1960_march_3_elvis_presley_prestwick_airport_scotland

Elvis arriving at Prestwick Airport.

 

Short Story and Film Script.

March 1960, Elvis Presley landed for a few hours at Prestwick Airport, Scotland on his way home from Germany. It was the only time he ever visited the UK.

He is still playing with his hair and listening to the radio when his mother kicks the door open.

“You haven’t heard a word I’ve said Jimmy. Get to work – those animals won’t cut themselves up.”

And just like every other day, she follows the kicking of the door with rushing down the stairs and then leaving the house, and just like every other day in a now empty home, Jimmy turns up the radio volume to maximum.

“There is a large crowd here to watch Elvis wave goodbye to his 16-year-old girlfriend, Priscilla Beaulieu” says an excited radio announcer.

Elvis, the man, the god, the father, son and holy ghost is leaving Germany and flying back to the States. His time in the army is over and he’s going home to make more records, to make more movies and continue dating the daughter of a soldier he’s met in a club. Elvis and Priscilla have only been seeing each other for six weeks but Jimmy and Susan have been going strong now for a full three months.

Across the street from Jimmy’s place, in one of the newer bungalows, Mister Andrews stares out of the window. Neither happy nor sad, he watches as Jimmy’s mother passes by and in a friendly manner he slowly raises a hand to wave but she looks straight ahead and disappears around the corner.

“There goes Mrs Baker, always in a hurry. I tell you what Brenda love, it’s such a beautiful day I think I’ll wash the car.”

Mister Andrew smiles to himself because he’s made a decision about something and that pleases him. Across the street he can see that nice young girl hurrying to Jimmy’s front door.

Susan is agitated as she pushes her spectacles up her nose and rapidly knocks on the door. She can hear the music from Jimmy’s room above, so she steps back and enthusiastically waves to him but Jimmy just smiles and continues with sorting his hair. Susan tries another method by banging and kicking the front door, this time it brings Jimmy downstairs. As he opens his door, he’s caught between saying ‘where’s the fire’ and leaning forward to kiss her but Susan just rushes straight passed him and into the small kitchen.

Most of the time Jimmy’s mother has to work double shifts, so Susan has gotten to know where everything is located.

“Mum’s already made up my lunch.”

“You’re not going to work, not today” says Susan without raising her head.

“I’m not? So what am I doing then, eloping?”

“That’s not funny”. She’s already wrapped up the first sandwiches in a brown bag and hands them to Jimmy.

Jimmy knows what will happen if he doesn’t turn up for work today; he’s already been late three days running.

“Well, I’ll just go and see him myself then, shall I?” and Susan kisses Jimmy on the cheek and leaves the room. Jimmy, forever the lost boy, follows her out, “Who, for crying out loud, are you going to see?”

Across the street Mister Andrews is already washing his car in the March sunshine and even he stops when he hears Jimmy shout out ‘Elvis Presley’ quickly followed by a hooting noise. Dogs bark, birds scatter – it seems the whole of the town has just heard.

A few minutes later and Mister Andrews stands back and admires his handy work as he lets the car dry in the sun. Just up the street a touch, Jimmy and Susan are hiding behind a wall. Jimmy wants to know where Susan got the information about Elvis and she tells him from her father who is a baggage handler at Prestwick airport. He’s heard that Elvis’ plane is to land in the west of Scotland to refuel.

“But you better get here quick” was her father’s parting words.

Jimmy asks “if she’s sure her father is telling the truth?” and she says that he has sworn on her Mum’s life and that is good enough for her and it should be good enough for him too. Then she tells him about her plan, the one where they borrow Mister Andrews’ car.

“It’s not stealing if we’re going to bring it back”.

Mister Andrews is at that stage where he’s proudly polishing  his pride and joy. He takes a step back, sees another blemish and continues rubbing. Susan rushes up and asks him if she can “please, please, please use his toilet”. He’s not happy about this turn of events, but she seems so desperate and Jimmy and his family have already gone to work. Mister Andrews says it’s okay but she has to take her shoes off before entering the house. He follows her in, dusting any part of the wall or furniture she may have accidentally rubbed against; he doesn’t want to seem fussy but he knows he probably is. He stands outside the toilet door but feels it may look a little weird and so he moves down the hall a few steps.

