Richard Severy

Six-Period: 1950’s Hollywood
Genre: Psychological drama
Subject: Divorce, based on a true story.

Kelly is the daughter of Art Director Jackson Hart, who is working on ‘The Invasion of
the Bodysnatchers”. He is about to walk out on Kelly’s mother Vicky, and is part-way
through trying to explain to Kelly when Vicky returns and he slips away to avoid a
meeting. Kelly only half understands the situation, and he leaves it to a mutual
friend, Brad, to break the news to Vicky that her husband has left her.

Jackson misses Kelly and eventually faces Vicky to arrange to see his daughter. He takes her to the studio with him to see his sets and watch the filming. She’s there for the scene in the doctor’s office when a boy about Kelly’s age is brought in. He is in great distress saying that his mother “is not his real mother”. Later Jackson takes her to see some of the ‘rushes’ and she sees a scene showing the discovery of one of the replicating ‘pods’.

Though she seems to be unaffected by them at the time, they seed an internal delusion that parallels the ‘bodysnatcher’ storyline. Kelly interprets the changes in her mother as evidence that Vicky has been ‘taken over’, that she is no longer her ‘real
mother’. Kelly’s disorientation grows when she believes she sees a man watching the
house at night, and hears someone going to her mother’s bedroom.

She steals some money to punish her mother and takes a bus to the studio. She arrives at the gate but is denied access as the guard is not able to contact her father. She takes a chance and runs into the studio infuriating the guard who sets the security people after her. Her fatigue, the surreal nature of the sets and back lot, and the aggression of the security men panic her and she is pushed further into her fantasy. Jackson reluctantly returns Kelly to Vicky, who gets sole custody. He is increasingly tormented with his guilt and pain at not seeing his daughter.

Vicky wants to get Kelly away from it all and plans a desert camping trip with Brad. Kelly imagines that this is when they will ‘get her’. She is convinced that Brad is an alien and interprets his cold disapproval of her as evil intent. She tells Jackson that
they are taking her to the desert. He follows them and sees Vicky ‘skinny dipping’ with
Brad. He believes this is cause enough to take his daughter into his own custody . He
photographs the scene and snatches Kelly from the campsite after dark. She mistakes
him for a ‘bodysnatcher’, and runs,. He catches her, puts her in his car and drives her

Kelly is traumatized; she will not or cannot speak. She has no reaction to her father, even in daylight. He takes the boat of a friend and they go to Catalina. But news of the kidnap is all over the papers. A police launch comes to check on them. Jackson tells Kelly she has to pretend to be a boy. She cuts off her long hair. He gets rid of the police and decides to hole up in a remote cove.

A violent storm blows up and sinks the boat. They are trapped in an air-pocket in the cabin, but Jackson saves her. As he faces the reality of what he has done, and the consequences, she is able to speak to him. He asks her to forgive him. Next morning they walk back along the island to Avalon. The police have been in touch with Vicky and she is on the island. The wreckage of the boat has been found and it is assumed they are drowned. Grief stricken, she is alone on the pier being asked to board the waiting sea-plane. Jackson and Kelly see her. Kelly runs to her mother. Jackson waits at a distance as mother and daughter embrace. …..

Copyright 2005 Richard Severy
All Rights Reserved