Into The Wild Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Into The Wild script is here for all you fans of the Emile Hirsch movie from Sean Penn. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Into The Wild quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Into The Wild Script


Mom! Help me.

What is it?

I wasn't dreaming, Walt.
I didn't imagine it.

I heard him. I heard him. I heard him.
I heard Chris.

- I heard him!
- I know.

No. I wasn't imagining it, Walt.

No, I did. He's... He's...

- I heard him!
- Billie.

That's about as far as I can get you.

All right. Thank you.

- You left all your shit on my dash.
- Keep it.

Suit yourself.

Thanks again.

Hey, hold on a minute.

Here, take these.
They'll keep your feet dry.

If you make it out alive, give me a call.
My number's inside the boots.



Is there anybody here?

Guess not!

Two years he walks the earth.

No phone, no pool, no pets,

no cigarettes.

Ultimate freedom.

An extremist. An aesthetic voyager

whose home is the road.

"Hey, listen, old man.
Now, don't psychoanalyze me, all right?

"Shut up.
I'm taking you out to where we're going. "

"Where you going?"

"I told you. We're going nowhere!"

So now, after two rambling years
comes the final and greatest adventure.

The climactic battle to kill

the false being within

and victoriously conclude
the spiritual revolution.

No longer to be poisoned
by civilization, he flees,

and walks alone
upon the land to become

lost in the wild.

...hard work and manifold contributions
to our community during their time here,

we salute you and offer all of you

one more round of applause
and congratulations.

Nina Lynn Lockwynn.

Vanessa Denise Lowery.

Christopher Johnson McCandless.

Regina Victoria McNabb.

I see them standing at the formal gates
of their colleges.

I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch,

the red tiles glinting like bent plates
of blood behind his head.

I see my mother
with a few light books at her hip,

standing at the pillar made of tiny
bricks with the wrought-iron gates

still open behind her,
its sword-tips black in the May air.

They are about to graduate.

They are about to get married.
They are kids. They are dumb.

All they know is they are innocent,
they would never hurt anybody.

I want to go up to them and say,
"Stop, don't do it.

"She's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man.

"You are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do.

"You are going to do bad things
to children.

"You are going to suffer
in ways you never heard of.

"You are going to want to die. "

I want to go up to them there
in the late May sunlight and say it.

But I don't do it. I want to live.

I take them up like the male and female
paper dolls, and bang them together

at the hips like chips of flint, as if
to strike sparks from them. I say,

"Do what you are going to do
and I will tell about it. "

Here they are, Walt. Okay?

Who wrote that?

Well, could have been either one of us,
couldn't it?

Why is he letting Carine drive his car?

There's a lot of great poems in here.

I have to speak to her about it.

Sit down.

Excuse me. I'm going to get my son.

He just graduated today
from Emory College.

I'll get it. I'll get it.

Chris, hi!
We've been waiting and waiting.

You scared me half to death
jumping up there on that stage like that.

- Hi, Dad.
- Congratulations, Son.

- This is a big step.
- Thank you, Dad.

All right.

You're not supposed to be driving
in Georgia.

Why? I have my permit.

'Cause it's against the law
for a learner's permit

to drive in another state
from one's home state. That's why.

I didn't know that. I thought that if I was
with a legal driver that it'd be okay.

Well, let's...

- Are they going to continue?
- No.

I guess everybody's celebrating today.

- They're going to stay in the bar, right?
- That's right.

My grades are good enough, I think,
to get into Harvard Law.

Chris, that's wonderful.

That is a big deal.

How much do you have left
in the college fund?

Exactly $24,500.68.

Well, that's specific.

I had to go to the bank
this morning, Mom.

Your mother and I will be glad
to contribute the balance for Harvard.

That's right.

I've got to figure out
what I'm going to do.

I've got a lot of things
to pack and organize here first.

Your father and I,
we want to make a present to you.

We want to get you out of that junker.

What junker?


- We want to buy you a new car.
- That's right.

A new car?

Why would I want a new car?

Datsun runs great.

Do you think I want some fancy boat?

Are you worried
what the neighbors might think?

Well, we weren't gonna get you
a brand new Cadillac, Chris.

We just want to get you a nice new car
that's safe to drive.

And you never know when that thing
out there just might blow up.

Blow up. Blow up?
Are you guys crazy? It's a great car.

I don't need a new car.
I don't want a new car.

- I don't want anything.
- Okay.

- These things, things, things, things.
- Okay.

- Everything has to be difficult.
- Thank you.

- Thank you.
- Maybe that's not what he means.

Maybe he just wants his old car.
It's not such a big deal.

Thank you. I just don't want anything.

Chris measured himself
and those around him

by a fiercely rigorous moral code.

Bye, Chris!

He risked what could have been
a relentlessly lonely path

but found company
in the characters of the books he loved

from writers like Tolstoy,
Jack London and Thoreau.

He could summon their words
to suit any occasion,

and he often would.

I forgot to ask what quote he'd have
picked for his graduation dinner,

but I had a good idea
of who the primary target would be.

It was inevitable
that Chris would break away.

And when he did, he would do it
with characteristic immoderation.

