Scott Z. Burns
Based on the book by
A SERIES OF GREEN/GOLD VERTICAL STREAKS
Moving across the screen from right to left. We hear a happy
and informative man's voice.. .We will come to know this voice
as MARK WHITACRE'S...
You know that orange juice you have
every morning? You know what's in
FREEZE on one of the green/gold streaks as it racks into to
focus. We have been dollying through...
1 EXTERIOR CORN FIELD 1
Hold on a single stalk of corn in the center of frame.
And we are off again, dollying past the green/gold streaks of
HARVEST HIGH SEPTEMBER CORN.
r And you know what's in the maple
syrup you put on your pancakes?
You know what makes it taste so
FREEZE AGAIN ON A SINGLE STALK OF CORN
Again, the dolly is on the move-- the corn plants strobe
When you get grass stains on your
good pants, you know why the
detergent mom uses can get them
FREEZE ON CORN STALK
That's right. C2rn.
A HUGE COMBINE enters frame and turns down a row. The camera
follows it. We are in the middle of a massive corn field in
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. The wind creates swells in the corn like
a great green and gold sea. The farm equipment accelerates as
Draft: 1/15/03 2.
There's corn syrup in the capsules
you takes for your allergies, com
starch in my beer, even corn oil in
the paint we're putting on the
Corn flies through the air and into the collecting bin.
.Bacon and eggs is really just
corn and corn when you think about
what they feed the chickens and the
pigs. And when you're good and
help with the trash, you know what
makes the big green bags
We reach the end of a row. The combine turns to harvest
another row REVEALING...
A PORSCHE 911 speeding down US HIGHWAY 36...
2 INTERIOR PORSCHE 911- CONTINUOUS 2
WHITACRE, 33, drives his young son ALEXANDER, 6, to school.
Whitacre is as happy as God makes creatures. Alexander sips
his half-pint carton of ORANGE JUICE.
Alexander hazards a guess.
Corn starch. But, Daddy's company
didn't come up with that one--
Whitacre tussles his hair. They drive by a GAS STATION in the
middle of the cornfields. He continues his ode to corn in
Ethanol is made of corn; that's
ADM. Car corn. Like gasoline. But
they also use it for scotch, gin
and vodka ...Corn and tonic... corn
gimlet...corn on the rocks.
Draft: 1/15/03 3.
The car accelerates to pass a tanker truck with ADM:
SUPERMARKET TO THE WORLD emblazoned on the side. The 911 is
warped in the reflection...
Porsche or Porsh-a. I've heard it
both ways. Three years in Germany,
I should know that. What's the
German word for corn? The word I
really like saying is
"kugelschreiber." That's "pen"--
all those syllables just for "pen."
A PEN SIGNS A LEDGER
Whitacre signs in with the security gate at ARCHER DANIELS
MIDLAND headquarters in Decatur. A sprawling industrial
facility that makes most of what America eats. Grain
elevators, cooling towers, processing plants, loading docks
and a six story concrete bunker of an office building. He
parks his car in a monogrammed space.
3 INTERIOR ADM HEADQUARTERS-CONTINUOUS 3
Whitacre walks across the open trading floor where soy and
corn futures from around the world are displayed on a tote
board and into his glass walled office.
He has a kind word for everyone. Smile flashing like a
casino sign. He sees his pal Kirk Schmidt from accounting...
Hey there, howdy. Hey, Kirk, we
got to get out and hit some
balls ...Morning...Guten Tag...
Whitacre scans the room full of busy co-workers. His
secretary, LIZ TAYLOR, 35, wears earrings that are EARS OF
CORN made of gold.
What do they pay Kirk. . .What does a
guy like that get...100K...I bet he
gets a 100. He's just going to sit
behind that desk and ride it into
Morning Mark...They have lysine
She hands him a folder. He opens it and scans the data. He
Draft: 1/15/03 4.
4 INTERIOR LYSINE PLANT- A FEW MINUTES LATER 4
Whitacre walks among the giant fermenters-- he's joined by a
DISCOURAGED FOREMAN. They check various gauges and dials
showing proof of failure.
We adjusted the dextrose again, but
the vrus keeps showing
up-Thought we had it surrounded
this time. We're starting a new set
We'll Vet it. We just gotta stay
after it. The things eat sugar and
that's what we're giving them-- a
warm place filled with sugar.
They walk into a clean room full of flasks mechanically
shaken like paint cans-- it's too loud to speak. Each flask
is connected to a feed tube-- the cultures are administered
to by a HALF DOZEN BIO TECH WORKERS. Whitacre watches. He
focuses on one worker-- she's ASIAN. She adds some nutrients
to the feed line.
A positive mental attitude is a
real important thing. They've done
studies where heart patients who
have people praying for them
actually do better than ones who
don't. There's science for you.
The cheerleaders might make a
difference in the game after
all...How do you know what the
electrical energy of a thought
actually does when it's out there
in the world? It's gotta go
somewhere...so you might as well
smile. Takes less muscles than
Whitacre closes the door on the very loud room.
5 INTERIOR ADM BOARDROOM- LATER 5
Whitacre sits with MICK ANDREAS, Vice Chairman, 45, and TERRY
WILSON, 55, President. An overhead projector displays the
desultory performance of Whitacre's division.
The fucking thing is supposed to
produce 113 thousand tons annually.
Draft: 1/15/03 5.
We're not gonna get anywhere near
that. We got 150 million dollars in
costs over there guys. I can see
the fucking thing from my swimming
pool and it makes me want to drown
myself every morning.
Did the Japanese have these kind of
problems with lysine?
I don't give a shit about the
Japanese. You just gotta get the
Goddamn lysine bugs to eat the
dextrose and shit us out some
We're still having problems with
I don't want to hear about the damn
virus anymore. Terry, what are we
losing a month?
We're off like seven million per.
That's not gonna fly much longer.
You want to go in there next
quarter and tell the board that
we're sucking hind tit on
this...cuz' I sure don't.
He gives Whitacre a cold, hard, we're--done-fucking-around-
Fix the Goddamn plant, or we're
gonna shut it down.
The last light goes out.
AN EAR OF CORN ON A DINNER PLATE
A pad of butter melts.
6 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION KITCHEN- EVENING 6
Whitacre stares at the EAR. His wife GINGER, 33, and
Alexander dine with him.
Draft: 1/15/03 6.
Ginger and Mark have known each other since High School. She
was Homecoming Queen then. Either would be hard pressed to
envision a life without each other.
You're not hungry, Corky.
Whitacre is distracted. Ginger cuts up Alexander's food.
The pilgrims loved the corn-- they
came for the religious freedom but
they stayed for the corn-- but its
missing three of your eight
essential amino acids-- especially
lysine. That's why the Indians ate
it with beans or lime. You feed a
chicken corn and it gets sick. Yo
feed it corn and lysine and it goes
from egg to supermarket fryer in
six months instead of eight...
Whitacre gazes over at a plate of fried chicken, and then at
his wife. She has gotten dressed up for dinner. She looks
Breasts and thighs in six months...
You look great.
They got the first wall of the
stables up today. You see that?
They're doing this thing in
hydroponics where they're feeding
lysine to jumbo shrimp... Imagine
you're a sh rimp and one day some
corn goes floating by, what do you
think about that?
I don't know what I'd think about
There's an opening in Mexico-- they
might need me to go down there and
get things set up...Alex, what do
you think about Mexico?
Draft: 1/15/03 7.
I thought we were getting horses.
7 INTERIOR ADM- WEEKS LATER- EVENING 7
Whitacre is working late-- pouring over the failing lysine
I would rather take a lot of pain
killers in a. hotel room than jump
off a bridge...Or use a gun. A gun
on your temple-- why do that? what
does that say? Pain killers,
definitely... Lie down in a great
big hotel bed-What's, that place
in Hong Kong on the Kowloon side?
The Regent? What a bed! If you
think about it, that doesn't mean
anything-- it's normal to think
His secretary, LIZ TAYLOR, buzzes him on the intercom.
(on the intercom)
There's a call, I can't pronounce
his name, he said he works for
Whitacre picks up.
Hello, Dr. Whitacre? My name is
Fujiwara from Ajinomoto Corp...I
want to discuss with you lysine if
you have a moment.
Liz pokes her head into the office and mouths the words "Good
Night" to her boss and leaves him alone with Fujiwara.
Hey, sure. . .How you guys making out
Draft: 1/15/03 8.
8 EXTERIOR GAS STATION OUTSIDE OF DECATUR, ILLINOIS- NIGHT 8
Whitacre on his way home from work, this time in a JEEP
CHEROKEE, fills up the tank. A SERVICE STATION EMPLOYEE is
changing the price of gasoline. ANOTHER CUSTOMER gives a
SUCKER to her TEETHING BRAT to pacify her.
Sixth grade. Marty Blocker used to
sell us Charm's Blow Pops for three
cents, which was a great deal cuz
at Valley Drug they cost a nickel.
He said his Dad worked for Charms--
said he invented the Blow Pop and
got a special deal-- like a life
time supply. Then they opened his
locker..cuz of all the ants... In a
line.. .His Dad worked for the post
office, he came down to the school
in his uniform. Nothing ever
happened to Marty-- just ants ...He
blew off part of his thumb on the
4th of July with an M-80...
9 INTERIOR MICK ANDREAS' OFFICE ADM- MORNING 9
At 6:30 the next morning Whitacre walks across the ADM
trading floor and straight into Mick Andreas' office looking
Mick you're not going to believe
what the hell's happened. I think
I know the reason why we've been
having all these problems at the
Well, I've only been asking you to
come up with one for the past eight
weeks. I'm all ears.
Whitacre paces. His story comes out in a rush of words.
Andreas listens silently.
It's not start-up problems like we
thought. It's the Japanese. This
guy Fujiwara from Ajinomoto, he's
been calling me-- sometimes at
work, sometimes at home cuz of the
time difference-- you met him, he
was here a couple of weeks ago.
Draft: 1/15/03 9.
Well last night he calls me at home
just after 8, and Mick, he knew
everything. He says to me, `You
remember the total nightmare you
had during May, June and July?'
And before I can ask him what he
means he says, `Those months when
ADM was losing about seven million
dollars a month in the lysine
Whitacre stares at Andreas in shock-- no one outside the
company should know that. Andreas is still stone faced.
I couldn't believe it. But, Mick
before I can even ask him how he
got those numbers, he starts making
little comments about us having
microbe problems. Jokes, like he's
toying with me.
Whitacre is fuming now-- his voice unnaturally high.
And then he tells me that one of
our highest paid employees is
actually an employee of Ajinomoto
and is sabotaging the plant.
They're injecting some kind of
virus into the dextrose and
contaminating the whole deal.
That's the problem. I'll tell you
Mick, it's like Rising Sun, that
Crichton book, it's just like it.
Fujiwara even said that his boss,
Ikeda, would have him killed if he
knew he was calling. So I asked
him why he was talking to me and he
said-- he said-- he wants 10
million dollars. 10 million and
he'll tell us who the saboteur is
and give us a new lysine bug that's
immune to the virus. We could be
up and running in three days...
Andreas pauses, takes it all in, and then...
How well do you know this guy?
Uh, um, well I met him a few weeks
ago when he came over. And then,
he called a couple of times...
So, not very well?
Draft: 1/15/03 10.
Very well? No, I can't really say
Andreas ponders the situation.
Okay, if you hear from him again--
talk him down on the price. I want
you to find out the least amount of
money he'd settle for. If we can
get a bug that's resistant to the
virus, it might be worth it...But,
I want you to keep this quiet, if
there is a mole, we don't want him
to know we're onto him.
10 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- EVENING 10
Whitacre stands with a cocktail in the fading light, looking
at the foundation for the NEW HORSE STABLES being built
across the road from the main house. There is not another
home anywhere nearby.
This'd be a great place for some
outlet stores... People would come
from all over Southern Illinois and
probably Missouri, too. Famous
name brand labels and appliances at
savings of up to fifty per cent
every day. Maybe a food court with
a Mexican place. . .After the
stables, maybe a tennis court or a
little pitch and putt by the pool--
that adds to resale value like
Whitacre looks at the swarm of insects around a street
The birds eat the bugs, the cars
eat the birds, the rust eats the
cars and the new construction eats
Ginger interrupts Whitacre's grand plan from across the
Corky, Alexander says there's a bat
in his room.
Draft: 1/15/03 11.
11 INTERIOR ADM- MICK ANDREAS' OFFICE 11
Whitacre shakes his head in disbelief. He paces nervously.
Stunned by the news.
The FBI! God, no.
Andreas and MARK CHEVIRON, 38, tell Whitacre of his upcoming
FBI interview. Cheviron is a barrel chested, linebacker of a
man. A former Decatur cop who is now Private Industry's
version of a bouncer.
I thought I was supposed to be
getting him down on the price.
That's what you told me to do and I
was doing it.
We're not gonna sit back and let
the Japs fuck us sideways.
I just don't understand, we weren't
going to mention it and now he's in
Of course he's in. If we got a mole
then it's a security issue...
I'll be sitting in with the FBI.
But, I already told you guys
everything I know. What's the
Cheviron is annoyed by Whitacre's histrionics.
We don't like the idea of talking
to the FBI anymore than you do.
Look, they're just going to tape
the guy's calls-- and ask you a few
questions. No big deal.
Whitacre shakes his head, even more upset.
Draft: 1/15/03 12.
We know how the FBI works.. .We can
Whitacre has his doubts.
12 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- DAY 12
GINGER is putting away groceries when the phone rings.
13 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S OFFICE 13
Whitacre is on the phone-- pacing like a caged animal.
Now, they've got the FBI in on it.
First they tell me they're going to
pay and be done with it, now they
want me to talk to the FBI.
14 INTERIOR KITCHEN-CONTINUOUS 14
She sits down-- uneasy. This isn't like him to be so upset.
The FBI? Why do you need to talk to
the FBI? It's their factory. Let
them talk to the FBI.
I'm really uncomfortable about
this, baby. There are a lot of
things going on here.
What does that mean, "things?"
I just mean we have to be careful.
Whatever you do, Corky, no matter
what's going on, just be honest
with them and tell the truth. Tell
the truth no matter what the truth
Draft: 1/15/03 13.
He considers her advice and hangs up the phone. Whitacre
looks out the window at the cold, gray Autumn day and weighs
his options. Leaves blow across the ADM parking lot.
(he seems angry)
It's spring time in Nigeria-- you
can bet they're loving that.
Sitting around watching the days
get longer; watching the afternoon
go by on their Rolexes and
Cartiers. Everyone's just waiting
on the mailman... while the poachers
make the elephants extinct.
ANGLE ON FBI FORM 302
The name "Mark Whitacre" is written across the top.
15 INTERIOR ADM CONFERENCE ROOM- EVENING 15
SPECIAL AGENT BRIAN SHEPARD, 43, sits with Cheviron and a
very anxious Mark Whitacre. Shepard wears a rumpled dark
suit and tie from the day Jay Edgar Hoover set a dress code.
He has been stationed in Decatur where the odd dead body in a
river and a convenience store robbery that traversed state
lines have made up the last fifteen years of his life.
Whitacre shifts restlessly in his seat. Cheviron on the other
hand is an old hand at this. He watches Whitacre and says
nothing. Shepard writes down everything.
He told me he wanted his payments
deposited by wire transfer to
numbered bank accounts in
Switzerland and the Caribbean.
And when was your last contact with
Two days ago. But I think he's
getting suspicious. I've dragged
this out as long as I can. If we
don't get back to him soon he may
And these calls, they've been
coming in on your home line?
Whitacre looks at Cheviron-- there's clearly a right and
wrong answer here.
Draft: 1/15/03 14.
I have an ADM line at my house-- a
business line-- they've been coming
in on that.
Drifting from Shepard's face to his ADAM'S APPLE. The knot
of his BLACK FBI TIE bobs up and down as he speaks.
SHEPARD WHITACRE (V.O.)
Well, we need to start by There's a sale at Bacarach's--
putting a recording device on they get those Oscar De La
your phone. We should make Renta ties that nobody buys--
arrangements to do that as except maybe Wilson-- what
soon as possible. We also are they two for one for
need a list of everyone in another week... They never put
the bioproducts division to the Brioni ties on sale... .I
see if we can see who's should just get all the ties
operating on the inside, in Paris, wear them once or
we'll want phone records, twice. Shove them in a duty
employment histories and any free bag.
other background checks that
ADM may have...
I can help with that.
So, that's it then. I can go?
Shepard hands Whitacre his card. They shake hands.
I'd like to come out tomorrow and
get on that phone.
No problem. Thanks for your time.
16 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION ENTRY WAY- NIGHT
Whitacre comes in from a long day at work. Ginger walks in
from the kitchen. She gives him a welcome home hug-- but he
doesn't let go-- holding on like a man caught in the current.
You told them the truth, Mark.
That's all you can do.
Draft: 1/15/03 15.
They we're watching me the whole
time. Cheviron was in the room.
She slips from his arms-- disappointed.
I never even got a chance.
She doesn't accept his excuse and heads upstairs to bed.
Tanya called from school-- she has
homework questions for you.
Whitacre stands in the vestibule alone. He walks through the
big house shutting off lights-- he sits in a chair in the
huge living room and leafs through an issue of NATIONAL
I go to Cornell and get a Ph. D.
and then to Northwestern and get an
MBA-- Mick Andreas gets born with
the vice president of the United
States as his Godfather. He goes-
to the Nixon's for Thanksgiving--
my parents died in a car accident
when I was three. I wound up in an
orphanage. That was my
Thanksgiving ...These photographers
must wait forever to get these
shots... Although I heard a story
that sometimes they'll throw a
sandwich on the ground to get the
panther to come down out of the
tree.. .They're just trying to do
their jobs.. .Where's the harm-- the
panther gets to eat.
17 INTERIOR CHEVIRON HOUSE- NIGHT 17
Cheviron sits in bed with his wife watching TV. The phone
Jesus, it's late.. .Hello?
18 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION LIVING ROOM- SIMULTANEOUSLY 18
Whitacre paces while on the phone-- frantic and rambling.
Draft: 1/15/03 16.
Now my family's being threatened, I
can't put up with this.
They're threatening my daughter.
She got a call at school. She's
Slow down, Mark.
She said the guy sounded Asian.
They told her Fujiwara couldn't
Did you call the FBI?
It just happened. He wants an
answer. Or, he said she's in
We'll talk about it in the morning.
I'm thinking about quitting. Moving
my family out of here. I can't do
We'll talk in the morning.
Whitacre puts down the phone and walks through the large,
dark house. He opens the bedroom door and the wedge of light
finds Ginger already half-asleep. He lies down next to her
in bed fully clothed.
19 INTERIOR ADM- MICK ANDREAS' OFFICE 19
Cheviron, Whitacre and Mick Andreas. Whitacre is still
You ever mention to Fujiwara where
your daughter went to school?
Draft: 1/15/03 17.
If the guy wants to threaten you--
why not just call you?
He told her to write down the
I want her to tell the FBI what
Andreas moves toward the phone.
I don't want her talking to the
FBI, definitely not.
Why not, Mark? Come on, if she's
really in danger.
Then I'll talk to her.
Andreas picks up the phone. Whitacre doesn't want that
She's scared enough.
If someone's threatening her...
A beat. Whitacre collapses-- there's more to this.
Don't call her...No one's
threatening. I, uh...
A long painful beat.
I made it up. I lied. There wasn't
Cheviron shakes his head in disgust.
Christ, what a waste of time.
Andreas lowers his gaze at Whitacre-- he wants an
Draft: 1/15/03 18.
I'm no good at this. The FBI guy
really got to me last night.
He's twisting in the wind.
I figured if you guys thought my
daughter was in danger you'd just
pay Fujiwara and all this FBI stuff
would go away. It was a stupid
move on my part.
I'm sorry. Stupid, stupid move.
He gets up and leaves in humiliation. He wanders through the
lobby of ADM in a daze.
What am I supposed to do? I didn't
get the FBI involved-- I was told
we were paying the money. It's
like, `Whitacre go out for a long
pass,' and then we run the ball.
Look, I admitted I made a mistake,
that's more than I can say for most
people. Hey, when they found out
that Mick's Dad, Dwayne, wrote a
check to the Watergate Burglars--
did he admit it? Besides these guys
probably own the FBI with the money
they have. They probably wanted me
to move into Dwayne's old house--
because they've got it wired like
in a Crichton novel...
He wanders into his office.
Sid Hulse wants to know if you can
have dinner at seven instead of
seven-thirty and Marty Allison
ANGLE ON A SHRIMP COCKTAIL
Jump shrimp on shaved ice.
Draft: 1/15/03 19.
We're into shrimp now, fish, too.
Tilapia, it's like Orange Roughie
but lighter-they're growing out
there next to the corn...
