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From Dusk Till Dawn Transcript

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

Screenplay by
Quentin Tarantino

Story by
Robert Kurtzman

Directed by
Robert Rodriguez

Cast List:
Quentin Tarantino Richard Gecko
George Clooney Seth Gecko
Brenda Hillhouse Hostage Gloria
Harvey Keitel Jacob
Juliette Lewis Kate
Ernest Liu Scott
Cheech Marin Border Guard, Chet Pussy, Carlos
Selma Hayek Santanico Pandemonium
Danny Trejo Razor Charlie
Ernest Garcia Big Emilio
Tom Savini Sex Machine
Fred Williamson Frost

“I earnestly wish an end would come to this bloody
race I am forced to run.”

Countess
in: “La Comtesse Noire”
by Jess Franco

FADE IN:

EXT. LIQUOR STORE – DAY

A convenience store in a Texas Suburb. No other businesses
surround it.

CLOSE-UP: A light switch is flipped on.

The sign on top of the store lights up. It reads: BENNY’S
WORLD OF LIQUOR.

TITLE CARD:

BIG SPRING, TEXAS
109 MILES WEST OF ABILENE
345 MILES EAST OF THE MEXICAN BORDER

A Texas Ranger patrol car pulls into the parking lot and
a real live Texas Ranger, EARL MCGRAW, steps out. McGraw is
in full ranger uniform – button shirt, cowboy hat, boots,
mirrored shades, tin star and a colt revolver on his hip.

It’s about an hour and a half before sundown and McGraw is
off duty for the day.

The only other car in the parking lot is a 1975 Plymouth

INT. BENNY’S WORLD OF LIQUOR – DAY

A young Hawaiian Shirt wearing man named PETE sits on a
stool behind the counter.

A few CLOSE-UP:STOMERS fiddle about.

A MAN wearing a black suit, black tie, and wire rim
glasses holds hands with a PRETTY BLONDE GIRL in cutoffs and
bare feet. They look through magazines.

Another black suit wearing MAN holds hands with a RED-HEADED
GIRL in a prep school uniform. They look through the
beer cooler in the back of the store. Both girls are around
seventeen.

MCGRAW enters the store.

MCGRAW
Hot goddamn day!

PETE
Haven’t felt it a bit. Been inside with
the air conditioner blastin’ all day
long.

MCGRAW
Not even for lunch?

PETE
I’m by myself today, ate my lunch
outta the microwave.

McGraw walks over to the beer cooler, as if done ritually
every night (it is), takes out a beer, pops it open and
joins Pete by the front counter.

MCGRAW
Jesus Christ man, that microwave food
will kill ya as quick as a bullet.
Those burritos are only fit for a
hippie high on weed. Pull me down a
bottle of Jack Daniels. I’m gettin’
tanked tonight.

PETE
Whatsamatter?

MCGRAW
(sighs)
Awww, it’s just been a shitass day.
Every inch of it hot and miserable.
First off, Nadine at the Blue Chip
got some sorta sick, so that Mongoloid
boy of hers was workin’ the grill.
That fuckin’ idiot don’t know rat shit
from Rice Krispies. I ate breakfast
at nine, was pukin’ up pigs in a
blanket like a sick dog by ten
thirty.

PETE
Isn’t there a law or something
against retards serving food to the
public?

MCGRAW
Well, if there ain’t there sure oughta
be. Who knows what goes on inside
Mongoloid’s mind?

PETE
You could sue the shit out of her, ya
know. That kid belongs under a circus
tent, not flippin’ burgers. You could
own that fuckin’ place.

MCGRAW
What the hell would I do with that
grease pit? Besides, Nadine’s got
enough of a cross to bear just taking
care of that potato head. Then all
this Abilene shit happened. You
heard about that bank robbery in
Abilene, didn’t ya?

PETE
That’s all that’s been on the box
all day. They killed some people
didn’t they?

MCGRAW
Four Rangers, three cops, and two
civilians. And they took a lady bank
teller as a hostage.

