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The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

by Steve Conrad.


A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.

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Time to get up, man.
-All right, Dad.
-Come on.
Should be here soon.
-I think I should make a list.
-What do mean?
-For your birthday gifts?
You know you're only getting
a couple of things, right?
Yeah, I know. Just to look at
and study so I can choose better.
Okay, well, that's smart.
Yeah, make a list.
Can you spell everything
you're thinking of?
-I think so.
-All right. That's good.
-How you doing in here, man?
Can we go to the park today, after?
No, I gotta go to Oakland.
Well, maybe, we'll see.
Give me a kiss.
I'll talk to you later.
Excuse me.
Oh, excuse me...
...when is somebody
gonna clean this off?
And the Y?
The Y. We talked about this.
It's an I in "happiness."
There's no Y in "happiness." It's an l.
I'm Chris Gardner.
I met my father for the first time
when I was 28 years old.
And I made up my mind
as a young kid...
...that when I had children... children were gonna know
who their father was.
This is part of my life story.
This part is called "Riding the Bus. "
What's that?
It's a time machine, isn't it?
Seems like a time machine.
That seems like a time machine.
It's a time machine. Take me with you.
This machine...
...this machine on my lap--
This guy, he has a time machine.
He travels in the past
with this machine and....
--it is not a time machine.
It's a portable
bone-density scanner.
A medical device I sell for a living.
Thank you for the opportunity
to discuss it with you.
-I appreciate it.
-We just don't need it, Chris.
It's unnecessary and expensive.
-Well, maybe next--
-Thank you.
It gave a slightly denser picture
than an x-ray for twice the money.
-Hey, baby.
-What happened?
-No, nothing.
Look, I can't get Christopher today.
Oh, no, you don't, Chris.
I'm back on at 7.
I know. I have got to go to Oakland.
So I gotta get Christopher home,
feed him, bathe him...
...get him in bed,
and be back here by 7?
-And we got the tax-bill notice today.
-What are you gonna do about that?
-Look, this is what we gotta do.
You see that car? The one
with the pretty yellow shoe on it?
That's mine.
There's no parking near hospitals.
That's what happens
when you're always in a rush.
Thanks anyway. Very much.
-Maybe next quarter.
-It's possible.
I needed to sell at least two scanners
a month for rent and daycare.
I'd have to sell one more... pay off all of those tickets
under my windshield wiper.
The problem is...
...I haven't sold any for a while.
Since when do you not like
macaroni and cheese?
Since birth?
-What's that?
-What is this?
-It's a gift for Christopher.
-From who?
-Cynthia from work.
It's for adults. Chris can't use it.
She didn't know.
What are you supposed
to do with it?
Make every side the same color.
Did you pay the taxes?
No, I'm gonna
have to file an extension.
-You already filed an extension.
-Yeah, well, I gotta file another one.
That's-- It's $650.
I'll have it in the next month.
That means interest, right?
-And a penalty?
-Yeah, a little bit.
Look, why don't you let me do this?
All right, just relax. Okay?
-Come here. Calm down.
-I have to go back to work.
Let's get ready for bed.
Hey, put your plate in the sink.
A few days ago I was presented
with a report I'd asked for...
...a comprehensive audit, if you will,
of our economic condition.
You won't like it. I didn't like it.
But we have to face the truth...
...and then go to work
to turn things around.
And make no mistake about it,
we can turn them around.
The federal budget is out of control.
And we face runaway deficits
of almost $80 billion...
...for this budget year
that ends September 30th.
That deficit is larger than
the entire federal budget in 1 957.
And so is the almost $80 billion...
... we will pay in interest
this year on the national debt.
Twenty years ago, in 1 960...
...our federal government payroll
was less than $ 1 3 billion.
Today it is 75 billion.
During these 20 years, our population
has only increased by 23. 3 percent....
Man, I got two questions for you:
What do you do?
And how do you do it?
-I'm a stockbroker.
-Stockbroker. Oh, goodness.
Had to go to college
to be a stockbroker, huh?
You don't have to. Have to be good
with numbers and good with people.
-That's it.
-Hey, you take care.
I'll let you hang on to my car
for the weekend.
-But I need it back for Monday.
-Feed the meter.
I still remember that moment.
They all looked
so damn happy to me.
Why couldn't I look like that?
I'm gonna try to get home by 6.
I'm gonna stop by a brokerage firm
after work.
-For what?
-I wanna see about a job there.
Yeah? What job?
You know, when l--
When I was a kid, I could go through
a math book in a week.
So I'm gonna go see about
what job they got down there.
What job?
Not an astronaut?
Don't talk to me like that, Linda.
I'm gonna go down and see about this,
and I'm gonna do it during the day.
You should probably
do your sales calls.
I don't need you to tell me
about my sales calls, Linda.
I got three of them
before the damn office is even open.
Do you remember
that rent is due next week?
Probably not.
We're already two months behind.
Next week we'll owe three months.
I've been pulling double shifts
for four months now, Chris.
Just sell what's in your contract.
Get us out of that business.
Linda, that is what I am trying to do.
This is what I'm trying to do
for my family...
...for you and for Christopher.
What's the matter with you?
This part of my life
is called "Being Stupid. "
Can I ask you a favor, miss?
Do you mind if I leave this here
with you just for five minutes?
I have a meeting in there
and I don't wanna carry that...
...Iooking smalltime.
Here is a dollar and I'll give you
more money when I come back out.
Okay? It's not valuable.
You can't sell it anywhere.
I can't even sell it, and it's my job.
All right?
-Chris? Tim Brophy, Resources.
-Yes. How are you?
-Come with me.
-Yes, sir.
Let me see if I can find you
an application for our internship.
I'm afraid that's all we can do for you.
See, this is a satellite office.
Jay Twistle in the main office,
he oversees Witter Resources.
I mean, I'm-- You know,
I'm just this office.
As you can see, we got a hell of lot
of applications here, so....
Normally I have a resume sheet,
but I can't seem to find it anywhere.
-Thank you very much.
I need to go.
I'll bring this back.
-Thank you.
Trusting a hippie girl with my scanner.
Why did I do that?
Excuse me. Excuse me.
