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Game 6 Movie Script

Writer(s) : Don DeLillo

Genres : Comedy, Drama

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                                    GAME 6
          
          

                                  Written by
          
                                  Don DeLillo
          
          
          
                                                             Revised Draft

                                                              May 18, 2004
          
          
          
              INT. LOFT APARTMENT - MANHATTAN - MORNING
          1                                                                 1
          
              STEVEN SCHWIMMER, a drama critic, asleep on his bed. He
              wears a sleep mask.
          2
              The bed is a mattress on a makeshift platform.
          
              Papers strewn on the floor.
          
              An exercise bike.
          
              A desk with and old manual typewriter, reference works,
              periodicals, Styrofoam cups.
          
              A cast-off sofa with pants, shirts, sweater, underwear and
              socks tossed haphazardly on the cushions and arms.
          
              A counter that sets apart the kitchen area. A portable TV set
              on the counter. The remains of dinner for one.
          
              A row of stacked cardboard boxes with mail spilling out on
              the floor. Boxes are labeled in crayon: HATE MAIL.
          
              A coffee table with a candle nub in a saucer and six gleaming
              rounds of ammunition scattered next to a Llama Comanche .357
              Magnum with a checkered walnut stock -- overall length, nine
              and a quarter inches.
          
              A Port-O-San toilet, about seven feet high, orange, scarred
              and dented -- scavenged from a construction site.
          
              A snapshot on the bedside table. It's a blurry picture of
              Steven holding a cat. Steven wears a peaked cap, and a shadow
              falls across his face. Next to the picture is a clock radio,
              which comes on with a buzz as the clock shows nine AM.
          
              RADIO ANNOUNCER begins to speak --
          
                                   LONE EAGLE (V.O.)
                            (softly)
                        Traffic flowing smoothly on the
          
                        Deegan right now but if you're
                        lucky enough to have a ticket for
                        tonight's game, be sure to leave
                        early because it's going to be
                        bumper to bumper.
          
              Steven does not stir.
          
              EXT. LOFT BUILDING                                            2
                teven's loft is in an old squat building on 47th Street near
              Twelfth Avenue. The structure looks abandoned. Graffiti
              everywhere. Entranceway filled with debris.
          
          
          
                                                                       2.
          
          
          
                                    LONE EAGLE (V.O.)
                          Another day of traffic. Traffic
                          everywhere I look. Cars stop and
                          move and stop again. People sit at
                          the wheel thinking their thoughts.
          
          EXT. UNITED NATIONS PLAZA APTS - - MORNING
                                                                       3
              The shimmering glass facade of the United Nations Plaza
              Apartments at 48th Street and First Avenue. A man visible at
              a window on one of the high floors, a cup of coffee in his
              hand.
          
                                    LONE EAGLE (V.O.)
                          Day in, day out. Red light, green
                          light. Traffic on the major
                          arteries and traffic in the little
                          veins.
          
              From his POV we see the traffic below creeping along, nearly
              at a standstill.
          
                                    LONE EAGLE (V.O.)
                          Cars, vans, taxis, trucks, limos,
                          Mopeds, bikes and buses. Emergency
                          vehicles screaming and wailing.
                          Birth and death, walk and don't
                          walk.
          
              The man takes a sip of coffee.
          
                                    LONE EAGLE (V.O.)
                          Traffic yesterday, today and
                          tomorrow. Bumper to bumper, soul to
                          soul. This is Lone Eagle over and
                          out.
          
              EXT. 47TH STREET AND FIRST AVENUE - A LITTLE LATER
          4                                                                 4
              The same man -- the playwright Nicky Rogan with his hand in
              the air, hailing a cab. He is forty-five, vigorous, wearing
              well-made sporty clothes.
          
              In a corner of the screen --
          
                                    OCTOBER 25, 1986
          
              INT. TAXI
          5                                                                 5
              Stalled in traffic.
          
                                    NICKY
                          I used to drive a taxi.
          
                                                                          3.
          
          
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Where you're going, mister?
          
              Nicky glances at the driver's name plate
          
                                       KAGANOVICH
                                       ANATOLI
          
                                     NICKY
                           I used to drive a taxi.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           I used to be head of neurosurgery.
                           Big hospital in USSR. This
                           hospital, I'm not kidding.
          
                                       NICKY
                           Very big.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           I opened thousands of brains.
          
                                     NICKY
                           What did you find?
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Big mess every time.
          
                                     NICKY
                           I loved my taxi. Went twelve hours
                           nonstop. Stopped only to pee. I
                           peed under the Manhattan bridge.
                           Peed many times in parks and
                           playgrounds.
          
              EXT. STREET CORNER
          6                                                                    6
              47th Street and Third Avenue. A man is dancing with a life-
              size cloth doll. His tape player is on the sidewalk, playing
              and instrumental version of "Beautiful Dreamer" and there is
              a cigar box for donations. A few people look on from a
              distance. The man wearing an old cutaway, with running shoes,
              and the doll has long red tresses and wears a frilly gown.
          
              Nicky emerges from a taxi at the corner and walks rapidly
              past the dancing man.
          
              Nicky crosses the courtyard to Buchanan Apartments.
          
              INT. FOYER
          7                                                                    7
              JOANNA BOURNE reaching for the door. Joanna is fifty-ish,
              handsome, stylishly dressed.
          
                                                                         4.
          
          
          
               INT. BUCHANAN APARTMENT - SECONDS LATER
          8                                                                   8
               Nicky and Joanna embracing with wordless abandon.
          
               They are in the hallway clutching each other, stumbling. The
               walls on either side are hung with expensive art.
          
               They grapple past the living room. Fleeting look at the
               paintings by Longo and Fischl, a poster by the Guerilla
               Girls.
               T
                he edge of the bedroom. Nicky is crawling into the room and
               Joanna is hanging on to him, being dragged. They are fully
               dressed except for one of Joanna's shoes.
          
               The bedroom. A Lichtenstein, a Hockney, a silk-screen of
               Joanna by Andy Warhol. A Jeff Koons piece. Nicky and Joanna
               roll on the floor until they are halfway under the bed.
          
               INT. HALLWAY
          9                                                                   9
               Muffled sounds from the bedroom. We track to:
          
               The maid's room. The maid is smoking a cigarette and reading
               New York magazine. The cover is partly obscured by her hand
               but we can see a blurry black-and-white photo of a man
               hurrying along a street with a newspaper over his face,
               shielding himself from the camera. Over the photo, three
               words visible: THE PHANTOM WHO -- A second line of type is
               too small to be legible.
          
               INT. BEDROOM -- LATER
          10                                                              10
               Nicky and Joanna are undressing after the fact, very slowly
               and distractedly. Joanna stands by a chair near the window.
               Nicky is on the other side of the bed and he alternates
               between standing and sitting as he takes off his clothes.
          
                                   JOANNA
                         Last night. Alan Albright called me
                         a handsome woman. Second time he's
                         done that. Son of a bitch.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I hear Alan's sick.
          
                                   JOANNA
                         Alan's very sick. He has to go to
                         New Mexico and sit in a lukewarm
                         solution.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You know about Adele.
          
                     
          
          
                    JOANNA
          What about her?
          
                    NICKY
          She's dying.
          
                       JOANNA
          She died.
          
                    NICKY
          I talked to her two days ago.
          
                    JOANNA
          Apparently it didn't help. You know
          about Peter, of course.
          
                       NICKY
          Our Peter?
          
                    JOANNA
          Peter Redmond. They found out why
          he can't remember his lines.
          There's something living in his
          brain. A parasite he picked up in
          Borneo, doing the movie.
          
                    NICKY
          Can he get through it?
          
                    JOANNA
          They're watching him closely.
          There's a special rehearsal set for
          this afternoon. To bolster his
          confidence. And that's not all.
          
                    NICKY
          I've got bigger problems, Joanna.
          Personal problems.
          
                    JOANNA
          That's not all, Nicky. I've been
          backing your plays for fifteen
          years. And I've never been more
          depressed.
          
                    NICKY
          About what?
          
                    JOANNA
          S
           teven Schwimmer. The most powerful
          critic in America gets his first
          crack at Nicky Rogan.
          
                            
          
          
                                                                   6.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                        (hiding his concern)
                    Look. All I want is a haircut. I'm
                    not worried about this guy.
          
                              JOANNA
                    Ever since he started reviewing the
                    Broadway theater, nobody in this
                    business has been worried about
                    anything else.
          
                              NICKY
                    They can send their heartless
                    brilliant boy-critic. There's a
                    much bigger thing going on than
                    tonight's opening.
          
                              JOANNA
                    What?
          
                              NICKY
                    The Red Sox
          
                              JOANNA
                    You mean the World Series? I
                    thought the Red Sox were winning.
          
                              NICKY
                    Three games to two. But if you know
                    their history, you realize there's
                    a tragedy in the making. I've been
                    carrying this franchise on my back
                    since I was six years old.
          
                              JOANNA
                    It can't be all that personal.
          
          Joanna enters the walk-in closet to finish undressing and get
          a nightdress.
          
                              NICKY
                    If you have a team you've followed
                    all your life, and they raise your
                    hopes and crush them, and lift them
                    and crush them, do you want me to
                    tell you what it's like? It's like
                    feeling your childhood die over and
                    over.     J
                              JOANNA
                    I mean Nicky, really, no.
          
                                                                      7.
          
          
          
          Nicky follows her into the closet, still in his shirt and
          boxer shorts.
          
                              JOANNA
                    I'm proud of this play. It's so
                    different from anything you've
                    done.
          
                              NICKY
                    This is how we've managed to last.
          
                              JOANNA
                    We're able to surprise each other.
          
                              NICKY
                    In and out of bed.
          
                              JOANNA
                    Because we're completely
                    mismatched.
          
                              NICKY
                    We don't even like each other, do
                    we?
          
          Nicky walks out of the closet, takes off his shirt, gets into
          bed.
          
                              JOANNA
                    I used to tell myself. Talent is
                    more erotic when it's wasted. Will
                    I see you tonight?
          
                              NICKY
                    The Red Sox blow a chance to win
                    their first World Series since
                    1918. You expect me to miss that
                    for an opening night?
          
          Joanna emerges from the closet in her nightdress and gets
          into bed.
          
                              JOANNA
                    It makes me so mad. Steven
                    Schwimmer ready to strike. The
                    exterminating angel.
          
                              NICKY
                    It's all worked out. They'll lose
                    tonight. Then they'll lose
                    tomorrow. I see it with stunning
                    clarity.
          
                                                                         8.
          
          
          
                                     JOANNA
                           It's your best play, Nicky.
          
                                     NICKY
                           They'll lose because they're my
                           team.
          
                                     JOANNA
                           He will absolutely hate it.
          
          11                                                              11
               INT. STEVEN SCHWIMMER'S LOFT
          
               Steven is just waking up. The radio plays soft music.
          
               He reaches over and hits the off button, then activates the
               cassette player. He struggles out of bed and Sufi music
               begins to fill the room.
          
               He stands at the foot of the bed, a man in his mid-twenties,
               hollow-chested, slightly potbellied, wearing rumpled pajama
               bottoms and a Mostly Mozart T-shirt.
          
               He does not remove the sleep mask.
          
               The music has a sensuous, driving beat. Voices begin to
               chant.
          
               Steven holds his arms parallel to the floor. Slowly he begins
               to turn, clockwise. The beat picks up and he whirls more
               quickly, his mouth coming open.
          
               Now he begins to whirl about the room. The chanting grows in
               intensity. Although he is blindfolded, Steve deftly avoids
               running into furniture and other objects.
          
               Steven stops whirling at the precise moment the music stops
               playing. He is back at the foot of the bed, arms stretched
               wide.
          
               INT. TAXI
          12                                                              12
               Creeping along. Nicky leaning toward the driver.
          
                                     NICKY
                           I wrapped my sandwiches in tinfoil.
                           I ate and drove. I had one of those
                           big checkered cabs.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           You are going where?
          
                                        NICKY
                           Crosstown.
          
                                                                           9.
          
          
          
                                   DRIVER
                         Very bad today.
          
               Driver's nameplate --
          
                                   CHOUDHURY
                                   RAMASWAMY
          
                                   NICKY
                         I cleaned out the ashtrays
                         religiously.
          
                                   DRIVER
                         I am sitting here five years in
                         traffic. It is one continuous
                         traffic since I arrive. Why must it
                         be?
          
               A taxi pulls up alongside. Nicky notices the young woman in
               the rear seat. It is his daughter Laurel. He opens his
               window.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Laurel, stay there.
                             (to his driver)
                         Keep the meter running. And try to
                         stay abreast.
          
               Nicky leaves his taxi and gets into Laurel's.
          
               INT. SECOND TAXI
          13                                                                13
               Nicky pushes in next to her. Laurel is eighteen, slightly
               overweight, with a pleasant and expressive face. She is
               carrying books in a nylon haversack.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I never see you anymore. Where are
                         you all day?
          
                                   LAUREL
                         I go to college. I thought you
                         knew.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Do you want to get some coffee?
          
                                   LAUREL
                         I don't drink coffee, Daddy. And
                         this is not what we should be
                         talking about.
          
                                                                  10.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    What do you want to talk about?
                    I'll talk about anything. What's
                    this?
          
