Last Train Home by Art D'Alessandro | Script Revolution

Last Train Home

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Page Count: 
103pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Logline: 
A man put to death in Florida's electric chair in 1999 is sent across time to 1973 with a chance to change his dire destiny.
Synopsis/Details: 

Robert Earl Deemer recounts the last moments of his life to John, a kind, understanding and whimsical being who is somehow inside the convict's head, encouraging Robert as he takes his final steps toward the "death chamber." Strapped in, Robert offers his last words, “If I could change things, I probably would.”

Somewhere between life and death, Robert sits in an abandoned railroad depot with John who offers him a chance to fix things. But that's impossible now, isn't it? John reveals a way to make it happen and warns Robert to avoid pitfalls along the way. He simply needs to board the next train and think of a time. Bewildered, unsure, but out of options, Robert boards the next train.

Robert arrives at the old train depot in Bethel County, near his hometown of Bethbary. The year is 1971.

Back in the "death chamber" a prison doc attends to the executed convict, who still shows a faint pulse.

Robert runs toward an abandoned barn. But he's too late and misses a chance to stop his father’s suicide.

Under John's guidance, he shifts forward two years, and is picked up along the road by the mother of his old girlfriend, Sue Kaneeley, who invites Robert to stay in the spare room which was once her husband’s “getaway... until he just got away”.

If re-meeting Sue and Sarah was difficult for Robert, it would pale in comparison to the knee-buckling moment when he first encounters himself as the 18 year-old angry Bobby, who hasn’t been the same since his father “blew his brains out.” Already on course to take all the wrong turns in life, Bobby wants nothing to do with this guy who claims to have known his father back in Vietnam... even after he confides that his own father “checked out the same way."

With John’s unique “help” along the way, Robert must face his own past and stick it out, even when the going gets tough -- when he races in Bobby’s Dodge Dart toward an oncoming train, or is beaten to a pulp by Bobby and his friends Luke and Jason, or, worst of all, watching his deceased mother, Lillian, live with scars left by her husband's suicide, an addiction to codeine.

Bobby, Luke and Jason have conspired to blow up the Bethbary water tower on July 4 as a diversion to cover knocking off the town bank. This would be the crisis moment in Bobby’s life, the moment Robert has returned to possibly prevent... unless another one comes first -- a moment in which Bobby must decide if he’s a killer and ready to take the path that comes with that territory. But that moment never happened in Robert’s past, only during this return trip, and Robert must intervene if any of this is to work.

Bobby makes the right choice. Or, so it seems. With the clock ticking closer to the time when the water tower’s set to blow, Robert spots Bobby heading for the bank. Was it all for naught? Has he failed?

Robert takes off for the bank, and his last chance to stop Bobby. But Bobby’s not there, and Robert takes the fall and is arrested by Officer Dilly inside the bank and led off to jail... a jail which will not hold him once he follows John's directive to invoke his name when his mission is finished.

John does bring Robert across time to the abandoned train station and praises him for a job well done, right before telling him that he's being sent back. Robert doesn't understand but complies and steps toward a bright wall of light.

In Bethbary, 1973, Bobby seems infused with new life; he's a different person, ready to make things right. While in the death chamber, 1999, an executed man's body is being wheeled out... also a different person.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

(This is reformatted as close to the original as possible. I do not know the company producers sent the script out to for coverage, only the reader's name, which is included.)

TITLE: Last Train Home (aka Reunion )
AUTHOR: Art D’Alessandro
READ BY/DATE: Andrew Hess
FORM/PAGES: Screenplay/105 Pages
GENRE: Redemption
BUDGET: Low - medium
CIRCA: Present -1970’s
LOCALE: Bethel, Florida

LOGLINE: A convict is sent back in time to change himself. A story of redemption, with a hint of hope.

SUMMARY: A man on Death row has just been electrocuted, though he has not yet died. His pulse "still" pounding, and with the clock ticking, we follow Robert who is given the chance to change his fate by going back into his past. He is given three days, until the Fourth of July by a mysterious man named John, who acts as his guide throughout the journey. He sends Robert back in time to his old hometown, where he is reunited with all his loved ones that he’s lost, but must not let on to who he is. He meets his younger self, Bobby and tries to talk him (self) into straightening out his life before it’s too late. Bobby lost his father to suicide, so at this stage we find him full of anger, hate and mistrust. Bobby and his two friends, Jason, the little guy who always follows orders, and Luke, the bully of the three, plot to rob the town’s bank on the fourth of July. Robert stays with Sue, mother to Sarah, who is Bobby’s girlfriend. Robert meets all of the locals that he’s come to remember, the local sheriff, Farmers, etc. When the night of the robbery arrives, Robert must find a way to convince Bobby that this path he’s on will only lead to destruction. At a pivotal point Bobby is faced with a choice and makes the right one, while Robert is left holding the bag for his former self and is carted off to jail. When it seems as though Robert will miss his chance to return under the 3-day limit, John, in disguise, as he is frequently throughout the story, whisks him away back to our opening. Returning to the scene of the death chamber, they carry the dead body out of the chamber to reveal the arm of not Bobby/Robert, but of Bobby’s bully friend, Luke.

COMMENTS: The opening is strong, it has an easy to follow story and plot. Good concept on meeting and trying to change younger self, interesting way of synchronizing actions. Great twist at the end.

Project Recommendation: Highly recommended! Great story. An international subject matter the audience can identify with in today's life of turmoil!

Writer Recommendation: Recommend: Good writing for hope-filled stories

Video: 
One final chance to change your destiny.
Submitted: April 24, 2017
Last Updated: February 24, 2019

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The Writer: Art D'Alessandro

Art D'Alessandro was graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he was the recipient of both top prose and poetry writing awards. He co-founded and ran The Maile School, one of the southeast’s most highly regarded talent training facilities for over 20 years before its sale in 2004. The school's alumni include Mandy Moore, Spencer Locke, Norm Lewis, Arielle Kebbel and two Miss Americas. His love of film has led to over forty screenplays bearing his name as writer, including “THE FINAL SEASON” starring Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Tom Arnold and Rachael Leigh Cook. Directed by David Mickey Evans, “The Sandlot,” TFS premiered at the Tribeca Film Fesitval, hit 1... Go to bio
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