Pete doesn’t say anything.

MCGRAW
They’ll probably make a run for the
border, which would bring ‘em this
way. And if we get our hands on
those shit asses, we’re talking
payback time. We’ll get ‘em all right.
I gotta piss. I’m gonna use your
commode.

PETE
Knock yourself out.

McGraw drops his last drip of beer, crushes the can and
exits in the bathroom.

The black suited man by the beer cooler turns around and,
with the prep school girl in tow, walks rapidly toward Pete.
We see that the girl is crying.

BLACK SUITED MAN #1
(to Pete)
Do you think I’m fuckin’ playing with
you, asshole?
(points to the tearful prep
school girl)
Do you want this little girl to die?
(pointing to the blonde with
the other guy)
Or that little girl? Or your
bosombuddy with the badge? Or
yourself? I don’t wanna do it, but
I’ll turn this fuckin’ store into the
Wild Bunch if I even think you’re
fuckin’ with me.

The two men in black suits are the notorious Abilene
bank robbers, SETH and RICHARD GECKO, “The Gecko Brothers.”
And the other customers are all being held hostage. Seth
is the one with the prep girl. Richard is the one with
the blonde.

Everybody speaks low and fast.

PETE
What do you want from me? I did what
you said.

SETH
Letting him use your toilet? No store
does that.

PETE
He comes in here every day and we
bullshit. He’s used my toilet a
thousand times. If I told him no,
he’d know something was up.

SETH
I want that son-of-a-bitch out outta
here, in his car, and down the road or
you can change the name of this
place to “Benny’s World of Blood.”

Richard, holding tightly the hand of the terrified girl,
leans next to Seth’s ear and whispers something. Seth looks
at Pete.

SETH
Were you giving that pig signals?

PETE
What? Are you kidding? I didn’t do
anything!

Richard whispers something else in Seth’s ear.

SETH
He says you were scratching.

PETE
I wasn’t scratching!

SETH
You callin’ him a liar?

Pete controls himself.

PETE
I’m not calling him a liar, okay? I’m
simply saying that if I was
scratching, and if I did scratch, it’s
not because I was signaling the cop,
it’s because I’m fuckin’ scared
shitless.

Richard speaks for the first time in a low calm voice to
Seth.

RICHARD
The Ranger’s taking a piss. Why don’t
I just go in there, blow his head off
and get outta here.

PETE
Don’t do that! Look, you asked me to
act natural, and I’m acting as natural
— in fact, under the circumstances, I
think I ought get a fuckin’ Academy
Award for how natural I’m acting. You
asked me to get rid of him, I’m doing
my best.

SETH
Yeah, well, your best better get a
helluva lot fuckin’ better, or you’re
gonna feel a helluva fuckin’ lot
worse.

The toilet FLUSHES.

SETH
Everybody be cool.

Everybody goes back to what they were doing.

McGraw steps back out of the back. He appears to be unaware
of the situation.

MCGRAW
Yeah, and I’m gonna be right back at
it tomorrow. So tonight I’m gonna sit
in front of the box and just drink
booze. How much is the bottle?

PETE
Six-fifty.

Out of nowhere Richard WHIPS out his forty-five automatic
and SHOOTS McGraw in the head.

McGraw goes down screaming.

Richard stands over him and SHOOTS him twice more.

Seth charges forward.

SETH
(to Richard)
What the fuck was that about?

RICHARD
(in a low monotone)
He signaled the Ranger.

PETE
(hysterical)
I didn’t.
(to Seth)
You gotta believe me, I didn’t.

RICHARD
(to Seth)
When they were talkin’, he mouthed
the words “Help Us.”

PETE
You fuckin’ liar, I didn’t say shit!

Richard SHOOTS Pete and Pete falls down behind the counter.

Seth grabs Richard and throws him up against the wall.

SETH
What the fuck is wrong with you —

RICHARD
Seth, he did it. You were by the beer
cooler with your back turned. I was by
the magazines, I could see his face.
And I saw him mouth:

Richard mouths the words, “Help Us.”