Mister Andrews doesn’t hear the sound of the car horn the first time around but Susan does. She’s been waiting on it. She rockets out of the toilet handing back Mister Andrews one of his towels then shooting out through the front door. Shocked at first, it takes the second car horn for Mister Andrew to realise what’s going on. He, too, rushes out his house but just in time to see his car, the girl and Jimmy from across the street driving it away. Well maybe driving is an exaggeration; they are more pointing the car and making it hiccup along the road.

“Oh dear – oh dear, oh dear, oh dear” says Mister Andrews as he wanders back into his home.

“I’ve just stolen a car”, declares Jimmy.

“Borrowed” Susan adds “and I’ve just left my shoes back there”.

Standing once more at his window, Mister Andrews is worried about to what to do next. This wasn’t meant to happen, you make a decision and things shouldn’t deviate, but deviate, they have.

“They’ve taken the car Brenda love, do you think I should telephone the police?”

Mister Andrews whispers, “oh dear, oh dear, oh dear” then adds, “You’re probably right Brenda love, you always are.”

Jimmy knows the only way to get to the airport in time to see The King is to use the village High Street but just as he turns in to the road, Susan spots Jimmy’s mother and Jimmy’s boss talking to each other outside the butcher’s shop. That is why Jimmy’s mother sees an empty car driving past her along the High Street, Susan and Jimmy are well hidden.

“Isn’t that Mister Andrew’s car?”

She soon dismisses what she thinks she’s seen and continues with her conversation.

At the other end of the High Street where it turns into Observatory Road, old Webster and Hamish are in the village garage. It’s tea break time and this involves looking out the window while dunking their biscuits in their cracked cups. Old Webster checks with Hamish that he’s also just seen Mister Andrew’s car passing driver-less and sure enough he has.

“Mighty me” says old Webster as he picks up the telephone, intending to call the police.

Five minutes later, ten at the most, a policeman appears in front of Jimmy’s car with his hand raised in the ‘stop’ position. I suppose if there are people reading this in later years and are wondering why a policeman would do such a thing, well in March 1960 in the United Kingdom, people still obeyed the law.

Except Jimmy and Susan drive straight on, causing the constable to have to jump out-of-the-way in order to save his life.

It is only as the car crawls to the top of the hill and disappears over the other side, that the screaming starts. Mister Andrews may have had a clean car but the brakes aren’t of any use for stopping. Twice Jimmy bashes his head on the roof as these are the days before seat belts and such like.

Luckily as they shoot across the main road and into the airport they fail to hit anything and come to rest in a ploughed field at the side of the runway. Jimmy and Susan sit for a second to catch their breaths and then undeterred by the lack of Susan’s shoes, they run towards the airport reception.

“Ow, ow, ow” as Susan steps on every rock possible, Jimmy suggests she takes his shoes and although they are a whole lot larger, she finds it really does stop the pain.

It will be worth it in a minute when they get to the reception, she thinks to herself, except when they get there, the hall is empty, that is except for the rubbish scattered everywhere. An old man slides back a dirty glass partition.

“If you’re here to see that Mister Elvis fellow, then you’re too late. He’s been and he’s gone and it’s me who’s going to have to clean this mess up. Do you know what he said?”

Apparently Elvis had asked where he was, which caused the old man much laughter and mirth, so the old man felt he had to put Elvis right and tell him he was in Scotland.

“Where am I? What kind of question is that for a grown man?”

So that’s that. Who knows when Elvis will pass this way again? And with shoulders slumped, Jimmy and Susan leave the building only for the old man to call after them that he’s heard that

Elvis was going up to that local cafe. There is a god.

To call the Brigadoon Tearooms anything but an old hut would be a kindness, except Susan is sure she can hear Elvis singing inside. Her heart begins to palpitate but Jimmy is only worried about avoiding sharp things on the ground since he’s walking in bare feet. He doesn’t notice Susan run ahead, storm the Brigadoon Tearooms and shout “Marry me Elvis”. He hears her the second time ‘though.

“What do you mean he’s gone?” Susan is almost crying as the jukebox plays on.

“Oh he was dreamy, wouldn’t take his cap off ‘though – ‘no Mam, I can’t do that’” says a giggling girl who had also wanted to marry Elvis.

Susan is talking to a girl who has talked to Elvis and it hurts.

As it grows dark, Jimmy and Susan haven’t spoken to each other for a few hours now. The only communication they have had is when Jimmy takes his shoes back.

“You would have run off with him to America – and married him”

Susan has no defence and simply says “I would have invited you to the wedding”

Jimmy is just about to take his turn at crying when a car turns up beside them. It’s Mister Andrews in his borrowed car and he rolls down the window.

