Fargo (1996)
      
Directed by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
      
Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

William H. Macy ......................Jerry Lundegaard
Steve Buscemi ..........................Carl Showalter
Peter Stormare .........................Gaear Grimsrud
Frances McDormand .....................Marge Gunderson
Kristin Rudrüd ........................Jean Lundegaard
Harve Presnell .........................Wade Gustafson
Tony Denman .........................Scotty Lundegaard
Steve Reevis ...........................Shep Proudfoot
Steve Park ..............................Mike Yanagita
   
       
                                FARGO

     The following text fades in over black:

     This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took 
     place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, 
     the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, 
     the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

                                                   FLARE TO WHITE

     FADE IN FROM WHITE

     Slowly the white becomes a barely perceptible image:  white 
     particles wave over a white background.  A snowfall.

     A car bursts through the curtain of snow.

     The car is equipped with a hitch and is towing another car, 
     a brand-new light brown Cutlass Ciera with the pink sales 
     sticker showing in its rear window.

     As the car roars past, leaving snow swirling in their drift, 
     the title of the film fades in.

     FARGO

     Green highway signs point the way to MOOREHEAD, 
     MINNESOTA/FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA.  The roads for the two cities 
     diverge.  A sign says WELCOME TO NORTH DAKOTA and another 
     just after says NOW ENTERING FARGO, ND, POP. 44,412.

     The car pulls into a Rodeway Inn.

     HOTEL LOBBY

     A man in his early forties, balding and starting to paunch, 
     goes to the reception desk.  The clerk is an older woman.

                           CLERK
               And how are you today, sir?

                           MAN
               Real good now.  I'm checking in Mr. 
               Anderson.

     The man prints "Jerry Lundega" onto a registration card, 
     then hastily crosses out the last name and starts to print 
     "Anderson."

     As she types into a computer:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 2


                           CLERK
               Okay, Mr. Anderson, and you're still 
               planning on staying with us just the 
               night, then?

                           ANDERSON
               You bet.

     HOTEL ROOM

     The man turns on the TV, which shows the local evening news.

                           NEWS ANCHOR
               - whether they will go to summer 
               camp at all.  Katie Jensen has more.

                           KATIE
               It was supposed to be a project funded 
               by the city council;  it was supposed 
               to benefit those Fargo-Moorehead 
               children who would otherwise not be 
               able to afford to attend a lakeshore 
               summer camp.  But nobody consulted 
               city controller Stu Jacobson...

     CHAIN RESTAURANT

     Anderson sits alone at a table finishing dinner.  Muzak plays.  
     A middle-aged waitress approaches holding a pot of regular 
     coffee in one hand and decaf in the other.

                           WAITRESS
               Can I warm that up for ya there?

                           ANDERSON
               You bet.

     The man looks at his watch.

     THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

     We are pulling into the snowswept parking lot of a one-story 
     brick building.  Broken neon at the top of the building 
     identifies it as the Jolly Troll Tavern.  A troll, also in 
     neon, holds a champagne glass aloft.

     INSIDE

     The bar is downscale even for this town.  Country music plays 
     on the jukebox.

     Two men are seated in a booth at the back.  One is short, 
     slight, youngish.  The other man is somewhat older, and dour.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 3


     The table in front of them is littered with empty long-neck 
     beer bottles.  The ashtray is full.

     Anderson approaches.

                           ANDERSON
               I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard -

                           YOUNGER MAN
               You're Jerry Lundegaard?

                           JERRY
               Yah, Shep Proudfoot said -

                           YOUNGER MAN
               Shep said you'd be here at 7:30.  
               What gives, man?

                           JERRY
               Shep said 8:30.

                           YOUNGER MAN
               We been sitting here an hour.  I've 
               peed three times already.

                           JERRY
               I'm sure sorry.  I - Shep told me 
               8:30.  It was a mix-up, I guess.

                           YOUNGER MAN
               Ya got the car?

                           JERRY
               Yah, you bet.  It's in the lot there.  
               Brand-new burnt umber Ciera.

                           YOUNGER MAN
               Yeah, okay.  Well, siddown then.  
               I'm Carl Showalter and this is my 
               associate Gaear Grimsrud.

                           JERRY
               Yah, how ya doin'.  So, uh, we all 
               set on this thing, then?

                           YOUNGER MAN
               Sure, Jerry, we're all set.  Why 
               wouldn't we be?

                           JERRY
               Yah, no, I'm sure you are.  Shep 
               vouched for you and all.  I got every 
               confidence in you fellas.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 4


     They stare at him.  An awkward beat.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  So I guess that's it, then.  
               Here's the keys -

                           CARL
               No, that's not it, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Huh?

                           CARL
               The new vehicle, plus forty thousand 
               dollars.

                           JERRY
               Yah, but the deal was, the car first, 
               see, then the forty thousand, like 
               as if it was the ransom.  I thought 
               Shep told you -

                           CARL
               Shep didn't tell us much, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Well, okay, it's -

                           CARL
               Except that you were gonna be here 
               at 7:30.

                           JERRY
               Yah, well, that was a mix-up, then.

                           CARL
               Yeah, you already said that.

                           JERRY
               Yah.  But it's not a whole pay-in- 
               advance deal.  I give you a brand- 
               new vehicle in advance and -

                           CARL
               I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Okay.

                           CARL
               I'm not gonna sit here and debate.  
               I will say this though:  what Shep 
               told us didn't make a whole lot of 
               sense.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 5


                           JERRY
               Oh, no, it's real sound.  It's all 
               worked out.

                           CARL
               You want your own wife kidnapped?

                           JERRY
               Yah.

     Carl Stares.  Jerry looks blankly back.

                           CARL
               ...  You - my point is, you pay the 
               ransom - what eighty thousand bucks? -  
               I mean, you give us half the ransom, 
               forty thousand, you keep half.  It's 
               like robbing Peter to play Paul, it 
               doesn't make any -

                           JERRY
               Okay, it's - see, it's not me payin' 
               the ransom.  The thing is, my wife, 
               she's wealthy - her dad, he's real 
               well off.  Now, I'm in a bit of 
               trouble -

                           CARL
               What kind of trouble are you in, 
               Jerry?

                           JERRY
               Well, that's, that's, I'm not go 
               inta, inta - see, I just need money.  
               Now, her dad's real wealthy -

                           CARL
               So why don't you just ask him for 
               the money?

     Grimsrud, the dour man who has not yet spoken, now softly 
     puts in with a Swedish-accented voice:

                           GRIMSRUD
               Or your fucking wife, you know.

                           CARL
               Or your fucking wife, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Well, it's all just part of this - 
               they don't know I need it, see.  
               Okay, so there's that.
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 6


                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               And even if they did, I wouldn't get 
               it.  So there's that on top, then.  
               See, these're personal matters.

                           CARL
               Personal matters.

                           JERRY
               Yah.  Personal matters that needn't, 
               uh -

                           CARL
               Okay, Jerry.  You're tasking us to 
               perform this mission, but you, you 
               won't, uh, you won't - aw, fuck it, 
               let's take a look at that Ciera.

     MINNEAPOLIS SUBURBAN HOUSE

     Jerry enters through the kitchen door, in a parka and a red 
     plaid Elmer Fudd hat.  He stamps snow off his feet.  He is 
     carrying a bag of groceries which he deposits on the kitchen 
     counter.

                           JERRY
               Hon?  Got the growshries.

                           VOICE
               Thank you, hon.  How's Fargo?

                           JERRY
               Yah, real good.

                           VOICE
               Dad's here.

                           DEN
               Jerry enters, pulling off his plaid 
               cap.

                           JERRY
               How ya doin', Wade?

     Wade Gustafson is mid-sixtyish, vigorous, with a full head 
     of gray hair.  His eyes remain fixed on the TV.

                           WADE
               Yah, pretty good.

                           JERRY
               Whatcha watchin' there?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 7


                           WADE
               Norstars.

                           JERRY
               ...  Who they playin'?

                           WADE
               OOOoooh!

     His reaction synchronizes with a reaction from the crowd.

                           KITCHEN
               Jerry walks back in, taking off his 
               coat.  His wife is putting on an 
               apron.  Jerry nods toward the living 
               room.

                           JERRY
               Is he stayin' for supper, then?

                           WIFE
               Yah, I think so...  Dad, are you 
               stayin' for supper?

                           WADE
                    (off)
               Yah.

     DINING ROOM

     Jerry, his wife, Wade and Scotty, twelve years old, sit 
     eating.

                           SCOTTY
               May I be excused?

                           JERRY
               Sure, ya done there?

                           SCOTTY
               Uh-huh.  Goin' out.

                           WIFE
               Where are you going?

                           SCOTTY
               Just out.  Just McDonald's.

                           JERRY
               Back at 9:30.

                           SCOTTY
               Okay.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 8


                           WADE
               He just ate.  And he didn't finish.  
               He's going to McDonald's instead of 
               finishing here?

                           WIFE
               He sees his friends there.  It's 
               okay.

                           WADE
               It's okay?  McDonald's?  What do you 
               think they do there?  They don't 
               drink milkshakes, I assure you!

                           WIFE
               It's okay, Dad.

                           JERRY
               Wade, have ya had a chance to think 
               about, uh, that deal I was talkin' 
               about, those forty acres there on 
               Wayzata?

                           WADE
               You told me about it.

                           JERRY
               Yah, you said you'd have a think 
               about it.  I understand it's a lot 
               of money -

                           WADE
               A heck of a lot.  What'd you say you 
               were gonna put there?

                           JERRY
               A lot.  It's a limited -

                           WADE
               I know it's a lot.

                           JERRY
               I mean a parking lot.

                           WADE
               Yah, well, seven hundred and fifty 
               thousand dollars is a lot - ha ha 
               ha!

                           JERRY
               Yah, well, it's a chunk, but -

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             p. 9


                           WADE
               I thought you were gonna show it to 
               Stan Grossman.  He passes on this 
               stuff before it gets kicked up to 
               me.

                           JERRY
               Well, you know Stan'll say no dice.  
               That's why you pay him.  I'm asking 
               you here, Wade.  This could work out 
               real good for me and Jean and Scotty -

                           WADE
               Jean and Scotty never have to worry.

     WHITE

     A black line curls through the white.  Twisting perspective 
     shows that it is an aerial shot of a two-lane highway, 
     bordered by snowfields.  The highway carries one moving car.

     INT. CAR

     Carl Showalter is driving.  Gaear Grimsrud stares blankly 
     out.

     After a long beat:

                           GRIMSRUD
               Where is Pancakes Hause?

                           CARL
               What?

                           GRIMSRUD
               We stop at Pancakes Hause.

                           CARL
               What're you, nuts?  We had pancakes 
               for breakfast.  I gotta go somewhere 
               I can get a shot and a beer - and a 
               steak maybe.  Not more fuckin' 
               pancakes.  Come on.

     Grimsrud gives him a sour look.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Come on, man.  Okay, here's an 
               idea.  We'll stop outside of Brainerd.  
               I know a place there we can get laid.  
               Wuddya think?

                           GRIMSRUD
               I'm fuckin' hungry now, you know.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 10


                           CARL
               Yeah, yeah, Jesus - I'm sayin', we'll 
               stop for pancakes, then we'll get 
               laid.  Wuddya think?

     GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

     Jerry is sitting in his glassed-in salesman's cubicle just 
     off the showroom floor.  On the other side of his desk sit 
     an irate customer and his wife.

                           CUSTOMER
               We sat here right in this room and 
               went over this and over this!

                           JERRY
               Yah, but that TruCoat -

                           CUSTOMER
               I sat right here and said I didn't 
               want no TruCoat!

                           JERRY
               Yah, but I'm sayin', that TruCoat, 
               you don't get it and you get 
               oxidization problems.  It'll cost 
               you a heck of lot more'n five
               hunnert -

                           CUSTOMER
               You're sittin' here, you're talkin' 
               in circles!  You're talkin' like we 
               didn't go over this already!

                           JERRY
               Yah, but this TruCoat -

                           CUSTOMER
               We had us a deal here for nine-teen-
               five.  You sat there and darned if 
               you didn't tell me you'd get this 
               car, these options, WITHOUT THE 
               SEALANT, for nine-teen-five!

                           JERRY
               Okay, I'm not sayin' I didn't -

      

                           CUSTOMER
               You called me twenty minutes ago and 
               said you had it!  Ready to make 
               delivery, ya says!
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 11


                           CUSTOMER (CONT'D)
               Come on down and get it!  And here 
               ya are and you're wastin' my time 
               and you're wastin' my wife's time 
               and I'm payin' nineteen-five for 
               this vehicle here!

                           JERRY
               Well, okay, I'll talk to my boss...

     He rises, and, as he leaves:

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  See, they install that TruCoat 
               at the factory, there's nothin' we 
               can do, but I'll talk to my boss.

     The couple watch him go to a nearby cubicle.

                           CUSTOMER
               These guys here - these guys!  It's 
               always the same!  It's always more!  
               He's a liar!

                           WIFE
               Please, dear.

                           CUSTOMER
               We went over this and over this -

     NEARBY CUBICLE

     Jerry sits perched on the desk of another salesman who is 
     eating lunch as he watches a hockey game on a small portable 
     TV.

                           JERRY
               So you're goin' to the Gophers on 
               Sunday?

                           SALESMAN
               You bet.

                           JERRY
               You wouldn't have an extra ticket 
               there?

                           SALESMAN
               They're playin' the Buckeyes!

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 12


                           SALESMAN
               Ya kiddin'!

     JERRY'S CUBICLE

     Jerry re-enters.

                           JERRY
               Well, he never done this before, but 
               seein' as it's special circumstances 
               and all, he says I can knock one 
               hunnert off that TruCoat.

                           CUSTOMER
               One hundred!  You lied to me, Mr.
               Lundegaard.  You're a bald-faced 
               liar!

     Jerry sits staring at his lap.

                           CUSTOMER (CONT'D)
               Fucking liar -

                           WIFE
               Bucky, please!

     Jerry mumbles into his lap:

                           JERRY
               One hunnert's the best we can do 
               here.

                           CUSTOMER
               Oh, for Christ's sake, where's my 
               goddamn checkbook.  Let's get this 
               over with.

     WIDE EXTERIOR:  TRUCK STOP

     There is a restaurant with many big rigs parked nearby, and 
     a motel with an outsize Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox 
     flanking its sign:  BLUE OX MOTEL.

