Actor Point >> Movie Scripts >> Two For The Money Film Script

Two For The Money Movie Script

Writer(s) : Dan Gilroy

Genres : Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Search IMDb : Two For The Money



                                    TWO FOR THE MONEY

                                       Written by

                                       Dan Gilroy



                                                        Final Draft: 10-29-04



               EXT. HOME MOVIE - 1982 - DAY


               A DAD tosses a baseball to his SON.  The boy swings, connects, 
               sends the ball flying.  DAD smiles. 
 
                                     BRANDON LANG'S VOICE
               That's me.  Five years old.  I remember that day.  Believe it 
               or not, I remember that hit.  I remember it because of the smile 
               that spread over my dad's face...
 

               EXT. HOME MOVIE - 1983 - DAY


               BRANDON shooting hoops.  DAD drinks a Bud, frowns as he misses. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               I would've stood there all day to sink one.  Just to see that 
               smile...  
 

               EXT. HOME MOVIE - 1984 - DAY


               BRANDON runs, wears a too-big helmet and pads.  A DOG chases 
               him as DAD throws a football -- long pass -- TIME SLOWS and --
 
               
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               To pop, sports were a religion.  To me, it was about purity, 
               a place where all wrongs could be made right, or at least temporarily 
               forgotten.  I was going to fill the whole house with trophies 
               for him.  There was no doubt in my mind, I was going to make 
               him happy...
 
               BRANDON catches the ball.  Blinding light, loud CHEERING and 
               --  
 

               EXT. STADIUM - 1999 - NIGHT


               Our eyes adjust to see we're in a STADIUM.  It's a night game. 
                Stands packed.  A PLAY CLOCK fills the SCREEN.  It's the fourth 
               quarter.  Seven seconds left.  Score:  CAL WEST 31 / SOUTH WEST 
               NEVADA UNIVERSITY 27.  A bruised and battered UNLV QUARTERBACK 
               gets a play from the COACH, straps on his helmet as he runs back 
               to the huddle.  The name on the QUARTERBACK'S jersey -- B. LANG. 
                10 exhausted, desperate faces come close, hang on BRANDON'S 
               every word -- 
 
                                     BRANDON
               Last play.  Slant red, right back on two.  On two, Scottie.  
               It's a lock.  A guaranteed TD.  I've already seen it.  So relax. 
                There's nothing to worry about 'cept one thing -- after we win 
               and they're shoving cameras in your faces, I don't want to hear 
               any "Hi moms."  Guys, it's overdone, the fans are tired of it 
               and if you have to thank some one you can just thank me.  See 
               you in the end zone.
 
               The teams breaks, approaches the line.  Loud CROWD roar.

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               I'd been a quarterback since pee-wee football.  Set high school 
               records.  Won state championships.  I wasn't driven by joy, it 
               wasn't winning as much as terror, pure and simple -- fear of 
               losing.
 
                                     TV ANNOUNCERS
               South West Nevada needs a score.  Seven seconds on the clock. 
                22 yard line.  Win or lose, this has been a spectacular season 
               for Lang.  The big question, should he turn pro now or wait until 
               -- Lang's got the snap--
 
               BRANDON drops back.  A GIANT gets a hand on BRANDON'S jersey. 
                BRANDON pulls free, runs.  OPPONENTS charge his way, BRANDON 
               vaults, sails in the end zone, SCORES.  BRANDON rolls on his 
               back as an OPPOSING PLAYER hurtles in -- mid-air -- unable to 
               stop as -- 300-plus pounds come crashing onto BRANDON'S leg. 
                Sickening sound.  BRANDON clutches his strangely angled limb.
 
               
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               ... My first thought was I can tape it and play next week.  Then 
               I puked.
 
               TEAMMATES surround BRANDON, many turning from the sight and --
 
               

               INT. EMERGENCY ROOM ENTRANCE - NIGHT


               BRANDON'S wheeled in.


               INT. OPERATING ROOM - NIGHT


               SURGEONS regard the leg.  IVs are hooked up.

                                     BRANDON
               What's the rehab time?  

               The SURGEONS talk between themselves, impressed by the break. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               When do I play again?

               One DOCTOR examines his x-rays.  BRANDON grabs his smock. 

                                     BRANDON
               The patient's got a question!

               Anesthetic haze.  A wavy world is melting far, far away.

                                     SURGEON VOICEOVER
               Football's done, son...


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY


               BRANDON'S in a hospital bed.  Big leg cast.  IV's in each arm. 
               
 
                                     MAN'S VOICE
               Brandon... Brandon, it's me.

               BRANDON opens his eyes, focuses on his FATHER (older, cheap suit, 
               beard stubble, clutching a $2 bouquet of flowers).  
 
                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               You okay?  I saw what happened on the tv.  Helluva thing that 
               happening like that.
 
                                     BRANDON
               (edge)

               What are you doing here?

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               I brought some flowers.  From downstairs in the shop.  

                                     BRANDON
               (pressing the nurse's call button) 

               No, you gotta go -- where's the nurse? 

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               I'm thinking of getting into a new program, Brandon.

               A NURSE comes fast through the door, watches unsure --

                                     BRANDON
               Could you get him out, please?  

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               It's okay, we're fine, I'm his father.

                                     BRANDON
               Just get out!

               BRANDON tries to rise, IV'S coming loose.  The NURSE takes his 
               DAD'S arm, leads him out to the hall. 
 
                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               (pulling away, straightening)

               He didn't recognize me.  Must be all the drugs and all.  Boy's 
               been through a lot.
 
               (handing the NURSE the flowers) 

               If you could put these in some water and leave 'em in his room. 
                Before they die.
 
               BRANDON'S DAD nods thanks, departs down the corridor and --
 
               

               EXT. TRACT HOME - DAY


               Vegas desert.  It's raining.  A SWNU car pulls up.  The COACH 
               helps BRANDON out, on crutches now.  A middle-aged WOMAN and 
               a TEENAGE BOY stand under a rusty awning, waiting to greet him.
 
               
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               It doesn't rain much in the desert.  Maybe it was that, or maybe 
               the look on my mother's face, or how fast coach left after getting 
               me up the steps, but I swore then and there -- no matter what, 
               I'd get back -- I would play again...
 

               INT. UNLV WEIGHT ROOM - 1997 - DAY


               Off-season.  The room's packed.  Loud hip hop plays.  BRANDON 
               limps in on a cane.  Back slaps.  ("B's back!" "The man!")   
                
 
                                     OMIT

               EXT. SOUTH WEST NEVADA UNIVERSITY TRACK - DAY 


               Sprinters dart by.  Here comes BRANDON.  Several months have 
               passed.  Big ass brace on his leg.  A GIRL'S TRACK TEAM bounds 
               past like a herd of gazelles.  BRANDON presses on, possessed.
 
               

               EXT. PRACTICE FIELD - DAY


               The TEAM'S practicing for a new season.  BRANDON'S on the sideline, 
               flanked by the COACH and TEAM DOCTOR.
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               Doc told me it would take years to heal.  One bad hit and it'd 
               be over.  But the team needed me and I had to play to get drafted. 
                I figured I'd take a chance...
 
               BRANDON looks at the field, the PLAYERS, the empty stands and-- 
                
 

               EXT. SOUTH WEST NEVADA UNIVERSITY STADIUM - 1997 - DAY


               CROWDED arena.  Electrifying scene.  BRANDON'S suited on the 
               sidelines.  Kick-off.  A SWNU PLAYER returns the ball.  
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               Every minute of recovery I'd dreamt about this moment.  There 
               were NFL scouts in the stands.  I knew what happened next.
 
               
               BRANDON leads his team onto the field.  Into the huddle --

                                     BRANDON
               Let's ease back into it with our bread 

               and butter -- TD first play.  We're going 

               deep.  Split right.  Deep two on three!

               (coming up to the line)

               Red 38!  Red 28!  Set!  Set--

               BRANDON drops back.  Blitz.  Brandon about to throw when one 
               of his own LINEMEN is knocked into him and -- BRANDON'S off balance. 
                Too much pressure on that leg and in one horrible moment... 
               it buckles.  BRANDON falls.  The play whistled dead.  
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               ...It was over.  I could've gone out with class, a gritty smile 
               and a little wave to the crowd from a stretcher, instead I opted 
               to go psycho on national tv.
 
               The PLAYER who hit him leans down to help.  BRANDON grabs his 
               face mask, starts punching.  Pure rage.  A REFEREE steps in and 
               BRANDON slugs him, slams his face in the turf.  LINEMEN yank 
               BRANDON off as the bloody REF struggles to get free and --
 
               
               TV SCREEN -- jim rome sports show

               A highlight reel plays a tape of the incident -- BRANDON seen 
               struggling with PLAYERS as the roughed-up REF crawls away --
 
               
                                     JIM ROME
               Welcome to the jungle!  Hey clones, do you believe this idiot?! 
                That cannot happen!  This is college football, not the ultimate 
               fighting championship!  What we have here is too much muscle 
               and not  enough brain mass -- this is why we need a life-time 
               ban!  Make an example out of him!  Because the sport deserves 
               better than this!  Talk to me! 
 
               CAMERA PUSHES IN -- ECU on the TV as we hear --

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               It made all the highlight films.  People wrote editorials.  Overnight 
               I became the poster boy for the "Dark Side of Sports." 
 
               The college yanked my scholarship and I was kicked out of school. 
                The ref piled on, pressed charges.  My probation included counseling.
 
               

               INT. PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE - DAY


               A PSYCHIATRIST faces BRANDON.  A clock ticks in the corner.
 
               
                                     PSYCHIATRIST
               Who did the referee represent, Brandon?

                                     BRANDON
               He represented the nearest guy I could grab.

                                     PSYCHIATRIST
               ... Let's try again.


               INT. WINDOWLESS OFFICE - PRESENT DAY - DAY


               CAMERA moves ceiling level above a dreary space.  Passing over 
               cramped cubicles.  Murmer of voices from each one.  EMPLOYEES 
               seen, all reading phone copy into taping devices.  Sex lines, 
               astrology and get-rich-quick schemes are heard.  
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               Football wasn't a sport, it was my life.  Maybe I couldn't play 
               anymore but I couldn't leave.  So I went with it, 
 
               rode it out.  Then one day, and it didn't

               take long, I woke up at the bottom, and I liked it so much, I 
               stayed for six years.
 
               THE CAMERA stops above BRANDON.  Older.  Scruffier.  He sits 
               in his cubicle under a flickering flourescent light, tossing 
               a weathered football as he reads copy into a recording device. 
               
 
                                     BRANDON
               --You've reached the Jessica Simpson hot line!  Jessica's going 
               to tell you all about Nick's surprise birthday party and her 
               rockin' new panty line at Wal-Mart, but first, here's a little 
               fan trivia to win a VIP Gold Package back stage pass to Jessica's 
               Omnicon Hotels Summer Tour--
 
               A bull-like BOSS appears at BRANDON'S cubicle entry -- 

                                     BOSS
               Got a job for you, Lang.

                                     BRANDON
               I'm in the middle of taping.

                                     BOSS
               Bauer's sick, can't update his betting line.  You know anything 
               'bout sports?
 
                                     BRANDON
               ... Yeah, a little.


               INT. NEIGHBORING CUBICLE - OFFICE - MINUTE LATER


               BRANDON enters a co-worker's cluttered cubicle. 

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               900 numbers, audio text, the racket had a lot of names.      
                 
 
               Brandon sits at his co-worker's desk.  He picks up the text copy 
               sitting beside the recording device, looks it over -- 
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               This guy's gig was sports handicapping.  Predicting winners for 
               people who bet.  I was supposed to just record his picks.
 
               The thing was, I didn't agree with them.  

               Brandon starts changing game selections, re-writing the copy. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               My picks went 9-and-1 that weekend.  By football season, the 
               job was mine...
 

               INT. BRANDON'S NEW CUBICLE - SEVERAL MONTHS LATER - DAY


               A football is seen, rising and falling from BRANDON'S cubicle. 
                He tosses the football as he records a new update --
 
                                     BRANDON
               --Kansas City is 7-1 against the point spread versus division 
               opponents coming off a Monday night game.  Take K.C. minus the 
               six points.  Call tomorrow for my pro football game of the year 
               -- Tampa Bay versus Oakland.  That's 900-656-3100.  This is Brandon 
               Lang saying good night and good luck everybody.
 
               BRANDON pops the tape.  Dons an old UNLV windbreaker.  He shoulders 
               a beat-up bike, walks up front, hands the tape to his BOSS.  
               BOSS hands back a paycheck.  Regarding the amount --
 
                                     BRANDON
               I went 9-2 in pro football Sunday and hit my third straight Monday 
               night parlay. 
 
                                     BOSS
               That's what you get paid for.

                                     BRANDON
               I want a raise to 12 bucks an hour.

                                     BOSS
               I don't make 12 an hour.

                                     BRANDON
               You're not picking 75 percent.

                                     BOSS
               If you're so good then bet your own games, get rich and send 
               me a postcard 
 
               from the Riviera.

               BOSS pops BRANDON'S tape in a multi-line answering system and--
 
               

               EXT. LAS VEGAS - DAY


               BRANDON rides a beat-up bike through downtown.


               INT. CASINO - DAY


               BRANDON maneuvers through a bustling casino, enters the SPORTS 
               BETTING ROOM.  He goes to a rack of printed bettling lines for 
               the weekend games, pockets a printed sheet, sees a SUPERVISOR.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Hey Stu, where's the action this weekend?

                                     SUPERVISOR/STU
               We're getting big money on Tampa/Oakland.  Everyone's jumping 
               on Tampa Bay.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               Crazy.

               Supervisor/stu

               You think?

                                     BRANDON
               That game's gonna be won by coaching, Stu.  Gruden put that Tampa 
               Bay team together before he came to Oakland, right?  He knows 
               every weakness of that team and every strength.  He knows Brown 
               only likes to catch over his left shoulder and he'll have him 
               double-teamed to the right.  He knows Gannon always throws on 
               a 3-step drop and the linebackers will take away the middle of 
               the field.  Gannon'll be intercepted at least 4 times on Sunday. 
               
 
               (STU staring at him, pained look)

               ...You got sucked into Tampa, didn't you?

               (STU manages a nod)

               Stu, how many times do I have to bail you out?  All right, listen, 
               forget the point spread.  Oakland's going to win outright.  Bet 
               the money line and bet big.
 
                                     STU
               Thanks, B.

                                     OMIT

               EXT. BRANDON'S HOUSE - NIGHT


               BRANDON rides up.  His younger brother, DENNY (18, Metallica 
               t-shirt) and some FRIENDS work on an old, bondo-pocked muscle 
               car in the garage.  
 
                                     DENNY
               I scrounged some old headers, B!  Check it out!

               DENNY turns the key.  The car rumbles to life.  He revs the bored-out 
               engine, flashes a shit eating grin.
 
                                     BRANDON
               ... Awesome dude.  That's a righteous ride, Denny.


               INT. BRANDON'S HOUSE - NIGHT


               MOM'S readying for work, dressed in croupier attire, searching 
               for something as BRANDON enters.
 
                                     MOM
               I'm late.  Dinner's in the oven.

               Where the hell's my lucky crucifix?

               BRANDON reaches to a key rack, hands it to her.  She dons it.
 
               
                                     MOM
               Thank God.  A man won 5600 at my table last night.  Tipped me 
               out in color.  I gave it to Denny, help him with college.
 
               BRANDON nods, downs a carton of milk.  MOM about to go.

                                     MOM
               Mail came, letter for you, from Chicago.  

               You just tried out last week.  They got back to you quick.  That's 
               a good sign.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Wanna bet?

                                     MOM
               Open it.

               BRANDON opens it.  Reads.  Words pop out: "Arena Football League"..."We 
               regret to inform you"..."but based on your performance"..."staff 
               declines."  
 
                                     BRANDON
               At least they kicked me a cap.

                                     MOM
               Shit.


               INT. BRANDON'S ROOM - NIGHT


               Filled with exercise equipment.  BRANDON pins the letter to a 
               wall covered by dozens of rejections -- National Football League 
               -- Canadian Football League -- Arena Football League. BRANDON 
               changes into shorts.  And now we see, he's in amazing shape. 
                Could maybe still play pro.  But that two foot scar running 
               the length of his leg makes you wonder.  As BRANDON pumps it 
               out we realize he still has a dream of coming back, a dream we 
               sense by his intensity is fast slipping away and --
 

               EXT. LAS VEGAS - DAWN


               BRANDON pedals to work when his cell phone rings.  Answering:
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Hello.

                                     MAN'S VOICE
               Brandon!

                                     BRANDON
               Yeah?

                                     MAN VOICEOVER
               Congratulations!  You went 9-2 last Sunday!  20-4 college!  Picking 
               77 percent winners since opening weekend!  I've been following 
               you!  I'm a big fan, Brandon!  A big fan.
 
                                     BRANDON
               How'd you get this number?  If you want picks, call my 900 line.
 
               
                                     MAN VOICEOVER
               What I want, Brandon, is for you to come to New York and work 
               for me.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Who is this?

                                     MAN VOICEOVER
               This is Walter Abrams.  I don't know if you know me but I run 
               the biggest sports service in the country.  Hell, I started the 
               industry.  Ask around.  Ask anyone, 
 
               even that reprobate boss of yours.  It's

               my job to keep track of who's doing what and what you're doing 
               should be rewarded.
 
               Focus, Brandon.  Focus.  One day you'll 

               look back, see this was one of life's defining moments.  Allow 
               me to paint a picture for you.  Right now I'm getting a massage, 
               looking out my window at the greatest city in the world and all 
               I'm asking you to do is come up with a number.  Write down what 
               you make now, cross it out and write what you should be making 
               and then toss in how much it'll take to get you to fly here first 
               class and come work for me -- did I mention free room and board 
               -- and speak up when you've got something to share.
 
               (aside to MASSEUSE)

               Right there.  Yeah.  Deeper.  Yes.  Fuck that hurts.

                                     BRANDON
               Do me a favor and lose my number, I gotta go to work.

               BRANDON hangs up and --


               INT. BRANDON'S CUBICLE DAY


               BRANDON hefts the bike down the hall, reaches his cubicle to 
               find his phone ringing.  Picking up --
 
                                     BRANDON
               Hello.

                                     WALTER VO
               It's me again.  

                                     BRANDON
               This is a joke, right?

                                     WALTER VO
               A joke can be the ultimate intellectual pursuit sometimes.  This? 
                This is just a job offer.  In your top drawer there's an envelope 
               with your name on it.  
 
               BRANDON opens the drawer, pulls an envelope and a ticket.

                                     WALTER VO
               That's travel cash and an airline ticket.  It's not a magic trick, 
               Brandon.  I paid someone to put it there, who incidentally
 
               
               said the place reminded him of a Turkish prison.  I don't have 
               to tell you you're 
 
               wasting your time there, Brandon, unless

               this is a part time gig -- unless you're

               planning some kinda "comeback," in which

               case I request you use a fraction of your 

               talents and weigh the odds of that dream becoming reality.  Two 
               leg fractures?  Passed on by every conceivable team in the league? 
                Any chump can make that call, and anyone who clears the boards 
               the way you do week in and week out should live in a penthouse 
               on Park Avenue -- which is not for you to construe I'm offering 
               that to start, but keep these stats up working for me and I'll 
               have you in one in less than a year.  Unless of course you're 
               a village kind of guy...
 
               BRANDON glances at the old faded football in his back pack.
 
               
                                     WALTER VO
               Run the numbers, do the math.  Hold on a sec--

               Muzak.  BRANDON juggles the phone, searching, finds a pay stub. 
                Amount: $275.00 a week.  BRANDON crosses it out, writes $1000. 
                He crosses that out, writes $1500.  BRANDON pulls a quarter, 
               flips it.  The coin bounces, spins, falls and--
 

               EXT. JFK MOVING WALKWAY - DAY


               BRANDON hefts a duffel bag -- sees an ASIAN DRIVER, chauffeur 
               uniform, mirrored shades, holding a sign reading B. LANG and 
               --
 

               INT. MOVING LIMO - DAY


               BRANDON eyes a basket of croissants and juice, grabs a danish, 
               takes a bite, sees the DRIVER watching in the mirror.
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'm gonna pay.  I'll pay you--

                                     DRIVER
               --Pay me?  Pay Walter.  His car.  I'm Milton, I drive for him.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               I thought it was a service.

               (moving to the jump seat, seeing MILTON is driving very fast)
 
               
               So what's the deal with this guy?  You work for him a long time?
 
               
                                     MILTON
               Oh yeah, going on two weeks.

               (off BRANDON'S look)

               I was bike messenger.  Walter's driver hit me with his car.  
               I lie on ground, make it look worse than is, big car, you
 
               know maybe get some money.  Driver call me name, I call him name, 
               he take swing -- big son of a bitch -- so I kick his ass.
 
               (slicing the air with his hands)

               Walter get out.  I say his driver can't drive, he say you're 
               right.  I say damn right.  He ask if I can, I say hell yeah. 
                He take hat off driver, give it to me.
 
               Every day with Walter is...


               EXT. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS BROWNSTONE - DAY


               Five stories.  Next to the Brooklyn Bridge.  Manhattan rises 
               across the East River.  The limo pulls up.  BRANDON steps out, 
               regards the structure.  Exhaust fans dot the second floor.  Satellite 
               dishes on the roof.  Security cameras everywhere. 
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - TOP FLOOR - DAY


               BRANDON follows MILTON through a large, wildly furnished apartment. 
                They pass an large library dominated by rows of bleacher seats 
               from the old Polo Grounds.  A hot dog stand sits outside a wine 
               cellar.  Toys tell us there's a child in the house.  A cha-cha 
               plays from a stereo.  MILTON stops at a set of doors.  About 
               to knock when --
 
                                    WALTER VO

               Bring him in!