“I brought you these, they’re Susan’s shoes. Hop in and I’ll drive you both home. You can tell me all about it on the way”

Susan puts on her shoes then asks Jimmy if he’s coming.

The next day is a glorious one as Mister Andrews stands by the fireplace.

“You’re looking a little grubby today, Brenda love” and Mister Andrews polishes the urn that keeps Brenda’s ashes safe. Once she’s gleaming, he turns satisfied to look out the window again.

“Now you’re ready to face the world”

Jimmy’s mother comes out of her door and crosses the street towards Mister Andrews’ house. For the first time ever she waves to him and he waves back.

Mister Andrews smiles.

 

  1. The Short Film Script 

 

1 BLACK SCREEN 1

INTRO MUSIC: “Well, since my baby left me,

I found a new place to dwell.

It’s down at the end of lonely street

At heartbreak hotel.”HEARTBREAK HOTEL

 

RADIO REPORTER (V.O.)

And here we are at Frankfurt

airport as Elvis Presley boards the

plane that is to take him home to

the US.

 

FADE IN:

2 INT. SAMMY’S BEDROOM – DAY 2

RADIO REPORTER (V.O.)

There is a large crowd here to

watch Elvis wave goodbye to his 16

year old girlfriend, Priscilla

Beaulieu.

 

Going around the room: a beat up guitar sits in the corner

and a photo of Elvis placed up against some magazines.

 

RADIO REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT’D)

Elvis was quoted as saying ‘I

haven’t seen much of Germany’

 

A calendar displaying ‘March,1960’.

 

RADIO REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT’D)

‘And I’m sure going to miss

Priscilla. She’s real cute and

she’s very mature for her age.

 

A HAND in a Brylcreem Tub. Stop at a mirror of SAMMY, 16,

adjusting his quiff (a tuft of hair) with a comb. He looks

cool and he knows it.

 

RADIO REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT’D)

Apparently Elvis and Priscilla have

only been going out six weeks.

 

A HAND switches off the radio. It’s SAMMY’S MOTHER.

 

SAMMY’S MOTHER

You haven’t heard a word I’ve said

Sammy. Get to work, those animals

won’t cut themselves up.

 

She storms out the room. Sammy doesn’t care, he’s got his

quiff to love. Front door CLOSING. Sammy’s POV of HIS MOTHER

walking out through their garden.

 

3 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ LOUNGE – DAY 3

MISTER ANDREWS, sixties, stares out the window and is talking

to BRENDA ,off-screen. Through the window is Sammy’s Mother

walking across the street. As she passes Mister Andrews’

window, he smiles with a half-hearted wave.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

There goes Mrs McMillan.

Mrs McMillan does not react.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

I tell you what, Brenda love,it’s

such a lovely day, I think I’ll

wash the car.

 

Through the window ,FIONA, 16, Sammy’s girlfriend, walks up

to Sammy’s front door across the street.

 

4 EXT. SAMMY’S FRONT DOOR – DAY 4

Fiona, pushing her spectacles up her nose, KNOCKS the door.

She is agitated and appears to be in a hurry.

 

FIONA

Come on.

 

Fiona takes a few steps back and looks up at Sammy’s bedroom

window. He smiles down while still playing with his quiff.

 

5 INT. SAMMY’S HALL – DAY 5

Sammy opens the door. He leans towards Fiona to give her a

kiss. She ignores him and walks through the hall.

 

6 INT. SAMMY’S KITCHEN – DAY 6

Fiona knows this kitchen and where everything is. Sammy tries

to cuddle up to her but she pushes him back – she is too busy

getting the ingredients together to make sandwiches.

 

SAMMY

What are you doing?

 

FIONA

We’re going to need these. I’ve no

idea how long we’ll be waiting. So

I need you to brew up a flask of

tea.

 

SAMMY

I’ve got to go to work.

 

FIONA

Okay, then I’ll go and see him

myself.

 

All this time, Sammy is following Fiona around the room.

 

SAMMY

Who? For crying out loud, who?

 

7 EXT. SAMMY’S HOUSE – DAY 7

The front of the house – quiet , sedate then..

 

SAMMY (O.S.)

ELVIS PRESLEY!

 

A couple of birds fly off and a few distant dogs start

BARKING.