          Nicky lifts a small radio and headset out of her bag.
          
                              LAUREL
                    I'm seeing your play tonight,
                    remember?
          
                              NICKY
                    Why do you need a radio?
          
                              LAUREL
                    So at the intermission I can listen
                    to the ball game. Do you know that
                    mother is seeing a prominent
                    divorce lawyer?
          
                              NICKY
                    That's completely crazy.
          
                              LAUREL
                    Is it?
          
                              NICKY
                    Don't talk like that. How
                    prominent? What are you implying?
          
                              LAUREL
                    She's doing like those Iranians. `I
                    divorce thee. I divorce thee. I
                    divorce thee'
          
                              NICKY
                        (indicating driver)
                    And he hears it the same time I
                    hear it? What happened to family
                    secrets?
          
          Driver's nameplate ---
          
                                   TABATTABI
                                   ABULHASSAN
          
                              LAUREL
                    Mother is totally, you know, upset.
          
                              NICKY
                    Abulhassas, we'll be getting out
                    here.
          
                                                                       11.
          
          
          
               Nicky pays the driver.
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          14                                                                14
               Nicky stands alongside the first taxi and pays his original
               driver. Laurel reluctantly exits the second taxi.
          
          15                                                                15
               INT. COFFEE SHOP
          
               47th Street between First and Second Avenue.
          
               Nicky and Laurel enter the coffee shop they are greeted by
               the owner, a hefty Greek named GEORGE.
          
                                   GEORGE
                         Nicky, you don't come in for a
                         while. Everything's okay?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Hello George. You're so healthy and
                         thick-bodied I want to punch you in
                         the chest. This is my daughter
                         Laurel. Just to hear the sound it
                         makes.
          
                                   GEORGE
                         I saw your picture in the paper.
                         Two papers.
          
                                   NICKY
                         That means they're getting ready to
                         kill me.
          
                                   GEORGE
                         That's not what I hear. I have
                         four, five actors working here.
                         `His best play since "Yessiree Bob"
                         I'm telling you, they say it.
          
                                   LAUREL
                         He doesn't want to hear it.
          
               He leads them toward a booth.
          
               INT. COFFEE SHOP - LATER
          16                                                                16
               Nicky is launched into a full breakfast. Laurel has a tea bag
               in a cup -- no water.
          
                                   NICKY
                         If lawyers for the mob are called
                         controversial, why are divorce
                         lawyers called prominent?
          
                                                                  12.
          
          
          
                              LAUREL
                    Because they get outstanding
                    settlements. And Mother is
                    determined that this time there's
                    no turning back.
          
                              NICKY
                    I just had breakfast with her. She
                    didn't say a word about this.
          
          A young waiter recognizes Nicky and unobtrusively points him
          out to another waiter.
          
                              LAUREL
                    Because you refuse to believe she's
                    serious. You've always refused.
          
                              NICKY
                    Don't be so steely-eyed. It's that
                    course you're taking in
                    criminology.
          
                               LAUREL
                    Oh please. Not now.
                        (beat)
                    She wants you to stop seeing What's-
                    Her-Name. Finally. Now and forever.
                    Do you think that's too much to
                    ask? For a wife of nineteen years.
          
                               NICKY
                    You're too young to be studying
                    criminal behavior. It's making you
                    obsessive.
          
                              LAUREL
                    She is kicking you out.
          
                              NICKY
                    Your mother and I have something
                    between us that's too strong to
                    damage permanently. Believe me, I
                    know this. That's right, nineteen
                    years. And what about the days and
                    minutes? Sharing small moments,
                    sharing memories, raising a
                    beautiful child. We're wedded in
                    the deepest and strongest ways.
                    Lillian isn't only my wife. She's
                    my best friend.
          
          Nicky shrugs.
          
                                                                       13.
          
          
          
                                   LAUREL
                         Bullshit, Daddy.
          
               INT. COFFEE SHOP - NEAR THE CASH REGISTER - LATER
          17                                                                17
               Nicky and Laurel stand on a short line at the cash register,
               each holding a check.
          
                                   LAUREL
                         Mother won't tell me how long
                         you've been seeing this person.
                         She's embarrassed to tell me. So
                         why don't you tell me?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Don't call her Mother all the time.
                         It makes her sound tragic and
                         unforgiving. What happened to Mom?
          
                                   LAUREL
                         I didn't turn her into Mother. You
                         did.
          
                                   NICKY
                         This person and I are a thing of
                         the total past. I promise you.
          
               Nicky takes Laurel's check away from her, intending to pay
               himself.
          
               Laurel snatches it back.
          
                                   LAUREL
                         Know what Mother said to me?
                         Daddy's demons are so intense he
                         doesn't even know he's lying.
          
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          18                                                                18
               Bank towers. The Bank of India, Banco di Napoli, Bear
               Stearns, the Bank of New York, The Chemical Bank,
               Manufacturers Hanover. A sense of real institutions looming
               over the busy street. The bank names engraved on bronze
               markers, carved in granite, incised on glass.
          
               Street level. A glimpse of the bronze statue called "Taxi on
               Park Avenue" -- a man with and attache case and raincoat,
               hailing a cab. The real people hailing cabs, well-dressed men
               and women striding along with briefcases -- purposeful,
               successful.
          
                                                                       14.
          
          
          
               INT. TAXI
          19                                                             19
               Nicky rides again.
          
                                     NICKY
                           It's life, it's taxis. People
                           trying to make contacts, make
                           deals, meet their lovers. Taxis are
                           sexy. You can't have Manhattan
                           without taxis. I was proud of my
                           taxi. I kept my taxi clean.
          
               Nicky shifts his gaze. He sees Elliot Litvak slinking across
               the street, looking faintly unclean and shows a trace of a
               smile. He watches Elliot enter the lobby of the Chemical
               Bank.
          
               INT. BANK
          20                                                             20
               Elliot is at a cash machine, making an elaborate transaction.
          
               Nicky appears, approaching the adjacent machine. Elliot sees
               him.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Nicky. I was thinking about you. I
                           went to the preview last night.
          
                                     NICKY
                           I don't want to hear about it.
          
               Nicky attends to his own transaction.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                               (whispering)
                           A lovely piece of theater. Small
                           but important.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Shut up, Elliot.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Quietly effective.
          
               Nicky takes his cash and begins to move away.
          
                            We don't appreciate what they've
                           built for us. We're artists who are
                           too dumb to see that this is the
                           peak moment of Western culture.
          
                                     NICKY
                           You're an artist. I'm a craftsman.
          
                                                                       15.
          
          
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Press a button and they give us
                           money.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Ride with me. We need a haircut.
          
          21                                                             21
               INT. TAXI
          
               Stalled between Park and Madison. The driver has opened the
               door and is standing just outside the cab, trying to
               determine the cause of delay.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                               (whispering)
                           How is Lillian? I haven't seen her.
          
                                     NICKY
                           She wants a divorce.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Don't talk like that.
          
                                     NICKY
                           It's over, finished and done with.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           That sounds so final. But are we
                           really surprised?
          
                                     NICKY
                           I'm completely stunned. I don't
                           want this to happen.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           But didn't we know it would happen?
          
                                     NICKY
                           Don't needle me, Elliot. Tell me
                           how bad you feel. We're suppose to
                           feel bad together. This is what
                           friends do.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                               (whispering)
                           Joanna Bourne. So rich and crisp.
                           This woman lets you touch her body?
                           You put your hands on her personal
                           parts?
          
               Nicky hits Elliot -- a token blow to the arm. Elliot thinks
               about it, then hits back.
          
                                                                       16.
          
          
               They swat each other, half kiddingly, each of them leaning
               away from the other to prevent being hit in the face.
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          22                                                                22
               A whitish brown mist is building the west. There is a sense
               of scurrying people.
          2
          
           3                                                                23
               INT. TAXI
          
               The driver re-enters.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           We must abandon.
          
                                     NICKY
                           What do you mean, we must abandon?
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Ruptured steam pipe.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Ruptured steam pipe.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Asbestos lining. Do not inhale.
          
                                     NICKY
                           We must abandon.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Contaminated substance. Very
                           dangerous. Shooting mud.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Do not inhale.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           We must abandon.
          
                                     DRIVER
                           Ruptured steam pipe.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Very dangerous.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Asbestos lining.
          
                                     NICKY
                           We must abandon.
          
                                     ELLIOT
                           Do not inhale.
          
                                                                       17.
          
          
          
               Driver's name plate --
          
                                   BODENHEIM
                                   YEHOSHAFAT
          
               Nicky pays him.
          
          24                                                             24
               EXT. THE STREET
          
               The driver flees eastward. Nicky and Elliot run across
               Madison Avenue. A snowstorm of asbestos is shooting out of a
               man hole cover west of Fifth Avenue, reducing visibility to
               near zero. Cars and people are white shadows.
          
               The two men, with collars raised and hands over heads hurry
               into a restaurant on 47th Street between Madison and Fifth.
          2
               INT. RESTAURANT - LATER
           5                                                             25
               A small narrow room. Handsome wall paintings -- a Tuscan hill
               town. Very slow day.
          
               Nicky and Elliot sitting with a carafe of wine, a bottle of
               mineral water and some bread sticks. Glancing at menus
               intermittently.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'm trying to think. When did you
                         start looking so terrible? You look
                         awful.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         I can tell you the year, the day,
                         the night, the minute.
          
                                    NICKY
                         You used to love life. You don't
                         exude this any more.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         What do I exude?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Suffering. You exude a person who
                         sits in a small dark apartment
                         eating soft white bread.
          
                                    ELLIOT
                         Tonight you find out what it means
                         to suffer.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Tonight. What's tonight?
          
                                                18.
          
          
          
                    ELLIOT
          Shit. They don't have any carrot
          soup.
          
                    NICKY
          You mean because What's-His-Name.
          
                    ELLIOT
          You will suffer because he is in
          the theater. And you will suffer a
          thousandfold when his review
          appears.
          
                    NICKY
          It's just a review.
          
                    ELLIOT
          It is just a review. Do not inhale.
          Very dangerous.
          
                    NICKY
          What's the fuss? I don't get it.
          
                    ELLIOT
          That's what I said eighteen months
          ago.
          
                    NICKY
          What happened eighteen months ago?
          
                    ELLIOT
          Before his Broadway days. He
          reviewed the one-act I did at the
          Fulton Fish Market. We did this
          play at four AM, outdoors in the
          rain. One performance. For the fish
          handlers.
          
                    NICKY
          And he was there?
          
                    ELLIOT
          Steven Schwimmer. I memorized every
          word of this review.
          
                    NICKY
          That's awful.
          
                    ELLIOT
          I recite it to myself with
          masochistic relish.
          
                          
          
                                                                     19.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    A year and a half later? You're
                    still brooding?
          
          A patron approaches the table and stares at Nicky with a
          fixed grin of crazed recognition.
          
                              MAN
                    Yessirree Bob! Yessisree Bob!
          
          Nicky's jaw becomes set and he pours himself a glass of wine
          as the man backs off.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    You don't know about obscure
                    writers, Nicky. How we have our
                    anger to nurture and love. Our
                    murderous fantasies for any amount
                    of fame, money , power and sex.
          
          The waitress comes by. She is Paisley Porter, attractive, in
          her mid-twenties.
          
                              PAISLEY
                    Guys ready to order?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    Paisley Porter. I didn't know you
                    were waiting tables.
          
                              PAISLEY
                    Elliot?
          
                              ELLIOT
                        (to Nicky)
                    This is a great young out-of-work
                    actress.
          
                               AISLEY
                    Elliot Litvak. Have you been ill?
                    And Mr. Rogan. How nice.
          
                              NICKY
                    What's good?
          
                              PAISLEY
                    We have a very nice pasta today.
                    Alla Putanesca.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    Say it again.
          
                                                                       20.
          
          
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Alla puttanesca.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                             (to Nicky)
                         Isn't she great? What did I tell
                         you? A talent.
          
               INT. RESTAURANT - LATER - SAME TABLE
          26                                                                26
               The food has arrived. Nicky is eating compulsively -- in
               contrast to Elliot, who sips his mineral water, dabs his
               mouth with a napkin, looks around the restaurant between
               bites. When Nicky is finished with his food, he begins
               picking among the items on Elliot's plate. Elliot uses his
               fork to deflect Nicky's fork and the two men have a brief
               duel with utensils, fencing silently but intently, using
               knives and spoons to vary action.
          2
               EXT. STREET
           7                                                                27
               The asbestos mist still clings. Men in protective suits and
               masks move slowly, like moon walkers. Halted traffic,
               abandoned cars. Mud covering the sidewalks and shop windows.
               A gauzy stillness, dreamlike.
          
               INT. STEVEN SCHWIMMER'S LOFT
          28                                                                28
               Stillness. A slow whirling 360-degree shot. The kitchen area
               is empty. The door of the portable toilet is open and no one
               is inside. The makeshift wardrobe is empty except for four or
               five hangers with shirts and jackets. There is no one at the
               desk or exercise bike.
          
               A sound, faint but persistent, like an intake of air.
          