               INT. WALTER ABRAMS' OFFICE - DAY


               WALTER smokes a cigarette, talking on the phone as an ASSISTANT 
               in a separate, adjoining space handles four ringing phones.  
               Across the room, a large wall is filled with TVS, each turned 
               to a different channel, no sound. 
 
                                     WALTER
               I'll hire the trainers too... Well run it by them, you won't 
               know until you try... So, they can stay the night.  I'll put 
               'em up at the Plaza, nice suite, park view... Okay double it... 
               Triple it... Everything's about money.  Look, on Sunday, my daughter, 
               an angel, turns six, it's not likely to happen again.  She
 
               
               loves elephants.  Your circus has 10,

               I only want one, my little girl's happiness is in your hands.
 
               
               (beat, icy edge)

               I don't need parenting advice from a guy 

               who doubles as a clown.  I want an

               elephant and I'll pay.  What'll it take to grease your wheels 
               and get one this weekend?  Hello?... Hello?"  Fuck wad!
 
               (intercom his ASSISTANT, furious)

               Find Ringling Brothers!  Get me on the horn with someone who 
               understands profit!
 
               WALTER sees BRANDON.  Something new.  Full focus.  He removes 
               the headset.  Dons his glasses.  Circles around.  
 
                                     WALTER
               Whoa, look at you.  The Marlboro man.

               (feeling his bicep)

               Jesus you're in great shape.

                                     BRANDON
               I've been in better.

                                     WALTER
               (assessing BRANDON as he speaks--)

               Modesty's not a virtue, it's a vice, as evil as vanity.  There 
               are rules to
 
               success, Brandon, and this is rule number one, know what you 
               know and know what you don't know and know I gotta know  everything 
               you know as soon as you know it, if not sooner!  Smile.  C'mon! 
                What the hell is that?  I said smile.  Bigger.  Hungrier.  More 
               teeth.  Ever sell before?  
 
                                     BRANDON
               No.

                                     WALTER
               If you can sell you'll never starve.  Ever speak in public?  
               Perform?  Anything like that?
 
                                     BRANDON
               I played quarterback in college.  Division one. 

                                     WALTER
               I know, I'm talking about not in uniform.

                                     BRANDON
               I used to sing at church.

                                     WALTER
               Oh really?  So you're religious?  

                                     BRANDON
               I don't know.  I guess.  

                                     WALTER
               Certain things, you either are or you aren't.  Which is it?
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               When I was a kid I thought I wanted to be a pastor... obviously 
               not now.  I mean, yeah, I believe in God.
 
                                     WALTER
               Relax.  What do I care?  Besides, it's against the law to hire 
               based on religious orientation.  You're not a republican are 
               you?  Just kidding.
 
               (silent beat, staring at him)

               You're scaring me son.  What's with the deer-caught-in-headlights 
               vibe?  You were a quarterback for God's sake.  A leader.
 
                                     BRANDON
               That was six years ago.

                                     WALTER
               C'mon, you won three conference titles at a major university. 
                You think I went to college?  I'm autodidactic.  Big word, huh? 
                Know what it means?  Self-taught.  Partially by reading, sure, 
               but mostly by keeping my eyes open and asking a lot of stupid 
               fucking questions.  I swear to God I'm looking at myself 30 years 
               ago.  A taller, more athletic version maybe, but the resemblance 
               is remarkable.
 
               WALTER crushes out the cigarette, sprays air freshener.

                                     WALTER
               I'm not supposed to smoke any more, among other things.  It's 
               bad for my condition.  So before I die, did you do anything other 
               than the sports phone in Vegas?  
 
                                     BRANDON
               Just the 900 number recordings, it was full time, I mean we got 
               10 bucks a call.
 
                                     WALTER
               Chump change, Brandon.  We're angling for bigger fish here.  
               You see, the networks don't talk about it and Uncle Sam can't 
               tax it, but sports gambling is a 200-billion-dollar-a-year-business. 
                These gamblers have needs, Brandon.  Come Monday morning, after 
               a losing weekend, a lot of them have big needs.   
 
               WALTER presses a button and the TVS fill with football games. 
               
 
                                     WALTER
               That's every pro game played last Sunday.

               Do you know why Monday Night's the most watched game of the week? 
                It's because Monday's the last chance bettors have to climb 
               out of the hole before paying their bookies on Tuesday.  Sports 
               betting's illegal in 49 states, including this one, but what 
               we do is 100% legal -- it's exactly the same as a stock broker, 
               only instead of touting stocks, we advise people on how to bet. 
                We make the big money off our client list.  You see, when a 
               client wins with our advice we take a percentage, which they 
               gladly give to keep getting our picks.  When they lose we get 
               zip.  So the object here, my tall, athletic, religious friend 
               -- is to win.
 
               WALTER clicks a control and his face fills the wall of tvs.  
               Phone numbers and messages ("FOOTBALL SELECTIONS!" COLLEGE AND 
               PRO!"  "BASKETBALL PICKS!") flash on the screens.  It's a high-octane 
               infomercial for sports gamblers.
 
                                     TV WALTER
               Hello -- this is Walter Abrams and welcome to The Sports Advisors 
               and week three in professional football.  After a nice five day 
               vacation on my yacht I can't be any more ready than I am right 
               now.  Studying the mismatches this weekend I can only conclude 
               they're giving my handicappers a license to steal.  I want you 
               to take out a blank 
 
                                     
               Tv walter con'd

               check right now -- go on, do it -- and write in as much you want 
               to cash it for on Tuesday, that's how much money we're making 
               for you this weekend.  Year in, year out, no stock matches our 
               return, and for the first time in the history of the company 
               I'm releasing our three-team college and pro parlays absolutely 
               free!  That's right.  This is why in a business with a higher 
               turnover rate than Leona Helmsley's maid staff we're still going 
               strong after 28 years!  I'm giving these picks away.  800-238-6648. 
                1-800-BET-ON-IT.  Absolutely free.  We're looking at a big money 
               weekend so let's get right into it with our panel of experts--
 
               
                                     WALTER
               (freeze frames himself, to BRANDON)

               My cable show.  Tapes Thursday, airs Saturday and Sunday morning. 
                Nationwide.  Hell I need a new barber.  The man should 
 
               be shot.  Look at my hair in the back.

                                     BRANDON
               How'd you afford that yacht if the picks are free?

                                     WALTER
               There is no yacht.  Good, keep asking question.  Next.

                                     BRANDON
               You didn't answer about the free picks.

                                     WALTER
               I know.  What else?

                                     BRANDON
               What's on the second floor?

                                     WALTER
               That's where we print the money.  Any more?

                                     BRANDON
               No, that clears up pretty much everything.

                                     WALTER
               Great.  Welcome aboard.  We got some good stuff to work with. 
                
 
               ASSISTANT/over intercom

               Ringling Brothers on one.

                                     WALTER
               Ever have a manicure?

                                     BRANDON
               Me?  No.  Why?

                                     WALTER
               Because you need one.  Besides, there's  a girl you gotta meet.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Really?  What's she like?

                                     WALTER
               Beautiful, you'll like her--

               (answering the phone)

               --This Barnum or Bailey?


               INT. HIGH-END, BROOKLYN SALON - DAY


               TONI MORROW looks into CAMERA, styles an attractive, 30-ish WOMAN'S 
               hair as the WOMAN regards her face in a mirror --
 
               woman

               I'm just thinking of doing some work around the eyes.  Tighten 
               it up a bit.  A lift here, look, see these lines?
 
                                     TONI
               I see a beautiful woman.  What are you --all of 35?  I have a 
               girlfriend, she was stunning, went in to "tighten it up a bit" 
               and came out with a permanent smile.  Even when she cries she 
               looks like she's laughing.  Another, she's on her third eye lift. 
                Her skin's so tight, I swear, if you put an egg shell on her 
               butt she'd look like a baby bird.
 
                                     WOMAN
               I'm just thinking of a tune-up.

                                     TONI
               Oh yeah, first it's a tune-up, then it's something else, and 
               one day you'll come teetering in with your new 36Cs and a stretched 
               face and you won't be able to say how unhappy you are because 
               of all the collagen they shot in your lips.  
 
               Do youself a favor.  Skip the surgery and get a shrink, work 
               on the inside.
 
                                     WOMAN
               Easy for you to say.  You used to model.

               The other WOMEN CUSTOMERS listening nearby nod in agreement.
 
               
                                     TONI
               Oh yeah, that's true.  Those were the good days.  Sometimes I 
               like to just curl up on the ledge with my box of retouched photos 
               and reminisce about rehab.
 
                                     WOMAN
               Tightly wound today, aren't we?

                                     TONI
               I guess.  Must be the coffee talking.  

               (handing her a fashion magazine)

               Here, read a fashion magazine.  Feel more insecure about yourself.
 
               
               TONI walks through the shop, checks her watch, passes a row of 
               WOMEN getting lunch-hour nail jobs.  BRANDON'S squeezed in among 
               them.  Only guy there.  Cotton between his toes post-pedicure. 
                Hunched and uncomfortable as the WOMEN around him discuss boyfriends 
               and relationships.
 
                                     TONI
               ... Brandon?

                                     BRANDON
               Hi.

                                     TONI
               I'm Toni.  Walter said you'd stop by.

                                     BRANDON
               Nice to meet you.

               (immediately, re: the pedicure)

               This was his idea.

                                     TONI
               I know. 

                                     BRANDON
               He makes all his employees do this?

                                     TONI
               Every one.

                                     BRANDON
               How often?

                                     TONI
               Once.  Before they start work.

                                     BRANDON
               Weird.  

                                     TONI
               You think?

                                     BRANDON
               I've never had my nails done before.

                                     TONI
               I can see that.

               (putting his hands in water)

               Strong hands.  Nice.  Do you drink?

                                     BRANDON
               No thanks.  I'm fine.

                                     TONI
               No, do you drink?

                                     BRANDON
               Excuse me?

                                     TONI
               Alcohol.  Are you a drinker?

                                     BRANDON
               I've been pretty focused on staying in shape.  I mean a beer 
               once in a while.
 
                                     TONI
               Smoke?

                                     BRANDON
               No.

               Toni

               What about gambling?

                                     BRANDON
               What about it?

                                     TONI
               Look, I'm sorry, I'm pressed for time.

               (stopping work, regarding him)

               I asked do you bet.  Are you a bettor?

                                     BRANDON
               No.

                                     TONI
               Really?  Why not?

               BRANDON meets her gaze.  Gears turning.  She's hitting on him.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Toni, huh?  Are you here full-time?  

                                     TONI
               It's my shop, I better be.  Why don't you gamble?

                                     BRANDON
               Well I'll tell you, Toni.  I bet on something once.  Risked everything 
               I had and lost.
 
                                     TONI
               So?

                                     BRANDON
               I swore I'd never do it again.

               Toni

               You're sticking to that story?

               Brandon 

               Hey, we just met.  I sure wouldn't want to start our relationship 
               off by lying.
 
                                     TONI
               Well Walter could definitely use someone with a little resolve 
               in his life.
 
                                     BRANDON
               (leaning in)

               Ya know, Toni, this is my first time in town.  I'm not used to 
               how fast things run around here.  I'm wondering if you'd  like 
               to have dinner tonight?  Let's get 
 
               to know each other without so many people around.

                                     TONI
               ... He didn't tell you.

                                     BRANDON
               What?

                                     TONI
               Brandon, Walter and I are married.

                                     BRANDON
               What?  Walter just said I was meeting a woman.  He acted like...
 
               
                                     TONI
               Walter's got a weird sense of humor.

               Look, he has a big, bright, beautiful spirit, you'll love working 
               for him, but he's held together by meetings.  If it has "anonymous" 
               at the end, Walter goes.  He has to.  He also has to be very 
               careful who he let's into his life.  In  most ways, Walter's 
               brilliant -- but he can be bullshitted and I can't.  So he sends 
               'em over to me before he hires 'em.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               You're kidding me?  Coming here... the manicure... this was an 
               interview?  
 
                                     TONI
               You're swift.

                                     BRANDON
               How'd I do?

                                     TONI
               Except for an illegal forward pass, 

               perfect, flying colors.  Congratulations.  I'm late for my next 
               appointment.
 
               TONI walks away, glances back, smiles and --


               EXT. BROWNSTONE - DAY


               BROWNSTONE.  CAMERA favors the ground floor windows.

               WALTER vo

               The apartment on the first floor is yours.  You have satellite 
               tv, a gym, you want to relax there's a jacuzzi tub the size of 
               a kiddie pool.
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - FIRST FLOOR - DAY


               900 number office.  A phone and a computer on an empty desk. 
                Two TVs mounted on the wall.  WALTER shows BRANDON around.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I'm starting you on the 900 numbers, same gig you did in Vegas. 
                You'll make your picks and record them every day, once a day 
               Monday through Friday and five times a day on weekends.  Each 
               call's worth 25 bucks a shot.  Right now we get a few dozen hits 
               a week.  We should be doing triple that.  I'm sending down some 
               test copy.  Before you record it, a little advice.           
                                    
 
               BRANDON sits.  Regards the phone --

                                     WALTER
               Your pitch sucks, it doesn't exist.  The pieces are there, we 
               just gotta bust you out. 
 
               Brandon 

               How?

                                     WALTER
               From now on you have a new name -- John Anthony, "The Million 
               Dollar Man." 
 
                                     BRANDON
               Hold on.  What's wrong with Brandon Lang?

                                     WALTER
               Brandon Lang is still at home with his mother.  You're selling 
               a lifestyle here, and John's livin' large.  John's got a direct 
               line to God and for a measly 25 bucks a call you're gonna let 
               the world's losers listen in.      
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - 900 NUMBER OFFICE - NIGHT


               BRANDON studies the copy.  He pops in a CD, hits record, reads 
               into a mike --
 
                                     BRANDON
               Hello sports fans!  This is John Anthony in the Big Apple with 
               my big money picks!  The action starts Saturday with college 
               ball and our first matchup, Michigan against Indiana--
 

               EXT. BROWNSTONE - DAY


               The upstairs window flies open and a CD sails out.

                                     WALTER VO
               Wrong!


               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - SAME TIME - DAY


               WALTER turns from the window, faces BRANDON.

                                     WALTER
               What's your sales pitch? 

                                     BRANDON
               What's my sales pitch?  77 percent's my sales pitch.

                                     WALTER
               Stats aren't enough!  These are gamblers

               you're talking to, people ready to risk what they can't afford 
               for what they can't have!  You're selling the world's rarest 
               commodity.
 
               BRANDOn

               What's that?

                                     WALTER
               Certainty in an uncertain world!


               INT. BROWNSTONE - 900 NUMBER OFFICE - NIGHT


               BRANDON back at the mike.  Groping for a delivery.

                                     BRANDON
               John Anthony here, ready to make all your betting dreams come 
               true!  Call now and let me win for you!  The point spread in 
               the Indiana/Michigan game's up to four, making that game a gimme-- 
                  
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY


               Another CD sails out.  WALTER staring at BRANDON --

                                     WALTER
               What is that shit?  You spent 6 years bouncing from one dead-end 
               job to another.  Riding to work on a frigging bicycle.  Were 
               you making some kind of statement?  What the hell were you afraid 
               of?  
 
                                     BRANDON
               I wasn't afraid of anything.  I was working my ass off, trying 
               to get back in the game.
 
                                     WALTER
               You are back in the game!  Convince me you belong here!  


               INT. BROWNSTONE - DOWNSTAIRS GYM - NIGHT  


               BRANDON pumping it out.  Music pounds on a stereo.  BRANDON watches 
               himself in the mirror, muscles straining.  He suddenly slams 
               the bar down, goes down the hall, grabs the mike, reads from 
               the copy and --
 
                                     BRANDON
               This is John Anthony here, and from Wall Street to Tokyo to Hollywood, 
               all your big money stays and plays with me!  Winning consistently's 
               the name of this game and I always remain the same, winners on 
               a consistent basis, 77 percent winners!  So sit back and relax 
               because
 
               because it's a scud attack this weekend and I'm shelling your 
               bookmaker!
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - DAY


               BRANDON bounding up to WALTER'S office.

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               Game one of my three-team parlay is  Michigan hosting Indiana; 
               the big boys at Michigan are just 2-7 against the spread as a 
               double-digit home favorite and with arch rival Wisconsin on deck 
               next week, Indiana will catch them looking ahead!  Take Indiana 
               plus the 16 points!  It's a lock!
 

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY


               WALTER listening to the CD.  BRANDON watching him.

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               You want more?  John Anthony's the man with a plan to make you 
               money!  Game two goes to Florida and North Carolina!  I don't 
               care how many points you gotta lay with Florida, lay it!  They'll 
               win by 50!
 
               WALTER pops the CD, heads for the window. 

                                     BRANDON
               C'mon!  First too little, then too much --

                                     WALTER
               It's a start. 

                                     BRANDON
               Tell me what you want.

                                     WALTER
               No.  What do you want, Brandon?  That's what this is about!
 
               
               WALTER stops.  Steadies himself.  He pulls a prescription vial. 
                Sits.  Passing, pained look.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Walter?  Are you okay? 

                                     WALTER
               ... Huh?... It's nothing. 

               (popping a pill from the vial, beat, taking another)

               ... Small one.

                                     BRANDON
               Should I call someone?

                                     WALTER
               Not unless they got a spare heart.  I'm okay.

               WALTER finds a cigarette.  Lights it.  Savors the first drag.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               What are you doing?

                                     WALTER
               Courage wants to laugh.


               EXT. BROOKLYN BRIDGE - MORNING


               BRANDON riding his bike hard across the Brooklyn Bridge.   Wearing 
               earphones while he listens to a radio sports show.
 
               RADIO ANNOUNCER/keith jackson vO

               --Talking about college defenses you have to include Oklahoma. 
                The Okie boys are 2nd-ranked going into this weekend and facing 
               an offensive powerhouse in Oregon. 
 
               That game and more coming up after the break. 

               A commerical's heard as BRANDON pedals away, glances up and --surreal 
               sight -- Brandon hurtling at an ELEPHANT'S ASS -- he swerves 
               -- looks back at the TRAINER walking the pachyderm across the 
               city span and -- 
 

               INT. BRANDON'S APARTMENT - DAY


               A TV SCREEN FILLS FRAME.  A COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME starts. ANNOUNCERS 
               riff a MEDLEY of analysis and scores.
 
               PULL BACK TO SHOW -- BRANDON comes out of the shower, towel around 
               his waist, putting on a clean shirt.  Through a ground floor 
               window the boardwalk can be seen.  A child's party is in progress. 
                The elephant ambles by wearing a birthday hat, the bemused TRAINER 
               walking beside him.  TONI and WALTER are seen arm-in-arm with 
               their 6-year-old daughter, JULIA.  WALTER crosses the lawn, looks 
               through the window.
 
               BRANDON'S switching between football games blaring from the tv. 
                A radio blasts scores and updates.  WALTER knocks on the window, 
               mouths "How we doing?"  BRANDON grabs a betting sheet, writes 
               something, holds it up -- 0 and 9.  WALTER scowls.  BRANDON realizes 
               it's upside down, flips it to read -- 6 and 0.  WALTER kisses 
               the glass and --
 

               EXT. BROWNSTONE - SAME TIME - DAY


               WALTER catches up to TONI, walks through the party with her.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               He's a machine, all he does is work out and pick winners.  Talk 
               about fit.  Go  take a peek, see him with his shirt off.  I did. 
                He's a serious side of beef. 
 
                                     TONI
               Enjoy your daughter's party.

                                     WALTER
               Check him out, you know you want to.  

                                     TONI
               Get out of your head, Walter.  It's a bad neighborhood.

               TONI kisses him, walks with WALTER through the party and --
 
               

               EXT. BROWNSTONE ROOF - DUSK


               Satellite dishes aim at the sky.  ANNOUNCER CHATTER continues 
               OVER, giving non-stop COLLEGE football scores.  BRANDON comes 
               down the street, carries a bag of take-out.  
 
               BRANDON'S POV -- a second floor window opens as someone blows 
               cigarette smoke into the night.  Activity seen inside before 
               the window shuts.  BRANDON left staring and --
 

               EXT. PARK SLOPE - NIGHT


               BRANDON rides a bike.  Wears headphones.  Sunday's NFL scores 
               coming in now.  BRANDON'S reactions indicate he's doing well.
 
               

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - NIGHT


               WALTER writing on a call sheet -- 375 calls at $25/85 at $50!" 
               The city's seen through WALTER'S office window.  NFL ANNOUNCER 
               CHATTER subsides as scores filter in.  WALTER flipping through 
               BRANDON'S betting sheets, smile spreading over his face and --
 
               

               INT. N.Y.C. RESTAURANT - NIGHT


               Loud.  Crowded.  High-end.  WALTER, TONI and BRANDON at a table, 
               ordering dinner.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'll have the bruketta and the -- this, with the pasta.

                                     WAITER
               (takes the menus, departs)

               Very good, and may I say, sir, an excellent choice.

                                     WALTER
               It's bruchetta.  Like little pizzas without the cheese.

                                     BRANDON
               Bruchetta.

                                     WALTER
               Don't worry about it.  Anyone goes 20 for 24 in college football, 
               12 for 14 pro can call it whatever he wants.  Ever drink a thousand 
               dollar bottle of wine?  Steward!
 
                                     TONI
               It's a waste, Walter.  He hardly drinks. 

                                     WALTER
               It's a celebration.  Just because he's out with a couple of reformed 
               drunks doesn't mean he can't enjoy himself.
 
                                     TONI
               I was a lot of things, Walter, but I was never a drunk.

                                     BRANDON
               Actually, truth be told, I've never had a 12 dollar bottle of 
               water either.
 
                                     WALTER
               He thinks we're fighting.

                                     BRANDON
               No.  I just, this place is great.

