"Oh come on Kim, my hat doesn't look THAT much like Freddy Krueger's."


"Oh come on Kim, my hat doesn't look THAT much like Freddy Krueger's."

VERTIGO

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. ROOFTOPS

JAMES STEWART and DOOMED COP chase a man in a PUFFY SHIRT.

JAMES STEWART

Stop that man! He’s committing multiple fashion crimes!

PUFFY SHIRT MAN

(is shot at!)

Whoa whoa! I’m unarmed! Shooting a fleeing suspect in the back seems kind of excessive doesn’t it?

DOOMED COP

Everyone knows pirate apparel is a deadly weapon! Now hold still!

PUFFY SHIRT MAN

(jumps to another building)

Haha! Run run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Puffy Shirt Man!

JAMES STEWART

I’m lankier than a room full of stilts so I should be able to make that jump no problem!

(hangs off of building)

OH NO! ONLY NOW HAS IT DAWNED ON ME THAT I’M AFRAID OF HEIGHTS!!!

DOOMED COP

Then how the hell’d you get up on this roof in the first place? Here, take my hand!

JAMES STEWART

NO!

DOOMED COP

Take my hand!

JAMES STEWART

NO DUDE!!! FUCK OFF!!!

DOOMED COP

This is going to make a hell of a story when I retire in two days OH SHIT

(slips and falls to his death)

JAMES STEWART

Sooooo I guess I’m hanging up here until the fire department gets here?

THIS most likely HAPPENS, but luckily for JAMES he has impressive UPPER BODY STRENGTH for a guy who weighs 100 pounds soaking wet.

INT. BARBARA’S APARTMENT - MONTHS LATER

JAMES hangs out with his BFF BARBARA BEL GEDDES.

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

James, I would love nothing more than to marry you and have 10 of your freakishly long-limbed babies. Let us make the beast with two backs.

JAMES STEWART

But you have glasses, and therefore are an ugly wrech unworthy of human love, at least according to 1950s Rules of Etiquette, sorry.

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

(is Friend Zoned)

Wha? Awwww!!!!

JAMES STEWART

Now let me climb this tiny stepladder in order to prove that I’ve overcome my intense fear of heights!

(looks out window)

(nearly shits out own spine)

Perhaps I had better cancel those tight rope walking lessons I had planned for later.

INT. TOM HELMORE’S FANCY OFFICE IN FANCY SAN FRANCISCO (SO YOU KNOW IT’S SUPER FANCY!)

JAMES meets with his old friend and VINCENT PRICE IMPERSONATOR TOM HELMORE.

TOM HELMORE

Greetings James, I’d like to hire you to stalk my wife Kim Novak.

JAMES STEWART

Uh... you mean follow, right?

TOM HELMORE

No, stalk, James. Try to keep up. I think my wife is being possessed by the ghost of some crazy Spanish broad who killed herself.

JAMES STEWART

...Okay.

TOM HELMORE

Oh, and I need you to fall in love with my wife. You still like blondes, right?

JAMES STEWART

As long as they’re not wearing glasses.

TOM HELMORE

Awesome. Here’s Kim’s schedule so you’ll know her every move. I am worried she might suicide herself. Did I mention I stand to inherit all her money if she does? That feels like an important fact you should know.

JAMES STEWART

Uh... thanks.

TOM HELMORE

And if you need to undress her at any point I am totally fine with that.

JAMES STEWART

Noted.

INT. A FANCY RESTAURANT (IN THE FANCIEST PART OF SAN FRANCISCO)

JAMES starts his STALKOTHON by spying on TOM and his wife KIM NOVAK at dinner.

JAMES STEWART

(sees Kim for the first time)

(falls hopelessly in love)

What? After seeing her once out of the corner of my eye? I mean sure she’s got a milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard but she ain’t exactly Marilyn Monroe.

BERNARD HERRMANN'S SCORE

You love her!!

JAMES STEWART

Yarp!

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO

JAMES follows KIM down dozens of paved MOUNTAINS that are somehow being passed off as STREETS.

JAMES tails KIM to a flower shop where she... buys some flowers.

Then he tails her to an art museum where she... stares at a painting.

Then he follows her to a hotel where she... DISAPPEARS WTF?

JAMES STEWART

She couldn’t have possibly realized I was watching her and slipped out the back, oh no, the explanation can only be

(with jazzhands)

The Supernatural!

EXT. GOLDEN GATE BAY

JAMES tracks KIM to the bay’s designated SUICIDE AREA and she jumps into the water in an attempt to DROWN herself by keeping her face FIRMLY PLANTED ABOVE WATER insuring she most certainly WON’T DROWN.

JAMES jumps in to save her!

JAMES STEWART

Damn! Bitches be crazy!

INT. JAMES’S APARTMENT

KIM wakes up in a stranger’s house, butt naked, with no memory of how she got there.

KIM NOVAK

Really? Then instead of screaming or running away in terror my first response should naturally be

(deer in headlights)

JAMES STEWART

Oh don’t worry, I had permission to strip you naked.