               The bathroom. The toilet bowl has been ripped out and taken
               away, leaving a hole in the floor. Brownish water drips from
               the tap into the wash basin, which is indelibly stained. The
               drip makes a two-part sound and it matches the rhythm of the
               intake of air. One-two. Pause. One-two. The bathtub has been
               sprayed by a graffiti artist. Multi-colored swirls and
               arabesques.
               S
                teven is sitting on a mat in the tub, arms in the air and
               folded so that his fists are close to his ears. He is in
               lotus position, breathing in serious meditation -- a deep
               intake of breath followed by a softer expulsion, matching the
               beat of the dripping faucet.
          
               He is still wearing the sleep mask.
          
                                                                         21.
          
          
          
               INT. RESTAURANT - MAIN ROOM - LATER
          29                                                                29
               The kitchen staff is eating at a group of tables pushed
               together. Nicky's table has been absorbed by this cluster and
               he sits reading the sports section in a tabloid and having an
               espresso with his cigar.
          
               Elliot, Paisley and actor-waiter stand at the small bar in
               conversation.
          
               Next to Nicky, two kitchen workers talk about the ball game.
          
                                   FIRST MAN
                         I got a good feeling about tonight
          
                                   SECOND MAN
                         We got Ojeda going. He pitched
                         beautiful last time out.
          
                                   FIRST MAN
                         Plus Darryl's due for a big game.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I hate the Mets.
          
                                   SECOND MAN
                         How come?
          
                                   NICKY
                         When the Mets lose, they just lose.
                         It's a flat feeling. But the Red
                         Sox -- here we have a rich history
                         of interesting ways to lose a
                         crucial game. Defeats that keep you
                         awake, that pound in your head like
                         the hammer of fate.
          
               Paisley walks across the room toward the kitchen. Nicky
               pauses to watch her, then resumes speaking.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You can analyze a Red Sox defeat
                         day and night for a month and still
                         uncover layers of complex feelings -
                         - feelings you didn't know you were
                         capable of. The pain has a memory
                         all of it's own.
          
               EXT. SHEA STADIUM
          30                                                                30
               The parking lot is empty. The stands are empty. A few members
               of the crew move the batting cage into place for batting
               practice.
          
                                                                       22.
          
          
          
               INT. SHEA STADIUM - LOCKER ROOM
          31                                                               31
               The empty visitor's locker room. Uniforms hang on the doors
               of the lockers in preparation for tonight's game. We see the
          3    names Henderson, Stanley, Buckner.
          
               INT. THE MEN'S ROOM - A LITTLE LATER
           2                                                               32
               Cramped quarters. Intensely claustrophobic. Elliot at the
               urinal. Nicky at the hand-dryer. An actor-waiter standing
               between them at the sink.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                             (quoting Steven Schwimmer)
                         `One thing saves Elliot Litvak's
                         work from complete mediocrity, and
                         this is his lack of ambition.'
          
                                   WAITER
                         It gets funnier.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                             (zipping up)
                         It gets funnier. See, Nicky? They
                         chart the laughs. This from a
                         critic who lives like a fallen
                         monk. Whose address is a carefully
                         guarded secret.
          
                                   WAITER
                         A critic who has to disguise
                         himself.
          
                                   NICKY
                         What do you mean?
          
                                   WAITER
                         To go to the theater. Wears I don't
                         know what. Make-up, padding.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Why?
          
                                   WAITER
                         Because he is so deeply hated by so
                         many people in the business.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         He has to disguise himself, Nicky.
          
                                   WAITER
                         For his own safety and peace of
                         mind.
          
                                                                       23.
          
          
          
               The waiter squeezes past and leaves.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         Do you want me to tell you what it
                         was like, reading that review at
                         the newstand with trucks rumbling
                         past and street vendors facing
                         Mecca?
          
                                   NICKY
                         What was it like?
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         I said, `I'm dead'. He killed me.
          
               INT. RESTAURANT -LATER
          33                                                             33
               Elliot standing near the front window, in a shaft of
               sunlight, examining a white after-dinner candy. He puts it in
               his pocket for later.
               P
                aisley eating lunch at the end of the long table, looking up
               to see Nicky approach with liqueur and a glass on wine. He
               sits opposite her, placing the wineglass in front of her.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You've worked with Elliot?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I was in the fish-market play. What
                         happened to him?
          
                                   NICKY
                         There was a review.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I think I remember.
          
                                   NICKY
                         So does Elliot.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Not one of Steven's finer moments.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Oh. You know him.
          
                                     PAISLEY
                         A little.
          
                                   NICKY
                         And he has finer moments now and
                         then.
          
                                                                       24.
          
          
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         He has -- something. A funny little
                         quality I find --
          
                                      NICKY
                         Endearing.
          
                                      PAISLEY
                         Engaging.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Elliot wants to kill him with a
                         railroad spike.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         A little drastic maybe?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Say it again.
          
                                      PAISLEY
                         What?
          
                                   NICKY
                         You know what.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Alla puttanesca.
          
                                   NICKY
                         One more time.
          
               INT. THE ENTRANCE WAY - A LITTLE LATER
          34                                                               34
               Elliot watches Nicky embrace Giorgio. Nicky carries the
               tabloid he'd been reading -- the "Daily News". Elliot and
               Nicky stand at the door and watch the whitish mist that
               continues to linger.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         Is it safe?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Do we care?
          
                                    ELLIOT
                         I think we Nought to wait.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I say we go.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         You say we go?
          
             
          
          
          
                                                                        25.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         Do not inhale.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         I'm not ready.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Here we go.
          
               They pull up their collars and run outside.
          
               EXT. STREET - DAY
          35                                                              35
               The street is deserted. Nicky holds the newspaper over his
               face for protection. Each man has an arm in the air, trying
               to hail a taxi. They are standing near a trash receptacle
               that carries an advertisement for "New York Magazine". It is
               a reproduction of the cover that we'd glimpsed earlier in
               Joanna's apartment when her maid was reading the magazine. A
               furtive man shielding his face with the newspaper -- and a
               headline about a Phantom. Nicky and Elliot do not see the
               receptacle.
          
               A bus comes down the street with a large horizontal ad
               covering its right side. It is the same ad -- five of them
               actually, five "New York Magazine" covers side by side.
               Elliot is trying to hail a cab and doesn't notice the ad. As
               the bus bears down, Nicky steps out of the way, removing the
               newspaper from his face and getting a clear look at the five
               photos on the side of the bus -- a man concealing his face
               with a newspaper.
          
               Nicky reads the text under the logo of "New York Magazine".
          
                              THE PHANTOM WHO HAUNTS BROADWAY
          
                             Learning to hate Steven Schwimmer
          
               Nicky stares after the bus. Another bus comes along, carrying
               the same ad.
          
               Nicky watches darkly.
          
               EXT. STREET - LATER
          36                                                              36
               This is the diamond district. Store signs reading:
          
               Antique Jewelry     We Buy Diamonds     Gold Emporium
               Wholesale Jewelry       All Brand-Name Watches Reduced
          
                                    
          
                                                                          26.
          
          
          
               INT. THE TAXI - NICKY AND ELLIOT
          37                                                                37
               Nicky is reading the newspaper. The driver is speaking
               Chinese into his two-way radio. Squawky replies from the
               dispatcher in machine gun Chinese.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         The man has taken over my mind.
                         He's not only out there. He's in my
                         head and I can't get rid of him. I
                         can't write a word without
                         imagining his response. I'm
                         paralyzed as an artist.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I don't have the problems that
                         artists have.
          
                                    LLIOT
                         You've been saying that for years.
          
                                     NICKY
                         What?
          
                                   ELLIOT
                             (mockingly)
                         `I'm just a professional. A dues-
                         playing member of a guild.' Because
                         you're afraid, Nicky. That's the
                         darkest part of you. You don't
                         think you're good enough.
          
               Nicky lowers the newspaper.
          
               Driver's nameplate:
          
                                     WU LI
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          38                                                                38
               About a dozen people gathered together including several
               diamond merchants in their beards, black suits and fur hats.
               They are watching the man in the cutaway dancing with his
               cloth doll. Someone places a donation in the cigar box. From
               the tape player: "Dancing in the Dark."
          
               Elliot ends up near the Gotham Book Mart, on the north side
               of the street. Nicky looks right past him into the bookstore
               window. He sees something that interests him.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         Where are you going?
          
                                
          
                                                                        27.
          
          
          
                                    NICKY
                         Don't wait Efor me.
          
                                   ELLIOT
                         What about the haircut?
          
               INT. GOTHAM BOOK MART
          39                                                               39
               Nicky walks along the main aisle, looking at a woman standing
               in the poetry nook.
          
               Only a few people in the shop.
          
               He enters the back room and gets a glimpse of a woman walking
               through the opposite doorway back into the main room.
          
               He squeezes past a browser and looks through the doorway.
               Someone is just leaving the shop.
          
               He walks to the rear of the store, where the office is
               located. The door is open, the room is empty.
          
               He re-enters the main room and sees a woman seated on the top
               step of the stairway that leads to the basement stacks. Her
               back is to Nicky and she is reading a book. He approaches
               slowly and then squats by the doorway to get a closer look at
               her.
          
               She turns. It is Paisley Porter.
          
               INT. GOTHAM BOOK MART - A MOMENT LATER
          40                                                               40
               Nicky and Paisley in a corner of the back room.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You keep slipping away. How do you
                         do that?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I was one of those silent,
                         listening children. Glued to the
                         shadows.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I was all noise. Played the radio
                         loud. Battled constantly with my
                         brother and sister. Here I am,
                         world.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I hear good things about the new
                         play.
          
                                
          
                                                                 28.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         So do I. Over and over.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Peter Redmond is an actor I admire
                         enormously.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Would you like to meet him?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         He doesn't want to meet some out-of-
                         work ingenue.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'm trying to prolong our
                         afternoon. In case you haven't
                         noticed.
          
                                    AISLEY
                         The fact is, I have to get going.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Is it true?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Is what true?
          
                                   NICKY
                         He wears a disguise.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Steven goes to extremes to protect
                         his privacy. No friends. No phone.
          
                                   NICKY
                         But you're his friend.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Sort of. Sometimes. You're not
                         building an obsession about Steven,
                         are you? Look. I understand opening-
                         night jitters, but you've got one
                         of the great actors in American
                         theater starring in your play.
          4
               EXT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER
           1                                                       41
               47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.
          
                      
          
                                                                       29.
          
          
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - STAGE ENTRANCE
          42                                                                42
               Nicky has been cornered just inside the entrance by the stage
               manager, a small, fierce woman named RENEE SIMON.
          
                                   RENEE
                         I can't take this anymore. He
                         forgets simple lines. He forgets
                         where to stand. We tell him and
                         tell him and tell him. I know he's
                         a sweet man. I love Peter. It's not
                         his fault. But I've never worked in
                         a show where the leading man has
          4              parasites in his brain.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - THE ORCHESTRA
           3                                                                43
               Nicky sits down in the orchestra, looking darkly into space,
               brooding. He surveys the set, a working class kitchen, behind
               it a backdrop of dark streets and looming tennaments. A
               portly well-dressed man appears, moving along the row toward
               Nicky. This is SIDNEY FABRIKANT, the producer.
          
                                   NICKY
                          aybe we ought to postpone the
                         opening.
          
                                    SIDNEY
                         Joanna loves this play. She has
                         sunk tons of money. She is
                         completely Ncommitted.
          
                                   NICKY
                           appreciate that, Sidney. But our
                         leading man can't remember his
                         lines. And his understudy can't
                         carry the play.
          
               Nicky looks out at the rehearsal in progress on stage. The
               director, JACK HASKINS and the actor PETER REDMOND
               (50)confer, move about gesturing and blocking.
          
                                   SIDNEY
                         I had lunch with Joanna. She said
                         she told you about Peter. You
                         weren't concerned, she said.
          
                                   NICKY
                          hat was this morning.
          
                 
          
          
                                                                         30.
          
          
          
                                   SIDNEY
                         So what happened since? You're
                         worried about this kid who writes
                         these reviews?
          
               Nicky looks across the theatre. Paisley Porter sits alone,
               tenth row center, watching rehearsal with rapt attention.
          
                                   NICKY
                          'm not worried about this kid.
          
                                   SIDNEY
                         Well I am. Worried sick. Everybody
                         quotes Steven Schwimmer. He's here
                         to announce the death of
                         civilization. He kills a play every
                         time he farts.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Postpone. We have every right.
          
                                   SIDNEY
                         Too late. All the elements are in
                         place. Delay the opening and we
                         lose the theater.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I've had three straight washouts,
                         Sidney.
          
                                   SIDNEY
                             (deliciously)
                         You're dangling from the last
                         letter of your last name.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER -THE STAGE - NICKY AND PETER
          44                                                                44
               REDMOND - A LITTLE LATER
          
               The actor sitting on the sofa. Nicky on one knee, leaning
               towards him in intimate conversation.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Sidney remains optimistic.
          
                                   PETER
                         Sidney.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Sidney Fabrikant. Our producer.
          
                                   PETER
                         I was educated by nuns.
          
                                               31.
          
          
          
                    NICKY
          Y
           es.
          
                    PETER
          I have excellent long-term memory.
          
                    NICKY
          Yes.
          
                    PETER
          I kissed Shirley Felder on the
          teeth.
          
                    NICKY
          Yes, Peter.
          