                                     TONI
               --Watch out, Walter, he's a fixer.

                                     WALTER
               175 calls on the 900 number.

                                     TONI
               Did you call home?  Let 'em know how you did?  How you're doing?
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               I will tomorrow.  My mom works nights at the casino, she'll sleep 
               till three.
 
                                     TONI
               Are you close with your parents?

                                     WALTER
               He's very close.  They sound terrific.  

                                     TONI
               Is your name Brandon?

                                     BRANDON
               Oh, they're great.  We talk all the time.

                                     TONI
               What're they like?

                                     BRANDON
               Mom's terrific.  Amazing lady.  I got a little brother, Denny, 
               going to college next year.  Complete motor head.  Dad's a... 
               well he's a sports nut.  He was, I mean, it all came from that.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Kid grew up with the frigging Cleavers...


               INT. RESTAURANT - LATER


               WALTER, TONI and BRANDON finish dessert.

                                     WALTER
               I should've ordered two.  

                                     TONI
               What'd the doctor say, Walter?

                                     WALTER
               Oh yeah, I've been meaning to tell you.  I had a check-up yesterday. 
                Afterwards 
 
               he was very concerned.  He sat me down, looked me in the eye 
               and said, "Walter, who do you like in the Buffalo/Oakland game?"
 
               
               WALTER laughs.  He reaches to Toni's plate, lifts a dessert pitcher.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               You didn't touch the sauce.

                                     TONI
               Neither should you, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               I read chocolate's good for you. 

                                     TONI
               I'm not raising a kid alone.

                                     WALTER
               Don't get dramatic, Toni.  In biblical times you'd just move 
               in with my brother Morty.
 
               TONI shoots him a look and WALTER quickly sets down the sauce.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               --Wow.  What a meal.  Do you feel good, Brandon?  Content?

                                     BRANDON
               Very.

                                     WALTER
               Yeah, I can tell.  Don't be.  Ever.  One week's over, another 
               begins.  The past is merely a prologue.  In this job you have 
               to push the envelope every day.  
 
               BRANDON glances at a nearby table, catches the eye of a stunning 
               GIRL sandwiched between two middle-aged, overweight MEN.  WALTER 
               catches the eye contact before she looks away.  The GIRL seems 
               bored as the two big men heartily chow down.
 
                                     WALTER
               Look at that.  Beauty and the beasts.  What do you think of her, 
               Brandon?    
 
                                     BRANDON
               She's cute.

                                     WALTER
               Cute doesn't half cover it.  The girl's gorgeous.  And bored 
               out of her mind.  Waiting for some young buck to save her from 
               those two gorillas.  Check it out.  She's eyeing you again, Brandon.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               So are the two guys she's with.

                                     WALTER
               I'll bet you 10-to-1 on a 1000 you can't pick her up, cash, if 
               you leave with her.
 
               Toni

               C'mon Walter.  You might as well go to Atlantic City and open 
               a house account.  You know you can't gamble.      
 
                                     WALTER
               Who's gambling?  It's a challenge.  If Brandon leaves with her 
               I give him ten thousand dollars, that's probably more than he 
               made last year.  If not, he gives me a grand, which I'll give 
               to you. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               I don't bet, Walter.

               (glancing over, look from the GIRL)

               ... But I do love a challenge.  

                                     WALTER
               All right.  Before you bust a move, just one thing...

               (talks across the table, addressing the MODEL and the two MEN)
 
               
               Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt but 

                                     
               Walter con'd

               I have to know what's going on here.

               You're drop dead gorgeous and your dates

               look like they haven't missed a meal

               since Christ died.  Seriously, you

               two are eating like you have a date 

               with the electric chair.  What's the story with you three?  I'm 
               not gonna sleep if I don't know.  Lemme guess.  Garment district. 
                The Hardy boys make lingerie and you're a model.  That
 
               it?  Close?  Sprechenzee English?  Sit down, sit down -- I'm 
               just joking.  I better stop before I get stabbed with a fork. 
                Bon apetit.
 
               (turning back, TONI staring at him)

                                     TONI
               What the hell was that?

                                     WALTER
               I'll send over a bottle of champagne.  

               Toni

               You'll pick up their check.

                                     WALTER
               The voice of reason.  She's right.  I owe 'em a meal.  Hey -- 
               here we go, Brandon, your girlfriend's going to the bathroom. 
                
 
               The GIRL glides by their table.  Heads up a flight of stairs.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Well get moving, slick.

               Brandon 

               After that introduction? 

                                     WALTER
               Hey, I just raised the bar.  C'mon, kid.  John Anthony could 
               close her.
 
               Beat.  BRANDON looks from WALTER to TONI.

                                     TONI
               I'd prefer Brandon...

               BRANDON smiles.  He walks through the restaurant, up the stairs 
               as the WOMEN'S ROOM door opens and the GIRL emerges before him. 
                She regards BRANDON.  Jaded, disintested air. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               You're beautiful.

                                     GIRL
               (stepping past)

               Excuse me.  

                                     BRANDON
               I just want to get to know you.

                                     GIRL
               You just want to get into my pants.

                                     BRANDON
               I want to get into your mind, your heart, your soul.  I don't 
               see you wearing any pants in this equation.  
 
               Beat.  This could go either way before -- the GIRL smiles.

                                     BRANDON
               I'm Brandon.  What's your name?

               GIRl

               Alex.

                                     BRANDON
               Alexandria.  Beautiful name for a beautiful girl.

               BRANDON leans in close, talking too low now for us to hear.  
               Selling hard.  ALEXANDRIA laughs at something he says and --
 
               

               INT. MOVING CAB - NIGHT


               BRANDON and the GIRL all over each other and -- 


               INT. GIRL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               40th floor of a luxury high rise.  In the darkness, BRANDON'S 
               seen naked on a big bed, GIRL straddling him, body rising and 
               falling, pace quickening, back arching.  BRANDON looks up --GIRL 
               silhouetted against the floor-to-ceiling windows -- city spires 
               sparkling all around and -- 
 
                                     OMIT

               INT. BROWNSTONE BACK STAIRWELL - DAY


               WALTER and BRANDON reach the second floor landing, stand outside 
               a solid steel door.
 
                                     WALTER
               Everything you've ever done's been leading up to this moment. 
                Put your ear to the door.  Hear that?  It's the sound of possibilities. 
                The din of greatness.
 
               WALTER turns the knob, BRANDON nearly tumbles through and --
 
               

               INT. BROWNSTONE SECOND FLOOR - DAY


               Another world.  A dozen SALESMEN work in a large room.  Phones 
               ring.  FAXES churn.  Numbers are called out.  A half-dozen GIRLS 
               stroll the space, deliver betting and tip sheets.
 
                                     WALTER
               We use the 800 number and free tips to bait the hook.  Then the 
               bettors are 
 
               bounced to our sales staff.

               (stopping at the front desk, talking to a pretty Brooklyn GIRL) 
               
 
               You're looking lovely today, Tammy.  Give it up baby, you know 
               what I need.
 
               TAMMY smiles, hands WALTER a long list of names and numbers. 
                WALTER studies the sheet as he walks BRANDON through the room.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               This is the day's phone sheet, it's a list of everyone who's 
               called.  Only way to keep track of the action.  All leads equal 
               money. 
 
               BRANDON'S POV -- walking by SALESMEN doing their thing.  The 
               first is a chain smoker, battering ram tone.  This is SOUTHIE.
 
               
               Southie

               Did I not tell you that game was going over the total?  Now stop 
               holding back and let's make some serious dough...
 
               What's our game plan this week?  Look, Mr. Mitch, collect from 
               your bookie, wire our pitiful frigging share and then we'll discuss 
               the goddamn game plan.
 
               The second MAN'S HERBIE.  Slight.  Polite.  Soothing tone.

                                     HERBIE
               Trust me, we're going to turn all this around... I'm aware last 
               weekend was difficult... Well of course I do, that's a substantial 
               sum--
 
               (cupping the phone, to WALTER)

               --He's a bit miffed about our picks

                                     WALTER
               Fuck him if he can't take a joke.

                                     BRANDON
               You're telling me that all this is legal?

                                     WALTER
               It better be.  Five of these guys are off-duty cops.  We're just 
               advising people how to bet, not making the bets for 'em.
 
               C'mon, I want you to hear our best salesman, Reggie Hawks.

                                     REGGIE/INTO PHONE
               --It says here your minimum bet's five grand, so let's be honest 
               now, can you
 
               move 50 large on this game or not?...  I don't have time for 
               this shit, Jimmy.  I
 
               know you're a loser, because if you 

               were such a big winner you wouldn't have paid money to call me 
               today.  Vegas is calling, I'm putting you on hold. 
 
               (pressing hold)

               What's up big Wally, you slummin' today!

               This the new kid?

                                     WALTER
               Brandon Lang, meet Reggie.

                                     REGGIE
               You're the QB that went off on the refs.

               (BRANDON shamefully nods)

               --Yeah, but you covered!  Shit, as much money as the refs cost 
               us every year, that was pure.  Totally crystal.  Hell, I like 
               you already.  Even if you did get the best office.
 
                                     WALTER
               (re: an item on the sports ticker)

               Barker's not playing this weekend?

                                     REGGIE
               Hamstring.

                                     BRANDON
               No, he's in the middle of renegotiating.  It's a tantrum, he'll 
               play Sunday.
 
               WALTER and REGGIE exchange a glance, they can use that and --
 
               
               ANGLE ON -- TWO GLASSED-IN OFFICES overlooking the sales room. 
                  One office is crammed with clutter, bears a prominent KEEP 
               OUT sign on the door.  Inside, a big, bearded MAN wolfs a breakfast 
               burrito, scours the sports pages.  In the other office sits a 
               suited, studious-looking MAN in his 30s, talking on a headset--
 
               

               INT. OFFICE OVERLOOKING SALES ROOM - SAME TIME - DAY


               JERRY SYKES types stats into a computer as he fields a call. 
                 Three other computer screens flash football info and data. 
                Large, complex wall graphs chart esoteric team trends.  A framed 
               promotional picture shows JERRY standing in a bank vault, the 
               banner type below reading "Jerry 'The Source' Sykes, Creator 
               of The Sykes Sports Wagering System."
 
                                     JERRY
               (typing on a computer as he speaks)

               --I know it's a new stadium, I'm asking if they used Astroturf 
               or Astroplay?... Astroplay, it has a rubber silica base, like 
               ground up tires... Look, I don't have time to explain abrasion 
               indexes and resistance scales to you, trust me, it makes a big 
               fucking difference...
 
               (looking through the glass, seeing WALTER showing BRANDON around)
 
               
               So bribe a security guard, sneak in with the grounds crew, do 
               what you have to -- this is what I pay you for.
 

               INT. ENCLOSED OFFICE - SECOND FLOOR - DAY


               WALTER and BRANDON enter.  It's spacious.  Nicely appointed. 
                A glass partition overlooks the sales room.
 
                                     WALTER
               I had three guys who picked games.  I fired one last weekend. 
                I'm giving you his job.  This is your office.  From here  out 
               your picks are going straight to our biggest customers.  How 
               do you like it?
 
                                     BRANDON
               What's not to like?

               JERRY SYKES appears at the door.  Fast glance at BRANDON, attention 
               to WALTER -- 
 
                                     JERRY
               The Miami/New York point spread shifted a half tick up to 10.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               What do you think?

                                     JERRY
               Miami's still a lock.  The win/loss ratios and RPI ratings are 
               off the charts.  I'm keeping it on my sheet.
 
                                     WALTER
               Jerry's our top handicapper, came to me straight out of grad 
               school.  Jerry, meet the new kid in town. 
 
                                     JERRY
               Whoa, phone guy makes good.  Big jump from the 900 numbers.  
               Watch out you don't get a nose bleed.  Just kidding, best of 
               luck, I gotta get back to work.          
 
                                     BRANDON
               Pleasure meeting you.  By the way, Jerry, New York's gonna win 
               straight up.  They always play the fish tight.  Tonight it's 
               foregone, they win outright.
 
                                     JERRY
               Really?  Listen up, stick to college, sonny.  You have to work 
               up to pro ball around here.  Nice try though.  
 
                                     WALTER
               (watching JERRY walk away)

               I got three guys who can handicap and 20 who can sell but I never 
               had one who could do both, not really, not until now.
 
                                     BRANDON
               You mean me?

                                     WALTER
               Not you.  John Anthony.

                                     BRANDON
               John Anthony doesn't exist.

                                     WALTER
               That's a shock 'cause I'm standing in his office and you're sitting 
               in his chair!
 
                                     BRANDON
               Look, making predictions is one thing -- but pushing people to 
               bet, it's not me.
 
                                     WALTER
               Pushing people?  Get real, this country was built on gambling. 
                Look at Wall Street -- one big casino.  The state spends millions 
               hawking the lottery.  If people want to pay for advice on who 
               to bet, who are we to say no?  Stop being selfish, spread the 
               word!  Check your bible, Brandon, tis better to give than receive. 
               
 
                                     BRANDON
               You got a whole room full of salesmen.

                                     WALTER
               Big bettors don't want to talk to a middle man, they want to 
               speak to the guy making the picks -- and you're picking 80 percent 
               winners.   
 
                                     
                                     WALTER CON'D
               What's the matter?  Gonna lose your purity?  C'mon, what do you 
               think selling is?  We're just talking a few well-timed phrases. 
                Let's start with an easy one.  A throw-away.  "I don't want 
               your money, I want your bookie's fucking money?"
 
                                     BRANDON
               I don't want your money --

                                     WALTER
               --Jesus, don't start that shit again.  Sell me.

                                     BRANDON
               I don't want your money, I want your bookie's money!

                                     WALTER
               What happened to the fuck?

                                     BRANDON
               Nothing, I just don't talk like that.

                                     WALTER
               I can't have someone working for me who can't say fuck.

                                     BRANDON
               It's not that I can't.  Why do I have to?

                                     WALTER
               Because there's no other fucking word that can convey the precise 
               feeling and fucking flavor of life's various predicaments and 
               certain concepts the way a well-placed fuck can.  Fuck is your 
               friend.  Fuck can be your best friend.
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'm happy for you and your friend, Walter, but I'm not using 
               it. 
 
                                     WALTER
               Chaucer used it 600 years ago.  It was good enough for him.  
               C'mon--
 
               (calling out to the SALESMEN)

               --this fucking guy has a problem saying fuck!  

               A chorus of "Fuck yous" fill the air.  

                                     WALTER
               C'mon, repeat after me -- fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.  Fuck he, 
               fuck she, fuck me, fuck them, fuck me -- try it.
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's not me.  Let it go. 

                                     WALTER
               Backbone.  Almost as good.  We'll keep working on the other thing... 
               So, you really like New York in tonight's game?
 

               EXT. MANHATTAN - MID-DAY


               Looking down Fifth.  Thousands of heads in a hurry to get somewhere. 
                Here comes BRANDON and WALTER.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Where are we going?

                                     WALTER
               Continue your education. 


               INT. MANHATTAN APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY


               A dozen people fill an upscale living room.  Doorbell.  A well 
               dressed WOMAN answers.  WALTER and BRANDON stand before her.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               We're here for the gambler's anonymous meeting...


               INT. MANHATTAN APARTMENT - DAY


               The GROUP sit in a circle, listen as a BUSINESSMAN, near tears, 
               gives his testimony.
 
                                     BUSINESSMAN
               ...I mean you'd think with two mortgages out, repo guys staking 
               out my car, my job on the line and my wife threatening to leave, 
               you'd think I'd have the goddamn brains to stop, instead of staying 
               in the chase, doubling down, which of course is what I did... 
               I know I'm sick because I keep thinking if I just pulled that 
               game out then I got a lock on the parlay and I'm flush going 
               into Monday night and--
 
               (breaking down, unable to continue)

                                     MEMBER #1
               ... It's a disease, Leon.

                                     MEMBER #2
               Admitting you have a problem is the first

               step.

                                     BUSINESSMAN/LEON
               Then I guess I'm doing pretty good because I got one big fucking 
               problem.
 
               Someone claps.  Everyone joins in.  LEON smiles.  Warm beat. 
                WALTER suddenly stands.  BRANDON watches, concerned.
 
                                     WALTER
               My name's Walter.  I'm new to the group.

               (various "hellos")

               Hi.  I've been going to meetings like this for 18 years.  Once 
               a week, every Friday night, for 18 years.  This, my friends, 
               is my 936th consecutive meeting.
 
               (enthusiastic applause)

               Thank you.  Thanks.  And my hand to God, I haven't been to a 
               track, casino or bet a game that whole time.  Not a cent.
 
               (murmurs of approval)

               I've listened to thousands of sob stories by people like Leon 
               here, and I gotta say, Leon -- if I learned one thing it's that 
               gambling is not your problem. 
 
                                     LEON
               It's not?

                                     WALTER
               Not even close.  You're a lemon.  Like a bad car, there's something 
               inherently defective in you.  And you.  And me!  All of us here 
               -- we're lemons!  Big, juicy, acidic, ice-tea flavoring lemons! 
                We look like everyone else but we're defective because when 
               most people make a bet they want to win, while we, the degenerate 
               gamblers of the world, we're subconsciously playing to lose. 
                All humans like going to the edge of the abyss, but what makes 
               us different is we go all the way and hurl ourselves off into 
               the void!  And we like doing it so much we do it time after time 
               after time!  Me?  I always felt most alive when they were raking 
               away the chips, and every one here knows what I'm talking about. 
                People like us, even when we win, it's just a matter of time 
               before we give it all back.  But when we lose, and I mean the 
               kind of loss that makes your asshole pucker to the size of a 
               decimal point, there's a moment when you're standing there and 
               you've just recreated the worst possible nightmare this side 
               of malignant cancer for the 20th goddamn time and you suddenly 
               realize -- hey, I'm still here, I'm still breathing, I'm still 
               alive!  In order to really live you have to be aware of your 
               own mortality -- and a losing bet of a certain size is one of 
               the best ways 
 
                                     
                                     WALTER CON'D
               I know of getting that feeling.  When you win, you defy death, 
               but when you lose, 
 
               you survive it, and that's remarkable! 

               Us lemons, we fuck shit up on purpose!  We need to constantly 
               remind ourselves
 
               that we're alive!  Gambling's not the problem, Leon, your fucked 
               up need to feel something, to convince yourself you exist, to 
               test what's really real, that's the problem!
 
                                     BICYCLE MESSENGER
               Hey!  You're the guy I see on tv every weekend selling betting 
               picks! 
 
                                     WALTER
               ... Yeah.  So?

               This guy peddles a tout service on tv.

                                     WALTER
               Check the charter, buddy, we all left our jobs at the door.  
               You gonna toss an ex-alcoholic bartender out of an AA meeting?
 
               
                                     BICYCLE MESSENGER
               (to BRANDON)

               Hey, didn't you come with this jerk?

                                     BRANDON
               ... No, I mean, we walked in together --

                                     WALTER
               (handing out business cards)

               -- My card -- we're topping 80 percent this season -- put it 
               in your wallet, in case you fall off the wagon --
 

               INT. APARTMENT ELEVATOR - DAY


               WALTER and BRANDON riding down in silence.  Finally --   

                                     BRANDON
               What the fuck was that?!

                                     WALTER
               ... What'd you just say?

                                     BRANDON
               You heard me!  I said what was that?

                                     WALTER
               No, you said "What the fuck?"  That's what you said.

                                     BRANDON
               So?

                                     WALTER
               That was great!  It was all worth it! Don't you see?  I felt 
               your anger because of that one word!  Well done!  I'm proud of 
               you!  The progress you're making Brandon, I gotta say, it's exhilerating!
 
               
                                     OMIT

               INT. SALESROOM - DAY


               Cacophony of calls.  Building buzz.  College football games play 
               in the BG.  The big, bearded MAN  exits his pack-rat cluttered 
               work space, strides to the office coffee machine, pours a quick 
               cup.  BRANDON approaches, extends a hand.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Hey, I stopped by to say hi, I'm Brandon.

                                     BIG MAN
               (averting his gaze, walking past)

               Congratulations.

                                     BRANDON
               I'm picking now with you and Jerry.  

                                     CHUCK
               (ducking back into his office)

               Whatever.  

               The MAN shuts the door, leaves BRANDON looking at the KEEP OUT 
               sign.  SOUTHIE stops for a coffee, has seen the exchange.
 
                                     SOUTHIE
               Don't take it personal.  Chuck's got a condition, get's anxious 
               around people.
 
               CHUCK closes his blinds, blocks out his glassed-in walls and--
 
               

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               BRANDON'S poring over sports pages and injury reports when   
               TAMMY enters his office, sits on his desk, extends a lead sheet.
 
               
                                     TAMMY
               His name's Amir, he's a dime bettor.  Owns a dry cleaners.  We 
               got him for the subscription.  He's on line three.
 
               (leans in, gives BRANDON a kiss)

                                     TAMMY
               Walter wanted your first call to be special.  Go get 'em tiger. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               (picking up)

               Amir, my man, John Anthony here!


               INT. NEW JERSEY DRY CLEANER - DAY


               A MIDDLE EASTERN MAN (ratty t-shirt, beard stubble, sleepless 
               look) stands in the back of a low-end dry cleaners.   
 
                                     AMIR
               Yes, hello.

                                     BRANDON
               Today's your day, Amir!  It's a Pamplona thing, I'm running wild 
               in the streets this weekend!  Starting with the hottest Saturday 
               of my life!  How much can you lay with your bookie?  20 large?
 
               
               Amir

               You crazy?  No way.  I was betting a thousand a game but... Look, 
               I saw an ad.  I was just calling to see--
 
                                     BRANDON
               --Amir, this is my lock of a lifetime!  Texas plus the six points! 
                They win by two touchdowns!
 
               Amir 

               Really?  I like Oklahoma in that game.