Like I said, this part of my life
is called "Being Stupid. "
Hey!. Hey!. Hey!. Don't move!.
Don't move!. Stay--!.
Stop!. Stop!.
Don't move!.
Stop this--!. Stop the train!
Stop! Stop!
The program took just 20 people
every six months.
One got the job.
There were three blank lines after
"high school" to list more education.
I didn't need that many lines.
T ry and sleep. It's late.
It's a puzzle measuring just 3 inches
by 3 inches on each side...
...made up of multiple colors
that you twist and turn...
...and try to get
to a solid color on each side.
This little cube
is the gift sensation of 1 98 1.
Don't expect to solve it easily.
Although we did encounter
one math professor at USF...
... who took just 30 minutes on his.
This is as far as I've gotten
on mine.
As you can see,
I still have a long way to go.
This is Jim Finnerty reporting
for KJSF in Richmond.
Hey, wake up.
-Bye, Mom.
-Bye, baby.
-Come back without that, please.
-Oh, yeah, I'm going to.
So go ahead, say goodbye to it,
because I'm coming back without it.
Goodbye and good riddance.
You ain't had to add
the "good riddance" part.
Bye, Mom.
It's written as P-P-Y, but it's
supposed to be an I in "happiness."
-ls it an adjective?
-No, actually it's a noun.
But it's not spelled right.
-ls "fuck" spelled right?
-Yeah, that's spelled right.
But that's not part of the motto,
so you're not supposed to learn that.
That's an adult word to show anger
and other things.
-But just don't use that one, okay?
What's that say
on the back of your bag?
My nickname.
We pick nicknames.
-Oh, yeah? What's it say?
-"Hot Rod."
-Did you have a nickname?
-"Ten-Gallon Head."
-What's that?
-I grew up in Louisiana, near Texas.
Everybody wears cowboy hats.
And a ten-gallon's a big hat.
I was smart back then,
so they called me Ten-Gallon Head.
-Hoss wears that hat.
Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza.
-How do you know Bonanza?
-We watch it at Mrs. Chu's.
-You watch Bonanza at daycare?
When? When do you watch it?
-After snack? After your nap?
-After Love Boat.
I made my list for my birthday.
-Yeah, what'd you put on there?
-A basketball or an ant farm.
-He says he's been watching TV.
-Oh, little TV for history.
-Love Boat?
-For history. Navy.
That's not the Navy.
I mean, he could
watch television at home.
We're paying you $1 50 a month.
If he's gonna be sitting around...
...watching TV all day,
we're taking him out of here.
Go pay more at other daycare
if you don't like Navy TV.
You late pay anyway.
You complain. I complain.
Can you at least put the dog upstairs
in your room or something?
I was waiting for
Witter Resource head Jay Twistle...
...whose name sounded so delightful,
like he'd give me a job and a hug.
I just had to show him I was good
with numbers and good with people.
-Morning, Mr. Twistle.
-Good morning.
-Mr. Twistle, Chris Gardner.
I wanted to drop this off personally
and make your acquaintance.
I thought I'd catch you on the way in.
I'd love the opportunity to discuss...
...what may seem like weaknesses
on my application.
We'll start with this, and we'll call you
if we wanna sit down.
-Yes, sir. You have a great day.
-You too.
Hey, yeah, how you doing?
This is Chris Gardner calling
for Dr. Delsey.
Yeah, I'm running a little late
for a sales call.
I was wondering if--
Yeah, Osteo National.
Right. We can still--? Half an hour?
Yes. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Thank you, thank you.
Hey! Hey!
This part of my life...
-...this part here...'s called "Running. "
Hey! Hey!
Hey! Wait!
That was my stolen machine.
Unless she was with
a guy who sold them too.
Which was unlikely...
...because I was the only one
selling them in the Bay Area.
I spent our entire life savings
on these things.
It was such
a revolutionary machine.
-Can you feel it, baby?
-Oh, yeah.
You got me doing all the work.
What I didn't know
is that doctors and hospitals...
...would consider them
unnecessary luxuries.
I even asked the landlord
to take a picture.
So if I lost one, it was like losing
a month's groceries.
Hey, hey! Wait! Wait!
Hey, get back here!
Hey, man, l--
-Who's he?
-He's that guy....
-Did you forget?
-Forget what?
You're not supposed
to have any of those.
-Yeah, I know.
-You have two now.
Hey, Mom.
One, two, three!
-That's a basketball!
-Hey, hey. What do you mean?
You don't know that
that's a basketball.
This could be an ant farm. This could
be a microscope or anything.
-No, it's not.
-There, there.
All right, come on.
Open him up. Open him up.
-That paper's a little heavy, huh?
-Yeah, but I got it.
You should've seen me
out there today.
Somebody stole a scanner.
I had to run the old girl down--
-Whatever, Chris.
What the hell
you got attitude about?
-"Whatever" what?
-Every day's got some damn story.
Hey, Roy. Roy!
Can you beat your little rug
when nobody's out here?
There's dust and shit all over.
-I'm trying to keep a clean house.
-Hey, wait a second.
Look, Linda, relax.
We're gonna come out of this.
Everything is gonna be fine, all right?
You said that before,
when I got pregnant. "lt'll be fine."
-So you don't trust me now?
-Whatever. I don't care.
-Mr. Twistle.
-Yeah, hi.
-Hi. Chris Gardner.
Yeah, hi. Listen.
What can I do for you?
I submitted an application for the
intern program about a month ago...
...and I would just love
to sit with you briefly--
Listen, I'm going
to Noe Valley, Chris.
-Take care of yourself.
-Mr. Twistle.
Actually, I'm on my way
to Noe Valley also.
How about we share a ride?
-All right, get in.
-All right.
So when I was in the Navy,
I worked for a doctor...
...who loved to play golf,
hours every day...
...and I would actually
perform medical procedures...
...when he'd leave me in the office.
So I'm used to being in a position
where I have to make decisions and....
Mr. Twistle, listen.
This is a very important--
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
This thing's impossible.
-I can do it.
-No, you can't. No one can.
-That's bullshit.
-No, I'm pretty sure I can do it.
-No, you can't.
-Let me see it.