20 INTERIOR COUNTRY CLUB OF DECATUR- NIGHT 20
Whitacre and a very done-up Ginger dine with SID HULSE, 35,
the used car version of a lysine salesman at the Club. Mauve
draped tables, botanical drawings of the state flower on the
wall. Bow-tied wait staff patrol the diners with pitchers of
ice water. Sid and Ginger chit-chat-- Mark is distracted.
Someone told me they bugged the
dining room-- the John, too. Might
be paying off the waitresses here
at the club. That's how business
get done. Clients go to relieve
themselves. ADM knows...
(off her earrings)
Mark got them abroad.
Whitacre shoots him a look.
Not funny, Sid.
You're telling me.
Sid laughs. Ginger doesn't get the joke.
Mark's never been to Nigeria.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE'S HAND UNDER THE TALE
He covertly slides a business card into Ginger's hand.
So, where are you off to tomorrow?
GINGER'S POV OF THE CARD
On the back is scribbled, "The FBI is coming at 10 PM."
Draft: 1/15/03 20.
West coast swing-- I gotta get out
there and kick some Japanese butt.
So, I'll see you in a couple of
She's still digesting what's on the card-- trying to act
Then you guys can maybe have a
chance to play some golf.
Whitacre throws an arm around her.
21 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S LINCOLN TOWN CAR- LATER 21
Ginger and Mark drive home in silence.
There should be a TV show about a
guy who calls home one day-- and
he's there. He answers-- he's
talking to himself only it's
someone else. He's somehow divided
into two and the second one of him
drives away and the rest of the
show is about him trying to find
Should I get Alexander out of the
It's not like that-- it'll be OK.
What do they do in school to the
kids who can't keep a secret-- no
BMW for those boys.
22 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION LIVING ROOM- LATER 22
Ginger and Whitacre. Whitacre tries to plead his position to
his wife-- it's not as black and white as she assumes.
Just tell them everything. We'll
leave. I don't like what this
company is doing to you.
Draft: 1/15/03 21.
This is a chance to go somewhere
else. You said Mexico...
I may tell them at some point, but
not now. Right now I'm going to
follow the company line.
Mark, ADM is not more powerful than
the FBI. You can't tell me that.
It's more complicated than that.
Her face is a mask of determination.
Mark, if you don't tell them I
Behind him the drapes are illuminated by headlights in the
drive. He is desperate-- he softly repeats.
I can't, not now.
The door bell rings. She opens the door.
Good evening, Agent Shepard, this
is my wife Ginger.
Whitacre knows he has to keep the two of them apart.
I know it's late. I'll be out of
your hair in a minute, just show me
where the, uh...The line in
Right, the office line is upstairs.
Shepard and Whitacre head upstairs leaving Ginger behind.
Any calls since yesterday...
ANGLE ON GINGER
She stays on the ground floor and strains to hear if her
husband is opening up.
Draft: 1/15/03 22.
It's tomorrow there. When it's ten
at night here, it's three in the
afternoon in Tokyo...
23 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S STUDY- CONTINUOUS
Shepard has completed his work. A small TAPE RECORDER sits
on the desk next to a fax machine. Whitacre wants him gone.
SHEPARD WHITACRE (V.O.)
Simple device here, just make Go ahead open up to your
sure you hit the record wife, see what it gets you.
button and the play button Spend the rest of your life
when he calls and you'll see explaining why your career
a red light come on-- don't went out the window, followed
hit rewind or you'll record by your wife after the golf
over it. pro. And your kids after some
angle dust and the police are
right back here.
Hit the record button, right.
24 EXTERIOR WHITACRE PORCH- NIGHT
Whitacre walks Shepard to the door where Ginger is waiting.
I'll give you a call tomorrow and
we can test it out.
Great. Hey, thanks for coming by,
Brian. Have a good night.
Good night. Good night, Mrs.
Shepard walks toward his car. Ginger and Mark linger.
(to her husband)
Are you going to say something or
Ginger pushes past him.
Draft: 1/15/03 23.
Shepard stops. Whitacre has no choice-- he finishes her
You gotta minute.
Whitacre walks past his wife toward the car. Ginger squeezes
his hand as he passes her on the steps.
Most of what we do is to impress
girls-- I bet there are guys-- like
circus guys who fall off the tight
rope and on the way down all they
think about are girls until they
hit the ground-- not even about
growing wings real fast-- just
girls going by-They were going to
find out anyway cuz' of Mick... Who
knows what Mick and Dwayne have
been telling them about me already.
25 INTERIOR SHEPARD'S CAR- NIGHT 25
The two men speak in the dome light of Shepard's Dodge
You want to go back inside?
I think they might have it bugged.
We're safer out here.
Shepard is confused.
Whitacre takes a moment-- but decides to go on.
This used to be Dwayne Andreas'
house, you know that?
I'm aware of that.
There are things I know, but if I
decide to tell you what's going on,
could I be prosecuted for it?
Draft: 1/15/03 24.
I can't provide you with immunity,
but any information you tell me
about your involvement in criminal
activity would be discussed with
the US attorney's office in a
Whitacre stares forward-- a beat. Shepard gets out his
Everything I told you yesterday
about Fujiwara was true-- except
one thing. I never received a call
from him on the office line.
Shepard looks at Whitacre-- he's confused.
Why did you tell me that you did?
Before I spoke with you, Mick
Andreas and Mark Cheviron coached
me on what to say. They told me to
tell you that the calls came in on
my business line, instead of my
Whitacre pauses again. It's too late to turn back.
What I'm about to tell you involves
something very large. This
extortion attempt by Fujiwara is
nothing compared to it.
Shepard says nothing.
It involves price fixing in the
lysine business. I've been in
several meetings with our Japanese
and Korean competitors in the past
few months where the sole purpose
has been to fix prices. ADM made me
go to these meetings.
Shepard writes furiously, struggling to see in the dark.
Draft: 1/15/03 25.
That's why they wanted me to lie.
Fujiwara's calling on my home line.
But, so are the people we fix
prices with. They didn't want you
to hear those conversations so they
told me to say the Fujiwara calls
came in on the ADM line. But, I
knew if you guys ever started
looking at the records you'd see
all these calls I have to Japan.
And that's what scared me. Nobody
has more calls than me. If you ever
figured out about the price fixing,
I'd be the fall guy.
Shepard considers the explanation.
Who told you to participate in
these price fixing talks?
Whitacre pauses, summons his conviction.
I'm operating under the direction
of Mick and Dwayne Andreas.
26 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- ALEXANDER'S ROOM
Ginger checks on her son.
Who's Dad talking to?
A friend who needs his help.
She walks down the hall pausing by a window. She can see the
two men talking in the car. She turns off the light and gets
into bed-- staring at the ceiling.
27 INTERIOR SHEPARD'S CAR- LATER
Shepard writes down everything.
Mick and Cheviron had me call
Fujiwara today and tell him to stop
calling until things cool off.
They told you to tell him to stop
Draft: 1/15/03 26.
They're afraid of what you guys
might find out. Can you give me a
tape recorder? I can prove this if
you give me a tape recorder. I'll
take a polygraph if that helps.
Shepard is out of pages in his notebook.
I want to thank you for being
honest with me tonight.
You're not going to ask questions
at ADM about all this? It'd be my
job for sure.
No, what was said here was
confidential. I'm going to speak
to my superiors Mark, and then
we'll be in touch.
Whitacre goes back inside his dark house and heads upstairs--
he seems unburdened.
He seems like a real good guy...I
mean just a straight shooter. I
think we really got along-- I bet
he wouldn't mind if I called him
"Brian" instead of "Agent Shepard."
"Bri." "Hey, Bri..." This must be
very different for him. Talking to
a guy like me instead of a bank
robber or a drug dealer...
ANGLE ON SHEPARD
Struggling to read his notes in the car.
I could see us fishing or whatever.
What a good listener-- you don't
meet one of those everyday.
Shepard takes out his cell phone. We hear ringing on the
other end. A sleepy voice answers.
Yeah, hello. Paisley.
Draft: 1/15/03 27.
It's Brian. I just got done talking
to Whitacre, there's something much
bigger going on here.
28 INTERIOR ADM- THE NEXT MORNING 28
Whitacre tries to look natural as he walks to his office, his
first day as a whistle blower. No sooner does he take his
seat, than Cheviron appears baring down on him though his
glass walled office.
What happened last night?
They put a recorder on my line.
And that's it?
Yeah, and I was instructed that
when Fujiwara calls, I'm to record
Whitacre gets buzzed by his secretary.
Your wife on two.
Well, make sure you do it because
they have ways of checking to see
if you're going to or not.
Whitacre picks up the call and the big bully goes away. We
hear Ginger very excited on the other end of the phone...
OK...0K...slow down... tell me what
Whitacre listens, leafs through his mail.
Does anyone win that Publisher's
Clearing House thing? Someone
must, right? Otherwise it's against
the law...Someone gets a million
dollars or someone goes to jail...
Draft: 1/15/03 28.
29 INTERIOR FBI SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS- MORNING 29
A small conference room with bad green wall paper and a view
of the Illinois Capital Building. Shepard briefs AGENT DEAN
PAISLEY and AGENT IN CHARGE KATE MEDFORD. He searches
through his large pile of notes for the most shocking of last
night's revelations. Medford eats her morning yogurt.
60 minutes or someone would come
after Ed MacMahon. You can't use
the US mail that way...And a guy
like Ed MacMahon would never get
.a pound of bacon, a peanut
butter sandwich, some vitamins-
anything that ADM has a hand in--
it's all fixed, that's what he's
telling me. Basically, everyone in
this country is the victim of
corporate crime by the time they
Medford studies the ingredients of her yogurt.
So, what do we have? Anti-trust
violations, providing false
30 INTERIOR ADM WHITACRE'S OFFICE- CONTINUOUS 30
Whitacre is still on the phone-- pacing-- the person at the
other end of the line is doing most of the talking.
Who can you trust? Your
government? Your employer? Your
wife? You trust your wife ...OK, but
what's the divorce rate?
31 INTERIOR FBI SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS- CONTINUOUS 31
He told me that the motto at ADM
is..."The competitors are our
friends, and the customers are our
Draft: 1/15/03 29.
Did you discuss with him the notion
of wearing a wire? Is he willing
32 INTERIOR ADM HALLWAY- CONTINUOUS 32
Whitacre is headed down the hall with a full head of steam.
You think the automobile companies
can't make a car tomorrow that gets
a hundred miles to the gallon... You
think the TV networks don't know
who's going to win the World Series
before the season starts...
33 INTERIOR FBI SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS- CONTINUOUS 33
One potential problem I see going
forward with ADM is this guy
Cheviron. He wants to be kept in
the loop on everything we're doing.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
Pissed off. He storms down the corridors of ADM.
"Paranoid" is what people who are
trying to take advantage call you
in an effort to get you to drop
your guard-- I read that the other
day in an in-flight magazine...
34 INTERIOR ADM- CHEVIRON'S OFFICE- DAY 34
About a third the size of Whitacre's office with a view of
the loading dock. Whitacre BURSTS in.
You told me they were only going to
tap one line!
They are only monitoring one line.
Draft: 1/15/03 30.
That's not true. Not true. I just
talked to my wife and some woman
named Regina from the phone company
called saying both our lines are
tapped. My home phone!
Cheviron is sick of Whitacre's antics. He doesn't believe a
word. It gets a bit heated.
Come on, the phone company doesn't
call people and say, `hello just
thought we'd let you know, the FBI
is tapping your phone lines.'
Then why would Regina say that?
She didn't say it, you're saying
Call my wife. Call Regina.
Cheviron's tone becomes condescending-- like he's talking to
a sick person.
Fine, Mark. I will.
Whitacre storms out.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
Walking away-- satisfied-- he passes A SECRETARY making
copies. She tugs on her WOOL TURTLENECK.
I don't like wool on skin. Not even
that merino wool they have at
Field's in Chicago. Ginger likes
it, cuz it's form fitting, but she
likes avocados and who wants that
texture in their mouth?
ANGLE ON CHEVIRON
Cheviron stares at his phone-- and then relents. He picks up
the phone, but not to call Regina.
Draft: 1/15/03 31.
Who would make up someone named
35 INTERIOR FBI DECATUR- DAY 35
On the third floor of some mid-70's default architecture in
the heart of downtown Decatur, Brian Shepard sits in an
office big enough for himself, a small evidence safe, a
picture of his family and the flag. Out the window the
stacks of ADM send up great white plumes. Shepard is boning
up on anti-trust law when the phone rings.
Brian, it's Mark Cheviron at ADM.
Hey, I asked you guys a couple of
days ago which lines at Mark
Whitacre's house you were going to
be monitoring and we agreed it
would just be the business line.
So, that's all you did right?
I really can't answer that.
36 INTERIOR ADM WHITACRE'S OFFICE- LATER 36
Whitacre stares out through the glass walls drinking a COKE.
Mick Andreas and Cheviron are making a bee-line for him.
(off the Coke Can)
It doesn't taste the same-- when
Dwayne Andreas got the government
to subsidize corn farmers-- it all
changed. Corn syrup got to be
cheaper than sugar-- so they went
with the high fructose corn syrup
from ADM.. .They said you couldn't
tell the difference, but that's
just a lie-Like when they
replaced butter with topping at the
movies.. .and you know who was
Draft: 1/15/03 32.
Mick Andreas and Cheviron march into Whitacre's office on a
We've decided that we're not going
to be cooperating with any further
Whitacre puts it all together. He is outraged. He turns on
I knew it! I knew it! I knew we
should never have done this. I
told you, but you wouldn't listen.
They said just the office line...
Cheviron has to eat shit here in front of Andreas.
Evidently, they were lying to us,
Sounds to me like you can't keep
track of what the FBI is doing.
The phone buzzes.
The call you were expecting, Mark.
Whitacre pauses-- then picks up.
I'm working on this deal in Sweden,
I have to take this.
Whitacre picks up the phone. Andreas and Cheviron continue.
I told Shepard we're done working
with them as of now.
Whitacre picks up the phone. It's not Sweden.
Mark, it's Brian can you talk?
Whitacre shifts uncomfortably and tries to cover in front of
Mick and Cheviron-- he puts on a phony cheerful voice.
Draft: 1/15/03 33.
(over the phone)
Yeah, hey it's good to hear from
I'd like to bring my Supervisor by
later, around six.
Great. Hey, I got Mr. Andreas in
here right now. OK, I'll talk to
He hangs up the phone and turns back to Mick and Terry.
Whitacre smiles warmly, and then lies through his teeth.
So, what do I do if this Shepard
You let me know and I'll pass it on
to my Dad. But, you're done
talking to them...
37 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S BARN- EVENING 37
Whitacre sits with FBI agents Shepard and Paisley in the
converted barn. A large open room looking more like a theme
restaurant than anything that might have once involved
agriculture. Outside, RUSTY the gardener, fishes leaves from
the pool. Shepard explains the misunderstanding with the
The only listening device was the
We had a trap and trace device on
the home line-- but we can't listen
in with that.
However, the phone company calling
people and telling them about our
Intel gathering is, well, our face
is red on that one.
Did you bring the expense reports
we talked about?
Whitacre gives them a folder of paperwork.
Draft: 1/15/03 34.
It's all there-- Tokyo, Hong Kong,
Paris and Mexico City.
And under...Whitacre thinks about one thing while discussing
another with the agents. He is a gifted man in this
capacity. His thoughts take precedence here.
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.O.)
Just last week Mick and Terry I read in the Geographic that
were in Florida with the Corn the skin in ears grows from
Refiner's Association. They the inside out-- conveyor
would have their regular belt style. That's how they
meetings during the day and stay clean. You could make a
then at night they'd get dot with a felt tip inside
together and work out the and watch it move down your
price fixing... neck.
.Six months later a liter of
Pepsi costs five cents more.
When's the next meeting?
January-- somewhere in Asia.
Paisley takes it all in. He cozies up to Whitacre.
Mark, I gotta ask you, why are you
doing this? We know you lied to us
about the phone line and you're
afraid of that. But, now you're
telling us all this other stuff out
of the blue. I gotta ask you why?
The light disappears from Whitacre's eyes.
Things are going on I don't approve
of. I mean, I'm a biochemist-- But,
they pulled me into the business
side and they're doing things that
are illegal. They said...
ANGLE ON RUSTY
He takes the net for cleaning the pool and walks around the
barn to the attached six car garage filled with a Range
Rover, Ferrari, Mercedes Coupe, BMW, and a Lincoln Town Car.
Draft: 1/15/03 35.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (CONT'D)
. if I was going to grow with ADM
I had to be a part of the business
side of things.
Rusty pulls the garage down on the cars.
38 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S BARN- CONTINUOUS
When they told me to lie, I had to
lie. I lied to you guys and I feel
real bad about it.
This explains the bind Whitacre finds himself in.
You look at yourself as wearing a
white hat and they're wearing black
That's a good way to put it. You
know, when I was a kid my folks
died in an automobile accident. I
was maybe six at the time and this
wealthy man in Ohio adopted me. He
owned amusement parks and he did
real well for himself, real well. I
got a big break-- went to a good
school and all-- I adopted two kids
of my own. I just want to do the
Well, Mark, do you think you'd be
willing to go a few steps further
in helping us?
What do you mean?
Would you be willing to wear a
wire? We don't have any other
sources at this time. We need your
Whitacre considers the request-- a chance to be a hero.
Draft: 1/15/03 36.
Now you realize that by doing this,
sometime down the line you could
be the guy who has to testify
against your fellow executives,
people you've worked with now for
years. That won't be easy.
He looks around at the good life Whitacre has amassed.
I'll use my beeper to signal you
when it's time to set up a meeting.
Shepard gets out his beeper and hits a button- "BEEEEP."
When you hear this-- you call me.
Then Shepard pulls a tape recorder out of his jacket-- a
simple little Radio Shack Dictaphone model. He gives it to
You'll be risking a lot.
Whitacre picks up the recorder. The idea of being a White
Knight only becomes real when they hand you a sword.
39 EXTERIOR COORS BREWERY- GOLDEN, COLORADO 39
Whitacre, Wilson and Andreas get out of a Town Car in front
of Coors Corporate headquarters. The Rockies loom in the
background. The men walk toward the doors.
I was up in Wisconsin last week--
and the guy who is running for
The Republican guy.
I was told they want funds-- a
campaign contribution, but I told
them we're already at out limit.
You can go over the limit-- it's
just a small fine.
Draft: 1/15/03 37.
That's what I was saying. If they
want a thousand dollars-- you give
a thousand. So what if it ends up
costing us nine thousand after the
Twelve thousand after taxes.
The men laugh.
If the guy's asking you for money,
try not giving it to him and see
what happens. Just make sure Dad is
behind it... Is Dad asking for them?
I'll let Howard know.
He gets out his cell phone and begins dialing. A FEDEX
EMPLOYEE walks by with a BUTTERFLY BANDAGE on his nose.
There are these butterflies in
Central America-- they have poison
in their wings. Just enough poison
to stop a bird heart. But, the
birds know this somehow so they
don't eat them...
Through the phone we hear...
Hi, you've reached Mark Whitacre in
ADM's Bioproducts division. Leave a
Whitacre punches in his code...
They're like blue, orange and
yellow. . .real pretty-But,
poisonous to birds.
Over the phone we hear a message.
Draft: 1/15/03 38.
MESSAGE VOICE (O.S.)
Mark, it's Marty Allison calling
from London, we need to...
Whitacre hits a button.
But, there are other ones--
butterflies-- they're orange, blue
and yellow, too. But, no poison...
Over the phone we hear the next message.
Whitacre deletes it and hangs up.
They're just flying around looking
dangerous-- getting by on their
Wilson and Andreas DISCUSS SOME FEMALE EMPLOYEE IN A MOST
UNTOWARD WAY. They laugh and wait for Whitacre by the doors.
Jesus, Mark this is important
bioproduct stuff were discussing.
The men enter the building and head for a bank of elevators.
I'm sorry guys I gotta return a
call. The plant. I'll meet you.
Andreas and Wilson hit the elevator button. Whitacre paces
across the lobby and talks on the phone.
Hey, it's Mark. I told you I was
out on business this week.
The case is getting some attention
from the bureau, Mark. There's
another agent working with me now.
We need to meet.
Draft: 1/15/03 39.
Yeah, but I'm away now.
Any word from Fujiwara?
I think he's out of the picture.
SHEPARD (O . S . )
Based on what? Is Andreas telling
you to say that?
I'll let you guys know if I hear
anything. I can't talk now. I gotta
Whitacre hangs up. And jogs toward the elevators. Wilson and
Andreas hold the door.
40 INTERIOR FBI DECATUR ILLINOIS 40
Shepard sits in the small office with his new partner-- BOB
HERNDON, 33, and squeaky clean. If Shepard looks like he
stepped out of Dragnet, then Herndon looks like he stepped
out of GQ.
The guy is on a plane half his
life, and in meetings for the rest.
Any tapes of these meetings?
Not yet, Mr. Whitacre believes his
life may be in danger...