     MOTEL ROOM

     Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud are in the twin beds having 
     sex with two truck-stop hookers.

                           CARL
               Oh, Jesus, yeah.

                           HIS HOOKER
               There ya go, sugar.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 13


                           GRIMSRUD
               Nnph.

                           HIS HOOKER
               Yeah.  Yeah.  Oh, yeah.

     LATER

     The couples lie in their respective beds, gazing at the 
     offscreen TV.

                           ED MCMAHON
               -  Johnny's guests tonight will be 
               Lee Majors, George Wendt, and Steve 
               Boutsikaros from the San Diego Zoo, 
               so keep that dial -

     LUNDEGAARD KITCHEN

     We hear a morning show on television.  Jean Lundegaard is 
     making coffee in the kitchen as Scott eats cereal at the 
     table.

                           JEAN
               I'm talkin' about your potential.

                           SCOTT
                    (absently)
               Uh-huh.

                           JEAN
               You're not a C student.

                           SCOTT
               Uhn.

                           JEAN
               And yet you're gettin' C grades.  
               It's this disparity there that 
               concerns your dad and me.

                           SCOTT
               Uh-huh.

                           JEAN
               You know what a disparity is?

                           SCOTT
                    (testily)
               Yeah!

                           JEAN
               Okay.  Well, that's why we don't 
               want ya goin' out fer hockey.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 14


                           SCOTT
               Oh, man!

     The phone rings.

                           SCOTT (CONT'D)
               ...  What's the big deal?  It's an 
               hour -

                           JEAN
               Hold on.

     She picks up the phone.

                           JEAN (CONT'D)
               ...  Hello?

                           PHONE VOICE
               Yah, hiya, hon.

                           JEAN
               Oh, hiya, Dad.

                           WADE
               Jerry around?

                           JEAN
               Yah, he's still here - I'll catch 
               him for ya.

     She holds the phone away and calls:

                           JEAN (CONT'D)
               ...  Hon?

                           VOICE
               Yah.

                           JEAN
               It's Dad.

                           VOICE
               Yah...

     Jerry enters in shirtsleeves and tie.

                           JERRY
               ...  Yah, okay...

                           SCOTT
               Look, Dad, there is no fucking way -

                           JEAN
               Scott!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 15


                           JERRY
               Say, let's watch the language -

     He takes the phone.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               How ya doin', Wade?

                           WADE
               What's goin' on there?

                           JERRY
               Oh, nothing, Wade.  How ya doin' 
               there?

                           WADE
               Stan Grossman looked at your proposal.  
               Says it's pretty sweet.

                           JERRY
               No kiddin'?

                           WADE
               We might be innarested.

                           JERRY
               No kiddin'!  I'd need the cash pretty 
               quick there.  In order to close the 
               deal.

                           WADE
               Come by at 2:30 and we'll talk about 
               it.  If your numbers are right, Stan 
               says its pretty sweet.  Stan Grossman.

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           WADE
               2:30.

     Click.  Dial tone.

                           JERRY
               Yah, okay.

     GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

     Jerry wanders through the service area where cars are being 
     worked on.  He stops by an Indian in blue jeans who is looking 
     at the underside of a car that sits on a hydraulic lift with 
     a cage light hanging off its innards.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 16


                           JERRY
               Say, Shep, how ya doin' there?

                           SHEP
               Mm.

                           JERRY
               Say, ya know those two fellas ya put 
               me in touch with, up there in Fargo?

                           SHEP
               Put you in touch with Grimsrud.

                           JERRY
               Well, yah, but he had a buddy there.  
               He, uh -

                           SHEP
               Well, I don't vouch for him.

                           JERRY
               Well, that's okay, I just -

                           SHEP
               I vouch for Grimsrud.  Who's his 
               buddy?

                           JERRY
               Carl somethin'?

                           SHEP
               Never heard of him.  Don't vouch for 
               him.

                           JERRY
               Well, that's okay, he's a buddy of 
               the guy ya vouched for, so I'm not 
               worryin'.  I just, I was wonderin', 
               see, I gotta get in touch with 'em 
               for, I might not need it anymore, 
               sumpn's happenin', see -

                           SHEP
               Call 'em up.

                           JERRY
               Yah, well, see, I did that, and I 
               haven't been able to get 'em, so I 
               thought you maybe'd know an alternate 
               number or what have ya.

                           SHEP
               Nope.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 17


     Jerry slaps his fist into his open palm and snaps his fingers.

                           JERRY
               Okay, well, real good, then.

     CAR

     Carl is driving.  Grimsrud stares out front.

     AFTER A BEAT:

                           CARL
               ...  Look at that.  Twin Cities.  
               IDS Building, the big glass one.  
               Tallest skyscraper in the Midwest.  
               After the Sears, uh, Chicago...  You 
               never been to Minneapolis?

                           GRIMSRUD
               No.

                           CARL
               ...  Would it kill you to say 
               something?

                           GRIMSRUD
               I did.

                           CARL
               "No." First thing you've said in the 
               last four hours.  That's a, that's a 
               fountain of conversation, man.  That's 
               a geyser.  I mean, whoa, daddy, stand 
               back, man.  Shit, I'm sittin' here 
               driving, man, doin' all the driving, 
               whole fuckin' way from Brainerd, 
               drivin', tryin' to, you know, tryin' 
               to chat, keep our spirits up, fight 
               the boredom of the road, and you 
               can't say one fucking thing just in 
               the way of conversation.

     Grimsurd smokes, gazing out the window.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Well, fuck it, I don't have to 
               talk either, man.  See how you like 
               it...

     He drives.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Total silence...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 18


     JERRY'S CUBICLE

     He is on the phone.

                           JERRY
               Yah, real good.  How you doin'?

                           VOICE
               Pretty good, Mr. Lundegaard.  You're 
               damned hard to get on the phone.

                           JERRY
               Yah, it's pretty darned busy here, 
               but that's the way we like it.

                           VOICE
               That's for sure.  Now, I just need, 
               on these last, these financing 
               documents you sent us, I can't read 
               the serial numbers of the vehicles 
               on here, so I -

                           JERRY
               But I already got the, it's okay, 
               the loans are in place, I already 
               got the, the what, the -

                           VOICE
               Yeah, the three hundred and twenty 
               thousand dollars, you got the money 
               last month.

                           JERRY
               Yah, so we're all set.

                           VOICE
               Yeah, but the vehicles you were 
               borrowing on, I just can't read the 
               serial numbers on your applicaton.  
               Maybe if you could just read them to 
               me -

                           JERRY
               But the deal's already done, I already 
               got the money -

                           VOICE
               Yeah, but we have an audit here, I 
               just have to know that these vehicles 
               you're financing with this money, 
               that they really exist.

                           JERRY
               Yah, well, they exist all right.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 19


                           VOICE
               I'm sure they do - ha ha!  But I 
               can't read their serial numbers here.  
               So if you could read me -

                           JERRY
               Well, but see, I don't have 'em in 
               front a me - why don't I just fax 
               you over a copy -

                           VOICE
               No, fax is no good, that's what I 
               have and I can't read the darn thing -

                           JERRY
               Yah, okay, I'll have my girl send 
               you over a copy, then.

                           VOICE
               Okay, because if I can't correlate 
               this note with the specific vehicles, 
               then I gotta call back that money -

                           JERRY
               Yah, how much money was that?

                           VOICE
               Three hundred and twenty thousand 
               dollars.  See, I gotta correlate 
               that money with the cars it's being 
               lent on.

                           JERRY
               Yah, no problem, I'll just fax that 
               over to ya, then.

                           VOICE
               No, no, fax is -

                           JERRY
               I mean send it over.  I'll shoot it 
               right over to ya.

                           VOICE
               Okay.

                           JERRY
               Okay, real good, then.

                           CLOSE ON TELEVISION
               A morning-show host in an apron stands 
               behind a counter on a kitchen set.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 20


                           HOST
               So I separate the - how the heck do 
               I get the egg out of the shell without 
               breaking it?

     Jean Lundegaard is curled up on the couch with a cup of 
     coffee, watching the television.

                           HOSTESS
               You just prick a little hole in the 
               end and blow!

     Jean smiles as we hear laughter and applause from the studio 
     audience.  She hears something else - a faint scraping sound - 
     and looks up.

                           HOST
               Okay, here goes nothing.

     The scraping sound persists.  Jean sets down her coffee cup 
     and rises.

     FROM THE STUDIO AUDIENCE:

                           AUDIENCE
               Awoooo!

     KITCHEN

     We track toward the back door.  A curtain is stretched tight 
     across its window.

     Jean pulls the curtain back.  Bright sunlight amplified by 
     snow floods in.

     A man in an orange ski mask looks up from the lock.

     Jean gasps, drops the curtain, turns and runs into -

     - a taller man, also in a ski mask, already in the house.

     We hear the crack of the back-door window being smashed.

     The tall man - Gaear Grimsrud - grabs Jean's wrist.

     She screams, staring at her own imprisoned wrist, then wraps 
     her gaping mouth around Grimsrud's gloved thumb and bites 
     down hard.

     He drops her wrist.  As Carl enters, she races up the stairs.

                           GRIMSRUD
               Unguent.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 21


                           CARL
               Huh?

     Grimsurd looks at his thumb.

                           GRIMSRUD
               I need ... unguent.

     UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

     As the two men enter, a door at the far side is slamming 
     shut.  A cord snakes in under the door.

     MASTER BATHROOM

     Jean, sobbing, frantically pushes at buttons on the princess 
     phone.

     The phone pops out of her hands, jangles across the tile 
     floor, smashes against the door and then bounces away, its 
     cord ripped free.

     With a groaning sound, the door shifts in its frame.

     BEDROOM

     Grimsrud has a crowbar jammed in between the bathroom door 
     and frame, and is working it.

     BATHROOM

     Jean crosses to a high window above the toilet and throws it 
     open.  Snow that had drifted against the window sifts lightly 
     in.  Jean steps up onto the toilet.

     The door creaks, moving as one piece in its frame.

     Jean glances back as she steps up from the toilet seat to 
     the tank.

     The groaning of the door ends with the wood around its knob 
     splintering and the knob itself falling out onto the floor.

     The door swings open.

     Grimsrud and Carl enter.

     THEIR POV

     Room empty, window open.

     Carl strides to the window and hoists himself out.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 22


     Grimsrud opens the medicine cabinet and delicately taps aside 
     various bottles and tubes, seeking the proper unguent.

     He finds a salve but after a moment sets it down, noticing 
     something in the mirror.

     The shower curtain is drawn around the tub.

     He steps toward it.

     As he reaches for the curtain, it explodes outward, animated 
     by thrashing limbs.

     Jean, screaming, tangled in the curtain, rips it off its 
     rings and stumbles out into the bedroom.  Grimsrud follows.

     BEDROOM

     Jean rushes toward the door, cloaked by the shower curtain 
     but awkwardly trying to push it off.

     UPSTAIRS LANDING

     Still thrashing, Jean crashes against the upstairs railing, 
     trips on the curtain and falls, thumping crazily down the 
     stairs.

     Grimsrud trots down after her.

     A PLAQUE:  WADE GUSTAFSON INCORPORTATED

     INT. WADE'S OFFICE

     Wade sits behind his desk; another man rises as Jerry enters.

                           JERRY
               How ya doin' there, Stan?  How are 
               ya, Wade?

     Stan Grossman shakes his hand.

                           STAN
               Good to see ya again, Jerry.  If 
               these numbers are right, this looks 
               pretty sweet.

                           JERRY
               Oh, those numbers are all right, 
               bleemee.

                           WADE
               This is do-able.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 23


                           STAN
               Congratulations, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Yah, thanks, Stan, it's a pretty -

                           WADE
               What kind of finder's fee were you 
               looking for?

                           JERRY
               ...  Huh?

                           STAN
               The financials are pretty thorough, 
               so the only thing we don't know is 
               your fee.

                           JERRY
               ...  My fee?  Wade, what the heck're 
               you talkin' about?

                           WADE
               Stan and I're okay.

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           WADE
               We're good to loan in.

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           WADE
               But we never talked about your fee 
               for bringin' it to us.

                           JERRY
               No, but, Wade, see, I was bringin' 
               you this deal for you to loan me the 
               money to put in.  It's my deal here, 
               see?

     Wade scowls, looks at Stan.

                           STAN
               Jerry - we thought you were bringin' 
               us an investment.

                           JERRY
               Yah, right -

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 24


                           STAN
               You're sayin' - what're you sayin'?

                           WADE
               You're sayin' that we put in all the 
               money and you collect when it pays 
               off?

                           JERRY
               No, no.  I - I'd, I'd - pay you back 
               the principal, and interest heck, 
               I'd go - one over prime -

                           STAN
               We're not a bank, Jerry.

     Wade is angry.

                           WADE
               What the heck, Jerry, if I wanted 
               bank interest on seven hunnert'n 
               fifty thousand I'd go to Midwest 
               Federal.  Talk to Bill Diehl.

                           STAN
               He's at Norstar.

                           WADE
               He's at -

                           JERRY
               No, see, I don't need a finder's 
               fee, I need - finder's fee's, what, 
               ten percent, heck that's not gonna 
               do it for me.  I need the principal.

                           STAN
               Jerry, we're not just going to give 
               you seven hundred and fifty thousand 
               dollars.

                           WADE
               What the heck were you thinkin'?  
               Heck, if I'm only gettin' bank 
               interest, I'd look for complete 
               security.  Heck, FDIC.  I don't see 
               nothin' like that here.

                           JERRY
               Yah, but I - okay, I would, I'd 
               guarantee ya your money back.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 25


                           WADE
               I'm not talkin' about your damn word, 
               Jerry.  Geez, what the heck're you?...  
               Well, look, I don't want to cut you 
               out of the loop, but his here's a 
               good deal.  I assume, if you're not 
               innarested, you won't mind if we 
               move on it independently.

     PARKING LOT

     We are high and wide on the office building's parking lot.

     Jerry emerges wrapped in a parka, his arms sticking stiffly 
     out at his sides, his breath vaporizing.  He goes to his 
     car, opens its front door, pulls out a red plastic scraper 
     and starts methodically scraping off the thin crust of ice 
     that has developed on his windshield.

