THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
EXT WOODS NEAR HOBO JUNGLE DAY
Natty scrambles up a hill and finds Harry hunkered at the top, peering down on the camp. They watch through the moonlight as the Legionnaires SLAM their clubs into the fleeing hobos.
Natty turns to Harry who stares straight ahead, his jaw muscles tense, his mood dark. He answers the question in her eyes.
Main Streeters. Good law
He spits on the ground in contempt.
They’re scared. Scared to
Of what we got. Poverty. They
think it’s catching.
Harry stands and starts to walk away. He stops and turns back.
But. I thought…
Make up your mind Kid.
Harry starts away. Natty watches him for a moment then scrambles to her feet and follows him through the woods.
EXT TRAIN TRACKS DAWN
Harry and Natty and The wolf wait near a bend in the railroad tracks.
Harry has his ear to the ground, listening.
He looks down the empty tracks.
I don’t mean Eleanor Roosevelt.
Natty shrugs and a train WHISTLE BLOWS in the distance.
There’s an answering HOWL from the woods. The Wolf pricks his ears anxiously.
The engine pulls into view down the tracks. Harry nods at it.
She’ll slow for the turn and
that’s when we move.
Natty nods at Harry. She’s ready.
But The Wolf seems anxious. He stares at the woods and WHINES.
He hears another HOWL, and suddenly he takes off, racing across the clearing.
Natty WHISTLES for him but he doesn’t stop or look back. He disappears into the trees. She yells after him, desperately.
The train slows and Harry sprints for the boxcars.
Reluctantly Natty follows.
EXT BOXCAR DAWN
Harry leaps into a boxcar. He turns back to give Natty a hand. She stares up at him without reaching out, then turns back to the woods, searching for The Wolf.
Forget it! That was a she-wolf
calling him. He’s gone.
No…He wouldn’t do that.
The WHISTLE BLOWS and the train starts to move. Harry starts to slide away from Natty, his hand outstretched to her.
Natty searches the woods anxiously, still looking for The Wolf. She WHISTLES frantically.
Suddenly her face breaks into a smile.
I see him. He’s coming.
She runs to catch up to Harry in the boxcar.
Give your hand, damn it.
Natty reaches for Harry’s hand. He grabs it and swings her into the boxcar.
They watch as The Wolf races across the clearings toward the now fast moving train.
Come on John Henry.
Harry shakes his head.
He won’t make it. Never make it.
The Wolf runs alongside the train. In a powerful leap he flies through the air and lands inside the car.
He made it.
END Part 24
Part 25 Monday. (Hopefully, maybe Tuesday!)
A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.