41 EXTERIOR HIGHWAY- DAY 41
Whitacre's life is in danger.. .He's taking a new BMW for a
ferocious test drive. A big shit-eating eighty-mile-an-hour
spread across his face.
.He's closely watched at work and
there's reason to believe that ADM
has bugged his home. He's under a
great deal of pressure.
Whitacre looks at the CUP HOLDERS in the Beemer.
Draft: 1/15/03 40.
The German word for "cup" is tasse,
and saucer-- that's untertasse--
the "undercup." What do we have--
"cup" and "saucer." Where does that
Whitacre pulls into the dealership and screeches to a halt in
front of the BMW SALESMAN. Whitacre smiles and nods.
We had a good day at work, Tom. A
real good day...
42 INTERIOR FBI, DECATUR- CONTINUOUS
Shepard and Herndon.
You should probably take your gun
off when you meet him-- weapons
make him pretty nervous.
43 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- EVENING 43
The Whitacre family checks out the new car.
You gotta feel for the guy, he
tells us the truth one day and
wakes up the next with two lives
instead of one.
44 INTERIOR MEXICO CITY AIRPORT- DAY 44
Whitacre checks his messages from a pay phone in the
Admiral's Club in the International Terminal.
MARTY ALLISON (O.S.)
Hey, Mark it's Marty calling again
Message deleted. . .Next message.
Whitacre punches a button.
COMPUTER VOICE (CONT'D)
Whitacre punches the buttons on his cell phone angrily.
Draft: 1/15/03 41.
It's Mark, Brian. It's been hard
for me to return a page. I'm out of
We need to know if you had any
further contact from Fujiwara?
I told you, the guy has stopped
What about the price fixing? Have
you been able to make any tapes.
I think you guys hanging around has
really scared ADM straight, too--
word is we're going to do things by
the book. Mick said it's over. No
more price fixing.
A pause. Shepard is confused.
What? When did this happen? This
Mick sat me down and said 'Mark,
we're going to start doing things
SHEPARD (0. S. )
Mark, the FBI knows about these
crimes-- we're gonna investigate
either way. You told us yourself.
Either way? What does "either way"
We really need to get together.
Both Shepard and Whitacre are losing their patience.
I told you, it's a different
attitude now, a different approach.
Draft: 1/15/03 42.
Whitacre hangs up-- frustrated. He walks over to a table in
the club where a middle aged German man is waiting-- REINHART
RICHTER, 40. There are papers spread out in piles around the
men-- stacks of loss, gain and opportunity.
Yeah, fine. Kids. Where we're we?
Whitacre reaches underneath his suit coat into his shirt
pocket and pulls out his pen.
Whitacre's FOUNTAIN PEN has exploded in his shirt-- leaving a
Rorschach across his chest. Richter gestures toward the
stain. Whitacre stares at the STAIN.
One of the Japanese guys told me a
story-- this lysine salesman is in
a meeting with someone from Conagra
or some other company, I don't
know-and the client leans forward
and says, `I have the same tie as
you... only the pattern is
reversed."-- and then he drops
dead. Face down on the
then... Dead... Brain aneurism...
45 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN, DECATUR- EVENING 45
Shepard and Herndon are waiting in the most generic of hotel
rooms for Whitacre. They check their watches and peak out
the drapes at a sparsely populated parking lot. They've been
there awhile. Herndon eats a Granola bar and reads the side
of the package.
.Maybe everyone has a sentence
like that; a little time bomb..."I
have the same tie as you... only the
There it is, "High Fructose Corn
Shepard isn't giving up on Whitacre, yet.
Draft: 1/15/03 43.
He said Andreas called him into a
The government ought to charge him
for the room.
Shepard's cell phone rings. Herndon sighs--
Here it comes.
FBI... .Uh...huh. You're being
honest with me, here... It's been
months Mark-- we need some tapes.
46 INTERIOR WHITACRE BMW- NIGHT 46
Whitacre sits alone in the Hampton Hotel parking lot next to
the mall, staring up at at a the lights of a room.
I gotta go Bri, Andreas is coming.
Whitacre opens his brief case and takes out the micro
cassette recorder. He looks at it like it's a murder weapon.
(over the phone)
Mark, we could be tracing this
I can't live two lives. They just
gave me a hundred thousand dollar
raise. I can't risk my job for you
guys. I've got a family. I'm
building stables across the road.
But, you told us...
The price fixing is over. - .the
price of lysine is down to...
And then remembering his lie. Feebly.
Just a minute, Mick...
The windows of the BMW are fogging up.
Draft: 1/15/03 44.
Mark, listen to me, the only
logical thing for you to do is
And what if I don't?
Then somebody else will and you'll
end up being a defendant.
For how long, Brian? How long does
this go on for?
Whitacre pushes the buttons on the recorder. He hits eject.
There's no tape in the cradle.
I wish I could answer that.
Sometimes years. We'll need a lot
of tapes-- maybe hundreds.
But, the tapes won't say anything.
It's over. Mick said.. .New policy.
Fine, if that's what he said, then
I want to hear the tape. We need
A beat-- he finally admits it. The windows are completely
I didn't make any, OK? I didn't
make any because it's over. How can
I prove it to you?
47 INTERIOR HOLIDAY INN HOTEL ROOM- NIGHT
Whitacre sits shirtless on the bed with the straps of a
polygraph across his torso. Herndon fits him with a blood
pressure cuff and puts electrical clips on his fingers.
I like my hands. I think they're
probably my favorite part of my
body. I think that can be used to
my advantage in social situations--
if I can get people focused on my
hands then I can get a good result
in the meeting.
Draft: 1/15/03 45.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
Eye contact is real important, too.
I'll use the lotion in the hotel
room on my hands-- the little
bottles. Single serving
portions.. .Bob has good hands, too.
Herndon takes out a list of questions and watches Whitacre
closely. Shepard watches the needle on the polygraph.
SHEPARD WHITACRE (V.0.)
Now, Bob's going to ask you What do we lose-- a liter of
questions, Mark. And you perspiration while we sleep?
just need to answer them with That all goes into the
a "yes" or "no." That's all mattress? Incredible.
you have to say.
Are you married?
Have you ever lied to better your
We're you born in 1957?
Did Fujiwara ever telephone you at
home and tell you there was a mole
Before this year did you ever lie
to someone you really trusted?
Whitacre strains to see the read-out to see how he's doing.
Did Fujiwara say he would tell you
who the mole was for 10 million
Draft: 1/15/03 46.
The needle traces a reassuringly straight line across the
HERNDON WHITACRE (V.0.)
Is there currently any price In Tokyo they sell little
fixing activity in the girl underwear in the vending
Bioproducts division of ADM? machines right on the main
whatever. Guys in suits
buying used girl panties, how
is that OK?
Now, I'm going to ask you the same
questions again to make sure the
results are consistent.
Whitacre nods and smiles. Watches the needle- rock steady.
I wonder where Bob carries his gun.
FBI agents have to wear them at all
times-- even when they're off duty.
Are you married?
I'd like to see Dwayne Andreas
hooked up to one of these.
Have you ever lied to better your
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.O.)
No. Once I told the stewardess I
was claustrophobic so I could
get an aisle seat...
Draft: 1/15/03 47.
48 INTERIOR HOLIDAY INN- HALLWAY 48
Shepard and Herndon step out of the room. Herndon speaks to
Whitacre over his shoulder.
You can get dressed, Mark.
The door closes and the agents look at each other.
49 INTERIOR HOLIDAY INN HOTEL ROOM- CONTINUOUS 49
Whitacre buttons his shirt and puts his tie back on. He looks
out the hotel room window at the snow. In the parking lot a
high school kid drinks a beer while trying to write his name
in urine in the snowbank.
They're all different. Every flake
is it's own one-of-a-kind version
of itself. And some people still
don't believe in God. I mean what
more proof do you need than that--
Herndon and Shepard re-enter.
Hey, how'd I do?
Mark, we have some problems...
Wait a minute, I watched the
machine, I didn't see any
Mark, you don't know how to read a
I've heard these things, they're
not always 100 per cent accurate.
I've been telling the truth.
Herndon plays the bad cop.
Mark, you splattered the walls with
ink. Come on now, extortionists
don't just leave their name and
number then go away.
Draft; 1/15/03 48.
Whitacre nods-- his eyes water, He sighs.
I know it's tough keeping it all
bottled up inside, keeping it a
secret. But, there's only one good
choice for you. That's all there's
ever been. There's something
you're hiding, something you're
keeping from us. But, the only way
to protect yourself is to be
Shepard gets another form out of his brief-case. Not a basic
302 this time-- it's A CONFESSION.
You realize this document can be
used against you in a court of law.
Whitacre nods grimly.
What happened with Fujiwara and the
I made it up. I had to...
Shepard and Herndon cringe on his behalf. The floodgates
open. Shepard transcribes the confession.
.We've had problems at the plant
with viruses, we're way behind
projections. Dwayne was thinking
about shutting us down and everyone
was on me to fix it. 'Let's just
blame it all on Whitacre.' That's
how it is there. It was my job they
were talking about. We just moved
here from Europe-they made me VP.
And the reason you agreed to help
ADM purchase a new bug?
Draft: 1/15/03 49.
I wanted to be part of the team. I
thought it would help my
relationship with Mick if he
thought I would do something like
And what about the price fixing? It
isn't over is it? There's no "new
There's been meetings all along--
in the past three weeks even.
Again, Whitacre's mind allows him to be two places at once...
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.O.)
.and not just in Lysine-- Mick Andreas or his Dad?
citric acid, gluconate. One They'd never lie for me. They
guy, he was forced to leave say we're in it together.
the company because he What a joke. Team building
wouldn't do it-- the off-site meetings at the some
gluconate guy...he's out of a lake in Wisconsin-- I can't
job now. They had me go to protect these guys if they're
Chicago and meet with the breaking the law. Hey, I
guys from Ajinomoto to try tried. Anybody could see the
and set volume levels for choices I had. I did my best
lysine production. It's a for ADM. You don't see them
matter of dividing up the here in the electric chair.
market between the producers It's all "Make us lysine,
and then setting a workable Mark." "Handle the FBI,
price. There's another Mark." "Crap us out some
meeting in about a month. money, Mark."
If there's anything else you want
to add, now's the time. You need to
No, that's the full story.
We want tapes, mark.
He slides the confession across to Whitacre who nods and
signs. He gives both agents Christmas cards and smiles.
Draft: 1/15/03 50.
I'll give you all the tapes you
want. Merry Christmas you guys.
50 INTERIOR PARKING GARAGE ADM- MORNING 50
Whitacre aims the FERRARI into his designated parking space
and gets out of the car.
STEADICAM FOLLOWING WHITACRE
He walks toward the building. As the camera arcs around to
lead him we see that he is actually speaking out loud-- NOT
IN VO. To nobody...
Seven thirty A.M., Wednesday, March
seventeenth, 1994. I have just
parked my car and am now entering
Whitacre gets on the elevator with Terry Wilson. Whitacre's
a little off this morning...
s-- WHITACRE (CONT'D)
Terrance Wilson, President of our
corn businesses, did you speak with
our friends in Japan?
He wasn't in.
I heard from Mimoto last night-- he
is pissed. He said there's not
going to be any peace in lysine
until we bring production down like
Theelevator doors opens.
In 92 we did exactly what we told
them we would do in terms of
volume. Exactly. Right now, there's
He said he'd like to talk to you at
Draft: 1/15/03 51.
Be right there lookin' at him. Say,
"listen here you little mousy
Wilson peels off into his office. Whitacre continues on
across the open trading floor toward his office. He speaks
under his breath to nobody-- smiling at the world.
That was Terry Wilson talking about
setting volume and price levels
with our Japanese competitor--
Whitacre enters his own office--- talking to himself.
By the way, there was no discussion
with Mimoto last night. That was
all for illustration purposes only.
I wanna make that clear- no
discussion with Mimoto last night.
He turns off the tape recorder.
51 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN- EVENING 51
Whitacre paces while Herndon and Shepard listen to a tape.
He's got three more recordings in his briefcase.
Hey, Mark you don't really need to
narrate the tapes for us when
you're making them.
Right. Absolutely. Not a problem.
And you can talk less.
I think I did on this one.
Whitacre gives Herndon another tape and a small box.
Don't force the conversation.
But, they're good right? I mean,
you guys wouldn't believe what goes
on at these meetings.
Draft: 1/15/03 52.
I've got well over two million
frequent flier miles.. .maybe more.
The equivalent of two trips to the
moon. I'm pretty much platinum
across the board. Free
upgrades... sometimes they'll move
me from business to first just cuz
the computer tells them I'm
52 EXTERIOR RITZ HOTEL- PARIS, FRANCE- DAY
Whitacre emerges from the hotel and gets in a cab.
And you can redeem them for
anything now...A Movado watch or a
fly-fishing vacation in Montana...
Whitacre tells the driver...
American Embassy please.
It's like 5000 miles every time I
go to Zurich, Paris, Munich...1
don't even know how many miles are
in the Delta account...I just give
Ginger the statements... I'm
probably one of the youngest guys
ever to go over a million miles...I
get a letter from the CEO every
year thanking me...it's a form
letter, but it looks like he's
really signing it...They probably
walk in one day and he signs like a
hundred while he's on the phone...
Whitacre gets out of the car and walks into the embassy.
Shepard meets him an ushers him into a room where a phone is
hooked up to a recorder.
You should probably use your ADM
Whitacre dials the phone.
Sure, great. You make it some
place good for dinner last night?
Draft: 1/15/03 53.
I just ate in the hotel...
The hotel...What'd you have?
The call rings through.
Hey, it's Mark Whitacre calling
from Paris for Mick Andreas...Hey,
it's Mark. I just got out of the
lysine meeting... It went great...I
think we can keep it at around a
buck and a quarter no problem...
Andunder... Shepard sneezes.
He follows Shepard's hands from Kleenex, to coffee cup, to
pen, to a tug on his ear...
Now what happens? Something you
breathe in on an airplane. Some
little bacteria and now it's on his
hands, the cup, the
phone... Probably got it from his
kids and now I'll spend the weekend
with it in bed...And I'll miss a
few days next week, or Alexander'11
run a fever and who pays for that?
Where does the FBI weigh in on that-
- as a cooperating witness-- what
does it say about exposure to
airborne contaminants...I3 ADM
compensated for me missing work?
53 INTERIOR O'HARE AIRPORT- DAY
Whitacre walks down the concourse carrying a BLACK FOLDER
with ADM emblazoned on it. He turns into the bathroom and
stares at himself in the mirror. He checks his HAIR and then
opens the FOLDER. He removes the legal pad to reveal a
secret compartment holding a small TAPE RECORDER.
(into tape recorder)
This is tape seven, side
two.. .Chicago, O'hare airport...
He looks at himself in the mirror. And then down at his feet.
A BLACK CHUCKLE'S CANDY lies on the floor swarmed by ants.
Draft: 1/15/03 54.
The black chuckle being carted away by ants inches from his
That's a big break, right there--
definitely. There's no choices to
be made. No debate. It's there--
you're an ant-- you eat it-- you
bring it back for the other
ants.. .They don't say they'd rather
have the cherry flavored one... Real-
simple to live like that.
54 INTERIOR GASLIGHT LOUNGE, O'HARE AIRPORT 54
Wilson sits at a table with two FRENCH EXECUTIVES-- ROLLIER
AND CROUY. Wilson wields the FOUNTAIN PEN. The lounge did
well in the 70's and has decided to stay there-- most
everything is covered in red velvet, except for the
waitresses-- they're covered in sequined body suits and
Whitacre returns from the bathroom. He puts the TAPE
RECORDER/FOLDER on the table. Wilson rests his cocktail ON
We cannot have one section of the
world where it works and the rest
of the world where it doesn't. It
will not last...
Debate and discussion. They just
keep the black one from making it
We would obviously play the game.
But, the Koreans and the
It'll never work then.
A TRAY OF DRINKS attached to a WALKING CENTERFOLD goes by.
Draft: 1/15/03 55.
TERRY WILSON (CONT'D) WHITACRE (V.0.)
Look, everyone has to share Terry doesn't like me very
numbers. It's so goddamn much ...He's got blotchy
simple. How the hell else skin... What causes that
would you do it? blotchiness?? It must mean
It's what we do in the citric something medical... He'll
acid business and look at the have a stroke and someone
price of vitamins. will say-- `he was
blotchy... it happens.'
Let's not forget that if prices
went up in Europe it's because we
talked in Mexico first.
That's right, you made it happen.
55 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN DECATUR- EVENING 55
Shepherd has headphones on-- he's excited by what he hears.
Whitacre excitedly diagrams the world's Lysine market on a
dry erase board for Herndon illustrating the relationships--
a primer in corporate greed.
(loud because of the
Mark, these are just the kind of
tapes we need.
TERRY WILSON (O.S.)
(over the headphones)
It didn't just go up like that--
you made it happen.
And we're getting our marching
orders from Andreas-it goes all
the way up.
(loud because of the
We need to improve the quality of
Why don't you guys just bug the
It's not that easy, Mark. There're
a lot legal issues...
Draft: 1/15/03 56.
A beat. Herndon thinks. He has an idea.
Give me your pants.
Whitacre undoes the pants of his SAGE GREEN SUIT.
Being able to do two things at once
is a big part of success. I try
and do abdominal
exercises... isometrics... even when
I'm at a meeting. Tensing.
Holding. And then releasing. And
there are leg ones I do in the car.
I'll even floss in the shower while
the conditioner is in my hair.
During the part where you're just
supposed to leave it in. Those
things can really add up to a
significant time savings.
56 EXTERIOR WHITACRE DRIVEWAY- MORNING 56
Rusty the Gardener blows leaves off the driveway. Whitacre
pulls out of the six car garage in a Lincoln Town Car. He
yells at Rusty over the leaf blower.
Hey, Rusty, check this out.
Whitacre gets out of the car and places his briefcase on the
What do you think?
RUSTY THE GARDENER
It's a nice briefcase.
Whitacre opens the briefcase and pulls a secret panel to
reveal a TAPE RECORDER. He couldn't be more proud.
That's a Nagra model number 34-A,
right there. The bureau had that
custom made for me-- Mark Whitacre
secret agent double 0, fourteen.
RUSTY THE GARDENER
Why double 0 fourteen?
Draft: 1/15/03 57.
Cuz I'm twice as smart as double 0
57 INTERIOR ADM CORPORATE JET- DAY 57
Whitacre, wearing the SAGE COLORED SUIT he gave Herndon, sits
with Andreas and some ADM SUITS on the COMPANY PLANE. Andreas
chats with one CO-WORKER and then turns to Whitacre.
Whatever happened to that girl who
was working for us-- didn't she
move to California? What's her
She's getting married.
My Tina is getting married?
Two or three weekends from now.
That won't last for very long.
She's kind of a do-do head, you
know? She'll be back. I just hope
she doesn't get pregnant. Fuck up
Nice body. It'd ruin her tits.
She's got the greatest tits in the
He leans in to Whitacre.
In the world.
Whitacre looks out the window at white billowing clouds.
When polar bears hunt, they crouch
down by a hole in the ice and wait
for a seal to pop up. They keep
one paw over their nose so that
they blend in. Cuz' they've got
those black noses. They'd blend in
perfectly if not for the nose...
Draft: 1/15/03 58.
58 EXTERIOR JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT, ORANGE COUNTY- DAY 58
Whitacre descends the steps of the jet followed by Andreas
and some other SUITS. Whitacre peels off the group.
I'm just gonna hit the head here.
So the question is. How do they
know their noses are black? From
looking at other polar bears? Do
they see their reflections in the
water? And think, "I'd be invisible
if not for that." That seems like
a lot of thinking for a bear.
59 INTERIOR AIRPORT MEN'S ROOM- CONTINUOUS 59
An AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN, 30's, stands at the sink. Other than
that the room is empty.
AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN
Mr. Whitacre, could you follow me?
? P -
The two men enter a stall.
AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN
Can I ask you to remove your shirt?
There's something great about
walking into a conference room when
there's a pad of paper and a pencil
in front of every chair. . .Most guys
with a science background don't get
to see what goes on...
60 INTERIOR MARRIOTT HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOM 60
A UNIFORMED HOTEL WORKER arranges the orange juice, coffee,
croissants, melon plate. A pen and pad of paper is put in
front of every seat. A FLIP CHART stands ready in the corner.
The meticulous worker makes everything perfect, pausing for a
moment to adjust A LAMP.
Draft: 1/15/03 59.
Usually the hotel's name is
embossed on the pencils and they
have someone who sharpens them to
perfect points like collie dog
noses-- that's what they remind me
of. Maybe they come from the
factory that way. And there's
always a plate of
danish...danishes?-- an almond
thing-- or a cheese danish with a
big cherry blob in the middle...
61 INTERIOR MEN'S ROOM- CONTINUOUS 61
The AFRICAN AMERICAN AGENT finishes shaving Whitacre's chest.
