Apocalypse Now, original screenplay (estratto)

INT. SAIGON HOTEL – DAY
The CAMERA MOVES slowly across the room…and we see WILLARD, a young army captain.
He looks out the window to the busy Saigon street.

WILLARD (V.O.)
Saigon…shit. I’m only in Saigon.
Every time, I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle.

He moves back to the bed, lies down. He’s unshaven, exhausted, probably drunk. We see alcohol bottles, photos, documents scattered on the table.

WILLARD (V.O.)
When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing.
I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there…all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now. Waiting for a mission.
Getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute Charlie squats in the bush…he gets stronger. Each time I looked around…the walls moved in a little tighter.

He’s up now, naked, going into a frenzy, drinking, doing some sort of martial arts, eventually collapsing onto the floor.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. SAIGON HOTEL – STAIRWAY – DAY
Two extremely sharp army men walk up the stairs to Willard’s room, a SERGEANT and a PRIVATE.

WILLARD (V.O.)
Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission. And for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.

They knock on the door. A second knock.

SERGEANT
Captain Willard, are you in there?

WILLARD
Yeah I’m coming.

The army men wait for him.

WILLARD (V.O.)
It was a real choice mission. And when it was over, I’d never want another.

Willard unlocks the door and opens it. The men react to his condition.

WILLARD
What do you want?

SERGEANT
Are you all right, Captain?

WILLARD
What’s it look like?

Willard turns back into the room, sits on the bed. The Sergeant follows him.

SERGEANT
Are you Captain Willard? 505th Battalion? 173rd Air-Borne? Assigned to SOG?

Willard looks over at the Private by the door.

WILLARD
Hey, buddy, you gonna shut the door?

The private enters the room, closing the door behind him.

SERGEANT
We have orders to escort you to the airfield.

WILLARD
What are the charges? What did I do?

SERGEANT
There’s no charges, Captain.

The sergeant opens the letter he has been holding.

SERGEANT
You have orders to report to Com-Sec Intelligence at Nah Trang.

He holds up the letter in front of Willard’s face so he can see it. We see the word ‘RESTRICTED’ across the top.

WILLARD
I see.

SERGEANT
All right?

WILLARD
Nah Trang, for me?

SERGEANT
That’s right.

The sergeant folds the letter back and puts it back in the envelope. Willard doesn’t move.

SERGEANT
Come on, Captain, you still have a few hours to get cleaned up.

WILLARD
I’m not feeling too good.

He lays his head on the pillow and closes his eyes.

SERGEANT
Captain?
(to private)
Dave, come here and give me a hand. We’ve got a dead one.

The two of them move over to Willard and pick him up.

SERGEANT
Come on Captain, Let’s go take a shower.

WILLARD
Don’t be an ass.

SERGEANT
(to private)
Get hold of him good. We’re going to take a shower, Captain.

They drag him into the shower, and turn on the cold water.

SERGEANT
Stand under this, Captain.

Willard shudders and yells as they begin to clean him up.

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