                    PETER
          But my parasite is consuming all
          the new memories. Eating my lines.
          
                    NICKY
          You have to see the words. Try to
          build a mental picture of the
          script. Imagine your lines high-
          lighted with a felt tip pen.
          
                    PETER
          What color?
          
                    NICKY
          What was your favorite color
          crayon, growing up?
          
                    PETER
          Burnt sienna.
          
                    NICKY
          Mine was cobalt blue.
          
                    PETER
          This is your history, isn't it?
          Nicky? All around us. And my
          parasite is consuming it.
          
                    NICKY
          Yes.
          
                    PETER
          I kissed her while she was
          laughing.
          
                    NICKY
          Yes.
          
                                                                       32.
          
          
          
                                   PETER
                         I can see her face so clearly. Dear
                         God. My heart was flying out of my
                         chest with love.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - THE WINGS
          45                                                                45
               Jack Haskins and Renee Simon
          
                                   RENEE
                         I hear he got the parasite in
                         Burma. 
                                   JACK
                         I heard Borneo.
          
                                   RENEE
                         Why do we blame the Third World for
                         our parasites? Maybe he got it in
                         Denver or Minneapolis.
          
                                   JACK
                         Maybe he got it in Borneo.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - THE STAGE
          46                                                                46
               Nicky and Peter still conferring. Jack and Renee approach.
          
                                   PETER
                         I feel shaky about one line in
                         particular. If I can get past this
                         line. I think I can handle the last
                         long speech.
          
                                   RENEE
                         Which line, Peter?
          
                                   PETER
                         The Son says to the Father, This
                         could be it.
          
                                   NICKY
                         And the Father replies?
          
                                   PETER
                         That's the line I can't ever, for
                         the life of me remember. I just
                         can't get it.
          
                                   JACK
                         It's the same line. The Father
                         simply repeats what the Son says to
                         him.
          
          
          
                                                                       33.
          
          
          
                                   RENEE
                         This could be it.
          
                                   NICKY
                         This could be it.
          
                                    PETER
                         I know it sounds easy. But
                         something happens between the time
                         I hear the line and the time I'm
                         suppose to Jrepeat it.
          
                                    ACK
                         This could be it.
          
                                   PETER
                             (long pause)
                         This could be it.
          
                                   JACK
                         Let's work on it.
          
                                   PETER
                             (long pause)
                         Let's work on it.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - AISLE - A LITTLE LATER
          47                                                             47
               Nicky and Paisley Porter make their way out of the theatre.
          
                                    AISLEY
                         Do you think he can do it?
          
                                   NICKY
                         I don't know.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         He's a very sweet man.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Where are you going now?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Home.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Someone waiting for you?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         No one's waiting.
          
                                                                       34.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         There's a certain kind of wounded
                         young man who uses his oddness to
                         get laid. Is that our Steven?
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         If I'm sleeping with him, and I
                         haven't said I am, then so what?
          
                                   NICKY
                             (quietly)
                         So everything. That's so what. So I
                         begin to hate him. So I want to do
                         him grave harm.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         But you don't even know me. How can
                         you care what I do with whom?
          
                                   NICKY
                         I know you both. Enough. How much
                         knowledge does it take before a man
                         does something crazy.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Do you want to talk about doing
                         crazy things.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Yes.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Never mind.
          
               INT. LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
          48                                                               48
               They enter lobby daylight, squint a little.
          
                                   NICKY
                         What? Come on, Paisley.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Our Steven not only disguises
                         himself.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Yes.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         He goes to the theater armed.
          
               MUTED BACKGROUND VOICES ON THE LOBBY PA: Jack Haskins and
               Peter Redmond.
          
             
          
          
                                                                         35.
          
          
          
                                    JACK (V.O.)
                         This could Pbe it.
          
                                    ETER (V.O.)
                         This could be it.
          
               They look up at the speaker.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         He feels he has to defend himself
                         if necessary.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'm actually beginning to enjoy
                         this.
          
          49                                                                49
               EXT. BARRYMORE THEATRE - DAY
          
               Wide of the theater. Nicky says goodbye to Paisley.
          
               Reverse angle, Elliot watches them from across the street.
          
                icky goes back inside the theatre. Paisley walks west on
               47th street.
          
               Elliot waits for a moment, then follows her.
          
               INT. STEVEN SCHWIMMER'S LOFT
          50                                                                50
               The Port-O-San. Steven emerges and goes to the stacked
               cardboard boxes against the wall. His hate mail. He is
               wearing a bath towel like a prayer shawl over his sweat
               clothes.
          
               He drags one of the boxes to the ratty armchair. He sits in
               the chair by the filthy window that looks west toward the
               early-setting sun.
          
               He takes a letter from the box, opens it, reads it, lets it
               fall to the floor. Takes another letter, opens it --
          
               There is a knock at the door.
          
               Steven tenses, does not move.
          
               Another knock.
          
               He moves warily toward the door.
          
                                   PAISLEY (V.O.)
                         Steven, it's me. Will you open
                         please.
          
                                                                        36.
          
          
          
               Steven releases the dead-bolt lock and opens the door.
          
                                   STEVEN
                         You've come to me. I wanted to
                         believe you would one day.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I haven't come to you.
          
                                   STEVEN
                         But you're here. So you must have
                         come to me.
          5
          
           1                                                              51
               INT. STEVEN SCHWIMMER'S LOFT - A LITTLE LATER
          
               Steven is back in the chair by the window. Paisley nervously
               prowls the loft.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         In other words I never understood
                         until today how much pain and
                         anxiety you've been causing with
                         your reviews. Steven, it's so
                         unfair.
          
                                   STEVEN
                         Of course it's unfair. The truth is
                         always unfair. Why do you think I
                         live this way? Hiding out. Stealing
                         electricity from a lamp post.
                         Because people who write the truth
                         are outcasts of society. I can't
                         live openly, in a nice clean
                         doorman building, with my name on
                         the mailbox. They'd come after me
                         in packs.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Not if you stopped hurting people.
                         Write the truth gently.
          
                                    STEVEN
                         The truth is never gentle. Listen
                         to me carefully. Each of us lives
                         in the thinnest possible wrapping
                         of wishes and dreams. Truth is the
                         force that penetrates this wispy
                         skin. It hurts and maims.
                             (
                               reaching down to clutch a
                               fistful of letters)
                         Look how they hate me for telling
                         the truth. It's an education,
                         Paisley. The College of Raw Nerves.
                                    (MORE)
          
                                 
          
          
                                                                         37.
                                   STEVEN(cont'd)
                         Letters dripping blood. Cries of
                         revenge.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         Yes. I've seen your victims. One
                         past and one future. I thought I
                         might convince you to reconsider.
          
                                   STEVEN
                         And I thought, at last, she's here,
                         she wants me.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I don't want you, Steven.
          
               Paisley moves towards the door.
          
                                    TEVEN
                         Stay. Teach me to be compassionate.
          
                                   PAISLEY
                         I'm going home to my machine.
          
               EXT. STREET CORNER CASH MACHINE
          52                                                               52
               Elliot looks up and sees Paisley emerging from Steven's
               building. He crosses the street toward her.
               W
                hen Paisley sees him, she seems to freeze.
          
               EXT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER
          53                                                               53
               47th Street between Broadway and Eight Avenue.
          
               Nicky walking slowly backwards, arm raised, trying to hail a
               cab. It is getting dark. He glances left, sees a large two-
               panel poster in front of the theater. One half is a black-and-
               white photo -- a younger Nicky Rogan, in a tuxedo, holding an
               award in his raised hand.
          
               The other half is all type --
          
                                   SIDEWALKS
                                    The new
                                     Nicky
                                      ogan
          
               He sees someone enter the theater lobby. It is his daughter
               Laurel. He follows, catching up to her at the end of a short
               line of people at the ticket window.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Laurel. Tickets are all set. I
                         double-checked.
          
                               
          
          
          
          
                                                                       38.
          
          
          
                                     LAUREL
                           Thanks, Daddy. But I just need one.
                           Mother's not going.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Opening night?
          
                                     LAUREL
                           I know -- why should a bitter
                           divorce interfere with tradition?
          
               Laurel reaches the window and speaks to the clerk.
          
                                     LAUREL
                           Rogan, Laurel. You also have a
                           Rogan, Lillian. She won't need it.
                           Sell it.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Take it yourself. Take a date.
          
                                      AUREL
                           I don't have a date. I don't want a
                           date.
          
               They leave the window with Laurel's ticket.
          
                                     NICKY
                           And you blame me. It's because we
                           never talk. Let's talk.
          
                                     LAUREL
                           I have a class. I'm late.
          
                                      NICKY
                           Can we talk later? Will you be at
                           the party?
          
                                     LAUREL
                           I'm not sure.
          
               She is out the door, hurrying across the street. Nicky stands
               under the marquee, calling out to her.
          
                                      NICKY
                           I'll find you. After the show.
                           Somewhere.
          
               INT. TAXI
          54                                                             54
               Moving very slowly.
          
               Driver's nameplate --
          
          
                                                                       39.
          
          
          
                                    MOSHOESHOE
                                      IBRHIM
          
                                   DRIVER
                         A man is hit the other day by
                         another taxi. I mean he is flying.
                         Crash against the windscreen. Right
                         here in my face. Blood is
                         everywhere.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I never left the garage without my
                         Windex.
          
                                   DRIVER
                         I was barrister in Kenya. I said to
                         him, get off from here. I cannot
                         drive with your body on my
                         windscreen.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I drove twelve hours straight
                         through. Ate at the wheel.
          
                                    RIVER
                         You have to eat at the wheel. You
                         cannot get anywhere.
          
                                   NICKY
                         That's the drama. We're waiting for
                         life to continue. Where do you pee,
                         Ibrahmin?
          
                                   DRIVER
                         Under the Manhattan Bridge.
          
                                   NICKY
                         That's where I peed.
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          55                                                               55
               47th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenue. A hotel, a high
               school, brownstones with fire escapes.
          5
               INT. MICHAEL ROGAN'S KITCHEN
           6                                                               56
               Michael, Nicky's father, is making an omelette on the old
               stove. He is pushing eighty, slow-moving, with a two-day
               stubble.
          
               Knock at the door.
          
               Michael goes to the intercom, inches from the door.
          
                              
          
                                                                          40.
          
          
          
                                    MICHAEL
                             (into speaker)
                         Who is it?
          
                                   NICKY (V.O.)
                         I'm at the door.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                             (into speaker)
                         Go way. I'll call a cop.
          
                                   NICKY (V.O.)
                         Pop, will you let me in?
          
                                   MICHAEL
                             (into speaker)
                         Where the hell are you?
          
                                   NICKY (V.O.)
                         Right here. At the door.
          
               Michael goes to the door and looks through the peephole.
          
               INTERCUT AS NECESSARY
          57                                                                57
                                   MICHAEL
                         What do you want?
          
                                   NICKY
                         It's me. Nicky.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         Nicky comes on Sunday's.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Where are your glasses? Go get
                         them.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         If it's you, what are you doing
                         here?
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'm on my way to get a haircut.
          
                                    ICHAEL
                         Where does Nicky get his hair cut?
          
               Nicky stands against the door, speaking softly into the
               peephole.
          
                                                                       41.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         Across Ninth Avenue. Dodgie's.
                         Where you've been getting your hair
                         cut for fifty years. Where Uncle
                         Billy and Uncle Marty got their
                         hair cut. Where Jim Rorty shot a
                         man for cheating at poker.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         It was rummy, not poker. But I'll
                         take a chance and let you in.
          
               INT. MICHAEL ROGAN'S KITCHEN - LATER
          58                                                             58
               Michael is eating his omelette at a small enamel-topped table
               in the kitchen. Nicky stands by the boxlike refrigerator,
               drinking a beer. This is the kitchen that is the centerpiece
               of the theatre set. The new play is Nicky's young life.
          
                                   NICKY
                         It's a constant shock to me, how
                         small this place is. How did we do
                         it? Five people in these little
                         rooms.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         Get yourself something to eat.
          
               Nicky takes some eggs out of the refrigerator.
          
                                   NICKY
                         We must have been heroic.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         Five's not so many. There were
                         families with seven kids. A
                         grandmother. A dimwit uncle.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Lillian says it once a week. `Why
                         doesn't he come live with us?'
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         You know the answer to that.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I do know the answer to that. Why
                         don't we watch the ball game later?
                         We'll go to Mannion's.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         They're only gonna lose.
          
                                                                  42.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    Of course they're gonna lose. We'll
                    watch them lose. What good is
                    heartbreak if we don't experience
                    it firsthand?
          
                              MICHAEL
                    The Red Sox are your problem. I
                    never understood about you and the
                    Red Sox. Everybody rooted for the
                    Yankees.
          
          Nicky is scrambling the eggs.
          
                              NICKY
                    Remember 1949? Last two games of
                    the season. Against the Yankees.
                    The Sox lost on Saturday. Then they
                    lost on Sunday. First I cried for
                    twenty-four hours. Then I had fist-
                    fights the rest of the week.
          
                               MICHAEL
                    It's one thing for kids. You get
                    older, you Nhave other things.
          
