. Grace replaces the
headphone. Annie turns on the radio -- nothing but country or
gospel or religious talk shows... She shuts it off. Frustrated,
Annie looks up ahead and sees:
A TRUCK STOP DINER
Annie yells to be heard through the headphones;
IT'S ALMOST LUNCHTIME. ARE YOU
Whatever you want.
Annoyed, Annie pulls onto the gravel and stops, talking to
She exits the car, banging the door. As she walks acrund the
car to help Grace, she talks to herself in a sarcastic whisper:
"Whatever you want!" Well, this is what
I want. I want to eat lunch and I want
to smoke a cigarette and I want to keep
talking to myself for the next two
thousand fucking miles..."!
She opens Grace's door. Grace senses her mother's anger.
INT. TRUCK STOP DINER - DAY
Annie and Grace enter. They look around:
Formica floors, truckers in caps and beer bellies stuffed
into booths or at the counter. There is not a single space
Annie and Grace stand near the entrance. Another Trucker
enters and they step aside, huddled together in this foreign
INT. MOTEL IN IOWA - NIGHT
Grace and Annie enter the room to find A DOUBLE BED instead
of two twins. Neither comments.
Annie exits O.S., carrying the bags inside, as she says:
You should call your dad before it
gets too late.
I already did.
This morning. When you went running.
Oh. You didn't tell me.
I didn't know I had to.
(stares angrily, speaks
Silence. Annie exits past her to the car.
Grace is asleep in her twin bed. Once again, Annie is wide
awake. The clock reads: 4:55 AM. But Annie can not sleep.
Camera moves away from Annie, past her side of the bed, to
the other side of the room.
WE SEE THE SHADOW OF A WOMAN coming towards the bed. She
comes in camera angle and we follow to her back to the bed,
which has now transformed into --
A BED FROM THE PAST, IN WHICH A TEN-YEAR-OLD ANNIE IS
SLEEPING WITH HER YOUNGER BROTHER GEORGE.
WE ARE IN MEMORY.
The Woman gently shakes little Annie awaken.
Annie... Annie, sweetheart... wake
The little girl, with sleep in her eyes, turns and sees her.
Bad news I'm afraid. Your Daddy's
END OF MEMORY.
Annie, in present time next to Grace, thinks of this as she
stays awake. Putting her jogging parka on over her nightgown,
she goes outside.
EXT. IOWA MOTEL - NIGHT
She crosses the motel parking lot to the horse trailer. She
looks in through the siding at Pilgrim, checking on him. She
sees he is caught his halter on the side of the van. She
crosses to the trailer door, hesitates, then opens it.
Pilgrim looks at her. Gathering her courage, she climbs
inside. He is still, looking at her. She carefully frees his
halter. And suddenly he bares his teeth, biting at her. She
stumbles back out of the trailer, slamming the door shut. She
stands leaning against the trailer -- wondering if she's out
of her mind for attempting this.
EXT. IOWA MOTEL - LATER THAT SAME MORNING
Annie is returning from her jog, sweating. As she crosses to
her motel room, she stops by the window, looking in to see:
Grace, on the floor, straining to do her exercises.
Annie fills with compassion for her girl -- reminded of the
struggle she faces everyday.
EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
In the distance, the Suburban and horse trailer look like a
dot on the horizon, moving across the Badlands.
INT. THE SUBURBAN - ANOTHER TIME, DUSK
Grace leans against the window in the back, in one of her
darker moods. Annie switches radio stations, from Bible
thumping to Farm reports. She shuts it off. Silence.
She sees a ROAD SIGH: "LITTLE BIGHORN NATIONAL MONUMENT".
Grace reads the sign.
Would you like to see that?
I don't care.
I don't care.
Annie's comic mimicking, throws Grace off center.
Annie turns off onto the exit. They drive by a massive casino
-- it's neon sign flickering. They drive up a hill past a cafe,
two Indians in high crowned Cowboy hats standing outside of
the cafe. She drives up a hill towards the parking lot of the
This'll be nice. We haven't seen any
of the sights yet. It's history. When
I was thirteen I used to love seeing
things like this.
You were never thirteen, Mom.
Annie laughs, taking it as a joke. Grace almost smiles.
But, Annie drives up to sign only to find a CLOSED SIGN. The
park was closed at six. Annie stops the car. She's hit a
brick wall once more. Silence. Finally, Grace speaks with her
Great idea. So now what?
Beat. Annie's patience snaps;
How long is this going to go on?
You know what I mean?
(turns to the back seat)
Is this it now? Is this the way we're
going to be from now on?
Ignoring her, Grace edges to the passenger side and exits the
car. Annie gets out of the driver's side and walks around as
Do you want us to turn around and go
back home? Do you?
What are you asking me for? You didn't
ask me if I wanted to come in the first
place -- now I get to decide? Forget it!
She begins to turn away. Annie grabs her arm.
Who do you think I'm doing this for?
I'm doing this for you!
Bullshit! It's about you! About you
deciding! About you always being
right! You always getting everything
your way, controlling everybody --
like we work for you or something!
I don't believe this!
You just want to get away from Daddy
and you're using me to do it!
That's not true! Whatever problems your
father and I are having, have nothing
to do with this.
You're amazing! You act like I don't
live in that house! Don't you think I
hear the two of you!? Don't you think
I can tell what's going on? I'm not
five years old, Mom!
(Annie is stopped)
You want to divorce Daddy and Daddy
doesn't want to.
Did he tell you that?
He doesn't have to! It's, like, so
obvious you can't stand him.
That's not true!
Then why do you want to leave?
It's... it's not that simple to explain.
I know you think it is, but it's not.
The truth is, I don't really know what
I want to do. I don't have all the
No, you just act like you do.
Annie is choked with fury. She doesn't know whether to
scream, cry or strangle Grace. She turns away and begins
walking quickly, blindly, up past a grove of trees. She comes
to a CEMETERY enclosed by a black railing. At the crest of
the hill there's a stone monument "The Little Bighorn
In the growing darkness, she sees, scattered on the hillsides
below her, white tombstones. A place of sorrow. A cool breeze
ruffles her coat and she sticks her hands in her pockets.
Frustrated, alone, at a complete loss as to what to do, what
action to take -- Annie, for the first time in frozen,
standing still -- and with her, comes a rush of emotion.
She sits with her back against the monument and begins to
weep. For Grace, for Robert, herself, for the tombstones, for
A FLASHLIGHT shines on her face. It is a PARK RANGER.
You okay, ma'am?
That young lady is getting a little
Annie realizes she left Grace alone as it got darker.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry...
Annie rises and is escorted back to the Suburban by the
Ranger. She sees:
Grace is sitting in the front seat now, waiting for her --
like a little girl lost.
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie gets into the driver's seat. Buckles up. Grace holds
You buckled up?
Annie reaches into the back seat and pulls a blanket out,
handing it to Grace, making sure it covers her. Grace turns
towards the window and closes her eyes. Annie starts the car.
EXT. MONTANA, BACK ROAD - MORNING
C.U. on Pilgrim's head in the trailer as we PULL BACK to
reveal the Suburban coming down an empty, seemingly infinite
stretch of two-lane road in Montana.
INT. SUBURBAN - MORNING
Annie and Grace, both in front seats, eating doughnuts and
coffee. They stop.
POV -- Through the windshield is an endless sky and a rolling
sea of land.
Gee, this looks like a fun place.
Don't they believe in signs here?
What would they say? "Ten miles to big
rock." "Twenty miles to bigger rock."
There was supposed to be a turn off.
Did I miss it?
I didn't see it.
Their Suburban is the only vehicle on what seems like miles
of road. Annie sighs and puts the Suburban in drive.
EXT. PETERSON'S MOTEL & STABLES, RED FORK MONTANA - DAY
The Suburban and the horse trailer, pulls into Peterson's -- a
collection of motel cottage adjacent to an expanse of land
that includes stable, corral, a main house and various riding
trails into the mountains.
Mr. Peterson runs out from the main house to greet Annie as
she gets out of the car.
INT. SUBURBAN, ON ANOTHER MONTANA BACK ROAD - LATER THAT DAY
Annie, showered and changed, is trying to follow Mr.
Peterson's directions to Tom's ranch -- written on Peterson
motel stationary. She is lost once again.
... after left, stay on main road until
What bloody rise?!? What main road!?
She stops the Suburban (no longer carrying the trailer).
EXT. ANOTHER MONTANA BACK ROAD - CONTINUOUS
From outside the Suburban, we see, but cannot hear, Annie
hitting the steering and cursing in frustration.
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie, panting, looks ahead and sees nothing but empty space,
above and below -- as if the earth and sky met with nothing in
She sighs and starts the car again. As she moves forward, she
senses an almost indistinguishable rise in the road -- as we
follow her POV up the road through the windshield to reveal:
POV -- A BREATHTAKING VALLEY just beyond the rise, hidden
from view only a few yards before. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH
sits nestled in the valley, a few miles away. Annie is
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE RANGE - DAY
Men are working in the corral, saddle horses standing nearby,
trying to get a sick calf to suckle a cow. One of the men is
Tom Booker, working along side his brother FRANK, and his
nephew, JOE. Frank is a good man -- solid work ethic,
Christian fearing, wry sense of humor. With the build of a
football player, his strength never overwhelms his boyish,
good-natured heart. Joe is eleven, wearing his cowboy hat
like a badge of honor. The three men seem as inseparable to
each other, as they are to the land. As they work:
Can we take a look at Bronty's foal
when we're done here, Dad?
Sure. As long as she don't mind.
There's a kid at school says we
should've imprint-trained him.
Tom and Frank don't say anything. Just nod, knowingly.
He says if you do it soon as they're
born, it makes them real easy to handle
That's what some folks say.
There was this thing on the TV about a
guy who does it with geese. He has this
airplane and these baby geese all grow
up thinking it's their mom, and he flies
it and they just follow.
You hear 'bout that, Uncle T?
Yeah, I hear about that.
Well, what do you think about that
Well, Joe, I'll tell ya -- I don't know
a whole lot about geese. Maybe it's okay
for them to grow up thinking they're
airplanes. But horses, as far as I can
tell, can't fly.
Frank laughs. Joe smirks as Tom messes his hat up. There's the
sound of a car. They turn.
The Suburban is coming over the ridge, heading down the
driveway in a cloud of dust.
We expecting company?
Frank shakes his head. As the Suburban slows down, Tom
recognizes the driver.
I don't believe it.
You know her?
Annie, out of her element, hiding behind sunglasses, gets out
as Tom approaches her by himself. Annie girds herself for the
Hello, Mr. Booker. Annie MacLean. From
New York. We talked on the phone.
She extends her hand. TOM shakes it, nodding, staring at her
It's, uh... beautiful country. I had a
little bit of a hard time finding the
place. There are no signs.
Plenty of signs -- just none of them
printed. Who do I get the idea you're
not just passing through!
Well... OK... here it is... Uh... I'd
like you to take a look at my horse.
Now -- it won't take long and if, after
that, you still don't feel...
Were you thinking of personally driving
me back East?
Oh no. She's here. I brought him along.
And my daughter, too. We're staying at
You mean you hauled him all the way out
here? Just like that?
(slightly taken aback)
Well... yes... I had a trailer. It's not
like I made him run along side of the car.
All by yourself?
She nods. Tom cannot help be impressed by her guts and fortitude.
Camera cuts away for a moment to a window in the ranch house,
through which DIANE -- Frank's fiery, loyal pioneer wife --
looks at the duo with suspicion.
I uh... ha, ha... I don't think I ever
met a lady quite like yourself and I
appreciate all the pains you've gone
through to --
Look! Please! Don't do the "shucks,
ma'am" thing again!
(Tom, surprised, listens)
I've driven a few thousand miles for a
few minutes of your time. I've brought
him here -- to your neck of the...
(seeing no woods)
-- mountains. Just take a look at him.
If you still feel the same way, I'll
be on the road by morning and you'll
never see me again. OK? Deal?
Tom tries to hide a smile of respect. Annie, thinking she may
have him, starts backing away towards her car -- as one would
a dangerous animal they think they might have tamed...
We're at Peterson's. Whenever you're
free. You don't even have to call.
She gets into the Suburban. Tom watches her drive off.
EXT. ANNIE AND GRACE'S COTTAGE - DAY
Tom walks up some wooden steps to a door and knocks. He hears
a TV on inside. And Grace's Voice:
MOM! The door!
He hears Annie's muffled reply from O.S. He hears some banging
as Grace fumbles for her crutch and comes to the door. She
opens it only so far as to reveal her upper body:
Uh, I'm Tom Booker. Your mother
Grace hops to the side as Tom walks by her, into the room.
Grace is closing the door as he turns to see, for the first
time, that Grace is one leg.
She'll be right out. She's on the
Grace hops back to the bed in front of the TV. Tom nods and
puts his hat down -- noticing the prosthetic leaning against
the window, near her bed. He hears Annie on the phone and
looks to the other room, the door ajar -- seeing only her
legs, seated on the edge of her bed, as she talks. Her foot
First time in Montana?
Grace, rudely nods, still looking at the TV.
Beat. Tom doesn't like her manner, but can easily see through
it. He sits.
She gonna be long?
Probably. She's on the phone twenty-
three hours a day.
What does she do?
She's an editor.
Mmm. An editor.
Not like books or literature or anything.
Just a magazine... Just in case she
hasn't told you -- which I'm sure she
hasn't -- I don't want to be a part of
Tom just sort of nods. A beat or two later, Annie enters.
Sorry about that. Hi. Grace, this is
Mr. Booker... Have you looked at
Tom sees Grace turn away, just as Annie enters. He takes a
moment. He could say no right there, but something stops him.
Uh, no. I was gonna take a look now.
You want us to come with you? I just
have to run to the main house and give
Mr. Peterson a check.
Grace?... Grace, you want to come with
us, take a look at Pilgrim?
Grace keeps looking at the TV. No reply. Tom is half way out
the door when he says to Annie -- making sure Grace can hear --
Probably best she stays behind, anyway.
He disappears. Annie gives Grace a final look and exits, closing the door.
Alone, Grace flings her body across the bed, reaching for her
prosthetic -- putting it on feverishly. She is completely
intrigued by Tom.
EXT. PETERSON'S STABLES - DAY
Tom stands alone at the stable. Opening the bottom door,
ducking under the stall, he goes inside.
Okay now... Okay now...
Walking towards him, Tom raises his hand, showing Pilgrim a
sign of respect, of trust... He quietly makes his way along
Pilgrim's side, along his flank, prompting Pilgrim to move
out from the shadows, into the light. Tom moves to look at
him. And Pilgrim suddenly kicks out at him. Tom, not cowed,
stands his ground. He bends, looking at Pilgrim's withered
legs. He looks up at his scarred head. He looks into the
pools of the horse's tortured eyes. Pilgrim stands still --
allowing Tom this brief intimacy.
As Grace walks towards the stable, she realizes that the door
is open and Tom must be inside. She is amazed.
Annie, appearing behind her, is also impressed.
Tom exits the stable and sees them, as he closes the doors.
Well... You're closest anyone's
He walks straight towards them -- veering more to Grace. He
stops in front of her and they look into each other's eyes --
in a way that reminds us of how Tom looked at Pilgrim.
Except, Grace is made even more uncomfortable by the intimacy.
She turns away and walks to the corral, to lean on a post --
as if she doesn't care. Tom turns to Annie.
I have to be honest. I still feel
you made a long trip for nothing.
He looks at Annie. Annie has no more words -- just an ever-
present pleading in her face.
Tom watches as Grace makes a small, naked movement -- putting
her hand on her cheek, like a hurt child.
He can't help but see these three being connected by one wound.
But before I even think about it, I
need to know something here and now.
It's a question for Grace here.
When I work with a horse, it's no good
just me doing it. It doesn't work that
way. The owner needs to be involved too.
Well, that'll be a little complicated --
You can make it as complicated or as
easy as you like. But she's the one
who's gonna be riding him, am I right?
So here's the deal. I'm not sure I can
do anything, but I'm prepared to give
it a go --
-- if you'll help.
