Amelia (2009) Script

(drumroll)

(rousing orchestral fanfare playing)

(fanfare ends)

(engine droning)

♪ ♪

(crowd murmuring excitedly)

Engine two looks fine. How’s number one?

Did a compression check.

Engine 1 looks fine.

We love you, Amelia!

Good luck, Amelia!

REPORTER: Miss Earhart, do you really think you’ll break the record this time?

REPORTER 2: She will fly the world’s full circumference, 24,902 miles, to travel across the South Atlantic, crossing Africa, over India...

After this round-the-world flight, Miss Earhart, are you gonna give up long-distance flying?

Not while there’s still life left in me.

(laughter)

I fly for the fun of it.

(chuckles)

WOMAN: Good luck!

REPORTER: Hey, Fred, give us a big smile!

WOMAN: We love you, Amelia!

Thank you. That’s enough.

♪ ♪

(engine droning)

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

(chuckles)

♪ ♪ MAN: Mr. Balfour, come in, over.

BALFOUR (over radio): Mr. Putnam.

The headwinds were stronger than they knew when they took off.

I recalculated the fuel.

It’ll cost them nine percent.

Nine percent.


AMELIA: When I saw that little plane, it lifted me above the Kansas prairie.

I had to fly.

My daddy had the wanderlust.

That’s why I like to keep moving.

Flying lets me move in three dimensions.

(engine drone grows louder)

Who wants a life imprisoned in safety?

(phones ringing)

WOMAN: Miss Earhart?

Mr. Putnam will see you now.

MAN: Has the manuscript for Safari come back from the printers yet?

WOMAN: Well, I’m sorry.

He’s in a meeting right now. May I take a message?

PUTNAM: Send the papers over this afternoon.

Thank you, bye.

(phone receiver clicks)

Miss Earhart?

Mr. Putnam?

Please, sit.

I’m told you want to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

I do.

Why do you want to fly?

Why?

Why do you want to fly?

Why does a man ride a horse?

Because he wants to, I guess.

Three women have died trying.

Two others have escaped with their lives.

If you do make it, you will be the first, which is the real attraction for both of us, I expect.

Always nice to know what the real attraction is.

The plane was bought from Admiral Byrd by Amy Guest, a socialite, who’s asked to find an American-- educated, well-spoken, a flyer, and... preferably physically attractive.

Why would that matter?

Because she wants the world to pay attention.

And pretty girls command more attention.

Was that your advice?

There’ll be a contract for the girl’s story with the New York Times.

Also a book to be published under her name.

But all the money from this will go to Mrs. Guest.

Except for the part that goes to you.

Well, this is America, and, uh, therefore, I am obligated to make as much money as I can.

(laughs)

(both laugh)

You have a wonderful laugh, Miss Earhart.

You said she wants a flyer.

Don’t get your hopes up.

The celebrated Wilmer Stultz will be pilot.

There will be a male copilot who will also serve as navigator.

The woman will be purely a passenger.

Take Lindbergh.

I published his book three months after his historic flight.

Must be wonderful to actually know him, to be a friend of his.

Friend?

Good God, no. No.

Can’t stand the man.

He’s a stiff-ass, sanctimonious, boring prude.

Was a best seller though.

Why would anyone want to read a book written by a passenger?

Uh, because the hook is that they’re gonna make the woman commander.

The pilot will sign a contract saying he’s under your direction and control.

It would be your flight.

My fraud, you mean.

Very distasteful word in book publishing, Miss Earhart.

I don’t know, Mr. Putnam.

My dream has always been to fly across the Atlantic, but the way you want me to do it is far from the way I’ve envisioned it.

Let me be frank.

With your level of flight experience, I wouldn’t place you anywhere near the group that would normally be considered for this if a woman were to do any flying at all.

Miss Earhart, let me be painfully clear.

I give the orders and you take them.

And if you do as you’re told, you’ll be a star.

And I will be nearby, a small particle of dust in your constellation.

Spoken like a gentleman.

Miss Earhart.

Mr. Putnam.

Of course, a gentleman would’ve paid for my ticket.

(plane engine humming)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

What the hell are they?

Oryx.

AMELIA: Look how free they are!

No constraints, no schedules to keep.

For a gal who don’t like schedules, you sure got yourself hooked up with the wrong fella in Mr. Putnam.

(chuckles)

Boys, I’d like to introduce your commander, Miss Amelia Earhart.

Say hello to Slim Gordon, your navigator.

How do you do?

And Bill Stultz, Hello, Bill. the best pilot working today.

How much fuel do you lose because of these?

Costs us at least 400 gallons.

Well, then why have them?

The owner wants to protect her plane in case you have to ditch it at sea.

AMELIA: But those are decisions I have to make, not somebody else.

They’re not making this trip. We are.

But she owns the plane, and this is still America, Miss Earhart.

Ownership is the trump card.

Sad to say, but dollars put planes in the air.

I wonder if it can keep us up there-- not that I’ve ever had enough to try.

Our job is to figure out how to fly this beauty without gasoline.

Include the whole engine up here.

GEORGE: The name is Amelia Earhart.

(camera shutter clicks)

MAN: Careful up there, Slim.

GEORGE: They’re leaving for Newfoundland.

Yes, they’ll be taking off for there tomorrow, weather permitting.

Make sure the reporters are there.

Good-bye.

Popping off letters.

For my dad, my mom, my sis.

You know, in case.

I’m honored that you’d leave these with me.

Who else?

If I do pop off, it’s your fault.

Pray I make it.

Not much of a prayer man.

Then at least tip your hat and cross your fingers.

Well... see you.

See you.

NEWSCASTER: It’s a short hop from Boston to Newfoundland for Amelia Earhart and crew.

Then on to Ireland and possibly the record books.

Earhart and top-notch ace Bill Stultz have to get airborne-- quite a feat once their plane is fully loaded for the Atlantic crossing.


Seems like we got a situation here, a real problem.

When you figure it out, Commander, let us know.

