Skip over navigation

True West

Sam Shepard

Scene Three

Scene Two

Scene Three, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Austin and his producer, Saul Kimmer, are sitting at the table talking about Austin's "project." Saul is extremely positive about the project's marketability if they can get a bankable star. Austin is extremely pleased. Saul talks in typical Hollywood producer doublespeak, mentioning synopses, projects, and "really capturing something." Although Saul does nothing but flatter Austin, his words come across as cheap and hollow.

As the two are winding down their short conversation, Lee enters carrying a stolen television set. Austin is incredibly embarrassed and clearly does not want to claim Lee as his brother. After some awkward introductions in which Lee mispronounces Saul's last name, Saul and Lee begin talking about golf. Saul is more than willing to get off the subject of Austin's movie, and speaks about golf with real gusto. Saul asks if Austin plays and golf, and Austin ashamedly answers that he watches it on television.

Austin stands dumbfounded as his unseemly brother sweet-talks his producer. Lee proposes that he and Saul play a round of golf the following day. Though Saul politely declines because he will be very busy, Lee will not drop it. He says they can play at the crack of dawn, while the dew is just settling on the grass. Saul is clearly excited at the prospect. The two men insult Austin by suggesting that he could act as their caddy. Saul and Lee go on to muse about how they could give Austin a beginner's lesson in golf, about the different clubs and basic techniques. Everyone is laughing except Austin, who is reticent for the remainder of the conversation as Saul and Lee continue to fraternize.

The golf game is finally settled, and Austin tries to usher Saul out the door. It is of no use. Lee quickly asks Saul if he is interested in stories, and if so, what kind. Saul politely explains the basic requirements for the stories his production company develops—a love interest and lots of action. After Saul says that action is an integral part of a story's commercial potential, he chuckles at Austin, whose project is a period-piece romance.

Just as Austin makes one final attempt to get Saul away from Lee, Lee announces that he has a western that would be perfect for Saul's production company. Saul stays to listen, and Lee says that his stories are "true-life" stories, not the whims of someone who has never experienced anything. Lee then summarizes the plot of the Kirk Douglas movie Lonely Are the Brave, about a man who dies for the love of a horse. Lee recalls the movie in awkward detail, more adept at telling the story of his time in the desert than recounting his memory of an old movie.

Saul is visibly uncomfortable by the end of the story, and makes excuses to get out of the house. Before Saul can leave, Lee manages to ask him to take a look at one of his scenarios. Saul says that he is always looking for new material, and, after a final reminder about their golf game the following day, leaves. After Saul leaves, Austin looks at the stolen television set, and then back at his brother, angrily demanding the keys to his car. Lee does not give them back, but just stares at Austin with an ear-to-ear grin.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!

Follow Us