DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
From the novel by
March 9, 1994 - 3rd Draft
1 INT. CHAMPION AIRCRAFT - BENNY GIACOMO'S OFFICE 1
A battered wooden desk drawer groans open and light brown
skinned hands with dirty fingernails twist the cap off a
pint of rye whiskey and pour liquor into a coffee cup.
You know, when you fire somebody
you have to stick to your guns.
They screw the cap back on and lay the bottle in the drawer.
The men might get to thinkin' that
I'm weak if I take you back.
The cup rises to the face of BENNY GIACOMO, late forties,
with salt and pepper hair that was once jet black. Skin
darker than a Louisiana Creole.
He takes a sip and bares his teeth in a grimace from the
whiskey. As he talks we gradually see more of him -- feet
kicked up on the desk, fully in charge.
A Betty Grable like pin-up girl is giving us background in
more ways than one in a swimsuit and high heels on a
calendar tacked to the wall: May, 1948.
And I didn't tell Dupree that I'd
give you your job back... All I
said was that I'd be glad to talk
to you if you said the right
thing... Do you have something to
A stream of cigarette smoke snakes through as the back of a
man's head and shoulder nudges in and shifts nervously.
Mr. Giacomo, when one of the white
guys has come off a double shift
and says he's too tired to work
overtime, you don't fire him.
Fella, what'd I tell ya? If you're
not willing to give a little extra,
Champion can't use you.
EASY RAWLINS, thirty, handsome and a much darker brown than
Giacomo, takes a drag off a Chesterfield cigarette.
1 CONTINUED: 1
Through the window behind him, a team of men pour over a
partly assembled airplane, their voices echoing in the
hangar that surrounds the office.
Benny measures out his words one at a time.
Now... Do... you... have...
something... to say?
Easy swallows his frustration in silence and thinks about
swallowing his pride as well. And then:
I want my job back, Mr. Giacomo. I
need to work and I need a good job.
Is that all?
Easy looks down into the smoke and sits up straight to keep
from bowing his head.
No, that's not all... I need money
so that I can pay my mortgage and
eat... I need a house to live in
and a place to raise children... I
need to buy clothes so I can--
I'm sorry, fella, but I gotta get
back to work...
And he swings his feet down and stands up to go. But Easy
is up too, blocking his way out the door.
Ezekiel, Mr. Giacomo.
My name is Ezekiel... Ezekiel
Benny clinches his fists and focuses on Easy's chest like a
fighter. And Easy rocks back on one foot ready to score a
field goal with his right knee.
Slowly, Giacomo's face creases into a plastic grin and he
1 CONTINUED: (2) 1
S'cuse me, Ezekiel.
And he walks around Easy, shaking his head as if amused.
Easy watches him go as the low moan of the baritone sax from
Duke Ellington's "Absinthe" snakes up like sin and we
2 FADE TO BLACK 2
And watch the titles, the last one reading "Two Weeks
3 EXT. JOPPY'S BAR - DAY 3
Black and grey cars, Packards and Buicks from 1928 to 1948,
come and go on Central Avenue. Two-storied storefronts with
canvas awnings, above black men and women in hats... all in
The Red Car rumbles through and then a white Cadillac
convertible pulls to the curb in front of a butcher shop.
Above the shop on the next floor are large partly open
windows with JOPPY'S BAR in boldface letters. Inside sits
Easy, back to the window reading the classified ads.
4 INT. JOPPY'S BAR 4
T-Bone Walker's "Westside Baby" plays on the jukebox as Easy
takes a final drag off his cigarette and stubs it out.
THE FRONT PAGE of the LOS ANGELES TIMES lies face up on the
table beneath the ashtray displaying A PHOTOGRAPH of a
middle-aged white man and his pretty young woman companion
smiling and waving.
Above the happy couple is a headline "CARTER DROPS OUT OF
RACE"... The caption under the photo reads "Wealthy civic
leader, Todd Carter, shown here with his lovely bride-to-be,
Daphne Monet, at a fundraiser last month was unavailable for
comment on his surprising withdrawal from the Mayor's race."
Catch ya later, Joppy.
BACK TO SCENE
SPLACK! An older black man hitching up his pants underneath
a bloodstained butcher's apron has slapped his empty beer
glass down hard on the counter on his way out.
4 CONTINUED: 4
Hey, watch the marble! Dammit,
what'd I tell you?
The fifty-year-old burly bartender leans over his big
stomach checking for cracks and buffing the veiny marble top
of the bar with a filthy rag. Behind him is a yellow
billboard from 1932 with big black letters reading "Fuller
vs. Shag. 10 ROUND MAIN EVENT." We could make out more of
the poster and the eight-by-ten framed boxing photos around
it if it wasn't so smoky in the place.
Joppy, how much they payin' out
there at McDonell Douglas?
I don't know. Don't it say--
His words hang as his eyes stray toward the door.
Easy looks up also at
THE DOORWAY which fills with the large frame of the white
MAN in an off-white linen suit, his pale eyes surveying the
room. Satisfied that all but two of the six tables in the
tiny room are unoccupied, he smiles at Joppy and walks to
the far end of the bar.
Easy is surprised to see Joppy, tough ex-heavyweight that he
is, duck his head and smile as he makes his way over like
he's answering a summons. The white man extends a friendly
hand and the two of them shake like old friends and lean in
close to talk in private.
Easy finds it hard not to watch their conversation as he
takes a sip from a short glass of bourbon on the rocks.
After a moment...
Easy, come on over here. This
here's somebody I want ya to
meet... Come on. This here's a
friend of mine.
Easy drains his glass and stands up, then walks over.
Yeah, Easy. This here's Mr.
You can call me Dewitt, Easy.
4 CONTINUED: (2) 4
He extends his hand and Easy shakes it.
How ya doin'?
(bowing and grinning)
Mr. Albright and me goes back to
before the war when I was still in
the fight game.
Ever seen this guy fight...? Any
time Joppy Shag stepped in the ring
you knew you were gonna see some
fisticuffs... Where you from, Easy?
Houston... Joppy's hometown.
Joppy pours Albright a straight shot of Wild Turkey and the
big man sips it.
So I hear you need a job.
Easy throws a look at Joppy, but Joppy is busy buffing the
bar and putting more of Easy's business in the street.
Aw yeah, Easy always tryin' to do
better. Got his high school
certificate from night school.
He's threatenin' up on some
college. And he's one of the few
colored men around here who owns
his own house. Shoot, he pays a
mortgage every month just like a
Property owner, hunh?
He turns up his drink and sets the empty glass down on the
4 CONTINUED: (3) 4
These big companies, don't give a
damn, do they?
He reaches in his coat pocket and produces a business card
and scribbles something on it.
If you need a job, drop by this
address at seven tonight.
Easy takes the card and glances at it.
What kind of work you do?
I do favors... I do favors for
friends. Drop by.
He nods to Joppy and walks out the door.
Who the hell is that, Joppy?
Just somebody I know... A bidness
What kinda business?
Oh, I don't ask him all that. He
comes in here every so often
looking for somebody to do a little
job for him... He pays good.
In other words, he's a gangster.
I didn't say that... But if there's
a dollar laying in the street I
don't think he'll let a little dirt
stop him from picking it up. If
you worried about making that house
note this month, maybe you wanna
pay him a call. All them pretty
girls you be with ain't gonna buy
you a house.
4 CONTINUED: (4) 4
Easy cocks his head "Are you crazy?"
Sound like he just wants you to
keep your eyes open for somebody...
He'll pay you whether you see
anything or not... If it was me I'd
take that man's money and go on
about my bidness... Ain't nothin'
to worry about.
Easy is still suspicious, but can't take his eyes off the
When somebody tells me "Don't
worry," I usually look down to see
if my fly is open... I noticed
Albright didn't bother to pay for
5 EXT. EASY'S '46 PONTIAC - DAY 5
Little single family houses with tiny yards of St. Augustine
grass rush toward the amber Indianhead hood ornament on
6 INT. EASY'S CAR 6
Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" plays on the radio as Easy
heads for home in thought.
DeWitt Albright reminded me of
somebody I knew back in Houston.
His name was Raymond Alexander but
we called him Mouse... Mouse called
hisself a businessman too. And I
found out that I shouldn't be
nowhere around when Mouse got down
to his business... I learned that
the hard way.
A neighbor sweeps out her front porch and waves at Easy as
he slows down in front of his house.
7 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 7
He gets out of his car and a group of children chasing a man
giving goat cart rides, washes past him in the street.
7 CONTINUED: 7
A MAN with an unruly head of hair and full beard pushing a
wheelbarrow with a double edged axe wheels up behind Easy as
he opens his gate.
Want me to knock down some of them
trees back there for you?
No... Just leave the trees alone.
Easy continues up his walkway past flower beds of dahlias
and wild roses and stops on his front porch to check on his
African violets in a jar next to the front door.
8 INT. EASY'S HOUSE 8
He walks into his tiny living room and tosses his jacket
onto the sofa. Then moves on through the kitchen and out
the back door.
9 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY 9
He picks up a water hose and turns on the faucet, watering
and admiring his apple, avocado, pomegranate and banana
trees as he lights a cigarette.
I had moved to Los Angeles right
after the war with three hundred
dollars and the G.I. Bill... And I
liked coming home to a place that
was mine... According to President
Truman I had that comin' to me
'cause I had fought in 'the good
war' against Hitler in Europe...
But that didn't mean a damn thing
to a lotta white folks including
the foreman on my job... So, here I
was out of work needin' thirty-two
dollars to pay the mortgage... That
was three days pay on my old job --
and I had about three days to get
10 EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT 10
Easy parks in front of a large Spanish-style building. He
gets out and walks to the black wrought iron entrance.
11 EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT 11
Easy makes his way through the overgrown patio with roses
and vines cascading down from office windows on the second
A12 INT. OFFICE - NIGHT A12
Someone is watching Easy as he looks for the right office.
12 EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT 12
A small white MAN pops out from behind a hedge startling
Easy. He wears a suit that also serves as a uniform.
What are you doing here?
I'm looking for, uh...
We only take deliveries between
nine and six...
No, no... I...
Yes, we do! Now you'd better
He clutches a baton in his hand and swats it into his open
I'm here to see Mr. Albright.
Where's your delivery?
He holds out his scrawny hand.
I have an appointment -- I'm
supposed to meet him.
12 CONTINUED: 12
Did he give you a note to come in
here after hours?
Easy only stares, hating this little man.
Well, did he? Because if he
Forget it, man. Next time I see
him I'll just tell him you wouldn't
let me in.
Disgusted, Easy turns to leave.
He sizes up Easy and then points across the courtyard.
(like an order)
Across that way to the left and
down the stairs...
Easy half nods/half glares and walks away.
13 OMIT 13
At the other side of the garden Easy turns a corner and
heads down concrete steps. At the bottom he opens a door
14 INT. BASEMENT - CORRIDOR 14
He looks into the boiler room but turns into an empty
corridor stopping at a heavy steel door at the end.
He knocks. After a moment a tall and slight MAN with curly
brown hair and the complexion of an East Indian opens the door.
15 INT. MAINTENANCE ROOM 15
A short and stocky kind of Chinese-looking MAN stands
against the door at the far end. The Tall Man ushers Easy
into the clutter of heavy metal tools, cans of paint and
cleaning solutions. A card table with two chairs sits idly.
The Tall Man closes the door and holds out his hand. Easy
reaches to shake it but the man starts to pat Easy on his
side and Easy pushes him away.
15 CONTINUED: 15
Hey, man! What's wrong with you?
The Chinese Man slips a hand inside his coat and the Tall
(with an accent)
Mr. Rawlins, put your hands up a
little from your sides, please.
Keep your hands to yourself. I
don't let no man feel on me like
The Chinese Man pulls some kind of weapon halfway out and
takes a step forward, and the Tall Man tries to put his hand
against Easy's chest but Easy grabs his wrist.
Don't worry, Manny. He's okay.
Just a little shaky.
(indicating the door)
Let him know.
Manny pushes his weapon back in his coat and knocks on the
door behind him.
After a moment, DeWitt Albright opens up.
He doesn't want us to touch him.
Leave it, Shariff. I just wanted
to make sure he was solo.
You're the boss.
You guys can go now. Easy and I
have some business.
16 INT. MAINTENANCE OFFICE 16
Easy follows Albright inside and the big man goes behind a
big wooden desk and puts his bone-colored shoes up next to a
half full bottle of Wild Turkey. On the other end of the
desk a small radio scratches out the Glen Gray Orchestra's
"Gotta Be This or That."
16 CONTINUED: 16
There is a paper calendar hanging on the wall behind him
with a picture of a basket of blackberries, but other than
that the room is bare.
Have a seat, Mr. Rawlins.
Easy takes a seat in a chair in front of the desk and tries
not to stare at the tan leather shoulder holster under
Albright's arm with the muzzle of the pistol almost reaching
Your friends, hunh?
Like you, Easy. I need a little
help? I give 'em a call... Drink?
Albright pulls another glass from the desk drawer and pours
a fresh one for Easy and fresher one for himself.
One thing I like about working for
myself... I always have a bottle on
the table... You wanna drink with
me? Fine. You don't? Door's
right behind you... Joppy tells me
you're a war hero... Said you went
in with Patton.
Easy nods, proud but polite, and Albright pushes him a glass
So, you want the job?
Depends on what kind of job. I
don't want to get mixed up in
Walk out the door in the morning,
Easy, and you're mixed up in
something. Only thing that matters
is if you're mixed up to the top or
16 CONTINUED: (2) 16
I mean I don't wanna get mixed up
with the law...
Neither one of us wants to get
mixed up in that. That's just rich
people trying to keep me and you in
He laughs and takes a healthy swig and Easy takes a drink
I'm looking for somebody for a
He pushes a newspaper across the desk to Easy and Easy holds
It's the front page with the photograph of the wealthy Todd
Carter and his beautiful bride-to-be... Despite her smile,
there's a sadness in the eyes.
Daphne Monet... fiancée of Todd
Carter, one of the richest men in
town... Been gone for two weeks...
BACK TO SCENE
She leave him?
Evidently... You know how it is
with women, Easy... Happens to the
best of us...
