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(James A. Gicas, firstname.lastname@example.org;, email@example.com, 505-975-4001
A young man’s coming of age story in a violent Pennsylvania coal mining town in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Gavros family, a Greek father and Italian mother, their son James, sensitive and intelligent and Elena, his true love who he finds and then loses to a violent death. There is both violence and humor throughout the script. James is the protagonist, the town is the antagonist, his goal is to simply grow emotionally, find love and marry, The American dream but it wasn’t to be. The mood and temperament is a lot like that of the movie, “All The Right Moves”.
Coalville: My story from ages 15 to 23 and it is all true.
It begins with a violent car crash on Military Drive in Washington, D. C.
Beginningt scene: A 1967 British Triumph convertible sports car is speeding along Military Drive, a winding and dangerous road. The driver, a young woman of 19, is distraught and crying. She also has been smoking marijuana and drinking. She loses control of her car and there is a terrible car crash, broken metal and glass. She is ejected from the car. The car rolls over on top of her.
Demetri Gavros, James’s Greek father came to America at age 12, landing in New York and immediately taken out of school, abused sexually and put to work by his father. Demetri eventually leaves New York and his abusive father for the coal regions of Pennsylvania where he develops a skill for cooking and eventually opens his own restaurant. He meets and marries an attractive 1st generation Italian woman, Anna, and has three children. James, named after him, is his youngest and most sensitive.
And this is about James Gavros, his son from the age of 15 to 23, a coming of age story.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, James Gavros, a 1st generation Greek-Italian boy starting at age five, navigates his way in a small violent Pennsylvania town (where football is king), through bigotry, racism, bad schools, fights, fending off gay men, finding real love and then losing that love in the end to a violent death. There is constant violence in this town and it is hard not to be entangled by it.
James grows up in the Italian section of his town, becomes an altar boy, attends a local public school for the first 10 grades where he witnesses repeated acts of violence, and after a violent nightmare where he is being beaten mercilessly almost to death, asks his mother to let him change schools. His new school is not violent and it rewards intelligence. The class hero/heroine is the Valedictorian. Students come from middle class families with good values and it opens James’s eyes, heart and mind and changes his life forever.
At age five, James watches TV as Jackie Robinson is abused, at age seven, a black man saves him from drowning in Atlantic City, at age 14, he watches as his classmates fight in human boxing rings. At 15, he, becomes a waiter in his father’s restaurant and serves coffee and food to the town drunks, gets hit on by a gay customer, gets threatened by local hoods, and finally finds an young beautiful Irish-Polish woman, Elena, and life changes for the better and then goes dark with her violent death.
There are lighter moments when James and his friends learn from a friend about how to get a woman horny: “Friction”, or when his father and mother confront him about Elena’s possible pregnancy (she wasn’t) but the way they handle it is funny.
There is both tragedy and humor throughout the screenplay. Do I think it is ready for production? Maybe close, but it has all of the elements I think needed for a good screenplay.
It is hard to describe a life and all of its nuances but I have tried. I have many pictures that will help in understanding the players and the mood of the town.