May 4, 1986
PHIL ALDEN ROBINSON
From a Draft
Based on the novel
GREGORY MC DONALD
- EXT.CALIFORNIA BEACH
squawk, and the waves pound, but were not talking
about Malibu Colony, here. This is a fairly rundown beach
area, catering to lower-echelon surfers, vagrants, and
strung out druggies of all ages, several of whom stand or
sit on their haunches by a dilapidated old hamburger
stand. Over the stand is a faded sign: "FAT
A simple but haunting
electronic melody plays in the b.g.
- INT. "FAT
SAMS" DAY 2
Seated just inside the stand on a
folding aluminum chair is a chubby man in his late
thirties. Hes wearing a stained valor sweat suit
and a cap. This is Fat Sam. Hes a dealer. Seated on
the sand next to him is Fletch, a rangy man, early
thirties, in jeans and a Magic Johnson T-shirt, nodding
idly on a battered Casio music machine which he treats
lovingly. This is the source of the title music.
So what do
No idea at
No, not for
sure. When it comes, it comes.
You gonna want some $hit?
Id rather have drugs.
(shakes head and
Sorry. I find a
little humor really brightens
things up around
here, dont you?
A young junkie with a black eye
Hi Sam. Hi Fletch.
Hows the eye?
Its okay. The
cops did it.
They busted me last
They bust you every
I know. I got bad
luck or something.
Gummy exits. Fletch and Fat Sam
watch him go.
That kid spends any
more time in jail
Hell have to
start paying rent.
WIDER ANGLE THROUGH BINOCULARS
Fat Sam and Fletch conclude their
conversation. Fletch walks back among the drifters, the nervous, expectant junkies. He stops to talk to a young man propped up on his elbows on a towel. Creasy.
That's what he said.
He doesn't know? How come he doesn't know?
I don't know how he doesn't know. He doesn't know.
Wonder who his supplier is.
I have no idea.
I wasn't asking.
He never leaves the beach, Fat Sam. Never
Sits in that chair, he's outta junk. Then he
gets up, he's got junk. So where does it come
Through the sand?
I think that's highly unlikely, Creasy.
I ought to get some sleep.
Creasy, how old are you?
(a touch of sadness)
You're not taking real good care of yourself.
WIDER - BINOCULARS AGAIN
---Fletch takes his Casio and starts
off the beach. The binocular angle follows
---him. A pelican
crosses the water. The binoculars move off
---follow the flight of the pelican
as it swoops low over the ocean.
BEACH PARKING LOT - DAY
---Fletch emerges into view, walking
towards camera, when a Man steps into the
---immediate f.g., the binoculars at
his side large in frame. Fletch Stops.
Excuse me. I have something I'd like to discuss with you.
---A trim man of approximately
Fletch's age, wearing a perfectly tailored grey
---suit, is standing across from
Fletch. This is Alan Stanwyk.
We can't talk about it here.
Because we can't.
Are you on a
scavenger hunt of some kind?
I want you to come to my house. Then we'll
I think you've got the wrong gal, fella.
I'll give you a thousand dollars cash just to
come to my house and listen to the proposition.
If you reject the proposition, you keep the
thousand, and your mouth shut.
Will this proposition entail my dressing up as Tina Turner?
(unsmiling, all business)
It is nothing of a sexual nature I assure you.
(Takes a thousand in cash from his pocket)
One thousand, just to listen.I don't see
how you could turn that down Mr...
Nugent. Ted Nugent.
(shakes his hand)
BERMAN STREET - BEVERLY HILLS - DAY
---A Jaguar XJ sedan goes up Berman
Street, a dead end. Fletch's
hand reaches out
---of the passenger window and empties sand
out of a sneaker.
10 INT. JAGURE - DAY
I always liked this part of town.
11 EXT. BERMAN STREET
---The Jaguar continues on up Berman Street,
stopping before massive iron gates
---marked PRIVATE PROPERTY -- NO TRESPASSING
-- STANWYK. The gates open
12 EXT. STANWYK HOUSE
---The jaguar goes up the center of the drive
toward a white-pillared mansion. The
---lawns and planting are spectacular.
13 INT. JAGUAR - DAY
---Fletch stares out the window.
What a coincidence.
---The car stops before the house.
14 EXT. HOUSE - DAY
---as they get out of the car.
I came this close...
(holds fingers slightly apart)
...to buying this place
---Stanwyk ignores Fletch and starts toward
the house. Fletch follows.
Then I found out Hopalong Cassidy had
shot himself in the game room. That
just blew it for me.
Hopalong Cassidy. Killed himself here.
Bow and arrow. Strange.
---Stanwyk stops before the front door, stares
What are you, doped up or something?
---Fletch abruptly changes gears, stares at
I don't work for you yet, assface.
Don't talk to me like that.
(after a beat)
15 INT. HOUSE - DAY
---Stanwyk and Fletch enter. A Mexican Maid
I commend you on your Spanish.
---Stanwyk doesn't reply, keeps on walking. He
opens a set of double doors to the
---left of the winding staircase, then stands
to one side, indicating that Fletch
16 INT. LIBRARY - DAY
---Massive fireplace. Everything built in
teak. Fletch enters, and Stanwyk closes
---the door behind them.
Ahh, the library. Masculine but sensitive.
---Stanwyk wordlessly goes behind the desk
Really, I love what you've done with the place.
Must have cost you...hundreds.
---Stanwyk turns, looks out a pair of French
doors behind his desk, then turns
Here's my proposition, Mr. Fletcher.
I'm all ears.
I want you to murder me.
---Even garrulous Fletch is stopped in his
tracks by this remark, uttered in the ---most business-like manner.
Here. On Thursday. I'd like you to shoot me dead.
---He just stares, barely breathing.
The reason I ask you to do me this service
is that I am facing a long, painful, and most
certain death. You see, I have bone cancer.
I don't know if you know anything about bone cancer.
---He shakes his head.
It doesn't get any worse than that. Just
eats you up, bit by bit.
---Finally regains the gift of speech.
You don't look sick, Mr. Stanwyk.
I don't feel sick. Not yet. They tell me it'll
start getting bad in about a month. After that...
well, I'd rather not be around for it.
Why don't you try suicide?
My company has taken out a very large insurance
policy on me. And I have a wife. Suicide would
nullify my insurance. Murder does not.
So why pick me?
You're a drifter, a -- pardon the expression --
beach bum. No one would notice if you disappeared.
I've watched you for a couple weeks.
Maybe I'm just on vacation.
Not with the scum you hang out with. I've watched.
I've thought. Its a perfect scheme. I even have a perfect
escape plan for you.
Did it ever occur to you that I might not want to kill you?
I've got fifty thousand dollars says you will.
---He chews his lip.
Fifty thousand and a guarantee you won't get caught.
---Stanwyk searches Fletch's face carefully
for a reaction. After several beats....
I'm still here.
(turns and goes to the French doors)
I want it done Thursday evening, around eight PM.
My wife will be off to the club for a committee
meeting. It's the staff's night off.
(pushes doors open)
These will be open.
Wouldn't they normally be locked?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The staff
I have the same problem with my help.
(goes on, unresponsive)
I will be here in the room, waiting for you.
The safe will be open and there will be fifty
thousand dollars in it. You will be wearing
rubber gloves. Do you own rubber gloves?
I rent them. Monthly lease, with an option to buy.
In this drawer....
---He opens the top drawer of his desk
32 INSIDE THE DRAWER
---an enormous .357 Magnum.
---Stanwyk holds up the gun.
Very good. My .357. Use it and no one can
trace it to you. The room will be in some disarray.
So it looks like a burglary attempt. You
catch me. I get the gun, and shoot you.
Precisely. Are you a good shot?
(looking at the huge gun)
What's the difference? The noise'll kill you first.
Get me on the first shot, if you can.
I don't think you'll have to worry about that.
---A beat. Stanwyk stares at Fletch.
Do you have a passport?
Sure, all drifters do.
Fine. After you kill me, take the Jaguar.
The keys will be in the glove compartment.
Take it where?
---Stanwyk starts to write down the
information on a note pad.
LAX. Go to the Pan Am desk. There will
be a ticket waiting for you.
Where am I going?
(hands Fletch the note)
Rio. Flight 306. Departs at eleven PM.
They serve dinner on the flight?
It'll be a first class-ticket. I'm sure you'll
enjoy the ride. I would recommend staying down there
at least a year, Mr. Fletcher.
You've certainly thought this out, haven't you?
I am not someone who leaves a great deal
to chance, Mr. Fletcher.
You sure those doors will be open?
Yes. All you provide are the gloves, the passport,
and the aim. I'll take care of everything else.
The gun, the money, the tickets, and the dying.
You sure got the hard part.
What do you say, Mr. Fletcher? You'll be doing
me and my family a great service.
---thinking it over.
Will you kill me?
39 INT. NEWSPAPER
BUILDING - DAY
Fletch pushes through
the double glass doors, still dresses in a beach mufti -- the
jeans and Magic Johnson shirt, Puma sneakers.
40 INT. L.A. NEWS
OFFICE - DAY
Fletch is greeted
ad-lib by several people as he walks through the cavernous
newspaper City Room.
Whoa, check out the beach boy!
Looking very good, Fletch.
Thank you so much
(to someone else)
Larry, the young
"morgue" researcher, hurries over and walks with
Fletch. She is fun and flirty, and her feelings for Fletch fall
just short of idolatry.
Can I steal you for a minute?
Only if you promise not to return me.
(pointing to Fletch's T-shirt)
'Magic' today, huh?
Kareem's in the wash. I need a favor.
Don't say shoot, okay.
They pass the office
of the city editor Frank Walker, fiftyish. Hold on Walker's
office. Upon noticing Fletch, he jumps from his seat, edges his
way past the two reporters in his office and runs outside.
40-A FLETCH AND LARRY
They continue their
Did you hear something?
Me neither. See what we've got on a guy
named Alan Stanwyk, okay? I need it right away.
(running up to them)
Fletch, I take it by your presence here that
the story is done. Tell me I'm right.
Fletch hold up a
W-Y-K no 'c.' I'll be down in a minute.
No problem, boss.
Larry peels off and
Fletch now talks to Walker without breaking stride for his
Frank, you look a little peaked. Wanna vomit?
No, I want an answer, Is the story done?
'Uh, almost' is not an answer. 'Yes Frank, it's all
done': that's an answer.
(as he enters his cubicle)
And a damn fine one, I might add.
