Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

Falling Down (1993)

Screenplay Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller

Movie Time: 113 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Frustrated defense worker William Foster (Michael Douglas) is gridlocked in Los Angeles traffic and decides to leave his car. He walks over to a nearby liquor store to buy a coke, but when he realizes the coke is 85 cents, he is outraged and begins his path of destruction with a baseball bat that he acquires from the Korean store owner. (00:10:06)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After refusing to hand over his briefcase and defending himself from a couple of gang members who claim Foster is trespassing on their territory, the gang members regroup and open fire on Foster, hitting innocent bystanders. The gang members lose control and crash into a parked car leaving them severely injured. Foster approaches the vehicle and collects the gang members firearms, putting them in a gym bag.   (00:28:34)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

While in an Army surplus store, Foster is in danger of being turned over to the police, but the store owner covers for him, bringing him into the back store room, but when the store owner realizes Foster does not support the store owner's white supremacist ways, he handcuffs Foster, threatening to turn Foster over to the police, but Foster stabs him in the shoulder. After freeing himself, however, Foster’s rage overcomes him as he unloads a revolver into the back of the store owner. (01:04:54)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Foster has hopped a fence into the backyard of an affluent family and takes the hand of a little girl as his hostage, but when he sees blood on her hand, he lets her go and recoils. Realizing it was his own blood on her hand, he explains to the family that he is not there to hurt them and is only trying to make it to the other side of town to see his own little family, his own little girl. (01:25:11)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

As Foster watches an old home video of his wife and his daughter in their home, he looks out a window from his Venice Beach home to discover that they are out on a nearby pier. Just as he gets up to leave, Detective Prendergast (Robert Duvall) and Detective Sandra Torrez (Rachel Ticotin) arrive to take him in, but Foster manages to slip out the back, shooting Torrez and heading out to the pier, with Prendergast on his tail. (01:35:58)