KRELLMAN is two things: a brain, & a little nutsy. He is also a
good friend of Simon McKay, one of the few people in the world who both believes
in Harry & can identify with his non-conformist outlook on life.
Unfortunately for both Harry & the world-at-large, he has rarely held a job
for more than a few months, he is a perpetual dreamer, he delights in sticking
needles into windbags no mater what their title or power, & he is given to
over-exaggeration when charting the future of his various inventions ~~ which is
why he is rarely taken seriously by his colleagues. Especially at
scientific conventions where we are about to meet him. Somewhere around
Simon's age, Harry is a dynamic, twitchy, young Art Carney of a man with the
propensity to keep smiling despite the fact that he is ~ it seems ~ eternally
doomed to spit into the wind of conformity.
PRANSKI: a huge bear of a mobster cut from the Lee J. Cobb mold. For
Pranski power is the name of the game & he is willing to kill for it.
Superficially jovial & generous, Pranski's moods change like a chameleon's
coat & in an instant he can become a course, cruel man capable of killing
anybody standing in his way. And, at the moment, the one thing he will let
nothing stand in his way to obtain is . . . . . Harry's latest invention:
The "GARBAGERATOR", a weird device that emits two high-intensity
sonic beams at different frequencies so that the point at which they meet such
as a garbage dump literally vaporizes (based on principle of medical device that
pulverizes kidney stones). Pranski, of course, sees well beyond
garbage. In fact, he is obsessed by this device because it is the only way
he can effectively destroy the evidence now held deep in the Federal Prosecutor
vaults in L.A. that will seal his fate & send him to the Federal
Penitentiary on income tax evasion & racketeering charges for the next 10 to
out after draft was printed) TIGHT on Simon reflecting on
his life . . . pull back to discover he's on a couch talking to a shrink about
inventor's block . . . is encouraged to think positive & we CUT TO:
HOUSE ~ big explosion ~ cut inside to Alex rescuing Simon & carrying
him to kitchen where Tillie ministers to him ~ biggest hurt is to his confidence
~ Alex & Tillie convince him he's pushing too hard ~ time to take a break
& enjoy life. How? Simple, says Tillie. Just call Am.
Technological Assoc. back & accept offer to act as judge in annual
Technological Fair competition. Besides, it'll get he &
Alex out from underfoot while she entertains some of her lady friends at an
afternoon tea she's been planning. Fun in the sun while kibitzing with old
pals? Not a bad idea says a weary & battered Simon as he stares
woefully at a robotic fire-alarm doll that waddles in crying, "Erif!
Erif! Erif!" instead of "Fire! Fire! Fire!"
3. TIGHT on
TELEPHOTO SHOTS of device being demonstrated ~ cut to figure of man operating it
with childlike delight ~ ZOOM IN & FREEZE FRAME on establishing shot
of Harry Krellman. PULL BACK to discover Pranski briefing his
heavies: this is the device they are to procure for him at the
3. POOLSIDE at
luxury Palm Springs hotel ~ Simon & co. arrive ~ greeted by several old
cronies, last of which is zany Harry Krellman who we sense from condescending
attitude of his peers is frequently off on another planet, a fact that doesn't
deter Harry who won't tip anybody off about his revolutionary invention until
the press unveiling later that day ~ Simon is enjoying himself immensely &
says this is just what doctor ordered . . . all play & no work ~ at which
point he graciously offers to fix a little kid's life-ring which doesn't work ~
Simon adjusts the air-valve & the child jumps into the pool only to have it
deflate causing Alex to jump in fully dressed to keep kid from going under . . .
all of which sends Simon back into his blue funk. PERHAPS WE ALSO
ESTABLISH JOE PRANSKI & 3 OF HIS HOODS AT POOLSIDE. Pranski nods to
associates who rise & leave pool area en masse.
4. INT. BALLROOM
is a maze of scientific devices competing for Grand Prize including robots,
lasers, space-age vehicles ~ Simon & Alex with press corps as Simon rubs
elbows with more peers ~ move to shrouded invention which Krellman proudly
unveils to reveal nothing but a pile of garbage ~ in shock, he claims his
revolutionary "Garbage-a-Rator" has been stolen ~ amid derisive
laughter of colleagues, the distraught Krellman pleads to no avail that
everybody must believe him . . . his invention is the answer to mankind's need
to get out from under the Mt. Everest of non-biodegradable waste that piles up
yearly & will eventually inundate us all! ~ but the laughter drowns him out
& Harry rushes from the room with Simon & Alex in pursuit.
