Pottersville by John Maudlin | Script Revolution




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Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Christmas Eve:Ricky,redundant, separated and drunk, crashes his car and ends up in Pottersville, the nightmare town from his favourite film. Can Clarence the Angel get both Ricky and George Bailey home?

It's Christmas Eve. At the festive office party Ricky is made redundant by his boss, despite landing a big contract arranged through his wife. However he has failed to pursue other business opportunities the contract threw up choosing to take an early seasonal vacation. Returning home he finds his wife has left him. She has suffered his indolence and daydreams for too long. Turning on the TV his favourite film comes on 'It's a Wonderful Life' the film represents everything he ever wanted in life and is too unbearable to watch so he drives to a local bar and gets drunk. Around midnight he staggers to his car and drives off. Approaching a bend in the road he sees a lanky guy staggering in front of him and swerves to avoid him only to collide with a small pudgy man. He loses control and heads off road ploughing into a snowbank and falling unconscious. Awakening he finds the car on the edge of a fomenting river and edging toward the precipice. Suddenly there is a bang on his driver's window and a tall figure smashes the glass and pulls him out before the car tips into the torrent. Ricky is astonished to find his hero is George Bailey and somehow he has found his way into Pottersville. George, still disillusioned, runs off into town. Clarence re-appears blaming Ricky for wrecking his plan. Ricky makes a pact with Clarence that if he can help him get his wings he can go back to Bedford Falls with George and make his dreams come true. Looking for George they discover he has fallen in with Vi Bick and has agreed to work for Henry Potter as his bailiff. Ricky is arrested in the Dine N Dance for lewd behaviour after Clarence’s naivety with sex gets them into trouble. Clarence disappears as Bert the cop takes Ricky away to the cells. He confronts Potter and begins to appreciate that Bedford Falls represents not some kind of Utopia, but the fruits of the hard work of good men and women. Potter and Bert leave and Clarence shows up releasing Ricky from the gaol. George is on his way to evict Martini and his family from their home in Pottersfield. Ricky intercepts them. begging George to seek out his wife Mary. Bert the cop arrives to arrest Ricky but he resists allowing George to run away after Mary and restore Clarence’s plan. Ricky runs too and narrowly escapes a bullet from Bert. Ricky walks back to where he lost his car. George comes tumbling out of the dark desperate to get back home after seeing Mary. Ricky suggests he goes back to the bridge where it all began and maybe he’ll find a way home. George asks Ricky to go with him but Ricky decides he needs to create his own Bedford Falls and not inherit someone else’s. George walks off and after a few seconds it begins to snow. Ricky has finally arrived in Bedford Falls. Clarence appears. He has his wings. Ricky argues that he should have got the wings as he did all the work but Clarence tells him he didn’t get them for sending George back he got them for sending Ricky back. Ricky looks at him and then a screech is heard behind him. Ricky turns as Bert the Cop’s car collides with them both. Ricky wakes up back in his own car. He walks home and goes to bed. Christmas Day a knock comes on the door. It’s Diane. She had forgotten to take the picture of her and her mother and can’t stop. She walks in and starts searching without success. Then she notices it up on the wall. Ricky has finally hung it up. She goes into the kitchen and pours them both a drink and sits down with him. It’s a Wonderful Life comes on. They watch it together

Submitted: May 5, 2018
Last Updated: May 5, 2018

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The Writer: John Maudlin

Graduate of Warwick University. Triple honours in Literature, Theatre and Film. Short listed for the Bridport Poetry prize in 2015. Have completed 3 screenplays and 3 teleplays, the latter based on my own short stories. I have also written drama and poetry. I write under the pseudonym of Ricky Hawthorne. Go to bio

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