(Grace gives a bitter laugh)
You have a problem with that?
Isn't it like, obvious?
Not to me. Either you want to or you
Look, I'll talk to Grace and call you
Excuse me, with all due respect, but
this is her decision, not yours. And I
don't want to waste anybody's time --
Grace reacts anew to Tom's remark. She likes her mother being
dis-empowered. Annie keenly understands the importance of Tom
putting it this way to Grace. Grace has all eyes on her --
just what she wants. All waiting for her response. She turns
away, flicks her head and says:
Well, there's nothing else to do around
Annie smiles in relief. But Tom isn't satisfied.
Not good enough. I can't help you.
He starts walking away. Annie doesn't know what to do. Grace
What do I have to do?
Tom keeps walking out... Grace says it louder.
I said, what do I have to do?!
Tom stops and looks at her. Annie holds her breath.
INT. THE RANCH HOUSE, DOUBLE DIVIDE - NIGHT
Frank, Tom, Joe and TOM TWIN BOYS, 6 years old, sit at a dining
table eating dinner, as Diane serves. We parachute into the
middle of the conversation:
... well, I just think she's got a lot
of nerve showing up here. Draggin' that
child and that poor animal all the way...
(TO ONE OF THE TWINS)
You eat with those fingers again and you
know what'll happen!
(the boy cowers)
Frank, don't you think she's got a nerve?
Oh hell, I don't know... According to Tom,
she's a pretty determined woman. Must've
thought it was worth it.
I guess they'll want feeding and all, out
here all day long.
I don't believe they'll expect that.
What, they ain't going forty miles into
Choteau everytime they want a hamburger.
I believe women from New York eat mixed
salads. Ain't that right, Tom?
Tom hides a grin -- he knows Frank into teasing her now.
I believe so. Saw it on a television
Well, that's just what we need on a cattle
ranch -- a vegetarian from New York.
Everyone eats. Beat.
When you figure on branding?
Weekend after next...
If the weather holds.
Frank nods. Silence again. Everyone eats. Beat.
What's an editor do anyway?
We're not sure, sweetheart, but they
eat like rabbits.
Tom and Frank chuckle. Diane smiles -- in on the joke with
them. The children are curiously confused.
INT. ANNIE AND GRACE'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Camera moves to reveal Annie on the phone in front of her
computer and fax... plugging in extension cords as she talks:
... the phone company's putting in extra
lines. I'll call back with the numbers.
Oh, and I want you to get in touch with
this lady in town here -- they say she's
sort of a physical therapist for the
rodeo boys but keep the one at the
hospital we already contacted on call...
Grace sits alone in the living room. Watching TV, but anxious
and disturbed about what she's committed herself to.
INT. DOUBLE DIVIDE KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT
Diane is in her bathrobe doing bills at the kitchen table, as
she listens to a BOOK OF TAPE. Her hand on her forehead, her
other hand writing. Tom enters to take his hat off the
sideboard. He moves to the table and reaches over for a
cookie from a plate of cookies. Without looking up, Diane
slaps his hand. Tom then pours himself a cup of coffee... then
swiftly sneaks his hand back and grabs a cookie. Diane smiles.
It is only then that Diane looks up after him.
INT. UPPER FLOOR OF RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Camera follows Tom towards his bedroom -- passing the others.
Perhaps we see Frank sprawled out asleep already in his
underwear. We might see the Twins in their bunks. One of the
Twins' lower torso is laying outside of the blanket. He
casually flips the blanket over the kid's bare feet and
continues to his room.
INT. TOM'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Tom enters and closes the door. Turns on a stereo which plays
a cello piece by Yo-Yo Ma. Books fills his room. He sits at
his desk, puts on eye glasses and looks through some paperwork.
Suddenly he stops, looking over the paperwork, into space. A
thought passes by. We don't know what.
EXT. THE RANCH, A CORRAL - DAYBREAK
First light of day. Pilgrim stands stock still in the middle
of the corral. Tom, motionless, is crouched on his haunches
in the corral -- watching him.
TOM'S POV: As Pilgrim moves, he can see that the horse is
He softly tosses a handful of dirt at Pilgrim's withered
legs... Pilgrim, sensitive to the slightest provocation,
bucks, wheeling away from him. Then stops. Tom sits on his
haunches again... and watches him.
Frank appears, exiting from the barn (perhaps).
Tom leaves Pilgrim, hooking up with Frank -- the two brothers
go off, discussing the ranch work that is ahead of them.
EXT. THE RANCH - ANOTHER DAY
Annie and Grace arrive in the Suburban. They exit. As they
head towards the ranch, they see in the distance:
Pilgrim standing along the fence of a round pen. Tom stands
in the pen, holding a rope, looking at Pilgrim.
EXT. THE ROUND PEN - DAY
Tom stands in the pen with Pilgrim. He looks to see Annie and
Grace approaching but makes no acknowledgement. He turns his
focus back to Pilgrim.
Annie and Grace appear. Grace takes a position (that is to
become her regular spot) a distance away from the pen. Annie
moves in closer, beside SMOKEY (a ranch hand) with one leg
up on the pen fence.
He and Annie watch as Tom stands before Pilgrim -- turning
sideways... then standing...
What's he doing?
Trying to get his eye.
How's it going?
Smokey doesn't respond -- how it's going is exactly how it
looks. Tom takes a few steps, stops and stands still again. We
sense the process is long and requires great patience.
EXT. ROUND PEN - DAY
Two hours later. Grace is in the same spot. Smokey is gone,
doing his work. Annie has taken a different position, looking
over SEVERAL PAGES OF FAXES on her lap.
Tom is still standing in the pen trying to get Pilgrim's eyes.
Joe has joined the proceedings, sitting on the pen rail.
Tom deftly throws a hoolihan, gently lassoing Pilgrim around
the neck. And Pilgrim, at the touch of the rope, crazed,
resists, pulling back, striking at the rope... The rope
cutting into Tom's hands. Tom gives him some slack, giving
his head, letting him relax... then gently heads him by the
rope, walking him around the pen, getting his feet to moving.
Grace's eyes never leave Tom.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
Tom, off in the distance -- against a sky that seems to be
touching the land -- is riding along a creek. Closer up, we
see he's rustling the bushes with a stick. Some stray cows
run out of the bushes. Tom races after them. His horse
shepherds the cow across the creek and up a hillside.
At the top of the hill, with the ranch spread out endlessly
before him, Tom sees Frank on his horse, chasing strays. Tom
whistles. Frank waves back. In the near distance, a pickup
truck is parked on the range.
Joe and the TWINS are throwing food pellets out of the back
of the truck. Cattle come from across the range for the food.
What begins as a handful of cows becomes dozens, then
hundreds -- the truck virtually disappearing among them.
Tom stops for a moment to look out at his ranch. Far off in
the distance, he sees Annie's Suburban coming along the road
to the ranch. He watches as Annie's distant figure gets out
of the car with Grace. Annie instinctively turns and looks
across the land. Even though there is such a distance,
there's a sense Tom and Annie are looking at each other.
Tom senses Joe driving Frank's truck, slowly moving off the
range -- the Twins in the back, the cattle following. Tom sits
on his horse atop the hill.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - ANOTHER DAY
Pilgrim, his scarred head above water, legs moving in odd
sycopation, swimming. We discover he is in a pond, tethered
to a pole... Except for the sound of his legs in the water,
everything is quiet and focused on Pilgrim.
SMOKEY, holds the pole, walking on the outside of the pond,
leading Pilgrim back and forth as he swims. Tom, crouched by
the pond, silently concentrating on Pilgrim...
Grace watches, off by herself... Annie stands beside Joe. She
can't help but be intrigued by the sight. She asks Joe;
I though horses were afraid of
Joe doesn't answer her. Grace likes that. Annie, frustrated,
feels she has the right to simple shout out to Tom.
Is that to get his strength back?
Tom pays her no mind -- concentrating on Pilgrim.
Suddenly, Annie's CELL PHONE rings, jarring the proceedings.
Tom turns to Annie. She hides her embarrassment by answering
it, walking away. Tom gives her a look. Grace is loving this.
Tom turns back to Pilgrim. After a few moments --
Tom, taking the rope tether, unhooks it from the pole. He
starts to lead Pilgrim out of the water. Pilgrim, fearful,
fights him. He rears, splashing Tom, not wanting to come out
of the water. Grace is worried. She looks to Joe and sees he
is concerned too, though he stands quietly.
Annie hears the commotion from where she stands and finishes
her call to return to the pond.
Tom enters the pond, waist deep in water, trying to grab
Pilgrim's rope. Pilgrim rises up, rearing at him. Joe and
Smokey, sensing danger, come closer to the pond. Annie
appears beside Grace and watches as Tom reaches for the rope
again. Pilgrim rears again. Tom stumbles backwards from his
hooves. Annie gasps. Grace turns to walk away from the pond.
She can't watch -- it brings back too much. But as she does,
she is stopped by the sight of --
Tom, righting himself, unphased, calmly walks back to Pilgrim.
The horse, baffled by this man's lack of fear, lets him take
the rope and walk him out of the pond.
Grace can't help but be impressed. Joe nods. Annie is shaken.
Mr. Booker, I'm not at all comfortable
with you taking those kinds of chances...
As Tom leads Pilgrim out, the horse suddenly whirls, bolting,
knocking Tom down...
Pilgrim runs off, pulling the wet rope behind him. Joe runs
over and grabs for the rope.
NO... LET HIM GO!
Joe obeys. Pilgrim runs past the corral and down into a hill
out onto a pasture, He keeps on running into the distance --
running across the pasture, not knowing where he is going...
Tom, arms folded across his chest, watches him run. A
concerned Annie approaches.
She's running away! How are you going
to get him back?
Tom doesn't respond. He walks off down the hill out onto the
pasture, stops, arms folded and watches Pilgrim. Annie turns
when she hears Smokey, who appears behind her:
He don't really want to run. Don't
know where he's going. All this open
space scares the daylight out of him.
Confused, Pilgrim stops running and walks, in no particular
My guess is he's spent his life in a
six-by-eight stall... He's forgot what
it's like to be a horse...
Smokey ambles off and she turns back to see Tom crouching on
his haunches, sitting in the grass, just waiting. Pilgrim
walks back towards the ranch, stops a distance from Tom,
looks at him... Annie, needing to know exactly what's going
on, crosses down the hill to him.
So what now? Should we leave?
Tom continues watching Pilgrim. Annie looks at him, sitting
there motionless and feels like an idiot. Clearly she doesn't
understand all this and clearly no one thinks this is the
time to explain to her.
Well, we're going to go then...
Without looking at her, Tom just nods. Annie, awkwardly,
walks back up the hill to where Grace is...
ON THE GRASSY HILLSIDE, Grace is watching the scene by herself
as Joe appears, staring at her leg... It makes her uncomfortable.
She turns to him with a curt, impatient tone;
Their eyes meet. Joe is so guileless, Grace is taken off guard
when he asks in such a compassionate voice;
Does that hurt you?
Grace tries to think of an answer -- and of how to say it:
Only when I kick somebody.
Her gentle delivery makes him smile. She smiles, then:
Don't you go to school?
Twice a month they give you a day off
to work on the ranch.
He tips his hat down as he looks out to Pilgrim with respect;
Look at him out in the pasture -- Yeah,
he must've been a big, beautiful looking
horse. How was he to ride?
Grace is uncomfortable again. She looks away, just struggling.
Joe senses she's done talking;
Excuse me. I got chores to look after.
He tips his hat and walks off, passing Annie as she arrives.
You ready to go?
Grace hesitates. Then mother and daughter take one more look --
POV -- Pilgrim standing in the pasture with Tom crouching in
the grass waiting for him.
EXT. PASTURE - LATER THAT DAY
Tom is still sitting in the grass, just where we left him --
waiting patiently. Pilgrim is still out in the pasture.
EXT. PASTURE - STILL LATER THAT DAY
Afternoon shadows cross the ranch. Tom is in the exact same
spot and position. Pilgrim is somewhat closer -- but still at
a distance -- watching him.
Frank rides back from work. As he passes Tom, the two nod as
if nothing usually is going on. Frank rides up to the barn.
INT. PETERSON'S MOTEL -
Grace is flicking the television -- repeating the only three
channels over and over...
Annie works at her computer, surrounded by work. She notices
the time, gets a thought and dials the phone...
Hello, Mr. Booker... Oh, hello, Frank.
This is Annie MacLean... I was
Uh-huh... And Pilgrim?...
Okay then. Thank you.
She hangs up, pauses, then speaks to the window out loud enough
for Grace to hear --
He's still sitting in that damn
(w/o looking at her)
I think they call it a pasture.
Annie looks at her as if to say the last thing I need to know is
a lesson on the local lingo...
Let's go see what's going on, then
get something to eat.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH - DUSK
The sky is changing colors, the temperature has dropped. Tom
is still sitting in the grass, although someone has brought
him a blanket for his shoulders. Pilgrim is in the pasture,
but now -- he too is motionless, looking back at Tom.
The sound of a car makes Tom turn to see Annie driving up.
She gets out, stands by the car with a proprietary air,
watching Tom and Pilgrim. Grace remains in the car. There's a
sound. She turns to see Diane coming out of the house...
There's coffee inside... I was just
bringing this to Tom.
Would you mind if I did? I'd like to
talk to him.
Diane, knowing full well Tom ain't in a talking mood, hands
her a cup...
(seeing Grace in car)
Does your daughter want to come
Uh, no, we're going to dinner... Is
this the way to the pasture?
Pasture? Oh, that stretch of field near
the hill? Yeah.
She's gone. Annie grimaces, then crosses the hillside to
where Tom is squatting down. She appears to his side and,
without speaking, tries to indicates she has his coffee by
leaning it toward him. Tom sees her and accepts it with a
grateful nod. Annie waits. Nothing happens. Feeling foolish,
she begins to walk back.
At some point, she turns to see Pilgrim moving across the
pasture toward Tom. He stops in front of him, just a few feet
away. Tom says something to him. Annie is intrigued -- and she
knows enough to stay quiet now. She watches Pilgrim walk over
to him. She watches as Tom gets up and pats Pilgrim's scarred
head. In spite of herself, Annie is somewhat moved by this act.
Only we see Grace, peering out from the car, seeing this act
of communion as well. Only we see her reaction to it.
As Tom turns and walks back to the ranch, Pilgrim follows him.
As he passes Annie, all he says is...
From now on, leave your phone
As he moves past her, Annie responds;
But I have business calls I have
Tom keeps heading for the barn as he suggests, without turning
Then drop off Grace in the morning,
go on back and do your business.
Come pick her up around dinner.
Standing there, Annie has the impulse to respond to this
suggestion, but has no idea what to say and saying it wouldn't
make much sense since Tom is already out of ear shot.
Diane appears from the house and calls out:
Mrs. MacLean -- why don't you and
daughter stay for dinner?
Oh uh, thank you. No, we don't want to
No imposition. Plenty of food. Gonna
get pretty dark soon. Hard to find a
Annie looks up to the alien sky and realizes she's right. She
looks to Grace, who doesn't seem to oppose the idea.
INT. RANCH HOUSE/KITCHEN - NIGHT
Everyone sits around the kitchen table. Joe, still wearing
his hat, eyes Annie and Grace with acute curiosity.
Joe, take off the hat -- I'm not
going to say it again.
Joe obeys. Diane puts the last of the serving plates on the
table -- pork chops, potatoes, gravy, peas, bread... And a big
bowl of mixed salad. The boy can't help eyeing how the
"vegetarians" will act.
Annie and Grace eye the food. Annie reaches out for a serving
ladle, picking up Grace's plate to serve her as Grace reaches
for a piece of bread, when:
Dear Lord, we are humbly thankful
Annie and Grace freeze as Frank continues his prayer -- they
notice everyone's head bowed slightly.
these gifts. For the blessings on our
home, our family and our guests. Bless
those that aren't as fortunate. Bless
all God's creatures.
Everyone begins eating. Annie and Grace breath a sigh of relief.
