Collared by R. J. Cardullo | Script Revolution


A man becomes stranded and finds that he has to spend the night in a hotel room—with a total stranger.



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Based On: 
“A Hundred Collars” (1914), a poem by Robert Frost.

Summer, 1912. A man named Professor Magee is on his way to his hometown of Lancaster, New Hampshire, when he misses his train and is stranded at Woodsville Junction. He tries to find a room where he can spend the night in the only hotel in town, but there is no vacancy. The night clerk gives him the option of sharing a room with another man. Magee takes him up on his offer, even though he sees a stranger in the lobby who didn’t accept the clerk’s option—for fear of being robbed or murdered, the management says.

Magee’s fear is stoked further when he sees his “brute” of a roommate for the night—a man who now wears a size-18 collar, up from his previous 14. Magee, who just happens to wear a size-14 collar, introduces himself but tries to avoid any contact with the other man, who is drinking. The other fellow, Lafe Fairbanks, notices how afraid and untrusting Magee is and offers to show of evidence of good faith. He reveals how much money he is carrying, and Magee does the same. This act calms the latter’s nerves, and the two men lapse into conversation.

Lafe talks of his work as a collector, driving around the countryside soliciting newspaper subscriptions and discovering, in the process, the public sentiment on various topics. He also speaks of himself as a Democrat and of his employer as a Republican; Magee is not so forthcoming on his political leanings. Finally, as Lafe takes Magee’s leave, he offers to send the professor all of the size-14 collars that don’t fit him anymore, which Magee declines to accept. Then Lafe leaves the room for a night on the town—but not before saying that he’ll be back.

Submitted: February 20, 2021
Last Updated: February 20, 2021

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R. J. Cardullo's picture

The Writer: R. J. Cardullo

A former university film teacher, I turned to screenwriting several years ago. I have also written film criticism for many publications. A New Yorker by birth, I grew up in Miami and was educated at the University of Florida, Tulane, and Yale. My last U.S. address was in Milford, Connecticut; I am now an expatriate residing in Scandinavia. Many of my scripts (both long and short) are adaptations of lesser-known works by well-known authors. I am happy to re-write, collaborate, or write on demand. Thanks kindly for any attention you can give my work. Go to bio

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