He takes out a roll of surgical tape and attaches a small
NAGRA RECORDER to WHITACRE. Small wires attach to switches
sewn into Whitacre's pants pockets.
The almond thing makes a lot of
crumbs and I usually use my pencil
to sweep them away like one of
those tools professional waiters
use at the Decatur Club...
AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN
You want to try it?
Whitacre flips the pocket switch.
62 EXTERIOR JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT- CONTINUOUS 62
Whitacre and Andreas duck into a limo. One of the ADM SUITS
who flew in on the jet, slaps Andreas on the back.
Good luck with the Japs. And as
your lawyer I'd advise you to pat
`em down for wires.
Andreas laughs at the suit, but Whitacre's not laughing. The
limo pulls away.
Uh, should we really pat them down?
They don't have the balls to mess
Draft: 1/15/03 60.
When it's over the board of
directors at ADM is gonna
understand. They're gonna see the
position I was in and that I acted
in everyone's best interest, I
think that's the only conclusion
they can reach...
63 INTERIOR MARRIOTT HOTEL LOBBY- MOMENTS LATER 63
Whitacre, Andreas, Yamada and Ikeda get on the elevator. A
sign says, "THE MARRIOTT WELCOMES AJINOMOTO CORPORATION AND
I mean I'm the youngest division
President they've ever had and I
speak a number of languages
64 VIDEO IMAGE OF CONFERENCE ROOM 64
The same room we saw being prepared, now from the POV of a
hidden camera. The four executives enter the room and move
toward the table. Everything is perfect. Whitacre notices the
LAMP and walks right toward it-- curious. The LAMP is the
Look away, Mark, look away...
Whitacre's face fills the wide angle lens. Shepard and
Herndon huddle around the video monitor. HERNDON IS DRESSED
LIKE A UNIFORMED HOTEL WORKER. SHEPARD is still dressed like
a G-man from the 50's.
I told him it was in the lamp.
65 INTERIOR CONFERENCE ROOM- A LITTLE LATER 65
Whitacre turns from the lamp. The EXECS sit around the table
eating the BAKED GOODS and discussing business.
We already spent more than one
year, uh, to get better market
situation in lysine.
Draft: 1/15/03 61.
We talked a little bit about it in
Paris, but we need to have an
understanding on volume.
VIDEO IMAGE OF ANDREAS
It's off center-- just the top of his head and then tilts
down and zooms into his TIE.
66 INTERIOR SURVEILLANCE ROOM- CONTINUOUS 66
Shepard struggles with the joystick that controls the
lipstick camera in the lamp-- his framing is way off.
Widen out, Bri, we need a wide shot
of these guys working together.
Still struggling with the joystick.
67 INTERIOR CONFERENCE ROOM- MARRIOTT HOTEL- CONTINUOUS 67
We have a big board of directors.
We have public shareholders. Like
you, we've suffered. Prices are
nowhere near where we hoped they
would be. Now the question is, if
the market grows, who gets it?
Ikeda goes over to the easel and makes a PIE CHART as a
visual aid for Andreas' proposal.
.If Kyowa Hakko, Miwon and Cheil
Corporation each get two thousand
tons, then we can divide up the
rest. If we're going to have any
stability at all...
I think some of these ADM guys lie
about their golf scores. It
doesn't even matter and they still
lie about it and that says
something about character.
Draft: 1/15/03 62.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
I mean I've seen guys putt three
times and say they got a par... Or
they'll go off into the woods to
find their ball and they'll move it
from behind a tree or from under a
leaf. I admit I've done it a
couple of times-but I don't tell
people I'm a really good golfer
when I'm not...I'm sure if I worked
at it... took lessons...
Whitacre is distracted by a CLICKING SOUND. He shifts
uncomfortably. Andreas notices the sound and pauses.
His briefcase seems to be the source of the clicking. Ikeda
gets Andreas' attention.
We need some specific number.
What would you be willing to
accept? Isn't that the question?
More CLICKING. Whitacre nudges his briefcase.
68 INTERIOR SURVEILLANCE ROOM-CONTINUED 68
Shepard and Herndon.
What's Mark doing?
They pan over to Whitacre. He's OPENING the briefcase with
the hidden tape recorder.
What an idiot!
69 INTERIOR CONFERENCE ROOM- MARRIOTT HOTEL- CONTINUOUS 69
As YAMADA approaches the easel with Andreas, Whitacre has
opened his brief case. The clicking is coming from INSIDE.
The others will say that ADM has
already eaten all the growth.
Draft: 1/15/03 63.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
He removes the panel concealing the tape recorder, fiddles
with a pieces of the lining caught in the apparatus.
You gotta remember we have a lot
more capacity than we're using. We
could be growing twenty thousand
tons, isn't that right, Mark?
Whitacre is still fiddling with the case.
Mark? What're you doing?
Andreas crosses the room and, without looking inside at the
recorder that is ruining his life, shuts the case.
I need your input here.
VIDEO TAPE OF THE MEETING
Ikeda is standing at the easel making calculations next to
the pie chart.
(on the tape)
ADM will be allocated it's recent
production plus a number we will
70 INTERIOR DEPT. OF JUSTICE CONFERENCE ROOM- CHICAGO
Pull back to reveal Herndon and Shepard presenting their
prized tape to ROBIN MANN ESQ, early 40's-- humorless and
contrary. The tape plays...
What did he say-- I can't
(on the tape)
I don't care what you call it, just
as long as we get what we want.
The men on the tape all laugh. Andreas walksaway.Whitacre
and Ikeda shake hands. And then Whitacre ripsoffthe sheet
of paper from the easel with the PIE CHART onit.
Draft: 1/15/03 64.
(on the tape)
I guess I should probably keep
Shepard freezes the tape triumphantly.
Where's the agreement? There's just
If this isn't an agreement, then
what are they doing there?
Don't get bogged down in the words,
look at the actions.
I've looked. I see a chart with a
bunch of numbers. But, I can't
pinpoint any agreement per se.
What do you want? The guy is
standing there dividing up the
market plain as day.
Herndon opens up the evidence bag and shows her the flip-
chart page that Whitacre took at the end of the meeting-- a
It could just be a proposal. All
the other companies weren't there.
Nobody used the word "agreement."
I'm just telling you-- as a lawyer--
what their lawyers are going to
Herndon and Shepard look at Whitacre FROZEN ON THE MONITOR.
They are discouraged.
I don't know how much more we can
ask of the guy.
I'm not going to move for
indictments with this. I need more.
Draft: 1/15/03 65.
71 INTERIOR DECATUR CLUB- DAY 71
Whitacre sits with MARTY ALLISON, 35, who's voice we've heard
on Whitacre's voice mail many times.. The two are old friends
and co-workers-- Marty's been trying to get Mark's ear for
some time now. They've got some business together.
I feel like a real jerk here, but I
need the dough.
Nah, we'll figure something out.
I hope it's not a big deal, but
I've been looking at a house and I
need the cash back.
Marty, when I hired you, what did
But, I went to Wilson and told him
you wouldn't work here for less
than seventy-five-- and I got it.
You were the first guy I hired.
Mark, you've always been real
generous with me and...
Whitacre waves off the flattery.
I gotta leave town for a couple of
days, but when I get back, here's
what I want you to do...
I like to think of myself as a good
gift-giver. It shows that you're
thinking about the other person
even when they're not right in
front of you.
Draft: 1/15/03 66.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
I know that Ginger likes jewelry
and that the kids like stuff from
other countries... Even if you just
pick it up at the duty free at the
airport with whatever money you
have left over.
72 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN HOTEL- NIGHT 72
Whitacre drops off more tapes for Shepard and Herndon.
We got a problem, Mark. You can't
take our equipment to Japan. We
have no jurisdiction.
So I'll take notes like in
Whitacre takes out his Dictaphone and puts it on the bed.
Well, sure, but there's something
else I'd like you to think about.
Like I said, we can't give you any
But, if you taped the meeting on
your own and than gave us the
So you want me to make a tape.
We're not allowed to say that. But,
the sooner we get enough evidence,
the sooner you can stop the taping.
What if I get caught there?
I don't know anything about
Japanese laws, but if you're
arrested, we may not be able to
provide much help.
Draft: 1/15/03 67.
That's why we need these lysine
association meetings on US
soil.. .Make it easier to wrap this
Shepard picks up the recorder.
You can't use any of our equipment.
73 INTERIOR HICKORY POINT MALL- LATER 73
Whitacre walks out of the RADIO SHACK with a small bag.
I wonder if Brian and Bob are
really allowed to do that-- it
seems kind of shady...I probably
should've gotten them to sign
something just in case. Turned the
tables on them seeing how I'm the
one going above and beyond the call
He heads out of the mall.
74 INTERIOR CONFERENCE ROOM IMPERIAL PALACE HOTEL- JAPAN 74
Whitacre, Wilson and a collection of ASIAN LYSINE EXECS
discuss prices and customers.
WILSON WHITACRE (V.0.)
Do we want to talk about Guys tape meetings all the
Latin America? time-- let's say a guy is
dyslexic and he needs to take
notes.. .What's he gonna do?
Mimoto and Ikeda enter.
Good morning, we are late.
No problem, no problem, you lost
twenty- thousand tons, but, hey...
The group laughs at the WACKY PRICE FIXING JOKE. Whitacre
checks his watch.
Excuse me...I gotta take a moment.
Draft: 1/15/03 68.
Whitacre walks down the hall toward the rest room.
I read this thing about moustaches
on the flight back from
Zurich...What facial hair says to
women about a man's level of
honesty. I think maybe it was in
Esquire Magazine... Some
75 INTERIOR BATHROOM- CONTINUOUS 75
Whitacre reaches into his suit jacket and takes out the
recorder. He studies himself in the bathroom mirror and then
flips the tape.
I should ask Brian and Bob about it-
- get the FBI's point of view...
Imperial Palace Hotel, side two
Just as he is putting the tape back into his jacket-- the
door opens. ONE OF THE LYSINE EXECS enters.
Things are going well.
Whitacre conceals the recorder.
Want to get back in there.
76 INTERIOR MOVIE THEATER- NIGHT 76
Whitacre sits alone fully engrossed by the movie.
ANGLE ON THE MOVIE SCREEN
"The Firm." TOM CRUISE, as Mitch McDeere talks with FBI agent
Wayne Tarrance, played by ED HARRIS at a DOGTRACK.
Doesn't the dog ever get the bone?
Yeah, I hear it happens every once
in awhile. It's a disaster, they
can never get that dog to run
Draft: 1/15/03 69.
Listen, Mitch, Mr. Boyles wants me
to tell you how much the bureau
A million dollars.
A million dollars in a numbered
account in Switzerland. IBG Bank
International in Zurich.
You sure as hell turned greedy
.And my brother out now.
Your brother is a convicted felon,
Then get yourself another snitch.
Tarrance responds with a string of expletives and threats to
knock McDeere's teeth down his throat. His verbal assault is
put to a halt when his phone rings. It's Holly Hunter
calling from the nearby parking lot. She plays Tarrance an
incriminating tape of what he has just said. McDeere is
wearing a wire. McDeere has him now.
You want to reconsider?
Most of the guys the government
gets to do the tough stuff are
probably drug dealers and mafia
guys. I'm probably the only guy
like me they've ever met--
77 EXTERIOR RURAL HIGHWAY- NIGHT 77
Whitacre drives his new RANGE ROVER through the darkness.
Draft: 1/15/03 70.
Maybe there's some guy who spied on
the Russians and they had to put
him in that witness protection
unit... It's just me and some
Russian guy who's now a girl's
soccer coach in New Mexico or
78 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION BEDROOM- NIGHT 78
Whitacre tries to creep into the dark room without waking his
wife. He starts to get undressed. Her voice in the darkness
Were you with Brian and Bob all
Yeah, we had to go over some tapes
Mark, Brian called-- I know you
weren't with him.
Did you go again?
I needed to unwind.
You've seen that picture like five
She turns on the light to discuss her concerns. Mark is
standing there without his shirt on-- A LARGE PATCH OF HAIR
is missing from the middle of his chest.
What's wrong with that?
What's wrong? Why is your chest
shaved, Mark? Why are there holes
cut in your suit clothes? Why
aren't you a part of this family
Whitacre tries to laugh off her concern. He sits down on the
bed and puts her hand on his smooth chest.
Draft: 1/15/03 71.
You know they needed to shave me
for the tape recorder. They needed
to... I'm a part...
I need you at home, the kids need
you to be their father.
I'm doing all this for you and the
kids. I didn't ask for this-- but
I want to give this family
everything. That's why I'm working
I don't know who you work for
anymore, Mark. Do you?
A beat. He smiles warmly at her.
79 INTERIOR FBI DECATUR- DAY 79
Warm summer day-- out the window the smoke stacks of ADM send
plumes of white smoke into the blue sky. Shepard and Herndon
sit in their SHIRTSLEEVES transcribing tapes in the tiny
office. There's a knock on the door. Shepard checks to see
who it is through the eye-hole. Whitacre enters wearing the
SAGE COLORED SUIT- full of confidence.
Hey guys, I was in the
neighborhood. I got some more
Thanks, Mark. Come on in.
And I've learned some important
things recently. I've been told I'm
probably going to be the next
President of ADM.
Who told you that?
Draft: 1/15/03 72.
And that's not all. I'd say that
ten of the products produced by ADM
are price fixed.
I would estimate that for all the
companies involved, the total extra
profit is in the range of 800
million to one billion dollars.
That's just from the price-fixing.
Can you tell us what products?
Whitacre smiles-- he's got something else on his mind.
You know, Brian, if all these
companies are charged, they're
going to be paying an awful lot in
fines. Don't you think?
I don't know, they might end up
paying. But, nobody knows for sure
how this will turn out.
We still need to get everyone
together making an actual agreement
before we have a case.
Sure, sure I know that. But, I've
taken a lot of risks and I need to
think about my family.
What do you mean?
Well, I'd like it if, in their
fine, ADM was ordered to pay me ten
It's only fair. Also, one other
Draft: 1/15/03 73.
I never expected this investigation
would go on as long as it has. It's
been almost two years and I think I
should get total immunity if I
agree to cooperate through the end.
I can't grant you immunity Mark,
you know that.
Whitacre smiles wishfully like a big kid. Herndon senses that
Hey, Mark, it's kind of warm in
here-- why don't you take off your
jacket, sit down and we can talk
Oh, no, Bob, that's okay. Let me
know if you want to reconsider.
Whitacre leaves. Herndon looks at Shepard.
What was that about?
80 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MARK'S OFFICE- EVENING 80
Whitacre labels the tape of the FBI agents and tosses it in a
box-- with other tapes.
These floods out on the
Mississippi, you have to think
about these. It just looks like
some boy scouts and sand bags on
the news-right until you have
your stock plummet because of crop
losses... Then it looks like
someone's knee deep in your kids
college education looking for their
photo albums.. .Brian doesn't
understand stock options. He
doesn't see what can happen if they
take those away from me.
$1 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MASTER BEDROOM- NIGHT 81
Ginger alone in bed at 3 AM during a rain storm. The regular
patter of rain is punctuated by the sound of a SMALL ENGINE.
She gets out of bed and goes to the window.
Draft: 1/15/03 74.
Whitacre stands in his bathrobe in the rain with the LEAF
BLOWER. There's one wet leaf stuck to the pavement and he's
focussed the full power of the blower on it but it's not
going anywhere. Three deer stand like statues in the yard,
oblivious to the rain.
We got a deer problem here.
They're in the corn, they're eating
the small trees, they charge into
the road. Too many deer. Take
away all the predators and that's
going to happen.. .No bears, no
coyotes...So now you have all these
deer-- weak and desperate.
ANGLE ON THE DEER
Close enough to hear the rain on their METAL BODIES. They
are YARD STATUES.
And then one gets sick and they all
get sick. Because they're broke and
hungry and they make mistakes.
Who's fault is that? You can't
blame the deer for not having
82 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION DRIVEWAY- NIGHT/RAIN 82
Ginger approaches in her night gown under an umbrella.
Mark, what are you doing?
Whitacre can't tear himself away from the lone leaf.
Come inside Mark, what's happening
She takes his arm and tries to lead him toward the house, but
he turns on her. His eyes are filled with terror. She turns
off the blower.
You want to be someone living in
some small house? You want to be
like those people who can't afford
cars for their kids?
Draft: 1/15/03 75.
You're not better than somebody
else because you have more cars or
a bigger salary. Or some stables
across the road. You used to know
that, you used to know what
mattered. You need to find that out
again-- you need to turn to God.
Whitacre stares at the leaf, trying to move it with his will.
(softly so God won't hear)
I don't need God.
83 INTERIOR ADM WHITACRE'S OFFICE- DAY 83
Whitacre flags down KIRK SCHMIDT, 40, a co-worker and a
friend who is passing by.
Hey, Kirk, I'm gonna be heading off
to Europe and I was thinking I'd
deliver the check for the ABP deal
Remind me, ABP deal?
Threonine microbe, they've made
some substantial improvements and
we need to get it into the market.
I got the invoice somewhere...
He fishes it out of a pile of papers and slides it across the
We can overnight it.
Nah, I'm gonna see this
Thorstensson guy. I'll just hand it
Then I'll get it over. Lysine's
going great guns Mark, price is up
Out the window of the office Andreas looks at the tote board
and smiles broadly-- he gives Whitacre a big thumbs up.
Whitacre smiles and flashes a thumbs up back.
Draft: 1/15/03 76.
84 EXTERIOR SAVOY BAUR EN VILLE, ZURICH- DAY 84
Whitacre emerges from the elegant hotel and heads down the
ADM: Supermarket to the
world.. .We'll have to change that.
When it all comes out-- maybe the
board'11 want to change the name of
the company altogether. Like when
all those companies became Beatrice
in the 80's. There was that woman,
`We're Beatrice...' They made light
bulbs and corn and everything...
Whitacre enters the SWISS BANK CORPORATION. He approaches A
Guten Morgen, Ich mochte Herr Brief
The porter points toward a desk.
Whitacre approaches a SECRETARY. Behind him another woman
shrieks and falls down. The heel has broken on her shoe.
Her papers scatter everywhere-- the secretary smirks at the
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
Guten Tag...Wie gehts es They have a word for laughing
Ihnen? Ich suche Herr Briel, at the misfortune of others.
bitte. A word for that.
Schadenfreude ... We don't have
any words for that kind of
thing. In a way, it's not
The secretary buzzes and moments later a wooden door opens.
DANIEL BRIEL emerges smiling.
Mr. Whitacre ...Wie gehts? Gut dass
wir uns eben getroffen haben.
The two men vanish behind a door.
Brian and Bob always ask me if I do
much sightseeing on business
trips-They don't understand.
Draft: 1/15/03 77.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
You fly in, go to the meeting, go
to the hotel, go to another meeting
and get back on the plane. It's
not that glamorous.
85 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN- AFTERNOON
Whitacre hands another small stack of tapes to Shepard and
Herndon-- The agents are very excited, Whitacre has good
We're having another association
meeting to work out some issues in
lysine-- dividing up volume,
setting prices for some markets.
There's a price fixing
investigation into cement
manufacturing there-- it has
everybody spooked. Europe's out.
We can't video tape in Japan--
that's not gonna help us.
What's his name, Mimoto, we have
him saying on tape-- last fall
He checks a three ring note-book full of transcriptions.
.they were "concerned about
severe penalties for anti-trust in
Whitacre smiles, very impressed with himself.
So, why are they coming to the US?
I got the association past their
Draft: 1/15/03 78.
ANGLE ON A GOLF BALL
Crushed by a driver-- the grass and tee fly.
The state bird of Hawaii is the Nay
Nay-- it's a kind of land based
goose and the state motto is va mau
ke ea o ka aina i ka pono-- the
customer is the enemy and the
competitor is your friend.
86 EXTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA GOLF COURSE- OAHU 86
Mimoto, Ikeda, Whitacre, Wilson and ANOTHER FOURSOME OF ASIAN
LYSINE EXECS crowd around a tee box in their golf clothes.
Mimoto watches his drive split the palm lined fairway and
head toward the Pacific. Wilson tees up his ball.
What should we play for?
If we win, we get Tyson Foods.
All the execs laugh at the thought of dividing up the world's
lysine market through golf. An EXEC IN A VISOR chimes in.
Or, we could play a thousand tons a
We already know Whitacre's score--
sixty seven plus alpha.
I got a hole-in-one once-- back in
Ohio when I was about eighteen.
There was a little blurb in the
paper and I won a windbreaker from
the country club...I still have the
news clipping somewhere stashed
away for safe keeping...
THE T-BOX THROUGH A CROSS-HAIRS
A series of photographs are snapped of the golfers.
Draft: 1/15/03 79.
87 A NEARBY HILLSIDE
Herndon and Shepard snap photographs with a very long lens
from a golf cart parked on hillside.
But, mainly I was active in the
local 4-H Club. I think 4-H is a
real good thing for kids...I got a
lot of recognition from them and
it's not just some local thing.
