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WARD #6

by
Eli S. Reid

Based on
"Ward #6"
by
Anton Chekov

INTRODUCTION ASSIGNMENT
10-PAGE

Sulltrane Film Company

FADE IN:
EXT.- MORNING- NEW ENGLAND WOODS- HIGH ANGLE
It is 1948. Snow dumps on the scene, blowing every which
direction. Visibility is terribly low.
This forest has never been thinned, and seems untouched by
mans fingerprint. As if to share body heat the burdocks,
white cedars, and hemlock are tightly nestled. All life is
blanketed in white.
Through the aggressive flakes we can barely see two buildings
etched into the endless expanse of forest. Snow beats down on
the roofs, wind currents assault the walls and windows.
This is the Hospital.
CUT TO:
EXT.- MORNING- NEW ENGLAND WOODS- WIDE SHOT
The snow has stopped falling. In the hospital yard usually
surrounded by burdocks, nettles, and wild hemp all is dead
and covered. The building stands in relatively good shape.
Behind it is a separate lodge enclosed by a chain link fence
that is rusted. The razor wire at the top would most
certainly cause tetanus.
We can see the steps at the front-door are sinking under the
moisture, almost totally rotted away. There are only traces
left of the original stucco, and the chimney is tumbling
down.
The look of the lodge can only be the bastard child of our
prisons and hospitals.
FADE TO:
INT.- MORNING- WARD #6- WIDE SHOT
As the door magically swings open we are led into the entry.
Along the walls by the stove every short of hospital rubbish
lies about.
Plastic covered mattresses, old tattered dressing gowns,
trousers, blue striped shirts, boots and shoes no good for
anything- all these items piled up in heaps, and mixed and
crumpled.

2.
A boarish MAN lies amongst the filth puffing away at a
SHERLOCK PIPE.
BO(31) is an ex-soldier who still wears his uniform. The
emulates are worn and the clothes are stained with dirt. His
surly, grim expression, and overhanging brows give the
appearance of a battered sheep-dog. His vigorous fists are
always clenched and ready for action, his deportment is
imposing.
Bo is our lone porter, and responsible for the laying on of
blows to the face, chest, and back.
Passing through the entry we find a HUGE room that takes up
the rest of Ward 6. The walls are painted dirty blue, the
ceiling is sooty from the embattled chimney, and the windows
are disfigured by iron gratings on the inside. The floor is
grey and full of splinters.
MEN sit on bedsteads screwed to the floor. They wear DRESSING
GOWNS and NIGHT-CAPS of the old-style.
These are the LUNATICS.
Unattended by normal hospital staff. Bo is their lone
caretaker. There are five of them.
The MAN nearest the door is tall and lean. He has tear
stained eyes, and bright red whiskers.
As he does all day and night, he now grieves, and shakes his
head with a bitter smile. He picks up a sloppy plate and eats
mechanically, staring blankly at the wall. He refuses to
answer questions.
His lean body and pale face show us that he is suffering some
undiagnosed physical illness. He seems to be disappearing.
Saul(61) lies next to him. Hes an old Jewish MAN with woven
black-mans hair. He walks back and forth from window to
window all day, and is constantly is tittering and whistling
like a bull finch.
Now he is on his knees and beating his chest, intoning Hebrew
blessings emphatically. Scratching the rooms door.
Ivan(33) sleeps in the third bed. He walks around bustling
with energy, charged by some vague, undefined expectation.
Constantly on the looking over his shoulder for some phantom
persecutor, eyeing the windows and doors with suspicion.
Flinching at any unrecognized sound.