                              NICKY
                    It's all connected, Pop. It's one
                    life. Baseball is memory. How do
                    fathers and sons show their love?
                    They go to a ball game together.
                    Thirty-five years later, they sit
                    in the kitchen and remember.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    But the son is suppose to stop
                    crying.
          
                              NICKY
                    I could have grown up happy. A
                    Yankee fan. A divorce lawyer.
          
          Nicky sees his father's glasses on a shelf above the stove.
          He puts them on the table.
          
                              NICKY
                    You'll need these. Tonight. For the
                    play.
          
                              MICHAEL
                    Don't make me sit through one of
                    your plays.
          
                                                                       43.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         Hey, Pop. I know you don't like the
                         commotion of opening night. But I
                         especially want you to see this
                         play. It's new territory for me.
                         And for you too. I have to know
                         what you think.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         Since when did that matter?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Let's not start that again.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         My back is killing me.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Where's your elastic brace?
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         I can't find it.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You're suppose to wear it when your
                         back gives you trouble.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         I lost it. I lose everything.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'll go get you another one. You
                         have to wear it.
          
               Nicky takes a roll off the counter, makes a sandwich for his
               scrambled eggs, takes a bite and heads for the door.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Be right back. Take a good look at
                         me.
          
               Michael puts on his glasses.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         So I know who I'm letting in.
          
               Nicky leaves the apartment.
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          59                                                             59
               The man in the cutaway dances with his doll. The tape machine
               plays "In The Still of the Night.
          
                           
          
                                                                       44.
          
          
               " The street is completely empty except for the dancer.
               Nicky, a small paper bag in his hand, reenters his father's
               building.
          
               INT. MICHAEL ROGAN'S LIVING ROOM
          60                                                             60
               The room bears some resemblance to the living room set at
               the Barrymore. Michael sits at the end of the sofa, weary.
               Nicky is taking an athletic bandage -- about four feet long
               and three inches wide -- out of the package.
          
               He sits in a chair that is set perpendicular to Michael's end
               of the sofa, so that Nicky is looking at his father in
               profile.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         `Why doesn't he come live with us?'
                         Because everything is here.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I know, Pop.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         I'm lucky they don't knock down the
                         building. It could happen anytime.
                         And everything worth remembering is
                         right here.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I think the building's okay. At
                         least for the time being.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         You didn't think it was okay when
                         you lived here. You wanted to get
                         out so fast I thought you were
                         running a marathon.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Normal boy's ambition. I like
                         coming back. You know that.
          
                                    MICHAEL
                         You tell your friends your father
                         used to work the docks. Callused
                         hands. But you had an attitude when
                         you were growing up that wasn't
                         easy for your mother and me to
                         understand.
          
               Nicky is gradually unbuttoning his father's shirt so that he
               can wrap the bandage around the old man's chest and back.
          
               E
          
          
          
          
                                                                       45.
          
          
          
                                    NICKY
                         I was in a hurry to do big things,
                         make big mistakes. Any mistakes
                         were okay as long as it was big.
                         But I'm trying to see these things
                         clearly and honestly. That's the
                         play they're going to kill starting
                         tonight. There's a guy out there
                         getting ready to rip it apart. And
                         that's us. Who we were and where we
                         come from.
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         So what are you going to do about
                         it?
          
                                   NICKY
                         What do you want me to do?
          
                                   MICHAEL
                         Show him who we are.
          
               Nicky takes off the shirt.
          
               Michael struggles out of his T-shirt and we see that he is
               wearing the elastic bandage he thought he had lost.
          
               He is sitting with his head tilted up, eyes closed, and is
               unaware that he is wearing the bandage.
          
               Nicky takes the new bandage, winds it tightly and puts it
               back in the box.
          
               His father has gone to sleep.
          
               EXT. STREET BUILDING
          61                                                                61
               It is dark and cold. Nicky emerges and walks west, diagonally
               across the street, to a barbershop on the other side of Ninth
               Avenue.
          
                lliot is on the stoop waiting for him.
          
               INT. THE BARBER SHOP
          62                                                                62
               Nicky sits in the barber chair. Elliot pulls up a customer's
               chair and sits with his back to the mirror, more or less
               facing Nicky. The barber, an elderly hawk-eyed man named
               Dodgie, begins his preparations for Nicky's haircut.
          
                                   NICKY
                         He carries a gun.
          
                                                                  46.
          
          
          
                              ELLIOT
                    Then you should carry a gun.
          
          He places the sheet over Nicky's upper body and fastens it at
          the neck.
          
                              NICKY
                    I used to carry a gun when I drove
                    a cab.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    Where is it?
          
                              NICKY
                    I gave it away. I thought, I'm a
                    writer now.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    That was a big mistake.
          
                              DODGIE
                    You should never be without a gun.
                    In this city?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    If he carries a gun, you have to
                    carry a gun.
          
                              NICKY
                    We're making too much of this.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    No, we're not.
          
                              NICKY
                    I'm not a lonely spooky writer like
                    you. Nursing a hundred grudges. I'm
                    a man who loves life.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    We're talking about something
                    deeper than grudges. How do we
                    respond to personal attack?
          
                              DODGIE
                    In this city? And you don't carry a
                    gun?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    How do we maintain our dignity and
                    self-respect?
          
                                                                  47.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    In other words why should we suffer
                    silently at this kind of abuse? The
                    man is out there ruining lives.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    It's your best play, Nicky.
          
                              NICKY
                    He'll hate it.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    He'll kill it. He'll write a review
                    so devastating it will shatter your
                    career and cause the most
                    unmanageable psychic grief. What
                    happens to your apartment on the
                    East River? Your house in
                    Connecticut, where you watch things
                    grow.
          
          Dodgie goes to the cabinet on which the cash register sits.
          He opens the cabinet door, slides out a drawer and removes
          some hand towels. There is something there he wants Nicky to
          see. An old pockmarked revolver.
          
          Nicky sees the gun.
          
                              NICKY
                    We were thinking of putting in a
                    pool.
          
                               ELLIOT
                        (quoting)
                    `The most interesting thing about
                    Elliot Litvak is that he writes the
                    way he looks -- fuzzy, grubby and
                    shifty-eyed.'
                        (beat)
                    I'm telling you as a friend.
          
                                NICKY
                    What?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    There are things that speak to us
                    from the past.
          
                              DODGIE
                    In this city you don't walk five
                    feet out the door and there is
                    somebody trying to take what's
                    yours.
          
                                                                  48.
          
          
          
                               ELLIOT
                    Your truth is locked in your past.
                    Find it. Know it for what it is.
                        (beat)
                    Shoot him, Nicky.
          
                                 NICKY
                    Shoot him.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    The American theater doesn't need
                    people like that.
          
                              NICKY
                    Shoot him, Nicky. Not that we
                    really mean it. But where does he
                    live?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    Keep going west. Last building
                    before the river.
          
                               NICKY
                    How do you Eknow.
          
                               LLIOT
                    Paisley Porter.
          
                              NICKY
                    What do you mean?
          
                              ELLIOT
                    About an hour and a half ago. I saw
                    her come out of a place. She said
                    she was visiting a friend. But she
                    wouldn't tell me who.
          
                              NICKY
                    Had to be him.
          
                              ELLIOT
                    She was very evasive.
          
          Nicky gets out of the chair. Dodgie removes the sheet for him
          and Elliot smooths down his clothes and hair, like a pair of
          grooms attending a warrior.
          
          Nicky goes to the cabinet, gets the gun. He returns to the
          chair.
          
                              NICKY
                    I'm enjoying this more every
                    minute.
          
          
          
                                                                         49.
          
          
          
               Elliot takes an after-dinner candy out of his pocket -- the
               candy he pocketed in the Italian restaurant after lunch. He
               blows the lint off and eats it.
          
                                   DODGIE
                         How do you want the sideburns.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Elegant and refined.
          
          63                                                                63
               EXT. SHEA STADIUM
          
               Crowds of people pouring down the ramps from the train
               station, hurrying, late.
          
               The umpire's room -- six men nibbling cookies, smoking a last-
               minute cigarette, adjusting equipment.
          
               An unidentified room somewhere in there lower reaches of the
               stadium. Twenty cases of Great Western champagne stacked and
               ready for the postgame celebration.
          
               INT. STEVEN SCHWIMMER'S LOFT
          64                                                                64
               Steven shaving. He does it symmetrically. A stroke under the
               left sideburn; a stroke under the right sideburn. Left side
               of jaw; right side of jaw.
          
               Steven standing in his shorts, applying putty to his jaw to
               make it square. Then a false mustache and a wavy blond
               hairpiece. Then a thick bronze makeup paste.
          
               Steven in front of a full-length mirror near the bed, putting
               on a bulletproof vest, which gives him a solid appearance,
               bulking his caved-in chest and concealing his pot belly.
          
               Steven putting on black trousers, a brash shirt with a bright
               bow tie, which he tips slightly askew. A pair of black and
               white shoes with elevator heels. Then his shoulder holster.
          
               Steven leaning over the coffee table, inserting bullets into
               the chamber of the revolver.
          
               With the gun in his holster, he stands in front of the
               mirror. Takes the gun out, aims it, puts it back in the
               holster.
          
               Does a dazzling karate move.
          
               Steven putting on a metallic rayon sport coat. A long silk
               scarf.
          
               We see a handsome, dashing young man.
          
          
                                                                         50.
          
          
          
               He puts on a pair of dark glasses and heads for the door.
          
               EXT. THE BARRYMORE
          65                                                               65
                pening night crowd. The sidewalk is mobbed. Limousines and
               taxis pulling up. Men in tuxedos, other men scalping tickets.
          
               The TV crew with a female reporter doing interviews: talking
               to Joanna Bourne and Sidney Fabrikant.
          
               A couple of ten-year-old break dancers entertain the well
               heeled opening night crowd.
          6
          
           6                                                               66
               INT. TAXI
          
               Stuck in traffic. Nicky in the rear seat.
          
               The driver is a black woman around fifty. Next to her in the
               front seat is her grandson, Matthew, who is ten.
          
               The interior of the taxi is homelike. A plastic drinking cup
               magnetically rooted to the dashboard. A small battery-
               operated fan next to the cup. The steering wheel is
               upholstered. There are family photographs on the dashboard
               and visors.
          
               Matthew's schoolbooks are next to him on the front seat. He
               is doing his homework.
          
               Driver's name plate --
          
                                      MOSEBY
                                      TOYOTA
          
                                     NICKY
                           I loved my taxi. A checkered cab.
                           Big and rumbly.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           I'm looking at you trying to think.
                           Put your face in the mirror. I know
                           I recognize you from somewhere.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Everybody else does. Why not you?
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           You're Frankie Lazzaro. The
                           gangster from Rhode Island.
          
                                      NICKY
                           Oh yeah?
          
                                                                   51.
          
          
          
                              TOYOTA
                    Matthew, look at him. When I lived
                    in Roxbury, the media followed this
                    man everywhere. He was bigger than
                    ten movie stars.
                        (to Nicky)
                    Where's your white Lincoln limo?
          
          Nicky is delighted at the mistake and alters his voice
          slightly, using a gangsterish inflection.
          
                              NICKY
                        (to Matthew)
                    Some little kid stole the hubcaps.
          
                              TOYOTA
                    The most charming gangster in New
                    England. Where are we going, Mr.
                    Lazzaro?
          
                              NICKY
                    Call me Frankie. And it looks like
                    we're going nowhere.
          
                              TOYOTA
                    Might be an accident on the West
                    Side Highway.
          
                              NICKY
                    How come you got the kid with you?
          
                              TOYOTA
                    Matthew's my grandson.
          
                              NICKY
                    A grandmother. God bless you.
          
                              TOYOTA
                    He does bless me, each and every
                    day. Matthew's mother works a
                    hospital shift, so I pick him up at
                    school. We stop for a meal usually
                    around this time. He does his
                    homework and gets some experience
                    meeting people. But we never had a
                    famous mobster before.
          
                              NICKY
                    It's the kid's lucky day.
          
                              TOYOTA
                    This is one charming crook. If
                    shooting people is charming.
          
                                                                       52.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         Now that's a complicated subject.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         That's a simple subject.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Look, we're stuck here front and
                         back. It's dinnertime for you, game
                         time for me. Let's park the cab and
                         go to Mannion's. What do you say,
                         Matthew? We'll drink beer and talk
                         baseball.
          
               GRAINY IMAGE
          67                                                               67
               Filling the screen. Actual footage. A man in a parachute
               coming down on an expanse of grass. It is the infield at Shea
               Stadium. He carries a sign reading "Let's Go, Mets". Security
               men hustle the parachutist off the field and into the Mets
               dugout as the game begins.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN
          68                                                               68
               We see that the image is on a TV screen over the bar. The
               place is crowded, a neighborhood tavern.
          
               Near the door: Nicky embracing the owner, a beefy man named
               Georgie. People coming and going.
          
                                    NICKY
                         Georgie.
          
                                   GEORGIE
                         Nicky, God bless. You're well? Your
                         family's well? That's all that
                         counts.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Are you absolutely sure?
          
                                    GEORGIE
                         Hey. I love this guy. Be good. Stay
                         well. I'm serious: Give my best to
                         everybody.
          
               They embrace.
          
               Faces lining the bar.
          
               TV images from the game.
          
                                                                         53.
          