"It should not be denied that being
footloose has always exhilarated us.

"It is associated in our minds
with escape

"from history and oppression and law
and irksome obligations.

"Absolute freedom.

"And the road has always led west. "

I need a name.

Toward the end of June,

Emory had mailed our parents
Chris' final grade report.

Almost all A's.

A in Apartheid in South African Society.

A- minus in Contemporary African
Politics and the Food Crisis in Africa.

And on it went. Clever boy, my brother.

But by the end of July,
we hadn't heard anything from him

and my parents
were becoming unsettled.

Chris had never had a phone,

so they decided to drive down
to Atlanta and surprise him.

When they arrived at the apartment,
there was a "For Rent" sign up

and the manager said that Chris
had moved out at the end of May.

Oh, yes. He left two months ago.

So when they got home,

I had to hand them all the letters that
they had sent Chris that summer,

which had been returned in a bundle.

Chris had arranged for the post office
to hold them until August 1st,

to buy himself some time.

Did you know about this?

He didn't say anything.

I understood what he was doing.
That he had spent four years

fulfilling the absurd and tedious duty
of graduating from college,

and now he was emancipated
from that world of abstraction,

false security, parents
and material excess,

the things that cut Chris off
from the truth of his existence.


- Hey, man. Step around. Jump in.
- Okay, great.

We barely saw you there
underneath that crazy hat of yours.

This door's a little tricky.
There you go. Hop in.

That's Rainey.

- Hi, Rainey.
- Yeah, I'm Rainey.

- I'm Jan.
- Hi. I'm Alex.

Alex with the hat on.

- Yeah, I know. You said it, man.
- Yeah.

So you're a leather now.

I'm a leather?

Yeah, a leather tramp. That's what they
call the ones that hoof it, go on foot.

Technically we're rubber tramps.

Because we have a vehicle.

- You don't have to push me away.
- Come on, please?

Yeah, Alex could have a vehicle as well,
but he decided to burn all of his money.

And why did you do that?

I don't need money.
Makes people cautious.

Come on, Alex.
You gotta be a little cautious.

I mean, that book of yours is cool
and everything,

but you can't depend entirely
on leaves and berries.

I don't know if you want to depend on
much more than that.

Where are your mom and dad?

Living their lies somewhere.

You look like a loved kid. Be fair.


You know what I mean.

I'll paraphrase Thoreau here.

"Rather than love, than money,
than faith,

"than fame, than fairness,

"give me truth. "

From as long ago
as Chris and I could remember,

there have been
daily bouts of rage in our house.

Violence that we were forced
to witness. It was very real.

But it was also like theater.

They cast us as both judges
and the accused.

And I got you this token,
this expensive token.

Dad had been the young genius

that NASA enlisted to do crucial designs
for the American satellite radar systems

that would be our answer
to the Russian Sputnik.

And Mom and he later started up
a consulting firm

combining her
get-up-and-go resourcefulness

with his wealth of knowledge.

Look at this.

But by the time the company
actually made its first million,

the careerism and money seemed
only to embolden their blindness.

Thank you very, very much.

I remember the first family meeting

to let us in on their plans
for getting a divorce.

They wanted us to choose
which of them we'd live with.

We cried our eyes out.

The divorce never happened,

but the battles and the meetings
never stopped.

It wasn't very long
before Chris and I shut off.

We'd say "Go ahead.

"Get the divorce. "

Jeez. If I struck a match to you I'd have
dinner and warmth at the same time.

Where's Jan going?

Well, my friend,

all is not well on the hippie front.

You're an industrious little fucker,
aren't you?

Little bit.

It's funny how things happen
at particular times.

I've loved that woman
for a lot of years, bro.

But, you know, she's got a story.

We've been going through this thing,
real quiet.

So when we ran into you yesterday,

this thing that we've been going
through real quiet,

she's talking about it.
You know what I mean?

- I think I do.
- You think what?


Some people feel like
they don't deserve love.

They walk away quietly
into empty spaces,

trying to close the gaps to the past.

That's a hell of an insight. Jesus!

- You're not Jesus, are you?
- Look who's talking.

You gonna walk across the water
and get her back for me, pal?

No. I'm afraid of water.

Always have been.

Something I've gotta get over sometime
though, huh? So I will swim in it

if you'll carry the firewood back to camp.

- Shit, yeah.
- Yeah?

- Call it carried.
- All right.

"The sea's only gifts are harsh blows,

"and, occasionally,
the chance to feel strong.

"Now, I don't know much about the sea,

"but I do know that
that's the way it is here.

"And I also know
how important it is in life

"not necessarily to be strong,
but to feel strong,

"to measure yourself at least once,

"to find yourself at least once in
the most ancient of human conditions,

"facing the blind, deaf stone alone

"with nothing to help you
but your hands and your own head. "

There's a big wave coming!

Rainey, I'm freezing!

Could you put your arms around me?

The Navy bulldozed and abandoned this
base down there,

and all that's left is this huge grid
of concrete foundations, or slabs.

- Man, you would dig the Slabs.
- You would like it. You would like it.

- If you're on the road still.
- You'd love it.

Fellow travelers.