41 INT. FLETCH'S
CUBICLE - DAY
A pile of mail is on
his desk. On the walls are a team portrait of the Lakers, plus a
couple of blow-ups of his column. Fletch writes under the name of
Jane Doe. An unused word processor is on his desk, but the
keyboard has been moved aside to make room for an old, much-used
He bounces some waste
paper off the monitor into a strategically placed waste can. (A
lot of crumpled papers lie on the floor all around the can.)
Oh, I hate it when he calls me that.
Irwin, professional journalism time, now. Go back to the
goddamn beach and finish the goddamn story!
I will, Frank, I will. Something came up, okay?
No it's not okay. You have to have this in by tomorrow.
Did you see the ad we ran Sunday?
I never read the paper.
...never reads the paper...
Walker goes through a
pile of unread newspapers on Fletch's desk, finds the Sunday
What's the spread on the game tonight?
I don't know.
(holds up paper)
42 INSERT - AD
A full-page ad.
A "JANE DOE" SPECIAL REPORT:
DRUGS ON OUR BEACHES -
SHAME OF THE CITY
'Shame of Our City' is so good.
Now, Irwin, try to follow me. You can't run the ad
and then not run the story.
Why not? Oh $hit...really?
Walker just stares at
Just kidding, Frank. You'll have the story and
you'll be damn proud of it.
You broke it? You know the source?
ready to kill.
What's 'practically'? Is it Fat Sam?
You said you had pictures of him....
I have pictures of him. Dealing....
So let's go! We run the pictures.
He's not the story! There's a source behind him.
Well, there we're in a gray area.
I'd say charcoal.
(straining for control)
I'm going to bite out your eyeballs, you know that?
Frank, you animal, I love it. I'll have the story
by Thursday night, I swear to God.
(to himself as he exits)
INSERT - NEWSPAPER
ALAN STANWYK NEW
A photograph of
Stanwyk; a head shot. Hands turn the clipping paper. Next
clipping: a social page spread on the wedding of Alan Stanwyk.
("GAIL BOYD WED TO ALAN STANWYK.")
47 FLETCH AND LARRY
Fletch and Larry
examine the file.
'Mr. Stanwyk, of Provo, Utah, is a
former commercial pilot.'
Married Boyd Aviation. He's no dummy,
that's serious coin.
48 INSERT - CLIPPING
- TIGHTER ANGLE
'Stanwyk's parents, Marvin and Velma Stanwyk, also
of Provo, were unable to attend the wedding.'
49 FLETCH AND LARRY
Not our kind of people, you understand.
(points to his back)
Spot right here.
You doing a story on this guy?
He pours over some
more clippings, then stops at one.
50 INSERT CLIPPING
"CANCER SOCIETY BENEFIT". A photograph of Alan and Gail
Stanwyk, with a gray haired man and his wife.
'...Stanwyk, blahblahblah, with internist
Doctor Joseph Dolen.
51 FLETCH AND LARRY
I wonder if that's his doctor.
Only one way to find out.
52 INT. DOCTOR'S
EXAMINING ROOM - DAY
Fletch, stripped to
the waist. is being examined by Dr. Joseph Dolen, a rather
So where do you know Alan from?
We play tennis at the club.
Really. The California Racquet Club?
That's my club too. I haven't seen you there.
Well, I haven't played in a while because of
these kidney pains.
Right, and how long have you had these
pains, Mr. Barber?
But not right next to each other. I thought
that's what you meant.
Arnold Babar. Isn't there a children's book about
an elephant named Babar?
I don't know. I don't have any.
No books. No elephants either. No
really good elephant books.
(eyes Fletch curiously)
Still, it'd an odd name. I don't remember seeing
it on the club registry.
Fletch's eyes drift
to Dolen's side table with its unnerving assortment of medical
Oh, I don't belong formally. I've gone with my aunt.
Joan or Margaret Smith.
Well, which one?
Funny old bird.
Is she ever. I've got some stories....
I'll bet. Shame about Ed.
It was. Really a shame. To go so suddenly.
Oh, he was dying for years.
Sure, but the end was so sudden.
He was in intensive care for eight weeks.
Yes, but the very end, when he actually died,
that was extremely sudden.
You know, Alan and I were recently speaking of
dying. Told me Boyd Aviation took out a lot of
insurance on him. You must have to be in some kind
of perfect health to get that kind of policy.
Bend over and drop your pants, Mr. Babar.
Oh really, there's no need to --
we don't want to do that....
Honest, I feel fine. You better be married.
Fletch looks alarmed
as Dolan pushes him into position. Dolan puts on a plastic glove.
53 CLOSE - FLETCH
Did I say 'kidneys'? I meant my ear. Maybe I
should see an ear dahhh --
(as Dolan starts to probe from behind)
Ever serve time?
Anyway, I'm surprised Alan got the policy so easily.
I know there's a history of cancer in the family.
Whoa, look out there. You really need the whole fist?
(reacts to a poke)
Gee, Alan's been looking kind of sick lately.
Is he all right?
I can't discuss another patient. You know that.
(rising into frame and washing up)
Well, I can't find anything wrong with you.
I'm sure it's not for a lack of looking. Maybe
I should get a real complete physical. You give
Alan an annual, don't you?
Yeah, we check you into Mt. Hebron for a few days,
run lots of tests, charge a bundle. You can pull
your pants up now.
I hope they still fit. Do I get to keep the glove?
Tell the nurse when you've got a few free days. She'll
make all the arrangements.
Thanks, Doc. Maybe I'll come back with a date.
Or an elephant.
54 INT. HOSPITAL
RECEPTION AREA - DAY
Fletch is dressed in
shorts, a clean shirt, and is carrying a doctor's bag. He is
wearing a stethoscope around his neck , has a beeper on, a lot of
pencils and other doctor gadgets. He's standing at the directory
Combing it with his
eyes, he sees the directory:
PATHOLOGY - THIRD
B. ROSENSTIEN, M.D.
H. ROSENBLATT, M.D.
P. ROSENWOHL, M.D.
Fletch goes to a door
56 INT. STAIRWELL -
empties his doctor's bag and puts on a long green gown, a cap and
a face mask. He plugs the stethoscope in his ears, removes
miscellaneous file folders filled with papers, closes the bag,
and heads for Pathology.
57 INT PATHOLOGY
DEPARTMENT - DAY
It's at the end of a
long hall, and adjacent to the Autopsy Room and the Pathology
Records Room. Over his shoulder we can see into the autopsy room
where a gowned doctor is happily performing an autopsy.
fumbles through his wallet, deftly dropping and picking up the
papers he has brought with him.
It's me doctor Rosenpenis. I just have to take
another peek at Alan Stanwyk's file. What have
they done with this place?
(confused at all his activity)
Nothing. They're still there.
Still dropping and
picking up, shuffling and collating, Fletch starts toward the
Files Room, when the doctor performing the autopsy yells at him.
Fletch stiffens and
Give me a hand for a second would you doctor?
Come on, come on.
Reluctantly, he goes
to the autopsy table, and the cadaver thereon, which is covered
by a sheet, except for the mid-section.
58 TWO SHOT -
FLETCH AND PATHOLOGIST
(Note: from here on
we never see the body.)
Have you ever see a spleen this large?
(trying not to look)
Grab this, will you?
Uh, I'm not really prepared. My hands aren't sterilized.
You're not going to make this guy any sicker.
We hear a squishing
noise as he grabs something large and wet and plops it into
Fletch's hand. Fletch stands there holding something icky out of
frame, looking uncomfortably up at the ceiling, the floor,
anywhere but at the cadaver or at the stuff in his hand.
Meanwhile, we hear sounds of further incisions, and the deflating
of an organ.
You never really get used to the smell, do you?
Fletch's eyes roll
up, and he falls to the floor in a dead faint.
59 INT. RECORDS
ROOM - DAY - MINUTES LATER
Fletch is on a couch,
beginning to regain consciousness. The Records Nurse hovers over
Are you all right, Doctor?
Where am I?
You're in the Records Room.
Can I get you something?
Have you got a make-shift plywood pillory? Heh Heh, just kidding.
Doctor Holmes went to get you some smelling salts.
He was quite surprised that you fainted.
Well, I didn't want to say anything, but I thought
the dead man was my brother.
Oh my God!
It's all right. It wasn't him but
that spleen was a splitting image.
He sits up and sees
that just outside the glass is none other that Dr. Joseph Dolen,
talking with the pathologist.
Oh, God, I think I'm about to hyperventilate.
Have you got a paper bag, or something.
Yes, right away.
She goes to get the
paper bag, and Fletch turns his back on Dr. Dolen to go through
the file cabinet. By the time the Nurse returns, he's got
Here you are, Doctor.
He puts the bag over
his mouth and breathes deeply as he continues the conversation
with her. (From time to time, we see Dr. Dolen in the b.g.
looking over, but does not come into the records room or question
Is there anything particular you're looking for?
My associates did a biopsy on this man recently.
(thumbs through file)
He's supposed to have a melanoma, or a carcinoma,
some kind of noma. Hmmm. I can't seem to find any record
(taking the file)
Well, if he had one, it would certainly be in here.
Wait. Here it is. Yep. Surgical removal of two moles.
Tissue was benign.
(shows him the file)
This was last month. So Alan Stanwyk does not have cancer.
I guess not.
He'll be so relieved.
60 EXT. SANTA MONICA
STREET - LATE AFTERNOON
Fletch pulls up in
front of his building, a 1970's cinderblock apartment complex.
Fletch parks his car halfway up the curb, gets out and spots a
Mercedes coupe. He starts running toward the rear of his
61 EXT. REAR OF THE
BUILDING - DAY
climbing up the fire escape of his building.
62 FIRE ESCAPE - DAY
Fletch reaches the
second floor. He's huffing and puffing.
Gillett is waiting for him on the second floor fire escape.
Refusal to pay alimony is a jailable offense, Fletch.
What about breaking and entering?
(points to Gillett's coat)
Are you wearing anything under that?
I did not break nor enter. I simply chose an advisable
location to await my client's delinquent husband.
I hate to conduct business on the lanai. Why don't we step
Fletch takes out a
credit card and jimmies open the lock on the window.
65 INT. FLETCH'S
APARTMENT - DAY
Fletch climbs in
through the window, followed by Gillett. His small apartment is
just barely furnished. A low basketball hoop is attached to the
wall. Fletch takes a ball, offers it to Gillett.
One on one?
Gillett shakes his
head. Fletch does a reverse shot and misses, sending a plastic
globe lamb crashing to the floor.
And the foul.
Fletch takes a
second, successful shot.
You owe Wendy nine hundred and eighteen dollars.
(still playing b-ball)
She doesn't need the money, for crissakes.
She's living with Monty. I know it.
I don't know what you're referring to.