     The scrape-scrape-scrape sound carries in the frigid air.

     Jerry goes into a frenzy, banging the scraper against the 
     windshield and the hood of his car.

     The tantrum passes.  Jerry stands panting, staring at nothing 
     in particular.

     Scrape-scrape-scrape - he goes back to work on the windshield.

     FRONT DOOR

     A beat, silent but for a key scraping at the lock.

     The door swings open and Jerry edges in, looking about, 
     holding a sack of groceries.

                           JERRY
               Hon?

     He shuts the door.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  Got the growshries...

     He has already seen the shower curtain on the floor.  He 
     frowns, pokes at it with his foot.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  Hon?

     UPSTAIRS BATHROOM

     Jerry walks in.  He sets the groceries down on the toilet 
     tank.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 26


     He looks at the open window, through which snow still sifts 
     in.  He shuts it.

     He picks up the small tube of unguent that sits on the sink, 
     frowns at it, puts it back in the medicine chest.

     He looks at the shower curtain rod holding empty rings.

     FOYER

     Once again we are looking at the rumpled shower curtain.

     FROM ANOTHER ROOM:

                           JERRY
               Yah, Wade, I - it's Jerry, I.

     Then, slightly more agitated.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  Yah, Wade, it's, I, it's Jerry...

     Beat.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  Wade, it's Jerry, I - we gotta 
               talk, Wade, it's terrible...

     Beat.

     LIVING ROOM

     Jerry stands in wide shot, hands on hips, looking down at a 
     telephone.

     After a motionless beat he picks up the phone and punches in 
     a number.

                           JERRY
               ...  Yah, Wade Gustafson, please.

                                                            BLACK

     Hold in black.

     A slow tilt down from night sky brings the head of a large 
     paper-mache figure into frame.  It is a flannel-shirt woodsman 
     carrying a double-edged ax over one shoulder.  As we hear 
     the rumble of an approaching car, the continuing tilt and 
     boom down brings us down the woodsman's body to a pedestal.

     A sweep of headlights illuminates a sign on the pedestal:

     WELCOME TO BRAINERD - HOME OF PAUL BUNYAN.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 27


     The headlights sweep off and a car hums past and on into the 
     background.  The two-lane highway is otherwise empty.

     INT. CAR

     Carl drives.  Grimsrud smokes and gazes out the window.

     From the back seat we hear whimpering.

     Grimsrud turns to look.

     Jean lies bound and curled on the back seat underneath a 
     tarpaulin.

                           GRIMSRUD
               Shut the fuck up or I'll throw you 
               back in the trunk, you know.

                           CARL
               Geez.  That's more'n I've heard you 
               say all week.

     Grimsrud stares at him, then turns back to the window.

     At a loud WHOOP Carl starts and looks back out the rear 
     window.  Fifty yards behind a state trooper has turned on 
     his gumballs.

     Carl eases the car onto the shoulder.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               Ah, shit, the tags...

     Grimsrud looks at him.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  It's just the tags.  I never 
               put my tags on the car.  Don't worry, 
               I'll take care of this.

     He looks into the back seat as the car bounces and slows on 
     the gravel shoulder.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Let's keep still back there, 
               lady, or we're gonna have to, ya 
               know, to shoot ya.

     Grimsrud stares at Carl.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Hey!  I'll take care of this!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 28


     Both cars have stopped.  Carl looks up at the rear-view 
     mirror.

     The trooper is stopped on the shoulder just behind them, 
     writing in his citation book.

     Carl watches.

     We hear the trooper's door open.

     The trooper walks up the shoulder, one hand resting lightly 
     on top of his holster, his breath steaming in the cold night 
     air.

     Carl opens his window as the trooper draws up.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               How can I help you, officer?

     The trooper scans the inside of the car, taking his time.

     Grimsrud smokes and gazes calmly out his window.

     FINALLY:

                           TROOPER
               This is a new car, then, sir?

                           CARL
               It certainly is, officer.  Still got 
               that smell!

                           TROOPER
               You're required to display temporary 
               tags, either in the plate area or 
               taped inside the back window.

                           CARL
               Certainly -

                           TROOPER
               Can I see your license and 
               registration please?

                           CARL
               Certainly.

     He reaches for his wallet.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  I was gonna tape up the temporary 
               tag, ya know, to be in full 
               compliance, but it, uh, it, uh ... 
               must a slipped my mind...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 29


     He extends his wallet toward the trooper, a folded fifty-
     dollar bill protruding from it.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  So maybe the best thing would 
               be to take care of that, right here 
               in Brainerd.

                           TROOPER
               What's this, sir?

                           CARL
               That's my license and registration.  
               I wanna be in compliance.

     He forces a laugh.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  I was just thinking I could 
               take care of it right here.  In 
               Brainerd.

     The policeman thoughtfully pats the fifty into the billfold 
     and hands the billfold back into the car.

                           TROOPER
               Put that back in your pocket, please.

     Carl's nervous smile fades.

                           TROOPER (CONT'D)
               ...  And step out of the car, please, 
               sir.

     Grimsrud, smiling thinly, shakes his head.

     There is a whimpering sound.

     The policeman hesitates.

     Another sound.

     The policeman leans forward into the car, listening.

     Grimsrud reaches across Carl, grabs the trooper by the hair 
     and slams his head down onto the car door.

     The policeman grunts, digs awkwardly for footing outside and 
     throws an arm for balance against the outside of the car.

     With his free hand, Grimsrud pops the glove compartment.  He 
     brings a gun out and reaches across Carl and shoots - BANG - 
     into the back of the trooper's head.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 30


     Jean screams.

                           GRIMSRUD
               Shut up.

     He releases the policeman.

     The policeman's head slides out the window and his body flops 
     back onto the street.

     Carl looks out at the cop in the road.

                           CARL
                    (softly)
               Whoa...  Whoa, Daddy.

     Grimsrud takes the trooper's hat off of Carl's lap and sails 
     it out the open window.

                           GRIMSRUD
               You'll take care of it.  Boy, you 
               are smooth smooth, you know.

                           CARL
               Whoa, Daddy.

     Jean, for some reason, screams again.  Then stops.

                           GRIMSRUD
               Clear him off the road.

                           CARL
               Yeah.

     He gets out.

     EXT. ROAD

     Carl leans down to hoist up the body.

     Headlights appear:  an oncoming car.

     INT. CIERA

     Grimsrud notices.

     EXT. ROAD

     The car approaches, slowing.

     Carl, with the trooper's body hoisted halfway up, is frozen 
     in the headlights.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 31


     The car accelerates and roars past and away.  We just make 
     out the silhouettes of two occupants in front.

     INT. CIERA

     Grimsrud slides into the driver's seat.  He squeals into a U-
     turn, the driver's door slamming shut with his spin.

     Small red tail lights fishtail up ahead.  The pursued car 
     churns up fine snow.

     Grimsrud takes the cigarette from his mouth and stubs it in 
     his ashtray.  We hear the churning of the car wheels and the 
     pinging of snow clods and salt on the car's underside.

     In the back seat, Jean starts screaming.

     Grimsrud is not gaining on the tail lights.

     He fights with the wheel as his car swims on the road face.

     The red tail lights ahead start to turn.  With a distant 
     crunching sound, they disappear.

     The headlights now show only empty road, starting to turn.

     Grimsrud frowns and slows.

     His headlights show the car up ahead off the road, crumpled 
     around a telephone pole, having failed to hold a turn.

     Grimsrud brakes.

     Jean slides off the back seat and thumps into the legwell.

     Grimsrud sweeps his gun off the front seat, throws open his 
     door and gets out.

     EXT. ROAD

     The wrecked car's headlights shine off into a snowfield 
     abutting the highway.  A young man in a down parka is limping 
     across the snowfield, away from the wrecked car.

     Grimsrud strides calmly out after the injured boy.  He raises 
     his gun and fires.

     With a poof of feathers, a hole opens up in the boy's back 
     and he pitches into the snow.

     Grimsrud walks up to the wreck and peers in its half-open 
     door.

     A young woman is trapped inside the twisted wreckage, injured.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 32


     Snow swirls in the headlights of the wreck.

     Grimsrud raises his gun and fires.

     AN OIL PAINTING

     A blue-winged teal in flight over a swampy marshland.  The 
     room in which it hangs is dark.  We hear off-screen snoring.

     We track off to reveal an easel upon which we see a half-
     completed oil of a grey mallard.

     The continuing track reveals a couple in bed, sleeping.  The 
     man, fortyish, pajama-clad, is big, and big-bellied.  His 
     mouth is agape.  He snores.  His arms are flung over a woman 
     in her thirties, wearing a nightie, mouth also open, not 
     snoring.

     We hold for a long beat on their regular breathing and 
     snoring.

     The phone rings.

     The woman stirs.

                           WOMAN
               Oh, geez...

     She reaches for the phone.

                           WOMAN (CONT'D)
               ...  Hi, it's Marge...

     The man stirs and clears his throat with a long deep rumble.

                           MARGE
               ...  Oh, my.  Where?...  Yah...  Oh, 
               geez...

     The man sits up, gazes stupidly about.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Okay.  There in a jif...  Real 
               good, then.

     She hangs up.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  You can sleep, hon.  It's early 
               yet.

                           MAN
               Gotta go?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 33


                           MARGE
               Yah.

     The man swings his legs out.

                           MAN
               I'll fix ya some eggs.

                           MARGE
               That's okay, hon.  I gotta run.

                           MAN
               Gotta eat a breakfast, Marge.  I'll 
               fix ya some eggs.

                           MARGE
               Aw, you can sleep, hon.

                           MAN
               Ya gotta eat a breakfast...

     He clears his throat with another deep rumble.

                           MAN (CONT'D)
               ...  I'll fix ya some eggs.

                           MARGE
               Aw, Norm.

     PLATE

     Leavings of a huge plate of eggs, ham, toast.

     Wider, we see Marge now wearing a beige police uniform.  A 
     patch on one arm says BRAINERD POLICE DEPARTMENT.  She wears 
     a heavy belt holding a revolver, walkie-talkie and various 
     other jangling police impedimenta.  Norm is in a dressing 
     gown.

                           MARGE
               Thanks, hon.  Time to shove off.

                           NORM
               Love ya, Margie.

     As she struggles into a parka:

                           MARGE
               Love ya, hon.

     He is exiting back to the bedroom; she exits out the front 
     door.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 34


     EXT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

     Dawn.  Marge is making her way down the icy front stoop to 
     her prowler.

     INT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

     Norm sits back onto the bed, shrugging off his robe.  Off-
     screen we hear the front door open.

     FRONT DOOR

     Marge stamps the snow off her shoes.

                           MARGE
               Hon?

                           NORM
                    (off)
               Yah?

                           MARGE
               Prowler needs a jump.

     HIGHWAY

     Two police cars and an ambulance sit idling at the side of 
     the road, a pair of men inside each car.

     The first car's driver door opens and a figure in a parka 
     emerges, holding two styrofoam cups.  His partner leans across 
     the seat to close the door after him.

     The reverse shows Marge approaching from her own squad car.

                           MARGE
               Hiya, Lou.

                           LOU
               Margie.  Thought you might need a 
               little warm-up.

     He hands her one of the cups of coffee.

                           MARGE
               Yah, thanks a bunch.  So what's the 
               deal, now?  Gary says triple homicide?

                           LOU
               Yah, looks pretty bad.  Two of'm're 
               over here.

     Marge looks around as they start walking.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 35


                           MARGE
               Where is everybody?

                           LOU
               Well - it's cold, Margie.

     BY THE WRECK

     Laid out in the early morning light is the wrecked car, a 
     pair of footprints leading out to a man in a bright orange 
     parka face down in the bloodstained snow, and one pair of 
     footsteps leading back to the road.

     Marge is peering into the car.

                           MARGE
               Ah, geez.  So...  Aw, geez.  Here's 
               the second one...  It's in the head 
               and the ... hand there, I guess that's 
               a defensive wound.  Okay.

     Marge looks up from the car.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Where's the state trooper?

     Lou, up on the shoulder, jerks his thumb.

                           LOU
               Back there a good piece.  In the 
               ditch next to his prowler.

     Marge looks around at the road.

                           MARGE
               Okay, so we got a state trooper pulls 
               someone over, we got a shooting, and 
               these folks drive by, and we got a 
               high-speed pursuit, ends here, and 
               this execution-type deal.

                           LOU
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               I'd be very surprised if our suspect 
               was from Brainerd.

                           LOU
               Yah.

     Marge is studying the ground.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 36


                           MARGE
               Yah.  And I'll tell you what, from 
               his footprints he looks like a big 
               fella -

     Marge suddenly doubles over, putting her head between her 
     knees down near the snow.

                           LOU
               Ya see something down there, Chief?

                           MARGE
               Uh - I just, I think I'm gonna barf.

                           LOU
               Geez, you okay, Margie?

                           MARGE
               I'm fine - it's just morning sickness.

     She gets up, sweeping snow from her knees.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Well, that passed.

                           LOU
               Yah?

                           MARGE
               Yah.  Now I'm hungry again.

                           LOU
               You had breakfast yet, Margie?

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah.  Norm made some eggs.

                           LOU
               Yah?  Well, what now, d'ya think?

                           MARGE
               Let's go take a look at that trooper.

     BY THE STATE TROOPER'S CAR

     Marge's prowler is parked nearby.

     Marge is on her hands and knees by a body down in the ditch, 
     again looking at footprints in the snow.  She calls up to 
     the road:

                           MARGE
               There's two of 'em, Lou!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 37


                           LOU
               Yah?

                           MARGE
               Yah, this guy's smaller than his 
               buddy.

                           LOU
               Oh, yah?

     DOWN IN THE DITCH

     In the foreground is the head of the state trooper, facing 
     us.  Peering at it from behind, still on her hands and knees, 
     is Marge.

                           MARGE
               For Pete's sake.

     She gets up, clapping the snow off her hands, and climbs out 
     of the ditch.

                           LOU
               How's it look, Marge?

                           MARGE
               Well, he's got his gun on his hip 
               there, and he looks like a nice enough 
               guy.  It's a real shame.

                           LOU
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               You haven't monkeyed with his car 
               there, have ya?

                           LOU
               No way.

     She is looking at the prowler, which still idles on the 
     shoulder.