Give it here.
Oh, yeah. Oh, wow,
you really messed it up.
It looks like it works around a swivel,
so the center pieces never move.
So if it's yellow in the center,
that's the yellow side.
If it's red in the center,
that's the red side.
-So.... You can slow down.
Listen, we can drive around all day.
I don't believe you can do this.
-Yeah, I can.
-No, you can't.
-Yes, I can.
-No, you can't.
I'm telling you, no one can.
See? That's all I ever do.
You almost have this side.
Holy cow.
-You almost had that one.
-I'm gonna get it.
Look at that.
You're almost there.
-1 7.1 0.
-This is me.
Good job.
-Yeah. I'll see you soon.
Where are you going, sir?
Excuse me, sir.
Where are you going, please?
Two-- A couple of blocks.
-Just flip around.
Hey! Stop it! Hey!
-Where are you going? Come here!
-No, no, no!
-You asshole, give me my money!
-Give me my money.
-Please stop.
-Please, please, please!
-Son of a bitch.
Please! He should've paid you!
-Come here!
-I'm sorry.
-I'm so sorry.
-I'll kick your ass!
-I'm sorry!
I'll get you!
I'm going to kill you!
I'm going to kill you!
Stop it, you son of a bitch!
Stop him!
Stop him!
The doors are closing.
Please stand clear of the doors.
No! No! No!
-Hey, yeah.
Sorry I couldn't
make it home on time.
-Chris, I missed my shift.
-Yeah, I know. I'm sorry about that.
Look, I'm on my way right now.
Are you all right with Christopher?
I'm leaving. Chris, I'm leaving.
-Did you hear what I said?
I have my things together,
and I'm taking our son...
...and we're gonna leave now.
I'm gonna put the phone down.
-Linda, wait a minute. Hold it, hold--
-I'm going to leave. We are leaving.
It was right then that I started
thinking about Thomas Jefferson...
...the Declaration of Independence...
...and the part about our right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And I remember thinking:
How did he know
to put the "pursuit" part in there?
That maybe happiness is something
that we can only pursue.
And maybe we can actually
never have it... matter what.
How did he know that?
Linda. Linda.
-Who is this?
-Jay Twistle.
-Dean Witter.
Yeah, of course. How are you?
I'm fine. Listen, do you still
wanna come in and talk?
Yes, sir. Absolutely.
I'll tell you what. Come on by
day after tomorrow, in the morning.
We're interviewing for the internships.
You got a pen and paper?
Yes. Yes, I do.
-Hold on one second.
-All right.
-Go ahead. I have one.
Write this number down so you can
call my secretary, Janice.
-She can give you all the specifics.
-Okay, 41 5.
-41 5.
-Yeah, extension 4796.
-Right. Call her tomorrow.
-Yes, sir. 41 5-864-0256.
-Okay, buddy.
-All right, yes.
-Thank you very much.
-We'll see you soon.
Did you--? Have you seen
Linda and Christopher?
-No. You catch the game last night?
-No, no.
You didn't see that, 1 1 8, 1 --?
Excuse me, did Linda
and Christopher come in here?
-No, I haven't see them.
-1 1 9-1 20. Double overtime.
Moons hits a three-pointer
at 1 7 seconds left.
Wayne, Wayne, Wayne.
Can't talk to you
about numbers right now.
-What's your problem with numbers?
-And you owe me money.
You owe me $1 4.
I'm gonna get that to you.
I need my money.
I need my money.
Fourteen's a number.
Hey, don't you ever take my son
away from me again.
-You hear me?
-Leave me alone!
Don't take my son away
from me again.
Do you understand
what I'm saying to you?
Don't you walk away from me when
I'm talking to you. Do you hear me?
-Do you wanna leave?
-You wanna leave?
-Yes, I want to leave!
Get the hell out of here,
then, Linda.
Get the hell out of here.
Christopher's staying with me.
You're the one that dragged
us down. You hear me?
-You are so weak.
-No. I am not happy anymore.
-I'm just not happy!
-Then go get happy, Linda!
Just go get happy.
But Christopher's living with me.
-Did you hear what I said?
Christopher's living with me!
Hey. Come on, let's go.
-How you doing, Mrs. Chu?
-Where's Mom?
-Look, just get your stuff.
But she told me she was
coming to pick me up today.
Yeah, I know.
I talked to Mom earlier.
Everything's fine, okay?
Where do I sleep tonight?
Let me ask you something.
Are you happy?
-All right. Because I'm happy.
And if you're happy and I'm happy,
then that's a good thing, right?
-All right.
You're sleeping with me.
You're staying at home,
where you belong, all right?
Hey, listen. I need the rent.
I can't wait anymore.
Yeah, I'm good for that, Charlie.
I'm gonna get it.
Why don't you go two blocks over
at the Mission lnn motel?
It's half what you pay here.
Listen, Chris. I need you out
of here in the morning.
The hell am I supposed
to be out of here tomorrow?
I got painters coming in.
-All right, look. I need more time.
All right, I'll paint it myself.
All right, but I just-- I gotta have some
more time-- I got my son up in here.
All right. One week.
And you paint it.
Chris Gardner?
Yeah. What happened?
-Payable to the City of San Francisco.
-Does it have to be the full amount?
You gotta pay each parking ticket,
otherwise, you're staying.
This is all I got.
You verify at 9:30
tomorrow morning.
-You gotta stay until this thing clears.
No, I can't spend the night here.
-I have to pick up my son.
-You verify at 9:30 tomorrow.
Sir, I have a job interview at Dean
Witter at 1 0:1 5 tomorrow morning.
-I cannot stay--
-9:30 tomorrow morning.
What am I supposed to do
with my son?
-ls there anyone else who can--?
-I take care of him.
Maybe we can go and have
Social Services pick him up.
All right.
Can I have my phone call, please?
What do you want?
You gotta get Christopher
from daycare. I can't.
Just keep him for the night and I'm--
And-- Just one night.
What happened?
I'll pick him up
from daycare tomorrow.
I'm gonna go right--
You can just--
You can drop him off
and I'll pick him up.
-Come on, Linda.
-Why you doing that?
-No, I wanna take him to the park.