It's a federal program-- part of
the Department of Agriculture.
OTHER FBI AGENTS dressed for the links shadow the lysine
execs using LONG RANGE RECORDING EQUIPMENT.
88 INTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA- ANOTHER HOTEL ROOM 88
Herndon and Whitacre-- like a boxer and his corner man.
Just remember-- I want you to poll
the room and get them to use the
Okay, Bob. It's gonna be a great
Let the action come to you.
I gotta talk, Bob.
I know that...
I mean, I'm representing ADM.
Otherwise, everybody would be
You can talk. Just don't dominate.
We want to see others involvement.
It's that time again.
Draft: 1/15/03 80.
Oh, sure no problem.
Whitacre takes off his shirt as the two men face each other
in the hotel room-- an uncomfortable moment. Herndon starts
spreading shave cream across Whitacre's chest.
When it's over I think we'll be
friends, all of us. Good friends.
I'll have Bob over and Brian and
we'll bar-b-que. Maybe not so much
with some of the guys over at ADM--
probably not Mick and Terry...But
guys like Sid and Marty and
Rheinhard we've been through a lot
89 EXTERIOR POOL SIDE- SHERATON RESORT 89
Wilson, Mimoto, Ikeda and Visor sip umbrella drinks
We can't be manipulated by these
Goddamn buyers. Thank God we have
them, but they are not my friends.
The men all nod. Whitacre appears pool side and begins to
unbutton his Hawaiian shirt. Wilson turns to Ikeda.
You're my friend. I want to be
closer to you than I am to any
customer, cause you can make it so
I can make money or I can't make
money. And all I want...
Nobody is listening to him. They all stare at Whitacre. A
LARGE PATCH OF HIS CHEST HAIR IS SHAVED.
Whitacre looks down at his chest-- so does everyone else.
Whitacre's got some explaining to do.
Oh, that. Nah, I had to take this
physical for some life insurance
the wife wanted. They shaved me
for the heart thing. Itches...
Whitacre smiles shyly and settles into the pool.
Draft: 1/15/03 81.
It's not really lying when you're
doing it to serve some greater
purpose...I think that's what God
would say-- it's not all cut and
dry-- like that and you can't
really send a lie out into the
world on its own, you wouldn't do
that with a child per se...A lie
needs the company of other lies--
and so it may look like a lot of
lies in the end, but it's really
just the first one that counts...
90 INTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA- MEETING SUITE 90
A medium sized room overlooking the grounds. Orange Juice and
fruit trays and an easel in the corner. The room seems a
little cramped for the number of men assembling-- Whitacre,
Wilson, Mimoto, Ikeda and a number of others from Asia and
Europe. Whitacre searches for SOMETHING.
Damn Mark, can't you call and get
us a bigger room. This is crazy.
Anyone seen my briefcase?
We move to bigger room.
They start to pack up their stuff. Whitacre panics.
No, no. I don't think they have
one... . Is my brief case behind the
91 INTERIOR SURVEILLANCE ROOM- TWO ROOMS AWAY 91
Herndon enters with the BRIEF CASE-- Shepard is watching
Whitacre on a monitor with other JUNIOR AGENTS.
He left it in his room.
92 INTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA- MEETING SUITE 92
I• Whitacre on the phone.
Draft: 1/15/03 62.
Yeah, it's just there's more of us
than we expected. Nothing larger?
Really? Can you check again...
CU ON THE PHONE BASE
Whitacre's finger holds down the receiver switch. He's
talking to no one. Mimoto picks up his chair and moves it
right in front of THE LAMP/CAMERA. Another problem.
Call us if anything opens up. It's
Whitacre, Mark Whitacre.
He hangs up and crosses toward Mimoto.
Uh, Mr. Mimoto, I think you might
be able to see the easel better...
You think Mimoto would be any
different in my position? They
have guys filing expense reports
for sex trips to Bangkok at
Ajinomoto Corporation...Any of
these guys who have kids and found
themselves in a bind with the
93 INTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA- SURVEILLANCE ROOM 93
A suite down the hall. Shepard stares at the back of Mimoto's
chair on the monitor. Helpless. They've come a long way to
go back empty handed.
Suddenly the room comes into view as Whitacre moves the chair
from in front of THE LAMP/CAMERA.
(on the monitor)
What if we just move your chair
Thatta boy, Mark.
94 INTERIOR SHERATON MAKAHA- MEETING SUITE 94
Terry Wilson starts the meeting.
Draft; 1/15/03 83.
I'd like to welcome everybody here,
glad everyone could make it and
sorry for those who can't play golf
tomorrow-- we're gonna have a good
Whitacre's POV-- he scans the room.
TERRY WILSON WHITACRE (V.0.)
We have an old saying at ADM It's like that game on TV
that applies here. It's where one guy knows a word
better to have the elephants and tries to make the other
inside the tent pissin' out, one say it... another word for
than outside pissin' in. "deal"...how about
"understanding." Maybe they'd
take "deal"-- that's like
Language problem again.
It's better to be part of the
Competitors are our friends,
remember? Customers the enemy.
The group nods in agreement with Whitacre's translation. JM
SUH of Cheil Corporation takes issue with this. The two
argue... Whitacre looks at SUH, who is LOSING HIS HAIR...
SUH WHITACRE (V.0.)
I want to know why Cheil Male pattern hair loss can be
Corporation has been excluded a real set back...I mean a
from association in the past. lot of women, their father's
are bald so they're kind of
used to it...But, still
seeing it in the drain every
morning in your thirties,
that's not fair at all and
this Minoxidil thing-- it's
not really, a cure...
I explain it to you on the phone
Suh is kind of a baby-- Mimoto doesn't like him. Wilson
Draft: 1/15/03 84.
If the market is what we think it
There's a KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Conversation ceases.
We have a couple other people
joining us I think?
MR. CHAUDRET from EUROLYSINE is making himself a fruit plate.
From Sewon in Korea.
And one from the FBI?
Whitacre freezes. He's caught. He looks at the business
men... DO THEY ALL KNOW?
That's why there can't be any
leaves on the walk. They give it
away-Like the ants-- they can see
a trail of ants...
Mimoto smiles right at Whitacre-- the walls close in, and
then, the room bursts into laughter. Whitacre gets it. He
And seven from the Federal Trade
IT'S ALL A JOKE. More laughter and more knocks. Whitacre
goes to the door. Mimoto calls out.
Whitacre opens the door to find HERNDON DRESSED LIKE A HOTEL
EMPLOYEE-- he hands Whitacre the brief case.
This was left in the lobby. The
concierge thought it might belong
to one of you gentleman.
Okay. Hey, thanks.
Herndon closes the door.
Draft: 1/15/03 85.
You forgot your briefcase in the
When I was signing for the food-- I
must've left it.
In Paris it would have already been
How can we know ADM will stay at
agreed upon levels?
Our preference is to trust each
other. If we find someone lyin'--
then we hire some mafia figure and
rub you out.
The group laughs.
If we can't trust each other in the
end, it ain't gonna work.
You are okay for that?
Yeah, I'm all right.
So what are we saying then?
Wilson looks at Whitacre like he's an idiot.
What, is there a language problem
So, everyone is, uh...
They just said so. It's like Whitacre is playing Password.
Draft: 1/15/03 86.
Agreed. Uh, five companies agree on
quantity for the first time.
The men all smile at each other-- hand shakes and high fives.
95 INTERIOR DEPT OF JUSTICE CONFERENCE ROOM- CHICAGO 95
Shepard and Herndon have been playing the new tape for Robin
Mann and US ANTITRUST ATTORNEY JAMES MUTCHNIK. Shepard and
Herndon beam with pride.
Agreement... you heard it.
He hits rewind and plays it again.
MUTCHNIK ROBIN MANN
A jury's gonna love that. Congratulations.
Christ, how about this guy
Whitacre? What's his story?
What do you mean?
What's his agenda? The guy's making
350 grand a year, he's moving up
the ladder and he turns informer.
When does that happen? Is the
money going up his nose? Some woman
somewhere with a kid that he's
seeing on one of these business
trips? What's his story?
Shepard and Herndon are offended on behalf of Mark. Herndon
reaches into his briefcase and pulls out a GREETING CARD.
I wanted everyone to see this.
This is Mark Whitacre and his
The group passes it around. A photo of Whitacre Family
smiling in front of their Christmas Tree.
I carry this picture with me all
the time as a constant reminder
that he is a real person with a
real family depending on him.
The only reason we have these tapes
is because of this man.
Draft: 1/15/03 87.
We want to know that when the time
comes, if he loses his job, the
government is going to stand behind
What's he looking for?
About eighteen grand a month.
He hands her a folder of Whitacre's expenses.
96 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- NIGHT 96
Whitacre rides down the shoulder of the two lane, past the
towers of the grain elevators-- to a railroad crossing and
rumbling out of the darkness, comes another 100 box cars of
what America needs for tomorrow and each one of those cars
We took the kids one year to the
Renaissance festival in
Indiana.. .You get to be the White
Knight.. .The kids get to ride in
the joust against the forces of
darkness with a helmet on. And the
White Knight always wins, the
forces of darkness fall onto an old
mattress...It was maybe ninety
degrees out and the heat and
humidity index-- I can't even
remember what the radio said.
97 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MASTER BEDROOM- NIGHT 97
Ginger lies alone in bed, eyes open, train whistles in the
night. It's 4 a.m.
We were next in line and the mare
collapsed-- went down in a heap.
Ginger was eating ye olde drumstick
and she dropped it in the dirt.
The kids were crying and I remember
this farmer saying he had a gun in
his truck... Just like that. From
the White Knight to a gun in the
truck-How do you get that back?
How does that get to be fair?
Draft: 1/15/03 88.
98 EXTERIOR ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL- DECATUR 98
Whitacre pulls into the parking lot in a brand new PORSCHE
911. Shepard gets out of a black sedan and crosses the lot.
He climbs into the shiny red car.
(off the Porsche)
Hey, Brian, how do you like it?
Shepard takes in the car.
It's a beauty. How was Hong Kong?
Real good-- we're going to be
taking the lysine prices up again.
He hands Shepard an envelope.
We're gonna wanna hear how the
company responds when we move in.
Shepard hands him some tapes and batteries. He grabs the
BRIEF CASE off the backseat.
You want me to load you up right
That's okay, Brian. It's kind of
packed with work anyway.
Whitacre stops Shepard from opening the case-- he takes the
tapes and puts them in his lap.
I'll see you at the briefing.
Whitacre watches Shepard walk away then opens the briefcase.
ANGLE ON THE BRIEFCASE
It's filled with TENS OF THOUSANDS IN CASH.
Marty Allison, Sid Hulse, and the
other guys will understand--
they've worked with me.
Draft: 1/15/03 89.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
They saw what I was trying to do
for everyone... Those guys know
me-They'd back me up all the way--
family and friends are the most
important thing. That's the
99 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MASTER BEDROOM- MORNING 99
Whitacre picks a tie to go with his TAPE RECORDER SUIT. He
sees good things on the horizon. But, Ginger's got another
point of view.
Mark, are you an idiot?
I'm gonna be the only one left.
Dwayne will be gone. Mick will be
gone. Terry will be gone. I'm
going to be the only one who can
That's totally illogical. How can
you possibly stay there when you've
dust taken down the company? You
think they're going to pat you on
I'm next in line.
It's the FBI, right? They're
brainwashing you. Brian Shepard
put these ideas in your head to
keep you working for him.
She storms out-- Whitacre checks his hair in the mirror.
I'm telling you, they're gonna make
How's your family doing?
100 INTERIOR HAMPTON INN- EVENING 100
Shepard, Herndon, Whitacre, Mann, Mutchnik and A HOST OF
OTHER AGENTS prepare for the raid. The cheap hotel room has
been transformed into a COMMAND CENTER.
Draft: 1/15/03 90.
There's a MAP OF DECATUR on the wall with push-pins at
various locations and A CHART of which agent will contact
which ADM executive.
They're good. They'll be at an
amusement park when you guys make
Whatever happens tomorrow, it may
be in your best interest to get an
attorney who represents your
Whitacre is confused.
You want me to go and hire an
No, not now...
The first thing that's going to
happen is the company lawyers are
going to come to all the executives
with a list of attorneys for you to
pick from. You gotta understand,
these attorneys are being paid by
ADM. They don't represent you. Do
not take one of these attorneys,
that's when you say to them that
you have your own attorney.
Tell them you've decided to
cooperate with the government.
It's perfectly reasonable for you
to cooperate. It happens all the
Well, I know a lawyer in Decatur...
No, Mark. The town's too small.
I'm sure you've met lawyers in your
business dealings who can handle
Draft: 1/15/03 91.
He searches his mind for who that might be.
Now, Mark once this thing starts
it's going to be intense.
They're going to know that somebody
was on the inside working with us.
They're going to do almost anything
to find out who it is.
You guys still think everything
will work out okay for me at the
company? They'll take out the bad
guys, but I'll be okay?
101 INTERIOR DECATUR CLUB DINING ROOM-CONTINUOUS 101
Mauve covered tables patrolled by bow-tied wait staff. Wood
paneling, botanical drawings of the Illinois state flowers on
the wall, serrated steak knives on the table.
Whitacre and Wilson dine with a VISITING CLIENT, 35. They're
a couple of cocktails into the swagger of American Business.
Come on Mark, you're making that
No, it's true. Archer, The "A" in
ADM, choked to death on a chicken
bone in 1947.
There you have it from Mark
Whitacre, Ph.D. You know what the
Ph.D. is for? Piled Higher and
And let me guess, Daniels was
killed by a pig and the cows got
Booze soaked laughter all around.
ANGLE ON HERNDON AND SHEPARD
At the hostess stand whispering-- the hostess drops her
Draft: 1/15/03 92.
So, a chicken got Archer-- but
fifty years later when you look at
our deals with Tyson, Foster Farms--
what's the body count?
More laughter. The agents walk up to the table.
Excuse me. Mr. Wilson, Mr.
Whitacre-- I'm Bob Herndon and I'm
an FBI agent. This is Special
WHITACRE TERRY WILSON
Jesus, what is it? What's What's this about?
Why don't we step over there.
Wilson is baffled. Whitacre feigns surprise-- they both look
to their client.
I have no idea what this is.
Wilson gets up from the table. Whitacre is shaken.
TERRY WILSON (CONT'D)
Do I need an attorney.
Mr. Whitacre, if I can ask you to
step outside with Agent Shepard and
Mr. Wilson, if you could have a
The men move away from the table leaving the Visiting Client
baffled and all alone-- a STUNNED WAITRESS approaches him.
Would you like to see the dessert
102 EXTERIOR DECATUR CLUB- EVENING 102
Shepard and Whitacre descend the steps of the club and head
for the FBI cruiser.
Draft: 1/15/03 93.
I saved a guy once at a restaurant
in Hong Kong. He was choking on a
bone and I got him to throw himself
over the back of his chair. He
sends me cards on holidays... Just
to say thanks...tells me what his
kids are studying. He remembers me.
103 INTERIOR DECATUR CLUB VESTIBULE- CONTINUOUS 103
Herndon and Wilson.
You have a reason for embarrassing
my colleague and I in front of a
Mr. Wilson you're president over at
Archer Daniels Midland Corporation,
I run the corn business.
This is a serious matter. It
involves an international
investigation into price fixing...
104 EXTERIOR DECATUR CLUB- SIMULTANEOUSLY
Shepard and Whitacre.
Why don't we talk in the car.
105 INTERIOR DECATUR CLUB-CONTINUOUS
Herndon and Wilson.
We've seen you and your boss, Mick
Andreas, conspire with your
competitors to fix prices. We've
seen you tell others to do it.
Draft: 1/15/03 94.
106 INTERIOR ARCHER, DANIELS HEADQUARTERS- NIGHT 106
FBI agents flash badges and warrants to a night security
guard and fan out down the corridors-- entering offices,
There are going to be indictments.
Search warrants have been issued...
107 EXTERIOR NICE NEIGHBORHOOD DECATUR, ILLINOIS- NIGHT 107
FBI agents roll up the drive way and approach A MIDDLE AGED
MAN watering his plants.
and some people, people you know
and work with will be going to
The MIDDLE AGED MAN drops the hose and goes inside with the
FBI agent. Pull back to reveal TWO OTHER HOUSES on the
street have FBI CRUISERS parked in their driveways.
HERNDON (V.0.) (CONT'D)
We're giving you a chance...
108 INTERIOR DECATUR CLUB-CONTINUOUS 108
Wilson sits motionless cradling his High Ball. Out the
window, Whitacre and Shepard are just shapes in the Dodge.
A chance to be able to look your
grandchildren in the eye someday
and tell them you did the right
Wilson looks out the window and sees Whitacre in the FBI
109 INTERIOR SHEPARD'S CAR- NIGHT 109
Whitacre and Shepard watch Herndon and Wilson in the foyer.
Whitacre is in the middle of an adrenaline rush two-and-a-
half years in the making.
Draft: 1/15/03 95.
Look at that, look at Bob and
Terry. Man, I'd love to be a fly on
the wall for that one. I was good
wasn't I? I seemed scared.
Shepard tries to calm him down, get him to focus.
Remember what we told you, Mark:
tell them that you're cooperating
first thing and whatever you do, do
not take one of their lawyers.
110 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S MERCEDES BENZ COUPE- NIGHT
Whitacre and Wilson. Whitacre is in a feigned panic.
What did you say to your guy?
Nothing. I told him nothing. Slow
He said he had tapes-- that he'd
heard price fixing tapes. . .What the
fuck is that? I can't believe they
would pull this shit on Dwayne
The car skids into a turn up a very long drive toward the
kind of mansion that comes from price fixing.
I bet they tapped the phones-- I
always said that about them. I bet
it's phone calls.
Maybe, but what's that?
You know, I get phone calls from
time to time, Terry.
I know, I know.
Draft: 1/15/03 96.
Terry never liked me...He's a
dinosaur. A fossil. The Andreas'
bully, is all he ever was. He was
never going to run the place. Those
guys never do, they just use them
to find the land mines...
MICK ANDREAS, Mid 40's appears in the headlights-- shirt un-
tucked, holding a drink.
111 EXTERIOR ANDREAS MANSION DRIVEWAY- CONTINUOUS
Gnats swarm around the yard lights-- crickets chirp out the
We're going to the lawyers-- I
don't want to use the phones.
See, the phones.
They hit everyone-- my Dad,
They played me a tape-- of me--
some meeting with the fucking japs.
I called the lawyers.. .They want us
to go there.
They played a fucking tape!
I really don't think they've got
that much and when you factor in
everything we've ever done for them
.It'll be a ten year thing for
the lawyers then there'll be some
deal, maybe a fine.. .That's all
it'll ever be.
Wilson and Andreas get in one car-- Whitacre gets in another.
Mick should've been more of a
friend to me.
Draft: 1/15/03 97.
WHITACRE (V.O.) (cont'd)
Taken me into his confidence more
just about different kinds of
things...I could've kept some of
the tapes out of it...The ones
about girls or whatever-- those are
gonna be tough to hear on the
112 INTERIOR FBI OFFICE, DECATUR- LATER 112
The small room is abuzz with agents reporting in. A
.I could've turned the tape
recorder off and told Brian and Bob
I ran out of batteries...
Do you think it went well?
I don't think I would change a
A phone rings somewhere-- an agent answers.
I got Agent Temples for Attorney
Mutchnik-- sharing in the joy of the success takes the phone.
They would've believed me. Brian
and Bob really trusted me...
113 EXTERIOR KIRK SCHMIDT'S HOUSE- NIGHT
AGENT TEMPLES sits in his car outside the house on his cell
I just interviewed an ADM employee,
Schmidt knew we were coming. He
said Whitacre told him about the
raid days ago.
Draft: 1/15/03 98.
114 INTERIOR FBI OFFICE, DECATUR- CONTINUOUS 114
Mutchnik hangs up the phone. One unhappy guy in the midst of
a lot of law enforcement back-patting. He turns to Shepard
Bob, Brian-- can I talk to you guys
for a second...
115 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S MERCEDES BENZ SEDAN- LATER 115
Whitacre listens to the farm report on WSOY as he heads down
Highway 36. He turns into the HOLIDAY INN and parks next to
the tennis courts behind the hotel-- A LITER BOTTLE OF COKE
rolls around in the wind.
The metric system never panned out.
We all had rulers with inches on
one edge and centimeters on the
other-- I pronounced it centimiters
instead of centimeeters-- and
nobody ever corrected me. They
just let me walk around stupid so
I'm not really upset we never
crossed over, although it's helpful
in Europe. The liter bottle is the
only thing that ever caught on,
because it's a nicer word--liter--
A sedan pulls up next to him. Herndon and Shepard climb in.
You guys were great. I mean you
scared the hell out of Terry and
you should've seen Mick and the
That's super, Mark.
And the best part is, they think
you gave me the once over.
