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Movie Chat



ALL SCRIPTS





                         THE STRONG BOX



                           Written by

                  Dan O'Keefe & Billy Kimball




 
               
               
               George, drinking tea in his apartment with his girlfriend.

               
                             GEORGE
               I-I've given this a lot of thought. 
               I'm sorry, but we, uh, we have to break 
               up.
 
                             MAURA
               No.

                             MAURA
               We're not breaking up.

                             MAURA
               No.

               
                             GEORGE
               She said no.

                             JERRY
               What did you do?

                             GEORGE
               What could I do? We fooled around and 
               went to a movie.
 
                             JERRY
               George, both parties don't have to 
               consent to a breakup. It's not like 
               you're launching missiles from a submarine 
               and you both have to turn your keys. 
               Obviously, you didn't make a convincing 
               case. Let me hear your arguments.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Well, I don't really like her.

                             JERRY
               That's good.

                             GEORGE
               I don't find her attractive.

                             JERRY
               Solid.

                             GEORGE
               I'd like to sleep with a lot of other 
               women.
 
                             JERRY
               Always popular.

                             GEORGE
               Sometimes at restaurants she talks 
               to her food. 'Oh, Mr. Mashed Potatoes, 
               you are so good.'
 
                             JERRY
               You have an airtight case.

                             GEORGE
               And in bed--

                             JERRY
               I'm afraid we're out of time.

                             GEORGE
               What?

                             JERRY
               Check these out. These are Jerry Lewis' 
               old cufflinks that he actually wore 
               in the movie Cinderfella. I got 'em 
               at an auction.
 
                             GEORGE
               I got some cufflinks I could've loaned 
               you.
 
                             JERRY
               No, Jerry Lewis is gonna be at this 
               Friar's Club roast I'm goin' to next 
               week. Now I have an in to strike up 
               a conversation with him.
 
                             GEORGE
               You already have an in. You have the 
               same first name. Jerry.
 
                             JERRY
               Oh, that'll intrigue him.

                             GEORGE
               Well, it worked when I met George Peppard 
               last week.
 
                             JERRY
               George Peppard has been dead for years.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Well, whoever he was, he knew a lot 
               about The A-Team.
 
               
               based on the method of execution?

                             ELAINE
               Right, right. I mean, if I was getting 
               the chair, I'd go for something hot 
               and spicy. You know, thai, maybe Mexican. 
               Lethal injection, feels like pasta. 
               You know, painless, don't want anything 
               to heavy.
 
                             GLENN
               So, um, why don't we get together some 
               time?
 
                             ELAINE
               Oh, sure. Why don't you give me your 
               number?
 
                             GLENN
               I think it'd be better if I called 
               you.
 
                             ELAINE
               Oh. OK. Maybe we could grab some lunch 
               sometime. Do-do you work around here?
 
               
                             GLENN
               Mmmm... no, not really.

                             ELAINE
               So, is there anything you can tell 
               me about yourself?
 
                             GLENN
               I think you're very beautiful.

                             ELAINE, LAUGHING
               Oh, ha ha. That'll do.

               
                             ELAINE
               I haven't talked to him in, like, three 
               weeks. I think it might be over.
 
               
                             JERRY
               So, what's this guy about?

                             ELAINE
               I don't know. He wouldn't tell me his 
               phone number, where he worked. I'll 
               be he's in a relationship.
 
                             JERRY
               Or he's a crime fighter safeguarding 
               his secret identity. Elaine, you could 
               be dating the Green Lantern!
 
                             ELAINE
               Which one is he?

                             JERRY
               Green suit, power ring.

                             ELAINE
               I don't care for jewellery on men.
 
               
               
               Kramer, entering Jerry's apartment carrying a large box.

               
                             KRAMER
               Hey. It happened again. Another robbery 
               in the building.
 
                             JERRY
               So you bought a cooler?

                             KRAMER
               It's a strongbox to protect my irreplacables.
 
               
                             ELAINE
               And... what would those be?

                             KRAMER
               Some taxidermy that's been in my family 
               for generations. My Tony, my... military 
               discharge.
 
                             JERRY
               You were in the Army?

                             KRAMER
               Briefly. Now, I gotta find a good place 
               to hide this key. Because if somebody 
               finds this, they hold the key to all 
               my possessions.
 
                             ELAINE
               Literally.

                             KRAMER
               'Literally'? What's that supposed to 
               mean? You mind if I hide this somewhere?
 
               
                             JERRY
               No, go ahead.

                             JERRY
               Oh, come on!

