"The Limey," production draft, by Lem Dobbs
NOTE: THE HARD COPY OF THIS SCRIPT CONTAINED SCENE NUMBERS.
THEY HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS SOFT COPY.
Wilson's first impression of Los Angeles was blue. He was in
the sky at the time, so it was a curious reversal, looking
down rather than up at the color he had always felt was
Swimming pools. Hundreds of them. Pockmarking the landscape
like miniature lakes. A flat landscape of straight streets
and square blocks and sparse grass that didn't look quite
As far as Wilson could remember, he had only ever seen seven
or eight swimming pools in his entire life and they had been
public ones. Here everyone had their own. Marvellous.
There was the one at the Butlin's holiday camp where he had
enjoyed his last legitimate employment -- as driver of a tour
bus. And there was the one at Crystal Palace he had gone to
once or twice when he was younger. He was most familiar,
though, with the Chelsea Baths as he had lived for some time
in a flat nearby in what he now thought of as his good years
-- before he'd gone grey, went to prison, and found himself in
a plane over a foreign town arriving to avenge the death of
WHOOSH! The sound of automatic doors opening and --
EXT. ARRIVALS TERMINAL. L.A. AIRPORT. AFTERNOON.
WILSON steps out into the late sunlight and the heat of the
day. A slow-motion moment while he gets acclimatized. He
wouldn't have ever felt quite this kind of heat before.
After such a rigorously air-conditioned interior. Or seen
cops wearing guns on their belts. Or black cops, for that
matter, with guns on their belts. Or seen people as fat as
Americans on their home turf. Things someone from England
notices immediately, whether consciously at first or not.
EXT. MOTEL. EVENING.
Wilson's not here for comfort. Shown to a shitty room, round
the corner of a typical 2nd-level outside walkway. Airport
INT. MOTEL ROOM. EVENING.
He draws a curtain open across a window in one strong easy
glide. His moves are neat. His expressions just as
economical, not giving much away. Outside the planes are
practically on top of us. The sunset colors strange and
He's only got one light bag. Unzips, unpacks a few things.
Change of clothes, a travel kit, and some familiar items
(shaving foam/toothpaste/deodorant} bearing unfamiliar
British brand names.
Goes into the bathroom. Turns on the shower in there.
Comes back to sit on the bed. Takes an envelope out of his
Turns it over to see the return address on the back.
INT. TAXI. NIGHT.
Wilson in the back. Stares at the impenetrable name on the
driver's posted ID. Glances at the driver.
DRIVER glances back at his quiet passenger in the rearview
EXT. SMALL HOUSE. NIGHT.
Wilson walks up a cracked little path to the front door.
Lower middle-class street. Two cars in the driveway, one
behind the other. Lights on inside the house -- as he rings
Answers it. Hispanic. Late 30's. Chairman Mao on his T-
shirt notwithstanding, an easygoing sort of fellow. Not
looking for any trouble -- anymore. But once did, and able
to handle himself if any shows up. Which it has.
(rolling the R)
You're home, then.
He turns, waves away the taxi he's kept waiting. While
Eduardo Rama waits for an introduction.
My name's Wilson.
Accent speaks for itself. Hard, working-class.
Knows the name. But just now it's unexpected. He's holding
a hot TV dinner, hand protected by a dish towel.
You wrote to me about my daughter.
INT. ED'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Ed takes Wilson inside.
I didn't expect anyone.
I mean, what has it been -- six months?
Round about, yeah.
They've entered a cauldron of family life. TV blaring
(SHOWBIZ TONIGHT!). A couple of younger KIDS yelling "Mama".
Their MOTHER shouting back at them from the kitchen (in
Spanish) that she only has two hands. A sullen TEENAGER
I didn't even know who I was writing to --
just someone with the same last name.
She never talked about any family.
It was better than a telegram.
Ed opens a screen door to the backyard.
EXT. ED'S BACKYARD. NIGHT.
They sit at an outdoor table. Wilson with a TV dinner in
front of him now too. Sounds from inside MUTED. Even this
little house has a little pool.
Who done it, then?
Ed surprised at Wilson's directness. Ed stands nervously.
Now, wait up a second, man.
And paces back and forth.
I never said nothin' about nothin' like
that. No, no, no. That's not what I
wrote to you.
No, but between the lines, eh?
Mysterious circumstances, and that.
Ed stops pacing.
Look, I sent you that newspaper clipping,
all right? I told you what I know. It
was an accident. I didn't say anything
about anybody being "snuffed."
This bloke she was bunked up with. This
Valentine. What's he got to say for
I dunno. What's he gonna say? They had
a fight that night, she drove away, she
was upset? I don't even know the guy.
Don't get me wrong, Jenny and me were
friends, but we didn't travel in the same
social circles. She had her life, I had
Makes a kind of scoffing gesture: and you can see what my
Valentine came into the restaurant where
I work with Jenny a couple times. He's a
money guy. Jenny would say, hey, here's
my friend Eddie and he would shake my
hand and everything, but he wouldn't even
see me, you know what I mean.
Wilson gazes up at the sky. Clear night. Stars.
How long had she been in the States?
(as if to himself, somewhat
Near on ten years, wasn't it? Long
enough to know her way about, I reckon.
Ed leans down, palms on the tabletop, facing Wilson.
There was an investigation, okay? The
car was totalled. Jennifer was ... Her
neck was broken. On impact, they said.
So she wouldn't have ... felt the effects
of the fire.
It happens up there. Happens a lot.
What more can I tell you.
Wilson taps out a cigarette from a pack of "Silk Cut" he's
produced from his pocket.
What more is there.
I'm just sayin' -- it was a steep
hillside. There was no moon that
Wilson's quiet stillness is getting to him.
Coulda happened to anyone, man. I never
knew her to be reckless. I mean, sure,
she would smoke a little grass, or
something, have a few drinks. But that's
it, nothing more than that.
No, not my girl. Self-control, she had.
Point of pride.
And people don't change, do they.
I dunno ... Maybe they do.
Wilson notes the tattoos on Ed's forearms.
Going straight, are ya.
Ed looks at him. Sits down again. Keeping his forearms under
I knew when I was droppin' that letter
into the mail slot it was gonna come back
and smack me in the face.
(looks at Wilson again)
I did my time, okay? My sister, her ol'
man's up in Chino right now doin' eight
(re the family inside)
This ain't your lot?
You kiddin', man? I don't need a wife
and screamin' kids. I still got my
And yet -- he lives here. Wilson declines to pursue the
I go to work, try to keep my life
together, put all that shit behind me,
man. What d'you want from me.
I only asked.
Ed sighs. Reaches for one of Wilson's cigarettes.
Couple weeks before she died, Jennifer
asked me to drive her downtown. Said she
was meeting -- her boyfriend --
Valentine. But I think she was looking
ED AND JENNIFER. In a car, downtown. She has the same steely
intensity as her father. Ed looks a little worried.
(lighting Ed's cigarette)
What, tryin' to catch him with another
That's what I thought, man. But it was
not a hotel or nothin' that we went to.
It was someplace else.
JENNIFER. Talking to a beefy SUPERVISOR. Or talking at him.
Either way, he isn't happy.
MEAT PUPPETS. Watch instead of working.
ED. Taking all this in.
Bad place, man. Bad people. Some guys
loading some trucks. Some kinda deal
(anticipating Wilson's next
I don't know and I don't care. Maybe
they're shipping fava beans to Eskimos.
Did Jenny know?
Valentine wasn't even there. If he was
into something, if she was involved --
who can say.
(stands up again)
But I'll tell you something. She stood
in front of these dudes, man. Eyeballing
them. Checking them out.
I felt like she was covering my ass that
Unconsciously rubbing his arms where his tattoos are.
I drove her back to Valentine's house.
VALENTINE. Standing in front of his house. His expression
says: We have something to discuss.
He was standing outside waiting for her.
That's the only other time I ever saw
(a short sad note)
Last time I saw her.
He meets Wilson's gaze. As hard and pointed as a drill
through his skull.
INT. ED'S CAR. NIGHT.
Ed drives Wilson back to his motel. Wilson silent. Ed still
not quite sure who he's dealing with. Is this really or
merely a grieving dad?
What you gonna do, man? You gonna go to
Nah, coppers don't do nothing, do they.
Those streets up in the hills, man.
Gotta be real careful, keep your eye on
the ball. Two o'clock in the morning,
it's dark, your mind is all agitated,
you're drivin' a little too fast ...
Those curves don't kid around.
Could be talking about the girl. Wilson doesn't move. But
touch him, he'll explode. Out the window lights are passing,
but no landmarks. He might as well be on the moon.
You should talk to Elaine. That was her
She didn't write to me, did she.
She didn't know what to say.
I thought someone should say something.
To someone. With me it was, I don't know
-- Jenny liked me for some reason. I
felt like I owed her.
Who'd Jenny get it off of -- this grass
Not me, man. I'm no drug dealer, what
(re Ed's tattoos)
I think you didn't get that lot in the
Navy, doing your National Service.
I already told you, man. Corcoran. Know
what that is? State prison.
Nick's a nick, n' it? No matter what
state you're in. State of remorse, most
likely -- for gettin' caught.
But that's not me anymore. That's when I
was into the gang lifestyle. That's not
who I am now. Five years in the joint --
that's it for me, man.
Now Wilson drops the clanger.
Just got out meself, didn't I.
And Ed turns. Looks at Wilson. Fellow ex-con.
EXT. WILSON'S MOTEL. NIGHT.
Wilson out of the car, shuts the passenger door. Ed on the
other side, looks over the roof at him.
Go home, man.
(plane taking off in
Get on a plane.
Wilson has other plans.
I'll be needing a shooter.
Makes his fingers like a gun. And a clicking sound.
(comes quickly over)
You're kiddin' me, right?
What do I do, then, look in the bleedin'
(an urgent whisper)
These are not guys you can just go run a
number on, man.
Thought perhaps there'd be dispensing
machines, you know. Bung in your coins,
come out with a .44 Magnum, fully-loaded.
Ed throws up his hands, walks back to his driver's side door.
Are you a resident of California?
You gonna fill out forms, man? Do the
background check? Go through a three-day
Sod that. Gotta get back before my
probation officer wonders where I've
skived off to.
Probation? Man, you crazy. They
shouldn't've let you outta your country,
much less prison.
Travelling on a dodgy passport, n' all.
Walks round to come face to face with Ed once more.
Which is why I thought, save some time,
get what I need under the table, like.
As if resigned and mulling the problem over:
Under the table?
INT. GUN SHOW. DAY.
Hundreds of tables. Under bright lights. Displaying every
kind of firearm. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, parts to make
machine guns. A weapons bazaar.
WILSON AND ED
Walking around. Even a cool customer like Wilson can't help
but be impressed by America's loving embrace of senseless
Touting their wares.
Trying out pistol grips -- or pushing baby carriages. Guys
in fatigue jackets with toddlers on their shoulders. Women
in stretch pants looking for a little something in personal
Doesn't know where to look. At the booth featuring "Classic
Cowboy Collectibles" -- or the most OBESE COUPLE he's ever
seen who just walked by.
Attention: the long-range vermin-
shooting panel is due to commence in two
minutes in the blue room at the rear of
the Convention Center.
... and other anomalous oddball ANNOUNCEMENTS in the
background as long as we're here.
At a booth selling laser attachments.
BeamSight II is easily mountable on any
shotgun, rifle, or sidearm and will
project a small, bright red dot directly
onto the point where your weapon is
For purposes of display, a smiling YOUNG WOMAN is the
Walking past, almost subliminally noting the Young Woman with
the symbol of death on her.
A .45 passed from a DEALER's hand to Wilson's.
Man knows what he likes.
(he'll talk if Wilson won't)
(while Wilson checks)
That's a high-end item. Total
What'd you call that -- the Protector?