                                     BRANDON
               (looks up, sees WALTER watching)

               Oklahoma huh?  Okay... well considering that, I like Texas even 
               more now.
 
               Amir 

               I shouldn't have called.  Thank you for--  

                                     BRANDON
               --Amir, buddy, I'm talking about banging out the biggest win 
               of your life.  
 
               WALTER crosses, whispers to BRANDON.  Into the phone:

                                     BRANDON
               Hold on, I got Vegas on the line.

               (pressing HOLD)

                                     WALTER
               There's only one thing you have to know about any of our clients 
               -- they're all in the hole.  The second they pick up the phone, 
               wham!  Right to the point!  You're above them!  Let 'em feel 
               it!  More confidence!  More John Anthony!
 
               (punches speaker phone)

               BRANDON/into phone

               Amir, what's your favorite drink?

                                     AMIR
               Favorite drink?  I dunno, Pina Colada.

                                     BRANDON
               Tomorrow we gotta get you a new drink.  But for now, this is 
               what you're gonna do.  First, you're going to bet 20 large on 
               Texas, then you're going to put on a 
 
               Hawaiian shirt, whip up your sweet little rum concoction with 
               the orange slice and 
 
               the cherry, turn on the game and play

               with the little umbrella while you sit 

               back and watch Texas tear those Okies a

               new asshole -- and when you call me back 

               after winning 20 G's the first thing out out of your mouth will 
               be words every fratboy knows -- "Thank you, sir, may I have another!"
 
               
                                     AMIR
               ... What about payment?

                                     BRANDON
               Good question.  What about it?

               Amir 

               Well how much is this going to cost me?

                                     BRANDON
               We take a percentage if WE win, Amir -- not exactly your problem 
               of late, is it?
 
               Amir

               What if I don't pay?

                                     BRANDON
               It's simple, you don't get any more picks.  Comprende?  So make 
               the bet, make the drink and let's roll this into
 
               something big!  


               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - NIGHT


               BRANDON jamming, using a phone headset.

                                     BRANDON
               To hell with power ratings -- McNab lost his dog yesterday!  
               Hunting accident.  Everyone knows you don't mess with a man who 
               just lost his dog!  Take Atlanta plus the points and send me 
               ten thou Western Union by tomorrow, Stan -- let's ride this wave 
               into Sunday!
 
               (punching a new call)

               Denny!  Sorry to keep you on hold, bro...  Hell yeah it takes 
               pictures, bitchen
 
               little phone, huh?  Now I got something else for ya, Green Bay 
               against Minnesota, take the Cheesheads... That's right -- go 
               to a sports book and put 500 hundred on 'em... So I'll send you 
               the money to bet... Don't worry about it, just JPEG your big 
               brother a smile when you win.
 

               INT. SALES ROOM - DAY


               WALTER paces like a hyped-up Ahab as his SALESMEN jam.

                                     SOUTHIE
               Billy, thanks for the 15,000 Fed Ex. What're you up, 160 or something? 
               
 
               Did you ever go 12-2 betting college football before?  Didn't 
               think so.  Now, Greenbay--Dallas--Cleveland--100,000 across the 
               board, got it?
 
                                     REGGIE
               The fuck do you care how he does it?  And where the hell's our 
               30 grand for hitting that 3-team college parlay last night?
 
               
                                     HERBIE
               (sipping a cup of tea)

               Do this, call your off-shore sports book right now and put the 
               whole 100,000 on Green Bay-Dallas-Cleveland, it's called a three-team 
               parlay and pays 6-1.  I do appreciate the 40,000 you sent us 
               today, but let me assure you we've only just begun to make serious 
               money.
 

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY


               NFL GAMES fill the TV screens.  Theme music, announcers and action 
               create a frenetic pace.  
 
                                     TIME LAPSE
               SAME SHOT.  LATER.  Sunday sports start winding down and --
 
               
                                     TIME LAPSE
               SAME SHOT.  LATER.  All the screens are dark save one, where 
               the last game of the day finally ends in overtime and --
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - NIGHT


               BRANDON pulls the headset, heads out to the water fountain.  
               SALESMEN work the phones, glance at him as he passes.  
 
               Herbie

               ... Hey -- great job.


               INT. WALTER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               TONI in the kitchen cooking pasta.  Moving fast.  BRANDON sits 
               in the living room, watches JULIA ride WALTER like a horse.  
               Music on the stereo.
 
                                     JULIA
               Faster daddy!

               WALTER crawls around the room, stops before BRANDON, grins.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               10-2 in pro football?  85 percent for the weekend?  Jesus, you're 
               a mutant.
 
                                     JULIA
               Go daddy!

               WALTER whinnies like a horse, keeps crawling.  BRANDON goes into 
               the kitchen.  TONI cooking at the stove, referring to a daily 
               planner, talking on the phone.
 
                                     TONI
               Monday's no good because I take Julia to ballet.  Tuesday I work 
               late at the salon.  Wednesday's a maybe if I can move a couple 
               clients to after six but I'll have to check.  I really want to 
               come in with him.  Listen, I have to call you back tomorrow. 
               
 
               (grabbing a pot about to boil over)

                                     BRANDON
               What's all the commotion?

                                     TONI
               The doctor, thank God, put Walter,on an exercise program.  I 
               want to be there the first time he goes.  Make sure the trainer 
               understands Walter's aversion to consistency.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Aversion to consistency?

                                     TONI
               He's always been that way.

                                     BRANDON
               Well that's consistent.

               CLOSE ON -- WALTER watches from the living room -- sees TONI 
               and BRANDON laughing, enjoying each other and -- 
 

               INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT


               WALTER, TONI and BRANDON relaxing after dinner.  

                                     WALTER
               Life is fucking... good.

               (burp, regarding BRANDON)

               Let's talk about making it better.

                                     TONI
               Duck, Brandon, here it comes.

                                     WALTER
               I've been tracking you since last year.

                                     TONI
               Don't let him steamroll you.

                                     WALTER
               --Can I get the damn thing out?  I want to put John Anthony on 
               tv this week.
 
                                     BRANDON
               That's me.  You mean me.

                                     WALTER
               That's right.  You, John Anthony.  You're one in the same. 
 
               
                                     TONI
               Go on -- get to the good part, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               Hold on.  Before I say another word, understand -- you do this 
               thing, Brandon, and from here out you gotta eat, sleep, shit, 
               breathe, walk, talk and fart John
 
               Anthony.  It's not just a new persona.

               You can't play it.  You gotta live it.  That's how this works. 
                The only way it works.  You have to sell it all the way.
 
                                     TONI
               Think it over, Brandon, don't decide now.

                                     BRANDON
               It sounds like a promotion.

                                     WALTER
               Bet your ass it is.  Five-star.

                                     BRANDON
               --I'm in.

                                     TONI
               Well that's a thoughtful response.  Here I was, worried you'd 
               rush your decision.
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's the only move.  For six years I've been living on Ramen 
               noodles.  For the
 
               first time in a long time I've got something going.  If that 
               means I gotta do a little acting, fine.
 
                                     WALTER
               Living, not acting.  You understand that as of right now Brandon 
               Lang with his fettucini knee and his self-fucking pity is as 
               flat dead as Donald Trump's hair and John "I-can-walk-on-fucking-water" 
               Anthony has taken his place?
 
                                     TONI
               Listen to what he's asking you, Brandon.

                                     WALTER
               She's right.  There's no going back.  I mean that.  This is gonna 
               cost me.  I'm talking about building an empire around you.  Do 
               you understand that?
 
                                     BRANDON
               ... Should I wait a little to create some tension?  Of course 
               I understand, I'm John Fucking Anthony.  I've got the crystal 
               ball...
 

               INT. TONI'S SALON - DAY


               BRANDON'S FACE FILLS SCREEN.  Scissors come in, start cutting. 
                TONI begins bringing John Anthony to life.  BRANDON chatting 
               her up in the chair, TONI laughing at something he says and -- 
               
 

               INT. BARNEY'S MEN'S STORE - DAY


               BRANDON (new haircut) stands in private room, modeling a suit. 
                WALTER nearby, looks through racks of clothes with a SALESMAN.
 
               

               INT. MERCEDES DEALERSHIP - DAY


               BRANDON (new haircut, new suit) walks through the showroom as 
               WALTER talks with a DEALER.
 
                                     WALTER
               I need a new car for my friend.

                                     DEALER
               (to BRANDON)

               Do you have any credit?

                                     BRANDON
               No.

                                     DEALER
               Walter, do you trust him?

                                     WALTER
               With my wife naked.

                                     DEALER
               (calling to BRANDON)

               In that case, which one do you want?

               BRANDON comes over, runs his hand over a sleek, silver SL500.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I think he likes that one.


               EXT. SIXTH AVENUE BAR - DAY


               The silver SL500 pulls to the curb.  License plate reading "900 
               KING."  A pair of $500 shoes emerge.  BRANDON stands on the sidewalk 
               as the DOORMAN comes up, eyes the car.
 
               Doorman

               I'll watch it for you.

               (seeing the license plate)

               What's "900 King?"

                                     BRANDON
               (handing him a card)

               I don't lose.

               BRANDON heads into the bar, meets WALTER and a group of HEAVY 
               HITTERS outside.  John ANTHONY instantly comes alive and --
 
               

               INT.  TV PRODUCTION HOUSE - NIGHT


               BRANDON and WALTER sitting side-by-side, getting made-up.

               MAKE-UP ARTIST/to brandon

               You're sweating a lot honey.

               BRANDON nervously regards himself in the mirror.  WALTER sees. 
                
 
                                     WALTER
               You okay?

                                     BRANDON
               I'm scared shitless.

                                     WALTER
               Don't worry about your lines, it's all scripted.  You've been 
               here before, kid, just think of it like a football game.
 
                                     BRANDON
               This is different.

                                     WALTER
               How?

                                     BRANDON
               There's no opponent.

                                     WALTER
               Perfect, then you're a lock to win.


               INT. TV PRODUCTION HOUSE - NIGHT


               The CAMERA TRACKS to a talk show-like set dominated by a triangular 
               table, three chairs and a backdrop bearing a sports-themed logo 
               and the words - THE SPORTS ADVISORS.  BRANDON sits between WALTER 
               and JERRY, increasingly nervous as the CAMERAS push close.  CHUCK 
               arrives, loud suit, takes a seat at the end of the table, head 
               down, averting eye contact with everyone.
 
                                     TECH
               30 seconds.  Walter, we're not getting your audio.

                                     WALTER
               (fumbling with a clipped on mike)

               Something's wrong here.

                                     JERRY
               (leaning over, plugging in a wire)

               Your lead's loose, I got it.  I'm talking to the tech guys about 
               going wireless. 
 
               JERRY looks at BRANDON, staring anxiously at the teleprompter.
 
               
                                     JERRY
               John Anthony, huh?  All I see's another wannabee in a 1000-dollar 
               suit.  Word to 
 
               the wise, save the clothes you came in.

                                     TECH
               Five, four, three, two, one--

               (NOTE: WALTER and the PANEL follow text from a teleprompter.)
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Welcome to this week's edition of The Sports Advisors!  America's 
               premier sports information program with myself, Walter Abrams, 
               Jerry Sykes, Chuck Adler  and a truly gifted newcomer to the 
               Sports Advisor panel, a substantial find -- John Anthony!  We're 
               entering week six in pro football!  This is when the cream rises 
               to the top!  This is when things get hot!  It's oven mitt time! 
                This is big-time ball season so let's get right into it with 
               the Wizard of Odds -- Jerry "The Source" Sykes!  Jerry, what's 
               the Sykes System predicting for this weekend?
 
                                     JERRY
               Walter, my patented computer models tell me we're looking at 
               nothing less than the perfect storm of betting opportunities. 
                But first, last week I cashed in a big-time call on on Chicago 
               as an outright winner over Indianapolis -- making it my 8th straight 
               top selection winner right here on this tv show!  This Sunday 
               I have 5 match-ups I absolutely love, including Miami at New 
               York!  Stats, rankings, records, weather, the Sykes System uses 
               42 proven indexs to eliminate the guesswork from sports wagering. 
                Without my patented, computer-based picks you have a better 
               chance of seeing God knocking on your door with five strippers 
               and a bag of Bolivian cocaine than winning on your own!  Call 
               me for my five games!  Absolutely free -- 800-238-6648! 
 
                                     WALTER
               Our experts know how to read between the lines, we know how to 
               analyze a point spread, we're not pulling rabbits out of 
 
               a hat here.  Certainly not Chuck Adler --

               (turning to CHUCK)

               Chuck, you'd probably eat that rabbit if you got your hands on 
               it.
 
                                     CHUCK
               (coming suddenly, wildly alive)

               Hell yes -- with a side order of fried bookmaker!!!  I'm the 
               grim reaper of bookmakers!  I've put more bookies out of business 
               than the I.R.S.!  How many gamblers did I bail out last weekend 
               with my game of the year!  Denver, a 10-
 
               point underdog beating Cincinatti by two touchdowns!  A $100 
               bettor made $10,000!
 
                                     
                                     CHUCK CON'D
               A $500 bettor made $50,000!  I've got six games on Sunday I'm 
               releasing absolutely free!  These games are a burial!  A blow-out! 
                A human lock!  You can bet your children's unborn children's 
               children on these six games -- ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!    
 
                                     WALTER
               (finger in his ear)

               Holy Christ, I forgot my earplugs.  Take a break before you blow 
               a gasket, we'll get back to you after my hearing returns.  Saturday 
               comes before Sunday and looking at this Saturday's college match-ups 
               is the last but certainly not least member of The Sports Advisors 
               -- John Anthony!
 
                                     BRANDON
               (reading off the teleprompter)

               --John Anthony here, the Million Dollar Man with the billion 
               dollar plan!  From Wall Street to Tokyo to Hollywood, all your 
               big money stays and plays with me!
 
               (beat, processing this, suddenly going off the teleprompter script)
 
               
               --Someone wrote some great stuff for me here but the "Million 
               Dollar Man," I dunno, it sounds kinda small somehow.  I mean 
               maybe if you change that M in million to a Z I could get behind 
               it.  They tried all sorts of names, wanted to call me the Magic 
               Man -- but picking 80 percent winners sounds pretty scientific 
               to me.  So let's just call me John.  I was a quarterback.  And 
               every QB knows the key to victory is anticipating -- the ability 
               to see the future and react to it.  That is what I do, that's 
               the truth, and what do they say about the truth, Walter?
 
                                     WALTER
               ... It bites you on the ass?

                                     BRANDON
               Not in my case.  You tell us, Jerry. 

                                     JERRY
               It sets you free?

                                     BRANDON
               That's right, but with me it makes you M-O-N-EE!  I'm picking 
               80 percent, is that 
 
               unbelievable?  Well it used to be.  I know the leagues!  I know 
               the players!  I
 
                                     
                                     BRANDON CON'D
               know the game!  I'm your friend on the field!  Your insider on 
               the outside!  You can't do what I do if you haven't been there! 
                Played at the level I have!  Maybe you'll get lucky -- guess 
               right once in a while -- but these match- ups won't be called 
               consistently by anything other than experience!  Forget trends! 
                Throw out every system you possess!  Keep your friends but toss 
               their opinions out the window!  It's time to change I-would-if-I-could 
               to I-can-and-I-am!  You wanna know who I like -- call that little 
               number at the bottom of your screen!
 
               BRANDON continues.  CAMERA on WALTER, watching proudly and -- 
                
 

               INT. WALTER AND TONI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               WALTER walks down the dim hall, looks in on JULIA, sleeping. 
               
 

               INT. WALTER AND TONI'S BEDROOM - NIGHT


               Dim darkness.  Silence.  Then someone bumps into something.  
               Muffled curse.  A light goes on.  TONI sits up in bed, sees WALTER 
               fully dressed, across the room, holding his shoes.
 
                                     WALTER
               I'm not here.  Go back to sleep.

                                     TONI
               It's four in the morning.

                                     WALTER
               (continues to his dresser, manic)

               What a show!  You should have seen him!  I'm sitting there watching 
               him roll and I swear he made me want to grab a phone and call! 
                I took the sales boys out to Smith and Wo's.  Get 'em primed 
               for the
 
               weekend.  Chuck got drunk, took a swing

               at one of the deer heads on the wall. 

               Just blowing off steam.  I'm gonna hire more guys Monday.  Put 
               in more phones.      Everything's amping up.  It's okay.  There's 
               room.  I'll tear down a
 
               few walls, fit another 10 desks down 

               there easy.  I'm gonna do a whole dot-com thing around him!  
               Oh shit, if I had me when I was his age... I never had a 
 
               protege.  Someone you hand it all down to.  Anything happens 
               to me, he steps in!  Just knowing that, with the thing... I 
 
               
               mean that's just beautiful!

               (changing into workout clothes)

               Just beautiful.

                                     TONI
               What are you doing?

                                     WALTER
               Going for a run.  See the sunrise.  We're doubling volume this 
               week.  And doubling it again after that.  He can pick, he can 
               sell, he's gonna change things around here.  He's the real deal. 
                Knows sports from the inside.  That's how he picks.  Guy like 
               him comes along once in a -- a -- 
 
                                     TONI
               -- 100 years.

                                     WALTER
               Yeah, a lifetime.

                                     TONI
               Walter, come to bed.

                                     WALTER
               Not tired.

                                     TONI
               You're exhausted.

                                     WALTER
               I'm just gonna run the bridge, up Fifth, circle Central Park, 
               be back in no time.
 
                                     TONI
               Get in bed.  Lie down next to me.  Come on.  Come here, Walter. 
                
 
                                     WALTER
               Just a quick once-around.

                                     TONI
               Roll on your stomach for a minute.

                                     WALTER
               Just for a sec.  I've gotta meet the trainer tomorrow.  Told 
               me to run.  Run in place, or from one place to another...
 
               WALTER lays down.  TONI gently massages his back.  She leans 
               in, whispers to him.  We sense she's done this before.
 
                                     TONI
               --I know.  Of course you do.  This is no time to sleep, Walter... 
               Can't sleep now... Just because you're so tired... Completely, 
               totally, utterly exhausted... I'll be here when you get back 
               from your
 
                                     
                                     TONI CON'D
               run... Right beside you... You go on now, baby, I'll stay right 
               here... It's okay... Close your eyes... Just for a second before 
               you leave... I'm not going anywhere... I'll just hold you--
 
               
               (quietly crying)

               I'll wait right here for you...

               TONI'S whisperings become a constant, soothing, mantra.  WALTER'S 
               eyes close.  Dressed in sweats and sneakers.  Gone.  TONI loosens 
               his laces, covers him with a blanket, slides under the covers. 
                TONI kills the light.  Seen in darkness.  Holding WALTER close, 
               draping a protective arm around and --
 

               INT. SALES ROOM - DAY


               A SLEDGE HAMMER smashes through a wall.  DELIVERYMEN dolly in 
               new desks and chairs to accomodate more salesmen.  SOUTHIE and 
               REGGIE at the water fountain, watch the room expand.
 
                                     SOUTHIE
               You see him this morning?  Wearing those suits to work now.
 
               
                                     REGGIE
               He keeps picking 90 percent I'll press the fuckers for him.
 
               
               WALTER walks in, stops at the front desk, speaks to TAMMY.

                                     WALTER
               What a weekened!  Helluva Christmas bonus if this keeps up.  
               Where'd you hide the phone sheet?
 
               TAMMY locates the sheet, hands it to him.  WALTER studies it, 
               starts away.  He sees something, stops.  Walking back --
 
                                     WALTER
               (to TAMMY, pointing on the sheet)

               Who's this?  This guy here -- Lang? 

                                     TAMMY
               I dunno, he said it was personal.  

                                     WALTER
               Did Brandon take the call?

               Tammy

               He wasn't in.  

                                     WALTER
               Don't mention it to him.  And don't patch the guy through.  Say 
               Brandon doesn't work here, you can't reach him.
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               BRANDON at his desk, reading The New York Post.  JERRY enters.
 
               
                                     JERRY
               You know anything about Stokley being out this weekend against 
               the New York?
 
                                     BRANDON
               A knock would be nice, Jerry.

                                     JERRY
               I'm underwater here, man.  Yes or no?

                                     BRANDON
               No.

                                     JERRY
               You know something... You hear anything, let me know.  That's 
               how this works.
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'll rush right over.  Stat.

                                     JERRY
               All inside information gets shared.

                                     BRANDON
               Inside?  I've got nothing inside.

                                     JERRY
               F.Y.I. -- we work as a team here, that's the way we do it.  I'll 
               do the same for you.  So stop holding out on me, babe.       
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               This wouldn't have anything to do with 

               you going 30 percent this weekend, would it?

                                     JERRY
               Listen you little shit, I've been doing this six years to your 
               one.
 
                                     WALTER
               (entering, to JERRY--)

               What are you doing in here?  Hit the phones and do some damage 
               control -- re-write your frigging computer program.
 
                                     JERRY
               Hey, it was a fucked weekend.

                                     WALTER
               For some people.   

               (to BRANDON)

                                     WALTER
               There's a 50-dime bettor on line three.  Wants to talk to John 
               Anthony.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Who?

                                     WALTER
               His name's Carl.  Carl owns a couple dozen McDonalds franchises. 
                Guy's a gazillionaire.  That sign out front might as well be 
               his bank account.
 
                                     JERRY
               No no no no no.  What'd you mean?  I landed that lead!  That's 
               my guy!   
 
                                     WALTER
               Was.

                                     JERRY
               He's raiding my fucking lists!

                                     WALTER
               Your clients are jumping ship you lactose intolerant fuck!  Get 
               outta my sight!
 
               JERRY leaves.  BRANDON picks up the phone --

                                     BRANDON
               Carl, John Anthony here, how's the fast-food king...?  Good--
 
               

               INT. WALTER AND TONI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               The door opens.  TONI, carrying groceries, and JULIA, dressed 
               in ballerina clothes enter, walk into the kitchen.
 
