Convictions of
the Heart

is based upon a short story by the late bestselling novelist and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee for fiction, Glendon Swarthout. It tells the emotional tale of a romance gone bad in Mexico, between Johnson, a thirty-year-old advertising copywriter from Cleveland attempting to write his first novel, and Irene Temple, a middle-aged socialite fleeing a boring marriage in NYC. Mrs. Temple has two daughters in tow, Sheila, 8, and Sara, 6, who have led an untamed life for over a year on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest lake, an hour from their second largest city, Guadalajara.

Not attending school and picking up only street Spanish and English without being able to read or write, these two little girls become the crux of the problem between the young artist and his older paramour. After a few weeks in the sack with his sexy neighbor, Irene, and fisticuffs one drunken night with her former local lover, Paco Marquez, Johnson spends the night in Ajijic's jail. Sobering up while washing his SUV in the huge lake the next day, Johnson is again enticed by Irene to drive her and the girls up to Brownsville, Texas, so they can renew their six-month tourist visas.

Johnson agrees and begins hatching a plan to get these little girls back with their attorney father in New York, so they can attend an American school and get properly educated and socialized. Thus begins a two-day journey up to the border, where he talks a reluctant Irene into staying overnight in Brownsville, setting up a surprise meeting with her ex-husband, Fred Temple, at the Texas dentist's the following morning. Johnson slowly realizes that his writing career is drying up faster than Lake Chapala, and this tale's poignant climax is a warning to impressionable young artists about getting sexually involved with their neighbors, to the detriment of their art and their life. Johnson learns a hard, tragic lesson to the final tune of Kenny Loggins' hit song, "Convictions of the Heart." And the viewer is reminded of French philosopher Blaise Pascal's famous maxim, that "the heart has its reasons, that reason knows nothing of...."

Original screenplay suitable for either a low-budget, independent feature film or a TV-Movie. All film and underlying story rights are available from Hoodwinks Productions in Los Angeles (310-578-5404) or miles.swarthout@verizon.net

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