Yes, sir. Won't find a better CQC on the
Wilson's eyes glance up -- but Ed asks the question.
Close Quarters Combat. Keep one in my
Trouble is, I'm not at home, see.
Fancied a bit of target shooting, y'know,
while I'm here -- with me mate.
Nods at Ed.
Oh really? Where you from?
(sighting the weapon)
Only, we saw there was a show on, thought
I might pick something up for a price,
type of thing.
You came to the right place, sir. My
wife's second cousin is English. Well,
Scotch-Irish. Can I interest you in a
Just luck, this, really. Never been to
one of these before.
You're in gun country now, my friend.
(picks up another, checks it
Been to the Boat Show.
(re Wilson's new selection)
Packs a punch, but it's compact, has
accessible features -- makes a nice
(playing the reluctant buyer)
He don't have a concealed weapons permit.
Don't have time for a lot of paperwork,
y'know. Just popped over on a quick
I can take care of the paperwork.
No problem. If you don't have a problem
with me reporting this gun stolen.
A look of understanding between them.
No. Not at all.
Not me, man.
I mean, it's already a steal, n'it -- what
you said -- four hundred for this one?
Well, I'll have to add another two
hundred on top of that.
... for the paperwork.
INT. ED'S CAR. DAY.
Ed drives. Nervous at Wilson handling his new gun purchase
Violation of my parole, this.
(a perfect pause)
-- Goin' abroad.
Ed shakes his head at Wilson's sense of humor.
You hadda show up on a weekend. This
weekend. Wouldn't've even been a gun
show ... for another month.
Fucking out of order, that. Shouldn't be
As he puts away a box of ammo.
Now what. You gonna take your new
arsenal, go visit Terry Valentine, just
like that? Boom bam boom.
It's only insurance. Can't be too
careful. This Terry Valentine, he's
probably a wonderful fella. They were
together how long?
Five years, I think. Long time.
Well, there you are. Jen must've liked
Doesn't make Ed feel any better. Nor does the way Wilson
seems now to be studying Ed's driving techniques. Paying
attention to the way traffic lights and left-turn lanes and
cars without clutches work over here.
Jenny told me she met him at the beach.
Got blinded by his smile.
You believe that shit? Son of a bitch
never smiled at me. Buried her at a
"private" service. Private for who.
Hang about. I thought you said he come
into the restaurant where you worked with
He came in with Jenny to the restaurant
where I work. That's not where they met.
And that's where you met Jenny.
No, no -- Jenny used to work as a
waitress. Before she met him. But
that's not where she met me. Not in my
How'd the two of you hook up, then?
Oh, Jenny was in my acting class.
INT. RENTAL CAR. DAY.
Wilson at the wheel himself. Getting the hang of L.A.
Driving downtown. Along one of the major boulevards.
Glances at a street sign as he goes by. Picks up the map
book on the seat beside him to check his route.
EXT. BOULEVARD. DAY.
Wilson makes a sudden lane change to avoid getting fed in the
wrong direction. Gets HONKED by another driver.
EXT. A STREET DOWNTOWN. DAY.
Wilson cruises past a particular building. We don't have to
really clearly see it just yet (we saw it in the flash cuts) --
more important we see him seeing it. Casing it with the eyes
of a professional. Sniffing it out; the instinct of a
predator after prey.
INT. CAR. DAY.
Parks it. Produces the little leather travel kit we saw him
unpack at his motel. Unzips it. Under the usual assortment
of clippers, razors, etc., is a hidden layer -- storing still
more personalized items: a set of select slim
EXT. SIDE STREET. DAY.
Wilson locks the car. Walks away. STAY with him.
AROUND THE CORNER
He walks down the block. A nice long walk. What we get out
of it besides a sense of Wilson -- cool cat; ambling along;
loner; sun beating down; not bothered; his shadow doubling
him -- is this:
The building approaching. The one he has his eye on. The
target. It's across the street. A kind of flat windowless
warehouse with adjoining loading yard. Loading yard
surrounded by a chain-link fence -- topped with barbed wire.
The actual geography of where he left his car in relation to
this building. Safely around the corner. And how he might
practically get back to it, either this same way or via a
more circuitous route round another block.
The sense you get in downtown L.A. on a lazy Saturday
afternoon that you're in a ghost town. Particularly in this
shabby kind of industrial section.
EXT. THE BUILDING.
Wilson crosses over to it now. From sunny to shade.
Walks past the chain-link fence. The padlocked gate, big
enough to accommodate the (couple of) trucks parked within
Walks past the closed security door which would appear to be
the building's main entrance.
Round the next corner -- SEES there's a steel back door as
Comes around this block again. Looking surreptitiously around
now. Streets here utterly deserted. Not even a passing car.
Crappy residential building on an opposite corner, SPANISH
MUSIC blaring from one of the open windows, but not with a
direct view on the loading yard fence on this side. Wilson
nearing it now -- taking something out of his pocket. One of
the mysterious metallic tools from his travel kit. Snaps his
wrist, unfolding the tool with a CRACK. Wire cutters.
He doesn't go for the gate, the padlock, like we might have
thought. He suddenly drops to one knee, in shadow where the
fence meets the adjoining building. SNAP, SNAP, SNAP, SNAP,
SNAP -- so quick, with great dexterity, though his face
grimaces with the strength he has to exert with each
application of pressure -- he cuts just as many links as he
knows he needs to push in a little flap of fence and roll
under. Whole thing accomplished in seconds.
Walks fast to the cover of the trucks. Passes. Looks
around. Cement loading docks and bays. Shuttered doors. He
jumps up to one, puts his ear to the metal. Listens awhile.
Scans the wall for any sign of an alarm box or anything.
Then cocks an ear upwards... CAMERA CRANING UP to show us
what he hears: an air-conditioning unit HUMMING away. Which
means someone must be inside.
Wilson looks back at his entry options. Not the loading
doors -- but a conventional door at one end, with a
conventional lock his eye zeroes in on. Gets out his tools,
INT. WAREHOUSE HALLWAY.
A SCRATCHING at the door. It opens. He's in.
Waits. Cautious. Nothing. He starts along the hallway.
A SUPERVISOR (the one from the flash cuts) does a double take
as Wilson passes.
Wilson stops and turns. Says nothing.
How'd you get in here.
What the hell are you doing here.
Looking for a bloke named Valentine.
MEAT PUPPETS (who we saw before as well) who work here
gathering. The Supervisor and the Meat Puppets exchange
He's expecting you?
I doubt it.
The Supervisor moves toward Wilson.
So why would he want to see you.
I have a message for him. About Jennifer
More looks are exchanged.
You know her?
Yeah. I know her, all right. She came
down here once, stirred up a shitstorm.
We lost a full day's work, took me weeks
to get back on schedule. If she hadn't
a' been Terry's woman I would've broke
her jaw. 'Course, she's nobody's problem
Wilson stares at him.
Is Valentine here?
What do you think?
Wilson looks at the Meat Puppets, the loading area.
Where is he, then?
Listen, get the fuck out of here before
you get hurt. Who the fuck do you think
you are, waltzing in here, asking
Wilson just looks at him.
Do you hear me, asshole?
The Supervisor shoves him. The Meat Puppets move a little in
anticipation. Wilson isn't giving any indication that he's
going to leave.
Jesus, you really want your ass kicked,
He pushes Wilson again, hard.
Go on, get outta here.
He pushes Wilson again. Still, Wilson won't leave.
Fuckin' nut. Go on.
This time he tries to slap Wilson. Wilson blocks the
Supervisor's hand and then punches him, hard. The Supervisor
stumbles back and falls to the floor.
THE MEAT PUPPETS
Move to Wilson. He tries to fend them off, but there are too
many. They beat him. When they find that he's armed, they
beat him harder.
EXT. BUILDING. DAY.
Wilson is taken outside and dumped. After a moment, he gets
to his feet. Dusting himself. Reaches for ANOTHER GUN tucked
in his lower back. He re-enters the building.
A beat. We hear several SHOTS.
Seconds later, one of the Meat Puppets comes stumbling out of
the door, terrified. He runs past us, fast.
A moment later, Wilson emerges, gun in hand.
You tell him. You tell him I'm coming!!
INT./EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DUSK.
A series of images that prove Valentine (whoever he is) has
taste, wealth, and influence, stretching back a good three
decades at least.
Walking through some of these shots is a young beauty in a
bathing suit named ADHARA. She advances slowly, not entirely
sure of herself, and stops to look at things just like we do.
At one point she looks to see a BEEFY GUY (GORDON) sitting at
the kitchen counter, flipping through a magazine. He looks
her up and down, more from reflex than anything.
She continues on. Eventually she emerges through sliding
glass doors and on to a patio.
A figure by the pool, talking on the phone. His back to us.
The pool is spectacular, mosaic tile bottomed.
Approaches, then sits beside him. His voice is soothing, but
with the tiniest hint of exasperation that comes with being
slightly ahead of everyone.
Not before. Not before. Think about it.
What does it mean? What -- no, I'm not.
Think. Yes. See? You figured it out
all by yourself. I know. Are we done?
He hangs up, stands, still doesn't turn.
Adhara. I told your father, if you're
looking for a name, you can't go wrong
with a constellation.
I used to hate it. Now I like it.
Could be worse, he could've named you
He turns and we see him for the first time.
Polished. Handsome. Charismatic. Especially when he's
smiling like he is now. He leans over and kisses her.
Is there anything in the world that you
want or need?
I want to know why you need that scary
guy in your house.
Gordon? He's been with me for years.
He's not as tough as he looks.
Then what good is he?
Is it possible that you're too young to
be acquainted with the idea of loyalty?
Is that a problem?
Not for you, clearly.
I'm loyal to things that make me happy.
Am I a thing?
Well, you're certainly not a person.
No. You're not specific enough to be a
person. You're more like a vibe.
I'm so glad we're having this chat.
It's not a knock.
It's not a compliment.
It's an observation. Like: I'm hungry.
When are we eating?
As soon as you get dressed.
What kind of food?
Anything but Japanese.
I'm not into finger foods. Too fussy.
I don't like do-it-yourself cuisine.
Buffets. Salad bars.
You demand to be served. A fork
It's just fuel to me. I'm not there for
For some, eating is a sensual experience.
The sensual experience.
That's what Gordon's always saying.
His cell phone rings.
He listens, then looks up at his balcony, where a MAN (AVERY)
stands holding a phone, obviously talking to Valentine.
I'll be there as soon as I can.
He hangs up.
We can leave as soon as you're ready.
EXT. BALCONY. EVENING.
Valentine approaches Avery.
There's been some trouble downtown.
What the papers used to call a "gangland
Our black friends?
No, Terry. They don't work like that.
Jenny Wilson's father paid a little
visit, left a message.
I thought he was in prison, in England.
Well, either they have a very liberal
work-release program, or he's out,
because he's here in L.A., looking for
Valentine is a little ruffled. Maybe Avery likes that.
What do we do?
We wait, and we watch.
Valentine just looks at him.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. POOLSIDE. EVENING.
Adhara approaches Valentine, who stands staring at the pool.
Not who, food. Should we get Italian.
Turns to her.
Yes. Are you ready?
As long as I don't have to pass Gordon
again. I'm never ready for that.
He smiles, rises, and offers her his hand.
No. I know another way out.
She takes it.
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING. EVENING.
ELAINE on her way in. Handsome woman. Intelligent, capable-
looking. Passes Wilson who's leaning somewhere smoking.
Aware as a wary woman will be of a strange man's presence
without necessarily having looked at him. Well aware too
that he stayed where he was -- so she unworriedly unlocks the
building's security gate and goes through to the inner --
-- and closes the gate behind her, now seeing him amble up,
arriving as it CLICKS shut between them. He's looking at her
a certain way. She looks back. And knows.
