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Four Rooms Transcript

“FOUR ROOMS”

Screenplay by

Allison Anders

Alexandre Rockwell

Robert Rodriguez

Quentin Tarantino

MAIN TITLES

As presentation credits begin, we hear Johnny Cash’s “Home
of the Blues.” Then we see Allison’s name, under it Alex’s,
under that Robert’s, under that Quentin’s, then under that
the title logo for Four Rooms, followed by “Starring Tim
Roth as the Bellboy.” Then “The Guests” listed in alphabetical
order of all the actors playing guests. After the actors’
names, we…

FADE UP ON A WALL

The camera pans down a weathered wall covered with postcards
from Miami Beach, Florida, the Copacabana, N.Y.C., “Wish You
Were Here” from Niagara Falls, rickshaws and babes on beaches,
etc….

The camera comes to rest on an old photograph of a 1930s
hotel, the “Mon Signor,” in its heyday, with a full staff of
30 people posed on the lawn in front.

An old guy with a staccato voice delivers a monologue:

VOICE-OVER
There used to be a staff of fifty in
this place. I’m the only one left
from those days. It all comes down
to one sap: the night-shift bellhop,
that’s me. What the hell is a bellhop?
You know where the name comes from?
(silence)
Of course not… It’s so simple it’s
stupid. They ring a bell and you
hop. You hop to front and center. No
heroes in this line, kid. Just men
doing a job. No questions asked,
none answered. I try to keep it
simple, kid, not too personal…

Another voice of a young man interrupts.

TED
You met any of those old stars?

THE OLD GUY
Stars! Are you kidding me? I took
Rin Tin Tin out for a shit, for
Christ’s sakes. I taught Shirley
Temple how to roller-skate. I saw
Fatty Arbuckle regurgitate three
cheese sandwiches right on the spot
you’re sitting, kid. What did you
say your name was?

TED
Ted.

THE OLD GUY
Ted, right. I remember Marilyn used
to come down at night and doze off
in the kitchen. She liked the sound
of the fans out back spinning around.
Sure, these were stars, kid. Errol
Flynn used to call me “Alibi.” You’ll
pick up a few stories yourself, kid.

TED
I don’t think so, not like yours.

THE OLD GUY
What do you think a star does when
he goes to the bathroom, kid?

TED
Beats me.

THE OLD GUY
He pulls his pants down and takes a
crap just like you and me. Take my
word for it.

A wisp of smoke passes over a napkin pinned to the wall with
a lip print on it signed “Marilyn.” The camera pulls back to
reveal Ted and the Old Guy sitting on a foldout cot in a
small back room of the Hotel Mon Signor. The old man is
dressed in a striped T-shirt with a bellhop’s cap on. He
looks like an old pirate. Next to him on the bed sits Ted, a
young guy with a bellhop jacket draped over his knees. The
old bellhop takes a long drag off a big cigar.

THE OLD GUY
Camacho!

TED
Who?

THE OLD GUY
The cigar. Cuban. A good cigar,
wrapped in Miami. I get a box of
them every Christmas from the chairman
of the board. I think he sends them
to me to keep my mouth shut. It’s
tough not to get a little personal
in this business.

The old bellhop takes a hit off his cigar and stares down at
his cap, lost in thought.

TED
What do you mean?

The old guy passes the cap over to Ted.

THE OLD GUY
Put it on.

Ted puts the cap on.

THE OLD GUY
Frankly, you look stupid… like the
Philip Morris guy. I can’t believe I
wore that thing for fifty years. You
keep it.

The Old Guy gets up from the bed and throws a jacket on.
Pulls a few postcards off the wall, throws them in an old
straw suitcase, and slams the lid down. He heads for the
door. Ted follows.

THE OLD GUY
Stay away from night clerks, kids,
hookers, and marital disputes.

The Old Guy pauses for a second and looks Ted dead in the
eye.

THE OLD GUY
Never have sex with the clientele.

TED
No way, not me. You got any other
advice.

THE OLD GUY
Always get a tip.

The door slams shut on the back room.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY–TWILIGHT

The big empty lobby of the Mon Signor. You can tell that at
one point this used to be a swank place. It still is, kinda.
It’s also kinda decrepit. The concierge — a snappy, fast-
talking, red-haired young woman in a blue blazer named Betty —
stands behind the reception desk. The old man, suitcase in
hand, makes a beeline through the lobby, heading toward the
front door. Betty sees him.

BETTY
Sam! Hey, Sam, wait a minute!

The Old Guy stops in his tracks and turns around.

THE OLD GUY
What?

Betty comes from behind the desk.

BETTY
I just want to say good-bye.

THE OLD GUY
Who are you?

BETTY
Uhhh, Betty. The concierge. Your
boss.

The Old Guy squints his eyes at the young gal.

THE OLD GUY
Oh yeah. Gotta light, sister? Goddam
cigar went out.

BETTY
Yeah, sure.

She speaks to the Old Guy as she lights his cigar and he
puffs away.

BETTY
I just want you to know, from the
owner and all the staff, your fifty
years of service have been an
inspiration to us all. You’re a legend
in your own time, and the Mon Signor
will never be the —

THE OLD GUY
Just forward my cigars, Red.
(He turns around the
walks out, saying
over his shoulder)
Aufwiedersehen!