                           MARGE
               Somebody shut his lights.  I guess 
               the little guy sat in there, waitin' 
               for his buddy t'come back.

                           LOU
               Yah, woulda been cold out here.

                           MARGE
               Heck, yah.  Ya think, is Dave open 
               yet?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 38


                           LOU
               You don't think he's mixed up in -

                           MARGE
               No, no, I just wanna get Norm some 
               night crawlers.

     INT. PROWLER

     Marge is driving; Lou sits next to her.

                           MARGE
               You look in his citation book?

                           LOU
               Yah...

     He looks at his notebook.

                           LOU (CONT'D)
               ...  Last vehicle he wrote in was a 
               tan Ciera at 2:18 a.m. Under the 
               plate number he put DLR - I figure 
               they stopped him or shot him before 
               he could finish fillin' out the tag 
               number.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                           LOU
               So I got the state lookin' for a 
               Ciera with a tag startin' DLR.  They 
               don't got no match yet.

                           MARGE
               I'm not sure I agree with you a 
               hunnert percent on your policework, 
               there, Lou.

                           LOU
               Yah?

                           MARGE
               Yah, I think that vehicle there probly 
               had dealer plates.  DLR?

                           LOU
               Oh...

     Lou gazes out the window, thinking.

                           LOU (CONT'D)
               ...  Geez.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 39


                           MARGE
               Yah.  Say, Lou, ya hear the one about 
               the guy who couldn't afford 
               personalized plates, so he went and 
               changed his name to J2L 4685?

                           LOU
               Yah, that's a good one.

                           MARGE
               Yah.

     THE ROAD

     The police car enters with a whoosh and hums down a straight-

     ruled empty highway, cutting a landscape of flat and perfect 
     white.

     EMBERS FAMILY RESTAURANT

     Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit in a booth, sipping coffee.  
     Outside the window, snow falls from a gunmetal sky.

                           WADE
               -  All's I know is, ya got a problem, 
               ya call a professional!

                           JERRY
               No!  They said no cops!  They were 
               darned clear on that, Wade!  They 
               said you call the cops and we -

                           WADE
               Well, a course they're gonna say 
               that!  But where's my protection?  
               They got Jean here!  I give these 
               sons a bitches a million dollars, 
               where's my guarantee they're gonna 
               let her go.

                           JERRY
               Well, they -

                           WADE
               A million dollars is a lot a damn 
               money!  And there they are, they got 
               my daughter!

                           JERRY
               Yah, but think this thing through 
               here, Wade.  Ya give 'em what they 
               want, why wont' they let her go?
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 40


                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               You gotta listen to me on this one, 
               Wade.

                           WADE
               Heck, you don't know!  You're just 
               whistlin' Dixie here!  I'm sayin', 
               the cops, they can advise us on this!  
               I'm sayin' call a professional!

                           JERRY
               No!  No cops!  That's final!  This 
               is my deal here, Wade!  Jean is my 
               wife here!

                           STAN
               I gotta tell ya, Wade, I'm leanin' 
               to Jerry's viewpoint here.

                           WADE
               Well -

                           STAN
               We gotta protect Jean.  These - we're 
               not holdin' any cards here, Wade, 
               they got all of 'em.  So they call 
               the shots.

                           JERRY
               You're darned tootin'!

                           WADE
               Ah, dammit!

                           STAN
               I'm tellin' ya.

                           WADE
               Well...  Why don't we...

     He saws a finger under his nose.

                           WADE (CONT'D)
               ...  Stan, I'm thinkin' we should 
               offer 'em half a million.

                           JERRY
               Now come on here, no way, Wade!  No 
               way!

                           STAN
               We're not horse-trading here, Wade, 
               we just gotta bite the bullet on 
               this thing.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 41


                           JERRY
               Yah!

                           STAN
               What's the next step here, Jerry?

                           JERRY
               They're gonna call, give me 
               instructions for a drop.  I'm supposed 
               to have the money ready tomorrow.

                           WADE
               Dammit!

     THE CASHIER

     She rings up two dollars forty.

                           CASHIER
               How was everything today?

                           JERRY
               Yah, real good now.

     PARKING LOT

     Snow continues to fall.  Jerry and Stan stand bundled in 
     their parkas and galoshes near a row of beached vehicles.

     Wade sits behind the wheel of an idling Lincoln, waiting for 
     Stan.

                           STAN
               Okay.  We'll get the money together.  
               Don't worry about it, Jerry.  Now, 
               d'you want anyone at home, with you, 
               until they call?

                           JERRY
               No, I - they don't want - they're 
               just s'posed to be dealin' with me, 
               they were real clear.

                           STAN
               Yah.

     Jerry pounds his mittened hands together against the cold.

                           JERRY
               Ya know, they said no one listenin' 
               in, they'll be watchin', ya know.  
               Maybe it's all bull, but like you 
               said, Stan, they're callin' the shots.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 42


                           STAN
               Okay.  And Scotty, is he gonna be 
               all right?

                           JERRY
               Yah, geez, Scotty.  I'll go talk to 
               him.

     There is a tap at the horn from Wade, and Stan gets into the 
     Lincoln.

                           STAN
               We'll call.

     The Lincoln spits snow as it grinds out of the lot and 
     fishtails out onto the boulevard.

     SCOTTY'S BEDROOM

     Scotty lies on the bed, weeping.  Jerry enters and perches 
     uncomfortably on the edge of his bed.

                           JERRY
               ...  How ya doin' there, Scotty?

                           SCOTT
               Dad!  What're they doing?  Wuddya 
               think they're doin' with Mom?

                           JERRY
               It's okay, Scotty.  They're not gonna 
               want to hurt her any.  These men, 
               they just want money, see.

                           SCOTT
               What if - what if sumpn goes wrong?

                           JERRY
               No, no, nothin's goin' wrong here.  
               Grandad and I, we're - we're makin' 
               sure this gets handled right.

     Scott snorfles and sits up.

                           SCOTT
               Dad, I really think we should call 
               the cops.

                           JERRY
               No!  We can't let anyone know about 
               this thing!  We gotta play ball with 
               these guys - you ask Stan Grossman, 
               he'll tell ya the same thing!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 43


                           SCOTT
               Yeah, but -

                           JERRY
               We're gonna get Mom back for ya, but 
               we gotta play ball.  Ya know, that's 
               the deal.  Now if Lorraine calls, or 
               Sylvia, you just say that Mom is in 
               Florida with Pearl and Marty...

     Scotty starts to weep again.  Jerry stares down at his lap.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  That's the best we can do here.

     EXT. CABIN

     It is a lakeside cabin surrounded by white.  A brown Ciera 
     with dealer plates is pulling into the drive.

     Grimsrud climbs out of the passenger seat as Carl climbs out 
     of the driver's.  Grimsrud opens the back door and, with an 
     arm on her elbow, helps Jean out.  She has her hands tied 
     behind her and a black hood over her head.

     With a cry, she swings her elbow out of Grimsrud's grasp and 
     lurches away across the front lawn.  Grimsrud moves to 
     retrieve her but Carl, grinning, lays a hand on his shoulder.

                           CARL
               Hold it.

     They both look out at the front lawn, Grimsrud expressionless, 
     Carl smiling.

     With muffled cries, the hooded woman lurches across the 
     unbroken snow, staggering this way and that, stumbling on 
     the uneven terrain.

     She stops, stands still, her hooded head swaying.

     She lurches out in an arbitrary direction.  Going downhill, 
     she reels, staggers, and falls face-first into the snow, 
     weeping.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Jesus!

     Grimsrud, still expressionless, breaks away from Carl's 
     restraining hand to retrieve her.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 44


     BRAINERD POLICE HEADQUARTERS

     We track behind Marge as she makes her way across the floor, 
     greeting various officers.  She holds a small half-full paper 
     sack.

     Beyond her we see a small glassed-in cublcle.  Norm sits at 
     the desk inside with a box lunch spread out in front of him.

     There is lettering on the cubicle's glass door:  BRAINERD 
     PD. CHIEF GUNDERSON.

     Marge enters and sits behind the desk, detaching her walkie-

     talkie from her utility belt to accommodate the seat.

                           MARGE
               Hiya, hon.

     She slides the paper sack toward him.

                           NORM
               Brought ya some lunch, Margie.  
               What're those, night crawlers?

     He looks inside.

     The bottom of the sack is full of fat, crawling earthworms.

                           MARGE
               Yah.

                           NORM
               Thanks, hon.

                           MARGE
               You bet.  Thanks for lunch.  What do 
               we got here, Arbie's?

                           NORM
               Uh-huh.

     She starts eating.

                           MARGE
               ...  How's the paintin' goin'?

                           NORM
               Pretty good.  Found out the Hautmans 
               are entering a painting this year.

                           MARGE
               Aw, hon, you're better'n them.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 45


                           NORM
               They're real good.

                           MARGE
               They're good, Norm, but you're 
               better'n them.

                           NORM
               Yah, ya think?

     He leans over and kisses her.

                           MARGE
               Ah, ya got Arbie's all o'er me.

     Lou enters.

                           LOU
               Hiya, Norm, how's the paintin' goin'?

                           NORM
               Not too bad.  You know.

                           MARGE
               How we doin' on that vehicle?

                           LOU
               No motels registered any tan Ciera 
               last night.  But the night before, 
               two men checked into the Blue Ox 
               registering a Ciera and leavin' the 
               tag space blank.

                           MARGE
               Geez, that's a good lead.  The Blue 
               Ox, that's that trucker's joint out 
               there on I-35?

                           LOU
               Yah.  Owner was on the desk then, 
               said these two guys had company.

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah?

     EXT. STRIPPER CLUB

     Marge's prowler is parked in an otherwise empty lot.  Snow 
     drifts down.

     INT. STRIPPER CLUB

     Marge sits talking with two young women at one end of an 
     elevated dance platform.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 46


     The club, not yet open for business, is deserted.

                           MARGE
               Where you girls from?

                           HOOKER ONE
               Chaska.

                           HOOKER TWO
               LeSeure.  But I went to high school 
               in White Bear Lake.

                           MARGE
               Okay, I want you to tell me what 
               these fellas looked like.

                           HOOKER ONE
               Well, the little guy, he was kinda 
               funny-looking.

                           MARGE
               In what way?

                           HOOKER ONE
               I dunno.  Just funny-looking.

                           MARGE
               Can you be any more specific?

                           HOOKER ONE
               I couldn't really say.  He wasn't 
               circumcised.

                           MARGE
               Was he funny-looking apart from that?

                           HOOKER ONE
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               So you were having sex with the little 
               fella, then?

                           HOOKER ONE
               Uh-huh.

                           MARGE
               Is there anything else you can tell 
               me about him?

                           HOOKER ONE
               No.  Like I say, he was funny-looking.  
               More'n most people even.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 47


                           MARGE
               And what about the other fella?

                           HOOKER TWO
               He was a little older.  Looked like 
               the Marlboro man.

                           MARGE
               Yah?

                           HOOKER TWO
               Yah.  Maybe I'm sayin' that cause he 
               smoked Marlboros.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                           HOOKER TWO
               A subconscious-type thing.

                           MARGE
               Yah, that can happen.

                           HOOKER TWO
               Yah.

                           HOOKER ONE
               They said they were goin' to the 
               Twin Cities?

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah?

                           HOOKER TWO
               Yah.

                           HOOKER ONE
               Yah.  Is that useful to ya?

                           MARGE
               Oh, you bet, yah.

     EXT. LAKESIDE CABIN

     It is now dusk.  The brown Ciera with dealer plates still 
     sits in the drive.

     INT. CABIN

     We track in on Jean Lundegaard, who sits tied in a chair 
     with the black hood still over her head.  As we track in, we 
     hear inarticulate cursing, intermittent banging and loud 
     static.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 48


     We track in on Gaear Grimsrud, who sits smoking a cigarette 
     and expressionlessly gazing offscreen.

     We track in on Carl Showalter, who stands over an old black-
     and-white television.  It plays nothing but snow.  Carl is 
     banging on it as he mutters:

                           CARL
               ...days ... be here for days with a - 
               DAMMIT! - a goddamn mute ... nothin' 
               to do ... and the fucking - DAMMIT!...

     Each "dammit" brings a pound of his fist on the TV.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  TV doesn't even ... plug me in, 
               man...  Gimmee a - DAMMIT! - signal...  
               Plug me into the ozone, baby...  
               Plug me into the ozone - FUCK!...

     WITH ONE LAST BANG WE CUT:

     BACK TO THE TELEVISION SET

     In extreme close-up an insect is lugging a worm.

                           TV VOICE-OVER
               The bark beetle carries the worm to 
               the nest ... where it will feed its 
               young for up to six weeks...

     A pull back from the screen reveals that we are in Marge's 
     house.

     Marge and Norm are watching television in bed.  From the TV 
     we hear insects chirring.

     After a long beat, silence except for the TV, Marge murmurs, 
     still looking at the set:

                           MARGE
               ...  Well, I'm turnin' in, Norm.

     ALSO LOOKING AT THE TV:

                           NORM
               ...  Oh, yah?

     Marge rolls over and Norm continues to watch.

     We hold.

                                                            BLACK

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 49


     Hold.

     A snowflake drops through the black.

     Another flake.

     It starts snowing.

     BRAINERD MAIN STREET

     The lone traffic light blinks slowly, steadily, red.  Snow 
     sifts down.  There is no other movement.

     PAUL BUNYAN

     We are looking up at the bottom-lit statue.  Snow falls.

     HIGH SHOT OF MARGE'S HOUSE

     Snow drops away.

     HIGH SHOT IN MARGE'S BEDROOM

     The bedroom is dark.  Norm is snoring.

     The phone rings.

     Marge gropes in the dark.

                           MARGE
               Hello?

                           VOICE
               Yah, is this Marge?

                           MARGE
               Yah?

                           VOICE
               Margie Olmstead?

                           MARGE
               ...  Well, yah.  Who's this?

                           VOICE
               This is Mike Yanagita.  Ya know - 
               Mike Yanagita.  Remember me?

                           MARGE
               ...  Mike Yanagita!

                           MIKE
               Yah!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 50


     Marge props herself up next to the still-sleeping Norm.

                           MARGE
               Yah, yah, course I remember.  How 
               are ya?  What time is it?

                           MIKE
               Oh, geez.  It's quarter to eleven.  
               I hope I dint wake you.