 

8 EXT. THE STREET – DAY 8

No one is in the street, except Mister Andrews washing his

car. Fiona and Sammy are hiding behind a wall and whispering.

 

SAMMY

So how do you know he’s not lying?

 

FIONA

Because he swore on Mum’s life.

 

SAMMY

How do we get to Prestwick airport?

 

FIONA

Why do you think I brought you out

here?

 

SAMMY

No idea.

 

FIONA

They’ll never say I love you for

your brains.

 

SAMMY

You love me?

 

FIONA

Shh. The car. Mister Andrews’ car.

 

SAMMY

What about it?

 

9 EXT. FRONT OF MISTER ANDREWS’ HOUSE – DAY 9

Fiona is on her own as she approaches Mister Andrews. He is

cleaning the car with a religious fever. She carries the bag

with the tea and sandwiches.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

Can I help you, Fiona?

 

FIONA

Mister Andrews, I wondered if maybe

I could use your bathroom.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

I’m a bit busy Fiona, can you not

use your…you know, your friend’s

place?

 

FIONA

They’re all out and I’m desperate

Mister Andrews.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

I suppose so. Follow me.

 

Fiona follows. Mister Andrews stops – suddenly.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

And don’t touch anything.
They continue. He stops again.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

And don’t rub against any walls.
He’s about to start off again, but stops.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

And wash your hands. And take your

shoes off before you go in the

house.

 

Fiona slips her shoes off, leaves he bag down, then she and

Mister Andrews enter the house. Sammy appears from behind a

bush. He crawls around to the road side of the car. His hand

reaches up and opens the car door. Keeping low, he checks the

ignition. The key is there. Yes!

 

10 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ HALL – DAY 10

Mister Andrews’ face shows panic. He is uncomfortable with

visitors. Fiona is in the loo and Mister Andrews is hovering

expectantly outside the door; unconsciously dusting. Maybe

he’s worried that she’ll run off with the bathroom fittings.

 

11 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ HALL – DAY 11

The CAR HORN is sounding. The bathroom door opens and Fiona

bursts out. She’s still drying her hands – she passes the

towel to a perplexed Mister Andrews and exits.

More CAR HORN then Mister Andrews catches on. He runs after

her.

 

12 EXT. FRONT OF MISTER ANDREWS’ HOUSE – DAY 12

Sammy leans over and opens the passenger door. Fiona is

running towards the car that is starting to move.

 

SAMMY

Hurry up!

 

Fiona is closely pursued by Mister Andrews. She jumps in the

car just in the nick of time.

The car kangaroos away and each time it looks as if Mister

Andrews will jump on top of it.

Eventually the car speeds off.

 

SAMMY (CONT’D)

I’ve just stolen a car.

 

FIONA

And I’ve left my shoes back there.

 

The car disappears into the distance with Mister Andrews

standing in the road with nothing to polish.

 

FIONA (O.S.)(CONT’D)

And the tea and sandwiches.

 

13 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ HALL – DAY 13

Mister Andrews picks up his telephone.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

They’ve taken the car Brenda. Do

you think I should phone the

police?

 

Mister Andrews thinks about it, then puts the telephone down.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

You’re probably right Brenda love,

you always are.

 

14 EXT. HIGH STREET – DAY 14

The High Street has a few SHOPPERS. Fiona spies Sammy’s

mother talking to Sammy’s employer – the town BUTCHER.

 

CAR

 

FIONA

Duck.

 

SAMMY

What?

 

FIONA

Your Mother is talking to your

boss.

 

Sammy and Fiona duck down.

 

CAR

Sammy’s mother stops to wave to Mister Andrews in his car,

but the car is going forwards with no one in it. She pauses,

thinks she must be seeing things, then continues talking to

the butcher.

As the car leaves the town, Fiona and Sammy sit up.

 

15 INT. MISTER WEBSTER’S OFFICE – DAY 15

MISTER WEBSTER and HAMISH are having their tea break which

always involves looking out of their window.

Mister Webster (or ‘Nosey’ as he’s known in town) sees the

car passing the window

 

WEBSTER

I’d swear that was Andrews’ wee

Morris Minor. What do you think

Hamish?

 

Hamish is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Both he and

Webster are drinking cups of tea at exactly the same time –

in a synchronised style.

 

HAMISH

Yes.

 

WEBSTER

And I don’t think that’s Mister

Andrews driving. What do you think

Hamish?

 

HAMISH

No.