KIM NOVAK

Thank you kind stalker person. What happened?

JAMES STEWART

You tried to kill yourself. I hate to see a perfectly good white woman go to waste so I saved you.

KIM NOVAK

I don’t remember any of that. Why didn’t you take me to the hospital?

JAMES STEWART

You mean so THEY could have the pleasure of stripping you naked? Nooo thank you.

KIM NOVAK

I find myself strangely attracted to you despite your unconvincing toupee and being 25 years my senior, but I need to maintain my sense of alluring mystery so

(runs away!)

Unbeknownst to JAMES, BARBARA has been watching his apartment.

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

Haha! The stalker has become the stalkee! How dare that glassesless grey suited bitch steal my Mr. Smith! I’ll surely win him back by painting him a creepy picture of myself!

It DOESN’T WORK.

KIM NOVAK

Take the hint, Barb! He’s just not that into you!

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

My 19 cats disagree!

EXT. MATTE PAINTING WOODS

JAMES and KIM are on a DATE.

KIM NOVAK

So James brought me to a deserted forest miles away from civilization where I have to walk through rough terrain in heels? Wow, he really knows how to treat a lady AW FUCK I'M BEING POSSESSED

(spazes out)

JAMES STEWART

You know at first I didn’t believe this whole “possession” bullshit, but your scorching hotness has made me reconsider. Tell me how it works. Was there a Ouija board involved? Or did a Chucky doll use an incantation?

KIM NOVAK

Please don’t ask me!

(runs away!)

JAMES STEWART

Oh Kim! The more you run the more obsessed with you I get!

JAMES chases KIM to a REAR PROJECTION of the OCEAN.

KIM NOVAK

James, the Spanish ghost woman inside me says I must die. She tells me this in dreams I have about a bell tower in some old Spanish church I’ve never been to.

JAMES STEWART

But sure you have! I’ve stalked you there-- err, I mean let’s go there!

KIM NOVAK

You want me to go to the place I envision my death? Are you stupid?

JAMES STEWART

My boner says yes!

EXT. OLD SPANISH CHURCH

KIM NOVAK

(acting like a depressed emo zombie)

JAMES STEWART

See? This wasn’t such a bad idea, right?

KIM NOVAK

Uh James, look, if I happen to fling myself off of a bell tower in the next few minutes I just want you to know I love you even though I’ve only known you for like 3 days and we've only gotten to first base. See ya!

(runs away!)

JAMES STEWART

Well technically second base when you were unconscious-- hey come back!

KIM runs up the bell tower and JAMES follows her but his VERTIGO starts acting up.

JAMES STEWART

OH NO STAIRS!!!!!!

(is attacked by a revolutionary camera trick!)

No! I won’t let these stairs beat me! MUST... STALK... KIM!!!

(is attacked by the camera trick again!)

Sorry Kim! The stairs win!

KIM NOVAK

(Wilhelm scream!)

JAMES sees a CRASH TEST DUMMY in KIM’S SUIT fall from the tower.

INT. COURTROOM

JUDGE

I find James guilty of being a creepy stalker and a shockingly incompetent detective but not of causing Kim’s death because bitches be crazy, amirite all male jury?

ALL MALE JURY

They be shoppin’ too!

JAMES STEWART

Tom, I'm so sorry I got your insanely hot wife killed.

TOM HELMORE

Don't worry James, there was nothing you could do. Except save her life, I guess. Aside from that you were totally clutch. I'll just have to dry my tears with all these stacks on stacks on stacks I just inherited. Laters!

(takes the very next flight out of the country!)

JAMES STEWART

Such a loving husband he was.

INT. JAMES’S APARTMENT

JAMES is so distraught he has a nightmare.

CRUDE DISNEY ANIMATION

BOO!!!!!

FLASHING LIGHTS

BOOOOO!!!!!!!!

FLOATING DISEMBODIED JAMES HEAD

A STRONG WIND IS THREATENING TO BLOW OFF MY HAIR PIECE!!!!!

JAMES STEWART

That is legit the scariest shit I have ever seen.

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO

JAMES spends an unusually large number of scenes being CATATONIC or WANDERING AROUND revisiting KIM’s old haunts when he spots a FRUMPY REDHEAD who looks like KIM except in LEPRECHAUN COLORS.

JAMES STEWART

Can’t... Resist... Stalker... Itch...

He follows FRUMPY REDHEAD back to her hotel.

FRUMPY REDHEAD

Hey busta! Whatdahyawant?! You one a dem Jehovahs witnesses a sumin’?

JAMES STEWART

No. You just look like my dead girlfriend so I’d like to start dating you. Let me take you to dinner. That wasn't a request. You have no say in the matter.

FRUMPY REDHEAD

Oh. Well... Give me a couple’a hours ta get ready.

JAMES STEWART

Sure thing! Wow, finding a date in the 50s was super easy! Stalking FTW!

