Ondine's Curse by Art D'Alessandro | Script Revolution

Ondine's Curse

Detective Murphy needs to solve a murder case he's suspect number one on. But Murph's been diagnosed with a fatal disease and the clock's ticking. Next time he falls asleep he might not wake up.



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SYNOPSIS: Detective Owen Murphy is an LAPD veteran. He's seen it all in his years in Vice. But he has two very dire problems of his own: One, he's a family man with two kids and he's cheating on wife Andie, a former alcoholic; two, he's dealing with terrible headaches that impact all of his relationships. When we meet Murph it's at the loft apartment of his girlfriend Ruby. Murph brings Ruby a butterfly figurine to match her leg tats but has to leave in a hurry when he gets an urgent call out. Typical stuff -- CI Leticia is distraught about recent prison release Gonzo's murder of her close friend, also a drug mule in Gonzo's syndicate. Murph and partner, Nik, hunt down and arrest Gonzo.

Murph relishes his time with kids Erin and Emily, but things get tense with wife Andie when Murph wants a drink to knock the edges off a long day. Andie's a recovering addict and feels Murphy isn't in her corner like he should be. Later that night Murph gets a call out to the Fidelity Tower roof where some of LAPD's finest have gathered to go over a crime scene. A woman's been murdered up on the roof. Murph meets his boss Gussie and newcomer Zizi there. Murph wonders aloud why he got the call. Zizi says he's heard Murph knows all the "ho's" in Central. Murph tells Zizi not to listen to everything he hears. Gussie's hoping Murph can ID the body. Ruby. Murph says he doesn't know her and leaves. Downstairs, he finds Nik and asks if he's talked to Gussie about "anything." Nik assures him he hasn't.

Murph heads right for Ruby's apartment to retrieve the butterfly, but cops are waiting there for him and bring him in for questioning, which does not go well, but he's released pending serology results. He heads home to find Zizi and another cop questioning Andie about Murph's relationship with Ruby, complete with photos. Murph arrives and Andie asks him to leave. Murph takes off in his '67 Mustang convertible, falls asleep at the wheel and wrecks. In the ICU Dr. Chang informs Murph that he has a variant of Ondine's Disease -- inoperable mass on his brain stem. If he falls asleep he will seize as he did in the car, stop breathing and die.

With evidence against Murph mounting and an arrest imminent, Murph pulls out his monitoring equipment and books it out of the hospital. First stop, home, where Murph finds Andie being consoled by Nik. Murph senses Nik betrayed him with Gussie and might even be after his wife. Nik confirms that Gussie's coming for him. Murph gets out of there, taking Andie's old van. Gussie and crew show up at the hospital. Murph is a murder suspect.

Over the ensuing days, Murph tries desperately to stay awake, even resorting to soliciting drugs from some of the characters he's busted before. He also solicits the help of long-time friend and attorney Artie, who agrees to go to bat for him with Gussie. He's a lot of things, but he's no murderer. He's certain it must be Gonzo, getting back at him for putting him away. He switches van plates and snatches a phone from Tranny drug dealer Jojo and goes on the hunt for Gonzo, who Nik said had already been kicked for the Leticia’s murder.

Time is running out. Soon he must and will sleep. When he finds Gonzo, even violent interview techniques don’t get Murph the confession he needs. He must go home and say goodbye and confront Nik, who Murph now surmises was the perp, given all the evidence and opportunity. But when Murph does arrive home and finds Nik there, another confession comes to light. Andie confronted Ruby and things went south. Gussie shows up, as the house was being staked out, and before he sleeps, Murph confesses to the murder of Ruby.

Submitted: August 22, 2019
Last Updated: March 24, 2022

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Art D'Alessandro's picture

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
Lawyer: Bonnie Berry Lamon

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