3.
The delicate lines are traced on his face by a profound,
genuine suffering. His green eyes sparkle with intelligence
and sense; his grimaces are strange and abnormal.
Ivan gets out of bed, and removes a disheveled and soiled
sheet off the sheperical MAN next to him. He replaces it with
his own clean sheet, and tucks him in tightly. He cleans up
the uneaten plate by the mans bed, and attempts contact. No
reply.
Saul gets up and takes the plate. Offering Ivan his glass of
water for Owen.
Owen(24), is Orca fat. He doesnt move and his eyes are
always staring at his pillow. His body is covered in bruises
and contusions.
This is a motionless, gluttonous, unclean animal who long ago
lost all powers of thought.
A fifth man Reginald(66) sits in the bed next to Owen. He is
modest faced, and makes certain no one is looking at him. His
look is almost cheerful, and his eyes are calm and
intelligent.
Reginald is perpetually wearing an expression like hes
harboring some deeply important and pleasant secret.
Now he is looking under his mattress and pillow case as to
protect his celestial mystery. His insanity results not from
a mean spirit, but a wealth of modesty.
This is life everyday for the LUNATICS. Probably no other
place in the world is life so monotonous.
CUT TO:
INT.- MORNING- WARD #6- TRACKING SHOT
Bo is just finishing his morning pipe. He knocks out the
spent tobacco on the floor, and rises off one of the soiled
mattresses. He spits on the floor missing the mark. Instead
he stomps out the burning embers.
We follow Bo to the door leading to the lunatics. He unlocks
the door.
BO
(shouting)
Alright, breakfast is over you know
what to do.

4.
Saul rises and brings Bo the morning dishes. Owens plate has
yet to be touched.
SAUL
Here you go sir, all the plates
ready sir.
Bo looks at the uneaten plate.
BO
That Owens plate.
(shouting)
Owen is this your plate?
No answers.
Bo approaches Owen and back hands him with several lashes.
SMACK! SMACK!
Owen doesnt grunt or avert his gaze from the pillow- he just
sways a wee bit like a heavy barrel. Bo clinches his fists
and reigns down a serious assault. Punching his naked legs
and back. Pounding the crown of his skull.
BO (CONTD)
Sometime soon, one of you crazies
has got to teach him to eat, or
Ill reign on you just the same.
Im tired of cleaning up his shit.
Get it, same shit day in and day
out. Fucking force feed him, I
dont care.
With that Bo storms out hands full of plates and slams the
door. We hear his key inserted, and the lock turned.
The lunatics go back to monotony.
CUT TO:
INT.- MID-MORNING- MEDICAL CONFERENCE ROOM- LONG SHOT
Chandeliers
room. It is
high-backed
BARRISTERS

posing as candles illuminate a long conference


furnished with a long mahogany table lined with
LEATHER CHAIRS. The walls are adorned with
BOOKCASES filled with HARD-BACK VOLUMES.

On one end of the table three MEN in WHITE-COATS and slim


BLACK TIES sit and chatter. All the other chairs are empty.
Behind them is a small counter with a gurgling COFFEE POT
plugged into the wall. Its BLURPS compete with the voices.

5.
Several more WHITE COATED MEN stand around the machine making
small talk and eating biscottis. The feeling of the room is
more teachers lounge then medical. A lot of gossip happens
here.
The morning routine is broken when a MAN comes through the
door. He has no white coat and wears a loosely fitted COTTON
SHIRT. A stethoscope dangles around his fat neck, and a torn
PAPERBACK protrudes out of a wrinkled back pocket.
The MEN see who it is and go on talking.
He calmly ignores the small talk and pours himself some
coffee.
Sitting in an empty chair at the opposite end of the table he
begins reading. After a page or two he sets down the book,
distracted.
MAN
Wilmermaker, who has the keys to
Ward #6?
The men down the table continue talking.
MAN (CONTD)
(only slightly louder)
Wilmermaker, who has the keys to
Ward #6?
The tallest white coat standing by the coffee table turns to
the MAN.
Huh?