                           MARGE
               No, that's okay.

                           MIKE
               Yah, I'm down in the Twin Cities and 
               I was just watching on TV about these 
               shootings up in Brainerd, and I saw 
               you on the news there.

                           MARGE
               Yah.

                           MIKE
               I thought, geez, is that Margie 
               Olmstead?  I can't believe it!

                           MARGE
               Yah, that's me.

                           MIKE
               Well, how the heck are ya?

                           MARGE
               Okay, ya know.  Okay.

                           MIKE
               Yah?

                           MARGE
               Yah - how are you doon?

                           MIKE
               Oh, pretty good.

                           MARGE
               Heck, it's been such a long time, 
               Mike.  It's great to hear from ya.

                           MIKE
               Yah...  Yah, yah.  Geeze, Margie!

     GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

     Jerry is on the sales floor, showing a customer a vehicle.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 51


                           JERRY
               Yah, ya got yer, this loaded here, 
               this has yer independent, uh, yer 
               slipped differential, uh, yer rack-
               and-pinion steering, yer alarm and 
               radar, and I can give it to ya with 
               a heck of a sealant, this TruCoat 
               stuff, it'll keep the salt off -

                           CUSTOMER
               Yah, I don't need no sealant though.

                           JERRY
               Yah, you don't need that.  Now were 
               you thinking of financing here?  You 
               oughta be aware a this GMAC plan 
               they have now, it's really super -

                           ANOTHER SALESMAN
               Jerry, ya got a call here.

                           JERRY
               Yah, okay.

                           JERRY'S CUBICLE
               He sits in and picks up his phone.

                           JERRY
               Jerry Lundegaard.

                           VOICE
               All right, Jerry, you got this phone 
               to yourself?

                           JERRY
               Well ... yah.

                           VOICE
               Know who this is?

                           JERRY
               Well, yah, I got an idea.  How's 
               that Ciera workin' out for ya?

                           VOICE
               Circumstances have changed, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               Well, what do ya mean?

                           VOICE
               Things have changed.  Circumstances, 
               Jerry.  Beyond the, uh ... acts of 
               God, force majeure...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 52


                           JERRY
               What the - how's Jean?

     A beat.

                           CARL
               ...  Who's Jean?

                           JERRY
               My wife!  What the - how's -

                           CARL
               Oh, Jean's okay.  But there's three 
               people up in Brainerd who aren't so 
               okay, I'll tell ya that.

                           JERRY
               What the heck're you talkin' about?  
               Let's just finish up this deal here -

                           CARL
               Blood has been shed, Jerry.

     Jerry sits dumbly.  The voice solemnly repeats:

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Blood has been shed.

                           JERRY
               What the heck d'ya mean?

                           CARL
               Three people.  In Brainerd.

                           JERRY
               Oh, geez.

                           CARL
               That's right.  And we need more money.

                           JERRY
               The heck d'ya mean?  What a you guys 
               got yourself mixed up in?

                           CARL
               We need more -

                           JERRY
               This was s'posed to be a no-rough 
               stuff-type deal -

                           CARL
               DON'T EVER INTERRUPT ME, JERRY!  
               JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 53


                           JERRY
               Well, I'm sorry, but I just - I -

                           CARL
               Look.  I'm not gonna debate you, 
               Jerry.  The price is now the whole 
               amount.  We want the entire eighty 
               thousand.

                           JERRY
               Oh, for Chrissakes here -

                           CARL
               Blood has been shed.  We've incurred 
               risks, Jerry.  I'm coming into town 
               tomorrow.  Have the money ready.

                           JERRY
               Now we had a deal here!  A deal's a 
               deal!

                           CARL
               IS IT, JERRY?  You ask those three 
               pour souls up in Brainerd if a deal's 
               a deal!  Go ahead, ask 'em!

                           JERRY
               ...  The heck d'ya mean?

                           CARL
               I'll see you tomorrow.

     Click.

     Jerry slams down the phone, which immediately rings.  He 
     angrily snatches it up.

                           JERRY
               Yah!

                           VOICE
               Jerome Lundegaard?

                           JERRY
               Yah!

                           VOICE
               This is Reilly Deifenbach at GMAC.  
               Sir, I have not yet received those 
               vehicle IDs you promised me.

                           JERRY
               Yah!  I ... those are in the mail.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 54


                           VOICE
               Mr. Lundegaard, that very well may 
               be.  I must inform you, however, 
               that absent the receipt of those 
               numbers by tomorrow afternoon, I 
               will have to refer this matter to 
               our legal department.

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           VOICE
               My patience is at an end.

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           VOICE
               Good day, sir.

                           JERRY
               ...  Yah.

     WIDE ON THE CUBICLE

     We are looking at Jerry's cubicle from across the showroom.

     Noise muted by distance, we watch Jerry slam down the 
     receiver, rise to his feet, fling the phone to the floor, 
     raise his desk blotter high over his head with pens and 
     pencils rolling off it and slam it onto his desktop.

     He stands for a moment, hands on hips, glaring.

     He stoops and picks up the phone, places it back on the 
     desktop, starts picking up the pens and pencils.

     TRACK

     On steam-table bins of food, each identified by a plaque:

     BEEF STROGANOFF, SWEDISH MEATBALLS, BROILED TORSK, CHICKEN 
     FLORENTINE.

     A complementary track shows two trays being pushed along a 
     buffet line, piled high with many foods.

     MARGE AND NORM AT A TABLE

     They sit next to each other at a long cafateria-style Formica 
     table, silently eating.

     A hip with a hissing walkie-talkie enters frame.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 55


                           GARY
               Hiya, Norm.  How ya doin', Margie?  
               How's the fricasse?

                           MARGE
               Pretty darn good, ya want some?

                           GARY
               No, I gotta - hey, Norm, I thought 
               you were goin' fishin' up at Mile 
               Lacs?

                           NORM
               Yah, after lunch.

     He goes back to his food.

                           MARGE
               Whatcha got there?

     Gary hands her a flimsy.  Marge takes it with one hand and 
     looks, her other hand frozen with a forkful of food.

                           GARY
               The numbers y'asked for, calls made 
               from the lobby pay phone at the Blue 
               Ox.  Two to Minneapolis that night.

                           MARGE
               Mm.

                           GARY
               First one's a trucking company, second 
               one's a private residence.  A Shep 
               Proudfoot.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh...  A what?

                           GARY
               Shep Proudfoot.  That's a name.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                           GARY
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               ...  Yah, okay, I think I'll drive 
               down there, then.

                           GARY
               Oh, yah?  Twin Cities?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 56


     Norm, who has been eating steadily throughout, looks over at 
     Marge with mild interest.  He stares for a beat as he finishes 
     chewing, and them swallows and says:

                           NORM
               ...  Oh, yah?

     KITCHEN OF LUNDEGAARD HOUSE

     Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit around the kitchen table.

     It is night.  The scene is harshly toplit by a hanging 
     fixture.  On the table are the remains of coffee and a 
     cinammon filbert ring.

                           WADE
               Dammit!  I wanna be a part a this 
               thing!

                           JERRY
               No, Wade!  They were real clear!  
               They said they'd call tomorrow, with 
               instructions, and it's gonna be 
               delivered by me alone!

                           WADE
               It's my money, I'll deliver it - 
               what do they care?

                           STAN
               Wade's got a point there.  I'll handle 
               the call if you want, Jerry.

                           JERRY
               No, no.  See - they, no, see, they 
               only deal with me.  Ya feel this, 
               this nervousness on the phone there, 
               they're very - these guys're dangerous -

                           WADE
               All the more reason!  I don't want 
               you - with all due respect, Jerry - 
               I don't want you mucking this up.

                           JERRY
               The heck d'ya mean?

                           WADE
               They want my money, they can deal 
               with me.  Otherwise I'm goin' to a 
               professional.

     He points at a briefcase.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 57


                           WADE (CONT'D)
               ...  There's a million dollars here!

                           JERRY
               No, see -

                           WADE
               Look, Jerry, you're not sellin' me a 
               damn car.  It's my show here.  That's 
               that.

                           STAN
               It's the way we prefer to handle it, 
               Jerry.

     THE DOWNTOWN RADISSON HOTEL

     Marge is at the reception desk.

                           MARGE
               How ya doin'?

                           CLERK
               Real good.  How're you today, ma'am?

                           MARGE
               Real good.  I'm Mrs. Gunderson, I 
               have a reservation.

     The clerk types into a computer console.

                           CLERK
               You sure do, Mrs. Gunderson.

                           MARGE
               Is there a phone down here, ya think?

                           LOBBY CORNER
               Marge is on a public phone.

                           MARGE
               ...  Detective Sibert?  Yah, this is 
               Marge Gunderson from up Brainerd, we 
               spoke -  Yah.  Well, actually I'm in 
               town here.  I had to do a few things 
               in the Twin Cities, so I thought I'd 
               check in with ya about that USIF 
               search on Shep Proudfoot... Oh, 
               yah?...  Well, maybe I'll go visit 
               with him if I have the...  No, I can 
               find that...  Well, thanks a bunch.
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 58


                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               Say, d'ya happen to know a good place 
               for lunch in the downtown area?...  
               Yah, the Radisson...  Oh, yah?  Is 
               it reasonable?

     GREEN FREEWAY SIGN

     Through a windshield we see a sign for the MINNEAPOLIS 
     INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

     ROOFTOP PARKING LOT

     The brown Ciera enters and drives lazy S-curves around the 
     few snow-covered cars parked on the roof of the lot.

     It stops by one car and Carl emerges.  He quickly scans the 
     lot, then kneels in the snow at the back of the parked car 
     and starts unscrewing its license plate.

     EXIT BOOTH

     Carl pulls up and hands the attendant his ticket.

                           CARL
               Yeah, I decided not to park here.

     The attendant frowns uncomprehendingly at the ticket.

                           ATTENDANT
               ...  What do you mean, you decided 
               not to park here?

                           CARL
               Yeah, I just came in.  I decided not 
               to park here.

     The attendant is still puzzled.

                           ATTENDANT
               You, uh...  I'm sorry, sir, but -

                           CARL
               I decided not to - I'm, uh, not taking 
               the trip as it turns out.

                           ATTENDANT
               I'm sorry, sir, we do have to charge 
               you the four dollars.

                           CARL
               I just pulled in here.  I just fucking 
               pulled in here!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 59


                           ATTENDANT
               Well, see, there's a minimum charge 
               of four dollars.  Long-term parking 
               charges by the day.

     A car behind beeps.  Carl glances back, starts digging for 
     money.

                           CARL
               I guess you think, ya know, you're 
               an authority figure.  With that stupid 
               fucking uniform.  Huh, buddy?

     The attendant doesn't say anything.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  King Clip-on Tie here.  Big 
               fucking man.

     He is peeling off one dollar bills.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  You know, these are the limits 
               of your life, man.  Ruler of your 
               little fucking gate here.  There's 
               your four dollars.  You pathetic 
               piece of shit.

     GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

     Jerry is staring up, mouth agape, at the underside of a car 
     on a hydraulic lift.  Bewildered, he looks about, then asks 
     a mechanic passing by, his voice raised over the din of the 
     shop.

                           JERRY
               Where's Shep?

     The mechanic points.

                           MECHANIC
               Talkin' to a cop.

     Jerry looks.

                           JERRY
               ...  Cop?

     Marge and Shep face each other at the other end of the floor 
     in a grimy and cluttered glassed-in cubicle.

                           MECHANIC
               Said she was a policewoman.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 60


     Marge and Shep silently talk.

     Jerry stares, swallows.

     INSIDE THE CUBICLE

                           MARGE
               - Wednesday night?

     Shep is shaking his head.

                           SHEP
               Nope.

                           MARGE
               Well, you do reside their at 1425 
               Fremont Terrace?

                           SHEP
               Yep.

                           MARGE
               Anyone else residing there?

                           SHEP
               Nope.

                           MARGE
               Well, Mr. Proudfoot, this call came 
               in past three in the morning.  It's 
               jusdt hard for me to believe you 
               can't remember anyone calling.

     Shep says nothing.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Now, I know you've had some 
               problems, struggling with the 
               narcotics, some other entanglements, 
               currently on parole -

                           SHEP
               So?

                           MARGE
               Well, associating with criminals, if 
               you're the one they talked to, that 
               right there would be a violation of 
               your parole and would end with you 
               back in Stillwater.

                           SHEP
               Uh-huh.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 61


                           MARGE
               Now, I saw some rough stuff on your 
               priors, but nothing in the nature of 
               a homicide...

     Shep stares at her.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  I know you don't want to be an 
               accessory to something like that.

                           SHEP
               Nope.

                           MARGE
               So you think you might remember who 
               those folks were who called ya?

     JERRY'S OFFICE

     Jerry is worriedly pacing behind his desk.  At a noise he 
     looks up.

     Marge has stuck her head in the door.

                           MARGE
               Mr. Lundegaard?

                           JERRY
               Huh?  Yah?

                           MARGE
               I wonder if I could take just a minute 
               of your time here -

                           JERRY
               What...  What is it all about?

                           MARGE
               Huh?  Do you mind if I sit down - 
               I'm carrying quite a load here.

     Marge plops into the chair opposite him.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  You're the owner here, Mr. 
               Lundegaard?

                           JERRY
               Naw, I...  Executive Sales Manager.

                           MARGE
               Well, you can help me.  My name's
               Marge Gunderson -

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 62


                           JERRY
               My father-in-law, he's the owner.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh.  Well, I'm a police officer 
               from up Brainerd investigating some 
               malfeasance and I was just wondering 
               if you've had any new vehicles stolen 
               off the lot in the past couple of 
               weeks - specifically a tan Cutlass 
               Ciera?

     Jerry stares at her, his mouth open.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Mr. Lundegaard?

                           JERRY
               ...  Brainerd?

                           MARGE
               Yah.  Yah.  Home a Paul Bunyan and 
               Babe the Blue Ox.

                           JERRY
               ...  Babe the Blue Ox?

                           MARGE
               Yah, ya know we've got the big statue 
               there.  So you haven't had any 
               vehicles go missing, then?

                           JERRY
               No.  No, ma'am.

                           MARGE
               Okey-dokey, thanks a bunch.  I'll 
               let you get back to your paperwork, 
               then.

     As Marge rises, Jerry looks blankly down at the papers on 
     the desk in front of him.