                             KRAMER
               Come on, Jerry, this is a security 
               issue. Boy, you wouldn't last a day 
               in the Army.
 
                             KRAMER
               Well, that's classified.

                             JERRY
               Kramer?

                             ELAINE
               No, the Green Lantern.

                             KRAMER
               OK!

                             ELAINE
               Well, I don't know. I may never marry. 
               It might be the closest I get.
 
               (Jerry, getting a spoon out of his silverware drawer, accidentally 
               stumbles on the key, and holds it up for Kramer to see)
 
                             KRAMER
               You peeked!

                             JERRY
               This is your hiding place?!

                             KRAMER
               It was under a spoon!

               
               officially broken up. Thank you, and good night.

                             MAURA
               No, George, we're not.

                             GEORGE
               But I proved it!

                             MAURA
               I refuse to give up on this relationship. 
               It's like launching
 
               missiles from a submarine. Both of use have to turn our keys.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Well, then, I am gonna have to ask 
               you to turn your key.
 
                             MAURA
               I'm sorry, George, I can't do that.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Turn your key, Maura. Turn your key!
 
               
               
               involved?

                             GLENN
               Well, I might ask you the same thing.
 
               
                             ELAINE, IN HER MIND
               That's true, maybe he's not married.
 
               
               (Glenn gives her a flower)

                             ELAINE
               Oh, that is so sweet.

                             ELAINE, IN HER MIND
               How long do I have to hold this?
 
               
                             ELAINE
               Who is it?

               me show you a short cut. Come on.

                             ELAINE, IN HER MIND
               Married. That's it, I'm chucking the 
               flower.
 
               
                             ELAINE
               You didn't hear me buzzing?

                             JERRY
               Oh, I guess it's broken.

                             ELAINE
               Throw down your key.

                             JERRY
               It's liable to bounce and go into a 
               sewer.
 
                             ELAINE
               I'll catch it!

                             JERRY
               You'll chicken out at the last second.
 
               
                             ELAINE
               Yeah, you're right.

                             ELAINE
               All right. Well, will you at least 
               keep me company until somebody
 
               comes out?

                             JERRY
               All right.

                             JERRY, AFTER A PAUSE
               Hey, you know what's weird?

                             ELAINE
               Huh?

                             JERRY
               I used to be able to have a huge meal, 
               go right to sleep. But I can't
 
               anymore.

                             ELAINE
               Nodding off!

                             ELAINE
               Well, I was right. He's an adulterer. 
               And he's cheating on his wife
 
               with me.

                             ELAINE
               I'm hungry. Can you throw something 
               down?
 
               
               are you doin'?

                             JERRY
               You jammed your key in here? You shorted 
               out my intercom!
 
                             KRAMER
               You just had to go lookin' for it, 
               didn't you? See, you hate it that
 
               
               I have a little secret. Anything I do -- oooh, oooh! -- you gotta 
               know
 
               everything about it. You're so obsessed with me.

                             KRAMER
               What are you doing with her?

                             KRAMER
               Security issue!

               in.

               guy.

                             JERRY
               So, he's definitely married, huh?
 
               
                             ELAINE
               Yeah...

                             JERRY
               Boy, I would've loved to have been 
               there when you told him off.
 
                             ELAINE
               Hmm...

                             JERRY
               Oh, come on!

                             ELAINE
               Well, he could be a superhero! You 
               should've seen him run.
 
               (Elaine and Jerry go back inside Jerry's apartment)

                             KRAMER
               All right, Jerry. Let's see if you 
               can get it in your head that this
 
               
               is not an Easter egg hunt for your childish amusement.

               (George tries to whistle to get Jerry's attention)

                             JERRY
               George, the buzzer's broken! I'll come 
               down!
 
               Jerry, putting on his coat to go downstairs, when he finds the 
               key in his
 
                             COAT POCKET
               I believe this belongs to you.

                             KRAMER
               Heyyyy!

               
               Jerry, opening the ground floor door for George, and seeing him 
               eating a
 
                             GRANOLA BAR
               Where did you get that?

                             GEORGE
               I bought it.

                             PHIL
               What?

                             JERRY
               There's been some robberies in the 
               building. I-I can't let you in.
 
                             PHIL
               But, I live here. I ran out to get 
               some birdseed, and-and I forgot my
 
               
               key.

                             GEORGE
               Sounds like a scam.

                             JERRY
               Great, you're lonely and miserable 
               again.
 
                             GEORGE
               Feels right.

                             JERRY
               Is that guy still there?

                             JERRY
               Don't look at him.

                             GEORGE
               Want a bite?

