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Last Train Home

During the last, fleeting beats of his pulse, a man seemingly put to death in Florida’s electric chair in 1999 is sent on a journey across time to confront himself as a rebellious teen and change the course of his dire destiny.

(COVERAGE: Story -- Highly Recommend. Writer: Recommend. Andrew Hess, Script Consultant [under title "Reunion"])

Robert Earl Deemer shares the last moments of his life with 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 and reveals a way to make it happen. He simply needs to board the next train and think of a time, a pivotal moment in his life. Bewildered, Robert boards the next train.

Robert arrives at the old train depot in Bethel County. The year is 1971.

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

Robert rushes to an abandoned barn, but is too late to prevent his father's suicide. He quickly jumps forward to a more appropriate time where he can affect his own behavior not anyone else's and finds himself in 1973 on the road outside his hometown of Bethbary where he is picked up 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”.

He is shocked to meet himself as the 18 year-old, Bobby, who hasn’t been the same since his father “blew his brains out.” Now, Robert has a chance to alter the events of his future by convincing himself as a troubled youth to make the “right” choices in life. He sees clearly the opportunity that John has laid before him, but has only 3 days to execute it. He must help Bobby decide if he’s ready to take the path that ends at death row or if he is a person worthy of redemption.

Bobby and two pals 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 prevent...a moment that will lead to other pivotal moments, a life of crime, and ultimately to Bobby's involvement in the murder of a cop.

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, is arrested 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 he feels 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 he's being sent back. Robert doesn't understand but complies and steps again toward the station's exit doors and a blinding 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.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Modest
Starring Roles For:
Liev Schreiber
Forrest Whitaker
A TEEN LIEV SHREIBER
In the Vein Of:
It's a Wonderful Life
Frequency
Shawshank Redemption
Posted:
04/01/2020
Updated:
06/05/2021
Author Bio:
Art D’Alessandro co-founded and ran one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded talent schools for over 22 years. His love of movies has led to nearly 50 screenplays bearing his name as writer, including the produced feature films “The Final Season” (1100 screens, Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, et al), "She Drives Me Crazy" (Lifetime, Winner of CTV's Gemini Award for Best TV Movie, Melinda Clarke), "Mayor Cupcake" (Showtime, Lea Thompson, Zoey Deutch, & Judd Nelson), "Letters to God" (900 screens, Ralph Waite), “All Shook Up” (Sarah Chalke & Frank Gorshin) and the award-winning indie thriller “ZZYZX”, starring Kenny Johnson of The Shield and SWAT fame.

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