APRIL 24TH, 1962
Early morning in the LA Diner. DENNY, the owner/line cook and EM, the elderly hostess who really runs the place, are just opening the doors for business for the day.
DENNY’s radio is tuned to a station playing the popular hits of the day as they ready the diner for customers.
JIMMY comes in and calls out to EM.
Em, can I get some coffee, black?
JIMMY takes in EVIE sitting at the
counter as EM brings out 2 cups of
coffee for him and ARIEL.
Here you go, Jimmy. And behave yourself.
JIMMY takes the coffee and pays EM, who
goes back into the kitchen.
You know, sweetheart, I always come in here in the mornings
for a little eye opener. Somehow I find my eyes open a little
wider today. Have we met?
I don’t think so. I’ve only been coming in here since
Well then yesterday was the greatest day of my life. Until
today. What’s that you’re reading?
Just a book.
So that’s what it’s called. Does it have a name?
“To Kill a Mockingbird”.
I wouldn’t take you for a hunter.
It’s not a hunting book. It’s a…
…First person narrative from the eyes of a little girl as
she watches her father defend a negro in a small southern
town? Come to think of it, I have heard of it.
Are you making fun of me?
Why would I make fun of someone who shares my tastes in
JIMMY takes a copy of the book out of
his jacket pocket.
What part are you at?
(checks her page)
Something about a dog. I’m not sure where it’s going.
It’s symbolism. Talk to me when you finish that chapter.
Maybe I will.
Hey, you never told me your name?
(shakes her hand)
What brings you here?
A working girl. I like to see that. You wouldn’t by any
chance be working across the street would you?
Yeah. It’s a new film that just started shooting.
It’s funny you mention film because you remind me of someone.
Can you guess who I’m thinking?
Oh, I don’t know.
I’m very familiar with her work on screen and off so you can
take me at my word. In fact, you put on a few more pounds,
you’d be a dead ringer for Marilyn.
That’s who I’m a stand in for.
You don’t say?
It’s her first movie in a while. “Something’s Got to Give”.
You know, it rings a bell.
I worked with her on her last 3 movies, too but she’s been
on… A break. So I’m glad to be back to work.
I can imagine. How’s it been going? Any incidents from
America’s favorite bombshell?
Well, I probably shouldn’t be talking about it.
WALTER comes out of the phone booth.
ARIEL finishes her coffee and leaves
You can trust me, honey. I’m with the press.
WALTER scoffs as he sits back down.
“I’m with the press”. Four of the most terrifying words in
the English language.
Now there’s the man I was looking for, excuse me, darling.
(JIMMY goes to Walter’s table)
Walter, look I’m on your side here. This Liz and Dick thing
is getting old, sales are way down and I’m not in Italy to
give it my first person touch. I need to put some good old
fashioned Hollywood dirt on the news stands and we both know,
I do that, it helps you and yours get your movie out there.
What do you say?
You should try the eggs Benedict.
DENNY comes out of the kitchen and sees
JIMMY at WALTER’s table.
Jimmy, I catch you harassing my customers and I’ll thump your
skull just for good measure.
Don’t blame me, Denny. Blame the 50,000 readers who eat this
stuff up. I can’t help it if the best gossips in town choose
your establishment to feed their faces and run their mouths.
So you just give the people what they want, is that it,
It’s as simple and as innocent as all that, Walter.
They had a similar philosophy in ancient Rome when feeding
people to the lions before a cheering crowd.
Would I be the lion or the Romans in this scenario?
When I picture it, you’re gristle between the lion’s teeth.
That’s clever. You come up with that or was it one of your
It’s on account of people like you that people like me needed
someone else to pretend they wrote my stuff.
By “people like” you do mean “comrades”?
That’s it, Jimmy, out.
Sure thing, Denny. Thanks for the coffee.
(as he goes out, he stops in
One more question, Walter. Are you now or have you ever been
about to re-write the script to fit another star because this
one’s in a downward spiral?
WALTER stands up but DENNY has already
gone to the door and chases JIMMY out.
You know I fought in the big war, Walter. And I know there
was a lot of complicated stuff going on with all that but
what I took away from it was that the enemy of my enemy is my
friend. And the commies fought the gerrys so my simple minded
conclusion is that commies can be friends, too. That extends
to you as far as I’m concerned, I don’t care what list your
name was on.
I appreciate that, Denny. Thanks for breakfast, I…
ERICA hurriedly comes in the door,
obviously running late.
ERICA (20’s) is a naive aspiring
actress looking eagerly for her big
break, any way she can get it.
… I think I’ll have a refill on my coffee.