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Forrest Lawn

Categories: Case Histories

By Mark McFadden, (c) 1999

[Exterior. Night]

Credits appear during the following sequence.

We see an overcast night sky, the moon coyly peeking through ribbons of cloud. The POV pans down to an empty, poorly lit warehouse district. The POV comes to rest on a SECRETIVE MAN in an inexpensive suit using a pay phone, seen from a MEDIUM distance. As the POV zooms toward the SECRETIVE MAN, we here his side of the conversation.

SECRETIVE MAN:
… No, no. … I don’t believe you. … …Why should I trust you? You tried to have me killed. …I suppose that was a random convention of Blues Brothers fans. …Uh huh. Right. …No, this is how I see it. Given the choice between national security and self-preservation, I’ll have to go with the Washington Post. Be seeing you.

He hangs up the phone and briskly walks away, looking behind, right and left to see if he is being followed. With a muffled swooshing sound a large gray something fills the screen, apparently driving the SECRETIVE MAN to the ground. In a quick series of close-ups and a few very dimly lit MEDIUM POV, we see an enormous STEALTH PIGEON pin the SECRETIVE MAN face down on the ground with one taloned foot. It quickly hammers it’s beak into the back of the man’s skull. Then, grasping the man’s corpse by the spine in it’s talons, it beats it’s mighty 24 ft. wingspan and vaults into the sky in a whispery swoosh. Although recognizably a pigeon, a BIG pigeon, the outline of the bird is obscured by it’s neutral gray coloration and owl-like fluffy feathers. The instant the STEALTH PIGEON is off-screen, a Mission Impossible surplus panel van, still identifying itself as being from the GÄZ KØMPÆNY comes to an abrupt halt just short of the puddle of blood on the pavement.

EXTREME CLOSEUP at GROUND LEVEL POV of an exceptionally well-polished conservative dress shoe crushing a cockroach scuttling past the van’s driver’s side door. In a quick series of James Cameron cuts and close-ups we see figures (or parts of figures) wearing black business suits, white shirts, black ties and black, nearly opaque Ray-Ban Wayfarers™ performing mundane actions in abrupt staccato movements with much snapping and tugging and slapping and cocking and ratcheting. Adjusting ties, shooting cuffs, tying shoes, taking mops and buckets and sponges from professional looking custom racks inside the van.

The staccato pace continues with the van’s rear doors bursting open, followed by an EXTREME CLOSEUP at GROUND LEVEL POV of a series of exceptionally well-polished conservative dress shoes hitting the pavement like paratrooper’s boots, each turning smartly left or right. From an elevated POV at a MEDIUM distance, facing the left front of the van, we see the MIB double-timing around both sides of the panel van, each with his left arm through the handle of a bucket, holding a mop at port arms.

MIB (ALL, WHISPERING):
Hut. Hut. Hut. Hut. Hut.

The POV retreats from the scene in an AERIAL PAN to the overcast sky. The POV soars into the clouds and catches up to the STEALTH PIGEON, which is soaring quietly through the clouds. Very faintly, mingled with the sound of rushing air, we can hear a muffled Whup-whup sound, apparently approaching judging from the Doppler shift. Something black fills the screen accompanied by a loud THUD. Through a rain of blood and bits and a swirling cloud of fluffy gray feathers we see an unmarked BLACK HELICOPTOR disappearing into the clouds.

MEDIUM POV of PILOT and COPILOT of BLACK HELICOPTOR through the forward windscreen as wipers squeegee blood and feathers away.

COPILOT: (deadpan)
There’s something you don’t see everyday, Merle.

PILOT: (deadpan)
What’s that Edgar?

COPILOT: (deadpan)
An adult pigeon.

POV peels away from the BLACK HELICOPTOR and dives down through the clouds, finally hovering in an EXTREME CLOSEUP on a fluffy gray pigeon FEATHER as it dances in the night air. In the background are the lights of Los Angeles. As the credits finish and the opening theme recedes, we follow the feather as it flits and twirls, dancing from gust to eddy until it finally lands on the head of FORREST LAWN.

[MEDIUM ESTABLISHING SHOT]

FORREST is seated stiffly at a bus stop. He is wearing a Government Issue black suit, white shirt and black tie. The pants are too short and he is wearing white socks. He is looking directly at the posted schedule by the bench, and we can see from his furrowed forehead that he is squinting behind his nearly opaque black Ray-Ban Wayfarers™.

FORREST LAWN is a large, well-built man. His broad shoulders merge into his bull neck, giving him a bulletheaded appearance. His hair is buzz cut and he is clean-shaven. His suit is too small for his large frame and his wrists poke too far from his cuffs. His pants are too short and he is wearing white socks. The suit is straining at the buttons and doesn’t conceal his large gun in his shoulder holster very well. He looks like The Tick in Ray-Ban Wayfarers®.*

Seated to his right, our left, is an UNLIKELY LOOKING GUY. He is wearing black Levis™, a black T-shirt with an Insane Klown Posse logo and black Reeboks®. His socks are black. He is seated cross-legged on the bench and is eating Cracker Jacks®. His shoulder length hair is dyed an unlikely shade of Burgundy and he is sporting an Errol-Flynn-as-Robin-Hood beard and moustache. He is bespectacled and Puckish.