He rears back in his chair as if expecting a sign of
I ain't never heard of her before.
I wouldn't know how to find a woman
That's a shame.
He laughs a conspiratorial, lecher's laugh and Easy allows a
16 CONTINUED: (3) 16
See, Daphne has a predilection for
the company of Negroes. She likes
jazz and pigs feet and dark meat,
know what I mean.
The insult takes Easy off guard but he should've known.
So you think she might be down in
I'm sure of it. But I can't go
looking for her myself because I'm
not of the right persuasion, so to
speak. I've been asking Joppy for
over a week, but all he could do
was introduce me to you.
What do you want me to do?
Just get a location on her. Mr.
Carter wants to make up with her...
He pulls out a brown secretary-type wallet and counts out 10
ten-dollar bills into a neat stack next to the whiskey.
One hundred dollars, and I pay in
Easy eyes the money. All he has to do is pick it up.
I just have to tell you where she
That's right. And keep it, you
He freshens Easy's drink and Easy eyes the money some more.
16 CONTINUED: (4) 16
Joppy tells me you used to frequent
an illegal club down on Eighty-
ninth and Central. Somebody saw
Daphne there a few nights ago. You
could start tonight.
Easy takes a drink and looks again at the money.
17 EXT. JOHN'S PLACE (MARKET) - NIGHT 17
Stripped down to its dark, naked self, Central Avenue has
drawn a crowd from all over town. Neon glistens off slick
pomade and silk clings to the contours of simmering flesh.
An outrage to police even before the era of Police Chief
Parker's personal crusade, a squad car sits idling while two
dicks in blue manhandle a brother in a grey sharkskin zoot
suit, prodding and whapping with nightsticks, searching for
something -- anything -- because his date is a young white
woman. A few onlookers stand back watching, but since this
white woman is not Daphne Monet, Easy only glances and walks
18 INT. JOHN'S BAR 18
Easy sees his fifth white MAN that day in a disheveled but
expensive dark blue suit staggering toward him, reeking of
Hey, colored brother. I need you
to do somethin' for me--
O.S. WOMAN'S VOICE
Go on. What'd I tell you about
hair-assing my customers.
Easy looks over to see HATTIE PARSONS, the small, brown-
skinned manager of the place, glaring daggers at the drunk
man while watching the commotion out the window.
Easy starts over toward Hattie and the drunk turns and tries
to grab Easy's arm. But his desperation causes him to trip
and he winds up sitting against the wall.
Easy steps over him and joins Hattie at the window.
I just paid these damn cops and
they still roustin' my customers.
Well, that's what he gets for being
with that white woman.
18 CONTINUED: 18
She walks over to the cash register of this neighborhood
corner store; and Easy follows, the drunk beckoning him to
bend down to talk as he passes.
Come on, brother help me...
Don't worry 'bout him. I rung
Junior ten minutes ago to come get
Easy pulls out two dollars and Hattie deposits them into the
I ain't got nobody tonight but Lips
and his trio -- Holiday came
through here last Tuesday.
Heavy FOOTSTEPS are heard pounding down a stairway in the
back of the store and big burly JUNIOR FORNAY lumbers in
with a cigarette hanging from his lips.
Where's he at?
Hattie points to the drunk man as he struggles to get to his
Over there. Let Easy in upstairs
and when these cops leave throw his
Hey, Junior. What's goin' on?
Not too much. But stick around.
Junior leads the way back up the stairs.
19 OMIT 19
A20 INT. JOHN'S SPEAKEASY STAIRWELL A20
You got a cigarette?
He pulls out his pack and stops to light Easy up. Easy
starts coughing as they continue up the stairs.
Damn! How do you smoke these
Don't you hafta work tomorrow?
Naw. I got fired.
A hint of a smile appears on Junior's face.
The last time I heard these fellas
playin' tonight was back in
Houston, the night your ole buddy
Mouse had to pull me up off your
Easy grins and shakes his head.
That's the way you remember it,
Hell, that's the way it was.
And he stops to unlock the door.
When you gonna admit that you
helped Mouse kill old man
Aw, man, get off that. I ain't had
nothin' to do with that.
Junior opens the door and Lips' alto horn slaps Easy in the
face. Half of Houston, Texas seems to be jammed into this
A20 CONTINUED: A20
Boy, it's happenin' tonight.
Where's all the white women at?
I don't pay them white girls no
Yeah... I bet you don't.
And he steps in.
That's right. Just like you didn't
help mouse kill his stepfather.
Go on, man.
And he starts away inside.
Hey, Easy. Did you help him kill
his stepbrother, too?
Easy turns to glare at Junior and the surly field hand slaps
his thigh and roars with laughter as he closes the door.
After all these years the two men still hate each other.
20 INT. JOHN'S SPEAKEASY 20
Easy looks around to see couples trying to dance; finding
themselves wrestling between tables packed with five and six
He heads for the bar pointing a finger at a man in a black
silk shirt and a foot-high pompadour hairdo.
ALPHONSO flashes pearls.
Hey, man, you seen a girl named
Dahlia or somethin'... White girl
supposed to be somethin' to look
20 CONTINUED: 20
Naw, but if I see her I'm gonna
keep her to myself.
Easy claps him on the shoulder and waves at skinny RITA COOK
who is sitting at a table with five MEN.
(under his breath)
What do they see in you?
Finally, Easy spots a fifty-year-old MAN in an old grey
tweed jacket sitting in a corner at a table by himself.
Looking like the God fearing, all fearing Baptist deacon
that he is -- he is as out of place as a whore in church as
he nervously gazes about the room and massacres a plate of
Easy leans over the counter to the bartender.
Hey, Lewis. Gimme a couple glasses
and a pail of ice and send a quart
of bourbon over there to Odell's
Lewis scoops up ice into a small bucket and plops it onto
the bar with two short glasses.
Easy lays a dollar on the counter and carries the set up
over to the corner as he watches...
burn it up.
BACK TO SCENE
Easy stops at Odell's table.
How's it going tonight?
Odell doesn't miss a bite as he scopes the crowd.
20 CONTINUED: (2) 20
Well... It's goin' alright. It
sure is goin'.
Easy Rawlins, is that you?
Easy looks up to see
DUPREE, a big black man with a wide white grin in a white
suite with blue pinstripes and a ten-gallon hat.
You ain't jumped outta no windows
Not yet, Dupree.
Miss you down at the plant... You
know Coretta, don't ya?
He has her in tow like a toy wagon and she offers a coy
smile. Short and roundish with cherry-brown skin, she leads
with her bosom.
Hey, Coretta, how are ya?
Coretta rests her sloe-eyes on Easy and Odell and the church
going man almost chokes.
Oh, my goodness.
Could we sit down with y'all?
Dupree and Coretta settle in.
You know Benny just wants you to
say you're sorry, Easy. And he'll
give you your job back.
I'm a sorry man, all right. Any
man without his paycheck is sorry.
20 CONTINUED: (3) 20
Dupree laughs, smacking the table so hard it rattles like an
earthquake. And Coretta's smile ignites like a slow fuse
causing Easy to feel it all the way down his spine.
A man with his hair marcelled back swoops in and pulls a
quart of Old Crow from his overcoat and sits it on the
Easy reaches for his wallet but Dupree beats him to it.
I got it, Easy. Your money ain't
no good up in here.
Naw, Dupree. This one's mine--
You sure? You the one outta work.
Coretta frowns at Dupree as Easy counts out three dollars.
And you're the one ain't never got
Get us another couple glasses.
And he peels off a dollar and hands it off.
Either one of y'all seen a white
girl named Dahlia or somethin' with
Odell shakes his head "no," and Coretta looks away as if
insulted leaving silence until
Hey, Coretta got a new job at the
He squeezes his woman in close and Coretta softens up and
burns that smile again.
Easy grins and nods "congratulations."
21 THE BOTTLE 21
It's less than a quarter full now because it's three hours
21 CONTINUED: 21
BACK TO SCENE
John's is only half full and the band is gone. The jukebox
echoes Lena Horne's "Prisoner of Love" and Dupree leans back
in his chair, snoring -- mouth wide open.
Odell gets up and starts to amble off.
Hey, you goin' home, Odell?
Concentrating totally on keeping his balance, Odell waves
feebly without looking back.
Easy is droopy-eyed from the booze but Coretta just looks a
little sexier. She straightens Dupree's hat on his head and
twists up her nose.
He used to play till the cock
crowed. But that ole cock don't
crow nearly so much now...
She levels her perpetual "come on" onto Easy and he nods
sluggishly and lifts himself to his feet.
Think I'm gonna head out.
You be sorry if you go.
She slides her hand inside her blouse and discreetly lifts
her bodice to air her breasts.
I think I'd be more sorry if I
He turns to go.
Daphne sleep by now. You can't get
none of that tonight.
Easy turns and Coretta plays with the ice in her glass.
You been telling everybody Dahlia,
but her name is Daphne.
You know her?
21 CONTINUED: (2) 21
Coretta leans back and fans her bosom.
22 EXT. CORETTA'S HOUSE - NIGHT 22
Easy struggles with Dupree, and Coretta gives him a hand as
they drag him from Easy's car to her front door, the big
man's feet plowing two deep furrows in the lawn.
23 INT. CORETTA'S HOUSE 23
Coretta pushes the door open and Easy hauls him in.
Throw him in there on the bed,
Easy pulls and pushes Dupree's dead weight into
Throwed him outta his place, 'cause
he couldn't pay the rent. I
shouldn't even let him sleep here.
Finally Easy manages to pile Dupree onto the bed and then
stands up panting and sweating.
Coretta leads him out into
24 THE LIVING ROOM 24
I need a cigarette.
Coretta shines her hazel eyes on him.
That all you need?
Easy grins nervously and clears his throat.
Coretta, sun catch me tip-toein'
out your door and no tellin' what
your neighbors say...
24 CONTINUED: 24
Dupree run through his money, fall
asleep on me. And you just gonna
walk out on me like I was dog
You got a man in the other room...
Why don't you tell me 'bout your
Coretta strolls up to Easy, pressing her body against his.
Why you keep askin' 'bout her?
Colored women ain't good enough for
you no more?
She undoes a button on his shirt and kisses his chest, and
unbuttons another working her way down. Easy sweats harder
than when he was lifting Dupree.
What if he hears somethin'?
Way he snorin'?
ON THE SOFA - MINUTES LATER
Oh yeah, daddy. You hittin' my
spot! Oh yeah... yeah!
The top of her dress undone, Coretta is straddling Easy who
is hitting her spot and his too, in a rhythm. Eyes
closed, he bites his lip to hold in the ecstasy so as not to
awaken Dupree, who is sawing logs -- shredding 'em -- in the
Suddenly Coretta tears herself off of him and sits back on
his knees. Easy writhes and shakes like a power line
Oooh, that's just too good, Easy.
Easy tries to pull her back but she twists down to the
I can't give up that much love,
daddy, not the way things is.
24 CONTINUED: (2) 24
She shushes him with a finger and twists her head toward the
You know, Dupree's right there in
the next room.
Forget about him! You got me
Coretta quiets him again and he comes back to his senses.
But it ain't right, Easy. Here I
am doin' this right in the next
room and all you doin' is nosin'
after my friend Daphne...
(and then remembers)
Oh, yeah... I ain't after her,
baby. That's just a job.
Man wants me to find her.
Who cares, what man? I don't want
nobody but you...
He pulls her toward him but she pushes him away.
But Daphne's my friend--
Frustrated, he sits back against the sofa and Coretta,
sensing that he is snapping out of her spell, slides forward
onto him giving him her spot again. And within moments
they are back at it.
24 CONTINUED: (3) 24
Oh, baby. Oh, daddy, you hittin'
my spot! Oh, yeah...
I went on hittin' her spot until
just before sun-up.
25 EXT. CORETTA'S HOUSE - DAWN 25
The sky is light purple as Easy stumbles down Coretta's
porch. She waves half-heartedly and closes the door as he
straightens his clothes and looks around for any "witnesses"
on his way to his car.
26 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 26
Easy's Pontiac pulls to a stop in front and he gets out.
It occurred to me that Coretta had
found out a lot more about what I
was up to than I had wanted her to.
But I had found out that the rich
man's woman had a colored
boyfriend... It had cost me a
sawbuck to get Coretta to give me
that information... Well, let's
just say somethin' had cost me ten
27 INT. EASY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER 27
Golden morning light streams in through the window.
Outside, a dog is barking at a bird on the fence.
Coffee percolates on the stove and Easy walks over and pours
himself a cup. He moves to the breakfast table and sits
down by the window looking out onto the street as he opens
up a blue envelope in a stack of mail.
Gradually he begins to silently mouth the words and sits up,
his eyes getting bigger until he finds himself reading
"Since Etta Mae has left me and I
am a bachelor I figured I could
come out and visit and we burn down
27 CONTINUED: 27
Write me and tell me when's a good
28 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 28
Easy waters his lawn in deep thought.
The letter from Mouse was worrying
me in more ways than one... All I
had to do was call Albright to earn
the hundred dollars I already had
in my pocket... But the last time I
got money that easy I got it from
Mouse -- fifty dollars -- And the
next day I had to join the Army to
29 INT. STOLEN CAR - NIGHT 29
A younger Easy is driving, his hair greased up high in a
pompadour with a pencil line moustache framing his top lip.
A man in a wide brim Homburg hat looks away out the
Drive to the trainyard, Easy!
Let's dump this damn thing.
This ain't your friend's car?
What'd you do Mouse?
(still looking away)
Just drive this sumbitch!
The drone of the engine takes us
30 BACK TO SCENE 30
A TRUCK with a whole family's belongings tied down onto a
flatbed rolls up. A WOMAN and a bunch of KIDS fill up the
30 CONTINUED: 30
Where you goin', Sophie?
Back to Texas... It's too fast for
me out here.
She waves and keeps on trucking.
He watches her wistfully and then catches sight of
THE WOODCUTTER across the street in a neighbor's front yard,
axe in hand, about to swing on a lemon tree.
Get away from there!