You're Jenny's father.
And the recognition on his part:
Had a feeling it was you.
You look alike.
(cigarette in hand)
Perhaps it was the smoke.
Not her brand.
She used to pinch 'em off me.
(trying to defuse Elaine's cold
Funny that. One thing she never tried to
get me to stop.
Elaine doesn't soften.
Why did you come here?
Wanted to talk to you, didn't I?
No, why did you come here?
Sort a few things out.
Been busy, have you.
How d'you mean?
It's been a while.
I was skint -- didn't have no money to
That's not what I heard.
What was that, then?
I heard you were -- what's that adorable
phrase? -- "at Her Majesty's pleasure."
It was the bars, then.
Indicating his face, viewed by Elaine through the barred
security gate that divides them.
In any case, I don't suppose the salary
you make sewing mailbags is really
commensurate with international airline
Sewing mailbags? Me? Never did an
honest day's work in my life, dear.
Wasn't about to start when I was in stir --
not with all that leisure time on my
And not with all that buried loot you had
waiting for you when you got out. From
the Wembley Staduim job, wasn't it? Pink
Floyd concert receipts. Jenny would've
been ... fourteen at the time?
(trying to conceal his
Hardly buried. Earning interest, love.
Earning interest in an offshore account.
Tidy little premium per annum, that.
Well, that kind of security can't be
bought. Must be more comforting than a
daughter to greet you.
She turns to walk away.
Here, aren't you gonna let me in.
(without looking back)
Try calling me again.
INT. ELAINE'S APARTMENT. EVENING.
She comes in. A modest studio apartment. Puts her bag on
the kitchenette countertop. Glances at her answer machine to
see if she has any messages. The phone RINGS. She sits down
glumly on her couch, holds her head in her hands.
EXT. ELAINE'S APARTMENT BUILDING. EVENING.
Wilson gives up, starts to walk away. The gate BUZZES.
INT. ELAINE'S APARTMENT. EVENING.
Elaine opens the door. Wilson in the hall.
I was just going to toss some vegetable
rolls in the microwave, open a can of
Want to take me out?
INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT.
Wilson and Elaine at a table.
... No, I went in for more improving
pastimes. Philosophy classes, language
courses, European history, all that lark.
Did you know that in Paris in the
Eighteenth Century there were more rats
in people's houses than there were people
in people's houses.
Sounds like Beverly Hills.
Here, are you always this sarky?
Sarcastic, moi? Maybe I'll mellow when
my ship comes in. It's expected any day
now. I'm all packed and ready to go.
Weren't you on a television series?
(has he seen it?)
If it played in England somebody owes me
money. Who told you that -- Eddie?
Said it went on for donkey's years.
Three seasons. They found that's the
limit of human tolerance when it comes to
following the adventures of a family of
Mormons on the Chisum Trail.
I was wife number three -- the ingenue.
Oh, it just ended, then.
Now who's being sarcastic?
When you've lost as many years as I have,
love, puts things in perspective, know
what I mean.
I'm sorry. I guess the rest of us have
no excuse for wondering where the time
(raises her drink)
It must've been the bars.
Their food arrives.
It's a kind of prison, doing a series.
Early to bed, early to rise, no time off
for good behavior, you grab the boodle
for as long as it lasts.
Only difference is you can't get arrested
Wilson appears fascinated by the cold glasses of water on the
table. Ice cubes CLINKING as he holds his. A BUSBOY
bringing them to other people, too, just like that, without
anyone even asking.
I can't believe Jenny told you all that.
About me. She was always so embarrassed.
Wilson looks at her. Okay. What then.
She never told Eddie, though.
She never told anyone else.
(making light now)
About the convict strain -- or is it
stain? No, I was privileged. I was
someone who helped Jenny efface her past.
How'd you manage that, then.
When I'm not honing my craft in episodic
television I do double-duty as a voice
coach. Not that her accent would have
hobbled her progress. Not with that
Yeah, well, she started all that in
Learnin' 'ow to speak proper.
(putting it on a bit there.
Then, upper crust:)
Central School of Speech and Drama.
It's no doddle gettin' in there, y'know.
At seventeen. They offered her a place
at RADA n' all, only she'd've had to wait
till the next session and she was always
in hurry to get on, was Jenny. She could
talk posh without any training, when she
was knee-high to a grasshopper.
Show up the old man, you know.
Elaine smiles slightly. None of this information new to her.
But warming to this man.
You weren't disappointed in her, then.
In Jenny? 'Course not. How could I be.
'Course I wasn't.
She was twenty-one when she came to me.
(looks at him)
... Straight from leaving you.
Footloose and fancy free.
She was happy here. However the two of
you might have parted. Don't think she
It's because Wilson thinks the opposite that he's here.
Looks at Elaine.
That's the trouble, n' it.
(hard as nails again)
She enjoyed life.
EXT. OCEANFRONT. NIGHT.
They walk along the seafront. We HEAR the ocean but can't
When did you get in?
(occurs to her)
You haven't been lurking outside my
building all day.
No, I had -- some other matters to attend
to, you know. Getting a car sorted ...
I might've been away for the weekend.
Well, I reckoned, Saturday night, if you
were goin' out, you'd probably have to
come home first.
And you've seen Eddie Rama.
Yeah, saw Eddie, yeah. Me and him are
Mates. Friends. Makes a kind of bonding gesture.
I should really give him a call. He's a
character, isn't he. Well, not to you.
I meant to us squares in the outside
He give me your address.
I gave him yours. Said, here, you want
to write, I think this is a relative. I
guess I thought I was being true to
Jenny. Who told me she didn't have a
father -- before proceeding of course to
tell me why.
Well, don't suppose she did, really, most
of her life. On her own after her mum
died. Aunts and uncles for a time -- and
then the bright lights beckoned.
Were you still married at the time -- to
Jenny's mother, I mean?
Nah, we split up when Jenny was six. Her
second husband done a runner after she
got sick. They give me compassionate
leave from Parkhurst to go visit her in
hospital. We were always mates, me and
Jenny's mum. I like to think they're
together again now. Y'know. Heavenly
The address Jenny gave me, that wasn't a
prison, was it?
Nah, accommodation address.
What's that, like a P.O. box.
Something like that, yeah.
Where you get your bank statements.
Wilson gives a laugh.
Well, you gotta have something permanent,
don'tcha. Even if it's a hole in the
wall. No matter which jug I might be
transferred to, I always got someone on
the out checks up on it for me, see.
Anything I need to know, comes round on
visitor's day -- word in my ear.
Wilson leans on the wall overlooking the black ocean. Sound
of WAVES gently lapping the beach.
I already knew. Knew beforehand. When
was it supposed to have happened? -- two
o'clock in the morning, Eddie said.
That's what was estimated.
Eight hours difference between here and
London. Would've been, what, ten in the
morning, my time. I was just coming out
on the yard. Now, I was in the habit of
saving my newspaper till then. Bit of
fresh air, stretch me legs -- well,
stretch the day out, really, that's what
you wanna do. And I'll tell ya: I
couldn't open the paper. Could not pry
the pages apart -- it was like they was
glued together. That's how weak my hands
went. Thought I was having heart attack,
only I knew I wasn't. Bloke come up to
me, he says, Dave, he says, you've gone
all white. I said, fuck me, I've been in
prison half my life, what d'ya expect.
But he was dead on, 'cause I could feel
the blood drain right out of me head.
And I knew ...
Something had happened to Jen.
They stand here a while. Listening to the BREAKERS hit the
INT. ELAINE'S APARTMENT. NIGHT.
They come in.
Make yourself at home. Steal something.
That gets her a look.
There's nothing I can't afford to lose.
She goes to make coffee. Wilson looks around.
Do you even know who Terry Valentine is?
Well, I gathered something from the
article what Eddie sent me. Some sort of
pop music producer, wasn't it.
Maybe a smile from Elaine at the quaintness of "pop" music.
Rock n' roll, is what we called it. He's
sort of a forgotten figure now, but back
when the West Coast was the grooviest
place on earth, Terry Valentine was where
all the happenings happened. More of a
kind of promoter, I guess, whatever that
means. Just took that whole Southern
California Sixties Zeitgeist and ran with
it. Packaged and sold it. Made out like
VALENTINE. At home. Watching as Adhara undresses, either
deliberately for him, or just casually. She smiles as she
notices he's looking.
What's he done lately.
That line pregnant with meaning. Elaine looks at him.
Avoids answering the question actually implied there.
(brings a tray over)
Lives high off the hog and waits for the
next big thing. Like me -- but on a
grander scale of failure.
Now, you shouldn't run yourself down. My
employer, Mr. Lindgren --
-- Your employer?
-- Mr. Lindgren.
Who's Mr. Lindgren?
What line is he in.
Proprietor of a London firm. Of
Based in London, but with international
Various enterprises, style of thing.
I thought you said you never did an
honest day's work in your life.
Well, not to say Mr. Lindgren is
(she gets the picture)
Anyhow, he's always saying to me, Dave,
never run yourself down, son -- 'cause
there'll always be plenty of people
willing to do it for you.
In what capacity are you employed by this
This and that. Y'know. Ways and means.
-- When he wants someone run down, you're
willing to do it for him.
They sort of come together -- in mutual understanding -- and
sit down. Coffee steaming.
So what's the deal. You and Terry
Valentine at twenty paces. Is that what
this is about.
Are you serious.
Have you ever known me not to be.
Elaine looks away:
You fuckin' guys and your dicks.
What'd you want me to do. Stay at home,
twiddlin' me thumbs. Doing sweet F.A.
You don't believe it was a car accident.
What do you think.
Terry's never going to give you
satisfaction. Not the type.
Depends, don' it.
On what. What makes you so certain.
I'll bloody well ask him.
There's the phone. You want his number.
That look again.
I got his number.
I'm not going to help you.
She goes into a bathroom. Shutting the door behind her.
Sips coffee. Bites into a cookie.
EXT. HILLSIDE. UNDERBRUSH. LATE AFTERNOON.
Thickets part and we SEE Wilson scrambling up a rather steep
hill. Coming to a ridge where he settles down to look at
something O.S. His expression changes by degrees from
curiosity to dawning realization to a kind of frustrated
INT. WILSON'S CAR (ON THE ROAD BELOW). LATE AFTERNOON.
Ed sits in here, RADIO on. Wilson appears out of the brush,
gets in. Ed turns the radio down.
(mindful of the odd car driving
Told you you wouldn't be able to see
through that gate.
Gate's open. I had a butcher's at the
Who'd you butcher at the house?
Butcher's hook. Look.
(doesn't anyone speak English
in this fucking country?)
I don't much reckon those minders of his.
He's brought in the heavy mob.
Extra muscle. Bodyguards.
They look a right load of wallies.
Patrolling back and forth outside the
gate, all ponced up like the fuckin'
As one of the "bodyguards" runs by, only fleetingly glimpsed
That was one of them?
(sits up again)
See what I mean? Wearing bloomin'
uniforms n' all.
Off Ed's perplexed look ...
EXT. HILLSIDE UNDERBRUSH. LATE AFTERNOON.
Wilson settles into position again, this time with Ed.
Look at that.
Ed just laughs.
What's so fucking funny?
Those aren't guards. They're valets.
Now we SEE what Wilson had mistaken for Valentine's private
army. Half a dozen VALETS outside Valentine's hilltop home.
Dressed in matching attire, a couple of them wielding walkie-
RESUME WILSON AND ED
Ed's still laughing.
Valets. What d'ya mean valets. What is
he, then, the Earl of fucking Doncaster?
Valets. They park cars. He's having a
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON.
Wilson's car pulls up. He and Ed get out. Wilson engages in
a mini tug-of-war with a Valet over his car key, it so rubs
him the wrong way having to give it up.