          
          
               People at tables standing occasionally for a better look at
               the game.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE -LATER
          69                                                               69
               Nicky sits facing Toyota and Matthew. A young waiter is
               placing their food on the table.
          
                                   MATTHEW
                         What happens if somebody comes in
                         here right now and shoots you?
          
                                   NICKY
                         This place becomes famous. Tour
                         buses. Blind people feeling around
                         for bullet holes in the wall.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         You see what you're doing, don't
                         you?
          
                                   NICKY
                         What am I doing?
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         You're charming the boy.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Hey, Toyota. He asked me a
                         question.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         Frankie Lazzaro. Coming down the
                         courthouse steps every day in the
                         media. Children see this. They
                         think you're the Secretary of the
                         Treasury.
          
                                   NICKY
                         That's my cousin, Angelo.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE THEATER - DRESSING ROOM
          70                                                               70
               The actor Peter Redmond and the director Jack Haskins. A
               second actor, who is about fifteen, witnesses the exchange.
          
                                   JACK
                         This could be it.
          
                                   PETER
                         This could be it.
          
                                                                        54.
          
          
          
                                   JACK
                         This could be it.
          
                                   PETER
                         This could be it.
          
                                   JACK
                         Does it feel comfortable?
          
                                   PETER
                         Does what feel comfortable?
          
                                   JACK
                         This could be it.
          
                                   PETER
                         This could be it.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE MAIN ROOM - LATER
          71                                                                71
               People cluster around TV sets.
          
               Raucous noise.
          
               A waiter with a tray of food standing transfixed, watching
               the game.
          
               Nicky is now sitting next to Matthew and they are watching
               the game.
          
                                   MATTHEW
                         What's it like to shoot somebody?
          
                                   NICKY
                         I respect a kid who does his
                         homework in a taxi. But let's put a
                         lid on the questions.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         Go on, tell him. Tell the truth.
                         Tell him how you feel, shooting a
                         piece of hot metal in somebody's
                         flesh who was once a child, who was
                         once the same age as this boy.
                         Somebody's flesh who was innocent
                         once.
          
                                   NICKY
                         It's complicated. It's a whole
                         life. A person doesn't commit an
                         act of violence out of nowhere.
                         There are strong forces at work.
          
             
          
                                                                         55.
          
          
          
               TV audio: derisive shouts from the stadium crowd directed at
               A
               Red Sox players.
          
               Action on the field.
          
                                   TV VOICES
                         Dew-eeey! Rog-errr!
          
               The bar crowd picks up the chant.
          
               TV images. The Red Sox have scored and lead 2-0.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          72                                                               72
               Nicky stands to see the action better. His jacket swings open
               and Toyota sees the revolver tucked into his waistband.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE
          73                                                               73
                eople seating themselves in the orchestra.
          
               Noise from the tavern TV continues to be heard from the
               subjective viewpoint of a man in the theater who has a
               miniature TV and earphones.
          
               Steven Schwimmer in an aisle seat in the orchestra. He sees
               Paisley sitting in the theatre some distance away.
          
               House lights go down.
          
               Two figures hurrying down the aisle. An usher leading a young
               woman. The woman is Laurel Rogan, Nicky's daughter, wearing
               her headset antennas.
          
               Laurel squeezes past some people and takes her seat, and
               Steven, sitting three rows back, watches her with interest.
          
               The curtain comes open.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - LATER
          74                                                               74
               Cheering from the bar crowd.
          
               Nicky is a little disheveled. He has finished his dinner and
               is eating from Toyota's plate finishing and watching the
               game.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         You're a family man, Frankie?
          
                                   NICKY
                         Wife and daughter. My father's
                         still alive.
                                   (MORE)
          
                                                                       56.
                                   NICKY(cont'd)
                         He outlives me, starting tonight.
                         Because the Mets just tied the
                         score. It was only a matter of
                         time, wasn't it?
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         An how many years does it take a
                         person to make his family safe and
                         secure and happy, and then in one
                         dumb moment, what does he do?
          
                                   NICKY
                         I don't know Toyota. What does he
                         do?
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         And the people he hurts the most
                         are the people who love him.
                         Despite who he is and what he does
                         for a living. We're always saying
                         we want to take control of our
                         lives. You don't want to take
                         control. You want to lose control.
                         Jesus knows it.
          
               Nicky is standing again but he's not looking at the TV screen
               this time. His gaze is directed at someone who has just
               entered the tavern.
          
               A woman stands at the entrance, middle-aged and somewhat
               anxious, looking for someone. She is Lillian Rogan, Nicky's
               wife.
          
                                   NICKY
                         It's a complicated subject.
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         It's a simple subject.
          
               Nicky gestures that he will be right back.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE BOOTH
          75                                                             75
                                   LILLIAN
                         Your father said you might be here.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Two-all after six.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         I've been looking for you because I
                         want to let you know what's been
                         going on before you read about it
                         in a gossip column.
          
                                                               57.
          
          
          
                                   NICKY
                         We stranded five runners in the
                         first two innings. This will come
                         back to haunt us.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         I want to be fair-minded, Nicky.
          
                                   NICKY
                         All right. What's been going on?
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         I've been talking to a prominent
                         divorce lawyer.
          
                                   NICKY
                         How prominent?
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         He has his own submarine. I'll be
                         getting everything that matters.
                         I'll get New York and I'll get
                         Connecticut.
          
               Happy roars from the bar crowd.
          
               A young waiter arrives with menus.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I'll have whatever she's having.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                             (to Waiter)
                         I don't want to be responsible for
                         his food. Just a small green salad.
                         And a Perrier.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Bring me the bay scallops with
                         mercury poisoning.
          
                                   WAITER
                         Yessiree, Bob.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Get the hell out of here. I don't
                         want you bringing our food. Send a
                         real waiter.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE BAR
          76                                                     76
               TV images: action on the field.
          
                                                                       58.
          
          
          
               Crowd at the bar. Noise like a massive pulse beat. Bar crowd
               picks up chant from stadium crowd.
          
                                   BAR VOICES
                         Rog-errrr! Dew-eeey!
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE BOOTH - LATER
          77                                                             77
               Dinner has arrived with a bottle of wine. A cigarette burns
               in the ashtray in front of Lillian.
          
                                   NICKY
                         Opening night, Lillian.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         Who the hell cares?
          
                                   NICKY
                         The whole thing is my fault. I took
                         unfair advantage of your patience
                         and understanding. You understand
                         me.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         That's always been my problem.
          
                                   NICKY
                         And you've been extremely patient.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         You know why, don't you? Because I
                         am patient, chain-smoking Lillian.
          
                                   NICKY
                         You smoked because I smoked. We
                         were falling in love, remember? I
                         used to see certain movies only
                         because you had seen them. I wanted
                         to see what you saw.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         I'd forgotten that.
          
                                   NICKY
                         I went because you went. You smoked
                         because I smoked.
          
                                   LILLIAN
                         That's very lovely actually.
          
                                                          59.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    Laurel wants us to be honest and
                    open. Let's be open with each
                    other.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    Be open with me. I'd like that.
          
                              NICKY
                    There may be things you'd rather
                    not know about.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    I want to know. We haven't talked
                    this way in years.
          
                              NICKY
                    I had an affair -- are you sure you
                    want to hear this?
          
                              LILLIAN
                    Joanne Bourne.
          
                              NICKY
                    Alma Wetzel.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    Nicky, no. This is insupportable.
                    How could you?
          
                              NICKY
                    I'm a man. She's, you know, a
                    woman.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    She's my gynecologist.
          
          Lillian begins to weep lightly.
          
                              NICKY
                    I am really, deeply sorry.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    It violates so many trusts.
          
                              NICKY
                    It was an animal thing. No real
                    intimacy.
          
                              LILLIAN
                    I never thought of Dr. Wetzel as
                    having a sex life outside the
                    office.
          
                               
          
                                                                       60.
          
          
          
                                      NICKY
                            We did it in the office. She
                            thought her apartment was too
                            impersonal.
          
                                      LILLIAN
                            I'm glad we're having this talk.
          
                                      NICKY
                            I feel great. I feel impeccably
                            alive. I'm elated. Eat something.
                            Please. I love you.
          7
          
           8                                                               78
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE BAR
          
               Moans from the bar crowd.
          
               TV images.
          
               Scoreboard: Red Sox lead 3-2 in the seventh inning.
          
               EXT. THE STREET
          79                                                               79
               Nicky with one arm raised, hailing a taxi. He and Lillian
               kiss sweetly.
          
               A taxi pulls up and Lillian gets in. She and Nicky hold hands
               through the window.
          
                                      LILLIAN
                            You look awful, sweetheart. Get a
                            haircut. Get a lawyer.
          
               Across the street, the man in the cutaway is dancing with his
               doll. The tape machine plays, "In the Wee Small Hours of the
               Morning."
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN
          80                                                               80
               Nicky rejoins Toyota and Matthew. He carries the wine bottle
               and his glass.
          
                                       MATTHEW
                            Great game. Red Sox are winning.
          
                                      NICKY
                            They're always winning. Until they
                            lose.
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            Your problem is you take the easy
                            way out. Losing is easy.
          
                                                                       61.
          
          
          
                                     NICKY
                           Winning is easy. Losing is
                           complicated. It's a lifetime's
                           work.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           It may be work but it's not honest
                           work. Faith is the real work.
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           Clemens has a blister. Look.
                           They're pinch-hitting for him.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Mike Greenwell comes up to hit for Clemens. Two pitches, two
               strikes.
          
                                     NICKY
                           He's a twenty-four-game winner. He
                           pitches seven solid innings. We
                           scratch out a one-run lead. Of
                           course he gets a blister. Of course
                           they put up Greenwell even though
                           Baylor's sitting on the bench. Of
                           course Greenwell strikes out.
          
               Third pitch. Greenwell strikes out.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          81                                                             81
                                     TOYOTA
                           You made him strike out. You wished
                           it on him. You want to lose. It's
                           too hard for you to believe in
                           something. It's hard to have faith.
                           It's hard Nwork to trust somebody.
          
                                     NICKY
                               (reciting)
                           "It looked extremely rocky for the
                           Boston nine that day."
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           You're afraid to risk believing.
                           Believe in them. Believe in your
                           self. Take a risk. It will humanize
                           you as a person.
          
                                     NICKY
                           I want to believe.
          
             
          
          
                                                                        62.
          
          
          
                                   TOYOTA
                         If you believed, you wouldn't be
                         walking around with a handgun in
                         your belt. What does that tell me?
                         You want to make the night come
                         down.
          
          82                                                                82
               INT. THE BARRYMORE
          
                iew from the wings. Jack Haskins and Renee Simon looking on.
          
               The stage. Peter Redmond as the Father sits at the end of the
               sofa. The fifteen-year-old actor who plays the Son approaches
               him, sitting on a footstool and leaning close.
          
                                    FATHER
                         I always thought a night's sleep is
                         what you get for a hard day's work.
                         But these last weeks I lie there
                         helpless. Hour after hour. I've
                         come close to praying for the first
                         time since I was your age. Pray to
                         God to put Sme out.
          
                                    SON
                         I talked to the doctor again, Pop.
                         He said she's not getting any
                         better. He wants to talk to you. I
                         think he means right away.
          
                                   FATHER
                         How bad is she?
          
                                   SON
                         This could be it.
          
               Peter stares at the Son, a look of desolation slowly entering
               his face.
          
               In the wings, Renee looks at Jack. She is equally desolate.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE - THE ORCHESTRA SEATS
          83                                                                83
               Laurel in the audience leans forward, waiting for the next
               line.
          
                teven Schwimmer watches, giving nothing away.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE - THE STAGE
          84                                                                84
                eter staring at the Son. The Son looking increasingly
               bewildered.
          
                                                                          63.
          
          
          
               Sound of coughing in the audience.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE - THE WINGS
          85                                                                85
               Renee takes a newspaper off a chair, offers a section to
               Jack, keeps the rest for herself.
          
          8    Sound of coughing intensifies.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN
           6                                                                86
               Boisterous noise from the bar crowd.
          
               Two women exchanging high fives.
          
               TV images.
          
               Scoreboard: 3-3 after nine innings.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          87                                                                87
               Nicky is finishing his wine. Matthew is next to him,
               standing.
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            Say it and you'll believe it. Life
                            is good. Say it.
          
                                      NICKY
                            I want to say it because my whole
                            life may depend on these next few
                            moments.
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            Then say it.
          
                                      NICKY
                            Life is good.
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            Speak it like it's real. Matthew.
          
                                      MATTHEW
                            Life is good.
          
                                      NICKY
                            Life is good.
          
               Raucous, mocking cries from the Bar Crowd.
          
                                      BAR CROWD
                            Hen-duuu! Hen-duuu!
          
                                                                        64.
          
          
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           What are people?
          
                                     NICKY
                           I don't know.
          
                                       TOYOTA
                           Matthew.
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           People are dependable.
          
                                     NICKY
                           I don't know if I can say that.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           People are dependable.
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           People are dependable.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Let's see what Henderson does.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Dave Henderson stands at the plate to lead off the Red Sox
               tenth.
          8
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
           8                                                                88
               A real waiter arrives -- obese, slow-moving, with hair
               curling out of his ears -- and he brings ice cream for
               Matthew, coffee for Toyota and a stinger for Nicky.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Finally, I get a waiter who doesn't
                           know "Macbeth".
          