To Golden Gate
after daycare tomorrow.
-How is he?
-He's fine.
All right, just-- All right,
take him to the park...
...and bring him back, all right?
All right, just bring me my son back.
I'll bring him back around 6.
All right, all right.
Thank you.
I'm okay?
Excuse me. Excuse me.
Yes, I did.
Mr. Gardner.
This way.
It'll be right this way.
What is the word on that one?
Chris Gardner.
Chris Gardner.
How are you? Good morning.
Chris Gardner. Chris Gardner.
Good to see you again.
Chris Gardner. Pleasure.
I've been sitting there
for the last half-hour...
...trying to come up with a story...
...that would explain my being here
dressed like this.
And I wanted to come up with a story
that would demonstrate qualities...
...that I'm sure you all admire here,
like earnestness or diligence.
And I couldn't think of anything.
So the truth is...
...I was arrested
for failure to pay parking tickets.
Parking tickets?
And I ran all the way here from
the Polk Station, the police station.
What were you doing
before you were arrested?
I was painting my apartment.
Is it dry now?
I hope so.
Jay says you're pretty determined.
He's been waiting outside
the front of the building...
...with some 40-pound gizmo
for over a month.
-He said you're smart.
-Well, I like to think so.
-And you want to learn this business?
-Yes, sir, I wanna learn.
Have you already started learning
on your own?
-Yes, sir.
How many times
have you seen Chris?
I don't know.
One too many, apparently.
-Was he ever dressed like this?
No. Jacket and tie.
First in your class in school?
-High school?
-Yes, sir.
-How many in the class?
It was a small town.
-I'll say.
-But I was also first in my radar class... the Navy,
and that was a class of 20.
Can I say something?
I'm the type of person...
...if you ask me a question,
and I don't know the answer...
...I'm gonna tell you
that I don't know.
But I bet you what.
I know how to find the answer,
and I will find the answer.
Is that fair enough?
What would you say
if a guy walked in for an interview...
...without a shirt on...
...and I hired him?
What would you say?
He must've had on
some really nice pants.
Chris, I don't know how you did it
dressed as a garbage man...
-...but you pulled it off.
-Thank you, Mr. Twistle.
Hey, now you can call me Jay.
We'll talk to you soon.
All right, so I'll let you know, Jay.
"You'll let me know, Jay"?
What do you mean?
Yeah, I'll give you a call
tomorrow sometime--
What are you talking--?
You hounded me for this.
-You stood here--
-Listen, there's no salary.
-I was not aware of that.
My circumstances
have changed some...
-...and I need to be certain that I'll be--
-All right. Okay.
I swear I will fill your spot. I promise.
If you back out, you know what
I'll look like to the partners?
Yes, an ass-- A-hole.
Yeah, an ass A-hole, all the way.
You are a piece of work.
There was no salary.
Not even a reasonable promise
of a job.
One intern was hired at the end
of the program from a pool of 20.
And if you weren't that guy... couldn't even apply
the six months' training...
... to another brokerage.
The only resource I would have
for six months...
... would be my six scanners,
which I could still try to sell.
If I sold them all,
maybe we might get by.
-I got him. I got him.
-He's asleep.
All right.
Okay, baby.
I got it.
I'm going to New York.
My sister's boyfriend...
...opened a restaurant,
and they may have a job for me there.
So I'm going to New York, Chris.
Christopher's staying with me.
I'm his mom, you know?
He should be with his mom.
I should have him, right?
You know
you can't take care of him.
What are you gonna do for money?
I had an interview
at Dean Witter for an internship...
...and I got it.
So I'm gonna stand out
in my program.
Salesman to intern's backwards.
No, it's not.
I gotta go.
Tell him I love him, okay?
I know you'll take care of him, Chris.
I know that.
-Dean Witter.
-Yes, hi.
Yes, I'd like to leave a message
for Mr. Jay Twistle.
-Your name?
-Yeah, my name is Chris Gardner.
The message is:
Thank you very much
for inviting me into the program.
I really appreciate it and I'd be
very pleased to accept your invitation.
Is that all?
Yes, that's it.
-Thank you.
-Be careful with that.
Be care-- Go ahead.
-Are we there?
-Hey, you know what today is?
-You know what Saturday is, right?
-You wanna go play some basketball?
All right, then we're gonna go
sell a bone-density scanner.
-How about that? Wanna do that?
Hey, Dad. I'm going pro.
I'm going pro.
Yeah, I don't know, you know.
You'll probably be about as good
as I was.
That's kind of the way it works,
you know. I was below average.
You know, so you'll probably
ultimately rank...
...somewhere around there,
you know, so...
...I really-- You'll excel at
a lot of things, just not this.
I don't want you shooting
this ball all day and night.
-All right?
-All right.
All right, go ahead.
Don't ever let somebody tell you... can't do something.
Not even me.
-All right?
-All right.
You got a dream... gotta protect it.
People can't do something
...they wanna tell you
you can't do it.
If you want something,
go get it. Period.
Let's go.
Dad, why did we move to a motel?
I told you. Because I'm getting
a better job.
-You gotta trust me, all right?
-I trust you.
All right, here.
Come on, come on. Keep up.
Dad, when's Mom coming back?
Dad, when's Mom coming back?
I don't know, Christopher.
Dad, listen to this.
One day, a man was drowning
in the water.
And a boat came by and said,
"Do you need any help?"
He said, "No, thank you.
God will save me."
Then another boat came by.
Said, "Do you need any help?"
And he said, "No, thank you.
God will save me."
Then he drowned,
and he went to heaven.
And he said, "God,
why didn't you save me?"
And God said, "l sent you
two big boats, you dummy."
Do you like it?
Yeah, that's very funny, man.
Give me your hand.
-Thank you very much, sir.
-Yes, sir.
-You got the bill of sale here.
All the information you'll need.
Thank you very much
for your business.
Thank you.
One hundred, 200,
...7, 8, 9, 1 0.
Thank you.
-Hey, you want one of those?
-No, it's okay.
Come on, you can have one.
Which one?
-You like that one? How much?
-Twenty-five cents.
This part of my life
is called "Internship. "
The 1 200 building is
Medley lndustrial and Sanko Oil.