Keep it handy, mate, all right? We're
not stopping long.
He gestures, apparently getting the message across that he
wants the car kept close by.
Exchanges the key for a card -- which he turns over in his
hand and studies curiously as they head inside.
Valets, eh? Aren't we all la-de-da.
(nervous being here)
I thought you just wanted to check out
the house, man.
Well, that's what we're doin', n' it.
No one else is even here yet.
First in, first out, that's me.
Looking over to note the multi-car GARAGE off the main house.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
Wilson and Ed are among the first to arrive. A smattering of
other GUESTS. Elaborate catered cuisine. They mosey over to
the wet bar.
Gentlemen. What can I get you.
(suggesting Ed take first
Dubonnet with a twist? Baby sham?
Tomato juice and Tabasco sauce?
By now his whole dynamic with Ed is a verbal tease.
Got a Coke?
INT. VALENTINE'S BEDROOM. AFTERNOON.
Valentine is checking himself in a full-length mirror. TV on
in background, sound low (ENTERTAINMENT WEEK!). Not quite
satisfied, Valentine crosses to the bathroom.
Valentine takes one more closer look.
You have the same posters.
Is lounging in the large tub. Staring dreamily at a couple
of framed posters on the walls: more 60's psychedelia.
That you have down at your office.
Valentine sits on the edge of the tub. With a nostalgic air
as he looks at her: the embodiment of youth.
He strokes her wet skin. They kiss lightly.
I like the colors.
We all did.
It must've been a time. A golden moment.
Have you ever dreamed of a place ... you
don't really recall ever having been
to ... a place that probably doesn't even
exist except in your imagination ...
somewhere far away, half-remembered when
you wake up ... but when you were there you
spoke the language, you knew your way
That was the 60's.
With that exit line (practiced?), he starts to go.
Then pauses, turns again.
No, it wasn't. Wasn't either.
Comes back to her. Faraway look in his eyes.
It was '66 ... early '67.
(comes back to now)
That was all.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY. AFTERNOON.
Wilson wanders around, exploring the house. Comes to a wall
of photographes. Casually scanning them as he passes slowly
by, he's caught up short by one.
A framed photo of JENNY, his daughter.
A series of emotions play over his face. He turns -- SEES
Valentine coming down the stairs. Valentine joins the party
without noticing him.
BY THE BUFFET TABLE
Ed peruses the available food. Valentine comes over to check
it out. Glances at Ed without recognizing him.
And goes away. Leaving Ed more nervous than ever.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. AFTERNOON.
Wilson has come up here. Peeks into one room. Moves along to
another: the master bedroom. Opens the door gently.
INT. MASTER BATHROOM.
Adhara is still enjoying her bath.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM.
Wilson enters. Careful. Aware that someone's in the adjoining
bathroom. The soft RIPPLE of WATER from in there. Perhaps he
even glimpses her through the door as he boldly looks around.
He notices a video camera on a tripod, a cord running to the
television. Suddenly we hear the CHIRP of a cellular phone.
She gets out of the tub and goes for the nearest towel.
Quickly wrapping herself, she exits.
Adhara enters and goes for her purse. She pulls the RINGING
phone out and answers it.
Hello? Hey! Great. You got my message?
Yeah. No, Crestview Terrace, not
Crestview Place. Yeah, there's like three
different ways up the hill; the quick way
is to bear to the right. Sure. Okay.
She hangs up and begins toweling her hair. After a moment
she stops. Something isn't right. She looks around the
room, and her eyes stop on the TV. Her brow furrows, trying
to place the familiar image on the screen: a girl towel-
drying her hair by the bed.
She looks over to see the video camera, which has been turned
on and pointed toward the bed. She's not sure if it's funny
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DOWNSTAIRS. AFTERNOON.
Valentine mingling, all smiles and movement.
At the foot of the stairs. Watches him, all stillness and
Catches Wilson's eye for a nanosecond, does a subtle double
take, then moves on.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. AFTERNOON.
Adhara, dressed, looking great, exits the bedroom and heads
for the stairwell.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DOWNSTAIRS. AFTERNOON.
Adhara descends the stairs.
Turning to SEE her as she comes down.
Makes her way across the room to Valentine.
Hey, I thought you weren't a buffet
I'm a gracious host.
Watching them, when --
Wilson looks at him. Reluctantly.
Don't you work with Ian?
I could swear I met you with Ian at the
EMI offices in London.
Sorry. Wasn't me.
Unless I'm not who I think I am.
That's too bad. Ian's got a good thing
going over there.
Turned that place completely around. 180
What I like about Ian, he believes in a
chain of command, but not a chain of
respect, you understand what I'm saying?
Right. Chain of respect. That's good,
Yeah. I really admire the guy. Well.
Good to meet you.
Yeah. Cheers, mate.
The Guy leaves. Wilson sees that Adhara is now on the other
side of the room, separated from Valentine. He heads for
Still dealing with people desperate to be the focus of his
attention. He notices:
WILSON AND ADHARA
Talking in a corner. She seems attentive.
In a SERIES OF CUTS, still being the gracious host, still
keeping his eyes on:
WILSON AND ADHARA
Who, in a SERIES OF CUTS, continue to talk. Finally, they
separate, Wilson heading outside onto a deck.
Excuses himself from a group of sycophants and goes to her.
Valentine approaches and begins talking to her, low. After a
few moments of conversation, they both look toward:
On the deck outside. Joining Ed, who's taken refuge out here
with a plate of food. What Wilson can't belleve when he SEES
it -- is that behind Valentine's house, which is on top of a
high hill, is nothing but desolate scrub canyon. On the other
side of the railing around the deck, which is surely less
than regulation height, is a sheer drop into an abyss.
(jumps back with only slightly
Ed, a little more accustomed to L.A. architecture, nods in
If you could afford a house like this you
would buy a house like this.
Wilson edges forward to the rail again.
What are we standing on?
They stand there looking out. Quite a view once you get used
to it. Breeze.
(nods to the hazy distance)
You could see the sea from here if you
could see it.
But now Ed gives Wilson a nudge -- SEEING that Valentine
inside the house is making his way out here.
Why don't you go nick one of those little
cooker what's its warming up the sausages
cocktail and meet me in the garage. Look
about for a toolbox while you're at it.
Ed considers. His is not to reason why.
Ed moves off. Valentine steps up, smile fully loaded.
Hi. Terry Valentine.
He extends his hand. Wilson shakes it.
Have we met? There's something I can't
EMI in London. I work with Ian.
You must know Ian.
Great bloke. Really turned things around
there. 180 degrees.
I suppose that's good, unless things were
fine the way they were.
Oh, I think a shake-up was in order.
Definitely. Otherwise, people get lazy,
don't they? Forgetful. Start thinking
they can get away with things. Gotta
shake 'em up now and again, make 'em pay
Wilson looks at him. Valentine looks back. Something about
those eyes ...
Terry, Terry ...
The Excited Guy appears, tugging at Valentine.
Glad I got to meet you.
Ter ... Ter ... you gotta ...
Thanks. You, too.
Be seein' you.
The Excited Guy ushers Valentine away. Wilson watches him
Charles Grodin is here.
INT. VALENTINE'S GARAGE. AFTERNOON.
Ed, waiting. Wilson enters.
Ed displays the Sterno.
Ed points to a table, where a toolbox sits. Wilson crosses
to it, begins going through the contents.
Put the Sterno on the ground, near the
center of the garage.
Ed does. Wilson pulls a brace-and-bit from the toolbox and
crosses to the rear of one of the cars. Dropping to the
ground, he bores a hole in the gas tank. Ed raises his
eyebrows and moves toward the door. Wilson crosses to the
other car and puts a hole in that gas tank as well. Then he
puts the brace-and-bit back in the toolbox and heads for the
exit, Ed right behind him, giving a quick backward glance.
Spills out, slowly but steadily, and slithers toward the
EXT. BETWEEN VALENTINE'S HOUSE AND GARAGE. AFTERNOON.
Wilson and Ed walk briskly along the path.
(gives Ed parking ticket)
Bring the motor around. Bang out in
You goin' back inside?
One thing I need.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DOWNSTAIRS. AFTERNOON.
Valentine is talking to Gordon, his beefy bodyguard, and
looking around. He stops as he sees Wilson once again
stepping onto the deck. He points Wilson out to Gordon, who
nods and heads for the deck.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
Ed hands the ticket to a Valet. He exchanges looks with a
couple of the other Valets.
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. DOWNSTAIRS. AFTERNOON.
Valentine is talking to Adhara, who is introducing her
Girlfriend. As Valentine greets her, he glances outside
where Gordon is approaching Wilson on the deck.
Wilson SEES Gordon approaching. Gets ready to greet him.
Removes cigarette from mouth, drops it to floor of deck,
presses it out under his shoe. Limbers up his shoulders in a
Gordon coming towards him. As if to challenge Wilson's
legitimacy as an invited guest. Closer. About to speak.
But Wilson doesn't even give him a chance to do that. In
quick succession: Wilson HEAD BUTTS Gordon, splintering his
nose; KNEES him in the groin; then, using the knee for
leverage, grabs Gordon by the lapels -- and heaves him over
It happened so fast that if anyone else is nearby they
probably didn't even notice -- or didn't readily grasp what
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE.
Valentine had turned his attention back to Adhara and her
Girlfriend. When he glances back to the deck he's a little
concerned not to see Gordon anywhere out there anymore --
just Wilson coming back in.
Adjusting his jacket, walking back through the house. Behind
him, people are rushing to the railing and looking over. A
few yells of "Call an ambulance!" etc. are heard.
Moves that way.
Moving across the room towards the front door. They are
heading right toward each other.
WILSON AND VALENTINE
Pass each other, eyes locked, almost dream-like. Wilson's
eyes cold, though with the hint of a smile. Valentine throws
a last look back before reaching the deck.
Valentine pushes through to look over the railing.
Gordon -- a crumpled, inert heap way down the hill below.
Turns to look toward the front door. Wilson not to be seen.
Valentine pushes through the crowd toward the door.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
Valentine emerges in time to see Ed and Wilson pulling away.
Wilson looks at him, impassive, through the passenger window.
Is just arriving in his car. Valentine gestures at him.
Suddenly we HEAR a loud, bass-heavy WHHUUUMMMPPP.
Valentine (and a few others) turn toward the sound, which
There is smoke coming from under the door.
EXT. CANYON ROAD. AFTERNOON.
Wilson's car practically tobogganing back down the hill.
BOOM! We hear an explosion from back UP the hill.
INT. WILSON'S CAR.
Ed jumps -- though he's driving. The gas pedal his most
pressing concern. Negotiating the dangerously winding road
comes second. Exhilaration mixed with panic.
You steady on, man. What the fuck else
did you do back there.
An especially sharp curve looms ahead.
Flinches, grabs a handhold.
Car makes it around on two side wheels.
Ed regains control.
In his car, takes a different turn.
EXT. ROAD. CAR.
Swerves some more curves. Should be some sense here that a
similar skyline route would have been taken by Wilson's
daughter on her final drive.
INT. WILSON'S CAR.
Why didn't you just kill him, you had the
That would be too easy.
He's gotta know why.
You think a fuckin' guy like that ever
will? What more do you want, man?
Suddenly out of nowhere -- (a side street) -- BAM! -- another
car shoots out to cut them off, sideswiping them.
Wilson's car SKIDS into a spin from the impact.
THE OTHER CAR
It's Avery. Chased them via a shortcut down the mountain.
Now jumps out of his car, levels a shotgun at them and pumps
off a BLAST.
BAM! -- the trunk pops open as the car rights itself. Avery
FIRES again, but the upended trunk is a kind of shield,
deflecting the shot.
INT. WILSON'S CAR.