                             JERRY
               No, I don't.

               
                             GEORGE, IN HIS MIND
               I think that ginger ale at the coffee 
               shop is just Coke
 
               and Sprite mixed together. How can I prove it? Ah! Can't, dammit.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               What? M-Maura, what are you doin' here? 
               I ended this relationship,
 
               twice.

                             MAURA
               George, you didn't mean that. That 
               was just a fight.
 
                             GEORGE
               Why does it only seem like I'm the 
               only one working at this breakup?
 
               
                             MAURA
               George, I listened to your arguments, 
               and they were rambling and
 
               flimsy. I'm not convinced. Come on, get dressed and let's get 
               some dinner.
 
                             GEORGE
               All right.

                             MAURA
               Eww, Mr. Apple. You have a brown spot.
 
               
               
               little... love nest?

                             GLENN
               It's nothing special, just a little 
               place I keep.
 
                             ELAINE
               Oh.

                             GLENN
               Ah, should I light a fire?

                             ELAINE
               Oh, that sounds romantic.

               the heat. Uh, I got some cardboard out here.

                             ELAINE, IN HER MIND
               This is wrong. I should go.

                             GLENN, FROM OUTSIDE
               Can you get that, please?

                             ELAINE
               Oh, sure.

               (Elaine gasps when she opens the door, seeing the woman from 
               the street that
 
               Glenn had avoided earlier)

                             LADY
               Where's Glenn?

                             ELAINE
               You're the woman from the street, and 
               I am so sorry. You know, I'm
 
               not really a home-wrecker. I-I-I-I thought he was a superhero. 
               I swear.
 
                             LADY
               Lady, I'm not his wife, I'm his welfare 
               caseworker. Is he home?
 
                             ELAINE
               This is his home?

                             LADY
               Yes.

                             ELAINE
               So, he's...

                             LADY
               Poor.

               will burn!

               
               Jerry, getting into his building elevator from the lobby, and 
               seeing Phil get
 
                             IN WITH HIM
               So you do live here.

                             PHIL
               Yeah.

               (going up in the elevator, both men awkwardly stand in silence)
 
               
                             PHIL
               Yeah.

               Jerry, seeing Phil start to open his apartment door, only one 
               door down from
 
                             KRAMER'S
               So you live right... there.

                             PHIL
               Yeah.

                             JERRY
               So I guess I'll see--

               (Phil, going into his apartment, slams the door behind him)
 
               
               
               doesn't have a phone. He's not married. He's poor.

                             JERRY
               Is he wretchedly poor? Does he wear 
               one of those barrels, with the
 
               straps?

                             ELAINE
               He probably busted it up and burned 
               it for heat.
 
                             JERRY
               So, when are you giving Boxcar Willie 
               his walking papers?
 
                             ELAINE
               How can I end it over money? I feel 
               bad.
 
                             JERRY
               Well, let's think. Have you ever dealt 
               with the poor in any other
 
               situation?

                             ELAINE
               Yes. There was this homeless guy who 
               used to urinate on our garbage
 
               cans.

                             JERRY
               Good. How did you handle that?

                             ELAINE
               Well, we gave him a few bucks, and... 
               now he goes in the alley
 
               across the street.

                             JERRY
               Same situation. Pay him off, and you're 
               clean.
 
                             ELAINE
               Well, I am not paying Glenn off to 
               get out of this relationship.
 
               Wh-what am I supposed to do, just walk into his hovel, and hand 
               him... well,
 
               how much do you think it would be?

                             JERRY
               Hey, where have you been?

                             GEORGE
               Seeing Maura. Apparently, I was unable 
               to break up beyond a
 
               reasonable doubt.

                             ELAINE
               If only he could have been cheating 
               on his wife, you know, things
 
               would have been so much simpler.

                             GEORGE
               Who's this, Blue Arrow?

                             ELAINE
               Green Lantern.

                             JERRY
               We found out his super power was lack 
               of money.
 
                             ELAINE
               All right.

                             JERRY
               He's invulnerable to creditors.

                             ELAINE
               We get it.

                             JERRY
               He's the 'Got-no-Green' Lantern.
 
               
                             ELAINE
               Thank you.

                             JERRY
               Hey, Elaine. Maybe his girlfriend is 
               Lois Loan.
 
                             ELAINE, LEAVING
               Well crafted.

                             GEORGE
               Hey, maybe this cheating thing is what 
               I could use to ditch Maura.
 
                             JERRY
               Sure, just tell Maura you're having 
               an affair.
 