The building across the street
is Lee-Ray Shipping.
In a couple weeks,
you'll get call sheets...
...with the phone numbers
of employees...
...from every Fortune 500 company
in the financial district.
You will be pooling
from 60 Fortune companies.
You will mainly be cold-calling
potential clients.
But if you have to have lunch
with them, have breakfast with them...
...even baby-sit for them, do whatever
it takes to familiarize them...
...with our packages. We need you
to match their needs and goals... one of our many financial plans.
In essence, you reel them in...
...we'll cook the fish.
Some of you are here
because you know somebody.
Some of you are here because
you think you're somebody.
There's one guy in here
who's gonna be somebody.
That person's gonna be the guy...
...who can turn this into this.
Eight hundred thousand
in commission dollars.
You, you, help me hand these out.
This is going to be your bible.
You'll eat with it.
-You'll drink with it.
-It was simple.
X number of calls
equals X number of prospects.
X number of prospects
equals X number of customers.
X number of customers
equals X number of dollars... the company's pocket.
-Your board exam.
Last year, we had an intern score
a 96.4 percent on the written exam.
He wasn't chosen.
It's not a simple pass/fail.
It's an evaluation tool we use
to separate applicants.
Be safe, score a hundred.
Okay, let's take a break.
Be back in 1 0.
-Hey, Mr. Frohm. Chris.
-Chris, how are you?
-I'm good. How you doing?
-Fine, thank you for asking.
-First day in there. It was exciting.
You're not quitting on us yet,
are you?
No, sir. Ten-minute break.
Pop out, get a quick bite and then
back in there for board prep.
Oh, man, I remember mine.
And ours were only an hour,
not three like yours.
We didn't do world markets,
didn't bother with taxes...
...and it was still a pain in the ass.
Funny what you remember.
There was a beautiful girl
in that class.
I can't remember her name,
but her face was so--
I've seen an old friend of mine.
Do you mind?
-No, go ahead.
-Good talking to you, sir.
Hey, asshole.
Are you all right, asshole?
Are you okay?
What were you thinking?
What are you doing?
I could've killed you.
I'm trying to cross the street.
-Well, you're all right?
-Yeah, yeah.
-Where's my shoe?
-You knocked off my shoe!
-I don't know where your shoe is.
-Where's my damn shoe?
-I don't know.
-Did you see it? I lost my shoe.
-No, I'm sorry.
Hey. Hey, where are you going?
-We should wait for the police.
-I gotta go to work.
Hey, you just got hit by a car.
Go to the hospital.
I'm in a competitive internship
at Dean Witter.
Hey, man, you're missing a shoe.
Oh, yeah, thanks. Thank you.
-You don't have a shoe.
-Yeah, I know.
-Wanna know what happened?
I got hit by a car.
-You got hit by a car?
-Just right by the office.
-No, where in your body?
-Like, the back of my legs.
-Hey, goodbye, Mrs. Chu.
-Where you on the street?
- Yeah, I was running in the street.
Don't do that. You can get hurt.
Yeah, thanks.
I'll remember that next time.
And here I was again.
-Show up early.
-While qualified persons...
...qualified persons are interested in
investing and have money to invest.
-Now, Chris.
-Yes, sir.
Would you get me
some coffee, please?
Favors for Frakesh,
our office manager. All day.
My name is Chris Gardner
calling for Mr. Michael Anderson.
Yes, sir, we're having a lunch
actually this Thursday.
Okay, next time.
All right, I'm gonna hold you to that.
Okay, yes, thank you.
Who wants to get me a doughnut?
-Yes, sir.
Feeling underrated
and unappreciated.
Hello, Mr. Ronald Fryer.
Good morning to you, sir.
My name is Chris Gardner.
I'm calling from Dean Witter.
Yes, I have some very, very valuable
information on what's called a tax--
Okay, thank you, sir.
Then catch the bus by 4 to the place
where they can't spell "happiness. "
Then the cross-town.
The 22 home.
-Hey, Chris!
-Hey. Hi, Ralph.
-I'm waiting.
-All right, I got that for you, Ralph.
I'm gonna get that for you.
Whoever brought in the most money
after six months was usually hired.
Hello, Chris Gardner calling
for Mr. Walter Hobb.
We were all working our way
up call sheets to sign clients.
-From the bottom to the top.
-Yes, sir.
-From the doorman to the CEO.
They'd stay till 7,
but I had Christopher.
I had to do in six hours
what they do in nine.
Good afternoon, my name is Chris
Gardner. I'm calling from Dean Witter.
In order not to waste any time...
...I wasn't hanging up the phone
in between calls.
Okay, thank you very much.
I realized that
by not hanging up the phone...
...I gained another eight minutes
a day.
Why, good morning to you,
my name is Chris Gardner.
-I'm calling from Dean Witter.
-I wasn't drinking water... I didn't' waste any time
in the bathroom.
Yes, I'd love to have
the opportunity--
Okay, no problem at all, sir.
Thank you very much.
But even doing all this...
...after two months, I still didn't have
time to work my way up a sheet.
We're feeling really confident
about that one as well.
Walter Ribbon's office.
Yes, hello, my name is Chris Gardner.
I'm calling for Mr. Walter Ribbon.
-Yes, ma'am.
I'm calling from Dean Witter.
Just a moment.
-Mr. Ribbon.
Hello, sir. My name's Chris Gardner.
I'm calling from Dean Witter.
-Yeah, Chris.
-Yes, Mr. Ribbon...
...I would love to have the opportunity
to discuss some of our products.
I'm certain that I could
be of some assistance to you.
Can you be here in 20 minutes?
-Twenty minutes. Absolutely.
-Just had someone cancel.
I can give you a few minutes
before the 49ers.
-Monday Night Football, buddy.
-Yes, sir. Thank you very much.
-See you soon.
Excuse me. Thank you.
-Chris, what's up?
-Hey, Mr. Frakesh.
Hey, do you have five minutes?
I got a green light
from Walter Ribbon--
I'm supposed to present commodities
to Bromer. Could you move my car?
That'd really help me out. It's on
Samson, half block, silver Caprice.
