NABOKV-L post 0004812, Thu, 24 Feb 2000 16:37:22 -0800

American Beauty ending (fwd)
From: D.K. Holm <>

>What happens next? Do the kids still decamp for New York? Is Ricky s
>father convicted?

**A previous draft of the screenplay is available on the internet (linked
from As the movie in its early version began and ended,
montages revealed that Ricky Fitts and Jane Burnham (the daughter) were
convicted of murdering Lester Burnham.

At the beginning, Ricky is already in jail, singing the Beatles "Fixin' a
Hole," while Jane is on trial. Fitts's dad, the Colonel, is shown at the
police station providing authorities with a videotape he has just
unearthed, the tape that opens the film as it now exists, in which Jane and
Ricky make a "pact" to kill her father. This footage is shown on tabloid
television. The movie as we know it begins with page four of this script.

This version ends with alternating scenes in montage mode in a greatly
expanded version of what is there now. We are shown the results of the
trial of Jane, in which she is found guilty of conspiring to murder her
father, and is shown blankly staring into space in a correctional
institute. The Real Estate King comforts Lester's widow. Meanwhile, the
Colonel is burning a black and white photo of himself and another man from
the distant past, the last conscious vestiges of his homosexuality finally
repressed, and then he too stares blankly into space. Ricky is still in
jail, humming the song; his mother is ironing a shirt that she notices has
blood on it (a shirt, it is hinted, that would exonerate her son and
convict her husband), but instead of acting on her suspicions she simply
and blankly continues ironing it; and Lester's narration overlays all this
as in the current version but with more threads to wrap up.

Obviously, the tone of this version is darker, and is, if anything, more
like Pale Fire than Lolita in its accumulated paradoxes and injustices.

D K Holm