Wendy maintains her own residence.
It stinks. I thought woman were independent now.
Until she remarries, Fletch.
Hey, shut up, okay? I just hate this.
I empathize with your plight, Fletch. However,
you threw her out.
She was sleeping with everybody. The cable TV
guy. You can't get lower than that....
You should have proved that in a court of law.
My lawyer was a bum.
Fletch puts down the
basketball, picks up a stack of mail and rifles through it.
I think he was sleeping with Wendy, too.
You may be right.
Are you serious?
That's history, Fletch. You owe us nine hundred
and eighteen dollars.
Wait a minute! Our problems might be solved.
Fletch holds up an
envelope with Ed McMahon's picture on it.
I think I just won a million dollars!
He opens it and looks
inside, feigning disappointment.
Damn...lost again. Sorry.
This is no joke. If some kind of payment isn't made,
we're going to have to contact the paper and garnish your wages.
Fletch sighs, takes
out the envelope given to him by Stanwyk. He hands a thousand
dollars to Gillett.
Cash. I'm impressed.
Found it in a cab. That's a grand.
Apply the difference to next month.
Gillett smiles and
66 KITCHEN - DAY
Fletch opens the
fridge. Inside are tow six-packs of Coors, a jar of Miracle Whip,
a half a cucumber, and a brown head of lettuce. Fletch takes a
beer and slams the door shut with such force that we hear
67 MASTER - APARTMENT
In a foul mood,
Fletch leaves the kitchen, and wanders into the living room. It
has the personality of an Abbey Rents.
He picks up the TV
remote control. The television clicks on. Chick Hearn is with
Jabbar, during a Laker pregame warmup.
Fletch settles back.
Hearn is gushing over
contemplatively. He is bone tired.
How about Fletch?
Well, Fletch has been great. He's super-strong,
really clogs the middle for us, boxes out,
gets the bounds....
He smiles and nods,
deep in fantasy.
Now here's a key play in Tuesday night's game....
Hearn and Jabbar look
down at a television monitor.
He's half asleep.
Here I am dishing off to Fletch....
Fletch raises an
There's Fletch, his
hair in an Afro, dressed in Laker gold. He's on the receiving end
of a Jabbar pass, making an easy layup.
Gosh, he makes it look so easy!
77 PRICATICE COURT -
Gail Stanwyk is on
the other side of the net, loading tennis balls into the
automatic serve machine. She is in her late twenties and quite
attractive., but in a much more natural way than other women we
see here. She is good natured and effervescent. Fletch steps up
to the entrance of the court.
She looks up. He
enters the court with great delight.
I haven't seen you since the wedding,
Jeez, you look great.
I do? Oh, isn't that sweet, thank you. I have to confess
something to you. I must have been pretty plowed at your wedding.
I really don't have the faintest idea who you are.
Huh? No, not my wedding. Yours.
Oh, mine! Thank God.
(furrows her brow)
Actually, that doesn't make it any better, does it?
Are you a friend of Alan's?
We used to fly together. I'm...John.
(snaps her fingers in happy recognition)
John! You used to fly together!
Her smile segues
right into an "I'm sorry, bit I give up" expression.
(bursts out in laughter)
Oh, I'm sorry. It's a beautiful name, really.
(still loading tennis balls)
That's a strange combination.
So were my parents.
Mind if I keep practicing? I need to work
on my ground stroke a little.
As Mrs. Stanwyk
crosses to the other side of the net, a waiter approaches Fletch.
Excuse me sir. Are you a guest of the club?
Yes, I'm with the Underhills.
They just left, sir.
They'll be back. He had to go in for a urinalysis.
Would you care for a drink while you're waiting?
I can put it on the Underhill bill.
Great. I'll have a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich.
Very good sir.
The Waiter leaves,
and Fletch watches as Mrs. Stanwyk tries to return the serving
machine's serves. She swings so goofily that she can't even get
the racket on the ball. She has clearly never taken a lesson in
her life, and it is doubtful if she will ever make contact with a
tennis ball in this century.
Damn, I thought I had that one.
You should play with much larger tennis balls. So how's Alan?
What are you asking me for? He's so busy lately I hardly see him.
And he's been so preoccupied.
Preoccupied with what?
Oh, personal stuff. Look! I hit one!
Indeed, she has.
Strait up. She and Fletch crane their necks upward to follow it's
Good. Lobs are a very important part of the game.
She completely misses
the next one.
Why do you keep doing this?
I love the outfits.
The next one she
hits with the handle.
Try stepping into the ball with your left foot.
He demonstrates a
swing. She puts on a determined face, makes an awkward step and
swings at the next ball, missing it completely, and letting the
There, much better.
Mrs. Stanwyk laughs
happily and dodges the machine-served balls to walk over to
Fletch. When she's almost up to him, she turns back to the
serving machine and points a finger at it, as if addressing a pet
I must be having an off day. I'm really a fabulous player.
I have this effect on lots of women.
I bet you do.
Say, the reason I asked about Alan is that I bumped into
him this morning and you know what I can't figure out?
(catching him in his lie)
Alan's in Utah.
(after a beat)
I can't figure out why I went to Utah for the morning.
Okay. I'm delighted to have someone to talk to,
and you're very cute, so I'm very flattered, but
I'm also very married so you may as well forget --
You are trying to hit on me, aren't you?
(thinks, then nods)
I'm such a heel. How'd you guess?
If I had a nickel for every one of Alan's flyboy buddies
who tried to pick me up, I'd be a rich woman.
You are a rich woman.
See what I mean?
She trots back to her
ball machine. Fletch calls after her.
What's he doing in Utah?
None of your business, now go away.
You're throwing my game off.
Fletch chuckles -- he
likes this woman -- and exits.
78 BOYD AVIATION -
DAY - ESTABLISHING
...then who walks in but George Bush.
He took one look around the room...
79 INT. JOHN BOYD'S
OFFICE - DAY
A Secretary is
serving coffee to Fletch (now dressed in a three piece suit) and
John Boyd, Gail Stanwyk's father. At seventy, he is probably
Chairman Emeritus now; no longer running the day-to-day
operations of the company, and thus somewhat grateful from the
...and said 'Sorry Mr. President, I
thought it was Saturday.'
I thought I was going to die.
Sugar, Mr. Poon?
Fletch notices a
framed wedding photograph on the credenza behind Boyd. It is of
Alan and Gail Stanwyk, Alan beaming a $hit-eating grin and
holding a happy thumbs-up.
Fletch waits as the
Secretary leaves the room, then begins speaking confidentially.
He opens his attache
case, allowing Boyd to see an airline ticket, a Washington
Post, and a file stenciled "Confidential/S.E.C. Use
First of all, let me just reiterate that this is not a
investigation. I'm not going through formal channels here,
if Alan Stanwyk is not involved in any improprieties, then nobody
has to know I was even ---
Alan Stanwyk is not involved in improprieties. Where
the hell does the S.E.C. come off ---
Fletch is nodding
sympathetically and holds up a quieting hand. Boyd stops in
mid-tirade, and watches as Fletch reaches into his briefcase and
seemingly turns off a tape recorder.
Look. You know that and I know that, but somebody's bucking
for a promotion. I think it's that bozo, Hanrahan, I can't be
Anyway, unless I go back there with something, you and your
son-in-law are next week's scapegoats.
I feel like dirt. They even want to know what he's doing in Utah?
Jesus Christ! First of all, Alan Stanwyk does not own one
share of stock.The three million dollars for the ranch
in Provo comes from my daughter who converted some of her
personal holdings, not company holdings. Now if anybody
in DC wants to make something of that, bring 'em on.
Until then, get the hell out of my face.
(stands and closes briefcase)
God I admire you.
By the way: what kind of name is Poon?
80 ALAN STANWYK'S
OFFICE - DAY
Fletch breezes in,
right up to the Secretary, whose nameplate reads MADELINE TURNER.
Oh, Margie, sorry, Frieda lost the number
of Alan's realtor in Provo. Can you give it to
me real quick?
She writes it out
And, I'm sorry, who are you again?
(grabbing the paper)
(calling after him)
(out the door)
81 EXT. BEACH - DAY
Pan across the
Larry, it's me....
Fletch is in a phone
booth on the sidewalk next to the beach, keeping an eye on
See if you've got anything in Stanwyk's background
from when he lived in Utah. Also check on a realtor
in Provo named Swarthout. And tell Frank I'm crazy
about him and I'd like to discuss his maybe moving
in with me.
We hear police
sirens. Fletch looks O.S.
He hangs up.
82 FLETCH'S POINT OF
VIEW - FOUR SQUAD CARS
have pulled up to the
beach, lights flashing. The druggies are dispersing. Creasy is
running towards Fletch.
Fletch! Take off!
He steps out onto the
beach, and starts towards the cops.
What are you doing?
scattering. The cops run past everyone, and approach Gummey.
86 FLETCH AND CREASY
They're after Gummy again. It's weird.
Fletch keeps moving
toward the police.
(out of breath)
Fletch, slow down.
87 GUMMY AND THE COPS
Gummy trips and falls
in the sand. A Cop kicks him in the head.
Let's go, Gummy.
88 FLETCH AND CREASY
still running toward
Hey, what are you doing?
Fletch, this is dumb.
You don't have to run with me, Crease.
The cops drag Gummy
toward a squad car.
90 ANGLE - "FAT
Fat Sam peers out,
watching the action.
Fletch approaches the
Why are you beating up on that kid?
No responce from the
He's defenseless, and you kick the crap out of him.
What do you want from ---
One of the cops turns
and, in one smooth motion, kicks Fletch in the balls. Fletch
sinks to the ground.
92 SQUAD CAR
Gummy is packed into
the squad car.
He rises slowly from
the sand. He is in great pain. He starts after the cops again.
What goddamn right do you have to take him?
The cop car starts
off. Fletch picks up a rock, hurls it at the cop car. It smashes
the rear window.
The cop cars go off.
Fletch bends over. He's hurting. Creasy comes over to him.
Hey you're really nuts.
They didn't do anything.
What? What are you talking about?
I busted their window, they didn't do anything.
Not luck. They don't want me.
98 POLICE CARS
In a caravan, they
head down the highway.
He turns and looks
towards "Fat Sam's."
Fat Sam watches the
police cars go down the road, then turns and looks towards the
ocean. He pulls his Angels cap down over his head.
101 CLOSE - FLETCH
He is focusing on
something, but has not figured it out yet.
Gummy and two cops....
104 INT. FRANK
WALKER'S OFFICE - DAY
Cool your tool, Frank, I need a little
more time. I think I'm really on to something here.