Silence. Utensils hitting plates, the only sound.
Bank out us a couple more men to run
We should be fine, then.
Beat. Annie and Grace listen...
Teacher asked me why we raise Black
Angus-Herefords 'stead of Pure Herefords.
Tell her they suit the weather better.
Their udders are black, 'stead of pink.
They don't get burned by the sun bouncing
off the snow. And they're good mother.
Our daddy raised Pure Herefords.
Silence... Eating... Annie tries her hand at conversation:
You know, that's interesting. I always
wondered when I went into a restaurant
what was the difference between a regular
steak or a Black Angus steak. I couldn't
taste any difference although I could
swear one was more tender. I didn't know
there was that big a difference between
I've never been on a cow farm before. I
must say, the bulls seem to have the
best time of it. Just laying around the
fields all day until they're asked to...
do their... work.
Well, get born a bull, got a ninety
percent chance of getting castrated and
served up as hamburger. On a balance I
reckon I'd choose being a cow.
Would you mind passing that salad
How's Peterson's holding up for you?
It's fine. Comfortable. I still can't
get used to how dark it gets around here,
though. When we leave the ranch, I
always hold my breath until I can see
You know, Tom, while you're working on
that horse of theirs, Annie and Grace
should move into the old Creek house.
Diane and Tom react accordingly; Diane hiding her annoyance,
Tom hiding his surprise and pleasure.
Nobody's using it. Silly for her to be
driving back and forth when she don't
know her way around that well...
Oh, I don't know...
Well, I know Peterson's. Old place is as
good as falling down around your ears.
They're already all settled in, Frank.
Anyway, I'm sure Annie wants her privacy.
It's got doors, Diane. Private as can be.
I don't have a problem with that. It's up
Well, it's worth it, really? I mean, how
much longer do you think you need to work
That's up to Pilgrim.
Everyone waits on Annie's answer as she considers this.
INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Grace is on the phone with Robert. Annie is packing things
up. Grace is telling him about the day;
I know. Me, too. Why don't you come
Annie reacts to this.
We'll have more room because we're
moving onto the ranch. They have this
empty house near this creek. It's
actually pretty... OK... I love you.
Dad wants to talk to you.
(takes the phone)
INT. CENTRAL PARK WEST APARTMENT - NIGHT
Robert is burning the midnight oil in the study with files
all around him.
Hey... She sounds like she's doing
all right. How is she?
Grace exits into the bathroom. Annie talks softly;
Yeah. She seems to be getting more
comfortable on the ranch, which is why
I said yes to this move. But, whenever
it's just the two of us, I don't know...
Anyway... what's happening with the
Taking forever. I just got an additional
list of sixty-two employees to interview
before Monday. I don't know how I'm going
to do it.
Well, it's good that you're there.
Robert didn't mean to validate his separation from them.
So, how are you doing in Marlboro
country? Is the magazine complaining at
Yeah, but nothing I can't handle. Lucy
tells me she thinks Gottchalks's
plotting, but what else is new.
When are you coming home?
You know, I just asked that myself
tonight. He doesn't know.
Well then... maybe I will take some
time... come visit.
Beat. Annie knows Robert needed an invitation from her. But
she can't do it. Robert tries again.
I miss you, Annie.
I know. We miss you too.
Awkwardly, they hang up. Grace exits the bathroom.
Did you ask him to come visit?
You already did.
Did he mention it?
Yeah, he's going to think about it.
You want me to pack for you?
Grace looks at her disapprovingly as she passes to go to the
bathroom. Annie registers this.
INT. RANCH HOUSE - LATE DAY
Diane is washing windows while listening to an audio book on
her tape player. Through the windows, she sees:
Joe and the Twins helping Annie and Grace move into the Creek
Diane has conflicting feelings about this. She continues her
INT. CREEK HOUSE - LATE DAY
VARIOUS SHOTS of ANNIE CONNECTING HERSELF BACK TO THE REST OF
THE WORLD, BY PLUGGING IN HER COMPUTER, FAX, ETC...
Grace is in the other room, as she was in the motel. Alone.
With no television, she is just listening to her music laying
on the couch. The two women remain separate no matter where
But we see a small difference. Grace rises and walks to the
window. She looks out;
POV: She sees people working about the ranch. Maybe Joe is
among them -- riding his horse as he works. Or maybe it's
just a vision of people with tasks to complete -- who do so
with pride, discipline and clarity.
Grace looks out the window longingly.
EXT. THE RANCH - ANOTHER DAY
A cloud of dust. A dozen or so horses are running in an arena
by the stables. Tom is riding among them, holding a long stick
with an orange flag at the end of it, waving it at the young
horses, making them run away from him. The colts stay close
together. One of the horses, PILGRIM, stays at a distance, off
Grace watches from along the railing. She alternates her
attention from the horses... to Tom.
What we're doing here, Grace, is
trying to get him to learn how to
be a horse again.
He cracks the flag, the horses move together...
The others already know, see. That's
how they are in the wild -- herd
(cracks the flag)
...When they've got a problem, like
they have now with me and this flag,
they look to each other. But old
Pilgrim there has forgotten. I'm the
rock and they're the hard place. He
thinks he hasn't got a friend in the
whole wild world...
C.U. on GRACE, who clearly feels the same way... but wants
desperately not to. She watches him ride off towards Pilgrim
who has stopped like all the others at the far end of the
ring. He stands by himself, tossing his head, snorting, not
wanting to be around other horses. Tom cracks the flag,
keeping them moving. Pilgrim does his own private dance.
Tom rides by Grace and hands her the stick;
Hold this for a minute...
Grace stiffens. She doesn't want to, but she's afraid to say
"No" to Tom. He just insists by tossing it to her...
Hold onto it, go on...
She's forced to catch it. He turns and rides away, chasing
down Pilgrim, trying to edge him toward the herd. For a
moment, he has him breaking to the left with the horses. But
as soon as he's clear of Tom, he separates himself and comes
to stop on his own.
Tom rides back to Grace, taking back the flag.
We'll get there, Grace.
As he says this, he flashes a small, reassuring smile and a
little wink. Grace melts just a little. As he rides away.
Annie appears, having come from the Creek House. She calls:
Grace? The clinic just called...
They had to change your physical
therapy appointment. We have to
Grace frowns a little -- her mother's "perfect timing." Annie
approaches the arena, watching Tom riding. As he passes her;
Annie notices how he says her name.
He flashes a smile in her direction and Annie's expression
comically matches her daughter's reaction. She quickly covers
it, however. Her eyes follow him as he glides around the
arena. It's like watching a great ballet -- his control of the
horses, his effortlessness, his grace, his strength... She
smiles to herself in appreciation. Then catches herself:
You got everything you need?
If I had everything I need, I wouldn't
be going to physical therapy.
Tom approaches as he overhears Grace respond;
(trying to cheer her)
Honey, come on. Would you like to stay
in town for dinner? Maybe see what
movie's playing tonight?
Why? There's no food in the house?
No. I just thought... forget it.
He's getting a clearer view of their relationship.
You know, we're branding here
tomorrow. If you two want to come
by to watch or give a hand, you're
I haven't branded in years.
Uh, I don't, honey. Branding? Oooh...
I think we'd just be in Mr. Booker's
As long as you don't get in the way of
the branding iron, it doesn't matter too
Annie smiles. She turns to Grace, questioningly. Grace says
matter-of-factly, to prove her point.
I watched Margo Neuberger get a
Tom squints. Annie shrugs and nods.
As Grace and Annie walk to the car, Tom says:
Hey, Grace -- maybe we can get your
mom to put me and you branding on the
cover of her magazine. Start a whole
new fashion craze.
They continue walking as Grace smiles, enjoying being singled
out for his joke. Annie responds, almost flirtatiously.
Try not to fall off your high horse,
Tom tips his hat and rides away... Annie smiles and nods...
Grace doesn't like their sudden familiarity. Or her mother's
coy manner. As they enter the Suburban, Grace asks point blank;
Did you call Dad today?
Annie is caught off guard.
Tom, riding in the arena, catches himself looking after them...
then goes riding after Pilgrim.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The air smells of scorched flesh. There is nothing but NOISE.
Calves, separated from their mothers, "cry." They are moved
out through a series of connected pens into a narrow chute,
and then one by one into a holding pen. They're clamped and
lowered sideways onto a table and given a shot, a yellow
insect tag in one ear, branded, then sent back to their
mother's. The bulls, in a pen by themselves, stand haughty,
paying no attention. Frank helps "doctor" the calves. Joe
Annie and Grace are standing by the railing, watching with a
mixture of fascination and disgust.
Tom moves in the feeder pen, waist deep in calves, moving them
through the chute. He looks to Annie.
Hey, over there, you want to make
It isn't a question.
Hank, I got you a volunteer!
Annie and Grace realize they have no choice.
-- WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SEQUENCE OF SCENES SHOWING ANNIE AND
GRACE PARTICIPATING IN THE BRANDING. AND HOW THEY GRADUALLY
COME TO LOSE THEMSELVES IN THE EXPERIENCE.
SEQUENCES WILL INCLUDE:
-- HANK, A RANCH HEAD, HELPING ANNIE INTO THE CHUTE... ANNIE
GETTING KICKED BY A CALF.
-- GRACE BEING SHOWN HOW TO HOLD THE BRANDING IRON.
-- HANK TEACHING ANNIE HOW TO SAY "HYAH!!"...
-- TOM IN THE HOLDING PEN WITH HIS ARMS AROUND GRACE, SHOWING
HER HOW TO APPLY THE BRAND... GRACE, A LITTLE FRIGHTENED OF THE
BRAND, IS IN HEAVEN IN TOM'S ARMS...
-- ANNIE IS STILL TRYING TO SAY "HYAH"!! WITH THE PROPER FORCE.
SHE CLAPS HER HANDS, PUSHING THE CALVES ALONG, KNEE DEEP IN
-- GRACE CLOSES HER EYES AND THE IRON TOUCHES THE CALF'S HIDE.
That's good... firm but gentle...
(Grace opens her eyes)
It hurts but he'll get over it.
Grace smiles proudly.
You handled that pretty well. Think
it's time you earn your keep around
here. So, when we're not working
and when you don't have your therapy,
I'd like you to help out with the
horses... Rubbing them, cleaning up
the stalls... You think you can
Grace knows him well enough to know;
That's not a question, is it?
You're catching on.
-- Annie turns and, not looking where she's doing, trips over
a calf, falling down. And calves, coming down the chute,
start to run towards her. Suddenly, Tom grabs her by the leg
and pulls her to safety. He helps her up and dusts her off.
(not wanting to smile,
It is cocktail hour yet?
Tom laughs. She takes a big breath.
EXT. THE RANCH - LATE AFTERNOON
The ranch is colored in amber light.
Near the house, two long tables pushed together to make one
long one... A gentle breeze ruffles the tablecloth. Everyone
is seated for a meal. We hear laughter and conversation... We
parachute into the middle of the moments;
-- Hank helping with his wife get to their three children to
sit still for dinner...
-- Diane organizing the women and their various plates of side
-- The Ranch Hand piling up their plates and kidding each
-- Joe is instructing Grace on the various sauces for the
ribs. The Twins are making fun of him behind his back.
-- Tom and Smokey are barbecuing, the last one to sit.
-- Frank assists his frail mother, ELLEN BOOKER, at the table,
filling her plate with all the things she can't reach for.
The faces are beautiful. Laughing. Eating. Everyone is tanned
and exhausted after a long day, but filled with life and
eager to live it. The tables are covered with heavy food.
The communion at this table is as much a part of the ritual
as the branding itself...
Annie and Grace look different to us. Tanned from the sun,
their bodies sore -- they feel softened, yet more vital. As if
the artifice had been worn off... the armor of urban life. As
the table thrives with conversations, we focus on:
Annie and Ellen Booker. Annie looks calmer than we've seen
her -- and more naturally beautiful. She is seated beside
Ellen Booker. We sense they have been talking for a while.
Annie is so sincerely interested in listening to her, she's
hardly touched her own plate...
... he was a blacksmith by trade, my
father. My grandson Joe was named
for him. But he always dreamed of
having his own place and raising
We see Tom a few places down and across from Annie and his
mother -- but fully aware of their conversation.
He'd heard of some land. What's
Stockett now. Rode out there. Got off
his horse and walked about as far as
he could in one way. Then he walked as
far as he could another way and
another until he got back to where he
started and that's where he put his
roots down... That's where my husband
and I ranched and raised Frank and
She motions proudly to Tom who looks up. Annie smiles to him.
He looks to her with gratitude for the respect she's showing
Quite a different life from what you
know, I expect. Which place to you
Well, I was born in London, but my
father was an ambassador and we
moved constantly. I've lived in a lot
of places but I don't really know what
I'd call home.
Tom listens to this.
An ambassador! My! That's very
He was a wonderful man.
She looks to Tom and he can sense a sadness around this in her
I sure hope you're gonna eat more
than that, young lady. You're a
I've never eaten this much in my
Probably never worked so hard,
neither. Those arms of yours are
gonna be pretty sore tomorrow. I'll
give you a little bit of ointment I
make. It's a magic recipe my Mama
We used to call Diane's mother
Medicine Woman. None of us never went
to the doctor when she was alive.
Annie and Grace listen in...
Too bad she wasn't here for old
Not much would have helped him.
I never got that whole story, what
Old Henry was changing a flat tire on
his truck over on 118 when that...
... two-hundred-year-old jack he has
gives way and the side of that truck
come slamming down on that rock he
There's laughter -- everyone knows Old Henry. Except:
Knocked him out for a while. He woke
up, finished putting on the tire and
drove himself to the hospital.
Old Fool... Darling, pass down those peas
for me, thank you.
Annie and Grace don't know how to respond... But everyone else
takes it their stride as they continue eating...
Grace notices Joe is whispering something to Frank, who nods
his head and speaks to the table.
Huh, Joe here has something to say.
Joe stands, somewhat formally, with his hat on.
I wrote this for you Grandma...
Mrs. Booker, and Diane, beam. Annie and Grace don't know what
to expect. Joe stands straight as an arrow and recites a poem
At first, Annie and Grace appear to be embarrassed for the boy
but soon they can't help but be won over by his guilessness.
He finishes and everyone applauds. Hank's wife asks:
That was lovely. Who wrote that,
I wrote it myself, ma'am.
Now son, you tell 'em when it came
Be honest, I can't say I did it all
myself. My grandma helped me get the
OOoo's and aah's and smiles and conversations erupting over
Only we see, Grace looking over to Joe who gives her kickass,
(raising his beer)
Well, I'd like to welcome Annie and
Grace to their first branding...
And next time, Miss Annie, you can run
down the calves...
I'll drink to that...
Everyone toasts and drinks. Annie and Tom exchange a look.
She smiles, but not in a alluring way -- rather, in a grateful
way. Grateful for this brief moment of community and good
feeling. And somehow, Tom knows what she's feeling.
No one notices this silent exchange -- except for Diane, who
sees everything that's going on.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, DINING ROOM - NIGHTFALL
The Women are bringing in dishes and plates and food from the
tables through the house and into the kitchen. Annie is among
them, feeling apart of the group. She enters carrying a large
bowl, that held the corn.
Diane is replacing newly-cleaned forks and knives in her
dining room drawers, above which are several FAMILY PICTURES.
(referring to clean bowl)
Where does this go, Diane?
Oh, you can just set up on the dining
table. I have to rearrange my shelves
Annie complies. She notices the framed pictures on the wall in
the dining room.
Is this Mr. Booker? Tom's
Diane looks at a faded photo circa late 1800's.
Mm-mm. I never knew him. He died
before Frank and I met. This here's...
Frank and Tom's mother and father...
there's little Frank and Tom...
She calls him Tommy...
Always did. I think she favored him a
little. You tend to when you have more
than one, even though you love 'em all
She studies the old faces of Tom's Parents -- although 20th
Century people, there is still a pioneering strength in their
visage... a stoicism and power.
(putting away forks)
Ha, she loves telling this story about
how when he was two years old, he ran off.