(laughter)

I don’t even know what the hell I’m saying anymore.

Here’s to Little Miss Earhart, who couldn’t lift a pigeon off the ground.


(loud knocking)

BILL: What time is it?

It’s time to fly.

Get up. Get dressed.

We’re going now.

Where’s the weather report?

It’s not good enough.

Great.

Either we fly to Ireland or you’re going home today.

Well, it-it’s not good enough.

It’s fine. There’s a tailwind all the way.

We’ll off-load the 700 gallons, which gets us off the water, and the wind will get us to Ireland.

You’re dumping fuel?

You’re serious?

Just as serious as you’re hung over.

Slim, you go now. Get the late weather.

We’ll meet you at the plane.

Uh... um...

Slim, go.

I’ve got this.

(door opens, closes)

I’ve loved one person unconditionally, Bill.

He’s the most caring and generous and charming and flat-out funny guy I’ll ever know.

He’s my father.

He’s a drunk.

And he’s let me down all my life.

Now, you get out of that goddamn bed, and you fly that plane to Ireland, or I swear to you, I will.

AMELIA: Good.

Slim, start the engines.

This report indicates some degree of risk.

It’s a risk I’m taking.

Have a nice flight.

Read tomorrow’s papers, Bill!

We’ll both be in them.

(indistinct chatter nearby)

(indistinct chatter continues)

AMELIA So, to take off, you pull back on the thing, right?

(chuckles)

MAN: Go get ’em, Amelia!

(engine starts, propellers whirring)

(engine revving)

Start the clock.

(clicks, starts ticking)

(breathing rapidly)

(grunting)

(panting)

BILL: Let’s hope this works!

(ticking)

We’re up.

We’re up.

We’re up! (laughs)

Good work!

Well done, Commander!

(Amelia whoops, Bill chuckles)

AMELIA: "The fog comes on little cat feet.

"It sits looking over harbor and city

"on silent haunches and then moves on."

Listen.

The motors are humming sweetly.

And I feel... at home.

(radio static)

(shouts) You okay?

Be better off if the damn radio would join the party.

(radio static continues)

Mr. Putnam, (phone rings) there’s a call coming in.

Putnam.

MAN (over phone): I’m afraid we’ve lost contact with Miss Earhart’s plane, sir.

(exhales)

Keep me informed.

Thank you.

(engine rumbling)

SLIM: We’ve been flying for 19 hours plus.

How far to land?

Radio is still out.

There’s no way to compute wind speed and drift in the clouds, so God only knows where Ireland is.

There may be an hour of gasoline left.

Probably less.

If we land on the water now, we might have a rescue.

And a failure!

That’s out.

(thumping)

(grunting)

BILL: Hold on to something, for Christ’s sake!

Slim, go help her.

SLIM: Hang on!

Okay, I’m coming.

Wait. Hold on.

Ooh! (grunts)

Okay, take my hand.

(grunts)

(wind whistling)

Hang on, Slim!

(gasping)

BILL: You boys all right?

(gasps)

(wind whistling)

(screaming)

Hold on!

(screaming)

(Slim shouts indistinctly)

(gasping breaths)

(Amelia panting)

♪ ♪

(quietly) Land.

Land.

Look.

(Bill laughs)

We got land!

BILL: Whoo!

We did it!

(Amelia laughs)

BILL: We’re alive!

Nice work!

(chuckles)

(whooping and laughing)

AMELIA: Whoo!

AMELIA: Amazing!

Whew!

BILL: Glory hallelujah!

We made it!

(indistinct chatter)

AMELIA: Hello!

Hello!

Hello!

Hello there!

Hello, young lady!

MAN: Fine young fella.

AMELIA: Hello!

MAN: Hello there, gentlemen!

Welcome!

What do you make of that?

(indistinct chatter)

MAN: Hurry up, man!

(muted, indistinct chattering)

(excited shouting, chattering)

Hooray!

(excited chattering)

MAN: Morgan, be careful. That’s precious cargo!

(indistinct shouts, chatter)

There you go, lovely lady.

Watch your step.

(people singing in unison)

(singing continues, people clapping)

(singing continues)

(cheering, shouting)

Welcome.

Thank you.

Is it Irish tradition to... to greet newcomers with song?

I couldn’t say. This is Wales!

(laughter)

WOMAN: Welcome to Wales!

♪ ♪

(crowd cheering)

Bill, look!

WOMAN: Amelia! Amelia!

(band playing)

Are you going to be the next girls to become pilots?

What?

It feels strange.

We haven’t had a moment alone.

Just the two of us.

REPORTER: Miss Earhart, you have a statement for the Times?

We’re so proud of you!

We love you, Amelia!

(engine starts)

GEORGE (chuckles): Amelia! Not in the rain!

I flew across the Atlantic!

(indistinct shouting)

Amelia!

GEORGE: Hold it right there.

MAN: This is a list of the shots they want.

GEORGE: Do you have dirt on your face?

I believe you are referring to my freckles.

They come with the skin.

Well, I don’t like them.

(sighs)

Very heroic.

Think Lindbergh.

"Lady Lindy," that’s what they’ll call you.

AMELIA: As I look back on the flight, I think of two questions that have been asked me most frequently:

"Where are you going next?"

And "What did you wear?"

Lucky Strike endorsement.

I wrote the copy myself.

What does it say?

"I don’t smoke, but you should"?

No, it says that Lucky Strikes were the only cigarettes aboard the Friendship.

Which is true-- I hid them under the seat.

True, maybe, but misleading.

Why would I sign that?

So that Bill and Slim get paid?

NEWSCASTER: Amelia Earhart, the only woman to fly across the Atlantic, just can’t keep her feet on the ground.

The publisher, George Putnam, has commissioned her to write a book on her flying adventures.

Thanks, fellas.

MAN: You’re welcome, Miss Earhart.

You didn’t have to come get me.

You do have a dress to change into, I hope.

(chuckles) Well, it’s just a college class, George.

No, no, no. No.

You have to take every appearance seriously.