Did you make a tape?
Whitacre again reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small
Draft: 1/15/03 99.
Yeah, and it's good stuff. It's
He hands the agents the tape.
So, it's pretty much over now.
Whitacre nods-- a moment to savor, until...
Mark, who did you tell?
What? What do you mean?
Who did you tell about the raid.
Shepard is furious, he glares at Whitacre.
Hey, I had to tell my secretary. I
told her a long time ago. I just
said, "look I'm working with the
FBI on some things, I may be out of
touch for a while. That's all...
Shepard still glares.
And, uh, I've probably mentioned
Kathy Dougherty, in my division.
She's a dear friend and a trusted
ally. I didn't want her to be
Why did you do that, Mark? Why did
you tell Dougherty?
Like I said, I didn't want her to
be scared. And I can trust her.
Guys, I can trust her.
Shepard glares in harder, his voice cracking.
Draft: 1/15/03 100.
Mmm...Kirk Schmidt. I wanted to let
him know it was okay to talk with
you `cuz he might not on account of
he's loyal to me.
You could have ruined this entire
operation. Two and a half years...
Time out. Mark, you know what you
did was wrong in our eyes...
Whitacre starts to speak.
Don't...Don't. Look, we can get
past this. But is there anything
else we need to know? Anything?
A beat. Whitacre regains his composure.
No, I can't think of anything, Bob.
116 INTERIOR ADM LOBBY- THE NEXT MORNING 116
Whitacre strolls through the lobby amazed at the mayhem he's
created. Documents are being carted away by the arm load.
Secretary's make frantic phone calls to lawyers.
Selenium deficiency in chicks
causes reduced growth and
pancreatic atrophy and increased
mortality. But, does anyone here
know that? It's in my Ph. D.
Thesis.. .You can solve it with
vitamin E. Mick and Terry-most
of the people-- they don't even
have Ph. D.'s. They wouldn't have
the slightest idea about what
selenium deficiency can do to a
chick. But, I know it, I did the
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
A small smile of accomplishment.
Draft: 1/15/03 101.
Whitacre sits in his office. From his POV he can see the
GREAT AND POWERFUL DWAYNE ANDREAS, 70, Mick and Terry cross
the chaotic trading area toward his office-- with them are
two STARCHED AND SUITED OLDER MEN who can only be a LAWYERS--
AUBREY DANIEL and JOHN DOWD.
Dwayne Andreas, hey, how ya doin'?
Sorry about the FBI arresting your
son and investigating your
company... Maybe you all should've
listened to me.
The smile vanishes. Is he found out?
Mark Whitacre, this is Aubrey
Pleasure meeting you. I'm
representing ADM in this matter.
And this is a colleague of mine
John Dowd. Dwayne's told me about
your responsibilities here...
1 W -
They shake hands.
Aubrey defended Lt. Calley after
the My Lai massacre in Viet
Nam... So this ought to be a cake
walk for him.
We thought you might take some time
and talk to John here.
ADM's going to stand behind you on
this, Mark. Dad and I want the key
people to know we'll be paying
their legal fees.
Great, that's great.
Then we'll let you fellas get
Everyone leaves except for Dowd and Whitacre. Dowd gives
Whitacre a warm, knowing look.
How you holding up, Mark?
Draft: 1/15/03 102.
Uh, can I ask you something?
If I tell you something are you
allowed to say anything to Mick or
ANGLE ON WHITACRE'S OFFICE
From the trading floor. Dowd gets up and pulls the curtains
shut. Through a crack in the drapes we see Whitacre and Dowd
It feels good to talk, to clear the
air-- you get to be like a balloon
after a while. A balloon looking
for a pin to bump into and relieve
the pressure. You could get sick
from keeping it inside and get a
tumor or something..I didn't ask
for that. Why should I pay for my
own legal fees when I'm not the one
who started the price fixing.
117 INTERIOR FBI OFFICE DECATUR- EVENING 117
Herndon and Shepard stand over a similar sea of documents--
People get their live's earnings
wiped out by these legal
entanglements ... I'm gonna pay for
that? That's not right, I have kids
and Ginger and horses...
118 EXTERIOR ADM- LATER 118
Twilight. From the parking lot you can see two men still
talking in the fluorescent light of Whitacre's office.
Draft: 1/15/03 103.
I have a friend from school who has
a law practice and he's always
telling me how they can't talk
about their cases-Like in The
Firm... You can tell them anything
and they have to keep to themselves
or they get in a lot of
trouble-They're boxed. That's
what they say, "boxed."
119 INTERIOR ADM TRADING FLOOR- LATER 119
A GROUP OF LAWYERS sit among boxes of pizza and beer. The
drapes finally open in Whitacre's office. Dowd and Whitacre
emerge. Dowd looks stunned, Whitacre solemn. Wilson, Daniel,
Mick and the other lawyers stop what their doing and look up.
I need to tell you that I'm
cooperating with the government.
The FBI has hundreds of tapes. They
know all about lysine. John here
agrees I should be getting another
No question about it.
Dowd and Daniel share a knowing look. An uncomfortable
I'm sorry for what's happened.
Sorry? What's that?
Whitacre shakes Mick Andreas' hand and walks away. The men
are all stunned, they watch him leave.
John, I bet that SOB was wearing a
wire on you tonight, too.
120 INTERIOR ADM- THE NEXT MORNING 120
Whitacre crosses the room; the object of cold stares and hard
Hey. . .Good morning.
Draft: 1/15/03 104.
To nobody in particular and nobody responds. He enters his
office and closes the drapes.
There are perfectly good ties on
sale and nobody is buying them.
Paisleys and yellow and red Rep
ones with little crests and what
have you. Two for one. You just
have to take the time and look,
there are plenty of good ones...
But, when he looks up AUBREY DANIEL is standing there--- all
arrogance and anger concentrated into a very intense beam of
Mark, we'd like you off the
Uh, Mr. Daniel, can't we...
Management wants you out...
But, I'm a VP here...
And with that MARK CHEVIRON picks up his briefcase and car
ANGLE ON BRIAN SHEPARD AND HIS ADOPTED SON
Seen through the front window of a car baring down on them as
they work on an OLD FORD MUSTANG MACH ONE. Shepard reacts to
the camera-- he can't believe what he sees.
(bitter little boy rant)
How would Brian Shepard like it if
he was thrown out of his job? If he
was humiliated in front of his
secretary? If he even had a
secretary. Not very much I'm
willing to wager.
Draft: 1/15/03 105.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
It's like, "Hey, Mark we'll lead
the parade in these bright red
suits while you walk behind the
elephants with a shovel and some
rubber gloves in case it gets
121 EXTERIOR BRIAN SHEPARD'S HOME- DAY 121
A modest Midwestern home on a tree lined street. Whitacre
brings his TOWN CAR to a screeching halt in front of Shepard.
Mark, you can't be here.
They threw me out, Brian.
You're jeopardizing everything.
Tossed me out of ADM. I'm out.
Shepard backs away from Whitacre like he's a leper.
Not here, Mark-- on the phone we
can set something up.
You gotta help me.
Whitacre looks around-- all the houses have eyes. A LITTLE
NEIGHBOR BOY has stopped playing catch with his MOTHER and
both are now staring at Whitacre and Shepard-- as are a group
of CITY WORKERS fixing a telephone wire.
If you need to talk, call me.
Whitacre gets back in his car. Shepard watches him drive
away-- over his shoulder we hear the phone ringing.
Whitacre parks at the far end of the street.
122 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S TOWN CAR- CONTINUOUS
Whitacre is freaked out.
Mark, you can't show up at my
house. How can you know me if this
is a secret investigation?
Draft: 1/15/03 106.
They know. They know it's me, my
lawyer told them.
What? What lawyer?
I fired him right away, but he told
Mick and Dwayne.
123 INTERIOR SHEPARD'S HOUSE- CONTINUOUS 123
Shepard paces the kitchen, staring out the window at Whitacre
who is parked down the street.
A lawyer can't do that, Mark.
I thought that, I did. Mick and
Dwayne introduced me to this guy
and I told him...
Who introduced you?
Mick and Dwayne said they were
going to take care of me.
Shepard can't believe Whitacre gave himself away.
Mark, we told you not to talk to an
ADM lawyer. We went over that more
than once. I think we made it very
124 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S PARKED CAR- CONTINUOUS 124
I know, I know I do. I just don't
know one. No ideas.
Let me make a call.
You're not mad at me for coming
over are you, Bri?
Draft: 1/15/03 107.
125 INTERIOR LAW OFFICES OF EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN- DAY 125
JIM EPSTEIN, 43, and BOB ZAIDEMAN, 50, sit with Mark Whitacre
in their offices in the Loop. Whitacre recounts his life as a
mole in a rambling fashion-- leaping tangent to tangent.
So, there wasn't a saboteur in the
beginning at all? You made that up?
Maybe there was, there could've
been-- ADM steals technology from
the Japanese-- so I wouldn't put it
past the Japanese to do the same
thing. But after I told them that
I made it up the FBI said I didn't
have much of a choice.
And you began making tapes...How
many tapes did you make?
Whitacre again displays his gift to move his lips and mind in
different directions. The interior monologue takes
precedence-- the on-camera story we've heard before.
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
There are over 200 tapes. I There are so many really nice
carried a tape recorder people in the world. People
almost everyday to work once who want to help out. Good
I signed a cooperating neighbors. Good listeners.
witness agreement, and then Like when they have these
they gave me a special brief floods out on the Mississippi
case that I took to meetings and people lose everything
that had a hidden recorder in and are sleeping in a school
it-- they even sewed a small gym, someone always shows up
one they just developed into with a warm coat for the old
my suit and I'd ride around people and a home made pot
on the plane and tape Mick roast. That's why Ginger and
and the guys talking about I bought that girl in town a
price fixing or stealing special computer after she
technology and illegal had the spine injury. That
campaign contributions, just kind of thing really makes a
whatever we'd talk about. We difference. Jim here strikes
made over a hundred tapes-- me as that kind of guy, you
and Brian and Bob and I would can tell he's the one-in-a-
get together a couple times a hundred guy who when you come
week and work on the into the emergency room, you
investigation until we thank your lucky stars that
briefed the lawyers at the it's his watch.
Department of Justice and
they raided the place.
Draft: 1/15/03 108.
Epstein can't believe it.
For how long did you do this? Work
as an informant?
Uh, two and a half years. I was a
VP and a cooperating witness.
A moment of reflection and then...
I've always thought when this was
over there'd still be a place for
me at ADM. I still got a lot of
The lawyers look at each other.
Mark, it's very important to your
case that you not discuss it with
anyone else. These people you work
with, your friends, they could end
up being witnesses. So Bob and I
are the only people I want you to
talk to about this from now on and
I want you to know you can tell us
Hey, thanks for taking the time. I
really appreciate it. I feel a
whole lot better.
Whitacre leaves. Epstein and Zaideman try and absorb what
they've just heard.
Then they burst into hysterical laughter.
126 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- DAY
As seen from across the street. A stranger-- SCOTT KILMAN--
is standing on the steps.
He's out of town.
My name is Scott Kilman and I'm a
reporter from the Wall Street
Kilman gives her a business card.
Draft: 1/15/03 109.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
Hiding in the corn. He inspects an ear.
Any kind of corn will pop-- but not
every kind turns itself inside out
and gets white and fluffy...
I know this is a difficult time for
your family. But, I've seen how
these things go before-- these
companies really go after the
Kilman lays out what he knows for Ginger. She listens
briefly and then walks Kilman back to his car.
KILMAN (CONT'D) WHITACRE (V.0.)
They've got a whole PR There's a starch-protein
department putting out their matrix. Certain ratios prove
side. It's just the nature of advantageous ... How do you
the beast. If he wants his explain that? Who would
side coming out he's gonna really take the time to
have to do it. listen when the other guys
have an agenda. When they
can get Ronald Reagan on the
phone because they're
building a statue of him...
Uh, well I don't really know about
all that-- like I said, Mark's away
just now-But, I'll let him know
you stopped by.
Ginger watches Kilman drive away and then turns and walks
toward the stables.
Mark? He left. You can come back.
Whitacre emerges from among the tall stalks of corn where
he's been watching.
127 INTERIOR BLUE BIRD DINER- EARLY MORNING 127
Whitacre is strung out on martyrdom and insomnia. He stares
at his coffee.
They turned the place upside down.
Draft: 1/15/03 110.
His loyal secretary gives him a pile of mail.
They went though all of this, too.
I'm sorry you got dragged into
And then they started asking me for
the access code to your voice mail.
Did you tell them? I don't think
you have to tell them that.
well, according to them I do-- but
I didn't. And about two hours
later Peterson told me to clean out
my desk. He said I've been
transferred out of Bioproducts.
But, you didn't tell them?
128 EXTERIOR ADM PLANT- DAY 128
Whitacre is parked in his MERCEDES across the road staring
through the chain link fence. Trucks rumble by.
Abe Lincoln was born 45 minutes
from here and I've never been to
his log cabin. I've seen post
cards and I sent the kids there on
a field trip. But, I've never
gone. I'm sure it's very well
preserved. Original beds and
dining room tables and the doorways
are probably smaller from when
people were shorter...It's only 45
CU on Whitacre as a sound builds in the car...A small
outboard motor we've heard before. Getting LOUDER...And then
a voice competes.
COMPETING VOICE (PRE-LAP)
I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH
WITH YOU FOR DAYS...
Draft: 1/15/03 111.
129 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- DAY 129
Whitacre stands with the leaf blower-- but the driveway is
spotless. He shuts it off. Behind him is SCOTT KILMAN.
I'd like to talk to you about
what's been going on at ADM.
A beat. He hands Whitacre a card.
I'm interested in hearing your side
Whitacre takes a paranoid look around.
We better go inside. We can't talk
130 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MORNING 130
Whitacre makes himself a bowl of cereal and talks on the
phone. He's fully caffeinated and ready to go.
They kept coming back Brian, and
they only had ADM's side of things.
Did you talk to them, Mark?
What did you say? It's real
important that you not talk to the
Me? I told him I had no comment.
But, they already had the story.
A beat. On the counter is a NEWSPAPER. Whitacre hangs up the
ANGLE ON WSJ
Headline: SEEDS OF DOUBT: AN EXECUTIVE BECOMES INFORMANT FOR
THE FBI, STUNNING GIANT ADM.
I don't owe Brian Shepard the
Draft: 1/15/03 112.
WHITACRE (V.0.) (cont'd)
I mean, I gave Brian Shepard two
C and a half years of my life and now
I have legal bills to show for
it...And I'm the good guy in all
this-- the guy who took on ADM...
131 INTERIOR CTA COMMUTER TRAIN- MORNING 131
Jim Epstein reads the Journal. Pull back to reveal it's in
the hands of almost EVERY OTHER EXECUTIVE on the train.
.Is Brian Shepard gonna lose his
job for that? His standard of
living? I've gone to the local
junior high school on career day
and talked to kids about
biochemistry and the kind of career
132 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION KITCHEN- CONTINUOUS 132
Whitacre's son, Alexander, runs, screaming into the kitchen.
Can Brian Shepard and Bob Herndon
say that, I'm the white hat...
Dad, Dad, you're on TV!
Whitacre turns on the TV. A strange light blows out the
windows of the kitchen. On the TV screen appears the image
of: WHITACRE'S HOUSE.
A Vice President in the Bio-
products division of Fortune Five
Hundred ADM, Whitacre was working
as a spy for the FBI for over two
I did enough for Brain Shepard.
Who's gonna take care of me?
Baby, you gotta come see this we're
Draft: 1/15/03 113.
133 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MORNING 133
A crowd of reporters and ENG CREWS have sprouted up among the
corn fields. They press in on the gates. America has
questions for Mark Whitacre.
The door opens and Whitacre emerges. Expecting rock star
exaltation-- he gets something else.
Any comment on the effect your
actions have had on the decline in
ADM's stock prices?
What has been the reaction of your
friends and co-workers to having
been taped without their knowledge?
Whitacre picks up speed toward the garage.
Do you believe you and your family
can safely stay in Decatur, or has
the government made arrangements to
Whitacre cowers in the garage.
Who picks the kids up for swimming
lessons. . .Who has a plaque in the
high school for the Mark Whitacre
Environmental Award... Where are
your friends when it's dump on Mark
Whitacre, where's the pot roast and
the warm coat?
134 INTERIOR WHITACRE LIVING ROOM- DAY 134
Ginger with Shepard and Herndon.
We're still getting the threatening
phone calls and I know for a fact
that Dwayne and Terry have been
telling people he wasn't a good
worker. That he can't be trusted.
Draft: 1/15/03 114.
We told Mark that he had to expect
the unexpected-- that he might be
attacked-- that he wasn't going to
win any popularity contests for
He just mopes around here watching
the news looking for a glimpse of
himself. Or, he calls someone from
ADM looking for the latest gossip.
135 EXTERIOR ROADSIDE MOTEL BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS- DAY 135
Whitacre gets out of the car with a brief case and heads into
136 INTERIOR WHITACRE LIVING ROOM- CONTINUOUS 136
Maybe you guys should get out of
town until the hearings start.
He's got to stop talking to people
that can really come back to bite
He's very proud, you know...
137 INTERIOR ROADSIDE MOTEL ROOM- DAY 137
Whitacre fixes his hair and smiles. A CAMERA FLASHES.
.I just feel that after
everything he's done he should be
taken better care of...
138 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION-CONTINUOUS 138
Where is he now?
He said he was going to see you.
Draft: 1/15/03 115.
139 INTERIOR HOTEL ROOM- CONTINUOUS 139
A camera flash punctuates his words as Whitacre's story pours
itself into RONALD HENKOFF'S, 38, tape recorder.
They had warned me that I would
need an attorney and told me not to
get one tied to ADM, but they
didn't stress it...I spent from six
to ten that night talking to John
Dowd the attorney from ADM. Dowd
promised me he wouldn't tell anyone
my role. But, the next day someone
at ADM called me and said, "Hey,
Dwayne told me you're the mole.
You're the one who caused all
And then what happened?
Whitacre's story comes out-- in both directions.
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
It's been pure hell ever A lot of people didn't
since. I really believed I believe I'd ever go to an Ivy
was doing a good deed. I league school-- but I did.
still think that. I won't They didn't believe I'd get a
ever regret that part. I Ph. D.-- but I did that, too.
still think I did a good Maybe Cornell isn't Harvard,
thing...Just a few weeks ago but they play each other in
I was potentially the next sports. When I was twenty-
president of the company. I eight I wanted to be making
have that on tape, and now twice my age-- and I did.
it's pure character Then the goal was three times
assasination. Here's what's my age by the time I was
being said about me at ADM: 30.. . I'm 38 and I'm making
that I wasn't a good manager, well over ten times my age,
that I wasn't good with and I'll be on the cover of
people. That the feds caught Fortune Magazine for cleaning
me at price-fixing. up one of the biggest
companies in America...And I
was just an average student
in high school.
I never dreamed of being a whistle
blower. And I would tell other
people in this kind of situation to
take a stand. Try to solve the
problem internally. Go to the top.
Draft: 1/15/03 116.
If that doesn't work go to the
140 INTERIOR ADM BOOKEEPING DEPT 140
SCOTT ROBERTS, an ADM attorney, thumbs through records. He's
examining a file entitled: ABP INTERNATIONAL.
The bottom line is that I know my
story will eventually be confirmed
by the FBI. There's no reason for
me to put out a story they're not
going to confirm... It would be
ANGLE ON THE PAPERWORK
Contracts citing various sums of money and photo-copies of
ROBERTS HOLDS TWO PAGES UP TO THE LIGHT. AND THEN RUNS DOWN
THE HALL WITH THE PAGES.
It's all on tape, everything that
141 INTERIOR ADM- MICK ANDREAS OFFICE- EVENING 141
Mick, Dwayne, Roberts and Aubrey Daniel stand before the
window. The pages are taped to the window.
ANGLE ON THE PAGES
The two signatures eclipse each other perfectly.
You can see where he pasted it.
Aubrey Daniel picks up the phone barely able to contain his
142 INTERIOR WHITACRE'S CAR- SIMULTANEOULSY 142
Whitacre races the Ferrari down a two-lane in the middle of
the farm fields of South Central Illinois. The phone rings
and he answers cheerfully.
Draft: 1/15/03 117.
AUBREY DANIEL (O.S.)
Hello, Mark? It's Aubrey Daniel.
I think you forgot something?
Whitacre pulls over onto the shoulder. He looks at the cell
phone in dismay and stares at a Polaroid of himself from the
Fortune Magazine photo shoot-- he's smiling in the picture.
One of the things I've learned in
business is that you should always
use a person's name in conversation
if you want them to feel
important... Sid Hulse and Marty
Allison think that and they're very
143 EXTERIOR CHINESE RESTAURANT, TAYLORVILLE- DAY 143
Whitacre gets out of an FBI cruiser with Herndon and Shepard
and the three men walk toward the restaurant in rural
It makes people feel like they're
definitely being told something
they can use...