WILMAKER

MAN
Who ha-----WILAMKER
(finally hearing his
previous comment)
Ward #6, whatever for old sport?
MAN
I was thinking of paying the
lunatics a visit.
WILMAKER
Thats not wise old sport, whatever
would compel you to do that?
(MORE)

6.
WILMAKER (CONT'D)
Theyre sequestered for a very
scientific reasons, you as a
medical man should know that. Come
on old boy.
Wilmaker is obviously not in charge. Though he seems to be
the one always closest to the coffee pot; most up on the
gossip. He has no stethoscope.
The man gets up and approaches the circle. The other doctors
seem surprised.
MAN
No reason. Just the monotony of
this hospital is a little draining,
a little bit like a hoax.
(break)
Today by lunch Ill have seen
thirty patients, tomorrow it will
be thirty-five, the next forty, and
so- and so on. But the mortality
rate in town is rising, and
patients keep coming. It just feels
like if we see 12,000 patients a
year, at least 11,000 leave
deceived. The lunatics may be
different, maybe I can do
something?
Wilmaker rubs his chin considering the statement like a
medical man.
WILMAKER
Bo had the keys, but he wouldnt
let that old Jew out, so they took
them away...... I think Gerry has
them now, not too sure. But come
now old sport, think twice, dont
go into Ward #6. Crazy is
communicable. Listen old boy, there
will always be sickness and death,
thats why were in business.
Otherwise who are we?
(changing the subject)
Doesnt that new Doctor come from
Boston today?
MAN
No tomorrow, hes supposed to be
here at noontime.
WILMAKER
Take him under your wing, show him
the ropes, make a friend.
(MORE)

7.
WILMAKER (CONT'D)
Do yourself some good, break the
monotony that way. I hear hes a
real sporter.
At this point another MAN, Dr. Spirguise chimes in.
SPIRGUISE
Sporter? I hear this Boston guys a
real scholar, a real tactician. His
diagnoses record is astonishing.
Heard all about it.
Wilmaker appears jealous.
SPIRGUISE (CONTD)
(to MAN)
You and he should get along, no
dallying or silly talk for serious
old bags like you-- just watch out
he doesnt take your spot. And
Andrey for crying out loud, stay
the hell out of Ward #6.
CUT TO:
INT.- AFTERNOON- LUTHERAN CHURCH- WIDE ANGLE
It is 1934. We see a small crowd converged in an even smaller
sanctuary. A MINISTER is standing near a small COFFIN with
his head bowed in prayer. A teenage by stands in front of the
coffin with his hand on the lid.
Behind him a MOTHER and FATHER stand with their heads bowed.
The tears flow furiously from the MOTHER and the FATHER is
stone.
The BOY turns around and we clearly see a smaller version of
IVAN. His eyes are tear stained, but no drops fall from his
lashes. He looks up at his father and mother and walks down
the center aisle to exit.
FADE TO:
INT.- MORNING- MANSION KITCHEN
It is still 1934. The kitchen is gigantic and filled with
gadgets. IVAN is cleaning dishes from a interior sink and
whistling a sad tune.
Upon hearing something he turns off the water. Its his
father and mother in the great room. Ivan stops what hes
doing, sneaking to the doorway to observe.

8.
Through the door we see gigantic and ornate great room. A lot
of antique furniture, and great a big GRANDFATHER CLOCK.
His father and mother are busily going through remnants of
the dead boys life. Half chuckling, half crying at pleasant
memories of the boy.
Then.....
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
OFFICIAL
(through the door)
Mr. Trotsky, open it up its the
police.
(more loud knocking)
Come on, open it up. Please dont
make me knock down this door.
Mr. Trotsky is frozen. The door is bashed down and several
policeman violently storm in. Within seconds Mr. Trotskys
face is pinned to the ground. Rammed into the memories of his
boy, arms twisted and turned every direction until finally
their locked behind his back. He is roughly cuffed.
OFFICIAL (CONTD)
Mr. Trotsky you are under arrest
for fraud, embezzlement, and tax
evasion. Party's over, your coming
with us.
FADE TO:
INT.- AFTERNOON- LUTHERAN CHURCH- LONG ANGLE
Down a long aisle we see Ivan and his mother mourning. The
same minister with his head bowed. All other seats are empty.
Ivan walks to the casket placing his head and arm upon the
lid. Waterfalls began to flow. Exclamations of despair reign
down.
His mother stands behind him silent with a DEAD stare.
CUT TO:
INT.- 8:00 AM- ANDREYS HOUSE- WIDE SHOT
ANDREY(56) sits in a faded green, high-backed WING CHAIR. He
is dressed in a loose satin shirt that grabs his neck. His
stomach protrudes so we can see a little belly under his
shirt. His flat hair remains uncombed.