You never know what it might lead to.

Spoken by a man who should know.

What was that for?

Good luck.

What happened to tipping your hat and crossing your fingers?

Oh, I’m afraid I’m way beyond that now, like it or not.

I think I like it.

What did your mother say when she knew you flew across the Atlantic?

Well, she sent a telegram congratulating me, and then she said, the next time she wants to sit beside me in the cockpit.

(laughter)

How did it feel to fly over the ocean?

Were you scared?

When I... looked down at the sea, it seemed much like the sky to me, as if the sky and the sea were the same.

I felt much as I do when I’m flying upward toward the sun, transported somehow to a... simple, safe, beautiful place where everything is... comprehensible.

WOMAN: Hello! Welcome to the Chicago Congress Plaza Hotel.

Good night, Amelia.

Good night.

♪ It must have been moonglow ♪

♪ Way up in the blue ♪

(chuckles)

♪ It must have been moonglow ♪

♪ That led me straight to you ♪

♪ I still hear you... ♪

(knocking)

Dance with me, George.

(clicks on radio)

♪ And I keep on praying ♪

(door closes)

♪ Oh, Lord, please ♪

♪ Let this last ♪

♪ We... ♪

♪ Seem to float ♪

♪ Right through the air ♪

♪ Heavenly songs ♪

♪ Seemed to come ♪

♪ From everywhere ♪

♪ ♪

♪ And now when there’s moonglow ♪

♪ Way up in the blue ♪

♪ I’ll always ♪

♪ Remember ♪

♪ That moonglow ♪

♪ Gave me you ♪

Hello, Elinor.

Mr. Putnam.

Yes, please come in.

Amelia?

Miss Smith.

I’ve been following your career with a great deal of admiration.

Oh, Miss Earhart, you are such an inspiration.

ELINOR: I never get tired of reading about you.

They’re saying you get $500 a week on the lecture circuit.

On a good week.

On a bad week.

Depends on whether you want the real or the sell.

Oh, I don’t underestimate the value of selling.

A 16-year-old girl who makes headlines illegally flying under the four bridges of the East River-- you don’t seem to need much help selling yourself.

Actually, Mr. Putnam...

I was hoping you could do to me what you’ve done to her.

What’s your primary ambition?

To take Amelia’s place as the number one female pilot.

You want a tip?

I do.

If I listened to everyone who said it was impossible, I’d never be flying.

Don’t let anyone turn you around.

(indistinct chatter)

There you go, dear.

Thank you.

Thank you.

There we go.

So lovely to see you.

(laughter from other room)

Good evening.

Good evening, Miss Earhart.

Oh, Amelia.

This is Gene Vidal.

Amelia Earhart, the aviatrix.

She’s a friend of George’s.

How do you do, Miss Earhart?

(laughs) Quite well, Mr. Vidal, thank you.

I understand you’re writing a book about your trans-Atlantic journey under the tutelage of the master.

Yes.

Are you enjoying your stay here in Rye?

I must say, I’m a bit out of my element.

The distance between this world and where I come from is great as the distance between the sun and the moon.

Then you believe the whole "opposites attract" theory is...

Pure hooey.

Where are you from?

(laughs) Kansas.

(chuckles) "Hooey" is a Kansas word?

Yes, I suppose it is.

Public relations-- it’s a new field, quite entirely new.

It’s not publicity, not promotion...

(Amelia laughing)

GENE: Miss Earhart...

May I call you Amelia?

We may be from different worlds, but we have more in common than you might imagine.

Is that so?

Yes.

I’m a teacher-- at West Point, true, but still... a teacher.

What do you teach?

Flying.

(door closes softly)

Listen, Amelia.

(sighs, chuckles softly)

This is the first time I’ve ever seen you stumped for a word.

(sighs softly)

What is it?

Marry me.

What?

I want you to marry me.

I... I don’t want to get married, George.

I’m not the marrying kind.

Don’t you see?

You and I embarking on a new life.

Dear George.

Only I can make a fulfilling life for myself.

I don’t believe that one can have a fulfilled life alone, only when it’s shared.

Let me share your life with you.

Let me try to give you whatever you want.

When I was a little girl... for my seventh birthday...

my father gave me a globe.

And... I’d spend hours just spinning it slowly, reading the names of all those strange, faraway places--

Morocco, Spain, Ethiopia-- dreaming that someday I would go to those places, like a wayfarer... a traveler... a vagabond.

I want to be free, George, to be a vagabond of the air.

I’ll help you get there.

♪ ♪

(children cheering)

(cheering continues)

Hello.

Give me the camera.

Come on.

(sheep bleats)

(sheep bleats)

AMELIA: I am on my shining adventure, flying the world.

No borders, just horizons.

Only freedom.


♪ ♪

AMELIA: "Dear G.P.

"You must know again my reluctance to marry, "my feeling that I shatter thereby my life in flying, "which means so much to me.

"In this connection, I may have to keep someplace

"where I can go to be myself now and then, "for I cannot guarantee

"to endure at all the confinements of even an attractive cage."


"In our life together, I shall not hold you

"to any medieval code of faithfulness to me, "nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly.

"I must exact a cruel promise.

"And that is you will let me go in a year if we find no happiness together."

Only you, my dear Amelia, could say those brutal words to me...

and still have me wanting to be with you.

Forever.

MINISTER: Amelia, do you promise to love, honor and obey this man, George Put...

Excuse me, sir?

May we take that back a bit, please?

"Love," yes, if it’s warranted.

"Honor," same thing. "Obey"--

I can’t promise that under any circumstances, but the groom understands that.

Please remove "obey" from the prayer so we can wrap this up before the bride runs off.

I now pronounce you man and wife.

(cheering and applause)


(chuckles)

(crowd cheering)

ANNOUNCER (over speakers): Announcing the first Women’s Air Derby, racing from Santa Monica to Cleveland.

Yeah, that’s fine.

What’s this we’re hearing?

Advance press release.

