>>/ Amelia

/ Amelia ( 2)

: / Amelia.

/ Amelia

59.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) I'd read that part in George's reception room that first day. Bless him for keeping me waiting. The FUEL GAUGE reads EMPTY. She switches on the RESERVE TANK. And as she DROPS back down into opaque clouds... ...she feels something. Her fingertips go to her left shoulder, and come away... Wet. Slick.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) The cockpit gauge was defective. There was a steady trickle of fuel down my neck. She looks around helplessly for a way to stem the dripping.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) Toss-up whether the bigger danger was running out of gas or going up in a fireball. I had my answer in less than an hour, when...

DISSOLVE TO... LATER. Amelia beyond exhaustion. Staring fixedly at some- thing we can't see. Until we PAN through the wind screen to the leak in the manifold weld. The BLUE FLAME is startlingly LARGER, now LICKING its way along the surface of the fuselage...

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) The manifold weld began to separate. I gauged the likelihood of explosion at somewhere between probable and inevitable.

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INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE - DAY

6 56 Arms folded, George stares out his window. He hasn't slept or eaten. PAN to his desk. The phone is OFF the hook. The door opens softly...

SECRETARY (O.S.) Mr. Putnam? Line three. He turns and looks at her. The girl's eyes go down and he BOLTS to the phone, SNATCHES the receiver, SLAMS the button... GEORGE (into phone) Putnam.

60.

A full beat.

VOICE (O.S.) Sir, this is Douglas McGuire of the Press Association. I'm sorry to tell you that Miss Earhart's plane has crashed in a field, short of Le Bourget airport.

SMASH CUT TO...

EXT. SKY - DAY

57 57 A plane swooping downward through cloud and fog. The SOUND of George's call CONTINUES...

GEORGE (O.S.) Is she all right?

MCGUIRE (O.S.) If the crash is as reported, sir, I'm afraid not. There were terrible flames. LOWER, it's dropping fast, maybe too fast, WOBBLES in a crosswind, here comes the GROUND, and...

GEORGE (O.S.) Are they completely sure it's her plane?

MCGUIRE (O.S.) Yes sir, absolutely. ...the Vega RIGHTS itself and GLIDES in for as fine a landing as a bumpy meadow could allow. COWS look up as she rolls past, toward... ...one lone astonished FARM WORKER. She cuts her engines, leans from the hatch...

AMELIA Excuse me, sir. Where am I? A blink. The truth...

MAN In Gallagher's pasture.

O ne more beat.

MAN (CONT'D) Where are ya supposed to be?

61.

AMELIA When I left, I was aiming for Paris. Oh. MAN (very sad) Ya missed, y'know.

(POINTS) It's over there.

EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR- DAY

58 58 MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE of Amelia arriving at New York Harbor to an overwhelming reception.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) Amelia Earhart arrives to a tumul- tuous New York reception after her whirlwind tour of Europe, in which our Queen of the Skies danced with her royal counterpart the Prince of Wales, before meeting both Benito Mussolini and the Pope. The MAYOR, the GOVERNOR, every dignitary that could get an invitation is there to greet her.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) The second human to fly the Atlantic solo, she is the only one ever to fly it twice. And she set the record, man or woman, for the fastest crossing. Fourteen hours 54 minutes. As she waves to the crowd...

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) Now it's America's turn to show our girl what we think of her!

DISSOLVE TO...

INT. BACKSTAGE, CONSTITUTIONAL HALL, WASHINGTON, D.C. - NIGHT

59 59 We are standing in the wings. Through the curtains, we GLIMPSE the eager, packed house in an auditorium. From the stage, a speaker DRONES, but backstage... ...George peeks out at the throng. When he looks back, we see Amelia, her troubled face. The folded newspaper in her hand.

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AMELIA (reads) `Only an average flyer, she has pushed herself to the front by following the tactics of the feminists... She looks up to him.

GEORGE ell, I'm glad someone besides me finally noticed. His smile is light. Her eyes watching him. Then... AMELIA (reads) `Using a man-made perfect machine, tuned by men mechanics, trained by men flyers, on a course laid out by a man. By a lucky break she just managed to make the hop.' She stares at the paper. His voice comes gently...

GEORGE hy would you even read that garbage?

AMELIA Well, it reminds me how much I owe to the men of this world. Keeps me humble.

GEORGE ood. And remembering how little you owe me keeps me humble. And softly...

GEORGE (CONT'D) He's a crackpot. Let it go. He points to the packed hall...

GEORGE (CONT'D) Cheer up. They're crazy about you. AMELIA (quiet) Well, they're crazy about something. She looks down. Self-doubt flickers.

AMELIA (CONT'D) What have we really done?

63.

GEORGE You've made them feel like this.

AMELIA That's not enough.

GEORGE Most of them are women. And for them, it's very much enough. She shakes her head.

AMELIA The World Telegram said, `a magnificent display of useless courage.'

GEORGE The question is. Can any magnif- icent display of courage be use- less? A

MELIA The point is. Men do it every day. And no one throws a parade. Ah. Well...

GEORGE One day closer, then. To the day when they won't think to throw one for you. She doesn't turn. She doesn't smile.

AMELIA Reasoning with me. A magnificent display of useless courage. He nods to himself.

GEORGE And. It's fun. From the stage...

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. HAIL TO THE CHIEF strikes up. We hear the deep applause. George begins to straighten Amelia's outfit, touching her hair, as he did long ago on the Copley Hotel roof.

64.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

THE GOLD MEDAL OF THE NATIONAL GEO-

GRAPHIC SOCIETY WAS LAST AWARDED

FIVE YEARS AGO TO COL. CHARLES

LINDBERGH. George murmurs close to her ear...

GEORGE If a bomb goes off tonight, the whole government of the United States is out there...

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

IT HAS NEVER BEEN AWARDED TO A

WOMAN...

GEORGE Some dog catcher will have to become President. She smiles. Just for him.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

UNTIL TONIGHT. GEORGE (a whisper) Boy. Imagine if you'd actually done something. AMELIA (a whisper) Imagine.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

IT IS MY HONOR TO WELCOME TO CONSTI-

TUTION HALL, A ROLE MODEL FOR

LADIES EVERYWHERE...

AMELIA Ladies.

PRESIDENT HOOVER (O.S.)

MISS AMELIA EARHART.

M GEORGE iss. She's through the curtain, and the crowd CRACKLES with APPLAUSE as... ...George stands in the wings. Proud. And concerned.

65.

60 60

INT. TRAIN - DAY

A train rumbles through countryside. A private compartment finds Amelia staring out the window. George studying her.

GEORGE (V.O.) The irony is, I'd finally put that wedding day letter out of my mind. Stopped watching every beautiful accomplished man who crossed her path. REVERSE ANGLE. Through the glass of our compartment door, a crowd stands jouncing against each other. Gazing at their Queen of the Skies.

GEORGE (CONT'D) I had a call from the Byrds. They've asked us to dinner Thursday.

AMELIA Thursday, I'll be in Boston. Meeting Gene Vidal and Paul Collins. Said lightly. Not even looking at him. While through the glass, it's become quite a tussle.

GEORGE Don't tell me Gene wants to resurrect Transcontinental?

AMELIA No, he's starting a shuttle service. Washington, New York, Boston... One woman goes flying from view, as a younger one gets her place.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Could be a money maker for us. Get me off the lecture grind. He stares in her eyes. Almost as if looking for something.

GEORGE Gene's a dashing guy. He could talk anyone into anything. Their look holds.

66.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

S ounds like a great idea.

DISSOLVE TO...

61 61

INT. RESTAURANT, BOSTON - NIGHT

PAN the dark, elegant restaurant. In a corner by the fire- place, Amelia and her dinner companions are being served lobsters. GENE VIDAL leans to Amelia as he speaks, and she hangs on every word.

GENE Transcontinental was too ambitious. Too many hops, too tough on the ladies. But the shuttle... A lean athlete's body, easy grace in every movement. Strikingly handsome features that convey not only intellect, but kindness and decency.

GENE (CONT'D) Washington, New York, Boston. I think it's the future. Will you go there with us? She's trying to crack her lobster, but can't take her eyes off her host.

AMELIA What on earth would you need me for? She's making a real mess of the lobster. Gene notices. PAUL COLLINS doesn't...

PAUL Hasn't George taught you anything? Lady Lindy, the queen of the air, the best known woman in the entire U.S. of A? Gene reaches over, as if it were his own plate, and begins cracking her lobster for her. She looks in his eyes and tries to concentrate.

PAUL (CONT'D) Gene on the poster with you. Legendary athlete at West Point, two events in the Olympics, a top pilot who should be running the skies for Roosevelt when he wins...

67.

Gene looks up at Paul, as if to say: Enough. Now he smiles at Amelia. She blinks, what? Don't you want your lobster?

G Oh. She starts eating... ENE (looking only at Amelia) Thanks, Paul. I think you've even talked me out of it.

DISSOLVE TO... LATER. Paul has gone. Gene and Amelia are at the bar, huddled over his beer and her Coke.

AMELIA (V.O.) Gene had a terrible marriage and was separated from his alcoholic adulterous wife. But he was too kind to humiliate her with a divorce... Gene drains the last of his beer.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) As a result, he was basically a single parent to their young son, Gore. He glances at his watch. Wow.

