Disclaimers up front…
This is a work-in-progress, not the final script, or even the final version of the scene. When all’s said and done, there’s a good chance this scene might not even make the final draft, left alone the first cut. Consider it more of a sketch than anything else: an impression of what I’m going for in HIT SOMEBODY.
This sequence takes place after the opening scene of the film, currently page 3 of the script.
The RICKMAN listed as a character slug is intended to be Alan Rickman. The film is meant to play like a novel, and Alan is our omniscient narrator. But rather than simply slug him in the script as NARRATOR, calling the Narrator RICKMAN gives me something to shoot for, as well as provides a familiar voice in my head while I’m writing the narrative.
Full disclosure: I haven’t had a chance to discuss HIT SOMEBODY with Alan yet, so if you see him, please let him know that he has the most dialogue of anybody in the film (though he’ll only be on screen briefly in his cameo as Lord Stanley during a Cup history lesson flashback).
I’ve written the role of Buddy’s Father, WALTER McCRACKEN, for Stephen Root. (He knows).
I’ve written the role of Buddy’s Mother, PHYLLIS McCRACKEN, for Melissa Leo. (She knows).
EXT BIG BEAVER TOWN SQUARE – DAY
We get a good look at what little there is of the “town” of Big Beaver: two or three farming-related stores, a griddle joint, maybe a church. But the obvious jewel in their crown? The town rink – where the game continues. We burn in BIG BEAVER, SASKATCHEWAN 1954. Penalties In Minutes: 0.
In January of 1953, the Canadian government approved the use
of Fluoride in its drinking water.
INT McCRACKEN PICKUP TRUCK – SAME
Reveal some really bad looking, non-fluoridated teeth: close on WALTER McCRACKEN, who lets his false upper plate drop, playing with it against his lips and tongue, the way a hockey player will absently teethe their mouth-guard.
It was a development from which the boy’s Father, Walter McCracken,
would never personally benefit.
EXT EUROPEAN WOODS BATTLEFIELD – NIGHT FLASHBACK
Same size on a YOUNG WALTER in a fox hole. He’s returning fire at Nazi combatants, who rush his fox hole.
Canada declared war on Germany September 10, 1939, after
Nazi U-boats sunk the unarmed ocean liner SS Athenia with two
Canadian women aboard.
Out of ammo, the rushing Nazi releases a war cry, leaping into the foxhole with his empty rifle. The wide-eyed Walter screams as well.
Of the 1.1 million Canadians who fought in World War II 45,000
gave their lives for their country.
The German soldier smashes his rifle butt into Walter’s mouth, destroying Walter’s fronts.
Walter McCracken gave his teeth.
Walter spits his teeth into his hand, then offers a ferocious glare up at the suddenly scared Nazi.
But as a third line right winger in the Moose Jaw Mighty Lads
League, Walter learned early on: if you long for respect on the ice…
Walter slowly rises, as the Nazi offers a hands-up apology, chattering away in German as Walter tosses his empty rifle slightly into the air, catching it in a suddenly hockey-familiar grasp, his eyes full of hockey-hate.
(grins with quiet menace)
You and me are gonna go for a little canoe ride, Fritz…
Walter cross-checks the Ratzi in his mouth. Teeth explode.
A cross-check to the mouth will go a long way.
Walter throws off his helmet, grabs the stunned soldier by his uniform jacket, pulls it up over the German’s head, and upper-cuts the shit out of him – as if they were on the ice.
Hockey permeates the Canadian soul.
From another foxhole, two other Canadian soldiers see…
Walter and his opponent, head and shoulders seemingly jutting out of a large hole in the ground. Walter swings the Nazi into the side of the foxhole and continues to pound.
While baseball features prominently in the design of
the American Quilt…
The two Canadian soldiers watch what’s, in essence, a hockey fight against their mortal enemy. They immediately leap out of their fox holes, gun fire echoing around them.
…hockey is woven directly into the fabric of
the Canadian Toque.
Landing in the foxhole beside Walter, the other two Canadian soldiers – like any good teammates would – join in the beating against the boards, Hanson Brothers-style.
Pull back slow on all three Canadian soldiers, suddenly singing an impromptu, punch-punctuated version of Oh, Canada as they beat a Nazi.
By the end of D-Day, Canadian soldiers had penetrated deeper
into France from their landing site at Juno Beach than either the
British or American troops. But amongst themselves, the always-
modest Canadian soldiers would refer to the Battle of Normandy
as merely “…a strong second period.”
Walter stops long enough to pop a smoke in his mouth as his fellow soldiers continue singing and beating. We burn in CANADA VS RATZIS, 1-0, WWII PENALTIES IN MINUTES: 83,432.
Light this for me, willya buddy?
INT McCRACKEN PICKUP TRUCK – DUSK
Back in the 50’s, Buddy uses matches to light a cigarette planted firmly in his own mouth. Once it’s burning, he hands it to Walter, who drives. Walter pulls his upper plate out of his mouth and hangs it out the window, airing his teeth while he smokes. He nudges his young son, winking.
With all the time you save me lighting my cigarettes,
I’m gonna live forever.
You know I don’t like it when you let him do that.
Phyllis reveals her cigarette, drawing deeply.
He’s too young to play with matches. Just like he’s too
young to watch the hockey.
There’s our three-shot: Phyllis and Walter McCracken, on either side of l’il Buddy, smoking like chimneys, back when you could smoke in front of a kid. The kid coughs away.
So you was watching the hockey, was ya, Cap’n?
Buddy nods enthusiastically. Walter musses his son’s hair.
It’s aboot time then, isn’t it? I was starting to think you
were like your Uncle Marty.
A confirmed bachelor. And just ‘cause Marty doesn’t
like the hockey, that doesn’t mean he’s… a confirmed bachelor.
“Confirmed bachelor”? Jesus…
Jesus is your Lord’s name, Mister.
(making fun of her)
Aw, what the Christ with the “Jesus,” eh? You make me go to
church every Sunday, but I can’t say Jesus unless it’s “Jesus,
I’m so sorry for my sins,” or “Jesus, don’t kill me and my family
in the night…”? Fine! Jesus saves! Ya’ happy, Phyllis? Jesus saves!
(to Buddy, cackling)
Then he coughs it up to Gordie Howe in the slot and Gordie puts it
up his Almighty ass!
Phyllis slaps Walter upside his head.
Fine, ya’ nag! His Almighty-bum!
Walter uses his uppers in a kind of low-rent Senor Wences hand puppet affair, “talking” to Buddy.
Don’t encourage him, Walter. One minute he’s there, the next,
he’s across the goddamn road, hanging on the boards like a monkey,
watching those boys get bloody! It’s backwards and unhealthy!
Buddy coughs, clearly due to his parents’ smoking.
Roll up the window, Walter. The boy’s catching his death.
EXT McCRACKEN FARM – DUSK
The pickup pulls off the rural road, onto a long dirty driveway, leading to a small house with a barn & horse pen, adjacent to winter-dead fields.
So you wanna watch the hockey, do ya? Well, you sure
picked the right night!
CUT TO OPENING LOGO OF HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, CIRCA 1954
- Copyright Kevin Smith