An elevator and two guys on their way up. What can go down?
We’ve all been there. A hundred times, some of us more than a thousand. It’s the world’s most uncomfortable space. Some are boxy, most rectangular. Fans, no fans. Carpeted or tiled. Mirrored or paneled. But always stuffy, cramped and slower than slow is: the infamous elevator ride.
I recently (true story alert) took a ride in my office building all the way from the penthouse to the ground floor. One floor down, six people shuffled in – one holding a newly-peeled banana, which she consumed as we descended. Ever peel a banana in a closet? With 10 other people present? Not an ideal situation for the senses. And that’s putting it mildly.
The situation is similarly far from appealing (pun alert) for Dominic Barry’s elevator ride in R. E. McManus’ “The Deuce,” a riveting and witty 10-page journey starting with:
“The sound of a body being dragged over concrete.”
The body is Dom’s and the draggers are Joey, 22-year-old scowler, and his pal Chrissy, “The type who could chew a toothpick without looking stupid.” Chrissy’s the brains of the operation, the sole purpose of which is: deliver Dom to the eighty-eighth floor.
Problem is, Dom’s not awake and Joey and Chrissy (think distant, but equally witty, cousins of Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega) differ on the importance of his consciousness.
Maybe I should wake him up.
You can ravish him for all I care.
Joey looks disgusted.
There’s no need to be so, so base.
There’s a “ding” as floor number 40 unexpectedly lights up. Chrissy pulls Joey tight to shield Dom as the doors open. Nothing. It’s a misfire in the mechanics. Doors close, and they resume ascending… just as poor Dom stirs. Joey and Chrissy pull out their silencers, an act which fails to silence Dom. He demands to know how he’s found himself bruised and battered in a dressing gown, plastic cable ties around his hands and feet.
“You’re David Barry and we’re taking you to John Feltz,” they tell him. Duh.
“I’m Dominic Barry and who is John Feltz?” Dom replies.
So the elevator rises, along with everyone’s blood pressure. Who is John Feltz? Is Dom really Dom, not David? Or is he just lying to stay alive? What will Feltz do if they deliver the wrong man? And why is the elevator stopping on the wrong floor yet again, this time on 70? Will all three men make it to the top?
You’ll be floored when you read the entirety of “The Deuce,” a suspenseful ride filled with exceptional dialogue. It’s an excellent opportunity for the right director and capable actors. Interest in this gem is sure to be…going up.
Budget: Minimal. Find a mate who works in an office building to let you in for a day on the weekend. Just make sure his last name’s not Feltz.
About the writer: R.E. McManus was born in England, of Irish roots. Hence he was always a little confused. He has since travelled the globe, and noted what he saw on his travels. He’s been writing since he could pick up a pen. The fact they were IOUs is neither here nor there.
He fell in love with film when he first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of six. Although he’s still not sure about the spelling of Odyssey. It’s still looks wrong,
He loves Fincher, Hitchcock and Kubrick. And Faith No More. And Elvis. He even has a dog named after him. This seemed like a good idea until he went to the park.
Visit his webstie at: rendevous.yolasite.com. Or email him directly at redarcy2000 (a) yahoo.co.uk
About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo
Read The Deuce (pdf format)
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.