Just living on the cheap under the sun.
Can't beat it.

Sounds good.

If you come, I'll make you a proper hat.

- Promise?
- I swear to God.

Oh, baby. Baby.

- Stop it. Wait.
- Yeah.

- Oh, yes.
- Okay.

Let me turn off the light.

- He reminded me of...
- I know.

Such is the way of the world

You can never know

Just where to put all your faith
And how will it grow?

Gonna rise up

Burning back holes in dark memories

Gonna rise up

Turning mistakes into gold

I mean, you're really good.
I mean, you're like

100,000 times better than, like,
any apple I've ever had.

I'm not Superman, I'm Supertramp.

You're Superapple.

You're so tasty.
You're so organic, so natural.

You're the apple of my eye.

Hey! Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fold

And suddenly swallowed by signs
Lo and behold

Gonna rise up

Find my direction magnetically

Gonna rise up

Throw down my ace in the hole

In early September, Mom and Dad
got a call from the Annandale police

notifying them that
Chris' abandoned car

had been identified
by the Arizona Highway Patrol.

A group of rare flower hunters
stumbled upon it in the desert.

There were no signs that
Chris had intended to return to it.

But there wasn't
any evidence of struggle, either.

The police thought
Chris had chosen to leave it behind

and not that it was taken from him.

The initial comfort
that gave Mom and Dad quickly turned

to the realization that Chris
was actually trying not to be found.


You can do anything.
You can go anywhere.

Money, power is an illusion.
It's up here.

You can be here.

Me and you.

One, two. No, no, no.



Don't be shy with it. Get it moving there.
That's good.

- That's your speed right here.
- Right.

You go too fast,
you won't get all the wheat.

That's it, straight line, straight line,
little straighter.

See how you're bearing? Just a little
straighter. Now you're a combiner.

Wow, look at this view!

But keep your eye on the wheat, here.
Make sure you're cutting it.

You can look back here and see
how much is coming out, all right.

- How do you feel?
- I feel great.

Okay, keep it straight. God bless you.

Make yourself some money, my friend.
I'll see you in a little bit.


Wayne. Where you going?

Kevin, you know I love you.
I'm joking with you. I'm joking. Stop it.

- I'm joking with you.
- Mind your own business, Wayne!

- What are you getting so hostile for?
- I don't know.

Me and you are on the same side.
We're on the same side.

- I'm just tired of the teasing a lot.
- Kevin, we're on the same side.

Let me get some...
If I want some vagina, let me get it.

- Whoa. He's serious about this.
- Let's just play cards.

- Can we just play cards?
- Let's go, then.

$2, $4, $6, just put all the money in.

I just wanna see
everybody going for broke.

- You want to play?
- No.

- Kevin, what have you got for the week?
- I got 260.

We're at 260.

We're gonna stay right at 260,
that's our number.

We've got 20,000 pounds.

We've got 20,000 pounds
we need to get rid of.

Maybe just do all that after lunch
before we get back into everything else.

Can we do the $500 reserves...

What do you think about all this?

I like all this.

I don't think he can do it.

Is there a library
or bookstore around here

where I can get books
on hunting and preserving?

Anything at all to do with hunting
or preserving the meat,

smoking it, whatever the hell it is,

talk to Kevin over there.
That's your man.

Outdoorsman. What's your fascination
with all that stuff?

I'm going to Alaska.

Alaska, Alaska? Or city Alaska?

Because they do have markets
in Alaska.

The city of Alaska. Not in Alaska.
In the city of Alaska, they have markets.

No, man. Alaska, Alaska.

I'm gonna be all the way out there,
all the way fucking out there.

Just on my own.

You know, no fucking watch,
no map, no ax, no nothing. No nothing.

Just be out there. Just be out there in it.

You know, big mountains, rivers,
sky, game.

Just be out there in it, you know?
In the wild.

- In the wild.
- Just wild.

- Yeah.
- Just...

What are you doing when we're there?

Now you're in the wild,
what are we doing?

You're just living, man.

You're just there, in that moment,
in that special place and time.


Maybe when I get back,
I can write a book about my travels.

Why not?

You know,
about getting out of this sick society.

- Society!
- Society!

- Society, man!
- Society!

- Society! Society!
- Society!

Society, you know! Society!

'Cause you know
what I don't understand?

I don't understand why people,
why every fucking person

is so bad to each other so fucking often.

It doesn't make sense to me. Judgment.
Control. All that, the whole spectrum.

- Well, it just...
- What "people" we talking about?

You know, parents, hypocrites,

politicians, pricks.

This is a mistake.

It's a mistake to get too deep
into all that kind of stuff.

Alex, you're a hell of a young guy,
a hell of a young guy.

But I promise you this.

You're a young guy! Can't be juggling
blood and fire all the time!

- You've got to just kind of...
- Wayne, what are you talking about?

- What?
- I mean...

I'm talking about blood and fire.

We're talking about
trying to juggle blood and fire.

Who are you to be giving advice
to anybody anyway?

Who am I to be giving advice
to anybody?

- Yes.
- Well, it's nice to meet you.

- My name is Mr. Happy.
- Mr. Happy.