9.
His focused green-eyes bug out of wire frame glasses. He
drinks tea and reads a torn soft-back.
The study is riddled with disorganized stacks of dilapidated
books we cant quite make out.
His desk and a LAMP on the mini end-table next to him
complete the furnishings of this sparse study.
The minuteness of the lights power leaves much of the office
in shadow. He flips a page every five seconds or so.
A proud postured WOMAN with a firm face pokes her head in the
door. She is not timid about interrupting his work. She wears
a clean, black and white MAIDS UNIFORM.
WOMAN
Dr. Andrey sir, were you going to
eat this morning?
ANDREY
Tea is fine, I dont want disturb
you. Go ahead and get on with your
duties, if it pleases you. Thank
you anyway Sonia.
SONIA
Okay sir, just try and not miss
lunch--- quit doddling with
patients all the time when you
should be eating. I still dont
know where you got all that weight.
ANDREY
I was born fat Sonia. Ill be just
fine.
SONIA
But you will eat lunch?
ANDREY
Yes mam. I give you my word.
INT.- 9:00 AM- HOSPITAL HALLWAY- LONG SHOT
Dr. Andrey walks down a narrow hallway. He sees a NURSE
selling GRAIN ALCOHOL to a patient lying down. His nose turns
a little red, but he passes her by without comment.
Another younger DOCTOR is walking towards him. Dr. Andrey
steps out of the way.

10.
ANDREY
I beg your pardon sir.
No response. He keeps walking down the long hall until he
enters through a lone door on the left.....
INT.- 9:02 AM- ANDREYS OFFICE
...A YOUNG MAN is sitting at the desk, and speaking to
another GENTLEMAN only slightly older.
DR. HOBOTOV(43) sitting in Andreys chair immediately rises
to shake his hand. MILES(38) waits to finish his commentary
on the hospital before acknowledging Dr. Andrey.
MILES
Oh here you are Andrey. This here
is our new man from Boston. Dr.
Andrey, Dr. Hobotov-- Hobotov,
Andrey.
HOBOTOV
Nice to meet you.
Andreys immense right hand limply shakes Hobotov smaller,
but tight grip. Hobotov doesnt want to let go.
ANDREY
Yes, yes. Has Mr. Short shown you
the ground?
HOBOTOV
Yes, capitol institution this place
is. Capitol. Really looking forward
to this assignment, really a
remarkable facility.
Dr. Andrey returns only a confused look. Hobotov finally
releases his hand. He nonchalantly wipes his hand on his
crumbled slacks.
ANDREY
Well there is plenty to do, and
theres always need for good help.
Let me know if theres anything I
can do.
A flash in Hobotovs radiant blue eyes. He walks around the
front of the desk.
HOBOTOV
Sorry, go ahead and sit down, I
didnt realize....

11.
MILES
.....oh posh, sit down. Dr. Andrey
has no need for that desk, hes
always meandering about, you know
trying to be useful. He has no time
for desks and forms. Thats my job.
MILES is dressed in a Senators suit complete with bow-tie.
His white coat is perfectly pressed accentuating rosy, fat
cheeks. Hes much shorter than Dr. Andrey.
A recent graduate from Medical School, hes not planning
staying here long.