Despite the fact that Ed is still in the driver's seat (and
managed rather skillfully to avoid crashing) -- Wilson acts
like he's not there, grabs the steering wheel, jams the car
into reverse, virtually sitting on Ed as he pounds his own
foot onto the gas pedal -- and with his ferocious eyes
monitoring the door-mirror, steamrolls the car backwards
Wilson reverses his car like a speeding tank: SMASHING into
Avery's car. Pushing it right off the edge of the road.
Falls backwards to the ground as he gets the hell out of the
Jumps out of his car. Gun drawn. Advancing on Avery with it
CRASHING through underbrush down the steep bank of the
SOUND of the divebombing car OVER. Another pointed echo of
his daughter's fate.
Their eyes meet momentarily. And before Wilson can shoot,
Avery rolls over the edge of the road himself.
Calls frantically to Wilson from their car.
C'mon, man! C'mon!
SIRENS in the distance.
That consuming rage overtaken him again for a second. But
the exigencies of the moment snap him out of it.
Turns on a dime, goes back to the car. Before he's halfway
in, Ed's driving them away again. Trunk at the back BANGING
up and down, up and down.
Pulls himself back up to the road. Brushing himself off.
Looking the way they went.
He gently tosses his shotgun down into some thick brush where
maybe he'll retrieve it later.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
Avery returns, sweating, walking back up the road to where
all the action is. Party guests milling outside, waiting for
their cars so they can leave. A fire truck, a police car.
SMOKE pouring out of Valentine's garage.
Valentine finishes talking to a couple of COPS. Walks over to
You should have let me do the talking.
Why, because you're my security
This cocksucker nearly burnt my house
(more concerned about police
What did you tell them.
Valentine blows air, runs a hand through his hair.
I told them a long-time employee flipped
out. Had a drug problem, refused
counselling. Set the garage on fire,
then committed suicide. One of my
"guests" tried to stop him -- but how do
you stop Gordon.
In this context meaning how did that rangy Englishman do it.
I mean, Gordon must weigh a good four
Heavier than that now. But are there any
drugs in that stomach to back up your
As it happens. I didn't make that part
And where is this guest? Don't they want
to interview him.
I don't know everyone here. He was so
traumatized he split.
Maybe he was Gordon's pusher.
Avery stares at Valentine. Impressed at him thinking on his
Where do you think he is, Mike.
We'll find him.
No. I mean. Not even your people should
be involved. Right? It's too close now.
You could use a few of my prime
shitkickers up here.
You think I'm staying?
There's already gonna be talk about how
people close to you keep falling into
Well, can we make it one more. Nowhere
the fuck near me.
He's being glib, but he's being serious. His open-handed
gesture inquiring of Avery: are you up to the task?
I have other resources.
He turns to go.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. CANYON. AFTERNOON.
The huge dead bulk of Gordon hoisted back up to the deck by a
INT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE.
Valentine comes back in. In the living room beyond, Adhara
stands anxiously, where she's been waiting for him. Cops
visible outside on the deck, peering over the edge.
Heading that way. Then stops. Backtracks. Something
peripherally had caught his eye and he returns to it. His
wall of photographs.
AN EMPTY FRAME
The one that had contained the picture of Jenny.
INT. WILSON'S CAR. AFTERNOON.
Safely down the hill. Driving away in traffic, Ed calmer
Pulls the rolled-up photograph of his daughter out of his
jacket and looks at it.
INT. POOL HALL. NIGHT.
Two characters stand, leaning, against a back wall. Staring
ahead, without purpose. Halfheartedly watching a game of
pool in progress. Just hanging out. Strange, threatening
characters. One of them is young. Lean, hungry-looking.
STACY is his name. A shrewd, scheming kid. But definitely a
little unhinged. Weirder is his companion. UNCLE JOHN. The
title isn't one of courtesy. He's an actual blood relative.
Maybe 25 years older than Stacy. But intellectually younger.
Physically, much bigger. The man is huge. Nevertheless, the
safer of the two -- until Stacy tells him otherwise. Way
they're standing next to each other suggests the ease they
feel in each other's company. Tight bond. They're good
Walks in. Stops to look around. Spots his two freaks.
Walks toward them.
A mysterious black man has followed Avery in. THOMPSON is
his name. He hangs back and watches.
Stacy turns to see him. Uncle John looks vacantly.
Come over here.
That was in the way of an order. He nods around the corner
where it's less crowded. Stacy stops Uncle John from
following, and goes after Avery.
At the bar. Keeping his eye on them.
Speaks softly. Alone with Stacy.
How they goin', kid?
How'd you like to kill someone for me?
Avery gives him an envelope.
Same as last time -- the rest after.
Where do we go?
When you find the guy, you'll know.
What shit is this. I just do it. I
don't prepare it.
I'll point you in the right direction,
but you'll have to take it to the end-
zone. He's a hit-and-run gunman -- I
figure he's not cruising the Polo Lounge.
This is un-fucking professional.
See, a successful man like me has
limitations -- I lose touch at a street
level. So I have to depend on a smart
boy like you who's closer to the nitty
and the gritty than I am.
Fuck you, Mr. whatever-your-name is.
This is a lifestyle I embrace.
That's why I'm letting you take care of
this. I'm the one with appearances to
maintain. But who gives a shit about
you? Not even God.
INT. WILSON'S MOTEL. NIGHT.
Wilson on the bed. Watching TV (ACCESS HOLLYWOOD!). KNOCK
at door. He turns down the TV. Takes a .45 from the springs
under the bed. Looks carefully through the peephole in the
Opens it. Elaine has come to visit. Lets her in. After
closing the door resumes his position on the bed.
Elaine looks around.
I was in the neighborhood. I come down
here quite a bit. Watch the planes
(re this motel)
Study the architecture of early David
But she doesn't really have it in her to be ironic right now.
Leans back against the door.
Wilson remains silent. He's done the same to Elaine now that
he did to Ed. Almost magically induced her to a confessional
Elaine, too, isn't sure she wants to be complicit in this
revenge tragedy. But here goes:
Jenny was supposed to come to my place
that night. She called me, asked if she
could come over. She and Terry had been
-- having some trouble. Lately. I don't
know about what. On this occasion, it
reached some sort of crisis point.
She told you all about my details but not
about his. Lovely.
She'd never called me like that before.
She sounded more ... pissed off -- angry --
than upset or afraid. But she never
turned up. I called the house but only
got the answer machine. When they found
her ... she'd been going the wrong way.
Not the direction she'd have gone if
she'd been coming to see me. Or coming
straight to see me. Who knows. Maybe she
just wanted to drive.
She looks at Wilson. Shrugs. That's it. That's all. Isn't
How did you come to have my address?
Found it, did you. Among her things.
You think Terry gave me access to her
things? Probably sold her clothes.
And how did you get it?
Elaine looks at him.
She gave me your address.
(starting to realize)
Not long before ...
She said if anything ever happened ...
That's how you know. That's why you're
Jenny's telling you.
She's sitting on the bed now.
EXT. MEAN STREET. NIGHT.
Stacy, putting on a jacket that says "Bomb Hanoi" comes out
of the pool hall. Uncle John in tow.
I got half.
Makin' trouble for someone?
The forever kind.
Thompson, the mysterious black man, watches them from the
EXT. WILSON'S MOTEL. MORNING.
INT. WILSON'S ROOM.
Wilson and Elaine. Getting dressed. She's in pantyhose.
Fastening a bra. He's got trousers on, reaching for a shirt.
How long've you lived here?
Elaine sits on the bed, fastening her skirt. Her bra strap
cuts across her bare back.
This town's been chewing my flesh
since ... what we now refer to as "the
Christ, my past became nostalgia and no
one even asked me.
Early 70's. I was away.
(tries to remember)
Maidstone. Possibly Brixton.
These more highlights from the Zagat
Wilson looks at her: she's the one who goes to bed with ex-
You don't seem bothered.
You don't know how I've compromised my
Tell us about it.
It's too involved; a lifetime of non-
involvement. Anywhere else I'd be an
interesting little number, here I'm just
SAG number forty-eight thousand and one.
SAG meaning Screen Actor's Guild.
Oh, I was gonna say ...
Still, there have been rewards. It's
sunny. And some of the producers who
call even have credits.
I can see the attraction.
She glances up at him to try and see how he means that. Is
he looking at her or out the window?
What did you do? To make them take the
early 70's away from you.
A jeweller's up the West End. We
tunnelled our way under the shop floor
from the public lavatory down the road.
Filthy work. Trouble was, the bloody
thing collapsed -- after we'd made the
grab, 'n all. Would you Adam n' Eve it.
You mean if they'd nabbed you before you
actually broke and entered you would only
have been charged with making a mess.
We were lucky to be nicked. Me and the
lads went down there Sunday evening, we
weren't discovered till the Monday. Good
job we were still breathing.
It didn't discourage you, though.
From pursuing your chosen profession.
I'll tell ya something: it made me a
model prisoner. Put me right off any
escape attempts. Tunnel my way to
freedom after that experience? Not
I was inside once. I punched a cop at a
Did you. What was that in aid of?
Get seven years, did you?
Overnight. What about just now?
(playful, goes over, ready for
You have been away.
(lies back, regards him
Or is all this just new to you?
It's true. Has to be said. I got off to
a slow start.
I don't believe it.
Honest. Didn't know where to look till I
Pushing the legal limit even then.
He stands again, vaguely disappointing her.
Me mate introduced me to a woman up the
street. Funnily enough, she was married
to a milkman. Straight up. I said,
"Good is she? Been around?" He said,
"Good? Listen, mush, it's not that she's
been around, it's that she's been around
hell of a long time."
He laughs uproariously at that. But the point is: he's sort
of complimenting both Elaine and himself. They've been
around, had their knocks, they've lasted. Elaine remains
Still leaning back on her elbows on the bed, in bra, skirt,
hose, no shoes. She asks again the question Wilson avoided
Your most recent incarceration. What was
And again he evades the answer she wants.
It was for nine years.
(buttoning his shirt)
The last nine years.
EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY. MORNING.
For the first time, we see the Pacific coastline. Impressive.
And a sleek Italian sports car. Heading north.
INT. SPORTS CAR.
Valentine at the wheel. Adhara besides him.
I've lived in L.A. all my life, I've
never done this drive.
All your life. That happened while I
swam the length of my pool.
Adhara looks back over her shoulder. Checking the road
What's the matter?
Nothing. I guess it's hard to pass on
The freeway's faster, but lacks a certain
Just feels like the car behind has been
following us the longest time.
I sure hope so.
INT. THE CAR BEHIND.
A big utility vehicle. With Avery in the front passenger
seat. And three bodyguards he's brought along to protect
Valentine. RICK driving, TOM and LARRY in the back.
All I'm sayin' is travel time shouldn't
be the same rate. Travel time is down
time, right? I mean, we're not even in
the same car as the client.
You told me the job was at the house.
When we get to it. Well, are we shadowing
the client right now or are we just going
the same way? The company I was with in
Seattle, these distinctions were made.
Now, I don't dispute him getting the full
(he means Rick, who's older)
Seniority and all that. But if I'm
getting paid the same hourly rate when
we're at the house as I am in this car,
that doesn't sit well with me and I feel
obliged to say so. 'Cause in Seattle
what you're paying now for so-called
travel time was half what we got for
actual clock-time with the client. So I
just feel we should get more when the job
After this spineless whining weak-willed sob story, Larry
just turns to him and says:
... I'd really like to eat your pussy.
EXT. ELAINE'S NEIGHBORHOOD. DAY.
Stacy and Uncle John sitting on a bench in a beach setting
(though we still don't see the ocean). Or on some grass,
maybe, in a little park -- opposite Elaine's building.
People-watching. In their own unique way. Stacy commenting
on fellow humanity all around them. TIME CUTS between each
(after laughing loudly at a
I believe in mocking the afflicted. Good
for 'em. Makes 'em stronger.