                           JERRY
               ...  Yah, okay.

     He looks up at Marge's retreating back.  He looks back down 
     at the papers.  He looks over at the phone.  he picks up the 
     phone and dials four digits.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  Yah, gimmee Shep...  The heck 
               d'ya mean?...  Well, where'd he go?
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 63


                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               It's only...  No, I don't need a 
               mechanic - oh, geez - I gotta talk 
               to a friend of his, so, uh ... have 
               him, uh ... oh, geez...

     HOTEL BAR

     Marge enters.  She looks around the bar, a rather 
     characterless, lowlit meeting place for business people.

                           VOICE
               Marge?

     It is a bald, paunching man of about Marge's age, rising 
     from a booth halfway back.  His features are broad, friendly, 
     Asian-American.

                           MARGE
               Mike!

     He approaches somewhat carefully, as if on his second drink.

     They hug and head back toward the booth.

                           MIKE
               Geez!  You look great!

                           MARGE
               Yah - easy there - you do too!  I'm 
               expecting, ya know.

                           MIKE
               I see that!  That's great!

     A waitress meets them at the table.

                           MIKE (CONT'D)
               ...  What can I get ya?

                           MARGE
               Just a Diet Coke.

     Again she glances about.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  This is a nice place.

                           MIKE
               Yah, ya know it's the Radisson, so 
               it's pretty good.

                           MARGE
               You're livin' in Edina, then?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 64


                           MIKE
               Oh, yah, couple years now.  It's 
               actually Eden Prairie - that school 
               district.  So Chief Gunderson, then!  
               So ya went and married Norm Son-of-
               a-Gunderson!

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah, a long time ago.

                           MIKE
               Great.  What brings ya down - are ya 
               down here on that homicide - if you're 
               allowed, ya know, to discuss that?

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah, but there's not a heckuva 
               lot to discuss.  What about you, 
               Mike?  Are you married - you have 
               kids?

                           MIKE
               Well, yah, I was married.  I was 
               married to -  You mind if I sit over 
               here?

     He is sliding out of his side of the booth and easing in 
     next to Marge.

                           MIKE (CONT'D)
               ...  I was married to Linda Cooksey -

                           MARGE
               No, I -  Mike - wyncha sit over there, 
               I'd prefer that.

                           MIKE
               Huh?  Oh, okay, I'm sorry.

                           MARGE
               No, just so I can see ya, ya know.  
               Don't have to turn my neck.

                           MIKE
               Oh, sure, I unnerstand, I didn't 
               mean to -

                           MARGE
               No, no, that's fine.

                           MIKE
               Yah, sorry, so I was married to Linda 
               Cooksey - ya remember Linda?  She 
               was a year behind us.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 65


                           MARGE
               I think I remember Linda, yah.  She 
               was - yah.  So things didn't work 
               out, huh?

                           MIKE
               And then I, and then I been workin' 
               for Honeywell for a few years now.

                           MARGE
               Well, they're a good outfit.

                           MIKE
               Yah, if you're an engineer, yah, you 
               could do a lot worse.  Of course, 
               it's not, uh, it's nothin' like your 
               achievement.

                           MARGE
               It sounds like you're doin' really 
               super.

                           MIKE
               Yah, well, I, uh ... it's not that 
               it didn't work out -  Linda passed 
               away.  She, uh...

                           MARGE
               I'm sorry.

                           MIKE
               Yah, I, uh...  She had leukemia, you 
               know...

                           MARGE
               No, I didn't...

                           MIKE
               It was a tough, uh ... it was a long -  
               She fought real hard, Marge...

                           MARGE
               I'm sorry, Mike.

                           MIKE
               Oh, ya know, that's, uh - what can I 
               say?...

     He holds up his drink.

                           MIKE (CONT'D)
               ...  Better times, huh?

     Marge clinks it.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 66


                           MARGE
               Better times.

                           MIKE
               I was so...  I been so ... and then 
               I saw you on TV, and I remembered, 
               ya know...  I always liked you...

                           MARGE
               Well, I always liked you, Mike.

                           MIKE
               I always liked ya so much...

                           MARGE
               It's okay, Mike -  Should we get 
               together another time, ya think?

                           MIKE
               No - I'm sorry!  It's just -  I been 
               so lonely - then I saw you, and...

     He is weeping.

                           MIKE (CONT'D)
               ...  I'm sorry...  I shouldn't a 
               done this...  I thought we'd have a 
               really terrific time, and now I've...

                           MARGE
               It's okay...

                           MIKE
               You were such a super lady ...  and 
               then I...  I been so lonely...

                           MARGE
               It's okay, Mike...

     CARLTON CELEBRITY ROOM

     Carl Showalter is sitting at a small table with a tarty- 
     looking blonde in a low-cut gown.  Each holds a drink.

                           CARL
               Just in town on business.  Just in 
               and out.  Ha ha!  A little of the 
               old in-and-out!

                           WOMAN
               Wuddya do?

     Carl looks around.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 67


                           CARL
               Have ya been to the Celebrity Room 
               before?  With other, uh, clients?

                           WOMAN
               I don't think so.  It's nice.

                           CARL
               Yeah, well, it depends on the artist.  
               You know, Jose Feliciano, ya got no 
               complaints.  Waiter!

     The reverse shows a disappearing waiter and the backs of 
     many, many people sitting at tables between us and the very 
     distant stage.  Jose Feliciano, very small, performs on a 
     spotlit stool.  The acoustics are poor.

     Carl grimaces.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  What is he, deaf?...  So, uh, 
               how long have you been with the escort 
               service?

                           WOMAN
               I don't know.  Few munce.

                           CARL
               Ya find the work interesting, do ya?

                           WOMAN
               ...  What're you talking about?

     A DIRTY BEDROOM

     Carl is humping the escort.

     We hear the door burst open.

     The escort is grabbed and flung out of bed.

                           CARL
               Shep!  What the hell are you doing?  
               I'm banging that girl!  Shep!  Jesus 
               Ch -

     Shep slaps him hard, forehand, backhand.

                           SHEP
               Fuck out of my house!

     He hauls him up -

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 68


                           CARL
               Shep!  Don't you dare fucking hit 
               me, man!  Don't you -

     - punches him and flings him away.

     Carl hits a sofa and we see his bare legs disappear as he 
     flips back over it.

     Shep enters frame to circle the sofa and kick at Carl behind 
     it.

                           SHEP
               Fuck outta here.  Put me back in 
               Stillwater.  Little fucking shit.

     There is a knock at the door.

                           VOICE
               Hey!  Come on in there!

     Shep strides to the door, flings it open.

     A man in boxer shorts stands in the doorway.

                           MAN
               C'mon, brother, it's late -  Unghh!

     Shep hits him twice, then grabs both of his ears and starts 
     banging his head against the wall.

     The hooker runs by, clutching her clothes, and Shep kicks 
     her in the ass as she passes.

     He spins and goes back into the apartment.

     Carl is hopping desperately into his pants.

                           CARL
               Stay away from me, man!  Hey!  Smoke 
               a fuckin' peace pipe, man!  Don't 
               you dare fuckin' -  Unghh!

     After hitting him several times, Shep yanks Carl's belt out 
     of his dangling pants and strangles him with it.  Carl 
     gurgles.  Shep knees Carl repeatedly, then dumps him onto 
     the floor and starts whipping him with the buckle end of the 
     belt.

     CHAIN RESTAURANT PHONE BOOTH

     Carl listens to the phone ring at the other end.  His face 
     is deeply bruised and cut.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 69


     Finally, through the phone...

                           VOICE
               ...  Yah?

                           CARL
               All right, Jerry, I'm through fucking 
               around.  You got the fucking money?

     JERRY'S KITCHEN

     Jerry is at the kitchen phone.  Through the door to the dining 
     room we see Wade picking up an extension.

                           JERRY
               Yah, I got the money, but, uh -

                           CARL
               Don't you fucking but me, Jerry.  I 
               want you with this money on the Dayton-
               Radisson parking ramp, top level, 
               thirty minutes, and we'll wrap this 
               up.

                           JERRY
               Yah, okay, but, uh -

                           CARL
               You're there in thirty minutes or I 
               find you, Jerry, and I shoot you, 
               and I shoot your fucking wife, and I 
               shoot all your little fucking 
               children, and I shoot 'em all in the 
               back of their little fucking heads.  
               Got it?

                           JERRY
               ...  Yah, well, you stay away from 
               Scotty now -

                           CARL
               GOT IT?

                           JERRY
               Okay, real good, then.

     The line goes dead.

     A door slams offscreen.

     EXT. HOUSE

     Wade, briefcase in hand, gets into his Cadillac, slams the 
     door and peels out.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 70


     INT. CAR

     Wade's jaw works as he glares out at traffic.  He mumbles to 
     himself as he drives.

                           WADE
               Okay ... here's your damn money, now 
               where's my daughter?... Goddamn punk 
               ... where's my damn daughter...

     He pulls out a gun, cracks the barrel, peers in.

                           WADE (CONT'D)
               ...  You little punk.

     JERRY'S HOUSE

     Jerry sits in the foyer, trying to pull on pair of galoshes.

     Scotty's voice comes from upstairs:

                           VOICE
               ...  Dad?

                           JERRY
               It's okay, Scotty.

                           VOICE
               Where're you going?

                           JERRY
               Be back in a minute.  If Stan calls 
               you, just tell him I went to Embers.  
               Oh, geez -

     Thunk! - his first boot goes on.

     RADISSON

     Marge sits on the bed in her hotel room, shoes off, massaging 
     her feet.  The phone is pressed to her ear, and through it, 
     we hear ringing.

                           VOICE
               ...  Hello?

                           MARGE
               Norm?

     MILLE LACS LAKE

     It is late evening, blowing storm.  A leisurely pan across 
     the bleak gray expanse finds a little hut in the middle of 
     the frozen lake with a pickup truck parked next to it.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 71


                           MARGE'S VOICE
               They bitin'?

     INT. HUT

     Norm has a cellular phone to his ear.  His feet are stretched 
     out to an electric heater.  The interior is bathed in soft 
     orange light.

                           NORM
               Yah, okay.  How's the hotel?

                           MARGE
               Oh, pretty good.  They bitin'?

                           NORM
               Yeah, couple a muskies.  No pike 
               yet.  How d'you feel?

                           MARGE
               Oh, fine.

                           NORM
               Not on your feet too much?

                           MARGE
               No, no.

                           NORM
               You shouldn't be on your feet too 
               much, you got weight you're not used 
               too.  How's the food down there?

                           MARGE
               Had dinner at a place called the 
               King's Table.  Buffet style.  It was 
               pretty darn good.

                           NORM
               Was it reasonable?

                           MARGE
               Yah, not too bad.  So it's nice up 
               there?

                           NORM
               Yah, it's good.  No pike yet, but 
               it's good.

     DAYTON-RADISSON RAMP

     The top, open, level.  Snow blows.  A car sits idling.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 72


     Another car pulls onto the roof.  It creeps over to the parked 
     car and stops.  It continues to idle as its door opens and 
     Wade steps out, carrying the briefcase.

     The door of the other car bangs open and Carl bounces out.

                           CARL
               Who the fuck are you?  Who the fuck 
               are you?

                           WADE
               I got your goddamn money, you little 
               punk.  Now where's my daughter?

                           CARL
               I am through fucking around!  Drop 
               that fucking briefcase!

                           WADE
               Where's my daughter?

                           CARL
               Fuck you, man!  Where's Jerry?  I 
               gave SIMPLE FUCKING INSTRUCTIONS -

                           WADE
               Where's my damn daughter?  No Jean, 
               no money!

                           CARL
               Drop that fucking money!

                           WADE
               No Jean, no money!

                           CARL
               Is this a fucking joke here?

     He pulls out a gun and fires into Wade's gut.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Is this a fucking joke?

                           WADE
               Unghh ... oh, geez...

     He is on the pavement, clutching at his gut.  Snow swirls.

                           CARL
               You fucking imbeciles!

     He bends down next to Wade to pick up the briefcase.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 73


                           WADE
               Oh, for Christ ... oh, geez...

     Wade brings out his gun and fires at Carl's head, close by.

                           CARL
               Oh!

     Carl stumbles and falls back, and then stands up again.  His 
     jaw is gouting blood.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Owwmm...

     One hand pressed to his jaw, he fires down at Wade several 
     times.  Blood streams through the hand pressed to his jaw.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Mmmmmphnck!  He fnkem shop me...

     He pockets the gun, picks up the briefcase one-handed, flings 
     it into his car, gets in, peels out.

     DOWN RAMP

     Carl screams down the ramp.  He takes a corner at high speed 
     and swerves, just missing Jerry in his Olds on his way to 
     the top.

     INT. JERRY'S CAR

     Jerry recovers from the near miss and continues up.

                           JERRY
               Oh, geez!

     EXIT BOOTH

     Carl squeals to a halt at the gate, still pressing his hand 
     to his bleeding jaw.

                           CARL
               Ophhem ma fuchem gaphe!

                           ATTENDANT
               May I have your ticket, please?

     RAMP ROOF

     Jerry pulls to a halt next to Wade's idling Cadillac.  He 
     gets out and walks slowly to Wade's body, prostrate in the 
     swirling snow.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 74


                           JERRY
               Oh!  Oh, geez!

     He bends down, picks Wade up by the armpits and drags him 
     over to the back of the Cadillac.  He drops Wade's body, 
     walks to the driver's side of the car, pulls the keys and 
     walks back to pop the trunk.  He wrestles Wade's body into 
     the trunk, slams it shut and walks back to the scene of the 
     shooting.

     He kicks at the snow with his galoshed feet, trying to hide 
     the fresh bloodstains.

     EXIT BOOTH

     Jerry approaches in the Cadillac.

     The wooden gate barring the exit has been broken away.  The 
     booth is empty.

     Jerry eases toward the street, looking over at the booth as 
     he passes.

     Inside the booth we see the awkwardly angled leg of a 
     prostrate body.

     EXT. JERRY'S HOUSE

     The car pulls into the driveway.

     FOYER

     Jerry enters and sits on the foyer chair to take off his 
     galoshes.

                           SCOTT'S VOICE
               ...  Dad?

                           JERRY
               Yah.

                           SCOTT'S VOICE
               Stan Grossman called.