GENE I'm rattling on here, and you've got a morning train. But she's just staring in his eyes. This could be her last chance to ask...

AMELIA How's Nina doing?

GENE Oh, fine. Really? He smiles, gently.

GENE (CONT'D) Actually, she hasn't been feeling her best. She'll probably summer in Newport. So my kid's stuck with Dad again.

AMELIA If you two get bored, I could tag along sometimes.

68.

GENE You suggesting you're less boring than I am?

AMELIA Well, yeh. He smiles first. Hers is slower, but here it comes.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Any given meal, I can eat a lobster and have you boys in stitches. A full beat. He's deciding.

GENE Gore would love that. He has a little crush, I'm afraid.

AMELIA At seven?

GENE He's eight. Well, then. He breaks the look. Fishes out some cash for the bar tab. G

ENE (CONT'D) Listen, Paul and I would be thrilled to rope you into our shuttle.

AMELIA Are you kidding, it's a godsend. No matter how hard George and I work, how many lectures we cram in, there's never enough money for the next adventure. He looks at her. Lets the silence sit there. His eyes seem to convey a depth of understanding.

GENE The next adventure. What is it? She shrugs. No idea.

GENE (CONT'D) Because we're running out of oceans.

AMELIA Wish you'd do something about that.

69.

GENE I'm serious, Amelia. Her soft smile.

AMELIA I know. Always.

GENE The only way you can stay where you are. And be who you are... Serious indeed.

GENE (CONT'D) Is to keep feeding the beast. She can't smile anymore. Because this is the very fear she lives with.

GENE (CONT'D) And the beast always needs something larger, greater, more daring... AMELIA (quiet) He costs money, too.

GENE The price of fame, literally. Do you and George talk about this? Silence.

AMELIA We don't have to.

GENE With all respect. Yes, you do.

62 62

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - LATER

Walking together down the hallway of her hotel. No one speaks. Their thoughts are their own. She reaches her room, finds her key. Opens the door, and... ...turns to him. A brief, direct look. She reaches one hand gently behind his head. Leans up.

K isses his mouth. AMELIA (a whisper) Thank you. His eyes question.

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AMELIA For understanding. There is no smile. Without a word, she goes into her room. CLOSES the door behind her. e stands alone. Do I knock on that door? Then, smiles to himself, and simply... Walks away.

DISSOLVE TO...

INT. BANQUET HALL, WASHINGTON - NIGHT

63 63 Crowded hall, each table ringed by diners in formal dress. At a table of honor, George sits next to Elinor Smith, chatting comfortably. PAN to the head table...

GEORGE (V.O.) After Roosevelt won, his wife Eleanor brought the advancement of women to national attention with stunning success. CLOSE on ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, eating heartily, chatting, laughing with a companion we don't see until...

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) A gutsy gal who rode a bobsled in he Winter Olympics, spent hours each morning on horseback, and carried a pistol on car trips. She possessed boundless energy, a towering intellect... ...we reveal Amelia in a formal satin dress at her side, dishing with the First Lady like the closest of girlfriends.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) ...and was Amelia's idol. As it happened, she was obsessed with flying, making Amelia her absolute heroine. A

MELIA So he hasn't actually forbidden you.

ELEANOR Franklin doesn't forbid. He just feels it's a waste of my valuable ime to learn. Since I can't afford to buy a plane.

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They share a look of such mutual understanding, neither has to smile.

AMELIA The wrong Roosevelt got elected.

ELEANOR And it will take at least four years to correct the mistake. Keeps eating.

ELEANOR (CONT'D) I did ask about aviation, but he hasn't decided on the structure yet. It might be under the Bureau f Commerce.

AMELIA I think the structure may be less important than the man chosen to run it. Said casually, looking at her plate.

ELEANOR My hearing is failing. I missed the words `or woman,' which you undoubtedly added after, or per- haps before, the word `man.'

AMELIA his could be one of those rare instances. When the most accomplished candidate. Turns out to be male. Glances up for the reaction.

ELEANOR How exciting. I love finding the exception that proves the rule. Is t a name I know? Amelia's straight gaze. Her small smile.

AMELIA How do you feel about flying at night? Eleanor's eyes register the change of topic. Rolling with it...

ELEANOR I've never done it. Franklin finds t dangerous.

72.

AMELIA Outstanding.

64 64

INT. CONDOR AIRLINER - LATER

Raucous party in the small cabin, hosted by George and fueled

. by champagne. PAN slowly to... ..the cockpit. Amelia at the controls in her evening dress and formal gloves. Eleanor in the co-pilot's seat, awestruck by the brilliant starry night. Amelia glances over, moved by her friend's almost childlike wonder. AMELIA (softly) Put your hands on the wheel. Eleanor looks over. Are you serious?

AMELIA It's dual controls. No one will ever know. Hesitation.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Don't you trust me? And slowly, Eleanor's fingers close on her wheel. Amelia's hands come away from hers.

ELEANOR Dear God. The Condor purrs along through the night air. The moon bobs slightly off to one side. Eleanor's eyes are swimming with the thrill of this.

AMELIA I feel like a Coke. Can I get you something? And stands up. Only the trace of her smile as the pilot's eyes WIDEN in absolute shock.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Do try not to hit the ground.

DISSOLVE TO...

INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM - DAY

65 65 A sea of press, quiet, poised, attentive. REVERSE ANGLE to...

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73.

...CLOSE on a seated Roosevelt before a bank of microphones.

ROOSEVELT Today, we proudly announce an appointment critical to America's commerce, and to its role as technology's leader in the Twentieth Century. PAN to Gene at his side. Sober. Distinguished. Proud.

ROOSEVELT (O.S.) (CONT'D)

G ene Vidal is an obvious and perfect choice as our first Director of Commerce's Aeronautics Branch. His extraordinary credentials include...

DISSOLVE TO...

EXT. PUTNAM HOME, RYE - EVENING

66 66 A taxi slowly pulls up to the home we know. Warmly lit, music playing from within. Gene climbs from the cab, as yard lights go ON. As Gene starts up the path, the front door opens and Amelia BURSTS into the night, RUNNING to Gene, JUMPING INTO his arms, HUGGING him in her delight. We PULL BACK to... George watching it all from the doorway. His easy smile seems comfortably in place, as... ...Amelia walks Gene up the path, her arm around his waist, talking excitedly, flushed as a schoolgirl. As they reach the door... George is the picture of calm and dignity. He beams and CLASPS Gene's hand. Throws an arm around his shoulder as Amelia leads them inside. The door closes. We hear laughter.

EXT. GARDEN, RYE - DAY

67 67 Amelia on her knees, tending to her garden. She seems happy and filled with energy. George comes and kneels beside her. Starts weeding.

AMELIA Have I told you what a perfect job ou did on the peonies? They're miraculous.

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GEORGE (working) You have, actually. Twice.

AMELIA Sorry.

GEORGE It's all right. You've been distracted lately. No spin on that. If G anything, the tone is kind.

EORGE (CONT'D) Listen, I've put together a month n Europe. Close some foreign licensing deals, open new markets... She doesn't look up.

AMELIA When are you leaving?

GEORGE Thing is. I'd like you to come. She stiffens only slightly. Can he sense it?

AMELIA I don't really see how I can.

GEORGE I've talked to the promoters, they'll switch some lecture dates for us. Now he's looking at her profile. Saddened, if not surprised, by what he sees.

AMELIA Well, it's not just that. There's y work on the shuttle, we're at a critical stage, and...I've just started as Gene's consultant at the Aeronautics Branch... She knows he's watching. Shakes her head. Keeps on working.

GEORGE Normally, I'd be worried about leaving you here alone. But I suppose that won't be a problem, will it? She stops now. Looks up at him. If he wants a direct conversation, he can have it.

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75.

AMELIA What are you trying to say?

GEORGE I think I've just said it. A long held look. Neither backing away. Sadness on both sides. GEORGE (softly) Is there anything you want to say? She sighs. Her fingers reach out, rub his hand with affection.

AMELIA I can't think of anything helpful. He nods. Well, then. Rises slowly... Walks back toward the house, his garden tools forgotten. She stares after him.

H e disappears into the house. She's still staring.

DISSOLVE TO...

EXT. LOS ANGELES COLISEUM - DAY

68 68 MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE introduced by its theme. A stadium in brilliant sunlight, filled with more than 100,000 people.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) Los Angeles, California. The Tenth Olympics of the modern era kick off, as movie stars mingle with ordinary Joes. On the track, WOMEN RUN the 100 meter high hurdles as every throat CHEERS.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) Here's the gold medal run of the world's best woman athlete, abe Didrickson. Cheered on by the most celebrated woman of today... TIGHT INSERT of Amelia with Gene and 8-year-old GORE, all applauding excitedly.

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ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) ...that's right, Amelia Earhart. Hollywood glamor, American winners, and wait til our boys warm up for their action. The camera lingers as Amelia says something to Gore. They look like a family.

INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE, NEW YORK - DUSK

69 69 CLOSE on George alone in his office. He goes to the door, LOCKS it. His face is drawn, grim.

EORGE (V.O.) By this time, I had a side job as chairman of the editorial board of Paramount Pictures. So Amelia and I bought a little place in Los Angeles. He goes slowly back to his desk. On it, sits a large cardboard CARTON.

EORGE (V.O.) She was out there, preparing for a flight, when our home in Rye burned to the ground. We SEE that the contents of the box, papers, small objects, have been SINGED or CHARRED. He stares into it.