Uncle John picks at the grass or sand. As they kill the day.
(spotting a woman with a dog)
Ever take a look at the women who work in
pet stores? Wow.
(as a fat jogger passes)
(watching someone else go by)
Jesus, are you gay enough or what.
(barely out of earshot of a
black woman with dyed blonde
Very attractive. Good idea. Now I
really want to fuck you.
(after a long time in silence,
just staring at someone)
... you can always tell the ones who'll do
(regarding some other
Kinda makes you wonder why more people
don't put a bullet through their fuckin'
skulls, doesn't it.
(reading a newspaper)
Looks like they just airbrushed the dick
out of his mouth.
(leaning back on his elbows)
Why don't they have TV shows about people
whose daily lives you'd be interested in
watching. Y'know. Like SKINNY LITTLE
WEAKLING. Or BIG FAT GUY. SICK OLD MAN.
FAMILY OF LOSERS. Wouldn't that be good?
Two blacks and a Mexican in a car. Who's
I don't know.
(observing a "fast-walker")
Oh yeah, keep doing that. That's really
(his gaze following another
Can't you do something about your ass?
(his head turning after someone
Other people's lives scare the shit out
(watching some guy rooting in a
"Homeless" people. Fuck them. Remember
when they were just bums? Everyone with
an axe to grind. Like to grind in their
face. Pretty soon there'll be shit-in-
your-pants rights groups. Stupidity
(glad he's who he is and not
who he's looking at)
Wonder what it's like being a dumb guy in
a dumb suit trying to cross the street.
(staring at another sad couple)
Life sure is a minefield.
(clocking another female)
Look at that one. She's really been
(in a contemplative mode)
I'd love to be famous so I could snub
ordinary people. Imagine, you're famous,
you're sitting in a restaurant, some fool
comes up to you, wants you to sign your
name on his napkin, his wife is there, it
would be something these poor saps would
cherish the rest of their lives, talk
about to their cretin friends. Bam! You
tell 'em to FUCK OFF! God, I'd love
Suddenly Uncle John speaks.
Is that her? I bet that's her.
Across the street, Elaine comes out of her building. (We're
supposing this is an apartment building somewhat worth living
in that has outdoor parking of some kind, visible from the
street, or only street parking.)
EXT. SOME STREET. DAY.
Elaine's car on the move. Stacy and Uncle John in a car
INT. ELAINE'S CAR.
Going somewhere. Unaware of the creeps in her wake.
INT. STACY/UNCLE JOHN'S CAR.
An "8x10" of Elaine on their back seat. Another picture of
her on a page torn from a "Player's Directory."
Maybe she doesn't even know the English
Avery said she was tight with his
That don't mean nothin'.
Stacy knows better than to argue with a moron.
She's nice lookin'.
I dunno. I just said she's nice lookin'.
And I said so what. You think she's any
What d'you mean, any happier?
Any happier than any other asshole in
I dunno. I never met her.
INT. SOUND STUDIO. DAY.
On screen: A BEAUTIFUL MODEL -- but speaking in ELAINE'S
At a mic. Wearing headphones. Matching her voice to the
model's lip movements. Looping this commercial or whatever
Wilson. Comes to a window where he can see Elaine inside in
the sound-proofed studio.
INT. SOUND STUDIO. DAY.
Wilson and Elaine talk while technicians change reels.
-- they want Southern, I do Southern,
they want Midwest, I do Midwest, they
want tall, blonde, and twenty-two, I'm
shit out of luck.
One thing I can't do is English.
Americans can't. Shouldn't even try.
And Laurence Olivier couldn't do us.
You ever been to London?
Only in the movies.
I've 'ardly ever left it.
Yeah, well, you're here now --
(re Wilson's accent)
-- where hurricanes hardly ever happen.
I've got the hang of the driving. Found
this place all right.
Stick with me, kid. Looks big when you
get here but you can cover it in five
So, is there anybody in your family who's
not a criminal?
Not that I recall.
What about your grandmother?
Nah -- she was married to me grandad --
he was as bent as a boomerang -- used to
make knuckle-dusters down the shop.
Crafty old sod.
He alive to see this?
Dropped dead in the stalls in the Odeon,
Muswell Hill. Watching Doris Day.
What'd your father do?
Black market during the war.
Elaine shakes her head.
I guess you're just habitual.
You sound like my fucking probation
Won't he be looking for you about now?
Good luck to him. He couldn't find his
prick if he didn't wear Y-fronts.
Minor officials bother you, don't they?
Do us a favor. Can't even go have a
slash without 'em saying, what're you
going in there for?
EXT. ELAINE'S BUILDING. DAY.
Elaine and Wilson enter. Stacy not far behind. Catches
outside gate before it slams shut.
INT. ELAINE'S BUILDING. DAY.
Wilson and Elaine turn the corner into the corridor
approaching her apartment door. Pause to kiss. Walk closer.
And Stacy appears at the other end of the hall. Both arms
stretched out with the .38 at the end of them.
Starts to squeeze off a shot. As Wilson pushes Elaine to the
floor. As another SHOT rings out from further along the hall
behind Stacy. Catching him across the cheek. Only skimming
him. But knocking him down. Bullet chipping the wall.
Across from Stacy. Freezes, his own gun in hand.
AT THE STAIRS
Three BLACK GUYS. Including Thompson. They approach. Guns
pointed at Stacy and Uncle John.
Hand on his .45 now. But a fourth Black Guy coming up behind
him. Wilson lowers the .45.
Flattened herself back against a wall. Petrified.
Sits on the floor. Holds his hurt face. Thompson walks over
and picks up Stacy's gun. One of the other blacks relieves a
reluctant Uncle John of his.
(stops at Wilson)
Come with us.
If there's any doubt whether Wilson will -- one of the blacks
gently puts the muzzle of a gun to Elaine's head. Cocks the
They all go off down the stairwell. Except Stacy and Uncle
Hit men wondering what hit them.
INT. ROOM. DAY.
Like Wilson's motel room, another version of a cell.
A small window, high up. Bricks and debris around the floor.
And Wilson and Elaine. Sitting, leaning against opposite
Tell me you wouldn't prefer a steady
Wilson takes a cigarette pack from a pocket. Lights himself
one. Then tosses the stuff over to Elaine.
I got a steady income -- I'm on the dole.
A leech on the welfare state in addition.
You don't miss a trick.
I fiddle it. They got me down as an
immigrant with five kids.
Elaine sort of shares a laugh at that.
Yeah ... Jenny spoke fondly of her
Though real ones might have been nice. This an unspoken
thought between them.
Do you remember the last time you saw
Last time might as well've been the
first. I remember all the times, don't
I. Watching her grow up --
(finding the word)
She told me you were a ghost in her life.
Daddy the friendly ghost. Coming back to
Well, she twigged by the time she was
eight or nine that daddy wasn't in the
Royal Marines or doing scientific
research in the jungles of Borneo or
playing Iago in a worldwide tour of
Still, you could never ... do what she
Wilson shakes his head.
She used to tell me she'd turn me in.
(tries to laugh about it)
Little kid. Ten year old. "If you're
naughty, Dad, I'll tell on ya." She
didn't want me sent down again, see.
When I was planning some job. "I'll tell
'em, Dad, I promise I will. Here, look,
I'm calling the Old Bill right now" --
picking up the telephone. I can see her,
the phone in her hand. Became a sort of
joke between us. Only it wasn't a joke.
She never would have turned you in, not
in a million years.
I know that. But as time went on ...
well, it wasn't a joke, was it? She had
a feeling about it -- about the last job
-- how long I'd get the hook for. Said
she wouldn't be there this time when I
DOOR opens. Thompson. Gun in hand.
INT. HALLWAY. DAY.
Thompson leads Wilson past a row of windows. Dockyards,
harbor activity outside. Toward a door with things
stencilled on it. One of them: US DEPT. OF CUSTOMS.
A man named FEATHER. Black. Half sitting on the edge of a
table. Wilson is shown in.
Wilson at the door. Sizes Feather up at a glance.
This is where I come in.
He walks confidently in. Outside, through the window, an
image of a foreign sports car being hoisted in the air by a
There's a chair. Wilson sits in it.
Feather squints a little. Seems ready to listen to whatever
Wilson has to say.
How's it going, squire, all right? Now
listen -- when I was in the nick --
second time, it was -- no, third. Third
stretch, yeah. There was this screw had
it in for me. That geezer was top of my
list. Two years after I was slung, I saw
him. He was sitting on a bench in
Holland Park. There was no one else
about. I coulda gone up behind him and
snapped his fucking neck. But I left it.
Coulda nobbled him, but I didn't. 'Cos
what I thought I wanted wasn't what I
wanted. What I thought I was thinking
about was something else. This berk on
the bench wasn't worth my time. See what
I mean? It didn't matter. It meant sod
all in the end.
Feather has been listening to this, expressionless. Now he
raises a finger as if there's a point he wants clarified.
There's one thing I don't understand.
(wants to make this clear)
The thing I don't understand ... is every
motherfucking thing you're saying.
Look, mush, you're the guv'nor here, I
can see that, I'm on your manor now,
right. So there's no need to get out of
your pram. I'm Johnny-come-lately to all
this. Whatever the bollocks between you
and this slag Valentine, it's got nothing
to do with me. I don't wanna know.
Well, I'll tell you. I believe this
Valentine screwed me out of a fair sum of
I can well believe it. I'm sure he has
done, son. He's about as straight as a
dog's hind leg.
But I can't be sure. I don't even know
who he is. He's too insulated. Too many
layers around him.
Your guess is as good as mine, mate. I'm
here on another matter entirely.
(moves to window)
Yeah, I guess you are.
Good job your lot showed up when they did
or it would've been me for the high jump.
That dude who works for Valentine. He's
the one sent those guys after you. You
Yeah. Shouldn't wonder. Must've done.
So what's your beef, pal?
Nothing financial. Strictly personal.
(moves to window)
I can see how all this import-export
malarkey might give rise to confusion
where I'm concerned. A foreigner,
showing up unexpectedly, like.
(looks at him)
It was you. Downtown.
Because that wasn't anything to do with
me. And suspicion has been cast in my
Didn't make any sense. Choosing those
shitheads over me, cutting me out of the
deal, then screwing them over too.
No, I can reassure you on that point.
Valentine was just as surprised by that
turn of events as you.
He'd already grabbed more than his
allotted cut. Didn't think he'd be so
bold as to take all of it.
All of what?
Of the deal, man.
Oh, yeah, right. The deal.
But if you're mad at him too and he's mad
at you ... that must make us pals.
As you prefer, squire. As you prefer.
(weary of his life)
In which case I'll just do what I usually
And that is?
What am I doing?
He's standing at the window, staring out. As if Wilson isn't
even in the room any more. A ship being loaded out there.
Inspectors with clipboards. Trucks like the ones we saw at
that warehouse downtown.
Looking the other way.
(turns to go)
EXT. INN. DAY.
Along the way up the coast.
Through a window we SEE Valentine and Adhara enjoying a
The bodyguards hang out by the cars outside with fast food
bags and drinks.
I mean, how much are you getting? Just
as a point of interest. See, I didn't
realize there was a sliding scale.
At a payphone. His idiots in the background. Dials a
INT. POOL HALL. DAY.
Stacy. Nasty bruise on his cheek. Takes a cue off the rack.
Straight rotation, no shit, call your
They're playing against a couple of other creeps.
You broke last time.
Let him break - he likes to break.
I wouldn't talk.
I saw your mother on the Strip last
night. She went up to three guys, said
she'd like 'em to stick one in each,
know what I mean?