He picks up a rock and throws it, and then chucks another
sending the scruffy vagabond wheeling his barrow off down
Easy shuts off the water and walks back up on his porch. He
picks up a glass of lemonade that sits at the foot of a
chair on top of
A front page heading reads "CARTER'S WITHDRAWAL LEAVES TERAN
ON TOP." Below it
A PHOTOGRAPH of a smiling Matthew Teran, with lips too thick
for a white man, getting out of a limousine.
31 O.S. THE PHONE IS RINGING. It's 31
LATER - NIGHT
Easy is asleep on the porch. Finally, he wakes up to the
ringing and heads into the house.
32 INT. EASY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM 32
Easy flops on the bed and lifts the phone off a cherry wood
Mr. Rawlins, I've been expecting
32 CONTINUED: 32
I hope you have good news for me.
Mr. Albright, is that you?
Sure is, Easy. What's shakin'?
Easy clears his head. He has slept away the day.
I got what you want. She's with--
Hold on to that, Easy. I like to
look a man in the face when we do
business. Meet me at the
Fisherman's Pier in Malibu at the
hamburger stand in an hour.
Uh... I don't know about that Mr.
Albright -- Mr. Albright?
He realizes that Albright has hung up, and swears under his
33 EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - NIGHT 33
The headlights from Easy's car illuminate the cliffs that
fall alongside the winding two-lane highway.
34 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 34
Easy is cautious, checking the rearview mirror more often
I wasn't used to going to white
communities, like Malibu, to
conduct business. Champion
Aircraft was in Santa Monica but I
drove out there in the daytime, did
my work and came home. I never
loitered nowhere except among my
own people, in my own neighborhood.
A35 EXT. MALIBU PIER - PARKING LOT - NIGHT A35
The lights from the pier can be seen in the distance as Easy
parks his car. And the voices of teenagers in raucous
conversation can be heard above Glenn Miller's big band
playing "Silhouette In The Moonlight" on the jukebox.
A35 CONTINUED: A35
Easy gets out and starts toward the pier.
35 EXT. MALIBU PIER - NIGHT 35
Easy walks past the hamburger stand and on to the railing
that looks out over the ocean.
He spins around and sees a chubby 17-year-old white GIRL in
a tight-fitting skirt.
He nods respectfully and turns away to look out at the
water, hoping she'll leave.
It's pretty out here, huh?
Yeah. It's all right.
I'm from Des Moines in Iowa. Where
are you from?
(without looking back)
Huh?... Uh... Texas...
Do they have an ocean in Texas?
The Gulf, they have the Gulf.
She leans on the rail next to Easy and he glances over his
shoulder, seeing a couple of the young men looking around
like they've lost someone.
I think they're looking for you.
Who cares? My sister brought me
'cause my parents made her. All
she wants to do is make out with
Herman and smoke cigarettes.
Hey, you! What are you doing?
The five-foot-six-inch twenty-year-old charges straight up
35 CONTINUED: 35
Leave him alone, Herman! We were
You were, huh?
We don't need you talking to our
Easy braces himself as five of Herman's FRIENDS rush over,
including one built like a football player.
Hey! What's wrong?
Nigger's trying to pick up Barbara.
Leave him alone! We were just
talking about the ocean!
Football gets right in Easy's face.
Hey, fella, what's wrong with you?
A couple of the other boys have picked up sticks and are
surrounding Easy against the rail.
I don't want no trouble.
You already got trouble, boy.
Listen... I was just being polite.
No, you weren't. You were talkin'
about the ocean!
Easy sees Albright's Panama hat appear behind Football.
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
What do you want?
And he whirls around to Albright's smiling face, just in
time to see him pull that rifle-like pistol from inside his
coat, leveling it at his eyes.
I want to see brains. I want you
to die for me.
Albright cocks the hammer. It sounds like a bone breaking,
and Barbara starts crying in her sister's arms.
I'm sorry, sir.
Easy nods but Albright is not satisfied.
The question is: "Are you sorry
Then prove it... Show him... Get
down on your knees and suck his
Football starts crying.
I think he got the point--
You heard me.
He presses the barrel to the boy's forehead and Football
goes down to his knees. The other young men look on in
Son of a gun. You were gonna do
it, weren't you?
THUNK! He slaps the barrel of the pistol into the side of
the boy's head. Football screams and the others scatter.
35 CONTINUED: (3) 35
THUNK! He smacks him again, and blood is everywhere.
Get out of here. You call the
cops, I'll kill ya!
Football manages to stagger to his feet and stumbles away
into the darkness back out toward the parking lot.
36 Albright wipes his gun with a handkerchief and slides it 36
back into the holster.
I don't think they'd dare call the
But it'll cost me a few bucks if
He claps Easy on the back as if it's all been in fun and
giggles like a kid on his way toward the hamburger stand.
Easy looks at him numbly and tags alongside, clutching his
anger in tightly clenched jaws.
What you got, Easy?
You sure no harm is gonna come to
that woman 'cause of me?
Albright doesn't break stride.
Course not. Mr. Carter wants to
buy her a gold ring and live
happily ever after -- What do ya
Easy exhales, feeling trapped, but he's come this far...
Woman told me she's with a man
named Frank Green.
Albright stops; the charm gone, he's all business.
36 CONTINUED: 36
He's got an apartment at the Skyler
Arms on Skyler and Eighty-third.
Albright scribbles it down on a note pad.
Frank's a gangster. A hijacker...
Liquor and cigarettes. He's real
good with a knife.
Albright is unable to suppress a smile.
Ever seen him in action?
Naw. I just heard about him.
Albright, still grinning, pulls out the brown "secretary"
and counts out more bills.
Here's another hundred.
He shoves the money into Easy's hand.
Buy ya a burger, Easy?
He starts into the screen door of the hamburger stand but
No thanks, Mr. Albright.
How come you let those boys get
around you like that? War hero
should have been able to pick 'em
off one by one before they got you
against the rail.
I don't kill children.
For some reason this is hilarious to Albright. He throws
his head back and wheezes out an almost silent belly laugh,
then winds down.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
Take it easy.
He disappears into the hamburger joint and Easy walks away
back toward his car.
37 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT 37
Easy pulls in front of his house and notices a dark Ford
parked across the street as he gets out of his car.
A tall, skinny white MAN in a dark blue suit gets out just
ahead of his slightly shorter and heavyset FRIEND.
Easy watches them as he moves toward his walkway.
They approach fast but cautiously, the fat one with a hand
in his pocket.
Mr. Rawlins, I'm Miller and this is
my partner, Mason.
They both hold out badges. Mason is a slob with grease
spots on his wrinkled tan suit.
We want you to come with us.
And he takes Easy by the arm.
You arresting me?
And he starts pulling Easy toward the street.
I got a right to know why you're
37 CONTINUED: 37
WHOMP! Easy takes one to the diaphragm, and as he doubles
over the fat detective slips the handcuffs on behind his
You got a right to fall down and
break your face, nigger. You got a
right to die.
The two cops drag Easy to the car and dump him into the back
seat where he lies gagging as the car whisks away.
38 INT. POLICE STATION 38
Easy's head sags down as he's dragged through the front door
past blurred blue bodies that talk.
You got 'im, huh, Miller?
Yeah, we got him coming home.
Nothing on 'im.
A door opens and Easy finds himself being flung inside.
39 INT. INTERROGATION ROOM 39
On his knees he hears the door close and looks up at a
single, bare wooden chair resting on the corroded linoleum
He crawls to one of the urine-stained corners, and looks down
on a dry, flat corpse of a mouse. He pushes his shoulder
against the unpainted plaster until he's standing and then
stumbles over to the chair and sits. He looks up at the
bare pipes that run along the ceiling, dripping water, and
at a window with criss-cross chairs instead of glass framing,
overgrown branches and leaves pushing their way in.
THE DOOR opens and Miller comes in first carrying a
Mason follows and closes the door.
We can take off the cuffs if you
39 CONTINUED: 39
Miller motions to Mason and he removes the cuffs.
Where were you this morning at
about five A.M.?
What do you mean?
He plants his foot in Easy's chest and pushes him over
Easy has caught himself and stands back up.
I don't know... I was out drinkin'
and I helped carry a friend home.
I could've been on my way home... I
don't know... I didn't look at a
He didn't look at a clock.
WHOCK! Easy takes a fist to the ear and struggles to keep
his balance, wiping away blood streaming down.
You were drinkin' down on Eighty-
ninth and Central... At an illegal
club called John's, weren't you?
Mason moves again but this time Easy turns to face him and
the fat man looks back with an innocent face, his palms
You may as well answer 'cause you
got bigger troubles than us bustin'
an illegal bar, Ezekiel.
What do you mean? What's goin' on?
39 CONTINUED: (2) 39
Mason has taken off his shoe and is swatting it against the
palm of his hand.
Means we can take your black ass
out behind the station and put a
bullet in your head.
Now. What time did you leave
Coretta James' house this morning?
I guess about five... five-
Miller and Mason glance at each other, and Mason kicks the
chair over toward Easy.
Why, I'm gonna sit down and you
keep trying to knock me down?
But he sits down anyway.
Did you go back and see Miss James
later in the day?
Did you and Dupree Brouchard have
words over Miss James?
You heard 'im. Did you two argue
over Coretta James?
Naw. He was asleep.
She went to sleep too, Ezekiel.
But she won't be waking up...
Easy's face goes sick...
39 CONTINUED: (3) 39
Where'd you go when you left Miss
Easy is too stunned to answer.
You heard him, where'd you go?
Easy stares into space, answering in barely a whisper.
I went home with a hangover...
CHOONK! CHOONK! Mason fires off two punches and Easy grabs
his wrists and pulls him down to the floor, swinging around,
straddling Mason sitting on his ass...
Miller's police special presses into Easy's temple and
Miller speaks to him quietly, deadly.
Get up slow... Real fuckin' slow or
you know what's gonna happen.
Easy raises his hands and uncoils to his feet, backing away
Mason is winded and furious.
Okay. Let's take him out back.
He gets to his feet and reaches for his gun, but Miller
stops his hand.
No. Let's go.
Bullshit, I'm gonna blow his--
He pushes Mason toward the door.
They exit the door and Easy rubs at his bloody ear.
40 EXT. L.A. CITY JAIL - NIGHT 40
Easy walks down the steps of the station buttoning up his
top shirt button, his hand cupped to his aching ear to keep
out the chill of the night air.
The street is dark and deserted like a giant black alley
except for the black and white patrol car that sits at the
curb. A taut-faced officer leans out the window.
Hey, Buddy!... It's a long walk...
why don't you let us give you a
Easy walks across the street off into the darkness...
41 EXT. FOURTH STREET BRIDGE - NIGHT 41
A snatch of MUSIC and LAUGHTER startles Easy as he trudges
home and a car full of teenagers shoots by. And then...
A BLACK CADILLAC LIMOUSINE
cruises up behind and drives alongside.
VOICE FROM CAR
Hey, you! Ezekiel Rawlins!
The window rolls down all the way and a white face in a
black cap appears in the window.
Ezekiel, hold on.
Easy keeps walking.
Come on, fella. Somebody in the
back wants to talk to you.
I don't have time right now.
He doubles his pace, almost running.
Jump in. We'll take you. My boss
wants to talk to you.
Easy cuts behind the limo and into the street headed for the
other side of the bridge but
41 CONTINUED: 41
The Cadillac whips a U-turn blocking his way in the middle
of the street while cars pass, honking, on either side. The
tall angular chauffeur gets out of the car and holds up his
hands as if making peace.
Easy starts to make another move to escape but:
Come on. If we wanted to hurt you
it would have already happened...
He opens the back door and after a few moments, Easy gets
42 INT. LIMOUSINE - NIGHT 42
Easy settles into the seat with his back to the driver.
Edith Piaf's "Parles Moi D'Amour" adds sugar to the strong
smell of cologne and the portly form of Matthew Teran sits
across from him with a small MEXICAN BOY in pajamas seated
next to him holding a small elephant.
I can see that the police roughed
you up a bit... That's a terrible
practice of theirs which has to
change, Mr. Rawlins... Has to
He opens his gold cigarette case and offers Easy a
cigarette. Easy accepts and Teran lights them both up.
She was beaten. And died from a
heavy blow to the back of the head,
Easy begins to feel nauseous.
The evening's events have caught my
adopted son and I quite off
guard... My household was asleep
when we got the call that the
police had a suspect in Coretta
James' murder... Did you know that
she was a friend of mine, Mr.
No I didn't, Mr. Teran.
42 CONTINUED: 42
Oh, you know who I am?
I read the papers. You're runnin'
I am the next mayor, Mr. Rawlins...
And luckily for you, a friend of
the Negro... When I arrived at the
station I knew right off that you
were being improperly detained as
is Coretta's boyfriend, Dupree
Brouchard. It's this sort of thing
that my administration will not
tolerate, Mr. Rawlins. Absolutely
He sits back in his seat self righteously and offers a nod
of assurance and awaits Easy's gratitude... Then after a
Yes... Coretta answered phones for
a while in my campaign office on
103rd and Western. In fact my
people got her a job in the phone
company. So when I heard what had
happened I got out of bed
immediately, personally because of
my concern... Was anyone there with
you Mr. Rawlins besides Mr. Dupree
Brouchard?... Any... other friends
No young lady perhaps?
Of course not, Mr. Rawlins. And
why should you tell a man whom
you've only just met. But, believe
me, Mr. Rawlins. You can trust me.
42 CONTINUED: (2) 42
There was no one else.
Teran's face sags with disappointment and then...
Well don't worry, Mr. Rawlins... I
won't tolerate your being
harassed... You or any of my
constituency -- I was a city
councilman in the Watts area for
two terms with a large contingent
of colored -- I value all of my
supporters equally... humble though
they may be -- where can we drop
you, Mr. Rawlins?
You can let me out here.
Are you sure, Mr. Rawlins? This
must be quite out of your way.
The little boy stares up at Easy through big, dark almond-
shaped eyes in the silence that follows. And then, Teran
picks up the ivory horn that hangs next to his head.
Norman, pull the car over.
43 EXT. WAREHOUSE AREA - NIGHT 43
The limousine stops and Easy pushes the door open and gets
Mr. Rawlins, may I offer you cab
Teran's stubby fingers hold out crumpled bills.