Betty is left standing in the lobby. Ted appears behind her
in his bellbody uniform, sans cap.

TED
Sam the bellboy. Now there was a
man.

BETTY
Yeah. Oh, hi, Teddy. Ready to start
the night shift?

TED
Yeah.

BETTY
Well, let me buy you a drink.

TED
You wanna buy me a drink? I’m starting
my shift.

BETTY
You’re not an alcoholic, are you;
one drink won’t kill you.

TED
Yeah, sure.

They walk out of frame. In the empty frame we

SUPER: NEW YEAR’S EVE 7:00 P.M.

INT. BACK ROOM–NIGHT

Betty and Ted sit in the back room, both with drinks in their
hand. This dialogue is to be delivered rapid fire, Howard
Hawks style.

BETTY
After fifty years, Sam retires, and
you’re taking over the night shift.

TED
Correct.

BETTY
You’re filling some mighty big shoes.

TED
Oh, I know.

BETTY
Sam was a legend in the hotel
business.

TED
Oh, I know…

BETTY
A bellhop’s bellhop.

TED
An inspiration to us all.

BETTY
He ran the night desk for fifty years,
all by himself.

TED
An amazing man.

BETTY
No desk clerk. No night man. No help.
Just fuckin’ Sam, and his wits.

TED
A man alone.

BETTY
And you’re gonna do the same.

TED
I know.

BETTY
Tonight.

Ted spews his drink.

TED
Tonight!

BETTY
Yes, tonight.

TED
I can’t.

BETTY
Yes, you can.

TED
No, I can’t. I never worked the night
shift before.

BETTY
Oh night shift — smight shift.

TED
We were supposed to work it together.

BETTY
I know, but I can’t.

TED
Why not?

BETTY
I’m having a New Year’s Eve party.

TED
Since when?

BETTY
Actually, I’m not having it. My
roommate is. And there’s this guy.
German guy. He’s gonna be there. And
so am I.

TED
I can’t run this place by myself.

BETTY
Oh, sure ya can.

TED
No, I can’t.

BETTY
Sam ran this place by himself for
fifty years.

TED
Yeah, and he had fifty years of
fuckin’ practice, too. I haven’t had
a day.

BETTY
Look, Teddy, calm down —

TED
— Don’t call me Teddy.

BETTY
Ted, the night’s cake. It’s easy.
The day’s when it’s busy. During the
night there’s nothing to do.

TED
It’s New Year’s Eve.

BETTY
Which’ll make it less busy than
normal. Ever worked on Christmas?
Unless you sell turkeys, business is
dead. You just got butterflies, that’s
all.

TED
What I have ain’t butterflies. I
can’t handle this hotel all by myself.

Betty slows the scene down.

BETTY
Okay, let’s calm down a minute. Slow
it down, cool it off. Let’s just
talk.

TED
You can say any goddamn thing you
want —

BETTY
— Ted? I thought we were calming
down? I thought we were cooling off?
No hostility. Say good-bye to
hostility. We’re just talking.

TED
Okay… okay… okay… I’m calm,
I’m cool, let’s talk.

BETTY
Ted, in a nutshell, all you have to
do is hold the fort. It’s New Year’s
Eve. Most of the guests are going
out. You’ll just be giving them a
little nod as they come staggering
in at three… four… five… in
the morning. Nobody’s having any
parties, a few get-togethers, but no
parties. You got about three people
checking in tonight, that’s it. The
only variable is Chester Rush in the
penthouse.

TED
Chester Rush? The guy from The Wacky
Detective?

BETTY
Yeah, him and his entourage checked
in last night. They’re in the
penthouse. The only reason I refer
to it as a variable is that he’s a
movie star. Ya never know about movie
stars. I’m tellin’ ya, Ted, it’s
cake.

Betty takes a piece of paper and writes her number down.

BETTY
(continuing)
And look, if you have any problems,
call me at the party.

Ted thinks about it for a moment.

TED
Okay.

BETTY
Great —

TED
— For fifty bucks.

BETTY
Fifty bucks!

TED
You’re shirking your duties for this
Nazi. For that you pay a price, and
the price is fifty bucks.

BETTY
One, Horst is not a Nazi. Two, that’s
not a fair price. You’re taking
advantage of the situation. Twenty
bucks. Now, twenty bucks is a fair
price.

TED
Yeah, but what you’re doin’ to me
ain’t fair. And, you are completely
and totally taking advantage of me
and your position. So fifty bucks is
the perfect price.

Betty begrudgingly digs in her purse.

BETTY
Okay, but don’t be a pussy. You don’t
bother me unless it’s an emergency.
In fact, for fifty bucks, you better
not call me unless the fuckin’
building’s burning down.

She gives him the money.

BETTY
Get ready to take the desk.

Betty leaves.

Ted sits in the chair, takes another drink, and prepares
himself for the night.

