Yesterday I alluded on Twitter to stealing from by far my favourite scene in Jurassic Park (I’d link, but their stupid cocking #! URL syntax renders such things hopeless). I don’t have a video of it - the only version on YouTube is heavily cut and that rather ruins the point of the whole “death of an old man’s dream” thing - but here it is, in script form:
94 INT RESTAURANT NIGHT ELLIE comes into the darkened restaurant, following the source of the flickering light. A candle burns at a table in the corner. JOHN HAMMOND sits at the table, alone. There is a bucket of ice cream in the middle, and he's eating a dish of it, staring down morosely. Ellie draws up to the table and Hammond looks up at her. His eyes are puffy, his hair is messed up - - for the first time we've seen him, the fire is gone from his eyes. HAMMOND It was all melting. Ellie just nods. ELLIE Malcolm's okay for now. I gave him a shot of morphine. HAMMOND They'll all be fine. Who better to get the children through Jurassic Park than a dinosaur expert? Ellie nods. Another pause. Hammond breaks it again. HAMMOND (cont'd) You know the first attraction I ever built when I came down south from Scotland? Was a Flea Circus, Petticoat Lane. Really quite wonderful. We had a wee trapeze, a roundabout - - a merry-go - - what you call it? ELLIE Carousel. HAMMOND A carousel - - and a seesaw. They all moved, motorized of course, but people would swear they could see the fleas. "I see the fleas, mummy! Can't you see the fleas?" Clown fleas, high wire fleas, fleas on parade... (he trails off) Ellie just looks at him, not sure what his state is. He goes on. HAMMOND But with this place, I - - I wanted to give (show) them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit. ELLIE But you can't think through this one. You have to feel it. HAMMOND You're absolutely right. Yes, you're right. Hiring Nedry was a mistake, that's obvious. We're over- dependent on automation, I can see that now. But that's all correctable for the next time around. ELLIE John, John. John, you're still building onto that Flea Circus, that illusion. And now you're adding onto it by what you're doing here. That's the illusion. HAMMOND Once we have control again we - - ELLIE Control?! You never had control! I was overwhelmed by the power of this place. So I made a mistake too. I didn't have enough respect for that power, and it's out now. You're sitting here trying to pick up the pieces. John, there's nothing worth picking up. The only thing that matters now are the people we love. Alan, Lex, and Tim. And John, they're out there where people are dying - - people are dying, you know? There is a long pause. Hammond avoids her gaze. Ellie reaches out and takes a spoon out of one of the buckets of ice cream, and licks it. Finally: ELLIE (cont'd) It's good. He looks up at her, and his face is different, as the unhappy irony of what he's about to say finally hits home. HAMMOND Spared no expense.
Lovely stuff. For what it’s worth, the only thing actually stolen is that a character, at a time of disaster, eats ice cream in a power cut, and I’m pretty sure that’s a common thing - ice cream is one of nature’s comfort foods, after all. But it made me think back, all the same.