Easy closes the door and watches the long Cadillac glide
43 CONTINUED: 43
There had been nights during the
war that I still had trouble
claiming as part of my life...
Insane nights I wasn't sure ever
really happened. And here I was
again... Had I really just gotten
out of a rich man's car who was
runnin' for mayor?.. Running
against the man I was supposed to
be working for... Was he really
lookin' for the same woman I was
trying to find? My ear was killin'
me and the buses had stopped
running. And I was feeling sick...
Sick from wondering if I had really
hard that Coretta was dead.
44 INT. EASY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM 44
The room is a mess; trousers strewn here, shirt and shoes
over there. And from the corners are haunting, ghostly
You be sorry if you go...
I can't give up that much love,
daddy, not the way things is.
A PINT OF BOURBON, 3/4 full, sits atop the cherry wood
nightstand. Another empty bottle lies next to it on its
side, in front of a water glass with 1/2 inch of liquor at
EASY'S HEAD rests on a pillow on the bed behind it,
sweating, tossing and turning as the ghost gets louder.
Oh yeah, daddy. You hittin' my
spot... Oh yeah... oh yeah...
The voice of the ghost is reaching closer for his ear.
Oh, that's just too good, Easy. Oh
daddy... oh yeah...
The voice is right up in his face.
Oh, baby. Oh, daddy, yeah... Oh
yeah!! Oh Yea-a-h!!
44 CONTINUED: 44
SCREAM. He jerks up, awake, and the phone is RINGING. It
jingles a couple more times and Easy almost knocks the
receiver out of its cradle reaching for it.
Hello? Is this Mr. Rawlins?
Who is this?
Daphne... Daphne Monet...
He sits straight up.
You're looking for me.
A pause on the line.
I think you should come and talk to
me, Mr. Rawlins... alone.
Look, it's late--
Mr. Rawlins, Coretta has been
And if you don't want any trouble
from the police then you'll come...
And you won't tell anyone that
Now wait a minute, Daphne. I don't
know nothin' about all this
I'm at the Sunridge Motel on 112th
and Grand, Room 102.
44 CONTINUED: (2) 44
Easy holds his hands up, helplessly -- "what do you want
from me?" -- but no one can see and she has hung up the
45 EXT. SUNRIDGE MOTEL - NIGHT 45
It's a Spanish-style set of rooms with tile roofs set around
a square parking lot.
Easy's car pulls into the alley behind it.
He gets out and scans the area looking down from a rise at
the back entrance to the parking lot. And then walks down.
46 OMIT 46
47 EXT. SUNRIDGE MOTEL - ROOM 102 - NIGHT 47
Before Easy can knock, he hears:
The door opens and she's standing there, more beautiful than
the photograph. They take each other in for a moment before
she steps back from the door.
Please come in.
48 INT. MOTEL ROOM 48
It's a regular drab, cheap motel that she has given a warmer
touch with colorful scarves draped over the two lamps.
Would you like a drink?
She indicates a pint of scotch on the dresser with an empty
glass and one that she's been drinking from.
She indicates the chair.
Please sit down.
She's wearing a blue dress that's plain, cutting just below
her knee with a ceramic pin just over her left breast.
48 CONTINUED: 48
What happened to you? Have you
Easy stubs out his cigarette in an ashtray and sits down.
Why don't you just tell me what you
She sits down too, her calm but brittle exterior betrayed at
the hands. She stops wringing them when she sees that he
notices and takes a drink -- more medicine than pleasure.
I should be asking you that
question. Why have you been asking
I heard about you. Fellas at
John's said you were something to
So...? You've found me.
Uh... yeah... Guess I have. But
you got a boyfriend I don't want no
part of... Frank Green.
She lights a cigarette.
You can stop pretending, Mr.
Rawlins. I know someone hired you
to look for me. In fact I had to
pay Coretta not to tell you where I
was... you know how Coretta is...
(forces a weak smile)
She told me you two became 'good
(tears gather in her
I talked to her this morning before
I... uh... need to go across town
to see someone. It's very
important... I can't seem to reach
him by phone. I'm afraid I'd
better have someone go with me.
48 CONTINUED: (2) 48
Uh... Miss Monet--
Call me Daphne.
I can understand why you'd be
nervous... because I threatened you
with Coretta... I'm very sorry, but
I couldn't think of any other way
to get you to come.
She takes another drink and stubs out her cigarette though
it's less than a third gone.
I can't -- why don't you ask Frank?
She gets up and starts to pace nervously about the room.
He's out of town -- I... I'm
willing to pay you.
That's nice of you but, see, I'm
not really a detective--
--I know that.
I was just hired to ask around to
try to find you for a man--
I know all about that, Mr. Rawlins.
But this is a gettin' a little out of
48 CONTINUED: (3) 48
Easy... If you don't help me, then
I'll call the police and tell them
that you were with Coretta before
she died and that you've been after
That stops Easy.
You'd do that?
Yes, I would. I don't want to but
She hates herself for threatening and decides to change
direction, moving in close.
Please let me pay you.
No. I can't do that.
I don't want no part of all this.
Please, I'll pay you twenty
Thirty... or even more. Name your
She moves in closer, massaging with her voice.
Go ahead. There's gotta be
something that you want.
Her eyes make an offer, but he's a better man than me and
he's not taking.
48 CONTINUED: (4) 48
What? Are you afraid I'll yell
rape or something?
She walks away and turns up her glass, her desperation, raw,
Uh, Miss Monet... Daphne, I'm sorry
but I really better be goin'.
He starts out and she runs to stop him.
Easy, don't touch that door--
He opens it and
SCREAM! Like an alarm, she's SHRIEKING all of the scale.
49 He looks out and sees 49
LIGHTS GOING ON in other rooms.
50 BACK TO SCENE 50
He looks back frantically and grabs her by the shoulders.
Crazy assed broad! What the hell
are you doing?!
I'm really very sorry. I really
She pulls on a coat and grabs her purse.
I didn't want to do this but...
She grabs an already packed suitcase and is out the door.
51 EXT. LAUREL CANYON - NIGHT 51
Easy's Pontiac snakes up the winding road, city lights
glimmering in flashes below as it rounds the curves.
52 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 52
Ben Webster's "I've Got It Bad" plays on the road as Easy
shifts nervously in his seat, his eyes searching in the
rearview mirror and all around for headlights that might be
unfriendly. Daphne leans back against the passenger door,
taking him in.
Easy passes a police car pulled over to the side.
He looks in the rearview mirror and its headlights go on.
He takes a deep breath, bracing for the worst and Daphne
looks back concerned.
But the lights arch a U-turn and head back the other way.
They must not have seen us that
well... God, Frank and I have been
pulled over so many times I
She catches herself and looks over at Easy.
Easy, I'm sorry... Don't be mad at
Easy keeps his eyes on the road.
She tries to touch his arm and he pulls away.
You really hate me, don't you?
How much further is it?
Around the next bend...
You remind me of Frank when he gets
Ain't nothin' about me like Frank.
Your jaw sets just like his when--
52 CONTINUED: 52
I don't get no kick outta risking
my life for some white woman's
Just park behind the Studebaker.
53 EXT. RICHARD'S CABIN / INT. EASY'S PONTIAC 53
The Studebaker is parked at a deadend in the street. Easy
pulls in behind.
The cabin is so overgrown with ivy that all this is visible
is the mailbox and address.
Did you bring a gun or something?
Easy, that's not very smart.
Everybody carries a weapon now a
Well then where's yours?
Search me sometime. You'll find
She gets out of the car.
He frowns and gets out of the car.
54 OMIT 54
55 EXT. RICHARD'S CABIN - NIGHT 55
Daphne waits, clutching her suitcase and lets Easy lead the
They get to the door and find it ajar. Easy takes a look
inside and then cautiously steps in.
56 INT. RICHARD'S CABIN - NIGHT 56
He flicks on the wall switch. It's a typical little
hideaway that the rich kept for summer use. The living
room, dining room, and kitchen are all in one with a long
counter separating the kitchen.
On the left is a wooden couch with a Mexican rug thrown
across it and a metal chair with tan cushions for the seat
and back. The opposite wall is all glass with the city
lights blinking in the distance.
No answer. Easy leads them to a door and opens it.
57 BEDROOM 57
Another wall of glass and
A DEAD MAN spread out on the king-sized bed, with the
contents of the dresser and closet strewn all over the room.
Oh, my God!
She gags and backs out of the room with her hand over her
mouth in case she throws up.
Easy takes out a handkerchief and holds it over his mouth
and nose as he gets a closer look at the body.
It's the drunk white man he had seen at John's Speakeasy in
the same blue suit. He's lying on his back like a crucifix
with a butcher knife buried in his chest. There's blood
that has drained from his chest and gathered around his face
and hair so dark and thick you could scoop it up like Jello.
Easy actually does throw up and doubles over, dropping to a
knee to keep his balance and some control. He stays there
for several moments regaining his composure and then spots a
spilled ashtray and a cigarette butt. He lifts it off the
floor and smells it. He wipes his mouth with the
handkerchief and then wraps the butt inside and puts it in
his pocket. He gets up.
He hears a CAR ENGINE start up and GEARS SHIFTING. Then
runs out the door.
58 EXT. RICHARD'S HOUSE - NIGHT 58
A pink Studebaker whips backward out the driveway. Easy
runs alongside trying to stop Daphne as she screeches into
Hey, wait a minute!
She speeds off down the canyon.
He stands in the middle of the street, watching her go.
59 INT. EASY'S CAR - SUNRISE 59
Fiery orange light bounces off the hood of the car into
Easy's face as he turns the corner onto his block. He is
surprised to see
A WHITE CADILLAC parked in front of his house. And now it's
his front door that's open.
BACK TO EASY
He pulls in behind the Caddy and gets out.
60 INT. EASY'S HOUSE 60
He pushes open the door. Shariff loiters just inside,
grinning at him, and Manny stands in the middle of the
living room looking at the floor. From a RADIO in another
room Tommy Dorsey plays "Blue Skies" with Frank Sinatra out
front. And so Easy walks past the two hoods into
Albright turns from looking out the backyard window with a
porcelain coffee cup cradled in his right hand.
Easy looks at the coffee pot on the stove and again at
Albright, smiling loose and friendly but looking tired in
the same clothes he had on at the pier.
What you doin' in my house, man?
I expected you to be home, so Manny
used a screwdriver on the door.
What happened to your face?
60 CONTINUED: 60
You got no excuse to be breakin'
into my house -- What if I broke
into your place?
I'd tear your nigger head out by
Easy boils inside and then goes over to the counter to pour
himself a cup of coffee.
So what do you want?
Where have you been this time of
I went to see a girl. Don't you
get none, Mr. Albright?
The smile leaves Albright's face and his eyes turn even
I didn't come here to play, boy.
You got my money in your pocket and
we've been over at that address
waitin' all night for Frank Green
and now we've found out that he
moved from there over a year ago.
Easy is scared and confused but he plays it off.
So what do you want me to do about
it? You don't think I did my job.
Shit, I give you the money back.
And he reaches for his pocket, but Albright reaches too --
and suddenly, Manny and Shariff are in the room and on Easy
like a vice. Albright presses the barrel of the .45 against
Do you believe in God, Easy?
'Cause I'm curious to see if death
is any different for a religious
Easy looks down, away from the gun, and swallows hard.
60 CONTINUED: (2) 60
I seen her.
After a moment, everyone relaxes and Easy sags out from
under their grip and staggers into
61 THE LIVING ROOM 61
Manny and Shariff surround him as he sits down in a chair
and Albright stalks in holstering his gun.
She called me. Had me drive up to
the Hollywood Hills.
How'd she know about you?
I guess Coretta... the girl that
told me about Daphne and Frank
Why didn't you call me?
I couldn't. She threatened to tell
the cops that I had killed
Albright looks over at his henchmen.
Where is she?
She took off.
Where is she?
I don't know! While I was looking
at the body she split.
61 CONTINUED: 61
Albright looks around the room as if answers lie in the
corners, but he is not surprised to hear about a body.
You call the cops?
I tried my best to keep in the
speed limit. That's all I did.
What'd she do, take his car?
McGee. Did she take his car?
Easy hesitates, "How did Albright know his name?"
Where'd you pick her up at?
She left that place--
--Write it down!
To his shame Easy flinches and gets paper from his end
table, then scribbles down the address and hands it to
Albright who takes Easy's seat and examines the note.
Get me some whiskey, Easy.
Easy studies Albright who sits knees wide apart, now the
master of the house, and he can't help himself.
Get it yourself... Bottle's in the
Albright looks up and Easy braces himself for Albright to
bring on the end, all at once. But slowly a smile spreads
across Albright's face and he laughs, stamping his foot.
61 CONTINUED: (2) 61
Well, I'll be damned. Get us a
drink, Manny... Easy, you're a
brave man. I need a brave man
working for me... But you gotta
find Frank Green, so he can lead us
No, thanks, Mr. Albright. People
are gettin' killed all around me...
You never said anything about all
Easy, you're connectable to two
murders. You'll do whatever I tell
you to do.
Manny brings Albright's drink and the captain turns it up
and gives Manny back the glass.
Now you got three days to find him.
And you make sure you count 'em
He walks out the screen door with Manny and Shariff
62 KITCHEN 62
Easy grabs the bottle from the counter, where Manny has left
it, and pours himself a stiff one. But he only stares into
63 EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY 63
Dense black smoke masks everything but two vague figures in
a struggle. The BOOM of heavy artillery gives way only to
the deafening CHATTER of automatic fire.
We are hurtling forward into a horror-stricken Easy in
combat gear, repeatedly stabbing an already lifeless German
soldier. Tears are streaming down Easy's face, his mouth
gaped open in an inaudible SCREAM.
64 BACK TO SCENE 64
He studies the glass and pushes it away. Then looks
65 OUT THE WINDOW 65
Albright and his two goons get in the white Caddy and cruise
66 BEDROOM 66
He dials the operator.
I needed help... Albright didn't
flinch at hearing that Coretta was
dead and he seemed to know all
about Richard McGee too...
Raymond Alexander on...
He pauses, speechless as
(after a moment)
Forget about it, operator.