FORREST: (addressing UL GUY)
Cross town bus run all night long?

UL GUY:
Doo dah! Doo dah! (pause)

FORREST:

UL GUY:
Uh, I guess. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. This being L.A. and all. You know? Like baby pigeons?

FORREST:
I see them all over the place.

UL GUY:
Cross town buses?

FORREST:
Baby pigeons.

UL GUY:
Really? What do they look like?

FORREST:
Pigeons.

UL GUY:
Oh. (pause) That was a letdown.

They sit in companionable silence. The UL GUY offers the Cracker Jacks®.

UL GUY:
Want some? You know, life is like a box of Cracker Jacks®. The prize usually sucks.

FORREST:
My mother used to say that life is like a shit sandwich. The more bread you have the less shit you have to eat. I don’t know what she meant by that, but I always looked real close at the lunch she packed for me.

They sit awhile in silence.

FORREST:
What’s your name?

UL GUY:
Who’s your daddy?

FORREST:

UL GUY:
You know. Is he rich like me?

FORREST:
I don’t know. Momma said she lost track, so she named me after her favorite. My name’s Forrest Lawn. People call me Forrest Lawn. I was named after Forrest Tucker. Momma said he was as big as a baby’s arm holding an apple.

[LIVING ROOM. NIGHT]
YOUNG FORREST is sitting, entranced, before a TV.

FORREST: (continues, voiceover)
I figure that had to be one big baby, because I saw him later on F Troop, and he looked pretty tall to me. Maybe she meant that’s how big he was on TV.

YOUNG FORREST holding an apple in his hand with his forearm against the screen while F Troop is on. He looks puzzled.

FORREST: (continues, voiceover)
Momma had a big family, and we moved around a lot to visit them.

In each of the following scenes, the rooms are identical in layout. All elements are in identical positions. The color of the carpeting, curtains and upholstery, and the pictures on the walls are the only changes. YOUNG FORREST is motionless in the same position throughout.

[MUSIC: “Behind Closed Doors”]

[HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. CHICAGO SKYLINE CAN BE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW.]

FORREST: (voiceover)
There was Uncle Sam.

SAM GIANCANA hangs a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the doorknob as TWO OBVIOUS MAFIA GUNMEN bracket the bedroom door. FRANK SINATRA is watching TV with YOUNG FORREST.

[HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. LAS VEGAS SKYLINE CAN BE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW.]

FORREST: (voiceover)
And Uncle Howard.

HOWARD HUGHES hangs a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the doorknob as TWO OBVIOUS BODYGUARDS in surgical masks and latex gloves bracket the bedroom door. BUZZ MEEKS is watching TV with YOUNG FORREST.

[HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. PALM SPRINGS SKYLINE CAN BE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW.]

FORREST: (voiceover)
And Uncle Jack.

JOHN KENNEDY hangs a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the doorknob as TWO OBVIOUS SECRET SERVICE MEN bracket the bedroom door. PETER LAWFORD is watching TV with YOUNG FORREST.

[HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. DALLAS SKYLINE CAN BE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW.]

FORREST: (voiceover)
My other Uncle Jack.

JACK RUBY is hosting a party with CLAY SHAW and DAVID FERRIE (wearing a ludicrous wig and drawn-on eyebrows) in attendance. FORREST’S MOTHER and several other good-looking women are décolletage and are on the arms of various CUBANS and MAFIOSI and SPOOKS. LEE HARVEY OSWALD is watching TV with YOUNG FORREST.

[HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. WASHINGTON, D.C. SKYLINE CAN BE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW.]

FORREST: (voiceover)
And Aunt J. Edgar and Uncle Clyde.

J. EDGAR HOOVER in drag is seated at a table with FORREST’S MOTHER. He is filling out a check in a checkbook he has produced from his capacious purse. She is talking and there is a tape machine running on the table. CLYDE TOLLAND is watching TV with YOUNG FORREST.

[PRESENT. NIGHT.]

FORREST:
I’m glad Momma never made me kiss Aunt J. Edgar. She was stubbly.

UL GUY:
I take it you’re big on Family Values?

FORREST:
Uh huh. Blood is thicker than water. I checked. Anyway, we moved around a lot until I got old enough to enlist in the Marines. Mr. Oswald said they were the best. They were sure the loudest.

[MARINE BOOT CAMP BARRACKS. DAY.]

[MUSIC: “Think I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag”, minus Fish Cheer]

GUNNERY SARGEANT HARTMAN is striding down the center of the barracks, flanked by recruits in their underwear at rigid attention.

SGT. HARTMAN:
God has a hard on for Marines, because we kill everything we see. He plays His games, we play ours. To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh souls. God was here before the Marine Corps, so you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps! There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here, you are all equally worthless. But I will make you worth something. I will make you Marines. I will make you suitable representatives of my beloved Corps, or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull fuck you!