The gentlemen who are running the Derby are about to announce the race has to end west of the Rockies.

What?! Mm-hmm.

That’s absurd. They’re cutting out half the route.

What are they thinking?

They’re thinking that it would be bad press when you girls start smashing into the Rocky Mountains.

How dare they.

I’m going to have a word with these gentlemen.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

No, no.

Come here and walk with me.

Focus on that flag.

I think it would benefit women flyers everywhere if Amelia won the Derby.

You know, the publicity would put the race and all of you up there with the boys.

Well, maybe I’ll win the race myself.

Well, you can’t win if your plane doesn’t pass the final inspection.

And let me predict that it won’t.

Well, that’s a threat.

No, a prediction.

Amelia’s the one who said I shouldn’t let anybody turn me around.

Yeah, she probably meant me.

Well, obviously she doesn’t see me as a threat.

Oh, sure, she does.

She just doesn’t care.

Hey, Gladys!

I let the boys in charge know, in no uncertain terms, we’re not changing our route!

We’ll sail over those mountains like we’re eagles!

I’m an intensely loyal person, Elinor.

This is what my loyalty requires.

ANNOUNCER: Lady Lindy herself, Amelia Earhart!

Clear!

(engine starts)

NEWSCASTER: Amelia Earhart organizes a competition for women pilots.

Nine cities in nine days.

Tragedy strikes, and there are crashes along the way.

The race continues.

Thousands plan to be on hand to witness those who make it as they approach the finish line.

ANNOUNCER: Here they come, folks.

In first place, Louise Thaden from Bentonville, Arkansas!

(crowd cheering)

In second place, Gladys O’Donnell from Long Beach, California!

Third place goes to Amelia Earhart, Atchison, Kansas!

How does it feel to finish third?

Oh, a victory for any woman flyer is a victory for me.

(chuckles)

AMELIA: I’d like to add my congratulations

(over speakers) to Louise Thaden and announce that we have formed an organization to promote women in aviation.

Ninety-nine women pilots have applied, so we’re calling it The Ninety-nines.

(cheering)

And we’re going to fly forever.

George?

Mm-hmm?

I’ve been thinking.

Yes?

I want to fly the Atlantic.

You already have.

As a passenger.

It doesn’t count.

I want to fly it solo.

It’s been five years since Lindbergh.

No one has made it solo.

(pouring coffee)

Fourteen have died trying.

I’ll make it.

I know I will.

And if you don’t?

I’d rather face a watery grave than go on living as a fraud.

What’s wrong with that?

I’ve been very successful at it.

(laughs)

NEWSCASTER: Amelia Earhart demonstrates her flying prowess and adventurous spirit.

And now, she is set to climb to new heights on her second attempt to cross the Atlantic.

No more a passenger-- this time, Miss Earhart will do it alone.

(exhales softly)

Still sleepy?

Well... I’ll nap on the way.

(both chuckle)

Good news about flying solo, no one making noise.

You have money?

No.

A whole 20?

Oh, I spent our money on ocean liner passage.

Going to bring you back.

It’s non-refundable.

Please do your part.

I will.

Well, see you.

(flashbulb pops)

MAN (over speakers): Please clear the runway for takeoff.

See you.

WEATHERMAN: Presently all clear over the Atlantic.

Keeping an eye on a storm system south of the route.

AMELIA: It was a night of stars, of tropic loveliness.

Stars hung outside my cockpit window, near enough to touch.

(thunder rumbles)

(thunder cracking)

(horse neighs)

If Lindbergh did it, you can do it.

MAN (over phone): No sign of Miss Earhart yet, Mr. Putnam, sir.

If she’s on course, the moon should be with her the rest of the way.

Weather updates are coming in every quarter hour from Kimball.

(ice crackling softly)

(ice crackling)

(gasps)

(thunder cracking)

(panting softly)

RADIO ANNOUNCER: Le Bourget Airport, France.

A galaxy of press, well-wishers and ambassadors alike has gathered here in Paris in anticipation of the historic moment when Amelia Earhart will touch down where Lindbergh did years ago.

The world waits with bated breath as Amelia flies solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

(sniffs)

(coughing)


♪ ♪

(laughs)

(Irish accent) Jimmy, look at that there.

What do you see?

Up there!

(sheep bleating)

(laughing)

Whoo!

♪ ♪

Excuse me, sir.

Where am I?

Uh, in Gallagher’s pasture.

W-Where are you supposed to be?

When I left, I was aiming for Paris.

Oh.

You missed, you know.

It’s over there.

(laughs)

Well, hello, sheep!

(phone ringing)

Yes.

MAN: Miss Earhart has arrived safely, sir.

She’s landed in Ireland.

Wonderful, wonderful news!

(heroic instrumental music plays)

NEWSCASTER: Journey’s end.

Here she is, safe and sound on a farm in Ireland, having just completed the first flight by a woman across the Atlantic.

And there’s the little plane in which she’s broken all records.

Well done! Well done!

(Amelia laughs)

(lively big band music playing)

Action!

You’re on vacation with Amelia Earhart luggage.

Travel the Nile, moonlight...

I’m sorry. I can’t say this.

I try to put the freedom that is flying into my clothes!

(flashbulb pops)

(plane engine buzzes)

Eastman Kodak cameras.

Travel the world. Save your memories.

The second person to fly the Atlantic solo, and the first one to fly it twice.

Standing room only-- good.

14 hours and 54 minutes.

Are you staying for this?

Oh, no, I can’t.

I’ve got to meet the features editor at the Post and then organize that photo shoot for the new luggage line.

What’s wrong with you today?

Here I am jumping through hoops like a white horse in a circus.

That’s what’s wrong.

The only way that we can finance your flying is to make enough money to finance your flying.

...Amelia Earhart!

(cheering, applause)

Go on out there.

MAN: We love you, Amelia!

WOMAN: Well done, Amelia!

Thank you.

Thank you very much!

(cheering continues)

(girls clamoring)

Oh, please!

GIRL: Miss Earhart?

An autograph, please?