                           JERRY
               Yah, okay.

                           SCOTT'S VOICE
               Twice.

                           JERRY
               Okay.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 75


                           SCOTT'S VOICE
               ...  Is everything okay?

                           JERRY
               Yah.

     Thoonk - the first boot comes off.

                           SCOTT'S VOICE
               Are you calling Stan?

                           JERRY
               Well...  I'm goin' ta bed now.

     CARL'S CAR

     Carl mumbles as he drives, underlit by the dim dash lights, 
     one hand now holding a piece of rag to his shredded jaw.

                           CARL
               ...  Fnnkn ashlzh...  Fnk...

     ROAD

     Carl's car roars into frame, violently swirling the snow.

     Its red tail lights fishtail away.

                                                         FADE OUT

     HOLD IN BLACK

     HARD CUT TO:  BRIGHT - LOOKING THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

     It is a starkly sunny day.  We are cruising down a street of 
     humble lookalike houses.

     We pan right as we draw toward one house in particular.  In 
     its driveway a man in a hooded parka shovels snow.  He notices 
     the approaching car and gives its driver a wave.

     The driver is Gary, the Brainderd police officer.  He gives 
     a finger-to-the-head salute and pulls over.

     OUTSIDE

     Gary slams his door shut and the other man plants his shovel 
     in the snow.

                           MAN
               How ya doin'?

                           GARY
               Mr. Mohra?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 76


                           MAN
               Yah.

                           GARY
               Officer Olson.

                           MAN
               Yah, right-o.

     The two men caucus the driveway without shaking hands and 
     without standing particularly close.  They stand stiffly, 
     arms down at their sides and breath streaming out of their 
     parka hoods.  Each has an awkward leaning-away posture, head 
     drawn slightly back and chin tucked in, to keep his face 
     from protruding into the cold.

                           MAN (CONT'D)
               ...  So, I'm tendin' bar there at 
               Ecklund && Swedlin's last Tuesday 
               and this little guy's drinkin' and 
               he says, 'So where can a guy find 
               some action - I'm goin' crazy down 
               there at the lake.'  And I says, 
               'What kinda action?' and he says, 
               'Woman action, what do I look like,'  
               And I says 'Well, what do I look 
               like, I don't arrange that kinda 
               thing,' and he says, 'I'm goin' crazy 
               out there at the lake' and I says, 
               'Well, this ain't that kinda place.'

                           GARY
               Uh-huh.

                           MAN
               So he says, 'So I get it, so you 
               think I'm some kinda jerk for askin',' 
               only he doesn't use the word jerk.

                           GARY
               I unnerstand.

                           MAN
               And then he calls me a jerk and says 
               the last guy who thought he was a 
               jerk was dead now.  So I don't say 
               nothin' and he says, 'What do ya 
               think about that?'  So I says, 'Well, 
               that don't sound like too good a 
               deal for him then.'

                           GARY
               Ya got that right.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 77


                           MAN
               And he says, 'Yah, that guy's dead 
               and I don't mean a old age.'  And 
               then he says, 'Geez, I'm goin' crazy 
               out there at the lake.'

                           GARY
               White Bear Lake?

                           MAN
               Well, Ecklund & Swedlin's, that's 
               closer ta Moose Lake, so I made that 
               assumption.

                           GARY
               Oh sure.

                           MAN
               So, ya know, he's drinkin', so I 
               don't think a whole great deal of 
               it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the 
               homicides out here and she thought I 
               should call it in, so I called it 
               in.  End a story.

                           GARY
               What'd this guy look like anyways?

                           MAN
               Oh, he was a little guy, kinda funny-
               lookin'.

                           GARY
               Uh-huh - in what way?

                           MAN
               Just a general way.

                           GARY
               Okay, well, thanks a bunch, Mr. Mohra.  
               You're right, it's probably nothin', 
               but thanks for callin' her in.

                           MAN
               Oh sure.  They say she's gonna turn 
               cold tomorrow.

                           GARY
               Yah, got a front movin' in.

                           MAN
               Ya got that right.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 78


     CLOSE ON CARL SHOWALTER

     In his car, now parked, one hand holding the rag pressed to 
     his mangled jaw.  He is staring down at something in the 
     front seat next to him.

     His other hand holds open the briefcase.  It has money inside - 
     a lot of money.

     Carl unfreezes, takes out one of the bank-wrapped wads and 
     looks at it.

                           CARL
               ...  Mmmnphh.

     He paws through the money in the briefcase to get a feeling 
     for the amount.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Jeshush Shrist...  Jeshush fuchem 
               Shrist!

     Excited, he counts out a bundle of bills and tosses it onto 
     the back seat.

     He starts to take the rag away from his chin but the layer 
     pressed against his face sticks, its loose weave bound to 
     his skin by clotted blood.

     He pulls very gently and winces as blood starts to flow again.

     He carefully tears the rag in half so that only a bit of it 
     remains adhering to his jaw.

     EXT. CAR

     It is pulled over to the side of an untraveled Road.  The 
     door opens and Carl emerges with the briefcase.

     He slogs through the snow, down a gulley and up the embankment 
     to a barbed-wire fence.  He kneels at one of the fence posts 
     and frantically digs into the snow with his bare hands, throws 
     in the briefcase and covers it back up.

     He stands and tries to beat the circulation back into his 
     red, frozen hands.

     He looks to the right.

     A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away against 
     unblemished white.

     He looks to the left.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 79


     A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away against 
     unblemished white.

     He looks at the fence post in front of him.

                           CARL
               Mmmphh...

     He looks about the snowy vastness for a marker.  Finding 
     none, he kicks the fence post a couple of times, failing to 
     scar or tilt it, then hurriedly plants a couple of sticks up 
     against the post.

     He bends down, scoops up a handful of snow, presses it against 
     his wounded jaw, and lopes back to the idling car.

     HOTEL ROOM

     Marge has a packed overnight back sitting on the unmade bed.

     She is ready to leave, already wearing her parka, but is on 
     the phone.

                           MARGE
               No, I'm leavin' this mornin', back 
               up to Brainerd.

                           VOICE
               Well, I'm sorry I won't see ya.

                           MARGE
               Mm.  But ya think he's all right?
               I saw him last night and he's -

                           VOICE
               What'd he say?

                           MARGE
               Well, it was nothin' specific he 
               said, it just seemed like it all hit 
               him really hard, his Wife dyin' -

                           VOICE
               His wife?

                           MARGE
               Linda.

                           VOICE
               No.

                           MARGE
               Linda Cooksey?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 80


                           VOICE
               No.  No.  No.  They weren't - he, 
               uh, he was bothering Linda for about, 
               oh, for a good year.  Really pestering 
               her, wouldn't leave her alone.

                           MARGE
               So ... they didn't...

                           VOICE
               No.  No.  They never married.  Mike's 
               had psychiatric problems.

                           MARGE
               Oh.  Oh, my.

                           VOICE
               Yah, he - he's been struggling.  
               He's living with his parents now.

                           MARGE
               Oh.  Geez.

                           VOICE
               Yah, Linda's fine.  You should call 
               her.

                           MARGE
               Geez.  Well - geez.  That's a suprise.

     MARGE'S CAR

     Marge drives, gazing out at the road.

     MARGE AT A DRIVE-THROUGH

     She leans out of her open window and yells at the order panel:

                           MARGE
               Hello?

     MARGE AT THE GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

     She sits in the lot, eating a breakfast sandwich.

     JERRY LUNDEGAARD'S OFFICE

     Jerry is at his desk using a blunt pencil to enter numbers 
     onto a form.  Beneath the form is a piece of carbon paper 
     and beneath that another form copy, which Jerry periodically 
     checks.  The carbon-copy form shows thick smudgy, illegible 
     entries.

     Jerry hums nervously.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 81


     Glass rattles as someone taps at his door.

     Jerry looks up and freezes, mouth hanging open, brow knit 
     with worry.

     Marge sticks her head in the door.

                           MARGE
               Mr. Lundegaard?  Sorry to bother you 
               again.  Can I come in?

     She starts to enter.

                           JERRY
               Yah, no, I'm kinda - I'm kinda busy -

                           MARGE
               I unnerstand.  I'll keep it real 
               short, then.  I'm on my way out of 
               town, but I was just -  Do you mind 
               if I sit down?  I'm carrying a bit 
               of a load here.

                           JERRY
               No, I -

     But she is already sitting into the chair opposite with a 
     sigh of relieved weight.

                           MARGE
               Yah, it's this vehicle I asked you 
               about yesterday.  I was just wondering -

                           JERRY
               Yah, like I told ya, we haven't had 
               any vehicles go missing.

                           MARGE
               Okay, are you sure, cause, I mean, 
               how do you know?  Because, see, the 
               crime I'm investigating, the 
               perpetrators were driving a car with 
               dealer plates.  And they called 
               someone who works here, so it'd be 
               quite a coincidence if they weren't, 
               ya know, connected.

                           JERRY
               Yah, I see.

                           MARGE
               So how do you - have you done any 
               kind of inventory recently?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 82


                           JERRY
               The car's not from our lot, ma'am.

                           MARGE
               but do you know that for sure without -

                           JERRY
               Well, I would know.  I'm the Executive 
               Sales Manager.

                           MARGE
               Yah, but -

                           JERRY
               We run a pretty tight ship here.

                           MARGE
               I know, but - well, how do you 
               establish that, sir?  Are the cars, 
               uh, counted daily or what kind of -

                           JERRY
               Ma'am, I answered your question.

     There is a silent beat.

                           MARGE
               ...  I'm sorry, sir?

                           JERRY
               Ma'am, I answered your question.  I 
               answered the darn -  I'm cooperating 
               here, and I...

                           MARGE
               Sir, you have no call to get snippy 
               with me.  I'm just doin' my job here.

                           JERRY
               I'm not, uh, I'm not arguin' here.  
               I'm cooperating...  There's no, uh - 
               we're doin' all we can...

     He trails off into silence.

                           MARGE
               Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?

     Jerry stares at her.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Mr. Lundegaard?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 83


     JERRY EXPLODES:

                           JERRY
               Well, heck, if you wanna, if you 
               wanna play games here!  I'm workin' 
               with ya on this thing, but I...

     He is getting angrily off his feet.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               Okay, I'll do a damned lot count!

                           MARGE
               Sir?  Right now?

                           JERRY
               Sure right now!  You're darned 
               tootin'!

     He is yanking his parka from a hook behind the opened door 
     and grabbing a pair of galoshes.

                           JERRY (CONT'D)
               ...  If it's so damned imporant to 
               ya!

                           MARGE
               I'm sorry, sir, I -

     Jerry has the parka slung over one arm and the galoshes 
     pinched in his hand.

                           JERRY
               Aw, what the Christ!

     He stamps out the door.

     Marge stares.

     After a long moment her stare breaks.  She glances idly around 
     the office.

     There is a framed picture facing away from her on the desktop.  
     She turns it to face her.  It is Scotty, holding an accordion.  
     There is another picture of Jean.

     Marge looks at it, looks around, for some reason, at the 
     ceiling.

     She looks at a trophy shelf on the wall behind her.

     She fiddles idly with a pencil.  She pulls a clipboard toward 
     her.  It holds a form from the General Motors Finance 
     Corporation.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 84


     She looks idly around.  Her look abruptly locks.

                           MARGE
               ...  Oh, for Pete's sake.

     Jerry is easing his car around the near corner of the 
     building.

     Marge's voice is flat with dismay:

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Oh, for Pete's sake...

     She grabs the phone and punches in a number.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  For Pete's s- he's fleein' the 
               interview.  He's fleein' the 
               interview...

     Jerry makes a left turn into traffic.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Detective Sibert, please...

     POLICE OFFICER

     We are looking across a steam table at a man in blue.  He 
     moves slowly to the right, pushing his tray along a cafeteria 
     line.  Behind him, in the depth of the room, is an eating 
     area of long Formica tables at which sit a mix of uniformed 
     and civilian-clothed police and staff.

     We are listening to an offscreen woman's voice.

                           WOMAN
               Well, so far we're just saying he's 
               wanted for questioning in connection 
               with a triple homicide.  Nobody at 
               the dealship there's been much help 
               guessing where he might go...

     The woman is entering frame sliding a tray.  Marge enters 
     behind her, sliding her own.  We move laterally with them as 
     they slowly make their way along the line.

                           MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                           WOMAN
               We called his house; his little boy 
               said he hadn't been there.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 85


                           MARGE
               And his wife?

                           WOMAN
               She's visiting relatives in Florida.  
               Now his boss, this guy Gustafson, 
               he's also disappeared.  Nobody at 
               his office knows where he is.

                           MARGE
               Geez.  Looks like this thing goes 
               higher than we thought.  You call 
               his home?

                           WOMAN
               His wife's in the hospital, has been 
               for a couple months.  The big C.

                           MARGE
               Oh, my.

                           WOMAN
               And this Shep Proudfoot character, 
               he's a little darling.  He's now 
               wanted for assault and parole 
               violation.  He clobbered a neighbor 
               of his last night and another person 
               who could be one of your perps, and 
               he's at large.

                           MARGE
               Boy, this thing is really ... geez.

                           WOMAN
               Well, they're all out on the wire.  
               Well, you know...

                           MARGE
               Yah.  Well, I just can't thank you 
               enough, Detective Sibert, this 
               cooperation has been outstanding.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Ah, well, we haven't had to run around 
               like you.  When're you due?

                           MARGE
               End a April.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Any others?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 86


                           MARGE
               This'll be our first.  We've been 
               waiting a long time.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               That's wonderful.  Mm-mm.  It'll 
               change your life, a course.

                           MARGE
               Oh, yah, I know that!

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               They can really take over, that's 
               for sure.

                           MARGE
               You have children?

     Detective Sibert pulls an accordion of plastic picture sleeves 
     from her purse to show Marge.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               I thought you'd never ask.  The older 
               one is Janet, she's nine, and the 
               younger one is Morgan.

                           MARGE
               Oh, now he's adorable.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               He's three now.  Course, not in that 
               picture.

                           MARGE
               Oh, he's adorable.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Yah, he -

                           MARGE
               Where'd you get him that parka?

     They have reached the end of the cafeteria line.  With a nod 
     to the cashier, Detective Sibert indicates hers and Marge's 
     trays.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Both of these.