While Pete lies on the floor behind the counter bleeding
from his bullet wound, he opens his floor safe and pulls
out a gun from it.

Seth releases his brother.

SETH
Start the car.

RICHARD
You believe me don’t cha?

SETH
Shut up and start the car.

Richard walks away from Seth and crosses the counter…

…when Pete SPRINGS up, gun in hand, and SHOOTS Richard in
the hand.

Richard FALLS to his knees, howling.

Both Pete and Seth SPRAY the store with gunfire.

Seth DIVES down an aisle. He reloads.

Pete DUCKS behind the counter. He reloads.

Richard has crawled to safety behind an aisle.

The two girls have run out screaming.

SETH
(yelling)
Richie? You okay?

RICHARD
(yelling)
I’m not dead, but I’m definitely shot!
I told you that bastard said, “Help
us!”

PETE
(yelling)
I never said help us!

SETH
(yelling)
Well that don’t matter now, ’cause
you got about two fuckin’ seconds
to live! Richie!

RICHARD
(yelling)
Yeah?

SETH
(yelling)
When I count three, shoot out the
bottles behind him!

RICHARD
Gotcha!

SETH
One… Two… Three.

The two brothers start FIRING toward the counter.

They HIT the bottles of alcohol on the shelf behind Pete.

Pete is crouched on the ground as glass, debris and alcohol
RAIN down on him.

Seth grabs a roll of paper towels from off a shelf.

Richard keeps FIRING.

Seth douses the paper towels with lighter fluid, sets it on
fire with his Zippo, then tosses it.

The flaming roll of paper towels FLIES through the air.

The fireball lands behind the counter.

The entire counter area immediately BURSTS INTO FLAMES. Pete
screams from behind the counter.

Seth smiles to himself and stands.

Richard shakes his head in amusement and stands.

Pete runs out from behind the counter, ENGULFED IN FLAMES
still holding his weapon and FIRING.

Seth and Richard hit the ground FIRING their .45’s.

Pete, the human torch, FALLS like a tree into the Hostess
Pastry display.

Seth and Richard rise from the rubble.

EXT. BENNY’S WORLD OF LIQUOR – DAY

They exit the store squabbling. The store is bursting into
flames.

SETH
What did I tell you? What did I tell
you? Buy the road map and leave.

RICHARD
What am I supposed to do, Seth?
He recognized us.

SETH
He didn’t recognize shit.

Both Seth and Richard stand on opposite sides of the car.

RICHARD
Seth, I’m telling you, the way he
looked at us — you especially —
I knew he knew.

They both climb in the car, Seth behind the wheel. Seth
starts it op. The souped up engine ROARS to life. We can
hear Seth mumbling under the motor.

SETH
Low profile. Do you know what the
words “low profile” mean?

CLOSE-UP: SETH’S FOOT PUNCHES GAS.

The Plymouth tears out of the parking lot backwards, hits
the street, and speeds off down the road.

We CRANE UP HIGH to see the car leaving a trail of dust
behind it, as the store burns out of control.

OPENING CREDIT SEQUENCE.

Raunchy, honky-tonk MUSIC fills the theater.

CUT TO:

EXT. TEXAS PANHANDLE – DAY

The Plymouth tears ass across Texas plains. As TITLES PLAY
OVER, we see Seth and Richard enjoying their getaway/road
trip. Seth behind the wheel, pops open a bottle of
prescription pills, empties out four of the red capsules in
his hand, pops them in his mouth, and washes it back with a
slug of Jack Daniel’s from a pint bottle.

Richard looks at Seth through the hole in his hand. Like a
boxer, Richard wraps his wounded hand with gaffer’s tape.

The camera leaves the boys, as they woosh down the street,
and goes along the length of the car to the trunk. It hangs
on the trunk. Then we see through the trunk, like Superman:

AN OLDER WOMAN tied up and helpless in the trunk.

The rest of the titles play over black as the song
continues.