BOY: Miss Earhart?

What’s your name?

Gore.

That’s an unusual name.

I know.

I don’t much like it.

We blame his mother.

She was a Gore, roots going back to colonial times.

Hello.

God, do I have to wade through that?

You will have two Vidal men to protect you.

You’ll be fine.

You are so much prettier than your pictures.

Thank you, but that...

MAN: Have you heard from Lindbergh?

What did he say?

"Well done!"

(laughs)

Are you gonna write another book?

Yes, if my husband has anything to say about it.

Take my hand.

Come on, Gore, let’s you and I lead Miss Earhart to safety.

(applause)

(engine humming softly)

You know, that woman was right.

Excuse me?

I felt the same way when I first met you-- you are much prettier than your pictures.

AMELIA: It all seems rather silly, considering what’s happening out there.

Those men, all those families.

Why have I been given so much?

You’ve earned the spotlight, enjoy it.

You’ll be fine.

Just hold on to yourself.

I’m not sure who that is anymore.

She’s that girl from Kansas who says "hooey."

(chuckles)


(applause)

MAN: Distinguished dignitaries from every corner of the world, please rise, and welcome Miss Amelia Earhart, honored guest of President Roosevelt and the League of American Pilots.

I’d like to toast a world-class pilot who, at age 15, became the youngest woman in the world to fly solo.

This year, she’s recognized as Woman Pilot of the Year.

Here’s to Elinor Smith, an inspiration to us all.

ALL: Hear, hear!

WOMAN: Your husband encourages you to fly across the Atlantic.

My husband wouldn’t want me to fly to N Street.

So he hasn’t actually forbidden you?

Franklin doesn’t forbid.

He just feels it’s a waste of my valuable time to learn, since I can’t afford to buy a plane.

The wrong Roosevelt got elected.

(laughs)

I did ask about aviation.

But he hasn’t decided on the structure yet.

It might be under the Bureau of Commerce.

I think the structure may be less important than the man chosen to run it.

I’m sorry. My-my hearing’s failing.

I missed the words "or woman"?

This may be one of those rare instances when the most accomplished candidate turns out to be male.

Is it a name I know?

Gene Vidal.

I love finding the exception that proves the rule.

How do you feel about flying at night?

(airplane rumbling)

Whoa! There we are, ladies and gentlemen, champagne.

Champagne to toast the First Lady.

(both chuckling)

AMELIA: Put your hands on the wheel.

It’s dual controls.

No one’ll ever know.

Oh!

Dear God!

(laughing)

(both laughing)

Good night.

ELEANOR: Good night.

Well, I shall never, ever forget this night.

(chuckles)

She seems quite taken with you.

And vice versa.

Then again, lots of people are quite taken with you.

If you’re referring to Gene, as I know you are, I was able to get a word in for him to head the Aeronautics Branch.

How did it go?

It’s her husband’s decision, but I’m hopeful.

Gene is so fortunate to have you in his corner, Amelia.

He’ll help me, and I’m helping him.

(engine starts)

(guitar playing mid-tempo intro)

♪ ♪

♪ You ♪

♪ Do ♪

♪ Something to me ♪

♪ Something ♪

♪ That simply ♪

♪ Mystifies me ♪

♪ Tell me ♪

♪ Why should it be ♪

♪ You have the power ♪

♪ To hypnotize me... ♪ Transcontinental was too ambitious.

Too many hops, too tough on the ladies.

But the shuttle-- Washington, New York, Boston, we think it’s the future.

Will you go there with us?

What on earth would you need me for?

(chuckles) You’re the most famous woman in America, that’s what for.

You know, I can see it now.

You on the poster with Gene, a legendary athlete at West Point, two events at the Olympics, a top pilot who’s gonna be running the skies for Roosevelt when he wins.

Thanks, Paul-- I think you’ve even talked me out of it.

♪ ♪

♪ Do do that voodoo ♪

♪ That you do so well...

(indistinct chatter in distance)

May I ask you a question?

That woman over there, she’s beautiful.

You’re the only woman I know who points out other beautiful women.

Lovely legs.

Unlike mine.

No, I’m sure that’s not true.

That’s why you wear trousers?

No. And all this while, I thought you just wanted to be one of the boys.

I may have at one time, but not anymore.

(elevator bell dings)

MAN: Main lobby.

MAN: Was that Amelia Earhart?

Sixth floor, please.


(moans softly)

(bell dings)

(door opening)


AMELIA: Gore!

I couldn’t wait for your visit this weekend.

(all laughing)

GORE (shouts): Help!

Tiger! Tiger!

Ah, the wallpaper.

Ah, yes.

(laughs)

Coming, Gore!

It’s okay.

(whispers) Do you know why I papered this room like this?

No. But I wish you hadn’t.

It’s because I’m very, very afraid of jungles.

So... when I find myself worrying about it, I test my courage by coming into this room and pretending I’m in the deepest, darkest part of Africa, in a jungle so thick I can’t even see the sky above.

And I start to feel better right away, because I looked my fear right in the face.

Miss Earhart?

Yes?

Could you please marry my father?

Then I’ll never be afraid of anything ever again.

Oh.

I’m already married to Mr. Putnam.

Why can’t you be married to Mr. Putnam and my father?

GEORGE: I put together one month in Europe, to close some foreign licensing deals, open new markets.

When are you leaving?

Well, the thing is, I’d like you to come.

I don’t see how I could.

Well, I’ve-I’ve already spoken to the promoters.

They’re willing to switch some of our lecture dates, just for us.

Well, it’s not just that.

There’s my work on the shuttle.

I’ve just started as Gene’s consultant at the Aeronautics Branch.

Well... normally, I’d be worried about leaving you here alone, but I suppose that won’t be a problem, will it?

What are you trying to say?

(trembling sigh)

Gene here in our house when I am here is one thing, when I am not here...

I can’t have it.

I understand.

I can’t have it.


(indistinct chatter, man chanting in distance)

(animals grunting nearby, chanting continues)

(chanting fades, wind whistling softly)

(phone ringing)

Hello?