Your onto something. That's good. What?
I really don't want to spoil your surprise, Frank.
Why don't you read it tomorrow?
Larry, knocks on the
What do you want?
Larry points to
Speak, don't point!
I need Fletch for a second.
She needs me, Frank.
Fletch turns to
Larry. Push to two shot.
Nothing on Gail Stanwyk, nothing on Jim Swarthout.
But I did ---
That's okay, Lar. I gotta put this on the back
burner for a while.
Larry starts to exit.
Just give me a hint, all right?
All right. Maybe there are some crooked
cops involved in all this.
(stopping in the doorway)
Did you say cops?
That's one thing I did find. It's from
Last month, so it was in the unsorted pile.
She hands Fletch a
105 INSERT - CLIPPING
It is an article and
photograph of the newly-appointed citizens on the Police Advisory
Board. One of them is Alan Stanwyk.
Fletch pockets the
I think I gotta go to Utah, Frank.
Yeah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada.
I'm sure you've seen pictures.
What about finding the source?
I have some ideas.
Who? Donnie and Marie?
Very possibly. Come on, say yes. I'll buy
you a shirt.
Go to transportation, get a ticket.
(to Fletch as he exits)
Nothing to it.
107 EXT. PROVO, UTAH
- AIRPORT -DAY
A Western Airlines
107-A EXT. HIGHWAY -
Fairmont speeds down the highway.
107-B INT. FAIRMONT -
wearing a polyester
brown suit -- fiddles with the radio. Snatches of programs are
heard: "easy listening" music; country-and-western; a
revival show; a call in show -- "Hi, you're on the
air." "Hello, Bob, I'd like to discuss the death
penalty. As you know, Jesus was in favor of it --" Fletch
whistles and switches the radio off. He turns the car off the
108 EXT. TRAVELODGE -
LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING SHOT
as Fletch drives up.
109 INT. TRAVELODGE
Fletch dials the
phone in the small, sparsely furnished room.
Hi, Jim Swarthout, please. Oh, hello, my name
is Igor Stravinski and I'm looking for some ranch property.
110 INT. SWARTHOUT
Jim Swarthout is a
rugged-looking man in his forties. He sits in the den/office of
his house talking on the phone, surrounded by pine-paneling,
property tract maps and wall-mounted animal heads.
Good, Mr. Starinski, what'd you have in mind?
Uh huh. Oh are you a friend of Alan's?
111 INT. FLETCH'S
No, I just heard some people at the club talking about the
you sold him, and the way it was described, three million sounded
a pretty good price.
Fletch pauses again
to listen, flummoxed over what he has just heard.
Are you sure?
Of course. I guess I was misinformed. Listen,
I'd love to come out and see you anyway.
When are you available?
112 INT. SWARTHOUT
Well, I'm about to close up shop and go out for the
evening. How about first thing in the AM?
Great. See you tomorrow.
113 INT. FLETCH'S
Fletch hangs up, very
115 EXT. SWARTHOUT
REALTY - NIGHT
Fletch stops his car
in front of the ranch-style house. A lighted sign in the yard
indicate that this is indeed Swarthout Realty, but the house is
dark; no one appears to be home. Somewhere in the yard a dog
barks viciously, frantically.
A killer Doberman is
tied up behind a chain link fence. At the sight of the intruding
Fletch, the dog's lip is practically over his nose, his fangs are
poised and gleaming.
(getting out of his car)
What's your name fella? Fluff? Pom-pom?
Fletch reaches the
front door and looks around. He rings the bell. The dog yowls
even louder. Fletch waits. And waits. He rings again. Satisfied
that no one is home, he tries the front door. Of course, it is
locked. He takes out a credit card, starts to jimmy the lock, and
actually seems to be making progress when his credit card snaps
He pockets the broken
credit card, steps back and looks over the house for another
possible point of entry.
120 FLETCH'S POINT OF
VIEW - AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW
warped, so that the upper half does not exactly true with the
looks around to see
how to climb up to it.
There's only one way.
Climb up the side of the chain link fence which separates him
from the murderous dog. Fletch approaches it warily. The dog is
practically foaming. Fletch reaches out a hand to get a hold of
the fence, and the dog just about rips the fence apart.
(in his best Barbara Woodhouse)
This has no effect,
so Fletch backs up a few yards, take a deep breath for courage
and makes a headlong running start for the fence, using his
momentum to get to the top before the dog eats him. He grabs hold
and scrambles wildly for the top. He makes it.
Roll over. Play dead. Good boy.
Fletch now grabs hold
of the eave on the side of the house, and very carefully pulls
himself onto it. It's only about ten feet from there to the
vulnerable window, but the angle of the eave is rather steep, and
the going is treacherous. As he makes his way, he keeps a wary
eye on the dog who keeps leaping up, seemingly getting closer and
closer to taking a giant bite out of Fletch's backside.
You any relation to Doctor Dolan?
Now he's at the
window. He tries to open it, but despite it's warped appearance
from the ground, it is locked. Fletch looks at the lock and can't
believe it. He sighs. He shakes his head. He smashes the window
with his elbow.
I hate this.
He climbs into the
darkened house, leaving the enraged dog to run furiously around
the fenced in yard that surrounds the house.
123 INT SWARTHOUT'S
HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - NIGHT
Fletch tiptoes though
the upstairs bedroom and down the stairs. From outside, he can
still hear the dog snarling and barking.
124 INT. SWARTHOUT'S
HOUSE - DOWNSTAIRS - NIGHT
As Fletch passes
through the living room he sees the dog snarling at him through
the living room window.
125 INT. SWARTHOUT'S
DEN - NIGHT
Fletch enters and
The dog is now
outside the den window.
Make sure nobody comes in, okay?
He goes to the file
cabinet and opens it.
He flips through the
"S" section. "Stanwyk". He pulls it. He
thumbs through various documents until he finds what he's looking
for. A copy of a deed. He pulls it out.
125-A INSERT - DEED -
CLOSE ON THE PURCHASE PRICE
So much for your three million dollar ranch.
takes out a tiny
document camera -- the kind spies use in the movies -- and loads
it fumblingly. Then he props the deed up on top of the file
cabinet, and moves a lamp into position to light it. Just as he
snaps his first shot, we hear a terrible crashing sound.
Doberman has made a crashing leap right through the den window,
sending glass flying everywhere, and he streaks across the room
to rip Fletch into bite-sized shreds.
Fletch bolts and the
dog flies into the file cabinet, knocking it over, scattering all
the files over the floor. Fletch dashes for the nearest door, and
runs through it just as the dog slams into it.
129 INT. KITCHEN
Fletch is now holed
up in the kitchen, panting to catch his breath, feeling the full
course of adrenaline pumping through his terrified veins. He sees
that he can get to his car by climbing through the window. But in
order to get to the window he has to let go of the door, and that
would allow the dog to get in.
frantically, holding the door shut against the furious slamming
of the dog, he reaches for and finally grabs a mop which he props
under the door knob, thus keeping the door shut. Letting go of
the door gingerly, he satisfies himself that the dog cannot get
in, and he makes his break for the window.
He vaults up onto the
counter top and is just about to break the window when he sees
that the dog's continued efforts are about to result in opening
Fletch knows he has
only seconds. Standing on top of the counter, he opens the door
of the restaurant-sized refrigerator next to him, and just as the
snarling dog bursts into the room Fletch starts hurling food at
it. A pot roast, sliced turkey with stuffing, a couple of filet
mignons. The dog is momentarily distracted. Fletch pours a large
bucket of cranberry sauce on the dog.
Suck on this Cujo!
Then he dumps an
equally large bucket of mashed potatoes. With the dog temporarily
vision-impaired, Fletch bolts.
130 EXT. SWARTHOUT
HOUSE - NIGHT
Fletch runs as fast
as humanly possible towards his car, fishing for his keys as he
goes. The dog -- having shaken off the people-food from his
hateful face -- is seconds behind and closing.
Fletch makes it to
his car, hops inside, and slams the door just as the dog leaps
furiously at the windshield.
131 INT. FLETCH'S CAR
Fletch makes it to
his car, huffing and puffing. The dog jumps across the closed
window, snarling and bug-eyed with hatred.
Fletch smiles, waves
at the dog, and starts taking its picture with his little camera.
Gimme a smile! There you go...oh, that's a nice one...
(starting the car)
Everything's fine, now...go take a little nap....
Fletch is ready to
pull out, but the dog is still leaping madly at the window.
Fletch points back to the house.
Look! Defenseless babies!
The dog turns to look
and Fletch guns it.
That dog is such an A**hole.
132 EXT. FLETCH'S
APARTMENT HOUSE - DAY
Fletch parks his car
halfway up on the curb, steps out carrying a small overnight bag.
He is unshaven and looks beat.
133 INT. APARTMENT
HOUSE - CORRIDOR
Fletch comes down the
hall signing "Billie Jean" is an excruciating falsetto.
He opens the door to
his apartment and is immediately thrown to the ground.
134 INT. APARTMENT
spread-eagled on the floor. Two huge Cops are over him, one
holding a gun to his head, the other going through his clothes.
(feeling the inseam of Fletch's trousers)
Oh, what's this?
If I took that out, you guys couldn't fit in here.
Funny boy. Look at this....
He produces a heroin
Looks like heroin, Gene.
You just planted that.
Cop #1 kicks Fletch
in the ribs.
What'd you say?
Read me my rights.
Okay. You have the right to remain silent. You
have the right to be kicked in the face by me.
You have the rights to have your balls stomped.
You have the ---
Hold it! I'll waive my rights.
135 EXT. PRECINT
Fletch is lead into
the precinct house.
136 INT. PRECINT
The Sergeant at the
desk checks Fletch out.
Who we booking here, gentlemen?
No booking. Chief wants a talk with the boy.
(smiles at Fletch)
You'll like the Chief. Nice man.
I hear he's mellowed a lot since he came out of the closet.
I find he gets real mellow after he hits somebody a lot.
137 DOOR TO CHIEF'S
OFFICE - CHIEF'S OFFICE
The cops open the
door, pull Fletch inside. Chief Cummings, looking like a modern
executive, looks up from his paperwork.
Here he is Chief.
They roughly throw
Fletch into a chair. The Chief -- seemingly oblivious to this
brutality -- smiles sincerely.
(To Fletch friendly)
Be with you in just a second.
The two Cops leave.
As Chief Cummings continues with his paperwork Fletch looks
around the office, which is decorated tastefully -- no guns on
the wall, no American flags. On one wall there is a Matisse, and
on another, various photos of the Chief with local celebrities.
You decorate this yourself or did Mrs. Chief of
Police help you?