They found him in the barn, sleeping
between two giant hooves of a Percheron
stallion. She said that horse was
protecting him and nobody could convince
I got a little confused though. The ranch
Ellen was talking about -- that's not this
Diane is sorting silverware throughout the following:
No. See, Frank and Tom were raised near
the Clark's Fork River, right between the
Pryor and Beartooth Mountains. Beautiful
piece of land. But they had this uncle
Ned -- useless man, never interested in
ranching. And when the grandparents died,
he left for the city and sent word
through lawyers he wanted his claim to
the land so he could sell it. Three years
of legation broke their father. Frank took
it all in stride, but Tom... Tom loved that
land. I don't think he ever got over it --
His home being sold out from under him.
Seeing his father like that. Once he and
Frank got their folks set up in a new
place, Tom left... went off. We didn't see
him for years...
Annie is intrigued by what she's learning about Tom.
Something outside the window catches her eyes. She watches:
Tom and Frank, on either side to Ellen, are escorting her to
a car that will drive her home.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie wanders out, passing Grace and Joe on her way out. The two
are sitting in a glider. As Annie exits O.C., we hear them;
Why do you always wear that hat?
Because it fits my head. You want to
try it on?
Grace doesn't know if she should.
Annie continues towards Tom who's sitting in a rocker playing
with the twins.
Show us again! Come on! One more time!
It's my turn now!
All right, al right. Hold out your
Annie takes a seat nearby and watches as Tom holds out the
first finger of his right hand. The Twins holds out his. Tom
splits his focus between Annie and the Twins as he takes a
small piece of rope out of his back pocket. He ties the ends
together making a loop. He puts the loop over the Twin's
finger. And holding the other end of the loop taut with his
left hand, he draws one side of the cord over the other with
the middle finger of his right hand. Then he rolls his hand
over so it's under the loop, and back over it again, so that
his finger is tip to tip with the Twin's. The loop seemingly
knotted around their touching fingertips, and can only be
removed if their touch is broken.
The loop's knotted, right.
Looks like the only way to take it
off, is if we break our touch...
Annie and the Twins look down at the touching fingers as Tom
gently pulls the rope away, revealing they are still knotted,
and without even breaking their touch...
Again! Again. One more time!
Oh, no. No, no. I only fall for that
once. Go inside now before your mother
starts hunting you down. Go on.
The Twins exit. Annie and Tom make eye contact.
(smiles, relaxes back)
So how was your first and last day of
Don't be so sure it's my last. There
are a few people back home I'd like
to put under a red hot iron.
Tom looks at her with a sly expression, and notices she's
You got too much sun today...
He takes his jacket and puts it around her shoulders.
He sits back down. Annie crosses her arms over her chest,
looks around, unconsciously swinging her foot. Tom watches
her leg. Annie notices him watching;
You ever just stand still for a
You stand still too long in New York
you get hit by a bicycle messenger.
You know, sometimes, I get the feeling,
Mr. Booker, that you're laughing at me.
Why is that?
Tom shrugs. Annie waits a beat, then:
That's your cue to say you're not
laughing at me.
Oh, I see, you write both sides of the
It's a man's world, Mr. Booker. Most
women have to.
Well, maybe I am laughing a bit... I
just thought, as long as you're here,
it would be nice for you to relax into
the place a little.
Well... It's beautiful country, I'll give
you that. And I could see having some
kind of vacation place. Retreat. But I
don't know how you do it full time. Don't
you miss the rest of the world?
What's that to miss?
Ha... if you've never lived in a city
with museums, theater, music, restaurants,
uh... god, a million things, then it's
something I can't explain.
(thinks, teasing a bit)
Does Chicago count?
You lived in Chicago?
When I was first married.
You were married to a woman in
Tom likes disturbing her picture of him as the predictable
cowboy. He smiles;
I once heard Itzhak Perlman guest star
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
He played Rachmaninov's Vocalize Opus 34.
No. 14. It was one of the most beautiful
pieces of music I ever heard. I actually
forgot where I was for a time.
(Annie is floored)
You seem surprised?
(not wanting to insult)
Well, I, uh... you didn't...
Just who's been laughing at who here?
Tom says this with a wry smile. Annie returns with a smile --
as an understanding is reached between them: they've both
stereotyped the other. They are both pleased -- and attracted --
by what they don't know.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is fast asleep, exhausted. She does not stir when the
Annie picks up from her own bed, awakened, still dressed in
her branding clothes, having just passed out on the bed.
INT. CENTRAL PARK WENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
INTERCUT: Robert, alone, in the vast apartment.
I thought you guys were going to call
Oh, Robert, I'm sorry. We were so tired
from the branding. Grace barely made it
to her bed and I didn't have the energy
to take my clothes off.
Oh well... branding will do that to you.
Everything all right.
Fine. Actually, today was a good day.
You should have seen her.
I wish I did.
The sound of self-pity was so obvious for both of them, so
Robert quickly re-groups, resorting to something he knows is
important to her;
Well, uh the real reason I called,
actually, was to tell you I saw Lucy
at Jo-Jo's tonight and she seems very
Apparently, Gottschalk's been seen around
town lunching with some very prominent
magazine editors. Lucy said she tried to
call you, but no one answered so she faxed
you the list of names. She said one of
them have contracts up fairly soon.
Oh. I didn't look at my faxes today. We
left before sunrise.
Honey, I hope you're not endangering
your position. Listen, if you need to
come back and you want me to come take
over, for a while, I'll work it out. I
mean, the firm's got other lawyers, but
the magazine's got only one of you.
After a day of hard work and simple pleasures, Annie begins to
succumb to old anxieties and pressures.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie is awake reading the faxes Lucy sent. One after other.
As she flips through them, one falls to the floor near the bed.
She gets down on all fours to retrieve and sees something
under the bed. AN OLD, BATTERED CELLO CASE. She pulls it out
to find the initials R.B. carved on the top. She opens it to
find papers, receipts, bills -- all from Tom's married life.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - EARLY MORNING
Tom rides a young colt along the creek. He hears footsteps.
He turns and sees Annie running along the creek on the other
side. He stops to watch. When his horse SNORTS, Annie looks
up to see him. She stops. He tips his hat to her.
I've decided it's impossible to
properly say hello in this place
without a hat.
A jogger, huh?
I don't jog, Mr. Booker. I run.
Lucky for you. The grizzlies around
here only go for joggers.
If I can survive rush hour, I figure I
can handle grizzlies...
You sleeping all right in that house?
I don't sleep all right anywhere. But
the house is fine.
Tom walks his horse across the creek to her, comfortable in
the silence. Annie moves about, uncomfortable in the waiting.
Tom is finding Annie's blunt curiosity more endearing.
I found this old cello case filled with
bills and receipts.
Sorry about that. I thought everything
got cleared out. R.B. is my wife...
ex-wife... Rachel. We used to live in
I thought you lived in Chicago?
I thought you were an editor, not a
Annie smiles and nods, realizing she's asking too many questions.
She tries to casually reach out to touch the horse's head, but
it's too abrupt and the horse tosses his head away, taking a
couple of steps back. Annie is embarrassed.
I have a way with animals.
It's all right. He's young. Just hold
out your hand a little lower so he can
get the smell of you.
Oh yes. I forgot.
She does and the horse sniffs at her hand.
Why don't you ride anymore? Grace told
me you used to ride when she was
Annie is somewhat moved by her daughter telling him that.
I don't know, really. No time mostly.
A cold wind blows. She folds her arms across her breasts.
I thought it was supposed to be spring.
Tom can't help but notice her nipples are hard from the cold.
He looks away. She laughs.
Are you shy, Mr. Booker?
Just polite. Well, maybe you'd like
to try riding again, some time before
you go home.
Annie is struck by the words "before you go home." Tom ambles
off on his horse.
Enjoy the day.
Annie steps across the rocks at the ford, crossing the creek.
Her foot slips, one of her shoes goes into the water.
Need a lift?
I can handle it!
She crosses the creek. She turns, giving him a small wave. He
touches his hat. She runs off. Tom watches her go, head down,
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
A tense Annie is having a difficult phone with DAVID GOTTSCHALK;
... David, we've been behind a day or
two before. But Lucy just Fedexed me all
the material and it'll be approved by
the end of the day.
DAVID GOTTSCHALL (V.O.)
If nothing goes wrong. If the faxes don't
go down. If the phone lines are opened.
I can't have this magazine hitting the
streets by the skin of its ass, Annie.
During David's lines, Diane has entered, carrying fresh towels
-- she crosses into the bathroom.
Oh, come on! This is such bullshit! The
work is getting done, David. Lucky keeps
me on top of everything.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Lucy isn't you. We're losing something
without you being here. Now, I know this
is a rough time for you, but I think we
should make another arrangement.
Without Annie's awareness, Diane re-enters and takes her time
leaving, so she can take in all of Annie's things; her
business "office," books, etc...
What the hell does that mean? How much
more do I have to do to prove how
important this magazine is to me?
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
If this magazine is so important to you
Annie, why are you in Montana?
Diane can't help but notice a slight vulnerability in Annie.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
Look, this is what we're going to do.
Finish up this issue. I'll set up a
conference call in a few weeks. Just
you, me and your lawyer and we'll
just work this out so that everyone
will be taken care of. Fair enough?
Annie is now aware of Diane's presence and chooses to play it
cool. It's not the moment.
Uh, yes... Sure, David.
DAVID GOTTSCHALK (V.O.)
All right. Speak to you then.
He hangs up. Annie forces a smile to Diane.
Thank you. You're all doing too much.
Oh, it's... I wanted to tell you that,
if you'd like, you being so busy, I
could take Grace to her therapy
exercises for you. I have to go in
once a week for shopping anyway.
Annie doesn't know whether or not to accept.
Oh... Well... thank you very much. I
Before she finishes her line, the Phone Rings again.
Hello? Hi, yeah, I just spoke to him.
Oh, you know David, Mr. Strong Arm...
Diane feels out of place and exits. Annie doesn't notice
until she hears the door close. She pushes back her hair and
takes a deep breath. She looks out through the side window
Grace and Joe doing chores. Grace looks involved and not at
all self-conscious. A moment of gratitude and calm for Annie.
EXT. THE DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
Pilgrim bursts out of a chute and into the riding arena. He
runs to the far end and abruptly stops. Tom is holding the
orange flagstick, and coiled rope, coming through a gate
into the arena, crossing to the middle of the ring. Something
in his demeanor tells us that fun and game are over.
Pilgrim and Tom stand there, motionless, eyeing each other.
Pilgrim snorts and takes a few, small steps backward. Tom
takes a beat, then starts slowly towards Pilgrim, lifting the
flag and "cracking" it. At the sound, Pilgrim whirls away from
him and runs, around the arena. He starts to slow, looking at
Tom. Again, Tom cracks the flag and Pilgrim runs, round and
round the arena... like a ringmaster, Tom keeps Pilgrim
moving, cracking the flag.
Something about Tom's demeanor tells us it isn't going well.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
Tom, carrying a saddle, comes around the side of the barn.
Through the slats, he sees Grace working in the barn,
watering a horse. She has stopped and is looking through the
cracks of Pilgrim's stall at him. She turns and sees Tom
through the slats. She goes back to work as Tom comes to the
Come and take a ride with me.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
They walk towards his pick-up truck.
Can you drive?
Drive? I'm not old enough yet.
It's never too soon to start.
He enters the passenger side.
I don't have all day.
She hesitates and gets into the truck.
INT. PICK-UP TRUCK - DAY
Grace doesn't know what to do.
Put the key in and turn it.
The right pedal is gas, the other
one's the brake.
I don't know if I can with my leg.
Well, there's only one way to find out.
(puts truck in gear)
Give it a little gas.
She awkwardly puts her prosthetic foot on the gas pedal. Too
much. It lurches forward. She takes her foot off.
Well, we know you can. Now you just
got to feel how much. Try it again.
She does. They slowly, very slowly, move along the dirt road.
Nice, real nice. There's a little
road down at the end here, turn onto
Grace badly oversteers, but makes the turn. She drives along
the road, across a pasture, heading toward distant mountains.
Just follow this. Nothing to it. I'm
going to shut my eyes here for a
little while. Just keep going till
you run out of road.
I don't know if I can.
Not a question of if you can -- you
are. Just keep your eyes on the road
and your foot on the pedal and the
rest will take care of yourself.
Folding his arms over his chest, shutting his eyes, Tom
relaxes back. Grace locks her hand on the steering wheel and
her eyes straight ahead...
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The truck is parked at the foot of a mountain. Grace, very
pleased with herself, sits beside Tom on the cab's roof,
looking around them at the great Montana. After a beat;
Where did you get Pilgrim from?
We bought him in Kentucky. My mother
and I took a trip down there to see
That must have been pretty special.
Grace nods. It is a pleasant memory. He motions for her to be
quiet. An old ELK with a prodigious rack of antlers, has come
down out of the mountains. Seeing them, he stops in his
tracks, dead still. They watch each other. Then the elk turns
and runs back up into the mountains. Tom smiles at Grace who
smiles back -- partly because of the elk, partly because she's
alone with Tom.
Are you afraid of anything?
Getting old. Not being of much use,
What went on out there, Grace? With
Grace doesn't say anything. Tom nods then;
You see, Grace, I've got a problem.
When I'm working with a horse, I like
to know its history. Now, most times,
the horse can tell you pretty much the
whole story, but sometimes he can be
so messed up in his head that you need
more to go on. You need to know exactly
what went wrong. Often times, it's the
obvious thing, but something that went
wrong just before that, maybe even some
Grace is quiet. She doesn't want to think about that.
It's like if I'm driving and run into
a tree. When somebody asks me, "Well,
what happened?", I don't say, "Well,
I plowed into a tree." I'd say, "The
sun was in my eyes." or "I skidded." or
"I took my mind off the road for a
second." See what I mean?
I don't know how you feel about talking
about it and I can understand you might
not want to. But if I'm going to figure
out what's going on in his head, it'd
sure help if I knew exactly what
happened that day.
Grace looks away. Tom smiles and gently puts his arm around
her shoulders, which has a soothing effect on Grace -- making
her feel safe...
Not today -- whenever you feel like it.
I leave it up to you.
Grace looks into Tom's eyes, wanting so much to unburden herself
to him and have him make everything all right. She nods.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - LATE AT NIGHT
Tom is making his way to the house at the end of the day, when
he stops and looks over to the Creek house --
POV -- the lights are on. And he can see Annie, exhausted...
approving pages, talking on the phone and faxing all
He gets an idea.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
Annie sits on the porch of the creek house, with a guilt over
herself, sipping coffee and deep in thought. She looks up to
Tom riding towards the house on his horse, leading another
horse behind him. He looks to her and smiles.
Tom reaches the house as Annie rises.
The answer's no.
You haven't heard the question yet. Truth
is, you'd be doing me a favor. I got all
these eager young colts need riding and
poor old Rimrock here is feeling kind of
He'd be grateful, he'd take real good
care with you.
Is this how you're going to make me pay
my phone bill?
No, ma'am, I'm afraid that's extra.
She gives him a crooked smile.
EXT. THE RANCH, PASTURE - DAY
Annie, in Levis and a jacket, rides Rimrock beside Tom across
the pasture. We overhear them in the midst of talking.
Relax our center... It's just sitting
in a bucket.
Yeah, it's been a while, but I... I
remember the basic ideas...
OK. I'll stop talking then.
He rides a few steps ahead as Annie realizes she doesn't
remember. She just went into automatic "I don't have to be
told anything" mode.
Actually, I never rode Western. I'm
sorry. Go ahead.
Well, he don't know that. Just sit the
(watches her ride)
Good... You have a nice seat.
You look all right. You want to pick
it up a little?
Tom urges his horse into a center. Annie canters alongside.
Watch your reins, he'll go with you,
give him some room, let him do the
work. Relax, don't grab him with
your thighs, just so long as he can
feel your body.
Annie responds to every suggestion without resistance. And
she experiences this sense of pleasure -- this great animal
beneath her, the physicality and the surrender of letting
someone else lead...
You want to let it go some more?