He hangs up, his eyes trained in thought.
A67 EXT. JOPPY'S BAR - DAY A67
A crowd has gathered along the street to watch a three
convertible car caravan: the first car bearing a four-place
band playing "Happy Days Are Here Again"; the second with
someone who could be Lana Turner holding up a "Teran for
Mayor" placard with a man in the front passenger seat
announcing through a megaphone; and last, but hardly least,
Matthew Teran blowing kisses and waving two small American
Easy looks up for a moment as he closes the trunk of his car
to watch the parade. Then stuffs a ball peen hammer in the
waistband at the small of his back, under his jacket.
He walks with a purpose into the open door next to the
B67 INT. JOPPY'S BAR B67
Easy stops in the doorway, seeing
JOPPY as usual buffing the marble top of his bar. T-Bone
Walker's "They Call It Stormy Monday" is on the jukebox.
B67 CONTINUED: B67
BACK TO EASY
He scans the bar and sees that there are no customers, and
Easy stops at the bar and stares at Joppy.
That girl called me last night.
What girl is that?
The one your friend is lookin' for.
Uh, huh. That's pretty lucky,
No, Joppy... Wasn't no luck at all.
It was you.
Joppy inadvertently clenches his fists and notices Easy's
You and Coretta was the only ones
that had my phone number who knew I
was lookin' for her. And Coretta
was busy scammin' Daphne so she
wouldn't have done it... It was
Maybe she looked in the phone book.
I ain't in the phone book, Joppy...
Joppy's eyes narrow.
What the hell you mean, coming up
here all mad like you gonna do
B67 CONTINUED: (2) B67
You damn right! Coretta's dead!
Your friend Albright is on my ass.
The cops done brought me down once
-- Why didn't you just tell
Albright your damn self?
What did I tell you? To just take
that man's money! I didn't tell
you to do nothin'! I call myself
trying to help you save your
house... Don't come up in here
startin' no shit with me.
And he pulls a baseball bat from behind the bar, but Easy
has pulled his hammer and SMACKS it down hard, cracking the
beveled wood that frames the marble.
Easy, wait! Watch my marble! My
uncle left me that when he died!
And goddammit, he's about to get it
He draws back for the downswing, and Joppy drops the
baseball bat, holding up his hands.
Let's talk. Let's just talk.
What you got me into, Joppy?!
Joppy inhales, forcing himself to be calm.
She asked me to help her 'cause I
told her that Albright was lookin'
for her. And I figured I could
help you make a few bucks and throw
Albright off the trail too. She
wanted to know something about you
so I told her... I guess I must've
give her your phone number...
Where is she, man?
B67 CONTINUED: (3) B67
I don't know...
Don't lie to me, Joppy!
I ain't lyin'... I don't even know
her that good. She just asked me
to help her. And she asked me not
to tell nobody... I guess 'cause of
her and Frank Green.
What's she runnin' from Joppy?
I swear I don't know. She didn't
tell me. I didn't mean to get you
into nothin', Easy... I just... she
just... I mean you seen her,
Easy... Man, she's something else.
Easy can see "sucker" written all over Joppy as he fumbles
for a cigarette with one hand and shakes his head with
disgust as he lights up.
Damn, Joppy. Is there any white
woman that ever gave you the time
of day that you wasn't a sucker
Joppy frowns painfully and continues to wipe the bar.
67 EXT. T. CARTER FOUNDATION - DAY 67
Easy turns into the winding driveway through the stone
entrance way that bears the name of this distinguished
institution on a bronze plate.
He parks the car and gets out, adjusting his dark brown
Stetson which matches his pin-stripped suit. He looks
around at the massive and well manicured grounds and walks
into a patio area of this Spanish-style complex.
Albright had said that when you're
mixed up in something it's best to
be mixed up to the top. I could
see his point. So that's where I
was going... all the way to the
68 EXT. CARTER FOUNDATION PATIO 68
An ELDERLY SECRETARY descends an outdoor curved stairway
carrying a file. She spots Easy looking around confused and
immediately becomes annoyed.
May I help you?
Uh... yes. I came to see Mr.
Do you have an appointment?
No, I don't.
Well, I'm sorry, but Mr. Carter is
a very busy man.
Easy pulls out Albright's business card and hands it to her.
Well, tell him Mr. Albright sent
me, and it's real important.
She looks at the card and then up at Easy with annoyed
May I ask the nature of your call,
Rawlins. But I'm not so sure he'd
want me to tell you.
I'm quite sure, Mr. Rawlins, that
whatever you know is nothing I
can't know as well.
Okay. Well, anyway, tell him I'm
here with information about that
little chippy of his that dumped
Is this some sort of joke?
Uh... Excuse me...
68 CONTINUED: 68
Easy and the secretary turn to see a TALL MAN in a dark grey
suit with bushy black hair and thick eyebrows standing in
the doorway. He forces a smile and comes out.
Mr. Rawlins was it?
He holds out his hand and Easy shakes it.
(to the secretary)
I'll take care of this.
(and back to Easy)
Why don't you come with me, sir?
They walk through the door into
69 A HALLWAY 69
Not very smart talking about Mr.
Carter's business to a secretary.
I don't wanna hear it, man. It's
too much goin' on for me to give a
damn about what you think is smart.
Baxter bristles up and slows down his walk, about to put
Easy in his place. But Easy slows down too and squares up
on him. Baxter reconsiders and leads the way up a stone
70 INT. CARTER'S OFFICE 70
Baxter ushers Easy into a huge elegantly furnished room more
closely resembling a hall than an office with large arched
doors and windows leading out onto a stone veranda
overlooking a canyon.
Alone looking out at the greenery on the opposite hillside
is TODD CARTER.
Baxter walks out and speaks with Carter, while Easy watches
them from inside the office. The rich man perks up with
interest and hurries inside with Baxter who throws Easy a
dirty look on his way out. He pauses uncertainly wearing a
simple Sears Roebuck-looking tan suit with a plain open-
collared white shirt. The dark circles under his eyes show
nights without sleep.
70 CONTINUED: 70
He runs a hand through his thinning red hair, and offers an
overstuffed sofa. They sit on either end.
Has something happened to Daphne?
The last time I saw her she looked
You saw her?
Yeah. Last night.
She's still in town?
She was last night.
What did she say -- what was she
A blue dress. Blue heels.
And a pin on her chest?
Yeah, on the left side.
Oh yes, that's her. That's her.
You know I've never known a woman
who could wear perfume so slight
--Mr. Carter, Mr. Carter--
What did she say? What did she
say?... Oh, I'm sorry. Brandy?
70 CONTINUED: (2) 70
He points to a crystal decanter near Easy. Easy pours
himself a drink and takes in Carter as he wrings his hands
to keep from going to pieces. This guy's got it bad.
Mr. Carter. I came here to get
I don't know... I'm takin' a
Carter runs his hand through his hair again, the suspense
I guess it's just that when I'm
working for somebody, I wanna know
what I'm gettin' myself into...
Carter leans in as if he missed something.
I beg your pardon.
Well, I'd like to know the real
reason why Mr. Albright hired me.
(after a moment)
Yeah. The man you hired to find
There must be some mistake... I'm
sorry, busy... Who are you talking
Easy and Carter stare at each other, not sure how to
You didn't hire somebody to find
70 CONTINUED: (3) 70
No... Until just now I was sure
that she was hundreds of miles away
from here... You say someone is
looking for her?
Easy nods, his brow furrowed in thought. Carter gets up and
walks to the door, looking out into the canyon.
(half to himself)
Someone is looking for her.
What's goin' on between you two?
Carter shrugs and stammers nervously.
Uh... I don't know... We were going
to be married... We had a fight...
Uh... that's none of your concern,
He stops and looks to the floor, the gravity pulling him
down... way down.
Someone's... after her? A Mr.
Albright? And he said he's working
Yeah... Do you know a man named
No... I can't say that I do.
Why would someone be after her, Mr.
Uh... I can't say -- I don't
He's lying and Easy knows it.
70 CONTINUED: (4) 70
Do you think you could find her
I don't know.
It's important, Mr. Rawlins, for
her sake... I'm willing to pay you.
Mr. Carter, why did she leave?
I can't tell you any more Mr.
Rawlins -- I'll pay you to find
Easy thinks about it, and then nods.
Okay... a thousand dollars.
A thousand dollars?!
Yeah. I'll take two hundred right
Mr. Rawlins. I think you're trying
to take advantage of me. But left
me inform you that the incumbent
mayor and the chief of police eat
at my house regularly.
Good. Then they can help us--
--No. They can't!
Carter is too emphatic and Easy waits for him to give more,
but instead he turns and gazes out again at the canyon.
I'll have Baxter write you out a
70 CONTINUED: (5) 70
(after a moment)
Mr. Carter, why'd you stop runnin'
I'll have Baxter write you a check.
Why is Matthew Teran looking for
Baxter will write you a check!!
Easy takes him in and then holds out his hand.
I'll take cash, Mr. Carter.
Carter fumbles in his wallet, and too nervous to count the
money, shoves the wallet at Easy.
Take it all... Just take it all.
Easy nods and strides out of the room.
71 OMIT 71
A72 EXT. T. CARTER FOUNDATION - DAY A72
Easy walks to his car, gets in and drives away toward the
So Albright was working for Matthew
Teran. And whatever Teran had on
Carter was strong stuff... too
strong even for Carter to go to the
police... But because Teran was
desperate to find the girl too,
that gave me the best hand. I had
seen her once, and if I played it
right, I'd see her again.
72-75 OMIT 72-75
76 POOL HALL - THAT NIGHT 76
Easy talks to the short, squat, suspicious woman who runs
the place. Through the smoke, other distrustful eyes fix on
him from pool tables and dark corners.
Everywhere I went was a familiar
place, but different because I was
asking about buying hijacked liquor
from the man nobody wanted to talk
about. Frank Green...
77 NIGHTCLUB - NEXT NIGHT 77
Upscale, with a balcony. Billy Eckstine fronts the band.
Blacks and whites are dressed to impress, including Easy,
who leans into the bartender.
It was actually looking more and
more like I might not make it
through this little adventure I was
having. But I was likin' the chill
in my blood, and the freedom of
working on my own.
78 ABE AND JOHNNY'S LIQUOR - NEXT DAY 78
The two JEWISH OWNERS unveil for Easy a case of hijacked
liquor in a wooden crate.
There were times in the war when I
had felt like this. When life or
death where the only two choices.
That made it simple. And that was
alright by me.
79 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 79
Easy unlatches the gate and pushes it open. He's tired, and
he trudges up the walkway to the porch. He sees
THE WOODCUTTER standing on the front lawn of the next door
neighbor's, waving at him.
79 CONTINUED: 79
BACK TO EASY
He throws a rock and then unlocks the door. But he notices
THE POT OF AFRICAN VIOLETS lying broken on the cement. He
looks up just in time to see a TWO-BY-FOUR swing down.
BONK! And Easy is seeing stars.
A big man, dressed in black, kicks open the door and drives
Easy head first into
80 INT. EASY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM 80
Easy slams to the floor but manages to roll out of the way
of a lethal CRACK! of the board onto the floor.
He grabs a lamp and hurls it at the oncoming figure who
catches it on the arm and keeps on coming, snapping a blade
from his fist which leaps out like a chrome-colored flame.
Easy scrambles back, his head butting up against the couch,
his forehead streaming blood, his eyes wide with the sight
of sure death advancing.
Frank! Wait a minute! I need to
talk to you!
Frank looms over him, his sinister but handsome brown face
framed by a short-rimmed, black Stetson hat and a black
shirt and coat. He holds the knife to Easy's neck, letting the
blade press into the skin as he talks.
You the reason why she told me to
lay low, hunh.
Easy buries himself back against the sofa.
(machine gun quick)
Naw. I got five hundred dollars
for you. Rich man wants to talk to
a white girl you know. Daphne...
Frank's eyes flame and he presses the knife, drawing blood.
You a dead man--
WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!
80 CONTINUED: 80
Easy, you in there?
Frank's head whips toward the door and Easy knocks the knife
away and comes up tussling.
Frank scrambles to get away and Easy tackles him, straining
to keep Frank from reaching the knife.
THE FRONT DOOR springs open and SPATS ON PATENT LEATHER
SHOES clump in, the last one stomping down on Frank's
outstretched fingers. Frank screams and cradles his hand in
Easy scrambles up to his knees and gawks up at
MOUSE, dressed in a plaid zoot suit with Broadway suspenders
down the front of his shirt, a long-barreled .41 caliber
pistol held loosely in his hand.
Want me to kill him?
Mouse! Aw, man naw, it's all
Well, what's happenin'?
He holds out his hand and helps Easy to his feet.
Frank makes a slight move towards the knife and Mouse levels
the pistol at his head, his gold-rimmed teeth glittering
from a smile that wants Frank to go for it.
I'll blow your goddamned nose
Where's Daphne Monet?
Frank just stares up at Easy, his eyes sharp and defiant.
Look, if you don't know where she
is, maybe we can help each other
After a moment, Mouse cocks the hammer.
80 CONTINUED: (2) 80
Nigga, you heard him.
No, Mouse. Don't kill him.
The phone RINGS next to Mouse and he picks it up, eyes still
Huh?... He's busy right now, you
gonna have to call back.
He hangs up.
Frank, a rich man she knows is
willing to pay a thousand dollars
just to talk to her. A thousand
Frank still won't talk and that does it for Mouse. He
releases the hammer.
Easy, lemme try.
THUNK! He slaps Frank upside the head with the pistol.
Easy grabs Mouse's arm and Frank slumps to the floor.
Let him go!
Get out of my way!
Let him be!
The two friends struggle, and Frank rears up and plows into
Easy, sending him sprawling to the floor on top of Mouse.
Then Frank, covered in blood, hurls himself across the room,
out the door.
81 Mouse gets to his feet and runs to the door aiming the 81
pistol, but it's too late. Easy stands up and Mouse points the
gun at him.
Damn you, Easy. Don't you never
grab me when I got a gun in my
Easy silently eyes the pistol and gives Mouse a chance to
calm down. After a moment Mouse looks down at his jacket.