Just move it to the other side. They're
street sweeping. There's spaces.
Hang on to these.
I have backups in my desk.
And you have to jimmy that.
-Jimmy what?
-You have to jimmy the key.
And the other doors don't unlock.
You have to jimmy it.
Come on, I'm jimmying it.
Oh, no!
Come on.
-Here's the file, Mr. Ribbon.
-Thank you.
-Thanks a lot.
-Oh, yeah, thanks. Great idea.
No, no, no!
Rachel, get Ristuccia on the phone
for me, please.
I'm Chris Gardner. I have
an appointment with Mr. Ribbon.
Oh, you just missed him.
Thank you.
-What's that?
-Just filling out a check...
...paying some bills...
...and a parking ticket.
We don't have a car anymore.
Yep, I know.
I'm gonna need to take you
with me this weekend.
A couple of doctors' offices.
-On sales calls, okay?
Then, possibly,
we'll go to the football game.
-All right?
-All right.
Come on, finish up.
-Are you sure?
-Are you bringing it to the game?
-Yeah, I don't wanna leave it.
And maybe
we're going to the game.
-Where are we going now?
-To see someone about my job.
I don't understand.
-You don't understand what?
-Are we going to the game?
I said possibly
we're going to the game.
-You know what "possibly" means?
-Like probably.
No, "probably" means there's
a good chance that we're going.
"Possibly" means we might,
we might not.
-What does "probably" mean?
-lt means we have a good chance.
And what does "possibly" mean?
-I know what it means.
-What does it mean?
It means that we're not going
to the game.
-How did you get so smart?
-Because you're smart.
-Are we there?
-Mr. Ribbon.
How are you, sir?
Chris Gardner. Dean Witter.
-Oh, hi. Hi.
-This is my son, Christopher.
-Hey, Christopher.
-What are you doing up here?
-I came to apologize...
-...for missing our appointment.
-You didn't need to come up.
We were in the neighborhood
visiting a very close friend...
...and I wanted to take this opportunity
to say thank you for your time.
-I know you probably waited for me.
-Little bit.
I want you to know
that I do not take that for granted.
Oh, come on. What's that?
Oh, it's an Osteo National
bone-density scanner.
A company I bought into
prior to going to work at Witter.
-I have a meeting after the game.
-You're going to the game?
-We're going too.
I'm taking my son, Tim.
My 1 2-year-old.
We were just leaving. Tim!
Listen, we'll get out of your way.
Again, thank you very much,
and I'm sorry about the other day.
And I hope that
we can reschedule for later.
-You got it.
-Thank you very much.
You take care. Here, come on.
-Say bye-bye, Chris.
Bye, Christopher.
Hey, you guys wanna
come with us?
-What--? To Candlestick?
-We're going now. Come with us.
-Where are your seats?
-We've-- We're upper deck.
We got a box. Come on.
-You wanna sit in the box?
It's not actually a box.
It's, you know, a private section.
It's more comfortable.
You wanna go?
-Okay, kids in the back.
Hey, why don't you just put that
in your car?
-Yeah, okay. Sure, sure.
-We don't have a car.
-Oh, my--
-What happened?
I think I got stung by a bee.
-You all right?
-Oh, yeah. Goodness. I'm fine.
-You're not allergic or anything?
-No, no, no.
-Where'd he get you?
-Just right at the back of my head.
-Are you okay?
-Yeah, I'm fine, Christopher.
-Does it hurt?
-Christopher, I'm fine.
-Let me see.
-Christopher, sit back. Sit back.
Thomas Jefferson mentions
happiness a couple times... the Declaration
of Independence.
May seem like a strange word
to be in that document...
...but he was sort of....
He was an artist.
He called the English
"the disturbers of our harmony. "
And I remember standing there
that day...
... thinking about
the disturbers of mine.
Questions I had:
Whether all this was good.
Whether I'd make it.
And Walter Ribbon
and his Pacific Bell pension money...
... which was millions.
It was a way to another place.
Wow, this is....
This is the way
to watch a football game here.
-Thank you very much for this, really.
-Hey, it's my pleasure, Chris.
And, Mr. Ribbon, I also wanna thank
you for giving me the opportunity... discuss the asset management
capabilities of Dean Witter...
...which we believe
to be far superior... anything you got going
over at Morgan Stanley.
Really, I think you're gonna
be blown away.
Point blank, Dean Witter needs to be
managing your retirement portfolio.
You know, I didn't have any notion
that you were new there.
I like you, but there's not a chance
I'm gonna let you direct our fund.
That's just not gonna happen
anytime soon, buddy.
So, you know, come on, relax.
Let's play the game. Go, go, go!
Yes! Yeah!
-Here you go.
-All right.
I've had a few ideas
already, absolutely.
-Chris, I'll talk to you later.
-I'm gonna give you a call.
Nice to meet you, Chris.
Give me a call.
Yes, absolutely. Thank you.
-Bye, Christopher.
After four months, we had sold
all our scanners.
It seemed we were making it.
What's the...
-...fastest animal in the world?
It seemed we were doing good.
Till one day...
...that day...
...that letter brought me
back to earth.
This part of my life is called
"Paying Taxes. "
If you didn't pay them...
... the government could stick
their hands into your bank account...
...and take your money.
No warning. Nothing.
It can't be too late.
That's my money.
How is somebody just gonna
just take my money?
I was-- I was--
Listen, l--
That's all the money that I have.
You cannot go into my bank acc--
It was the 25th of September.
I remember that day.
Because that's the day
that I found out...
...there was only 21 dollars
and 33 cents left in my bank account.
I was broke.
-Dressed yet?
Chris! Chris!
Don't jerk me around, okay, Chris?
I'm not jerking you around, Ralph,
all right? I'm gonna get it.
-I need that money now, not later.
-When I get it, you get it, Ralph.
Hey, what's happening, man?
Wayne, I need to get
that $1 4 from you.
I thought I didn't owe you that now.
-What? Why?
-Why what?
Why would you think
you don't owe me my money?
I helped you move.
You drove me two blocks, Wayne.
That's 200 yards.
It's been four months, Wayne.
I need my money. I need my money.
I need my money right now.