GEORGE (V.O.) We both cried when I called to tell her. She asked to come be with me. But I insisted she stay there, to keep on schedule for her flight. He reaches into the box...

GEORGE (V.O.) So many treasures lost. Letters and poems she'd written. I poured through the rubble...

INT. LOS ANGELES HOME - DAY

70 70 Amelia curled up on the sofa of a cozy, pleasant little home. The doors are open to the patio and yard. Winter is different here. Tropical flowers, fruit trees in bloom. The phone RINGS and she picks it up quickly, knowing it's George.

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AMELIA (softly) Hi.

(BEAT) Yeh. What's today been like? You still okay? INTERCUT George at his office. He's standing at the window, phone in one hand, single sheet of paper in the other. Like the other objects in the box, it is partially singed.

EORGE I found something you'd written. Draws a breath. Reads...

G EORGE (reading) `To touch your hand or see your face today is joy. Your casual presence in a room recalls the stars that watched us as we lay. BACK to Amelia. Tears fill her eyes. GEORGE (reading) I mark you in the moving crowd And see again those stars a warm night lent us long ago. We loved so then. We love so now. INTERCUT George. His eyes are dry.

GEORGE (CONT'D) Thank you for writing that. A beat. His voice still softer...

GEORGE (CONT'D) Even though I'd never seen it. HOLD on him. The pain of what that must mean. And...

BACK TO LOS ANGELES

71 71 Her lips are parted. She's searching for words.

AMELIA I suppose I thought. It was too revealing. WIDEN ANGLE. Gene enters the room with a drink in his hand and sits down next to her, concerned by her obvious distress. AMELIA (into the phone) I'm so glad you have it now.

(LISTENS)

(MORE)

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78. AMELIA(cont'd) Of course. Me, too. I'll call you later. She hangs up slowly. The tears begin to fall. She looks at Gene helplessly. Then stands without a word. Walks out into the yard.

DISSOLVE TO...

72 72

EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT - NEWSREEL FOOTAGE - NIGHT

Spectators at Newark Airport. A plane CIRCLES the field as FLOOD LIGHTS FLASH ON, and the crowd begins to CHEER. Arcing

A in now for a landing. Smooth trajectory.

NNOUNCER (O.S.) The odyssey began in Honolulu when he became the first person, man or woman, to fly solo over half the Pacific to California. Touching down, the cheering CROWD held back by police. As Amelia taxies to a stop, the crowd BREAKS THROUGH police lines and SURGES toward the plane.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) Then, the first human to solo from California to Mexico City. Followed by her daring solo across the Gulf. As she passed over Washington, D.C., she eclipsed the time of a certain previous flight, from 27 hours to 13 hours. Amelia hops down from the plane, grinning and waving. She is surrounded by adoring fans.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) The pilot of that previous flight? Some guy named Lindbergh. The JOSTLING of the crowd gets out of control, the police can't protect her as she is SWEPT ALONG by the mob, beaming, laughing, enjoying it all.

INT. MAYFLOWER HOTEL BAR, WASHINGTON, D.C. - NIGHT

73 73 Dark little piano bar. They sit in a quiet corner, com- fortable in silence. Gene with his martini, Amelia with her Coke. She's shelling peanuts from a bowl, popping some in her mouth, passing a few over to him.

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GENE If you don't drink, why do you come o bars?

AMELIA Must be the ambience. And the nuts.

GENE What worries me is, in some of these bars the nuts are the ambience. Specially when they make a pass at you.

S he chews, staring at him.

AMELIA Any guy would have to be nuts to do that. I'm considerable trouble, if you haven't noticed.

GENE You keep advertising that, but I'm still waiting to see it. She looks down at her fingers as they shell. Barely audible...

AMELIA You'll see it.

GENE Well, here's your chance. I'm taking Gore to the conference in Bermuda. He wants you to come.

AMELIA Gore, huh?

GENE Sure. I'm completely indifferent.

AMELIA I wish. Do you?

AMELIA (CONT'D) Would make life simpler. She throws a peanut which BOINKS off his face. He smiles a suddenly goofy, very non-elegant smile.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Actually, I'll be in Indiana. Edward Elliot of Purdue wants

(MORE)

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80. AMELIA(cont'd) me to build a women's careers department there. Really? He likes that.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'll be back and forth. When I'm there, I've asked to stay in the dorm with the girls.

GENE That's a wonderful idea. Especially now. Something in the way he said that.

AMELIA What's special about now?

GENE A good time for some positive press about you as a role model. Her eyes harden. Whatever do you mean?

GENE (CONT'D) You don't read the papers?

AMELIA Not unless someone makes me.

GENE Well, someone should. Because they're all saying you took recklessly dangerous solo flights for no earthly purpose except publicity. Meaning, money. Dead. Silence. G

ENE (CONT'D) They also harp on a growing list of products that you commercially endorse.

AMELIA How thoughtless of me to be doing ll this in a society where no one else is interested in making money. Present company included. He's not afraid of her.

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GENE Look, George had you taking money rom the sugar cartel for the Hawaii flight, the Mexican Government for theirs, he's selling commemorative stamps which you carried on the flights...

AMELIA If this is about George, just say o. Because we made those calls, nd we includes me.

GENE I'm sorry I said it that way. This s actually about you, because I'm picking a fight, apparently a useless one, for the benefit of someone I care about.

AMELIA And what's your point? Women are eld to some higher standard? Bankers and industrialists are ad- mired for succeeding, but women are just considered selfish and grasping? ENE (quietly) Of course they are.

AMELIA Well, let's change that, shall we? r would you just prefer to adopt t, since groveling would be easier. Staring at each other.

GENE If you want to make money, my guess s that people viewing you as Lady Lindy, America's Sweetheart of the Skies, the wife/mother/daughter they all wished they had. Would be helpful.

AMELIA Thanks for the tip.

GENE Thanks for not being defensive. Full beat.

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AMELIA Well, I'm an open-minded girl. And o prove it, I'm hereby resigning as your consultant at the S Aeronautics Branch. he throws some money on the table for the drinks.

AMELIA (CONT'D) The public linking of our names does more harm to that image of mine than everything else put together. She stands up.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Next time you read the papers. Try reading between the lines. Walks out. Gene makes no move to follow. He's said his piece.

DISSOLVE TO...

EXT. ROSE GARDEN, WHITE HOUSE - DAY

74 74 MOVIETONE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE introduced by its theme. Against a backdrop of flowerbeds, Amelia is flanked by four WOMEN with conservative hats and middle-aged gravitas. The photographers edge closer.

AMELIA I came to Washington today with the National Women's Party, to ask the President for his aid in passing the Lucretia Mott Amendment for equal rights. She waits for the press to quiet.

AMELIA (CONT'D) And that's because I haven't needed it. The winsome smile.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'm the lucky one. Our Department of Commerce shows no prejudice in issuing licenses to fly. A pilot is a pilot. And now it fades.

83.

AMELIA (CONT'D) How about giving the rest of our women. The ones who can be productive for their families and for our nation an equal break? She is not defiant. Gentle and strong.

AMELIA (CONT'D) They are your sisters and your daughters. They are your wives. And fellas... The smallest shake of her head.

AMELIA (CONT'D) You've no excuse. And you know it.

75 C 75

INT. WOMEN'S DORMITORY, PURDUE UNIVERSITY - NIGHT

o-Eds gathered in the common room in robes and nightgowns. They fill the old couches, the mismatched easy chairs, curl up in blankets on the floor. PAN TO... ...Amelia in flannel pajamas, sitting on the grand piano, pointing to the next question among the many raised hands.

CO-ED Okay, it's all well and good to tell us to study whatever we want, and work at whatever we want, and not give a darn about what the world of men think...

AMELIA ...including them wanting us to say darn instead of damn. Laughter. The girl flushes a little, her point is a crucial one...

CO-ED But what about those of us who are getting married when we graduate? What advice do you have for us?

AMELIA Don't. She meant that. And no one is laughing now.

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AMELIA (CONT'D) Build your career first. And, surprisingly, that's the best thing you can do for your eventual marriage. So many eager faces, so many disturbed ones.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Look. It starts with a strong sexual attraction, that the oman assumes must be love. Some heads are nodding. Some eyes suspicious.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Everything works until the first financial crisis jars the man's confidence and threatens the oman's security. Why...? She looks from one to the next.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Because she can't help. All she can be is dependent. Because that

I s what she's been trained to be. A phone RINGS. One of the girls snatches it up to cut off the interruption. CO-ED #2 (hushed) Common room. Oh. Sure. (hand over phone, to

AMELIA) He says he's the man in your life. Amelia hops off the piano. There are plenty of curious faces.

AMELIA Trust me. Only a husband talks like that. In their laughter, she goes to the phone. EVERYBODY hangs on every word of... AMELIA (into the phone) Yes? Yes. Yes... (hand over phone, to the

GIRLS) They love when we say `yes.' Laughter.

(

85.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'm flying in Tuesday. Yes, of course, I'll make time.

BEAT) Me, too.

(BEAT) Me, too. Thanks for the roses. She hangs up. Turns to her adoring pupils, and drops a curtsy. Ta-da! They APPLAUD. She stares at them. As if deciding whether to say...