She begins to let herself go, losing herself in the experience.
She just nods... Tom breaks into a full gallop... Annie follows
suit... She lets everything go -- her job, her marriage,
motherhood, guilt, anxiety... all of it. Her only focus is the
horse beneath her, and the man on the horse leading her...
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
They ride along the creek, crossing at a ford. They ride up
towards the mountains.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
They ride through a narrow pass with sheer rock walls, riding
by a waterfall...
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
They ride across a meadow, cattle stepping lazily aside to
let them pass. And as they ride alongside each other,
appreciating the silence...
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
They ride up along a sloping ridge covered with pine trees.
They come to the rim of a high bluff. They stop. They look
out at the twin valleys that gave the ranch its name. And
they can just see the old CREEK HOUSE hidden in the shade of
some trees along the creek...
Tom looks over at Annie, who is looking out over this
It's a whole other world you have
going on here. It just goes along,
doing what it has to. And you're a
part of it, you just wake up and,
and there you are... And everything
that seems like life or death some
place else -- doesn't affect any of
this one bit.
Tom is impressed by her feelings. He sees her saddle cinch
needs fixing and gets off his horse.
Lift your leg.
Annie complies once she realizes what he's doing.
How long did you live here with your
Five years. My son was born here.
(opens her eyes)
Yeah. I haven't seen him in a while. He
used to come to the ranch over summers,
but then he started having friends and
was going off to college, so... Good boy.
Hal. Lives in New York near his mom.
How did you meet her?
College. In Illinois. She was playing
the cello. I hadn't heard cello music
growing up. She had the reddest hair,
the bluest eyes. When she played, it
Tom can't find a beautiful enough word. But Annie understands.
She was the most beautiful thing I'd
Annie sees Tom as if with new eyes -- his love for this woman
Why didn't it work out?
She was never really happy here. She did
the best she could.
Annie looks at him and for the first time senses a kinship --
an understanding they both have of being torn between two
worlds... a desire for home...
Grace told me you have a country house
in Connecticut. Sounds like a beautiful
It is. It's lovely.
Ever think of moving there full time?
We did at one point. When we thought
we'd have more children. And we after
tried. We tried everything, but...
wasn't meant to be.
There is an awkward silent beat for a moment. Annie is
momentarily self-conscious. Tom helps by speaking of himself;
I hear that! See, I knew she was never
going to be a ranchest, but I wanted
to try -- I thought maybe she'd give
music lessons to the kids in town or at
the school, maybe even recitals. My son
would grow up here. Maybe have one or
two more. I'd teach 'em what I could.
They'd play with my brother's kids. All
grow up together. And even if they all
decided to go out into the world, they'd
always know where home was -- cause we'd
keep it for 'em...
That's very important to you, isn't it?
Yeah, I think it is. And I don't mean
everybody's got to be married, have kids
-- It's more like, knowing where you're
from, where you belong, what feeds you,
where you can go no matter what happens...
Knowing what you're supposed to be doing
while you're here.
How did you find out all that?
Tom looks right into her eyes and confesses without a shred
I got lost.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
The world is in silhouette. Off in the distance, we see Tom
standing by his horse, offering his hand to Annie, helping
her off. There's an awkward moment, neither of them wanting
the day, or the moment, to end.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is standing by the window, looking out at them. Their
movements indicate an intimacy that upsets her.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
After a beat;
Tom gets back on his colt. He takes Rimrock's reins and leads
him off. Annie stops for a moment, watching him ride away...
She watches her mother walk towards the house;
INT. CREEK HOUSE - MOMENT'S LATER
Grace watches her mother stand there a moment, then turn and
walk towards the house. Grace moves away from the window,
her emotions churning -- jealousy, anger -- and enters her
bedroom, shutting the door.
EXT. THE PASTURE - EARLY MORNING
Joe, hat tipped low, is riding his horse, leading some young
horses, exercising them in the morning pasture. He sees Grace,
walking with her cane, coming across the pasture.
She stops. After a beat;
Would you let me ride your horse?
Have you talked to Tom about it?
Of course I have.
I don't know... You sure Tom said it's
She nods. He hesitates.
Are you going to give me a hand or
He gets off his horse and holds it. She puts down her cane,
then puts her hand on the saddle horn. She puts her
prosthetic leg into a stirrup. Frightened, she starts to
Angry, determined, Grace tries to swing her leg onto the
horse. She can't do it. Tears of frustration on her face. She
tries again. She manages to pull herself halfway on, her
prosthetic leg buckles and she falls. Frightened, Joe runs to
She gasps to catch her breath. He reaches to help her up. She
pulls her hand away. Embarrassed, she "runs" off. Joe remains
still. He hears a little VOICES. He turns and sees the TWINS
having been watching the whole thing from a small hill. As
they run off, he yells, threateningly.
You better not say anything!!!
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
We follow Joe running towards the creek house, fastening a
good shirt. He's dressed and cleaned for dinner. He's late.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Annie is in the midst of making a spaghetti dinner. She's a
little frazzled but she's on top of it. Grace enters wearing
a lovely dress -- it is the first time we have seen her in a
dress. Annie hears her enter before she sees her, asking;
Honey, would you see if anybody
Annie notices Grace standing there, in her dress. She stops.
You look really pretty.
Grace is a little self-conscious but grateful. She begins
taking forks out of her dress pocket.
I thought there were too many forks
on the table.
Well, one was for salad...
Mom, they don't mind eating with one
You're right. Good.
Grace puts them away.
Does anybody out there want
something to drink?
I'll take care of it.
Grace nods and exits to the living room.
The room is silent because every Booker is READING A
DIFFERENT COPY OF ANNIE'S MAGAZINE. Frank covertly glimpses
at the scantily-clad models... The Twins sharing a magazine,
doing the same thing as their father, but keeping an eye out
for mom... Diane is looking at pictorial exposes on the kind
of lives she only hears about on audio tapes...
Tom sits off to the side, amused by the sight.
Grace enters as Joe enters. They nod across the room to each
other with a little smile.
Would anyone like something to drink?
We hear a CRASH in the kitchen, then:
Everybody looks up for a minute. The Twins giggle. Diane gives
them a dirty look.
I'll give your mom a hand.
Diane watches him enter the kitchen, then returns to her
INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Annie has dropped a hot pot into the sink, after pouring the
tomato out of it, and into a terrine.
Everything under control?
Not really. I'd forgotten how long
it's been since I've done this. And
I couldn't get any Parmesan cheese.
Just make yourself comfortable.
I am comfortable.
Ha, ha... all right, well, uh I guess
you can bring out the pasta.
She undoes her apron and crosses towards the bowl. Tom's eyes
never leave her. It's the first time he's seen her in her
dress, sans apron. As she lifts the bowl to hand to him, she
realizes he's been looking at her. There's a silent moment,
You missed a button.
She looks for it. Tom crosses to her and buttons it, then
takes the bowl.
They're quiet for a beat as they exchange a look. Suddenly,
Grace enters -- she clearly doesn't like the two of them being
alone, Annie quickly covers;
Oh, good, Grace, would you bring in
the bread... I'll get the salad and
then we're all set.
Tom has already exited by the time Annie finishes, and Grace
grabs the bread basket.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
We parachute into the middle of the meal. The spaghetti is a
hit... We cut to different conversations and reactions around
Frank is in the middle of saying;
It'd be a whole lot easier to pay
the feed end of the month...
I don't think Warren would go for that.
Grace is talking to Joe and the Twins.
... like, for instance, you can go on
the Internet and access this thing
called The Visible Man -- who was this
murderer they caught in Texas that was
executed and donated his body to
science and you can call him up on the
screen and dissect him, like in Three-D...
Grace eats as she talks. Joe and the Twins are fascinated.
Annie asks Tom, Frank and Diane;
Well, did you ever think about hiring
a business manager?
We have a business manager. The best
Diane takes care of the books. I don't
know how, but at the end of every
month, everything adds up to the penny.
Ain't brain surgery.
It's pretty impressive. Where I come
from, you'd be a gold mine.
Diane doesn't know how to accept that, but inside she's
bursting with pride. She focuses on the Twins who fight;
This is MY fork. That's YOUR fork, ya
Hey. You stop that kind of talk at the
I'll have another round of that
spaghetti if may?
Absolutely. I made enough for an army.
I uh... I like the sauce very much. Maybe
I get the recipe.
Annie is so pleased and is about to reply, but Grace, noticing
Tom smiling at Annie:
It's from a jar.
There's an odd silence as a deflated Annie serves Frank.
Finally, Diane saves it.
Well, I tried jar sauce once --
wasn't this good. Ya gotta know
which brand to buy. I'd like to
get the name of this one.
Annie is grateful. Grace feels foolish.
Can we see the dead body on the
It's just my computer.
Oh, I don't --
It's okay. Grace, show them. I'm going
to put the coffee on. I made an apple
tart for dessert.
The Twins excitedly move to the computer. Joe waits for Grace.
I'll help you with the coffee.
Well... I know I should reject that
offer, but I'm not going to.
No reason you should, no reason you
They exit into the kitchen. Frank continues eating.
Tom looks around -- Grace showing the boys the computer. Annie
and Diane in the kitchen. For a second, we see Tom realize an
image of the life he once thought he could.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
As Diane and Annie prepare coffee and dessert;
I was looking in one of your magazines
and saw that picture of the couple
getting married at the Pyramids. Were
you ever in Egypt?
I was there for that shot, actually.
What was it like?
Oh, God -- I think it was the fourth
or fifth time I'd been there, so all
I remember was the heat and how
incompetent the photographer was...
She laughs as she directs this last line to Diane, who just
smiles. And Annie realizes that's not what she meant at all.
This woman is starving for glimpses into this other life.
But, uh, Egypt is, well, it's like
nothing else. It's like going back in
I remember as a kid trying to imagine
what a kid my age, centuries ago,
walking over that same ground, was
wondering about or, if they had the
same problems as me... and I felt,
connected to... to time itself, almost.
Ha, I never realized how hard it was
I'd love to go there one time...
You and Frank ever take a vacation?
Soon. We're going to Branson, Missouri
to see my cousin Emma married. Frank
loves in there.
Annie can sense the disappointment in her voice, and at the
same time, the comfortable resignation.
Suddenly, from inside, they hear LOUD OVERLAPPING VOICES as
the children fight.
IT WAS MY TURN!
YA JUST HAD A TURN. IT WAS NOT.
Diane and Annie enter to find Joe and Scott fighting, as Tom
tries to break them up...
Boys! Settle down!
You never let me have a turn!
Don't be such a baby!
You just showing off for her!
You shut up, stupid!
You're the one who's stupid -- letting
her go and fall off your horse!!
Everyone goes quiet, except for the computer screen.
You little shit!
I saw 'em. In the pasture. Her trying to
get on Gonzo! I saw 'em.
What does he mean?
Did you go riding?
Joe lunges for Scott and the two start rolling in a fight.
Frank and Tom work to pull them apart as Diane yells.
Annie, I'm so sorry, but they're just
tired. We'll have dessert another time.
Frank, get them out of here.
(to other Twin)
Come on. Say good night and thank
Voices everywhere. Yelling. "Thank you's!!" During which,
Grace quickly turns and exits. Annie eyes follow her out of
the room, but with her guests and the chaos, she doesn't know
whether or not to leave.
Dinner was delicious. Thank you.
Say thank you!!
Diane and Frank usher the kids out. Tom holds onto Joe until
they're gone, then lets him go.
Sorry, ma'am, I thank you for dinner.
It was very good.
Did Grace try to ride, Joe?
I expect you should talk to Grace about
that, ma'am. And if I did anything
wrong, then I am sorry.
Ever the gentlemen, Joe exits. Annie looks to Tom. He's about
to leave, when he stops and says:
Don't let her turn you away.
Annie stands and faces Grace's closed door. Slowly, she
lowers herself to her knees and sits on them, thinking...
reminiscent of Tom, waiting for his moment with Pilgrim, in
INT. CREEK HOUSE, GRACE'S ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
We don't know how long Annie waited, but she knocks gently,
then enters to find Grace, in her nightgown, on her bed, with
the night stand light on. Her prosthesis is against the wall.
Grace? Is everything all right?
Can we talk?
So you tried riding again?
Yeah. Does that mean I'm cured?!
Honey, nobody's trying to cure you --
... You worried everything all right
now and we'll have to go home?
What are you talking about?
You... not wanting to go home because
you hate daddy so much.
Grace, I don't hate your father.
I can't remember the last time you
made him dinner.
I was just trying to say thank you to
Diane and Frank and --
Annie sits by the bed, Grace moves away a little.
Look, I just wanted to say, I think
it's great you're riding again.
And... and I think I know why you,
you needed to do it alone... without
Yeah, you know everything!!
STOP IT! Why can't I talk to you!!
NO, YOU STOP IT! Stop pretending like
you care! Like this really isn't about
you and Tom.
WHAT?! How can you --
(at a loss)
I'm sorry if my friendship with Tom
bothers you so much, but I happen to
value having someone to talk to,
especially when my own daughter
ignores me night and day because no
matter what I say, it's wrong and no
matter what I do, it's wrong... I'm
sorry I'm such a disappointment to
Well, now you know what it feels like.
I don't deserve that. I have never
looked at you as a disappointment. If
I'm on your back to do better, if I
push you to try harder it's because
I want you to be the best you can be.
FOR YOU! Because I'm your daughter
which means you're the best mother!
Isn't that what you're always talking
about in interviews -- having it all,
the great career, the great family...
Proving everybody wrong. Wanting
everybody to think you're this perfect
Beat. They're both exhausted.
Listen, if... if there's a part of you
as parent that... that takes pride in
your child -- that, you can look at
them and see something you've
accomplished as well... if that's wrong,
then I'm sorry.
But it wasn't my intention. I don't push
for me. I do it for you... So you don't
waste half your life feeling like you
don't know where you belong.
Yeah, well, you've done a great job.
Beat. Annie feels deeply hurt.
Well, then I do apologize... But what
I'm most sorry for is turning you
into a spoiled brat who can only
think about what she's feeling... who
can't admit when she's wrong and who
can't forgive when she's not.
LEAVE ME ALONE!!
Annie stops to exit as Grace says something under her breath.
What did you say?
I said... I started.
Grace starts to sob. Annie doesn't understand.
I felt it happen downstairs and when
I went into the bathroom.
Annie reaches down to touch Grace's shoulder. Grace turns --
there is no anger in her face. Annie sits and takes her in
her arms. Grace clings to her and sobs like a little girl.
Annie sees tears run -- gratefully, lovingly.
Who's going to want me now?
What?... Oh baby...
Who's ever going to want me? Nobody
That's not true.
Why should they?
Because you are... one of the most...
incredible, bravest, most beautiful
woman I have ever met. The efforts
you make. Your courage and your
(laughs thru tears)
I don't know where you got it? I
honestly don't know how I would have
handled all this if I were you.
Grace is so grateful, they cling to each other even harder.
As the tears subside, Grace manages to admit...
I'm sorry... about what I said. It's
just that -- all those times you
and Daddy were trying for another
kid, I... I used to pray at night that
it would work. And not because of
you guys or that I wanted a brother
or sister... but... just so I wouldn't
have to be...
So special. Because I was the only
one. You both wanted me to be so
good at everything, so perfect and
I wasn't. I was just me. And now I've
completely ruined everything,
They both start crying again as Annie rocks her gently.
They hold each other as if for dear life...
LATER -- CAMERA PANS to discover mother and daughter, fast
asleep, in each other's arms.
INT. TOM'S ROOM, RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom sits alone, writing at his desk. His music is playing.
He stops to look out the window overlooking the Creek House.
Annie and Grace fell asleep with the lights still on in the
Tom is thinking of Grace and Annie -- wondering what happened
after he left... conflicted by what he feels for Annie... And
remembering why they're here in the first place...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NEXT MORNING
The phone rings, awakening Annie first, then Grace.
Hello, this is ATT Conference Service.
Is this Annie MacLean?
I have a conference call scheduled for
you with Mr. Gottschalk and Mr. Farlow.
