127 Hours (except I've Never Seen It)

Published: Tue 17 March 2020
Updated: Tue 17 March 2020
By Ed

In fiction.

broadly what I think happens in 127 Hours based solely on what I gathered from cultural osmosis and maybe having seen the trailer once and hearing that one thing that happens in it from before it was a movie

FADE IN:

EXT: THE SUN - DAY

Somebody find out if we're allowed to get a direct shot of the Sun, because I know you're not supposed to look directly at it but I don't know if it counts if you film directly at it and watch the film. If no one knows maybe get an intern to try it out. Anyway, assuming we get the shot, pan down to a desert landscape. Cactus, animal skulls, all the tropes. Mountains in the background blur as hot air rises from the sand. In the foreground a scorpion scuttles into view, pauses to wipe sweat from its brow, then suddenly flees as a person's stomping foot fills the frame. Zoom out to reveal HUGH, WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE PLAYED BY JAMES FRANCO, hiking alone through the wilderness.

TITLE: 0 HOURS

HUGH (singing)
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you...

He stops suddenly and stares into the distance: he has spotted something interesting. He lifts the binoculars hanging round his neck and looks through them. We see what he sees via one of those old-timey binocular-outline-cutout shots: it is a bird's nest on a rocky outcrop, and in the nest is a bald eagle. It looks to one side and spreads its wings in a demonstration of patriotism.

HUGH
Gotcha, you feathered bastard.

He puts the binoculars in his bag and takes out a water bottle. There's not much water left. He holds the bottle in one hand and checks his wristwatch on the other, judging one against the other.

HUGH
Yeah, I got time. I don't have to be back 'til late. This should only take me, what, two or three hours? And I got all the hours in the world!

He packs up and sets off towards the nest.

HUGH
Good thing I checked though. Lucky I have my trusty wristwatch with me, so I can hold useful objects in one hand and check the time with the other. Man, I love having two hands!

TITLE: 0 HOURS (but the 0 rotates like on one of those hand counter doodads that club bouncers use, and now it says...)

TITLE: 1 HOURS

CUT TO:

EXT: CLIFF BASE - DAY

HUGH arrives at the base of the outcrop. He looks up, squinting in the Sun, and realises it's a lot higher than he realised. He checks his watch again.

HUGH
Yeah, I got time. Would be a shame to spend all these hours coming here for nothing. And if there's one thing I can spare right now, it's hours!

He starts climbing.

HUGH
Yep, I got all the hours a man could ask for. Ever since I got laid off from the clock store for getting all handsy with the female employees, I got nothing but hours. Told me I should keep my hands to myself in future, so I do. Hours and hours, just me and my hands.

He kisses his right hand.

HUGH
Yeah, you seen your fair share of trouble.

He sees his left hand, and kisses that one too.

HUGH
You too, buddy. Trouble on both sides.

CUT TO:

EXT: CLIFF TOP - DAY

TITLE: 2 HOURS

HUGH reaches the top, exhausted, and looks down at his hands.

HUGH
Man, when left and right get along and work together, we can achieve great things...

He spies the eagle's nest on the cliff edge

HUGH
... like taking back what's ours.

He tiptoes up to the nest with his hands outstretched, ready to strangle the eagle.

HUGH
I'm gonna enjoy killing you, you beaky fuck. I swear I'm gonna choke you with my bare hands, or my name isn't Hugh Bryss...

When he's finally close enough, he pounces - but the nest is empty!

HUGH
What the ...

The eagle, silhouetted against the Sun, appears behind him. He turns around slowly ...

HUGH
Aaaargh!

The eagle flaps and squawks at HUGH, who stumbles backwards, trips, and falls off the cliff.

CUT TO BLACK

TITLE: 14 HOURS

EXT: CLIFF BASE - NIGHT

Close up on HUGH, unconscious. A coyote sniffs at the bloody wound on his head and does a little wee on it. This wakes him up.

HUGH
Aaa that stings! Geez, this is starting to get out of...

He starts to get up, but doesn't quite make it because his right hand is trapped under a big rock.

HUGH
... hand.

CUT TO BLACK

TITLE: 20 HOURS

EXT: CLIFF BASE - NIGHT

HUGH is playing five-finger-fillet by holding a penknife in his mouth. He gets bored and gives up, and ends up playing with the knife, folding it in and out. It glints in the sunlight. He looks at the blade, then looks at his trapped hand, then the knife, and then the hand, and so on, an unreasonable number of times.

HUGH
Nah.

MONTAGE OF HUGH PASSING TIME TRAPPED IN THE DESERT

Suggested music: I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

48 HOURS: HUGH is playing Candy Crush

54 HOURS: HUGH is playing thumb war with the coyote

72 HOURS: HUGH is asleep

96 HOURS: HUGH is trying to braid his own hair, which is difficult because he can't see what he's doing and only has one hand free

108 HOURS: HUGH is masturbating, but is having little success because he keeps stopping to choke himself, then has to stop choking himself to masturbate, then figures out he can't do both and gives up.

CUT TO BLACK

TITLE: 120 HOURS

EXT: CLIFF BASE: MORNING

HUGH is checking Facebook. He is hosting an event called "Rescue Hugh (RescHugh 🙃)". He hits refresh, but the attendance is still "0 Going : 15 Maybe".

HUGH (crying)
I'm gonna die out here
VOICE (v/o) (just Hugh doing a cockney accent)
Maybe not, pal
HUGH
Who said that?
VOICE
It was me ...

HUGH looks down at his left hand - he is making a fist and wiggling his thumb to make it look like a mouth is talking

VOICE
... Andy!
HUGH
Oh great, now I'm hallucinating.
ANDY
Wah wah wah, poor me, I'm a victim, life's dealt me a shitty hand - shut it, you muppet! There's a way out of here, you know.
HUGH
What is it? Tell me!
ANDY
But you ain't gonna like it.
HUGH
Tell me, damn it!
ANDY
It'll be easier if I just show you, here ...

ANDY takes the penkife and starts cutting off HUGH's other hand

HUGH
Dude, ow.

CUT TO BLACK

TITLE: 126 HOURS

Close up of awesome hi-tech special effects, like all tendons and bones and stuff. Zoom out to reveal HUGH innocently slicing some ham - he's now safely at home in his kitchen.

INT: HUGH'S KITCHEN/BEDROOM - EVENING

A bag of groceries and a freshly bandaged wrist stump show that HUGH has just arrived from the hospital. He puts the ham into a sandwich and takes it to bed.

Sitting on the bed his phone buzzes, and he checks it. An alert from the US State Department is telling everybody to immediately begin practicing social distancing.

TITLE: 0 HOURS

FADE TO BLACK

~~~

POST-CREDITS SCENE - INT: HUGH'S BATHROOM - MORNING

HUGH is looking at a guide to safe handwashing. All the pictures show a pair of hands rubbing together in various ways. He looks down at the sink, then his one hand, then back to the guide, then back to the sink, and so on.

~~~

Never Seen It is an excellent podcast that I love