And Mr. Happy sometimes gives advice.

- Alex, please.
- I'm sorry.

Sometimes Mr. Happy...
Well, Mr. Happy is always happy.

But you know when he's happiest?

- He's not always happy.
- When is he happy?

Are you really gonna say that to me?
Come on, tell me about it.

I am going to say that to you.

- Now...
- Sit down before you hurt yourself.

One thing that you should try
to keep your eye on

is what happened
in the late 1940s in Roswell.

When a search of tax records
revealed that

Chris had given
his life savings to charity,

Mom and Dad became
what Dad called "mobilized. "

They hired a private investigator and
notified law enforcement nationwide,

determined to track him down.

I just figured he'd be with gypsies,
far from the eyes of the law.

These are those free satellite TV deals.

You're the one who said it, Alex, not me.

You're gonna need something.
What kind of gun you got?

I'm probably gonna get like a. 22,
I think. A.22 caliber rifle.

All right, then.

When you get your kill,
time is of the essence.

Now, the first thing you wanna do
is make sure

that you got that meat
nice and shaved up.

And you don't have a lot of time to do
this. This is about an hour or two.

Depending on the weather. Especially if
it's hot, you've got less time to do it.

What you do is you want to make sure
that them flies don't land on your meat.

Because once them flies start
shitting out larvae and them maggots,

you know, those creepy crawlies,
it's too late. It's too late.

You got me. You got me.

I warned Wayne
about them little black boxes.

Mr. Westerberg, Scott Baker, FBI.
I think you know why we're here.

- Impressive turn-out.
- Yeah.

You mind grabbing that zipper
for me there? Thank you.

- Let's go.
- Sorry, boys.

We're gonna have to shut down
for a little while.

Alex, you come back
and work for me any time you want.

Gil's got your checks, guys.
I shouldn't be away too long.

Remember Alex, no Alaska till spring.
South, kid. You wanna head south.

The year Chris graduated high school,

he bought the Datsun used
and drove it cross-country.

He stayed away most of the summer.

Come on. The neighbors
are gonna be watching, honey.

Can you spray it?

As soon as I heard he was home,
I ran into his room to talk to him.

In California,
he'd looked up some old family friends.

He discovered that our parents' stories
of how they fell in love and got married

were calculated lies
masking an ugly truth.

When they met,
Dad was already married.

And even after Chris was born,

Dad had had another son
with his first wife, Marcia,

to whom he was still legally married.

This fact suddenly re-defined
Chris and me as bastard children.

Dad's arrogance made him conveniently
oblivious to the pain he caused.

And Mom, in the shame and
embarrassment of a young mistress,

became his accomplice in deceit.

The fragility of crystal is not
a weakness but a fineness.

My parents understood that
a fine crystal glass had to be cared for

or it may be shattered.

But when it came to my brother,
they did not seem to know or care

that their course of secret action

brought the kind of devastation
that could cut them.

Their fraudulent marriage
and our father's denial of this other son

was, for Chris,
a murder of every day's truth.

He felt his whole life turn,
like a river suddenly reversing

the direction of its flow,
suddenly running uphill.

These revelations struck at the core
of Chris' sense of identity.

They made his entire childhood
seem like fiction.

Chris never told them he knew

and made me promise silence, as well.

I can't afford four.
Who's gonna pay for the fourth one?

Bryan can't afford four. Does it matter?

Can I help you?

Yeah. If I wanted
to paddle down the river,

where's the best place to launch out of?

Hang on a second.

"To launch out of?"
What's your experience level?

- Not much.
- Any? Do you have a permit?

A permit? Permit for what?

You can't paddle down the river
without a permit.

If you want, you can apply for one here,
get some experience,

and I'll put you on the wait-list.

No, I got this guy in here.
We'll figure it out.

There's a wait-list
to paddle down a river?

That's right.

- Yeah, it's gonna be...
- Well, how long do I have to wait?

Yeah, hang on a second.

Now, the deal is
it's gonna be me and you

or it's gonna be me, you and her.

Next available is May 17th, 2003.

Great. Done. The three of us, then.

Twelve years?

- What's that?
- Twelve years?

To paddle down a river.

Let me call you back.

You can do that,

or you can join a commercial raft trip,
go with a licensed guide.

They may have some
last-minute cancellations,

but that's gonna cost you $2,000.

Thank you very much.

Helmet, man!

I'm Supertramp!

"If we admit that human life
can be ruled by reason,

"the possibility of life is destroyed. "



Come. Join us.

We have hot dogs.

- I'm Mads.
- Mads?

- Mads. Hi.
- Mads.

- Alex.
- Hi, Alex.

Hey. I'm Sonja.

Hey, Alex.

We are from Copenhagen,
and you are from the rapids.

I am.

- You're crazy! You're crazy, man.
- My God!

Sonja, get away from him. Get away
from him. He's crazy! Look, he's crazy.

I'll make you a hot dog. One minute.

I love this. Don't you love this?

You know, this is nature.

So where are you going?

- I haven't decided yet.
- Really?

Well, we like it here very much.
And it's so good to meet you, man.

So good to meet you.