Oh. Oh, yes. One moment, please.
Who is it?
Uh, nothing. I'm going to pick it up
in the other room -- would you hang
this up for me?
Annie moves to the other room, sits down at her office space,
takes a breath, then picks up, yelling to Grace;
Operator?... I'm ready.
EXT. RIDING ARENA - LATER THAT MORNING
Annie and Grace are standing by the arena fence. Frank, Joe
and the Twins are sitting on the fence rail. Joe is holding a
saddle and a bridle, standing in some shadows in an empty
arena. Pilgrim comes running into the ring. Out of habit, he
starts circling the ring. He sees Tom holding a saddle.
Pilgrim walks towards him. Curious, he stops, looking at him.
Tom puts the saddle down, sitting crossways on it. Pilgrim
walks towards him again. He stops, looking at Tom again. Tom
just sits there, playing with the bridle. Pilgrim walks
around him. Tom doesn't show him any interest. Pilgrim comes
closer. He looks at the saddle. He runs off. He stops,
looking back. Tom just sits. Pilgrim walks back over. Tom
stands and shows him the bridle. Pilgrim comes closer,
sniffing it. He rubs his nose against the leather. Tom pats
his head. Then, in one quick, but deft motion, he puts the
bridle on him. Pilgrim tosses his head, but it doesn't seem
to bother him. Grace and Annie watch intently. Tom takes the
reins, walking Pilgrim around the ring. He walks him to the
saddle. Pilgrim paws at it with his hoof. He turns and runs
off. Tom lets him go. Pilgrim runs around the ring, slows
down, looks over at Tom. Tom picks up the saddle. Pilgrim,
cautiously, comes back over. Tom, with the saddle, walks away
from him. Pilgrim, again curious, follows him. He nudges Tom.
Tom stops. Pilgrim comes around to take a good look at the
saddle. Tom rubs his back. And gently, like laying down a
sheet, puts the saddle on his back. Pilgrim shuffles slightly
at the touch. Tom quickly cinches it. Taking up the reins, he
walks Pilgrim around the ring again. He starts to jog.
Pilgrim jogs with him. And in the middle of the jog, Tom
grabs onto the saddle horn, and without breaking his stride,
pulls himself back up onto his back. He lays across the
saddle, letting Pilgrim feel his weight. He sits up, and
without letting him break his stride, he urges Pilgrim with
his thighs, keeping him in the jog, riding around the ring.
Grace and Annie cheer. Tom tips his hat to them...
INT. THE BARN - DAY
Grace is cleaning stalls, etc... She exits one of the stalls
with a pail and stops -- looking down the barn to where she
knows Pilgrim is. She places the pail down and gathers her
courage. She walks to Pilgrim's stall. She stands motionless
for some moments before she opens the doors and enters...
Pilgrim steps back a bit. He looks at her. He pins his ears
back. Stomps his feet. Grace is about to turn and leave, but
she stops herself and remains still.
Slowly, she reaches out to touch Pilgrim's head... and he
lets her. We see in Grace a maturity of character, a
willingness to face what she must face... the beginning of a
compassion, not only for Pilgrim, but perhaps for herself as
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - NIGHT
A full moon lights the ranch. Tom pulls up to the ranch house
in his truck, parks and gets out. As he walks towards the
house, he hears:
Grace exits the Creek House and coming towards him, a coat
over her nightgown. Tom waits until she reaches him.
I was waiting for you to come back.
Tom instinctively knows what she wants.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Grace sits at the table. Tom is cooking at the stove. It feels
as if they are the only two people on earth. Grace gets up her
nerve... and begins:
Judith was telling me about this boy
she really liked. She never even had
a chance to tell me his name...
She starts to quietly cry, but it doesn't stop her.
We were going to go around by the
And we see the accident all over again... But this time, a
movie -- as clear as reality -- but in deathly silence. Just
the sound of Grace's voice, and her heartbeat...
EXT. THE WOODS, CONNECTICUT - EARLY MORNING
The horses are going up the icy path...
We were laughing about something, I
don't remember what. Her horse fell...
Judith's horse suddenly stumbles on the ice, going down,
throwing Judith, her foot helplessly caught in the stirrup.
Her horse sliding back down the hill.
Grace tries to move Pilgrim to avoid the errant horse, but
it's too late, the horse plows into them, the horses sliding
back down the hillside onto the empty COUNTRY ROAD...
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD, CT. - EARLY MORNING
Pilgrim is first to find his legs. Judith's horse, its leg
broken at the ankle, walks in a confused state. Judith's foot
is helplessly caught in the stirrup...
... Judith's foot was caught in the
stirrup... she couldn't get up, she
was so scared...
I saw this truck, coming around the
She sees the glint of the steel. The Truck suddenly appears
from around the bend.
...He was honking, trying to get us to
move... I tried to grab the reins to
get Judith's horse out of the way...
Grace grabs the reins of Judith's horse. The horses are
...And the truck started skidding...
The truck skidded on the icy road, going out of control, jack-
knifing, heading right for them...
...It was coming right at us... There
wasn't any time to do anything... It
ran right into Judith's horse...
The truck bed plows into Judith's horse...
...Judith just disappeared... And it
came right at Pilgrim and me...
We see this...
...And Pilgrim reared up at the truck
and I fell off...
Grace falls onto the road, the truck running over her.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Grace sobs uncontrollably now.
Judith... Oh God, Judith. I'm sorry...
Tom is near and holds her as she puts her head on his chest.
I won't tell you it'll stop feeling
this bad... But I can tell you, you
didn't do anything wrong... The same
thing would have happened to me... or
Frank... or Joe... And there's no
sense in looking for a reason why
I used to try and... always came up
short. I don't think the why so's
important as... what we do with what
we get. I remember this boy I'd see
up on the Blackfeet Reservation. He
was sixteen. Great kid. Strong. He'd
gone swimming and dived headfirst into
a rock. Snapped his neck, paralyzed
him... After the accident, I'd look
in on him from time to time... and he
wasn't there anymore. His mind, his
spirit, whatever you want to call it,
it just disappeared. And what was left
was nothing but anger... It's like the
boy I knew just went away somewhere...
I know where he goes.
I know you do. Don't you disappear.
(holds her tighter)
You do whatever you have to, to hold
I'll tell you one more thing... When
Pilgrim reared up to face that
truck... you know what I think?... I
think that damn horse loved you so much,
he was trying to protect you... That's
what I think.
Grace listens to this. As Tom holds her in silence, it's
almost as if they were father and daughter...
EXT. THE CORRAL - PRE-DAWN
Tom stands with Grace in the corral. Tom's horse, Rimrock, is
saddled nearby. Tom takes Grace's cane.
Let me hold that...
Grace stands, looking at the horse...
I can't... not yet...
There's no hurry. Take you time.
She's trying so hard to be brave. After a moment, she reaches
for the saddle horn. She puts her prosthetic leg in the
stirrup, takes a breath and swings her leg up -- slipping,
falling to the ground. Tom doesn't say anything. She pulls
herself back up. She repeats the action... determinedly. She
swings her leg over again and sits squarely on the horse. Tom
remains still, but proud.
As the day breaks, we leave them in silence -- Tom standing,
hands in pocket... Grace sitting up on the horse, proudly.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE, THE PASTURE - EARLY MORNING
Endless sky. Annie is jogging off in the distance when she
looks up and stops to see: Tom and Grace, both on horses,
stopped on a rolling hill. They do not see her.
Annie is filled with emotion... pride for her daughter,
gratitude for this amazing man.
As the two ride off into the distance we do a slow:
BRIGHT SUNSHINE... CATTLE DRIVE...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Frank and Diane, with the Twins, dogs at their heels, ride in
front of the herd. Behind them, Joe riding alongside Grace.
Smokey and some Hands ride among the herd, keeping them moving.
And riding behind the herd are Annie and Tom...
MONTAGE OF VARIOUS MOMENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY DURING THE CATTLE
DRIVE... Highlighting, in particular, those in which the rising
sexual tension between Tom and Annie is apparent.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - NIGHT
The cattle stands in silhouette. We hear singing.
Everyone is sitting around a campfire. Frank's playing the
guitar, singing along with Tom. They laugh when a lyric or a
note goes wrong. Everyone is enjoying it.
Annie, her arms around her knees, sits off by herself. The
song ends and people applaud.
Frank hands the guitar to Hank;
Play that sweet one you know. The one
makes my wife here so friendly.
(slaps his shoulder)
Hank begins to play and sing a painfully pretty song. His
sweet voice is stark contrast to his gruff, strongman
appearance. Frank offers his hand to Diane, she slaps it away
and laughs, he helps her up and they start to dance. As
Joe stands and offers his hand to Grace;
You wouldn't want to dance with me,
I don't thinks you'd want me tripping
all over you in front of everybody.
I wouldn't let happen.
You know, you're a good kid.
Joe smiles and helps her up. They come together and start
Annie is watching, holding her breath with gratitude.
Tom notices Annie off by herself and crosses to her. He
extends his hand. She hesitates, looks again to Grace with
Joe, then accepts...
His hand slide to her back. Her hand to his shoulder. They
dance. Their bodies closer than they've ever been. Slowly,
she leans her head against his body. And surrenders, for the
Diane sees them. She holds her husband fast, and buries her
head on his neck.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
MORE CATTLE DRIVE MANTAGE -- Taking Tom and Annie a bit
further in their intimacy; perhaps Tom takes extra special
care to explain things to Annie, or fix her saddle cinch, or
make her laugh...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - EVENING
The cows stands in the pasture, grazing. Annie and Diane are
cleaning some pots and pans in the stream.
Must be nice for you to take a few
days off from your work, huh?
Well, I have more than a few days, ha,
ha... I uh... I'm sort of... not an
editor anymore... right now... First
time I've said it out loud.
They fired you?
No, it's more like a leave of-
Ha, ha, ha. Yeah, they fired me.
You don't seem to upset?
Delayed shock. Or maybe not. I know
I could talk my way back if I wanted
or... go to another magazine,
someplace... Just not sure if I want
Guess you don't have to figure it out
until you go home.
This phrase "go home" stings Annie -- though Diane said it
Did you always know this was the life
I fell in love. After that, I never
thought about being anything but a
rancher's wife. I never saw it like I
was losing some other life, just felt
like I was gaining one. I know that's
not a popular opinion nowadays and I
ain't saying it's the right one. We
all have to find the life meant for us.
Frank's a good man.
They don't come better. But I don't
deny there are times I wonder about
things I won't have. Maybe one day I'll
get to see Egypt. Maybe not. But I know
if you try too many different lives,
you can wind up with no life at all...
Sounds like something Tom would say.
Yes, it does.
Annie and Diane resume washing the dishes in silence. Annie
deep in thought. Until Diane stops. After a beat, Annie
Annie, I'm not good at this kind of talk
-- goes round and round a thing but
never comes to it -- so let's just say
what it is. When you first came here,
I didn't like you and I was worried. Tom
means a lot to me and this family. Don't
go looking here for whatever you looking
for. Don't make that man go through
something it took him a long time to see
his way clear out of the first time.
I don't think anybody can make Tom do
anything he didn't want.
He's a good man, Tom is. He's got a
gift, come from heaven above, I swear.
But he's still a man. And a woman can
lead a man into the middle of a mountain
lake -- and still make him think he's on
Diane's words ring in Annie's head.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DEAD OF NIGHT
Dead in stillness. The cattle dark and motionless. Everyone
asleep in bedrolls around the pasture.
Annie awakens, looks up at the moon, watching it go in and
out of the clouds. She looks over to sleeping Grace... Then
looks to where Tom is -- and sees his sleeping bag is empty.
Quietly, she rises and looks for him.
She starts across the grass and sees him crossing on his
haunches, wearing a slicker, sitting in the grass by the
stream, drinking some water. She watches him.
Tom senses something and turns. For a moment, they just look
at each other -- half disbelieving the inevitable is so close
at hand. Annie approaches as Tom rises.
They meet. They kiss. Tentative at first, but more, just to
make that very, precious first moment of discovery last as
long as it can. The kiss grows more passionate. They begin to
lose themselves in each other.
Until, suddenly, aware of their surroundings, they part. No
words. Their expressions to each other tell all. Annie
separates herself and goes back to her bedroll... Tom stands
in the grass, by the stream... the moving water, the night's
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
The cattle drive returns. Tom, Annie, Grace, et al... are on
their horses, heading back towards the ranch when Grace sees
in the distance;
Annie looks up and sees:
POV -- ROBERT has come to the ranch. He is waiting for them
with his luggage beside a rental car... standing out like an
Like The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit in the middle of
Wyeth's "Christina's World."
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Everyone is being introduced to Robert, as Grace hugs him
from the side, never letting go of him. Frank, Diane -- who
introduce their kids, then Tom and Robert shake hands...
This is Mr. Booker, Robert.
Hi. It's a pleasure. I'm very grateful
for the way you took in my girls here.
I bet you were surprised when they
just showed up out of nowhere.
Laugh. Awkward silence...
Well I uh... I can already see a change.
And I'm very grateful to you.
Robert is so sincere -- in that openly, modern, "express your
feelings" kind of way. Tom just nods.
Did you notice -- no cane?
I know. Amazing.
Can we show him Pilgrim, Tom?
Oh, we're gonna show your dad plenty.
Why don't you all get settled in and
we'll do the tour. Excuse me.
As Tom walks away, a nervous Robert feels compelled to say:
See you later!
Tom just nods and keeps walking. Annie and Robert face each
other for a beat.
Let's bring your bags inside.
Wait till you see this -- we have the
whole house to ourselves...
The MacLean walk to the Creek House.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
In the distance, we see the pick-up truck parked out in the
pasture. Tom is standing with Robert -- in jeans, now -- and
Grace, telling Robert about the ranch. Robert has his arms
around Grace, asking questions, interested in everything...
Grace is loving being with her two favorite men...
EXT. RANCH - DAY
Grace waits in the truck as Tom leads Robert through the cows
and cowshit, climbs up and hops over a wood fence. Robert
follows suit -- not as gracefully -- and gets a splinter...
INT. RANCH KITCHEN - DAY
Diane is busy in the kitchen when Annie enters.
Is there anything you need? I'm going
Well, I am going to go after lunch.
No, no, I'll go -- just give me a
Annie is determined. She needs to be by herself for a bit.
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE RANCH - DAY
Tom continues his tour as the dogs run about them. Tom pays
the dogs no attention, except to bark an order. Robert,
however, engages with them -- picking up a stick and throws
it. A dog returns and gives it back. Robert kneels and begins
rubbing the dog's fur, talking to it, looking like an
anachronism in his baggy jeans with designer cowboy belt and
spanking new designer cowboy boots.
Tom waits patiently for Robert, who... and carries on with
the dog a bit too long. When Robert gets up, he habitually
brushes the dirt off his jeans, maybe even his boots, and
makes sure his outfit is hanging properly.
INT. BARN - DAY
Grace is in the stall with Pilgrim. Once again, close enough
to touch him, which he allows.
Outside the stall, stand Robert and Tom. Robert squeezes his
I can't believe it's the same horse.
We still have a way to go.
How much longer do you think?
Tom understands this man wants his family back.
Well, like I told your wife, it's
really up to Pilgrim.
INT. KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING
Everyone is seated around the table, eating, talking, laughing.
Grace is right by her father's side. Frank's in the middle of
We thought we lost him in the snow
storm... Told the kids. Had a funeral
for the damn thing. Finally, snow
stops. Staring to warm up. I go out
and start cleaning the truck...
Goddamn if that dog doesn't jump out
from the back seat covered in snow...
I nearly stained myself.
He thought it was a ghost.
A dog ghost!
Laughter all around.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Everyone is outside enjoying the night after a long day.
Diane and Annie are on the porch. Diane is showing Annie how
she does her needlepoint. Annie is genuinely interested.
Tom and Frank and Robert are sitting out front. Grace is at
Robert's feet. Joe sits on the ground in front of his father,
Is the poverty worse, now, you
I haven't been back in over twenty
years, but I wouldn't be surprised.
The population's larger.