You should have seen what she wanted to do
with the place. Mauve.
(shakes his head and pushes his papers aside)
So what's your name?
Fletch F. Fletch
(skeptical but patient)
I see. And what do you do for a living,
I'm President of the International Fletch Corporation.
Cummings just stares
Why are you doing this Mr. Fletch?
Frankly sir, you look a little like my father. Probaly
explains the curious feeling of love I have for you.
For a gentleman who was just found holding a bag
full of heroin....
It was planted on me, sir.
We're looking at five years, maybe ten. Is that
what you want...Jane Doe?
He suddenly kicks
Fletch's chair out from under him. Fletch falls to the floor.
Your editor called me yesterday to respond to allegations
you're about to print about police involvement in narcotics
Fletch starts to get
up, but Cummings plants his foot on Fletch's chest, forces him
I'm about to break that beach wide open, and I don't
need some pennyante Woodward and Bernstein getting in
the way of my men.
'Your men' might just be involved in all this.
You idiot. Off the record, deep background:
I've got that beach crawling with undercover cops.
Cummings picks Fletch
up, and holds him by the lapels.
If you keep nosing around, you make the bad guys just
a little bit more cautious. That makes my job harder.
And if you print your story this week, you might get
some of my men killed. I can't let that happen, Mr. Fletch.
He throws Fletch
against the wall of celebrity photos, some of which fall to the
You go back to that goddamn beach, I swear to God I'll
make you regret it.
(picks up a picture)
Hey, you and Tommy Lasorda. That's great.
Fletch takes the
picture and hurls it across the room. It smashes into the
opposite wall and shatters.
I don't like Tommy Lasorda.
140 JAIL CORRIDOR
Fletch is tossed into
an empty cell by the two Cops who brought him in. Cummings
watches. The two Cops leave, and we see that all the cells in
this corridor are empty.
You can't keep me here.
Maybe I'm not going to keep you here.
(takes out a gun)
Maybe I'm gonna blow your brains out.
I'm no lawyer, but I do believe that's a violation of my rights.
The Chief takes a
knife out of his pocket, holding it with a handkerchief.
After I shoot you, I stick the knife in my arm, then
place it in your dead hand. Self-defense. We don't do this
very much anymore...but we have. Got rid of a lot of
minorities that way.
My God, you're serious.
Can I ask anybody now?
Cummings looks down
the corridor. Deserted.
Can I call my Mom? I'd like to tell here how much
I've always loved her.
(cocks the gun)
What'll it be Fletch?
Fletch looks in
Cummings' eyes. They are steely and cold. He is quite serious.
I hate the beach. Wouldn't go there if you paid me.
Besides, I'm way overdue on my story about off-track
betting in the Himalayas. You don't think it's the mafia,
(opening the cell)
Its been very nice meeting you. I enjoy your column.
Fletch walks out of
the cell. Cummings walks with him through the empty corridor to
Speaking of which, you're not going to print
anything before my investigation is through, are you?
Not a prayer.
That a boy.
The emerge into the
main hallway of the police station, which is filled with officers
and civilians. Cummings makes a show of cordially shaking
Fletch's hand as if they were old friends.
Thanks for coming down to see us.
Not at all, Chief. But next time...no tongue, okay?
148 INT. NEWSPAPER
Fletch is railing at
How could you call him?
It's called journalism, Fletch. It's called getting
both sides of the story. Something you apparently don't
know anything about.
It's also called getting me this close to being murdered.
Get out of here.
He threw me in a cell, took a gun and a knife and
threatened to kill me right there if I didn't
promise to give up the story.
You know, I've had it up to here with your
bullsh*t. I need a story from you by tomorrow.
You'll have it.
But not unsubstantiated charges about dope-dealing
cops, and not horse sh*t paranoid fantasies about
homicidal police chiefs.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Frank.
(calling after him)
I want something I can print!
(giving him the finger)
Print this Frank.
153 EXT. RAQUET CLUB
Fletch again appears
in his tennis whites and walks familiarly toward the patio. Rich
people are having lunch. Fletch stops the waiter.
Hi, where's Mrs. Stanwyk?
In her cabana, sir.
Oh, that's right. She told me to meet her there.
That's cabana six?
Would you be caring for something to eat or drink, sir?
I would, actually.
Charged to the Underhills, sir?
Right. Tell you what -- have you caviar?
Yes, sir. Beluga. But it is eighty dollars the portion.
I'd better only get two. How about the lobster thermidor?
I recommend it.
Fine. And a couple of bottles of Dom Perignon.
To cabana one.
Very good, sir.
The waiter leaves.
Fletch looks around, takes a deep breath.
This is just the nicest place.
156 EXT. CABANA ONE
A little Spanish
bungalow-type affair. Old California money-style elegance. Fletch
rings the bell.
MRS. STANWYK (V.O.)
Who is it?
It's John. John...
She opens the door,
clad only in a towel. A towel is wrapped around her head. She
seems surprised, but not displeased, to see Fletch. She also
seems a little at a loss for words.
I was hoping you'd say that.
They have just shaken
hands, and Fletch notices his hand is now sopping wet.
Uh...I'm just out of the shower.
Can I borrow your towel for a minute?
She laughs a nervous
little laugh. There is a bit of sexual tension here.
I'm sorry, I'm just surprised to see you. I
didn't think...What do you want?
I ordered lunch.
You ordered it here?
Well, I knew this is where my mouth would be.
With a nervous glance
in both directions, she lets him in and closes the door behind
157 INT. CABANA
They stand there for
a few seconds looking at each other.
I really should change.
No, I think you should stay the same wonderful
person you are today.
I mean put clothes on.
Here, take mine.
He starts to take off
his shirt. She is amused, and responds playfully, but firmly.
Have you gotten cuter since I last saw you?
She stands there,
looking around, trying to act as if her heartbeat weren't
SFX: Knock at door.
She goes sprinting
into the bathroom.
Come on in.
The door opens. A
second Waiter, Mexican, solemnly wheels in a cart bearing the
goodies ordered by Fletch. The twin bottle of Dom Perignon juts
from a silver ice bucket.
You want I set up?
No thanks, I'll do it. Give yourself twenty dollars. Underhill.
Sierra del fuego.
The waiter bows,
leaves, shuts the door. Mrs. Stanwyk scampers back in, gazes at
the cart as Fletch takes a bottle of Dom Perignon and pops the
All this goes on Underhill's bill?
(offering her a glass)
I saved his life during the war.
You were in the war?
No. He was. I got him out.
She laughs and sighs,
knowing she's getting into something she probaly shouldn't.
I can't believe I'm doing this. Well, lets eat.
She tucks a napkin in
her towel like a bib and sits at the table.
158 EXT. RAQUET CLUB
The Underhills have
just been handed the bill run up by Fletch.
Four hundred bucks for lunch???
Your guest, sir.
We have no guest here today.
(reading the bill)
Two bottles of Dom Perignon, hundred bucks a pop.
Jesus H. Christ! Where is he?
I believe he's with Mrs. Stanwyk.
Gail Stanwyk. Tom, if he's with Gail Stanwyk ---
I don't care who he's with! This is criminal.
She's where, cabana one?
Mr Underhill stalks
159 INT. CABANA - DAY
Fletch and Mrs.
Stanwyk are having lunch. Fletch sings while he opens the
champagne. She is looking at his back which is turned to her.
'I've been so many places
in my life and times.
I've sung a lot of songs,
I've made some bad rhymes....'
'I've acted out my life on stages,
with ten thousand people watching....'
Your bone structure, shoulders, neck....
'But we're alone now,
and I'm singing this song for you.'
Just like Alan. It's freaky.
Can I ask you a question?
Depends on the question.
Are you still in love with Alan?
I mean, 'no you can't ask me that.'
I mean, ask me something else.
Why'd you let me in?
Because I'm bored. Oh, that sounds terrible, doesn't it.
I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I also let
you in because I'm hungry.
Thanks, I feel much better. Listen, if you're so bored,
why didn't you go to Utah with Alan?
Utah is not exactly a cure for boredom.
Oh, listen to me. I've never even been there and look
what I say about it. Anyway, I know there'd be nothing
for me to do. I don't even know anybody there.
What about his parents?
He never sees them and I never met them.
SFX: Insistent knock
Fletch and Mrs.
Mrs. Stanwyk, I hate to disturb you.
Tom Underhill here...I'm a new member.
Thanks for the great time.
What is this?
Apparently, someone of your acquaintance has
charged the most extraordinary lunch to my bill.
Fletch starts pushing
the lunch table towards the bathroom.
You don't know the Underhills?
I'd appreciate an opportunity to discuss
this with you.
I just stepped out of the shower!
Can you give me a minute?
Mrs. Stanwyk follows
Fletch into the bathroom.
160 INT BATHROOM
Fletch jams the cart
into the bathroom.
Take one end.
Mrs. Stanwyk lifts
one side of the cart. They lift it and put it up into the
bathtub. There's a window in the bathroom. Fletch opens it.
I'll be leaving now, Mrs. Stanwyk.
I think you should call me Gail, now.
Gail. I hope this won't embarrass you in any way. I think
Underhill's a yutz, you won't have any trouble with him.
Why did you do it?
A four hundred dollar lunch tab!
I'll cover it. You have any other surprises?
(after a beat)
Yeah. My name's not John Ultramalensky and
I wasn't at your wedding.
She stares at him.
Irwin Fletcher. I write a newspaper column
under the name Jane Doe.
A long beat.
So, your husband hired me to kill him.
That's the truth.
What are you talking about?
That's what I want to know.
161 EXT. CABANA
Mr. Underhill knocks
162 INT. BATHROOM
In a minute!
He told me he was dying of cancer.
Not True. That ranch you thought you
were paying for in Utah? Not true.
How do you know about that?
He's a bad guy, Mrs. Stanwyk. Gail.
I think he's involved in something
very big and very bad.
What does all this mean?
Have you ever heard the name Jim Swarthout?
Swarthout. Yes. He's the man who sold us the ranch in ---
Wrong. He sold you $3,000 worth of scrub brush.
But I've seen the deed.
You saw a forgery.
He takes out his
That's the real deed.
162-A INSERT - PHOTO
It's is so fuzzy,
shaky, and poorly framed that there's no way we can read the
price on it.
Now, if this were at all legible, you'd believe me.
Fletch shows her more
of the photos.
Here's this dog that tried to eat me.
Here's my motel. Here's the car I rented....
(angry and concerned)
Are you saying my husband is defrauding me?
I don't know. All I know is that he told me a lot
of things and so far not one of them has been true.