(heavy sigh)

I found something you’d written.

Quite beautiful.

"To touch your hand

"and see your face today is joy.

"Your casual presence in a room

"recalls the stars that watched us

"as we lay.

"I mark you in the moving crowd

"and see again those stars

"a warm night lent us long ago.

"We loved so then, we love so now."

Thank you so much for writing that.

Even though I’d never seen it.

(sighs)

At the time, I...

George?

(sighs)

(bangs handset in cradle)

George...

(sniffles)

(exhales)

Welcome.

WOMAN: Good evening.

Go right inside, sir.

Thank you.

How are you?

I wondered if you were avoiding me a little or...?

Just very, very busy.

I’m leaving for Indiana.

Edward Elliott of Purdue wants me to build a Women’s Careers Department there.

That’s a wonderful idea, especially now.

What’s... special about now?

You don’t read the papers?

Not unless someone makes me.

Well, someone should.

They’re all saying you took recklessly dangerous solo flights for no earthly purpose other than publicity-- meaning money.

They also harp on a growing list of products you commercially endorse.

How thoughtless of me to be doing all this in a society where no one else is interested in making money, present company included.

People viewing you as Lady Lindy, America’s Sweetheart of the Skies, the... wife, mother, daughter they all wished they’d had would be helpful.

Thanks for the tip.

Thanks for not being defensive.

I’ve decided I’m resigning as your consultant at the Aeronautics Branch.

The public linking of our names does more harm to that image of mine than everything else put together.

And you, of all people, should know that whatever I do, I do so that I can fly.

And I want to fly that beautiful bird as far as it will take me.

I’m going to fly around the world, Gene.

It can’t be done.

Well, I’m going to try.

And...

I’m going home... to George.

You can’t mean that.

♪ ♪


Race you to New York City!

(both laughing)

(George laughs)

Well, are you going to tell me your surprise, or do I need to be physical?

Boy, that’s exactly what I want.

Come on, G.P.! Tell me!

If you’re serious about this flying-around- the-world nonsense, it might be handy to have a plane to fly in.

Except it would have to be an Electra, and they cost...

$36,000, after a generous discount from Lockheed.

It may as well be a billion.

Not to mention, at least another 36 to have it modified and ready.

And your surprise is you robbed a bank?

Well, uh, actually, a university.

I persuaded Ed Elliott to create an Amelia Earhart Fund for Aeronautical Research at Purdue.

I suggested a budget amount of $80,000 for a suitable flying laboratory.

The Electra?

Your Electra, Amelia.

George!

GEORGE: Aah...

(laughing)

Well, there is one thing.

It’s the trustees and-and donors, they have to be on board also.

Well, that’s my job.

I’ll do a series of lectures--

No, there will be no more horses, no more hoops for my Amelia.

Thank you, George.

Even if you don’t care if she lives or dies, you know her death will not be a plus for aviation, women or your next campaign.

What if she doesn’t die?

What if she just circumnavigates the globe and it’s a plus for everyone?

GENE: The closest land west of Hawaii is beyond the range of the Electra.

She’ll refuel in the air.

GENE: She doesn’t have the flying skills.

GEORGE: She’s taking bigger risks.

Yes, I’m aware of that. Don’t be so proud of it.

I understand the danger, fellas.

I’ve studied the route.

What have you come up with?

This is Howland Island.

It’s halfway between Honolulu and New Guinea.

There’s no elevation, no trees.

Hardly anyone knows or cares that it exists.

It would be almost impossible to spot from the air.

It’s really tiny.

Like a grain of sand in a thousand miles of nowhere.

If you miss this island, you’re out of fuel with 2,000 miles to go.

But I’ll have Fred Noonan, the best celestial navigator around.

In fact, she’s taking Fred along for the whole trip.

Giving up my little arrogance about solo.

Safety first, yes?

You’ve always had Amelia’s best interest at heart.

And for that, we’re both grateful.

Stay for supper?

I’d like to, uh, but I-I’d better be getting back.

Please tell Gore hello for me.

Give him this.

He can track the time zones.

He misses you.


He doesn’t understand, really.

Is the new gasket up to spec, Jim?

Everything’s good, Miss Earhart.

(car door closes)

Hello, Fred.

Ma’am.

Good to see you.

And you.

Thank you.

Are we sizing me up?

I’m told midair refueling would be beyond my abilities.

You have to put in time, learn the technique.

Even so, 20%, it works. 20%, you crash.

60%, you don’t get the fuel, so you’re cooked anyway.

Better odds of hitting that island?

How do you feel about 100%?

Even with cloud cover?

Pan Am told you I’m the best celestial navigator they’ve ever seen.

They did.

Someone else told you I got a drinking problem.

Which is a big part of why we’re here, right?

Everyone I ever worked for will tell you, nothing’s interfered with my performance, not once.

We’d be looking for an island less than two miles long, with nothing higher on it than 18 feet.

That’s what you’d be looking for.

I’d be looking for coordinates on a map.

How can I lose?

NEWSCASTER: Amelia Earhart leaves Oakland for Honolulu, setting out on the most dangerous aeronautic feat ever attempted, to traverse the waistline of the world.

(reporters clamoring)

Smile for the people back in the States.

Ms. Earhart.

Look this way.

(ukulele playing Hawaiian music)

REPORTER: Over here, Fred.

REPORTER 2: Ms. Earhart!

Thank you.

Thank you.

REPORTER 3: Take care of her, Fred.

REPORTER 4: That’s great, thanks.

REPORTER 5: One big one for the camera, Ms. Amelia.

You know, we’ve got so much fuel, we can’t possibly get off the ground.

Much safer than flying.

Well, we’ll need enough for a third pass at Howland after you miss it the first couple times around.

Good thinking.

REPORTER 6: Thank you!

One more, please, Ms. Earhart.

Right here, Amelia!

Good luck, Fred! Good luck, Amelia!

AMELIA: Clear!