FADE TO BLACK

STORY TITLE CARD:

ROOM 321
“STRANGE BREW”

FADE IN:

EXT. THE MON SIGNOR HOTEL–DUSK

Ted, the bellboy, meets his first guest of the evening, as a
taxi unloads her luggage. To his warm surprise, the guest is
a Beautiful Mediterranean Goddess (actually, we will come to
see she is not technically a goddess, but a High Priestess).
She is about 25 years old, speaks with an Italian accent and
is dressed in Gypsy garb. She is Athena.

Ted takes Athena’s luggage onto his cart. But one item in a
woven Moroccan bag proves to be unbearably heavy. Athena is
concerned as he attempts to lift it.

ATHENA
Pleeze be careful — my God. You
have no idea…

Ted strains as he uses all his cojones to lift the insanely
heavy bag onto the cart. Athena tips the cab driver, stingily.
The driver winces and gets in the cab. Ted has now managed
with grunts and groans and strained blood vessels to put
this thing on the cart. The cab skids away. Athena looks at
Ted, who is out of breath.

ATHENA
I’m usually a good tipper, but this
one — this cab driver — he had
green all around him. I don’t like
that in a man.

Ted wheezes and pounds on his chest.

TED
Green? Is that bad? Like you read
auras or something like that?

ATHENA
Something like that.

TED
Yeah, well what color are you seein’
around me… how’s the tip lookin?

ATHENA
I see purple… in your face, and…

As if she can’t help herself, Athena’s eyes are strangely
drawn to his crotch.

She frowns, confused by this impulse. Ted appears to be
charmingly oblivious.

Athena looks back into his face.

ATHENA
…you’re okay.

Ted touches his face — as if searching for the “purple” in
it — and moves the cart inside, discreetly checking out his
crotch and giving her a confused side glance.

INT. FRONT DESK–DUSK

Ted shifts hats to check the girl in. He checks her
reservation.

ATHENA
Athena Z.

TED
(scratching his head —
weird name, okay)
You’re booked in the Honeymoon Suite —
just one night? With all this luggage?

ATHENA
I will only need to stay till sunrise.

TED
Okay… and how will you be paying?

ATHENA
With gold.

He looks at this wacky Gypsy chick numbly — she pulls out
her Gold Card and smiles.

EXT. ELEVATOR–DUSK

The doors open and Ted and Athena emerge upon the third floor.
Ted follows Athena with the cart down the hallway to her
room.

AT THE HONEYMOON SUITE DOOR

Ted opens the door, then lifts the easiest bags first. In
the center of the room is a Jacuzzi with hokey plastic cupids
poised with urns on each side. A dormant fireplace looms
beyond the still hot tub.

Ted stares at the heavy bag with anxiety — then looks in
front of him to Athena as she rubs the round plastic head of
a little Cupid and mumbles, “Perfect.”

Then, arms open wide, chin lifted to heaven, eyes closed,
she mumbles a faint incantation. Then she does a belly-dance
wiggle and turns to Ted, who is truly perplexed.

ATHENA
Well — the other bag — I need it.

TED
Right.

He starts to lift it, again straining and turning purple. He
laughs sickly.

TED
What the hell you got in here, lady?
Nuclear weapons?

She relieves him of the task and effortlessly picks up the
bag.

ATHENA
(dryly)
The White Cliffs of Dover.

Ted is stunned as she slings the bag over her shoulder and
pauses to pull a 10 spot out of her cleavage. She hands it
to him. Ted is grateful and disoriented.

ATHENA
The others will be coming soon. Send
them, pleeze.

Ted nods, confused by “the others,” and walks off with the
cart. Then he turns from outside the doorway.

TED
Oh — I forgot to show you how to
turn on the Jacuzzi.

But Athena is ahead of him — she flips a switch and water
begins to flow from the baby cupids’ urns into the hot tub.

ATHENA
I been in dis’ place many New Year’s.
So… you send the others to me,
huh. Go now.

As she says this, the door closes with a strange force,
shutting Ted out. Athena takes the bag to the bedroom of the
suite.

IN THE SUITE BEDROOM

A round bed with pink tuck’n’roll headboard. It’s impossible
to imagine having an orgasm in this room — unless it were
achieved by laughing.

Athena carefully removes a large, beautiful white slab of
stone from her tapestry bag. She caresses it and carries it
like a baby to the bed and places it in the very center, the
head of the rock resting on dusty heart-shaped pillows.

Then she removes from her bag a pink negligee and matching
high-heeled slippers.

And these she places with reverence on the bed.

ATHENA
On this night, oh great goddess Diana,
we restore your virgin flesh and
bring you back to real life.

CLOSE ON the rock slab. We hold the artifact.

ATHENA
Soon — I take you to the pond for a
cleansing. Well, it’s a swimming
pool, but it will be under the setting
sun, okay?

INT. FRONT DESK–DUSK FALLS

Just as Ted is recovering from the mystery of this first
guest, Elspeth arrives.

She has skin like marble, the body of Venus, piercing blue
eyes, blond hair and is dressed all in black clothing, like
Honey West in a rubber dress. She carries several bags, and
a silver sword on her shoulder.

TED
May I help you?

ELSPETH
I… we… have a reservation.

Then she snaps, irritated, behind her.

ELSPETH
Kiva!

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