                                     JULIA
               Can we play?

                                     TONI
               Okay, let me just put the groceries away.

                                     JULIA
               I want to play princess.

                                     TONI
               So do I.  Go put your dress on.

               JULIA runs off to her room when TONI suddenly spies a tacky, 
               woman's jacket draped on a chair.  TONI regards it and --
 
               The CAMERA tracks TONI through the apartment.  Down the hall. 
                Voices heard.  A man and woman as -- WALTER emerges from his 
               office with a CALL GIRL.  He's pulling bills from his wallet.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Easy 200, huh?  Here's something extra for a cab.

                                     GIRL
               Thanks, Walter.  Talk to ya.

                                     WALTER
               (seeing TONI)

               I can explain.

               The CALL GIRL slides by, shows herself out.  TONI staring.

                                     WALTER
               No, no, you think she was for me?  Are you crazy?  No.  I just 
               had her come up to pay her.  I got her for John. 
 
                                     TONI
               I don't give a damn who you got her for!  We have a 6-year-old 
               in the house, Walter!  What the hell is going on here?
 
               (looking in, checking the made bed)

               Don't bullshit me!

                                     WALTER
               You think I slept with her?  C'mon!

                                     TONI
               Who the hell's John?

                                     WALTER
               Brandon, we all call him John now.

                                     TONI
               You got Brandon a hooker?

                                     WALTER
               New city, no friends, working all hours.

                                     TONI
               What the hell are you creating here, Walter? 

                                     WALTER
               I don't understand this.  I was helping him out, that's all.
 
               
                                     TONI
               Helping him?  Really?  Like the others before him?

                                     WALTER
               This kid's different, he's different -- wait a minute.  This 
               has nothing to do with you, you know I do business up here.  
               Why are you so angry?
 
                                     TONI
               Are we actually going to have this conversation?  Are you completely 
               clueless? 
 
                                     WALTER
               You're jealous.  Look at you!

                                     TONI
               Of what?!

                                     WALTER
               Gee, I don't know -- Brandon screwing someone?

                                     TONI
               You really are fucking crazy, Walter!  That never entered my 
               mind!
 
                                     WALTER
               That's not where those thoughts enter.

                                     TONI
               Fuck you!

               TONI goes into the kitchen, slams the door.  Calling to her --
 
               
                                     WALTER
               You'll be happy to know he didn't sleep with her.  I paid her 
               off just for coming.  No pun intended.
 
               WALTER grimaces, clutches his side.  WALTER pops one, two -- 
               three pills from a vial, let's them settle as JULIA, princess 
               clothes, runs down the hall, leaps in his arms.  WALTER stifles 
               the pain of her embrace.  Carries her down the hall.
 
                                     WALTER
               ... Julia my jewel, you're getting big angel.

                                     JULIA
               Can we play princess, Daddy?

                                     WALTER
               Course we can.  Who am I gonna be?

                                     JULIA
               You're the king, daddy, like always.


               INT. SPORTS ADVISORS TV SET - NIGHT


               BRANDON practicing John Anthony expressions.  A pretty MAKE-UP 
               ARTIST finishes touching him up.
 
                                     MAKE-UP ARTIST
               I made 500 bucks off your picks last week.  I was thinking maybe 
               we could go out later and get a little wild... you can help me 
               blow some.    
 
                                     BRANDON
               Let's get really wild and you can blow mine.

               The GIRL laughs.  BRANDON crosses the stage, takes his place 
               on the set between WALTER and JERRY.  CHUCK sits off to the side, 
               eating a muffin.  WALTER looks voer at BRANDON -- 
 
                                     WALTER
               Look at you.  I like the tan.

                                     BRANDON
               Toni put one of those lamps down in my room.  The ladies do love 
               it. 
 
                                     TECHNICIAN
               60 seconds!

                                     WALTER
               John's up first tonight, Jerry.

                                     JERRY
               What?

                                     WALTER
               John Anthony's leading off tonight.

                                     JERRY
               John Anthony's leading?

                                     WALTER
               Somebody tell the engineer there's an echo in here.

                                     JERRY
               Two years I lead and you bury me in the deck over a few lousy 
               fucking weekends?  The Sykes System's based on percentages -- 
               the long haul.
 
                                     WALTER
               No, that's called a mutual fund, Jerry.

                                     JERRY
               (to CHUCK)

               You gonna sit for this shit? 

               CHUCK shrugs, finishes his muffin.  JERRY turns to WALTER --
 
               
                                     JERRY
               ... He leads, I'm walking.

                                     WALTER
               He's leading.

               JERRY unclips his microphone, stands.

                                     WALTER
               That's baby talk!  You need a fucking rattle!  Sit down!

               (staring him down)

               You probably think you know what I'm gonna say... how everything 
               you got I pay for.  Your apartment, your car, your kid's school 
               -- and it's true.  You'd be right.  I do.  Now I don't know, 
               Jerry, maybe you break your losing streak, end the shneid, start 
               winning again and find yourself another job, but then of course 
               maybe you don't.  I don't see you taking that chance.  My gut 
               says you'll walk out of here on principle or even pride but not 
               on a gamble, a hunch yet.  And if you do, fuck it.  I give a 
               shit?  The only reason I keep you around is it makes me look 
               loyal and him--
 
               (pointing at BRANDON)

               --look good!  Now you got three fucking seconds to stop standing 
               there like dog
 
               shit on my porch and sit down and shut

               the fuck up or you can kiss everything you have goodbye!  The 
               clock's started. 
 
               Beat.  JERRY sinks into his seat.  WALTER turns to BRANDON.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               See that?  He made the safe play.  Me, I would've walked, but 
               I'm a fucked-up human being.  That's the difference between us. 
                Right there.  Jerry's a statistician, I'm a gambler.  And you're 
               not a gambler, not really -- until you bet more than you can 
               afford to lose.
 
                                     TECHNICIAN
               Five, four, three, two, one --

                                     WALTER
               Welcome to week 7 of pro football!


               INT. SPORTS ADVISORS TV SET - BACK HALL - NIGHT


               BRANDON done taping, wiping off make-up, talking on his cell 
               -- 
 
                                     BRANDON
               Denny, it's me... What'd I tell ya?...  Hey, it's your money, 
               dude, you won it...  Well did you hook it up yet?... Hell yeah, 
               crank it, let me hear--
 

               INTERCUT - EXT. DENNY AT HOME IN GARAGE - NIGHT 


               Denny on his cell, crouched under the dash of his car, wiring 
               a new stereo.  He touches two wires and the sound system BOOMS 
               to life, deafening hip-hop before Denny disconnects the wires. 
                   
 
                                     DENNY
               It's the bomb, B!

                                     BRANDON
               Sure sounds like it!  I'm heading out with some people, everything 
               else cool?
 
                                     DENNY
               Everything's great.  Did dad reach you?

                                     BRANDON
               Dad?  No, why?

                                     DENNY
               He keeps calling.  He saw you on tv, wants to talk to you.  I 
               gave him your work number but he says they won't put him through.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Really?

               BRANDON'S eye catches WALTER across the set, watching a playback 
               of the show.  TONI enters the studio, kisses WALTER hello and 
               --
 

               INT. TV PRODUCTION HOUSE LOBBY - NIGHT


               WALTER, BRANDON and TONI exit the stage, enter into the lobby.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I'm starved, there's a new steak house around the corner.  You 
               two split a prime rib, I'll get the porterhouse, we'll whack 
               it up!
 
                                     TONI
               Let's walk, you could use the exercise. 

                                     WALTER
               Stop worrying.  We're set--

               (arm around BRANDON)

               --I got the next Jimmy the Greek here!  I'm serious!  Nostra-fucking-damus 
               was a novelty act next to this guy!  
 
                                     BRANDON
               Let me ask you something, Walter.  

                                     WALTER
               Shoot.

                                     BRANDON
               Have you been blocking any of my calls?

                                     WALTER
               Of course.  You don't need distractions, there's a lot of crazies 
               out there. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               Does that include my father?

                                     WALTER
               You're asking, I'll tell you... Yeah.

                                     BRANDON
               (striding outside)

               Son of a bitch -- for how long? 

                                     WALTER
               (following)

               Week or so.

                                     TONI
               Walter.


               EXT. TV PRODUCTION HOUSE BUILDING - NIGHT


               WALTER and TONI trail BRANDON down the lamp-lit sidewalk.

                                     WALTER
               Hold on, Brandon, if I didn't block his calls would you've talked 
               to him?  Honestly.
 
                                     BRANDON
               That's not the point!

                                     WALTER
               Then what exactly is the point, Brandon? What's the full story 
               here?  What's the deal with your old man?  
 
                                     BRANDON
               You tell it, you seem to know.

                                     WALTER
               --I only know pieces.  I was trying to spare you from something.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               (stopping under a street light)

               Spare me?  By blocking my calls?  There's nothing you can spare 
               me from.  He's a drunk.  Left when I was 9.  I couldn't t compete 
               with a bottle.  End of story.
 
                                     WALTER
               ... That's it?  That's the best you can do?  Hell, Toni and I'll 
               match our dysfunctional childhoods against yours
 
               any day of the week.  My father, 5-foot- 

               arms like this, cock the size of a hebrew national -- if I even 
               looked at him wrong he knocked me across the room like LaMotta. 
                He yelled so much, until I was five I thought my name was asshole. 
                Tell him about you, Toni.  Well go on --
 
                                     TONI
               I didn't have a great home-life either.

                                     WALTER
               "Great?"  Tell him about the uncle--

                                     TONI
               --He gets the idea.

                                     WALTER
               Don't sugarcoat this shit, you were abused by everybody but the 
               family pet, isn't that right, honey?
 
                                     TONI
               Walter, please.

                                     WALTER
               (to BRANDON)

               Your father was a drunk, a jerk -- so what?  It happens.  I'm 
               glad I blew him off.  Know why?  Because what you need is a new 
               image of a man.  How 'bout me?
 
                                     BRANDON
               That's a really scary thought.

                                     WALTER
               If not me, then pick someone else.  It's all in your head!  The 
               shit that happened to you, to Toni, to me -- you know what it 
               is?  Just that, shit that happened.
 
                                     
                                     WALTER CON'D
               It's not who we are.  After 

                                     
               Walter con'd

               all the therapy and the analysis and the meetings and the -- 
               aaahhhh! -- the one thing I know--
 
               (yelling to the sky)

               --WE'RE ALL FUCKED UP!  We are all just so fucked up!

               (to BRANDON)

               Say it!  Shout it!  Come on, you two -- wallow with me here!
 
               
               A MAN sticks his head out a window down the street, yells --
 
               
                                     MAN
               I'm trying to sleep, asshole!

                                     WALTER
               Dad!  Is that you?

                                     MAN
               I'll crush you like a beetle!

                                     WALTER
               How's Mom?!

                                     MAN
               Fucking freak!

                                     WALTER
               I love you too!  Don't wait up!

               WALTER, TONI and BRANDON all laugh.  The three of them doubled 
               over on the dark, deserted street.  MAN screaming from above. 
                The ring of a phone begins bleeding in and --
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               New furniture and sports photos on the walls suggest the passage 
               of time.  BRANDON stands before a mirror, being fitted for a 
               suit by a TAILOR.  He has a cigar in one hand, Coke in the other, 
               talks into a headset as he watches the TAILOR work.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Are you serious, Amir?  You gonna fucking haggle with me over 
               a measly 50 thousand on the 250 grand I won you this weekend?
 
               

               EXT. AMIR'S DRY CLEANERS - DAY


               AMIR (sharply attired) stands outside his business, leaning against 
               a brand new, red Ferrari as he talks on the phone.  
 
                                     AMIR
               Don't get me wrong, John.  I'm thankful, very much, you're amazing, 
               it's just that 50 thousand seems slightly steep--
 
                                     BRANDON
               --The first time you call me you're in a hole the size of the 
               Grand Canyon, you're crying about hocking your fiance's ring 
               and this weekend you're phoning me from a suite at the Bellagio 
               that I put you in -- you know what -- I'm cutting you off... 
               You want to continue with me, I'm tagging on a 10 percent aggravation 
               tax!  Now get to Western Union and shoot me 75 grand by tonight 
               and we'll kiss and make up.
 
               (hanging up, to the TAILOR)

               No cuff.

               (the phone rings, picking up--)

               John Fucking Anthony, talk to me.

                                     WOMAN VOICEOVER
               This is... May I please speak to a Brandon Lang?

                                     BRANDON
               ... Mom?


               INT. BRANDON'S VEGAS HOME - DAY


               BRANDON'S MOM drinking coffee, talking on the phone

                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Brandon, is that you?

                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               That's me.

                                     INTERCUT
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Are you okay?

                                     BRANDON
               Never better.  Kicking ass and taking names.  Did you get the 
               money I sent?
 
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Well that's why I'm calling, honey.

                                     BRANDON
               Good good good.  I talked to Denny.  Next month I'm flying you 
               and him out here.  First class.  I'll put you up at The Plaza. 
                You'll love this joint.
 
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               It sounds great, Brandon, but the money -- it's too much.  Where 
               did you get it?
 
                                     BRANDON
               I made it.  Earned it.  Every fucking cent.  Put it in Denny's 
               college fund.
 
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Listen to you.

                                     BRANDON
               It's just how people talk here.

               (looking down at the TAILOR, edge)

               How many times I gotta say no cuff?

                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Who's this John Anthony person?

                                     BRANDON
               He's me.  I'm him.

                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               And he talks like that?

                                     BRANDON
               He's pretty fucking salty -- geez, I'm sorry, Mom -- I mean yeah. 
                Look, the main point is I'm learning a lot here.
 
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Then you should know you can't be two people, Brandon.

                                     BRANDON
               I appreciate the concern, Ma, but the checks I've been sending 
               -- the checks you've been cashing -- those are from John Anthony.
 
               
                                     BRANDON'S MOTHER
               Funny, I thought they were from my son.

               WALTER enters, slaps an airline ticket on his desk.

                                     WALTER
               We're going to Puerto Rico!

                                     BRANDON
               Gotta put you on hold, Ma.

               (pressing a button on the headset)

               What's in Puerto Rico?

                                     WALTER
               Since Ricky Martin moved out, all that's left are tourists, cruise 
               ships and C.M. Novian -- one of the biggest sports bettors in 
               the world.  He just called.  Wants to meet you in person!  To-day! 
                Flight leaves Laguardia in 45 minutes.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               (activating the headset)

               I gotta go, Ma... Ma... Son of a bitch --  my own fucking mother 
               hung up on me!
 

               EXT. SAN JUAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - NIGHT 


               An AIRLINER roars in for landing.


               INT. AIRLINE TERMINAL - NIGHT


               WALTER and BRANDON pass through FRAME.

                                     BRANDON
               What do you know about him?

                                     WALTER
               Not much, 'cept for the fact he's a world class prick.  Bastard 
               treated me worse than my Hong Kong tailor.  Never once returned 
               a call.  I've been trying to bag this guy for years.  Do you 
               have any idea what this is worth?
 
                                     BRANDON
               No, but I want a bonus if we pull it off.

                                     WALTER
               Look at me.  There is no if -- it's only when.  This time he 
               called us, remember?  You hooked him.  Know that.  Sweat that.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Relax, I'll get in character in the car.  

               WALTER suddenly slows, winces.  He angles toward a bathroom.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               ... Walter?

               WALTER grabs for a water fountain, misses, suddenly collapses. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               Your vial -- where's your pills, Walter?

               WALTER finds the vial, pops it, his chest heaves and the pills 
               spill on the floor.  WALTER looks wide-eyed up at BRANDON, mouths 
               "Big one."  BRANDON frantically loosens WALTER'S shirt.  A crowd 
               gathers.  A BUSINESSMAN pulls a cell phone, dials 911.    
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Hold on, Walter we're getting help!  Oh my God.  Listen to me. 
                Walter -- Walter.  You're gonna be fine.  Hold on!
 
               (to the CROWD)

               We need a doctor!  Is there a doctor?

                                     WALTER
               Brandon --

                                     BRANDON
               Save your strength.  Help's coming.  Help's coming.

                                     WALTER
               ... Do you love me?

                                     BRANDON
               Of course I do.

                                     WALTER
               Uh-huh.

                                     BRANDON
               I do.  I really do love you.

                                     WALTER
               ... How much?

                                     BRANDON
               A lot!  Now don't talk.  

               (turning to the CROWD)

               We need a doctor!  

               Several stunned ONLOOKERS run for help.  WALTER fading fast.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I believe you.  I believe you love me.  I love you too... Just 
               one thing -- 
 
                                     BRANDON
               Save your strength, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               ... Would you love me if this was a joke?

                                     BRANDON
               What?

                                     WALTER
               I'm fine.  Just practicing...

               WALTER smiles.  Stands.  Brushes himself off.  To the CROWD --
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I'm okay!  Little gas.  Must've had too many peanuts on the plane.
 
               
               The confused ONLOOKERS drift away.  

                                     BRANDON
               You sick fucking fuck!  That was too goddamn fucking far!!!
 
               
                                     WALTER
               You weren't listening!  You're not paying attention to me!  There's 
               no such thing as too far!  Push everything as far as you can! 
                Push it until it starts pushing back and then push some goddamn 
               more!  Remember that when you're with this guy today!
 
                                     OMIT

               INT. PUERTO RICAN MANSION - DAY


               Palatial.  Drapes dance before the open doors.  Music plays. 
                BRANDON and WALTER sit in the living room.  Peaceful beat.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               I start to die, fuck the hospital, just sit me down, I wanna 
               kack here.
 
               A beefy BODYGUARD enters followed by a tan, broad shouldered 
               MAN of 50.  WALTER extends his hand.
 
                                     WALTER
               Mr. Novian!  What can I say?  An honor.  This is my associate, 
               John Anthony.
 
               MR. NOVIAN nods, settles in a chair.  WALTER and BRANDON sit. 
               
 
                                     NOVIAN
               You should know I think that most sports services are a complete 
               scam... However, I hear your boy here's having quite a season. 
                What's your system?
 
                                     WALTER
               (looking around)

               Our system?  Fuck that, what's your system?

               Walter laughs.  Novian stone-faced, glances at his watch when--
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               It's a privilege to meet you, Mr. Novian.   You have a beautiful 
               home.  Let's start with how much you bet.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               A million a game, across the board.

                                     BRANDON
               Nice round number, is that our ceiling here?  Is that the most 
               we're working with?
 
                                     NOVIAN
               "We're" not doing anything until I hear how you feel about this 
               weekend.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Do you rent that yacht out there?

                                     NOVIAN
               I own it.

                                     BRANDON
               Well, sir, that's how I feel about this weekend.  That may sound 
               cocky, I don't care.  I didn't come down here to lie. 
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Do you have inside information?

                                     BRANDON
               If I did I wouldn't share that with you.  My record speaks for 
               itself.  The truth is I know these teams better than they know 
               themselves.  I'm going 12 for 12 this weekend, and that includes 
               the Monday Night parlay.   
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Why should I believe you?

                                     BRANDON
               With all due respect, Mr. Novian, you can't afford not to.

                                     NOVIAN
               I can afford to do any damn thing I please.

                                     BRANDON
               Can you?  What I'm saying is can you -- can anyone for that matter 
               -- afford to lose as much as a man like you probably needs to 
               bet to feel a win?  Winning's a funny thing, Mr. Novian... it's 
               one of those rare commodities on earth money can't buy.  Or was, 
               until you called me.
 
               Charged beat.  A tight grin's glued to WALTER'S face.

                                     BRANDON
               The price is a quarter million, Mr. Novian -- up-front -- in 
               addition to a percentage of every game you win.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Fuck you.  I never pay anything up front. 

                                     BRANDON
               And we've never charged it before.  But with what you're betting, 
               250 up front's a bargain.  You want this weekend's winners, that's 
               my offer.  Take it or leave it.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               (standing)

               ... Step outside.

               BRANDON and WALTER exchange looks, unsure where this is going.
 
               

               EXT. NOVIAN'S BALCONY - DAY


               NOVIAN and BRANDON regard a group of GIRLS lounging topless by 
               a pool.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               ... Ever pick oranges, Mr. Anthony?

                                     BRANDON
               Nope.

                                     NOVIAN
               I have, in fact it's how I started.

               Builds character.  See those girls down there?  Pretend they're 
               oranges and pick some ripe ones.  Take 'em upstairs and build 
               some character.  Mr. Abrams and I need to refine the terms.
 
               
               BRANDON goes to an ice-filled cooler by the door, pulls a bottle 
               of champagne, carries it dripping down to the pool and-- 
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               A FOOTBALL BETTING FORM fills FRAME.  Two columns of teams seen. 
                Point spreads penciled in between them.  11 of 12 games checked 
               off.  Monday Night the last to be decided.
 
               PULL BACK TO SHOW -- BRANDON in his office, the unfinished form 
               before him.  A young SALESMAN appears at the door.
 
                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               They need it, Mr. Anthony.

               BRANDON picks up his pen, regards the box for Monday Night -- 
               Seattle or New Orleans?  The point spread is Seattle minus 3. 
                A box beside it is for the over/under.  That number is 34.  
               BRANDON about to pick when he stops, looks up, smiles --
 
                                     BRANDON
               Three questions.  What's your mother's name?

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               Shelia.

                                     BRANDON
               What street did you grow up on?

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               Atlantic Avenue.

                                     BRANDON
               Who do you like Monday night?

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               I don't know.

                                     BRANDON
               Pick one.

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               That's your job.

                                     BRANDON
               I'll do your job tomorrow, today you do mine.

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               What are you talking about?

                                     BRANDON
               Pick one.  Stop stalling.  You know who's playing.  Seattle versus 
               New Orleans.
 