Look at the blood you done got on
my coat. Why you wanna go and do
He looks out the door and grabs a small suitcase. Then
spots the bathroom and moves to it, taking off his jacket
and hanging the pistol in his belt.
Easy holds his fingers to the bump on his forehead and
catches his breath as Mouse runs water in the bathtub.
Now we got to find that girl so we
can get that money.
No, we don't, Mouse. I don't need
your kinda help or I would've
Mouse comes out of the bathroom, scrubbing at a spot on his
jacket with a washcloth.
You standing there with a knot on
your head the size of a twelve-
year-old tittie and you "don't need
my kind of help"?
This is the same shit you pulled
five years ago when you asked me to
drive you out to your stepfather's
house, then come to find out you
killed him and your stepbrother.
Aw, easy, that was a long time ago.
Easy glares at Mouse and dabs blood from his forehead with a
81 CONTINUED: 81
(after a moment)
Come on, Easy. Cut me in on this.
I could help you. I let you run
the show. I swear I will.
He ambles over to Easy apologetically and holds Easy's
shoulders with both hands.
I swear, I ain't gonna do nothin'
you don't tell me to do.
Easy knows he can't believe this but
Everything I say?
Everything you say.
With no choice, Easy nods and walks into
82 THE BATHROOM 82
He runs cold water onto a washcloth and looks in the mirror,
dabbing at his forehead.
Who was that called?
I don't know... Sound like some
Easy turns toward the door "Aw Man!"
83 INT. EASY'S CAR - DAY 83
Mouse, in a plum colored double-breasted suit and a brown
felt derby hat, turns on the radio and the Ink Spots' "We'll
Meet Again" purrs out. He starts to turn the key, but then
remembers and honks the horn.
84 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 84
Easy opens the door and stands on the porch.
Hey, Easy, was it a left on
Richland or a right?
84 CONTINUED: 84
A right. And if Dupree ain't over
there in Compton, just come on back
'cause I might have heard from the
Just then a car cruises around the corner and Easy watches
MASON AND MILLER pull up across the street and get out. He
glances over at Mouse.
85 INT. EASY'S CAR - DAY 85
Mouse shuts off the radio and slumps down in the seat out of
86 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 86
Easy watches them stroll up the walkway.
Mr. Rawlins... We came to ask you a
few more questions.
So why don't you just invite us
(holding open the door)
And Easy and Miller go in.
What happened to your head? I
don't remember doing all that.
He laughs and closes the door behind them.
87 INT. EASY'S HOUSE 87
Miller looks around suspiciously. The room still shows
signs of the struggle with Frank Green. He exchanges a look
Been having a party, Ezekiel?
Mason pushes Easy into the chair and Miller plants his foot
on the seat between Easy's legs and leans in.
You got a lotta cuts and bruises to
be an ordinary working stiff.
87 CONTINUED: 87
It's looking worse and worse for
you, my friend. What do you know
about Richard McGee?
On the other side of the room Mason picks up a chunk of the
broken lamp from the fight.
A dead white man in a cabin in
Mason comes over and stands over Easy next to his partner.
He fingers the sharp porcelain shard of the lamp,
He hangs out with some of those
same nigger friends of yours down
on Central Avenue.
Easy eyes the sharp edge, making up his mind to kill this
fat son-of-a-bitch if he gets too creative, and die with
He just happened to have a note in
his pocket with 'C. James' written
He holds the slip of paper up for Easy to see.
Any of this making you feel
talkative at all, 'cause I'll bet
ya six bits to a bottle of piss
that we're looking at a double
here... All we need is to place you
in the dead man's house.
I ain't been there.
I ain't been in no dead man's
Miller stands back and pats his pockets for a smoke.
87 CONTINUED: (2) 87
How 'bout a smoke, Ezekiel?
Easy taps out one and Miller places it in his mouth.
Got a light?
Easy pulls out his lighter and sparks the flame.
Easy shrugs and passes the lighter to Miller who fires
He holds the lighter out of Mason who wraps it up in a
And we got our print.
What do you mean?
Oh, hadn't you heard? We found a
cigarette lighter in the dead man's
house with the killer's
fingerprints on it.
Naw, man. I didn't do it.
Course you did, we got evidence.
I didn't do it. You know I
And Miller leans in hard.
We know that you know more than
you're lettin' on. And now a white
man's been killed.
87 CONTINUED: (3) 87
Now you better tell us what you
know, or you're goin' down for the
murder of Richard McGee and Coretta
He straightens up and Easy stands up, too.
I don't know nothin'.
Put the cuffs on. Let's take him
As Mason reaches for the cuffs, Easy sees Mouse peek out
from the kitchen doorway then disappear inside.
Uh, listen! I don't know who did
But we do...
He sees Mouse draw his gun, his eyes trained on Miller's
And that's all that counts.
Dammit, I didn't do it.
Tell it to the D.A.
Mouse is trained with the hammer cocked and Easy is about to
give the signal, but then:
Look, gimme some time to find out.
Gimme till tomorrow... Tomorrow
Miller thinks about it and then--
87 CONTINUED: (4) 87
Okay. Tomorrow morning, that's it.
He nods to Mason and Easy looks up to see Mouse raise the
gun and slide back into the kitchen.
Mason unlocks the cuffs.
Have a nice evening, Ezekiel.
And he and Miller walk out.
Easy looks out the doorway watching
A88 EASY'S POV A88
MILLER AND MASON
get in their squad car and drive away.
BACK TO SCENE
B88 He turns back to see Mouse standing in the living room. B88
I guess you know what would have
happened if you had shot them two
cops in my house?
Hell yeah. They'd be dead.
Easy shakes his head.
Come on, let's go.
He grabs a jacket.
88-91 OMIT 88-91
A92 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY A92
Easy hurries out of his house pulling on his jacket with
Mouse right behind.
What they tryin' to pin on you?
A92 CONTINUED: A92
I'll tell you on the way. You got
And he hurries around to the driver's side.
Before we run out to Compton we got
one other place to stop by...
He freezes seeing the Woodcutter watching and listening.
Man, don't you mess with my trees
while I'm gone.
He gets in as Mouse cranks the engine.
You heard me. Leave my trees
As Mouse starts away the old man smiles mischievously and
starts to sharpen his axe.
Easy leans out the car window, yelling back as the car pulls
I mean it now. Don't you mess with
92 EXT. PORTLAND COURT - DAY 92
It's a horseshoe of tiny apartments with over a dozen little
porches and doorways staggered in a semi-circle around a
small yard that has a half-dozen stunted magnolia trees
growing in brick pots.
Easy and Mouse step into the courtyard, passing elderly
tenants sitting inside screened doors. Jimmy Lunceford's
"I'm Walking Through Heaven With You" floats out into the
They arrive at the closed door of number eight. Easy knocks
and then knocks again, hard. Something CRASHES on the
inside and heavy FOOTSTEPS pound to the door.
VOICE BEHIND DOOR
92 CONTINUED: 92
The door opens and JUNIOR FORNAY stands there behind the
screen door in blue boxer shorts and a white T-shirt.
What you want?
It's private, Junior. Lemme in.
And he reaches to pull open the door, but Junior throws the
I ain't got time now. I'm tryin'
to get some sleep.
Why don't you open the door,
Junior, 'fore I have to shoot it
Mouse steps out into the doorway, in plain view.
Open up. We ain't got all night.
Junior forces a smile and lets them in.
93 INT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT - DAY 93
Filthy and junky, with old car parts scattered amongst old
furniture, the room is unpleasant with only the benefit of a
dim light -- just like Junior.
Y'all want a beer?
He nods at a card table with one folding chair and throws
two others into place on his way to the refrigerator.
Easy and Mouse sit down and Junior brings over a quart of
PABST BLUE RIBBON BEER and two glasses that he wipes out
with a rag.
What ya smokin'? Zapatas?
93 CONTINUED: 93
Junior tosses his pack onto the table and pours beer into
the glasses for Easy and Mouse, and drinks from the bottle.
Easy unfolds the handkerchief in his pocket on the table,
uncovering the cigarette butt from Richard McGee's house.
This is one of yours, ain't it?
Junior looks at the butt and shrugs.
You the only one I know cheap
enough to smoke this shit... Why'd
you kill Richard McGee?
Huh? What you talkin' 'bout?
Ain't no time to play, Junior. I
know you the one killed him.
You crazy, man. You crazy!
And he stands up to emphasize his indignation.
Sit down, Junior.
Junior shifts awkwardly from side to side and then sits back
Tell me what happened, Junior.
I don't know what you talkin'
Well, the police will. When they
find out that they got your
fingerprints up there in that man's
What fingerprints? What house?
93 CONTINUED: (2) 93
Hattie had you pull that man out of
John's the night I was there. And
he was laying up there dead with
the same suit on and a knife in his
I ain't killed nobody.
Quit lyin', you big ole sweaty-
thick headed-cornbread eatin'--
Mouse can't keep from laughing and Junior starts up after
You thick-headed, ya damn self!!
But Mouse is up, still laughing with the pistol in his hand.
Sit down, man... 'fore I blow your
What kinda shit y'all trying to
Junior sits down and throws himself around in the chair like
a child throwing a fit.
You better tell it the way it
happened. And maybe I'll forget
what I know... Otherwise, I'm gonna
tell Mouse to shoot ya 'cause you
know I don't like your ass and he
don't like you either.
Mouse slaps the table, laughing so hard he's in tears.
And he aims the pistol and cocks the hammer, causing Junior
to throw himself around some more.
93 CONTINUED: (3) 93
You killed him to take his money,
I don't even know who you--
You just had to rob him, didn't ya!
I didn't! I didn't touch nothin'
in his house!
SILENCE. But it's in the open now and Junior frowns and
shakes his head.
Hattie had me take him out to his
car. And he say he give me ten
dollars to drive him home.
Mouse is busy working a toothpick between his front teeth.
I know you took that.
Hell, yeah. Then he asked me about
that white girl you was askin'
everybody about at the club. And I
told him I seen her with Coretta...
What the hell I care if he know?
You tell him but you won't tell me.
I don't like your ass, Easy. And
he gimme fifty dollars.
Fifty dollars? Just to tell him
you seen her with Coretta?
Naw. To deliver a letter.
Easy is stopped for a moment.
93 CONTINUED: (4) 93
How should I know? He just said to
give it to her.
And you knew where she was?
I didn't say that! I give it to
Coretta to give it to her the next
You 'spect me to believe that? Why
would he trust you to give it to
the girl if it was worth fifty
'Cause he had to blow town, fool!
Easy stops to make the connection.
He didn't say!
(after a moment)
You better be tellin' the truth.
Let's go, Raymond.
He and Mouse get up.
I'm tellin' the truth. I ain't
killed nobody. That man was alive
when I left him!
Easy opens the door, looking back at Junior, who's still
going on and walks out.
94-95 OMIT 94-95
96 INT. EASY'S CAR - DUSK 96
Compton looks a lot like Texas, with unpaved streets and
little country-styled houses set back away from the road
behind vegetable gardens and chicken coops and small sheds
with a horse or a cow tied up.
96 CONTINUED: 96
Easy and Mouse pull into the gravel driveway of a little
house and are met by the usual barking dog you find in the
country -- part Spaniel, part Shepherd, and some kind of
Retriever. It dogs Easy and Mouse's heels as they get out
of the car.
97 EXT. DUPREE'S SISTER'S HOUSE - DUSK 97
They notice the light in the front window go out and the
shade pull back slightly as they walk toward the front door.
Moments later the door opens and the dark figure of Dupree
(to the dog)
Go on. Go on in the back.
The dog obeys and Easy and Mouse walk up the walkway.
Hey, Dupree. Been trying to call
Yeah, Easy! Cops just let me out
today. My sister gone to work and
I didn't feel much like talking...
Hey, big man! Them pigtails I
Yeah. Lula Mae made some 'fore she
went to work.
Dupree ushers them in.
98 INT. DUPREE'S SISTER'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DUSK 98
Dupree's face under the kitchen light shows two swollen
black eyes from a brutal police "questioning." His eyes are
heavy with liquor and tears glisten down his cheeks.
Why somebody wanna kill her like
I don't know, Dupree... I don't
98 CONTINUED: 98
Dupree pours rye whiskey into a water glass in front of
Mouse, who swallows half the shot without looking up from
his plate of food.
Easy declines when the bottle comes his way, feeling the
pressure of time running out.
Did Coretta ever say anything to
you about a letter she was keeping?
Letter? What kinda letter?
For that white girl...
Naw. But I know it was on account
of her that Coretta got killed.
Easy rears back in his chair with keen interest and Mouse
looks up from his pigtails.
Dupree takes a drink and his eyes narrow in anger.
Everything between Coretta and that
Daphne was always such a damn
secret... I mean that ole girl
didn't think nothin' about two-
timin' on Frank... She probably
'innerduced' Coretta to one of them
ole guys she knew... And when he
came to the house after Coretta...
(starting to break)
...he found out she wasn't that
kinda woman... Cops said she fought
him... aw my Gawd... fought him
'cause she wouldn't have nobody but
He buries his face into his hands and Easy throws a sad but
frustrated look to Mouse.
Aw Gawd, I can't even go to
sleep... 'cause I can still see her
face that mornin' 'fore I went to
98 CONTINUED: (2) 98
Junior had been by and just left
the house... and she came runnin'
out to the car carrying her
bible... And she said, 'Keep this
for me, baby.'
Easy and Mouse exchange looks. JACKPOT! And Dupree falls
Police won't even let me go near
her house. So it's the only thing
I got left from her. It was a
sign... I know it was a sign,
'cause she was so religious...
It's all right, big man... it's all
And he pours Dupree a half glass of rye.
99 THE BOTTLE - LATER, NIGHT 99
Barely a "corner" of whiskey lies at the bottom and
DUPREE is snoring like a buzzsaw, sound asleep.
MOUSE squints into his glass, wondering why it's empty, and
looks down the length of the kitchen leading into
100 THE BEDROOM - NIGHT 100
Drawers are pulled out on the dresser, and Easy is rifling
through another until he pulls out a bible. He fans the
already opened. His fingers pull out a photograph and then
BACK TO EASY
His excited face goes sick, and he silently mouths:
100 CONTINUED: 100
I was as nauseated from fear as I
was from what I saw... Pictures of
a much younger Matthew Teran and
children... innocent, helpless,
101 KITCHEN 101
Easy hurries in holding up the letter.