Creep rushes Stacy. But doesn't get past Uncle John. Who
drops him with one punch. Flooring him between two pool
tables. Stacy then goes over. Supports himself with a hand
on each table, swings his boot into the thug's face.
Stacy looks. Bartender holds up phone. Stacy goes over.
I can do without you inhibiting my
Stacy just scowls, takes the phone.
Hangs up. Goes back to Uncle John. Picks up his cue again.
We've been fired.
EXT. VALENTINE'S HOUSE. L.A. DAY
Someone we've never seen before and will never see again
stands in Valentine's driveway. His name is FIELDING.
A car comes up. Another guy, GRAMMS, sits in it. He waits.
Eventually Fielding walks over.
(re: the burnt garage)
Valentine had himself a party, I hear.
My client has already given a statement
regarding yesterday's events.
A statement? I wouldn't mind getting a
statement. You see, my client -- the
United States Government -- would love to
get a statement about a few of the deals
going down with your client.
Deals? My client is involved in any
number of deals at any given moment.
You'd have to be more specific.
Your client have a deal in Long Beach?
How about downtown? There's some folks
there -- oh, wait, they're all dead. Any
of this ring a bell?
My client is an entrepreneur. I am his
lawyer, not his business manager.
So you wouldn't have any idea how your
client continues to make so much fucking
He's always been very forward-thinking.
He invested wisely.
Where is he now?
He had urgent business in the north.
Gramms just laughs. Just laughs and laughs. And we leave him
laughing. And Fielding not.
INT. RESTAURANT. KITCHEN. DAY.
Ed takes off an apron, heads out the door. It's clear that
he's not the head chef here -- because the HEAD CHEF, an
Anglo, turns, wondering where he's going. Over this we hear:
Where's Big Sur?
Up the coast.
I don't know -- few hours, I guess.
I could use a vacation. Of course, I
keep forgetting, for you this is a
Never thought of that.
(grunt of laughter)
What's in Big Sur?
That's where Valentine's scarpered.
How do you know?
Bloke told me.
You shouldn't go back to your place. Not
till ... this is resolved.
I hear it's a nice drive.
EXT. RESTAURANT. BACK ALLEY.
Ed gets into Wilson's car. Elaine in there too.
EXT. COAST HIGHWAY. DAY.
Wilson's rented car. Heading for Big Sur.
Ed drives. Wilson beside him. Elaine in the back.
What d'you say, Elaine?
Not much -- you?
Last time I saw you, weren't you up for
some equity-waiver thing?
I was gonna be in that Michael Mann
movie, you know -- with Pacino and
DeNiro. Got three callbacks.
Didn't get it.
Well, those are the breaks.
Not no more, they ain't. I quit that
acting shit, man.
You just cooking then?
Hell, no. I started writing.
Elaine and Wilson exchange glances.
EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY.
INT. BAR. DAY.
Stacy and Uncle John sit and drink. Uncle John lamenting
their monetary loss. Stacy thinking to himself.
We coulda used the other two-and-a-half
There's more than a measly few grand in
I happen to know more about Mr. Whatever-
his-name-is than he thinks I know about
him and his operation.
Like he'd never hire me for real. Not
week-to-week. I don't have the
credentials. He thinks I'm just a
sociopath, someone he can turn to when he
needs "plausible denial."
Well, we blew it, didn't we? He ain't
"He ain't wrong." Listen, I know this
asshole who did just go to work for him.
Full-time. And this dickhead's parents
just told me he took a road trip up the
coast. That's the type of individual gets
hired, someone who'll shoot his mouth off
to his family while on the job.
I don't get it.
I don't know who that English guy is.
Some kind of --
(finding the word)
-- courier or something. Maybe a seller.
Maybe a buyer. But Mr. Avery wanted him,
those jigs wanted him -- and I betcha
there's a briefcase somewhere.
What's in it?
Drugs? Cash? Both if we're lucky.
How we gonna get that lucky?
While they're all fucking each other
over ... couple of parties like us could
move right in.
EXT. HIGHWAY. DAY.
Closer to Big Sur. Scenery more magnificent.
INT. WILSON'S CAR.
Ed still driving. Wilson next to him. Opening a new
I've been wondering something.
Do you have any friends, man?
Yeah, I suppose. Call 'em that, yeah.
Down the boozer Saturday night. Meet
some of the lads.
(a little more pointed)
Friends and colleagues.
You can't count on very many people,
that's the trouble. Number of times a
decent job's been cocked up ...
Little back-seat sarcasm there. Wilson looks kind of bitter.
Useless gits. I was gonna do the Post
What post office?
The lot. The whole British bloody Post
Office. I had a brilliant plan -- all
worked out -- work of genius, it was.
Could I get anybody interested? No --
they're too busy pinching orange squash
from the milkman. Lazy sods. Jumble
sale on in Watford, they'll be up at the
crack of dawn.
You're just on a higher plane, Wilson.
Too bleeding true, 'n' it.
Flicks some cigarette pack paper out the window.
The car speeds along.
EXT. HOUSE. BIG SUR. DAY.
An impressive clifftop dwelling. Isolated on a winding road.
On a beautiful promontory overlooking the sea. Valentine
RINGS the DOORBELL (actually CHIME). It's opened by his ex-
wife. SUSAN. Very well-maintained. 50-something.
Surprised to see him. But not overjoyed.
What are you doing here?
Exercising my visitation rights.
I miss my kids.
They're at college. Or doesn't your
accountant even tell you where the money
Valentine goes inside.
He looks around. She doesn't shut the door.
You've made it ... brighter.
I don't want you here, Terry.
Sure you do.
He turns to look at her. Smiles. Somehow it doesn't work on
her. One of the reasons she divorced him. Just one. She
sighs. Resigned to his presence. Starts to close the door.
Don't shut the door -- I have people with
Now she gets it.
What kind of trouble are you in?
Susan SEES Adhara get out of the sporty car parked in the
drive and stand against it in a posture of younger chick
Surely you can think of somewhere else to
take one of your chippies for a quick
He actually puts his hands on her arms. To hold her firm
while he locks onto her eyes. And doesn't smile.
I just need ... somewhere remote. Away
from L.A. For a couple of days.
(now the kicker)
I pay for this house too.
Susan reads him. He's not claiming ownership rights. He's
telling her this house, because of the connection to him, is
a target of some kind.
What have you done?
The Land Cruiser pulls up outside. Avery emerges, comes
over, comes in. Susan notes the bodyguards out there as well.
We weren't followed.
Valentine lets Susan go. Knowing she's now speechless at
what's turned into, as far as she's concerned, a home
(moving, looking around)
Where's ... what's-his-name -- Fred --
-- You know his name is Frank.
Is he here?
You know I don't live with him.
Go to him. Go to his studio, or writers
workshop or artists colony, Esselin
retreat, nudist camp --
Are you finished?
In a couple of days this whole thing --
Who's looking for you?
Encouraging, if not in fact ushering, her towards a bedroom.
It's been five minutes and I'm packing to
leave again. I can't believe this.
That's right, your life is Shit, and I'm
to blame. It's that simple.
That does it. Susan turns on him.
It is that simple. I blame you for
everything. Losing inhibitions and
chicks without bras didn't have to lead
to hardcore porno in every American
household: that was you. The first on
your block to turn on a camera in a hot
tub and peddle it to your friends. A
little recreational pot didn't inevitably
have to lead to the eventual devastation
of the inner cities: you made that
happen, the first time you bought a
bigger stash than you yourself meant to
smoke. It happened when you made your
first buck hyping some so-called "event"
that was over before it began or marketed
some "product" whose only value was its
instant disposability. You were the
first person to see there was a lot of
money to be made selling Navajo rugs --
you've even stolen from the fucking
Indians! You looked at Charlie Manson
when all he had to show for himself was a
guitar instead of a knife and saw another
merry prankster, the freedom of the
frontier. Your pal here --
-- He saw gated communities. Rich people
coming to him with their money, terrified
of what people like you had left of this
society. Why invest in a marriage and
children when you had him? He's your
oracle. But you couldn't even trust in
friendship, could you? Still he's the
dog you call for its dinner. Because
everything that might once have been fun
or nice or sweet you had to turn mean and
cold and sour. That was your "genius,"
Terry. Haven't you read your own press?
EXT. MOTEL. EVENING.
Wilson and his friends pull in. Get out of the car.
(finding herself at another
What is it, you just like the reassuring
smell of disinfectant?
Wilson just heads for the motel office. Elaine and Ed follow
a little distance behind.
Hey, Elaine. You even know what he's
saying half the time?
No, but I know what he means.
EXT. DECK. BIG SUR HOUSE. NIGHT.
Adhara sways in a hammock. Staring at Valentine. Wanting to
know what the hell is going on.
Valentine stands smoking at the rail, looking out over the
dark sea. Ignoring Adhara. Avery sits at a table.
Bodyguards visible inside the house.
(finally, to Avery)
Do any of these guys cook?
EXT. MOTEL PORCH. EVENING.
Wilson at the car. Elaine and Ed watching.
Ed has gathered that something has developed between Wilson
and Elaine. The way she's looking at Wilson.
... Reminds me of Jennifer.
(barely perceptible nod)
Hard to miss.
Ed sighs. Awkward.
I thought maybe you just came for the
I'd rather be with him than without him.
I don't want to be found dead in L.A.
Wilson walks back to them. Looking at Ed as if to say, ready
to go? At her as if to say ... maybe farewell.
EXT. VALENTINE HOUSE. NIGHT.
Tableau. Evening has descended. Surfaces glisten from a
light drizzling rain.
INT. VALENTINE HOUSE, BEDROOM. NIGHT.
Adhara, dressing. Behind her, outside, way out of focus, a
figure slithers by.
INT. VALENTINE HOUSE, LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Valentine and Avery sit watching TV (CELEBRITY REPORT!). Tom
is behind them in the kitchen, flipping through Marie Claire
Turns to look through the sliding glass doors.
Beyond the deck stands Larry, his back to us, facing the
EXT. VALENTINE HOUSE. BACK YARD. NIGHT.
Looking toward the house, Larry in the foreground, facing us.
He takes a bite from a cinnamon granola bar, then looks at it
unhappily as he chews.
EXT. VALENTINE HOUSE, ANOTHER ANGLE. NIGHT.
Looking at the house from the top of the hill. Rick stands
in the driveway next to Valentine's car, smoking a cigarette.
Wilson and Ed watching him. Wilson nods his head to the
left, and Ed moves in that direction. Wilson moves quietly
off to the right.
INT. VALENTINE HOUSE. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Valentine and Avery, still watching TV.
(re: the channel)
Check the news.
Avery starts looking around.
Where's the remote?
Suddenly, we hear a CAR ALARM. Tom looks up from his
magazine. Valentine looks to Avery, who shakes his head:
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. DRIVEWAY. NIGHT.
Rick turns and looks up the driveway toward the sound. He
puts his cigarette out.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK YARD. NIGHT.
Larry has turned toward the sound as well. Through a
partially obscured side entrance, he sees Rick walking up the
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. DRIVEWAY. NIGHT.
Rick walks away from us, toward the vehicle (the Land Cruiser
they drove here) parked up the driveway. We lose sight of
him as he crosses to the driver's side. The alarm goes off.
We hold for several beats. He doesn't emerge.
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Valentine and Avery are still looking for the remote. Avery
stops, his attention drawn to the fact that he hasn't heard
anything from Larry. He crosses to the window.
The driveway, car at the top partially visible. No sign of
His brow furrows.
Notices this, looks out toward the backyard.
Same as before, except Larry isn't there.
Moves to the sliding glass door to get a better look at the
deck and back yard. Still no Larry.
Leaves the window and moves to Valentine. Tom has joined
them. After a beat:
Turn all the lights out. I'll get Adhara.
Tom begins looking for the light switches.
Avery is already heading for the bedroom.