                           MARGE
               Oh, no, I can't let you do that.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Oh, don't be silly.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 87


                           MARGE
               Well, okay - thank you, Detective.

                           DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Oh, don't be silly.

     GAEAR GRIMSRUD

     He sits eating a Swanson's TV dinner from a TV tray he has 
     set up in front of an easy chair.

     He watches the old black-and-white TV set whose image - it 
     might be a game show - is still heavily ghosting and diffused 
     by snow.  The audio crackles with interference.

     Despite the impenetrability of its image, it holds Grimsrud's 
     complete attention.

     At the sound of the front door opening, Grimsrud looks up.

     Carl enters, his face suppurating and raw.

     He reacts to Grimsrud's wordless look with a grotesque laugh.

                           CARL
               You should she zhe uzher guy!

     He glances around.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  The fuck happen a her?

     Jean sits slumped in a straight-backed chair facing the wall.  
     Her hooded head, resting on her chin, is motionless.

     There is blood on the facing wall.

                           GRIMSRUD
               She started shrieking, you know.

                           CARL
               Jezhush.

     He shakes his head.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Well, I gotta muddy.

     He is plunking down eight bank-wrapped bundles on the table.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  All of it.  All eighty gran.  
               Forty for you...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 88


     He makes one pile, pockets the rest.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Forty for me.  Sho thishuzh it.  
               Adiosh.

     He slaps keys down on the table.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  You c'n'ave my truck.  I'm takin' 
               a Shiera.

                           GRIMSRUD
               We split that.

     Carl looks at him.

                           CARL
               HOW THE FUCK DO WE SHPLITTA FUCKIN' 
               CAR?  Ya dummy!  Widda fuckin' 
               chainshaw?

     Grimsrud looks sourly up.  There is a beat.  Finally:

                           GRIMSRUD
               One of us pays the other for half.

                           CARL
               HOLD ON!  NO FUCKIN' WAY!  YOU FUCKIN' 
               NOTISH ISH?  I GOT FUCKIN' SHOT INNA 
               FAISH!  I WENT'N GOTTA FUCKIN' MONEY!  
               I GET SHOT FUCKIN' PICKIN' IT UP!  I 
               BEEN UP FOR THIRTY-SHIKSH FUCKIN' 
               HOURZH!  I'M TAKIN' THAT FUCKIN' 
               CAR!  THAT FUCKERZH MINE!

     Carl waits for an argument, but only gets the steady sour 
     look.

     Carl pulls out a gun.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  YOU FUCKIN' ASH-HOLE!  I LISHEN 
               A YOUR BULLSHIT FOR A WHOLE FUCKIN' 
               WEEK!

     A beat.  Carl returns Grimsrud's stare.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Are we shquare?

     Grimsrud says nothing.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 89


                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  ARE WE SHQUARE?

     A beat.

     Disgusted, Carl pockets the gun and heads for the door.

                           CARL (CONT'D)
               ...  Fuckin' ash-hole.  And if you 
               shee your friend Shep Proudpfut, 
               tell him I'm gonna NAIL hizh fuckin' 
               ash.

     OUTSIDE

     We are pulling Carl as he walks toward the car.  Behind him 
     we see the cabin door opening.  Carl turns, reacting to the 
     sound.

     Grimsrud is bounding out wearing mittens and a red hunter's 
     cap, but no overcoat.  He is holding an ax.

     Carl fumbles in his pocket for his gun.

     Grimsrud swings overhand, burying the ax in Carl's neck.

     MARGE

     In her cruiser, on her two-way.  Through it we hear Lou's 
     voice, heavily filtered:

                           VOICE
               His wife.  This guy says she was 
               kidnapped last Wednesday.

                           MARGE
               The day of our homicides.

                           VOICE
               Yah.

     Marge is peering to one side as she drives, looking through 
     the bare trees that border the road on a declivity that runs 
     down to a large frozen lake.

                           MARGE
               And this guy is...

                           VOICE
               Lundegaard's father-in-law's 
               accountant.

                           MARGE
               Gustafson's accountant.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 90


                           VOICE
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               But we still haven't found Gustafson.

                           VOICE
                    (crackle)
               -  looking.

                           MARGE
               Sorry - didn't copy.

                           VOICE
               Still missing.  We're looking.

                           MARGE
               Copy.  And Lundegaard too.

                           VOICE
               Yah.  Where are ya, Margie?

     We hear, distant but growing louder, harsh engine noise, as 
     of a chainsaw or lawnmower.

                           MARGE
               Oh, I'm almost back - I'm driving 
               around Moose Lake.

                           VOICE
               Oh.  Gary's loudmouth.

                           MARGE
               Yah, the loudmouth.  So the whole 
               state has it, Lundegaard and 
               Gustafson?

                           VOICE
               Yah, it's over the wire, it's 
               everywhere, they'll find 'em.

                           MARGE
               Copy.

                           VOICE
               We've got a -

                           MARGE
               There's the car!  There's the car!

     We are slowing as we approach a short driveway leading down 
     to a cabin.  Parked in front is the brown Cutlass Ciera.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 91


                           VOICE
               Whose car?

                           MARGE
               My car!  My car!  Tan Ciera!

                           VOICE
               Don't go in!  Wait for back-up!

     Marge is straining to look.  The power-tool noise is louder 
     here but still muffled, its source not yet visible.

                           VOICE (CONT'D)
               ...  Chief Gunderson?

                           MARGE
               Copy.  Yah, send me back-up!

                           VOICE
               Yes, ma'am.  Are we the closest PD?

                           MARGE
               Yah, Menominie only has Chief Perpich 
               and he takes February off to go to 
               Boundary Waters.

     ROAD EXTERIOR

     Marge pulls her prowler over some distance past the cabin.

     She gets out, zips up her khaki parka and pulls up its fur-
     lined hood.

     For a moment, she stands listening to the muffled roar of 
     the power tool.  Then, with one curved arm half pressing 
     against, half supporting her belly, she takes slow, gingerly 
     steps down the slope, through the deep snow, through the 
     trees angling toward the cabin and the source of the grinding 
     noise.

     She slogs from tree to tree, letting each one support her 
     downhill-leaning weight for a moment before slogging to the 
     next.

     The roar grows louder.  Marge stands panting by one tree, 
     her breath vaporizing out of her snorkel hood.  She squints 
     down toward the cabin's back lot.

     A tall man with his back to us, wearing a red plaid quilted 
     jacket and a hunting cap with earflaps, is laboring over a 
     large power tool which his body blocks from view.

     Marge advances.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 92


     The man is forcing downward something which engages the 
     roaring power tool and makes harsh spluttering noises.

     The man is Grimsrud, his nose red and eyes watering from the 
     cold, hatflaps pulled down over his ears.  His breath steams 
     as he sourly goes about his work, both hands pressing down a 
     shod foot, as it if were the shaft of a butter churn.

     The roar is very loud.

     Marge slogs down to the next tree, panting, looking.

     Grimsrud forces more of the leg into the machine, which we 
     can now see sprays small wet chunks out the bottom.

     Marge's eyes shift.

     A large dark form lies in the snow next to Grimsrud.

     Grimsrud works on, eyes watering.  With a grunt he bends 
     down out of frame and then re-enters holding a thick log.

     He uses it to force the leg deeper into the machine.

     Marge is advancing.  She holds a gun extended toward Grimsrud, 
     who is still turned away.

     Grimsrud rubs his nose with the back of his hand.

     Marge closes in, grimacing.

     Grimsrud's back strains as he puts his weight into the log 
     that pushes down into the machine.

     The dark shape in the snow next to his side is the rest of 
     Carl Showalter's body.

     Marge has drawn to within twenty yards.  When she bellows it 
     sounds hollow and distant, her voice all but eaten up by the 
     roar of the power tool.

                           MARGE
               Stop!  Police!  Turn around and hands 
               up!

     Startled, Grimsrud scowls.  He turns to face her.

     He stares.

     MARGE BELLOWS AGAIN:

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Hands up!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 93


     Conscious of the noise, she shows with a twist of her shoulder 
     the armpatch insignia.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Police!

     Grimsrud stares.

     With a quick twist, he reaches back for the log, hurls it at 
     Marge and then starts running away.

     Marge twists her body sideways, shielding herself.

     No need - the heavy log travels perhaps ten yards and lands 
     in the snow several feet short of her.

     Grimsrud pants up the hill - slow going through the deep 
     snow.

     BEHIND HIM:

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Halt!

     She fires in the air.

     She lowers the gun and carefully sights.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Halt!

     She fires.

     Grimsrud still slogs up the hill - a miss.

     Marge sights again.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Halt!

     She fires again.

     Grimsrud pitches forward.  He mutters in Swedish as he reaches 
     down to clutch at his wounded leg.

     Marge walks toward him, gun trained on him as her other hand 
     reaches under her parka and gropes around her waist.

     It comes out with a pair of handcuffs, which she opens with 
     a snap of the wrist.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  All right, buddy.  On your belly 
               and your hands clasped behind you.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 94


     THE CRUISER

     Marge drives.  Grimsrud sits in the back seat, hands cuffed 
     behind him.

     For a long moment there, he is quiet - only engine hum and 
     the periodic clomp of wheels on pavement seams - as Marge 
     grimly shakes her head.

                           MARGE
               ...  So that was Mrs. Lundegaard in 
               there?

     She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

     Grimsrud, cheeks sunk, eyes hollow, looks sourly out at the 
     road.

     Marge shakes her head.

     AT LENGTH:

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  I guess that was your accomplice 
               in the wood chipper.

     Grimsrud's head bobs with bumps on the road; otherwise he is 
     motionless, reactionless, scowling and gazing out.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  And those three people in 
               Brainerd.

     No response.

     Marge, gazing forward, seems to be talking to herself.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  And for what?  For a little bit 
               of money.

     We hear distant sirens.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  There's more to life than money, 
               you know.

     She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Don't you know that?...  And 
               here ya are, and it's a beautiful 
               day...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 95


     Grimsrud's hollow eyes stare out.

     The sirens are getting louder.  Marge pulls over.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  Well...

     She leans forward to the dash to give two short signalling 
     WHOOPS on her siren.

     She turns on her flashers.

     She leans back with a creak and jangle of utilities.

     She stares forward, shakes her head.  We hear the dull click 
     of her flashers.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  I just don't unnerstand it.

     Outside it is snowing.  The sky, the earth, the road - all 
     white.

     A squad car, gumballs spinning, punches through the white.

     It approaches in slow motion.

     An ambulance punches through after it.

     Another squad car.

                                                        FADE OUT:

     FADE IN:

     HIGH AND WIDE ON A SHABBY MOTEL

     It stands next to a highway on a snowy, windslept plain.

     One or two cars dot the parking lot along with an idling 
     police cruiser.

     MOTEL ROOM DOORWAY

     We are looking over the shoulders of two uniformed policemen 
     who stand on either side of the door, their hands resting 
     lightly on their holstered sidearms.  One of them raps at 
     the door.

                           COP ONE
               Mr. Anderson...

     A title fades in:  OUTSIDE OF BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA After a 
     pause, muffled through the door:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 96


                           VOICE
               ...  Who?...

                           COP ONE
               Mr. Anderson, is this your burgundy 
               88 out here?

                           VOICE
               ...  Just a sec.

                           COP ONE
               Could you open the door, please?

                           VOICE
               ...  Yah.  Yah, just a sec.

     We hear a clatter from inside.

                           VOICE (CONT'D)
               ...  Just a sec...

     One of the policemen unholsters his gun and nods to someone 
     whose back enters - a superintendent holding a ring of keys.

     This man turns a key in the door and then stands away.

     The two policemen, guns at the ready, bang into the motel 
     room.

     The rough hand-held camera rushes in behind them as the two 
     men give the room a two-handed sweep with their guns.

     The room is empty.

     Cop one indicates the open bathroom door.

                           COP ONE
               Dale!

     The two men charge the bathroom, belts jingling, guns at the 
     ready, jittery camera behind them rushing to keep pace.

     A man in boxer shorts is halfway out the bathroom window.

     The policemen holster their guns and charge the window, and 
     drag Jerry Lundegaard back into the room.

     His flesh quivers as he thrashes and keens in short, piercing 
     screams.

     The cops wrestle him to the floor but his palsied thrashing 
     continues.  The policemen struggle to restrain him.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 97


                           COP ONE (CONT'D)
               Call an ambulance!

                           COP TWO
               You got him okay?

     Cop One pinions Jerry's arms to the floor and Jerry bursts 
     into uncontrolled sobbing.

                           COP ONE
               Yah, yah, call an ambulance.

     Jerry sobs and screams.

     A BEDROOM

     We are square on Norm, who sits in bed watching television.

     After a long beat, Marge enters frame in a nightie and climbs 
     into bed, with some effort.

                           MARGE
               Oooph!

     Norm reaches for her hand as both watch the television.

     At length Norm speaks, but keeps his eyes on the TV.

                           NORM
               They announced it.

     Marge looks at him.

                           MARGE
               They announced it?

                           NORM
               Yah.

     Marge looks at him, waiting for more, but Norm's eyes stay 
     fixed on the television.

                           MARGE
               ...  So?

                           NORM
               Three-cent stamp.

                           MARGE
               Your mallard?

                           NORM
               Yah.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 98


                           MARGE
               Norm, that's terrific!

     Norm tries to suppress a smile of pleasure.

                           NORM
               It's just the three cent.

                           MARGE
               It's terrific!

                           NORM
               Hautman's blue-winged teal got the 
               twenty-nine cent.  People don't much 
               use the three-cent.

                           MARGE
               Oh, for Pete's - a course they do!  
               Every time they raise the darned 
               postage, people need the little 
               stamps!

                           NORM
               Yah.

                           MARGE
               When they're stuck with a bunch a 
               the old ones!

                           NORM
               Yah, I guess.

                           MARGE
               That's terrific.

     Her eyes go back to the TV.

                           MARGE (CONT'D)
               ...  I'm so proud a you, Norm.

     NORM MURMURS:

                           NORM
               I love you, Margie.

                           MARGE
               I love you, Norm.

     Both of them are watching the TV as Norm reaches out to rest 
     a hand on top of her stomach.

                           NORM
               ...  Two more months.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 99


     Marge absently rests her own hand on top of his.

                           MARGE
               Two more months.

     Hold; fade out.

                               THE END