I got it. Come on, I think that
girl is gonna call again.
That Dupree is a good man, but he
sure can't hold his liquor.
Easy grabs his coat off a chair and starts to put it on,
stuffing the letter in his coat pocket.
You got your sails up pretty far
You callin' me drunk?
Well, you been puttin' it away
along with him and--
If I was drunk could I do this?
And in less than a heartbeat he has pulled that long-
barreled pistol and is aiming it at Easy's forehead.
Ain't a man in Texas can outdraw
Put it down.
And he puts the gun back in his shoulder holster.
101 CONTINUED: 101
Go for your gun. Let's see who
I don't have a gun, Raymond. Come
on, let's go.
You fool enough to go without a
piece then you must wanna be dead.
He lays the pistol on the table then draws a .32 automatic
from his waist, this time cocking the hammer, the muzzle
only inches from Easy's head.
Easy can tell from the glazed look in Mouse's eye that
instead of seeing him, his friend is glaring at some demon
he carries around in his head. So he stands stock still.
Let him go, Raymond... He done
learned his lesson. If you kill
him then he won't have got it.
He fool enough to call me out and
he ain't even got no gun? I'll
kill the motherfucker.
Let him live, Raymond, and he be
scared whenever you walk in the
Motherfucker better be scared. I
kill a motherfucker. I kill him!
Easy stares down the barrel of the gun for a long moment
until Mouse blinks, then nods and lets the pistol fall down
into his lap. His head on his chest, he's sound asleep.
Easy takes the gun and puts it on the table with the other.
Then walks to the doorway and turns out the light.
102 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 102
The dim street lamps of Easy's neighborhood streak past as
Easy scans the streets and sidewalks, wary for anybody who
might be staking him out.
102 CONTINUED: 102
The pictures were burnin' a hole in
my pocket... I had no doubt that
Albright had killed McGee... and
that he had done it for Matthew
Teran... But Teran hadn't known who
killed Coretta. I was sure of
103 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT 103
Easy's car pulls up and he gets out and looks around
cautiously before starting up the walkway.
For the first time I hated walking
up to my house... I still didn't
know if I could go to the police.
But Albright was liable to be
showing up in a few hours asking
about Frank Green. I was thinking
I oughta forget the girl and leave
town, back to Houston or Galveston
where they didn't know me too good.
Easy gets to the door, still literally looking over his
shoulder, and hears the phone RINGING inside. He unlocks
the door and bursts in.
104 INT. EASY'S HOUSE 104
He races through the dark living room and into
105 INT. BEDROOM 105
And picks up the phone but the dial tone DRONES on the other
He whacks the nightstand with the receiver, dying with
frustration. And SOMETHING MOVES in the dark. He lunges
and pulls her into the light, then sits down onto the bed
before the shock can knock him down.
Are you all right?
105 CONTINUED: 105
Easy shakes his head in disbelieving relief and she reaches
to touch the bump on his forehead.
Your boyfriend, Frank Green, threw
a surprise party for me.
I'm sorry, Easy...
He pulls away.
Easy, Coretta's boyfriend, Dupree,
got out of jail today. And...
(continuing) (he joins her)
I need you to help me You need me to help you
find him. find him.
Easy shakes his head, amused, and lights a cigarette.
--I already have the pictures...
Daphne stiffens, as if from an electrical shock, and then:
Easy, I paid seven thousand dollars
for those pictures. They belong to
Oh yeah? Matthew Teran may have
somethin' to say about that.
Easy, you wouldn't dare.
Try me. Who killed Coretta?
I don't know -- I'll pay you for
them. I'll give you a thousand
You gave Richard seven.
105 CONTINUED: (2) 105
Okay, I'll give you seven.
Where'd you get seven thousand
Never mind. I'll give it to you.
Easy, please. They're very
important to me.
Coretta's life was important to a
few people too. What's say you
tell me who killed her?
Easy, honey, I don't know.
'Honey?' Do Frank and Carter
really fall for that stuff? Come
on... You and Todd Carter have a
fight and all of a sudden he
doesn't wanna be mayor no more...
You leave, he's worried but he
can't even get his buddies in the
police department to help him find
you... And now you wanna buy some
pictures of Teran. Why? 'Cause
he's got some dirt on you.
She gets up and walks away.
Easy, why don't you just take the
Is that what Frank told Coretta?
She whirls around to face him.
Was she being too nosy? Or was she
just being Coretta and trying to
bargain up the price?
Easy, please. How much do you
105 CONTINUED: (3) 105
Tell me. Is Frank your husband or
SMACK! She swings and open hand across his face, and SMACK!
He returns the gesture, sending her back onto the bed...
He picks up the phone and dials "O."
Easy, put the phone down.
Why don't you try screaming again?
'Cause I bet police like white
women with Negro boyfriends who
She reaches for the phone and he pushes her away.
I bet they like pimps, and whores,
too, who scam rich white men like
Carter runnin' for mayor.
Easy, please, put it down...
And I'm sure they like it when
these white girls tell their
colored men to lay low 'cause they
killed a woman over some pictures
of another rich white man.
She gathers herself, just as:
Frank is my brother.
Easy is about to speak, but then stands still.
He hangs up.
105 CONTINUED: (4) 105
She looks away, worn out, tired.
We have different fathers. Mine is
white... Frank doesn't even know
that Todd and I broke up. So far
I've kept him out of all this.
She gets up and takes Easy's cigarettes and taps one out.
See, Coretta's the only one out
here in L.A. besides my brother who
knew about me...
(she lights up)
And about a month ago she took a
job working for, of all people,
Matthew Teran. She made friends
with one of the girls in the office
who told her that she'd heard that
Teran was a pedophile. And Coretta
got carried away and told her that
Todd Carter was engaged to a
colored woman. She was sorry and
didn't think it would get to
Teran... but it did and he got a
hold of my birth records.
Who killed her, Daphne?
Daphne exhales smoke and brushes hair out of her face
ignoring the question.
Todd and I broke up and I paid a
guy for the pictures of Teran. But
somehow Coretta got them.
Who killed her?
It was an accident. Coretta and I
were still mad at each other. I
mean, she threatened to sell Teran
Who killed her goddammit!?
105 CONTINUED: (5) 105
I just asked Joppy to go over and
put a scare in her... It was an
106 INT. KITCHEN - CORETTA'S HOUSE 106
Joppy points a finger in Coretta's face, backing her against
the counter. She grabs a knife from a rack of dishes left
out to dry.
Joppy said she pulled a knife and
tried to dump hot water on him...
She swipes at Joppy and he backhands her against the
stove... She struggles to grab a pot of boiling water, but
he wrests it from her and slings her across the room against
the counter, her head striking the tile on the way down.
107 BACK TO SCENE 107
Daphne looks down at her hands.
She stubs out her cigarette and sits on the bed.
God, I didn't mean to hurt
anybody... It's just that with the
pictures I can--
What? Marry Carter? Be white
Don't judge me, Easy! Do you think
I like pretending that I'm someone
else? Do you know how I've been
treated by people, colored and
white, when I've tried to live as a
colored woman in a colored
community. Do you have any idea
what any colored man whose ever
been with me has had to go through?
Don't you dare judge me!
She sees Easy hesitate and she stands up.
Come on, Easy. Help me.
107 CONTINUED: 107
She moves in close, caressing.
Come on, you know it's the right
thing to do... You know if things
were different what would happen
I'll tell you what can happen
between us. You get Carter to
clear me up from all this and you
can have your pictures. That's all
that could have ever happened
Sure, baby. Of course,
The sound of the front door pushing open startles them, and
Albright knocks on his way in.
Well I'll be damned. You found
And Manny and Shariff step in, too, carrying baseball bats.
Wait a minute, Albright.
Daphne breaks for the back way and Easy tries to bar Shariff
from going after her.
Manny swings the baseball bat into Easy's side. and Easy
yells and plows into him, wrestling him against the wall.
Albright grabs Easy from behind and pries him free enough
for Manny to uppercut him to the chin with the fat end of
Easy sinks to his knees seeing double.
Shariff leads Daphne back into the room, her face contorted
into tears, her arm twisted up behind her in a hammerlock.
107 CONTINUED: (2) 107
Where are the pictures?
I don't know.
SMACK! He backhands her.
Easy grabs for the wall to get to his feet and Manny swings
the bat down into his kidney.
Where are they?
I wouldn't tell him! And I won't
Sure you will.
Shariff leads Daphne outside and Manny draws his forty-five
automatic and trains it on Easy, cocking the hammer.
What're you doin'? Who are we
gonna give 'em to cover this shit,
hunh?... Use your head.
He shoves Manny through the door and pushes Easy onto his
side with his foot and he's out the door.
Easy strains to get back to his knees as car doors slam and
the sound of a car engine growls to life.
He thrusts himself up from the floor and stumbles toward the
front door like a boxer who should have stayed down for the
count. He gets it open in time to see...
108 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT 108
The blurred white form of Albright's Caddy screaming away,
shattering the dark, shrieking in flight.
Dogs are barking and a baby is screaming somewhere in the
neighborhood while lights are going on up and down the
Easy stumbles back inside and into
109 THE BEDROOM 109
Where he manages to dial the phone. It RINGS several times
on the other end, and finally:
Get Dupree's car. Drive it to 78th
and Central... The butcher shop.
He puts down the receiver, missing the cradle, and staggers
out of the room.
110 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 110
Easy is ripping through the night, the streetlights flashing
by in blurs of light. The windows down, he's coming to.
It had come to me in less time than
it takes to think that Albright was
taking Daphne someplace more
isolated than that office building
downtown... Someplace where there
would be no witnesses... And I was
being left alive to take the fall.
111 EXT. BUTCHER SHOP/JOPPY'S BAR - NIGHT 111
The street is still alive. A couple of late night juke
joints are coughing up the last drunken bits of the party
onto the sidewalk to straggle home. Easy's car screams
around the corner, and then skids in, sending a heavy-hipped
young sister, about to cross the street, scrambling for
He jumps out just as Mouse scorches the tires on Dupree's
'38 Packard in behind him.
111 CONTINUED: 111
(to the woman)
Sorry, baby... Lemme give you
twenty bucks for them stockings you
It takes a moment to register, but when she sees him pull
a twenty from his pocket, she gets busy.
He runs back to Mouse.
Gimme one of them guns you got.
Mouse smiles, loving this side of Easy, and trades him a set
of car keys for a .32 automatic.
Start up my car. I'm comin' out
He runs back to the woman he almost hit and hands off the
twenty, grabbing one of the nylons, leaving her still
stripping as he runs into
112 INT. STAIRWAY 112
He takes the steps two at a time, pulling the stocking down
over his face as he reaches the top and bursts through the
open door leading into
113 INT. JOPPY'S BAR 113
He charges through the raucous laughter of the half-full
room right up to the bar.
Joppy nearly drops the glasses he is clearing away as he
looks down the barrel of the pistol aimed at his face.
Come on, Joppy. Let's go!
Joppy hesitates, recognizing the voice.
You heard me. I'll blow your head
And he cocks the hammer, causing Joppy to get a move on from
behind the bar.
Easy shoves him through the door, calling back to the
startled crowd on his way out.
113 CONTINUED: 113
Don't follow me, goddammit!
And he's gone.
114 INT. JOPPY'S BAR - NIGHT 114
Easy hides the piece in his coat pocket as he bum rushes
Joppy to the car.
Easy, what the hell you--
And he shoves Joppy into the back seat, getting in next to
Drive this damn thing, Mouse!
Mouse pulls off, around the corner, down the street into an
A115 INT. EASY'S CAR - IN THE ALLEY A115
Mouse pulls to a stop.
Albright's got the girl. He's
gonna kill her. Where would he
take her? And you better get it
Man, I don't--
Don't fool with me, man!
There's a cabin out in Malibu on
Make a right, Mouse!
B115 EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT B115
The car roars down the alley and turns right onto the
115 INT. CAR - INDUSTRIAL STREET - NIGHT 115
You sure 'bout this place?
I guess so. He's done this kinda
thing out there before.
Easy, what's done got into you?
Thought y'all was friends.
He killed Dupree's girlfriend.
And he pulls out his pistol, aiming it back over the seat at
Joppy as he drives. KABLAAM! The bullet slams through the
rear window just to the side of Joppy's head.
Mouse! What're you doin'?
KABLAAM! This one digs out a chunk of upholstery between
Joppy and Easy.
Hey! Watch out!
The car screeches to a halt and Mouse tries to aim again.
But Easy struggles with Mouse's gun hand still holding a
pistol on Joppy.
Mouse, we need him to lead the way!
KABLAAM! This one rips through the roof.
Joppy's yelling, afraid that Easy's gun will go off.
115 CONTINUED: 115
Mouse, the girl offered me seven
thousand dollars for the pictures.
Mouse glares into the rearview mirror.
No, I swear I'm not.
And he fumbles with the ignition and shifts gears.
Oh, my God!... Oh, my goodness!
116 EXT. L.A. STREET - NIGHT 116
The engine roars from a punch to the accelerator, and
Mouse's voice can be heard cutting through the darkness as
the car powers off down the street.
Oh, my goodness!
117 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 117
Easy, with the gun on Joppy, strains to see the dimly lit
road in front of them.
Is that it up there?
Yeah, that's it.
118 THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD 118
The headlights bounce off a signpost: "Route 9."
119 EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT 119
The Pontiac makes the turn onto a graded dirt road.
120 INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT 120
A ranch-style cabin emerges up off the road, drawing nearer
in the headlight beams.
121 BACK TO SCENE 121
Shut off the headlights, Mouse.
Mouse kills the lights.
Is that it?
Naw. It's farther up.
How much farther?
Another ten minutes, I guess.
Easy, I swear, I ain't done nothin'
to nobody. I swear, I ain't.
122 EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT 122
THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: House lights show through thick
There it is.
Mouse pulls to a stop and kills the engine.
There's some rope in the trunk,
Mouse gets out of the car and is heard opening the trunk.