 

WEBSTER

I think I’ll call the Police

Station. What do you think Hamish?

 

HAMISH

Yes.

 

WEBSTER

You’re a good man, Hamish.

 

16 EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY 16

Sammy and Fiona in the car and without a care. They turn the

corner and there is a police road block.

There is only one POLICEMAN. He stands with his hand up for

them to halt (this is 1960 after all).

 

CAR

 

SAMMY

What do I do?

 

The car makes a sudden turn to the right, almost on two

wheels. The policeman runs back to his car and gives chase.

The road becomes a lane. The lane becomes a dirt track. The

dirt track runs out and we are on grass.

Fiona and Sammy are bouncing up and down.

 

HILL

The police car in pursuit. The Morris Minor struggles to get

up to the top of the hill, but it’s still doing better than

the police car which gives up. The Morris Minor rocks at the

top of the hill.

 

17 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ LOUNGE – DAY 17

Mister Andrews has returned to staring out the window. It

seems to be a way of life in these parts.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

I wonder if I should have warned

those two about the brakes, Brenda?

 

18 EXT. HILL – DAY 18

SCREAMS – the Morris Minor careering down the hill. Straight

across the main road and into the airport. That’s handy.

 

19 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR – DAY 19

Fiona and Sammy run into the hangar. They are exhausted but

in a few minutes it’s all going to be worth it. Fiona has no

shoes and keeps yelling at the pain.

All that is blowing though this place is dropped rubbish from

earlier. There is an OLD MAN behind a sliding window.

 

SAMMY

(to Fiona)

Have we got the wrong place?

 

Fiona gives Sammy that ‘don’t be so stupid’ look. Fiona

knocks the window. The old man is pouring out tea from his

flask while eating a large sandwich.

 

OLD MAN

If you’re here to see Mister Elvis

Presley, then you’re too late.

Been and gone and it’s me that’s

going to have to clean up this

mess. Do you know what that eejit

said? He said ,’Where am I?’. Would

you credit it? ‘Where am I?’.

Bloody Scotland, that’s where!

 

Dejected, Fiona and Sammy start to leave.

 

OLD MAN (CONT’D)

I think they said he was going to

that teenage club of rascals, up

the road, if that’s any help.

 

There is a God.

 

20 EXT. TEENAGE CLUB – DUSK 20

A Scout hut. Music and lights from the inside. An ELVIS

RECORD is PLAYING. Some TEENAGERS sit outside. A farm truck

stops. Fiona and Sammy are sitting on the back. They jump off

and run to the teenagers.

 

FIONA

Is he here?

 

TEENAGE GIRL 1

Gone. But he was dreamy.

 

TEENAGE GIRL 2

Oh, he was dreamy all right.

Wouldn’t take his hat off, though.

 

TEENAGE GIRL 1

(bad American accent)

“I’m sorry Ma’am, I can’t take it

off, ma’am”.

 

The two girls kill themselves laughing. Fiona starts

SCREAMING. The teenage girls run off.

 

SAMMY

Now I see, you would have run off

with him. To America. And left me.

Fiona calms down, slumps on the steps and looks sheepishly at

Sammy.

 

FIONA

I would have invited you to the

wedding.

 

21 EXT. ROAD – DUSK 21

It’s almost dark. Fiona and Sammy are sitting apart by the

side of the road. The Morris Minor stops. It is Mister

Andrews. He rolls down the window.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

Hop in and I’ll give you a run

home. You can tell me all about it.

Fiona gets up and walks towards the car.

 

FIONA

(to Sammy)

You coming?

 

22 INT. MISTER ANDREWS’ LOUNGE – DAY 22

Mister Andrews is standing by the fire-place.

 

MISTER ANDREWS

You’re looking a wee bit grubby

today, Brenda love.

Brenda’s ashes are in an urn by the fire-place. Mister

Andrews dusts the urn. Satisfied, he goes back to looking out

the window.

 

MISTER ANDREWS (CONT’D)

Now you’re ready to face the world.

 

Mrs McMillan comes out of Sammy’s house and crosses the

street towards Mister Andrews’ place. For the first time ever

Mrs McMillan waves to him. He waves back.

Mister Andrews smiles.

 

BLACK SCREEN

CAPTION: “March 2nd 1960, Elvis Presley landed, for a few

hours, at Prestwick Airport on his way home from Germany. It

was the only time he ever visited the UK.”

 

THE END

 

bobby stevenson 2008/2016

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