They enter and the HOSTESS gives them a table up front.
You got anything open in the back?
Just by putting their name in there
at the beginning or the end.
The men sit at a table in the back.
Brian, Bob, my attorney's telling
me not to say anything, but there's
something I've wanted to talk about
Don't tell us anything. You have an
attorney now. This isn't like
before. Let's just talk.
Shepard tries to change the subject.
Draft: 1/15/03 118.
You been playing any golf?
Whitacre doesn't want to "just talk."
They want to talk to me at ADM.
Mark, you understand your lawyer
has advised you not to discuss this
We're not asking you.
Let me throw out some
"hypotheticals." I'll talk about
some financial situations and you
tell me if they're wrong or how
serious they might be, OK? For
instance, suppose a company gave an
executive a car, you know, a
corporate car. But instead of
driving it to work he drove his
personal car and gave the company
car to his daughter. Would that be
That's it? That's the hypothetical?
The agents try not to laugh. After what Whitacre has given
the government-- a little undeclared perk is nothing.
That shouldn't be a problem.
What about if an executive used a
corporate plane for personal use?
Basically, it's the same thing.
There may be some IRS issues but...
What if, hypothetically, the
activity involved kickbacks by
Draft: 1/15/03 119.
There are plenty of ways companies
try and attract business. Dinners
for clients, tickets for sporting
It's not ethical but it's done.
A beat. Then Whitacre goes on.
Uh, is this conversation on or off
What if the company regularly
accepted kickbacks to executives in
the form of cash?
Shepard drops his fork. Hold on Shepard.
How much money are we talking about
Whitacre pauses, clears his throat.
Five hundred thousand.
Whitacre shrinks from the admission like a puppy who just
crapped on the rug.
It's how things were done there.
When did this start, Mark?
December of 1991.
Shepard can't believe it.
You, You... And how were you paid?
Draft: 1/15/03 120.
By check. They we're deposited in
various accounts. And always under
And did any of these checks come in
after we met?
Maybe a couple.
The agents try and control their anger.
Who else knows about this?
Herndon loses it.
Come on, Mark-- you just said it's
how things were done at ADM. Now,
is there anything else you're
involved in? Anything else you need
to tell us?
Just what I told you.
I'm asking you one more time.
The 500 and that's it. Definitely.
Whitacre nods. He asks hopefully...
This isn't going to affect the
price-fixing case, is it?
The three men get up to leave.
I feel good about that. Hey, I
don't see what the big deal is.
They said help us with the price
fixing and I did-- the two things
are totally unrelated...
Draft: 1/15/03 121.
144 EXTERIOR DEPT OF JUSTICE, WASHINGTON, DC- DAY 144
Aubrey Daniel and a PHALANX OF A LAWYERS ascend the steps of
Besides, Mick knew about it,
definitely... He's the one who
taught me to do it in the first
145 INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WASHINGTON DC- DAY 145
Aubrey Daniel and a cadre of CORPORATE ATTORNEYS sit at a
conference table with Mann, Mutchnik and U.S. ASST. ATTORNEY
GENERAL GARY SPRATLING. An overhead projector displays the
forged contracts on the wall.
When you look at what went on with
all the price fixing they did or
the Federal Building being bombed
in Oklahoma City, why are we
focusing on me getting a half-
million in kick-backs along with
Two point five million dollars.
Deposited in a bank in Switzerland
while Mark Whitacre was on ADM
business. We have sworn testimony
from Mr. Lennart Thorstensson of
the ABP Corporation that he's never
seen this contract before and that
his signature has been forged. He
and his company never received this
As Daniel speaks one of the younger lawyers passes out a
folder of affidavits and other documents supporting his
It is clear to us that Mark
Whitacre, driven by his own
boundless ambition to take over
ADM, has attempted to frame his
superiors in a price fixing
conspiracy of his own invention so
that he could seize control of the
Draft: 1/15/03 122.
Mann and Mutchnik can't believe what they're seeing in the
His cooperation with the government
is merely a smokescreen for his
lying and stealing. We have
additional information that we are
prepared to share with Attorney
General Reno that the money has
been moved to an account in Grand
Cayman with the full knowledge and
complicity of Whitacre's FBI
The DOJ lawyers stare at the table-- searching for the rest
of their careers.
The moon and the sun are up at the
146 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MORNING 146
Whitacre is out with the leaf blower-- the driveway is
spotless. The MOON is up during the day.
I wonder if there's a name for
that. We don't have very many
moons compared to other planets.
What does Jupiter have? Eleven.
They aren't scientists-- Mick and
Dwayne-- they don't have Ph. D.'s.,
but I'm the one having to pull my
kids out of school for doing the
147 INTERIOR FBI SPRINGFIELD- DAY 147
Shepard and Herndon appear before their bosses-- Paisley and
Medford. Shepard is irate, Herndon is a little more
They need to dig deep, then they'll
find out how high it goes-- it's
there they just need to look and
Draft: 1/15/03 123.
What are they accusing me of?
I want the specifics? Are they
saying I'm in cahoots with the guy?
Medford and Paisley don't want to answer this.
Paragraph eight in our agreement
with Whitacre states that his
actions are directly attributable
to the FBI and the US...
But, how could we know what he was
doing? He came to us...
The question they're asking isn't
`how could we know?' It's `why
didn't we know?'
The question is `were they fixing
Medford and Paisley share a look.
The investigation has shifted from
ADM to Whitacre.
Of course, ADM decides Whitacre's a
thief as soon as they find out he's
working for us.
Who's counting the money over there
if they can just lose 2.5 Million
dollars for a few years and then
find it in a few hours?
We gotta call Mark.
I don't want you doing that.
Shepard and Herndon are confused.
We're taking you off.
Draft: 1/15/03 124.
That's it. We're done? I thought
the FBI never hung a witness out to
He's not a witness anymore--- he's a
148 INTERIOR LAW OFFICES OF EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN- DAY 148
A Sunday afternoon. Epstein and Zaideman try and get a hand
on the scope of Whitacre's fraud. Whitacre has shoe boxes of
receipts and bank statements.
I only kept a million and a half--
and Mick knew about it, he knew
these things went on. They taught
me how to do it.
Zaideman and Epstein shake their heads.
You can't bullshit these people
tomorrow. Who knows what they know?
If we're going in there we got to
go in with the whole story. Because
the way it gets bad for you is if
you tell them you're confessing and
you don't. Then you are sorely
Whitacre looks at his shoe box. He nods.
This is everything Jim, what I'm
telling you here. I looked
everywhere for the bank statements
and the records. This is every
penny-- I'm not gonna hide anything
from you guys.
149 EXTERIOR DEPT. OF JUSTICE- CHICAGO 149
Whitacre enters the building with Epstein and Zaideman.
I was never really that good at
chemistry in high school. So I
kept taking it-- just to get good
and wound up with so many chemistry
credits I ended up going into Bio-
Draft: 1/15/03 125.
150 INTERIOR DEPT. OF JUSTICE ELEVATOR- CHICAGO 150
Whitacre, Epstein and Zaideman- on the way into battle.
Whitacre is strangely placid.
That's really the truth about that--
I wanted to be a veterinarian when
I was kid-- I raised chickens and
rabbits ...Biochem was my advisor's
Listen, I haven't been telling you
the whole truth. I'll clear it up
in there today.
OH, SHIT. Epstein starts desperately hitting elevator buttons
to stop the approaching doom.
We got to get you out of here.
But, it's too late the doors open. Whitacre steps out.
No. I want to tell them.
Hold on Epstein.
151 INTERIOR DEPT. OF JUSTICE CONFERENCE ROOM- CHICAGO 151
Whitacre surrounded by Epstein and Zaideman who can only
imagine which way their loose cannon will roll. Across from
the DOJ lawyers as far as the eye can see.
Mr. Whitacre's conduct constitutes
a breach of his agreement with the
US government. He is no longer a
My client has given you years of
his life, clearly he made mistakes,
but he made your case.
We're not here to discuss the case
Draft: 1/15/03 126.
ED HERBST, early 50's, and MARY SPEARING, 40's, take over--
they take no prisoners.
Mr. Whitacre, my name is Ed Herbst
and I'm with the FBI Economic
Crimes Unit. I'd like you to tell
me when your criminal conduct at
In early 1992. I learned how
things were done there from Mick
Andreas. He's the one who taught
me how to use embezzlement and
kickbacks to make money tax free.
Epstein tries to do some damage control.
My client is...
I know the frauds I committed are
wrong, and I accept responsibility
How did you receive the money?
Primarily by check. I deposited
them in my bank account in Decatur.
This seems unlikely. Spearing gets angry--
They paid kickbacks in checks?
What company would pay kickbacks in
checks? Come on...
No one from the government has ever been aggressive toward
Whitacre before-- he's thrown.
I don't really remember the exact
name... something like
AgriConsulting and Trading,
something like that...
You don't remember the name of the
company that paid you checks?
Draft: 1/15/03 127.
I. .I've got a lot going on in my
life. It's hard to remember.
Hey, we're coming to you guys.
We're cooperating here and we're
going to get the money back.
Epstein looks at Whitacre-- this last part might be hard.
This might help your memory.
He slides the forged ABP documents toward Whitacre.
Where did you get that?
These are ADM records showing the
forging of signatures.
Whitacre smiles and shakes his head. He sees the conspiracy
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
See, that's how they keep Didn't these people see The
people in the fold-- they Firm-- or read the book.
tell you to take the money It's all there. Everything
and then they use it against they did to me they did to
you if you talk. It's how Tom Cruise... I'm not the one
they control us. You gotta they should be mad at...
realize who these people
Is there anything else you have a
hard time remembering?
Whitacre looks at Epstein. Epstein shakes his head "no" but
Whitacre has other plans.
Umm...I have a few other things to
tell you about.
There were some things I did in
Draft: 1/15/03 128.
PULL BACK FROM CONFERENCE ROOM
As Whitacre spills his guts the lawyers look on in
bewilderment ... The man is unhinged.
I raised white mice, too. Chickens
and goats and white mice in little
cages. They couldn't come in the
house. I took care of them-- that
was my job outside. One got in one
time, I don't know how, and he was
found dead by my Mother. This had
nothing to do with anything I had
done-- he just had died and it was
up to me to bring him back to life.
I wanted to do the right thing and
wear the white hat and that's why I
tried to make it all right so he
wouldn't have to be dead. All the
things I did were for that-- but I
152 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION LIVING ROOM- NIGHT 152
Shepard, Herndon, Ginger and Whitacre. Mark looks used up--
his hair seems to be graying around the edges. In front of
him are a pile of newspapers-- Washington Post, WSJ, Chicago
Tribune, etc. Each with a banner announcement of his sins.
We can't see you anymore and if you
call us and start to talk about it,
we'll have to hang up...
You can talk to us about your
feelings, but that's it.
Shepard puts his coffee cup down near the newspapers.
ANGLE ON WSJ
7/13/95 Headline reads: YOU DIRTY RAT, SAYS DECATUR ILLINOIS-
PEOPLE THINK MARK WHITACRE BETRAYED THEM AND ASR WHY HE
TURNED TO THE FBI.
Whitacre nods-- he can't play with his friends any more.
Mark, please understand. This
isn't what we want. We've got no
Draft: 1/15/03 129.
I'll tell you what, my frustration
and anger is all coming from my
work with you guys. I mean, this
stuff in the papers, my kids read
that. It's all, "Dump on Mark
Whitacre." It's not right. I'm
harassed by the media and Mick and
Terry are still going to work in
Remember, Mark, we told you it was
impossible to predict what would
happen when the case went overt.
And you never told us about the
Five Million Dollars you took...
Ginger has heard this before and can't hear it again.
He worked for you for two and a
half years, he risked his career,
his home.. .And now you turn your
back on him and leave us out here.
But the damn has burst. She sobs.
The reason we came today is because
we are concerned about your and
Mark's well being.
It's important that you tell the
people in Washington everything
tomorrow-- one hundred per cent.
Whitacre nods. Ginger seethes.
You'd have nothing without him and
you know it. He's just been used
by the government and then thrown
away cuz' it's a lot easier to go
after Mark Whitacre than anyone
Whitacre stares at the newspapers.
Draft: 1/15/03 130.
I think a lot of people would come--
a lot of friends... and people would
be surprised by just how many there
are. Even folks from ADM... The news
media would be there for sure...
153 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- MASTER BEDROOM- DAWN 153
Whitacre is sitting on the bed up and dressed when the alarm
goes off. He lies across his wife on the bed-- more like a
child than a husband.
.Everything would come out.
Brian and Bob would come and I bet
one of them would say something
about me. Rheinhard would come up
from Mexico. Sid or Marty would
tell people what kind of boss I was
and how I always brought back
You'll be OK here with your mom?
Ginger nods groggily. Whitacre leaves the room-- grabbing a
PICTURE OF HIS FAMILY from a bedside table.
154 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION GARAGE- MORNING 154
Whitacre opens the garage door and we see the entire fleet of
cars he has amassed-- 5 Million dollars buys a lot of
steering wheels. Ferrari, Range Rover, Jeep, etc. Whitacre
selects the BMW convertible. He gets in the car and puts his
brief case in the seat next to him. He opens it and we see
the contents: HUNDREDS OF ARTICLES ABOUT WHITACRE. A
scrapbook from a roller coaster ride. He starts the car and
guns the engine.
ANGLE ON THE GARAGE
The Beemer does not back up-- THE GARAGE DOOR COMES DOWN.
Jesus died on a cross to save
others from their sins. Jesus was
a hero. I know selfish suicide is
forbidden in the bible.
155 MONTAGE- THE PEOPLE WAITING FOR WHITACRE ARE TOLD HE'S 155
Draft: 1/15/03 131.
DEPT. OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, DC- DAY
A group of lawyers sit at a table _._A note is passed to ROBIN
MANN. She reads it...
Mr. Whitacre will not be appearing
O'HARE AIRPORT- DAY
Agent D'Angelo gets a call on his cell phone at a departure
gate. He turns to his partner, Agent Basset.
Whitacre's not coming.
INTERIOR BRIAN SHEPARD'S HOUSE- MORNING
The phone rings-- Shepard answers.
However, the bible makes it clear
that you sacrifice yourself...
156 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- A FEW MINUTES LATER 156
RUSTY the gardener shows up for work. He gets out of his
Pick-Up and kicks a few leaves off the driveway, he adds some
chemicals to the pool and then walks toward the garage-- as
he's fishing some keys out of his pocket he notices the sound
of a car engine.
If it's the only way to save your
157 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION GARAGE- CONTINUOUS 157
The air is thick with smoke. Whitacre is motionless sprawled
in the backseat-- drenched in sweat clutching the PICTURE OF
Jesus, no. Somebody help.
Rusty throws the car in reverse and pulls out.
Draft: 1/15/03 132.
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
He opens an eye, but as Rusty looks down at him again he
closes it-- plays dead.
The car is outside now. Rusty turns off the engine.
Whitacre sighs heavily.
Bud, pull the car back into the
garage. Pull back in before
somebody sees me.
Rusty pulls the car back in and turns it off. The smoke is
Jesus, Mark, what are you doing?
Whitacre still stretched out in the backseat stares up at the
You...You fucking God. You owe me.
You fucking God. After everything
Rusty is shocked by the outburst-- this is not the guy he
knows at all. He backs away from the car and picks up the
Ginger, can you come to the garage?
Why? Rusty, what's wrong?
I just need to talk to you.
I'm not coming down there unless
you tell me what's wrong.
Mark just tried to kill himself
Ginger's piercing scream comes down the phone line. Whitacre
is fetal in the backseat-- moaning.
Ginger and HER MOTHER come flying out of the house screaming.
They pull Mark out of the car toward the open air as he
stumbles, coughing, the family picture clatters across the
garage floor. Whitacre jumps on it like a grenade.
Draft: 1/15/03 133.
Whitacre's kids come out of the house and stand clustered at
a distance confused and terrified. Helpless in the face of a
Ginger turns to her MOTHER.
That Goddam Dwayne Andreas did this
to him, Mom. He ought to be
Sometimes I'd leave the country
with a big suitcase full of cash.
Walk right through customs...
158 INTERIOR PSYCHIATRISTS OFFICE, CHICAGO- THE NEXT DAY 158
Whitacre lies on the couch talking to DOCTOR MILLER, 60's,
genial, soft-spoken. This is not internal, it's therapy.
.Walk back in with a bag full of
You never thought you'd get caught?
That never occurred to me. I mean,
I look respectable. Why would they
search me? And now they're saying I
stole 5 Million dollars. That's
what I've been accused of.
Yeah. They were paying me 500
grand, but it wasn't enough, I was
spending more like eight. So, I
took kickbacks. Like I said, it's
just what you did if you wanted to
be part of the gang at ADM.
Is that how it was when you were a
kid; you wanted to be part of the
Draft: 1/15/03 134.
One time I got a brand new, top of
the line bicycle. And I bragged to
everyone about it. I told
everybody how much it cost.
A beat. Then proudly.
It cost ninety dollars.
How did you come to work for the
They approached me.
This doesn't make much sense to Miller.
How is it that they came to you?
Did they know about the price
This agent, Brian Shepard came to a
number of junior executives at
ADM... That's why they approached
me. The price fixing hadn't even
Miller is confused by this.
But, uh, if no crime was,
then-Mark, I'd like to have you
checked into the hospital.
Whitacre looks over at a file cabinet.
Is thatwhereyou keep your files?
Is thatsafe?I'm the main witness
againstthesepeople. You don't
know whoyou're dealing with--
they'lldo anything to win.
159 INTERIOR CAT SCAN FACILITY 159
Whitacre-- in his hospital gown-- vanishes slowly, head first
into the MRI tube.
Draft: 1/15/03 135.
Over the last few years he's really
160 INTERIOR HOSPITAL CAFETERIA- DAY
Ginger and Miller have a cup of coffee.
He just kept buying things. We
have eight cars-- three of them we
never even use.
I was always the one with the
temper and Corky was the happy one--
but that's changed too. Since he
said he'd cooperate with the FBI--
he's become so intolerant of
Why do you call him Corky?
He's had that name since high
school. He was like a champagne
cork always flying off somewhere.
161 INTERIOR DOCTOR MILLER'S OFFICE- ANOTHER DAY
Whitacre looks beaten. His voice is cracking-- he's
distracted. Not very "Corky" right now.
There's one in Hong Kong. And then
there's the bank accounts in
Switzerland and Grand
Cayman...Other things-There's a
lawyer in New York who has a
million dollars of mine.
And have you told your attorney the
truth about all of these accounts?
Draft: 1/15/03 136.
No, but I don't need to. The other
assets are legal-- definitely.
You need to tell your attorney...
I don't know if I can trust him.
Mark, has anybody in your family
ever been diagnosed as bipolar or
Whitacre nods and leans in.
I had an Aunt who they said that
about, my real parents died when I
was pretty young and I was
162 INTERIOR LAWYER'S OFFICE- DAY
A woman we've NEVER SEEN BEFORE is giving a deposition to a
ROOM FULL OF LAWYERS.
Have you ever heard that Mark told
people he was adopted?
NEVER SEEN BEFORE
It was in the paper that he was
Mark is your natural born son;
isn't that correct?
MRS. EVELYN WHITACRE isn't dead after all-- she's being
According to the adoption story
Mark told, his parents we're killed
in a car accident. Is there any
truth in that?
No. Mark knows he's not adopted.
He grew up in our house.
Draft: 1/15/03 137.
Another aspect of the story is that
his parents are wealthy. Do you
consider yourself wealthy?
And when did Mark first send you a
check from the account in
163 INTERIOR CONFERENCE ROOM- EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN- CONTINUOUS 163
Whitacre appears again with Epstein before another herd of
My client is here to cooperate
fully, so Agent D'Angelo, if you
have any questions.
AGENT TONY D'ANGELO, 35, relaxed-- more like Herndon than
This is your chance to put
everything on the table. This is
the chance to redeem yourself, but
if you're not going to be
completely honest you should stop
I understand that. And I want to
tell you I feel bad. I'm so sorry,
and I feel worst about letting down
Brian Shepard and Bob Herndon.
Last time we talked I was under a
great deal of stress and I said
some things that weren't true. I'd
like to clear that up.
Whitacre is more earnest than ever before-- he begins.
WHITACRE (CONT' D)
The first kickback was in 1992,
Mick knew all about it, he told me
there'd be plenty of opportunities
to take kick backs on Asian and
European contracts at ADM.
Was anyone else involved?
Draft: 1/15/03 138.
Uh, Sid Hulse...
164 INTERIOR DOJ, WASHINGTON- CONFERENCE ROOM 164
SID HULSE testifies with his lawyer, SHELDON ZENNER and FBI
AGENT GRANT and a bunch of DOJ lawyers.
Before Sid says anything, you know
about these schemes with the
The 419 Fraud? We see it every day.