Easy, come on, man. That girl is
lying if she told you I killed them
Who said she told me?
SCREAM! It's muted and distant. But it's a woman all
Easy pushes out of the back door on the right as Mouse opens
the opposite door on the driver's side.
Stuff this in his mouth. I gotta
get up there.
He tosses Mouse the stocking.
122 CONTINUED: 122
Let's just shoot him.
(on the run)
No, Mouse. And they'll hear it.
123 EXT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN - NIGHT 123
The cabin draws nearer as Easy scrambles up the hill. He
can hear Daphne crying out something, but he can't make out
It quiets down as he nears and sees shadows crossing a
window with the shade pulled down.
He moves cautiously, quietly to the window and peers through
the crack between the shade and the windowsill. He can make
out a sliver of what looks like a large room with a low
ceiling. SMACK! And Daphne screams again.
Come on, talk to me. Talk to me
while you still can.
Please! I don't have them! Easy
Easy can barely make out Shariff passing the window. He
strains to see more.
You said he didn't know anything.
I was lying!!
Okay. Grab that for me, Shariff.
And then SCRE-E-EAM!! The kind that drops the bottom out of
your stomach. The kind more akin to fear than the word
itself... The kind that fries your skin with the cold chill
of horror. S-C-R-E-EAMS again!!
No-o-o-o! Please. No-o-o!
Now talk to me, goddammit!
123 CONTINUED: 123
124 Easy's gotta make a move. KABLANGALANGLE! He smashes the 124
window with the gun and the shade rattles all the way up.
Manny looks right up at his face as Daphne arches and
flails, trying to get free from his hands that are pinning
her down on a battered old sofa.
Albright is holding a glowing red poker that Shariff,
standing in front of the fireplace, has just handed him.
Easy starts blasting. KABLAAM! Manny takes one to the
Albright and Shariff lunge for cover, and Daphne ducks down
behind the back of the sofa, screaming and screaming.
Manny, hand to his throat, pulls his gun on reflex, firing
into the floor and then half runs, half staggers out the
side door just ahead of another KABLAAM! that digs out a
chunk of the wall.
Easy hears the screen door open and then ducks down, getting
ready for Manny who should be coming his way from the side
door. He HEARS more steps stumble out and then... SILENCE.
And then, KABLAAM! BLAAM! Two huge blasts rip right
through the wall next to Easy's head, and he scrambles to
the side of the house, underneath another window with the
shade pulled down.
Who the hell's out there?
I don't know!
That you, Easy?
Tell us what you want, buddy. See
what we can work out.
Easy HEARS footsteps coming alongside the house where he had
been moments ago. KABLAAM! BLAAM! Albright has fired from
the inside again, thinking it's him.
124 CONTINUED: 124
But it's Manny, clutching his throat, gurgling for air,
stumbling aimlessly off down the hill. A walking dead
man... EASY hears him tumble into some shrubbery and after a
moment the gurgling stops.
Easy... Hey, Buddy
(then to Shariff)
Come on, goddammit!
Daphne cries out and KLABLANGLE! Easy breaks the window
with the gun but KABLAAM! BLAAM! BLAAM! The windowsill
tears out above his head and Daphne screams again.
Easy looks up to see Shariff, holding her in front of him as
a shield. He's headed straight for Easy, drawing a bead on
him for the kill. And then KABLAAM! the back of Shariff's
skull flies off and
MOUSE is in the side door, blasting. BLAAM!
Albright breaks for the window. BLAAM! The slug spins him
halfway around but he hurls himself through the window
Easy scurries to the front of the house and BLAAM! The
bullet goes wide and Albright manages to get into his car
and returns fire. BLAAM! BLAAM!... Easy hits the deck.
Albright's engine roars to life and he SQUEALS out on the
gravel. Mouse appears on the other side of the house and
CLICK! CLICK! he's out of ammo. He pulls out the other
pistol, but it's too late.
Damn, damn, damn! I hit him! I
Easy gets up from the ground and trudges into the front
125 INT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN 125
Easy finds Daphne standing in the middle of the room, her
whole body quaking in shock. He takes off his jacket and
drapes it around her.
Come on... You all right?
Her top lip is swollen and bloody and she has a dark bruise
on her cheek... She jerks her head, nodding "yes."
125 CONTINUED: 125
As he leads her through the doorway, he stops to look back
at Shariff's legs sprawling out on the floor from behind the
126 EXT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN - NIGHT 126
He leads her down the front porch and hears.
There's blood all over here... I
Mouse gets up from squatting down, grinning, the gold rims
of his teeth catching a glint from the light coming through
the door. He looks Daphne over, admiring.
Easy leads her past, quickly.
Yeah. Let's go.
127 EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT 127
Mouse opens the back seat door of the car and Easy sees that
there's no one there.
And then he looks around quickly, seeing
JOPPY'S BODY lying off on the side of the road.
I didn't have time to be tying him
Daphne sees the body too and starts gagging. Easy's face
twists into helpless pain and he holds a handkerchief to
Why, man? Why?
127 CONTINUED: 127
Why what? You just said don't
shoot him. And I didn't... I
choked his ass...
Easy helps Daphne into the car and closes the door.
Damn Mouse! Why?
How I'm gonna help you back there
foolin' 'round with him?
He was tied up! Why?!
Aw, man. If you didn't want him
kilt you shouldn't have left him
And he goes around to the passenger side of the car to get
Unlike up at the house this was murder -- the same as it had
been in Texas with Mouse's stepfather and brother. Tears of
rage well up in Easy's eyes as he hears the car door close.
A128 EXT. GLENDALE TRAIN STATION - NIGHT A128
Daphne sits in the car, her eyes staring straight ahead,
still in shock.
128 EXT. PLATFORM - NIGHT 128
A few people hurry to board the train, Easy and Mouse among
I convinced Mouse to take the two
o'clock train to Pomona and to let
me handle everything else. He
could get a train back to Houston
later that morning... He was fine
with that but only because he was
seven thousand dollars richer.
Daphne had gotten the money out of
a locker at the YMCA without a
128 CONTINUED: 128
EASY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Because she was still in shock and
couldn't really talk... Maybe too
because she had stolen about four
times that much from Carter.
Listen, if you think you gonna have
trouble with that dude Frank, I can
run by and kill him and take that
evening train to Houston.
He has had enough of Mouse for a while.
Oh. This is for you.
And he pulls out something wrapped up in a brown paper bag
from his coat.
I cut you in for half 'cause I knew
you was too big a fool to take your
share from that white girl
Easy stares numbly at the package and then takes it.
The conductor gets on board and the train starts making
those metal on metal sounds.
Send my grip to Etta Mae. I'm
gonna see if she'll take me back
now that I'm flush.
He slaps Easy on the shoulder and boards the train.
Oh, here's the keys to Dupree's
He tosses them, and the train starts moving.
And if you need somebody to run
them streets with ya, gimme a call.
You know how to put some money in a
And he laughs, flashing gold teeth pulling away.
128 CONTINUED: (2) 128
I knew I would see him again and I
didn't know how I felt about
that... 'cause, unlike Mouse, my
legs were like rubber... the way
they had been in the war the whole
two years I was there.
129 EXT. GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY - NIGHT 129
Easy sits in his car smoking a cigarette, rubbing his aching
chin, looking out at
DAPHNE AND CARTER
standing on the lawn in front of the planetarium. Carter
wanders after Daphne, explaining while she paces back and
forth in anger.
I could tell how it was gonna go
when Carter asked us to meet him at
the Observatory instead of at his
house... She knew it, too. But she
had come this far and she had to
play it out.
Suddenly, Daphne stops abruptly and strides hurriedly back
toward the car. Carter follows behind.
Daphne! Daphne, sweetheart!
He starts over, too, but then stops, knowing here's no use.
130 INT. CAR - NIGHT 130
She gets in.
Come on, Easy. Let's go.
Easy throws a look over at Carter.
Don't worry, you can give him the
And she throws them down on the seat.
131 OMIT 131
132 Easy fires up the engine and pulls away with Daphne 132
looking straight ahead.
Hey, I'm sorry.
The slight twist of her head amounts to a shrug and then the
tears flow. The sun is coming up over the city below...
For the first time I felt that I
could fall in love with her, too...
I was even wondering if it was
starting to happen when I dropped
her off at 63rd and Dinker where
her brother, Frank, was waiting...
Then it occurred to me that she
still had Carter's money... and I
felt like a fool.
133 INT. CITY HALL 133
Easy walks onto the rotunda holding a hand to his aching
kidney. A secretary comes out to meet him and as she
leaves, Todd Carter and a group of men in business suits
converge on him, shaking hands.
Evidently Carter had told all his
cronies about the pictures because
they were all smiles and handshakes
and "how do ya do"... The Mayor,
the police chief... The newspaper;
land developers. All the men who
ran the City, and who really stood
to gain by who was the Mayor for
the next six years.
The group fans out leaving Carter and Easy alone to walk off
down a hallway.
134 OMIT 134
135 OMIT 135
136 INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE 136
Spacious and heavy in leather and wood with a not-so-
spectacular view of the mountains. It's cold and official
like the job itself.
Carter pulls a brown envelope from inside his coat pocket,
not unlike Albright.
136 CONTINUED: 136
Here's the remaining eight hundred
that I owe you... in cash... And
another thousand which I hope will
keep this whole thing... you know.
Easy nods a tentative "sure."
And I've taken care of your
problems with the police. You'll
have no more trouble there. And
that's a promise.
Easy nods and starts to go, but...
(continuing; to Easy)
Mr. Rawlins... did Daphne ever
say... she loved me?
Easy shrugs, not knowing how to answer.
Would it really matter if she did,
Carter nods sadly and Easy walks away leaving him a lonely
figure amidst all his power.
137 EXT. CITY HALL - DAY 137
Easy holds his kidney and lowers himself gingerly down the
I'd been thinking about Daphne,
too... wondering if she meant what
she said about what could have
happened between us... But at the
moment I was wondering if there was
any such thing as a sprained chin.
But other than that and a headache,
a loose tooth and a kidney that a
doctor would need to look at, I
felt like five thousand, three
hundred dollars... And unless
Albright was alive somewhere, that
feelin' was gonna last a while.
137 CONTINUED: 137
Miller and Mason are waiting outside their car at the curb.
They come over.
You got some mighty powerful
friends up there... mighty
powerful. But, see, we got a
Easy listens disinterestedly.
With the Chief sealing these things
up like this, it doesn't do much
for the morale of the men who've
been working on these cases.
Yeah. Makes 'em feel like shit.
There's a guy who's been callin' on
the phone. And we're pretty sure
that he was up there with McGee.
A... uh... colored guy... sounds
Not very bright... But he said you
accused him of the murder. And he
swears you were up there, too...
In fact, he's out and out pointing
the finger at ya.
How about a name?
He'd do it to you...
Easy waits to make sure they're finished, and...
Sorry, fellas. But I gotta go.
He starts away.
137 CONTINUED: (2) 137
Why don't you go back to the
station and, uh... wait around for
You son-of-a-bitch... You watch
yourself, you hear! Don't you even
spit on the fucking sidewalk... I
better not even--
Mason's voice fades under.
It might be the last moment of my
adult life spent free was walking
away from City Hall.
138 EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY 138
A NEWSPAPER HEADLINE reads: "Carter Back In Race."
The subheading reads: "Quiet Civic Leader Returns As
Flamboyant Teran Quits."
The paper treated the mysterious
flip-flop like it happened every
day. And I could tell that Matthew
Teran wouldn't spend a day in
jail... Back in the second section
of the paper was a small article
about an unidentified man found
dead, slumped over the steering
wheel of a white Cadillac just
north of Malibu...
FURTHER BACK, we see that Odell is reading the newspaper,
nursing a can of ale.
It scared me to think about a world
that could kill a man like DeWitt
Albright... What could a world like
that do to me?
Hey, Easy, where's your car?
Easy looks up from pulling weeds.
138 CONTINUED: 138
In the shop... I'm havin' it fixed
up a little.
Yeah. Man can't get no decent job
in this town without a car.
Shoot. I ain't studyin' no job.
Ain't thinkin' 'bout no job? How
you gonna live?
I'm gonna go to work for myself.
Take a little money I got saved up
and go into real estate... Start
fixin' up folks' gardens again...
and do a few favors on the side...
Favors for friends.
What you talkin' 'bout, 'favors'?
Well, like a woman offered me
thirty dollars to go track down her
husband for her.
You talkin' about private
investigatin' or somethin'... You
could get in trouble doin' that.
Easy keeps working.
Like a man once said to me, Odell:
'Walk out your door in the morning
and you're already in trouble'...
It's just how you're mixed up in
that trouble that counts.
Easy gets up and turns on the water hose.
138 CONTINUED: (2) 138
If you got a friend that does bad
and you still keep him as your
friend, even though you know what
he's like... Do you think that's
All you got is your friends,
Easy starts to nod, but then spots
hovering over a rosebush in a neighbor's yard across the
street, his shears ready to cut.
Get out of that yard!
Bastard cut down two of my trees.
Easy picks up a rock and sails it. Odell comes off the
porch and does the same. Then a neighbor from across the
street joins in.
THE WOODCUTTER ambles off toward another block, leaving
Easy, Odell and the neighbor gathered in the middle of the
139 UP THE BLOCK 139
a man with a pony is setting up a camera. A few children
have gathered, and more are running over from other parts of
The man props up a hand-painted sign, "Cowboy Pictures -- 15
Cents," and lifts the first customer onto the pony
positioning a cowboy hat on the child's head.
140 BACK TO SCENE 140
Another neighbor joins Easy and company, and they continue
to laugh and talk, looking up from time to time to wave at
friends in passing cars.
I thought about what Odell had said
about friends and it made sense to
140 CONTINUED: 140
EASY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Odell goes to church every Sunday,
so he would know... Later on, he
challenged me to a game of
dominoes. And what'd he do that
for? We got to talkin' 'bout Texas
and fooled around and drunk almost
a quart of whiskey... And I forgot
about Daphne Monet, DeWitt Albright
and Carter and them... And sat with
my friend, on my porch at my
house... and we laughed a long