JAMES leaves and we immediately cut to:

INT. BELL TOWER - FLASHBACK

KIM reaches the top of the tower to find TOM HELMORE holding his DEAD CRASH TEST DUMMY WIFE dressed up like KIM.

KIM NOVAK

Tom! WTF?! James is right behind me!

TOM HELMORE

Excellent! My master plan to kill my wife and make it look like a suicide in order to steal her wealth is finally-- wait, what do you mean James is right behind you? We’re like 15 flights up, his vertigo should have kicked in 10 flights ago!

KIM NOVAK

Wait, so your entire plan hinged not only on James not figuring out I’m not your real wife but also that his unpredictable fear of heights would stop him from reaching the top of the tower? What if a nun had followed me up here instead? I am deathly afraid of nuns. How stupid are you?

TOM HELMORE

I hired you to act Kim, not to be a cunt.

(tosses dead wife off the tower)

Now the two of us are just going to... hide up here for a few hours and hopefully not be seen by any police or church folk?

(pause)

Jesus this is a dumb plan.

KIM NOVAK

Yeah who’s the cunt now, asshole?

INT. KIM’S APARTMENT - PRESENT

That's right, FRUMPY REDHEAD is indeed KIM!

This is actually a surprise to anyone who hadn’t seen THE TRAILER which totally GIVES THIS TWIST AWAY.

KIM NOVAK

Well shit, now that James has found me I should skip town before he figures out I’m an accessory to murder!

(pause)

Ooooh!! If only I hadn’t fallen in love with him, the big adorable bean pole! No, I’m not running! Instead I’m going to continue dating James and hope he’s too stupid to figure it out. How could this possibly go wrong?

JAMES immediately starts trying to POSSESS HER.

JAMES STEWART

I want you to quit your job. I’m taking care of you from now on.

KIM NOVAK

Sure! Financial independence is overrated! But I notice you can’t get it up lately. Is it because you want me to look more like Other Kim?

JAMES STEWART

What? No. That’s. No. You. That's crazy girl. No. YES PLEASE CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE LOOK AND WAY OF SPEAKING AND BE COMPLETELY DEVOTED TO ME

KIM NOVAK

Then will you love me?

JAMES STEWART

YESSSSSSSSS

KIM NOVAK

So I could have the personality of a stapler but that’s all well and good just so long as I cosplay as your dead girlfriend?

JAMES STEWART

Well when you put it that way how could it not make me sound like a huge asshole.

KIM NOVAK

Who would put up with such a controlling possessive megalomaniacal prick?

ALFRED HITCHCOCK

...uh why is everyone looking at me?

JAMES systematically destroys KIM’S PERSONALITY and replaces it with the FAKE SEXY ONE he fell in love with.

JAMES STEWART

So Kim, you talk like Other Kim and dress like Other Kim and dyed your hair blonde like Other Kim, but you haven't adopted the same bun hairdo like Other Kim. You know how much of a stickler my boner is for the fine details.

KIM NOVAK

Please James, I’ve given my entire being over to you, just let me keep this one small piece of my original self--

JAMES STEWART

(clears throat)

(points at limp noodle)

KIM NOVAK

Oh alright. But this had better be like the best dick I’ve ever had though.

KIM goes into the bathroom while BERNARD HERRMANN fucking SHREDS some violins like he's Jimmi Hendricks and KIM emerges from a green fog like a GHOST. A SEXY GHOST.

JAMES STEWART

Hmmm, yes, that’s what daddy likes. It’s like necrophilia without the stench or cleanup!

JAMES’S BONER is so powerful it transports him into an ALTERNATE DIMENSION.

This really HAPPENS.

But then JAMES notices KIM wearing a necklace that OTHER KIM had and drives her back to the Spanish church.

KIM NOVAK

Fuuuuuuuuuck

EXT. BELL TOWER

KIM NOVAK

Uh... it suddenly occurs to me that maybe I shouldn’t have kept incriminating evidence from the dead woman I helped to murder.

JAMES STEWART

GEE YA THINK?! Did you honestly believe I would be too stupid to see through your lies?!

KIM NOVAK

Well, yeah! Tom’s entire plan hinged on your utter stupidity! Well, that and your vertigo.

JAMES STEWART

Speaking of which, I made it to the top of the tower! My vertigo is cured!

KIM NOVAK

That’s wonderful! See? My lying and your possessiveness was all worth it! Can’t we see past this and move on like a normal couple? What’s a little murder amongst OH SHIT A NUN AAAAAAAAAHHH

(falls to her death)

JAMES STEWART

Oh great. Thanks a lot Kim, now I have to go through this ALL OVER AGAIN with another girl.

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

OH! ME! PLEASE PICK ME!

JAMES STEWART

Forget it Barb! Not gonna happen!

BARBARA BEL GEDDES

(frowns!)

Us nearsighted girls can never catch a break!

JAMES STEWART

Hey Death Nun, you free?

DEATH NUN

Sure, just let me grab my purse.

END

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