AMELIA (CONT'D) Can you women keep a secret? They can. And boy, do they want to hear one.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Well, it's no secret that I'm a bit driven, some might say obsessive, about my little flying adven- tures... They are nodding, wide-eyed, go on.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I've decided to embark on easily the most exciting, possibly cra- ziest, ever... They hold their breath.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'm going to fly. Around the world. A frozen beat for them to even absorb this. They BURST into WILD APPLAUSE, Amelia beaming, as we DISSOLVE TO...

7

EXT. PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK - NIGHT

6 76 Amelia and George, bundled against the cold, walking Park Avenue hand in hand. Christmas decorations, bright lights. A good mood prevails.

AMELIA Are you going to tell me your surprise, or do I have to get physical?

GEORGE Boy, that is the last thing I'd want. Well, then?

86.

GEORGE (CONT'D) I only thought that if you're serious about this around-the-world nonsense. It might be handy to have a plane to fly in.

AMELIA Except it would have to be an Electra, and they cost...

GEORGE ...$36,000. After a generous discount from Lockheed.

AMELIA May as well be a billion.

GEORGE ...not to mention at least another 36 to get it modified and ready. She glances at him. He looks awfully smug.

AMELIA And your surprise is, you robbed a bank.

GEORGE Actually. A university. They stop. What on earth...?

GEORGE (CONT'D) I've sort of persuaded Ed Elliot to create an Amelia Earhart Fund for Aeronautical Research at Purdue. And suggested a budget item of... He shrugs.

GEORGE (CONT'D) ...oh, eighty grand. For a suitable `flying laboratory.' Her eyes just bug out. No! He nods, slowly. Uh-huh. And she... ...THROWS her arms around his neck, KISSING him hard enough

G to startle passersby. It only makes him chuckle.

EORGE (CONT'D) As I said, I've sort of persuaded Ed. There are a bunch of trustees and donors, tho. We have to get them on board.

87.

AMELIA Think I could help? He looks in her eyes.

GEORGE Nah. She grins.

GEORGE (CONT'D) By the way. That's not the surprise. It's not? Uh-uh. And he glances to... ...the window of the GALLERY they've stopped at. She sees a magnificently carved CHEST. On a crest in the front: AE. We PAN the surface, to see planes, oceans, a shamrock for the Londonderry landing, dozens more symbols of her triumphs, and in a bottom corner, looking up at all of this in wonder... ...a small cat. In a long frock coat. GEORGE (a whisper) Merry Christmas. Her tears just come. She's standing on Park Avenue and she can't do anything about it. He reaches a tender hand... ...and strokes her hair. He is her hero. See it in her eyes.

GEORGE (CONT'D) Can't wait to see what you got me. She sniffles.

AMELIA Cat food. A whole case.

INT. HOME, RYE - DAY

77 77 Amelia at her writing desk. Determined, focused. She begins to write...

AMELIA (O.S.) Dear Mr. President: Some time ago I told you and Mrs. Roosevelt about my confidential plans for a world flight. The chief problem is the jump westward from Honolulu...

A s she writes, DISSOLVE TO...

88.

78 78

INT. DINING ROOM, PURDUE UNIVERSITY - NIGHT

A glittering table surrounded by high rollers. George and President Elliot sit on either side of Amelia, who has risen to speak.

AMELIA As President Elliot has said, it would be a shining adventure, beckoning with new experiences. Making me more useful to the program here at Purdue. She looks into the eyes of each in turn...

AMELIA (CONT'D) It is much more. I believe that women should do for themselves what men have done - and occasionally what men have not. Yes?

AMELIA (CONT'D) This might encourage other women toward greater independence of thought and action. And I know how deeply you gentlemen desire that. There is gentle laughter. Amelia reacts in mock surprise.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I know, of course, from my chats earlier in the evening. With each of your wives. More laughter. Applause from a wife, then the others, then all.

AMELIA (CONT'D) In that spirit, I want each of you to reach for your checkbooks... She regards their amusement. And losing none of the warmth of her own smile...

AMELIA (CONT'D) I mean that quite literally. This is an opportunity for me to exhibit the quality my husband admires most.

G eorge and Amelia gaze at each other.

Y

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89.

AMELIA (CONT'D) The capacity. To be relentless.

79 79

INT. HANGAR - DAY

The LOCKHEED ELECTRA, a sleek state-of-the-art aircraft with its gleaming metallic surface, nose up in the center of a huge space. Its engines are on hoists, being worked on by a team of MECHANICS. Eight-year-old Gore gazes up, as if he has never seen anything quite so wondrous. Amelia and Gene watch, with barely suppressed smiles. He's in a suit. She's in grease- stained overalls from working with the mechanics.

GORE So you'd be the first one, right? ou always like that. First one?

GORE (CONT'D) To fly around the world.

AMELIA Well, there's Magellan, 400 years go. Actually, he didn't make it. And he died. And he used a boat.

GORE So it's almost the same, except it's completely different.

AMELIA Pretty much. He glowers at her. She glowers back.

GENE There are men who say they flew around the world, but they didn't ly around all of it.

GORE Because at higher latitudes, it's short trip. At the North Pole, ou just spin in a circle and you've gone around the world.

AMELIA So why are you asking? Just to show how smart you are?

GORE Pretty much.

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90.

Now he's grinning. She just glowers harder.

G

ORE (CONT'D) The only way to really fly around he world is to fly the entire circumference of 27,000 miles. Like at the equator.

AMELIA No one's tried it. You think I should? No answer.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Dare me.

GORE Okay.

AMELIA Okay. Is she serious? She seems to be.

GENE Ask her about the Pacific. The maximum range of the Electra is 4000 miles. And the closest land est of Honolulu is farther than that. Gore looks to her. Well?

AMELIA I'll have to refuel.

GORE Where?

AMELIA In the air. One plane to another. The boy is staring at her now. Staring.

GORE You're really going to do all this, aren't you?

AMELIA Well, don't you think I can? A beat.

GORE I guess we'll find out.

F

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91.

Another.

AMELIA Pretty much. HOLD on Gene. He smiles at his kid...

GENE Go out to the car and get Sara. Ask if she'll take you for an ice cream. Okay? The boy knows he's being dismissed. Looks from his dad to Amelia, who steps forward to give him a hug and a kiss.

AMELIA We'll play some cards before you leave. Okay, then. He waves. One more glance at dad, and Gore goes. Gene gestures for Amelia to come with him, away from the mechanics. What's up? But he's already walking to... ...a little folding table, off in a corner. She follows. Sits. Well...? G

ENE You can't refuel in the air. Just like that.

AMELIA s that an opinion or an order? His rueful smile.

GENE The only good thing about losing our former relationship is I feel a little freer to tell you when you're being completely crazy.

AMELIA Oh, I bet there are more advantages than just that. No one's backing down on this.

GENE You're not a good enough pilot to o mid-air refueling. You will not be able to control the Electra or that docking maneuver for that amount of time.

O

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92.

AMELIA I've taken bigger risks.

GENE I've noticed. Don't be so proud of it. He reaches into a pocket. Pulls out a folded sheet of paper. It opens to reveal a MAP of the Pacific. A dot is CIRCLED in red.

GENE (CONT'D) This is Howland Island. It's half- way between Honolulu and New Guinea. It has no elevation, no trees, it's a mile wide and a mile and a half long. Hardly anyone knows or cares that it exists.

AMELIA It's your vacation home.

GENE We're colonizing it, because when the Japanese make their move, we're going to need a refueling strip there. She blinks. The Japanese.

GENE (CONT'D) Try reading the newspapers between he lines. We haven't started building the runways yet. Maybe if someone I knew could get the President's attention... She stares at the map. The dot.

GENE (CONT'D) It's really tiny, a grain of sand n the middle of a thousand miles f nowhere. Her eyes are clicking through a calculus of their own.

GENE (CONT'D)

F You'd need a first-class navigator or that leg. Which means the trip can't be entirely solo. And softly...

GENE (CONT'D) Can you handle that?

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93.

No answer. He waits without saying a word. AMELIA (softly back) Don't rush me. I'm thinking.

80 80

EXT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - MORNING

A Coast Guard station overlooking the Pacific. A lone woman leans on a railing. From the station, a MAN emerges, he has... ...a thermos and two large mugs. He pours steaming coffee into each, and brings them to the woman at the rail. She has turned to study him as he approaches.

AMELIA Hullo, Fred. It's good to meet you. She holds out her hand. He juggles the mugs, so he can shake it. Strong look in each other's eyes. Hands her a mug...

FRED I hear you like your coffee black.

AMELIA This time of day, I like it with bacon and eggs. His slight grin. A handsome guy.

FRED Be right back.

AMELIA Over easy on the eggs. Your job could depend on it. Silence between them. Comfortable smiles.

FRED Are we sizing me up? And, of course, this is exactly what she's doing.

AMELIA I'm told that mid-air refueling would be beyond my abilities.

FRED Maybe, maybe not. 20% it works. 0% you crash. 60% you don't get he fuel, so you're cooked anyway.

E

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94.

AMELIA Better odds of hitting that island?

F

RED How do you feel about 100%? Watching his eyes as he says that. Evaluating.

AMELIA Even with cloud cover?

FRED I've crossed the Pacific by air 18 times. Pan Am told you I'm the best celestial navigator they've ever seen.

AMELIA They did.

FRED Someone else told you I have a drinking problem. Which is a big art of why we're here, yes? No answer.