(engine starts)


(engine revving)


(tires screeching)

(gasps)

(grunts)

(tires screeching)

Damn it!

No!

(grunts)

You all right?

Good reaction, cutting the switch!

You saved our ass!

Come on, Fred!

(sirens approaching)

FIREMAN: Right engine! Get the right engine!

Hose on there, right underneath.

We need tetrachloride here.

Pyrene, pyrene.

(men clamoring)

Sam, make sure you get a picture of that.

Come and get a picture of these twin engines.

Get a good shot of their faces!

(flashbulbs popping)

Turn her up. Okay, go!

(liquid spraying)


I’ll make it good, G.P.

I swear to you, I will.

I’ll make it back and more, I promise.

The book sales, the lectures, this flight will keep us going another three years.

Maybe.

No, it will. I promise.

Our sales, our prices, are going to double.

Th-This just showed them how dangerous it all is.

They were taking it for granted.

They thought I was competent.

I meant... maybe...

maybe we can just stop.

You mean after?

Or even now.

So my exit would be a stupid crash... and withdrawing from a world-publicized attempt to finally do something no man had done before.

It would ruin us in the bargain.

Mm, yes.

We’d have nothing.

Mm-hmm, it’s true.

And I’d be fine with that.

That’s because you’re an idiot.

Lucky for you.

And what if it’s not something I need to show the world?

What if it’s something I need to show me?

(machines buzzing, clanking)

(men shouting)

I don’t really have a choice. I have to reverse the route.

I’d be facing hurricanes in the Caribbean, monsoons in Africa.

Yeah, but you’ll be flying Howland last.

When I’m most tired, yeah.

Yeah.

So, I just won’t get tired.

What’s the timetable on the plane?

Three weeks.

She’ll be good as new.

We have a remarkable crew here.

The best that money can...

Money can buy.

...buy, yeah.

All the money wasted that’s never coming back.

You cut the engines.

It would’ve cost a bundle more to replace a burnt-out plane.

Not to mention a burnt-up pilot.

I overreacted. The plane was too heavy.

I should’ve used more rudder instead of the throttle. I...

It’s only money.

We’ll figure this out. We always do.

(indistinct chatter)

REPORTER: Have you considered, Ms. Earhart, that your enthusiasm as a pilot outweighs your ability, as demonstrated by the disaster in Honolulu?

People are saying that you’re reckless, a better celebrity than pilot.

Enthusiastic? Yes.

Reckless? Not on your life.

I’m a flyer pursuing my passion for the fun of it, that’s all.

Thank you. A future flier!

(laughter)

(cheering, applause)

MAN: You can do it, Amelia!

REPORTER: Mr. Noonan, over here!

GIRL: We love you, Amelia.

WOMAN: Ms. Earhart!

(reporters clamoring)

NEWSCASTER: She will fly the world’s full circumference, 24,902 miles, to travel across the South Atlantic, crossing Africa, over India, and across the wide Pacific...

After this round-the-world flight, Ms. Earhart, are you gonna give up long-distance flying?

Not while there’s still life left in me.

Always ready for a new adventure.

(laughter)

That’s great.

PUTNAM: Fred, you’re on.

REPORTER: Hey, Fred, give us a big smile for the camera!

(reporters continue clamoring at distance)

Come back to me.

Always.

(sighs softly)

REPORTER 1: Just one more picture, please!

REPORTER 2: Just one more, please, Ms. Earhart!

REPORTER 3: Ms. Earhart, over here! Ms. Earhart!

REPORTER 5: Over here, Fred. Amelia.

(camera shutters clicking)

Thanks.

See you.

(plane engine starts)

♪ ♪

AMELIA: A fairyland of beauty lay below and about me, so lovely as to distract a pilot’s attention from the task at hand, that of herding a heavy plane out of that great upland saucer and over the mountains that make its rim.


(dogs barking in distance)

(sheep bleating)

(camera rattling softly)

(camera stops)

FRED: What is this thing, huh?

Whole thing’s made of mud.

It’s beautiful.

(camera rattling softly)

It’s like working with you.

(laughs)

FRED: Come on, Amelia.

(radio static crackles)

ANNOUNCER (over radio): Amelia Earhart has reached Calcutta...

Dad! Dad!

It’s a bulletin!

She will push on to Bangkok, then Papua New Guinea before heading east toward her final destination, California.

AMELIA: We should go, Fred.

Oh, come on!

You’re not really taking off?

It’s only going to get heavier.

We could be stuck here for days, even weeks.

It’s only 700 miles to Bangkok.

It’s lighter there.

To get that far in a monsoon, you’d need divine help!

Chai?

Thank you.

Come on, Fred.

(engine roaring)

(engine humming)

You think we should turn back, huh?

Nope. I think we shouldn’t have come.

(cows mooing)

Hi, Joan.

Hello, Frances.

WOMAN: Hi, darling.

MAN: Would you like a drink?

Yes, please.

(sighs softly)

You look beat, lady.

That’s funny. You look tip-top.

Why don’t you grab a few hours of sleep?

Might as well keep you company.

I’ve got some good flying stories.

(chuckles)

Thank you.

Yeah.

You and your old George-- that’s a touching love story.

An honest one, if I say so myself.

I wonder if it’s honest enough for George.

If you mean Gene, we’re not together anymore.

In that way.

Not for a long time.

You don’t think I love my husband?

Actually, I do.

In a certain way.

But you disapprove of how I live?

Hell, no.

It’s just like me.

In fact, it’s like most guys I know.

Meaning?

Guys love their wives, their girlfriends.

Doesn’t mean they don’t take advantage...

of an opportunity.

If you have a point... make it.

I believe I have.

All you need to do is just show up tomorrow morning.

Show up sober, and get me to Howland Island.

(door opens)

Ready, ma’am.

Thank you.

Feel like... stepping out for a smoke?

Oh, I don’t smoke.

Or... something?

Earhart here.

Putnam here.

You should be sleeping.

(laughs softly)

You should be working.