What were you doing over in India?
Uh, this was right after college. I
was in the Peace Corps.
Back on Diane and Annie, who hear the laughter O.S. and look.
Diane smiles, seeing how much Grace is enjoying her dad.
She sure loves her daddy, huh?
Annie smiles and looks herself. Yes, she does, she thinks. Why
Back to the others. Everyone is very interested in Robert's
stories... especially Tom.
... and I thought before I settled
into law school -- everybody knew that
was the plan -- I'd take this time for
Grace rises to go to the Creek House.
And I tell you, Frank, it was one of
As Grace passes by, she stumbles a bit and Robert habitually
rises to help, but Grace ignores him and rights herself,
continuing. Robert quickly sits back down, continuing.
... one of the uh... greatest times
of my life... I had experiences that,
I think, changed my outlook forever.
I came back a different person,
Tom listens with great interest and respect.
Back to Diane and Annie, who watch as Joe follows Grace.
I think I'm going to have my hands
full with the son of mine when you
leave. Just might be his first
Oh, how sweet.
A burst of laughter pulls their attention to the group --
Robert is now standing, acting out a story.
... and I have no idea what he's
saying because I don't understand
Everyone is listening, with big expectant smiles. Annie
watches -- having heard this story before. Her eyes gradually
shift to Tom, who is enjoying the story.
... So, finally I'm trying to explain
to him that I'm allergic to wool and
would he please get his sheep out of
my car --
Laughter. Robert continues, giving a quick look to Annie --
who is looking at Tom... Robert lets it go, continuing his
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Grace is asleep. Robert sits by her bed, lit by the moon
through a window. He stares at this creature he loves so
much. He rises and enters Annie's room.
Annie shrugs. Robert looks at the bed. He teases.
Small bed. Maybe I should sleep in
You're allergic to hay.
I apologize for the surprise, but the
days only opened yesterday and I
You don't have to explain. You have
every right to come.
I can see why you put your faith in
him. He's a genuine... good guy...
Good at what he does. That's rare.
Annie nods. She tries to hide her discomfort. Robert sits on
the bed before her.
You were right about coming here. I'm
sorry for not thinking...
No, it's okay. Believe me, there were
plenty of times I didn't know what
the hell was right.
How are you feeling about work?
Let's not talk about that now.
And they're quiet. He moves to kiss her. It's awkward. They
look to each other -- as they try to remember how to make love
I feel like I'm on a first date.
Annie smiles sympathetically.
EXT. BARN DANCE, HANK'S RANCH - DUSK
Cars and pick-up trucks haphazardly parked along a dirt
road... Smoking open grill barbecues. Ranchers and families
move about the ranch, sit and eat at picnic tables with
gingham tablecloths... Some teenagers hanging around the
corral, talking. Diane and some other women, eating and
talking... Frank with a group of men, drinking beer, telling
A BAND has been set up by the barn. People are dancing under
the harvest moon. Grace is dancing with Joe... Tom is dancing
with a local woman... Annie with a rancher... Everyone is
having a good time...
Robert is enjoying a smoke with some men. He looks over to
the dance floor and smiles when he sees Grace and Joe.
Joe and the Rancher trade place... Joe dances with Annie, the
Rancher with Grace... But Tom sees his chance and switches
with the Rancher so that he can dance with Grace... She is
thrilled and he guides her effortlessly across the floor.
Joe and Annie are interrupted by another couple. Joe switches
partners, but Annie smiles and excuses herself -- she wants to
Robert continues talking with some of the men. He puts out
his smoke and looks over to the dance floor. He sees Grace now
dancing with Tom... His eyes search for Annie. He moves away
from the men until he sees, from a distance;
Annie, sitting by herself, amidst the crowd... No one would
notice her unless they were looking for her... But Robert does
-- and what he sees is Annie looking at Grace and Tom... then,
only looking at Tom... Smiling to herself gently... Watching
his every move. Suddenly, she rises and exits out of the barn
to get some air.
EXT. HANK'S RANCH - NIGHT
Annie finds an isolated spot, behind the main house, to be by
herself and catch her breath.
INT. BARN - NIGHT
Tom and Grace continue dancing. She's in heaven. Robert
approaches and Tom quickly allows him to take over. Grace
loves the attention from both men. As they dance off, Tom
crosses the dance floor and is met by Hank's wife;
Oh Tom, would you check the shed and see
if there's anymore chairs.
EXT. HANK'S RANCH - NIGHT
Tom is walking along when he turns the corner of Hank's house
Annie sitting alone, staring up at the night. They see each
other. From behind the house, no one else can see them.
It is as if the fates brought them face to face and alone.
Without any will to stop it, they embrace and kiss
passionately. But when they look into each other's eyes,
there is no joy in the kiss. Tom releases her and walks away,
heading for the shed. Annie quickly pulls herself together
and enters the main house through the back door.
INT. DOUBLE DIVIDE RANCH, KITCHEN - NIGHT
Diane is once more sitting at the kitchen table, looking over
some bills before bed. Her tape player is on softly. Tom
enters and crosses to the sink to get a glass of water.
Diane looks up, seeing Tom with his back to her -- standing at
the sink, filling his glass -- staring out the window over the
sink. She looks to the dish of brownies on the table.
I have some brownies left over. Want
(w/o turning around)
Diane senses an uneasiness in Tom. She looks as he drinks his
MEDIUM CLOSE-UP ON TOM'S BACK, as if from Diane's POV.
But when we pull back we find ourselves;
INT. BARN - NIGHT
Tom is standing in front of Pilgrim's stall. He opens the
door. They look at each other. He strokes him and begins to
There's something you have to do
Camera gently moves away... and Tom whispers to Pilgrim what
must be done...
EXT. THE RIDING ARENA - DAY
There's a stillness. A sense of import. Annie, Robert, Frank,
Diane, Joe and Smokey, are all at various spots along the fence.
Grace stands inside the ring. Tom is standing beside Pilgrim
in the middle of the ring. Pilgrim is bridled and saddled.
Tom adjusts he stirrup. He walks over to Grace...
Grace swallows hard, nodding. She's worried...
Tom puts his arms around her shoulders and walks out to
Pilgrim. The horse pricks up his ears as they approach. Tom
motions Grace to stop a short distance from Pilgrim so as not
to crowd him. Tom walks over alone, reaching to gently take
hold of him. Holding him by the bridle, he puts his head
beside Pilgrim's, quietly speaking to him, soothing Pilgrim's
neck with his other hand...
Annie and Robert are fascinated. Anxious.
Pilgrim never takes his eyes off Grace. Tom tries to ease him
forward. Pilgrim resists, lifting his head and looking at
Grace so you can see the white at the top of his eye. Tom
turns him away, walking him in circles, trying to calm him.
He leads him back to Grace. Pilgrim tosses his head and
stomps his feet.
Robert grows more anxious. Annie is calmer, more focused.
Tom climbs up on him, riding him around the arena in an easy
lope. Grace watches them go round the ring. She looks at her
parents and tries to smile. They try as well.
Tom dismounts and leads Pilgrim back to Grace. Pilgrim balks
again, violently throwing his head, kicking... Grace's
shoulders slump, she presses her hands in her pockets,
fighting not to cry...
Smokey climbs over the rail into the ring as Tom says something
to him. Meanwhile Frank reassures Grace:
He'll be okay, Grace. Just you hang
on there a minute or two. Tom'll get
him, okay, you'll see...
Smokey jogs over to the gate, climbing it, and disappearing
into the barn. Tom crosses to Grace.
There's still something going on
inside of him I can't reach. So me
and Smokey here, we're going to
try laying him down. Okay?
What does that mean?
It's more or less how it sounds.
Sometimes it's not pretty to watch.
Some horses fight it real hard.
Your fella's already shown us he
likes a good fight. So if you don't
want to watch, I'll call you when it's
I want to watch.
Smokey re-enters the ring, carrying some rope. He talks
briefly to Tom. Pilgrim, sensing something, turns and runs to
the far side of the ring. Tom, his arms spread, walks over
to him, keeping him by the fence. Tom takes him by the
bridle. Smokey comes beside him. Tom unhitches the bridle and
in its place slips a rope halter Smokey passes to him.
Smokey then hands him two long ropes, one at a time. Tom
fastens one under the halter and ties the other to the saddle
horn. Tom asks Smokey.
You got that soft rope?
Smokey hands it to him. Tom quietly talks to Pilgrim, runs
his hand down Pilgrim's left foreleg and lifts his hoof.
Pilgrim slightly shifts. And when he's still, Tom slips the
loop at the end of the soft rope over the hoof making sure
it's snug. And taking the other end of the rope, he hoists the
weight of Pilgrim's raised hoof and ties the rope to the
saddle horn. Pilgrim stands on three legs -- an explosion
waiting to happen. Tom moves away from Pilgrim, taking the
halter line from Smokey. Pilgrim, trying to move, finds he's
crippled. Scared, he lurches, hopping on his right foreleg.
Seeing he can't walk, panicked, he tries to run. Tom and
Smokey, brace themselves, lean back on their ropes and force
him around them in a tight circle. He goes around and around
like a crazed rocking horse with a broken leg. Tom looks over
and sees Annie has left Robert outside the ring to stand by
an anguished Grace -- her hands on her shoulders, gripping
her. Robert watches, feeling too much a foreigner...
What is he doing this?
It'll be OK, Grace.
But even Frank isn't so sure. Pilgrim, covered in sweat,
still circles. As he runs, his hobbled foot jabs at the air,
trying to find peace. He runs and runs as Tom and Smokey lean
on the ropes -- until he can't run any more and stops. Tom and
Smokey let the lines go slack. Pilgrim, stands there, his wet
sides heaving, panting like an asthmatic, making loud rasping
sounds. Tom and Smokey speak. Smokey hands him his rope.
Turning, he gets a coiled lasso out of the sand. He swings
the rope in a wide loop and makes it fall over Pilgrim's
saddle horn. He pulls it tight. And he takes the other end of
the rope to the far side of the fence and ties it in a quick
release knot to the bottom rung. Coming back he takes the
other two lines from Tom. Tom crosses to the rail. He starts
putting pressure on the rope. Pilgrim feeing it, braces
himself. The pressure tilts the saddle hold downward.
(to Grace and Annie)
He's trying to get him to go down
on his knees...
Pilgrim fights. Tom pulls on the rope. Pilgrim, slowly,
begrudgingly, gives ground. Tom, brings him to his knees,
but it is short lived. Pilgrim is muscling his way back to
his feet. Tom pulls him down to his knees again. Pilgrim,
fighting with every bit of strength, slowly gets to his feet
again. But the pressure Tom is putting on the saddle is too
strong and relentless and finally Pilgrim goes down on his
knees and stays down. Yet Tom keeps the pressure on... Tom
shouts to Smokey.
Drop the lines and come help me...
Smokey, dropping the line, runs over. They both pull on
the saddle rope.
That's enough! Stop it!
Pilgrim snorts and foams at the mouth, fighting. But
slowly, like a wounded bird, she starts giving in. He
rolls over on his side and lays his head in the sand and
is still. It seems like a total, humiliating surrender.
Grace starts to sob, burying her face in Annie's chest.
Robert feels impotent to help.
Tom and Smokey stand over the fallen horse like two big
game hunters at the carcass of a kill.
GRACE! Will you come here, please!
Grace shakes her head "NO." Frank motions to Annie for
her to let Grace go... to let stand alone... We see
that it's not easy for Annie to trust this, but she does.
And she steps back to where Robert stands...
Tom, his face set, walks toward Grace...
Grace, I need you to come with me.
Grace violently shakes her head "NO"... Robert gets up the
courage to say aloud:
Well maybe she shouldn't be here...
Annie quickly turns to him and says with quick intensity:
Robert! Let him handle it! Please!
Robert can't watch this. He turns and takes a few steps.
Just stops... standing behind and apart from Annie, to
just watch... slowly becoming transfixed, like someone
who can't stop staring at an accident.
Tom reaches Grace and puts his hand tenderly on her shoulder...
Grace, I need you to come with me.
No, you're only going to hurt him
He's not hurt. He's okay. Look at him.
Grace, Listen... you've got to do this.
Just trust me one more time.
Grace looks into his eyes and is reminded of all this man
has done for her... and she remembers her trust.
Tom, prouder of her now than ever before.
I'll show you.
Tom leads her across the ring, with his arm around her
shoulder. Annie tries to maintain her composure. Robert
remains still and focused.
Tom and Grace come to Pilgrim, lying in the dirt, his
breathing plaintive. Tom speaks gently;
I want you to lay down with him. I
want you to stroke him. I want to
start with his hindquarters and rub
him, feel him all over.
Grace is shaking her head "NO." He speaks more firmly.
Grace, you've got to do what I say.
Grace knows there's no way out. She takes a breath and slowly
kneels in the dirt beside him, with Tom's help. She lays on
him, rubbing him, his hindquarters, his legs, his side,
softly rubbing his neck and the wet silky side of his head.
Now, listen. I want you to stand on
Tom responds to their voice without looking at them:
Grace, do what I'm telling you. Stand
on him... now!
Grace obeys him through her tears. She lets Tom take her hand
and guide her up onto the curve of Pilgrim's belly. Then he
lets go. Grace stands there with teas steaming down her
face -- standing on the animal she loved most in the world.
It's so cruel.
No. He had the choice.
Either fight the way things are or
Robert, however, is hypnotized by the event. He is having a
private epiphany of sorts.
Grace sits in the dirt by Pilgrim and strokes him quietly --
she begins talking to him, the way Tom does. Tom watches, as
he cautiously steps further away. Pilgrim looks up at Grace
out of the dark pool of his one sad eye. They look at each
other. And we understand there's a connection once more. A
moment of understanding... and forgiveness.
Grace starts to untie his ropes. Smokey is about to stop her
but Tom shakes "NO"...
Pilgrim, like an infant coming out of the water, breathing
life for the first time, gets to his feet. Grace and him look
to each other. And all is still.
Grace grabs the saddle horn. Pilgrim shuffles as if he's
going to bolt. Grace quietly reassures him... She then
carefully puts her prosthetic leg in the stirrup. Pilgrim
shifts slightly. Annie covers her mouth so as not to scream
out her fear. Robert breaths heavily. They watch as Grace
swings her leg, determined, and pulls herself into the
saddle. Sitting on his back, Pilgrim tosses his head and
looks as he's going to run off. But Grace puts her arms
around his neck, and once again, quietly reassures him.
She starts to ride him, slowly, her arms around his neck,
talking all the while, around the ring.
Annie laughs as she cries -- emotion overwhelming her. Robert
feels almost numb with fascination, gratitude, confusion...
The slow ride turns into a trot... then a lope... then a
canter... round and round the ring. Frank and Diane smile.
Diane looks to Tom and knows what he's feeling...
Tom watches as any father would -- his heart pounding with
pride for the miracle of his child. But he doesn't let on for
Grace brings Pilgrim to a stop, lifts her arms to the
heavens, victorious. Everyone cheers. Smokey helps her off
the horse. She stops to look at Tom, who busies himself with
picking up the ropes... So she re-focuses on her parents. They
run to each other and embrace... First, she and Annie... then,
she and her father...
But, as Robert and Grace hold each other and begins to exit,
Annie manages to make eye contact with Tom... and tell him
with one look, how grateful she is... and how much she loves
him. And he receives it...
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - DAY
WE FOLLOW THE DAYS AFTER THIS EVENT...
Work on the ranch goes on as usual while Tom and Grace keep
nurturing Pilgrim back to life.
EXT. PASTURE - ANOTHER DAY
Grace and Annie go riding...
EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - DAY
Robert takes an isolated hike up the mountain until he comes
upon a ridge overlooking an inspiring vista. We can tell
Robert is moved by the sight. Sweaty, tired, he find a place
to sit... to be still... and to consider his life.
EXT. THE RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Frank's car is parked up for the trip to the airport that
will take the Bookers to Branton, Missouri for Diane's
Grace, Annie and Robert are outside saying goodbye to the
Bookers; Diane, the Twins... and Joe... Joe awkwardly shakes
her hand... then removes his hat and puts it on her head.