EXT./INT. HOTEL ~ Simon & Alex looking everywhere for Harry ~ Simon worried
about Harry, especially since he believes Harry was telling the truth ~ suddenly
a hue & cry ~ there's a man standing on the edge of a roof! ~
Simon reacts. Oh no! Harry! ~ rush outside & we see
it is Harry Krellman . . . apparently on the verge of jumping . . . at which
point we FADE OUT.
OF ACT ONE
1. EXT. HOTEL
ROOF ~ While Simon distracts Harry, Alex makes a heroic tackle. Simon
rushes up to explain they're just trying to keep him from jumping. Harry
says who's jumping? He was handling his frustration the same way Simon
would: by busying himself with another invention, this one he proudly
proclaims will revolutionize the parachute industry & which he calls the
Pocket Parachute, at which point he demonstrates it by heaving a
pocket-parachute equipped manikin off the roof to prove his point. Simon
hugs Harry & reiterates his belief in Harry's story about the Garbage-a-Rator
& promises he won't rest until they solve the mystery.
DESERT HIDEAWAY ~ inside a beehive of activity as Pranski's henchmen prepare to
test Harry's machine. Pranski tells his ASSOCIATE how this machine will
allow him to get out from under an income-tax evasion rap due to go to trial in
a few days by virtue of its ability to destroy all the evidence currently held
in the Federal Courthouse pending his trial date. Pranski tries to control
his fury when his chief TECHNICIAN can't get the Garbag-a-Rator to
operate. Pranski explodes & orders his men to get that machine
working whatever it takes or they're dead meat!
3. EXT. POOL AREA
~ Simon, in pool attire, weaves his way among a bevy of beauties &
finds Harry on poolside phone to local police trying to report a stolen garbage
disintegrator (a la Bob Newhart doing his Abner Doubleday-describing-baseball
bit) ~ Simon tells the disgruntled Harry that Alex is checking out hotel
security re: any odd movements, unauthorized trucks, etc. ~ next thing to do is
for two of them to sit down & analyze who what & whys as to who might
want machine in their possession ~ Simon tries to adjust a complicated chaise
& can't figure it out until a young kid comes up & adjusts it for him ~
embarrassed, Simon confides in Harry & asks him if he ever suffers from
inventor's block ~ Harry says of course & confides in how he deals with
it: He plays his kazoo which he whips out of his pocket. Simon
ponders. Music! Of course! SMASH CUT TO:
4. INT. HOTEL
Simon playing the drums with hotel jazz combo ~ sees Harry crossing & tells
him it's working ~ feels much better ~ Harry turns away & crosses to a
nearby empty table, enduring the indignity of being kidded by fellow inventors
as he goes. Simon takes his bow as the set ends & sees his friend is
distraught. Turning the drums back to their owner, Simon joins
Harry. He's been thinking. Does Harry have any enemies who want to
do him harm? No. Then why wouldn't somebody make him an offer to buy
a harmless item like the garbag-a-rator rather than risk jail? Harry has
no answers, but he does know one thing: Simon is a prince of a friend ~ is
only one who believes him ~ Simon says nonsense ~ everybody knows Harry is a bit
eccentric, but a man to be respected ~ Alex appears & Simon asks him what
Hotel Security had to say ~ Alex forced to admit security chief referred to
Harry as "that crackpot" & is not about to waste time investigating
crime they question ever took place. Big fanfare & director of
Technological competition grabs the mike & invites the incomparable Simon
McKay up to stage to do his famous parlor stunt ~ as Simon find himself forced
to build a robot from a box of parts, two of Pranski's men enter the lounge
& take a seat ~ meanwhile Simon has assembled a reasonable facsimile of a
working robot & gives Alex & Harry a thumbs up . . . . . only to have it
collapse into a pile of junk to everybody's delight except Simon's ~ A bit testy
after admitting it wasn't supposed to fall apart, Simon says he needs
time by himself & goes off, perhaps rejecting Harry's attempts to reach
Simon & talk (if Simon wants to) about what's bothering him. Simon
refuses & goes off. Harry shrugs & says fine ~ he can certainly
understand a man needing his space & indicates he's going back to his room.
