Just a brief commentary about the most recent segment of the pilot script.
I had never before perceived that the scene in which Russell tells Rudy that his daughter is missing, and Jill confesses that the she is probably with the Monkees, takes place in the record store. The roles of Rudy, Jill and the record store were so drastically reduced in the aired pilot that the setting simply did not register with me. I see now that the abstract artwork on the walls of that setting are supposed to be framed gold records.
Note that the script described the earlier scene, in which the Monkees helped Vanessa escape from the house via a magical rope, was supposed to take place at night. This scene, in contrast, takes place during the day. In fact, as the episode was filmed, Russell says, “All I know is, early this morning she was gone.” Have the Monkees already kept Vanessa out overnight? Interesting choice. It wouldn’t have taken much for even the most open-minded parents in the test audience to react to the prospect of a boy keeping a 15-year-old girl out overnight. They didn’t have to do it this way; it would have been just as easy to stage the escape in the morning hours.
As the episode aired, we only saw the Monkees stage two history lessons for Vanessa’s benefit. In the script, we see three—one quite elaborate—and hints of scenes that have been omitted from an earlier draft of the script. Surely the Monkees would have had to keep Vanessa running from one clever scene to another all day long to cover all the material on her history test. One wonders how they dramatized the Boston Tea Party.
Note, also, that Davy would eventually reenact the crossing of the Delaware to surprise the British at Trenton, in an overloaded rowboat in Monkees Marooned.
We pick up the next morning….
56 INT. RECORD SHOP – DAY
Russell is talking to Rudy and Jill.
All I know is – she’s gone.
What do you know about this?
They’re just trying to help her pass her test. CUT TO:
57 INT. DISCOTEQUE
Small section of discoteque. Davy and Vanessa do the Frug. Other kids dance in b.g. Davy now maouvers Vanessa off to a corner and pulls aside a drape.
58 ANOTHER ANGLE
Peter, Mickey and Wool Hat are seated at table right next to where Vanessa and Davy are dancing. The boys wear tri-cornered Revolutionary War style hats and long capes.
What are your plans, General Washington?
Well, since it is
December 25, 1777, there is only one thing I can do… cross the Delaware into Trenton…
… And surprise the British!
Davy yanks back the drape. Starts to dance again as if nothing happened.
(in romantic trance)
… December 25, 1777 … Washington crossed the Delaware. CUT TO:
60 EXT. BEACH – DAY
Vanessa and Davy towel off after a dip. They sit down on a beach blanket. In front of them are three large sand pails sitting bottoms up. Davy lifts the first pail. We see Wool Hat’s head.
(sings to the music of “John Henry”)
When Patrick Henry was in Virginia…
Davy lifts the next pail. It’s Peter.
He made a speech we all recall…
Davy lifts the last pail. It’s Mickey.
He said to the people of Charlotte-town… CUT TO:
60A GROUP SHOT
They have their guitars.
VANESSA & ALL THE BOYS
(in folk harmony)
United we stand, divided we fall! CUT TO:
64A EXT. PARK – DAY
Establish picnic scene, Davy and Vanessa.
Oh, Davy, it’s so peaceful and quiet here. CUT TO:
64B CLOSE UP – WOOL HAT
looking down barrel of dueling pistol at camera.
Alexander Hamilton, you have accused me of treason. And, so I have challenged you to this duel.
I’ll stop there. The remainder of this scene is pretty much exactly what we saw. As is the scene that follows it, with Vanessa and her teacher. We’ll pick up next time, at the party!
Regarding the scenes in the Monkees’ pad after Davy’s contemplative walk….
First, we have an exhaustively detailed description of the detritus that passes for “décor” in the Monkees’ pad. Seeing as how this script is dated just a few days before filming began, and that some of the earlier details (the chimp and the large brown finger) were present, I am guessing that Mazursky and Tucker are describing objects that are already on hand. Can’t prove it, though; the only things from the description that are actually seen are the large “Spanish” table, and the “stuffed suit with head and glasses and gloves.”
Do the Monkees have a bulletin board covered with news about monkeys in zoos? Is there a large mission church bell? Does Wool Hat meticulously care for his indoor herb garden? We’ll never know.
Moving on to the conversation between Davy and Wool Hat, we see a scene that is little changed from what made it onto the screen. The edits, however, are telling. First, the conversation begins with Wool Hat suggesting that Davy might want to return to the beach for some surfing. That reinforces the passage of time that was suggested by the longer version of the musical interlude in the script, in which Davy’s friends were shown in various recreational pursuits. As the episode aired, this conversation seems to take place only moments after Davy stalked away from the volleyball game.
Second, the lines that implied that Davy was depressed by the loss of income for the band were edited out. What’s wrong? He’s worried about Vanessa, not about the money. Rafelson was shifting emphasis toward the Monkees as helpful, sympathetic good guys. The removed lines must have been filmed; the edit in the scene is visible if you watch for it.
Another line that was edited out comes after Wool Hat’s reassurance, “You didn’t hang her up. She got hung up.” Davy replies, “What’s the difference? Now she’s in trouble. She’s a kid and she took me the wrong way.”
She’s a kid and she took me the wrong way.
How does this relate to Davy’s earlier, “I never want to see you again”?
What is Vanessa to Davy? What is his emotional investment in this girl, just a few days short of her sixteenth birthday? Keep in mind that Davy’s eye-stars light up for another girl at the end of the episode. Is the problem NOT that Davy falls in love too easily, but rather than he makes girls fall in love with him too casually? Is he not a gallant gentleman after all, but a careless Lothario?