                                     WAITER
                           But I know you, don't I? I seen you
                           on a poster in the theater
                           district. I'll think of your name
                           in just a --
          
               Nicky lifts his hand to stop the man.
          
                                       NICKY
                           You know-
          
                                       BAR CROWD
                           Hen-duuu!
          
            
          
                                                                       65.
          
          
          
               Then a moan and deep silence.
          
               Nicky disengages from the altercation and looks at the TV
               screen.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Dave Henderson has hit a home run and the Red Sox now lead 4-
               3.
          
          89                                                               89
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          
               Toyota and Matthew are jubilant, and Nicky is quick to join
               them. It is the only lively table in the place.
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           People are dependable.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           Life is good.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Baseball is life.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               The Red Sox push across another run when Barrett singles,
               driving home Boggs.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Enjoy your ice cream, kid. When
                           you're an old man it'll come back
                           to you. The same deep sweet soft
                           toothy taste. And you'll remember
                           where you were and what you saw.
          
               Scoreboard shows: Red Sox 5, Mets 3, going into the last of
               the tenth.
          
               INT. THE BARRYMORE
          90                                                               90
                he theater is nearly emptied out. A few people still heading
               toward the exits. Laurel Rogan remains seated, wearing her
               headset, listening to the ball game. She is concentrating
               deeply, fists clenched.
          
               Only one other person is still seated, three rows back. It is
               Steven and he is looking intently at Laurel.
          
               The house lights dim.
          
                                                                       66.
          
          
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN
          91                                                             91
               Toyota, Matthew and Nicky are huddled closely, watching the
               screen. Matthew is seated now and Nicky leans over him from
               behind, framing the boy's head in his hands so that Matthew's
               attention will be directed unswervingly to the action on the
               screen.
          
               The bar crowd is somber.
          
               Nicky drops his mob accent.
          
                                     NICKY
                           This is something no one has been
                           privileged to see in almost seventy
                           years. Very few people now alive
                           can say that they have seen what
                           you are about to see, Matthew. The
                           Red Sox win a World Series. This is
                           deeply, intensely personal. All the
                           mistakes I've made, all the envy,
                           fear and violence that's encased in
                           this little envelope we call a
                           person -- all washed away in the
                           next few minutes. And your
                           grandmother knows why.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           Because God loves a winner.
          
                                     NICKY
                           He used to love losers. But the
                           laws of physics changed.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Backman flies out to Jim Rice. One out.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          92                                                             92
                                     NICKY
                           Backman flies to Rice. It's like a
                           beautiful song lyric.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Hernandez flied out to Henderson.
          
                                                                       67.
          
          
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          93                                                             93
                                      NICKY
                           All the times I died when the Red
                           Sox lost an important game they
                           should have won. All the awful
                           things I said to my mother and
                           father. To Tmy wife and daughter.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           Washed away.
          
                                     NICKY
                           Because life is good.
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           Because faith is rewarded.
          
               INT. RED SOX LOCKER ROOM
          94                                                             94
               Attendants putting plastic in front of the lockers to prevent
               champagne damage. Camera crew setting up. Men wheeling the
               twenty cases of champagne into the clubhouse. A man peeling
               foil from the tops of the bottles.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          95                                                             95
                                     NICKY
                           All the failures, all the fatalism.
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           Washed away.
          
                                     NICKY
                           One more out.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Carter singles to left.
          
               The bar crowd remains silent.
          
                                     NICKY (V.O.)
                           One more out. One more out.
          
               Mitchell singles to center.
          
               Slight stirring among the bar patrons. A few people, about to
               exit, return to the bar.
          
                                                                       68.
          
          
          
                                     TOYOTA (O.S.)
                           It's all right, Frankie. Just a
                           little touch of suspense. Life is
                           good.
          
                                     MATTHEW (O.S.)
                           Baseball is life.
          
                                     NICKY (O.S.)
                           One more little out. A nubber. A
                           pop-up. All year long, thousands of
                           outs. We want one more little out.
          
               Knight singles to right center. Carter scores and Mitchell
               goes to third. The score is 5-4.
          
               The whole tavern is rocking.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          96                                                                96
                                     TOYOTA
                           Don't worry. It's a test.
          
                                     NICKY
                           It's a test all right. They're
                           bringing in Stanley.
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Bob Stanley trots in from the bullpen.
          
                                     NICKY (O.S.)
                           It's Stanley. It's the Steamer.
                           Fate has spoken to this man in the
                           depths of the night.
          
                                     MATTHEW (O.S.)
                           What did it say?
          
                                      NICKY (O.S.)
                           A thousand things.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          97                                                                97
                                     MATTHEW
                           You're hurting my head.
          
               Nicky releases his grip on Matthew's head.
          
               The bar crowd begins to chant.
          
                                     BAR VOICES
                           Mookie, Mookie, Mookie, Mookie!
          
                                                                          69.
          
          
          
               TV SCREEN
          
               Mookie Wilson stands in against Bob Stanley.
          
                                    MATTHEW (O.S.)
                           We're still winning. That's what
                           counts.
          
               First pitch to Wilson -- he swings and misses.
          
               Silence from the bar crowd, cheers from Nicky's table.
          
               Second pitch to Wilson -- he fouls it off. No balls, two
               strikes.
          
               Sound begins to fade. Wilson fouls off a pitch. Wilson takes
               a ball, outside. Wilson fouls off another pitch.
          
               Absolute, unnatural silence.
          
               Stanley prepares to throw. The silence suddenly breaks and
               for the first time we hear the TV Announcers clearly.
          
                                     ANNOUNCER 1
                           The Sox are one pitch away.
          
                                     ANNOUNCER 2
                           One pitch away.
          
                                     ANNOUNCER 1
                           Stanley's getting ready.
          
                                     ANNOUNCER 2
                           This could be it.
          
                                     ANNOUNCER 1
                           This could be it.
          
               INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          98                                                                98
               Nicky recognizing the line from his play.
          
                                     NICKY
                           This could be it!
          
                                     MATTHEW
                           This could be it!
          
                                     TOYOTA
                           This could be it!
          
                                     NICKY
                           This could be it!
          
                            
          
                                                                           70.
          
          
          
                Nicky is charged with excitement, hearing the line as a
                favorable sign, a positive connection between the play and
                the game.
          
                TV SCREEN
          
                Stanley winds up and throws. It's a wild pitch. Mitchell
                comes in from third with the tying run.
          
                The bar crowd erupts in cheers.
          
                INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          99                                                                 99
                Shock and dread.
          
                                      MATTHEW
                            It's all right. It's a tie game. We
                            can still win it next inning.
          
                Nicky drinks his stinger.
          
                                      BAR CROWD
                            Mookie, Mookie, Mookie, Mookie!
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            This is the time. Trust in people.
                            Believe in life. Faith is hard
                            work. Don't give in. Don't give up.
          
                                      MATTHEW
                            Life is true.
          
                                      NICKY
                            Life is real.
          
                                      TOYOTA
                            Trust your team.
          
                TV SCREEN
          
                Stanley delivers to Wilson. Sound fades away. Action is    in
                super slow motion.
          
                Wilson swings and hits a bouncing ball toward first base.
                Stanley moves off the mound to cover first. Wilson drops his
                bat and races down the line. Bill Buckner, the first baseman,
                ranges to his left to field the ball.
          
                INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE TABLE
          100                                                               100
                Nicky watches as if in a trance. Complete silence around him.
                He is separate from everybody else, the only clearly defined
                figure in a group of shadowy and indistinct people.
          
          
          
                                                                        71.
          
          
          
                TV SCREEN
          
                Nicky's viewpoint. An image of Bill Buckner in silvery light
                expanding out of the TV screen to fill the larger
                environment. Moving soundlessly in slow motion, Buckner
                fields the bouncing ball and heads toward the bag. He beats
                Wilson to the base by an eyelash and the inning ends with the
                teams tied at 5-5.
          
                Frozen moment: Buckner holding his glove hand aloft, the ball
                securely gripped. In the drama of the moment, Buckner seems
                to be crying out a word or name, but his face is twisted with
                tension and exertion and we can't make out what he is saying.
          
                INT. THE BARRYMORE
          101                                                               101
                Laurel Rogan, seen from behind, is somewhat slumped in her
                seat. She turns off the radio, removes the headset and rises.
                She moves along the row toward the aisle.
          
                She appears to be the only person in the theater.
          
                She moves trudgingly up the aisle toward the exit. At the
                head of the aisle she is startled by a figure standing in
                dimness.
          
                It is Steven Schwimmer.
          
                They look at each other. Sound of the cleaning crew in the
                lobby and then a door opening at the rear of the orchestra.
                Light from a flashlight plays across the seats and walls. The
                beam hits Laurel first and then Steven.
          
                The beam holds on Steven. What Laurel sees is a strikingly
                handsome young man, dramatically lighted . He takes off his
                dark glasses, so she can see his eyes.
          
                INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - MEN'S ROOM
          102                                                               102
                Cramped space. Nicky at the washbasin, disheveled but happy,
                washing his face.
          
                One man at the urinal. SECOND MAN behind him, waiting his
                turn.
          
                Nicky drying his face with a paper towel.
          
                                      NICKY
                            Great game.
          
                                      FIRST MAN
                            Unbelievable.
          
                                                         72.
          
          
          
                               NICKY
                    Classic.
          
                              SECOND MAN
                    Scintillating.
          
                              FIRST MAN
                    I still don't believe it.
          
                              NICKY
                    Have to hurry back.
          
                              SECOND MAN
                    Hurry back. Hurry back to what?
          
                              NICKY
                    Eleventh inning. What else?
          
                              FIRST MAN
                        (zipping up)
                    I think you're a little confused.
                    Nothing personal friend.
          
                              NICKY
                    What are you talking about?
          
                              FIRST MAN
                    What are we talking about?
          
                              NICKY
                    Yes. What are you implying?
          
          The second man approaches the urinal.
          
                              SECOND MAN
                    Game six is history,pal.
          
                              NICKY
                    You're not making sense.
          
                              FIRST MAN
                    We're not making sense.
          
                              SECOND MAN
                    Did you see Mookie hit the ball?
          
                              NICKY
                    Of course I saw it.
          
                              FIRST MAN
                    Did you see the winning run score?
          
                                                                           73.
          
          
          
                                      NICKY
                            You're not making sense. Make
                            sense.
          
                Nicky throws his paper towel at the men. No one moves. They
                are trying to interpret this action.
          
                                       NICKY
                            You're implying I missed something.
                            What did I Fmiss?
          
                                       IRST MAN
                            You missed the boat, Popeye the
                            Sailorman.
          
                Nicky charges the men. He and the First Man wrestle each
                other into the stall.
          
                                      SECOND MAN
                            Hold him till I zip up, Tommy.
          
                Nicky and the First Man are grappling in the stall. Second
                Man hurriedly washes his hands at the basin.
          
                                      NICKY
                            Baseball is life. Life is good.
          
                Al three men in the stall, wrestling. Nicky has one foot in
                the bowl as someone's elbow strikes the handles and the
                toilet flushes.
          
                INT. MANION'S OLD TIMER TAVERN - THE BAR AREA - A LITTLE 103
          103
                LATER
          
                The crowd is slowly breaking up. A few people still clustered
                near the TV sets, which are showing replays.
          
                Nicky is standing alone near a small set at the back on the
                room. His clothing torn and stained. One shoe and pants leg
                dripping wet. A bruise on his forehead.
          
                He is watching a replay.
          
                TV SCREEN
          
                Wilson hits the ball. It bounces twice, then goes under
                Buckner's glove. Knight scores from the third with the
                winning run. A 6-5 victory for the Mets.
          
                The main light in the tavern goes out. The TV sets keep
                replaying Buckner's error. Regular speed, slow motion, color,
                black and white.
          
                                                                           74.
          
          
          
                Nicky stands in the darkness, brooding.
          
                EXT. LOFT BUILDING
          104                                                               104
                The condemned building where Steven Schwimmer lives. The
                street is deserted.
          
          105                                                               105
                INT. STEVEN'S LOFT
          
                Steven and Laurel on the sofa. He is unbuttoning her blouse.
          
                Two sources of light. A candle on the coffee table. The small
                TV set on the counter -- showing a newscast, with sound
                turned off.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Why won't you tell me your name?
          
                                    STEVEN
                          It's only our first date.
          
                Steven undoes the last button.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          I'm willing to tell you my name.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          Names are incredibly intimate. We
                          barely know each other. Trust me on
                          this.
          
                She decides she will trust him. They kiss softly.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          You have to tell me what you
                          thought of the play.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          First you tell me.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Brilliantly moving.
          
                She begins to remove his jacket.
          
                                       STEVEN
                          What else?
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Packs an emotional wallop.
          
                                       STEVEN
                          What else?
          
                                                                        75.
          
          
          
                                    LAUREL
                          A flat-out hit.
          
                Together they get his jacket off.
          
                                     STEVEN
                          Are you majoring in theater
                          criticism.
          
                Laurel sees the shoulder holster and gun.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Criminology.
          