Everyone laughs. They want to hug each other, but don't know
if they would...
Frank and Tom are packing the car...
Oh Frank, don't forget the wedding
present -- it's behind the door in
the laundry room.
(to Robert and Annie)
I got her a pasta maker from the
catalogue... Not that they'll know
what to do with it in Branton,
Missouri... Probably use it as a
Frank's touchy about his cousins.
Well, it was nice to meet you, Mr.
Same here, Mrs. Booker. Thank you
again for all your kindness.
Diane turns to Annie. Robert instinctively steps away, saying
goodbye to Joe and the boys... The two women look at each
other with respect and concern.
Now, are you sure you want to drive
that horse back yourself? There are
plenty of people 'round here who do
that sort of thing.
I already know the way... and it's
not like I have a job I have to rush
Between you and me, I could use the
And you'll be all right by yourself
(referring to Robert and Grace)
after they've gone?
Tom hears this bit of info as he passes by with the wedding
present and puts it in the truck. Annie makes sure to avert
It's just one night. If I get
uncomfortable, I'll go over to
Diane just nods, knowingly. She extends her hand. The women
Good luck to you, Annie.
You too, Diane.
They part. Diane starts giving order as she gets in the car:
All right, everybody in. Frank, we
Camera wides as we hear the voices of departure... see the
MacLeans waving... See Tom off by himself, waving... but
thinking of something else...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
In the midst of packing, Annie has made dinner for Grace and
Robert. In the midst of eating, Robert asks:
Shouldn't we have invited Tom over?
I did. He said he had work to do
Annie remains silent.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE -- NIGHT
Tom exits with a small, leather satchel. He crosses to his
truck, tosses in the satchel, gets in and drives off.
EXT. BARN - MORNING
Grace enters the barn to say goodbye to Pilgrim.
INT. BARN - CONTINUOUS
She moves to his stall and opens the doors. He stands there,
without any fear of her. She smiles and enters. She wraps her
arm around his neck, pets him and whispers.
I'll see you home... OK?
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
Everything is being packed up. Robert is dressed for travel.
Annie is taping up the boxes containing her computer
Are you going to stay in the city or
go up to Connecticut?
Connecticut. I told the office I'd
work out of there next week. When are
you planning to start back?
Probably first thing in the morning.
It's too late to start now. I'm going
to try not to do too much driving in
May I have a suggestion?
Take your time.
What do you mean?
Annie looks up from the box to see Robert is calmly staring
at her. His demeanor is different. Something's going on.
You look like something's wrong.
This is Robert's moment. He knows it. He takes a breath and
hopes it comes out right:
I'll tell you something, Annie -- I
stood there looking at what was
happening to that horse... And, I
swear, it felt like the same thing
was happening to me.
I don't understa-
And I have two choices. I can either
fight the way things are, or accept
(Annie waits; he smiles)
See, I always knew I loved you more.
Didn't bother me. I always felt
lucky... a little amazed... that such
a vibrant, beautiful woman would want
to be with a man like me... And I
guess I thought as long as I did
everything right -- if I was the best
husband I could be, the best father...
even being a good lawyer only mattered
to me because of what it meant for
us... if I could do all that, it
wouldn't make any difference if we
loved each other the same or not...
I wasn't asking for more. I told myself
I didn't need more.
But you don't know how you feel about
me. You don't know... if you want a
life with me anymore...
And I don't want you to come home
until you do know...
(the hard part)
... one way or the other.
Annie cannot remember a time when she ever loved her husband
more than in this moment -- knowing what it took for him to
say this. She would not disrespect it with denials. Her
throat is choked with tears, she swallows down. She nods.
Robert nods, feeling both pride and heartbreak in the same
moment. He picks up his bag, kisses her goodbye and exits.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Annie and Robert walk towards the car to find Grace, leaning
against it -- looking depressed.
What's the matter, honey? Gonna miss
Both Robert and Annie are surprised.
Smokey told me he left last night to
look at some horses in Sheriden. He
won't be back for three days. I can't
believe he didn't want to say goodbye.
(hiding her own distress)
Well... honey... you know... that's
just not his way. Maybe you can write
him a letter or something. Say thank
you... Don't think about it... You
take care and I'll see you home.
She embraces Grace and, over her shoulder, watches Robert
enter the car. Grace follows suit. The car drives off leaving
Annie alone at the Double Divide.
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - DUSK
The ranch is still. Annie stands on the porch, her arms
folded, vulnerable, looking at the ranch. All her boxes are
packed and stacked in the room. She looks over to the Ranch
House... to Tom's window.
INT. TOM'S ROOM - DUSK
A light goes on. Annie enters, cautiously. She's never been
in this room. She crosses to the desk, touches it. She
notices a tape player and pushes it on. MUSIC PLAYS... She
sees a small framed photo -- of Tom's son, years ago.
Suddenly, she feels like an intruder. She shuts the music off
INT. BARN - DUSK
Annie faces Pilgrim... she gently lifts her hand and caresses
his face. He returns her gentleness. Annie is remembering
Robert's words, her heart is heavy with conflict. She jokes:
Why do I get the feeling you know
what I should do, but you're not
She hears a truck pull up... Then, a door open and close. Her
EXT. BARN - DUSK
Annie exits the barn and sees:
Tom, walking away from the truck with the headlights left
on... is walking right towards her.
Annie begins moving towards him, When they meet:
I won't apologize for this. And I
won't hide it. Not for anybody.
I won't ask you to.
He takes her in his arms and they kiss.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom leads Annie to the front door. She waits as he unlocks it.
INT. RANCH HOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, TOM'S ROOM - NIGHT
Tom leads her to his room. Annie cups his grasp on her with
both hands. He opens the door for her, ushers her in, then
closes the door. He hangs his hat. She turns to him. They
embrace, surrendering to each other's passions.
INT. RANCH - DAWN
Camera pas from Tom's window, bright with dawn, past his
desk upon which his classical music is playing, over to the
two lovers in bed, kissing and embracing. Then:
Oh, God, what are we going to do?
I'm supposed to --
Stand still, Annie. Takes what we've
got, just for now. Can you do that?
Beat. She nods. The permission Tom is giving her acts like a
great burden being lifted, and for the time being, she
surrenders and accepts the gift of what they feel. They kiss.
EXT. THE RANCH - DAY
Since the ranch must continue, Tom and Annie move through a
day of ranch chores --
-- TOM AND ANNIE CLEANING STALLS AND FEEDING THE HORSES.
-- TOM IS TRYING TO SHOW ANNIE HOW HE HAS TO FIX SOMETHING.
ANNIE INTERRUPTING WITH HER OWN IDEAS... TOM TRIES TO EXPLAIN
BUT ANNIE KEEPS TALKING, EXCITED BY HER PLAN... TOM LAUGHS.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - DAY
ANNIE HAS UNPACKED HER COMPUTER AND HOOKED IT UP, SHOWING
TOM HOW TO USE IT. HE PUSHES THE THRONG BUTTON AND MAKES A
FRIGHTENED FACE... ANNIE SCREAMS, THEN LAUGHS AND HUGS HIM.
THEY ARE MAKING LOVE ON A BLANKET AMIDST OF THE MOVING BOXES IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
INT. KITCHEN, RANCH HOUSE - DAY
-- ANNIE COOKING LUNCH IN THE KITCHEN, SEEING TOM WORKING WITH
EXT. PASTURE - DAY
-- THE TWO ARE EATING LUNCH IN THE PASTURE. THEY ARE TALKING
SERIOUSLY ABOUT SOMETHING... PERHAPS EVEN DISAGREEING... ANNIE
SHAKES HER HEAD, NOT WANTING TO LISTEN. THEY EAT IN SILENCE.
-- THEY ARE WALKING AND DISCUSSING, HOLDING HANDS... UNTIL TOM
WRAPS HIS ARM AROUND HER AND HOLDS HER CLOSER... ANNIE, BURYING
HER HEAD IN HIS BODY.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Tom and Annie, their horses packed with gear, ride across the
high mountain pasture through the grazing cattle...
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DAY
Annie and Tom sit overlooking a breathtaking view. Tom is
showing her the rope trick... She looks down at their touching
fingers and he gently pulls the rope away, still knotted, and
without ever breaking their touch... Annie looks into his
eyes, understanding what this means, raises his hand to her
mouth and kisses it. She looks up at him with a curious
Show me again.
One more time.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - DUSK
Annie lays asleep in Tom's arms, under a blanket. He picks up
another blanket with his free hand and shimmies it under her
head, laying her down. She snuggles with the blanket and
Tom takes a moment to look at her as she sleeps, gently
brushing her hair away from her eyes. He's deeply in love
with this woman and wants to keep her with him. But there is
a sad resignation in his look. A confusion.
He rises and walks to a stream nearby. He bends down to take
some water when he hears something. He looks up and sees on
the other side:
A WILD HORSE giving birth to a foal in the tall grass. And a
WHITE STALLION steps in between Tom and the mare, as if
Tom rises slowly to his feet. Then stands stock still. He and
the Stallion penetrate each other.
Suddenly this beautiful, powerful Stallion rears -- violently.
Tom remains still, but clearly the horse is treating him as
It's as if the Whisperer is now being guided by the Horse
towards understanding. As Tom receives it, he remembers;
Summers are short here, Annie. There
isn't much of a fall. Before you know
it, the roads are closed... the nights
WE BEGIN TO FADE OUT ON TOM
I don't care! We'd be together.
Two people can't just be alone together
in the world. At least not us...
I can't do this. I can't leave you...
Voice-Overs have carried over into a...
INT. CREEK HOUSE - NIGHT
Tom and Annie make love...
But there is a difference in their lovemaking. There's a
slowness, a reverence... a sense of two people so bounded, that
they are outside of time... Their love is so strong it almost
feels like despair -- their need to connect has gone beyond
their bodies and into their spirits, for which there is no
EXT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
The sun has risen.
INT. CREEK HOUSE - MORNING
Annie awakens in bed and discovers she is alone. She looks
around for Tom. She rises and enters the other room to
All her boxes and all her luggage have been removed.
Her heart sinks. Tom re-enters, fully dressed, to get the
last box. He sees on her face a look of confusion and hurt.
I figured, whenever you decided to
go, you'd be all set.
How thoughtful of you. And what if
I decide not to go?
Tom doesn't know how to respond. He looks away and bends down
to reach for the box when Annie commands:
Leave me alone!
Beat. They stand awkwardly for a moment, until;
Tom reaches to embrace her, but Annie attacks him. Punching
his chest... pulling at his shirt as Tom tries to put his
arms around her...
NO!... NO!... YOU DON'T DECIDE
Tom's heart is breaking as he manages to get his arms around
her and hold her... as she breaks down and softly, the rage
passes... Annie speaks softly.
I don't know any other way, Annie.
You think this is easy for me!?
Annie is struck by the powerful sincerity of his words;
It's just happened this way sometimes.
I can't explain it. But I look at you
and see Grace and I see Robert, and
no matter what you decide about him,
I just know this is right. Your life
isn't here and you know it.
Annie looks into his eyes and asks, softly defiant;
Then what have we been doing? I mean
what was the point?
(confused by her question)
The point was to love each other.
As if there has to be a result... Tom looks at her and says
with an almost innocent conviction:
Because we had to... And I'll never
stop loving you, Annie. Here. Where
my life is.
The simplicity, and truth, of it hits Annie strongly.
Annie releases herself from him and turns away... despondent.
Realizing the utter truth and inevitability of what he says.
She starts shaking her head. Tom can't hear it... He reaches
She turns back into his arms and they kiss passionately...
holding each other... as if for the last time.
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - DAY
Tom is escorting Pilgrim into the trailer attached to the
Suburban. He looks across the ranch to see the figure of
Annie, standing alone, perfectly still, in the pasture,
looking out to the horizon... (reminiscent of Tom earlier in
EXT. THE PASTURE - DAY
Tom approaches Annie from behind, stopping a few feet away.
She doesn't answer... as if she has found her own private
place within her, at last... A place of strength. She looks as
if she knows what must be done... She hears him about to walk
away when she asks:
Can we go for one more ride?
Tom stops. Considers this. Then:
Sure. I'll saddle them up.
He exits. Not seeing the tears in Annie's eyes.
INT. BARN - DAY
Tom enters the barn slowly. He crosses to Rimrock's stall...
then stops. As if he is waiting. As if he knows...
Then... he hears the sound of Annie's Suburban starting up. He
looks up and knows she's leaving. He waits.
EXT. DOUBLE DIVIDE - CONTINUOUS
Wide angle of Annie driving away in the Suburban with the
INT. SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS
Annie doesn't look back -- her eyes wet with tears -- but no
INT. BARN - CONTINUOUS
Tom lowers his head. It is not his way to say goodbye. And he
is moved by Annie's knowing.
EXT. HIGHWAYS & ROADS ACROSS AMERICA - DAYS & NIGHTS
A MONTAGE of images of Annie traveling home...
Across different terrains, we see Annie driving -- missing
Tom... thinking of what she will decide by the time she gets
home. Remembering IMAGES OF TOM:
-- Riding on Rimrock and tipping his hat to her...
-- Sitting in the pasture, staring at Pilgrim. Ignoring her.
-- Seeing her arrive at the ranch for the very first time.
EXT. A DIFFERENT HIGHWAY OR COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
Annie drives, she continues remembering...
-- She and Tom in the branding...
-- She and Tom dancing around the camp fire at the cattle drive.
-- She and Tom kissing in secrecy behind Hank's house the night
of the barn dance...
EXT. ANOTHER HIGHWAY OR COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
Annie continues driving and remembering;
-- Annie and Tom coming towards each other that first night
after everyone had left the ranch...
-- Tom opening the front door to the ranch house...
INT. ROBERT'S HOUSE IN INDIA - A DAY REMEMBERED
A much younger Annie waits, surrounded by luggage, as A DOOR
OPENS revealing a much younger, more vital, very handsome
Hi. Um, there doesn't seem to be any
hotel room available and someone told
me to come here and ask for "Tubab"
who might to have a place for me to
stay. Are you "Tubab"?
No. I am a "tubab."
What do you mean?
Tubab means white man.
Annie is first surprised, then embarrassed but Robert seems so
charming and his smile breaks into a laugh, that she just nods
and laughs herself.
INT. ROBERT'S HOME IN INDIA - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
Over a meal, Robert talks excitedly of his experiences. Annie
INT. ROBERT'S BEDROOM IN INDIA - A NIGHT REMEMBERED
After Annie and Robert have made love, Robert sleeps with his
arms wrapped around Annie. She lies awake, feeling safe and
EXT. LITTLE BIGHORN NATIONAL MONUMENT - TWILIGHT
Annie stands where she stood when she and Grace stopped here on
their way to Montana...
She removes from her pocket the KNOTTED LOOP he made for her,
and looks at it.
EXT. MACLEAN CONNECTICUT HOME - DAY
A car is driving up the driveway to the house. It stops.
Robert and Grace get out as Annie exits from the front door.
She looks beautiful -- but in a completely different way than
ever before. There is a calm center to her. A softness and a
strength. She smiles and walks to meet them.
Oh, I miss you. You look beautiful.
So do you.
They kiss as Grace watches.
Was the trip okay?
Mmm. I made good time.
Pilgrim's in the back. I found a new
stable, but they can't take him until
Grace exits excitedly O.C. Annie and Robert face each other.
Robert doesn't know what to expect... but he softens when Annie
I have so much to tell you.
You want to take a walk with me?
(a little nervous)
I don't know. Let's just go and...
Annie nods. He reaches for her hand, and Annie gives it
willingly... They begin to walk away from Camera... together.
Annie begins to speak, telling him what we already know. How
he will react or what will happen, is unknown. But these two
people will no longer avoid their life together... somehow,
they will make the effort to face it together.
As Camera Widens, we see included in the frame, Grace and
Pilgrim... as she strokes him and whispers in his ear... and
leads him for a walk...
Horse Whisperer, The
Writers : Eric Roth
Genres : Drama Romance