Finally, we have the improbably exotic action sequence for freeing Vanessa from her bedroom exile. Indian fakirs, a bed of nails, flutes and a magic rope. It’s no great surprise that production found an easier and cheaper way to spring Vanessa from prison. And despite the lack of magic and mystery, I think the rummage sale ruse was a stronger scene. Vanessa’s escape is not an exciting plunge into further adventures; it’s a calculated and cautious trudge.
Time to study.
51 INT. THE MONKEE’S PAD – DAY
It is a large, one-room house. The room is a reflection of the characters of the four boys. There are pop art posters on one wall, a large photo of Jeanne Moreau on another wall; a collage of newspaper items from various papers, every item about an incident at a zoo involving monkeys; a large bulletin board that reads: BULLETIN BOARD with the chalk-marked inscription underneath reading: REST TODAY; over the door leading to the outside (the front door) is a large Spanish church bell which gongs loudly whenever someone enters. Facing the porch windows is a long row of plant boxes containing Wool Hat’s herb garden (he takes meticulous care of it); in the pot is a Mexican piñata in the shape of a turkey… In the center of the room is a large Spanish dining table which serves as an all-purpose table for the boys… The room is not dirty, but it is in constant disarray. A stuffed suit with head and glasses and gloves sites in a chair reading.
Davy enters – walks moodily into room – and then looks out the window. (MUSIC OUT)
Wool Hat enters.
The surf’s starting to rise. Want to go?
(not looking up)
Whatever you say. (pause) What’s buggin you?
150 bucks! We could’ve used that job!
A job is a job – there’ll be others. Now what’s really buggin you?
Davy gets up.
Well, she’s a groovey kid, you know.
Yeah, I know. So?
Nothing! It’s just that now she blows her tests and all.
Look. You didn’t hang her up. She got hung up.
What’s the difference? Now, she’s in trouble. She’s a kid and she took me the wrong way.
I’m going to stop here, because the rest of the scene tracks pretty much word-for-word with what was shown in the episode. I transcribed the scene up to this point to show where the dialogue was changed. The scene strongly resembles the scene that was filmed during the audition process with various combinations of actors who were vying for a roles—the same video I sent you to watch earlier for the record store scene.
One thing I will add is that the stage directions for Micky and Peter do not say anything about Micky grabbing Peter by the shirt collar. That was a memorable, albeit somewhat aggressive move. I wonder whose idea it was?
Believe it or not, the fantasy boardroom scene is also nearly word-for-word, and description-for-description, accurate to what was aired. So I’m not going to type it out. Skipping ahead…
55 EXT. RUSSELL HOUSE – NIGHT
Monkees dressed as Indian fakers, one carrying rope; one nail-studded board or bed, and instruments (flutes). They approach Vanessa’s house and one lies down on board as others squat and tootle at rope placed on lawn and rises out of frame. PAN UP AND ZOOM to Vanessa pulling rope up on end of very light string. She knots it to ledge and slides down rope.
They run off.
Oh, god…where did you hear about this? Are people talking about it on Facebook?
Yes that’s exactly it. Peter Tork’s Facebook page posted a link all about it. And it looks as though the woman in charge of the purple flower gang is the genius behind it.
…Of course she is. And the sad thing is that if you look at the crowd-funding page that’s been created for this, every single one of the “incentives” for donating money are things that can only happen if the B+B/museum actually get built. Which defeats the entire purpose of an incentive, because it’s supposed to be something that people can actually get.
But yes…the idea of turning Davy’s home into a bed and breakfast is exactly the sort of garish nightmare that we envisioned could happen under the right (wrong) circumstances. If this happens, people will probably try to steal Davy-related mementos from the home or who knows what. Of course, this is all contingent on the town of Beavertown actually approving the construction of the B+B and allowing these people to obtain the proper permits in the first place.
This is not to say that certain people’s hearts aren’t in the right place, but given the logistics and the slightly morbid nature of the whole project, It seems like it would be better to just let Davy rest in peace…
Please, please let Davy rest in peace. It’s not like we won’t remember him. We still listen to his music, sing his songs and celebrate his life.
This is getting to be a bit much. :( I feel for his girls.
From their point of view, this is an exercise in preserving Davy’s memory and honoring his dream of providing Beavertown with a Monkees Museum. They’re quite heartbroken about the house and church being put on the market, and while they don’t dispute the Jones family’s right to sell the properties (not to mention the sheer headache of maintaining a large piece of real estate from 3000 miles distant) they can’t seem to bear the thought of the house becoming the home of somebody who doesn’t give a flying fig about Davy Jones, or the church being torn down or (gasp!) being turned into a house of worship instead of a museum.
They’ve gone through several permutations of “what if we…?” in the last week or so. I think it’s the bargaining stage of the grieving process. At some stage, I think they know it’s not possible, or practical, or feasible. They’re not hurting anybody, so I figure we should just let them play out the scenario in peace for a few days or weeks. The “acceptance” stage will come around eventually.
The newest episode of the Zilch Podcast, featuring the second episode commentary (Monkee See, Monkee Die) featuring yours truly explaining the mystery of Peter Tork’s belt buckle.
This is such a beautiful gif.
(Source: , via testytrue)
I believe this still is from a bit of shooting that was done on the ballroom set sometime during the summer of 1966, spliced into the pilot (which was shot in November 1965) to allow the Monkees to lipsynch to the re-recorded versions of I Wanna Be Free and Let’s Dance On. They made a halfhearted attempt to match the shots, but the drumhead and Mike’s guitar were different. and there should be balloons all over the backdrop.
(Source: bluemauriat, via petertorknot)