JOKER:
Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?

SGT. HARTMAN:
Who said that? Who the fuck said that? Who’s the slimy communist shit twinkle-toed cocksucker who just signed his own death warrant?

All the recruits silently point at JOKER.

SGT. HARTMAN:
That’s what I’m looking for. Teamwork.

[EXTERIOR. PT COURSE. DAWN. IT IS RAINING]

FORREST: (voice over)
Boot Camp was a lot of fun.

Marines running until they puke through torrential rain, in mud. FORREST is unfazed. In fact, when Marines ahead of him collapse in pain and exhaustion, he runs over them without breaking stride.

FORREST: (voice over)
There was lot’s of running and playing in the mud. And climbing on the monkey bars and stuff.

[EXTERIOR. OBSTACLE COURSE. DUSK.
SGT. HARTMAN is straddling the topmost rung on an obstacle course tower. He is motivating PVT. PYLE, who looks remarkably like Jim Nabors.

SGT. HARTMAN:
Pyle, you climb obstacles like old people fuck! Are you quitting on me?! Well, are you?! Then quit, you slimy fucking doofus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! Now! Move it! I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle, if it short-dicks every cannibal on the Congo!

FORREST: (voice over)
There was clothes folding and cleaning floors with toothbrushes and lots and lots and lots of pushups.

We see FORREST and the other Marines performing all of these activities as they are mentioned.

FORREST: (voice over)
But best of all, there was Bubba.

FORREST and BUBBA are seated side by side and cleaning their rifles with obsessive attention. BUBBA is essentially FORREST’S twin, in black. BUBBA’S lower lip is thrust forward like a bulldog’s. In the background, SGT. HARTMAN is shrieking into PVT. PYLE’S face with much gesticulating.

FORREST:
My name is Forrest Lawn. People call me Forrest Lawn.

BUBBA:
My name is Bubba.

Bubba is crosscutting the noses of his bullets with a K-bar knife.

SGT. HARTMAN: (to PVT. PYLE, in background)
Were you born worthless, or did you have to work at it?

FORREST:
What are you doing Bubba?

BUBBA: (intent on his work)
Making dumdums. Now they’ll make bigger holes.

FORREST ponders this.

SGT. HARTMAN: (to PVT. PYLE, in background)
I bet you’re the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the god damned common courtesy to give him a reach around.

FORREST:
Can you make other kinds of bullets?

BUBBA:
Sure Forrest. There’s dumdums. There’s wad-cutters. There’s hollow-points…

FADE to platoon running in mud until they puke. FORREST and BUBBA obliviously trample the fallen underfoot. SGT. HARTMAN is shrieking at PVT. PYLE who has fallen in the mud.

BUBBA: (continuing)
…There’s tracers. There’s sabots. There’s copper jacketed. There’s explosive…

SGT. HARTMAN: (to PVT. PYLE, in background)
Bullshit! It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your mama’s ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress.

FADE to platoon doing pushups on their rifles. PVT. PYLE is standing before the platoon with his pants around his ankles and with his left thumb in his mouth. He is at right shoulder arms. SGT. HARTMAN is shrieking into his face with much gesticulating.

SGT. HARTMAN:
Pyle, you had best unfuck yourself and start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks or I will definitely fuck you up!

BUBBA: (continuing)
…There’s incendiary. There’s steel jacketed. There’s armor-piercing. (pause) I think that’s it.

SGT. HARTMAN: (to PVT. PYLE)
What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn’t Mommy and Daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?
(to platoon)
Lawn. Bubba. Front and center.

FORREST and BUBBA spring to their feet and double-time it to SGT. HARTMAN. They come to attention at port arms.

SGT. HARTMAN:
I have failed to motivate Private Pyle. If I do not motivate Private Pyle, I will fail my beloved Corps. This is unthinkable. It will not be considered. No, I shall delegate this responsibility, so I may devote my attention to making you into efficient killing machines. You two are the most squared-away maggots in this festering, stinking excuse for a platoon. I am making the two of you personally responsible for Private Pyle’s performance. My methods have failed. I suggest that you take a creative approach. Dismissed.

FADE TO

[BARRACKS. NIGHT.]

[MUSIC: Mister Sandman]

We see PVT. PYLE asleep on a top bunk. FORREST and BUBBA, in skivvies, leap upon PVT. PYLE. BUBBA pins PYLE’s body under his own. FORREST covers PYLE’S face with his pillow and holds it down firmly until PYLE’s thrashing stops.

FADE TO

[BARRACKS. MORNING.]

[MUSIC continues]

Recruits are standing about in skivvies. The body of PVT. PYLE is being wheeled out on a gurney by two CORPSMEN.

CUT TO

[SGT. HARTMAN’S OFFICE.]

[MUSIC continues]

SGT. HARTMAN is looking at a business card. CLOSEUP reveals that the business card says simply C.S.M. with a phone number below it. There is also a WATS line number. SGT. HARTMAN lifts the receiver and begins to dial.

END

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