5. EXT. GROUNDS ~
SIMON SOLILOQUY SCENE ~ tries to talk self into happier state of mind using old
homilies ~ no sir, no reason to talk about it because hey! nothing wrong . . . .
. right? Happens to everybody. Besides, he can't let it affect
him. Friends like Harry depend on him for support. Has to be strong
6. INT. HOTEL
Harry turns corner & runs into Pranski's henchmen ~ you're coming with
us! FADE OUT.
1. EXT. HOTEL
DRIVEWAY AREA (INDIAN DUNES LOCATION)
FADE IN on Alex catching up to Simon ~ shows concern, asks if everything okay ~
Simon says everything's peachy ~ look up to see apparent struggle as tow men
shove a third into a four-wheel drive vehicle ~ realize it's Harry in the
process of being kidnapped ~ car roars off ~ Simon spots a car rental kiosk
& jumps into it, yelling to the pretty girl attendant to "Charge
it! Room 241!" Simon jumps in & yells "I'm with
Simon & Alex track the kidnappers to an isolated ranch house where they see
Harry rudely shoved inside.
3. INT. FARMHOUSE
Harry sees his machine ~ Pranski appears & compliments him on it &
orders him to fix it ~ Harry not so sure he can do that ~ admits that he only
got it to work the way it was supposed to once.
4. EXT. FARMHOUSE
(INDIAN DUNES LOCATION)
Alex & Simon confer ~ no way to call the cops so they'll just have to rescue
Harry themselves. Alex cold cocks an armed guard posted at the farmhouse
door & takes his gun, then bursts into:
5. INT. FARMHOUSE
Alex bursts inside & gets the drop on Pranski & his cohorts (&
perhaps recognizes & identifies Pranski from Crime Commission mug shots as a
top level mobster) ~ Alex has Harry collect their guns & drop them into a
pot of chili cooking on the stove, then orders Harry out the window where Simon
is waiting with the rental car. Making the hoods lie face down on the
floor, Alex beats a quick retreat to the getaway car.
6. EXT. DESERT ~
THE CHASE (INDIAN DUNES)
Unfortunately, poor Simon can't start the car. Not knowing what to do,
Simon spots two Quad-Runners parked in a shed behind the ranch house.
Making a run for it as Pranski & his cohorts come running in pursuit, Alex
& Simon fire up the Quad-Runners & take off across the desert with Harry
hanging onto Simon for dear life ~ but just as they reach the apparent safety of
the open desert . . . . . 3 four-wheel drive vehicles fly over the sand dunes
from three different directions, penning the two Quad-Runners in.
Employing some exciting stunt work, we see Simon deftly avoid being cut off
& eventually lead Alex up & over a sand dune in a bid to escape.
Both Quad-Runners soar into space . . . . . & plunge down into a desert
sinkhole (or whatever) where they are penned in by the huge four-wheel drives.
7. INT. FARMHOUSE
Pranski stands before Simon as Alex & Harry look on ~ what could be more
perfect! The genius everybody at the Technological Convention has been
talking about has decided to pay him a personal visit! And the timing
couldn't be better. Leading Simon & the others to the Garbag-a-rator,
Pranski tells Simon he's not about to let himself get sent to the joint for
10-20 years so Simon better make his buddy's machine operational or Harry
dies. ON Simon's pained reaction, we FADE OUT.
1. Alex checks
the room they are locked up in & finds there is no possible avenue of escape
~ Simon rolls up his sleeves & says they better get to work, asks Harry what
exactly is wrong with it. Harry says tood question. Simon gives
himself a pep talk about thinking positive, then adjusts several wires & is
immediately buried under a shower of sparks. Harry offers Simon his
kazoo. Simon says it's going to take a lot more than a kazoo to save their
skins ~ Harry shrugs & begins playing it ~ Alex, inspecting the barred
windows, mutters "If only I had a simple nail file . . . .".