FRED (CONT'D) Pan Am will tell you. Everyone I ver worked for will tell you. Nothing's interfered with my performance. Not once.

AMELIA My dad drank. He lied all the time. Rest his soul.

FRED You trusted Bill Stultz. That worked out. Rest his soul.

AMELIA Bill just had to find Europe. We're looking for something less than two miles long, with nothing higher on it than 18 feet. He shakes his head.

FRED That's what you're looking for. I'm looking for coordinates on a map. And if it doesn't work... He spreads his large hands...

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95.

FRED (CONT'D) Money-back guarantee. She holds the look. AMELIA (softly) Hey. How can I lose?

81 81

INT. BARCLAY HOTEL, NEW YORK - DAY

Amelia at a bank of microphones, smiling, modest, comfortable. George and Fred stand back to one side. FLASHBULBS go crazy, NEWSREEL cameras churn.

AMELIA Did I pressure the navy to build a landing strip at Howland Island? How exactly would I do that? L Threaten not to enlist? aughter in the room. More flashes.

AMELIA (CONT'D) The airstrip has been planned for a long time. I was thrilled to learn it will be ready in time for my flight. The navy has been wonderful, as always.

REPORTER #1 Amelia, what do you say to the charges that your husband is pulling the strings, pressuring you nto this around-the-world flight o make a financial killing? George BOLTS forward to the microphones, looks at his wife with astonishment...

GEORGE Wait a minute, you're flying around the world? Don't you know a woman's place is in the home?? The press ROARS with laughter.

REPORTER #2 George, why don't you go along this time? Watch over the little woman.

GEORGE I begged to go. But it seems that between 185 pounds of husband and

1 85 pounds of fuel, I lost out.

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96.

Gazes at his wife.

GEORGE (CONT'D) At least, I think that's what all he laughter meant. He gives her a kiss. Thirty FLASHES record it. As he steps back...

REPORTER #3 Experts are saying that this `flying laboratory' is a sham. There's nothing to be learned for aviation, and you're just in this for the money. The place gets really quiet.

AMELIA Who am I to argue with `experts?' I'll just give you my plain old common-sense thinking on this... Pens come up, cameras jockey for position. This is what they're waiting for. She holds up one finger. First...

AMELIA (CONT'D) We may not learn much about the plane, but we will about the pilot. Endurance over a month's journey, flying nearly every day. Response o stress, crises. I think that will make a contribution. Holds up a second finger. Two...

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'm a working stiff like all of you. I don't apologize for the fact that I need money to live. And to keep financing my flying, which is what I love. I think that's a positive example for women. Third finger. Three...

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'm not doing this as a scientist. I'm a flyer, boys, pursuing my passion. For the fun of it. The fun of it. Something I recommend as a healthy motive for women. A wink. A shrug...

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AMELIA (CONT'D) ...and maybe even some men.

8

2 82

EXT. LUKE FIELD, HONOLULU - SUNRISE

The Electra ready to go in first light, engines humming. Amelia walking alone toward the plane.

SUPERIMPOSE: LUKE FIELD, HONOLULU. MARCH 20, 1937. he waves goodbye to crew and press. Climbs the steps to be welcomed by Fred's hand gently pulling her aboard. The door CLOSES. We see Amelia and Fred in the cockpit. He checks a gauge.

FRED Lovely. We've got so much fuel we can't possibly get off the ground. Much safer than flying.

AMELIA Well, we need enough for a third pass at Howland. After you miss it the first couple times around. Ah.

FRED Good thinking. he runway lights go ON, and...

GEORGE (V.O.) We were, all of us, fearful about hat landing. No one guessed... Amelia ROARS OFF, gathering SPEED.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) ...it would be the take-off. The Electra SUDDENLY VEERS TO THE RIGHT, and we SMASH CUT

TO...

INT. ELECTRA

83 83 Amelia THROTTLING DOWN the left engine. The plane SWINGING WILDLY to the left, as...

N

98.

84 84

EXT./INT. ELECTRA

...the RIGHT WHEEL COLLAPSES, the plane SPINS TO THE LEFT and we INTERCUT between the cockpit and the runway as the Electra... ...CAREENS MADLY for a thousand feet, Amelia CUTTING THE SWITCHES to the engines, fighting for control, PROPELLERS SMASHED by the concrete runway, SPARKS FLYING IN EVERY

DIRECTION... INTERCUT. Oakland Airport. George and his retinue waiting. A phone RINGING. Someone takes the call, his face freezes,

. he looks wildly around to... ..George, who's there, SNATCHING the receiver.

VOICE (O.S.) Have you heard? They crashed, the ship's in flames. SMASH CUT to the cockpit, the Electra SPINNING crazily on its belly, SPARKS EVERYWHERE, the plane suddenly comes... ...to a BONE-JARRING STOP. The right MOTOR is pushed up INTO its wing, which itself has BUCKLED, the stabilizer BENT, the left wing extends UPWARD from scraping the runway, the landing gear no longer exists. SIRENS SCREAM as fire trucks and ambulances race toward them. Amelia is ashen, disbelieving. Next to her, a gentle...

FRED Good reaction, cutting the switch. You saved our ass. She doesn't even hear, THROWING open the cockpit, WAVING to signal they're all right, we SMASH CUT TO...

EXT. OAKLAND AIRPORT - DAY

85 85 George wandering numbly on the airfield, as someone RUNS LIKE CRAZY from the office, shouting...

MAN

NO FIRE! NO FIRE, FALSE REPORT!

O ONE HURT! George alone on the tarmac. Stops in his tracks. Now he can cry.

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86 86

EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES HOME - ALMOST SUNRISE

Two figures in a garden, walking in light so spare they are silhouettes. Her head is down. His hands are in his pockets. We CLOSE on them as she fingers a blossom, we now see she is miserable, fighting absolute despair.

GEORGE Three weeks, she'll be good as new. It's a remarkable crew. The best

T hat... He stops. Realizing where he was going. She never looks up.

AMELIA ...the best that money can buy. I just can't believe I've done this o us. All the money wasted that's never coming back.

GEORGE You cut the engines. It would have cost a bundle more to replace a burned-up plane. Not to mention pilot. She shakes her head. No.

AMELIA I overreacted. The plane was too heavy, I should have used the rudder pedal instead of the throttle. Tears stand in her eyes. She is so ashamed and remorseful. He lets it stay silent as they walk. Then...

GEORGE t's only money, we'll figure it out. We always do.

AMELIA I'll make it back and more, I promise. The book sales, the lectures, this flight will keep us going another three years.

GEORGE Maybe. Or...

AMELIA No, it will. Our prices, our sales, are going to double.

(MORE)

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100. AMELIA(cont'd) This showed them how dangerous it all is, they were taking it for granted...

(SNIFFLES) They thought I was competent. GEORGE (softly) I meant. Or maybe we can quit. She looks over. Not sure if...

AMELIA You mean after.

GEORGE Or. Even now. A strong smile. He nods. We could.

AMELIA So my exit would be a stupid crash. nd withdrawing from a world- publicized attempt to finally do something no man had done before.

GEORGE Yeh. That. And it would be fine ith me. Her eyes overwhelmed A his offer. by Her voice soft with...

MELIA But that's because you're an idiot.

GEORGE Lucky for you. A held beat.

AMELIA And what if it's not something I have to show the world? Hmmn?

AMELIA What if it's something I have to show me. He has no answer for that. Takes her hand. They head toward the house.

INT. HANGAR - NIGHT

87 87 Massive enclosed space. The rebuilt Electra in pieces at various work stations, being perfected by teams of mechanics.

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101.

The whirr and clang of tools. Amelia and George confer with one foreman, as George sees something. He touches her arm, points in our direction. REVERSE ANGLE as she sees... ...Gene has entered the hangar. Stands by the folding table we've seen before.

GEORGE Have fun.

AMELIA Who let you off the hook on this? She takes his hand firmly and together they cross the hangar toward Gene. He smiles, unfolds a third chair. As they arrive, Amelia steps forward... ...kisses Gene on the cheek. George shakes his hand.

GENE Thanks for letting me come. As they sit, Gene looks from one to the other.

GENE (CONT'D) I guess I'm already outvoted.

GEORGE She'd outvote you all by herself. he does it to me every day. Gene's smile can't mask the concern in his eyes.

AMELIA I don't have a choice. I have to reverse my route and fly east. If go west now, I'm risking hurricanes in the Caribbean and monsoons in Africa...

GENE But you're flying Howland last, when you're exhausted. She knows this. In the silence...

G

EORGE Gene, this way our first leg is Oakland to Miami. It's a shakedown o make sure the plane is right. That's crucial. Gene nods, slowly. His eyes still locked on her.

102.

GENE Maybe I'm obsessing on Howland because it was my bright idea, and I'd feel responsible if...

AMELIA Well, if I do pop off, I'll try to make it somewhere that's not your fault.

GENE I'd appreciate that. Draws a breath.

GENE (CONT'D) You miss that island. You'll be out of fuel, with 2000 miles to go.

AMELIA But I'll have Fred so I won't miss. In fact, I'm taking Fred along for this whole trip. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to like this. She smiles.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Giving up my little arrogance about solo. Safety first, yes? But he's still unhappy. She waits for him to say.

GENE You and Fred alone for a month...

