Gifted Children by Jerry Robbins | Script Revolution

Gifted Children



Page Count: 



Age Rating:

A reporter seeks to uncover the truth about sinister occurrences surrounding a home for gifted children.

The Talonford Home for Gifted Children — a dark and brooding Victorian mansion in the country. Young David is brought in by his aunt Leigh, who must see to his welfare before inheriting money from her late sister's will. The proprietors, elderly Mr. and Mrs. Shonts, refuse — until Leigh threatens blackmail with a bogus sexual abuse story to the paper. Soon after, David is lured into the woods and killed, then Leigh as well. Young Arthur sees to hiding the telltale car.

Reporter Mel, seeking a story to take her out of small-town news to big city journalism, gets wind of the Home when she spots Arthur interacting with an old man at the town's rest home. She prevails upon the Shonts to allow her to stay for a few days to do a human interest piece. She arrives with her photographer Ed, who snaps photos. No phone or internet out here, except for an ancient landline, so she'll be out of touch.

From the start it's clear this is no ordinary establishment. There are no mirrors at all. Arthur smokes cigars, and he's a crack shot at pool. The children are bold, eccentric, wise beyond their years, their speech loaded with anachronisms — they seem to be transplants from a vanished age. An unsettling nightmare on her first night sends her back to town to talk to the old man again — only to find him again with Arthur, who warns her to mind her own business. Meanwhile, back in town, photographer Ed's researches turn up an old picture of the home — from 1900 — showing several of the current children looking no different than they do now...

That night, young Phineas prevails upon the Shonts to bring him down to the basement. There, he drinks of the water seeping from a natural spring — and dissolves into a pile of dust! Later Mel finds the dust, and Phineas's gold tooth. Certain they are killing children, she goes back to the rest home, where the old man reveals that Arthur is not his grandson but his father — aged 133!

Mel calls Ed and has him search the internet — where he finds that all the children correspond to rich individuals who vanished mysteriously. The phone call's monitored by Mrs. Shonts. Believing she's close to cracking the case, Mel has Ed come to the house, where she slips him the gold tooth and a USB drive containing what she's found. She's intent on breaking this story herself, and goes to Mr. Shonts' office for a final confrontation.

Mr. Shonts comes clean. The Fountain of Youth is real... and it's under this house. A person can drink and be restored to their childhood form. But only six times — any more than that, and the ages will reclaim what is rightfully theirs. And now that Mel knows, she's never leaving — Arthur, having garroted Ed outside, brings in the gold tooth and the USB to make this clear.

A macabre game of hide-and-seek ensues, where Mel is pursued to the attic. There among the house's mirrors — which show the children's true ghastly forms — Mel is overpowered...

Later, her publisher comes out to investigate, and is told Mel and Ed have eloped. But a little girl, no more than 10, follows him out, claiming to be Mel... which the Shonts laugh off as the impossible fancies of a child...

All Accolades & Coverage: 

DOUBLE RECOMMEND Script coverage. Screenwriting Staffing 5-30-20

Submitted: February 19, 2020
Last Updated: May 31, 2020

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

Jerry Robbins's picture

The Writer: Jerry Robbins

JERRY ROBBINS Screenplays Catch the Bullet (Western) Post-production. Feifer Worldwide (Best Feature Screenplay – Wild Bunch Film Festival.) The Legend of Lake Hollow (Horror) Pre-production, Penumbra Entertainment. Christmas At Exit 24 (Romcom) Under Option Climb (Animated holiday musical) Academy Nicholls Fellowship Quarterfinalist, Best Screenplay Hollywood Int’l Motion Picture Festival, Best Screenplay Crown Wood Int’l. Film Festival, Best Screenplay Sunny Side Up Festival, Official Selection - Finish Line, Finalist at Lonely Seal Film Festival. Script coverage: Double Recommend - (Screenplay Gurus). Under Shop Agreement with Urban Elephant Media They Beckon (Horror) Official Selection... Go to bio

More Scripts From Jerry

Always Christmas
A cynical young girl discovers the true meaning of Christmas by rallying the community around an isolated old man who has been unable to move on from the tragedies of his past.
Feature Family For sale 96pp
5 readers love this script
In a night of sheer terror, a teenager and her younger brother and sister desperately battle a deadly, psychotic, but always happy clown, who has followed them home from the circus.
Feature Horror, Thriller For sale 94pp
4 readers love this script
They Beckon
At the isolated Mansion of the Elms, estate appraisers find themselves in the fight of their lives against newly awakened shadow people, walking corpses and doppelgängers craving revenge for their murders.
Feature Horror For sale 104pp
3 readers love this script
Magically transported to the perilous world of their own Christmas tree, a brother and sister race to find the Star Angel before morning sunbeams freeze them into ornaments.
Feature Adventure, Animation, Family, Musical For sale 109pp
1 reader loves this script
Encounter at Hopkinsville
Inspired by actual events, when a UFO descends upon a remote Kentucky farm, a family must defend itself against an attack of small alien creatures.
Feature Horror, Sci-Fi For sale 105pp
1 reader loves this script
Wicked Things
A team of metal detecting treasure hunters unearth an 18th-century relic in the Adirondack wilderness, unleashing a demonic Native-American spirit.
Feature Horror For sale 105pp
1 reader loves this script
The Dickens You Say
When fictional characters materialize from a magical first edition of "A Christmas Carol" into a young woman's living room, she tries her best to keep them out of the town and out of trouble.
Feature Comedy, Family For sale 112pp
The Santa Exchange
After trading places with an identical-looking “mortal,” Santa goes on a desperate search for any Christmas spirit left in the modern world.
Feature Family For sale 105pp
Guns of Powder River
A U.S. Marshal and his cohorts survive Indians and outlaws as they lead a party of women and children on a dangerous journey to California.
Feature Western For sale 105pp
Christmas At Chestnut Cottage
While enjoying a Christmas getaway in a snowy New Hampshire cottage, a New York attorney unwittingly finds herself falling in love with the same man her law firm is suing.
Feature Comedy, Family, Romance For sale 106pp
The Unexpected Romance of Captain Sam
A feisty young lobsterwoman is propositioned by a handsome west-coast entrepreneur bent on conquering the online lobster market, who conquers her heart instead–despite the suspicions of her crew
Feature Comedy, Romance For sale 103pp
Million Dollar High
It's an exciting day for two high school freshmen who find a suitcase containing 4.5 million dollars, and a different kind of exciting when the Mob sends two men with orders to get it back.
Feature Comedy For sale 105pp
Bows For Holly
A television actress returns to her home town and is asked to appear in the community Christmas Play. Unable to memorize lines without a teleprompter, a handsome local newspaper reporter helps her with unexpected results.
Feature Comedy, Romance For sale 105pp
Christmas At Exit 24
When a single mom working at a truck-stop diner meets a wealthy man who could be Mr. Right, facts unfold with the help of a trucker, who her young daughter believes is actually Santa Claus.
Feature Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance Under Option 105pp
4 readers love this script
The Secret of Lake Hollow
A group of friends at a remote lakeside cabin find themselves in a deadly nightmare when the trail cameras on the property reveal ghostly, demonic images surrounding them.
Feature Horror, Thriller In development 90pp
5 readers love this script
Catch The Bullet
A US Marshal, aided by an Indian scout and a bigoted town deputy, ride into hostile territory to rescue his kidnapped son from an outlaw gang lead by a psychopathic killer.
Feature Crime, Drama, Thriller, Western Produced 105pp