I’m running a big adventure here.

I’m a very important fellow.

You told me I was the star, and you’d be nearby, a small particle of dust in my constellation.

I thought I was joking.

Guess the joke’s on me.

I’ll be in Honolulu on the third, and with you in Oakland on the Fourth of July, okay?

Don’t keep me waiting.

I won’t dare.

How’s Fred? On the wagon?

I sent you my movies... to lighten the plane.

You wouldn’t sell a salesman, would you?

Fred is fine.

He’s calculating headwind speed versus fuel as we speak.

So what’s that I hear in your voice?

Is he drinking?

I can handle it.

(sighs) All right, call it off.

Call it off now.

Right now, Amelia. I mean it.

Right now.

(whispers) I can handle it.

After the Fourth, we’re going home.

Where is that?

For me?

Anywhere you are.

I’m going to like it there.

I’d better, since this is going to be my last flight.

(whispers) If you insist.

I love you.

Should I let you go now?

No, never.

I’ll go tell the world you’re on your way.

See ya... my darling.

(sniffles quietly)

See you, my love.

(sighs)


(birds chirping)

MAN: Oh, it looks like she’s ready to take off again.

(indistinct chatter)

(bags thud)

Might be easier to just shoot me.

Traveling light is all.

You got room for 180 pounds of asshole?

Ma’am, I’m so sorry.

It’s fine.

Everything is.

Have you filled the other side?

Mm-hmm.

(plane engine roaring)

AMELIA: Not more than a month ago, I was on the other shore of the Pacific, looking westward.

This morning, I look eastward over the Pacific.

In these fast-moving days that have intervened, the whole width of the world has passed behind us, except this broad ocean.

I shall be glad when we have the hazards of this navigation behind us.

Mr. Balfour, come in. Over.

BALFOUR: Mr. Putnam.

The headwinds were stronger than they knew when they took off.

I recalculated the fuel.

It’ll cost them nine percent.

Nine percent.

(sighs softly)

BALFOUR: King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

Can you read me?

King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

Can you read me?

Mr. Putnam, I can’t reach them, sir.

I tried voice and Morse code.

No, forget Morse code.

They didn’t take the receiver.

Just stay with voice.

You’ll get them.

(telegraph tapping)

At ease, sailor.

Direction finder.

How long has this been left on?

The battery’s dead.

Itasca, this is Earhart.

We’re about 200 miles out.

Sky overcast. Over.

That’s her, on 3105.

She said, "Cloudy and overcast."

Itasca, this is Earhart.

Sky is overcast. Over.

We are receiving your signal.

Please acknowledge ours.

What is your position and ETA Howland?

Over.

(radio static hissing)

(radio static crackling)

Itasca, this is Earhart.

Unable to hear you. Over.

Earhart, this is Itasca.

Did you receive transmission?

King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

Please acknowledge our signals on key.

Please acknowledge. Over.

(radio static crackling)

(switches click)

She’s having trouble with voice transmission.

Stay with Morse.

(tapping)

Itasca, this is King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

Been unable to receive you by radio.

Cannot take bearing on you.

If you can hear this, please take bearing on us.

Earhart’s signal strength four.

AMELIA: Please take bearing on us and report in half an hour.

Will make noise in microphone.

We are about 100 miles out.

Over.

She’s got to stay on longer.

On air too briefly, bearings impossible.

(radio static crackling)


Maybe her Morse receiver’s out.

King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

This is Itasca.

Can’t take bearing on 3105.

Please send on 500.

Or do you want to take bearing on us?

Over.

(radio static hissing)


Intercom top deck.

Double-check the smoke stack.

O’Hare to top deck.

Top deck, come in.

They should be able to see that for 20 miles at least.

Itasca, this is King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

We must be on you, but cannot see you.

Fuel is running low.

Been unable to receive you by radio.

We are flying at altitude 1,000 feet.

Over.

We are receiving you and transmitting on 3105 and 500 consistently.

Over.

(radio static crackling)

(static stops)

(radio static crackling)

Itasca, we are circling, but cannot hear you.

Over.

King Howell Abel Queen Queen, this is Itasca.

Your signal is strong.

(faintly) Are you receiving this? Over.

(gasps)

Itasca, this is King Howell Abel Queen Queen.

We received your signal, but unable to take bearing.

Please take bearing on us and answer on 3105 with voice. Over.

Your signal received okay.

It is impossible to take a bearing on 3105 on your voice.

Send us a longer transmission, please. Over.

(phone ringing)

MAN (over phone): A report has come in from the ship for Mr. Putnam.

(whispers) Oh, God.

Ms. Earhart has finally received transmission from Itasca.

Keep us at 7500.

That’s her only acknowledgment.

You’ve got her signal, damn it.

What about the direction finder?

Cipriani reports the battery’s dead, sir.

It was left on all night, so we can’t track her.

King Howell Abel Queen Queen to Itasca.

Earhart, will you please come in and reply on 500?

We are transmitting constantly on 7500, and we cannot hear you on 500.

(radio static crackling)

(switches clicking)

ANNOUNCER: Despite constant attempts, the USS Itasca has lost contact with Amelia Earhart.

(whispers) Come on.

(exhales shakily)

(whispers) Come on.

AMELIA: King Howell Abel Queen Queen to Itasca.

(chuckles)

We are on the position line 157-337.

We are running north and south.

Over.

We hear you. We hear you.

Are you receiving us?

(radio static crackling)

(exhales)

Earhart, this is Itasca.

Did you receive transmission?

(radio static hissing)

♪ ♪


Itasca to Earhart, come in, please.

(seagulls squawking)

AMELIA: All the things I never said for so very long, look up, they’re in my eyes.

Everyone has oceans to fly, as long as you have the heart to do it.

Is it reckless?

Maybe.

But what do dreams know of boundaries?


I think about the hands I have held...

the places I’ve seen...

the vast lands whose dirt is caked on the bottom of my shoes.

♪ ♪

The world has changed me.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪

(music fades out)