Mrs. Stanwyk stares
at Fletch. She gets a little teary.
I'm really sorry I have to tell you all this.
Just wait, all right?!?
I'm going to call my father. He'll know what ---
Fletch stops her.
No. You can't. Look, I know you don't know me from
Adam, but you've got to trust me.
Trust you? I may seem a little goofy at times, but
I'm not a complete Bozo, you know.
Just give me twenty-four hours. Please. Someone
almost killed me today. People are not being nice
lately, and I don't want you getting hurt. I think you're
terrific. Are you a Laker fan?
Gail is now teary,
confused, and scared.
No...I've got to go to Mr. Underhill....
I'll take you to a game.
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about how much I'd like to take you
to a Laker game.
Wait a second. What am I supposed to do
for twenty-four hours?
(climbing out window)
I was afraid you'd say that.
If you need me, call the paper. Hand
me that extra bottle okay?
163 EXT. CABANA
Gail opens the door
where Mr. Underhill has been waiting.
(grabs the bill from his hand)
She closes the door
in his face.
165 EXT. BOYD
AVIATION - PARKING LOT
Alan Stanwyk crosses
the parking lot and gets into his Jaguar. He starts the engine,
backs out of his reserved space, and pulls out of the lot.
166 ANOTHER ANGLE -
Fletch is reading a
copy of Sports Illustrated. He puts it down, starts his
car, and pulls out of the lot.
167 SANTA MONICA
tools down Santa Monica Boulevard. Fletch's car follows, several
discreet car lengths behind.
168 INT. JAGUAR
Stanwyk checks his
watch, and makes a turn.
Stanwyk has pulled
into a service station. He gets out of his car and opens the
He pulls into a
fast-food joint on the west side of the street. He opens the Sports
Illustrated and peers over it.
He takes a gas can
from the trunk, goes to the pump, fills it, and pays the
attendant in cash.
He puts the gas can
back in the trunk, gets into the car, and starts off.
175 SANTA MONICA
We are getting into
the increasingly rundown section of Santa Monica. The Jaguar
turns off. Hold: Several beats later, Fletch turns off.
A freeway overpass.
Stanwyk stops his car.
177 FLETCH'S CAR
He pulls off behind a
liquor store, in view of the overpass. Fletch waits.
A second car pulls up
behind Stanwyk's. A cop steps out and says something to Stanwyk.
Stanwyk gets out of his car and walks over to the unmarked police
car, and gets in.
takes out his
178-B FLETCH'S POINT
Because he's looking
through the reflection of sunlight on the back window of the
unmarked police car, Fletch's point of view is fuzzy, but we can
just make out the form of someone else in animated conversation
A moment of possible
recognition. He focuses intently.
178-D FLETCH'S POINT
OF VIEW - THE OTHER MAN IN THE CAR
Police Chief Cummings.
He starts up his car
and backs out.
180 EXT. FLETCH'S
Fletch pulls up to
his house and stops the car.
181 INT. CAR
Fletch looks around.
182 EXT. HOUSE
Fletch doesn't leave
183 INT. CAR
Fletch sits put,
drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. He just has a
feeling. He starts the car up, and pulls out.
184 EXT. HOUSE
Two cop cars,
concealed in driveways, scream out, heading after Fletch's car.
185 INT. FLETCH'S CAR
Fletch sees them in
the rearview and stomps on the gas.
Should've known. Goddamn it.
186 EXT. STREETS
Fletch floors it.
Great. First I'll get a speeding ticket,
then they'll shoot me. Terrific.
Fletch cuts through
the parking lot of a drug store/dry cleaning complex. The cop
cars follow suit. Shopping wagons are tossed about. He turns a
corner and realizes he has a few seconds before they're on top of
him again. He screeches up next to a teenager in a sports car.
All right, fella, smog check. Move over.
Before the guy can
say "who?", Fletch is in the guy's driver seat and
tears out, hell bent for leather.
187 ENTRANCE TO
Fletch peels off onto
the Santa Monica Freeway.
Fletch hits about
ninety. So do the cops. Now a motorcycle cop joins the chase.
189-A INT. SPORTS CAR
Sorry, youngster, but we have to see what kind of
fluorocarbons this thing puts out at ninety-five.
Don't worry about the speed limit. That's
what the police escort's for.
190 EXT. FREEWAY
Indeed, behind them
is a gaggle of speeding cop cars and motorcycles.
Fletch cuts across
two lanes of traffic and gets off the freeway. He loses the
motorcycle cop who goes past the exit. The squad cars are thrown
behind a bit, but still chase.
191 INT. SQUAD CAR
Sh*t! He'll kill us if we lose him.
191-A INT. SPORTS CAR
The teenager is
Okay, okay, just stop, will you. I admit
it. I stole it. I was just taking it for
a little joy ride, that's all....
191-B EXT. CAR
Fletch squeals around
a corner, runs a light, and booms into the parking lot of a large
Holiday Inn. He's a few seconds ahead of the cops.
Okay, kid. Just stand here with your hands
on the car and wait for the cops. I gotta pee.
Here, take my hat.
Fletch pops his hat
on the kid's head, and runs off.
192 EXT. HOLIDAY INN
Fletch runs into the
kitchen entrance of the Holiday Inn.
193 INT. HOLIDAY INN
Fletch picks up a
case of vegetables and walks through as if he belonged there.
Moments later, two
194 THE COPS
can't see him because
of the crate.
195 INT. HOLIDAY INN
- BANQUET ROOM
A testimonial dinner
is in progress. A sign on the wall reads:
TRB SYSTEMS SALUTES
40 YEARS OF SERVICE
Thirty tables of
conservatively dressed, older men and women are enjoying lunch.
Fletch enters from the kitchen followed by several waiters and
busboys. He looks over his shoulder.
196 FLETCH'S POINT OF
VIEW - KITCHEN
Two cops are in hot
moves into the middle
of the tables as a florid fat Speaker at the dais drones on.
...and he can truly be called the Father
of Internal Bushings.
A round of applause
which Fletch joins heartily, as he quickly sits in the audience
at an empty seat at a table in the center.
(to his table)
Hello. I'm with the hotel catering. Are you
enjoying your meal? Carrots overcooked?
Fletch looks to the
kitchen entrance and sees two cops scanning the crowd. One
signals to the opposite door.
Four more cops
converge, looking for Fletch. Distant sirens indicate even more.
And now a man who needs no further introduction....
The police spot
Fletch and start moving forward. Fletch stands up. A spotlight
swings onto him.
Thank you, Tony, thank you. As a lifelong
(looks at banner)
...Fred Dorfman, I'm thrilled to be here.
Fred Dorfman turns to
the people on either side of him and whispers, obviously
wondering who the hell this guy is.
The cops are hesitant
to move in. They wait for Fletch to finish and get out of the
Many of you are probably not aware of Freddie's
lifelong commitment to honoring a profession that
frequently goes unsung -- the police. Many times Fred
used to forsake a night with his wife and children to
go out an sell tickets for the Policemen's Benevolent
look at each other,
sensing a trick, and start to move in.
going for broke.
Our men in blue are with us today, and I think we
should all extend a shake of the hand, a slap on
the back and a 'howdy' to them.
moving faster, but
impeded by the crowd which rises and follows Fletch's suggestion.
out of the crowd,
still encouraging the crowd.
When was the last time you hugged a cop?
Do it for my good friend Tommy Lasorda.
Doesn't it feel good? Don't you wish you'd
done it long ago?
one cop raises his
gun towards Fletch, but the crowd is too close, too busy. Fletch
shakes his hand and slugs him so hard on the back that he falls
over into the crowd.
Let them know how we feel, with a song. For
every cop on every beat in every city of this
'For he's a jolly good fellow....'
'For he's a jolly good fellow....'
The crowd sings along
the rest of the verse. Fletch looks back to the kitchen entrance
at the police who are swallowed in a sea of congratulations and
singing. Fletch takes his time strolling out of the kitchen.
206 INT. LAX - DAY
Fletch is at the Pan
Am counter, talking with a reservation Clerk.
Yes sir, you are confirmed on Flight 306 to Rio
tomorrow evening at 11 PM. First Class.
Would you like me to change anything?
So he's going. Uh...are there any other tickets
charged to the same account?
We'd have no way of knowing that, sir.
Hmm. It's just that there are some other people
from my office going on this trip and...is there
anyone in the seat next to me?
The clerk checks the
Yes, there is. Cavanaugh.
Fletch shakes his
head. He's never heard of him.
Never heard of him. Thanks anyway.
You mean her.
Sally Ann Cavanaugh. Oh wait, she couldn't work
in your office, she's not from around here.
Fletch walks off and
we follow him.
She's from Utah.
207 EXT. PROVO
AIRPORT - DAY
as Fletch emerges
from the Rent-A-Car office and drives off.
208 EXT. PROVO STREET
area, one that seems to be sliding fast -- the plans are
scraggly, the houses need paint.
Fletch's rental pulls
up over the curb onto the sidewalk. Fletch gets out, checks a
piece of paper, and goes up the steps to a dark-shingled
209 TOP OF STEPS
Fletch looks at the
name over the doorbell.
written in smeared
rings the doorbell.
It sounds like a fire alarm in the quiet. Nobody answers. Fletch
tries the door. It opens. Fletch hums the old "Dragnet"
212 INT. HOUSE
still humming the
213 FLETCH's POINT OF
VIEW - LIVING ROOM
The shelves are bare.
Furniture is in place.
Fletch enters the
kitchen, and opens the refrigerator. Inside is a can of coffee,
and some vegetables. Fletch leaves the kitchen and heads for the
bedroom. We follow him as he enters the bedroom.
215 INT. BEDROOM
Fletch opens the
closet. It's bare. He pulls open the drawers. Nothing. Fletch
gets down and looks under the bed.
Who the hell are you?
In his surprise,
Fletch bangs his head as he starts up.
At the door stands a
gruff-looking Man in a red and black hunter's jacket, overalls,
and a hat with earflaps. He holds a rifle.
Fletch gets up.
The door was unlocked.
I work for the landlord. He told
me to watch out for the place.
I commend him on his choice.
I commend him on his choice
The Man stares at
him, holding the gun. He's not the brightest guy in the world,
and Fletch has already caught on to that.
I was supposed to meet Mrs. Cavanaugh.
Who are you?
Don Corleone. I'm a cousin of Mrs. Cavanaugh's.
The Man just stares
at Fletch. Fletch starts to move ever so slightly, testing his
freedom of movement.
Where is she?
She moved out?
The Man nods and
cocks the weapon. Fletch stops his tentative movements and just
looks around the room
I spoke to her last week. She didn't say anything.