               George, now on the same side as the booth of Jerry, with Elaine's 
               side
 
                             VACANT
               She's like a district attorney. If 
               it's not the truth, I'll break
 
               under the cross. I actually have to do it.

                             JERRY
               Could you move over there?

               (George reluctantly switches sides, so they're facing each other)
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Hey, you know, there's this secretary 
               at work that always had a
 
               crush on me.

                             JERRY
               Really? How come you never pursued 
               her before?
 
                             GEORGE
               She's too tan. It's the middle of the 
               winter, she's like a carrot.
 
                             JERRY, TO ELAINE
               He can wipe out his checking account 
               in a single bound!
 
               
               (Jerry, as he's entering his apartment to see Kramer there, disturbs 
               some
 
               sort of bird in the hallway, which makes a squawking noise)
 
               
                             KRAMER
               Hey.

                             JERRY
               There's a giant parrot in the hallway.
 
               
                             KRAMER
               It's Phil's.

                             JERRY
               Who?

                             KRAMER
               Our neighbor that you turned against. 
               Anyway, I told him it'd be
 
               fine with us if he wanted to let it stretch its wings out in 
               the hallway.
 
                             JERRY
               What'd ya tell him that for?

                             KRAMER
               Because since you've been playing God 
               with the front door, I've been
 
               tryin' to smooth things out, Jerry. In fact, I was just hanging 
               out at his
 
               place.

                             JERRY
               Really? What's it like? Is it nicer 
               than mine? Where does he have the
 
               
               couch?

                             KRAMER
               Well, I don't know, but the key problem 
               is solved. I hid it at
 
               Phil's

                             JERRY
               He let you?

                             KRAMER
               No, he doesn't know. So, uh, Phil won't 
               be compulsively looking for
 
               it like some people. You!

               (going out into the hallway, Kramer is apparently attacked by 
               the parrot,
 
               because it starts squawking loudly, and Kramer runs back inside 
               Jerry's place)
 
               
               say you've been in the city all winter?

                             LORETTA
               I was in Maine for a couple days.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Well... here we are.

                             LORETTA
               George, I've always fantasized about 
               jumping into bed with you.
 
                             GEORGE
               Ho ho!

                             LORETTA
               But... I don't want to spoil things 
               by sleeping with you too soon.
 
                             GEORGE
               Are you sure? 'Cause it could really 
               help me out of a jam.
 
                             LORETTA
               I want to build something with you, 
               George.
 
                             GEORGE
               Oh, not more building.

                             LORETTA
               And I won't take no for an answer.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               No?

                             LORETTA
               No.

               
                             GLENN
               It's a surprise.

                             ELAINE, GIGGLING
               Oh.

               (a nearby door opens, and a cook throws a garbage bag out into 
               a trash can;
 
               Glenn immediately goes for the bag)

                             ELAINE
               What are you doing? What is that?
 
               
                             GLENN
               It's a bag of donuts.

                             ELAINE
               It's garbage.

               the old ones come out right here.

               your last name?

               idea how rare this is.

                             ELAINE
               I'll make it out to cash. How 'bout 
               two hundred bucks? Two-fifty?
 
                             ELAINE
               Make it three hundred.

               the garbage can of my life.

               (the cook comes out again, dumping a bucket of water out in the 
               alley, and
 
               splashing Elaine and Glenn, but they're too wrapped up with each 
               other to
 
               notice)

               
               Jerry, at Phil's door, which is answered by a woman wearing cleaning 
               gloves
 
                             JERRY
               Phil... hi. I-I know we kind of got 
               off to a bad start. But your
 
               bird, which is lovely, by the way, made a mess on my door.
 
               
                             PHIL
               And?

                             JERRY
               I thought maybe you'd clean it up, 
               or your maid, there.
 
                             PHIL
               That's my wife.

               
               relationship with a woman you don't like, and you're having an 
               affair with a
 
               woman who won't have sex with you.

                             GEORGE
               This isn't going well.

                             JERRY
               I cannot find my Jerry Lewis cufflinks. 
               Without 'em, I have no in!
 
               name. Jerry!

                             JERRY
               Where are you goin'? Help me look.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               It's a big night. I'm, uh, ice skating 
               with one, and going to a
 
               staged reading of Godspell with the other.

                             JERRY
               Which is with who?

                             GEORGE, LEAVING
               It doesn't matter.

               clean up nice.

                             JERRY
               I can't go until I find my cufflinks.
 
               
                             KRAMER
               Yeah, see? I knew you would lose 'em. 
               That's why I took 'em out of
 
               your dresser drawer and put 'em in my strongbox.