You know, we went to Los Angeles,
and then we went to Las Vegas.

Oh, yeah. Las Vegas is very nice.
The universe is so good.

- The universe is very good.
- You know what I mean?

- Yeah.
- The whole universe.

Just the place. The city, she means.
Her English is not very good.

But then we came here. I don't care
if she's a little stupid, but I like her.

You know you can actually go
all the way down to Mexico from here.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

You can take the kayak,
and you can take it all the way around

down to Hoover Dam,
you can sail around,

and then from there you can take
the river all the way down to Mexico!

- Really?
- Yeah.

Come on, come on!

She's so slow sometimes.

- Here's the map.
- But I like her.

- Here. Hoover Dam.
- Okay.

About 330 kilometers, I think.

- Miles?
- Yeah, miles, about 200 miles.

- Two hundred miles.
- Two hundred miles. Yeah, man.

You know, I wonder if I could paddle

all the way down that
into the Gulf of California.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can.
You know, I will go with you.

I will go with you. We leave Sonja here,
and then we take the kayak.

No, no.
We go all the way down into Mexico.

You know, because in every man's
heart, there is a Mexican mistress.

Oh, man.

I've gotta go, you guys.
I'm really sorry. I gotta go.

- What's going on?
- Why?

The river patrol's after me. I'm actually
not supposed to be here, you know.

You have to have, like, a permit,

it's like a government thing to be here,
and I didn't get one.

If you see anybody,
any of the rangers or anything,

just tell them you didn't see me, okay?


Okay, again, I'm really, really sorry,
man. I wish I could stay, you know.

Take care, man.

- All right. Take care, Mads.
- Nice to meet you.

- Bye, Alex.
- I wish... I wish I could stay.

Say hello to Mexico from me.

Bye, Alex!

It would be Christmas
in a couple of months,

and the last news we'd had
was about his car being found.

I woke up a couple of days ago,
and for the first time, it bothered me

that it wasn't only my parents
who hadn't heard from Chris.


It's me. I'm sorry.
Everything that happened, it's my fault.

Give me another chance.

Please do that... Come on.
Do that for me.

Come on. They're calling
for another quarter right now,

and I ain't got it, so will you hurry it up?

Come on now, don't hang up on me.

Hey, here's a quarter.

Thank you.

There's a quarter
just happened out of the sky,

so I'm on here talking to you again.

I got the quarter now, let's...
No, no, no, no, no!

I wondered why he hadn't tried to call
in case I might answer.

He could've hung up if it wasn't me.

Why wouldn't he send a letter,
maybe through a friend?

It hurt a little,

but I told myself it was good.

He knew I loved him enough
to bear with the not knowing.

And it helped me remember that there
was something more than rebellion,

more than anger that was driving him.

Chris had always been driven,
had always been an adventurer.

When he was four years old,

he once wandered six blocks away
from home at 3:00 in the morning.

He was found in a neighbor's kitchen

up on a chair,
digging through their candy drawer.

Whatever drawer he was opening now
must have something pretty sweet in it.

- You lived in a cave for 36 days?
- Yes, sir.

And how did you get into Mexico
in the first place?

Through the spillway at Morelos Dam.

River dries out pretty quickly
beyond there, doesn't it?

Yeah. Turns into a maze of irrigation
canals, thanks to our dams up north.

So I ported my kayak over the desert,
and I hitched down to Golfo.

But after a few weeks, a sandstorm
came up and blew the kayak away.

So I walked back north. Here I am.

Well, you just can't be crossing
the borders without any identification.

- Are we understood?
- Yes, sir.

I've eaten enough sand to send me
back to the city anyway.

All right. Sit tight. I'll be right back.

Some may ask,
"Why act now? Why not wait?"

The answer is clear.
The world could wait no longer.

Hi. Do you have the time?

- Time?
- Time?



Front and back.

I don't have any more clipboards,
so get one from the other fellas.

- Next.
- Hi.

Can you tell me how to get an ID?

- Did you lose your identification, sir?
- Yeah.

No birth certificate? Nothing?


All right. Well, you're gonna
have to work that out with the DMV.

You can catch them in the morning.
The closest one is Montebello,

and we can help you
with the bus voucher.

So just come to this desk
when you're ready for the voucher.

- Okay.
- What's your name?

- Alexander Supertramp.
- What's that?

- Alexander Supertramp.
- Supertramp. Really?


Okay, so I'm gonna look for you,
Supertramp. I got something for you.

- Here you go, Supertramp.
- Thank you very much.

Okay, baby.

- And one last thing.
- Yeah.

Do you have a bed for me? I'm sorry...

Oh, no. Sure, I got a bed for you.
Sign your name right here.

You fill this out. And I'll set you right up.
Now, I'm out of...

- What's going on back there?
- I got it. I'm sorry.

- Come on, now. Work with me.
- All right. Thanks, ma'am.

Supertramp, huh?

You know the drill.

Move it!

Thanks, but I'm not gonna need
that bed after all.

You leaving us so soon? Supertramp!

Show me your face.
I never, ever, ever forget a face.

If I see yours again,
I won't arrest you, I'll kill you.