Simon brightens. "That's it! Alex, you're a genius!" ~
Simon pounds on the door & brings Pranski running. Yes, he can fix the
Garbag-a-rator, but he has to go back to his workshop since the very special
tools needed to make the repairs are not readily available in the local hardware
stores . . . . . in fact ~ Pranski senses some kind of trick, but Alex picking
up on Simon's scheme, says no tools, no repair ~ Having no alternative, Pranski
says okay, but no tricks or everybody buys it!
2. EXT. ELM
Pranski & 3 accomplices pull up in two vehicles & direct Alex &
Harry in unloading the Garbag-a-rator & carrying it inside. Simon
pauses at his mailbox to pick up the mail & starts putting all the junk mail
into an instant shredder attached to his mailbox. Annoyed, Pranski shoves
Simon toward the house.
3. INT. KITCHEN
The procession of hoods plus Simon, Alex & Harry interrupts Tillie's
"tea party" which turns out to be an all-woman poker game. Simon
hates to be a wet blanket, but he has some important business to transact &
suggests Tillie's lady-friends call it a day ~ Tillie is confused but quickly
gets the picture when, after her guests leave, she is rudely shoved down to the
basement with the others.
4. INT. WORKSHOP
TIGHT ON Simon setting up with Harry ~ in private moment, Simon mutters,
"Well! This is it! The moment of truth!" Harry looks
at Simon & tells him to relax. "Relax?! At a time like
this?!", asks Simon. Harry smiles & tells Simon he doesn't have
to be strong for him. Just being his friend is enough. Trying to
take care of the whole world is too much responsibility for anybody! ~ An
impatient Pranski interrupts them, but we see a smile come over Simon's face as
he makes an adjustment on the machine. "Relax . . . yes . . . just
like I tell everybody else while I'm beating my brans out . . .".
Simon winks at Alex, an obvious cue, & says he needs just one more tool
which Pranski's armed associate can get for him out of the closet behind
him. The hood opens the door & CRASH!, he is buried under a n
avalanche of toys pouring out of the closet. Tillie, leaping into the
fray, polishes him off with an exotic toy. Alex, meantime disarms henchman
#2 & gets into a knockdown fistfight which Harry brings to a close by
activating his pocket parachute which explodes from his pocket & envelopes
the hood setting him up for a knockout punch from Alex. However, henchman
#3 is able to train his weapon on Alex & Harry which prompts Simon to throw
a remote switch on his workbench which activates a mechanical monster.
Working the controls in a frenzy, Simon gets the beast to advance on the hood
& envelope him in a spine-rattling bearhug, forcing the hood to drop his
Angle on Pranski ~ avoiding the action, Pranski picks up the fallen gun &,
well aware that his grand scheme has unraveled, he makes a run for it.
Alex starts to give chase but has to take cover as Pranski fires a shot in his
direction. Simon yells to Alex to let him go, then turns to Harry for
instruction on how to work the range finder. Why? Because he knows
the mailbox is exactly 40 paces from the house, & pranski's car is another 4
paces across the sidewalk . . . . . plus another 40 feet to reach the middle of
the street on a diagonal course, etc. etc. ~ Alex asks what the devil is he
talking about! Simon smiles & sets the range-finder. Alex says
to each his own & rushes up the stairs in pursuit while Tillie dials the
workshop phone to summon the police.
Pranski running for his truck ~ Alex appears in pursuit as we hear Harry yell
"Fire One!" from inside ~ a huge, high-pitched HUM forcing Alex to
cover his ears ~ &, finally, as Pranski burns rubber away from the curb in
his truck, we see all four tires disintegrate leaving Pranski driving on his
rims & going out of control into a fence where Alex rushes over to pull him
from the wreckage. CUT BACK TO THE WORKSHOP where Harry thanks Simon for
all his help. Simon hugs Harry & thanks Harry for all his help
as we FADE OUT.
of Rick Mittleman, Michael Berk & Douglas Schwartz
Draft from The
Michael Berk Collection
(Note from The
MGT: This page was transcribed from the original copy. I've
attempted to stay as true to the original format as possible. This is how
a brilliant Rough Draft is written, kidz. Take note, but please
don't plagiarize. Thank you!!)