She moved out.
So you're saying she moved out.
This morning? Christ. We had so much to talk about.
Moe Green is out of the Tropicana, and my sons, Michael
and Fredo, are taking over.
The Man continues to
gaze unblinkingly at Fletch, holding the rifle.
What did you want under the bed?
Mattress police. There are no tags on the mattress.
I'm going to have to take you downtown. Please give
me your weapon.
I'm calling the cops. This is for the cops.
I'm her cousin.
Tell the cops.
Go ahead. Call them. Better tie
your shoelaces first.
The man looks down at
his shoelaces. Fletch kicks the gun out of his hand and runs
through the house.
218 EXT. HOUSE
Fletch runs out of
the house and jumps into his car.
219 INT. CAR
Fletch pulls out. The
rear window is suddenly blown away.
I'm getting real tired of all this hostility.
220 EXT. PROVO PIG
Fletch pulls up, gets
out of the car and addresses the couple sitting on the porch of
(nods toward car)
They oughta recall these things.
One bump,the whole window goes.
Sitting on the porch
is a couple in their late sixties, whom we are about to learn are
Alan Stanwyk's parents -- Marvin and Velma.
(approaching the steps)
Are you Mr. Marvin Stanwyk?
I'm Harry S. Truman from Casewell Insurance Underwriters.
Harry S. Truman?
My parents were great fans of the former President.
Isn't that nice. Good man. Showed the Japs a thing or two.
Sure did. Dropped the big one on them.
Dropped two big ones. Real fighter.
You're in the insurance line, Harry?
Well, I'm fully covered.
I don't doubt it, Mr. Stanwyk. Actually, my company is the
sub-insurer of the subsidiary carriers of a policy held by
Alan Stanwyk, who I believe is your son.
Yes. Where you from, Harry?
California. San Berdoo. Utah's part of my route.
Can I ask you a few questions?
Come on in.
222 INT. MARVIN AND
VELMA'S LIVING ROOM
Fletch and the
Stanwyks face each other on couches that flank the fireplace.
Fletch has a clipboard on which he will take notes.
First, a couple of routine things:
are you and you wife currently alive?
Marvin just stares at
Regulations, Mr. Stanwyk. And you and your wife, named....
Velma. You and Velma are the parents of Alan Stanwyk,
Beverly Hills, California, executive vice president
of Boyd Aviation?
Now, the last time you saw your son was when?
Oh, about ten days ago.
Fletch is taken
Ten days ago?
That's right. Alan comes by every three weeks or so.
This is all news to
Fletch, but he covers his surprise.
Isn't that nice. Since when?
Since he moved to L.A.
Fletch is very
interested in all this.
Forgive me now for seeming personal, but we understand
that there is a lady friend he sees here in Provo.
What the hell does this have to do with insurance?
Trust me, sir. It's a comprehensive policy.
Well, you can forget about that lady friend business,
Alan's the most loyal husband a girl could have. He
dotes on that bride of his.
Cute young thing, too.
His bride. Cute as a button.
You've met her?
Well, of course we have. He brings her with him.
Fletch is getting
very puzzled and very concerned about all this.
Has Alan ever mentioned the name Sally Ann Cavanaugh?
Marvin and Velma
exchange the oddest of glances between them.
Boy, what the hell's the matter with you?
Then he has.
Course he has. That's his wife.
You could knock
Fletch over with a straw. Again, he quickly recovers.
Of course, his wife's name is Sally Ann Cavanaugh?
(starting to sweat a little)
Do you happen to have a picture of Alan and his wife?
Oh, we've got lots of pictures. Let me show you some.
through a family album on a side table as Fletch tried to sort
all this out in his mind. She brings a photo over to him. He
looks at it.
223 INSERT - PHOTO
It's a wedding photo
of Alan and a woman we have not seen. She is brunette and quite
unlike Gail. Alan wears a similar sh*t-eating grin, and makes a
similar thumbs-up gesture to the wedding photo with Gail that
Fletch saw in Boyd's office.
And they're still married...Alan and Sally Ann.
Of course they are.
She's cute as a button.
How long have they been married?
Lets see, it was before he moved to L.A...four years April.
Mrs. Stanwyk, may I borrow this picture. I promise
to send it back to you. It's routine, really.
The actuarial people need to ---
Oh, that's all right, I've got lots more. Want to see the
No, thank you.
How about Marvin's sixty-fifth birthday party?
225 INT. PROVO MOTEL
Fletch is on the
Frank told you that?
226 INT. NEWSROOM -
Larry is on the
I overheard it. He thinks you're completely out of
control, he said he was gonna can you as soon as he
got the story. If I were you, I'd just chuck it, Fletch.
Screw him. Let him eat three full pages on Sunday.
227 MOTEL ROOM
You kidding? I got an unbelievable story here, Lar.
Un-believable. Jesus. It's the cops, I know it. The
Chief! And they're all over Frank.
I just thought...sure.
(takes out pad and starts writing)
Sally Ann Cavanaugh.
229 MOTEL ROOM
Check every hotel in L.A. Start with the ones
near the airport. Yeah. He's about to leave the
country with her. Thanks, Lar.
230 INT. MOTEL
BATHROOM - LATER
Fletch is in the
shower, lipsynching to the radio. Elvis is singing, "All
'welluh bless my soul whatsuh wrong with me?
I'ma itchin' like a man Inuh fuzzy tree....'
The phone rings.
Fletch gets out, throws on a towel and picks up a phone mounted
over the crapper.
Yeah...No kidding. The Marriott at LAX.
Sonofabitch...Checked in this morning. Great.
Thanks a million. And call Gail Stanwyk at
the Racquet Club. Tell her I have to meet her
tonight. Eight o'clock at the club. Urgent and
231 INT. PLANE -
Fletch is sitting in
a semi-deserted flight on his way back home. He is hunched over
an airline meal, eating with his right hand and turning in his
mini recorder with his left.
But as he pushed the
button down, the tape pops out. He fumbles it back in, and then
pushes another button.
(Fletch's voice playing back)
Day three on the beach. Fat Sam still
hasn't moved, and ---
(stopping the machine)
What's wrong with my life?
He starts it right
Question: Why does a man marry a millionaire's
daughter in Beverly Hills if he is already married
to a girl who lives in a crappy one bedroom apartment
in Utah? Answer: Three million dollars. Big Question:
What's with Stanwyk and Cummings? I don't know.
Bigger Question: Why does Stanwyk want me to kill him?
He takes a spoonful
of airline food, chewing meditatively.
Biggest Question: Why do I eat this sh*t?
(to passing stewardess)
Miss, I believe this has already been eaten.
232 EXT. MRS.
STANWYK'S CABANA - NIGHT
Fletch knocks on the
door, and a tensely white-faced Mrs. Stanwyk quickly lets him in
and shuts the door behind him.
I want you to know that dramatic phone
calls about secret meetings scare the
sh*t out of me.
He can sense she is
What's wrong, Gail?
I decided I was going to tell my
husband about you today.
But first I called the Hall of Records in Provo.
They checked on the deed. You're telling the truth.
A minute later Alan came in the room and asked me
why I was shaking.
anxiously to hear if she told Alan about him.
So I told him...I told him I was
just cold or something.
Fletch sighs with
I've never lied to him before.
(chokes back a sob)
It's the first time he's ever lied to
me. He was just as convincing as when
he says 'I love you.'
I think you better sit down.
Oh God, I hate things that start like that....
She sits in a chair.
he hands her the wedding photo.
I got this from Alan's parents. By
the way, they see him all the time.
First she looks at
Fletch with puzzlement. Then, she looks at the photo and can't
seem to decide what to think of it. But she knows it's bad.
What is this....
I checked. There was no divorce.
Are you telling me my husband is a bigamist???
I'm telling you he's not your husband at all.
She is stunned.
And they're leaving the country tomorrow night.
I don't have all the pieces yet, but
I'm close. I'll know tomorrow.
I'm calling the police. Right now.
You cant do that.
Don't tell me I can't ---
They're trying to kill me!
She is taken aback by
that, but there is a determination in her eyes.
Your twenty-four hours are up, Fletch.
She starts for the
phone, but he stops her.
You're going to have to trust me, Gail.
You have to. Now listen to me: he's expecting
you to go to your meeting tomorrow night. Do it.
Stay out of the house.
There is a long beat.
He puts his arms
around her and holds her tight against him. After a few seconds
she raises her head and turns the hug into a kiss. Then the kiss
sails across the
234 EXT. BEACH - DAY
The usual scene-- a
mix of teeny-boppers, junkies and surfers. Into the f.g. step a
couple of "surfers." They're wearing wet suits and
carrying surfboards, but they're obviously cops. They sit down.
Across the beach, a Sufi, dressed in a turban and flowing
garments, crosses the sand.
A Sufi junkie.
The cops laugh
derisively and turn their attention else-where.
235 CLOSER ON SUFI
It's Fletch. he's got
a beard pasted on, and nervously scans the beach.
236 FLETCH'S POINT OF
VIEW - GUMMY
is seated on a towel.
Fletch sits near, but
not next to, Gummy.
Gummy looks around.
I'm the Sufi.
Don't call me Fletch. Don't look at me.
Lie back down. We'll talk.
Cops are here. I can smell them.
They're after me. Lie down, Gum.
Gummy lies back down.
Why are they after you?
Because I'm a newspaper reporter and I'm nailing
Chief Cummings as the source for drugs on the
beach. You're in big trouble, Gummy.
Gummy sits up.
Sit back down.
Gummy lies down
Fat Sam is turning state's evidence.
He wrote me a nice deposition. He says he
just received the drugs. You did the selling.
I didn't sell nothing! I didn't sell nothing!
I just carried the drugs from the Chief to Sam.
Sure you did.
Fletch, I never sold nothing.
Fletch gets up and
adjusts his flowing robes.
Can't do a thing with this robe. One
more question, Gum...don't look at me.
Gummy lies back
Where does the Chief get the drugs?
I dunno. Somewhere in South America, I forget.
Rio de Janeiro, maybe?
Maybe, Fletch. Is that Brazil?
Wait here for me, Gummy.
questioningly at him.
It's the only way you'll be safe. Believe me.
Fletch crosses the
sand, heads for "Fat Sam's".
Sam is reading the National
Review. He looks up, sees Fletch approaching, and grins.
You don't know me.
I'm serious, Sam.
What, the heat here?
The two surfer boys?
Thought so. What for?
For me. I'm a reporter, Sam. I'm breaking the
drug story and I got the chief red-handed. Gummy
game me a deposition.
You gonna nail the chief?