This is the goddamned railroad,

and we will do whatever we have to do

to keep you freeloaders
from violating our liability.

Yes, sir.

You got any ID?

- No, sir.
- Of course you don't.

Last time, my friend.

All clear.

Good boy!

Yeah! That's what I'm talking about.

It's a mystery to me

We have a greed
With which we have agreed

You think you have to want more
than you need

Until you have it all you won't be freed

Society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need

And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place

'Cause when you have
more than you think

You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me

Society, crazy indeed

I hope you're not lonely without me

Thanks a lot.

In the letters
Chris wrote me from college,

it was clear his anguish and problems
with Mom and Dad had continued.

He said I was
the only person in the world

who could possibly understand
what he had to say.

With whose money are you buying
all these goddamn presents?

I work. The only reason
I'm not talking is because

you're wandering around acting like
the big-shot flirt with everybody.

I am making the contacts
for this business to work!

You don't care at all about what I do!

I don't even want to talk to you
about it anymore!

Don't you walk away from me, woman!

Kids! Look what your dad
is doing to me!

For God's sake,
look what your mother is making me do!

Fuck you! I hate you!

There ain't gonna be no party.
I'm gonna cancel Christmas this year.

Cancel Christmas?
Who do you think you are? God?

That's right! I'm God!

Well, you're not God.
You can't cancel Christmas.

That's bullshit!

We're 10 deep!

Alex, I don't mean to be on you about
everything. You're doing a great job.

I wanna keep you on and
we all wanna help you get to Alaska,

but you've got to start wearing socks.

With almost a year having passed
since Chris' disappearance,

my parents' anger, their desperation,

their guilt was giving way to pain.

And pain seemed to bring them closer.

Even their faces had changed.

She convinces herself it's Chris,

that it's her son
whenever she passes a stray.

That it's her son
whenever she passes a stray.

And I fear for the mother in her.

Instincts that seem to sense the threat
of a loss so huge

and irrevocable that the mind balks
at taking its measure.

I'd begin to wonder if I can understand
all that Chris is saying any longer,

but I catch myself and remember that

these are not the parents
he grew up with,

but people softened by the forced
reflection that comes with loss.

Still, everything Chris is saying
has to be said.

And I trust for him that
everything he is doing has to be done.

This is our life.

Big game. Very big game.

Got it.

Damn it!

Get off!

"Hey, Dad, can I light the barbeque,
please, Dad, this time?"

"Well, Son,
you can go get the lighter fluid. "

"Come on, Dad. Please, Dad, please?"

"Well, why not, Walt?
That sounds like a good idea... "

"Shut up, Carine! Shut up, Carine!

"No, Billie. I told you once.
Don't make me tell you again. Okay?


"You hear me? You hear me, woman?

"You hear me, woman? Huh?
You hear me, woman?"

"Sorry. Sorry, Walt. I'm sorry. "


No! No! Damn it!

God damn it! Fuck!

"There was clearly felt the presence of
a force not bound to be kind to man.

"It was a place of heathenism
and superstitious rites,

"to be inhabited by men
nearer of kin to the rocks

"and to the wild animals than we. "


Hey, Sunni! Come here, baby.

No. No!

But now all I'm focused on
is just Alaska.

- Yeah.
- Alaska.

All right. Let's hear it for Insane Cain!

Let's give it up
for Slab City's own Tracy T!

Hey. My name's Tracy.

- Tracy!
- Yeah!

Jack London is king.

Hey, you gonna stay with us long?

Well, I'm waiting on a check
from my last job

to come into Salton City
the day after Christmas.

I've got to start thinking about
getting ready for Alaska.

When the sun gets a little lower tonight,
I'm going to start a calisthenics routine.

After the check comes in,
I think I'm gonna try to find

some big old mountains I can climb
every day until spring comes.

I've got to see
how far the money's gonna go.

I've still got a lot of supplies
to pick up before spring.

So, I might get another job
or I might be okay.

Hell, we'd give you a little something for
the days you spend in the booth here.

I'm not taking
any money from you, Rainey.

It's been a real great twist
meeting you two.

You two look like you're doing good.

- We are doing good.
- Yeah?

We're doing real good.

Speaking of which, don't you think

you ought to introduce yourself
to our little Joni Mitchell over there?


- Hi.
- Hi.

You selling these books?

I am. We are.

He was.

I like to read.

- Do you?
- Yeah.

That's good.

I heard you play your song last night.

- I'm terrible.
- You are not terrible. You sing sweet.

Thank you.

I was gonna go take a walk
to Salvation Mountain.

- You wanna go?
- Okay.

- Hi.
- Hi. Alex.

I'd like to show you around up here.
I've been here since 1984, more or less.

A lot of tourists come in here

and they look at that car door up there.
They really like it.

And I found car doors and put them
up there and I bolted it all in.

Where did you get the telephone poles?

A lot of people in the valley
just love me a lot.

Everybody now, I think,
in the whole world is just loving me.

And I want to have the wisdom
to love them back.

And that's about it.
So I really get excited.

You really believe in love, then.

Yeah. Totally.

This is a love story that is staggering
to everybody in the whole world.

That God really loves us a lot.