                             JERRY
               You're a lifesaver. Would you get them, 
               please?
 
               pick up the key.

               (in the hall, Jerry and Kramer see Phil and his wife, both crying, 
               going into
 
               their apartment)

                             KRAMER
               Hey, what's going on?

                             PHIL
               Fredo is dead.

                             JERRY
               That strange Portuguese guy that lives 
               next-door to the incinerator?
 
                             PHIL
               No! my bird. We just got back from 
               the pet cemetery.
 
                             JERRY
               Oh, Phil. Mrs. Phil. I'm so sorry.
 
               
                             PHIL
               Oh, I'll bet you are! They told us 
               he was poisoned! Something in his
 
               
               food.

                             JERRY
               But I, I didn't--

               (Phil slams the door on Jerry, and Kramer)

                             JERRY
               Kramer, they think I killed Fredo! 
               And who buries a bird?
 
                             KRAMER
               Yeah. Just give it to the Portuguese 
               guy, and he... puts it in the
 
               incinerator.

                             JERRY
               Just get the key and let's get out 
               here.
 
                             KRAMER
               You know, it's a funny thing about 
               that bird dying. I hid the key in
 
               
               Fredo's food dish. Whew! That's a weird coincidence.

                             JERRY
               Kramer!?

                             KRAMER
               What?

                             JERRY
               You killed Fredo!

                             KRAMER
               Fredo was weak and stupid. He shouldn't've 
               eaten that key.
 
                             JERRY
               Kramer, I need those cufflinks, but 
               now they're in the box, and the
 
               key is in the bird. What are we gonna do?

                             KRAMER
               You just answered your own question.
 
               
                             JERRY
               Oh, no.

               
               odd choices.

                             LORETTA
               What?

                             GEORGE
               I mean, uh... I had fun ice skating.
 
               
                             GEORGE
               Maura. Oh, my God! What are you doing 
               here?!
 
                             MAURA
               You told me to meet you here for lunch.
 
               
                             MAURA, TO LORETTA
               I'm Maura.

                             LORETTA, TO MAURA
               I'm Loretta. You want to join us?
 
               
                             GEORGE
               This is all blowing up in my face! 
               My serious girlfriend, and my
 
               torrid love affair have accidentally crossed paths. I have ruined 
               three
 
               lives. Well, I understand if you never want to see me again, 
               so...
 
                             MAURA
               George, what we have is too important. 
               We can work through this.
 
                             LORETTA
               So can we.

                             GEORGE
               What? So, this is still not over?
 
               
                             MAURA
               No.

                             GEORGE
               You?

                             LORETTA
               No.

               
                             ELAINE
               Yeah, and I got you a cord of wood, 
               so you won't have to burn 'em.
 
                             ELAINE
               Who is this?

                             ALLISON
               His wife.

                             ELAINE
               You're poor and married?

                             GLENN
               Looks like it.

                             ALLISON
               Who the hell are you?

                             ELAINE
               I guess I'm Lois Loan.

               
               robbers.

               like that on my tombstone.

               God. Here he is. I don't want to dig him up.

                             KRAMER
               All right, then you're the one getting 
               the key out of him.
 
                             KRAMER
               Listen, I heard that Lassie #3 is buried 
               around here. I'm gonna go
 
               check it out.

               (as Jerry starts to dig, Kramer, still in his tux, walks off, 
               trips over a
 
               tombstone, and tries to appear dignified again)

               
               Honey, one last look, then you have to let Fredo rest in peace.
 
               
               now let's cut him open!

                             'MRS. PHIL'
               Oh!

                             JERRY
               Hey, neighbor.

               
               gonna try givin' them fifty-five dollars each.

                             GEORGE, TO ELAINE
               What do you think?

                             ELAINE
               Give me forty, you'll never see me 
               again.
 
               (Elaine flips her tongue at George, who rolls his eyes away)
 
               
                             ELAINE, TO JERRY
               So, what are you gonna do? Are you 
               gonna live here, or are
 
               you gonna move out, or what?

                             JERRY
               Ah, I'll just take the fire escape 
               to get in and out of the building.
 
               
                             KRAMER
               Oh. Well, would you look at that. Guess 
               I forgot to lock it.
 
                             JERRY
               You mean it was open? We desecrated 
               a pet cemetery for something?
 
                             KRAMER
               Well, this is one for the books, huh, 
               Jerry? Really one for the books.

               
               
               THE END


The Strong Box



Writers :   Dan O'Keefe  Billy Kimball
Genres :   Comedy


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