                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               ... I dunno.  I guess I like Seattle giving the two points.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               (writing on the form)

               Over or under?

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               You can't do that.

                                     BRANDON
               Sure I can!  Over 34 points or under!

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               Over!

               BRANDON checks it off, gives him the finished form.

                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               I'm not handing that in.  Like a million dollars is going on 
               that game!
 
                                     BRANDON
               Like a lot more than that.  Relax.  I think we know I can pick. 
                Today I'm picking you.  The outcome'll be the same.
 
                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               What if I'm wrong?

                                     BRANDON
               Didn't they tell you?  There is no if.


               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - NIGHT


               MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  Final seconds of a hard-fought game. 
               The Seattle QUARTERBACK'S driving, completes a long pass to a 
               RECEIVER who's brought down at the New Orleans 10-yard line. 
               
 
                                     WALTER
               They score, we win!

               AL MICHAELS/vo from tv

               --Kuhn's stopped at the 10!  Seattle down by three.  Two seconds 
               on the clock.  Kuhn suffered a concussion last week and with 
               that foot injury in the first quarter he has no mobility -- Hanratty 
               drops back, he's out of the pocket, breaks one tackle, throws 
               downfield, it's tipped!  Raymond's got it!  Breaks the plane! 
                Touch down!  Seattle takes it 20 to 17!  They win by three! 
                What a game!
 
               The buzz in the BG explodes as we see -- every EMPLOYEE is packed 
               into WALTER'S office.  Riot of celebration all around. 
 
                                     WALTER
               100 fucking percent!

               Champagne corks start popping.  Someone hits the remote and the 
               wall of screens fill with a jamming MTV video.  The lights dim. 
                People start dancing.  Cell phones start ringing and --
 
               VARIOUS SALESMEN/into phones

               -- Call back tomorrow! 

               -- Who knows who he likes next week you   fucking degenerate! 
               
 
               -- I don't have anything yet! 

               The YOUNG SALESMAN who made the Monday night and over/under picks 
               talks excitedly to SOUTHIE and REGGIE.
 
                                     YOUNG SALESMAN
               He kinda mesmerized me, see, and like Spock or something I visualized 
               Seattle and the over and he wrote it down!  Said picking me was 
               the same as him doing it.
 
                                     SOUTHIE
               What kinda power is that?

                                     REGGIE
               Who fucking cares?  He's money.

               JERRY SYKES stands nearby, listening.  Whoops of excitement as 
               WALTER jumps up on his desk, starts throwing cash.  JERRY moves 
               through the raucous CROWD, finds BRANDON against a wall, out 
               of the fray, watching WALTER hurl money in the air.
 
                                     JERRY
               Congratulations, Brandon... Or should I say John?  Either way 
               it's amazing.  I must say I am impressed.  Letting salesmen make 
               your picks?  That's balls.
 
                                     BRANDON
               (watching WALTER hurl money)

               Best get in there and collect some of this, Jerry.  The way you're 
               picking, you're gonna need some for a rainy day.
 
                                     JERRY
               Keep talking, sugarmouth.  Must feel pretty good to be that plugged 
               in.  You got a good streak going.  Well enjoy it while it lasts. 
                The gambling Gods are a fickle bunch, sooooo easily offended.
 
               
               BRANDON makes his way through the room, reaches WALTER.

                                     WALTER
               Here, get you teeth fixed.  There might be some other businesses 
               you can make two mill in one weekend, but tell me, someone please 
               tell me -- where else are you gonna have this much fun?
 
                                     BRANDON
               How much of that big stack's mine?

                                     WALTER
               A one with five zeros behind it.

                                     BRANDON
               ...A 100 fucking thou?  On two million?

                                     WALTER
               You're working out of my shop.

                                     BRANDON
               I was thinking of ten percent.

                                     WALTER
               Really?  Is that what you were thinking?

                                     BRANDON
               I got you Novian.

                                     WALTER
               Nice job, now don't blow it by getting ahead of yourself.  I'm 
               looking beyond the money. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               You can afford to, you're holding it all.  C'mon, I only want 
               what's fair, Walter.
 
               WALTER smiles.  Wraps an arm around.  Puts him in a headlock.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               "Fair?"  Honey, you don't know what fair is.  What's fair is 
               not giving you the money.  Now I'm only gonna say this once. 
                If you want something from me more than a gazunheidt after a 
               sneeze you have to do more than think about it.  Or ask for it. 
                You gotta earn it.  You gotta fight for it.  You gotta rip it 
               out of my fucking talons.  John Anthony would know that.  That's 
               what he'd do.  As a matter of fact, next time you come with that 
               shit, come as John Anthony.  'Cause from now on I'm not talking 
               to you about money.
 
               BRANDON pulls free.  Stunned.  Seething.  MTV pounds from the 
               TVs, people dancing all around.  TONI walks up.
 
                                     TONI
               The big winner.  How are you doing?

                                     BRANDON
               I'm winning... I'm winning...

               BRANDON leaves.  WALTER pulls her close, moves with the music.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Dance with me.  Close, that's it.  I gotta dance with you more. 
                Listen, I'm thinking of buying a plane.  Big one.  G-something. 
                We can just get on it and go, you and me, anywhere in the world, 
               any time we want.  There's a house for sale in the Bahamas with 
               a runway right beside it.  Comes with its own 50-foot boat.  
               Two for one.  What an investment.  Anything happens, you and 
               Jules always have it.  Let's go down and check it out.  Next 
               week, just us, barefoot in the sand.
 
               (TONI watching him)

               Well say something.         

                                     TONI
               ... Are you gambling again, Walter?

                                     WALTER
               What?  Oh, c'mon -- hell no.  

                                     TONI
               Look me in the eye and say it.

                                     WALTER
               I am not gambling.  Not now, not ever.  18 years clean.  That 
               shit's over. 
 
                                     TONI
               It's never over, Walter.  You know that.  

                                     WALTER
               Get a lie detector if you don't believe me.  Shoot me with truth 
               serum.  Baby -- we just made two-million dollars.  I'm working 
               miracles here.  Now can I enjoy a dance with my wife?  Huh?  
               I swear, it's a shame you can't drink, we need something to kill 
               that bug up your ass.
 
               TONI smiles.  WALTER holds her close, kisses her and --


               EXT. BROOKLYN BRIDGE - NIGHT


               BRANDON'S Mercedes speeds into the city.


               INT. MANHATTAN STRIP CLUB - NIGHT


               Big breasts, G-strings, testosterone.  BRANDON in a booth with 
               a topless BLACK GIRL.  We can see from his moves it's the Million 
               Dollar Man talking.  Drinking Dom.  Flashing cash.  He whispers 
               something to her.  She reaches for her top as he grabs the hand 
               of her topless FRIEND and --
 

               INT. STRIP CLUB - PRIVATE BACK ROOM - NIGHT


               DARKNESS.  A light goes on, illuminates a cave-like bedroom. 
                MUSIC from the club rumbles through the space, reduced to a 
               driving bass beat.  The ASIAN GIRL pulls an outrageous wad of 
               cash from BRANDON'S pocket, tosses it confetti-like in the air 
               as -- BRANDON, the ASIAN GIRL and the BLACK GIRL fall on the 
               gold lame sheets.  Clothes are peeled off, money sticking to 
               their bodies, GIRLS clawing the cash from BRANDON'S skin --
 
               
               Black girL

               (kissing his neck, hands roving)

               What's it feel like to do what you do?  To win like that?

               BRANDON flips her over, leans in from behind.

                                     BRANDON
               It's just like sex.  You start by massaging the numbers, very 
               relaxed,
 
               getting a feel, see how they move.  Then there's a shift, a plan 
               forms and you connect to your teams.
 
               (the GIRL moans, reacting to something unseen)

               Sunday's like penetration and the games have started and teams 
               are scoring and 
 
               you're inside and you're doing it and 

               it's doing you, feeling every shift,

               every score, every trickle of sweat --

               the giving, taking, the long, the short,

               excitement growing bigger and bigger--

               (BRANDON cupping her breasts)

               And it's not an idea or part of you anymore -- it is you, all 
               of you -- and the crowd's roaring and the clock's 
 
               ticking and you know everything except 

               how it'll end and and then you've won -- over and over and over 
               and it's like one, big, huge, insane, weekend-long orgasm.
 
               
                                     FRIEND
               (totally turned on, kissing him)

               Nice job description.

               BRANDON presses her below FRAME, naked ASIAN GIRL climbing on 
               top as the sound of APPLAUSE is heard, building in volume and--
 
               

               INT. BROWNSTONE SALESROOM - DAY


               25 SALESMEN stand on their desks, clapping, as BRANDON passes 
               through on the way to his office.  Only it's John Anthony who's 
               strutting through the room, high-fiving SALESMEN, kissing the 
               GIRLS, a tanned, tailored, magnetic presence and --
 

               INT. BROWNSTONE - BRANDON'S OFFICE - MORNING


               WALTER waits within, standing at the window overlooking the sales 
               room as BRANDON enters.
 
                                     WALTER
               Know what time it is?

                                     BRANDON
               (glance at his watch)

               Yeah, it's--

                                     WALTER
               --Wrong.  It's time to press, my friend.  We're yanking out all 
               the stops.  When you're winning -- you press.  
 
               BRANDON rummaging a closet, produces a set of golf clubs. 

                                     WALTER
               What are you doing?

                                     BRANDON
               I have a 10:30 tee time at Wingfoot with a client, that Howell 
               guy.  Don't call me unless the lines change.
 
                                     WALTER
               The salmon are running!  You're staying right here and fielding 
               calls.  You're not going off to play golf and have fun.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Fun?  Senor, you have obviously never played Wingfoot.

                                     WALTER
               Stop screwing around, you got a lot to do before this weekend. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'm not asking you if I can leave, Walter -- I'm telling you 
               that's how it is, understood?  You want my picks, hell I'll make 
               'em now.  
 
               BRANDON sits, starts filling out the week's betting form.

                                     WALTER
               Whoa -- hold on -- slow down -- today's only Tuesday, you have 
               all week.
 
                                     BRANDON
               I don't need it.

                                     WALTER
               Hey -- we're gonna be advising somewhere in the neighborhood 
               of 20 million dollars this week.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Nice neighborhood.

                                     WALTER
               You're really gonna make your picks now?  No study?  No analysis? 
                Just like that?
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'm in the zone, Walter.  Locked in.  You want my picks, I might 
               as well do it now!
 
               Washington at Miami giving 8, Washington!

               Saint Louis at K.C. getting 12 -- K.C. by three touchdowns!  
               Pittsburgh at Philly giving 3 -- Philly, another blow out! 
 
               
               (handing WALTER the finished form)

               Brandon con'd

               There they are, unless you want next weekend's picks too.  You're 
               welcome to join me, Walter, it's a beautiful track.  
 
                                     WALTER
               ... Okay, fine.  Take a break.  Go play golf.  We'll put the 
               picks on ice and look 'em over tomorrow.
 
                                     BRANDON
               (walking out)

               I won't be in tomorrow.

                                     WALTER
               Then the next day!

               But BRANDON'S gone.  WALTER considers what's just occured, regards 
               the finished betting form.  He dons his glasses and begin examining 
               BRANDON'S picks and --
 

               EXT. OUTSIDE THE BROWNSTONE - DAY


               BRANDON loads his golf clubs in the Mercedes, spies TONI coming 
               down the front steps.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Where're you headed?

                                     TONI
               Some of us have to work.

                                     BRANDON
               Come on, get in.  I'll give you a lift.

               ANGLE ON -- upper brownstone window.  WALTER looks down.  Watches 
               TONI'S legs swing into BRANDON'S sports car and --
 

               INT. MOVING MERCEDES - DAY


               BRANDON speeds fast down a street.  Uncomfortable beat.

                                     BRANDON
               Some ride, huh?  Feel that?  Feel that?

                                     TONI
               Slow down, Brandon.

                                     BRANDON
               Why?  This car was made to go fast.

                                     TONI
               Not with me in it.

                                     BRANDON
               C'mon, Toni, loosen up.  

               (goosing the gas, laughing)

               Let me ask you something.  When you're not at the shop, or running 
               Julia to play dates or keeping Walter from losing his mind, which 
               I know is a full-time job,
 
               what do you do for you, Toni? 

                                     TONI
               I stay busy.

                                     BRANDON
               That's not what I asked.

                                     TONI
               Yes it is.

                                     BRANDON
               What do you do for you, Toni, for yourself.

                                     TONI
               "What do I do for myself?"  If you drove past my salon and went 
               two blocks down Prospect Street you would have found me 20 years 
               ago with a needle in my arm.  I was a 5-bag a day junkie.  I 
               would have sold Julia to get high.  Keeping it all on track, 
               that's what I do for myself.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               That's not living, Toni.  That's just maintaining.  You cashed 
               in. 
 
                                     TONI
               What the hell does that mean?  Are we talking perfection here?
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Well, nobody's perfect... except me last weekend going 14 and 
               0.  
 
               BRANDON pulls up outside her shop.  TONI regards him.

                                     TONI
               Yeah, that's living.

                                     BRANDON
               Hell yeah.  You oughta try it some time.

                                     TONI
               (stepping from the car)

               Thanks for the ride, John...

               TONI enters her shop and --


               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY


               Eight football games are winding down, another four starting. 
                Favor one of the TV SCREENS.  A network sports update.  CHRIS 
               BERMAN motor-mouthing a one-minute list of results.
 
                                     CHRIS BERMAN
               -- Big loss for Washington, going down 24-12 in Miami.  Saint 
               Louis upsets K.C., 34-14.  And another Sunday surprise, Philly 
               trounces Pittsburgh, 23-10.
 
               CHRIS BERMAN continues with the scores as -- a PENCIL runs down 
               BRANDON'S betting sheet -- checking off results -- loss --  loss 
               -- loss -- loss -- loss -- the pencil pauses -- suddenly snaps 
               from the pressure of the person's hand and -- WALTER stares at 
               BRANDON, seated on the sofa, watching the tvs.  It's obvious 
               they're getting killed. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'm gonna go work out.

                                     WALTER
               Sit down!  You're watching every game!  Every second of every 
               minute of every game!  Don't even think of leaving!
 

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - NIGHT


               All but one tv is dark.  The last game ends and a remote control 
               suddenly shatters the screen.  WALTER paces the office.  BRANDON 
               still on the sofa.  No one else in the room.  A wall clock reads 
               12:19 AM.  WALTER picks up BRANDON'S betting sheet, holds it 
               like a dead fish.
 
                                     WALTER
               ... How do you go 3 and 11?  Wanna know how -- you make Sunday's 
               picks on Tuesday!  It rained in Cincinatti!  Two starting QBs 
               didn't play!  You're a handicapper, not a psychic! 
 
                                     BRANDON
               There's still Monday night and the parlay.

                                     WALTER
               Fuck Monday night!  Fuck the parlay! 

               You were pissed at me, right?  The commission thing?

                                     BRANDON
               I don't know.

                                     WALTER
               You fucked with me, right?  Joke's on me, right?  The money thing. 
                Okay, I think we're on dangerous ground here but I'm giving 
               you a bump, 10 percent.  Now what about Monday night's game? 
                You want to look over that pick?  Because everyone's gonna double 
               down to climb out of the fucking hole you put 'em in.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Monday night's fine.

                                     WALTER
               You'd bet your mother's house on it?

                                     BRANDON
               I don't bet.

                                     WALTER
               If you did?

                                     BRANDON
               I like the pick, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               On your mother's house or not?

                                     BRANDON
               With my mother in it.


               INT. UPPER EAST SIDE BAR - NIGHT


               Up-scale.  BRANDON sits at the end of the rail, empty glasses 
               lined before him, watching a wall TV with the sound off.  Monday 
               Night Football's on.  His glazed expression suggests it's been 
               a long three hours.  PATRONS around him socialize, laugh, enjoy 
               the bar's oasis-like vibe.  But for BRANDON, it's just him and 
               the game as -- a GIRL approaches, big smile.
 
                                     GIRL
               Oh my God -- Brandon!

               BRANDON glances up, quickly goes back to watching the game.
 
               
               Girl

               Oh come on, I know you remember -- two weeks ago, Aqua -- I'm 
               Heather.
 
                                     BRANDON
               (eyes glued to the game)

               Uh-huh.

               Heather

               This is like such a concidence.  I live right around the corner. 
                This is my neighborhood bar.
 
               She sits beside him, signals the bartender.

               Heather 

               Apple martini.

               (back to BRANDON)

               So listen, my office is renting out a loft this weekend, really 
               fun group, it's gonna be a big blow-out, a PR thing -- music, 
               open bar.  Wednesday night, I want you to come, I mean I'd really 
               love to hook up.   
 
               POV BRANDON -- flurry of action on the TV.  Final seconds.  BRANDON 
               lasered on the screen.
 
                                     HEATHER
               (leaning in, laughing)

               Earth to Brandon, you're blowing it.

               The BARTENDER steps in front of the TV to deliver her drink -- 
               BRANDON jumps from his seat so he can see -- flurry of action 
               on the screen -- the game ends -- the final score flashes and--
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               (pounding the bar)

                                     FUCK!
               HEATHER taken aback, pulls away.  

                                     BRANDON
               Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!

               HEATHER quickly leaves.  Other PATRONS react.  BRANDON in his 
               own world of pain.  BARTENDER eyeing him now.  BRANDON throws 
               down the rest of his drink, trying to steady himself.  His beeper 
               suddenly sounds.  He looks and --
 
               WALTER'S NAME scrolls across the screen.  BRANDON wipes the sweat 
               from his brow.  Mind racing.  Trying to understand.  BRANDON's 
               cell phone rings.  He checks the number, picks up --
 
                                     BRANDON
               Denny!  Hey -- yeah, I'm in a bar.... Of course in New York, 
               I own this town.  What's going on -- you okay?... Tonight's game? 
                You took my picks?  How much?...
 
               All of it?  That was for your college you dumb ass!  Denny, I 
               gave you one game -- goddamn it you should have told me you were 
               following my picks! 
 
               (pacing the rail)

               All right, listen.  Does Mom know?... Okay, good.  Don't say 
               anything.  I've got next weekend wired.  I'll win it all back 
               for you and more.  Understand?  Now I'll call you Friday with 
               who to take.  It's all gonna work out.  I gotta go,  talk to 
               you later.     
 
               BRANDON hangs up.  Straightens.  Strides out of the bar and --
 
               

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               BRANDON'S a man absorbed.  The office is filled with sports pages 
               from every newspaper in the country.  Injury reports.  Power 
               ratings.  BRANDON studying everything and --
 
                                     QUICK CUTS
               -- A dozen rapid-fire kick-offs fill the SCREEN -- RECEIVERS 
               catch passes, OTHERS drop them spectacularly -- RUNNING BACKS 
               brilliantly juke tackles, score -- QUARTERBACKS are slammed from 
               behind, stripped of the ball -- kicks miss goal posts by inches 
               -- PLAYERS are carried off on stretchers -- footballs sail through 
               RECEIVERS'S hands, their fingers clawing empty air -- scoreboards 
               blink outcomes, stadium lights flare and --
 

               EXT. CHELSEA PIERS - MANHATTAN - NIGHT


               Similar lights illuminate a driving range on the Hudson River.
 
               

               EXT. DRIVING RANGE -- TOP TIER - NIGHT


               BRANDON smacks one to the 250 sign, about to hit another and 
               --  
 
                                     WALTER
               Helluva swing.  Great game.  Sport of kings, right?  Or is that 
               horse racing?  
 
                                     BRANDON
               What are you doing here?

                                     WALTER
               Southie told me where you were.    

                                     BRANDON
               I had to get out.  Clear my head. 

               (teeing one up)

               Well talk to me.  How'd we do?

                                     WALTER
               You haven't seen the scores?

                                     BRANDON
               Nope.  That's how I wanted it.  Just make the picks and get the 
               results later.  
 
                                     WALTER
               Highest sales volume ever.  Take a guess.

                                     BRANDON
               I think we kicked ass.

                                     WALTER
               It was amazing.

                                     BRANDON
               I told you.  Last week was nothing.

               BRANDON smacks a drive, watches it soar --

                                     WALTER
               You're right, nothing compared to how much we lost today!

                                     BRANDON
               ... What'd I go?

                                     WALTER
               I have an idea.  I give you a few glimpses of what happened here 
               today and you take a stab.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Just give me the numbers, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               You don't like that game.  Too bad.  Woulda been fun.  Grown 
               men crying on the phone.  Wives screaming in the background. 
                Three salespeople quit 'cause they couldn't take the pressure! 
                  
 
                                     BRANDON
               Fuck!

                                     WALTER
               No.  When you lose 10 out of 12, fuck doesn't quite cover it. 
                What would be more appropriate is something like "Holy Fucking 
               Shit!" Or "My Fucking God."  Or "Jesus Fucking Christ!"
 
                                     BRANDON
               Enough.  I get the idea, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               You're right.  I mean 2 for 12 on our biggest volume weekend 
               -- what the hell's left to say?  Except maybe keep the phone 
               number and switch it over to a fucking suicide hotline!
 
               BRANDON hefts the golf bag, walks away.  Yelling after him -- 
               
 
                                     WALTER
               Tomorrow morning, Brandon!  Bright and early!  We start in all 
               over again!  No getting off!  I'm gonna ride you until you're 
               more sick of me than losing!  Turn it around and we avoid a lot 
               of pain!
 
               Omit

                                     OMIT
               Omit

               Omit


               EXT. BROOKLYN PARK - EARLY MORNING


               Gloomy fog.  A few PEOPLE heading home from work.  BRANDON riding 
               his bike, pedaling fast when a MAN suddenly steps out, flash 
               of something in his hand, jamming it in the spokes and --BRANDON 
               wipes out, over the handlebars -- hard to the ground --
 
                                     BRANDON
               Son of a bitch... What the fuck--

                                     BODYGUARD
               Mr. Novian wants to see you.  Now.