-I don't have it, man. I'm sorry.
-Go get my money.
-Wayne, get my mo--
-I really don't, man. It's $1 4.
It's my $1 4!
Go get my money!
-All of this for $1 4.
-Get my money, Wayne.
Dad, look at me!
-Should I go?
-Sure, man. Why not?
-Stay here.
-Dad, look.
-No, no. Stay right here.
Did you hear what I said?
Did you hear me?
-Dad, where you going?
-Hey, what did I say?
Dad, wait! Dad!
-I gotta--
I gotta get back to the '60s, man.
That's what I wanna do.
When I was younger. I wanna see
Jimi Hendrix do that guitar on fire.
Bring back my time machine!
Bring my time machine back!
-Dad, where are we going?
-Just be quiet.
Go get your things. Go.
Dr. Telm can't get back to meet you.
I'm sorry.
Where are we going now?
Gotta-- We gotta
see somebody else.
I'm tired.
I know.
Doesn't seem to be functioning
right now.
-I have to go now, Chris.
-No, no, no.
Just give me a second. I'm sure
I'm gonna be able to figure it out.
Chris. Chris, just come back
when it's working.
-No, no. I have to fix it now.
Look, I'll still be putting money
in the office, then, all right?
I really have to go, Chris.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for your time.
I appreciate it.
I'll see you soon.
Why are our things here?
-Let's go. Come on.
-Just out of here.
-We can't stay here tonight.
-Yes, we can. Open the door!
-Did you hear what I said? Let's go.
-Open the door!
Hey, did you hear what I said?
Stop it.
Stop it.
Come on.
Come on.
Get up. Stand up. Come on.
Where are we going?
-Dad, where are we going?
-I don't know.
It's not a time machine.
It's not a time machine.
The guy said it was a time machine.
It's not a time machine. He was wrong.
-What guy?
-The guy. He was at the park.
He said it was a time machine.
Yes, it is.
No, it's not.
-lt is.
-No, it's not.
All we gotta do is push
this black button right here.
Wanna push it?
Come on.
Come on, man.
Right here.
Wait a minute.
Where you wanna go?
I don't know.
Some place from before.
You gotta close your eyes.
You close your eyes. I wanna see.
All right, come on.
We'll push it together.
You gotta close your eyes.
Close your eyes.
It takes a few seconds.
Oh, my goodness.
Open, open, open!
-What is it?
-You don't see all these dinosaurs?
Look around.
Look at all these dinosaurs.
-Can you see them?
Wait. Come on, come on.
-Wait, watch out.
-What is it?
Don't step in the fire.
We're cavemen.
We need this fire,
because there's no electricity...
...and it's cold out here, okay?
-Watch out!
-Whoa! Oh, my good-- A T. rex.
Get your stuff.
Get your stuff. Get it.
-We gotta find someplace safe.
-Like what?
We need a cave.
A cave?
-We gotta find a cave. Come on.
Come on, come on.
Watch your back! Look out.
Here it is. Here's a cave. Come on.
Right here, right here.
Go, go, go.
Go ahead. Get in.
Hurry, hurry, hurry.
-Are we safe?
-Yeah, I think so.
-How you doing, Jay?
-I'm doing good.
How are you getting along?
-Good. I'm good.
-You doing good?
-How you doing?
-I'm doing great.
Where you going?
I-- Sacramento.
Because I'm trying to move
a couple guys from--
They're at PacBell,
and I'm trying to bring them over--
Get them over to us.
So they got me
going out there golfing.
Hey, let them win a round.
Deborah, someone's asking for you.
-He's outside. Please come with me.
-Can I ask you a question?
We need a room.
Just until I can fix this and sell it.
-There's just some glass work.
-Let me stop you right there.
-I wish I could help you--
-This is my son, Christopher.
-He's 5 years old.
-Hi, baby.
-We need some place to stay.
-Okay, and I would love to help you...
...but we don't take men here.
It's only women and children.
He can stay here, but you have
to find someplace else to go.
We gotta stay together.
We got-- We're--
-Okay, listen.
-You gotta have some place--
Try Glide Memorial.
The building books up at 5.
So you hurry up. There's a line.
-And where is it? Come on.
-Ellis and Jones.
Hey, everybody. We have
four spots left, and that's all.
-Hey, come on, man.
-Come on.
-Come on, what?
-Hey, that's my spot.
-Back off.
Come on, don't do this to me.
Stop it! Break it up!
Break it up!
Stop! Stop!
Get out of the line, both of you.
Both of you.
I was here first. They told me
that we had to be on time.
I got here on time. I was in line.
I came from work, I got my son.
I was here on time.
We were here on time!
He sliced in front of him in line.
-Who did?
-He did.
Come on, come on, Rodney.
Come on. Let's go. Get out of line.
That's it. No more.
-What's your favorite color?
-What do you like that's green?
Trees. What else?
-Holly. What's holly?
-The Christmas stuff.
Christmas stuff.
What's that?
I guess they want us to go to sleep.
Here you go. We gotta make sure
Captain America's warm in there.
Can you breathe?
-You're good?
-I gotta go work on the scanner--
-Don't go.
No, no, no. I'm gonna be
right outside the door.
All right? I'm just gonna be right there.
I'll leave the door open a little bit.
And I'll be able to hear you
if you call me.
I wanna go home.
But that's why I gotta
work on the scanner.
All right?
I'm gonna go out there.
I'm gonna leave the door open.
I'll be right up the stairs.
I'll be able to hear you
if you call me.
-All right?
-All right.
You gotta trust me, okay?
You gotta trust me.
I trust you. I trust you.
I trust you.
-I can't hear you.
-I trust you. I trust you.
Give me a kiss.
-I'll just be a little while, okay?
-All right.
-I'll be right here.
-Can you still hear me?
-Can you hear me?
-Do you trust me?
-Like that?
-Yeah, put that....
-Then you go like that.
-ls that okay?
-I don't know. What do you think?
Let's go. Get your stuff.
-Hey, why don't you leave it?
-We can't.
We're gonna have
a different room later.
Hey, Chris.
-Hey, good morning, Mr. Frakesh.
-What's up?
Work trip.
Your wife, Martha, works at
PacBell also, correct?