                They kiss passionately.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          If you're wondering about the
                          firearm.
          
                                       LAUREL
                          Yes.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          This building is not secure.
          
                They are all over the sofa, working on the removal of
                Steven's shirt.
          
          
          
                INT. THE ENTRANCEWAY
          106                                                            106
                Nicky makes his way past the debris. The front door is gone,
                the inner door smashed and battered -- door knobs gone and
                locking mechanism ripped out.
          
                He starts up the stairs past a dead or sleeping body.
          
                INT. THE LOFT
          107                                                            107
                On the sofa, Laurel is straddling Steven, whose shirt is
                almost completely off, exposing his bulletproof vest. Laurel
                is blouseless and barefoot, with her unzipped skirt still on
                and her bra dangling from one shoulder.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          I have this thing where I have to
                          know a person is being honest with
                          me before, you know, I can feel
                          completely free to be myself.
          
                                                                        76.
          
          
          
                                    STEVEN
                          We're strangers in the night. The
                          last thing we want is honesty.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          What do we want?
          
                                    STEVEN
                          Mystery. Deception.
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Deception isn't something I
                          personally consider sexy.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          What's sexy?
          
                                    LAUREL
                          Knowing who a person is. Down deep.
          
                                    STEVEN
                          Even if the truth about a person is
                          sad or depressing or shocking?
          
                                    LAUREL
                          You won't even tell me your name.
                          What's shocking about a name?
          
                Steven maneuvers himself into a sitting position so that he
                and Laurel face each other at equal height and at close
                quarters. 
          
                                    STEVEN
                          Even if the truth requires a
                          certain adjustment?
          
                Steven begins removing the cosmetic putty around his
                naturally shallow chin. He uses Laurel's hair clip to scrape
                his jaw clean. Then he peels off his fake mustache. And
                borrows Laurel's dangling bra cup to wipe the bronzing agent
                off his face.
          
                INT. THE LANDING
          108                                                            108
                Nicky stands with his back to Steven's door. His gun is out.
                He holds it up near his face, muzzle pointed up.
          
                He looks at the gun as if it had feelings and personality,
                and he speaks to it as to a sympathetic friend.
          
                                    NICKY
                          I used to go to the movies all the
                          time.
                                    (MORE)
          
                                                                        77.
                                    NICKY(cont'd)
                          I saw a hundred situations like
                          this. A man and a gun -- and a
                          locked door. Lee Marvin or Steve
                          McQueen. And I used to say to
                          Lillian because we went to a
                          hundred movies that we saw together
                          or that I saw because she had seen
                          them, and I'd say, `Watch him kick
                          in the door with one kick,' And it
                          might be Steve McQueen or Jeff
                          Chandler, holding the gun up like
                          this, and he would turn and kick
                          the door and it would fly open at
                          once, and I would say to Lillian,
                          `How completely phony. Whoever made
                          this movie has no idea how hard it
                          is to kick in an actual door in
                          real life.' I still love Lillian.
                          But it's not easy to kick in a
                          door. I knew they would lose and
                          they lost, so what are we so upset
                          about? They lost tonight, they'll
                          lose tomorrow. It's written on the
                          wind.
          1
                INT. THE LOFT
           09                                                            109
                Laurel is on her feet, backing away slightly. Steven removed
                his shoes and stands in his stocking feet, noticeably shorter
                than he'd been earlier.
          
                He begins to unstrap the bulletproof vest, causing Laurel to
                retreat further.
          
                INT. THE LANDING
          110                                                            110
                                    NICKY
                          These wives named Lillian. I used
                          to say to her, `You don't kick a
                          door once or twice and expect it to
                          open. It's only in the movies a man
                          can kick in a door with such
                          amazing ease. Because a real door
                          requires a tremendous and prolonged
                          pounding before it finally gives
                          way.' He's a great player...how
                          could that ball go through his
                          legs?
          
                Nicky turns, steps back and kicks the door. It opens at once.
          
                                                                          78.
          
          
          
                INT. THE LOFT
          111                                                              111
                Steven and Laurel are briefly immobilized by shock as the
                door comes flying open.
          
                Nicky moves toward the candle-lit couple.
          
                Laurel realizes who he is and stands by the sofa. She zips
                her skirt.
          
                Nicky is trying to understand what he sees, then he gets it.
          
                                    NICKY
                              (quiet)
                          Laurel.
          
                Nicky holds his gun hand aloft, repeating the image of Bill
                Buckner with the baseball in his glove -- Nicky's
                hallucination.
          
                Then Nicky issues a cry, a sound from the time before humans
                acquired language. It is the audible anguish of his life,
                from the fetus onward.
          
                We hear what he is saying in overlapping echoes and we
                realize he is crying out a name. We recognize the look on his
                face and the formation of syllables on his lips as elements
                we'd seen earlier -- on Buckner's face when he shouted
                something as he made N
                                     the "third out" of the tenth inning.
          
                                    NICKY
                          Ste-vennnn Schwim-merrrr!
          
                Laurel reacts with horror to the revelation of Steven's
                identity. She rearranges her bra.
          
                Nicky stumbles, drops his gun. It goes off.
          
                Steven flees toward the shadows at the back of the loft, his
                hand moving toward the gun in his shoulder holster.
          
                Nicky picks up his gun and begins to stalk him.
          
                Steven fires twice striking a nearby lamp. The room is dark
                now. Lit only by the blue glow of the TV.
          
                The TV sports roundup, which has been showing football
                highlights, has switched to baseball -- highlights of the Red
                Sox-Mets.
          
                Nicky reaches Laurel.
          
                   
          
                                                                   79.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                        (crying out)
                    This is my daughterrrrr!
          
          Steven is wide-eyed at the news.
          
                              LAUREL
                    I don't think he knew, Daddy.
          
          Nicky sees the photo of Steven and his cat. He shoots twice,
          blows it away.
          
                              LAUREL
                    Daddy, I'm sorry. But he was so
                    beautiful. I trusted him. When I
                    saw what he really looks like --
          
          A voice from shadows:
          
                              STEVEN
                        (OS)
                    Am I really so deeply repugnant?
          
                              LAUREL
                    Yes.
          
                              NICKY
                    Go home, Laurel. Tell your mother I
                    will be late.
          
          Nicky walks toward Steven's voice, toward the shadows.
          
                              NICKY
                    You're going to die. You're a dead
                    man. You're dead.
          
          He notices Laurel following behind him.
          
                              NICKY
                    Look. I'm sorry you keep running
                    into dishonest men. But you're only
                    eighteen. We can still turn it
                    around.
          
                              LAUREL
                    Except I won't have a father
                    anymore.
          
                              NICKY
                    I'll see you all the time. I'll get
                    a place right nearby. One room. No
                    distractions. We'll talk.
          
                                                                     80.
          
          
          
          He shouts into the darkness.
          
                              NICKY
                    YOU'RE DEAD!
          
          Laurel puts her hand on his shoulder.
          
                              LAUREL
                    What will we talk about?
          
                              NICKY
                    Everything.
          
          Nicky sees one of the New York Magazine ads, Steven
          Schwimmer's face mounted on the cardboard. He fires three
          times, wiping out Schwimmer's eyes.
          
                               LAUREL
                    Will I believe you when you tell me
                    something?
          
                              NICKY
                    There's nothing left for me to lie
                    about.
          
          Nicky starts into the darkness only to see Steven emerge from
          the shadows, his gun lowered. Oddly, he seems distracted by
          something on another part of the room. He is looking at the
          TV set on the counter.
          
          Nicky watches him approach the kitchen area. He follows, gun
          raised.
          
          Steven sits on a stool to watch TV.
          
          Nicky approaches warily, his gun aimed at Steven's head,
          which is blue-lit by the TV screen.
          
                              NICKY
                    You're dead. I see you on a morgue
                    slab drained of all fluids.
          
          Laurel follows at a distance to see what they're so
          interested in.
          
          Nicky puts the gun muzzle flush against Steven's temple.
          
                              NICKY
                    I see the outline of your body in
                    chalk on this very floor.
          
                                                                   81.
          
          
          
                              LAUREL
                        (whispering)
                    Daddy, wait.
          
          Steven is watching slow-motion footage of Bill Buckner
          missing the slow roller.
          
                              STEVEN
                    Then they lost?
          
                              NICKY
                    Why does it matter?
          
                              STEVEN
                    If they lost tonight, they'll lose
                    tomorrow. It's all over.
          
                              NICKY
                    Why do you care?
          
                              STEVEN
                    They're my team.
          
                              NICKY
                    No. They're not your team. They're
                    my team.
          
          Nicky cocks the hammer.
          
                              STEVEN
                    They're my team, too. I grew up on
                    Boyleston Street. Right by Fenway
                    Park. I went to fifty or sixty
                    games a year. All by myself. I was
                    one of those kids with scabby
                    elbows. I called out to the
                    players. `Look over here. Hi, I'm
                    Steven. My parents are divorced.'
          
                              NICKY
                    I went to college in Boston so I
                    could be near the Red Sox. I took
                    summer classes and the cut them to
                    go to the game. My wife is from
                    Boston. Lillian Ziegler?
          
                              STEVEN
                    The Red Sox were my world. I
                    surrendered my existence to a team
                    that couldn't win the big one.
          
                                                          82.
          
          
          
                              NICKY
                    If you're such a devoted fan, why
                    were you at the play tonight
                    instead of the game? Answer
                    carefully. This is important. You
                    could have gone to the theater last
                    night. There was no game last
                    night.
          
                              STEVEN
                    Because I can't bear to watch. When
                    they lose, I die inside. It's like
                    some little person named Steve just
                    crumples up and dies. I wait for
                    the scores. I still die, hearing
                    the scores, but it's over in a
                    second. I can't survive the game
                    pitch by pitch, inning by inning.
                    I've done it too many times. And I
                    can't do it anymore.
          
          Nicky lowers the gun.
          
                              NICKY
                    I was six years old the day Pesky
                    hesitated throwing home and
                    Slaughter scored all the way from
                    first. That's when I knew the Red
                    Sox were my team. Pity and terror.
          
                              STEVEN
                    When I traveled through Asia this
                    summer, I went to tremendous
                    trouble and expense to rent a car
                    with a phone so I could call up
                    Sports Phone in New York and get
                    the scores. I drove through the war
                    in Afghanistan calling Sports Phone
                    like every hour on the hour, for
                    updates.
          
                              NICKY
                    What about my play?
          
                              LAUREL
                    Yes. And no more evasive tactics.
          
                              STEVEN
                    It's your best play, Nicky.
          
                              LAUREL
                    See, Daddy.
          
                                                                  83.
          
          
          
                              STEVEN
                    I've seen it twice. I went back
                    tonight to be sure. It's a brave
                    and honest piece of work.
          
                                 LAUREL
                    What else?
          
                              STEVEN
                    An artistry and sensitivity you've
                    never shown before.
          
                              NICKY
                    And you're not saying that because
                    of the gun in my hand?
          
                              STEVEN
                    You're out of bullets.
          
          Nicky points the gun at the palm of his own left hand and
          pulls the trigger. A click.
          
                              LAUREL
                    See, Daddy.
          
                              STEVEN
                    And Peter Redmond helped immensely.
                    These pauses were exquisitely
                    timed. He made us wait and wait. He
                    built a gorgeous tension and
                    suspense.
          
                              NICKY
                    We worked very hard on the pauses.
          
          Nicky places it on the counter.
          
                              STEVEN
                    I called Sports Phone from Lhasa,
                    Tibet. Freezing in my little rented
                    Fiat. Sheep on a hillside. Rocky
                    debris dating back millions and
                    millions of years, from the time
                    the Himalayas thrust up when the
                    plates of India and Asia collided.
                    Red Sox 3, White Sox 2. A moment in
                    the history of the world.
          
          Nicky takes Steven's head and moves it tenderly against his
          chest. When Nicky releases the head, he has Steven's toupee
          in his hand. He looks at it briefly, then hands it to Laurel.
          
                                                                           84.
          
          
          
                EXT. 48TH STREET NEAR ELEVENTH AVENUE
          112                                                               112
                A yellow taxi comes speeding past, moving eastward on 48th
                Street. We see it from various perspectives and elevations.
                It is a large checkered cab, the only thing moving in the
                night. Steam comes billowing from funnel vents. The taxi
                catches every light just before it turns red.
          
                INT. TAXI
          113                                                               113
                Nicky is driving, his face showing intense satisfaction.
                Laurel sits next to him.
          
                Driver's name plate ---
          
                                     MEMLUK
                                     SULEYMAN
          
                The driver sits in the middle of the rear seat, looking
                somewhat nervous.
          
                                      LAUREL
                            Faster, Daddy.
          
                EXT. 48TH STREET
          114                                                               114
                The taxi crosses Park Avenue, speeding past the bronze statue
                of a man hailing a cab.
          
                It approaches First Avenue, where a road divider bisects the
                thoroughfare. Nicky swings into a sharp turns, barely
                averting contact with the divider, and stops abruptly.
          
                Three doors open. On the empty street, Nicky hands the driver
                a wad of bills. Then he and Laurel step over the divider. He
                puts his arm around her shoulders and they cross the avenue
                to the glass tower where they live.
          
                The sun begins to climb out of the East River.
          
          
          
                                       THE END