                                     BRANDON
               (seeing a gun in his waistband)

               ... Tell him to call.

                                     BODYGUARD
               You tell him.

               BRANDON looks, sees NOVIAN nearby.

                                     NOVIAN
               I didn't recognize you without the suit, John.

                                     BRANDON
               This is my time off.  It's how I clear my head.  You want to 
               talk, pick a time.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Or should I call you Brandon?  Someone costs you 18 mill, you 
               do some research.
 
               I know more than your name, Brandon.  I know where you're from. 
                Where your family lives.  Hell, I just came from Vegas.  Your 
               Mom, sweet lady... dealt me three blackjacks in a row.
 
               (stepping close)

               Where's the cocky motherfucker who came to my house?

                                     BRANDON
               I'm leaving.

               The BODYGUARD grabs his arm.  Iron grip.

                                     NOVIAN
               Feel that?  I hate the cold.  Winter's coming.  Water's getting 
               rough.
 
                                     BRANDON
               What the fuck is this about?  If you don't like my picks, use 
               someone else.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Oh, I'm not using you again.  That's already decided.  And I 
               can't get my money back.  It's gone.  No, I came for an apology.
 
               
               The BODYGUARD holds him tight.  Light fading.  No one around.
 
               
                                     NOVIAN
               Look me in the eye and say you're sorry. Say it so as to make 
               me believe you mean it.
 
               Cold gust.  NOVIAN closes the distance between them.

                                     BRANDON
               You flew to New York for--

                                     NOVIAN
               --That's right.

                                     BRANDON
               ... I'm sorry.

                                     NOVIAN
               I don't accept it.  Not good enough.  Try again.

                                     BRANDON
               I don't know what you want me to say.  I'm sorry.  I am.  I'm 
               very sorry.
 
                                     NOVIAN
               Pathetic.

                                     BRANDON
               I am very, very sorry.  That's a lot of money.

                                     NOVIAN
               Not even close.

                                     BRANDON
               I'm sorry!

                                     NOVIAN
               This isn't going to work.  I'll have to get satisfaction somehow 
               else.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Look, I'm not it -- I...

               NOVIAN inches from BRANDON.  Unbuttons his coat.  Sound of a 
               zipper.  BRANDON glances down, sees Novian reach into his fly. 
                BRANDON jumps.  The BODYGUARD holds him.  NOVIAN comes close. 
                BRANDON struggles, very unsure where this might be going and--
 
               
               He squirms -- enduring something -- trickling water heard -- 
               NOVIAN staring right at BRANDON -- finishes pissing on BRANDON'S 
               leg.  NOVIAN motions his BODYGUARD to let go and the men walk 
               off.  BRANDON stands there.  Alone in the gloom and --
 

               INT. STUDIO PRODUCTION SET - NIGHT


               WALTER, BRANDON, JERRY and CHUCK at the desk, waiting for the 
               weekly taping to start.  WALTER jots notes.  JERRY leans over. 
               
 
                                     JERRY
               I scored you the new mikes, Walter.  No wires to mess with.  
               What do you think?
 
                                     WALTER
               I'm busy.  

                                     JERRY
               Listen, I think I should lead off.  I have some really strong 
               stuff.
 
                                     WALTER
               You got a good hole, Jerry.  Stay in it. 

                                     JERRY
               C'mon, I went 8 for 12 last weekend.  I'm hot.  I'm feeling it.
 
               
               WALTER doesn't respond, continues working.  JERRY fumes. 

                                     TECHNICIAN
               60 seconds.

                                     JERRY
               What am I, wood?  

                                     WALTER
               You got one good weekend under your belt, don't push it. 

                                     JERRY
               One weekend?  The Sykes System revolutionized this industry. 
               
 
               (pulling a newspaper, showing a full-page ad for JOHN ANTHONY)
 
               
               Explain something to me, where's my fucking ad?

                                     WALTER
               Take a hike.

                                     JERRY
               What?

                                     WALTER
               You heard me.  You're fired.  Goodbye.

                                     JERRY
               I'm not fired, you need me more than ever.

                                     WALTER
               Beat it, you cut-rate parasite!

                                     JERRY
               In six years my worst weekend was never as bad as any of his 
               last three weeks!
 
                                     WALTER
               Get out!  You don't work for me anymore!

                                     JERRY
               What the hell are you doing, Walter?    C'mon, man -- it's me, 
               Jerry.  These other guys come and go.  
 
                                     WALTER
               (pointing at BRANDON)

               Not this one!  That's true talent!  I'm firing your ass 'cause 
               you don't see it and I can't explain it to you! 
 
                                     JERRY
               Think what you're fucking doing!

                                     WALTER
               I am!  You couldn't pick your fucking nose without a computer! 
                You're small!  You belong in a can!  Show some self-respect! 
                It's over, Jerry -- leave!   
 
               Beat.  BRANDON watches as JERRY gathers his things, walks off.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               ... Fuck him where he flosses.  Asshole doesn't understand I'm 
               building an empire around you.  Finish the countdown, we got 
               a big weekend to get to!  Let's go, chop chop!
 

               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT


               A BUDWEISER COMMERCIAL fills FRAME --

               PULL BACK TO SHOW -- BRANDON in bed, under the covers, peeking 
               at the tv over a remote.  The sports wrap-up comes on, scores 
               flashing on the screen.  No clue how he did until his phone rings. 
                Then his cell vibrates.  BRANDON gets out of bed.  Fully dressed. 
                Buries the phone under the mattress.  He turns off the cell, 
               but within seconds it starts vibrating again.  BRANDON sinks 
               into a corner.  Knock at the door.  BRANDON doesn't move.  Another 
               knock and --
 
               Intercut -- toni in the hall, talking through the door

                                     TONI
               It's me, Brandon.  Can I come in?

                                     BRANDON
               No.  It's not a good time.  What do you need?

                                     TONI
               I need to talk to you, it's important.

               BRANDON lost, doesn't answer.    

                                     TONI
               You need to get out, Brandon.  You need to go.  

                                     BRANDON
               I gotta pick a winner is what I gotta do.  I gotta get back on 
               track.
 
                                     TONI
               It won't matter.  You could go 100-and-0 and it won't be enough 
               -- it'll never be enough.  He'll ride you into the ground.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               I gotta figure this out.

                                     TONI
               Please, Brandon.

                                     BRANDON
               I'll figure it out...

               TONI leans her head against the door, exasperated, spent and--
 
               

               EXT. UPPER EAST SIDE - MANHATTAN - NIGHT


               BRANDON, suit and tie, stands in the lobby of an apartment high-rise, 
               speaks on a house phone.  An unsmiling DOORMAN watches nearby.
 
               
                                     BRANDON VOICEOVER
               Alex, it's Brandon.  Hey, it's been awhile but I never got your 
               number that night.  I was in the neighborhood so I thought I'd 
               take a chance and stop by.  
 

               INT. LUXURY HIGH-RISE APARTMENT BUILDING - LOBBY - NIGHT


               The DOORMAN stands at the entrance, watches BRANDON wait.  ALEX 
               appears, beautiful as the night BRANDON picked her up in the 
               restaurant.  Her demeanor, however, is far from friendly as she 
               exits the elevator.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Man, you got a Doberman for a doorman.

                                     ALEX
               What are you doing here?

                                     BRANDON
               I came by to take you out for a late dinner and a couple of killer 
               bottles of wine.  C'mon.  We'll go back to that place where we 
               met.   
 
                                     ALEX
               Are you out of your fucking mind?

               (stepping close for emphasis)

               I live in this building, asshole.  It's home.  I don't like creeps 
               coming around unannounced.  Lurking around outside.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               What the hell's gotten into you?  What about that night?

                                     ALEX
               Let me make this real clear so this shit doesn't happen again. 
                You mean nothing to me.  Oh wait, I take that back -- you meant 
               5000 bucks.  Your friend set it up.
 
               (already heading back inside)

               Don't fucking bother me again.


               EXT. MANHATTAN - DAWN


               Pale sunrise over the East River.


               INT. SALES ROOM - DAWN


               BRANDON, suit and tie, walks through the silent, empty room. 
                
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAWN


               BRANDON sits at his desk.  Staring out at the city.  His phone 
               rings.  Again.  Again.  Finally pressing speaker phone -- 
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Hello.

               Intercut - amir in payphone beside N.J. Turnpike - dawn

               Amir

               (dishevelled, distraught)

               I'm wiped out, John... 

                                     BRANDON
               Amir?

               Amir

               My business... My house... My credit...

                                     BRANDON
               No, now listen to me -- we got a big weekend coming up, buddy 
               --
 
                                     AMIR
               Still you talk like this.  Who the fuck are you, like this is 
               some kind of game.  I was betting a few thousand a Sunday when 
               I called you.  You pushed me.  Every call.  All the time with 
               your talk... I lost $380,000 this weekend... I was going to get 
               married... I had a life... 
 
               BRANDON staring at the phone, barely holding it together, sees 
               TAMMY standing there -- holding the day's newspapers, hearing 
               the conversation on speaker.
 
                                     AMIR
               No words now, huh?  No more money to squeeze so you shut up. 
                How do you fucking live with yourself?  
 
               Click.  Amir hangs up.  Crushing beat.  TAMMY staring at him.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               What?

               (face hardening)

               Fuck him if he can't take a joke.

               TAMMY puts the day's newspapers on his desk, leaves.  BRANDON 
               glances down, something catches his eye.  BRANDON pulls a newspaper 
               from the pile -- finds himself staring at a full-page ad for 
               JOHN ANTHONY.  Big smile.  Copy advertising "The Million Dollar 
               Man!" and -- 
 

               INT. BRANDON'S APARTMENT - EARLY MORNING


               BRANDON paces the dim space.  Sits on the bench press.  Leans 
               back on the board.  He stares up at the weights.  Moves the weight 
               pin to 250... and slowly starts to lift.  One rep.  Two.  Three. 
                Four.  A bad of sweat forms.  BRANDON throws off the jacket. 
                Pulls off the tie.  Removes his shirt and shoes.  He resumes 
               lifting, grim determination -- the weights rising over and over 
               and over -- faster and faster and --
 

               INT. WALTER'S APARTMENT - MORNING


               BRANDON, t-shirt and sweats, approaches WALTER'S office, bursts 
               through the door --
 
                                     BRANDON
               I know what the problem is!

               BRANDON freezes.  WALTER watches two MEN unload stacks of money 
               from a briefcase, pile them on his desk. 
 
                                     BRANDON
               I'll come back later.

                                     WALTER
               No!  C'mon in.  We're done here.  Right fellas?  All through? 
                You want a bite before you go?  Something to drink? 
 
               The two MEN leave.  WALTER lights a cigarette.

                                     BRANDON
               Who were they?

                                     WALTER
               We need a bat light or something, you know a signal I can shoot 
               up at the
 
                                     
               Walter con'd

               clouds and no matter where you are you 

               can look up and you'll know I need you.  Maybe that would work. 
                'Cause last night I must've beeped you a hundred times.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Who were they?

                                     WALTER
               They're from the Salvation Army.  How the hell does someone go 
               1-for-8?  A fucking monkey tossing darts could do better!
 
                                     BRANDON
               What's with the money, Walter?

                                     WALTER
               1-for-fucking-8!

               (coming around the desk)

               I have a plan.  From now on we take your picks and reverse everything! 
                Like a Twilight Zone episode where everything's the opposite! 
                You say black we go white!  A is B!  Lose becomes win!
 
                                     BRANDON
               (staring at the pile of cash)

               How much is that?

                                     WALTER
               (sweeping the pile to the floor)

               How much is what?  Oh, that -- 275,000 dollars! 

                                     BRANDON
               What happened to the two mill, all the other money?

                                     WALTER
               I was carrying twice that in red ink before you showed up.  The 
               last few weeks I thought keep the pressure off.  He'll come around. 
                Climb out on his own.  Now I figure fuck it!  Time to turn on 
               the lights!  Let him see the toilet he's drowning us all in! 
                Maybe that'll shake him up!  So what do you want to know?  I 
               got three mortgages on this house, I'm gambling again and to 
               cover my losses I just got a loan from a guy who works out of 
               a bar on a 106th and Broadway!  All this -- everything you see 
               around you -- 
 
               is smoke and mirrors!  I shoulda been a magician!

                                     
                                     WALTER CON'D
               ... What'd you say when you came in?  You    were in a good mood 
               when you walked through the door and you said something.
 
                                     BRANDON
               You're betting my picks?

                                     WALTER
               You went 82 and 11!  You were picking 80 percent -- how could 
               I fucking not!?  Trouble is I bet heavy after you went a hundred 
               percent and rode you right into the fucking toilet!  One decent 
               weekend and I would have been set for life!  One decent weekend! 
                
 
               BRANDON stares at him, stunned.

                                     WALTER
               "I know what the problem is!"  That's it!  You came in with a 
               big smile and said, "I know what the problem is!"
 
                                     BRANDON
               ... I'm Brandon Lang, Walter.  Brandon's the one who played sports. 
                Brandon's the one who can pick games.  I lost touch with him 
               -- myself.  It wasn't an act, man.  I became John Anthony.  But 
               he's not me.  If I go back to being Brandon--
 
                                     WALTER
               --You can pick again!  Of course!

               All you gotta do is go back to being Brandon!  Talk like Brandon! 
                Eat like Brandon!  Forget John Anthony!  Burn the suits!  It's 
               all my fault.  I see that now.  I pushed you into something you 
               weren't.  I took the golden goose and tried to turn it into a 
               duck.  We're winding down the season.  There's only two games 
               this weekend.  Two winners and two over/unders.  That's all we 
               need.  You crunch the numbers, sprinkle in a little Brandon magic, 
               we get the sales people burning up the phones and come Monday 
               we go four for four going into the big game!  Right?  Huh?  Let's 
               get
 
               something to eat!  Go to Smith and Wo's!

                                     BRANDON
               No thanks.  I'll stay here.  Eat light.

                                     WALTER
               (kneeling down, stacking the cash)

               The Brandon thing!  What am I thinking trying to get you to go 
               out?  What would Brandon eat for lunch?  Peanut butter and jelly? 
                Ramen noodles?  What?
 
                                     BRANDON
               (on the floor, helping him)

               I'll get something.

                                     WALTER
               You want anything shipped from home?  Your bed?  Clothes?  Porno 
               collection?
 
                                     BRANDON
               No, I'm fine.

                                     WALTER
               Blow job?

                                     BRANDON
               Thanks anyway.  Maybe later...

                                     WALTER
               Because it's important.

                                     BRANDON
               Pressure doesn't help.

                                     WALTER
               God forgive me, you're an artist.  I fucked with that.  Two little 
               winners and a couple of over/unders.  That's all we need.  You 
               could phone it in.  Two's nothing.  Not for you.  Not for Brandon. 
                Right, Brandon?  Isn't that right?
 
               BRANDON stands.  Looks down at WALTER, unable to hide the desperation 
               behind his frozen smile and --
 
               MONTAGE OF BRANDON WORKING THROUGH THE WEEk

               --BRANDON closes the blinds in his office, blocks the view --BRANDON 
               works out, watching ESPN -- the SALES STAFF sit idle at their 
               desks, playing cards -- a pick sheet fills FRAME,  shows New 
               York versus Atlanta, Tenessee versus Kansas City and an over/under 
               beneath each game -- WALTER waits in the SALES ROOM, edgy, pacing 
               when BRANDON emerges holding the sheet -- all eyes on him -- 
               WALTER approaches --
 
                                     WALTER
               These are the winners?

                                     BRANDON
               That's who I like.

                                     WALTER
               Brandon made these picks?

                                     BRANDON
               You're looking at him.

                                     WALTER
               (regarding the picks, to the room)

               New York and the under, Tenessee and the under!  Sell 'em hard!
 
               

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY


               SALES STAFF crowd into the room.  WALTER and BRANDON sit side-by-side. 
                Seconds before kickoff of the New York/Atlanta game.  JULIA 
               climbs into WALTER'S lap, holding her puppy.
 
               Julia

               Can I watch, daddy?

                                     WALTER
               Sure, Angel.  I need you to root for me.

               (pointing at ATLANTA)

               They're the bad guys.  Atlanta.  We want the blue team.  New 
               York.  They have to win by more than five points.  And root for 
               a low score.  Both teams have to make less than 42 points total. 
                New York and under 42 points.
 
                                     JULIA
               Why do we like the blue team?

                                     WALTER
               Because Brandon likes them.

               JULIA looks at BRANDON, smiles.  BRANDON'S barely holding up 
               here, forces himself to find a smile in return.
 
               THE TV FILLS FRAME.  New York kicks off.  An Atlanta RECEIVER 
               takes it back for a 60 yard return.  We start cutting from the 
               game to BRANDON, to WALTER, the SALESPEOPLE, JULIA, all reacting 
               as the betting Gods raise hopes one play, dash them the next. 
                Play after play.  Tide going for New York one minute, Atlanta 
               the next.  Tension in the room building. Everyone crowds the 
               TVs as New York defends a 10 point lead with a minute left.  
               37 points on the board.  Only an Atlanta TD can lose the two 
               bets and they're 80 yards from scoring.  A few high fives as 
               Atlanta fumbles on a run, recover the ball for a five yard loss. 
                Backed up to their own end zone.  Two plays left.  WALTER excited, 
               things going their way and --
 
               BRANDON starting to breath again and -- Atlanta tries a final 
               hail mary, ball coming down into a crowd -- time runs out as 
               a New York PLAYER swats it and an Atlanta RECEIVER pulls it down 
               -- running hard -- open to the end zone -- the room freezes -- 
               a New York PLAYER grabs hold -- trying to bring him the bastard 
               down but the Atlanta RUNNER is strong and just makes it in for 
               the score -- game over -- and Atlanta hasn't won but they've 
               killed the point spread and pushed the game over -- nobody speaks 
               -- the second game comes on right on the heels of the first and 
               now Tennessee is kicking off to Kansas City and we're on the 
               roller coaster all over again -- SALES PEOPLE start drifting 
               from the room and they've pushed their clients huge on these 
               games and their cell phones are ringing and WALTER'S just staring 
               at the screens and BRANDON'S dying and --
 
                                     DISSOLVE TO

               INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - LATER - NIGHT


               WALTER and BRANDON alone in the room.  Sound of the ANNOUNCERS 
               as Atlanta get trounced by Denver.  Not even close.  Well over 
               42 total points scored.  The game ends.  All four bets lost. 
                A commercial comes on.  Horrible stillness.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               ...I'm finished.  I'm done.

                                     WALTER
               That's great.

                                     BRANDON
               I can't do this anymore, Walter.  I can't sleep at night.  I 
               can't eat. 
 
                                     WALTER
               You're not gonna sit there and tell me you're ending this because 
               you have a little indigestion or some insomnia.
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's a lot more than that.

                                     WALTER
               I made it very clear before we started what the stakes were. 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               Walter, it's over.  What use could John Anthony be to you now? 
                Only an idiot would follow him after the streak I've been on.
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Wrong!  Hot streaks go cold, cold streaks go hot.  Bettors will 
               climb back aboard. 
 
                                     
                                     WALTER CON'D
               They know you!  And when your luck turns they'll remember you 
               went 80 percent for half the season!  We'll make it all back 
               on the last game and by next year they'll forget everything.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Who said anything about next year?

                                     WALTER
               Sports betting's year-round.

                                     BRANDON
               I'm not doing this next year.

                                     WALTER
               You made a career choice!  I bankrolled it!

                                     TONI VO
               Let him go, Walter.

               WALTER and BRANDON turn, see TONI at the door.

                                     WALTER
               Of course you stick up for him!

                                     TONI
               Meaning what?

                                     WALTER
               Who's side are you on?

                                     TONI
               I didn't realize I had to choose.

                                     WALTER
               (to BRANDON)

               Look, you got a magnificent gift.  Own that.  So you strike out 
               sometimes, big deal, you're swinging for the fences.  You're 
               a champion, Brandon.  A champion goes down 186 times but gets 
               up 187.  I'm not letting you stay down.  This isn't about you 
               or me or Toni, this transcends that -- this is metaphysical, 
               this is cosmic, this is eternal -- this is God... Besides, we 
               have a contract.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Bullshit!  

                                     TONI
               You can't own someone, Walter.

                                     WALTER
               I created the hottest sports tout this country's ever seen!  
               I plugged him, took out full page ads, built a show around him, 
               hooked him up with every major client I have and I will be goddamned 
               if he's going to walk out the door and take all that with him! 
                Why the hell am I even explaining this to you!  This is between 
               me and him!  Get out!
 
                                     BRANDON
               Don't talk to her like that.

                                     WALTER
               I need you to tell me how to talk to my wife?  When I'm talking 
               you'll shut your fucking toilet!
 
                                     TONI
               (to BRANDON)

               Leave.


               INT. WALTER AND TONI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               BRANDON comes down the hall.  TONI and WALTER heard yelling through 
               the office door.  BRANDON hesitates, walks out and --
 

               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT


               Dim darkness.  A distant siren bleeds in as --

                                     WALTER'S VOICE
               Brandon... Brandon.

               BRANDON'S POV.  His eyes open.  WALTER'S face fills FRAME.

                                     WALTER
               Wake up.

                                     BRANDON
               What time is it?

                                     WALTER
               Five in the morning.  Listen, I gotta fly to Vegas to meet with 
               some clients.  Hand holding thing.  Keep 'em on board for the 
               final game.  Because you can do this thing, Brandon.  End of 
               the season's the perfect place to turn this streak around.  I'll 
               be back to you out to dinner.  Get you back in the groove.  9:30. 
                Nobu. Gotta catch my flight.  See you tonight.  Look sharp. 
                We're turning it around.
 
