March 10

Further Script Pages from The End of the Earth (1961)

A Budget Studios Production, (c) Bud “Budget” Preston

 

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INT. NASH HOUSE – LIVING ROOM

Elderly MRS. NASH continues to sit and knit in a firm wooden chair. DOCTOR NASH supervises ANTHONY and WESLEY’s efforts to nail boards over the windows and front door. GRACE returns from the kitchen with foil, cling wrap, trash bags. DORRINE comes from upstairs, carrying a wicker basket of loose clothing.

 

MRS. NASH [to herself]

You’ve forgotten something.

 

GRACE

I thought we could seal the windows with plastic wrap, or these bags.

 

WESLEY

Good idea.  Doc, what about the foil?

 

DOCTOR NASH

Save that for now.

 

DORRINE

I brought these clothes to stuff beneath the door, to keep out drafts.

 

MRS. NASH

You’ll notice, soon enough.

 

DORRINE [to ANTHONY, ignoring her mother-in-law]

I can hold that while you hammer.

[As she steadies the wooden board, she glances absently around the room, sees her son’s toy soldiers on the floor]

 

DORRINE (cont’d)

How terrible.  He’s arranged them like victims of an explosion.  Do you think he understands what’s happened.  [Then, looking around]  Grace, where is Robbie?  I thought he was with you!

 

[Hammers pause in the air, sudden silence.]

 

GRACE

Robbie tried to open the back door.  I stopped him, made sure he —

 

DORRINE

Oh, god, he’s snuck out.  [runs toward the kitchen]

 

INT. NASH HOUSE – KITCHEN.

DORRINE rushes in towards open back door.  DR. NASH FOLLOWS.

 

DORRINE

Robbie?

[She pauses at the open door, looks down at her feet, afraid to cross the threshold.]

DORRINE [cont’d, louder]

Robbie!

 

DOCTOR NASH

You can’t go out there.  [He reaches past her, shuts the door]

 

DORRINE

He’s just playing.  He doesn’t understand.

 

DOCTOR NASH [leading her gently from the kitchen]

Hush, now.  Step back from the door.  We haven’t sealed it up yet.

 

INT. – LIVING ROOM

Everyone silent, watching DORRINE and DR. NASH step mournfully into the room.

 

DORRINE [whispering]

Don’t board it up yet.  Robbie hasn’t come back.  [to GRACE, shouting]  This is your fault!  You should have watched him better!

 

[DR. NASH nods to ANTHONY and WESLEY, indicating they should take their tools into the kitchen to board up the back door. ]

 

DORRINE

Not yet.  If he comes back, we still have to let him in!  [looking at each person in turn]  Don’t we?

 

[Uncomfortable silence, everyone avoiding eye contact.  The elderly MRS. NASH finally has an opportunity to be heard.]

 

MRS. NASH

That’s what happened last time.  The boy came back, banged at the front door, and you all decided to let him in.  It was a horrible mistake.

 

DORRINE

“Last time”?  What’s that supposed to mean?

 

[A loud banging commences at the boarded-up front door — louder than any small child should be able to produce…]

 

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Editor’s Note:  This excerpt, from the same script quoted in this blog’s entry for January 26, is from the obscure apocalyptic film written and directed by Bud “Budget” Preston. I pay tribute to elements of Preston’s films in my forthcoming novel, Life in a Haunted House.