Stay away from the windows.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK YARD. NIGHT.
Tableau. Avery exits the kitchen and takes the surrounding
porch to the bedroom. Are we seeing this from someone's POV?
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BEDROOM. NIGHT.
Adhara, finished dressing, looking at herself in the mirror.
The lights behind her go off. She turns to see Avery coming
toward her to turn off the lights by the mirror.
Uh, you've heard of knocking?
I need you to come with me.
Why, what --
He takes her by the arm. Firmly, but not roughly.
She sees in his expression that something is up.
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Tom and Valentine have finally found the light switches, and
the room is dark. Valentine moves slowly to the window,
takes a tentative peek.
The driveway. Hard to see. Is there something moving out by
I thought I said stay away from the
Entering the kitchen with Adhara in tow. He brings her
around behind the counter.
Everybody in the kitchen.
Valentine and Tom move to join Avery and Adhara.
Behind the counter.
Everyone moves behind the large counter in the center of the
kitchen and crouches down. They have a wall behind them and
all the windows in front of them.
What's going on?
Avery and Tom have drawn their guns.
We think someone is here.
We can't find ...
(what are their names?)
... two of our guys.
Larry and Rick.
Did somebody call the cops?
Tom snorts. Avery looks at Valentine: Haven't you told this
Because I'm taking care of it.
You guys are fucking nuts, I'm calling --
She starts to stand. Valentine pulls her down.
Avery looks to Tom, who nods toward the back porch.
A silhouetted figure is tentatively making its way along the
porch, trying not to be seen. We don't get a very clear
Draws his gun and takes aim.
Careful not to become fully visible, but growing more
courageous with each step.
Locked on him, waiting.
Puts Adhara's hand to her ears.
We see a little more now than we have before.
He sees enough. Squeezes off a series of SHOTS, the muzzle
flash strobing the kitchen area like a flashbulb, Adhara and
Hit. Spinning and collapsing to the ground.
Lowers his gun. Turns to Tom.
Watch my back.
Avery moves out from behind the counter and heads for the
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK PORCH. NIGHT.
Avery makes his way to the figure, which is on its stomach
and writhing slightly.
Careful. Takes the gun and turns the body over.
Stares up at him, choking on his last few breaths.
Puzzled. What the hell is this guy doing here? He starts
feeling around Stacy's jacket for anything useful, but is
interrupted when his hand EXPLODES, accompanied by the sound
of a gunshot. He screams in pain.
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Valentine and Adhara drop to the floor. Tom, gun raised and
pointing, tries to see who shot Avery.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK PORCH. NIGHT.
Avery is turning toward his assailant, but not fast enough.
A shot rings out and part of his neck disappears in a blossom
of blood. Stunned, he falls on his side, gasping.
Uncle John. Close by, huddled by the lip of the cliff. He
starts to move cautiously toward Avery and Stacy.
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Tom squints, trying to see.
A piece of Uncle John's silhouette appears.
Fires at it. Didn't hit anything.
Tom jumps up and runs for the living room, firing his gun in
front of him toward where he last saw Uncle John's
Tom runs through and reaches the sliding doors to the back
porch. A portion of the frame SPLINTERS from a gun shot as
he gains access to the other side of the back porch.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK PORCH. NIGHT.
Tom is through the sliding doors and trying to make his way
around to the driveway.
Crouched behind the opposite end of the porch, sticks his
Tom crossing to the steps, slips on the damp wood, tries to
Squeezes off two shots.
Is shot in the ankle as he is about to reach the steps. He
yelps in pain, tries to raise his gun.
Crouched down. A shot flies over his head.
Stops shooting. Tries dragging his shattered ankle to the
Looks over the edge of the porch.
Tom turning toward the steps.
Fires at him.
Screams again as his elbow of his gun hand disintegrates. He
slips on the first step and tumbles down, the gun bouncing
Sees this. Stands up to cross the back porch. Takes a step
forward but is stopped by a bullet in the chest (about the
only clean shot anybody makes). He looks down at himself.
He looks up to SEE:
Near death. Gun in his good hand. He squeezes the trigger
A small black hole appears in his cheek. He blinks, begins
to raise his hand to his face, and collapses.
Exhales and rolls over.
Still trying to get to his feet. He gives up and just lies
Reaches for the gun beside Tom. Tilt up with it to reveal:
He puts the gun in his jacket and slides away.
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Valentine and Adhara are still stuck behind the counter.
Valentine sees the shadowy shape of Ed slipping behind the
Decides to make a run for it, following Tom's route, away
Where are you going?
Valentine runs to the sliding door, smack into:
Standing there. Wet. Mad. He grabs Valentine by the shirt
and pushes him back into the room.
Bounces off the couch and onto the floor.
Comes toward him.
Grabs a lamp off an end table and hurls it at Wilson. It
careens off Wilson's arm and shatters.
Is almost on him now.
Tries to scramble away. Throwing anything he can get his
hands on at.
Who keeps coming. He grabs Valentine, pulls him up, then
throws him into the television.
Crashes into the TV face first and bounces to the floor.
Goes to him, grabs him by the neck with one hand and pulls
out his gun with the other. He seems about to speak when
suddenly he screams instead.
Has just stuck a kitchen knife into Wilson's back.
Turns instinctively and whips the pistol around, smashing
Adhara in the mouth.
Hits the ground. She won't be retaliating.
In agony, spinning, trying to reach the knife in his back,
but IT'S JUST BEYOND HIS REACH.
Scrambles through the sliding glass door.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. BACK PORCH. NIGHT.
Valentine stumbles out. Notices Avery slumped on the deck,
mortally wounded. Goes to him -- as if concerned -- but
actually just to take the gun. Then runs off the porch
toward the STEPS that lead down to the sea.
Comes out after him, the knife still in his back. So intent
on catching Valentine he fails at first to notice Avery lying
in the shadows.
Has just barely managed to reach Stacy's pistol. Raises it
weakly. Points it at Wilson.
Seems to feel it. Turns. Locks eyes with Avery. Avery
could already have shot him. But there's a momentary sense of
recognition: both of them just foot soldiers for fat cats --
and Avery's is not worth saving.
Lowers the gun. Nods in the direction Valentine went.
... that way ...
Wilson moves on. Avery just lies there, presumably to die.
EXT. BIG SUR HOUSE. STEPS. NIGHT.
Valentine hurries down the rickety steps. Trying not to slip
in the darkness, though there are tiny Malibu lights
illuminating the steep and winding wooden framework.
EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
A rocky cove. Valentine looks back up the way he came,
HEARING the FOOTSTEPS coming down after him. Backs away a
few paces on the slippery rocks. Falls.
Lands on the crumpled, dead body of LARRY, the bodyguard, who
was thrown off the cliff. Valentine recoils. When Wilson
appears, Valentine FIRES at him. A wild shot that only makes
Wilson duck momentarily. Valentine scrambles to his feet,
Jumps down from the steps. Stops for a moment and leans his
back against the railing. Bends at the knees slightly.
The handle is forced upward just enough to be reachable now.
Grimacing, pulls the knife out and discards it.
FURTHER DOWN THE BEACH
Valentine runs. Or tries to. It's dark and the ground is
treacherous. The beach runs out pretty soon. Now just
rocks. Maybe he thought he could get around the rocks on the
point at the other end. But he can't see very far ahead.
And the tide is in, water making any escape extremely
difficult. He tries to scramble over some rocks. They're
wet, slippery. He falls, cries out as he literally breaks an
A dark figure. Coming into focus. Walking inexorably this
Painfully rights himself. A small bone protrudes from his
broken ankle. He FIRES at Wilson, gun in one hand, other
hand gripping his wrist to try and steady it. Doing his best
to aim. But the SHOTS miss their mark.
Out of bullets now. Gun CLICKING crazily on empty. He
simply drops it.
Now stands before him.
THE TWO OF THEM
Both breathing hard.
This is not what Valentine expected.
Tell you ...
Tell me about Jenny.
About the deal. Whatever fucking deal
you had to kill my daughter for when she
found out about it, you bastard.
Wilson drops to the ground too, in a passionate fury, starts
Tell me. Tell me about it, you fucking
Easing up just enough for Valentine to sputter out a
She could've had the deal! I would've
handed it to her if she wanted. I would
have given her everything.
Why then. Why did you do it!
They're locked in a kind of embrace. Sprayed by the waves
crashing into the rocks. Sweating and gasping and exhausted
and hurt and furious.
She didn't want to share it, she wanted
to stop it. To stop me. She said she'd
turn me in.
Shock of recognition on his face. At those words.
She said, "You go ahead with this, I'll
turn you in, Terry."
Wilson sits back. Panting. Totally spent. The two of them.
Both on the ground now. Whatever energy they had left drained
-- Valentine from his confession, Wilson from hearing it.
Valentine shaking, sobbing. Still not realizing the pathetic
folly of his actions.
She was serious. She would have done it.
She had the phone in her hand. She was
going to do it.
Knows that the girl he loved ... loved Valentine, too. Having
heard the truth, the last vestige of revenge has vanished.
He gets up and walks away. Leaving the quivering shell of
INT. BIG SUR HOUSE. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Adhara wakes up. Hand to her smashed cheek and mouth. But
it's not her hand. It's Valentine's. She sort of shuffles
away from him along the floor. Sits against a wall holding
her face. Valentine sits back against an opposite wall.
They stare at each other.
INT. PLANE. DAY.
Wilson, lost in thought. Accepts a drink from a FLIGHT
ATTENDANT. We can see it pains him to reach for it.
After setting the glass down, his other hand goes to the
shoulder where his stab wound was no doubt only temporarily
WILSON. At the roadside hotel, grimacing.
ELAINE. Cleaning his wound.
Wilson rubs his shoulder. The AMERICAN LADY in the seat
beside him heard the way he said thanks to the Flight
A small beat (which he takes each time he responds).
Yeah, that's right.
I can never decide what I like better.
Leaving home, or coming back.
Takes this in.
WILSON. Shaving in the mirror at his L.A. motel. He stops.
WILSON. In the car leaving Valentine's house. Fingering the
picture of Jenny.
I would have preferred staying home, me.
You're a reluctant traveller, then.
WILSON. In the car with Elaine and Ed, driving back from Big
Sur. Everyone in their own world.
WILSON. At Ed's house. Saying goodbye.
WILSON AND ED. Shake hands.
ED. Watching him get into Elaine's car.
Got called out to L.A., unexpected like,
to do a job of work.
WILSON. At the airport, staring at Elaine.
ELAINE. Staring back.
WILSON AND ELAINE. She embraces him.
ELAINE. She watches him leave.
WILSON. Disappearing into the terminal.
You'll be looking forward to getting
Yeah. Another little matter needs
attending to soon as I return.
No rest for the wicked.
Wilson nods, exhales.
WILSON. In the cab on the way to Ed's, at the beginning of
the film. Watching the lights go by.
Been away a lot.
Longer beat. He actually turns to look at her now. Takes
her in, then looks forward again.
Out on a oil rig. In the North Sea.
Is that legal?
Well, time off for good behavior, you
know. I shouldn't have even been there
-- it was these other blokes who shoulda
gone in my place. I got lumbered with
the job they were responsible for. I
don't mind pulling me own cart, but not
someone else's, know what I mean.
But you stuck it out, anyway, all that
I had to, didn't I. Nothing else for it.
Then just when I'd finished my nine years
-- my contract -- wallop, I had to bugger
off to the States.
(reacting slightly to his
Sounds like you need a rest.
Could do, yeah.
But first I gotta give these lads a
talking to, these geezers what sent me up
the river, in a manner of speaking.
The ones whose burden you took upon your
And he turns away, to the window. Looks at the blue sky.
Sips his drink. Then, hard:
CUT TO BLACK.
Writers : Lem Dobbs
Genres : Crime Drama