               WALTER backs out, kills the lights.  Darkness returns and --
 
               

               INT. NOBU - NIGHT


               BRANDON alone at a table, sipping a sake when TONI, evening dress, 
               sits next to him.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Hey, I didn't know you were coming.

                                     TONI
               Walter was delayed, he's coming back in the morning.  Asked if 
               I'd fill in.  
 
                                     BRANDON
               (processing this)

               That's funny, he didn't call me.  You look great.

               TONI silent.

               BRAndon

               You okay?

                                     TONI
               Julia did her ballet recital today.  God she was beautiful.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               She is.

               TONi

               ... He's betting again.  

               BRANDON regards her.

                                     TONI
               I can't believe I'm here again.  I saw it coming.  I just... 
               I just couldn't stop it.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Nobody could.

                                     TONI
               He won't stop on his own.  He can't.

                                     BRANDON
               I gotta win one more game.

                                     TONI
               You can't fix this, Brandon.

               BRANDOn

               After Sunday's game I'm taking off...


               EXT. BROWNSTONE STEPS - NIGHT


               A cab pulls up.  BRANDON and TONI emerge.  BRANDON looks around 
               as they start up the steps.  Both reach for their keys, regard 
               one another.
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's still early.  Come in for a while.

                                     TONI
               I don't think so. 

               She leans in to kiss him on the cheek and -- BRANDON suddenly 
               shifts.  Their lips meet.  A casual goodbye suddenly grows in 
               intensity as neither tries to part.  Seconds ticking by.  Things 
               getting heated.  TONI tries to pull away.
 
                                     TONI
               Brandon--

               BRANDON comes close, whispers something.  He unlocks the door. 
               She hesitates before BRANDON takes her hand, leads her into his 
               dark apartment and --
 

               EXT. BROOKLYN BRIDGE - SAME TIME


               A cold wind blows off the river.  Whips through the cables of 
               the span.  A match flares.  WALTER'S face is lit briefly by the 
               flame.  He stands on the bridge walkway, looking down at the 
               brownstone and --
 
                                     DISSOLVE TO

               EXT. WALTER AND TONI'S APARTMENT - DAY


               Gray, winter day.  View of a snow-covered window sill -- 


               INT. WALTER AND TONI'S APARTMENT - DAY


               WALTER'S FACE fills a shaky HOME VIDEO VIEWFINDER, video coming 
               close to show WALTER opening a book-size present -- removing 
               a beautifully framed photo of TONI and JULIA.   
 
                                     WALTER
               Look at that.  With the leaves and all.  This goes on my desk. 
                
 
               Quick PAN to TONI -- sitting near the fireplace, fire blazing. 
               
 
                                     TONI
               Happy anniversary.

               KNOCK at the door --

               JULIA vo

               I'll get it.

               JULIA hands the CAMERA to WALTER.  VIDEO CAMERA view of JULIA 
               and the puppy running to the door, opening it and --
 
                                     JULIA
               Brandon!

                                     BRANDON
               Hey darlin'.

               Walter vo

               There he is.  C'mon in.  We're having a little celebration.  
               Toni and I were married 12 years ago today.     
 
                                     BRANDON
               Congratulations, I didn't know. 

               WALTER vo

               Sit down.  I want you to be part of this.  

               Okay angel, give Mommy my gift.

               WALTER aims the CAMERA as JULIA hands TONI a small gift box. 
                TONI opens it, reveals a set of very expensive earrings.  
 
               
               Toni

               Walter... 

               WALTER vo

               Relax, I had some saved.  Put 'em on, lemme see.    

               TONI puts the earrings on.

               Walter vo

               Beautiful.  God I got good taste.

               TONI stares into the CAMERA as WALTER PANS to BRANDON --

               WALTER vo

               I saw something else, I couldn't help myself.  Here, Brandon 
               -- for you.
 
               WALTER hands BRANDON a small black case.  BRANDON unsure, looks 
               at TONI, opens it -- produces a very expensive watch.
 
               WALTER vo

               It's a Chopard.  Designed for car racing.  Guy won six times 
               at LeMans wearing it.       Put it on, maybe you'll start winning. 
               
 
                                     BRANDON
               I can't take this.

               WALTER vo

               Why not?

                                     BRANDON
               It's too much.

               WALTER vo

               For what?  You're family, Brandon.  We all love each other, right? 
                I'm like a father, you're like my son -- gee, sorry Toni, but 
               I guess that makes you his mother.
 
               WALTER PANS to TONI, staring at the fire.  Strained silence.
 
               
               WALTER vo

               What?  Somebody fart or something?

               TONI starts taking off the earrings.

               WALTER vo

               Leave 'em on.

                                     TONI
               They're for evening.

               WALTER vo

               Good, wear 'em to bed tonight.

               (VIDEO CAMERA back on BRANDON) 

               Who do you think'll win the big game? 

                                     BRANDON
               Turn it off.

               WALTEr/still taping

               Better yet, don't say anything.  Surprise me.  We'll break it 
               when we do the live show.  Take your time, Brandon.  Enjoy yourself. 
                Give Walter a smile.
 
               WALTER ZOOMS IN -- BRANDON staring back at us and --


               EXT. TIMES SQUARE NEWS STAND - DAY


               BRANDON loads up on newspapers and sports magazines and --


               INT. BRANDON'S APARTMENT - DAY


               BRANDON surrounded by a sea of sports pages, comentary, ratings. 
                He looks up at a blaring TV and --
 
               THE TV FILLS FRAME -- TIME CUT as various sports shows come on 
                back-to-back -- each providing a wealth of competing Superbowl 
               predictions and analysis.  
 
               CAMERA TIGHTENS ON THE SCREEN AND WE SEE, for every hopped-up 
               SPORTSCASTER who picks Denver, an equally assured COUNTERPART 
               chooses New York.  One after another.  No consensus at all. Airwaves 
               awash in past-season stats -- regular season stats -- post-season 
               stats -- all of it blending into an overwhelming, mind-numbing, 
               jarring blather of pure disagreement and --   
 

               INT. TV PRODUCTION STUDIO BATHROOM - NIGHT


               BRANDON, suit and tie, splashes water on his face, stares at 
               himself in the mirror.  He pulls reams of stats and newspaper 
               reports from his pocket, regards the Superbowl pick sheet.  Blank 
               space for the winner.  Blank space for the over/under.  BRANDON 
               fumbling with his sheets of data, desperately searching for an 
               answer when he suddenly hurls it all in the trash.  Kicks the 
               can.  Kicks it again.  
 
                                     TECHNICIAN'S VOICE
               60 seconds till we go live, Mr. Anthony!

               BRANDON looks over.  The unfinished pick sheet lies crumpled 
               by the toilet.  He smooths it.  Pulls a coin.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Heads, New York.  Tails Denver.

               He flips the coin.  Palms it.  Heads.  BRANDON checks the box.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               Heads, over.  Tails, under.

               BRANDON flips again, lets the coin hit the floor, watches it 
               spin, slowly come to a stop, drop to its side and --
 

               INT. TV PRODUCTION STUDIO - NIGHT


               BRANDON sits at the set.  Looks over at CHUCK, in his own world, 
               working something from his teeth.  BRANDON Slides the pick sheet 
               to WALTER.
 
                                     TECHNICIAN
               Ten seconds!

                                     BRANDON
               Wanna know about the picks?

                                     WALTER
               New York minus the two-and-a-half points and the over, what should 
               I know?
 
                                     BRANDON
               I flipped a coin to decide.

                                     TECHNICIAN
               Five, four, three, two, one --

                                     WALTER
               Hello everybody and welcome to the big weekend!  John Anthony's 
               just given me tremendous news about his assessment!  Let me say 
               to all of you who've used our service and those of you thinking 
               of using it for the first time -- never before in the history 
               of this industry has an offer been made like the one I'm about 
               to present to you now!  I am so confident of John Anthony's picks 
               for this Sunday, so sure of the skills he's brought to bear and 
               so anxious to get you on the phone and dialing the toll free 
               number on your screen that for the first time in sports service 
               history I will guarantee our picks this weekend!  What's that 
               mean?  Tell us how much you're betting with your bookie.  You 
               lose, we cover!  That's right!  Risk free!  Lock Of The Millenium! 
                Now let's go to the oracle, God's gift -- John Anthony!
 
               BRANDON'S face fills the monitor.  Completely off-guard.

                                     BRANDON
               ... Wow.  What an offer.  The phones'll be flooded.

                                     WALTER
               We're that sure!  John, rundown the pitfalls facing the average 
               bettor.  I mean a game this huge, all the added dynamics, without 
               your expertise most bettors might as well just... flip a coin, 
               am I right?
 
                                     BRANDON
               (tapping into it)

               That's right, Walter!  Last game of the year ladies and gentlemen! 
                Come Sunday you're either ending the season a winner or a loser! 
                It's crunch time!  The last action on the way out the door! 
                And I am absolutely, 1000-percent sure that I, John Anthony, 
               will end the season ahead of the game!
 

               EXT. TV PRODUCTION STUDIO - NIGHT


               The studio doors open.  WALTER exits.  BRANDON right beside.
 
               
                                     BRANDON
               You can't guarantee they'll win!  It's insane!

                                     WALTER
               You think?  Well I say if you can flip a coin to pick, I can 
               guarantee the game!
 
                                     BRANDON
               What if you lose?

                                     WALTER
               Fuck it, I'm ruined anyway.

                                     BRANDON
               At least cap it out!

                                     WALTER
               (turning to him)

               Can't you feel it, Brandon?   

                                     BRANDON
               I don't know what you're talking about.

                                     WALTER
               I think you do.  The best part of the best drug in the world 
               isn't the high.
 
               The best part is the time just before you take it!  The dice 
               are dancing on the
 
               table.  Between now when they stop -- that's the greatest high 
               in the world!
 

               INT. SALES OFFICE - DAY


               Mayhem.  Loud and crowded.  They can't answer the phones fast 
               enough.  A big screen TV is set up in front.  The Superbowl pre-game 
               show is seen coming to an end.  SALESMEN machine-gun last minute 
               calls.  Scribble like mad.
 
               Southie

               Win, we get a piece!  Lose, we cover!  It ain't rocket science! 
                Take New York minus two and the over!  42 points!  It's an iron-clad 
               lock!  How much you betting with your book?
 
                                     HERBIE
               Our reputation's the guarantee!  28 years in the business, we're 
               not going anywhere!  Bet this game big!
 
               (yelling toward the windows)

               Can we please get some air in here!


               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - DAY


               BRANDON, suit and tie, looks through the glass at the feeding 
               frenzy.  He closes the blinds.  Goes to the closet.  Hangs up 
               his jacket.  Removes his tie and --
 

               INT. SALES OFFICE - NIGHT


               Kick-off is seconds away.  WALTER and the SALES STAFF gather 
               around the set, turn up the sound.
 
                                     1ST TV ANNOUNCER
               New York wins the toss and elects to receive.

                                     2ND ANNOUNCER
               Some bettor somewhere just made some money.

                                     WALTER
               That's it!  No more calls!  Kill the phones!  Kill 'em now -- 
               right now!
 
               The ringing stops.  All eyes on game as the two teams line up 
               for kick-off.  WALTER before the tv.  Laughing with SALESMEN. 
               
 

               INT. BRANDON'S OFFICE - SAME TIME - NIGHT


               TONI alone.  View across the hall into the office.  BRANDON enters, 
               wearing his UNLV jacket and faded jeans.
 
                                     TONI
               (to BRANDON, re: WALTER)

               Look at him.  Dead man walking, should be getting last rites. 
                Hours away from losing everything, but Walter -- he's having 
               the time of his life.
 
                                     BRANDON
               Maybe he thinks he already did lose everything.

               WALL OF TVS, the ball's kicked and the game begins -- the SALESROOM 
               explodes in cheers after a good play -- PLAYERS collide -- a 
               fumble bounces across the field -- SALESMEN clamber atop desks 
               for a better view -- WALTER in agony after an interception, a 
               moment later elated when a flag brings the play back -- the score 
               board FILLS FRAME, New York trails 14/7 at the half and --
 
               
               PULL BACK TO SHOW -- the tension level in the room is suddenly 
               suspended.  We're in the eye of the storm.  WALTER like a fighter 
               between rounds.  BRANDON appears.
 
                                     WALTER
               Hold onto that coin you flipped.  Game keeps up like this I'll 
               have to borrow it.
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's not over yet, Walter.  I wouldn't change my bet.


               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT


               BRANDON packs things into a duffel bag.  The Superbowl's on tv. 
                The sound's off.  Play's resumed.  BRANDON removes the watch. 
                Sets it on a nightstand beside an envelope and the Mercedes 
               keys.  Picks up a plane ticket and --
 

               EXT. BROWNSTONE - NIGHT


               BRANDON comes down the steps, carrying his bag, dressed the same 
               as the day he came.  BRANDON starts down the sidewalk.  Flags 
               a cab.  It stops.  He opens the door, about to get in when a 
               cheer from the SALES ROOM makes him look up and --
 
               POV BRANDON -- TONI looks down from a window.  Frozen beat.  
               She turns away.  BRANDON climbs in the cab, drives off and --
 
               

               INT. SALES OFFICE - NIGHT


               Fourth quarter.  Superbowl blaring from the tv.  New York's driving. 
                Minutes left.  The SALES STAFF are screaming at the set, climbing 
               over each other to get a better view and New York suddenly scores 
               and the room erupts and WALTER'S right in the middle of it, looks 
               around --
 
                                     WALTER
               Where the hell's Brandon?


               INT. BRANDON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT


               The door's ajar.  WALTER rushes in.

                                     WALTER
               You're missing the game!  We're back in it!  A New York touchdown 
               and we win both bets!
 
               Walter walks back to the bedroom.  The tv's on.  WALTER pauses 
               to watch another play, about to leave when he spies the Rolex 
               on the nightstand, envelope beside it.  WALTER picks up the letter. 
                Sees his name on the outside.  He opens it, reads. TONI appears 
               in the BG.  WALTER turns.
 
                                     WALTER
               ... He left.

                                     TONI
               I know.

                                     WALTER
               And you didn't you tell me?

                                     TONI
               He asked me not to.

                                     WALTER
               Just like that?  No goodbye?

                                     TONI
               I'm sure it's in the letter.

                                     WALTER
               I'm sure it is... I wonder what's not in here?

                                     TONI
               What do you mean?

                                     WALTER
               What do you mean, what do I mean?  When it comes to Brandon you 
               seem to have all the answers.
 
                                     TONI
               He had enough.  He wanted his life back.

                                     WALTER
               He said that to you?

                                     TONI
               Yeah, loud and clear, by leaving.

                                     WALTER
               I think it's something else.

                                     TONI
               Yeah, tell me.

                                     WALTER
               You know.

                                     TONI
               No.

               ON -- the TV.  New York's driving.  Game reaching a head.  A 
               clock in the corner counts down the final two minutes.
 
                                     WALTER
               You have no idea, huh?

                                     TONI
               You're missing the game.

                                     WALTER
               No I'm not.  This is the game.


               INT. JFK AIRLINE TERMINAL - NIGHT


               BRANDON travels down an escalator and --


               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 


               TONI at the door.  WALTER approaches.

                                     WALTER
               Something was bothering him.  I mean sure, maybe he was homesick. 
                Or I was thinking maybe he had such, you know, deep feelings 
               for me he couldn't face saying goodbye.  What a minute.  I just 
               
 
               thought of something.  Just came to me.  Out of the blue.  What 
               about this?  Maybe Brandon left without telling me because --
 
               
               (full volume, in her face)

               You let him fuck you!

               ON -- TV.  A New York RECEIVER catches a long bomb.  Nailed at 
               the 20.  Clock down to a minute 30.  No time to huddle and --
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Do you deny it?

                                     TONI
               Do I have to?

                                     WALTER
               I know you did!  

                                     TONI
               Really?  Another "lock of the year?"

                                     WALTER
               I saw you, Toni!  I saw you go into his room that night!  This 
               room!  With him!  I never went to Vegas!
 

               INT. JFK AIRLINE TERMINAL - NIGHT  


               BRANDON walks through FRAME.  PASSENGERS rush for flights and--
 
               

               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT  


               TONI and WALTER in the middle of it --

                                     TONI
               You mean you lied to me about the trip!

                                     WALTER
               Don't talk to me about lying!

                                     TONI
               I guess you had the whole thing planned?

                                     WALTER
               Don't make this about me!

                                     TONI
               Put me out there on a tray!

                                     WALTER
               Yeah, I put the tray out there -- but you didn't have to shove 
               an apple in your mouth and jump on it!  On him!
 
               ON -- New York throws a pass.  Blocked.  45 seconds left --
 
               
                                     WALTER
               Admit it!

                                     TONI
               You played me!

                                     WALTER
               You're damn right I did!

                                     TONI
               ... Brandon was right.  Son of a bitch!

                                     WALTER
               You don't deny it!

                                     TONI
               Best pick he ever made.

                                     WALTER
               What the hell are you talking about?


               INT. JFK AIRPORT BAR - NIGHT


               PASSENGERS watch the Superbowl on a tv over the bar.  Final seconds. 
                BRANDON appears.  Stands outside.  CROWD of people around the 
               set, it looks like the last play and --
 

               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 


               TONI before WALTER.  Inches away --

                                     TONI
               You were gambling with me that night, Walter.  Brandon knew it. 
                Knew you.  He told me he was sure you were watching somehow. 
                So he asked me in to spend the night, put on a show.  I didn't 
               believe him -- I mean after all we've been through -- but I figured 
               what the hell.
 
                                     
               Toni con'd

               He slipped out the back,

                                     
                                     TONI CON'D
               didn't even stay here.  And you... you were in such a good mood 
               the next day.  I figured he must have been wrong.  Otherwise 
               why wouldn't you confront us?  Confront me?
 
               CLOSE ON -- TV.  Last play.  No time left.  The New York QUARTERBACK 
               drops back, about to be sacked, starts to run --
 

               INT. SALESROOM - NIGHT


               The room's at fever pitch, everyone screaming at the TV and -- 
               
 

               INT. BRANDON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 


               WALTER still as a statue.  Game in the BG.  TONI rolling --
 
               
                                     TONI
               And now I find out you've been thinking ever since then that 
               we did sleep together?  Living with it like that?  Looking at 
               me like that?  You sick fuck!  You wanted to lose!  You set us 
               up!  Like I was something you just toss on the table!  Only we 
               booked your bet, Walter!
 
               Brandon and me.  The two of us, who evidentally love you more 
               than you love yourself.  Your fantasy's to end up alone with 
               nothing!  Well I won't let that happen to you!  Understand?  
               I will never let that happen!  This is it!  We're all we have, 
               Walter!  All we're ever gonna have!  You and me, we're all that's 
               real!
 
               WALTER stands there, staring at her.  Tears streaming down his 
               face and --
 

               INT. JFK AIRPORT BAR - NIGHT


               CAMERA on the tv.  Blaring the game.  Bar going crazy as the 
               New York QUARTERBACK runs for the end zone.  Juking LINEMEN. 
                Dodging tackles.  Nearing the goal.  A last-second block clears 
               a lane and the QUARTERBACK barrels by, dives -- a hit -- a fumble 
               on the goal line -- a beat -- a replay -- a REFEREE signaling 
               a touchdown -- and the game's over -- and New York has won, but 
               more importantly they've covered the spread and --
 
               BRANDON walks down the corridor, his cell rings.  Answering -- 
                
 
                                     BRANDON
               It's me.

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               Hello, Brandon?

                                     BRANDON
               Hey, hey the big winner.  What's going on?

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               Nothing much... the usual.

                                     BRANDON
               C'mon, I know it's rough, it's supposed to be.  A friend turned 
               me on to the place.  She said it's the best.
 
                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               Where are you headed?

                                     BRANDON
               I don't know, but I got an airport full of planes to choose from. 
               
 
                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               Does your mom know I'm in rehab?

                                     BRANDON
               Yeah, I told her. 

                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               Great pick on New York.  It's like I always said, you don't bet 
               quarterbacks and receivers-- 
 
                                     BRANDON
               (finishing his words)

               --You bet the offensive line.  I remember.  That's exactly what 
               I was thinking about, pop.
 
                                     BRANDON'S DAD
               (excitement creeping in)

               No kidding!  Wow.  Helluva game, huh?  Boy, that opening drive 
               was a beaut, the way they drove like that, six first downs -- 
               you shoulda seen me, Brandon -- I'm screaming at the tv...
 
               
               BRANDON smiles as he listens to his DAD talk.  The loud sound 
               of a jet taking off fills the terminal as BRANDON walks down 
               the corridor and --
 
                                     DISSOLVE TO
               ext. Elementary school playground - day

               A dozen 9-year-old PEE-WEE FOOTBALL PLAYERS, barely able to move 
               in over-sized gear, are lined for practice.  BRANDON, coach's 
               whistle, faces them.
 
                                     BRANDON
               We're up against a tough team today, toughest on our schedule. 
                But you're ready for it.  You're prepared.  Most important I 
               want you to go out there and have some fun.  Enjoy yourselves. 
                Keep it loose.  Because you can't make me any more proud of 
               you than I already am.  Team cheer, bring it in --
 
               The KIDS gather close, thrust their hands in the center --

               Thunderbirds!

                                     BRANDON
               Go get 'em!

               The KIDS scramble across the field, other TEAM seen suited and 
               ready.  PARENTS on the sideline.  One of BRANDON'S tiny TEAMMATES 
               hangs back, approaches BRANDON.
 
                                     TEAMMATE
               You really think we can win today, Coach?

                                     BRANDON
               ... I'd bet on it.

               BRANDON drapes an arm over the KID, walks him to the game --
 
               
               CAMERA lifting higher --

               And higher --

               And that's it.


               FADE OUT
               THE END