Beetlejuice, early draft, by Michael McDowell
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EXT: WINTER RIVER, CONNECTICUT -- DAY
A bucolic New England town, but rather too clean and neat to be
entirely real. There is no visible population.
Ominous, vibrating music.
On Main Street, a banner proclaims:
COME TO THE
INDEPENDENCE DAY PICNIC
ON THE GREEN
WINTER RIVER, CONNECTICUT
The camera, flying over downtown and several different
neighborhoods, sweeps over a rickety bridge crossing a rapidly
flowing stream, and then up a hill to a large old-fashioned
house. The house stands alone on this prominence, overlooking
the rest of the town. The camera lingers.
SUDDENLY A GIANT DADDY LONGLEGS SPIDER --
mounts the crest of the hill behind the house, pauses for a
moment, and then starts to climb over the Victorian house in a
very menacing manner.
You're a big fellow.
A HAND --
perfectly stupendous -- reaches down out of the sky, lies flat,
palm up, in the yard next to the house, and the Daddy Longlegs
climbs into it. The hand rises into the sky again.
INT: ATTIC AND MINIATURE TOWN -- DAY
A new angle reveals Winter River as a miniature town, while the
Daddy Longlegs and the hand holding it are perfectly normal in
size. Above the model are a complicated mechanism of sun, moon,
clouds, and stars -- a whole, tiny mechanical universe to track
the hours of the day.
The hand belongs to ADAM MAITLAND, who is in his early forties,
solid-looking and easy-going. Frank Capra used to make movies
ADAM and the miniature town are in an attic room of a Victorian
house. The attic roof slopes on either side, and there are a
couple of windows, quite small and low down toward the floor at
either end of the long room. Almost the entire space is taken up
by the miniature town. A single door leads to a landing and
staircase to the lower part of the house.
ADAM carries the spider to the window, kneels on the floor, and
pushes open the window. The spider crawls away outside.
ADAM's POV --
The real Winter River lies spread out at the bottom of the hill.
BACK TO SCENE --
ADAM, whistling, goes back to the model. He takes a pair of
tweezers in which he grips an extremely small sign, whose
lettering is so tiny we can't make it out.
He reaches into the model and places the sign on the window of
MAITLAND'S APPLIANCE STORE on Main Street.
INSERT -- THE SIGN
ADAM AND BARBARA
BACK TO SCENE --
ADAM smiles down at the town as he's about to leave the room. He
turns off the lamp that acts as sun to the miniature Winter
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