AMELIA If you're worried about his drinking, I'll deal with it. Straight look.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I can handle Fred. And now we get a sense of exactly what does worry him. He glances to George...

GENE How do you feel?

GEORGE Tip-top. Every little girl needs a man around. Even strong girls like ours, hmmn? A very direct gaze. Words neither said nor needed.

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103.

GEORGE (CONT'D) She can handle us. She can handle Fred. A full beat. The look holds between the men.

G

EORGE (CONT'D) And thanks for being here. You've always had Amelia's best interests t heart. he look still unbroken.

EORGE (CONT'D) And, for that. I'm grateful.

88 88

EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT - DAY - NEWSREEL FOOTAGE

Amelia and George crossing the tarmac from the Electra, waving to the crowd.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) The legendary Amelia Earhart lands in Miami, completing the first and easiest leg of her around-the-world equatorial flight. A feat no man has ever attempted. That's hubby George with her, he gets off here. Behind them, coat slung casually across his shoulder, is Fred. Waving like he belongs.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) That handsome guy behind them isn't a movie star. Nope, it's navigator Fred Noonan, who will be Amelia's sole companion on the exotic odyssey... CLOSE on the rugged smile.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.) (CONT'D) Hey, where does a guy go to apply for a job like that?

EXT. BEACH, MIAMI - DUSK

89 89 The pastel sky has darkened along the row of legendary hotels. At first, we can barely find them at the water's edge. CLOSE to see her sitting where the surf can't quite reach her toes. He's lying back, hands cradling his head. Watching the stars come out. Nothing said. Then...

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AMELIA I'll be flying sky no one's ever been in. You made that happen. She looks down to his easy smile.

GEORGE Hate to think where you'd be without me. She smiles back. Tenderness we don't always see.

AMELIA I'll try to make you proud.

GEORGE You did that long, long ago. Only ne person left to prove yourself o. Just make sure you do it.

A beat. The doubt comes.

AMELIA And then what?

GEORGE Then the best part. The future. She stares in his eyes. Leans to him. AMELIA (a whisper) Oh yeh. That. She brings her hands to his face. Her mouth to his. Deep. Longing. Her body sinks into him. LONG ANGLE. Two alone. Only each other.

EXT. MIAMI AIRPORT - DAY

90 90 LONG ANGLE. From the open door of a hangar we see Amelia and George facing reporters in front of the idling Electra. She sits on the wing, he's just beneath her.

GEORGE (V.O.) The radio problems crept up on us ver time.

SUPERIMPOSE: MIAMI AIRPORT. JUNE 1.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) The marine 500 kilocycle radio was left in Oakland. Amelia said she

(MORE)

C

105. GEORGE(cont'd) and Fred were both amateurs at Morse Code, so the radio wasn't worth what it weighed. Amelia has made the boys laugh. George laughs with them.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) The 250 foot trailing auxiliary antenna, she would leave behind in Miami. Too heavy, not important. FLASHES now. And plenty of them. She reaches down to take George's hand and HOPS down from the wing. More FLASHES...

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) Then, suddenly our remaining radio ouldn't reach its designated frequencies. Pan Am hurriedly replaced the main antennae. And we thought all was well. Amelia and George coming toward us now, hand in hand, leaving the press behind. Into... The hangar. In shadow here. The world far away, she takes his hands. A silence.

GEORGE (CONT'D) Race you to California. I'll go west. Five bucks?

AMELIA If you'll fly the plane. Make it twenty. And then...

AMELIA (CONT'D) Simpkin keeps many mice at one time. Each under a different teacup. Wow. He's finally going to hear this.

GEORGE We're saying he's cruel?

AMELIA No.

GEORGE Controlling?

AMELIA Insecure.

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106.

Ah. The light begins to dawn.

AMELIA (CONT'D) He needs the illusion of activity o feel comfortable. That he's preparing for all contingencies. George has to grin.

AMELIA (CONT'D) That he has more irons in the

F ire than anyone knows.

GEORGE Especially the mice.

AMELIA Exactly. Each poor mouse thinks it's all about her. Staring at each other.

GEORGE And one of them. Is right. AMELIA (a murmur) She knows. And then...

GEORGE want you to give me something. He's never sounded quite like this before.

GEORGE (CONT'D) Tell me this is your last flight. Her eyes flicker. Look down. A whispered...

GEORGE (CONT'D) Promise. And when the eyes come up.

AMELIA Don't you know I couldn't? Even if part of me wanted to. Very, very much. The look holds.

AMELIA (CONT'D) How can we be anything. But what we are?

107.

There is no answer. She leans up into a slow kiss.

AMELIA (CONT'D) I do love you. Something in her serious face makes him smile.

GEORGE Well, I love you back.

AMELIA Thanks. Takes a step back toward the hangar door. One hand slightly up, stay here. Then, the smile he's waited for.

AMELIA (CONT'D) See ya. He smiles back. She turns and heads out toward the idling plane. She seems small, even fragile, alone on the tarmac. STAY with George. Watching her go.

SLOW DISSOLVE

TO...

EXT./INT. MONTAGE

91 91

SERIES OF ANGLES, CROSSFADES, DISSOLVES, INCLUDING...

IMAGES FROM THE ELECTRA: - VIEW down onto an endless sea of triple-canopy RAINFOREST. - VIEW of Brazilian CITY from ABOVE. VIEW onto the ocean and African coast. - VIEW of ANIMALS running beneath us. - VIEW of the SAHARA'S sands

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM STOPS: - Children surrounding Amelia at an African airfield - Amelia sleeping in the open desert - being welcomed by turbaned dignitaries - Amelia on a camel, suddenly kicks it into a gallop

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM TRAVEL MAP

-

108.

- its RED LINE tracing our journey from Miami to San Juan to Venezuela, to Brazil The RED LINE moving across the Atlantic, to French West Africa and North to the Sudan - The RED LINE moves from The Nile River across the tip of Arabian Peninsula, through Persia, Afghanistan and finally to Calcutta.

SUPERIMPOSE: IMAGES FROM AMELIA'S ARTICLES - HEADLINES from various installments of her daily ARTICLE in the Herald Tribune, with her BYLINE.

DISSOLVE FROM

MONTAGE TO...

EXT. AIRPORT, CALCUTTA - EVENING

92 92 Driving RAINSTORM as Amelia carries her gear toward the Electra. Fred waits. The umbrellas aren't keeping them dry.

SUPERIMPOSE: DUMDUM AIRDROME, CALCUTTA The buildings have thatched roofs. There are oxcarts by the runway, abandoned to the downpour. Fred has to shout over the storm...

FRED

YOU'RE NOT REALLY TAKING OFF!

AMELIA

IT'S GOING TO GET HEAVIER AND

WE COULD BE STUCK HERE FOR DAYS.

EVEN WEEKS. He just glares at her. Rain POUNDING all around them.

A

MELIA (CONT'D)

ONLY 700 MILES TO BANGKOK, IT'S

LIGHTER THERE. He doesn't move.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Stay if you like. And she climbs into the plane. He just stands in the rain and glowers.

109.

93 93

EXT. AIRSTRIP - MOMENTS LATER

The Electra ROARING down the runway. It's all alone, no one else crazy enough to be out there. At last the plane... ...LIFTS INTO the rain. Wobbles just a beat. And begins to

CLIMB.

EXT. ELECTRA - LATER

94 94 A wrenching battle, plane versus monsoon. The storm is heavier, deafening, actually STRIPPING PAINT from the Electra's wings.

95 95

INT. ELECTRA - SAME MOMENT

Amelia beyond exhaustion, but focused, fighting it. We think she's flying alone. Until... ...Fred drops into the seat beside her. No words as he watches her struggle. Our plane is all over the sky. The DIN is ungodly.

AMELIA

YOU THINK WE SHOULD TURN BACK, HUH?

FRED

NOPE. I THINK WE SHOULDN'T HAVE

COME. An AIR POCKET DROPS them 200 feet.

AMELIA

HARD TO IMAGINE LANDING IN THIS.

FRED

I'VE GOT AN IDEA. LET'S NEVER COME

DOWN. She glances over. For once, she's scared.

AMELIA

HOW COULD YOU FIND OUR WAY BACK?

FRED

SINCE I FORGOT TO DROP BREAD

CRUMBS, WE'LL HAVE TO USE DEAD

RECKONING. Beat.

AMELIA

THAT'S IT? JUST A GUESS?

I

F

110.

FRED

US NAVIGATORS PREFER THE TERM `WILD-

ASS GUESS.' Held look.

AMELIA That's more like it. She starts to TURN the plane around.

INT. ELECTRA - DAY

96 96 Amelia flying down through heavy turbulence, though it is no longer raining. Her features tense. We see the accumulated strain of the adventure.

F red appears from the catwalk, slips into the seat beside her. He's worried. Points, and we see... ...CALCUTTA below, sprawling and endless. Between us and the ground, a huge gathering of FLYING SHAPES.

RED Black eagles. If one of those clips a propeller. Or flies into the engine... Her tired features form a smile.

AMELIA 've got an idea. Let's never land. Better safe than sorry. He takes her point. She turns back to work...

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'll wake you when the coffee's ready. And with cold-blooded nerve, she SWOOPS down, down, THROUGH the flock of eagles, scattering them as we arc in for a perfect landing. She never turns to... ...Fred, who is still white-knuckling, trying to get his heart started. He can't believe what she's just done. Rolling, rolling...

