SYNOPSIS: "The Home of Katie Archer" rev. 06-05
Feature film script by Jim Terr (c) 2003/2004
Tel. 505-989-9298; firstname.lastname@example.org
A small southwestern
town is slowly withering, despite an occasional Hollywood film shoot
and the occasional celebrity taking up residence in the scenic country nearby.
Suddenly it turns
out that a previously-unknown woman activist from the early 1900s,
who's getting huge national recognition thanks to a new biography
and TV documentary, was born and raised there! A humble town definitely devoid of Paris hotels.
In order to cash
in on her fame, to build and publicize a museum and the home of her
birth, the townspeople have to learn about her, appreciate her struggle
and "The Struggle," and come to terms with some locals' ideas about
"liberals" and "socialists."
seemingly almost unrelated, separated by 90 years, are intercut:
story: While the Rush Limbaugh-styled local radio station owner/host
rails against celebrating a "socialist," even home-town-girl-made-good
Katie Archer, life goes on: A young carpenter laying floors at $15/hr.
in a rich actor's new home, blows up at the actor's multi-million-dollar
dealmaking. The actor, on a bet, unaware that the carpenter is also
an actor, gets him an audition that leads to a part in a feature film
that's coming to town.
affair with the director's assistant puts his relationship with his
artist/masseuse girlfriend and her precocious daughter, in jeopardy.
The rich actor's eccentric mother, who's come to live with him, turns
out to have a surprising past, dark secrets and a deadly side... This
contemporary story has a lighter tone than:
2. The flashback
follows Katie Archer's terrified flight from a violent home to her
prominent and unexpected role in the Colorado miners' strike and "Ludlow
Massacre" of 1914. Katie escapes her abusive husband in the middle
of the night with her four small children, fleeing the small town
in which the contemporary story (above) takes place. Almost penniless
and with no contacts, they take the train as far as they can, to Denver, hoping to find work and perhaps cheap hotels.
Katie meets labor
activist Mother Jones, who recognizes in her a talent for organizing
and inspiring others, even though Katie has no previous political
experience or awareness. Katie meets and goes to work for Eddie Hall,
a character based on the actual, historical first PR man, Ivy Lee,
who was hired to rehabilitate John D. Rockefeller's image following
the massacre of the strikers and their families at his Colorado mine.
The climax is
a spectacular clash between Katie, Eddie and Rockefeller.
story follows actual historical events quite closely, and includes
some dialogue actually taken from Mother Jones' speeches and writings!
These two stories
intersect unexpectedly at the end, when history meets "today" in a
dramatic and moving revelation!
NOTE: One of several
things this script has in its favor is that it consists of two entirely
different stories of approximately equal length, which could be filmed
completely independently of each other, by two different units and
in fact two different directors!
This would be
a film "first," as far as I know, and a great publicity hook indeed!