-Yes, she does.
-And you guys are both...
...Iooking to retire at the same time?
We'd like to retire
and maintain our lifestyle...
...without paying a lot of taxes.
So basically, you want nobody's hands
in your pockets but your own?
Are you familiar with
tax-free municipal...?
I learned to finish my work quickly.
I had to finish quickly.
To get in line at Glide by 5.
Come on.
Come on.
Hold that bus! Hold the bus!
My Captain America!
Dad! Dad! Dad!
Stop it! Shut up! Shut up!
-Why don't you let the lady in?
-Hey, back up.
-Hey, man, that's not cool.
-Back up! Back up!
Come on.
Dad, we need to get it!
The important thing about
that freedom train... it's got to climb mountains.
We all have to deal with mountains.
You know, mountains
that go way up high.
And mountains that go
deep and low.
-Amen, preacher!
We know what those mountains are,
here at Glide.
We sing about them.
Lord, don't move that mountain
Give me strength to climb it
Please don't move
That stumbling block
But lead me, Lord, around it
My burdens, they get so heavy
Seems hard to bear
But I won't give up
No, no
Because you promised me
You'd meet me at the altar of prayer
-Lord don't move that mountain
-Please don't move that mountain
But give me strength to climb it
When's your test?
T omorrow.
Are you ready?
Of course.
Thank you, sir.
-Hey. How you doing?
So did you finish the whole thing,
or you have to go somewhere...?
I have to go somewhere.
-But I finished the whole thing too.
-Oh, good.
-How'd you feel about the graphs?
I struggled with the essay question
on the back. What did you write?
-Essay question?
-Yeah, on the back.
Hey, Chris.
-Hey. Jeff, right? 49ers game.
-Yeah, you were gonna give me a call?
-I never actually got your number.
Here's my number. Call me, okay?
Yes, sir. Absolutely.
Thank you very much.
Chris, you got five bucks?
I left my wallet upstairs.
Let me run up and grab that
for you, Mr. Frohm.
No, I gotta be at CAL Bank at 4,
and I'm late.
-I'll pay you back, honest.
-Five is good?
Five is lovely. Thank you.
Thank you.
That's it. That's the room quota.
There's no more space.
You gotta head out.
That's it for today.
Come back tomorrow.
All the rooms are full.
It's completely full.
That's it. Just keep heading out.
Come back tomorrow.
You like it?
Twenty. One, two, three, four.
Now, here's your bulb,
and there's your ferrite core inductor.
-How much?
-Eight dollars.
-What's that?
-It's to repair the light.
Can I see it?
Yeah, sure. Just don't break it.
Unless you wanna sleep in a room
with me for the rest of your life.
I don't mind.
Yeah, you will.
Why don't you
get some sleep, okay?
-Warm enough?
All right.
Did Mom leave because of me?
-Did Mom leave because of me?
Don't-- Don't even think
something like that.
Mom left because of Mom.
And you didn't have anything
to do with that, okay?
You're a good papa.
All right, go to sleep.
-I love you.
-I love you too.
So far, so good, Chris.
-lt works.
-Thank you very much.
Two hundred and fifty dollars.
Four more weeks of oxygen.
One hundred, 20, 40, 60, 80, 200.
Twenty, 30, 40, 50.
-Anything else?
-No, sir.
Thank you. Thank you.
-You ready?
-Are we going to the church place?
Where are we going, then?
-Probably stay at a hotel.
-A hotel?
Just for the night.
We can go back to the cave
if you like.
No, thank you.
-I hope not.
Why not?
Well, because some things are fun
the first time you do them...
...and then not so much the next.
-Like the bus?
-Yeah, like the bus.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh,
should I?
Sometimes when we're moving
at night...
...we pass houses with lights
and people.
Sometimes you can
hear them laugh.
The next day, after work...
... we just went to the beach.
Far away from anything.
Just Christopher and me.
-Did you see me?
Far away from buses and noise...
...and a constant disappointment
in my ten-gallon head...
...and myself.
-Chris, thank you very much.
-Well, thank you, Dean.
-Take care.
-You made all the right moves.
Thanks, Chris.
Because when I was young...
...and I'd get an A on a history test
or whatever...
...I'd get this good feeling about
all the things that I could be.
And then I never became
any of them.
-Hey, Chris.
-How you doing, Jay?
-I'm doing fine.
Rumor has it you signed 31 accounts
for us from Pacific Bell.
Yeah, yeah.
Met some guys at a ball game,
got some cards. I've been working.
I guess.
So one more day.
Getting nervous?
-No, I'm okay.
Listen, whatever happens...'ve done a fantastic job, Chris.
I mean that.
Take care of yourself.
Yes, Mr. Johnson.
Chris Gardner, Dean Witter.
Yes, sir. Just calling
to thank you very much...
...for your support
at last month's seminar.
Yes, sir. Absolutely.
Yes, sir.
No, sir, that's it.
Thank you very much. Bye-bye.
Chris. Come.
-Hi, Chris.
-Mr. Frohm, good to see you.
-Nice shirt.
-Thank you, sir.
-Hey, Jay.
-Chris, sit down, please.
I thought I'd wear a shirt today.
You know,
being the last day and all.
Well, thank you. Thank you.
We appreciate that.
...wear one tomorrow though, okay?
Because tomorrow's
going to be your first day...
...if you'd like to work here
as a broker.
Would you like that, Chris?
Yes, sir.
Good. We couldn't be happier.
So welcome.
-Was it as easy as it looked?
-No, sir. No, sir, it wasn't.
-Good luck, Chris.
-Thank you. Thank you.
Oh, Chris.
I almost forgot.
Thank you.
This part of my life...
...this little part... called "Happiness. "
Christopher. Christopher.
Come here.
So how many...
...planets are there?
Who's the king of the jungle?
-The gorilla?
The gorilla?
No. Lion.
Oh, yeah. Lion, lion, lion.
Hey, Dad, listen to this.
Knock, knock.
-Who's there?
Shelby who?
Shelby coming around the mountain
When she comes
-Knock knock.
-Who's there?
-Nobody who?
Nobody who?
Now, that's funny. I like that one.
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