FRED Cream, no sugar.

A

111.

97 97

EXT. GOVERNOR'S HOUSE, CALCUTTA - TWILIGHT

Establishing shot of a graceful pillar of the Raj. Night falling.

EXT. COURTYARD, GOVERNOR'S HOUSE - SAME MOMENT

98 98 A fountain in an ornate courtyard. There is a RECEPTION, as every evening for Amelia, attended by local DIGNITARIES. Fred, already a little drunk, leads Amelia to a massive teak- wood table. He breaks off the corner of a cracker, sets it down in the center of the table.

FRED Howland Island. He strikes a match. SNUFFS the flame. Puts the burned-out match head just by the scrap of cracker.

FRED (CONT'D)

B lack smoke from the Navy ship that could help us get a fix. Points way across the marble courtyard.

FRED (CONT'D) Now stand over there. That's what it's going to look like, if the weather's good.

SERVANT (O.S.) Mrs. Earhart? She glances up. He beckons respectfully. NGLE. Alcove still with a VIEW of Fred and the courtyard. She lifts a telephone...

INTERCUT: INT. GEORGE'S OFFICE - DAY

99 99 CLOSE on a WALL MAP. We realize that George has been fol- lowing her odyssey on a map of his own. We PULL BACK to reveal...

GEORGE Mrs. Earhart? Mr. Earhart, here. He looks elegant in crisp suit and tie. INTERCUT: Amelia's eyes WIDE. She seems truly thrilled. INTERCUT BETWEEN THEM now throughout...

.

R

S

T

112.

AMELIA Oh, my goodness. Simpkin, is it really you? George makes a PURRING sound. A sharp MEOW.

AMELIA (CONT'D) This is insane. It's so extravagant.

GEORGE It gets worse, I bought a brand-new suit and tie. Got a date with my wife.

AMELIA We can't possibly afford this.

GEORGE ure, we can. It's Tuesday's call o Lae that we can't afford. AMELIA (delighted) You hang up the phone this minute. You'll bankrupt us and I'll have to walk home.

GEORGE easoning with me. A magnificent display of useless courage. Her eyes remember. A soft...

AMELIA ..and it's fun. HOLD on her face. And MATCH DISSOLVE TO...

EXT. BAR, LAE - NIGHT

100 100 ...Amelia's FACE, as we left it in the first scene. The STORM PELTING all around the open-sided bar. Fred studying her across the table.

FRED A touching love story, really. He's been drinking, we can hear it in his voice. SEE the bottle now. Nearly gone.

AMELIA An honest one. It's what you wanted. He nods. That's right.

Y

113.

FRED I wonder if it's honest enough for George. If it's what he wanted. ou know.

AMELIA If you mean Gene, we're not together anymore. In that way. Not for a long time.

FRED Whose choice was that? She doesn't like his tone. Shifts in her seat.

AMELIA It was mine.

FRED Well, isn't it always? You choose in, you choose out. Makes things easy.

AMELIA Anything but easy. Are you disapproving of the way I live?

FRED Hell, no. It's just like me. In fact, it's like most guys I know. His smile.

FRED (CONT'D) Actually, I'd like a piece of it myself. Right about now. Her eyes harden. A

MELIA If you have a point, Fred. Make it.

FRED Oh, I believe I have. She rises slowly. Zips her flight jacket. Takes her slicker from the back of her chair.

AMELIA Allow me to cut you a deal, my friend. Steel in the spine of that.

114.

AMELIA (CONT'D) You show up tomorrow morning. You show up sober and you get me to Howland Island. Okay?

AMELIA (CONT'D) And I'll forget you ever said that. She WHEELS around and holding her slicker over her head, goes OFF into the POUNDING RAIN. Fred's smile is gone. He stares after her.

DISSOLVE TO...

EXT. RADIO HUT, LAE - LATER

101 101 Amelia down the path in her slicker toward a small hut. She knocks. Opens the door to reveal...

INT. RADIO HUT - NIGHT

102 102 ...the radio receiver and transmitter. The operator BALFOUR is a wiry Scot. He nods respectfully.

BALFOUR Ready, Mum. He stands and she takes his seat. He shows her the key to press, then steps back toward the window. But she makes no move to the radio. Just stares at him. He doesn't understand. AMELIA (gently) Feel like stepping out for a smoke...?

BALFOUR I don't smoke.

AMELIA ...or something? Oh. The monsoon beats down.

BALFOUR If you need help, I'll be right outside. In the rain.

AMELIA Thank you. I'll only be a moment.

I

G

115.

He puts on his slicker. OPENS an umbrella. Leaves. She looks back to the radio. FLIPS the switch. E AMELIA (soft) arhart here.

INTERCUT: COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - DAY

103 103 George at a window, looking west. Over the Pacific. She's there somewhere.

EORGE You should be sleeping. He smiles to keep his voice up. The eyes aren't smiling. We INTERCUT their conversation throughout...

AMELIA You should be working.

GEORGE I'm running a big adventure here, 'm a very important fellow.

AMELIA You told me I was the star. And you were no one at all. GEORGE (soft) I thought I was lying. Guess the joke's on me. Silence.

GEORGE (CONT'D) How's Fred?

AMELIA I'm mad at him. I'll be in Honolulu on the 3rd, and with you in Oakland for Fourth of July. Okay?

GEORGE Don't keep me waiting.

AMELIA I won't dare. You're a very important feline. Uh, fellow.

GEORGE Talk to me about Fred.

116.

AMELIA Fred is fine. He's calculating head-wind speed versus fuel as we speak. CLOSE on his face.

GEORGE You wouldn't sell a salesman would you?

AMELIA He's fine.

GEORGE So what's that I hear in your voice? A beat.

GEORGE Is he drinking? AMELIA (soft) I can handle it.

GEORGE Call it off. Right now. I mean it.

AMELIA I can handle it. And then...

AMELIA I love you. Silence.

GEORGE After the Fourth. We're going home.

AMELIA Where's that?

GEORGE For me? Anywhere you are. She begins to cry. Both hands fly to her mouth and she looks away. She swallows hard.

AMELIA I'm going to like it there.

I

117.

And then...

AMELIA (CONT'D) I'd better. Since this is my last flight. A long silence.

GEORGE Well. If you insist. She nods. She does.

AMELIA t's late here. Guess I'll go curl up under a teacup.

GEORGE I'll go tell the world you're on your way. Neither wants to let go. We feel it so strong. GEORGE (a whisper) Sweet dreams. A beat. AMELIA (whispers back) See ya. And he's gone. She stares at the radio.

INT. AMELIA'S HUT - LATER

104 104 FLICKER of a kerosene lamp. Amelia writing at a tiny desk. Thinks now. Thinks. Lost in it.

EXT. AIRFIELD, LAE - DAWN

105 105 A sober, contrite Fred comes down the runway in early light. As he reaches the Electra, he sees a pile of discarded OBJECTS on the tarmac... ...metal containers, carton of oranges, parachutes. Bedrolls, cold weather gear. Souvenirs from their stops: flags, a metal plaque, native crafts, a Welcome Miss Amelia Earhart banner. As he studies the pile... ...a COFFEE POT comes FLYING out of the plane to roll at his feet. Suddenly, a 10 pound coffee tin SAILS PAST, as he DUCKS. Amelia appears at the hatch, sees him.

G

118.

FRED You're finding the range. But it might be easier to just shoot me. She stares at him for a moment. A subdued voice...

AMELIA Traveling light, that's all. She sits on the lip of the hatch. Her legs dangling. Her eyes down.

FRED Got room for 190 pounds of asshole? No answer. She's still looking down. He's never seen her like this.

FRED (CONT'D)

M a'am, I am so sor...

AMELIA It's fine. Her eyes come up.

AMELIA (CONT'D) Everything is. He doesn't understand, but he's glad to be forgiven. She takes a LETTER from her pocket. Runs her finger over the envelope.

FRED I can run into town before we go. et that in the post for you. She shakes her head slowly.

AMELIA It's for my husband. I'm going to hand it to him. So I can watch his face as he reads it. She sniffles slightly.

AMELIA (CONT'D) It's our tradition.

EXT. RUNWAY, LAE AIRFIELD - MORNING

106 106 A RUNWAY that ends in a drop-off at the waters of Huon Gulf. The Electra, engines REVVING. Ready to go for it. Our ANGLE CLOSES on the belly of the plane. The ANTENNA MAST supporting a trailing WIRE ANTENNA.

119.

GEORGE (V.O.) Ten A.M., Friday July 2. They lined up on the thousand-yard runway. One thousand gallons of fuel, enough for 20 to 21 hours of flying. LONG ANGLE. Crew and onlookers watch as the plane STARTS its run, gathering speed, BOUNCING over uneven ground... CLOSE now on the jouncing undercarriage, a momentary PUFF of DUST, and as the plane moves PAST, we may notice that the belly antenna mast seems to be GONE. DOWN the runway it RUMBLES, still earthbound, only 200 yards to go. Then 100. Then FIFTY, then at the water's edge, the Electra RISES and...

. ..DROPS out of sight below the land, as we SMASH CUT to... ANGLE. The Electra has FALLEN to SIX FEET above the surface of the Gulf. The engines THROB at max, the propellers THROWING SPRAY. The overloaded plane... ...RISING. Slowly, then faster, then... ...SOARING free. PULL BACK to a VIEW from down the runway. The Electra in distance. RACK FOCUS to see something long and slender GLINTING on the ground. Could it be a length of WIRE?

INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - SUNSET

107 107 Through the glass, the sun is disappearing toward Amelia. PULL BACK to George, staring at a CABLE in his hands. We

HEAR...

BALFOUR (O.S.) Mr. Putnam. Their headwinds are stronger than they knew when they took off. Then...

BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT'D) I recalculated their fuel. It will cost them 9%. George staring off. Assessing the consequences. PULL BACK to see an ENSIGN standing, waiting for instruction.

BALFOUR (O.S.) (CONT'D) I can't raise them, sir. I tried voice, and Morse Code...

W

120.

George looks up. Calmly.

GEORGE ire back. Tell him to forget the Morse Code. They didn't bring the receiver. The young man looks concerned.

GEORGE (CONT'D) Just tell him to stay with voice. He'll get them.

108 A 108

EXT. HOWLAND ISLAND - DAY

ERIAL ANGLE. A tiny, flat, nearly invisible speck adrift in the endless Pacific. Howland Island. PAN to see just offshore...

GEORGE (V.O.) The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca had been anchored off Howland just for us. CLOSE on the ITASCA now...

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) Its radio would be her lifeline. Its black plume of smoke would reach for miles. More visible than the island itself. DISSOLVE TO NIGHT. The island visible only by its slender LIGHTHOUSE. The ship illuminated in the darkness. CLOSE now on a path by the sea. A lone figure with a FLASHLIGHT approaches a SHACK. Enters...

INT. RADIO HUT - NIGHT

109 109 ...a room filled with radio equipment. He is FRANK CIPRIANI, in crisp naval uniform, relieving a SEAMAN who has been on duty. As Cipriani sits at his station, he notices...

CIPRIANI The direction finder. How long has this been on? The seaman turns back at the door. What?

EXT. ITASCA

110 110 CLOSE on the ship, illuminated. PUSH IN...

121.

111 111

INT. RADIO ROOM, ITASCA - NIGHT

The room is 9 x 20 with bare walls. At the transmitter, LEO BELLARTS the chief radio man. Short and square, an unflappable air of quiet expertise. With him, his assistant WILLIAM DALTEN, lean and young with dark serious eyes. At a typewriter sits THOMAS O'HARE, barely twenty, headphones across his shock of rust-colored hair, telegraph at the ready.

S

UPERIMPOSE: 2:45 A.M. Dalten adjusting the receiver which is suddenly spitting STATIC. Threading through the noise, what could be a human voice. Bellarts calls to O'Hare...

BELLARTS That's her on 3105. She said `cloudy and overcast.' O'Hare looks at him. Are you serious? Bellarts mimes typing with his fingers. O'Hare starts typing into the log.

DISSOLVE TO...

SUPERIMPOSE: 3:45 A.M. Radio CRACKLES. All eyes turn.

AMELIA (O.S.) Itasca from Earhart. Overcast. Static. Dalten leans to the mic... DALTEN (into mic) We are receiving your signal. Please acknowledge ours. What is your position? When do you expect to arrive Howland? No answer. Light static.

BELLARTS Commander estimated 7:00. If she's having trouble on voice transmission, stay with Morse. And begins to carefully pack his pipe. Dalten begins to transmit Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO...

SUPERIMPOSE: 6:45 A.M. The radio. The static. The sudden voice...

K

122.

AMELIA (O.S.) Please take bearing on us and report in half hour. I will make noise in microphone. We are about 100 miles out. The transmission cuts out. Dalten answers in Morse Code. No response.

DALTEN She's got to stay on longer. Bellarts dictating as O'Hare types...

BELLARTS Earhart signal strength 4, but on

A ir so briefly bearings impossible.

DISSOLVE TO...

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:18 A.M. DALTEN (to Bellarts) Maybe her Morse receiver is out. (into mic) Can't take bearing on 3105. Please send on 500 or do you want to take bearing on us? Go ahead, please. Silence. O'Hare typing: NO ANSWER.

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:30 A.M. DALTEN (into mic) Please acknowledge our signals on ey. Please acknowledge. CRACKLE. O'Hare typing: UNANSWERED.

BELLARTS Tommy, intercom top deck, double check the smoke stack... INTERCUT: AERIAL ANGLE high above the ship. BLACK SMOKE PLUMES into clear sky...

BELLARTS (O.S.) (CONT'D) They should be able to see it for twenty miles, at least. TILT ANGLE. In far distance, thirty to forty miles, a gray

STORM.

A

123.

112 112

INT. RADIO ROOM - MORNING

A few others enter now. Civilians, sailors, they hang back silently, watching as...

SUPERIMPOSE: 7:42 A.M.

AMELIA (O.S.) KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be on you but cannot see you... Glances are traded. It is the first moment of visible concern. STATIC interrupts. Then...

AMELIA (O.S.) (CONT'D) Gas is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying t altitude 1000 feet. DALTEN (into mic) You are reaching us. We are sending on 3105 and 500 constantly. Please acknowledge. Massive BURST of static. Dalten frantically CLICKING a message in Morse Code. DISSOLVE TO...

S

UPERIMPOSE: 7:58 A.M. The room has nearly filled. COMMANDER THOMPSON stands at Bellart's shoulder. All eyes fixed on the radio...

EARHART (O.S.) We are circling but cannot hear you. Go ahead on 7500. BELLARTS (into mic) Itasca to KHAQQ. Your signal is strong. Are you receiving this? A breathless moment. A sharp CRACKLE.

EARHART (O.S.) KHAQQ calling Itasca. We received your signal, but unable to get a minimum. Please take bearing on us and answer 3105 with voice. BELLARTS (into mic) Your signal received okay. It is impractical to take a bearing on 3105 on your voice. Give us a longer signal, please. Go ahead. Silence. Feet are shifting. No one speaks.

O

O

124.

BELLARTS (softly to Dalten) Keep us at 7500, that's her only acknowledgment.

THOMPSON You've got her signal, dammit. What about the direction finder?

BELLARTS Cipriani reports the battery's dead, sir. It was left on all night. Full beat. THOMPSON (low) I don't believe this is happening.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:12 A.M. BELLARTS (into mic) Itasca to Earhart. Did you get transmission on 7500? Go ahead on 500 so that we can take a bearing on you, it's impossible on 3105. Please acknowledge.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:33 A.M. No breath in this room. No one moves. BELLARTS (into mic) Will you please come in and answer n 500? We are transmitting constantly on 7500 and we do not hear you on 500. Please answer on 500. Go ahead.

DISSOLVE TO:

SUPERIMPOSE: 8:44 A.M. Suddenly, a thin and anxious VOICE cuts through a burst of static... A

MELIA (O.S.) We are on the line of position 157- 337, will repeat this message on 6210 kilocycles. Wait, listening n 6210 kilocycles. We are running north and south.

B

F

125.

BELLARTS (into mic) We hear you. We hear you. Can you receive this...? Silence. Silence. Silence. COMMANDER (softly) Mr. Bellarts. When did she say she was low on fuel? All eyes shift to Tommy. He scans the log. Stares.

O'HARE Um. An hour. And two minutes, sir. HOLD on this room. DISSOLVE TO... AERIAL ANGLE. The ship in clear daylight. The BLACK PLUME of smoke stretching to heaven.

SLOW DISSOLVE

TO...

INT. COAST GUARD STATION, LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

113 113 The tiny room we've come to know. It is filled with people who stand motionless, staring somberly at one man. In turn, he stares at a telephone... Which RINGS. Mary reaches, but his hand goes UP and she pulls back. He lets it ring three times, four, gathering himself. Lifting it... GEORGE (into phone) Yes. There are no other words. His eyes tear up. He nods numbly at the phone. G

EORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) Looking back, the questions were obvious. Why would anyone try to ind such a tiny target in a vast ocean, with barely an hour's lee- way in fuel? He draws a breath. GEORGE (into phone) Well, we're most grateful. With such an effort, of course they'll e found.

I

126.

CLOSE on him now. As he listens, as he responds graciously,

MOS...

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) So I tortured myself. Why hadn't killed this plan on day one? And then I realized...

DISSOLVE SLOWLY

TO...

EXT. GARDEN, LOS ANGELES - LATER

114 114 Alone. In a moonlit garden.

GEORGE (V.O.) If I tried to count the insane and reckless chances she took from the first moment I met her. I wouldn't know where to begin. Slowly to his knees. By the plants they had tended together.

GEORGE (V.O.) (CONT'D) It was the most tragic of endings. The most cruel and senseless and wasteful. And yet... And yet.

GEORGE (CONT'D) It's hard to imagine another.

SMASH CUT TO...

EXT. BRILLIANT SKY, THE PACIFIC - DAY

115 115 Sun and cloud. The sea below.

AMELIA (V.O.) My Simpkin. We POINT toward the water.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) I want to be married to you. The way you've been married to me. It begins to draw CLOSER.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) As you read this. I am watching your face.

127.

And CLOSER.

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) I am hoping to see. That you know how much I mean each word.

Gaining SPEED now...

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) All the things I never said, for so very long...

HURTLING TOWARD the surface...

AMELIA (V.O.) (CONT'D) Look up. They're in my eyes.

SMASH CUT TO BLACK. Hold.

<<<

/ Amelia.
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