I'm gonna nail the chief. And you can help or ---
Oh, I'll help, Fletch. I'm a slave to that
sonofabitch. He busted me, third offense, gave me
a choice: Work for him or do fifteen long. All I get
out of this is free snort.
You don't have a piece of the action?
Noooo. Free snort. That's it.
(hands him a card)
Wait five minutes, and go to my office.
You'll get federal protection after that.
Gonna need it. That boy is dangerous. Fletch?
You find the source?
Gum thought Brazil.
Rio. Know how he gets it in the country?
Some big shot airline executive flies it in on
company jets. Very impressive operation, Fletch.
241 INT. NEWSPAPER -
through the city room, still in his Sufi getup. He takes off the
beard and heads for Frank Walker's office. Fat Sam and Gummy,
looking like fish out of water, follow him.
242 WALKER'S OFFICE
Fletch marches in
with Sam and Gummy. Walker gawks at him.
Fletch takes off
I'm quitting, Frank. As of midnight tonight.
(stares at Fat Sam and Gummy)
Who the hell are they?
This is Fat Sam, and this is Gummy.
(hands two sheets of paper to Walker)
Their statements, naming Chief Cummings as the numero
uno drug pusher from here to Oxnard. I want them to have
federal protection under the paper's sponsorship.
Walker just stares at
Jesus H. Christ.
Fletch, this is the greatest.
He's some reporter, this guy.
I'm out, Frank. You lost faith in me.
Fletch, I got nervous. Please....
Fletch takes off his
robe and drops it to the floor. Beneath the robes he's wearing
cutoffs and a Bob McAdoo t-shirt.
I'm going to write the story. Just hold the last
couple of paragraphs till ten o'clock tonight.
Fletch leaves the
(to Fat Sam and Gummy)
Make yourselves comfortable, guys, but
don't leave the office.
Fletch heads for his
office. Walker follows.
244 FLETCH'S OFFICE
Fletch enters the
office and kicks his door closed. Walker opens it.
Fletch, you want an apology?
You were going to can me, right?
I was upset.
I'm sick of this place. I'm going to try
out for the Lakers. They need a power forward.
Fletch sits down and
turns on his word processor, ignoring Walker.
245 EXT. STANWYK
HOUSE - NIGHT
Fletch parks his Olds
halfway up on the sidewalk, and gets out. He climbs over the
gates of the Stanwyk home, and drops down inside. He lands on the
grass, trots around the shrubbery, heads toward the garage, and
checks his watch.
It's five minutes
247 INT. STANWYK'S
The jaguar is parked
just where it is supposed to be, and the key is in the ignition.
Fletch thinks for a moment and looks around. He sees a pile of
torn rags on the ground. He removes the key from the ignition and
opens the trunk.
248 INT. TRUNK.
Six large gasoline
cans and more rags.
Another piece of the
puzzle fits in place.
250 EXT. HOUSE
Fletch reaches the
rear of the house. He peers inside.
251 FLETCH'S POINT OF
VIEW - STANWYK
is in the library,
sitting patiently at his desk.
approaches the French
doors and enters.
255 INT. LIBRARY
Alan rises from his
desk to greet him. His hair is combed like Fletch's. We can see
that beneath his sports jacket he is wearing a Magic Johnson
t-shirt and jeans.
I like your outfit. You got the fifty
grand and the plane ticket?
Stanwyk nods toward a
small briefcase in the corner. Fletch eyes it quickly, and just
as quickly looks back at Stanwyk who just stands there by his
Why don't you check it out for yourself, Mr. Nugent?
Because I trust you, Alan. By the way,
the name's Fletcher. I.M. Fletcher. I write
a newspaper column under the name Jane Doe.
Fletch holds out an
Read this, please.
Wait a second ---
Cut the crap and read it.
Stanwyk unfolds the
Unless my people hear differently, this
letter goes out at midnight.
256 INSERT LETTER
We see that it is
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
'Dear Sir: Alan Stanwyk murdered me
tonight. The charred remains found
by the police in the Jaguar are
mine, not his. Mr. Stanwyk, using
my name and passport, boarded Pan Am
Flight 306 for Rio, where he intends
to establish residence with ---'
He stares at Fletch.
He is lifting
Stanwyk's two attaché cases.
Pretty hefty. Keep reading.
'...with his legal wife, the former
Sally Ann Cavanaugh.'
Stanwyk stops. He's
stunned, and not about to read anymore of this.
GAIL'S VOICE (O.S.)
Keep reading, Alan.
Stanwyk spins to the
259-A GAIL STANWYK
standing in the
Don't worry, I can take it.
You shouldn't be here.
I want to hear this.
Fletch takes the
letter from Alan.
He doesn't read my stuff well.
'Sally Ann and Alan were married four years ago
and never divorced, making Stanwyk a bigamist
even in Utah. Stanwyk is also traveling with
three million dollars in cash, the result of
Gail Stanwyk's conversion of Boyd Aviation stock.
Mrs. Stanwyk believed the money was to be used to
purchase property in Utah, but it wasn't; a fact
that can be confirmed by realtor James Swarthout
That was stupid, Alan.
I'd have been long gone.
'Sally Ann can confirm all this when
the police pick her up at the Airport Marriott.'
blanches. Fletch continues.
'By the way, Alan is a very big drug smuggler,
but you can read all about that in tomorrow's paper.
Sincerely yours, I.M. Fletcher. P.S. Have a nice day.'
Alan mulls over all
this for a few seconds, then smiles wistfully.
Bravo, Mr. Fletcher.
The thing that really tipped it off for me
was something your wife said to me while we
were in bed together.
Stanwyk shoots a
surprised look at Gail. She returns it with an innocent shrug.
And what was that?
How similar in build you and I are.
then I figured it. You bump me off,
throw me in the car, and burn me up.
My God, Alan, you really are and a**hole, aren't you?
Now it is Alan's turn
to shrug innocently.
Yes, I suppose I am. But I'm not a stupid sonofabitch.
Mr. Stanwyk reaches
into his desk and pulls out his gun, and levels it at Fletch.
I was already prepared to commit one murder.
What makes you think I won't commit two?
(her bravado deflated)
'Whoops?' What do you mean 'whoops?'
Don't say 'whoops.'
I mean, by the time your story gets published, I'll
be on the beach. I understand extradition from Rio is
very complicated. I'll bet for two murders it's even more so.
That is a lighter, isn't it?
Just then, the French
doors swing open, and Chief Cummings enters.
Thank God, the police.
What the hell are you doing here?
Put the gun down, Alan. I'll take care of them.
Stanwyk lowers the
I thought you had this all figured
out. Good going 'Irwin.'
Don't ever call me 'Irwin,' okay?
I've got it all under control,
Jerry. You can go now.
Under control? You idiot. You
didn't know who he was?
During the following
dialogues, Fletch starts nudging the fireplace's gas lighter jet
key with his foot.
Fat Sam left the beach today. So did Gummy.
It began to occur to me that some things are
beginning to happen that maybe I should be aware of.
I said I'll take care of it. Now, a man of your position
shouldn't be a part of what's about to go down. So go
home and I'll call you tomorrow.
What, 'long distance?' I couldn't help but hear
you say something about Rio, Alan. You're not
leaving with the eight hundred thousand dollars
I staked you for the next load, are you?
Whoa. Well, you two obviously have a lot to talk
over, so we'll go catch the last ten minutes of Dynasty.
Fletch and Gail
actually start to leave, but Cummings draws his gun and fires
over their heads. They dive for the floor, landing on the side of
the fireplace. Fletch palms a Zippo lighter from his pocket.
Jerry, you're simply going to have to trust me.
I've got a foolproof way to get rid of this guy
and now you're jeopardizing everything.
Your 'foolproof' way is going to land my a** on
the front page while you're basking in Rio.
...with your money.
Cummings turns his
head momentarily to consider what Fletch has said, and Stanwyk
takes advantage of the distraction to go for his gun. But he is
too slow. Cummings shoots once, striking Stanwyk in the chest,
killing him instantly.
Gail screams in
horror. Cummings turns to Fletch.
This one's going to be even more fun.
(striking the Zippo)
Go ahead. Make my evening.
Fletch hurls the
lighter into the fireplace, causing a great whoosh of flames.
Cummings throws his hands up in front of his face and Fletch
leaps at him, wrestling him to the ground. Cummings is the
stronger of the two, and just as he starts to gain dominance over
Fletch, Gail Stanwyk staggers to her feet, picks up her husband's
tennis racket in it's wooden brace, and slams it against
Cummings' head with all her might.
The Chief is knocked
Fletch lies there,
panting, trying to catch his breath. He looks up at Gail, still
holding the racket, and staring at Alan's body. Fletch hustles
her out of the room.
I'm calling the police. Then I'm
leaving. You wait here for them.
Where are you going?
Away. I think it might take you a while to get
your life back together. You don't need me around.
(indicates the library)
Don't go back in there.
He starts to leave.
She calls after him.
(still holding the racket)
I really creamed the sonofabitch, didn't I?
You sure did.
261 EXT. RIO DE
JANEIRO - DAY
Mountain in the b.g., Fletch lies in a lounge chair, sipping an
exotic drink, watching the cavorting lovelies and playing his
battered Casio. This is obviously at some very expensive beach
club or hotel, as witnessed by the uniformed servant who brings a
Your call is come through.
(to the phone)
Larry? It's Fletch.
(pause, looks around)
Well, it's not 'Fat Sam's', but...any port in a storm.
Oh, tell Frank I need a couple of months.
The fifty grand's lasting longer than I thought.
He pauses again to
listen to Larry, but sees something O.S. that takes over his
attention. he doesn't wait for Larry to finish what she's saying.
I gotta go, Lar.
He hangs up and
stands. We see that Gail has just walked up to him. The way they
look at each other indicates they have not seen each other for
awhile, and her arrival is a surprise to Fletch.
John Ultramalensky, right?
God, I haven't seen you since the wedding.
Gee, I must have been sh*t-faced at your wedding, I don't ---
Not mine, stupid. Yours.
What are you doing here?
They start walking
down the beach. We stay right with them.
I couldn't sit home and play the mournful
widow anymore, and the police didn't need me,
so I tried watching a Lakers game on TV,
but the announcer talked to fast and I
couldn't understand a lot of what was
happening, so I figured if I came
down here maybe you could explain the
rules to me, and besides, I missed you.
He puts his arm
around her, as we watch them leave us behind and walk off down
Basketball, of course, was invented in France,
and is played with a large ball, two tongue
depressors and a fish....
Fletch ad-libs just
like Chevy Chase would as they walk further away down the beach