Does that answer that?

- Yeah.
- Good.

I really love it here. I think the freedom
of this place is just so beautiful.

To me, I wouldn't move for $10 million,
unless I had to.

So I'm contented here in the desert,
and I'm living where I want to live.

And I think good gets better.
And I think those great big tanks there

were the sewer plant for
the Marine base in World War II.

If you want to,
you can try putting your hands in there.

And I'm gonna do the same thing,
just for the fun.

You're doing real good.

You can wipe your hands off on my shirt
if you want.

This is starting to make me hungry.

I was just a couple of years older
than Tracy when I got pregnant.

- Wow.
- Yeah.

Yeah, I thought my husband and I were
going to just make peace on Earth

and babies and love
and stay together forever,

and that didn't quite work out that way.

He left me.

So, I...

Anyway, whatever,

but I ended up raising Reno on my own.
That's my boy, his name's Reno.

Then I met Rainey.

That was sweet.
It was really good for a while. It's just...

You know, Reno was
a teenager already by then,

and he was just on his way
to becoming his own man.

And I haven't even heard from him
in two years.

I don't even know where he is.

I hope I get to meet him sometime.

Do your folks know where you are?

Hey, guys?
Dinner's ready if you guys are hungry.

Yeah, we are. We're hungry.

I'll be all right.

You want to come and eat?

Or we'll sit here.
Because I will sit here with you all night.

Let's go. Let's go.

Guys, come on. It's getting cold.

Check this out. Tawdry?
Denise, that sounds like your cup of tea.

That poor girl is about ready
to vault herself onto a fence post.

And here you are,
the monk of Jack fucking LaLanne.

- So Jan talked to you about Reno, huh?
- Yeah.

Children can be pretty harsh
when it comes to their parents.

You planning on seeing yours?

I've only got one plan, Rainey.

That would be Alaska?



- Merry Christmas.
- Come in here.

My parents went into town.


Yeah. They went to call my grandma
for Christmas.

No, I mean we can't do that.

Why not?

How old are you?



What year were you born?

So I'm 16.

You want to do something together?

You can send mail to this address
in South Dakota.

I don't know when I'm going to get it,
but I'll get it.

You're pretty magic.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

And just remember

if you want something in life,
reach out and grab it.

- You take care, kiddo.
- You, too.

- New Year's resolution?
- We'll work on it.

Just get your pack
and get on out of here, okay?

I don't think I could take a hug.



A year and a half had passed in what
Dad called "suspended animation. "

The weight of Chris' disappearance had
begun to lay down on me full-length.

"I have lived through much,

"and now I think I have found what is
needed for happiness.

"A quiet secluded life in the country,

"with the possibility of being useful to
people to whom it is easy to do good,

"and who are not accustomed
to have it done to them.

"And work which one hopes
may be of some use.

"Then rest, nature, books, music,

"love for one's neighbor.

"Such is my idea of happiness.

"And then, on top of all that,
you for a mate,

"and children perhaps.

"What more
can the heart of a man desire?"

Comes the morning when I can feel

That there's nothing
left to be concealed

Moving on
a scene surreal

But my heart will never
Never be far from here

Sure as I'm breathing
Sure as I'm sad

I'll keep this wisdom in my flesh

I leave here believing
More than I had

And there's a reason I will

A reason I'll be back

As I walk the hemisphere

I got my wish to up and disappear

I've been wounded
I've been healed

Now for landing I've been

Landing I've been cleared

Sure as I'm breathing
Sure as I'm sad

I'll keep this wisdom in my flesh

I leave here believing
More than I had

This love has got no ceiling

Where's your camp?

Just out past Oh-My-God Hot Springs.

I've lived in and around here
for six years now

and I've never heard of any place
that goes by that name.

- Show me how to get there.
- Yeah.

- Ron Franz.
- Alex.

Alex? Where you from, Alex?

- West Virginia.
- Okay, Alex from West Virginia.

Well, this is something out here.

Don't you...

Don't you worry about those dope
smokers and nudists down below there?

No, they keep to themselves
pretty much.

You strike me as a bright young man.
Am I wrong about that?

I think I've got
my head on my shoulders pretty good.

Well, that's what I mean.

How long you been out here?

- Couple of weeks.
- And before that?

A lot of places.
Been moving around a lot.

- Well, how old are you?
- Twenty-three.

Twenty-three years old!

Son, don't you think
you ought to be getting an education?

And a job?
And making something of this life?

Look, Mr. Franz,

I think careers are a 20th century
invention, and I don't want one.

You don't need to worry about me.
I have a college education.

I'm not destitute.
I'm living like this by choice.

- In the dirt?
- Yeah, in the dirt.

- Where's your family?
- Don't have one anymore.

That's a shame.

Hey, Mr. Franz,
I want to show you something.

Come on.

Come on.

It's getting a little steep.
A little high for me, kid.

All right,

but even from halfway out,
it's quite a sight, isn't it?

From the top, you can see all the way
to the Salton Sea, too.

You can see the Salton Sea
from up there?

Yes, sir.

My goodness.

- You don't want to go up?
- Nope. I don't do these kind of things.