You ever wonder who was dumb enough
to fall for something like that?
Hulse is flushed.
This is really embarrassing. But,
that's how Mark and I first got
165 INTERIOR EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN CONFERENCE ROOM- CONTINUOUS 165
Then there was Rheinhard Richter
who I worked with in Mexico. We had
some deal that involved...
166 INTERIOR AMERCIAN EMBASSY- MEXICO CITY- DAY 166
RICHTER, the guy from the Admiral's Club in Mexico city, is
questioned by FBI AGENT BASSET. Richter's entire financial
history is spread out on the table in front of them.
So we have money leaving your
account here and here and here and
it's going to Whitacre's
account...His wife Ginger's
account. This one is going to
Whitacre's parents account.
Like I said, those are loans.
Agent Basset isn't buying it.
Draft: 1/15/03 139.
Look we know you're sticking up for
Mark here, but your story doesn't
seem true. Mark is cooperating
You're right. It's not true.
All the money went to Mark.
When did it start?
Mark told me about this Nigerian
thing he got in the mail.
167 INTERIOR EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN CONFERENCE ROOM- CONTINUOUS 167
And then there was Marty Allison.
Marty's a good friend.
168 INTERIOR US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE CHICAGO- DAY 168
MARTY ALLISON, 40 and his lawyer, MICHAEL MONICO,appear
before a host of FBI AGENTS and LAWYERS.
Mark told you guys about Nigeria,
Nobody says anything.
When I started at ADM, uh in 1990,
Mark got a letter from Nigeria.
169 FLASHBACK- ADM, 1990- DAY 169
The office as we've seen it-- bustling with business. Allison
walks down the hall and is stopped by Whitacre.
Hey, Marty, got a minute.
He takes a seat across the desk from Whitacre. Whitacre
shows him THE NIGERIAN LETTER.
Draft: 1/15/03 140.
He told me he'd been in touch with
certain parties in Nigeria.
Businessmen who had overbilled the
government there for millions-- but
now needed bogus invoices from
legitimate US business men to make
it all look above board. You put in
ten grand you get a hundred back.
I know people who have made
millions on this. My step-father
170 INTERIOR US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE CHICAGO- CONTINUOUS 170
Basset and Allison.
He'd never heard of the Nigerian
Not until a couple years later when
sixty minutes ran a piece on it
showing how people had lost a
fortune on the con.
And the kickbacks?
He had me set up a company in
Germany and send fake invoices.
I'd get a check for like 200 grand
and most of it would go back to
You kept the rest.
He told me management knew about
it. But, it seemed to me that he
was doing the same thing to ADM,
that the Nigerians had done to us.
171 INTERIOR EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN CONFERENCE ROOM- LATER 171
Whitacre has laid out an amazing litany of theft and
Draft: 1/15/03 141.
How much money did you receive
through all your illegal
Whitacre takes a moment-- does the math in his head, mouthing
to himself the various sources of his massive fraud.
Uh...7.7 Million dollars. But,
Mick knew. Like I said, he
endorsed these things.
He endorsed you stealing 7.7
He might have though that was a bit
Is there anything else you want to
Well, I think you did a real good
job today-- I do know that ADM has
been stealing microbes from the
Japanese for years and that they
use prostitutes to get information
from the competition's facility in
Iowa. I know that Mick Andreas
uses cocaine and I have that on
tape-- and there are illegal
campaign contributions to both
American and foreign politicians...
172 EXTERIOR GRANT PARK, CHICAGO- DAY 172
An empty band shell by Lake Michigan. Whitacre sits by
himself wearing dark glasses holding an envelope. Waiting...
When agents go under cover for the
FBI, they get trained for the
stresses of living a secret life...
173 INTERIOR DOJ CHAMBERS- DAY 173
Epstein addresses the standard assortment of lawyers-- Mann,
Mutchnik, Spearing, Spratling, etc.
Draft: 1/15/03 142.
We hear this all the time from you
guys, how easy it is for trained
agents to crack. And here is
Mark...A civilian with no training.
174 EXTERIOR GRANT PARK- CONTINUOUS
Whitacre gets up and walks toward a black sedan. He looks
around, paranoid. He wouldn't make a good spy.
But, you guys shove him in there,
you tell him 'go for it,' without
anything to make sure he doesn't
crack under pressure. You have to
ask yourself, was the US government
taken in by Mark Whitacre, or did
it help create him?
Whitacre leans into the car and hands off the envelope. He
speaks to some HOODLUM we can't see.
Tomorrow, 3 O'clock... where we
175 INTERIOR DOJ CHAMBERS- CONTINUOUS
Epstein's plea is moving-- he's reaching these people.
Mark committed a crime. He stole
nine million dollars. It's
indefensible. But these guys from
ADM stole hundreds of millions of
dollars from innocent people all
over the world. Mark showed you
that four white guys in suits
getting together in the middle of
the day, isn't a business meeting.
It's a crime scene. And not only
did he tell you about it, he got
you the evidence to prove it. Now,
we're not looking for the moon and
stars. We're looking for something
in the area of three years.. .Or we
can take it to trial. And in that
trial I'll lay out everything Mark
Whitacre did-- good and bad...
Draft: 1/15/03 143.
176 EXTERIOR SHOPPING MALL- DECATUR 176
Whitacre stands in the parking lot reading the paper on a
cool autumn day. No black sedan. The big clock outside the
bank in the mall says: 4:25. Whitacre walks over to a trash
can and removes a BOTTLE OF MEDICATION from his pocket.
He empties it into the trash.
And somewhere a future whistle
blower is going to pick up the New
York Times and the Wall Street
Journal and read what Mark's life
has become because he decided to
Whitacre gives up, gets in his car and drives away.
177 INTERIOR DOJ CHAMBERS- CONTINUOUS 177
He drives his point home. A brilliant performance.
Because he decided to take on a
powerful company-And then, you'll
never have one of these white
collar guys pick up a phone and
call you ever again.
178 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- A LITTLE LATER 178
Whitacre comes flying through the door-- his jacket is now
ripped, his glasses are bent, he's holding his arm. He looks
like he's been through hell ...he's frantic.
Baby. . .Ginger. They grabbed me.
There were two of them.
Ginger rushes through the house to the aid of her husband.
Oh my God...
They wouldn't let me out of the
Look at your shirt.. .what happened?
As she embraces him we are close on Whitacre...
Draft: 1/15/03 144.
179 INTERIOR WAND-TV STUDIOS, DECATUR- DAY 179
Whitacre and Ginger are interviewed by the LOCAL NEWS ANCHOR
against the "WAND" backdrop. Whitacre is calm-- convincing.
I was abducted. They took me for a
twenty-minute joy ride and told me
that I basically better forget
everything that's not on tape.
LOCAL NEWS ANCHOR
Did the men identify themselves?
I think we know who sent them.
And they sawed the locks off the
door like, like mafia thugs.
LOCAL NEWS ANCHOR
And where is the FBI in all this?
180 INTERIOR BLUE BIRD DINER- AFTERNOON 180
Shepard watches the interview on the TV in the corner in the
What people have to realize is--
the FBI did the same thing. They
locked my husband in an
investigation and drove our family
around for three years threatening
him. You tell me, where are they
He is stung by her words.
I had a lot of faith in the guys at
the FBI-- they always said they'd
take care of me.
Shepard throws some money down on the lunch counter and
Draft: 1/15/03 145.
181 INTERIOR LAW OFFICES EPSTEIN, ZAIDEMAN- EVENING 181
Epstein brings a deal to Mark and Ginger. He believes he has
saved his client, but the Whitacre's feel differently.
Three to five years? But, ADM's
the bad guys.
You've got to focus here. You
stole nine million dollars. And
then you lied about it. Maybe in
your head you're one of the good
guys but to them your a guy who
stole a lot of money and lied about
Ginger and I have been talking and
we'd like to file a law suit
against Brian Shepard and the IJS
Jesus Christ, for what, Mark?
He hit me with a brief case.
This is news to Ginger, but she believes it. Epstein doesn't.
Mark. . .Come on.
And he told me to destroy certain
tapes that didn't help the case.
Epstein throws up his hands.
Mark, I'm telling you-- take the
Whitacre smiles and looks at Ginger.
Thanks, Jim. But, we're going to
go a different way.
Draft: 1/15/03 146.
182 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION--DAY 182
Mark sits in his office staring at a letter from Doctor
I read this study in Time magazine
when I was at Cornell-- which is an
Ivy league school-- and there were
a lot of people who never believed,
including my mother, that I would
make it to an Ivy league school
maybe just Ginger who I met in
Marching Band in the 8th grade...
ANGLE ON THE LETTER
Fragments of the contents "This is to inform you of your
lithium levels"..."Exacerbated by stress"..."A strict drug
.and the study said that people
had nice, sympathetic feelings
about people who were adopted and
treated them better. So I made up
this adoption story-- and people
did treat me better-- and when I
got a job one of my professors told
the people at Ralston Purina that I
was this amazing guy that had
accomplished all of this in spite
of being adopted--
Whitacre takes out a pair of SCISSORS and goes to work on the
.and so it was really other
people who spread the story not me--
although I admit it was wrong to
start it and everything, it was
other people who kept it going.
Even the people at ADM.
My new lawyer sees that.
183 INTERIOR CHAMBERS DOJ- DAY 183
BILL WALKER, 50, fat and ruled by fantasy is Whitacre's new
lawyer. He sits in a golf shirt and tennis shoes facing a
squad of amazed DOJ PROSECUTORS.
Draft: 1/15/03 147.
This all goes back many years,
before most of us were born...
It's bigger than any of us, and
it's ongoing. I know you're
skeptical, but I've seen it. My
client Mark Whitacre has shown it
to me. Maybe I'm just a personal
injury lawyer from Taylorville-
nowhere-Illinois, but I tell you I
know the identity of the master
The DOJ lawyers try not to laugh.
Master puppeteer, and it's not who
184 INTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- EVENING 184
Mark sits splicing tapes of Brian Shepard from one tape
recorder to another-- trying to piece together an
incriminating tape to frame Shepard.
Grandiosity and embellishment--
what they call it when you
embellish things-- those are the
major symptoms of bipolar disorder.
And the other, the second major
symptom is poor judgement. And
that's something Brian Shepard
should have known ; The bipolar
disorder is what made me believe
I'd be President when it was
over... Although there was a time
when Mick told me, on a trip to
Nebraska, that I could be headed
for the top.
Mark has tapes-- tapes the
government doesn't want us to hear.
185 INTERIOR CHAMBERS DOJ- CONTIUOUS 185
Walker is in full rant. He holds a letter up for all to see.
Draft: 1/15/03 148.
Tapes that outline the actions of
Brian Shepard, who hit Mark
Whitacre with a brief case when
Mark was cooperating with the
And he has a letter from his
psychiatrist outlining and
confirming the cruelty perpetrated
on him by Agent Shepard. A letter
from his psychiatrist, clearly
exonerating him from all
Walker hands the letter over to Spearing.
186 INTERIOR WHITACRE BARN- DUSK 186
Winter. Gray snow on fields of dirt and broken corn stalks.
An empty swimming pool and a FOR SALE sign in the yard.
Inside Shepard sits with Whitacre and Ginger. Shepard holds
I read the letter from Doctor
Miller, Mark. It's not true.
It's true. Definitely-- it's on
his letterhead, he signed it...
The area code ...Mark...
He puts the letter in the middle of the table.
.Area code 847. It says the
letter was written in November 1995-
- that area code didn't exist then.
Well, everybody knew the area code
change was coming. Lot's of people
ordered new stationery early.
I thought about that. So I asked
the phone company. This is the
press release announcing the 847
He puts the release on the table.
Draft: 1/15/03 149.
It's dated six days after your
letter was written-- Doctor Miller
couldn't have known about it.
Whitacre stares at it-- then looks up.
THE MACHINE IN HIS HEAD THAT RECONSTITUTES REALITY GRINDS AND
SEIZES. HE'S FINALLY TRAPPED. THE INTERIOR MONOLOGUE IS THE
SAME AS THE DIALOGUE IN THE SCENE-- BUT PRECEDES WHAT
WHITACRE IS SAYING OUT LOUD BY AN INSTANT. THERE IS AN ECHO
ONLY WHITACRE CAN HEAR.
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
Ron Henkoff from Fortune Ron Henkoff from Fortune
called Doctor Miller and called Doctor Miller and
Miller confirmed the Miller confirmed the
I called Miller, Mark.
Ginger quietly starts to cry-- picks up the letter.
WHITACRE WHITACRE (V.0.)
He can't talk to you.-That's He can't talk to you... That's
a violation of doctor patient a violation of doctor patient
Doctor patient confidentiality
doesn't apply to forgeries.
Ginger cries harder. Whitacre tries again.
WHITACRE (V.0.) WHITACRE
Then why did Fortune Magazine Then why did Fortune Magazine
run the story... run the story...
Ginger has had it, she breaks down.
Call Henkoff... He never wrote the letter.
Stop it, Mark. You have to stop
doing this to yourself, please
Whitacre is done.
Draft: 1/15/03 150.
I think maybe I should go back to
187 INTERIOR FEDERAL COURT, URBANA ILLINOIS 187
Whitacre looks like shit. He sits with Walker in JUDGE
HAROLD BAKER'S courtroom.
SUPER: OCTOBER, 10TH, 1997
Case 97-2001 United states of
America versus Mark Whitacre.
You have the right to make a
statement if you wish?
Whitacre nods and stands.
I appreciate the opportunity to say
a few words, it's been a long five
years. I apologize to a lot of
people in this room...
ANGLE ON SHEPARD AND HERNDON
They sit together in the back row.
And to a lot of them who are not in
this room for my actions. I
realize I hurt a lot of people and
I apologize greatly...I am here to
accept my punishment. That's all.
To observe that Mr. Whitacre is the
usual felon is a gross
understatement. He is well
educated, has a loving wife and
family, is respected in the
community. It is not inconceivable
that in due course he may have
become CEO of Archer Daniels
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
He smiles. He knew he could be CEO someday. . .We hear
Whitacre in a calmer time.
Draft: 1/15/03 151.
I like jail. I think it's been good
But, the judge isn't done with him.
However, the court can find no
clear connection between Mr.
Whitacre's bipolar disorder and the
45 counts of criminal misconduct he
has been charged with-- just garden
variety greed. It is very
difficult to tell when Mr. Whitacre
is telling the truth...
188 INTERIOR ANOTHER COURTROOM- DAY 188
A larger courtroom. Mick and Terry stand for sentencing,
surrounded by Aubrey Daniel and others.
But, I don't think what happened is
fair when you look at what happened
to me compared to Mick and Terry. I
mean, if you go and hold up your
local grocery store you might get
SUPER: FIVE YEARS LATER
ANGLE ON WHITACRE
FULL SCREEN VIDEO
Mick and Terry held up every
grocery store in the world and they
only got three... So you tell me how
it makes sense that I get nine. I
think that's something you should
consider, Mr. President, when
reviewing my request for pardon.
189 INTERIOR FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, SC- DAY 189
Whitacre is in his green prison jumpsuit-- BALD-- his toupee,
another deception, also gone. He sits in front of a video
camera in the beam of ONE LIGHT. A CAMERAMAN records his
Draft: 1/15/03 152,
I'd also like to take this
opportunity to apologize to Special
Agent Brian Shepard on behalf of
myself and my wife Ginger, he never
hit me with a brief case or told me
to destroy tapes. The idea to sue
him wasn't mine-- it came from
someone at ADM and I shouldn't have
listened. I can't remember who.
when I was at ADM, I lived so many
lives, I wasn't sure who I was.
Today, I know more who I am and
what I really want out of life.
I've completed three post-graduate
degrees while in detention. A J.D.
which is, of course, a law degree
and another advanced degree in the
psychology of jury selection. I
sleep better in prison than I have
in years. My wife has forgiven me
and believes that the ordeal with
ADM has brought us closer together
in a marriage of over 20 years. I
hope you will allow me to leave
here, so that I can re-join my life
with my family and three kids. . .Two
of whom are adopted... Especially
when you consider that thanks in
large part to my testimony the US
government has been able to collect
over a billion dollars in price-
fixing fines from big business.
That's it. Thanks.
He smiles. The light goes out. The Cameraman starts packing
up the equipment. Out of the shadows steps Bob Herndon.
Good luck with the appeal, Mark.
Thanks for helping me remember
everything Bob. I sure appreciate
it. I wish Brian could've come.
He still pretty angry.
You tell him, I'm real sorry. Can
you do that for me? The funny part
is if I'd never gone undercover I
would have never stolen 11 million.
It was my way out. My severance.
What else could I do-- I wrote my
Draft: 1/15/03 153.
Before Herndon can respond a CORRECTIONAL OFFICER approaches.
I gotta go, Bob.
Herndon does some math.
11 million? I thought it came out
Did I say eleven? Boy, it was only
nine. Definitely. The eleven is
Mark, are you still taking your
The doctor here says I don't need
it anymore. I can manage without
it now that there's less stress. It
was just the stress of the FBI.
Herndon turns to leave-- and then he pauses.
Mark, was it eleven? I mean there
isn't something else we need to...
I don't know Bob, you tell me.
He smiles and turns his back on the agent and walks down the
hall toward work detail.
SFX: A drum roll explodes into the roar of the CLASH'S cover
of "I FOUGHT THE LAW (AND THE LAW WON)." As Joe Strummer
sings "Breaking rocks in the hot sun..."
190 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- DAY 190
Parked in the driveway is a truck with an ADM logo on it--
TWO ADM WORKERS have set up some SEISMIC EQUIPMENT on the
lawn. One works the gear, the other talks to the NEW OWNER.
Draft: 1/15/03 154.
Mrs. Whitacre never told me
anything about any hidden rooms and
tunnels and neither did the
191 INTERIOR SUPERMARKET- DAY 191
Ginger Whitacre checks out of the grocery store. As each item
is scanned by the cashier we FREEZE on the side of the
package... Instead of the INGREDIENTS panel of the package we
SUPER: MICK ANDREAS AND TERRY WILSON WERE SENTENCED TO THREE
YEARS AT THE FEDERAL PRISON CAMP IN DULUTH, MINNESOTA FOR
PRICE FIXING. THEY WERE RELEASED IN 1999. NEITHER RETURNED
SUPER: DWAYNE ANDREAS WAS NEVER INDICTED. HE RETIRED FROM
ADM AND REMAINS POLITICALLY ACTIVE. HIS NEPHEW ALLAN ANDREAS
IS NOW CEO OF ADM.
SUPER: AJINOMOTO CORPORATION PLEAD GUILTY AND PAID $10
MILLION IN FINES. MR. YAMADA REMAINS UNDER INDICTMENT AND
WILL BE ARRESTED IF HE ATTEMPTS TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES.
SUPER: BOB HERNDON IS AN FBI AGENT IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.
HE WAS AWARDED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S MEDAL BY JANET RENO FOR
HIS WORK IN THE ADM CASE.
SUPER: BRIAN SHEPARD WAS CLEARED OF ANY WRONGDOING AND WAS
ALSO AWARDED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S MEDAL IN 1999. HE IS
STILL THE RESIDENT FBI AGENT IN DECATUR, ILLINOIS.
How would you like to pay for this?
Ginger opens her checkbook.
SUPER: GINGER WHITACRE MOVED HER CHILDREN TO AKIN, SOUTH
CAROLINA TO BE NEAR HER HUSBAND. SHE IS AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Draft: 1/15/03 155.
192 EXTERIOR WHITACRE MANSION- A LITTLE LATER 192
The ADM workers have dug a hole in the yard. The NEW OWNER
looks on shaking her head.
SUPER: NO HIDDEN ROOM WAS EVER FOUND AT THE WHITACRE
RESIDENCE. ADM REFUSES TO DISCLOSE IF ALL OF THE MONEY MARK
WHITACRE STOLE HAS BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR.
193 EXTERIOR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY- EVENING 193
Whitacre drives a COMBINE in a corn field behind a barbed
wire fence-- he wears an orange jumpsuit and a white hat.
GREEN/GOLD stalks of corn flash by...
HOLD ON ONE HUSK OF CORN AS THE SUPER CRAWLS...
SUPER: MARK WHITACRE IS SERVING NINE YEARS FOR FRAUD AND
PRICE FIXING IN EDGEFIELD FEDERAL PRISON. HE HAS SOUGHT
PARDONS FROM BILL CLINTON AND GEORGE W. BUSH. BUT, HAS NOT
BEEN RELEASED. OVER 30 GRAND JURIES HAVE INVESTIGATED PRICE
FIXING IN THE FOOD AND VITAMIN INDUSTRIES SINCE MARK WHITACRE
STEPPED FORWARD. AS A RESULT, BY 1999, THE US GOVERNMENT HAD
COLLECTED OVER $1 BILLION IN FINES.
The combine harvests the husk we have been holding on--
clearing the frame. Leaving only BLUE SKIES.