CREDIT SEQUENCE ENDS

CUT TO:

EXT. EMMA AND PETE’S GRAVY TRAIN – DAY

Emma and Pete’s Gravy Train is a truck stop off of Highway
290.

SUBTITLE APPEARS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN':

FORT STOCKTON
238 MILES FROM THE MEXICAN BORDER

INT. EMMA AND PETE’S GRAVY TRAIN – DAY

Emma and Pete’s PATRONS are made up of regulars, truckers,
cowboys and road-weary travelers. The CAMERA DOLLIES through
the maze of tables, patrons, and waitresses.

It stops when it gets to a table occupied by the FULLER
FAMILY. The Fullers definitely fall into the road-weary
category. The members of the unit consist of the father,
JACOB, age 44, an ex-preacher, a good man with rough edges,
and his two children, KATE, age 19, is a young beauty who
possesses what can only be described as an apple pie
sensuality. She is dressed like a nice Christian girl,
complete with crucifix. SCOTT, age 16, is a Jacob’s
Vietnamese adopted son. Scott is a likable, long-haired kid
who always wears a T-shirt with the name of the heavy metal
garage band he plays guitar for, “Precinct 13.” The three
of them are wolfing down a late lunch.

JACOB
We got about two more hours of day
light left. That’ll get us into
El Paso, which is right next to the
border. We’ll stop at a motel —

SCOTT
Stop? We’re not going to actually
stop at a motel, are we?

Scott and Kate speak together, obviously repeating something
that Jacob has said about three hundred times.

SCOTT AND KATE
We’ve got a Winnebago. We don’t need
those over priced roach havens. We’re
self contained.

JACOB
Okay, Okay, maybe I was a little
overzealous, but give me a break, I
just bought it.

Scott and Kate continue the impersonation.

SCOTT
Why, just look at all this. You got
your kitchen —

KATE
— you got your microwave —

SCOTT
— you got your sink —

KATE
— you got your shower —

SCOTT
— see this, television!

KATE
Feel this, real wood paneling. That’s
real wood, too, not that fake stuff.

JACOB
Unless you two wiseacres wanna be
introduced to the joys of hitchhiking,
what say we drop this?

SCOTT
(to Kate)
The truth hurts.

KATE
(to Scott)
It’s the bitterest of pills.

JACOB
You two ought to start a stand-up
act, because you’re just wasting your
humor on me.

KATE
Ain’t it the truth.

SCOTT
Why do you want to stop?

JACOB
I’m exhausted.

SCOTT
Lie in the back, Dad, I’ll drive us
into Mexico.

Jacob gives Scott a look that says, “You aren’t touching my
new motor home.”

JACOB
I just bet you would. Don’t even thin
about it. Besides, I want to have one
night’s sleep in an
honest-to-goodness bed. The beds in
the home are okay, but they’re not
like a real bed.

KATE
Hey, if we go to a motel, we can
swim.

SCOTT
I’ll be right back. I’m gonna go to
the bathroom.

Scott gets up from the table and walks out back to the
restroom.

Jacob and Kate are left alone. There’s an awkward moment of
silence before…

KATE
Dad, when I called the machine to
check our messages there was one from
Bethel Baptist. Mr.Franklin said he
wouldn’t permanently replace you until
we came back. He said when we come
home, if you still feel the same
way —

JACOB
That’s very nice of Ted, but I’ll
call him tomorrow and tell him not
to bother waiting.

KATE
I didn’t want to talk about this in
front of Scott because he gets upset.
But you don’t believe in God
anymore?

JACOB
Not enough to be a pastor. Look, I
know this is hard on you kids. After
Jenny’s death, this is probably the
last thing you need. But I can’t do
it any longer. My congregation needs
spiritual leadership. Well, they can’t
get that from me anymore. My faith is
gone. To answer your question, yes,
I do believe in Jesus. But do I love
them? No. After Jenny died, I just
thought, what’s the point?

KATE
(pushing him)
It’s just, all our lives you’ve been
a pastor. For twenty years you’ve
preached trust in the lord. And then
one day you wake up and say fuck him?

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