I spent most of my life in the Army.

New Year's Eve, 1957,
I was stationed in Okinawa.

My wife and son were here in the States
just driving down the road,

and some fella who'd had too much
to drink plowed right into them.

Killed them both.

Now you might think
the last thing I would do in the world

is go to the whiskey.

But at the time,
it felt like the only thing I could do.

And I did it hard!

But pretty soon I realized

I wasn't doing my wife and son any good
mourning them with the bottle.

So I pulled myself together
and I quit drinking,

cold turkey.

So since all that, this is pretty much me.

Do you ever travel, Mr. Franz?

No, I can't seem to get too far
from my leather.

I do a lot of leather engraving.
I got a little workshop out in the garage.

Between that and my pension,
I do pretty well.

But every time I think
I might take a trip somewhere,

I get too far behind on orders and such
to consider it.

When we finish eating,
I'd love to see your workshop.

- Would you?
- Oh, yeah.

I was hoping you'd say that.

- It's amazing how malleable this is.
- Yeah, it is.

When the leather is wet you can really...

- It's like butter.
- Yeah.

It's amazing. And then it hardens up,
and, I mean, it stays right there.

A good whack with the mallet.
Crack it down. Whack. Bang.

I went to South Dakota.
I worked at a grain elevator

for this guy named Wayne.
He was a really good guy.

So I took the Colorado River

all the way down through
the Grand Canyon and did rapids,

which is by far one of
the scariest things I've ever done.

And I took the Colorado down into
Mexico, Golfo, where I got stuck.

Salvation Mountain. The Slabs.

What's the "N" stand for?



Son, what the hell
are you running from?

You know, I can ask you
the same question!

Except I already know the answer!

You do, do you?

I do, Mr. Franz!
You got to get back out in the world!

Get out of that lonely house,
that little workshop of yours.

Get back out on the road! Really!

You're going to live a long time, Ron!

You should make a radical change
in your lifestyle!

I mean, the core of man's spirit
comes from new experiences.

And there you are, stubborn old man,
sitting on your butt.

- Sitting on my butt?
- Yeah.

I'll show you sitting on my butt!

"Stubborn old man. "

I'll show you!

Come on, then! Come on.

Sitting on my butt? Yeah.

Come on, old man. Come climbing.

Sitting on my butt.

Come on. Keep going!

You're doing great!

- Keep going. Keep going, Ron!
- Yeah!

Can anybody see this?
God, are you watching this right now?


- You all right?
- You little pinhead!

I'm gonna miss you when you go.

I'll miss you, too, Ron.
But you're wrong if you think

that the joy of life comes principally
from human relationships.

God's placed it all around us.
It's in everything.

It's in anything we can experience.

People just need to change the way
they look at those things.

Yeah, I'm gonna take stock of that.

No, I am.

I am.

But I wanted to tell you something.

From the bits and pieces I put together,

you know, from what you told me about
your family, your mother and your dad.

And I know you've got your problems
with the church, too.

But there's some kind of bigger thing
we can all appreciate,

and it sounds like
you don't mind calling it God.

But when you forgive,

you love.

And when you love,

God's light shines on you.

- Holy shit.
- I told you about that language.

I told you so!

Where are the fucking animals now?
I'm hungry!

I'm fucking hungry! I'm fucking hungry!

"For a moment she rediscovered
the purpose of her life.

"She was here on earth to grasp
the meaning of its wild enchantment,

"and to call each thing
by its right name. "

"By its right name. "

What is this? What is this one?

This is Viburnum edule.
Viburnum edule.

Hedysarum alpinum.

Hedysarum alpinum is wild potato root.
Wild potato root.

Epilobium angustifolium. Fireweed.

Fuck it all. Fuck it all!


What are you doing up?
It's 3:30 in the morning.

I heard you get off the couch
about a half hour ago.

Had a funny feeling
you might not be here for our breakfast.

I'm gonna drive you 100 miles to
someplace where you can catch a train,

a plane or hitch a ride
and not get stuck out in this desert.

I'd take you all the way to Alaska
if I didn't have an 8:00 mass.

- Ron, you don't have to do that.
- I want to do it.

Get you started on this thing of yours.

- On my great...
- I know.

On your great Alaskan adventure.

Here. Here's a machete.

Collapsible fishing pole, a few other
odds and ends I stuck in there for you.

- Ron...
- Just take it.

I'll get dressed
and meet you in the truck.

Well, my friend.


I had an idea.

You know, my mother was an only child

and so was my father,

and I was their only child,

so when I'm gone,
I'm the end of the line.

My family will be finished.

What do you say you let me adopt you?

I can be, say, your grandfather.


could we talk about this
when I get back from Alaska?

Would that be okay?

Yeah, yeah. We can do that. Yeah.

All right, Ron.

Thank you.

What did his voice sound like now?

What would he tell about now?

...nine, ten.

I realized that the words to my thoughts
were of less and less meaning.

Chris was writing his story,

and it had to be Chris who would tell it.

"To call each thing by its right name.

"By its right name. "

What if I were smiling

and running into your arms?

Would you see then

what I see now?

Special thanks to SergeiK.